Monday, November 21, 2011

Amazing Race Recap: “Teacups, Lego, And Speedos”

This week's episode of The Amazing Race finds the teams still Racing through Europe, visiting Denmark, Germany and Belgium. It is also alarmingly entitled "It's Speedo Time", and I'm sure after looking at the picture above, you don't need an explanation why.

My Random Thoughts:

- This episode started off at the Pit Stop in Copenhagen, Denmark, which Phil told us “has the cleanest waterfront in the world.” Is that really the best point you can come up with when talking about Copenhagen? Not that it is the capital of Denmark, the highest population in Denmark, or even the fact that it has the largest airport in Scandinavia? But rather that our harbour is ok to swim in?

- Ernie and Cindy left the Pit Stop first, and on the way, we learned that Cindy’s parents would have liked for her to marry a Chinese guy, but she hopes they’ll see that her and Ernie have “a very fun relationship.” Can you imagine that discussion? “Mom and Dad, I know you want me to follow our cultural history, but I met this guy in a bar…and he’s lots of fun, so I’m going to do this instead.”

- From the Pit Stop, teams had to find a statue of Hans Christian Andersen where they were faced with a Roadblock asking “Who wants to take a fairy tale ride?” The Roadblock entailed them having to memorize a poem by Andersen, then follow a map on their bike wheel, and then perform the poem for a skeleton wearing a top hat.

Thank God Liz and Marie weren’t still in the Race for this Roadblock. Remember how long it took for them to get a word-for-word repetition earlier in the season? And that was when it was spoken to them and all they had to do was repeat it…having to memorize, ride, and then perform would have been an absolute disaster.
- Cindy did the Roadblock on her first try, and Marcus employed what maybe the worst strategy ever, trying to distract his teammate when she was trying to memorize something, but Amani still completed it on the first try as well.

- In the car after the Roadblock, Marcus said that completing that task so fast was like they “took the opening kickoff and ran it for a touchdown.” Between that and Amani comparing herself to Peyton Manning off the top, I’m wishing that I would have implemented an NFL Analogy count for this season, like I have done in previous seasons for things like the Rhode Island Detectives, Louie and Michael, always saying “baby”, or Jordan and Dan calling each other “bro.”

- Cathi couldn’t find the theater at first, then got one word wrong (“untold” vs “remote”) in her performance, but on the second go-around got it. Tommy and Sandy both recited the poem perfectly, but simply read it, leaving Danish Skeletor to tell them “more drama, please. I need you to bring life to the words.” Essentially, they just needed to overact instead of recite…should have asked for advice from Sofia Coppola in Godfather Part III.

- After the Roadblock, teams were off to Legoland park, where they would have to work on a Lego puzzle while riding the Spinning Teacups. The only thing is that they had to fight motion sickness while working on the puzzle, and only while it was actually in motion. Once it stopped, they had to put their hands in the air (but not “wave them like they just don’t care”), and continue again when the ride started up for the next passengers. Eventually, the puzzle would tell them that their next destination was the Hamburg Train Station in Germany.

I was shocked to see that Ernie and Cindy had some initial trouble with the puzzle, because I was assuming I would hear them talk about how they specifically practiced completing Lego puzzles on amusement park rides. But what I really took from this whole challenge was that Legoland looks awesome, and I want to go to there. (Liz Lemon voice)

Amani and Marcus were both on the verge of being sick, leading Amani to say that “I would hate to throw up on any kids.” I guess it would be OK to vomit on the adults? How about the teens?

Jeremy and Sandy nearly got sick as well, and then lost a piece of the puzzle. Andy and Tommy breezed through it, and after finally getting there after getting lost, Bill and Cathi just wanted a hot dog and a Slurpee afterwards.

- On the way to Hamburg, Ernie talked about having an American dialect, and control-freak Cindy was only too happy to correct him and tell him that the word he obviously meant to use was “accent.” Once again, Ernie’s B Student status comes to light.

