Season 25 Episode 10 “Smells Like Dirty Tube Socks” — The final four teams race to the Philippines with broken motortrikes, broken spirits, and potentially broken oxen.The final four Amazing Race teams left the not-so-relaxing streets of Singapore this week to head to Manila in the Philippines. After a lot of non-drama at the airport (a non-frontation between the scientists and the wrestlers; Jim and Misti’s bad flight decision getting instantly equalized), the teams traveled the city via jeepneys. After the obligatory exposure to poverty, the teams encountered this week’s detour. In Catch, teams would wade out into Manila Bay to scoop up fish to fill up three buckets (about 300 pounds). In Coach, teams assemble a sidecar and attach it to a motorcycle. After the detour, the players encountered this season’s Switchback—an ode to epic breakdowns from season five: “My Ox is Broken.” There were no epic breakdowns this time around, but we did get two footraces to the Mat. Here’s how the teams ranked this week:
- Jim and Misti: the leg got off to a bit of a rough start for the dentists. They opted to go directly to the airport rather than contacting a travel agent to arrange a flight to the Philippines. However, all the teams arrived after 11pm and the next clue wasn’t available until the next morning. The next few stops didn’t result in a change of order and the teams were all bunched together. The dentists chose Coach at the detour and didn’t have too much trouble until they thought they were done. Jim was taking the lead on the build and did not install the shocks correctly. He started having flashbacks to Copenhagen, but eventually found the error of his ways. Although the dentists were the third to arrive at the Switchback, they were the first to find the clue. They had to win a footrace to get to the mat, but they earned win number five and a trip to Vietnam.
- Amy and Maya. Despite the rough patches they’ve had in the last few legs, the food scientists are still maintaining the right attitude to do well. Maya loves the little things the show has the contestants do, like using public transit and getting a brief glimpse of the day-to-day life of the places they are visiting. They do run into trouble on the way to the detour. The instructions told the teams to take a motorized tricycle to the Coach detour location, but they tried to walk it. Fortunately, they re-read the clue once they realized that the location was too far to go to by foot, but they had to backtrack to avoid a penalty situation. At the detour, neither scientist was discouraged despite their lack of mechanical experience. Maya commented that the rosary hanging from their vehicle’s handlebars must be a good sign. “I don’t think the Lord cares which tuk-tuk we decide to build,” Amy responded. And with that, Amy jumps into my top ten list of favorite contestants ever. At the Switchback they find the clue to the Pit Stop soon after the dentists, but could not win the footrace.
- Adam and Bethany. The soul surfers weren’t major characters this week. After some initial nervousness about flight options (which didn’t amount to anything in the end), their next big moment was during the detour. They also opted for Coach, where Adam took the “head honcho” role while Bethany assisted. They found their clue at the Switchback at almost the same time as the wrestlers, and their footrace was even closer than the one between the dentists and the scientists.
- Brooke and Robbie. This week was all about the wrestlers, which has me worried they may win this whole thing. Lots of bickering about everything, lots of unnecessary gamesmanship that provides no real advantage. They do make a smart choice in going to Catch instead of Coach, and they might have been the only team who would have been able to complete that task. Their strategy has been to do all the physical challenges, and their ability to power through the task allowed the wrestlers to move into first place. However, that advantage evaporated instantly once they got to the Switchback. They didn’t take a minute to survey the plowing plots before choosing an ox and ended up choosing the largest plot of the four.1 It also didn’t help that the ox they chose had a big lunch and would not stop pooping. It reminded me of this one time I went to the circus and the second half began with elephants doing tricks in the middle ring. One of the elephants started to relieve himself and the remaining five minutes of the act involved watching in fascination/horror at just how big that pile was getting. In the footrace to the mat, Brooke and Robbie had a flash of Tara and Wil’s downfall and learned their fate with the other three teams present. Brooke and Robbie were the last team to arrive, but this is the last non-elimination leg.