Season 20: Episode 4 - Taste Your Salami
Posted on Mar 11, 2012 09:00pm


After taking the Fast Forward in Turin, Italy, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ won their second leg in a row and were rewarded $10,000, a prize they decided to share with last place best friends, Bopper & Mark.

Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 5:10pm, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ ripped open their clue, instructing them to fly 6,000 miles to Turin, Italy's motor city. When they landed, teams had to drive a Ford Focus to the Lingotto Building to find their next clue.

At a travel agency, Art & JJ found a flight departing the next morning at 9:15am that would land the following morning in Turin at 10:35am. The Border Patrol Agents booked the flight, bummed at the prospect of spending another night in the airport, potentially allowing the other teams to catch up with them. Sure enough, one by one, the remaining seven teams booked the same flight except for one, Bopper & Mark. The best friends mistakenly took a taxi to the airport, believing that the travel agency would be there. Hanging out at an empty airport restaurant, Art & JJ saw the hapless Kentucky friends and helped them by explaining that they needed to head back to the travel agency to purchase tickets. Knowing that Bopper was running the race to help his sick 7-year old daughter who is currently on seven different respiratory medicines, Art commented, "[Bopper & Mark] are both great guys. I'm sure if they found themselves in a situation to reciprocate, they probably would." Jumping into a taxi, Bopper worried, "I just hope there are still tickets available when we get there."

Running into a travel agency, a panicked Bopper & Mark asked for the earliest available flight to Turin and booked one arriving at 11:50am, over an hour later than the other teams. However, since the best friends were alone at the agency, they were completely unaware that they were the only team on a later flight. Only after reuniting with the other teams at the airport and comparing itineraries did Bopper & Mark realize they had a different and worse flight. As the seven other teams began boarding the 9:15am flight to Turin, Bopper & Mark ran to the Al Italia counters and tried to get a pair of last minute standby tickets on the flight to join their competitors. Once the flight finished boarding, Bopper & Mark found learned there were no more seats were available because everyone showed up for the flight. Now faced with being over an hour behind the other teams in Turin, Bopper told Mark, "We just have to hope and pray that the good Lord sees fit for us, buddy."

Landing in Turin, Italy, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ got a quick jump out of the airport, followed closely by PhD student and event hostess Brendon & Rachel, Federal Agents Nary & Jamie, dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph, and trainer and club promoter Joey "Fitness & Danny. Meanwhile, Army wife Rachel became so irritated with her backseat driving husband, combat pilot Dave, that she pulled their Ford Focus into a gas station to let Dave take over the driving duties, saying, "Wow, you are testy today." Fairing even worse on the initial drive, Mississippi cousin Kerri could not figure out how to get her car in gear, forcing Stacy to climb into the driver's seat, upset they had lost all the teams.

Arriving at the Lingotto Building in first place, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ began a steady jog up the building's spiraled ramps, leading to the roof where the cluebox waited. Keeping their lead on Brendon & Rachel, the winded Art & JJ steadily rounded each turn of the ramp, inching closer to the top. Finally reaching the rooftop, the Border Patrol agents ripped open the clue to find a Fast Forward, allowing one team to skip all other tasks and proceed to the Pit Stop. In this Fast Forward, that team had to land a helicopter on a building. One team member had to operate a remote controlled helicopter while their partner wore a model of the Lingotto Building. When the team made a perfect landing, the pilot would give them their next clue.

Running into the domed section of the building, Art & JJ grew excited at the prospect of landing a helicopter, but the Border Patrol Agents' hopes quickly deflated when they saw the toy helicopter and helmet with the model of the building attached to it. JJ strapped on the helmet, looking somewhat silly, and shouted for Art to begin flying the plane and trying to land it on JJ's head. Using the remote control, Art maneuvered the chopper as it buzzed near JJ's head, but with a sudden movement, he crashed it into JJ's helmet as it fell to the floor. Looking stressed out, Art took the controls again, hoping he and JJ made the right decision.

