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Bonds will be forged, tested, and strained, as eleven teams of two, joined by family or relationship, follow a path of twists and turns in a frenetic race around the world for $1,000,000.

Who will be the first to cross the finish line? 

For more information and current standings, visit GSNN's Race Passport.

Recaps by Chris Wolvie, GSNN



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"Are There Instructions on Donkey Handling? - Leg 8" - January 18

PIT STOP: LA PIETRA, ISLE OF CORSICA, FRANCE


From Budapest to the isle of Corsica, the Racers rushed around Europe a little more. Some teams climbed a castle wall while Jonathan & Victoria (Team Dom-Sub) decided to ride a raft. They all ended up stomping grapes... except for Adam & Rebecca (Team Shrek) who, despite some difficulties, walks along the ocean floor in old diving suits to get the FAST FORWARD and arrive in first. Hayden & Aaron (Team 'Dating' Actors) stumbled into the PIT STOP last... but, since it's a non-elimination leg, they're still in it... they're just like any OTHER actor-wannabes: they're broke.

At 12:12am Euro-time, Team Shrek gets ready to depart the scenic overlook just outside of Ile Rousse with this clue:
 
ROUTE INFO:
Travel by ferry to the city of Nice (pronounced like 'niece'), France. Then travel to the city square and find your next clue in front of a bust of World War I hero Albert I. Five teams have $143 for this leg of the Race... but ONE team with start with $0.
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Rebecca is sure that the ferries aren't running this late... so they go to a nearby hotel to get information and crash. It's almost two hours later when Freddy & Kendra (Team Engaged Models) depart and likewise look for clues at hotels. Lori & Bolo (Team Rasslers), Kris & Jon (Team Restauranteurs) and Team Dom-Sub all reach the same conclusion... and all ask the SAME hotel manager what time the ferries start to leave (it's about 11:30am, according to the guy). BTW, Jonathan says he and Victoria are going 'back to basics' where they'll each control SOME part of the rest of the journey. (Why...do I doubt it HEAVILY?)

The broke Team 'Dating' Actors, however, know that the price for the ferry ride is at least 120 Euros (which is somewhere around $160-$180 US)...and they KNOW they need bread. So, while the other teams snooze, they head for the ferry dock bright and early the next morning and start to beg anyone who speaks English for dough. And who says French people hate Americans? They were kind enough for lend money to a pair of greedy American tourists wanting to turn a few Euros into a million bucks... so they can't be all THAT bad!

The ferry arrives and five teams get on. The sixth team runs to the dock... and just BARELY makes the ferry (literally and financially). so it's a six-way tie en route to:

NICE, FRANCE

The ferry docks at the beautiful seaside city... and Jonathan & Victoria break from the pack to find a cab and vault into first. Lori & Bolo, Adam & Rebecca and Freddy & Kendra grab cabs as well, leaving the other two teams behind.

Team Dom-Sub find the bust and come up from behind it to locate this clue:

ROUTE INFO:
Fly to the capital city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (about 4500 miles away). Once you arrive, find a marked ticket counter and sign up for one of two flights to Lalibela, a remote village tucked away in the highlands of Ethiopia. The flights depart at 8am and 8:30am and can only hold three teams apiece, first come first serve. Then find marked vans with your next clue on the windshield.

One by one, the teams arrive by the park, hop out of their cabs, grab the clue and then jump back INTO their cabs en routo to the international airport in Nice. The Model Alliance is back in effect now that Team 'Dating' Actors have caught up to Team Engaged Models.

Jonathan & Victoria seem to be on the same page as they stop at a travel agency. And, for once, they DON'T holler when the agent tells them the computer is down...at least, until they get back in the cab.

As such, Team Rasslers arrives at the airport first and book tickets on Air France via Rome to Addis Ababa, leaving at 6:05pm. The problem is that the Rome layover is overnight... and the second flight won't land in Ethiopia until 10pm.

