Sweet but boring horn music brings us to Switzerland, the land of mountains, skiing, cheeses and tunnels. It is also the Pitstop for the latest leg of a race around the world.
Speaking of cheeses, what do we see teams eating but ... fondue? Back home, giving a fondue party is so ... 1970s, but here in Switzerland it seems to be a fairly normal affair. Of course, when you're dipping your farmfresh bread into real gruyere cheese rather than a godawful concoction of Velveeta and dried onion soup mix it's so much more appealing. [*not difficult. I mean, Velveeta, ewww.*]
Looking at the start times, it appears that the last leg took almost exactly 12 hours, which seeing that we're in Switzerland, aka the Land of the Punctual, is kinda karmic.
Phil wonders if Faith & Robin can continue to lead the pack, and if Randy and Riley's personal problems will scupper their teams' chances. Can Snyder & Flutie, the oldest team left on the race, overcome their last place finish?
4.57am. Team Efficiency get going. The clue tells them to make their way to Geneva and find out the full names of a list of organizations whose abbreviations are given on a piece of paper. They are to hand it to the ICRC Museum for verification and the next clue. I'm so distracted by the sight of the Amazing Hands that I only catch a couple, but cbs.com helpfully has a nice animated version that fades in and out with the answers:
5.15am. Goldies. Did they, like, forget they have to do personal hygiene or something? Cos, Riley's sporting a decidedly Sonny Crockett look, while Buffy's hair definitely need some Herbal Essence intervention. A little voice tells me that somebody overslept.
5.17am. TallShort. Looking better than the team before them. They count out the money for this leg, they have $269, that's a lot of money, are they going to, like, make a deposit at one of those Swiss banks?
The first three teams board one of these ultra-modern double-decker Swiss trains. Buffy explains that they're on the 0530 and the next train is at 0608, so they're happy with the small lead they have. On her left, Faith scowls, probably not happy at losing their advantage.
5.49am. Pirates and Lovebirds together, looking terribly lovey-dovey as they run off in the direction of the station. Willow voices over that they know they have to get a train out of Zermatt, seeing it's car-free and all, so they bought tickets for Visp last night, knowing they have to get at least that far. "It was CHF 32 each, Xander & Anya had enough money, but Tara and I had to do a little begging, there wasn't enough time to set up another portrait studio, according to the timetable we'll be quite rushed if we wanted to catch the 0608," she grins. No more rojak clothing for them, they're actually wearing matching striped T-shirts I haven't seen before, similar pattern but different enough so you don't feel like they're wearing 'couple' outfits. You know, I sort of miss the color explosion.
6.11am. Randy rips open the clue on behalf of his team and promptly drops it. His father says something about shaking hands, "It was a tiring day yesterday, especially with the physical challenge at the end, my muscles are definitely feeling their age," says Rupert. Well, you could have gone for the less physically, but definitely aesthetically challenging, Put-the-Alien-Together Detour. Also, I saw the preview, can this be the anvilicious foreshadowing about the clue on the ground or shameless misdirection?
6.33am. AAbot, looking like they're entering a Spot-the-Droopy contest. C'mon, it's still the beginning of the leg, KF doesn't hit till the middle or the end, don't ruin the routine, okay?
7.12am. That's a big gap. The Principals voice-over that they have decided to work together better as a team, to leave aside the differences in personality and to concentrate on running a good race. Now you guys decide to be a team? When you're in last place and more than half an hour behind the team in front of you? Sheesh, gimme a break.
Thing is, the God of Sympathy Towards Annoying Pricks and Their Passive-Aggressive Cohorts gets out of his bathtub and gives them a break, because next thing we see? The last three teams getting on the 0730 train together. Just great. Spoil my day, will ya?
The Amazing Yellow Lines make their way across the bottom left-hand corner of Switzerland and into Geneva. In the first train, Riley and Adam, fulfilling my HoYay! fantasy that started last leg, huddle together to puzzle over the clue. Not sure about the application of the others though. "I can't get the alphabet soup to stop wriggling all over the page, I'm getting a coffee," Faith announces. She's joined by Robin and Buffy.
