Season 25: Episode 7 - Pretty Fly For a Food Scientist
Posted on Nov 7, 2014 11:00pm

In Palermo, Sicily, teams raced go-karts, painted ceilings, and listened to opera. Dentists Misti & Jim won their fourth leg, while college sweethearts Tim & Te Jay came in last, but were spared elimination.

Casbah D’if in the middle of the Moroccan desert is where the leg began. Dentists Misti & Jim ripped their clue first at 9:44 p.m. It told them to fly to Palermo, Sicily and make their way to Teatro di Verdura. They jumped in their Ford Fiesta and drove off into the pitch darkness. Misti said the Race might be the most fun she and Jim have had in their entire sixteen years together, while Jim said it’s forced them to work together and communicate. They arrived at a travel agency in downtown Marrakech. Surfers Adam & Bethany ripped the clue second. Adam said, “Sicily, huh? I hope we get some pizza.” Cyclists Kym & Alli left third, Kym saying they were finally going somewhere she hasn’t been. Alli commented on driving in the middle of nowhere with nothing for miles: “This is actually really creepy.” At the travel agency, Misti & Jim discovered that the earliest flight to Palermo didn’t land until 8:00 the following night. College sweethearts Tim & Te Jay left the Pit Stop in fourth place, saying that they actually bicker more at home. “At least on the Race we’re only bickering about stupid stuff.” Kym & Alli just beat Adam & Bethany to the travel agency and got on the 8:00 flight with the dentists. Wrestlers Brooke & Robbie ripped their clue in fifth place and started driving. They lamented not being able to work out, Robbie saying, “I’ve lost half an ab, so I’m down to seven and a half now and it just looks weird.” Tim & Te Jay arrived at the travel agency just as Kym & Alli left for the airport. Alli said they’d be flying with the dentists and then made a face. Kym added that Misti & Jim definitely weren’t their favorite team. “They’re our biggest competition, and they got the Save pass… and then they got the non-elimination round. It’s like they’ve got nine lives.” Alli added, “And Jim’s a little nasty.”

At the travel agency, Tim & Te Jay found out that they and surfers Adam & Bethany were on a flight landing forty minutes behind the front two teams. In the airport parking lot, Kym & Alli parked next to Misti & Jim’s car. On the dirty back windshield they wrote “Team No Fun,” while Alli imitated Jim’s bulging eyes. Food scientists Amy & Maya arrived at the travel agency and were told by wrestlers Brooke & Robbie that they were all on the second flight. Maya said, “We left in last place and now we’re caught up with three other teams, so we’re happy about that.”

The next morning, all teams took off together for Rome, and then caught their separate connections to Sicily. In balmy, mountainous Palermo, dentists Misti & Jim and cyclists Kym & Alli arrived at dusk. Coming off the jetway, they admired the pink and orange sunset. Alli said, “That is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Jim added, “I’ve never seen a view like this from an airport.” They decided to share a taxi, knowing that despite their differences, it sometimes pays to work with other people. Misti & Jim said that while they liked the cyclists more than at the beginning of the Race, they still didn’t love them like they loved the other teams. The second flight landed, and surfers Adam & Bethany, wrestlers Brooke & Robbie, college sweethearts Tim & Te Jay, and food scientists Amy & Maya jumped into separate taxis. While driving, Robbie said he wanted pizza. Brooke said, “You just had pizza.” “But we’re in Italy. Fuggedaboutit.” At Teatro di Verdura, Misti & Jim and Kym & Alli arrived and found tambourines hanging outside with departure times for the next morning: 6:30, 6:40 and 6:50 a.m. There was also a tarantella group playing music and dancing. The teams grabbed the two 6:30 departure times. Then they held hands and danced in a circle, although Jim was less than enthusiastic about it. Kym asked if he was feeling masculine, and he said, “Not at all.” Shortly thereafter, the other teams arrived. Brooke & Robbie and Amy & Maya pulled the 6:40 a.m. departure times, while Adam & Bethany and Tim & Te Jay pulled 6:50 a.m.

