Racer Reports

Racer Report - Episode Six

At least these two teams competed and did not deliberately settle for a tie.
Team: David and Jeff
What a surprise! A first place for David and Jeff without the Fast Forward! And an impromptu foot race against Reichen and Chip yields this team a cruise to Alaska for them "to enjoy after the Race." (tm Phil).

The editing in an early leg left the viewer with an impression that these two teams, which had formed an early alliance, had totally gone their separate ways after the fiacre incident in Vienna. Now, I'm not so sure. At the beginning of the episode, all the remaining teams are shown eating together and David and Jeff are seated next to Reichen and Chip. The two teams are not shown working together as far as travel from Amsterdam to Mumbai, and with the tasks in Mumbai (with one exception we'll get to in a minute), but there is a distinct impression of camaraderie between these two teams that came through the editing this week. David and Jeff were almost always within a few minutes of Reichen and Chip once teams arrived at the Bollywood Film City gate in Mumbai all the way to the pit stop at the Gateway to India. But we're getting ahead of ourselves.

They left the Amsterdam pit stop in the pre-dawn rain. When they get into the taxi, Jeff is shown borrowing the driver's cell phone to call for reservation information on flights to Mumbai. When they get to the airport, they are shown jousting with Jon and Al about the flight. In the end, however, David and Jeff take the KLM direct flight to Mumbai, although the flight departed Amsterdam three hours later than the connecting flight chosen by Reichen and Chip, and arrived an hour later. They must have had a hold up or a bad driver on their way to Bollywood, as several of the other teams on their flight beat them to the gate. But the next morning, on bicycles, David and Jeff are the first team to arrive at Studio 10 and retrieve the detour clue. They chose to do the suds option, but as did a number of the teams, chose to walk a distance before catching buses and then the train. Reichen and Chip arrive to the suds detour first, but David and Jeff are among the teams that follow. After Reichen and Chip, David and Jeff are the first team to complete the detour. The Pectoral Alliance arrives together at the Sassoon Docks for the roadblock. Chip and Jeff, who do the roadblock for their teams, decided to work together to find the fish vendor that has the fish they are looking for to complete the task. Not only do they work together apparently to find the vendor, they more or less sort of wait for each other to load the fish and Jeff is shown closely following Chip walking back to where Reichen and David are waiting. Both teams promptly get their clue, and they seem to agree to an informal race to the pit stop after Chip is shown given both David and Jeff a hug. (Sounds like to me these two teams are in fact getting along.)

It seems that the difference in the placement of these two teams at the Amazing Bathmat was the fact that David and Jeff got their cab a few moments before Reichen and Chip and paid their driver 100 extra to get ahead of the other cab on the way to the Gateway to India. So, they just beat out Reichen and Chip for the cruise. At least these two teams competed and did not deliberately settle for a tie.

As to personalities, it’s become clear that these two guys are as laid-back and competitive a team since season one's Rob and Brennan. In fact, David and Jeff may be the most-laid back pair of surfer dudes to ever compete on The Amazing Race.
–– by theschnauzers


Team: Jon and Al
Jon and Al start this week in second place, behind the Virgins. I’m still ticked about that. Jon and Al deserved first. They mug about going to India, and mug some more when they get to the airport and find their Virgin buddies. However, they do make a good comment about their racing style, and that is that they’re always pushing, no matter how tough it gets. That’s what gets you to the final three! Along with most teams, they decide to take the direct flight from Amsterdam to India. Since they’ve got some time to kill in the airport, they spend the rest of their time clowning around making jokes about the other teams as they come in. I like their jokes about how the Chipsters are looking very stressed out as they decide what to do about their flight.

They seem to make it through the Mumbai airport before the other teams on their flight and, after entertaining the other taxi drivers with a little nose balancing, they are off to Bollywood. They are the second to arrive, after Reichen and Chip. They have a nice moment with Millie while waiting for the task to begin in the morning where they discuss their surroundings and how it makes them realize how lucky they are. I think Jon and Al will be good at dealing with India.

