Season 20: Episode 5 - "Uglier Than A Mud Rail Fence"
Posted on Mar 19, 2012 04:15pm

In the German Alps of Bavaria, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ won their third consecutive leg, best friends Bopper & Mark overcame a Speed Bump to stay in the race, and cousins Kerri & Stacy were eliminated.

Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 8:57am, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ ripped open their clue, sending them by train to Ehrwald, Austria. From there, they had to drive across the border into Germany's oldest state, Bavaria, and make their way to the Gasthof Zum Rassen restaurant to search for the Travelocity Roaming Gnome that held their next clue.

In the early evening darkness, last place Bopper & Mark finally began their journey to Bavaria, saying, "Down but not out." Mark added, "It's a long shot, but I think we can do it. We need the money worse than any team out there so we just gotta get it done." The Kentucky friends' optimism for staying in the race was bolstered further when they, along with Mississippi cousins Kerri & Stacy, met up with Federal Agents Nary & Jamie, PhD student and event hostess Brendon & Rachel, and dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph at the connecting train station in Innsbruck, Austria at 4:30am. Mark later commented, "When we seen them all, man you talk about adrenaline flow."

At 6:30am in Ehrwald, Austria, Border Patrol Agents Art & JJ, having spent the night sleeping in the train station, jumped into a car and drove to the Gasthof Zum Rassen restaurant. Since it did not open until 8:30am, they waited in the chilly weather for other teams to join them, having not seeing anyone for a full day. Joining them in the wait for the restaurant doors to open were trainer and club Joey "Fitness" & Danny and Army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave, who arrived on the second train into Ehrwald.

At 8:30am, the doors to the Gasthof Zum Rassen restaurant opened allowing Art & JJ, Joey "Fitness" & Danny, and Rachel & Dave to run inside where they were greeted by the lively music of a traditional German band and yodeler. Finding their gnomes seated at a table filled with Bavarian pretzels, the three teams each picked one up and turned it over to find a Detour, giving them the choice of Fairy Tale or Champion Male. Fairy Tale required teams to follow a trail of ginger bread, picking up the pieces as they walked through a forest to the fairy tale inspired village of Oberammergau, and find the witch's cottage from Hansel and Gretel. Once there, teams had to use the pieces to complete the roof of a gingerbread house and decorate it properly. Champion Male required teams to choose a champion beard enthusiast and style his beard with provided hair care products to shape his beard into a winning look with no hair out of place.

As the last five teams sprinted off their train in Ehrwald, Rachel & Dave, Art & JJ, and Joey "Fitness" & Danny all drove to the town of Unterammergau and selected their client from a row of long white-bearded men ready to have their facial hair styled into an award winning look. Relying on Rachel's experience with blow driers and curlers, Dave tried to follow his wife's lead as the married couple began the task in first place. Meanwhile, Joey "Fitness" & Danny realized immediately they may have made a mistake in picking a guy with the longest beard, making it more difficult to mold into the intricate pattern. However the trainer and club promoter remained optimistic they could do well, saying, "We gotta be good at this. We use gel in our hair. Nobody else does." Although the Border Patrol Agents began the task in third place, JJ demonstrated a remarkable and previously unrecognized knack for styling beards, later joking, "I'm not ashamed of who I am and that's one of my abilities. I can craft a man's facial hair really nice." After molding their German gentleman's white hair into two rigid spikes sticking straight out with accompanying ringlets above them, Art & JJ received approval on their masterpiece creation and ripped open their clue which instructed them to find the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty's castle. Before jumping into their car, the Border Patrol Agents asked a local woman for directions and she informed the team they were looking for Neuschwanstein Castle, home of King Ludwig II, whose bedroom was where teams would find their next clue.

Arriving at the Gasthof Zum Rassen restaurant in fourth place, Bopper & Mark held a slim lead over the other four teams on their train, but the best friends now faced a Speed Bump for coming in last place on the previous leg. In this Speed Bump, Bopper & Mark had to listen to an expert yodeler and master the skills of yodeling a specific tune. When the expert felt they hit all the right notes, he would hand over the next clue.

