|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
With a spot in the final three on the line In Prague Dan reneged on a promise to work together with Big Easy, who couldn't come up with the answer to a puzzling Roadblock on his own, causing the Globetrotters to take a 4-hour penalty and sealing their elimination.
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 9:46pm, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne ripped opened their clue instructing them to travel across town to the Spanish Synagogue, the site of the city's oldest Jewish house of prayer.
The dating couple arrived at the Spanish Synagogue where they first noticed the Speed Bump, that last place Brian & Ericka would have to perform, before running to the cluebox. Opening their clue, Meghan & Cheyne learned they had to make their way four miles to the outskirts of town and find the Ekotechnicke Museum.
As brothers Sam & Dan left the Pit Start of Prague Castle, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne arrived at the Ekotechnicke Museum to find a Roadblock that could only be described as Kafkaesque. In an enormous warehouse filled with dozens of empty desks and ringing telephones, one team member had to find the five phones that had someone else on the other end of the line. When they picked up one of those five phones, a voice would give them one letter in the word Franz. Once they unscrambled the letters to figure out this name, they had to fill it in on a special form. If they were correct, the supervisor would hand them their next clue.
Meghan walked into the dimly lit warehouse stunned by the cacophony emanating from the vast sea of ringing phones before her. Meghan began at the closest desk and picked up the phones one by one, hoping to hear a voice on the other end. Turning to a bookcase along the wall, she lifted the handset of a phone on the bottom shelf and heard a garbled voice say, "R". Because the rules didn't allow racers to write down the letters, Meghan used animal names to help her remember the letters, starting with R for rabbit followed by Z for zebra and F for ferret. Meghan couldn't think of an animal name for the letter N, but after finding the final letter A, she walked into the supervisor's office ready to fill out the proper form.
In the sparsely decorated office, an imposing supervisor sat behind a large desk as his bespectacled associate stood behind him with his arms crossed. Meghan began to fill out the form that consisted of questions like first name, last name, middle initial, height, weight, shoe size, occupation, and partner's name. An exasperated Meghan said, "This is ridiculous." After filling out the form, Meghan handed it to the supervisor who carefully inspected it under a magnifying lens before stamping giant red X's all over it to signal a rejection.
After being handed a new form, Meghan once again answered the annoying questions before getting to the bottom of the sheet, where she could place her guess. This time she wrote FRANZ and handed it to the very serious supervisor, who stamped KAFKA on the paper instead of an X, and handed Meghan her clue. Happily running out of the warehouse, Meghan opened the clue with Cheyne, discovering that they had to travel to ] the Kryocentrum.
Arriving at Ekotechnicke Museum just as Meghan & Cheyne were leaving, brothers Sam & Dan decided that Dan should tackle this Roadblock. After Sam offered his brother advice to not get frustrated, Dan walked into the warehouse and stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the rows and rows of phones. After getting over his initial panic, Dan began picking up phones and found the first three with relative ease. With the addition of the letter Z, Dan seemed to be proving his brother, who thought Dan would get flustered, wrong. Just as Dan found his last letter, R, Big Easy walked into the warehouse of phones to tackle the Roadblock for the Globetrotters.
Dan's first stab at filling out the form in the supervisor's office resulted in three red X's stamped across his incorrect guess of NAFZR. A worried Dan commented, "It's going to be hard to put the word together. I don't know if it's a Czech word or an English word. " Dan's next guesses were no better as he simply jotted down the letters in random order hoping one sequence would be correct. With more red Xs doled out from the supervisor, Dan's frustration grew rapidly.
Arriving at the Kryocentrum in first place, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne opened their clue instructing them to seek the power of cold for their bodies' natural healing as Czech athletes have done for years. Teams had to strip down to little more than their skivvies and enter a cryotherapy room that is kept at a brisk 180 degrees below zero Celsius. If teams could endure the cold for two minutes they would receive their next clue.
