Racer Reports

Racer Report - Episode Ten

Team: David and Jeff
David and Jeff really had a tough leg. But they survived last place and avoided an exit as this leg was the second of three non-elimination points in the Race, according to Phil. As the team was shown departing the Sepilok Nature Resort, Jeff is heard to say: "I look at it as we're always the underdog. We need to picture ourselves as absolutely last because if you put yourself in that situation, you tend to be a little more keen to the opportunities that present themselves to you." They are the third team to depart the pit stop and take a taxi to the Puu Jih Shih Buddhist Temple in nearby Sadukan. They arrive and complete the task -- to find a little glass box with their names on it in one of several towers of lit boxes inside the temple, take out the key inside the box, and then find a rattan bag with their names on it that contained their next clue. That clue directed the teams to fly to Seoul, South Korea and find the Namsam Park and the Namsam Tower.

David and Jeff waited for a van to the Kota Kinabalu airport, but since only one team can ride in each van, a half-hour apart, they depart in a van after Jon and Al. After they arrive some hours later (in daylight), they, like the other teams, book the same flight to Singapore on their way to Seoul. All the teams initially booked a direct flight to Seoul that departed at 10:35 pm that night and arrived in Seoul at 5:40 am. After the teams arrived in Singapore, David and Jeff find a telephone, and began to call all the airlines in Singapore to find a better flight. They ultimately located a flight on Singapore Airlines that left more than three hours earlier, at 7:00 pm and arrived in Seoul at 5:00 am with a stop in Hong Kong. Jon and Al joined them on the flight. What is interesting here is David's extremely diplomatic way of dealing with a ticket agent who failed to handle their standby reservation correctly earlier, although they had bought full fare tickets as they had been directed by that agent to obtain standby status. Ultimately, David succeeded in his diplomatic efforts, and they obtained their tickets for the flight as it was ready to board, to be joined by Al Jon and Al.
Unfortunately, this was the first of several problem taxi drivers in Korea for David and Jeff.
Upon arrival in Seoul, David and Jeff (and Jon and Al) take taxis that followed each other to Namsam Park and the Tower. At the tower, the teams learned that they had to travel to the Sundam Valley, about 50 miles away. These teams learned that the one-way cab fare was about $100, and the two teams decided to share a van taxi to the next route marker. Unfortunately, this was the first of several problem taxi drivers in Korea for David and Jeff. The driver did not really know where they wanted to go and got lost. At one point the cab is shown caught in the middle of a military convey approaching the border with North Korea. The driver finally stopped at a store and got directions, By then Kelly and Jon, who arrived on a later flight had caught up with their cab, and Reichen and Chip had managed to get their first driver to take them to a hotel in Seoul, and found a driver who spoke some English, and arrived before all of the other teams at the Valley. David and Jeff took the third position for the roadblock - where a team member had to undress and swim in a river a short distance under a foot-thick sheet of ice.

Jeff does the roadblock, and when he finished, he was required to be cleared by a doctor before the team could depart, and the next team could then perform the roadblock. Jeff's body temperature was lower than was acceptable when he finished, so the team had to wait until his body temperature was acceptable. After they received their clue, which directed the teams to travel to Subway Station 228 in Seoul (in the National University area), they waited for Jon and Al to finish the roadblock. The team notes that at some point on the way back they would have to get a separate cab. The team also noted that the cab sharing was cumbersome and awkward and they needed to separate, as they were tied for last place at that point with Jon and Al. After they do separate, David and Jeff had problems with the new cab driver, as they were stalled in heavy road traffic. They eventually get to a subway station and jumped onto the first train. It turned out it was the wrong train headed the wrong direction. They get off that train and got another cab. That cab driver took a while, but ultimately they were the last team to reach Subway Station 228 and obtain the detour clue.

At first, David and Jeff choose the "Strong Stomach" detour, because it was closer. "Strong Stomach" involved the consumption of just-chopped-up live baby octupi, uncooked and still moving. Here they tried to eat their plates, but just could not take more that a taste or two:
Jeff: What do you think?
David: I don't think this is such a good idea.
So they decided to switch to the other detour task: "Strong Hands," where the each team member, after they arrived at a tae kwon do school, were required to break three sets of boards using their hands. This task is completely quickly, and they receive a clue that directed them to the next pit stop at a pavilion in the grounds of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. They take yet another taxi with a slow driver to the pit stop. They are the last team to arrive, but as noted earlier this is a non-elimination leg. They're so excited David hugs Phil, Jeff appears to high five with the greeter, and the hour ends with comments from both Jeff and David when they learned it was not an elimination point. Jeff states, "We figured you never quit until you get under the mat. We gave it our best shot, that w were going to be eliminated this round, and it was a shot of adrenaline." David concludes by noting, "I had not considered anything but winning. There is no option for second place. We are going to kick their asses."

