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The Amazing Race
Season 20
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February 19
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Eleven teams of two, joined by family or relationship, follow a path of twists and turns in a frenetic race around the world for $1 million.

Who will be the first to cross the finish line?

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Host Phil Keoghan
Creator Bertram van Munster
Elise Doganieri
EP Jerry Bruckheimer
Bertram van Munster
Jonathan Littman
Elise Doganieri
Mark Vertullo
Packager Jerry Bruckheimer TV
Worldrace Productions
Amazing Race Productions
CBS Television Studios
ABC Studios
Web www.cbs.com/amazingrace
Airs 8p Sun, CBS

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Uglier Than a Mud Rail Fence
March 18

PREVIOUSLY ON THE AMAZING RACE...after crossing the Atlantic to the site of the '06 Winter Olympics - Turin, Italy - eight teams of Americans drove Fords around the "Motor Coty of Italy", racing up a building and then rappelling down it, finding a Tin Lizzie in a museum, cleaning statues and naming salamis. But Art & JJ (Team Border Watch) found and completed the FAST FORWARD and arrived at the PIT STOP in first, earning them five grand each! Bopper & Mark (Sons of Anar-KY) made a boo-boo with the flights over and came in last. But good news times two for them: Art & JJ gifted the two good ol' boys half of the 10-Gs to help Bopper's child...AND it was the first N.E.L. of the Race! So eight teams STILL remain on the quest for the million...who will be sent home NEXT?!?



Having won the last two Legs, there's no DOUBT that Team Border Watch are psyched as they open the starting clue of Leg 5:



Travel by train to Ehrwald, Austria. Once there, take the marked cars and drive yourselves across the border into Bavaria, the oldest of the German states, and the town of Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Once there, find the Gasthof zum Rassen restaurant (which opens at 8:30am local time). You will find a number of Travelocity(TM) Roaming Gnomes(TM) sitting around the tables. Look underneath each one until you find your next clue. You MUST take the Gnome with you for the rest of the Leg.

They feel that, as friends and not lovers or married or the like, it's MUCH easier for them to dominate as they can tell each others' faults with little consequence. They take the Ford they had all last Leg to the Porta Nuova train station and get the skinny on choo-choos to Austria. Since they are 2 1/2 hours ahead of the second-place team, they get the train all to themselves...no "Great Equalizer" this time.

Meanwhile, the other teams get their clues and head off. Their departure times (local zone) are:
Rachel & Dave (Team Yellow Ribbon): 1133
Joey "Fitness" & Danny (Team Clubbers): 1211
Vanessa & Ralph (Team It's Complicated!): 1227
Nary & Jamie (Party In the CIA): 1256
Brendon & Rachel (Team Oh, Brother!): 1318
Kerri & Stacy (Team Double Trouble): 1558
Bopper & Mark: 1754

The Army couple and the "Jersey boys" take off on one train, the divorcees, Feddies and reality-show couple on another. Over two hours later, the cousins get to the train...and, as darkness falls, the Sons of Anar-KY finally leave - though still feeling "down but not out" - on the 10-hour trek to...


The "Great Equalizer" doesn't EXACTLY strike...but Bopper & Mark DO catch up to the other teams (save the three leading teams) and are now feeling REALLY pumped as they await the next train to...


Art & JJ head for their car (while it's still dark). They realize the restaurant doesn't open until 8:30am...but they feel it could take that long to FIND the place. An indeterminate amount of time later, the two teams from the second train arrive and get in their cars (cranking up the heat, I'm sure) and follow the leaders to...


As it turns out, the place was more-or-less right across the border from Ehrwald, so finding the restaurant was easy...and thus Team Border Watch gets to sit back and watch as Team Yellow Ribbon and Team Clubbers arrive. At 8:30, the oom-paa-paa music kicks up (courtesy of the "Happy Bavarians" band) inside the restaurant and the doors open for the six Americans. Around one table is a bunch of lawn gnomes of the official prize packager of trips for the show. They all pick one of them up and read their next clue:



FAIRY TALE: Time to become Hansel & Gretel! In the town of Oberammergau, follow a trail of gingerbread to the Witch's house, picking up pieces as you go. When you arrive at the Witch's house, finish constructing the roof of a gingerbread house with the pieces you have gathered. Then place the roof on the gingerbread house and decorate it to receive your next clue from the Witch.

