Season 20: Episode 9 - Bollywood Travolta
Posted on Apr 23, 2012 11:15am

In Cochin, India, Rachel & Dave coasted to their fifth win while Mark struggled to overcome motion sickness and heat stroke during a Bollywood dance to keep his team in the Race.

Six hours before departure from the Pit Start, Bopper needed to see a doctor because the condition of his ailing knee worsened during the rest period. As the doctor performed his examination of the knee, a worried Bopper said, "I'm devastated that this could potential put me out of the Race. This Race is very important for my teammate and mostly for my family." After a thorough examination, the doctor declared that Bopper could still race provided that he wore a knee brace for support. A relived Mark said, "I'm just glad we still get to run for this million dollars."

Departing in first place at 9:06pm, best friends Bopper & Mark ripped open their clue instructing them to fly nearly 2,900 miles to the densely populated, chaotic streets of Cochin, India. When they landed, they had to travel by bus to the Sacred Heart College in Thevara. On the uncertain status of Bopper's knee, Mark commented, "If I have to do most of the grunt work, I'm gonna do it. I'm willing to do whatever we have to do to get it done." At a nearby travel agency, Bopper & Mark joined forces with army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave, who left the Pit Start in second place, to find the best flight option to Cochin, India. The two teams found a flight leaving Kilimanjaro at 7:40am the next morning and arriving in Cochin the following day at 6:05am. As the agents began making reservations for the teams, Rachel anticipated the impending arrival of their former allies Art & JJ who had just left the Pit Start, wondering, "It'll be interesting to see if they ask us any questions about our itinerary."

With some time to think about what happened, border patrol agents Art & JJ appeared even angrier that Rachel & Dave didn't U-Turn Brendon & Rachel in the last leg. Leaving the Pit Start, JJ said, "We're done, Major Dave. Take your army ass and get out of my face." When the border patrol agents entered the travel agency, they didn't say a single word to Rachel & Dave or Bopper & Mark. On the snub, Rachel commented, "They're [Art & JJ] treating us like we did a terrible thing to them, but we're not here to make friends. We're here to win." When Bopper & Mark left the travel agency, they said that Art & JJ were "acting like babies." Once Rachel & Dave left the travel agency, JJ said, "You don't have integrity, we don't need you. We don't need them to win." Leaving in last place, dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph discovered a different flight option from the four teams ahead of them. Flying through Nairobi, Kenya, Vanessa & Ralph could land earlier than Art & JJ, Bopper & Mark, Rachel & Dave, and Brendon & Rachel who would connect through Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Leaving the travel agency with smiles on their faces, the dating divorcees said, "We're going to India."

Landing in Cochin, India, dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph stopped at a counter in the airport to ask about bus schedules and saw their slim lead disappear when the other four teams emerged from the Arrivals gate. Rachel & Dave reached the bus station first and jumped on the first available bus to Thevara alone. Art & JJ and Brendon & Rachel took the next available bus together while Vanessa & Ralph jumped on the third bus available. Because of Bopper's injured knee, he and Mark could only walk to the bus station instead of sprinting like other four teams. By the time the Kentucky friends reached the station, they had to wait several minutes for the next available bus landing, pushing them further into last place. With nothing else to do except sit back and relax, the lead four teams took in the chaotic surroundings during their bus rides to Thevara. Brendon remarked, "I feel like I'm so much bigger than everybody here. Everybody's so small." Before coughing from the exhaust fumes in the air, Art said of the noisy traffic, "They're loving their horns." Army wife Rachel noted, "India is a very busy place. A lot of cars. A lot of people." Dave added, "Very cultured." Boarding the last place bus, Mark recalled his past issues with motion sickness in transportation and instantly worried, "Man, I can't get sick." Soon, Mark's fears turned into reality as he began to breathe in the exhaust through the wide open windows of the bus. After declaring that he felt lightheaded and sick, Mark reached for a bag he brought with him and started to throw up. Sounding weak, Mark told Bopper, "Rough city man, rough city. Gotta get off this bus."