I like this clue as much as I like any clue that's not spoon-fed. In other words, it's better than spoon-fed clues but is basically the lesser of two evils. My problem with it is, I don't see why the Amazing Producers choose to give the clue to the racers so early, to allow them the opportunity to find the answers. I think someone smart and technologically savvy, like Willow for instance, will find a way to figure out the abbreviations before they even get into Geneva.
Which, guess what, is exactly what our junior Einstein is doing, having begged or borrowed a hapless businessman's cellphone. "Who's she calling?" Anya is asking Tara.
Tara shrugs. "Someone in Japan, but somehow she's using a local Swiss number. Don't ask her to explain, you'll never understand the answer," she says as she smiles adoringly at her girlfriend. When do we start having Phone-a-Friend lifelines on TAR? All of a sudden I feel I'm on the wrong show, and Regis the Conductor was gonna come round the train checking our tickets. At least everyone wants to be a millionaire.
Oh my god. Willow is grinning like the cat that ate a whole plate of cream (or is it just Tara?) as she starts writing down the names of the organizations. She thanks the person on the other end of the phone and profusely thanks the guy who let her borrow his phone. That guy looks completely smitten, I don't have the heart to tell him that the object of his lust is a) already taken; b) too concerned with running a race and c) not interested in his type (read, gender) at all. Poor Swiss businessman guy.
"It's pretty obvious. Geneva, lots of abbreviations starting with U and W, must be the UN. So I called the UN. It's too early in Geneva and too late in New York, but I got patched through to the UN University in Tokyo and someone gave me the answers," she explains enthusiastically.
Is she allowed to do that? I think so. The clue says find the full names of a list of abbreviations, it never says how. Presumably they can ask around, go to the library, or use the internet. By calling up the UN itself, Willow hasn't done anything wrong at all. I'm just flabbergasted the other teams haven't thought of something similar.
Geneva train station. Efficiency / Goldies / TallShort. They jump into taxis and show the clue to the taxi driver. That's the strategy you've spent 4 hours devising? Perish forbid. The drivers understand though, and the Goldies' one even helpfully tells them they want the Palais de Nations, where the UN is based.
TallShort's driver brings them to the Place de Nations, and the first thing they see is a gigantic chair, with one of legs torn off. It's a powerful symbol, one constructed to bring home the devastation brought about by landmines, the broken part is several times taller than Adam, which says a lot. They decide that the best bet to find out more about their clue is inside the UN, and that's another impressive sight, walking along a path lined with national flags.
Efficiency finally arrive and look around the square. They deduce correctly that the abbreviations have something to do with the UN and they're off to the UN library.
They have an hour before the Lovey-dovey Alliance arrives, and we know they already know the answers. It's going to be interesting.
In the last train, teams are spread out, each at their own perches. April seems to be suffering from travel sickness, a clearly concerned but clueless Andrew keeps bringing her water.
Randy has from somewhere conjured up a map of Geneva, and father & son decide a visit to the tourist office is prudent, considering it's only a short walk from the train station. We spy Andrew, returning from one of his water excursions, eavesdropping on the R.Randy conversation.
Principals are reading through a guidebook, they look quite smug. "This guidebook was a great investment, it told us what 3 of the abbreviations are, and we think we know where to get the rest," Flutie comments. Great, just great.
A little tension music as the Pirate / Lovebirds train arrives and they immediately get taxis to the Red Cross Museum. To be politically correct, it's the International Red Cross & Red Crescent Museum but I'm going to take liberties and abbreviate it.
Goldies and Efficiency seem to be lost in the corridors of power, finally they are directed to the library.
TallShort are already there, and finish quickly. They are the first team to the Red Cross museum and receive their next clue. In it, they are told to go to the country whose flag they have in their hand and find a statue located at the capital city, whose picture they also have. "We're at the UN, it should be easy to find a country flag," says Adam. Heh, more non-spoon fed clues, yay!
Goldies finish and head off towards the Red Cross museum. They're told one of their answers is incorrect and they have to come back with the correct one. They peruse the list carefully and are a little lost, clearly thinking they have all the answers. They have no choice but to return to the UN library. "More going through metal detectors and bag searches," Buffy groans. "Hope the line is shorter," Riley puffs beside her.
