Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
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Playing Dirty

Phil tells us, "The Japanese have included may colorful rituals in their lives. Some have religious significance, others are just for fun." Like the people throwing mud at each other in the field behind Phil, one assumes. He says that the choice is between two ceremonies called "Prayer of Purity" and "Frog of Luck." For purity, they'll participate in a Shinto religious cleansing ritual. They'll put on "traditional wardrobe" (which looks a lot like a karate student's uniform to me, complete with white belt), learn a vocal and physical prayer that involves a bo staff, and then stand under a waterfall whose source is the snowmelt from atop Mt. Fuji. Brr! "The temperature of this water is about 45 degrees," Phil hollers over the torrent, "And teams will have to stand under this cascading water for one minute to receive their next clue." Not exactly long enough to experience erosion.

For "Frog of Luck," teams "strip down" (actually they change into diapers) and get into a muddy field. "Then, as onlookers pelt them with mud," they'll have to root around in the muck looking for a little plastic frog, "which is a symbol of luck in Japan." After finding one, they'll give it to the grand master -- who is also wearing a diaper, unlike most of the grand masters you encounter in everyday life -- and he'll give them their next clue. Both Zev/Justin and Gary/Mallory are doing Frog of Luck.

The Globetrotters arrive before they're fully away, and Ron and Christina arrive while Flight Time and Big Easy are still deciding on Prayer of Purity. You can see the Globetrotters standing and facing their camera in the background of Ron and Christina's shot, but the camera itself remains studiously out of frame. Ron and Christina will also be doing Prayer of Purity. Jen and Kisha arrive, having dropped to fifth place as a result of their navigational problems (as they always do), and opt for Frog of Luck.

Jaime and Cara arrive at the dojo in last place, and Jaime will be doing this one. They're both pleasantly surprised to see other teams still there, indicating that they're still in the race. Jaime apologizes to the person helping her get dressed, "I'm sorry if I smell." She's also worried about her aim with the bow and arrow. At a range of six feet, she probably needn't worry.

Luke scores his target. Cord boasts, "I'm from Oklahoma. I've shot a bow and arrow, I feel right at home." Except he probably shoots from farther away. He hits the target as well, with a Japanese cowboy whoop. Kent lets out a long, dorky, overly-theatrical moan that has everyone in earshot rolling their eyes before he lets fly. "Mastah, sank you," he says, getting his clue, like people who speak a different language will understand yours better if you speak in it a cheesy version of what you think their accent is. When Mike's turn comes to shoot the bow and arrow, he looks so shaky and awkward and dorky on the horse that he looks more like a Mike White character than the actual Mike White, but a hit's a hit, and he's done. Now that everyone else is gone, Jaime is looking worried all over again.

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Amazing Race

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