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Mistakes, They've Had A Few – The Amazing Race 9, Episode 7


by LauraBelle

I recognize the tie-in here, but doesn’t it seem like shameless promotion for The Amazing Race to build this whole leg around advertising a movie? The whole show today is built around the movie Da Vinci Code (coming soon to a theatre near you!) And it wasn’t like it even added difficulty to the tasks, as everyone seemed to figure it out right away. It was just very odd product placement.

We start out in Siracusa, Sicily. Eric and Jeremy are the first to leave … again … at 10:33 PM. They believe it’s more fun to tease each other and make each other laugh, than hang out with the others. Could this be because they don’t have Double D to play with anymore? Their clue has them taking a train to Rome, Italy, and finding the man with a yellow and red scooter at the Trevi Fountain. BJ and Tyler leave just five minutes later. They are having a good time, and feel they are playing with the same intensity as the other team, even though the keep more of a positive attitude and their “good sense of humor.” I know some find fault with that last statement.

Joseph and Monica leave over an hour later at 11:40. She says this all makes her feel like she is going crazy. One minute she feels she’s at the top of her game, the next she’s balling and freaking out. She is in constant fear someone will come racing past them, which makes her emotional. As they load their gear into their car, she says it smells like dead fish still from their last challenge. Fran and Barry leave at 11:53, with Barry saying Fran has more toughness than anyone he knows. He doesn’t think he could do it without her. It’s a very sweet comment, but they just still pale in comparison to Gretchen and Meredith.

Eric and Jeremy get to the train station, only to find an equalizer. It doesn’t open until 4:00 AM, and the soonest train out is 8:00 AM. BJ and Tyler arrive shortly after. Lake and Michelle are just leaving at 12:17 AM. As they walk out, they argue about who has the paper with directions on it. At one point, he says, “You never handed it to me, Bitch. Now, shut up!” Michelle offers to take the blame this time, even though she knows it’s not her fault. Hmm. Co-dependent? Lake hopes this error of Michelle’s doesn’t kill them. Ray and Yolanda leave at 1:02 AM, and realize they are on the brink of elimination with no room for mistakes. Their plan is to still take out one team at a time.

After all the teams wind up on the same train, they all split up catching cabs, looking for the guy on the scooter at Trevi Fountain. Eric and Jeremy are the first to find him. Their next clue sends them to search the horse carriages near Rome’s famous Spanish Steps. They will find a portfolio containing their next clue. In the “spirit of the upcoming movie, Da Vinci Code,” the clue will contain a parchment with part of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. At their next clue, they will find the other parchment. The first team to put this together, break the code, and bring it to the pit stop will win a prize. I wonder what it would have done to the race had Dan Brown not won his court case, and had the judge decided that he stole the idea for the book and subsequent movie.

As a way of communicating that they want him to hurry, Monica tells the cabdriver, “Vroom Vroom!” Somehow it works, and they end up finding the scooter second, followed by BJ/Tyler, Lake/Michelle, Fran/Barry, and Ray/Yolanda. Looking at the clue, Fran and Barry decide, “Naked is what it is.” As they run off to find the Spanish Steps, Fran says they can’t lose the other couples, because they won’t know their way then.

Once again, Eric and Jeremy are the first ones to the clue. On the Spanish Steps, they find a clue to fly to Athens Greece where they will search the ground for the next clue in Agora, and ancient marketplace. Eric and Jeremy crack the clue right away, and are off to the airport. Monica finds it incredible just to walk into some place that Ceasar was. They get to the the Steps in second place, and the rest of the teams fall into place in the same order as well. Everyone cracks the code right away, with either BJ or Tyler saying he just got done reading the Da Vinci Code book.

The airport is yet another equalizer, as everyone ends up on the same 7:25 PM flight. Fran and Barry are quite excited to make a little change-up, as they are the first ones out instead of Eric and Jeremy. Monica is into her history lessons again, talking about how this is where thinking began with all the great philosophers. At the Agora, is the third equalizer in this race, as it don’t open until 8:00 AM. Everyone waits in the pouring rain.

Joseph and Monica are the first ones inside at 8:00 AM, and first to grab the clue. This is also the first Fast Forward on the Race. Any team choosing to do it, will travel on foot to a restaurant, where they will take place in a traditional Greek ceremony to ward off mischievous spirits. They will need to break plates until the find the route marker hidden inside. Joseph and Monica head to the restaurant. Ray and Yolanda end up finding their clue second, and bypass the Fast Forward to follow the next clue that sends them to a railway station where they need to travel to the City of Corinth. Eric/Jeremy find the clue in third place and decide to try the Fast Forward, and Lake/Michelle and BJ/Tyler find the clue in fourth and fifth place.

Fran and Barry find the clue last, and decide to try the Fast Forward. Can someone tell me why they would do this? Sure, they’re in last place, but surely one of the other five teams has already made it to the Fast Forward, and will probably finish it. Eric and Jeremy arrive at the restaurant after Joseph and Monica, but find the clue first, meaning Joseph and Monica have to go back and pick up the other clue. Fran and Barry arrive at the restaurant after all are done and gone. They now have to go back and get the other clue as well. Eric and Jeremy’s clue sends them to the pit stop, the Fortress of Rion.

BJ/Tyler and Ray/Yolanda take the bus to the train station, but Lake decides he and Michelle should take their chances in a taxi cab. Lake and Michelle make it to the train, and wonder where everyone is at. Eventually BJ/Tyler and Ray and Yolanda make it there. They have no idea where the others are, and wish for the Gods to help them.

