Recap: The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 – “Look at that Westerner selling chickens!”

Recap: The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 – Your Tan is Totally Cool

The Leg
The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

The clue tells teams to fly to Hanoi, Vietnam.  At the travel agency, Dave & Connor tell Pam & Winnie and Max & Katie that this is the end of the road for them and will eliminate themselves in Vietnam as Dave needs surgery soon.

The other two teams are sad, but their attention quickly returns to the Race.  There’s a Double U-Turn coming up and both Max & Katie and Pam & Winnie agree not to target each other and instead work to break up the alliance of Joey & Meghan, Mona & Beth and the now late Jessica & John.

Dave & Connor, Pam & Winnie and Max & Katie get on a flight via Singapore getting them into Hanoi at 6pm while everyone else is on a flight through Kuala Lumpur getting in at 9:35pm.

Pam & Winnie and Max & Katie arrive in Hanoi and taxi it over to the Rap Cong Nhan Theater at Gallery 42 for their next clue.  But, HOURS OF OPERATION!  The theater closes at 6pm and it is 7:34pm.  They head to the nearby Hotel Des Artistes to stay for the night, while also bonding and making fun of John.

The other teams soon arrive.  First, they ask about Dave & Connor, but Pam & Winnie and Max & Katie pretend they don’t know about them quitting the Race.  Then Mona & Beth and Joey & Meghan tell Pam & Winnie and Max & Katie that it was Jessica & John who were eliminated without using their Express Pass.

Max laughs about John’s idiocy, annoying the alliance members who now have Max & Katie and Pam & Winnie on their hit list.

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

Next morning, Dave & Connor head immediately to the Pit Stop, the Vietnam National Museum of History.  They step on the Mat, tearily tell Phil that they will not be continuing on and Phil officially eliminates them. 

The theater opens at 9am and it’s only 7:30, but Caroline & Jennifer and Pam & Winnie decide to stake their place in line at the door.  Discussing the U-Turn, they both agree it’s either Joey & Meghan or Mona & Beth.  And when Max & Katie, Anthony & Bates and Chuck & Wynona join them, they all make sure it’s them against the “John and Jessica minion group.”

The doors open and the teams hurry in to the find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams will watch a performance of a patriotic Vietnamese song.  At the end, the dancers will reveal a celebrated quote in Vietnamese, translated to “Glory to our young generation.”  They must memorize the Vietnamese quote without taking any notes and head to the next room where they will have 5 minutes to find it on a political poster.  When they have their poster has the correct quote, they’ll receive the next clue.

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

The teams settle in and watch the performance expressing the beauty of Vietnam’s Socialist past, present and future.  The performance wraps up and teams hurry to the next room where they realize this isn’t as easy as they thought it would be.  Teams pull posters off the strings and bring them to the Vietnamese One Direction singer, but they’re wrong, usually a letter or a word off.

Pam is the only one who gets it in the first five minute break and she and Winnie are off while the others have to sit through another performance before being given another opportunity.

Chuck, Jennifer and Katie are the next ones to finish the Road Block with Meghan, Beth and Anthony having to go through another round.

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

Pam & Winnie make their way to Cong Vien Thong Nhat where they will take part in the traditional Vietnamese bamboo dance, the Mua Sap before receiving their next clue.

After joining the dance, they open the clue up to reveal the Detour.
In Make Your Move, teams head to the Temple of Literature where they will refer to a Chinese chess board and choose four pieces which they must match by color and shape to a human counterpart which they will then place along with a staff on the corresponding position on a lifesize chess board.

In Make You Meal, teams will pick up two empty baskets and two baskets of chickens before navigate through the market gathering all the ingredients on a shopping list needed to make Pho.  After the ingredients are weighed and approved, they must prepare two bowls of Pho to the satisfaction of the chef before receiving the next clue.

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

Pam & Winnie choose chess, but get the thumbs down on their first try.  Max & Katei choose Pho.  They get a local to help translate the English shopping list to Vietnamese and to speak to the local vendors selling the veggies.

They head to the weigh station, but they don’t have enough peppers and basil.

As the other teams arrive at the Temple of Literature, Pam & Winnie finish the Detour and head to the B-52 Memorial for the next clue.

Chuck & Wynona choose the Pho Detour, but in addition to leaving the chickens behind, they get lost trying to find the market that is supposed to be nearby.

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

Pam & Winnie get the B-52 and find the U-Turn board.  They decide to U-Turn Joey & Meghan as promised and open up the next clue pointing them to the Pit Stop at the National Museum of History.

