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The Amazing Race Gets Salty

As Racers harvest salt and fly kites in Bali, everyone randomly piles on one guy for not pulling his weight.

Why'd It Have To Be Snakes?

Teams are now headed to Bali -- which, Phil reports, is "considered to have the world's most diverse plant and animal life." (Spoiler alert: by the end of this segment, the Racers will have gotten to know some of the more fringe elements of that diverse animal life.)

Brodie reports that it's unfortunate he had to burn the Express Pass in the previous leg, but there was no way he was ever going to solve that puzzle (which, if you'll recall, involved spelling a four-letter word that features in the title of the very program on which they're appearing). Burnie and Ashley were cool with yet another second-place finish because this makes them the only team that knows Kurt and Brodie don't have said pass anymore. It's also noted that Kurt's completed five Roadblocks to Brodie's three, which is kind of a big imbalance for this stage of the game. (And technically, since Brodie used the Express Pass on one of those Roadblocks, he's really only done two.)

The following morning, teams are tasked with delivering offerings to monks at two different temples. Offering #1 is a fairly standard fruit basket (of the same sort they had to build in Season 22); Offering #2 is a gigantic frickin' snake. (Tyler says what we're all thinking when he makes the obligatory "I'm A Slave 4 U" reference.) Several teams are squicked out by having to touch a scaly creature, but of course we can't cut to commercial until someone laments that they don't think they can do this...

Take This With A Grain Of Salt

...and we can't come back to commercial unless it turns out everyone CAN, in fact, do this, and it totally ain't no thang.

Cole and Sheri tackle their Speed Bump, in which they'll have to prepare and sell ten bowls of soup from a food truck. Fortunately, people are champing at the bit to eat the food, so they're basically selling the bowls as fast as they can make them. The harder part comes when they have to eat a bowl of the soup themselves, which Sheri is treating as haybales times sandcastles in terms of Race difficulty, and which Cole refers to as "goat testicles" in a stunning display of cultural sensitivity. Foreign food is scary, you guys! What are these things called spices? This noodle doesn't look like spaghetti! You'll be relieved to know they make it through the ordeal alive, and then it's on to the Roadblock.

The Roadblock (which asks, "Who's worth their salt?") requires Racers to harvest salt using traditional Indonesian methods, which involves saturating a patch of sand with water, then collecting and packing the salt. Kurt takes on this Roadblock as well, which doesn't go unnoticed by his fellow Racers.

While Kurt and Burnie make quick work of their salt fields, Rachel and Tyler struggle a bit under the weight of the water buckets. Zach and Korey commisserate about the fact that they both should have taken this one, a theory which is bolstered when Cole rolls up to the Roadblock and commences to smoking it. Eventually, Rachel's the last one to leave, and it looks like she's left it all out on the field.

The Charge Of The Kite Brigade

Burnie and Ashley are ready for a Detour, but surprise! It's a second Roadblock! This one involves assembling some huge-ass kites with the "help" of some local kite enthusiasts.

Burnie feels good about this one, because Brodie and Kurt are right behind them, and Brodie's going to have to tackle this Roadblock -- not only because whoever didn't do the salt has to do the kites, but because Kurt has now maxed out his Roadblocks for the entire rest of the Race. And apparently Brodie, despite his Frisbee-toned physique, is kind of useless at Roadblocks -- a point that never really came up before he totally whiffed the water puzzle last week, but he's definitely not doing anything to disprove this point here. I guess we were all too distracted by his budding showmance to realize what total dead weight this guy is.

Cribbing off of Ashley doesn't seem to help, and the locals who are supposed to be helping really just sort of supervise and snicker behind their hands. But in fairness, most of the Racers don't really know what they're doing, and most of the local kite experts' contributions are either pointing out what Racers are doing wrong or just pointing and laughing.

While Korey, Ashley, and Sheri finish their kites in short order (the kites themselves are pretty spectacular and absolutely worth watching all on their own, especially once they get airborne), Brodie continues to miss small details until well after all the other teams have arrived.

Magic Zach Disappears

The final task on this leg: locate Phil, who's stationed on a ship several hundred yards offshore. Teams board outriggers to paddle out, and while it's neck and neck for awhile, Tyler and Korey snag first place, while Burnie and Ashley rack up their eleven-thousandth consecutive second-place finish.

Meanwhile, back at the Roadblock, only Zach and Rachel and Brodie and Kurt remain, and it's neck and neck. It continues to be neck and neck all the way up to the Pit Stop, where Zach and Rachel roll up just seconds behind the Frisbee bros and are summarily Philiminated. It should be noted that nobody actually tells them to jump overboard...that was entirely their idea.

Verdict

Whatever this season has lacked in inter-team feuding and intense competition, it's more than compensated with some great destinations and incredibly visually stunning tasks. The kites alone make this week a can't-miss episode from a purely travel-porn point of view, but it doesn't hurt that the final sprint to the mat is a total nail-biter.

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