Oct 30, 2009, Ep 5: “No Matter What, Don’t Give Up”

Amazing Race 15 Insider, Episode 5: “No Matter What, Don’t Give Up”

The Globetrotters didn’t, so why did Mika?  There’s more insight to be found in the videos this week, from extended video of the Globetrotters taunting to more videos after the race showing Canaan being remarkably fine with it all.  Could the Globetrotters’ mantra also be what’s going through Tiffany’s mind concerning Sam & Dan?  Some quests are better left undone!  So come on inside – you may even find out what a CCB is!

After the Race

Karma Comes Back:  Big Easy takes us through what he’s thinking while at the top of the slide.  He recognizes if Mika slides down, the game is over for the Globetrotters.  But Mika didn’t slide down, and Big Easy believes it could be because they’ve been good and not conniving during the race.  Flight Time agrees and thinks that all the good they’ve done over the previous legs was paid back to them by the Lord today.  Or maybe it was just smart use of trash talk?  Regardless, they’re happy to be in the race and it’s game on.

Freedom From Fear:  Mika thinks that maybe one of the purposes for her being on the race was to conquer her fears.  She thinks there is a reason why she was given the opportunity and failed to overcome.  Canaan doesn’t think it’s cool if fear can control your life, whether it’s fear of love, fear of happiness, or fear of snakes.  He believes if you have fear, you need to address it.  Canaan hopes she can nip her fear of water in the bud.  He wants her to be free of this fear.

As for what’s going to happen next, they’re both going back to jobs that they love and the sky is the limit.  Canaan is excited to pick up his guitar, while Mika looks forward to getting to know Canaan better.  The race gave them a lot of time to know each other better already, and a lot of their relationship before the race was all about preparing for the race.  So to have time now where it’s just about them is something she’s excited about.

Lost in Dubai:  Gary & Matt explain that the toughest part today was trying to find the spice souk where they had to assemble the hookahs.  Gary admits he got frustrated when Matt wanted to just keep moving as opposed to Gary who actually wanted to do some research to find the spice souk.  Things got a little contentious at that point.  Matt likes to keep moving and he thinks that’s what actually helped them find the spice souk.  Gary reluctantly agrees, but knows that they walked a lot of times out of the spice area so it was a lot of wasted effort.  The stress can overwhelm you too and it’s hard to understand while watching the show from home how bad it can get.

A Wave of Confidence:  Meghan & Cheyne feel so much more empowered in life.  Hailing cabs, asking strangers for help – all of these things are not big deals anymore.  Traveling to all these different countries has also given Cheyne an appreciation for being an American.  He appreciates how safe it is living in America but is also glad for the chance to break that bubble and see the rest of the world.

Extra Race Footage

Say What:  Brian thinks Meghan & Cheyne are contenders for top three.  They’re good-looking people… Ericka immediately interrupts to point out that doesn’t matter.   Yet Brian points out that attractive people with their attractive legs (like Miss America here) can work their charms to sway the many male taxi drivers throughout the world.  Ericka has a look of utter disgust on her face listening to Brian go on.  She explains it was very weird and chauvinistic of him to say that.  She doesn’t deny that she wouldn’t use the assets she has to get ahead, but is surprised that Brian would actually verbalize it.  Brian continues on, noticing that during flights, Meghan will walk around the entire plane and flirt with guys throughout it, getting money, information and maps from them.  He can’t fault that strategy.

The Art of Rowing:  Fresh from finishing the rowing Roadblock, Brian is convinced some teams are going to have problems with it.  Ericka wonders if it’s because no one actually knows how to row.  Brian bets some will try to row the boat while facing forward when he at least knew you have to row the boat backwards.  He did have problems though when he accidentally turned the oars backwards.  As for the watch itself, he was paranoid that while rowing back the watch’s time might shift so he purposefully memorized the 8:35 time before leaving the yacht.

Don’t Do It:  At the top of the waterslide, we see the whole incident yet focused only on the Globetrotters.  You hear Canaan’s pleas to Mika while Big Easy & Flight Time constantly reinforces Mika’s fears.  It is still just as funny and brilliant a game move as any I’ve seen this season.  Good on them for staying in the game with a very smart tactic.  I just hope for their sake there are no more challenges involving reading analog time!

Maria’s Fear:  On their way to Atlantis, Maria discusses that she’ll jump from heights into water if she needs to, but she won’t like it.  Both now read the clue material more closely and Tiffany speculates it’s a water slide.  That isn’t what Maria wants to hear as she’d rather jump than go down a slide.  Tiffany is amused and can’t believe it.  Maria has gotten hurt when she’s tried to stop herself on water slides midway down at Raging Waters.  She doesn’t like going fast without being able to stop herself.  Tiffany finds that cute.