On their way they meet up with Efficiency, going the opposite way. "You sure we got ours right?" asks Faith. "Yeah, I'm sure," says Robin. And he is right, they are the second team to receive the clue. "I think it's Nigeria or Kenya. Or Burkina Faso. I'm sure it's an African country," Robin states. Um, duh, dude. They ask at the Red Cross museum, saving the trip back to the UN Library.
Meanwhile Pirates and Lovebirds arrive at said Red Cross museum. "How come they got here so quickly?" Faith wonders. In an interview, she elaborates, "We knew we were at least half a hour ahead of the next teams, and it turned out they found out about the abbreviations on the train, so they skipped a whole step."
"Man, I wish we could have thought of that," Robin says, openly admiring Willow's brilliance.
They find out it's the flag of Kenya and the statue is that of Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya's first President after gaining independence. Wow, the people at the Red Cross museum sure know their flags and statues.
All three teams jump on taxis and head towards the airport.
Goldies find out they've mistaken the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) for the Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR). What a big difference one letter makes. They get their next clue.
Principals / R.Randy / AAbot train. Principals immediately get into a taxi and Snyder tells the driver to head towards the Place de Nations, quickly because they are in a race. I'm all prepared to snark at him for mis-pronouncing Place de Nations, cos I'm all about Snyder-hate right now, but he's a principal afterall, and he does it more or less correctly.
R.Randy go to the tourist office, followed by AAbot. April still looks under the weather, I wonder if it's the cheese, or crisp mountain air, or exposure to gruesome alien parts. They get directions to the UN Library.
Where the Principals are at. "It's like a busman's holiday," Flutie comments. He is clearly in awe of the surroundings. The last two teams arrive shortly afterwards. Now, I'm pretty sure there are other places in Geneva to solve the clue, the fact that they've all been directed to the UN Library is too much of a co-incidence to me. Seeding by the Amazing Producers much?
The educators solve the puzzle first and get the clue. Flutie recognizes the Kenyan flag, as a teacher might, and they trek off to the airport.
At the airport, TallShort at the Swiss International Airlines counter. They are just in time for the 1100 flight to Paris, connecting to Amsterdam then to Nairobi, arriving at 6am. They have to run fast to the gate though.
Efficiency, Pirates and Lovebirds arrive at the airport and start to work the counters. They can't make the 1100, but can get on the 1155 to London to another connecting flight that gets them to Amsterdam in time to catch the same KLM flight to Nairobi. In fact, the Amsterdam to Nairobi flight leaves at 2040, meaning all teams will have time to get on it. What does that mean? Bunching, of course. Plus we're going to Africa, land of the spoon-fed charter flights, I'm fed up with spoon feeding, I tell ya.
They have half an hour to kill, Anya decides to nose around the other counters. She finds out that they can get a 1310 to Rome, then connect to Addis Ababa on Ethiopia Air to get to Nairobi at 0500, an hour before the KLM flight.
Anya pulls Xander aside and they have a heated debate on whether to tell Willow & Tara. Xander thinks they should, because they owe them one for the abbreviation clue, but Anya is not too keen, cos, well, they're in a RAAACE. "What about Faith & Robin?" she points out. They're too strong, she doesn't want to lose any advantage to them. Is she saying Willow & Tara are weak? I don't think so, I just think this is a case of Pirates thinking that on say, a footrace, they will never be able to beat Faith & Robin, but have a better chance against the girls.
In the end Xander wins the argument, I get the feeling this is not a common occurrence. Anya grabs Tara off to the bathroom. Tara frowns, but after coming out of the bathroom, tells Anya to go back to the group, walks over to the counter herself and changes the tickets. "I feel bad about not telling Faith & Robin, but they are a strong team and Anya tells me she's not telling them about the other flight," she says as she pockets their new tickets.
When she gets back to Willow, she takes her girlfriend's hand and they ostensibly go for a walk around the terminal. Perhaps it's a case of half pretense, half spending time together, that's my wishful thinking.
