Back in February, before we knew about crippling fears of water and low likeability factors and One Mullet to Rule Them All, 11 teams began a race around the world.
Stuff happened with cheese and haggis. Alliances formed, craziness surfaced, teeth detached. And now it’s time (cue Phil’s eyebrow) for the finale of "The Amazing Race" (cue music).
The top four teams leave Scotland and all take the same ferry to Belfast, Northern Ireland. While driving themselves to a park, Max and Katie’s instincts tell them to turn around. Bates and Anthony follow them while Mona and Beth and Caroline and Jennifer keep going. The Newlyweds and the Hockey Brothers get to the Roadblock first.
Quirkiest sport on earth?
Phil tells us that, once upon a time in Ireland, some folks decided to go bog snorkeling. I guess they were jealous of other countries with their nice beaches and pretty things to see under the water. “You know what,” said one drinker in Ireland, “we’re going to snorkel in a bog. Because we can. Probably. We haven’t tried it yet.”
The sport has been modernized in that a path has been cleared in the bog, so they’re just snorkeling in really muddy water. First they have to cannonball into a puddle, climb out, jump into the path, swim a hundred yards down and back, climb out, and touch the finish line in under four minutes.
Who’s good at bog snorkeling? Anthony and Katie.
Mona makes shrieky sounds the whole time because two of her least favorite things are dirty water and cold, and bog snorkeling has both of those things. She pretty much has a panic attack afterwards, yelling at Beth to get her out of the wetsuit. But she finished on the first try.
Jennifer can’t swim and she climbs out of the bog when she doesn’t need to, so she misses her first try. Then she says she can’t do it again, so Caroline spends a lot of time coaching her. Jennifer tries again but stops in the middle. On her third try she manages to relax and breathe and finish, but they’re pretty far behind.
By the way, there was a lot of talk about claustrophobia during this part. Someone tweeted to Phil that, “Claustrophobia is a fear of snakes, right?” And he answered, “Yeah, when you’re in a box with one.” Phil is such a comedian.
Best detour ever aka Chartreuse!
Tray It: Descend into the dry dock where the Titanic was built and where some actors are pretending to be First Class passengers awaiting their five-course dinner. Serve them. How hard can it be?
The task gives them a seating chart where guests have selected two of the five courses, but there’s also a main menu listing all five courses. If you don’t read the main menu, you’ll miss the first course.
The food isn’t labeled, you just have to guess, put it on a tray, and hand it to your teammate who will descend a lot of stairs into the dry dock and run across to the eating tent and serve the people. If it’s not right, “This is not what these people ordered.”
I love this task because it’s mental and physical. Noticing the main menu is a key factor, and the trays are heavy. No one is perfect, and I love it.
Max and Katie figure out the menu before they start serving, so they breeze through until the final course when they need to serve chartreuse jelly.
When I was a child, I would take my mom’s box of food coloring and mix different colors in water according to the directions. Why? Because it was there. Back in my day it was either play with food coloring or go outside and find a stick for entertainment. Kids these days have it so easy. Anyway, with the food coloring, you could make orange, turquoise, purple, and even chartreuse. Chartreuse was the worst name of any color, and it was green and yellow and it looked ugly, and I remember being flummoxed as to why anyone would want chartreuse anything. Now, thanks to this Detour, I know that chartreuse jelly used to be A Thing.
Would you like another chartreuse story? Okay. This one is for the parents. In an episode of "Blue’s Clues," Joe (Steve’s replacement after Steve went to college and NEVER CAME BACK not that I’m bitter or anything) enters a world of color mixing and he sings a song, and there’s an awkward line that goes, “Chartreuse, a color that I have not seen ... looks to me like a yellowish-green.” He had to mention it because it’s on the color wheel as a product of two other colors, you can’t just not mix yellow and green. But when you do, it’s so unsatisfying.
I mention all of that to prove my superiority because Bates and Anthony and Max and Katie do not know what chartreuse is. Ha. I’m not sure about Mona and Beth because they took so long to figure out the menu that we didn’t really see their ending.
Chartreuse causes Bates to turn all alpha-big-brother, because Anthony hands him a red jelly and the people reject it and Anthony is up on the landing saying, “Bates is gonna kill me,” and Bates is down in the tent saying, “I’m gonna kill him.” It’s awesome.