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Season 26: Episode 9 - Can I Get A Hot Tub!
Posted on Apr 24, 2015 11:00pm

HAIRSTYLISTS FALL TO LAST PLACE IN THE NETHERLANDS
In Amsterdam, teams paired wooden shoes, rode bikes, and floated through canals. Laura & Tyler achieved their second win in a row, but Matt & Ashley couldn’t overcome a disastrous Roadblock. They arrived at the Pit Stop last, but were spared by non-elimination.

YOU’RE EXCUSED FROM MY DREAM
Arriving at their second desert Pit Stop in Namibia, teams once again found tents. Tyler said, “Camping is better after a victory, though.” Hayley then asked Blair to set up her tent. The medics explained that they had common goals, but they sometimes sounded angry when expressing themselves. Hayley said their relationship was a work in progress, “And it’ll continue to be, I’m sure.” That night, all the teams dined together. Matt assured Jelani & Jenny that when he and Ashley U-Turned them, they were just playing the game. Jelani said they didn’t need to apologize, but in interview he added that you want to make sure the team you U-Turn is eliminated. Jenny added, “Matt & Ashley used up their one U-Turn on us, and it really didn’t make a difference because we’re still here.” She added that if they were to single out a team in the future, it’d be the team that U-Turned them. The next day, Laura & Tyler ripped the clue first at 12:19 p.m. It told them to fly more than five thousand miles back to Europe, to Amsterdam, Netherlands. After landing, they had to travel by taxi to the building of Jagershuis, just outside the city, where they’d find their next clue. En route to the airport, the SoCal couple said they’d enjoyed racing with Matt & Ashley the last two legs. But Laura added, “They kind of go crazy, so hopefully we’ll use that to our advantage.” Matt & Ashley left second, followed by Hayley & Blair. Blair mentioned to Hayley that they were leaving from the Windhoek airport. “Which is also the place where you fell in love.” Then came a flashback of their handsome bush plane pilot from leg seven, and Hayley gushing, “The pilot is absolutely gorgeous.” Blair continued to rib her, saying the pilot was probably married. Hayley said, “Get out of this dream. You’re excused from my dream now.”

A NICE KLOMPEN
All the teams boarded the same flight to Amsterdam. In the land of canals, bicycles and windmills, they touched down in the chilly gray morning, and jumped in taxis to Jagershuis. Jelani & Jenny arrived first, followed immediately by Laura & Tyler. They ripped the clue and found a Roadblock: “Who’s got a nice set of klompen?” Phil explained that teams would have to search through hundreds of traditional Dutch wooden shoes to find one whose design exactly matched that of the given example. When they found a match, the cobbler would hand over their next clue. Jenny and Tyler chose the Roadblock (Jenny finding Date Night in the process). They began changing into traditional Dutch clothing as Matt & Ashley arrived. Ashley told Matt, “You’ve got a nice klompen – go ahead.” Truck stop couple Mike & Rochelle then arrived, and Rochelle took the Roadblock. Getting dressed, Tyler recounted the other costumes he’d worn on the Race – German lederhosen, a Thai ladyboy costume, and a James Bond “prince” suit in Monaco. He and Jenny emerged in smock-like red shirts, loose black pants and black berets. They then began looking through shelves and piles of nearly identical yellow klompen. Tyler quickly found what he thought was the right shoe – but its design contained an extra line. Matt then began the task as Hayley & Blair arrived. Blair opted for the Roadblock.

A PERFECT INTRODUCTION
Everyone continued looking through the shoes, and Jenny found a match. She scurried to the front of the shop and handed over the shoe, and she and Jelani ripped the clue in first place. It said to bike along the Amstel River into the city of Amsterdam, and find the seventeenth-century mint known as the Munttoren. A row of bikes waited outside. The lawyers pedaled off, keeping an eye out for the Pontveer ferry, which would take them to the far side of the river. Jenny said, “This is the perfect way to get an introduction to Amsterdam.” The rest of the teams continued looking through klompen. Matt turned in a shoe, but it was missing two lines. Tyler then found a correct match, and got the clue. He left with Laura in second place, saying, “That’s going to be really stressful when you’re the last person in there.” They began biking, Tyler taking his hands off the handlebars for all of two seconds while behind him Laura shouted, “Your legs are twice the size of mine!” Meanwhile, Jelani & Jenny reached the small ferryboat and rode aboard. Matt turned over yet another incorrect shoe, while Hayley nagged at Blair to hurry up. He said, “She was screaming words of encouragement. It was so sweet – I had chills the whole time.” After studying the example, he suddenly said, “I feel like an idiot.” He then went and found a correct shoe, and got the clue in third place. As he and Hayley left on the bikes, Rochelle and Matt continued searching. Matt said, “What am I not seeing?”

