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'Amazing Race' Recap: Turkish-Ish

By Henning Fog, Hollywood.com Staff

Last week, teams on The Amazing Race were forced to erect a traditional Bangladeshi scale (according to very specific instructions) before hauling around 30 overlong bamboo rods over the city on bike in extremely hot weather.

This week almost everyone got steam baths.

Welcome to Istanbul, Turkey, racers! After much grumbling in Bangladesh, our seven remaining teams hopped the same flight to this continent-straddling city. But before we get there, readers, we have to talk about the Karmic faux pas Natalie and Nadiya (with an assist from Trey and Lexi) committed at the travel agency. Namely that they F**KING STOLE JAMES AND ABBA'S MONEY. A wad of cash dropped from Abba's pants, Natalie spotted it… and before you could say ""Good Samaritan,"" Twinnies had decided to pocket the treasure. But giving some to Trey and Lexi, who saw what was going on.

Judge not lest ye be judged and walk a mile in another's shoes, etc., sure, but theft of that magnitude — it was about $100, and more importantly, the money each team needed to leave Bangladesh — can't just be written off as competitive drive. No, it's crap; a cheap way to get ahead. And should the Amazing Race universe be governed by some justice-dispensing power (which it often is, come to think), Twinnies have more than playground taunting with Ryan and Abbie to worry about in the coming weeks.

……….Hold on, it's just an awfully high horse to climb down from. Back to the race!

Upon arrival in Instanbal, teams could opt for public transportation (dependable; not that fast) or taxis (unpredictable; fast when possible) to take them to their ferry Road Marker. Almost everyone chose the former, save Chippendales and Rob and Kelley, who continued to do things ""their own way."" Either way, everyone was treated to some pretty stunning views of Istanbul — both the European and Asian halves. Who knew that the world outside my apartment could possess such breathless beauty?

COMMERCIAL: ""20th Century Fox's Life of Pi wants to know: what's YOUR favorite Pi(e)?"" or something. America.

The next clue sent everyone to Misir Carsisi spice bazaar, where our Detours for this leg presented themselves. In ""Simit,"" teams were required to wear an elaborate stack of Turkish bagels on their head and transport them to three different addresses. In ""Scrub It,"" teams were required to receive a thorough cleaning at a Turkish bath. AMAZINGLY, two teams (Josh and Brent and Rob and Kelley) chose to tackle the former. Everyone else got a massage, along with I'm guessing the nude-colored bathing garb they were forced to wear.

Josh and Brent's ""Speed Bump"" (and we need to use that term loosely) tonight was just as challenging: Eat an ice cream cone. AHHHHHHHHH!!! In some abstract sense, I suppose one could make a case for the way this presents a speed bump? Ice cream headaches come to mind immediately. Lactose intolerance, if that's an issue. The Turkish man making their cones was a bit of a show-off, too, preferring to perform ice cream tricks like juggling cones and playfully reaching for Josh and Brent's junk. Then again, you could make similar cases for other speed bumps they probably tested like ""pet a big dog"" and ""read a newspaper article to someone."" Point is: Ice cream is a treat, not a challenge. Come on, van Munster!

Maybe producers were just keen to give everyone a break this week, because even the leg's Road Block was pretty weak. Dressed as Turkish vendors (burgundy vests and caps inlayed with ostentatious displays of gold, just like in old Constantinople), one person from each team was responsible for serving/selling 40 glasses of ""Turkish Sherbert,"" argued by Phil to be the ""world's first soda."" Since I believe every word out of that Kiwi's mouth… okay. Former cheerleader Abbie took to the task immediately, taking advantage of foreigners' fascination of blondes. Poutypants Ryan had a more difficult go of it, regularly dropping the top of his sherbet container as he tried to drum up sales. ""I don't know what the sales technique is!"" Simple: wave your arms and yell. WORKS FOR TWINNIES.

COMMERCIAL: Edward James Olmos on Prop 38, which will raise $10 billion for California public schools. ""A NEGATIVE TIMES A NEGATIVE IS A POSITIVE,"" I yell at the TV, but my TV hasn't seen Stand and Deliver.

""When you see Monster Truck and Beakman Boys? You know you're in the back of the pack,"" mused Jaymes, definitely in the back of the pack, while his partner tried selling sherbet. Eventually James got the hang of it, using some of his Chippendales charm (as well as the luck of finding American tourists) to finish the challenge. Monster Truck and Beakman finished tight behind them.

This leg's Pit Stop was ""Savrona,"" a massive ship purchased for the founder of the Republic of Turkey. In order: Trey and Lexi, Ryan and Abbie, James and Abba, Natalie and Nadiya, Jaymes and James. Josh and Brent snagged the sixth spot. And minutes later landed Rob and Kelley, finally eliminated after many hard-fought legs. What can you say about these guys? They made some silly mistakes sometimes. Rob occasionally reinforced the most annoying tradition of this show, ""yelling at perfectly competent foreign drivers and service-people."" But they pushed themselves, and owned their mistakes. In the end all you can call them is good competitors. You were good competitors, Rob and Kelley!

NEXT WEEK: Looks like Rockers' luggage is hauled away in an errant taxi, which doesn't exactly scream ""Karmic retribution"" for the theft they suffered this week. But maybe Karma's playing the long game?

[Image Credit: CBS]

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