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That Confusing Stick Shift – The Amazing Race 6, Episode 2

by LauraBelle

Reality show producers have to tow the line weekly, deciding how much, and of what they should show in previews – enough to make the viewers desire more; not too much that it ruins it for them. We walked into tonight’s show knowing that a team would be penalized for not following the rules, but it left us guessing which team it would be. If only Jonathon could be penalized for the slew of garbage that comes for his mouth.

As the teams are leaving Iceland, Hayden and Aaron are leading the pack, leaving at 4:57 a.m. Each of the teams will drive to the airport, catch a flight to Oslo, Norway, then drive thirty-five miles to an Olympic ski jump. As Kris and Jon leave, Jon says he thinks they will have an advantage over the other couples since they don’t argue. I really like this couple, so I hope this won’t be a case of famous last words.

Jonathon and Victoria leave, and he says, “This race shows you everything you don’t like about yourself.” Really, Jonathon? I thought it showed us everything we didn’t like about you! Meanwhile, Victoria feels the race will evolve their relationship to a more positive place. Something tells me Victoria’s words will be more a case of famous last words than Jon’s. Rebecca is arguing with Adam as they are looking for the airport. Adam says, “Rebecca, Honey, sit back and enjoy. Spank you.” Spank you? Last time I heard that it was coming from my eleven-year-old.

The flight proves to be an equalizer, as all the teams end up on the same fight to Oslo. As the flight arrives, all the teams scramble for their waiting cars. Jonathon starts screaming since he can’t find the cars, and Don and MJ who has found the cars and are in listening distance (I think all of Oslo was in listening distance of Jonathon) decide to duck so that Jonathon and Victoria won’t find them or most importantly, the cars.

A man from Oslo that had been on the same flight offers Lena and Kristy his son. His son knows Oslo very well, and he suggests they could use his help. Lisa and Kristy gladly accept. Is this in the rules, that an unknown person can ride in your car with you to act out as a guide? Surely this must be the act that goes on to be penalized later.

Maria and Meredith are having quite a hard time with driving this car since it’s a stick shift. For the life of me, I cannot figure why a team would go on this show with neither being proficient at driving stick. Meredith and Maria spend quite a long time at the toll booth. Maria, at the wheel, breaks before the toll booth and must not have hit the clutch or something (I don’t drive stick either). Don and Mary Jean are driving around, not finding the ski jump. Mary Jean notes that knowing they aren’t a physical threat, they were supposed to be the smarter ones. She wonders what happened.

At the ice jump the teams find a Road Block. Phil explains that previously the rules were always that only one member of each team had to do the Road Block Now, no one person on a team can do more than six blocks throughout the race. The producers must have heard the people complaining when Chip and Kim won, being that he did most of the Road Blocks. However, I have always maintained a team should be a team; let them break up the workload as they see fit. At the ice jump one member of each team needs to climb to the top of the ski jump, and then zipline to the bottom. This has Adam crying for his mommy. As he jumps off, he is screaming, “Mom, I love you!”

After they finish they need to get back in their cars and drive to Viking Village. Jonathon stops for directions, and Victoria yells at him to write it down as she knows he won’t remember. Victoria, count your blessings. He’s a man and is going so far as to at least stop and ask. As they reach Viking Village, despite Jonathon not writing the directions down, he gets his revenge by hitting Victoria in the head with the car hatch, and then asking Victoria to apologize for not trusting him with the directions.

Viking Village proves to be another equalizer, which is great news for Meredith and Maria who arrive very, very late. The teams will be divided into two teams of ten each, to race two viking ships. They will all depart at 7:00 A.M. On one team is Lori, Bolo, Rebecca, Adam, Hayden, Aaron, Kris, Jon, Kendra, and Freddy. The other team consists of Lena, Kristy, Don, Mary Jean, Gus, Hera, Jonathon, Victoria, Meredith and Maria. Bolo notes that all the “in shape” people are on one team, and the out of shape people on the other.

