We did not encounter any cute little ponies in this episode of The Amazing Race, but we had a delightful opportunity to witness someone eating a huge slice of humble pie. None other than Jim-the-dentist, my favorite so far in this Race.
Let me digress a bit to clarify the meaning of “favorite”. When I call TAR contestant a “favorite” or when I say I “like” him/her – it does not mean I am smitten by their charm or wowed by their athletic ability or blinded by their megawatt smile. It simply means they entertain me the best. They could be kind or mean, pleasant or annoying, smart or dumb – the only common denominator is that they bore me the least. By this definition Jim-the-dentist is my “favorite” among the current cast. And this time around he was served a generous slice of humble pie, which made it rather fun to watch. Let’s recap, shall we?
Jim-the-dentist and his sidekick wife Misti are the first to leave. They will be travelling by ferry to Aberdeen and then – by air – to Copenhagen, Denmark. They have enough time to do some research and find the best and earliest flight to Copenhagen. Or so Jim-the-dentist tells us. At this point I am glad that teams will be travelling on different flights, because with such travel there are lots of potential “surprises” and reshuffling. But Jim-the-dentist sounds so sure when he tells us his flight is the best that I believe him and do not expect “surprises”.
Meanwhile other teams make their own flight arrangements, not as good as Jim’s. Except one team. How did they manage to get tickets that would bring them to Copenhagen way before everybody else is still a mystery. Yet somehow they managed. It’s one of two female teams -I think they are Kym and Alli maybe? Anyway, Jim-the-dentist is on the second fastest flight, and he promises us he’ll catch up. Misti smiles her megawatt smile but otherwise remains a speck of paint on the wall. We feel somewhat blinded by the smile but assured by Jim’s confidence.
In Copenhagen teams have to pick newest Ford hybrids and drive across the bridge into Sweden. If they drive their hybrid efficiently (use less than 0.1 gallon of gas) – they will be given the next clue (the clue directs them back to Copenhagen). If not – they’ll have to answer some geography questions. When I heard that – I was elated! Finally – some knowledge based tasks! some real geography tasks! But the questions were super easy (to name capitals of Denmark, Sweden and Norway) and help from maps and passer-bys was allowed. Tsk-tsk-task, TAR! Time to step up the difficulty level of your knowledge-based tasks beyond fourth grade.
Back in Copenhagen the Detour is a choice between Parking Space (where teams have to set up a parklet precisely like on the picture provided. If they cannot do it in 30 minutes, they have to start over in a new place) or Wedding Cake (where teams have to assemble a traditional wedding cake and transport it to a designated location in a cumbersome bicycle-like contraption). The female team that arrived to Copenhagen first (Kym and Alli?) finish the Wedding Cake Detour and now on the way to the Roadblock. Our Jim-the-dentist (and his sidekick Misti) chooses the Parking Space. At this point Jim-the-dentist shuts up about being first but still assures us that he will not need to use his “Save” (the special pass they won in the first leg that can save them from elimination).
Meanwhile that female team (Kym and Alli??) get to the Roadblock at Ida Davidsen – a sandwich place. Or rather – a smorrebrod place (that’s what sandwiches are called in Denmark). And there are lots of sandwiches…err…smorrebrods there! The task is to memorize the number and the ingredients of 4 such…smorrebrods.
Meanwhile, Jim-the-dentist is making his second (or third?) attempt of setting up a parklet according to the provided picture. Apparently his attention to detail is not as good as he lead us to believe.
The girls (Kym and Alli??) finish the Roadblock quickly, arrive to the Pit Stop first and win two new Ford hybrids. They don’t seem too ecstatic, too fun, too memorable or too anything. No wonder I never bothered learning their names.
At this point Jim-the-dentist decides to switch Detour to Wedding Cake. The surfers, by the way, switch Detours as well, but in the opposite direction. The rest of this cast are plodding along.
At the Roadblock it’s Misti who is memorizing the sandwiches. Jim-the-dentist tells us she has great memory. She struggles though. Surprisingly- for the surfers it’s the sidekick (what’s his name?) husband that attempts the task. You would think that a non-physical task like this would be an ideal one for handicapped Bethany. But no, maybe her memory is not good. She has not completed a single Roadblock yet.
Misti still struggles. Apparently she memorized the ingredients just fine, but she forgot that she needed to recite the numbers under which the sandwiches were listed. So much for attention to detail again.
By this time Jim-the-dentist knows they are in the last place. And indeed they are. He handles his “Save” to Phil, and he looks humble now. Humble, but not defeated. Good! I don’t like my “favorites” defeated. And then – surprise-surprise! – it’s a non-elimination leg! So Phil returns the “Save” and Jim-the-dentist (along with Misti) lives to run a few more legs.
Let’s see how beneficial the humble pie meal was. See you next time.
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