On last night’s episode of The Amazing Race, the remaining teams headed to Italy to start the European leg of the race. In the end, we saw the best of humanity in an act of charity, and the worst of it, in the form of Rachel.
Art and JJ were the first team to get their clues and be told that they will be flying to Italy. At the travel agency trying to find the quickest flight they were told that they will be stuck on a plane for around 25 hours. Thankfully, we don’t have to watch all of that.
All the others except Mark and Bopper got to the travel agency but the Kentuckians headed straight for the airport. Don’t they have travel agencies in Kentucky?
Knowing that Bopper was running the race to help his sick 7-year old daughter who is currently on seven different respiratory medicines, Art commented, “[Bopper & Mark] are both great guys. I’m sure if they found themselves in a situation to reciprocate, they probably would.”
Anyway, Art and JJ told them they needed to go back, and the mistake cost them more than an hour of race time because they missed the first flight into Turin.
The first flight landed and everyone struggled to drive on Italian roads. I liked Chase’s advice: lay on your horn and do your best to avoid hitting pedestrians.
Arriving at the Lingotto Building first, Border Patrol Agents Art and JJ began a steady jog up the building’s spiraled ramps, maintaining their lead on Brendon and Rachel. Finally arriving, Art and JJ found a Fast Forward, allowing one team to skip all other tasks and proceed to the Pit Stop.
In this Fast Forward, that team had to land a helicopter on a building. One team member had to operate a remote controlled helicopter while their partner wore a model of the Lingotto Building. When the team made a perfect landing, the pilot would give them their next clue.
Running into the domed section of the building, Art and JJ were excited at the prospect of landing a helicopter, but they were in for a let down that it was only a toy helicopter.
JJ strapped on the helmet, looking somewhat silly, and shouted for Art to begin flying the plane and trying to land it on JJ’s head. Using the remote control, Art crashed it into JJ’s helmet.
Brendon and Rachel got a Roadblock at which one team member had to rappel 120-feet down the inside of the spiraled section of the Lingotto Building, where they just ran up. On the way down, they had to grab a clue and meet their partner on the bottom. If they failed to get the clue in the allotted two minutes, they had to run back to the top and start again.
Geared up, both Rachel and Danny climbed over the edge of the barrier and dangled precariously high above the concrete floor.
There was no loss to life or limb and they made it down to their partners and discovered thatt once again they had navigate the busy streets of Turin and make their way to the Museo Nazionale dell’ Automobile. Once there, they had to park on the street using the Ford Focus’ Active Park Assist feature. Then, they had to go into the museo and search for the 1916 Tin Lizzie, a distant relative of the car they had been driving in the leg, for their next clue.
Dave and Rachel had a domestic over Dave wanting to fly a helicopter but she was right: it wasn’t a real helicopter! Thankfully for their relationship, Rachel made the Roadblock look easy, passing Jamie and Vanessa who both had to rappel a second time because they could not reach the clue.
Landing in Turin an hour and fifteen minutes behind the other teams, best friends Bopper and Mark hoped to make up the time quickly, but they got lost in Turin.
After several failed attempts at landing the toy helicopter, Art told JJ to straighten up his helmet. That was all it took! After a quick celebration, the Border Patrol Agents rushed to their cars and drove to the Pit Stop at Piazza Castello, to win $5,000 each for their victory.
Pulling up to the Museo Nazionale dell’ Automobile, Brendon began using the Ford Focus Active Park Assist feature by simply pressing a button and allowing the car to turn the wheel itself and slide into an open spot. However, with Rachel growing agitated in the backseat about other teams catching up to them, Brendon lost his cool, snapping at her as he parked. Bolting out of the car, Rachel shouted,
“You are so embarrassing! I hate you! You can’t talk to me when you get under pressure like that. It’s not okay.”
When Brendon tried to calm her down, Rachel tearfully told him,
“This isn’t even worth a million dollars.”
