The episode starts with the same line-up of contestants as last week. Last place finishers Christie and Jodi were spared when it turned out to be a non-elimination round. This week they will have to survive a Speed Bump, a penalty task only they have to do, to stay in the game.

Margie and Luke head out first, at eighteen minutes past midnight. They learn they will be leaving frozen Siberia for tropical Jaipur, India. In voice-over Phil lets us know the city was “dressed in pink” for a royal visit in 1876 and is known as the pink city. We get a montage of city streets teaming with livestock and people, and I wonder if maybe it’s time for the city to change clothes. Once the teams arrive, they have to go to a holy tree (termites?) on the outskirts of the city. There they will find two guys toking on hookahs and their next clue.

There is no opening drama at the airport. The teams have to fly through Moscow. At the Novosibirsk airport they learn they will arrive in Moscow too late for the day’s flight to Jaipur. They won’t be leaving Moscow for Jaipur till 5 a.m. the next day. I’m expecting scenes of the teams in Moscow airport looking for other options, but nope - the producers give the editors the day off and we pick things up again with the teams racing across the tarmac at the Jaipur airport. I guess Brad & Victoria’s experience in episode 3 (they tried an alternative flight, missed the connection and were subsequently eliminated) has spooked the others and they have all adopted Kisha & Jen’s strategy of sticking with the pack.

Tammy & Victor catch the first cab, Jamie & Cara get the one that needs gas halfway to the destination, Mel & Mike get the one with the wandering driver. When the driver returns Mel angrily berates him. The driver is nonplussed and cheerfully assures them he will get them where they need to be “very fast.” Mel has the good grace to be ashamed. He apologizes and tells the camera, “This race certainly isn’t important enough to dehumanize someone else by screaming at them.” Words to live by (owners of businesses that do phone soliciting excepted).

As always, the contestants suffer culture shock in India. Contestants on different teams, Luke and Cara, break into tears; Luke weeps for the children, Cara for the animals. I can’t speak for the animals, but the people seem more cheerful and less angry than your average North American.

Victor and Tammy arrive at the holy tree. The hookah-smoking guys have bright red telephones sitting on low tables before them. Tammy goes directly to a phone. A sticker on the phone says, “Dial one of these numbers for your next clue.” She does so, learns the destination for the next clue and V&T are off before any of the others have arrived.

The others minus C&J arrive en masse at the holy tree: the hookah dudes ignore them and the contestants inexplicably ignore the BRIGHT RED TELEPHONES. The base of the tree is surrounded by a ring of stones. Kisha and Jamie, in a display of thoughtless disrespect that makes me ashamed of my culture, step right over the symbolic barrier and start poking around in the roots of the holy tree, looking for the clue. An indeterminate amount of time later, one of the group of fools gets around to reading the ENGLISH LANGUAGE WRITING on one of the BRIGHT RED TELEPHONES.

K&J head out in 2nd, J&C in 3rd. Margie can’t understand the voice on the phone, gets frustrated and makes the risky decision to follow J&C without knowing what the clue is. I’m appalled. Luke would be too, I’m sure, if knew what decision his mother had just made on his behalf.

Mel & Mike are 5th, Mark & Mike are 6th. As the M&Ms leave, C&J arrive, quickly get the clue and get back on the road.

The next destination is a Roadblock. Camels await feeding and watering. One member of each team must carry enough buckets of water to fill a trough, then enough baskets of camel feed to reach a line on a stake in the ground.

Victor is well ahead on the task while the others are on the road. The shots of the cabs weaving in and out of India traffic are great.

The group of fools arrive. Jamie is being outrageously disrespectful of the locals. She gets in a huff because none of the camel handlers speak English. It’s their country, bitch.

The task is long and hard. 68 year old Mel has chosen to do it and it looks to have been a poor decision. You start thinking stroke/heart attack. Victor finishes. A camel handler gets dropped by a camel kicking him in the shin. C&J arrive. Cutaway to Mike worried about his father, Mel, and Mel calling out his apologies as he struggles gamely. The fools ignore the feed baskets and carry it in the water buckets and even down their shirts. Note to self: Look around the task area before setting to work.

Cut to V&T at the next clue. Detour. The choice is Movers or Shakers. For the Movers: Two trikes, each on loaded with nine large plastic barrels stuffed with straw. Inside one of the barrels is a tiny brass elephant. Pedal the unwieldy loads through the crowded street to a spot a mile away. Empty the barrels and find the elephant. For the Shakers: don a traditional animal costume, dance and shake while begging for spare change. 100 rupees buys the next clue.

V&T choose to shake it. They are working very well together and do their street busking in something close to joy.. The experience in Romania, where Victor was forced to admit he was wrong and suffered an actual emotional breakdown before he could do it, seems to have changed him – fundamentally and for the better.

Back with the camels, Mel discovers the baskets. This saves the others from a possible penalty for not following the directions. Remarkably, old man Mel beats everybody else in his group and he and Mike head out in 2nd. Care & Bitch finish 3rd, Margie & Luke 4th, Lisha & Jen 5th, Mark & Michael 6th. C&J finish last, but are closer to the pack than when they started. They are sent to do their Speed Bump.

V&T finish their task and are off to the Pit Stop, Jaigarh Fort, before any of the other teams have started the final Detour. They totally smoked on this leg.

Back with the also-rans, second place Mike and Mel choose to be Shakers. In fact, everybody but Mark & Michael choose to be Shakers. The others finish their Detour and are safe at the Pit Stop, leaving C&J and M&M to fight it out. The Mover task is ridiculously harder than the Shaking task. C&J do the Speed Bump (they have to paint an elephant’s face and trunk in a pre-outlined pattern) and are wrapping up the Shaker Detour just as M&M finally find the miniscule elephant inside the barrels of straw.

M&M step on the mat at the Pit Stop as C&J are climbing up the stairs of Jaigarh Fort. Close. The flight attendants impressed me. They never gave up.

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