Time once again for "The Amazing Race," or as I called it last week, The Dream Crushing, Boyfriend Eliminating Hour of Depression.
I've got something that will perk you up this week: Spain! Barcelona! Beaches! It's a magical place where even the demons and devils are happy.
The Twins leave the previous Pit Stop at 2:55 a.m., which is the first middle-of-the-night departure time we've seen in a long time. They catch a 6 a.m. flight to Barcelona.
The Chippendales get a 7:20 a.m. flight, and they mention that they don't know who the fourth team is, because they never saw them. Texi gets a 7:55 flight.
In Barcelona, they're supposed to take an overnight ferry to Mallorca. When does the overnight ferry depart? 11 p.m. So the top three teams reunite, hug, cheer, hang out at the beach and frolic in the water all day, and then cheer some more.
Meanwhile, the Goat Farmers depart at 9:38, about three hours behind the others. Josh mentions his foot injury from falling down in a field on the last leg. Now his ankle is wrapped. Brent tells him to Lamaze breathe, and then demonstrates how to do it.
"What are you doing?" Josh says.
"I'm breathing through the pain for you."
"Thank you. It still hurts."
The Devil is on vacation in Spain
The teams all take the same overnight ferry. The top three were thrilled to see the Goats instead of Team Dominate, and they brag about their U-Turn conspiracy.
When they get to the island, they find a particular plaza where people dressed as demons and devils (red makeup, black lips, horns, chains) swing balls of fire and scream a lot. I guess this is one of those wacky cultural traditions. It's hard for me to think how it started, because demons should arrive on Mallorca and say, "This is quite beautiful. Maybe '’ll set down my scepter of fire and just chill for a bit."
The Goat Farmers are delivered to the wrong place, so they are once again behind everyone else. I'm really worried about this, because they're now the great come-from-behind hope.
The Devil is also a stick shift
After running a gauntlet of demons, and surviving a shower of sparks, teams get a clue that tells them to drive themselves to a sports complex.
Guess who can't drive stick? (Besides me?) Nadiya. Before the Race, she was specifically designated as the driver to learn stick. She took one class, figured it was pretty easy, and didn't go back. That one class didn't stick, because they were supposed to follow Texi and the Chipps, but instead they are stalling their car.
How to play tennis like Agassi
The sports complex is a Roadblock. This is the hometown of Rafael Nadal, known as the king of tennis play. I don't know my tennis stars, so I'm trusting Phil on this one. One team member has to return 20 balls from a ball launcher, in bounds, before they run out of balls.
Trey says that he plays tennis. He's wearing a headband, and the Chippendales point out in an interview that, "When you have the Andre Agassi headband, you play like Agassi."
Trey finishes on his first try, James finishes in two rounds.
No, I don't think your ankle is fine
The Goat Farmers arrive at the tennis courts when the Chippendales are leaving, thanks to their excellent driving and navigation skills. Josh told Brent in the car that his ankle feels better after being elevated on the ferry all night, so he takes the Roadblock. Then, you'll never guess what happens.
Josh lands on his foot wrong and hurts his ankle all over again. He groans every time he swings, and Brent points out that he sounds like Monica Seles. Josh only gets four balls the first time, then 10 balls the next, and then he sits on the side and despairs for a while.
The Twins arrive at this low point. They tell a story of how they were given lots of tennis lessons when they were young, they were supposed to be the Sri Lankan Williams sisters, but whenever they were dropped off at the courts they would instead run off and jump into the swimming pool. I'm sensing a pattern of not sticking to lessons.
Josh gives himself a pep talk. It's hot, he feels old, but he says the only way out is to pass out from the pain or to have his foot fall off. Or to finish the Roadblock! You forgot that option, Josh!
Nadiya's strategy is to stand in the middle of the court and hold her racket like a cricket bat. It doesn't work too well.
Josh finishes, and then Nadiya finishes as the guys are walking off. The Twins want to follow the Goats, and they ask if they know where they're going. The Goats say they don't, that they're going to ask. After they drive away, the Twins have this dialogue:
"They have a map! How do they have a map of this place?"
"I don't know, they're super-prepared, they're gay."
It's like Big Thunder Mountain Railway!
The next stop is a cave, where teams have to go in and follow music until they find some guitar players with their clues. Texi and the Chipps arrive together and go in together. The cave is huge, paths everywhere, with stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations that I don't know the names of.
"It's so natural, like something in a theme park," Jaymes says. And, it's backwards, but I also totally understand, because if a theme park does it right, it looks exactly like that.
Extra Chippendales enjoyment for everyone
The cave clue is for a Detour. One option is to repair a 400-year-old windmill by attaching two blades to the tower. The Chipps were going to do the other Detour, but they took a wrong turn at a roundabout and found the windmill instead.
"Working at Chippendales," says Jaymes, "we may have seen a construction outfit a time or two."
"I might have swung a styrofoam hammer here and there," adds James.
I love that they embrace all the cheesiness of Chippendales. Let's just ogle them some more as they repair a windmill, even though their shirts are on.
While working at the mill, J and J banter about how they're doing "man work," and in their down time they're a full service windmill repair agency. It makes me want to get a windmill.
Fake bulls are dangerous if not driven correctly
Texi go to the other Detour, where they find a 1,000-yr-old bullfighting arena and put on a two-person bull costume. Then they have to butt the capes of eight matadors and hit a bullseye in under two minutes.
Trey is in the back of the costume with his head sticking up, and Lexi is blindly following his directions with a giant bull head on her head. They pass all the matadors pretty easily, but they don't slam on the brakes and they end up smashing into the bullseye target, rather than gently tapping it, so it's a fail.
Somehow Lexi slices her finger in the crash, and she cries a lot. Not so tough now, are you, cheerleader?
She gets a bandaid and pulls herself together. For the second try she makes Trey take the front of the bull and she navigates. This time they succeed.
You are Team Number — aaaah!
After a car race through the crowded streets, Texi gets to the Pit Stop first. The greeter is a headless man, and I freak out, just for a second. The body is wearing a suit and tie, all buttoned up, but there's no neck hole because there's no neck. Aaah! It points at the arriving teams, and what sounds like a woman's voice welcomes them to Spain.
Between the demons frolicking on the streets and the headless greeters, I'm thinking Mallorca has a deep level of crazy going on. That whole place is possessed.
The Chippendales are Team Number Two!
Who's better with tools?
The Goat Farmers, with their map and ability to read it, plus their ability to drive stick, arrive at the windmill before the Twins. They're suiting up in the parking lot when the Twins pull up, bickering about where to park. Josh's competitive drive kicks in.
The Beekmans have a wind turbine on their farm, and that is this week's Useful Life Skill Applied to the Race (James' styrofoam hammer was a close second). They also say that the wrenches and bolts make it seem like repairing a tractor. They've got this.
The Twins, meanwhile, are at another windmill, dropping tools, doing their Twin thing. They see the Goats drive away after finishing the task, and they say that they suck.
Next week we need a conspiracy
Goat Farmers take third place! Phil says that he's seen them limp, collapse, faint, and fall down, but they're still there. Josh says it's hard to kill them.
The Twins are last. They are mad at themselves for getting beaten by the Beekmans. They point out that they're a strong team, but no one was plotting against them and they managed to come in last place all on their own.
Phil doesn't eliminate them. I'm totally mad at him for that, wishing he was saving Team Dominate instead. Yes, I'm still bitter. Anyway, Twins are still in it.
Next week is the two-hour finale! Yay! Let's have food and beverages together, shall we?Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun