Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Amazing Race - Episode 5

Weclome back, well the first 4 episode post is right next to this one, so you can refer to that one if you need to know what happened up to this point.

The episode starts in Germany with Eric and Jeremy getting their first clue:

Clue #23 - Route Info
Teams must fly to Palermo, Italy and once there catch a taxi to the opera house


Airport inrigue returns. While Eric and Jeremy arrived at the airport first, they were quickly discouraged at the site of a closed till the morning ticket counter, and decided to use their time (horse)playing with the airport's courtesy wheelchairs to realize that BJ and Tyler were using a public internet kiosk at the airport to secure reservations on the AlItalia flight, This proves to be important as BJ and Tyler hold the last pair of confirmed seats available on the flight, leaving Eric and Jeremy to wipe that smirk off their face and beg for standby,

Some teams started to think outside the box and asked about making multi-airline bookings, and found that there such a multi airline booking that could shave some time off of the arrival. There has been some debate as to weather or not Fran was rude to Lake and Michelle at the ticket counter, however I thinkthat the right to privacy when conducting business is a reasonable request, particularly when you you are competing. If Lake refused to honorFran's request, which I could easily see happening, well then Franwould have no choice but to be assertive which may come off as rude. Lake's line about "She's a doctor's wife se should know better", well then Lake hasn't been exposed to HIPPA where privacy in business conversations is king.

All this leads to a Lake meltdown, as they discover upon arrival in Rome that the other teams have bookings on a different flight than they do, and whats more the more advantageous flight is full. Who here wasn't surprised to see Lake throw a tantrum when life didn't go his way? One at the airport, teams had no trouble finding the opera house, which had

Clue #24 - Route Info
Take a marked car and drive to Castellamare De Golfo which is fortress in a quaint looking down.


Not much to report here other than we get another clip of a team who is stunned to find out the car they have been issued comes equipped with standard transmission. Again, if you sign up for this show, learning to drive stick is a must. Oh, we also get treated to more footage of Fran and Barry walking right past a clue box. Anyway once they arrive they get

Clue #25 - Detour
Foundry or Laundry

In Foundry teams must walk to a local foundry, once there, they must take a 110 pound church bell to a church located some distance away. They are allowed to use a small pickup-like vehicle to move the bell part of the way, but for some of the way the heavy bell must be carried, inlcuding up a bunch of stairs. Once they deliver the bell to the church, the priest will give them there next clue,

In Laundry, teams must search through several clothers lines strung between buidlings to find one of 16 garments (amongst over 2000) that have an Amazing Race flag label sewn into them. One they find a marked garment, they may exchange it with the laundry lady for their next clue.,

Notes: Not another Lucky Choice challenge. In this one, teams can either elect the grueling physical task of carrying the bell, where a strong team could finish quickly, or take there chances on a non-strenuous task that may or may not take a long time depending on the team's luck.

Most teams choose Laundry, no teams swap tasks, and the teams seem to have no trouble with the tasks they choose. Ray and John earn bonus points for single handedly hauling the bell up the stairs.

Either way they get:
Clue #26: Route Info
- Travel to anarcheological park in Segesta, Italy, once there park your car and hike along the trails to the Teatro (an ampitheatre) Warning Yield Ahead.

Again not much happened on the roads on the way to the park outside of the garden variety getting lost. Points of note: BJ and Tyler sounded keen on Yielding Eric and Jeremy but chose not to. The editing starts to make it look like BJ and Tyler are significantly ahead as we watch them pretty much demo the episode for us, then we watch everybody else.

Lake and Michelle arrive at the park, but get confused on the trails, and acutally find the pit stop location before the Road Block location so have to backtrack to the road block. This time Fran and Barry return Lake's request for a hint with "Can't help you!" Some say this is in retalliation for the motorcycle incident where Lake really did help to the amount that could be reasonably expected, so while it may be good game play to keep your oponent lost, it may come back to haunt them down the road. Bad karma maybe?

Speaking of Lake and Michelle - they choose to Yield the Twins (Team Double D). Pay attention as this is important as the twins sit out their 30 minute time out. You can tell the decision was 100% Lake as Michelle as much as admitted she didn't have a say in it.