They are off quickly on the bikes, and when they get the detour clue they are one of the only ones to pick the ‘Duds’ option of the detour. It does seem like something they’d be well suited to doing, thanks to their ability to relate to people. I’m not sure they’ve tried this talent out in India before though. And they’re no Kevin and Drew. I start humming ‘Send in the Clowns’ at this point. I knew mj wouldn’t be happy if his team was Philiminated while I was babysitting, so I hoped their plan wouldn’t backfire. Unfortunately, they follow a number of the other teams that are heading off running without bothering to ask where they need to go. Finally they find a bus to take them into Mumbai and the trains. They do a bit more clowning around at the train station, but, as Al said, it was a ‘tough crowd’. I’ve never been fond of entertainers during my morning commute either. It was very hard to find the saree shop, as the clue described, but the Clowns managed to get some help from the locals. It doesn’t seem like they took too long to find the saree with the clue printed on it, and they are told it’s only about a 15 minute drive to the next task at Sasoon docks. So, there was an advantage to Duds.
‘Rapidito doesn’t mean fast in every language you know!’ Honestly? I don’t think it means fast in ANY language, but thanks for finally pointing that out!
At the docks Jon grabs some of the wrong kind of fish, but quickly straightens that out and we have yet another taxi and footrace to the pit stop between the Clowns and Tangerine. Al tells the driver, ‘Rapidito’ leading to the best line of the episode from Jon: ‘Rapidito doesn’t mean fast in every language you know!’ Honestly? I don’t think it means fast in ANY language, but thanks for finally pointing that out! Best line of the entire episode, right there. If TARflies had their way, that would have been the title quote for this episode. Tian and Jaree make it to the pit stop just ahead of the Clowns, mostly because they dropped their packs so they could run faster. They’re thrilled they’re in 6th and not 7th! And they’re smart enough to know that the race is about not coming in last. Good luck next week Clowns!
–– by Devajd for MJMarble


Team: Kelly and Jon
They depart the pit stop at 3:34 a.m. and take the flight that everyone else (save Chip and Reichen) is taking. Kelly says ”We’re with the pack. That’s all that matters and we’re going somewhere hot!”. She says the ‘h’ with a little hiss to it. The way she says it implies that she’s glad… GLAD!... they are going somewhere hot. I don’t get that at all. Unless we’re talking tropical hot, with trade breezes and low humidity, you may as well drop me in that vat of molten metal at the end of Terminator 2.
She doesn’t say that last part but you don’t give the first skater a 6 when there are so many more to come.
Upon entering the taxi in Mumbai, Kelly says ”This is my worst nightmare right here. This is my worst nightmare.” ”Getting groped on a hot smelly train would be preferable to this.” She doesn’t say that last part but you don’t give the first skater a 6 when there are so many more to come. Jon says ”We ain’t in Jersey anymore, Kel” and Kelly answers ”No. We aren’t in Texas either.” I can’t compare because I’ve never been to Texas.

They run a pretty efficient race, staying in the middle of the pack the entire time. They have no problems on the bikes, while others do. They get to the train and, faced with the mass of humanity and the confusion, let the first train go. Kelly says ”We can’t fit! Are you kidding me??” Finally they figure out that you just have to push your way on and immediately after getting on the train, Kelly say ”Someone just grabbed my butt.” She then reiterates her distress by saying ”Oh my god, this is my nightmare. This is my nightmare.” The experience in the train does indeed look like a nightmare. I know some handle certain things better than others, but that would have freaked me out. Add to that the heat and humidity, and I’d either be crying incoherently or beating innocent bystanders to death with my headlamp. Kelly panics a little and insists she’s getting off the train, she’s getting squished and she again wants off the train. The weird thing is that Kelly put her backpack on in front in anticipation of getting on the train, but in the shot of her actually stepping aboard, it’s once again on her back. Right before they get off the train the sound editors replay her ohmygodmynightmare comment. It’s the same exact comment. We get it. Nightmare. There is a sweet moment when Jon takes her hand and tells her ”good job baby”. She says ”that was awful”. In a VO he gives her a lot of credit for bouncing back from that ordeal.

