We pick up this episode at Ratchaphruek Garden World in Chiang Mai, Thailand which, as host Allan Wu tells us, was the first pit stop in a race around the world. Nine teams remain after Neena & Amit were eliminated in the first episode. Each team will leave 12 hours after they arrived at the pit stop. And with this being a 90 minute episode, we have a lot to recap so let’s get cracking.
Mai & Oliver who arrived first at 10:35 a.m., will leave at 10:35 p.m. They rip open their envelope and find they have to go to Flight of the Gibbon by taxi in nearby Mae Kampong. Once there, they’ll take a zipline, some 50 meters above the ground. When both team members have completed their zipline ride, they’ll receive their next clue.
Mai tells Oliver that since this will be an “Hours of Operation”, they don’t have to rush. But Mai! There are several things you have to learn. Like THIS IS A RACE! There’s no time to rest. Go! But they don’t.
As Geoff & Tisha leave the pit stop second, we hear him say, “I’d always like Tish to trust me more, but my track record pretty much sucks at the moment. Maybe in the second leg.” They laugh. As I mentioned in the recap of the first episode, the only highlight for Geoff was him hurling on the sidewalk after eating bugs, frogs and scorpions in Bangkok. Unfortunately, we’ll see much more of him in this episode.
Henry & Bernie leave 3rd and we hear Henry saying he doesn’t have to trust Bernie as much, but she stresses she’s not playing the baby sister role in this game, she’s his teammate. Every word that we’ll hear from the teams from their confessionals prior to this leg is prophetic so when I transcribe them, remember what happens down the line because it’ll be important.
We then see Mai & Oliver befriending a woman who takes them in for the night. Don’t they realize you get to the next destination first, then find a place to sleep? No, they go to sleep first. You’ve got it all backwards! It will come back to bite you, kids. Mark my words! She says, “We’re chilling out,” to which Oliver snickers like he’s a genius. Yeah, you’ll see when you arrive at Flight of the Gibbon how much of a genius you are.
The two all-female teams, Pailin & Natalie and Ida & Tania are next to depart the mat. By the way, it’s time for me to mention that we have not heard how much money will be available for this leg. This has been downplayed over the last few seasons, not only on TARA, but on TAR. I would like to know, unless no money was given.
Next to leave is the Asian version of Team Who (Dave & Jeff from TAR4), William & Isaac. Rarely will I use a reference from the Television Without Pity boards, but this one is totally appropriate. The name Team Who stuck for Dave & Jeff because they were both devoid of personality. After watching that season in reruns on GSN, I totally saw the point because not only were they boring, but they showed nothing and eventually became the second team not to make the finish line (following Team Guido in the original TAR). So coming back to this season, William & Isaac have basically spoken in one monotone voice, have not shown any emotion, have not smiled or frowned and have no personality, thus the Asian Team Who moniker. And they talk about being happy not to have been the first one out. Again, prophetic.
Asian Team Who is followed by Vince & Sam, AD & Fuzzie, then Niroo & Kapil. The Indian father-son team are the last to leave at 1:29 a.m., almost three hours after Mai & Oliver, but thanks to the Hours of Operation at Flight of the Gibbon, everyone will be bunched.
The eight teams other than Mai & Oliver who are sound asleep take taxis or songtels to Mae Kampong and start taking numbers. Vince & Sam arrive first and will get on the zipline first. AD & Fuzzie are next followed by Ida & Tania, then Niroo & Kapil and Henry & Bernie. While in their cab, Natalie tells Pailin since Flight of the Gibbon doesn’t open until 7:30, they can take it easy, but Pailin who seems to be a fan of the race knows that you have to get a number.
Mai & Oliver have finally hit the road thinking that they’ll be first in line, but they will have a rude awakening when they get to the Hours of Operation.
Geoff & Tisha and William & Isaac will take the zipline 6th and 7th respectively. Then Pailin is proven right as she picks the 8th spot and you would think that Natalie would have learned a lesson, but as we’ll see, she does not.
Finally, here come Oliver and Princess, skipping into Mae Kampong, thinking that they’re in first, only to realize that they’ve not only lost their lead, but they’re to go on the zipline dead last. They’ve learned a valuable lesson about the race. Never assume anything.
So when the park opens, everyone straps up and goes on the zipline. One by one, the teams take their turns zipping across, then repelling down to the ground.
