4 Continents, 24 Cities, 40,000 Miles
The Amazing Race 6: Finale


It's a plane! In a very special "Previously", Philo Koughie recaps the entire season so far, which consists from mostly bickering, arguing, screaming, fighting, and more bickering. The bickering intensifies when the less argumentative Teams are swiftly eliminated one by one. The Marvins set out to sea and couldn't make it to the end, and it's probably a good thing because they can't shut up about being Jews and their brand of humor will get really old very fast. The M&Ms were so slow and inept that their elimination seems like an act of mercy on them. The Mormodels hit a haystack and fell victim to a Roadblock that was entirely dependent on luck - the first sign that this Race was so poorly designed that the rock bottom would soon be hitting everyone's faces. The DMJs were cool and classy but they were also slow and confused so they squandered a non-Elimination reprieve only to get eliminated the week after. Fat Gus and Hera always took the slower Detour and they took one too many leading to their subsequent elimination. And then, the STDs, the bickering and totally dysfunctional train wreck couple, were finally eliminated when they missed out on a donkey. By then, half the season was over and to make matters worse, the Goth-Nots and the Mollywoods decide to both help fill in the void of silence caused by the STDs' departure. The equally loud Superdumbos, whose treatment of each other in times of duress could be horrifyingly venomous at times, finally got eliminated next and this leaves us with the remaining four Teams racing for a million dollars.

Philo proceeds to list down the traits and characteristics of each Team, with the show using scenes from the Race to illustrate these characteristics. Philo doesn't pull punches - he says that Adam Ant is scared of nearly everything (true), infuses so much sarcasm into his "culture shock" (which he uses to describe Kendra's state of mind that leads to her now legendary "breeding" comment) that I just know that he is itching to bring on the bitchslaps, and unfortunately makes the Templates even more boring than they already are by ordaining them as patron saints of positivity. Philo wonders which Team will win the money. And now, the show begins.

Credits. I'm quite sad to say that I am actually relieved that this season is ending soon. This season is rushed, poorly planned, and too reliant on bunchings to the point that there is not much fun in watching the Race anymore. In fact, I suspect that the incessant bunchings contribute significantly to the high levels of fighting among and within Teams this time around. When everyone keeps ending up at the same playing field thanks to the designers, the competitiveness-driven viciousness of the Teams would skyrocket. The frustration they feel whenever they try to move ahead to be bunched with everyone else again later in the Race surely makes things even worse! This show needs to take some time to plan a decent Race that balances the need for bunchings and the need for Teams to be rewarded with a lead for thinking and racing out of the box. That's why I am not happy that the next season is debuting at the first of March, by the way. That Race threatens to be even more poorly designed than this one!

Philo steps out to explain that he is at Shanghai, imaginatively called a "bustling metropolis", the largest city in China and situated at the banks of the Yangtze River. If you are a georgraphy buff, you will know that the Yangtze is the longest river in China. The Pit Stop at the end of the previous leg is the Shanghai Peace Hotel, the South Building to be precise, and the Goth-Nots were stripped of all their money for coming in last at a non-Elimination leg. Philo wonders whether the Goth-Nots can bound back into the Race with no money. Yes, because it is hard to find money in the richest city in China, definitely.

11:20 pm. The Mollywoods came in first in the previous leg so they get to leave first. Their clue tells them to go to Xi'an by train and in Xi'an, take a cab to the Drum Tower, and locate the next clue there. Xi'an is the city located in the highlands and the location of the famous terra-cotta warriors. The Drum Tower, located in the Muslim Quarter of Xi'an, was built in 1380 and it is called the Drum Tower because, believe it or not, the olden folks used a drum in the tower to tell everyone the time. It's like the Big Ben, only older. As the Mollywoods leave, Hayden talks about how she and Aaron will be great at this leg of the Race because she and he have been very "cohesive". I... don't want to know.

11:30 pm. If Hayden pronounces "Xi'an" as "Axe-ion", Kendra pronounces it as "Zen". As they leave to get a cab, Freddy talks about how Kendra has "grown" as a person on this Race. When he watches this show at home, he will either die of embarrassment or be a good sport and burn down the CBS building because I don't think the Fre&Ks are into the joke that they are "growing" only in the way that the lynch mob is "growing" among the fandom because so many people out there (the crazy ones anyway) want the Fre&Ks dead, dead, for daring to thwart Saint Jon and Saintess Kris from winning a million dollars and inviting all their fans to live with them happily ever after in the big house by the sea.

11:45 am. The Templates leave after Jon fails to open his clue at first try and laughs at how dorky he is. "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!" go their crazy fans as they roll onto the floor laughing and pounding their fists onto the floor before wailing that the world is a cruel, cruel place because their patron saints that they overidentify with fail to win a million dollars on a crummy TV show. Jon hopes that he and Kris will have better luck with cab drivers today. Somewhere, some of those crazy Kris and Jon fans go kill a Chinese cab driver and leave Kendra's calling card over the bloodied corpse.

The Mollywoods reach the train station and learn of two great things. One, the train ride will be seventeen hours long. Two, the earliest train departs at 8:51 am. What time is it now? Is it even 1:00 am yet? A part of me wonders how exciting this show would be if it allows the Teams to find their own way to Xi'an instead of forcing them to wait for the 8:51 am train. It may be a logistic nightmare if some Teams end up in a wrong place, but isn't that what this show should be all about - Teams trying to get to some place instead of having the directions and methods of transportation spoon fed to them?

The Fre&Ks arrive next and the show attempts to convince me that they are short-circuiting by having Freddy tells Kendra that she is heading the wrong way (she is going for the gate marked "Exit" when she should be going for the one marked, of course, "Entrance") and Kendra tells him to stop talking to her in that tone. Freddy says to the camera that he hasn't been getting enough sleep and it is wrecking havoc on his senses and Kendra is starting to find his "aggressive" behavior off-putting. He's going to have a fun time marrying Kendra if he thinks that his telling her to go the correct way is "off-putting aggressive behavior". Freddy tries to placate Kendra as they walk side by side to the entrance by calling her "mean" but "cute". Kendra looks placated because sometimes it is better to be mean and cute than nice but hideous. Hey, it doesn't work for the Marvins now, being nice but hideous, does it? Inside, they catch up with their allies and learn of the 8:51 am train.

