'The Amazing Race' recap: Almost the end

Here's Bucky with the week's look at The Amazing Race:

(Guest Recapper’s Note:  Commenters kindly pointed out last week—and correctly so—that I have been letting my personal bias creep into my weekly recap.  This week, I'm going to try to be more objective about all the competitors and not overtly root for the determined, honest, competitive, intelligent, gorgeous and all-round wonderful Megan, who in many ways reminds me of both Wonder Woman and my sainted grandmother.)

This week’s leg begins differently than the past ones:  teams will compete in Prague, last week’s Pit Stop, so there won’t be any leveling of advantage by waiting around together at the airport.

Megan & Cheyne set off at 9:24 p.m. to get their first clue, which sends them to a museum.  Here, in a room that has a couple hundred ringing telephones, one competitor from each team will have to answer phones until he/she mentally “collects” five letters.  Cheyne insists that Megan perform the task, proving he is not the dope I’ve been accusing him of being.  Megan gets the five letters pretty quickly.


Sam & Dan are the next to depart.

After collecting all five letters, the competitor must report to an office, fill out a lengthy questionnaire (designed to make them forget the letters they collected).   At the bottom of the questionnaire are boxes where the competitor must unscramble the letters and form the word “Franz,” a reference to Prague native and author Franz Kafka.

Megan gets it on her second try.  Just reporting the facts here…

The Globetrotters depart the Pit Stop and Sam & Dan arrive at the museum; Dan will perform the task.

Brian and Ericka depart the Pit Stop last.

The Globetrotters arrive and Big Easy begins the task for his team.  Dan is struggling and asks Big Easy if he wants to work together, unscrambling the word.  Big Easy agrees.

Megan & Cheyne get their next clue and head to a cryogenic chamber, which is a big freezer where the temperature gets down to -180 degrees.  Spending time in here is supposed to be healthy for you, according to Phil’s narrative.  The teams will have to strip down to their skivvies and spend two minutes in the big freezer.  If they survive, they move on to the next task.  If they don’t, well, I guess they get to hang out with Ted Williams and Walt Disney.

Big Easy and Dan struggle with unscrambling the letters; Brian & Ericka arrive, but must do their Speed Bump first for not being eliminated last week.  This consists of going to an all-night club, learning how to mix an absinthe drink, then chugging it.  We learn that Brian doesn’t drink liquor.  Oh no!

Big Easy and Dan struggle with unscrambling the letters.

Megan & Cheyne make it out of the big freezer alive.  There were no cameras or microphones in there, so I cannot report with accuracy whether Cheyne whined the entire two minutes.

Big Easy and Dan struggle with … wait!  Dan thinks he has the answer … and he does!  But does he give it to Big Easy?  Nooooooooooooo.  The jerk tells the Globetrotter the first letter and then leaves.  (Is there anybody who didn’t see that coming?  Huh?)

Brian & Ericka finish the Speed Bump and get to the museum, where Brian begins the telephone task, while Sam & Dan head to the big freezer.

Megan & Cheyne arrive at the Detour which gives them the choice of:  Legend (build a golem, which is a sort of a religious scarecrow, only bigger and heavier, which they will then have to push a long way to a synagogue) or Lager (deliver 30 glasses of beer—on server’s trays--across several city blocks to a pub filled with unruly soccer fans.)  Megan & Cheyne choose Legend.

Sam & Dan get to the freezer; Brian answers phones.  (Unlike the other competitors, who just pick up the phone and wait to hear if there is a letter spoken, Brian actually answers each and every phone with “Hello?”)  When he gets the five letters, he takes some time to make a list of potential words … very smart.

Big Easy continues to struggle with figuring out “Franz.”  Megan & Cheyne build their golem.  Sam & Dan unfortunately survive the big freezer and head to the next task.

Brian, using his organized method, gets “Franz” pretty quickly; he & Ericka head to the next task.  Big Easy finally gives up.  He and Flight Time decide to take a four-hour penalty.  “WHAT?  You gotta be kidding me,” I yell at my television.

Sam & Dan arrive at the Detour and do Legend.  Brian and Ericka arrive at the big freezer and when they enter—I mean, the very second they enter…Ericka says her ankles are frozen.  The freezer door isn’t even closed yet.

The Globetrotters wait.

Megan & Cheyne finish their golem and start trucking it down the street to the synagogue.  Cheyne whines the entire way.  C’mon … you commenters who defended him last week can’t do the same this week.  He whined the entire way … ”Oh, it’s soooo heavy” … and Megan has to keep encouraging him and telling him how to push the thing down the street.

Sam & Dan begin building their golem, and start arguing and bossing each other around.  Dan knocks it over at one point, breaking its arm, which gives Globetrotter fans everywhere hope that when Sam & Dan deliver it to the synagogue, it will be rejected—who wants a broken golem?—and they will have to start over.

Brian & Ericka arrive at the Detour and decide to do Lager, because Brian “used to be a server.”   The Globetrotters wait.

Megan continues trucking both the golem and Cheyne down the street.  Sam & Dan argue.  Brian & Ericka begin the Lager challenge.  Sam & Dan argue. Megan & Cheyne deliver their golem to the synagogue and head for the Pit Stop.  Sam & Dan argue.

Brian & Ericka start delivering their first two trays of beers and, in the middle, drop most of them on the sidewalk.  Three survive and they hand carry these to the pub.

The Globetrotters wait.

Sam & Dan finish building their golem and start trucking it to the synagogue.  More arguing and yelling ensues.  Of course.  Along the way, they ask a taxi driver for directions to the synagogue, and follow his directions.  This, too, gives Globetrotter fans hope—that the taxi driver steered them wrong.

Brian & Ericka continue delivering beers, having to negotiate crowds of drunks in the streets who think the beers are for them.

Megan & Cheyne arrive at the Pit Stop, where Phil and a very beautiful Czech woman in a red dress tell them they are the first to arrive.  Cheyne launches into some blah, blah, blah about what a good team they are and how they work together well.  What a dope.  Sorry.  He is.

The Globetrotters wait.

Brian & Ericka continue to deliver beers, arguing about whether they should change to the Legend challenge, giving Globetrotter fans everywhere hope, etc, etc.  Ericka wants to switch but Brian doesn’t.  Brian prevails.

Sam & Dan get to the synagogue and the judges accept their golem.  I guess they figure a golem with a broken arm is even scarier than a regular golem.  Sam & Dan head to the Pit Stop, where Phil and the lady in red tell them they are the second team to arrive.

Brian & Ericka keep plugging away; by and by the Globetrotter’s penalty ends and they head for the big freezer, after having sat out for four hours.

Brian & Ericka finish delivering the beers as the sun is coming up over Prague.  They have worked on this challenge for the better part of the night.  They head to the Pit Stop, where they find Phil alone.  The lady in red has given up and gone home.  Phil tells them they are the last team in the finals.

Big Easy & Flight Time arrive at the big freezer, but their instructions say to go to the Pit Stop, where Phil boots them out of the race.

Let’s have it:  What did you think of this week’s episode?  And who do you think will win the whole shebang next week, when the race finishes in Las Vegas?

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