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HOME > EPISODE SUMMARIES

The Amazing Race: All-Stars - Episode 2 Summary

'The Bored Room, Stepstool to Heaven, and Driving Miss Drew' By Cygnus X1
Original Airdate: February 25, 2007

Last week on the Amazing Race:

Phil’s golf equipment. Find golf balls on course. Again. Sigh. Phil. Loses playoff. (Not Keoghan. Mickelson. Bigger oobies.)

After 60 Minutes. And Andy Rooney. (As old as Teri and Ian. Almost.) 11 teams of DAWs Not Named Kris and Jon. Miami. No vice. Or virtue. Just attention. Race. To airport. Romber. Cha-Chas. Make nice. Kentucky. Can’t fool Barbies. Fooled by Rob and “Kimberly.” Two planes. Twice the ennui. Uchenna and Joyce. On without incident.

Ecuador. Quito? No one quitos. Yet. But. Taxis go rapido! To square, then dinner, then bed. Could have walked. Drew. Falls. Could have popped shoulder. Pops Vicodin. Kevin. Wants to pop Drew.

Next day. Drive to national park. North entrance. Means something. But. Not to Mirna and Schmirna. Or John Vito and Jill. Rest. Wander through wilderness. Detour. Romber. Wander some more. Searching for uniform parts. Button. Button. They don’t got the button. Switch. To horse wrangling. Wil-burrr! Get them off my tail! And feet! Romber. Win leg. Yawn. Everyone else. Wrangles. Nobody Lees or Levis.

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Kevin and Drew. Aches and pains. Drive through Peru. Er, Ecuador. Can’t wave to Debbie or Bianca. Lose tire. Drive anyway. Lose rim. Lose sponsorship. Nearly lose leg. In addition to knee. But. John Vito and Jill. Really bad directions. Really clueless local. Limp in last. Head to Sequesterville. Consider state of “um-friend”-ship. (“Um-friend”: As in “This is my, um, friend.”)

To fill in the details with images and much more snark, indulge in Zipperhead’s enjoyable roundup. Adult beverages optional. Sadly, I’m not as adept as Zip with images; I need rabbit ears on my TV to see this. Ah, life without cable or DVR. So you get my words, and lots of them.

We begin this week outside Quito, Ecuador near Vulcan Cotopaxi, although I don’t see anyone who looks like Leonard Nimoy other than Phil and his brow. (This might be a dumb question, but does that guy who played Tuvok on “Voyager” get all sorts of people gawking at *his* ears?) The Pit Stop is at Mirador Cotopaxi.

The first thing we see is Drew during the Pit Stop looking like he needs some Cotopaxi (ask your doctor whether Cotopaxi is right for you. For Mirna, ask your doctoro). He’s getting oxygen because he can’t deal with the altitude, he’s been vomiting, and he’s had headaches. At this point, I think Drew might be considering making a tag to Marshall or Gus.

Now everyone finished the last leg in the daylight, and in Ecuador (which means “equator”), the days aren’t much more than 12 hours long. So, for Romber to start at 7:42 AM, this Pit Stop couldn’t have been 12 or 36 hours. I don’t think a 24-hour Pit Stop makes sense either, because then there would have been no light as the Racers were doing their tasks. But, before our collective heads explode . . .

(Well, maybe that pic just did it.)

The ever-confident Most Famous Couple To Live On TV This Side Of Paul And Jan Crouch (above) find that they’re headed for Santiago, Chile (for the second time) and have to get to the Coleco Building, home of all sorts of video games I played when I was a kid, like the earliest home version of Donkey Kong. Um, make that the Codelco Building, the home of a large, environmentally-incorrect, copper-mining concern. Rob says he hopes the other teams get preoccupied with them. Somewhere, Lynn and Alex have no idea what he’s talking about. As they leave, Amber says, “This is not a road. This should be illegal.” Which, I suppose, could explain the OFF-ROAD VEHICLE she’s sitting in?

Danny and Oswald: 7:53 AM, with $187. As they depart, Danny considers pulling over and waiting for the other teams (a.k.a. The Cho Brothers First To Worst Ploy). Oswald says he likes them, but not that much. I didn’t see these two the first time around, but they’re quite entertaining.

