Leg 9: Malta to Singapore
For the most part, there really haven't been any specific strategies in play during season 25 of The Amazing Race other than 'do well at racing.' It was during Leg 8, though, when all of the teams ganged up against #TheCyclists Kym and Alli. This conspiracy against the pair came to a convoluted fruition in this episode due to no one's fault but their own, though to be honest, I don't know why they were the targets of the hit in the first place.
Sure, Kym and Alli kept to themselves and they've been tough competitors throughout. But the only team with a real leg up are #TheDentists Misti and Jim. They still have a Save, which would keep them out of the frying pan in the event they finish a leg in last place. Misti and Jim have finished at the top a grand total of four times (!), compared to two top finishes for Kym and Alli. To paraphrase Keyser Söze: "The greatest trick the #TheDentists ever pulled was convincing the world they didn't exist." Why everyone isn't teaming up to take them down utterly confuses me.
So, Kym and Alli went home, and that makes me a little sad since at their best they were infusing the show with some really fun moments of chaotic levity. Now we're stuck still having to deal with the dour dentists.
Not far in front of #TheCyclists though, in fourth place, were UW-Madison's own #SweetScientists Amy and Maya. At first it seemed like they would be off to a great start, with Maya absolutely crushing a Roadblock requiring funambulism talents.
How fast could you creep across two ropes from one tower of Singapore's Marina Bay Sands resort to another tower while 57 stories above the busy streets of the city? Well, Maya can do it at least a hundred times better than you can, apparently.
Surprising no one more than herself, it turns out that she had both faith and zero hesitation, and seemed almost utterly in her element out there, practically having fun! The Detour they selected would be a different story though.
Everyone except #TheDentists went with the "China Cups" Detour – a session of cupping therapy that might have sounded like a walk in the park but brought all the teams to the brink of tears. Indeed, the #SweetScientists reacting the most vociferously to the incredibly painful-looking back "massage" intended to remove toxins. Amy actively placed a towel between her teeth to get through the experience on sheer grit, and come its end, her back was visibly covered in deep bruises and welts.
They got through it in the end, only for their next trial to begin. This would be the final stage of the leg, which is where the intrigue between teams only deepened.
U-Turns still kind of go over my head. They happen occasionally, and sometimes teams can Fast Forward through them somehow? In all honesty, I just let them wash over me and have faith that the folks on the show know what they're doing enough for the both of us.
Amy and Maya were the only ones to use a U-Turn this episode, needlessly on leg winners #SoulSurfers Adam and Bethany, as it turned out. But the #SweetScientists had an expectation that #TheWrestlers Brooke and Robbie would team up with them and use their own U-Turn on #TheCyclists. Somewhere along the way, though, lines got crossed and #TheWrestlers not only didn't use their U-Turn on #TheCyclists, but they also went so far as to proactively throw Amy and Maya off the scent by lying to them about a clue required to reach the Pit Stop.
It looks like Amy and Maya are going to confront Brooke and Robbie about all this going into the next leg, which I expect to set off some fireworks between the two teams. Regardless of that little wrinkle in this season, I sincerely hope everyone puts their heads together and realizes that they shouldn't be doing dirty work for #TheDentists by knocking out front-running teams that don't have Save passes hanging out in their back pockets.
Keep up with the #SweetScientists and view images of them racing on the team's Facebook page.