The Amazing Race recap: Got Milk?
Teams do some math, carry some milk jugs with the help of adorable dogs, and gondola their way to the type of Mount Titlis -- ain't no mountain high enough for these Amazing Racers!
Last week’s big drama came from Brendon and Rachel U-Turning Dave and Connor, which led to a very unhappy Dave and Connor, and Brenchel winning first place. Although Dave, Connor, Caroline, Jennifer, Leo, and Jamal spent most of that episode talking about how messed up that Brenchel move was, they apparently didn’t talk about it enough then, because it was still a topic of conversation on this week’s episode. Ugh.
Brendon and Rachel start off the ninth leg at Piazza del Duomo, where they’re told they have to catch in a train in Rome and travel nearly 400 miles over the Swiss Alps to Chiasso, Switzerland. Once there, they have to find Wilhelm Tell to get the next clue.
Brenchel is pumped: They get to the train first and don’t see any of the other teams on the platform, so they’re all like, “PERFECT.” Once they board, they’re still beaming about being the only ones on the train — that is until Dave, Connor, Caroline, Jennifer, Leo, and Jamal (who from now on will be referred to as the Accidental Alliance) bust into their car. Surprise!
This would all make me very happy if the Accidental Alliance would stop whining about last week’s U-Turn. If the U-Turn was never brought up again, I would go, “Ha! Take THAT Brenchel!” But they do keep talking about the U-Turn — and can someone please shut them up? Dave, Connor: You’re still in the game! Nobody likes Brendon and Rachel anyway! (Apologies to those on Team Brenchel.)
The Accidental Alliance is one big happy family at this point, and Brendon and Rachel are like the estranged siblings. “Who needs friends?” Rachel says. If I weren’t so annoyed by her I would find this question very sad. Friends are great, Rachel; don’t try to pretend you don’t want them.
Once they all get to Chiasso, their task is to find Wilhem Tell for the next clue. En route to Tell, they find themselves in the middle of a parade of sorts, including kids carrying around what look like buckets for Halloween candy. There is no explanation for this at any point in the episode, so I’m wondering if this is just a normal Switzerland thing that happens?
The Accidental Alliance arrives at the sculpture of Wilhem Tell first, but finds out they have to wait until sunrise for a Wilhelm Tell impersonator to give them their clue. This is when they coin the name “Accidental Alliance,” which I am very thankful for — writing all six of their names each time I talked about them was going to get tiresome.
Brenchel arrive to a not-so-welcoming welcoming party. Brenchel are super annoying, but this whole Everyone Vs. Them thing is starting to feel too high school and making me like everyone else less. At this point, I want Jet and Cord to win — and Jet and Cord barely even do anything exciting.
“I don’t think Brendon and I are going to win Amazing Race Final Five Favorites,” Rachel speculates. At least she’s self-aware?
NEXT: Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share…
At sunrise, Wilhelm Tell at last arrives, giving everyone (including Jet and Cord, who finally get to the monument after starting off a bit lost) their next assignment: Drive to Lucerne and find the clue on the oldest wooden bridge in Europe.
Leo and Jamal babble on about how they don’t need directions because they have directions in their brain. They are so weird but I can’t help but like them because they are always (usually) so helpful. And, OK, they do end up getting to the bridge first, so maybe they’re onto something about directions in their heads.
While the Accidental Alliance forms a caravan, Rachel proposes to Brendon that they pull off the road to make the others think they’re lost. It works! Kind of. Leo and Jamal laugh a lot after they see Brenchel go a different way, but it turns out Brendon and Rachel really don’t know where they’re going — they end up at Spreuer Bridge when they’re supposed to be at Chapel Bridge. Oops.
Meanwhile, everyone else is at Chapel Bridge and find out they have to head to Schweizerhof Hotel, where they’ll have to clean out “a room that’s been trashed by a hard-partying rock band.” Eaaaaasy.
Brendon and Rachel are in last place as the rest arrive at the hotel and get dressed up all snazzy-like to clean the rooms — bowties and vests for the men, aprons for the ladies. Once they enter their individual rooms, they find out that the rock stars were indeed hard partiers: Pizza, nuts, and empty beer cans cover the floor. Those crazy rock stars and their peanuts!
But they don’t just have to clean the rooms. They have to make sure their cleaned room exactly matches a model room that they can look at for comparison at any time. It’s like a giant game of “what’s different about this picture?” and it is stressing me out just thinking about having to do it. Like, they have to make sure the toilet paper is folded just right. The toilet paper.
Each time a team thinks they’re done, they call in Helga to come check it out — and Helga is tough. I didn’t count how many times she rejected everyone because there were a lot, and all that matters is that everyone — save Brendon and Rachel — got rejected multiple times before finally achieving perfection by Helga’s standards.
