Choir Boy at Heart

Nicole must learn and perform a song by Franz Schubert with the world renowned Vienna Boys Choir in order to receive the next clue. (Photo: CBS / October 23, 2013)

Welcome back to a Race with 99 percent less facial hair than it had last week. Cue my harrumphy sigh.

The teams take trains from Poland to Vienna, Austria. Overachiever Amy is excited to go where "The Sound of Music" was filmed. 

Everyone ends up on the same train from Warsaw, and the Afghanimals are put under the interrogation spotlight. Their story: they did not U-Turn the Beards, no, they never saw the Beards! They must think it makes them appear less dangerous, but none of the other teams buy it.

Fast Forward of Weather Dependency

The first clue in Vienna is for a Detour, but it also has a Fast Forward. Team Daters and Team Married both decide to go for it, but the Married cab seems far behind and they change their minds while en route. So it’s the Daters, for the win!

Except not. The task is to bungee jump off of Vienna’s tallest structure, a jump of 500 feet. Amy panics in the elevator and says she’s now afraid of heights. Unfortunately, the very handsome Extreme Sports Manager of Bungee Jumping says that it’s too windy at the moment. The wind knocks over a potted plant for emphasis.

Jason and Amy argue about waiting. She wants to wait, he wants to leave. She wins. But after Jason claims they’ve been waiting for an hour, and the wind hasn’t changed, they give up and join the rest of the Racers.

No one cares about chandeliers!

The first Detour option is Light Brigade, wherein they dress up as court servants and assemble an elaborate crystal chandelier. No one chooses it, which makes me sad, because delicate little things bring out the worst in people.

Instead, everyone chooses the second option, Masquerade. They wear ornate masks and head into a ballroom with lovely couples dancing the Viennese Waltz. The teams must match their masks with those of a dancing couple. All of the masks are shaped the same, the differences are in small color blocks.

The Exes finish first, then the Bunny Wives, Afghanimals, Pink Ice, OK, and Marrieds. The Exes lose time looking for a cab.

Jason and Amy arrive at the Detour after everyone has gone, which is never good for anyone's confidence.

Best Roadblock of the Season?

The Vienna Boys Choir has been around since 1498. I love them. For the Roadblock, team members must sing a solo with the choir from the song “Die Forelle” by Franz Schubert. They will be judged on pronunciation and musicality. Will this be another performance task that sounds harder than it is? 

Each person gets a personal coach who takes them to a private music room. They start off with pronunciation, then the coach plays piano and coaches them on singing. Jamal transcribes things phonetically. Ally says she is bad at all other languages. Nicky says the words aren’t hard for her because her father is Czech and he speaks German, but she has a terrible voice. OK Tim says he can’t even sing in English. Travis says that he sings at work and sings to his kids.

The waiting partners are on chairs at the edge of the room, watching everyone audition. The choir doesn’t stand there singing all day, which is nice. They just hang out like little boys do until someone is ready to sing. Then their instructor sits at the piano. The choir sings a few lines and then the Roadblocker has to take over.

It’s so awesome. Singing in front of people is scary enough, but then you’re singing with the Vienna Boys Choir?! And what if you’re not even a good singer? I loved watching the coaching. OK Tim was nervous-sweating and his instructor told him to sing like an opera singer, or like Justin Timberlake, or like a child; anything crazy to help him stay in tune.

Husband Travis is the first to pass, on his second try. He’s all, “I nailed the tenor.”  Then Wife Nicky passes on her second try, even though she doesn’t sound very good. I wondered if everyone would pass on their second try. Jamal and Ex Tim pass and Amy passes, leaving Pink Ally and OK Tim.

It is heartbreaking and painful to watch Ally and Tim try for the third, foruth and fifth times. At least Danny, whose ankle had been bothering him, gets to prop his foot on a chair while he waits. Ally finally passes on her fifth try, and then so does Danny. 

Team OK is in last place. Danny tells Tim that it’s OK, he couldn’t have done any better himself. Tim says, “I can’t sing, I can’t dance, but we can race.”