Arriving at Sacred Heart College in first place, army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave ran onto a large grassy field next to the water where a large group of colorfully dressed locals cheered at the team's arrival. Ripping open their clue, Rachel & Dave discovered a Roadblock where one team member had to work on the set of a Bollywood movie and learn a dance routine. After mastering the moves, they would join a group of 30 extras and perform it for a Bollywood director. When the lead choreographer felt they were camera ready, they would receive their next clue. With a background in dance from elementary school through high school, Rachel appeared up for the challenge of mastering a Bollywood dance. After changing into traditional Indian clothing, the army wife joined her group of 30 extras and began learning the complex routine with a choreographer. Looking on, Dave said, "Had I selected this, we would probably be here for hours."

Joining Rachel on the Bollywood set, Vanessa, event hostess Rachel, and JJ, who grudgingly made good on his promise to do a dancing task since Art did the bottle dance, all began learning the routine with varying degrees of success. Brendon predicted, "I think JJ's gonna have a hard time. This is a great day to have a female partner." Art tried to help out his struggling partner, but JJ snapped back, "Shut up! You should've done this!" Finally arriving at Sacred Heart College in last place, Bopper reminded Mark about his bum knee before the best friends reached the cluebox. Seeing the Roadblock clue inside, Bopper immediately volunteered Mark for the task, later adding, "Mark was already sick but I knowed that I couldn't do it on account of me knee." Watching Mark beginning his dance instruction, Bopper said, "I feel like I'm about to let my partner down in the race. I'd give anything if I could help him." Believing he had learned the routine, JJ decided he was ready to perform it on stage with his 30 extras behind him. Stunned in disbelief, event hostess Rachel said, "What the heck? This guy is like a clumsy oaf." Before the music started, a worried JJ said, "Doing this is not my cup of tea." When the director called action on the set and the playback of Indian music began, JJ already appeared a step behind as he tried unsuccessfully to remember the dance moves. It didn't take long for the director to cut the music and declare that JJ had failed. Watching helplessly, Art told Ralph, "Dudes can't dance like chicks."

Fueled by watching JJ's bad performance, army wife Rachel took to the stage immediately after and showed him just how it's done. From the moment the music started, Rachel danced in perfect sync with her extras, hitting every move, turn and jump in the routine. When the music stopped, Rachel ended with her hand in the air nailing the last pose of the dance while Dave erupted with applause and cheers. The lead choreographer yelled, "It was perfect!" Opening their next clue, Rachel & Dave discovered they had to travel to the Indian Coffee House and find the headwaiter. Keeping score, Art joked, "Chicks 1, dudes nothing." After failing on her first two attempts, Rachel began to show familiar signs of defeat and frustration. Recognizing this, Brendon immediately did his best to brighten Rachel's mood and get her head back in the game. With eyes tearing up, Rachel told Brendon, "Stop telling me I'm emotional. I'm a girl. Of course I'm going to be emotional. I'm frustrated."

With the hot sun beating down, Mark, already feeling sick from the bus ride, began to weaken as he struggled to learn the dance routine. Drenched in sweat, Mark said, "Everything's getting blurry. I'm losing it." After one failed attempt on the stage, Mark condition worsened as he said, "I don't think I got no energy. I think I'm getting ready to pass out, but I'm gonna keep on doing it." With Vanessa completing the dance on her third attempt and Rachel on her fourth attempt, JJ's frustration only increased as Art quipped, "Chicks three, dudes nothing." Putting his hands on his head, JJ asked himself, "Why did I do this?" Taking the stage one more time, JJ prepared to dance as Art shouted, "Have a little faith, kid!" When the director shouted for action, JJ danced his very best and this time it was good enough as he landed the last move in perfect sync with the music. When JJ was handed his clue, Art joyfully screamed, "Chicks three, dudes one! You're a Bollywood Travolta."