Most of them get to the ground without incident. Others like Natalie & Pailin hit each other on the way down. For the most part, everyone does this task without any protest and everyone has fun taking the zipline.
So the next thing for the racers is to find a taxi to take them to the plantation. As the teams do so, their drivers race all the way from Mae Kampong passing each other to get to the plantation.
Getting there first is Geoff & Tisha whose driver is the one they used to get to Flight of the Gibbon.
As Geoff & Tisha get to the clue box and rip open the black and yellow envelope, they discover they’ve reached the very first Road Block in the race. The question? Who’s steady under fire? As we all know, a Road Block is a task that only one person may perform.
In this task, teams must look for a backpack hidden somewhere in the plantation. But the key is to avoid being shot by several Paintball snipers, camoflaged and away from sight. If a racer is hit by a paintball, then he/she has to go back to the beginning and try again. As Allan tells us, the paintballs can travel up to 329 km/hour which means, they hurt like a bugger.
Geoff immediately decides he will do it and this is the one and only time he acts noble in this leg. As he says, “I’m not going to let my girl get shot at by guys,” it’s the only time on this leg that he appears likable, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves.
Since Geoff is the only one at the plantation, he gets the course to himself and he gets shot at least twice. Then the other teams start arriving. Henry & Bernie are next and they decide that it’ll be Bernie taking this task. Mai will head out for her team and Kapil goes out for the lone Indian team left in the race. Then we hear Geoff getting shot again which is totally funny. Mai, Bernie and Kapil then join Geoff on the course. Bernie and Kapil are shot next.
But when Bernie gets hit under her left arm, it leaves a massive welt. That’s no tattoo, folks, that’s the mark of a paintball traveling up to 329 km/hour.
Mai is then shot at close range. Then Fuzzie is shot on the upper right thigh. It’s target practice at the Banana Plantation and our racers are the targets.
Eventually, Tania is the first one to get her clue and it appears she totally avoids getting hit by a paintball. In the meantime, the first one to arrive, Geoff is still waiting to find the clue and he’s getting demoralized. Good. Tania tells him not get down, but as anyone on the race can tell you, it’s deflating to see others pass after you’ve arrived at the Road Block or Detour first. And you’re totally helpless until you manage to finish the task. Right now, it’s total random luck as to whom gets the clue next.
Ida & Tania discover that they’re to fly to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, otherwise known as Saigon. The former capital of South Vietnam, it’s the commercial center of the country. The city has a population 7 million people and almost as many motorcycles.
Once they’ve arrived at Ho Chi Minh City, teams must find the Saigon Opera House where they will find a clue box adorned with a yellow and white flag so as not be confused with Vietnam’s red and yellow flag.
This is just like in the 3rd season of the Amazing Race where the last legs of the season were run. If you remember, this was the season when Terri & Ian became the oldest team to make the finals and it was where Flo had her infamous meltdown and wanted to quit. Hey! Wait a minute! This sounds totally familiar! Who wanted to quit in the first leg of this season? Mai! And since this race is heading to Vietnam, it must mean someone else will want to quit! So many similarities with The Amazing Race 3 and The Amazing Race Asia 3 thus far. Too funny.
But we continue on. Ida & Tania speed off for the international airport. In the meantime, Fuzzie, Mai, Bernie, Kapil and Geoff are getting hit all over the place. Finally, Fuzzie gets to the backpack and gets her clue.
The last three teams arrive at the plantation, where Asian Team Who, BQII and Vince & Sam all prepare to get shot.
Mai is the third team member to get her clue. So we have Tania, Fuzzie and Mai all jumping ahead of Geoff. Are you seeing a trend here? I hope you do. Geoff is feeling the pressure.
As Mai & Oliver head to the airport, she thinks they’re heading to China because she thinks Ho Chi Minh is “that guy, kind of like fat. No offense.” None taken, but I think you’re referring to Mao Zedong.
Anyway, back at the plantation, racers are getting shot with reckless abandon, but Bernie reaches the backpack and grabs her clue. So four women have retrieved their clue while Geoff continues to get shot. Pailin and William are next, meaning five women got the clue first before any man was able to reach the backpack. We are definitely seeing Girl Power at work here in this part of the leg.
Finally, Geoff runs back to Tania with their clue and as you can see, he’s got a massive welt on his arm. Too bad it couldn’t be higher because as we’ll see later, it will seem that the welts have somehow affected his brain.
