The Amazing Race 19 Episode Nine Rankings

NINTH LEG

EPISODE BLOG #294

“Acting, Cycling, Spinning, Vomiting, and Flemmish Flexing”

COUNTRIES VISITED

CHINESE TAIPEI – INDONESIA – NOT LAOS – THAILAND – MALAWI – DENMARK – GERMANY – BELGIUM – NETHERLANDS – PANAMA – UNITED STATES

Previously on TAR: Six teams raced from Malawi to Denmark. Amani & Marcus began the leg in last place but once in Copenhagen the married couple jumped back in the game. At a Renaissance Roadblock, Zac couldn’t keep the beat. A second Double U-Turn in a row helped secure a much wanted win for Ernie & Cindy. After being U-Turned by Bill & Cathi, Zac & Laurence lost their way and came up short.

Five teams remain; who will be eliminated next?

NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT

ANDY & TOMMY 6

AMANI & MARCUS 5

JUSTIN & JENNIFER 3

LIZ & MARIE 3

ERNIE & CINDY 3

BILL & CATHI 3

LAURENCE & ZAC 2

ETHAN & JENNA 1

RON & BILL 1

KAYLANI & LISA 1

JEREMY & SANDY 0

Intro time.

Phil introduces us to Copenhagen. The city has the cleanest open waterfront in the world.

copenhagen waterfront

And also one of the most colourful.

Floating in its harbour, Havet Ship is a cargo vessel that is the start of the ninth leg in a race around the world.

copenhagen phil keoghan

“And Laurence & Zac are still weeping inside.”

Ernie & Cindy won the last leg of the race at an unspecified time, and will depart first at 9:01am. Cindy reads they must drive themselves to the statue of Hans Christian Anderson.

copenhagen ernie cindy halvorsen

It is a much clearer day in Copenhagen today.

Phil jumps in to say that many scholars believe he is the most prolific fairy tale writer in history.

copenhagen statue

The statue is the black dot to the right.

copenhagen hans christian andersen

And is pretty much the only Danish person any of us can name.

gus hansen

Although I can also think of Gus Hansen.

copenhagen hans christian andersen 1

He should have used all of the magic in his fairy tales to cover up his five year old haircut.

copenhagen clues

Also, still no clue boxes.

Ernie & Cindy get into their car. Cindy jokes that they get to see more of Copenhagen. Hey, nobody else in TAR history has seen Denmark up to this point, Cindy. Consider yourself lucky.

CINDY: My parents came to the US from China so I am first generation Chinese. I think they would have loved for me to marry a Chinese guy, but I think my parents will be able to see that we have a very fun relationship.

copenhagen ernie cindy halvorsen 1

Correct me if I’m wrong, but a first generation Chinese person would be somebody who had parents immigrate from another country TO China, and have their child born there.

Cindy is a first generation American. Therefore, her parents actually expect her to marry an American. You have your parents’ blessing after all, Cindy.

CINDY: And they can obviously see that Ernie makes me very happy.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen

I don’t know why, but we get a series of extreme close-ups of Cindy smiling.

Ernie & Cindy have the clue.

copenhagen roadblock

ROADBLOCK: Who’s ready to take a fairy tale ride?

Phil explains teams must memorize a poem by Hans Christian Andersen. Once they’ve learned it by heart, they must choose a bicycle and follow the map on the front wheel to the Teatermuseet. Before taking their trip, they must rely on their memory to recite a poem verbatim to a period drama critic. When they have performed with enough dramatic flare and recited the poem perfectly, they will receive their next clue. If not, they must return to the statue and start all over.

MAN: I need more performance.

copenhagen man 2

“Do I look like a man who has all of the time in the world on his hands?”

copenhagen phil keoghan 1

This is our third cycling task of the season.

copenhagen phil keoghan 2

Phil salutes Hitler as he spins the wheel.

copenhagen wheel

I wish I could go to McDonald’s and buy myself a Happy Wheel!

copenhagen man

“I have this theatre all to myself! Oh, what a blissful dramatist’s dream!”

copenhagen man 1

“This is the first time I have had human contact in over sixty years!”

Cindy is doing this Roadblock. Ernie hopes she is good with short term memory. Considering Cindy clobbered the first Roadblock at the Confucius temple, I assume there will be no issues here.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 1

Cindy doesn’t bother to study the map on the tire.

copenhagen statue 1

Whenever somebody is quoting the poem, the individual words will always be highlighted. Get used to this for the remainder of the task.

Cindy studies the statue until. . .

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 2

“To travel is to—hey! What’s going on here?”

copenhagen group

“Damn you Sightseeing Tour Bus tourists!”

copenhagen ernie halvorsen

Ernie starts laughing at her.

copenhagen group 1

Bill & Cathi’s relatives must have sent them. This is what happens when you mess with old people—you get more old people.

ERNIE: HAHAHA! A tour bus UNLOADED on her!

Ernie is loving this.

CINDY: I can’t even read the poem. There’s eight hundred tourists trying to take pictures with this guy.

copenhagen poem

I really wish some of the bodybuilders who only train on leg day would walk by the statue.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 3

It’s a good thing Cindy is sitting down or else she’d start shoving people out of the way.

For some reason we are treated to a rotating split screen.

copenhagen roadblock 1

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 4

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 5

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 6

We capture Cindy studying the Roadblock from all angles possible.

copenhagen wheel 1

copenhagen wheel 2

Cindy studies the map on the happy wheel and is off.

copenhagen wheel 3

We get a close-up of the wheel.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 7

The wheel matches Cindy’s iconic shirt.

Cindy is already at the theatre.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 8

“I have been sitting here since before sunrise. I was not expecting company at this hour.”

CINDY: You look so dapper.

aberdeen-matt-tom-14

“Dapper, you say?”

copenhagen man 3

“That’s the first time a woman has complimented me since my wife passed away from the plague.”

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 9

Cindy is a natural actress.

She continues reciting the poem.

vietnam song 2

What the hell?! A Vietnamese Communist anthem? Hans Christian Andersen endorsed this?!

Nah, just kidding.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 10

Those actions.

copenhagen man 4

“My heart has not been moved like this since I was prescribed viagra for the first time.”

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 11

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 12

When you tell a self-proclaimed perfectionist that she has to perform a poem with dramatic effect, she will not disappoint you.

peanuts crying.jpg

It’s like a Peanuts character.

Cindy’s performance is complete.

MAN: Bravo!

copenhagen man 5

“My life is forever changed!”

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 13

Cindy does her usual jumping and down whenever she succeeds at a task.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 14

“Yay! Thank you!”

copenhagen man 6

“Please don’t leave me.”

CINDY: Glad I got it on the first try. Felt like I was in the audition of my life.

But without any of the responsibilities and the lack of pay.

Bill & Cathi depart in second at 10:34am.

CATHI: We don’t like to think about that first leg. We still have that apprehension every time we open a clue.

As long as the route doesn’t head eastward, they should be okay.

Bill & Cathi are confident they can make it through. Bill is driving and notices an ice cream shop.

BILL: Ice cream. Hmmm. Haven’t had any of that.

copenhagen bill cathi alden

“My sweet tooth is hurting. . .it’s also the only tooth I have left.”

Andy & Tommy start in third place at 10:39am. Didn’t they pull into the parking lot seconds after Bill & Cathi? What happened?

Andy is in charge of opening the clue again.

copenhagen andy tommy

copenhagen andy tommy

copenhagen andy tommy 2

Are you kidding me, Andy? Haven’t you washed the butter off of your finger?

ANDY: Wow. Again.

TOMMY: Really?

ANDY: Again.

copenhagen andy tommy 3

You would’ve won six legs by now Andy if you didn’t waste precious seconds opening up a clue each leg! It adds up, man!

TOMMY: Are you Copenhangin’ in there?

ANDY: Copin’ and hangin’.

copenhagen andy tommy 4

You deserve to be eliminated for that alone.

Back at the Roadblock, Cindy is back at the statue.

copenhagen ernie halvorsen 1

Ernie is positioned like a baseball coach at the edge of a dugout.

copenhagen cindy halvorsen 15

I was not expecting Copenhagen to have a van with a picture of a redhead who is drawn like an anime character.

copenhagen ernie cindy halvorsen 2

hayley helmet

See Hayley? This is how you wear a bike helmet.

Cindy reads they must drive themselves to Legoland.

Phil jumps in to say they must go to the Legoland Billund in Billund. It is the birthplace of Lego. It is home to the original Legoland Park. They will receive their next clue at the Pirate Carousel ride.

legoland

Is that pirate on the left being hanged?

legoland 1

Laurence would have laughed so hard that he had to go to a town called ‘Billund’. It almost sounds insulting!

legoland 2

Ah, a famous American monument in Lego form.

aiello intro

“Legoland is like home to me! There is only one reflecting pool that is made of legos.”

copenhagen lego

This season continues its clue box free zone policy.

Bill & Cathi walk up to Hans’ statue.

BILL (slaps him on the knee): How ya doin’, boy?

copenhagen bill alden

copenhagen bill alden 1

He is the freakin’ most celebrated man in all of Denmark, Bill. Not your golden retriever on the farm.

Cathi is going to do the Roadblock. Andy & Tommy are there a moment later. Tommy volunteers.

copenhagen cathi alden

copenhagen cathi alden 1

Cathi is harnessing all of her energy for this Roadblock.

copenhagen bill alden 2

BILL: Cathi was an English teacher. She graded kids on this so I think SHE BETTER DO IT RIGHT!

copenhagen bill alden 3

copenhagen bill alden 4

Since when did Bill pick up a southern accent and pretend to have chewing tobacco in his mouth??

Cathi has her bike and studies the map on the wheel but can’t find the theatre marked on it.

copenhagen cathi alden 2

copenhagen cathi alden 3

She would be terrible at finding hidden immunity idols on Survivor.

copenhagen cathi alden 4

Cathi decides to bike to the hotel and ask someone.

copenhagen tommy czeschin

No tourists to disrupt Tommy’s concentration.

copenhagen split

Split screens continue to be abused. Tommy sees the theatre on the map and Cathi embarks after receiving directions.

copenhagen wheel 4

This is the best close-up of the wheel, by the way.

