The Reality TV Guru

The Amazing Race episode 4 recap, October 16, 2011.

The Amazing Race teams travel Phuket, Thailand in tonight's episode (photos courtesy CBS)

Welcome to the fourth episode of The Amazing Race! With the elimination of Kaylani & Lisa last week, eight teams remain in the race around the world.

Front-runners Andy & Tommy are the first to depart at 8:17 in the morning. From Indonesia, teams will take a flight to Phuket, Thailand. There are no direct flights, so teams will need to determine the quickest transit route. Andy & Tommy find a 9:40 flight via Jakarta and tell Laurence & Zac about the flight they’re on.

Meanwhile, dating couple Jeremy & Sandy are the third team to depart, followed by siblings Justin & Jennifer, engaged couple Ernie & Cindy, ex-football player Marcus & Amani, grandparents Bill & Cathi, and twin sisters Liz & Marie.

Jeremy & Sandy look lost in the airport, while Ernie & Cindy dash immediately for a counter. They get an Air Asia 12:45 flight to Jakarta that then leaves Jakarta for Phuket at 4:00 and arriving at 6:45 p.m. All of the remaining teams are on this flight. Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac reach Jakarta first and look for the next flight to Phuket. Oops! The direct flight to Phuket is fully booked! The only available flight is via Bangkok, which is going to cost these two teams extra time. They’ll reach Phuket at 7:40 p.m., almost a full hour later than the other teams.

The six teams who first arrive to Phuket all take taxis to their next destination, Nonthasak Marine. They’re cajoling their taxi drivers to drive faster! Soon afterward, Andy & Tommy and Laurance & Zac arrive to find out that the other teams have already arrived and taken taxis. Jeremy and Sandy arrive to the Marine first, only to discover that it opens at 8:00 the next morning. Uh oh, it’s another night out sleeping on the street for the teams.

As soon as the rope to the entrance is pulled loose the next morning, all of the teams dash out to the floating foot bridge leading out to a barrel with the clues attached to it. A few of them take a spill in the water in their rush. The tsunami in 2004 had a devastating effect on Phuket island, so teams have a choice between two rebuilding tasks. The first is “Coral”, which requires teams to build a metal frame and anchor it on the seabed for capsules of coral to begin growth on. The other task is “Beach”, which requires teams to set up 10 umbrellas and 20 chairs on the beach.

The teams take fast speedboats out to another beach, with the boats are all racing close to each other. Most of the teams opt for the Coral reef task and begin assembling the frame. Meanwhile, twin sisters Liz & Marie and Ernie & Marie decide to try the Beach task with the chairs and umbrellas.

Andy & Tommy are the first to assemble the coral frame and get it out to sea. They find it’s a more difficult task than they expected with the strong currents. They’re the first to finish the task and collect the next clue. It’s a compass that guides them via speedboat to an island where the next clue is located. Most of the other teams are having trouble either keeping their coral frame intact, the coral capsules inside the boat, or swimming under water with the strong current. Except for Justin & Jennifer, all of the other teams who tried the Coral task give up on it with their frames in pieces and coral capsules scattered on the ocean floor. It’s not much better on the beach as the wind kicks up and the beach umbrellas fly over.

Meanwhile, Andy & Tommy reach the next clue between a pair of outcropping islands via speedboat. Here, teams must climb up a rope on the sheer limestone outcropping up to the another clue located in a bird’s nest up the cliff. Justin & Jennifer are the next to arrive at the limestone islands. The cliff face is vertical, but there are quite a number of footholds and handholds to climb up, supported by the rope. Andy makes quick work of it and they are on their way to the Pit Stop at the 200-year old floating village of Koh Panyi. Second-place Jennifer is the next one up the cliff and she does a good job making her way up and collecting the clue.

Third place Ernie & Cindy are the first to complete the Beach task, with Laurence & Zac and Marcus & Amani just behind them. Jeremy & Sandy complete it next, running in sixth place. They leave Bill & Cathi and the twin sisters Liz & Marie still assembling their beach sets.

Andy & Tommy reach the Pit Stop first once again and collect a reward of $5,000 each. Justin & Jennifer arrive second with Jennifer saying “we had a rough day” and makes fun of Phil’s “look”.

Meanwhile, the wind gets stronger on the beach as the twin sisters’ umbrellas fly over. Bill & Cathi manage to complete the task and are in seventh place as they take their boat out to the island. Ernie & Cindy, however, are lost at sea within view of the limestone island. Instead, they go the wrong direction (apparently, not north, like they’re supposed to) towards another boat. Oops. Finally, they see the limestone outcrops and head that direction.

Zac climbs up the cliff easily enough and he and his dad make their way by boat to the Pit Stop village. Finally, the twin sisters complete the Beach task and are on their way to the islands. Back at the cliff, Amani amazingly makes her way up the cliff successfully and she and Marcus are the fourth team to leave the island. Jeremy & Sandy are next in fifth, Ernie & Cindy in sixth and Bill & Cathi in seventh places. Meanwhile, Laurance & Zac, experienced seamen that they are, have out-thunk themselves reading the sea map to the village and end up going the wrong direction. “What a bunch of useless sailors we are,” Laurence quips.

Jeremy & Sandy reach the Pit Stop third, with Laurence & Zac just behind them. Amani & Marcus get lost in the small (rather, tiny!) village and Ernie & Cindi, who arrived later, reach the mat before they do for fifth place. Amani & Marcus finally find their way to finish in sixth place. Grandparents Bill & Cathi arrive in seventh with the twin sisters Liz & Marie arriving last.

“Liz and Marie, you are the last time to arrive,” Phil tells them. “Today is your lucky day, because this is a non-elimination leg.” Whew!

Next week, teams take a ride on elephants and Liz & Marie get lost in the large city of Bangkok.

Stay tuned!

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