'The Amazing Race 15' Recap: More Karma in the City of Extremes
I never thought it's possible: The Amazing Race starting exactly 74 minutes past the time it's supposed to start.  Thanks, football.  That gives me 74 more minutes to convince my mother to watch the show again--she's heartbroken after seeing Zev and Justin eliminated on the back of a missing passport last week.  I don't think I'll be able to convince her.  Then again, I still have to watch it.  She doesn't really have a choice.

Sam and Dan finished the Phnom Penh leg first, perhaps in a stroke of luck, and they get first dibs on the clue: they'll have to search for the world's tallest building somewhere in the Persian Gulf.  Not really specific, but it means they're going to the Burj Dubai in, well, Dubai, which will stand 124 floors once it's finished.  Sure, some of the teams don't really know where they're going ("it's not a country, it's a general area" Sam or Dan said) but they're all taking the same flight anyway.

Upon arriving in Dubai, teams have to find some fountain and sign up for elevator rides up the construction side.  The building, I should say, is absolutely astounding--and that's just on TV.  The teams have virtually reversed standings, with Maria and Tiffany ending up in first, and signing up for the 5:30am elevator trip with Brian and Ericka, Sam and Dan, and Meghan and Cheyne.  Back on the ground, Mika's dead scared that they'll have to jump off the building once they get there.  Well, not really: it's just a clue box.  Didn't hurt that the first team acted scared when they got back down.

They're headed to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, where they'll ride a 4x4 and find a clue in the middle of nowhere.  It isn't really an easy place to find, with the last two teams--Lance and Keri, and Mika and Canaan--getting lost.  (Lance, the guy I hate the most, is driving, and I'm happy he's lost.  Really.  He's leading Keri to all these wrong directions.)

Oh, and there's a Fast Forward, too, the only one in the entire race: whoever takes it heads to the Dubai Auto City, where they'll have to finish a lap in 45 seconds.  Meghan and Cheyne take it, and literally breeze through it.  For their risk-taking, they get a Maserati ride to the pit stop: the Souk Madinat Jamirah.  Obviously they arrive there first, so they win a trip to Jamaica, and we can forget about those two for now and give them a breather.

As for the rest, well, it's a Roadblock, where they'll have to look for urns of water buried in the desert, transfer them to a bag and give them to the guy with the camels for a clue.  Brian's feeling extra good today, believing that karma will help them along the way.  He told everyone the building's in Dubai, and when he found a water-filled urn first, he told Tiffany and Dan--honestly, I can't tell who's who just yet--where it is.  Tiff (disclaimer: I like her more than Maria, looks-wise) also plays the karma card, helping Dan out when his ladle went bust.

The next clue brings Brian and Ericka to Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort that's as big as four football fields.  Seems Dubai is the city with the biggest anything.  Still believing in karma, they spot Mika and Canaan and get them the right direction.  It isn't so good to the poker players, though, for their car starts dripping radiator fluid.  Sure, they get replacement cars as per the rule book, but just to be sure, Sam and Dan stay behind before they go.

It's a Detour in Winter Wonderland, although funnily the music is an odd mix of Christmas bells and Arabic sensibilities.  Anyway, teams either find a small snowman in mounds of snow inside, or they build a snowman (with the works) in a warmer part of the resort, which is going to be funny because if you take snow at 28 degrees and bring it to a spot at 130 degrees, then we might as well expect water.  Brian and Ericka find theirs quickly--yes, they'll play the karma card!--and finish the race in second place.

The rest are, of course, frustrated, more so Gary and Matt, who arrived first.  Slowly teams left the mounds and decided to build snowmen, something that got Sam and Dan into another almost-argument--and the moment they leave, Flight Time and Big Easy find a snowman.  It's funny how this Detour ends: they have to give the snowmen to a giddy polar bear mascot.  The Globetrotters finish third, but not after telling Mika and Canaan to bring their snow gear.  Karma, again, yes.

From here, it's pretty obvious.  The rest of the teams build snowmen--but they're melting, so it admittedly looks more like snotmen to me--and get to the pit stop in orderly fashion.  Sam and Dan came fifth, Maria and Tiffany came sixth, and Mika and Canaan came seventh.  As for Lance and Keri, well, hey, I'm grinning--they arrive dead last, after going around in circles looking for the desert, and then the ski resort.  Lance wants to kick the snowman they just made, but he wasn't allowed to.  He's frustrated but he can't express it.  Trying to be strong, not wanting to quit, but I don't care.  I'm just happy they're gone.  See, mom?  Karma.

Next week on The Amazing Race, Mika's worst fears are realized: a water slide ride.  She doesn't like heights, and she doesn't know how to swim?  Not a good idea, really.

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