LAST EDITED ON 12-11-07 AT 01:07 PM (EST)The Amazing Race, Episode 12.6
It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times
Previously on The Amazing Race
Phil gives us a recap: “Seven teams set out from Burkina Faso. Ronald and Christina continued to work on their relationship.” “I love you, daddy.” The soft love seems to only flow one way, though; it’s tough love the other direction. Should we start a click- or shot-meter for “daddy” and “baby?” Most of the baby-ers have been philiminated. They flew to Vilnius, Lithuania. Nick “I still got no clue where I’m going” got lost in the maze of streets outside the University while doing the roadblock, causing them to fall into last place. Nate and Jenn got “ugly” and took their stress out on each other. I thought jogging was supposed to be a stress reducer. Shana and Jennifer almost got run over by a bus. The tension between them built so much that new polls showed them gaining on Nate and Jenn for angriest couple. Their attention to bickering instead of racing caught up with them, alas, as they finished in last place. Shana and Jennifer did get thrown under the bus after all. Man, the two pairs of hot chicks are out already. What messy events are in store for us and the six remaining teams tonight? Who will be philminated next? Will a calm team become contentious and implode? Will a contentious team calm down long enough to actually finish this leg?
Cue the ♪da-dum da-dum da-da-dum-da♪ pulse-pounding race music for the intro montage.
And We’re Off Without a Starting Gun
On the outskirts of Vilnius, capitol since the 14th century, is the old Aukstatija Windmill, where they put out the finish mat for the mandatory pit stop. “Will Nate be able to change his behavior and convince Jenn he’s worthy of being her lifetime partner?” asks Phil. I doubt it, but they may finish the race. TK and Rachel finished first, and won a Travelocity Trip-of-a-Lifetime®. «Insert product placement internet browsing.» “♫♪I think I’m turning Japanese; I’ve always wanted to,” TK sings. Since they arrived first at 1pm the day before, they are first to depart at 1am for Dubrovnik, Croatia, 900 miles away. They’ll have a fast forwarded romantic moonlit flight-of-a-legtime to this pretty mountains at the seaside city, after which, Phil informs us, they’ll have to get to “the base of the Fort of St. Lawrence, where they’ll find their next clue.” TK’s happy: “Let’s do it.”
“You have $109 for this leg of the race,” reads Kynt, and he and Vyxsin head off at 1:01am. How’d they come up with that number? Maybe it was 190 – either way, it was just enough to keep them out of cargo holds and taxi trunks. “Let’s go do some research.” The two leading teams hop into takjis for the ride to the airport. The cool and mellow-headed couple is talking about how they keep a healthy relationship, and Rachel ponders that Croatia is where gymnasts come from. The mellow-gothic couple are “hoping to achieve” the satisfaction of hearing Phil’s mellifluous voice say, “Congratulations, you’re team number one.” Note to Phil: can we have them finish first some leg at a Gothic Cathedral and get married?
Ron and Christina get on the move at 1:15am. It doesn’t take two seconds before Ron starts b!thcing at his daughter as they run off. He cautions her “Watch it, I don’t want a broken ankle to go with my hernia and the scrapes from the stilt fall.” What injury shall he sustain this time, we wonder as we contemplate a shadenfreude moment. “Our progress in the race reflects the progress in our relationship,” Christina opines. Is that two steps forward and one step back? “Don’t criticize.” They dip into a hotel. She lowers her voice to ask Daddy why he “can’t be nice to me if you can be nice to that girl” at the hotel counter he asked about making a telephone call.
Azaria “is a control freak” and Hendekea “because he’s my brother, I trust him” manage to get off at 1:20am. They hop a takji.
Meanwhile, at the airport, Kynt is jonesing for his internet fix. TK calls ‘em over. “Hey guys, come on over. I got the perfect internet right here.” The two couples get along well together, says Kynt, “because we’re both off the beaten path.” Czech Airlines is the hit for earliest departure, but TK sadly reads with his fingers at their counter that it “opens at 4:30 in the morning.” Kynt continues his Travelocity search. This open at some time in the future thing is how the producers create a bottleneck in the race so everyone gets bunched up regardless of when they started out. There are only so many camera crews to go around, I guess.
