Recap: The Amazing Race 21, Episode 4 – Funky Monkey
All teams are on the same 10am Singapore Airlines flight to Dhaka, Bangladesh. Once there, it’s a scramble for taxis and of course, some are luckier than others.
Abbie & Ryan and Natalie & Nadiya arrive at Rubel Model Auto Mobiles where they find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams must first use putty to fill in the dents on a section of a bus. They’ll then sand down a different section for painting before transporting three pairs of seats to a refurbishing area to receive their next clue.
Also in this clue envelope, a Fast Forward, which both decide not to do. The Chippendales and Rob & Kelley arrive next, but it is James & Abba who decide to go for it.
For this Fast Forward, James & Abba will have to become rat catching assistants by helping a pest control agent collect dead rats from three different locations.
James & Abba head out rat collecting as the rest of the teams arrive at the Road Block.
Ryan finishes puttying first, but has ruined the paper Road Block instructions. He asks James to see theirs and he lets him. Rob and Natalie are close behind, but James has to scrape off what he’s done and start over.
While everyone’s busy with their scraping and sanding, Nadiya’s loud words of encouragement for Natalie annoy Abbie & Ryan. Ryan and Rob deliver their pairs of seats and head out first, but Natalie easily handles the physical part of the Road Block and they are off to the next Route Marker.
Meanwhile, Abba steps into a sewer hole and a local pours some water on it. After completing the Fast Forward task, Abba rubs hand sanitizer on his foot while on the way to the Pit Stop where he and James officially check-in first and win a trip to Antigua.
At Kawran Bazar Shootkir Market, teams must dig through sacks of dried fish to find one with Race colors that they’ll exchange for a clue.
Abbie & Ryan find the fish and get the clue for the Detour. In Pound the Metal, teams must both use sledgehammers to pound a metal rod into a sharp tool known as a Chheny. In Pound the Cotton, teams must pound cotton using a bamboo stick then stuff and sew a mattress.
Abbie & Ryan choose Cotton while the Twins and Rob & Kelley choose Metal. Back at the Detour, after struggling with the putty, Trey and Gary finally finish and both teams are in last place.
Natalie & Nadiya, Rob & Kelley, and Abbie & Ryan finish the Detour just as Josh & Brent and Jaymes & James arrive at the fish Route Marker. Both of them choose Cotton and share Chippendales and drag queen stories.
Rob & Kelley have trouble finding a taxi, while Natalie & Nadiya catch up to Abbie & Ryan on the riverboat. Teams must take a boat from Keranigonj Kholamora launch ghat to Swarighat in Old Dhaka. Once there, it is a footrace to the Mat at Shambazaar Chan Mia Ghat and Abbie & Ryan just beat Natalie & Nadiya to claim 2nd while the Twins settle for 3rd.
Trey & Lexi and Gary & Will get started on the Metal and Cotton Detours respectively.
Rob & Kelley hop on a boat, but it takes them straight to Shambazaar Chan Mia Ghat and the Mat. Phil tells them they must correctly complete the course before they can be checked in. Meanwhile, Josh & Brent disembark from their boat at Swarighat where they run into Trey & Lexi who have arrived here via taxi. The Beekmans tell Texas they need to take the boat there, so they take the boat Josh & Brent just got off of, head to where they were supposed to take get on the boat and go back to Swarighat.
Josh & Brent find Phil and check-in as Team #4 while Rob & Kelley officially finish 5th after scolding their boat driver. Jaymes & James finish 6th.
Trey & Lexi arrive back at Swarighat where now they run into Gary & Will who have made the same mistake they have. They tell them how they took the boat there and back.
That allows Trey & Lexi to step on the Mat as Team #7 and TAR superfans Gary & Will are last and eliminated.
Episode Thoughts This was a much better episode than last week and maybe the best of the season so far.
I think this episode would be a strong contender for TAR’s 2013 Emmy submission. It had a close Race, physical competition, taxi and even boat drama, a close finish, rats (!) and the third world country angle that seems to resonate a lot with Emmy voters.
