Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Travelocity, You're Killing Me!

"You brought your own gnome?"

Tonight on The Amazing Race we hear lots of “I love you’s,” but not from whom you may expect. We also learn that the former Soviet Union is full of gorgeous young girls and costume-wearing grandparents who enjoy taunting visiting tourists. Nate and Jen are mean to everyone, not just each other, and Nicholas almost throws the entire race by participating in a challenge instead of leaving it to Grandpa. Let’s join Phil and the gang for this, the fifth leg of our Amazing Race!

Phil meets us at the Hotel De Ville in Ouagadougou to discuss what happened at the end of last week’s leg and speculate on what we will see tonight. The Siblings are first to leave after their third glorious win and the first clue tells them to travel to Vilnius, Lithuania, where they will find specially marked cars and proceed to St. Anne’s Church for another clue. They immediately start fighting over Hendekea’s methods on hailing a taxi. Like how Azaria was mad last week that she had to go to the bathroom. It doesn’t really make sense; it just looks like they’re getting on each other’s nerves after being so close together for this long – like all couples do.

Speaking of irritable couples, The Babies are next to leave and Jennifer is still complaining about not getting first place yet. Well, Jennifer, move your butt and stop holding Nathan up. (Wahahaha) I’m happy to note that Jennifer has traded her yucky black leggings for cute red shorts. I may be able to get behind her tonight – we’ll see. As the first two teams get into taxis and head to the airport, we learn that they can only book their airline tickets using the official airline ticketing office – so I guess no Expedia or Travelocity, though the latter gets their big fat plug later on. At the airport, the first two teams find the ticket office closed – hooray! Everyone’s going to catch up and put the suspense back in the race. Since they have a couple of hours to wait, the racers find a computer lab and start searching the internet to find out exactly which flights to request when the office opens up.

Moronald and Christina are off next and Christina explains to us that she keeps telling Moronald she loves him to make up for lost time, even though it makes Moronald squirm – enough to have a hernia flare-up. He’s just excited to get his hands on some Lithuanian pastries. Yeah, who doesn’t live for Lithuanian pastries. Huh?

"Don't you love me too, Daddy?"

Grandpa Donald and Nicholas set off – will Nick be participating tonight, or returning to his comfortable post as an observer? Jem and Rio are next and cleverly snag a taxi before Grandpa Donald can get one for himself and Nick. Rio hopes that their next stop will be Transylvania or somewhere else “gothy” with spooky architecture. I wonder if they’ve been to Knott’s Scary Farm. At the airport, Grandpa Donald quickly spots the “internet buffet” and the teams begin to bunch up. 1000 francs buys you all you can surf!

The LA Blondes catch a taxi and start bickering over whether the airport is the Burkina Faso Airport or the Ouagadougou Airport, because you never know in a place like this with airports on every corner. Girls, I’m sure there’s just one airport in the tri-country area – relax. The big one is still worried about U-Turning Jason and Lorena so there is some tension in the air. The Hippies are released last and tell us that they need to step up their game after being humbled in last place.

Meanwhile Moronald has lost patience with the internet buffet and he and Christina head over to the Air France office in the city, not the airport, which is open now. Christina uses her minimal French to communicate with the non-English-speaking ticket agent about how quickly they need to get to Lithuania. The agent puts them on a route that gets them there the following night, and Christina reasons that once they reach their first stop in Paris, they will check for earlier departures to Lithuania. Moronald starts losing it and telling her off for not using all the extra time they have right now to sort this out instead of waiting until they’re in Paris. Man, he’s mean. There was a nice way to suggest that and he passed right over it. Christina agrees to figure it out now, but Moronald keeps hounding her and he tells the camera that he’s trying to teach his daughter how to deal with different kinds of people. Well, after she’s dealt with you, Paps, life will be a bowl of cherries. Now pipe down.

