Remember when I was worried about these social media teams being too nice? Ah, yes, four legs ago…we were so young, so naïve. But when presented with the potential to U-Turn in Leg 10, every team seemed quite down to clown — and when actually given the opportunity, Team Torey, and especially the Gamers, barely blinked an eye at providing their Frisbee pals with a near-certain Race death sentence. And good on ’em! There’s no crying in baseball, and there’s no not-giving-your-fiercest-competition-an-available-U-Turn-because-they’re-your-newest-biffles in The Amazing Race. Not as smooth a saying, sure, but true nonetheless.
It was obvious during last week’s leg that the game changed immensely when the Frisbee Boys fell so far down the ladder after many, many weeks in first. But this week showed just how significant that drop was as a signal to the other teams that this was not simply the Frisbee Boys’ Race to lose. The remaining five teams are so different — I mean, really: all different relationship classifications, different temperaments, different physical make-ups — but I would wager to say they’re nearly evenly matched as they barrel over a four-story cliff toward the finale, moving around the lineup all the while. Season 28 has gotten highly unpredictable, and that’s made for a new tension that I’m really enjoying.
And TAR set those five closely matched teams up for an intensely tight race, keeping them in Bali, and sending them out just a few minutes apart. According to Tyler, they all finished the last leg within 15 minutes of each other, so starting out the leg in first is obviously an advantage, but it’s one you could lose quickly. Knowing that, finding out there’s a U-Turn on the table becomes pretty appealing to Team Torey and the Gamers who know it could be their only chance to keep the Frisbee Boys out of the finale. Heading from their pirate ship to the first clue at Nusa Lembongan Island, everyone seems to agree that it would be a little crazy not to use the U-turn when given the opportunity this late in the Race.
Once at the island (one of an estimated gazillion in Indonesia), each team must snorkel below the surface to find their clue. There are three clue boxes with a few clues inside each, which means the earlier teams have a slight advantage because if a box runs out of clues, the later teams will have to spend time tracking down another box. But what they actually end up spending their time on is figuring out that the clues are…well, clues. Cole — who says he’s never “real-snorkeled,” which leads me to wonder exactly what kind of snorkeling he has done — swims to all three boxes before he realizes that the tubes inside are the clues; Kurt doesn’t figure it out until Matt surfaces with a tube; and Matt still doesn’t figure it out when he comes out of the water with the clue in his hands. He thinks it’s just a tube. But eventually the Dancers get it open, putting them firmly in last place heading toward their next clue, held by a dancing monkey at Pura Puseh Stairway.
Indeed, the monkey-human dances, and he’s a bit of a jokester, but once the teams have gotten their clues, it’s time for the DETOUR: HAUL VS. HARVEST. In Harvest, the teams must canoe along a marked course, collecting enough seaweed to fully cover a large tarp when they lay it out to dry. And in Haul, they have to transfer four chickens and 50 coconuts across a rickety — well, I wouldn’t call it rickety, so much as wiggly — suspension bridge. And every. single. team. chooses Haul! That doesn’t happen that often with five teams still left in the race, and in the end, I’m not sure how much easier the coconut-carry was than the seaweed harvesting. And make no mistake: The coconut hauling was much more difficult than the chicken hauling.
Team Torey got there first and they averaged a 5-coconut/2-chicken carry between the two of them, until their chickens were finished, and then five or six coconuts each until they completed their haul. And sure, they started earlier, and have longer arms than say, Sheri, but that humble approach to the coconuts really seemed to work in their favor. Most of the other fellas attempted to carry far more coconuts at once, and were somewhat successful, but there was a lot of coconut fumbling going on once they hit the drawbridge-wiggles that slowed them down. So that meant Torey was heading out first, with the Gamers fast on their heels, barreling toward…
NEXT: The smart thing to do…