Last week we bid adieu to bitchin’ couple (and I mean that literally) Jennifer and Preston, who carried their nonsense to Elimination Station. If you haven’t checked out the video, well, don’t bother. It isn’t pretty. This week? On to Germany, land of beer, brats, and a few Americans who can’t find their way out of a paper bag.
Margie and Luke get the honor of leaving first, at the ungodly hour of 2:56 am. Off to Munich, Germany they go, where they will drive themselves to Ruhpolding and take a cable car to the next clue. Most of the teams use their heads for more than a hat rack and take the opportunity to call the airline during their cab ride to reserve tickets, borrowing cell phones from their cabbies. Except for Mark and Michael, who take the opportunity to chill in the cab and do nothing. Bad move, guys. Margie and Luke didn’t think to call ahead, either, but were lucky enough to land the early flight anyhow.
Taxicab confessionals on the way: Margie says people have thought Luke was slow, but he’s in fact a college kid. Ignorance is alive and well, I see. Mel shares more about his groin injury, just in case you wanted to know such things. And Steve-o admits that he was indeed an asshat to Linda earlier, crying as he does so. This sets Linda to crying, too. These people cry a whole lot. Is Kleenex a sponsor this season? I half expect to see the little Travelocity gnome dude holding a pack of tissue at the Pit Stop for these two. Here ya go, guys. Compliments of Phil. Cry away.
Yeah, so. All teams but Mark and Michael and Christie and Jodi get on a 7:10 flight, having booked in advance. The stuntguys and the flight attendants get stuck on an 8:45 flight. Way to be last, guys! With this group, that’s quite the victory. And here I thought the blondes knew all the tricks of airports. Color me unimpressed so far.
Overachieving sibs Tammy and Victor hit the cable cars first, with Kris and Amanda missing the first ride by thismuch. The scenery is flat out gorgeous, but - here’s that heights thing again that I can’t deal with. Ack. At the top of the mountain awaits a Roadblock: paragliding! One team member gets to leap off a perfectly good mountain and sail 6000 feet to their waiting partner down below. If it’s too windy to do so safely, teams have the option to hike down the mountain path, which will take about an hour. Three, if Linda does it. Or, they can chance it and wait for the wind to die down. Me? I'd be walking.
Of course, it’s too windy to paraglide. Foo. Tammy and Victor decide not to wait, as do other teams who filter in. This leaves poor Mel, he of the groin injury. He knows he doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of making the trek on foot, so he has no choice but to wait. One by one, other team members leave him standing there. A few linger, and Mel tries to BS them by saying the others chickened out and walked, sort of daring the others to stay and wait. His ploy doesn’t really work. But, points for trying. Last placers Mark and Michael (the mini-men, coined by Jen) finally arrive, and a doomed look comes over Mel’s face. Poor guy. He bemoans his situation while his son gnaws what’s left of his fingernails off at the foot of the mountain.
Standing alone at the top, Mel says he’d love to, but he can’t pray for the wind to die down, because God’s too busy to be bothering with Amazing Race contestants. I think He’s a Big Brother fan, myself. But - behold! - it looks like we’re both wrong, as the clouds part, rainbows shoot forth, and the sun backlights Mel’s silvery hair just so as the wind miraculously dies down enough for him to make the leap. Several contestants waiting at the bottom for their partners say bad, bad things after seeing Mel’s good fortune. All is not lost as Mel and his pulled groin sail on down to his son, putting them in fifth place.
Somehow, Linda didn’t see the clearly marked red and yellow arrows pointing her in the right direction down the mountain path. Even though eight other Racers had no trouble. Poor directionally-challenged Linda ends up on the other side of the mountain, coming out to a highway. Hubby Steve sits at the other side, twiddling his thumbs. Everyone else has left, and a bawling Linda gets a passerby to drive her to the cable cars, which I’m sure will earn them a penalty. If they come in anything but last, that is. Stop laughing, it could happen. In Bizarro World.
Teams are now instructed to drive to Schonau Am Konigsee where they encounter a Detour: Balancing Dolly or Austrian Folly. Amanda says this as Australian Folly, and Kris corrects her. Aw, I can’t make fun of her, it’s like kicking a puppy. Anyhow, teams get to choose between riding a Segway through an obstacle course or smacking each other in the face with Austrian schlog - a cake-looking plate of sugary goodness. When they find one with cherry filling, they can get their next clue. I know which one I’d choose. Those cakes look incredibly good.
Tammy and Victor enjoy whacking each other in the face with the goodies as onlookers in the party tent laugh it up. And drink much beer. If nothing else, the Amazing Race provides comedy relief for the locals. Amanda and Kris also think it’s quite fun, with Kris exclaiming that his gooey hair looks like bad hair gel, "Something About Mary times ten!" Luke really, really didn’t want to throw cakes, but deferred to his mom, who really, really did. He looked a little pissy at getting showered in baked goods, but he lived through it. As did Brad and Victoria, Christie and Jodi, and Steve and Linda.
Over in Segwayville, Mel and Mike choose to do the obstacle course. I question his judgment, considering the groin pull and all, but oh well. I’d hate to see the old guy hit a bump the wrong way and fall over, clutching the family jewels. But, they make it through. Kisha and Jen, Mark and Michael, and Jaime and Cara all ride the Segways without busting their behinds. If they did, I’m highly disappointed that they didn’t show it.
Next stop: Holzsager, where teams will pick up a disc of freshly-sawn wood made by mechanical woodcutters, which will then have the Pit Stop location stamped on it. Aw, the Pit Stop already? Man, this show moves. So do several of our teams, in the wrong direction. Christie and Jodi end up at a barn and dig up a piece of wood, looking everywhere for someone to cut it. Er, no. They weren't where they were supposed to be, and have a major duh moment when they realize it. "I've never felt like such a dumb blonde!" one of them exclaims.
Headed to the Pit Stop, Kisha and Jen take a wrong turn and bitch at each other. I see a big meltdown in the near future here. Mark and Michael must think it's fun to get lost, too, so they take a stab at it. The blondes are determined to come in last, so they too make a wrong turn. Not to be outdone, Linda and Steve argue in the car and fingers get pointed in faces, and...oh, I've had enough. Here's how they ended up:
1st – Tammy and Victor, winning hybrid go-carts. They grin from ear to ear as Phil snarks at their frosting-covered selves.
2nd – Mel and Mike. In his excitement, Mike is unable to figure out how to open the iron gate to the Pit Stop and tries to climb over it. Someone kindly comes over to show him how to open it. Phil gives them The Eyebrow.
3rd – Amanda and Kris.
4th – Margie and Luke. Phil signs to them again.
5th – Brad and Victoria.
6th – Jaime and Cara.
7th – Kisha and Jen.
8th – Mark and Michael.
9th – Christie and Jodi.
Philiminated – Linda and Steve.
Well, it's not like we couldn’t see that one coming a mile away. They both break out in tears, Steve bawling on Linda's shoulder as they talk of how much they wuv one another and all that happy stuff. They were never going to make it far in the Race, but good luck to them. Maybe they’ll enjoy Elimination Station, since Preston and Jennifer seem unable to.
Next week: Romania. Which means gymnastics. And probably lots of laughs and busting of butts as the Racers flop about on a mat. Also: Amanda and Kris lose the backpack with all their passports in it (This happens again?! Are you kidding me?) and Tammy and Victor engage in some sibling rivalry. I wouldn’t be surprised if Kisha and Jen do the same after seeing Jen fume about her bossy big sister this week. Who says we need a fighting dating couple for drama?
In other news, Linda and Steve got lost on the way to Elimination Station and were last seen somewhere in the vicinity of Siberia.