I'm Surrounded By Ninjas
The Amazing Race Season 17 Episode 11 (12/05/10)
At the conclusion of the last leg, Nick and Vicki decided to skip the Detour and take a six hour penalty. The couple was already in last place and figured they’d be eliminated. A non-elimination leg allowed them to continue racing, but they were over six hours behind the third place team, Brook and Claire, and had to face a Speed Bump in the next leg.
However, the most damaging part of their deficit was that they did not get on the 12:25am flight out of Hong Kong to Seoul, Korea. Instead they were forced to take the next flight at 9:30am. Their six plus hour deficit ballooned to nine hours, dooming the pair. Before they had even reached Seoul, the leading teams had already completed the legs.
For the leading teams, however, they were unaware of just how far behind Nick and Vicki was. The three teams figured they were in the lead and racing for first place, but were always haunted by the possibility that Nick and Vicki were competing close to them.
Upon landing in Seoul, South Korea, teams were instructed to drive to Seungil Bridge at the South Korea-North Korea border. The drive to the demilitarized zone in a political unstable area was nerve racking for the racers, but did not prove too difficult despite the language barriers and navigational challenges. Jill and Thomas barely beat Brook and Claire and both teams had a slight lead over Nat and Kat.
Once at the bridge, teams were instructed to white water raft down the Han Tan River where a US military humvee would transport them to Camp Casey, a US army base in the demilitarized zone. At the camp, the teams encountered the roadblock for this leg of the race. The selected team member had to match the symbols on their headband with that of one of 200 soldiers practicing tae kwon do.
Thomas was very serious about this experience in the Roadblock and maintained his and Jill’s slight edge over the trailing teams. Brook, on the other hand, was so excited to be “surrounded by ninjas” as she put it. Her partner, Claire, worried that Brook was too excited and not focused on the task at hand. Nevertheless, Brook was not far behind Thomas as both pairs left before Nat and Kat arrived.
Departing the Roadblock the teams were instructed to walk to the subway and then take a train to Seoul World Cup Stadium. Jill and Thomas made it to the subway station first and got the first train to the stadium. Brook and Claire just missed keeping pace with Jill and Thomas, but settled for the second train which allowed Nat and Kat to catch up.
At Seoul World Cup Stadium the teams were presented with a Detour. Their options were Full Throttle or Full Bottle. For Full Throttle the team members had to complete 24 laps around a short-track speed skating rink in a two-man relay. In Full Bottle, teams had to deliver six heavy bottles of ginseng root to a pharmacy and then drink a ginseng tonic.
All three teams choose the short-track speed skating. Brook and Claire managed to beat Jill and Thomas to the skating rink, much to their surprise. However, the instructions on the Detour dictated that teams were to walk or take the subway to the rink and Brook and Claire took a taxi. Despite starting the detour after Brook and Claire, they managed to finish it first.
After finishing 24 laps around a short-track speed skating rink, the teams were instructed to find the large airplane monument in Han Riverside Park. The see-sawing between Brook and Claire and Jill and Thomas continued with the television show hosts passing the dating couple and finding the statue first. The final instructions for this leg of the race sent teams to the Pit Stop, Temple of Heaven.
Riding the lead they gained while searching for Han Riverside Park, Brook and Claire arrived at the Pit Stop first. However, they were informed of their violation upon reaching the mat and incurred a 30 minute penalty. This allowed Jill and Thomas to pass and officially finish in first place for the leg. The penalty was not enough for Nat and Kat, however, who still finished in third place behind Brook and Claire.