THE AMAZING RACE 18 “We Had a Lot of Evil Spirits Apparently” (Japan) Recap


THE AMAZING RACE 18 “We Had a Lot of Evil Spirits Apparently” (Japan) Season 18 Episode 3 – Teams leave Australia to battle bad traffic, mud slingers, frigid water, and missing bags in Japan in the “We Had a Lot of Evil Spirits Apparently” leg of THE AMAZING RACE 18.

Junction Mine in Broken Hill:

All the teams took an offscreen overnight train ride back to Sidney from last leg’s Junction Mine Pit Stop. From the train station, Zev and Justin are the first to leave at 11:57am, followed by Flight Time and Big Easy, Jet and Cord, Kisha and Jen, Margie and Luke, Mel and Mike, Kent and Vixsyn, Jaime and Cara, and Gary and Mallory. Ron and Christina are the last to leave at 12:28pm.

Teams head to the airport to fly to Tokyo, Japan. Once there, they must make their way to the Rotating Parking Garage to find their next clue.

Flight shenanigans:

There are two flights debated by the different teams: a Qantas direct flight that gets in at 6:15am and a Cathay Pacific one that arrives in Tokyo at 6:00am but has a connection in Hong Kong. Initially only Jaime/Cara and Kent/Vixsyn book the Cathay Pacific flight, but Margie/Luke and Mel/Mike eventually decide to go that route. Zev/Justin and Flight Time/Big Easy try to switch to the earlier flight, but since only two seats are left, the Globetrotters repay Zev and Justin for their help with the nautical flag clue by walking away.

Murphy’s Law prevails and the Cathay Pacific flight succumbs to engine trouble in Hong Kong. The Qantas flight lands in Tokyo first at 6:15am. The second flight gets in at 7:20am.

Rotating Parking Garage:

From the first wave, Gary/ Mallory get their clue first, followed by Flight Time/Big Easy, Kisha/ Jen, Ron/ Christina, and Jet/Cord. Because Kisha/Jen push the rotate button before the Globetrotters’ car fully stops, they sneak ahead. In the second group, Margie/Luke get their car first, followed by Mel/Mike, Kent/ Vixsyn, Jaime/Cara, and Zev/Justin.

Teams must ask the garage attendant for a car and then drive themselves to the city of Kamakura, where they then must find the Yabusame Dojo to get their Roadblock clue.

Jet/Cord are the only team from the first wave to get thoroughly lost. Why didn’t they stop and ask for directions? From the second wave, Margie/Luke, Mel/Mike, and Jaime/Cara all get lost together, but Margie/Luke and Mel/Mike eventually ditch the cheerleaders, who then sideswipe a guy, breaking his mirror. Police are called and there’s a lot of standing around, but despite their irritation, Jaime/Cara keep their cool.


Racers must perform Yabusame ritual by facing a rigorous training exercise to determine if they are aerodynamic. They first change into traditional costume, then observe the ritual and practice their form. Once they prove to the master that their form and bow and arrow stance are correct, they get on a revolving wooden horse with their bow and arrow. When their arrow pierces the target, the clue is revealed. I love this roadblock. It’s beautiful to look at, very challenging, and everyone seems to take it seriously. The judging seems stricter than usual, which is a good thing.

While Ron, Gary, and Flight Time start the ritual before her, Jen hits her target first. Justin then leaps into second with Gary third, Flight Time fourth, Ron fifth, Luke sixth, Cord seventh, Kent eighth, Mike ninth, and Jaime very much in last.

Teams then must travel to Minami-ashigara and find the Kintaro statue near the Daiyuzan railway station to get their next clue leading them to the detour.


Prayer of Purity or Frog of Luck. In Purity, teams take part in a Shinto cleansing ritual by putting on traditional clothing and learning/performing a vocal and physical prayer. They then stand under a frigid waterfall for sixty seconds to get their clue. In Frog of Luck, teams strip down to their underwear, put on some naughty bits covering, and jump into a mud pit to look for a frog while onlookers pelt them with mud. They then offer the grand master the frog in exchange for their clue.

All the teams except Flight Time/Big Easy and Ron/Christina choose Frog of Luck, which is your basic needle in a very slimy haystack. Zev/Justin finish first and give grand master a chest bump. When Gary/Mallory finish second, Mallory promises the locals “You’re going to have a couple of redheads coming through and they’re going to look pretty good in these outfits.” A pixilated Kisha/Jen are third and give the master a big hug; Jet/Cord (Ha! Cord thought it would be a live frog) finish fourth, followed by Kent/Vixsyn and Margie/Luke. Jaime and Cara find their frog in pitch dark while Mike and Mel sit in an ambulance after Mike made Mel stop looking.

All three parts of Purity are simple, though the standing under the waterfall has a Globetrotter calling out for his mom. Hee. Both Flight Time/Big Easy and Ron/Christina get through their task easily, but there is controversy afterwards. From what I understand (correct me if I’m wrong), Flight Time accidentally grabs Christina’s fanny pack and instead of bringing it back up the mountain, leaves it near Ron’s stuff in the changing room. Ron/Christina look through the woods, but I’m not sure for how long, before Ron finds it as he’s dressing. He is displeased.

Pit Stop:

Teams must drive to Commodore Perry’s Landing Monument in Kurihama which is the Pit Stop for this leg of The Amazing Race. Zev/Justin make it two in a row and win a trip for two to Costa Rica. Gary and Mallory take second while Flight Time/Big Easy arrive third, but when Ron/Christina come in, Christina explains the missing bag situation and Phil assesses the Globetrotters a thirty minute penalty. Ron/Christina are now in third with Kisha/Jen taking fourth. Flight Time/Big Easy are officially fifth and Jet/Cord sixth. Kent/Vixsyn are seventh and Margie/Luke take eighth. Jaime/Cara assume they are last, but shut the front door, they take ninth. Mel/Mike are eliminated and Mike and I are relieved.


I’m happy about the Mel/Mike elimination. Mel doesn’t look strong or healthy enough to be on his hands and knees in cold mud looking for a frog, and I hope they had a relaxing time at Elimination Station.

When will Amazing Race teams learn never to risk a connecting flight, especially when the potential gain is so small?

Congratulations to Christina on her engagement to Azaria from Azaria/Hendekia from Season 12.

I wish we saw more of the fanny pack fiasco. I don’t think there was any intentional wrongdoing, but, yes, the Globetrotters should have returned the bag to where they found it. Was it worth a thirty-minute penalty to drop them down two spots, though? I’m almost biased enough by Ron’s exponentially growing jerkitude to say no, but I have to assume Phil got Flight Time’s side of the story, so I suppose it was.

I so love Zev/Justin this season. From their endlessly entertaining shirts (Duck Whisperer. Hee.) to the “We’re a team.”/”Don’t touch me” exchange, they’re charming fun. Kisha/Jen are racing smarter this time around and they seem to be having a great time. Kent/Vixsyn, Gary/Mallory, and Flight Time/Big Easy also seem to be having a blast. Jet/Cord still seem off and while Luke looks like he’s having fun, I’m not sure Margie is. Jaime/Cara are calmer than I remember, but I want Ron gone (Sorry, Christina) as soon as possible.

What did you think of the Japan leg? Do you think the Globetrotters deserved the penalty?

Follow me on Twitter @michstjame