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Freelance entertainment writer, martial arts instructor, and mother of two.

The Amazing Race, Nov. 20 – “Copin’ and Hangin’”

Bill and Cathi finally arrive at Legoland and start building the Legos. Andy and Tommy land at the train station and head inside to get tickets. Bill and Cathi seem to finish their Legos relatively quickly. He wants a hot dog afterwards, while she wants a sorbet. Bill admits his crackers were about to come up.

Amani and Marcus arrive at the bus station, just before Jeremy and Sandy. Ernie and Cindy finally realize they dropped their tickets and try to retrace their steps. They don’t have enough Euros to buy more tickets. She starts to tear up and says she can’t handle it, but he tells her not to get upset. They’re scheduled to travel from Hamburg to Cologne, then from Cologne to Brussels. They have the tickets to get to Cologne, but not to get to Brussels

Everyone gets on the train, including Ernie and Cindy. She is very disappointed in herself. In Cologne, they board that train anyway, hoping the conductor won’t ask for the tickets. Tommy explains Ernie seems calm, as it seems Cindy does the stressing out for the two of them. No one ever does check for their tickets, but I wonder if they’ll be penalized at the pit stop. Will they be punished fifteen minutes, or will Phil make them repeat that part? They wouldn’t be able to anyway, as they don’t have the money to get new tickets. If he wants them to go back, they’re screwed.

In Brussels, they all take off and look for taxis. Bill and Cathi are the first to arrive and find a bodybuilding challenge They’ll walk in the shoes of “the Mussels from Brussels,” Jean Claude van Damme. After stripping down and putting on bikinis, they’ll put on oil and work with a professional bodybuilder to practice the poses. Phil Keoghan even takes a stab at it, and doesn’t look too bad. They’ll be judged on the technique and performance and need to get a score 12 or more collectively from the three judges to get the next clue.

While the other teams are arriving as well, Cathi can only say, “Oh dear,” when looking at the bikini she’ll have to wear. She says she’ll have to wear clothes she wouldn’t even take a shower in. She’s mortified as she hasn’t ever worn a bikini like this before. I have to say, I hope I look as good in a bikini when I’m Cathi’s age. She looks amazing. Tommy is not comfortable at all in the little Speedo thing. Cindy has some gnarly-looking bruises on her hip, but the flattest stomach I have ever seen. Marcus looks like one of the bodybuilders, while Amani claims she doesn’t think she has ever worn a bikini. The snowboarders are embarrassed to have to oil each other up.

While working on their posing, my daughter notes that Bill’s belly button looks like it’s frowning. He doesn’t find this posturing normal. Andy and Tommy have difficulties because of some of the snowboarding injuries they’ve had. Amani just wants to get this thing right the first time and get it over with.

Ernie and Cindy are the first ones up and get scores of 3, 2, and 4, not enough. I think we need Hanz and Franz for this. Most of the comments they get have to do with Ernie’s lack of detail. Andy and Tommy are up, and the athletes get 1, 2, and 1. The judges want them to smile more and remember the routines better. Amani and Marcus are up, and he calls it like going through the doors of the arena. He elicits some wolf whistles, and they get scores of 4, 4, and 4. They’re through. They get a clue telling them to head to Parc Elisabeth, the pit stop for this leg of the Race.

Andy and Tommy try again and only get 2, 2, and 1. They’re frustrated. Ernie sees it as their shot to get ahead. Amani and Marcus’ driver doesn’t’ know where the park is, so they get out and have someone check on the Internet. Ernie and Cindy take a stab at it again, and a woman in the audience is really enjoying it as Ernie tries to work the crowd. They get 4, 4, and 4.

Bill and Cathi perform for the judges and get 1, 1, and 1, being told to learn the routine more. Marcus says he hasn’t been that nervous since he was in the third grade in the principal’s office. Jeremy and Sandy are up, and playing it as much as they can. They get the crowd into it and get 5, 4, and 4, the best score so far. Andy and Tommy are “flirting with the last place position” and know it.

Ernie/Cindy and Amani/Marcus both arrive at the park around the same time, but the first team on Phil’s mat are Amani and Marcus. They are named team number one after a raise of Phil’s eyebrow. They win a trip for two to Panama from Travelocity. They’re also told that the next leg of the race starts now.

Does that mean that it’s a non-elimination leg? In the previews, we see everyone racing through this next leg … except Bill and Cathi. Do they get eliminated at this pit stop? It also means that if Ernie and Cindy are penalized for losing their tickets, it doesn’t preempt them from continuing.

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