Recap: The Amazing Race 3, Episode 8 – “This Is More Important Than Your Pants Falling Down!”
Phil points out that Flo and Drew have begun flirting with each other during the Pit Stop. But the 9th Leg begins with teams driving themselves to a nearby farm to search for their next clue in a giant haystack.
John Vito & Jill and Derek & Drew lie to Teri & Ian about the correct direction to the barn. Teri & Ian are annoyed, but they feel like the other teams have been out to get them from the beginning. Yet, they’re still here.
Teams must now catch a ferry out of Friedrichshafen to Romanshorn, Switzerland where they will then catch a train to Schaffhausen and the Rheinfall, the largest waterfall in Europe.
On the train, John Vito & Jill get separated from the others when there are no seats. So they have to sit in a different car. Once in Schaffhausen, John Vito & Jill have trouble hailing a cab and fall further behind.
The other four teams arrive at the boat to the falls first and make their way across the water to the clue. The teams decide to leave their bags in the boat as they hop off and climb the stairs. But the boat ends up leaving without them.
John Vito & Jill hop on the next boat. And upon its arrival, only John Vito hops out to grab the clue. Jill waits and asks the driver to hold the boat at the dock. The other teams cannot hop on since their bags are on the other boat. That allows John Vito & Jill to move into first place.
Teams must now take a train to Zurich and find an underground vault in the Lindenhof. John Vito & Jill take a bus to the train station while the others run to the nearby train station instead. They all end up on the same train anyway.
During the train ride, Flo chats with her Uncles Ken, Gerard and Ian about her love life. Ian advises Flo not to let Zach get away, especially when he “puts up with [her] bullshit.” Flo agrees. They ask about Drew and she just smiles. Flo is open to whatever will happen.
The five teams stick together and find the officer who points them to the clue inside the vault, revealing the Detour. Both Detours will help teams obtain the code needed to open a safe: Count the Money or Run the Numbers.
In Count the Money, teams must count the Swiss currency in the bowl. In Run the Numbers, teams must search the streets as much as a mile away for answers to riddles: The number on a metal-head statue, the sum of the numbers on the north face of the clock on St. Peter’s Church and the number of red ribboned trees in the Lindenhof.
Ken & Gerard decide to count the money while everyone else runs out. It’s a frantic run around Zurich, but they make their way back to the vault while the Oh Brothers are still deep in counting. Ken & Gerard decide to abort and switch.
Flo & Zach and Derek & Drew, who worked together to run the numbers, get their code wrong. They decide to go count the trees again. John Vito & Jill also have to go back and count, but they end up opening the safe first. Derek & Drew and Flo & Zach are next.
Ken & Gerard open the safe next. Teri asks Ken what the last number is supposed to be, but he does not say.
On the way to the train station, Gerard is almost run over by a train. But Ken yanks him away just in time.
The next clue directs team to take a train to Grindelwald. John Vito & Jill miss the next train by seconds. Instead, all five teams again end up on the same train to Grindelwald.
Upon arrival in Grindelwald, teams must find a nearby marked field where they will encounter the Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must use a crossbow to hit an apple off a child’s head. Not a real child though.
Derek, John Vito, Zach, Ken and Ian do the Road Block.
Zach hits the target first and he and Flo can now make their way to the Pit Stop at the Chalet Arnika. Ken, Ian and Derek are next only seconds behind. John Vito is struggling and he and Jill are firmly in last.
The other four teams are struggling themselves as they run and walk up the steep streets and high elevation of Grindelwald.
While everyone else runs through grass, Teri & Ian have to remain on the streets. The other teams end up back on the streets anyway.
Teri says her pants are falling down, but Ian tells her:
“This is more important than your pants falling down.”
“Oh you think so?”
“Yeah I think so. You’re not modest.”
Ken & Gerard decide to break from the pack and end up running through goats. John Vito & Jill, meanwhile, hop into a taxi.
Derek & Drew are proud owners of a pair of new Kodak EasyShare digital cameras as they end up as Team #1 followed by Flo & Zach in 2nd. Teri & Ian step on the Mat as Team #3.
John Vito & Jill arrive at the entrance of the Chalet Arnika which is down the hill. They suddenly see Ken & Gerard running down the hill and it is now a frantic footrace to the Mat.
Ken & Gerard are able to step on the Mat as Team #4. That means John Vito & Jill are last. But this is a Non-Elimination Leg.
Jill is completely out of breath and she has to take a moment.
— DryedMangoez (@dryedmangoez) October 9, 2020
The Final Five rundown from Phil at the beginning of the episode was definitely the signal that the Race is truly starting. The competition is heating up and this episode definitely illustrated that very well.
The Leg itself wasn’t the best, but I can forgive it more this time since it was a Non-Elimination. What also saved the episode was how it worked out getting teams on the same trains instead of one or two teams an hour or more ahead.
The fact that teams got on the same trains and ferries allowed for the competition to really heat up and work to make for a very exciting episode. Even if the episode felt like it was broken up into chunks thanks to those train rides, the competition at the Detour and then the Road Block/Pit Stop worked so well.
There was definitely plenty happening here. Things were already heating up at the start with the haystack and the teams lying to Teri & Ian. Then the standoff at the Rheinfall with Jill on the boat (No distance rules back then?)
I just loved seeing the teams right next to each other at both the Detour and Road Block. And the tasks themselves were great in provoking that intense competition. I always say, I prefer seeing teams Racing side-by-side and be neck and neck.
The utter chaos of teams running around Grindelwald, especially to the Pit Stop is the kind of fun, exciting action you want to see. One of the best edited sequences in 31 seasons of the Race. Just utter edge-of-your-seat madness.
In the middle of all that, throw in one of the most iconic moments in Race history. That is, Teri’s pants falling down. Still so hilarious almost 18 years since.
And then of course the thrilling finish between Ken & Gerard and John Vito & Jill at the end too. It is all so fun and exciting to watch.
One negative of the earlier seasons though was stacking the Non-Elimination Legs toward the end of the Race. They really should be more spread out. Especially when casting today is so poor, having the same five teams at the end for several episodes would get very boring.
Thankfully, these five teams are all interesting and great competitors. So it’s alright. But one positive change in contemporary TAR is spreading out the Non-Elims.
Overall, a much better episode and Leg than last week and the start of the real Race to the Finish Line!
My Subjective Team Rankings
This is definitely one of Teri & Ian‘s best episodes. Hilarious moments, good Racing, inter-team drama. They were stars in this ep!
After some overly-friendly Racing from John Vito & Jill in previous Legs, they finally get competitive here. In the nicest way possible, of course lol But it’s great to see them step up their game.
Ken & Gerard on the other hand, had kind of a poor Leg. They were playing catch up most of the Leg. And I can’t say they didn’t deserve it. They’ve been rolling along so far, so it’s nice to see them maybe get knocked down a peg. Though not necessarily in the traditional sense. In the meantime, they also continue to provide the effortless comedy too. Like Gerard almost getting run over by a train, for example. Another classic moment! lol
For Flo & Zach and Derek & Drew, it’s all about the flirtations between Flo and Drew. I don’t remember that storyline coming up so late in the season. I guess with only five teams left, the teams are bound to get closer. But boy, this storyline is so interesting to watch. It just happened naturally instead of contemporary TAR famewhores who just want showmances for screentime.
Derek: “I love being deceitful.”
Jill: “That was evil. We’re going to hell. We are totally going to hell.”
Ken: “Zach’s back hurts ‘cuz he’s carrying you all the way.”
Ian: “My God, it’s chili pepper time!”