Arriving at the Indian Coffee House in first place, Rachel & Dave ripped open their clue to find a Detour having the choice of Cricket or Clutch It. In Cricket, each team member had to hit one ball past a professional player to the boundary around the field. They could hit the ball either along the ground or over the top. Clutch It required teams to learn the skills used by the more than five million auto rickshaw drivers in India by transporting passengers around a training course at an auto rickshaw driving school. When both team members mastered the training course, the driving instructor would hand them their next clue. After taking a quick lesson in a makeshift auto rickshaw control panel, Rachel took the wheel of a real auto rickshaw with her instructor seated beside her and Dave in the backseat next to passengers. At the start of the training course, the instructor stepped out of the rickshaw and Rachel began driving through the course, weaving around flagged poles. With the tight turns needed to zigzag through the course, Rachel began to hit poles and laughed about it, making Dave upset.

Taking over for Rachel, Dave appeared to be a natural as he navigated through the course with little difficulty. However, just before reaching the end, the combat pilot hit one pole on a particularly tight turn and failed the test. On the second try, he succeeded and Rachel resumed control of the auto rickshaw for another try at passing her driving test. With Dave acting as an unwanted backseat driver giving her instructions, Rachel snaked her way through the course missing every pole along the way. When Rachel cleared the final pole to complete the course, Dave shouted, "Listen to your husband!" Opening their clue, Rachel & Dave discovered they had to travel to the Pit Stop at Bolgatty Palace. On the lush grounds of Bolgatty Palace, Rachel & Dave ran to the mat and won their fifth leg of the Race. For their victory, the army wife and combat pilot won a trip for two from Travelocity to St. Lucia. Afterwards, Dave said, "Without a doubt, Rachel and I are definitely the strongest team that remain in the Race."

With little success in learning the dance routine, Mark did his best to fend off his worsening heat exhaustion and illness. At one point, he told his choreographer, "I can barely raise my arms." Looking on, Bopper commented, "He's going downhill harder and harder." After Mark failed on his sixth try, Bopper became even more worried about his best friend's health and suggested that Mark shouldn't push any further and take the penalty instead. Mark quickly responding, "I ain't taking nothing. I'm gonna do this or die." After Mark failed another time, Bopper told him, "Let's go home. To hell with that money, I want my buddy." Out of breath and sweating, a defiant Mark replied, "I got to." Torn on what to do, Mark admitted to his choreographer, "If it weren't for my kids, I'd quit right now because it's killing me."

While a driving-impaired Vanessa tried to learn the auto rickshaw with Ralph, border patrol agents Art & JJ took to the cricket field at the same time as Brendon & Rachel. Putting on protective gear and helmets, the four racers got a quick lesson in the sport of cricket, including how to hold the bat and how to stand waiting for the pitch. JJ told Art, "It's like baseball, dude." When they started to take pitches from the professional players, all four racers chalked up plenty of misses and tipped balls between them. Brendon was the first to connect with a pitch and sent his ball flying into the field and hit the boundary on a roll. Then, JJ smacked a pitch that landed between two defenders and also sailed past the boundary. In a battle between Art and Rachel, even Rachel assumed that Art held an advantage over her by being more athletic and stronger. JJ predicted, "There's no way Rachel's gonna do this. She'll never hit it out." With some advice from Brendon to fix her swing, Rachel connected with a pitch and hit it all the way to the boundary. Rachel earned the right to gloat, noting, "It was a good feeling to know they both got beat by a girl." After JJ told Art that being beat by Rachel stripped him of his manhood, Art finally hit a pitch that sailed well past the boundary to earn the clue in third place.

While Brendon & Rachel, Art & JJ, and Ralph & Vanessa reached Bolgatty Palace in second, third, and fourth place respectively, Mark failed on his eleventh attempt at mastering the Bollywood dance and took a seat next to a fan in an attempt to cool down. Mark continued to insist that he could finish the dance and hopefully catch up with the other teams once he took a short break to recover and feel better. Bopper wouldn't hear it though, telling Mark again that they should consider packing up and heading home because Mark wouldn't be any use to his kids if he had heat stroke. Breaking down in tears, Mark later said, "I had to sit back and reevaluate the things that are important in life. My kids went through my mind, what they would do without me." Walking back to the changing tent, Mark announced, "I'm going home."

Inside the tent as Mark's health began to improve, Bopper & Mark had a very emotional conversation with a tearful Bopper now trying to convince Mark to make one last attempt a