We begin this leg of the race somewhere in the Middle East… Oh… No… My mistake – that’s 60 Minutes, the show that must never be interrupted. Um, wait…
There we are… Where are we? Oh, we’re recrapping the stinging of the beekeepers. Now that they’ve flown away (if you haven’t met them yet, do so here: http://community.realitytvworld.com/boards/DCForumID54/1617.shtml where Snidget does an excellent job of swatting them), the remaining teams get to take off their carnival clown costumes and fly to Forteleza, Brazil. (What do you mean those aren’t costumes? Oh. Nevermind.)
Nick and Twinkles leave first, but Twinkles is upset because the taxi driver is going too fast. Nick promises to slow him down if necessary. (Did she invest too much time internalizing “The Tortoise and the Hare” as a child?) Ken fantasizes about being free from Not-Barbie while she fantasizes about cab drivers with cell phones, as they race behind. Starting in third, Sarah has to do a nana booboo routine for widdle Terry who bonked his widdle head on the trunk lid. We determine that Terry has the ability of external sight. He can see himself bleeding on the top of his forehead, even if no one looking directly at him can. In fourth place, we have Bill and Mark, one of whom seems to have determined that the best way to ensure not losing a clue is to take the time to have them tattooed on his forearm. They’re pleased that they don’t live with each other. Nor, with anyone else, but unlike the viewers I imagine they haven’t quite figured out why that is, yet.
While our first four come to the realization that they could have slept in and joined the bunch point at any time in the next 5+ hours, the Rhyming Twins (Kelly & Christie) set out in fifth. They brag about knowing how to get their way. (Since that wouldn’t be by using their superior intellect, I’m thinking their methods may be illegal in most places; at least without a license and regular medical testing.) Toni and Dallas leave in sixth place with $125. Toni allows that she isn’t even sore and she really loves Dallas. (Geez. No. God, I’m glad her name isn’t Debbie.)
Not-Barbie does not like bunching – panty, or otherwise. She begs and pleads for the airline to find a way to squeeze her and Ken into the only seat available on a 6am flight. Proving that there are places in the world where paying airline passengers trump fuel costs, the airline promptly puts in an order for a bigger plane. They’ll get seats; so will everyone else. So much for breaking up the bunch – all of whom begin to get their seats before Not-Barbie. To shut her up the ticket attendant promises her she can wait some more when they get on the plane.
Back at the ranch, Andrew and Dan leave, followed closely by Aja and Ty. The Frat Boys eschew a minimalist lifestyle and hope to show that the last shall be first. The Long-distance Daters are just happy to discover that traffic laws are suspended at night.
Happy in the knowledge that the attendant told them they could wait on the plane first, Ken and Not-Barbie go to exchange money, allowing all of the other racers to get on line first. Meanwhile, Anthony decides the best race strategy is to always choose a beater, preferably one that the owner is pushing. Unfathomably, Stephanie actually finds this sort of logic attractive in a man and pines to be his one and only beater for a lifetime. The only thing standing in the way of this dream is money, which, good provider that he wants to be, Tony has a solid plan for acquiring. (Real Estate speculation? No. That would be gambling. A good provider doesn’t gamble. Tony’s plan is foolproof. All they have to do is win the race and he will have provided.)
While Tony diagnoses the ills of his chosen beater (the car, not the wife wannabe), the race’s obligatory Blonde Belles push on in last place. They’ve decided that they need to work harder and be sneakier in order to get ahead. (Note “harder”, not “smarter”.) As the bottom half of the racers join the burgeoning bunch, Not-Barbie goes out of the way to pat herself on the back for arranging a larger plane. Well, she would have better off patting herself on the back, instead she pats them on the back while congratulating herself. This does not endear her to those afraid of catching cooties.
Oh, my! There go the Belle’s being sneaky. They’ve heard of slipping a little something to the locals in order to get preferential treatment. They’ve heard of it. They’re a little weak on how it’s supposed to work, though. In their case, the “little something” is a couple of lint covered candies they dig out of their pack – at least it must be their pack, there can’t possibly be pockets in what they’re wearing. These they present as they receive their tickets, already printed and on the same plane everyone else is on. (I dunno girls. You might have wanted to save those for later. You never know just how hard up someone might be for a fuzzy mint.)