The Kentucky friends laughed as they donned traditional lederhosen, red and white checkered shirts, and brimmed hats to complete the ensemble. After Bopper & Mark received lessons from the two yodelers and had some practice time, the German band, consisting of a trumpeter, tuba player, drummer, and accordionist, struck up a bouncy tune for the best friends' first attempt. What Bopper & Mark clearly lacked in yodeling skills, they definitely made up for in enthusiasm, but when the song ended, the flabbergasted lead yodeler said, "That's the American way of yodeling." After performing the fast tempo song for a second time, the Kentucky duo finally got the thumbs up from the yodelerm, who shook their hands and told them, "Excellent!" However, by the time Bopper & Mark changed out of their lederhosen, all of the other teams had already picked up their Travelocity Gnomes, once again putting the best friends in last place as they headed to Fairy Tale with Brendon & Rachel and Kerri & Stacy. Vanessa & Ralph and Nary & Jamie instead chose to style beards.

With Rachel & Dave finishing the elaborate curls of their German gentleman's beard in second place, Joey "Fitness" & Danny still struggled to master the difficult design of the beard they selected. A worried Joey "Fitness" told Danny, "It's sticking to my fingers. It looks sloppy man." As the Long Island team fumbled around with an incredibly long mustache, dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph arrived and quickly gained ground by relying on Vanessa's hair styling skills. The arrival of federal agents Nary & Jamie only made Joey "Fitness" & Danny more anxious to finish their beard styling and keep the small lead they had on the other teams. With more curlers and blow drying, the trainer and club promoter finally molded their beard into the winning style that matched the picture they used as a reference. Before opening the next clue, Joey "Fitness" told his satisfied customer, "You're a tough guy over here." Dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph finished their beard moments after Joey "Fitness" & Danny to jump into fourth place, while Nary & Jamie styled theirs for fifth place.

RAISE THE ROOF With the snow falling to create a magical fairy tale setting, Brendon & Rachel and Kerri & Stacy could not figure out how to get their own fairy tale started as they overlooked the giant yellow and red adorned trunk that contained the baskets they would need to collect gingerbread. As the two befuddled teams mistakenly ran the wrong way, last place Bopper & Mark arrived, took a basket from the trunk, and began to walk along the snow covered trail through the woods, picking up pieces of gingerbread along the way. Realizing they had made a mistake, Brendon & Rachel and Kerri & Stacy retraced their steps, spotted the trunk with the baskets, and began their journey through the woods now tied for last place.

Entering the village of Oberammergau, Bopper & Mark quickly found the Hansel & Gretel inspired house adorned with paintings depicting the famous fairy tale about the two children. Running around to the back of the house, the Kentucky pair spotted a cackling witch (who Mark called "uglier than a mudrail fence") stirring her cauldron beside a row of gingerbread houses in need of roofs. Using frosting as glue to connect the pieces of gingerbread together, Bopper & Mark began construction on their roof as Brendon & Rachel and Kerri & Stacy arrived. All three teams soon realized that the only way to properly build the roof was to break up the pieces of gingerbread into flat edges that fit together like puzzle pieces. Using a fork to cut and shape their pieces, Kerri & Stacy jumped ahead of the other two teams and finished the task after adding frosting around the edges and gumdrops for decoration. When Bopper & Mark completed their gingerbread house next, Brendon did his best to calm down fiancée Rachel, who began to cry about being in last place. After a few brief minutes, Rachel's tears turned to squeals of excitement when the witch presented them with their clue. Running to the car, Brendon assured Rachel, "We're right behind everybody."

Still in first place, Art & JJ could see Neuschwanstein Castle nestled high in the Bavarian Alps of Germany above them. After parking their car, the Border Patrol Agents assessed their options and decided to take a horse drawn carriage up the steep and long path to the fairy tale inspired castle. Reaching the entrance, Art & JJ jumped out of the carriage, walked up the steps, and entered the massive, stunning castle. Walking from room to room, each more beautiful than the last, the Border Patrol Agents found King Ludwig II's bedroom and their next clue, instructing them to drive to the town of Fussen and find an eishockey und curling rink.

