Amazing Race
It's Not Over Until The Phil Sings

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Miss Alli: B- | Grade It Now!
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I Wonder As I Wanda

Back at the Moscow airport, it's 5:00 in the morning, and everyone is lining up for tickets on the 7:00 AM flight, which they all manage to get. One of the many morph-dissolve effects in this episode carries us back to Mercedes, where the Choad Family and the dental Hay-ll-yeah-genists are getting ready for their test drives. "Good morning, I'll be your driver today," says a guy sent from the German subsidiary of central casting to play Stern German Guy #1. All the teams pile in cars with their drivers. It's all pretty much what you would expect, all this driving around. Fast driving, high speeds, people trying to look scared, none looking as terrified as Emily did during the extraordinary post-Tunisgate Roadblock, Tyler and BJ being all, "T-Tow!" It's clear that they envision being mobbed by fans yelling, "T-Tow!" There are actually two "T-Tow"s in this sequence, like, ten seconds apart. Q-Quit it, J-Jerks.

When the test drive is over, the teams get out of the cars and get a new clue. They're actually keeping these cars, driving toward Bad Tolz. Then, they'll find…a field. That's not a good sign. Fields so often mean haystacks, you know? Eric and Jeremy make their way onto the Autobahn. All three lead teams seem to find Bad Tolz on the map and get underway without much fooferaw.

The third train gets into Stuttgart at 11:15 AM. This is the one now carrying the remaining six teams: Ray and Yolanda, Fran and Barry, Dani and Danielle, Wanda and Desiree, MoJo, and Dave and Lori. They all get on their way to the Mercedes factory. Last out of the train station? Fran and Barry, dragging as usual. At least we are spared the shot I was expecting of Barry saying, "Fran and Barry! Moving slowly right now! Barry stopped in the bathroom for just a minute! Barry is sorry!"

At Mercedes, Dave and Lori and Ray and Yolanda are the first two teams to get going. The rest of the teams follow. Desiree picks at Wanda a little bit in the car about her attempts to say "fast" in German. When Dave and Lori and Ray and Yolanda are finished, they collect the clue for Bad Tolz. Dave and Lori pull over and try to grab some directions from locals. Ray and Yolanda do the same.

Various teams fail to freak out while being driven around very fast. Hilariously, the sequence ends with Barry, entirely placid, saying with a blank smile, "That was wild." It's like he just finished trying out a new set of Monopoly dice that glow in the dark. As Wanda and Desiree finish and start asking for directions, the tension increases a little. Wanda does, in fairness to Desiree, pronounce "Bad Tolz" as if it's Spanish, not really in the sense of just having an accent, but in the sense of specifically using what would be a very authentic pronunciation of Spanish, if you know what I mean. Desiree is irritated by this, and asks her if she has to "say everything Spanglish." She goes on: "I really need to know, Mom, why you speak in an accent." Her mom says she doesn't know, and Desiree says, "But it's making it harder for people to understand you." I think I know what she's trying to ask, which is why her mother pronounces German with more of a Spanish accent than she has when she speaks English, if that makes sense, but it comes off really badly. Acting embarrassed by your mother's accent, even if you don't intend it to sound like you're being horrible, kind of makes it sound like you are.

Danielle and Dani decide to follow Wanda and Desiree. Boy, that could be fateful, huh? Fran and Barry and Joseph and Monica are right behind them. Fran and Barry get on the Autobahn. Ray and Yolanda thank the guy who gave them their directions, and they get on the Autobahn as well. Dave and Lori complete this group of direction-getters. After Dave and Lori get their directions, MoJo pulls up and asks if they know anything. Knowing they're close to the back of the pack, I think, Dave and Lori bail out of the alliance by saying they don't know and will be going to a gas station. Then, Dave and Lori go to hell, where it turns out there are no other nerds; only cheerleaders, so now they are in hell and also lonely. Fortunately, MoJo finds the way out of town for themselves. It would be nice if you could keep your alliances going, but you really can't. As for Dave and Lori, they talk to themselves in the car about the "white lie" or "half lie" they told, explaining that after Moscow, they decided they'd just work independently. As I've frequently said, I don't have any patience for "integrity requires you to tell me everything you know in this competition in which our interests are directly in opposition" as a race philosophy, but I will grudgingly admit that the ethics feel slightly stickier with a team you've been working with under what seems to be an understanding, and whom you haven't informed that the understanding is off.

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Amazing Race

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