Amazing Race
It's a Great Place to Become a Millionaire

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 2 USERS: A
YOU GRADE IT
Stumbling Toward Ecstasy

The two teams who took the train emerge into the sunlight and Vanessa and Ralph are back out on the street looking for the right building. Rachel proposes a brief alliance with Other Rachel and Dave to find the right place, while Vanessa vainly tries to wave down a taxi. "I'm not saying hi," she complains. As Team Penultimate gets into a cab, the other teams get to the same wrong building that they just left. Ralph is talking about how they're running around like chickens with their heads cut off, which seems oddly prescient. And then the Rachel teams are also heading to the right place. It turns out that they were supposed to go to the old Studio 8 building rather than the new Studio 8 building, which suggests that maybe Studio 8 moved its HQ since the leg was first scouted out. Clearly I'm thinking about this too much, aren't I?<.p>

One chicken-graphic later, Art makes a final run up the treadmill and onto the mat, earning a spinning "WINNER" graphic on the screen and Team Border Patrol's next clue. It's sending them to the Umeda Sky building, a massive glass structure with an atrium the size of a skyscraper in its own right. At the floating sky observatory on the roof, they'll have to find two product-placed touchscreen PCs" that will show them the Detour options if they double-tap the play button. Suddenly I am fervently hoping for a team -- any team -- to be totally befuddled by the technology. For now, Art and JJ head out of the Roadblock in a good mood, because watching Art humiliate himself always cheers JJ up. As long as it doesn't take too long, that is.

Vanessa and Ralph get to the right studio, but that's the end of the good news for them; Ralph has done five Roadblocks, so they figure Vanessa has to do this one. They have no idea that she's going to be expected to run on her battered ankle and she's not thrilled to see the pads and helmet waiting for her in the dressing room. "I'm not going to die doing this, am I?" she wonders. Team Big Brother gets there next and Brendon takes this one for the same reason: because Rachel has done five and he's done four. Other Rachel is also doing this one. Their respective partners wait out in the studio while the host leads the audience in chanting the Roadblockers' names until they come out from behind the curtain. Brendon and Vanessa are starting at roughly the same time, Vanessa with her bad ankle and all. When the buzzers go off and the tracks speed up, Vanessa falls off almost immediately, yelling, "Son of a bitch!" On the other hand, Brendon bags his first chicken almost immediately and his second one after that, while Vanessa keeps crashing and burning. Brendon misses his third chicken and rides the treadmill all the way into the balloon-pool. Other Rachel begins the run and grabs her first chicken and Brendon takes another run and crashes wildly onto the mat after grabbing his third chicken. "No, no, you must jump! I told you no diving!" the host scolds, so Brendon has to go back. Vanessa, meanwhile, is still doing nothing but falling. Other Rachel falls going after her third chicken and then Brendon finishes and gets the clue in second place. By now Vanessa is either laughing or crying so hard that it's difficult to tell which one, but under the circumstances I don't think that she's laughing. Other Rachel completes the Roadblock and Dave even looks angry when congratulating her. Vanessa, the only racer left on the board, manages to snag one bird and then ends up back on her ass. This time, instead of getting up again, she tips the helmet up and Ralph asks her what she's going to do. "Sorry!" she says. He tells her not to apologize and just to come over to him. Sure, make her use her ankle some more. Vanessa says she has to do it, but Ralph says she can't and that they can take the penalty. But she's refusing to give up, so he lets her take another crack at it if she's up for it. On her way back, she frets that she doesn't know what to do. "I'm telling you what to do!" he says as she limps back to the beginning. "This is ridiculous," she says over a close-up of her swelling ankle. Ralph tells her to stop and she stands there looking upset while he worries that she's going to hurt herself even more. That's a risk, but you never know; maybe the next clue will tell them to make their way somewhere by gurney.

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Amazing Race

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