By Janell Sutherland
For The Baltimore Sun
8:19 AM EDT, October 14, 2013
In this week’s episode, teams travel from Chile to Portugal. Six little words make it sound so easy, don’t they? But it’s all a lie.
Travel Agents: Helpful or Horrible?
The teams leave the Pit Stop between 6:30 pm and 12:30 am. Team NFL is the first to depart; they go to a travel agency, where they are told they’ll be the only team on the earliest flight. Team Married gets to the travel agency, and they get tickets on that flight first. What gives? The NFL travel agent put in the wrong date for them. So she puts them on a later flight. But then! She calls them when they’re at the airport and says she found something faster, with two connections instead of one. They take it.
Team Beard was somehow exceptionally nice to their travel agent, because they are also tracked down at the airport and given an earlier flight. Not the same route as NFL, but better than most teams.
Team OK is smarter than you think
Team Afghan gets tickets through London, and they help their Race wives get on the same flight. Then they all decide to invite Team OK onto their flight, because that way they won’t have to race against each other. Or, as one Pink puts it, “then we out-beat them.”
Team OK agrees at first, and when Ex Marie approaches and asks them what’s up, OK lies to her. But Danny doesn’t like lying to her -- he tells Tim, “they’re just trying to bring us into their little game.” They switch again, ending up on a flight with the Beards.
Team Wives/Bunnies is sneakier than you think
In Sao Paolo, the Exes, the Wives and the Daters race through the airport to get on a standby list for an earlier connection, but the gate isn’t open yet. The Exes and Daters hang out at the gate, while the Wives wander off and find an Executive Lounge. Whoever is manning the desk in there puts them first on the standby list.
When the gate does open, and the Exes and Daters are frightening the gate agent to get on standby, the Wives sashay up and tell everyone that they’re already first on the list. So they get on the flight, along with the Daters. Marie obviously hates them now, because, “they pulled a stunt that I would pull.”
Other teams are calling the Wives the Bunnies. What do we think about that?
Brains + Brawn = Teamwork!
The first task in Lisbon is a Detour. One option, called Miles, is to use a giant navigation instrument (like two large sticks connected by a hinge at the top) to measure the total distance that Magellan sailed around the world. They’re given a list of 10 destinations and sent to a giant map of the world on the grounds of an outdoor plaza.
Jason and Travis hold the instrument while Amy and Nicole measure and calculate. They pause at the end, when it looks like they have to measure across the entire map, but then they remember that the world is round so they only measure to the edge of the map and then walk to the opposite edge and measure again. If that makes sense. Anyway, they do it!
Team OK accomplishes the task with just their two brains. They fail at first, but only because Tim forgets to add a zero. He catches his mistake and they move on.
Brawn - Brains = Fail
The Afghanimals and Pink Ice (Marie calls them the Iceghanimals) try to do the map task together. The men say they’ll measure while the women stand around looking confused. They are all perplexed by the flat map and its relation to a round world; they don’t know how to measure the last distance. They overthink it and can’t get the correct answer, so they switch.
The other Detour option is to go to a ceramic factory and assemble a life-size puzzle made of dozens of fragile tiles. The puzzle has to be presented on an almost-vertical stand. The Bunny Wives assemble the pieces on the floor first, and then build it onto the stand from the bottom up, finishing quickly.
Team Beard also chooses this task. Brandon says about Adam, “He lives in the woods, what else has he got to do other than make puzzles?” And they finish.
The Iceghanimals switch to the puzzle option, and Pink Ice finishes just as Team Ex arrives.
The Afghanimals lie (everyone lies to Marie on this show now!) and say that they’ve been there for three hours. Marie doesn’t believe them, but she and Tim are now considering their Express Pass. Remember how everyone else builds the puzzle on the floor first? Marie just starts sticking pieces to the stand in random spots, and things fall off and break. Clearly she does not live in the woods doing puzzles all day. She pushes through, though, and they finish.
After the Detour, teams travel to a field for a Roadblock, which Phil says is “an opportunity to fire heavy metal, medieval style.” They have to put on a suit of armor and use a giant launcher with a crank to fire an arrow and hit a shield.
Dater Jason nails it, while Husband Travis does not. “Do not. Get. Frazzled,” Nicole orders from the sidelines. Her voice would frazzle me.
Oklahoma Danny is Native American (who knew?) and takes the Roadblock because it’s in his blood.
One of the Pinks has a grandfather who was born in Portugal and taught her how to shoot a bow and arrow. How random is that? She finishes pretty fast.
Pit Stop Psych Out
Daters Jason and Amy finished the Roadblock first, but they have bad travel luck and their cab driver takes them to the wrong entrance of the castle Pit Stop. Travis and Nicole, who were about seven minutes behind, find Phil first!
The Bunny Wives take third place. Phil is surprised to see them, and they tell him that they did some tricky maneuvering at the airport and it paid off.
Team Oklahoma is fourth, and Team Beard is fifth. The Iceghanimals arrive together in sixth and seventh.
The Exes are pretty sure they’re in last place, but they never used their Express Pass, which is weird-bordering-on-crazy (and we remember crazy from a couple seasons ago). Phil tells them, “I’m sorry to say, you are the last team to arrive. [Pause] Except for one.” Oh, that’s the sneakiest Phil’s ever been! Marie nearly dies.
Why do the travel gods hate you, NFL?
Oh yeah, remember them? Their travel agent sent them on a two-connection journey to Portugal? They spent a lot of time in Buenos Aires because their flight was delayed again and again. Then they made it to Sao Paolo and ran for the flight that carried the last of the teams, but they missed the connection. So they headed to London in the middle of the night. Their flight from there to Portugal was delayed. I mean, come on!
Then came one of the saddest scenes ever on the Race: They finally made it to Lisbon the next night. As they ran for the airport doors, ready for anything, Phil called out to them. Phil! At the airport! That’s just the worst. He told them that all the other teams had checked in, so NFL was eliminated.
I wonder if Phil fell behind schedule, waiting at the airport to eliminate them? He was probably on his way to the next country. That’s just…sad. It made me sad. Let’s all be sad together until next week.
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