Here Comes The Bedouin!
The Amazing Race 9 : Episode 8

It's a plane! Previously, it was a rainy leg from Siracusa, Italy to Peloponnese, Greece as Teams tackled bungee-jumping and silly games while the movie The Da Vinci Code got a special mention thanks to a ridiculous "puzzle" that could be solved just by superimposing two pieces of paper together. It wasn't a very interesting episode, if I may say so myself. Lake and Michelle got very lost sometime in the later part of the show and they could never stop arguing long enough to pull themselves together. With that, we are down to five Teams now and about a month away from the finale, which means I'll have to see pretty much the same faces on this show for the next few episodes. Are you as excited as I am? Snort.

Philo Koughie steps out before the camera to explain that he's in "a region in the southern tip of Greece", Peloponnese. More specifically, he explains that he's walking around with that surprisingly big basket today - ahem - in front of the Fortress of Rion, a fourteenth-centry ancient fortress, which was the Pit Stop of the last leg of the Race. He wonders whether the Freaky Fratboys will keep coming in first and whether the BoHo Boys can avoid coming in last. When it comes to matters concerning those two Teams, consider me most uninterested in knowing. In fact, if I'm not anal enough that I am compelled to recap the entire season, I would have stopped watching the rest of the season like everyone else I know.

11:54 pm. The Freaky Fratboys came in first in the previous leg so they're off on an early start this time around. They learn that they must now fly to Muscat, the capital city of Oman. Philo explains that Oman is an "oil-rich country" that is about 5,000 years old. Bordering the UAE and Saudi Arabia, Oman is one of the oldest inhabited regions in the Middle-East. Philo points out that this is a journey of about 2,300 miles. In Muscat, Teams must locate a giant incense burner - it's the biggest in the world, by the way - for their next clue. The show doesn't mention this, but you can find the giant incense burner in the Al-Riyam Park that has an operation time. Heh.

Because this show doesn't want to overtax our Teams' brainpower capacity, the clue actually tells the Freaky Fratboys to walk over a nearby bridge and locate a visitor center where they will sign up for one of the two available charter buses that will take them to the airport. Is the show spoonfeeding these twits because they know they have put some really stupid people on the show this season or is the show putting on some really stupid people on this season because they have planned a Race that is as uncomplicated and unchallenging as possible? I suppose this is where I insert a now-obligatory rant about how I watch this show to see people going on an adventure rather than a too-apparent kiddie-version of a Disneyland ride around the world but I'm beyond words at this point. Yes, I want to watch people trying to figure out flights, interacting with locals, and figuring out directions. Now, the Race seems designed to limit interaction between the Teams to the locals to the point that the Race now seems to be a series of silly tasks existing in a vacuum even as it takes the Teams to places all over the globe. I'm really bored by how unchallenging the Race has become and how dependent the show has become on bickerings and editing tricks to keep the drama going when the fun factor has all but fizzled out completely. Sigh.

Back to the show, the Freaky Fratboys manage to follow the step-by-step instructions on the clue to locate the visitor center. It's closed but they can sign up for the earliest bus - that leaves at 9:00 am - on the sheet that is located outside the center. Those two nitwits brag about how the other Teams are tired of falling behind them and how they are stronger and faster and better than every other Team... but, really, with this season being nothing more than Run From Here To There repeated at least five times every episode, isn't it obvious that the young and fit all-male Teams will lead the pack?

4:31 am. The MoJos leave. They are still bristling over their being beaten to the Fast Forward by the Freaky Fratboys in the previous episode because in another awkwardly-posed confessional, they talk about how annoying it is that they keep being unlucky while other Teams are enjoying a good luck windfall. Monica suggests that this means that they have to go forge their own destiny. Or something. Why are these people reading so much into a crappy TV show?

