Recap: The Amazing Race 19, Episode 4 – “We’re goin’ to bucket!”

The Amazing Race 19 Episode 4 – This is Going to Be a Fine Mess

The Leg

 Andy & Tommy leave the Pit Stop first and open their clue telling them to fly to Phuket, Thailand and find their next clue at the floating pier at Nonthasak Marina.  With Zac & Laurence close behind, they head to the airport and find out there are no direct flights to Phuket.  The lady at the counter tells them to go to Jakarta and the snowboarders decide to just go Jakarta and find tickets to Phuket there.  Uh-oh.

Zac & Laurence go to another counter to find tickets to Phuck-it, but Andy & Tommy point in the “right” direction and they both head to Jakarta.

The other six teams get on a flight to Jakarta and then to Phuket to arrive at 6:50pm.  But once Zac & Laurence and Andy & Tommy get to Jarkata, that flight to Phuket is fully booked.  So they have to take a flight connecting in Bangkok, getting them into Phuck-it at 7:40pm.

None of this matters anyway.  Andy & Tommy and Zac & Laurence’s spirits drop when they find out at the airport from a jolly dispatcher that a couple other teams have already blown by there.  But when they get to the Marina, they see all other teams camped out as Hours of Operation strike.

 Next morning, it’s 8am and the teams rush onto the floating pier.  Tommy is lighting fast though and he grabs the first clue from a yellow and red barrel.  He and Andy run back to shore and open it up to find the Detour.

In this Detour, Phil notes it gives teams an opportunity to rebuild Phuket’s tourism after the deadly 2004 tsunami.
In Coral Reconstruction, teams will construct a coral nursery, then paddle out with it and a tray of live coral.  They’ll set the nursery down on the ocean floor underwater, place the coral into their slots and will receive their next clue from the marine biologist.
In Beach Preparation, teams will collect 20 chairs and 10 umbrellas matching the sticker on their clue and set them up to the exact standards of the beach club. 

 All teams will take a speed boat that’ll bring them to the Detour location.  Andy & Tommy are already halfway done with their coral nursery before the other teams even arrive.  (Really now!?)  Meanwhile, Ernie & Cindy, Liz & Marie and Zac & Laurence choose Beach Preparation.

But that might seem like a good choice since Andy & Tommy and Justin & Jennifer are the only ones to successfully complete the Coral Detour.  Jeremy & Sandy, Bill & Cathi and Amani & Marcus have to switch when their nurseries collapse for being flimsy and misassembled.

 Maintaining their huge lead, Andy & Tommy receive the next clue, a compass and a medallion.  They’ll have to use the compass to go north 13 minutes to fight the islands pictured on the medallion, Soap Island.

It is here that they find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams will have to climb up the rock face of Koh Yao Noi Island to retrieve a clue from a bird’s nest.

Andy quickly finishes and they head for the Pit Stop at the floating village of Koh Panyi and the soccer field.  And Andy & Tommy claim their 3rd first place in a row (and $5,000 each).

Justin & Jennifer manage to finish 2nd and demonstrates her “Whatevia” face for Phil to does his own version as well.

All the way back at the Detour, Liz & Marie are struggling with their umbrellas and begin to get frustrated.  They get encouragement and advice from other teams especially Cathi and Marcus, who physically tell them how to stick those umbrellas in the sand. 

 Meanwhile, Ernie & Cindy don’t know how to use a compass and go south instead of north.  But at least they haven’t sailed around the world, because not knowing how to read a compass after dialing around the world would be embarrassing.  Oh… Zac & Laurence did just that.

Amani & Marcus get to Koh Panyi in 3rd, but get lost in the small floating village allowing Jeremy & Sandy and Zac & Laurence officially check-in 3rd and 4th respectively.  Not only that, the lost Ernie & Cindy sneak into 5th before Amani & Marcus finally see Phil in 6th.

That leaves two teams, but Bill & Cathi finish 7th and the twins Liz & Marie arrive at the Pit Stop last only to be informed that it is a non-elimination leg.

Episode Thoughts
I’ve been saying how the first three legs have had pretty linear leg designs which isn’t necessarily a good thing as they become straightforward, uncreative and boring.  But TAR made up for the linear leg design by having great, exciting tasks and maximizing the beauty of the locations. 

But this leg, while they did show off Phuket beautifully, the tasks just weren’t all that great and only made the leg design that much more obvious.  Hours of Operation are always mood killers, for the teams and for the viewers most times.  TAR has already done away with the “mandatory 12-hour” Pit Stops, releasing teams only when it makes it logistically easier for the crew.

So while the Hours of Operation wasn’t going to be a big game changer (since they wouldn’t have been able to go out at night anyway), the fact that the rest of the leg was Point A to Point B to Point C to Pit Stop relived the horrible European legs of TAR16.

