Sunday, November 13, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: “Bunny Hurdles And Sweaty-Ass Butter”

Since last week’s introduction of the Double U-Turn was a resounding flop, why not try it 2 weeks a row? That’s right…the Double U-Turn made a return tonight on the next leg of the Race, which saw the teams running, jumping, and dancing their way through Denmark. Would it be of any consequence this week?

My Random Thoughts:

- Previously on The Amazing Race… 7 teams raced through Malawi, but when Jennifer stumbled at the Road Block, Amani and Marcus were able to overcome their last place standing and stay alive. Ernie and Cindy used the Express Pass to get ahead of Andy and Tommy but lost in a footrace to the Pit Stop mat.

- Departing the Pit Stop in Malawi, the spread between the first team to leave and the last team to leave was only 24 minutes. The teams learned that they were headed to Copenhagen, Denmark…for the first time ever (Gasp!)…where they would pick up their spiffy new Ford Focus and make their way to a Bell Tower for their next clue.

- Ernie and Cindy, upon seeing that there would be a Double U-Turn again, responded with Cindy saying “We’re so using it.” Ernie then talked about losing on the last leg, saying that “we had first place stolen from us.” After last week’s editing job, we’re continuing this week on our new TAR theme: Ernie and Cindy are both Bad Sports. Let’s call this Exhibit #1.

- Laurence and Zac talked about the fact that they used the U-Turn last week on Amani and Marcus, even though Team NFL was in front of them, and speculated that since they already used their one opportunity to U-Turn another team, it “might burn us.” Did anyone realize after hearing this, that it was essentially a 100% guarantee that Laurence and Zac would get U-Turned this week?

- I’m not going to go into all of the airport drama, which saw everyone find different flights, and arrive in Copenhagen at different times, because it was all a non-issue since the Bell Tower predictably didn’t open until 7:30 am the next morning.

The only two significant things that happened in the airports were that Laurence and Zac found an early flight, and a visibly annoyed Cindy thought it was “super shady” that they didn’t share that info. Let’s call that Exhibit #2, because there’s no way that they should share that info.
Other than that, the only happening that mattered was that Amani and Marcus decided to simply “look at other planes” and sleep. This meant that that the next morning, as the other teams were heading up the Bell Tower, Amani and Marcus still had not yet boarded their plane.

- In Copenhagen (where Cindy commented that “everyone is so blond”) teams had to climb the spiral staircase at the Bell Tower and figure out via 2 separate flags that their next destination was Frederiksburg Slot, a Danish castle.

Most of the teams figured it out relatively easily, but Jeremy and Sandy only looked at one flag, and interpreted that as a clue to take them to a local restaurant. After exiting the tower on the way to the castle, one team shockingly remarked “Oh, the cars are still here.” Well, of course they are, didn’t you know that your car is a Ford Focus? Why would Ford pay to only show it once on the show?
- It was time to dance at the Frederiksburg Slot, as teams encountered a Roadblock where they would have to learn a complex 3-part dance routine. Ernie raised some eyebrows talking about the tights, stockings, and makeup that he had to wear, and Cindy watched him dancing while doing her best “Macauley Culkin in Home Alone” impression.

Laurence explained rap music to Bill and Cathi while doing a horrible beatbox, and Zac struggled mightily learning the routine, leading “worst father of the year” candidate Laurence to talk about how he could have done it faster.

Highs and lows from this Roadblock: the high point was hearing Bill and Cathi’s love story…being together since the ages of 12 and 13 (especially compared to Ernie and Cindy’s “we met in a bar over shots” tale.) The low point for me, was the creepy skinny guy that was the partner for the 3rd element of the dance challenge. He looked like Kevin Kline with white hair and about 80 less pounds.

After completing the Roadblock, teams would then have to drive to Frielandmuset to get their next clue. How would they get there? Why, in their Ford Focus, of course!

- Jeremy and Sandy had to go back to the tower and figure out the flag clue properly, but by the time they returned, Airport Slowpokes Amani and Marcus had now arrived at the Bell Tower. Both teams left for the castle at about the same time.

- On the way, Team NFL lost their way, and Marcus talked about the fact that “being lost bothers me”, but also that he’s not the type of person to stop and ask for directions. That makes no sense at all. It’s kind of like saying that you hate being hungry, but it annoys you when you have to eat.

Eventually he stopped to try and find someone to ask, but no one would stop to help. But, to be fair, it’s not like he pulled into a gas station to ask…he just pulled over and started randomly trying to flag down cars, trucks, motorcycles…anyone…even going so far as wandering in between the traffic. Let me ask you this, and answer honestly: If you’re a Danish local, and you’re driving down a country highway and you see that (along with a cameraman and audio guy), would you stop? I’m not sure I would.

