BRENCHEL’S U-TURN SURPRISE
As the Race continued in Italy, Brendon & Rachel shocked everyone by U-Turning Dave & Connor to guarantee first place. Meanwhile, Flight Time & Big Easy couldn’t catch up to other teams and were eliminated from the Race.
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 7:48am, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel ripped open their clue instructing them to drive a Ford Focus 80 miles to the remote city of Civita di Bagnoregio. After reading the caution about a U-Turn ahead, the Brenchels revealed their intention to U-Turn Jet & Cord in order to force them into using their Express Pass and preventing the cowboys from winning the leg. Leaving nearly 40 minutes later, Country singers Caroline & Jennifer and father and son Dave & Connor continued their friendly alliance right where they left off in the previous leg. After getting directions together at a nearby hotel, the two teams began the drive to Civita di Bagnoregio with Dave & Connor leading and the country singers following. However, on the expressway leading out of Rome, a large truck separated the two teams as they entered a roundabout causing the country singers to miss the correct exit to Viterbo that Dave & Connor took. Caroline & Jennifer, now heading in the wrong direction, questioned whether Dave & Connor intentionally tried to ditch them by pulling in front of the truck. Caroline said, “It is a race, but I didn’t think they would ditch us so soon.” But the separation was an honest mistake by Dave & Connor who slowed down for a few kilometers hoping the country singers would catch up to them. Dave said, “I feel bad about this.” Departing the Pit Stop almost an hour after Brenchel, Cowboys Jet & Cord knew they had to use their Express Pass this leg and after reading that there would be a U-Turn Cord called the Express Pass “a lifeline.” Expecting to see their faces on the U-Turn board, the Cowboys made a plan to use their Express Pass immediately at the Detour to knock out one side hoping they could negate the impact of being U-Turned. Leaving the Pit Stop one minute apart nearly two hours after Brenchel, the last place Afghanimals and Globetrotters felt the pressure right from the start. Adding in a looming U-Turn ahead, Jamal worried, “This is not a good situation.” After getting directions in a nearby hotel, the Globetrotters acknowledged their mediocre placement so far in the Race. Flight Time said, “Maybe we need to start aiming our goals a little higher than just beating one team.” While admitting he would like to win legs, Big Easy noted, “Not losing is more important.”
OFF TO THE RACES
Admiring the stunning views in the mountainous Italian countryside, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel approached what looked like a castle or fortress teetering atop a hill with only a long footbridge leading up to it. This incredible architectural feat was Civita di Bagnoregio. Running halfway up the footbridge, Brendon & Rachel found the next clue, a Detour that gave teams the opportunity to work with donkeys, once a vital means of transport to Civita di Bagnoregio and still the favorite animal of the city. Donkey Run required teams to choose a pair of donkeys and take part in the annual donkey race. If their speedy steed could make it around the course for three laps before the band finished playing they would be rewarded with their next clue. Donkey Build required teams to head into Geppetto’s workshop and properly assemble a wooden donkey using all the parts provided. After loading the donkey with wood, they had to deliver it to Geppetto himself, to get their next clue. After running up the steep incline leading to the entrance of the walled city, Brendon & Rachel searched along the narrow, cobblestone streets for Geppetto’s workshop, but instead they stumbled upon the town square, site of the donkey race, and changed their Detour choice. The newlyweds used a highly scientific method to pick what they hoped would be the fastest donkeys as Brendon said, “We looked for the ones that pooped.” Leading the donkeys into the square, Brenchel heard the band playing and saw the townspeople cheering in anticipation. After the newlyweds timidly sat atop their donkeys, the bandleader signaled for the band to begin playing the song. Immediately after the race began, it appeared that the newlyweds chose wisely as their donkeys bolted off surprisingly fast. However, the fast pace proved to be too much of a good thing, when Rachel fell from her donkey onto the dirt below as it rounded a turn. When Brendon looked back at his wife and then tried to stop her runaway donkey by reaching over with his arm, he joined Rachel on the ground as the amused crowd laughed.