Faith & Robin get on the 1155 flight early, which makes it easy for the other two teams to no-show. "We know we'll all get bunched at Amsterdam, but we got seats at the front of the plane anyway, it doesn't hurt to get into practice with this," Robin says, a little smugly.
Faith is looking around, trying to spot the others, and when the door closes, she starts smelling a rat. "Did they get another flight?" she turns to her partner. Robin looks irritated. "*Beep* (though I can see him mouthing "shit"), we didn't check thoroughly enough, they must have. But what good will that do? The only flight to Nairobi is the 8.40pm from Amsterdam," he groans.
Goldies arrive at the Swiss Airlines counter, it's 11.45am. Ten minutes to spare. But the gate's already closed. No amount of begging will get them onto the flight. They are told the next flight is the 1345 via Zurich that connects to the Amsterdam flight. Why isn't anyone told about the Rome/Addis Ababa flight? Is it because it's with Ethiopia Air and they don't have a strong relationship? Or may be the ticket agent has a mental block about Rome or Addis Ababa? It's so strange.
R.Randy and AAbot, back in the city, finish their abbreviation and flag identification tasks. At the airport, they are sold tickets on the 1345 via Zurich and Amsterdam. What's wrong with Addis Ababa?
Pirates and Lovebirds board the Rome flight. "We hid behind pillars until boarding, we were so afraid the remaining teams will see us. Surprised that no other teams came through, we think they're all on the way to Amsterdam," says Xander, who looks a little self-satisfied.
For the second time in an episode the Amazing Yellow Lines make an appearance and Phil tells us it's 3,800 miles from Geneva to Nairobi. It's late afternoon, 1615, when the Lovey-dovey Alliance board the Ethiopian Air flight in Rome, just when Efficiency arrive at Amsterdam.
As more teams arrive at Amsterdam, we see Faith & Robin, in particular, looking more and more disappointed. Yep, bunching can do that to you. But the big question on everyone's lips is, "Where are Xander, Anya, Willow and Tara?"
"Jambo!" The traditional greeting meets our first two teams into Nairobi. It's 5.30am but the airport is full of people already, mainly drivers touting for fares. Anya looks uncomfortable as she is confronted by the mob, but she and Xander manage to get into a decent taxi.
Willow & Tara try the age-old tactic of smiling a lot and also hop into a taxi for the Jomo Kenyatta statue. They ask their driver how long the drive is, in broken English he replies, 30 minutes. He keeps smiling all the time, we get eyefuls of his white teeth. Quick, get the executives of Crest on the phone, stat!
Lovebirds arrive at the statue first and retrieve the clue. It's a Fast Forward. Phil explains that this is only one of two Fast Forwards on the entire Race, only one can be used per leg and teams who complete the FF can skip all tasks and go directly to the Pitstop. In this FF, they travel approximately 5 miles to the Nairobi Animal Orphanage and feed a baby leopard.
"We're first, and how can we pass up this opportunity?" Willow asks Tara.
They worry for a second about Xander & Anya but upon seeing a taxi, jump inside and off they go to feed dangerous big cats.
Pirates arrive a little later and see that the next clue is a Detour. In this Detour, they have to choose between Buy & Sell and Find & Tell. In Buy & Sell they make their way to the City Market, buy local handicrafts and take them to a nearby craft shop to re-sell them. They will get their next clue when their profit exceeds 1000 Kenyan Shillings (around $13). In Find & Tell, they go to the Stanley Hotel and locate yellow and red messages pinned on the trunk of the large acacia tree at the hotel entrance. They are to take one message and follow the instructions inside.
They decide to do market. "I love the smell of money in the morning," Anya is almost gleefully rubbing her hands.
6.42am. The KLM flight wobbles, then lands. Teams charge out to the terminal to be greeted by a horrendous line at the Immigration counter. They are mixed in with backpackers and a large contingent of Taiwanese tourists. There's pushing. And shoving. And yelling. And my eyes see spots.
