'Amazing Race' recap: 'I Love Monkeys'

March 11, 2013|By Janell Sutherland, For the Baltimore Sun

This week on "The Amazing Race" we see what happens when heat, stress and jet lag collide. Hint: it's a degree of crazy we've never seen before.

But first, remember last week? All the teams were sliding into a manure pond in New Zealand. Then Phil told them that they were still racing. So no one's eliminated; quit worrying about Chuck.


Team FaSon, Father with the blown Achilles and ankle boot, are doing another leg. They've been in the top three for three legs, so they figure, why not? Connor jokes that they're staying in to make other teams look bad.

Team J&J mention that they want to get value from their Express Pass, so they're holding on to it as long as possible.

Please don't do that again

The teams all fly to Bali, spread out in three airplanes over four hours. The Singers are in the first wave and we see them in a taxi. Their driver gives them a flower, which causes them to break out into a song about being on the Race. It's ... a country song, and they harmonize; so it's probably fine, if that's what you're into, which I'm not, so it hurts my ears. I award them points for enthusiasm, though.

Please don't mention that again

The first stop in Bali is a monkey forest. Teams have to set out a special coconut and hope a monkey comes along and breaks it open for them, revealing a clue inside.

One Singer is very excited about monkeys, and she names all the pet rodents she's had over the years. Then her teammate says, "Her flying squirrel died of loneliness because she kept it in her bra the whole time. That's a true fact."

What? I need so much more information about that! Or I need to go back in time to when I didn't know about squirrels living in bras because it's making my brain hurt.

While I'm writing about the Singers, here's another nugget. They choose a Detour option that has them building an elaborate religious offering out of fruit, then putting it in a procession to be blessed by a priest.

"We love us some dancin' and priests and everything with religion," one says. I'm sure she was joking, but after the song and the squirrel, I'm beginning to think they are messing with me on some level.

Don't distract the monkey!

This monkey forest is full of tourists! How are teams supposed to convince a monkey to break open their coconut if tourists keep walking past and distracting the monkeys?

The Fearless Friends shush people around them, while the Newlyweds urge their monkeys to go faster, but in a whisper. I like this much better than screaming at the animals.

Life Skills Tangentially Related to Race Success (Tie)

This fruit side of the Detour is detail-oriented. They have to build a pyramid of specific fruit, using wooden skewers to attach it to a center stalk.

One Fearless Friend designs sets for a living so she has a strategic way to build their pyramid. It works!

Team YouTube says that they are both crafty, and they like to copy costumes that they see on the Internet. Also, they both love Legos. They are also successful!

Chuck of Team Mullet is in this category again, so I'm starting to believe that his entire life was preparation for the Race. He's a taxidermist, and Wynona instructs him to "Put [the fruit] together, just like you do your deer heads." I'd reckon that also goes in the category of Phrases Never Before Uttered on "The Amazing Race" and Never to be Uttered Again.

Working Together - Not

The final Roadblock takes place at a beach. More specifically, the cliffside mall built above the beach with huts connected via random paths and staircases. It's tight, confusing and hot. The task is to search racks of surfboards for a specific image of something the teams have already encountered. Then they have to carry that surfboard to Phil, who is standing on a little lookout that can only be reached by a small marked stairway.

The correct image is of the priest in Bora Bora who gave them a special blessing before they went snorkeling. (I'm sensing a priest theme this episode!)

The Fearless Friends made it to the Roadblock first, and whoever does it finds the correct surfboard quickly. She carries it out as Son Connor heads in to the surfboard rack. Then she passes him again because she can't find Phil.

Connor suggests that they form an alliance; she tells him the correct surfboard and he'll help her find Phil. But will he let her team come in first place? No. She rejects the alliance.

As she looks around, Connor sneaks a peek at her surfboard and finds the right surfboard. So, he cheated! What do you think? Connor and his father make it to Phil in first place and they each win $5,000, so now what do you think?

The Friends arrive in second place, and the Newlyweds, who have not been very annoying this episode, are third.

You say "seen," I say "encountered"

Singer Caroline first chooses a surfboard with a sticker that says Bali, because they're in Bali. She wanders for a bit before finding Phil, and he turns her down.

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