4:41 am. The Telcoms count their money, letting me know that every Team is given $53 for this leg of the Race. Yolanda talks about how she and Ray joke and tease each other so often that sometimes they miss completely when the other person is being serious and end up annoying that person. That's a very nicely-put explanation of the following scene where they ask around for directions to the bridge and the visitor center - asking for directions must be a daily ritual for these two, it seems - when Yolanda becomes annoyed by Ray's constant use of the word "damn" - as in "Where is that damn bridge?"- and tells him to stop "cussing". He thinks she's joking and is taken aback when he realizes that she's really serious about him cleaning up his language. Yolanda seems to be on the verge of tears here. Did these two argue or something before they start out? He then flips her a finger behind her back in what I believe is a playful manner, but he, like many men, learns fast that sometimes women can sense when they are being made fun of when she asks him sharply whether he has just flipped her the bird. They continue to argue about Ray's immaturity, but all things considered, their argument is actually pretty benign and even rational.

They and the MoJos reach the visitor center and sign up for the 9:00 am bus.

6:20 am. The FranBerries learn that they must fly to "Omen", where they would then drop by their son's place to say hi to that charming fellow. As they leave, they talk to the camera about wanting to move from fourth to third place. That's the way to be: never aim for what than what you can do, that's what they always say. They too reach the visitor center and reserve a spot on the 9:00 am bus. Don't ask me why there are two buses when it seems like everybody can fit into the earliest bus.

8:51 am. The BoHos are off. It's... impressive how they managed to get lost for about four hours behind the Telcoms when they left the Roadblock at about the same time as the Telcoms. Still, they are still in the Race despite their worries so Tyler now howls, "Let the joy of the race fill you with adrenaline!" Yes, with adrenaline so that I can run away from these obnoxious dingbats!

Alas, they reach the visitor center just as the 9:00 am bus is pulling away. They run and holler like you will imagine them to do, but the bus is not stopping. Fran thoughtfully beats at the glass pane so that the BoHo Boys can see her crone face grinning at them in glee as the bus leaves without the BoHo Boys. I love it when old people play dirty, as long as they don't moan and groan about being good people like a certain imbecile named Gretchen did in the past. The BoHo Boys end up taking the 10:00 am bus, which is still a good deal considering that the deliberate bunch has actually cut down the time separating them and the first Team from almost nine hours to just one hour. Ahead, the 9:00 am bus pulls up at the airport and the four Teams on the bus start looking for possible flights that will take them to Oman. The FranBerries learn of an early flight on Gulf Air that will get them in Muscat at 10:50 pm. However, they get this information from the information counter and they have to head over to the Gulf Air counter to purchase their tickets. They are determined to keep this information to themselves but alas, the other Teams spot them right away heading towards the Gulf Air counter and follow suit. All four Teams manage to get seats on that flight, causing Barry to tell the camera, "We're beyond the point of being the genial grandparents that we were in the first few rounds!" Wait a minute, they were "genial" in the first few rounds? Is that what they call their petty feud with the LaMichies?

As the only Team in the 10:00 am bus, the BoHos decide to mug for the camera by pretending that the "ghosts" of eliminated Teams are on the same bus as them. BJ says that the LaMichies are seated beside them and then uses his hand like a puppet to represent Lake as BJ mimics Lake asking them to share flight information with him since they're all "brothers" according to Lake. It's a pretty good impersonation, but BJ doesn't know when to stop so he then goes on to lamely "joke" about Cool As Geek kissing, the Pink Poodles wondering whether Oman is in China, and other increasingly desperate grasping-at-straws punchlines that only expose how BJ hasn't thought much beyond Lake as his punchline and he is just saying something just to fill up dead air. That sums up why I don't find these two funny, by the way - their "wit" comes off as incredibly staged, as if they have thought long and hard over certain jokes that they feel they must share, and forced. They aren't as funny as they imagine they are. To me, they are just a noisier and more irritating version of the pointlessly camera-conscious clowns that are the Sideshow Bobs from the fourth season.