But Freddy & Kendra have other ideas. Angry at the wrestlers butting in front of Kendra and hearing of their route, they decide to take Luftansia flight leaving the next morning and booked through Cairo, dragginf Hayden & Aaron along for the ride. Adam & Rebecca manage to get on an Air France flight tomorrow. Kris & Jon go to a travel agent and get tickets on Swiss Air via Zurich and Cairo.

Meanwhile, Team Dom-Sub goes from first to worst, arriving at the airport last. They find an Alitalia via Rome... but it leaves at the latest of all flights tomorrow.

AIR FRANCE (leaving today): Team Rasslers
AIR FRANCE (leaving tomorrow morning): Team Shrek
LUFTHANSA: Model Alliance
SWISS AIR: Team Restauranteurs
ALITALIA: Team Dom-Sub

ROME, ITALY

All roads lead there... and so does Lori & Bolo's flight. Since they haven't enough Euros for a proper hotel, they try to sleep in the airport by the gate to they flight to Ethiopia.

The next morning, back at Nice, Adam & Rebecca decide to screw the Air France flight and get on the Alitalia flight Jonathan & Victoria are on since it DOES arrive earlier. Kris & Jon follow suit. This leaves the Model Alliance behind. Adam is NOT too happy with Rebecca giving info to Team Restauranteurs... and this upsets Rebecca to no end. She claims Adam is as bad towards her as Jonathan is towards Victoria (dunno if I'd go THAT far, but...). In fact, she vows through tears that, once the Race is over for them, THEY'RE over for good!

Hayden & Aaron and Freddy & Kendra depart to Cairo on the Luftansia flight. Some time later, the three other teams head to Rome.

And, needless to say, as Team Rasslers await their flight, they are NOT very happy to see Jonathan & Victoria, Adam & Rebecca and Kris & Jon show up at the gate. But there's nothing they can do about it; the "Great Race Equalizer" has struck again. So it's four teams flying to...

ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA

At 10pm, the flight labds and docks at the airport. Eight Americans run out the door and towards the depature desk. It's Team Shrek that legs it out and signs up first. Team Dom-Sub is second and Team Rasslers third (thanks to Adam not wanting Team Restauranteurs to be on the same flight). As such, Kris & Jon arew stuck with the 8:30 flight.

Four and a half hours later, the Model Alliance touch down and race for the counter... but they're stuck with the second charter anyway.

8am CHARTER: Team Shrek, Team Rasslers and Team Dom-Sub
8:30am CHARTER: Team 'Dating' Actors, Team Engaged Models and Team Restauranteurs

The first flight takes off on time and the players enjoy the beautiful scenery. 30 minutes later, the second flight heads to...

LALIBELA, ETHIOPIA

As the first group lands, Jonathan & Victoria find the vans and this clue:

ROUTE INFO:
The vans here have drivers. Direct your driver to take you to Lewz Village (about 10 miles away) and find your next clue on an overlook. NOTE: Your driver will only go in the direction you tell him.

Jonathan decides to do what they did the LAST time they arrived in Africa: get a guide. As they do this, Lori & Bolo and Adam & Rebecca get in front of them. Victoria yells at Jonathan to stop trying to bribe a porter to be a guide and get in. But, by then, it's too late as the second plane lands. They take off, and the other three teams follow close behind. Kris & Jon are in fourth with the Model Alliance tailing them (and complaining about the 'poverty'.

En route to...wherever they're going, Jonathan stops a local and tries to hire him as a guide. He accepts...though there's no telling whether the guy understands word one of English.

LEWS VILLAGE, ETHIOPIA


Team Shrek and Team Rasslers find the clue box first, with Team Dom-Sub hot on their bumper. The race down the muddy hillside (tripping on occassion) and run right into a:

DETOUR: Raise the Roof or Mud the Hut? (Two manual labor tasks in Ethiopia)
RAISE THE ROOF: You will join a group of locals and carry a thatched roof 2/3 of a mile to a designated hut. You will then place the roof on the hut, putting a jug in the very top. Once that is accomplished, you will get your next clue.
MUD THE HUT: You will use a plaster of straw, dirt and water and cover a wall of a traditional Ethiopian house. Once the wall is completely covered with mud, you will receive your next clue.


