Oct 30, 2008, Ep 5: It’s ‘The Amazing Race,’ not ‘The Amazing Vacation’

The Amazing Race 13 Insider, Episode 5: It’s ‘The Amazing Race,’ not ‘The Amazing Vacation’

AR13_Ep5American life versus Cambodian life? Winning or Trying to Win? Big boobs or no boobs? Two books or one? These issues pop up a lot for the racers during this leg and in the Pit Stop chats with Phil. And at Elimination Station, who ends up making unnecessary waves? Read the Insider video recaps and all will be explained.

So who’s ready for another helping of The Amazing Race 13 videos? Even as the number of teams dwindle, the number of videos don’t seem to follow suit. A surprising addition has been made to the CBS website, though, as they’ve finally posted entire episodes! No longer do the football overruns mean a frantic hunt through “other” sources if your DVR taped a whole lot of 60 Minutes. Enough blathering from me though, it’s time for some recaps.

At the Pit Stop

Aja & Ty’s New Perspective: Phil asks Aja & Ty what they got out of the race now that it’s over for them. Ty mentions that it wasn’t until this leg of the race that he finally got the “bug” to travel. Aja says it was the rapid-fire exposure to a bunch of places in a short amount of time that gave her perspective. She has traveled overseas but of course, traveling via The Amazing Race is certainly a different way to do it.

The trip around the world has also made Aja appreciate the blessings in her life. After seeing the way people live in relatively meager situations yet still be quite happy shows her that money isn’t everything. Phil stares at Ty to see if he has anything else to contribute to this line of thought. Ty adds that it doesn’t require going to a big city to see other cultures. Going to the indigenous spots can provide an even more revealing glimpse into real life.

Phil asks them if it’s important for Americans to see the world via television shows like The Amazing Race. Aja readily agrees and adds that Americans are a very sheltered society (I concur). Throughout the rest of the world, most cultures are multi-lingual and very multi-cultural. A show like The Amazing Race can help spark that interest in cultures not our own. Phil compliments Aja with a “nicely said.” Again, I agree.

Phil Spells It Out: Phil bluntly asks Dan & Andrew whether they’d rather have a good time or win the race. Dan laughingly replies with “winning” but Andrew lawyers up with Phil and hesitates with an answer. Andrew seems to want to answer “both” because obviously you want to “win a race.” But Phil isn’t dissuaded and asks Andrew the question again. Andrew stammers out that you come on to “try to win” and Phil looks over to Dan to see if he agrees. Dan can’t understand that kind of thinking as he wants to win.

Phil points out that Dan & Andrew have different motivations for doing the race (and throughout this conversation, the small, bald, Cambodian greeter gentleman next to Phil is obviously wondering what the heck is going on – hilarious!). Dan seems to be there to compete while it appears Andrew is more about slowing down to smell the roses. Andrew disputes this saying that he only tells Dan to slow down because they should work as a team. Phil isn’t buying it and wants to know if Dan is. Dan admits to win you technically have to win as a team. Both Phil and Andrew chuckle.

Dan points out that now that all the fluff teams have been weeded out, they have to up their game. Dan doesn’t want to be at the next Pit Stop and get eliminated because Andrew didn’t put all his effort into it. Then Phil lays the hammer down on them and states, “I’m gonna tell you guys, I think I’m going to be eliminating you on the next leg of the race.” Cue the Law & Order guhn-guhn sound! Maybe it’s only tough love but he calls out their total lack of team cohesion and motivation.

Phil wonders if this bothers them. Dan thinks it’s obvious that they have differing views. Andrew is more upset that Phil was so direct, but Dan defends Phil’s honest assessment. Andrew doesn’t like being assessed as the weak member of the team. He just sometimes has to get to a stress-free zone every now and then and not think about the race. Dan reminds him that all the other teams ahead of them (which is now all of them) are thinking about the race non-stop. There’s always time to reflect and de-stress later, as it’s not a show called The Amazing Vacation! Ha!

Kelly & Christy Can’t Believe It: Phil asks Kelly & Christy if they’re shocked by it. I’m not sure what “it” is yet. Ah, they reveal they thought they were fighting for first or second place, even third. Coming in fifth is a bit shocking. Phil asks what they think was the problem and Christy tells him it was probably their cab at the beginning of the race. Phil then facetiously asks what the number one excuse in The Amazing Race is. Completely missing the obvious, Kelly thinks the answer is that the clue isn’t read closely enough. Wow. Phil helps them out with the real answer, and they both laugh a little sheepishly.

Christy thinks cab drivers should know the streets they drive around on. Phil isn’t convinced and tells them they need to not place all their trust in a cab driver’s knowledge. Most importantly they need to know where they are going.