Jet and Cord are the first to get the OK, and they’re off to the Swiss Museum of Transport for the next clue.
NEXT: TV can be educational after all
At the Swiss Museum of Transport, teams have to find the artifact outside the museum and identify what it is. This artifact is a giant circular thing that is apparently a drill bit used to create a tunnel, and Jet knows this because he saw it “on TV before.” See, TV-hating parents, television does teach you things! (Really though, now I know what a giant tunnel-making drill bit looks like. Thanks, Amazing Race.)
Brendon and Rachel are still at the hotel, cleaning away, while the rest of the teams arrive at the museum and work together to identify the artifact. Leo and Jamal guess that it’s a calculator (I would make fun of them, but again, I didn’t know what this was either, so they get a free pass this time) before Dave steps in. Turns out Dave’s father was a mining engineer, so he knows exactly what it is and passes the answer on to the Afganimals, who then pass the answer on to Caroline and Jennifer. Aww, Accidental Alliance, workin’ together. And they finally stopped talking about the U-Turn so I can like them again!
Brenchel don’t have as much luck — by the time they get to the museum, everyone’s moved on, and it’s not like anyone would have given them the answer anyway. They make a bunch of guesses before asking some passersby, who tell them what it is. Damn you, friendly passersby!
Next up: Each team gets a Mustang and an equation that, once solved, will tell them the year of their particular Mustang. Example equation: “Payerne ___ km – Chur ___ km = year.” And how do they find the kilometers? In front of them is a massive wall covered in road signs with the distance in kilometers to tons of cities. But there are a lot of road signs making for a bit of a mess, and making it even harder to find a specific place.
Jet and Cord, again, finish first and find their next clue in their Mustang: Drive to Oberrickenbach and receive the next assignment at the milk tanker. Dave and Connor finish next, then Leo and Jamal. But Leo and Jamal, being the gentlemen they are (and being the competitive racers they are) stick around to help Caroline and Jennifer complete their own equation. As lame as Brendon and Rachel may be, they are pretty good — better than Caroline and Jennifer — so opportunity to put them behind in the race is an opportunity worth taking.
Eventually, everyone figures out their Mustangs’ model years and move on to the milk challenge which involves…DOGS. Much better than last week’s donkeys, right?
One member of each team must pick out a Bernese Mountain Dog to help them carry two empty milk jugs to a gondola. The team members then ride the gondola to a dairy farm, where they trade in their two empty jugs for two full ones, ride the gondola back, and with the help of the dog, return the full jugs to the milk truck. What this means: a ton of heavy lifting.
NEXT: Leo and Jamal apparently have magic carpets
Caroline has a rough start and slips on a patch of ice as she’s running, falling right on her butt and making me laugh/feel extreme pity. Falling on ice hurts, guys. But she gets back up and carries on. She’s not the only one struggling — once Connor retrieves the full milk jugs, he finds that they are extremely heavy and his arms don’t have quite the strength needed to carry both at once. Plus, there’s a ton of snow on the ground, so this challenge just all around sucks. Except for the dogs. Dogs are always great.
Jet and Cord AGAIN finish first and head to Mount Titlis, the final stop on the ninth leg. But they don’t just have to go to Mount Titlis — they have to go to the top of Mount Titlis, a mountain with an elevation of over 10,000 feet.
Dave and Connor are right on Jet and Cord’s tails and it becomes a neck and neck fight to the finish. The father-son duo take one gondola only to discover that it doesn’t take them to the top and there’s yet another gondola to take — they’re feeling pretty anxious at this point, especially once they spot Jet and Cord on the same platform waiting for Gondola No. 2. The four board the gondola together and then, surprise, Leo and Jamal get on too, and yell a lot about how they flew in on their magic carpets. What?
Despite Dave and Connor being convinced they wouldn’t win in a foot race, they do win. And despite Caroline and Jennifer falling behind in the milk challenge, they do get to stay in the race because it’s a non-elimination round! Jet and Cord join Dave and Connor on the mat in second place, immediately followed by Leo and Jamal. The six talk some trash about Brenchel, who, when taking their turn on the mat, say some stuff about how they’re going to win and who needs friends, blah, blah, blah.
So, without further ado, first place plus the honor of being some of the first to own 2015 Mustangs goes to:
Dave and Connor!
2nd: Jet and Cord
3rd: Leo and Jamal
4th: Brendon and Rachel
5th: Caroline and Jennifer
What’d you think of this week’s leg? Are you happy it was a non-elimination round or were you ready to see another team go home? Where do you stand on the Brenchel vs. Accidental Alliance front?