Sunday, December 11, 2011

Amazing Race 19: Leg 11 Recap!

(Not pictured: Front Runners & Obvious Finalists, Team Tricky. Oh... wait...)

Episode Eleven Fake Title: Someone Called and Now He Knows Something and We're Going Somewhere.*

*-actual quote from Cindy as three teams race blindly toward what they hope is the Pit Stop. Welcome to the Semi finals!

Starting City: Brussels, Belgium (Again)
Pit Stop City: Panama Viejo Panama

1st Place: That Other Dating Couple   Reward: Trip to Turks & Caicos
2nd: Team Bert & Ernie
3rd: Footballers Lives
Last Place: Team Tricky - Eliminated!

Roadblock: One team member had to cross a tightrope between the San Francisco Bay Towers in Panama. The  rope was 35 stories high and 65 feet cross. Giant safety harnesses were used. Nobody seemed to fall of the wire. Boo! Not that I wanted them die! Remember I mentioned the safety harnesses!

Detour: A choice between Fillet and Sole. In Sole, the more popular task, teams traveled to the Salsipuedes Market where they had use a piece of leather to make the sole and strapping for a pair of sandals for a customer. Once a cobbler cleared their work, teams would receive their next clue. In Fillet, teams traveled to Panama's largest fish market, El Mercado de Mariscos, where they had to deliver fish (using their hands) to different marked stalls each only only accepting a certain kind of fish, and a certain weight. Once they were done with their deliveries, the fishmonger would give them their next clue. Footballers Lives were the only team to do Fillet even though their cabby brought them first to Sole. This was the first example of how the cabbies were trying to work together to get the teams to the same places without really listening to the teams. Personally, when dealing with a bunch of crazy American tourists who don't know where they're going and have cameras following them, it seems like a sensible approach on their part.

Also of Note This Week: I kinda thought the Detour and the Roadblock were kinda lame this week. Making sandals? Carrying fish? Walking on a rope? Meh. We're trying to get to the finals here!

Before getting out of Brussels, teams had to dress up as the two bumbling detective characters from the Tintin comics and figure out their names. There were three options, and teams covered all of them.  Thomson and Thompson,  Dupond and Dupont, and Johnson and Johnston. I guess as detectives they have aliases. Then, they had to find a man dressed as Tintin standing in front of the Tintin mural at the metro station (Belgium loves Tintin!) and tell him who they were dressed as in order to receive their next clue.Team Tricky thought they were Charley Chaplin. Oof. No. They even knew that had nothing to do with Tintin and still went with it. This was the first of a few bad decisions on their part this leg.

Once they got to Parara Puru in Panama, teams signed up for times to receive a temporary tattoo the next morning. The tattoo would give them their next location: the San Francisco Bay Towers in Panama City. This was also kind of random and inconsequential. Go for REAL tattoos! Now that I'd be interested in watching!

At Cathedral Square, teams had to find the name or image of the Pit Stop (Panamá Viejo) in the dresses and jewelry of dancers in the plaza: This was kinda tough because the racers didn't know exactly what they were looking for. It seemed like only one of the dancers had the actual words written on her dress and most of the time she seemed to be holding her skirt in a way that obscured the actual words. Team Tricky, who got their first with a sizable lead, misinterpreted the words on the jewelry and think it has something to do with Balboa. That leads them on a wild goose chase to the Panama Canal and then to a statue of Balboa at Avenida Balboa, both of which are wrong. The other three teams arrive at the Square pretty much together and though TODC gets the best information about the Pit Stop, once all the teams go back to the cabs, the three cabbies talk over the phone and decide where they are supposed to go and how best to get the teams there. Again, I think this has less to do with the cabbies caring about it being a race and the teams competing against each other and much more to do with them coming to a consensus as to where they, as drivers, ought to go since their passengers are so clueless. Eventually, the three teams DO get to the Pit Stop ahead of Team Tricky, so the Snowboarders fall from first to worst and get eliminated.

I'm actually okay with Team Tricky exiting. They certainly have enough fabulous parting gifts from winning so many previous legs. They would've been heavy favorites to win had they made it to the final leg, but now we have three pretty evenly-matched teams heading into the finals. TODC have not been particularly strong on any leg, but I believed they would completely collapse under Killer Fatigue awhile ago and they did not. Bert & Ernie are solid competitors but almost always mess up right at the end of a leg and lose first place so we'll see if they can beat the odds in that regard when it matters most. Then there's Footballers Lives who work great together, are solid competitors in tasks but can't seem to navigate themselves anywhere when driving is involved. If they have to drive themselves anywhere toward the end of the last leg, I would not count on them pulling through. Luckily the last leg usually involves a lot of taxis. I guess that's so contestants don't cause accidents as they drive recklessly toward a million dollar paycheck.

Next Week: This one's for all the money! Panama to the U.S of A. Dating Couple. Engaged Couple. Married Couple. Someone's bringing home that check! None of the teams have been heinous to each other throughout the race, so I'm okay with however it plays out.

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