I love you, Amazing Race. And I love this episode of you most of all. This show was you at your best, TAR. You gave us missed clues. You gave us near drownings. You gave us Mystery Men who let Shmirna sit on their laps. You gave us Little People working with Phil to get our teams checked in at the Pit Stop. And you gave us fish being squished into boobs. You gave more than we ever knew that we wanted.
This episode opens with Romber. They want us to believe that this is because Romber was the first team to arrive last episode, and thus the first to leave this episode. But Romber is featured so much that I’m beginning to think that this season should be called The Amazing Race All Romber Edition. After all, when we’re not seeing footage of Romber themselves, we’re seeing footage of other teams wondering where Romber is. At least when GSN starts the Romber network, they’ll have lots of footage to pull from. (TVGasm Educational Update: Does everyone know that GSN is airing all the old seasons of TAR? I believe they’re in Season Five right now. Set your Tivos. Now back to our regular recap.)
Romber opens their clue, and we learn that the teams must drive four miles to the town of San Pedro de Atacama, Chilly. There, they must find the church of San Pedro de Atacama, where they’ll find their next clue.
Really, TAR, that’s the best you can do? Driving four miles? Were you not able to get a location agreement for the house next door? I know that Drew probably would have slipped 20 times as he strolled over at a snail’s pace, but he’s gone now, and these people are supposed to be All Stars! I think the best TAR players of all time deserve more, and we as an audience sure as heck deserve more.
Before they take off, Rob announces that he is “not real concerned with what everyone else is doing.” And also that Romber doesn’t care if the other racers like them. I know I’m a little obsessed with this point, but for someone who insists over and over that he doesn’t care about the other teams, Rob spends an awful lot of time talking about the other teams. At least the other teams are honest that they are obsessed with beating Romber. One of my main hopes for this season is for Rob to admit that he’s super competitive and he really does want to beat the other teams. My other main hope: For Danielle to find a place to touch up her roots.
How easy is this step of the race? Well, by the time Team Cha Cha Cha (the 2nd team is leave) is opening their clue, Romber has already traversed the difficult four mile route, found the church and opened another clue. They now must fly 800 miles to Puerto Montt, Chilly. There, they must choose a car and drive themselves thirty miles to Metri, Chilly.
Romber immediately sets to work on finding an internet connection to book some flights. Meanwhile, Team Guido has opened the first clue and is heading off for the church. But not before noting that Chilly has really good wine and that they’d like to stop for a nice glass of chardonnay.
And this is where I thought: “Maybe they should do just that. Maybe all the teams should do just that.” Let’s think about it. It is a scientific fact that when you’re drunk you become 84% smarter, funnier and better looking. So why wouldn’t you want to run the Race that way?
But I can’t spend too much time wondering what Shmirna would be like drunk, because we get some awesome footage of Eric reading the clue and then walking off camera while saying “Peace out, Cub Scout.” Is that a real phrase? Do people actually say “Peace out, Cub Scout”?! And do they say it without laughing? Because I’m pretty sure that I’m going to start saying it a lot because a) I love things that rhyme and b) it’s awesome, but I’m also pretty sure that every time I will say it, it will make me laugh.
As they’re walking away, Eric continues to peruse the clue. This is confusing to Danielle, who wonders how Eric can read and walk at the same time. Did anyone else suspect that Danielle might have made a better teammate for Drew, who wouldn’t have tried something so outrageous? Other things that confuse Danielle: Mimes (moving without talking?!), ventriloquists (talking without talking?!) and Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo (how could a movie that good go unnoticed?!)
Eric and Danielle follow Team Guido, and when the Guidos stop and get out of their car to ask a local for directions, Eric listens in. Eric then rushes off, while the Guidos have to take the time to get back into the car. When they all reach the church, the Guidos confront Eric on his behavior. And by confront, I mean that they read their clue while standing in front of Eric and Danielle’s car so they can’t leave.
While these guys are bickering, Romber finds an all night travel agency and get busy booking their flight, which arrives at 12:55. TARAS Pop Quiz: A smarter strategy for running the race is a) quickly and efficiently doing things that will help you win the race or b) bickering with other teams. It’s an advanced question, so we’ll wait until the end of the episode to learn the answer.
Meanwhile, the BQ’s have teamed up with Teri and Ian. Teri and Ian are split on their reasons for forming this alliance. Teri is happy to work with the BQ’s because “They are strong racers.” Ian has a different reason: “They wiggle and jiggle through the world, and that is totally cool with me.” So turns out Ian is a pervy old guy. But the BQ’s don’t seem to mind, because he’s good with directions. So I guess everybody wins.
