|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
When teams traveled to the German Alps, Mel appeared stranded on a mountaintop until a gamble paid off that propelled him and his son Mike to a second place finish. Meanwhile, Linda became desperately lost on a mountain trail ultimately leading to her and husband's Steve elimination.
PICK UP THE PHONE
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 2:56am, mother and son Margie & Luke ripped open their clue to learn they had to fly to Munich, Germany. When they landed, they needed to drive to the village of Ruhpolding and ride a cable car to the top of a mountain where their next clue awaited.
Faced with a long drive to the airport in the middle of the night, most teams wisely took the initiative to borrow their taxi driver's cell phone to make flight reservations, even the less than seasoned travelers Steve & Linda. On this smart move, Steve commented, "We're starting to feel more comfortable and not as intimidated by the race." Every team who called booked seats on the 7:10am Swiss Air flight.
The two teams who didn't call ahead, mother and son Margie & Luke and brothers and stuntmen Mark & Michael, arrived at the airport hoping to get on the Swiss Air flight. At the same moment, last place flight attendants Christie & Jodi left the Pit Start and used their taxi driver's phone to call for tickets. The three teams anxiously awaited a confirmation, but only mother and son Margie & Luke made it on the flight. Luke later acknowledged to his mom, "We're lucky, very lucky."
After settling for seats on the 8:45am Lufthansa flight with flight attendants Christie & Jodi, brothers Mark & Michael lamented, "Right now, we went from third to ninth. This first mistake is we didn't call ahead to get flights."
A MIGHTY WIND
Arriving in Ruhpolding in first place, siblings and lawyers Tammy & Victor rode the cable car to the top of the mountain where they found a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to choose an instructor and, in tandem, paraglide off the mountain to the ground 6,000 feet below. The other teammate had to ride the gondola back down the mountain and wait for their partner in the designated landing area. In the event of unsafe wind conditions, teams could wait an undetermined amount of time for conditions to improve or choose a 60-minute hike down the mountain.
After choosing her instructor, Tammy received the bad news from him that the wind was too strong for them to paraglide at the time. With a gondola full of teams climbing up the mountain, Tammy rationalized, "I don't know why the wind would change all of a sudden. I guess I'll just walk down."
As Tammy took off down the trail out of sight of the other teams, Cara, Margie, Kris, and Mel became faced with the same dilemma. Mel knew running down the hill wouldn't be an option for him after injuring his groin carrying cheese in the last leg. When Victoria arrived, she had the same reaction as Tammy, saying, "We could be standing here waiting for quite awhile. We gotta have the perfect wind conditions for five different people." Even though Mel asked her to stay, Victoria became the second racer to start the long hike down the mountain.
Victoria's decision to hike set off a discussion among the other racers of what to do. With the arrival of Linda at the top of the hill, Kris and Margie also opted to run down the mountain as a distressed Mel looked on, saying, "It would cripple me to run down that hill." Knowing that more teams were on their way, Linda also chose to start the hike with Mel noting, "They're dropping like flies."
When Christie, Jen, and finally Mark arrived on the mountaintop, Mel continued his campaign to convince people to wait with him. After Cara bolted down the hill, Mel tried to keep the remaining racers in check by pleading, "Don't be afraid!" He even played up the appeal of paragliding by noting, "I have always in my life wanted to do this." Mel's subtle tricks didn't work as one by one, each of the racers began to run down the mountain rather than take the risk of waiting for the wind to change. A despondent Mel said, "So we're going to lose the race because I stayed up here."
Standing alone on the mountaintop, Mel lamented his team's standing in the race as his son Mike looked on, commenting, "This is the first time since we've started that I'm actually worried about being eliminated." Mel said he couldn't pray for divine intervention, but he thanked God for "this beautiful place and for having a son that is so great." As Mel stood reflecting and hoping for a miracle, the impossible happened when the winds changed. Mel was now able to paraglide off the mountaintop saving his team from certain ruin.
As Mel lifted off on the ride of his life, Tammy reached the bottom of the mountain where Victor waited. The sibling lawyers ripped opened their clue instructing them to drive 25 miles to Schonau Am Konigsee and quickly drove off. After Margie, Kris, and Victoria finished the trail close behind, Mel marveled at the spectacular view he saw from high above. At the bottom, Mel reunited with his son, laughing, "I bet the house on that."
LOST IN THE ALPS
While Jen, Mark, and Christie all ran the marked path down the mountainside with little trouble, Linda missed the yellow and red arrows and veered off course. As she continued down the mountain, she said, "Hope this is the right way." With all of the other racers making it back to their partners below, only Linda remained on the trail. Nearing the bottom, Linda noted, "I don't see any route markers. I hear traffic." Walking out of the woods onto the road, Linda asked, "Where the hell did I run to?" Fearing that Steve would be upset with her for making this navigational blunder, Linda burst into tears, sobbing, "I wish I wouldn't have walked down that stupid mountain."
