The Amazing Race
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Season 14: Episode 7 - Gorilla? Gorilla?? Gorilla??? (Thailand)
Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am

The blazing hot sun of Thailand took its toll on Margie as she collapsed on the mat after a strenuous leg. Meanwhile, brothers Mark & Michael thought they'd won the leg, but two penalties pushed them down to third place. Sibling lawyers Tammy & Victor won the leg and father and son Mel & Mike came in last.


Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 10:21am, sibling lawyers Tammy & Victor ripped open their clue instructing them to fly almost 2,000 miles to Phuket, Thailand. When they landed, teams had to find a statue of a giant gorilla using only a picture as a reference. Teams would have to figure out that the statue resided at the Phuket Zoo.

All six teams flew on the same plane to Phuket, Thailand that landed at 8:50am. Brothers and stuntmen Mark & Michael took the early lead out of the airport followed by former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara, while father and son Mel & Mike got off to a slow start. Any advantage teams gained in a quick exit from the airport was soon lost however, when taxi drivers didn't recognize that the gorilla in the picture was a statue at the Phuket Zoo. Racers darted from their taxis and roamed the streets of Phuket armed with the picture of the gorilla, hoping some local could direct them to its location. Jaime shouted, "Do you know this monkey?" Eventually, every team except Mel & Mike discovered that they needed to head to the Phuket Zoo. On the advice of their taxi driver, Mel & Mike instead headed to Patong Beach. When Mike noticed that all the teams went in the opposite direction of him and his father, he still hoped for the best, saying, "Either we're going to get behind or we're going to get ahead."


Arriving at the Phuket Zoo in a virtual first place tie, brothers Mark & Michael and former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara spotted the big gorilla and ripped open their next clue. In it, they learned that they had to first take a picture with Esso the tiger. Then, they had to take part in a typical Thai performance, in which they had to lie on the ground while elephants stepped and squatted over them.

Stuntmen and brothers Mark & Michael sat down with Esso the tiger first and expressed some concern when they noticed that the tiger handler was missing one arm. Sisters Kisha & Jen joked, "I figured if they didn't eat Mark and Mickey, then they wouldn't eat us. But they are bite-sized. They're about the size of the trainer's missing arm." Animal lover Jaime was in her element, saying, "If I could just spend my life in the wild with animals and never see people again I'd be completely okay with that. I would never look back. Jane of the jungle"

As Mel & Mike wandered around Patong Beach still looking for the gorilla statue, the remaining teams at the zoo moved over to the elephant act. Squeals of laughter and surprise erupted from the racers, as the massive elephants stepped over them and playfully tapped them with huge feet. Luke grimaced when one elephant squatted over him, its body hovering perilously close to him. A few more inches down, and Luke would have been as flat as a pancake. After the five teams completed their participation with the elephants in quick succession, they all headed to Nguan Choon Tong Herb Shop, the oldest herb shop in Phuket. Once there, they had to ask the shopkeeper to open one of the 99 herb drawers in search of a clue. If they chose incorrectly, teams would have to keep guessing until they found their next clue.

On the way to the herb shop, Jaime & Cara passed Mark & Michael and shared their new nickname for the brothers, "The Tweedles," inspired by Tweedledee and Tweedledum from Alice in Wonderland. Cara said, "The talking and talking and talking, they're like animated characters from a cartoon movie."


As Mel & Mike finally arrived at the Phuket Zoo, Jaime & Cara and Mark & Michael ran into the Nguan Choon Tong Herb Shop and began picking drawers in search of their next clue. Right from the beginning Jaime's unpleasant side emerged as she and Cara struggled to find the clue. Jaime remarked, "The 99 drawers at the herb shop really tested my patience. The guy [opening the drawers] was most frustrating because I don't really think he spoke a lick of English."

With the arrival of sisters Kisha & Jen at the herb shop, Jaime's temper edged even higher. When Mark & Michael finally found a clue, Jaime sniped, "Are you frickin' kidding me?" Opening their clue, the stuntmen discovered a Detour with the choice of 100 Barrels or 2 Miles. In 100 Barrels, teams had to travel to a nearby harbor and work to prepare a fishing shop for ten days at sea. They needed to fill 47 barrels with enough drinking water to last the trip, and they had to move 53 of the empty fish barrels from the bottom deck to the roof arranging them properly for the journey. In 2 Miles, teams had to travel to a nearby temple and choose a rickshaw. In the event of a flat tire, pumps were provided for the teams. Then, while one team member sat in back, the other pulled the rickshaw and found their way two miles through the streets of Phuket to King Rama IX Park.

As the brothers drove off in search of rickshaws, sibling lawyers Tammy & Victor and mother and son Margie & Luke joined the other teams in the herb shop where Jaime continued to fume as she barked out drawer numbers. The teams all rotated turns in selecting drawers and, when Margie & Luke, Kisha & Jen, and Tammy & Victor all found their clue ahead of Jaime & Cara, Jaime screamed at the man behind the counter to go down the row of drawers. Later, Jaime commented, "We were the first ones to the herb shop, so that was very frustrating." Now on the way to the shop, Mike commented on Jaime's behavior throughout the race, referring to her as "a mean girl." Finally, the stressed out Jaime found the clue with Cara and the pair headed off, still ahead of last place Mel & Mike.


Arriving at the temple in first place, Mark & Michael used an air pump to fix their rickshaw's flat tire, and prepared to begin the very physical task of carrying each other under the sizzling sun of Thailand. Before doing so, Mark decided to be devious by hiding the provided pumps in a box in an attempt to confuse the other teams. Later, Mark commented, "I was just trying to make it a little more taxing for them to do what we had already done."

