We're Good American
From the heat of India to the cold of
Austria, the Amazing Racers took off. Once in Vienna, they learn that
the winners of the Leg would each get a (PRODUCT PLACEMENT ALERT)
2012 Ford(TM) Focus. Three teams try to choke down a feast on a Ferris
wheel in twelve minutes but just didn't have the stomachs... so everyone
moved couches from Sigmund Freud's museum to the University of Vienna.
Then they drove to Vienna to sweep out chimneys and (to complete the
Julie Andrews daily double) arrived at the Von Trapp Family house for
the PIT STOP. Zev & Justin (Team Puzzle Pieces) won the Leg and the
cars. Gary & Mallory (Team KY/Dad) were last...but not Philiminated as
this was a non-elimination Leg and they just need to perform a SPEED
BUMP on the way through the next Leg. Six teams STILL remain in the hunt
for the elusive million bucks...who will be going home this time?!?
PIT STOP #8
0314 LOCAL TIME
With their cars being shipped back to
SoCal to await their return, Team Puzzle Pieces start of Leg 9 with this
MAKE YOUR WAY TO
Take a train to Feldkirch,
Austria. Then cross the Swiss customs checkpoint into Schaanwald,
Liechtenstein (a country only one-fifth the size of New York City's
five boroughs). Once across the border and in town, you'll find your
CAUTION! A DOUBLE U-TURN WILL
APPEAR SOMEWHERE ON THIS LEG OF THE RACE!
Chuckling to themselves
about the 2xU-T, the three-Leg winners get a taxi and head for the train
station. The other teams' departure times (all local):
"Flight Time" & "Big Easy" (aka Herb & Nate, Team Trotter): 0325
Kent & Vyxsin (Team Dating Goths): 0339
Kisha & Jen (Team Cardinal Sisters): 0349
Jet & Cord (Team Cowboy Bebop): 0350
Gary & Mallory: 0436
Team Trotters admit to
buddying with everyone BUT the cowboys, Team Dating Goths try to stay
positive despite the bickering, Kisha is catching a cold, the cowboys
are looking to get into second gear at the start of THIS Leg, and Team
KY/Dad are ready to "knock their SPEED BUMP out"!
As expected, it's another
Great Equalizer as all twelve Americans are on the same train and watch
the beautiful scenery go by as the sun comes up. Despite no having slept
in 36 hours, Gary & Mallory didn't want to miss the mountains and the
"postcard" villages they pass by. The hell with sleep; how often are you
gonna ride through the Alps?!
Last stop! All out! Mind the
gap, please. And Jet & Cord are the first to get a cab! They are
followed by Gary & Mallory (whose driver uses a GPS and thus lags
behind), Herb & Nate, Kisha & Jen, Zev & Justin (whose driver is worried
about them being terrorists) and Kent & Vyxsin. Another "Cannonball
Run"-style auto race ensues, with Team Puzzle Pieces' taxi driver
mounting the curb to pass everyone else en route to:
The teams exit their taxis
and, after the customs check, sprint to the clue box...and, boy, are
they gonna be shocked!:
WHO'S READY TO GIVE
A MEASURED RESPONCE?
One of you must take a motorized
bicycle (also known as a Solex) with a guidence map and an odometer
and measure the ENTIRE LENGTH OF LIECHTENSTEIN. Ride from Schaanwald
to Balzers. Once at a sign in Balzers, a guest (Liechtenstein ski
racer Marco Buchel, veteran of a record six Winter Olympics) will
ask for your guess of measurement from your odometer on a postcard.
If you're right to the nearest kilometer (which, unbeknownest to
the Racers, is 22km [about 13 2/3 miles]), he will direct you to
your next destination. If you're WRONG, you must take a ride BACK to
Schaanwald and measure the country again.
Your teammates will be taken to
the destination via taxi to await you with the next clue. They
CANNOT open the clue until you arrive.
And your participants in
this Tour de Liechtenstein: Justin, Jen, Jet, Vyxsin and Herb. Jen isn't
handling the bike too well at first, Jet feels like "Dumb & Dumber" and
Herb...he's rapping as he tears down the highway.
As Gary & Mallory FINALLY
arrive at the ROADBLOCK, there's just ONE little issue to take care of
GARY & MALLORY!
