After the ads, she says she can't, and asks if Brendon wants her to. To his credit, Brendon tells her it's her decision. I appreciate that he's not pressuring her, but I wonder how much of that is due to the fact that he also doesn't want to run the rest of the race with -- and eventually marry, depending on when their wedding is set for -- a homelier version of Sinead O'Connor any more than she wants to be one. And since she's clearly not going to do it any time soon, if at all, Brendon wisely hurries her out of there rather than waste any more time. She interviews, "Shaving my head is just such a terror for me. I spent years and years of trying to get my hair to look good." And some days she actually succeeds. She asks Brendon if he's disappointed, but he calmly maintains that it's her decision. I'm actually impressed by his maturity, at least until he adds, "If we're out, we're out." Well, he was doing okay for a while there.
Vanessa and Ralph's good luck with cabs is apparently back, because they're actually the first team to make it to the mats and matting shop. There's a stash of clues sitting on a display of matting materials out front, and Ralph opens up what turns out to be a Roadblock. "Who's at the end of their rope?" he reads. It's leg ten; who's not? Phil explains that "India's southern state of Kerala is known as the land of coconut trees, producing almost 70% of India's supply." How nice for them. The we cut to the inside of a bare, barn-like structure, where two women are at work. Behind them, Phil tells us that the racers will have to use coconut husks to spin forty feet of rope "in this 50-year-old facility." That appears to be what the women in the foreground are doing. They've got large fabric pouches full of loose fibers tied around their waists, with lengths of rough twine stretched taut in front of them to some point off-camera, and they're slowly backing up as they're somehow transforming those loose husks into rope. I literally have no idea how they're actually accomplishing this.
After the racers have done it long enough to have produced forty feet of rope, they'll then have to wind four large skeins of completed rope onto one spindle to get their next clue. Why couldn't they have doubled up tasks earlier in the season, when they were already easier? In any case, Ralph will be doing this, primarily because Vanessa clearly wants him to. He picks one of the women who work there as his instructor, gets a sarong wound around his waist for some reason, and gets led through the barn as Vanessa expresses her confidence that he can do this. Inside, Ralph hooks a length of husks around a spinning eyelet to start the rope, with a pouch of more husks at his waist, just like the instructor next to him. "Steady hands," Vanessa adds as Ralph drops the pouch. I'm starting to think she's angling for my job.