TUNNEL VISION
The Pontveer ferryboat reached the far side of the river. Jelani & Jenny disembarked and asked a woman how to get to downtown Amsterdam. Back on the dock, Laura & Tyler spotted the lawyers across the water. The local showed Jelani & Jenny a route on the map, saying, “It’s not the quickest route, but it’s the easiest.” Laura & Tyler waited for the ferry to come back as the lawyers took off riding. Meanwhile, further back on the bike trail, Blair commented on the nice day, while Hayley complained that it was cold and smelled like poop. Back at the Roadblock, Matt continued to struggle. Ashley said, “I should’ve done this one, I think.” Rochelle noticed Matt frantically running around, and said, “I knew if I was in that state I’d never find it. So I just tried to keep my cool.” She finally found a correct match, and received the clue in fourth place. Matt then became even more frantic, unknowingly picking up a correct shoe and putting it down again. Ashley was supportive, saying, “He’s great with detail when he’s not under pressure – and when he’s not trying to play catch-up for a million dollars.” As Laura & Tyler rode the ferry across the river, they spotted Hayley & Blair arriving at the dock. Blair hoped the ferry got back before the last two teams arrived. Laura & Tyler biked off on the far side (“We’re racing! It’s what we live for!”) while Mike & Rochelle headed to the dock. Rochelle said, “Matt’s trying to find a needle in a haystack.” Back at Jagershuis, Matt continued to look frantically, and when Ashley tried to talk to him, he shut her down: “No, you can’t talk to me right now.” Ashley said, “Tunnel vision. The longer we’re here, the worse it gets.”

A LITTLE NAP
En route to downtown Amsterdam, Jenny didn’t think any teams would take the shorter yet more confusing route. Jelani agreed. “It’d be too complicated.” But behind them, Laura & Tyler did turn off on the shorter route, Tyler saying, “Let’s try it. We’re good.” As Mike & Rochelle approached the dock, Hayley & Blair disembarked from the ferry on the far side of the river. Blair told Hayley to set the pace. “The faster you go, the faster we go.” But the roles immediately reversed as they got moving, with Blair in front and Hayley yelling at him to wait. Mike & Rochelle boarded the ferry, concerned that Matt & Ashley could catch up to them on bikes. But back at the Roadblock, the cobbler had dozed off waiting for Matt to bring the correct shoe. Ashley said, “I just feel bad for [Matt], because he’s going to put it on himself, and it’s not his fault.” The shorter bike route paid off. With Phil on site announcing their arrival, Laura & Tyler reached Munttoren first. They ripped the clue and discovered a Detour: Soak or Shuffle. In Soak, teams had to drive a HotTug (an electric-powered hot tub) through the canals, while spotting and deciphering a series of pictogram puzzles on the walls. When they worked out the correct answer, they’d receive their next clue. In Shuffle, teams had to score fifty-one points in a Dutch version of shuffleboard called Sjoelen. Laura & Tyler chose Soak.

MORE LIKE DATE NIGHT
Back on the bike trail, Hayley repeatedly yelled at Blair to wait, despite the fact that he was only a few feet in front of her. Meanwhile, Mike & Rochelle got off the ferry and continued biking. At the Roadblock, Matt handed over a shoe on his thirty-first attempt, but was rejected again. He said he didn’t even know what he was looking for, and Ashley told him to just bring out every shoe there was. Jelani & Jenny then ripped the Detour clue and chose Soak. On the banks of the canal, Laura & Tyler found the HotTugs, and were told to change their clothes. Laura said, “It’s thirty-seven degrees out – what are you changing into?” Tyler said he was just wearing his boxers. Laura stripped down to Spandex and a tank top, and they climbed into the water. The instructor told them the HotTug worked like a sailboat, and to just follow the signs. They started down the canal, Tyler saying it felt more like a Date Night than a Detour. He flexed his muscles for some gawkers on shore, and when he said he didn’t see any signs, Laura said, “You’re not paying attention. You’re too busy staring at your muscles.”

