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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Conflict at the Clue Boxes and Confrontation at the Pit Stop

In tonight's episode the teams travel to China. This is a welcome development for Tammy and Victor who speak Chinese. Margie comments that traveling in countries that don't speak English is an eye opening experience for her. Luke states he would like to go to a country where everyone is deaf and signs. That's where he would have the advantage.

In last week's preview we saw that conflict erupts between Margie & Luke and Kisha & Jen. While riding in a cab, Jen interviews that if she sees someone in front of her, she is going to knock them over. Both sisters recall that Margie & Luke's taxi driver in Bangkok purposely gave their driver wrong directions and they are still sore about it.

At the clue box, Luke and Jen race to arrive first with Luke edging out Jen. She comes right at him (instead of waiting a second for him to get his clue and move out of the way) and he elbows her out of the way. Jen then calls him "bitch" saying it was a bitch move he used on her. Of course Luke doesn't hear her but Margie does! She fills him in on their cab ride to the roadblock. Luke tells her, "Good thing I'm deaf, if I had heard her call me bitch, it would have been on!" He is obviously very angry at this turn of events.

All the teams except the stuntsmen arrive at the roadblock around the same time. For this task, appropriately named Fowl Play, one team member works with a local to toss fish in the water for a trained cormorant to retrieve. Jen & Kisha finish first and are pleased when they see Luke has been bitten by one of the birds. Ouch! "Bad duck" Luke says while the sisters think aloud "karma."

Meanwhile the stuntsmen are working on their Speed Bump task of washing and drying two customers hair outside a salon while locals watch. The guys enjoy shampooing, rinsing the ladies' hair with water from a tea kettle, and giving them a vigorous towel dry. They finish quickly and hurry to catch up with the others.

At the next clue box, Luke and Jen collide again. This time Jen arrives first and the clue box slides over a few feet upon impact. Jen nearly loses her balance. Margie & Kisha hurry over to intervene.

There's no time to argue as the racers move on to their Detour choice of Calligraphy or Choreography. The cheerleaders opt for Choreography while Margie & Luke, Jen & Kisha, and Tammy & Victor choose Calligraphy. For the Choreography task, Jaime & Cara learn a complicated dance routine and perform with other couples. They are stunned when they have trouble getting the judges to approve their performance. They walk away to switch tasks when they realize that perhaps they only needed to perform the routine for the whole song rather than only one time.

Meanwhile, Tammy & Victor's fluency in Chinese helps them communicate with the four local artists who paint Chinese characters for the racers to copy. Kisha & Jen and Margie & Luke follow closely realizing the siblings have the advantage here.

In a footrace to the Pit Stop, Kisha & Jen arrive first and win a trip to Barbados. Tammy & Victor arrive next with Margie & Luke coming in right behind them for third place. A confrontation between Kisha & Jen and Margie & Luke erupts as each tries to explain to Phil what happened at the clue boxes. At one point Luke walks away and calls out "bitch" over his shoulder. Phil asks him to come back and tell his side. Margie becomes extremely upset when it's Luke's turn and she believes the sisters are laughing at his way of communicating. She and Luke explain how difficult it is when all his life hearing people have tried to put him down for being deaf. Kisha denies she was laughing, only smiling because of the tense situation.

Oblivious to all this, the cheerleaders arrive and are pleased to learn they are still in the race. Later the stuntsmen arrive (they chose the Choreography option, by the way) and are eliminated from the race.

In next week's preview, Jen is shown breaking down when faced with a swimming task due to her fear of water. Could it be karma?

What did you think of tonight's episode?


Anonymous said...

I think that Margie and Luke were right. In deaf culture that is really disrepectful. I am a second year ASL student and I was in shock that she called him that behind his back, and that she actually signed it.

Anonymous said...

No one was "right." And in the heat of the moment, you don't consciously think that someone is deaf and adjust your behavior. Luke exhibited some very ungentlemanly-like behavior, not limited to elbowing, shoving a female, etc... Margie also escalated the situation by bringing up race...totally uncalled for. In fact, just this Saturday, a former Amazing Race contestant criticized Luke for masking classless moves under a shield of disability.

Anonymous said...

I heard that the whole scene at the mat lasted 45 minutes. I felt so bad for Tammy and Victor.

The best site to read about what other feel about this whole show and others is

jelly said...

I was looking forward to this post this morning. I was wondering what others would be thinking about the confrontation between Margie/Luke and Jen/Keisha.

I'm on the fence with this one. I mean they are in a compitition, things can get rough, people name calling, backstabbing. I get that...but they both could have apologized, walked away and just chalked it up as 'bad sportsmanship?' I don't know, or maybe Luke banged into her by accident. (shrugs)

I wonder if Margie over-reacted a bit when Jen/Keisha were smiling. I don't think they were making fun of Luke and the way he communicates, maybe they were nervous?