After some time, he finally got the correct directions, and then made the obligatory NFL comparison, saying that getting lost was just like a turnover in a football game.

- At the Detour, teams reached into an old-school Post Box to find out that they had a choice between All Hopped Up and All Churned Out. Before even finding out what either of those were, I looked up to see that the farm setting at the Detour included a table with a Pig’s Head on it! Did I see that right? My PVR was not working tonight, so I couldn’t go back to check.

- In All Churned Out, teams were forced to work cream into butter and, as Phil told us in a fantastically worded sentence, “once the finished product is stamped, a dairy maid will hand them their next clue.” This was clearly the most sexually suggestive Detour in Amazing Race history, as we were subjected to constant shots of teams thrusting the churning poles (?) up and down over and over while saying things like “smack it hard” and “there’s something dirty in it.”

They even went so far with Sandy as to show her yanking on the pole between her legs, and bending over the churn so that you could see her cleavage as she “worked the pole.” Come on…that was just shameful. Well, at least they weren’t making the Racers take their clothes off, like in past seasons.
At one point, Bill asked if they could eat the butter, and Cindy responded by saying, “I don’t know if you want to eat my sweaty-ass butter.” Now, I’d like to point out that in that quote, it is extremely vital that the hyphen is placed between “sweaty” and “ass”, thus indicating that the butter itself is “sweaty-ass.” Without the hyphen, one may infer that what is “sweaty” is the “ass butter” which is, frankly, too disgusting to even explain.

Neither of those things are things that Bill would have wanted to eat anyways, but I think it’s important to clarify the meaning of the sentence, especially in the written form for those of you who didn’t actually see or hear it on the episode.

- In All Hopped Up, teams had to assemble a rabbit-hopping course, and then pick a rabbit to run the course, jumping over all of the hurdles. This may have seemed odd, but I did a little research and found out that Rabbit Hopping is not only real, but quite popular in Denmark. I’m not joking…check out this video of 2010 Danish Championships in Rabbit Hopping. (I could seriously do an entire blog post on this 3-minute video. Wait until you see The Long Jump.)

Now, teams not only had to assemble the course, and get the rabbit to leap over the hurdles, but they also had to have a “clean run.” Bill and Cathi were the first to attempt it, and when Hopper, their first rabbit, got winded, they went with Speckles, who nailed the course.
When Amani and Marcus did this Detour, Marcus was jumping higher than the rabbits before turning into a rabbit whisperer and telling his bunny “I love you” after completing the course. If this was as easy as it looked, why didn’t more teams do it instead of churning butter?

- Ernie and Cindy finished the Detour first and then had to travel on foot to a nearby windmill, where the Double U-Turn awaited. After saying off the top that they would definitely be using it (and after seeing last week’s preview), I wasn’t shocked to see them do so, but I couldn’t believe that they used it on Bill and Cathi! Are you kidding me? Cindy said that it was because the Oldsters were right on their tails, and that they “can’t be nice anymore. It’s a million dollars.”

I’m just going to call a spade a spade here and say that’s Total Bullshit.

That was definitely NOT a millon-dollar decision, that was an “I want to win this leg” decision. U-Turning someone far behind you is a smarter strategic move, someone already near the cusp of being eliminated…not someone in 2nd place. I have absolutely no problem with them using the U-Turn, and I also have no problem with them U-Turning Bill and Cathi because they want to win this leg. But I do have a problem with U-Turning someone for personal short term prize gain, and trying to tell us it’s for the long-term prize.

In the car (a Ford Focus!), Ernie said that he didn’t really want to U-Turn anyone, and Cindy responded “I’m sorry I’m the mean one.” Let’s call that Exhibit #3.

- After the U-Turn decision, teams then had to drive 7 miles back to Copenhagen to the Pit Stop. How would they get there? Have you forgotten about that spiffy Ford Focus already? I thought so.

- Of course, Ernie and Cindy won the leg, arriving at the dockside Pit Stop first to see Phil, the Skipper, and The Accordion Player. I was sure he was going to tell them that they won the Ford Focus they had been driving (or maybe two!), but it was just a trip to Fiji. Cindy then told us that you "have to do what you have to do to secure first.” No, you have to do that to win a trip.

I really have to laugh any time Phil tells a team that they’ve won a trip that include a spa treatment, because it always sounds like he’s saying “spar treatment”, which makes me think that they won a boxing lesson.

- Did anyone else assume that as soon as Jeremy and Sandy were in the car on the way to the Detour, and we heard Jeremy say “we can’t get lost!” and Sandy’s response of “I know where we are”…that they would definitely be getting lost?

