Welcome back to The Amazing Race, where we have the same four teams as we did last week. Meghan and Cheyne had finished first, for the fifth time. Brian and Ericka finished last, but were spared by a non-elimination leg. They will need to perform an extra “Speedbump” challenge at some point in this leg, and not many teams have been able to accomplish that and still come in before another team. TAR-fans, help me out here. Has there ever been a prior team survive the Speedbump (since they instituted this rule and got rid of the truly embarrassing “take all your money and clothes and make you beg from the natives” penalty for coming in last at a non-elimination leg).
Sticking Around Prague
The teams are departing from the Prague Castle, which was the 10th Pit Stop this season. They are heading for the Spanish Synagogue and are wearing the same color of blue. Isn’t that just so perfect. Please disregard the pile of blue vomit over there.
They spot Brian and Ericka’s Speedbump clue marker, and move on to their next location, a museum with a really long and difficult name. Wonder how late that museum is open, because it’s about 10 at night. It looks like we might be sticking around and not leaving Prague this leg, which would be the second time this season. Travel budget must be down this year.
Dan and Sam depart and talk about being the “villains” this season. You say “villains” and I say “annoying shrieking nags”, potato, potato, tomato, tomato. . . . Can’t we please call the whole thing off?
Operator, Number Please? Is This The Person To Whom I Am Speaking?
There is a Kafka-esque Roadblock involving tons of ringing telephones, with only 5 of the phones giving the contestants a letter. The contestants are not allowed to write anything down, and need to complete a confusing form (with lots of letters) before they are allowed fill in the letters they heard, which they are supposed to arrange to spell “Franz.” Yes, the Kafka-esque Roadblock’s solution is Kafka’s first name. Not too tough for anyone familiar with Kafka, or um, names in general. I read Metamorphosis in college and will never forget the story about that man turning into a cockroach – yikes.
Meghan is doing the Roadblock for her team, and has a good system for remembering the letters. She is associating each one with the name of an animal, so she has a visual to remember the letters. She has the right letters, but in the wrong order on her first attempt. It looks like she got it in just her second try, which is pretty good.
Sam and Dan arrive, and they pick Dan to do the challenge. He is answering the phones. He doesn’t have a cute animal mnemonic systems for remembering the letters, but seems to have the right letters, just the wrong order.
Time To Chill
Meghan and Cheyne are now on their way to some weird place for Cryotherapy where they need to strip down to their skivvies, and then stand in a really cold room and stand there for 2 minutes. Both members of the team need to do this, and they need to stay in for 2 minutes. Cheyne and Meghan whine a lot, but don’t have a problem with it.
I couldn’t tell from the description whether the room was 180 degrees below zero if it was Celsius or Fahrenheit, but it sounds pretty darn cold either way. Minnesotans are known for “polar club clubs” where people cut holes in the ice in January and jump into the water below the frozen ice, just to wake them up I guess. I’ve never done that, but I do get into a freezing cold car for months and months on end which doesn’t warm up until your half an hour into your journey. Good times, good times.
Brian and Ericka have departed now and have arrived at their Speedbump, which involves going to a bar and drinking absinthe, which looks really cool. It’s some sort of ancient drink which looks like a Flaming Moe, for the Simpson’s fans out there. Brian thinks it will be a difficult challenge because he doesn’t drink alcohol. They complain a lot, and say that it tastes like rubbing alcohol, and worry about getting a public intox ticket, but it doesn’t look like it slowed them down considerably.
Always a Pleasure Working “With” Dan and Sam
Dan and Big Easy are now “working together” on the Kafka-esque Roadblock, trying to figure out that R A F N Z are supposed to spell Franz. Now I can’t decide whether to riff about Franz Ferdinand the Austrian archduke whose assassination sparked World War I or Franz Ferdinand the band, but either way, how could those letters spell anything other than Franz? Come on, Hanz and Franz going to pump you up? What on earth are they writing down as solutions other than Franz? Unsurpringly, Dan pulls another punk-ass move and solves the clue, but doesn’t share the answer with Big Easy after he got it. Nice way to work together, Dan.
