Aaaand we’re back! Right where we left off in Sydney with no rest for our weary racers, even though the Oscars are on. The cowboys were still decoding those flags (“son of a butt, man”), but the rest of the teams headed on with their next clue, which instructed them to go back to Sydney and find “to sail to stop.” Keep up these figure-it-out clues, producers! They make the race much more interesting than just going from place to place. All the teams that took cabs seemed to end up more lost and argumentative than the teams who returned to Sydney by ferry, though Mel and Mike had a bit of a moment on the ferry when Mel got dizzy. Despite that, 70-year-old Mel is doing better than most of the members of the token “older couple” every season has. Well, he is an “all-star.”
Kisha and Jen and Zev and Justin, after being misled to a maritime center, were the first to find a way to do some Googling by borrowing an information computer in a mall. Margie and Luke found a computer to borrow on the ferry, so apparently ferries in Australia have Wi-Fi, while the next-train timer in our subway stop is turned off nine days out of ten. Good to know. Eventually everyone figured out that they needed to head to a giant anchor in front of Town Hall, and the first six teams to do so were lucky enough to get on the first charter flight the next morning to the outback.
We’re using the term “lucky” loosely here, as the charter flight was on a very teeny, scary prop plane. Kisha/Jen, Zev/Justin, Margie/Luke, Cara/Jaime, Mel/Mike, and Kent/Vyxsin then had to drive to the Living Desert, and everyone was surprisingly good at — and not freaked out about — driving on the other side of the road. Did they take lessons? Where would you practice such a thing? (We need to know for our future audition.)
Detour! Hang with the aboriginals and participate in one of two customs: make a mosaic and do a dance to raise the spirits, or create territory markers by spitting natural paint onto stencils. Surprisingly, every team (including the second flight, which showed up fairly shortly after the first) went with the two-part challenge of mosaic and dance, even though most teams have struggled with dance challenges in the past. Guess everyone really didn’t want that paint in their mouths. All the menfolk took their shirts off to use as mosaic-rock carriers, while Big Easy got down to the aboriginals’ music. Kent didn’t realize the aboriginal children were there to demonstrate the dance, and instead rounded them all up to dance around (and not on, as instructed) his mosaic. Everyone else just danced like fools when they were done and moved right along once they switched to traditional moves. Ron and Christina struggled with the task, and each other, with Ron yelling while Christina told him to speak Chinese so that no one would understand their very important discussions about the location of Ron’s hat. While they fought, Kris and Amanda were able to finish the other half of the detour, looking like vampires with red paint dripping down their mouths.
Then the teams had to find the “home of the magpies,” a.k.a. Central Football Stadium, and the most humiliating and amazing challenge ensued. Yes, the producers usually have the teams dress up in some sort of costume every season, but never anything as awesome as the kangaroo suits this group was forced to don. In fact, they might just be the best costumes we’ve seen anyone wear on TV, ever. A spandex base, googly eyed heads, bouncy shoes, and a baby kangaroo in the pouch to top it off. They were perfect. And the teams had to (literally) hop through town in them, looking for the streets that corresponded with the element symbols highlighted on the periodic tables they were given — Mercury and Bismuth. Naturally, many teams had to stop and ask someone to Google these things for them, as like us they are at least ten years out of high-school chemistry and do not remember squat. Except for Gary and Mallory and Ron and Christina, no one really got too lost, but thankfully the editors provided tons of footage of everyone skipping around in those amazing outfits. Once they reached the intersection the teams were allowed to head to the pit stop, but in costume so Phil could laugh at them all. Zev and Justin got there first and won a trip to Cancun. Nice place to relax after the race madness! They’ll catch a ton of ladies with that baby kangaroo. Despite finishing their U-Turn quickly, the extra time cost Amanda and Kris, and they were eliminated. Kris was just happy for the experience, saying it was like they won the lottery twice. Amanda, however, had a slightly different take: “We didn’t win any money.”
Next week: We’re going to Japan! Expect confetti, waterfalls, mud-throwing, and (eep) a car accident.