At the suds detour they are hilarious. She does her Lucy Ewwwww (tm somebody really astute) again as she looks at the filthy clothes. A guy beside her is washing his clothes a bit too enthusiastically and flings the dirty water all over Kelly. She is indignant, but in a comical way. She says ”He just threw it in my mouth. Now I’m gonna get diarrhea.” Very funny.

As Jon is complaining that the bus to the roadblock might not have been the best decision, Kelly says ”The bus is much better than the train” and she says ”train” with a grimace as though mentioning the word train will forever involve a grimace, even if it’s a private coach on a luxury train. Jon does the smelly fishy roadblock and Kelly says ”Oh my god, that’s so disgusting. Is that fish juice running down your front?”

They come in 3rd again and Jon says ”Gimme a big hug Phil”. Hee. Monica and Sharee are eliminated. Sniff. [Lucy] Waaaaaaaaaaaaaah [/Lucy]
–– by emjaytee


Team: Millie and Chuck
Mille and Chuck were the first team to depart from this week’s PitStop castle (yup, another castle) and they were over three hours ahead of the last–place team. Not surprisingly, airport bunching and an intercontinental flight eliminated their lead. Millie and Chuck appeared to have called ahead for a cab, and en route to the airport they borrowed the cab driver’s cell phone to check on flight times. There weren’t many flight options available, however, and all seven teams ended up bunched at the Schiphol airport. Millie and Chuck were among the six teams that chose the direct KLM flight to Mumbai, and I felt that this was the better choice. Since both flights arrived late at night, I suspected that Hours Of Operation Bunching would play a role, and a direct flight would thus be less risky than a connecting flight. All seven teams arrived in Bombay late at night, and it was interesting to note that there were still many people out and about and that many of the shops appeared to still be open.

Upon arrival at the film studio, teams learned that (as anyone who has watched this show could have predicted) they would have to wait until the next morning to complete the next task. The teams decided to do what Millie described as “a campout thing in India” and huddled together on the ground at the studio entrance. The next morning, as teams were preparing for the day, Millie was visibly affected by the living conditions of the local people, commenting that there were “a lot of people living in really hard situations all around us” and she noticed “kids coming out of paper shanties to go to school.” I was impressed that she took the time to notice the conditions and to think about the lives of the local people, as opposed to some other teams who were most concerned with how the local conditions impacted their own lives (with comments along the lines of ‘I don’t like this train’ and ‘Oh no, I got dirt on me’). Millie even suggested that if she won the TAR prize money, she’d “love to come back to a place like this and help those kids,” and I appreciated that she took a few moments to think about how she could make a difference.
In this leg, we were able to see Chuck standing up for his positions and matching Millie’s impatience more than we’d seen previously.
After grabbing the next clue at the film studio, Millie and Chuck again asked local people for help in finding the train station. I have noticed that they often ask locals for help and I appreciate that they take the time to say thank you to local bystanders, cab drivers, ticket agents, etc. At the train station, Millie joined the crowd pushing onto the train and became stuck inside, and so Chuck was hanging out the door to make it onto the same train. They were both in a bit of a rush at the Suds detour, and as usual Millie tried to tell Chuck what to do, and then complained that he didn’t listen when he wouldn’t comply with her orders. Chuck replied by asking her to “please be quiet,” and in a voiceover he commented that in a competition, it was not uncommon for them to butt heads. He stated that they were both confident in what they believed, and neither would just give in. In this leg, we were able to see Chuck standing up for his positions and matching Millie’s impatience more than we’d seen previously.

They did eventually find the next clue printed on a saree (which I’ve always heard pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable, sorry Phil!) and caught a cab to the fish market Roadblock, which Chuck immediately volunteered to complete. Chuck had a bit of trouble identifying Palai fish and had to make a second trip into the market, where the local people seemed to enjoy watching a bunch of foreigners run around with leaking baskets of fish on their heads (I always enjoy seeing the locals’ reactions to TAR tasks). Millie dealt with this delay better than the race car delay, encouraging Chuck and congratulating him when he returned with the second basket of the correct fish. They then caught a cab to the Gateway of India, where they were the fourth team to check in at the PitStop for this leg of the race. Next week, Kelly and Jon the fat–phobe show off the cruel–name–calling skills they honed in the sixth grade by mocking Millie’s mole. As I’ve said in the past, If I had to choose, I’d choose Millie’s mix of impatience and compassion over Kelly’s cruelty and whining any day, and part of me would rather enjoy seeing Kelly face–first in the mud at the task we saw in the preview.
–– by Kanuck