Phil reminds them that they are in fifth place and Kelly recognizes that you can’t assume anything while racing. Phil notices that they’re both still confident. He wonders if they underestimated the other teams and they agree. To Phil’s astonishment (and cocked eyebrow), Kelly & Christy truly thought they were going to be first in all the legs. Kelly even daydreamed about all the trips and cash they were going to win. They don’t like settling for less than first-place finishes in any aspect of their life. Phil wants to know how they’re going to turn it around. Christy says paying attention to detail is the key, although haven’t we heard that since after the first leg? P’shaw.

Still Going Strong: Phil wants to know what Ken thinks of where they currently are. It’s a beautiful and very historical place with things that have been around probably as long as Ken & Tina have been together. How long have they been together, all told? Tina tells Phil it’s been about six and a half years.

Moving on, Phil asks Tina how she’s feeling about Ken right now. Tina thinks Ken has been very supportive but she’s annoyed right now with her performance in Angkor Wat. It may have helped take the target off their back now that they’re not in first place, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. But does Ken think their relationship is going good right now? Ken says that was the main reason for coming on the race, yet Tina quickly interjects it was “to win the million dollars!” As Ken keeps explaining his point, it’s obvious Tina is not a drinker of that Kool-Aid.

Two Teams Awestruck: What’s on everybody’s mind, Phil asks Toni & Dallas and Terence & Sarah. Sarah says it’s a realization about her life in NYC compared to life in a place like Cambodia. Who has it right? Technology and skyscrapers versus peace and spirituality are giving her pause. Toni & Dallas agree as Toni explains that while she’s been to Europe, this place is just awesome. Dallas hasn’t ever seen any place like Cambodia.

Phil wants to know what they’ll take away from this experience. For Toni it was just seeing the pure happiness of the people even when they’re not in typical American-style comfort. It’s an emotional thing for her to see the core human spirit in everyone. Dallas adds it goes beyond money, culture, and language.

Phil asks Terence if the Cambodia – U.S. comparison is an apt analogy for Terence & Sarah’s relationship. He then begins telling a story about the broken boat captain sucking something out of the engine to help them out and that he wants to hear crickets cricket and it all boils down to it’s all just so beautiful. Trust me, there’s not much more to what he said.

Siblings Back On Top: Phil notices that they look in a lot better shape than at the end of the last leg. No doctors, no sitting amongst sheep – they’re now surrounded by beautiful Cambodian history. Starr tells Phil it’s an incredible place to be and a life-changing experience. In response to what they’re looking forward to, both look forward to crossing the finish line.

Phil points out to them that the other teams consider Nick & Starr a strong team. Is that a compliment or something to worry about? Starr thinks it’s a good thing and wants everyone to race and play hard. Nick points out they have both allies (Ken & Tina, Toni & Dallas) and enemies (Kelly & Christy, Terence & Sarah). Phil wants to know why their enemies are working against them, but Nick clarifies it’s more in the gist of competitive spirit.

After highlighting that Nick & Starr are the youngest team on the race, Phil asks how they’re feeling. Starr says the win was exactly the boost they needed and will keep them going all the way to the end. Their last few finishes have been frustrating so finishing first again is thrilling.

After The Race

Aja & Ty Together: Ty explains that over the course of the race they’ve learned many things about each other. One of the most important is learning how to work together. They had known how to exist apart but the race conditions taught them how to handle the stress of constant exposure together. Aja believes that the lessons learned from cooperating together in all the challenges are going to carry over from the race and into life.

The Worry Wart: Nick thinks Starr worries way too much about things all the time during the race. The situations always seem to turn out for the best and Nick can rub it in Starr’s face. But Nick admits that Starr’s worrying has certainly been useful as sometimes her worries prevented a situation from going bad. Nick’s much more relaxed demeanor somehow does combine positively with Starr’s nervous one and usually to their advantage.

Yet even though things typically work out, Nick gets aggravated at Starr’s repetitive worries, such as questioning a taxi driver the same thing six times. Starr defends herself and thinks you have to be ready for things changing on a dime. She admits she may worry a bit too much, but someone on their team has to do so. After all this back and forth, they admit they both balance each other out and their team is successful because of it.

Extra Footage

Ken & Tina’s Toe-riffic Massage: At the Singapore airport, Tina settles into a green coin-operated foot massage chair. Ken joins her on the adjoining chair and sticks his sock-covered feet right into the holes while Tina laboriously reads all the instructions. She tells him he has to take his socks off but he refuses, as while his feet are nasty, he bets the machine is even nastier. Good call, Ken.