Over to the Chiang Mai Airport, Ida & Tania are the first to get a flight out of Thailand. Since they’ve arrived at the terminal in plenty of time, they will be able to get to Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) with a connection in Bangkok.
At the plantation, Sam is the next one to get hit by paintballs multiple times and he’s disappointed because he was in the Army, learning how to avoid getting shot. I guess he needs to go back. Kapil is able to get his clue, then Sam brings up the rear, getting the last envelope at this task.
At Chiang Mai Airport, teams start arriving in rapid fire fashion. Mai is finally informed by Isaac that they’re going to Vietnam, not China and it hits Oliver that the little Princess was thinking about Mao Zedong (maybe Isaac told him). It’s a nice bit of comic relief.
Meanwhile, we get a little bit of airport drama which I hate transcribing, especially when it goes overboard like in the last season of The Amazing Race. Since this airport drama is important to the next part of this episode, I’ll recap it for you.
Henry is able to find a flight heading into HCMC through Siem Reap, Cambodia. He & Bernie are the first to book this flight followed by Geoff & Tisha and AD & Fuzzie. Fuzzie informs Henry that they chose the right flight because today’s flight going to HCMC through Bangkok is full.
BQII tries to find a flight through Bangkok as do Mai & Oliver and Asian Team Who. They discover that the next available flight to Ho Chi Minh City is not until 9 a.m., the following day which will put them way behind the six other teams. Mai says there doesn’t seem to any other way? Did she bother to check? Why were three other teams able to find alternate routes?
Then the final two teams to reach Chiang Mai Airport, Niroo & Kapil and Vince & Sam are also able to get on the flight to Siem Reap so what gives here? Are the others so vapid that they aren’t able to look for another flight? By the time BQII, Asian Team Who and Oliver & the Princess arrive in HCMC, they’ll be racing for two spots in the next leg and one of them will be eliminated.
So these three teams are on their way to Bangkok where they will stay overnight until the following morning. To be honest, this is some bad travel planning by these three teams. We’ll see if it comes back to bite them in the next leg or if there’s a massive bunching saving them.
Once in Bangkok, Mai & Oliver and Asian Team Who look for cheap accommodations to stay overnight. Pailin decides that since they can’t afford a hotel, BQII will sleep at the airport. This devastates Natalie and she proclaims this as “the worst thing that could happen to us on the race.” Are you kidding me??? The worst thing that could happen to you on the race is to get eliminated! Sleeping at the airport is nothing and believe it or not, it’s actually one of the safest places you could be! But no, Natalie has a meltdown. She starts to whine, cry, bitch, moan and begins to think that she could get killed in the airport. Please. Pailin is the one thinking rationally since she knows they don’t have a lot of money. If they had to, I guess they could have doubled up with one of the other teams, but Pailin chose not to. Natalie, being Miss Universe, decides if she doesn’t have First Class accommodations, she’s going to shut down. And I was thinking in the first episode that she was going to the stronger of BQII, instead, she’s whining like a baby.
Moving on, we see that Ida & Tania have arrived in Vietnam. Grabbing a taxi and getting to the Saigon Opera House, they see that the clue directs them to Saigon Pho Cafe. There, they will play a (dreaded product placement ahead) Nokia video game called, “System Rush“, a racing game set on futuristic race tracks. Once the team members have each completed three laps around the track in the allotted time, they’ll receive their next clue.
Back to BQII, Natalie is whining and complaining about sleeping in the airport. Pailin could not understand why Natalie could not deal with it. Natalie then is seen saying, “Maybe people could train for this type of thing?” No, you just sleep and deal. During their confessional, Natalie scolds Pailin for not asking her how she was doing during her breakdown. She called it “her darkest hour.” Please. The darkest hour is being in prison or being held hostage. This is neither. You’re in an airport. Pailin says she was sleeping in the same airport and no one has died in that way, to which Natalie says, “You never know.” As much as I killed Mai for acting in a stupid manner last week, I must take Natalie to task for this behavior. It seems that she has never had to rough it or sleep in a tent. This is sleeping in an airport where it is inside, away from bugs and insects!! It’s relatively clean. But all Natalie can think of is satin sheets and Evian water foot baths!! I’m really disappointed in Natalie because I really wanted to like her.