Amani & Marcus begin the leg in fourth at 11:43am.

copenhagen amani marcus pollard

The timer has begun. How long will it be until Marcus’ next football analogy? We are at twelve already.

AMANI: I might not be the Peyton Manning or the Dwight Frenney or the other great guys he has played with, but I think I can hold my ground.

copenhagen amani marcus pollard 1

“I wish I was playing with Peyton Manning.”

Amani is going to do the Roadblock. She starts memorizing it.

copenhagen marcus pollard

Marcus comes up with a brilliant idea.

MARCUS: SEVENTEEN! TWENTY-TWO! I’m trying to confuse you so you have to go back and look at it.

AMANI: OK.

MARCUS: Exercise. Titanic.

copenhagen amani marcus pollard 2

“Stickers. Bubblegum. Horse radish. Alligators. Baseball hats. I forgot to take the garbage out. Postcards. Don’t be mad. Telephones. Seventy-four. Pi.”

MARCUS: Boombox. Red bus. If I can distract her while she’s trying to remember, while she’s riding she won’t be distracted by anything.

copenhagen amani pollard

“To live is to postcard—wait, you didn’t take out the garbage before we left Georgia?!”

copenhagen amani pollard 1

Amani puts on her helmet.

copenhagen marcus pollard 1

MARCUS: CHA-CHA-DA-DA-DA! Look at that pretty bird! Fly away pelican! Fly away pelican!

AMANI: OK, I don’t need anymore help.

Who is Amani suddenly paired with?

josh martinez

Josh Martinez?

Tommy gets additional help while riding. Cathi realizes she has to turn around and go in the opposite direction.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 1

The local points to where Tommy currently is—northeast of the tire. He isn’t even on the map anymore.

copenhagen amani pollard 2

r kelly fly

This allows Amani to be second to the Roadblock and do her best R. Kelly impression (minus the urinating on cheerleaders part).

copenhagen amani pollard 3

She is really putting some soul into this.

copenhagen amani pollard 4

It’s like she is auditioning for a high school play.

Amani also is finished on her first attempt. The clue is hers and away she cycles.

The split screens are abused once more as we see Cathi and Tommy both ask for directions.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 2

kym alli

I for one can’t quite figure out why Kym Nonstop is on this season.

Everyone is shocked when Amani is the next one back.

copenhagen andy finch

It’s like an imaginary bullet struck Andy in the chest.

MARCUS: OH MY GOD! ARE YOU SERIOUS, WOMAN?!

AMANI: You don’t know who you roll with, pal.

copenhagen amani marcus pollard 3

OK, that’s a pretty badass response. Amani has earned a lot of points in my book just for that.

ANDY: What the heck is that.

BILL: She nailed it.

copenhagen bill alden 6

Marcus has an analogy prepared for what Amani has just done.

MARCUS: We just took the opening kickoff and ran it for a touchdown. That is unreal.

copenhagen amani marcus pollard 4

MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 13

Cathi is third to the theatre.

copenhagen cathi alden 5

Cathi gives the judge a nice warm smile prior to her performance.

copenhagen cathi alden 6

copenhagen cathi alden 7

Cathi also uses some R. Kelly inspired soul into her performance.

copenhagen cathi alden 8

gwen stefani hollaback girl

Cathi is now a Hollaback Girl.

gwen stefani cathi alden

Bill & Cathi ain’t no Hollaback Girls.

copenhagen cathi alden 9

This is the best.

copenhagen cathi alden 10

copenhagen cathi alden 11

Cathi is a natural at this.

CATHI: Of lands untold;

copenhagen cathi alden 12

Fuck. So close to a flawless run, Cathi.

CATHI: To travel is to–

MAN: I’m sorry. It was not satisfactory.

copenhagen cathi alden 13

“Excuse me, mister?”

copenhagen man 7

I like how the man in the top hat, the huge ass glasses, and the fluffy orange bowtie is looking at Cathi as if SHE should be the embarrassed one.

Cathi begins her journey back to the statue.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 3

Tommy is still lost. He gets on his bike and keeps moving.

We are now ten minutes of running time into the episode.

copenhagen jeremy sandy cline

HOLY SHIT! I totally forgot about Jeremy & Sandy. They are last to depart at 12:08pm. Did you forget about them by this point? Cause I certainly did. They start this round three hours and seven minutes behind Ernie & Cindy.

No wonder they thought they were last to the pit stop at the end of the leg.

SANDY: Drive yourselves to the statue of Hans Christian Andersen. OK.

JEREMY: It’s been tough being away from home. I have a six year old son. He is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

(We cut to them finding the statue.)

JEREMY: Is he is he—is that him? Is that him over there?

(We cut back to the confessional.)

JEREMY: So I want to come in first. Win this race for my son.

(We cut back to the statue.)

JEREMY: It’s right here. You got this. Choose a bicycle.

copenhagen bill cathi alden 1

Locals wearing the number five? Does that mean one of the two teams in this photo will finish this leg in fifth place?

the mole

It’s like a hidden clue from The Mole.

Also both guys look bored.

Cathi returns.

CATHI: Bill!

BILL: Oh! Look at that!

copenhagen group 2

copenhagen group 3

Sit your assuming ass back down, Bill. You jumped to conclusions.

CATHI: I didn’t do it. I got to go back.

copenhagen wheel 5

The smiley wheel is so deceiving. It should change to a frowny face when a team gets it wrong.

copenhagen green

The screen corrects it for us.

Sandy is about to be featured on screen again until–

copenhagen cathi alden 14

Cathi completely blocks her from the camera. Hilarious.

copenhagen bill alden 7

Bill is more subdued during Cathi’s second attempt.

Ernie & Cindy find Legoland.

billund pirate

“Arrr! Me arms be as yellow as Cindy’s shirt from all of the scurvy I be havin’!”

scurvy

I am not kidding. Scurvy does make your skin turn yellow. These pirates need more vitamin C!

copenhagen ernie cindy halvorsen 3

Ernie probably fits in well with the little kids who love Lego.

billund water

Water gun fight!

billund lego

I don’t think that gunpowder was made of Lego.

Phil says that Lego was invented in the 1930s.

billund lego 1

With the goal of making it more into a spin-off video game company rather than a toy company.

blockoland

Its competitors Blockoland came into effect about 2001 or 2002.

blockoland 1

There was an incident with harmful splashing right around the time it opened, though.

blockoland 2

Or selling defective Eiffel Tower models.

Phil tells us Lego produces 50 million pieces per day.

copenhagen phil keoghan 3

“And upcharge it for twice what it is worth!”

jim bob duggar.jpg

“Sex is just like Lego!”

I am not kidding. Jim Bob Duggar’s sex education to his son Josh on his wedding day was “it’s just like Lego.” Look it up. You’ll never play with a Lego set in the Duggar household again.

https://duggarsreviewed.wordpress.com/2015/11/11/season-2-vse-a-very-duggar-wedding/

This is the best writeup I have seen on the Internet about Jim Bob Duggar’s sex education because I sadly couldn’t find a video of it on YouTube.

Phil says teams must need to piece the Legos together while being spun into a dizzy state. They can only work on the puzzle while the ride is in motion. If they can keep it together, the pieces will reveal their next clue.

billund lego 2

Hamburg? We’re hitting up two countries in the same leg? Oh my.

billund spin

flo rida right round

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CcCw1ggftuQ

“You spin me right round baby, right round baby when you go down when you go down down. . .”

Hang on. The Flo.Rida version is the first one I think of rather than Dead or Alive? Fuck. I grew up in the wrong generation.

dead or alive right round

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGNiXGX2nLU

There you go, Dead or Alive. Flo.Rida can suck his own D.

billund puzzle

This is a surprisingly creative challenge.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen

This is likely the perfect challenge for Ernie & Cindy.

copenhagen drive

I should note the drive from Copenhagen to Billund is two hours and fifty minutes. That means Ernie & Cindy are well over three hours ahead of three other teams at the moment. There couldn’t be less pressure for them.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 1

Is Cindy kinda feeling really sick or really feeling kinda sick? What’s the difference between the two?

Cathi and then Tommy find the theatre.

SANDY: Let’s do this.

JEREMY: Good luck! You got this!

copenhagen sandy cline

Sandy is very determined.

Cathi is performing again.

copenhagen cathi alden 15

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She gets it this time. Especially with her namaste pose at the end.

copenhagen cathi alden 17

copenhagen cathi alden 18

She couldn’t be happier.

Cathi is awarded her clue.

copenhagen cathi alden 19

Old people kissing old people’s wrinkly hands with their wrinkly lips. What a wonderful visual.

Cathi quietly says to Tommy that he has to be dramatic.

So let’s see Tommy’s flair for the dramatic.

ric flair wu

WOO!

copenhagen tommy czeschin 4

copenhagen tommy czeschin 5

We see Sandy arriving mid-poem.

SANDY: This is it! This is it!

copenhagen tommy czeschin 6

Amen. Tommy sounded more like a pastor in Church than an actor.

SANDY: I wanna go now.

copenhagen sandy cline 1

It looks more like a house than a theatre inside.

Tommy is rejected.

copenhagen man 8

MAN: More drama, please.

copenhagen man 9

“This is my only source of foreplay!”

MAN: I need you to bring more life to the words.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 7

“Fuck you man. This is why I went into athletics.”

He exits. Sandy and Tommy don’t say a word to each other.

TOMMY: What the heck. That was terrible. Drama for your mama. They want more drama.

Commercial break. We resume.

TOMMY: Drama for your mama. They want more drama. Frick.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 8

Save the drama for your mama?

arnold-shut-up

I was not expecting an Ahnold reference from Tommy.

SANDY: Great. I’m ready.

Remember how Jeremy & Sandy have a reputation for not being exactly the most expressive and dramatic racers of all time?

Well, you can probably guess where Sandy fails on her first attempt.

copenhagen sandy cline 2

copenhagen sandy cline 3

And it wasn’t the memory part of the criteria.

I should note Sandy is the only one out of the five who was limited to only having two lines of the poem being aired on TV.

SANDY: To roam the roads of lands remote; to travel is to live.

copenhagen sandy cline 4

Although she looked better than Tommy doing this who was like a frickin’ choir boy.

