We Have A Bad Elephant
The Amazing Race 7 : Episode 8


It's a plane! Previously, the episode ended in a cliffhanger with Philo Koughie standing at a fake finishing mat in Lucknow to tell the Teams that they weren't at the Pit Stop and the leg hadn't finished yet. In the meantime, Gretchen was on a roll, splitting eardrums everything she went with Meredith, while the GOPs formed an alliance of convenience with the Robcouple. The Robcouple didn't get Yielded, the GOPs get to follow the Robcouple everywhere those two went, so I'd say that it was a mighty advantageous alliance to both parties, heh? The Robcouple arrived at the fake finishing mat first and today's episode will take off from there.

Credits. Now is as good a time as any to wonder just what the Fat Fatales' introductory clip is all about. They are hiding behind the curtains of a changing room and then they push the curtains back and... jump and make faces at each other? What is that all about, seriously?

Back at the rooftop of a certain building in Lucknow, Philo tells the Robcouple that the Race isn't over yet and hands them their next clue. They must now cross the street to the train station and board the train. Their next clue will be given to them during the train ride. The Robcouple waste no time in getting to the train station. Poor Barbie Jane is hoping that the GOPs would reach the Pit Stop but alas, they have to go to the train station instead. "What a trick!" Joyce gasps in fake indignance when she and Uchenna reach the fake mat and get their clue from Philo. She tells the camera that she is, like, "Whaaaaaat?" when she discovers that Philo isn't going to greet them and check them into the Pit Stop. The Fat Fatales are beat and they are not happy when they are told that they have to go on. "Alex and I are freaking out that this leg is not over because it's been going on for days and days!" Lynn tells the camera. Don't worry, Lynn, everything will be over soon, heh.

The Cannon Fodders finally finish up the tea-serving Detour of theirs. After getting their clue from the tea shop owner, the two look for a cab in order to make their way to the rooftop to meet Philo.

The Robfather calls Ambore "sweetie" as he helps her climb over a barricade to get into the train station. The GOPs, the IVFs, and the Fat Fatales use the more conventional entrance of the train station when they show up. Meanwhile, Gretchen is telling the camera how "inspirational" she finds India. Meredith notices that in a trishaw ahead of their cab a man has his arm on the back of the man seated beside him and tells Gretchen that those two men may be gay. Gretchen says that the young lad who helped them reach Aishbagh was "pretty cute". I don't know how "inspirational" can lead to "I think they are gay" before coming to "that guy was pretty cute" in their context because I suspect that both Gretchen and Meredith are talking to each other without actually listening to what the other has to say.

The four Teams at the station look for Platform Two where their train will be departing from. Meanwhile, Philo greets the Cannon Fodders and, after telling them that they still have to keep Racing, bids them a fond farewell. "Give it everything you've got!" he calls after them. Therefore I will blame him when Gretchen takes his advice to heart and starts shrieking like pandemonium personified. Gretchen tells the camera that she is so happy that the Cannon Fodders aren't eliminated like they feared. They will be even happier to learn that the train at Platform Two only departs at 9:00 pm. The Robcouple learn of this first. Since it is only 1:00 pm at that moment, their lead over the others has dissipated completely. It takes only eight episodes before the show starts its bunching nonsense. I'm impressed by the restraint of the designers of this season.

As the Teams kill time at the station, Lynn tells the camera a big secret: the Fat Fatales, the IVFs, and the Cannon Fodders have a "loose alliance"! That will be news to people who have not watched the last episode, truly. Joyce tells the camera that she is certain that the Robcouple's alliance with the GOPs will be short-lived because she is sure that the Robfather will find a way to betray the GOPs. How sad it is that some people on the Race prefers to actually Race instead of holding hands and running to the finish line as one big happy family!