SHOE-IN
Hayley & Blair ripped the Detour clue in third place, and chose Soak. As Blair got directions from a local, Hayley stood aside, insisting that they leave. They headed for Soak. After passing Mike & Rochelle who were en route to the clue box, Hayley stopped at what she thought was the correct street, but Blair said they should keep going. Meanwhile, Mike & Rochelle ripped the clue and chose Shuffle. Back at the Roadblock, Ashley said, “He’s just struggling like crazy right now. It’s so hard for me to see it.” But when Matt apologized, she said, “Don’t be sorry – you’re fine.” After carefully studying the example, Matt said, “I’m starting to see things I wasn’t seeing before.” He rushed back to the klompen, berating himself for being a moron. And finally, on his forty-third attempt, he handed over the correct shoe. Floating along the canal, Laura & Tyler saw the first sign: five I’s. Then came the second sign: a picture of skis minus “is,” plus the square root of sixty-four, plus a picture of a ringing phone minus “r.” Tyler figured out the last part was “ing” (“ring” minus “r”) and that the first part was “sk.” But when he mentioned the square root of sixty-four, Laura said, “Six?” He corrected her, saying it was eight, and they realized the word was “skating.” Jelani & Jenny then arrived at the canal, shocked to see that Laura & Tyler had beaten them there. As they ducked into the tents to change, Laura & Tyler reached the far end of the course and saw the last sign: “R” plus a black splotch. Tyler figured the splotch was “ink”, so the word was “rink.” They still weren’t sure about the five I’s, but were confident about “skating rink.”

WHAT’S GOING ON IN YOUR HEAD?
When Blair stopped biking to double check directions, Hayley lit into him. “Oh my God, Blair! I thought you knew directions – what the hell?” As he tried to explain that they’ve never been in the city before and it was a work in progress, Hayley sat there fuming (with her cycling helmet cockeyed on her head.) They turned around and she went on, “Oh my God! This is not a time to be making mistakes! Where the hell are we going?” Blair said, “You’re not thinking, you’re just screaming.” But when they arrived back at the original street Hayley had stopped at, she flipped out even more. “I freaking told you this was the way! And you said no and you rode past like a freaking idiot! I’m always right and you never listen!” Blair just said, “What’s going on in your head?” Mike & Rochelle arrived at Shuffle. There they found a dozen men dressed in seventeenth-century Dutch clothing standing around a long, wooden Sjoelen board. The instructor explained that they had twenty stones to slide down the board into four slots. Rochelle took her turn, and walked away with thirty-four points. Mike then had to score seventeen points to total the necessary fifty-one. But he only scored three, so they had to begin again. Biking vigorously into downtown Amsterdam, Matt again apologized to Ashley for putting them behind. She told him not to be sorry, and figured they could catch up.

YOU NUTBAG!
Jelani & Jenny got into their HotTug as Laura & Tyler began heading back to the starting point. The SoCal couple still didn’t understand the first sign, Laura telling Tyler, “Think. Use that brain while I drive.” Tyler finally realized the five I’s meant “I’s” – i.e. “ice.” So the entire answer was “ice-skating rink.” Thinking they might be going ice-skating, Tyler said, “At least the Olympians aren’t here.” They high-fived at that, and then waved as they passed Jelani & Jenny. Laura then joked about peeing in the hot tub, and Tyler thought she was serious. She said, “Ew, no! I wouldn’t pee in here, you nutbag!” They reached the end of the course and wrote, “ice skating rink” on a white marker board. The instructor then handed over their next clue, which said to make their way to the next Pit Stop – the Museumplein Ice Skating Rink at the Rijksmuseum. Laura & Tyler hurried for the Pit Stop, while over at Shuffle, Mike & Rochelle worked through their fourth attempt. Mike needed seventeen points, but he only scored sixteen and they had to start over. As Matt & Ashley finally reached Pontveer ferry and biked aboard, Laura & Tyler arrived at the Pit Stop. Phil said it was their second win in a row, and awarded them a trip to Seoul, South Korea. He then said if he didn’t know better, he’d assume they were madly in love. Tyler said, “I think we both share such a love for the Race that that’s kind of overpowered anything else.”

