Recap: The Amazing Race 3, Episode 9 (Hour 1) – “Why Did You Have to Take Your Pants Off?”
Teams begin the 9th Leg of the Race in the pre-dawn hours. With $40 in their pockets, they must make their way to the Gletscherschlucht and figure out how to find car keys deep inside the gorge.
With the Gletscherschlucht opening at 9am, Derek & Drew and Flo & Zach decide to return to the hotel to stay in while waiting. Both Drew and Flo are open to pursuing what they’re feeling.
John Vito & Jill, Ken & Gerard and Teri & Ian make their way to the Gletscherschlucht Lodge where they take a nap to wait.
At 9am, the teams hurry into the gorge to grab the keys and back out to the cars that have the next clue. Teams must now drive themselves to Kandersteg and take a car train through the Alps and then on to the Val d’Anniviers adventure park next to the Red Bridge.
John Vito & Jill, meanwhile, decide to go for the Fast Forward. For this Fast Forward, they must find a traditional cheese making cabin and search through a wheel of cheese for their next clue. They must eat cubes of the cheese until the clue underneath is revealed.
While waiting for the train, Teri & Ian talk to some locals who tell them the Red Bridge has bungy jumping. Ian decides to tell Flo to freak her out a little.
When the train departs the station, Flo hops into the Twins’ car and sits with Drew in the backseat, leaving Zach by himself.
The teams get off the train and continue driving on to the Red Bridge. Teri & Ian get lost while the other three teams find the clue which reveals the Detour: Extreme Swiss or Very Swiss.
In Extreme Swiss, teams will take the biggest bungy jump in Europe. The drive afterwards to the next Route Marker will be short. In Very Swiss, teams will have to find a farm and search for keys hidden in the bells hanging around the goats.
Derek & Drew decide to jump while Flo & Zach and Ken & Gerard are too afraid and go for the goats instead.
Teri & Ian are tense when they arrive at the cluebox. They get testy with each other and ultimately decide not to jump. They get back in the car and are much calmer, understanding that this is all part of the dynamic of their teamwork and relationship.
Ken & Gerard are the first to find a key and the open up the box revealing the next clue and a T-Mobile-branded Sony Ericsson T-68 phone. Before teams drive themselves to the Chateau de Chillon on the banks of Lake Geneva, teams can use the phone to call home.
Ken & Gerard call home to speak with their parents and Gerard’s wife. Zach is able to speak with his sister and Flo with her best friend. Zach asks his sister to pay his credit card bill.
After the bungy jump, Derek is able to talk to his wife and Drew their mother. Teri & Ian, currently in last, call home where they talk to Teri’s sister and their two sons.
After the emotional T-Mobile-sponsored phone calls, the teams continue on to Lake Geneva. That is where John Vito & Jill already are as they make their way to the Pit Stop on the Steamship Savoie. They pedal themselves to the boat where they officially check in as Team #1 and claim their 7-night Caribbean vacation on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas.
Meanwhile, the other teams arrive at the Chateau de Chillon where they find the Road Block. For this Road Block, teams must assemble a Swiss army bicycle using all the provided parts and a provided matching example. They will then ride the two bikes to the Pit Stop.
Gerard, Drew and Zach decide to do the Road Block. Teri & Ian are playing catch up and Ian does the Road Block.
Gerard finishes the Road Block first and he and Ken check-in at the Pit Stop as Team #2. Derek & Drew are next as Team #3.
It’s down to the last two teams. Flo is not happy with Zach. And even more so when Ian finishes next and he and Teri leave. When Zach finally gets his bike approved, he decides to take his pants off. That is, unzip the legs off his pants to make them into shorts. Flo cannot believe it.
Teri falls off her bike, but she and Ian are able to reach the Mat and check-in as Team #4.
Flo is absolutely over it. She throws her helmet to the ground and is ready to just give up. She believes they have lost already and does not want to exhaust herself for nothing.
Flo & Zach arrive on the boat and head to the Mat where Phil tells them this is a Non-Elimination Leg. Flo regrets being so negative and defeatist. She says Zach being so positive makes her look bad.