Finally, at 12:24 am, the Goth-Nots get ready to leave. They read from the clue that other Teams receive $297 but not they because they came in last in the non-elimination leg. $297? What happened to the days when Teams in the Final Four get only a dollar for each leg? What's next? Free vouchers for spa and facial treatments while they kill time during a bunch? Back to the Goth-Nots, Adam Ant says that the Fre&Ks are in big trouble now because the Goth-Nots have only become stronger after being Yielded. I have trouble following his logic because being Yielded means that he and Rebecca came in last. If they become stronger because they came in last, good for them, but at the end of the day, they still came in last. And if being Yielded makes a Team stronger, shouldn't the Fre&Ks be just as strong too? Oh, Adam. Oh, and to prove that the no-money rule is completely useless and should be given a mercy euthanasia in the future, Rebecca starts begging for money and people actually hands her money as much as $100 without hesitation. Rebecca actually nets her Team $1,230 - $1,230! - and says that she is going to move to Shanghai after the Race to beg full time. Good for her, really, because that means she will really never ever show up on the TV screen again after this show, but I'm still in shock over the $1,230 thing.

At around 9:00 am, all four Teams board the train to Xi'an. In the train, Kendra checks the bed she is going to have to sleep on and Freddy tells the camera about how happy Kendra is now that she is going to sleep in a bed and... er, since she had surely slept on a comfortable bed at the Pit Stop, I don't know why Kendra getting another bed to sleep on is such a noteworthy thing. Moving on, people. Rebecca tells Adam to climb up to the bunk at the second level and he obliges. Adam makes the act of climbing a ladder on a train seem like a death-defying stunt. I'm in awe. Do you know that in real life, he teaches spin classes in a gym? While wearing spandex? Oh, Adam. I don't know whether to laugh at him or laud him for being the inspiration for hopeless wusses everywhere. Hayden tries to make a baby laugh but the baby cries instead. The baby must have mistaken her for some evil witch from fairy tales. Hayden makes an "Oops!" face at the camera. Kris, proving that she is unfortunately as insipid as she is a good Racer, giggles to Adam and Rebecca (who are occupying the bunks on the second level while Kris and Jon each take the bunks below) that Jon was concerned that the bed would be uncomfortable and turn Kris into a "raging bitch". Because Jon is less insipid than Kris, he doesn't roll around laughing like a hyena like Kris would to every joke that passes through Jon's mouth. Adam proves that sometimes you don't have to be robotically nice to be funny by saying that Kris being a raging bitch would be just like Rebecca on a good day. Jon and Kris laugh. Rebecca though is not amused.

And because Valentine's Day is near, the show provides scenes of the Fre&Ks kissing, the Templates standing out and looking at the scenery ("SEE! THEY LOVE EVERYTHING! THEY KNOW CULTURE! THEY ARE GOOD AND NOBLE PEOPLE WITH OPEN MINDS LIKE ME! WHY DIDN'T THEY WIN? GOD IS DEAD!" wail the crazy Template fans), and the Goth-Nots sleep on separate beds, not looking at each other. Aaron looks outside the window and says that he doesn't expect China to look like Michigan, his birthplace. What can I say? Sometimes you can leave home but your home never leaves you. I read that in an issue of Reader's Digest. Hayden says that she loves how China smells. Since she is on a train for seventeen hours and trains rarely smell of anything but stale urine and staler air conditioner, I can only hope that she knows what she is talking about.

Because I am so confused by the sight of four Teams on a same train, Philo steps out to explain that all four Teams are heading to Xi'an on a same train. Poor Philo, all that bunching is making his role as the "where-to man" narrator of the show increasingly redundant.

The predictable train to cab sequence follows. Hayden hesitates to get into the cab that stops for the Mollywoods before she is sure that the driver doesn't understand where they want him to go. But she gets into the cab with Aaron anyway. She tells Aaron of her doubts and Aaron tells her that she has enough worries for the both of them. Oh boy, he is going to regret telling her that later. The Fre&Ks and the Goth-Nots get cabs too to take them to the Drum Tower. The Templates' cab driver is unnaturally happy. In the first ever scene on this show that suggests to the audience that Jon does have some wit, he says to the camera that the driver must have taken too much "green tea". Kris, unfortunately, remains the parrot of Jon's hotness, greatness, and hilariousness as she can only say, "Yeah, lots of green tea!" But she gets the joke though, to give her credit.

Oh, and when the Goth-Nots and the Mollywoods reach the Drum Tower, it's closed until 8:00 am the next morning. They check the time and it's currently 5:10 pm. Time to go shopping again!

Zip forward to 8:00 am where the whole Chinese Make-Up Regalia are in full force, decked in period costumes and make-up while doing plenty of faux kung-fu. Someone strikes the giant drum and the doors to the Drum Tower open. This show should have secured permission to play the theme song of Once Upon A Time In China for this scene. The Teams walk up the stairs to the hallway and collect their clue. I hope the content of the clue is worth the fifteen hour wait. It's now time for a Detour. Philo comes out to explain that in "Spray", Teams must travel by cab to a factory 34 miles from here and then gear up and spray a car completely with paint. In "Scroll", Teams must go to a fabric factory and search using a special lamp through ten bolts of fabric to look for one of the two bolts that contain some Chinese characters that are barely discernable to the eye. The Teams all choose "Spray" because there is just no question as to which Detour is easier and faster, really.

Outside, Teams try to get cabs. Poor Templates. They stop two cabs but both of these cabs are poached by the Model Alliance. Kendra goes pretty much "Hah!" at what she and Freddy have done to the Templates while Rebecca tells Adam to quickly get into the car-sprayer uniform once they get to the factory. The Templates finally get a cab and Kris says that she is shocked that two Teams "snaked" her and Jon in the dash for the cab and predicts that what goes around will come around. How nice that this is one of those rare moments where she is not echoing Jon or telling people how great Jon is and here she is sounding like an eighty-year old disapproving Baptist fishwife. In their cab, Hayden is telling Aaron that she isn't comfortable because she doesn't see cabs carrying other Teams around her. She suspects that their cab driver is taking them on a wild-goose chase. Naturally, she shrieks to Aaron to do something. When he just looks out the window in disgust after telling her nonchalantly that they are at the mercy of the cab driver, she shrieks again that she can't imagine how he doesn't care that they may be lost. She doesn't seem to understand that he is not uncaring as much as he doesn't want to listen to her shrill nagging voice.