Teri and Ian: 8:17 AM. Ian says their strategy will be “stop, look, and listen.” Yeah, that works well if you’re racing in a Road Runner cartoon:

Eric and Danielle: 8:24 AM. Eric tries this joke about Danielle being careful going downhill so as not to break her ankles, and she should just try rolling downhill like Humpty, and play Humpty Dumbass . . . No, I don’t get it either, and neither do the producers, who toss in cricket noises at the end. Does Danielle see ANYthing in this guy from the beltline up?

Joe and Bill: 8:25 AM. Team Guido is dressed in matching outfits that make them look like faded tennis balls. They take off for some “gay four-wheeling.” Fred Phelps and company are protesting just outside the Pit Stop, but the Guidos douse them in mud from the pathway out.

Dustin and Kandice: 8:34 AM. They weren’t enthused when Phil called them sixth last leg. However, they did appreciate when Phil called them to his tent around midnight.

Uchenna and Joyce: 8:35 AM. Uchenna braks about how he has to be Mr. Right in order to have Mrs. Right. Joyce must have made him sleep in the SUV last night.

Charla and Mirna: 8:50 AM. Mirna remarks that it could be chilly in Chile. She’ll be back with another edition of One-Liners That No One Has Ever Said Before, Or I Really Pissed Off My Writers.

Mary (now racing solo): 8:51 AM. Mary declares the Schmirnas to be her new friends, believing at first that she wouldn’t like them. As evidence, she and her agent, David, lead the Schmirnas out of the Pit Stop and into a mud pit where the cousins get stuck. But, no problem; Mary hauls them out, once Mirna’s ego was removed to lessen the weight. Mirna promises, “We owe you!” and adds that Mary is the easiest to manipulate most trustworthy on this Race. You may or may not want to remember this.

And last, and least, Kevin and Drew: 9:44 AM. With Gage and DeSoto behind him, Drew rumbles, bumbles, fumbles, and stumbles downhill. He and Kevin get in their SUV which magically has a new wheel and tire, or so it seems. Thanks to Webby, we now know that they couldn’t get their wheel fixed, so there was no magic involved; they incurred a time penalty (I assume 30 minutes) for taking Jill and John Vito’s vehicle. Drew whines that Kevin hit his shoulder. Kevin says he merely tapped it. Drew threatens to tell his mom.

Drew explains that he doesn’t have an alternative but to keep going. He must have been giving Kevin noogies when Marshall and Lance headed for the quit boat on the Nile.

Like the Schmirnas, the Festers get stuck. But no one felt like waiting nearly an hour for them, and the Squad 51 truck isn’t equipped for off road, so Kevin is forced to strap himself to the front of their SUV. Drew wonders how he’ll be able to see Kevin. He replies, “I’m the big black thing in the middle of the road!” Wasn’t that a song by Loudon Wainwright III?

One hiatal hernia later, Kevin gets the SUV out and rolling. And rolling. And getting up to speed, thanks to Drew hitting the gas. Still attached to the strap, Kevin is dragged alongside the truck helplessly as “Yakety Sax” starts playing, or it should have. If only Rolly Weaver could have driven during his race, he could have gotten his mom and sisters to first place that way.

Okey-dokey, it’s now airport time! Romber (at the airport) and the Cha-Chas (at a travel agency) each get a flight from Quito to Santiago by way of Guayaquil, Ecuador and Lima, Peru. That’s three legs, folks. They will get to Lima by 1:50 AM. In theory. Sounds late, but a quick check of That Site That Sponsors TAR shows that at least six hours of flight time will be involved. That translates to something over 3,000 miles, so it’s not right around the corner.

With nothing better to do but gloat some more, Rob repeats something he’s said before; the race is about them and the course, and not the other teams . . . who are busy trying to get on another set of flights. Multicultural Mirna asks whether her amigo Rob is on the flights that will get to Santiago by 2:30 AM. The Guidos hope there’s time for a shower. That’s okay, fellas, you can always drop by a hotel for half a day. Mirna and Mary wonder where Romber are. I wonder when Mary’s agent, David, will say something. Anything.

Well, Romber and the Cha-Chas must not have known they were both going the same route, for they find each other in Guayaquil, the Nighttime Sniffling Sneezing Stuffy Head Fever So You Can Taunt Drew city. One small problem: their flight from there to Lima is delayed! Folks, every additional flight leg means More Can Go Wrong.

