Apr 10, 2010, Ep 8: Malaysian Mysteries

Amazing Race 16 Secret Scenes, Episode 8:  Malaysian Mysteries

Even in an exhausting leg such as this past week’s, there’s always time for some U-Turn paranoia, although Jet & Cord (pictured) think the chances of it being used on them are only 50/50.  Meanwhile, Louie has two nicknames: Cardio Man and Jen & Kisha!  Read on to discover the mysterious connection to The Amazing Race 14 as well as Joe’s ongoing quest at Elimination Station to get vengeance for his own U-Turning!

At the Pit Stop

The Hug Enforcer:  Phil tells Brent that it seems Caite wants to be in the race more than he does.  Brent just doesn’t want to get too ahead of himself while Caite attributes it to him just being a boy and hiding his emotions.  He admits he hangs onto his emotions and Caite tells Phil that she has to force him to even hug her occasionally.  Phil is inspired and directs Brent to hug Caite, which he does and which causes Caite to break out into a big grin.  It was a “side-saddle” hug which Phil states was more a cuddle than a hug.  Brent finally gives Caite a huge hug, even lifting her off her feet.  Caite approves.

Phil wonders if the race has been good for Brent.  Caite thinks it has helped him get through any pent-up anger he may have had from the past.  She tells Phil that Brent is lucky he has her as normally they have to tell each other to calm down and today she didn’t argue back much and kept her cool.  Both attribute that to their good performance at the Detour.  Caite did her best to keep things positive there as Brent was starting to get upset while there.  Both really did want to come in first this time as they rocked the beginning of the leg.  It all came down to a bad taxi driver.

They are still confident that they can come in first place on the race.  They hope that the dark cloud that has been over them the whole race eventually goes away.  Brent admits that some of the dark cloud is their own fault and sometimes it’s just that things haven’t gone their way.  Phil follows up from last week on how good they did with details this leg.  Both think they rocked the details this time, although Phil reminds them of their mistake with the coconuts in the last leg.  Brent would rather forget that as he wants to remain positive.

A Life Changing Race:  Phil notices how good Louie & Michael appear to be feeling.  Michael tells them they keep focusing on each individual leg as they want to be in the final three.  Phil is curious how their lives would change if they won the race.  Louie believes he wouldn’t give up being a cop, as he loves the job so much.  But life would definitely be much easier as they each work a lot to make a decent living.  Michael agrees as he would have the money to send his kids to college and he wouldn’t have to work as much anymore as sometimes he works 80-hour weeks.

Phil notices Michael’s “Karma” t-shirt and asks what it’s about.  Although Michael doesn’t really let the idea of karma influence him too much, he does recognize it but really likes putting the idea of karma in the other teams’ heads. Louie and his wife have read books about Buddha and the idea of living in the present.  That is what he & Michael have been doing the entire race, especially after the fourth leg of the race when they really kicked into gear.  Clearing their head worked for them as they ended up winning three legs in a row!  Phil recognizes you have to savor the moments on the race and Michael admits he wasn’t when they were in South America.  He focused too much on the future and at one point while down there, Michael realized he needed to enjoy the experience.  Ever since then, it’s been great.

Cowboys in Perfect Balance:  Phil tells Jet & Cord they should be extremely proud of their performance during this leg, as everyone is talking about their domination at the Detour (the flagpole balancing one).  Cord explains that they knew it was all about balance, because in their jobs they have to, but usually they’re the thing on top getting balanced.  So they had to switch it around.  Jet admits that their advantage was their childhood balancing of brooms, although it wasn’t like they did that every day.  Phil admits he was bummed they didn’t do the challenge while wearing their cowboy hats.  Cord figured he had to lose the hat or else he wouldn’t see the flag.

