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HARLEY & JONATHAN FAIL TO CATCH UP IN BANGKOK
In the bustling capital of Thailand, Laura & Tyler lost a significant lead, allowing Bergen & Kurt to win the leg. After completing a Speed Bump and never seeing another team, Harley & Jonathan were eliminated.
NIPPING, NAGGING NONSENSE
Newly-engaged hairstylists Matt & Ashley arrived on the beach in Phuket for Date Night. Sitting on a candle-lit blanket, they watched masked men spin flaming sticks, the light exploding into fireworks. The couple finished the night sipping champagne. Matt said, “I love you to death. A lifetime of happiness to both of us.”
Truck stop couple Mike & Rochelle ripped the clue first at 3:26 a.m. It told them to fly to Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, and make their way to the Buddhist temple of Wat Yan Nawa. Jumping in a taxi, Mike & Rochelle prided themselves on not having fought, saying the blind-dating couples haven’t been dealing with the stress of the Race as well as they have. Medics Hayley & Blair left second, Hayley immediately henpecking Blair about their mistakes on the last leg. Blair said, “She says a lot of nipping, nagging nonsense.” He added, “Today I’m trying to give her control and make her be accountable for mistakes – or success, I don’t care.”
Blind-dating lawyers Jenny & Jelani left third. Jelani described Jenny as a type-A personality. He said, “Sometimes I can get a little laid back, a little lax. Now I need to make sure I’m stepping it up.” Blind-dating SoCal residents Laura & Tyler left next. Despite getting along, Laura said, “Romantically, I just think it has to be organic. Things like that take time.” Olympians Aly & Steve left fifth, followed by Matt & Ashley. Matt joked, “This is our first leg as an engaged couple, so we’ll argue even more.” They were followed by two more blind-dating couples, Bergen & Kurt, and Jeff & Jackie. The latter said they were meshing well, Jackie adding, “Jeff definitely fits everything I was looking for.”
At the airport, Mike & Rochelle got tickets on a 6:00 a.m. flight, and were soon joined by all the other teams. The plane landed in Bangkok, and everyone ran for taxis. Jelani & Jenny reached the first taxi along with Jeff & Jackie, but as Jelani started getting in, Jenny gave up and ran to another cab. As other teams began driving off, the lawyers remained stuck on the curb. Then the arguments began. Jelani said, “I’m not going to back down when I got there first.” Jenny countered that there were ten other taxis around them, and Jelani shot back, “I think they’re way ahead of all the rest of the taxis because they got that taxi.”
Back in Phuket, Harley and NKOTB member Jonathan arrived at the airport. Being in last place with a Speed Bump, they knew the leg would be a challenge. They took off for Bangkok just hoping they could catch up. In the congested streets of the capital, teams marveled at how different Bangkok was from Phuket. Passing hundreds of cars and mopeds, Olympian Steve described it as, “A total mob scene.” Sitting in traffic, Jenny griped, “I wish he didn’t have to stay in the slowest lane possible.” Laura & Tyler arrived at Wat Yan Nawa first, headed straight up an outdoor staircase, and found the clue box.
It was a Detour: Wheel or Water. In Wheel, teams had to travel by tuk tuk, stop to sink a ball at a snooker hall, and then feed cats at a cat café. In Water, they had to travel by water taxi, along the way eat a thousand-year-old egg at a market, and pray at a Buddhist temple. When their course was complete, they’d receive their next clue. Tyler & Laura chose Water and headed to the dock. Medics Hayley & Blair then arrived and began looking for the clue. Blair asked if Hayley wanted to lead, and she said yes… then immediately said Blair wouldn’t listen to her, and that he should make the decisions. He consented… only to have Hayley immediately start saying where she thought they should go. They began looking on the ground floor of the temple.
