The remaining five teams start out from Madagascar and must travel to Helsinki, Finland. In a twist, the Amazing Race is providing teams with tickets to Paris to make a connection to Finland, due to the limited availability of flights. However, this flight doesn’t leave for almost 16 hours and everybody decides it would be quicker to fly to Johannesburg, South Africa then to Addis Ababa then Frankfurt and finally Helsinki. Team Alabama is wearing David’s University of Kentucky cap and the Cho brothers are wearing the “Friends in Low Places” T-shirts.
Once in Helsinki, teams must find a coffee house with computers and log onto AOL.com (product placement!) Everybody gets video messages from friends and family back home. They get the next clue which directs them to a school outside the city where they must search for a clue box. So this was just a “stop here” AOL plug. Ugh. Everybody’s bunched up on the train to Tampere. Once they arrive, Lyn & Karlyn totally steal a cab (there’s a queue line) leaving Team Ergo to fume: “sometimes it sucks to be polite.”
At the school field, it’s a Detour: Swamp This or Swamp That. Teams may either strap on cross-country skis and slog through a muddy field or go through an obstacle course that is also in knee-high mud. Allegedly this is how Finnish Winter Olympic athletes train in the summer. Everybody gets very dirty and tired.
The next clue directs teams to take a train to Turku then drive a car to Lohja and a limestone mine. Team Rehab and Team Blonde get onboard while Team Bicker arrives just in time to see the train leave the platform. On the next train out, Team Ergo finds a guy who happens to work at the mine company. At the limestone mine it’s the Roadblock: one team member must take a bike underground and retrieve a piece of limestone which has the next clue. It’s too bad Team 16 Tons couldn’t have made it to this point. Team Rehab finishes first and heads to
Displaying a lack of knowledge of common tools, one of the Blondies calls a chisel “the pointy thing.” The three teams from that later team all arrive at the mine together but – inexplicably – Rob of Team Bicker drives in the wrong direction and straight into a warehouse. Teams Alabama and Ergo take the tram down into the mine. Rob is freaking out at first but he passes Team Alabama in the mine. All three teams end up on the same tram back to the surface.
At Olympic Stadium, it’s not a simple run to the mat. Teams must climb a tower and then rappel down the tower face first; James of Team Rehab is afraid of heights and this seems like a pretty scary task. After he gets to the bottom, they receive their next clue: “Keep Racing!” This is not the Pit Stop but part one of an extended leg.
Next week: Tank warfare
Extra – This space reserved for recaps from Pat and Kris. (Of course, I should omit Kris for picking Louisville over Rutgers, but I’ll be magnanimous.)