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Departing from Seattle,WA, the 12 teams received their first clues instructing them to take one of two flights to Beijing, China:United Flight 875 departing at 1:22 pm or Korean Air Flight 26 leaving at 2 pm. Due to an accident on the interstate, most of the teams were delayed, but quick thinking Peter & Sarah opted to exit the highway and take surface streets. This slingshotted them around the accident and in to first place on the way to the airport. The United flight ended up being Peter & Sarah, David & Mary, Dustin & Kandice, Tyler & James, Duke & Lauren, and Lyn & Karlyn.
As planes are want to do, the United flight was late, evening all the teams up some. Once in Beijing, the teams had to find The Golden House resturant, once there they learned it was their first Roadblock, and it was one of my faves, a food one! I’ve always thought I would be good at these since whenever I’m in Tokyo friends try to throw weird foods at me and eat them all!
In this Roadblock, that person had to indulge in the delicacy of fish eyes, a common food in China. To receive the next clue, the Team member had to eat all of the eyes out of a bowl of fish heads.
It was interesting to see how inept some of these folks were at using chopsticks! Once through with this task, the teams were instructed to go the Forbidden City and locate a certain entrance. I have to say, I was amazed some of the cab drivers seemed to not know where it was, but I really hope that was due to the way the teams were saying it, because due to the siz of the Forbidden City, I can not fathom how anyone wouldn’t know where it is!
As the teams arrived, they found a kiosk with ime cards saying 7:00, 7:15, 7:30 and one saying “Last Team”…ruh-roh, that sounds ominous, and it was. As the last team to arrive, Bilal & Sa’eed were greeted by Phil and…eliminated! It wasn’t even a Pit Stop! It was just a new random elimination. Oh well, new way to keep the teams on their toes!
The next morning, the teams opened their clues and were instructed to ride on WWII motorcycles with sidecars and find a the pedicab manager at a certain intersection who would give them their next clue. As they were leaving, Sarah discovered her prosthetic leg was leaking hydrolic fluid. Not good. As the teams found the pedicab manager, they found he had the clue for their first Detour.
In Labor, Teams chose a pedicab and traveled one mile to the Run De Li Market where they needed to use traditional Chinese bricks and methods to pave a 45 square foot section of side walk in a specific pattern. In Leisure, Teams chose a pedicab and traveled two miles to Beihai Park to take part in a new Chinese relaxation exercise known as Taiji Bailong. They needed to successfully perform the routine of balancing a ball on a paddle in unison to earn their next clue.
Only two teams took Leisure, Tom & Terry and Kellie & Jamie. As I suspected, the coordination was difficult to manage and it did slow them both down compared to the teams who did Labor. Labor wasn’t difficult except the teams kept not noticing the grey stones they needed for the border. As the teams completed the Detours, their clues instructed them to make their way to this legs Pit Stop…the Great Wall of China! Once there, they needed to CLIMB IT! I didn’t even know they let anyone do that!
Tyler & James came in first, winning $20,000. Duke & Lauren came in second, but after that, there were some real triumps of spirit. Sarah’s leg was pretty much useless, and she had a heck of a time, but she made it. Mary really felt like she couldn’t do it, but she worked her heart out and made it. Both Lyn & Karlyn were unsure they could, but they pulled it off. All the teams did amazingly well, but someone had to go…so long Vipul & Arti. I never felt like their hearts were 100% in it anyway.
Fave teams for me so far have to be Duke & Lauren, estranged for a long time after Lauren came out to her father as a Lesbian, and David & Mary, a coal miner and his wife who had never been outside of Kentucky and Tennessee prior to the race. And in other news, why do we have one team on every race who fights and calls each other “baby”? This time it’s Rob & Kimberly.
By the way, since I don’t think any one REALLY reads these, I’m not going super detailed this season.