TAR 10: Episode 4

Past penalties and current currents finally took their toll on Tom
& Terry. Their defeated mood made the setbacks insurmountable, and
they were the next team eliminated from The Amazing Race.

The
Cho Brothers, Erwin & Godwin, left the previous leg’s Pit Stop at 10:55 p.m., giving them less than an hour’s lead over the last place team. The clue directed
teams to travel by cab into Hanoi to Ly Thai To Garden, where they
needed to listen for their next clue.

On their way to the cabs,
teams needed to pick up some local currency from an old man at a table.
With a straight face, beauty queens Dustin & Kandice told the old
man, “We’re here to pick up our dong.”

Teams arrived at the park
and noticed that the Public Address system was blaring a message that
began in English: “Attention racers…” The announcement instructed
teams to take a cab to a bus station, and then take a bus 103 miles to
the Hydrofoil Harbor in Ha Long Bay.

Several teams wrote down
approximations of the confusing names of their destinations, while
others were clever enough to have their cabbies get out of the car and
listen to the message with them. Tyler & James chose the latter
option and were first team to hit the road.

Trying to cut
corners, Rob & Kimberly told their cab driver to follow Tyler &
James. They soon lost the other cab in heavy traffic and were forced to
return to the park.

His anger rising, Rob pulled their bags from
the cab, found a new driver, and had him listen to the announcement.
The new driver indicated that he understood, but drove them in a
circle. “He’s just toying with us right now,” Rob muttered.

When
they returned to the park for a second time, Rob & Kimberly found
their third cabbie. He did understand the directions, but Rob wasn’t
any happier. “I’m done talking with foreigners,” he declared. That
strategy could have worked for him if he’d raced in the Family Edition,
but it won’t fly here.

The bus to Ha Long Bay departed at 5
a.m., with all of the teams aboard. When they arrived at the Hydrofoil
Harbor, teams found their next clue. It was a Roadblock that asked,
“Who’s got strong arms and legs?”

For this Roadblock, one team
member would use a mechanical ascender to climb a sheer rock face. The
ascenders are a TAR staple, because they’re difficult to get used to
and require a lot of strength and coordination.

Teams climbed in
the order they arrived at a floating platform, just under the rock
face. Because there we only three ascenders, some teams would have to
wait for previous teams to finish.

The teams ran from the
cluebox to the individual speedboats that would take them to the
platform. Dustin & Kandice cut in front of single moms Lyn &
Karlyn and jumped into their boat. Dustin cut her leg during the jump,
and the mothers felt that was a fitting punishment for cutting them off.

David
& Mary, Tom & Terry, and Rob & Kimberly reached the
platform first. David, Terry, and Rob were their teams’
representatives, and they began their ascent up the wall. Lyn &
Karlyn and Erwin & Godwin were the next teams to arrive, and Karlyn
and Godwin were forced to wait for their turns to ascend.

Sarah
was eager to do her first Roadblock on the race — until she saw the
first racers climbing the wall using only their arm strength and one
foot in a rope stirrup to push them upward. Her nervous tension grew as
she waited on the platform, and Peter didn’t help matters by shouting
out comments like, “Hold that handicapped placard out and tell them
you’re next.”

Rob was the first racer down the wall, receiving a
clue that directed his team to nearby Sung Sot Cave. As Karlyn took
over on Rob’s ascender, Lyn, in an effort to both shock and encourage
her teammate, yelled, “If you can have a baby without anesthesia, you
can climb this rock!”

As other climbers came down, Godwin went
up the wall next, followed by Sarah. She struggled at first to find her
balance, and her leg became tangled in the rope. She calmed herself
down enough to find a good rhythm and was on her way.

All the
while, Peter lounged in the boat, shouting cliched motivational phrases
to Sarah and only half paying attention to what she was doing.

When
the next ascender became available, Tyler took off, passing Sarah. She
wasn’t pleased about being passed, but climbed on, reaching the top not
long after him. Dustin was the last racer to finish the wall.

Over
at Sung Sot Cave, Rob & Kimberly searched the cave for the next
clue. In their eagerness to pass the milling sightseers, Rob hit his
head on the cave’s low ceiling. After a good while searching, they
found the clue. It was the leg’s Detour: “Over or Under.”

In Over, teams traveled by junk
to a buoy, and then boarded into a flat-bottomed rowboat called a
sampan. They then rowed to a supply ship, loaded up their little boat
with supplies, and delivered the goods to two addresses in a nearby
floating village. When finished, they rowed back to the supply ship.

In
Under, teams also traveled by junk to the buoy, but this time they
rowed to a nearby pearl farm. Teams had to follow a string of sunken
oyster pots, lift 30 pots from the water, and deliver them to the pearl
farmer.

