Sunday’s Amazing Race opened with the teams leaving Japan on a pre-booked, required flight to Kunming, China. Kisha and Jen reminisced about their time in China in Season 14. “I called a deaf guy a bitch,” said Jen. Cut to the scene in Season 14 where Margie informed Luke that Jen had called him a bitch, and Luke responded with a saucer-eyed “oh no she didn’t” look as he punched the air futilely with his hands. Cut back to the current episode. “I do apologize for that,” remarked Jen.
The Goths started the leg with a new motto: PMA, or “positive mental attitude.” Unfortunately, the directionally challenged Kent and Vyxsin ended up lost on the way to the airport, and PMA quickly morphed into a case of PMS, as Vyxsin curled into a fetal position on top of the maps. They ended up missing the required flight, leaving them in last place.
The rest of the teams landed in Kunming on time and boarded trains to Lijian. Ron and Christina, who speak Chinese, were able to hustle their way onto an early train, and after arriving in Lijian, Ron decided that he wanted to stop for steamed buns and mushrooms. What was he thinking? Basic bodily needs, such as hunger and emptying one’s bladder, have no place in this game. Remember when a quick pee break ended the race for Kisha and Jen in Season 14? Luckily, Ron and Christina still arrived earlier than the other teams, although they were forced to wait until the driver of the shuttle arrived, allowing the rest of the teams to catch up. Looks like Ron could have stopped and eaten an entire three course meal.
Meanwhile, Kent and Vyxsin were busy losing passports at the Kunming Airport and running around like headless neon pink chickens. “Vyxsin,” deadpanned Kent. “I am going to shoot you. I am going to shoot you. I am going to shoot you.” After some histrionics and aimless sprinting, they were able to locate the passports and board a plane to Lijiang, and ultimately, Vyxsin did not sustain any gunshot wounds.
At 8 am, the teams, minus the Goths, headed via shuttle to their next challenge: riding a yak across a river on Jade Dragon Mountain. Cowboy Cord felt right at home atop the bovine – Zev, not so much. The locals snickered as Zev slid off the yak when he tried to mount it. The yak looked like it was laughing too.
The next task was to ride a gondola three miles above sea level to Spruce Meadow, where the air was thin enough to affect even Colorado native Margie. “I’m from Colorado, and the altitude is still kicking my butt.” The teams were then required to search through a sea of charms and find all twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac and arrange them in the proper order. Some teams finished the challenge expeditiously, whereas others, such as the Globetrotters, ran into some difficulty. The Globetrotters asked a cow for help, while the Cowboys clucked like chickens. I’m going to blame this on the altitude.
The team that had the most trouble was Zev and Justin. While the rest of the teams, sans Gotha, had finished the challenge, Zev was cursing up a storm and sitting around with his head in his hands. He was so inefficient that the Goths managed to catch up, much to Justin’s horror.
The rest of the teams boarded shuttle buses to the next challenge, except Ron and Christina took another vehicle that turned out not to be a bus. Christina managed to identify one of the real buses on the road and leapt out of the still moving not-a-bus, 80s action film style, to chase after it. Ron tossed an unidentified object, possibly a steamed bun or other food item, at one of the buses, as Christina managed to intercept the bus containing the Globetrotters.
The teams were then asked to write each person’s zodiac signs on a piece of paper, and deposit it into the correct slot, after which they would receive a clue to the Detour challenge. The Detour featured two tasks: “hammer,” where contestants were asked to flatten molten candy with ridiculously large hammers and “horn,” where contestants were asked to march through town holding a ridiculously large horn. Most teams chose the candy challenge, although neither challenge was difficult or interesting enough to warrant any more attention.
Meanwhile, back at Spruce Meadow, angry Zev managed to finish the zodiac challenge. He and Justin sped off, leaving Vyxsin in a middle of a meltdown.
After the Detour, the teams headed to The Eternal Tower, the Pit Stop in this leg of the race. Margie and Luke arrived first, Kisha and Jen arrived fifth, and the Goths lost their passports again and had to turn back to find it. Does PMA stand for Passports Missing Again? Pimp My Automobile? Because, at the end of the episode, the Goths were so far behind that their only hope would be to find a random Formula One racecar on the road to carjack. I don’t think there are many of those lying around in Lijiang.
The episode ended with the Goths imploding, though with very little damage to their eyeliner. We find out next week if they are eliminated.