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Date Posted: 07:50:49 05/05/02 Sun
Author: Cari
Subject: The Amazing Race

We start this week's adventures in Australia. All the contestants leave once again in a staggered order based on their time of arrival on the previous leg. This is a reward for fighting so hard for postion, a reward which is usually meaningless. They all jump into awaiting gased-up SUV's (notice a continuing theme from previous episodes here) and rush off to meet a road train.

The road train is a semi-tractor pulling several trailers (all empty I suspect) including a car-loader they can drive their SUV's (theme music please) onto. All the contestants are hussling their buns trying to get a few minutes on a competitor, so they all help load the car ramps onto the trailor. Well, not chachacha, but they're playing their own game, so that explains that; or maybe Oswald looked at the grease and thought EWWWWW, that's not the hand creme I get at Gucci's.

After a little naptime in the trailors, the teams take off in their SUV's (theme music please) again. On the way to the airport, they all stop at a gas station convenience store mostly because they need to potty, get snacks and they're lost; but they fake it and pretend it's a smart move made to call in advance reservations.

Chris and Alex soon find out that reguardless of how fast they reach the airport, the planes are conveniently scheduled to let all the racers make up what they'd lost in the staggered start (big surprise!). They impart this joyous information to the other arriving teams who receive it with some dubiousness. Now would Alex and Chris ever mislead a fellow racer? Bostonians would be appalled by such an action!

Blake and Paige, ever the swift pair, aren't falling for the advance reservation or delayed flight deal and charge forth into the outback seeking what amounts to a barn-stormer's hangout miss-naming itself as an airport. Wil, ever the worrier decides he and Tara better stick close to Blake and Paige, afterall everyone knows what effective racers they've been up to this point. But, how could Wil think Alex would ever mis-lead a fellow Tara worshiper.

Halfway to the airport, Wil decides Blake and Paige are full of crap and have misread the map again, so he turns back to the gas station to get further directions. At the gas station he finds out Paige was on the right path. Tara is steamed, and Wil wants to quit again because she is being mean to him and calling him names - like idiot and everybody knows he's an imbecile, not an idiot!

While Chris is lounging at the gas station with a Snicker's Bar, Alex puts the moves on Tara by reminding her that Wil's a nutcase or soon will be. Meanwhile, chachacha is wandering around the outback looking for the local Sak's outlet and Blake and Paige are confering on race stategies. After discarding the idea of putting bubble gum on the shoes of all their opponents, Blake and Paige decide to sneak their luggage on board the plane instead of checking it. The other racers aren't as mad about missing the luggage trick as they are embarrassed it was Blake, of all the contestants, who came up with it.

In order to avoid looking foolish by finishing after a kid who can't even find north on a map; Chris, Alex, Tara and Wil have a bong party in the aisle of the plane thus preventing Blake and Paige and of course inadvertantly Danny and Oswald from leaving the plane until all can grab there luggage. All leave the plane and rush for their SUV's (theme music please).

Blake and Paige, having finally determined that map reading is a major component of an around the world race, wisely go for the fast forward. Afterall, this will guarantee them a place in the final three, won't it? (4-1=3 except when it doesn't)

Meanwhile the other racers, maps in hand, take off to find the next clue. This time they get to choose between a 2 day hike down a sheer cliffside or a 400 and something foot partner bungie jump. There's nothing like having two viable choices in a race based on time! Wil and Tara take the plunge 1st. As he reaches the bottom, Wil who is terrified of heights, gasps with what seems to be his last breath, "Does this mean we can get back together Tara?" to which she sympathetically responds, "Get real, will you!"

Next come the Boston boys who think the only thing wrong with the ride is that they did it sober! Last, a shrill shriek is heard as chachacha plunges toward the bottom. Danny is rubbing the bruises on his arms where Oswald was clutching him and Oswald smiling says, "I screamed like a woman all the way down! Do we have time to do that again!" You just gotta love these guys, what an attitude!

Blake and Paige have to find a river run, where they ride a wide-body racing boat skimming along a shallow river looking for the Fast Forward Marker. Paige says it is the best thing she ever did, I wonder what she would have thought of the bungee jump? After they wisely divide up the sides of the river for observation purposes, Paige watches Blake's side; but all is well because the marker is on Blake's side and with four eyes looking, they actually find it. Now all they have to do is follow a map to the check-in point. I was really worried for them, but they stunned me and actually found the right place. It makes me wonder if that SUV (theme music) was equipped with a satelite location finder.

After leaving the bungee jump, Wil is still trembling so much, he can't find 2nd gear. Tara jumps behind the wheel and gets the vehicle headed in the right direction and the right gear. Wil begs to drive because everyone knows a man is supposed to do the driving, but Tara tells him to save the macho crap for the next challenge. The next challenge turns out to be herding sheep. Wil is thrilled because he knows a lot about sheep, he's been counting them while Tara slept for years now. He's supposed to separate out 3 black sheep and herd them into a small separate pen. So he herds all the sheep into the small pen and then terrorizes the white ones with threats of sending Tara after them and they retreat trembling to the larger area.

The Boston boys and chachacha find themselves lost on the way to the sheep ranch and determine they'll never have Blake do the map copying again! When the Boston Boys arrive, Alex threatens the sheep with a romantic interlude if they don't get their tails in the small pen immediately. Fearing they'll be following where Tara may have been, they march right in and shut the gate all by themselves.

When chachacha arrives, Oswald asks the little sheepie honies if they want a free trip to Berdorff-Goodman and they all march into the little pen. The problem is getting the white sheep ladies to vacate, but finally a few compliments on their attire does the trick.

Oswald and Danny are last and all prepared to be crest-fallen before they gleefully exit for a shopping spree, but this wasn't an elimination round (Sorry Blake and Paige, you blew it!).

Next week all our happy racers return for another joyful jaunt about the coutryside.

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