They discuss strategy now and Maria believes Tiffany should probably go first but wants to see what it is.  Tiffany thinks the best way is to just knock it out really quick, whatever it is.  Maria would just like to see someone else survive the water slide first so she knows it is okay.  Maria isn’t really all that nervous about it as she’s jumped from high cliffs in Hawaii into the ocean.  She admits that she isn’t a thrill seeker as much as she is adventurous.  She just isn’t excited about doing the thrilling stuff.  Tiffany is still amused at Maria’s fear of slides.  She also thinks that since they had already had to psych themselves up to possibly jump off the Burj Dubai, this water slide adventure really isn’t that big of a deal.

Never Give Up:  On their taxi ride to Atlantis and the Leap of Faith, Flight Time is proud of their performance especially after the early problems they had on this leg.  He hopes they don’t come in last, especially after switching from physical (putting the hookahs together) to mental (counting the gold) and proving that even as athletes, they’re very smart.  He’s hopeful they’re still in it and even more hopeful they get to get wet.

Big Easy is feeling good and is learning a lot from Flight Time.  He hopes they’re not in last place and really doesn’t think they are.  Even if they are in last now, he knows it’s best to be calm.  “No matter what, don’t give up,” Big Easy wisely says.  He’s aware that all the teams ahead of them are most likely praying that the Globetrotters are out of it but he’s got a remaining trick for them.  They’re going to walk right up and finish it.  He’s the most confident he’s been all day.  I must say, their optimism is amazing and so unlike some other teams in other seasons where they have already given up even before elimination.

Pit Stop

Still Blessed:  At the mat, Phil asks what Canaan is going to say to a very sad-looking Mika.  Besides “stop being a baby!”? Okay, sorry, that was me.  Canaan says he’s blessed beyond measure and is just glad to have the experience of the race.  He doesn’t hold anything against Mika and his life is in God’s hands, and life is good.  Phil asks Mika to explain how she’s feeling about it all and what it felt like to think about the water slide.  She’s only been on two rollercoasters her entire life and is afraid of heights and anything extreme.  She admits the slide wasn’t extreme and can’t really explain why she locked up at the top of the slide.

Phil wonders if Mika feels she needs to be able to explain her freeze after the race or to conquer her fears.  Mika doesn’t have the desire to do those kinds of scary things and isn’t worried about trying to do them in the future.  Phil is curious about the Globetrotters’ presence up top.  Canaan recaps for Phil what happened with the trashtalking and considered it indecent of them.  He understands it’s a game but Mika thinks that the ball players just don’t understand someone who has a crippling fear.  If the situation had been reversed, Canaan claims he wouldn’t have taunted them as it’s indecent.  It’s not just a part of the game.  Mika actually felt bad for Big Easy when he was having trouble at the briefcase Roadblock.  They both felt sad for them and didn’t taunt Big Easy when he was having problems.

More Than Happy:  Down with Phil at the mat, Big Easy is still reveling in the fact that they just slid by Mika & Canaan.  “She’s still shaking up there!” exclaims Big Easy while Phil agrees.  They tell Phil about their taunts and about Canaan getting upset with them for doing so.  Phil advises an absent Canaan that he needs to pick his battles carefully.  Concerning the rest of the leg, they tell Phil that it’s all about not giving up.  They had a tough time early on with Big Easy’s briefcase dilemma yet they never threw in the towel.  They didn’t start fighting amongst themselves when the stress flared up and they will do what it takes to stay in the race.

Flight Time recognizes that Mika was already scared and they took advantage of that, but they did what was necessary.  They’re not bad guys and they bring up the fact that just yesterday, they helped Mike & Canaan when they advised them to wear their jackets into the Dubai ski slope.  Both knew though that if the final challenge involved jumping from anything that Mika wasn’t going to be able to do it.  Phil is impressed that they held on to the hope that the race isn’t over until everyone gets on to the mat.

The Alliance Lives On:  Phil is impressed that Sam & Dan and Maria & Tiffany are still working strongly together.  Phil notices Tiffany smiling and she explains that she loves that the finish line today was to race along the beach in her bikini and then jump in the water.  Phil brings up that Sam & Dan are hot guys and Tiffany readily agrees wondering if there’s anything better to look at.  Keep it in your pants, girl!  Phil even notices how brilliant Dan’s smile is (I’m now starting to wonder if Phil is intentionally coming on to Dan to see if Dan will reveal he’s gay).

