Anyway, to the episode. Teams leave Phuket for Bangkok and not surprising all the teams, save for New Kids, are on the first flight out. That pretty takes a lot of drama out of the episode when you know who's going to be eliminated in the first few minutes. Too bad, too. I kind of liked these guys, especially Jonathan. For a dude who was in one of the biggest boy bands of the 80s/90s, selling over 80 million records or more, he's pretty down to earth. But that's how the race works.
To add tension to the episode, the producers focus a lot on the tension between certain couples. Especially between the Doc and Nurse, and the two Lawyers. The Doc and Nurse already had tension from the get go, remember his body language when he first met her and how he didn't help her through the obstacle course? So that's an easy way to go. And then the Lawyers start to show cracks in their budding relationship. They argue and bicker throughout this episode. But since they didn't do as well as usual, they might realize that good communication is the way to succeed on the race. Although Doc and Nurse bicker but still finish solidly each leg.
Note how I don't mention individual names. That's because I don't recall any of the names. None of the teams really stand out for me personality-wise. There is no team I'm cheering for, no team I'm hating. I'm slightly disappointed at the ending of this episode but not that much. There are also times when I'm seeing teams and I'm asking myself: who are they? The Olympians? The Hairdressers? JJ? Maybe it's just me, I don't know.
The best part of the episode for me was the location itself. I've been to Bangkok before and visited many of the places where the teams went. Some nice memories. And oh yeah, the traffic and the chaos is insane. Bangkok is a huge city, millions upon millions of people all trying to live their lives and get places. If you're not used to it, it can be overwhelming. It sure as hell is a heck of a place to visit. First clue is to find a temple (lots of temples in Bangkok) and at the temple, it's a Detour: Water or Wheel. In Water, teams have to take a long boat to another place, hitting two spots on the way, do something and move on. In Wheels, teams have to take a tuk-tuk to the place, hitting two different spots on the way, do two different things and move on.
Water is the smart first choice. Not only is there no traffic, it's a nice way to see the city. Relaxing and soothing, however keep your mouth closed as another boat passes you buy. That river water ain't so clean and you could get sick if you accidentally swallow too much. Unfortunately there are only five boats, once they are gone, you have to ride the tuk-tuks. Which is also fun but traffic can back up without warning. And the fumes are terrible.
Pretty soon all the long boats are gone and teams are forced hit the road. There is bickering and complaining which gets kind of annoying after awhile. This dating couple dynamic is very limiting in that way and while some people like that kind of stuff, it tires me quickly. "Ohhh, grumpy Wayne. He no like this season of TAR that much." First task in Water is to eat an egg. Really? An egg? Okay, it's a thousand year old egg, but I've had some of those, it's not so bad. Actually the worse part of that task would be getting through that market. We visited that same place and yes there is a lot of raw meat hanging out in the heat. The smell can be terrible. But the egg, not so bad. Some teams struggle, some eat eggs from the wrong vendor, some just get on with it.
First task for Wheels is sink one ball in a game of snooker. Again, that's it? Really? That's all? Shoot correctly and you could get one in on the break. If not, in the next couple or so. Again, some teams struggle, some don't. I know Gord and I wouldn't struggle with this one. Or the egg. Teams get a bottle of milk with their clue on the label.
Moving on. Next step in the Water side is to follow the instructions from an attendant at a temple to light a candle, etc. etc. etc. Not a very hard task at hall, especially since you just do what that person tells you to do. It takes time but that's only because you're not supposed to rush this kind of thing. It's nice and peaceful but in the end, it's just a time filler, designed to slow teams down on purpose rather than having them slow themselves down by screwing something up. There is no skill at all involved in this. When they get done, they are told to head to some kind of auto shop. No team struggles with this part.
Part 2 of Wheels is, wait for it, using your bottle of milk and feed some cats at a cat cafe. Now that is probably one of the most pathetic Amazing Race tasks ever. Feed a cat. I do that three times a day and even if you don't do it on a regular basis, it's quite easy, even for those afraid or allergic to cats as a couple of team members.mAgain, no team struggles with this.
So let's recap, the detour tasks were: 1. Eat an egg, do a blessing at a temple, and; 2. Sink one ball on a snooker table and feed a cat. No wonder Wayne so grumpy no like this season. Maybe the Roadblock is better. It is but not by much. You have to remove the transmission from an engine to find a screwdriver left inside by some apprentice mechanic. Sure, this might take time but it's just undo some bolts and take the transmission off. I'm no mechanic but I could do that. And why doesn't the apprentice do it himself since it was his screw-up up in the first place.?Anyway, some teams struggle while others don't. They have to go to the Metal Castle which is another name for a big temple. I'm getting bored. Although I went to that temple and it was very, very nice.
To wrap up, cause I'm tired and all, teams race to the pitstop, one team I don't know who they are, think they will arrive first but get lost with their cab. So Bergen and Kurt arrive first and get a trip for two to Mexico. Hopefully there they can find their soulmates there cause they are both in friendster territory on this race. Other teams come in later. There is some excitement as the Lawyers and another generic team decide to walk together to the Metal Castle. But since the Lawyers know what the Metal Castle is and the other team doesn't, the female side of the Lawyers convinces her partner to jump in a tuk-tuk to get ahead. Not sure if it's a smart move or not. She had a point of saying there is no way they would have won a foot race. But he had a point saying that they now made an enemy. But they were both at the back and I don't think anyone knew that New Kids were not eliminated. As far as they were concerned, they were the last two teams. So it might have been the move to make with the info they had.
As yes, New Kids are out and the episode is over. Despite my grumpiness, it wasn't all bad. I enjoyed revisiting Bangkok and some of the scenes were okay, esp. Rochelle kicking ass on the transmission task and Lawyers jumping on the tuk-tuk to leave the other team in the dust. But the tasks were weak and I haven't connected with any teams yet. Maybe the Lawyers, I don't know.
Not sure if there is an episode next week, something about US college Basketball. If there is one, I'll see you then. If not, I'll see you later. I'll try to be less grumpy, but it's hard sometimes.