I'm not sure what happened, but I guess because it is getting towards the end of the compitition, nerves are 'on edge?'

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Hi Jelly,

Yes. It's really unfortunate that this occured. I think it will boost Tammy & Victor's chances even higher as they are staying out of the conflict (not saying a word at the pit stop, for example) and traveling in a country where they already have a language advantage.

On the television without pity forum, public opinion seems to be going against Margie and Luke [as of this morning].

Anonymous said...





SpeakUp Librarian said...

Dear Anonymous All Caps,
It's considered impolite to use capital letters exclusively to convey your message. It appears as shouting. Next time, click off the caps lock key.
As for your comment [I don't care if he is deaf and dumb. I mean aren't most of you that way? Deaf and dumb?], you are showing an extreme lack of sensitivity and awareness of the deaf community.
The word dumb has two separate meanings: 1)the inability to speak 2)a synonym for stupid. Being unable to speak does not mean one is stupid. Among deaf people there is a whole spectrum of communication styles.
Please check out my post on my own journey towards deaf awareness for resources to expand your understanding.

Anonymous said...

I am a late deafened adult, I also use sign language, am an active member of the Deaf community, use a cochlear implant, work in an all hearing environment, and have a hearing family.

I believe that part of what we saw in Luke's behaviour was the underlying frustration that comes from having to deal with hearing people all the time. In a hearing environment, you have to work twice as hard as hearing people to navigate. You have to accommodate a lot of rude, disrespectful, inconsiderate, and even downright mean behaviours from the hearing majority.

I often get home from a long day at work and my nerves are just frayed, dealing with more hearing people is the last thing I want to do!
I think that both Jen and Luke are highly competetive people and at this stage in the game everyone is a little strung out. Neither was right, but competitions are not totally unknown to a little physical action happening.

As far as the check in "conversation" te women were talking trash in the cab. Margie's response was normal wen viewed in the context of what we have to deal with on a daily basis. Seeing people smiling and snickering (incidentally, if that is their normal reaction to stress why were they not laughing in the cab?) is something that we deal with constantly, stares, glances of pity, offers to pray for "healing" or a cure for our deafness, the assumption that because our ears don't work our brain is also non-functional, and so on... We deal with these things every single day.

Hypersensitive? Maybe the same kind of hypersensitivity of my pale (natural redhead) skin to the sun the day after excessive sun exposure when I forgot to slip, slap, slop. Maybe you were gifted with more pigmentation than I was and my pain after a matter of minutes in the blazing rays seems excessive to you... But we are approaching the situation with very different histories and as a result, experience the current situation very differently. Am I to blame for being hypersensitive (ignoring that I could have slipped on a long sleeve shirt, slapped on a wide brim hat, and slopped on some SPF 50,000) and at fault because the bright, happy sun is hurting me when your experience is one of warmth, comfort, and maybe pleasant memories?

Some will always blame someone who is different from them. Some may have some understanding of what it feels like to be different or a minority. Some already understand.


Jay said...

Margie and Luke need to recognize that things cannot always go their way in this world. Luke is quick to point out that he wants this utopian society where deaf and hearing people are equal; well, if that's the case, shouldn't both be held to the same social standards? Why is it okay that he sign Jen a "bitch," while Margie gets so fed up with when Jen does it? Why is it okay for him to sign angrily and rudely while Kisha and Jen are talking on the mat, but not okay for Kisha and Jen to smile when he is signing?

Sorry, but the double standards are just killing me. Get real, Margie and Luke.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thank you Vickie for your thoughtful comment and analysis. I'm so pleased you took the time to post your viewpoint!

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Thanks, Jay, for expressing your opinion, too!

Margie & Luke have been my favorites in the race since I first heard a deaf contestant was competing. In each episode summary, I've tried to include what their experience was like (more than any of the other teams). I'm still supporting Margie & Luke.

SpeakUp Librarian said...

For a more detailed recap and point of view that is sympathetic to Margie & Luke, check out Reality News Online.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

I personally think that both teams were experiencing some major stress caused by the hype of the race - it's almost down to the final three, and all the contestants are bound to be on edge.

As for Luke elbowing and shoving Jen: I think people are forgetting that he can't hear her coming up behind him. I honestly believe the elbow was a reflex in response to being approached from behind (and he was at the clue box first, I might add) I don't think he did it out of hatred or meanness. I also don't think he intentionally shoved Jen. His arms were over his head as if he were trying to reclaim his balance, leading me to believe that both he and Jen stumbled a bit on the way to the clue box and wound up pushing each other.

I certainly have no right to criticize either team - with tension so high and patience so low, I would undoubtedly have reacted in the same way, and I doubt I'm the only person on the planet who would.

And about Keisha and Jen's reaction to Luke's signing at the check in mat - I don't exactly buy the story that laughter is their normal reaction to stress, but I haven't paid enough attention to them to make a call on that subject.

I'm looking forward to reading something in support of Margie and Luke for once! :]