The Amazing Race episode 2 recap, October 2, 2011.
Welcome to the second episode of The Amazing Race! Eleven teams are racing around the world, facing challenges in other lands and different cultures, in the hope to ultimately win the one million dollar prize.
Tonight’s show begins with a recap of last week’s episode, with Ernie & Cindi winning the leg and the Express Pass. Although the last place team of grandparents Bill & Cathi were not eliminated, two last two teams to finish tonight will be eliminated.
We begin the next leg in Taipei, Taiwan, with the teams departing in the same order and timing as they finished the last leg of the Race. Ernie & Cindy are the first to depart at 9:28 p.m., the late time being almost a sure sign of an upcoming flight. Sure enough, they will fly to Jakarta, Indonesia and take an overnight train to Yogyakarta.
Although last-place Bill & Cathi were made aware of the upcoming double elimination at the mat last leg, it seems that the other teams have yet to get this news. Cindy is particularly nervous about the idea of two teams being eliminated, although she and Ernie are in first place. As the other teams depart, they’re surprised to get news of this new twist.
Arriving at the airport first, Ernie & Cindy learn that the first flight out is on China Airlines at 8:45 early the next morning. It looks like another night of hanging out in an airport terminal for all of the teams. With this “bunch point”, any leads that teams might have evaporate and last place is as good as first place here.
Ethan & Jenna’s fears that they may have a target on their back come to fruition as other teams comment privately that they’ve each already won Survivor seasons and together may be favorites to win the Race. Amani says Jenna “has that Medusa thing going on, you can’t trust her so much.” Oh, really? Who would you trust after hearing that?
Bill & Cathi are the last to depart at 3:57, so they still have plenty of time to make it to the airport for the flight. In spite of having to complete a Speed Bump somewhere along the way in this leg, Bill & Cathi aren’t discouraged. “We’ve had a life of experience together, so we know to stick it out,” Cathi comments during their ride to the airport.
All on the same flight, they land in Jakarta and make their way to the train terminal, where it appears they’ll also all be on the same train, too. Justin & Jennifer must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed as they start to dicker and shout at each other as they wait for the train. “I want us to be a better team than we are right now,” Justin tells Jennifer, who eventually retorts, “You drive me absolutely insane right now.” The other teams look back at them with raised eyebrows, probably thinking it won’t be long before this dysfunctional team leaves the Race.
The teams are on a crowded train and as the train departs, we see quite a few people on the roof, too! It makes you wonder if there aren’t first class, second class and upper class tickets. Believe it or not, Indonesia has a National Transportation Safety Committee. Here’s their website.
After arriving in Yogyakarta, teams will have to make their way by taxi to Goa Jomblang Cave. In case you wondered, the taxis are driving on the right — er, the left — side of the road. Indonesia is one of several S.E. Asian countries that still follow this road rule. You wonder, though, if the taxi drivers themselves follow the road rules, as the ride through the thick traffic on a narrow road looks a little scary. We get a glimpse of a whole row of team taxis in one video shot, so it appears some of them are going as a convoy.
Bill & Cathi’s taxi is the quickest and they’re the first to arrive at the cave. This challenge is a Roadblock where one member of each team must rappel 150 feet down into a vertical pit cave. There they must search for and retrieve a mask and a dagger known as a keris. Then they will have to scale a latticed bamboo ladder to the top and deliver the items to a table for their next clue.
But before Bill & Cathi can proceed, they have to complete the Speed Bump located here. Their task is to untangle their climbing rope before they can use it to rappel. The road to the cave looks more like a rocky dirt trail and Marcus comments, “These like some Detroit city roads here.” Ernie & Cindy are the second team to reach the cave, followed by Liz & Marie and the other teams. They see Bill & Cathi in the midst of untangling their own climbing rope.
Rappelling into the cave looks more like fun than a physical challenge. Searching for the mask and keris to retrieve is simple, too, as there is a guy with a large gong to greet them next to where the items are. The climb back up the ladder is the most physically challenging part of this task. Bill is first up the ladder and out of the cave to deliver the items for the next clue.
Next is a Detour, where teams will have to choose between one of two possible routes and activities, either “Money Maker” or “Ticket Taker”. After completing the Detour task, they will go to an orphanage of children who lost their families in the catastrophic eruption of Mount Merapi in November, 2010. At the orphanage, there is a sign instructing the teams:
In addition to all money earned at the Detours, you MUST give all the money in your possession to help the orphans. In exchange, you will receive a clue to hope you find the next Pit Stop.
Twins Liz & Marie are the first to return to the town of Yogyakarta. They choose to do the “Money Maker” task. They dress up in traditional dance wear and dance to the tune of brass drums out on the streets, soliciting donations from drivers and cyclists on the road. They’ll need to collect 30,000 rupiah (about U.S. $3.36, which doesn’t sound like, but is still quite a bit of money for people in Indonesia) and get 6,000 rupiah after one round of collections.