Concerning their strategy at the beginning of the race, Jet reveals that the previous leg of the race taught them the most out of all of them.  They had made every mistake twice and they felt fortunate it was a non-elimination leg.  So they tried to apply what they learned in the last leg and be fast when they could be fast, slow down when they needed to slow down, and just race smart.  Phil gives them props for moving from last to first and believes they have what it takes to win.  Jet remembers that they got to the first clue box last, everyone else was already gone, and their taxi had left.  It was similar to the last time they ended up first too, where they were like lone rangers.  Cord tells Phil that even though there were plenty of times they could have lost hope and given up, but he’s never seen anybody quit and then win.  Quitting isn’t for him.

Carol & Brandy’s Choice:  Although they both love Malaysia, Carol will be happy not to have carry giant incense poles ever again.  Phil doesn’t envy them having schlepped all those incense poles up those stairs.  Carol is relieved that challenge was at the beginning, while Brandy is loving Malaysia as she has hit her groove.  Phil reminds them an elimination is impending and he wonders who they hope to see eliminated.  Brandy hopes that it’s not Dan & Jordan as they’re a sweet, positive and humorous team that make them laugh.  Carol admits that it’s not that she wants Steve & Allie eliminated but on the same token, they are a really strong team.  Brandy would like to have seen the cowboys go but they’re in their groove again and they’re a strong team.  Phil agrees.

Phil asks if they are focused on the final three now or if it’s about winning a leg.  Carol recognizes it’s a marathon and wants to get to the final three, but Brandy admits she would love to win a leg and win a prize.  Regardless, they are proud of having raced a mistake-free leg and are thrilled that their best got them to second place.  After a pause, Carol sniffs the air and realizes she’s covered in incense.

Dan & Jordan’s Complaints:  Jordan tells Phil that this leg must have been the longest leg they’ve raced yet.  Phil argues that everyone else must have raced a shorter leg then.  Dan & Jordan realize Phil is being sassy with them but Phil isn’t done.  He asks them how long is it to go around the world so both Dan & Jordan air-map the crazy and extreme way they’re circumnavigating the globe versus a nice straight line.  Jordan clarifies that this leg felt especially lengthy as it was preceded by nearly 30 hours of traveling, which Dan hates anyway.  Jordan quickly stops explaining and states that they’re happy to still be in it.

Dan asks if Phil would rather they cockily step up to the mat and tell him it was a piece of cake.  Phil says no but he wants to understand why they complain so much now when they’re young.  What will they have left to complain out when they’re old men?  Phil speculates with them if he should give them a penalty.  They ask if it’s just for complaining, but he tells them it would be for being so young and complaining.  Jordan admits they probably should get that.  Jordan is happy that Dan is fully invested in this now and it’s not just about racing for him.  He’s also proud that he did his third Roadblock in a row.  All this manic good mood euphoria cracks Phil up.

Dan tells Phil how proud he is of his little brother and that they’re still in it.  He really is in it for his brother and not just the money.  Jordan asks then if he can have all the money and Dan agrees, I think.  Jordan admits though that he’ll give Dan half the money if they win.  He also tells Phil that he’s in this for the race itself, and that includes the race to the million.  Phil wonders if they win do they then plan on just giving the money to charity.  Dan immediately answers no, while Jordan says a little will go to charity.  But as a 22- and 24-year-old, this money is a big deal.  They don’t have years of savings or a million-dollar eyebrow raise to rely on.

Extra Race Footage

A New Experience for Brent & Caite:    Neither Brent nor Caite have been to a Buddhist temple before and both were amazed by it and wished they could have stayed longer.  Brent hopes they represented themselves with class, as even when it’s a religious place based on ideas you don’t agree with, you still should be respectful.  Now having been exposed to a lot of the world via the race, Brent can’t understand why can’t we all just (get along) respect each other.  You don’t have to agree with someone, but you don’t always have to go to war with them if you don’t agree. Caite thinks the race helps show the positive side of things around the world and how good people can interact.  Brent has been surprised that despite what everyone says about the world not really liking Americans, he’s found that 90% of the people they’ve come across have thought it was cool they’re Americans.