The Detour itself appeared to have great, noble intentions, wanting to help a tsunami-ravaged Thailand (and recently, flooding as well).  And the Coral side of the Detour was nice as coral reefs are definitely in need of protecting worldwide.  But neither side of the Detour was any exciting or really challenging (though Liz & Marie would disagree).  They were overly simple and lacked any kind of rooting or emotional factor from them.

The Road Block was a typical task for TAR, nothing special but the views.  While the all-water leg is interesting in theory, I think this would’ve been a blockbuster leg if they had much better challenges.

It looked like a non-elimination leg from a mile away so that wasn’t a surprise.  What was a surprise though was Andy & Tommy and Zac & Laurence being more than an hour ahead of everyone else from last leg.  Were they really that ahead or were the other teams just that horrible at the Road Block? 

And finally, there’s really got to be something to those missing clueboxes and the missing Pit Stop signs.  They made a point to highlight the map of the country that’s been printed on the first clues this season.

 I hope that will all play a part later on, most likely in the finale’s final task rather than TAR just trying to save some pennies by not having to lug two boxes around with them from country to country. 

near Magelang, Central Java

Jakarta, Indonesia
Bangkok, Thailand

Nonthasak Marina
Phuket, Thailand

near Phuket, Thailand

Koh Yao Noi Island
near Koh Panyi, Thailand

Soccer Field
Koh Panyi, Thailand

near Magelang, Central Java

Andy & Tommy 8:17am
Laurence & Zac 8:28am
Jeremy & Sandy 9:40am
Justin & Jennifer 9:41am
Ernie & Cindy 9:42am
Amani & Marcus 9:46am
Bill & Cathi 9:56am
Liz & Marie 10:05am




In order of completion
> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who wants to be the king of the hill?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

2 Andy Tommy 2
2 Justin Jennifer 2
1 Laurence Zac 3
2 Amani Marcus 2
3 Jeremy Sandy 1
2 Ernie Cindy 2
3 Bill Cathi 1
1 Liz Marie 3

1 Kaylani Lisa 2
2 Ethan Jenna 0
1 Ron Bill 1

Soccer Field
Yoh Panyi, Thailand

1st Andy & Tommy =
2nd Justin & Jennifer +2
3rd Jeremy & Sandy =
4th Laurence & Zac -2
5th Ernie & Cindy =
6th Amani & Marcus =
7th Bill & Cathi =
8th Liz & Marie =

Ernie & Cindy Ernie & Cindy – It was a close one.  They are giving me shades of TARAu’s Sam & Renae; a huge first leg but subpar legs following it.  I really hope Ernie & Cindy can clean up their Race though and step it up.  Still my faves though, but they gotta step it up for sure.
Bill & Cathi Bill & Cathi – A quieter leg for them, but they were definitely in it.  A good combo of luck and skill.  Other teams were messing up more than them and they were able to stay with the pack.  They’re doing well, but they have to be able to keep the pace.
Laurence & Zac Laurence & Zac – It was an interesting leg for them.  They seemed to be riding on Andy & Tommy’s coattails until they fell behind and then shot down their own confidence in navigating on water.  That’s a first on TAR for sure.  It wasn’t a costly mistake, but it’s really just par for the course from the way they’ve Raced so far.
Liz & Marie Liz & Marie – They absolutely fell apart at the Detour.  There’s no reason for them to have done so horribly when five other teams figure out how to finish it and they even helped them and give them advice.  Definitely a bad leg from them.    
Andy & Tommy Andy & Tommy – Well, it might be getting a little boring, but credit them for winning.  A little help from the Hours of Operation and they dominated the rest of the leg.  Granted, there wasn’t much room to catch up or lose footing, but kudos to them for grabbing the lead and keeping it. 
Amani & Marcus Amani & Marcus – Another relatively disappointing leg from them.  They haven’t been able to dig themselves out of the bottom of the pack and when they have the chance to move up, they make near-critical mistakes.  It’s baffling.  Maybe I expect too much from a pro-athlete.
Jeremy & Sandy Jeremy & Sandy -They got a lot of airtime this week.  It was very odd.  It seemed like TAR was planting the seeds for future, bigger blowouts between them.  They even got the solo talking heads/confessionals reserved for teammates who disagree with each other or have something they want to say, but not to their teammates’ face.  Either they go far or TAR had little to show in this episode.
Justin & Jennifer Justin & Jennifer – And Jennifer’s strange, lackadaisical attitude comes back.  Very odd really.  They Race well even when she’s a negative nancy.  Imagine if she puts her heart into the Race.  Really a very strange dynamic on the Race. But props to Jennifer for actually doing something physical and not complaining.  Now that’s a shock!
Quotes from Episode 19.04

Zac: “I’ve never been to Thailand before.”
Laurence: “I don’t know.

Sandy: “We’re goin’ to bucket!”

Bill: “This man is going to get us there in chop-chop good shape.”
Cathi: “Chop-chop, yeah.”

Very dry on quotes this season.

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The Amazing Race, Season 19 - The Amazing Race

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