Faith & Robin attract the attention of an official looking ... official. Robin takes up the story, "We were all lining up to go through the formalities, there were a lot of people. Then an official tapped me on the shoulder and we followed him past a prayer room and a couple of sleeping rooms, and then it was another corner of the airport with very few people at the counters. At first we thought we were in trouble but it turned out it was another area where fewer planes have landed. We got through very quickly."
The other teams are still stuck in the scrum as Efficiency get into their taxi. Wow, talk about good luck. They get the clue at the statue and decide to go for market also.
AAbot arrive at the statue, decide on for the message and quickly make their way to the Stanley hotel, which is brimming with colonial atmosphere, down to the pith helmeted doorman. They pluck one message off the tree, it tells them to bring the message to George Wanjala Odhiambo at the African Art and Antiques, Prudential Building, Wabera Street. They ask the concierge for a street map.
Phil tells us that leaving messages pinned on the trunk of the thorn tree at the Stanley has been a tradition for decades. People still use this method of communication although it has largely been replaced by the internet terminals inside the aptly named Thorn Tree Café. One feature of Nairobi streets is that there are only building names, but not street numbers. So on a street that is quite long such as Kenyatta Avenue, it can take a while to figure out where a particular building is.
They get directions to Wabera Street, which turns out to be only a couple of blocks away. They find the African Art and Antiques, and locate the man they are looking for. He gives them the next message, to be delivered to another person at the Standard Chartered Bank, Moi Avenue. Ooh! One of those wild goose chase clues, like you unwrap the packaging on a gift box to find more packaging, and you don't know when you will get to the end. Sweet.
Efficiency run into the Pirates at the market, the stalls are just starting. "What happened to you?" Faith asks.
"We went through Ethiopia," says Xander. "Where are the other teams?"
"Probably still at the airport, I don't know why but we got waved through," says Robin.
"Ah, may be they haven't paid the bribe," Anya speculates.
"No one asked us for any money," Robin says.
"What? We had to fork out $100. For visa, they said," Anya exclaims indignantly.
"They charged you $100 for a visa?" asks Faith.
"No, $50 each, and we thought that was daylight robbery," Anya says, still indignant.
Before Faith can reply, they are approached by a group of Kenyan women carrying a collection of carvings and trinkets. They start bargaining.
Principals, Goldies and R.Randy get the clue at the statue, they pick Buy & Sell. Finally TallShort make it, they pick Find & Tell.
Anya seems to be doing best at bargaining with the stallholders. She shows interest in one article, then switch to another. At one stage of the bargaining process, she gets ready to walk away. "Are you kidding me? You're charging me 20 times what it's worth," she exclaims. The stallholder begs for her to return. Working steadily, she buys a couple of elephant carvings, a mask and a candle holder.
Faith & Robin are too easily embarrassed, they don't seem to bargain as hard, they seem to be concentrating on purchasing textiles - blankets and scarves of deep red Masai color. Goldies are capitalizing on Buffy's charms and they spend a lot of time at one stall, emerging with armfuls of necklaces, bracelets and statuettes. Surprisingly, Rupert turns out to be a master bargainer, even the women at the market laugh nervously.
The Principals, on the other hand, are not getting anywhere, all they know how to do are hand gestures of numbers. They're getting clobbered by the crafty Kenyan marketholders. Snyder is so frustrated he is red as a beetroot and seems like he's ready to throw all the stuff in front of him on the ground and stomp all over them.
Pirates are at the craft shop and they make 1100 shillings. Anya does the dance of joyous capitalism and they receive their next clue, to make their way to the Carnivore restaurant at the edge of town. Hmmm, eating challenge!
Efficiency has a profit of 850 shillings, they have to go back to buy more stuff. Goldies' profit is 780 shillings, they can't quite believe it and try to bargain with the shopkeeper. It works, to some degree, he gives them 800 shillings. Okay, so much humiliation for just a quarter, sheesh.
R.Randy has 1050 shillings, they get their clue and are happy. "I never realized my Dad can be such a fox, wow," says Randy. Fox? He calls his father a fox? Does he, like, have a screw loose or what?
Principals bring their wares to the shopkeeper, they get 200 shillings. How pitiful. "Let's change to the other task, this will take forever," Flutie says. Surprisingly Snyder agrees. They abandon their goods and head off towards the Stanley Hotel.
