Amazing Race
I Wasn't Even Going To Touch You Until You Slammed My Head Backwards!

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Don't Bite on the Beethoven

Previously on Venice Denial-o: Being pretty continued to be a real hardship for Chip and Reichen, so they tried to make up in childish door-handle-clinging what they lacked in social skills. Russell called Cindy a dumb-ass, so no surprises there. Tian beat the dead horse of Jaree's incompetence until she developed blisters. The mask-matching Roadblock spelled trouble for a reluctant Monica, a pushy Millie, and a just plain befuddled Chris. Eventually, Monica and Sheree just eked out a victory over Amanda and Chris, who got home just in time to wash their mouths out with soap. "Who will be eliminated..." Martha Stewart invents the crocheted license plate cozy. "...tonight?"

Credits. This Week's Fun Fact You Can Learn By Zaprudering The Credits With The Assistance Of TiVo: Just before reaching her mother's arms, Sheree's daughter turns into a football. [BOMP.]

Commercials. Oh, God. It's Big Brother 4.

Venice! Venice! Venice! Oh, and in case you're not feeling European enough, listen to this accordion thingy! Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we find ourselves in scenic Venice as this evening's adventures begin. Phil calls it "the romantic heart of Europe," just as an enormous flock of disease-ridden pigeons swarms a smattering of unsuspecting tourists, while just off-camera, a representative of the Venice Tourism Bureau runs by with a big butterfly net. Phil strolls by the water -- well, some of the water, because Venice has a lot, as you may or may not know -- explaining that this Venetian lagoon was the second pit stop on this big race they're having, where at the end, if you win, you get money. Our Eat, Sleep, and Mingle segment reveals that the teams showed some of what is turning out to be a typical cavalier attitude toward mess-making as Jon and Al lead a mealtime food fight. Fun? Yes. But probably not for the peons who have to clean up. Phil wonders whether Steve and Dave, who took the Fast Forward to rest their weary joints, will be able to stay in the lead. Just as Phil asks this question, Dave heartily bites into a big sandwich, all, "Step off, Captain Eyebrow." And will Cindy get any respect from Russell? (That one is a rhetorical question, pretty much.)

2:45 AM. AirSteve and Dave. The clue tells them to travel by train to Vienna, Austria. (Not Vienna, Virginia. The FBI lives near there, and they don't like to be disturbed.) Much drunken careening around train stations and tracks follows as Phil explains that this will be about a three-hundred-mile trip. Contrary to what the camera work suggests, though, I don't think they have to drop directly into the middle of the city from a blimp. When they get to Vienna, they'll have to find a marker that will take them down into what the captions label the "Historic Sewers of Vienna." Man, four seasons and this is the second time they've sent people down into the sewers. Somebody in the Race production offices has some strange taste in accommodations or really enjoys seeing Racers come face-to-face with fetid water. AirSteve voices over that Dave's knee is still bothering him, as they walk from the mat toward the train station. When they're at the station, they don't immediately see a train in the direction of Vienna, so they ask a local guy whether it would help to go to Verona, which has a bigger train station and might be a better travel hub. The guy tells them that in fact, he "thinks" that he's seen trains going to Vienna from Padua. Interestingly, AirSteve and Dave don't seem to check this out at all; they take this guy at his word, pretty much. After all, no big hurry. ["At this juncture, I commented that if someone approached me at Toronto's Union Station and asked me how to get from there to anywhere other than St. Catharines, I would have no bloody idea, to which Glark replied that this dude AirSteve and Dave were talking to didn't seem much more confident in his advice than I would have been." -- Wing Chun] AirSteve explains in a voice-over that they thought that hustling to get out in a creative way was the only way to hang on to their lead and not get bunched. (Though he calls it "grouping up." Who ever heard of "grouping up," pshaw!) Dave and AirSteve board a train from Venice to Padua.

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Amazing Race

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