Recap: The Amazing Race 17, Episode 9 – “You’re not going to have a very good teammate if I’m passed out.“

Episode 17.09 – There’s a Lot of Nuts and Bullets

Chad & Stephanie open their first clue and find they have to fly to Dhaka, Bangladesh and make their way to Sundarban Square Supermarket.  There, they will look for a sugarcane press, use the machine to squeeze enough sugarcane juice to fill a mug and then drink the juice for their next clue.

BUT! They are also warned of a Double U-Turn ahead.

All teams head to the airport and try looking for tickets, but so far, they only find a flight getting them in at noon tomorrow.  Chad & Stephanie decide to go get some Dairy Queen while other teams continue searching for flights.  Nat & Kat meanwhile only have tickets booked through Dubai.

Jill & Thomas’ not eating pays off and they catch a flight getting them into Dhaka at 5am.  Brook & Claire try getting on the flight, but no can do.  They and Nick & Vicki go searching for more and the couple manages to get a flight arriving in Dhaka at 8:40am.  They grab the last tickets, keeping B&C on the noon flight.

They meet back up with Chad & Stephanie and later Nat & Kat who all end up on the same flight from Mumbai to Dhaka.  

Now that first and second has already been decided, Jill & Thomas fly through the rest of the leg.  After pressing their sugarcanes, they get the Detour.
In Balanced Meal, teams head to the harbor and pick up 30 tiffin meals in stacked metal lunchboxes.  They’ll then load them onto a boat and cross the harbor to a cargo ship where they’ll hoist the meals up to the deck.  They’ll then return to shore with ten empty tiffin containers for their next clue.
In Balanced Bricks, teams head to a supply barge in the harbor and transport 100 unbroken bricks to a shop using a basket balanced on their heads.  Once they’ve delivered 100 bricks, they’ll get their next clue.

Jill & Thomas decide to do Balanced Bricks.  When they finish, they get the next clue pointing them to head on foot to Dhaka River Port where they find the first ever Double U-Turn.  Now two teams can U-Turn another team.  Jill & Thomas decide to U-Turn Brook & Claire who’ve been dominating the Race so far.

They get their next clue telling them to take a rickshaw to Nazira Bazaar.  There, they find the Road Block.  In this Road Block, teams will have to assemble a rickshaw.

Jill decides to do the Road Block just as sure 2nd place team Nick & Vicki arrive in Dhaka.  The other three teams are still just waking up in Mumbai.

Nick & Vicki get to the sugarcane and then choose to do Balanced Meals.  Jill & Thomas finish the Road Block and head to the Pit Stop, Lalbagh Fort.  And they’re first, winning a $15,000 Discover gift card.

As the other teams arrive in Dhaka and head to the Balanced Meals Detour as well, Nick & Vicki get to the U-Turn and Vicki convinces Nick out of using it on Chad & Stephanie saying they have no need.

After the three teams do the sugarcane, Chad & Stephanie’s rickshaw takes them the wrong way, pushing them to last.  

The three teams all see each other on the water, but Nat & Kat finish the Detour before the other two, allowing them to U-Turn Chad & Stephanie to help ensure their safety.  And boy did they need it.

Nick & Vicki make their 2nd place finish official and Brook & Claire discover their U-Turn.  Claire is exhausted, but Brook tells her to push through it.  After getting a little lost again, Chad & Stephanie discover their U-Turn.

As Nat & Kat start the Road Block, Brook & Claire finish the bricks while Chad & Stephanie start.  Tensions are high, even more so when B&C get to the Road Block after doing both Detours and still find the doctors there.  Not only that, Chad & Stephanie get to the Road Block before the doctors finish.  Huh!?

Chad tries taunting Nat, but the doctors head off to check in 3rd.  With two teams left, both Brook and Stephanie are having trouble with their last pieces, but Brook edges Stephanie and she and Claire finish 4th.  That leaves Chad & Stephanie in a hard fought 5th and Eliminated. 

Episode Thoughts
This was definitely a much better episode than last week.  That is in spite of the horrible flight options that TAR usually magically takes care of.

Jill & Thomas and Nick & Vicki finishing 1 and 2 was pretty much decided as soon as they booked their tickets in Oman, so the main attractions in this episode were Bangladesh itself and the genuine drama and excitement of the last three teams fighting it out to stay in the Race.