He asks her for more drama.

SANDY: I have to go back. This is just ridiculous.

Bill & Cathi start driving. Cathi admits she has no idea where Legoland is.

Tommy returns to the statue.

ANDY: Yeah, buddy!

TOMMY: No.

Rejection. Andy watches Tommy recite.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 9

ANDY: He’s like mad. I have never seen Tommy like this.

Tommy proceeds to flail his arms in the air like a crazy person.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 10

copenhagen jeremy andy

Jeremy and Andy can’t help but laugh at Tommy’s attempt at dramatic flair.

Sandy comes back.

SANDY: Jeremy.

JEREMY: Sandy.

SANDY: I am coming back.

JEREMY: Keep going as fast as you can.

SANDY: I’m trying the best that I can.

copenhagen jeremy sandy cline 1

What a CRAZY scene that was! There was so much conflict and drama there that my TV was about to explode!

Tommy performs for a second time.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 11

“I’m an airplane!”

copenhagen tommy czeschin 12

“It’s all for you man.”

copenhagen tommy czeschin 13

“Land ho!”

copenhagen tommy czeschin 14

This performance was straight from the Jesus ticker.

Tommy has his clue and passes by Sandy.

SANDY: Good job.

TOMMY: Go get ’em.

Sandy performs.

copenhagen sandy cline 5

copenhagen sandy cline 6

copenhagen sandy cline 7

Sandy shouts each word and moves her arms like she is a cheerleader doing the YMCA.

SANDY: To move, to breathe, to fly, to float, to gain all while you give, to roam the rods of lands remote; to travel is to live.

Sandy is approved.

SANDY: Thank you.

copenhagen sandy cline 8

Sandy bows before her audience.

We head back to the land of scurvy pirates.

The ride stops spinning and Ernie & Cindy didn’t complete it in time. They must wait for it to spin again.

copenhagen ernie cindy halvorsen 4

george sr no touching

“No touching!”

During the pause, Cindy catches on to their next location.

CINDY: Hamburg! Hamburg!

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 2

“We finally get to leave Denmark!”

hamburg map 1

That is a lot of self-driving for one day.

Tommy makes it back to Andy. They start driving. Sandy is back too.

SANDY: Jeremy!

JEREMY: Good job. OK, let’s go.

SANDY: Legoland.

copenhagen tommy czeschin 15

copenhagen tommy czeschin 16

Tommy came back in style, by the way.

Ernie & Cindy finish the puzzle.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 3

The man on the right sure loves blue, white, and yellow. He would fit in very well with Ernie & Cindy.

copenhagen man 10

I wonder if that man had the ring on his ear before becoming a Legoland pirate, and is the primary reason why he was hired.

Phil says teams must “figure out” that they need to drive across the border into Germany and find the city of Hamburg. Once there, they must make their way to the Hamburg Train Station where they will find their next clue.

hamburg map

Drive to the shaft of the border!

hamburg train

CINDY: We’re driving to Hamburg? What?!

tar 27

In some seasons, you don’t get to drive whatsoever.

Cindy says the pirate ride made her a little dizzy, but the puzzle was easy.

Amani & Marcus are at Legoland.

billund legoland

Why is a couple with scurvy being filmed making out? What type of amusement park is this?!

billund pirate 1

That pirate has all of the colours of the Central African Republic flag on his body. That’s not easy to do. I am impressed.

AMANI: I do not like anything that just twirls around and around. It just totally throws me off-kilter. It just messes up my day.

billund amani marcus pollard

Marcus doesn’t know who he is rollin’ with, but he knows who he will be spinnin’ with!

They step inside of the teacup.

AMANI: I should’ve took that doggone motion pill.

billund amani marcus pollard 1

We’re on the verge of prime Vomiting Territory. My favourite part of any TAR season.

billund amani marcus pollard 2

billund amani marcus pollard 3

Time to call an audible!

The spinning continues as Marcus notes three pieces are on the floor of the teacup.

billund granny

On the other hand, that granny is having a wonderful time!

billund amani marcus pollard 4

A woman who is ready to vomit should not be a woman who holds a Legoland box in her mouth!

Amani is feeling nauseous and the round in the round thing is over.

billund amani marcus pollard 5

Marcus says it must be Hamburg train station. I am amazed he figured that out from so few pieces assembled.

AMANI: Lord Jesus. I’m not gonna make it, and I also think I’m about to throw up.

MARCUS: What is this? A throw-up bag?

AMANI: I might need it, but I hate to throw up on any kids, though.

billund amani marcus pollard 6

I love how suddenly all of the kids turn to ensure they are outside of the ‘splash zone,’ so to speak.

billund bag

I hope it’s not a used vomit bag.

billund amani marcus pollard 7

I bet the more Amani talks about vomiting the more it will make Marcus want to vomit. He has to mediate on his own.

We see the pirate shaking his head when we hear Amani mention she will throw up.

billund pirate 2

Something tells me he will be the one responsible for cleaning it up.

Cathi tells Bill on the highway that there is no more map to cover where they are. They admit to being lost.

Amani & Marcus’ teacup resumes. She repeats that she is about to throw up. They slightly disagree over the location of a couple of puzzle pieces. Time runs out again.

MARCUS: I might have to pull that bag out real soon.

AMANI: You about to throw up?

MARCUS: I could be.

AMANI: You told me to hold it together. You can’t throw up.

billund amani marcus pollard 8

“Just don’t show me footage of the Cleveland Browns defense.”

MARCUS: We’re getting a test. How good can you keep your food down? Hang in there, baby.

billund amani marcus pollard 9

billund amani marcus pollard 10

I think we’re two rounds away from an ultimate upchucking. Please fumble the puzzle some more, Marcus.

We cut to Andy & Tommy on the road.

ANDY: I don’t know if the map is big enough. It’s kind of hard to find stuff actually.

billund andy tommy

I see ANDY has been replaced by MAP as Tommy’s teammate.

map.jpg

“I’m the map! I’m the map! I’m the map!”

billund andy tommy 1

Oh wait, Andy is still here.

billund andy tommy 2

“Hey, there’s Svalbard!”

TOMMY: You know what they say about people with big maps. . .a lot of places to go.

ANDY: Right.

billund map

And luckily for this big map, Andy & Tommy are about to go down south on it!

Jeremy & Sandy are on a bridge.

JEREMY: It’s beautiful out.

SANDY: This bridge is no joke.

billund bridge

Considering Jeremy & Sandy are from San Francisco, for them to compliment a bridge is a big deal.

JEREMY: Jeez. This is incredible.

SANDY: It’s beautiful.

End scene.

Cathi wants to pull over at a pizza pasta place.

billund bill cathi alden

“I wonder if they have ice cream?”

Bill & Cathi struggle to understand the guy.

CATHI: We want to go to Legoland.

MAN: Yes, so you can go to Rugby.

CATHI: I didn’t understand what they were saying. We need to stop elsewhere for betterdirections.

billund bill cathi alden 1

“And a place that sells some goddamn ice cream instead of hot dogs!”

Marcus fans Amani prior to the start of the third round.

billund amani marcus pollard 11

billund amani marcus pollard 12

As a former pro football player, Marcus knows everything about fans.

billund amani marcus pollard 13

They solve it within seconds.

AMANI: Grab that vomit bag. I might need it.

billund marcus pollard

Marcus follows through and grabs the bag. He stops to talk to a kid on the way out.

MARCUS: Hi little man. Have fun. It about made me sick.

billund marcus pollard 1

I am sure a father appreciates a former pro football player telling his son that he will throw up within minutes.

Marcus asks if Amani is alright.

AMANI: Just a little off-kilter. When you trying to hold it in, you know?

Amani is disappointing me greatly. She isn’t going to vomit is she? 😦

In case you didn’t know, off-kilter is based off of the word ‘kelter’ which means good health. I hear it thrown around casually, but I believe this is the first time the phrase has been used on The Amazing Race.

MARCUS: How do we get to Hamburg? We get there driving????

Hey, it’s better than flying for you, Marcus. We saw what happened last episode.

Andy & Tommy pull into the parking lot at the same time as Amani & Marcus are leaving.

TOMMY: How was it?

MARCUS: I hope you got your barf bag.

billund park

Why is that parking lot so empty?!

ANDY: Dude barf bag. That means we’re gonna get thrown around! That’s great.

Jeremy & Sandy spot the sign for Legoland.

JEREMY: Legoland. Right. OK. This way.

billund rocketship

Whoever wins the Fast Forward gets to use that to get to Germany.

billund andy tommy 3

Andy is pumped for this.

SANDY: Right here. Right here right here. Carousel.

ANDY: Spin to win, baby. Jeremy and Sandy are here.

SANDY: I’m gonna puke.

JEREMY: OK.

SANDY: OK. You can only do it while it’s moving.

billund andy tommy 4

“I hope we’re out of the ‘Splash Zone’ around Sandy.”

billund jeremy sandy cline

“I say we hold off on doing the puzzle until Jeremy & Sandy are in the ‘Splash Zone’.”

The pieces start blowing in Andy & Tommy’s teacup.

billund andy tommy 5

Andy protects his babies.

billund jeremy sandy cline 1

billund jeremy sandy cline 2

Jeremy & Sandy not so much.

SANDY: Oh god.

JEREMY: So this just—struggling. Struggling.

SANDY: Did you get all of them on the ground?

JEREMY: Yeah.

SANDY: Keep ’em in the thing and do it one at a time.

JEREMY: Oh. Sandy get that.

billund jeremy sandy cline 3

One of the pieces bounces onto the cushion. . .

billund jeremy sandy cline 4

And onto the blue yonder.

billund puzzle 1

It’s like a puzzle piece that says “fuck you, you never gonna solve this, motherfucker”.

JEREMY: Oh my gosh.

SANDY: Babe. Did you get all of them on the ground?

JEREMY: Yeah.

SANDY: I can’t do this.

JEREMY: What do you mean you can’t do this?

SANDY: I’m gonna throw up.

JEREMY: Stop saying—stop saying you can’t do this.

SANDY: OK. I’ll do ’em one at a time.

billund jeremy sandy cline 5

Where was that drama in the theatre?

