'The Amazing Race' recap: Aw, Phuket

amazing-race-cast-19.jpgThe next leg takes place in Phuket, Thailand, and the two lead teams (the snowboarders and Zac & Laurence) are on a plane to Jakarta before the other six teams have even left the Pit Stop, but the other racers book seats all the way through before leaving, securing their arrival in Phuket almost an hour before the "lead" teams. Bill and Cathi's ability to pick the fastest cabbie plays out yet again in a nighttime race to a Marina, but they find the place closed until eight the next morning anyway, so the whole first act was much ado about nothing. At 8:00 AM, they all run out to a floating pier (and the snowboarders quickly get the lead back) to get a Detour clue. This is how they learn that they have to either arrange beach chairs or plant coral for reef reconstruction, both of which will supposedly repair damage from the 2004 tsunami. Awfully nice of them.

They all motorboat out to a tiny island and get to work at pretty much the same time. Andy and Tommy continue to do well as they plant coral, while Justin & Jennifer and Marcus & Amani and Jeremy & Sandy and Bill & Cathi struggle against the current, and experienced lifeguards Liz and Marie struggle with the beach chairs, even with help from other racers. Most teams attempting the coral task end up switching, although the siblings manage to survive both the current and their own persistent bickering. Then the wind wreaks havoc with the beach umbrellas. After the Detour, teams have to navigate to two towering islands and do a Road Block where they climb a sheer rock wall to retrieve their next clue. Andy aces that, so he and Tommy win their third leg in a row, but their first one that didn't require another team to screw up.

Ernie and Cindy get lost in the ocean on the way to the Road Block and drop a few positions, while Sandy and Jeremy's Test Drive Of Love hits a few potholes on their way to a third-place finish. And Laurence and Zac, who have sailed around the world, can't manage to navigate across the sea to the floating Pit Stop and end up having to follow another team's boat. Amani and Marcus get lost in the floating village while other teams beat them to the mat, but they don't come in last; that honor goes to Liz and Marie, who find out that it's a non-elimination leg anyway. So they have another leg to prove themselves, and I have another leg to figure out how to tell them apart. I think I'm getting close, y'all!

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