Chock-full of missing bags, botched detours, lousy maps, and unforgivable gaps in basic knowledge of recent world history, the ninth leg of "The Amazing Race" reminded viewers that it's still anyone's game as the last five teams darted around Deutschland.
First, it was all aboard the same early-morning train from Switzerland to Dresden, Germany. Teams took the opportunity to nap while someone else apparently took the opportunity to "borrow" Bates's bag. Luckily, Bates still had his passport, the one must-have in order to continue the race. A little less lucky was his race girlfriend, Jen, offering to lend him some thong underwear. Bates joked, "They could come in handy on lonely nights." Apparently, scripted shows aren't the only ones that attract shippers:
Because apparently we haven't dealt with communism enough this season, once the duos arrived and found the fleet of Ford Fusions (shameless sponsor plug!) at the ministry of finance, they had to answer three fairly simple multiple-choice questions through the car's audible-texting feature, which would lead them to the next clue box at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin. The honeymooners got to the quiz cars first, unceremoniously missed the first question (despite the correct answer being Reagan, who is apparently "the cigar-chomping Republican conservative" Max's favorite president), and then worried about how ashamed Rush Limbaugh would be. The worst part was that his mistake wasn't even the most embarrassing to the American education system, as the YouTubers contemplated Roosevelt and Clinton after wondering who lived in the White House in the 1980s and the singers thought the referenced wall was the great one in China. Sure wish it hadn't been multiple choice, so we could see just how long it would take them to rack their pea brains for the correct answers.
We were not alone in thinking they should shame-spiral themselves to a library ASAP:
Also lame was how the singers contemplated giving the answers to the hockey brothers despite the late stage in the game, and then being proud of themselves for no longer "throwing their love around all day." The foursome reconnected on the autobahn and stopped for directions together. But then the girls, who apparently didn't take down the directions, promptly failed to keep up their tail, and angry feelings welled up once again. In the same vein, the roller moms pointed out the clue box at the gate to the brothers, commenting that "they'd better pay us back for that." Along with historical trivia, these teams should brush up on the definition of "competition."
The Fall of Berlin
The honeymooners were still in first place when they arrived on the roof of the hotel to BASE-jump 37 stories to the ground for their next clue. Katie took the plunge like a champ, despite her needing to pee. Joey, as usual, made an unusual assortment of sounds, giggles, and body movements as he took the "ultimate free fall."
Every pair but one initially chose to do the Font Follies Detour, which meant hauling two giant neon letters through the city streets and delivering them in perfect condition to a museum tucked away in a mall. The honeymooners hilariously grabbed "B" and "O," and they smartly asked for directions at a hotel to the "niche nerd museum." They weren't the only ones who had the happy accident of picking letters that went together. Derby moms grabbed "U" and "N," while the brothers took "R" and "V." The brothers schlepped alongside the singers, who worried about staying so close should they be the last two running toward Phil's mat, until Anthony's "V" fell over and cracked while they were asking for directions, forcing them to switch tasks.
Cold War Skids
The country's trains may have always run on time in the past, but the second Detour option, Train Trials, in which racers had to construct a toy train track within a frame and then keep the locomotive intact for a full circuit, proved the goal was not easy to accomplish. The YouTubers, who were scared to be alone while they completed a task but enjoyed not being stressed over trying to beat the other teams, took seven attempts, and the brothers required nine tries.
The brothers knew they needed a miracle again, and in an ask-and-you-shall-receive moment of serendipity, the roller moms got superlost looking for the Salon Zur Wilden Renate bar in the eastern part of the city, which allowed the YouTubers and singers to pull ahead of them. Despite wanting to cry and feeling stupid, Derby should be commended for not giving up and deciding to finish as hard they started.
Haus of Horrors
Next, a teammate had to tell the salon's doorman who was responsible for the "Ich bin ein Berliner" quote before he'd grant them entry into a creepy labyrinth worthy of last season's "Dexter." (Think doll heads, strobe lights, small doors, and machinery!) Max's wrong answer from earlier, JFK, was now useful to Katie, who described the maze as her worst nightmare.
Once again embarrassing the United States, the singers thought they were going to a hair salon, Derby guessed wrong twice before she polled bar patrons, and Joey guessed the test might include dabbling in drugs.
Joey also needed help from a customer (although not the one who randomly identified him as "cat police") because he didn't "know German quotes." More obnoxious was his telling the bouncer that he'd figured it out. For the record, there is a difference between that and being told an answer.
Iron Curtain Call
The honeymooners finally came in first at the pit stop, which was on Kurfstendamm, the Fifth Avenue of Berlin, and each won a new Ford Fusion. Reviews are still very mixed in the Twitterverse on the night's winners:
They were followed by the YouTubers and then the singers. Team Hockey and Team Derby, who worked together in the maze and finished simultaneously, were pulling up the rear. Hockey allowed Derby to lead them right to Phil and then outran them on foot the final few feet. Apparently the "Amazing Race" gods agreed that would be a lousy end for such a worthy team; it turned out to be a nonelimination round, so the moms will be back next week to contend with a Speed Bump and a Double U-Turn.
Watch a preview for the next episode:
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 PM on CBS.
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