The Amazing Race 20, Episode 5 – Uglier Than a Mud Rail Fence
Teams have to take a train to Ehrwald, Austria (via Innsbruck), then drives themselves across the border to Bavaria in Germany. Art & JJ have a head start, but Rachel & Dave and Joey & Danny catch up to them at their first Route Marker, the Gasthof zum Rassen thanks to Hours of Operation.
Inside, they look for the Travelocity Roaming Gnome and under it is the Detour. In Fairy Tale, teams head to the town of Oberammergau where they have to follow a trail of gingerbread, picking some up along the way, to a witch’s home where they’ll use the gingerbread to complete the roof of a gingerbread house. When they’ve finished the house, the witch will hand them their next clue. In Champion Male, teams head to a bar where they’ll choose a beard enthusiast who will hand them a photo of a world champion beard style that they must recreate on him. Once their styling work matches the photo, the reigning world beard styling champion will hand them their next clue.
All three teams choose the beards and despite arriving last, Art & JJ finish their champion male first. Teams must now find the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, and then search for Ludwig II’s bedroom for their next clue.
Across town, teams are driving up from Ehrwald and Bopper & Mark arrive first at the restaurant where they find their Speed Bump.
For this Speed Bump, Bopper & Mark must put on Bavarian costumes and learn how to yodel and perform correctly with the band before proceeding with the Race. They are able to finish and begin to change back into the clothes when the other teams arrive for the Gnome.
They, Brendon & Rachel and Kerri & Stacy choose the gingerbread while Vanessa & Ralph and Nary & Jamie choose the beards. As the witch laughs at the three teams while they put together the gingerbread roof, Rachel & Dave get lost on their way to the castle. That allows Art & JJ, Joey & Danny and a bickering Vanessa & Ralph to arrive at Neuschwanstein first. They find the clue and now teams must head to the Bundesleistungszentrum Eishockey Und Curling Rink in Fussen for their next clue.
Rachel & Dave and Nary & Jamie get to the castles, but go up to the other castle, Hohenschwangau where they wait on a tour leaving in a couple of minutes. They get deep into the tour before they find out they’re at the wrong place. Brendon & Rachel go up to Neuschwanstein as soon as they arrive, but Kerri & Stacy and Bopper & Mark make the same mistake as the others, but find out before they even go inside.
Across Bavaria, Art & JJ arrive at the ice rink and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will use their Travelocity Roaming Gnomes in a German ice stock sport, similar to curling, known as Eisstockschiessen. Once they’ve slid their Gnome to the target, they’ll get their next clue.
JJ does the Road Block and gets it after a couple of tries. They get their clue and head to the Pit Stop at Landhannes Farm. They run into the barn and claim their third win in a row. Phil asks them to step out of the Race to give others a chance.
Right behind them are Joey & Danny in 2nd and Vanessa & Ralph in 3rd.
Nary & Jamie get to the ice rink in 4th, but army Rachel and Brendon both finish the Road Block before Nary. They leave and in come Kerri & Stacy and Bopper & Mark. Mark quickly finishes, leaving the two teams behind.
As Rachel & Dave, Brendon & Rachel and Bopper & Mark check in 4th, 5th, and 6th respectively, Nary (at 180 slides) and Kerri (at 69 slides) desperately try to finish first. And it is Kerri that does it. They leave, but Nary & Jamie are right behind them. Having had trouble with directions all day, Kerri & Stacy make a wrong turn and that’s enough for Nary & Jamie to sneak by and escape elimination by officially checking in as Team #7.
Kerri & Stacy arrive on the Mat and Phil sadly tells them they are eliminated.
Episode Thoughts If only there were an equalizer at the beginning to keep Art & JJ from maintaining their immense lead, it would have been an excellent leg. But hey, what can you do.
Some good tasks this leg. Both Detours were equally fun and unique and the Road Block was great for a fan of curling like myself. This leg saw the return of the cryptic clues that were so prevalent in TAR19. I only just realized we haven’t really had many of those this season so far. So that clue that messed with a few of the teams at the castles was great.
Bolivia Bavaria’s snow covered landscape looked absolutely beautiful and the tasks and their locations certainly helped showed it off. First time there’s been an audience of cows at the Pit Stop. We’ve had sheep before, but never cows!
So overall, maybe not so much a memorable episode, but still a good one.
PIT STOP Piazza Castello Turin, Italy
DESTINATION Bavaria, Germany via Innsbruck and Ehrwald, Austria
ROUTE MARKER/SPEED BUMP Gasthof zum Rassen Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany
1st Art & JJ = 2nd Joey & Danny +1 3rd Vanessa & Ralph +1 4th Rachel & Dave -2 5th Brendon & Rachel +1 6th Bopper & Mark +2 7th Nary & Jamie -2 Eliminated Kerri & Stacy -1
Brendon & Rachel – A relatively quiet leg for them, especially compared to last week. Lots of quotables from Rachel and Brendon’s fall at the Mat was hilarious, but a so-so performance during the leg. They’ve been off their game the last two legs so they need to step it up next week.
Bopper & Mark – Definitely rebounded this week. A good leg for them and kudos to Bopper for pushing through his almost heart attack. Whew. Must have had a lot of pressure going into this leg, but they did very well.
Joey & Danny – They continue to step it up. Good for them. They’ve been quietly moving up the rankings and continuing to enjoy and have fun on the Race as well. That’s a pretty good combo.
Kerri & Stacy – And they made the one mistake that cost them the Race. They’ve been squeezing by the last few legs and needed that extra push to get them out of the bottom, but they couldn’t do it this leg. And it only takes one wrong turn to lose the Race and they did it a couple of times this leg. Too bad, they still had a lot of fire in them.
Nary & Jamie – They continue to stay under the radar. And this week, that almost equaled elimination. They need to have a sense of urgency when Racing. They’ve just been going through the motions and not really putting in that extra effort to make a run for it.
Rachel & Dave – Looks like they aren’t the dominant team they were in the first two legs. They’ve been pretty sloppy and slow these last few legs and almost seem to have lost that competitive edge they originally had. Maybe it’s the bickering that’s slowing them down.
Vanessa & Ralph – No mention of Rachel’s ass this week from them, so at least they took care of that. But they’ve now put themselves in the standard bickering couple category with what actually were boring fight/s. If you’re going to go for that angle on TAR, then go all out. Otherwise, why bother?
Art & JJ – Great. Another win for them. And that means validation of their boasting two legs ago. Oy. Their leg wins have as much to do with luck and leg design as it does their own doing.
Quotes from Episode 20.05
Brendon: “…and search for the Travelocity Roaming Gnome.” Rachel:”Where’s the Rome?”
Brendon: “Do you know how to style a beard?” Rachel: “No, I don’t even know what a beard is.”
Rachel: “Whatever happened to going to Bolivia? Brendon: “Bolivia?” Rachel: “Isn’t that what the German city…?” Brendon: “Bavaria.”
Danny: “Sleeping Beauty… didn’t she let her hair down?”