Previously on The Amazing Race, we were just watching this damned show. Stupid CBS put up a double episode, which is SUPER annoying since they just did the same thing with Survivor the previous night.
The Amazing Race: Have Faith in Me, Broski
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
April 27, 2017
What’s worse is that we haven’t yet had a non-elimination leg, and we’re certainly due.
Tonight’s episode starts with Tara & Joey ripping into their clue, which sends them off to Alesund, Norway, home to the highest concentration of fjords in the world. Once there, they’ll drive to Hogsteinen Fyr Lighthouse. Next, they get to eat some rockfish, something that is considered a local delicacy.
Also, many of these words and things don’t sound real words and things. If someone tells you they’re having rockfish at Hogsteinen Fyr, check their texts. They’re probably just bad liars who are cheating on you.
We’re reminded that the Express Pass must be used by the fifth leg, which is today. Thus, #TeamFun tells us that they’re totally onboard with using it and finishing in first place for a change. Last episode, they didn’t receive a lot of airtime.
The explanation was presumably that after being so happy go lucky, Becca got pretty scary with Floyd when he lost their passports. She threatened to punch him and actually followed through with the motion. It was like watching Ellen DeGeneres eat koala bear on live television.
The team that has received a lot of attention is Liz & Mike, who have two out of the last three legs. Today’s episode begins with him saying such kind words that she tears up. She also refers to him as her 21-day husband. For a reality show, this can mean only two things. Either they’re about to kiss or tonight’s episode is the Ugly Divorce.
Tonight’s leg has some separation at the start. Tara & Joey depart at 3:16 PM. Brooke & Scott leave at 5:33. While they had a terrible, terrible leg, they’re still only 37 minutes behind Vanck & Ashton. So, the gap isn’t huge, and The Amazing Race’s producers immediately eliminate it. The flight out isn’t until just before midnight, meaning that everybody’s bunched, negating Tara & Joey’s hard-earned lead. Let them play, CBS!
Okay, Norway’s mountains are spectacular. It’s apparently more than just a Frozen vehicle. The path from the airport to the fake rockfish place is circuitous. Mike freaks out about their journey and stops to ask for directions. Liz is against the idea, but she’s not driving. To her frustration, the local guide confirms that it’s only about a mile down the road the way that they were already going. Liz jumps on this, telling him that she was right and adding, “Have faith in me, Bro-ski.” Don’t do that, Liz. Don’t ever do that.
Team Fun is first to arrive at the fish tasting. They try to act polite, but most of them hate the flavor. Still, they have to swallow it before proceeding. Brooke, who really is the worst, turns into a total drama queen again. She can’t swallow her fish (don’t make it dirty), allowing several other teams to catch them.
Team Fun is also the first to depart from the fish tasting. Their destination is different from the rest, though. They’re taking a helicopter ride to the FastForward. They’ll be tandem skydiving in a bit. That’s gonna be great video. Meanwhile, Brooke’s inability to eat fish costs her team the chance to try for the FastFoward.
Scott, a drama king himself, is furious about this turn of events and frankly sick of his partner. The bickering continues as they enter the car. Brooke wants to follow Vanck and Ashton, as that team has a map to the next location. Scott insists on following the speed limit rather than tailgating their opponents. Brooke hints that his cowardice is hurting the team. He (correctly) points out her overall failure at the challenges to date. They’re toxic and deserve one another.
The Roadblock today involves a world record. Every year, the residents try to break their own record of the world’s largest bonfire. The current attempt will involve 31,000 wooden pallets that “create this rickety tower.” The stack of wood probably climbs up more than 200 feet in the air. The contestants must climb the pallets to reach the top. The structure seems…shaky. Does Norway ever have earthquakes? Because THAT could cause some funny (but tragic) video.
Matt the professional snowboarder is comfortable with mountains and heights and the like. He’s also an X-Games athlete. He climbs the construct as if a magnet were pulling him up to the top. He almost returned to the ground before Joey reached the top. Literally every contestant watching Matt from below is in awe of his achievement here. Being a freak athlete doesn’t guarantee success on The Amazing Race, but it’s easy to see how he’s won a gold medal.
Tonight’s Detour involves Norwegian fairytales. For Trolls, teams must search for “Fire Trolls” hidden in the city then free them with a magic spell. Their reward is a giant rocket each time. Once a team collects six (ridiculously oversized) rockets, they’re done. For Troll (no, that’s not a typo), the players must kayak through the local waters and find a lure that shows the name of the next Pit Stop.
Once Team Fun arrives at their destination, they learn that they get to jump out of a helicopter. Most people would show at least some level of remorse. These two start bouncing up and down with joy. We like Happy Becca a LOT better than Punchy Becca.
Something noteworthy happens during the Roadblock that seems like busywork. Vanck & Ashton leave without grabbing all of her belongings. Vanck had his partner’s jacket and hat. So, she assumed that he had her pack also. It’s a pretty big mistake, and they’re equally to blame.
The Boys are the first to arrive at the Detour and choose Troll aka the kayaks. They seem unsure of how the challenge works. When they look at the lures, they break into a discussion about colors. They eventually decide that the lure they’re holding is orange rather than red. Meanwhile, Tara & Joey show up and almost immediately find the right lure. Then, they find another one, validating their belief. They also might have found one intended for The Boys. It’s unclear. Either way, this turn of events confuses them even more, leaving both teams paddling in (literal) circles.
