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Eleven teams of two, joined by family or relationship, follow a path of twists and turns in a frenetic race around the world for $1 million...again! They tried before and failed...so this is Unfinished Business!

Who will be the first to cross the finish line?

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Host Phil Keoghan
Creator Bertram van Munster
Elise Doganieri
EP Jerry Bruckheimer
Bertram van Munster
Jonathan Littman
Elise Doganieri
Mark Vertullo
Packager Jerry Bruckheimer TV
Worldrace Productions
Amazing Race Productions
CBS Television Studios
ABC Studios
Web www.cbs.com/amazingrace
Airs 8p Sun, CBS

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This is the Most Stupid Day Ever
March 13

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 to go?


(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:



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 your clue.

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...


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 Equalizer!

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!


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:



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:



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 awaits.

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:



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 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.


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:



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: 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.

The hammering 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:



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.

Up...up...up...up stairways go the teams, looking for Lion Hill. Up...up...up stairways on the hill they go. Up...up...up to....


Two Americans hit the mat in front of Phil and a Nakhi greeter. They are welcomed to Lijiang and Phil says:

"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 Jeep safari

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?





1) Margie & Luke (+7) - Aruba
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 www.cbs.com/amazingrace