The Amazing Race

Episode 18.07 : You Don't Get Paid Unless You Win (Varanasi, India)

  • The Amazing Race
    • Episode Premiere : April 10, 2011
    • Distributor : CBS
    • Genre : Game-Show, Adventure
    • Seasons : 18
    • Show Period : 2001 - now
    • Production Company: Jerry Bruckheimer Television
    • Official Site :

Cast and Crew

  • Main Cast
    • Phil Keoghan

The Story

In the holy city of Varanasi, India, cowboys Jet & Cord overcame a huge deficit to stay in the race while Ron stumbled at the Roadblock resulting in his and Christina's elimination from the race.


Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 1:18pm, father and daughter Gary & Mallory ripped open their clue instructing them to fly to the city of Varanasi. Perched on the banks of the sacred Ganges River, the city is the religious heart of India. When they landed, teams had to make their way to a tonga stand for their next clue.

Arriving at the airport, Gary & Mallory found a Kingfisher flight connecting through Delhi that would land in Varanasi at 10:45am the next day. All teams booked tickets on this flight except one. Cowboys Jet & Cord walked up to a Jet Airways counter and found a flight connecting through Delhi that landed at 11:45am the next day. After being assured that this was the earliest available flight, the cowboys booked seats on it, unaware of the earlier Kingfisher flight. Cord later said, "The way I was raised if somebody looks me straight in the eye and tells me something I'm gonna take their word for it."

With some time to spare before catching their flight to Delhi, father and daughter Ron & Christina took a taxi to a restaurant for some authentic Indian food. Ron said, "I'm a happy camper when I have food in my tummy." Enjoying a delicious meal, Ron later commented, "It was just marvelous to spend time with her before she gets married next year. I enjoy the ability to go to places with her and just savor the moment."


Landing in Delhi, six teams boarded their connecting Kingfisher flight to Varanasi wondering what happened to Jet & Cord. Justin thought, "They gotta be wondering where everybody is." Settling into her seat, a confused Mallory said, "I still just can't figure it out. I don't know how they didn't get this flight. Maybe they weren't paying attention."

Looking on the board of departing flights while waiting for their Jet Airways flight, Jet & Cord finally noticed the earlier Kingfisher flight listed that just took off with the other six teams. At the near empty Jet Airways gate, the cowboys waited, as Jet asked, "Are we the only ones on this flight? It's gonna be a long day." Now faced with being an hour behind the other teams, Cord recalled the difficulties he and Jet had in leg seven in the Seychelles the first time they ran the race when they forgot a bottle on a boat. A reflective Cord said, "That was a long leg of the race for us. Try not to repeat that."


Landing in Varanasi, India, best friends Zev & Justin took the lead out of the airport, but they soon lost it when their taxi had to stop for gas. Getting into their taxi last, Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy encouraged their driver to be aggressive at the wheel. After overtaking Kisha & Jen, Big Easy told his driver, "Represent yourself. Represent your country. You're the man." When the Globetrotters' driver then passed Gary & Mallory, Big Easy praised him, saying, "We got a beast."

Arriving at the tonga stand in first place, dating Goths Kent & Vyxsin opened their clue to find a Roadblock. The streets of Varanasi are filled with colorful sadhus, holy men who have given their lives over to prayer and meditation. In this Roadblock, one team member, using only pictures as a reference, had to search for six sadhus who would each hand them a clue. When teams properly arranged all six clues, the meaning of life would be revealed. Then, they had to find a seventh and final sadhu and tell him the meaning of life to receive the next clue.

Running into the crowded streets of Varanasi to begin his search for the holy sadhus, Kent commented, "Times Square had got nothing on the tonga stand intersection. It was insanity." Dodging animals and people, Kent first stumbled upon the sadhu he needed to present his answer to, so he returned into the bustling streets where he met up and agreed to work with Gary. Kent promised, "If we find all the men, I'll take you to the finish. I won't screw you."


As Justin searched through the streets, an uncomfortable Zev, who has Asperger Syndrome, did his best to tolerate the overwhelming sights and sounds of Varanasi while he waited at the tonga stand. The loud, intrusive honking of horns forced Zev to cover his ears in frustration, later explaining, "I have sensitive ears, so the sound was just a lot to take in." After Mallory helped out by giving Zev earplugs to block the noise, Zev added, "I just had to take a deep breath and that helped the situation."


After teaming up with Big Easy to find one clue, Jen continued to search for the brightly colored sadhus on her own, saying, "It's crazy. The traffic is crazy and all the colors coming together, it all looks alike." Keeping her eyes on the crowds of people, she methodically collected each clue until it spelled out the meaning of life: Once you're over the hill you pick up speed. Returning to Kisha, Jen ripped open their next clue instructing them to make their way to the Tulsi Ghat area and find the local Swaminath Akhara, a wrestling and strength conditioning club.

As Justin and Big Easy teamed up to find the last sadhu close behind Jen in second and third place, last place Jet & Cord finally arrived at the tonga stand. With a lot of ground to make up, Cord started running through the crowded streets trying to spot the colorful sadhus. On what drives Cord as a competitor, he later said, "The profession Jet and I grew up doing, competing in rodeos and riding bulls and bucking horses, you don't get paid unless you win so you gotta leave all your cards on the table while you're here."