They step on the Mat and Phil officially checks them in as Team #1.  They win a trip to Whistler in Canada.

Max & Katie head back to the cooking stations and get the approval of the chef while Bates & Anthony and Joey & Meghan finish the chess.  Chuck & Wynona, meanwhile, are still lost and Wynona is ready to start singing some Kelly Clarkson after Chuck taking them in circles.

Joey & Meghan get to the U-Turn, see their faces and decide to U-Turn Chuck & Wynona.  They think the other teams are dumb for running with the hockey players since they feel like the hockey players are going to just destroy them all.

Mona & Beth and Caroline & Jennifer struggle at the Detour while Joey & Meghan get started buying the ingredients with Chuck & Wynona finally at the right market. 

The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam The Amazing Race 22, Episode 5 Vietnam

Chuck & Wynona realize they need chickens so they have to go all the way back to the basket point.

Max & Katie, Mona & Beth, Bates & Anthony and Caroline & Jennifer all check-in at the Mat 2nd through 5th respectively.

After their own mistakes, Joey & Meghan finish the Pho and head back to the B-52, leaving Chuck & Wynona behind.  They head to the Pit Stop and officially finish 6th.

Chuck & Wynona see they’ve been U-Turned and go do the chess Detour before heading to see Phil who tells them they are last, but since Dave & Connor have withdrawn from the Race, they are Team #7 and still in the Race.

Episode Thoughts
Another great episode.  I must admit, the premiere was pretty lackluster for me, but this season has definitely gotten better and better by the episode.  Last week’s was the best and this week was pretty close.  Great tasks and great competition with a little bit of drama and a great destination.  Yay for the extra task with the Vietnamese tinikling.  I thought that was cool.  I had no idea Vietnam also had a bamboo dance like that.  Nice to find commonalities between cultures.

But, yeah.
There’s definitely some VERY strong feelings about tonight’s Leg on the internets. 

Now first, that Road Block.  I was shocked when the subtitles started appearing during the performance.  A song about the virtues of socialism!  Insanity!  

The Road Block itself was great.  Having to memorize things always produces great tasks on TAR.  And even more so when it’s in another language. 

But yeah, I must say I was pretty shocked that TAR would feature such an overtly patriotic song about socialism.  But at the same time, that they would feature a song like that and how overt and straightforward it was (the performance) was hilarious.

Now, I’m a conservative Filipino-American.  I’m a conservative that thinks Obama’s a big commie and that all the “mainstream media” is out to get the Republican party.  I have great respect for the military and veterans and understand very well what they have to go through (just seeing the struggle of Filipino veterans alone is plenty, let alone the lack of care and services as well as what they have to go through on the battlefield).

But I saw nothing wrong with this episode.  I absolutely do not believe The Amazing Race was promoting socialism and communism, nor do I believe this episode was a slap in the face and incredibly offensive to veterans and the military.  No, I don’t think TAR was being un-American by staging a Leg in Vietnam, nor do I think there is anything to apologize for.

If anything, TAR was actually making fun of communism and socialism and showing just how brainwashed people could be. 

Of course, the Vietnam War was and is a painful memory.  An incredibly horrific time for the US and for everyone involved.  But to say TAR tonight did anything but present a country’s people and culture and expose the teams to that country’s people and culture is misguided and an overreaction.

I absolutely understand how the Vietnam War brings up painful memories for millions of people, but The Amazing Race did not make light of the sacrifices made by Americans during that time.  I don’t think TAR belittled or disrespected veterans and soldiers at all, and that definitely would never be their intention.

To say that simply being in Vietnam was offensive would mean TAR shouldn’t go to Japan or the Philippines or Russia any more.  No Germany or China or any former Soviet country.  Anywhere Americans were killed in war or communism and socialism was and is the pervading social system.

No longer should TAR include songs of local origin or discuss history of a country that might not be the most positive or happy in nature.

The Amazing Race 3 in Vietnam

Whether it’s casual fans or series-long fans of The Amazing Race, I’d like to point out The Amazing Race 3.  Two of TAR’s best Legs of all time took place on TAR3 in Vietnam.  There were many reasons, but one of them was seeing Vietnam War veteran Ian (of Teri & Ian) and his experience returning there for the first time.  He was hesitant and uncomfortable at first, looking back at a painful memory, having lost comrades and thinking about the toll on American lives the War took.  But once he got there and the teams experienced Vietnam, it was an eye opening experience for both him and the viewers.  Ian would never forget the horrors of the Vietnam War, but he also appreciated and was amazed at how far the country had come since then.  Seeing the people happy and welcoming, the beautiful scenery and landscapes of farms and bustling cities that were warzones decades before. 