The Teams finally board the train when 9:00 pm rolls in. They do not know where they are going or when they will get their clue while they are on the train. In the middle of the night, a guy wakes the Teams up to pass them their clue. That reminds me of all those train trips I took where the darned conductor only asks for tickets when I am fast asleep. Anyway, it is worth noting that the GOPs are cuddled up in one bunk while the Robfather reads the clue alone with Ambore nowhere to be seen. Maybe she's in the toilet or something. The clue tells them to look for their next clue at the Jodhpur train station. Um, okay. Alex points out that they will reach Jodhpur only later the next day so they would be spending around twenty-four hours on this train.

The next day rolls by and Teams are not trying to find ways to kill time while making sure that they do fun enough things to be shown on TV. The Fat Fatales play card games in their compartment and Lynn complains that he misses his "little comforts". He misses his eye cream, facial cream... "Any kind of cream," says he and I try not to giggle even if my mind is completely in the gutter at that moment. Lynn announces that he will even drink all this cream if he has them with him right now. I know, Lynn, I know. Snigger. Lynn says that it will be "interesting" to see how long he can last without his cream. That is assuming that I genuinely care to see the progress of the blackhead march on his face, which I don't. In another compartment, the Cannon Fodders rest. In their compartment, Joyce wraps the scarf she has stolen from the Asafi Imambara around Uchenna's head. He protests at that and she insists that he looks great in it. "This is what I deal with," Uchenna tells the camera in mock resignation.

Elsewhere, the Robcouple and the GOPs spend their time chatting. Ambore tells the GOPs that the Robfather won't watch "scary movies" with her. Aw, he's such a softie. I bet those "scary movies" in his collection that he won't watch with her are actually hardcore porn stuff. GI Joe seems surprised that the Robfather can be "humorous" and Ambore "very sweet". He is glad to be able to hang out with them as friends in that brief lull on the train. Ambore tells the camera that her Team and the GOPs have fun competing with each other and the Robfather adds that the friendship between the two Teams is "genuine". But, he repeats unnecessarily, he and Ambore are here to win, blah blah blah.

It is dark when the train pulls up at Jodhpur. The Robcouple are the first (as usual) to locate the clue stand and learn that they must head over to the clock tower in the Sardar Market. The clue stand is located on the balcony of the clock tower. Sardar Market is the place to go if you are in Jodhpur and want to locate anything from spices to old books, by the way. The Robcouple try to get a cab and someone told them that a cab is on the way. So they wait. And wait. Meanwhile, the GOPs take one of the rickshaws waiting around the place and they leave. Barbie Jane must be happy that this time her Team on a rickshaw will get to beat the Robcouple in a cab. The Robfather somewhat belatedly notices those rickshaws and asks whether they will take him and Ambore to the market faster. The Robcouple abandon the cab for a rickshaw but are beaten to the Market by the GOPs. In the end, all Teams can take their time to get to the Market, actually, because it is closed and will only open at 10:00 am the next morning. There is a hotel and restaurant nearby though so every Team heads over in that direction.

The GOPs and the Robcouple briefly consider sharing a room to save on expenses but the Robfather, figuring out that this is one chance they get to plan without the GOPs breathing over their neck, tells Ambore that they should get their own room. The reason for this is clear when the Robfather asks this young man, Sanjay, who also is the manager of the hotel, whether he can pay Sanjay to show him around Jodhpur the next day. Sanjay, thinking of the publicity he can bring to his hotel or at least be on camera for a few hours, agrees and says that he will be the Robcouple's guide for free. The Robfather clarifies that he needs Sanjay's services for the whole day. Sanjay once more says that he's game for that, free of charge of course. Those two men shake hands and Ambore gives the Robfather a pleased "We get another one!" look.

Later that night, someone happens to have a wedding celebration on the streets below. I'll try not to be so cynical and suggest that those people are actors hired to put up a show. The Fat Fatales are happy that some guys invite them to dance on the streets. Maybe Lynn will forget his craving for cream, at least for the rest of the night. The Cannon Fodders watch happily from the balcony outside their room. Since he finds gay people so inspirational, Meredith is moved to dance along with the guys on the street. What a cool grandpa!