Grandpa Donald and Nick arrive at the Air France office and Nick is all ready with the flight information he wants to book. Nick – you helped! As The Siblings and The Babies file in behind Nick, he tells the ticket agent to give everyone else later flights. A) Nick, she doesn’t speak English. B) Like she would do that just because you say so. Well Hendekea is immediately all over Nick because she heard his request and I have to refer again to points A and B. The Siblings sit down with the neighboring ticket agent and ask which flight Nick and Grandpa Donald got onto, but Nick won’t say. Well! That is an affront to The Siblings, the other teams, The Amazing Race and the world in general. The Siblings turn to their agent who does speak English and get flights through Paris, then Amsterdam, then onto Lithuania and arriving at 1:25 the following afternoon. Nick asks his agent for the same flight plan, but she tells him the flight from Paris to Amsterdam is full now and they end up on a flight that is four hours later. Azaria starts talking about karma giving Nick what he deserves. Oh what, because he didn’t want to tell you what time his flight was? Shut up, Azaria. Karma, shmarma.

"White boy had that one coming."

Well, guess who does get seats on the so-called “full” flight from Paris to Amsterdam? Nathan and Jennifer, our dear little Babies. And from the very same agent who denied Nick and Grandpa! What is going on here? The Blondes also get those tickets, but The Hippies are denied. There is some sketchy ticket issuing going down. The Hippies manage to connect through Frankfurt and arrive only ten minutes later than the first flight into Lithuania, and Nick and Grandpa are at the airport Air France ticket counter trying to rearrange what went sadly awry at the other office. Jem and Rio get on the Frankfurt route and eventually so do Nick and Grandpa, so everyone will be arriving within ten minutes of each other.

Elsewhere The Blondes are still tense while discussing airplane seating strategy – namely the little one wants them to sit near the front of the plane so they will be the first ones off. To that end they go to the counter to rearrange their seats and make the other teams go away so they won’t see. Jennifer of The Babies observes that this is the turning point in the game when people start getting ugly. True dat, Jennifer, true dat. When The Blondes take a seat after the “counter incident” the big one is all worried that they are making everyone mad at them, what with the U-Turns and the secret seating assignments. The little one keeps insisting that it’s all part of the game and the alternative is that they would be eliminated. The little one says she’s more methodical and the big one accuses her of flattering herself and I think to myself: Don’t these girls make a living out of flattering themselves back in LA?

"Do you think these sunglasses
make my boobs look bigger?"

As everyone boards their flights, we learn that Moronald and Christina are on their own flying through Prague, and I’m not sure what time that gets them into Lithuania. As the first flight lands, Jennifer scampers out into the parking lot looking for the specially marked cars with Nathan screaming at her to chill out. The next goal is to find St. Anne’s Church. Rio is smart enough to stop in a tourist office and ask for directions, which he does in a British accent for some reason. The other teams decide to take their chances trying to navigate with only a Lithuanian map for guidance. It’s already looking bad for The Babies, with Jennifer trying to navigate from the backseat to a livid Nathan. You idiot, Jennifer! Why don’t you know the streets of Vilnius like the back of your hand?

Moronald and Christina are just now landing at 2:10 PM and Christina has the brilliant idea to pay a taxi driver to lead them to St. Anne’s Church. Moronald? Any objections? No, in fact. For once he’s actually in admiration of his daughter’s abilities, even telling her, “Kudos!” Hang on to that compliment, Christina; it may never happen again.

Grandpa Donald finds the church first and the clue is a Road Block asking: “Who’s a good listener?” Where’s Phil? Ah, here he is, coming up a staircase from some basement. Whatcha doing down there, Phil?

"You guys are here already?"

He tells us that only one person can perform this Road Block and that person has to become a Lithuanian messenger. They choose from three women who are working outside and she will give them a package and tell them where to take it. They have to go on foot through the confusing streets and find the correct person to deliver the package to. That person will give them a second package with a second destination, at which they will receive the next clue. Got all that?

