Amazing Race

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Ladies First

Enter Nat and Kat, who don't seem to know who he is as he quickly leads them to one of the stations. They get right to work, beginning at the beginning. After a quick black-and-white flashback for us of the knight in armor welcoming them to Eastnor in England, they quickly find him as number 27 on the big board and plug him into that slot on their screen. Then there was the Ghanaian woman with the bucket of fish on her head for the second leg in Accra, but they pick the Ghanaian woman in the turban instead. They interview that it was pretty overwhelming. Then they remember that there were two legs in Ghana, and put the turbaned woman in her correct spot at leg number three. As they go along, we can't see that they're getting any apparent feedback as to whether any of their answers are correct, which must be why they put some random dude in place for leg two and then move on.

Brook and Claire are satisfied with their Googling, and head back out to their waiting cab, agreeing that that was pretty fast. Remember that change in rankings I was talking about? I think it just happened.

To prove it, Jill and Thomas are feeling trapped in their cab, and they get out right where they are. They run into some storefront copy shop or something and ask to use their internet. Getting nowhere. Just their luck to have insisted their cab drop them off in the 1962 part of Los Angeles.

By now Nat and Kat have at least four correct greeters in place, and are busting out the notebook they've been keeping the whole race. Kat belatedly spots "The woman from the market. She had stuff on her head." With that, Leg 2 is locked in, and I have to say the sign in the background of that shot was kind of a giveaway. Then they quickly find the Swedish woman from leg four and the Norwegian Hemmingway character from leg five. Only four slots to go.

Brook and Claire are staying optimistic on the way up to Griffith Park, but Jill and Thomas are not, in whatever the hell crappy neighborhood they're in now. Nat an Kat are looking for the greeter from the first leg in St. Petersburg (the tricorn hat guy), but they put an older Russian Army officer in that slot instead. Brook says, "Literally, we could be in first or last. I mean, this could go either way." There's a third option she forgot to mention. Kat puts some Napoleonic opera singer in leg six, but Nat keeps looking. The last ad break of the season descends on this unsuspenseful moment.

Team @ is still searching when we come back, with Bob Eubanks staring intensely at them from across the stage. He looks really invested. Finally they get the right guy for Leg 6 and begin the search for whoever goes in Leg 7. We're reminded that it was a younger Russian officer, but they try a sailor. After a quick check-in with Brook and Claire as they approach the studio, they recognize number 13 out of nowhere as the greeter from Hong Kong. Then they get the guy from Oman in Leg 8, leaving only Leg 7. Finally they get the younger officer in place, leg seven, and after another stare from Bob Eubanks, the Amazing Race logon in the twelfth and final segment of their screen lights up, signaling the completion of the task, as well as cueing the game-show music again. "Here...is your next clue," Bob Eubanks tells them in that Bob Eubanks voice. They hug him, and he leers, "This is a good job!" Phil says they'll now need to cab "through L.A.'s congested streets to the Finish Line: Greystone Mansion." Seriously, that's it? Two things where all they have to do is strap in and fly through the air, followed by a Road Block that's more like a Speed Bump, and then an (admittedly difficult and even kind of sneaky in a good way) memory challenge? This final leg is so lame, Nick and Vicki could have done it. Phil's wandering across the giant mat in a garden outside the mansion as he tells us, "The first team to check in here will win the Amazing Race, and the one million dollars." Nat and Kat are on their way, Kat getting right back on the driver's phone while Nat savors the part of the clue that says, "Make your way to the Finish Line." What, no "this is it, go go go!"? I guess it would be more accurate to say "so so so."

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Amazing Race

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