GD Star Rating
Spoiler Alert: This recap reveals the winning team from this week's episode.
As the Race continues into week 4, Andy and Tommy are in the lead as the teams head to Phuket (Foo-ket, as in ketchup), Thailand. The pro snowboarders grab a 9:40am flight with Laurence and Zac, leaving the other teams in the dust.
NFL former tight end Marcus Pollard and wife Amani are in third to last place as they get their marching orders, but they invoke thoughts of their kids and maintain high spirits as they find themselves on a connecting flight to Jakarta with all but the top two teams, evening the playing field. The tables turn as their flight arrives in Phuket an hour before Andy/Tommy and Laurence/Zac.
Every week, the Amazing Race offers the Disney-digest version of each culture they touch, with challenges echoing a trip to the airport souvenir shop...technically culturally accurate, but far from authentic. This week's challenge is no exception. Following the 2004 tsunami that devastated this area, tourism has suffered, as has the aquatic environment. As the camera pans across vast expanses of sea and shore, it's difficult to pair these serene, paradisaical vistas with the images of 2004. The Amazing Racers are tasked with aiding in tourism reconstruction, either by reconstructing coral reef or setting up chairs and umbrellas at a public beach. Amani and Marcus choose coral reconstruction over beach preparation in order to give back to this community that has been hit so hard; a noble thought, though misplaced in a tv competition...if it were me, I'd take the beach chair set up and after securing the $1 million prize, cut a check from my winnings to the tsunami relief fund.
Marcus and Amani, like most reconstruction teams, have little problem constructing the reef structure on shore, but as they paddle out to sea, planting the structure underwater and placing the coral is not as easy. The current tears Marcus and Amani's structure apart underwater, and Marcus's doggy paddle is somehow no match for the relatively calm ocean, washing Marcus' mantra of "I can do anything" out to sea as he and Amani abandon the challenge to set up beach chairs and umbrellas instead. Apparently NFL training can't prepare you for the rigors of shallow ocean water. Marcus and Amani have little problem setting up the chairs/umbrellas and eventually set off for the next clue/challenge in fourth place, cheering on the twins who apparently can't figure out how to set up a beach umbrella, though who can blame them, since I doubt they had much beach time growing up in Illinois.
Marcus and Amani reach the next stop, a rock climb challenge, in 4th place, just as Andy and Tommy are shown reaching Phil, securing first place and $5000. After sending Amani up a rock face to retrieve their next clue, the two are off and navigating their boat toward Phil, who is waiting for the teams on a floating stadium. Marcus is overconfident here, drawing on his NFL days to over-think where the stadium might be, instead of simply following the large signs that point in the right direction. After wandering around, Amani and Marcus finally find their way, losing what could've been third place, missing fourth and fifth, and finally arriving as Team Six.
DJ Pullout's Take
So for the first time in my life I sat down and watched an entire episode of Amazing Race. I did this because our dear friend Marcus Pollard and his wife Amani are a team on the show. That and I get a sweet paycheck to watch these reality TV shows. Jealous? Don't be. If you like watching couples run down streets constantly this show is for you. The show's premise centers around two person teams pretty much racing in massive obstacle courses throughout some third world country. One stop could be rock climbing while the next could be racing a boat. It gets pretty insane. In this episode they were racing throughout Thailand. And let me tell you... Marcus, despite being a professional athlete, didn't compete very well in this episode. For example, one of the obstacles in this episode involved swimming... and Marcus for some awful reason... can't. Another obstacle on this episode was rock climbing straight up a massive cliff. What does Marcus do? He decides to send up his wife up, who clearly is not as athletic as an NFL star. At the end of the episode they end up coming in 8th out of 9 I believe. Normally they cut whoever comes in last place at the end of each episode, but for some reason they decided to not cut anyone this time around - so the two blond twin sisters that came in last were spared. Gee I wonder why? I know... cause they were smoking hot and weren't the sharpest tool in the shed. Also, anyone else think Marcus Pollard looks and talks like Stringer Bell from the Wire? PANDEMIC! GOT THAT PANDEMIC HERE!