So I guess Grandpa Donald will be traversing the streets of – wait! Nicholas is getting ready to do another challenge! I don’t believe this, but here he goes. A little babushka gives him a basket to take to Weinius at the Vilnius University Courtyard and Nick scurries away.

"They said to hold this up."

The Siblings and Jem and Rio are finding the church now. Rio and Hendekea tackle the Road Block while Nick is finding the University and a fine looking chap named Weinius who was having a nice day listening to his iPod when some CBS production assistants offered him money to hang around and give some crazy Americans a package.

"You mean I might have to wait here all day?"

Nick now has to take a book to some salon and give it to a woman named Olga. Rio and Hendekea find their babushkas and start looking for the University as well.

The Babies can’t find the church so they stop to ask for directions and as he pulls over, Nate is warning Jennifer that they are going to run and he means it. Then as soon as Jennifer starts running Nate is ticked off because she didn’t wait for him to properly arrange his fanny pack. The Hippies have the same idea, but manage to ask for directions without screaming at each other. The Blondes are completely lost and as the big one decides to reverse back into the intersection they just crossed, a huge bus comes looming in on them. This is the Big Close Call we all saw on the previews, but the big blonde manages to get the car back into drive and pull out of the way while the little one has hysterics in the backseat. Things are not looking too cheery in Blondeville, but at least they weren’t squished by a Lithuanian bus. The CBS waivers made sure that the network wouldn’t have been responsible if they had been.

Moronald takes the Road Block, hernia and all, and gets his basket from his babushka. He has to find an unfortunate person named Milda – unfortunate that she will be encountering Moronald. Nicholas can’t find anyone who can direct him to his hair salon and Rio delivers his basket to a very pretty Lithuanian student with long blonde hair. He says, “Enjoy your fruit and bread, dear.” Has someone been peeking in his basket? Hendekea finds her student who is also a striking beauty waiting for some fruit and bread. Hmm. I’m beginning to understand why my Belarusian friend is always getting hit on. This part of the world seems to produce lovely young ladies. I guess it was too much to ask that I be born Slavic.

"You'll never swim in my gene pool."

Nathan and Jennifer are jogging and fighting, jogging and fighting. After a couple of back-and-forths, Nathan says, “I just can’t believe what kind of person you’ve turned into. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Aw, the sweet words of your beloved whispered in your ear. Jennifer retorts with the ever-effective, “Same with you, Nate!” Wow, I think these two have a great shot at a lovely life together, what do you think?

Rio has found the Gabi Café (which is above the basement Phil came out of) and delivers his book to a man there who gives him a clue. He sprints back to Jem and they find out that they have to drive to a place called Lietuvos Liaudies Buities Muziejus and follow a marked road to a village called Dzûkija. Okay, so now I see why I wasn’t born Slavic – my tongue can’t get around those words. My brain can’t even get around those words. Phil gives the pronunciation a whirl and then tells us that this place is actually an outdoor museum where they will find their next clue.

The Hippies arrive at the Road Block and TK takes it on because Rachel says her mind is confused from looking at maps. Yes, drawings of roads will do a number on your mind – particularly if you’ve already destroyed most of it yourself. The Blondes argue over whether or not to take time to stop and ask for directions and The Babies get to the Road Block and decide that Jennifer will do it. Both Nicholas and Hendekea are still wandering around looking for a hair salon.

"Don't Lithuanians get their hair cut?"

TK finds a nice local to lead him to the University and Moronald gets directions as well. TK’s Lithuanian student is wading around in a campus fountain when TK finds him and I could swear his name is Dionysus, who, incidentally, is the Greek god of wine and drunkenness. I’ll just leave that by saying it all sounds about right. Moronald also finds his student and is on his way to a restaurant. The Blondes convince some poor girl to take them at last to St. Anne’s Church and Moronald passes Christina on his way to the restaurant. As Christina cheers him on he snaps at her, “Don’t give me pressure! Silence S'il vous plait!” Jerk.