Full of pride in their accomplishment, and confident in their having called shotgun on the plane, Ken and Not-Barbie try to muscle their way to the front of the line. Unfortunately, they allowed racers that don’t know of their greatness to get there first. Amazingly, Terry doesn’t believe that a doll that’s no doll could get an airline to change planes for her, and no one else is going to speak up on her behalf. It’s much more fun watching the destruction of any possible future alliance go down in flames over who gets to sit down first. Or, it would be if Not-Barbie weren’t smart enough to know Terry’s weakness. She spots the bandage on his forehead and does her own nana booboo routine for him, signaling Ken to kiss it to make it all better – which actually works. Gah!
Finally on the way to Forteleza, we’re told that they’ll again need to get taxis so they can make their way to the seaside, down by the seashore. Signs, like flags, are evidently only placed in airports for the aesthetics. It’s much easier to simply follow whoever is running in front of you to wherever they’re going than to actually read something. Consequently, they all run off to the International Arrival terminal instead of taking a left at the sign for Domestic Arrivals.
Once again, Anthony decides that a beater is the way to go. He manages to find another taxi that doesn’t run and begins to push it out of the airport. Frankly, if I were dating him, his determination to “provide” for me by choosing only the oldest, most dilapidated, accommodations would be a red flag. Maybe Steph is color-blind. He gives up on his quest to provide free car repair advice and beater driving lessons to the locals only when it becomes apparent that very shortly their only recourse will be to push the taxi all the way to the coast.
Finally on their way in a vehicle that actually moves under its own power, Anthony opines that everything in this country is broken and all the cars come straight from a game of bumper-cars. The way she’s chewing on her tongue, someone may need to do a nana booboo routine for her – that or take her to the Emergency Room to have it sewn back on. Maybe she’s starting to get wise. Nah.
Once they reach the clue box, teams are told they need to take a dune buggy and drive to Barraca D Manoel, where they will receive their next clue from a vendor. While the rest of the teams race grinning down the beach, learning first-hand what “clothing optional” means, Tony and Steph take a tour of the barrio. Seeing how people here live every day makes them grateful for what they have and, discussing opportunities, Tony endears himself to his cabbie by suggesting they could all be rich if they learned to fix cars.
Of course, the first in any group to get to the dune buggies attracts the attention of the latecomers in their flight, who flock to them like sand fleas to a dog, completely bypassing the clue box. On their return to the clue box they, of course, find out that they now need to go get a dune buggy. (Are we sure that someone didn’t cast this as an old Abbott and Costello routine?)
And, what does the vendor’s clue offer? Why, I’m glad you asked. It is, of course, a detour. Teams can choose to roll a 440 pound boat 100 yards across the sand to the water using heavy rolling logs, much as some believe the pyramids were built. Once the boat is floating, the boatsmen will give them the next clue. This should be fast, if you have the strength to position the logs and help push the boat. And, assuming you’re smart enough to realize that moving the boat is the task.
If they don’t like that idea, they can travel to the docks and sort through a database looking for a shipping container number that is contained in the clue – which will give them the section of the shipping yard the container is in. Then they put on a hardhat and go into the shipyard to locate the empty container with the same number. Inside the container will be their next clue. (Which means that it isn’t really empty, but why quibble.) There are lots of numbers in the database, which term I use loosely as the numbers appear to have been entered at random and there is no sort feature; and, there are lots and lots of different shipping containers in the shipyard. Nothing physical is involved, save good eyes.
Predictably, most of the teams stick together like cotton candy and race to the boats. One exception is Bill and Mark, they of Computer Geekdom. They set off to do battle with the dreaded database, plonking their hardhats uselessly atop their Tilley Endurables ® knockoffs. We’re treated to rows of numbers and interminable red shipping containers and left to believe that the needle-in-a-haystack curse will be forthcoming; which would be misdirection, as neither of these guys is named Bolo and they complete the task pretty quickly and efficiently.