So this was a big two-hour episode. But I’ll do each Leg separately because there’s enough to talk about with each hour than having to dissect two full hours! Lol
These last episodes of TAR3 were really the best and most exciting. The five teams were the season’s best competitors and personalities. So having two Non-Elimination Legs back-to-back isn’t as annoying since all five deserve to Race into Leg 10.
This Leg though was pretty good. Lots of driving of course. But that kept the tension high even as the Detour and Road Block were, on their own, not necessarily the most interesting.
The teams again picked up the slack and elevated those tasks to something more than they were on paper. The Fast Forward was alright. And the episode got it out of the way early which helped.
First though, the editing of that scene of Flo & Zach and Derek & Drew in the hotel was hilarious. It looked and sounded like some horror movie or romantic thriller. Lolol I think that might have been the longest scene ever on TAR with ZERO dialogue. Not a word was said. That’s some creative editing that you don’t see anymore on TAR.
The Detour ended up pretty balanced. The teams all got to the Road Block at basically the same time. At the bungy, it seemed like a very long time between jumps just for Derek & Drew. So what more if all the teams had to wait. It was probably the better choice to go for the goats. As exciting as bungy jumping is, the wait time would be horrible. Plus, getting teams to run around with goats or sheep is always a good time.
The T-Mobile-sponsored phone call to home was a nice touch. But my goodness, how 2002! Lololol. Not a lot of things on early TAR feel dated except for the Kodak EasyShare Digital Cameras and this T-Mobile phone product placement. Hehe.
The Road Block was a typical assembly task. But it worked since all the teams were there together. As we saw, it was still very exciting to see Teri & Ian pass Flo & Zach.
And then the classic “pants off” moment of course. We saw Flo’s dramatic-side, to put it mildly, at its near-boiling point level. Little did we know how things would escalate in the final Legs!
But as we look at the episode, competition was high. And it was friendly! If that makes sense. The teams were all friendly with each other, but when it’s Go Time, teams are not afraid to get competitive and get in each other’s faces.
Look at Ken body checking Drew and Flo at the Red Bridge. That’s seven years before Luke battled Jen on TAR14 in a similar fashion. Lol But here on TAR3, it was more playful and fun rather than the pure animosity in the case of that epic episode of TAR14.
The teams really help to elevate TAR3. And no matter how weird and off the Leg design might be, the teams make up for it with their competitiveness and fun shenanigans.
Overall a fun Leg with lots of hilarious moments.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Rose-colored glasses Hot Take, but this is the best Final Five of any TAR season ever. You could see any of them winning. And you wouldn’t really be mad. Well, you might not be happy about Flo back then. But in hindsight, it’s not as abhorrent as some recent TAR winners.
Anyway, Teri & Ian really were the biggest underdogs. But in addition to providing us the fun entertainment with their fiery bickering, they are also strong Racers. They can fight their way back from the bottom even against people half their age.
John Vito & Jill were obviously safe even if they didn’t go for the Fast Forward. So it was a quiet Leg for them.
Ken & Gerard were very much in their top contender position this Leg. Comfortable throughout, but still also providing the competition and comedy to keep things interesting.
It’s so interesting to see Flo‘s comments at the end about being so negative and wanting to give up. And how Zach‘s positivity makes her look bad. This episode was so excellently edited. Like a film storyboard. It opened with Flo’s flirtations with Drew. Flo even leaves Zach for Drew’s car to cuddle with him in the backseat. But in the end, it is Zach who saves the day and carries her to the finish. You can’t write that any better. And it really is a testament to how amazing the early seasons truly are. (And casting is a large part of that.)
Derek & Drew were alright this Leg. You would think the bungy would put them so far ahead. But it didn’t. So keeping them on the same level as the other teams help to make the Leg and episode remain exciting.
Derek: “You have a compass disability and it’s severe.”
Jill: “A little lipstick and a smile. I like to look pretty for Phil. You never know what it might get me.”
Flo: “We got beaten out by, like, two retired people.”