Anyway, they all go sit down in the adjoining theater and the performance begins. And it's easy to mock it, what with performers marching around in formation with the Vietnamese flag both on poles in their hands and on their shirts, and the Sousa melody paired with a disco beat, and the subtitled lyrics translated on the screen: "Vietnam Communist Party is glorious/The light is guiding us to victor/ Long live independence and freedom/Our land does not forget the truth in your name," and so on, sung by a trio of earnest youths wearing neckties. The racers bop along gamely in the audience, Katie actually cracking me up by saying, "It's like One Direction!" I actually won't argue that this isn't better than some of the crap I've watched on American Idol and The X Factor.
As the cheerleaders in knee-length skirts come onstage waving their big flowers and the lyrics go on about Vietnam coming into the spring and the century of light, they finish up by showing the cameras and the audience of racers the winning phrase. With that, the five-minute clock starts and the Roadblockers rush to the next room, where most of them are immediately overwhelmed by the array of posters laid out before them. And these are no neighborhood plays; Chuck interviews that it had to be down to the letter, as we zoom in on one poster that has a "thank" in place of a "thanh" in the ten-word phrase. (And no, I'm not bothering with the diacritical marks -- I'm covering five and a half hours of TV a week here, people.) Anthony grabs one and runs it back into the theater to show one of the singers, but there's a "quars" where there should be a "quang," so he's out of luck. Jennifer runs into the same problem with a different poster and Chuck has one with a "jhe" instead of a "the." I'm starting to think most of these posters don't even make sense in Vietnamese. And I'm almost sure when Meghan presents a poster that instead of "nien" reads "Jetson." Oh, come on, Jane, stop this crazy thing. It's like if non-English speakers had to disregard posters that read "Glory to our hung generation." Okay, bad example. Katie also has the quars/quang problem. She goes back for another try, not wanting to wait for the next performance. Pam, meanwhile, comes into this with an advantage. No, it's not that she's Asian-American, you racist, it's because she's an art director for films and commercials, which she credits for her superior visual memory. And sure enough, she's the first to come up with a correct poster. She and Winnie are in first place as they open the clue telling them to go to Cong Vien Thong Nhat to participate in the Vietnamese Bamboo Dance. We see a glimpse of this before they go and for now I'll just say that it looks like something else designed solely to destroy even more racers' ankles. As Pam & Winnie leave, more teams are getting wrong guesses and their time is up. For the second performance, Beth and Meghan sit together and split up the quote between them. Might as well, now that everyone knows about their alliance anyway. Pam & Winnie are in their cab by the time the second performance is over, but their lead is going to be limited; Chuck gets the next one right, as do Jennifer and Katie. Meghan finds one poster with the correct quote, but she sticks with Beth to help her find a second one so they can both get out of there. But then the clock runs out again and Meghan has to hang hers back up on the rack, where anyone can grab it after the third performance. Which, oddly, the racers don't appear to be enjoying nearly as much as they did the first one.