Adam & Rebecca decide to RAISE THE ROOF while Adam & Bolo and Jonathan & Victoria, after talking about which one is 'easier', will MUD THE HUT. The wrestlers have no trouble shovelling the plaster onto the gurney and carrying it to the wall... though Lori IS a little grossed by getting her hands dirty. The entrepreneurs, however, are a little more skeptical. As for Team Shrek, they jog alongside the seven locals as they haul their roof down the path.

Meanwhile, the second trio of teams arrives. Hayden & Aaron and Kris & Jon RAISE THE ROOF while Freddy & Kendra MUD THE HUT. As Team Rasslers and Team Dom-Sub get half their walls done, Team Shrek comes by with their roof.

Freddy groans and shows Kendra his left hand which is brown...and RED from the blood coming from a massive cut. Still, Freddy knuckles down and continues the flinging.

Adam & Rebecca arrive at their hut and help put the roof on top. Then Adam climbs the ladder with a jug and places it on top. :

ROUTE INFO:
The manual labor isn't over yet. Now take two donkeys about 3 miles down the path to St. George's Church (a church inside a hole in the groud as you can see from the enclosed picture). Once you arrive there, you will give the donkeys to a farmer nearby and he will pay you with your next clue.


As they leave, they pass Hayden & Aaron with THEIR roof. Meanwhile, on the mud walls, Lori & Bolo are VERY close to finishing...while Jonathan & Victoria have an issue with it... and each other. There might be time, though, since Rebecca looks for instructions on how to handle her donkey and yells, "Move your ass, you ass!"

Hayden & Aaron get their roof up and go into second place after Aaron puts the jug on top. They are quickly followed by Kris & Jon, meaning all the roof-raisers have finished THEIR tasks. Team 'Dating' Actors get their donkeys out without a hitch (Aaron pointing to Hayden as he whispers, "I have experience in guiding asses.") but Adam finally gets Rebecca up to speed and they haul... well, you know.

Meanwhile, Lori & Bolo finish the mud wall first and get into fourth. Jonathan & Victoria are almost finished...when Vic SCREAMS to high heaven and looks at her hand. Jonathan is non-plussed and yells at Vic to suck it in and get back to work. But Kendra is more sympathetic and screams, "JONATHAN, HELP HER!" Of course, he doesn't. And Vic, after getting some cold water dumped on her aching hand, vows not to get eliminated "just 'cause my fingers hurt" and gets back in it. They manages to finish the wall in fifth, but Team Engaged Models are right on their heels in last. They're sure they're in DEEP trouble because there's something just ahead:

YIELD # 2
This is the second of three YIELDs in the Race. A team may use this to make another team stop for a pre-determined amount of time (denoted by an hourglass) before they can continue. Any team can be YIELDed any number of times, but a team may only utilize a YIELD once during the course of the Race.

The front three teams are well in the lead and doing a jackassed version of the Cannonball Run and Team Rasslers lagging in fourth...while Jonathan allows Victoria's feet to be sliced while looking for the donkeys. Freddy & Kendra leave just before them.

Team 'Dating' Actors arrive at the church first, give their donkeys to the farmer and proceed down the steps to the YIELD. They choose not to utilize it and proceed to the:

ROAD BLOCK: ("Who has an eye for detail?")
One team member must go down into the church where the priest will hand them a pendant. The member must then search over 100 worshipers surrounding the church for one wearing a matching pendant. Once you find the right pendant, the worshiper will give you your next clue.

Hayden is chosen to enter the church...and she is in awe at the "energy" in an around it. She gets her pendant and starts the search.

Meanwhile, it appears that Kendra has asthma (or a reasonable facsimile) for the first time in 15 years. But Freddy insists it's just a 'panic thing'. Kendra gets help from the local kids who help carry her backpack.

Hayden finds the match and runs up to Aaron to open the clue:

ROUTE INFO - PIT STOP:
Travel by foot to the next PIT STOP: Lalibela Lookout (about a mile away) just outside the Roja Hotel. WARNING: the last team to check-in MAY be eliminated!.

