Amazing Race
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Three Strikes and You're out (And It's About Time Somebody Was)

Ernie and Cindy stop for directions yet again. "We're trying to get to, like, a pigeon place," Cindy explains to the guy they pull up next to while Ernie hands over the card with the address on it. "It's here," the guy tells them. What a lucky break. He leads them back to the pigeon-hutch, where they get their tiny Atomium photo in third place. Fortunately everyone in Belgium seems to know where it is, including the people they quiz in a local restaurant.

It's getting darker as Sandy frets about how slowly Jeremy's driving. He's just being careful not to miss their exit. Besides, how much more fast driving does he need to do today? Marcus and Amani get to the pigeon place we just saw Ernie and Cindy leave, and get directions to the Atomium from some guy outside. Getting back into their car, Marcus announces, "I'm tired." I would think. This one day has stretched for this whole episode and half of the last one. Driving back to Brussels through the gathering dusk, Marcus tries to wake himself up by clapping and whooping and pep-talking himself. Of course the best part of these moments is always Amani's patiently indulgent expressions in the background. Amani, even if Marcus can't see you, the camera still can.

Bill and Cathi: still lost. "There's no signage!" Bill gripes. "This is a...lot of fun." I think that remark probably had a very different first draft.

It's getting ever darker as Jeremy and Sandy arrive at the Atomium as team number two, much to their happy surprise. Best ever! Then it's almost fully dark when Ernie and Cindy straggle in. Phil is grim-faced as he says their names, then says, "You guys should be a lot happier than you are now because you are team number three." They're still not happy. Cindy says they were in front again, and once again they blew it. Hey, better than being in the middle and blowing it.

Speaking of which, Amani and Marcus are the next to arrive, and are much happier to be team number four than Ernie and Cindy were to be team number three. Post-leg, Marcus interviews that this leg is the football equivalent of a conference championship, and then "it's on to the Super Bowl." And then they go home and watch the season and they both discover how much of their relationship is predicated on Amani keeping her smirking to herself when he talks like this.

That means Bill and Cathi are done, and if they had to go ahead and go through the motions of finding the pigeons and meeting them later to find out they're going to the Atomium, we don't see it. As of now, they're driving straight there in the darkness, Bill saying he's not ashamed of how they did. "I think they're both startled at how long we have managed to stay with it." And they're not the only ones. There's a whole montage of their happiest and dorkiest moments throughout the season, and Bill says that it's been "a hoot" and has improved their relationship.

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Amazing Race

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