Because the show wants to prove to me that Jon and Kris are really good people that I must love and adore beyond reason and boundaries, they then show Jon telling Kris, inadvertently repeating Aaron's words to Hayden, that they are at the mercy of the cab driver. Because Jon says something, Kris naturally starts to giggle for the camera because she wants so badly for Jon to know that she loves him, her biological clock is ticking, she is tired of waitressing, and she wants to drink all the alcohol in his watering hole so he must know that she loves him and he must never ever leave her or she will just DIE. Soooooo, "Hee-hee-hee! Hee-hee-hee!" goes Kris. ("OMIGOD, WHEN AARON TELLS HAYDEN THAT THEY ARE AT THE MERCY OF THE CHINESE CAB DRIVER, THAT IS SO RACIST BECAUSE WE MUST RESPECT CHINESE PEOPLE LIKE I RESPECT THE CHINESE STOREKEEPER DOWN THE STREET EVEN IF HE SPEAKS FUNNY AND NOT ENGLISH, BUT JON IS NOT RACIST BECAUSE HE IS JUST JOKING AND HE IS A GOOD, GOOD MAN AND IF YOU DISAGREE, YOU ARE A NAZI SCUM! OH, AND HAYDEN IS A SLUT WITH FAKE BOOBS AND KRIS IS GOOD BECAUSE SHE NEVER YELLS AT THE MAN SHE LOVES!" shriek crazy Kris and Jon fans everywhere, as they tend to do whenever the Templates do something that these fans condemn the other Teams for doing.)

The Goth-Nots show up at the car assembly plant and are told to head towards a stairs to get to the room at the first floor. The Mollywoods are close behind. As the Goth-Nots start to work with their car, Rebecca tells Adam Ant, solely for the sake of the camera (she is not looking at Adam when she says this) that she believes that she was an auto-body mechanic in her past life. Adam says that he feels like Michael Keaton in Gung Ho. The fact that he can actually remember the movie speaks volumes about poor Adam's life. I hope Aaron can be his new friend and show him some sights around town. Oh, and Rebecca tells Adam to take "nice, long strokes". That will be funny if she hasn't deliberately chosen her words specifically for the double meaning behind them. The Fre&Ks and the Templates show up to spray their cars too. The Goth-Nots finish first and their clue tells them to locate the Terra-cotta Warriors Museum, or the Mausoleum of Emperor Qin Shi Huang if you want to impress the Life and Travel Network crowd.

Philo steps out to say that there are "almost 7,000" statues in the Museum and these statues are the "greatest archeological discovery of the twentieth century". Discovered in 1974 by some Chinese farmers while digging a well, these terra-cotta warriors were said to be constructed under the orders of the then-thirteen year old Emperor Qin Shi Huang and were completed eleven years later. This child Emperor grew to be one of the greatest Emperors in the history of China, with him creating a new empire along with a new dynasty as well as cultural system. Everything fell apart when he died and his useless children took over, as usual. In 1975, the Chinese government, acting quickly before the terra-cottas fell prey to collectors, established a museum over the Emperor's burial site.

Anyway, back to the Race, the Goth-Nots are happily complimenting each other as they get into a cab because they are currently in first place and they are deliriously happy to beat Aaron and Hayden. Hayden, who already tried to get Aaron to do something (although what that "something" is, I have no idea) when she thinks that the plant supervisor was taking too long to hand them the clue, is now telling their cab driver to go fast. She's fast approaching ground zero because she sounds and looks crazier with each passing minute. Ahead, the Goth-Nots ask their cab driver to hurry, but hurry will have to wait when the driver tells them that there is a government motorcade just ahead and he cannot go fast. In fact, he has to stop. Oops, he has stopped. Rebecca wails in disappointment that their ten-minute lead has gone up in smoke, heh heh heh. The Goth-Nots say that the Mollywoods could have beaten them by now.

The Mollywoods, however, are being taken to who-knows-where by their cab driver. Hayden whines that the driver is taking a "fricking leisurely stroll" because they have been on the road for 35 minutes without reaching anywhere and she is so sure that the driver doesn't know where he is going. Naturally, she is whining at Aaron instead of asking the driver herself what he is doing. Since Aaron's Chinese doesn't seem to any better than hers, I don't know why she doesn't say something to the person who needs to hear her complains the most. Back at the car assembly plant, the Templates finish up, leaving the Fre&Ks in last place trying to finish the Detour quickly. The Templates are lucky for once because after Kris hopes aloud that their cab driver will know where he is going for once, the driver actually takes them along a way that avoids the traffic that has trapped the Goth-Nots. The Templates like their cab driver now. Wow. Still, all is not lost for the Goth-Nots as the traffic begins to easen slowly.

Back to Hayden, she is telling Aaron to make the cab driver "go". Is she asking him to kill the driver or something? Cool. A bus passes them and Hayden gets really mad at the fact that they are being passed by a bus. A bus! How disgusting! Aaron doesn't shriek and scream like she does so she accuses him of not caring about the Race as much as she. Which is, if you haven't been watching recently, her typical reaction whenever she gets stressed out on the Race - she works herself up into an irrational frenzy and lashes out at Aaron when he doesn't join her in her hysteria. Somewhere else, Freddy wonders whether the driver of the FReK cab knows where he is going. "This guy is killing us!" he declares melodramatically before slowly looking down at his crotch. Hey, can I take a look too? No? Okay then.

While the Model Alliance is stuck in the land of gloom and doom, the Goth-Nots reach the Museum, followed very closely by the Templates. Their clue tell them to look for Pit Number One and these Teams don't know how to get there. They begin asking for directions from the locals. The terra-cotta warriors are displayed in a wide area that the visitors cannot go into without permission and a set of keys so there won't be any scene where our Teams dash through the terra-cotta statues and send a few of them shattering onto the ground. A good thing on a solely enlightened point of view, a bad thing because I am deprived of some perverse entertainment on TV. Inside, the place is packed with people so the Teams have a hard time trying to spot the clue stand. Adam manages to spot it among the crowd, purely by luck, I suspect. He and Rebecca quickly take their clue and then run off in a different direction so that the Templates won't know where to look. It works: the Templates enter the Museum and spot the Goth-Nots across the hallway from where the clue stand actually is and start hunting for the clue there. Ooh, that is so mean, I love it! Meanwhile, the Goth-Nots learn that they must now head over to Mount Hua which is located 70 miles from the Museum.

As Kris and Jon bumble their way through the crowd, from all appearances heading towards a Zoolander-Twins kind of mental breakdown as they just cannot find the clue stand, Freddy is calling his cab driver some charming things like "total buffoon" and "dumbass". ("RACIST PIG! JON AND KRIS ARE SO NICE! THEY SAY THAT THEIR CAB DRIVER LIKES TO DRINK PLENTY OF GREEN TEA! LOVE THEM, THEY ARE SO MUCH CULTURALLY ENLIGHTENED, LIKE ME!" go the crazy Kris and Jon fans.) As for the Mollywoods, they get out at an un-Museumish place where they are told that they are at the wrong place.

The Templates finally spot the clue stand and have to push their way across the crowd to get there. They tell each other how silly they have been to follow the Goth-Nots. When they leave, they bump into the Fre&Ks who are walking in and Kendra asks the Templates whether she will have to dig through anything for a clue. Yes, like they will allow these people to hold spades and start digging amidst the statues. In their cab, the Templates offer another of their generic praises about the places they have been at, this time talking about about how cool the Museum is. ("OMIGOD, I'M HAVING AN ORGASM! LOLOLOL!") The Fre&Ks end up looking for a while at the same place the Templates first did. Maybe the Goth-Nots left a sign saying the clue stand is there? The Fre&Ks soon locate the clue stand too and they tell their cab driver to take them to Mount Hua.

