Fanny Packs and Set Backs in Tokyo on 'The Amazing Race'
Fanny Packs and Set Backs in Tokyo on 'The Amazing Race'
Last week, Amanda and Kris were eliminated in Australia, leaving them with even further unfinished business. You may have missed it because of The Oscars, which were not nearly as interesting as people jumping around the outback in giant kangaroo suits. Tonight the teams are going to Tokyo, Japan!

Zev and Justin are first to go to depart, but most of the teams have memories of previous challenges in Japan. Business gets finished TODAY. Mel is feeling better by the hour. Is anyone else finding themselves falling in love with Kent and Vyxsin? I was expecting not to like them but they're entertaining. I also (still) love Zev and Justin, who have elected to call themselves "the special kid and his friend."

Margie and Luke and Mike and Mel meet up at a travel agency and discover a flight that would get them in fifteen minutes earlier than the direct flight, but no one is willing to risk taking a connecting flight. It started to look like everyone would be on the same direct flight via QANTAS, except Kent and Vyxsin and Jaime and Cara. Then everyone else was like, "maybe fifteen minutes is worth it!?" and started changing their flights. The Race is all about taking risks, right? I don't know what it's all about.

Zev and Justin get the last two seats on the connecting flight, due to a favor from the Globetrotters who owed them one. Margie and Luke were all sketchy about their flight to Gary and Mallory, and only Mel and Mike felt awkward about it. Five teams take the risk, five teams take the direct flight fifteen minutes behind. Will it matter? Yes.

More plane trouble! The connecting flight experiences engine problems and is delayed in Hong Kong. Regrets all around. The "first flight" is delayed an hour, and the direct flight arrives on time at 6:15. Thanks for the favor, Globetrotters! NOT.

The teams receive their route info, sending them to a dojo. But first they get in cars from a crazy rotating garage thing, which was almost as entertaining as seeing the Globetrotters get into their tiny little car. The flight from Hong Kong gets in an hour and a half late, and they're all scrambling to get their cars out of rotation. Amidst all the fury and technology, no one died.

Ron is a salty old man, isn't he? He was even dissing the woman who helped them with directions! But her directions were sound, and put them in first place getting to the Road Block. For this Road Block, the teams will dress as Samurai and learn how to shoot a bow and arrow from atop a wooden horse. Then they have to shoot an arrow into a target. It's weird and awesome.

The last five teams, except Zev and Justin, caravan toward the dojo, as Ron and Gary struggle with the form. The samurais are pretty harsh judges. Meanwhile, the caravan splits up and the cowboys are lost.

Jen just sails through the Road Block, and then a clue sends them to a statue for their next clue. Zev and Justin leave next, followed by Gary and Mallory, as Kent and Vyxsin, and Mel and Mike arrive at the dojo. I'm a little skeptical of Ron's form, but he hit the target and that was enough.

Jaime and Cara hit a guy's side view mirror while driving and he called the police. This could be a game-changer! The cheerleaders, annoyed, diagnosed the situation as unnecessarily dramatic and took off (after clearing it up with the police).

The teams in the lead arrive at the next Detour: Prayer of Purity or Frog of Luck. For Purity, the teams will put on traditional wardrobe and learn a prayer, then stand underneath a waterfall for one minute for their next clue. Awesome. For Luck, the teams will search through the mud for a frog. Zev and Justin and Gary and Mallory choose Luck, while Ron and Christina and the Globetrotters choose Purity. Kisha and Jen choose Luck. I'm glad there's some variety this time.

Jaime and Cara arrive at the dojo, excited to see other teams still completing the Road Block. The cowboys are obviously the cutest doing the Road Block.

Frog of Luck turns out to be more difficult, and more disgusting, than expected. The teams don traditional swimming diapers, and have mud thrown at them while searching for the frog. It looks like fun, though! The cleaner challenge, Prayer of Purity, would also be really neat to experience. Although, I'm not sure I could stand under a waterfall for a minute.

Zev and Justin find their frog first, and receive a clue sending them to the Pit Stop at a monument. It turns out there's more than just frogs in the mud pit, there are also rats? Gary and Mallory rinse off as Zev and Justin get in the car without their pants. Kisha and Jen get into the mud pit as Kent and Vyxsin and Mike and Mel choose Frog of Luck. Jaime and Cara leave the dojo, hoping for a comeback.

After experiencing the restorative powers of the waterfall, Big Easy fell down in the water. Then the Globetrotters took Christina's fanny pack, underscored by ominous music. Christina searches for the pack, struggling with the language barrier, after the Globetrotters realized their mistake and left the pack in the dressing room. Oh no! This just goes to show that fanny packs will always lead to trouble.

Frustrated, Ron and Christina head to the dressing room, where Ron tears everything apart except his pile of clothes where the Globetrotters left the fanny pack. Gary and Mallory and pantsless Zev and Justin head for the Pit Stop as Kisha and Jen turn in their frog. Jet and Cord find their frog like, immediately, surprised to find that the frogs were not alive.

Zev and Justin check in first again, winning our hearts and a trip to Costa Rica. Margie and Luke and Mel and Mike keep searching, as Kent and Vyxsin leave, and Jaime and Cara still haven't put on their loin cloths. Gary and Mallory check in second, followed by Flight Time and Big Easy. Ron and Christina check in fourth and they're pissed. They tell on the Globetrotters and Phil, King of The Amazing Race, gives the Globetrotters a 30 minute penalty! Kisha and Jen check in fifth, followed by Jet and Cord in sixth.

Mike is getting more and more worried about Mel, as the mud gets colder and colder with darkness. Mel and Mike take a break in the ambulance as Jaime and Cara search for a frog in the dark. Jaime and Cara find their frog, leaving a shivering Mike and Mel in last place.

Margie and Luke check in seventh, and Jaime and Cara prepare themselves for elimination. Phil tells them they're still in the race and they were like, "omg!" Mel and Mike arrive last and are eliminated. I'm sad, they're sad, and even Phil, King of the Race, seems misty-eyed. Valiant effort, Mel! 

As sad as I am to see them go, I'm incredibly impressed by Mel. With all the time I spend on the couch watching The Amazing Race, I am in no condition to run it, let alone at 70 years old.
Do you have any questions you'd like to ask Mel and Mike? I'll be talking to them tomorrow, so leave any questions for them in the comments!

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(image courtesy of CBS)