With last week's non-elimination leg, four teams remain on The Amazing Race. This episode's pretty crucial, judging from Phil's spiel while introducing the Pit Stop: "the last team to check in will be eliminated." Ahh, I haven't heard that in a while. But first, another pass through Shanghai, where stresses run high because you cannot just run the race by yourself...
Further entanglement: This week's leg is defined by the very first clue: a trip to the Garden Bridge. But before you go "it's a simple clue" like Brent did, think again: locals only know this place as the Waibaidu Bridge, and that proves to be a struggle for every team, especially for brothers Dan and Jordan, who decide to team up with detectives Louie and Michael after a two-hour fruitless search. As if they haven't had enough of each other when they raced last week's leg together.
Dan's got one more thing going against him: the language barrier. "I'm not returning to China again," he said, before finally throwing a tantrum inside the cab they hailed. I feel bad for their cab driver, who seems to either be confused by the train wreck potential behind him, or has no choice but to stop, letting the detectives (who he was asked to follow) slip away. It could've been worse, though, and they eventually catch up with each other.
The brothers planned to use the detectives to find the bridge, and then split up with them when the Speed Bump comes along. That plan worked initially, but they met up again at the Detour, where they looked a shop full of chops (that's wooden stamps) for one with a pig and their names. At least it meant a pretty tight race for third place. Despite their optimism, and the good luck ritual they did during the Speed Bump, Louie and Michael were sent home. How many coins did they toss again? That must've made things worse.
Not this time, boys: Of course, I'm still rooting for cowboys Jet and Cord, who continue to endear me in every single leg. And with all the air time they're getting, isn't it obvious they're going to win the entire race? After Cord talks about having his skull smashed by a cow and having Jet watch over him throughout his hospital stay, they continue going through the leg like they always have: with an unusual savvy and amazement. "Back in our town we only have one light, and it's yellow," Cord said again as they motorbiked through Shanghai towards the detour.
But this wasn't their lucky day. Sure, they finished the Roadblock--counting 523 golden statues inside the Longhua Temple--in one try, and they continued to be calm under pressure, but the most unlikely team one-upped them this week: Brent and Caite. The two frontrunners crossed paths many times this week, although it's funny seeing the cowboys pass Brent by at the Roadblock without noticing at all. Like the last two teams, they found themselves in a foot race towards the Pit Stop. Or maybe it was editing. The models won that easily, aided partly by luck (local with GPS: lucky break) and by something else you wouldn't expect...
A woman with something to prove: The models also got a lot of screen time this week, with Caite discussing her Miss Teen USA flub again, and talking about her intentions of running the race: to prove herself to the world. I, for one, was a skeptic when we began this season, but I think she's successful: she really has proven herself to be more than that girl who said "South Africa and the Iraq such as".
She may have struggled with the Roadblock this week--she had to count thrice, eventually complaining that "after a while they start coming together as this one big golden statue"--but it was her attitude that kept her team going during the Detour. She was just looking, just looking, and then, bam, she found her chops and they finished first. In Brent's words, "she's got it upstairs and she's not as dumb as everybody thinks."
Oh, Brent, he who's thrown a lot more tantrums than Dan. I thought we'd see a more enlightened version of him, especially when he started talking about soaking up the Buddhist culture at the Roadblock. And then, at the Detour, he whines about being distracted because he's got to go to the toilet, and starts arguing with his girlfriend, who's busy winning the race. "I thought he was gonna pee in the room," Cord said. Brent did get his wish granted, and it didn't prevent them from finishing first, but he's got to learn a lot from Caite: "I haven't peed since 8:30 in the morning," she went
The Amazing Race wraps up next week, with the final three teams facing actual reality and virtual reality in San Francisco. Who's your bet for the big win? You know mine...