Somewhere else, AAbot find their third person, but it's not the end. They are told to deliver another message to someone at an Italian restaurant on Mama Ngina St, they look disgusted. TallShort are at their second stop, trudge, trudge, trudge.
Inside the Pirates taxicab, Anya is frantically looking through the Amazing Bum Bag. "What's up?" asks Xander.
"I can't find the clue, do you have the clue?" Anya wails.
"I thought you have the clue, you have the Race bag," Xander answers, not unreasonably.
"I don't have the clue, what did you do with it? You ripped it!" Anya's voice goes up a pitch.
Xander looks inside his bags and coat. Nope. No clue.
At the market, a yellow clue envelope lie on the ground while other people trample on it.
Meanwhile Efficiency get their 1000 shilling total and run outside to hail a taxi. Goldies are hot on their tail.
AAbot go to the Italian restaurant, find their person and are told to go find another person at the Danish Consulate at Koinange Street. They are utterly dejected. "We walked round and round the same 3-block area I don't know how many times. It was like go to this person, get the message, go to another person, get another message. I started wondering if we picked the right Detour," Andrew interviews.
Pirates return to the market and Anya is screaming and yelling for people to get out of her way as she desperately searches for the clue. "We know we'd lost the clue, and from races before we also know if we don't have the clue we can't complete the leg, so it was a matter of cutting our losses and going back to look for it," Xander explains.
Incredibly when AAbot hand the message to the person in the Danish Consulate they finally get the clue. April breaks out into a little smile, then grimaces. Oh, the travel sickness is still there.
TallShort finish also, but where are the Principals?
Pirates go back to the stall where Anya made such a huge impression. Their clue has been picked up and the stallholder gives it back to them. Phew! They give him 100 shilling as reward.
Okay, where in Nairobi are the Principals?
The Nairobi Animal Orphanage, located inside the Nairobi National Park, is part an education initiative to allow visitors to learn more, and interact with, animals normally found in the wild. It attracts more than 200,000 visitors a year and at any time will be caring for animals such as chimpanzees, lions, impalas, zebras, countless birds, and of course the baby leopard our Fast Forwarders is to help feed.
Lovebirds are in awe. "This is so beautiful," they swoon when they enter the grounds.
Visitors are usually not allowed such close contact with the animals, but they are in good hands as the vet in charge gears them up for the feeding. The first thing he does is to warn them that although the cats look cute and don't have fully grown claws yet, they are nevertheless still wild animals and not pets. Playing with a baby big cat is nothing like playing with a kitten.
After putting the fear of god in them he asks them to put on overalls. Then it's off to the feeding.
"Oh my god, it was so incredible. The vet held the baby leopard in his lap and we took turns feeding him milk from a bottle, it was just like feeding a baby," Willow interviews.
"He'd make these cute gurgling noises as he drank the milk, then he'd purr so loudly," Tara added.
After the bottle's finished the vet tells the girls that it's time for burping. Yes, even baby leopards have to be burped after they have their milk! He rolls him over on his lap and they stroke his back gently for a few minutes until he actually burps. A loud and liquid sounding burp that sounds like he's about to puke the milk up, but he doesn't.
They continue stroking until he falls asleep, I can see they don't want to leave. I'm watching this on tv and I feel touched.
The vet eventually takes the sleeping cub inside. Tara has tears in her eyes as she says good-bye to the baby leopard, Willow has her arms around her partner and I'm touched again. I can't think of anything snarky to say about this moment, I must be getting soft in my old age.
The vet returns with the clue, and we're back to the reality of the RAAACE. They are to make their way to the Karen Blixen Museum, the Pitstop for this leg of the Race. They ask if it's easy to get a taxi, and the vet, clearly taken by the girls, offers to take them. Swoon!
It's a short ride, and soon they are running up to Phil. Welcome, team number one. They have a nice chat with Phil about the leopard feeding experience and I can tell Phil is happy for them too. Phil has another piece of happy news for them, as the winners of this leg of the Race they have won a cash prize of $10,000. They are ecstatic, then share a meaningful look and a smile. I wonder if they're going to kiss. But it's better, they turn to Phil and ask if they can donate this to the Animal Orphanage. Remember how touched I was just now? I'm melting into a puddle of touched-ness and I don't care if it's not a word.