We go on. Over to the Saigon Pho Cafe, Ida & Tania breeze through the video game and they’re having the greatest time unlike Natalie who doesn’t seem to have a sense of humor. They find that they’ll have to go to Ben Thanh Market, one of HCMC’s famous landmarks. They’ll have to go to a certain flower stall to receive their next clue.
While Ida & Tania try to find the market, the five teams that smartly flew through Siem Reap have arrived in HCMC, Niroo & Kapil, Henry & Bernie, Vince & Sam, AD & Fuzzie and Geoff & Tisha. While four teams speed off in their taxis, AD & Fuzzie decide they will take their time so not to get confused. Apparently, there are two Saigon Opera Houses, or so they think. Ida & Tania arrive at Ben Thanh Market and are informed the flower stall does not open until 7 a.m. (huh???) and go look for a hotel.
While AD & Fuzzie go on a Wild Opera House Chase, Geoff & Tisha, Henry & Bernie and Vince & Sam find it ok and get their next clue in that exact order. Geoff feels they should not have run over to the clue box because it made where they were going rather obvious. Niroo & Kapil have now made it over to the Opera House and they have their next clue. All are heading over to Saigon Pho Cafe where they will play System Rush.
It is at Saigon Pho Cafe where Geoff begins to show some rather ugly behavior. Actually, he started earlier with a snide comment on Henry’s ability to play video games, but you could dismiss that thinking it was just in the heat of the battle. Now, we start to see Geoff display some really bad tendencies. He first finishes System Rush in no time, even after arriving to the cafe after the siblings. Henry finishes next and tells Bernie how to complete the game.
Geoff starts to make side comments as Tisha is trying to finish the task. She asks him to go away and let her concentrate. In their confessional, Henry says Tisha is a lovely girl, but Geoff is “just too cool for school…” and “Tisha is being pushed to the breaking point.” And while Geoff is dancing around the room, Tisha can’t focus and has to watch her boyfriend … well, be a little boy. He continues to push her, but Tish shushes him and he backs off with a bewildered look on his face.
Even though Geoff and Henry have finished their part, it’s Vince & Sam who get their clue first in this group and they get to head to Ben Thanh Market. Bernie is having trouble mastering System Rush, but Tisha finishes and she & Geoff are off to the market. Then in their taxi, Geoff says, “You schooled her (Bernie). You schooled her.” But Tisha is a bit more sympathetic knowing that girls aren’t necessarily gamers, but then Geoff has to throw a shot saying Bernie is “over the hill.” Nice Geoff. You’ll get yours later.
Bernie just can’t get a hold of the game and has to start over, leaving Henry in a mess. He can’t bear to watch, but is being a good brother by not saying anything. He knows it would just make the situation worse. But she manages to complete the task and it’s off to the market.
Kapil is playing the game as well and is having some fun. An hour after arriving in HCMC, AD & Fuzzie finally find the Saigon Opera House and the clue.
At the market, Vince & Sam are informed that the flower stall opens at 7 while Geoff & the lovely Tisha (she’s pretty, but let’s face it, she can do way better than her loser boyfriend) find the Hours of Operation which specifically says, “0600″. So why the discrepancy? This is never explained, but in the overall scheme of things, it doesn’t affect the final order of finish, it’s just one of those quirky things that always seem to come up in the race.
Henry & Bernie also find the Hours of Operation so the siblings, Vince & Sam and Geoff & Tish all decide to find lodging for the night.
Back to the cafe where Kapil has finished the game, now it’s his father, Niroo’s turn. Over 50, he’s not a gamer and is having trouble looking at the phone which controls the game. He can’t grasp what’s going on, but does finish the task so they’re off to the market just as AD & Fuzzie arrive.
Fuzzie then finds the game quite easy and hands off to AD. They quickly finish the task and while they get their clue, Niroo & Kapil find the Hours of Operation so they go to sleep. And they’ll be joined at the hotel by AD & Fuzzie.
The following day, Niroo & Kapil, Henry & Bernie, Geoff & Tisha and AD & Fuzzie are all on hand when the flower stall opens and get their clues. They discover that their next destination is the Cai Be Bus Terminal, some two hours outside HCMC. It’s there where they will find their next clue.
