The Amazing Race teams leave Switzerland for Dresden, Germany and there is drama within the first few hours of their departure. Hockey guy Bates’ backpack is stolen on the train. Fortunately, Bates is smart enough not to carry his passport in his backpack so he is able to continue with the race. I wonder if someone on the crew sees these types of things when they happen. I can’t really fault Bates for this one – it’s just bad luck. It was an unfortuanate way to start what would become a tough leg of the race for them.
When the teams arrive in Germany, they head out to a row of new Ford Fusions. They get in and answer some questions on the touch screens of the new Ford Fusions. Then they drive to the Brandenburg Gate in the new Ford Fusions. I half expected to see the roaming gnome mounted to the hoods of the new Ford Fusions. You probably get my drift here. I know this is the type of product placement/sponsorship The Amazing Race has had in the past. But, I wish they would ratchet it down a little. Tell us what they’re driving once, then announce at the end that the winners get the cars. That is all the viewer needs to get the point being made. I doubt this aspect of the show will change, so I won’t harp on it every week. It just feels more irritating in some episodes.
The trivia questions all relate to the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall. Anyone who remembers the Wall coming down undoubtedly felt old after listening to some of the answers. Joey and Meghan had no clue in what decade the Wall came down. Jennifer actually asked if the quote, “Tear down this wall” referred to the Great Wall of China. Sigh. It didn’t get any better when the teams later had to ask German bar patrons who said, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” We may want to think about putting more money back into the public schools.
The tasks on this episode were more imaginative than some of the others we’ve seen this season. I was surprised that they made both members of the teams go off the side of the building. Usually, only one person has to do the heights challenge. Even though it was bizarre, the neon letters museum was kind of cool. The club fun house/maze was crazy. It must be quite a trip after a couple drinks in the “evocative dance club.” Way to be hip Phil Keoghan.
The country girls ditched their hockey boyfriends after finally figuring out that this is a race. Loyalty is well and good in the beginning, but there comes a point when it’s every team for themselves. In this leg, the hockey guys really couldn’t catch a break. After Anthony cracked his neon letter, I was certain that they would be sent home. I didn’t count on the monumentally bad navigation of Berlin roads by the roller derby moms. As someone who suffers from a terrible sense of direction, I felt their pain. Watching the roller derby moms and the hockey guys racing for the pit stop was one of the tensest moments of the race. Luckily, a non-elimination round saved the roller derby moms.
I am disappointed that Max and Katie arrived at the pit stop first. The race can change in an instant, though, so hopefully their reign is short.
Follow me on Twitter @LaVaudreuil