Of the six teams remaining, most have tackled each challenge of the race with grace, dignity, and determination. They support their partner and laugh hysterically, and a few have even extended a word of encouragement. Of course, if your name is Brooke, you attack your partner, scream hysterically, and extend a few words of disgust. But that’s neither here nor there.
All bets are off in week seven. The teams feel the physical and emotional toll on their bodies. Playing nice is no longer an option — especially when you have to race around a bunch of canals and bridges in the Floating City. Pack your backpacks, people. We’re going to Venice!
Two buses leave at the crack of dawn. Becca and Floyd, Team Guys, and Joey and Tara are the first to trek four hours to the Piazza San Marco, where they will search for a street sweeper. Thanks to all of her Italian knowledge, Tara finds the clue immediately and drags Joey by the shirt collar into an alcove so no one can see them. She reads the DETOUR:
Sing It: Learn a song in Italian and serenade a couple while riding in a gondola
Bring It: Stack a cart with a ton of luggage and deliver to a hotel
Tara and Joey run off to the luggage destination, while the others finally figure out that the street sweeper guy is the clue. Matt and Redmond choose to Bring It (duh). Becca and Floyd choose to Sing It (equally, duh).
By the time the “party bus” arrives at the plaza, the others have moved on. Team LoLo finds the clue quickly and ducks behind a wall. Brooke, Scott, Liz, and Mike pass the street cleaner multiple times. He all but waves his broom, clearly marked with the official Amazing Race red and yellow marks, in front of their faces. Brooke shouts “LOLO” at the top of her lungs. She’s mad they’ve been ditched. It’s Mike who spots them first. He inquires, as they pass him up to go haul luggage, where the clue is located. LoLo says they don’t know.
“We did a bad thing.”
Yes you did, Logan. But you you are still cute. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
Because they are beasts, Matt and Redmond arrive first at the luggage depot. Although the challenge may sound simple enough, the art of navigating a huge cart of 50-pound suitcases through narrow alleys and steep bridges is harder than it looks. I won’t even mention all the stairs.
Three teams choose the “Bring It” DETOUR and all ride the struggle bus the entire time. Bags are falling. Carts are crashing. Attitudes are barely adjusting. It’s Joey who takes a no-holds-barred approach and just crashes through the obstacle course. All the others choose to laugh through the pain.
Things aren’t much better over on the gondolas. Sure, everyone looks cute in their traditional red-and-white-striped shirts, complete with straw hats, but none seem to have been blessed with the gift of song. At least three are tone deaf. This does not help any of the teams easily breeze through this challenge. Becca and Floyd add some theatrics to their performance. Brooke whines about not being able to execute the mission because “they are singing in my face.” Mike and Liz stumble their way through as well. Note: Mike wearing that shirt was EVERYTHING.
Meanwhile, Matt and Redmond arrive at the hotel first to deliver their bags. Next up? A water taxi to Ca’ Zenobio. Joey and Tara aren’t far behind. Neither are Becca and Floyd, who finally received a standing ovation for their song.
ROAD BLOCK: One team member must choose an actor and recreate a copy of their mask. This challenge is all about precision and attention to detail.
Redmond goes in and knocks it out of the park. I seriously don’t know how he does it. There is painting and scraping and glossing. He nails it and is out before Tara and Floyd slap on their first coat of paint. My favorite part is Floyd’s color commentary of everything he’s doing. “And now, I’m going to rub the paint off. It looks good, right? Next I’ll add some detail. Good.”
Over by the water, London and Logan have a hard time finding a water taxi. So do Brooke and Scott. Liz and Michael waltz right on to one and head to the mask place. London and Logan talk their way onto a family’s boat and hitch a ride across the canal. In the distance, you can hear the shrill shrieking of someone yelling for a taxi. I’m going to let you guess who that is.
Back in the painting studio, Floyd presents his mask to the lady and is rewarded with a “BELLISSIMO.” He freaks out with Becca that he accomplished something on the first try! Tara is right there with him, but for some reason, she dismisses that “attention to detail” part of the instructions and never once watches the lady who is demonstrating in the corner. She has to start over just as London and Liz arrive.
Across town at the Campo San Vio, Phil rewards Matt and Redmond for being No. 1 with a trip to Grenada. Thanks Travelocity! Phil asks Redmond if this was his favorite leg of the trip. Red pulls off his artificial leg and says, “Phil, this is the best leg of the trip.” CLASSIC!
And now, back to our regularly scheduled chaos:
It’s a race against time, and the ladies know it. Brooke finally gets to the challenge location and is irritated that the demonstration lady won’t start over from the beginning to show her how to create her mask. Then she begins asking the other women still in the race, but she’s met with vague answers like, “Just wing it,” or, “Follow the steps.”
London lives in the moment and takes her time, enjoying the fact that she’s in her element, IN ITALY. Tara presents her second mask and is given a hearty “bellissimo.” Tara’s third-place finish fuels the fire for Liz to start losing it. Especially when she has to start over just as Brooke saunters up to the lady and presents her perfect mask. I wasn’t the only one surprised that she pulled it off. Scott was just as shocked!
Liz vows to never paint again. Not even cow skulls. Just forget it. She refrains from crying and finally pulls it together enough to get the go-ahead. She and Mike run for their lives. Luckily, Team LoLo, Scott, and Brooke are a bit lost. Who will get to the PIT STOP first? Or should I say last?
1. Matt and Redmond: Finally, a first-place finish.
2. Becca and Floyd: The fun meter is still ticking. And they are also still in their gondola shirts.
3. Joey and Tara: They had a few hiccups this leg, but are safely in third.
4./5. Scott/Brooke and Logan/London: All four jumped on Phil’s mat at the exact same time. I have no clue how they are going to determine who was fourth and who was fifth. Which brings us to…
6. Liz and Mike: Liz did it all for Mike’s daughter Pearl. Everyone cries when they hear this. The tears REALLY flow when Phil announces that this is NOT an elimination leg.
Liz and Mike have been saved from elimination twice. Will their luck end? Are Joey and Tara the team to beat? Could Brooke and Scott be the dark horses? And do you think I should purchase a gondola shirt to match my Amazing Race fanny pack? I do.