The Amazing Race: Dance, Hop and Churn

Thank goodness – since a team got eliminated on The Amazing Race last week, I was a little worried that this week would be yet another non-elimination round. After all, that did seem to be the pattern they’ve been following this season – eliminating a team every other leg. Instead, it ended up being one of the more unpredictable legs we’ve had this season. Although if we’re all being honest, those challenges left something to be desired, didn’t they? I mean, dancing, churning butter and playing with adorable bunnies? Not exactly thrilling or difficult activities, are they? It sounds more like a grade school field trip to an old-timey town.

Airport Drama

Teams headed from Malawi to Demark at the beginning of the leg, with the option of either taking a flight they’d all already been booked on or trying to book a better flight on their own. This gave on team a brief advantage and set another team far behind yet, surprisingly, their fortunes were reversed later in the leg.

Laurence decided that he and Zac should fly to London, thinking that as a hub for international travel they’d find a good flight upon their arrival. The risk paid off, and the father/son team arrived in Copenhagen well before all the other teams. The problem? It didn’t matter, since they arrived in the middle of the night and the bell tower where the next clue was located wouldn’t open until the next morning.

Meanwhile, Jeremy and Sandy and Andy and Tommy found a flight that would touch down at 10:35 p.m. while Bill and Cathi and Cindy and Ernie were scheduled to arrive at 11:00 p.m. While those teams all joined Laurence and Zac in waiting for the bell tower to open at 7:30 a.m. Amani and Marcus were catching up on sleep in an Amsterdam airport, foolishly waiting for the flight they’d originally been scheduled on. They were the only team that hadn’t booked themselves a better flight, and that meant they arrived in Copenhagen almost an hour after the other teams had already entered the bell tower to search for their next clue.

Dance For Your Life

Luckily for Amani and Marcus, they immediately caught a break. Jeremy and Sandy wandered off in the wrong direction looking for the clue, so they had to return to the bell tower and try again. That put them on pretty even footing with Amani and Marcus, while all the other teams made their way to the Roadblock.

The Roadblock required one team member to perform a series of three traditional Danish dances. Some teams were surprisingly skilled at this, while one was hilariously dreadful. While Ernie, Cathi and Andy all breezed through the challenge, poor Zac was stuck shuffling around with a bonnet over his Justin Bieber hair while his arrogant dad sighed about how he’d probably be able to complete it more quickly. Of course, my favorite part of the whole Roadblock was Cindy’s brief bonding session with Bill. She asked how they met and Bill revealed he’d been thirteen years old and Cathi was twelve. They were together for eight years before marrying on the day of college graduation. “Wow,” Cindy said. “We just met in a bar.” Of course, the love story didn’t melt Cindy’s tiny black heart – she still U-turned those suckers later in the game. Harsh stuff. Zac finally left in fourth place, which left Sandy and Amani to perform the dances and avoid last place.

Butter vs. Bunnies

The teams arrived at the Detour knowing there was yet another double U-turn ahead, so the pressure was on. They had to choose between “All Hopped Up” which would require them to hilariously guide rabbits through a little obstacle course or “All Churned Up” which required them to make some butter.

Ernie and Cindy arrived first and made the butter. They then headed for the U-turn, where Cindy insisted on U-turning Bill and Cathi, who they knew were in second place. Why U-turn the oldest team in the race? Oh, because Cindy wanted to make sure she won a trip this time after losing that footrace last leg. Ernie was uncomfortable with the decision because he didn’t want to play that way (weak sauce) but I felt uncomfortable for another reason. I understand Cindy’s competitive spirit, but she was completely ignoring the long-term picture. Sure, U-turning Bill and Cathi guaranteed them a first place finish that they likely would have won anyway – Cindy should surely be able to beat Cathi in a footrace, right? But long term, those guys aren’t Ernie and Cindy’s competition. The competition are the dudes who have won almost every single leg. If they were going to use the U-turn when in first place, they should have U-turned Andy and Tommy.

So Bill and Cathi selected the butter challenge only to see themselves at the U-turn and go back to complete the bunny challenge. And you know who won? All of the viewers, because watching Bill and Cathi play with bunnies was awesome. So thanks for being kinda of a B, Cindy!

Since they didn’t know how difficult the second Detour would be, Bill and Cathi also had to use the U-turn and they chose Laurence and Zac. It was a smart decision, since they last saw Zac struggling at the dance Roadblock and they knew the team was behind them. Bill and Cathi completed the bunny challenge in no time while Andy and Tommy opted for butter. Following the Roadblock everyone had to drive back to the Pit Stop in Copenhagen. Ernie and Cindy finally got another first place finish and won a trip to Fiji, while Bill and Cathi arrived just seconds before Andy and Tommy to grab second place to their third. Are Bill and Cathi actually becoming contenders in this thing? They’ve had a few really strong legs now!

Laurence and Zac and Jeremy and Sandy chose the butter task while Amani and Marcus worked with the bunnies. And can we talk about how funny it was to see Marcus talk to his bunny like it was a quarterback? So, so funny. Amani and Marcus took off while Laurence and Zac saw themselves U-turned and also had to complete the bunny challenge. That meant Amani and Marcus made a surprising comeback and arrived at the Pit Stop in fourth place.

At that point, it really looked like Jeremy and Sandy would be eliminated – which was no skin off my nose, since I don’t really care for them. When Laurence and Zac took off for Copenhagen in the wrong direction and then later hit some traffic I thought “Pfft, editing. It can’t fool me, Jeremy and Sandy are totally out.” But I was wrong! Laurence and Zac’s navigation error lost them a couple of hours, while Jeremy and Sandy took the correct route to Copenhagen. Sandy and Jeremy arrived in fifth place and, lo and behold, Laurence and Zac were eliminated.

If you’ve been reading my reviews this season you know I haven’t particularly cared for Laurence, so I was happy to see this team eliminated. It should be interesting to see what happens from here though, since Laurence and Zac were often frontrunning team Andy and Tommy’s toughest competition. Who will fill that role now? Ernie and Cindy, I suppose, although based on Andy and Tommy’s track record it will be difficult for anyone to beat them. Of course, anyone with a heart, a sense of humor, or an appreciation for a great love story will be rooting for Bill and Cathi – I know I am.

So what did you guys think of the episode? Were you surprised to see Laurence and Zac eliminated? Were you surprised that Laurence didn’t throw a fit over the matter? (His lack of anger and condescension implied to me that the race-losing error must have been his.) Are you also rooting for Bill and Cathi? And did you, like me, spend the rest of Sunday night trying to buy a hurdle-jumping rabbit on eBay?


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