This is a weird metaphor to make, but the last two legs of The Amazing Race can be connected to that Katy Perry song. Now, forgive me for this metaphor, kids, but hear me out: hot deserts, cold ski resorts, hot hookahs, cold shark-infested-ish waters... you get the idea. But we're done with Dubai, and we're on to Europe, and with the admittedly immature Mika and Canaan out, well, we'll see what happens next.
But first, to 60 Minutes, and a pretty sensible bit from Andy Rooney... airlines. Musings on airline security and airline pilots. Very fitting. I'm taking a plane this week! And so are these guys!
Anyway, Meghan and Cheyne were the first to arrive at the pit stop, which is apparently at The Palm, that man-made sand-built island that's bigger than 800 football fields. That's larger than I thought when I saw it on TV before. They open the first clue, and they're headed to Amsterdam. They've been first for the past couple of legs, but all that goes for naught: the earliest flight out of Dubai is at midnight, and eventually everybody else catches up.
All that free time, Sam and Dan thought, was a good time to open up to everybody. Besides, they say, there's a time when they get comfortable enough to reveal bits about their lives--well, duh, in this case, it's their being gay. I expected Maria and Tiffany to be shocked with this revelation, but it's Ericka who goes a-spanking. The poker girls don't really mind: they're still the "sweetest" guys they know.
Once in the Netherlands, they have to get on a car and drive to some causeway, find some monument, and get a clue. (Phil, you didn't have to speak so fast. I usually catch these things.) It became a foot race among all the teams--well, sort of, since the editors had a hand on it, and Brian was stuck at the airport, unable to start his car.
It's a Roadblock: teams head to the Martinitoren, a bell tower in Groeningen, where one has to count all the bells inside correctly to get the clue. That's 62 bells overall. Meghan and Sam (or is it Dan? I still can't tell) were the first up there, and counted the bells together. Would've been easier if it wasn't that dark and if the carillon player was nice enough not to ring the bells when they were up there. They got it anyway. Tiffany, who got to work on the Roadblock, didn't really have to finish it: Sam (or Dan, whatever) told her the number just as she went up.
It wasn't as easy for Ericka, though, who sort of freaked out when she realized the place was dark and dingy--and to make things worse, she can't figure out how many bells are there. 43, then 56, then 57, all wrong. It's inevitable she starts crying inside, resulting in a pretty uncomfortable exchange with the carillon player, who's to give the clue.
"Why are you laughing?" he goes.
"I was crying earlier," she answered. "You just didn't see it."
Thankfully she finally got it right at that moment. They left Groeningen in last place.
As for the rest, they head to Vierhauzen, this quaint and dainty Dutch town, where they look for a windmill and find a clue. Now, this reminds me of those cartoons I watched as a kid. It's a Detour, and both involve wearing traditional Dutch farmer outfits and riding bikes. Cue the humorous aspects of the game.
Both tasks are needlessly complicated, actually. Choose Farmer's Game, and you play what they call "farmer's golf": you bike to a river, strip down to your (farmer's) undies, and swim across, before reaching an improvised golf course where you have to finish three holes in under eight strokes, else you repeat it. Choose Farmer's Dance, and you head to some barn where you ring a high-striker first--you know, the sort that you see in parks, the "are you strong enough?" kind--and then dance this particular dance correctly. When you get it right, you have to eat salted herrings and onions before getting your next clue.
And then there's the question of who wears the male and female outfits. Cue even more awkward moments.
The first two teams--Meghan and Cheyne, and Sam and Dan--head to the golf course. It looks easy but it isn't, considering the windy conditions. Worse for Meghan, she's anxious because she doesn't play golf, and only gave way because Cheyne can't dance. The brothers finish just in time--all three holes in eight strokes--and get to the pit stop, the Zoutkamp Harbor, first. They win a sand buggy each. Meghan and Cheyne finish second, after repeating the whole thing and finally getting their stride.
Gary and Matt decide to take the dance, but don't really finish it: apparently Matt doesn't eat fish, and when they realize they have to, they quickly ditch it for the golf course, and do the task pretty quickly. They end up in fourth, however: Flight Time and Big Easy breezed through the dance--it's something they do as Globetrotters, after all--and finish third, high after almost getting eliminated in Dubai.
Brian and Ericka are absolutely behind thanks to the bit at Groeningen, but they quickly hit the Detour, missing one crucial detail: they have to bike their way to the task. They become the trademark bickering couple that we hate to see on the show: imagine walking a long distance, tired and pained because of those clogs. But they did the dancing task and it came at the right time. "I'm falling in love with Brian again," she said. They finally get bikes to get to the pit stop, but they were slapped with a 30-minute penalty anyway.
But Maria and Tiffany were worse off. They can do either, they say, but they went to the dance first and can't hit the high-striker. 30 attempts later, they play golf, where they got frustrated at the wind, the wooden clubs, and the rudimentary nature of the whole thing. (And they can't hit strong either.) They return to the dancing bit, and found themselves stuck at the high-striker. They hug after attempt number 50, in tears, frustrated, but not giving up. You see a pattern?
Exactly. They tried hitting the bell twenty more times, got frustrated, hugged again, returned to the golf course, got frustrated, hugged again. Brian and Ericka didn't need to worry, because they finished in fifth place anyway. Phil had to head out to the field to tell the poker girls that they're sixth, although that's not exactly how it panned out: they quit the race, because they "can't finish the task with this weather." How anticlimactic.
Next week, the remaining teams head to Stockholm, where they invoke Alfred Nobel's spirit by detonating dynamite. And that Roadblock with hay. Oh, yes, I remember that.