This is the Most Stupid
From Australia to Japan the Racers went.
They do a Yabusame ritual before deciding between standing under a
waterfall or digging through mud. When all was said and done, Zev &
Justin (Team Puzzle Pieces) repeated as Team #1. Mel & Mike (Team West
Hollywood) tried their best, but Mike all but sacrificed the Race for
his ailing father and thus were Philiminated. Nine teams continue the
circumnavigation of the globe for one million bucks...who will be next
PIT STOP #3
KURIHAMA, YOKOSUKA, JAPAN
2044 LOCAL TIME
(As you may have guessed, this was done
LONG before the devastating earthquake and subsequent tsunami and
nuclear disasters in Japan. More on that later...)
Zev & Justin stand at the monument to the
forceful American sailor who opened Japan to the world (whether they
wanted to or not) and open the clue to start the fourth Leg:
MAKE YOUR WAY TO
THE CITY OF LIJIANG, CHINA!
Fly nearly 2700 miles to Kunming,
China. Due to limited available flights, tickets have been provided
for you for the flight from Tokyo. When you land, book your own way
to Lijiang, China and find the Jade Dragon Mountain to find your
next clue. A marked shuttle bus will take you up the mountain to
Justin's a bit bummed about
not having done a lot during the Race so far. And he's also already
complaining about China. The flight leaves at 9:50am, so all the teams
will make it. But, just for argument's sake, the other teams' depart
times from the PIT STOP (all local) are:
Gary & Mallory (Team KY/Dad): 2129
Ron & Christina (Team Who's Your Daddy?): 2138
Kisha & Jen (Team Cardinal Sisters): 2150
"Flight Time" & "Big Easy" (aka Herb & Stan, Team Trotters): 2210
Jet & Cord (Team Cowboy Bebop): 2134
Kent & Vyxsin (Team Dating Goths): 2333
Margie & Luke (Team Hear My Song!): 2352
Jaime & Cara (Team Hollaback Girls): 0042
Needless to say, Ron &
Christina, being Chinese-Americans, are thrilled to be heading to where
they visited once before. Kisha remembers when Luke knocked her out of
the way in China and she called him a "bitch" (she regrets it now). Kent
& Vyxsin's PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) lasts about ninety seconds
when they can't find their car. Jaime & Cara didn't have a good time in
China, either...but they'll hope for better.
Team Dating Goths have MORE
problems as Vyxsin, mostly sleep deprived, get them lost in the
near-empty streets. They argue...though quietly...and they panic just a
little since it's a long drive to Tokyo and they NEED to make this only
flight out. As the other teams arrive at Narita Airport, Kent & Vyxsin
FINALLY find the highway leading out of Kurihama and towards Tokyo...or
so they THINK. One look at a compass shows that they've been going the
WRONG WAY for hours! It's deja vu all over again; Vyxsin's freaking out
cost them the LAST Race. But Kent TRIES to stay positive; saying that
the Race is about "miracles". It was a "miracle" in disguise that two
flights so far were delayed en route...maybe this will be similar.
Uhhhh...nope. No such luck.
The plane with the other eight teams take off on-time, leaving the goths
behind. But...availabilty isn't QUITE that limited, as they catch an
alternate flight, five-and-a-half hours later. Who knows if they can
make that time up in...
KUNMING, PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
As the required flight lands
at just past 7pm, the teams now must figure out the best way to get to
their destination: plane, train or otherwise. They hit the internet
cafes and the info kiosks in search of the quickest route. Team Who's
Your Daddy find (with the help of a local and his laptop) that two
trains leave that night. Blowing off Team Hear My Song and using their
Chinese to their advantage, the mother/daughter team catch the first
train to Lijiang at 8:50pm. The other seven teams find out too late and,
as such, catch the 10:16pm train out instead.
Two hours later, Kent &
Vyxsin arrive, missing both trains and the earliest flight out. Since
the airport was closed down, they decided to catch some well-needed
zzzzs before figuring out how to get to...
At 5:18am, Ron & Christina
disembark the train and start looking for a way to get to the mountain.
They get a taxi and start on the way...but NOT before chowing down on
some dumplings from a vendor in town along the way. They get to the
shuttle stop...but bus transfers begin at 8am! It might be another Great
Back at Kunming, Team Dating
Goths get tickets for an early flight to Lijiang. But...the Ghosts of
Zev & Justin Past strikes: Vyxsin's misplaced her passport! They find it
at the ticket counter, though...and Kevin threatens to shoot her.