As Tina turns on the massager to Relax setting, it turns out to be kind of a brutal massage. She jokingly wonders what the Robust setting feels like! Oh my heck, Tina thinks it feels good. Ken put it on Robust and while it’s killing his heel, the rest of the foot is good. After their long flight from Auckland, they’re hoping it gets the swelling out of their feet.

Tina tells us that she saw the machines while walking by and noticed a beautiful woman sitting there getting her feet massaged. She ran over and saw that it was also free and immediately got on the empty seat, saving the other one for Ken when it emptied. As she’s telling this, Ken starts exclaiming it feels like Chinese torture and Tina corrects him and says it feels good. Yes, ma’am!

Kelly & Christy Zip Their Lips: The girls reveal that they aren’t dishonest with the other teams. They just don’t share information with them. Before the race, Kelly & Christy didn’t want any alliances and shockingly, they don’t have any. Kelly brings up that they’ll make friends at the airport like Marty & Todd. Marty & Todd are the hot New Zealand guys from the Chile airport that they discussed in their expanded Pit Stop chat from last week, Divorcees Moving Up. Then with complete sincerity and in total contradiction to what most show watchers think, Christy says that they always make friends easily wherever they go. Almost always people meet them and want them to do well. Someone buy these girls a clue, stat. Yowza.

The Kindness of Strangers: As Christy is driving, she explains they’ve been saving money because they’re running quickly out of skin-care products. So what has been nice is that people in airports have given money when Kelly & Christy have begged for it. Even better is that since they’ve been frugal, they can hit up drugstores to get their necessary toiletries. Christy explains that it’s important for them to look good as when they look good, they feel good. And when they feel good, they perform better.

Terrible Tina: Kelly & Christy think that Ken is a genuinely good guy, but the praise falls short when it comes to Tina. Christy thinks she’s shady, and Tina just gets on Kelly’s nerves. And even though Ken & Tina keep coming in first, that doesn’t mean Kelly is about to suck up to them like everyone else. Kelly is not buying into the “Tina is so smart” bandwagon either, and knows that any of them are as smart as her. The talk turns back to Ken and they feel bad for him. Mostly because he is with Tina who always looks surprised and Kelly mimes a facelift face.

Christy wonders how Tina would look if she were actually ever surprised. After laughing about that some more, they both realize they’re being kind of ugly and need to stop. Is it time to talk about hot guys or toiletries? Nope, it’s time to wonder how to get Ken & Tina eliminated. They think on it a bit and lapse into silence. I bet if you were in the car you could feel the heat from the brain power being used just then!

Tina’s Cantaloupes: Yet another Kelly & Christy-in-the-car video! Christy claims that both of them are nice and friendly and use their smiles and hugs to show sincere appreciation. They don’t throw their boobs at others like “some people.” Christy then demonstrates how Tina’s posture points out her chest so they’re popping out. Yet Christy realizes that she doesn’t have any boobs compared to Tina. Christy is pretty certain Tina’s breasts aren’t getting her any more information than the breastless though. Kelly believes Ken should keep Tina from flaunting her cantaloupes like that. I seriously can’t believe I just watched a video that talked solely about boobs.

Old Friends Catch Up: In the Singapore airport where Ken & Tina had their foot massage, Tina is telling Nick & Starr about the Fast Forward from the last leg. She talks about her fear of heights and Ken talks about trying to scare Tina even more by guessing they’d have to skydive off the tower. Nick & Starr then regale Ken & Tina with the torturous Detours that they did both of. Tina worries about Starr’s arm injury but Starr assures her she’s better now. Yawn. Did these teams really not talk during the mandatory rest period?

An Eye Opening Experience: Dallas & Toni are speeding along to Angkor Wat and are confident they’re not first but certainly not last. Both are blown away by how surprisingly beautiful Cambodia is. Dallas is especially impressed by entire communities that are built on top of the water. Toni has never seen anything like this, and Dallas can’t believe how everyone lives in houses made of sticks. The rapid changes from poor to relatively decent amongst the town buildings they’re driving through are amazing to Toni.

What Ty Wants: As they are driving to the airport in Auckland, Ty really wants to see Toni & Dallas and Ken & Tina. He wants to see their faces as they catch up. Ty is certain that Tina doesn’t think much of his and Aja’s racing skills. He’d love to put pressure on those teams. While the other teams are more focused than Ty & Aja, he’s positive that he and Aja are the hungriest team. Aja sees that when you’re in last place, it really pushes you to go forward and get another day in the race. No more taking things for granted.

