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'Amazing Race' recap: Cooperate for the Buddha

October 10, 2011 |  8:45 am


When it comes to the Buddha, the competitors on “The Amazing Race” find themselves teaming up across enemy lines. So it was in Indonesia, when they got to the stunning Borobudur temple and had to count the number of Buddhas in certain positions. Starting with the first two to arrive -- Laurence (whose son Zac waited on the sidelines) and snowboarder Tommy (with teammate Andy waiting) -- everyone had to work together to figure out the task and then get it right.

Everyone, that is, except for oldster Bill, who managed it solo, proving that he and wife Cathi may be the smartest team in the race. Then again, after they finished the task, they didn’t seem to notice the other teams pulling ahead of them -- maybe they’re not so smart.

Cathi had difficulties at the detour, where she slipped and fell over and over running across rice paddies. The teams had to either plant 300 rice seedlings or feed and water sheep. That was a lot of seedlings, but the sheep were stubborn -- Amelia and Marcus picked theirs up and carried them -- so they seemed, at least in the editing, to take about the same amount of time.

The episode started with each team taking a bicycle ride with a leisurely Dutch-influenced bicycle patrol, wearing snappy khaki uniforms with their names embroidered on them. I wonder if they get to keep the outfits? Snowboarders Andy and Tommy, in first place, popped wheelies and did tricks. Not everyone had as much fun. “Today is a good day to focus on the positives,” says Justin, who has been bickering with his sister Jennifer. She promptly smashes into a fence. And Ernie and Cindy hit even bigger trouble.

Cindy is holding firmly to the Most Stressed-Out Competitor crown this season, and when one of Ernie’s pedals fell off, you could watch her blood pressure rising. They had to wait while for the pedal to get fixed before they could continue, and were passed by two other teams. “Road kill number one,” oldster Cathi says as they bicycle past.

Of all the teams, Jeremy and Sandy are seeming to get almost no screen time, with the blonde twins Liz and Marie close behind. Both teams seem young and athletic and fairly capable -- maybe the lack of attention to them now means we’ll see an awful lot of them as the race progresses. Or maybe they’re soon to be eliminated. Or maybe they’re just not making interesting TV.

Despite former NFL star Marcus’ clear athletic advantage, he and Amani seem to be underperforming, often lagging further behind than you’d expect.

As they come to the final check-in, Laurence and Zac have the lead, but because of not following the sheep-watering directions, they’re subject to a penalty. Andy and Tommy, arriving second, get first place, and their second trip for two -- first Ireland, now Dubai -- and one of them groans about what his wife is going to say about taking these trips with his friend (hint: buy a ticket for your wife).

The last to check in are Vegas showgirls Kaylani and Lisa. Kaylani cries because she’s a single mom and she wanted to show her little girl what she could accomplish. This is sad for Kaylani, but this had been coming ever since she dropped her passport at a gas station before getting on the first flight.

Can the oldsters hold on? Is Cindy’s blood pressure at a healthy level? Will the snowboarders win another wife-annoying trip for two? Tune in next week.


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-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Justin and Ernie team up to count Buddhas. Credit: The Amazing Race / CBS