Team: Monica and Sheree
Well, week 5 started off looking like it was going to be another good week for the ladies. They had a decent starting position, but from the beginning things didn't seem to go their way. Whether or not it was actually the case, the editing made it appear as if several of the teams that left after them managed to beat the Supremes to the airport. Fortunately, the god of bunching was on their side and the ladies were clearly in the chase. Although they were given the info on the connecting flight by Reichen and Chip, they opted for the more conservative approach and took the direct flight that placed them firmly in the pack.

By the time the ladies reached Mumbai, they appeared to have their racing legs back. They made quick work of getting out of the airport and into a cab, and found themselves at Film City still being smiled upon by the bunching gods. The next day however the gods of bunching not only took a bath, clearly they brought the MP3 player and the relaxing aromatherapy bubble bath along as well because not one of the Supremes’ prayers was answered.

They struggled on the bike ride to detour, where Sheree seemed to have a problem keeping up. After falling deep into the pack, they left the detour on foot and it just went downhill from there. They never seemed to make it onto a bus in Film City, but instead it appeared that they wandered out into Mumbai again before catching the bus to take them to the train station. This error was fatal. Although they seemed to run a good race, this mistake just seemed to drain the energy out of these two ladies. This was compounded by their inability to find the clue on the first go-round of Suds and Duds.

In the end, the ladies did not appear to be very far behind the fifth and sixth place finishers, India once again had her way with the racers. However, this time around she took her victims not with a bang, but with a whimper (and I for one thank God as I still can remember Karin and Lenny's melt down in India from season 1). Goodbye Supremes. I, for one, will be sorry to see you go. You ran a damn good race, so enjoy sequesterville!!!
–– by RLB


Reichen & Chip − The Chipsters
Chip reads the clue as they leave at 4:26 a.m. They head directly for the airport after briefly debating taking the train. There are several other teams ahead of them, who have all decided to take a direct flight out of Amsterdam at 10:30. The Chipsters are the only ones who consider an earlier flight that connects through Milan. With 90 minutes to make the connection, plus the fact that Milan is closer to India than Amsterdam, I don’t see why the others were so hesitant. After careful consideration, the Chipsters take off at 7a.m. for Milan and arrive in India at 11 p.m., before the rest of the teams.

The most human moment so far for this team comes on their ride to Bollywood when Reichen gets his first view of Mumbai. It makes him very emotional - which I think is how a lot of people would be affected by seeing something so different from what they are used to. He’s right, you can’t be prepared for it. His emotion does a little to kill his wax dummy reputation. They are the first to arrive at the pit stop, but who’s that beside the clue box? It’s our good friend bunching! The next stage of the race doesn’t begin until the morning, so the Chipsters, along with the rest of the teams, camp out at the gates of Bollywood.

In the morning, they are given bicycles and told to ride around the movie lot until they find Studio 10. This doesn’t seem to take too long, and finding the next clue isn’t hard either. It’s now that it gets interesting. When told they need to find either the washing village or the saree shop, teams run madly off in all directions. Except for the Chipsters. They hop back on their bicycles and go back to the main gates of the studio lot, where they easily find a bus to take them into Mumbai and the train station. Like all teams, they’re shocked by how crowded the trains are, but push their way on and find the washing village. They seem completely disgusted by the state of the laundry, and mention that they were covered in mud and possibly manure. They are the first to find the clue and head to Sassoon Docks.

David and Jeff arrive for the roadblock around the same time and Chip and Jeff are competing head to head in the fish finding task. Quite a crowd gathers to watch, and they get some help hauling the fish baskets onto their heads for the run back to the manager. They get completely covered in fish juice at the same time. Ew. They finish the roadblock and both teams catch cabs and urge their drivers to race for the Gateway of India. The two teams sprint towards Phil - which is nice to see for a change, instead of the finishes where teams hold hands and skip to the mat. The only downside is, Jeff and David get there first so the Chipsters − who were solidly in front this entire episode, are in second place and don’t win the Alaskan cruise.

