Recap: The Amazing Race 36, Episode 9 – “I grew up in the trees.”

Recap: The Amazing Race 36, Episode 9 – My Precious Cacao

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

The Amazing Race arrives for the first time ever in the Dominican Republic. And the Final Five teams will begin the Leg under a bridge outside Puerto Plata. Ricky & Cesar and Juan & Shane depart at 8:45am.

Teams must head through the jungle and search for the next clue. They are also armed with 1500 Dominican pesos for this Leg.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

The first clue reveals a Road Block: Who can see the writing on the wall? For this Road Block, teams must make their way through a canyon and spot ten Taino petroglyphs on stones. They must then lay out the symbols correctly to get the next clue, otherwise they must “keep on canyoning” until they get a match.

Cesar and Juan decide to do the Road Block. Juan pushes forward ahead of Cesar as they must jog up the trail to the canyon.

The other teams depart at 9am. Amber, Melissa and Rod decide to do the Road Block. Rod tries to sprint up the hill, but Melissa is able to keep up right behind him. Amber falls behind in last.

Meanwhile, Juan and Cesar arrive at the tide pool and fail their first attempts and also their second attempts. Cesar asks Melissa if they want to work together while Juan and Rod work together. Amber arrives as well and all five teams are now arranging their stones.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

Cesar decides they should go back in the water to be able to spot all ten symbols. He passes on his 3rd attempt. Cesar goes to help Melissa before leaving with Ricky.

Melissa then works with Juan to try and figure things out as well. Amber is not sure of how many stones she even needs. Juan, meanwhile gets it on his 5th attempt. Rod says Juan left him, but it’s alright. Rod ends up getting it on his 2nd attempt.

Amber gets the thumbs up on her 3rd attempt. Melissa finally gets it on her 8th attempt.

Teams must now head to Don Manuel’s Finca de Cacao for their next clue. And that clue directs teams use a long handled schythe to cut ripe cacao pods from the trees, remove the seeds from inside and spread them out on a tarp. Once the tarp is covered, they will get the next clue.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

All teams end up catching up to each other at the cacao farm. But Ricky & Cesar maintain their lead. Amber & Vinny are falling behind with Vinny needing to climb trees to find enough cacao. Rod & Leticia leave next.

After preparing their cacao seeds to dry, teams can make their way to Estadio Bartolo Colon. And there, teams will find another Road Block: Who wants to play ball? For this Road Block, teams will join a baseball training session including fielding a ground ball at second and make a throw to first, catch a fly ball in center field and hit a bottle cap with a broomstick past 25 feet. When they pass the training, MLB veteran Bartolo Colon will give them the next clue.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

Ricky has no problem passing the first two drills as he has some experience with Little League. The third drill is also familiar to him as he used to play a similar game when he was growing up.

Ricky & Cesar get the next clue and can now make their way to Paseo de Dona Blanca via taxi.

Meanwhile, Juan & Shane are next to leave the cacao farm followed by Amber & Vinny and Yvonne & Melissa in last.

At the stadium, Rod decides to do the Road Block as he used to receive recruiting for baseball but he had ultimately chosen football. Shane arrives and decides to do the Road Block. But Rod finally hits his bottlecap on his 14th attempt. Shane is right behind him.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

The two of them leave before Vinny arrives and decides to do the Road Block. Though Amber regrets not doing it because she has played softball. Vinny, however, gets through the Road Block quite easily.

Yvonne arrives last and does the Road Block with reasonably good speed as well.

At Paseo de Dona Blanca, teams will find the next clue directing them to Anfiteatro de Puerto Plata, the Pit Stop for this Leg.

On the way, some teams have some trouble with their taxi drivers. Amber & Vinny especially have a taxi driver who merely shakes his head. Juan & Shane and Rod & Leticia arrive at the pink paseo at the same time.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

But Ricky & Cesar maintain their lead and head to the Pit Stop to officially check-in as Team #1 and win enough Expedia OneKey Cash for a trip to Seoul.

Rod & Leticia finish as Team #2 followed by Juan & Shane as Team #3.Amber & Vinny take the last Final Four slot. That means Yvonne & Melissa are last and eliminated.

We get an update that Yvonne & Melissa have since moved in together and had a baby.

The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap The Amazing Race 36 Episode 9 Recap

Episode Thoughts

If only we got full Legs like this all season! This was a really great Leg and episode. First off, I really love the setting of this Leg. It’s not what I expected from a visit to the Dominican Republic. Though then again, I don’t really know what I expected. But it certainly wasn’t this stunning backdrop the teams had all Leg.

First up, the first Road Block was a familiar TAR task. Keeping an eye out for things as you make your way through someplace. TARPHDME has definitely done this task a lot loololl

I’m not too bothered with the helping each other out since it was just teams doing tasks for each other. They didn’t even split the task up either. It was just teams helping. And that should be the acceptable limit to such actions from the teams on the Race.

The cacao task was a great Active Route Info task. Again, something that is very everyday for the locals here. And something that highlights one of the country’s biggest exports of course.

Another big export of the country is of course amazing baseball players. So a baseball task in the Dominican Republic is a no brainer. It was a straightforward task and the drills were still challenging enough for teams.

Having one more task before the Pit Stop would’ve been good. But that’s alright.

One thing though is this episode is probably one where I noticed the additional footage inserted into these longer edits. Not just by on-screen graphics, but from the odd cuts in music and video footage as well. Very interesting. Especially during the Road Block.

But anyway, this was a great Leg and exciting episode. A whole season like this episode would’ve been great. But I’ll take it as the Penultimate one.

Team Thoughts

This episode made me realize that I actually quite like all these teams very much. Actually, all the teams this season. I definitely can’t say that for most other seasons.

First, Ricky & Cesar winning another Leg in a Spanish-speaking country? The conspiracy! Lololol! But really, they once again show they are best equipped to go all the way and win it all. It really will either be them winning or them losing spectacularly. There’s no in-between.

The other teams could give them a run for their money though, Juan & Shane are the next strongest team. And they have been very consistent.

Rod & Leticia are the ultimate underdogs. A team who looks like they’d be a dominant team. They have not been for most of the Race. But still a team you can never count out either. I also loved Rod’s attitude about Juan leaving him at the Road Block. Like, We worked together and he just left, but I understand. That’s a perfect attitude to have on the Race!

Amber & Vinny might be the most vulnerable of the Final Four if only because their dysfunction could easily catch up to them. But we’ve had plenty of dysfunctional bickering couples go on to even win the Race. So who knows.

It’s too bad about about Yvonne & Melissa but they were coming into their own too late for the Race I think. Very interesting the show decided to give an epilogue for them. I guess just to fill the remaining 5 seconds of episode hehe.

Episode Quites

Vinny: “I grew up in the trees,”

Yvonne: “Can you give me a heads up if you’re actually going to throw something at my head.”

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