What’s better than a brand new episode of The Amazing Race (Thursdays, 10 p.m., CTV)? Two brand new episodes, of course. Especially since, with just five teams left in this thing, the competition is getting fiercer than Tyra Banks in a staring competition.
Phil Keoghan and the racing action landed in the Vietnamese capitol of Hanoi on Thursday night, where tensions were high, racers were sweaty and every team was out for themselves. There were lots of lessons to be learned from the night’s subsequent events, so let’s just get to it and break them down, shall we?
1. Make the best of a crappy situation
The best thing about #TeamFun is that no matter what, they really do have fun and try to be positive with each other. We can totally see Becca and Floyd hanging out together once this race is done, because there’s a genuine friendship there. So after being U-Turned last week and surviving for another leg, they decided to rename themselves #TeamFunstoppable. Not only that but they went from last to first, proving that attitude really is half the battle in this game.
2. Don’t overthink things
Poor Scott. The dude has a crippling fear of heights and out of the four Road Block challenges he’s had to do, three of them have involved face-blanching heights. That included last night’s final Road Block in Greece, where a member of each team had to bungee jump 100 metres into a channel from the Bridge of Corinth. The biggest problem, other than the dizzying jump, was Scott’s reaction to it. The dude had a full-on freak out about having to do the task, and kept thinking about how high it was. He spent so much time worrying about doing the thing that we’re actually shocked he went for it in the end. That could have been, as Brooke pointed out, a million dollar step.
3. Be wary of local traffic
There’s nothing worse than having to drag giant wooden ladders or mannequin parts down a busy Vietnamese street buzzing with motorcycles, cars and other pedestrians. The teams learned this the hard way when they each almost got hit on Thursday night, reminding us that safety always comes first — especially when it involves the crazy traffic conditions in a foreign country.
4. Don’t dwell on the past
Could Brooke and Scott have been any more annoying in that first episode? By now we know that, with the stress and fatigue of the race, most of the competitors are at their worst; unfortunately Brooke and Scott just also happen to bring out the worst in each other. When Scott failed to hold a ladder for Brooke so that she could climb and snag the last challenge ladder in the Road Block challenge from Logan — who spotted the thing first — she lost her marbles. The cussing and yelling continued for what seemed like hours as they switched to the mannequin challenge, and Brooke struggled to hold onto both her pieces of the mannequins and her temper. She just couldn’t let go of that ladder, and it almost cost these two that leg of the race.
5. Always read your clues
Poor Tara and Joey — that mannequin challenge was just not their thing. While we love this team for their usual level-headedness and composure, somehow Tara misread the clue and as a result they only dragged two of the three required mannequins to the shop during the first episode’s Detour. To say that they were heartbroken when they went back to fix their mistake would be an understatement; yet they still persevered and got to the mat what looked like seconds behind Brooke and Scott. Thankfully it was a non-elimination leg and the team got to keep going. A good thing for Joey, who definitely looked like he was going to faint if he were sent home after all that.
6. Four heads are better than two
In the second episode as the teams raced from Hanoi to Ninh Binh and its beautiful limestone mountains, #TheBoys and #TeamFun worked together while the remaining three teams stayed super competitive. That included Scott and Brooke actually offering to pay the bus driver to take off without Tara and Joey, a move that thankfully didn’t pan out; there’s low, and then there’s low. And isn’t it better to leave this race with some sense of your morals intact? Like, the team that wins wants to do so gracefully, right?
7. Don’t leave breadcrumbs
Okay so those shrimp baskets looked brutal – transporting them via bike seemed like one of the hardest challenges yet. But poor Floyd… when he dropped a few baskets along the way to the destination, he figured he could just drop off what he had and go back. Nope. The guy had to take everything back with him and start from scratch, twice. As a result he and Becca were the first to arrive at the Road Block, and the last to leave. Now that’s crappy luck.
8. Get creative
At the rowing challenge, the pros made rowing with your feet look super easy. But of course as the teams quickly learned, the art of hands-free rowing is anything but. So the teams had to get creative in order to make it work. Some of them paddled one foot at a time, while others held their oars at a specific angle. Either way, it just goes to show you that sometimes you have to do things in your own unique way to make them work.
9. Take it one step at a time
After biking around a hot city, transporting shrimp baskets and then pedaling a boat, the last thing any of these teams wanted to see was the 500 steep steps heading up to the Pit Stop at Hang Mua Peak. Luckily, they knew Phil was waiting for them at the top, and that was all the motivation these guys needed to persevere.
10. Sometimes your best just isn’t enough
In the end, Floyd’s shrimp baskets were the death of #TeamFun’s race. After physically pushing himself to the absolute max, he had nothing left to give, and the medics were called in to help him rehydrate and get his body back in working order. As Becca noted it’s not the way either of them wanted to leave this race, but at least they won an additional fun trip out of it. And, although they entered this thing as strangers, they’re leaving as really good friends. We’d like to think that that alone is worth more than a million bucks in their books.