Back in the world of Romber Worry, Mary puts her backpack in the first class overhead bin, saying she’d learned from last season to put the backpack up front. But along comes Drew, who all of a sudden has the strength to pull Mary’s pack out of the first class bin! David, Mary's agent, says Drew was the one playing dirty, and “it’s on now.” After all, Drew’s backpack might arrive before Mary’s, right? (See the beginning of Season 10, as rendered by Snidget.)

The other eight teams fly to Lima, with Mary’s backpack and Kevin in tow behind the plane. They actually arrive before Romber and the Cha-Chas, and board their next flight to Santiago. Those two teams beg to be let on that flight, only to be told, “It’s impossible” by the gate agent. Before Rob can cite how Uchenna and Joyce accomplished the impossible in Puerto Rico, the plane takes off with the majority of the DAWs. They’d be snickering if they’d heard Rob say, “You can go from first to last in ten minutes. It’s a miserable game.”

But also unbeknownst to them, it’s the first commercial break. That always means whatever happened just before it is about as significant as who won TAR 10.

So into Santiago come the majority of the teams. And here’s something you don’t see every day:

ERIC and DANIELLE
Currently in First Place

TiVO/DVR owners, you might want to vidcap that for posterity.

We’re spared the usual madcap cab scramble with more “rapidoes” than the Amazon. Team Hormones and Uchenna and Joyce (Team Can You Lend Us Some Hormones?) arrive at the Codelco building first. But this is the middle of the night, and there’ll be a sign on the building doors with “Hours of Operation” on it, and all the teams will be sleeping on the sidewalk . . . right?

Wrong. The teams enter the opulent lobby and find a clue box. It’s a Roadblock: What if Bruck and BvM produced The Apprentice instead of EPMB? The teams have to figure out where they’re going next based on clues they find in the boardroom. But this is the middle of the night, and there’ll be a sign on the boardroom doors with “Hours of Operation” on it, and all the teams will be sleeping in the lobby . . . right?

Wrong. In the boardroom (more like “bored room”) are a bunch of well-dressed, overpaid, and sleepy businessmen who are grateful that neither Donald Trump nor General Pinochet will find them there. I think if given a choice, they’d opt to take their chances with Pinochet instead of The Donald. I guess this must be as productive a meeting as Codelco ever has, with one guy doodling furiously on his pad. What did Bruck use to get them to stay up this late, give them CSI DVDs? If he did, they’re probably being used as coasters.

Joyce and the young, strapping, my-girlfriend-can-do-the-vertical-ascender-climb-later Eric head on in and notice the letters sprinkled around the room on the men’s clothing, on the pads of paper, and even on one of the pens. If they’re smart, they’ll realize the letters can be rearranged to form the name of one of the mines pictured on the wall. Joyce took this Detour because she’s convinced that she’s good with details and it’s right “down her alley.” Meanwhile, Uchenna asks Danielle about the possibility of a hormone donation.

Dustin (It’s been more than one full race with her and Kandice, and I still have trouble telling them apart) and Bill do it next. Enter the bored room, that is. Bill is instantly jealous of the monogrammed letters, a la the ones they have for Guido. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that they monogrammed the mutt, but don’t ask me where!

Eric and Joyce come out with words that are nowhere to be found in the bored room. Back they go. Dustin, however, takes note of the names on the pictures, and figures out she has enough letters to spell CHUQUICAMATA (I remember those commercials! Oh, sorry, that’s “Chiquita Banana”), the largest open-pit copper mine in the world. She comes out and gets Richard Moll the night watchman to give her the next clue, hoping that no one else saw her looking at the pic. They must now fly north to Colama and have a High Colama once there.

Well, Eric did see what Dustin deduced, not that that meant anything. He decides that Chuquicamata can’t be it because there’s no “h”. (Pssst, Eric. The pen. Look on the pen! Good thing he’s not hunting golf balls, huh?)

By now, Romber and the Cha-Chas have finally landed. Rob uses his charming Spantonian accent to tell his cab driver to go “rapido, por favor.”

Back in the bored room, Bill is the next to have a (soon-to-be-banned) incandescent light go on over his head. There are extra letters! He sees the right pic, goes to the guard, and jumps up and down like he just won a car on The Price Is Right.

Joyce is wrong again. The businessmen’s heads hang a little lower.

