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TV Review: The Amazing Race 9 – Episode 7

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I still have to get used to this new day and time. The 8 p.m. hour is better than 9 p.m. as it would then be against Lost. I don’t want that to happen! Yipes! But, remember folks…it’s now on at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Wednesdays in most viewing areas. I know a few folks got caught off guard with the change last week and this season’s too good to miss!

Six teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

We picked up with the teams at their Sicily Pit Stop from last week. Here’s one of the things I love about the show — the history of some of the places where they travel. Their location in Sicily was founded in 734 B.C. Wow! That right there is amazing, isn’t it? Jeremy/Eric were the first team to leave at 10:33 p.m. while the last team to depart was Ray/Yolanda at 1:02 a.m. That’s not an incredibly huge time difference. Well, if I were racing for a million dollars, I may think otherwise. But, in the end, it didn’t matter. The clue received directed the teams to travel by train to Rome where they then must find the Trevi Fountain, locate a man on a red and yellow scooter, and get the next clue from him. It turns out that the train station didn’t open until 4 a.m. and the first train to Rome would be at 8 a.m. So, two and a half hours between first and last meant nothing — we hit another infamous TAR bunching point.

However, it was at the train station that either Jeremy or Eric said of Lake: “I think he’s bipolar.” They could be right!

I noticed a few teams taking a taxi. Ray/Yolanda and BJ/Tyler. Uh-oh! Didn’t the clue specify train? All the other teams took the train. Hmm…

Continuing to set the pace, Jeremy/Eric got to the clue first. That clue directed them a mile away, but more importantly it gave them the first piece of a DaVinci Code graphic. The instructions told them to put the pieces together and crack the code. The first team to bring the correct solution to the Pit Stop would win…something. Okay. When BJ/Tyler found their piece, the conversation went like this:

“What’s that?”
“It’s a naked man, that’s what it is!”

That clue led them to the airport where there was yet another bunching point. All the teams ended up on the same flight to Athens, Greece. They’re bunching teams a lot this season. While I understand that the teams can’t get spread too far apart or the outcome won’t have any kick to it, twice in a leg? If that bunching point with the flight didn’t get them, their destination in Greece would. It didn’t open until 8 a.m. What was amazing at that time is that Fran/Barry got to the clue first! The clue indicated a Fast Forward was available, one of two on the race. More than a few teams made a go at it. Mo/Jo got there first, then Jeremy/Eric. Since it was a one mile hike on foot, Fran and Barry lost their lead. Much to the dismay of MoJo who had been at it for a while, Jeremy/Eric found the clue breaking plates to reveal a TAR flag. A small one, of course. Supposedly, the breaking of plates wards off mischievous spirits. Who am I to argue? Excuse me while I go to the kitchen to break a plate or two…

There. I’m back. Where was I? Oh. Greece.

Jeremy and Eric went onto the Pit Stop at the Fortress of Dorion where they not only arrived first, but had their DaVinci Code bit figured out. I’ll talk about that later, but the other teams still had a race going on. The remaining teams had a Roadblock (a task only one team member can perform) ahead. Bungee jumping, woohoo! Of course, we had to watch Monica cry and Fran/Barry whine a lot trying to get there. Once at the Roadblock, Fran would have something to whine about. It was either her turn to do the Roadblock or she just committed to doing it before reading the entire clue. It turns out bungee jumping scares her to death. Not quite. She lived through it. Just barely, though. It was 240 feet into a canal. I’d love to give that one a try!

The clue after the bungee jump led teams directly into a Detour, a choice of two tasks tied in with Greek Mythology or culture. The choices were Herculean Effort which had the teams perform three Olympic sports — discus, javelin, and wrestling or It’s All Greek to Me where teams had to select nine pottery chunks marked with Greek letters, translate the letters to English, then solve the clue as the word would be a location on a map they received. Most of the teams chose the sports event and the wrestling was a hoot! Fran and Barry knew that the physical task wouldn’t be a wise choice and went for the cerebral challenge. Lake and Michelle ended up at that task only because they got lost.

The show then got very scary. Y’see, BJ and Tyler are my favorite team this season. They got lost! Oh, no! They got to Herculean Effort after all the other teams departed! Nononononono! For a while, it looked like they would be the last team to arrive. Thankfully, Lake and Michelle got more lost after leaving All Greek to Me. Phew!

The finish order was:
1. Jeremy/Eric – Since they also presented the finished DaVinci Code Product Placement Propaganda puzzle, they will attend the Hollywood premiere of the movie on May 19 and get the red “cappet” (as Phil pronounces it) treatment.
2. Monica/Joe – Originally Ray/Yolanda, but they got a 15 minute penalty for taking a taxi to the station and MoJo arrived before the 15 minutes were up.
3. Ray/Yolanda
4. Fran/Barry – Who should have gotten some sort of penalty for Barry smashing the whole back end of the car into a tree. “I didn’t see it.”
5. Arriving piggyback, BJ/Tyler. They also got a 15 minute penalty, but no teams arrived during it.
6. Lake/Michelle. Last and Philiminated. Bye, bye Lake…I won’t miss you!

To be honest, I didn’t think it would be Lake and Michelle gone this week. I actually figured it to be a non-elimination leg. We’re overdue for one of them. I thought Barry and Fran would be last to the mat, elimination or not. It’s a good thing I’m not a gambler, eh?

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  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com SteveS

    I’m surprised there hasn’t been an elimination yet.

    We couldn’t stand Lake, he called his wife the ‘b’ word on tv! And he blamed her because he forgot the map, well, he blamed her for everything.

    To us, this is one of the weaker seasons. I think it’s because the two guys who treat life like a party and women like objects just win everything. They won the fast forward, they won the puzzle, they’ve won 1st place about 4 or 5 times now? It isn’t much of a challenge anymore, they just seem to breeze through it.

    So the real contest for the others comes in just trying to not be last, rather than being first. We almost feel like ‘give them the money’ and just start a new season. Unless something unforeseen happens like a missed plane or a car breaking down, I think it’s already obvious who’s going to win.

  • http://blogcritics.org Joanie

    Congrats! This article has been placed on Advance.net

  • fred edison

    The teams I liked the most are gone. Wanda & Desiree and Dave & Lori. Now it’s the carefree twins, the surfer dudes and the rest.

    Interestingly, BJ & Tyler are starting to show signs of stress. BJ isn’t being his usual jovial self, and even Tyler isn’t smiling as much.

    Eric & Jeremy are their standard selves. Acting like they know nothing and coming in first five of seven times. Hmmmm.

    The humor segment was when Barry decided to take a short nap while backing their vehicle. Or possibly Barry decided he needed to relieve a bit of built-up stress. Smash! Ah, that’s better. Frankly, I think Fran should be more afraid of Barry’s driving than bungee jumping.

    I enjoy the show because of the travel, as you state in your article. It’s the main reason I watch, just to catch of glimpse of the breathtaking Greek countryside, or wherever they happen to be. If it looks that good on your television, think how marvelous it would be there in the flesh. The sights and sounds, the smells and the culture of the people. Those are memories you’ll never forget, win or lose.

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