When morning comes, the Robfather tells Sanjay that under no circumstance is he to go off with the GOPs should the GOPs and the Robcouple should ever be separated. The ever agreeable Sanjay agrees to that. GI Joe tells the camera that the Robfather has "coerced" Sanjay into coming with them. Isn't "coerce" the wrong word to use for a man who offers his tour guide services for free? Teams get ready to leave for Sardar Market. At 10:00 am, they rush through the gates to the clue stand at the balcony of the clock tower.

There is a Fast Forward this time around, and the IVFs, the first to reach the clue stand, read the Fast Forward instructions. Philo explains that Teams taking the Fast Forward must locate a specific temple among many located about ten and a half miles from here. There, they must undergo a "traditional good-fortune ritual" that both males and females in Jodhpur undergo at least once in their life time: shaving their head. Of course, Teams won't know what this ritual is until they get to the temple. The IVFs decide to take the Fast Foward. Meanwhile, the other Teams who don't opt for the Fast Forward must now face a Detour. In "Trunk", Teams must move a 600-pound teak elephant (teak being the timber from a kind of tree found in most Asian rainforests) from a street corner to a temple half a mile away. The head priest of the temple will hand over the clue once the Teams bring in their elephants. This task requires strength, but as Philo says, that's what the locals are for. Free third-world labor! In "Dunk", Teams must head over to a tie-dye mill and dye white fabrics in purple dye until the clue is visible on one of those white fabrics. But there is only one fabric with the clue located among a total of twenty five fabrics to dye. This task may take awhile to complete, Philo says. It's basically a toss-up then between hands dyed purple or dying from a heart attack.

The Cannon Fodders decide to tackle the elephant because they are certain that they will lose out in a dash to get the Fast Forward. Naturally, they have a chance in beating the other Teams when it comes to pushing a 600-pound elephant along the street. The Fat Fatales decide to opt for the Fast Forward. Oops. And hey, if they want to copy the Robfather's strategy, that is one strategy that they shouldn't copy. The GOPs and the Robcouple prefer to deal with their respective elephants. The Robfather says that they get burned the last time they try for a Fast Forward. One thing I must say about him: he learns from his mistake, which is more than I can say about some of the other Teams. So we have the Robcouple and the GOPs along with the Cannon Fodders looking for the elephants while the IVFs and the Fat Fatales are in those open-air motorized cabs in a race for the Fast Forward.

The streets are very crowded with people and vehicles and the chaos will only get worse when the Teams start pushing their elephants. You cannot appreciate this episode until you see for your own eyes (and listen to Gretchen, of course, with your own ears) the pandemonium and the chaos that result. Anyway, the three elephant-bound Teams locate the elephants eventually and push. They are expectedly heavy. But for some reason, Gretchen asks one of the guys around her as to what she should do and he tells her to get on that elephant. Naturally, she has to announce to the camera that she is getting on that elephant and goes "Oops!" when the guys around her put their hands on her derriere to help her get up on it. I don't think she weighs that much, but her husband is nearing seventy! Does she expect him to pull the elephant by himself? Meanwhile, catching the sight of Queen Gretchen the Retchin' III perched atop the elephant, the Robfather asks Ambore whether she needs to be on the elephant. The puzzled Ambore tells the equally puzzled Robfather that the clue doesn't say anything about any of them having to ride that elephant. "Why is Gretchen on it?" asks he. Good question.

In their cab, Lynn starts to worry that they may not get the Fast Forward since the IVFs are already ahead of them. He asks Alex whether Alex believes so and Alex says yes. So Lynn asks the cab driver to take them back to the city. They are going to play with the elephants too!

GI Joe pulls and Barbie Jane pushes at the elephant. It's not easy. The Robfather pulls and Ambore pushes. It's not easy. Meredith pulls and Gretchen sits atop the elephant and shrieks in her worst quivering eardrum-shattering voice for people to get out of the way. The other Teams begin getting all those gullible kids excited to be on TV to help them push and Gretchen, seeing this, starts hollering at people in general to push her elephant too. Gosh, that sounds dirty, "push her elephant". The elephants begin to move. Gretchen shrieks some more. I think she is hoping to start some earthquake so that the ground will ripple and push the elephant forward.

