Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Amazing Race 22: Episode 9: Co-Dependent Country Singers

The Country Singers suffer from
separation anxiety this week
The theme of this week's episode of The Amazing Race was co-dependence. The Country Singers and the Hockey Brothers could not seem to break their bond or realize that this is a race for heaven's sake, not a dating service. You're not on Ready for Love, hons. As the race moved from Switzerland to Germany, the two kissy-face teams finally start to twig to the fact that if they help each other out, they will lose. There are only five teams left and if you stay behind to aide another, Phil will be eliminating you.

This leg also marked a welcome change in luck for the Hockey Boys. Thank God. After three monotonous easy victories, they almost got canned. Plus Meghan and Joey bounced back from their near-defeat last week. The segment began on a familiar note with the Hockey Boys starting in first place and the hated Max and Katie bragging about how they thought they would win a lot of legs and what a humbling experience it's been having their giant brains beaten in. So everyone gets back on a train for Dresden (they rode like 20 trains last week). Here the hockey players' luck begins to turn as one of them gets his backpack stolen. Too bad his passport wasn't in there or they would have suffered the fate of the long-haired rockers from last season.

For some reason, the producers show a clip of an airplane landing as they arrive. All five teams must answer a question about the Berlin Wall on their Ford Focuses as yet another product on this sponsor vehicle is featured (remember the foot-activated rearhatch and the self-parking feature from seasons past? Such gripping television drama!)

There is a gratuitous tribute to Reagen who is the answer to the question: Who said "Tear down this wall?" Maybe this was to make up for offending all those Vietnam veterans during the Hanoi episode. Why does it not surprise me that Max admits to being a cigar-chomping conservative Republican when he says Reagan was his favorite prez? Joey and Meghan wish they had paid more attention in history class since they don't know the answer and only multiple choice saves them.

So now they gotta drive all the way to Berlin, find the Brandenberg Gate, fall face first down the side of a skyscraper for this week's adrenaline rush, and then chose between playing with toy trains and hauling giant neon letters. (This was an action-packed episode, with very little time spent hanging out at airports or depots, travelling or scheming.)

Of course, the hockey players and country singers--who cannot make a move without each other--team up to haul letters. This is where the second stroke of bad luck hits the boys when one of their letters is damaged. (They must be transported in tact.) And one of the girls actually says to the boys, "Do you care if we finish?" What is wrong with you??? If it was me who just had a big strong man who could easily beat me in a footrace suffer a major setback in a contest for a million dollars, I'd be dancing in the Berlin streets. But no, she's whining about "Oh, do you care if I beat you to the finish line, my pretend boyfriend?" These women just ain't right.

Meanwhile Meghan and Joey chose the model train challenge and after 17 tries got the choo-choo to go around the track once. (I loved the cute little cartoon graphics of the train crashing.) Max and Katie get their letters delivered first and arrive at the next roadblock where they have to answer another super-tough history question--Who said "Ich bein ein Berliner?" Katie correctly guesses John F. Kennedy, but Joey has to ask people in the bar. He must have been filming a YouTube clip when the Cold War was being covered in school. The correct answer gains the contestant admission to dark, frightening maze simulating a drug trip.

In a study in contrasting personalities, repressed, neurotic Katie is terrified by the spooky labyrinth, while free-spirited, uninhibited Joey absolutely loves it. ("We have to come back here and do it again," he breathlessly says to Meghan when he gets out.)

Katie recovers from her shock and returns to the arms of cigar-chomping, safe Max and they finish first, winning a pair of Fords. Actually, even though I hate Max and Katie I'd rather see them win at this point than the hockey players. It was getting boring having the same team triumph all the time. Said brothers switch tasks and have the same problems as Joey and Meghan getting their train to stay together for one run around the track. The YouTubers finish second, their best placement yet. Despite separation anxiety, the country singers are third. The Hockey Brothers sprint pass the Roller Moms who are saved from elimination this time.

Next week is another double U-turn and I am praying Max and Katie get the shaft. The clips seem to show the old alliance of the YouTubers and the Roller Moms gaining a couple of hours' advantage on the others. Karmic payback for dissing them, Max's gang!

One question: If you've already been U-turned are you exempt? This might save Joey and Meghan, but I don't think it works that way.

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