Christina is on the hotel phone reserving tickets. This is an interesting plan. Instead of booking at the airport counter, it promises to ensure they get the earliest flight out: on Polish Air at 6:25am arriving 11:20am. Hmm.
Nathan and Jennifer move off at 1:29am. Jennifer is “really disappointed that they’re half way through,” and that she and Nathan are fighting all the time. Hendekea knows a Bosnian, and Bosnian for “there’s a party in my pants,” but will that help her get laid in Dubrovnik, Croatia? We’ll see. Nicholas and Donald are last off at 1:42am. ♫♪Let’s all meet at the
lobbyairport.♫♪ Don is “really motivated to give it his all” since they’re in last place.
Folks are queuing up waiting for the Czech airport counter to open. Christina helps out the Siblings, giving them the Polish Air phone number, because “They’re one of the teams we really trust.” That seems poor race planning to me. Why not stay ahead? The Goths aren’t “sheep,” Kynt says, as they go off in search of a travel agent and better options. Jenn says Kynt and Vixyen “are getting into everybody’s head” by going off on search and not staying in line. “They’ve got something good.” So, like sheep, Nate and Jenn follow and lose their place in line. Ron goes off again at the sheep in line. He was just asking “a simple question” about when the office opened. "I wasn't blocking him," one of the sheep defends himself. Christina apologizes for Daddy, again.
Hendekea is whining to Asarai as they look for a phone. He smacks her down. Boy, he IS arrogant. So much for trust. Everyone’s spying on folks trying different ways to get their “economy” tickets. Conspiracies, worries, and herd mentality abound. And why does it take both members of a team to go off in search, why don’t they split up and see who succeeds first, or leave one sheep in the herd and the other go roaming? Nick recognizes a time crunch coming: “flight leaves at 6:00 and it’s 5:10 now.” The Goths plot a later 6:25 departure that arrives via Warsaw at the same time as an earlier flight, giving them time to run to the gate. FamilyUnit pick up their reserved tickets at 5:30. The Siblings sit down – I guess they never made that call – and get their tickets as Hendekea whines about speed. Grampson get the 6:00 via Prague. The Angsters are too late after them! They hustle to another counter.
The first flight out have the Mellows and Grampson. FamilyUnit checks in, and Hendekea is getting in trouble. First she’s whining about sitting “as close to the front as possible” – again -- for the rush off the plane. And then … Oh, no! … They bought business class, not economy, which is a RULE OF THE RACE. “Business class!?” Siblings rush back to the counter to change – tick tick 10 minutes – Let the whining continue. No economy seats! “We messed up bad,” admits Hendekea with her palm to her cheek. Foreshadowing about boarding from the status board as we dissolve to commercials.
Screwed or Unscrewed?
“We’re screwed.” “I wish that we would’ve just stayed in line, or not run around,” she laments. They’re back at the ticket counter, but the gods are smiling, “All kinds of delays,” says the woman. They’re off the ground, traveling via Frankfurt.
The Mellows and Grampson missed their flight. Too late. Smart move by the Goths, eh? Now it’s a new plan through Vienna for the Mellows, and via Zagreb for Grampson. This could get interesting with four different midpoints. The Angsters and Goths rush for taxis to the Fort. FamilyUnit’s not far behind. They do a better job searching for the cluebox, getting there first. “Who has a builder’s eye?”
Phil explains the Roadblock. One person must help out repairing the city’s bomb damaged walls. They must search through a pile of stones for one of eight that fit into the wall under repair. “It’s a jigsaw puzzle,” says Daddy, “This is harder than I think it is.” Daughter gives encouragement. The Goths and Angsters are still looking for the cluebox, cavorting over the seaside stone walks.
FamilyUnit finds a fitting stone; the next clue directs them to the roof of the Fort of St. Lawrence, where they’ll ride a tandem zip line across the water “to Fort Bocar where they’ll find their next clue.” FamilyUnit suits up. “Oh, Jeeze,” says you know who. “Don’t close your eyes; enjoy it,” Christina says. “Wooooohhhhoooooo!” they go for the ride, and pick up the next clue.
