Apr 16, 2009, Ep 8: “If The Shoe Fits”

The Amazing Race 14 Insider, Episode 8: “If The Shoe Fits”

AR14_Ep8Judgments are flying fast and furious as the competition gets tougher, but Jaime & Cara (right, with puppies) have no problem with the names being leveled against them. Probably because they have puppies. But what about Kisha, who doesn’t even have a shoe to fit? Find out what Jen has to say about that in this batch of videos.

This week’s videos seem to have the common thread of teams learning a lot about themselves. Everyone is learning how to hit their stride yet still some fall into old behavior patterns that could hurt their long-term chances, like Kisha & Jen. At Elimination Station, more Preston & Jennifer drama if you’re so inclined. Bonus: there’s video footage from each leg of Phil’s race across the country. I didn’t recap those as there’s new ones each day, so check back with The Amazing Race site to see Phil in action.

Special Videos Now Posted

CBS is posting videos from each day of Phil’s bike ride across America. Check them out if you want to get a glimpse of just where he is and his adventures throughout our fine country.

At the Pit Stop

Don’t Count Them Out: Phil asks Mark & Mike if they’re going to give up. Both are upbeat and aren’t giving up – it’s only a speed bump. The game is still on for them. Mike acknowledges that they’re still there so they’re going to give it their all. Phil points out that one thing went their way this leg, but neither Mark nor Mike can figure out what he means. Phil is of course referring to it not being an elimination round. He is also happy to point out that the parrot on the greeter’s shoulder is the best-looking parrot ever. And it speaks English.

Lessons Learned: Kisha & Jen admit that they need to learn to trust their instincts. Both of them initially wanted to turn the boat around to get their stuff but then talked themselves out of it. Jen was very upset that they didn’t turn around but they were living under an assumption that the boats would come back to where they started. Kisha tells Phil that while Jen won’t admit this, Kisha had immediately suggested they bring their belongings before leaving, but Jen just wanted to leave. As Kisha tells her side of the story, Jen purses her lips and starts to pull her hair, probably in order to keep from lunging at her sister.

Phil asks Kisha what she thinks Jen needs to do better and surprisingly, Kisha thinks Jen can be too carefree at times. Kisha searches for the word that would describe what Jen needs, and Phil supplies “aggressive.” Kisha thinks perhaps mentally aggressive, but certainly not physically aggressive as Jen has that covered. She finds herself to be the strategic one while Jen is rarely the one who will make decisions.

It’s Jen’s turn to respond and she thinks Kisha should be a little bit more carefree. Jen doesn’t see the use in strategizing again if Kisha is doing it already. She’d rather not waste effort but Kisha can rest assured if Jen doesn’t agree with the strategy, she’ll make it known. Jen is aware that Kisha can see Jen’s disagreement as negativity but she has been working on being less vague in her thoughts.

When asked if there was a leader of the team, both agree that neither played that role this leg and they recognize that was a bad thing. Someone should have made the decision to go back. Kisha knows that if one of them feels strongly about something, it’s necessary to challenge the teammate with that in order to make the best possible decision.

Coming From Behind: Phil asks how Tammy & Victor feel about their performance this leg. Tammy tells Phil that their strategy was to race as if they were coming from behind. Accordingly, they raced aggressively but smartly, much different than their disastrous Romanian adventure. Victor recalls that they ended up being last at a lot this leg, but because they kept their cool, they fought through it. Both are happy to be in third place.

Phil asks if they had a good time this leg and Victor was thrilled to have done the karaoke challenge. Will he put that in his own car at home? Both are humorously willing to consider it. Phil now wants to know who they would like to race against at the end. While Tammy would like to spend more time with Cara & Jaime and Margie & Luke, they’re very strong competitors. So she would rather not compete against them and race against Jen & Kisha and Mark & Mike instead.

They feel that Margie & Luke are the strongest team left (and not themselves, to Phil’s surprise). Tammy & Victor have noticed that Mark & Mike and Jen & Kisha make lots of mistakes, which will help Tammy & Victor pull ahead.