- The end was relatively uninteresting, so I’m going to blow through it rapid-fire: Marcus made another NFL analogy (Hail Mary pass), Laurence and Zac got U-turned (which Angry Sailor Dad thought was “bloody ridiculous”), Jeremy and Sandy got lost (but luckily still had the incredible comfort of a Ford Focus), and Team Snowboard was happy for Ernie and Cindy to win the leg.

- Despite driving on the shoulder to avoid traffic (which should have been a penalty anyways since teams cant speed either), The U-Turn was too much to overcome and Laurence and Zac arrived last to find out that they were eliminated. The first ones to arrive in Denmark were the last ones to the Pit Stop, and Team Sailing Family could now set off into the sunset.

Next Week: Overacting, Spinny Tea Cups, And The Return Of Making The Racers Take Their Clothes Off.

Just a quick note to say that I'm joining with my fellow RogersTV broadcasters to grow a moustache for Movember and help to raise funds for prostate cancer awareness. Rest assured, I look ridiculous, but it's for a good cause. If you're interested in donating to help, please visit
Amazing Race fans, feel free to bookmark the site or add your name as a Follower on the sidebar to the left. You can also add me on Facebook or on Twitter, where I post all of the recaps as soon as they go up. Don’t forget to mouse over the pictures for captions, and please leave a Comment in the Comments section if you’re so inclined.

Thanks for reading.

(Photo Credits: Reality Fan Forum, CBS)


Peter Chan said...

I see your point about Cindy and her short-term goal for winning this one leg, but knowing that they won't be eliminated this time around- why wouldn't you go after first place after that demoralizing lost last week?

Sure. There'll be consequences for U-Turning Bill & Cathi, but the school of thought here is simply win now for Cindy.

I for one am glad for that decision because it led to Bill & Cathi U-Turning Laurence & Zac- which led to their, i mean, Laurence's demise. So glad he's gone.

It's very interesting to me the contrast of mentality between different teams in the last few legs- especially between testimonials of Cindy and Marcus. While Ernie & Cindy are thinking "we're winning this leg" half the time, Amani & Marcus is thinking "we're not getting eliminated". I find that so strange and intriguing that one team just wants to stay in the race all this time while another is not even fathoming the idea of getting eliminated. We'll see though, as we all know... every week is something new.

Final three prediction? Andy & Tommy, Bill & Cathi and Ernie & Cindy.

Sean said...

Peter, like I was saying, I have no problem with them going for first place, but at least admit WHY you're doing it. It was for the leg win, not the Ultimate Prize. To claim otherwise is foolish.

Great point about the mental mindset of different teams.

shipaddict said...

Sean, if you know you're going to look completely ridiculous growing a moustache for Movember, I say GO ALL OUT and grow a cheesy porn-star moustache!! Have fun with it!

Anonymous said...

Cindys smart she thought first prize was the car .

Beth said...

When Cindy & Ernie used their U-Turn on Bill & Cathi and then won this leg, my primary reaction was that if they'd lost their U-Turn squeamishness a leg sooner and U-Turned the snowboarders last time, they probably would've won both legs. (B&C were close, but I think C&E still could've won without the U-Turn.) So they'd have a trip AND $15,000.

Oh, and if Andy & Tommy are such "competitors" as they claimed in last week's footrace for first, why did they let B&C get second place instead of racing them? I realize no prize was at stake, but last week they tried to make it seem like it wasn't about the prize, but the competition. If that were true, they should've gone all-out this time, as well. Seems like last week was all about greed for yet another prize, and not their lofty claims of just having competitive natures.

I agree with the sentiment of "good riddance to 'Mr. I-Can-Do-Anything-Better-and-Faster-than-My-Son.'" Such a supportive parent! And of course, nothing was ever his fault. (Even a few legs back when Zac wanted to sketch the spirit house but Laurence vetoed it.) Did anyone else catch his comment during the dancing that "This is what I do; this is my specialty" (or words to that effect)? Seriously? Renaissance dancing is what you do in your free time, and you have extensive training? Right.

R.P. McMurphy said...

Amani and Marcus went to sleep in the airport? Really? I liked the hidden reference to the "idiot kicker" but with that complacent attitude, Marcus may wind up in that category too.

On behalf of all the men out there: easy, Sandy, gentle, please. That and last week's innuendo...yikes!

Do Amani and Marcus understand how the U-Turn works? Did you catch them saying, "we choose not to u-turn anyone"? Uh, great because it's already been used and you can't U-Turn anyone. Thanks, though.

HoH8 said...

Great video on the bunny jumping, can u believe i stayed on youtube for over a hour watching videos, lol....then i remembered i hadnt finished ur blog, lol...☺...