We resume at the airport as Caitlin/Brittany, rock 'n rollers James/Abba, Jaymes/James, Natalie/Nadiya, dating couple Amy/Daniel, dating couple Abbie/Ryan and married monster truck drivers Rob/Kelley claim the first flight; Josh/Brent narrowly miss getting on the first flight and Brent blames Josh for allowing Rob & Kelley to get ahead of them.
Josh: "Are you going to be like this all the way to China?"This leaves Josh/Brent, Trey/Lexi, Gary/Will & Rob/Sheila on the second flight. I have no idea why Trey/Lexi were one of the first teams done rappelling, yet wound up on the later flight; I suppose they had trouble finding the airport. Regardless, the producers aren't interested in showing us transit and airport drama at this stage, instead we cut ahead to almost a day later as teams arrive in Shanghai!
Josh: "I'm gonna - I'm gonna get a sleeping tablet somewhere."
Rob & Kelley finally locate the cluebox and Kelley is elected to the Roadblock, just as James finishes, with Caitlin soon after. Nadiya has begun grousing about how she should have been the one performing the Roadblock, which is never constructive. Daniel finishes the Roadblock, while Nadiya keeps complaining about Natalie's performance and yelling out strategy. Natalie pointedly says "Be motivational," but is drowned out by her sister. At this point, I'm gonna declare the supposed "special connection" between twins is a lot of hooey. Natalie finally wins when the child switches to a pencil case for a paddle; maybe the pencil case made the difference. Rather than being proud of her sister, Nadiya just shakes her head in a disappointed way. The child soon switches to an Amazing Race clue as her paddle, as Kelley manages a point. All seven teams are now headed to the restaurant.
Ryan: "Amazingly good. Have you not had fallopian tube, Abbie?"
Abbie: "I have two, but please don't eat mine."
Amy is tearing up as she and Daniel arrive in 2nd place but Ryan is good enough to compliment them. However, in a confidential video, Ryan admits he considers Amy "more of a threat than any other man or woman running this race." He says he'll take any advantage, although I doubt teams will be so rash as to literally hand him a victory in the future.
Elsewhere, Jaymes/James see Caitlin/Brandy running to the Pit Stop and think they must know the location of the woman with the abacus. They brashly follow the ladies all the way to the Pit Stop, but Jaymes realizes their error as soon as he sees the Pit Stop mat; they turn around and head back to find the abacus.
Meanwhile, Lexi finishes the 2nd Roadblock while Sheila begins the task. At the Bund, Natalie & Nadiya find the woman with the abacus almost immediately. Rob & Kelley ask them for help, but they don't admit they found the clue already. At the Pit Stop:
Phil: "Natalie and Nadiya, you're team number four and that's pretty good news!"Of course, Phil means it's good news because they overtook two teams at the Bund. While Sheila finishes the Roadblock (Rob misreads "abacus" as "a basket"), Will begins the Roadblock and just about buries his face in the food, which seems to get it done quickly. Rob & Sheila don't know what the Bund is and some locals tell them it's the Bank of China. Whoops! Brent begins the 2nd Roadblock and soon finishes it, while Rob & Kelley locate the woman with the abacus; they claim 5th place, much to their amazement! James & Abba, who have been at the Bund the longest, finally locate the woman with the abacus! Josh & Brent get a huge advantage when they ask a local for help on the Bund and the local knows exactly where the woman with the abacus is! Perhaps she's been paying attention to all the teams who have been looking for her? James & Abba are a little deflated to learn they've fallen to 6th place, while Josh & Brent are elated with 7th, having been in last place for so long.
Natalie: "No! We wanted one!"
Having corrected their error, Rob & Sheila arrive at the Bund and another local happens to know where the woman with the abacus is, only for Sheila to look right past her. Whoops again! Gary & Will do find the woman; Jaymes & James are still searching fruitlessly, but Gary & Will don't tell them they've found the clue. As long-time fans of the show, Gary describes how they're aware a winning strategy means being willing to let other teams be eliminated, no matter how nice they are. Trey & Lexi are directed to the woman by a local and Rob & Sheila follow them; Trey & Lexi also tell Jaymes & James where to find it. Gary & Will take 8th place and are soon joined by Trey & Lexi as team nine.
Rob & Sheila made quite a few errors around the Bund clue, even when information was fed to them; it was ultimately something of a luck-based challenge and not really indicative of the teams' particular strengths. It could have been anyone who wound up eliminated, considering how much time some teams lost.
So far as a look at Shanghai, I'm not sure what viewers can take away about the city from this episode; the Chinese like table tennis, disgusting delicacies, ancient calculators and lighthouses. Well, at least they were all colourful tasks.
Here's how I view the remaining 10 teams:
- Abbie & Ryan: I'm uncertain of Ryan because of how past Racers with strong aggressive streaks have overcompensated for themselves (ie, Australia's Paul this past summer), but he at least keeps up the pretense of being a nice guy around other teams; there's nothing unpleasant about him so far and I do wonder if we'll see a $2 million winner this season.
- Amy & Daniel: I'm disappointed to see them lose first place; Amy seems incredibly tough to have overcome the challenges she faced and Daniel seems genuinely supportive. Hopefully they've learned a harsh lesson about when not to help other teams (that is, not when you're en route to the Pit Stop).
- Caitlin & Brittany: They didn't receive much focus in this episode, but soldiered through tasks pretty well. Hopefully future episodes will develop them further.
- Natalie & Nadiya: I'm surprised at Nadiya's behaviour at the 1st Roadblock, but otherwise they seem like a fun pair and could be contenders all the way to the finish.
- Rob & Kelley: They made a few blunders earlier on, but the Bund task put them back in the Race. They seem like very average people, unlike the "model types" which make up most of the cast. We'll see well they carry on.
- James & Abba: I had high hopes for these two as well when they nearly took first place; they seem like a great pair with a strong bond of friendship and good sense of humour.
- Josh & Brent: Putting aside their cattiness at the airport, they did well with the Race, particularly lucking out at the Bund. It's hard to tell whether they have staying power.
- Gary & Will: Gary seems very focused on the attitude it takes to play the Amazing Race (being a great fan), but it's hard to see them actually excelling at the Race when they aren't the fittest or the strongest... hence, why he'd want a very strong physical team like Jaymes/James eliminated. As a fellow fan, I hope they stay in the game for a long while.
- Trey & Lexi: Another couple I don't have a very good feel for; they seem pretty pleasant for now.
- Jaymes & James: I was seriously concerned about seeing these two eliminated; they're funny and down-to-Earth, which you wouldn't expect to look at them. I'd like them to last a good long while; at least they've earned this respite!