The Impressionists: Phil wonders who will be the final three teams. Cara happily exclaims that for sure they’ll be one of them. This revelation is accompanied by a joyous victory dance. Yes, Jaime can smile. Phil likes it. He wants to know who the other two will be then. Cara gives the ol’ “everyone’s great” line but Phil isn’t dissuaded. Jaime fesses up and says that Margie & Luke deserve a spot. But when it comes to that third spot, Jaime & Cara have to discuss it.

Mark & Mike don’t think on their own at all and have no plan. After hearing this, Phil tattles on the Tweedles on that they called Jaime & Cara “carrot tops.” They laugh and Cara admits it’s probably because she told Mark & Mike about their nickname. Cara thought it was a cute nickname. Phil tells them the Tweedles called them mean carrot tops. Cara doesn’t buy it but Jaime thinks if the shoe fits. Jaime then has Cara do her impression.

Cara preps Phil by explaining that Mark & Mike are apparently certified at doing everything. The funny thing is that they always bob their heads when bragging but it’s always nonchalantly. After seeing the impression, I can totally believe it. Phil wonders aloud if Mark & Mike’s size has helped them. He asks Cara & Jaime what they think about the carrot top nickname. Neither really care as they know they’ve been called much worse. Cara actually likes being called mean as she’s never been called that before.

Back On Top: Phil is thrilled to see how much healthier Margie looks. Margie agrees but knows that it was due to them having a great race day. Phil compliments them on being a strong team and informs them the other teams are very scared of them. Phil asks Luke if he was worried about his mom yesterday. Luke definitely was because after all that activity, he was afraid Margie wouldn’t be ready for the race today. Phil points out that Luke needs his mom and Luke agrees, as it takes two people to win.

What is their weakness? Luke doesn’t find they have any weakness right now as even his deafness isn’t hindering them. They had to skip a Detour today because neither of them can sing, so perhaps that. Asked if he learned something new about his mom during the race, Luke admits he was worried after Margie passed out. He thought that she’d be done but she wasn’t.

Phil wonders if Margie is getting everything she wanted out of the race. She has as they communicate so much better and they know how to handle disagreements without bickering. They’ve both learned conflict slows them down. Even more, getting to visit all these places has been amazing. Margie admits that before the race, they both made a list of three places they hoped to see. Thailand was her number one.

After the Race

Overcoming Obstacles: Mike isn’t worried too much about the Speed Bump in the next leg. They have to deal with not only that but the time penalty. All they can do is not panic which is what they’ve been doing the last few legs. When they got on the boat and it took off right away, they panicked. Mike starts to blame it on the boat driver but Mark interrupts and admits that situation was all them. They can’t dwell on it though. Mike is just happy they dealt with it and with integrity. Ooookay.

Mean Carrot Tops: Jaime tells us about Phil’s revelation about Mark & Mike’s nickname for them (carrot tops). Neither really cared but as we saw in the video above (The Impressionists), Cara is thrilled to have been called mean. Now she feels like she’s “hardcore.” Jaime continues her assessment of Mark & Mike’s tactics, which tend to be mostly about asking the other racers what they’re doing. It just annoys her.

For Cara, if Mark & Mike are certified at doing everything and can speak every language known, she imagines they’d have no problems doing any of the tasks at the challenges. But they do have problems and they’re not first all the time. It’s peculiar.

Not So Simple: Margie admits that the race is significantly harder than she ever thought it would be. The TV edit doesn’t show you how tiring the traveling is or how hard the challenges really are. She wonders if that comes across on the show. The cheese wheel challenge was the hardest physical thing she’s done in her life, but at the same time, it was so satisfying to finish it. Margie has also had the opportunity to see just how much she really is capable of. She’s surprising herself in all these physical challenges.

