After being forced to relive sportsbra-gate, Christy’s spill on the wooden bike, and Mark and Bill’s elimination from last week *sniff*, we’re treated to yet more silliness from Kelly and Christy. The divorcees aren’t about to let Starr’s attempted U-Turn of them go without a confrontation. These two are all about the confrontations. If only these women spent a fraction of the energy they waste hating on Starr and actually use it to be better racers, they might be okay. Then we've got Aja and Ty bickering, Andrew and Dan sniping at each other...ugh. Tonight's episode is brought to you by Bitchflakes, the Breakfast of Crappy Racers everywhere.
Yes, Virginia, There are Blondes in New Zealand
So yeah, this week we’re off to beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. Home of our host with the most, Phil! Tina can barely contain her joy at discovering their next destination. I wouldn’t be too overjoyed at the 6900 mile flight to get there, but that’s okay. It'd be worth it. Dallas admits that he has no clue where New Zealand is, and his mom Toni shakes her head and jokingly wonders why she spent all that money on geography lessons.
Marisa wonders if they’ll like blondes in New Zealand (no, really, she said that), as her cohort Brooke sagely notes that they probably already have blondes in that country, since they’re not, like, rare or anything. Over in long-distance-dating land, Aja doesn’t seem to be enjoying all the new togetherness with Ty, griping about his constant use of the phrase “Bite us in the butt.” Geez, Aja, there are worse things he could be saying. Like calling you Fidel Castro, which he does later on in the airport after getting tired of your dictating ways. But, they hug and make up. Sort of. In a passive-aggressive, we're better off long distance way.
Arriving at the airport, several teams manage to sweet talk people out of their laptops for a minute to check flights - Kelly and Christy just sort of hang back and watch what the others are doing, letting them do all the searching. No airport drama this week, folks, everyone gets on the same flight. Ken isn’t pleased about the equalizer, having lost their 30 minute lead they worked so hard for. Get used to it, Ken. Just like you're used to those eat-crap-and-die looks your wife so often bestows upon you while you talk about how wonderful she is.
Are We There Yet? Are We There Yet?
About a week later, the 6900 mile flight is over and teams shake their numb backsides out of the plane and into the Auckland night, where their very very nice marked cars (Mercedes?) await them. Cars zip off into the dark, and Ty doesn’t realize he’s driving on the wrong side of the road until Aja informs him of the fact. Too bad she didn’t tell him not to skim the curb with his car, which caused the left front tire to blow out. Oopsie. And too bad Ty has never changed a flat in his life, because he stands helplessly on the side of the road as the other teams pass on by. In my experience, staring at a blown tire has never gotten it fixed, Ty.
A local finally takes pity and stops to help, but not until they’ve dropped to seventh position, ahead of only the lost blondes, Marisa and Brooke. People: learn to change flats and learn to drive a freaking stick if you want to be on The Amazing Race. And don’t yell at the camels if you run across one.
Finally, someone makes it to the Gulf Harbor and their first task: untie a Gordian knot for the first clue. Andrew and Dan untie the bowling ball-sized knot of rope first, revealing that they must drive themselves to the summit of Mount Eden (actually a dormant volcano). And, one of two Fast Forwards this season: go directly to the Auckland Skytower, the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere, climb to the top and “pick up a friend.”
Well Tina and her eyebrows aren’t happy at the thought of scaling anything over ten feet (I can sympathize, I wouldn’t go anywhere near that tower), but she and Ken speed off to give it a try, racing the frat boys to the tower. They barely beat Andrew and Dan, who pout off to Mount Eden, where Terence and Sarah are already headed. Andrew is becoming less and less thrilled with his beer buddy Dan, and it’s starting to show.
At Mount Eden is a Roadblock, where one team member has to choose an image of a tattoo worn by Maori warriors and match it to the face of an actual warrior. These guys are badass, chanting and stomping in a huge group as twee Terence wanders amongst them, looking for a match. It takes him two guesses. Toni and Dallas arrive, and Dallas hopes the menacing Maori don’t “eat his mom.” Hee! Andrew and Dan drive by Kelly and Christy, who have decided to walk to the Roadblock after being unable to find the entrance. The frats laugh it up. The laughter is short lived, however, when they get there and the divorcees finish the Roadblock before they do. Har har.
Coming in a close second to Dallas’ “Don’t eat my mom!” line is poor Andrew’s utter look of horror as his Maori warrior insisted on rubbing noses with him after he matched the tattoo up. Good times, good times.
Over at the Skytower, Ken and Tina are suited up and ready to go. Well, as ready as she’s ever going to be. Ken cheers her on as they begin to climb the outside of the ridiculously high building, which sways in the strong wind - yep, I’d be out of there at that point - and Tina begins to panic, wanting off that thing NOW. They finally make it to the top and nab their “friend,” a Travelocity gnome. Off to the Pit Stop at Summerhill they go, Tina once again excited about the helicopter ride there. I’ll give them props for this one, no way could I have done it.