Mirna and Shmirna, aka Team Crazypants, take off, followed closely by Kentucky, the last team to depart. Mary is sad that she has to run this race without friends. And TAR treats us to some black and white, slow mo footage of the Cho Bros. At this point, I get nostalgic for last season and start to yell “Mary, WWCBD? WWCBD?” at the TV screen. But then I start to think “Doesn’t the black and white footage make it seem as if the Cho Brothers died?”
While I’m thinking this, Teri, Ian and the BQ’s discover they are terribly lost. Turns out aligning with Teri and Ian because of their stellar directional sense didn’t work out so well for the BQ’s, huh? Kind of reminds me of last week, when Teri thought that Ian was sure to solve the puzzle because of his mad detecting skillz. My vote for TAR’s Most Overestimated Player: Ian.
Team Crazypants and Kentucky get to the church and find the clue. The BQ’s apparently take over navigational duties and get to the church and the clue with Teri and Ian. Not that interesting, so let’s move on.
Danny and Oswald, Team Guido, Danielle and Eric and Joyce and Uchenna are all hanging out at the airport. The groups have all lined up at different ticket counters, and have made a deal with each other that whichever team of the four can find the best flight will book the tickets for everyone. Joyce and Uchenna leave to see if they can find a place outside the airport to book tickets online. They write down the other teams’ credit card numbers so they can book tickets for everyone if they need to.
Joyce and Uchenna find a hotel. They book their own flight. But only Team Guido gave them their security codes, so only Team Guido and Joyce and Uchenna get on the 12:55 flight. Everyone else has to wait until the ticket counter opens.
But even booking tickets isn’t without its intrigue. As the BQ’s try to book their tickets, Shmirna is leaning in, trying to listen. When the BQ’s call her out on it, Shmirna responds: “I can’t see over the counter, I’m not as privileged as you, so I’m talking here, if that’s alright with you.” This reminded me of the Season 10 Team with the woman with one leg — she was insistent that she could do anything that the other teams could do… until she used her handicap to board the plane early. Shmirna seems to be pulling the same stunt here. Her eavesdropping has nothing at all to do with the fact that she can’t see over the counter. But good try, Shmirna, good try.
But none of it really matters because everyone else is booked on the 1:55 flight… until Eric hears about the earlier flight. Eric pulls a ticket agent aside, and he both stands upright and whispers to her. Danielle is yet again stunned by Eric’s amazingness as he does these two simple tasks at once. Oh, actually three tasks, because he also tries to get them on the earlier flight. He really is amazing.
But Shmirna, who is standing in the luggage cut out next to the counter, is eavesdropping on Eric and his privilege.
And she is not just trying to find out how amazing Eric is, she is trying to find out what flight he’s trying to get on. And before you know it, Shmirna has blabbed her big mouth and everyone’s trying to get on the earlier flight. There’s a lot of shoving and “Me, too”, but in the end the earlier flight is booked, and no one turns out to be privileged after all.
But then we learn that Teri and Ian and Team Crazypants are actually on standby for the earlier flight. Ian and Teri are trying to sweet talk a ticket agent when Mirna runs up and starts trying to talk to that very same agent. At first I thought that maybe Teri was wearing her invisibility cloak and Mirna couldn’t see her, but it turns out that Mirna just crazy. Teri tells Mirna to go away. And this is when Mirna explains to Teri that she doesn’t own the ticket counters. Good point, Mirna, Teri does not own the ticket counter. In your face, Teri! Step aside!
Somehow Mirna’s stunning logic didn’t fool Teri, who decides not to step aside. At this point, Ian calls for security, which is pretty hilarious. But alas, Mirna is not taken away in handcuffs because security never comes. Maybe, and I’m just saying maybe, security is busy trying to do boring things like catching terrorists. Ian also told Mirna that she is being rude. And Mirna replies “I took lessons from the king of rude… you.”
Up until that moment, I thought Simon Cowell was the King of Rude, but I stand corrected. I do know for sure, however, that Mirna is the Queen of Snappy Comebacks.
We’re then treated to an interview with Team Crazypants, where they explain that there is no reason for yelling and screaming at each other. I’ll translate this for you, because I speak Crazy (I’m one-quarter crazy, on my dad’s side): “We are unfamiliar with reality and the normal customs of sane human beings. We like to yell at stupid people who are beating us, but you have no business yelling at us, no matter how loco we are. Ole!”