The Fat Fatales show up once the Teams and their elephants are making steady (if slow) progress. Lynn, seeing Gretchen, tells her that she looks fabulous. Not stupid but fabulous - he thinks about her as stupid only in his thoughts. Lynn tells Alex that he wants to "ride on top". Er, okay, of course he does, that bitchy fat dominatrix! Gretchen wonders whether she should get off the elephant but decides that she will be more useful if she screams at whoever it is helping Meredith to push the elephant to push harder. She sounds like some psychotic tyrant ordering the slaves to finish building the pyramid or else. Suddenly I'm glad I'm not one of her children. She would be terrifying to deal with during Thanksgiving dinners, I bet.

When the Fat Fatales and their various stumpy assistants actually move the Fat Fatales' elephant past the Cannon Fodders', Gretchen actually tries to grab on the Fat Fatales' elephant to prevent it from passing! Needless to say, that doesn't work too well. "We have a bad elephant!" Gretchen wails, although I'm not too sure whether she's referring to her own elephant being so slow (faster, Meredith, faster!) or the Fat Fatales' elephant for being faster. I'm sure though that Gretchen really, really needs to shut up because she is a menace. "What will be so cool is the wounds on her head reopening when she starts screaming so that blood will rain down her face as she screams 'Push! Push! Harder!' at the top of her voice," says hubby. He adds, "Gretchen has a face tailor-made for The Shining!"

Gretchen, when she sees that only kiddies are helping Meredith push the elephant, wails, "We need some big people!" Oh, hush! My ears are going to bleed if she keeps up at it. It is not as if there are "big people" helping the other Teams. They also have both Team members pulling and pushing, a fact which seems to elude Gretchen at the moment, just as how she doesn't notice how Meredith's alarmingly flushed face suggests that the poor man is just one cholesterol clog away from a stroke.

In a more tranquil environment, the IVFs are happy that the cab driver seems to know where he is supposed to go. Uchenna offers some extra money to the driver as an incentive to drive faster.

Sanjay is hard at work rallying the kids on the street to help the Robfather. The Robfather is not being idle though. Of course, nobody complains about Gretchen acting like she's the despotic queen of the pachyderms but everyone seems to find fault with the Robfather taking some kids by hand to "persuade" them to help him and Ambore push the elephant. The way I see it, those kids are already stepping out towards the elephant and the Robfather decides to cut short their dithering by grabbing them, sports coach style, forward. He was a hockey coach after all, just as he was a construction site supervisor, which makes his statement afterwards to the camera - "It's tough organizing Indian labor!" - more amusing than offensive. Then again, that's one reason I enjoy watching this Team even when they're being big meanies: I like my Teams a little tainted by the darkside. Just a little, of course, not too much like the STDs from the previous season!

In their cab, Joyce and Uchenna speculate whether they will have to shave their heads. Nah, they don't think so. Really!

As Teams with elephants approach the temple, the camera zooms in on the sign next to the drop-off point at the temple ground. The sign says "Parking". Of course, of course. The GOPs manage to come in first and receive their next clue from the head priest. They can now head over to the Deora Krishi Farm, eight miles from here, via rickshaws and locate their next clue there. They try to get Sanjay to join them in the rickshaw, but the Robcouple, who are pulling up at that moment with their elephant, manages to call out to Sanjay and get him to stay with them.

In what seems like the start of a long trip into Lostville, the IVFs step up at a temple only to realize that it's not the one they should be looking for. A passer-by informs them that there are many temples around here. Which one are the IVFs looking for? Oh dear!

Lynn is jumping and waving his hands more than he is helping Alex and the kids push the elephant, although of course in post-show interviews he will rip on Ambore for being useless. The Fat Fatales slowly approach the temple with their elephant (the teak one, not to confused with Lynn). Meanwhile, the Cannon Fodders are trailing behind. The GOPs, happy in their rickshaw, realize with dismay that the Cannon Fodders are causing a bottleneck on the street (people must be running over to see what kind of crazy woman is screaming like that while perched atop a fake elephant). Meredith is grabbing his chest and gasping painfully for breath. You have not watched The Amazing Race until you have seen Meredith being a step away from death while Gretchen sits comfortably on the elephant and screams, in no particular order, why they are stopping, why they aren't going faster, people move out of the way, and people please push harder. It's a poetic scene worth contemplating over when one is in the mood to ponder about the fragility of the human psyche or other metaphorical, metaphysical stuff about life.