The Hippies are finished with the Road Block and head out to the unpronounceable village, followed closely by Christina and Moronald, whose hernia is at it again. Jennifer finds her student and then gets someone to show her to the Gabi Café and still no Lithuanian has ever heard of Nick and Hendekea’s hair salon. This beauty parlor could be their undoing. Wait! Hendekea finds the one person in Lithuania who knows the salon – her mother must be the owner – and agrees to take her there. Meanwhile Jennifer has finished the Road Block so she and Nathan are all kissy-kissy again – for the moment.

The Siblings are off to the village with Azaria once again calling Hendekea “Baby Girl,” just like any normal brother and The Blondes finally find the church so the little one sets off on the Road Block. Poor Grandpa Donald. He and Nick were the first ones to arrive at the church and now The Blondes have caught up to them and may pass them up all together.

"Wait 'til I get my hands on that kid."

Grandpa Donald is resigning himself to the possibility that they will go home today. And just when all hope is lost, Nick finds two young ladies who know the salon! They must be nieces of the owner!

Jem and Rio arrive at Lietuvos Liaudies Buities Muziejus and embark upon a big fat Travelocity commercial. Phil gets on the voiceover mike and tells us that Lithuania is the land of gnomes – you learn something new every day – and that the teams must now search through this outdoor museum to find a Travelocity gnome that has been hidden among hundreds of his “closest Lithuanian gnome friends.” Nice try, Travelocity, but exotic you are not. Nor original, it turns out. The hidden Travelocity gnomes must be brought to the Pit Stop.

"But none of the other gnomes speak English."

The little blonde zips through the Road Block and Nick finally finds his salon then needs more directions to get back to Grandpa Donald at the church. At last, now that all of the packages have been delivered the citizens of Vilnius can get on with their lives and stop waiting around for frantic Americans. Aw, I feel so sorry for Grandpa Donald when The Blondes set off to the village before Nick has returned. Poor guy has spent his entire day waiting around the churchyard for his idiot grandson to find a freaking hair salon. Maybe they were onto something letting Grandpa do all the challenges. FINALLY here comes Nick and they get to leave at the same time as The Blondes. The little blonde starts praying out loud in the backseat for God to let them win The Amazing Race. I really miss the Lesbian Ministers, they were so much fun.

Jem and Rio complete their Travelocity commercial by finding their gnome and find the next clue which is a Detour. Welcome back, Phil. It seems that Lithuania is currently celebrating its traditional Midsummer Festival. Oh, like the one at the Playboy Mansion! Except this one is legitimate and not just a huge whoring opportunity.

"Why do you crash our festival?"

The teams have to choose between two tasks – Count Down or Step Up. In Count Down the teams have to count the pickets on a picket fence and if they get the number right they get their next clue. In Step Up the teams have to walk on stilts down a specified length of pathway and if they fall before the finish line they have to start over. Jem and Rio decide to try the stilts.

Right about now The Hippies and Moronald and Christina have arrived for their Travelocity commercial. Look how many times Travelocity is getting mentioned here! They should pay me for all this free advertising. Rio is ecstatic to join the Midsummer Festival because everyone is in costume and therefore a kindred spirit. No Rio, they are in costume for a specific event, not just everyday life. There’s a bit of a difference. The townspeople line up along the pathway and start singing as Jem and Rio attempt unsuccessfully to walk on stilts. The Hippies and Moronald and Christina arrive, gnomes in hand, to try also to walk on stilts.

Look, TK and Rachel! Burning Man!