Dan liked being in second place but is still happy with their position.  He just hopes that it’s an elimination leg.  Phil tells him he’ll see what he can do.  Dan brings up that he likes Phil’s hat (see, now Dan is getting flirty back!).  Phil reveals this is the first time on the race he’s ever worn a hat.  That’s some trivia for you!  It’s just too bright out here for him.  As for teams they’d like to be gone, Sam definitely wants the Globetrotters gone while the group as a whole has their sights set on Meghan & Cheyne.  Maria has had enough of those overachievers.

For the Family:  Phil wonders what Brian & Ericka’s family are thinking of their performance so far.  Ericka hopes that everyone’s jealous, as it’s a fantastic experience.  They hope their families see them as a team.  Brian remembers that they started the race out a little rough, staying in the bottom for quite a while until they regrouped and got stronger.  He’s confident they’ll be there at the end.  As for Brian’s family specifically, he knows they’re jealous right now of them being in Dubai where it’s sunny and warm.  Ericka just hopes that Brian’s family doesn’t think she’s a mean one as they have definitely gotten into it during the race.  Brian is confident that they look like a team though and are making their way through it strongly.

Meghan & Cheyne’s Hat Trick:  Phil points out that Meghan & Cheyne have made themselves a target with this being their third win.  Cheyne isn’t worried as long as they stay in the front of the pack and thus not get U-Turn’d by anyone.  Meghan is exhausted but is happy to finally be in water as it’s so hot.  They go on about how beautiful Dubai is and I begin to wonder how they’ll be if they ever actually have to race against other teams.  I don’t think they’ve been in the middle or back of the pack so far.  Meanwhile, Cheyne tells about how great the race has been with all the different countries and cultures they’ve been to and that if the race ended now, they’d be sad but also very happy with what they’ve managed to do.

Elimination Station

Last week, Elimination Station left us with a cliffhanger as the water basket race between the men and women just started.  Who will win???  The men go first in the basket and they manage to make some progress to the white end point marker despite having the women throwing coconuts in to the water to splash them.  Even though last week Keri was certain the men would just spin in a circle, the men finish the course with a time of 00:55:22.

It’s now the women’s turn.  Marcy believes the advantage that the women will have is their ability to work together.  We shall see.  The women take off and Marcy is the oarmaster, commanding Jessica and Keri to “Go” instead of the typical “Stroke” gladiator slaves would have heard in ancient times.  Amazingly, the women destroy the men by 10 seconds as they finish with a time of 00:46:12!

Ron assumed strength would be dominant in the competition and Lance agrees.  He realizes though that just like in the Amazing Race itself, strength will only get you so far and is not necessarily an advantage.  Strategy and technique can overcome a lack of strength.  Keri knows she’ll be gloating about the win for a while.  Lance also knows he’ll be hearing about it all day too and all he wanted was just to relax afterwards.

Back at the resort, the gang is getting some “BBCs”, which is short for Baileys, bananas and cream.  Surprise, surprise, Zev & Justin stroll on in!  The whole passport ordeal comes back into focus and it is still obviously a raw issue for Justin.  They explain what happened to the group and Justin admits the first 24 hours were rough while dealing with it.  Zev isn’t about blaming anyone as it was a team mistake in losing the passport.  The whole experience was worth it.

It’s nighttime and the group heads to the night market to see what is going on.  There are lots of vendors serving all sorts of food, including one selling fried chicken feet.  Zev wants one.  They ask for advice on how to eat it but even the vendors aren’t really sure as they don’t want to eat it.  Justin encourages Zev to just chow down on it in one bite.  Zev instead takes a small bite out of one of the toes, likes it, then proceeds to eat the rest.  Justin is impressed but says Zev can stop as it’s grossing him out.

The next day, the group is playing games in the living room.  While playing, Mika & Canaan stroll on in.  When it rains eliminated contestants, it pours!  Everyone is surprised to see them and there are hugs all around.  Mika & Canaan tell the group all about the leg including the reason for their elimination, Mika’s fear of everything.  As they recount the water slide incident, Canaan freely admits that he tried to push Mika down the slide.  Some of the women gasp but he owns up to what he did proudly, as it was for a million bucks!  Everyone ends up laughing though as they can see that Mika is laughing too.  Canaan tells us that he isn’t holding it against Mika as the roles could have easily been reversed.

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 or getting lost on the subway. He can be reached at hobswriting@hobiebarnes.com.

 

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