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The Amazing Race: Season 29, From Milan to Venice, 5/4/17

May 10th, 2017 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

As the latest leg of The Amazing Race season 29 begins, the remaining six teams are divided between two buses that pick them up near the pit stop in Milan and drive them to the next destination, Venice. Becca/Floyd, Matt/Redmond, and Joey/Tara are on the bus that leaves at 4:15 a.m. Liz/Mike, Brooke/Scott, and Team LoLo (London/Logan) are on the bus that leaves at 4:30 a.m.

Although this episode features teams racing through Italy, the opening flashes back to the fifth leg in Norway, where we see Michael telling his teammate Liz how much he misses his daughter Pearl. How this is relevant to this episode will be revealed later.

The buses drop the teams off at a water taxi terminal, and everybody takes water taxis to the historical Plaza San Marcos in Venice. Teams’ clues have instructed them to look for a spazzino with red-and-yellow race colors, but it doesn’t say what a spazzino is. Tara knows the word means, “street sweeper.” Tara/Joey are first to find the man with the broom and the race colors. Some other teams ask locals what it means, and find the guy that way.

The sweeper has clues for a detour. Teams may either “sing” or “bring.”

  • “Sing it,” learn to sing an Italian song and serenade a romantic couple aboard a gondola. Teams who choose this detour wear gondolier costumes, and they’re accompanied by a mandolin player who judges their singing and awards them the next clue.
  • “Bring it,” grab a hand cart full of about twelve suitcases, and deliver the load to a hotel. Teams have to push the large heavy luggage carts through the narrow alleys and over the steps and bridges of Venice.

Matt/Redmond and Joey/Tara go to pick up the suitcases. The male team gets a water taxi. The mixed team walks (runs). Becca/Floyd pick the singing and get a water taxi.

When the three trailing teams reach the Plaza San Marcos, LoLo find the sweeper first, but refuse to tell the other teams they did. The other teams aren’t happy about that. LoLo decides to push the luggage carts, and they can walk to where the carts are. Brook/Scott and Liz/Mike decide to sing, and they catch water taxis.

Matt/Redmond exaggerate the amount of weight they’re pushing through the streets. They say it’s about 30,000 pounds, maybe even 50,000. It’s probably more like 1500 pounds–but it’s heavy. All three teams that are pushing the carts are spilling luggage all over on the streets and having to load their carts back up. (I wouldn’t want them handling my luggage.) For the mixed teams, the men appear to be doing most of the pushing while the women supervise.

The three teams that are singing put on gondolier costumes, rehearse their song with a music coach, get in gondolas, and serenade romantic couples along the canals of Venice. The mandolin players who judge the singing are tough. All three teams are told they have to sing the song again, several times (criticisms include “more together” and “more theater”). It’s like Italian Idol, Amazing Race style!

Matt/Redmond deliver their luggage cart, get their next clue, and immediately whistle down a water taxi. They’re the first team to arrive at the roadblock location,  a big room where a troupe of commedia dell arte actors (and actresses) is performing.

For the RB, one member from each team must do Italian painting: make a copy of one of the troupe’s traditional commedia dell arte masks. At one table a woman is giving a continuous silent demonstration of how to paint them, but watching her doubles the time spent at the RB. I’m not sure how many teams have the patience to watch every step before starting their own work.

The person painting the mask must start with a bright color, then paint a coat of black paint over the color. The black is then wiped off to create a blended, shaded effect. Next comes the gold detail, and finally a shiny layer of shellac or varnish. Using a modern-day blow dryer helps the paint dry faster.

While Redmond’s painting his mask, Joey/Tara deliver their luggage cart, and ask the hotel to call a water taxi for them. Redmond’s one stumble comes when he needs to add the shine, but once he does, he and Matt get their next clue and leave just as Joey/Tara are arriving.

The other four teams are finishing their detours. Becca/Floyd finish singing and LoLo finish hauling luggage. Liz/Mike finish singing, and get a water taxi right away, enabling them to jump to 4th place. Brooke/Scott finish singing, but they’re the last team to finish either detour, and they argue while looking for a water taxi. LoLo get a water taxi that already has passengers but they agree to share.

As teams finish the RB they get the clue to the pit stop. Host Phil Keoghan and the mat are waiting at one of Venice’s many small plazas. Matt/Redmond find the plaza, touch the mat, and Phil tells them they’ve won the leg and a trip to Grenada. He asks if it’s their best leg. In response Redmond detaches his artificial leg and declares it’s the best leg.

Back at the RB, Tara didn’t get the part about having to paint the entire mask black and then wipe it off to expose the color underneath. She just painted the black areas black. She has to start again, making a second mask.

Floyd is 3rd to arrive, still in his gondolier costume, and he selects a woman’s green parrot-like mask, because he thinks it may be one of the simpler ones. Liz is 4th to start the RB and she selects a mask that reminds her of a cow skull she painted back home. When LoLo arrives, London the artist selects a mask to paint. Floyd is the second racer to finish his mask, and he gives Tara some helpful hints before he goes.

Brooke is the last to start the RB and she’s complaining before she even gets a mask to paint. She’s asking various people for help and nobody’s keen to give her any. Liz, however, doesn’t paint and wipe the black correctly, so she has to start a second mask. That gives London and Brooke the opportunity to jump ahead.

Becca/Floyd are the 2nd team to the mat. Tara finishes her mask on her second try, and she and Joey place 3rd. London finishes her mask, but Brooke is right behind her, so LoLo and Brooke/Scott agree to find the pit stop together. The earlier conflict over the sweeper in the plaza appears to be forgotten.

Liz is frantic at being the last person left at the RB but she finishes her mask on her second try. She and Michael run for the pit stop. They have two chances–somebody got lost, or this is a non-elimination leg.

Brooke/Scott and LoLo hop on the mat in an almost-tie. Brooke/Scott are about a half-jump in front of LoLo. Barely have those teams’ feet touched the mat when Liz/Michael reach it, too. Phil tells Liz/Michael that they’re last, “however, this is a non-elimination leg.” They’ll encounter a speed bump on the next leg.

Phil asks Liz how she got through the RB considering she was the last racer. She said she did it for Michael and his daughter Pearl. So now we know why this episode opened with Mike telling Liz about how much he missed his daughter Pearl.






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