Recap: The Amazing Race 30, Episode 9 – The First Rule of Amazing Race Club (Hour 2)
Teams must now fly to Chiang Mai, Thailand via Bangkok.
At the airport, Henry & Evan hesitate to buy their tickets without a secured flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. While they go off to the side to discuss, Kristi & Jen, Alex & Conor and Cody & Jessica laugh it up as good friends hoping to ride into the finale together.
All teams end up on the same flights. Upon arrival in Chiang Mai, they will hop into a songthaew and make their way to Royal Park Rajapruek.
There, teams must search amongst elephants for a garland that they will present to one of the ladies. If she accepts, they will receive their next clue.
That clue reveals a Detour: Size It or Seize It. In Size It, teams must take an elephant’s measurements. In Seize It, teams must catch 20 frogs.
Kristi & Jen and Henry & Evan choose the elephants while Alex & Conor and Cody & Jessica choose the frogs. Kristi & Jen’s songthaew stops and Henry & Evan’s follows.
Alex & Conor and Cody & Jessica start the frogs. Kristi & Jen decide to switch to the frogs, but when they see how hard it is, they switch back to elephants.
Henry & Evan arrive at the elephants first and start their measurements after making friends with them.
Jen sits in the front with the driver in order to guide him to the correct location. She sees Henry & Evan’s songthaew stopped. Jen doesn’t understand why Henry & Evan would be at the wrong place and unable to read their map. But she soon realizes Henry & Evan were at the correct place.
Back at the frogs, Cody is catching all the frogs himself until Alex & Conor finally find the frog hangout spot.
Henry & Evan present their measurements, but get the thumbs down. Kristi & Jen present their measurements for a check and they get the thumbs up. Now, they must hop onto the elephant and head up the trail to give their new friend some treats.
Meanwhile, Cody & Jessica grab all the frogs and can now make their way to Original Khantoke Restaurant. Alex & Conor are close behind.
Falling behind though are Henry & Evan who had to redo their measurements and then calculations again before finally getting them correct.
Alex & Conor arrive at the restaurant and find the Road Block: Who wants to Thai something new?
For this Road Block, teams must eat three fried scorpions and a frog while live scorpions crawl on their teammate.
Alex decides to do the Road Block. Cody & Jessica arrive right behind them with Cody doing the Road Block, no problem. Conor and Jessica though have a tense time with scorpions on their pecs and boobs. Alex is then surprised they have to eat a frog too, but he likes it much more than scorpions.
Alex & Conor get the next clue which directs them to Wat Chedi Luang, the Pit Stop for this Leg of the Race. They officially check in as Team #1 and win a trip to Curacao. Cody & Jessica are Team #2. Both teams say they want Kristi & Jen in the final Leg with them because they want to Race against the best. And to them, Henry & Evan are not on their level.
Jen decides to do the Road Block and she finishes before Henry & Evan even arrive. They step on the Mat as Team #3.
Evan decides to do the Road Block. They head to the Pit Stop, but it is unsurprisingly a Non-Elimination Leg.
Definitely a better Leg than the Bahrain Leg. It was obviously a Non-Elimination Leg based on its position on the Race. Penultimate Legs are not going to be Non-Eliminations in modern TAR of course. It was also a pretty typical tropical/rural Asian Leg. Almost a “filler” Leg, especially as a Non-Elimination. But overall it was alright.
The Detour was very good. Being balanced doesn’t matter on this Non-Elimination Leg. It would definitely have been a lot better on an early Leg with more teams. Especially more teams at the frog Detour with the nice children. An elephant task is standard and it’s good the show made sure to highlight the work to protect and care for the elephants here.
But goodness, 20 minutes on just the Detour seems excessive. But there really wasn’t anything else to focus on this Leg.
The Road Block was also standard TAR and certainly does not warrant more than a few minutes either. (And frogs are perfectly fine to eat.)
It was basically a Double Road Block though. Hee.
These two Legs really benefited from airing together though because they wouldn’t hold up as well on their own in separate weeks. Just two really simple, very standard TAR Legs.
Looking forward to the finale though just to see my hometown as a Finish Line again. Even though I was following along the night of the finale and was debating whether I should follow teams around like a creeper/stalker around the city. lol
My Subjective Team Rankings
Well, it looks like I’m fully rooting for Henry & Evan. They’re now the underdogs. Not just because they have a Speed Bump in the penultimate Leg, but with the other three teams being buddy-buddies, they’re certainly being portrayed as the outsiders and underdogs. So it makes it easier for me to root for them over the others.
Kristi & Jen though have continued to be very strong and are probably in the best position to win right now. The only thing that might stop them is a major mistake on their part.
Alex & Conor seem to be peaking at the right time. They’ve done well in these last few Legs with fewer teams. So that bodes well for them going into the Final Leg. Cody & Jessica, meanwhile, have surprisingly fallen to the back of the pack after starting off very strong. Cody’s certainly allowed them to catch back up, but it’s certainly not always going to be that simple.
Then again, this is modern TAR and modern TAR Legs are pretty simple. So we’ll see!