Cousins Kerri and Stacy were eliminated on last night’s Amazing Race because they were poor navigators. In a strangely edited episode, the only clue to the reason for them finishing last came much earlier in the episode, when Kerri mentioned, apparently randomly, that she’s not good at navigating. So that is apparently how they lost a lead over Nary and Jamie. But no one bothered to show us exactly how, where or for how long they got lost. Shame. Lucky they found a navigational difficulty on the cutting room floor they could add in.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The episode began with the teams going from Italy to Germany, via Austria.
Art and JJ began the leg in first place by two-and-a-half hours and they found themselves equalized with Rachel and Dave and Danny and Joey. The other teams found themselves equalized in a second pack behind the leaders, meaning that Mark and Bopper, spared by there being no elimination last week, almost two hours behind, were still with us.
There was a gap of nine hours between Art and JJ and Mark and Bopper last leg so if there had to be any kind of an equalizer which I don’t like) then at least with a tiered equalizer a huge lead like that is not completely blown away.
Last night was the Travelocity Gnome episode, a piece of regular product placement that The Amazing Race usually has a little fun with. The Gnome sent teams to a detour, asking them to choose between Fairy Tale and Champion Male.
In Fairy Tale, teams had to collect pieces of gingerbread on a trail to a fairy tale-inspired village. Then, after finding the witch’s house, they had to use the gingerbread to decorate the roof of a house. Despite an ungainly grafting together of various fairy stories this was a nice way to see snowy Bavarian woods which are very photogenic.
Champion Male was funnier. Teams had to select a bearding enthusiast and style his facial hair into something amazing.
Art and JJ, after falling into third position heading to the detour, seemed like they might have struggles with beard sculpting, but no. Seems JJ is actually quite familiar with male grooming products. They soon took first place and held on to that lead, taking them to their third straight leg victory.
However, Danny and Joey made a fatal mistake. They love products so they got over-excited and chose the model with the longest beard, which also meant the most complicated style. They slipped to third.
Only Team Kentucky, Team Mississippi and Team Big Brother picked the Fairy Tale task. Team Kentucky found their basket first, but Team Mississippi finished their roof-decorating first. It was impossible to go wrong in this task.
Other highlights of the show included when Mark and Bopper had to learn to yodel for their Speed-Bump. They didn’t have to be that good but they took it all in good fun.
A lot of the episode was taken up with a journey to one destination to get a clue to another destination. Teams had to go to Ludwig II’s 19th century retreat Neuschwanstein Castle, which was the inspiration for Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty Castle. The trouble was the inordinate number of castles in the same area, which fooled some teams.
The first groups of teams all went to the right place, but Nary and Jamie and Rachel and Dave went so far as to stand and wait outside of Hohenschwangau and take a tour around the castle, only to realize they were at the wrong place midway through the tour.
The Neuschwanstein clue sent teams to a hockey and curling arena, where they had to use their Travelocity Gnome for a game of shuffleboard, sliding him across the ice and landing him in a bulls-eye. No brooms were used, so it wasn’t curling. But it was quite funny.
Well, actually, Nary and for Kerri arrived first and after what seemed like hundreds of tosses, she finished, but only after Kerri finished after 70 or so tosses. That was how we ended up with that final rush to Phil Keoghan, and Team Mississippi’s apparent navigational struggles.
So Art and JJ remained in first place. Nary and Jamie came in last. Kerri and Stacy were eliminated. It was kind of nice, I think, that Mark and Bopper moved up the field from eighth to sixth place, kind of justifying them being saved last week.
The best line award has to go to Big Brother Rachel for her “Whatever happened to going to Bolivia?” (when the clue said “Bavaria) and her “I don’t even know what a beard is” (when choosing the Detour). And she cried again.
Bopper also made me laugh a lot, saying “I told her how pretty she was and she was uglier than a mud rail fence.” I was pleased this basically functionally illiterate team asked for help rather then getting scuppered by confusion between castles.
So there we have it. The Amazing Race is over for another week. I find myself looking forward to it more and more each week. It’s somehow starting to fill a hole that Jersey Shore is about to leave.