The Mollywoods end up at the wrong place again. Oh dear. They learn from the locals that they can walk to the Museum as it is within walking distance from where they are, but Hayden wants to take a cab as it will be faster. Aaron thinks that they do not have time to try and get another cab so they have to get back inside the same old cab that took them here.

In their cab, Adam announces that he has this feeling that the Goth-Nots will be the first team to arrive at the Pit Stop. Rebecca knocks on his head ("knock on wood" - geddit?) and tells him not to jinx them. In the Template cab, those two try to be funny. Inspired by their driver talking in Mandarin into his phone, they discuss about how "forceful" "Chinese" language is. ("THAT IS NOT A RACIST THING TO DO BECAUSE... JUST BECAUSE I SAY SO AND THE TEMPLATES ARE SOOOOOO CUTE!") As a Chinese, I find nothing offensive about this statement. I find it hilarious however when the Template fans, who spent thousands of words exaggerating every minute action of other Teams to accuse them of being racist villains, start clumsily trying to justify why the Templates are exempt from the standards they hold the other Teams to. Let's just say that this is the problem of acting as if your favorite Team is so much better than anyone else. Back to the show, Mandarin does sound forceful on the ears. The Hakka dialect sounds even more forceful, by the way. But I do wish people will stop generalizing Mandarin as the "only" Chinese language though. There is no Chinese language, only Chinese languages. I find it pitiful though when Kris says that "Chinese" is not a "Germanic language" and both she and Jon start saying in the "Germanic way" about how she "loves. him!" and he tells her to "fetch. me. some. water". From the wooden and unspontaneous way these two go at their sketch, I have this feeling that they have rehearsed this many, many times to perform at parties in a valiant attempt to convince people that the Templates are not boring.

The Goth-Nots reach Mount Hua. "Hua" means "flower" and the mountain is called such because there are five peaks that look like five petals of a flower when seen from afar. Mount Hua is one of the most popular places to go in Xi'an if you want to enjoy breathtaking scenery and impress your loved one cheaply using a lock and a key as a gesture of grand romance. The Goth-Nots get tickets to enter the mountain but to get there, they have to take a shuttle bus from the entrance area at the base of the mountain. They need tickets for the bus, which they must buy from the person standing outside the bus. The Goth-Nots hope that the bus take off soon because they don't want other Teams to catch up. Well, he doesn't have to worry any more because the Templates soon show up and smooch happily on that bus. And hello, here are the Fre&Ks too. Adam and Rebecca's face become even longer than usual.

The Mollywoods' cab driver still manages to get them lost despite the distance between the Museum and where they were previously is supposedly within walking distance. Hayden says that they need a new cab. Aaron stops the cab and tells Hayden to get out. The Mollywoods approach a group of women standing around, doing apparently nothing much, and learn that the cab driver is taking them in a totally wrong direction. The driver wants his money and follows after them. Hayden tells Aaron not to give the man "Chinese money". Maybe she wants Aaron to give the driver some yen instead? Aaron tells the driver to get the man's hands off Aaron's backpack. I don't really know though whether they paid the driver (the show doesn't make that clear to me). Now that they are stranded in the middle of nowhere with no cars on the road, Hayden now bitches to Aaron about how they are stuck here with no way to get a cab. Excuse me, but didn't she tell Aaron that they need a new cab earlier? Aaron snaps and throws her backpack at her, telling her to carry it herself. Great, so on top of being absolutely freaking useless and whiney, she is also literally not carrying her own weight. Finally they manage to find another cab. Inside, Aaron says that he doesn't care if he loses because he thinks that there are more important things in life. Like her, he says and gives her a smooch and a hug. It's a good thing that I have no dinner to lose because I'd definitely lose it after watching that scene. Because her man loves her, she gives him a half-hearted apology. Anyone keeping count as to how many times she has apologized to Aaron only to act like a crazy harpy once more when the going gets tough? Is this the fifth time?

The three Teams that are far ahead of the Mollywoods take gondolas up the mountain once they get out of the shuttle bus. Kendra compares the gondola to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I don't really know what this is all about since I haven't even heard of the movie. Should I have? The Goth-Nots heroically run up the stairs to a peak (remember, there are five peaks here) and the Templates, having learned nothing from the last time they followed the Goth-Nots blindly, follow. Jon grumbles that the Templates shouldn't have when they and the Goth-Nots have to run back down again once they learn that they are at the wrong place. The Fre&Ks on the other hand climb up the stairs to the correct peak, the North Peak, where they learn that they must now do a Roadblock. "Which one of you is methodological?" asks the clue. Philo steps out to try to explain what "methodology" has anything to do with taking one key and locating one of the 3,000 old locks hanging from the railings of the peak. Lovers love put a lock here so that their love will last for a long, long time. Personally, I feel that a big fat wallet and flat stomach will do wonders for making love last, better than a crummy lock on a mountain railing, at least, but I don't have a romantic bone in my body so it may just be me.

By the way, this is great, isn't it, the show putting a Roadblock determined solely by luck at this late stage of the leg so that if you're out, you're really out? At least the Bates Sisters can say that they lost because they had to ascend a cliff. "I lost because I couldn't find the one lock out of 3,000 in time!" doesn't sound nearly as glamorous.

Kendra starts working on the locks. As she gets down to work, the Templates catch up and Kris gets down to business. Then the Goth-Nots show up and Adam assures Rebecca that even a monkey can do this Roadblock. First he called her a monkey when she was climbing a tree in Sri Lanka and now he is saying that she can surely do something a monkey can. I think Adam has some bizarre fascination with monkeys. Rebecca gets down on one knee next to Kendra who asks her whether Rebecca has seen the Mollywoods. ("SHE'S JUST ASKING BECAUSE SHE DOESN'T WANT HAYDEN AND AARON TO CATCH UP! SHE'S A RACIST USELESS WOMAN! IF KRIS ASKS REBECCA ABOUT HAYDEN AND AARON THOUGH, KRIS SO SWEET BECAUSE SHE IS A GOOD PERSON LIKE ME. WE NEVER EVER THINK OR SAY BAD THINGS ABOUT PEOPLE EVER!")

