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Wednesday, November 30, 2005
The Amazing Race: Old Faceful--Updated!

I had to tape TAR to get other things accomplished elsewhere. And, to be honest, it's an episode I could have skipped without missing a thing. The segment starts out with a drive to a balloon race, which, as anybody could have predicted, ends up with all the teams in the same order that they started, despite some balloon-bumping drama, and a hillside rendezvous. Then everybody has to drive to Park City, Utah. No skiing events this time, instead it's a railroad detour, where teams have to choose between shoveling coal or laying a railroad for 20 yards.

It was clearly a time for shoveling coal, but the first three teams chose laying down the rail. The Weavers, in last place, made me cheer when they decided to be the different team (usually the only way you catch up, when you're behind). Sure enough, they finished third, while the Linzes and the Bransons (with Wally finally showing what a man can do that his daughters can't), pounded the rails into submission. The Desperate Housewives finished this task last.

The next challenge is nothing--drive to Bonneville Salt Flats and find a very weird-looking artificial tree. Same order--Linzes, Bransons, Weavers and Godlewskis.

Next is to get thee to a campground. Apparently a simple task, but as we watch in astonishment, the Bransons, Weavers and Godlewskis arrive before the Linzes. It is explained in a quick voiceover that due to a production error involving the camera, the battery on the Linzes vehicle had conked out. This was the same production error we saw earlier this season and it ruins the drama of the episode. The Linzes are in last place and yet there is no drama because we all understand that they got hosed by the show, so there must be a spot where they are guaranteed to catch up, right?

Roadblock at the next cluebox. Teams must find two players to ride horses and take a small group of cattle to a corral. The Bransons do well, and the Weavers (who have three horses on their property, we are told) do better.

The next task is to drive to Old Faithful. The Bransons get there first, but the show only happens every 92 minutes so they must wait. Sure enough the Weavers arrive in time to see the eruption. But the other teams just miss and so we know they will finish at least an hour and a half behind.

So now the Linzes are safe because of the production error and the Godlewskis are in trouble. Meanwhile the Weavers and the Bransons are looking at a mad dash to the mat. Rollie says he is going to tackle Wally and for the rest of the family to dash ahead. Of course, they don't really allow that kind of behavior, and so the Bransons finish seconds ahead of the Weavers.

But... cue the dramatic music! The leg isn't over. The teams are still racing.

Which means that next week there will be some sort of bunching mechanism, so that the Linz's problem with the camera draining their battery doesn't matter. Which means we really have four families in a mad dash for the money.

I still say it's the Weavers. They're the only team we've really gotten to know. The Linzes are ciphers, the Branson gals are three peas in a pod. The Godlewskis we've gotten to know a little more; they will definitely be contenders.

Update: As always, if you want a better rundown of the episode, check out Viking Pundit's summary. Sorry for forgetting to put this in the original post; it was late at night when I finally finished it.
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