They soon reach the airport and spot the other four Teams still gathered around the Gulf Air counter. They ask what the other Teams are doing but the other Teams are not willing to share the information. Of course, when all four Teams waiting to buy tickets to Gulf Air, I think it is only reasonable to assume that that flight is the best one to board, so it's not as if the BoHo Boys can't figure that one out on their own. Alas, the BoHo Boys learn that the flight is now full when it's their turn in the queue. "Thanks for helping us!" BJ says sarcastically to the other Teams as he and Tyler leave the counter to look for another flight. I guess the adrenaline-fuelled happy rush is over for them. The BoHo Boys end up getting seats on a Qatar Air flight that will arrive in Muskat at 11:45 pm. Philo now steps out to explain the complicated notion of all Teams but the BoHo Boys leaving for Muskat on the first flight while the BoHo Boys leave in the second flight.

Hello, Muscat. Because we don't want to jeopardize the already tense Middle East relationship with America, the show provides vehicles for the Teams to use for the duration of their Race in this area. As Teams hit the road, the Freaky Fratboys talk about how everything in Muscat is pretty - even the McDonald's. Monica once more demonstrates her worldliness by marveling at how rich the people here are compared to America. Obviously she hasn't seen photos of Donald Trump's place. No, really, I know where she is coming from. Malaysia is a popular tourist destination for these rich people from the Middle East and I see all these fat sheikhs all the time in Kuala Lumpur traveling with a harem of at least four wives and too many kids for me to even try to count. And believe me, you haven't seen anything until you've seen burka-clad women shopping for naughty lingerie. I find myself thinking very foolishly the first time I see them doing this, "What use do they have for lingerie?" There is a saying that I hear all the time about the people in those rich Middle East countries (UAE, Oman, et cetera) - the only poor people there are unmarried local women and hapless slaves maids and workers imported from the Philippines. Meanwhile, Ray finds that the writings are squiggles that he cannot make out. I'm sure someone who knows how to read Arabic but not English will feel the same way when he comes across a signpost in Hollywood.

The next flight arrives and the BoHo Boys manage to snag a helpful fellow on the flight that will lead them straight to the Al-Riyam park.

The Freaky Fratboys are the first to arrive at the Al-Riyam park and realize that it's closed until 6:00 am. They should feel privileged, actually - I understand that the Park actually opens at 9:00 am on weekends and holidays and 4:00 pm on weekdays (which are Saturday to Wednesday - rich people in rich countries don't have to work as many hours as we mere mortals do in a week). The Freaky Fratboys, however, are not happy and their mood can only worsen as every other Team, including the BoHo Boys, catches up with them. There's nothing to be done here other than to roll out the sleeping bags.

The Telcoms however rehash their argument that took place earlier in this episode because it will never do to go to bed angry, I suppose. Yolanda is not happy that Ray cussed and showed her the bird while Ray is not happy about how she suddenly "changed the script" from teasing playfulness to seriousness and the way she talked to him when he couldn't keep up with her temperament changes. It looks like those two would have to go to bed sullen and unhappy with each other after all. Still, the two of them tell the camera that in the past they haven't been together for more than four days at one time - and I have a hunch that in those four days there couldn't be much heart-to-heart talking involved, if you know what I mean - so they are discovering some bumps in their chemistry since they are now thrown together under a stressful condition. Still, those two seem to understand that such bumps are to be expected in any relationship as they say that they will work on their communication issues.

At 6:00 am, the gates to the Park open for the Teams to dash inside for the clue stand and learn that they will now have to drive to Sur, some 135 miles away according to Philo, and grab a clue at the ferry crossing. Sur is the tourist attraction in Oman, by the way, and most of the expatriates living in Oman can be found in that city. Because of the lack of road signs and helpful maps that they can read, something that the Teams learn the hard way on their way to the Park, many of the Teams now pretty much on their own come to the idea that if they let another Team take the lead on the road, they can just follow the leading Team hopefully in the correct direction. The MoJos end up leading the procession of sheep, although the FranBerries who are trailing at the back decide to figure out their way on their own. Navigation is always one of their few strongest suits on the Race, after all, along with trailing in the back of the pack. The MoJos ask for directions and the BoHo Boys, hot on the MoJos' trail, decide to head over where the local is pointing, thus overtaking the MoJos. Won't it be funny if the guy is merely pointing to where the nearest restroom is? Meanwhile, the Freaky Fratboys realize that perhaps for the first time they don't know where to go and whether they are driving in the correct direction, so they too stop to ask for directions. They have problems communicating with that fellow they have stopped to ask, however, and their mood is further ruined when the FranBerries drive past them and overtake them in the process. The Telcoms also ask for directions but they too have communication problems with the local. They also face such a difficulty with each other at the moment, unfortunately.

