The Amazing Race 12 Episode 8
Honestly, They Have Witch Powers or Something
By Reagen Sulewski
January 10, 2008

Wonder twin powers, activate!

The second of the two Amazing Race legs you probably didn't see over Christmas starts in Florence.

Starting out at about 10 p.m., Nicolas & Donald, sporting their fresh Fast Forward ink, are given instructions to find their way to Mumbai, India, usually one of the more challenging and hellish legs of any Amazing Race (honestly, the Tourism Board of India must cringe whenever they get a call from Bertram van Munster). Nicolas seems to be dragging Donald around at this point, and decides they need some extra rest. He books a flight via Air France for them, and since it doesn't leave until the next morning, they check in to a hotel.

Nathan & Jennifer are second out, with their up and down relationship apparently on the ups again. They just have to remember to not embarrass themselves, according to Jennifer, which is generally something most people take for granted, but hey, baby steps.

Ron & Christina and TK & Rachel are third and fourth out, spouting generic race sensibilities that don't amount to much other than "relax". OK, good advice there. Finally we have Kynt & Vyxsin, who have the Sword of Damocles of the Speed Bump hanging over them after surviving due to the non-elimination leg. They went over the cliff more than any other team last leg due to fatigue, and we'll see if they can perform any better when they haven't been up for a day and a half straight. I mean, without any recreational substances fueling them.

The four non-sleeping teams are hanging out at the airport doors waiting for it to open, rushing in to hurry up and wait. Nic & Don show up to collect their tickets they booked, getting them to Mumbai at 10:30 p.m. that night, with Ron & Christina and Nathan & Jennifer also managing to get on the flight. TK & Rachel and Kynt & Vyxsin are then left to find another flight. The Goths manage a flight at comes in at 10:50 p.m. and TK & Rachel are in at 1 a.m., but looking at the time they're likely to arrive in India, it's very likely that it's not about to matter at all. In other words, I feel a bunch point coming up.

That's exactly what happens, as the newspaper stand that the teams need to get to for their clue is only open at 6 a.m. When it finally does open, each team receives a newspaper, which has their clue located in a fairly non-descript ad in it. Unless this is an ultra-limited run, there's bound to be some fairly confused readers of the Times of India.

While most teams use the "divide and conquer" strategy, Nicolas decides to blatantly eavesdrop on other teams, while Jennifer employs her usual "freak the hell out, cause I'm useless" tactic. Seriously, she starts screaming because a puppy jumps on her, like it was a herd of lepers or something. Kynt & Vyxsin are first to find the clue, which sends them to a nearby tailor. Ron & Christina, TK & Rachel and Nicolas & Donald all find the clue shortly after, exacerbating Jennifer's panic. Her response to panic is simply awful and she starts moving around instead of reading the paper. That'll solve it.

Nicolas & Donald have better luck with their rickshaw driver, getting to the tailor first, which holds the Detour clue. We also see that the Speed Bump is waiting there for Kynt & Vyxsin, so at least they're getting it over with quickly.

The Detour is a choice between posting an six-piece poster on a wall for a Bollywood film, or, in the usual arts-and-crafts offering, creating a flowered garland for a wedding party.

Nicolas & Donald choose the poster task, with Donald claiming yet again to have relevant experience to the task, apparently having worked in the printing business. This is pretty flimsy, a bit like saying that being a lumberjack would help you be a carpenter. In any case, it's probably the right choice for them, as I doubt they could do anything with a needle and thread. Ronald & Christina follow them closely behind to the bridge where the posters will be put up.

TK & Rachel are third to the Detour, with Kynt & Vyxsin somewhat lost on their way to it – a really bad time to be so. Rachel has worked in a flower shop for four years (note to Donald: this is actual relevant experience!) so she convinces TK that the garland task is the one for them.

Kynt & Vyxsin finally reach the Detour, after shedding all their early advantage, and also discover that the Speed Bump is waiting for them there. They're forced to travel a short distance away to take part in a yoga class before they can return to the race. These two take this in stride, with the idea that some relaxation would be great at this point. You know what else is relaxing? Being in first place. All is not lost for them, as Nathan & Jennifer have just found the clue in the newspaper, putting them well back of the pack.

Ronald & Christina reach the bridge first, but "Bad" Ron comes out to play, as for some reason they start their poster far too high on the wall, and Ron accuses Christina of being stingy with the paste. When she offers him a box to stand on and it breaks, Ron just snaps and starts chewing out Christina, for about the ninth time. Honestly, he should try the yoga, except he'd just yell at the instructor that he was doing it wrong.

