Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Going, Going, Goths

Mallory heads out next, feeling like she's in a parade. How do you become Miss Kentucky and run half of an Amazing Race without seeming like you've ever left the house before? Zev stumbles while trying to get on his yak, cueing an obligatory shot of laughing locals. "Give him a minute, Zev," Jet advises, also laughing. Zev does better the second time. The scenery's pretty spectacular going across the ford, with the mountains in the background and all. If this were in a movie I'd assume the entire setting was CGI. Jaime is seen getting her clue at the far side first, followed by Margie and then Cord and then Mallory, who claims her yak is "bucking." Maybe drop the volume a few notches, then, Mal. Ron repeatedly thanks the clue-vendor in Chinese so all the other re-racers can hear him. Kisha says, "I can't believe I'm actually riding a yak in China right now." I can't believe it's all they've actually had to do so far.

Once they've returned to their partners on the bank where they started from, they open clues sending them on a gondola ride to what Phil says is "an elevation nearly three miles above sea level," where they'll find Spruce Meadow and their next clue. Jaime and Cara are on their way in first place. Other teams are rushing behind them, and when they all get to the boarding platform for the gondola, they realize that they can't be rushing around like that at his altitude. "I almost just blacked out, "Jaime says. Everyone piles onto the gondolas, so they're only going higher, which should slow things down even more. Here's hoping future legs of the race occur in molasses, or that room full of motion detectors from Sneakers. In unrelated news, Christina laughs at Ron for the way he's wearing two hats at once.

Team Go Team is the first off the gondola at the top. Luke and Margie were in the car with them, but the thin air is slowing Margie down. "I'm even from Colorado and the altitude's kicking my butt," she pants. Don't feel bad; there's a difference between being from Colorado and spending your life at the top of "fourteeners," which is about where they are now. "The altitude is no joke," Flight Time agrees. Ron whines that he needs to breathe and can't keep up. But everyone makes it to the clue box at the top of a wooden path/staircase and reads the Road Block question, "Who thinks they're living a charmed life?" Most unhelpful Road Block question ever, or at least it's a tie with all the other ones.

Standing next to a big wooden windchime, Phil tells is that "according to legend, Buddha challenged the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac to a race, and their position on the zodiac chart reflects the order in which they got to the finish line. Now that mythic race is about to happen again." It's really not. Instead, Phil explains that the teams will have to search through tens of thousands of charms hanging along a long, winding, wooden walkway that meanders through this whole area. They're looking for a full set of twelve charms representing the zodiac, and will have to locate them from tens of thousands of other charms that are no good to them whatsoever. After they've found them all and hung them in the right order from the rim of a wicker cone, they'll get their next clue. Buddha's like, "That is so not what I had in mind."

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Amazing Race

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