Speaking of whom, the Mollywoods show up at the mountain entrance lot, the show having given on them to the point that they skip over the scenes of Hayden no doubt screaming at people in the Museum. Hayden is screaming at people here as well as at Aaron. They cannot locate the person to get tickets for the shuttle bus from, heck, they can't even locate the shuttle bus in the first place. They could have asked, I suppose, and Hayden does ask, although ask in this case translates to "shrieking at people and then shrieking some more when they try to answer her to the point that she drowns them out completely". She wails that she cannot find anyone who can speak in English. What I do see from the show though is her repeatedly asking someone and then wailing that this someone doesn't understand her even before the person she asks even formulate a response. She finally shrieks that Aaron has to come help her find the shuttle bus. What else is new?

Kendra and Rebecca are having some sort of sorority ritual where they both chant-sing together for luck before they each turn their respective keys into a lock. Adam Ant thinks that Rebecca is not taking the Roadblock seriously and tells her so, leading her to tell Kendra that the "key Nazi" doesn't let her have any fun. Adam starts calling out the stupid things men tend to say to a woman when they think that she cannot do anything on her own and she declares aloud that she is going to go into "Zen mode", a diplomatic way to say that she's tuning him out. Kris meanwhile deduces from the size of her key that she would have to concentrate on larger locks. Kendra also comes to the same conclusion on her own. ("SHE DID NOT! I BET SHE OVERHEARD KRIS THINKING THIS IN HER MIND, THAT RACIST KKK BITCH!")

Back down at the entrance lot, Hayden announces that she is "this close" to quitting. Wow, that's shocking news. And then they finally get on a bus only to be told that this is a tourist bus, not the shuttle bus they are looking for. Hayden tells Aaron that he must figure the problem out, as if he hasn't been doing that all the while. Aaron gets off the bus, announces that he hates China, and then flings his backpack away. Aaron physically abuses his bag as they reluctantly get back into the cab. I feel his pain. It must be frustrating beyond belief to realize that a clueless cab driver had cost him the Race and his girlfriend, instead of helping him, has once again washed her hands off the problem while shrilly berating him for not solving the problem fast enough for her liking.

The three women at the North Peak are bonding over bleeding fingers and rusty locks. Kendra moans as she struggles with a lock that some of these lucks must go all the way back to year two.

Aaron in the correct bus says that the Race is no longer fun for him and he doesn't care anymore to stay in it.

Adam on the other hand tries to convince Rebecca that it is fun to struggle with 3,000 locks. Maybe he should try the Roadblock himself before telling Rebecca about what fun it is. And then Kris goes "Woooo!" because she manages to get one lock opened. Jon, predictably, says that she rocks. Rocks and cool must be how these two live their life by. They learn that they can now head on straight to the Pit Stop of this leg of the Race, the South Gate of the Xi'an Wall. As the Templates run off down the stairs, Jon says that he loves the game and Kris says - what else - that "it rocks". Freddy moans that the Templates are always so lucky. "I know," says a Shanghai cab driver, "so bloody lucky." Rebecca bitterly says that the Templates must have been saints in a previous life. Adam tells her to stop thinking about the Templates because the Templates are now "making out" in the gondola. Heh, close enough - those two are smooching for the camera. Okay, so they live by rocks, cool, and smooches. That's not a bad way to live as long as they live far, far away from me. Jon talks about - what else? - his hot rocky girlfriend to the camera. The Templates meet the Mollywoods on their way out. Aaron says that the sight of the Templates and the knowledge that there are two more Teams up there spur him on.

Kendra and Rebecca realize that they have tried all 3,000 locks and they haven't found their lock in question. In their defense, it is not easy to get an old lock opened. Freddy tells Kendra to turn slowly and carefully and Kendra tells him to shut up on telling her the obvious in a very patronizing manner. Kendra then manages to locate her lock right after Freddy shuts up. See, Freddy? Shut up. The Fre&Ks meet the Mollywoods on their way down the stairs and Freddy helpfully tells Aaron that the Mollywoods have their work cut out for them. Aaron, when he reaches the top with Hayden, says to the camera that all it takes to remain in the Game is for Hayden to get really lucky and find her lock earlier than Rebecca.

Freddy complains that all Teams may end up in the same shuttle bus to get down to the entrance lot. But the Templates are already take off in a bus. The Fre&Ks get on the next bus, where Kendra asks for a hug and Freddy lets her sit on his lap. ("HOW DISGUSTING. NOW, KRIS AND JON, ON THE OTHER HAND, KISS EVERYWHERE AND EVERYTIME BUT THAT'S OKAY BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT RACIST PIGS LIKE KENDRA AND FREDDY. THEY ARE LIKE ME, NICE PEOPLE WITH NOTHING BAD TO SAY ABOUT ANYBODY AND ANYTHING!")

Up at the North Peak, Hayden has to do the Roadblock because Aaron has already done his share of six Roadblocks. This is the worst thing that can happen to the Mollywoods, even counting their recent cab fiasco, because Hayden is not the person to put behind the wheels, so to speak, of a Roadblock that requires calm and steadiness. Hayden is already on a full-blown meltdown, her mouth never stopping in her litany of bitchings and whinings to Aaron as she starts to work, so much so that when her key is stuck in a lock, she starts trying to force it out by shaking it violently. The key breaks. The clue tells them that they can get a new key at a bowl near the receptionist at the hotel at the base of the peak so those two walk down the stairs. Yes, they walk. Adam Ant asks Rebecca to hurry up. She tells him that she will throw him off the mountain if he doesn't shut up.

The Fre&Ks and the Templates get into cabs to get to the Pit Stop. Who will be first? Maybe these people care because they want to win a trip to some place but I know they will be bunched up again at the start of the next leg so I don't share their sense of urgency.

Hayden and Aaron return from their leisurely stroll to get a replacement key. Hayden starts complaining about her "nine panic attacks" as she starts working again. Aaron tells the camera that he wishes that he can take over from her because he hates to see her in distress. He's not saying that, I'm sure, because he knows that he can do a better job than her or anything of that sort.

The Templates beat the Fre&Ks in the race to the Pit Stop, where they smooch ("AWWWW! THEY ARE LIKE ME AND THE HUSBAND I LIKE TO PRETEND I HAVE TO MY ONLINE FRIENDS!") before being told by Philo that they have won a trip to the Caribbean. The Fre&Ks come in second and smooch. ("THAT IS DISTASTEFUL AND UGLY AMERICAN BEHAVIOR! RACIST PIGS!") Freddy says that he has promised Kendra that he will take her to the Final Three. And he has fulfilled that promise, Kendra tells Philo. Philo is like "Oh... okay, whatever, can you two go now?"