TK & Rachel develop a system for the garland that works really well for them, with TK laying out the flowers in order for Rachel, who's pretty handy with the needle. I'd say something snarky here, except they just work too well together.

Nathan & Jennifer and Kynt & Vyxsin both head to the flower shop, making it all five teams finally in the Detour, though TK & Rachel are just about to finish up as Nathan & Jennifer get there. That team and Nicolas & Donald are the calmest in their tasks, and consequently are able to take big leads over the teams that are fah-reaking out. Coincidence? Has to be. They're sent to a nearby traffic island for the next clue, which contains the second of the U-Turns of the race.

Petty team squabbling rears its head as Ronald & Christina's first attempt at the poster is judged incomplete by the supervisor, and they attempt to fix it. Ronald's world view can't accept that he's made errors so he lays the blame on his daughter and the supervisor. Classy. Christina makes an executive decision and starts again from scratch, since Ron is beyond rational thought at this point.

Meanwhile, Nathan starts criticizing Jennifer's sewing skills, wondering why, since she's a girl, she can't do it properly. Don't worry, she'll rock the barefoot baby-having contest coming up, Nathan! Jennifer swings back, wondering why he did so badly at rowing a boat, which, if you're scoring at home, is a kick square to the junk of Nathan. This bickering is opening a door for Kynt & Vyxsin, who are amazed to be within sight of another team. But really, you can always count on a meltdown from one team each leg.

With the two teams ahead of them getting bad luck with their cab drivers, TK & Rachel reach the next clue box first, and decline the U-Turn. They're sent to a nearby propane dealer (for some reason, there's always one industrial task in India), where on the Roadblock, they'll have to navigate the streets of Mumbai to deliver six tanks of propane to two residences, as well as collect receipts for the deliveries.

Ron & Christina and Nicolas & Donald also decline the U-Turn, though Christina claims they would have used it on Nicolas & Donald if they had beaten them to the mat. Why them in particular and no other team doesn't quite make sense to me, but teams don't seem to understand the logic of this portion of the race.

Nathan & Jennifer complete their garland, but Jennifer seems confused by exactly how to complete the task, interpreting "bridegroom" as "elephant". She can't even blame any cultural divide here, as that's an English word. It's really one of the more bizarre misunderstandings in the history of the race. Kynt & Vyxsin are very close behind, after being able to read their directions.

The Roadblock proves to be very physical, and is combined with some confusing directions from locals. Though TK turns into a physical specimen during it, hauling three loaded tanks at once (side note: propane tanks indoors? They must have a lot of unexplained apartment explosions).

The drama of the last two teams at the moment comes down to a slightly speedier taxicab, and a crucial yet boneheaded decision. Kynt & Vyxsin manage to reach the U-Turn ahead of Nathan & Jennifer and decide that they have to utilize it. Now, the decision becomes who to use it for... wait, what? Use it on Nathan & Jennifer! They're right there! But no, Kynt decides that there's a more strategic use, and with a flourish, unveils the picture of... Nicolas & Donald. Cue a million palms meeting foreheads. You just said ten minutes ago that you couldn't believe you'd seen another team, and now you're forgoing the U-Turn on a team that you know is right there? Oh my Goth indeed.

Nathan & Jennifer seem a bit gobsmacked that they aren't the ones U-Turned, and with good reason, but hey, even evil catches a break from time to time.

TK is the first out of the Roadblock, and he and Rachel are given the final clue of the day, the Pit Stop at Bandra Fort. Nicolas & Donald are close behind, though the effort of the Roadblock seems to have badly sapped Nicolas, who needs to stop for water and/or vomiting. This makes for an easy win for TK & Rachel, winning yet another leg. They are given a given a trip for two to St. Martin.

Nicolas & Donald eventually rumble in for second, with Ronald & Christina managing third. This brings it down to the final two teams, who are directly racing against each other. Kynt and Jennifer are chosen for the Roadblock for both teams, which seems like the exact opposite of the right decision in each case, as neither really has the best upper body strength of their team.

The stress seems to be getting to both teams, as Jennifer forgets her receipt at the first delivery, and Kynt makes the mistake of handing one of the two receipts at each of his deliveries to the recipient. Jennifer's backtracking doesn't cost her as much time as Kynt having to go back to both apartments for the receipt. They're well behind, but Nathan & Jennifer are busy wasting time and have had horrible luck all day with cabs.

The finale is an Amazing Edit, with Nathan & Jennifer emerging victorious, or, at least, not eliminated. There's no second life for Kynt & Vyxsin this time, though they arguably didn't deserve it with Kynt's horrible play this leg.