The Amazing Race Season 9: Episode 2
I'm Filthy and I Love It
By Reagen Sulewski
March 14, 2006
Brazil is once again the home for our intrepid racers, and this will hopefully make for two legs in a row where no team is kidnapped for ransom.
Eric & Jeremy are first out of the gate again, at 5:34 a.m., with the first clue of the day sending them to Edificio Copan, a nearby office tower. In their on-camera interview, they outright admit they're looking to hook up at some point. Okay, but I think both Lisa & Joni are married. Jeremy attempts to make a stab at respectability by saying that dating would be nice, too, but Eric cuts him off. A million bucks might be nice and all, but sex with a random girl in a foreign country? I think that's at least two things scratched off his "Things to Do Before I Die" list. The rest involve sex too, but you have to start somewhere.
BJ & Tyler are just two minutes behind and catch up with the two ahead of them (Eric would like to interject here... yes Eric, interject is the word you want... that this kind of thing is decidedly not on his list) who they feel they've gotten a rapport with, though I suspect a lot of teams would feel the same way about these two – at least for awhile, until they get annoyed by their hyperactive antics and beat them to death with the nearest blunt object.
Wanda & Desiree are third out at 5:45, buoyed by their strong showing in the first leg. However, the Race history is littered with the corpses of teams that had one good leg and slowly slid out the back door. Let's see if they can string together more than one mistake-free leg. Dave & Lori are next out at just four minutes behind, and would just like us all to know that they are in love. Another thing they are, is in love. The way they feel about each other is... Oh, would you two shut about this already?
An awkward moment out on the road occurs when Eric & Jeremy are stopped at a red light and notice prostitutes. Although they decide against stopping right here to go have sex with them, they do compliment one's posterior... before realizing that it's a man. Even Freudians would consider this too obvious.
After speaking Spanish at a bunch of what must be ever patient Portuguese-speakers in Sao Paolo, the first group of teams gets themselves to the target building, only to find out the building isn't open until 8 o'clock. "Oh crumbs," Tyler actually says. I think this guy is really for real.
Fifth out of the gate are Lake & Michelle at 6:10 a.m., with Lake out to give what I'm sure will be a fascinating display of American machismo to the locals. Sixth place is Joseph & Monica at 6:13, with their prominent "Mo Jo" shirts, breaking the time-honored rule, "You can't give yourself a nickname." Ray & Yolanda are out next at 6:47, and join the ever-growing bunch at the tower. They admit they had a bad leg, but they at least have the potential to get much better. I mean, at least they're not Fran & Berry, who coughed up several hours on the first leg, and now leave at 7:06. Fran reveals in he on-camera interview that she is a breast cancer survivor, which means that, damn, I have to start feeling sorry for her now. Of course, for her, this means that she thinks she has something to prove, which always leads to mistakes. So I guess it won't be for long.
Danielle & Dani are out at 7:19 a.m., and have very quickly realized that they have to go to Plan B, since Plan A was "stick out our chests and get the boys to do stuff for us." Of course, blowing off (... you heard me) Eric & Jeremy when they did try to open the door to that for you probably wasn't the best execution of that plan. Lisa & Joni leave in last with a giant "Woohoo!" at 7:28. Dudes, you're last. This could be one of the quickest meltdowns in race history, since, well, last leg.
All eight teams have reached the building, and with no number-taking, it's going to be a huge free-for-all. Once the building opens, we have our mad dash, and our first Roadblock of the race. This one is the heart-attack special, where one team member has to climb a fire escape for what looks like about 40 stories, then rappel down to the ground. There's three to choose from, but the rappelling will depend on the order that teams reach the top.
A huge passel of people don't quite seem to get the point of the task, as Desiree, Jeremy Ray, Danielle and Fran all head up the first stairway, guaranteeing that several teams will have to wait. The Brain of the Race, Dave, heads up Stairway #2, though this could represent the most physical activity since the time he heard Doritos were on sale. Lake and Joseph are hot on his tail, though Lori encourages him on with 10-year-old quotes from Cameron Crowe movies. Joni also heads up this stairway, making it nine teams for two rappel lines. BJ makes the smartest move of this leg so far, going for the third staircase, which they have all to themselves.
A rivalry is growing between Eric & Jeremy and Danielle and Dani, allowing Eric to reveal his secret strategy at getting women. I hope you all out there are taking notes, now. Ready? Okay, here it is. "You gotta make the girls feel good, so you can get in their pants later." These guys are a gift.
