The Wife:

With no time to enjoy their victory for coming in first on the last leg of the race, Jaime and Cara headed up the second half of this double-length leg. Teams were first sent to a local street mall to find heir next clue, which asked them to search through several stores to find the Travelocity gnome, which they would have to carry with them for the rest of the race. I sincerely enjoyed the gnome sitting atop a mannequin (where its head should have been) in a clothing store, as well as the gnome sitting in a bag of nuts, wearing a tiny paper chef’s hat.

Margie and Luke and Tammy and Victor were close on the girls’ heels, and with gnomes in hand the teams headed off to Gu Gon Xi Bei Jao to get electric bikes and transport themselves beyond the Forbidden City and through Tiananmen Square where they received their Detour. Teams could either take a stab at Chinese Opera or play Chinese Waiter in a local restaurant.

  1. In Chinese Opera, teams had to go to the opera house and paint each other with the traditional operatic facepaint for a princess and a gentleman and don the correct costumes in order to receive their next clue.
  2. In Chinese Waiter, teams had to go to a nearby restaurant, take orders in Mandarin and turn those orders into the chef. When the orders given were correct, the chef would then cook the dishes and teams would deliver them to their customers.
Mom, Im sorry Im not a girl, okay?

Mom, I'm sorry I'm not a girl, okay?

As any sane person would, any team that didn’t already know how to speak Mandarin chose the opera challenge and spent time putting on makeup and clothing. Margie got a little upset with the way Luke was doing her makeup (see title of episode), but the Chinese opera workers didn’t care that it wasn’t perfect and eventually Luke told his mother to stop fighting him just because he was never taught how to put on makeup as a kid. (Frankly, for all Margie’s coddling, I am surprised Luke doesn’t know how to do his mom’s makeup.) Kisha decided that she got to be the princess, because she sees herself as the least feminine of the two, while her sister wore the gentlemen’s makeup. Rightfully, Jaime also chose the princess makeup, because she is princess of people who yell at cabbies . . . especially cabbies who take her to the wrong opera house because the only instructions she gave them involved singing horrible scales in his general direction.

Meanwhile, Tammy and Victor took on the Chinese Waiter challenge and got through it faster than anyone working on the makeup challenge. They mispronounced one order, turning Good Luck Fish into Good Luck Squid, and had to restart, but still managed to make it to the U-Turn site before anyone else and U-Turned Kisha and Jen, which was totally the right move.

The opera teams all had trouble finding the U-Turn site, even though it was in the costume museum of the opera house all along. They wandered around for, if Jaime is to be believed, three hours trying to find the location before Margie and Luke struck off on their own and found it to see that they hadn’t been U-Turned. From there, it was on to a local street market where teams faced a Road Block in which they hate to eat deep fried Chinese delicacies such as scorpion, starfish, cricket and larvae. Victor totally powered through those less-than-ideal meals and he and his sister headed off to the Pit Stop at Niao Chao, The Bird’s Nest, long before everyone else, taking first place, a spot in the finale and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

So, that was Monthly Use Taiwanese Chicken to go, right?

So, that was Monthly Use Taiwanese Chicken to go, right?

When Kisha and Jen found that they’d been U-Turned, they took it in stride and headed off to the restaurant to attempt the second half of their Detour. Let me just give you a list of reasons why this was my favorite part of the episode, watching people with no knowledge of how tone languages function woefully mispronounce things. Here are some of the dishes that would have been made if Kisha and Jen ran a Chinese restaurant:

Monthly Use Taiwanese Chicken (my next Guitar Hero band)

Good Western Heads Lack Fish (it’s true, at least they should lack fish)

Oil Comes Again to Please the Mouth (ummm . . .)

Good Doll Basket Drum

Light Competition Red Dishes I’ve Played Before (my next album)

But the most interesting thing here is that Kisha and Jen managed to succeed at this challenge before Cara and Jaime even found the U-Turn site, rendering a tense competition for last place, as Margie and Luke were well on their way toward eating yucky fried bugs and such. In fact, Kisha and Jen managed to get to the street market first, but Jen ate her share of the buggits so slowly that Cara was able to catch up by eating quicker. And then there was the problem of Jen’s bladder. In addition to eating slowly, she downed roughly four bottles of water during the process and by the time they reached the Bird’s Nest, she seriously had to pee, allowing Jaime and Cara to check in at the mat before them. Another contributing factor to Kisha and Jen’s loss was probably the fact that they were dropped off at a different part of the Olympic compound, rather than right in front of the Bird’s Nest.

Nonetheless, I’m glad they’re gone. I don’t care for Jaime and Cara, either, but even though Jaime’s mean to cabbies, she’s not mean to other players. And besides, Jen never would have made it through the variety of water challenges lined up for the Maui finale. So perhaps its best that her bladder did her in.

The Husband:

TARheads out there, answer me this: has anybody in the history of this show done themselves in as a result of their bladder? Because I can’t think of one. Bickering, poor communication skills, stupidity, bad sense of direction; these are all regular TAR excuses for ending up in last place, but having to pee might be the dumbest one so far. I know that terrible feeling one gets with an extra-full bladder, like you are about to explode. But this is for 1 million dollars, and no way in hell am I letting my bladder get the best of me. Even if that meant peeing as I ran and forever being known as “that guy who peed his pants on CBS primetime,” I would do it. And it’s not like she was in danger of getting a bladder infection within that, I presume, one hour between the food and the pit stop. (If it was less than an hour, then I’m even more confused.)

I also really hope that those were the actual translations for whatever it was Jen and Kisha were saying, and that Bertram Van Munster wasn’t just throwing in random words into the subtitles. Because it’s very likely that the pair weren’t saying words at all, like that homeless man on the sidewalk who wants your fingernails. But I still hope above all hope that the Chinese chef was seriously pondering the statements they were presumably making. “Why yes, oil does come, quite often, and pleases my mouth. Thank you for noticing.”