ODD TEAM OUT
Olympians Aly & Steve arrived at the temple, along with hairstylists Matt & Ashley. Both teams found the clue and chose Water. Jeff & Jackie, Bergen & Kurt, and Mike & Rochelle then arrived, and all chose Water as well. At the pier, Laura & Tyler headed out in the first boat. Hayley & Blair finally found the Detour clue. They chose Water and ran off, Hayley saying, “Crap, we wasted a lot of time.”
Meanwhile, Matt & Ashley arrived at the pier and jumped in the second water taxi. Then Bergen & Kurt, Mike & Rochelle, and Aly & Steve arrived and lined up for boats. Hayley & Blair arrived last. As Bergen & Kurt and Mike & Rochelle took off, Steve read that there were only five boats… and Hayley & Blair were team six. As Blair paused to ask a dock worker where the other Detour was, Hayley snapped at him to go back to the main road. “When they don’t give you an answer within five seconds, that means you have to go!” Blair said, “Hayley, I have no idea who you’re fighting with right now.”
Still in their taxi, lawyers Jelani & Jenny spotted Jeff & Jackie and Hayley & Blair near the dock. The latter two teams told them the Detour clue was back at the temple. Then the medics informed Jeff & Jackie that the boats were all taken. They both jumped in tuk tuks for Wheel and headed to the snooker hall. Back at the temple, Jelani & Jenny ripped the clue and chose Wheel. Laura & Tyler and Matt & Ashley enjoyed their speedy boat rides, but Jeff & Jackie and Hayley & Blair had less fun stuck in traffic. On their boat, Bergen & Kurt high-fived, Bergen saying, “This is our day!” Kurt added, “We’ve said that every day.” Bergen added that he’s worked for everything he has in life, while Kurt comes from a wealthy family and doesn’t need the money. Bergen hoped Kurt would realize how important the Race is to him, and not give up.
Laura & Tyler disembarked at Wat Klang Market, and made their way through a maze of food stalls. Laura said the market “smelled like dead animals.” They found a table with what looked like pink Easter eggs. Cracking them open, they discovered that inside, the thousand-year-old eggs were dark brown and gelatinous. Tyler said, “It looks like a Jell-O shot, kind of.” They took their first bite and Laura gagged. Tyler added, “The middle part is pretty rough.”
Jeff & Jackie and Hayley & Blair arrived together at Snooker Club, where they had to sink a red ball. Both Jeff and Blair tried, but failed. Back at the market, Tyler explained that, “It tastes like an egg, but it’s just a little bit rotten.” Laura frantically waved him away, saying, “Stop!” Then she gagged again. As hairstylists Matt & Ashley approached in their boat, Laura & Tyler finished their eggs and got the clue. It told them to make their way to the temple of Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen and make a traditional offering. They ran out of the market, Laura saying, “I thought I was going to puke like, five times.”
JUST LIKE EASTER
Matt & Ashley ran to a stall with ordinary looking hard-boiled eggs. Bergen & Kurt arrived behind them, but decided to try another stall. The hairstylists stuffed their eggs into their mouths, Ashley holding her nose and gagging. Meanwhile, Bergen & Kurt arrived at the correct stall, and began peeling the pink eggs. The hairstylists finally finished, but when Matt asked for the clue the vendor just stared at them. The couple ran off, saying, “We ate that for no reason!” Bergen & Kurt began on their eggs, Kurt saying, “It’s just like Easter.” They danced around as they ate, trying to ignore the taste.
Matt & Ashley found Bergen & Kurt, and peeled pink eggs of their own. As the hairstylists choked them down for the second time, Bergen & Kurt got the clue. Back in their tuk tuk, Jenny complained that she and Jelani were second to last aside from Harley & Jonathan. “This is definitely scary for us.” Meanwhile, Team New Kid landed and took off in a taxi.