Barbie Jane screams at the people standing by the street to help Meredith. I'd like to imagine that she's just concerned about Meredith and not because she wants the rickshaw to keep moving like about now. Unfortunately, only a few kids step out to help. Finally, Meredith manages to live through the near-cardiac arrest and the GOPs get to keep moving. Barbie Jane complains that Sanjay should have been with them. Why should he be? The Robcouple have first dips on him, after all.

Now the Fat Fatales come across the oncoming Cannon Fodder elephant. Like the GOPs, they are now caught in a bottleneck caused by Queen Gretchen the Bellowing Ghoulmother's entourage. "Run that elephant over! Oh please, please, please!" Lynn tells the rickshaw driver. I wish the driver has tried. A rickshaw carrying the Fat Fatales crashing into Queen Gretchen's 600-pound mount? Only to be crushed under the teak elephant as Queen Gretchen verbally flogs her slaves to carry her to the temple faster? Her plaintive and irritating voice drowning out Lynn's cries of agony? Beautiful. Alas, that is not to be.

The IVFs head over to another temple, only to find a congregation praying within so this is obviously not the right one. Bzzzt, try again! What's the mantra of this Team again? That's right: "Nice folks. Ugh, if only they are better Racers!" All together now, people: sigh.

Finally, the Cannon Fodders reach the temple, thus cutting short Gretchen's reign as the most vocal queen of pachyderms. In their rickshaw, Gretchen tells Meredith that she should have not gotten on that elephant and she should have helped him push. Since it is not as if she realizes this only now - she made an aborted attempt to get off the elephant earlier only to decide that she'd rather stay put and give orders, remember? - her talk isn't anything but cheap. Meredith tells her simply that things are fine. She rubbed her eyes wearily. The poor tired dear. She worked so hard sitting there on that elephant and screaming her head off while that lazy Meredith just stays down there and drags the 600-pound elephant and his wife all the way to the temple with the aid of some children.

At the Deora Krishi Farm, the GOPs and the Robcouple show up at nearly the same time. They learn that it's now time for a Roadblock. Since camel racing is a popular local event in Rajasthan (of which Jodhpur is the state capital city), as Philo explains, it's time for the Teams to experience firsthand the joys of camel-racing. Team members who perform the Roadblock will have a "camel master" seated beside them to make sure that they don't accidentally kill the camel. They must complete two laps around the circular race course. I suspect that this Farm is one of those fairgrounds for the Jaisalmer Desert Festival, a time when camel racing flourishes. Anyway, Ambore and Barbie Jane will perform the Roadblock. They nervously get onto their respective carts and go. Their boyfriends cheer them on but it becomes obvious that they should be cheering the camels on instead because the camels seem to do as they please regardless of the orders given to them. Ambore's camel doesn't seem to know which direction it should go and spends a few precious moments making Ambore cry in frustration as he wanders around searching for its destiny.

The Fat Fatales and the Cannon Fodders approach the Farm. Meanwhile, Barbie Jane's camel is better behaved so it trots happily along, completing its first course. Ambore's camel, on the other hand, wants to check out some... er, things, I guess, that catch his interest among the bushes off the track. The Robfather can't see Ambore and only sees Barbie Jane so he tells the camera, "I don't see my girl. This is not good!" But Ambore manages to persuade the camel to go on its way soon enough, so that's good. Barbie Jane's camel, on the other hand, wants to take a rest. That's not good.