Next week? Mud slinging and mud sliding.
–– by devajd


Team: Tian and Jaree
(Excuse me for a moment.) Woo-hoo! Yay! You go, girls! [insert goofy little Tian and Jaree finally-getting-along-and-kicking-butt victory dance] That’s my team!!!
Woo-hoo! Yay! You go, girls! [insert goofy little Tian and Jaree finally-getting-along-and-kicking-butt victory dance]
Ahem. Okay, um, yeah, racer report. At this point, the only person who could convince me that Tian wasn’t sick or crampy in the previous leg would be Tian herself insisting on it at TARCon. I might believe Jaree, but then again I might not. Anyway, from that droopy near-elimination leg, Tian and Jaree seemed refreshed, rejuvenated, and recommitted to the race. Tian’s enthusiasm for India was cute, although I’m not sure I’m actually allowed to use the word ”cute” to describe Tian. Jaree’s comment on ditching the contents of her bag and filling it with tapestries cracked me up. If we see Jaree in sarees for the rest of the race, we’ll know what happened.

The Bunching Gods smiled upon the girls this week, getting them on the same flight as five of the teams ahead of them and plopping them into Bollywood for the Amazing Sleepover with the entire group. I loved the shot of Tian building a fire in the early morning. That seemed so typical of her, in that if she sees something that needs to be done, she does it. The girls hopped on their bikes to studio 10, although Jaree took hers on a lovely little stroll for a while, then they were among the first to grab a bus.

But speaking of grabbing, they were sexually harassed on the train in Mumbai. By which I mean they were fondled and pinched. I’ve rewatched the episode, and that’s how they describe it, so that’s what I believe. There has been considerable discussion about whether this episode was anti-female. While I agree in theory that we don’t want to overprotect the racers, I still wish TPTB had allowed the racers to take taxis. I don’t think any woman should have to put up with this kind of bullshit, under any circumstances, and it was distressing to watch. I think it could have been both anticipated and avoided by TPTB.

But, troupers that they are, Tian and Jaree put it behind them and quickly managed the Suds detour, with Jaree daffily tossing the entire bundle of laundry into the water. At the Roadblock, Tian handled the heavy basket of fish as well as most of the men. A quick taxi ride put them ahead of the sixth-place clowns. But alas, my hopes of an estrogen-soaked final three were dashed with the elimination of Monica and Sheree. This makes it all that much more important for the girls to continue working together and excelling. I am convinced they can do it.
–– by Daria


Host: Phil
Phil starts off this week by reminding us that Chuck should dump Millie, tells what happened last week and updates us on how many teams are left. He then gets out his travel thesaurus to describe Amsterdam and as we tensely wait for our first glance of the great one…we see that (hurray!) last week's unfortunate fashion choice is gone and he has back on the white turtleneck sweater.
We don't see much of Phil this week but he probably wanted to stay far away from the racers…who were, to say the least, smelly this week.
We don't see much of Phil this week but he probably wanted to stay far away from the racers…who were, to say the least, smelly this week. While in India, Phil is dressed for the hot weather, wearing a short-sleeve pale shirt and khaki pants. His hair seems a bit flat, but that is probably due to the heat. We learn from Phil that Bombay is now called Mumbai (who (no, not Dave and Jeff) knew?).

Since, it is the highlight of most episodes, Phil does tell us about the Detour and Roadblock and goes on to the pit stop - the Gateway of India. Two guys arrive at the mat first and claim to be in the race. Since it’s hot and Phil thinks he may be dazed from the heat, he awards them a cruise even though he doesn't recognize them, figuring that BVM can fix it later if it’s incorrect. This week Phil is a bit of a traffic warden since the teams arrive pretty close to each other. He declines a hug from Jon (is Jon trying to tell us something? He does seem to want to hug men) and sadly philiminates Monica and Sheree. For a change, Phil then goes to get a cool drink and relax until he has to leave to narrate the next detour and roadblock.
–– by M. Darcy