For both tasks, the biggest impediment to success was
the sampan. The oars of the little boats were placed just far enough
apart that teams couldn’t tell if it was supposed to be rowed by one
person or two. Add to that strong winds, choppy seas, and — in the
cases of those who’d done the Roadblock — weary arms, and piloting the
boat became an epic undertaking.

Rob & Kimberly decided to
do Under, but that was about the only thing they agreed upon. Rob was
mad at Kimberly because he didn’t know how to row. After some
discussion, they each took an oar and zigzagged to the destination.
There, Rob punched the water when he couldn’t see the oyster pots
underneath the water.

Kimberly kicked Rob to the other side of
the boat, spotting pot after pot and hoisting them up. It became Rob’s
job to just sit still and avoid tipping the boat.

The only team
who had any success rowing was Tyler & James. They made their way
to the pearl farm with relative ease, while everyone else got lost or
drifted as they tried to find a way to steer their boat.

Trapped
in a tiny boat, team members had nowhere to vent their frustrations
except at each other. Godwin shouted at Erwin, “The reason we’re going
this way is because you’re doing something wrong!”

Even
though Peter had yelled encouragement to Sarah the whole time she
climbed, he snapped at her when she tried to do the same as he rowed:
“Don’t encourage me!” Even when pointing out a marker or direction,
Peter snapped, “Stop talking.”

Rob & Kimberly finished their
string of oyster pots just as Tyler & James arrived. Tom &
Terry joined them, having abandoned their original plan to do the Over
task when their haphazard rowing brought them closer to Under. Erwin
& Godwin were right behind.

Soon, Peter & Sarah also
arrived at Under. Peter was in a foul mood. First he shouted because he
couldn’t see the pots at the end of the line. Then he shoved Tom &
Terry’s boat, because part of it had drifted into their path. And,
after he and Sarah nearly swamped their boat from leaning out the same
side, he said that he wanted to quit the Race.

Sarah continued
to pull pots, and eventually Peter decided to help out. During his
tantrum, David & Mary arrived, after abandoning their attempt to
find the other task.

After finishing the task, Rob &
Kimberly delivered their pots to the oyster farmer and received their
next clue: row back to the junk and ride it nine miles to the Pit Stop,
on Soi Sim Island.

Their sizable lead didn’t keep the couple
from arguing. When Rob protested, “I know how to row,” Kimberly shot
back, “I forgot, you went to school for that.”

Elsewhere on the
high seas, Lyn & Karlyn arrived at the supply ship, the only team
able to find the Over task. They delivered their supplies with ease,
and they were impressed by the floating village. But their trip back to
the supply ship was hampered by strong winds, and they seemed to lose
as much ground as they gained.

As they completed the Under task,
Tyler & James rowed to their junk, followed by Erwin & Godwin
and Peter & Sarah. Peter rowed up to the junk and hopped in, only
returning to help Sarah when she asked him to.

Aboard the ship,
Sarah told Peter, “You did awesome.” He just looked at his elbow. She
told him she was mad that she’s never allowed to give up on anything,
but he’s willing to quit as soon as things get difficult. And in an
interview, Sarah said that her feelings toward Peter have changed.

Sarah
took some comfort, as her junk passed Erwin & Godwin’s boat, and
then Tyler & James’s boat. Tyler & James couldn’t understand
why their boat was so slow. Eventually, their captain realized he’d
forgotten to pull up anchor.

In last place, Dustin & Kandice
arrived at the pearl farm. By then, an exhausted and demoralized Tom
& Terry had only pulled up half of their pots. The girls managed to
finish their entire string in the time it took Tom & Terry to pull
seven pots.

Misreading their next clue, the beauty queens
thought they were supposed to row their sampan to the Pit Stop (nine
miles away). When they stopped on an island beach to reread their clue,
Kandice realized it had had been torn to wet shreds in her pocket. She
and Dustin finally decided to return to the junk, as they vaguely
remembered something about riding on it. Leaving the island, Dustin
said, “Let me cry as I paddle.”

At nearly the same time, Tom
& Terry finished their task and made their way to the junk, against
currents and wind. Frustrated with the fruitless rowing, Tom leapt out
of the boat and pulled it the rest of the way. He collapsed in the
sampan and needed to be helped into the junk.

Terry was
impressed at the lengths Tom was willing to go for them. “You pulled
the frickin’ boat,” Terry said in amazement. “I had to,” sobbed Tom.

Rob
& Kimberly received a pair of jet skis for their first place
finish. They were followed by Peter & Sarah, Tyler & James,
Erwin & Godwin, David & Mary, Lyn & Karlyn, and Dustin
& Kandice. Tom & Terry arrived last and were eliminated.

Next week: The beauty queens take on an alligator. Meanwhile, Sarah’s opinion of Peter plunges just a little more.