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

Cindy cedes this Roadblock to Ernie, who's almost as excited about it as she is. She tells us she's surprised that Marcus and Amani aren't already there, given how they left the bodybuilding task first. She clearly doesn't know Marcus and Amani as well as she thinks. Wearing a helmet on the sidelines just for her own entertainment, she figures out that they're the first ones there while Ernie gets into his own suit, helmet and the shotgun seat of a white 'Stang next to one of the test drivers. The car roars off, leaving Cindy sitting in a stack of tires. Ernie explains that the driver took him through the whole long racecourse before giving Ernie a chance, and we get to see the entire range of Ernie's awed, frightened and exhilarated expressions, whereas the driver wears the same complacent half-smile while the car screams all over the course. I guess test drivers aren't terribly excitable fellows. At least the Belgian ones.

Andy and Tommy arrive at the gazebo, and it's kind of weird to see Phil back there when we just saw him at the Proving Ground getting nearly flattened repeatedly by fast-moving muscle cars. He tells the snowboarders that they're team number four and the next leg has already begun (and indeed in one team's case, so has the first Roadblock). Off they go, while Andy talks about the humbling experience they just had and their goal to make it to the final three. And if they win every other leg between now and then, so be it.

Ernie is now behind the wheel of the Mustang as the driver tells him in a laid-back accent to get the car up to 100 mph, hammer the brake when he sees two green flags along the straightaway, and jink right to come to a complete stop at the designated spot. Ernie revs the engine and floors it. A little speedometer insert in the corner of the screen says he's up to 100, the driver claps his hands and says, "Now," and Ernie pounds the brake while steering the car through that marked-off rightward swerve at the end of the course, tires squealing. Yow, what a thrill! To do, not to watch. "Very good," the driver says mildly. That guy must be a gas at parties.

Bill and Cathi are being driven in their taxi to the Pit Stop, fully expecting to be eliminated once they get there, but cool with it. Indeed, Phil tells them they're the last team to arrive, but then gives them the "however" and the next clue. So given that there's no elimination and no rest time and no Speed Bump imposed for the next leg, how exactly is this a Pit Stop, other than the presence of Phil and a mat and a half-dozen Kenny Gs? And if it is, doesn't this bring the number of non-elimination legs to four, rather than the promised three? You know, The Amazing Race, eleven episodes is a perfectly valid number. I'm just saying. Cathi seems a lot happier about their continued survival than does Bill, who looks like he was kind of ready to be done. In the back seat of their car leaving the Pit Keep Going while Bill drives, Cathi says it "wasn't elimination." Yeah, don't say "non-elimination," because that would be something totally different. "We're going to have to put the pedal to the metal...as safely and legally as we can." Of course she would have added that last part even if the cameras hadn't been rolling, why do you ask?

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Amazing Race

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