Amazing Race

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M. Giant: A- | Grade It Now!
Solving for Pie

Tammy and Victor are still in the lead when they arrive and open the clue box to reveal a Detour. Phil says it's "two tasks in which success depends on precision." Uh, okay. "Balancing Dolly" requires each member to get on a Segway and ride it over a two-mile obstacle course. Since the "obstacles" consist of things like speed bumps and maybe a wide seesaw or two, it doesn't look too challenging. "Teams who are able to master the controls quickly may find themselves scooting ahead." In "Austrian Folly," teams have to go into a party tent and throw pies at a target. "What they don't know," Phil says, "is that the target is their partner's face." They'll take turns pieing each other until one with cherry filling comes up, whereupon they'll collect the next clue from the bandleader. Who, by the way, doesn't look too occupied with actually leading the band. And it's not really clear how precision comes into it. "Teams that don't move quick enough could find themselves getting creamed," Phil warns. The show should also hire writers to draft the task descriptions, I'm thinking.

Victor and Tammy opt for Austrian Folly. The party tent is pretty easy to find, with a Bavarian brass band playing and people in traditional clothing sitting at long tables swaying side to side while waving beer steins around. And inside they spot the big sign reading, in Germanic lettering, "Achtung Baby! your target is your partner's face [sic]." They look at the racks of pies stretching almost to the horizon, and Tammy, rather than waiting for Victor to get ready, gets right into it. After about five pies, they've already found one with cherry filling, and they get their next clue. This sends them on a walk to find a couple of life-sized woodcutter figures who are carved out of wood. It's a little macabre, if you think about it. They man a two-handled saw that cuts thin slices off a narrow log for the tourists. Once the teams have their disk of wood in hand, they bring it to a guy who will stamp it with their next clue. Victor and Tammy are in a great mood as they head out and ask for directions. They quickly find the woodcutters, drop a coin in the slot, wait impatiently for the clockwork saw to do its work, and get their wooden disk. And the guy stamps it with a clue that reads, "Pit Stop -- Schloss Hellbrunn." This is in Salzburg, Austria. Phil explains, "Schloss, which means "castle" in German, is an appropriate name for this impressive estate, and the Pit Stop for this leg of the race." Indeed, that schloss isn't very medieval-looking, with a collection of large, creamy yellow buildings, but there should be plenty of room for everyone to sleep during their mandatory rest period. And the last team to check in may be eliminated. Only "may?" I'm not sure I can stand the suspense.

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Amazing Race




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