Yes! I know I’m not the only person who breathed a heavy sigh of relief when Zev and Justin arrived at the pit stop on The Amazing Race last night, thus eliminating Kent and Vyxsin who were still waiting for their thirty minute penalty to end.
It was the best possible scenario. Justin and Zev have been a strong team all along, and it would have been a shame to see them eliminated instead of Kent and Vyxsin, who’ve been scraping by on the skins of their teeth for quite some time now. With the pink wonders out, I like all four remaining teams and would be happy with any of them winning. Plus, we won’t have to deal with Kent’s incessant whining or the bickering throughout the finale.
What with Justin and Zev falling behind, a Big Easy blowup and the goths’ penalty, it was quite the episode – suspenseful down to the last minute!
Search and Rescue
|Which dream level is this?|
The teams kicked off this leg near the Matterhorn, an imposing mountain on the Switzerland/Italy border. It was cold, snowy and miserable, but also very picturesque. To get to the detour, teams would be taking search and rescue helicopters at five minute intervals to one of two locations – either to search, or to rescue.
Gary and Mallory managed to make up some time when they grabbed a cab before Kent and Vyxsin did. Kent and Vyxsin had thought that the extra glitter they provided would bring them positivity and good luck, but I think it just makes people hesitant to pick them up. Or maybe they just couldn’t get a cab because they were too busy bickering over who was managing to stay more positive.
Justin and Zev took off first and chose “Search”, which ended up being the more difficult of the two detour options. They were later joined by Gary and Mallory, but everyone else went for “Rescue”. While Justin and Zev and Gary and Mallory shoveled and shoveled through the snow to try and dig up a dummy, the other teams lowered one another into crevices crevasses to “rescue” a real human.
|Captain America and his pixie sidekick|
The “Search” challenge was dismal and, as Justin and Zev pointed out, felt eerily like Inception. Zev couldn’t seem to figure out how to use a shovel (did the kid never build a sandcastle?) and I was worried Justin’s seemingly never-ending patience might finally run dry. Gary and Mallory managed to get their dummy out, albeit in two pieces, and leave the Detour first despite arriving at least ten minutes later. Granted, Gary basically seemed like a pro out there – but he’s the oldest dude left and Mallory’s only two and a half feet tall, so they shouldn’t have outdone Justin and Zev that handily.
Everyone from rescue seemed to have a pretty easy time, except for Kent and Vyxsin. When Kent reached the man he was supposed to be rescuing, he started crying out “Stop! Stop! You’re going to far! Lift me back up!”, but Vyxsin just kept reeling away, lowering him further and further into the crevasse. There are a few possible explanations for this. One is that Vyxsin is kind of a ditz, and just wasn’t paying attention. Another is that Kent’s babyish, whiny voice wasn’t audible from down below. The most likely is that Vyxsin was just so sick of his whining that she momentarily forgot the race and just wanted to rid herself of him. I mean, really. Could Kent be anymore annoying? “Carry my bag, Vyxsin!”, and “Put my hood up, Vyxsin!” – he’s such a baby! The worst was when they completed the Detour, Vyxsin told Kent “Wipe your nose!” and he whined “I can’t!” What, do you need Vyxsin to do that for you as well? You’re a grown man!
Despite their hiccup, the goths managed to meet up with everyone else to grab a train to the next destination. Everyone except Justin and Zev, who were still digging away and would end up at least 25 minutes behind everyone else.
Know Your Gnome
The leading four teams all arrived at the Roadblock together, where one teammate would have to create a chocolate Travelocity gnome with molds. I may have moaned about some awkward product placement in this season of The Amazing Race, but I will never, ever tire of the presence of the Travelocity Gnome. The fact that he was made out of chocolate? Even cooler.
|Oozing with “positivity”|
Vyxsin, Flight Time, Jen and Mallory all stepped up to the plate for the relatively easy, though kind of nit-picky challenge. Everyone else looked on and ate chocolate. And Kent talked. Incessantly. The guy never shut up! Even Mallory, who may be the sweetest, most likable and joyful person to ever walk the face of the planet, had to admit that she wouldn’t be able to take it. It sounded something like this:
“Vyxsin, hurry up! Vyxsin, don’t get too caught up on details. Just get it done. Vyxsin, I noticed some people putting their halves in the oven! Hurry up, Vyxsin! Vyxsin, put your halves in the oven! Vyxsin! Oven! Vyxsin! Hurry! Oven! Oven! Oven! Vyxsin! Oven!”
I’m pretty sure that’s verbatim. Also, no one was putting their CHOCOLATE in the OVEN. It was a freezer.
Meanwhile, Justin and Zev finally arrived. They, too, had broken their dummy in half, thus confirming my wish to never, ever get buried in an avalanche. Or really, even visit a place with that much snow. As Zev got to work on his gnome, controversy ensued.
