Last week saw dating couple Anthony and Stephanie get sent to Elimination Station to keep hippies Anita and Arthur company. Looking at the clips of that gorgeous mansion in Acapulco, though, I don’t think I’d mind a whole lot. This week? We’ve got Spandex, altitude sickness, Stone Age wooden bike races, and fights over sports bras. And once again, we have teams who don’t fully read the clues. You’d think they’d have learned by now, but nooo.....
Blood for Bras
After a night of rest at the last Pit Stop in Brazil, teams are off to beautiful La Paz, Bolivia - the first time The Amazing Race has been to Bolivia. The more I watch this show, the more places get added to my (very long) travel list. Between Phil and Anthony Bourdain showing me all these awesome places, I’ll never catch up! *shakes fist at all cute travel show host guys* But our racers have all caught up with each other, sitting around the dinner table and enjoying their rest period with some good food. Well, most of them are enjoying it. A bitchy Christy has it out for Starr, accusing the girl of pushing her freshly-washed sports bra off a ledge to its doom below. Starr thinks she’s nuts, wondering “How does that get us ahead in anything?” Blood feuds over bras? Good grief. Don’t look for this one to end soon.
Ken and Tina admit that they’re still having communication issues - ya think? Sarah has an epiphany and says she is just realizing this is a competition! Oh, wow. What did you think you signed up for, woman? Marisa and Brooke chime in that they think the others are underestimating them. Well, yeah, but that’s because you’re in last place. I will give the blondes this: they seem to be happy and cheerful 24/7, which is a nice contrast to certain other Racers’ foul attitudes.
Simon Says Camp Out
So teams fly 1200 miles to the city of La Paz with its altitude of almost 12,000 feet, and get to camp out on the street all night next to the statue of Simon Bolivar while they await the delivery of the morning newspaper. Inside those papers is the next clue, buried within the ads. And hey, they all get blankies to keep them warm! The camera crew seems to get perverse joy out of panning in as the girls hurriedly spackle on their makeup the next morning. Unfortunately (or not), camera guy skips over Tina’s marathon evil-eyebrow drawing session. Nick takes the opportunity to try and patch things over with Kelly and Christy, telling them that Starr had nothing to do with Sportsbra-gate. The divorcees still cop major attitude, with Kelly sniffing “We don’t really care if people don’t like us.”
The teams have all noticed the altitude difference and the resulting breathing difficulties. Mark is already out of breath. Not good! Scrambling through the papers as they arrive (and careful not to let the clue’s location slip to the other teams), the frats Andrew and Dan find it first: make their way to the Narvaez hat shop and buy a traditional Cholita hat for the next clue. The frats take a cab, but realize that walking would have gotten them there faster as the streets in La Paz are clogged like a fat man’s arteries. Terence and Sarah made it to the hat shop on foot in the same time it took the frats in a cab.
Happy Happy Joy Joy
Andrew and Dour Dan rip open their clue to find a Detour - and a U-Turn. Teams can choose either Musical March or Bumpy Ride, gathering up musicians from two local plazas to form a band or riding a primitive wooden bike down bumpy cobblestone streets to Plaza Abaroa. Andrew and Dan joylessly gather up musicians, griping that they’re walking too slowly while blondes Marisa and Brooke clap and dance while leading their “band” to the plaza. Dan, dude, would it kill you to actually enjoy something once in a while? You must be a blast at frat parties.
Terence and Sarah hop in a cab to the bike location, totally missing the part of the clue that says to go on foot. They’re not the only team that’s clue-challenged, however, as Mark and Bill do the same darn thing. Only Terence and Sarah realize their mistake after rereading the clue in the cab - Mark and Bill continue on, blissfully unaware of their mistake. Mat penalty, here they come! Terence and Sarah backtrack and do it on foot.
As if riding brakeless, padless hand carved wooden bikes down a bone-jarring and bladder-busting cobblestone street wasn’t bad enough, the teams had to don crazy feathered helmets and gloves to ride. Mark and Bill’s illegal taxi ride got them there first, and they make silly noises as they bump down the st-st-st-street on the bikes. They decide not to U-Turn anyone. Meanwhile, Marisa and Brooke pass up sourpusses Andrew and Dan by smiling and encouraging their band, which made them walk faster. I’m sure being cute and blonde didn’t hurt a bit, but the frats could have at least tried to encourage their band to walk faster instead of just grumping about it.
And here’s my favorite moment of tonight’s show: Christy wipes out on her bike, slamming headfirst into a curb and then a wall. Awesomeness. As she nurses her minor injuries, they lose the lead they had over Nick and Starr. Aja and Ty zip down the hill on their bikes, with Aja hollering “I am the master of my fate! I am the captain of my soul!” Okay, Aja! They reach the U-Turn right after Nick and Starr, who debate whether or not to use it on Kelly and Christy. They decide not to, but ask Aja and Ty to do it instead. They decline, and Ty says “They don’t have the guts to do it.” True that. Kelly and Christy finally make it to the U-Turn, but don’t use it because they think they’re last. Wrong! Toni and Dallas were behind them.
Up next is the Roadblock du jour, with Ken and Tina being the lucky saps who go first. Ken chooses to perform the task, which consists of handing over the hat they bought at the hat shop, putting on a silly Spandex costume, and learning six wrestling moves so they could “fight” a cholita: a woman wrestler. Ken isn’t too keen on fighting a girl (you’d think he’d be used to it, the way he and Tina bicker), but gets into the spirit of it and has fun as the crowd hollers. Mark doesn’t fare as well, flubbing up his entry move and getting tangled in the ropes. Back to practice he goes. Same with Marisa, letting Dallas (who, might I add, looks just fine in Spandex) and his mom take second place. Sarah screws up also, much to Terence’s chagrin. What did she miss? The Taunt, of all things. The Taunt. Sheesh.
While Kelly, Ty, Mark and Marisa keep on trying, Aja goes to Christy and spills the beans about Starr asking her to U-Turn the divorcees. You can guess how well that went over. Christy is livid, but thanks Aja for telling her. I’m afraid if Christy gets behind the wheel of a car she’s going to try and make Starr a hood ornament if this keeps up. Meanwhile, poor Mark is nauseous from all the exertion and altitude, requiring a few hits off an oxygen mask. This drops them all the way to seventh.
Off go the teams to the Pit Stop at el Mirador del Monticulo, where Phil awaits with his local greeter, a woman wearing the craziest looking peacock-feathered thing on her head I’ve ever seen. Those Bolivians sure love their feathers. After a cab race through the streets of La Paz, the teams finish as follows:
1st - Ken and Tina, winning a trip to Cabo San Lucas.
2nd - Toni and Dallas
3rd - Terence and Sarah
4th - Marisa and Brooke
5th - Aja and Ty
6th - Nick and Starr
7th - Andrew and Dan
8th - Kelly and Christy
Gone baby gone - Mark and Bill
Mark and Bill actually hit the mat in 8th place, but incurred a 30 minute penalty for not reading the freaking clue earlier. They sit nervously and wait as Kelly and Christy drag up to the Amazing bathmat, the divorcees thinking they’re going to be eliminated (and vowing to cuss Starr out if they are). The women are shocked when Phil informs them that no, they are not eliminated because of Mark and Bill’s penalty. The disappointed geeks are told the news, and Mark shakes his head as he admits they knew they couldn’t compete physically, but they thought they could beat everyone with their mental game. Me too, guys, me too. Sad to see you go.
Next week: Aja and Ty get pissy with each other, and it’s Starr’s turn to take a spill in a road-glider. Christy would be happy. Heck, Christy probably caused it. See you then!