Tonight’s episode made us pretty thankful that “The Amazing Race” doesn’t air in Smell-O-Vision as teams headed to the Arctic Circle to flounder around juicy fish heads and drying cod carcasses.
As these temporary fisherman angled for pole position on Phil’s mat, alliances deepened (especially between the Bostonians and doctors), dislikes festered, and Pinkie still annoyingly taunted the entire group with her Express Pass... until one player finally called her bluff.
It’s My Way Or Norway
All racers were on the same plane for the first time as they journeyed from the Portugal castle pit stop to a dock in Svolvaer, Norway, more than 2,000 miles away. After the flight, they had to take a three-hour ferry ride into the heart of the Arctic Circle where ice queen Ashley complained about her frozen face while her partner was weirded out by being in “a place where the sun never sunsets.”
It gave Pinkie plenty of time to scheme about all the people she’s not going to give the Express Pass to. At the bottom of her list are the Afghanimals, because “they’re jerks.” She acknowledged that the nice thing would be to give it to the docs since they would have had it if not for the penalty, but they’re tough competition.
Economies Of Scale
Both detour options dealt with the local big business: seafood. Hang Your Heads, which all but two teams did, required stringing together six 10-fish head bundles, transporting them via wheelbarrow to the enormous drying racks down the road, and laying them out in the sun.
Beard Adam was excited to do tasks where their past Boy Scout experience might come in handy. “We’re man scouts now,” he quipped. Turns out their decision to jog the mile to the head shop instead of wait for a scarce taxi to roll by was what really helped them get a jump on the others. The task seemed gross yet simple, and the wheelbarrow portion exhausting, especially for the Boston-nicknamed "Ass-animals," who choose one with a flat tire.
The oilers and the baseball wives chose Hammer Of The Cods, in which they had to retrieve 15 pairs of dehydrated cods from 30-foot-high racks, return the heavy load to the plant without a wheelbarrow, hammer them, and pull enough meat from the bones to make one kilo of jerky.
Kim continued her role as ditz on display, wondering, “What’s a kilo?” and misplacing her clue and notebook in her mouth. Human drying racks Tim and Nicky were hunched over by the weight, cut by the jagged flesh and attacked by mosquitos. You have to give them credit for not giving up, never ceasing to compliment each other and their opponents, and for seeing the bright side. (Something like, “Sure, you can’t lift you head to see where you’re walking, but damn if your arms don’t look buff.”)
Catch Of The Day
For all her putting down of Tim, Pinkie made several missteps of her own this leg. Despite grabbing the only taxi out at 1 a.m. and arriving at the detour first, she lost their lead when she instructed Tim to put only eight heads on their lines. Lucky for her, Boston corrected them before they got too far ahead (pun intended!) of themselves.
They were also the first to the racks, but in her rush, she cast her lines over the first rod she saw instead of one marked with red and yellow. When the scalp supervisor wouldn’t clue her, she started whining, “Why is this happening to me? I’m nice to everyone.” (Clearly, self-realization is also not her strong suit.) It took three other teams finishing for her to realize her mistake.
Glad the Beards didn’t fall for another of her empty pass promises. Brandon said, “Every single team told us she’d offered it to them for some sort of help. I’ll tell you where you can stick your pass.” Boston, further solidifying their bond with the docs, warned them about the poles on their way to catch a high-speed boat to Henningsvaer.
The roadblock consisted of one racer wet-suiting up, leaping off a bridge, swinging by the end of an 80-foot rope, plunging into the freezing water below, and swimming to a buoy with clues on it. While Brandon thought “running in a wetsuit sucks real bad,” Adam was clearly impressed by his teammate doing the challenge quick like a “seal-shark.” Jason was the only swinger who stumbled when he couldn’t reach the ball that unclipped him.
Next, pairs had to complete their gratuitous plug of the week by donning coveralls (this episode had almost as many costume changes as a Cher concert!), hitching a granite boulder to a Ford truck, and hauling it far enough to reveal an illustrated pit stop clue and a satchel of Viking coins they’d need later.
Again, the oilers, Beards, and Boston were at an advantage due to their career paths, but the ice queens were clearly scared of the stick shift. Neither could reverse until the oilers took pity and got in the cab for a driving lesson.
Tim and Pinkie continued their screw-up streak by only grabbing the change and then driving off aimlessly. The docs, sensing their desperation, offered to tell them the next destination in exchange for the pass. When Pinkie balked per usual, Nicole doled out some tough love. “Do you want it or not? You need us; we don’t need you. Okay, goodbye.”
Pit Stop, Er, Pause
The Beards were first to the Feast at the reconstructed Viking longhouse, but they weren’t even there long enough to partake in a mead toast for winning $5,000 each as Phil informed them that the leg was not over yet.
Will Pinkie cave? Will the Beards retain their lead? Will Kim lose more things in her mouth? Tune in next week to find out.
"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. on CBS.