Last week: Cowboys Jet and Cord took the lead while Jody and Shannon got the boot, but not after Jody got popped in the head by a cantankerous cow during the Roadblock. If their showing on the Race was any indication, they took their sweet time getting home, too. I do believe this was the most unhurried team I’ve ever seen. The Amazing part is all well and good, but don’t forget about the Race part, people.
Don’t Drink the Water
This week: teams will be leaving Chile and hopping one of two buses (here comes the equalizer, bleah) to travel through the gorgeous Andes mountains and into Argentina, my state governor’s most favorite vacation spot. Heh. There they will find an old saloon called El Boliche Viejo - the “Old Joint” - where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid once hid out. Our old friend the Gnome will appear, and teams will have to win a hand of five card stud against the little dude. Yes, really.
A side note: It is rather sad watching footage of the beautiful Chilean countryside knowing how devastating the recent earthquake was in that area. My thoughts are with everyone affected.
Not feeling so chipper this morning is Caite, who spends her evening throwing up loudly and looking miserable. Food poisoning and dehydration are thrown around as possible causes. Brent doesn’t look too hot himself, and they both decide to miss their checkout time at 1:20am to check into a local hospital instead. Why they didn’t go earlier is beyond me, but I’m sure they had their reasons. Such as. All is not lost, though - they get shot up with some much needed fluids at the emergency room and still make it to the bus on time.
At the bus station, Brandy pounces on the cowboys, interrogating them about their success on the last leg. No hello, how you doing, have a nice breakfast? Nope, Brandy and Carol just go right into asking about how they got a faster bus last time. Small talk is not the ladies’ strong suit, I’m guessing. Neither is politeness or being likeable. Jet and Cord don’t fall for it, commenting that they don’t get the warm fuzzies from either of the women. Brandy snips “They’ve got tricks up their sleeves, and their tricks have tricks!” Perhaps they just don’t spend all their time bitching at each other and instead - *gasp* - work together? Nah, couldn’t be that.
Once at Argentina, everyone piles in their cars and some teams get behind the cowboys to follow them, hoping some of that Magic Hat luck will rub off. Or, they’re just too dumb to figure it out for themselves. You decide. The caravan forming behind them doesn’t go unnoticed by Jet and Cord. The cowboys do indeed know exactly how to get there, having taken the time before boarding the bus to ask a local, but they’re not about to let the others leech. So they open up a map and pull over, pretending to look lost. The other cars go by, and both the cowboys and I laugh. I’m liking these guys.
Next up: poker against Da Gnome. Joe, Heidi, Brandy and Carol arrive at the same time as Jet and Cord. Joe and Heidi win on their first hand, as did Brandy and Carol. Meh. Can we please dump Joe and Brandy and pair up Heidi and Carol? Just a suggestion. Anyway, Jet and Cord aren’t having much luck, taking three hands to beat the Gnome. “That gnome has a poker face that’s out of this world!” quip the cowboys.
Their cheer comes back when they see the Roadblock, however: they have to rope a steer! Not a real one, mind you, but a fake steer head on a small bale of hay. Which is good, since most of this group seems ill equipped for working with live animals. I can only imagine the injuries they’d rack up. The Amazing Hospital Bill.
As soon as Brandy sees what the Roadblock entails, her squeals of disbelief echo throughout the peaceful countryside. “No fair!” she squawks, thinking it was rigged for the cowboys. Now, now, sweet lady, put that bitchface away. I’m sure there will be an upcoming challenge where your skills will be put to good use. If they can come up with a task that requires an ill-tempered, narcissistic witch, that is.
So, yeah. Jet takes two tries to rope the head, and is embarrassed that he didn’t nail it in one. Pulling the bale to him, he retrieves the next clue and they retake first place. Carol flounders around with the rope, getting it on her eleventy billionth try, and Heidi is right behind her. Carol and Brandy then proceed to have yet another argument in the car, and if I cared enough I’d recap it. Alas, I don’t care. This is only one of about 92 arguments they have in this episode, anyway. It's not like you're missing anything.
Caite and Brent also get snippy with each other on the ride to Bariloche, too, but since sick + traveling = no fun, I’ll give them a pass on the bitching. Not getting a pass is Team Dumbass, aka Dan and Jordan, who stall their car once again (yes, it’s a stick), forcing Jordan to get out and try to push the car. Uphill. With the parking brake on, I believe. Say it with me: dumbass!