The sun rose, and Misti & Jim and Kym & Alli ripped the clue. It said to make their way to Villa Costanza and search for their next clue. They ran off down the street, looking for taxis. The dentists said that collaboration with another team could be a good thing, although “That won’t happen in leg twelve.” At 6:40, Amy & Maya and Brooke & Robbie ripped their clues. Meanwhile, the front two teams asked a woman on the street to call taxis for them. As they headed off separately, Kym said they were no longer working as a foursome. The second two teams ran around looking for taxis, but had no luck. Brooke said, “I’m going to throw up. There are no taxis anywhere.” Robbie said, “The other teams left three minutes ago. They’re going to catch up.” Meanwhile, Adam & Bethany and Tim & Te Jay ran down the street, although they were having the same problem. Misti & Jim and Kym & Alli arrived at Villa Costanza. On a mountainside road overlooking the city they ripped the clue and discovered a Roadblock. Phil said that the Targa Florio is a famous Italian car race that dates back over a hundred years. Teams had to drive the original route up Mount Pellegrino in a go-kart. If they completed the course in under 4:07, they’d receive their next clue from Italian racing legend Nino Vaccarella. Then they could ride back down the mountain in a vintage car driven by a professional racecar driver. Kym and Jim took the Roadblock, and changed into traditional full-body racing suits, helmets and goggles.

Back in town, scientists Amy & Maya found a taxi. When wrestlers Brooke & Robbie saw them drive by, they were furious. Meanwhile, Adam & Bethany and Tim & Te Jay also found taxis. That left Brooke & Robbie as the last team on the street. Brooke said, “It’s always a taxi that kills us…. Thirty-five minutes and not one taxi.” At the Roadblock, Kym and Jim jumped into go-karts. Alli and Misti headed off in their taxis to the beach resort of Antico Stabilimento Balneare, where their partners would eventually meet up with them. Then the flag went down, and Kym and Jim took off. Kym cheered nonstop as they zoomed around the road’s hairpin turns, and Jim said he had his foot to the floor the entire time. At the starting line, Maya got dressed in her oversized racing suit. “Pretty fly for a food scientist.” Amy added, “The crotch is at your ankles.” Brooke & Robbie finally found a taxi, and Brooke was in disbelief. “We’re forty minutes behind. It took us forty minutes to get a freaking taxi.” Robbie hoped Adam & Bethany and Tim & Te Jay had trouble getting taxis as well, but unbeknownst to him, they were already getting dressed at the Roadblock. Brooke added, “Taxis can kill you in this race.”

On the racecourse, Jim weaved back and forth to keep Kym behind him. He said he wanted to make sure that if he didn’t make it in time, then Kym didn’t make it either. Being lighter, however, she managed to get around him on a straightaway. Jim finally passed her back on a curve and came in first with several seconds to spare. Kim was just behind him, and they both got the clue. Then they jumped in vintage cars and headed down the mountain with their drivers. On the way, they admired the incredible view. Kim said, “I think I’ll retire here, find myself a nice Italian husband, settle down, eat pasta, get fat.” Her driver replied, “You’re in the right city.” As Adam ran up to the starting line, Maya’s heat began and she took off by herself. She sped up the mountain, but clocked in at only 4:32. She then had to follow a pace car back down the mountain to try again.

