This week's episode of The Amazing Race was anything but a cup of tea.
Upon waking up in China, teams zipped off to a quick tasting, sampling a warm cup of papaya-mango infused tea. While everyone saw it as a minor stop on their way to the next challenge, host Phil Keoghan clued us in: that flavor would come back later in the episode.
After jetting to Kolkata, India – everyone was on the same flight, which arrived around midnight – teams worked their way through the massive crowds to Town Hall, where they camped out until 10 a.m. Once inside, they were faced with a Roadblock. One person would have to taste from thousands of cups of tea, working to find the flavor they'd sampled before leaving China.
As Mallory struggled, Ron excelled, smelling various cups until he took in that papaya-mango scent and finished first. Jet did the same, coming in second. But most other teams didn't have it so easy. Zev was so taken with his frustrations that he broke a teacup, and Luke dissolved into tears several times. As racers completed the task, it came down to Flight Time and Luke, both completely stumped.
Also stumped were sisters LaKisha and Jen, who finished the Roadblock, but couldn't figure out that their clue was under the cap of the bottled iced tea they'd received upon completion. As they went around asking locals where Snapple was made, other teams made their way to yet another tea stall, where they were faced with a Detour.
Here, teams chose between Hindu Art, painting and dressing a statue of a Hindu god, and Bengali Literature, which required stopping in at a bookstore, grabbing eight stacks of children's books and delivering them to a school via rickshaw.
Ron and Christina, the Goths and the sisters chose Hindu Art, while Gary and Mallory, the cowboys and Zev and Justin headed for Bengali Literature. The latter challenge actually seemed to be faster, despite having to navigate the crowded Kolkata streets from the back of a rickshaw. Gary and Mallory completed the task and ran to the pit stop at the Fountain of Joy, finishing in fist and winning not only $1 million rupees (more than $20,000), but an Indian feast, complete with belly-dancing, that night.
Back at the Roadblock, Flight Time and Luke were still struggling. The basketball star finally finished – and gave his teammates a hearty "good luck" while leaving. Luke suffered another mini-meltdown, which even brought tough mom Margie to tears, but with the encouragement of the local men who were working the challenge, he found the right cup of tea, and many, many hugs were exchanged.
The mother-son pair sped off to the Hindu Art Detour, where the Globetrotters were still working, and things actually got close when the hoopsters spilled a bucket of paint on the bottom of their statue and had to repaint several spots. But ultimately, they finished first, giving their competitors a big hug before heading out and checking in at sixth place. Margie and Luke made their way to the pit stop hand-in-hand, where Keoghan told them they'd been eliminated. Though it was a heart-breaking moment, it was clear the two were closer than ever – and very proud.