The Amazing Race 20, Episode 9 – Bollywood Travolta
A couple of hours before the Pit Start, a medic comes to check on Bopper’s knee which he twisted in leg 7. The medic says he should be okay with a brace. Later that night, they start the leg and open their first clue telling teams to fly to Cochin, India.
Having to book tickets at a travel agent first, Rachel & Dave and Art & JJ give each other the silent treatment after last leg’s misunderstanding/betrayal. Later, Vanessa & Ralph decide to take a chance on a different flight that’ll arrive earlier, but the other four teams end up arriving in India within minutes.
Once in Cochin, teams must take a bus to Sacred Heart College in Thevara to get their next clue. Rachel & Dave get on the first bus, Brendon & Rachel and Art & JJ get on a second bus, with Vanessa & Ralph on a third. Bopper’s knee acts up and they bring up the rear.
Rachel & Dave arrive at the college and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will have to dress up in traditional attire and learn a Bollywood dance routine. They’ll then perform the routine for a Bollywood director and will receive their next clue with a thumbs up.
The other teams are right behind. Both Rachels, JJ, and Vanessa decide to do the Road Block. On the way to the College, Mark’s motion sickness kicks in and he throws up on the bus. But once they get to the Road Block, because of Bopper’s knee, Mark decides to dance.
The first person to go up on stage to attempt the routine is JJ, but he fails. Next up is blonde Rachel and she gets it on her first attempt. They get the next clue telling them to take an auto rickshaw to the Indian Coffee House and find the head waiter who’ll give them their next clue.
Vanessa, Rachel, and JJ give it a try, but fail their first attempts.
Meanwhile, Rachel & Dave arrive at the Coffee House and receive the Detour. In Cricket, each team member must hit a ball past a professional player to a boundary line. In Clutch It. each team member must learn how to drive an auto rickshaw and transport passengers though a training course.
They choose Clutch It
Back at the Detour, JJ and Rachel try again, but still can’t get it. Neither does Mark on his first attempt. But Vanessa gets through her routine on her 2nd try and they head off. Rachel perfects the routine on her 4th attempt, as does JJ, leaving Mark and Bopper behind at the Detour.
At the Road Block, after more bickering, Rachel and her “freakin’ husband” Dave finish and receive the clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at Bolgatty Palace.
At the Detour, Vanessa & Ralph choose Clutch It, while Brendon & Rachel and Art & JJ both choose Cricket. Back at the Road Block, Mark fails his 4th, 5th, and 6th attempts and Bopper is starting to get worried for his friend’s health.
Rachel & Dave meet Phil at the Mat first and win a trip to St. Lucia.
At the Detour, Vanessa is having trouble driving. Next door, Brendon and JJ get the first boundaries for their respective teams.
At the Road Block, Bopper says they should just take the penalty instead of Mark having to struggle under the scorching sun. But Mark isn’t going to give up, “I’m gonna do this or die.” Mark tries his 8th attempt and still doesn’t get it.
Art finally hits the ball past the boundary just as Vanessa & Ralph are finishing up their side of the Detour. With Mark continuing to struggle at the Road Block, Art & JJ and Vanessa & Ralph finish 3rd and 4th respectively.
That leaves Bopper & Mark. After getting the thumbs down on his 11th attempt, Mark decides he wants to quit before dying for real. They are very emotional as he heads back to the tent to undress, but Bopper and Mark’s dance instructor convince him to give it one more shot and not to quit. And on his 12th attempt, the director mercifully gives it to him. Everyone cheers them on as they head to the Pit Stop.
They’re in last place, but Phil tells them this is a non-elimination leg.
Episode Thoughts A good solid leg, but wished they were more Route Markers though. Not surprised it was a non-elimination, but I was definitely hoping for a double leg/To Be Continued/zero-hour Pit Stop.
It’s really interesting to think how this is the 20th season of TAR and in those 20 seasons, we’ve had some of the very best legs take place in India, but never a Bollywood task like this one yet. It’s about time!
The Detour was nice, though simple. The Indian-flavored ballpark music was awesome though. Let’s hope we see more of India in the next leg.
PIT STOP Lake Manyara Tanzania
CONNECTIONS Nairobi, Kenya Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
DESTINATION CITY Cochin, India
ROUTE MARKER Rajiv Gandhi Municipal Bus Terminal Aluva. Cochin
ROAD BLOCK Sacred Heart College Thevara, Cochin
ROUTE MARKER Indian Coffee House Cochin, India
DETOUR Dr. Ambedkar Stadium Cochin, India
A2Z Driving School Cochin, India
PIT STOP Bolgatty Palace Cochin, India
DEPARTURE Simba Campsite Ngorongoro, Tanzania
Bopper & Mark 9:06pm Rachel & Dave 9:07pm Art & JJ 9:32pm Brendon & Rachel 11:55pm Vanessa & Ralph 1:31am
In order of completion > or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who’s got all the right moves? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
4Rachel Dave 3 4Vanessa Ralph 4 3 Brendon Rachel5 3 Art JJ4 3 Bopper Mark5
1st Rachel & Dave +1 2nd Brendon & Rachel +2 3rd Art & JJ = 4th Vanessa & Ralph +1 5th Bopper & Mark -4
Bopper & Mark – You gotta give them a standing ovation for their performance this leg. When many teams have quit for less, Bopper & Mark, especially a visibly struggling Mark, pushed through and didn’t give up. They finished the leg with class and dignity and live to see another leg. You can’t help but root for them and with so much negativity this season, they are a breath of fresh air. I really, really hope they make the final 3.
Brendon & Rachel – A very solid leg for them. Rachel definitely needs to keep her emotions in check and keep from getting frustrated because they were very close and could’ve taken first if she focused a little more during the Road Block. But they’ve avoided making mistakes and that bodes very well. All they have to do is focus, not get caught up in the drama and they’re gold.
Rachel & Dave – So Rachel continues to be the better half of the team. “Listen to your husband!!!” Umm… yeah. I think they’ve benefited from a slightly weaker field. They haven’t necessarily dominated the Race with any difficult, and I guess the easier Race contributes to that. But I can’t seem to put them up there with the Nick & Starrs or Kris & Jons or Eric & Jeremys of the past. That and probably because I don’t really care for them. (But I didn’t really care for Nick & Starr either.)
Vanessa & Ralph – So without them starting drama, they’re pretty boring. And their cattiness just comes off as forced and annoying. Their days are definitely numbered unless someone else royally screws up.
Art & JJ – Vanessa & Rachel call Brenchel “Big Baby,” but the real big babies on the Race are Art & JJ. God forbid a woman beats them at something, let alone Rachel Reilly, right? Or that a team wants to play for themselves in an individual competition. Okay. They would easily be the worst TAR winners ever if they are ever so lucky to make it that far.