Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Amazing Race Round-Up, 18-8

We're down to...six teams, now? Wow. It's starting to get pretty easy to keep track of people, now that we've winnowed away almost half the field. In any event, those six teams started off in India, but now need to go to Vienna, Austria, where a Ford Focus commercial is waiting for them. Jet and Cord once again decide to spot all the other teams a head-start, this time by a half-hour, as they pick a different flight in the hopes that one or more people will miss a connection and give them an advantage. Instead, they hit Austria a half-hour behind everyone. Guys? Not that I actually want you to win, given your attitude towards gay people, but you are reaching that point in the Race where those are elimination mistakes instead of charmingly doofy mistakes.

The teams all get to Vienna, where they each get a brand new Ford Focus to drive, and are instructed to use its easy touch-screen system to get the next clue. This backfires slightly on Ford, as we then get a scene of Gary mildly swearing as he tries to figure out how to make the easy touch-screen system work. But eventually he figures it out, and all the teams head to an Austrian castle!

...where they get a book, which they're instructed to deliver to a library via Ford Focus. Is it just me, or is the product placement a little bit more intrusive this season? Other than the "lifetime supply of 7-Up" from Season 16, I can't think of another time they've been this much in your face with the sponsor's stuff. (Oh, and the prize for this week is a Ford Focus for each Racer...which isn't a lifetime supply, unless the Ford Focus is an amazingly reliable car. Or an unbelievable deathtrap.)

In any event, at the library, we finally ditch the Ford Focus to do the Detour. One option is to deliver a couch from the Freud Museum to the University of Vienna (presumably without a single Freudian slip.) The other option is to eat a lot of schnitzel and baked potatoes and chocolate cake. Not one, not two, but three teams forget the cardinal rule of the Amazing Race: The better the food in the eating challenge, the nastier the catch in the challenge has to be. In this case, it's a timed eating challenge. All three teams fail, giving everyone else (in specific, the Cowboys) a chance to catch up.

Everyone delivers their couches--and surprisingly, the Goths do so amidst much bitching at each other. Their relationship this time out is very different, and a lot less supportive. (Rumor has it that they aren't actually dating anymore, just pretending to for purposes of the show. I obviously don't know, but they're not acting very much like a couple. Except in the sense that Nick and Vicki acted like a couple.) Then it's back to the Ford Focus, to go to the Road Block! (I was half-expecting the couches to be delivered via the spacious cargo room of the Ford Focus!)

Unfortunately for Gary and Mallory, who got passed by the Cowboys, the Road Block turns out to be one of those simple, mechanistic, takes-everybody-about-the-same-amount-of-time tasks. Fortunately, this turns out to be the season's first official non-elimination leg. (At least, fortunately as far as I'm concerned. I know there are people who can't stand Mallory's squealing excitement, but I think she's sweet.) And next week, we're off to Switzerland to see if they can catch up!

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