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The Amazing Race: Season 29, Greece, 5/11/17

May 15th, 2017 · No Comments

by Lyn Jensen

For the final six teams of The Amazing Race Season 29, the time of being polite strangers is past. They know each other now, and for some teams the politeness is starting to wear off. As the remaining teams face another double U-turn in the eighth episode, the alliance they formed earlier disappears.

When teams open their clue envelopes in Venice, Italy, they find themselves routed to a small town in Greece. Teams fly to a ferry port, take a ferry from Italy to Greece, then get in rental cars and drive themselves about 100 miles to Arahova, where a big (fat or thin) Greek wedding is happening.

During the drive three teams emerge as front-runners:  Joey/Tara, Matt/Redmond, and Brooke/Scott. Policeman Joey and army major Tara are the first to find the wedding party. However, they’re not sure how to get the next clue, so they just join the dancing.

The drive takes its toll on three other teams:  London/Logan (Team LoLo), Becca/Floyd (Team Fun), and Liz/Mike. All have driving problems and fall to the back of the pack.

Soon Matt/Redmond and Brooke/Scott arrive at the wedding. The U-turn board and the clues for the detour are well-hidden among the wedding festivities, so Brooke/Scott are the first team to find them. When they do, they U-turn Liz/Mike. Matt/Redmond decline to U-turn anybody. Tara/Joey U-turn Becca/Floyd because they don’t want Liz/Michael to be the only team U-turned. Perhaps LoLo are too tight with the top teams to be candidates for a U-turn.

The detour requires that teams get either a gift for the bride or a gift for the bridegroom. All three front-running teams choose to bring cheese to the bride. For each team, the task is to pack two milk tins on waiting donkeys, then walk the narrow old streets of Arahova and find two different women who have cheese to barter. Each lady takes one tin of milk in exchange for one pack of cheese.

Of the teams still driving, LoLo has minor car trouble–he can’t shift into reverse. They’re stuck. She gets out and pushes, and they get the car moving, but they’re stuck in 4th place the rest of the episode.

Becca is driving and estimates she and Floyd have driven about 40 kilometers skirting around a big bridge. They can see it but can’t get to it. They ask a policeman for directions. Becca says, “This place is almost impossible to navigate perfectly toward.” (That’s probably why it’s part of the course.) She worries about what trouble Liz and Mike may be having.

Liz/Mike took a different fork in the road from some other teams. She’s reading the map, and she takes ten or twelve kilometers to tell him they’re going the wrong way, and to turn around. He doesn’t. They spend a considerable amount of time and distance arguing about which direction is the way to go and whether she can read a map.

The top three teams deliver their milk, get their cheese, and give it to the bride: Joey/Tara are 1st, Matt/Redmond are 2nd, and Brooke/Scott are 3rd. They smash plates–a Greek wedding custom–and find the next clue baked into the plates. It tells them to drive to the site of the 1896 Olympic games in Athens.

LoLo arrive, find they haven’t been U-turned, and bring cheese to the bride. They’re done with the detour and are on their way to Athens before Mike agrees with Liz to turn around.

Joey/Tara are the first team to arrive at the old Olympic stadium in Athens. First they must run a lap around the track. Then they receive a clue for this leg’s roadblock, which will be performed at Greece’s tomb of the unknown soldier.

Matt/Redmond and Brooke/Scott are the next teams to arrive at the stadium. Brooke/Scott start running first but Matt/Redmond overtake them. Redmond’s got an artificial leg, but it’s the kind he can run in.

Despite Liz and Mike having such a big disagreement about driving directions, they’re the 5th team to reach the wedding party. They see Brooke and Scott U-turned them, although all teams know Liz/Mike have to do a speed bump on this leg. They complain bitterly about it, about how Brooke’s always complaining, and about how Mike helped Brooke make a kitchen ladle in Africa, in exchange for a “no U-turns” promise. We saw how long that lasted.

Being U-turned means they have to do both detour challenges. They get a donkey and start delivering milk in exchange for cheese. Becca/Floyd arrive at the U-turn and discover they’ve been U-turned, too, and they start by getting the cheese.

Liz/Mike finish getting the cheese first. Now for the other half of the detour, which no team voluntarily chose to do on this leg. Teams have to bring goats to the groom, but it’s not that simple. They have to run 252 steps up a mountainside to a church, where men are waiting with goats. (This is the second time teams have had to run up stairs to a mountaintop this season.)

Apparently this run is some kind of local sporting event, because teams get race numbers and run with a local who’s wearing traditional Greek dress. Liz and Mike start running the stairs but he’s soon walking and taking rest breaks. At first she admonishes him, but soon she’s complaining she’s winded and her legs feel like jelly. They reach the summit and get a goat. Liz slings it over her shoulders (she’s probably got more gas in her tank than Mike does). They take it down the stairs and to the wedding.

They need to get two goats! Back up the stairs, and Mike slings a goat around his shoulders. Mike/Liz go back down the stairs, give their goats to the wedding party, smash the plate, and get a clue to drive to Athens. As they leave they see Becca and Floyd coming, and both are carrying goats. (Floyd actually made good time going up the stairs, but he complained it made him light-headed.)

In Athens, LoLo is running a lap around the stadium track, and army major Tara is performing the RB at the tomb of the unknown soldier. The guards here, dressed in traditional uniforms including white pleated fustanellas, do an intricate stylized drill. The RB involves performing a portion of it. Once the command instructor approves, he gives them the next clue. Tara mishandles the rifle on her first try, but she passes the second one.

Brooke is the second racer to start the military drill. Matt is 3rd. Interestingly he’s the only male racer who performs this RB. Although Redmond’s a vet, he says Matt has done fewer roadblocks so he needs to do this one. There may be a couple of other reasons. Redmond’s one leg may make handling the drill’s intricate choreography a problem, and Redmond sounds glad that it’s Matt who has to wear the flamboyant Greek dress uniform.

When Tara gets the next clue, she and Joey find it’s for the pit stop–go to the Acropolis, which is within walking distance, and search for Phil and the mat. They do. They win the leg, along with $7500 each.

Brooke is the second person to finish the military drill. Matt’s 3rd. London is 4th. However, Brooke/Scott have trouble finding the pit stop. That enables Matt/Redmond to take 2nd place. Brooke/Scott are 3rd. LoLo is 4th.

Two teams are left on course, and it’s getting dark. Becca/Floyd make it to the stadium just ahead of Liz/Mike, who have to do a speed bump because they were last but not eliminated on the previous leg.

I thought the speed bump might be having to run two laps around the stadium, but it’s about making Greek food (maybe a snack to take to the stadium). They have to make a shish kabob big enough for two people. It involves putting seasoned organ meats on a skewer and wrapping them up with an intricate arrangement of intestines. Mike the butcher really gets into it, but Liz thinks it’s gross.

Becca/Floyd finish running a lap around the stadium and move on to the RB. Becca does the drill even though Floyd’s a marching band member. He tells her, “Channel your inner Floyd.”

Liz/Mike finish their speed bump, run a lap around the stadium, and move on to the RB. They’re both former marching band members but she does the drill.

Becca’s performance is approved by the drill master. She and Floyd take a taxi to the Acropolis, apparently wanting to minimize their chances of not finding the pit stop. She and Floyd hit the mat in 5th place. Phil says they’re still in it.

Liz completes the drill. She and Mike head for the pit stop. They come in last–they’ve avoided elimination three times but not this time. Phil points out they lasted eight legs. The team says they’re like brother and sister now–they even fight like it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: Amazing Race