Accidental Alliance: DAVE & CONNOR WIN IN SWITZERLAND
As teams raced in Switzerland, Brendon & Rachel felt the chill from other teams who officially formed an alliance against them. Dave & Connor won the leg while Caroline & Jennifer came in last.
A JOYOUS MOMENT
Departing in first place at 6:13am, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel ripped open their clue instructing them to catch a train in Rome and travel nearly 400 miles over the Swiss Alps to Chiasso, Switzerland. Once there, they had to drive a Ford Focus to Tellgasse in Altdorf and wait for the town’s most famous fictional resident, Wilhelm Tell, to deliver their next clue. After U-Turning Dave & Connor in the previous leg, Brendon & Rachel hoped to keep enough of a lead over the father and son duo and the other three teams to take the first train from Rome to Chiasso alone. Sitting on the train feeling excited as the departure time neared with no teams in sight, Brenchel suddenly saw the doors of the car open to reveal cousins Leo & Jamal, Country singers Caroline & Jennifer, and father and son Dave & Connor boarding. Cowboys Jet & Cord were the only team who didn’t make the train after getting lost on the way to the station. The three teams didn’t hide their glee at catching up to the newlyweds as Dave said, “It was a joyous moment.” Feeling the chill from the teams after the U-Turn, Rachel said, “If the other teams want to all work together and be best friends, then let them.”
THE ACCIDENTAL ALLIANCE
Settling into their seats inside a different train car from the Brenchels, the Afghanimals, Country singers, and Dave & Connor couldn’t stop talking about the newlyweds. Dave mockingly imitated Rachel in a crying voice, “None of the teams even stopped to talk to me.” Jennifer and Connor each added their imitations from Rachel’s infamous crying meltdowns in Italy the previous time she ran the race, eliciting laughs from the three teams. Caroline brought the obvious issue to the forefront by asking, “I guess our goal is to get the Brenchels out?” The three teams heartily agreed with this idea and officially formed a final three pact. Jamal noted that Brendon & Rachel caused a strong alliance to form against them because of the U-Turn they used on Dave & Connor. Arriving in Chiasso, Switzerland, the four teams ran off the train and each jumped into a Ford Focus for the drive to Altdorf. Reaching the small city after darkness fell over the snow-covered land, the teams unexpectedly encountered a festive holiday parade that they navigated around to find the Wilhelm Tell statue near the center of town. After reading a plaque below the statue indicating that Wilhelm Tell would give them their clue at sunrise, Caroline & Jennifer told the Afghanimals and Dave & Connor that they named their trio of teams “The Accidental Alliance.” Although sensing exclusion from the other team, Rachel couldn’t be bothered, saying, “I won Big Brother without any friends. Who needs friends?”
SOME BAD MOVES
With the Cowboys finally arriving in Altdorf after midnight, the five teams gathered in front of the Wilhelm Tell statue at 6:45am waiting for the sun to rise. A few minutes later, just as the first light of dawn broke through the dark skies; two figured entered the town square, Wilhelm Tell and his son, greeted by the cheers from the teams. The famous figure handed each team their clue instructing them to drive to Lucerne and find the oldest wooden bridge in Europe, the Chapel Bridge. Wanting to quickly break away from the block of teams against them, Brendon & Rachel separated from The Accidental Alliance as teams entered the city limits of Lucerne. However, this strategy proved costly for the Brenchels when they instead spotted a different wooden bridge, Spreuer Bridge, and searched there for the clue. Meanwhile, led by self-proclaimed human GPS Leo, the Accidental Alliance and the Cowboys found Chapel Bridge, giddy to realize Brendon & Rachel made a wrong turn. As the lead four teams made their way to Schweizerhof Hotel, Brenchel realized their huge mistake when they asked a local for directions. After getting their clue at the bridge in last place, Brendon worried, “We made some bad moves and everybody’s together. How far ahead are they now?”
A CLEAN START
At Hotel Schweizerhof, the lead four teams ran to the front desk and picked up room keys ready for a hard scrubbing challenge. Rockers have been trashing hotel rooms for decades and now teams had to clean up the mess. They had to perfectly prepare a trashed room to the high Swiss standards of cleanliness. When the governante felt the room was ready for guests, she would hand over the next clue. After putting on uniforms in the staff changing room (men in white shirts and bow ties, women in white-collared black dress) and picking up a basket of cleaning supplies, the teams walked into their separate rooms and found very similar situations of utter filth and destruction. From leftover pizza boxes and lipstick writing on mirrors to overturned mattresses and chairs, teams couldn’t believe the massive mess they needed to clean up and each tackled the big job in different ways. Dave & Connor first ran upstairs to carefully inspect the example room and note the details they needed to replicate including an umbrella, a vase of flowers, and fresh fruit. While the Afghanimals and cowboys grabbed bags to make a dent in the mountains of trash, Caroline immediately went for her therapeutic tool, the vacuum. Jet joked he hoped his wife wasn’t watching him clean because “now she’s gonna think I know how.”
