The Emmy Award-winning race is starting again! This time on The Amazing Race, Olympic snowboarders (Andy and Tommy), Survivor winners (Ethan and Jenna), and sailing record setters (Laurence and Zac) are competing! There’s also engaged couple Ernie and Cindy, brother and sister Justin and Jennifer, married grandparents Bill and Cathi, who farm, and TWINS (remember that beer commercial?). The twins are named Liz and Marie. The classically good looking dating couple, Jeremy and Sandy, are in the race, along with domestic partners Tom and Bill (go gay couple!), NFL husband and wife Amani and Marcus, and showgirls Kaylani and Lisa filling the token hot team slot.

The Express Pass is back, and goes to the first team to finish this leg. The first challenge is a word puzzle leading them to Taipei, Taiwan. The last team to finish this puzzle receives a new stumbling block: the Hazard. The teams rush toward the umbrellas to find ones with the right letters (T-A-I). The professional snowboarders Andy and Tommy are first to their cars, followed by Amani and Marcus.

The twins Liz and Marie, Ethan and Jenna, and Jeremy and Sandy head to the cars, followed by Ernie and Cindiy, Bill and Cathi, Laurence and Zac. Justin and Jennifer, the siblings, and Lisa and Kaylani struggle to find the right umbrellas. The showgirls will receive the Hazard penalty. In a completely devastating turn, Kaylani’s passport falls out of the car at a gas station. That is no good.

They return to the gas station, but the passport is nowhere to be found. Lisa declares that it’s “over,” and they get into a fight. Lisa is pissed! In all fairness, wouldn’t you be? What happened to the passport, though?

Ethan and Jenna have this big plan not to tell people they were on Survivor but everyone knows. You can’t hide the fact that you were on TV. Speaking of getting on TV, these guys picked it up at the gas station, tweeted about it, and took it to the airport. They enjoyed their fifteen seconds of fame. The showgirls are back in this, thanks to social media.

The first flight arrives in Taipei, where they will have to look for a sign (there are millions of signs!) instead of a clue box. Marcus plans to hide the fact that he was a professional football player, which is a little easier to hide than being on/winning Survivor. The first eight teams get off the bus and try to figure out what they’re looking for. The sign is in Chinese characters. This is hard.

“It can’t be those balloons up there, can it?” Marcus asks. It can and it is! Justin and Jennifer are already squabbling, and I can’t imagine running this race with one of my brothers. We would be awful. Then some of the teams finally figure it out–the sign tells them to go to the Confucius Temple. The balloons are throwing almost everyone off their game.

The first Road Block asks teams to memorize a message they hear over the phone. But first, they have to find the phone. The message is sort of long, and repeats words, so it’s challenging. It’s just not going well.

The twins and the showgirls have paired up to get lost together. But they finally get it. Not getting it are Bill and Cathi, who go to the top of the highest building they can find, and feel embarrassed that they can’t find the sign.

Ernie and Cindy finally get their next clue, followed by Justin and Jennifer, who head for Dajai Riverside Park. There, they will join a Dragon Boat Race team. Cindy’s pretty funny, saying, “I feel so Asian right now,” as she’s captaining the Dragon Boat. Once teams complete this, they will go to the first Pit Stop at the Martyr’s Shrine.

It’s still anyone’s game, except for maybe Bill and Cathi’s. The hot girls arrive late to the telephone game, but Kaylani gets it right away. This is good, since they have to complete the Hazard penalty. The twins are not as good at remembering, but at least Bill and Cathi are way, way, behind.

For the Hazard, Kaylani has to bungee jump into the middle of a mall. I would pee myself, cry, and go back home right then. But Kaylani didn’t, she earned her way back into Lisa’s good graces by making the jump.

Engaged couple Ernie and Cindy prove to be competitors as they finish first and receive the Express Pass. Jeremy and Sandy finish second, followed by Justin and Jennifer in third.

Not surprisingly, Laurence and Zac are doing well with the boat racing challenge, since they are boat people. They head for the Pit Stop along with Andy and Tommy and Amani and Marcus.

Finally, Bill and Cathi figure out the clue pointing them toward the temple, as the twins Liz and Marie fight over the phrase Liz just can’t repeat correctly. They finally get it before Bill and Cathi arrive, though. I love Bill and Cathi! To her credit, Cathi gets it pretty much right away at the temple.

Ethan and Jenna finish fourth, followed by Amani and Marcus in fifth. Their secrets are not safe for long. Laurence and Zac finish in sixth, with Andy and Tommy in a close seventh. Ron and Bill finish eighth, and Kaylani and Lisa came from behind to finish ninth. Liz and Marie finish tenth, and accost Phil with affection, the likes of which he is unaccustomed to.

Bill and Cathi have a good time finishing their leg of the Race, putting them in last place. But this is a non-elimination leg! Bill and Cathi are still in it! They will encounter a Speed Bump next time, and at the end of next week’s episode, two teams will be eliminated! Phil, how could you?

(image courtesy of CBS)

Carla Patton

Writer, BuddyTV

Originally from Seattle, Carla recently took a husband and moved to Austin, Texas, where she is finally using her television “problem” to her advantage. It’s sort of like Dexter, but boring and less murdering. Carla’s favorite shows include 30 RockThe Amazing RaceProject RunwayModern Family, anything with murder, and pretty much anything gross and weird (CSIThe BachelorToddlers & Tiaras, etc.). Favorite canceled shows include: Arrested DevelopmentVeronica Mars and Average Joe. In her spare time, Carla leads tours of downtown Austin on a Segway (don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it!), blogs about Netflix Instant, and visits elementary schools telling children they don’t need math to succeed (just kidding, stay in school, kids).