The other exception, choosing ‘Dock It’ over ‘Beach It’ would be the Blonde Bimbos. Well, to be fair, they’re not bimbos enough to overlook their own lack of strength – at least their lack of muscle strength. But, they forget that they don’t have any mental strength, either. Like newly hatched baby turtles they blindly follow those that go before, in this case, Nick and Twinkles – straight for the beach, again missing those aesthetically pleasing art objects, that some call signs, pointing the way to the ‘Dock It’ challenge. As one bimbo wanders down the beach reading the clue aloud: “choose a computer…”, the other comes to the realization that it’s unlikely that wireless has been installed on the beach. Rather than lose time going back to the challenge they think they can do, they decide to lose time attempting the challenge they think they can’t.
The beach bunch is working diligently, in between talking about how tiring it is. In Terry and Sarah’s relationship only Terry is allowed to whine. Even a mere mention of being tired from Sarah brings forth taunts to do better, earning him the wrath of the Rhyming Twins who notice how hard she’s working, while they rest. Nick decides to pimp Twinkles, getting her to bribe the boaters to work harder with a kiss and promising them another from her when they finish. Lastto arrive at the beach are the Frats and the Beaters. The Frats – or at least one of them – gets the idea that the boaters are going to carry him to the water’s edge, like a King on his throne. He jumps aboard and waits. Dude…
Terry and Sarah float their boat first and set off to find their next taxi which will take them to Parque De Vaquejada to get the next clue. They notice a hill, at the top of which sets a parking lot. They notice a group of boats at the end of the beach. Terry decides that he doesn’t want to climb a hill, so they set off down the beach to where the boats are. It’s farther to go, but there’s no hill. Hills are evidently bad. (Doesn’t everyone know that taxis are more likely to be found sitting next to local boats on a beach instead of in a parking lot? No? Does anyone think that, as with every other leg of this race, there might be a sign pointing the way? No? Great. You go wander off with Terry, then.)
Nick and Twinkle finish next and take a moment to look around. Why, look! There’s one of those random art objects – and, it looks just like an arrow. A red and gold arrow! Imagine that! And, it points right up the hill. At the parking lot. How ‘bout that, huh?
The Rhyming Twins have their clue in third place. If everything went as it has up until now, they should be happily trotting after either of the previous teams. Take your pick. They saw them leave, they saw them go different directions. They should just pick one and follow them. But, no. They take this moment to prove that they can read for comprehension. They read the clue, they’re supposed to have an empty container. Where is the empty container?!?
The boatmen have no clue – they already gave it to the Twins. They have no empty container. They re-read the clue. There is supposed to be an empty container somewhere in the yard. The yard where the Geeks now discover it, taking the Twin’s position in completion time. Or, do they? Unknown to them, they’re actually in first place, just beating out Nick and Twinkle into the cab. Our previous first place finishers, having no luck finding a taxi sitting among the boats, race off to a group of houses built on sticks at the shoreline edge. Surely, such a metropolis as this will have taxis.
The Rhyming Twins search frantically for their invisible container. They spot a flag. A red and gold flag. It must mean something. All the pirate fantasies they’ve ever seen
or read – strike that, they can’t possibly have comprehended anything they ever read – at the movies comes back to them. Beaches, boats, containers, and flags can mean only one thing – buried treasure! That it is unlikely that one small flag would mark the spot for all nine teams to dig doesn’t occur to them. That no team leaving ahead of them stopped to look for, or at, anything other than the new clue in their hands. Heck, the fact that they are, themselves, holding a new clue in their hands, means nothing. They are obsessed with the empty container. They must have an empty container. They will find an empty container if they have to dig a crater – which they would have to do, as the container referenced is designed to eventually become a railroad car. If dig they must, dig they shall.
