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TV Review: The Amazing Race 9 – Episode 8

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Perhaps the desert sun was beating down, but I was shivering; shivering in fear that my favorite team would hear the words, “I’m sorry to tell you, but you’ve been eliminated.” Yes, we’re due for a non-Philimination leg, maybe even overdue for one. Usually the non-elims save teams I want to go away. So, what happens on this week’s The Amazing Race?


Five teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

The show opened on the southern tip of Greece where the teams spent 12 hours in a mandatory rest period at the last Pit Stop. The “Frat Boys” Eric and Jeremy (also known as HornDogz and Surfer Jerks) were the first to depart as they had arrived first in the last leg of the race. The clue directed them to take one of two charter buses to the airport where they would head to Muskat, Oman. That’s near Saudi Arabia. The hitch was that there were two buses, one leaving an hour after the other. All the teams except one got aboard the first bus, set to go at 9 AM. Oh, no! The team running an hour behind? Fan favorites and my personal favorite team of BJ and Tyler! Waaaah!

They took it in stride, though. They pretended the empty bus carried not only them, but the teams eliminated thus far during the race. BJ did a spot-on impersonation of Lake and I smiled despite the fact that my team was already starting behind all the others.

[ADBLOCKHERE]Once the teams arrived at the airport, it happened all over again. All the teams except for BJ/Tyler ended up on one flight. BJ and Tyler took a flight that landed in Oman an hour later, as the first one was full. Life just ain’t fair, I tell ya! Oh, wait. Maybe it is fair. Maybe it’s a bunching point that will even up all leads once again. They were supposed to find this huge incense-burner building and sure enough, its opening time allowed all the teams to run for the clue at approximately the same time. Phew!

The Incense Clue directed the teams to the town of Sur, about 135 miles away. They had to find the ferry crossing, which held their next clue. All of the teams were impressed by the country, as was I. Stunning architecture, interesting people. But we didn’t have time to dawdle – there’s a race to be run!

In a bit of Revenge of the Nerds, Fran and Barry passed Jeremy and Eric. I loved it! Monica/Joe and Ray/Yolanda both got quite lost. Ray and Yolanda fought from the start of the leg, too. Too bad, so sad. The teams had to drive their four-wheel drive vehicles through sands and floods. In the latter, a native of the area on foot led them through the water. BJ/Tyler knew how to say “thank you” in Arabic. Cool. The phonetic pronunciation is SUE-cah-ron. I learned something new.

The clue received at the ferry was for a Detour – a choice of two tasks, each usually having a cultural glimpse into the area. The choice this time was Camel or Watchtower. After I stopped humming “All Along the Watchtower,” I noted that most of the teams chose Watchtower, in which teams had to find a cluebox located in one of three watchtowers. Not all the watchtowers held clues, some held multiple clues and it was first find, first get clue. Once the clue was found, they had to deliver it. It was a very ornate silver doohickey containing the clue. I want one! BJ/Tyler and Fran/Barry teamed up and got the first clues! Woohoo for the Hippies and the Oldsters!

The Frat Juniors chose Camel as their task. They had to use a block and tackle to raise a camel into the back of a pickup truck, then deliver the camel to receive their clue. They had been first, but got incredibly lost driving what should have been a few minutes to deliver the camel. Joe and Monica, who changed tasks, beat them. Ray and Yolanda, running last, took only a few minutes for the delivery, if you can believe the editing.

The clue after the Detour led to a village 80 miles away towards sand dunes and desert territory. (Not to be confused with dessert territory, in which I have a personal expertise!) Uh-oh, it’s a Roadblock – a task only one member of a team can complete. This one looked miserable. There were 117 sand mounds. The chosen team member had to dig for what was actually food cooking in a sand oven … in the heat. BJ and Tyler got there first, but it was the second arrivals, Fran and Barry, who found the food first.

Here’s where my boys ran into trouble. All of the teams arrived after them and BJ was still digging long after all the other teams left. And, they knew the clue they’d receive directed teams to the next Pit Stop (Jabreen Castle) where one team may be eliminated. Oh, no! Horrors! BJ looked like he was going to pass out! The bickering Ray and Yolanda beat them! Jeremy and Eric got hopelessly lost once again and beat them! Everyone beat them! I was about to have a panic attack for my favorite team, yes I was!

I knew deep down that a non-elimination leg was overdue. Please, please, Phil! As the boys said, “The Eliminator will not eliminate us!” They never lost their spirit even though BJ was visibly exhausted. I was on the edge of my seat.

The arrival order at the Pit Stop was:

1. Fran/Barry. Oh, my. Who woulda thunk it? They also won a Rome vacations. Good for them.
2. Monica/Joe
3. Ray/Yolanda
4. Eric/Jeremy
5. SNIFFLE – BJ/Tyler arrived clicking their heels and happy even though they knew they were last.

But … yay! It is indeed a non-Philimination leg. They’re still in the race! TTOW!

I’m so happy that for once a non-elimination leg saved a team I wanted to remain in the race. These two guys are upbeat, intelligent and just plain fun. I love how they’ve known at least some of each language in each country though which they’ve traveled. I love how they root on Fran and Barry. I love that, while they’re definitely competitive, they’re not mean to anyone. I want them to win.

What team’s your favorite? Did you think Fran and Barry would ever make a first-place finish?

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  • Scott Butki

    Is Fran/Barry the older couple? I know relatives of them.

  • Mak

    FRAN AND BARRY ROCKS!!! I AM SO HAPPY FOR THEM!!! I SCREAMED IN FRONT OF MY TV WHEN I SAW THAT!!! I wished the frats could got in last position and got philiminated!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    Fran and Barry are spunky, you have to give them kudos for hanging in there and doing so well. BJ and Tyler are our favorites. BJ’s impersonation of Lake had us in stitches.

  • Scott Butki

    I think I need to email a friend about how Fran and Barry are doing. That’s cool they moved into first.

  • alicia riggle

    hi i am so glad bj and thomas won they r really nice people i am so happy for them .thanks