This was an interesting episode, filled with setbacks and recoveries, dramatic meltdowns, idiocy of biblical proportions and one of my pretty boys crying at the landscape. All in all, a pretty decent way to kill an hour while avoiding the Oscars.
So, all the teams begin by leaving the mud bogs that they entered last week. Of course, Chirna and Mirna get stuck, but team Kentucky pulls them out. Awww… The girls note that the coalminers are the nicest people on the race, and you can sense that they’ll ride that pony til she drops. Then, Drew and Kevin get stuck (big surprise…I wish we’d’ve seen them have to change the destroyed tire they limped in on last week, but it was not to be. Or, if it was, I missed it because of my commercial show. My bad). So, the healthy one gets out and decides he’s going to… tow the truck out by attaching it to himself? Just as I’m commenting to myself that it’s the lamest idea in the history of bad ideas, the damn idea works and the truck comes roaring out of the puddle, and the sick one decides to keep motoring, nearly running over his buddy and then dragging him beneath the tires, because, oh, he’s still freakin’ ATTACHED to the damn bumper. He expresses his remorse for this act by slowing down and not apologizing, thus earning himself a small place in reality show history.
Anyway…onto the new and improved travel for the week. We open with Rob & Ambuh and my pretty boys cleverly booking flights that would see them to their first destination some 40 minutes ahead of the sheep who all book on the same flight. But lo! The airport gods are once again fickle, and their flight comes in late. Will this be the end of R&A? Could I possibly be this lucky? Do I want to be this lucky if it means my boys are getting punted out alongside them? Stay tuned!
So, then there’s some driving once the other teams arrive. And no one has any difficulty finding the first destination, which involves them going to a boardroom in Chile? Peru? Something like that. Upon arrival, the teams have to wander around the boardroom cluelessly, looking at … um, clues (letters prominently displayed in the form of doodles, logos, etc.) and puzzle them together to form a word. My first thought was that we’d somehow morphed into an episode of survivor, because when I see a puzzle, I now think islands.
Anyway, the secret letters spell a word that matches a destination portrayed in stunning black and white photography on the walls of the boardroom. So, some teams figure this out instantly, while others take a more crapshoot approach and spell words like “aquarium” in the hopes that they’ll accidentally get it right. They don’t. Uchenna’s big shiny head near bout es'plodes when it takes Joyce for-frickin-ever to figure it out. Mary gives it away to Kevin-or-Drew who is standing behind her (she’s the only one who tries to help the judge by reading the answer aloud). The lone-fratboy wanders around in a hair-product induced fog for about as long as Joyce before he gets it. Joyce, demonstrating keen strategy, gives the answer to the old dude. You know. The one with the hat. Meanwhile, the fake businessmen continue to chatter amongst themselves as though they weren’t surrounded by idiots and incompetents. I admire that dedication in a fake suit.
Anyway, so everyone is now en route to the world’s largest open pit copper mine, where they’ll get their next clue. They have a choice of tasks, explains mini-Philbot, as he schlepped around the mine area, of putting about 50 nuts-and-bolts on one of those monster truck tires or driving a huge front end loader and moving gravel from point A to point B, which is of course a traditional task for the people of the region. The vast majority decide to go with the wheel thing. Rob reminds us that he’s very experienced at driving around heavy equipment because he was in construction for 10 ye-ahs. The key to this task is that both team members have to take a turn driving. R&A breeze through it, no prob. Team Orange has a minor meltdown when the re-read the clue and discover that they both have to do the task (fortunately, one has done everything, so the other only has to go through the motions – insert your own old married couple joke here).
Meanwhile, over on the bolt side of things, Charla and Mirna have a minor meltdown when they discover that big dump trucks are actually, like, big, and that means the need for a stepstool, which causes tall whiny girl to freak while little plucky girl bellows. It was really dramatic television, and even the beauty queens were touched. Or sickened, it was hard to tell. Anyway, team Coalminer is demonstrating their solidarity for their brethren by not giving a flying fig about how well the wheel would stay on the truck, causing Mary to be caustic and pessimistic and David to fall on his ass, which made me hoot aloud, which is of course a traditional response to humour by people in the region.
Team old people gets lost finding the vehicles, prompting old dude to remark that they failed the stop-look-and-listen portion of the test. The coalminers are the last to leave, and Typhoid Mary bemoans same. There is much driving, and they get to this weird landscape called The Valley of the Moon, which is quite possibly where NASA filmed the so-called "lunar landings". My boys cry, even though they feel like bitches about it – bitches with bad nails, to boot! Anyway… everyone is warned that they have to creep along through this area for reasons that aren’t important at this juncture, and most manage to restrain themselves from violating that rule. While en route to the Moon place, Mirla and Chirla realize that the beauty queens are following them, thus riding on their coattails – they’ve paid a cab driver all their money to lead them to their destination. Words are exchanged about same and the pretty girls leave, while team cousin berates the cab driver, because they are giving him their last $20 (aka the food from their mouths) and they make a lot of threatening sign-of-the-cross gestures in his directions. This makes their statements about pure hearts and morals even funnier, because oh, the irony!
Anyway, about half of the teams didn’t get good directions on how to get from the Valley of the Moon to the Valley of the Pitstop, and all hung a right instead of a left, mostly, as Mary pointed out, because the sign to the right had more words, which is always how you know you’re going the right way. Kevin and Drew overlook the fact that they no longer have to creep along and get left in the dust, with the sick one whinging about it the whole time. Some of the teams realize quickly that they’ve taken a wrong turn, while others like to wait and see if everyone else is going to turn around first.
Naturally, Rob and Ambuh came in first, followed by the pretty boys. I sense a pattern here. The other teams straggle in haphazardly, and Mary, who feels slighted that team Cousin passed them in an effort not to be last, comments on it to Phil. Team Gays-in-Orange hug Philbot who discovers he doesn’t actually have a pre-programmed facial response for that. In the end, Kevin and Drew came in last, which was really no surprise, considering how sick the sick one looked. And we learned an important lesson on beauty from Team Cousin, who reminded us that it’s easy to be pretty with the help of cosmetic surgery. I’m already enjoying them a lot less, two weeks into the game, than I thought I would.
Oh, but next week! Danielle, who is now partnered with the fratboy, has a melt down because of a fish! Mmmm… that’s good viewin’, right there, a-yup.