These four teams get on buses to Cai Be and Fuzzie notices that she has not seen Ida & Tania. That’s because they’re just getting up and leaving their hotel thinking the flower stall opens at 7 a.m. Vince & Sam say they were informed of three different opening times, but it doesn’t matter, they and Ida & Tania are safely in Vietnam. They get their clues, then board different buses to Cai Be. They have no idea what position they’re in, but what they don’t know is that there are three teams that have still have not left Bangkok.
And just when you start to wonder about the last three teams, lo and behold, you see BQII, Asian Team Who and Oliver & the Princess all boarding their flight to HCMC.
Then the first wave of four teams hit Cai Be. And when they find the clue box, all of them see that they’ve hit another Detour. As we say it together, a Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its own pros and cons. In this Detour, teams will have to choose between two modes of Vietnanese delivery, Sampan or Some Walk.
In Sampan, teams will have to load a wooden boat with fruit and deliver it to a local trader. The Cai Be Floating Market on the Tien Giang River is one of the biggest wholesale markets in the region. Rowing an unwieldy Sampan against the strong river’s currents will prove tough for some teams. Those lacking the proper rowing skills could take a long time.
In Some Walk, teams must capture 20 chickens and deliver them on foot to a nearby local market. However, trying to find the chicken vendor in a busy market where Vietnamese is primarily spoken could frustrate some teams.
The teams debate which task to take and Geoff & Tisha along with AD & Fuzzie take the boat. Niroo & Kapil and Henry & Bernie take a walk.
Ida & Tania make it to Cai Be and since Tania has a problem with chickens, the actress and heiress head for Sampan.
For some strange reason, Vince & Sam are kicked out of their bus and are forced to the roadside. They ask the driver to call another bus for them, but he refuses and the guys start walking towards Cai Be some 6 km away.
While Vince & Sam are having transportation problems, the other five teams are arriving at their separate detour tasks. Henry & Bernie get to the chicken farm first followed by Niroo & Kapil who find a local to direct them. Geoff & Tisha, AD & Fuzzie and Ida & Tania start loading their sampans with fruit.
Henry who seems to love animals is caressing a chicken and is joking that he’s going to stew or grill it when Bernie yells at him. Unfortunately, he loses it and the chicken has gained freedom from its coop. That’s what you get when you mug for the camera. And Bernie properly scolds him.
Then we head back to the sampans where the three other teams are quickly filling their cargo onto the wooden boats. It’s not looking safe and it seems like one of them will tip over in the strong Tien Giang River currents.
Henry & Bernie are finished loading their chickens and will lift their baskets, walking towards the market to drop them off.
Over to Vince & Sam who are wondering how they managed to get dropped off 6 km away from Cai Be. Luckily, they manage to find transportation (but is it a private vehicle … isn’t that against the rules???) and are now chugging into Cai Be. Brother and sister pass father and son who are just now making it to the chicken farm.
On the river, Ida is rowing her sampan and is having fun while doing it. Geoff seems like he can’t handle rowing the sampan. AD & Fuzzie who haven’t even pushed off decide to cut their losses and do the chickens.
Niroo & Kapil are at the ranch and catching chickens left and right. Bernie complains carrying the two baskets on her shoulders is too heavy and proclaims, “I want to be a man!!!” Actually, Bernie would not look good as a man. She’s quite sexy as a woman so I would prefer to remain a female. Anyway, they push ahead towards the market.
At the sampan task, Ida & Tania have decided to switch tasks and seeing that, Geoff & Tisha do the same. It’s hot in Vietnam on this date and Fuzzie who is big boned to be kind, is feeling the heat on the walk to the chicken farm.
Vince & Sam have made it to Cai Be and pay the driver of the van who transported them the 6 km to the clue box. They decide to do the chickens as well. And at the coop, Niroo & Kapil have captured all 20 of their chickies and are ready to head out.
Henry & Bernie have found the market and are now looking for the vendor so they can drop their chickens. But they put their chickens down and look for the vendor first. They begin to argue as siblings do when both feel they’re right. Bernie did not want to let go of the chickens, Henry wants to find the place first. It’s not a massive blowup, it just looks like it is. We can classify this as a typical brother-sister argument.
Over to the teams that have decided to switch. Ida & Tania notice that Geoff & Tisha are following them to the chicken coop. Tania calls Geoff, “Spider Black. The evil Spiderman behind us.” I’m liking Ida & Tania with each passing moment. They’re having fun and taking the right attitude in this race. Then we notice Fuzzie who is very hot and needing to take a moment to cool off from the humidity of Vietnam.