Adjacent to the Yield point is
Clue #27 - Roadblock
"Whos good at piecing things together"
The challenge is basically to enter the theatre where parts of a "classical" (read:nude) statue are scattered about in a pile. They basically form a life size 3D jigsaw puzzle. Assemble the pieces to the archeologists satisfaction to get the next clue. Oh, and Phil lets us in on the booby trap: There are 2 extra parts, teams don't know this. I love when Phil lets us in on these little booby traps, then we can watch the teams suffer through them. Ever since "Now that you're familiar with Sangwe Village, make your way to Sangwe Museum" (Where teams could not wait to hop into their cars and drive for hours to find a little musem located within walking distance of the last pit stop)/ Mom didn't care for the extra pieces trick, but I loved it.

Most teams took the little extra surprise in stride, finished their statue and said "I guess there are extra pieces" as they showed it to the inspector and received their clues. The noteworthy exception would be Dave and Lori. (The geeks) Lori took the road block and just could not get her mind over the fact tht you don't have to use every piece that is provided. I think she said she had the statue right, and took it apart 3 times in attempt to figure out how to fit those last two parts into the puzzle. The shows producers congratulate themselves on mission accomplished.

Lake takes too much credit in saying that his anatomy courses really helped him on this very basic 3D jigsaw puzzle. It's all about Lake, you know, as Lake enters the realm of self-centered reality show players. Team D are second to last to the pitstop, where the delay cuases them to have to compete in the Roadblock head to head with Ray and Yolanda who actually arrived after them. They both finished the roadblock at about the same time, which for me is enough to build a case that if there was not a Yield, Team D would have easily checked in at the pitstop ahead of Ray and Yolanda, instead Ray and Yolanda were able to beat them in the footrace to the pitstop, despite the tension building moment of showing Ray and Yolanda checking a park guide map.

Oh and completing the puzzle gets them Clue #28
Clue #28 - Route Info
- Walk to Temo de Segesta which is another attraction within the same park, and in walking (or running distance) Warning: This is a Pit Stop.

First to check in were BJ and Tyler who won a digital photography package to include digital camera, computer, photo printer, and supplies.

Eric and Jeremy came in second, yes they make a typical Girl-mind comment about the local greeter, and when told they were in second place, reacted like they were at a funeral, or they had been eliminated. Phil even had to say "Come on guys, second place, can't you show a little enthusiasm" Add competetive to their list of traits. Phil, if you think there are sullen now, just wait!

One by one teams arrive:
1) BJ and Tyler
2) Eric and Jeremy
3) Johna and Monica
4) Fran and Barry
5) Lake and Michelle (Goes down on one knee to thank Michelle, maybe he does have good in him, Phil responds with a noble "Rise" like he was talking to a knight.
6) Dave and Lori

Which leaves a nailbiting footrace to the finish

7) Ray and Yolanda
8) Danni and Danielle

Dani and Danielle are eliminated for being in last place. Phil again comments about how this was the closest male/female relationship between two different teams in the history of the race, again almost confirming that some extra curricular activity was happening at the pitstops. As I said, if Eric and Jeremy were sullen before, wait till they find out their girls won't be waiting from them at the Pitstop Hotel. Then wait till they learn that Lake and Michelle were directly responsible for their elimination. Thats a big case of ill-will between teams right there.

So the Detour payed off in that Lake and Michelle were able to control which team got sent packing. I'm not sure Lake played that card out of strategy or out of the "I'm ahead, let me beat on chest and cause another team pain" mentality. It probably was a wise move as they had just seen how close they were to the pit stop, had a very limited number of teams behind them, and so it was a good move to try to save their own selves from elimination. Between the two though, I would think the better play would have been to Yield Ray and Yolanda as they appear to be the better (usually) of the bottom feeder teams, and Team D makes enough mistakes on their own that they would have probably been out real soon anyway.

Oh, and nothing good in the previews excpet tasks involving live raw seafood and possibly selling in a local market, oh, and the show moves to a new time slot: Wednesdas at 8pm.


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