In the end, none of the drama matters, because they still can’t get on the earlier flight. Meanwhile, the first flight arrives in Puerto Montt, Chily, and everyone rushes to their cars. Joyce and Uchenna are the first team out, followed by Romber, then Eric and Danielle and then Team Guido.
While they drive, Eric and Danielle accuse the Guidos of being sneaky. And Dani accuses them of having a Jekyll and Hyde moment. At first I thought that Dani meant that one member of Team Guido had a psychotic break, developed an evil second personality and was running around London murdering people. But it turns out she was just referring to the fact that the Guidos got mad about them eavesdropping on their directions and then taking off. Oh well. Way more boring than a mass murdering Guido, so let’s move on.
Meanwhile, Rob is wondering if he should slow down and let the other teams go by and hope that they’ll get lost. Amber’s reaction to this was classic. She barely looked up from the map and just said “Just keep doing what you’re doing, don’t be distracted by the other teams.”
I started to like Amber a little bit right then.
But this proves to be kind of bad advice, as Romber veers to the right on the road and all the other teams go left. In this case, Rob should have been distracted by the other teams, because going to the right got Romber lost.
But other teams are also distracted by Romber. Team Guido is particularly worried that Romber is going in the opposite direction. But Hyde quickly sets Jekyll straight: “Maybe Rob went wrong. Rob is not Jesus.” And I must ask: “Are you sure? He does seem to be winning a lot. And wouldn’t Jesus win a lot if he was on The Amazing Race?”
No time to contemplate this – It’s time for A Roadblock!! In this Roadblock, one team member must get into an 1800 gallon fish breeding tank and transfer 80 fish to a holding tank at the other end of the farm. The clue is written at the bottom of the tank.
And this starts the funniest Roadblock I can remember. The image of teams trying to subdue flapping fish made me laugh, rewind, and then laugh all over again. Here are some of the best reactions:
Danielle hates this roadblock, because it turns out she hates fish. Eric starts yelling “Quit being a baby! Pick it up! Pick up the damn fish!” Because everyone knows that yelling is helpful. In fact, it made Danielle go much, much faster. Oh, wait, no it didn’t. But she did stop and scream every time she had to touch a fish.
Meanwhile, the second flight finally lands. Mary gets busy yelling at Dave who is driving in circles around the terminal. I’m not advocating driving in circles around the airport instead of trying to go someplace and, you know, race, but I still really hate it when Mary picks on Dave.
Soon everyone is at the Roadblock. The awesomeness continues, with each team having their own approach to getting the fish. Team Guido decides to “meditate them all into submission”, and declares themselves Team Fish Whisperer. Danny decides to “become the fish.”
But the best by far is Eric, who tells Danielle to use her boobs. Apparently Eric wants Dani to squish the fish into submission with her boobs. I’m not sure if he actually thinks that it’s a good tactic, or if he just wants to yell “Use your boobs! Use your boobs!” over and over and over. You know something is bad if Rob has to be the one to point out that it’s not classy.
Uchenna finishes first and reads the clue from the bottom. Teams have to drive 50 miles where they’ll find the clue near La Maquina just before they enter the town of Petrohue. Team Guido finishes second, but doesn’t see half the clue. Thus, they’re lost before you can say “Mirna, please stop screaming and just get the damn fish.”
Romber teams up with Eric and Danielle to find their way to the next clue. Rob sees the other team as insurance. “Eric and Danielle against Amber and I, any day of the week, we’re the odds on favorite.” He does have a point there. I’m tired of his cockiness, but I like that Amber just laughs when he says things like that. Not that I’m starting to like her, mind you, I’m just saying….
Back at the fishes, Dave is kicking butt. Danny is slipping all over the place. And Teri is taking her sweet time. The BQ’s and Kentucky get their clue, leaving Cha Cha Cha, Teri and Ian, and Crazypants behind. Mirna quickly declares that the task has too many fish and thus is “impossible.” Poor Mirna. Technically, as everyone else on the race has shown by completing the task, it is actually very, very possible. Or maybe it’s opposite day in Crazytown.
Then we have a commercial break, where we’re treated to another Sprint commercial. This week, we can find out what music Jill and John Vito used to power them through the Race.” You know, that one day that were in the Race. I blame the music. So don’t go there unless you want to be the biggest loser too.