CHAMPION MALE: Time to get extreme! In the town of Unterammergau, prepare a man for a traditional Bavarian competition: extreme beard styling. Once the beard is styled to his specifications, you will receive your clue from the reigning World Champion!

All three teams decide to style some facial hair. As they head off, the last train from Innsbruck arrives and the other five teams. Bopper reminds Mark about the upcoming SPEED BUMP they accured form finish last in the previous Leg and hope they can finish that quickly and stay in the hunt.


Rachel & Dave are first to arrive at the ersatz stying salon and find a mess of men with a LOT of hair on their chins. they choose one of the few with a white beard and check out the pictures to see what it's SUPPOSED to look like. Dave is confident in Rachel because she "has experience with blow dryers, curling irons, hair spray" and the like. And it seems that she's taking command, putting mousse on the whiskers and put curlers on them and telling Dave to do the same on the other side. As they give the guy a very small "mohawk" on top, Joey "Fitness" and Danny arrive. They pick the man with the longest beard...which ends up being one of the most elaborate styles! But, hey, they use a lot of gel in their OWN hair so...a little gel, a little spray and a LOT of blow drying should do the trick, right? Then Art & JJ arrive and start on THEIR Bavarian version of "manscaping". They pick a short-bearded man named Fritz and...they feel weird about the whole experience. But...JJ has a LOT of "product" in his own backpack so...he knows a thing or two.

Back in the main town, Kerri & Stacy promtply get lost searching for the restaurant and the arguing ensues over navigation. As such, it is the Sons of Anar-KY that arrive first. But...before they can pick out Gnomes, there's a LITTLE matter of a:



Having been spared elimination in the last Leg, you have now incurred a Speed Bump which must be completed before continuing on the Leg.

For this task, you must participate in the traditional Alpine art of yodelling. Listen CAREFULLY to the yodelling experts in the band and do your best to mimic their style and tune. When the male expert believes you have mastered it, he will hand you your next clue and you may continue in hopes of making up for lost time.

As they suit up in lederhosen, Vanessa & Ralph arrive and pick up their Gnome in 4th, choosing CHAMPION MALE for their DETOUR. Bopper & Mark have a blast with their extra task (like they have a choice). And, actually, Mark didn't do to bad with his part. Bopper, on the other hand...not so much.

Back at the salon, Art & JJ are the first to announce they're complete. The World Champion comes over, checks the beard on the man with the beards in the photos...and they get the thumbs up! They depart the DETOUR in first with this clue:



You know Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland? Well, the design had to come from SOMEWHERE...and, strangely enough, it's here! Ask around to find where it is (which is Neuschwanstein Castle in Hohenschwangau), go there and head for Ludwig's bedroom to find your next clue.

And away they go in first again. A friendly local gives them directions to the next village over which holds the castle. As they drive off, Bopper & Mark finish their yodelling session and are free to continue to the DETOUR. As they're changing, though, Nary & Jamie and Brendan & Rachel arrive in 5th & 6th. Initially, they both choose CHAMPION MALE...but Brendan convinces Rachel to do FAIRY TALE instead as they know exactly squat about beard styling. Right behind them are Kerri & Stacy in 7th, who choose FAIRY TALE. So the Sons of Anar-KY leave in last, choosing FAIRY TALE as well.

Team Yellow Ribbon gets a (seemingly reluctant) nod from the Champ and leave the DETOUR in 2nd. Team Clubbers ask for a ruling...and they get a "no, no, no" from the Champ (good thing it was in English or he'd sound like Herman Cain >). As they get back to business wetting down the beard and trying again, Team It's Complicated! gets out of the snow and gets to work.