Ahead, the BoHo Boys and the MoJos end up on a dirt road, causing the MoJos to wonder uneasily whether they are actually in the correct place. Soon the two Teams end up at the seaside which is where they are supposed to be, much to the MoJos' relief. They are instructed to put their vehicles in a four-wheel drive and a small man runs ahead to lead them to the four-wheel drive. He even wades into the water in the process. I hope he's paid extra to do that. The BoHo Boys thank him, taking care to use Arabic, which is one of the few genuinely nice things they have done on the Race, while Monica, always one to demonstrate her worldliness, says that she'd like to put that small guy in her pocket and take him home with her. Cute little third-world guys always make the cutest pet for fashionable Americans, after all! The FranBerries are the next to show up and the Freaky Fratboys find themselves trailing at the back of the pack for the first time. The small guy proceed to show them the way to the four-wheel drive like he did with the MoJos and the BoHo Boys. The Telcoms however are still trying to figure out their directions, this time with Ray complaining that even with the directions he has been given, he still can't read the road signs and therefore he still doesn't know where he is going. Maybe the next time they ask for directions, they would whip out pen and paper and either make notes or ask someone to draw some sketched map to accompany the verbal directions.

Back to the BoHo Boys, they are happily driving ahead when they realize that they have to drive across a pool of muddy water. The MoJos are behind them and these two Teams, when they see the pool of water, try to convince the other Team to go first. Maybe they are afraid that the water has corrosive proprties or creepy third-world brain-eating germs. The FranBerries show up and they too stop and wait. The water, after all, is scary. Who knows what monsters could be lurking in those depths! The Freaky Fratboys, however, have no such concern and they just charge ahead without a care. Hoo-ha! The other Teams learn that the water isn't that deep and follow suit. Tyler says as the BoHo Boys charge across the brackish water, "Is this the most awesome chocolate surprise you've ever had?" Oh dear, is that some kind of sexual innuendo? That won't do at all - their fans, who are always concerned about the Freaky Fratboys' antics being unsuitable for this "family friendly show" (which part of Pornathan and Tori that these people find suitable to watch with their preteen kids, I will never know), will surely disapprove. Fran is as usual worried about the water and all. Monica in the meantime says that the Freaky Fratboys are first again because those two guys have some need to be first. And here I'm thinking that those two nitwits are leading because the other two Teams are afraid to drive through the pool. BJ is saying pretty much the same thing in the BoHo Boys' vehicle, which is even more ridiculous given how the BoHo Boys have displayed the same aggressive need to be first all the time in the past. The BoHo Boys are displaying a tendency to point fingers and moan when things aren't going their way, which is pretty iffy as there are already many things about them for me to be annoyed with. Tyler says that the Freaky Fratboys will pay for whatever it is that those two incurred the BoHo Boys' wrath for - just for being at the head of the pack? - and really, those two are being completely ridiculous.

Finally, the Telcoms show up at the seaside and soon they are driving through the pool of water, at the back of the pack but without the considerable pussyfooting that many of the Teams ahead of them had displayed. They also seem to be at peace with each other at the moment. May the peace last a little longer.

