Amazing Race
I Carried a Watermelon

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All About the Melons

At the Plaza de la Democracia, Art and JJ open a Roadblock clue that asks, "Who's ready to use their head?" Amid dancers with unlabeled green wine bottles balanced on their heads and a band playing in the square, Phil says that teams will now participate in a traditional Paraguayan tradition: the bottle dance. They'll have to get through a whole routine without dropping the bottle that's balanced on their heads. Each team gets a table of fifty bottles with which to attempt the task and if they break them all, they'll have to take a two-hour penalty. Standing next to a woman with five bottles stacked on her head one atop the other, Phil says that after the racers have completed the dance without breaking the bottle on their head, she'll hand them their next clue. With five bottles on her head? Couldn't she just put the clue down somewhere and back away to a safe distance of, say, five bottle-heights?

Art is taking this. As JJ tells us, "Art's got a big, fat head, so this is gonna be good for him." Art watches the routine, which culminates in lying face-down on the ground with the bottle still balanced on your head and says, "This is insane." Art makes a couple of attempts, but those bottles are trickier than you think. And I'm saying this as someone who has actually danced with a bottle balanced on my head. In front of a paying audience, no less. Yes, I was one of the bottle dancers in Fiddler on the Roof in high school. But we got to wear hats, which helped. Also, those bottles were empty and these have water in them. And finally, those bottles were real glass and not candy-glass, like these apparently are. They seem to have a tendency to break before they even hit the ground, so they're clearly the kind of stunt-bottle that actors break over each other's heads in the movies. That may make this task safer for everyone involved, but it also means it's all but impossible to catch one intact once it starts to fall. "Come on, use your head, Art!" JJ yells from the sidelines. "You owe me!" Art snarls back, his head dripping. JJ just cackles at him.

Back at the fruit market, Danny is tossing melons to Joey "Fitness," who might be catching most of them -- it's hard to tell. Brendon and Rachel open a tailgate and release a flood of melons from their truck. Ralph and Vanessa show up and, out of nowhere, Vanessa decides to fuck with Team Big Brother, first by snatching melons out of their truck while Brendon and Rachel are reading their clue and then by trying to block their hand truck in with hers. Ralph doesn't want to play that way, to his credit. And since Brendon clumsily dumps half the melons off his hand truck, they don't really need to. In an interview, Brendon and Rachel complain about Vanessa and Ralph "talking smack" about them during the Detour, which seems to be the half-true. For instance, while Rachel's bent over a load of melons in her black stretch pants, Vanessa loudly taunts, "I can see her whole ass, ha, ha." What is she, ten? Ralph reminds her to stay on task. Vanessa pretends like she's trying, but Rachel's entire ass is just too distracting. That takes some doing, to out-Mean Girl Rachel. Rachel decides it's time to leave. "Cut our losses and go," as if it's a purely strategic decision. Vanessa points out their departure to Ralph, who tells her to focus on their own work. Tell her, Ralph. In an interview, Rachel admits that Vanessa's taunting was part of the reason they left: "Let them bury themselves and we'll cut bait and move on." I would be entirely on Team Big Brother's side in this incident and I'm never on their side, but then Brendon and Rachel enjoy their moral high ground in the taxi to the other Detour option by bitching about Vanessa in the worst possible terms. "Her disgusting smile is painted on just like her overdone makeup," Rachel says. Dammit, after seeing that line in last week's preview, I was all set to expound on Rachel's Annoying Habit #1: Her ugly attacks on other women, but now I kind of can't because Vanessa started it. Thanks a lump, Vanessa. Looks like I'm going to have to settle for #13: Rachel's raging hypocrisy.

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