A CLOSE INSPECTION
As Brendon & Rachel finally reached the hotel and got to work cleaning, the other four teams put the finishing touches on what they believed were perfectly made-up rooms. One by one, Helga, the stern, exacting governante, inspected the rooms thoroughly and to each team, she returned a negative verdict but wouldn’t tell them what they missed. For the cowboys, they forgot the plate of fruit and didn’t fold the toilet paper end into a triangle. The Afghanimals forgot the vase of flowers and had the lamp above the bed turned vertically instead of horizontally. Caroline & Jennifer had all the mistakes of the Cowboys and Afghanimals in addition to improperly folding the bath towel on the shower rack. Dave & Connor came the closest on their first try, only forgetting to properly fold the tissue in the bathroom dispenser. With Brenchel slowly catching up, the other teams struggled to figure out what Helga deemed unacceptable in their rooms, commenting on the stern governante’s standards. Dave said, “Helga was ready to fire us.” Cord added, “Helga was cracking the whip today. I would hate to have to work for her.” After another round of inspections, the Cowboys, Afghanimals, and Country singers each corrected one mistake bringing them closer to Helga’s standards, but still not quite enough. With one more look at the example room, Cord spotted the neatly folded toilet paper and Jet immediately confirmed that was the missing detail. After correcting their mistake, the Cowboys nervously waited while Helga made her third and final inspection before handing them their clue and receiving a surprise hug from Jet. Ripping open the clue, the Cowboys now had to make their way to the Swiss Museum of Transport and look for the marked artifact. As the Afghanimals, Dave & Connor, and the Country singers earned approval from Helga in quick succession to leave Brenchel alone at Hotel Schweizerhof in last place, Jet & Cord arrived at the Swiss Museum of Transport and ran up to the marked artifact, a gigantic, circular object dotted with various indentations and smaller perpendicular blades on its face, where a local man greeted them. When the man asked what the object was used for, Jet knew right away that it was a drill bit to bore a tunnel through a mountain. After taking their next clue from the man, the cowboys ran through the museum into a courtyard where five vintage Ford Mustangs sat parked with a clue on each windshield. Selecting the silver Ford Mustang Hardtop, the Cowboys now had to use numbers from road signs on the building behind them with an enclosed formula to calculate the model year of their Ford Mustang.
A MODEL YEAR
Walking over to one side of the building entirely constructed from old road signs, Jet & Cord looked at their formula: Payerne __ km – Chur __ km. Simple arithmetic for sure, but finding the two cities, Payerne and Chur, among the hundreds of road signs on the wall, proved daunting. With Dave, whose father was a mining engineer, giving the tunnel drill answer to the Afghanimals and country singers, the three teams chose their Ford Mustang and began the search of the massive wall for the specific cities for their equation. While Caroline & Jennifer remained befuddled on what exactly they had to do, the Cowboys, not finding their city names on the front wall, realized that along the side of the building another wall had even more road signs. With Dave & Connor and the Afghanimals following the Cowboys, Jet & Cord were the first team to spot both of their cities on signs. On one sign, they spotted Chur – 72km and on another, Payerne – 139km. Plugging into their equation (139 – 72), the Cowboys got an answer of 67. When Jet & Cord presented their answer to the president of the Swiss Mustang Club, he opened the door of the 1967 Ford Mustang Hardtop and told them to take the clue, instructing them to drive to Oberrickenbach, from the dashboard. Solving their equation to the 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I close behind, Dave & Connor ripped their clue in second place while the Afghanimals solved the model year for a cherry red 1965 Ford Mustang Convertible in third place.
Meanwhile, after getting approval from Helga, Brendon & Rachel stood outside of the museum baffled at the use for the giant artifact. Rachel guessed a wheel followed by a carburetor and finally a train getting shot down each time. Rather than make any more guesses, Brenchel tracked down a local family who supplied the newlyweds with the correct answer of a tunnel drill bit. Running to the courtyard, Brenchel saw the still completely confused Country singers wandering around the building looking for the matching cities for their equation. However, their confusion came to an end when Leo decided to help Caroline & Jennifer before leaving with Jamal. Later, he explained his motivation of wanting the Country singers in the final four instead of Brenchel. However, Leo’s aid for Caroline & Jennifer inadvertently helped Brenchel who now saw the wall they needed to search for the cities. Because of this, the last two teams departed the museum within minutes of each other. In their car, the appreciative Country singers called Leo “an angel” for helping them figure out the math riddle.
SWISS MILK DELIVERY
Arriving at the milk tanker in Oberrickenbach virtually tied for first place, Jet & Cord and Dave & Connor ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to pick up milk Swiss style. After choosing a dog and cart, they had to transport empty milk containers to one of two dairy farms that could only be reached by one of two gondolas. Once they found a farmer, they could exchange their empty containers for full ones and then deliver them back to the milk truck to receive their next clue. Running up the snowy road leading to the gondolas, Cord and Connor found a very eager pack of dogs ready to do some work. After Connor chose Kira and Cord selected Uliks, the two racers led the dogs who pulled the carts of empty milk cans behind them. Just as Brendon, Leo, and Caroline all chose to perform the Roadblock for their teams, Connor and Cord each arrived at the two separate gondolas leading to the two different dairy farms. Leaving the dogs and carts behind, Connor and Cord took the empty cans into the gondola car and simply admired the stunning view of snow-covered trees populating the mountainside as they ascended towards the farms.
