Five teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?
Yes, that is the question.
Teams had their mandatory rest period at the Madagascar Pit Stop where we last left them. As they arrived first, Dustin and Kandice (Evil Beauty Queens) were the first to leave at 2:56 AM. The Alabama Moms, Lyn and Karlyn, were the last team to leave at 3:55 AM, so we're talking an hour between first and last place. It's still a tight race at this point.
The clue they received directed them to fly to Helsinki, Finland. They had a total of $265 for this leg of the run. But flying to Helsinki isn't as easy as it sounds like it should be. Due to the lack of flights out of Madagascar, the show would arrange for flights to Paris and then the teams would be responsible for making the connecting flights to their destination.
Upon reading the destination, one of the Beauty Queens said, "Don't they wear wooden shoes?" I just looked at my cat and sadly shook my head.
At the airport, it didn't take the teams long to figure out there may be a quicker way to Helsinki. They found out a flight to Johannesburg could connect them more quickly to Helsinki than the Paris connection, so all teams made a go at it. The 'Bama Moms barely squeaked aboard to the delight of the ChoBros (Erwin and Godwin), much to the chagrin of the Beauty Queens and the Rehabbed Model Boy Toys (Tyler and James).
Once in Helsinki, teams had to locate the Kapeli Restaurant where they'd face the inevitable AOL "You've Got Mail!" clue of the season. This year it wasn't so much of a clue as it was a taste of home — video messages from family and friends. I know it's all touching and emotional, but didn't I just go through the same ordeal (or similar) on Survivor this week? Sheesh. After they saw the videos, the next clue was given to them by the restaurant manager.
They had to take a train to a school, the name of which I couldn't spell if my life depended on it. Shoot me now. Despite varying degrees of manners and lack thereof, all the teams ended up on the same train. Oh, the ChoBros were the polite ones, just in case you couldn't guess. Alabama just cut in front of the queue at the taxi stand and made me cringe once again. I know they're in a race, but they're also Americans in a foreign land. I must say it again. Sheesh.
Once at the school, they followed markers which led them to a Detour, a choice between two tasks the teams must perform to receive the next clue. Detours always have some connection with the local area, its people, or its customs. The choices this time were Swamp This or Swamp That. I guess it must be swampy there, eh? In Swamp This, teams had to use cross-country skis to ski through a mile-long mud course. In Swamp That, teams had to go through a muddy (sometimes up to their waists) obstacle course. It wasn't too cultural of a challenge, but it did get down and dirty! Although Rob and Kimberly got lost on the way to the mudbath, they made good time of it and passed by both the ChoBros and 'Bama.
From there, teams had to take a train to Turku, then drive to a limestone mine in Lohra. It was there that the teams faced a Roadblock — a task only one member of the team must complete. This Roadblock, dubbed "A Miner Inconvenience," looked like fun going down, but more like work returning as they had to ride a bike down into the mines, find a limestone hunk, then bring it back uphill (which the bikes couldn't handle and had to be walked), then break open the limestone to reveal their next clue. Tyler/James and Dustin/Kandice were the only teams on the first train heading in, so they got in and out of the mine first. Rob and Kimberly got lost trying to find the mine and the ChoBros actually got a bit nasty in deliberately losing them. Good. Now lose 'Bama, ChoBros.
The Boy Toys and Beauty Queens were off to the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki, where the boys found their clue after a bit of searching. Uh-oh. Bad news for those who have a fear of heights. That would include my favorite team, the Chos. Eep. Teams would have to rappel face-first down the tower at the stadium. The Beauty Queens arrived and started making their way up the tower as the Boys went down one at a time.
Back at the mine, Rob was a driven man, driven to get by 'Bama and the Chos, too. He made it by 'Bama and was tailgating the ChoBros. "Get off my ass, Rob. I will slam on my brakes." Go for it, ChoBros, then leave 'em in your dust! They get to the stadium and then it happens. No, not a round of fisticuffs between the Chos and Rob, not at all.
"Keep racing. This leg isn't over."
Argh. I know they do this every season. I even figured it would take place about halfway through tonight's episode as the timing wasn't going right for a Pit Stop. You know when no one has made the Pit Stop within fifteen minutes of the show ending time or was heading to one even before that, chances are there won't be one.
So, it's not until next week that we'll know who was eliminated next.
The Evil Beauty Queens weren't so evil this episode, but I still can't forgive them for not driving the car they smashed up last week and leaving it for another team. What if it had broken down due to the damage they caused and made another team lose the race? That move on their part was totally out of line and beyond just being competitive.
As the field narrows down, I'm still rooting for the Chos and am rather ambivalent about the rest of the teams. Both the Beauty Queens and the Boy Toys are strong teams, but I just don't care so much for them. I admire 'Bama and Rob/Kimberly for doing as well as they are, but neither team thrills me. But, the ChoBros? They rock my world. They just need to get a smidgen meaner. Just for the race, of course.