'The Amazing Race 15' Recap: Monkey Karma Can Be Frustrating
Last week on The Amazing Race, the teams continue racing in Ho Chi Minh City, and a poignant Marcy and Ron were eliminated after a bad end to their detour.  And then there are broken giraffe statues, ripped-up VCRs, oh, and Lance and Keri arguing.  You very well know where I stand on this one.

I thought I was late for the show, but what do you know, it's still 60 Minutes!  Brain injuries suffered by football players!  Now, I haven't played football, but watching that bit scared me.  I was literally touching the back of my head.

Forty minutes later, the race finally begins.  So much for trying to get here on time.  Anyway, we return to the Reunification Palace--historical landmark and, for our purposes, third pit stop.  Everybody's headed to Phnom Penh, Cambodia--or, in the words of Zev and Justin, "Sean Penn, Cambodia"--and the first flight won't fly until 12:25pm the following day.  Well, all but the last two teams on the pit stop: Zev and Justin, and Lance and Keri, had to book the next flight, which was two hours later.  They did some begging and they found themselves taking the earlier flight, so it's pretty much a bottleneck.

Their first stop is the Foreign Correspondents' Club, where they have to look for their "editor" and ask for their "next assignment".  Well, their next clue.  Surprisingly, it's Zev and Justin who get their first, and they get a pretty cryptic clue: a black-and-white photo of a woman who apparently has a hotel suite named after her.  It's a snap of Jackie Kennedy on her only official visit to the country, and a big version of that photo hangs at the Hotel Le Royal, where their next clue is.

Funny not everybody knows who the woman in the photo is.  "It's probably somebody of Cambodian descent," Mika said.  Canaan even said it's Queen Elizabeth, not realizing that Cambodia was under the French once.  But I digress.

It's a detour.  Those who chose "cover" will have to sell four motorcycle helmets to a family of four.  (It was that specific.)  Lance and Keri were the only ones to choose that task, and it took them a while to make a sale.  Didn't help that they were running behind most of the pack.

And then there's "wrap".  Those who chose it will have to go to the Russian Market, where they'll find a stall that sells silk scarves, and find someone who wears one that matches the one they have.  If selling helmets to strangers sounds hard, then you're wrong--trying to find something amidst a really crowded maze of corridors inside a market is sure harder.  And it's much darker there, too.  It takes a while for everybody else to find their scarves--really, a long while.  Zev and Justin finish that task first, followed by Sam and Dan, and they both head to Wat Toul Tom Pong, where this leg's Roadblock is.

At the Roadblock, one has to act like a monkey, because apparently, Cambodians revere the animal so much that the royal family hires actors to imitate it.  Three manouvers get you a clue.  Sam and Dan finish it first, partly because Zev was so frustrated by Justin's fussing that he got tired and had a "mini panic attack".

From there, it's on to the pit stop: Wat Phnom, which is this pretty big Buddhist temple.  For some odd reason, Zev and Justin get to the mat first again, followed by Sam and Dan.  But you know what the promos suggest: Zev's passport is missing!  They only realize it after they have checked in--they probably got too excited, they contend--and after telling Phil, and going through their backpacks, they had no choice but to return to where they came from.  They're pretty lucky to have kept their taxi driver's business card.  They've made good friends with that guy, talking to them about karma and stuff, and even having him help out during the Detour.  "He's got to pull through for us one more time," Justin said.

But the search for that passport took longer than they hoped, and at this point, it's very obvious what happens next.  With the passport fiasco, Sam and Dan are elevated to first place.  Flight and Big arrive second.  Brian and Ericka arrive third, after another lucky break at the Detour reversed confusion at the Hotel Le Royal.  Gary and Matt arrive fourth.  Meghan and Cheyne arrive fifth.  Lance and Keri arrive sixth, with their monkey masks in tow.  Mika and Canaan arrive seventh.  Maria and Tiffany arrive eighth, after another Phil fake-out.

Even suckier?  Zev never found his passport.  They return to the pit stop stumped and frustrated, but still profess how much they appreciate each other's company.  I, obviously, am similarly frustrated at their elimination.  But we've been at it for 15 seasons and those teams should know better.  I suggest if you're joining the show, sew your passport to your arms.

Next week, the teams fly to Dubai, where they have to deal with the scorching heat and the freezing snow--in a man-made resort, of course.

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