As the actors head down the rocky road to Dubl...er, Lalibela, Team Rasslers arrives at the ROAD BLOCK, with Lori going down to the church. Kris is chosen for Team Restauranteurs. (Neither chose to YIELD, BTW.) But Lori misreads the clue and starts to retrace her steps to go outside the HOLE, not just the church. Kris then gets a head start on finding the matching pendant. Lori has to about-face and get back down in the hole to start her search.

Meanwhile, a 'short cut' turns ugly for Team Engaged Models as the locals would NOT allow the donkeys through them during a holy ceremony. That leads Team Dom-Sub to the farmer in third... but they forgot something: the other DONKEY! Well, they're screwed. And Vic starts to cry again... while Jonathan seems content with their fate.

The ladies have trouble with their search and are getting frustrated. But Kris perserveres and grabs the clue first. She joins Jon and the kids help them find the lookout. Lori FINALLY finds HER match and gets her and Bolo on the road in third.

The last two teams show up at the church... but it's Adam & Rebecca who arrive at the YIELD... and they USE it:

YIELD # 2
ADAM & REBECCA YIELD FREDDY & KENDRA!

Suddenly, Jonathan & Victoria see daylight! They confirm the YIELD and start to race back to get the other donkey, hopping to get it to the farmer before the YIELD expires. Freddy is PISSED as Kendra flips the hourglass over... and, of course, blames Kendra for dallying. Meanwhile, Adam goes down into the church...and pulls a 'Lori' and climbs back OUT. Even WORSE, he follows someone up to where the MONKS are. Team Dom-Sub grab their ass and head back down the road at full-speed, Rebecca groans at Adam being stupid (again)... and Team Engaged waits for the sands of time to run out...

PIT STOP: LALIBELA LOOKOUT, ETHIOPIA

The first team arrives in front of Phil Keoghan and a local monk. And Phil says the magic words: "Hayden & Aaron, you're Team Number One!" Team 'Dating' Actors fought back from being broke to winning a Mexican vacation thanks to AA.com. Next on the mat is Lori & Bolo, taking the #2 spot as Kris & Jon take the long way around and arrive as Team # 3.

Meanwhile, Adam finds out his error and nearly curses as he heads back. As he does, the sands run out and Freddy heads down to the church (slipping on the bridge on the way.) While the men are down, Kendra confronts Rebecca about the YIELD. Freddy gets the pendant as Adam returns. As it is, the YIELD meant absolutely bupkis as Freddy finds the pendant first and moves them ahead of Adam & Rebecca. Adam DOES find the match and Team Shrek takes off after them, a rather upset Adam cussing himself out all the way.

And, as they leave, Jonathan & Victoria arrive at the ROAD BLOCK. OK,... NOW they're screwed... unless someone throws a shoe or something on the way. Victoria searches among the worshipers and gets their clue.

Freddy & Kendra arrive as Team #4 and, in the battle for fifth... well, you just know it's Adam & Rebecca, right? Adam is VERY relieved!

Lead by a pack of 'worshippers' of their own, the team that has been the penultimate candidates for Divorce Court march up to the lookout to receive the bad news: Jonathan & Victoria are the last team to arrive... and they've been eliminated from the Race.

OK, here, I thought Jonathan was going to go all ape-$#!+ on Victoria. But though he's disappointed, he doesn't think Vic let him down. "The world's a tough place," he says, "and if you can conquer ANY aspect of it - as an individual or a team - that's something!" Vic is upset as well... but she enjoyed the Race, no matter WHAT we've seen to the contrary. The married couple, having endured over 4500 miles of travel today, walk to the overlook... and kiss and embrace.

(Just proof positive that the riggers and anger made BY the Race seem to be all too quickly forgotten once the Race is done. Hey, CBS, how about getting together some ultra-violent already-divorced people for the next Race and take it to the ULTIMATE level next time?!? SHEESH!!)

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