Oh, and now we're at Sur, land of the rich and pampered. The Freaky Fratboys will make a killing from selling pot as well as sexual services here, by the way. Now the Teams at the head of the pack, all still close together, have to look for the ferry crossing. The Freaky Fratboys manage to get lost again while the BoHo Boys, the FranBerries, and the MoJos locate the ferry crossing first. Again, it's a bunched-up party as those Teams all locate it and the clue stand at about the same time. They learn that it's now time for a Detour. Philo explains that in "Camel", Teams must use a pulley thingie called "a block and tackle system" to lift a harnessed camel into a pickup truck and, guided by a cartoonish map, drive the camel for about a mile to a Bedouin camp where they will exchange the camel for their next clue. In "Watchtower", Teams must search through three "watchtowers" in what I recognize as Al Mudayrib, which is the hill near Sur that is known for its historic watchtowers, and locate in one of them an Arabic message box. Teams will deliver this message box to a silversmith, Al-Sayegh, and pass the clue to a fellow waiting in there to get their next clue. Monica is worried that a camel would be too stubborn to be dealt with quickly so the MoJos choose the watchtower option. The other two Teams also do the same.

When the Freaky Fratboys show up, they decide to maul some unsuspecting camel instead. They reach the camel farm where they then try to be funny while manhandling the poor camel onto the back of the pickup truck. It's a pity that the camel doesn't spit into their faces or anything. Seriously, though, the Freaky Fratboys aren't annoying me too much in this episode, maybe because they keep their traps shut most of the time. Maybe they are trying to get me to root for them or something, hmm. At least they, unlike the BoHo Boys, know when enough is enough and just clam it on the "we so horny" nonsense on keep attention on the finish line instead. Elsewhere, the BoHo Boys and the FranBerries manage to locate the correct watchtower that has the message boxes waiting for them. The MoJos manage to locate the wrong watchtower. When they come across the triumphant BoHo Boys on their way to the next watchtower, those two just... quit and opt for the other Detour. Am I missing something here? Is it so difficult to check the other two watchtowers?

At the camel farm, a few locals help Eric hoist the poor camel onto the pickup truck. Funny music plays in the background but the scene isn't as funny as the editors imagine it to be. Then again, what's this show now but a big contrivance, eh? The editors are trying too hard to tell the audience how to feel and how to react to the Teams, even if they have to cut up scenes to misleadingly exaggerate things, and they aren't very good in doing this without the audience catching on to their tricks, especially in this season. Back to the two nitwits, the Freaky Fratboys now take off to the Bedouin camp located as per the cartoonish map they are given. Elsewhere, the BoHo Boys and the FranBerries reach the mainland where they proceed to locate the silversmith.

Incidentally, if you're wondering why the BoHo Boys have been so quiet in this episode, they really aren't. They are hoo-yah'ing and T-Tow'ing left and right like desperate goons craving for attention and I just don't feel like trying to recap even one-eighth of their efforts at masturbatory sound pollution. In this particular moment, for example, BJ chooses to show off a drawing he made of a camel while reprimanding an imaginary camel for being a bad animal. I don't know what the punchline of that scene is - maybe I'm supposed to laugh just because BJ has drawn something? Anyway, that's the kind of nonsense that I am deliberately blanking out on in this recap. Those two are randomly throwing all kinds of loud and ridiculous blabberings at the camera while hopping around like some spastic gnomes to the point that if they do happen to be genuinely funny once a while, it's like seeing two chimpanzees throwing all kinds of crap against the wall. Occasionally some of the crap stick on the bullseye. Blanking the BoHo Boys out is the only way I can watch an episode of this season without feeling the urge to stab both my eyes out with a fork.

Speaking of annoying sounds, the camel the MoJos are currently manhandling - excuse me, Joseph is currently manhandling - doesn't sound too happy. Monica tries to offer soothing sounds to calm the camel down but she's not doing a good job there. Ahead, the Freaky Fratboys start to believe that they are driving in the wrong direction because Jeremy, the driver, can't find the landmarks that are indicated on the map they are given. Meanwhile, the FranBerries and the BoHo Boys reach the silversmith where they exchange their message boxes for clues that tell them to go to the oasis village of Al Hawiyah, another tourist hotspot, and locate a place that Philo simply describes as "this place", which is an apparenty randomly picked stretch of sand in the oasis, for their next clue.