HOLD ON TIGHT
Before making a second attempt around the course, Brendon & Rachel noticed Dave & Connor enter the square having just arrived in second place. The confused father and son asked Brenchel where to find the donkeys and riding gear, but Brendon didn’t offer any reply, telling his wife, “They’re out of their minds if I’m gonna tell them where the hats are.” After Rachel’s vague help at the Spanish Steps in the previous leg along with this incident, Connor said, “We learned they were definitely not out to help us.” While Dave & Connor went off in search of their gear, Brendon & Rachel prepared for a second try at the donkey race. This time Rachel leaned over and wrapped her arms around the donkey’s neck in a hug hoping to hang on once it began a fast trot around the track. While leaning over, Rachel shouted words of encouragement to the donkey as it completed the second lap and appeared poised to make the third lap before the band finished their song. With Brendon on his donkey right behind her, Rachel cheered wildly when her donkey trotted past the finish line after the third lap with the melodic strains from the band blaring as loudly as ever. Jumping off their speedy steeds, the newlyweds ripped open their clue instructing them to make their way on foot to Hosteria del Ponte.
“USE YOUR HEAD”
As Dave & Connor began their first attempt at the donkey race, Brendon & Rachel ran down the steep footbridge headed for the U-Turn board at Hosteria del Ponte. The only question left for the newlyweds was who to U-Turn. They didn’t see the Cowboys anywhere, but knew Dave & Connor were hot on their heels. Brendon said, “I thought we had a way bigger lead on everybody.” Running onto the terrace at Hosteria del Ponte overlooking Civita di Bagnoregio, Brenchel reached the U-Turn board still unsure of their decision. Brendon didn’t hesitate to suggest Dave & Connor so the newlyweds could maintain their slim lead. While Rachel still suggested the Cowboys as an option, Brendon again insisted on Dave & Connor, so the newlyweds put the father and son’s picture on the board before ripping open their clue sending them to La Badia di Orvieto. Running back to the car, Rachel had second thoughts on their decision, but Brendon snapped, “Use your head. You want to get first in this leg.” Brendon added that if Dave & Connor were ahead of them, the father and son would have U-Turned them without hesitation. Just as Dave & Connor successfully finished the donkey race on their fourth attempt, Cowboys Jet & Cord arrived at Civita di Bagnoregio and presented their Express Pass to Geppetto because they planned on riding donkeys if they got U-Turned. Exiting Civita di Bagnoregio, the Cowboys saw Dave & Connor and the two teams ran together to Hosteria del Ponte. After stopping for directions, Dave & Connor had the lead over the Cowboys running onto the terrace and to the board where they saw their picture. Dave gasped, “Those snakes. They U-Turned a 60-year old man.” When Connor told his dad that they now had to U-Turn a team for safety, Jet & Cord sweated for a moment thinking they could be the unlucky target. However, Dave & Connor spared the Cowboys and turned their attention to Leo & Jamal. The Afghanimals got U-Turned for a third time in their Race career, more than any other team. Running back to their car, an incredulous Jet said, “How did we slide by that?”
On their return to Civita di Bagnoregio, Dave & Connor met up with cousins Leo & Jamal who just arrived. Immediately, the father and son filled the Afghanimals in on the situation and even apologized for U-Turning them. As a gesture of good will, Dave & Connor offered to work together with the Afghanimals to build the wooden donkey faster. The Afghanimals accepted the offer holding no ill will towards the father and son for the U-Turn. The two teams entered Geppetto’s workshop, opened their crate of parts, and began construction of the donkeys. Quickly, they assembled the hind and forelegs to the body and set this base onto a wooden cart. However, problems arose when the teams began assembling the head and mane becoming unsure of how the pieces fit together. At this moment, Country singers Caroline & Jennifer walked into Geppetto’s workshop still miffed at Dave & Connor for losing them earlier on the drive. An apologetic Dave insisted that he and Connor didn’t intentionally lose them and invited the Country singers to join with them and the Afghanimals in building the wooden donkey. After getting filled in on the U-Turn drama, the Country singers opened their crate and soon caught up to the other two teams. Eventually, all three teams had what appeared to be a fully completed wooden donkey, but when they showed the judge, no team received approval. When changing the direction of the donkey’s ears didn’t work, Connor suggested fixing something with the wheels of the base. With the other side of the Detour still looming, the Afghanimals began to worry, fearing the last place Globetrotters would soon pass them. Instead of wasting more time, the Afghanimals headed for the donkey race after getting a promise from Dave & Connor that they would share the solution if or when they figured it out.