The weekly "how dumb is Rachel" moment comes when she says she thought they were in BOLIVIA instead of BAVARIA. And this girl won a half-million, y'all. Team Double Trouble compare the weather to a Christmas song. Both teams arrive at the start of the trail and look for a trunk where the baskets are held. However,...they completely miss it! But Bopper & Mark don't; they grab the basket and start collecting gingerbread on the ground. Once they have enough to fill the basket, they head on the trail. The other two FINALLY find the trunk, grab the baskets and work together to grab gingerbread and TRY to catch-up.

Back at the salon, Joey "Fitness" & Danny get the thumbs-down again by the Champ while Vanessa & Ralph work on their own man slowly but confidently. When Party In the CIA show up, things get VERY tense for the boys from Jersey. But, thankfully, they get an "OK" from the Champ the third time around and leave the DETOUR in 3rd. Team It's Complicated! then asks for a ruling...and THEY leave in 4th.

Bubble, bubble, toil and...oh, wait, wrong witch. But the Witch IS stirred a bubbling cauldron of...something...when Sons of Anar-KY show up at the house decorated with the story of Hansel & Gretel. The mens' laughs are ALMOST as creepy as the Witch's! They take the pieces they gathered and glue them (with edible glue, I suppose) to the roof that they first stick on top of the house, making them sort of like gingerbread shingles. As they get half-way done, Team Oh, Brother! and Team Double Trouble arrive and start on THEIR houses. While Brendon & Rachel try to fit the pieces together, Kerri & Stacy actually CUT the pieces to MAKE them fit.


Art & JJ arrive at the castle made as a retreat for King Ludwig II and as an homage to Richard Wagner...and, truth be told, I can see where the castle in the MOVIE "Sleeping Beauty" may've been inspirated by this...but it looks NOTHING like the Disneyland (aside from it NOT being pink). Anyway, after parking, they decide to take a horse-drawn carriage up to the castle-proper as a) it's not against the rules in the clue and b) it's a lot safer than walking or running up the slippery road. Meanwhile, Rachel & Dave lose their way to said castle and get mad at each other. And Vanessa & Ralph ALMOST go to the WRONG castle (Hohenschwangau Castle is the equivalent to "across the road" from Neuschwanstein) but Vanessa thinks Neuschwanstein looks more like one out of a fairy tale. They and Team Clubbers both arrive and start to walk up the path...though Vanessa is against it initially and the argument continues all the way up the path.

Back at the DETOUR, Nary & Jamie finish their Extreme Makeover: Facial Edition and depart in 5th. And at the OTHER one, the three teams still work on their gingerbread houses. Mark tries to butter-up the Witch with sweet words, even though she's ugly as sin warmed over. Kerri's hands are numb while trying to make the house look beautiful, REALLY wanting to be the first ones out.

At the castle, Team Border Watch arrive and take in the majesty of this ancient royal home...or, at least, they take in as much as they CAN while climbing up the steps to Luwig's budoir and find the clue box right under a crucifix. And the clue reads:



Drive yourselves to the town of Füssen and search for the Bundesleistungszentrum für Eishockey und Curling. Once there, make your way to Halle 2 (BLZ 2) to find your next clue.

The men are a LITTLE intimidated by the LONG name of the place...but they jog down the path, still admiring the beauty of the castle. And, of course, they pass by Joey "Fitness" & Danny and Vanessa & Ralph along the way. And, of course, the two are STILL arguing; Ralph for the girl to move as he now knows they're in third and Vanessa complaining about being in the cold and taking it out on the guy. (Any WONDER these two had divorces?! SHEESH!) Anyway, the teams eventually get to the castle (and Joey confuses Sleeping Beauty with Rapunzel) and head for the hockey/curling rink in second and third respectively.

The Witch goes to Team Double Trouble's house and looks it over. With the promise of the cousins that the house WILL attract children for the Witch's dinner, the Witch hands them the clue, allowing them to leave the DETOUR in 6th. The Sons' of Anar-KY's house looks a BIT uglier...but the Witch gives them the clue anyway (with Bopper giving the hag a hug AND a kiss on the cheek....BLECK!) and they leave in 7th. And, of course, being in last brings out the WORST in Rachael and she starts to cry...again. Still, they finish the house and depart in last.