Brimming with powers of observation from his police days, Ian enters the bored room. But he’s soon telling Joyce, “This is a bitch, isn’t it?” Joyce doesn’t reply, “Yeah, it’s an effing shame.”

Mary and Charla try their luck. How did Mirna not take this Roadblock? Oh, that’s right; it requires thought. Oswald and Amber follow shortly.

Joyce is wrong again. The businessmen’s heads leave forehead-prints in the table. Eric is faring no better. Guess he didn’t have to know any letters beyond “g”.

Mary has a blinding moment of clarity! She writes down all the letters, then finds that Chiquitita is the only one of the pics with a “q”. All that Wheel of Fortune watching has finally paid off. She informs Charla of what she found.

Kevin is also milling about. He decides that what he can’t get via smarts, he may be able to acquire via espionage. He overhears Mary give the word to the guard, but he can’t spell it correctly. (Maybe not even if you spotted him the “i” in “it”.) He goes back in, comes out and gets it right.

Why has no one else noticed folks looking at the pictures?

Amber and Oswald help each other to find the right picture and word. Eric tries to ask them “What is it?” But they don’t tell him. “Those bastards,” he replies. He finally gets it, hanging his head in shame after walking away from the guard. He and Danielle slip from first to eighth.

That leaves Joyce and Ian. Teri is unfazed. Uchenna is ready to spontaneously combust. And we’re not ready for another commercial break, but it comes anyway.

That’s just long enough (surprise) for Joyce for finally figure the word out, and then pass it onto Ian (why? You don’t want another team behind you?). They both leave the Codelco building. The businessmen are all expected back by 8 AM for a PowerPoint presentation on how Codelco will assertively initiate high-payoff catalysts for change so that it may globally supply excellent solutions for 100% customer satisfaction. (courtesy of the Dilbert Mission Statement Generator)

As Uchenna and Joyce head for the airport, she says, “I’m usually good with attention to details.” Uchenna just sits there like he just watched the Academy Awards from start to finish, his eyeballs as big as Frisbees. To him, Joyce went “down her alley” . . . and threw a 7-10 split. Ian is resigned, but not upset. Nor is Teri. At the Santiago airport, Ian smooches Joyce for figuring it out, or at least for keeping him company at the bottom of the pack.

The teams buy tickets, with Eric moving over to a newly opened line. Rob, a bit bored to this point, decides to instigate a bit by telling Eric to get back where he was. Even Amber doesn’t go for this, and then Rob becomes more upset with her defending Eric. Rob’s purpose is to get the Racers miffed so that they behave erratically; “There’s a method to my madness,” he says. But he builds a mountain out of a molehill that Eric just steps around.

All ten teams are on the same flight to Colama. Finally, a bunch point.

THE SHORT VERSION OF THIS SUMMARY BEGINS HERE.
YOU MAY SAFELY IGNORE THE NEARLY 3,000 WORDS I JUST WROTE.
MOREOVER, YOU CAN SEE JUST AS ENJOYABLE AN ENDING BY RENTING “IT’S A MAD MAD MAD MAD WORLD.”

For the few of you still reading:

After landing in Colama, the teams must head for the Cheekymonkey mine. If David were in this race, he’d really be excited, being a miner.

Now it’s time for the TAR Latino Taxi Derby, $1 million added. And they’re off!

And moving into first place, and threatening to ruin the online games, it’s Kevin and Drew in their Staten Island Ordinary! And coming up on the outside, it’s Dustin and Kandice in the Singular Sensation Special! They pass the Guidos and the Festers, sticking their tongues out at the Festers as they do so! Will the frat boys stand for that? And now, Mirna and Schmirna pass the Guidos! And now, Rob and Amber pass the Guidos! Dan Aykroyd passes the Guidos! Al Cowlings and O.J. Simpson pass the Guidos! The snail from KObrien_fan’s TAR 6, Episode 1 summary passes the Guidos! The Gaghan kids pass the Guidos in an Amish buggy, singing “She’ll be comin’ round the mountain when she comes!”

There’s a bit of a scrum to get safety equipment on at the gate of Chiliconqueso. That’s because we have a Detour ahead, a choice between two mine-related tasks, neither of which has been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, nor can be used once you cross the line of scrimmage:

By Hand –- With big wrenches (or, in the case of the Schmirnas, wenches), tighten all the lug nuts (about 40) on a two-ton earth mover tire. This will be good practice for later in the Race, when tires start to go rapido flat-o. (Oh, God, I’m speaking Mirnglish.)

