Amazing Race
Taipei it Forward

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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At the Martyr's Shrine, Ernie and Cindy are team number one, not surprisingly. A middle-aged soldier in a Taiwanese officer's uniform welcomes them, and Phil hands over the Express Pass, which will allow them to skip one challenge at any point in the race, and which has historically been used to jump from the middle of the pack to further up in the middle of the pack. Post-leg, Ernie interviews, "Control-Freak Cindy on the race is actually a pretty good teammate." Good of him to say so. Cindy says she's hoping that their success extends into the next few legs. Well, if not, there's always the Express Pass to help them rocket from seventh to fifth. Jeremy and Sandy arrive in second place, and siblings Justin and Jennifer are team number three, although they don't argue about it.

Andy & Tommy arrive at the dragon boats, closely followed by Laurence and Zac. Ethan and Jenna have just finished the boat task in fourth place. Amani and Marcus show up in seventh place, and obviously Marcus is doing the rowing for this team. The Taiwanese crewmen, who have been yelling and raising their oars whenever anything happens, also do so when Marcus comes along with his oar. He takes this greeting like it's just for him. He seems to be a pretty excitable guy, or else he's still in severe withdrawal from life in the football stadium. This task is right in Laurence's proverbial wheelhouse, what with him being a former coxswain and all. Heh, "coxswain." The three teams are more or less racing, with Andy yelling across the water to make fun of the pink t-shirts Marcus and his crew are wearing. The snowboarders finish in fifth, Laurence & Zac in sixth, and Amani & Marcus in seventh. This task probably would have been more exciting if it were actually possible for boats to pass each other. The fact that they can't must make dragon boat racing a very boring sport to watch.

Cathi and Bill (remember them?) are finally back where they started, and they find someone to translate the correct billboard for them. That accomplished, the subtitle "Currently in last place" appears on the screen with a gong sound effect, as though to remind us that this breakthrough isn't such great progress at all.

But Liz is still stalled, at a loss. "Maybe I'm dyslexic," she says helplessly on her way back to the pay phone for the umpteenth time. "It's a phrase!" Marie screams. That's it, I'm making a "Free Liz" t-shirt.

As usual, an ad break is what it takes to shake things loose, so at least they're done and out of there before Bill and Cathi show up. But not long before, according to the editing.

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Amazing Race




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