The Amazing Race recap: Bamboo-zled

Teams feed elephants and construct wooden instruments in Indonesia; final four teams are....
Ep. 09 | Aired Nov 24, 2013

MUSIC TO HIS EARS Tim has never felt so loved.

CBS

Leo and Jamal catch up to their "race wives" and the RoboDocs, and Leo pulls his signature "My wife's pregnant!" cry for help in order to get ahead in this world. It's a LIE, but it works. (Well, it seems to -- it's unclear whether the train pulled away right then because of Leo's phantom pregnant wife or because it was simply time to go.) And without that extra hour ahead of Marie/Tim and Jason/Amy, it's unlikely Travis and Nicole would've survived this leg. They have a LIE to thank for that.

Somewhere, far, far beyond even Phil Keoghan and a guy pretending to be an astronomer 3400 feet above sea level, God shrugged and was like "Whatevs."

Detour: For the Elephants or For the Birds? Most teams choose to "serve an elaborate meal to Indonesia's treasured elephants" because duh, when else are they gonna get to see elephants? Yikes. This would be a tough call, for sure. My instinct was elephants, too, but the bird option was clearly so much quicker and easier -- and humanizing, even, as the RoboDocs got to connect with birding culture at the Grand Prix  and receive both cheers and chirps from other living beings. "I hadn't had a chance to jump for joy this entire time," realizes Travis in another confessional. It's tough for them, because they live their lives differently. Did anyone else just fall asleep?

Ice Princesses and Afghanimals get started on For the Elephants, and Jamal completely charms me not only with his amazing impression of a hungry elephant's squeal but with his heartwarming shoutout to his mom, who'd taught him how to tie scarves in a triangular shape. They'd saved their scarves from Abu Dhabi -- smart! -- which allowed them to tie up multiple watermelons and roll them on a tiny trolley through winding, uneven paths of the Bandung Zoo.

"Oh my God. We're in a zoo!" marvels Ashley. But wait… oh. They're not supposed to be at a zoo yet. Ally and Ashley failed to read the clue properly and lose an obscene amount of time jogging aimlessly through the zoo and, later, the marketplace.

At one point, Ashley perks up and then trails off: "We need help... and we are lost in Indones-i-a…" she drones, speaking to no one. Baby from Dirty Dancing furiously whispered her next appropriate line -- a blank-stared "I carried a watermelon!" -- but Ashley didn't pick up on the frequency. Tragedy ensues.

NEXT: And God said 'It is now my wish that my beacon shall cheat in a challenge!'


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