At Antico Stabilimento Balneare, Jim and Kym pulled up in their vintage cars and jumped out to rip the clue with their partners. It was a Detour: Painters or Posers. For Painters, teams had to restore a fresco on a church ceiling while lying on their backs, Michelangelo-style, atop a scaffold. When the painting was completed to the judge’s satisfaction, they’d receive their next clue. For Posers, teams had to travel to the Teatro Politeama Garibaldi and watch ten costumed opera singers perform a selection of famous arias. Then they had to enter an upstairs gallery where the costumes were on display labeled with both the opera and character names. When teams wrote down the names in the order the performers appeared on stage, they’d receive their next clue. Misti & Jim and Kym & Alli both chose Painters and left in their taxis. Jim said the heats for the go-karts left every twenty minutes, so they had a guaranteed twenty-minute lead. Back at the Roadblock, Te Jay, Adam and Brooke (who’d managed to catch up) sat at the starting line. From the back row, Brooke said, “I hope you’re ready, Te Jay – I’m going to blow past you.” Suddenly Maya appeared from up the road saying she had to go again. She got in another go-kart and pulled up next to Brooke. The flag went down, and everyone took off. True to her word, Brooke veered around Te Jay and quickly took the lead. Maya was just behind her and the women left the men in the dust, crossing the finish line with nearly twenty seconds to spare. Adam and Te Jay came in third and fourth respectively, just making the time. Everyone got the clue and started down in the vintage cars. Adam lucked out with a fast driver (“This car very fast in G’s!”) while Brooke got stuck with a slow one. “He loves his brake, man.” She passed the time making faces at him.

Misti & Jim and Kym & Alli arrived at Painters. A priest pointed them to a staircase which led to the scaffold and the frescoes. On the ceiling were four identical paintings of a cherub, with faded swaths across the middle that had to be painted over. Lying on their backs on the painting platforms, teams commented on both the heat and the cramped conditions. Kym said, “This is going to give me a crick in my neck. I feel like a Dali painting because I’m melting.” Back at the meet-up point, the remaining four teams ripped their clues. Both Adam & Bethany and Amy & Maya chose Painters. Driving away, Adam read, “Only four teams may attempt this Detour.” Tim & Te Jay ripped the clue fifth and also chose Painters. That left wrestlers Brooke & Robbie last. Knowing how many teams were headed to Painters, they chose Posers. At the church, dentists Misti & Jim were in their element doing detailed work with their hands. Jim said, “We live in a world where half a millimeter is the difference between success and failure.” Cyclists Kym & Alli, on the other hand, were having more trouble. Being right and left-handed, they were lying on the wrong sides of each other and jockeying for space. Meanwhile Adam & Bethany, Amy & Maya, and Tim & Te Jay all headed for Painters, knowing there could possibly be three teams racing for two spots. Adam & Bethany at least knew they could use their Express Pass if necessary. The teams all arrived at once and sprinted for the entrance. After the chaos of six people squeezing through the door and up the narrow staircase, Amy & Maya were the odd team out. They returned to their taxi and headed to Posers while the other two teams started painting.

Wrestlers Brooke & Robbie headed to Posers as well, believing the performers would be singing their characters’ names. Robbie imitated an opera singer by giving an off-key screech. When they arrived, the curtain parted and ten performers stepped onstage. Each wore a distinctive costume, and they took turns singing short excerpts of different arias. The wrestlers, meanwhile, were completely baffled. When it ended and the performers stepped back behind the curtain, Brooke said, “No way. That is not it.” Robbie called out, “Where are you guys going?” They wanted to switch Detours, but figured there were already four teams at Painters. With no other option, they headed upstairs to the gallery to see what the rest of the task entailed. There they found the costumes on display, labeled with the opera and character names. The wrestlers finally realized they only needed to memorize the costumes. They grabbed a program, and after filling in several names, left to watch the performance again. Back at Painters, teams struggled. Alli said, “I’m shaking like crazy. I’m working a muscle in my arm I didn’t even know existed.” Jim, however, was his usual confident self. Although he recognized that the cyclists were a strong team, “Put us on level ground, and we’re going to pull ahead.” They asked to get judged, but were rejected for missing a nipple and an armpit. Cyclists Kym & Alli were likewise rejected. At the other stations, Adam laughed at Bethany for accidentally dipping her hair in the paint, while Tim & Te Jay bickered over space.