As the sun rises over the
mountains of Lijiang, the other seven teams arrive at the shuttle
station, making it an eight-team Race again. Kent & Vyxsin land 15
minutes after the first shuttle departs...but they arrive at the
terminal in time for ANOTHER one. They've made up a LOT of time!
OUTSIDE OF LIJIANG, CHINA
At 10,269 feet above sea
level, this is DEFINITELY nosebleed country. As the teams pass by a
beautiful stepped waterfall, they see something...weird, even by Amazing
Race standards: yaks...with saddles. They start to freak a little...and
when they arrive at the clue box, their "fears" are confirmed:
YAK...SADDLE A YAK!
One of you must properly saddle a
yak (an important part of life in this part of China) and ride it
across a marked part of the river (while being lead by a 'sherpa').
When you reach the other side, another sherpa will give you your
next clue. You may only open the clue when you rejoin your teammate.
This is a cakewalk for Jet &
Cord; saddling a yak isn't TOO much different than saddling a horse,
after all. Jet's whacking the yak's back with his hat is a not approved
of, though. Many have a good time...some, like Zev, have a HARD time
getting ON the beast of burden. But it's Jamie who gets the clue first
and heads back to Cara. They are first to read this:
TIME TO GET
Head for the nearby gondola and
ride it up the mountain to a spot nearly 3 miles above sea level.
Once at the top, search for the Spruce Meadow where your next clue
One by one, the other teams
make the return trip, open their clues and sprint to the gondola.
Aaaaand that's when they learn that sprinting at even TWO miles above
sea level is NOT a good idea. And when they get off at an elevation over
4500 feet HIGHER than that, breathing becomes a factor and more
important than speed. Margie doesn't seem to be doing well. In fact,
most of the elders are finding it hard to breath. Even Team Trotters -
whose heads are seven feet HIGHER than the mountain - are finding it
hard. When they see the clue box, though, they hoof it...and they let
out a HUGE (but thin) breath as they run into a:
WHO THINKS THEY'RE
LIVING A CHARMED LIFE?
According to legend, Buddha
challenged the twelve animals that make up the Chinese Zodiac to a
race. The order they came in makes up the Zodiac chart the Chinese
use today. One team member must search amid tens of thousands of
charms hanging nearby for twelve that have pictures of the twelve
animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey,
Rooster, Dog and Pig. Once you've collected them, go to a marked
gazebo, find an empty wind chime and place the charms in THAT ORDER
(the order they finished) using lengths of red ribbon. Once a
spotter sees the charms in the correct order, s/he will hand you
your next clue.
Your 'BLOCKers this time:
Luke, Cord, Cara, Mallory, Jen, Zev, Christina and "Big Easy".
They all go to a "control"
wind chime that shows the animals and their order. They scribble down
the animals' names, shapes and order and head to the meadow to look for
them. Of course, Christina is the only one who thinks it'll be easy
because, well, she KNOWS the Zodiac animals...in English AND Chinese
(her mother pounded them into her brain as a kid). Everyone else has
their own way of doing things. Cord tried to imitate the animals and ask
passers-by where they are. As for Nate,...he asks a nearby farm animal
who wandered up to the fences.
Back at the falls, Vyxsin is
the one who saddles and rides the yak for Team Dating Goths and they
quickly get on the gondola to catch up to the other teams.
People are getting close to
filling out their twelve charms...but it's LUKE who gets them all first.
He runs to a gazebo and starts to put them on the wind chime. Mallory
and Christina are right behind. Luke hangs them all...but the spotter
says they're not in the correct order (more deja vu). As such, it's
Mallory who finishes her mobile first. Before she runs with the clue
into Gary's arms, he tells Luke to look at hers as a reference...which
upsets a few of the other teams. And said clue:
HEAD TO OLD TOWN!
Head back down and find the
marked shuttle bus to Old Town Lijiang. Nearby an ancient prayer
wheel is your next clue.
