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This week’s installment of The Amazing Race may have been the very best this season, if only because we had an extended sequence of fat children pelting Kimberly and Rob with tomatoes. Yes, it was a reality viewer’s wet dream — a vicarious tour de force. After all, who hasn’t secretly wished they could hurl vegetables at these two crybabies? It’s like the producers had read our minds.
However, as wonderful as this sequence was, maybe I’m being a bit overzealous when I say this was the best episode of the season. It really wasn’t, but I will say that it was still up there. Granted, it wasn’t as twisty and turny as other installments (ie. last week), and the Roadblock before the airport equalizer seemed fairly redundant, and yes, it was fairly obvious what the outcome would be about forty-five minutes through the hour, but hey, I still was on the edge of my seat, and that’s really all I need.Okay, first of all, apologies for the late recap. I’ve been editing together all these Big In ’06 pieces, which is cool, but also a major time suck. So bear with me…
Anyway, this week’s episode began in Morocco where the gang had spent the night in a nomadic encampment somewhere near the desert. First team out of the pit stop were the models, who were told they’d have to drive 275 miles through the mountains to Casablanca where they’d then have to search for a clue in some marketplace-type area. As Tyler and James headed off for their latest adventure, James commented, “Nothing like a good Moroccan sunrise.” He then added, “I just wish I was high on quaaludes right now.”
Following the models out of the gate were Lyn and Karlyn (remember? They were second last week) and Kimberly and Rob, the latter of whom was wearing dumb argyle socks. I think he was trying to look trendy, but that attempt failed grandly — mostly because the only people who wear shorts and black argyle socks are not hipsters, but old men from the Catskills.
Nevertheless, Rob was feeling really confident that he and Kimbo could claim that million dollar prize. “I have a really certain belief that we will win a million dollars,” he said, “and we will get married, and we will ride off into the Moroccan sunset!” Or, er, sunrise. (Sunrise = morning. Sunset = night. I know, Rob. It’s a very tricky concept).
Well, no sooner had Kimberob hit the road than they encountered some of the crazy roving dog-beasts of Morocco. “I hate how there are so many dogs out here,” Kimberly complained, but she soon corrected herself by adding, “Oh, those are lambs.” Seriously. Seriously. Hey Kimberly, here’s the first clue in telling canines from ovines: dogs don’t have wool.
Even worse, however, was that the sheep weren’t even sheep. They were goats! Hey Kimberly, here’s another handy-dandy rule of thumb: dogs don’t have HORNS. I can’t imagine what other things she confuses. I can just see her yelling at Rob, “Babe, why do we always have to drive around in an elephant? Oh, wait. This is a car.”
Back at the Pit Stop, the Beauty Queens were last to leave by what seemed like a significant margin. They had a lot of ground to make up, especially since they were marked for elimination as a result of last week’s non-elimination round. Would they be able to persevere? Well, based on the early signs, it seemed probable. You see, once the teams arrived in Casablanca, everyone seemed to get lost. Dustin and Kandice, however, found a local with nothing better to do than drive around with the blondies and help them on their way.
Well, as the girls made up for lost time, the models arrived at the clue box which featured this week’s Roadblock. It was a little sooner than normal, and I was concerned that it might all be redundant if an airport equalizer lay in wait, but at the same time, I couldn’t act as if I wasn’t thrilled to see one of my favorite activities: the eating challenge!
Yes, one member from each team had to enter a busy market, get a pound of camel meat, find a cafe, grind the meat, season it, cook it, and then eat it. This probably wasn’t one of the more gnarly food challenges we’ve seen, but hey, we’ll take what we can get. And by the way, thanks a trillion, CBS, for the repeated, prolonged shots of the decapitated camel head.
Truth was that this challenge was kind of a breeze. There wasn’t a huge amount of meat to be had (and a good portion probably burned off on the grill). Even James had to admit, “It’s like a really good burger.” For the record, I would so eat a camel burger. Anyway, as James chowed down, the Beauty Queens suddenly arrived at the clue box (thanks to their fearless guide), and as they read the Roadblock clue, I couldn’t help wondering “Who is that little kid on the bike?” Seriously, did anyone else see him? He was not only staring at the girls, but I think he was about three inches away from invading their personal space.
Well, as the girls began their camel kebob odyssey, James finished up his food, which meant that it was time for another clue: fly to Barcelona! How exciting! Would they be meeting up with Tyra Banks? It should be noted that this is the second season in a row when The Amazing Race has meandered into a Top Model country (last season, they both intersected in Thailand). I think if it happens again, there definitely has to be a crossover. Maybe Tyra can greet teams at the Pit Stop: “Standing in front of me are two beautiful teams. Each one has what the other one needs. So who goes home? The team that takes flawless photos but has no confidence, or the team that has all the personality in the world but can’t seem to turn it on when it counts?”