Jeremy and Joseph are first to the top of their roofs, with a trail of winded people following them. Eric gives the call to "rappel like you've never rappelled before, Jeremy," which actually sounds kind of like "falling to your death" to me. Then he says he "looks amazing", which after the prostitute incident this morning, starts to take on a different connotation. Are we sure there's no gay teams left? Anyway, Jeremy is down first, receiving the next clue, to get to a bus terminal for one of three departure times to the town of Brotas. The times are spaced an hour apart, putting real meaning into this Roadblock.
Joseph and BJ are next down, with all three of these teams off in a pack to the bus station. Lake and Ray are the next pair to head down the building, with Dave and Desiree shortly after them. Wanda shouts some encouragement that wouldn't be out of place in a... certain kind of video, (seriously, "slide it, get a feel for it"? Does no one listen to what they're saying on this show?), as Desiree gets them in for seventh place at this point behind Dave & Lori.
There's a crisis at roof #1 as Danielle's fear of heights threatens to cripple her race (I mean, wow. Read the clues, people) and thus holds back Fran, whom she beat to the top. Eventually she lets herself over the edge, racing Joni to the ground on the next fire escape. Danielle eventually figures out that the faster you go, the faster the scary part is over, and the "Double Ds" are on their way. Joni and Fran bring up the rear, to virtually no one's surprise.
At the bus terminal, Eric & Jeremy, Joseph & Monica and BJ & Tyler all get on the first bus for 10:15, with Ray & Yolanda almost catching up enough to get on that bus, but missing out and having to settle for 11:15. Lake and Michelle's "act, then think" strategy bites them in the ass again, as the bus they initially jump on takes them to the wrong terminal.
This lets Wanda & Desiree and Dave & Lori get onto the second bus ahead of them, giving us the third tier of teams as Dani & Danielle, Lake & Michelle, Lisa & Joni and Fran & Barry. I bet that's going to burn Lake's butt. In some downtime, Danielle goes over to investigate the other teams, specifically Eric & Jeremy, where Eric literally inspects the merchandise, if you know what I'm saying and I think that you do. I think Eric made a grave miscalculation if he thought appearing on TV was going to get him ladies, since any girl watching this show is going to stay completely clear of him.
When the teams reach Brotas, they then have to choose a (old-school) VW bug to drive to the location indicated by the clue on the car. It is, in fact, the Detour, which has them choosing between manually grinding sugar cane, then distilling it into ethanol fuel which they'll then use in their car, reducing the environmental footprint of the show eeeever so slightly, or driving to a waterfall, then climbing up 90 feet along side it.
All three teams head for the waterfall, since it plays into their physical strengths, or in the case of Eric & Jeremy, because they refuse to think for themselves. Jeremy says he "can't wait to slip on his Speedo", which means we're up to about five accidental homoerotic comments from this team already this leg.
BJ & Tyler reach the waterfall first, with Tyler blazing through his portion of the task. Monica goes first for her team, which is a daring strategy in hoping she doesn't get stuck. Meanwhile Eric has for some reason worn suede shoes on a race around the world (the better to score girls with, I guess) and is totally ruining them walking through waist-deep water.
Bus number two has no arrived in Brotas, and Dave & Lori play to their nerd strengths by choosing the sugar cane task. "I totally did that experiment in school," Dave says, cementing his street cred. Ray & Yolanda go for the climbing option, while Wanda & Desiree join the nerds in making ethanol.
BJ & Tyler are now up the waterfall, and receive their next clue, which sends them to the Pit Stop. Wait, what? The episode is barely half done and we're sending people to the Pit Stop already? In any case, a nearby coffee plantation is the next stop, where they're followed by Joseph & Monica, then finally Eric & Jeremy in what could become a huge lead.
Finally, the third bus has arrived, where Fran & Barry compensate for one bad decision with another, reasoning that since they know nothing about putting together motorcycles, they're not going to mess with grinding up sugar cane, and thus haul their butts up a waterfall. This plays to exactly none of their advantages (if they even have any) and I look forward to them falling even further behind. Lake & Michelle head straight for the climbing task, as do Danielle and Dani. Lisa & Joni recognize that the physical Detour is not for them, but Lisa is melting down rapidly, with the standard transmission defeating her, and not letting her sister actually direct her from the map, while complaining that she can't do everything. It's the perfect storm of Amazing Race travel stress.
