March 17, 2013 10:53 PM by Stephanie Gustafson
This season of The Amazing Race is just full of surprises! Last week, the big shocker occurred when former front runners John and Jessica were eliminated…with an Express Pass in hand, no less! Front runner status now goes to cancer survivor Dave and Connor. But with a torn achilles, will the fan fave team manage to maintain their lead?
The next leg of the race begins with a 2,000 mile flight to Vietnam. Dave and Connor are in the lead, but since Dave needs surgery on his leg soon, their ability to remain in the race is compromised. It’s looking like they’re just going to fly to Hanoi and be eliminated there. Pam and Winnie are okay with that
The three-way alliance between Team JJ (Jessica and John), roller derby moms Mona and Beth, and YouTube hosts Joey and Meghan has been broken up by JJ’s elimination, so the two remaining alliance teams are left feeling a bit vulnerable. Of course, nobody actually knows that JJ are out of the race, but Mona, Beth, Joey and Meghan suspect that they’re out.
A new alliance is forming between newlyweds Max and Katie and best buddies Pam and Winnie. Unfortunately, upon their arrival in Hanoi, these two teams learn that the gallery where they are supposed to receive their next clue is still closed. This leaves plenty of time for the other teams to catch up. And when they do catch up, there’s quite a bit of drama. First off, Pam and Winnie fail to inform the others that Dave and Connor are out of the race. They all think that the father-son duo is seeing a doctor and then trying to catch up. Pam and Winnie hope that this will lull the others into a false sense of security.
But this drama is nothing compared what happens next. Max and Katie start bashing Jessica and John for being stupid enough to be eliminated with an Express Pass. Obviously, former alliance members Mona, Beth, Joey and Meghan are very unhappy with this development. But the rest of the teams still hold some resentment for Team JJ and their Express Pass maneuvering…and thus also resent anyone who decided to become their minions. So, it looks like either Team Roller Derby or Team YouTube is going to be a target when the dreaded U-Turn arrives.
And now there’s the tearjerker moment. Dave and Connor decide to call it quits, because Dave really needs surgery and it’s going to require a fair amount of recovery time. Dave feels bad but his son assures him that he’d rather race with dad and be eliminated than race with someone else and win one million bucks. Wow, I’m really gonna miss these guys. I’m so bummed that they had to disqualify themselves, but I hope that Dave is able to achieve a quick recovery.
Next, everyone has to watch what Winnie christens the One Direction of Vietnam. It’s a presentation by the communist Party of Vietnam and the racers are expected to memorize a quote at the end of the presentation and then find it on a poster. This is no easy task, because there are tons of Vietnamese quotes on a massive collection of posters. Pam and Winnie have the advantage here, as Pam has experience in graphic design. Several other teams follow in quick succession, but Mona and Beth fall behind and Joey and Meghan decide to stick by their friends. But they soon pass up a few teams that are mired in a challenge that involves correctly performing a bamboo dance. Chuck and Wynona and Caroline and Jennifer all appear to have terrible coordination, because they get stuck performing the bamboo dance several times.
Pam and Winnie arrive at the detour still in first place. This time, it’s Make Your Move or Make Your Meal. In Make Your Meal, teams need to create Vietnamese national dish. But this is a complicated process that involves trekking through Hanoi to find ingredients and then preparing them to the satisfaction of a fussy chef. Make Your Move reminds me a bit of the first Harry Potter, because it involves a human chess game. Pam and Winnie are convinced they can ace Make Your Move, but it proves more complicated than they initially expected. But they fix their mistake and head for the B-52 Memorial, the location of the next clue. On their wait, they pass the remaining members of the JJ alliance. Meghan’s reaction to Pam and Winnie’s departure? “Oh crap.”
Make Your Meal is pretty tough too, because there’s a huge language barrier. In order to succeed at this one, it’s absolutely necessary to find an English speaker. But there aren’t many of those at the market. And then of course, Chuck and Wynona are as oblivious as ever, managing to get lost.
Pam and Winnie are the first team to the U-Turn. They stick to the original plan and choose Meghan and Joey. And instead of feeling bad for carrying out the U-Turn as so many teams in previous seasons have, they look incredibly smug…and laugh that the YouTube hosts are no longer on their tail. I’m starting to be a little annoyed by these ladies — I understand that JJ was annoying, but Meghan and Joey aren’t that bad and they don’t deserve to be mocked. After screwing over Team YouTube, Pam and Winnie arrive at the pit stop in first place.
It looks like Mona and Beth are going to miss out on the U-Turn, because Chuck and Wynona are given the lovely gift of a U-Turn. I think things are looking much better for Team YouTube now, because Chuck and Wynona are pretty far behind. Joey and Meghan don’t realize yet that Chuck and Wynona have also been U-Turned, so they’re still pretty worried about elimination.
Max and Katie come in second and Mona and Beth are third. Max and Katie look less than pleased to see the roller derby moms. Hockey players Bates and Anthony arrive in fourth place, much to their surprise. Despite massive difficulties with the human chess, Caroline and Jennifer arrive in fifth place. This leaves Joey, Meghan, Chuck and Wynona. Team YouTube is able to overtake Chuck and Wynona during the Make Your Meal challenge, ultimately coming in sixth. But fortunately for Chuck and Wynona, Dave and Connor are out of the race…so, despite arriving last, they’re still in the running. The two vow to stop bickering and work as a team from now on.
With Joey and Meghan out for revenge and plenty of tension among the rest of the teams, next week promises to be a drama-filled episode! Stay tuned!
Photo Credit: CBS