Sunday, April 24, 2011
Amazing Race Recap: "We're Just Here For The Fondue Of It."
My Random Thoughts:
- This week’s episode started off with a continuation of last week’s commercial for the all-new “2012 Ford Focus”, as Zev and Justin took a tour of the spiffy new vehicles that they won last week. Ok, ok…I’ll admit defeat and just accept the overt product placement this season, by let me ask you an interesting question about those cars: Why did they have Michigan plates? If you’re going to give away a car in Austria, are you really going to ensure that the plates are from Detroit? The Motor City? God Bless America, the auto industry is back!
- As the teams left the Pit Stop to start this leg, they found out that they had to go to tiny Liechtenstein by train, and were cautioned that there was a Double U-Turn that would appear on this leg. A Speed Bump and a Double U-Turn in one episode? My God, is it sweeps already? I thought that was in May. (sarcasm fully intended)
- Zev and Justin told their cab driver, “Don’t worry, we’re good American people”, which seemed like a response to the cabbie’s suggestion that they may be terrorists…but I viewed it as more of an apology for last week’s display by Flight Time. At least once a season, there is always one instance of the “ugly American’ stereotype, and Flight Time peeing on the wall of the National Library of Vienna was this season's worst. I actually sent Flight Time a message on Facebook after that episode, asking if it was indeed the way it appeared, or if it was editing. He did confirm for me that he was guilty as charged, stating "When you gotta go, you gotta go."
- Gary and Mallory ran into a delay from the get-go on this leg, with a cab driver who was more interested in finding the destination on his GPS than actually getting moving in the car. If it's not stopping for gas, it's always something, isn't it? And speaking of gas, add this to the long line-up of lame Speed Bumps. Really? Measure the gas and oil to start the motorbike? That's it? They didn't even have to fill it...just prep the gas that they would have used? LAME.
- I absolutely loved the Road Block itself, as one team member had to "measure the country" by following a map and driving end to end figuring out exactly how many kilometers (not miles) it was in length. An incorrect guess would result in a 44km penalty: having to drive 22km back to the starting point, and then 22km to the destination once again. I love challenges like this, where doing it wrong results in major delays (kind of like Speed Bumps should be: major delays.)
I couldn't help but think of this image. Flight Time complained about being cold, while riding a motorized bike around with his jacket undone, and declared "The map is pretty straightforward. I mean...you do have to read it." Yes, of course, as opposed to just folding it up in your pocket and having it seep into your body through osmosis...you DO have to read it.
Jen lost her map, but teamed up with Justin, and both of them shared info with Flight Time, who then got all "Pay It Forward' and helped Gary with the correct answer. Vyxsin seemingly figured it out all on her own, although Gary worked with her at one point. Essentially, 5 teams left the Road Block to continue on in the race, while the Cowbros were a mile behind. With the threat of a Double U-Turn coming up, the result of the episode was becoming pretty apparent at this point.
- At the Detour, teams had to decide between Cheese and Wheeze. When I saw that part of the Detour was called "Cheese", I was hoping for a flashback to one of the best Detours in Amazing Race history, the cheese-rolling-down-the-hill Detour that saw hijinks aplenty in season 14.
But alas, it was simply the second eating challenge in as many weeks (accompanied by maddening live European music once again), as teams had to consume a pot of cheese fondue. Now, that doesn't seem so bad, except that you have to consider that to eat fondue, you have to dip something in it...you can't just use a spoon and eat it like soup. Factoring that in, it's really all the bread that was the heavy part of this challenge.
By my estimation, it looked like about 3 pounds of cheese, but the bread is the killer. My girlfriend and I just went to our favourite Italian Restaurant, Mulberry Italian Ristorante in Upstate New York, and we're always "Cheese Drunk" when we leave, so I can appreciate what Zev and Justin were feeling. (Read my post on my first trip to Mulberry.)
That must have been a tough choice after the last leg (especially for the teams that failed the schnitzel eating Detour), but if I walked into a Detour and saw puke buckets, I would turn around at that moment and do the other one.
In "Wheeze", teams had to run around Switzerland at night performing luggage delivery. Not a lot to talk about on this one, other than to give credit to Gary and Mallory, and Jet and Cord, for having the presence of mind to find someone to help them pre-circle all of the hotels on a map.
In her porter uniform, Vyxsin looked like one of the Guards from the Wizard of Oz, and ended up carting Kent around to deal with his whining (which wasn't as bad as last week.) As she put him on the luggage cart, she told him not to fall off because "If you fall off, I'll be sad", but you know part of her would have laughed a bit inside after the past couple of legs.
- The Pit Stop was a Swiss Chalet, which made me crave rotisserie chicken (Canadian readers will understand), and Zev and Justin won their fourth leg and a trip to Curacao. I had to laugh at Mallory upon arriving at the mat, as she stood there mouth agape like a baby bird waiting for regurgitated food from its mother.
The simple math is as follows: 44 kms + 20 pieces of luggage + 3 lbs of cheese = too much to overcome. And with one final "Oh My Gravy", the Cowbros headed off into the sunset, complete with requisite City Slickers music. (of course!)
Next Week: Too Many Cooks In The Kitchen.
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