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Amazing Race: Unfinished Business – Ep 8 – Sometimes Schnitzel is Just Schnitzel


Before going into this week’s episode, there is one mystery that must be solved…

Who the hell was doing the voice over for next week’s episode? Because it sure wasn’t Phil. Should we be concerned? Do we need to put out an APB? Let’s get some of our Racers with law enforcement background on the job – Louie/Michael? S3’s Andre or Damon? (One was a cop, one was a firefighter, together they were mediocre), even Jamie? (Yep, she’s an ex-cop) Something has happened to Phil and we must know what it is.

Not even sure I can continue with this commentary this week, Phil is just too important. But, the show must go on, Phil and his cocked brow will be found. With those Racers on the job, we must have confidence.

Anyway, this week Racers went from the hot chaos of India to the frigid Old World charm of Austria. And with the chill in the air came a chill in the Goth world. It seems as if not only are Kent/Vixen getting a bit of a villain edit, but they are also fulfilling the vacant bickering couple role this season. The funny thing, is that much of the drama that is coming from this duo is due to Kent being, well, quite annoying. Vixen has actually been – with the clear exception during their Megaleg 2 meltdown – a bit of a champion for these guys. However, it is hard to be both the brains and the brawn for a team.

Several times during this episode I had to write the words, “stop whining, Kent” down in my notes. And they weren’t even my words – they were directly from Vixen. Seriously, if you took Kent’s words and tone and put them in the mouth of my almost-five-year-old after he skipped a nap, they would fit perfectly. My favorite Vixen line this week – “Quit acting like a chick, get into problem-solving mode, and not the emotional me-blaming mode.” HA!

And yet, despite the bickering, despite the problems Kent provided, the Goths finished third this week! This was due to a solid leg from the Trotters and their little buddies Zev/Justin. Both weren’t perfect – the Trotters got lost on the way to the mat, while Z/J got some bad directions at the end of the Detour. To their credit, they did the best at recovering from the deceptively difficult eating challenge and managed to win the leg. Their prize – the product placed Ford Focus – one for each of them. Because nothing says Austria more than a Ford Focus.

One interesting thing – the uncertainly of Detour choices. I must admit, when I saw the two options, I thought the eating challenge would be the better one. Twelve minutes to down a meal – it can be done. Heck, I’ve done it. However, something in the schnitzel made it tough to do. Granted – it was big, and it was fried, and that was a pretty big slab of cake next to it, but 12 minutes is a long time.

Perhaps it was the fact that both team members had to do that really made it tough – as Zev and Mallory really struggled with it. Kisha and Jen both couldn’t do it. When you think back to the history of Race eating challenges – a plate of Austrian food in 12 minutes really doesn’t seem too difficult. Think – ostrich egg Roadblock (equivalent of 24 chicken eggs), spicy Hungarian soup (and the retching of Victoria), the Argentinean Meatblock (four pounds of meat), the cow’s head, the Polish sausages. Those were rough.

However, teams could not do this, so it should have put them all in a disadvantage, but Zev and Justin recovered well. Meanwhile, Garlory faltered and allowed the Cowboys to pass them. The Boys once again made an incorrect choice when it comes to travel. Although, to be honest, I think they made a decent call. Given a choice of a 25-minute advantage, in the middle of the night with a real good chance of an operating hours equalizer, at the cost of a second connection, I think I would have made the same call as Jet and Cord.

But because it was the Cowboys, it turned out to be the wrong call. And because it was the Cowboys, it didn’t wind up hurting them. They wound up catching and passing multiple teams. I am not sure which team seems to be on the victory path this season based on the outcomes – but I think it shaping up to be the Cowboys vs. Zev/Justin.

So, the ease of the vast majority of this leg made it fairly clear to me that this was shaping up to be the first non-elimination leg of the season. And it was, as Garlory’s inability to eat, coupled with very little chance of advancement in a contained leg with an incredibly easy Roadblock, which left them in dead last. However, for now at least, Garlory has a chance to avoid a second consecutive sixth place finish.