Christina finishes her chime
and she and Ron leave in second, followed closely by Margie & Luke. A
few minutes later, Cord completes the task and he and bro Jet leave in
4th. Cara runs to the chimes gazebo, Jen on her red-haired tail. Nate
finally finds his last animal...and Zev is having trouble finding a
rabbit, even in what Justin calls an "Elmer Fudd hat". Herb & Nate leave
in 5th (and celebrate like they won the NBA Title), Jaime & Cara in 6th,
Kisha & Jen in 7th. Zev is at his breaking point as the Goths are
halfway up the gondola...but he FINALLY find the rabbit and gets to work
on his chime. And by THAT, I mean he just hangs them all at once. Justin
shouts encouragement to him.
Back at the bottom, Team
KY/Dad catch the first bus by themselves. Others catch busses...but Team
Who's Your Daddy seem to get on a golf cart of sorts. As such, they get
lost. As they head back and manage to catch a ride on Team Trotters'
bus, Kent & Vyxsin arrive at the ROADBLOCK and see Zev struggling.
Vyxsin chooses to do the task...and Justin makes Zev MORE nervous by
SHOWING him the couple that were allegedly left behind in Japan. Justin
takes to Kent about them taking a different flight...and the goth starts
to worry about a time penalty because they didn't take the "mandatory"
flight out. Vyxsin looks at Zev's charms to get the idea and Zev doesn't
like that ONE BIT! Zev finally figures out how to hang them
properly...but the spotter still refuses to give him the nod. All the
time, Vyxsin is grabbing animals left and right.
TOWN LIJIANG, CHINA
Think of it like "Colonial
Williamsburg" of this part of China; everything looks like it did back
in the dynastic days (well, save the bicycles and tiled roofs). The
teams start to arrive at the parking lot and enter the "old town". It's
Margie & Luke who find the prayer wheel first, along with:
WHAT'S YOUR SIGN?
The prayer wheel before you as
the twelve signs of the Chinese Zodiac upon in. Unlike the Western
Zodiac, your sign of the Chinese Zodiac is based on the YEAR you
were born, not the month. You each must figure out which sign is
yours, write a wish on a piece of paper and insert it into the slot
above your sign, announcing the sign as you do. If you are correct,
the spotter nearby will give you your next clue.
Luke is an Ox, Margie a
Rooster. So they write the wishes as Team KY/Dad arrive and insert them
quickly to get their next clue from the spotter. Gary & Mallory are
second at the next...
HAMMER or HORN?
HAMMER: Head for the
confectioners. The head confectioner will pour hot molten candy onto
a high stump. You must them pulverize the candy using long-handled
wooden hammers, the traditional way to do it in Old Town. When you
finish making it flat and cutting it into rectangular pieces. The
confectioner will give you your next clue.
HORN: Head to Namun Square.
There, you must take up a long, cumbersome horn and lead a
procession of Nakhi dancers to Wenchang Palace, where a greeter will
hand you your next clue.
The two teams agree mutually
to HAMMER there way to the PIT STOP. The next two teams are Team Who's
Your Daddy and Team Trotters. Team Cowboy Bebop are on their tails. As
the father/daughter and the brothers head off for HAMMER, "Flight Time"
goofs as he's NOT a Monkey. He keeps shouting names of the animals as
Team Cardinal Sisters and Team Hollaback Girls arrive. While the sisters
HAMMER, the cheerleaders opt for HORN...and the b-ballers are STILL
trying to figure things out.
Back up the mountain, Zev
STILL doesn't have it right...and he finally figures out WHY: he had TWO
Goats. So he not only has to put one of those charms BACK, but he has to
figure out the one he MISSED, FIND the charm and try again! While he's
doing that, Vyxsin - like Zev before him - seems to be stuck on finding
the last animal. Zev re-hangs the Goat...grabs a Horse...hangs it on his
mobile...and he and Justin FINALLY leave in 8th! This leaves Team Dating
Goths in the lurch yet again...and Vyxsin is panicking yet again.
Back in Old Town, Herb &
Nate FINALLY get their signs right and choose to HORN (well, duh; I'm
sure they call haul a horn like that). Ron & Christina are hoofing
towards HAMMER...or they WOULD if Ron didn't stop to try to get more
local cuisine with Christina yanking him to get hauling! Over at HAMMER,
the other teams arrive, see a demo on what to do and get to doing. Bang,
bang, Racers' wooden hammers came down upon the candy. Bang, bang,
Racers' wooden hammers made sure the stuff was dandy...at least when Ron
wasn't EATING it.