The Detour is a recreation of two possible historical invasion routes for foreigners attacking the city: Short and Long or Long and Short. The first option is a short rappel down from the roof (hard physically), follow a path to the city wall and climb a rope ladder up it, then a long confusing route through the city to the plaza where the next cluebox sits. “Teams with a good sense of direction may gain an advantage,” informs Phil. The second option is to ride down a zip line from the fort’s roof to the water, swim to a little floating platform, grab a small fishing boat and row around the city walls to the harbor. This is long physically, but it’s a short simple walk up to the plaza for the next clue. “Teams without strong physical prowess may find themselves lost at sea,” Phil grins. Goths and the Angsters finally find the cluebox and get to the wall.
FamilyUnit “decided to row; it’s easier,” explains Ron. Uh-oh. At the wall, Jenna snaps her whip at Nate, telling him “if you can, grab two” stones at a time. “Just fit it in every hole. Ok?” instructs Jenn. Rowrrrl ;). “It’s just like Tetris,” the girls giggle as they watch their men (well, man and something manlike) work up a sweat. “Woooooohooooo” again for FamilyUnit. I think they like that slide thing. “Ok, let’s go! Come on!” Ron impatiently prompts.
At the wall-building Roadblock: “Nate. Good Job!” Jenn smiles and pumps a handshake. What, no kiss? Kynt’s still working as the Angsters head off to get lost in the city or at sea. Ron backstrokes to a boat, and then – shades of Survivor – they try to figure out which is the front of the boat. Ron starts complaining that “I don’t have that kind of muscle” for rowing as Able Seaman Christina tries to seat him backwards so he’ll push the oars instead of pull them like normal rowers do. This is going to be fun.
The Angsters enjoy the tandem zip line “Oh my gosh! Wooooohoooo! This is amazing.” Nate commands long and short. Ron’s getting upset. “This is so arse-backwards.” He finally turns around and rows properly. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” “Hang in there, baby,” says Vyxsin as Kynt finally finds a good block.
“This sea is pretty choppy,” complains Ron in about four-inch swells. “I’m feeling tired. I don’t have any energy,” he moans. Grampson decide to row, too. But then Nick asks “how do you row these things? I have no idea about rowing a boat” Uh-oh again. “Nice time to speak up about that,” Don tsks. I don’t see you doing any work, Pops. “Stop yapping in my ear every second,” Nick b!tches back. Is this a chronological discontinuity in the editing? I haven't seen Grampson rebuilding the wall yet. This is shaping up to be the battle of the calm vs. contentious teams. And I wonder why folks would choose a boat-route when they don't know how to propel a boat; also noticing there are no life vests. I'd look for one with a mast and a sail.
FamilyUnit decide to split the duty, each taking an oar. “I’m very happy now,” smiles Christina. Ron goes sage on us: “I don’t think every team realizes that the relationship between the partners is critical to winning the race. It’s easier said than done.” Ya figure? The Angsters are yammering at each other again as they figure out how to row, well, paddle. Rowing is the smarter move, but we know they don’t cast these reality shows for brainpower. That ain't a canoe. Guess who said which line: a) “If you could just be a gentleman right now, and look at me and say ‘Hey, can you do it this way?’” b) “Hey, how about you just paddle and we stop discussing this?” My Cliff Notes version of this goes: a) “Can we talk?” b) “Shut up and row.”
“Wow” from Kynt as the Goths take the tandem zip. “Beautiful!” They choose rappel, “it seems quicker.” “Why aren’t you rowing!? Why are you yelling at me!” Jenn cries. “We have to paddle around, we can’t just paddle into the rocks!” “I hate you. This is so bad. I’m never gonna be with you ever again. I hate you with a passion.” Yep, those were the Angsters. In contrast, Vyxsin gets kinky as Kynt says admiringly “those straps look kind of hot on you.” Smile. Blush pink. Vyxsin “has a military father,” Kynt advises, “he’s taken her out, so she’s comfortable with this rappelling.” She confirms, “That was fun.” Kynt gets going himself.