Joseph finally finishes hauling the camel onto the back of the pickup and then he proceeds to drive them and the camel to the Bedouin camp. There's nothing like a seemingly capable man being paired with a useless woman to destroy my goodwill towards the Team, I tell you. This was also the reason why I wasn't able to warm up completely to the final three Teams in the fifth season: the female partners in those Teams are the equivalent of a rock that their men have to drag along during the entire Race. Ahead, the Freaky Fratboys realize that they're really lost and while they think they've found a town that could be the place that they could drop off the camel, Eric isn't so sure and they resume driving along the road to... somewhere, I suppose. Monica, on the other hand, decides to contribute to her Team by sitting with the camel at the back of the pickup and whine to Joseph that she doesn't think they're heading in the right direction. He tells her to be quiet because he knows what he is doing. Indeed, he does because they are soon at the correct Bedouin camp where they drop off the camel and receive their next clue. As they hitch a ride from the locals in order to get back to their vehicle parked at the ferry wharf, they complain about their apparent bad luck in choosing the watchtower Detour in the first place. I honestly cannot see why it is so hard to search three watchtowers that aren't located too far apart from each other, at least to the point that the Team have to drop it to take up another Detour, but hey, I'll just accept their word that the watchtower task sucks.

Somewhere else, the Freaky Fratboys are still lost, with Eric raising my hopes by saying, "I think we're going to drive until we are dehydrated and die!" Unknown to them, the MoJos spot them as the MoJos are on their way back to the ferry wharf, with Joseph correctly deducing that the Freaky Fratboys must have gotten lost. Meanwhile, Eric moans about what a horrible time he is having. I guess things aren't so rosy and they aren't so cocky when they are not in the lead, heh. Eventually, they locate the Bedouin camp and drop off the relieved camel to more capable hands.

The Telcoms are only now showing up at the clue stand back at the ferry wharf and they opt to haul a camel. The Freaky Fratboys bump into the Telcoms when they reach the ferry wharf and both Teams realize that they must really haul ass and be quick. The Freaky Fratboys catch a ferry that will take them back to the mainland in the nick of time, it seems, and hope that they will manage to stay ahead of the Telcoms for the rest of the leg. Ray hauls the camel and Yolanda keeps it company at the back of the pickup, Yolanda saying that the camel doesn't smell as bad as she assumed it would. That's because she smells as bad as the camel, I suspect.

Ahead at Al Hawiyah, the FranBerries and the BoHo Boys are fast heading towards the "this place" place. They manage to locate the clue stand without much difficulty - an achievement indeed for the FranBerries - and learn that it's now time for a Roadblock. The clue simply says, "Who's willing to work for food?" Philo and his impressively convex package step out to explain that this Roadblock involves a Team member digging through up to 117 mounds of sand to locate one of six packs of Shuwa, a dished of spice lamb wrapped in palm leaves and steamed in an underground pit oven. By the way, it tastes incredibly good - try some if you have the opportunity because it's yummy indeed. Anyway, this is another one of the too-many "try your luck" Roadblocks that this season favors (apparently eating huge amount of tasteless and even gross food is, like, so two seasons ago) and yes, the Shuwa will be their dinner that night. At least eating it is not a condition in receiving the next clue, I suppose.