At her wit's end, Linda flagged down a woman in a car for help and took a ride back to the cable car station. When Linda finally returned to a patiently waiting Steve, he tried to stay positive, telling her they weren't far behind and instantly putting a smile on her face.
Arriving at Schonau Am Konigee in first place, sibling lawyers Tammy & Victor discovered the first Detour of the race with the choice of Balancing Dolly or Austrian Folly. In Balancing Dolly, teams had to ride a Segway transporter along a 2-mile obstacle course. In Austrian Folly, teams had to enter a party tent and throw traditional Austrian pies at a target. What they didn't know was that the target was their partner's face. They had to smack each other in the face with pies until they found one with cherry filling.
Walking into the tent where revelers drank beer, and a German band played music, Tammy & Victor realized they'd be launching pies at each other. Tammy quickly got into the spirit of things by smashing a pie in Victor's face. When Victor returned the favor, Tammy laughed, "I've got cake in my nose." The pair quickly found the red cherry filling when a glob of it landed on Victor's shoulder. Opening their next clue, the siblings learned they had to make their way on foot to the HolzsÃ¤ger, find mechanical Tyrolean woodcutters, and have them cut a small piece of wood. Once the teams had the wooden disc, it would be stamped with their next clue.
Running through the small village at Schonau Am Konigee, Tammy & Victor found the Tyrolean woodcutters and waited from them to cut a piece of wood. After getting their piece of wood stamped, the sibling lawyers learned they had to drive to the Austrian city of Salzburg and find the Pit Stop at Schloss Hellbrunn.
Arriving at Schloss Hellbrunn, Tammy & Victor, still covered in cake, stepped onto the mat in first place. Phil informed the lawyer siblings that they had won a pair of hybrid go-carts. On their strong performance, Tammy remarked, "I think Victor and I make such a strong team because, as much as I don't want to admit itâ€¦Victor makes the final decisions and I've had 26-years to get used to that."
When dating couple Amanda & Kris couldn't find the Pit Stop and mother and son Margie & Luke couldn't find the cherry-filled pie, the comeback kids Mel & Mike zipped through the Segway course to land in second place. Amanda & Kris settled for third place while Margie & Luke finished in fourth.
TEAMS IN TROUBLE
As the sun set over the German-Austrian border, married couple Steve & Linda slowly inched closer as the teams ahead of them floundered. Sisters Kisha & Jen had navigational problems all day as Kisha continually steered her team in the wrong direction. Little sister Jen fumed when once again they had to stop for directions on the way to the Pit Stop saying, "I think she wants to play the role of the big sister. I'm sure that she feels that I need to listen to everything she says because everything she says is right." After claiming a seventh place finish, Jen added, "I would have never thought that this would be the most frustrating of my life. I can't even listen to her talk without it being annoying."
Meanwhile, flight attendants Christie & Jodi found their cherry-filled pie, but quickly became confused on how to get their piece of wood. The pair searched through a stable and, with a horse nearby, unearthed a wood board that they thought needed a stamp. Carrying the board, Christie & Jodi searched the village wasting valuable time as Steve & Linda searched through pies. Finally, when they found the Tyrolean cutters only minutes ahead of Steve & Linda, the flight attendants joked, "I've never felt like such a dumb blonde in my entire life."
In the end, the flight attendants dodged another bullet, finishing just ahead of last place Steve & Linda. After Phil eliminated the married couple, Steve broke down sobbing on the mat as Linda consoled him. Later, Steve reflected on his experience, saying, "I couldn't imagine running the race with anyone but Linda. If anybody in this world has got my back, it's her. When you get down to the root of it, we're deeply in love." Linda added, "The thing I love about Steve is how much he loves me. I'm really fortunate to have somebody like that. That doesn't come along every day."
1402 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. In this Roadblock, that team member had to choose an instructor and, in tandem, paraglide off the mountain to the ground 6,000 feet below. The other teammate had to ride the gondola back down the mountain and wait for their partner in the designated landing area. In the event of unsafe wind conditions, teams could wait an undetermined amount of time for conditions to improve or choose a 60-minute hike down the mountain.
Performed Roadblock: TAMMY, KRIS, LINDA, MARGIE, CARA, MEL, VICTORIA, JEN, CHRISTIE, MARK
: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, teams had to choose between Balancing Dolly or Austrian Folly. In Balancing Dolly, teams had to ride a Segway transporter along a 2-mile obstacle course. In Austrian Folly, teams had to enter a party tent and throw traditional Austrian pies at a target. What they didn't know was that the target was their partner's face. They had to smack each other in the face with pies until they found one with cherry filling.
Balancing Dolly: MEL/MIKE, JAIME/CARA, KISHA/JEN, MARK/MICHAEL
Austrian Folly: TAMMY/VICTOR, AMANDA/KRIS, MARGIE/LUKE, BRAD/VICTORIA, CHRISTIE/JODI, STEVE/LINDA