The Amazing Race Official Episode 11 Summary – A Disaster of Non-Olympic Proportions
Previously on Race…Since Bangkok was not the witness to the ultimate test of cerebral fitness, it instead turned into Full Contact Clue Boxing. Kisha and Jen won but faced the wrath of a Mom. The Midgets learned that not nice guys may finish last, but bad guys don’t win either.
Coming up…Jen contemplates finishing the Race.
Quiz time! If they’re showing what’s coming up in the episode before it even begins…
a) The episode will not be very interesting, so they’re trying to keep viewers by making them think something interesting will be happening during the episode.
b) I am getting YET ANOTHER FREAKIN’ NON ELIMINATION EPISODE to summarize.
c) a and b
Crap. Should’ve known tonight’s episode was not going to go well. I tried a new recipe tonight that tasted terrible and the federal government declared a public health emergency. Bad things happen in threes.
We start in China at the sun and moon pavilions after the mandatory rest period.
Kisha & Jen are the first ones to get a clue at 1:48pm. They are told to fly to Beijing, China (home of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games) and go to a foot massage spa. They’re so over what happened last episode and will only look forward.
Quiz time! When contestants tell us they’re so over something…
a) They really are. After all, the point is to win the Race.
b) They think they are, but they’re going to be distracted. It’s going to negatively impact their Race.
c) They are going to talk about it so much we’re going to wonder when Dr. Phil is going to show up. It’s going to negatively impact our viewing pleasure.
Tammy & Victor get a clue a minute later. As they stop to get tickets, they tell us they have a huge advantage because they know the language and have been to Beijing a lot.
Quiz time! When contestants tell us they have an advantage because of prior experience…
a) They’re right, it does help.
b) The only help that would really matter to these folks is professional help…and I don’t mean Dr. Phil.
Maggie & Luke get a clue two mintes later. They’ve decided they’re not going to talk to Jen anymore.
Quiz time! Are they going to talk to Jen anymore?
a) They’ll keep their word
b) Naah, they’ll forgive and forget.
c) They’ll just talk about Jen all the time…which is far worse (for us).
Jaime & Cara finally get their clue. They complain that they’ve never come in first and had to work harder.
Quiz time! What’s going to happen to them this episode?
a) Their hard work will finally pay off and they’ll finish first.
b) They’ll leave first for the Pit Stop, but someone will end up beating them to the mat.
c) This game is cruel. The actual result will probably be much better. Well, maybe not much better. Maybe mildly interesting.
Maggie & Luke are at the airport and get on same flight as Tammy & Victor. They’re psyched they beat the Incarnation of Evil to the airport, but that’s small consolation as they are asking for assistance and getting ignored by clerks. Then they’re told they can’t use their credit card there, since who in their right mind would trust an American credit company these days. If they go to a different counter they can fool the clerks there. Jen & Kisha hear all this and go to the counter ahead of them, which means we have to listen to Maggie complain about yet another thing about these bad bad girls . Tammy & Victor go to the VIP counter and explain they are in a race and ask to be seated ahead of Jen & Kisha. Since those girls can smell evil a mile away (they’re used to it), they realize that something is going on and ask for help. Tammy asks the ticket ladies to seat the other two teams in the back of the plane and is told there are no more seats in the front. Victor laughs about bringing shame to the Chinese people.
Quiz time! When did Tammy & Victor first bring shame on the Chinese people?
a) Victor called it.
b) When they decided to enter the Race.
c) At birth.
Since they’re all stuck waiting for the same flight, it’s time to hang out and enjoy the company of the other teams.
Quiz time! How do these contestants enjoy each others’ company?
a) They talk about the amazing sites they’ve visited along the way.
b) They talk about home and find common interests outside of the Race.
c) They tear down any team not within earshot.
Jaime & Cara were stuck in the last row of the plane. Since they’re used to parading out in front of people to shake their…pom-poms, this is a unique experience for them. But hey, the world’s against them in this Race and couldn’t possibly finish first, could they?
Now the teams scramble for taxis, because it’s a great chance to complain about the other teams on camera. Jaime & Cara’s cab driver decides to be a flasher, so their cab manages to pass a few other teams. Since they’re on the way to a foot massage spa, Tammy is hoping they don’t have to massage feet. She doesn’t like feet. Victor loves having one of those sibling irritation moments and keeps talking about crusty toes. The taxi drivers show us that none of them have had an opportunity to get a foot massage when more than one of them drive past the place or get lost.
Jaime & Cara get there first. It’s a Roadblock and the clue asks who’s feeling manipulative. This is a trick question, meant to make the teams waste valuable time playing the “No, I’m more manipulative” game. The, ahem, winner gets to drink Chinese medicinal tea and get a foot massage. But it’s obvious from the clue description that this isn’t your typical go-get-a-pedi foot massage, since they’re given instructions on how to use the code word to stop the torture…but then, you have to start again at the beginning.
