TEAMS FEEL THE HEAT IN DHAKA
Extreme conditions in Dhaka, Bangladesh took a toll on teams as they battled heat exhaustion and grueling physical tasks. Rock star and lawyer James & Abba won their second leg in the row while goat farmers Josh & Brent couldn't beat the heat and came in last.
A SAD START
Hours before leaving the Pit Start, rock star James received devastating news from home. Before leaving on the Race, James' father was undergoing tests following several bouts of cancer over the years. While talking via video chat from the Race, James' wife informed him that his father has Stage 4 cancer with no chance of remission. Visibly upset at the news, James said, "It's a different kind of motivation to run the Race now. There's going to be a place in my heart where I'm just going to have a bit more push for dad." Departing first at 7:39am, James & Abba ripped open their clue instructing them to travel by taxi to the most popular wholesale produce market in Dhaka, Jatrabari. Once there, they had to find a vendor selling eggplant, known locally as begun, for their next clue. With a lead over the other six teams after taking the Fast Forward in the previous leg, James & Abba arrived at Jatrabari Boro Bazar in first place and walked through the bustling produce market until they found a vendor selling eggplants. Opening their clue, the rock star and lawyer had to make their way to Ferry Ghat Road under Demra Bridge.
As dating divorcees Abbie & Ryan departed the Pit Start, James & Abba ripped open their clue on Ferry Ghat Road to find a Roadblock. In Bangladesh, vendors use scales to value the wood they sell to market. In this Roadblock, teams had to use an ancient Bangladeshi scale to weigh out a specific amount of wood, using rocks as a counterbalance. First, using sticks and ropes, teams had to construct a rudimentary scale, and then balance four heavy stones on one side with an equal weight of wood on the other. When they properly balanced the scale, they received their next clue. Because Abba's knees were bothering him, James chose to build the scale and began by collecting sticks and rope. Tying three pieces of bamboo together with rope to create a tripod, James raised up the framework for the scale that quickly collapsed. On his second attempt, James made his tripod sturdy enough to support his weight and then attached the scale. Initially, James missed the lashing ropes he needed to suspend the scale from the top of the tripod, but after finding the ropes near the judge, James completed his scale. After placing four rocks on one side of the scale, James filled the other side with pieces of wood until the scale was balanced.
While ripping open their next clue, James & Abba discovered a Detour with the choice of Straw Dogs or Bamboo Jungle. Straw Dogs required teams to manufacture an ecofriendly jute bag. In Straw Dogs, teams needed to whip unprocessed jute on a plate of giant nails to untangle the fibers. Once they hackled 20 coils of jute, they had to transport it to the machines that manufacture it into bags. Bamboo jungle required teams to collect bamboo used for scaffolding and deliver it to a nearby construction site. Teams had to grab 40 bamboo poles of various lengths and load them onto a freight rickshaw. Negotiating their way through the congested streets, teams had to deliver their awkward cargo to the construction site across town.
As James & Abba headed off to haul bamboo, Abbie & Ryan and twins Natalie & Nadiya arrived at the Roadblock under Demra Bridge. Once again, Ryan complained about the very loud volume that the twins use to cheer each other on, asking Natalie, "Are you going to yell the whole time?" Natalie later commented on Ryan, "He's kind of rude, obnoxious." Departing the Pit Start in fourth place, goat farmers Josh & Brent wandered around the streets of Dhaka looking for a marked stand to get a taxi. Brent sniped, "We can't just stand here. We have to come up with a strategy." The goat farmers' wasted time allowed married monster truckers Rob & Kelley and Chippendales Jaymes & James to move ahead into fourth and fifth place respectively. By the time Josh & Brent finally reached the taxi stand, they saw last place dating couple Trey & Lexi running right behind them. With the support of her sister and a local Bangladeshi boy, who also cheered for "twinny", Nadiya quickly edged Abbie. While Nadiya completed her scale and began placing rocks and wood on it, a frustrated Abbie had to retie the rope suspended from the tripod higher because the scale touched the ground. Ryan described watching Nadiya run off with Natalie after balancing her scale as "deflating" since Abbie arrived first. Just when it appeared Abbie solved her problem and was about to finish, she had to take all the wood and stones off her scale because it again touched the ground. With no choice but to observe, Ryan said, "I probably should've done this one." By the time Abbie completed her scale in third place, Kelley, Jaymes, Trey, and Brent had all begun building theirs.