Boy, does that feel so distant now. 

Uluwatu Surf Beach
Uluwatu, Indonesia


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Hanoi, Vietnam

Rap Cong Nhan Theater at Gallery 42

Cong Vien Thong Nhat

Temple of Literature

Ngoc Son Temple
and Market in Hoan Kiem District

Downed B-52 at Hun Tiep Lake

National Museum of Vietnamese History
Hanoi, Vietnam


Uluwatu Surf Beach
Uluwatu, Indonesia

Dave & Connor 5:01am
Pam & Winnie 5:21am
Max & Katie 5:25am
Caroline & Jennifer 7:20am
Joey & Meghan 9:06am
Mona & Beth 9:12am
Bates & Anthony 9:14am
Chuck & Wynona 9:23am



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

Who did the Road Block?
Who’s ready to take in the sights and sounds of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam?
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block

3 Pamela    Winnie 3
5 Chuck    Wynona 1
3 Caroline    Jennifer 3
3 Max    Katie 3
3 Joey   Meghan 3
3 Mona    Beth 3
3 Bates    Anthony 3

1 Dave    Connor 4
2 Jessica    John 3
1 Idries    Jamil 2
1 Mattthew    Daniel 1

National Museum of Vietnamese History
Hanoi, Vietnam

1st Pam & Winnie +1
2nd Max & Katie +1
3rd Mona & Beth +3
4th Bates & Anthony +3
5th Caroline & Jennifer -1
6th Joey & Meghan -1
7th Chuck & Wynona +1
Eliminated/Withdrawn Dave & Connor -7
Pamela & Winnie – Yay!  Finally, they show what they’re really capable of.  An excellent Leg for them.  They took the lead and kept it the entire Leg.  They’ve proven they can excel at tasks.  But their navigation skills are still lacking, so I hope that won’t be their downfall and that they’ll be able to overcome that one weakness because they can be a very strong team.
Max & Katie – Another great Leg for them.  They are definitely stepping it up.  I still don’t think they’re at all the villains of the season.  They aren’t even a crazy dysfunctional couple.  But they’ve managed to shake off their rough start and have really been running on all cylinders these last few Legs.  Momentum is with them.  
David & Connor – It was sad to see them go, but no one had a choice.  They’ve proven so much in the short time they were on the Race and have shown that they have more than what it takes to do well and maybe even make it to the end.  A great run sidelined by an unlucky injury.
Chuck & Wynona – They are getting by with the skin of their teeth.  Yet, they are fun to watch.  They may not be Dave & Mary or Bopper & Mark, but they’re still good ol’ country folk.  They’ve been testy with each other, but they’ve also enjoyed the Race, so that is nice.  Plus, Wynona was about to start singing Kelly Clarkson’s “Mr. Know It All.”  Bonus points for that!
Bates & Anthony – While the Jessica & John “minion” alliance pegged them to be the biggest threats in the Race, I really don’t see it.  Sure, they are strong and smart and have done relatively well, but they haven’t really dominated.  Especially these last two Legs, they’ve been running in the back of the pack and by their own decisions too.  They definitely have a shot at making it far, but they aren’t really an overwhelming threat.  
Mona & Beth – I like them, but they’re definitely not that exciting.  They’re definitely no Bowling Moms.  But their alliance with Jessica & John and Joey & Meghan is definitely a strike against them from me.  It was an unnecessary alliance against the hockey players and now they’ve gotten themselves into a position that has the other teams against them.  So much for that.
Caroline & Jennifer – They’ve had a lot of trouble keeping it together during tasks.  That’s not a good sign for them moving forward.  The other teams certainly have a lot more going for them, but you can’t count them out just yet.    
Joey & Meghan – Their U-Turn was well deserved.  Especially after seeing their John-instilled-obsession with the hockey bros and their annoyance at people speaking the truth about John’s idiocy.  Plus, their grating and annoying playing up to the camera.   They do this shtick on YouTube?  Eeek.
Quotes from Episode 22.05

Max: “We’re not doin’ you.”
Winnie: “Yeah, we’re not going to do each other.”

Winnie: “We need human beings.”

Wynona: “You gotta wait, I got a wide load!”

Phil: “Feeling super confident right now?”
Winnie: “Never want to feel super confident because that’s when you let your guard down.  You can ask John.”

Vietnamese vendor: “Look at that Westerner selling chickens!”

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