TAR All-Stars: Episode 9

Despite Mirna’s pleas, Yield Karma failed to make an appearance this episode.

This leg of The Amazing Race: All-Stars began in the middle of the night, with teams heading to the Kuala Lumpur airport, where they would try to finagle the fastest tickets to Hong Kong. As Mirna & Charla traveled to the airport, Mirna repeatedly talked about the "Yield Karma" Beauty Queens Dustin & Kandice would suffer for having Yielded Eric & Danielle on the previous leg. And Mirna intended to act as karma’s agent, dishing out the justice herself.

All four of the teams arrived at the airport before any of the ticket counters were open, and rather than wait in a ticketing queue, Oswald & Danny went straight to airline offices. They managed to talk their way into being placed first on the wait list for the two earliest flights.

While all of the teams waited to learn their wait list fate, Charla & Mirna approached Eric with a pact to eliminate the Beauty Queens before the teams were whittled to three. Of course, Eric agreed. "Whatever it takes," promised Mirna. "No more giggly, bubbly phoniness."

Oswald & Danny were the only team to make the first flight out, and they arrived in Hong Kong at 11:55 a.m. As soon as their seats on that flight were confirmed, they gave the reservation code they had procured for the second flight to Charla & Mirna.

While talking to two agents at the same counter, Charla & Mirna and Dustin & Kandice tried to make their case for being first on the waiting list for the second flight (which arrived at 12:55 p.m.). Oswald & Danny’s code was technically first, but Dustin & Kandice’s names were actually on the list — Charla & Mirna’s weren’t.

Dustin & Kandice won the contest between the agents, even though the victory was short lived. Charla & Mirna made the flight as well.

Eric & Danielle, who’d unsuccessfully tried to exchange some of their foreign cash, were the third team the counter and weren’t able to get on the flight. Instead, they were forced to take a flight that arrived at 3:20 p.m.

Oswald & Danny reached the first clue at a dry cleaner, and they were thrilled to find a Fast Forward inside. It gave them an easy opportunity to extend their lead.

The Fast Forward was especially good for Oswald & Danny, because of their dire financial situation. Danny had spent all of their cash during the last leg in order to complete a Roadblock, and being able to head straight to the Pit Stop after only one task meant they wouldn’t have to waste money traveling by taxi to multiple locations.

Additionally, their Fast Forward task was exceptionally cool. Hong Kong is one of the action movie capitals of the world, so Oswald & Danny had to participate in a high-speed car stunt. After the car skidded to a halt, the would receive their next clue.

What Oswald & Danny didn’t know is that, after speeding through an obstacle course, the car would partially flip and skid to a halt on its side, before finally tipping back onto what was left of its tires. Oswald kept his eyes closed for most of the stunt and was more than happy to get out of the now-partially-wrecked car.

Oswald & Danny drove themselves to the Pit Stop at the Hong Kong Jockey Club, spending the last of their money on toll roads along the way. Phil Keoghan informed them that, for finishing in first place, they’d be returning to Hong Kong, celebrating Chinese New Year and staying in one of the city’s luxury hotels.

The second plane touched down in Hong Kong at just before 1 p.m., and one of the teams on board spent the rest of the leg beset by such bad decision-making and bad luck that some might consider it karmic retribution. Only the cursed team wasn’t the Beauty Queens; it was Charla & Mirna.

The cousins reached the dry cleaners in first place and, correctly assuming that the Fast Forward had already been taken, set out in a cab to complete one of the two Detour options: Kung Fu Fighting or Lost in Translation.

For Kung Fu Fighting, they would have to scale bamboo scaffolding on the side of an 11-story building as martial artists on ropes swung by them, engaged in mock battle.

For Lost in Translation, the cousins were given the name of a street and told to use a photograph of a sign to find a specific store. However, there were hundreds of stores on the same street, all with similar looking signs written only in Chinese characters.

Charla & Mirna first directed their cabbie toward the Kung Fu task, but weren’t sure if Charla would be tall enough to complete the task easily. So they turned the cab around and headed toward the shops.

Then they realized that it would be very hard to tell the signs apart, and they had their cab head back toward the Kung Fu task. But their cabbie didn’t know where it was, and they had to stop and ask for directions.

By the time the cousins finally reached the 11-story building, Dustin & Kandice had already eluded the flying karate guys and finished the task. The clue atop the building sent the Beauty Queens to the Star Ferry terminal, where they caught a ferry to Hong Kong Island.

On Hong Kong Island, teams needed to take a cab to an abandoned building that once housed the police headquarters. There, one team member completed a kung-fu style Roadblock, kicking down doors and searching rooms for a clue.

Kandice kicked the doors with gusto and found the clue with relative ease. The clue directed teams to drive five miles to Victoria Park, where a popular activity for children is playing with model boats in a pond.

Each team chose a model junk attached to a rope, and had to slowly pull it across the pond without pitching a wooden product placement gnome into the water. Once the boat was safely across, teams found inside it a clue directing them to drive to the Pit Stop.

Dustin & Kandice completed the task with ease and reached the Pit Stop with plenty of daylight to spare.

Charla & Mirna completed the kung-fu climb without incident, and told their waiting cab driver "Star Ferry, Hong Kong Island." Mirna was a little suspicious when the cab passed under a tunnel, but it was only when they were already on the ferry that a fellow passenger confirmed what she’d feared: the cabbie had driven them all the way to Hong Kong Island, and now they were traveling on a ferry from Hong Kong Island — completely in the wrong direction.

As they made the return trip back to Hong Kong Island, Mirna checked her watch. It was approximately 3:45 p.m., and Eric & Danielle had arrived in Hong Kong nearly thirty minutes before.

When Mirna & Charla reached the Old Police Headquarters, Charla wanted to do the Roadblock: "My legs are strong, and I like to kick things." It took her a while, but she was able to find the clue. Then the cousins hit the road, which is where things usually go wrong for them.

The sky was already turning dark, and it was rush hour in Hong Kong. The cousins drove in a circle before finally finding the park and pulling their boat across the water.

Mirna & Charla followed a cab to the Pit Stop and reached the mat — without them (or Yield Karma) having done anything all leg to negatively impact the Beauty Queens.

Eric & Danielle completed the same Detour task as everyone else, and Eric kicked down doors for the team. Then they got stuck in rush hour traffic, and an otherwise well-played afternoon in Hong Kong fell to pieces.

Eric ignored Danielle’s suggestion to hire a cab and follow it, insisting on reading the map himself as he drove. As they passed the same gas station they’d driven by minutes before, Danielle was at her breaking point.

When asked why he wouldn’t hire a cab, Eric replied, "It’s a pain in the ass." Danielle asked, "This isn’t a pain in the ass? Just guessing where we’re going?"

Once he was somehow able to convince himself that it was sort of his own idea, Eric hired a cab, and they reached the Pit Stop in last place. Fortunately for them, it was a non-elimination leg. Eric & Danielle need to finish the next leg in first place, or they will incur a thirty minute penalty.

After two trying legs in a row, Eric & Danielle’s enthusiasm for the race seemed to be waning. When told they hadn’t been eliminated, Eric said, "I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing." When Phil asked if they’d be able to fight their way into the final three, Danielle replied, "I don’t know."

It doesn’t look as if Eric & Danielle are completely out of the running yet. Next week, it looks like they may form a partnership with Oswald & Danny to Yield one of the other teams. Is there any chance that the team isn’t Dustin & Kandice?

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