Amazing Race
I Need Hair to Be Pretty

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M. Giant: B- | Grade It Now!
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Slow Forward

Vanessa and Ralph start out at 7:32 AM, so it took the Border Patrol at least four minutes to clear the mat last week. Ralph interviews that they always race as though they're in last place. "Which typically is the case," Vanessa points out with a rueful laugh, and also correctly. Ralph adds that Vanessa isn't that into physical activity, being an old and all (keep in mind she's 38 and looks 25). That won't come back to haunt them this leg or anything. They get into a cab while Art and JJ are still trying to flag one down.

That leaves just one team to go: Bopper and Mark, whom we once again check in with in their hotel room, at what the subtitle tells us is "Three Hours Before Pit Start." Pit start: still not a phrase. Bopper tells us that Mark, who is currently sacked out on the bed, "has not been right" since the dance challenge that nearly killed him last week. In fact, dude has an IV in his arm there in the hotel room, but he woozily says he's still in the race. Yikes. If nothing else, that IV stand is going to slow him down if it comes down to a footrace to the mat. "Come on!" "There's Phil!" "Let's go!" Ree-ee, ree-ee, ree-ee, ree-ee...

Other Rachel and Dave's auto rickshaw delivers them to "Temple," where the head priest and an attendant greet them, daub a little red paint on their foreheads, and hand over some lotus blossoms presented on wide green leaves. Dave interviews about being respectful of one's elders, but the minute they're clear of the priest he rather awkwardly holds both their salads while Rachel opens the clue. There's a Fast Forward inside -- the third one of this race, which I think is rather unusual -- but Dave reminds her that they've already done one and can't do another, at least until they come back for the next "all-star" season. Instead, they have to go to a place "Pattanacaud Coir Mats and Matting." Back to their taxi. A little early in the episode to be going to the mat, isn't it? Or maybe they'll have to weave their own.

Brendon and Rachel make it to Temple as we hear Rachel talk about how it's not her religion, but she appreciated the experience. Rachel's religion, for the record, is the Church of Brenchel. Sacraments include gloating when things go well, whining when they don't, threatening to break up and/or quit in a huff, and generally offending everyone around you. Rachel's the pope. Brendon talks about the honor of being in the place where Gandhi came from. I assume he means not this temple, or even Cochin, as far as I can see, but India in general. They must have taken Mahatma Gandhi Road through town to get here, and that's what made Brendon think of it. After they get their blessing and clue, Rachel realizes that Other Rachel and Dave, the only team ahead of them, aren't eligible for the Fast Forward, so they decide to go for it. Which they will both regret. But first, Phil shows up to remind us that the Fast Forward allows the team that wins it to skip everything else and go straight to the Pit Stop, as if there haven't already been two of those this season. In this case, they'll have to get to another temple and find two priests who are waiting out front. They're sitting on a mat, with pillows facing them and some kind of small shrine standing between them. There are also some very specific items in front of the shrine, but to mention what they are right now would constitute a spoiler. For now, Team Big Brother rushes off to find it.

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Amazing Race

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