It just got even harder to find someone to root for on “The Amazing Race,” as yet another likeable team was sent packing by Phil Keoghan and a greeter in period garb. We’re starting to sound like a broken record, which in all honesty probably still sounds better than some of the racers attempting Schubert, but the good guys are falling like flies and it’s a tad depressing.
Here’s the blow-by-blow of how the teams traveled 640 miles to Austria, how Pinkie journeyed farther down the rabbit hole to blunderland, and how another set of nice guys finished last.
All but two teams got the first train out of Gdansk, Poland, but a four-hour layover in Warsaw allowed the Afghanimals and the ice queens to reconnect with the gang. Just as Oklahoma cracked a joke equating clowns with Leo & Jamal, they appeared on cue and declared that everyone “was back to square one.” They immediately were grilled about U-turning the beards, a move they denied, saying they never even saw the beards, and Pinkie, who lacks any sort of finesse in her social game, yelled back, “You’re such liars.”
The Afghanimals stuck to their story, yet explained in camera confidence, “We’ll do whatever to get ahead.” However, it seemed as if everyone already figured out they’d done it, and the fib seemed to hurt their game more than help it. The teams remained neck-in-neck as they arrived at Vienna’s famed opera house and followed Rigoletto through the hallowed halls of high notes to the costume room to retrieve a clue to the detour.
The Fast Forward made its first appearance this season, although thanks to its weather-dependent nature and some super strong winds, no one got to blow past the tasks to the pit stop by taking a 500-foot bungee jump off the Donautrum, the tallest structure in Vienna.
The doctors gave up their run when they realized Boston would arrive at the tower of terror first. Unfortunately for the couple in baby blue, who overcame a minor heights freakout on the way up the elevator, the site operator told them it was too dangerous to jump. Amy glommed on to the glimmer of hope that the breeze could die down in 10 or 15 minutes, but Jason thought it was “dumb” to get “all geared up” and “bank on weather” when it was going to take them “15 minutes to get back to the detour.” When headband admitted he didn’t want to give them false hope as a houseplant blew over, Amy relented and the twosome made a mad dash to the detour.
Having A Ball
No one chose the light brigade option, in which teams had to assemble an elaborate crystal chandelier. Maybe because if your first try was a failure, they’d let the fixture come crashing to the floor.
Instead, everyone attended a Viennese masquerade ball. They had to find the waltzing couple wearing the same masks as they were. The usual level of difficulty on a challenge of this type seemed elevated, as there were very subtle differences in the masks and some couples had one correct mask. The exes finished “in, like, three minutes,” according to Pinkie, but then had “issues with transportation,” allowing other pairs to beat them to the next stop, the Wiener Sangerknaben. Boston arrived to a room filled only with dancers. Jason groaned, “Oh dear, we are in trouble.”
Preaching To The Choir
Boston caught a break as the roadblock — singing lead on Schubert’s “Die Forelle” in German with the city’s famed boys’ choir — proved daunting for every player who decided they were their team’s choir boy.
Nicky’s own bestie likened her awful voice to Cameron Diaz’s in “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” People were sure surprised to see Jason when he joined them in the performance room where oiler Danny was elevating the ankle he twisted on the run to the ball. There was no singing of praises by the choirmaster, who was judging them on pronunciation and musicality, and no one received the clue to Schonbrunn Palace on the first pass. At worst, the kid pros snickered at them and the choirmaster begged them to “stop, please.” At best, he handed out an “acceptable,” which the doc earned first.
The baseball wives, who finished second, tried to take Boston’s cab until they realized their bags were inside. As it is against the rules to touch another team’s packs, they wandered off to find another cab, even though the driver unloaded the trunk for them. With the luggage now on the ground beside the car, Pinkie was not so courteous. She had no issue snagging the taxi of their last-leg allies, lying to the driver that they were his passengers all along and devising a plan to tell Boston that the Afghanimals had done it. “Sure, there will be hard feelings. But a million dollars, or drinks with Jay and Amy after the show,” she said as she moved her hands like a scale in favor of the cash.
Diverting blame didn’t pan out as Boston peeped their bags in the trunk at the next stop and Amy was livid. “Providence Amy [which we assume is like Lima Heights Santana on “Glee”] will come out. I’m going to flip.”
She made good on her promise when the two teams landed on Phil’s mat almost simultaneously and Pinkie justified her “sneaky” actions with the ol’ “it’s a race” and “you don’t know what you would have done had you found yourself in our shoes” arguments. Phil looked like a deer in headlights and Jason had the final thought: “It’s fine. We’re a better team. We’re going to kick their ass.”
A-maze-ing FinishAfter finding a clue in the royal garden’s maze and slogging up a massive hill to this leg’s pit stop, the Gloriette, the doctors pulled ahead of the baseball wives when the girls went the wrong way to inquire about directions. The “Power Parents” won a trip to Anguilla and were followed to the pit stop by baseball wives, Afghanimals, exes, and Boston.
Oklahoma, who took five painful stabs at Schubert, got to the mat seemingly seconds after the ice queens and were Philiminated. Tim got a little weepy, but was proud of himself and his best friend. “We had high expectations for ourselves. For never leaving the country and being newbies to the world, we made it pretty dang far.”
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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