In case you are curious about the answer to the question posed in the title of the blog, here it is – “Berlin”. That’s where this leg of the Race takes place entirely. Actually the teams arrive to Dresden first, but they stay there only long enough to pick their new shiny Ford Focus vehicles and promptly make their way to Berlin. I get it that Ford cars are taking almost as central a place as the contestants – after all, Ford is a sponsor of The Amazing Race (and for that alone I will tolerate all the hocus- pocus associated with Ford Focus). But what does Dresden have to do with the Race if they don’t spend any time there?
Anyway, the teams have to answer some questions (easy multiple choice) before they can move on. The ignorance begins there and continues through the leg. For the question “which president said ‘tear down this wall!” ?” even our oh-so-smart-because-I-have-a-PhD Katie picks president Kennedy. Our ditsy Barbies – even though they are in Germany, en route to Berlin, – think the question refers to the Great Wall of China (!). If it were not a multiple choice test with multiple attempts permitted, that would be the end of the Race for all of them.
Sooner or later all the teams make it to the Berlin Wall and pick up their next clue which says that they have to base jump off the roof of a 37-story-tall hotel. The jumping is where the adrenaline rush is supposed to kick in, but it’s quite underwhelming. Katie informs us before the jump that she needs to pee, but – disappointingly – doesn’t pee in her pants. Loco You-Tuber – as always – faking the exaggerated screams for the camera. Nothing new and exciting, so moving on to the Detour.
The Detour is a choice between Font Follies and Train Trials. In Font Follies the teams had to pick up two gigantic letters and transport them on foot (without breaking or chipping) to some obscure museum. In Train Trials the teams had to go to a train museum, assemble provided train tracks and miniature train and let the train complete one lap without crashing. Everybody but the You Tubers choose Font Follies. However, our Hockey Brothers break one of the letters and – instead of returning to pick up another letter, switch the Detours. At this point they were in last place while the Honeymooners were in first.
On to the fun Roadblock. In this Roadblock one member of each team had to navigate a maze inside a nightclub. Or maybe it was a labyrinth. Or a haunted house. But whatever it was – it seemed awfully fun! Before the fun part, however, you had to answer this question: “Who said this phrase – “Ich bin ein Berliner”?“ And of course the majority of our teams display their ignorance all over again. They are Americans, but have to resort to asking tipsy Germans at the bar for the correct answer to this question. Oh well. Anyway, eventually they all get the right answer “President John F. Kennedy” and move on.
The Honeymooners (Max and Katie) arrive to the Pit Stop first and win two new Ford Focuses. You Tubers are still (God, have mercy!) in the Race, and even managed the second place. The Ditsy Barbies are lucky and happily arrived third. The Hockey Brothers and the Boring Moms arrived almost together. I say “almost” because despite the moms being a little ahead, the brothers beat them in the foot race to the Pit Stop (predictably and not surprising – so no drama there). Luckily for the moms this was a non-elimination leg. So we will see all of them in the next episode.
Well, I liked this episode much more than the previous one even though the shots of urban Berlin were not as breathtakingly gorgeous as the shots of snow-covered Swiss Alps. But there was less bunching of the teams and more opportunities to get lost. I liked the fun Roadblock, and I actually liked the Detour, too. Especially the mini-twist of the Font Follies – where you not only had to carry cumbersome letters to an obscure place, but you also had to make sure that they were not broken or chipped during transportation. If you are not careful – you have to start all over again. Either that or – like the Hockey Brothers – switch to a different Detour. Liked that.
Speaking of the Hockey Brothers – they are sort of growing on me. I mean – I still resent seeing one team that is so superior to everybody else in their athletic ability. In my eyes this still creates unevenness and unfairness. But it’s the casting’s fault, not the brothers’ fault.
To the brothers’ credit – their attitude is light and fun not only in victories but also in defeats. One of them lost a backpack (or was it stolen from him?) yet he remained cheerful, optimistic and pleasant. Their flirting with the Barbies is slowly progressing, and it amuses me.
Anyway, Kens and Barbies – who would have thought! – are the two most likable teams in this bunch!
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