Wade on Birmingham

Simply Amazing: Rowing in circles


A grueling leg proved challenging for eight teams racing in Vietnam in tonight’s episode of “The Amazing Race.” Team Birmingham, moms Karlyn Harris and Lyn Turk, struggled against gravity, wind and exhaustion in picturesque Ha Long Bay.

Paddle power would either make or break competitors as they cried, laughed, whined and imploded on their way to the mat. Would a Detour choice save Karlyn and Lyn, or set them adrift?

amazing race

Daylight come and me want go home:
Karlyn, left, and Lyn row with the bunches in Ha Long Bay.

Highlights from the fourth leg of the series …

Route: Vác, Vietnam, to Ha Long Bay, Vietnam.

From cabbies to crabby: Even the taxi trips are stressing out teams, as they head out just before midnight. Grab their cash allotment, grab a cab to Hanoi and get their (audio) clue at a park. The clue directs them to the bus station.

All teams reach the station, but not without cabbie drama. Rob and Kimberly yell at the drivers, each other and half of Hanoi. The third taxi’s the charm, as the couple arrives last at the station. No matter, all teams take the same bus to Ha Long Bay.

Below the belt: Racing to get on powerboats, beauty queens Dustin and Kandice snag a boat that Lyn and Karlyn were about to board, not unlike last week’s mini-kerfuffle between the blondies and boyfriends Tom and Terry. Kandice cuts her leg boarding the boat, prompting Karlyn’s comment, “She got what she deserved for cutting in front of us: She got cut.”

Meanwhile, Tom bloodies up his leg by the end of the race, while coal mining missus Mary is still hobbling on a sprained ankle.

And Sarah is still handicapped. By her annoying lout of a partner, Peter.

amazing race

Karlyn pulls her weight at the Roadblock.

Wonder wall: Only four episodes in, and they’re already recycling challenges. At the Roadblock, a team member must climb a rock face using an ascender, not too different from when the teams climbed the Great Wall of China in week one. Yawn.

At least Karlyn has remembered not to panic when doing the climb. Lyn: “If you can have a baby with no anesthesia, you can go up this rock.” Karlyn: (laughs) “You did not just say that.”

By the way, the two remind us for the second time this episode why they’re in it: for their kids. They should be proud: Karlyn rocks the rocky climb.

Where the wind takes you: Apparently, none of the 16 remaining players knows how to row a boat. Bad for them, good for comedy.

The Detour choices: Over or Under. Over means rowing to a supply boat to pick up food, then rowing to two addresses in the boat village for deliveries, then returning to the supply boat. Under means rowing to pick up 30 oyster traps, then delivering them to the pearl farmer.

Team Birmingham picks Over, though several teams who picked Over end up at Under, thanks to windy waters. Bickering among the teams creates even more tension during this grueling, frustrating challenge.

Pit check: Karlyn and Lyn finish sixth out of seven teams remaining. Rob and Kimberly are first. And Team T ‘n’ T fizzles out in last. Kaboom.

“The Amazing Race” airs at 7 p.m. Sundays on CBS 42.

Next episode: The beauty queens wrestle a gator. Sarah cuts Peter off at the knees.

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Pit stop: more “Amazing Race” coverage.

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