BJ and Barry take this one for their Teams. As those two get to work, Tyler warns BJ that the clue tells them to be careful since they are digging into a buried hot oven while Fran tells Barry to just stick his hand inside and pull the Shuwa out. Barry, standing there in a comical posture like he's pretending to be Lou Ferrigno, tells her simply that he'd do that if he could. Translation: SHUT UP ALREADY, MY GOD. Behind them, the MoJos are on their way when Monica rests her chin on his shoulder (Joseph is driving) and starts chanting, "Al Hawiyah! Al Hawiyah!" He tells her, "Please don't be annoying right now." They both have a chuckle over this moment though so I guess I know now why he has managed to last this long without trying to pay someone to take her away from him so that he can continue the rest of the Race alone. When they reach the clue stand, Monica takes this one for her Team. Soon she is digging with Barry and BJ. She complains that it is hot. It does seem very punishingly hot as the sun beats down on everyone relentlessly and there are plenty of rolled-up sleeves and sweaty sheen to show for their efforts in digging. I've seen some tourists from the northern hemisphere having a hard time getting used to the relatively benign heat in Malaysia so I can only imagine how hard it is for those three to dig under the sweltering hear. Monica starts to complain some more when Joseph shuts her down with by telling her to be quiet and just find the food. He says, "You don't have to pout about it!" That's not a nice thing to say to someone in general, but it seems like the thing that Monica needs to hear in order to get her to pay attention at the job at hand instead of having a meltdown of Flo or Hayden proportions. Elsewhere, the camels moan and BJ tells those "boys" that "dinner's coming".

The Freaky Fratboys show up now and Eric takes one for the Team. Jeremy tells Eric to "run like a champion". He then applies Chap-Stick to his lips, earning him a snicker of derision from a nearby camel that tells him in camel-speak that he's such a wuss. Jeremy points to the camel and says, "Hey, I don't need your lip right now." The camera zooms in on the grinning camel. Okay, that is actually very funny. There may be some hope yet for Jeremy. Eventually, Barry finds his food first, although he ends up dumping his food into the oven, earning him another snicker of derision from a nearby watching camel. Fran looks at the camel in surprise, no doubt taking aback by the camel's impeccable timing. It's one of those "Say, you don't think it can understand what we are saying and doing, do you?" moments, I tell you. Camels can be creepy sometimes. Monica also locates the oven and now she has to reach in to take out the food. She tries but quickly withdraws her hands, complaining about how hot it is. It's an oven, what does she expect?

The Telcoms are bantering on their drive to Al Hawiyah but there are some undercurrents of tension when she brings up the fact that he has yet to "acknowledge" the fact that he cussed at her the other day and he responds by saying that he's merely driving the vehicle. "Driving Miss Daisy," he clarifies and the camera zooms in on what seems like a displeased expression of Yolanda - right in tune with the editors' "All dating couples must bicker non-stop to distract viewers from the fact that this season is as boring as can be!" agenda.

At the Al Hawiyah Dig-Your-Own-Dinner hotspot, Monica manages to smoothly pull out the lamb and this gets her and Joseph the opportunity to leave in first place. They can now head straight for the Pit Stop, which is Jabreen Castle some 150 miles away from where they are. Jabreen Castle is about 300 years old and is considered one of the examples of Islamic architecture at its finest. The BoHo Boys are not happy that someone else has beaten them to the punch and BJ starts to act like he's about to go into seizures anytime soon. In their vehicle, Joseph tells Monica what a great job she did back at the oasis and says, "If we go straight there, we will be first!" Yes, and if I walk out in the rain, I get wet. Why is he speaking to Monica like she's some very slow kid that he needs to speak very clearly to? Barry also finally manages to get his dinner out - I hope there isn't too much sand and worse stuck on the lamb - and as they leave in their vehicle, Fran shows her support of him by telling him to just get her out of here. He tells her about how his body is hurting after all that digging only to have her respond by saying that well, she couldn't have done the Roadblock herself. Her tone suggests that she seems to be implying that he can't surely expect her to do all that digging so hey, he may as well bear with the pain.

