Amazing Race Photo Recap: Land of the Lost

I pity the poor editor in charge of trying to inject a little suspense into Sunday night’s installment of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business. I mean, with Goth/Sims people Kent and Vyxsin misreading their compass, driving wildly off course, and missing a mandatory flight from Japan to China, they were at a five-and-a-half-hour deficit before a single task had been completed. “It really is a million-dollar question,” said Zev, wondering where his competitors had gone. “Either they’re on a kabuki show or super, super lost.” Kent and Vyxsin eventually made up a ton of ground — I’m wondering if TAR producers scored them a faster route to Lijiang than the overnight trains their competitors took — but when Kent left his fanny pack and passports on a gondola, it pretty much sealed their fate in finishing last.

Or did it? TAR tried to pull a fast one with a “to be continued” zinger at the end of the episode. We left Justin and Zev at the final detour — carrying a giant ceremonial horn through the streets of old-town Lijiang and uncertain if they were heading in the right direction. Kent and Vyxsin, meanwhile, were last seen desperately trying to get their bus driver to reverse course on a narrow mountain road and retrieve their lost items. I’d bet everything in my wallet that the Goths will finish last, but seeing how the preceding seven teams weren’t allowed to rest at the pit stop and had to keep racing, the question remains whether or not they’ll be eliminated when they get there. (Place your bets in the comments.)

For the record, the finishing order (thus far) at the pit stop reads as follows: Margie/Luke; Jet/Cord; Gary/Mallory (the goofy father/daughter team almost always seems to be near the front of the pack, eh?); Ron/Christina; Kisha/Jen; Flight Time/Big Easy; and Jaime/Cara. And now, without further ado, an episode recap via the time-honored tradition of the screengrab:

Vyxsin decides to approach the day with PMA ('Positive Mental Attitude'). Wonder what her Debbie Downer days look like.

Ron has been the most irritating contestant this season, but you've got to respect any guy who understands that sometimes you've got to risk the big prize for warm Chinese buns.

Stomach full of Chinese delicacies + 500 meter sprint = this facial expression.

Cord's yak-riding technique amuses the locals.

One creature makes a case for a CBS spinoff series: CSI: New Yak.

Shockingly, Cord's interpretive cock-a-doodle dance does not yield any clues to the location of the Chinese Zodiac paddle in question.

Ron's temper tantrum causes daughter Christina to hurl herself from a moving vehicle.

Clue-holder plays bemused Bugs Bunny to Zev's agitated Elmer Fudd.

Fievel the mouse knows that somewhere out there, the 'little pink kitten' will find all 12 Zodiac tiles.

Mallory again takes home the prize for the episode's best self-deprecating sound bite: 'I need to pay my dues and make some candy for change -- all the candy I eat!'

'I just really never thought of myself as a stupid person -- until this race,' cries Vyxsin, sadly driving home her point by looking for clues in the dirt.

It actually would be kind of awesome if the driver heeded Vyxsin's pleas and turned the bus around RIGHT THERE.

What did you think of this week’s Amazing Race. Will Kent and Vyxsin be eliminated next week? And more importantly, should they? Sound off below, and for all my reality recaps, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Sue says:

    OMG. CSI New Yak. LMAO!

  2. M~ says:

    Way to expand a recap with nothing but pictures!!!!!

  3. dctoronto says:

    Very funny. Loved the Vixyen looking for the clue in the dirt comment. Great recap.

  4. Doug says:

    I love this!

    And boy, the second double leg already! I’m guessing Kent and Vyxsin still need to take a penalty for missing that required flight. There might be another equalizer in the next leg, so I wouldn’t count them out just yet.

  5. darclyte says:

    While the flight from Japan to China was “mandatory/required,” it isn’t like the Goths circumvented it and found some alternative route to China. They missed their flight and left about 6 hours later than the others. That alone should be penalty enough, so I hope that they aren’t penalized, or at worst are given a “Speed Bump.” I don’t know how missing a flight and leaving 6 hours behind everyone else could result in a further time penalty, but we’ll see.

