Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Recap and Review of Episode 3 "Toads! Are You Kidding Me"

When last we left our 9 remaining teams in Calgary, Steph and Kristen had won themselves a pair of Express Passes, and last-place Kelly and Kate were saved by a surprise NEL. The Pitstart for the third leg is the pedestrian/cycling Peace Bridge over the Bow River. The starting times are:

Jillian and Emmett 1:49 AM
Stephane and Antoine 3:07 AM
Frankie and Amy 3:39 AM
Joel and Ashley 3:53 AM
Anne and Tanya 4:45 AM
Steph and Kristen 5:05 AM
Julie and Lowell 6:17 AM
Rita and Yvette 6:38 AM
Kelly and Kate 6:43 AM

Teams must make their way to the Tourist dock in Cai Be on the Mekong River in Vietnam. Each team is given $360 US. Sure enough someone has to say, "Good morning, Vietnam!" as they start out. Thank you, Frankie. Well, someone had to do it, right? And, as our teams set off, we anticipate TAR at it's finest...teams getting flustered by a foreign language,  different customs and intense 40C heat. This should be fun!!!

[POOH-POOH to all those "Stay-in-Canada"-type supporters out there...you're being served! Pay attention, fools. You're about to learn how it's supposed to be done.] 

At the airport, Antoine asks Steph and Kristen if they went for the Express Passes. The girls - nervous that the EPs will make them a target once the dreaded Double U-Turn comes into play, lie, lie, lie. They say they tried for it, but failed. They "swear to God" they don't have it. They don't like lying and it shows when they say, "It took us forever to get it." Ooopsie.

And as usual, the flight to Vietnam is an equalizer for all teams. It's a brand new race!

Teams must take a taxi from Ho Chi Minh City to Cai Be, and Stephane and Antoine are surprised to see they are the first out of the airport. Meanwhile, Emmett tells his cabbie that this is their first time in Thailand. I guess Emmett must have taken the same geography class as Gino and Jesse Montani. If you remember last season, the brothers Montani didn't know where Chile was. They also didn't do well on international legs, but won the season. Is this a sign? Hmmn.

There is a sign-in for a water-taxi at the Cai Be Tourist Dock. Teams arrived at night, but the taxis won't start until the next morning. Stepane & Antoine will be the first to depart, while Joel and Ashley will be the last. Their first stop is a Route Marker called "Time for a supply run." The teams are given a shopping list - in Vietnamese, of course - consisting of four items: a ceramic statue; a flat of fermented tofu; a basket of fruit; and a 10 kg bag of rice. They must use a water taxi to locate the items in the floating market of Cai Be, then deliver everything to Mr. Tam (aka Mr. Tambourine Man, as dubbed by Lowell) on Tan Phuong Island. Once finished, teams must travel by ferry to Ben pha Cai Be qua Tan Phuong to find their next clue. Yes, travel by ferry. It's important to read the friggin clue, you know.  Another one of those tricksy clues that production likes to trip everyone up with, I don't doubt. And this one worked perfectly, in classic TAR fashion. Muah-ha-ha. Emmett tells Jillian they can take a water taxi instead, to which Jillian replies, "Are you sure?" - but jumps in the taxi nonetheless. Rita & Yvette, Anne & Tanya, and Joel & Ashley also decide to ignore the instructions and take a water taxi. Steph and Kristen do as well, but realize their error, then turn around to take the ferry. Good grief.

The next clue is for the Roadblock called, "Who has all their ducks in a row?" One person from each team must separate 20 ducks from a flock of 300 and move them into their designated pen. Kate, Stephane, Jillian, Rita, Tanya, Ashley, Steph, Julie and Amy take this task. The trick here is keeping the ducks in their pen, or as Kate explains, "Ducks are very smart and very sneaky." I think it's more like they really don't want to be tonight's dinner. It's here that Stephane and Antoine's race begins to fall apart. Stephane herds Ashley's ducks for her, but I think he was a tad confused. Maybe a combination of the heat and Stephane not realizing he had to put the ducks in his own pen. Or maybe he thought the others would help him in return. Things go from bad to worse for the father and son, as the heat leads to exhaustion. Although they arrived here in second place, they are the last team remaining, then decide to take a four hour penalty knowing they can't possibly make up the time. Not a good situation, but I think Antoine might have been a bit concerned for his Dad. Meanwhile, Amy and Steph team up and work together to separate each others' ducks. Good move. Remember this for next week's episode.

