December 02, 2007 09:04 PM by Jennifer_Brown
I guess it’s about the right time for the game to “turn,” as it always does, as competition gets fiercer and exhaustion begins to set in. The teams head out of Hotel De Ville in Africa a little cranky and game-faced. “Our eyes are full of fire right now,” Jennifer of Team Nate-ifer says, but the question will be,will their “fire” be directed at other teams or at one another?
The first destination for this leg of the Race is Vilnius, Lithuania (where, Ronald claims, you can get some great pastries – thanks for the tip, Ron!), and St. Anne’s church.
There’s something of a scramble for the best possible tickets to Lithunia and the claws come out. Nicolas tries to play it dirty and asks the Air France ticket agent to make sure all the other teams get later flights than his and Gramps’. The other teams overhear this and take it personally. They also take it personally when Nicolas won’t divulge any flight information. But apparently they’re not the only ones to take it personally. The ticket agent “mistakenly” tells Nicolas that there are no seats left on the earliest flight and sends him and Gramps out on a later flight. Nathan & Jennifer, who approach the same ticket agent after Nicolas, get the early flight just fine. Hmmm,mistake or,”Karma, man. That was karma,” Azaria says about the agent’s error.
Shana & Jennifer are still fighting over last week’s U-Turn that sent Jason & Lorena out of the game. Jennifer’s still peeved about it and Shana’s not going to listen to Jennifer’s complaints. “I feel extremely guilty about U-Turning Jason & Lorena,” Jen says, looking almost tearful.
“Someone used a U-Turn and it’s not a big group of happy campers anymore,” TK muses. He’s partly right. But, once again, there’s a team missing from all the drama and mayhem – Kynt & Vyxsin, who are just thrilled to be heading to Lithunia, where they hope to be among kindred souls, spooky architecture, and overall gothiness. “I’m a very controlled person,” Kynt says. “I wouldn’t say I control Vyxsin; I just try to guide her.” If he’s done any “guiding” of Vyxsin, we sure haven’t seen it. So far they’ve proven to be the neon ninjas of the race – swooping up from behind and beating the snot out of other teams, then pulling ahead before the others even know what him them. Hiii-ya!
Once in Lithuania, the teams are greeted with a Roadblock. One member of each team must find a local woman who will give them a package and tell them where to take it. Upon delivering that package, the racer will be given another package to take to another location, which will be where they’ll find their next clue. Kynt rocks the roadblock, but some others have real trouble with it.
Nate-ifer can’t even find the church with the clue in it, and, as usual, the stress makes them entertaining for the rest of us. “I just can’t believe the kind of person you’ve turned into. It’s the ugliest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Nathan grumbles at Jennifer (*meow!*) as they rush, on foot, to find the church. “Same with you, Nate,” Jen spits back (*hiss!hiss!*). Sheesh, where’s Dr. Phil when you need him?
The blondes, too, have trouble finding the church, but they’re too busy squabbling to really notice. At one point, a flustered Jennifer backs the car into a street only to find a bus barreling toward them. It’s a close call for the girls as Jennifer gets the car out of there just in the nick of time.
Hendekeaand Nicolas both have real troubles finding their locations and wander around for way too long (especially Nicolas who has Gramps waiting on him for “hours”). But the smart players find locals to guide them and soon they’re on their way to the next destination: a Lithuania ethnographic outdoor museum. First they must search through hundreds of gnome statues to find the Travelocity Roaming Gnome that matches the picture in their clue, and then must transport the gnome safely all the way to the pit stop. But first, they must follow their clue through a Detour: Count Down or Step Up.
There’s a really cool festival going on in town and the teams must either “Count Down” – count pickets in a super-long picket fence; or “Step Up” on stilts and walk a short length to a finish line.
This is Kynt’s favorite part of the whole race. He feels like he and Vyxsin really belong with this otherworldly bunch. “Where’s my costume?” he says. “I wanna jump in there!”
Both tasks prove to be harder than they sound and, if it weren’t for the initial trouble with stilts that Kynt & Vyxsin had, they’d have held on to 1st place during this leg. Ronald falls off his stilts and stays down for a minute, hurt. He gets points for perseverance this leg, because darn if he doesn’t get back up on those stilts and take them to the finish line! He and Christina seem to be finding their groove in this race and if his body and their cooperation holds out, we could be watching them for a few more weeks.
And, of course, things get ugly again with Nate-ifer, as they have trouble counting the pickets in the fence. Jennifer won’t stop talking to Nathan while he’s trying to count, all the while griping at him not to get distracted (Oops! Watch that name-calling, Nathan!). And the blondes, too, let their arguing get in the way, which gives Nicolas and Gramps a chance to squeeze past them.
Upon completing the Detour, the teams get their next clue, which is to travel by foot to Aukstaitija Windmill and the next Pit Stop. Here’s how they come across the mat.
1st: TK & Rachel, winning themselves an awesome 10-day trip for 2 to Japan.2nd: Kynt & Vyxsin, just barely beat out by TK & Rachel, but hugging anyway.3rd: Ronald & Christina – “I’m so proud of my dad. He’s a Superman.” (You should be on this leg, Christina!)4th: Azaria & Hendekea5th: Nate-ifer – ensuring we’ll get some more lessons in creative insult-slinging for at least another week.6th: Nicolas & Gramps, who fist-five each other.
7th: Shana & Jennifer, who cries before Phil can even get the words out that they’ve been eliminated.
“This race means so much to me,” Jennifer cries. “I’m just amazed about what we’ve accomplished,” Shana says, pointing out that they had to forego manicures and salon-appointments to be there.
Next on Amazing Race:Azaria bosses Sis around.I’ll give you two guesses who says this: “I hate you! I hate you!”
Photo Courtesy: Joe Blackmon