People, let me tell you ‘bout some best friends/ They’re two teams who want to break each other kneecaps, and will probably make it to the end/The Dentists and the Cyclists are (not) beeeeest friends.
That is a melodic stretch—I’m no Adam or Kym, improving Top 40 hits with the goat milk-churners of Morocco (I’m more Mr. Wrestler, imitating opera singers). But the lyrics hold up! As hard as they tried this episode, Team Teeth and Team Bike just can’t be best friends because they’re too busy battling it out for 1st and 2nd place ever week. Of course, Adam and Bethany dip their sun-kissed feet in the ring occasionally too, and if I know anything about inspirational sports movies, those sneaky nice guys are going to take it all. Actually, if this was an underdog narrative, I guess the ultimate winners would be Mr. and Mrs. Wrestler, who seem to have their own mini-comeback every episode. Like TNT, (and T&T), they know drama.
No, the Cyclists and the Dentists aren’t actually best friends, but they spent about the first quarter of tonight’s leg trying to be because, as the two teams in first, they deemed it easier to just travel together toward the first Road Block. In fact, tonight saw quite a bit of “task-specific cooperation” as it was aptly titled in the comments last week, and most of it successful. The teamwork between the Wrestlers and the Scientist might have just kept both teams in the race—wait, what’s that? It was a non-elimination leg, so it wouldn’t have mattered, anyway—Everyone is a winner!
Let me tell you something about my thoughts on non-elimination legs: they are directly correlated to how much I like the team that placed last, and as I still find T&T’s back-and-forth totally endearing, tonight the N-E-L worked out just fine. But those two are going to have to shape up or ship out if they want any chance of breaking into what is almost a cemented Final 3.
Tonight, those top three teams – the Dentists, Cyclists, and Surfers – set out in that order to book flights from Marrakesh to Palermo, Sicily.
At the start of the second half of the race, the teams take the time to reflect on how this journey has affected their relationships, and it’s positive vibes all around. Jim and Misti are having the most fun they’ve ever had in their nine year marriage, Adam and Bethany consider this to be a sort of newlywed bootcamp (slings for wrist sprains from horizontal painting sold separately), and Tim and Te Jay say they would “bicker more than this” if they were at home on their couch, so TAR is great for them. I’ll let the Wrestlers explain their growth to you for themselves:
Mr. Wrestler: While we’re in the race, our mind is on the race and we’re not really thinking about our Twitter or Facebook or Instagram…or eyebrow threading, or tanning or the gym
Mrs. Wrestler: I do miss having a gym.
Mr. Wrestler: [Longingly] I haven’t thought about tweeting today, or working out either. [More longingly] I wish we could work out.
Mrs. Wrestler: [With the deepest sympathies] Me too.
Mr. Wrestler: I’ve lost a half of an ab.
It’s gone to a good cause, my friend, to a good cause. At the travel agency, the Dentists and Cyclists get the first two flights at 8 p.m. the next night, while everyone else will take off 40 minutes behind them. When they get to Sicily—“Finally somewhere I haven’t been,” says Kym; “What?!” say I— where even the airports are scenic, the teams head to Teatro Di Verdura for their next clue.
NEXT: A rrrrrrace around the world (in go-carts)…