Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
Can You Digue It?

Steve and Allie get number two, followed by Dan and Jordan, who realize how lucky they are to be in the first group of three teams. The rest of the teams who will be leaving an hour later are Michael and Louie, followed by Carol and Brandy, and finally Jet and Cord.

After everyone's been waiting for a little while, sitting under picnic shelters to stay out of the rain that apparently followed them five thousand miles, three helicopters swoop majestically down toward the helipad, one for each of the three lead teams. Brent and Caite lift off first, and are treated to some spectacular scenery. In fact, as Brent pronounces, "The views are sick." Steve and Allie follow in their helicopter, and are similarly impressed. Allie is even inspired to holler a prayer of gratitude into her headset: "God, just thank You, I feel so blessed to be here and experience this beautiful place You created with my dad." Steve helped God create the Seychelles? He's even more accomplished than I thought. Then off go Dan and Jordan, and Jordan's reaction is classic Jordan: "We got a rainbow following us!" Every day is a magical storybook day when you're Jordan.

The other three teams wait tensely back at the airport. "The three strongest teams were in fourth, fifth and sixth, and I think Brent and Caite got lucky today," Brandy says. News flash: you're only as strong as your current ranking. And also, Brent and Caite actually made a good move, as opposed to letting themselves get plunked down just anywhere on the plane and telling each other, "Dude, it's fine." Brent and Caite are saying roughly the same thing about how far ahead they're going to get, as the pilot is mirrored in Brent's shades. "I just want to get the mean lesbians out," Caite declares for the umpteenth time. But Caite, who do you want to get out of the race? They set down on a helipad by the shore of La Digue Island, and quickly find the clue box a short distance inland across a brick path. Read and marvel at the subtitle reading "Brent & Caite -- Currently in 1st Place" as they open the clue for the Detour: "Turtle Toddle or Ox Trot." Oh no, is an ox going to get broken?

Over ever more spectacular scenery, Phil narrates, "Sitting nearly a thousand miles from the nearest continent, La Digue Island is about as remote and as laid-back as a place can be. And coping with this sluggish pace will be the real challenge for teams who have to decide whether they want to perform Turtle Toddle or Ox Trot." For Turtle Toddle, teams get a banana and a giant tortoise, which Phil claims is "over a hundred years old and weighing about five hundred pounds." The tortoise, that is, not the banana. The banana will be used to lure the tortoise down a racing lane marked out in chalk on a grassy lawn. Then, in a touch of unrelated randomness, each racer will have to carry a bunch of bananas a mile and a half down the road to the harbor and deliver them to the fruit merchant in exchange for their next clue. For Ox Trot, the teams wheel a big old oxcart -- about the size of a Little House on the Prairie covered wagon without the cover -- into an area filled with piles of coconuts. They then have to load all the coconuts, "without losing any cargo," Phil specifies over a dramatic slo-mo shot of a coconut bouncing off the railing of the cart and landing on the grass, where it lies helplessly like an abandoned baby. "Then the ox-hand will attach an ox to the cart, and teams must deliver their cargo to the harbor, where the fruit merchant will give them their next clue." Brent and Caite opt for Ox Trot. They run off, find their cart in the cart-park, and wheel it over to the coconuts. Before starting with the loading, they put their backpacks in the cart, which is their second and final good move of the leg. They start throwing the coconuts in two at a time, while the camera tilts up and zooms in on the second helicopter just now arriving overhead. So despite the hour break between groups of three, the teams within each group clearly aren't leaving simultaneously, but then that's how it should be. Even if there were more than one helipad back on Mahe.

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Amazing Race




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