Amazing Race
I Feel Like I'm In the Circus

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Thai'ed Up

"This is the village of Koh Panyi, Thailand," Phil greets us, putting to rest growing concerns that he might have tragically lost the ability to start an episode with the word "This" for unknown medical reasons. He says it was "built on stilts in the eighteenth century," which is different than a floating village, and is a "unique fishing community" that also serves as the start of the fifth leg. As the winners of the previous leg, Andy and Tommy are leaving in first place, at 10:07 AM. Their clue tells them to take "local transportation" up the Kalong Song Prak River, or at least something that sounds like what I just typed. Phil clarifies that after taking a taxi to an adventure company (seriously, I'm just giving up on closed captioning now), the "local transportation" will prove to be a four-ton Asian elephant. I don't know how "local" an animal can be if it has two zip codes, but apparently each elephant will take a team upriver. Cut immediately to Andy and Tommy pulling onto the road in the back of a pickup truck taxi, so I guess the Amazing Editors skipped the boat ride to the mainland from Koh Panyi. We get a little new information on them in a pre-leg interview. I was a little surprised to hear Andy talking at the end of last week about praising God, but apparently that was for real. As Tommy sincerely puts it, "Yeah, we love Jesus." They even show off the names of Bible verses they Sharpied onto their backpack straps (Proverbs 19:2 for Andy and 1 Thessalonians 5:16 for Tommy, in case you care to look them up). Then they go on to talk about joy and God opening the door, and it's like we're getting a whole different idea of these guys than what a lot of us probably assumed. Including me.

They get dropped off at the adventure company, which is pretty much a hut in the jungle with elephants parked outside and a Speed Bump sign with Liz and Marie's picture on it. I assume the Speed Bump sign is temporary. The snowboarders quickly hop onto one of those two-seat litters that are strapped onto the back of an elephant, with a local driver steering from the animal's neck. That is, until the driver hops off to guide it from behind. Andy and Tommy are impressed with the animal's traction on the rough terrain and through the rocky river bed. Andy even says he plans to buy one after the race. "They can do some serious four-wheelin'." Well, they have feet, not wheels. But an elephant on rollerblades? Now you're talking.

Nearly an hour behind them, Justin and Jennifer are the second-place team, leaving at 11:01 AM. Up in the jungle, Andy and Tommy are taking turns on the neck that serves as their elephant's driver's seat, now that they appear to be on their own without a guide. Jeremy and Sandy start their leg at 11:44 AM in third place, learning that they have $186 for this leg. Laurence and Zac are right behind them, ripping their clue at 11:45 AM. As we see them hop in a taxi-pickup, Laurence interviews that's he's proud of Zac and his accomplishments. "But," he adds, "every young person wants to be seen beyond their years, and not always do they have the wisdom. So I'll kind of have to dictate, and being the father, Zac will heed what I say." This wisdom, at the moment, consists of Laurence reminding Zac that they'll have to be sure and use local transport. Wise to read the clue this time.

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Amazing Race

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