Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Amazing Race update – A Classics degree may help

Last week’s episode (sorry I missed the update) had teams spread way out and I predicted a lot of bunching this week. Sure enough, teams started out in the middle of the night and needed to make their way from Sicily to Rome. But the train doesn’t leave until eight in the morning so all remaining six teams start together from the station.

Once in Rome, teams must find a man on a red scooter next to Trevi Fountain (above) where they’re handed a clue and a piece of sheer paper with part of a Leonardo Da Vinci picture on it. Movie plug time! This clue has something to do with “The DaVinci Code,” which is a book handed out at airports the way the Gideons distribute Bibles. Anyway, teams must then go to the Spanish Steps and find the second part of the clue on some horse carriages and then it’s off to the next location: Athens, Greece.

Only one plane is leaving Rome for Athens and all the teams are on the same 7:25pm flight. Then they need to go to the Ancient Agora, which doesn’t open until 8am the next morning. And there was much bunching again. The next morning, it is pouring rain at the Ancient Agora where teams find the next clue and the first Fast Forward. One team may go to a nearby restaurant and break plates until they find the one with a TAR marker inside. Team Mojo, Frat Boys, and Kukla all head to the FF while everybody else just continues on to the next stop in Corinth, Greece via train and bus. By dumb luck, Eric & Jeremy find the plate and head to the Pit Stop at the Fortress of Rion; Monica & Joseph and Fran & Barry follow after the other teams to Corinth.

Those other teams are Team Burning Man, Team Ole Miss, and Team Volcano who must take the train directly to Isthmus station. But they get off prematurely then take a bus the rest of the way. (Foreshadowing alert). Teams Mojo and Kukla stay on the train, less than an hour behind. The next clue is a Roadblock: one member of each team must bungee jump off a bridge. Everybody does this just fine except Fran who looks pretty terrified but eventually takes the dive.

Immediately after the Roadblock, teams must head to a Detour: Herculean Effort or It’s all Greek to Me. Teams may either opt to perform three Olympic tasks – discus, javelin, and wrestling – or collect Greek alphabet pieces and translate them to find the name of a Greek town. Teams Volcano and Mojo choose the sporting events while Ole Miss and Kukla put together pieces. But where are BJ & Tyler? They’re shown pulling off the highway only to discover that they’ve driven an hour past the Detour. Ooops.

All throughout this episode of the Race, the ugliness of Lake towards Michelle is bubbling over. Within ten minutes of this leg, Lake unbelievably calls his wife a “bitch” on national TV. He calls her “stupid” and tells her to “shut up” repeatedly. Later, Lake declares there’s “a lot of stress” on the Race but that does little to excuse his behavior. Hey, I know it’s a million dollars but rational people need to ask themselves whether it’s worth it to destroy your relationship and look like a jerk.

Anyway, back to the Detour. While the Frat Boys are cooling their heels at the Pit Stop after the Fast Forward, Team Mojo then Volcano finish their mini-Olympics, followed by Kukla and Ole Miss; BJ & Tyler haven’t arrived yet and the rain is starting up again. Teams start driving to Patra and the Pit Stop while night is starting to descend. Tempers flare again as teams try to find their ways in the rain, in the dark, on foreign roads.

At the Pit Stop, we see Ray & Yolanda mount the steps and step on the mat as Team #2. But wait! Because they failed to follow the letter of the clue, Team Volcano incurs a 15 minute penalty before they can be “checked in.” As they sit and wait, Monica and Joseph show up and, since they were on the second train, they’re in as Team #2. A couple minutes later, Team Volcano is Team #3. Team Kukla arrives as Team #4. This leaves Lake & Michelle and BJ & Tyler, who accidentally gave themselves a two-hour penalty. Can they possibly catch up? They can! Team Burning Man, to their complete surprise, arrive as Team #5. But they must also sit out for a 15 minute penalty, which seems silly to me, since Lake & Michelle would have to serve the same penalty. Nevertheless, Team Ole Miss, who must have gotten wicked lost, arrive later and they’re eliminated.

Final standings:

#1 – Team Frat Boys – Eric & Jeremy – FAST FORWARD – Prize: Trip to the premiere of “The DaVinci Code.”
#2 – Team MoJo – Monica & Joseph
#3 – Team Volcano – Ray & Yolanda
#4 – Team Kukla – Fran & Barry
#5 – Team Burning Man – BJ & Tyler
#6 – Team Ole Miss – Lake & Michelle – PHILIMINATED

Next week: Break out the hajibs, ladies. We’re heading to the Middle East.

Extra – Kris has her update over at Dummocrats while Pat will probably check in later with the Brainster recap.


Dr. Eirik said...

You didn't mention my favorite moment of the episode: Berry taking out his back window by slamming into a tree, then taking off.

Surprised that breaking production cars doesn't incur at least a small penalty.

Brendan said...

Nice to see Lake get whacked.... anyone who calls his wife a bitch like that deserves all that he gets...

Also, was the first time we saw Team San Francisco get a little bit stressed when they realized they had driven the wrong way for an hour.

And what's up with Phil & Co. being so tough this season? There hasn't been a single instant where the last arriving team was stripped of cash and told that they still had a shot.... those were fun to watch on occasion... and would love to have seen that used when the Double-D girls and Team Nerd came in last. Those teams had personality, and um, personality.... (g)


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