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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled iThe Amazing Race/i: I Cannot Deal With Your Psycho Behavior (Austria)
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“I love this Ford Focus!”—Kent

All right, I won’t belabor the point, since some of you have taken offense to my complaints about product placement in recent weeks. Suffice it to say, if you liked learning all about Snapple iced tea products a couple weeks ago, you’ll love this week’s ode to the above-mentioned motor vehicle. One of the special features of said car figured into the Race this week, as teams used the back-up camera to reveal a clue spelled out behind them, which I’ll grudgingly admit counts as somewhat clever product integration. Now let us not speak of this automobile again!


The cowboys, having survived last week’s inadvertent decision to take a later flight than the rest of the teams, have apparently decided to adopt this technique as a winning strategy. Granted, the flight they selected this week had fewer connections than the alternative option, and I have advocated the policy of minimizing connecting flights in the past. In this case however, it’s hard to justify the risk/reward ratio, given the fact that there are only six teams left, and all the others selected the flight scheduled to arrive earlier. Sure, there was a possibility that Jet and Cord could get a jump on everyone else if one of the connecting flights was delayed, but wouldn’t it have been smarter to ensure arriving at the same time as everyone else?

Either way, it ends up not mattering, thanks to the Detour: Long Hard Walk or Quick and Easy Meal. The words “quick and easy” should have been a red flag, yet three teams decided to try completing a huge meal during one rotation of the ferris wheel made famous in The Third Man. Orson Welles could have done it easily, but none of the teams are able to shovel down the heaping mound of fried meat, let alone the chocolate cake dessert. They are therefore forced to complete the alternate task, carrying a couch one mile from the Sigmund Freud Museum to the University of Vienna. This is the break the cowboys needed, and they’re able to get back in the running.


The couch-carrying task would have been relatively uneventful had Kent not carried on like a complete ninny throughout the whole thing. While Vyxsin muscles more than her share of the heavy furniture through the streets of Vienna, Kent whines “like a ridiculous baby,” to use Vyxsin’s words. Another man might be embarrassed or hurt by such an attack on his masculinity, but this is Kent we’re talking about, so he just keeps whimpering.

Aside from the spectacle of seeing Big Easy crammed into a chimney sweep outfit, the Roadblock is a snooze. Although the Globetrotters seem to be on their way to an easy first place finish, Zev and Justin somehow edge them out, and each of them is rewarded with a particular kind of car I’ve already mentioned. After failing to finish their meals on the ferris wheel and having to complete the couch-carrying task, Gary and Mallory are the last team to arrive. However, this is a non-elimination leg (which I didn’t think they were doing this year, but anyway), so there’s still hope. If only Jesus had eaten his share of the meal, it would never have come to this.


Stray observations:

  • “We just had to grab a big book from the chick from Harry Potter.”
  • “I like Austria. That’s where the Terminator’s from.”
  • “Bet that’ll be the biggest wiener I ever ate.” How was that not the episode title?
  • Flight Time and Big Easy were a little unclear on the connection between Sigmund Freud and a therapist’s couch. They just assumed he enjoyed relaxing on couches. And who doesn’t?
  • The pit stop was at the Villa Trapp in Salzburg, home of the Von Trapp family from The Sound of Music. Sadly, Phil did not treat us to his rendition of “My Favorite Things.”
  • Next week: Another eating challenge, presumably of the “gross food” variety this time.

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