At the theater, scientists Amy & Maya showed up just as Brooke & Robbie returned downstairs. They went in and watched the performance as a group. Up in the gallery, both teams walked around identifying costumes. Robbie asked Brooke if she wanted to compare with Amy & Maya, but she said no. At Painters, Misti & Jim added their second nipple. The judge approved, and they got their clue from the priest. It told them to make their way to the next Pit Stop, the eighteenth-century home Villa Niscemi. They ran to their taxi. Then Kym & Alli were approved, and they took off in second place. Kym said, “If only we could’ve painted faster than them.” The remaining two teams struggled to paint thin lines with thick brushes, and to fill in a detailed butterfly. Tim & Te Jay complained about the physical position and the heat. Adam said, “Michelangelo did it. Or Leonardo. I don’t know who did it.” At Posers, Amy & Maya and Brooke & Robbie continued identifying costumes. The wrestlers turned in their program, but had unknowingly left a space blank and were rejected. Then Amy & Maya turned in their program, but they had an incorrect answer. The two teams decided to work together, Robbie saying, “Let’s just do this and get out of here and beat the painters.” They watched the performance one more time.

In a race to the Pit Stop between dentists Misti & Jim and cyclists Kym & Alli, Jim said, “The Race is war. I just don’t want to lose to anyone.” Kym said that she appreciates Jim’s competitiveness, but just wants to beat him. The dentists, however, got to the Pit Stop first. Phil told them that it was the three-hundredth leg of the Amazing Race, and that they were team number one. They also won a trip to Ocho Rios in Jamaica. Kym & Alli then arrived and joined them on the mat. Jim held up four fingers, saying it was their fourth win. “But watch out for the thumb. It’s coming soon.” Kym said, “Only one team is going to win the million dollars, and let it be the best team.” She added, “We just have to figure out a way to break their kneecaps.” Back at Painters, surfers Adam & Bethany asked to be judged but were told to make their lines thinner. Tim & Te Jay were also rejected for incomplete work. At Posers, Brook & Robbie and Amy & Maya worked together to identify the costumes. The scientists turned in their program first, Maya glancing at her watch and saying, “Guys, we’ve got to get this... now.” They were approved, and ripped their clue in third place. Brooke & Robbie then had to wait to be judged as the scientists ran off. Robbie griped, “We shouldn’t have let them go first – we were here first. We could get first right now.” They were approved as well, and ran out of the room with Brooke saying, “Damn it! Why did we let them go first?”

At the church, surfers Adam & Bethany and college sweethearts Tim & Te Jay plugged away at the tedious painting. Te Jay said, “We should’ve done the opera.” Finally the surfers got approved. They ripped the clue and jumped in their taxi. Then Tim & Te Jay were approved. At the Pit Stop, Amy & Maya arrived in third place, with Brooke & Robbie just behind them. The wrestlers then treated everyone to some opera “singing.” Stuck in traffic, Adam & Bethany and Tim & Te Jay raced for the Pit Stop. Tim said, “We’re just hoping we’re not the last team.” But Adam & Bethany reached the mat first, Adam once again wearing his vintage driving helmet from the Roadblock. Phil told them they were team number five. Then Tim & Te Jay ran up. Phil said they were the last team to arrive, but then informed them that it was a non-elimination leg and they were still in the Race. He warned of a Speed Bump on the next leg, but Te Jay said, “If the dentists can do it, we can do it…. We’re ready to explode and rock on!”

In this Roadblock, teams had to drive up Mount Pellegrino in go-karts, following the original route of the Targa Florio auto race. If they completed the course in under 4:07, they’d receive their next clue. They could then catch a ride back down the mountain in a vintage car driven by a professional racecar driver. Performed Roadblock: Jim, Kym, Brooke, Maya, Adam, Te Jay

DETOUR This Detour was a choice between Painters and Posers. In Painters, teams had to lie on their backs atop a scaffold and restore a fresco on a church ceiling. Posers required teams to watch a performance by ten different opera singers. They then had to run to an upstairs gallery where the performers’ costumes were on display along with the names of the character and opera. Once teams wrote down all the names in the order the performers had appeared on stage, they’d receive their next clue.

Painters: Misti/Jim, Kym/Alli, Adam/Bethany, Tim/Te Jay Posers: Amy/Maya, Brooke/Robbie

ORDER OF FINISH 1. Misti/Jim 2. Kym/Alli 3. Amy/Maya 4. Brooke/Robbie 5. Adam/Bethany 6. Tim/Te Jay