It's 3 a.m. in Bora Bora on "The Amazing Race" and frontrunner surfers Jessica and John are heading by water taxi -- which doesn't start running till 7:30 a.m. -- to Moto Toopua Nui, that spot you've seen in every travel ad in the history of the world. You know, the one with the palapas on docks built out over impossibly turquoise water. Yep, that one.
But first, a little strategizing. Jessica and John want to keep their alliance on the down low, "because we want to get the joy of having other teams basically suck up to us," John says. Charming. Dave and Connor, the Utah father-son duo are not thrilled by this development.
Roller derby mom Jessica says "sucking up is not my nature." But she tells the surfers that she calls them "Abercrombie and Fitch, because you guys are like Abercrombie and Fitch gorgeous," and the YouTube duo is "Team Fabulous."
The docs share their fear of water, and the hockey brothers share their lack of teeth. Meanwhile, the rest of the teams have begun arriving and they're racing up to the chapel to get their first clue.
An Underwater Detour
The choices at this underwater challenge are "pick a pearl" -- harvest oysters on the ocean floor, shuck them and find two red pearls -- or "take a trunk," go kersploosh in search of treasure chests, also on the ocean floor. The treasure? An underwater picnic, which requires setting up a table, chairs and picnic gear underwater.
The roller derby moms have never snorkeled, and they find the snuba diving helmets a little claustrophobic, but they're game -- especially when they see all the gorgeous tropical fish.
The docs are apprehensive. "The water is deep and it's everywhere," they say. That's kind of the defining characteristic of oceans, guys. They debate whether to simply take the six-hour penalty. Seriously? The argument continues, until they finally go underwater and start grabbing oysters, one at a time, instead of grabbing them by the line. Sheesh. Eventually, they decide to try the other challenge.
Meanwhile, the last two teams, the loathsome newlyweds and the country singers, have finally arrived, their four-hour penalty's effect reduced to 90 minutes thanks to the water taxi start time.
The YouTubes, surfers and hockey boys are the first to complete the detour, heading off on "personal watercraft" -- the trademark-sidestep that describes JetSkis, WaveRunners and the like -- to Motu Tapu, a much-photographed island in the South Pacific. The editors provide a little Wagnerian music to send them on their way. Ride, Valkyries, ride!
Polynesian dancers greet them on the beach. A "well-balanced individual" from each team must kick a coconut across the beach while wearing stilts on sand. The first teams make short work of the challenge, while the besties -- Pam and Winnie -- head out to sea on their JetSki. Uh oh.
Hockey boys Bates and Anthony are in first place, winning a trip to London. Utah dad-lad are team two, but dad seems to have ruptured his Achilles tendon while running for the pit stop. They'll try icing his ankle. The surfers are in third place, and they decide to hold onto their second express pass until they know if the dad-lad team are still in the running. The YouTubes come in fourth, followed by "Mr. Mullet" Chuck and Wynona in fifth place. The roller derby moms are sixth.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch -- or rather, the South Pacific, the besties are still lost at sea. Literally. The newlyweds are racing to the beach with the country singers in hot pursuit. Unless they're playing games with the editing, the twin docs are in last, last, last place. They're still underwater, setting up a picnic by the underwater umbrellas.
Now the country singers are atop the stilts; one says she's really into anything "nimble-y." They're seventh to the mat, with newlyweds Max and Katie in eighth place and the besties in ninth. Twin docs Idries and Jamal are last to the mat and they're out.
Next week: One team gets crutches, and inner tubes figure prominently in a New Zealand challenge.