Amazing Race

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What Happens in Vegas

Cheyne continues down the building like a cat that's been picked up by the scruff of the neck. His helmet-cam gets a great close-up shot of the side of his head bouncing against the building as he dangles limply. "Oop, watch your head," Meghan calls up, as if Cheyne's watching anything at all at this point. Sam is having no such problems, beginning a speedy scramble down the building, calling out for his belayers to let him go faster and saying. "Step aside, Tom Cruise, step aside." For the record, Sam is much taller than Tom Cruise. As fast as Sam's going, though, Cheyne has too much of a lead and Sam's still up there by the time Cheyne's safely on the ground, recovering from his ordeal by hyperventilating and of course getting a kiss from Meghan. Off they go. Sam, if anything, accelerates as Meghan and Cheyne get in their cab to the Mirage. Cheyne calls it "the craziest thing I have ever done, no doubt." Well, except he didn't so much "do" it as "endure" it. Although now I can justifiably say that this recent economic downturn is the craziest thing I have ever done. Sam reaches the bottom, and he and Dan get their clue and head out in last place. So long to Mandalay Bay, as they get a new taxi to the Mirage. Sam promises a big tip if he helps them win. Which, I don't know how that's going to work, given how many times everyone changes cabs in this leg.

Brian and Ericka's driver reaches the Mirage, which looks a lot like Mandalay Bay except for how the top of the building is all tarted up with a gigantic ad for Love, the Beatles-themed Cirque du Soleil show that's apparently going on there. They follow the arrows to the backstage area (past a fake Buckingham palace guard whose uniform is made out of a pink British flag, and who still shakes his head at them, because even in a cheap fake bearskin hat and a Union Jack the color of a nipple, he still thinks he's cooler than they are). The clue begins, "Join the cast of Love," and suddenly we're watching clips of the aforementioned show, set to "Help." Although it seems to me like "Run for Your Life" would be more appropriate to the occasion, not to mention cheaper. After we're done watching some of that trademarked Cirque insanity that's part of the actual show, Phil says what the teams will have to do, specifically: "Using bungee cords, one team member must launch their partner high enough in the air to retrieve this bouquet of flowers. " Which are pretty high up above the stage; I'd guess twenty feet or so. Plus you don't go straight up; your partner has to launch you about thirty or forty feet downrange as well. After getting the bouquet (and Phil is clear that it needs to be the whole bouquet), they'll trade it with a "flower child" cast member for their next clue. Brian and Ericka are very excited to grab bags of rigging gear with their names on it and be led out onto the stage. Ericka is even thrilled to be strapped into a harness for the second time today. Yeah, that'll wear off.

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Amazing Race

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