Anyhoo, as Tyler and James ran out to their car, Kimberob showed up, all flustered and totally lost. For whatever reason, they couldn’t find the clue box, even though it was out there in the open. Seriously, how did they get lost so quickly? Well, when all else fails, be methodically unmethodical! Rob began asking random people, “Do you know where the clue is?” — as if anyone had any idea what the hell he was talking about. At one point, he started poking his head in various stores, causing Kimberly to ask, “Why here?”
“WHY NOT??? BABE, WHY NOT???” Rob barked back. With that sort of logic, he should have started looking in trash cans and up trees. Why? Well, WHY NOT??? WHY NOT????
Soon ‘Bama joined Kimberob in the hunt for the cluebox; although, they were considerably less flustered. Their pissiness was kept a general simmer, thanks to Karlyn, who may or may not be related to Oscar the Grouch. Well, these teams spent so long meandering around that Dustin and Kandice finished the Roadblock. As they traipsed back to their car, they hid their clue; so no one would realize they were coming from the Roadblock. The maneuver worked. Everyone assumed they were just arriving, and in a wonderful moment of the blond leading the blind, Kimberob followed the girls, thinking they’d all wind up at the clue box. Of course, they only wound up at the designated parking, causing Kimberob to become even more frustrated than before. Would they ever find the clue box???
Sure enough, the magic of the commercial break worked its wonders once again. Both Kimberob and Bama magically found the clue box, but just because this obstacle had been surmounted didn’t mean the teams were out of the clear. No, far from it. Kimberly had to face her greatest foe yet: a meat grinder! “I don’t know how to grind meat,” she complained, clearly stumped by the various complexities of a crank. This led to general Kimberob bickering, but at long last, Kimberly finally discovered that if she pushed the meat into the grinder and turned the crank at the same time, it would work! Now, let’s see her tackle a juicer!
Well, after turning over her kebobs to the grillmaster, Kimberly realized that a whole ten seconds had passed with nary a complaint from her lips. “So much meat. I’m so not even hungry,” she whined. Meanwhile, Lyn had no problem with the quantity of meat, just the temperature. Her kebobs were apparently so hot she had to slow down her consumption pace, vexing crabby Karlyn (or as I like to call her, CrabLyn). She simply did not know why Lyn was being so slow. How about you shut up and let her digest for two seconds, mmkay? At least Lynn wasn’t being totally idiotic like Kimberly, who was now gagging on her meat. Hope she didn’t actually get a camel toe in her mouth! (Sorry, I had to somehow work a camel toe joke into this recap.)
While the women worked their camel meat, the Beauty Queens felt confident that they had emerged from the Philimination Danger Zone. “I think we have a thirty minute lead,” the girls said, clearly not realizing that it would all be immaterial once they all wound up on the same airplane. Back at the Roadblock, Crablyn had gone from mild nuisance to full-on Casablanca Bitch. “Just put it in your mouth and swallow it,” she snipped. “How can you be that close and just not put it in your mouth?” Finally, Lyn did what we were all desperately waiting for: “Karlyn, shut the hell up!” HELL TO THE YES.
Meanwhile, over at the airport, as the two leading teams bought their tix, the Beauty Queens thought they might use their feminine wiles to gain an advantage with the junkie models. Kandice and Dustin asked if the guys wouldn’t mind letting them hit the mat first to avoid a penalty, you know, if they were running neck and neck. And in first place. You couldn’t blame the girls for asking, but man, it was a ballsy move. As you can imagine, James and Tyler said no.
Anyway, soon the trailing teams finished the Road Block, and a few quick edits later, everyone was back at the airport and, you guessed it, on the same flight to Barcelona. Smell ya later, thirty minute lead! Once teams landed in the city, they would then have to find a hedge maze, inside of which was hidden the next clue. And just in case the airport didn’t provide enough of an equalizer, the park didn’t open until the next morning. Great. Why mark someone for elimination and then have so many equalizers as to make it virtually impossible to save yourself? Nevertheless, the next morning, as teams waited for the park to open, those crafty Beauty Queens found some construction workers and had them call a cab in advance. Realizing this might be a good idea, Kimberob and the models followed suit, but as for ‘Bama? Well, Lyn wanted to call a cab, but Crablyn merely replied with “Whatever. Whatever.” Seriously, Lyn. Stop being so annoying with your “logical and calmly asked questions.” Idiot.