Over at the Square, Jaime &
Cara arrive and heft up that massive horn...and Cara suddenly thinks
there's not enough tea in the country that can get her to blow that
thing all the way to the Palace. So they U-turn themselves and head for
HAMMER. Team Trotters...no problem. Nate blows while Herb holds (and
that is NOT a euphemism!) and they parade to the Palace, stopping for
directions every so often.
As Team Puzzle Pieces get
back down and await a bus, Vyxsin is crying (again) as she struggles.
Kent...says nothing, either not wanting to make things worse...or just
too angry to talk. At LAST she finds the missing one. She quickly
assembles the chime and heads out in last with a happy Kent.
continues...and Team KY/Dad are the first to take their pounded mess to
the cutting board, with Team Cowboy Bebop right behind. From hammers to
chops, they cut the candy and bag it. Team Hear My Song are there, too
and THEY finish the DETOUR first, getting this:
MAKE YOUR WAY TO
THE NEXT PIT STOP!
Travel by foot to the center of
Lijiang city, up Lion Hill and to the Eternal Tower, the PIT STOP
for this Leg of the Race.
WARNING! The last team to
check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!
As Margie & Luke, Jet & Cord
and Gary & Mallory depart, Kishi & Jen finish THEIR candy and get to
cutting, leaving in 4th. Team Who's Your Daddy finally finishes pounding
and Christina YELLS at her dad to let HER cut it alone...which, of
course, he ignores. Still, they get out of the DETOUR in 5th. As they
leave, Team Hollaback Girls arrive...and Cara pretty much burns her hand
on the molten candy. Zev & Justin (who, let's face it, will NOT make a
three-peat) stumble into Old Town, make their prayers to Goat and Dog
and get the DETOUR clue, going to HORN.
go the teams, looking for Lion Hill. Up...up...up stairways on the hill
they go. Up...up...up to....
OVERLOOKING OLD TOWN LIJIANG, CHINA
Two Americans hit the mat in
front of Phil and a Nakhi greeter. They are welcomed to Lijiang and Phil
"Margie & Luke, you are the
first team to arrive..."
Again,...ut oh. Either
there's a penalty...or, like LAST time, they ain't done racing yet.
Well, the GOOD news is that
they won the Leg and, thus, are heading on a five-night sojourn to Aruba
on CBS's and Travelocity(TM)'s dime, complete with submarine ride and
But...guess what? It's
ANOTHER "gas-and-go" PIT STOP! (I'm guessing that this makes up for the
SPEED BUMP for this Race and that this is a N.E.L. like the last one.)
Phil hands them their next clue. As they leave, Jet & Cord arrive 2nd
and split, followed by Gary & Mallory (3rd), Ron & Christina (4th) Kisha
& Jen (5th), "Flight Time" & "Big Easy" (6th) and Jaime & Cara (7th).
All the time, Kent & Vyxsin work their way down the mountain...and Zev &
Justin are two "horn"y guys getting lost in the small Old Town. Team
Dating Goths then ask the bus driver (unsuccessfully, mind you) to
about-face as they lost the fanny pack with the clues, passports and
money in it in the gondola (and the "Rules of the Race" state that all
clues from a Leg must be there when a team hits a PIT STOP).
Can the "pink-and-black
attack" come back after all the letdowns in this Leg? Can the two
friends find their way to the Palace before the Goths show up? Will
there be an elimination or is this gas-and-go just like the last one?!
Well, guess what shows up on-screen?
TO DONATE TO THE RED
CROSS TO HELP THOSE SUFFERING IN JAPAN (AND EVERYWHERE ELSE AROUND THE
WORLD), GO TO REDCROSS.ORG. YOU CAN
ALSO TEXT "REDCROSS" TO "90999" TO MAKE A QUICK AND EASY $10 DONATION.
AFTER LEG 4: TOKYO,
JAPAN to OLD TOWN LIJIANG, CHINA
1) Margie & Luke (+7) -
2) Jet & Cord (+2)
3) Gary & Mallory (-1) - Express Pass
4) Ron & Christina (-1)
5) Kisha & Jen (-1)
6) "Flight Time" & "Big Easy" (-1)
7) Jaime & Cara (+2)
?) Zev & Justin (??) - Cancun, Costa Rica
?) Kent & Vyxsin (??)
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit
the official website at