Mike & Rochelle and Aly & Steve arrived at the market. The Olympians quickly spotted Matt & Ashley getting the clue, and as Mike & Rochelle continued searching for the stall, Aly & Steve devoured their eggs. Finally, the truck stop couple found the correct location. Mike said the egg was “the worst thing I’ve ever eaten in my life.” Nevertheless, they finished and got the clue. At the snooker hall, Jeff & Jackie made several attempts before Jeff finally sunk a red ball. Hayley then sunk a ball, and both teams got the clue – a bottle of milk with “Caturday Café” on the side. They took off in tuk tuks, Hayley saying, “When I get angry, I actually perform better.” Blair just looked puzzled at that. SoCal couple Laura & Tyler arrived at Wat Paknam Phasi Charoen to take part in a traditional Thai prayer. They lit candles, placed a gold leaf on a Buddha statue, and received their fortunes: “Keep trying hard – you will get reward soon,” and “Good luck approaching.” Finally a monk gave them the clue, which they ripped in first place. It told them to make their way by taxi to Patumwan Siang Gong and search for their next clue.
A FATAL FLAW
Harley & Jonathan arrived at the Detour decision point and found their Speed Bump. Discovering they each had to make a traditional Thai grasshopper out of river reeds, they headed to the waterside to get started. Meanwhile, Bergen & Kurt, Matt & Ashley, and Aly & Steve arrived at the temple and began the Thai prayer. As Harley & Jonathan found their Speed Bump location, Jonathan looked at the example and said, “This looks really intricate.” A local cut pieces of river reeds on the spot, and they began assembling them.
At the end of the Thai prayer, Bergen & Kurt got their fortunes: “Not likely to find a good mate at this stage,” and “Discovering a mate who could become a satisfactory match – no luck, should be careful.” As they left the temple, Kurt said there was no romantic connection between them, and they both knew it. They ripped the clue in second place, followed by Matt & Ashley and Aly & Steve.
Back on the road, lawyers Jelani & Jenny exited their tuk tuk and began searching on foot for the Snooker Club – while continuing to bicker. Jelani said, “We need to work on our communication. That could be a fatal flaw.” When Jenny told him to stay close, he snapped, “It goes both ways. If you want to stay closer, you have to stay closer to me!” They finally found the Snooker Club, but had no luck making a shot.
THE CAT’S MEOW
Truck stop couple Mike & Rochelle worked through the Thai prayer, and Rochelle read her fortune: “Likely to find a nice mate who could become a good match.” They received the clue in fifth place. In their tuk tuk, Jackie rubbed her driver’s back, saying, “I think he likes me!” Jeff seemed a little jealous, saying, “If somebody was petting me like a dog, I’d be like, ‘Look here, crazy lady.’” Jackie pretended to smack his face.
Medics Hayley & Blair arrived at the Caturday Café, a large, open room with numerous small tables and dozens of cats. Blair opened their milk bottle and poured the contents into a bowl. As several cats hurried over to eat, the couple received the clue in sixth place. Then Jeff & Jackie arrived, Jeff saying, “What the hell? This is crazy!” They poured their milk, and Jackie petted the cats. “I love animals. I want to cry right now.” They got the clue seventh.
Back at the Speed Bump, Jonathan said he was the worst at arts and crafts, but trusted Harley to follow the example correctly. They finally finished, hurried back to the clue box, and chose Wheel. At the Snooker Club, Jelani sunk a red ball, and he and Jenny got the bottle of milk. Meanwhile, Laura & Tyler arrived at Patumwan Siang Gong, and found their clue atop a pile of old engine parts. It was a Roadblock: “Who’s feeling clutch?” Phil explained that the Bangkok neighborhood was dedicated to recycling old engines. Teams had to use power tools to remove the transmission from a faulty engine block. Inside they’d find a screwdriver, the handle of which contained their next clue.