A complicated, difficult non-elimination leg for all of the teams in a venue, that frankly, was a little surprising. At the time the teams were in South Korea, North Korea had just announced its resumption of production of nuclear weapons-grade materials and the possibility of the use of military force existed. It looks like however, the teams' stay in Korea is brief, as the previews for next week show teams wearing clothing that is much too light-weight for a Korean winter. Will David and Jeff avoid elimination? Will they grab the last fast forward of this Race and assure themselves a spot as a final three team? We'll find out in the next leg!
–– by theschnauzers
I still have the vapors over seeing ClownJon at the board-breaking detour.
Team: Jon and Al – Team Clown n’ Ball
I still have the vapors over seeing ClownJon at the board-breaking detour. I don’t think that’s MJ’s reason for running a tad behind, but he promises his usual thorough report soon.
–– by Daria for MJMarble


Team: Kelly and Jon
This team went from worst to first this week due to the Wrath of Kelly. She vowed at the start of the leg that “the Wrath of Kelly is fixin’ to come out”. Jon was concerned that the WoK would come out on Jon. Despite being on a flight that arrived 40 minutes after the first, they get to the roadblock in 2nd place, right behind Reichip, who were also on the later flight. When Jon does the RB, Kelly looks very concerned. Jon VOs that “the human body is not made to have that kind of experience. The whole thing locks up like you’re having a heart attack. You can see how thick the ice is.” Boy, if you spend too much time thinking about that, you can see how panic would take over quickly. As he gets out of the water, Kelly is giving him props and tells him “You did awesome, Jon”. She’s very pretty as she smiles proudly.

Then of course the Yang to the previous Yin comes into play as they argue about whether to get out of the cab and take the subway to the route marker. Kelly makes the suggestion that because they’ve been in the cab for “3 hours” they get out and take the subway. Jon acts as if it’s a stupid idea. He begins to mock her about the suggestion by saying they have to get over the river and when Kelly informs him that subways do go over rivers, he smirks and condescendingly says “Really?” Gah. Then he makes some weird comment about jumping on his magic carpet and just swimming across the river. Swimming? On a magic carpet? Don’t ask me to explain what the hell he was talking about. Luckily the WoK comes out and she tells Jon “Listen, I’m not gonna put up with your lip right now.” Hee. I love that expression. Don’t gimme no lip, boy! She excoriates him for not getting excited and lighting a fire in his ass. She tells him “I would rather not come in than come in last… You know what? I hope YOU get eliminated just to prove a point. Just to prove that assholes never finish first.* That’s what I hope. And lucky me? I’m engaged to the asshole. yay”. Considering that 7 of the remaining racers made that same suggestion, I don’t think it’s all that dumb an option. The fact that it turned out that it was better to stay in the cab is irrelevant. It was just a suggestion. No need to get patronizing about it. Just present your argument and make the decision. Jon just assumes that because Kelly made the suggestion, that it is obviously a stupid one.

They wind up first at the clue for the detour because they approached from the street, not the train. Ok, so Jon was right about staying in the cab, but because of luck, not because he assessed the situation and made an educated decision. They decide to break boards because the alternative, eating a Korean delicacy, might be as Jon says “like buttlickers”.
She punches. The boards? Look around and say “did I feel a tickle around my knothole?”
Jon goes first and does quite well. He makes the little whatchamahookie pose that Ralph Macchio made in the Karate Kid, then realizes he has to do it twice more. He does and then it’s Kelly’s turn. She’s worried that she might not be able to do it, but goes ahead. As she’s getting in her stance, Jon tells her to get her face lower. She says “shut. UP”. She punches. The boards? Look around and say “did I feel a tickle around my knothole?” Jon VOs that he knows Kelly was in some pain and man, you can see it on her face. She’s hurting but very very determined. She VOs that the tears wanted to flow so badly. Second punch. Only a partial breakthrough. She VOs that she knew it was do or die because she couldn’t go back and eat the food. Jon starts giving more advice and the WoK comes out in all its glory and she yells “Shut your Piehole!!!” Jon gives her a reason to make sawdust out of the boards by saying the episode title “Get pissed off Kel. That’s me. Just hit my face. Hit my face.” She busts right through those suckers and makes short work of the following two stacks. If I were Jon, I would not make this woman angry anymore. In her adrenaline-induced euphoria, she darn near leaves without her route marker directing them to the pit stop. Jon VOs about how proud he is of everything she’s accomplished. And the shot of Kelly’s bleeding knuckles does look quite painful.