Rachel & Dave find their way...but to the WRONG CASTLE! They go to Hohenschwangau and climb the stairs and find they have to wait for a tour in English to begin. Fortunately for them, Party In the CIA likewise chooses the wrong castle. They start the tour together...and are VERY anxious to find the bedroom. (And, no, that is NOT a euphanism!)


Art & JJ drive straight up to the clue box and ram right into a:



One member of each team must use Roaming Gnomes in a 16th century game called "Eisstock-Schiessen" (which is essentially curling). Place a Gnome base-down on the ice and slide towards a bullseye in the ice. You must shoot twice before clearing the ice and trying again. When a professional player deems that the base has touched ANY PART of the bullseye, he will hand you your next clue.

JJ decides to do it and is coached by Art. First slide is two hard, second gets in the blue SURROUNDING the bullseye...though Art thinks it's a winner at first.

Back at Hohenschwangau Castle, the tour continues. There's a fancy bedroom...but no clue box. But then the tour guide tells them about Neuschwanstein. Uh,...woops. As they race down the steps and out of the parking lot, who should show up but Kerri & Stacy? And right behind THEM...Bopper & Mark. But, before they can wait for the tour, Kerri gets confirmation that this is NOT the right castle for Sleeping Beauty and race back down...just as Brendon & Rachel arrive at the RIGHT castle. And then the boys learn that, extensively, "the princess is in another castle".

Back on the ice, JJ continues to slip-slide away...and curses every time it misses the target. He tries again...and THIS time it lands almost COMPLETELY on the bullseye! This Race is just TOO EASY for these guys! The pro gives them this clue:



Drive yourselves (and your Gnome) to Beim Landhannes (Landhannes Farm) in Schwangau-Horn, a 200-yead-old working dairy farm and the PIT STOP for this Leg of the Race.

WARNING! The last team to check-in MAY BE ELIMINATED!

As they DEPART the ROADBLOCK, Team Clubbers ARRIVE and Danny decides to play slide-a-gnome. Much like JJ, the first shot was too hard and the second was MISTAKEN for a bullseye at first. Still, they're not pressured since there's no other teams in the rink. Carefully, Danny shoves the Gnomes...and one of them edges the bullseye, allowing them to leave for the PIT STOP in 2nd. And as THEY leave, Team It's Complicated! (who apparantly have calmed down) arrives and Ralph chooses to do it. Inside, Vanessa says, "I'm mad at you, but I love you." Ralph at FIRST blows it off...but a kiss for luck from Vanessa calms him down more. At least THEY'RE not confused about what's the bullseye and what's not.

Back at the RIGHT castle, three other teams find Ludwig's bedroom and grab the clue to the ice rink; Rachel & Dave in 4th, Nary & Jamie in 5th and Brendon & Rachel in 6th. An exhausted Bopper & Mark continue a death march up the slope...and Kerri & Stacy apparantly lost their way.


The moos are plentiful at this small but humble farm and the two border partrol agents run right through the dairy itself to hit the mat in front of Phil and the local. And, for the third straight time, Phil has the honor of naming Team Border Watch as Team #1! This time, the boys are off to Thailand for five nights, cpmplete with rock-climbing and snorkeling adventures. Phil then respectfully requests that the team withdraw from the Race to "give the other teams a chance" (funny...he didn't ask those snowboarders to do that LAST Race). Art & JJ say they will...IF Phil gives them the million right now.

Ralph's next shot is just a HAIR in front of the bullseye. He asks the pro if he can hit THAT Gnome with ANOTHER...and the pro says that's part of the sport so sure. And, sure enough, with a light but firm push, Ralph's second Gnome hits the first one into the bullseye. Team It's Complicated! departs for the farm in third...

...just as Team Clubbers check-in as Team #2...and Team Double Trouble find the clue to the ROADBLOCK in 6th.