(And now I interrupt my snark to make an announcement and go off on a rant. I HATE having this show on Sundays when it constantly gets delayed! I knew “60 Minutes” would go over. I planned for “60 Minutes” to go over. I set my recorder to record the entire hour TAR is scheduled for, and I set my recorder to record the show following, knowing that TAR would still be on the air. I did not know that my recorder would now stop recording TAR at the end of its designated hour and not start recording again until the other show started ½ hour late. It didn’t do that for “60 Minutes”. It never did that all of last season. But, it does it now. The rest of this summary needs be done from memory. Arrrgh! /rant)
And, dig they did. They dug as other teams finished and passed them bye. They dug as if possessed. They worked hard, harder than the other teams – just like they said they would in the beginning. Finally, and only after watching team after team disappear up the hill, they decided that the others must have failed to find the elusive containers, as well, and they might as well go, too. Only in their cab, on the way to the Parque, do they re-read their information and come to realize that they had combined clues from both tasks. Doh! Does this prompt them to read their new clue even more carefully? Of course not.
While our Rhyming Twins dig themselves deeper into a hole, our original first-place team wanders hopelessly in the hole of their own making. It seems that this particular village doesn’t have a taxi stand. There are taxis, of course – but, only taxis filled with other racers, none of whom are in any mood to pick up hitchhikers. Despairing of hope, they seek salvation; which comes in the form of Toni
does and Dallas, who tells them they need to go back to the parking lot at the top of the dreaded hill.
The Geeks reach the park first and ask their cabbie to wait, as the clue tells them to do, followed closely by Ken and Not-Barbie, who also place their cab on retainer. They are confronted by a wall covered with advertisements. Needing to discover the one place name in a list of names on the wall that will obtain them their next envelope, Bill sets off down the wall where he discovers a whole list of names, Not-Barbie follows. (What else would you expect this race?) Bill decides to write down the entire list and read the names off one at a time to the waiting painter. Not-Barbie follows. (Yes?) Obtaining their final destination clue, the four of them set off to engage in the inevitable foot-race to the finish.
Other teams arrive and begin to attempt the task. All carefully place their cab on retainer and attack the wall. Some devise elaborate algorithms to attempt to decipher the name they must needs deliver, proving they are giving way more credit to the show’s intelligence level than it deserves. The Rhyming Twins arrive. They manage to hit on the solution well before others who have labored longer. They receive their envelope. They open it. They panic. They did not bother to keep their cab on retainer. (Oh, that pesky Reading Comprehension class. Who knew it would ever be important, anyway?) They go off on a search for another taxi. (Of course, having just watched Terry and Steph attempt this we all know just how well that’s gonna work out.) Others finish and leave – some coming and going in almost record time. Of course, having followed each other every other place today, it never occurs to those who have been there longest to watch to see what the faster racers are doing to finish. Eventually, the Twins look around in the field the cabs have been leaving from and realize that their cab hasn’t deserted them after all. It’s just been hiding. Right there in the middle of the open field.
Given that they manage to find it before the Frat, the Bimbo, and the Beater Boy finish the task sort of sucks any suspense out of the carefully edited production. There’s no way that their total and complete lack of reading comprehension can cost them the race. Even though, by all that’s holy, it should. This time, at least. I’m sure they’ll try harder next time.
At the pitstop the race is on between the Geeks and the Mattel rejects. Mattel wins by a nose, and Not-Barbie thinks that just maybe the two of them still have a future together. After all, they’re winners. Ken doesn’t look too sure, but he should be okay. There’s plenty of time to lose later.
Thanks to Toni
d… and Dallas’ kindness, Terry and Steph hit the mat third. They realize that they could well still be wandering around the beach looking for a taxi and promise that they’ll be kinder and gentler racers in the future. The other racers arrive, occasionally actually having to race each other, with Tony and Steph bringing up the far distant rear. Phil tells them that he’s sorry, but that they have been eliminated from the race.
Me? I’m not sorry. Not about their elimination. I’m a little sorry that Steph still doesn’t realize that with Tony’s idea of “providing” for her she’d best insist on separate bank accounts. I’m kind of sorry that the Twins weren’t punished for blatant stupidity. I’m sort of sorry that Terry & Steph weren’t left overnight on the beach waiting for taxi stands to open up again the next day. But, the only thing I’m really sorry about is the fact that they insist on keeping this show on Sunday nights during football season.
Next week, we get to see one racer get altitude sickness, a fight over a sports bra, a bicycle accident, and – since it’s no fun if no one at home gets sick, too – our racers in spandex. Can’t wait.
I've been manga'd by Slice