Andy & Tommy laugh over how awesome the challenge is.

ANDY: This is awesome. I love teacups.

mrs potts

“Well I’m flattered, dear!”

SANDY: I’m trying.

JEREMY: C’mon. We gotta hit this, Sandy.

The round is over.

JEREMY: We gotta put our hands up.

billund jeremy sandy cline 6

lloyd banks hands up.jpg

“I said hands up and just party with me!”

TOMMY: Arrr.

JEREMY: Arrr, matey.

billund andy tommy 6

They just need to stop their Vitamin C intake and they would fit right in!

ANDY: That was gnarly, huh?

SANDY: I’m nauseous.

JEREMY: I need my son here for help. Grant, I wish you were here to help us.

billund jeremy sandy cline 7

Surprisingly, Jeremy is certain a six year old will vomit less than Sandy. Sandy will not be flattered by the comparison.

SANDY: So do I. Oh my gosh, I’m dizzy.

Ernie & Cindy are officially in Germany. Cindy says Ernie lived in a town in Bavaria for a year.

ERNIE: I am sure I have an American dialect anyone would spot.

CINDY: Dialect?

ERNIE: Right? Huh?

CINDY: Accent.

ERNIE: Oh.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 4

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 5

Looks like somebody just got a lesson in linguistics.

JEREMY: Can be Hamburg H-B-F.

SANDY: Dude, I don’t feel good.

billund jeremy sandy cline 8

I think Sandy is about to H-B-A-R-F.

SANDY: It was absolute torture for me. I just don’t do well with those types of things. So it was the worst thing that we’ve had to do.

billund jeremy sandy cline 9

Where did they get those jackets from?

SANDY: I’m gonna throw up.

JEREMY: Shoot.

Andy & Tommy keep putting the pieces together. They talk about how it’s impossible to make snowboarders suffer from motion sickness.

billund andy tommy 7

How snowboarding applies to lego puzzles is a confessional left for another day, however.

SANDY: Oh. Don’t bump mine.

JEREMY (sniffs): Mmmmkay. Oh. This goes in there. I just need this piece right here. What’s this side? OK. Hands up.

billund andy tommy 8

“Hands up; don’t shoot.”

billund jeremy sandy cline 10

She is doing worse than Amani with the nausea.

TOMMY: Where are they?

SANDY: I’m gonna throw up.

ANDY: She’s not doing good.

TOMMY: Hey Sandy!

SANDY: I’m nauseous.

JEREMY: Just throw up.

TOMMY: Don’t throw up on the Legos.

JEREMY: Just puke in the middle.

billund sandy cline

“Everyone please stop talking to me about vomiting at the exact moment of when I want to vomit.”

We cut to Bill & Cathi at the Hilton Hotel.

CATHI: We’re hopeless.

Hopefully there is an equalizer up ahead.

Bill & Cathi get a map and identify Legoland with the help of the attendant behind the counter.

billund bill cathi alden 2

I am guessing they are quite far behind.

Andy & Tommy complete the puzzle during the middle of the next round.

SANDY: The boys are done.

What makes you say that, Sandy?

billund andy tommy 9

Is it the fact Andy looks like Charles Manson on speed?

JEREMY: God.

Andy shouts for him and Tommy to spin the disc in the middle.

billund andy tommy 11

billund andy tommy 12

I don’t know what they hope to accomplish. Will the disc pop off and fly into the air?

billund andy tommy 13

Andy decides to taunt Sandy by pretending to vomit.

The round is over.

JEREMY: We’re missing a piece. Oh my god.

SANDY: If we lost one, we have to start all over. If we did, I’m done. So ridiculous.

billund sandy cline 1

Sandy can stitch a human body without feeling nauseous, but spinning inside of a Lego teacup is destroying her body, mind, and soul.

Commercial break. We resume.

billund lego 3

Huh. Even the pirate’s treasure chest has scurvy.

billund birds

I think those birds would have a tougher time fitting on a pirate’s shoulder than a parrot.

billund jeremy sandy cline 11

Why are they acting like they are wearing unsatisfactory deodorant?

JEREMY: We’re missing a piece.

SANDY: OK. We need a new one.

JEREMY: I’m gonna go see if there’s a piece.

SANDY: Let’s start all over.

(We cut to a confessional.)

SANDY: I got sick, I was dry heaving. I couldn’t focus. I do not do well with motion. It was horrible horrible.

billund jeremy sandy cline 12

Not just horrible. Horrible horrible.

Jeremy collects a new puzzle.

JEREMY: Sweet.

SANDY: We have to get it. You know there’s white on the top and follow the edges.

billund jeremy sandy cline 13

I have never seen so many people voluntarily watch Jeremy & Sandy on The Amazing Race.

Ernie & Cindy are at the Hamburg Train Station and find their clue in a. . .

hamburg clue box

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

WE WERE SO FUCKING CLOSE TO AN ENTIRE SEASON WITHOUT A MOTHERFUCKING CLUE BOX MAKING AN APPEARANCE!

undertaker streak.jpg

The streak is over! NO! NO! NO!

They could’ve had a marked counter or a guy in a red and yellow uniform handing out the clue. Why did they have to use a CLUE BOX?! NO! NO! NO! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

Alright. I’m okay.

hamburg clue

Belgium’s debut in TAR!

fritas

Minus fritas.

Of course, since I didn’t start traveling abroad until last year, Brussels is the first city in my TARstorian blog that I have already been to!

logan muscles.jpg

Me somewhat near a Mussel shop as the Mussels from Brussels. I’m clever.

brussels map

Unlike Denmark, Phil refuses to note that this is the first time The Amazing Race has been to Belgium.

Phil says this is the third country of this leg. It’s definitely the third country to have at least one task. This is very ambitious by TAR US’ standards.

brussels atomium

You’re not allowed to take photos and video of sculptures or artwork in Belgium! TAR could get sued for this!

brussels landscape

Of course a city that loves beer, waffles, and Fries is going to attract a lot of people.

Once in Brussels, they’ll make their way to the European Parliament Building where they will find their next clue.

brussels parliament

Also known as “Germany telling everyone what to do” seminar.

brussels bike

Oh, now we’re not too good for clue boxes again.

Ernie & Cindy go to a ticket counter for train tickets.

hamburg ernie cindy halvorsen

Something tells me Legoland won’t be open that late. Everybody is gonna catch up.

brussels cindy halvorsen

CINDY: We’re all on the same stupid train to Brussels. Uh, so bummed.

Cindy sums it up better than I can.

You know what else is stupid?

brussels cindy halvorsen 1

brussels cindy halvorsen 2

Rut roh.

Jeremy & Sandy are in the teacup.

SANDY: We’re almost there. We’ve got this. This round. That goes in there. You got it?

JEREMY: We’re finished. We’re done done done.

PIRATE: This is correct.

JEREMY: Thank you.

SANDY: Thank you. Let’s go.

JEREMY: Yeah.

JEREMY: We’re driving to Germany.

Jeremy & Sandy are out of there.

Bill & Cathi are at Legoland.

hamburg bill cathi alden

hamburg bill cathi alden 1

They cut the line! Why do older people have to act so entitled! My word.

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Bill is not liking this.

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Neither is Cathi.

CATHI: This is gonna be a treat. We will get it. We may vomit before we get it.

We cut to the Hamburg train station. Andy & Tommy are second to the clue box.

We cut back to the teacup. Bill & Cathi complete it.

CATHI: Put it down.

billund bill cathi alden 4

“Who wants Lego Pie in the Face? That kid in the cup next to us sure has been bugging me, Cathi.”

CATHI: Put it down!

billund bill cathi alden 5

“But I want to show off my puzzle. I’m so proud.”

billund bill cathi alden 6

“We’re all good. He finally put it down!”

It would have been hilarious if Bill fumbled the puzzle while holding it and all of the pieces split apart.

BILL: OK. We got our money’s worth. I want a hot dog.

CATHI: I want a slurpee.

billund bill cathi alden 7

They’ve had their mind on nothing but food and drink all leg. Bill hasn’t even gotten his ice cream yet and he has already moved on to hot dogs.

CATHI: So yes. I think we’re going to Hamburg.

-Think- you’re going to Hamburg, Cathi? After it says Hamburg right on the dang puzzle? If you don’t follow that gut instinct, you might not even make the 12:30am train!

billund lego 4

“I am a washing machine. Do as I say.”

BILL: She always talks a brave one. Yes she does. (pulls out a weird voice) “I’ve got no motion sickness, we’re fine”. My crackers were about ready to come out.

billund cathi alden

I don’t think Cathi likes Bill’s impression of her. . .and is that a cigarette tucked behind her ear?

Amani & Marcus are third to the train station.

JEREMY: I see a team. It’s right here.

Jeremy & Sandy are fourth.

JEREMY & SANDY: Ride the rails to Brussels, Belgium.

JEREMY: Wow. We caught up pretty good, babe.

Ernie & Cindy note they don’t have their tickets from Cologne to Brussels.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 6

Yeah, they’re not gonna find it.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 7

Ernie & Cindy backtrack to where Cindy dropped it. Sadly, it was probably swept up by a janitor since parts of Europe are always so freakin’ clean so quickly.

CINDY: This is not good.

ERNIE: Obviously.

CINDY: Godddddd.

Way to troll Cindy, Ernie.

They try to buy new tickets at the machine.

hamburg ernie cindy halvorsen 1

I am sure taking a train from Cologne to Brussels while passing through Dutch territory will be a cheap train ride.

billund train

77 Euros. That ain’t cheap.

bangkok liz marie canavan 5

“You could literally buy a house with that!”

Ernie & Cindy realize they don’t have enough money to buy those tickets.

CINDY: We’re so screwed.

ERNIE: We could look around.

billund cindy halvorsen

Is this how it ends? If Ernie & Cindy can’t get on the Cologne train, Andy & Tommy are going to have the easiest path to the winner’s circle in TAR history. Bill & Cathi will be in the Final Four. Amani & Marcus will compare it to being in the Super Bowl. And Jeremy & Sandy will be there.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 8

An incident like this would make somebody like Cindy lose her mind.

