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Andy and Tommy and Laurence and Zac built over a one hour lead on the trailing six teams heading in to the fourth leg of The Amazing Race. However, the duo not only couldn’t take advantage of their lead, they actually lost ground attempting to fly to Phuket, Thailand. The two teams choose to fly to Jakarta without confirmed travel to Phuket and while they were in the air the trailing six teams all booked completely through to Phuket. This forced the two remaining all-male teams to take a later flight that had them an hour behind the teams.
Any time lost, however, was immediately recovered when all teams were forced to stop because of the operating hours of the pier in Phuket. Once the pier opened at 8am, Andy and Tommy were back in the lead, sprinting out ahead of the other teams to get their Route Marker at the end of the dock.
The Route Marker directed teams towards a Detour designed to help Thailand recover its tourism industry from the 2004 tsunami. Their choices were Coral or Beach. In Coral the teams had to construct a coral reef nursery and then install the nursery in the shallow reefs. For the Beach option the teams had to collect 20 team specific beach chairs and 10 team specific umbrellas and set them up exactly as displayed.
Andy and Tommy and Justin and Jennifer selected the Coral option and each team easily cruised through the challenge. However, Amani and Marcus, Jeremy and Sandy and Bill and Cathi struggled with constructing the nursery correctly and had even more difficulty with the strong current when it was time to place the nursery in the ocean. Unable to complete the challenge all three teams switched to the Beach option.
The delay from the Coral teams allowed Ernie and Cindy and Laurence and Zac to complete the Beach option and leave the Detour in third and fourth place, respectively. Despite also choosing the Beach option from the beginning, Liz and Marie struggled with the somewhat physical challenge and all three of the teams who changed from Coral passed them.
After completing the Detour the teams needed to direct their speed boat to Soap Island using a compass. Upon finding the island the Route Marker would send the teams to the Roadblock. The selected teammate needed to climb up the limestone face of an island to retrieve the next Route Marker.
Only Ernie and Cindy had any difficulty navigating their boat to Soap Island, directing their boat to go south first, instead of north, the correct direction. This error dropped them to sixth place, but the pair would recover back to fifth place when Amani and Marcus had trouble finding the Pit Stop after the Roadblock. Liz and Marie never recovered from their Detour struggles, but were bailed out by a non-elimination leg.