By Machine –- Each Racer must use a front-end loader to dump enough gravel to bury Jonathan, the Weavers, Lake, and Peter.

On paper, it appears that By Machine is the easier task, but only Romber and the Guidos choose it. Rob cites his years in construction, building bridges and then burning them. He’s impressed with Amber’s ability to dump. The gravel. Meanwhile, Bill is having so much fun dumping his load, he almost forgets to let Joe have a turn, narrowly averting a four-hour penalty! They don’t talk about gay heavy machinery.

Of those who opted for By Hand, why did Mary so choose? Didn’t her agent work in mining? The Festers opt for By Hand because Kevin can’t drive a stick, although his medication-laden teammate (the one who’s done all the driving) can. Kandice decides that “tightening nuts doesn’t seem that hard, it’s just screwing them on.” Goooooooodnight, everybody!

These wheels are at least ten feet high. Charla does fine with the lower nuts:

But for the higher ones, she decides she needs a stepstool, and she sees a bunch of them off to the side. Ever the team player, Mirna decides, “I don’t have time for a stepstool!” Once Charla gets over to the stools, her philosophical side comes into play: “There is no stepstool!” Retorts Charla, “This is a stepstool!” Then Mirna tries her usual ploy of Making It About Herself, as she carries the non-stepstool over: “I’m starting to bleed!” So are our ears, hon.

Overhearing this, Dustin and Kandice, the Beauty Queens, call the Schmirnas everything but drama queens. Foreshadowing! Foreshadowing! Foreshadowing!

As pre-scripted expected, Romber get done their task first and get a clue that tells them to head through the Valley of the Dolls Moon to the Pit Stop in the Valley of the Dinosaurs Dead. (For Drew, that would be the Valium of the Nearly Dead.) But. There’s a catch involved through the Valley of the Moon. Here to present it are the newly reunited Police:

A speed limit is what you’ll face
Valley of the Moon
40 kph, then hit the brakes
Valley of the Moon
We don’t want you to break a leg
Valley of the Moon
This rule’s courtesy of Brian and Greg
Valley of
Valley of the Moon.

BTW, for those of us still not on metric: that’s not even 25 miles per hour. Now, once they get through the VotM, they can go up to 50 kph (31 mph) on the paved road toward the VotD. Talk about coming through the tri-oval at Daytona. Why am I telling you this? Oh, no particular reason. Yet.

Back at the Detour, the Slowest Pit Crews In History are all struggling with the massive tires. All, that is, except the Cha-Chas, who get all their nuts tightened (ahem) and head on out. Danny is proud of himself, saying he must have been a man in another life, but he’s worried what his manicurist will think. Next time on "Queer Eye for the Queer Guy . . ."

Uchenna and Joyce finish next, followed by Eric and Danielle. Particularly frustrated by the By Hand task are the aforementioned Schmirnas, Kevin and Drew, and Mary, who all continue to grunt louder than your average women’s tennis match. Meanwhile, the Guidos depart.

Kevin, the healthy (sort of) one, asks Drew, the one with Squad 51 on standby, to inspect whether any other bolts are out of the groove. Drew is too busy taking his medicine with 4 gallons of water. (What bears mentioning here is that the Racers are now smack in the middle of the Atacama Desert, the driest place in the world.)

Charla has now abandoned the stepstool. Still refusing to believe there is a stepstool, Mirna determines that Charla is the stepstool, as she sits on Charla's shoulders and shrinks her another three inches. I'm surprised that Mirna, the consummate slacker, is tightening so many of these things, but then again it could be because Charla is hanging off the tire by the wrench a la Harold Lloyd:

Fortunately, her fall is much less than Harold’s.

Mary hasn’t done well; her foreman is ticking off many of her bolts as tightened incorrectly. She fears she has to do them all over. Teri and Ian finish, and apparently they did use a nonexistent stepstool. Then, they waste time looking for their now nonexistent marked car. Forget “Stop, Look, and Listen”; they need to Stop, Look, and RTFC (Read The Fine Clue).

Kevin and Drew finish. Mary informs her agent.

Charla recovers enough to finish. Mary again informs her agent. Charla then has to climb into “another high-ass car.” Hear her sing about this in her cover of the Traffic classic, “The Low Spark of High-Ass Cars.”