WE’RE GOING SKIING!
Back at Soak, Jelani & Jenny passed the sign with five I’s. Then, as Hayley & Blair biked towards the starting point, the lawyers deciphered “skating.” But they still didn’t know what the first sign meant. Meanwhile, the medics got into their HotTug, Hayley pulling her long shirt down over her butt to hide her underwear. Jelani & Jenny reached the far end of the course and the last sign, and Jelani quickly figured out “rink.” But they were still confused. “Two, three skating rink?” “Numbers skating rink?” “Five I’s skating rink?” As Matt & Ashley got off the ferry and continued biking into the city, the lawyers and the medics passed each other in the canal. Pedestrians on a bridge cackled, and Hayley said, “I’m pretty sure they just saw my butt.” She and Blair then spotted the second sign and figured out “skating.” Jelani & Jenny returned to the starting point, but were clueless about the answer. They turned around to go through the course again, thinking they could ask Hayley & Blair about the first sign. Meanwhile, the medics reached the last sign and deciphered “rink.” In Mike & Rochelle’s seventh attempt at Shuffle, Rochelle needed twenty-six points – but she only scored eighteen. Matt & Ashley biked through city streets, Matt saying, “Thank you for not giving up on me.” Ashley said, “I’ll never give up on you!” In the canal, Hayley & Blair noticed Jelani & Jenny returning for another attempt. Not wanting to reveal anything, Hayley said, “Act confused,” and while passing the second sign, she said, “Skis – we’re going skiing!” When Blair pointed out that it meant “skating,” Hayley said, “Play along. That was a practice round and you were terrible.” As the teams passed each other again, Jenny asked what the first sign meant, but the medics feigned ignorance. Jelani said, “We’re overthinking it.”

ROMAN SKATING RINK
Hayley & Blair arrived back at the starting point, wrote, “ice staking rink” on the marker board, and got the clue in second place. Meanwhile, Jelani suggested “Roman skating rink” since the five I’s looked like Roman numerals. Jenny seemed to like the idea: “Oh, Roman skating rink!” Matt & Ashley ripped the Detour clue and chose Shuffle. At Shuffle, it was Mike & Rochelle’s eleventh attempt, and Mike was in need of nineteen points. After sending several stones down the length of the table, he succeeded. They ripped the clue in third place. Hayley & Blair arrived at the Pit Stop second. Blair told Hayley that she didn’t deal with stress well, and she said it’s because there’s a million dollars on the line. But they said they were both happy to still be in the Race, Blair quoting the Rijksmuseum sign, “I am Amsterdam.” Matt & Ashley arrived at Shuffle, Matt saying, “One shot, and then we’re getting out of here.” On his first try he scored forty-two points, leaving only nine for Ashley. With Matt instructing her on how to slide the stones, she began, scoring three points.

NO BABIES YET
Jelani & Jenny returned to the starting point at the canal, and as Ashley scored two more points at Shuffle, they wrote “skating rink” on the marker board. But they were rejected. Ashley sent a few more stones down the table as the lawyers wrote “5 I’s skating rink,” and were rejected again. Jenny suggested asking someone for the names of nearby skating rinks. Meanwhile, Ashley slid her last stone, still in need of four points. But she failed to score. As she and Matt reset, the lawyers, with help from a local, finally figured out “ice skating rink.” They got the clue in fourth place. As Mike & Rochelle biked in the wrong direction, Jelani & Jenny arrived at the Pit Stop in third. Phil pointed out that the top three teams were all newly-dating couples. Jelani said that the blind-daters were all individually strong, so paired up they were even stronger. “One of the blind-date teams are definitely going to win the Race.” Mike & Rochelle arrived fourth. Mike said, “We’ve been used to being on the bottom since leg one, and we’re slowly trying to fight our way up.” Rochelle added, “Everybody likes an underdog story.” As Matt & Ashley finally finished at Shuffle and headed to the Pit Stop, Matt said, “I’m happy because I’ve had the most amazing time with her. We’ve got stories to tell our kids when we have them, which is going to be soon!” They arrived at the Pit stop in last place – and were utterly shocked when Phil announced it was a non-elimination leg. They jumped around and hugged, Ashley shouting, “We’re not having babies yet!” Phil warned them that they’d have a Speed Bump on the next leg, and they had a lot of catching up to do. But Matt said, “Watch out, teams. It’s not over yet.”

2609 ROUTE MARKERS Roadblock: In this Roadblock, teams had to search through hundreds of klompen (traditional Dutch wooden shoes) and find one whose design exactly matched the given example.

Performed Roadblock: Jenny, Tyler, Blair, Rochelle, Matt
Detour: This Detour was a choice between Soak and Shuffle. In Soak, teams had to drive a HotTug (an electric-powered hot tub) through the canals while deciphering a series of pictogram puzzles. When they worked out the correct answer, they’d receive their next clue. In Shuffle, teams had to score fifty-one points in a Dutch version of shuffleboard called Sjoelen.

Soak: Laura/Tyler, Hayley/Blair, Jelani/Jenny Shuffle: Mike/Rochelle, Matt/Ashley

Order of Finish: 1. Laura & Tyler 2. Hayley & Blair 3. Jelani & Jenny 4. Mike & Rochelle 5. Matt & Ashley