Tyler and Jeremy are now yelling at BJ and Eric respectively to keep digging and dig faster. Of course, that doesn't necessarily mean that those two men will find the lamb faster. Eric however manages to find his dinner and remove it, getting Jeremy to say solely for Tyler's burning ears that they could still make it in first or second place if they hurry. As they leave, they hope they don't get lost. Ooh, that's some foreshadowing for everyone out there watching the show. As the Freaky Fratboys leave, the Telcoms show up. Yolanda takes this one for the Team. When she shows up to dig, Tyler now heckles BJ to dig faster, saying, "This is our time, man!" Those two men must have spent a long time together with their desperate-for-fame ways that they have learned to tolerate each other, I suppose, because if I'm BJ at that moment, I'd be trying to jam the spade down Tyler's throat. Finally, BJ has had enough of Tyler's know-it-all "encouragements" and shoots back, "How about you just let me dig until I find something?" Tyler says he'll shut up now but BJ is on a roll as he now grumbles that Tyler gets all the cool Roadblocks like bungee jumping while he's stuck in the heat digging for a long time. Now Tyler is the one that is telling BJ to hush. This is the first time those two are mildly entertaining to watch.

Ray is also doing his best to get Yolanda to shove a spade down his throat. I shudder to imagine how Lake would behave if he's in this Roadblock and Michelle is the one digging, I tell you. Ray is telling Yolanda to "get a pattern going" and Yolanda mutters audibly under her breath, "Your momma got a pattern going!" She finally puts the shovel against her lips, which works better than a finger, and Ray finally gets the message. Tyler of course can't shut up and is telling BJ to "do it" for "Team T-tow". I'm impressed that BJ doesn't t-tow him at that moment. But as my husband tells me, if BJ kills Tyler, who then will love BJ back as the annoying loud little stinker monkey that he is? Then, Yolanda finds her food. As she removes the lamb from the oven, she encourages BJ to not give up. That's a nice thing to say, although it's even easier to say such a thing since Yolanda is leaving now, heh. The Telcoms leave. It's just down to Tyler and BJ now. T-tow forever, ooh. Tyler tells the camera that BJ is hurting and all, so Tyler is also hurting and all. Oh pooh, so it's now T-tow forever?

As the day goes on and BJ looks like he's going to drop dead anytime now, Tyler tells the camera in a rare moment of calm and lucidity from him that BJ has been digging for about an hour and a half under the heat (it's ninety degrees according to Tyler, to which this long-suffering Malaysian whose air-conditioner has broken down says, "Wimps!"). He understands however that BJ has done his best so they will just have to face whatever that will happen when they reach the Pit Stop.

On the road, the MoJos are on their way to Jabreen Castle. So are the FranBerries and the Freaky Fratboys, but the latter decide to take a different route in order to beat everyone and win a holiday to some place where they are free to declare their love for each other without the people around them disapproving of their true feelings. The Telcoms are now starting to argue and this time, they mean business. I guess this means I'm guaranteed more tedious "twit and twat screeching at each other" drama as I have to sit through non-elimination rounds on the road to the finale. The BoHo Boys are calm because they know as much as I do that this is a non-elimination round.

Eh? The FranBerries are at the Castle first. I almost reach out and adjust my TV set, I tell you. The MoJos are also closing in to the Castle but they have to stop to ask for directions, which allows the FranBerries - yes, the FranBerries of all people - to meet an adorably shellshocked Philo to check them in as team number one. Philo looks so cute when he has his eyebrows raised in that shocked-speechless way instead of the now overused evil eyebrow of death way. Appropriately enough for our Mr and Mrs Lazarus - no, really, that's what their last name is - they win a trip to Rome.

It is dark when the MoJos show up so I'll be very interested to see in the next episode just how far these two have fallen behind the FranBerries. They're team number two. The Telcoms come in third. Yolanda seems to be finding the whole Race more draining than she expected at first and she is even starting to get tired of Ray. Oh dear. The Freaky Fratboys have obviously lost their way and despite hoping that other Teams are as lost as them, they find themselves in fourth place. Philo asks them whether they are humbled by coming in fourth and Jeremy says that oh well, they can't win "them all". It should be "You can't win all the time!", nitwit.

The BoHo Boys come in last but are not eliminated, as to be expected. Philo takes everything they have apart from their annoying T-tow T-shirts and pants, and those two vow to remain wacky and goofy to prove that their possessions don't matter - it's the "complete BJ and Tyler and nothing else" that matters! I guess I shouldn't start expecting them to be any different - you know, any more entertaining - anytime soon then.

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