The Double U-Turn is a very interesting new facet to what has largely been a successful, if even just relatively speaking, twist to the Race.  While unclear as to the full extent of the Double U-Turn power, I think this new twist to the twist is good.  It certainly did not take away from the drama and having it when there are only five teams left also adds more heft to it than if it showed up towards the start of the Race.

The question I have, does the first U-Turned team have the power to U-Turn another team for the 2nd U-Turn?  If so, that could very much be an interestingly strategic move that causes drama but still doesn’t ensure safety, as seen in this leg when all three teams caught up to each other at the Road Block.

Even if TAR’s excellent editing team worked their magic at the Road Block, the fact that all three teams were there even for a few minutes at the same time was amazing.  It either says a lot about Brook & Claire and Chad & Stephanie knowing how to step it up and hustle or about Nat & Kat’s weakness of not knowing when to hustle.  Or both.

The tasks were simple, two of them even retreads from past seasons, but the new locale and the team drama were able to help prop it up for a good episode.

Leg Nine Itinerary
Al Alam Palace
Muscat, Oman

Mumbai, India

Dhaka, Bagladesh

Sundarban Square Supermarket
Dhaka, Bagladesh

Dhaka River Port
Dhaka, Bagladesh

Dhaka Harbor
Dhaka, Bagladesh

Tekka Mistiri Rickshaw Garage, Nazira Bazaar
Dhaka, Bagladesh

Lalbagh Fort
Dhaka, Bagladesh

Departure Times

Al Alam Palace
Muscat, Oman

Chad & Stephanie 11:10am
Jill & Thomas 11:27am
Nick & Vicki 12:57pm
Brook & Claire 1:36pm
Nat & Kat 3:37pm

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion




Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

If you build it, the Clue will come.
5 Jill Thomas 4
6 Nick Vicki 3
4 Nat Kat 4
5 Brook Claire 4
5 Chad Stephanie 4

4 Gary Mallory 4
3 Michael Kevin 4
3 Katie Rachel 2
4 Connor Jonathan 0
0 Andie Jenna 2
1 Ron Tony 0

Order of Finish
1st Jill & Thomas (+1)
2nd Nick & Vicki (+1)
3rd Nat & Kat (+2)
4th Brook & Claire (=)
Eliminated Chad & Stephanie (-4)

My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 9

Brook & Claire Brook & Claire – It was a good leg and a bad leg for them.  Bad because they had to crawl themselves out of elimination’s way but good because in spite of that and they apparent exhaustion, they managed to overcome a U-Turn, catch up, and survive.  Now for sure, the Double U-Turn helped a lot (they’d probably be eliminated if it were just them U-Turned), but they showed again that they can step it up and push forward.  
Nat & Kat Nat & Kat – This leg showed once again what could be their one weakness in the Race; not knowing when to hustle.  Having two U-Turned teams catch up to them is kind of unbelievable and shows how they seem to not remember that every minute counts.  They slow down and even when competition gets tough, they don’t step up.  I hope that won’t be their downfall in the Race.
Chad & Stephanie Chad & Stephanie – They’ve been a middling team the entire Race.  One of those teams that can make it far only because stronger teams make fatal errors.  They didn’t make a fatal error, but they didn’t do much to keep themselves in the Race longer either.  A sort of schizophrenic team they were too.  But at least they got engaged on the Race.
Nick & Vicki Nick & Vicki – If you told me Nick & Vicki were going to make the Final Four, I’d have laughed in your face.  I thought for sure that them falling forwards leg after leg would eventually have them falling backwards out of the Race sooner rather than later but it hasn’t happened yet.  Like Chad & Stephanie, they haven’t made fatal mistakes that other teams have, but they definitely have not proven themselves to be a contender.
Jill & Thomas Jill & Thomas – Just seeing Thomas’ smug face at the Mat, tongue licking his lips is enough to renew my strong dislike for this team.  
Quotes from Episode 17.09

Thomas: “Just keep your extremities in.”
Jill: “By yelling at me?”
Thomas: “Your extremities, your arms and your legs.”

Claire: “You’re not going to have a very good teammate if I’m passed out.“

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