The Amazing Race: Have bed, will travel (spoiler alert)
Hello TAR fans, I'm back from vacation and happy to provide you with an Amazing Race recap provided by my faithful correspondent Astrid Lange. Enjoy!
Teams began this sixth leg of the Race by heading to Lilongwe, Malawi. Amani and Marcus immediately lost their lead since all teams travelled to Malawi on the same flight.
In previous seasons, even when all teams were travelling together, some racers have gained slight advantage by requesting seats near the front of the airplane to guarantee a quick departure. This season's teams don't seem to be as savvy. In fact, despite being the first and second teams at the airport, Amani and Marcus and Bill and Cathi wound up at the back of the plane and therefore left the airport in Lilongwe well behind all other teams. They even got stuck in traffic on their way to the Road Block behind drivers celebrating an engagement!
Phil told viewers that tobacco is a huge cash crop in Malawi, so it's no surprise that their first stop was a tobacco warehouse. At the warehouse, one member of each team had to steer 10 bales of tobacco from one end of the warehouse to the other using a small dolly. Workers tried to distract the teams by singing and dancing in the aisles and playing bumper bales, but the distraction was minimal for most. In fact, the enthusiasm of the men in the warehouse seemed to energize Jeremy, who finished first. He was followed by Ernie, Justin, Tommy and a winded Laurence.
The hauling and the running proved to be a gruelling task for most teams. Except farmer Bill, who expertly moved the bales with ease.
Poor Marcus. Not only did he and Amani get stuck in traffic and, at first, go to the wrong location, but once at the warehouse, he got saddled with a workman's outfit two sizes two small. And Pa was showing him up on this task. But kudos to Marcus, who pushed himself to finish, inspired by the workers' cheering and chanting.
Teams headed next to Memorial Tower where they received a clue for the Detour: All Sewn Up (sewing unfinished seams of a suit) or Not Grown Up (going to a school and building a toy truck from scrap materials).
Due to lack of sewing skills, Jeremy and Sandy, Justin and Jennifer, Andy and Tommy, and Zac and Laurence all headed to the school. Ernie and Cindy, Bill and expert seamstress Cathi, and Amani and Marcus tried their luck at the sewing machines.
It was a lovely scene at the school when teams recognized that the children at the school received so much pleasure from a homemade toy, unlike kids back home who have the luxury of visting a toy store.
Too bad that scene had to be ruined by Laurence and his idiotic, sexist comments. Laurence was surprised that Sandy didn't choose the sewing task, saying that she'd better learn to sew before marrying Jeremy. A nurse practitioner, Sandy responded that she's used to sewing bodies, not clothes.
Really Laurence? First you condescendingly speak to your son in Thailand, now to Sandy? Big talk for a sailor with poor navigation skills!
Jeremy and Sandy finished the toy truck task first, followed by Justin and Jennifer, the snowboarders, and Zac and (boo!) Laurence.
At the sewing task, we saw the work of some real men. Bill assisted Cathi by pumping the pedal of the sewing machine, Ernie let Cindy "wear the pants," admitting that things move more smoothly when she's in control, and Marcus did his grandmother proud by sitting at the sewing machine himself. Cathi worked quickly but encountered some technical difficulties, sewing an entire leg without thread! Ernie and Cindy managed to finish the task first, followed closely by Bill and Cathi, and Amani and Marcus.
Teams then made their way to a furniture shop where they had to pick up two beds and, in a country where everyone carries everything, carry their beds to the Pit Stop at Kumbali Village, where they'd be using them for their overnight stay.
While most teams scrambled to find trucks to transport their beds, Zac and Laurence wasted time trying to figure out how to fit the beds in a taxi. Seriously?
An exciting finish was in the making as the teams were within minutes of each other. Most teams rode precariously on the back of the flat-bed trucks with their beds ("I've never felt less safe in my life," said Cindy), but Amani and Marcus rode behind their truck in a taxi which, d'oh, broke down.
At the village, teams balanced their beds and attempted to race down the dirt path toward Phil. The beds were just too cumbersome for some, particularly Cindy, who fell with the bed falling on top of her. You couldn't help but laugh at poor Cindy who lay helplessly under the bed. Neither could Ernie, who mustered a few chuckles himself.
Justin and Jennifer arrived at the Pit Stop first, but since they failed to pay their truck driver, they had to run back down the path to do so. This allowed the snowboarders to sneak in once again and claim the top spot ... and win a trip to the British Virgin Islands!
Used to manual labour, Bill and Cathi stormed down the path with beds on their backs, but they too had to return to pay their driver. Cathi, in fact, had told Bill that they should only pay their driver if he asked!
Jeremy and Sandy claimed third spot, followed by Laurence and Zac, and Ernie and Cindy. Amani and Marcus were struggling in last place, but thought they might sneak through because they saw Bill and Cathi running back to their driver.
Alas, Ma and Pa managed to pass Amani and Marcus and their beds. But Phil had good news for the former NFLer and his wife. Despite arriving last, they'd be using their beds that night as this was another non-elimination leg. Great news for the couple who want to show their child with special needs that you can accomplish anything.
The snowboarders eked out another win, but this leg proves that teams are evenly matched. It still is anyone's Race.