As the racers make their way to the next clue, they pass some very lovely ocean scenery. As Mary points out, “As much as we don’t love the ocean, we sure love looking at it.” And Dave chimes in with “Yeah, looking at it.” Note to all: Dave will only look at oceans, he will not inappropriate touch or make out with them.
Romber and Eric and Danielle find the next clue, which is a Detour. They have to choose between Vertical Limit – scale a 40 foot rock cliff – or River Wild – white water rafting a 2.5 mile course. Both teams decide to do the River Wild. Joyce and Uchenna also arrive, and decide to do the River Wild, too. Everyone takes off to the rafting area, which is two miles away.
Kentucky is happily driving along when Dave thinks that he seems a sign for La Maquina pointing off to the right. Dave wants to go back and confirm, but Mary will have none of that sign reading and direction following. She orders Dave to “Just go!” So they go, straight ahead. And thus Kentucky goes right past their turn. And yet again we have experienced another episode where Mary refuses to listen to Dave when he is right. Sigh. That won’t come back to bite them, will it?! Will it?!
Team Guido is also lost. But while stopping and asking for directions, they run into Team Crazypants, who is also stopping and asking for directions. And by “asking for directions,” I mean that Mirna is talking very loudly in accented English, assuming that will make her understood. Crazypants decides to pay a local $50 to get into their car and help them find the clue. Shmirna explains to Team Guido that the cost breakdown will be “$25 and $25. Don’t screw us like the girls did.” Team Guido assures Shmirna that they are not going to screw her. I am pretty sure this is true, as Shmirna is probably the last person alive that a Guido would want to screw.
Later said in Team Crazypant’s car (aka Crazycar): “Welcome to Charla and Mirna’s world. It’s a scary one.”
That speaks for itself.
Romber is getting onto their raft, while Eric and Danielle and Joyce and Uchenna are all driving around trying to find the rafting location. They finally find it and get ready for some fun on the rapids.
Meanwhile, the BQ’s have also stumbled upon the rafts. And I do mean “stumbled”, because they find the rafts without finding the clue telling them to find the rafts. Which means the BQ’s are skipping a step. And we all know that Phil hates it when you skip a step. But the BQ’s just think that they have to search the river for a clue, so they gear up and hit the rapids.
Teri and Ian and Cha Cha Cha have discovered the Detour clue and take off for rafting, while Kentucky has discovered that they are lost by miles and miles and miles. And Team Crazypants has discovered that the Guidos didn’t write down the whole clue. Whoops. Crazypants gives Guido the rest of the clue, and then Mirna complains in the car that she shouldn’t have told them, because if they hadn’t told, the Guidos probably would have been eliminated. This may be true, but is also awfully bold talk from a team that, without the help of other teams, would to this day still be stuck in a pit of mud yelling at their car for screwing them.
The Guidos are very grateful for the help. Their exact discussion is: Jekyll: “Good thing we saw Charla and Mirna.” Hyde: “Yeah, it’s a Godsend.” I believe by Godsend, he actually means Robsend, given Rob’s new status as divinity, but I’ll let that go for now.
Romber finishes their rafting task, and gets the next clue. They learn that they must now travel 3.5 miles to find the pitstop, Playa Petrohue. With very little dramarama, Romber finds the Playa and checks in as Team Number One. Again. They each win a home gym. Because if there’s anything that Romber needs, it’s two home gyms.
The BQ’s finish the rafting course and get the clue that instructs them to go the Pit Stop. They comment on how excited they are that they don’t have to do a Detour, and TAR plays scary music and shows them smiling in slow mo, for those of you who still haven’t figured out that they’re making a mistake.
Eric and Danielle and Joyce and Uchenna finish up the rafting course just after the BQ’s. They’re pretty impressed at the amount of time that the BQ’s made up, not knowing of course that the girls skipped an entire step. But then the BQ’s have some trouble starting their car, giving Eric and Dani time to get a head start. Other things that help Eric and Dani get a head start – the fact that they didn’t bother with clothes. Honestly, I really could happily go the rest of the season without having to see Eric’s nipple rings again.
The BQ’s finally get their car started, but they’re now all the way back in fourth place.
Meanwhile, back on the river, Teri is thrown out of their raft. There is a lot of screaming, and scary music, and underwater shots accompanied by bubble sounds. TAR is really trying to make us think that Teri is drowning as they cut to commercial.
Are you scared? Are you? Did you spend the entire commercial break thinking that Teri was drowning?
