Got a Bad Elephant!
CHARBAUGH MULTI-STORY FLATS, LUCKNOW, INDIA
"Rob & Amber," says Phil Keoghan as Team Survivor joins him on
the mat, "Welcome to Lucknow. You guys probably think this is
the end of the leg?" He pulls out a blue envelope and hands it
to the panting couple, saying, "I don't want to hold you up.
Here's your next clue. You're still racing. The leg is not
Ayup, leg eight is not over!
After traveling from Botswana to India, the five teams left in
the Race had to look through a mess of tin boxes and serve tea
to an office building while running around the city of Lucknow
in bike rickshaws and mini-taxis.
But the last clue, to
go to "Phil on the mat" here on the roof
apartment house, never said it was a PIT STOP. So, like last
year with that Internet cafe, the Race is still on!
Rob immediately grabs the clue and rips
it open angrily, reading it aloud:
Make your way to the Lucknow Train Station
across the street. Find the end of Platform 2 and board the
marked car on the train that will depart from there.
Sometime during the trip, you will obtain your next clue.
So off they go. As they go, Ron & Kelly (Team American
Beauties) arrive, thinking it would be a PIT STOP. Boy, are THEY
shocked to hear that they have to keep moving. Next up is
Uchenna & Joyce (Team Will Race For Food), with Joyce saying to
Phil, "What a trick!" Next up is the team that was really HOPING
it was a PIT STOP: Lynn & Alex (Team Fab Two). With a heaving,
"Oh, God...", the couple leave for the station.
Meanwhile the final team, Meredith & Gretchen (Team Socially
Secure), is working through the previous DETOUR. They chose
LIQUID, which means they have to deliver cups of tea from a cart
on the street to five people on a list of ten in an office
building, collecting business cards on the way. They're on their
final cup and, upon receiving the last clue, gets on a bike
rickshaw to the flats. And they are shocked and awed (not to
mention relieved) that they're still in the Race!
LUCKNOW TRAIN STATION, INDIA
All the teams arrive at the platform... and find out that the
train doesn't board until 9pm local time. They have eight hours
to kill... and they'll all be on the same train. The "Secondary
Great Equalizer" strikes again! The two "alliances" talk to each
other in the meantime.
At 9pm, the teams board, get into their sleeping car and relax.
It's as much of a PIT STOP as anything. But, in the middle of
the night, a porter walks through the snoozing Racers, wakes
them and hand each of them their next clue, including where in
the hell they're going:
You are on a train bound for Jodhpur, India.
Search for your next clue at
the Jodhpur Train Station.
When Lynn & Alex inquire, they are informed that they'll
arrive in Jodhpur around 10 or 11pm... meaning they'll be on the
train for a total of over 24 hours! They're tired, they're sick
of going without their comforts (like skin cream)... but they're
The "American Survivor Alliance" of Ron & Kelly and Rob & Amber
sit down to not only discuss strategy... but to bond. They
genuinely become friends and admit to liking racing against each
In northwestern India, close to the Pakistani border, the train
lets people off The five teams of Racers run around the station,
but it's Team Survivor who find the next clue first:
Make your way to Sardar Market District and
find the clock tower (a mile
away). Go to the first-floor balcony to find your next clue.
The teams find taxis... and leave Rob & Amber behind as THEIR
cabbie gets a translation. They all find the market and the
tower, all right... but (take a guess) the tower doesn't open
until 10am. Another 12 hours to kill. They ALSO learn that
there's an admission price of 500 Rupees to pay.
Oh, well... just because they haven't got TO to PIT STOP doesn't
mean they can't LIVE like they're at one! They all go to this
beautiful four-star hotel and restaurant. They could eat, sleep,
get guides (Rob & Amber hire one free of charge)... and dance?
Yes, I said "dance". Team Fab Two get caught up in a wedding
celebration in the street outside the hotel. It is living proof
that white men - even GAY white men - CANNOT fast-dance!
"Wakey, wakey, eggs and... curry." The teams rise with the sun
and head for the tower. Team Survivor wants their guide, Sanjay,
to understand that his loyalty is to THEM first and Team
American Beauties second. At 10am, the tower opens and the teams
walk up the tower steps. They find not one but TWO things inside
FAST FORWARD # 2
This is the second and last FAST FORWARD in
the entire Race. If you decide to use it, you must travel 10
1/2 miles to a Hindu temple (Kailashoham Gaure Shwar Mahadev
Manor) and participate in a traditional Hindi good-fortune
ritual. You won't be told here what the ritual is; you must
go to the temple to find out. Once the ritual is complete,
you will receive the clue to the PIT STOP.
