In Mongolia, the teams try a challenging Detour in which they choose between wrangling difficult animals and executing a complicated packing challenge (really!). But that's not all -- to even get to the Detour, they have to brave various problems with their stubborn Soviet military vehicles, including a flat tire, a bad side trip into waist-deep mud, and a couple of false starts. At the Detour, everything that can go wrong does go wrong, including animals that run off, fighting that can't be corralled, a helmet that goes missing, a boyfriend who orders his girlfriend not to speak, and the challenges of a bumpy ride. From the Detour, they proceed to a Roadblock where someone has to shoot a flaming arrow and hit a target without setting himself or herself on fire. Jamie and Kellie and Lyn and Karlyn fall to the back of the pack mid-leg, and when they go in opposite directions and it turns out that the luck is with the single moms rather than the cheerleaders, Jamie and Kellie arrive at the Roadblock late enough that they're fairly confident they're last. In an unfortunate conclusion, Kellie eventually gives up on the Roadblock entirely, and they putter to the pit stop and are anticlimactically Philiminated. Not a particularly good ending, but once again, most of the people in this episode are not hateful, which is a huge improvement. Peter is creepy, but one gets the sense that Sarah is beginning to figure it out, and that's a good thing. In other news: Mary likes Asians and gay people. Likes 'em!
Previously on Oh My God, I Can't Believe How Much Wretched Geography-Related Wordplay I Have Written Since September 2001, And I Can Only Hope The World Will Forgive Me: Twelve teams bolted from Seattle and hopped a couple of flights to China, because the stupid race planners were holding their maps upside-down and forgot that north is at the top of the universe, duh. Contestants included a tiny, artificial-leg-wearing blonde with an overbearing boyfriend, an overbearing brunette with an overbearing boyfriend, and a bunch of other people who were, in a refreshing change from recent seasons, not totally deserving of a red-hot fork in the eye. A couple of teams got grumpy about how the girl with one leg gets all the breaks, but it seemed like maybe the appearance of a punishing wall-climb that some of those teams could barely complete with two good legs might have persuaded them to shut it already. Bilal and Sa'eed never got to prove their point about stopping to pray, because they were eliminated in the middle of the leg. (If you don't think the gods of bad comedy would have rather seen Peter and Sarah go out in the middle of the leg, you are insufficiently appreciative of the generally dark nature of the universe's sense of humor.) Well-built model/addicts Tyler and James unsurprisingly rocked the portion of the leg relying on the kind of upper-body strength one might develop while living a difficult life on the street among the rats and barbells, and between that and some good brain work earlier, they finished first. Very sadly, sweet married couple Vipul and Arti, along with their sassy t-shirts and general adorability, were Philiminated at the end of the first leg. Somehow, imagining that they spent the next month having a very romantic and entirely free vacation made it an easier pill to swallow. For some reason, I envision them making out constantly for 30 consecutive days, but that might just be the way I like to think it always is with nice boys. Now, there are ten teams left. "Who will be eliminated... next?"
Credits. You know, they don't get nearly enough credit for how good this opening theme is. Aside from the Survivor-like "ya-ha" sounds, which I kind of don't love, it's a nicely thumping and highly memorable piece of music. And, of course, at the end, for those of you who are new to the project and haven't been kicking around since season two when this was discovered, it ends like this: [BOMP.] (This paragraph brought to you by The Committee To Reduce The Number Of Emails The Recapper Receives Regarding What The Hell A "BOMP" Is, Even Though It's In The FAQ. Incidentally, this is the recapper's favorite question to receive via email after "How can I get on the show?") (Hint: People legitimately working on the show probably wouldn't spend as much time as I do on the cut of Phil's pants, and if they did, they'd focus more on the cuffs and less on the goodies. I'm just saying.)