Monday, October 26, 2009

Letters to Pauly: The Amazing Race, Vol. 5 - Rowboats, Hookahs, and Water Slides in Dubai; Tiff-Ho Move into Second Place

By Trisha Lynn
New York City

Editor's Note: Pop-culture correspondent Trisha Lynn returns as a guest scribe to Tao of Poker.

Dear Pauly,

I wasn't really expecting much from this week's episode of "The Amazing Race" because of how Tiffany Michelle and Maria Ho have been blowing leads and just not running good. I also discovered that I shouldn't read too much into what the couch-surfers think about our Maria and Tiffany because while they keep saying that Maria's useless because she's not doing enough solo physical challenges, I remember Tiffany saying in the very first episode that she's the brawn, which means that both of them know each's weaknesses well enough to be a competent team. But just as one should never rest easy with pocket Aces, one should also never count out women who are determined to win; this episode is proof-positive of that very fact.

Personally, I was almost caught flat-footed when the show started on time tonight because the last two weeks were delayed by football games. The "previouslys" catch us up on the action, including a shot of Lawyer Lance's he-man vase-throwing which reminds us all of how glad we are that he and his shrill-voiced fiance are not going to win $1 million dollars.

We're still in Dubai for this episode, starting at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah which I've learned is a shopping center at a fancy-schmacy resort where rooms can cost $700 USD a night. Just like you were disappointed that they weren't roughing it in Cambodia, I'm a little disappointed that they probably got to spend the night in that fancy-schmancy resort before setting off the next morning.

Being in sixth place, the girls are definitely up a creek without a paddle when they head off for the Dubai Creek and Yacht Club. "Jesus, please let us leave Dubai," Maria moans, and Tiffany comments on the heat when they take off with a locked briefcase: "I don't think I've ever seen James Bond sweat."

Just ahead of them are the GayBros., who mention that they are still in an alliance with the girls but are confident that if they ever needed to so, they'd be able to outrun the them and everyone else--except for the Globetrotters--to the mat. Oh, boys... that statement is going to bite your hot little asses later on.

But oh, no! The Globetrotters' cab driver took them to the wrong yacht club! Big Easy is having problems rowing the tiny inflatable dinghy to a yacht in the middle of the harbor where they're supposed to receive a watch as a traditional hospitality gift!

The girls and the GayBros. find the club and I sit back in awe as Tiffany powers through the water while Maria figures out that the time on the watch contains the combination to their briefcase which contains the next clue. Then again, I shouldn't have been surprised because right before Tiffany sets off into the water, Maria says, "It might be physical; you're faster." And even Tiffany is proud of her achievement because as she says later in interview that she's so proud whenever she accomplishes a physical task that all the other guys do that the other female teammates don't. Maybe that'll shut up those nay-sayers.

When they leave the club, they've moved up into fifth place because the Globetrotters overthink the watch clue and approach it from the wrong angle. The GayBros. are just ahead of them now, and independently, both teams choose Gold as their next task. The challenge is to weigh out exactly $500,000 USD worth of gold using an electric scale; there's a monitor that shows the exchange rate that helps them out. However, since it's ever-changing, they have to weigh out exactly the right amount of gold before the rate changes. The GayBros. prove that they're more than just pretty faces when they mention that they bought a $2 calculator from Wal-Mart and brought it with them... but they can't figure out how to calculate the number of ounces needed.

When the girls arrive, there's a cute little exchange where they go, "Hi boys!" with a chirrup, and the boys respond with a tired, "Hey...." The girls are ushered into the next room, where Maria has quickly figured out the right formula. Noticing that the boys have a calculator, she asks to borrow it and they agree only if the girls will tell them what the magic weight is. The first time, the rate changes just as they've called over their judges and they have to do it again, but because they've cracked the code, both teams are off and running to the next task.

The other task was to put together 12 hookahs from parts that are packed away in a large crate and the teams had to assemble them exactly. I suspect that if you had been Racing, you would have had that done it in no time.

At this point, I was almost on the edge of my seat because the girls were in third place and they'd never gotten that close to the front before. It was so nerve-wracking that I almost didn't want to watch anyone else because I wanted them to hang on to their lead. The last part of the Race for this week is to head off to another fancy-schmancy resort, Atlantis, The Palm and this is probably the part of the show you'll see lovingly recapped by the gang at Wicked Chops. The task is to ride a near-vertical water slide underneath a shark tank to the very bottom where the next clue awaits. Tiffany goes down first (hurr, hurr) wearing a black bikini top and red bottoms; Maria is next, and she almost loses her yellow bikini top as she exits the slide.

Luckily, the traffic and transit gods must have smiled on them between the jewelry store and the resort because when they reach the mat on a beach at the resort, they look behind them to see the GayBros. racing along the beach in matching red swim trunks a la Baywatch. When host Phil announce that the girls are in second place and the boys are in third, there is a jubilant group hug in the surf. Now there's a group hug that almost anyone would want to be a part of. But let me just say it again, because I can: Maria and Tiffany are in second place this week. Suck it, haters!

NEXT WEEK: Miss America completely loses it and one of the Globetrotters dances in Dutch drag.

Trisha Lynn
Trisha Lynn is a writer from New York City. She's also a contributor to Movie

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Dearest Trisha,

What would I do without you and your recaps from Week 1, Week 2, Week 3, and Week 4?

One again, the poker ladies got trumped by a sports-filled Sunday as football bled into the baseball playoffs and I obsessed over my bets on the afternoon games, reloading the stats page on multiple fantasy football teams, keeping an eye on a few football pools, not to mention Fantasy Sports Live. And then there was the Yankees/Angele Game 6 that had gotten delayed from the previous night.

I have the episode saved on TiVo and I'll take a peek only because of the hookah scene. But wow, the girls jumped into second place with six teams remaining? I'll have to start watching it especially since they head to Holland. Will they try to be window hookers? Or weigh out 500 pounds of hashish?

Thanks again for your stellar updates.


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