'The Amazing Race 15' Recap: Breaking Things Apart Is The Man Thing To Do
Last week on The Amazing Race, Eric and Lisa got tossed before the start of the race, and Garrett and Jessica got tossed after being stuck herding ducks in Vietnam.  Oh, and most of what we thought of the teams didn't really hold.

We start in the Mekong Delta, where the pitstop--a local boat--traveled to the town of Meto with everyone inside!  A nice way to have everyone race without them knowing--and a nice way to disorient the racers.  From there, they have to head to Ho Chi Minh City, specifically to a puppet theater where the clues are attached to the mouths of dancing dragon puppets in the water.  Gary and Matt start first, and everybody else look for taxis, except for Lance and Keri, who are convinced that they're in Ho Chi Minh already.  Argument along the way.  But of course.

But it's the Globetrotters, Herbert and Nathaniel, who get the clue first.  It's a bullet, with a stamp inside it, leading them to the city's post office.  Each team has their own way to get the clue, although they didn't have to dive for it: Tiffany virtually flirted with the puppets, while Mika and Canaan were dancing.  Odd, I know.

It's a detour, anyhow.  Choose "child's play" and you have to pick a concrete animal statue, transport it across a park to a children's playground, and pick up five balloons along the way.  Choose "word play", and you have to find six Vietnamese letters from a hotel's observation deck and ask the locals to scramble it for you: it's doc lap (but of course this isn't how it's written), which means "independence".

Most of the teams go to the park, although it took forever for Lance and Keri to figure out that the bullet is the clue.  Carrying the statue's a struggle, if you think about the bumpy roads and the "organized chaos" that is Ho Chi Minh traffic.  This is where everybody gets pretty stressed out.  Sam and Dan, who've been arguing for what felt like forever, decide to help Maria and Tiffany out since their trolley broke: the girls declined, saying they have a race to run.  Zev and Justin picked a giraffe because it's the statue closest to them, but it's the heaviest and biggest of the batch, and it breaks a bit when it fell.  ("The giraffe was a mistake," Justin admitted.)  Lance loses a balloon and had to go after it--funny, because he's the alpha male who suddenly acts like a kid who, well, lost his balloon.

Only Marcy and Ron choose the "word play", which works because Marcy knows a lot of languages.  They breeze through the letters, but struggle with forming the word, because they presumed the word they're looking for in the signs around them.  That took them quite a while, but they finally get a break when they decided to ask a local, who answers the whole thing in a snap.

The Globetrotters finish the detour first, so they have to head to Dien Co 008, a chop shop in a busy intersection.  It's a roadblock: they must break up two VCRs and segregate parts into two piles.  Flight Time does it, followed by Cheyne, who thinks Meghan is "deliciously sweaty".  Once you get the hang of the power tools, and the laughing (but helpful) locals, it's a pretty easy task, and the teams breeze through it.  Well, not everyone, although it's the stuff in between that get them in trouble.  Lance and Keri got lost again, fight again, and almost split up right then and there--and only because Lance refuses to ask for directions.  (He then vents on the VCRs, tearing them apart with his own hands "because it's the man thing to do".)  Tiffany, flustered after pulling the statue all by herself, got help from the locals.  Matt thinks he's got seven cuts in his hands, although it helps that he opened up VCRs out of curiosity as a kid.

Herb and Nate still finish early, and they head to the Reunification Palace, which is this leg's pit stop.  They come in first, but not after a foot race with Meghan and Cheyne, and they win a trip to Aruba.  From there, things were pretty set: Gary and Matt came in third, Brian and Ericka came in fourth (which is surprising because they started last), Sam and Dan came in fifth, Maria and Tiffany came in sixth, and Mika and Canaan came in seventh.  

The power of editing meant it's a really close race between the three remaining teams.  At this point I crossed all the fingers I can cross, hoping that Lance and Keri--who are still arguing about asking for directions and all the usual stuff--would get eliminated.  Unfortunately, it's history that prevailed, and Marcy and Ron came in last.  Poetic justice of sorts for Marcy, whose dad was rescued after being shot down during the Vietnam War.  As if it's any consolation, Zev and Justin came in eighth, and Lance and Keri will start the next leg of the race in last place.  And then, some douchery: Lance thinks he can take on everyone in everything.  Zev takes up his challenge to wrestle with him.  Adorable, yet scary.

Next week, a team loses their passports.  Suddenly, all predictions are up in the air.

- Henrik Batallones, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Screen capture courtesy of CBS)