Having been spared
elimination in the last Leg, you have now incurred a Speed Bump.
The next task uses a
motorized bicycle called a Solex. You must use the tools provided to
give a proper 25-to-1 gas-to-oil ratio to power the Solex. Once you
have done this to the mechanic's satisfaction, you will use the
Solex in the next task in hopes of making up for lost time.
Now,...it's a common
stereotype that beauty queens are NOT the brightest star in the galaxy
of people. But neither Mallory nor her father seem to be doing anything
to discourage the myth. They seem to be doing bad at math, trying to
figure out how much gas to pump to match the ratio of the 80ml of oil
provided. After a few moments, though, they figure it out: 80ml x 25 = 2
liters of gas. They pump it, they fill up the Solex, Gary decides to do
the ROADBLOCK...and off he goes!
Despite being less than
62,000 square miles in area, this country seems to be easier to get lost
in than downtown Manhattan at rush hour. Both Jet and Herb go the wrong
way while Jen loses her map. As Jet gets his bearings, Gary arrives and
decides to "draft" the cowboy and hope for the best...but he loses the
cowboy in traffic. Jen and Justin join forces to find their way. And
Vyxsin's map-reading skills fail her...AGAIN!
The ski racer looks fine on
flat feet on a highway as Justin and Jen arrive. Marco hands them
postcards and pencils to write their guesses. Justin writes 22km...and
Marco says he is right and points him to nearby Castle Gutenburg to get
his next clue. As Justin drives off, he confirms "22" to Jen, who
likewise gets it right and heads for the castle. As Vyxsin finds Gary
and they put their heads together, Jet is next to Marco. However, 35km
is WAY too far; he has to turn back and try again. And Jet...he's none
too pleased. He passes Herb and finds that the Trotter got lost,
too...so THAT'S a ray of hope for him anyway.
No idea if it's named for
the man who printed the Bible widely...but Justin and Jen are DEFINITELY
praying that they finds their partners and their clues fast. Sure
enough, everyone is there and Justin finds Zev first, allowing them to
open the clue up and see:
CROSS THE ALPS!
Make your way by bus and train to
the ski resort of Zelmatt, Switzerland at the base of the famous
Materhorn. Search the train station for your next clue.
Jen is right behind them,
picking up Kisha and leaving in second. As the teams await the bus, Herb
shows up...and, after begging a bit, he gets the magic number 22 from
them. As he bikes off, the bus shows up...and the teams discuss that,
had it been ANYONE else but "Flight Time", they would've remained
tight-lipped! And Herb...he caught up to Gary and told HIM. And, when
they both arrived at Marco and Vxysin showed up right behind them, GARY
told VYXSIN! So Jet is the ONLY one to have to do the whole thing over
As Jet rides again, Team
Puzzle Pieces and Team Cardinal Sisters hop off the bus and onto the
train to Zelmatt. And three more teammates arrive at Castle Gutenburg to
go on their way...leaving Cord feeling like a lone Ranger. It takes
time, but Jet gets it right when he returns to Marco and rejoins his
brother to, once again, try to make up ground!
(Did you know that
Switzerland and Liechtenstein have a customs agreement? Yeah, they're
pretty much the only two countries you can travel freely between in
The first train arrives and
Zev & Justin and Kisha & Jen spill out in the Swiss night air for the
last part of this rare three-country Leg. They both find the clue box
and hit a:
CHEESE or WHEEZE?
CHEESE: Travel to the
walliserkanne restaurant and share a big pot of cheese fondue. Once
you finish ALL the cheese, you will be handed an empty pot which has
your next clue.
WHEEZE: Here in the train station
is a pile of luggage. You must take twenty pieces of luggage and
travel around Zelmatt, dropping off the luggage at their designated
hotels. You must visit at least five different hotels and you will
receive a tag for each delivery. Give the head porter twenty tags
and he'll hand you your next clue.
Zev & Justin decide again
for the food challenge even though they still have a stomach-ache from
the LAST one. Kisha & Jen join them in the cheese eating. They arrive at
the restaurant and, whilst being serenaded by yodelers and accordianist,
they get they're pots and dig in...although Justin complains the whole
way that he doesn't think they can do this. Kisha's stomach was bugging
her as soon as they sat down... and, after a few dips into the pot, it's
obvious she can't eat all this...so they decide to U-TURN themselves and
get to WHEEZE-ing. This gives Team Puzzle Pieces incentive to continue
with the constipation mastication.
