What about Brian and Ericka's goal in coming on the race, to prove to her family that they were a good couple? Sounds like that was accomplished. Brian calls it a complete one-eighty, and Ericka says her mom used the phrase "My son-in-law, Brian," for the first time just a few months ago. Sounds like they met their goal.
Lance and Keri are here. I hear him telling someone that he had actually been trying to get on Survivor for a while, but wound up on the race instead. One wonders what Lance on Survivor would be like without Keri's moderating influence on him. Or maybe not "wonders" so much as "dreads." In every photo he takes with someone, he keeps posing with his arm flexed. Despite that, he seems quite laid-back and humble. I ask him what he thinks of this whole scene and he says they love it. "It's nice to be popular." Aw. Who would have expected Lance to be the nicest racer out of all of them?
Someone asks Tiffany where Maria is. Tiffany says she didn't come because she's sick. Indeed. I suspect Maria got sick of all things Amazing Race somewhere in Cambodia and never went back.
Also not present are Mika and Canaan. In my mind, they're in a hotel room somewhere in town, with Canaan weeping in panic over facing the crowds and the city and Mika trying browbeat, trick, and physically force him onto the elevator. But if that were the case, eventually Mika would show up alone, having abandoned him crying up there, so she could brag to us about her capacity for forgiveness. And that doesn't happen, so I guess I need to come up with an alternate scenario.
And the last conspicuously absent person? Phil himself, who is of course elsewhere, filming TAR16 in some far-flung part of the world. With Jeff and Jordan, as everyone at the party already seems to know. I'm so looking forward to recapping them again. But my goodness, will we have a lot to talk about if the three of us meet up here in another six months.
I rather rudely ditch out on a conversation with a poster when I overhear Matt's girlfriend Matt and some other folks asking Sam what was up with the blurring in the Estonian mud volleyball court, and if he was really so into it that he had to be censored. Sam jokes that no, it's just that he's got it going on there in front. I don't think he entirely gets it himself.
At Justin's suggestion and also because I wanted to anyway, I meet Zev. Like everyone else, he's quite friendly, but unlike Justin, he was unable to watch the rest of the season at all, saying it's just too hard to know it could have been them. He tells me about the aftermath of the passport loss and its recovery at the end of the weekend (which I thought was the same day), and says that that way, it was like getting two vacations: one in Phnom Penh and one at the Elimination Station. I certainly never would have guessed from talking to him that he has Asperger's Syndrome. I suppose that's the kind of thing that's a lot easier to diagnose on TV. Later, Brian declares to a small crowd that Zev is the funniest person on The Amazing Race ever (in addition to being the nicest).