(The ritual, just like in the fifth Race, is to shave their
And what if they don't WANT to go out of their way to do a
mystery stunt? Well, there's always a:
DETOUR - Trunk or Dunk?
Make your way to Jodhpur's Old City and find large wooden
elephants, each waying about 600 pounds. Then roll one of
them (they're on rollers) a half-a-mile to the Shri Kunji
Bihariji Temple where the priest will hand you your next
clue. You may use local help for this task.
DUNK - Follow the markers to a nearby neighborhood. The
neighborhood is famous for tie-dyed clothing. Once there,
you must dye white sheets. When you have dunked it, the
sheet will spell out your next clue... once you untie the
knots in it. Also, the clue is only on ONE of 25 sheets in a
Uchenna & Joyce are already out the door and towards the FAST
FORWARD while the others discuss the DETOUR. Lynn & Alex follow
them at first... but, once they realize there's a team ahead of
them, they bow out. The remaining four teams all choose TRUNK.
The American Survivor Alliance are the first to arrive at the
elephants. Rob & Amber and Ron & Kelly each take an elephant and
start to heave and ho. Team Socially Secure are in a close
third... but they make a mistake by adding about 100 pounds to
the weight of the elephant: Joyce, as told by a local, gets up
ON the large creature. Now it's hard enough for a
60-plus-year-old man to push 600 pounds of dead weight; how hard
do you think it would be for Meredith to push 700
pounds?! The answer is simple: hard enough for Lynn & Alex, who
had to turn around after deciding to forgo the FAST FORWARD, to
actually PASS them. "We have a bad elephant," says Joyce. (No,
Joyce, YOU have a bad naivete!). Fortunately, the retired couple
FINALLY get help from the locals and it's relatively smooth
As the elephant races reach their climax, The American Survivor
Alliance (or ASA) arrive first. Both teams get their next clue:
Travel by auto-rickshaw
to the Deora Krishi Farm (a
site used for a local festival about eight miles away) and
look around for your next clue.
As the two teams and one guide leave, we
rejoin Team Will Race For Food en route to the shrine. Joyce is
SO praying that this ritual isn't head-shaving. Uchenna doesn't
think it is. I mean, who would put the same FAST FORWARD into a
Race that someone else passed up in a previous Race, right? They
reach the right lake... but the wrong temple. It seems there are
temples all AROUND the place. Team Fab Two arrives with their
pine pacyderm and leaves for the farm in third. As Ron & Kelly
pass by the struggling Meredith & Gretchen, Kelly asks the
locals to PLEASE help Meredith push. All three teams are already
oin the road when Team Socially Secure pulls in. Gretchen
regrets ever getting in that elephant.
DEORA KRISHI FARM, OUTSIDE OF JODHPUR, INDIA
There seems to already BE a festival going on (what
timing, eh?) as the ASA arrives. Sure enough they slam into a:
ROAD BLOCK (Who's ready to
steer their team in the right direction?)
member must choose a camel cart and race it two times around
this marked course. When you cross the finish line, the
camel master will give you your next clue.
Once again, the ASA teams leave it to
the ladies to do this ROAD BLOCK. It's a...slow race, to say the
least. The camels ain't being too cooperative. Kell;y's camel
eventually warms up to the lady and kicks it into second.
Amber's camel... not so much. He seems to want to go into
Meanwhile, Team Fab Two and Team Socially Secure both arrive at
the farm. At the ROAD BLOCK, they see what's going on and decide
to let Meredith and Lynn ride them camel carts. It's not exactly
the India-Napolis 500 as the camels spit down the track, but
it's still a tight race for first and third.
Meanwhile, Uchenna & Joyce finally arrive at the right temple...
and Joyce gets the bad news:
It is a custom in India
To express gratitude for
To win the Fast Forward,
Each of you must have
Your head shaved.
Well, Uchenna is pretty well covered, being bald already. But
Joyce, who curses that she KNEW it would come to this,
reluctantly and angrily removes her bandana and prepares for her
Grace Jones treatment. Uchenna does his best to talk her out of
this as she starts to weep and cover her eyes... but once the
first dreadlock is clipped, there was no turning back.
