Episode 18.06 -I Feel Like a Monkey in a Circus Parade
The Leg Teams set off from the Pit Stop with their first clue telling them to head to Jin Fu Yi Zhan Tea Shop in Kunming where they’ll take part in a traditional tea tasting. What the teams don’t know is that the papaya mango tea they’ll be drinking will show up in a challenge later this leg.
After drinking the tea, they’ll be given a brick of tea and their next clue.
Jet & Cord leave the Pit Stop first, but Gary & Mallory arrive at the tea shop first and Mallory tastes peach in the tea.
They get their next clue telling the teams to fly to Kolkata, India where they’ll find their next clue at Town Hall.
The other teams have their tea time and Ron & Chris ask the tea man what kind of tea it was. He tells them papaya mango.
All the teams are on the same flight and as soon as they arrive in Kolkata at 1am, they run out of the airport into the huge crowd of people outside. As always in India, the teams are taken for a wild taxi ride.
A couple of the teams get to the Town Hall first but find it opens at 10am. When the 2nd batch of teams arrive, the first teams decide to joke around and they get the newly arrived teams all worked up running around looking for a cluebox that doesn’t exist.
The teams spend the night outside and wake up to life in India before they all storm the Town Hall. Inside, they find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will take part in traditional Indian tea tasting. First, they’ll gather one mango and one papaya and with their block of tea from China, hand it to the tea auctioneer. Then, from a sea of hundreds of cups of tea, teams must find one that tastes the same as the mango papaya tea they had tasted in China. Once they’ve brought a correct cup to the auctioneer, they’ll receive a Snapple bottle with their next clue hidden under the cap.
The eight Racers not doing the Road Block watch from across the huge room as the others look and drink the various cups of tea.
Ron decides to smell them first and finds one with an overwhelming mango scent and taste. Good thing they asked the guy in China what the tea was. He takes the cup to the auctioneer and he is correct. He is handed a Snapple bottle and he and Christina open it up to reveal the next clue pointing them to the Tiwari Tea Stall in the Jorasanko Area for their next clue.
Jet & Cord finish next followed by Jen & Kisha. Though the Cowboys know to open the Snapple, Jen & Kisha decide their clue is to go to the local Snapple factory.
Kent then Mallory finish and set off with their teammates. Zev gets upset and smashes one of the cups before finally getting the right one, leaving the Globetrotters and Margie & Luke at the Road Block.
Meanwhile, Ron & Chris and Jet & Cord’s taxi drivers have no idea where they’re going. Jen & Kisha finally realize the clue is under the cap and get back on track.
That allows Kent & Vyxsin to get to the clue first and find the Detour. In Hindu Art, teams head to a statuary shop where they must paint and adorn a statue of the Hindu god Ganesha according to a completed example. Once finished the shop owners will hand them their next clue. In Bengali Literature, teams head to a bookstore to pick up eight stacks of Introduction to the Bengali Alphabet. They’ll load them onto a rickshaw schoolbus and guide the driver to Victoria Institution High School and College and deliver the books to the headmistress who’ll hand them their next clue.
Kent & Vyxsin decide on Hindu Art as well as Ron & Christina and Jen & Kisha, while Gary & Mallory, Jet & Cord, and Zev & Justin choose Bengali Literature.
Back at the Road Block, Flight Time finally gets the right cup leaving Luke & Margie the last team. Frustration sets in and Luke breaks down. He feels like giving up, but Margie encourages him and so do the tea assistants who applaud him. When he finally gets the right cup, the room erupts in cheers.
Gary & Mallory finish the Detour first and get the clue for the Pit Stop, the Fountain of Joy. They head on over and claim first as well as a Snapple prize package including the first ever taste of the Special Edition Amazing Race Mango Papaya flavored Snapple, an Indian dinner with Bollywood-style entertainment and one million rupees or over US$20,000.
After getting stuck in traffic, it is a three-way foot race across a busy street that gets Jet & Cord, Ron & Christina, and Zev & Justin in one after the other as Teams 2, 3, and 4 respectively. While enjoying the Special Edition TAR Snapple, Kent & Vyxsin arrive and Phil lets Jet tell them what place they are, to which he says 4th even though they’re actually 5th. They’re all drunk on The Amazing Race Special Edition Snapple.
Jen & Kisha arrive a little later in 6th.
That leaves the Globetrotters who arrive a little bit before Margie & Luke at the Hindu Art Detour. Even after the spilling paint over the statue, the Globetrotters finish first. But Flight Time gives both Margie & Luke a hug before leaving.
Margie & Luke finish as the Globetrotters are having trouble finding a cab. But the Globetrotters end up Team #7 anyway and Margie & Luke are eliminated.
Episode Thoughts TAR18 has been defying expectations and is turning out to be very exciting. Another good leg.
After the lack of equalizers in TAR16, it is actually a welcome sight to see so many here in TAR18. It used to be equalizers were annoying and unfair, but the lack of them in TAR16 actually showed how much they are needed on the Race. TAR16’s legs without bunching up points were incredibly boring. At least equalizers level out the playing field and allow for constant place changes throughout the leg.
