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Amazing Race: Takin' It To The Lake

I never realized that Southeast Asians had so much in common with Kevin Costner.  During an eye opening visit to Cambodia on this week’s leg of The Amazing Race, teams had the chance to experience life in a veritable Waterworld in a floating village on Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in the region.  Despite having some of the worst water I have ever seen, only a few feet deep and rendered completely opaque with mud, the lake still supported a bustling community that provided transportation, professional services, and recreation to its citizens.  Some teams chose to view everything they saw as a sign of poverty, while others more readily embraced the chance to enjoy a day in a society almost incomparable to ours.

The seven remaining teams found themselves in Cambodia after a relatively drama-free departure from New Zealand, although Kelly & Christy did find time to snicker about Dallas’s hair, wink at each other, and sink even deeper into their chasm of unpleasantness.  Also, karma caught up with Terence & Sarah when they ran afoul of the New Zealand CHiPS for doing 117 in a 100 zone.  Don’t kilometers make everything sound so exciting?

Once on Asian soil, teams were tasked to pump 25 liters of diesel into a jeep using locally customary hand cranked pumps.  Most racers had no problems, but the Superbads saw a solid lead vanish when they just couldn’t get the hang of it.  Everyone then hitched a ride in the jeeps they filled, freely bouncing around in the back while the drivers wore helmets.  That’s just plain disconcerting.  A breakneck boat ride (featuring another divinely ordained breakdown for Terence & Sarah) brought teams to the aforementioned floating village where a detour led to either boating around town running errands or wading in the muck pulling random fish traps trying to find a full one.  The fishing teams finished surprisingly quickly, but the errands provided loads more entertainment value including Tina struggling to score a basket at a floating b-ball gym and an unbelievably priceless look on Christy’s face when she believed for a moment that the challenge was going to involve pulling an old woman’s teeth.

After the detour, events shifted to the temple of Angkor Wat: largest religious structure in the world and a stunning architectural marvel.  It has such an aura of antiquity and mysticism you’d expect to find Indiana Jones fleeing from something slithery and/or pointy.  The racer lucky enough to take on the Road Block got the thrill of wandering the ancient gardens and hallways in search of a chamber designed to produce echoes.  Most teams made short work of the challenge, although Tina did have an always painful moment of running back and forth through the mystery locale several times before putting it all together.  This leg’s finish line was hidden on the grounds of a different nearby temple and while it was no surprise that Aja and Ty came in last, I was fairly surprised to see them eliminated.  The race is nearly half over, and we’ve yet to see a non-elim leg.  Coming in last is really getting suspenseful.

Season 13, Episode 5: Do It Like Madmen (originally aired October 26, 2008)

For another take on this episode, check out Hotter Than Satan’s Toenail by Alana D.

For more on The Amazing Race, click here.

Sundays at 8pm ET/PT on CBS

Photographs courtesy of CBS

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