FamilyUnit finally beach their boat, as do the Angsters. Goths are encouraging each other up the rope ladder. “Good job … Just a few steps away; you can do this in your sleep. Little pink kitten you’re at the top. I’m coming up right behind ya.” There’s a nice boob shot as Vyxsin climbs over.
The Angsters are in first place as they find the plaza cluebox. Christina’s right behind them while they’re reading the clue. They “must travel four miles through Dubrovnik’s stone streets by taxi to the edge of the city and find this place.” The Stone Cross Overlook. Rising high above the city, this religious landmark that overlooks the city is the PitStop for this leg of the race.”
Kynt is Vyxsin’s “little goth action hero” as he weakly makes his way up the ladder. The Angsters get rejected by a taxi driver because they’re wet -- must've been a lot of splashing in their frenzied paddling. “Please, we’re begging you.” “No, I’m sorry.” Cabbies can take it with enough of a tip. I once had to do that when we were taking home a friend of girlfriend in NYC after a long party night who threw up 1/2 in, 1/2 out of the cab; she wouldn't let me escort her up, later she said her doorman found her at the top of the stairs on her floor in the morning. That taxi guy was either very fastidious or bribed by production. FamilyUnit apparently aren’t that wet, or sweet talk their way into a taxi and the first place lead. They smile at the Angsters as they drive away. “Are you friggin’ serious? This is so unfair. This is pathetic,” whines Jenn. She starts channeling Lorena, with extra hands-in-the-air theatrics. “Jenn, you’ve gotta calm down, it’s ok.” “No it’s not ok, our relationship sucks.” She begins a new career as a streetwalker.
As we go to commercial, I’m getting a bad vibe about the Siblings. We last saw them at the airport in Lithuania.
The Drama Continues
The hill with the Stone Cross teases, it’s so close. But they can’t just climb the hill. “*Wheeeeze* I am sooo miserable.” “It’s ok.” “No, it’s not ok. This sucks.” “Stop crying.” “I’m not crying because of the car.” They find a nice guy who’ll give ‘em a ride up the hill to the cross. “Can you take us, we’ll pay you anything,” she says as she leans provocatively into his driver’s window.
The Goths are asking for directions to the plaza. 2:39pm. TK and Rachel, the Mellows and in 4th place, land at the airport. FamilyUnit climbs the steps to reach the summit as a native guy fires off a 17th century musket-pistol right next to them and scares the bejeebers out of ‘em. Well, we have a finishing gun, at least. Does that guy get to point it at the last place team to put ‘em out of their misery? At the cross they meet Phil’s welcoming smile and another native-religiously-dressed fat guy who welcomes them to something Croatian in Croatian. Hendekea’s Bosnian isn’t gonna help here. “Ron and Chris, you’re team #1…. Who’s your Daddy now!” They win a 12-1/2 foot catamaran. I think they've had enough of boating for a while. “My Dad and I are living proof that success in The Amazing Race is about teamwork,” says Christina.
Jenn and Nate ran up the hill to fetch a Phil of standings. Nate and Jenn come racing up for second place. Jenn, sad it’s not first place, has to spoil their 2nd place moment: “What?! Oh my gosh.” Phil the RULES-ENFORCER has more spoiling for them. “You did not take a legal form of transportation…. You have to go back down and take some legal transportation back here.” Jenn broke down and lost her crown, and Nate came tumbling after.
The Mellows get to the wall repair station. Rachel does the wall block thing. TK’s kicking back saying "relax and enjoy the weather." Rachel makes quick work of it. Jennifer’s breaking down in the apparently “legal form of transportation:” “I can’t deal with this anymore. I don’t want to be here anymore.” Vyxsin eeeks! as the native guy shoots the gun right against her ear when the Goths come up for 2nd place.
