Fortunately, the episode starts well by leaving Guangzhou, China, heading to Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, the eponymous location in this episode's title: Welcome to the Jungle. Once they touch down in Malaysia, they have to head to the Kionsom Waterfall. Brendon and Rachel are out first, followed quickly by a whole bunch of teams. As you remember, in the previous episode, a record 7 teams were on the mat at the same time, confusing the normal unflappable Phil. And as the clue stated, only two flights were available with only six teams on the first flight and a three hour time difference between the flights. Totally fun times cause you got only six minutes between the first six teams leaving the pitstop. Then you got the Afghanimals coming eight minutes after that. Oh yeah, there seems to be a traffic jam. Or maybe just for Brendon and Rachel. Cause Dave and Connor, who left fourth are first to the airport. Margie and Luke are next and it's nice to see the old folks bonding about their ages. Go old folks.
Jessica and John leave the pitstop 13 minutes after the Afghanimals and I really haven't seen John act too cocky in this race. Maybe it's the editing and the cockiness will come later one. Or maybe he was humbled by the Express Pass Incident. The Youtubers are the final team out, barely 27 minutes after the first team. No doubt one of the tightest pitstop starts ever. This is exciting. Unfortunately, this "who's-gonna-be-on-the-first-flight" is the high point of the episode cause about halfway through, we're pretty sure who's gonna be eliminated.
The Cowboys are next to arrive at the airport, followed by the Globetrotters, the Country Singers. Brendon and Rachel are still stuck in traffic. Obviously more of a cab issue than a traffic one for them, cause the Afghanimals come from behind and are the sixth and final team on the first flight. Big Brother's cabbie must have taken the scenic route through Busytown for them to fall so far behind. That's gonna hurt. Surprisingly, no tears from Rachel.
And the final three teams bond over being in the final pack, praying the lead flight will be delayed. Not out of the realm of possibilities; it has happened before. And they form some kind of alliance, hoping for a Final Three. Or something else. Might as well be positive at that point cause stressing will only slow ya down. But no, the first flight seems to be on time, or at the very least, arrives ahead of the second. The six teams scramble out of customs looking for a cab. Dave and Connor are first to the waterfall and smartly ask their cab to wait. It's a Roadblock. Teams must rappel down the falls carrying the pottery replication of a sponsor's mascot in order to find their clue. Dave, the older guy, takes it on. WTF Connor? You send your old man, who tore his ACL in your last race, down a 10 storey waterfall while he has to carry some ceramic corporate dwarf? Thanks a lot, son.
But Dave equates himself well, even though his son shouts out unhelpful remarks. Jamal joins in just as Dave gets the clue. Get to Kampung Tompinahaton and follow the marked path. So the boys head out and the Cowboys get in. Margie and Luke get there. Luke is the good son and does the task instead of sending his mother onto the water. Unfortunately, Cord is looking the wrong way and misses the clue. Also, he's wearing jeans and as Jet tells Margie, those things will weigh bout 50 pounds once they're soak. Don't understand why you wear those damn things then? Sure, you're a Cowboy and you have an image to uphold but come on, gotta play smart. And Cord's got to go back.
The Globetrotters arrive and though Big Easy wants to do the task, he's too big at 6'9" 250 pounds. Which would mean I would have to brave the waterfall since Gord is at least 6'7" and around 240. Little guys always gotta work harder. So it's Flight Time down the falls, although not before Luke gets the clue and Cord goes around for a second time. But everyone gets done pretty well. Even Jenn does a great job.
Meanwhile, the remaining three teams are flying out, all keen on working together. Which is nice and all, although if we were in that position, Gord and I would be friendly and helpful, but only to a point. Surprising that the Youtubers want to be part of this helpful alliance considering that their help to Jessica and John last time was the reason they came in second last. Helping a team is good but the point of Amazing Race — save for the last leg — is not to finish last. Which is working for the Youtubers, but you still hope for better.
Anyway, Dave and Connor are way ahead finding the Detour: River Delivery or Run Through the Jungle. In both tasks, teams gotta build a raft and then take it through some rapids to the Detour of their choice. In River D, they have to deliver and bunch of goods to a village chieftain and then travel further down the river. In Run, they have to join a hunting safari and using a blow pipe, each team member must hit a fake bird. What, no gnome? Aww, too bad. And then return to their raft. Hmmm, tough choice. Maybe just delivery cause since both teams have to build rafts, there's no real skill involved in delivering stuff. All you do is carry it.
Dave and Connor take Delivery but bicker a bit over building the raft as the Afghanimals arrive. But Jamal almost takes Leo head off ala the Three Stooges. A sign of fun things to come? Margie and Luke also show up and take on delivery. Despite the quick bicker, Dave and Connor navigate the river very well. Looks like fun. Did a similar thing in Thailand years ago. Didn't have to build a raft but did travel down a river in the same kind of thing. The Cowboys show up and start their raft with confidence. Leo and Jamal are soon on the river. Not so fast for Margie and Luke. Their raft keeps falling apart. So the Cowboys pass them and go.
And though Margie and Luke get on the raft, they can't see each other, so can't communicate. They spin around although it's seems if you just ride the river, it will take you where you need to go. The Country Singers arrive and take on the Run in the Jungle. The cab driving the Globetrotters blows past the entrance road but it's not big deal. Although they probably spent more time dancing with the local colour than they did in the cab turn around. But they're Globetrotters, their job is to have fun and make connections with people. They also got three teams three hours behind them.