Back the mountain, Adam Ant is worried that Hayden could easily get a lock opened and beat them despite Rebecca having spent hours working at the locks. That is why this Roadblock sucks. It's all about luck. At this point, I learn from Adam that the last gondola from the mountain leaves at 7:00 pm so any Team who can't finish the Roadblock by then must stop and continue only on the next day (after it opens, of course). What time is it? As Rebecca complains that she will never be a hand model after this Roadblock - hey, there's always Maxim - everyone is aware that it is 6:30 pm. Hayden says that she is close to quitting. Again? Aaron tells her that they will be given a four-hour penalty if they quit this Roadblock but he is okay with whatever decision she makes. Adam, hearing this, tells Rebecca that he is not okay with Rebecca quitting so she'd better get working on those locks faster. Ooh, the boy is finally growing a pair. Hayden whines some more about how horrible she feels and then stands up and says that she is done. That's it. She quits. Aaron assures her that she did the right thing, he still loves her, and they are definitely going to need therapy in the future. In a fitting turn of event, Rebecca's key turns and the lock she is trying snaps open. The Goth-Nots happily run off, leaving Hayden to start crying while Aaron once more abuses his bag. But on the way down in the gondola, while Hayden keeps saying that she has cost them the Race, Aaron assures her that it is okay, life still goes on, he still loves her, blah blah blah. Should he be encouraging her like this?

I don't know what the Mollywoods are thinking to overtake the Goth-Nots in the foot race to the Pit Stop. A few minutes won't lessen the impact of the four-hour delay that eliminates them even if they come in third. Philo tells the Goth-Nots that they are the last to check in but they are still in the Race thanks to the Mollywoods' time penalty. Hayden once more moans about how she has let Aaron down and Aaron then proposes to her. Yes, he freaking asks her to marry him on the show, right there at the Finishing Mat. Is he crazy? If she can't even deal with a frigging cab ride and bails out from dealing with the problem, what will they do when she has to deal with actual issues in the relationship like money or children? Philo is staring at them like they have just announced that they are going to start a new religion in Xi'an. Even the Goth-Nots have this expression on their faces that scream, "Dude, is he freaking serious? Oh, the camera is on me, have to smile now!"

So off the Mollywoods go, with them babbling about true love and forever after. Hayden, please hush. Everyone is laughing at Aaron and thinking him mad, nobody is sighing about what a romantic couple the Mollywoods are, so Hayden, really, please just go away.

In the obligatory "Show the world we rock!" segment, Kris insists that the Templates have everything to win. Kendra says that it's now a "new race" ("RACE! SHE SAID 'RACE'! I KNEW IT! SHE'S A RACIST BITCH!") and she and Freddy will be better than ever. Hmm, is it just me or does everything Kendra says has seem to have an eugenic context to it? Adam Ant, as befit the tradition of letting the fairer sex of the Team speak, gets his chance to say to the camera that it's now "win time". That's just a little better than the Boston Bulldogs' "hammer time" in Season Two.



Philo welcomes everybody back to the show and announces that he's standing at Xi'an, a city "rich in history", or more specifically, at the eight-mile Xi'an Wall. Xi'an was known as the City of Walls for obvious reason and Philo is now at one of the portions of the wall that survived the effects of time. Without much ado, the Race begins.

5:27 am. The Templates leave. They realize that their "journey home" is beginning because they have to travel to Honolulu, Hawaii (how many times does this show has to pass Hawaii anyway?) some 5,600 miles away and locate their next clue in a state park. They are also given $200 for this leg of the Race. Philo explains that the "local laws" forbid people from purchasing tickets from the airport so Teams will have to either locate a travel agent or book the tickets from the business center of the hotel they stayed at. The Templates talk about winning and keeping positive - how rivetting - and then they learn that the business center is not opened at the hotel they stayed at. They decide to call a travel agent.

6:46 am. The Fre&Ks leave. ("OMIGOD, 6:46 AM IS NEARLY LIKE 6:66 AM. THIS PROVES THAT FREDDY AND KENDRA ARE SATANISTS TOO! HATE!!!") Kendra is so happy to be going back to America and she vows that she and Freddy won't be the "nice and sweet" people that she insists they were previously. Oh dear, it looks like someone is left out of the loop when they passed the memo that she and Freddy are supposed to be KKK card-carrying racists. The Fre&Ks return to their hotel where the Templates are still at the phone trying to get through to any travel agent whose lines are working at that hour. As Freddy picks up the other phone at the receptionist's desk to do his own battle with uncooperative phone lines, the Templates decide that they can do better by trying their luck with a travel agent face-to-face. Meanwhile, Freddy keeps getting disconnected. It must be due to the elevation, all these fuzzy phone line connections. By 7:00 am, the receptionist tells the Fre&Ks that the business center is opened so the Fre&Ks head on up to book their tickets. The Templates reach a travel agency but cannot communicate with the non-English speaking staff. How can any travel agency be staffed by non-English speaking employees, anyway? The Templates have to return to the hotel, where they learn that the business center is open and the Fre&Ks are there right now getting tickets to a flight that leaves at 9:00 am, connects at Osaka, and reaches Honolulu at 9:40 am the next day.

Because it is an hour's journey to the airport, the Fre&Ks quickly depart. The Templates enter the business center where they learn that they can only get on a 10:30 am flight that connects at Tokyo and reaches Honolulu at 9:45 am the next day.

At the airport, Freddy gives Kendra a high-five and she goes, "Ow!" Their flight takes off and they beam and smooch happily, being the first Team to leave and all that. At 10:30 am, the Templates leave.

11:20 am. The Goth-Nots finally get moving. Oh my goodness, look at the time. Everyone has left China when these two start to wonder how to get tickets to leave the country! Rebecca says that the "key" to winning this leg of the Race is to not fight. Won't it be easier if she wishes for a million dollars to fall onto her lap instead? At the business center, they obtain tickets for a 1:00 pm flight that connects at Osaka and lands at Honolulu at 11:00 am the next day. The Goth-Nots cab driver probably has six packets of the Templates' specially fermented green tea because as Rebecca says, he just cackles happily to everything they tell him without understanding what they are actually saying. To demonstrate, she points at Adam and says, "He has three testicles!" The driver chuckles happily. So does Adam. He wishes that he has three testicles. As they get out at the airport, Rebecca prays for a bunching to take place.

At the airport in Osaka, the Fre&Ks decide to try and get an earlier flight to take them to Honolulu. But those amusing Japanese airport staff refuse to let them onboard a flight that leaves earlier, even if there are many empty seats in it, because they don't have meals to serve the Fre&Ks. This can actually happen, supposedly. Hubby tells me that he had this same problem once when he attended a conference in Osaka and tried to get an earlier flight home. Freddy and Kendra start protesting that they don't need to eat but the Legion of People Against Starvation and Anorexia that are the airport staff are not moved. Kendra starts shedding tears and says that she has a very sick child in Honolulu. She's a very good actress, by the way. Were not for the cameras trailing those two, she may just get them through. But at the end of the policy, they are not getting on that earlier flight because as the lady insists, "company policy" says so.