Arriving at the parking lot to Neuschwanstein Castle together with Joey "Fitness" & Danny, dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph looked up at the steep path leading to the castle and disagreed on how to climb it. Ralph wanted to walk like Joey "Fitness" & Danny, who darted ahead, while Vanessa suggested taking a carriage instead. Grudgingly conceding to Ralph's idea, a very annoyed Vanessa told him, "If we're going the wrong way I'm gonna kick your ass." When Ralph pleaded for Vanessa to walk faster, she snapped back, "I am making an effort to not kill you right now." As the dating divorcees continued their ascent to the castle, Ralph's insistence that Vanessa walk faster only made matters worse. Not liking Vanessa's attitude, Ralph tossed her jacket he was carrying back at her. Now fuming, Vanessa threw her jacket at Ralph and shouted, "This is your jackass idea!" When Ralph asked if "princess" Vanessa had anything else she wanted him to carry, she snapped "Maybe a little bit of class and dignity. You look more like a juiced up hothead." Once the bickering couple reached King Ludwig's bedroom in third place, Ralph offered an olive branch, calling Vanessa "babe," but she was not having it, incredulously asking, "Now I'm baby?"

Reaching the parking lot to Neuschwanstein Castle after getting lost, fourth place Army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave noticed a second castle, Hohenschwangau Castle, adjacent to the parking lot and considerably closer. When the parking attendant pointed Rachel & Dave to the incorrect Hohenschwangau Castle, they walked up the stairs and waited for the English speaking tour of the castle to begin. Just before the tour started, Federal Agents Nary & Jamie joined Rachel & Dave and the two teams wasted precious time taking a guided tour of the wrong castle. When they reached the bedroom in Hohenschwangau Castle and did not see a cluebox, their tour guide informed the two teams they needed to go up to Neuschwanstein Castle instead. Surprisingly, after their massive blunder, Nary & Jamie and Rachel & Dave still reached King Ludwig's bedroom at Neuschwanstein Castle in fourth and fifth place.

After making the same mistake of walking to Hohenschwangau Castle, Bopper & Mark began the long, steep hike up to Neuschwanstein Castle in last place. By the time the best friends reached the castle entrance, Bopper could barely breathe, wheezing heavily as he dropped to his knees. Later confessing that he also prayed for strength from above when he was on his knees, Bopper got the second wind he needed and continued on with Mark who scolded his friend, "Quit trying to be a superhero. Take your time."

BULL'S EYE Arriving at the eishockey und curling rink in first place, Art & JJ ripped open their clue to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to use their Travelocity Roaming Gnome in a 16th century winter sport known as eisstockchienben. Sliding their gnome across the ice, teams had to land it on a bull's eye.

Walking onto the ice rink, JJ knelt behind the red line and began sliding gnomes across the ice in a sport similar to curling. With Art stopping the errant sliding gnomes on the other side of the ice just past the bull's eye, JJ kept overshooting the target as he let out screams of frustration. Finally, after several more attempts, JJ had the magic touch and the gnome stopped perfectly in the white center bull's eye. Ripping open their clue, Art & JJ discovered they had to find the next Pit Stop at Landhannes Farm, a 200-year old working dairy farm.

With no teams in sight, Art & JJ cruised to their third win in a row when stepping onto the mat in a barn filled with cows at Landhannes Farm. For their victory, the Border Patrol Agent won a trip for two from Travelocity to Thailand. Afterwards, JJ said, "Hey, we win because we dominate. We have a one in seven shot at a million dollars and it's ours."

As dating divorcees Vanessa & Ralph finished their rocky day in third place, just behind second place Joey "Fitness" & Danny, Federal Agents Nary & Jamie arrived at the ice hockey rink in fourth place, where Nary chose to perform the Roadblock. While Jamie optimistically believed that her partner would be skilled at hitting targets, Nary did her best to prove Jamie wrong. As Nary continued to miss shot after shot, Army wife Rachel and Brendon both arrived, hit their bull's eye, and left the rink with their respective partners. Unable to do much except watch, Jamie said, "This is extremely nerve wracking."

With the arrival of Bopper & Mark and Kerri & Stacy on the ice, Nary & Jamie now felt the pressure, knowing they were now one of the last three teams. Nary continued to miss her shots and Kerri did not fare any better, but Mark quickly found his target, landing a bull's eye, causing Bopper to erupt in a loud cheer. After near elimination in the last leg, the Kentucky best friends mounted a comeba