The Amazing Race: I've Become the Archie Bunker of the Home

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

This week, we're headed from Ireland to the Netherlands! And you know what that means: bicycles. The show will not disappoint.

In pit stop interviews, various teams tell us that they will be better at not bickering/not getting lost/not being slow, etc. on this leg. I, however, have my doubts. Oh, and Ronald starts his harping on Christina early. I warn you now, I am going to despise the man by the end of this episode.

As the teams drive to the airport, there is more commentary about how great everyone feels, even Shana & Jennifer, despite not having had a facial or manicure in some days now. You think I'm mocking them, but that's actually what she says. Ronald & Christina and Kate & Pat stop along the way to check out some flight times on the internet, and the only reason I'm telling you this is because it will come back to bite them in their collective butt in a big way.

There is a little bit of hairiness with the best flight from Dublin to Amsterdam only having "twelve" available seats, which only allows "six" teams to get on. Seriously, I want to know how they always manage to ask the ticket agents for two seats, when each team actually needs four including their crew. Do they have to film it twice every single time? At any rate, A&H, the Lipsticks, TK & Rachel, Shana & Jennifer, Lorena & Jason and Nathan & Jennifer get on the best flight. Nathan & Jennifer actually arrived at the ticket counter after Nicolas & Donald, but their ticket lady was a faster typer. Nicolas & Donald, along with Ronald & Christina, get standby on the first flight. Kate & Pat and Marianna & Julia (who appear to have taken a slower route to the airport than everybody else) are booked on a second flight out of Dublin. Everyone but Marianna & Julia is on the same flight from Shannon to Dublin. This causes them some panic, but ultimately is not a problem given the connection in Dublin.

Next, we have a ridiculous scene in which Nicolas & Donald and Ronald & Christina are angling for top spots on the standby list for the first flight out of Dublin. Nicolas gets a little pushy with his ticket agent, but nothing akin to what we've seen from other teams in previous seasons (*coughCharla&Mirnacough*), while Ronald does a little sweet-talking to his. Ronald actually goes over to Nicolas & Donald after the fact and positively lights into Nicolas about his behaviour and will not shut up. It is so much more unbelievably obnoxious than anything Nicolas said to the ticket agent, and he cannot be appeased. Christina is trying to get him to stop embarrassing himself, but the man is on a roll. Nicolas tries to (politely) argue that he agrees and realizes he was a little rude, and maybe they could talk about this later, but Ronald Just Cannot Let It Go. After a couple attempts, he just stands there silently, disbelievingly, as Ronald rails on and on and on. Ronald throws his hands in the air and walks away with a few "bugger!" comments. Lovely. What a lovely man. An ace chap, really. Poor Christina.

The best part is that "two" seats become available on the good flight, and guess who gets them? Nicolas & Donald. Ahahaha!

The first flight lands in Amsterdam, and teams pull a clue with the Detour. Choices: Hoist It or Hunt It. Hoist It involves, well, hoisting five items from street level up through a window a few stories up. It's right next to the clue box, but involves some incredibly tricky knots and brute strength. With Hunt It, teams have to walk a few blocks away and search through what is essentially a bicycle parkade and find two bikes with their particular team's flag colours on it, then drive them five miles to get their clue. Hunt It is so obviously better, what with the knots and the heavy lifting involved in Hoist It, but the majority of the teams choose to hoist.

A&H do the bikes, while Lorena & Jason and the Lipsticks both hoist, along with Shana & Jennifer and Nathan & Jennifer. TK & Rachel also hoist, and Nicolas & Donald choose the bikes.

Lorena & Jason are having one big lovefest with this detour, and they are very, very proud of themselves and how awesome and loving they are. Shana & Jennifer do pretty well with it, though they're very wiped at the end, and Nathan & Jennifer have quite a bit of trouble and have to switch so she's at the bottom tying knots and hoisting, and he's at the top guiding and lugging the items into the room; TK & Rachel do the same after a bit of fairly calm bickering. This is how I like to think I would bicker with my imaginary boyfriend, were we ever on this show. I mean, sometimes, bickering is inevitable and unavoidable; it's how you bicker that shows your respect – or lack thereof – for your partner. Over at the bike detour, things go pretty smoothly all around.

