January 06, 2008 09:33 PM by Jennifer_Brown
Don’t expect a lot of excitement tonight. With Ronald trying desperately to improve his gripey manner, Nateifer vowing to stop the hatin’, and TK & Rachel miles behind the other racers, there’s just not much drama to be had.
The teams take off from Pit Stop Bandra Fort, and find that they’ll be flying nearly 4,000 miles to Osaka, Japan for tonight’s leg. TK & Rachel, first to arrive at Bandra, are the first to depart.
This far into the Race, you have to wonder how Gramps is holding up. And it would appear, at least, that grandson Nick is wondering the same thing. Nick’s down to having to carry Gramps’ backpack for him and encourage him every step of the way. “It’s a big responsibility being the leader of a team,” Nick says. “[Donald] continues to push himself and I think he’s done a great job.”
TK & Rachel get a good start — scoring the earliest flight to Osaka. But, it turns out, their flight will have two stops, where the later flight will only have one. The other teams are wondering where TK & Rachel are, and suddenly we’re wondering — will the earlier flight actually arrive in Osaka earlier? Or will those on the later flight find themselves ahead of our fearless flowerchildren?
To TK, the empty airport just doesn’t feel right. “We could be way out in front, we could be dead last. You just never know,” he says. As it turns out, his gut is right. The other teams arrive in Osaka hours before TK & Rachel do.
Upon arriving in Japan, the teams are to head to Kishiwada Castle, and search the grounds for their next clue, which takes them to Noda Station. At Noda Station, they’ll find a cleaning man who has their next clue, a Roadblock.
Just as everyone is musing how crazy the Osaka traffic is, and thanking their lucky stars that they don’t have to drive, they learn that their Roadblock is to don a hat and gloves, and play taxi driver. This is a tough challenge, and it looks like it’s up to the ladies to deliver. Meanwhile, Gramps and Ronald relax with some snacks while their teammates are completely stressed, trying to navigate the busy and confusing streets of Osaka. In the end, however, the only one to really get lost is Nick, giving the girls a good 10-minute head start on the next clue, which is to take a taxi to Kita-Mido Temple.
The clue found at the temple is a Detour: Sense of Touch or Sense of Smell. In Sense of Touch, Racers must play a game of robot soccer using cell phones to issue commands to their robots. Each team member must score a point in order to receive their next clue. In Sense of Smell, the players must use their noses only to find a real flower among thousands of fakes in a local flower shop.
After the Detour, the teams are instructed to race to Tempozan Park, their Pit Stop for this leg of the Race.
It’s neck-and-neck between Nateifer and Ron & Christina, but since TK & Rachel still have yet to even land in Osaka, and since neither of the teams racing to hit the mat first have done much to make fans root for them (except for maybe Christina, who it might be good to see win just to spite her dad), there’s not a lot of drama to it.
In the end, it boils down to Christina’s familiarity with Japan (she admits she studied in Japan for several months and knows the language) that gives them the leading edge. The teams come across the mat in the following order:
1st: Ron & Christina, who each win an electric vehicle. Christina gives Ron credit for their coming in first, since he didn’t lose his temper even once all day (if you don’t count him going on and on…and on…and…on…about “paying good money and still having to walk” at the airport.)
2nd: Nateifer. Nate says, “We want it so bad!” Jennifer says, “It is on!” Nate adds, “The best team is going to come in last, and that’s us.” (…uh…Huh?!)
3rd: Nick & Gramps, who, like always, fist-five.
4th: TK & Rachel, who, though they were so far behind and knew it, had a blast on this leg. “We didn’t join the Race to have a miserable time at any point,” TK says.
Wait a minute! Phil springs it on them that this is another Non-Elimination round and they’re still in the Race. Problem is, of course, there will be a Speed Bump ahead. That, combined with the fact that they’re already 3 hours behind the other teams, could make for a pretty nail-biting episode next week.
“We’re definitely going to try our damnedest to catch up to the other teams and beat them,” TK promises.
Next on Amazing Race 12:
It’s all about who will make the final 3, and the game is ON!
Photo Courtesy: CBS