Amazing Race

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Gypsies, Vamps, and Beams

Four more teams arrive at Cara de Nord. Even there I can't tell which of the cheerleaders is Cara.

Finally Tammy finishes up, and they get into the cab with her still in her leotard. She apologizes for how long she took and he helpfully says, "It's okay, I think your brain just froze." Which she clearly does not appreciate, even though she just more or less said the same thing herself. But of course when she said it, it was more in hindsight. Now it's just Victor being unhelpful.

Kisha and Jen join the gang at the station waiting for the morning train, and Kisha breaks the news that Tammy and Victor were on their flight with them. And Victor is still lecturing Tammy about how she needs to relax and think. He at least readily agrees to drop it when she doesn't want to talk about it any more. They reach the train station, outside which Tammy gives a tearful solo interview about how frustrated she is. "He thinks I'm weak, he thinks I get paralyzed and can't do things, and he thinks that he's accommodating for me a lot. I'm not really sure how to deal with it." And that's what serves as a suspenseful moment for the end of this act.

One commercial break later, everyone's boarding the train to Brasov. As the sky begins to lighten, we see Team Go Team hanging out with Luke on the train and talking about their next clue. They interview about how other teams might be intimidated by Luke's deafness, but they don't have a problem with it because they're so awesome. One of them talks about using pen and paper, but in the train we see that the other one at least knows how to fingerspell; I can see her finishing up what might be the word "Church," although she seems to think it ends with a "S-R-U-C." I mean, I guess that kind of letter combination is possible in a country where Slavic languages are spoken, but one's ability to fingerspell is obviously limited by one's ability to actually spell.

The good news for Brad and Victoria is that it's morning; the bad news is that they're still in Amsterdam. They're determined to keep going hard as they board their plane to Romania. Victoria promises, "If there's even one team that is as screwed up as our situation, then I'm going to be really happy." She should be, because that would be pretty screwed up indeed.

In Brasov, teams mind the gap as they jump off the train and run for cabs. Tammy and Victor are in first place for the moment, but in the short race to the "Black Church" (seriously, it's totally gray, and not even dark gray). Amanda|Kris get there first, followed closely by the Flight Attendants. And the clue tells them it's a Detour, with the choices being "Gypsy Moves" or "Vampire Remains." Gypsy? I thought we were supposed to call them Romany or Romani or Roma these days, plus it seems like there's more potential for puns that way. In any case, here's Phil, back in his sheepskin jacket and looking oddly at home in a Romany encampment as he says this is about "two things one might expect to encounter in Transylvania." "Gypsy Moves," which at first looks like dancing to some crazy-fast local music, is actually a task where the teams will have to go to a "Gypsy settlement, where they must load all of a family's belongings onto this horse-drawn cart." Then they steer the cart to a new camp and unload it to receive their next clue. Think Beverly Hillbillies, but in Europe, and without a cee-ment pond at the end of the journey. The music goes from rollicking to scary for the "Vampire Remains" description. We're transported to some Blair Witch woods, where teams will drag a coffin to a clearing (downhill, I hasten to add), open a bunch of padlocks and chains wrapped around it, and pull out some "antique" picture frames inside. I'm beginning to think that "antique" does not mean what this show thinks it means. Over a helicopter shot of a gothic castle, Phil narrates, "In the spirit of Vlad the Impaler, who inspired Bram Stoker's famous vampire Dracula, teams must impale the frames on a stake, searching for a hidden flag sealed between the boards of one of them. Then they'll swap the flag for a clue with a black-robed druid standing nearby. You think maybe Transylvania had anything to say about The Amazing Race wanting to come here and do vampire crap? Or were they like, "You know, we also have a water park"?

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Amazing Race

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