Safe words…um, I’ve seen episodes of CSI/CSI Miami/CSI Lizard Lick where they’re had safe words used. Maybe the producers of TAR have decided to raise money during this economic crisis by going into the porn business.
Cara drinks her tea and explains she has ticklish feet. We quickly learn that the name of this foot massage spa loosely translates into Sadistic Painmongers as they make Cara cry. Jaime is standing outside threatening her if she says uncle. Cara tells her to shut up. This is my Favorite Cara Moment of the series. When Kisha arrives, she learns what she’s gotten into, and she joins Cara in biting fabric to get through the ordeal. Cara thinks childbirth would be easier. And you get drugs, instead of nasty tea. When Tammy gets in the chair, she ends up wishing that she had gotten to massage other people’s feet. As the three girls writhe and say Oh God over and over, I realize that yes, TAR is going into the porn business. Maggie & Luke finally arrive, and Luke signs that he’ll do it. Luke ends up making other signs during the massage, but we’re told he just said Ow. Victor says to Maggie that no one has died from this. Yeah, right. Like you researched THAT before you went on the Race. You knew there would be a moment you’d need to quote Death By Massage Statistics. Maggie hates seeing her boy in pain, but he did ask for it – she had offered to do it.
Next teams are sent to the natatorium. They ask cabbie after cabbie if they know how to get there, but since the cabbies want to avoid drama, they say no. Jen and Kisha join the Ugly American Parade by commenting that they all look alike. Tammy & Victor use their knowledge of the language to tell a cabbie where the teams need to go…as the cheerleaders hop into the cab. Jen is getting nervous, since she as figured out that the next clue will probably involve swimming.
Sure enough, the Detour is Sync or Swim. Either the two of them have to jump into the pool at the same time and get a 5 from the judges, or they have to pretend they’re Michael Phelps, put on a laser suit, and swim a 400 meter relay. Tammy & Victor get there first, and since neither of them are swimmers – Tammy learned how to swim just before the race – they choose Sync. We’re, ahem, treated to a shot of Victor leaving the locker room and laughing about how skimpy the suit is. Victor, we’re laughing too.
Since Jen’s not a swimmer, Jen & Kisha choose Sync as well. Neither one does well on the first attempt shown. Let’s just say there won’t be any complaining about biased judges when the teams do such a pathetic job trying to fall simultaneously.
Jen & Kisha debate about switching tasks, since they are allowed to use flotation devices in the swim challenge. The other two teams arrive and decide to swim. Cara is a good swimmer and questions whether the swim would be exhausting. Meanwhile, Jen freaks out on the diving board and says she can’t it, so they decide to switch. Tammy & Victor try again, and the generous Chinese judges give them a 4 as they think, No wonder our divers won all the gold medals – the standard Americans can’t even master bounce and jump.
As Jen and Kisha change into the swimming suits, we’re shown that even though they are now being portrayed as the Incarnation of Evil, they are still good for a few laughs. I can sympathize when they comment that those suits weren’t made for these thighs. And as Kisha grips the lane marker are she fumbles down the lane, Jen comments “Mama still ain’t named her Grace.” While Jen freaks out in the life preserver, Mama Margie gets even more of my respect by diving in the water and showing some solid swimming skills, despite her inability to breath with that suit on. Meanwhile, Tammy & Victor are still trying to improve on their abilities to fall into water together.
Jaime and Cara finish their relay in 9:53:30, as we are sadistically shown how much slower than Michael Phelps they were. Since I think Michael Phelps is part dolphin, I don’t fall for their attempt to make the teams look bad. The producers give us plenty of opportunities to mock and disparage the teams without falling for their heavy-handed attempts to further discredit these unamazing loozers. The clue tells them it’s time to go to the Pit Stop at the Drum Tower. They call it the Drum Tower because that’s where drums were beaten to announce the time of day. Some random ancient Chinese guy wins the Captain Obvious award for this week.
Quiz time! Jaime and Cara are the first ones heading to the Pit Stop! Will they win a fabulous prize?
a) Yes, finally!
c) HELL No.
As Maggie & Luke avoid the drama (for once) and keep plugging through the swim, Kisha tells Jen they need to switch after she finishes crawling through the first lap. Meanwhile, Margie & Luke finish their leg in 8:05:30, which is also the approximate amount of time Jen & Kisha have spent waffling so far. Meanwhile, the other two teams are in the midst of business as usual – Jaime & Cara are complaining about their bad luck with taxi drivers, while Tammy & Victor are flopping in non-unison.
In their taxi, Luke and Maggie are talking about something other than Jen and Kisha – they’ve gone back to spending cab time in the mutual admiration society. Jen and Kisha are in the “I know I need to do it but need some time” stage of their waffling. After the diving judges state the obvious – that there is no way that Jen and Kisha fell into the water at the same time – Jen moves back to the “I don’t want to do this” phase of her waffling and adds crying for emphasis.
