This was one of those episodes of Amazing Race that by the end, you just look, and think how DID they do it? The challenges weren’t necessarily difficult, yet demanding nonetheless. It made me weary just watching it, then again, that could be attributed to the two-hour elementary Christmas sing I endured just before.
The nine teams remaining in the race are set to depart Norway with Kris and Jon leading the way at 2:47 in the morning. The teams will need to drive themselves back to Voss, and then take a train and bus over five-hundred miles to Stockholm, Sweden. There they will go to the Ice Bar at the Nordic Sea Hotel, a nightclub made entirely of ice.
Jonathon and Victoria are next to leave, with Victoria saying they bicker right now because he has his own way of doing things. She ads that this is one of the things she loves the most about him, that he is never boring. I’ll give you that, Victoria, Jonathon is definitely not boring.
Gus and Hera leave next, and Hera says she is proud of her dad. He is not in the best shape, but he’s a diehard. Hayden and Aaron leave next, with Bolo and Lori right behind. Bolo says this is getting very stressful, after having only six hours of sleep in the past four days. Adam and Rebecca are leaving, as Adam says Rebecca needs to take care of him because he is afraid of a lot of things. For her part, she says he’s like a five-year-old who can’t do anything be himself. I would have said he was like a five-year-old too, but I would have attributed it to how childish he is.
Freddy and Kendra leave next; they had been penalized thirty minutes for taking an extra clue out of the club box last time. Don and Mary Jean, next to leave, are also being penalized thirty minutes due to taking Adam and Rebecca’s car in error last time out, and delaying the other team with the confusion. Kristy and Lena are the last to leave, and believe they need to depend on others less to better help themselves. Perhaps they are forgetting that they did well last time only with a local’s help, riding along in the rental car with them.
All nine teams end up on the same train and bus to Stockholm. While they are all walking around looking for the Ice Bar, Jonathon lets go with a screaming, “Victoria!” that is reminiscent of Stanley yelling “Stella!” in Streetcar Named Desire. Hayden and Aaron are the first to arrive at the Ice Bar, and find they need to don parkas and enter the bar which is kept at a cool twenty-three degrees, and slide a shot glass made of ice across the bar, trying to hit a target. If they miss, they must go back to the beginning of the line and try again. Hayden and Aaron miss on their first attempt. Kris and Jon are the first to hit the target, and the bartender gives them their next clue, which takes them to the world’s largest IKEA store. Gus and Hera have a hard time finding the Ice Bar, but eventually get there in time to not be in last place, due to Freddy and Kendra not hitting the target yet.
Once at IKEA, the teams find they will be equalized once again, as the store doesn’t open until ten the next morning. The teams camp out, right there. Entering IKEA at ten AM, the teams are met with a Detour, Count It or Build It. In Count It, the teams need to count bins of inventoried items. If they come up with the right amount, they move on. There is 2304 items to be counted. In Build It, the teams will need to build a desk following the given directions, and not have any parts left over in the end.
Many of the teams switch back and forth between building and counting. Once one gets too hard, they switch to the other task. We hear Bolo screw up his counting, “sixty-six, sixty-eight, eighty…” Victoria is worried about which pegs fit in which holes, and begins to get upset. Jonathon, for the first time in this race, speaks calmly, saying he doesn’t know how to work with her right now. Before long, he is screaming again. Victoria is still rambling on about pegs, and Jonathon yells, “Stop with the pegs!” They don’t show who, but a male voice yells back at him, “Don’t yell!”
Kris and Jon are the first to finish, and do so by building a desk. They will now need to travel by train again, back to the train station, and then ride a tandem bike to a farm. Gus and Hera and Aaron and Hayden finish second and third, both also by building a desk. Lena and Kristy finish fourth, the first to do so by counting. They eventually accomplished this by counting in sync. Jonathon and Victoria finish right behind them by building the desk, all the pegs now in the appropriate place.
Meeting up at the train station, Aaron and Hayden and Kris and Jon discuss Jonathon’s loudness and screaming. The four of them catch Train Number One. Gus and Hera, Lena and Kristy, and Jon and Victoria catch Train Number Two. Freddy and Kendra finally count right and Adam and Rebecca do so as well. Adam and Rebecca catch Train Number Three, while Freddy and Kendra are left to catch the next. This leaves two teams still counting – Bolo and Lori and Don and Mary Jean.
Don pleads with the IKEA employee to let them slide because or their age; she won’t budge. Bolo is walking around muttering that it’s fricking ridiculous. Lori and Bolo switch to desk-building, as do Don and Mary Jean. Lori and Bolo finish and leave in eighth place, and Don and Mary Jean eventually finish and leave in ninth place, with Don saying he hopes the clue says go to a hospital.
The teams approach the first Yield in the game, and all pass without using it. A Yield is the option of making any team stop for a pre-determined amount of time. At the farm, they find a Roadblock. One team member will need to unroll bales of hay until they find the next clue. There are two-hundred-and-twenty rolls of hay, and only twenty clues. I will not cheapen this review by making a needle in the haystack joke.
Kris and Jon find the clue first, and now need to tandem bike back to the train station, and take the train back to Stockholm. They will then go to the pit stop, a well-known ship, the AF Chapman. Hayden and Aaron find the clue second. Jonathon is worried Victoria is going to hurt herself because she is searching through the hay and is not taking any breaks.
Hayden and Aaron arrive first at the pit stop, winning a seven-night Mexican Riviera cruise. Kris and Jon expectedly come in second, and Gus and Hera in third. Jon and Victoria are walking around and having a hard time finding the AF Chapman. Eventually the find it with Adam and Rebecca right behind them. Lori and Bolo and Don and Mary Jean have arrived at the farm, and Lena and Kristy are the only other team still out there. Kristy finally talks Lena into taking a water break. She has been searching for almost seven hours.
Lori and Bolo find the clue right away, leaving the teams of Lena and Kristy and Don and Mary Jean the only ones left in the hay. Don find a clue as well, and he and Mary Jean pedal or their life back to the train. Lena and Kristy are still out there. Lena and Bolo arrive at the pit stop in seventh, and Don and Mary Jean the last safe team in eighth place.
It is now dark out, and Phil finds Lena and Kristy at the farm. He tells them the last team arrived over two hours ago, and reminds them they have been out there eight hours. He tells them it is an elimination leg, and they are consequently eliminated. He asks Lori how she managed to keep going, and she says she didn’t want to disappoint her sister, Kristy.
I just cannot imagine unrolling huge rolls of hay for eight hours. The only exhausting thing I have done for that length of time is pushing during childbirth and I had the help of an epidural and a better reward in the end.
I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com
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