- At the Hamburg train station, teams found out that they had to take a train to Brussels, Belgium, which would be the 3rd country of the leg. I thought that was pretty lame, because if you’re only going into Germany to pick up a clue and then hop a train, selling this episode as a 3-Country Leg is pretty weak.

- Since the only train was at 12:30 am, teams were going to be, as Cindy whinily put it, “all on the same stupid train.” This apparently angered her so much, that she threw her train tickets on the ground, and continued to whine even more upon discovering that they were gone.
They talked to the conductor on their first train, but she wasn’t able to help…so what did they do? They decided to get on the second train from Cologne to Brussels anyways in the hopes that no one would come by and check for tickets.

How on Earth this doesn’t equate to a penalty is beyond me. Aren’t they essentially stowaways on the train now? If Phil won’t check them in at the Pit Stop for not settling up with their cab driver, how can teams take a train without a ticket and not be penalized?

- In Brussels, teams had to find the Parliament building for their next clue, which reminded us that “Jean-Claude Van Damme is Belgium’s most famous bodybuilder.” Do you think that Belgium’s second most famous bodybuilder has a hissy fit every time Bloodsport comes on TV?‘

The clue told the teams that they would “now have a chance to walk in the shoes of the Muscles from Brussels” as they would have to compete in a Bodybuilding Posedown. And not just compete, mind you, but compete while wearing tiny orange speedos, a bronzing paint that was referred to as “Competition Oil” (??), and impressing a panel of roided-up Belgians until they scored a total of 12 points. All of this was explained with the added bonus of Phil demonstrating…complete with “flexed” eyebrow.
- For the last couple of seasons, I’ve complimented the TAR producers on getting away from the trend that we saw in Season 14: having contestants take their clothes off as often as possible. Remember the Sauna Buss, the footrace in underwear, and more? But now, they appear to have gone back to it in what I can only describe as the most awkward thing I have ever watched on this show.

- I didn’t like that the judges gave their critiques in English. How much better would it have been to see them just give the score and have the teams have to adjust? There is always a language barrier in other countries on TAR, but in this episode, it seemed like everyone in Belgium spoke English.
- I had to laugh at Cindy’s complaint that the judges mainly focused on Ernie's portion of the posedown in their critiques. I was hoping that Ernie would turn to her and yell “At least I didn’t lose the train tickets, Miss Straight A’s!” And did you see the bruises on Cindy’s legs? What the hell was that from?

- And yes, I saw Ernie giggling at Andy and Tommy putting oil on each other, and talking about locking eyes with a man in the audience, and then spinning around as he ran out of the Bodybuilding hall. But even though I get 10-15 hits a day from people Googling “Ernie Amazing Race Gay”…I’m not going there.
- Amani and Marcus finished first, after a posedown that was filled with whistles and catcalls from the local Belgian Cougars. They made it to the Pit Stop first and won a trip to Panama. We didn’t see the rest of the finish order, because Phil told them that the next leg starts immediately.

- A couple of thoughts: First, I didn’t like the ending, but only because I need to see if Ernie and Cindy got a penalty for not having tickets for the train. If they don’t have one next week upon reaching the Pit Stop Mat, I’m going to be furious. Second, why was there no Detour on this Leg? Only a Roadblock and 2 team tasks?

Next Week: Trash Talk in Belgium And Driving Really Fast

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Thanks for reading.

(Photo Credits: Reality Fan Forum, CBS)


eddieshi1 said...

Ernie and cindy did not have a ticket, but technically they already paid for their tickets, so i dont see why they would get a penalty. not settling up a cab would be different bc you haven't actually paid for the ride yet.

shipaddict said...

Hate to say it, but it looks like the old couple's last leg was tonight. When they showed the previews for next week, they showed all the other teams but them. Unless they're trying to pull a fast one on us and make us think they got eliminated when it actually turns out to be a nonelimination leg. And of course we got the foreshadowing at the beginning of the episode where she informs us that they don't like to talk about that first leg when they were dumber than a bag of hair.

eddieshi1 said...

that may be the case but i think that is cbs throwing us a curve ball. it is probably a non elimination with a speed bump.

