Amazing Race

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Garret and Jessica are team number eight.

Mika and Canaan are leading their group along, calling out requests for directions to the very buildings. Suddenly an American voice yells out. "You guys looking for the shrine?" He gets them going in the right direction. "Hayaku, hayaku!" Mika and Canaan call out to their team. Well, at least now I know that means "fast" and not "loud."

Phil and the greeter watch stonefaced as Dan and Sam act like giant goons running into the shrine. It's a shrine, gentlemen. "Samuel and Daniel," Phil greets them, as if to subtly remind them to observe a little decorum, "You are team number nine." "That's horrible but we'll take it!" Sam says.

Maria and Tiffany are trying to keep it together, even though their team no longer is.

And here come Mika and Canaan. Phil tells them to do a headcount, but they're one person shy. We cut to one sad little orange-visored matron, walking along the sidewalk alone. Mika and Canaan go running back to the exit, as Phil calls out. "Get your team together and check in with twenty people!" Is he allowed to give strategic advice like that?

Meanwhile, Maria and Tiffany are about to admit defeat, because their group is beginning to rebel against them.

And Mike and Canaan's straggler comes around the corner to the shrine entrance steps, they run into her coming out. Canaan runs down the steps and bodily scoops the woman up to carry her up the steps as she howls in dismay, hiding her face from the camera and weeping from the humiliation. He keeps asking if she's okay, but he doesn't put her down until he can set her shoes on the mat. They have now officially arrived in tenth place. And they only had to mortify one poor Japanese woman to do it.

Maria and Tiffany have reached the pedestrian bridge over the Scramble where they last saw their people, but since they don't see them, they decide to go check in as is before they have a full revolt on their hands. As Maria interviews about this humbling experience, we se them walking at last onto the grounds of the shrine, with all the other visor people and the other teams clapping for them (except Ron, who's all but glaring at them from behind Phil). Team Inside Straight arrives on the mat, and Phil asks if they have everyone. "No we don't," Tiffany admits, with an arm around a crying Maria. Phil is sorry to tell them, "You have incurred a two-hour penalty for not completing the challenge." Wait, why give a penalty to a team who's in last place anyway? Because it's a non-elimination leg, is why, and they're still in it. And you know, that's absolutely brilliant. Lots of people (myself not include) hate non-elimination legs, but the show has found a way to get one of them over with in a way that still allows the viewers to see at least one elimination tonight. And I mean, as much as I was looking forward to starting next week with only nine teams, this makes a lot more sense. Phil warns Maria and Tiffany about the Speed Bump they'll have to deal with in the next leg. Everyone claps. Yay, Speed Bump! In an interview, Tiffany says they needed a "one-outer," which is apparently a poker term for getting the one card in the deck they needed. This is great, because there aren't already enough poker metaphors out there that everyone knows, so they have to invent really obscure ones.

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Amazing Race

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