Dan Grows Up:  Michael admits he got nervous when he saw the brothers seemingly go to do the balancing Roadblock.  He thinks that Dan is athletic and will probably be good at balancing.  Michael tells us that in the airport, Dan came up to him and said that any one of them could be eliminated at any time so Dan wanted to tell Michael that he was a really good guy.  Michael joked with him is this his way of warning him about the U-Turn, but Dan reassured him he just wanted to pay Michael a compliment.  Louie & Michael think that’s the most manly thing Dan has done on the entire race as they’ve not been too impressed with his demeanor so far.

Michael explains that what they’ve noticed about Dan is that while he’s a nice kid, there are times where he’ll complain about not wanting to be here.  Louie & Michael feel lucky for being here and perhaps when Dan is also 45, he’ll appreciate the experience he was given at 24.  Michael hopes that that realization is finally sinking in for Dan.  Louie bets that some time with a therapist could also help Dan out too.  What?  Michael is happy to have met nice people on the race, including the cowboys, Steve & Allie and Brent & Caite.  He hopes to keep the good feelings going.

Cardio Man is Back:  Louie confesses that he’s seriously thinking about retiring from power lifting.  He can’t believe how awful his cardio is.  There hasn’t been any physical pains that have hindered him in the race thus far, it’s all been problems stemming from his cardio.  Louie’s embarrassed but Michael thinks he shouldn’t be embarrassed, it’s just that he’s focused his training down a different path.  Now it’s time to focus back on some cardio.  Louie bets he could train others to power lift, but he’ll give up competing.  The race has opened his eyes to his weakness and the fact that he wants to be around for his kids.  He pledges to change his ways when he gets back.

Steve & Allie Strike it Rich:  Steve & Allie are at the airport talking to a college-age girl who has opened up her luggage.  It looks like Allie is getting some clothes!  Allie gets a sweatshirt and Steve goes for broke and mentions Allie will probably get sick of her purple tank top, as that’s all she has.  The friendly girl gives her an orange shirt, which Allie graciously thanks her for.  Steve than asks for shorts, and the girl readily complies.  Afterwards, Allie explains that they met the girl after striking up a conversation while waiting to get their boarding passes.  She was American too and it felt like the first American they’ve met in a long time.  Allie got a full change of clothes, including a Virginia Tech shirt, while even Steve got a Rutgers hat.  Steve is thankful for the girl’s generosity and is happy there’s a few less things they have to worry about buying.  They’re sure that Malaysia will be hot but you never know.  The main concern was a long-sleeve shirt for the cold plane ride.

Cowboys Talk U-Turn:  While riding in a Malaysian taxi, Jet tells us their philosophy on U-Turns is the same as elimination.  Neither of them wish for another team to get eliminated or U-Turned, they just hope it’s not them.  Jet does realize that if they end up first on this leg, they do become a target again for being U-Turned.  Cord is sure the U-Turn will show up in one of the next two legs, and Jet thinks they have 50/50 odds of the U-Turn being put on them.  Jet notes that some of the teams they’ve talked to about it though will more than likely target another team besides them, but there are some teams that he’s 50% sure will U-Turn them.  So Jet correctly reasons that they just better be first to that U-Turn or else there’s a good possibility they’ll feel the pain.

Signs Everywhere:  While stuck in some traffic, Cord comments that many of the signs in Malaysia are written in English.  He reckons that they’re probably in touristy areas which could be a good thing for them.  One sign up ahead catches their interest as they can’t read it.  Cord wonders if it’s Mirandan [sic] but Jet corrects him to Mandarin, although even if it was Mandarin, neither of them could read that either.  Jet thought they spoke Malaysian down here, but he just doesn’t have any idea one way or the other.

The Secret to their Success:  Brandy tells us that they can endure and focus as well as think things through.  Her goal this leg was to think things through while also keeping pace with Brent & Caite.  Brandy thinks they did a good job of that today.  Carol believes that teams can make rash decisions when reading the clue, and she knows that Brandy gets impatient when Carol sometimes doesn’t know who should do the challenge when it’s crunch time.  But once the decision is made, they steam right on ahead at full speed.  When they do choose the wrong path, they’ve learned to cut their losses and change directions.  The tortoise incident in the Seychelles was an example where they immediately realized they had to change tasks.