Most of the teams choose Trolls, which seems more straightforward but slower. Ashton is instantly fantastic at it, finding a Fire Troll almost immediately. Then, Vanck finds a second one right down the street. We can’t decide if they’re extremely skilled or just plain lucky.
The other players wonder the same thing. They wonder how their opponents gained two rockets so quickly. Two of the teams start working together. Brooke & Scott join forces with Team LoLo (maybe the first time we’ve seen them tonight) and enjoy some success. Scott feels a weight lifted off his back, as someone else carries Brooke for a change.
Liz & Mike aren’t doing as well. They’re meticulously studying the blue Troll map that acts as a guide. They disagree about which way is north. Liz notes that a statue on the map is north of them. Mike…finds this statement frustrating. He has a handy compass on his keychain that points north. He loses his cool when she protests. While acting like an ass, he does offer an absolutely hysterical smackdown of her logic. “Okay, so this paper is magic and it knows which way is north?”
Back from the commercial break, they’re still fighting. She states something that is undeniably true. “You’re making a scene.” Basically, Mike wanted to do the other side of the Detour, didn’t get his way, and has now lost control of his emotions. When they find a spot on the map, she adds, “You owe me an apology.” Moments later, he does offer what seems like a sincere apology, which she accepts.
An edit from later, after the leg is over, summarizes the situation. Mike explains that he can be stubborn and irrational. To his credit, he acknowledges his failing in this situation. Liz calmly adds, “I caught the butt end of it.” She doesn’t seem mad, which means that they’ve apparently made up during the break between legs. In live action, however, she wants to show that giant rocket where the sun don’t shine.
In a humorous moment, Brooke sees “What’s-her-face” up ahead, by which she means Ashton. Without a drop of irony in her voice, Brooke states, “She’s horrible.” Gee, Brooke, if horrible women bother you…
What’s interesting about Trolls is that it is a really slooooooow challenge. It requires a lot of tracking back and forth through the city. If the contestants weren’t in a race, it’d be a fun event. Since they are, it seems stressful and annoying.
Speaking of stressful, the two members of Team Fun jump out of a helicopter.
We learn in this moment that Floyd & Becca aren’t psychopaths. They do show at least a hint of fear. That’s presumably because the doors open, allowing them to look down at the ground thousands of feet below. You’re not human if that doesn’t affect you some. Still, the two of act the same once they’re in the air. They start whooping and screaming excitedly, clearly having the time of their lives. Their joy is infectious.
The Pit Stop is at Mount Aksla, and the only shock here would be if Team Fun weren’t the first to arrive.
Coincidentally or not ,the action cuts back to Tara & Joey and The Boys, who are still kayaking hopelessly. After circling each other for the twentieth time, the four people realize they need to work together. What they learn is that they both have read the same word, “Aksla.” They have no idea what it means, but the teams agree to exit their kayaks and ask the locals for help. They quickly learn of the Mount.
This turn of events leads to a race up to the top of Mount Aksla. And an upset occurs. Two of them, in fact. Tara & Joey somehow outsprint The Boys and wind up in first place for the second straight leg. This team is a force. Matt & Redmond join them moments later. Team Fun is dancing and celebrating as they arrive, only to have their smiles fade away when they learn they only finished third. We don’t know if they got lost or what, but that’s a strange turn of events.
Vanck & Ashton and Team LoLo are the first two teams to complete Trolls. Their fourth and fifth place finishes prove that it was the much slower of the heat’s Detour options.
The only remaining mystery is which team will finish last. The obvious guess is Brooke & Scott, who have somehow wound up far behind Team LoLo despite working with them. Liz & Mike also finish the Detour first. Then, they ask for directions to the top of Mount Aksla. They learn that it’s 9,300 steps and wisely choose to drive rather than walk.
Liz asks to drive, but Mike shoots her down. After a nightmarish leg, he needs to control something. He refuses to let her drive. Then, as he pulls out from their parking space, he crashes into another car. Actually, it’s a hotel shuttle bus, and he hits it so hard that he breaks the rear bumper.
The driver informs him that the rear bumper was already broken! Instead, it’s a small bruise that doesn’t bother the Norwegian. He tells them not to worry about the wreck and wishes them well. THAT is a huge break.
When they get back in the car, Liz is behind the wheel. Still, they’re frenzied due to the erratic afternoon. Their best idea is to enter a parking garage, hoping that an elevator will take them to the top.
Meanwhile, Brooke rants, whines, and vents as she climbs 9,300 stairs. As they laboriously walk, a funny edit shows Liz & Michael listening to elevator music and regretting everything. A chaotic day finally gets to both of them, as they start arguing about whether they should stay on the elevator or get back in the car.
Mike storms off, angry about everything, especially that he’s not getting his way about the elevator. He’d tried and tried to avoid walking up those stairs. The journey is just life piling on. Every single step is a reminder of how badly his day has gone.
At the Pit Stop, Liz vents that Mike isn’t listening to her. He states that “it goes both ways,” and that’s the straw that sends her over the edge. She points out several ways she was right and he was wrong, which only drives him crazier. He’s well aware of all this. That’s precisely why he’s so angry. Somewhere in the middle of this, Phil informs them that they’re still racing, as this leg is only halfway through.
You gotta love CBS. They air two episodes in a row, but they don’t do it as two parts of a double leg. Instead, they wind up with a To Be Continued cliffhanger.
We need a break from this show. Thankfully, we’ll be at Walt Disney World for a couple of weeks. So, Daron Aldridge will get to see if Liz & Mike go back to being buddies or choose the Brooke & Side option instead.