At the entrance to bamboo market at Tarabo Bazaar, James & Abba chose a freight rickshaw and studied how the 40 pieces of bamboo were roped properly onto an example rickshaw. They then entered the giant open market housing rows and rows of bamboo searching until they found racks marked with yellow and red flags. From the rack, they first took pieces of the smallest size bamboo before turning their focus on the longer ones. While the team made progress filling their rickshaw, James told Abba he needed to slow down a bit citing the oppressive heat and humidity. When they discovered the longer bamboo weighed even more and required more energy to haul, James & Abba walked slowly through the market trying not to hit bystanders along the way. After tying up all 40 pieces of bamboo, Abba began directing the front of the cart through the crowded streets while James pushed from the back. As large trucks and pedestrians took up most all of the road space, the margin for error in directing the rickshaw was razor thin. When they finally reached the construction site, James & Abba had one final challenge of pushing the rickshaw across soft sand to the judge. Once they had presented the cart with all 40 pieces of bamboo, the rock star and lawyer ripped open their next clue sending them to the Pit Stop at Lok Shilpa Jadughar, a folk art and craft museum. After seeing no other teams the entire leg, James & Abba arrived at Lok Shilpa Jadughar in first place and won a trip for two from Travelocity to Malaysia's tropical rainforest. When Phil asked James about his emotional leg, he began to tear up, saying, "My dad was a laborer...and all I could keep thinking today out on that course was he never gave up. I hope he's proud." With the strength and support of his family behind him, James added, "We're gonna keep going."
As twins Natalie & Nadiya began collecting bamboo, dating divorcees Abbie & Ryan entered the Latif Bawani Jute Mill and walked past the seemingly endless rows of machines weaving jute bags into the hackling area. After watching the demonstration, the couple each picked up a bundle of unprocessed jute and whipped the jute onto a plate of giant nails to separate the fibers. Once the jute had been properly hackled, the couple then twisted the bundles and laid them in a row. Once Abbie & Ryan hackled 20 coils of jute, the judge inspected their work and rejected some for not being done properly. Enduring the steamy conditions in the factory, the dating divorcees quietly took jute, whipped the coils on the nails once again, and this time paid closer attention on how to twist and lay their finished product on the factory floor. After the judge approved their work, Ryan picked up a large, heavy bundle of jute and walked with Abbie to Mill #2 to drop it off to receive their clue, ending the leg in second place. On the mat, Ryan expressed disappointment with their finish because he wanted to beat the record of eight wins set by Rachel & Dave.
FEELING THE HEAT
The sweltering heat began to take its toll on Brent and Kelley as they continued to build their scales at the Roadblock. While Jaymes and Trey withstood the conditions and finished quickly, Kelley and Brent both started showing signs of heat exhaustion. Her face beet red and sweating, Kelley took her husband's advice to put her scarf over her head for protection from the sun. On why she didn't give up and kept building her scale, she later commented, "In our everyday life if we're at a monster truck show and we're sick we still have to go out and perform." When she finally completed her scale in sixth place ahead of Brent, Kelley apologized to Rob who responded, "What do you mean, sorry? You did a great job." Alone in last place with only Josh looking on in support, Brent's physical and mental health continued to deteriorate. As he tried to figure out what he did wrong in his scale construction, Brent said, "I'm so exhausted I can hardly form a word." When the foreman again rejected Brent's scale, Brent doubled over in agony and sat down next to Josh, unable to even think or move. Giving Brent water and care, Josh later said, "The worst thing is to see your partner in medical distress. It was kind of frightening." After hydrating himself and resting, former physician Brent began to look noticeably better and felt well enough to continue. He later said, "Even though I've treated many, many patients with dehydration I never actually experienced what it felt like." Almost instantly when he returned to his scale, Brent pinpointed the problem, a wooden peg tied incorrectly, and fixed it. After weighing out the wood, a relieved Brent accepted his clue from the foreman as the surrounding locals applauded him for his brave effort.
