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

The Amazing Race, Dec. 4. – Panama Not Just for Van Halen

It seems no one wanted to say goodbye to Bill and Cathi last week. They had a good run. Amend that … they had a great run. If any older couple could have finally won, it seemed it would have been them. And I still say that woman has an awesome body for her age … even for a younger woman she has a good body. The bodybuilding judge that told them they obviously work out I think was mainly talking to her. It will be a little different race without them, probably much more competitive. The funny thing about The Amazing Race is that you never know who’s going to fall behind when. It really could be any of the final four leaving this week.

While everyone else is sleeping in the Atomium, the site of the last pit stop, Andy and Tommy get to customize their Mustangs they won. They leave in first place once again, and leave Belgium at 3:46 AM. Their clue tells them to dress as two characters from the Adventures of Tin Tin comic, and figure out they are detectives known by three different sets of names. They’ll locate the mural in a picture and tell Tin Tin, a man in a blue sweater, what they’ve learned to get their next clue. Andy laments that comics were not his speciality. They ask locals at this time of the morning how well they know comics. One local suggests they look like Charlie Chaplin.

Jeremy and Sandy leave at 4:20 AM, and she mentions that they never thought they’d make it this far, as they had some really bad legs. Yet after the last two, they’re happy with where they are. They’re goal is final three. I’m guessing that’s everyone’s goal. He tells her she looks like a “darn hot man” dressed like this. Andy and Tommy research the comics on the Internet and mistakenly think the Charlie Chaplin guess is right.

Ernie and Sandy leave at 4:35 AM, and she’s concerned that they always leave a pit stop really strong, but make some type of error, and lose first place. He compliments her on her mustache. Jeremy and Sandy are walking the streets asking who they are. They get a local to tell them they look like they’re from Tin Tin. Andy and Tommy have figured out TinTin, but don’t know who they are. Tommy is stuck on the Charlie Chaplin thing. Ernie and Cindy are told they are detectives from TinTin. This local doesn’t know the names. Another local does. Andy is trying to figure out the connection between TinTin and Charlie Chaplin.

Marcus and Amani leave at 4:40 AM. He compares this leg to a conference championship in football terms. Assumably that makes the finale the Super Bowl. He’s played in three championships and never got to the SuperBowl. He thinks this time he’ll make it. He asks her if her mustache is too big. He laughs at his own joke, then wants to stop, as he doesn’t want his mustache to come off.

Andy and Tommy get out of the cab to look for the location, as do Ernie and Cindy. Marcus and Amani ask locals who they are, and they look to the be the same locals some of the other racers talked to. They are told they are detectives from Tin Tin and given names. Jeremy and Sandy are the first to find the local wearing the blue sweater and tell him they are detectives going by the names Johnson and Johnson. They get the clue to fly to Panama City, Panama, where they will take a boat up the river to Parara Puru. Great, now I’ll be singing Van Halen for the whole hour

Ernie and Cindy find the man in the blue sweater, and she correctly identifies their names, and says they’re detectives. She adds that they are stupid, and he’s the smart one that helps them solve all of their cases. Andy and Tommy tell the man in the blue sweater they are Charlie Chaplin and he can only shake his head no. They try Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd and know they have to go back and find the answer online.

Amani and Marcus find the man in the blue sweater and correctly identify themselves as Johnson and Johnson, two detectives. They get their next clue and move on. Andy and Tommy find out the error of their ways while searching the Internet. Marcus/Amani and Ernie/Cindy walk together, and discuss Andy and Tommy getting it wrong. The snowboarders get it right on the second attempt.

All four teams make the same train to get to the airport, and Sandy knows that means they can’t make any mistakes from hereon out, or they’re going home. Their train takes them to Amsterdam, where they all catch the same flight to Panama.

It’s a mad dash at the airport as everyone catches cabs to the river. Andy and Tommy have a driver who is celebrating with them. Jeremy and Sandy ask their driver to go “rapido.” Marcus has a handful of rocks that someone told him to give to Andy and Tommy for good luck, but he “forgot.” He just throws them out the window, saying “no bad luck here.”

Andy and Tommy are the first to arrive at the river, in the dark, followed by Jeremy and Sandy. They get in their boats that look like long canoes, and race across the river. Ernie/Cindy and Amani/Marcus are the next to arrive and take off in their respective boats. They talk about how dark it is and that they can’t see anything. Jeremy and Sandy’s driver gets their boat stuck in a sandbar, and she pronounces, “We’re done.” It’s only temporary, though.

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