With the Afghanimals preparing for a donkey run in the square, Dave reread the clue hoping to find information he missed earlier about his toy donkey. The phrase “when the toymaker approves he will load it with firewood” caught Dave’s attention because nothing on the donkey could serve as a container for wood. That sparked Connor to suggest using the crate that held all of the pieces originally. When the crate turned over, it became a saddle over the donkey, perfect for hauling firewood. Once Dave & Connor and Caroline & Jennifer put the crates on their donkeys, the toymaker put in the firewood. After delivering the toy to Geppetto to get the clue (and even helping the Country singers carry their donkey), Dave also held to his promise by telling the Afghanimals (who completed their donkey run) how to finish the task prompting Leo to say, “Dave is an extremely classy man.” Running away from Geppetto, Dave & Connor still fumed about the U-Turn, calling Rachel “that snotty woman” and “scary looking." As the Country singers laughed, Connor shouted, “I hate the Brenchels!”
As Dave & Connor and Caroline & Jennifer drove off, the very lost Globetrotters finally arrived at Civita di Bagnoregio in last place. While the Afghanimals finished their wooden donkey and delivered it to Geppetto in fifth place, Flight Time & Big Easy put a big strain on two donkeys that slowly raced around the course carrying the basketball players. After a second failure completing three laps around the course, the Globetrotters decided to switch tasks and ran into Geppetto’s workshop. Much like the three teams before them, the Globetrotters quickly built the entire wooden donkey but didn’t know the trick of turning their crate into a satchel. The Globetrotters even picked up the crate, turning it over looking for another piece but never considered using the crate itself. Soon, their frustration at the situation morphed into amusement when Flight Time asked the inanimate donkey, “What is wrong with you?” Rather than waste even more time, the Globetrotters switched tasks once again. This time, they chose a pair of truly tenacious donkeys who carried the Globetrotters around the course with lightening speed to finally earn them their clue.
THE WRITE STUFF
Arriving at the chapel inside of La Badia di Orvieto in first place, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel found a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to copy a page from an ancient manuscript just like monks did for centuries. Once they made a perfect match of the ornate writing, they would receive their next clue. Self-styled, calligraphist and artiste Rachel felt confident about her penmanship and decorative skills as she began transcribing text onto her paper. With Brendon whispering words of encouragement (“You, me, and God are unstoppable”), Rachel carefully copied the words from her manuscript as Jet soon arrived at the Roadblock, worried about his subpar penmanship. Walking over to the demonstration, Rachel became excited watching the gold leaf being applied to the page, fully appreciating the art form, before returning to her page to replicate the process. While Jet had to start his page over after writing words so large they went outside the lines, Rachel felt proud of her finished product that she presented to the monk for approval. After a quick perusal, the monk slashed a line through her “masterpiece” declaring words written too thin and others too fat. Stunned, Rachel returned to start over, saying, “It was really good.” Brendon urged his wife to listen to the remarks of the monk and reminder her, “You’re in a house of God.”