Inside the museum, Brendon and Rachel continued to fight, looking for the 1916 Tin Lizzie. Somehow, despite the bickering, they found it before anyone else. However, they had no idea what to do with their next clue: a two cent Euro they found in the front seat. What they needed to figure out is that they had to drive to the building printed on the back of the coin, Mole Antonelianna, and take an elevator to the top. Thinking the coin had to be put into something to release their clue, Brendon and Rachel became even more frustrated with each other when they realized Rachel and Dave, Joey “Fitness” and Danny, Nary and Jamie, and Vanessa and Ralph had all solved the clue and had left the museum. Standing outside their car, Brendon reached his limit and asked,
“Do you want to continue racing or you just want to stop here?”
A stunned Rachel replied,
“You say that about everything. You’re going to say that about your PhD.”
Adding that they hit a brick wall in their marriage, Rachel quipped, “You shouldn’t yell at me and be mean to me.”
During their argument, Brendon looked at the coin again and realized that the other teams probably went to Mole Antonelianna prompting Rachel to suggest,
“Maybe go to that building and stop embarrassing ourselves.”
They weren’t the only team having problems. Rachel and Dave somehow managed to circle Turin and arrive back at Museo Nazionale dell’ Automobile. Rachel blamed Dave for not listening to the directions given to them by a very random group of people dressed up as Santa Claus. Upset by her accusation, Dave asked,
“Do you want to be supportive?”
Rachel snapped back,
“I’ll be supportive when you follow the directions…instead of thinking you know better.”
Dave ended the fight by declaring,
“I’m keeping my mouth shut before I say something I regret.”
All this meant that Joey and Danny arrived at Mole Antonelianna in second place, rode up the glass elevator, marvelling at the beautiful view. Their next clue was a Detour with the choice of Clean That Statue or Name That Salami.
Clean That Statue required teams to learn the methods used to maintain the city’s treasured statues. They then had to carefully clean a statue using provided equipment, restoring it to its former pristine state. Name That Salami required teams to locate Gastronomia Salumeria where they had to taste 14 distinct salamis. Then, after traveling half a mile to Piazza Vittorio, they had to identify those same 14 salamis by their correct name.
A group of four teams, led by Army wife and combat pilot Rachel and Dave, drove to a nearby lot filled with statues, adjacent to a gorgeous park. In safety gear, the four teams took command of high power hoses to clean the statues.
Joey joked, “She’s a dirty girl, but not the type of dirty girl that Danny likes.”
Ralph and Nary both managed to blow their statues’ heads off. Not missing a beat, Vanessa picked up the head and began scrubbing it with a brush.
The four teams of scrubbers ended the leg in second to fifth position in this order: Rachel and Dave, Joey and Danny, Vanessa and Ralph, and Nary and Jamie.
Brendon and Rachel hoped their day would improve eating salami. They easily identified and matched five salamis that stood out due to taste or texture in Piazza Vittorio, but had difficulty with the remaining nine more subtle and similar tasting ones. When they guessed incorrectly, Brendon and Rachel had to return to Gastronomia Salumeria and sample the salamis in the display case again. When they felt they finally had all the names correct, they could return to the Piazza. Multiple trips (and subsequent wrong guesses) between the store and piazza began to take its toll on Rachel and, seeing seventh place Kerri and Stacy arrive at Gastronomia Salumeria, drove her to tears, crying,
“We are not doing good and it’s not okay.”
Every attempt Brendon made at calming Rachel down made her worse.
“I can’t handle it. I’m done. Amazing Race is supposed to be fun and good. I’m not on Big Brother again,” she sobbed.
Remaining calm, Brendon eventually found a way to refocus the upset Rachel back to salami tasting by reminding her of their bond of friendship and love. Awwwww! So, with Rachel’s mood greatly improved, she and Brendon finally identified all fourteen salamis and ended the day in sixth place. Afterwards, Rachel commented,
“Sometimes we act like frenemies than best friends.” Brendon added, “Neither one of us should be yelling at the other.”
With cousins Kerry & Stacy eating salami for a seventh place finish, best friends Bopper & Mark remained in last place, having a ball as they cleaned their statue to a glistening white. In their car ride to the Pit Stop at Piazza Castello, Bopper said, “It kind of sucks coming in last and being eliminated, but I still feel good about what we accomplished today.”
But the guys were in for a pleasant surprise: no one was to be eliminated! So Bopper and Mark re-enrered The Amazing Race reenergized.
“We’re in this to win. [The other teams] better have their game face on,” Mark said.