With a vast amount of crying and weeping, each thick strand of
hair is sliced. She tries the "Ponyboy Curtis" encouragement
("Shoot, it's just hair; it'll grow back") and Uchenna kisses
her and greatly apologizes to her for getting her into this
Meanwhile, back at the camel races, Kelly comes down the stretch
to complete her last lap. Amber's camel is getting testy,
Meredith's decides to take a nap and Lynn's is submitting to his
The bulk of the hair gone, Joyce's next step is the razor to get
most of the small clumps off. Uchenna claims that Joyce looks
NICE with a bald head. As the man starts to shave, Joyce picks
up her clump of hair... and starts to laugh and cry at the same
time. What these two former Enron and Worldcom employees won't
do to get the money to have a child.
With a prayer of gratitude for the good fortune of finally
getting ahead in the Race, the task is complete. And their good
fortune and bravery is rewarded with:
FAST FORWARD TO PIT STOP
CONGRATULATIONS! You have won the FAST
FORWARD! You may now bypass all other tasks and proceed
directly to the PIT STOP: Jaswant Thada, a royal tomb
overlooking Jodhpur. WARNING: the last team to check-in may
And DOWN DA STRETCH THEY COME! And Kelly wins it by fifty
lengths. She and Ron now get the last clue of the leg
ROUTE INFO - PIT STOP:
Make your way to the next PIT STOP: Jaswant
Thada, a royal tomb overlooking Jodhpur 6 1/2 miles away.
WARNING: the last team to check-in may be ELIMINATED!
As they pass their ASA alliance-mate, they let Rob know that
the next stop is, in fact, a PIT STOP this time. They hop in a
cab and haul as Rob anxiously waits for Amber. And it would
appear that the camel has finally decided to LISTEN to Amber as
it and the cart come barrelling towards the finish line... but
then stops dead in its tracks a few feet from it! It then turns
around and struts back the way it came! The other teams HAVE to
laugh at this... but, eventually, Amber crosses the line,
letting her and Rob depart in third.
So it's a battle for last between Team Fab Two and Team Socially
Secure. Lynn passes Meredith at the first lap and they stay
close going around the course. Gretchen NOW screams, "We have an
obstinate camel!" (Remind everyone not to help get animals on
THEIR ark if the floods come again.)
But it's Lynn who finishes first... er, fourth and gets the clue
for him & Alex. Meredith isn't TOO far behind, though. It's gone
from a camel race to a taxi race to the shrine. But Team Fab
Two's driver has taken them to the wrong one, one practically on
the opposite side of the city!
Meanwhile, the other three teams continue their run for
Jaswant Thada. But, just as you would pressume with their luck,
Ron & Kelly's cab has to have a "pit stop" of its own, namely
for gas. This allows Rob & Amber to catch up to them... but not
to pass them. But it's Uchenna & Joyce who are confident they'll
be first to...
PIT STOP: JASWANT THADA, JODHPUR, INDIA
Up the steps of the massive tomb to honor Jodhpur royalty march
two bald, black but beautiful people. There to greet them is
Phil again... along WITH the local greeter this time AND the PIT
STOP podium. After the traditional welcome to India, Phil
proclaims Uchenna & Joyce, for the first time in the Race, as
TEAM NUMBER 1! No trip... and no showing of the bald head. Joyce
says the FAST FORWARD was hard for her... but she and Uchenna
applaud her resilience.
Four more bodies arrive at the shrine and find their own routes
to the mat. All four pretty much arrive at the same time... but,
since Ron & Kelly arrived a split-second earlier, they are
proclaimed Team # 2 and Rob & Amber are named Team # 3... and
Sanjay is off the hook at last!
Back on the streets, two auto-rickshaw speed towards the PIT
STOP from different directions. Lynn & Alex just want this leg
over and done with... while Meredith & Gretchen just want one
other team behind them.
As the sun beats down, a couple arrives at the PIT STOP and jogs
over to Phil and the local. And Phil says...
"Meredith & Gretchen,...you're Team Number #4! You're still in
the Amazing Race!" Yes, folks, the old f***s refuse to die!!
And... they set a record. They are the oldest team to ever make
it THIS FAR in an Amazing Race in the show's four years!
And that means that Lynn & Alex are the last team to arrive.
And, unfortunately for them, that means they're "Philiminated".
But, hey, the spokesmen for Queer Eye For the CBS Guy
had a wonder trip... and cry as they share a chaste kiss.