Sisters’ Bad Day: Kisha has never been unwilling to discuss things as she is a trainer in conflict resolution. It’s all about how you approach things and while there’s nothing wrong with each of them saying, “we should do this,” the way you say it makes all the difference. Jen was very critical and even rude in the beginning of the race. But today when Jen suggested to go back, she wasn’t rude. Kisha also believed two other teams had to go back to get their stuff so it wasn’t a big issue.

Separately, Jen admits she listens to the big sister. But today’s experience combined with past events has proven that Jen will never let Kisha carry the fanny pack again. She can’t believe Kisha even took it off for the challenge. Why did she have to do that? Why did she take her shoes off? But Jen didn’t bring this up because she didn’t want the headache of arguing about it with Kisha.

Making Progress: Victor knows that he & Tammy have some contentious parts of their relationship, especially since they’re siblings. They also knew going in this that there would have to be extra care when dealing with each other. They’ve learned that naturally their relationship does better when they’re ahead in the race and it’s harder when they’re struggling. Yet they do a lot better in their interactions while struggling than they used to. They’re constructive and keep from attacking each other and their race positions prove they’ve gotten better.

Extra Race Footage

Tense Tammy: Tammy asks the taxi driver what he’s looking for and he doesn’t answer. Victor quietly talks to his sister in Chinese, to which she finally she says, OK. Later, Tammy explains that Victor doesn’t want her to pressure the cab driver as it makes him slow down. Victor then has to talk to Tammy in Chinese as the driver understands English and would know they’re talking about him. He acknowledges they’re both anxious but the driver is trying his best. Victor wants the cab driver thinking and not stressing out.

Time Well Spent: Margie likes having time with Luke as he’s been away at college the past few years. Even though they get on each others nerves at times, they’re having an amazing time. She’s happy to have been doing this leg mostly on their own as in many of the previous legs, they stuck with other teams. They were dependent on other teams and it has backfired sometimes. Now on their own, it feels good and they are doing things smartly and independently. Like right now, they waited to get into a cab that had a driver that really knew where to go. They feel it’s the home stretch and they can’t work as a big team anymore.

Margie & Luke’s Wish: Margie is surprised that Kisha & Jen once again managed to get in front of their cab driver. It seems they always do that. Margie recognizes they’re also very persuasive and pushy, as Jen & Kisha jumped a cab line that had a few people waiting in it. Margie is diplomatic and says that Jen & Kisha are “determined.” Laughing now, Margie has found out that their cab driver really doesn’t know where he’s going, unlike what she thought in the video, Time Well Spent, above. He’s making a call to find out.

Luke signs that he wants Tammy & Victor to get eliminated this leg. They’re a tough team who are very strategic and smart. Margie agrees. She would next want Kisha & Jen eliminated as they’re just a tough team. Luke would like to see a final three of Cara & Jaime and Mark & Mike and, of course, them.

Shoeless Kisha: While sitting in a stopped cab, Jen calls out Kisha as a hillbilly in Thailand. Jen repeats the mockery again because as we all saw, Kisha has no shoes. Jen then scares her sister, reminding her that there’s SARS and malaria here. She then looks over to see if Kisha has any open sores on her feet. Kisha isn’t amused and gives Jen a look. Kisha tries to blame Jen for her lack of shoes but Jen isn’t having that and still can’t understand why Kisha took her shoes off. Kisha says there was a lot of water there and her shoes already smelled like fish from the previous day’s barrel task. Silence for a few seconds, then Jen hilariously exclaims, “you’re gonna have s*!t growing on your feet.”

Share and Share Alike: Kisha recounts how at the airport, a Thai couple wrote down directions to the boatyard in Thai so they could give it to a taxi driver. Tammy & Victor had asked the same Thai couple for help but didn’t get the same info. A man noticed that and got the paper from Tammy & Victor and had the couple write the correct stuff on it. After that, Tammy & Victor shared that with Margie & Luke. Kisha now knows that all three teams have the same information due to alliances. Jen knows that alliances will break and turn on each other but she’s not worried since they’re not in an alliance.