And the Sons of Anar-KY...they're still huffin' and puffin' up the road. When they get to the castle, Bopper is thoroughly exhausted and praying to God for the strength to go on. As they take the last clue, they felt they weren't going to survive THIS time...but would stay in it until the very end.

At the rink, Nary & Jamie just KNOW it'll be curling and Nary opts to do it. You'd think federal agents would be GOOD at hitting targets. Yeah, well,...not the ones on ice and not without bullets, it seems. When Team Oh, Brother! arrive, Brendon decides to do the task. Rachel of Team Yellow Ribbon chooses to "put it on the ice" when they show up.

And, as the three teams play Gnome Curling, Vanessa & Ralph check-in as Team # 3. Vanessa says they're good at "letting things go"...but, if he b*tches at her again, he's dead! Ain't love grand?.

Rachel gets in the same position as Ralph was: with a Gnome right in front of the bullseye. So, like Ralph, she sends the second Gnome to nudge the first one home...and, like Ralph, she succeeds! Team Yellow Ribbon departs in fourth...much to the shock and displeasure of the other teams. Fortunately for Team Oh, Brother!, Brendon quickly gets a bullseye and leaves in 5th. This does NOT suit Party In the CIA well. And, what's MORE, Kerri & Stacy have showed up with Kerri pushing gnomes. And here comes Bopper & Mark as well, with Bopper INSISTING that Mark do it (he's still winded). .

Rachel & Dave are Team #4 (TIED FOR BIGGEST DROP OF THE LEG).

Mark shoves a Gnome hard...and Bopper yells at it to stop on the bullseye...and it DOES! They leave in 6th.

As dusk starts to fall, Brendon & Rachel (quite literally) slip onto the mat and are checked-in as Team #5.

Two all-female teams slowly keep shoving Gnomes down the ice and keep missing the bullseye. Nary gets VERY close several times but no cigar after over 180 slides. Kerri doesn't seem to be doing well but she's only had about 70 slides. Who will be the first to get the Gnome home and stave off elimination?

It's KERRI! And she's so very...excited, as is Stacy! They leave in 7th...and Party In the CIA ain't partying any more. They can't believe they arrived at the ROADBLOCK in 4th...and will be leaving in last! Still, Jamie stays positive, feeling they can still follow directions better and BEAT them them. At about shove 190, the Gnome just BARELY touches the bullseye...but, hell, it touches! They leave and hope for the best.

Sure enough, Team Double Trouble ask for directions to Schwangau-Horn from a nearby local. And, of course, Kerri screws it up. Nary & Jamie seem to be taking the right route.

Bopper & Mark are happier than pigs in mud when Phil proclaims them Team #6! (BEST IMPROVEMENT OF THE LEG) They left it all on the Leg and plan on doing it again and again, not giving up for ANYTHING!

That leaves both all-girl teams still on the road, looking for signs and praying they're reading them right. As night closes in, two women open the door to the dairy, run up to Phil and the mat...and Phil states...

"Nary & Jamie, you are Team #7!" (TIED FOR BIGGEST DROP OF THE LEG) And there was MUCH rejoicing! (Yeah...).

For the cousins when they arrive, not so good news. They're last...and they're going home. They blame bad navigation...and they feel bad because they wanted to do so much for their families. But...they made it THIS far...further than MOST people thought, they're sure. At least their kids can look at their mothers and know they can be as awesome someday.



1) Art & JJ (EVEN) - Bahamas, $2500, Thailand
2) Joey "Fitness" & Danny (+1)
3) Vanessa & Ralph (+1)
4) Rachel & Dave (-2) - Express Pass (USED), Grenada
5) Brendon & Rachel (+1)
6) Bopper & Mark (+2) - $2500 [gifted by Art & JJ]
7) Nary & Jamie (-2)
ELIMINATED) Kerri & Stacy (-1) (8th)
ELIMINATED) Elliot & Andrew (9th)
ELIMINATED) Dave & Cherie (10th)
ELIMINATED) Misa & Maiya (11th)

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit the official website at www.cbs.com/amazingrace