At this point, the Fat Fatales are at the farm. Alex decides that the fare the driver is asking for is too much, however, and argues with that man. The Cannon Fodders show up in the meantime. I never do find out how Alex's argument with the driver is resolved but Lynn takes the Roadblock. Gretchen tells Meredith, who has pretty much single-handedly pulled a 600-pound elephant a while ago, that he has to do this because she is too tired. Or something. Aw, bless Gretchen. She's such a deceptively-sweet mean old hag. Lynn naturally cackles when he realizes that the Robcouple are still there in the farm. The Robfather ignores him though, which must make Lynn even more annoyed, I'm sure.

The IVFs finally show up at the correct temple. Since the other Teams have completed their Detour and are now tackling Roadblocks, I really don't think this Fast Foward is worth that much in the long run. That is, if the editing is to be believed. At least, it doesn't worth the price the Teams taking the fast forward has to pay. Why? Because the IVFs notice that there are a pair of scissors lying on the mat that the Fast Forward swami dude is resting on, and because there is a sign in front of the swami that tells them that they have to get their heads completely shaved in order to get the Fast Forward. Joyce, in tone that is part-indignation and part-"let's just get this over with, quick!", says that she knows this head-shaving thing is coming. "Let's go!" she says defiantly as she removes her cap. Uchenna asks her whether she is sure. Joyce cries out, "Let's go!" It's the kind of tone people use in order to get things done quickly before they change their mind. She tells him that they have come this far for the Fast Foward so she is not going to go all the way back just because she doesn't want to get her head shaved. As Uchenna tosses off his cap, not sure whether all this is really happening, Joyce gives a nervous giggle and kneels down on the mat before the swami. As the swami begins to get to work, she says that she cannot believe that she is actually doing this. Uchenna is trying to get her to change her mind but she is going to go through this, make no mistake.

As the swami prepares his scissors and what-not, Joyce starts to tear up. Seeing this, Uchenna tries to be gallant by telling her that he doesn't want her to get her head shaved. Bravely trying to be calm, she tells him that she will go through this because they have gone through so much trouble to locate this temple. But when the swami takes off a chunk of her braids, reality sets in and Joyce starts to cry as locks of her hair fall to the ground. She tries to tell herself that it's just hair and she will grow them back. Uchenna tells her to stop but she correctly points out that her hair is already being cut. "I knew this was coming! I told you. I knew it!" she says, half-laughing and half-crying, as if a part of her is horrified that she is actually doing this while another part of her is still unable to process that this is really happening.

Joyce now melancholically says that Uchenna will finally get to see her bald. He reassures her that she is still beautiful and he cuddles and hugs her all the way through. The swami isn't having a pleasant time cutting off Joyce's hair as he too seems to be at the verge of tears. I don't think he will be signing up to do this kind of thing in future seasons of the show. Uchenna tells the camera that it breaks his heart to see Joyce making this "sacrifice" for him. A cynical part of me pooh-poohs the "sacrifice" notion because seriously, that's just hair. It'll grow back. A million dollars will buy Joyce plenty of new hair real or fake. But still, I'm moved to tears because Joyce's tears are heartbreaking to watch, just as her willingness to do something she obviously does not enjoy wins me over. But at the end of the day, really, it's just hair. And that's me speaking as a woman, mind you. I know I don't look as good as Joyce with a bald head but I'll tell the swami to do his job faster if I'm in her shoes.

And Joyce does look beautiful. She has delicate, elfin facial features and strong cheekbones that are set off beautifully without the distraction of her hideous bangs and curls. She seriously should consider baldness as her new fashion statement because girlfriend here looks stunning. She and Uchenna share a moment of tenderness as they try to laugh over how they are now bald together. Uchenna even gets them to pose for the camera. This cheers Joyce up noticeably. They really are such a sweet, adorable couple. I wish they are better Racers, oh how I wish so hard for that! They now receive the clue from the swami telling them to head straight to the Pit Stop for this leg of the Race, the Jaswant Thada, a "royal tomb" (according to Philo) back in the city of Jodhpur. They have a vehicle waiting for them to use it to get to Jaswant Thada.

