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Sunday, December 03, 2006
The Amazing Race: You Spray Tomato...

I paid attention to the times this evening and the racers left at the following times:

5:30 Team Recovery
5:31 Team Gump
5:47 Rob & Kim
6:16 Beauty Queens

So the blondes were starting from a 29 minute deficit to #3 right off the bat. Yet somehow when it comes to finding the clue box 275 miles away in Casablanca, they are number two, hot on the heels of Team Recovery.

Now, an aside. The girls seem a little too willing to allow unknown men to get into their car with them. One assumes that the camera person is a man, but is he intended to provide protection? They get the local man to help them for the rest of the time in Casablanca, which gives them a tremendous advantage.

Roadblock. It's time for one of those local delicacies; camel-kabobs! The teams must first grind the meat with an old-fashioned meat grinder, then spice and spit it, before handing it to the chef to cook. Team Recovery arrives first, and is dismayed when the BQs show up shortly thereafter. How did they make up so much time?

Tyler whips through his meal like he was a camel connoisseur from infancy. BQNY manages to get hers down as well without any distress. Meanwhile, Rob & Kim and Team Gump are running around futilely looking for the cluebox. Team Recovery tells them that the blondes are already at the Roadblock, causing more anguish.

Eventually Rob & Kim and Team Gump find their way to the destination, but it is obvious that an Alabama mom knows more about grinding meat than Kimberley. We get the "hurry up and eat" routine from the non-eating partners. Kimberley definitely slows down here, and she and Rob are in last place when they leave

Next task is to fly to Barcelona. As the teams race to the airport, the blondes are reflecting that they might already have a half-hour lead on R&K and the Gumps. Stupid thought, with an airport coming up. Sure enough, all four teams get on the 4:30 flight, so that half-hour bulge is gone.

Teams must travel to a giant hedge maze and find their way to the center. But it turns out to be closed for the evening. This is kind of off-putting; a double-bunch. The next morning, the blondes get a workman to call a cab for them to be waiting when they get out. Rob & Kim do the same, and apparently ask for one for Team Recovery, as well.

The teams run around quite a bit through the maze, but R&K get to the Cluebox first, followed by Team Recovery, then the blondes and the Gumps. But, smartly, the Alabama moms get out of the maze first, while the other teams run around like rats. However, they still don't have a cab and the blondes and R&K take off while Team Recovery and Team Gump must chase one down.

The clue is a Detour: Lug It or Lob It. In Lug It, teams must carry a pair of giant-sized dolls about a mile to find another giant doll. In Lob It, they must hunt through a giant stack of tomatoes for the next clue while being pelted with other tomatoes by youths in what is apparently a quaint local custom. Those fun-loving Spaniards!

Team Recovery explain that their strategy is to stick with the Beauty Queens on the quite reasonable supposition that if the BQs are not first to the mat, they will be guaranteed to finish ahead of them by virtue of the 30 minute penalty the gals would then incur. They catch up to the BQs as they struggle to carry the giant dolls and find the street where the next clue is.

Meanwhile Rob & Kimberley have decided (improbably) on Lob It. As soon as they show the mound of tomatoes, my response would have been to leave. And when the youth start flinging more tomatoes into the mix it's clearly hopeless. But Rob is insistent despite Kimberley twice attempting to leave. She's only talked back when the cabbie tells them it's 20 kilometers to the Lug It location. Meanwhile, Rob, despite criticizing his girlfriend, seems more interested in throwing tomatoes back at the locals than searching.

And, completely and utterly improbably, Rob finds the clue. Now I'm sorry, but that was thoroughly unbelievable guys. If you want to say that there were 50 or 100 clues in that pile then maybe, but not if there was just one. These were immense piles of tomatoes and there's no way they could have found that otherwise.

Team Gump also opts for the tomato treatment, and sure enough despite wanting to quit, they find the clue in also what appears to be a remarkably short period of time, with a whole pile in front of them virtually untouched.

The clue is to head to the Pit Stop, and about this point it becomes obvious that the Beauty Queens are doomed. They aren't going to finish first and Team Recovery is right by their side.

Sure enough, Rob & Kimberley finish first, followed shortly by Team Gump. Phil tells them they are the first all-female team to make it into the finals. The other two teams finally locate the clue-giving doll and head off to the mat close together. But once again the sheer atleticism of Team Recovery tells, and Team Beauty Queen does not even have to serve out penalty time, as they are Phil-Liminated.

Next Week: Finals, baby! Can the Gumps win one for the six-pack? I'm rooting for them. They have been the smart team, and they have accomplished incredible things. But I would guess that Team Recovery takes it all.

As usual, check out Viking Pundit's terrific report as well.
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