As Art & JJ took their shot at completing the Fast Forward, PhD student and event hostess Brendon & Rachel ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to rappel 120-feet down the inside of the spiraled section of the Lingotto Building, where they just ran up. On the way down, they had to grab a clue and meet their partner on the bottom. If they failed to get the clue in the allotted two minutes, they had to run back to the top and start again.

After gearing up, both Rachel and Danny climbed over the edge of the barrier and dangled precariously high above the concrete floor in the spiraled section of the building. Lowering themselves down as they swung to and fro, both Rachel and Danny had enough momentum to reach the clue tied to a rope against the wall. Then, after a thrilling descent to the bottom, Rachel and Danny reunited with their partners, Brendon and Joey "Fitness," to discover they now had to once again navigate the busy streets of Turin and make their way to the Museo Nazionale dell' Automobile. Once there, they had to park on the street using the Ford Focus' Active Park Assist feature. Then, they had to go into the museo and search for the 1916 Tin Lizzie, a distant relative of the car they had been driving in the leg, for their next clue.

Arriving at the Lingotto Building in fifth place, combat pilot Dave wanted to try for the Fast Forward after seeing it involved landing a helicopter, but Army wife Rachel put the brakes on that idea, asking, "Where's Art & JJ?" When Dave pressed the issue, Rachel mocked him, asking, "You get to fly a real helicopter?" Walking away, Dave said, "It's a bit of a marital personality conflict right now. I hope she changes her demeanor. Otherwise, this will be an extremely long leg, if not race." Rachel breezed through the Roadblock, passing Jamie and Vanessa who both had to rappel a second time because they could not reach the clue.

Landing in Turin an hour and fifteen minutes behind the other teams, best friends Bopper & Mark hoped to make up the time quickly. However, the Kentucky duo soon discovered that navigating the confusing streets of Turin without other teams to help would be a true test of their racing skills.  Bopper later commented, "The language they use here in Italy, just pronouncing the word the way they do, it's difficult." Even after stopping and asking locals for help, Bopper & Mark struggled to find the Lingotto Building. A concerned Mark worried, "They don't speak no English neither."

After more failed attempts at landing the toy helicopter, Art told JJ to straighten up his helmet. This small adjustment by JJ was all Art needed to finally place the chopper on the Lingotto Building model. After a quick celebration, the Border Patrol Agents rushed to their cars and drove to the Pit Stop at Piazza Castello. Jumping on the mat, Art & JJ learned from Phil that they won $5,000 each for their victory. Afterwards, JJ set his sights on now winning a third leg in a row next time, but added, "The Race is gnarly. It takes you from the highs to the lows."

Pulling up to the Museo Nazionale dell' Automobile, Brendon began using the Ford Focus Active Park Assist feature by simply pressing a button and allowing the car to turn the wheel itself and slide into an open spot. However, with Rachel growing agitated in the backseat about other teams catching up to them, Brendon lost his cool, snapping at her as he parked. Bolting out of the car, Rachel shouted, "You are so embarrassing! I hate you! You can't talk to me when you get under pressure like that. It's not okay." When Brendon tried to calm her down, Rachel tearfully told him, "This isn't even worth a million dollars."

Inside the museum, Brendon & Rachel continued fighting as they searched for the 1916 Tin Lizzie. Despite their discord, the engaged couple spotted the vintage car ahead of the other teams. However, they had no idea what to do with their next clue: a two cent Euro they found in the front seat. What they needed to figure out is that they had to drive to the building printed on the back of the coin, Mole Antonelianna, and take an elevator to the top. Thinking the coin had to be put into something to release their clue, Brendon & Rachel became even more frustrated with each other when they realized Rachel & Dave, Joey "Fitness" & Danny, Nary & Jamie, and Vanessa & Ralph all solved the puzzling riddle and had left the museum. Standing outside their car, Brendon reached his limit and asked, "Do you want to continue racing or you just want to stop here?" Taken aback, Rachel replied, "You say that about everything. You're going to say that about your PhD." Adding that they hit a brick wall in their marriage, Rachel quipped, "You shouldn't yell at me and be mean to me." During their argument, Brendon looked at the coin again and realized that the other teams probably went to Mole Antonelianna prompting Rachel to suggest, "Maybe go to that building and stop embarrassing ourselves."