Big Easy is still there working on FRANZ when Brian and Ericka arrive. Ericka hears the din of the bells and decides that Brian should do it. Probably a good move on a normal day, but after Brian has had his first drink ever, will he be able to focus? It was a good call, as Brian passed up Big Easy, who is super-frustrated at this point.
After Brian and Ericka bug out, Big Easy talks to Flight Time and they opt to take a 4 hour penalty in lieu of continuing to try this challenge. I know that Big Easy was still ticked about Dan, but there were only 5 letters. Dan told him that it starts with “F” and with only one vowel, it really only works for the A to be in the middle. There really aren’t any words I can think of that have three of those consonants in the row. Knowing that, there are really only a couple options:
I’m sure Big Easy is kicking himself watching this. This is very disappointing, as I love this team, but man, how can he not just write down the only logical solution? Deaf contestant Luke had to spell an unusual name in the last season and had an easier time.
It Would Be Easier To Haul Around Gollum and his precious
Meghan and Cheyne have arrived at their next Detour, which involves either smearing mud-like clay all over a huge Golem and hauling it across town to a different Synagogue, or delivering 30 beers across town waiter style. They pick the Golem challenge, where they need to cover their huge statute with clay. Very gloppy, looks like fun. Cheyne is not having fun, however, hauling this heavy thing across town. He is moaning and groaning like he’s in labor. Meghan bitches him out for his loud moaning, telling him that he needs to think positive and be positive. They locate the Old New Synagogue, where the rabbi inspect the Golum and gives them their clue for the next Pit Stop.
They take a cab to the Pit Stop, yell out to “Big Philly” who congratulates them for finishing first yet again, and they win an LDC tv. They are in a good position to win.
Meanwhile, Sam and Dan have mudded up their Golem and are yelling at each other in the street. They are fighting about something, and calling each other names. It’s good to see that their nastiness isn’t just saved for the other teams, but is hurled at each other as well.
You Touch My Beer And I Will Deck You – Not Just For Family Conversations Anymore
Brian and Ericka have picked the beer serving Detour, but half-way to the bar Ericka drops her tray and has a melt down. There are drunk people wandering the streets trying to grab the beers off their trays. Brian wisely persuades her to stick with this challenge, as they wouldn’t have had a much easier time hauling around that huge Golem.
This whole leg seems to be taking place in a single night, whereas most legs (those involving travel) take several days. The next scene we see and it’s morning. The Globetrotters have finally waited out their 4 hour penalty, and can head towards the Cryogenic place to freeze their tails off.
We see Brian and Ericka finish their beer carrying and check in with a rather grumpy looking barkeep who has been waiting for them for hours, less than thrilled to be still awake in the daylight. Maybe it was a vampire bartender, as vampires are all the rage these days. Speaking of which, my daughter wants to head up the Mike Newton fan club, as she thinks Team Edward and Team Jacob are missing out on the real prize. I digress.
Brian and Ericka dash to the Pit Stop, where Phil tells them that they are still in the race. They are surprised, thinking that the Globetrotters likely passed them with the more physical challenge, and share a very sweet kiss. They are glad to have made it to the final 3, and I don’t mind seeing them there, but I’m sad that it is the Globetrotters who are leaving.
That means its time to play Sweet Georgia Brown one last time and show a series of clips of Big Easy and Flight Time and the fun that they had on the Race. We don’t see them go to the Cryogenic place, or do either Detour, so we can’t tell if they actually did them or if they got stopped short, but we do see Phil welcome them to the mat. Phil tells them that they were a pleasure to watch, and I agree. They were a great team, and it’s too bad they couldn’t figure out the Kafka-esque clue.
Join us next week for the finale, where we’ll see teams heading to Vegas, complete with bucket-loads of poker chips and an Elvis impersonator. Sounds fun.