Tyler chose the Roadblock, saying, “My whole family works on cars – I can’t disappoint them.” He located the transmission on his engine, but had trouble getting the bolts off. On the sidelines, Laura said, “He has really nice guns, so I’m hoping those guns come into effect right now.” Harley & Jonathan seemed to miss the traffic the other teams had faced as they zoomed down the road to the Snooker Club. Approaching the Caturday Café, Jenny said, “I’m deathly scared of cats.” She slunk through the door, nearly shrieking as a cat came near. Then she sat paralyzed against the wall… but soon began to relax. “They were really pretty. They kept their distance, I kept mine, so we got along.” The lawyers got the clue in eighth place.
JUST LIKE OPERATING
At the Roadblock, Tyler wrestled off different parts of the transmission, but couldn’t find the screwdriver inside. “My grandfather was an incredible car mechanic. He’s looking down and giggling.” He finally got the transmission off, and out fell the screwdriver. Tyler uncapped the end and pulled out the clue, which simply said: “Metal Castle.” Phil explained that the Metal Castle was a Buddhist temple called Loha Prasat, which was the next Pit Stop. Laura & Tyler hailed a taxi and told the driver Metal Castle. Driving along, they discovered they also got Date Night – a dinner cruise during the next Pit Stop.
Bergen & Kurt and Aly & Steve arrived at the Roadblock next, with Bergen and Steve choosing to do it. Aly worried that Steve wasn’t handy with engines. Kurt’s response? “Well even if he’s not, that boy is a fine piece of ass.” As Matt began the Roadblock, Ashley said he knows a lot about cars, but Blair had less confidence in himself. Hayley said, “It’ll be like operating. You just take it apart, right?” Steve, Bergen, Matt and Blair all fumbled around with engines, but Steve got his transmission off first. He found the clue, and he and Aly left in second place. But the first taxi driver they asked was clueless about the Metal Castle.
As Matt got his transmission off, blind-dating couple Jeff & Jackie arrived, with Jeff taking the Roadblock. Matt found the clue, and he and Ashley left in third. Meanwhile, Olympians Aly & Steve asked a local about the Metal Castle, and she said it was walking distance. They took off running down the street. Matt & Ashley didn’t have any more luck with the cabbies they asked. In their taxi, Laura & Tyler were hoping for first place. “We’re hungry for number one – we’ve been flirting with it.” The taxi stopped and they got out… at a metro station. Realizing they were in the wrong place, they got directions at an information booth. Back at the Roadblock, Bergen got his screwdriver, and to Kurt’s horror, unscrewed the end with his teeth. They left in fourth place, followed closely by Hayley & Blair.
Matt & Ashley, however, were still running around the vicinity of the Roadblock looking for the Metal Castle. Hayley & Blair asked a local for the name in Thai, and he wrote down “Loha Prasat.” Bergen & Kurt also got the Thai name, and the two teams headed to the Pit Stop. Meanwhile, Matt & Ashley continued to run around the mechanics yard, Ashley yelling, “Where’s Phil?” Matt added, “This is all metal – there’s got to be a castle of metal somewhere.” Up the street, Aly & Steve also found nothing. They asked another local, Aly saying, “I think we messed this up.” They finally headed off in a taxi, telling the driver “Loha Prasat.”
BEAT BY A GIRL
Meanwhile, Harley & Jonathan made their shot at the Snooker Club, and got the bottle of milk. Back at the Roadblock, Jeff continued to struggle with the engine, although Jackie said she had faith in him. Lawyers Jelani & Jenny finally arrived (passing by Matt & Ashley who were still looking for the Pit Stop), and Jelani chose the Roadblock. Then truck stop couple Mike & Rochelle arrived. Rochelle opted for the task, but said, “I don’t know anything about transmissions. I don’t even know how to change a tire.” Mike said that Rochelle had fixed her own hot tub and remodeled her own house. “She’s good with tools. I have no worries.”
As Jeff fished for help from the equally clueless Jelani, Rochelle got to work, removing whatever bolts she could. Before anyone knew it, she had the clue in her hands. Jelani said, “I got beat by a girl,” while Jeff grumbled, “She didn’t even know what a transmission was.” As Mike & Rochelle ran off, Jenny said, “Our boys need to step it up.” Finally Jeff got the clue, and he and Jackie left in seventh place.