So Team Cardinal Sisters go
back to the train station and don bellhop uniforms. They decide to find
four pieces of luggage each from five different hotels and make the even
twenty...so they get to digging. They gather various pieces - for Hotel
Astoria, Hotel Metropol & Spa and Grand Hotel Zermatterhorn - and haul
them off in their marked porter cart. They ask for directions to the
hotels from the friendly people of Zelmatt and get it, helping their
Meanwhile, the other three
teams are chilling on the 2nd train to Zelmatt. But even though they are
well ahead of Team Cowboy Bebop, Vyxsin is STILL a little nervous; she
has SEEN the brothers come back time and again and she won't feel safe
until her feet and Kent's are firmly on the PIT STOP mat ahead of them.
Back at CHEESE, Zev is
powering through the cheese, despite Justin's slowing down. One problem
is that the cheese isn't quite to their tastes. "At least it's not
curdling," says Justin...and then grips his stomach a bit at the
thought. As they get closer to the end, they start feeling a LITTLE
sick...and they belch enough to make "Booger" from "Revenge of the
Nerds" a touch envious. After a while, Justin has a headache and is
gripping his stomach...but they trudge on, since they simply CANNOT risk
being U-TURNed now!
Second train arriving, all
out! Team Trotters, Team Dating Goths and Team KY/Dad arrive at the
DETOUR...and they ALL decide to WHEEZE. As they don their uniforms,
Kisha & Jen drop off their three pieces at the Grand Hotel and mush
onward. Herb & Nate manage to get all TWENTY pieces on their cart and
head on out while the other teams decide how much would be TOO much. The
sisters dump four more at the Hotel Astoria and hurry to get their last
four delivered to Metropol...then back to the pile at the station. Kent
& Vysin - despite Kent's whining - drop seven off at one hotel and Team
Trotters drop four at another. Team KY/Dad finally get THEIR act
together as Kisha & Jen arrive back and they trade info on the other
teams. TIMBERRR! Down tumbles the bags on Gary & Mallory's trolly!
And THAR HE BLOWS...CHUNKS!
Justin has had it with a half-hour of eating cheese and gets it out of
his digestive system the HARD way. Out on the balcony where the bucket
was, he spots Kisha & Jen and informs them of their "progress". So the
girls slam it into overdrive and get their next three bags delivered.
Hey, THERE'S Jet & Cord! We
finally have a Race again! They reach the ROADBLOCK and decide, like
everyone but Team Puzzle Pieces, to WHEEZE. They get their unis on just
as Team Cardinal Sisters deliver their final bags and get their final
tags. As they run back, Team Cowboy Bebop load up with all 20 bags and
get the steppin'.
Finally, after nearly 55
minutes of fermented curd-chomping, the friends reach the bottom of the
pot and ask the head waiter for confirmation. And, lo and behind, the
waiter produces the empty pot to Zev & Justin. On the bottom inside are
printed the words: "INDERBINEN BRUNNEN (fountain) at the Hinterdorf".
HEAD FOR THE
Make your way by foot to the
Hinterdorf and find the Inderbinen Brunnen, a fountain dedicated to
Ulrich Inderbinen (famed mountain climber who climbed the Matterhorn
over 370 times and lastly at the age of 90!). By the fountain,
you'll find your next clue.
CAUTION! DOUBLE U-TURN AHEAD!
Ayup...it's that time once
A U-TURN forces a team to do BOTH
parts of a DETOUR instead of one or the other. Teams may be U-TURNed
more than once during a Race, but may only UTILIZE a U-TURN once. A
team using a U-TURN must place two pictures up: one for the team
they are U-TURNing, and their own so that said team knows who U-TURNed
This will be a DOUBLE U-TURN
(introduced in the last Race), meaning two different teams can
U-TURN two OTHER teams at the same DETOUR.
(Team Dating Goths have
already used their U-TURN, so they can not partake in THIS one.