Dustin and Kandice finish their nut tightening. Mary is dejected. It’ll take her another commercial break to get over it. And that’s as long as she needs to git ‘er done, but not without more complaints to her agent.

And now, we resume the Wacky Races heading toward the VotM.

Penelope Pitstop Mirna has hired a taxi to lead the way for her, but the BQs are right on her tail. Then the cabbie pulls over for some reason that we never figure out. Mirna offers to go half and half with the BQs for following the cabbie. The BQs just want the cabbie to give them directions. At this point, I’d actually be siding with Mirna; the BQs are indeed trying to freeload. Shades of last season where, in Casablanca, the BQs kept their local from cooperating with Rob and Kimberly.

And then the bomb gets dropped, in the form of a neutron Charla. She confronts the BQs and orders them to Decide. Now. All bloody heck breaks loose, short of hair pulling. Everyone is yelling at the same time.

When some semblance of order is restored, Mirna tries to be the broker again. She finds out that the cabbie wants $100 to lead them there. The BQs will still have none of it, and ask if he’ll draw them a map. The cabbie doesn’t turn them down; Mirna does. The BQs have had enough of what has degenerated into an MTV/VH1 show, and head off on their own.

You’d think that would be the end, but it isn’t. Mirna just plain loses it. I’m sure she’ll blame the editing later. She then demands that the cabbie take all their money. He doesn’t want it. So both Mirna and Charla shriek, “WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?” To go away, he doesn’t say, but all the viewers do.

Finally, in exasperation, Mirna (in her patented foreign accent) says, “Twenty dollars to eat food I give you. I don’t eat tomorrow. Muchos gracias amigo, God help you!”

Meltdown complete. Cleanup in Aisle 7. Squad 51, forget Drew and see the cab driver.

In confessional afterward, Charla blathers this wonderful statement: “Beauty is only skin deep. It’s easy to make yourself beautiful with plastic surgery, but to have a pure heart and to have morals is not easy to make up.” Thank you, Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Now what the heck does that have to do with what just happened?

So let’s take more bytes than necessary to look at this. First, Charla is accusing the BQs of having plastic surgery. As a fine, red-blooded male, I don’t see it; I think either Danielle or Teri are more likely to have been reshaped. I could, of course, be wrong. Dustin and Kandice are maybe not the most absolutely pure-hearted people I’ve ever seen, but they’re not the worst either. And they’re also rather attractive, although they don’t do much for me personally.

And how can Charla be the poster child of pure-heartedness? She’s been all too willing to be her cousin’s sympathy grabber. Nothing wrong with that from a purely racing standpoint, but making a morality play out of it? I don’t think so. And I have about as much sympathy for Mirna as I do for Britney Spears these days.

Enough of that; let’s move on.

Danny and Oswald are admiring the Valley of the Moon. They touch hands. Oswald says, “I feel like such a bitch.” Ozzie, you’re not a bitch. I just finished a nice description of one, if not two.

Everyone who enters the gate to the VotM is advised of the 40 kph speed limit because of the soft desert roads. Just sayin’.

Already in and out of the VotM are Romber. They appear lost, and momentarily make the wrong turn at the intersection after the VotM. Then they meet a guy saying, “Stop! Who would cross the Valley of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see!”

Rob just runs him over, and heads for the Pit Stop where Phil is waiting with some guy he picked up who was flagging cars in the middle of nowhere. Romber win again. And there was much rejoicing. *yay* They get his and hers off-road motorcycles. Two legs, two wins. Even a Get Romber Off My TV-type like me has to be impressed. But before I can admire them too much, they start doing a dance, which is mercifully edited.

Oswald, Danny, and his manicurist finish second again.

A number of the rear teams are now lined up at the gate to the VotM. Did I mention that Drew was told to go only 40 kph in the VotM? And that he could go up to 50 on the other side? For Mary, that’s 40 “kay-lometers” per hour.

Dustin and Kandice decide not to wait at the gate, swing out of line, and pass a few vehicles. If the Schmirnas had done that, I’d likely have deplored it. Sue me.

Uchenna and Joyce, the Guidos, and Eric and Danielle are heading toward the major intersection on the other side of the VotM. Paying attention to the directions, the Guidos and Eric and Danielle turn left. Uchenna and Joyce turn right (that’s two). Not surprisingly, Bill (who wants to hug Phil) and Joe are third, and Eric and Danielle have their second straight fourth-place finish. Fix! Uchenna and Joyce, despite having passed Team Hormones as they were trying to shift into four-wheel drive, wind up fifth thanks to their wrong turn.