Next, teams are to travel to a rural town and find a clue box in a field. There is missing of busses and catching of busses and the like. The clue includes a Roadblock, and it's almost as awesome as last week's Roadblock. This week, the Roadblockers will be ditch vaulting, which is not even on Wikipedia anywhere. Basically, you pole vault across a 12-foot wide irrigation ditch. The key is to land with both your feet on solid ground, and once you've done that, you run and grab your clue, then make your way back across in whatever way you see fit.

Jason does it on his first try and doesn't get muddy at all, except for dragging his leg a little on the way back. No one else is as fortunate: Jennifer of Nathan & Jennifer has quite a lot of trouble, and Shana (I think) does as well. Also, I can decisively say that muddy leggings are not a good look on anyone. After this Roadblock, teams are instructed to ride to the pit stop on a bike with the Roadblocking teammate in a basket-type thing out front. Lorena & Jason arrive first and are welcomed by an adorable little boy and girl (Jason agrees with me on the cuteness) in traditional Dutch dress, and Phil, and then they win three-wheeled all-terrain bikes. Jason asks whether Phil is serious, and I'm not sure if he means that in a good way or a bad way.

Back at the Detour, Ronald & Christina are debating their options, and Ronald is passive-aggressively letting Christina make the decision on which detour they will do, so that in the likely event things go badly, he can fully blame it on her. She ends up choosing bikes, and if you think that he accepts her decision and lets it be, you are dead wrong. Marianna & Julia and Kate & Pat are also doing the bike detour.

Nate & Jenn (Phil is calling them this, so I figure I can too) and Shana & Jennifer arrive at the pit stop as teams 2 and 3 respectively, and back in Detourland, Ronald is still being an asshole.

Hendekea, Rachel and Lipstick Boy take the ditch vaulting for their respective teams. Nicolas & Donald make the wise decision to watch and see what's going on before they decide who's going to do it, and then make the incredibly unwise decision that Donald will do it. Or rather, Donald decides he can do it, and Nicolas for some reason lets him, telling the camera he thinks it may be a "costly decision."

Ronald & Christina are having a "discussion" in which he uses the word "vacillate" while they wait for the bus. I think Christina is really just being way too long-suffering in relation to this man. No father should talk to his daughter the way he talks to her. "I let you loose on this thing and you basically disappointed me." No; you forced her to make the decision specifically so that you could be disappointed in her when things went south, you awful, awful man. She tries to stand up for herself and ask him to change, but he just makes some more excuses for himself.

Back at the Roadblock, Donald is having quite a bit of trouble and decides for some reason that stripping down to his underpants is a good idea. On their way to the pit stop, TK tells Rachel she smells like poop. Rachel: "Yeah I do." Heh. Then they pedal right by Phil and the greeters, looking the complete opposite direction. Great shot, cameraman.

The Lipsticks arrive in fourth, A&H are fifth, and TK & Rachel, having finally found Phil, are sixth. Nicolas is calling his grandpa "Don" and telling him to hurry up because other teams are arriving. With the help of his "kick your legs up!" tips, Gramps makes it across, though stylish is not what you would call his vault. Whichever sister of Marianna & Julia it is that takes the detour (Julia, I think) is stylish, however. She says pole vault was her event in track & field. M&J arrive seventh and Nic & Gramps are eighth. Ronald is nagging Christina about her vault and just seriously will not shut up. When they reach the pit stop in ninth (after he calls her fat, of course), she justifies his behaviour to Phil, us, and herself. It pains me to see.

Kate takes the Roadblock and she & Pat arrive in last and are eliminated. It's sad because they seem like genuinely lovely people who, I don't know, actually like being around each other and are supportive and make good teammates. I wish quite deeply that Ronald & Christina had been booted instead. Alas. Next week, maybe! I can hope.

Tags: The Amazing Race

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