Author’s Note: Before the non-aquatic jump all over me, I would like to point out that I have flunked out of more swimming classes than you have. I’ve also have my mama tell me to stop saving the drama for her, and I’ve made the acquaintance of anti-anxiety medications. I am probably one of the more sympathetic summary writers when it comes to fear of the water. I am also listening to a 4 year old telling me how much he loves me, which is making it even harder to be snarky (he’s really cute when he says it). But STILL…they can hold onto the line markers, and they can wear life preservers. And with all of those cameramen, producers, and Chinese people wanting to avoid an international incident around, there was no way anyone would have let them drown. Especially with Luke and Maggie safely ensconced in a taxi moving away from the area.
Tammy & Victor are tired of their unsuccessful flopping and debate switching. The fact that they’ll no longer have to witness the drama that is Jen & Kisha is probably a major factor in their decision. Either that, or Victor has realized that he has spent enough time subjecting his, ahem, assets to ridicule in that skimpy suit and wants something a lot less revealing. Meanwhile, Jen and Kisha jump again and the producers decide to make us wait for the scores.
Quiz time! When the scores finally come up…
a) They did it! They fought through their fears and got the job done.
b) The producers fell into their bad bad habit of trying to manipulate the audience by making us think that they did well. But we saw the flop, we know better. Let’s be realistic here, people.
Meanwhile, Tammy is swimming her first leg, and doing quite a nice job for a new swimmer. Not going to pick on her, she hasn’t complained once during this challenge, even though her description of her swimming class makes it obvious that she was even farther behind on swimming than Jen in swimming skills before the class. Victor is being a good brother and encouraging her efforts. Kisha wants to switch tasks AGAIN, and Jen bursts into sobs and says she wants to go home. Kisha’s vacillation cannot be helping. While their drama continues, Tammy & Victor are plugging away with their challenge and realizing they should have just done this in the first place. Kisha is telling Jen to just get into the swimsuit, even if it takes her forever. She needs to finish strong. Tammy and Victor finish their laps in a respectable 10:29:30. As a far below-average swimmer, I’m going to give Tammy her props. They head to the taxis as the Jen-Kisha drama continues in the hallway.
In the taxi, Maggie and Luke have moved on from their favorite topic, themselves, and moved on to their second favorite topic, wishing ill for Jen and Kisha. They revel in their rival’s inability to fight through their fears and say bye-bye. Of all people who should be sympathetic to someone else’s ability to face a personal challenge, but no, they’d rather gloat and feel superior. Meanwhile, Jen is finishing the challenge. Kisha cries about her pride that Jen is finishing strong and said she is wearing a life preserver in support of Jen. No, the fact that she couldn’t get through a lap without the lane marker had nothing to do with that decision.
Whew, the silly manufactured drama is over. Ha ha, this is The Amazing Race, and the manufactured drama doesn’t end until the credits roll! Victor cries out in pain as they’re getting into the cab – CRAMP! For the rest of Jen and Kisha’s swim, we’re, ahem, treated to shots of them swimming interspersed with Victor trying to get into a cab. Once Victor finally can get into the cab, he complains about how even with their language advantage, they’re still at the mercy of taxi drivers. And roadblocks. And detours.
Yeah. Like they didn’t know there would be taxis or roadblocks or detours. This is the freakin’ Race, not just a world tour. Hello!
Jen and Kisha finish their relay in 18:19, which is probably half of the total time they spent switching and crying. Sometimes Nike does get it right, like when they said just do it. Now that they’re finally out of the water for good, we can head back to Jaime & Cara and their drama. They have left so many detours and roadblocks in first place, but they’ve never finished a leg in first…could they finally be breaking that pattern? Could they, please? Look, there’s Phil at the mat! Could it be? Could it? Could it? They step on the mat and hear that yes, they were the first team to arrive. Wait a minute…did they do a no-no and have to sit out a penalty? Phil isn’t mentioning a reward or Travelocity trip because…the leg is not over! He hands them a clue as they realize that yet again, their dreams of finishing first have been dashed…this time, by a Superleg.
I feel your pain. For about five minutes after getting this summary assignment, I entertained the dream that I would be summarizing a non-elimination leg. Yup, we both bought some property on Gullible Lane. At this point, I can’t even rant about it happening to me yet.again.
Next week: Victor eats Chinese delicacies like starfish, and unlike Dr. Kelso on Scrubs, he cannot blame it on Bahama Mamas. The next lucky summary writer gets to deal with barfing. Jaime & Cara blame the language barrier for their troubles, instead of recognizing the fact that they’re dressed and made up like they’re in a bad NFL promotional commercial.