With twins Natalie & Nadiya delivering bamboo en route to a third place finish, married monster truckers Rob & Kelley turned in a remarkable performance at the bamboo market to make up ground on other teams. Arriving in sixth place, Rob & Kelley wasted no time and picked up ten bamboo poles for their first trip to load up the rickshaw. Rob later commented, "Monster truck tires are 750-pounds a piece. We use our bare hands to put them on the truck." Rob's sheer brute strength along with Kelley's help allowed the monster truckers to pass Jaymes & James and Trey & Lexi. While the couple argued and struggled somewhat in the difficult hauling from the market to the construction site, Rob & Kelley completed the task and the leg in fourth place.
EVERY BAMBOO COUNTS
As potential elimination loomed large, the relentless and oppressive heat claimed its next victims, Chippendales Jaymes & James. After arriving at the bamboo market in fourth place, the Chippendales confidently thought they could complete the task and maintain their standing in the Race. However, with a lack of food and water in the hot sun, Jaymes & James began to move more slowly and became careless in their actions. Taking an extra-long time to tie up the bamboo so they wouldn't make a mistake, the Chippendales finally began pushing their rickshaw through the streets, but failed to notice the three pieces of bamboo they left behind. Reaching the construction site just ahead of Trey & Lexi, Jaymes & James pushed their rickshaw through the sand to the waiting judge who quickly counted their cargo and waved off the delivery. As Trey & Lexi passed the Chippendales to end in fifth place, the exhausted and drained Chippendales collapsed in the sand when they realized they had to return to the bamboo market with their 37 pieces of bamboo, pick up the missing 3, and come back. The blame fell on James who dropped the pieces of bamboo on the ground and approved the total count before leaving the market. Apologizing to his teammate, James said, "I blew it."
With goat farmers Josh & Brent gaining ground at the bamboo market, Jaymes & James took a moment to rehydrate, catch their breath, and reenergize. James commented, "If you're going to be dumb, you better be tough. Never surrender." Using every bit of energy they had, the Chippendales began hauling their rickshaw back to the market, but had to stop and retighten the ropes holding the bamboo as they started to give way. Frustrated with himself, James hit the bamboo, saying, "This is pretty dire right here." Reaching the market and spotting their three errant bamboo pieces before Josh & Brent could finish loading their rickshaw, the Chippendales battled through their exhaustion and delivered the required 40 pieces to the construction site. To cap their difficult day, Jaymes tripped and fell in spectacular fashion just feet from the Pit Stop and sixth place. After making it the final few feet, Jaymes said, "We are definitely feeling like we were put through the ringer today. [But] don't count us out." Stepping on the mat in last place after what they described as "probably one of the toughest days of our lives," goat farmers Josh & Brent looked tired and spent. When Phil told the pair that this was a non-elimination leg, Josh sighed, "Oh God." He quickly added, "I'm going to run the Race tomorrow as hard as I ran it today if not harder." Josh also made a bold prediction: "We are totally going to make a fabulous comeback in the next leg."
2105 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: A roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. In Bangladesh, vendors use scales to value the wood they sell to market. In this Roadblock, teams had to use an ancient Bangladeshi scale to weigh out a specific amount of wood using rocks as a counterbalance. First, using sticks and ropes, teams had to construct a rudimentary scale, and then balance four heavy stones on one side with an equal weight of wood on the other. When they properly balanced the scale, they would receive their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: James, Abbie, Nadiya, Kelley, Jaymes, Brent, Trey
Detour: In this Detour, teams had the choice of Straw Dogs or Bamboo Jungle. Straw Dogs required teams to help manufacture an ecofriendly jute bag. First, teams had to whip unprocessed jute on a plate of giant nails to untangle the fibers. When they hackled 20 coils of jute, they had to transport it to the machines that manufacture it into bags. Bamboo jungle required teams to collect bamboo used for scaffolding and deliver it to a nearby construction site. Teams had to grab 40 bamboo poles of various lengths and load them onto a freight rickshaw. Negotiating their way through the congested streets, they had to deliver their awkward cargo to the construction site across town.
Straw Dogs: Abbie/Ryan
Bamboo Jungle: James/Abba, Natalie/Nadiya, Rob/Kelley, Jaymes/James, Trey/Lexi, Josh/Brent
Order of Finish 1. James & Abba 2. Abbie & Ryan 3. Natalie & Nadiya 4. Rob & Kelley 5. Trey & Lexi 6. Jaymes & James 7. Josh & Brent.