After Meghan & Cheyne stripped down into their skimpy suits, they donned protective gloves, a headband to cover their ears, a surgical mask for their mouths, and sandals for their feet before walking into the unimaginably cold room. As the clock on the two-minute countdown began, sheiks and yelps could be heard from the dating couple as they became enveloped in a shroud of subzero gas. Meghan shouted, "My gloves are freezing." The pair suffered through their two-minutes of bone-chilling cold before exiting the room and returning to the heat, joking, "I feel bad for polar bears." Opening their clue, Meghan & Cheyne discovered they had to travel to the Charles Bridge.
A STRONG SHOT
Last place Brian & Ericka arrived at their Speed Bump in front of the Spanish Synagogue and discovered that they had to find the pub, M1, and perform the complicated three-step process to prepare a traditional shot of absinthe, a spirit that was first made popular in the 19th Century and is known for its high alcohol content. When they drank the shot of absinthe that they had prepared, Brian & Ericka could continue on the race in hope of making up the valuable lost time.
Walking into the M1 pub, Brian & Erica marveled at the wild party that was going on around them. Brian jokingly asked, "This is a Speed Bump?" Sidling up to the bar, the married couple watched as the bartender put on the demonstration of how to prepare the absinthe shot that included lighting a sugar cube on fire and dropping it into the glass of alcohol. Brian, a confessed teetotaler, worried how drinking a shot of absinthe would affect him. After preparing the drink, Brian & Ericka toasted and tossed back the glass consuming its contents. Brian later described the taste of absinthe as "rubbing alcohol" while Ericka added that it was "the worst drink I've ever had." After running out of the pub, the pair hailed a taxi and headed to the Ekotechnicke Museum hoping to still catch the teams ahead of them.
A PARTNERSHIP BROKEN
When Big Easy found the last of the five letters, he walked into the Supervisor's office where Dan continued to guess incorrectly. After Big Easy's first guess was rejected, he offered Dan a deal to work together where the first person to solve the answer would tell the other. Dan agreed to this and the two began submitting guesses that started with the letter Z. With the rejections piling up, an exasperated Dan said, "There's so many possibilities." Big Easy replied, "Just gotta get the right one though. I just can't see it right now."
Still collaborating, Dan and Big Easy couldn't conjure the right combination of letters to spell Franz. Finally, Dan walked to the Supervisor's desk with his form completed, saying, "This better be right." As the Dan waited in anticipation for a confirmation or denial, Big Easy asked him what he guessed, but Dan wouldn't answer. When Dan got his clue from the Supervisor, Dan let out a cheer of "Thank you Lord!" Big Easy asked Dan once more what he guessed, but Dan would only tell the Globetrotter that the answer began with the letter F. A stunned Big Easy replied, "Wow, that's all you're gonna give me?" Later, Dan explained why he wouldn't cough up the answer, saying, "Why in the heck would I tell him"¦when we're trying to make it in the final three. That would be the dumbest mistake I could've made." On Dan's decision, Big Easy said, "I wouldn't done him like that, but like I always say, "˜You are who you are.'"
As the brothers headed off to the Kryocentrum, Big Easy became increasingly frustrated as his answers continued to be rejected by the Supervisor. With the arrival of Brian & Ericka, the tension mounted as Brian began to answer the ringing phones. Big Easy compounded his problems by losing track of what he already guessed. Once Brian found his last letter, he joined Big Easy in the Supervisor's office. The Supervisor rejected Brian's first guess, but Brian's second one hit the mark causing him to erupt in a huge cheer as he ran out to an ecstatic Ericka now in third place.
Facing the reality of his situation, Big Easy exited the warehouse to where his patient partner stood waiting. After discussing the Flight Time, Big Easy decided to take the four-hour penalty for not completing the Roadblock instead of continuing in vain. As the clock began to countdown the four hours the Globetrotters now had to wait, a worried Big Easy said, "Hopefully everything works out."
Arriving at the Charles Bridge in first place, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne discovered a Detour with the choice of Legend or Lager. In Legend, teams would delve into Prague lore and Jewish mythology by building a Golem, a figure made of straw and clay constructed to protect the Jewish quarters in the 15th Century. Teams had to cover a wooden Golem skeleton with wet clay and then transport the figure across town to old New Synagogue, the Golem's ancient home. In Lager, teams had to drink in the local culture and deliver beer to a group of rowdy soccer hooligans. Teams had to carry a total of 30 beers from a brewery, through the busy town square. and deliver them to the bar.