Reaching the top ahead of Cord, Connor exited his gondola with the light, empty cans and trudged uphill, through deep snow, to reach the farm where he exchanged the empty ones for two much, much heavier full cans. The walk back to the gondola with the weighty jugs was difficult, and Connor had to stop several times, later saying, “My arms were on fire.” After mustering what little strength he had remaining in his arms, Connor returned to the gondola where he crossed paths with Brendon who just arrived at the top with his empty cans. On the ride back down, Connor noticed a message Brendon wrote into the frosted window of the car: TAR24 winners Brenchel. As he erased the message, Connor said, “The nerve they have to actually write that.”
Because Connor went to the gondola further away from the delivery site, by the time he reconnected with Kira and began walking down the road, Connor reached the nearer gondola just as Cord put his full cans of milk on Uliks’ cart. Now in a dead heat trotting down the road back to their partners, Cord was happy with his choice of a stouter dog, because Uliks could handle the heavy cart better than Kira to give Cord a slim lead over Connor. With Jet and Dave cheering, Cord and Connor both delivered their milk cans within seconds of each other and received their clue instructing them to drive to the town on Engelberg and catch a ride to the Pit Stop at the top of 10,000-foot Mt. Titlis. With Leo and Brendon delivering their milk close behind, Caroline, who had a spectacular fall on the ice running to the gondola, struggled to carry the heavy cans of milk from the farm through the snow. Only able to lift one can at a time to the gondola, Caroline exerted every ounce of strength she had, saying, “Kill me now.” Down below waiting for her teammate, Jennifer said, “I’m so proud of Caroline. I think we’ve done a great job. I don’t think we could do any better. I’m really happy with us.”
MAGIC CARPET RIDE
Arriving at the parking lot for Mt. Titlis in first place, father and son Dave & Connor frantically bought a ticket for the gondola [Dave even tripped and fell trying to jump a gate] knowing they needed to keep their lead over Jet & Cord because they couldn’t beat the cowboys in a footrace. As they started the long ascent up the mountain, Dave & Connor spotted the cowboys pulling into the parking lot so they knew their lead was razor thin giving them a limited amount of time to find Phil. Jumping off their gondola, the father and son ran past skiers searching for the mat only to realize they weren’t at the top. They had to board another larger gondola that would transport them to the mountaintop. While waiting for the gondola to return from the top, Dave & Connor looked dejected when they saw Jet & Cord appear behind them in line. Connor told his dad, “We’re not going to beat them.” After the two teams boarded the gondola, they got a big surprise when seemingly out of nowhere the Afghanimals caught up and joined them for a three-way race for first place. Jamal joked, “It’s game on. We just flew in here on our magic carpets.”
When the doors of the gondola opened, the three teams sprinted out into the station looking for the exit door that would lead them to the mountaintop and Phil. Seeing the Cowboys and Afghanimals take off in one direction that led through a tunnel, Dave & Connor decided to take a chance and ran the opposite direction where they found an elevator that took them outside. After running up the snow-covered hill to an observation deck, the father and son stepped on the mat in first place and won a pair of all-new 2015 Ford Mustangs. Once Jet & Cord claimed second place and Leo & Jamal third, the topic of conversation naturally turned to Brenchel. Dave said, “Not a lot of love from us.” Connor added, “They’re not our favorite team by any means. We’ll race them to the finish.”
After finishing in fourth place, newlyweds Brendon & Rachel had a rebuttal of sorts commenting on the other teams working together. Rachel said, “They’re all anti-Brenchel, but what are we going to do? We’re playing Amazing Race.” Brendon added, “If they’re all gunning for us, karma tells me it’s going to come back to haunt them.” Finally returning to the bottom with her cans of milk, Caroline broke into a smile reuniting with her dog, saying, “A dog will put you in a good mood no matter what’s happened in your day.” When Caroline & Jennifer reached Phil, they knew they were far behind in last place. However, what they didn’t expect was Phil to tell them this was a non-elimination leg saving them for a second time. A shocked Caroline said, “Again?” After telling Phil she and Jennifer were still up for the challenge to keep racing, Caroline added, “We are meant to still be in this Race. We’re meant to win.”
2409 ROUTE MARKERS Roadblock: In this Roadblock, one team member had to pick up milk Swiss style. After choosing a dog and cart, they had to transport empty milk containers to one of two dairy farms that could only be reached by one of two gondolas. Once they found a farmer, they could exchange their empty containers for full ones and then deliver them back to the milk truck to receive their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Cord, Connor, Leo, Brendon, Caroline
Order of Finish: 1. Dave & Connor 2. Jet & Cord 3. Leo & Jamal 4. Brendon & Rachel 5. Caroline & Jennifer
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