ERNIE: Don’t get upset. Don’t get upset.

billund ernie cindy halvorsen 9

“It just means the guest list for our wedding will be reduced by half. Think of the long term benefits!”

CINDY: Oh my god. We’re toast.

Bill & Cathi are at the ticket counter.

hamburg bill cathi alden 2

hamburg train 1

“I want your hips woman!”

ANDY: You guys get on the earlier flight?

SANDY: You’re not on it?

CATHI (to the agent): Just a moment.

SANDY: We’re all here.

CATHI: Are we all going at the same time?

hamburg train 2

Cathi decodes Andy and Sandy’s attempt at making her panic.

SANDY: Do we have a bed?

JEREMY: We’re pumped. We get to sleep.

hamburg train 3

I don’t envy Ernie’s position for this train ride.

hamburg jeremy sandy cline

Meanwhile the other teams get to relax.

Marcus is sad because of the bed.

MARCUS: Hopefully I can fit on this doggone bed.

hamburg marcus pollard

Only one way to find out, Marcus.

hamburg marcus pollard 1

Perfect fit!

The conductor comes by to verify tickets. Ernie informs her about the situation.

ERNIE: We’re going from Cologne to Brussels.

CONDUCTOR: Yes?

ERNIE: We lost our tickets somewhere at the train station.

hamburg ernie halvorsen

hamburg cindy halvorsen

Probably not hard for her to believe after taking one look at Cindy.

ERNIE: Is it possible to print that out here somehow?

hamburg hands

Ernie loves gesturing with his hands.

CONDUCTOR: No. It’s not possible.

hamburg ernie halvorsen 1

I like how she smiles at Ernie despite giving terrible news. It’s the most German-esque thing to do.

CONDUCTOR: Do you have the receipt from the other ticket?

hamburg ernie halvorsen 2

“If you say ‘no,’ I shall mock you some more.

ERNIE (quietly): No.

hamburg ernie cindy halvorsen 2

“Well you’re in a pickle.”

CONDUCTOR: I can’t do anything for you. Sorry.

Cindy says she has gone from a four hour lead to having no lead.

CINDY: It’s insane. This could be a game ender.

hamburg cindy halvorsen 1

“Could is looking an awful lot like ‘will’ right now.”

ERNIE: We blew it big time.

hamburg cindy halvorsen 2

“Fiji better be fucking sweet.”

hamburg cindy halvorsen 3

hamburg cindy halvorsen 4

The head drops in shame. I think Cindy is on the verge of committing seppuku.

Commercial break. We resume. Cindy talks about being disappointed in herself for losing the tickets as everything gets really upbeat when the train arrives in Cologne. Even rare rock music plays as everyone runs to the train for Brussels.

cologne train

Amani and Cindy apologize to each other as they collide.

cologne train 1

This is going to be a tense train ride. They know only one task remains for this leg.

SANDY: We’re heading to Brussels.

cologne bill cathi alden

Everyone has their tickets.

cologne ernie cindy halvorsen

Oh right.

CINDY: We’re hoping they don’t check for tickets and we’re fine or they check for tickets and say we lost it in the run or I’ll hide in the bathroom.

cologne ernie cindy halvorsen 1

“Or they throw us off this train and we have to make sure we duck and roll with our A/V crew.”

TOMMY: Ernie and Cindy misplaced their tickets. Ernie seems like he stays pretty calm and lets Cindy do the stressing out.

cologne ernie cindy halvorsen 2

cologne ernie cindy halvorsen 3

You don’t say.

bottomtooth.jpg

He looks like freakin’ Mr. Bottomtooth right now.

We are approaching Brussels and get some shots of the city.

brussels view

I know that view! The steps to get up there is COVERED in garbage. Like, tons of garbage. It is incredible. Of course they aren’t going to show that.

The train is getting close to the station.

CONDUCTOR: In a few minutes we will be arriving in Brussels.

brussels ernie cindy halvorsen

“Just be cool, man. Be cool.”

cologne andy tommy

“Looks like we have to knock out Ernie & Cindy on our own.”

CINDY:There was no conductor ever collecting tickets. So the whole lost ticket situation is out the window. . .which is good cause we were worrying for a little bit. . .or -I- was worrying for a little bit.

brussels ernie cindy halvorsen 1

I have a feeling this is Cindy’s first experience of illegally riding a train.

As somebody who has accidentally ridden a train in California and in Europe alone without a ticket a few times, it is funny to watch someone squirm knowing it wasn’t going to be an issue.

Everyone jumps off the train once again. The teams see the line for taxis.

SANDY: Babe.

JEREMY: Sandy. There’s a line.

Bill notes they can’t wait in the line either.

brussels jeremy cline

Yeah, that line is going to be brutal.

brussels lineup

You’re better off cutting everybody off on the road before taxis come in.

Bill & Cathi hire a cab.

brussels bill cathi alden

That equalizer effectively saved their ass.

SANDY: Let’s go out to the main street. They’re getting in ’em.

Bill & Cathi see the Parliament Building and run. So are Andy & Tommy. Ernie & Cindy and Amani & Marcus are right there too.

SANDY: The door.

(JEREMY & SANDY exit the cab.)

SANDY: Let’s go.

JEREMY: OK.

Bill & Cathi grab a clue from the bicycle and run away before Andy & Tommy can see. Andy & Tommy spot the clue on their own anyway.

Officially, this was supposed to be a Detour. Unofficially, it is treated as an Active Route Info for this episode. Nobody chose the other option and therefore editors decided to trim precious time by not taking the twenty seconds to explain the second task. It must have been terrible because I can’t believe every team chose the following option:

CATHI: Bodybuilding posedown.

What?

brussels bill cathi alden 1

Bill & Cathi are going to do BODYBUILDING?!

brussels bodybuilding

No way.

PHIL: Jean Claude Van Damme is the most famous bodybuilder.

brussels woman

jonathan race 7

Good luck pushing her around, Jonathan.

brussels bodybuilding 1

cyborg

And people accuse Cristiano Cyborg of being on steroids.

jean claude van damme

Jean Claude Van Damme is not only the most famous bodybuilder. . .

guile 1

But also the star of the world’s greatest film, Street Fighter: The Movie. Co-starring Raul Julia.

game over

Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame Over.

You knew I had to make that reference. I think everyone has a pretty good idea of how familiar I am with Jean Claude Van Damme.

PHIL: They have a chance to walk in the shoes of the Muscles from Brussels by showing off their physiques in a specific routine to score points.

brussels men

machoke

It’s like a room full of human Machokes!

brooke robbie

Robbie would love this task.

brussels orange

Bill & Cathi have to wear THAT?!

brussels phil keoghan

Phil must feel intimidated.

After stripping down to their bare essentials, teams will prepare themselves with competition oil then working with a professional bodybuilder, they will practice the poses they need to flex themselves in front of a panel of judges who will evaluate them based on their technique and performance and reward them with a score. If teams earn a score of twelve or more, they will receive their next clue.

brussels score

Who did so poorly already?

brussels man

“Who dares to mock our art?”

brussels phil keoghan 1

Phil?! What the fuck?

brussels phil keoghan 2

What is wrong with him?

All five teams choose to bodybuild in this one-sided Detour.

JEREMY: I’m going to be in a freakin’ speedo.

The other option must have been terrible.

Bill & Cathi are first to the task.

CATHI: Oh nice. Oh dear.

The sarcasm is clear.

brussels bill alden

Please tell me we don’t have to watch him change.

CINDY: Oh my goodness. What are you wearing?!

CATHI: What you’re going to be wearing, hon.

Cathi emerges.

CATHI: I was pretty mortified. I’ve never worn a bikini that was so small.

brussels bill cathi alden 2

And you thought Legoland made people nauseous! I hope Amani & Marcus kept their barf bag!!!!

Nah, I’m just kidding. This blog isn’t in to body shaming.

brussels cathi alden

Bill is gonna hit that at the pit stop.

BILL: Pick your poison.

brussels bill cathi alden 3

I don’t think there is an ounce of toxins in that guy’s body, Bill.

Jeremy & Sandy find Concert Noble.

JEREMY: OK. C’mon. Here it is.

brussels concert noble

Who created the logo for this building?

pacman

Pacman?

SANDY: Concert Noble.

JEREMY: Oh yeah.

brussels andy finch

brussels tommy czeschin

Andy and Tommy are way too happy to be in that speedo.

Teams start getting sprayed down.

brussels bill cathi alden 4

This is the type of task normally reserved for Hamerotz LaMillion.

brussels andy tommy

I don’t want to see Tommy grabbing his own ass while talking about how small the speedo is.

Ernie & Cindy emerge.

CINDY:This is awful.

brussels cindy halvorsen 3

Cindy has bruises all over her ass. Well, I guess we just discovered what Ernie & Cindy do at the pit stop.

brussels ernie cindy halvorsen 2

“Look out Cindy!!!”

Andy is getting bronzed.

ANDY: You can be rough; it doesn’t have to be smooth.

brussels task

oompa loompa

“Oompa Loompa up those biceps!”

We hear Amani changing.

MARCUS: C’mon. C’mon. We look good. You sexy.

brussels marcus pollard

brussels marcus pollard 1

Amani has a contrasting opinion.

brussels marcus pollard 2

Marcus is like a freakin’ pro wrestler right now.

brussels amani marcus pollard

AMANI: Are you kidding me? I’ve never worn a doggone bikini. Ever.

.

.

.

AMANI: Ever.

brussels amani marcus pollard 1

I don’t think Marcus feels bad about Amani’s suffering whatsoever.

brussels room

Just a reminder: The pit stop is coming up in a few minutes.

brussels amani marcus pollard 2

I am -very- curious what Amani is bronzing right now.

TOMMY: This is not how you prepare for a snowboard contest.

shaun white.jpg

You mean Shawn White doesn’t bronze himself to counter his pale-as-all-hell features?

ERNIE (to ANDY & TOMMY): C’mon guys. Do each other.

brussels andy tommy 1

brussels ernie halvorsen

Okaaaaay. Ernie. Focus on your partner, please. Thank you.

brussels bill alden 1

Bill starts checking out his own guns.

brussels bodybuilding 2

Oh, I’m sure it has, Andy. I’m sure it has.