The tasks were surprisingly physical this leg and not cakewalks. That’s definitely different for recent TAR. I’d say the tasks were so physical that it would be horribly unequal for all-female teams, but they were no problem for Natalie & Nadiya apparently.
That tricky final clue and having teams take a boat when apparently you could’ve just taken a taxi to the Pit Stop was another surprising, but welcome, task. As we saw, it caused plenty of drama and this time it wasn’t necessarily the taxi drivers’ faults.
With the Fast Forward, this might have been the first time since scaling it back that the first teams didn’t go for it. I wonder if the clue was too vague for teams to want to go for it or if it actually said what they had to do, since Fast Forward clues have been written more like Road Block clues in recent seasons. Very surprising to see the first four teams decide not to go for it.
So overall, definitely a much better leg and so far best one of the season.
And that dried fish looked delicious. Seriously! Filipino breakfast right there. Grab a bowl of rice, fry ’em up and dip ’em in vinegar!
PIT STOP SMA Negeri 1 High School Bangil, Indonesia
DEPARTURE SMA Negeri 1 High School Bangil, Indonesia
Abbie & Ryan 9:52pm Trey & Lexi 9:54pm Jaymes & James James & Abba Josh & Brent Natalie & Nadiya Rob & Kelley Gary & Will
POUND THE METAL
POUND THE COTTON
James & Abba used the Fast Forward In order of completion > or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who wants to fill in the gaps?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block 2 James Abba 2 2 Abbie Ryan3 4Rob Kelley 1 2Natalie Nadiya 3 3Josh Brent 2 3 Jaymes James2 2Trey Lexi 3 3Gary Will 2
2CaitlinBrittany2 2AmyDaniel1 1RobShiela1
PIT STOP Shambazaar Chan Mia Ghat Old Dhaka
ƒ 1st James & Abba +3 2nd Abbie & Ryan -1 3rd Natalie & Nadiya +3 4th Josh & Brent +1 5th Rob & Kelley +2 6th Jaymes & James -3 7th Trey & Lexi -5 Eliminated Gary & Will =
Natalie & Nadiya – They are awesome. Not only do they continue to be hilarious, they kick ass on the Race. The tasks seemed very physical, yet they were able to do them without any whining or complaining. I think they just might have what it takes to be a real contender in addition to being fun TV.
Trey & Lexi – Definitely not their best leg. Trey stumbled at the Road Block and their almost fatal mistake at the end of the leg was their fault as much as their driver’s fault. So a stop to their great momentum the last two legs. But they’re still not out of it.
Jaymes & James – James definitely stumbled at the Road Block. Almost a lack of urgency from him and if it wasn’t for Jaymes’ Twinnie-like encouragement, I don’t know that they wouldn’t have spent longer. They definitely fell behind, though I don’t think they’re in danger. They just need to step it up a little.
Abbie & Ryan – They are definitely consistent and doing very well so far, setting themselves up as real contenders barring some huge mistake. To make things exciting, I hope the Twins annoy them more in the legs to come to create some sort of rivalry which is actually missing from the Race so far.
Gary & Will – They weren’t able to step it up when it counted. As TAR fans, I was surprised they didn’t have more of a sense of urgency knowing every second counts. They were pretty much slogging through the leg and their spirits seemed down from the beginning of the leg. Sad to see TAR fans eliminated early, but they really weren’t Racing well at all.
Josh & Brent – Another okay leg from them. They’re doing just enough and avoiding mistakes to keep themselves out of harm’s way. They’re definitely going to have to step it up though as more stragglers get eliminated.
James & Abba – Still sticking to their own Race and doing well. I wonder if Abba’s dip into the sewer will play out over the next legs or if it was just an example of “third world” Dhaka. They’ve done well so far, let’s see if they can maintain it.
Rob & Kelley – They easily get frustrated and that’s going to be a problem moving forward. I just seriously can’t get over how much they remind of Dave & Kelly from TARAu1. And again, that’s not a good thing.
Quotes from Episode 21.04
Lexi: “He just poured Sprite, I think, into his motor.”