The Amazing Race 12: Episode 9 Recap
It doesn't matter how solid a team you are on The Amazing Race, one mistake can cripple you.  And, that's what happened tonight.  A huge part of doing well on The Amazing Race is navigating the treacherous terrain of international airports and finding the absolute best flights en route to your next destination.  Tonight, one team chose poorly and guaranteed themselves a last place finish.  Even when you do make the correct flight choice, delays can also torpedo your chances on a leg.  It's unfair, but hey, that's The Amazing Race.

Fortunately, for fans of last place team TK and Rachel, tonight was a non-elimination leg. 

Leg 9: Mombai, India > Osaka, Japan 

The teams left from Mombai, India and were told to head to Osaka, Japan.  When they got to Osaka, teams took cabs to the Osaka Castle. From there, teams took another taxi to Noda Station.  After finding the station's cleaning man, we had a Road Block – Backseat Driver.  One team member had to take over as a Osaka cab driver, transporting a Japanese couple to a Post Office five miles down the road and then navigate their way back to the station.  Next, teams took cabs to the Kita-Mido Temple.  From there, teams faced a Detour – Sense of Smell or Sense of Touch.  In Smell, teams had to find one real flower in a store filled with thousands of artificial ones.  In Touch, teams had to play robot soccer, where they had to score two goals against defender robots by controlling a robot with a cell phone.  After completing the Detour, teams headed to the pit stop at Tempozan Park.

4th Place: TK and Rachel 

TK and Rachel went to a travel agent before going to the airport and thought they had found the best possible flight to Osaka.  Their flight did leave earlier than the one the other teams took, but it landed about three hours later, thanks to two stops.  As a result, we saw almost nothing of them this episode and it looked as if they'd be eliminated.  However, Phil let them know that it was a non-elimination leg and they're still around.  However, next leg they will encounter a speed bump somewhere along the way, where they'll have to perform a task that no one else has to. 

3rd Place:  Nicolas and Donald 

Nicolas does everything for this team, and is a great racer, but you still have to give it up to Don for just surviving.  He's 68, and most people his age would have been hospitalized for exhaustion at this point.  He's hung around and not been too much of a burden, though I can't see this team winning it all. 

2nd Place: Jennifer and Nathan

This was a mild episode for their standards.  Not epic blow-ups, though there was some minor bickering near the end.  It looked like they were about to win a leg for the first time, but Ron and Christina nipped them in the end.  I can't decide whether I'm starting to like these two and their dysfunctional relationship or I'm just getting used to it. 

1st Place:  Ronald and Christina

Christina can speak pretty good Japanese and it helped her out on the leg.  Nothing special, these two just ran a solid, mistake free race tonight.  Ronald wasn't as curmudgeonly as he'd been in the past.  Maybe he really is getting better.

-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image Courtesy of CBS)