CATHI: Our kids are just gonna die when they see us in this little clothing. In fact, I’m gonna die so it’s gonna be a family death.

brussels cathi alden 1

. . .

Cindy comments that Ernie is looking sexy. Ernie acknowledges that he looks good in it.

brussels ernie cindy halvorsen 3

Cindy can’t help but keep adjusting her bikini.

brussels bill cathi alden 5

Cathi is pulling it way too far out.

Andy & Tommy and Amani & Marcus are now learning the poses.

brussels amani marcus pollard 3

Amani’s smile is much more natural than Marcus’.

brussels andy tommy 2

The dumbbells being strewn out everywhere is kind of hilarious.

CINDY: My business is hanging out.

brussels ernie cindy halvorsen 4

casha

yung berg

“Shawty give me your business. . .just give me your business. . .”

JEREMY: Chest out.

MAN: Hands here.

JEREMY: Yeah.

brussels jeremy sandy cline

brussels jeremy sandy cline 1

“It’s not funny, Sandy.”

Bill says the posing is not natural.

brussels bill cathi alden 6

“Reach for the stars!”

MAN: Tense those abdominals.

brussels abdomen

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brussels bill cathi alden 8

brussels cathi alden 2

Cathi starts to worry.

Andy finds some of the poses to be difficult because of some of his snowboard injuries. Particularly involving his shoulders.

brussels bump

brussels andy tommy 3

Andy gets bumped by a piece of raw steel.

Amani wants to try really hard to get it right on the first attempt. She is really focused on this task.

brussels amani pollard

Which is a shame because she is the nicest one to look at out of all of the racers in these outfits.

Amani comes up with creative ways for Marcus to remember the poses.

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That is quite the scene. The Roadblock at the theatre has definitely inspired some creativity within Amani.

Ernie & Cindy take to the stage first.

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I’m surprised Ginuwine’s Pony isn’t playing in the background when each team takes to the stage.

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I see that guy has had Partial Neck Removal surgery.

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I don’t think they did that pose right.

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It’s like being on American Idol waiting for the judges to render their verdict.

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Oh right. Jason already made that joke. Dammit.

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It’s like an area code rather than a score.

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3-2-4! 6-5-7! 8-3-8,

your biceps and back need to do a better job to coordinate!

They get feedback from each of the judges.

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“It’s alright. I can handle the feedback, Simone, Paulino, and Randi.”

CINDY: Most of the notes were in Ernie’s details. So frustrating.

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“Who lost the tickets again, Cind?”

Andy & Tommy perform.

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I don’t think they are too impressed. It’s like they are sitting through a court trial.

The crowd randomly oohs and aaaahs throughout the routine.

The judges render their verdict.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE: The routine was not perfect.

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In fact, it was the exact opposite of perfect.

MAN ON FAR RIGHT: Try to smile because we can see that you are thinking what you will do next.

The other three teams continue to practice.

JEREMY: I need something to remember by.

SANDY: You do. Just remember five.

JEREMY: Yeah, I know.

Amani insists Marcus has it and they go out on stage.

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Using ‘windmill’ as a form of instruction indicates Amani & Marcus have already been in Belgium for too long.

MARCUS: Once I went through the door, it was like going into an arena.

MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 14

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An arena where the Montreal Expos play.

MARCUS: Started going through the poses and all of the jitters went away. I really started having a good time.

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Marcus loves an audience.

MARCUS: I’m like ‘they clapping because we’re doing the right things so I really got into it.’

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They really like Marcus. Maybe they thought he was a Tight End.

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This is Marcus’ favourite task ever.

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And that is how it’s done.

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Marcus flexes for the crowd upon victory.

Amani & Marcus read they must go to the next pit stop: Parc Elisabeth. Its symmetrical shape represents the royal monogram of Leopold II. The last team to check in may be eliminated.

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Phil specifically requested no accordion players at this pit stop. He got his wish.

Andy & Tommy are on stage. Ernie & Cindy’s coach tells them that Andy & Tommy look really stiff.

Amani & Marcus find their taxi driver named Martin. He doesn’t know where Parc Elisabeth is.

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Bill & Cathi are not too enthusiastic about being on stage.

ERNIE: I heard some boos from the crowd.

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Cindy can’t even look at the camera for a confessional in her bikini. None of the women enjoyed their bikini during this task, it seems.

Andy & Tommy walk away with a score of five in their second performance.

MAN IN THE MIDDLE: There is no improvement because the details are not there.

MAN ON THE LEFT: In other words, you messed up.

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“In other words, you were fucking terrible.”

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Tommy is concerned.

Ernie sees Andy & Tommy failed again. He says this is their chance to get ahead.

Ernie has a sarcastic message for Andy & Tommy failing at their routine.

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Ernie, you’re just a regular guy from Chicago.

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Not Macho Man Randy Savage cutting a WWF promo.

Amani & Marcus find somebody who will check for Parc Elisabeth’s location on the Internet.

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I already miss Amani in her bikini. 😦

Ernie & Cindy start performing.

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I am amazed she hasn’t thrown her panties at Ernie on stage yet.

ERNIE: I did lock eyes with a man in the audience and flex him with a few parts of the body. At that point I think he was a little intimidated.

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“Ernie welcomed me to his gun show.”

Bill & Cathi receive last minute tips.

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That’s right, Bill. Look mean.

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Grrrrrrr.

Ernie & Cindy await their results.

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They preserve the same pose the whole time.

Ernie & Cindy receive a score of 12.

Amani & Marcus wait for directions from the Internet.

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Cindy gives one last flex for the judges before grabbing the clue.

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Ernie, you sir are a goofball.

Bill & Cathi make an attempt.

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Those abs aren’t tense guys!

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At least none of the judges wrote zero.

Amani & Marcus have directions.

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That woman looks like somebody famous but I am trying to figure out who.

Ernie & Cindy exit Concert Noble.

CINDY: Taxi! Taxi!

ERNIE: Taxi!

CINDY: Taxi!

ERNIE: Taxi!

CINDY: Taxi!

I think they want a taxi.

Marcus says the Detour hadn’t made him that nervous since he was in the principal’s office in the third grade.

Ernie & Cindy have a cab.

Jeremy & Sandy are on stage.

JEREMY: We were playing it up as much as we could. Really look like we were up there enjoying it.

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The Windmill.

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“Woo! Windmill!”

SANDY: Yeah, I think we got two standing ovations.

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But because this is a Jeremy & Sandy edit, we only see one.

They receive a score of thirteen and complete the task.

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WOW. They were underedited at this task. I remember thinking that specifically when this episode originally aired. The other four teams had multiple scenes of either rehearsal or being on stage.

We briefly saw Jeremy & Sandy practice for a few seconds, summarize their performance in a few seconds, and boom, the task is done. Just two confessionals total unlike everyone else who has four or more during this task.

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Andy & Tommy are dangerously close to elimination.

Ernie & Cindy and Amani & Marcus are in a taxi showdown.

MARCUS: We’ve started calling ourselves the Comeback Kids.

You’ve only been saved by one of the three NELs and made up a bit of time in the Denmark leg. I wouldn’t assign you guys that label quite yet, Marcus.

CINDY: I’m glad this leg is almost over.

Cindy is gonna be in for a big surprise momentarily.

Amani & Marcus are still in the cab but can see the gazebo with Phil inside. They hop out and run as Marcus has to repeatedly point at Phil for Amani to see him.

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Phil throws up the ol’ Browsie.

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Amani & Marcus are stuck waiting for a pit stop greeter.

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Oh. The pit stop greeter is one of the band members. Why isn’t he standing with Phil? Does Phil smell bad after nine rounds of travel?

Anyways, he greets them from behind as Amani & Marcus have to turn around to thank him awkwardly.

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This is odd. He is sober. The only time I greet people from behind is when I am really drunk around my friends.

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Wait for it. . .

.

.

.

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FIRST PLACE: AMANI & MARCUS

Phil says they have won a trip to Panama. No spas and massages while there, unfortunately.

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PHIL: Now, as the first team to arrive, you know what that means? You’ll be the first team leaving on the next leg of the race. And the next leg of the race starts. . .

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. . .In twelve hours, pretty please?

PHIL: . . .Right now.

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“Twelve shows in twenty days. What did you expect?”

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AMANI: O Brother.

MARCUS: No way.

PHIL: Yes.

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Which means this is the first season with four NELs since TAR 11: Real All Stars, and there will not be a Speed Bump on the next leg.

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This is the first non-returnee To Be Continued leg since TAR 14. And before that TAR 10.

There will be a rapid increase in frequency of To Be Continued legs once TAR 22 hits.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

ANDY/TOMMY 6/8

ERNIE/CINDY 11/15

BILL/CATHI 5/8

JEREMY/SANDY 3/4

AMANI/MARCUS 7/12

RYAN STORMS 0

Next Time on TAR: The race continues in Belgium where the trash talk heats up and teams go full throttle.

NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT

JEREMY & SANDY 2

ERNIE & CINDY 2

AMANI & MARCUS 2

JUSTIN & JENNIFER 1

BILL & CATHI 1

LIZ & MARIE 1

EVERYONE ELSE 0

RANK THE LEGS

One) Bangkok, Thailand -> Lilongwe, Malawi

Out of the first half of the season, this round definitely had the best overall design.

Obvious bonus points are awarded for going to a new country in Africa. If I recall correctly, the next new African country is not until Zimbabwe appears in TAR 27, and as of TAR 30 no other countries have been added to the catalogue. Where is the Rwanda visit, production!

We learned something interesting about Malawi other than the African stereotype of people carrying things on their heads. We learned that it is one of the biggest global producers of tobacco. This led to a very physical Roadblock which had comedic value due to how much the locals/workers were dancing and trolling around all of the contestants. We also had that awesome moment of everyone running with Marcus out of the stadium. Well, I know it was a factory, but it felt more like a stadium.

A Detour where teams picked between sewing clothes or building a carton truck seemed reasonable enough. The marketplace and the school were both neat locations. It is also funnier when Sandy gets attacked by a rogue soccer ball and Laurence being inaccurately portrayed as somebody wanting to reinforce gender stereotypes.

