Previously on the Amazing Race, we all learned the definition of candelabra. Sure, we all knew it already, but we don't want to make recently eliminated contestant Matt or his father Gary feel bad about it. What's important here is that they're gone, leaving only four teams remaining. The other big new development was a rift between Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy and super-annoying brothers Sam & Dan, whose constant bickering, whining and attention seeking has grown unbearable. Their feud is relatively pointless anyway since both teams appear to be playing for second place behind Meghan & Cheyne, who have finished in first or second place in seven out of nine legs thus far, and have yet to finish in the bottom half at any point during the race.
The Amazing Race Recap
We're Not Working With Anybody, Ever, Anymore!
By David Mumpower and Kim Hollis
November 22, 2009
They are first out at midnight on the nose, and are told to fly to Prague in the Czech Republic. There, they must find a man in a vintage Praga automobile in the old town square for their next clue. They're followed by Sam & Dan, 19 minutes later. "Prague? It's a country!" one of them says (we don't know which one is which). The two of them continue to discuss their feud with the Globetrotters, which has been exacerbated (apparently) by one of them accusing Dan of elbowing and pushing him. One minute later, Flight Time & Big Easy are nonchalant. They think everything is fine and that everything is worked out. The Globetrotters also state that they respect the brothers and their gameplay. In case you're wondering, we're rooting for the Globetrotters in this "fight".
Two minutes later we have Brian & Ericka, who consistently have really nice attitudes about each other. No, really. Usually we're sarcastic about those sorts of things, but both this couple and Meghan & Cheyne are exceptionally pleasant and easy to root for.
There are a few moments of fake airport drama before we learn that all of the teams will be on the same flight. Meghan & Cheyne and the Globetrotters are smart enough to look up the Praga on the Internet to see what it is. They are also smart enough not to share this information with the other two teams.
Once all four pairs arrive in Prague, three of the four set out in a taxi for old town, but Brian & Ericka have heard from someone that the shuttle is the fastest way to get to the old town square. That seems...ominous. Meanwhile, the brothers are pondering whether a Praga is a jacket or a robe. Their cab driver can only shake his head, while the viewers are left to wonder if perhaps it's a decorative piece that displays candlesticks.
Meghan & Cheyne see the Praga immediately on arriving in the square, and Sam & Dan are lucky enough to see them seeing it. They get their clue, which directs them to Kayaky Troja, which is an outdoor water center with canoes and kayaks and the like. Flight Time & Big Easy find the car easily, but Brian & Ericka appear to be either lost or stuck in traffic. They hop off the shuttle and opt for a cab instead, and get a tiny bit fighty with each other. They realize they made a bad decision, but there's not much they can do other than race the best they can.
The Detour gives them two choices: Fast & Furious or Slow & Steady. Fast & Furious have them kayaking through some rapids. If they tip over before reaching a hanging ribbon containing a clue, they have to start over. Slow & Steady has them hanging from a wire and making their longer but surer way to the finish. Meghan & Cheyne and the Globetrotters choose the slower approach (which definitely seems safer), while the brothers go with the kayaks. All of the teams are at this detour except Brian & Ericka, who are now wandering around the square wondering what a Praga is.
As the Detours begin, the brothers yell out to the other teams hanging above them, "We're gonna beat ya!" Five seconds later, the squabbling begins. These guys are so innately dislikable they can't even stand to be in the same boat with each other. Oh yes, we can see where this is going and we can't wait.
And moments later, we get our wish. As we chant, "Flip, flip, flip!" they flip! It's hard for two people to make a lot of noise during a standing ovation, but we manage somehow. It's back to the drawing board for the bozos. They get to enjoy each other's company for a little while longer. The shot of their boat floating down the river without them gives us great glee.
Over at the slow task, both teams are struggling, but they are making progress. It's a tough, uphill climb, and it's going to take them awhile to finish.
The brothers have started their second round, and it's over...well, let's just say they're dumped back in the water almost instantly. They had switched positions, but it didn't do any good. The two of them can't get along long enough to cooperate for the challenge and talk it out. Also, those damned Globetrotters are hanging above them and it causes them a bunch of rage and stuff. One of them says, "You're supposed to steer!" We expect the other one's retort to be, "I'm telling mom!"
Over at the slow challenge, Flight Time reaches the end first and the operator of the line tells him to climb down. Cheyne & Meghan have also arrived, and they start yelling that he's going slow on purpose to keep them from pulling ahead (Big Easy is still struggling to the end). Flight Time looks like he's just being careful, but admits that once they start hollering at him that he does in fact slow down on purpose.
And we're back to the brothers, who are having another go at kayaking. We're sure they'll be able to work together this time. Actually, our conclusion as they start screaming at each other again is that last year we had a deaf contestant, and this year we have a contestant who wishes he were deaf. We still don't know which one of Sam or Dan that is, though.
Flight Time does tell Meghan that he didn't appreciate them accusing him of cheating to slow them down. She says, "It wasn't like that, man," but it's pretty clear that Flight Time is really disappointed in them. He actually seems to believe in good sportsmanship, and as the race proceeds, he's becoming disillusioned by the way that some people are playing the game.
