I still have my little solar-powered pocket calculator that I've had since college.  But I haven't used it in a while. 

And had I been a contestant on this season of The Amazing Race, I doubt that I would have thought about packing it in my bag either.  But Team Bro sure did, and it pretty much saved their—and Team Poker's—bacon this week.

Let's start in the middle, and then I'll backtrack …

Still at the resort in Dubai (where last week's fifth pit stop left them), once Team Bro (Sam and Dan) got to a Detour where they had to choose between tasks involving one of two materials (glass or gold), both they and Team Poker chose gold. 

Team Bro got to the jewelry/gold store first, where they had to weigh exactly $500,000 in gold.  But first, they had to figure out the formula for how much it would weigh depending on the price per ounce; the gold exchange rate was displayed on a large monitor in the store and changed about every minute or so.  Team Bro then whipped out their handy-dandy calculator that they said they had thrown in when packing for the race—almost as an afterthought.  It was just the little-technology-that-could they needed to make up time and surge ahead. 

Team Poker (Maria and Tiffany) arrived at the store at about the same time as Team Bro and knew immediately how to figure out the formula.  Because of the two team's continuing alliance (yes, it's still working for them!), Team Poker asked for the calculator and said they'd figure it out and then would tell Team Bro the figure.  Once the amount of gold was determined, each team had to pile up gold pieces onto their scales until they reached the right amount and then ring the bell for the shopkeeper-attendant to verify the amount and give them the next clue.

Both teams passed, got their next clues, zipped down a giant water slide, ran on the beach like Chariots of Fire (no slo-mo, but still) and ended up in second and third places at the final pit stop. 

Now, let's go back to the beginning and flesh out the rest of this most recent episode …

Since they came in first place last week, Team All American (Meghan & Cheyne) left the resort first and received the clue to choose a locked brief case and then taxi to a marina.  Once there, a Road Block involved rowing an inflatable dinghy to a yacht where a "sheik" would hand them their next clue:  a watch in a gift box.  Teams then would have to row back to the dock and figure out that the time set on the face of the watch (8:35) was the combination to unlock the brief case. 

Team All American flew through all of these challenges, and all of the other teams also completed the work with relative ease.  Except for Team Globetrotter (Herbert and Nathaniel).  For some reason, Nathaniel could not figure this out—he got the "8" but interpreted the second number as the hour ("7") instead of as the minutes ("35").  As he struggled and struggled to try and figure out what the combination on the briefcase should be, he and Herbert watched all of the other teams find success and pass them up.  Finally it clicked (in his mind and in the lock on the case), and Team Globetrotter was on their way to try to make up some serious time and avoid being eliminated.

The clue found inside the briefcase then took the teams to Abra Station in Dubai where they encountered the Detour of choosing between the materials.  Team Jungle Fever (Brian and Ericka) tried going for the gold first, gave up and then switched to glass.  All of the other teams (except for the previously mentioned Team Bro, Team Poker and then later on Team Globetrotter) went for the glass.

The glass challenge required teams to go to a spice market and choose a crate full of the various parts of Middle Eastern smoking pipes (called hookahs).  They had to assemble twelve of them (exactly to scale and matching the models that were already assembled displayed in front of them) before getting the next clue.  Each pot looked differently, and there were lots of little bits and colored parts and pieces that went into building each one—so this was no easy task by any stretch.

Once the teams finished assembly and received approval that they had built their hookahs correctly, they were given clues to go to The Atlantis Resort (still in Dubai) where they had to "take a leap of faith" to receive their next clue.

If you watched last week, then you know it's the giant water slide.  We're talking a six-story drop at a nearly 90-degree angle.  And then sliding through an enclosed tube in the middle of a shark-infested tank before reaching the pool at the bottom.  Both members of each team had to participate in this challenge.  Upon splash landing, they received the final clue which told them to search the resort grounds for Dolphin Bay Beach where they would find the last pit stop and need to race for the check in-mat with host Phil Keoghan.

In the end, Team Globetrotter did make up their time.  But just barely, though, thanks to Team Music City (Mika and Canaan) who pretty much gave sixth place away. 

Because of her fear of heights, Mika just couldn't make herself go down the slide.  From acting like a child, crying and stomping her feet ("Don't tell me what to do!"  "I hate my life right now."  "I caaaaan't do it!") to Canaan's ultimate acceptance of her actions and forgiveness of her fear ("There's freedom in forgiveness."), it was an interesting sequence of events and emotions to watch.  I have to hand it to Canaan, though, for his semi-patience (alright, he did get a little testy with Mika at the water slide) and then his compassion upon reaching the check-in mat and being eliminated, when he realized it could have very easily been him gripped by fear in a situation like this.

So that leaves the current standings as follows: 

1st Place:  Meghan and Cheyne (Team All American)
2nd Place:  Maria and Tiffany (Team Poker)
3rd Place:  Sam and Dan (Team Bro)
4th Place:  Brian and Ericka (Team Jungle Fever)
5th Place:  Gary and Matt (Team Father & Son)
6th Place:  Herbert and Nathaniel (Team Globetrotter)

Next week, we learned from the teaser that "Ericka breaks down and the Globetrotters get down."  No mention was made of location, but due to the fact that several of the teams were shown wearing jackets, I'm thinking it's going to be somewhere a little colder than Dubai. 

Until then, keep it simply amazing and keep watching The Amazing Race.  See you next week!


The Amazing Race airs on CBS on Sunday nights at 8/7 Central.  Plan your schedule accordingly.

You can watch the "Elimination Station" interview with Mika and Canaan here.

Or to watch the latest episode in its entirety online, go here.