Of course, having too many equalizers can be bad, but so far, they’ve been a welcome sight.
The tea theme was very clever and a sign TAR is finally thinking out of the box. I guess it is also tied in with Snapple’s sponsorship, but it is still a very clever way of integrating it all. And yes, I will definitely go look for the Papaya Mango TAR special edition Snapples tomorrow.
So the teams were tired of China eh?
And how about this TAR14 bloodbath. Four eliminations so far and all from TAR14. The Race started out with half the teams from TAR14 and now four of the five are gone. Jen & Kisha are the last TAR14 team standing. Will they escape the bloodbath?
It seems so far, TAR18 sets out to let teams either overcome and correct the mistakes of their last Race, or fall by them all over again. That appears to be true for all four teams eliminated so far; Kris & Amanda by a U-Turn, Mel & Mike by Mel’s age, Jaime & Cara by bad taxi/car trouble and now Margie & Luke by Luke having a meltdown.
That certainly poses some interesting things to think about when it comes to the fate of the other teams. It turns out Unfinished Business is a very interestingly ironic title after all.
Leg Six Itinerary DEPARTURE Green Lake Park Kunming, China
ROUTE MARKER Jin Fu Yi Zhan Tea Shop Kunming, China
DESTINATION CITY Kolkata, India
ROAD BLOCK Kolkata Town Hall Kolkata, India
ROUTE MARKER Tiwari Tea Stall Kolkata, India
DETOUR Rakhal Paul and Sons Statuary Kolkata, India
Dey’s Publishing Kolkata, India
PIT STOP Fountain of Joy, Victoria Memorial Kolkata, India
Green Lake Park Kunming, China
Jet & Cord 2:14pm Gary & Mallory 2:16pm Margie & Luke 2:48pm Kisha & Jen 3:43pm Kent & Vyxsin 3:52pm Flight Time & Big Easy 3:59pm Ron & Christina 4:09pm Zev & Justin 4:10pm
Who Did the Detour? In order of completion
Road Block Count In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block
Who’s ready to drink in the scenery? 2Ron Christina 3 3Jet Cord 2 3Kisha Jen 2 3Kent Vyxsin 2 2 Gary Mallory3 2Zev Justin 3 3Flight Time Big Easy 2 2 Margie Luke3
2JaimeCara2 1MelMike1 1AmandaKris0
Order of Finish 1st Gary & Mallory (+1) 2nd Jet & Cord (-1) 3rd Ron & Christina +4) 4th Zev & Justin (+4) 5th Kent & Vyxsin (=) 6th Kisha & Jen (-2) 7th Flight Time & Big Easy (-1) Eliminated Margie & Luke (-5)
My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 6
Ron & Christina – A great leg for them if it wasn’t for that horrible taxi driver! Ron’s love for food came in very handy, but they were smart to ask the teaman in China what kind of tea they were drinking. And great Real Truth Disco Flavor at the Detour! Hilarious and awesome how Ron complained about the loudness, but still appreciated the music and ended up not being able to control himself but just dance. Haha.
Gary & Mallory – They are definitely dominating and racing very well. As long as they keep it up, they’re the team to beat. But they still have to be careful because they were doing just as well in TAR17. It only takes one wrong turn, so they better not repeat their fatal mistakes from last season. Otherwise, on to the final 3!
Kisha & Jen – An almost huge hiccup with the Snapple, but so far, a solid Race from them. They might be flying under the radar, but that’s exactly why they could go very far. No major mistakes, and Racing well with no drama, good combo.
Kent & Vyxsin – Well, after their meltdown and recovery, they disappear back into the woodwork this week. Which is good for them I guess because it means they weren’t flailing around this leg. They definitely need to step it up and maintain a good Race if they want to make it to the end.
Zev & Justin - It appears neither Zev nor Justin can handle the pressure situation. That’s not a good sign for the rest of the Race. If they can hold themselves together, they’re a solid team. But when they unravel, it could be the end for them.
Margie & Luke – And it turns out Luke brings their team down once again. Sad for Margie, but for Luke, his meltdowns at Road Blocks have done them in every time. He beats himself up too much and easily gets discouraged even though he and his mother can be a good team. Oh well. So goes the TAR14 bloodbath I guess.
Jet & Cord - Thankfully in the background this week. But they were alright.
Flight Time & Big Easy – I may have preferred they go home instead of Margie & Luke, but at least kudos to them for vowing not to give up on a task ever again. Them giving up on the Kafka Road Block was just horrible, so good to see them not want to repeat that mistake.
Quotes from Episode 18.06 Mallory: “I used to have a lot tea parties when I was young, so I know a lot about tea.”
Ron: “Even with these earplugs, I can still hear the loud music. The rhythm is wonderful, if I could just disco to it, but I can’t disco while I’m painting.”