Reading Comprehension: A Lost Art
Next up: the Detour. Teams can choose either Horse Sense or Horse Power. In Sense, they use an old style compass - basically, a pole in the ground with signs pointing east, west, north and south. They will get instructions telling them how many steps in which direction to go, landing in a spot where a bag of hidden “loot” is buried. They must then take the bag to the lead bandit (lead bandit, Jeff!) at the train station. In Power, they have to go to a polo field, put on the uniform, and use a practice wooden horse to score a goal in nine swings or less.
Of course, the clue is less than specific, so most teams think they would have to use real horses on the polo field and opt for the compass task. Except for Jet and Cord, of course, who hightail it to the polo field. Only to be sorely disappointed when they see the silly wooden horses they must use. But, they whack the ball through the goal, get their trophy with the Pit Stop location inscribed on it, and ham it up a bit for the camera while holding the trophy up like they just won an Academy Award.
And here goes more squabbling. Brandy and Carol go at it after realizing that finding the buried loot is too taxing on their brains - really, is it that hard to count steps in a particular direction and look for a cord hanging out of the dirt? It must be. After exchanging snarks about temper tantrums, lack of communication skills and giving up, they switch to the polo task. If you think these two will make it to their one year anniversary, raise your hand. Nobody? Yeah, I agree.
Also having issues are Jeff and Jordan. They can find the bags, but when Jeff brings said bag to one of the bandits in the field, the guy just looks at him with a shrug. Confuzzled, Jeff and Jordan go off and get a different bag, with the same results. It takes several tries before he rereads the clue that says bring it to the LEAD bandit. Jeff all but slaps himself in the forehead, joking that “We’re so stupid, we shouldn’t reproduce!” The gong sound plays in the background as they show Jordan’s face, bewildered.
Apparently this task is harder than it looks, as Joe also screws up, bringing the wrong bag to the right guy. Ugh. He gives up and goes to the polo field, where the rarely seen team known as Steve and Allie are. They actually get more than five milliseconds of air time, showing Steve lying on the wooden horse sideways and griping about being sore and 57. Well, hey, at least now I know something about him.
Joining the crew on the polo field is Dan “I lassoed that bitch!” and brother Jordan. Jordan seems more interested in picking out matching polo tops to go with their pants, but Dan says he’s not trying to look cute and tells his brother to get going. They pretty much stink at this, with Dan whiffing the last shot and forcing them to drag the wooden horse back to the start and do it again. Dan throws his mallet in anger while Joe tips his fake horse over, falling off in spectacular fashion. How he managed to tip it nose first, I’ll never know. But it was good for a laugh.
And Bringing Up The Rear....
Are our three back-of-the-packers: sick models Brent and Caite, clueless detectives Louie and Michael, and the rarely-seen attorney moms Monique and Shawne. They’re all still at the Roadblock, and Shawne tries and tries to lasso the fake steer head, but she’s just isn’t quite getting it. Louie manages to get the rope around the horns, and even Brent passes Shawne by on his second try. The sad music is starting to filter in, and it’s not looking good for the moms.
But after throwing some prayers out (or, creative editing), Shawne miraculously ropes the head and pulls it in. All three of these teams end up on the polo field - Louie and Michael give up on the compass task after wandering the hills, lost. They argue, and Louie retorts that he just executes search warrants, he doesn’t do much detecting. Hmm. It's only counting steps and finding a bag, but whatever.
After twenty minutes of freaking commercials, we come back to Louie and Michael cussing on the polo field. Brent and Caite manage to score a goal, even though Caite couldn’t hit the ball more than two inches. Dan figures out what to do and they finish, and Michael stops cussing long enough to slam the last ball through the goal, yelling “Sparta!” Did the Spartans play polo? I’m thinking not. But they did have nice airbrushed abs.
Cue the sad music again as Monique and Shawne struggle with moving the clunky wooden horse on the polo field. They decide to switch. The only team to bail on the horses and go to the compass task, the moms don’t fare much better there, as the sun goes down and other teams are checking in. You know where this is going.
Teams greeted Phil in this order:
1st - Jet and Cord. Only one “Oh my gravy!” exclamation this episode. The guys win a 10 day trip to Patagonia, and are very pleased about it. Phil snarks on their big belt buckles.
2nd - Steve and Allie. Who?
3rd - Carol and Brandy.
4th - Joe and Heidi.
5th - Jeff and Jordan.
6th - Dan and Jordan.
7th - Brent and Caite.
8th - Louie and Michael.
Philiminated: Monique and Shawne.
Tears flow, they hug, the usual stuff. “We did our best, and that’s all we can do.” Indeed. Too bad we didn't learn much about them, they seemed like one of the nicer teams.
Next week: Germany, and beer. The locals laugh at Jet and Cord, while Brandy and Dan hang from some kind of high wire free fall contraption that they don’t look too excited to be in. Could be fun!