Back on the river, Dave and Connor make a critical yet silly mistake: THEY DON'T READ THE CLUE. Why do teams continue to do this? Especially experienced teams in Season 24. If you're unsure of what you're supposed to do, get out the clue and read. Who cares if you're on a river. READ THE DAMN CLUE. Just like the Afghanimals did. They actually pulled it out, read it and knew where they were supposed to go. So instead of stopping to deliver their goods, Dave and Connor continue down the river while the Afghanimals move ahead.
As the boys head back to the river, the Cowboys show up. Jet and Cord are a bit confused. Again, let me make this clear if I haven't before: READ THE CLUE! So the Cowboys do the smart thing and ask the Afghanimals? Holy smokes, did those guys not see last season? You don't ask the Afghanimals for help. Leo and Jamal have a history of...misleading other teams. Even though, the Afghanimals don't lie — they claim they won't be sneaky and manipulative this season (oh man that's disappointing) — I still wouldn't trust them. I would READ MY DAMN CLUE. But the Cowboys deliver their stuff while Dave and Connor are way past their point running some rapids. Guess it's hunting time for them. But do they have to go back? Can they just switch tasks and do the hunting? Nope, seems like they have to walk back. Ouch.
Back to the airport and the Final Three Alliance jump into cabs. "We gotta get ahead of those guys," someone shouts. Yeah, guess we're all in this thing together until we're all not in this thing together. After that quick shot we see the Afghanimals getting cut on some bank in the middle of the rapids. Not a good place to be. And then they fall in, hanging on the raft. Meanwhile, Jet and Cord come by, say hi and move on. See Afghanimals, no sense in playing nice.
Finally, Margie and Luke deliver to the village. The Country Singers get stuck on some rocks and Jenn's finger almost gets squashed. The Globetrotters hit some rocks. Good thing they're tall. Jessica and John, Big Brother and YouTubers arrive at the falls. Unfortunately, the Youtubers forget to ask their cab to stay. Another basic but avoidable mistake. Sigh. Moving on.
Dave and Connor make it to the village after walking back with their delivery. And now they have to walk back to their raft. The Country Singers get to the hunting area same time as the Globetrotters. And they still gotta carry that damn crappy piece of pottery. But Jenn hits the bird on the first try. She's a professional singer so no doubt she's got a nice set of lungs. And they name drop her celebrity connection: her grandpa John Wayne. But Caroline misses. Flight Time hits his, first try.
Oddly, Dave and Connor get back to their raft and get their clue. They're in the lead!? Oh well, never mind about all the clue reading business. And they're pitstop bound to the Tanjun Aru Water Village. Jet and Cord are right behind them with Leo and Jamal crawling onshore. At the Waterfall Jessica gets the clue pretty quick and jump in their cab. Rachel doesn't want to get her pretty short wet so she does the Roadblock in her underwear. Why bring clothes that aren't useful, isn't that backpack heavy enough for stuff that's unnecessary? But after one quick flash of her unmentionables, they're off in their cab. Joey finishes up, flashes no one, but they have no cab. And there's no taxi service nearby. So they have to walk to find a cab. Guess who's going to Elimination Station.
Back on the river, Margie and Luke get caught up in some rapids, and their raft falls apart. But they use Margie's shirt to tie it back on. Now that's useful clothing! Three teams race to the pitstop. Dave and Connor see Phil and make it to the mat first. And they win a trip to Budapest. Still, they got lucky. You gotta read your clue. Jet and Cord are next, followed directly by the Afghanimals. Top three teams are in while the Youtubers are searching for a cab. Finally, they get to a house and get someone to call a cab for them. And Margie and Luke make it to the end of the rapids. Caroline keeps blowing it but Big Easy gets his. And then they dance. Hopefully not too much. And finally Caroline hits the bird as the first two of the final three get to the Detour.
Big Brother and Jessica and John choose Run. But John builds a really crappy raft and tells Jessica he's got it right. Again, did I speak too soon. Will the cockiness returns? Nevertheless, they're originally from Minnesota and everyone canoes there, right? Just like us Canadians, eh? So they do well down the river. Margie and Luke hit that mat as Team 4. Big Brother make more disparaging comments about J and J's raft but then they hit some rapids and their raft falls apart. Okay, now the tears come. Just as the Youtubers build the rafts. The Globetrotters are Team 5. Country Singers are Team 6. And you know, I've been hard on them but they did very well this episode.
But J and J seem to be working together, no cockiness and they shoot the birds relatively quick. John even gives Jessica credit when she hits the bird first. Meanwhile, Big Brother, praying for help, hit some bigger rapids. Brendon falls in while Rachel gets caught up on some rocks. She then falls in and they lose the raft. But Brendon dives, swims across the river, gets some wood and swims back. She calls him her hero and rightly so; he is the strong one on this team.
And he gets the first bird while she seems to miss a few, but only after a bit. Jessica and John arrive 7th on the mat. Big Brother finally make it as Team 8. A shot of the Youtubers
hunting with talk of TAR being a dream. You know an episode isn't that exciting when you get the montage of a team saying goodbye. Didn't expect them to do that well, they were always at the back of the pack and rightly so. Too many mistakes, small and large. And letting your cab leave is a large one. Back to Youtube for you.
Next episode teams remain in Malaysia but it's a pretty big country so it could still be interesting. Seems like Margie clamps down on Luke's bad behaviour. Look for Gord and me for our video recap, probably in a couple of days.