Teams shown trying to hire a truck (a private car allowed as a form of transportation on TAR!) or chasing one down is the neat chaos I like to see. Laurence opened the driver’s side door of a moving vehicle! Cindy was freaking out while hanging off the side of the truck, and Laurence & Zac tried to fit the beds into a small taxi.

Seeing teams try to be logical and pay their driver prior to going to the pit stop was interesting. Everyone knows the rules that you must pay your driver before you can check in, but yet two teams made that mistake. The physical labour involved with moving the beds made it Bill & Cathi’s time to shine as well as Cindy finding herself behind bars for the first time in her life.

Andy & Tommy picked up their third win because of another team’s error as well as their fourth win in five rounds making them one of the most dominant teams in the first half of a season ever. They should have been major U-Turn targets by this point.

Ernie & Cindy make small mistakes despite Cindy being a perfectionist. You can see the decline since the Taipei victory taking its toll on her.

It always amazes me how unmemorable all of Jeremy & Sandy’s footage is. They had quite a bit of content this episode, but if you look at other recaps of this episode online or what people say when this episode becomes part of a discussion, Jeremy & Sandy’s journey with the delayed truck, Sandy bleeding, or playing with the children never comes up.

Amani & Marcus suffered a lot of bad luck this leg. They and producers are happy it was a NEL. The top two from Bangkok went to the bottom two in Lilongwe (Bill & Cathi switched to sixth place this round).

I am curious what people thought of every single team choosing their male partner to do the Roadblock. There wasn’t a single woman to be found in one of the most physical Roadblocks that TAR has ever done. It would have been great to see Sandy or Cindy try to tackle it. Especially Cindy because her mixture of frustration and intensity would have been entertaining to watch.

Again, no major alliances or big rivalries are forming. Random teams comment on Bill & Cathi’s strengths or Andy & Tommy running into Laurence & Zac at a couple junctures are the only two points of interaction in this whole leg.

Two) Lilongwe, Malawi -> Senga Bay, Malawi

We enter the second half of the season as the editors make it clear they want us to pay attention to one specific storyline: Either Ernie & Cindy or Andy & Tommy are going to win this season.

The episode was all about Ernie & Cindy attempting to strategize as to how they could overcome a team that just can’t stop winning nearly every leg of the race. Other than the Bangkok bus rides, Ernie & Cindy are the only team to definitively beat Andy & Tommy in the first seven rounds. As Andy & Tommy pass Ernie & Cindy in the round’s final steps, it was very much a mentality of “they won the battle but they haven’t won the war”.

I like that this leg took place in locations we will never see on TAR again. A bunch of random villages several hours away from Lilongwe? Production avoided going to one of the more typical destinations in Africa.

I enjoyed the tasks. A slide puzzle as a one-time Speed Bump isn’t the worst idea in the world. It beats the hell out of untying knots. The Detour was difficult as you were either drained physically or had to figure out how to paddle a boat. Every season of TAR should have a paddling challenge because of how much teamwork it always requires. The cycling Roadblock also proved to be difficult for some of the teams as they were getting lost amongst the many villages spread throughout Malawi.

We also get our first U-Turn of the season. Unlike other ineffective U-Turns which typically go unaired, production decided to show this one. Maybe because the idea of a Jamaica Shop in Malawi was too cool to keep on the cutting room floor or because editors wanted to embarrass Laurence & Zac wasting their U-Turn.

I am sure to this day Jennifer doesn’t know why she was dormant for an hour at the Roadblock rather than go back and meet her partner. According to interviews, that hour is what made the difference in this leg. Just think it would have been Jeremy & Sandy that likely would have been eliminated this round, but were spared with a second-to-last place finish for the second elimination round in a row.

I am going to miss those dancing locals.

Three) Senga Bay, Malawi -> Copenhagen, Denmark

Churning butter? Unique but dull to watch.

The Renaissance Dance task? Dull to watch and only difficult for Zac.

The first ever round of consecutive Double U-Turns? I approve.

The bunny hopping task at the Detour? Amazing!

We had three very old school elements that are rapidly drying up as we head into contemporary TAR—scrambling for flights, self-driving, and a debuting country.

Six teams were spread between four flights and teams were forced to drive themselves through the Danish countryside as well as Copenhagen.

The storyline of Ernie & Cindy’s desire to win and be extremely competitive above everyone else was clearly established this round—even above Andy & Tommy’s competitiveness. They U-Turned a pair of sixty year olds just to win a leg. That is a team that wants to constantly be on top.

The unique nature of the U-Turns being used was also interesting to see play out as none of the bottom rung teams were hit by it. Laurence & Zac pulled the rare feat of heading to the pit stop ahead of last place and end up blowing the drive to the pit stop and get eliminated.

Did I mention Bill & Cathi have gone from the team that finished the first leg over four hours behind teams like Kaylani & Lisa and Liz & Marie to nearly being the first team to win a leg after completing a U-Turn.

Marcus not knowing his animals and the suggestiveness of everyone churning butter was hilarious to me.

And how creepy was that dancer in the final stage of the Roadblock? I’m gonna have nightmares about that guy.

In other news, Laurence & Zac probably felt really really dumb for wasting their U-Turn in the previous leg. I guarantee you they would have U-Turned Jeremy & Sandy this round and would have stayed in the race. Or maybe they just U-Turn Amani & Marcus again. That would have been funnier.

P.S. I want to be a pro at bunny hopping. Such an adorable task to watch!

Four) Copenhagen, Denmark -> Brussels, Belgium

Denmark. Germany. Belgium. All in one episode. I am a bit annoyed that all of the self-driving was nullified by a very late equalizer this round, but it is all cancelled out thanks to a NEL that will not have a penalty.

We had a series of tasks that we normally don’t see on TAR. Cycling to a destination while memorizing a poem that required you to insert actions into it, assembling a Lego puzzle while spinning in a teacup, and bodybuilding.

I would penalize this leg some more for breaking the streak of no clue boxes being present on the race, but I’ll look the other way this time.

Ernie & Cindy received a ton of content because of the threat of them not being allowed to board the train. It turned out to be an empty threat as they rode the train to Brussels anyway. They continued to narrate the remainder of the leg. Even with a massive equalizer to erase their lead, they were right behind Amani & Marcus.

Their main rivals, Andy & Tommy, showed a lot of vulnerability for the first time in a while. Tommy was lost during the Roadblock, he failed his first attempt, they had Jeremy & Sandy catch up to them at the Lego task, and the cliffhanger had them in a fight for last place with Bill & Cathi at the bodybuilding task. They are no longer perceived as unbeatable. Perhaps it has something to do with not having aquatic tasks.

Amani & Marcus did very well with self-navigation in the first half of this leg, managed to not vomit during the Lego task, and managed to crush the bodybuilding task to pick up their second win of the season.

Bill & Cathi were really showing signs of race fatigue this round. They were the worst at every task this round and sucked at navigating. It’s not the same Bill & Cathi we have seen since the second round of the season.

And then there’s Jeremy & Sandy. They are a team on this season.

I am annoyed editors didn’t explain to us what the other half of the Detour was this round. I am very curious what would make five teams choose to do half-naked bodybuilding rather than whatever the other option was.

Lastly, Belgium makes its TAR debut. To slightly date the upload of this blog post, Belgium was not re-visited until three weeks ago during the Antwerp leg of TAR 30. I could see a possible Bruges visit down the road and have that be the end for Belgium on The Amazing Race.

Five) Taipei, Taiwan -> Joe Jer Carter, Indonesia

First off, thank god production chose to not do the Contradicting Sign Twist ever again.

Racers are instructed to follow what’s in their clue as the primary source of instruction. During the Detour, they were told to give up the Rupiah they earned to the orphanage. It said nothing about giving up your American Dollars. Teams said that even if they noticed the sign (primarily the words of Jenna Morasca) that they still would have followed what it said in their clue rather than some random sign. I believe that since Phil could have penalized them at the pit stop for not following their clue correctly or unintentionally trick teams into giving up precious money for the following round of play.

It is even worse that this twist occurs simultaneously with the Double Elimination. If the sign wasn’t there, Ethan & Jenna finish this leg in ninth and are saved over Kaylani & Lisa. That’s a potentially big change to have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the season.

This round also had what many consider to be the dumbest Speed Bump of all-time. Untying that rope took somewhere between 5-8 minutes based on the order of events on-screen. I am sure the audience was happy to see Bill & Cathi take the lead after doing the Speed Bump, but we all wished they did a bit more to earn it. Sadly nearly every Speed Bump in the future will go on to be a joke collection of tasks. I have been long advocating for a new type of NEL penalty because clearly the Speed Bump is not working.

The Roadblock was a cool location and was a decent task. A spelunking obstacle course was fun.

The Detour wasn’t particularly memorable. Because of the nineteen teams checking into the pit stop, it was one of the most condensed tasks in TAR history. I think we saw about twenty seconds of dancing and about thirty seconds of motorbikes being parked. It didn’t appear to be memorable or difficult.

The only reason this leg isn’t at the bottom is because Indonesia was a brand new location for TAR US. Other franchises beat them there but it was nice for TAR US to get it off of their check list.

Jeremy & Sandy’s only storyline of wanting the Survivor winners effectively comes to an end this round. Watch their airtime dwindle even more.

Justin & Jennifer was more annoying than it was fascinating to watch. I think the pettiness of the fighting outweighed the comedy of it which is a shame. I wish they recorded some of their physical altercations when they were younger, though. Did anyone get a broken nose?

Despite Bill & Cathi dropping to seventh because they had to run several kilometres, it was still a great comeback for a team that finished the first leg over six hours behind almost all other teams. Yes, two massive equalizers helped but at least they are no longer perceived as a team of fodder.

Kaylani & Lisa’s airtime essentially dropped down to nil this episode. For a team that made a huge blunder in the first leg and were extremely lucky to be saved this round, production didn’t want to focus on them when they aren’t doing anything jaw-dropping.

And I think Ron & Bill finished where most people expected them to this season. They were too mellow for the race.

Six) Fuckit, Thailand -> Bangkok, Thailand

I think we were all fearing the same thing: When teams had to take the bus to Bangkok, the possibility of a mass equalizer would have really messed up this round.