TARaddict said...

I thought the same thing Shipaddict but if they are still racing, isn't it possible it is a non elimation race for the first half so they would still be going until the end of the second part.

Speedos too small for guys. All ladies were OK.

Sean said...

Eddieshi, 100% disagree with your first comment. Just because they bought the ticket doesn't mean that they didn't get on the train WITHOUT the ticket.

If they tried that with no boarding pass at an Airport, it wouldn't have worked, or if they tried to get on a bus with no ticket, do you think saying "we bought one but we lost it" would have worked for them.

Fred said...

Losing your ticket should count as not having a ticket. Personally I'm amazed they did not check them on a lengthy ride between two major cities. Granted, I've been on regional trains in Germany of similar length where they do not check tickets, but never an intercity train. Still, I'm betting on production intervention, to make for a more dramatic race and penalty later.

Anonymous said...

I feel like they should be penalized for not having their tickets on them. If you don't have your passport at the pit stop, you have to go back and get it. If you don't physically have your train ticket, you should have to buy a new one or deal with a penalty.

Kurt Sahr said...

Shipaddict picked up on something I noticed; the preview for next week's episode clearly shows four teams participating in upcoming challenges, leaving out Bill & Cathi. This means the only two options are: Bill & Cathi are eliminated, or it's a non-elimination leg. This takes any suspense out of the remaining order of finish of the teams for the previous leg, which isn't over yet...

I find that really irritating. They could have at least not shown two of the teams, so there's at least some question.

Or maybe I just need to stop watching the previews for next week.

Anonymous said...

As soon as they showed Cindy saying I cant wait to get to the pit stop and rest, I knew that they would continue to race once they got to the pit stop

Licia said...

The bodybuilding task was actually 1/2 of a Detour, but nobody picked the other option so it was shown as a random task.

On another note, I really didn't like the equalizer in the middle of the leg; it kind of made everything that happened before Hamburg very pointless.

Sean said...

Licia, I'm quite sure that wasn't the case. There have been plenty of times where a Detour option that wasn't chosen was still explained.

And if it was part of a Detour, why would all of the teams choose it? And after struggling at it, why did we hear nobody discussing switching to the other one?

HoH8 said...

Oh with you Sean....i was so Furious with this missing ticket can CBS let them get away with this?...we better see them get a Penalty at the Pit Stop...

i believe they dont have any eliminations during a 2 part leg and i was very surprised that all the teams were well trimmed down there, lol....Oh also i wanted so much to see some Vomit, so many said they wanted to vomit but nobody spit nothing out, lol...☺...

eddieshi1 said...

the speedo "task" was indeed a detour option.

Kurt Sahr said...


It's not a two part leg. Phil explicitly said Marucs & Armani won this leg of the race, which is why they won a trip to Panama. Then he said "This also means you also leave first on the next leg, which"

That doesn't mean it's not a non-elimination leg, but it's technically not a two part leg.

Anonymous said...

I just checked out the CBS site for this episode and it says ""It's Speedo Time" (Brussels, Belgium)
After a potentially game-changing error, one team hopes for a lucky break, and donning only a Speedo for their Detour task, Racers get in touch with their inner exhibitionists." - so it looks like, according to CBS anyway, that the Speedo thing WAS part of a detour, but I wonder why they didn't show the alternative option. Weird.

Also was wondering about those bruises on Cindy!! She clearly didn't train for that ;-)

Alisha said...

What I don't get is that Cathi TOLD Tommy as she was leaving to be dramatic. ::eyeroll:: I really hope they are out after this round.

I thought Legoland was cool- I want to go there!

Anonymous said...

It was INDEED a detour with no one choosing the other option. When Marcus and Amani left the body building competition, they asked someone where to go. In their hand was a DETOUR clue.