Monday, October 25, 2010

Amazing Race S17E05

What an astonishing episode! And for me emotionally a bit engaging.
They all head out from Sweden to a Norwegian station where there is a fast forward. This is a mischievous piece of work that requires some interesting game theory. If you complete it first your sole remaining task is to get to the pit stop, the end of the session. But only ONE team, the first to succeed, gets that, and you might not know whether someone has achieved it ahead of you; and indeed we discovered this is not conveyed at the scene with utterly clarity. I guess it is clear in the overall rules.
Kat and Nat start out first and get to the choice point for the fast forward; it vaguely refers to a Norwegian Christmas ritual to be completed. They go for it. Kat is a 20-year vegetarian and the ritual is eating a roasted sheep`s head. I am glad this is one my mother did not bring over. I feared lutefisk and we never suffered that either.
In any case, Nat and Kat discover as they arrive at the fast forward what the task is as each is presented with her sheep`s head.
What will Nat do? It is clear from their experience in this leg that retreat to the normal path will put them behind many of the other teams (they had to go down a mountain in a cable car they would likely have to re-ascend).
Meanwhile Jill and Thomas were on their way and their discussion about relative educational differences and how it affects them does much to explain why I have not liked their past interactions. I now feel less against them.
One other cut shows the TV salesgirls lunatically intuitive. (They see a TV/communications tower and decide it must be their target.)
There is a speculation that Nat is terrified of heights and it true; but she has told Kat to force her to what must be done. (We had that problem alas year with height and water combined.)
Kat and Nat take the risk and are concerned when they see dining tables. And then there is a discussion over the sheep's head. Kat's response is amazing but a bit like what a doctor must often have to do - it's there and deal with it. "Tastes like money." I did admire this.
Meanwhile Gary and Mallory and the Asians are on their way up and it so sweet how much they clearly all like another.
Meanwhile all the other teams have to rappel off a ludicrously high bridge to the water and then get back up.
Meanwhile it was wonderful watching Nat and Kat defining each disgusting part of their meal as lettuce or some other vegetable. I as impressed by both of them, who became my temporary favorites in week 1.
"What are you doing? Eating like Norwegians!"
On the bridge some teams do well and others not so.
The Asians are the first up. Claire (hit by a watermelon earlier and close to my second-favorite) has a ton of a problem and they slowly fall way back.
Nick and Vicki stupidly arrive at the fast forward, which is marked `taken`. They are baffled (I am sure the rules explain it) but Nick`s instinct never to stop moving gets them going back onto track.
The Asians are great off the bridge as mare Father-Dad. Jill and Thomas leave the bridge. The Brooke-Claire combo is so funny - they sort of work but Claire takes on jobs that are really hard for her, like having a watermelon hit her full-on the head while Brooke keeps cheering her on. I do think they should have spent more time in the gym if they knew this was coming. Nick sends Vicki down and now I almost admire her. Chad takes the hard job too and now I wonder about my distaste for them.
The next task is to cheese whether to go to the next goal by Mountain Bike or a boat. I`d go for a boat in mountain country though you know you will get crap afterwards. Biking up a mountain is surely what they would do.
BTW Nat and Kat finished their food (I would guess Kat is sensibly barfing - she is a doctor).
Now let me just fast forward.
The volleyballs are eliminated.
There are tricky and difficult points now along the way.
But I now rather like all the teams, even the ones I wondered about before. And I also liked the volleyball players - they were, like a professional duo, and a little too focused; I think that is much of what cost them.
I SO look forward to the next episode.


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