Out on the streets of Phuket, Mark & Michael asked their taxi driver who drove them to the temple to lead them to King Rama IX Park. Mark rationalized the decision by saying, "We were going to have to pay that cab whether he stayed in front of us, behind us, or met us there." However, starting the task in second place, Tammy & Victor read the additional rules from the clue that forbade teams from hiring someone to guide them. The sibling lawyers wisely asked their taxi driver to meet them at the park after having him draw a map to the location. Likewise, Jaime & Cara and Margie & Luke simply asked locals along the way if they were heading in the right direction.

Feeling confident in their performance, and their standing in the race, the brothers arrived at the park with their taxi driver and deposited their rickshaw. Opening their clue, Mark & Michael learned they had to travel to the next Pit Stop at Wat Thep Nimit Temple, best known for housing a piece of the Buddha's remains.


Pulling up to the gates of the temple, Mark boasted, "Everybody's going to think that it's really hot and really hard and I think we tore it up." When the brothers stepped onto the mat and heard they were the first team to arrive, they cheered and celebrated. However, Phil quickly ended the party by assessing two 30-minute penalties on the brothers for intentionally hiding the pumps, and for hiring their taxi driver to lead them to the park.

As the brothers began to sweat out their penalty, Victor continued to haul his sister through the streets of Phuket without allowing her to switch places. He remarked, "I tend to want to take control in a chaotic situation. My natural tendency is to take everything away from her and to do it." The pair arrived at King Rama IX Park just ahead of former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara, and both teams jumped into their taxi to the Pit Stop moments apart.

With brothers Mark & Michael still waiting out their penalty alongside the mat, sibling lawyers Tammy & Victor ran into the temple and claimed victory, their second win in a row, narrowly edging out Jaime & Cara who placed second. After Mark & Michael completed their penalty to take third place, Mark commented, "We did have a nice lead, and a trip that was in our pockets that we lost, but I still feel like a winner."


As the hot sun created sweltering conditions on the streets of Phuket, Margie became frustrated sitting in the rickshaw because she couldn't communicate easily with Luke who was pulling her. Her solution was to switch places, later saying, "I couldn't get his attention. It was easier for me to be running." Margie hauled her son through the traffic until she reached the entrance to King Rama IX Park where, too exhausted from the task, she had her son take over. Once they got in their taxi after dropping the rickshaw off, an incredibly flushed Margie commented, "I think Thailand is probably the hottest place I've ever been."

From the moment Margie & Luke stepped onto the mat in fourth place, Margie appeared out of sorts. She remarked that her fingers felt frozen and asked for water. As Luke celebrated their fourth place finish, Margie began to teeter and finally collapsed in her son's arms. Phil quickly came to Margie's side as a terrified Luke looked on in concern. After Phil helped escort Margie out of the sun to a chair in the shade, her body began to shake as she slowly cooled down. Within a few minutes of drinking water and having cold water poured over her, Margie appeared back to normal and simply laughed, "How embarrassing."


At the harbor, sisters Kisha & Jen loaded empty fish barrels from the lower deck of the ship to the roof, and then moved on to filling the remaining 47 with water. The team lost some valuable time when Kisha failed to notice that the hose fell out of the barrel, slowing the process of filling them up with water. When father and son Mel & Mike arrived on the scene, they had a methodical plan of attack, carrying two barrels at a time to the roof, while filling empty barrels with water at the same time, in hopes of catching up to the sisters. Kisha lamented, "Kind of wish I would have noticed the hose was on a little earlier."

The sisters filled their last barrel and headed away from the harbor ahead of Mel & Mike, but a very prescient Kisha said, "I'm not going to speak on anything until we get to the Pit Stop." The sisters exited their taxi at a temple that looked like Wat Thep Nimit, but, after asking a group of monks, determined that it was not. With Mel & Mike now headed for the Pit Stop as well, Kisha & Jen found a local who gave them a ride in a van. Afraid that this mistake could cost them the race, a nervous Kisha said, "It's very critical that we're going to the right place." In the other taxi, Mel joked, "It's only a game, but, boy does it get intense, this game, sometimes."

In the end, father and son Mel & Mike stepped onto the mat in last place, and Phil delivered the news that they had been eliminated from the race. On the experience, Mel said, "I had aches and pains and groans and groins, but I was pretty good and I loved it when my son thought so too." Mike added, "We've been father and son my whole life, but I don't think we've ever really been teammates and being a teammate brings a whole different kind of camaraderie than you get in normal life. That was a great gift that the race gave us."


Roadblock: N/A

Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, teams had to choose between 100 Barrels and 2 Miles. In 100 Barrels, teams had to travel to a nearby harbor and work to prepare a fishing shop for ten days at sea. They needed to fill 47 barrels with enough drinking water to last the trip, and they had to move 53 of the empty fish barrels from the bottom deck to the roof arranging them properly for the journey. In 2 Miles, teams had to travel to a nearby temple and choose a rickshaw. In the event of a flat tire, pumps were provided for the teams. Then, while one team member sat in back, the other pulled the rickshaw and found their way two miles through the streets of Phuket to King Rama IX Park.

100 Barrels: MEL/MIKE, KISHA/JEN


Order of Finish:

1. Tammy & Victor
2. Jaime & Cara
3. Mark & Michael
4. Margie & Luke
5. Kisha & Jen
6. Mel & Mike