As they sludge off, Kisha &
Jen get their 20 tags confirmed by the head porter and leave the DETOUR
in second. The others teams roll along with their carts. Team Dating
Goths has 14 delivered, Team Trotters has 16...and Team KY/Dad has 8 BUT
are getting help from one of the hotel managers who circles all the
hotels on a map and labels them. Team Cowboy Bebop delivers their first
five and likewise gets help from a map and a helpful manager.
Team Puzzle Pieces find a
fountain...and find that it's dedicated to someone named "Inderbinen"...but
they can't seem to find the clue box. As Kisha & Jen close in via
electric taxi, the men find the clue box and the 2xUT. They opt not to
U-TURN anyone and rip open their next clue:
TRAVEL BY ELECTRIC
TAXI TO THE NEXT PIT STOP!
Take an electric taxi to the Moos
Restaurant (pronounced MOES), the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race.
WARNING! The last team to
check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!
They find said taxi and head
for the restaurant. Team Cardinal Sisters arrive at the fountain and
likewise do not U-TURN anyone. They head for the PIT STOP in second.
Back in town, Kent & Vyxsin are up to 17...but almost lose a battle with
a revolving door.
Zev & Justin run as fast as
their distended stomachs can go up to Phil and the local. But it was all
worth it as for the fourth time in the Race and the second time in a
row, they are Team # 1! And they'll be off to Curacao in the south
Caribbean for five nights thanks to Travelocity. A few minutes later,
Kisha & Jen check-in as Team #2.
And back to town, where Nate
& Herb get up to 17 bags delivered. Jet & Cord are up to 11, fighting
back like they always seem to. They pass Gary & Mallory, who are on
their way up to 14 themselves. But it's Kent & Vyxsin who reach 20 first
and run back to the head porter...with Vyxsin carting Kent! Team
Trotters think they have 20...but they're at the wrong "Hotel
Christiana"; two of the bags are for "Hotel GARNI Christiana"! So, at
18, they futz about having an extra trip to make. It's Gary & Mallory
who are third to 20, so they head back to the station. Team Dating Goths
leave the DETOUR in 3rd, Team KY/Dad in 4th. Herb & Nate drop off their
last bags and notice Jet & Cord's bags at the station (Jet & Cord are up
to 17 by now). They hand the tags to the porter...but they're SHORT two!
The two scramble into their pockets looking for the last tags...and they
decide instead to just grab two more bags and deliver them...which they
do.,,just as Jet & Cord drop off THEIR last bags.
Kent & Vxysin reach the
fountain...and, since they CAN'T U-TURN anyone, they get the clue to the
PIT STOP. Gary & Mallory also forgo the U-TURN (which means it CAN'T be
a DOUBLE U-TURN unless one team does it to THEMSELVES!) and head for the
restaurant... reluctant to see either of the last two teams go. The
Goths are Team #3, the father/daughter team #4.
Herb & Nate get their clue
first...but Team Cowboy Bebop is RIGHT on their tails. It's a race to
the fountain and the U-TURN. And, when Jet & Cord arrive...
JET & CORD
(courtesy of "Flight Time" & "Big Easy")
For the record, the Trotters
felt bad about doing it...but, it was either them or the cowboys at this
point. So...a dejected Jet & Cord turn around and go to enjoy some
cheese fondue...because it's likely their LAST meal on this Race.
Meanwhile, Team Trotters arrive as Team #5.
It wasn't bad booking that
ultimately killed my picks to win...just bad measuring and no friends to
help them. Their stomachs churning with cheese, Team Cowboy Bebop
slumped to the mat. Phil tells them they're last...and they're out. Cord
blames himself...but Jet doesn't agree as they're teammates. It was fun
doing the Race once again and they have no regrets as they ride off into
the...well,...the light of the restaurant in the middle of the night.
AFTER LEG 9:
SALZBURG, AUSTRIA to ZELMATT, SWITZERLAND (via LIECHTENSTEIN)
1) Zev & Justin (EVEN) -
Cancun, Costa Rica, Ford Focus, Curacao
2) Kisha & Jen (+2)
3) Kent & Vyxsin (+3)
4) Gary & Mallory (+2) - Express Pass (USED), Snapple(TM) prize
5) "Flight Time" & "Big Easy" (-4) - Hawai'i
ELIMINATED) Jet & Cord (-1) - $5000
To see this episode in its
entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit
the official website at