The Angsters make a return for third place. They slap together a handshake. “Still, … nice,” Jenn grimaces. And no kissing. “Not a lot of affection there in that handshake,” goads Phil, “You’re not happy with him?” “I don’t think we’re both happy with each other.” In confessional, Jenn explains “As far as Nate and me being together in the end, it’s unpredictable to me right now, because our relationship is so up and down, and that’s what I’m so sick of. And I don’t know if it’s too late. We’ve been through A LOT.”
Back to the airport. Grampson are in 5th place. Mellows do the rappel Detour. Siblings finally arrive on the Adriatic coast and get a taxi and are heading to the Fort. Donald, who “Yups” to acknowledge his builder’s eye, is too tired out from all that sitting on the plane to show any energy at the wall repair Roadblock. “Come on, Grampa, this is a race,” pleads Nick. “Ah, I’m going,” the old codger mutters back. TK on Rachel’s ascent of the rope ladder: “Ah, you’re beautiful, babe.” At last, I get a shot/click. “You’re doin’ great. Look at that, you’re a stud.” Stud?? Is Rachel gonna call him “fetching?” Nick’s moaning about Don’s slow methodical style. The other teams are worrying about where their place in the race may be.
Back to the wailing wall. “Yes, let’s go!” says Nick as the oldster passes the stone. The Mellows get their taxi for the ride to the Cross. Hendekea orders Asaria to do the builder’s eye Roadblock. Grampson are flying down the zip line to go a-rowing. The screechy one of the Siblings gets excitable again about being behind: “Is it a bird, a plane, no, it’s somebody ahead of us!”
Grampson methodically consider short and long, long and short. They choose long first. Asaria finishes the wall; they’re currently in last place. The Mellows reach the hill as team #4. Hendekea continues her panic mode as they choose rowing. “Please, please hurry” is her coxswain’s call. Nick’s still getting an earful while he’s rowing. Don’s giving rowing instructions. “I’m helping (as ballast?) whether you know it or not,” says Donald. Did you know that wether is a castrated ram? Whether isn’t in my MSWord’s dictionary. Actually, he said “if,” but I’m not gonna get every quote right; I could work for A.P.
Siblings chose the fun splash. Hendekea lashes the whip now. “We can still make up time.” Grampson beaches their boat. The Siblings aren’t far behind. Both teams are on dry land. Another who said what exercise: a) “Excuse me! Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry.” b) “I’m lost again.”
Grampson are hunting for a taxi. Nick provides narrative: “This city’s kind of a maze. I have no clue where I’m going. This is frustrating.” They get their taxi. Hendekea, while still in hyped-up panic mode, does the talk slow to foreigners thing: “Excuse me, wee neeeed tooo goo tooo the Stooone Crooss.” It’s a real race for next to last place. Isn’t it about time for a non-philimination leg? There’s supposed to be two.
Hahaha. It’s a one-lane road up the hill. Grampson are stymied for the moment as the downhillers have control. “Hahahaha,” Nick has the next to last laugh. “You’re team #5,” says Phil. “Asaria and Hendekea, you are the last team to arrive. I’m sorry to tell you that have been eliminated from the race.” “The thing that’s sorry is that we beat ourselves,” says Hendekea. Asaria is “proud and impressed” as he looks down on his little sister. “Being a part of Amazing Race with Asaria has really brought us closer together,” concludes Hendekea.
Next Time on The Amazing Race
Phil gives us the skinny: “In two weeks on The Amazing Race....” Huh? Why the scheduling skip? "Don is stunned by a FastForward. " “Come on, Don, you can do this.” “I don’t know if I can do this.” Is it a gross eating thing? No, it looks like a street-side socialist health clinic. Maybe it’s a shock treatment, or giving blood through a dirty needle. Aaaackkk! Run away, run away, brave, brave Sir Don. And Kynt loses faith in Vyxsin: “Stop this car. Stop this car, Vyxsin, right now!” “No.”
We will continue the adventures of The Calm and The Contentious in two weeks. Are we eligible for a soap opera Emmy? Will we ever get to London and Paris?
MaxHeadroom informs the skip is because of the Survivor Finale Sunday. Doh!