Bill & Cathi and Ernie & Cindy, on the other hand, opt for the “Ticket Taker” task. They wear a ticket taker parking uniform and start waving in motorcyclists to park their bikes and issue tickets.
Meanwhile, at the back of the pack coming out of the cave are Ethan & Jenna in 8th place, Laurence & Zac in 9th, Kaylani & Lisa in 10th and Ron & Bill, who are already thinking they’re about to go home, lagging in last place.
By now, most of the teams are out on the streets, either busy dancing and collecting donations or waving in motorcycles and collecting tickets. We’re given a collage shot of several teams at work. Bill & Cathi are first to finish at the shopping mall parking lane and Liz & Marie are the first to finish dancing on the streets. Ernie & Cindy reach the orphanage first, but somehow miss reading the sign clearly visible on the donation table to give all of the money they have in their possession. Oops.
From the orphanage, teams will make their way to the Pit Stop at Kraton Palace. “The last two teams to check in here will be eliminated,” Phil reminds us. There’s no maybe about it this time.
Bill & Cathi reach the orphanage next, followed by Liz & Marie. Neither team seems to have noticed the donation instruction sign either. Meanwhile, Ernie & Cindy arrive at the Pit Stop mat. Phil greets them with a grim smile. “You are the first time to arrive. However, there is a problem…” Uh, oh.
Before Phil gives an explanation, the edit cuts back to snowboarders Andy & Tommy are the fourth team to reach the orphanage. They’re just about to leave, walking on the way out, and turning around one last time, Tommy notices the sign to donate all their money. Whew! They’re happy that they can give even more, “I’m glad we saved that up, that’s more that goes to them.” Good guys.
Back at the mat, Phil lets Ernie & Cindy know that they need to go back and donate the rest of their money in their possession. Ouch! Cindy gets all upset, saying as a competitive Asian, she shouldn’t have made a mistake like that. At least she’s not down on Ernie for them both making the same mistake.
Ethan and Jenna make a different mistake of their own. After sitting down on the pavement, counting the 30,000 rupiah they needed to collect, one of them leaves the Detour clue on the pavement behind them. Oops. As they get into the taxi, Ethan panics, “I don’t have the clue.” They leave the taxi and run back to the sidewalk where they had counted their collection. Eventually, they find the clue on the pavement but lose precious time in the process.
Meanwhile, Justin and Jennifer are the next team to reach the orphanage and not notice the donation sign. Jeremy & Sandy do the same thing, as do Marcus & Amani. Wow, that’s a lot of teams already having to backtrack to the orphanage. On the other hand, Laurence reads the donation sign before they do anything, so he and Zac are safely on their way to the Pit Stop, effectively in second place behind the snowboarders. Kaylani & Lisa also notice the donation instructions and make their way to the finish.
Andy & Tommy reach the Pit Stop. “You are the fourth team to arrive. However, because other teams ahead of you had to go back to the orphanage, you are officially team number one.” They win a Travelocity roaming gnome trip to Ireland. Laurence & Zac are the eighth team to arrive at the mat, yet finish as team number two. What a jump in the ranks!
Ethan & Jenna finally arrive to the orphanage, but like so many other teams ahead of them, they did not notice the donation sign either. Uh, oh.
Meanwhile, Kaylani & Lisa arrive at the mat. Phil pulls their leg. “Unfortunately, you are the tenth team to arrive. And you know this is a double elimination leg?” They’re on the verge of tears. Phil continues, “But because you guys did what you were meant to do, you are officially team number three and you are still in the Race.” They crack up in smiles and hug. Hey, Phil, that almost mean of you to tease them into tears like that!
Ernie & Cindy come next in fourth place, followed by Liz & Marie in fifth, and Jeremy & Sandy in sixth. Phil congratulates Bill & Cathi on their seventh place finish saying, “Great recovery!” Justin & Jennifer come in eighth, and suddenly there is only one spot left to stay in the Race with three teams still on the streets.
Ron & Bill reach the orphanage but also overlook the donation sign, spelling their certain doom. They reach the mat potentially in ninth place, but have to return to the orphanage. Ouch. Marcus & Amani are next at the mat to be the ninth and last team to continue the Race.
Ethan & Jenna reach the mat in tenth place and Phil tells them that they have been eliminated from the Race. Well, this isn’t quite like Survivor, is it? They take it in good stride, with Ethan saying that after his battling cancer for a year and a half, they “are going to take advantage of every single moment.” Ron and Bill are the last team to arrive at the mat and are also eliminated from the Race.
Next week, teams cross paddy fields, visit a large temple and ride elephants with their share of mishaps. Stay tuned!