Well, in typical TAR style, when we back from commercial, they easily pull Teri back into the raft and everything is fine. Jerks. It’s not that I want Teri to drown, but I was expecting something interesting to happen.
At the Playa, Uchenna and Joyce make it to the Pit Stop and check in as Team #2, a fact that surprises Joyce.
Eric, his nipple rings and Dani check in as Team #3. And the BQ’s check in and are told they are the fourth team to arrive. But they are not Team #4. Phil explains that they have to have all their clues before he can check them in. This is a big surprise to the BQ’s.
But our little BQ’s won’t be stopped easily. They run back to their car, review their clues and figure out pretty quickly what happened. Beauty may only be skin deep, but turns out those Smart Implants are priceless. The BQ’s rush back, pick up their clue, and get all the way back to the mat before any other teams. Thus, they are officially Team #4.
Team Guido and Team Crazypants finally find the Detour clue. After reading the clue, Team Guido rushes back to their car and takes off. Team Crazypants takes a while to reach their car and get settled in, as Shmirna has to find a place to cuddle on her new friend’s lap.
Yup, the Mystery Man from Chilly is still with them, and Shmirna is sitting on his lap in the back seat. Isn’t the whole point of taking a local with you is so that they can help you with directions? And if so, what is this guy doing, because it’s not helping direct them, since they’ve been lost for half the episode? I’m not saying he’s in it for some hot little person lap sitting, but….
Team Crazypants is not so happy that the Guido took off without them. Mirna points out: “If it wasn’t for us, they wouldn’t have even gotten here.” I’m not saying that she’s not right about this. Again. But I think this is definitely a case of the pot calling the kettle black. And also the pot is crazy.
Danny and Oswald check in as Team #5. As they run up and see that Phil’s friend is a little person, one of them comments “Charla is going to be in love!”
Yay for Team Cha Cha Cha. I’m just gonna come out and admit that I heart them and want them to win. Teri and Ian check in as Team #6.
Team Guido and Team Crazypants find their rafts and are quickly on the water. There’s lots of crazy paddling. Kentucky has finally found the Detour. Mary’s afraid of the water, but manages to get into the raft without too much complaining. Although in an interview she does explain that if she falls into the water, she can’t swim, and falling into the water means that she will die. And Dave smiles at the camera right then.
Did that scare anyone else?
As Kentucky tries to catch up, Team Guido and Crazypants have a paddle-off. Even Shmirna puts her whole heart into it.
Guido makes up some time, but Crazy gets to the clue first. Crazy runs to the car, still in their bathing suits, while they’re greeted by the Mystery Man from Chilly. Seriously, why is he still there? Do you think he even understands what he’s doing? After all Crazypants isn’t too good with the communication. Mirna apologizes to Mystery Man, saying “I’m sorry I’m wearing a bathing suit. It is very weird, I know.” Does Mirna really think the bathing suit is the weird part? Because I think being kidnapped by a crazy woman with a camera crew and being put in the backseat with a little person on my lap is the weird part.
Just moments later, Team Crazy realizes that they don’t have their car key. They have to run back to the tent and find it. Team Guido leaves, on their way to the Playa. I’m sure Mirna blames them for that too.
Kentucky finishes the rafting course as Team Crazypants find their keys. As this is happening, Team Guido checks in as Team #7. So we’re down to Team Kentucky and Team Crazypants. I start to wonder if this will be a non-elimination week.
Team Crazypants hits the road, but are unsure of their path. As Mirna and Shmirna try to figure out which way to go, the Mystery Man pipes in with “Right or left?” And that’s the extent of his really helpful help. But the “we’re lost” thing turns out to be total misdirection by TAR, because before we know it, Team Crazypants is checked in as Team #8.
And then it’s over. Kentucky arrives, checks in and is eliminated.
I have to admit that Kentucky’s elimination last season made me get teary, I didn’t feel the same way this season. They just weren’t playing the same game, and I didn’t feel the Underdog Love. I also think it’s totally their own fault, because they were in the middle of the pack when Dave tried to go in the right direction and Mary forced him to keep driving. Also, if you’re watching Elimination Station like I am, you’d know that they actually drove for an hour and a half in the wrong direction.
Anyway, I am super excited for next week. Romber is going to get into it with Team Crazypants, and you know that’s gonna be good TV. And it looks like there’s a footrace to the end, and TAR has promised us the “ending that will have everyone talking.” I can hardly wait!!