THE AMAZING RACE 18 “I Cannot Deal with Your Psycho Behavior” (Season 18 Episode 8) – Teams go from India to Austria for wiener schnitzel, couch carrying, and the easiest Roadblock ever in the Vienna Leg (very much brought to you by the 2012 Ford Focus) of THE AMAZING RACE 18.
Last leg’s winners Flight Time/Big Easy are the first to get their clue at 2:07am. It tells them to fly to Vienna, Austria and get their next clue when they pick up a brand new 2012 Ford Focus from the airport parking lot. Zev/Justin leave next, followed by Kisha/Jen, Gary/Mallory, and Jet/Cord. Kent/Vixsyn are the last to leave the Pit Stop at 3:44am.
The teams all head to travel agents as they try to get the fastest flight to Vienna. Most of the teams take a flight with two connections that should get in at 5:35am, but the cowboys opt for a more direct flight that gets in at 6:00, hoping the other teams hit delays. Bad bet, cowboys.
At the airport in Vienna, Kent/Vixsyn get to their Ford Focus first and find out the clue is revealed via the Ford Touch system. As the teams back out of their parking spaces, they can see the words SCHLOSS SCHALABURG in their backup cameras. Gary/Mallory are the only team to not quickly figure this out, but they still get it before the cowboys hit the parking lot. All the teams stop for directions on how to get to Schloss Schalaburg, so I assume they aren’t allowed to use the Ford Focus navigation system. Too bad-that could have been another commercial right there.
Zev/Justin are the first team to get to the castle and find “the chick from Harry Potter,” who gives teams a book they must bring to the National Library, which is back in Vienna. While most of the teams are close to each other, the cowboys are still very much in last place.
Zev and Justin retain their lead when they find the right librarian and learn it’s Detour time. Kisha/Jen are second, followed by Gary/Mallory. Flight Time/Big Easy and Kent/Vixsyn go in the wrong building at first but are still easily fourth and fifth. I almost drop my laptop when Flight Time seems to relieve himself on the library. Are you kidding me? The cowboys are still in last place and should now understand why you don’t purposely take a later flight.
The choice is Long Hard Walk or Quick Easy Meal. In Long Hard Walk, teams make their way to the museum at the former home/office of Sigmund Freud. From there, they must transport an analyst’s couch one mile to the University of Vienna, where Freud both studied and lectured to get their next clue. In Quick Easy Meal, Teams go to the Wierner Riesenrad, a giant Ferris wheel seen in Orson Welles’s ‘The Third Man.’ During one twelve-minute rotation of the wheel, teams must a giant pile of food to get their clue.
Quick Easy Meal:
Kisha/Jen get to the Wierner Riesenrad first, followed by Zev/Justin. Kisha/Jen don’t finish their food in time and switch to Long Hard Walk. Ditto for Zev/Justin, who pass Gary/Mallory as they arrive and tell them the food is delicious. Of course Gary/Mallory don’t finish their mountain of food, either, so they also make the inevitable switch, though Mallory does offer to stay. “I can throw up and then try again.” Yummy!
Long Hard Walk:
Flight Time/Big Easy arrive at the museum first. Kent/Vixsyn are next and apparently don’t see the dolly on top of the couch they need to transport and so carry it down the street, bickering all the way. Kisha/Jen get there next, followed by Zev/Justin and then the cowboys, who see Zev/Justin and are thrilled to know they’re still in it. Gary/Mallory are a distant last. Eventually, everyone switches from using the dolly to carrying their couches, so maybe the goths were smarter than I thought.
Flight Time/Big Easy drop off their couch first and learn teams must drive to the city of Salzburg and find their next clue at the Sternbrau restaurant in the old town section. Kent/Vixsyn are second, followed by Kisha/Jen, and Jet/Cord. Zev/Justin get some bad directions and go up three flights of stairs they didn’t need to and end up in fifth. Gary/Mallory are last out of the Detour and I start to get nervous for them because as they reminded us at the beginning of the episode, this is the leg they were eliminated on in The Amazing Race 17.
Some of the teams run into navigational snafus on the way to the Sternbrau. Flight Time/Big Easy arrive first, followed by Zev/Justin who jumped up three spots, Kisha/Jen and Kent/Vixsyn arrive at essentially the same time with Jet/Cord in fifth and Gary/Mallory still last.
Who’s feeling lucky as can be? I never would have guessed a chimney sweep would be seen as a symbol of good luck, but cool. Each racer must dress up in a chimney sweep uniform, send the sweeper tool/mace down the chimney three times, and then go down to the bottom of the chimney and open the door to retrieve a remarkably clean clue from a pile of soot. Big Easy, Zev, Vixsyn, Kisha, Cord, and Gary do this incredibly simple task, and other than Vixsyn and Kisha swapping places, finish in the order in which they started.
From the clue, teams learn they must make their way to the Villa Trapp, the real home of the Von Trapp family from ‘The Sound of Music.’ That is the pit stop for this leg.
Zev/Justin win the leg and two Ford Focuses (Foci?) after Flight Time/Big Easy take a wrong turn. Flight Time/Big Easy take second, followed by Kent/Vixsyn, Kisha/Jen, and Jet/Cord, who realize they need to step up their game or they won’t win the million dollars and be able to buy new hats. Gary/Mallory are last to arrive, but it’s–thankfully–a non-elimination leg, so they are still in the race.
This leg has too much navigation and not enough actual task-doing for my taste and the actual tasks aren’t exactly thrilling, either. Between the dullness of the action, Kent’s whining, and Vixsyn’s haranguing, this is my least favorite leg so far. I am grateful it was an NEL, though, because I don’t want to lose Gary/Mallory.
The one upside to this being a long commercial for the Focus is that we see plenty of scenery and Austria is gorgeous.
I don’t understand why the cowboys insist on making basic mistakes this race. Taking a later flight on purpose? You don’t separate yourself from the pack like that. Physically, they are strong, fast racers, so they should trust they can beat the other teams head to head. Don’t intentionally set yourself up to be last because a flight might be late. Gah!
“That’ll be the biggest wiener I’ll ever eat” really should have been the episode title.
Someone should have burst into song at some point because the hills of this leg of The Amazing Race really weren’t all that alive.
What did you think of this leg? Are you as glad as I am it was an NEL? Will Gary/Mallory be able to make up the time and the Speed Bump in the next leg? Who do you want eliminated next? Let me know in the comments.
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