THE AMAZING RACE “There’s a Lot of Nuts and Bullets” Recap

The Amazing Race There's a Lot of Nuts and Bullets

THE AMAZING RACE “There’s a Lot of Nuts and Bullets” Season 17 Episode 9 – Goodbye Muscat, Oman; hello Dhaka, Bangladesh. Flight-jockeying, U-turns, and rickshaw-building cause me more stress than a television show should in the “There’s a Lot of Nuts and Bullets” episode of THE AMAZING RACE.

Airport: Last leg’s winners Chad and Stephanie are the first to leave Al Alam Palace for the airport to fly to Dhaka, Bangladesh and there is finally some good wrangling for an early flight. The default flight gets in the next day at noon, but Jill and Thomas get lucky and find a patient and resourceful ticketing agent while Chad and Stephanie eat burgers and Blizzards. Nat and Kat only get a flight to Dubai, deciding to figure out their connecting flight when they get there (Can you say risky?). Jill and Thomas end up with a flight landing at 5am, giving them a seven hour lead, at least until Nick and Vicki are inspired and end up with a flight that gets in at 8:40am. Brook and Claire come up empty and Chad and Stephanie are still eating their burgers, so they all remain on the noon flight. Joining them in Mumbai for the last leg of the flight are Nat and Kat.

Sundarban Square Supermarket: From the airport, teams head to the Sundarban Square Supermarket where they go to a sugar cane press and squeeze out a container of sugar cane juice and fill a mig for one team member to drink in order to get the next clue. This is a very simple task and I think it mostly served as an introduction to Dhaka. On the trip there, we get the usual comments about the smell, heat, and crowds. Thomas, Nick, Chad, Brook, and Kat all easily chug the juice.

Detour-Balanced Meal or Balanced Bricks: In Balanced Meal, teams go to Shahajhan’s on the river front to pick up 30 metal containers containing Tiffin meals for shipyard workers. They then travel by boat to a ship under construction, hoisting the metal containers up and taking back ten empty containers. Once they get those empty containers back to shore, they get their next clue. In Balanced Bricks, teams get bricks from a supply barge and transport them in baskets balanced on their heads to a nearby shop. Once they have transported 100 unbroken bricks, the shop manager gives them their clue.

Balanced Meal: Nick and Vicki, Nat and Kat, Brook and Claire, and Chad and Stephanie all opt for this and I think it’s one of the easiest Detours so far this season, which makes sense given the U-Turn. Chad and Stephanie are the only ones to even get cranky doing it.

Balanced Bricks: Jill and Thomas are the only ones to choose this and they go remarkably fast, I think. Brook and Claire are the next to do it as part of their U-turn and while marathon runner Brook powers through, Claire has a tough time and looks like she could pass out at any moment. There is more tension between the two than we have seen, and it mostly stems from an athlete vs. non-athlete mentality, I think. Speaking as a non-athlete, when you’re hurting, hearing an athlete tell you to power through doesn’t help and I can only imagine how frustrating it is for an athlete when a non-athlete is faltering. Chad and Stephanie get lost finding the bricks and Chad is ever so pleasant to Stephanie, who finally tells him to “Shut the hell up,” at which I cheered. They seem to finish quickly after that.

Double U-turn: Jill and Thomas U-turn Brook and Claire, saying they are a threat. Nick wants to U-turn Nat and Kat, but Vicki convinces him not to because she knew they were ahead and a U-turn was unnecessary, prompting a “You’re too nice” from Nick. Nat and Kat, who are still in danger at this point, U-turn Chad and Stephanie. This is the first Double-U-turn, and I like it better than the single U-turn because there is more strategy involved and that first U-turn can be neutralized by the second, as we saw tonight. If Nat and Kat hadn’t U-turned Chad and Stephanie, Chad and Stephanie would absolutely still be in the race, so thank you very much, Nat and Kat. One of the reasons I watch The Amazing Race instead of audition for it is that I fall with Vicki and would only U-turn if I felt I needed to in order to survive, while Jill and Thomas were probably smarter by trying to eliminate a potential future threat even though they knew they didn’t need to U-turn anyone to win this leg.

Roadblock: The teams must travel by rickshaw to the Nazira Bazaar and find a mechanic’s shop where one team member must assemble a bicycle rickshaw. That means assembling the wheels, seat, canopy, bell, tassels, pedals, back seat, and chain, though the teams don’t get a checklist. When the mechanic is satisfied, the teams get a clue directing them to go to the Pit Stop at Lalbagh Fort. Jill cruises through most of the assembly but forgets the chain, so she is rejected at first. She recovers quickly, though, and this is the most supportive I’ve seen Thomas (it`s so much easier to be supportive with a huge lead). Nick also forgets the chain, but he still finishes fast. Nat seems very slow, but I love that she cites her experience putting together Ikea furniture (I could give her a run for her money on that score), while Brook is all about the flair. Stephanie sets right to work while Chad yammers at Nat about her “PhD” not helping her build a rickshaw. Nat finally finishes and apologizes to Chad about the U-turn, making him look even jerkier, while Brook struggles with her bell and Stephanie can’t get the back seat to fit. Brook prevails first, but since Brook and Claire see Chad and Stephanie right behind them in the street, it’s not by much.

Pit Stop: Lalbagh Fort: Shocking absolutely no one, Jill and Thomas are the first to arrive (by hours!) and win a $15,000 Discover gift card. Nick and Vicki are second, Nat and Kat are third, and then we switch from day to night before Brook and Claire land on the mat in fourth. Chad and Stephanie come in last and are eliminated. I expected this to be a non-elimination leg, so my squeal of delight may have been a touch loud.

Notes: I love that Chad and Stephanie talked about U-turning Nat and Kat because Chad didn’t want to lose to two girls, but when Nat and Kat U-turn them, Chad heckles them like he’s ten and their only reaction is amusement. We’re now guaranteed an all-female team in the final three–phew. This leg was a bit stressful for me, so I’m thrilled with the Chad-Stephanie elimination. If Nick and Vicki could go next (The previews made me growl!), I would be ever so grateful.

While the challenges may have been more straightforward than some this season, I don’t think tension has ever been higher, making for a very exciting, very twisty leg of The Amazing Race. While I generally love Nat and Kat’s calm attitude, I want them to step up their game and intensity level a little. I think Brook is the strongest female left in the race and in fact, judginby this leg she may be the strongest racer overall. Nick is a blight on the race and there are no words for how much I want that team gone. There are three episodes left, so is next week going to be a non-elimination leg or half of one of the dreaded double legs?

How did you feel about this leg? Did anyone else cheer when Chad and Stephanie were eliminated? How do you feel about the new Double U-Turn or U-Turns in general? Let me know in the comments.

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