As discussed, most players would work on one half of the gnome mold while the other mold cooled in the freezer. Vyxsin had somehow fallen behind, but eventually put one of her halves on the bottom shelf in the freezer. Then Flight Time went to get one of his, and it wasn’t there. I can’t for the life of me figure out what happened here, and I don’t think anyone can know for sure. There’s a chance that Flight Time forgot where he put his mold. There’s chance that someone moved his mold. There’s a chance that someone took his mold and started working on it, thinking it was his/her own. It’s pretty much impossible for viewers to know, but it would be an infuriating situation. And Big Easy was infuriated.
|Will they trot to the finish?|
I’m not sure why Flight Time and Big Easy were so sure it had been Vyxsin, but I get why they were really mad. Flight Time put his mold in the freezer, it apparently wasn’t there anymore, and no one would own up to it. It’s crunch time and someone had possibly jeopardized their position in the race – I’d be mad too. Big Easy is, generally, a really easygoing dude. You can see that in how well he and Flight Time get along, the way he gets along with most of the other racers (I loved seeing him tease Kisha about her annoying laugh), and the way he and Flight Time conduct themselves in other countries. Ugly Americans these guys are not. I can’t blame Big Easy for kind of losing it in the situation, but I’m glad Flight Time kept his cool since he was the one doing the task. Vyxsin and Kent did not take the accusation well – Vyxsin said Big Easy needed to “grow up” and said that she felt ganged up on. Kent, who could do a little growing up of his own, mimed obnoxious things behind Big Easy’s back and said obnoxious things about kicking ass, concluding with “Word.” What? As Zev humorously noted, there were “too many cooks in the kitchen.”
The four leading teams all seemed to finish their molds around the same time, leaving poor Zev to sit out in the snow (where the gnome had to cool) by himself. He did a good job on the task, but I think the pressure might have gotten to him a little. When he was given instructions by the real cook he responded with “Thanks, Captain Obvious”, which was hilarious, but Justin had to gently remind him to “be nice”.
As the teams left Justin and Zev behind, it looked like the guys would be out for sure. It was a major bummer – five first place finishes, to be eliminated the episode before the finale? With the goths still in? Not cool. But then Kent and Vyxsin made one final, fatal mistake.
The clue told the teams to walk to the pit stop, and Kent and Vyxsin took a cab. Honestly, the whole thing couldn’t have played out better. After whining at the start of the leg about not being able to get a cab, they struggled to find a ride once again – only they didn’t need it! In fact, even with the cab the goths didn’t arrive at the pit stop first.
The Globetrotters arrived in first place, marking yet another “Worst to First” finish. The poor guys were so out of breath from running in the high altitude that they couldn’t even celebrate! Kisha and Jen arrived in second – the sisters had almost made the same transportation error as Kent and Vyxsin, but were smart enough to notice before it was too late.
|Can they recover from a rough leg?|
Then Kent and Vyxsin showed up, and Phil told them they’d incurred a thirty minute penalty for arriving in a cab. Of course, they were shocked. They reread the clue and couldn’t believe the mistake. Then, of course, they spent the entire penalty bickering. Kent told Vyxsin “You read it first” and “Maybe you should have read it more carefully,” as she pointed out that he too had looked at the clue plenty of times, and was just as much to blame. Any ounce of sympathy that anyone could have mustered for the goths was dissolved as they argued over who to blame. Once Gary and Mallory arrived to be awarded third place, I think almost every person watching was begging for Justin and Zev to arrive in time to grab fourth away from the goths.
It looked close, too. After all, Justin and Zev had been on a train that arrived 25 minutes later than everyone else. And everyone had to let their gnome cool in the snow for thirty minutes, no matter how quickly they’d made it. And Zen and Justin appeared to have taken a wrong turn on their way to the pit stop. I know I was worried they wouldn’t make it. But they did! I’d love to know how much time was still left in Kent and Vyxsin’s penalty when they arrived.
Naturally, Kent and Vyxsin were sent packing without an ounce of self-awareness. I believe Kent uttered the words “At least I always stay positive” at one point. Vyxsin bragged about how she got to take home the best prize – her teammate. You mean the annoying, whiny, inept man-child who is one half of this ruse you call a relationship? Right. Sorry honey, but that’s a prize no one is jealous of.
|Are the sisters the dark horse team?|
So, on a scale from 1-10 (One being pretty happy, ten being over the moon), how happy are you that the goths are out? Who are you rooting for in the finale? Personally, I like all four teams and I think they’ve all run a strong race. I’d like to see Gary and Mallory win because they’re savvy, they’re charming, and they’d be the first parent/child team to take the win. I’d like to see the Globetrotters win because I think they’re charismatic and have a great friendship, and they’ve done a great job so far. Also, I want to see if they really do hand that dollar back to Phil at the finish line. I’d like to see the sisters win because even though they’ve laid kind of low this season, I think they’re funny and they might be the most consistent team this season. And I’d like to see Justin and Zev win because they’re funny, they also have a great friendship, and they’ve had a lot of first place finishes. Really, with this group there’s no losing.