Well, soon the park opened up, and all the teams made a mad dash for the clue. This meant we got to watch the teams run through topiaries for a few minutes until finally the models arrived on the clue box. Next mission: Detour! Lug It or Lob It.
In “Lug It,” teams had to slip on a nine and a half foot tall “giant” costume and walk more than a mile to a real life giantess, who would give them their next clue. Didn’t sound too bad, but apparently, it was about 150 degrees in Barcelona that day; so the idea of ambling about with a giant structure on your shoulders may not have been the most appetizing option.
In “Lob It,” teams had to search through a mountain of tomatoes for one that contained a clue, all the while defending themselves from the local children who would be chucking tomatoes at them, much like in the Tomatino Festival (as seen on Road Rules: The Quest). I didn’t know why anyone would choose this option — searching on The Amazing Race never leads to good things (just ask that one girl who unfurled bales of hay for eight hours straight). Besides, who wants to be covered in tomato gunk? Nevertheless, once the teams had their clues, they then had to get out of the maze, and while the BQs, models, and Kimberob ran around like spastic windup toys, ‘Bama calmly strolled right out of the maze in front of everyone. It was delightful karma, but it only lasted about five seconds because soon everyone was not only out of the maze, but in their taxis. Well, everyone but the junkie models, whose cab failed to surface. Suddenly, the unlikely combo of Tyler and James and Lyn and Karlyn were left by the side of the road, all trying to hail down taxis. Needless to say, they were out of luck.
Or at least, they were out of luck until after the commercial break! Yes, the models finally hailed a cab and headed off towards Lug It, where they hoped to catch up to the blondes and overtake them for first place. Meanwhile, in a surprise move, Kimberob decided to go tomato hunting, which meant we had the glorious privilege of watching children attack these two idiots with a seemingly unending supply of tomatoes. As you can imagine, this did not sit well with Kimberly, who immediately honed her inner-six-year-old and balked, “This is STUPID!” Rob was no beacon of patience either, and as the kid tossed tomato after tomato at him, he finally turned around and whipped a few at a poor fat girl. Well, I shouldn’t say poor. It’s not like she got hit. Yes, Rob managed to completely miss her once, and the second time, she actually ducked out of the way to avoid the wrath of his killer tomato. Way to go, Rob. What made this even funnier was that the kids weren’t actually throwing their tomatoes that hard. They were merely lobbing them (as the Detour description would indicate). But Rob on the other hand was flinging the tomatoes back as if he were trying to strike out Vladimir Guerrero. And missing too. Ha. Way to be ineffective as usual, ROB. Maybe you should spend less time attacking children and more time, you know, searching for the clue.
We then cut briefly to the models who were completely lost looking for their giant costumes. This was cool and all, but we really only cared about Kimberob at this point; so we headed back to the tomato pile where now Kimberly, after having complained long enough about this Detour, suddenly yelled as loud as she possibly could, “LISTEN TO ME!!! LISTEN TO ME!!!!!” She then added, “I DON’T KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN DOGS AND GOATS!!!! LISTEN TO ME!!!!!!”
Okay, she didn’t say that, but she did go all Hulk on us and screamed, “THIS IS MAKING ME MAD!!!” as she squashed a tomato in her hands. But alas, her protests fell on deaf (and dumb) ears. Rob refused to give up on the challenge, causing Kimberly to employ her own version of the Bat signal: “BAAAABE!!!!!!” she screamed. But even the traditional cry of “BAAABE!!!” was useless as Rob seemed utterly determined to conquer this pile of tomatoes. It’s almost as if he were exorcising some deep, childhood trauma pertaining to tomatoes (and/or tomatillos).
“Why can’t you be tough?” Rob asked, clearly overlooking all the times he gasped for air and begged Kimberly to slow down in the race. Meanwhile, over at the other challenge, Dustin and Kandice finally found their costumes and began walking around aimlessly, totally lost as to where to go.
They were quite the spectacle, but again, they were nothing compared to Kimberob, who were still screaming and crying and fighting through tomato hell. At one point, Kimberly grew so frustrated that she actually ran up to someone and chucked tomatoes and him, but like her boyfriend, she brilliantly missed her target over and over. Ultimately, she jaunted off, giving herself over to the tears. “Way to cry!” Rob said, apparently never having noticed that Kimberly cries over EVERYTHING. To paraphrase Tom Hanks, there’s no crying in tomato hunting!
