In this leg of the race, we learn that ocean currents are super strong, wind is evil and the twins are really slow at every task they have. We also learned that even if you think you have experience in something, it does not give you an advantage. Just ask the former ocean lifeguard twins and Zac the sailor.
Airport Fun Times
Teams hung out in Phuket, Thailand for the fourth leg of the race. I think it was entertaining to listen to the teams try to pronounce Phuket. It is pronounced “Fooket” but most people said “Fuhkit”. That might have been the most exciting part about the beginning of the episode. At first, I thought that the two boy teams (father/son and snowboarders) were going to be way ahead of the other teams. The snowboarders left at 8:17 am and both teams got on a flight that left at 9:40 am, which was before the third team even left the pit stop. For some reason though, they only bought a flight to Jakarta and did not purchase a connecting one to Phuket. They said they were sure there would be plenty to find when they landed in Jakarta. Why wouldn’t they just purchase one now and if they found a better one once they were in Jakarta, they could try to do that? No idea!
What ended up happening was that the rest of the teams ended up with flights to Jakarta and then to Phuket that had them landing at 6:50 pm. When the boys got to Jakarta, they found out that the flight the rest of the teams were on was sold out so they had to connect to Bangkok before arriving in Phuket and landed at 7:40 pm. Of course, they didn’t learn how far behind the other teams they were until they were trying to get a taxi and the taxi manager laughed and laughed at the stupid Americans being so behind the other teams. So much for having a lead on the other teams!
In the end though, none of this mattered since all the teams arrived at the marina at night, but couldn’t do anything until 8:00 am the next morning. The next morning, they had to walk on a floating bridge in the ocean out to pick up the clue. They didn’t have to do it in any order, which might have made sense. It was just whoever got out there first and had the best balance. It turned out that the snowboarders got to the clue first anyway so all the suspense for nothing!
Strong Ocean Currents
The clue was a detour where the teams had to choose between coral reconstruction or beach preparation. It was all related to the tsunami that Thailand is still recovering from. In the coral challenge, teams had to build coral nursery, take it out into the ocean on a kayak, put it down on the ocean floor and place the coral in the nursery after the nursery was steady on the ocean floor. In beach preparation, teams had to find matching sets of umbrellas and chairs and set them up exactly like the example. Teams had to take speedboats to get to either task. They were then dumped on a beach where there were signs pointing to each detour.
Most teams chose coral reconstruction. I liked that the NFL team decided to do it because they had just watched a show with their kids about the tsunami coming through and the coral reefs being damaged so they wanted to pick something their kids would be familiar with. The twins picked the beach preparation because they used to be ocean lifeguards for a few summers. They felt very confident going into it. The father/son wanted to do coral but they missed the sign. They ended up at the beach preparation task so they went with that one.
The coral task ended up being very tough for most teams due to the ocean current. The snowboarders were also surfers so they were used to dealing with the ocean current. They let their coral nursery drop, tied their kayak to a buoy and then went back down to secure their nursery to the ocean floor with a rock. They did the task pretty quickly. Even though the brother and sister had yelled and argued with each other most of the time they were putting together the nursery, they lucked out with their nursery getting stuck under a rock. They were the only other team that finished the task. The rest of them got worn out because the current was so strong so they switched to the beach task.
Evil Wind Hates Umbrellas
Around the time that the dating divorcees, farmers and NFL team joined the other beach teams (twins, father/son and control freak), the wind started to pick up. It was knocking umbrellas over into people’s heads. While some teams figured out how to get the umbrellas to stay in the sand by digging them deep into the sand or getting the sand wet after putting the umbrella into the sand to keep them in place. The only ones that seemed to have problems were the twins and they were thee only ones that seemed to have actual experience by working on a beach for a few summers. They could not figure out how to get their umbrellas to stick in the sand. They blamed it on other people doing that at their jobs. They were also the first team that arrived at the beach detour but were so slow in finding their correct chairs and umbrellas that they were soon behind the other teams that had already tried and failed at the other detour task.
Eventually, the control freaks finished the beach task first and were the third team overall to finish the detour. The father/son team finished up in fourth and then the other teams that had switched tasks finished up next (NFL, dating divorcees, farmers). The twins were the last to leave and they seemed like it might have been hours after the other teams left. Haven’t they been this slow about tasks this entire season?
After the detour, the teams were given a medallion with two holes in it and a compass. They had to head north for 13 minutes and they then came across Soap Island, which they identified by holding the medallion up when they saw it in the distance and it fit into the two holes. It reminded me immediately of something from The Goonies. It also reminded the brother/sister team too who started to say, “Goonies never say die!” I think that’s the only time I have liked that team. While most teams have no problem finding the island, the control freak team was confused about how to work the compass. They were going south instead of north so after a while, they they were lost in the ocean. They did finally figure it out, but they did not get to the island in third place. The father/son, NFL and dating divorcee teams passed them up due to that mistake.
When teams got to the road block, they had to climb up a steep slope of a rock on another island and pick up the clue in a bird’s nest. It did not seem too difficult since every team member did it fairly quickly without any hang ups. The teams did get the clue to the pit stop, which was a floating village and they had to find a floating soccer field to check in. All the teams just showed the speedboat driver where they were headed on the map and they went there. The only team that didn’t was the father/son team. Since Zac had sailed around the world, they knew better on how to navigate to the pit stop. After getting lost for a while, they saw another boat and started to follow it. I guess their past experience didn’t help them just like the ocean lifeguard experience did not help the twins.
The snowboarders checked into the pit stop first and they each won $5,000. They were thrilled that it was their first “clean” win since they weren’t in first place due to other teams’ mistakes. The brother/sisters arrived not too soon after them in second place. The father/son team were the third to leave the road block, but due to their poor navigation, they ended up at the floating village the same time as the NFL and dating divorcee teams. The NFL team could not find the floating soccer field so they were still looking while the dating divorcee and father/son teams checked in. The NFL team was still looking for the floating soccer field when the control freaks arrived at the floating village and the NFL team checked in after the control freaks. That left the farmers and twins, but since the twins were so slow, they checked in well after the farmers checked in. They were in last place, but Phil had good news for them. Of course, he waited for them to ask how they enjoyed the race and they were sad but knew their time was over while I was saying, “He hasn’t said you were eliminated yet!” He said it was a non-elimination leg so they will have another chance to be the slowest team still in the race!
- Do you think when there are equalizers in the game, like the marina not opening up until the next morning, there would be an order that the teams have to follow like pick up numbers and have each following team be 5 or 10 minutes behind the number ahead of them? That would give some advantage to those that showed up to the clue first.
- Do you think the twins are just slow or is something else keeping them from finishing tasks quickly? They blamed it on attention to detail in the beach task since they did have to rearrange the chairs slightly at the end, but it seemed like they spent more time trying to get the umbrellas in the ground. They seem just slow overall.
- How do you feel about another non-elimination leg so soon? Is it bad that we still have quite a few teams or is it good because we know that some teams won’t be saved as we get closer to the end of the overall race?