Howdy! Did you enjoy your week off from The Amazing Race? Did you watch those country music awards? We did not, choosing instead to research applying for the show. We appear to have just missed an application period, but that means we have plenty of time to study this season so we can win ours! Check out the lessons we learned from this week's episode, in case you're planning on competing against us.
Take Advantage of Your Extra Time
The contestants' first clue this week told them to hop aboard a plane to Varanasi, the religious heart of India along the banks of the Ganges. Almost every team made sure to get on the earliest flight out of Kolkata, which got them to Varanasi at 10:45 a.m. Since it was only mid-afternoon, Ron, of course, took the time to leave the airport and find a good restaurant, while Gary and Mallory found an Internet café to research more about Varanasi. The cowboys, unfortunately, did not use the time to research flights carefully and ended up on a later flight than the other teams. This is why travel agents come in handy! Speaking of time, according to Kent and Vyxsin, we're at the halfway point of the race, so we're going to guess that nonelimination legs are indeed a thing of the past.
Don't Get Distracted by Animals
After some of the craziest cab rides yet ("For those of you who don't know, when you push the gas the horn blows in India." —Globetrotters), the teams were tasked with the Road Block early: Find six sadhus (men who have given their lives over to prayer and meditation) and get slips of paper from them to spell out a sentence for their next clue. While they were fairly easy to spot, dressed colorfully and "like anorexic Santa Claus" according to Zev, there were animals everywhere too. We counted elephants, cows, goats, giant pigs, monkeys, dogs, buffalo, and quite possibly a camel. Did we miss anything? Ron certainly did — he started looking in the river for the sadhus, convinced they must be leaving their posts. Meanwhile, Kisha, and Jen spelled out "once you're over the hill you pick up speed" first and hopped into a rickshaw cab that hit a cow, which we're pretty sure is not smiled upon. Were our school textbooks wrong about cows being sacred? We bet Gary and Mallory know.
The Detour Is Rarely Related to the Place in Which It Is Given (Alternatively, Don't Pick the Task With Poop)
The sadhus sent the teams to a wrestling and strength-conditioning spot, but the men in tiny bottoms were a red herring, as the Detour tasks took place elsewhere. The teams could "feed the buffalo" and ride across the Ganges to get hay, which they then had to deliver, or they could "feed the fire" by making fuel patties out of manure and then starting a fire with them. We will be the first to admit that normally we would never pick a task that made us wander through narrow streets without a map, but that rule goes out the window when the other task involves poop. Even if the clue wasn't explicit, surely the words "fuel patties" were a big hint? Kent and Vyxsin and Gary and Mallory actually didn't seem to mind it too much, but Kisha and Jen did quite a bit of gagging while local children laughed at them. They complained about "the crap they'll do for a million dollars," missing what a glorious pun they made.
Sing a Song If You Want to Win
The Globetrotters and Zev and Justin didn't seem frustrated at all by the task of delivering hay, though they did get briefly held up by some cows in the road trying to eat their delivery. Not only did the Globetrotters help Zev and Justin get through this, but they also made up a song to sing as they went to boost morale. The cowboys found joy in the hay task, too, laughing that they traveled halfway around the world to do what they do at home. However, the power of song won out in the end, and the Globetrotters made it to the pit stop first, scoring a trip to Hawaii.
Don't Go in the River
Meanwhile, Kent and Vyxsin and Ron and Christina ended up in the back of the pack. Kent and Vyxsin first opted for a water taxi across the river, as it was the fastest option, but when their taxi did not go and would not return to the dock, Vyxsin got so frustrated that she jumped off the boat into the Ganges. Fun fact: If you Google "Ganges" to make sure you're spelling it correctly, the first result lets you know that it is thought to be the world's dirtiest river. We're surprised Kent touched her to high-five her when they made it to the pit stop and found out they were safe. Despite staying dry, Ron and Christina were the last to arrive and were eliminated. Hope their flight home connected through somewhere with good food!
Next week the teams head to Vienna, Austria. Expect furniture-carrying, lots of eating, Vyxsin threatening never to speak to Kent again, and us getting excited, as we were just in Vienna a few months ago.