I was really hoping that this tomato pile would be the downfall of Kimberob, but alas, after the commercial break, Rob managed to actually find a clue. Sigh. Next destination: the Pit Stop! This one was located by a beautiful fountain at the National Art Museum that had been build during a World’s Fair and blah blah blah. JUST LOOK FOR PHIL.
Well, Kimberob headed off in first place (groan), and remember the ‘Bama girls? Well, they finally got their cab, and because they didn’t want to deal with potentially heavy giant costumes, they too decided to try their hand at the tomatoes. Surprisingly enough, even though the moms were certainly not happy with the tomatoes being flung at them, they didn’t make as much of a spectacle as Kimberob. Then again, it’s pretty difficult to live up to that couple’s perfect maelstrom of idiocy and short temper.
Meanwhile, over at the other challenge, the beauty queens wasted enough critical time trying to get on the right path that the models had caught up to them. With both teams walking together, we knew this could not end well. If Kimberob maintained their first place lead (which they were all but guaranteed to, unless they encountered another roving gang of tomato-flingers), then the Beauty Queens needed to somehow force a thirty minute separation from the boys and/or ‘Bama. Well, the good news was that the girls and the guys split off at one point, giving us hope that maybe the junkie models would burn up a half an hour wandering around and being vain (unlikely — at least with the wandering part). The bad news, however, was that over at the tomato pile, the moms actually managed to find a clue. This meant that unless there was any funny business, it would come down to the Beauty Queens and the junkie models, and with that thirty-minute penalty hanging around, I couldn’t see how Dustin and Kandice would persevere.
Anyway, over at the Pit Stop, Rob and Kimberly made it official as they stepped onto the mat in first place. Ugh. Yes, these two morons were now in the final three, and knowing our luck, they’ll probably win the whole thing. Sensing that the million dollars was just a few hours away, Rob immediately began bawling, causing snickering all across America, I’m sure. Hey Rob, WAY TO CRY.
Nevertheless, in between sobs, he uttered, “It would just mean a lot to me to win.” It would mean a lot to me if you just shut the hell up and went away.
Back at the Detour, Dustin and Kandice found the giantess first, which was good, but Tyler and James were right behind them — which was bad. Their only hope was that ‘Bama might somehow get totally lost or stuck in traffic. Well, almost on cue, we found Lyn and Karlyn sitting in bumper to bumper traffic, but we knew this was merely misdirection.
Sure enough, all three final teams were suddenly in the Pit Stop area, searching frantically for a fountain. Who would take second place? Why, none other than ‘Bama! That’s right, for the second straight week, these two unlikely underdogs claimed the number two spot, and even more significantly, they became the first all female team to make it to the final three! Who would have thunk it? Backpack represent!
Anyway, no need to draw this out. Tyler and James took third place — much to their surprise, I think — which meant that sadly, Dustin and Kandice arrived fourth. The penalty didn’t even matter. They were eliminated the old fashioned way: by coming in last. It really sucked. CBS tried ever so hard to make us hate them, but truth be told, Dustin and Kandice were great. They were strong, supportive, crafty, smart, and most of all, they seemed like they were having a blast. Watching them lose out to dumbass Kimberob and cocky Tyler and James was heartbreaking, to say the least.
Well, with the girls gone, it was time for one last tradition: the pre-finale smack talk. Yes, the remaining three teams proudly boasted about why they could beat out the rest. “I feel confidence level is at a ten,” Rob said, adding, “Granted, intelligence might be at a zero. But confidence? Way up there!”
Lyn, meanwhile, told us, “What propels us past those other teams is our ability to remain calm. Both of the two remaining teams are very emotional.” As opposed to KARLYN, who’s just cool as a cucumber!
We then saw a preview for the finale, and while it may be too early to say this for sure, I think CBS may have spoiled it. Don’t read on if you don’t want to hear my theories.
So CBS showed shots of each team running towards the finish line. Rob and Kimberly had huge smiles on their faces, so did the models, and Lyn and Karlyn were scowling. Unless this is massive misdirection, I have to assume that Kimberob will win this whole thing. Face it, if they’re anything but first, they’ll be crying and/or displaying fragile smiles. They just have to be the winners. That means that the moms and the models are some combo of second and third. I sure hope I’m wrong. If Kimberly and Rob win this, it might be worse than Zach and Flo. At least with Zach and Flo, we could kind of like Zach (even though he was a huge pussy). But with Kimberly and Rob, there’s nothing to like about them. They’re like Freddy and Kendra on crack.
Are we in for quite possibly the biggest and worst Amazing Race upset of all time? What do you think?