Monday, November 15, 2010

The Amazing Race: Season 17: Episode: Gary & Mallory Eliminated While Chad & Stephanie Come In First With Marriage Proposal

Gary & Mallory had themselves a real difficult time finding their way around the Sultanate Of Oman, looking for Jabel Shams, the tallest mountain in the Sultanate. The troubles with finding the mountain led to Phil eliminating the pleasant dad and daughter team from The Amazing Race.

This leg of the race started off real rough for Chad & Stephanie, with the pair oversleeping, by precisely 2 hours, their departure time.

The other teams were on 2 other flights to Muscat, Oman, but somehow Chad & Stephanie managed to find a flight that got them to the Sultanate only 10 minutes behind the second flight, which greatly perplexed those teams, who thought Chad & Stephanie were far behind them.

Upon arrival in Oman teams had to find Burj Al Mubkaharah for an Omani to give them an ingot with a time inscribed on it, which indicated their time to climb the steps to the top of a fort to find their next clue.

Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire were the first to the ingots. They were followed in a tight taxi race by Chad & Stephanie, Jill & Thomas, Nick & Vicki and Gary & Mallory.

Jill & Thomas made it to the fort ahead of the others and snagged the 7:45 climb time. The remaining 3 teams had trouble finding the man and his ingots. With Chad eventually spotting the man and snagging another 7:45 start time.

Early in the morning, as they waited for the fort to open, Chad & Stephanie took walk along the Arabian Sea. Chad got down on bended knee and proposed to Stephanie, now in tears, as she accepted a ring from Chad. A ring which was Chad's mother's, who passed away during Chad's freshman college year. The other teams watched the proposal from afar and congratulated the newly engaged pair upon their return to the group.

Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire, at 7:30, ran up the stairs of the fort to find a clue directing them to find Jabel Shams, the tallest mountain in Oman. All the teams, except for Nat & Kat and Gary & Mallory relied on asking locals for directions to the mountain. Nat & Kat and Gary & Mallory relied on a map, which put them both far in back of the pack as they got lost, with both eventually abandoning the maps to ask locals for help finding the mountain.

Chad & Stephanie were first to the base of the mountain, where they found a man who took over driving, due to the mountain roads being steep and treacherous. At the top of the mountain the cluebox revealed a Roadblock. One team member had to rappel down a 500 foot high cliff to a narrow ledge where they had to look through 100s of Aladdin-type lamps, looking for Aladdin's magic ring to get their next clue.

Chad took this one for the team. Soon, Jill & Thomas showed up, with Thomas wimping out, making his girl friend rappel down the mountain. Chad found a ring and got his next clue. Drive to the town of Nizwa and find a giant stack of books.

Nick & Vicki and Brook & Claire arrived at the mountain at about the same time. Nick, who had been a bit of a boy bitch at Vicki, because Vicki had helped Brook & Claire, joined Thomas on wimping out on the rappelling. Claire was the brave girl on her team.

Vicki aced flying down the mountain, saying she felt like Spiderman. Then corrected that to Spiderwoman.

Back on the road, ahead of Brook & Claire, Nick was quite upset to find they had a flat tire. And to see Brook & Claire pass them by on the way to the stack of books.

Chad & Stephanie made it to the books just ahead of Jill & Thomas. The clue was a Detour. Water Table or Wedding Table. No one choose Wedding Table, so I'll forego describing it, except to say it involved 25 chickens. In Water Table teams had to pump some water and find their way to where it needed to be delivered.

Chad & Stephanie were ahead, but Jill & Thomas caught a break when they accidented upon a man whose cousin's house was where they needed to make the water delivery. This put them well ahead of Chad & Stephanie.

After the water delivery, the clue directed Jill & Thomas to a market in Muscat called Muttrah Souq to find a guy who would give them some smoking frankincense and then look all over the market for Ali Baba to get the Pit Stop clue.

While Brook & Claire and Nick & Vicki worked the water, Nat & Kat finally made it to the mountain. Kat did the task due to Nat being terrified of heights. Kat completed the task and the pair was back on their way to the stack of books, when Gary & Mallory showed up. Seeing Nat & Kat made Gary & Mallory a bit optimistic that they might still be in the race.

Mallory zipped down the mountain. What a perky girl.

Jill & Thomas found Ali Baba first, with the clue directing them to the Pit Stop at Al Alam Palace. On the way to the Pit Stop, Jill & Thomas broke a rule by paying a taxi driver to lead them. They arrived at the mat first, to be told by Phil they had incurred a 30 minute penalty. Which had Chad & Stephanie in 1st place when they arrived shortly thereafter.

Did Chad & Stephanie have a good leg of the race, or what? From last to first, starting out from a 2 hour hole, a marriage proposal and first place with a trip for two to Belize.

Nick & Vicki found Ali Baba and beat Brook & Clair for 3rd place, which put the shopping show hosts at 4th, followed by Nat & Kat, with Gary & Mallory, last, and eliminated.

This make 4 excellent episodes of The Amazing Race in a row. And didn't Oman look like a fun place to visit. The architecture. The scenery. The people.

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