While donating your prize money in front of the cameras may be taken as a cheap publicity stunt, even the hard-edged, cynical crone inside me can see it was nothing of the kind. These two incredible ladies were genuinely moved by their visit to the orphanage and I truly believe they did the right thing. I'm sad now, cos they'll be off my screen for the rest of the episode, but in my mind I picture them at the Pitstop, talking about their day and sharing more lovey-dovey moments. Sigh.
With difficulty I tear myself away from the sugary sugariness and return to the Race.
Rupert & Randy's taxi pull up at the Carnivore restaurant. Time for the Roadblock. Phil, magically transported by the power of television from the Karen Blixen Museum to the restaurant, tells us that the Carnivore restaurant is famous for serving all sorts of grilled meat, from the usual beef and lamb to the exotic like zebra, buffalo and giraffe. The Roadblocker is presented with eight covered plates, on which there is a pound of meat. They have to pick one and finish the entire plate in order to get the next clue. They will only know what they are eating when they remove the cover.
Randy takes the Roadblock and he gets crocodile. He pulls a face but starts eating anyway.
Faith & Robin arrive next, Robin volunteers. "I'll eat anything, I'm not afraid to try new food. If they can serve it in a restaurant it must be edible, it might even be nice," he says gallantly. He gets wildebeest. You know, those large stupid looking creatures that travel in millions across the plains and whose purpose in life seem to be to be food for lions, cheetahs and leopards. They make such good Discovery Channel 'Lions hunt for food Special' fodder. Robin takes his first bite and says, "gamey and very tough."
Buffy & Riley next. Inexplicably it's Buffy who takes the Roadblock, would have thought a strapping boy like Riley will like his meat better than his slip of a girlfriend. She gets, surprise surprise, spare ribs! So not all plates are exotic meat, oh man.
Meanwhile, and I'm honest enough to say I've completely forgotten, the Principals finish their Detour and get the next clue.
Back at Carnivore, it's April & Andrew. They are having an intense discussion about who to take the Roadblock. "You're not feeling well, I'll take it," says Andrew. "You've taken the last 3, I have to do one," April reasons. I think that teams are beginning to be conscious of the 6 Roadblock rule and distributing between physical and non-physical tasks. Though I'm not sure it's a wise decision, April takes the Roadblock, and gets giraffe. She pales when she takes the cover off and see the sheer amount of meat there.
Adam & Oz. With no fanfare, as is their style, Adam picks one plate, sees that it's zebra, and begin.
Randy finishes his crocodile and they get the clue. "Wasn't that bad, actually. Tastes a lot like overcooked chicken," he grins. They are to go to the Karen Blixen Museum, as we know, the Pitstop.
Buffy is enjoying herself very much, naturally being the only one at the table with a familiar meat. She can eat, that girl, and polishes off the ribs quickly, like a poster girl for TGI Friday's. They get the clue and head off looking for a taxi.
Xander & Anya, now reunited with their clue, pull up. Anya nominates Xander immediately, he shoots her an irritated look but says nothing. His expression turns around 180 degrees as he gets lamb. "My favorite!" he declares. My goodness, what a stroke of luck.
Robin finishes the tough wildebeest and they get the clue.
Finally the Principals arrive at the restaurant, Snyder has to pick between the last two plates and he gets ... chicken gizzards. He looks sick.
Which is how April is looking. She is really struggling, I think she shouldn't have done the Roadblock. They can make it up on the next one, what's good about taking turns if they get eliminated? She whimpers and asks Andrew for some water, holding her stomach gingerly.
At the Karen Blixen Museum it's Rupert & Randy. Well done, team number two. "Not a bad leg, we did better than other teams in the market detour, thanks to Dad, and I managed to finish the meat without much trouble," Randy gloats. Alright, grudgingly I admit this team is gradually creeping up my radar screen. I'm thinking about their 'hook' of estranged father / son and I wonder if they're really as estranged as we were led to believe.