I love the scene of them on the ABM. They actually come in first and win a vacation to the “sunny Caribbean”. They are in shock that they are 1st and Jon says “Get outta here!!” and Kelly cracks “I didn’t break my hand for nothing”. Phil asks “Does it feel good?” and Kelly jokes “Our first time – we’re virgins”. HAHA. Jon says that she’s the only girl and she kicked their butts! It takes a couple seconds for this to sink in and suddenly Kelly screams “That’s Right!!!” They hug and kiss and it’s very sweet.

* see Flo TAR3 for rebuttal.
–– by emjaytee


Reichen & Chip − The Chipsters
Reichen and Chip leave the pit stop in first place after their flukey fast-forward victory of last week. They depart at 10:26 p.m., ninety minutes before the next place Clowns. They are directed to the largest Buddhist Temple in Borneo, where they will have to find a key to unlock a rattan bag containing their next clue. There are no Ugly American moments for the Chipsters at the temple, they are very respectful of it. During their 45 minutes wait for the spoon-fed cab to the airport , Reichen even takes a moment to pray. Then it’s off to buy tickets to Seoul, South Korea. Some of the teams seemed a little freaked own when told they’d have to go to South Korea. Now, I’m a Canadian, and I know that some of my southerly neighbours have concerns about Communists, but really, the Olympics were in Seoul! What’s so scary? I digress. Sorry.

All teams book flights through Singapore to Seoul, though two teams manage to rebook through Hong Kong after arriving in Seoul, getting in 40 minutes earlier. The Chipsters choose to take a hamburger break instead. Their flight arrives in Seoul at 5:40 am, 40 minutes after the Clowns and Who. They take a long time to find a cab, and even longer to communicate where they need to go. They drop into last place, and fall even farther behind when trying to communicate where they need to go next, rafting near the North Korean border. However, their diligence in making sure their driver knows the way pays off. The other teams get very lost and end up in a tank convoy, while the Chipsters driver puts the hazard lights on, which apparently gives them the right to do whatever the hell they want. Reichen seems very amused by this, he figures they could probably hang their ‘‘asses out the side of the car naked, and be fine’’ Hee! Oh, also? They get to rafting first. Really! They don’t believe it either. Hee hee!
The other teams get very lost and end up in a tank convoy, while the Chipsters driver puts the hazard lights on, which apparently gives them the right to do whatever the hell they want.
Of course, that means Chip is the first to try the Roadblock, diving under the ice. Brr! The Chipsters need a little help with the skivvies part of the clue, but eventually Chip strips down and takes the plunge. Like many of you, I was ready to yell ‘Shrinkage!’ when he got out of the water, but, no. Not on Chip, baby! What? You looked too. I know you did. I read the forums. Chip doesn’t take too long to get back to normal body temperature. Reichen takes good care of him and makes sure he’s standing in front of the heater and that he changes into his long underwear. They head back to their cab and into Seoul to find subway station 228. After bailing on their cab due to traffic in Seoul, they take the subway to the right station and the Detour clue, arriving just after Jon and Kelly. They choose the strong stomach option because it is closer than the boards option. I could have loved to see them obliterate the boards, but they did a good job with the live octopus eating. The looks on their faces when they see the bowl of live octopus is priceless. I’m not sure I could have done it. Certainly not a whole wriggling plateful. Disgusting! I once ate live prawns in Thailand. Like the Chipsters, I too wished they would just die. But at least prawns don’t have little suction cups. Chips method of putting the octopus bits in water and drinking them down (the mock oyster shooter method) worked well, and they get it all down eventually. You have to love that they asked if they could vomit though!

They get their last clue, directing them to the pit stop at Gyeongbokgung Palace and the race is on! They arrive in what appears to be a close second to Kelly and Jon.

Next week? Reichen has a swim with some sharks. At least the water will be warmer!
–– by devajd
I’m going to cut right to the chase here - Phil was swallowed by a furry, man-eating monster during this week’s episode.
Host: Phil
I’m going to cut right to the chase here - Phil was swallowed by a furry, man-eating monster during this week’s episode. At the beginning of the episode, he was his Phabulous self. Halfway through the episode, however, most of Phil had been swallowed by a horrific knit beast. Strips of fur (or maybe it was imitation fur?) were flying!

Unknown to most people, Korea is home to many strange and delicious (okay, so it’s a matter of opinion) animals, including some that Reichen, Chip, Jeff and Dave got to spend time with. Phil got to spend time with an unusual creature of his own. Only his head was seen to survive. Hopefully, the rest of him will be regurgitated in time for the next episode.

Let’s chalk this one up as more Phuel for the Phire.
–– by Brooksie for M. Darcy