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The Amazing Race Season 9, Episode 4: Get Your Gnome On


by Mali Perl

Who knew that showing your love means breaking a bottle delicately on your partner’s head ? Who knew that lederhosen can be sexy ? Who knew a garden gnome makes a great accessory ? That’s the magic of TAR. You just never stop learning.

Things were a little more active this week with the big move from Russia to Germany. Is it me or does it seems like season 9 has more driving than ever ? The Mercedes Benz race course test drive was cool because I enjoy hearing burly men scream like little girls. And kudos TAR for that subtle product promotion !

Searching for the Travelocity gnome in the field was bizarre. Whenever I see a field on TAR, I think of the sisters from a few seasons ago who spent an entire day unrolling huge circles of hay. That detour still gives me nightmares. More subtle advertising at this task but I didn’t care because seeing grownups carrying a gnome with them everywhere amuses me to no end.

The Bavarian Film studio detour had me rolling. Watching the Frats hit each other on the head creatively was hysterical as was their unrelenting flirting with the fraulein watching them. Fran & Barry’s German dancing was wrong on many levels. Joseph was so gentle, tapping Monica’s head so lightly I went “awww !” In the context of real life, it would be considered battery or aggravated assault but at TAR, it’s just another day. And how can I even begin to describe the joy of seeing everyone in lederhosen ? That look is definitely heading to a mall near you.

Now to some individual team thoughts: Mom & daughter seem to have a horrible sense of direction. And I’m sure that the German highways aren’t the easiest to navigate but to go around in circles is a little inane. The other teams were asking for help (and utilizing German dudes who are drunk midday) and those little gains in time can make a huge difference. But the Pinks/Double D’s behavior really annoyed me this week. After last week’s lost bag fiasco, I thought they were going to get focused. Instead of going independent, they decided to hang on to the mom & daughter (because the Frats are too far ahead), the wrong team to follow down a highway. Not only are the Double D’s lazy, they have the nerve to complain about mom & daughter getting lost. Hey, girls, how about, oh I don’t know, reading the map yourselves ? The fact that they weren’t in last place this week is just a matter of who reached the mat first and I think it’s an injustice. I don’t like it when teams coast on the efforts of others without contributing anything themselves. Mom & daughter always put in the effort, even when they were being spastic and it’s a shame that they lost out to the D’s.

The Geeks came into their own this week. After being last at the first leg, they decided to take the gloves off and became all business. They played dumb, lied to other teams and in general, got competitive. No more lovey-dovey stuff for the Geeks, they’re turning into hardcore players.
Also, much love to the Hippies for their continued enthusiasm and support of other teams. At the end of the first leg, they cheered when Fran & Barry made it to the mat. That’s sportsmanship.

Finally, Fran & Barry are finally having some luck and the Frats seem to be luck magnets. Overall, it was a decent week but not very exciting. Maybe I’m just asking for too much. After all, every week can’t be lederhosen and gnomes.

Mali Perl works in finance but her heart belongs to entertainment. She can be reached at mali@realityshack.com. Thanks to all the readers who corrected me last week regarding TAR previous trip to Russia. You all definitely earn the title of TAR’s #1 fans. We’re having t-shirts printed up but we draw the line at foam fingers.


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