The first thing I need to address in tonight’s review of The Amazing Race is the abuse issue. I received many emails last week agreeing with my thoughts on Jonathon and Victoria’s relationship, and his apparent abuse. I even received one from an animal lover that questioned my treatment of my dogs because of the first line of my review. We have since straightened it out, and exchanged many pleasant emails after. I received another email from someone saying they felt sorry for Victoria UNTIL they read that Victoria and Jonathon have said since the end of the show they were only acting these roles out during the show. I disagreed; I don’t believe Victoria is that good of an actress. Even if they were, it would still be wrong to make light of domestic abuse to get ahead in a race. I stand by my original thoughts, and hope CBS will address this issue eventually, so that future racers won’t see this behavior as a way to get ahead. In the meantime, if anyone out there believes themselves to be living in domestic abuse, the National Domestic Violence Hotline number is 1-800-799-7233, and I urge you to seek help.
The first stop this leg of the race will be Checkpoint Charlie, the East and West crossing of the Old Berlin Wall. Kendra is getting a little bit agitated, saying Freddy just always wants to, “Go, go, go!” Aaron and Hayden are the next to leave, and Aaron is beginning to think Hayden can be psycho sometimes. Arriving at Checkpoint Charlie, Freddy and Kendra find they need to travel next to the Olympic Stadium, and are told to put their names on the board.
Kris and Jon, who are long-distance dating, leave the Gate next, and are saying they are happily surprised to find they have a lot in common now that they are spending so much time together. Gus and Hera leave after them, and Gus is saying rushing for rushing’s sake never seems to do much. As Adam and Rebecca leave, she is saying he is so spoiled and stubborn that she isn’t so sure she wants to stay romantically involved with him. Lori and Bolo are the last to leave.
In a cab, Victoria shouts at the driver that the light is green. He tells her she is wrong; it is red. As the camera pans up, it confirms the cabbie is correct. While Victoria and the cabbie are busy arguing this, Freddy and Kendra arrive first at the Olympic Stadium. They sign up first for something happening at 6 AM. Kendra wants to do some research while waiting, and Freddy thinks that’s stupid as they don’t know where or what they should be researching right now.
Jonathon and Victoria arrive and see that Hayden and Aaron have somehow passed them, and are now in the Number Two slot. This infuriates Jonathon as he writes down only his name for Team Number Three. Kris and Jon arrive for the Number Four spot and laugh with the others about Victoria and Jonathon, but in a serious note, they all suggest Victoria and Jonathon should get counseling. Jonathon and Victoria walk by, and he wants to know when she’s going to start carrying her own weight. Gus and Hera, Adam and Rebecca and Lori and Bolo arrive and sign up in the Numbers Five, Six and Seven slots.
At six the next morning, the racers find this will be a Road Block. One person from every team will need to do a Hot Rocket Bungee Jump. As the person is strapped into the apparatus, they are shot upwards over two-hundred feet in the air, like out of a rocket, then hang upside down from the bungee. All the teams being co-ed, it is the female half of every team that decides to do this Road Block. Adam wants to do it, but Rebecca insists on doing it, referring to him as a “wussy boy.”
Kendra does the Rocket jump first, and after says she’s dizzy, and that she’s going to be sick. She and Freddy find they now need to fly to Budapest, Hungary where they will drive notoriously unreliable cars to Eger, Hungary. Hayden does the Rocket next, followed by Victoria, who the minute she is shot up, Jonathon starts yelling, “You’re a super hero.” That’s funny; I thought he and Bolo were super heroes; at least that’s what Jonathon said on Day One of the race. Victoria is followed by Kendra and Hera. Gus has a harder time watching his partner than the others. This is his daughter after all. Rebecca and Lori are the least to get shot up in the Rocket.
Arriving at the airport, Freddy and Kendra and Hayden and Aaron get the first two spots on a flight leaving at 9:45 AM and landing in Budapest at 11:05. Gus takes this opportunity to utilize his philosophy of not rushing for rushing’s sake and seeing the others standing in line, he and Hera quietly go to a different counter to get tickets, and end up getting the last seats on the flight, before Jonathon and Victoria, Kris and Jon or the rest. He notes they aren’t going to be the fastest, so they just need to be observant. Jonathon is furious. Jonathon and Victoria, Kris and Jon and Adam and Rebecca end up on a flight that leaves just a little later. Lori and Bolo end up on a different flight than anyone else. They will leave first, but actually arrive last at 12:20 in the afternoon. Jonathon uses his extra time to ball out the airline employees to say he has just lost the race, and it’s their fault.
Freddy and Kendra, Hayden and Aaron and Gus and Hera’s flight arrives, and they all run to get to the unreliable cars. These cars are so tiny, Gus nearly can’t fit, and he says, “This ain’t a lotta car! These cars operate a little differently than the cars they are used to, but Gus says his experience as an engineer and aviator makes this not a problem. Freddy, along with Kendra, who didn’t know what a beer stein was last week, says he’s never driven a car with a gear shift on the steering column, and it was difficult for him. Remind me not to let you behind the wheel of my mini-van, Freddy. Hayden and Aaron’s car has a dead battery, and they need to wait for a confirmation from a mechanic, and then get a replacement car. Thank God Maria and Meredith didn’t stick around for this one. They wouldn’t have left the parking lot.
