It's off to Australia, where the teams cope with a pretty beachside Detour, and then a substantially less pretty prison-bound Roadblock. Tension between MoJo and BJ and Tyler mounts after the pleasant, easygoing hippies try to make their competitors give them money by threatening to Yield those who don't, and it doesn't get any better from there. After Fran and Barry run into trouble getting a taxi, they fall behind, and Fran's performance at the Roadblock isn't enough to pull them out. While it seems like Ray and Yolanda are destined to get lost again and come in last again, it is in fact Fran and Barry who are finally bounced. For once, all of the "we're going to be laaaaast" rhetoric isn't just a lot of loose talk. In other news, BJ and Tyler beg for money (as appealing as always), Joseph and Monica bicker with surprising vigor, and Eric and Jeremy get back to what they really love -- talking about themselves and all the sweet, sweet lovin' they could be getting right now if they weren't busy racing.
Previously on Oman For All Seasons: Camels proved that they are not known as "The Seventh-Grade Drama Queens Of The Desert World" for nothing. The teams did some wandering around in search of magic boxes and hidden camel depositories, and then they found themselves at a very toasty Roadblock where dinner was buried under a mountain of sand. BJ showed why hippies are not native to Oman when he had a far more difficult time foraging than anyone else apparently did. He and Tyler arrived at the pit stop very much in last place, but they were saved by the beloved/feared non-elimination point, so all Phil did was take a bunch of what are probably very smelly clothes, along with a few trinkets and peace symbols and things obtained as thank-you gifts during NPR pledge drives. Now, we are down to five teams. Who will be eliminated...next?
Phil welcomes us back to Jabreen Castle, where there is presumably some time-lapse photography going on, or else these are some crazy-ass clouds. Maybe time just goes very quickly there, in which case I propose that all future continuing legal education seminars be held at this very location. We are reminded how the teams arrived, from the ecstatic Fran and Barry to the equally ecstatic BJ and Tyler, who are here to sound their barbaric "T-Tow!" from the rooftops. Don't worry; it will be sounding very soon. Phil wonders whether the hippie "way with people" will work to their benefit, apparently unaware that this "way" does not work on all "people," because some "people" are like "me." Phil also wonders whether Fran and Barry will hold on to the lead they manage to emerge with at the end of the previous leg. Oh, probably. What could go wrong for them, as long as there are no scary tasks, invisible clue boxes, confusing Detour choices, or meddling obstructionist dentists?
5:35 PM. Fran and Barry. The clue tells them to fly to Perth, Australia, which Phil informs us is a trip of more than 9000 miles. And yes, we are introduced to Australia via a shot of a kangaroo. Sigh. Now y'all know how people in Minnesota feel about shots of loons, and how people in Wisconsin feel about shots of Brett Favre making a "maybe, maybe not" gesture with his hands like he's weighing his options. ["Jersey gets shots of belching smokestacks. I feel Australia on that, kind of, but at least a kangaroo is not a pollutant. …I assume." -- Sars] Phil tells us that Perth is just inland from the Indian Ocean, and is the capital of Western Australia. As Fran and Barry leave, she explains that they're stopping to give money to BJ and Tyler. Because apparently, in a competition, one of your goals is to make it easier for other people to catch up with you. They're giving BJ and Tyler $20, as a result of the mugging at the close of the last leg. Barry says in an interview that he thinks the other teams now realize that they are "real competitors." However, all the other teams are "35 years younger" than they are. Their "travel experience," however, has kept them in the hunt. It certainly has not been...many of their other qualities.
5:54 PM. Joseph and Monica. As they leave, there is some talk about either giving BJ and Tyler one dollar, or just acting like they're giving them money. Joseph gives the usual speech for this point in the race about how things are starting to get very competitive, and I'm sure that, as it usually does, it means nothing except that everyone smells really crappy and they've all grown to hate each other while spending far too many hours holed up in train stations and airport coffee shops. Joseph thinks that he and Monica will be fine if they "work together and slow down." That's just what you want at this point in the race, of course -- to slow down. "I'll just be happy when the hippies are gone," Monica says in the car. "The hippies wanted us to leave money on their car." And then there is a chopped-up sequence in which she says, "They said if we didn't give them money [obvious chop] they wanted to Yield us." According to what came out on the Insider videos later, that's a bit of a misleading chop, because what apparently happened is more like: they first heard that BJ and Tyler were going to Yield them, and then they decided not to give them any money -- in other words, it wasn't a threat, according to what we heard. Not that I would put it past BJ and Tyler, certainly. But anyway, she goes on to say she doesn't think going on about Yielding people is the smartest thing BJ and Tyler could have done while they're short of cash, and I'm with her right up until the part where she refers to her team not as "MoJo," but as "the MoJo," and that simply will not do.