The Amazing Race 19, Episode 10 – Release the Break
Amani & Marcus are shocked when Phil hands them their next clue, telling them the next leg starts right now. The clue tells them to drive themselves to the Ford Proving Ground in Lommel, Belgium. Ernie & Cindy officially check in 2nd with Jeremy & Sandy in 3rd. Andy & Tommy and Bill & Cathi get through the Detour finally and finish 4th and 5th with Phil giving Bill & Cathi the good news that they are still Racing (though no non-elimination penalty).
While everyone gets directions, Ernie & Cindy go straight to the Ford Proving Ground first and next to a row of brand new Mustangs, their next clue, the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will put the brand new Ford Mustangs through three performance maneuvers. First, they must drive to 100mph and then brake at a designated spot. Then, they’ll have to navigate a slolom course in 16 seconds or less and then safely stop the car in a box without hitting the balloon. Finally, they’ll do a double victory donut to receive their next clue.
Ernie excitedly decides to do the Road Block. After suiting up, a driver takes the teams on a designated course. Teams will then take over the wheel to complete the three tasks. Ernie easily finishes the first task, but has a lot of trouble with the slalom, allowing Jeremy to catch up behind him. They are neck and neck as they get the next clue telling them to drive to Gent and find the next clue at the Hoofdbrug.
Amani & Marcus and Andy & Tommy arrive together next with Bill & Cathi staying in last place.
Ernie & Cindy maintain their lead and arrive in Gent first to find the Detour. In Water, teams must build a floatable raft using the materials provided and then use it to search the waterways for two halves of one clue that together will give them their next destination. In Waffle, teams must set up a waffle stand and then watch a demonstration to learn how to make 18 waffles exactly like the pros have already set up. Once the judge gives them the thumbs up, they’ll get their next clue.
They choose Waffle, as do Jeremy & Sandy who arrive not long after them. As they get to their waffles, Amani & Marcus arrive next and originally choose Waffle, but decide to switch to Water where Andy & Tommy arrive right behind them and end up finishing the raft before them.
Ernie & Cindy get the thumbs up from the judge and they get the clue telling teams to head to De Muur Van Geraardsbergen. Andy & Tommy are close behind them in 2nd now.
As Amani & Marcus finish their Detour, Bill & Cathi arrive and get started with the raft after deciding to pass on the waffles. Meanwhile, Sandy is starting to get frustrated when the judge says their waffles are incorrect. She wants to switch, but they eventually find the mistake and move on.
As Bill & Cathi wrap up their Detour, Ernie & Cindy get to De Muur and open the clue. Teams will watch as a trainer unleashes a flock of homing pigeons, one of which is carrying their next clue. They’ll be given an address where they’ll meet with that pigeon to get it and reveal the next Pit Stop.
Andy & Tommy continue to be right behind Ernie & Cindy while Jeremy & Sandy and Amani & Marcus arrive at the pigeons together. Ernie & Cindy end up getting lost allowing Andy & Tommy to find their pigeon first and the location of the Pit Stop, the Antomium in Brussels.
They head to the Pit Stop and officially win another leg and a pair of customized Ford Mustangs. Jeremy & Sandy find their pigeon 2nd and then check-in 2nd at the Mat. Ernie & Cindy are relieved to finish in 3rd. Amani & Marcus settle for 4th and Bill & Cathi remain stuck in last and now eliminated.
Episode Thoughts A very nice episode. Very quick episode too. It had simple, but good tasks that somehow made the episode go by very quickly. The Road Block looked like huge fun and the Detour was very straightforward, yet tricky at the same time. The extra task/Route Marker with the pigeons continues the non-formulaic leg design we’ve had this season.
Still pretty linear though that partly kept Bill & Cathi from really making a move out of last, but an overall solid leg and episode.
Most interesting thing about this ep though was the continued inconsistency with non-elimination legs and its variations. TAR considers these last two eps as two separate legs. But it wasn’t necessarily a non-elimination leg since Bill & Cathi were not issued any kind of penalty. And it wasn’t really a double/TBC-leg since Phil specifically said “the next leg starts right now.”
It is a little confusing. For TAR18, Phil tells teams they are “still racing” suggesting the leg is not over. Then again, this brings up the question of what constitutes a leg? Is it the presence of a Mat? The lack of a mandatory rest period? Having a complete set of a Road Block and a Detour?
If these legs are indeed separate, then it should still be a non-elimination leg with a Speed Bump for the last team, only with a zero-hour Pit Stop. If there is no penalty for the last team, then really these should be considered double-length/super legs.
Oh well. Who knows, maybe this is all just more cost-cutting, avoiding having to pay a night of accommodations with one less “mandatory rest period.”
Oh and I just knew the winners of this leg would be winning Fords. I saw it a mile away.
PIT START Parc Elisabeth Brussels, Belgium
ROAD BLOCK Ford Proving Grounds Lommel, Belgium
DETOUR Burgstraat – Hoofdbrug Gent, Belgium
ROUTE MARKER Muur van Geraardsbergen Geraardsbergen, Belgium
PIT STOP The Atomium Brussels, Belgium
DEPATURE Parc Elisabeth Brussels, Belgium
Amani & Marcus 1st Ernie & Cindy 2nd Jeremy & Sandy3rd Andy & Tommy 4th Bill & Cathi 5th
In order of completion > or < indicates team switched Detours.
Who did the Road Block? Who wants to play with the Ponies? In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
6Ernie Cindy 5 6Jeremy Sandy 5 5 Amani Marcus6 5 Andy Tommy6 6Bill Cathi 5
1st Andy & Tommy +3 2nd Jeremy & Sandy +1 3rd Ernie & Cindy-1 4th Amani & Marcus -3 Eliminated Bill & Cathi =
Ernie & Cindy – Another mistake costs them the leg win and could’ve easily been their downfall. They’ll need to stay on their toes next leg and if they make it, the last leg if they want to win. They’ve got everything they need to go all the way, they just have to clean up their Race a little bit. Also, more fun moments from them as well this leg.
Bill & Cathi – Sad to see them go, but it was definitely not unexpected. Directions were their kryptonite this entire Race and it ended up being what did them in. They’re a great team and great people, but they absolutely suck at directions. They also lacked a sense of urgency this leg which was sad to see since they could’ve easily sneaked by into 4th.
Amani & Marcus – An okay leg for them. But getting lost and getting passed numerous times during the leg will be a concern. They have a problem maintaining leads. They can move ahead when starting from behind, but when they start out in front, they fall out of first place and usually never recover until the next leg. With four teams left, they’ll have to fix that.
Jeremy & Sandy A little worrisome seeing Sandy wanting to give up on the Detour so easily like that. Good that they didn’t, but they’ll have to work on that if they want to run for the Finish Line. They can’t let their frustrations get to them, otherwise they can easily fall apart and lose.
Andy & Tommy – Another win from them. At least this time it wasn’t by default. They’re in prime position with the momentum, but as shown last week, they aren’t invincible. So if they can keep the momentum going, they’re the team to beat (unfortunately, if only because that would be very boring).
Quotes from Episode 19.10
Cindy: “That’s farting like a monster. We’ll call that waffle, ‘Ernie.’ He farts.”