As the lagging teams arrive at Travelocity Central, Jem and Rio give up on stilt-walking and decide to count fence pickets. TK finishes the stilt walk, but Rachel is still having trouble. You have one guess as to how Moronald is handling the stilt walk. That’s right, with rage. The Babies opt to count pickets, but of course it has to come with a bossy order from Jen, which is for Nate to shut up and just let her do it. It seems she is a master counter. The local children have gathered to heckle the teams who are trying to count, and before long their masked parents join in as well. Over on the stilts Rachel finishes and The Hippies are on their way to the Pit Stop! They have to go on foot to the Aukstaitija Windmill. Anyone want to try and pronounce that? Besides Phil? Jem and Rio turn in their picket total – 717, which is correct! To the Pit Stop! When they spot the windmill they see another team near it and Rio says, “It’s stupid TK and Rachel.” Ha ha ha. Feel the love. Well it must be karma (isn’t everything on The Amazing Race?) because The Hippies win! Phil’s buddy is a cute little old man in traditional dress who says, “Lelcome to Lithulania!” Aw, that’s adorable. I always love the people at the mat.


As the winners of this leg, The Hippies have won a trip for two to Japan sponsored by – who else? – Travelocity!

And look who will meet them there.

The Hippies are really surprised to win because they had been thinking all day that they were last. What, the sight of Moronald and Christina right behind them on the stilts didn’t clue them in? They must have been distracted by the Burning Man.

Jem and Rio take second place and The Babies are hitting some counting problems. The Siblings take a cue from Jem and Rio and switch from stilts to counting. Jen and Nate have begun yelling at their local hosts to shut up and let them count. Lelcome to Lithulania! Just as Moronald nears the stilt walk finish line he face-plants into the road. The producers pat themselves on the back again for their extensive waivers. It would be sad if he weren’t such a creep. Karma. Miraculously he goes one more round and makes it across the finish line and it’s off to the Pit Stop.

The Blondes have stopped again to ask for directions from a gorgeous blonde Lithuanian girl. The sad thing is, they probably think they’re better looking than she is.

Dream on, big blonde.

Nick and Grandpa Donald find their gnome and The Blondes are right on their heels. Over at the fence, Nate is counting and Jen is right in his face going, “Do not let anyone distract you!” Thanks Jen, that helps. Apparently Nate’s out-loud counting is confusing Jen and she keeps begging him to count quietly, but he insists that he is physically and mentally unable to count in his head. I believe it. The Siblings finish counting and take off. Moronald and Christina are team three and The Siblings are team four. The Babies keep doing separate counts and coming up with different totals. Too bad, cranky pants. On their next attempt Jen asks Nate mid-count if she can go around him and now he’s really had it and yells out, “Bitch!” Wow, he cheats on her and calls her names. Not that I totally blame him… These two are so retarded that they have to give up counting to do the stilts. What was that about being such a great counter, Jen?

The Blondes are also self-proclaimed great counters and start in on the pickets as Nick and Grandpa are doing a count of their own. Somehow The Babies manage to walk on stilts without killing each other and head for the Pit Stop. As The Blondes spin themselves into a web of counting confusion, the little one says that they should have each counted half of the pickets and then added their totals together. Yes, but you see, you both would have been wrong, so that wouldn’t have worked either. Nick accidentally counted all of the posts and gates, which he wasn’t supposed to, but he has enough of a brain to go back and subtract the extras and get the total right. We could be here all night waiting for The Blondes. They get it wrong. Nick and Grandpa Donald are team six. When The Blondes finally pull it together and make it to the Pit Stop they realize they are in last place and their only hope is that this is a non-elimination leg. Well, we haven’t had one yet, it’s possible. But apparently Phil has had enough of The Blondes as well because he tells them to get their crap and get out of Lithuania. They start to cry and whimper about their mani-pedi facials that they’ve been missing. As they walk off holding hands into the sunset, they reassure us that they are still Best Friends Forever and this experience will never leave them. Well that’s a relief. At least they’re leaving us.

Head west for a sea salt scrub.

Next week The Siblings and The Babies fight, fight, fight! We’re definitely past the honeymoon phase of this race.

So how did you like tonight’s episode? Were you surprised at the results?

Thanks for reading!
-Honey Gangsta

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

F.Y.I. Lithuanians are not Slavic.