Back at the kayak, Sam & Dan are finally doing great! We think they're going to make it! Then, all of a sudden, they notice that the Globetrotters have finished, and whoops! They're back under water. "We just suck at that," one of them says. Somehow, we don't think a white water rafting gift certificate would be a good holiday present for them. For this reason, we are now collecting donations for a white water rafting gift certificate.
As we return from the commercial break, Sam & Dan have decided there's no "I" in team, but there is an "I" in quit. They decide to do the slow challenge, and say, "We're fine as long as Brian & Ericka aren't here yet." Seconds later, Brian & Ericka arrive. We couldn't have written this screenplay better.
Moving on to the next location, Meghan & Cheyne invite the Globetrotters to work with them. Big Easy admits that they were just going to follow them anyway, so it's possibly just a case of semantics anyway.
Back at the climbing line, we learn that Brian has a fear of heights, but he plans to conquer it for Ericka's sake. For her part, once she's on the wire, she says, "It's gonna feel good for me!" Saucy! There's a woman who really liked climbing the rope in gym class. A counterpoint is provided by one of the brothers, who declares, "I don't like that!"
The teaming up of Meghan & Cheyne and the Globetrotters doesn't last very long. While the four of them try to work out how to get to the next clue box, Cheyne goes and hails a cab for himself and Meghan. Meghan yells at Cheyne that he's being rude, but he's not having any of it. They leave Flight Time and Big Easy behind, and the Globetrotters are left with no choice but to hop on a train. For the first time ever, there's a rift between Cheyne & Meghan, who figures that now that they've betrayed the Globetrotters' trust, they'll only be that much more motivated to beat them. She understands how athletes work.
Meghan & Cheyne are first to the clue box, though, which takes them to Estates Theater, an opera house where Mozart's Don Giovanni premiered. At the theater, they have to find a tiny little mandolin (something played by Don Giovanni in the opera) and take it to the lead character himself. This is harder than it sounds, because the opera house is huge. Flight Time and Big Easy also arrive for the Roadblock. Cheyne and Big Easy will go mandolin searching, and Flight Time takes a seat next to Meghan.
We return to the brothers and Brian & Ericka. Sam & Dan have finished their task, but Ericka is probably ten minutes behind or more. She tells Brian to keep going on. Sam & Dan yell words of encouragement to Ericka, then under their breath say, "She's gonna be there forever." Frauds. Even worse, they try to steal Brian & Ericka's taxi, which they had wisely advised to wait for them until they finished the task. Sam & Dan offer to pay extra, and the cab driver agrees. What a dick move. We hate them.
Over at the opera house, Cheyne is picking up every musical instrument he finds, but none of them are tiny, and half of them are not mandolins. This makes Don Giovanni laugh and say "No!" Meghan keeps yelling out "Cheyne! Cheyne! Cheyne!" Flight Time looks at her and smiles weakly. Now there are two contestants who wish they were deaf!
Sam & Dan arrive at the opera house, and now three people are searching for the tiny, tiny mandolins. Flight Time starts to dance and sing, which is fun for everyone except either Sam or Dan, we don't know which. Cheyne finally finds a baby mandolin, which pleases Don Giovanni greatly.
We're still waiting for Brian & Ericka, who declare they will never work with anyone ever again. They are also sure that Sam & Dan are feeling remorse for their sneakiness. Yeah, right. They finally get to the opera and get to the clue box that asks, "Who can remain calm and composed?" Brian says, "My baby." Ericka replies, "You think??"
Next, we learn that Sam & Dan are even bigger pussies than we thought. They won't make eye contact with Brian & Ericka, and pretend to read their clue (they even admit as much). We hate them.
Today's Pitstop is located at Prague Castle, and Meghan & Cheyne are easily on their way there by taxi. As winners of this leg (they really are the domination), they win a trip to Hawaii. The brothers are having some trouble finding a taxi (karma!), and Big Easy finally finds a mini-mandolin. They get a cab about the same time as Sam & Dan, and the race is on. The jerks, er, brothers arrive first, and when Phil asks them which team they hope will be eliminated today, they answer either Meghan & Cheyne or the Globetrotters. Right on cue, the Globetrotters arrive at the mat, and they tell Phil that "there's some drama going on because someone stole somebody's taxi". Sam & Dan get deadly serious, and fast.
Ericka has finally found her mandolin, and they are the last team to arrive. Perhaps because the producers realize that there's potential for some nice conflict, Phil informs Brian & Ericka that this is a non-elimination leg, but they'll have to perform a speed bump in the next round. The good news is that there are three likable teams competing for the final three spots, with a fourth team that we hate. Yes, we hate them. In tonight's show, mistakes were made, taxis were stolen, and the ramifications will be earth-shattering! Daron Aldridge will be back to recap the final two episodes after he gets back from Disney World, assuming that we can ever make him leave the happiest place on Earth. If the choices are that or talking about the brothers, we don't blame him for staying at Space Mountain until the season ends.