Amazing Race

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M. Giant: A- | 1 USERS: A+
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The Squid and the Fail

While Margie and Luke are driving to Tiananmen Square, they stop for directions and the sisters pass them. Jen and Kisha get to the clue box in second place, and opt for opera. In their cab, Kisha says she wants to be the princess. "I've never been a princess my whole life, so maybe this is my opportunity to be a princess," she laughs. Jen says something indulgent and then makes a hilarious "whatever" face. It's probably funnier if you happen to know something that the show has never bothered to tell us, which is that Kisha does not, as we used to say, like boys that way.

Margie|Luke and Team Go Team make the same call when they reach the clue box, and Margie is the first to secure a cab. "Last ones to the taxi, as usual," Jaime complains as their allies pull away from the curb.

Tammy and Victor find the restaurant, and as they hurry inside to the dining room, Victor says, "If we can't do this task, Mom and Dad will kill us." "Very shameful", Tammy agrees. And yes, the italics mean they're already practicing their Mandarin. Because this leg is all about finding cute things for the gnome to do, it gets to sit at the table's empty seat while Tammy and Victor start taking orders. The first order is for an item whose Mandarin name translates into "Good Luck Fish," according to the subtitles. But Tammy and Victor mistranslate it into English as "Good Luck Squid." Very shameful. Next are "Vegetarian Noodles," "Fried Chicken," "New Taste Beef," and "Golden Pork Spare Ribs." Satisfied with what they've written down, they hurry back to the kitchen. In an interview, Victor explains how they screwed this up: "The slightest difference in sound or intonation completely changes the meaning of the word." Sure, blame it on Mandarin being a tonal language. But I happen to know (okay, I looked it up) that the word for fish is yu, while squid is youyu.. Shame. SHAME! So they go to the chef and read off their orders, beginning with "Good Luck Squid." They're amazed when they get to the end and he tells them it's wrong. "Wrong?" they both ask. "Just go back," the chef says. They do. Knowing Mandarin is even an advantage when they screw up.

Jen and Kisha arrive at the opera house, which at least for today is marked with a big red-and-yellow sign with Chinese characters and the English word "OPERAHOUSE." They find their way into the dressing room, where a couple are sitting in makeup chairs, serving as models for the makeup and costumes. I assume these are students or workers or at best interns and not actual Beijing Opera stars who had to roll out of bed for a makeup call ten hours before curtain. The "gentleman's" face is mostly painted in a fat red "M," with white triangles sweeping up severely from the bridge of his nose. The "princess" sports a more familiar geisha-type look (hey, if the lead in Memoirs of Geisha can be played by a Chinese actress, I certainly don't need to hold this recap to a higher standard). Kisha sits in the chair and Jen gets to work painting her up. Given that this is traditional opera, with performers apparently projecting themselves to back rows that are several miles away, subtlety is not the order of the day. "I look like a damn clown," Kisha complains. Jen assures her that it's fine, but allows, "You're gonna scare a lot of children." She's finishing up Kisha's eye makeup when Luke and Margie show up. "Dammit!" Margie says when she spots the sisters already there. Well, hello to you, too. As we see them set up, we hear the sisters say that they don't have any ill will towards Margie and Luke. "But...if we had an opportunity to do something that will put them behind in the game then we will definitely utilize that." And Luke interviews through Margie, "We want to beat Kisha and Jen. I hope Kisha and Jen are not in the final three." So glad to see that everyone's moved on from that ugly incident two weeks ago.

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Amazing Race

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