Luckily that wasn’t the case, but the luck of what bus you chose shifted the standings more than they should. Thankfully it produced the same elimination outcome, and didn’t truly affect anything long term. However, it was still a silly design.

In contrast to the other Bangkok legs that I have seen, it isn’t the most draining one that I have seen. Nobody fainted or anything. The only exhausted team was Laurence & Zac for needlessly ditching a first class bus or Liz & Marie who had almost no Thai money for most of this leg.

Once again, this season struggles with interesting tasks.

Disassemble and re-assemble a spirit house at a temple.

Feed fish.

Search a river for a couple of minutes to find a wrapped koi.

Wash an elephant as a Speed Bump.

By far the most interesting part of the episode and what makes it rank higher than most of the earlier legs is that the scramble from the bus station to Bangkok Noi to the pit stop caused a lot of trouble for teams. Liz & Marie were given bad directions, Andy & Tommy lost a ton of time by hanging around a school, Jeremy & Sandy didn’t know what the hell to do, and Ernie & Cindy’s bus station frustrations and traffic frustrations led to a big shuffle right before the pit stop.

I mean, the elephants were cool, but this was the fourth episode in a row where we have seen an elephant this season. It was like a stampede.

Producers trying to leave a hint for teams to take notes on the spirit house was also a slight boost for this episode. Seeing people like Andy & Tommy, Laurence, and Ernie shut down the notion of re-assembling the spirit house was funny to watch. It wasn’t a bad idea for a Double Roadblock implementation.

Once again, a significant amount of airtime is dedicated to Ernie & Cindy and demonstrating the contrast in their personalities, and how they handle a major confrontation with a local. Given the circumstances, they didn’t go over-the-top in the moment and handled themselves quite well in confessionals when talking about the incident. Producers really want to make it their season, and give them a relatively positive edit.

However, not everyone was able to get away with a positive edit this round. Andy & Tommy stirred up a huge controversy that is still talked about online to this day. Even months after the episode aired, Andy & Tommy couldn’t respond to it in a way that produced much forgiveness from the online community. I am interested where the conversation would have gone if one of the interviewers wanted a more extended dialogue about this topic and give themselves a chance for redemption or be clearer about what they exactly meant. Because as it stands, Andy & Tommy are stuck being ranked 702nd out of all TAR teams worldwide by another TAR expert.

Another team that didn’t get such a positive edit was Laurence & Zac. Even with Bill being significantly older, Laurence was the one who came off as the grouchy old man. He told Zac not to take notes and then complained that Zac couldn’t memorize a series of subtle details while claiming he himself could do it without a single hiccup. Fast forward to the end of the episode where Phil mocks Laurence more than I have seen him mock anyone for jumping off of the first class bus.

Amani & Marcus and Bill & Cathi managed to go from frequent cellar-dwellers to claiming the top two spots for this leg. Neither team got much airtime because bigger storylines were going on, but at least we got to see both teams thinking they were the bottom two simply because of what has transpired in the past four legs. I bet both teams were riding a huge high before heading to Malawi. They were the teams that broke Andy & Tommy’s attempt to grow a hat trick into a grand slam.

Lastly, let’s talk about Liz & Marie. They received a significant amount of content in their elimination because of the unusual circumstances. It was an increasingly rare scenario where a team had to fight through multiple episodes without any cash and seeing their position continue to decline into a state of hopelessness. However, they absolutely LOVED playing with elephants in their Speed Bump. They would have probably traded the million dollars for the chance to play with elephants. The brief storyline of playing this race in honour of their recently deceased father was an added touch. None of the scenes seemed unnecessary.

P.S. Jeremy & Sandy fought through their issues like normal people.

Seven) Los Angeles, California -> Taipei, Taiwan

I hate Starting Line tasks. I hate pointless Speed Bump-esque penalties that aren’t entertaining and/or serve no purpose to the race other than ‘look at this repackaged twist that we are pretending is brand new!’

I am becoming increasingly more open to NELs in the season premiere, and surprisingly I am okay with the setup for the Double Elimination twist. Eliminations in TAR have always been arbitrary, and choosing to eliminate the bottom two teams in exchange for saving a team this round is perfectly fine with me. . .even with who eventually goes home because of it. -_-

I like that producers didn’t use a single clue box this round. We had a tough billboard challenge that left old people scrambling for five hours.

The other tasks weren’t particularly interesting to watch.

The umbrella task came down to pure luck for most teams at the starting line and led to a pointless penalty that was even more pointless because of the NEL. It just cost us precious Taipei time.

The Hazard required only one person to participate while their partner did nothing.

The dragon boat task wasn’t really a task. It was all to be done in a fixed amount of time for the most part. They had twenty people helping them.

The Confucius Roadblock was alright. I wish the phrase was just a little bit longer, but was enough to stump Liz for a really long time.

I am seeing evidence of why this season doesn’t make a big impression on people. You either didn’t like the twists or were indifferent to it, and no major storylines really developed.

Cindy is controlling.

Marcus loves football.

Kaylani & Lisa had the worst start ever in TAR history, but somehow finished the leg in ninth. How far can they go? And that whole incident with Reality Fan Forum was a memorable moment.

Bill & Cathi are nice. Hopefully they don’t screw up this second chance.

Ethan & Jenna were on Survivor.

Premieres need to either grip you in with story or be hilarious to make people settle in for the ride–this was neither.

Overall, the good cancels out the bad and leaves us with a very mediocre season premiere for TAR.

Eight) Joe Jer Carter, Indonesia -> Magelang, Indonesia

This leg is definitely the worst out of the first three in terms of design.

Easy cycling task where the only way the order changed is if your bike had an unintentional malfunction.

Both sides of the Detour were quick and uneventful. Either plant rice in mud or fill up grass to an arbitrary line that was either accepted or rejected based upon questionable criteria, fill buckets, and herd goats. The bags of grass still mildly annoys me since some of the teams’ bags looked really full.

The Roadblock and the Pit Stop were in the exact same location. That means whether or not you happened to settle with your cab beforehand solely determined who went home because all of the teams were close together. In other words, it was a roll of the dice to figure out who was going home.

Andy & Tommy won another leg because of a team ahead of them being penalized at the pit stop. We don’t know why the penalty was determined to be fifteen minutes rather than the standard thirty. Perhaps because the leg was so short and linear that a fifteen minute penalty was the equivalent to a thirty minute penalty in other legs.

Ernie & Cindy received a huge amount of attention during this leg as a team being aggressive and skilled at the race, and Amani & Marcus rallying from certain doom were the two key storylines of this leg. Oh, and Bill & Cathi are old people who can’t stand in tall grass. Everyone applauding whenever they complete a task is kind of hilarious as if they aren’t capable of going far in the race.

Lastly, we hit upon Kaylani & Lisa’s only non-passport storyline. Kaylani has a young child at home that she misses. Phil, Lisa, and hopefully others successfully convince Kaylani that she isn’t disappointing her daughter. It was a roller coaster for a team that goes home in the second elimination leg of the season. Considering they originally checked into the second pit stop in tenth, and Phil was on his way to eliminating them in the first leg, they are probably grateful they got three rounds in The Amazing Race.

This leg would have been much stronger if they travelled to another part of Indonesia that was outside of Java.

Nine) Joe Jer Carter, Indonesia -> Phuket, Thailand

This leg was excruciatingly linear and took place in a shorter amount of time than the leg in Joe Jer Carter.

Other than Liz & Marie struggling at the Detour and Justin & Jennifer’s usual antics, the only source of conflict in the whole episode was Jeremy & Sandy. It was extremely uneventful and was a very ‘normal people’ type of fight. Seeing two level-headed people butt heads in a diplomatic way does not make for entertaining television. If it was hilariously calm or hilariously overboard, then yeah, we want to see it, but otherwise it doesn’t need to make it beyond the editing room suite.

After TAR 14’s teams refused to do a Fast Forward for charity, we had it as one of the two Detour options. While many teams switched tasks, it seems like the amount of time lost was very minimal for everyone except Liz & Marie.

In fact, all of the mistakes this leg other than Liz & Marie cost very little time. Ernie & Cindy’s compass clue was easily corrected, Laurence & Zac were able to follow another boat, Jeremy & Sandy had to shuffle a few chairs, and Amani & Marcus couldn’t find the pit stop for a few minutes in a very limited area to search.

Setting up umbrellas and chairs was lame as a Detour task until the gusts of wind happened. The coral cage was cool and fighting the current was a legitimate challenge.

The compass task of directing your boat thirteen minutes to an island using a medallion was neat on paper, but ended up being relatively easy for everyone.

The rock climbing Roadblock was perhaps the easiest version of it I had ever seen. Maybe the ladder from Family Edition is the only one that was easier. There was no way for Liz & Marie to make up time in this round. It all truly came down to the Detour.

The floating village was bland. I wish they had done something there or showed neat things about the village. It looked like a lifeless ghost town to me unlike the Cambodian floating village from TAR 13. Production could have done so much more with it.

I don’t know why there was such a big deal made about the arrival of the flights when there was a mass equalizer to make it all pointless. Those scenes could have been cut down so much more.

And Liz & Marie were really really really lucky that they didn’t need any Thai money beyond the initial taxi ride. This leg made it obvious that Liz & Marie aren’t destined for a deep run into this season in contrast to everyone else.

No major storylines were developed this episode. Laurence & Zac messed up sailing, Liz & Marie messed up at something similar to being lifeguards, and Marcus struggled with a sports stadium. All were amusing little moments.

And yeah, this was the perfect leg design for Andy & Tommy. I estimate their morning was done in less than two hours. After three consecutive leg wins, Andy & Tommy secured their spot as the biggest target of the season.

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6 Responses to The Amazing Race 19 Episode Nine Rankings

  1. “ I need my son here for help. Grant, I wish you were here to help us.”

    I’m honestly shocked you didn’t make a Grant Bowler reference after that line.

  2. It Is Their Call says:

    The other half of the Detour is that Tin-Tin task, which pops up at the start of the penultimate round before flying to Panama.

    In addition to being originally from Belgie, TT was also in the midst of promotion for his 2011 film.

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