Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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The Globetrotters look ready to graduate from their dance lessons. "Once we got it, it was Soul Train," Flight Time says. They go through the dance with plenty of extra energy and attitude, and have a whole end-zone celebration once they're done. "Now you have to eat something," says a kindly woman, making it sound like grandmotherly caretaking instead of "here, choke down this gross thing." But yes, the herring is still there. They start eating, dribbling onion bits everywhere, and Flight Time looks horror-struck as he chews.

Brian and Ericka are in a clog-jog, wondering how much farther. If only they had been supplied with some kind of conveyance to take them to the next point.

Maria is still being an American't, pointing out Matt and Gary up ahead, finishing the second hole in seven strokes. "Let's go try to hit the stupid thing," Tiffany agrees wearily, and they head back, backing into the stream again.

Flight Time finishes choking down his herring, but he's not talking about it. They're in third place as he walks along outside the dance hall, faking anger and then suddenly brightening, saying, "Did you see me getting down?" and breaking into a little dance. "We gotta go!" Big Easy reminds him, not slowing down. Yes, be funny at the Pit Stop.

Brian and Ericka keep walking. Back outside the dance hall, Tiffany doesn't even wait for Maria to catch up before taking up the mallet and giving it another attempt. Attempt 31, to be exact. Maria takes her "turn," saying something about physics. Which, she is correct. It's a matter of generating enough kinetic energy with the mallet to translate into the little weight rising all the way to the bell. Most of that energy comes from the hammer's weight, so really all one needs to do is to make sure that full weight comes down as hard and fast as you can make it. Hold the very end of the handle and fully extend your arms to maximize the mallet head's speed through the arc of your swing. Use the weight, swinging it high, letting it fall towards the target, and then giving it all you have just before the moment of impact, so as to save your energy for the next attempt if necessary. Get your legs and your back into it to amplify the downward force. Instead, Maria taps the mallet like she's closing a paint can, causing the weight to rise about six inches. Indeed it is all about physics. "Okay, that doesn't help," she says. Right again!

Brian and Ericka keep clog-jogging. Tiffany makes attempt #40, and at least this time it goes higher, almost to the level of where the diagonal braces meet the center column. Maria continues to waste her turns. The Americas continue to complain about their feet. Tiffany goes for 49, and after Maria does 50, Tiffany says, "Let's just hug it out for a minute." And they hold each other, crying, as the camera circles all the way around them. Arty.

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Amazing Race

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