Gary and Kent continued their partnership with Gary leading the way and Kent mostly following behind. Kent even joked, "When in doubt, follow Gary." Once the pair found all six clues, Kent darted off leaving Gary behind to find the seventh sadhu on his own. Kent later commented, "I didn't feel bad about bolting because at that point our co-dependency was kind of over." After solving the meaning of life, Kent returned to Vyxsin in fourth place and took off to the Tulsi Ghat area. Even without Kent's help, Gary quickly spotted the seventh sadhu and left the tonga stand with Mallory close behind the dating Goths.

With a determined Cord spotting all six sadhus as he briskly ran through the streets, Ron wandered aimlessly near the Ganges River, well off course from where he needed to be. Confused at not finding any sadhus, Ron wondered aloud, "Where are these holy men?" After Jet & Cord left the tonga stand, Christina continued to wait patiently, commenting, "I knew the cowboys would catch up. I was just hoping it wasn't catching up to us. I just hope my dad is keeping calm right now." Finally realizing his mistake, Ron retraced his steps and returned to the more crowded area near the tonga stand where he quickly found the sadhus to reveal the meaning of life.


Arriving at the Swaminath Akhara together in first place, best friends Zev & Justin and Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy ripped open their clue to find a Detour having the choice of Feed the Fire or Feed the Buffalo. In Feed the Fire, teams travel the Ganges River and then follow the path to the home of a local milkman. Once there, teams had to make 50 traditional fuel patties out of buffalo manure and then slap them on the wall to dry in the sun. Finally, teams had to load a stove with fuel patties and light a fire to boil milk for the local children. In Feed the Buffalo, teams had to cross the Ganges and pick up a large load of hay. Then, teams had to cross the Ganges again and carry their hay through the narrow streets to the address attached to their bundles.

Both teams jumped into boats and crossed the Ganges River to find large bales of green hay waiting for them under colorful tents on the shore. After picking up the bales, both teams returned to their boats, crossed the river back to Ksameshwar Ghat where they began the difficult task of transporting the unwieldy delivery through the narrow streets. When the two teams encountered a group of cows blocking the alley, Big Easy told Zev & Justin to lift their bales of hay high above their heads to prevent the cattle from eating it. After snaking past the cows who did their best to nibble at the tasty hay, the two teams finally arrived at the home of the dairy farmer, dropped off their bales, and received the next clue instructing them to find the Pit Stop at Ramnagar Fort.

In a showdown of tuk-tuks racing through the city to Ramnagar Fort, Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy barely edged best friends Zev & Justin to come in first place. For their victory, the Globetrotter won a trip for two from Travelocity to the big island of Hawaii. Flight Time commented, "The past couple legs we kind of struggled and for us to come in first makes you forget about all the pain that you felt." Big Easy added, "We wanna get a winning streak going and ride it out to the championship."


Sisters Kisha & Jen traveled on the Ganges River to Sakka Ghat where they immediately realized to their dismay that the fuel they needed to make involved manure. As she crouched down to start forming patties from the pile of foul-smelling manure, Jen quipped, "Man, the crap you do for a million dollars." Kisha joked, "Smells like perfume." When the pair started gagging over the horrible smell, Kisha asked, "Jen, are we really doing this?" The usually harmonious team briefly bickered over the best way to make the patties, but they soon got over their disagreement and slapped the required 50 patties on the wall before lighting the fire to warm up milk to end the day in third place.


During their boat ride on the Ganges to Sakka Ghat, father and daughter Gary & Mallory took a moment outside of the race to reflect on what they saw around them. When Gary pointed out to Mallory the burning fires along the shores of the sacred river, he told her, "They're cremating people." A stunned Mallory couldn't believe her eyes, saying, "We thought we knew India from Kolkata. This is so much different." Mallory later added, "I've never seen anyplace where death is celebrated like that. Maybe because it's such a holy place. Varanasi is like another planet."


After battling it out against Gary & Mallory at the malodorous manure pile, dating Goths Kent & Vyxsin left Sakka Ghat in fourth place, but the panicked pair soon squandered the lead they held over the three teams behind them. After jumping into a water taxi to Ramnagar Fort, the dating Goths didn't make much progress away from the dock. Shouting and urging their driver to hurry didn't help matters as Vyxsin lamented, "Our water taxi [driver] is a psycho!" When their pleas to return the boat to shore went unanswered, Vyxsin took matters into her own hands by jumping into the Ganges River and dragging the boat back to shore. Remaining dry in the boat, an incredulous Kent screamed, "Don't go in the water! Are you insane?"


With Gary & Mallory and Jet & Cord now passing the dating Goths to finish in fourth and fifth place, Vyxsin hauled the water taxi back to shore and got out of the river. Running out to the street to catch a taxi, Kent sniped at Vyxsin, "You gotta get a grip, sis." After first coming upon an empty taxi, the dating Goths continued searching and finally found one with a customer already in it who they promptly and effectively ordered out.

At the same time, last place Ron & Christina delivered their hay to the local dairy farmer and jumped into a water taxi after being told that was the fastest way to Ramnagar Fort. As they sped across the Ganges, the father and daughter told each other, "Never give up." Christina added, "Pray for the best." Running off the boat towards the fort, Christina continued to encourage her father, saying, "You're doing great!"

In the end however, Ron & Christina fell short as the father and daughter stepped onto the mat in last place. After Phil eliminated them, Ron said, "We had a grand ride and it was a gift to come back, a second chance especially with Christina before she gets married. We have no regrets." A tearful Christina added, "My dad and I are much closer after this experience. Winning isn't everything. I'll never forget these memories my dad and I made here."






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