Joyce pauses to examine her reflection in the car rear mirror. Uchenna insists that she looks beautiful. She doesn't seem too convinced, telling the camera that her inner beauty will have to "shine through". Back in the vehicle, she wraps her bandana around her chromedome head. I hope she doesn't keep saying that she's no longer beautiful with her bald head because she is one of those lucky women who have the face to carry off baldness as the new kind of sexy.

Over at the Farm, Barbie Jane's relatively more well-behaved camel allows her to complete the second lap ahead of Ambore. She and GI Joe receive the clue that tells them to head straight for the Pit Stop. As they pass the Robfather, he asks them whether the clue tells them to get to the Pit Stop. GI Joe confirms this. The Robfather now paces impatiently by the sidelines. Sanjay, bless him, watches him quietly before asking him, "Where's your other person?" I think hubby and I should start referring to each other as "my other person" in conversations with other people because that sounds so cool coming from Sanjay, heh. The Robfather, bless him, tells Sanjay calmly that he is waiting for her.

As they leave, Barbie Jane tells GI Joe, "Honey, that hurt my bottom so bad, but it's so much fun!" Is she talking about their method of "discussion" at the last Pit Stop? Sounds fun! Details, please!

Finally, Ambore shows up. "Ride that camel," says the Robfather aloud. Ugh, that's almost as bad as Gretchen's so-called witty wisecracks. Sanjay and he exchange a high-five as Ambore gets closer to the end of the second lap. "That's my baby!" the Robfather says to the camera. I wonder how he can say that without any hint of that impatience that he was obviously feeling a while ago. Alas, Ambore's camel decides to sit down for a while just a short distance from the finish line. Ambore wails in frustration as she tries to get the camel going. The camel gets up... and then goes the other direction. Watching Ambore and her camel, Alex cackles and Gretchen says gleefully, "Good, it's going the other direction!" Of course, no one condemns Gretchen as the demoness elephant queen from hell when many people have condemned the Robfather for far lesser (and often imaginary) offenses. The Robfather however watches and waits patiently and he even laughs at the misbehaving camel. When Ambore gets the camel to cross the finish line soon after the camel started misbehaving, he runs with Sanjay to meet her. He tells her that she did a great job. He tells her that twice.

Meanwhile, Meredith's camel misbehaves and Gretchen goes, "No!" Serves her right, that petty hag. "We got an obstinate camel!" she wails to the camera. Good grief, somebody please for the love of my eardrums just shut her up. I don't care how - just shut her up please. SHUT UP GRETCHEN. She then yells at Meredith to "talk nice to the camel". Meanwhile, the IVFs are approaching the Pit Stop. Hot on their heels, editing-wise, are the GOPs and the Robcouple. Back at the farm, Meredith yells at her to "come on", as in telling her to give him a break already as he is trying his best. Gretchen, who has spent the whole episode trying to imitate a sonic boom that is taking part in Superstar USA, mutters to the camera that he doesn't need to yell at her and says that they never yell at each other outside the race. I believe that even if Meredith tries to yell at her, she can't hear him because her yellings drown out his. That explains her lack of self-awareness, I suppose. That or she is just being bloody annoying as usual. I lean towards the latter. The Fat Fatales finish first, followed by the Cannon Fodders. Both teams get cabs to take them to the Pit Stop.

In a scene of premonition of things to come, Alex and Lynn ask their cab driver whether he knows where he is supposed to drive to. He says yes. They ask him to hurry. So he hurries them to a place that looks like Jaswant Thada but it's one of the tombs for other past rulers of Jodhpur. Maybe you want to know that Jaswant Thada is a cenotaph that Maharajah Jaswant Singhji II and is also known as the Taj Mahal of Marwar (Marwar being the area where all these royal tombs are located in Jodhpur), just in case you seek to impress your party guests with trivia. Lynn can't see any red or yellow flag but Alex insists that they just keep running, even if they are running in the wrong direction like Lynn fears. They reach the top of the hill and look down at the city below. Alex spreads his arms, Rose-on-the-Titanic style, as he looks around him helplessly, the perfect symbolism for the things to come for the Fat Fatales. They ask around and learn that they are at the wrong place. They get another cab and Lynn spends the trip with his head resting on Alex's shoulder. I guess I should be moved by that scene or something but I can't help giggling with glee at their plight. I'm such a bad person, I know.

