Recap: The Amazing Race 32, Episode 8 – Are You a Rickshaw?
The “first ever” Mega Leg begins with teams learning it will take place in Hyderabad, India. Despite Phil saying Will & James “will be the first to leave Kazakhstan,” all teams are on the same flight to India.
In Hyderabad, it’s a mad dash to taxis on their way to a random location in the city. Here, teams must flag down three rickshaws and have them undergo mobile smog checks.
DeAngelo & Gary and Will & James have no idea what rickshaws are. Riley & Maddison arrive and read their clue, but ask the boyfriends to explain to them what they have to do.
Eswar & Aparna, working with an early home country advantage, stay in front. They can now decide on the Detour: Food App or Number Trap.
In Food App, teams will partner with food delivery app Swiggy to deliver food to three customers. In Number Trap, teams will head to T-Hub and use a motion sensor technology to grab falling ones and zeroes to crack a code.
Eswar & Aparna, Will & James, DeAngelo & Gary, Hung & Chee and Riley & Maddison choose Number Trap. Kaylynn & Hayley choose Food App, but their taxi driver gets them lost.
Riley & Maddison are annoyed by DeAngelo & Gary’s position in the alliance, while also ignoring Eswar & Aparna ever being a part of it.
Will & James crack the code first and find the next clue telling teams to head to Qutb Shahi Tombs where a Yield is available. The boyfriends Yield Kaylynn & Hayley, who are obviously outcasts outside of the crumbling Mine Five alliance, for 20 minutes.
James decides to do the Road Block: Who’s ready to flip their lids? For this Road Block, teams will use augmented reality to search the underground for three men wearing distinctive turbans. They will then look for a real person wearing a matching turban above ground and then place them on the corresponding column below.
Gary, Eswar and Riley are close behind as they start the Road Block.
Back at the Detour, Hung & Chee are struggling with the video game so they switch to the food delivery. They arrive at the Swiggy tent even before Kaylynn & Hayley. The Swiggy operator guides Hung & Chee through the Hyderabad streets as the sisters finally arrive and get started. Hung & Chee finish their deliveries and can now try to catch up at the Road Block.
At the Road Block, James who had been in first place is now being left behind as he continually gets the correct men, but places them on the wrong column spot. Riley, meanwhile, is annoyed when Gary stands too close to him looking at the same virtual man. But Riley later looks at the same man Eswar has been studying and tries to steal the real man from him only to get beaten by Eswar anyway.
Underground, James asks Gary and Eswar to tell him what he is doing wrong and what they are doing right. Gary is able to explain exactly what to do.
Kaylynn & Hayley finally arrive at the Yield and wait out their 20 minutes while Eswar is the last person left doing the Road Block nearby.
TO BE CONTINUED
The smog check task definitely reminded me of one of the VERY FEW good moments from TAR24, which was the task in Sri Lanka where teams had to pump gas into tuk tuks. It was chaotic and insane and lots of fun. Especially with all the teams there at the same time, it was perfect. And again, one of the very few entertaining and enjoyable moments from the season that should be forgotten. (Unlike Bertram & Co. and CBS who want to forget seasons 1-14 even exist.)
However, who doesn’t know what a rickshaw is?
The Detour was okay. It was definitely the kind of Detour where a U-Turn should’ve been available though, not a Yield. The Yield should’ve been at the smog check. You want to have a Yield where teams are bunched up. You want that moment of a Yielded Colin glaring at the other teams while they rush through a task.
The “coding” Detour was basically a video game and puzzle cracking. Not the most interesting. The food app Detour was the more physical and involved task that all teams should’ve gotten a chance to do. It’s the kind of task that can drive great competition and tension while also being great insight into the local culture. You want to see teams struggling in the busy Indian streets.
The Road Block was a fun way to use the technology that Hyderabad is known for in a culture specific task. That’s the kind of the creative task you want to see more of as well. But they spent like half the episode on it and then rushed through everyone in the final minutes of the episode. What kind of editing is that?
When Gary said “Usually after you finish, it’s the end of it.” Says a lot about TAR’s poor Leg design when teams know you only have a maximum of three tasks per Leg.
So, for a TAR fan like me who actually remembers that seasons 1 through 13 exist, the idea of the “first ever” Mega Leg sounded hilariously unnecessary. This was essentially a rebranded SuperLeg/Keep on Racing Leg/TBC Leg. The only difference is there is no plane or train ride in between the two halves of the Leg. But the “double the distance” definitely does not make any sense when they’re spending the entire “Leg” in Hyderabad. And you can argue Legs in early TAR were still longer when they had Road Blocks, Detours AND multiple extra tasks during Legs. Lol Not to mention actually flying to different countries in the middle of a Leg.
Anyway, this may be the strongest episode, relatively speaking, of the season. It helped that the alliance talk was at a bare minimum this Leg. But the tasks and locations were able to carry the hour.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Rooting for Kaylynn & Hayley to somehow survive the Mega Leg. But that’s obviously a long shot as they’ll probably get Yielded and U-Turn in the second half of the Mega Leg. As lucky as they are with Non-Eliminations, they’ve been very unlucky with taxis. So it’s pretty much equal for them. But against the Mine Five, how can you not do anything but root for them?
Eswar & Aparna are obviously at the bottom of the totem pole in the Mine Five. So again, that makes them okay in my book compared to the others. They didn’t really have a hometown (or home country) advantage on this episode. But they also didn’t succumb to a home country curse either.
Hung & Chee were able to overcome some of their stumbles, but they’re really running out of steam it seems like. And interestingly enough, it started at the same time as the alliance nonsense really started overwhelming the show. Can’t say I’m not surprised or even sad. They’re running for a loss and not the win the way they’ve been Racing. Kind of a disappointment for what should be an otherwise amazing team.
Considering the “true alliance” hates DeAngelo & Gary, I’m rooting for them to beat them all out in the end. Just to prove that alliances are the worst. Riley & Maddison and Will & James are just meh this episode.
Will: “Get out of the street!”