Joseph and Monica can’t catch a taxi to the train station, so they take the bus. Joseph tells her to lift up her spirit before he gets pissed. Something is wrong somewhere in that statement. Fran and Barry are in a taxi on their way to the train station, and bemoan the fact that they can’t get to the clues or taxis as fast as the other teams. Exactly. So why did you try the Fast Forward? The two teams get to the train station, and are on a train arriving at Corinth an hour later than the others. Monica cries, and says it’s what she does all the time.

On the train, Lake decides Greece isn’t as pretty as Italy. He and Michelle, Ray/Yolanda and BJ/Tyler get off the train, only to find they are at the wrong station. They decide just to walk to the Corinth station, since it’s not too far. Is this enough to be penalized for not following directions? Once in Corinth, they find a Roadblock. One person from every team needs to walk out on a bridge, then bungee jump into the canal. The mishap of the first three teams has allowed Joseph/Monica and Fran/Barry to catch up to them. Fran commits to doing it, and only after finds it’s going to be bungee jumping. She is not thrilled.

Ray goes first of anyone, and as he jumps off, he screams, “I’m like Superman!” Back on solid ground, he and Yolanda find a Detour – Herculean Effort or All Greek To Me. In Herculean Effort, the teams will drive to a stadium, and participate in three events from the ancient Olympic games. One person will do discus, the other javelin, and they will both take on professional wrestlers to get them out of the ring. Might I add it looks like the wrestlers are in their underwear. In All Greek To Me, the teams will go to the same stadium and search for pieces of pottery with Greek letters. Once they have all nine, they can obtain help from others to translate it into English, and spell out a location on a map. Ray and Yolanda decide to do the Herculean Effort.

Tyler is the one jumping for his team, and claims it was fantastic, and that he could get addicted to it. Umm no. I’ll still pass. They choose to do Herculean Effort. Michelle jumps for her team, and I can’t help but think last week, Lake sat there and as he watched Michelle struggle with the Roadblock, he wished he had done it. I don’t see him wishing he had done this one, but he does say, watching Michelle, “Yeah Baby!” They decide to do Herculean as well.

Monica jumps for her team, then consoles Fran who is still having a hard time with the thought of doing this. Honestly, aside from not wanting to leave my children, it’s probably the single reason you would never find me on this show – the fear of having to bungee. Monica and Joseph decide on the Herculean task. Fran eventually jumps, and screams, “Oh my God!” She says it’s the most scared she has ever been in her life, and she is glad it is over. Not surprisingly, they choose to do All Greek To Me, the less physical of the two Detours.

Michelle is having a hard time with the map, as it’s all in Greek, not English. As Lake yells at her, she throws it in his face while he’s driving. He screams at her, “Dammit, don’t be an idiot right now. … don’t fall apart under the pressure.”

Eric and Jeremy make it to the pit stop, and have cracked the code giving them the prize of walking the red carpet to be at the Hollywood premier of Da Vinci Code. I think we all saw that coming.

Ray and Yolanda arrive at Herculean Effort, and she gets the discus right away, while he struggles with the javelin. Joseph and Monica arrive, she gets the discus right away, and he struggles with the javelin as well, but does get it before Ray. BJ and Tyler wonder if they’re going the right way; Lake and Michelle are still arguing. Fran and Barry arrive at All Greek To Me, and start searching. Lake and Michelle end up there, although they were looking for Herculean Effort. He says this is the one they found, and they should just do it. BJ and Tyler ask for directions at a gas station, and find they went the wrong way. They’re an hour to two behind, and Tyler blames himself for not double checking the directions on the map. I’m hoping for a non-elimination at this point. I’d hate to lose them.

Joseph and Monica do the wrestling first, but she pretty much backs out, and lets him do it all. They finish, and are on the way to the pit stop at the Fortress of Ruin. Ray and Yolanda do the wrestling together, and get it done. Fran and Barry find all their letters and work on figuring it out with the map. Michelle says Fran and Barry are better than them, and that’s why they’re ahead, and Lake tells her to shut up. The clue spells out Dimitsana, and both teams get it figured out, and are on their way. Although while backing out, Barry slams into a tree, and loses the whole back windshield. He just keeps on driving. Should he get penalized for this?

BJ and Tyler find Herculean Effort, and go through it handily. While wrestling, BJ is wearing a frog head hat. Lake and Michelle are having troubles driving still, and she has him stop the car and breathe, because he’s stressed. She takes over the driving.

Ray and Yolanda actually arrive in second place, but do get a penalty for walking partway to the train station, that means the other two teams will be penalized as well. They have to wait fifteen minutes. Meanwhile, Joseph and Monica arrive, are awarded the second place spot, with Ray and Yolanda coming in just after them. Fran and Barry arrive in fourth, with no penalty for the big damage to the car. It’s a guess who will end up in fifth and sixth, between Lake/Michelle and BJ/Tyler. BJ and Tyler make it in in fifth, but have to wait for a fifteen minute penalty, just like Ray and Yolanda. As they wait, I think Lake and Michelle were on the train as well, so they will be penalized too, making it BJ and Tyler in fifth place.

BJ and Tyler clear their penalty time before Lake and Michelle come in anyway. I really thought this was going to be a non-elimination round, but no such luck for Lake and Michelle. They are eliminated. He claims they got along great most of the time, and doesn’t want to place blame, saying it was too stressful. Michelle knows some will see their relationship differently, but she says it works for them. They have a great family and beautiful children. You just can’t argue with that.

Read more about other shows at LauraBelle’s Blog

Comments? You can email me at LauraBelle@realityshack.com


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