The Crooners: Heading to the karaoke journey, Mark & Mike are anticipating what they’ll have to do. Mark is adamant they won’t stop singing and will be giving it their all. (Hey guys, this isn’t American Idol!) Mark will admit that his singing maybe isn’t perfect but he can dance really well. Mike does karaoke all the time, so he’s the singer and Mark is the dancer. Mike reveals that they spend most Friday nights at the sushi bar followed by karaoke. Mike sings it all, from rock n’ roll to showtunes, so he’s ready.

Muddy Waters: As their boat motors down the Thailand canals, Jaime observes the brown water and states she does not want to have swim in it. Cara thinks that the water looks dirty probably because of all the oil and boat traffic that is in it, but if all these children are swimming in it, it’s likely the water isn’t as dirty as it appears. Cara once swam in a Florida canal that color and came out all itchy, but believes it could just be the color of the water. Jaime is gonna stay in the boat regardless.

Puppy Love: At the Pit Start, Cara & Jaime are holding ridiculously cute puppies that had been hanging around their bags. Cara would take the puppies in their bags if they could. Jaime would just trade her bag for the puppy. So would I! Cara tells us that Jaime’s weakness is animals. Jaime has smelled the puppy breath and for her it’s the perfect way to start the leg. She notices her puppy is basically asleep now in her arms. Cara calls them their good luck charms. I call them super adorable!

Margie Recovered: Margie & Luke walk into the airport lounge where all the teams are waiting and everyone happily greets Margie, exclaiming how good and healthy she looks. Margie discusses that the weird part about fainting was that she didn’t remember the Pit Stop at all when they went back there for the Pit Start. Cara & Jaime recognize that Margie has a new outfit on and are immediately jealous because they’re still in their old rags.

Elimination Station

Episode 8: What drama awaits us this week? We open on Preston playing solitaire on the covered patio while Jennifer is reading a magazine inside. The rain is pouring down and Steve comments it’s been raining every day they’ve been there. Jennifer heads upstairs to read and Linda asks why Preston isn’t with her. Linda notices something could be wrong and asks Jennifer if everything is okay. She reveals that it’s just that they’ve never spent this much time together and it’s wearing Preston down.

Preston confirms this by talking about it with Steve. Jennifer knows she has to distance herself to prevent it from getting bad. Preston thinks Jennifer feels she’s right about everything and if he corrects her, he’s being a jerk. Steve advises Preston that the woman is always right. Jennifer finds this is a good test of their relationship. Linda wonders what will happen when they get home and Jennifer knows they have to talk about it. When is enough enough? Amen! I’ve had enough, that’s for sure.

The sun shines now so it’s off in the van everyone goes! Today’s trip involves getting on a boat similar to what was in the challenge, albeit longer. Mel kids that this is a lot more fun than running around the world. Mike isn’t buying that. Jennifer informs us that the boat is taking them out to go kayaking and snorkeling. That actually sounds like fun. Everyone pops on their snorkels and swims around in the much cleaner-looking water.

On the beach, everyone compares their shell finds. Brad then declares that he & Victoria will beat all in a kayak race. Some of the guys seem to be reluctant to race and Brad & Victoria give them grief. After that, Kris is ready to race. So Kris & Preston get in one kayak while Brad & Victoria are in the other. The race begins and it’s neck and neck out to the outer marker at which they turn around to race back. Brad & Victoria swing wide at the turn around and end up losing. It wasn’t a total blowout as there was only about a five-second gap between them. Not too shabby, all things considered.

As all the teams get in their kayaks to go back to the big boat, Preston & Jennifer admit that this was the nicest day so far. All the teams there bring good energy, especially Jodi & Christie and Mel & Mike. Finally, Preston & Jennifer are getting along better. Thank heavens! Why doesn’t CBS just re-title these Elimination Station videos as Days of Preston & Jennifer’s Lives?

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