    As for the upcoming double U-Turn, while it might be strategic to U-Turn the Goths believing that they’re so far behind that it would be the final nail, it also would be strategic for a front running team to U-Turn another front running team (like Margie/Luke U-Turning the Cowboys, or the Cowboy s doing it to Gary/Mallory.) It also could be strategic to U-Turn Ron/Christina since they have an “advantage” by speaking Chinese. U-Turning them would help to offset that “advantage.”

    • thalbert says:

      U-turning Gary/Mallory would force them to use the express pass and be an equalizer. With all the alliances going on this time, I suspect that one team might u-turn a team to save their buddies rather than punish another team.

  6. Sean says:

    My Random Thoughts:

    – Zev and Justin talked about the last couple of legs being “rocking chair legs” for Zev, meaning he pretty much had to sit back and do nothing. Hello Mr. Foreshadowing…why not just put a flashing neon sign on the screen that says “Zev has to do a Roadblock this episode and has a lot of trouble with it!!”

    – Mallory’s grunt-fest continued right from the mat at the beginning of the episode, as she made some sort of gutteral noise as she and Gary opened the envelope to start the leg. To be fair, she wasn’t as bad for the rest of the episode, and I’m wondering if she’s being edited like she was last season…to be a manic freak for their first few episodes, and then a calmer and mellower Mallory for the last few episodes. The fact that we may be seeing that switch already leads me to believe that we aren’t going to see much more of Gary and Mallory.

    – Kent and Vyxsin stated that they wanted to approach this leg with PMA: Positive Mental Attitude. That mindset went out the window before they even got into their vehicle, and they rambled at each other in a combined state of confusion and panic. Then, they had no clue how to navigate the streets of Japan, and seemingly decided to just make random left turns until they found themselves in a metropolitan construction zone before getting on the highway in the wrong direction. Wow…what a disaster

    I hope you’ll check out the rest of my Recap at

  7. albert says:

    I see why Phil was so quick to give the Globetrotters a penalty last time. He knew it would have no impact whatsoever as all teams were to take the same flight the next day.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I liked the photo recap, it’s a nice change from recaps that just tell me what I saw last night. I don’t really need an actual recap, I need a commentary that makes me laugh. Keep up the good work, Slezak!

  9. Saracen Riggins says:

    As usual, you crack me up, Slezak! I think my favorite is the Fievel comment ;)

  10. Marc says:

    If I were the producers, I’d only penalize a team for failing to take a “required” flight, train, boat, etc. if they gained or were attempting to gain an advantage. They would get penalized for taking a flight that arrives earlier than the required one or that takes less time than the required one–ie: no making up any lost time. So, if Kent and Vyxsin’s flight left Japan five and a half hours after the required flight, they must be no less that five and half hours behind the others when they arrive in China or face a penalty for any lost time they made up. After that, I wouldn’t penalize them if they got a faster train if they did not violate the instructions at the route marker.

  11. David says:

    While everyone else took a train to their second stop in China after the required flight, Kent and Vixen took a plane. Everyone took the trains because it got them in before the flight the next day. If you remember, when they arrived at the airport Margie was asking people if they were going to take the train. Everyone could have waited for the 7am flight that Kent and Vixen still took. So even though they missed their required flight, they still arrived in enough time to catch that 7am flight that anyone else “could” have taken.

    The reason that the flight was required, was because there were VERY few flights between the originating and destination cities.

  12. jef says:

    CSI:New Yak bwahahaaaaa!

    Glad Dan’s not my dad. :(

  13. oriharakaoru says:

    lol irl especially at this part: “Ron’s temper tantrum causes daughter Christina to hurl herself from a moving vehicle.” A++

    I think the goths will probably be eliminated next week, especially because they might receive a time penalty for not taking the right plane to China. But who kniws with this race?

  14. Evan Meadow says:

    I think at the end of next week’s episode its gonna be a Non Elim leg.

    They won’t go home yet.

  15. Melokesm says:

    Hilarious recap! Love the screen shots! Definitely do it again next week.

  16. Roy says:

    I totally agree. Great recap with the photos and comments. Especially the Vyxen comment. They are both just really stupid for making so many mistakes during this leg.