Meanwhile, in the Land of the Lost, Marisa and Brooke are just getting to the Gordian knot. And dragging their butts while doing it. After showing us how the girls walked right by the knot in the middle of the damn dock while wondering out loud where it was, we get back to the other teams. Nothing to see here, folks. Move along. Dead Team walking.
Chilling With My Gnomies
Once teams have matched the tattoo images to a face, they must travel to City Life Hotel in downtown Auckland and hunt down a gnome of their own with binoculars. The little suckers are hidden everywhere - the tops of buildings, in parks, in pools, etc. Sarah spots one at the top of a tall building, while Toni found one chilling in a chair with a bottle of wine. Off they go to collect their gnomes and the clues underneath. Except Terence insists on opening the envelope, because Sarah “isn’t good at it.” Dude, please, that little gnome is more of a man than you are. Let the girl tear the paper if she wants to.
Of course, Kelly/Christy and Nick/Starr end up at the top of the hotel at the same time, hunting for gnomes. Imagine that. Nick and Starr spot one first, much to the divorcees' chagrin. Nick yuks it up in the car, happy to be ahead of their nemeses.
Next up: travel to Kiwi 360, a local landmark in the town of Te Puke (Marisa and Brooke thought this quite funny, once they actually got there two weeks later). Here teams find a Detour - Matter of Time or Matter of Skill. In Time, they could drive to a kiwi orchard and use their bare feet to squash kiwis into 12 quarts of juice. Then chug a glass of said feet-juice to get the next clue. In Skill, teams had to assemble two blokart kits (little carts with wheels, powered by wind sails), and run three laps each around a track.
Lucy Would Be Proud
Terence and Sarah choose to stomp kiwis, stepping into the huge vat and immediately regretting it. Apparently there are rocks at the bottom to assist in the squashing. Add to this that the drain keeps clogging up with squishy kiwi goodness, and it’s not as easy as it looks. Toni and Dallas try the kiwi thing, but give up after their drain becomes clogged and go off to ride the blokarts. Andrew and Dan, Aja and Ty, and Nick and Starr also bail on the kiwi stomping, going to the kart track. Only Kelly and Christy (who probably envisioned stomping thousands of little Starr heads) and Terence and Sarah made it through the kiwi challenge, drinking a glass of stinky foot/kiwi juice and heading off to the Pit Stop. Kelly and Christy actually looked like they enjoyed it. Oh, and Marisa and Brooke did it too, but that wasn’t until the following month when they finally got there.
Poor Andrew and Dan. I don’t know what their majors are, but it sure has nothing to do with engineering. They can’t put the karts together to save their lives, admitting that they’re mechanically challenged. “Give me sports trivia and I’ll beat everybody!” yells Dan. Nick and Starr have theirs together, and proceed around the track until Starr skids sideways and crashes her kart, landing awkwardly on her arm. Hey, the instructor told you to keep your arms inside for a reason. She begins wailing that her arm is broken, but sucks it up and finishes the course, sniffling all the way. She even attempts to drive to the Pit Stop afterwards, but can’t stop crying and Nick takes over. I don’t think it’s broken, but she did have a decent gash on her hand. I guess we’ll find out next week. If it’s just a cut, all that simpering was just wayyy over the top.
This Pit Stop isn’t going to be much of a surprise, for sure. I’ll give you three guesses who came in last, and the first two guesses don’t count. What is a nice surprise is the greeter standing with Phil on the mat - it’s Phil’s dad! How totally adorable. And here’s how they finished:
1st - Ken and Tina, once again. Got a seven night trip to Rio during Carnival. Hey, they earned this one.
2nd - Terence and Sarah
3rd - Kelly and Christy
4th - Toni and Dallas
5th - Nick and Starr
6th - Andrew and Dan
7th - Aja and Ty
Philiminated - Marisa and Brooke
After Andrew and Dan whoop it up at the mat and hug Phil’s dad (they thought they were goners) and Aja praises God for coming in next to last (?!), a tired and teary-eyed Marisa and Brooke straggle up to the mat amid a herd of sheep. Where the sheep came from, I have no idea. The girls cry as Phil tells them they’ve been eliminated, and they profess to be best friends forever, happy to have gotten this far, and all that good stuff. Phil’s dad gives them a hug as Phil gives us a double-eyebrow raise. Awesome! Marisa and Brooke are sweet girls, but not good Racers. Have fun in Acapulco, y’all.
Next week: Terence gets pulled over by the cops - whether it’s for a traffic violation or crimes against hair, I don’t know. Also, Kelly and Christy get all Mean Girls and high school-y, making fun of Dallas’ hairdo and calling him “Teen Wolf.” Oh, if only you knew, ladies.
Starr: a big drama queen or is she really hurt? PM me.