At Loha Prasat, Bergen & Kurt arrived on the mat and were greeted by a back-flipping acrobat. Bergen said, “Are we team number one? Just kidding.” But Phil said they were team number one, and they jumped around in joyous shock. Bergen said he hoped this would put some pep in Kurt’s step, and that he’d put his feelings aside and focus on the Race. The guys did some cartwheels of their own, and Phil awarded them with a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Medics Hayley & Blair then arrived in second place, followed closely by Olympians Aly & Steve. Blair said that he and Hayley have been at each other’s throats too much, and they’re going to look around and enjoy the Race more.
Harley & Jonathan arrived at the Caturday Café, but Jonathan was worried because he was allergic to cats. He held his nose walking in the door, but as they poured the milk, he seemed to enjoy their feline company. Spotting a particularly surly-looking one, he said, “It’s Grumpy Cat!” After feeding Grumpy Cat, they got the clue in last place. SoCal couple Laura & Tyler arrived at the Pit Stop, still hoping to be in first. But Phil told them they were fourth. Laura whined, “We had such a lead. If you’re not first, you’re last.”
Back at the Roadblock, Jelani finally found the clue. Still wandering around the neighborhood were Jeff & Jackie and, shockingly, Matt & Ashley, who’d finished the task third. Mike & Rochelle got the name Loha Prasat, followed by Jeff & Jackie, and both teams took off in taxis. Finally Matt & Ashley ran into Jelani & Jenny. Matt said they’d been looking for the Pit Stop for an hour and a half. The two teams ran inside for directions and were told it was ten minutes away.
Harley & Jonathan arrived at the Roadblock, and Jonathan got off to a strong start identifying the transmission. Although they hadn’t seen another team, he hoped someone else was stuck somewhere. Following Matt & Ashley down the street, Jenny pulled Jelani aside and said they had to find a taxi as soon as possible; she feared the hairstylists would outrun them in a foot race. When Matt & Ashley looked back, the lawyers were jumping in a tuk tuk. Matt fumed, “She’s such a bitch!” As the tuk tuk sped away, Matt said, “No, no, no!” Then Ashley tripped and fell.
BACK ON THE HORSE
Jelani & Jenny arrived at a nearby temple and realized they were in the wrong place. Finally they got correct directions. In a taxi to Loha Prasat, Jelani worried that they’d burned a bridge with Matt & Ashley. Jenny argued that getting into a tuk tuk was no different from racing on foot to the mat. She muttered, “Every day is a fight on the Amazing Race.” Back at the Roadblock, Jonathan found the clue, and he and Harley took off for the Pit Stop. Meanwhile, Matt & Ashley found a local with a cell phone and discovered Loha Prasat on the internet.
Jeff & Jackie ran to the mat in fifth place, with Mike & Rochelle just behind them. Everyone complimented Rochelle for knocking out the Roadblock, Jeff high-fiving her and Mike saying, “That’s my girl.” But the mood darkened as Jelani & Jenny arrived. Phil said, “I’m feeling a wall of tension here.” Jelani said, “It’s not always going to be peaches and cream.” Jenny said they had a hiccup, “But we just got to get back on the horse and keep galloping into the sunset.”
LAST PLACE… AGAIN
In a taxi to the Pit Stop, Ashley said, “The last two hours of my life have been absolute hell.” In another taxi, Harley & Jonathan still had hope, Jonathan saying, “I don’t wish harm on anybody, but harm might come to somebody.” But Matt & Ashley arrived first, relieved to still be in the Race. Finally Harley & Jonathan arrived, and Phil told them they were eliminated. He added that a lot of teams were looking for love and hadn’t found it, and that they were blessed to have someone they cared about. Leaving the mat, Jonathan said that the Race “was one of the most amazing experiences I’ve had in the forty-six years I’ve been alive. It’s that good.”