Having their own relationship problems, Army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave circled around Turin and inadvertently ended up back at Museo Nazionale dell' Automobile. Rachel blamed Dave for not listening to the directions given to them by a very random group of people dressed up as Santa Claus. Upset by her accusation, Dave asked, "Do you want to be supportive?" Rachel snapped back, "I'll be supportive when you follow the directions…instead of thinking you know better." Dave ended the fight by declaring, "I'm keeping my mouth shut before I say something I regret."

Arriving at Mole Antonelianna in second place, Joey "Fitness" & Danny rode up the glass elevator, marveling at the incredible view as they ascended to the top of the building. Walking out onto the balcony overlooking the city, the trainer and club promoter spotted their next clue, a Detour with the choice of Clean That Statue or Name That Salami. Clean That Statue required teams to learn the methods used to maintain the city's treasured statues. They then had to carefully clean a statue using provided equipment, restoring it to its former pristine state. Name That Salami required teams to locate Gastronomia Salumeria where they had to taste 14 distinct salamis. Then, after traveling half a mile to Piazza Vittorio, they had to identify those same 14 salamis by their correct name.

A group of four teams, led by Army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave, drove to a nearby lot filled with statues, adjacent to a gorgeous park. After donning the proper white safety suit and goggles, the four teams took command of high power hoses designed to rinse away the dirt that had accumulated on the statues. On the grimy statues, Joey Fitness joked, "She's a dirty girl, but not the type of dirty girl that Danny likes." While Dave managed to control the direction and power of his hose properly, Ralph and Nary both aimed directly at their statue's head, blowing it right off onto the ground. Not missing a beat, Vanessa picked up the head and began scrubbing it with a brush to restore it to its original color. Ultimately, the four teams who chose to clean statues all ended the leg in second to fifth position in the order of Rachel & Dave, Joey "Fitness" & Danny, Vanessa & Ralph, and Nary & Jamie.

With both their day and emotions spiraling out of control, PhD student and event hostess Brendon & Rachel hoped that eating salami would put them on track to quickly finish the leg. While the engaged couple easily identified and matched five salamis that stood out due to taste or texture in Piazza Vittorio, they soon found difficulty with the remaining nine more subtle and similar tasting ones. When they guessed incorrectly, Brendon & Rachel had to return to Gastronomia Salumeria and sample the salamis in the display case again. When they felt they finally had all the names correct, they could return to the Piazza. Multiple trips (and subsequent wrong guesses) between the store and piazza began to take its toll on Rachel and, seeing seventh place Kerri & Stacy arrive at Gastronomia Salumeria, drove her to tears, crying, "We are not doing good and it's not okay." Every attempt Brendon made at calming Rachel down only seemed to make her more upset. Trying to taste salamis in Piazza Vittorio, Rachel sobbed, "I can't handle it. I'm done. Amazing Race is supposed to be fun and good. I'm not on Big Brother again." Remaining calm, Brendon eventually found a way to refocus the upset Rachel back to salami tasting by reminding her of their bond of friendship and love. With Rachel's mood greatly improved, she and Brendon finally identified all fourteen salamis and ended the day in sixth place. Afterwards, Rachel commented, "Sometimes we act like frenemies than best friends." Brendon added, "Neither one of us should be yelling at the other."

With cousins Kerry & Stacy eating salami for a seventh place finish, best friends Bopper & Mark remained in last place, having a ball as they cleaned their statue to a glistening white. Mark joked, "Manual labor seems to be a little better for us." In their car ride to the Pit Stop at Piazza Castello, Bopper said, "It kind of sucks coming in last and being eliminated, but I still feel good about what we accomplished today."