Black athletic sisters Kisha & Jen have been pretty consistent during the Race.
While they haven't been winning all the legs, they've done what they needed to make it to the final four. And last week's foot race showed that they can best all the other teams when it's thatclose.
But this week, the Superwomen, particularly Jen, had to confront what could be considered the Kryptonite of African-American life: water.
Don't get all outraged and wag your finger at me; the numbers show that nearly 60 percent of African-American children can't swim and black children drown at a rate almost three times the overall rate. So there.
The four teams set out for Beijing; the clue is at a foot massage spa.
Kisha & Jen leave first, about one minute before the next team. Overachieving siblings Tammy & Victor have been to Beijing for the Olympics and speak Chinese so they are feeling confident. They go to a travel agency first and get their tickets.
Mom Margie & the first deaf contestant Luke are next and they are still holding a grudge against Kisha & Jen for last week's argument, although Kisha & Jen say they've moved on. Margie & Luke's friends, former NFL cheerleaders Jaime & Cara note that they've never been first and that does not make them as sad as one of the cab drivers Jaime has yelled at.
Margie & Luke get to the airport first and start to buy tickets. Kisha & Jen end up behind them in line. As Margie & Luke start to pay, they are told that they can't buy tickets with an international credit card at that counter. Kisha & Jen over hear, and run to the right counter to get their tickets. Margie & Luke think this is totally unfair, that Kisha & Jen should have respected the line order and let them go first. Margie & Luke are starting to really irritate me.
Tammy & Victor use their language skills to go to the VIP lounge and ask for better seats than Kisha & Jen, who they now know can beat them in a foot race. Kisha & Jen don't speak Mandarin, but they know the language of competition and Kisha asks for good seats too.
As they all wait to board the flight, Margie perpetuates the lie that Kisha & Jen were laughing at her son as he signed last week. Tammy & Victor, lawyers to the bone, take both sides, agreeing that it was awful and then saying that Kisha was OK because she apologized for it. Margie says a mere apology isn't enough.
Luke continues bad mouthing the sisters which makes him sound like a baby, and yes, a bee-yotch.
Despite Tammy & Victor's seat placement shenanigans, Jaime & Cara, who were in the last row, end up getting to the foot massage place first. There, the roadblock requires one of the team members to drink some tea, and get a foot massage for 10 minutes. The catch is the tea is nasty and the foot massage is very painful. It can be stopped by crying 'uncle' but if you do that, you have to start all over again.
Cara gets the massage first and it brings her to tears. And cussing. Kisha bites down on her jacket to stem the pain.
Tammy gets it too and though she says its painful, she doesn't seem to be in the same anguish the others are. Could the attendants be going easy on the Chinese girl or is she just a fan of foot pain? Margie & Luke arrive last, after getting lost, and Luke endures the foot fun. He has to hold Tammy's hand to get through it. Margie says its hard to watch him in pain, then notes that she wanted to do it and he insisted. I think there's an implied 'so that's what you get!' there.
The next clue sends the gang to a natatorium for the next clue. To get there, everyone is looking for a cab whose driver knows where the pool site is. Kisha & Jen ask the same driver twice, and note that the Chinese 'all look alike.' This foul remark follows some banter the sistes had at the airport in which they said that the Chinese all have the same blank expressions on their faces when you ask them something; they coupled that with a stereotypical Chinese accent. Thus the sisters easily earn the Ugly American award. With the highest honors.
Perhap a punishment is coming; Jen notes that natatorium means something to do with water and she doesn't like water.
Meanwhile, Jaime & Cara scuffle with Tammy & Victor over a cab, after Victor uses his Mandarin to help them get the cab. As payback, Victor tells the cheerleaders' cab driver to take them to the wrong door.
At the pool, there's a detour -- sync or swim. Sync means the teams must do a synchronized dive and earn a 5 score from the judges. Swim means that the teams must change into the fancy-schmancy Speedo suit Michael Phelps wore during the Olympics and swim his 400 meter race, with each team member completing 200 meters.
Overachieving sibling sister Tammy tells us that she took swim lessons to prepare for the race; she was the only adult learning to put her face in the water and breath.
So she & Victor choose sync. The thing about Tammy & Victor is that what they know how to do, they do well. But when they can't do something, they REALLY can't do something. And they really can't jump from a diving board at the same time. I'm pretty sure they know what 'synchronized' means, and yet, they don't seem to count before they dive or make a concerted attempt to hit the water at the same time.
Meanwhile, Jaime & Cara decide to swim and they do it well. Kisha & Jen go for the diving first, but standing on the board, Jen decides she just can't jump in. She's too afraid. So they switch to the swimming. As they are putting on the suit, Kisha says the suit wasn't made for someone with 'these thighs.' And she's pretty slim. Margie notes how tight the suit is too; she says it's hard to breath. I think this explains why Phelps was so fast; the suit was killing him!
Kisha jumps in with the form of a tadpole. Says Jen, "Mama still ain't name her Grace." Great line.
Tammy & Victor continue getting low scores although at one point they get close with a 4, but they can't figure out how to get a five. SYNCHRONIZE!
Jen watches Kisha slowly make her way down the pool lane; she's swims, holds onto the the lane line, dog paddles -- it looks like it's going to take a while. So they switch again.
Tammy & Victor are still not getting fives, so they decide to switch to swim. Overachiever that she is, Tammy seems to do the lap fairly easily. Not quickly, but for someone who just took swim lessons, it's not bad.
Kisha & Jen jump off the board, and they too, forget its called sync. Worse, Jen starts to have a breakdown. She begins to weep inconsolably; she wants to go home; the water is too much. Oddly, it's a phobia of water that's got her unhinged rather than the concern of what her hair will look like on TV after all this diving. (I guess that just me.)
Kisha, seemily resigned that they'll be last, coaxes her sister to 'finish strong.' This works and in life jackets they do the laps.
Meanwhile, Margie & Luke are in the cab on the way to the pit stop talking smack about Kisha & Jen. "They're tough on land, but in the water, they're nothing," says Margie. Don't mess with her boy or she'll cut ya!
They're practically salivating about Kisha & Jen being eliminated. And their buds Jaime & Cara are heading for their first winning leg.
They get to the pit stop and Phil tells them they are first. They start to cry. And then Phil, dear dear Phil, tells them that the race is not over. The pit stop isn't a pit stop, they are getting another clue.
It's a delicious moment because Jaime & Cara don't EVER deserve to be first, and because now Margie & Luke can continue to fume about Kisha & Jen.
I love this show.