Arriving together at La Badia di Orvieto with Caroline & Jennifer, Dave & Connor bickered about who would perform the Roadblock (Dave strong armed Connor into doing it) before turning their attention to Brendon who apologized for U-Turning them. Connor snapped, “You’re not sorry.” When Brendon tried to apologize a second time, Dave just turned away in disgust. When he walked past Rachel, Dave patted her on the back and said, “Thank you.” Seeing Brendon dance with excitement when Rachel got her clue on her second attempt, Dave mimicked him and, after Brenchel departed for the Pit Stop in Orvieto, he commiserated with Jennifer and Cord who still didn’t understand Brenchel’s U-Turn decision. After driving to Orvieto, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel admired the incredible view as they took a funicular to the town center, and then ran to the Pit Stop at the Piazza del Duomo in the shadows of the ornate cathedral. For coming in first place, Brendon & Rachel received $7,500 each eliciting a loud scream of excitement from Rachel. Explaining to Phil why she and Brendon used their U-Turn, Rachel said, “This is The Amazing Race. We’re racing for a million dollars.”
As Jet finished his transcription to give him and Cord a second place finish, Leo (boasting another skill he learned from his mother) began his, and the pressure fell on Connor who didn’t feel he possessed the artistic skill to ever complete the Roadblock. Not having great penmanship to begin with, Connor called calligraphy “a whole new level.” After Caroline got her clue in third place, Connor inspected his work with a skeptical eye and worried it wouldn’t pass the monk’s standard. Reaching a low point, Connor told his father he wouldn’t be able to finish this and wanted to take a penalty. After Leo received his clue from the monk in fourth place, he wanted to help repay Dave & Connor for how helpful they were at the Detour. Not only did Leo & Jamal tell Dave they would wait, Leo walked over to where Connor was applying the final gold leaf to his paper and asked if he needed help. Connor declined the help and nervously presented his work to the monk who accepted it as Connor let out a huge sigh of relief.
END OF THE ROAD
The drive to Orvieto proved complicated for the three teams trying to stay ahead of the last place Globetrotters. Both Caroline & Jennifer and Dave & Connor missed the signs for the funicular and joined forces to find it together. Meanwhile, the Afghanimals made the correct turn and stepped on the mat in third place, quite an achievement after being U-Turned. After Dave & Connor took fourth place and Caroline & Jennifer seconds behind in fifth, the father and son had plenty to say about Brendon & Rachel. Connor warned, “We’re playing hardball from now on. We’re coming for ‘em.” As the sun set over Italy, Flight Time finished his writing Roadblock for the monk and he and Big Easy stepped on the mat at Piazza del Duomo in last place. After Phil delivered the news that they had been eliminated, Big Easy said, “It just wasn’t our day. But we had a good time. I think I had as much fun this time as I did the previous time when we made it farther.” Flight Time added, “31 legs of The Amazing Race. Nothing but great memories.” Although, he warned fans wanting to see him and Big Easy with the Globetrotters, “Don’t bring any donkeys. Don’t bring any DJ tables. No sewing machines, nothing.” Big Easy added, “Just tell me, ‘Good job’. And bring some cookies.”
2408 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: In this Roadblock, one team member had to copy a page from an ancient manuscript just like monks did for centuries. Once they made a perfect match of the ornate writing, they would receive their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Rachel, Jet, Connor, Caroline, Leo, Flight Time
Detour: In this Detour, teams had to choose between Donkey Run and Donkey Build. Donkey Run required teams to choose a pair of donkeys and take part in the annual donkey race. If their speedy steed could make it around the course for three laps before the band finished playing, they would be rewarded with their next clue. Donkey Build required teams to head into Geppetto’s workshop and properly assemble a wooden donkey using all the parts provided. After loading the donkey with wood, they had to deliver it to Geppetto himself to get their next clue.
Donkey Run: Brendon/Rachel, Dave/Connor, Leo/Jamal, Flight Time/Big Easy
Donkey Build: Jet/Cord (Express Pass), Dave & Connor, Leo/Jamal, Caroline/Jennifer
U-Turn: Brendon/Rachel U-Turned Dave/Connor. Dave/Connor U-Turned Leo/Jamal
Order of Finish: 1. Brendon & Rachel 2. Jet & Cord 3. Leo & Jamal 4. Dave & Connor 5. Caroline & Jennifer 6. Flight Time & Big Easy