The front-running three teams are all racing towards the Pit Stop, with BJ & Tyler still in the lead. A little further back we have Eric & Jeremy, who spot Danielle and Dani heading the other way (aw, like two ships passing in the night). Then Jeremy makes the comment that he hopes they make it through, because then what are they going to do, hook up with hippies? The prostitute from this morning has no comment.
They're certainly attached at the hip with them, as they catch up to BJ & Tyler in the middle of a town as they stop for directions. I'm reasonably sure that at some point, Eric & Jeremy are going to drive off a cliff (smart money is on Lake & Michelle) because that team "looks like they know where they're going."
Some tidbits from the middle section of the Detour: Lori gets "sprayed in the face" during the sugar cane task, upping the innuendo count for this leg to about 70 jillion, Ray is apparently the last black man in America to still use Snoop-speak unironically and Wanda can apparently be heard coming from great distances.
Dave & Lori actually speed through this task, aided by their powers of Science!, beating Ray & Yolanda through the Detour based on the relative editing. Desiree calls this task "karma, for all the times I passed out in Chemistry class." What, were you drinking your experiments?
There's a bit of a logjam in the third group of racers, though Lisa is currently taking the cake for contestants who clearly don't want to be here anymore. "Oh, so we're supposed to enjoy the scenery, is that it," she says, then complains more about the vehicle and grinds some gears. 'Cause you're such a joy to be around right now, too.
A nervous Eric & Jeremy finally develop some independent thinking, after getting nervous about following BJ & Tyler with no real idea of where they're going. They stop at a gas station for directions, leaving the hippies to go off on their own. However, to their chagrin they find out they were on the right track in the first place. Next time, try thinking earlier, OK? This moment of cold feet gives a clear path for BJ & Tyler to take first spot at the Pit Stop, winning a trip for two to Tahiti, which, even though it's cool, results in an entirely too enthusiastic response from these two. They practically roll around and kiss.
Eric risks the Wrath of Phil on the run up to the mat, yelling out to Phil, "I'm gonna smack you, woman!" Stay classy, San Diego! Besides, I'm pretty sure Phil Keoghan has powers akin to Chuck Norris or Jack Bauer. If he wanted you dead, there's literally nothing you could do about it. He lets them live for now, giving them second spot. Joseph & Monica are third in, making a huge improvement from their first leg.
Back at the waterfall, Michelle and Fran are in a race, which Michelle wins handily. Lake then by sheer force of testosterone nearly beats Fran up the remaining half of her climb.
Over at the Pit Stop, Dave & Lori get in for fourth, making the sugar cane Detour probably the right choice, against the odds. Ray & Yolanda come in for fifth, improving on their finish from last leg, although they are still not too happy with their showing so far. Contrast that with Wanda & Desiree, who have slipped to sixth, but they clearly thought they'd done much worse.
Barry is still struggling over at the waterfall climb (are they sure they made the right choice still? I think probably not), and Danielle beats him up. However, Fran & Barry are still away first. Dani makes short work of her climb, and seem to be in high spirits. This contrasts strongly with Lisa & Joni, who are nearly stymied by a slightly muddy patch of road. It's just non-stop joy with them.
Lake is frustrated with all these foreeners and their non-English speaking (I don't think any of them speak redneck, either) and he's sick to death of Spanish. Well, that's fine, but they speak Portuguese in Brazil! Michelle gets to be the diplomat for the group, wrangling up a motorcycle to lead them on their way. Fran & Barry were surprisingly close here, though their car has just died. This lets Danielle & Dani pass them while waiting for their replacement car.
It's a sprint to the mat for Lake & Michelle who have been passed in the meantime by Danielle & Dani, but testosterone wins today, and they come in for seventh, relegating the girls to eighth. The only question now is if the vehicle troubles for Fran & Barry have let Lisa & Joni back into the race. It's now pitch black, with just these two teams left to come in. As mistake prone as these two are, Fran & Barry do have someone that still is worse than they are, and they slide in for ninth.
Lisa is already in tears when she hits the mat, and progresses to full sobbing when Phil tells them they're eliminated. This team just did nothing quickly or correctly, and this amounted to a mercy elimination. They just had no skills.