The IVFs approach the Jaswant Thada. Joyce asks Uchenna for a hat. Sheesh, give it a rest, lady. She's beautiful. Maybe she should exchange heads with Lynn if that will make her happier. The Robcouple are close. So are the GOPs. And... er, the Fat Fatales? They say that they are so nervous that they have bitten down all their fingernails and will have to start with their toe nails next. The Cannon Fodders are in a cab too. Gretchen is hating on elephants and camels and now she is hating on their slow cab too. At times like this, it is pleasant to imagine a pillow being stuffed into Gretchen's incessantly babbling mouth. The GOPs again have a cab that needs to stop for gas, allowing the Robcouple to close the gap between the two Teams.

At the Pit Stop, Philo pretends that he sees something and points at some vague cloud at the sky while the VIP nods and pretends to see the clouds forming Gretchen's face, the mouth a wide O in anticipation of another piercing whine. Which Team are first? Why, it's the IVFs of course! Uchenna asks Joyce to show Philo her bald head but she demurs shyly. Uchenna keeps insisting that Joyce made some supreme sacrifice to get here, but she insists that it's just hair that she has lost. Philo doesn't have a prize to give them though, which is a pity.

The Robcouple and the GOPs are now in close competition for second place. The GOPs stop the cab when they spot a gap in the wall that they can use to get to the Pit Stop. The Robcouple stop shortly behind and they decide to just climb over the wall. Ambore seems to have some problems with the climbing, causing the Robfather to tell her impatiently that he has a hold on her as he lifts her over the wall and down the slope. This delay and the fact that they stopped a distance behind the GOPs allow the GOPs to step on the mat barely seconds before the Robcouple catch up with them. Philo checks in the GOPs as team number two and the Robcouple as team number three. Ambore and Barbie Jane hug while the two men high-five each other. They tell the bemused Philo that it's all good: they compete with each other on the Race but at the end of the day they can all sit down and still be friends. Who is it that is saying that the Race is all about backstabbing and dishonesty this season?

Cab gab as the trailing two Teams race for the fourth place. Lynn wants a long rest because the leg has been so long. What is it they say about being careful about what one wishes for? Gretchen whines that she isn't ready to go home yet. Shut up, Gretchen. Lynn is confident that they are ahead of the Cannon Fodders. Well, they aren't. The Cannon Fodders show up next at the Pit Stop, lo and behold, as the last team to round up the Final Four. Gretchen is shocked and says that they have always been running behind "everybody's dust". Meredith grins wryly and says that they are at least ahead of one Team. Philo tells them to be proud that they are the oldest couple to make it this far on the Race. Of course, by "make it", he really means "stumble upon it because no matter how many enormous mistakes these half-witted doddering creatures make on each leg, one Team always seem to end up making a major screw-up and taking the sword meant for the Cannon Fodders". What's there to be proud of? Shut up, Gretchen.

And finally, the Fat Fatales show up with as many clothes they can wear on themselves, hoping no doubt for this leg to be a non-elimination leg. How embarrassing for them that they have to start taking these clothes off when Philo tells them that they have been eliminated from the Race. They talk about how they enjoy the experience, love the people they meet, and how much they love each other. And then they go about in post-Race interviews blaming the Robcouple for everything that they pretend they don't do themselves on the Race while sniggering because they think they are so clever to come up with the "Amberexia" nickname for Ambore. The tragic thing here is that they come off like barking chinhuahuas trying to get the Robcouple's attention, as if by doing so they will somehow feel like they are "worthy opponents" of the Robcouple. Since the Robcouple don't even bother to Yield them and the Robcouple are enjoying a paid honeymoon after an all-expenses-paid wedding thrown by CBS while Lynn and Alex are going around the media circus telling everyone that the Robcouple are "spawns of Satan", these two jokers will never ever get the satisfaction of getting a rise out of the Robfather. Good riddance to the fatties and onwards to the Final Four!


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