Most of the rest of the teams have emerged from the VotM, where they can now run at a blistering 50 kph (31 mph). But somehow, Drew and Kevin have it in their bald skulls that 40 kph was the speed limit the whole way through. Kevin tells Drew to stay in the middle and not to let anyone pass. They eventually get passed by Teri and Ian, the Schmirnas, Mary, Aykroyd, Cowlings and Simpson, the snail, the Gaghan kids, etc. Kevin whines that they’re all going over 40. Drew says he won’t go over the speed limit. Except that he’s 10 kilometers UNDER it.

Up ahead, Dustin and Kandice decide to turn right at the junction. That’s three. They seek directions from someone, anyone. Teri and Ian follow. That’s four.

The Schmirnas officially end the shortest-lived alliance in TAR history by passing Mary. Mary’s confessional response: “I ain’t giving this game to nobody. Mary’s gonna try her best to win.” Her agent is silent.

From this point on, everybody passes and re-passes everybody, except Kevin and Drew.

They approach the intersection before the Pit Stop. Mary decides she has to turn right because there are more words on that side of the sign. Hard to believe she’d never been out of Kentucky before with that strategy; she should have wound up in West Palm Beach or Puyallup, Washington that way. That makes five, if you’re keeping score at home.

Along come Charla and Mirna and the Festers. They both turn right. That’s seven out of the ten Racers who couldn’t read the directions. This is worse than the game Lemmings! Yippee!

The Beauty Queens seduced someone enough to give them better directions, so they’re turned around. They pass the parade of DAWs heading in the general direction of Iguazu Falls. Teri and Ian are right behind, their paper undies chafing them.

As the other teams start turning around, Drew fumbles for his water, and in the process cuts off the Schmirnamobile. “You drive like a girl!” yells the already-rattled Mirna. (Here’s a topic: Mirna is not a girl. Discuss.) She tries to recruit another cabbie to lead her, but the Chilean Cabbies’ Union already has an APB out on Mirna.

Dustin and Kandice finish sixth, Teri and Ian seventh. Three directionally-challenged Teams to go.

Now turned around, Mary trails her former alliance-mates, but she gets by Drew and Kevin, who are still spelling “anal-retentive” with a hyphen on their speedometer.

And that’s how it mercifully ends: the Schmirnas eighth, and Mary ninth. They hardly look at each other on the mat. Mary promises (again!) never to help anyone anymore.

And last, and least, are Kevin and a dazed Drew. They stagger to the mat, where Phil greets them:

P: "Kevin and Drew, you're the last team to arrive."
D: "S'alight."
(Drew walks away with glassy look)
K: "Drew, stay here! C'mon, be a good sport!"
D: "I'm being a good sport!"
K: "No, you're not."
P: "I'm sorry to tell you that you've both been eliminated from the Race."
D: "That's fine."
(wanders off again to get a bandanna)

Drew admits to being in considerable pain, but adds that he didn’t want to give up. Kevin says their job was to pick each other up as a team.

Oh, they were hoping some of the other teams would be penalized for speeding, or that the Gaghan kids came in last:

“After further review, the Race stands as called. Kevin and Drew are off to visit Jill and John Vito in Glorious Boredom.”

This was not so much a Philimination as it was a boxing referee stepping in and stopping the fight, or an umpire invoking the ten-run rule. No, Phil didn’t have to go out onto the course and eliminate Kevin and Drew, but there was no way these two would have lasted another leg. Frankly, with Drew’s medical condition good enough for half a season of Grey’s Anatomy, he and Kevin really should have reconsidered whether they came on this Race at all (says the writer with a broken left wrist, a bruised right wrist, and a right elbow that needs arthroscopic surgery). Popularity has its cost, and it’s probably greater than Drew’s deductible.

Next week: Let dajaki regale you as only she can regarding Mirna making more friends, this time getting to know Teri and Ian; and Danielle pulling a Monica as she doesn’t want to grab a skate-like fish. Maybe she fears she’ll get Steve Irwined (too soon?).

Thanks for reading. I watched, transcribed, and wrote so you didn’t have to.












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