Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Screw U

Louie and Michael get to the concert hall first. They go right to the box office, asking where Allan Wu is. The person behind the window helpfully responds, "Who is Allan Wu?" Next to arrive are Carol and Brandy, followed by Dan and Jordan. But since the brothers are the first team to actually check in front of the building, they're the first to find Allan Wu. He hands over a yellow envelope. Fast Forward! No, not the show. Although you can, if you want. I'm here to tell you what you missed, after all.

"This is the Singapore Flyer," Phil says over a shot of that giant Ferris wheel, "the tallest observation wheel in the world." Oh, excuse me, it's an observation wheel. Pardon moi. Standing with it in the background, Phil says the team who uses the Fast Forward may see the Singapore Flyer as a "giant wheel of fortune." Somehow it resists what must be an overwhelming urge to climb down off its frame, roll over, and crush him. He says the Fast Forward team will ride it all the way to the top. So far, so good. "Then, at the height of 541 feet, teams must exit their capsule and walk along a metal beam to the next capsule over." Say what? Actually it's crawling, and along a horizontal ladder, but why split hairs when we're a tenth of a mile above the ground? Dan and Jordan agree to go for it, possibly because they don't know what they're actually going to have to do yet. Don't you love these tasks where the race shuts down some international attraction for a day so the racers can use it to do stuff that would get normal people arrested?

The Detectives, Miss Team USA, and Carol|Brandy are all wandering around inside the concert hall and the auditorium, looking for Allan Wu. Whither Wu? The Cowboys arrive next, just behind Louie and Michael when they finally find him. Michael has no time for Allan Wu's charm, rushing him to hand over the clue so they can get out of there in second place. Right behind them, the Cowboys take the time to shake his hand even though they're in third. Along with the Fast Forward, this will be a Detour, and the choice is between "Pounding the Drums" and "Pounding the Pavement." Funny, in my country the two aren't mutually exclusive.

Phil narrates, "the people of Singapore live in two different worlds at the same time. One world is filled with ethnic traditions. The other with the pleasures of modern living." For Pounding the Drums, the teams will go to a park called Speakers' Corner (more colonialism!) and "both learn a complex routine on traditional drums." Little kids in Chinese costume are seen playing these drums with short, fat sticks. "When their drum teacher [one of the aforementioned kids] thinks they are ready, they can perform the routine with a drum troupe and receive their next clue." As for "Pounding the Pavement," there's not a lot of actual pavement pounding to do. They'll go to a pedestrian mall and pick up supplies that include sun umbrellas, plastic patio chairs, and ten boxes of ice cream. These they will bring to an ice cream "uncle cart," which I guess is what they call vendor carts in Singapore. They'll have to sell 25 ice cream sandwiches made in the local style, which means a big brick of ice cream with either cookie wafers or a slice of Wonder bread wrapped around them in what Phil calls "the local style." And that's Singapore's version of the pleasures of modern living, I guess. The ice cream "uncle" will give them the next clue after they sell all 25. Jet and Cord decide on the drums. "We'd rather just match the other teams head to head," Cord interviews by way of explaining why they're not venturing into the mysteries of the Fast Forward. Louie and Michael make the same decision, although probably not for the same reason.

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Amazing Race

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