Once the ducks are in their pens, teams must catch 2 ducks by hand and deliver them to the land market. You know... where they will be dressed...ahem...for dinner. Apparently Kate suffers from sort of duckaphobia, "They're my worst nightmare!" So Kelly must carry both ducks. Ashley, on the other hand, loves all things "duck". Once at the market, Ashley realizes the ducks' fate and says, "Dad, NO!", like a little kid who has just learned that tasty T-bone steak she's eating comes from a moo-moo. Joel reassures her, explaining, "They're just putting them in the cage for now, Ashley." Meanwhile, Frankie and Amy have named their ducks and they say goodbye to Marshmellow. Really...Marshmellow? That is no name for a duck!!! It should be Donald, or Huey, Dooey or Looey...or, at the worst, Daffy. Come on guys, for quack sakes. You're better than this!

It is also at this point that Kelly and Kate must complete their Speedbump for coming in last in the previous leg. They must pick out 20 toads from one vendor and deliver them, by hand, to the other side of the market. Not a bad Speedbump to get done quickly. That is, if you're not apprehensive about touching toads. Of course, there was the usual "blech'-ing and "ecky-ecky" complaints, beginning with "Toads? Are you kidding me?" - the title quote. I am guessing the girls never caught frogs or toads when they were kids. Could have been worse. There could have been snakes. Aren't there always snakes?

Anyway, the Detour is up next. It's called, "Hydrate or Vibrate." In "Hydrate", teams must load a sanpan with 60 coconuts, then deliver them down river. Note, they do not have a basket to facilitate carrying them from the river to their destination, a fair walk down the path inland. Add the insufferable heat to this, and it's going to make some people very cranky, *cough* Jillian *cough*. Good times.  This should be good entertainment for me and my whole family. For "Vibrate,"  teams must learn and then perform a traditional drum dance, in full traditional costume. And as we learn from the teams who pick this task, the middle part of the dance is particularly tricky.

It's now time for Jillian's Meltdown Minute. In this week's episode, we find Jillian and Emmett attempting to count out 60 coconuts and bring them down the Mekong River. Enjoy the melodious notes of: "Don't be an idiot!"; "This is the stupidest thing in the world!"; "You're going to tip it. Get in the front!"; or the ever popular, "Don't get water in your mouth!!!"   Let Jillian enchant you with her styling of "I'm fed up with no teamwork."  Ah, the classics are always the best. We now return to our regularly scheduled program, already in progress.

The Pitstop is at the Mekong Lodge, at a lovely spot by the pool.

  • Joel and Ashley are the first to the Pitstop, but must serve a 30 minute penalty for taking a water taxi instead of the ferry. The penalty expires before the next teams arrive, and they win the leg, along with a trip for two to Tokyo, Japan. I feel like they are all over the board. Sure, they can have their mishaps like not reading a clue, but they can also get tasks done by remaining calm. They took their time memorizing the dance, then were sucessful on their first attempt.
  • Steph and Kristen take second in a footrace to the mat with Kelly & Kate and Jillian & Emmett. They switched out the Detour task for the second week in a row - first picking the dance, then changing to the coconuts. At least they recognize their shortcomings on certain tasks early. 
  • Kelly and Kate are third. This is the first week I actually found these two enjoyable, especially their antics with animals. They barreled through the Roadblock, their toady Speedbump and got the drum dance routine quickly. They should do well next week as well.
  • Emmett and Jillian arrive in third place but are given their 30 minute penalty for the water taxi incident. They finish in fourth. I guess you can't win them all, and I must say I am a little relieved. They can still outperform other teams, even when they bicker or incur a penalty. Am I the only one who wanted Jillian to hit Emmett with an "I told you so" when they found out about the water taxipenalty? I'm kind of disappointed. 
  • Frankie and Amy are fifth. We didn't see much of them this episode, but their best moment was Frankie laughing during the duck herding, with an edit of ducks mimicking her with their quacking. They also completed the drum dance on their first attempt.
  • Rita and Yvette arrive at the mat in fifth, but the water taxi penalty drops them to sixth. I was hoping for more moments of humourous confusion (like the Beatnik Bus in Calgary), but they kept their heads together this week. Maybe they are getting their race legs. Damn it!!!
  • Julie and Lowell are seventh. They actually arrived in eighth place in a footrace against Anne and Tanya, resulting in Lowell bumping into a palm tree as Julie tried to negotiate the turn around the swimming pool. As it turned out, the footrace wasn't necessary as the single mothers had a penalty. Lowell went full-pun this episode with lines like "I've got a lovely bunch of coconuts" or "I feel like a basket case."
  • Anne and Tanya are eighth. They serve their penalty, which is not finished until after Stephane and Antoine arrive.  The single moms are once again almost invisible in this episode, save for Tanya's episode of heat exhaustion. And once again, I ask, "What's up with that?"  
  • Stephane and Antoine are last...and are eliminated. Like I said, it all went south at the Roadblock where Stephane spent 2 hours trying to get those ducks in the right pen. At one point, he managed to pen 18 of them, but the little quackers escaped. They had to have known they were done when they took the four hour penalty, but there was nothing for it. I am sorry to see them go, and I hope it was a truly great experience for them.                                                                                                               

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please feel free to discuss this.