Buffy & Riley check in as team number three. "I just want to lie down," Buffy sighs. Not much contact between Riley and Randy today, may be Buffy is being more perceptive than I thought and the reason for her doing the Roadblock is to prevent a scene between the two.
Faith & Robin arrive at the Amazing Bathmat, they're team number four. Oh, slippage, their impenetrable armor is dented a little on this leg. Losing out on the earlier flight, not bargaining hard enough. But still finishing within the top half, I'll give them credit for that. Still my favorites to win.
Xander catches up a lot on the meat eating, he finishes almost the same time as Adam. "The zebra was very dry, so I was quaffing water. That wasn't so smart because it made me full quicker," Adam interviews. "Did it taste like chicken?" asks Oz. "No, more like leather," Adam says.
The both get their clue and are off.
April is on the verge of collapse, she's puking all over the place. "Oh my god I need a hospital," she says. "I have spasms in my stomach, Andrew. I don't know what to do!"
"Do you want to leave it?" he asks.
April pauses a beat, swallows hard and then totally floors me by showing some backbone. "We'll get a 4 hour penalty and eliminated for sure, come over and help me."
Andrew sits by her and rubs her back. She takes a deep breath and proceeds to take small bites into her giraffe meat. Not a lot left, but she has been there a while, it must be so cold and congealed by now, I don't envy her.
This rapido editing between the restaurant and the Pitstop is beginning to bug me, but I guess that's how the teams finished. Adam & Oz come up to Phil and are welcomed as team number five.
Xander & Anya are team number six. This is their lowest position so far, I know that if it wasn't for the misplaced clue they'll be right up there. But that's the way the Race goes sometimes.
Snyder is trying his best to scoff down the gooey mess that is on his plate. It looks like shit, literally, pardon my French. At regular moments he gags. Yuckiness all around.
I hate these eating challenges, it's so Fear Factor. If I want to watch people eat gross stuff I'll watch that stupid excuse for a tv program instead, why are the Amazing Producers forever mixing up reality shows nowadays? Admittedly it's better than forcing the racers to eat 4 pounds of beef parts, but only slightly less heinous.
I tip my hat in the direction of April, I never expect this sort of mettle from her. They are not my favorite team and I've said again and again I don't think they have good enough racing skills. But I'm on my feet clapping when she finishes, because it is deserved. I'm feeling generous today.
They get to Phil as team number seven. After next elimination we'll have six teams, so I say this again — April & Andrew, seven is not your lucky number.
There's no suspense as the Principals are the only team left. Snyder still has half a plate left and he's discussing with Flutie whether he should give up. "We're in last place anyway, so getting a 4-hour penalty isn't going to improve our standing, this stuff is disgusting, I can't eat any more," he says.
"But if this is non-Elim, we'll be 4 hours behind, and without money to boot ..." Flutie trails off.
"You want me to finish this foul gunk? No beeping way!" Snyder insists.
"I don't want to be last," Flutie whines.
"We're last anyway, don't you get that? April and Andrew just left," Snyder shouts.
"How long will it take you to finish this?" Flutie asks.
"I can't, it's sickening, it'll take hours," Snyder snarls.
Flutie walks away, leaving Snyder in his tracks. He is clearly fuming but doesn't have the guts to confront his team-mate. What a dysfunctional team.
Next we see him with their backpacks and going over the Snyder. "Let's go, take a chance," he says.
They ask for the clue and shortly afterwards arrive at the Amazing Bathmat. They're the last team to arrive and Phil's sorry to say they're Philminated. Even before applying the 4 hour time penalty.
"We've had so many difficulties on the race, it's like someone up there is continually testing us," Snyder says tersely at the Pitstop interview. Flutie stays silent. I say for the last time, and I thank all the deities who listened to my plea, Shut the Fuck Up, Snyder.
Teaser for Episode 7
"My internal organs are too busy playing musical chairs," says Xander.
Teams see a zebra for the first time and are like a group of excited toddlers seeing ice cream.
"You mean they can climb inside?" April shrieks.
"We're going star-gazing," says Tara.
Useful links & information
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