In Tokyo, there is no luck for Kris and Jon in securing an earlier flight either.

Back at Osaka, the Goth-Nots arrive at the departures area just in time to see the Fre&Ks walk through the departure gate of their flight to Honolulu. The Goth-Nots understandably try to get on this flight too. They hit the same brick wall as the Fre&Ks: there aren't enough meals allocated to feed the Goth-Nots on that flight so no, it's against company policy to let them get on that flight. Rebecca walks away in disappointment while Adam Ant points out to the lady by the departure gate that there are many people who walked through the departure gate even if they came after the Goth-Nots so he doesn't understand why she can't let them on. Because these people actually have legitimate pre-booked tickets to the flight, perhaps? Adam calls the lady "mean" and "very cold" before walking away with a pout. Well, at least they try and sometimes that's all that matters. The Templates take off to Honolulu at Tokyo. Later, the Goth-Nots board their flight. Adam Ant says that if they catch up with the others, they are going to win. I know. If I strike the lottery, I'm going to be rich. The thing here is if.

At about 9:30 am, the Fre&Ks land at Honolulu and locate their designated vehicle in the parking lot. 9:45 am sees the Template "hauling ass" (as they put it) out of the airport into their vehicle. They don't know where everyone else is but they suspect that the Fre&Ks are ahead of them. The Fre&Ks are in fact right now opening the clue stand at the state park and learn that they have to do a Detour. Philo comes out to explain that in "Outfits", Teams must head over to a clothing warehouse and select a pair of mannequins. They must then locate the identical set of clothes that match those on the mannequins out of 165,000 pieces of clothings in the warehouse. In "Outriggers", Teams must paddle a canoe along a two-mile course from a canoe club located six miles from the state park. Freddy says that he'd like to paddle but he doesn't want to "kill" Kendra. Kendra insists that she can paddle. ("SHE IS STILL A USELESS WOMAN IF SHE WANTS TO DO THINGS ON THE RACE BECAUSE SHE IS... IS... A RACIST! A USELESS RACIST!")

The Goth-Nots land in Honolulu. They look so downcast, those poor things.

The Templates show up at the state park. Kris wants to paddle but Jon notes that it is starting to rain. They decide to try matching the clothes to the mannequins. It turns out that "Outriggers" is actually easier and faster than the misleading clue suggests because you can eliminate racks of clothes at one go because they are in a different color from the clothes on your mannequins. On the other hand, paddling isn't easy as Hera and Fat Gus can testify, with Freddy and Kendra soon arguing because she splashed water on him. Yes, seriously. Kendra sees some hunky locals watching them and waves at them, leading Freddy to tell her to save her energy. Poor Freddy. It must be tough being the insecure older man in a relationship with a much younger woman. Kendra tells him with a pout that he never lets her have any fun. ("THAT IS NOT A POUT. SHE DOESN'T JOKE WITH FREDDY. SHE IS A MEAN, RACIST BITCH!!! KRIS AND JON HOWEVER ALWAYS JOKE WHEN THEY SAY MEAN THINGS I HATE ON OTHER TEAMS FOR SAYING BECAUSE I KNOW THEY ARE GOOD PEOPLE SO THEY NEVER MEAN THE BAD THINGS THEY SAY!!!") She then shrieks that she will paddle for a million dollars. That's the spirit. ("GREEDY, MEDIAWHORING RACIST BITCH!!!")

The Goth-Nots reach the clue stand in the park and decide to paddle a canoe.

The Templates soon locate their clothes, which they get to wear so that people will really confuse them with the mannequins now. Their clue tells them to head on down to the Kamaka Air some five miles away from their current location. Meanwhile, the Fre&Ks paddle a little longer before reaching the end of the two-mile course and they too take off to the Kamaka Airt without delay. The Templates reach there without trouble and learn that it is time for a Roadblock. The person who is still eligible to complete a Roadblock will be strapped on with a parachute and an instructor at his or her back and this person will skydive from a plane into a sandbar right in the ocean. Kris is so excited that she all but dry humps Jon on the spot. Boy, imagine how wild she will be when she has won the million dollars! The Fre&Ks seem to have gotten lost but they catch up with the Templates soon enough. Jon is watching his instructional video at the airport when Freddy shows up to do the Roadblock.

The Goth-Nots paddle. At the cursory rate this show focuses on them, it's obvious that the Goth-Nots are not going to catch up. The Goth-Nots finish paddling. Funny, really. For a show that has been throwing so many bunchings in every episode, there doesn't seem to be any in this leg of the Race. So tell me, Bonghammer, if all those bunchings are supposed to keep the Teams as close together as possible to create suspense in the final sprint, why aren't there any bunchings in this leg of the Race? All I can conclude is that the race designers are all on drugs.

Jon and Freddy board the same plane ("WHY? WHY? PUT THEM ON SEPARATE PLANES!!!") and Freddy tells Jon that it will be just them and their women racing to the Finish Line. Jon makes the evil horn gesture in response. If Freddy makes the evil horn gesture? ("THAT MEANS HE IS A CONFIRMED SATANIST!") But it's Jon now who makes the evil horn gesture, right? ("SO? THAT JUST MEANS THAT JON IS A FUNNY GUY WITH A GREAT SENSE OF HUMOR!") Then Jon jumps, yelling, "Sweet!" Great, so now he's that dude from that cheesy sitcom that I just can't stand. Kris, waiting in the boat, jumps down to meet Jon. ("HOW SWEET.") Freddy jumps. Kendra stays in the boat and waits for Freddy to come to her. ("BITCH! RACIST SELFISH BITCH! HATE! HATE! SHE'S THE DOWNFALL OF HUMANITY! HATE!") Both Teams learn that they must now head over to Chicago, the city in which they started the Race from, and locate the Water Tower.

The Goth-Nots reach Kamaka Air. Adam Ant will have to do the Roadblock. Naturally, he is scared and goes all screamy-mimi about it. In the meantime, the two Teams ahead are on their way to the airport.

The Templates reach the airport first and they head over to the American Airlines counter, where they learn that American Airlines will lie to you with a straight face. See, the Templates ask for the earliest flight to Chicago and this man tells them that the American Airlines flight that will leave at 4:30 pm will take them to Chicago at 5:43 am is the earliest flight they can find. Because American Airlines have given them so many free trips, the Templates must have found no reason to doubt the man and purchase those tickets. The Fre&Ks on the other hand head over to the United Airlines - the same flight that gives the Quotas of the last season their victory over the C+Cs, if you remember - and after asking some well-worded questions that the ticket counter lady cannot answer in a misleading manner, the Fre&Ks learn that the earliest flight is, in fact, an United flight leaving at 4:20 pm and reaching Chicago at 5:15 am. Please don't say that the Fre&Ks are lucky though because they specifically ask about the departure and arrival time of the American flight that the Templates are taking, so yes, they do a little more work than the Templates. Just because some people are so irrationally bitter over the Fre&Ks getting a better flight than the Templates, they choose to twist events to suit their own version of the show where the Fre&Ks can't do anything right at all while the Templates can't do anything wrong. Kendra says that if the Templates choose to board the American flight - which they do - the Fre&Ks will have a lead over the Templates.