While Sam & Dan froze at the Kryocentrum, Meghan & Cheyne decided to transport a Golem through town and got to work, laying their Golem down in order to cover it with the heavy, wet clay. Once the dating couple completely encased their Golem, they stood it up, realizing how heavy figure was with the thick clay on it. The Golem came equipped with wheels on the back of its feet so Meghan & Cheyne tipped it backwards and began to trudge through town. At one point, Cheyne groaned in pain, shouting, "It's so heavy!"
In second place, brothers Sam & Dan began to cover their Golem with clay, but a miscommunication sent their figure tumbling to the ground injuring its arm. Sam & Dan mended the Golem's arm with clay, but once the brothers began to transport the figure, the familiar bickering between the two began. Neither brother could agree on the best method for carrying the massive Golem and finding the synagogue. Dan complained about how heavy the Golem was, and he wanted to stop for a minute. Sam offered to switch sides with his brother, but the conversation devolved into each telling the other to shut up. Sam complained, "You're being a baby. Let's go!" Dan countered, "It's better to do this than be completed exhausted."
After delivering their Golem to the rabbis at the synagogue, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne discovered that they had to find the Pit Stop at Strelecky Ostrov, a small island next to the Charles Bridge. The pair took a quick taxi ride and then ran onto the mat to claim yet another first place victory and this time a pair of 52" LCD HD televisions. On their success, Cheyne commented, "We are the best team going into the final three, absolutely."
Thrilled to finally be out of last place, married couple Brian & Ericka arrived at the Charles Bridge and decided to deliver beer from the brewery to the pub. In the brewery, Brian stacked his first tray with eight fully poured glasses of dark lager beer while Ericka managed to pick up seven. Immediately exiting the brewery, the married couple encountered a group of rowdy local, noisily parading through the streets interfering with their concentration in carrying their trays of beer glasses. After evading the crazy locals, Brian & Ericka continued on their path through the streets of Prague, eventually having to set down their trays to rest for a minute. In trying to set down her load, Ericka spilled her entire tray as glass and beer smashed to the sidewalk below. A furious Ericka told Brian she wanted to switch Detour tasks, shouting, "This is insane!"
Brothers Sam & Dan continued to haul their Golem through the streets of Prague even as they kept up their arguing. Sam noted, "With brothers sometimes, the person who wins is who yells the loudest. We gotta try and get over that and work together." Despite their discord, the brothers finished the job to earn second place and a spot in the final three. On their mission in the last leg, Dan said, "We gotta catch Meghan & Cheyne."
As the Globetrotters moved into the final hour of their penalty, a calm Brian convinced a frustrated Ericka to continue carrying glasses of beer asking her to remain positive. The pair continued to elude local drunkards, who were on their way home from a night out, and, after two trips to the bar, they had delivered nineteen glasses. For the third trip, Brian & Ericka wised up and took a taxi back to the brewery to save their energy for their final walk to the pub.
A NEW DAY
With the sun rising over Prague and the beginning of a new day, the time expired on the Globetrotters four-hour penalty. As Flight Time & Big Easy jumped into a taxi to the Kryocentrum, Brian & Ericka delivered the final eleven glasses of beer to a very tired pub owner. After a long and draining night, the tired, but hopeful married couple stepped onto the mat at Strelecky Ostrov to claim the last spot in the final three. Ericka commented, "We have definitely made our fair share of screw ups, but we're contenders."
At the Kryocentrum, the Globetrotters received the dreaded clue instructing them to proceed to the Pit Stop where Phil eliminated them from the race. On the mat, Big Easy said, "Sometimes this race can tear relationships and I think it built ours. I love Flight Time to death and hopefully me and him can be teammates for another twenty years." Flight Time later added, "We ran across the finish line with our heads held high. We're the Harlem Globetrotters. We go as a team and we leave as a team. We didn't win the million dollars but the experience that we had was priceless."
1511 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can per