Carol isn’t sure if the other teams consider them a threat or if they would get U-Turned.  Brandy doesn’t believe the others think more of them than as a novelty.   Carol notes that no all-woman team has won the race yet.  Brandy bets that strategy will keep the U-Turn from being used on them, as she figures that Louie & Michael and Jet & Cord would probably rather race against the girls in the final three as they’d be an easy team to beat.  Carol hopes the guys are wearing each other out mentally and physically up at the top so that no one notices them flying under the radar.  By next week’s preview though, it does look like that is not what happens with the U-Turn, if indeed the U-Turn is actually used!

High Rolling Dan & Jordan:  Dan & Jordan tell us that they came to the casino to kill some time and managed to turn $20 into $80 playing blackjack.  Jordan reasons that there has to be some fun had on the race while Dan is happy because there was free food.  A silent burb is released which Jordan immediately notices.  They’re waiting for their cab driver to pick them back up so they can go to the jetty.  The casino raised their spirits but now they’re headed back to wait for two hours at the jetty, which they don’t seem too enthused about.

A Tough Leg of Travel:  At some airport on their journey to Malaysia, Dan tells us that it’s taking three flights and 30 hours to get there.  It’s a long long day of travel.  Dan admits he’s not feeling that great, especially having come from the humid climate in the Seychelles.  He’s hoping that they’ll feel better once the leg gets going.  Dan made it clear that he hates the actual traveling part of traveling, so three flights back to back is the absolute worst thing in his mind.  Dan thinks they’re in survival mode now, but Jordan pipes in enthusiastically that he’s ready to step up if Dan stumbles out of the gate.  Dan continues his pity party and makes an official note that his foot is really bruised and hurting from the last leg.  He isn’t even sure how he got bruised.  He admits that he’s nervous heading into his first leg ever feeling this far from 100%.

After the Race

Not a Way to Win:   Dan & Jordan tell us that when the issue of whose taxi it was (between them and Steve & Allie), once the taxi driver pointed to Steve, they weren’t going to argue about it.  Jordan is fully aware that some people watching at home will wonder if Dan & Jordan really want to win the race.  He knows that if Steve & Allie had got to the Detour first, he & Jordan would be sitting here having to talk about why they got eliminated and if they had just taken that taxi instead of Steve & Allie.  But they haven’t changed their racing style yet and while they are indeed in fifth place and will be starting the next leg in last place, they want to be able to walk out of the race with their head held high.  If their strategy does indeed cause them to get eliminated, so be it but they won’t have any regrets.

Dan reminds us that they do want to win the race, but they are going to race with honor and ethics, and they’ll count on racing hard and putting the pedal to the metal in order to secure a higher racing position.  Racing hard to get on the first round of helicopters was key to their second place finish in the Seychelles, and they are confident they can do that again.  Jordan knows that if necessary, the claws can be brought out, but the time hasn’t come yet.  Dan doesn’t even want to bring them out!

The Cowboy Problem:  Carol has had a few conversations with Cord but Jet can’t even look Carol or Brandy in the eye.  Brandy is fully aware that Carol is the friendlier of their team and Carol has reached out numerous times to them as that’s the kind of person she is.  Carol is from the same neck of the woods as the cowboys, so there should be something shared in common there.  She’s not sure if Jet’s issue is with women, with gay women, or if it’s just that he’s shy.  Brandy doesn’t want to make assumptions about Jet as she just doesn’t know him.  If Jet’s issues with them is indeed because they’re lesbians though, Brandy would rather he continue saying nothing and just stay away.  Carol takes it personally though that she’s seen Jet talk to pretty much every other team, at least the guys on the race.  When all is said and done, Brandy isn’t craving his conversation and has plenty of other people on the race to chat with.   Meanwhile, it does seem that Carol thinks otherwise.