Andrew’s Big Adventure: Andrew catches Dan up on his experience in Angkor Wat while they’re driving to the Pit Stop. He recalls how everywhere you turned in the temple, there was even more temple around the corner. Dan asks if Andrew had to backtrack much but Andrew says he knew where he was with respect to the center of the temple. Andrew does rate this Roadblock as the hardest Roadblock experienced so far. He admits he had to ask directions to find the spot in the temple. Dan is a bit surprised he had to do that. Andrew can’t wait to get to the Pit Stop as it’s like going home from little league. You know there’s great junk food to look forward to. It’s fairly clear from this that Andrew’s head really isn’t in it to win it, which Phil totally called him out on in their Pit Stop video, above.

The Snoopers: Andrew & Dan are at the Singapore airport where they realize they’ve caught up to the other five teams and everyone’s together again. Andrew doesn’t see Kelly & Christy though and Dan tells him it’s because they’re snooping around like they always do. Dan notices that the girls can never sit still and always have to be doing something. He also calls out Terence & Sarah for doing the same thing. Andrew thinks that those teams should think logically and illustrates his point with Dan’s refusal to take no for an answer at the ticket counter. On the other hand Terence & Sarah are flitting around everywhere wasting their energy. Dan says to let ‘em.

Sarah The Bookworm: At a bookstore in New Zealand, Sarah wants to get a $40 Cambodia travel book while Terence is leaning towards just the map. Sarah isn’t letting this book go and like a true shopper, highlights all the plusses of having the book. There’s pronunciation guides, maps, info on Buddha, and more. Terence tries to show that the map he wants has the really necessary information while the book is expensive and excessive for their immediate needs.

Sarah expresses that having the $40 book will give her comfort. Terence then sees a $21 guidebook and Sarah immediately dismisses it, saying, “we are not buying a book based on price.” Whoa. Terence is a lot more comfortable with the $21 book and makes the decision to get it. As he’s moving to the register, Sarah suggests they could get both books. Terence doesn’t understand where she’s coming from and says there’s a one-book limit. She will not give up on this though! As a last negotiation, Terence wants to get a t-shirt, which she quickly denies. He in turn quickly denies her the second book.

Sarah The Bookworm, Part 2: As Terence & Sarah speed to Angkor Wat, Sarah confesses that all the online searches she did the night before were useless. Her book purchase at the airport has been proving useful though. Terence is skeptical and wants to know how. Annoyed, Sarah explains that because of the book they know what Angkor Wat looks like. Nonplussed, Terence thinks they will get the same information when they buy their admission tickets. Sarah is still glad to have the book and I’m quite certain this book will be wedged somewhere the sun don’t shine tonight.

Terence turns the discussion to how beautiful and different Cambodia is. Sarah remarks on the massive cultural differences between her life and being chained to a Blackberry compared to Cambodian life. Terence immediately interjects that he’s not chained to a Blackberry, only her. With little digs like that, I can totally predict this relationship is not gonna last.

Elimination Station

Aja & Ty Eliminated: In the communal kitchen at Elimination Station, everyone is trying to get a meal prepared. They realize they need to go to a market to get food supplies though and head out. Bill reveals that with another team coming in, they want to have lunch on the table awaiting them. That’s really nice of them!

In the town market, they pick up some hanging dead chickens (no lie) which Stephanie is not having any part of. Marisa is really grossed out by the raw state of all the meat in the market. Yet everyone survives the experience and takes the items back to the Villa. They cook up a delicious-looking chicken meal with wonderful sides and now sit at the round table. They sit and stare at their food, wondering who could possibly be next. Brooke notes that Ty & Aja were only 10 minutes ahead of them in the last leg, so it could be them.

The Chevy SUV pulls around the corner and the speculation keeps going. Some think Ken & Tina, others Kelly & Christy. But as the door of the SUV opens, they see Ty & Aja coming in to join them. Once again, group hugs ensue. Ty quickly explains they’re there because of the flight situation and Mark reveals he’s completely shocked it’s Ty & Aja.

Everyone heads to the delicious lunch, during which Ty & Aja explain what happened to them and where they were. Even though Nick & Starr won the leg, Ty believes Toni & Dallas will win the race as they’re methodical. Aja believes the same of Ken & Tina too. After lunch, Ty & Aja head downstairs to get settled in. The others head to the kitchen to clean up.

While cleaning up, ever-charming Anthony states that that was probably the worst meal they’ve had since they’ve been there. This obviously does not go over well with Mark, who made most of it. Anthony then heads out to the pool while everybody else still cleans up. Even Stephanie is annoyed at this particular behavior. Later on, Anthony & Stephanie are talking to the camera and Anthony claims there was no room for him to help clean. Stephanie is embarrassed.

In Ty & Aja’s room, Ty admits he just doesn’t want to be there. It’s hard to get used to not being on the race. Ty guesses that Dan & Andrew will be the next eliminated. It’s nothing personal, but he just doesn’t see them being at the end of the race.

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