The two Teams take off in their respective flights. The Goth-Nots show up once everyone is gone and manage to get seats on a 6:05 pm flight.

In Chicago, the Fre&Ks' flight had a slight delay so it landed at 5:25 am. The Templates' flight lands earlier than scheduled, at 5:30 am. So it all boils down to a five minute difference. As the Templates stand on the escalator going down in the airport, Kris says that they have learned on their flight that the United flight lands earlier and hopes that the Templates can catch up with the Fre&Ks since they landed earlier than scheduled.

The Fre&Ks get directions from this loud, brassy station lady and hop onto a train that will take them to the Water Tower. The Templates meet the same lady and are given the same directions. After wandering through the streets of Chicago, the Fre&Ks locate the Water Tower where they learn that they must now head over to Gino's East, which I understand is Chicago's pride and joy when it comes to greasy pizza. The Templates also locate the Water Tower but they can't locate a cab. Oops.

Philo explains that the Teams must eat two slices of pizza - big ones, so I'm sure it's actually harder than it looks, snort - at Gino's before they get their next clue. Freddy announces in the cab that he will eat the pizza even if it has worms on it. Kendra announces that she is hungry. At Gino's, when she starts muching on what seems like a pizza made solely of crust and mozarella, she starts to have second thoughts about being hungry. This is the first time she is shown complaining over a task but I am amused as to how so many people who hate this Team start saying that Kendra never does anything without whining. Ah, the magic of revisionist history.

The Templates are in a cab heading towards Gino's East. She has her head resting on his lap, not that it is as disgusting as Kendra sitting on Freddy's lap, of course. ("DAMN RIGHT!") She says that there is nothing she can think of that is better than eating Gino's pizza at 7:15 am. Jon says that it's like "dinnertime in China", not that there is anything remotely racist in that. ("DAMN RIGHT TOO!")

The Fre&Ks finally finish their pizza. ("I AM NOT AS BEAUTIFUL AS KENDRA, WHICH I'M HAPPY TO SAY, BUT EVEN I CAN EAT SIX PIZZAS IF YOU ASK ME TO. THAT'S WHY SHE IS A RACIST WHINY BITCH WHILE I AM A... HEY, WHO ARE YOU CALLING FAT?") They are delighted when they learn that they can now head on straight to the Finish Line at Ping Tom Park. They seem to have problems locating a cab afterwards. The show tries to create suspense by having the Templates show up but since there are no signs of the Fre&Ks when they do, I don't think this is as close a race as the editors are trying to suggest.

The Fre&Ks manage to locate a cab when Freddy spots a police car. He has this smart idea of asking the officer if he can lead the way to Ping Tom Park because Freddy has an "emergency". The officer wants to know what this emergency is. Flummoxed, Freddy tries to rack his brain for an answer until Kendra calls out from the cab that he can't pull this kind of stunt with police officers.

The Goth-Nots land in Chicago.

The Fre&Ks' cab driver doesn't know where Ping Tom Park is and radios for direction. Meanwhile, the Templates finish eating and get ready to leave. The Goth-Nots take a cab to get over to Gino's East where they eat pizza. The Templates' cab driver says he knows where the Ping Tom Park is while the Fre&Ks seem to be hopelessly lost. And on and on the two Teams in their cabs go until... woosh. There is Philo standing at the end of the red carpet! The eliminated Teams are standing there cheering and clapping because they have to or they will just cry instead. And look, a Team has arrived. Wait, here's another Team. The Fre&Ks and the Templates begin a footrace to the Finish line, like Freddy predicted earlier to Jon on the Kamaka Air plane, but unfortunately, while the Fre&Ks do have a lead, they cross the railway line first. When the Templates reach the railway line, a passing train prevents them from doing anything but to wait.

As everyone else apart from the Mollywoods seems to suffer from misplaced fits, apparently because the Fre&Ks winning means that humanity is doomed or something, Philo prattles on about "four continents, twenty-four cities, and 40,000 miles" before announcing that the Fre&Ks are the winners of this Amazing Race. Oblivious to the memo that they are anything but that, those two start calling each other perfect and beautiful and Kendra even announces that Freddy is now fit to carry her babies. Heh, I bet that is how Eugenics Incorporated started.

The train finally clears the track. The Templates, knowing that they have lost to the Fre&Ks, decide to smooch. I'd give them that: they know how to leave the show with style that will make Barbara Cartland proud. They also love each other, forever and ever.

And finally, much later, the Goth-Nots show up. The third Team to arrive are embraced by everyone and Rebecca says that she will always love Adam even if she doesn't know what the future holds for the two of them. Everyone then hugs everyone else and that's a wrap for this season.

What can I say? The bunchings of this season have risen to ridiculous levels, that's for sure, and I also wish that the show would bring back Fast Forwards that are actually useful and get rid of failed gimmicks like the Yield and the stripping of money at the end of a non-elimination round. But I don't have any problem with the Fre&Ks winning, actually. They do deserve their victory because these two do work together without letting their personal issues come between them and they are good Racers. So many people get so irrational and worked up over Kendra's "breeding" statement that they lose control of their senses and start creating a Kendra in their minds (and in the writings they put up on the Web) that is completely different from the actual Kendra that is portrayed on the show. With the Robfather and Ambore competing in the next season, I have this fear that the irrational judgmental sanctimony of all these crazy fans will only rise to the levels of outright dementia. Why do so many fans take the show so personally that they get so offended by the actions of the Racers?

One more thing before I go. I think this show is suffering from the same problem that made the later seasons of The Apprentice a pain to watch: the schizophrenic editing that seems determined to make people hate three of the four final four Teams. Why is this, anyway? You can argue that editors don't lie (snort) but this season sees the editor behaving as if they hate their jobs and they want this season to be done and over with. The good guys are given a one-dimensional edit so dull that they only appeal to overidentifying weirdos who watch this show to get validation about human beings in general. The bad guys are so amped up that their actions become too cartoonish to watch and there are so many of these bad guys. A good reality show needs a good balance between likeable and unlikeable people. Sure, we all talk about Omarosa but we also talk about Troy, Amy, and Bill in The Apprentice. We need heroes as well as villains on a show and there are too many villains and not enough interesting heroes on this one. Can I hope that things will improve in the next season?


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