Niroo & Kapil debate on the proper way to carry the chickens. Kapil wants Niroo to drape his arms over the bar. Niroo says he can’t do it that way. Now it’s a typical father-son argument on The Amazing Race Asia.
Back to the siblings, Henry & Bernie continue to argue, but manage to settle their differences in order to get back to their chickens and drop them off to the right vendor. As Bernie grabs the clue, she finds that they have to head back to Ho Chi Minh City by bus and find Thanh Nu Jeanne D’Arc Vang Lang Church where they will find their next clue. So they find a bus which will take them to the church.
While Niroo & Kapil have left the chicken farm, somehow Vince & Sam leapfrogged over three other teams and they’re putting the birds into their baskets. But Sam suddenly remembers he has a phobia about animals flapping their wings near his face, so Vince has to grab the chickens from Sam, then lock them into the basket. But they collect 20 and can leave for the market. As they exit, they notice the other teams coming in.
Ida & Tania meet up with AD & Fuzzie, while Geoff & Tisha encounter Niroo & Kapil who aren’t very helpful on where the chicken farm is. Tania who doesn’t want to touch the chickens tells Ida she might have trouble picking them up, but Ida tells her to just do it. And she does.
Niroo is now having trouble carrying the chickens. His hands are going numb. Kapil tells him to keep his hands where they are. But with the high humidity, he has to stop and catch his breath.
Now, three teams are all trying to catch chickens. Geoff & Tisha are picking them up relatively easily. Ida & Tania can’t stand the chickens clucking and are feeling sympathetic. Fuzzie is just grabbing them two at a time and dropping them into the buckets saying the only chicken she likes are the fried ones on her plate. Now that’s funny and I like she and AD quite a bit.
Geoff & Tisha are the first to get 20 chickens, but he takes Ida & Tania’s instead of his own baskets. They call him back and he begrudgingly returns them. Once everything is squared away, we have five teams walking with their chickens towards the market in Cai Be.
Niroo & Kapil and Vince & Sam unload their cargo and are able to get their clues. They decide to share a taxi to HCMC.
It’s not comfortable carrying the chickens with the weight on the back of your neck and some of the racers struggle like Tisha. She’s tired and mentions the 30 consecutive hours they’ve raced without hitting the pit stop. Sam passes Tisha and tries to encourage her. Geoff tells her she has to continue even though it’s hot and the two all-female teams have passed them. He keeps pushing her and orders her not to stop, but she says she has to on the way.
While they struggle, Ida & Tania and AD & Fuzzie have reached the vendor and get their next clue. Shortly afterwards, Geoff & Tisha make it and this wave of teams has now completed the Cai Be stage of the race.
He demands a driver, but no one is coming forward. The two all-female teams are completely embarrassed and get out of Dodge. But Geoff is unfazed. He says the people there knew he meant business. Come on. That’s disgraceful. You don’t blow a whistle in someone’s face. That is the type of behavior that causes international incidents. He grabs one man by the hand, but Tisha tells Geoff that he does not know where to go. He’s yelling. No one is coming forward and if I were Michael McKay, I would come out, take that whistle and jam it down Geoff’s throat. This is the behavior of an immature little boy and while Geoff is chronologically 26 years old, he’s acting like he’s 6. I hope that this team gets eliminated soon because I don’t think I could handle them winning the race.
Back at HCMC, the final three teams have arrived at the airport and are pushing off towards the Saigon Opera House. Asian Team Who has the address and has given it to everyone else. While they speed off in three taxis, Mai now knows they’re bringing up the rear and feels the teams in front are at the pit stop already. Not quite, Mai, but you’re pretty close. They get their next clue instructing them to head to the Saigon Pho Cafe to play the Nokia video game. William & Isaac show their first sign of any emotion by getting excited to play noting their experience on Playstation will help. Natalie again complains says she hates video games.
Of course, Asian Team Who breeze through the game followed by Mai & Oliver. Natalie is having trouble after Pailin finished her part. But Miss Universe 2005 gets it done and BQII is the last to leave the cafe. Mai notes that the one person who wants to race on her team is Oliver and the one person who wants to race on BQII is Pailin. This is true. And if you drop Natalie and Mai and combine Oliver with Pailin, you would have one very formidable team.
