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The Amazing Race: Vienna, 11/3/13

November 8th, 2013 · No Comments

This season’s field is down to seven teams, and there hasn’t been a non-elimination round yet.  As this leg begins in Gdansk, Poland, the remaining teams get clues to travel by train to Vienna, Austria.  There is some separation of trains, but eventually all teams arrive in Vienna at the same time.

Everyone takes taxis to the city opera house, where an actor dressed as the opera character Rigoletto leads them through the theater and into the costume shop.  There he hands everyone clues for a detour.  The choices are:  (1) assemble a chandelier or (2) attend a masquerade ball.  Everyone chooses the masquerade.

However, there’s a Fast Forward tucked into this clue envelope.  Nicole/Travis and Jason/Amy both jump in their taxis and head for the destination, a tower where a team must do a bungee jump.  Halfway to the site, Travis/Nicole change their minds and go back to the masquerade.  Jason/Amy continue to the top of the tower, only to be told the weather’s too windy for safe bungee jumping.   They debate whether to wait and see if the wind dies down, or go back to the detour.  They wait a while but finally go back and join the masquerade.

At the masquerade everyone puts on masks, and then must find a ballroom dancer wearing a matching mask.  When both team members have found persons whose masks exactly match theirs, they can get the next clue, which turns out to be for a roadblock.

When teams arrive at the RB destination, they’re subjected to being judged in a singing competition.  One team member must learn “Die Forelle,” a Franz Schubert song–in the original German.  After rehearsing with a vocal coach, the singer performs the song, accompanied by the world-famous Vienna Boys Choir.  The choir director acts as judge.  If he finds the performance adequate, he hands over a golden ticket–actually, a golden clue envelope.  The challenge does resemble American Idol audition rejects night.

If a team lacks a member who can sing, the consequences of this challenge can be severe.  Four racers complete the performance after only two attempts:  Travis, Nicole “Nicky” De Jesus, Jamal of the Afghanimals, and Marie’s Tim.  Travis and his wife note he plays music and sings anyway.  After his first attempt, he takes his voice down an octave, and nails the second attempt.  He and his wife Nicole are the first team to complete the RB and get a taxi to their next destination.

Nicky De Jesus says the German lyrics aren’t a major problem for her because her father spoke German.  However, as her teammate Kim jokes, her singing is more like Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend’s Wedding.  She finishes up right behind Travis, however.

Exiting the choir hall, Nicky/Kim see that the cabbie who’s waiting for Jason/Amy has taken their backpacks out of his cab and set them on the ground.  They wonder if that’s a sign to jump in his cab but they take another one anyway.

Jamal is third to finish the RB, even though his voice doesn’t sound much like singing.  He and Leo leave just ahead of Marie/Tim.  Marie says to Tim, “Let’s go steal somebody’s cab.”  When they see the cab with another team’s backpacks beside it, they jump in.  Marie tells Tim that if anybody asks, just say the Afghanimals took it.

Suddenly the cabbie starts saying he’s got the wrong team in his cab.  (Then why did he put the other couple’s luggage on the ground?)  Marie convinces him he doesn’t.

Back at the singing competition, Amy amazingly completes the RB after only one try.  That leaves Los Angeles Kings girls Ally/Ashley and Oklahomans Tim/Danny trying to stay out of last place.

When teams finish the RB their taxis take them to a palace where the next clue box is hidden behind a garden maze.  That clue directs teams to this leg’s pit stop on another part of the grounds.  Nicole/Travis find the pit stop first.  They win a resort trip.  Just behind them come Nicky/Kim.

When Jason/Amy get to the palace, they recognize their cab in the parking area, and they also recognize whose baggage is in it.  So Marie’s scheme to blame Jamal/Leo isn’t going to wash.  Marie/Tim reach the pit stop third, but Jason/Amy sneak in right behind.   The couples have an argument which ends when Jason says, “We went all the way to a Fast Forward and back.  We’re still here.  We’re gonna kick their ass–we know we’re a better team.”

Ally and Oklahoma Tim both finish the singing competition after five attempts, but Ally/Ashley are first of the two trailing teams to complete the RB and reach the mat in sixth place.  The Oklahomans, about the only dark-horse underdogs left, arrive at the mat last and get the news they’re eliminated.  Who’s left at this point is either super-competitive or a welterweight.  Only six teams are left and this season has yet to feature a non-elimination round.

Tags: Amazing Race