Sneaky Snakes:  Jet recalls that when they showed up last at the Snake Temple to get their clue, out of the corner of his eye he saw a huge python on the ground.  There was an instant moment of realization that there was indeed a snake right there!  It made Jet laugh as even though he knew it was the Snake Temple, that python seemed to sneak up on him.  Cord tells us that over the course of their 20 hours of traveling, they knew snakes were going to be involved so they were planning who was going to be the one who plays with the snakes.

Steve & Allie’s Final Thoughts:  Allie always knew her dad was social and on the race he was being nice, talking to everyone, and getting to know people.  It’s likely that nobody else on the race was as outgoing as her dad.  It helped them out on the race, and it’s ensured that they’ve made friends for life of the other teams.  Allie bets the other teams will be sad to see them go.  She’s proud of racing as they did and for most of the time, they were in the front of the pack.  Steve is happy that his kids like him and don’t mind spending so much time with him like Allie just did.  The existing bond has only gotten stronger and they now have more stories to share, from looking at a paintbrush and laughing (ah, that moment still is so funny where they painted a complete stranger’s living room walls) to dressing up as condors and jumping in the water.

Even though he wishes they had won, Steve’s still happy they made it to the halfway point.  If you had told him, especially after having gotten lost in his hometown of Los Angeles at the beginning, that they would have made it as far as they did, he wouldn’t have believed it.  Steve’s proud of Allie and the experience is something they’ll share for the rest of their lives.

The New Jen:  Louie admits that during the incense Roadblock, he had to pee really bad.  Michael started calling him Jen (of Jen & Kisha, the team from two seasons ago that was eliminated due to Jen having to stop at a porta-potty before checking in at the Pit Stop) and mocking him.  Every time Louie talked about needing to go, Michael would continue calling him either Jen or Kisha to keep him going.  At one point Michael thought Louie was going to pee somewhere in the temple but finally he let Louis go out to the parking lot and pee.  Both had watched the episode where Jen & Kisha were eliminated and Louie at the time told Michael that he’d have peed his pants if he were in that situation rather than possibly get eliminated.  So now Michael uses that as their motivation and to always think this could be their last leg.

Elimination Station

It’s a sleepy situation at Elimination Station as many members of the group are in the living room huddled under blankets and yawning as if they’re about to pass out.  Jody threatens to go vampire soon as they await the phone call from the next team eliminated.  I guess it’s that point in the game when there’s not enough time to get the remaining teams to Elimination Station before everyone has to go to End City!  The Blackberry Bold finally rings and Monique answers to hear Steve & Allie saying hello to everyone.  Some are bummed but Adrian is downright exuberant with his arm motions as it looks like he just won a bet.  Shannon is bummed as Steve & Allie were the other multi-generational team so she was invested in their success.

Steve explains to the group that their downfall was due to bad cabs, bad decisions and an overall bad day.  Joe takes over the call and wants to know where Louie & Michael are in this thing.  Steve tells him about the standings over the last few legs, but Joe really only wants to know why they were U-Turned.  OMG.  Enough!  Steve tells Joe that Louie & Michael told them that it was because Joe & Heidi were a strong team.  Again, Joe starts with why would Louie & Michael be afraid of a one-legged man and a PTA mom.  Steve humors him and tells Joe that he’s just too good.  I think that’s the only way to satisfy Joe’s quest for vengeance:  placating his ego.

Joe asks who the top teams are and Steve tells him that it’s between Louie & Michael and Jet & Cord.  Yet he admits that any of the remaining teams are a cab ride away from winning it, which is very true.  Jeff admits he’s sad that Steve & Allie are out of the race, but he speaks the truth when he says that everyone at Elimination Station is jealous of the remaining racers.  Even though they’re all compassionate and best friends with whoever calls on the phone, Jeff knows that inside, everyone is just a little bit happy that someone else lost too.

Hobie Barnes works in NYC at 30 Rock (the building, not the show). While not conquering Midtown, he might be found watching DVR’d reality TV, learning the guitar (I’m not afraid of you anymore, C chord!), or getting lost on the subway. He can be reached at hobiewan76@gmail.com.

 

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