But instead, Natalie complains saying they’re being treated as less than human. And she doesn’t see the point in doing any of these tasks or going through this. Pailin says she knew what she signed up for. But Natalie is not listening. She complains that she hasn’t slept, she hasn’t eaten, she hasn’t showered and adds that being dirty is the lowest form of human existence. This is coming off as quite elitest. My goodness. What is wrong with her? Pailin is trying to be patient and I’m surprised she hasn’t opened the door on Natalie’s side to push her out of the cab and into Saigon traffic. Sorry this isn’t Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, Natalie.
The next thing for the Back Pack is to get the clue at the flower stall and when they all do, they then pile onto a bus for Cai Be. While they’re leaving HCMC, Henry & Bernie are returning.
They get to the church, and find that their next task is to become A Friend in Need. They’ll choose among Red Cross aid workers representing different charitable agencies in HCMC and use a $500 donation from (dreaded product placement ahead) Singha Beer to spend on aid for that organization. To be honest, while I’m snarky and cynical, this is where TARA shined last year when the racers painted a school for orphans with AIDS in South Africa and provided a donation from Standard Chartered Bank. And seeing the kids really touched my heart.
Continuing on, once the teams have finished this task, they will make their way to the Saigon Post Office where they will find their next clue.
It’s here when Henry was touched by the whole thing and broke down. He said the stress of the race amplified the things that disturbed him and he cried. I can’t kill him for crying because it’s a chance to help some people in need especially in a country that could use the help.
Niroo & Kapil and Vince & Sam stumble out of their van and are more than happy to be a friend in need. Following them are AD & Fuzzie and Ida & Tania.
Henry & Bernie go to a school for handicapped children. Vince & Sam go to the Christina Noble Children’s Foundation. Both get their instructions on what to buy and quickly head out.
Niroo & Kapil find out their orphanage needs art supplies. Ida & Tania have their Red Cross aid worker call the orphanage she’s representing to find out what its needs are. AD & Fuzzie get to a school for the blind and meet a girl who’s playing an electronic piano quite well. Both of them are touched by her and know what they have to buy.
We then see the teams buying food, art supplies, DVD’s, soap, toothbrushes, essentially some basic needs. AD & Fuzzie go into a music store and they’ll use their money to buy another electronic piano for the school for the blind.
And while this is happening, Geoff & Tisha arrive and it appears Geoff is actually into this. Their aid worker represents a charitable kitchen. So this team is off to buy vegetables for the kitchen.
The five teams in front of Geoff & Tisha are finishing up their purchases and heading back to their charitable agencies. Henry & Bernie give the money that is left over to the school and they pose for a picture with the children. They all look so precious. No sarcasm there, I’m being serious.
We then see Geoff & Tisha buying tomatoes for the charitable kitchen (to be honest, some of the tomatoes don’t look ripe). Vince & Sam drop off milk and some other supplies, then are asked if they want to visit with the kids. Being teachers, they’re only happy to oblige and they play with the kids for a bit.
AD & Fuzzie then drop off their piano for the school for the blind and once it’s set up, they head for the Saigon Post Office. Niroo & Kapil drop off DVD’s, art supplies and some linens as well which are appreciated by the orphanage.
Geoff carries two baskets of vegetables through the streets of HCMC. Tisha is having trouble carrying her basket. As he drops off the veggies, he exclaims, “Charity isn’t fun anymore.” Nice attitude, asshole. Get out of the race now, you jerkoff.
At the Saigon Post Office, Henry & Bernie rip open their clue and discover that after some 30+ hours of racing in this leg, their next destination is the pit stop! This will be the Museum of Vietnamese History. As Allan tells us, the museum houses artifacts from as long as 300,000 years ago. The last team to check in, may be eliminated. Teams will have to enter the museum through the main entrance of the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo.
Vince & Sam get to the Post Office next and are relieved to see the pit stop is the next destination.
Asshole & Tisha give the kitchen US$400 from the original amount and head off. Geoff says he’s flipped and can’t do anything else. No, he’s a jerk and should be arrested for being an asshole in a foreign country.
AD & Fuzzie find the next clue at the Post Office and will head to the museum. Ida & Tania make a brief stop at their orphanage, visiting with the children. Ida says she felt fortunate to help out and it’s gratifying to see the teams with the exception of Geoff get something out of the visit to their charities. And Tania says she felt bad rushing out of the orphanage and said it was rude to be like that because you could see they wanted to stay with the children.
