Sonja Flemming/CBS
Lanford Beard
October 17, 2011 AT 05:00 AM EDT

Alas, only a few teams actually how to say that pronunciation-plagued city during a near-expletive-filled race to Thailand. Astoundingly, there were very few expletives as the teams struggled mightily to set up beach chairs. I’ll repeat that: “The teams struggled mightily to set up beach chairs.” Who ever thought setting up beach decor would be so difficult? And what about those Olympians (Tommy and Andy)? They are killing it. That’s not to say they didn’t let their goofball flags fly tonight, but they also nabbed their third first-place Pit Stop arrival in a row (and this one wasn’t compromised by a screw-up from Team Dad and Lad, a.k.a. Laurence and Zac). Given how quickly things can change in the Race, it seems kind of incredible that the Olympians would whoosh through the rest of the challenges and score a well-deserved win. Still, if it is their destiny to suffer elimination, I have to say I’ll be very sad to see them go. They’ve proven formidable, charitable (both with teams and locals), and good-spirited throughout.

As this leg of the Race resumed in Indonesia, a clue pointed the Racers toward Phuket, Thailand. With a good distance between themselves and the rest of the pack, the Olympians and Dad and Lad opted for the risky maneuver of boarding a flight to Jakarta in hopes they’d be able to find a faster flight to Phuket once there. Some hours later, the rest of the teams found connecting flights that would arrive in Thailand around 7 p.m. Once in Indonesia, the frontrunners learned that all the direct flights to Phuket were full, so they’d have to connect through Bangkok. Frontrunners no more, they were tied for dead last, albeit only 40 minutes behind the other teams. The taxi stand lady who delivered this news to them seemed to take particular relish as she laaaaaughed and laughed and laughed that “four cars” had left the airport before them. With that touch of devilish moxy, she became my new personal hero.

When new frontrunners Team Divorcee (Jeremy and Sandy) arrived at the next destination, they learned that their small advantage was utterly meaningless since the park wasn’t open until 8 a.m. the next morning. One by one, all the teams joined them, and the cluster was reinstated. Morning broke and the teams raced by speedboat to their next Detour. They had the choice between Coral Reconstruction (assembling and planting an underwater coral nursery) or Beach Preparation (setting up beach chairs and umbrellas). Any normal person would think the latter option would be laughably easier. Any normal person would be wrong.

NEXT: The phrase “Gone With the Wind” takes on new meaning

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