Bolo’s team reaches land first, and finds they need to hop in their cars once again and drive to the train station, where they will take a train to Voss. Freddy and Kendra drop part of their clue, so go back and just grab another clue. Wait … is this against the rules, grabbing two clues? We now have two choices for the rulebreaker. While driving to Voss, Meredith cries about how rude Jonathon was with his yelling. Adam is complaining about his glasses again, just as he did last week. Rebecca made him take them off on the viking ship, and now they are gone. He tells Rebecca if it happens again, he will never talk to her again. A little severe if you ask me.

Arriving at the train station, Don asks if there is a senior citizen discount. Not finding one, I wonder if there even is an AARP in other countries. Rebecca approaches Adam and says he can’t keep treating her like this; she will lose feelings for him. Women across America were applauding this one. Adam creates some good drama and puts on quite an act saying he will just jump on the train tracks right now if that’s what she wants. ‘Scuse me? Does it have to come from Rebecca? I want you to jump the the tracks. In a more tender moment that follows, he says, “I don’t want you not to love me.” He tries to hide his tender side from the camera. He must think acting tough like an ass is cool. After, Rebecca feels he is being remorseful. Oooh, Rebecca, and you were doing so well.

In Voss, the teams are met with a Detour. They will make a choice of Endurance or Accuracy. On Endurance they will roller skate with long roller blades that resemble cross country skis. For Accuracy, they will complete three Viking games of accuracy with both team members doing at least one of the three games. The games are archery, ax tossing, and Kubb which seems to be a combination of bowling, horseshoes and bocce ball played with small pieces of 2×4. Many teams go back and forth among the two choices, not being satisfied with either one.

Hayden and Aaron are attempting Endurance, with Aaron clearly having trouble staying on his ski-clad feet. Eventually he takes a huge spill and creates a heart-stopping moment as he clutches his knee. All the while Hayden is apologizing and asking him to find the humor in this. Eventually he gets up and continues on. Mary Jean is having her own troubles with the archery, reminding Don that she took archery in college, and after an entire semester, never hit the target once. Maria is also having trouble with this. Apparently, stick shifts and archery just aren’t her thing.

As they complete the challenges, many of the teams are now in the rain, and need to drive to . Don and Mary Jean finally get done and rush off. Mary Jean becomes very upset, and says, “This is not our car!” We switch to Adam and Rebecca looking frantically for their car. Don says they need to go back, and Mary Jean questions this. He says it’s the right thing to do, as basically they have just stolen. I wonder if disrupting another team’s progress is considered a rule breaker. We now have three possible choices, and it makes me want to hop in a different Dodge Caravan with my keys to see if it will start. Then again, I wonder if they leave their keys in the ignition at challenges. Once back at the three Vikings games, the two teams switch cars and head off again. Not to worry, Maria is still struggling with the archery.

The first to arrive at the pit stop of Nesheimstunet Village, are Kris and Jon, and they win an Alaskan cruise. Jonathon and Victoria arrives next with Jonathon yelling, “What’s up, Phil?” Gus and Hera, Hayden and Aaron, and Bolo and Lori arrive in third, fourth and fifth. Kendra and Freddy arrive sixth, but are told they are being penalized after picking up a second clue. They will be penalized thirty minutes, and will have to wait on the side without officially checking in, and hopefully won’ be the last team at that point. Their cars now switched, Adam and Rebecca and Don and Mary Jean place sixth and seventh. Freddy and Kendra’s thirty minutes expire, and they are now free to take eighth place.

The last position is between Lena and Kristy who are lost and Meredith and Maria who have struggled the whole time. Kristy and Lena come in ninth, and the last to arrive is Meredith and Maria who are eliminated.

CBS successfully previewed this show. They didn’t give too much away by telling us someone would be penalized as it actually seemed to be a tossup of three different teams. Yet it also made us want to stay tuned it, making us want to find out who and what happened for the penalty. The promise next week that Jonathon will blow up certainly doesn’t come as a shock, and doesn’t exactly make me want to tune in to find out what happens. Well, I’ll admit, like watching a train wreck, it does pull me in.

I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com.

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