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Shoe Shines, Shopping and Schlepping – The Amazing Race 7, Episode 2


by LauraBelle

This wasn’t the most exciting episode I have watched of The Amazing Race. This group of teams doesn’t seem to have the great sound bytes the past two seasons had, and the challenges were less than thrilling. We watched as they shined shoes, and later made a choice between shopping and stocking bookshelves. Without the cunningness of Rob, and the fact that I finally figured out that the redhead was Debbie and not Bianca, we would have nothing to show for the evening.

The ten remaining teams are set to take off from Cuzco, Peru. First to leave at 10:54 PM in a downpour are Debbie and Bianca. They know they aren’t the most physical, but feel one of their strengths will be their mental game. The first clue tonight sends them to the bus terminal to catch a bus to Arequipa, Peru. The bus station doesn’t open until 5:30 AM, and the first bus isn’t until 6:20, so they have a wait before them.

Next to leave are mother/son team, Susan and Patrick, who believe they are much smarter than people give them credit for. Not exactly a good thing to admit out loud, guys. Rob and Amber leave shortly after, and Amber readily admits Rob is the smarter of the two. At least she admits it.

At the bus station Rob gets insider information from a security guard that the first bus to leave is the last to arrive. He pays him not to share the info with anyone else, but decides he himself will share it with Uchenna and Joyce and Ray and Deana.

Brian and Gregg and Lynn and Alex leave next, with Alex saying they want to show the edgy side and maybe a little butch as well to their personalities. Leaving next are Meredith and Gretchen, with Gretchen saying they work well together even though she is very emotional. They are followed in order by Ray and Deana, Uchenna and Joyce, Megan and Heidi, and Ron and Kelly.

At the station, Alex is miffed because the security guard tells him he can’t help. Apparently Rob looks like the cat that ate the canary, and everyone realizes Rob has paid the security guard. He says he didn’t do that, and is accused of being a liar. It’s brought up that Megan and Heidi lied last time while digging in the sand for flight times, but everyone feels this is different. Someone quips that it’s a good thing people don’t get voted off this show, and Rob winks at the camera.

Gretchen calls the ten-hour bus ride beautiful, with all teams now on the same bus. Brian and Meredith find they have sparks with each other. Rob collects money from Uchenna and Joyce and Ray and Deana and pays the driver to only open the door in front at the stop. What the others don’t know is he didn’t bother to chip in himself.

At the Shoe Shine Union in Arequipa, the clue asks, “Who likes shoes?” As a Road Block, one person from each team must shine five pairs of shoes for one Peruvian sole for each finished shine and turn the earnings in to receive the next clue. The first five done receive tickets for the first flight to Santiago, Chile where they will then find the statue of the Virgin Mary.

Amber, Ray, Ron, Uchenna, Lynn, Megan, Susan, Debbie, Gretchen and Brian all participate in this Road Block. The only amusing thing that takes place during this is that Gretchen can’t seem to shine the shoes without getting black shoe polish all over the socks at the same time. Ron and Kelly, Ray and Deana, Rob and Amber, Susan and Patrick, and Meredith and Gretchen are the first five teams dome, and will get the first flight to Santiago. Megan and Heidi, Uchenna and Joyce, Debbie and Bianca, Brian and Gregg, and Lynn and Alex are the last five and will be on the second flight. There’s nothing more to say about it. It was THAT exciting.

At the top of the Statue of the Virgin Mary, they find a Detour, saying they must choose between Shop and Schlep. For Shop, the teams will need to travel to a restaurant to get a recipe, buy the ingredients at the market and deliver them to a chef. In Schlep, they need to go to a bookstore, load up 180 books, and deliver them to the Library of Congress. Wow, a little too much excitement for me.

Susan and Patrick run into trouble when they don’t have enough cash to get to the top of the statue. They have to go out and borrow money from tourists just to continue. It has to be noted here that Patrick thought he could easily outsmart Rob. Rob tricked others into offering money to bribe the bus driver and currently is in first place at the challenge, and Patrick is borrowing money just to continue. Hmmm.

Rob and Amber arrive at the bookstore first. Rob, working in construction previously, knows how to stack and balance the books on the dolly to only take one trip. All the other teams that choose Schlep; Ron and Kelly, Ray and Deana, Debbie and Bianca, Brian and Gregg; take two trips. Kelly believes this is a mistake, but Ron won’t listen to her.

Uchenna and Joyce, Lynn and Alex, Meredith and Gretchen, Megan and Heidi, and Susan and Patrick all decide to shop. Gretchen is upset because it smells like fish in there, and is then shocked to find they need to pay for these ingredients. They have no more money, and the man selling the fish eventually decides to donate it.

Susan and Patrick run out of money again and realize this is why the others chose the books, as now they have to beg for money again to move on. Right, but Rob is the dumb one. Patrick eventually sells a flower for the money to buy the fish.

The fish needed for the recipe needs to be exactly three kilograms. First Lynn is grossed out, not wanting to hold the fish (as would I, Lynn!), then the fish they grab falls just short of three kilograms, and they run back to the market and complain that they cheated them out on the size of the fish. When the merchants refuse to accept blame, Lynn and Alex call them “bitches” and storm off. Eventually they get a better-sized fish somewhere else.

At Cerra Santa Lucia, the statue of Neptune, the teams will find the second pit stop of the race. Coming in first are Rob and Amber. They win a trip from Travelocity. I wonder what happened to American Airlines sponsoring this. Ron and Kelly, Ray and Deana, Uchenna and Joyce, Lynn and Alex, Debbie and Bianca, Meredith and Gretchen, and Susan and Patrick come in second through eighth place. The last two teams, Brian and Gregg and Megan and Heidi are stuck in traffic. Brian and Gregg finally abandon their cab and run in instead. The come in in ninth place. Coming in just moments after are Megan and Heidi, and they are eliminated, saying they are proud they never gave up. I never did figure out which was which.

Let’s review, shall we? Last week Patrick said he’d watched Survivor and Rob was “dumb as a rock,” causing Patrick to make it his mission to eliminate Rob and Amber form the race. Currently Rob and Amber are in the lead, and Susan and Patrick are in eighth after running out of money twice. Hmm.

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

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