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

The Amazing Race, Mar. 25 – “Beaten by a Frickin’ Girl”

I do hope another team can jump ahead into first place tonight on The Amazing Race. It’s not because I don’t like the Border Patrol agents, as I do, but it just makes it more interesting to not see the same team in the lead every single leg. I just want to shake it up a bit.

The first team to leave Bavaria are again Art and J.J., the Border Patrol agents, after checking out the Travelocity vacation they won to Thailand. They leave at 8:48 AM, with a clue telling them to fly to Baku, Azerbaijan, a former Soviet Republic that is nicknamed the Land of Fire. Once there, they will make their way to Temple Ateshgah, the Temple of Fire, to find the next clue.

Border Patrol are starting to believe their own hype, but also know they’re one Roadblock or Detour from being humbled. They plan on staying in, though, by continuing to take those gigantic gambles and lead the pack. They discuss Joey and Danny, saying they’re wearing really retro ’80s retro winter gear. J.J. thinks they look like they’re from a bad ’80s movie with some Wham playing in the background.

Joey and Danny leave at 9:17 AM and discuss their rise to the top to now being in second place at the beginning of this leg. They need to get first and know they’re one of the strongest teams left. Danny thinks the orange-framed spectacles without lenses he’s wearing are first place glasses. Vanessa and Ralph leave two minutes later and discuss not being very nice to each other on the last leg. It’s a new day, and he hopes they’ve learned from their mistakes. She thinks if they’d just stop screwing up, they might win something. They figure the Land of Fire has to be warmer than where they are.

Blonde Rachel and Dave depart at 10:57 AM, and he still feels, despite leaving in fourth place, that he and Rachel are the team to beat. Never in his life would he expect to travel to Azerbaijan, just north of Iran. As long as they can reduce their mistakes, remain supportive, and rely upon one another, he thinks they’ll run a good leg. However, he’s already getting snippy, as she asks if she should have taken a left, and he tells her to just drive and let him navigate.

Big Brother team Brendon and Redhead Rachel leave at 11:17 AM and decide to head to a travel agency. They are told of an option to fly with Turkish Airlines leaving at 6:20. They decide to book that one and head to the airport. Kentucky team Bopper and Mark leave at 11:41 AM, and Bopper thinks they’re going to Africa. That could mean trouble for them.

Federal Agents Nary and Jamie leave one minute later in last place. Mary thinks the other teams believing they are teachers and seeing them coming in last place makes them believe they aren’t a threat, which was their strategy. Hate to tell you two, but … you aren’t a threat … it doesn’t just seem like it appears that way.

Border Patrol lands at the airport and tries to get tickets and finds the same flight Big Brother did. The flight will get them into Baku at 4:10 AM. Joey and Danny arrive at the same time as Vanessa and Ralph. Danny gets upset with Joey for trying to say hi to Vanessa and Ralph. Joey thinks he’s taking it too seriously. These two teams find the 6:20 PM flight and are told it’s the earliest.

All the teams end up on that same flight and race off the plane when they touch down in Baku. Bopper seems to like his and Mark’s driver, saying, “Dale Earnhardt is behind the wheel.” Blond Rachel and Dave are the first team to arrive at the Temple of Fire. They have trouble finding the cluebox, then see a sign saying it opens at sunrise. Joey and Danny arrive as Rachel and Dave are in dancing with the locals around the fire. The other teams arrive and enjoy the entertainment and also jump in.

At sunrise the teams run in and find their clues, which include a Fast Forward. In this one, teams make their way to a haymarket to unload and stack 150 bales of hay and stack them in a certain pattern. Blonde Rachel and Dave decide to go for it, as do Joey and Danny. The Federal Agents decide to not even try for it and instead head to Occcupational Training Int’l. to find the next clue. Border Patrol knows they can’t do the Fast Forward since they have already done one.

Blonde Rachel and Dave are the first team to arrive at the Fast Forward, but Joey and Danny are close behind. The two teams start stacking the hay bales right away. The other teams are all racing to OTI.. They all seem a little scared of the cabbies’ driving. Bopper states that he hopes it doesn’t get too loose, as things will be spewing, and sure enough, Mark spews. Border Patrol compare the drivers to NASCAR. They can see Mark getting sick in the back seat, and Art says, “That’s funny! That poor dude.”

The other two teams are still stacking their hay. We’ll see if it’s easier to stay hay than watermelons. Blonde Rachel and Dave fall behind quickly, and at that point, I think I’d just give it up and run to the next task. If you’re doing everything you can, and are still behind, forget it, otherwise the other team will win, and you’ve just wasted all that valuable time.

Border Patrol and Kentucky are the first two teams to arrive at OTI, followed by Vanessa and Ralph and the Federal Agents. They’re all looking all over for the clue, and Kentucky is the first to find it, a Roadblock. One person from each team must undergo mandatory helicopter rescue training. They’ll be strapped into a helicopter simulator, submerged and capsized, then must surface to finish the task and get the next clue. Oh please don’t let Mark do this one.

Thankfully, Mark tells Bopper this one is for him. Nary tells Jamie to do it, as J.J. is thinking it could be a running challenge, so he should do it. Big Brother arrives with Redhead Rachel telling Brendon to do it, and Vanessa and Ralph arrive, with her agreeing to do it.

Back at the haybale stacking, they’re all still working on it. Dave realizes he can just push off the bales from the truck, leading to Blonde Rachel being able to stack them much more easily to gain some ground on the guys. Danny questions Joey on his plan of attack of walking to the back to find bales from the back and throwing. Just as Joey says they’re going to beat the others, Rachel and Dave finish and win the Fast Forward, apparently to make a liar out of me. They get a clue to head to the Esplanade Estakada, the pit stop for this leg of the race. Dave calls Rachel a “fricking work horse.” Fitness comments in their cab to the Roadblock “beaten by a fricking girl.”

Back at the Roadblock, Nary explains to Mark that Jamie is good in the water. He asks if she can tell that Bopper has a crush on Jamie. He goes back to the harp challenge talking about Bopper going over to make sure they were all right. She doesn’t seem to care and gives him a nervous laugh. Jamie, Bopper, and J.J. get submerged, and Bopper knows he just needs to hold his breath for ten seconds. Jamie is trying to just stay calm. It begins the roll, and they get disoriented. The three help each other out to get on a safety raft and get the clue. The clue tells them to make their way to the Toghrul Karabakh Carpet Shop to get the next clue.

Blonde Rachel and Dave reach the pit stop and land on Phil’s mat to be pronounced team number one. Since they started this leg with a long drive, Ford thought they’d each appreciate a new 2013 Taurus which has been totally redesigned. They plan to stay on top now that they’re back on top, knowing what hasn’t worked well for them the past few weeks.

Back and the Roadblock, Brendon and Vanessa get ready to be submerged. Brendon goes alone. Redhead Rachel is so glad Brendon is doing this one, as he’s a way better swimmer. Rachel asks what you do after you capsize, and Vanessa answers “save your damn self; don’t die.” The capsule turns over, and Brendon escapes easily as Rachel compares it to doing an obstacle course in the water. Vanessa is still waiting to go.

Joey and Danny are on their way to the Roadblock still, as Vanessa says she has a strange fear of closed in spaces and being under water. I hear you on that one. Ralph is worried about her as he knows about those fears of hers. She gets submerged and capsizes and can’t get the window open. She finally makes it out to get the clue. Ralph thinks she’s just going to be pissed that her hair is wet.

Joey and Danny arrive at the Roadblock with Joey agreeing to do it. Danny finds it miserable to wait and just hopes to finish this really quick, then make it to the Detour, then “who knows what’ll happen.”

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