THE AMAZING RACE 18 “This Is the Most Stupid Day Ever (Lijiang, China)” Recap

THE AMAZING RACE 18 (CBS) Episode 4

THE AMAZING RACE 18 “This Is the Most Stupid Day Ever (Lijiang, China)” Season 18 Episode 4 – Kent/Vixsyn have the worst leg I can remember as the nine remaining teams travel from Kurihama, Japan to Lijiang, China where they battle the altitude and tedious tasks only to find out it’s a double leg in the “This is the Most Stupid Day Ever” episode of THE AMAZING RACE.

Commodore Perry’s Landing Monument:

Teams must travel from the Pit Stop to the city of Lijiang, China and make their way to Jade Dragon Mountain . All teams must take a mandatory 9:50am from the Narita Airport flight to Kunming, China and then can find their own way to Lijiang.

Zev/Justin are the first to leave at 8:44pm. Gary/Mallory depart second, followed by Ron/Christina, Kisha/Jen, the penalized Flight Time/Big Easy, Jet/Cord, Kent/Vixsyn, and Margie/Luke. Jaime/Cara are the last to leave at 12:42am.

Things go badly for Kent/Vixsyn almost from the second they declare this to be a PMA (Positive Mental Attitude) day. First, they can’t find or open their car and then they get horribly lost for hours. Visxyn can’t navigate at all and her meltdown is heartbreaking to watch. They end up on a 3:30pm flight to Kunming. We don’t know yet if they will incur a penalty for taking a flight other than the specified one, but I’m guessing they will. Oh, and in foreshadowing of things to come, Vixsyn leaves her passport on the ticket counter and has to go back for it.

Kunming, China:

All of the teams except Kent/Visyn take the mandatory flight and land in Kunming at 7:17pm. Because the first flight to Lijiang isn’t until the next morning, the teams all opt to take a train. Ron/Christina scramble onto 8:50pm train while everyone else (except Kent/Vixsyn who are still in the air) takes a 10:16. Everyone gets to Lijiang with plenty of time to catch the special 8:00am shuttle to Jade Dragon Mountain. Ron/Christina even had time for breakfast.

Ride a Yak:

At Jade Dragon Mountain River, teams must ride a yak that is led across the river to the local dressed in traditional clothing who poses for pictures with tourists. He gives the racers their next clue, which tells them to take the Jade Dragon Mountain Gondola to Spruce Meadow.

Roadblock:

The racers have a tough time adjusting to the altitude when they get to Spruce Meadow, and luckily for them, the Roadblock isn’t overly physical. In Charmed Life, racers must search among tens of thousands of hanging charms for the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Once they find all the animals and hang them in the correct order, they get their next clue.

Luke, Cord, Mallory, Cara, Jen, Big Easy, Zev, Christina, and eventually Vixsyn do the task. There are no complications for most of the racers and Mallory finishes first, with Christina, Luke (thanks to Mallory), Cord, Big Easy, Cara, and Jen following fairly close behind. Zev is the first racer to have trouble. First he gets stuck trying to find a rabbit and then when he thinks he has all the animals in order, he gets very frustrated when he isn’t given his clue. Vixsyn arrives in the midst of his struggles, but he eventually realizes that he has two goats and is missing the horse, so he fixes his mistake and gets the clue.

Vixsyn finds nine out of the twelve animals fairly quickly, but soon gets stuck and has another mini-meltdown. This really is tough to watch. She finally finds the last charm and gets her clue.

After the task, teams must take marked buses down the mountain so they can travel to Old Town Lijiang to find an ancient prayer wheel and get their next clue. Ron/Christina get on a shuttle instead of a marked bus, something Christina quickly realizes (“Buses have doors.”). In my favorite scene of the episode, she jumps out of the moving shuttle and makes Ron do the same so they can jump on a bus making its way down the mountain. On that bus is Flight Time/Big Easy, who graciously let the father/daughter on. Christina is equally gracious, so there is apparently no lingering resentment on either side from the moved bags/penalty from the last leg.

When Kent/Vixsyn finally get on the bus going down the mountain, they realize the fanny pack with their passports is gone. It’s called a fanny pack for a reason, you know. No, it’s not fashionable, but it’s functional when you remember to wear it. This is a huge and completely avoidable mistake and Vixsyn’s repeatedly telling the driver he “has” to stop doesn’t help.

Make Zodiac Wish

At the ancient prayer wheel in Old Town Lijiang, teams must write down wishes and then announce their Chinese Zodiac sign before dropping the wishes into the proper slots. Other than Flight Time/Big Easy hilariously naming every possible sign while the judge just shakes his head, nothing of note happens here.

The racing order headed to detour is Margie/Luke first, Gary/Mallory, Ron/Christina, Jet/Cord, Kisha/Jen, Jaime/Cara, Flight Time/Big Easy, and later, Zev/Justin.

Detour- Hammer or Horn:

In Hammer, teams must pulverize hot, molten using huge wooden mallets and form it into candy. When the judge is pleased, they get their clue. In Horn, teams must lead some dancers to Wenchang Palace while carrying a very long ceremonial horn in order to earn their clue.

Horn:

Jaime/Cara initially choose this but quickly realize they can’t carry it and switch to Hammer. Flight Time/Big Easy do this and when they ask for directions along the way, a girl blows into the wrong end of the horn. Hee. Zev and Justin also choose Horn, and they don’t finish before the end of the episode.

Hammer:

Gary/Mallory, Margie/Luke, Jet/Cord, Jen/Kisha, Ron/Christina, and a switching Jaime/Cara all do Hammer. There’s much smashing with mallets, but nothing interesting happens here besides Ron trying to eat all the candy. “Stop eating. God. You can eat at the Pit Stop.” I hope Ron grabbed a little extra for the road.

The next clue tells teams to go to the next Pit Stop at the Eternal Tower at the top of Line Hill in the middle of Lijiang City.

Fake Pit Stop:

Margie/Luke arrive at the Pit Stop first and win a trip to Aruba but are told they’re still racing and Margie looks like she wants to punch Phil. Not that I blame her. Jet and Cord are next with a cute “Sweet!,” followed by Gary/Mallory in third. Ron/Christina take fourth with Kisha/Jen fifth, Flight Time/Big Easy sixth, and Jaime/Cara seventh. As we hit a “To Be Continued,” Zev and Justin are still toting their horn and Kent/Vixsyn are stuck on the bus without their passports.

Notes:

I did not enjoy this leg of the race. The tasks were boring, Ron gave a headache, I’m uncomfortable watching meltdowns, and the whole episode except Vixsyn’s self-flagellation felt rushed.

I’m trying to remember if anyone has ever had a more disastrous leg than Kent/Vixsyn, and if someone did, I missed it. They were lost for hours and Vixsyn just lost it and never recovered. Kent really should have done the Roadblock because Vixsyn was fried, and I have no idea how Vixsyn left the fanny pack behind. There’s killer fatigue and then there’s utter disaster. I just wish we hadn’t seen so much of Vixsyn calling herself stupid, etc. because it was brutal.

A second double leg already? They are definitely going to push these teams to the limit. I actually like that aspect of it, but I hope the next leg has more interesting tasks and doesn’t just rely on the drama of a Double U-Turn. From the previews, it looks like Margie and Luke get to the U-Turn first. Any predictions on which team (if any) they’ll use it?

What did you think of the Lijiang, China leg of The Amazing Race 18? Can Kent/Vixsyn overcome this?

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