Adam and Rebecca, Jonathon and Victoria and Kris and Jon arrive and run out to the cars. Rebecca tells Adam he won’t get anywhere in 0 gear. Victoria complains that Jonathon is shutting the door on the car before she is even done putting things in the trunk. As Adam and Rebecca struggle to figure out the car, Lori and Bolo arrive from their flight. Adam finally gets it going, but says if he stays in that gear, the car will explode.
Aaron asks Hayden for navigational help, and she explodes, “Have you forgotten I am retarded with directions?” They proceed to pass up their exit and need to turn around. Freddy and Kendra arrive in Eger first, and are met with a Detour – Catapult Crash or Cannonball Run. In Catapult Crash, the teams will launch small watermelons over one-hundred fifty feet in the air to smash on a small target. In Cannonball Run, they will need to push a cannon up a long hill, then carry fifty-five small cannonballs up the hill, and stack them in a pyramid. Freddy and Kendra choose the cannonballs right away. Finishing, they find they need to take a train back to Budapest to the Net Klub Internet Cafe. Gus and Hera initially try the catapult, but after several failed attempts, they switch to the cannonballs. The small cannonballs are each very heavy, and it takes them a few trips to carry them all.
Jonathon and Victoria are pulled over by the police. I get excited thinking my prayers have been answered. The police are informing them they should have their lights on. I’m not sure how he does it, but Jonathon talks the police into escorting him to Eger. He then tells Victoria, “It’s amazing the things I can do.” Watch me abuse my wife … amazing. Adam kills the car they are driving in and are pulled over on the side of the road. A nice local Hungarian man pulls over and does what Rebecca refers to as a “voodoo spell” to get the car going again. Bolo is doing what he always does, he is stopping for directions. Perhaps he is the only man in the history of the world to do this so readily. Freddy and Kendra meanwhile are all alone on their train, and much ahead of everyone else. They delight in this, talking about how great it will be to get to what is assumably the pit stop first. Something tells me they are looking ahead too easily, and that this is some type of editing foreshadowing.
Jonathon and Victoria arrive at the Detour. They choose the cannonballs. Initially Victoria has a hard time pulled the cannon, and asks Jonathon to be a man and do the front part of pulling. Jonathon shoots back that she should be a woman and shut up. As they are pulling the cannon up the hill, he is still bitching about missing out on their flight. They drag the cannonballs up the hill on the tarp. Finding themselves five short, Adam bitches, and he carries one back while Victoria carries four. Then finish and catch up to Gus and Hera waiting for the train. Jonathon is excited to meet up with his nemesis and says “Oh yeah. Game’s on.” He tells them if he and Victoria had been on their place they would be in first place, as they were having a flawless run.
Kris and Jon, stuck in their tiny car, get yelled at, assumably in Hungarian, by a local whizzing by on his motorcycle. Kris says she knows what that means, and it wasn’t good. Jonathon tries pushing the car to get it started, but it won’t work. They get a replacement car. Arriving at the Detour, Hayden and Aaron choose the cannonballs, and use their backpacks to carry them. Kris and Jon choose the cannonballs as well. Initially Adam and Rebecca choose the catapult, but also switch to the cannonballs. Lori and Bolo are still driving, and their car quits. Bolo pronounces the motor done, and they wait for a replacement car.
As Hayden is freaking out again, Aaron yells are her that she’s psychotic and that she should just relax. Freddy and Kendra arrive at the Net Klub Internet Cafe, only to find it doesn’t open until ten o’clock at night, and they have a three hour wait. Off the train, Jonathon and Victoria are in a cab on their way to the Internet Cafe. Jonathon keeps yelling at the cabbie to hurry up because they are in a race. The cabbie says, “Finito!” puts the cab in park and kicks the annoying twosome out. Justice! As they enter a second cab, Jonathion asks the cabbie if he knows what the word race means.
Gus and Hera and Jonathon and Victoria arrive at the Internet Cafe only to find they have to wait two-and-a-half hours until ten o’clock. Bolo and Lori finally get a new car, which Lori says shifts a lot better than the other. Once at the Detour Lori and Bolo decide smartly, and go with the cannonballs, utilizing their natural strength. They get this done quickly, and get to the train station, only to find the last train has left for the evening, and they will need to wait for morning. I find myself hoping this is a non-elimination round, as I am not ready to say good-bye to the wrestlers yet. Yet there’s only a few minutes left in the show. I check info on the digital cable box for Amazing Race to see if this is a two-hour show. What the heck?
As the awaited hour of ten o’clock rolls around some racers enter the internet cafe, but some miss out, having fallen asleep outside. It’s hard to tell who this is though. Just after, we see “To Be Continued” flash across the screen. While delighted with hope that there will be some type of equalizer in next week’s show to help Lori and Bolo out, it also means another guaranteed hour of Jonathon. At least we weren’t treated to his full arsenal of abuse this week, but knowing what he’s capable of, it is still difficult.
I welcome questions and comments at LauraBelle@realityshack.com