Amazing Race

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Norway

On the way to the Fast Forward, it has belatedly occurred to Team @ that they might be doing an eating challenge, which could be problematic because Kat's a vegetarian. "I haven't eaten meat in 22 years," she says in a pre-race interview. We see the sheep's head being placed on the table as a reminder of what's at stake. Don't worry, Kat; that looks disgusting even if you're not a vegetarian.

Jill and Thomas's gondola car going up passes those of the three teams that are ahead of them, lighting a bit of a fire under the lead teams' asses. Do the other teams know that the Express Pass is no longer a factor, even to the minimal extent that it ever was? Jill and Thomas get their clue as the other three teams get into their cars back on ground level.

Nat and Kat arrive at the "restaurant," blathering about how they hope they'll get little outfits to put on, but it looks like the stone-faced bouncer in the Erik the Viking getup has beaten them to it. They enter the dreary place, which looks more like the mess hall at a logging camp, singing out "Merry Christmas" to everyone. Of course I'm pretty sure this was filmed in June, and the Christmas atmosphere is about as merry as the kind you see on sitcoms. Nobody's smiling, and a woman's playing a mournful tune on a Scandinavian instrument that has a bow, strings, and keys called the nyckelharpa (although it might be a happy tune; the nyckelharpa is such a mournful instrument to begin with it throws off the baseline). Nat describes it as "romantic," which means whoever she's dating has a pretty low bar to shoot for. But there are also glasses of water on the table, which they know is a bad sign.

They sit down, and their scowling host serves them their sheep's head on a platter without saying a word. Obviously Kat's pretty horrified as they split up the head and start dismantling it. Even Nat's cooking strategy of picking it apart so it's not identifiable is going to have limited success, because the meat itself looks incredibly greasy and nasty. There's still an eyeball in there, for God's sake. "You know what?" Kat says gamely as she pops her first morsel into her mouth, "tastes like money." Gagging and horror-film music leads us into the ads. Doesn't sound like money.

Kat's still struggling as we rejoin them after the break, and Kat interviews, "It was very difficult to get the food actually down." Yeah, I'm no vegetarian and this still grosses me out. I don't even like the head on my beer.

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Amazing Race

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