Henry & Bernie go through the gate of the Ho Chi Minh City Zoo, see the museum and are told by Allan that they are the winners of this leg of the race. And for being first they receive (dreaded product placement ahead) a year’s supply of petrol from Caltex.
AD & Fuzzie hit the mat in second and this is a strong team. Don’t let the looks deceive you. This is a very smart team and I hope they go far. Relieved they’re at the pit stop, AD decides to kiss the mat. It’s been a very long leg. But I thought AD is obsessive compulsive. Well, to each her own, I guess.
Vince & Sam are checked in third, quite happy that this leg is over. Niroo & Kapil are pleased to be told they’re in 4th. At the Post Office, Geoff & Tish are surprised to see four more clues in addition to theirs. Ida & Tania are next to get their final clue of the leg.
Over to Cai Be, it’s now nightfall and the teams have reached the clue box at the Bus Terminal. Natalie tells Pailin she doesn’t want to touch chickens, but Asian Team Who correctly talks them out of Sampan saying it’s too dark to be looking on the water. So William & Isaac, BQII and Oliver and the Princess make their way to the chicken farm. Let me tell you, that’s going to be a rather interesting scene.
Back at Ho Chi Minh City, Geoff & Tisha hit the mat in 5th, pleased as punch. Then the most delightful team thus far, Ida & Tania are in 6th and promptly do a happy dance in front of Allan. He asks them to do a chicken dance.
This makes a nice transition to the chicken farm in Cai Be where Pailin, Oliver and Isaac are all gathering the chickens. Nice of Natalie to open and close the lid of the baskets. But because she’s distressed listening to the clucking of the chickens (it’s just clucking … obviously the Princess has never lived on a farm), she starts to cry. I don’t understand this, but since she wanted to quit after winning the first leg, there’s a lot I don’t understand about Mai. I really don’t want to understand her at this point.
Asian Team Who is having the most trouble getting the chickens. The self professed city boys don’t get the whole thing about catching chickens.
Mai & Oliver and Pailin & Natalie have enough birds to leave the farm and head off. Natalie is cranky as she lashes out at a bicyclist on the road. Isaac tells William he can help so he does his best to catch some chickens.
Over to the market where Mai & Oliver get their next clue. Pailin & Natalie are next to get their clues and Miss Universe 2005 suddenly perks up and does her Beauty Queen wave to the crowd gathered around them. I’m just shaking my head. When Natalie’s privately with Pailin, she’s Debbie Downer. When she sees people looking at her, Natalie’s suddenly Miss Congeniality? I don’t get it. As I’m watching this, I wish Pailin would come out with a right cross, but it’s not to be.
Asian Team Who is the last and final team to leave the chicken farm, but with Natalie & Pailin and Mai & Oliver taking their buses to Ho Chi Minh City, it’ll be tough for them to catch up. And Oliver says he loves the brothers, but he can’t wait for them. It’s a race and they have to continue. That’s the attitude to have! Finally, someone who gets it!
And the Brothers are the last to get their clue in Cai Be and basically will be last at the pit stop.
Since things aren’t going to change for William & Isaac, I’ll quickly sum up and end this recap because it’s becoming longer than the actual episode.
Once in HCMC, Mai & Oliver buy a new laptop computer for an orphanage. When BQII arrive at their charity, the director says it’s too late to buy anything and they get off the hook. She’ll just takes the US$500 from BQII and Natalie & Pailin head to the Post Office (I don’t like that, but what can you do?). Asian Team Who is instructed to buy some groceries for their charity which for all intents and purposes eliminates them.
So BQII jumps ahead of Oliver & the Princess and hits the mat in 7th way behind the first six teams. Mai & Oliver are in 8th and Asian Team Who is eliminated. And in their exit interview, William & Isaac speak in the same monotone voice, show no emotion and are devoid of personality. I don’t think they’ll be missed.
So the final order of finish:
1. Henry & Bernie – Winners of a year’s supply of petrol from Caltex
2. AD & Fuzzie
3. Vince & Sam
4. Niroo & Kapil
5. Geoff & Tish
6. Ida & Tania
7. Natalie & Pailin
8. Mai & Oliver – all the way down from 1st
9. William & Isaac – eliminated
Next week, we go back to a 60 minute episode and it’s also the premeire of Amazing Race 13.