Richly Deserved: The Amazing Race Episode 12-7

The teams went from Croatia to Italy. Since all teams eventually made the ship to Italy, the race began there.

The road block involved riding in a light plane and spotting the name of their next destination “Vinci” written somewhere on the ground.

The detour was a choice between Invention (assembling a Da Vinci-designed crane and lifting a rock one foot to see their next clue), and tradition (perfecting (somewhat) a flag routine complete with catching the flag and tossing it to their partner).

There was also a fast forward in the race and a product placement as teams got a message from home on a Blackberry. How did everyone do? Here we go.

NICOLAS AND DONALD: Aside from winning a spa getaway, was it worth it for them to get a “ff” (for fast forward) tattoo etched on their shoulders to win the fast forward? Absolutely. And fortunately for them Nathan and Jennifer, and TK and Rachel, passed on it. Nicolas has proven he’s not the most directionally sound person on the race so the airplane road block might have been a challenge for him. And Donald probably wouldn’t have been able to handle the flag routine. A good head start for them as they head to a possible final four spot. And hey, they got a souvenir of the race that certainly won’t get buried in their storage closet. They took the Florence route to Empoli but instead of turning off at the road closure, they got some extra sleep, and that helped them get time over the bottom two teams.

NATHAN AND JENNIFER: After the meltdowns of the previous leg, they got back on track impressively. Jen was mad they didn’t do the fast forward (wonder if they were still mad after seeing the boys’ tattoos). They took the route through Forli to Empoli and that was a good move. Nathan took the road block and was successful on the first try. They eventually got the hang of the flag ceremony and made it to the pit stop on what may have been their best leg of the race so far.

RON AND CHRISTINA: After a few weeks of a well-behaved Ron, we started to see the old side again (and apparently, it goes full-tilt next week). They decided to go to Empoli through Florence but when that road was closed, they were forced to take a longer route. Chris did the road block well and they worked well together at the flag ceremony. They were never a threat for the top nor were they ever in trouble. Hopefully Chris tunes his dad out or they will lose focus.

TK AND RACHEL: Oh what a disasterous leg for these two. First, after asking for directions at a roadside restaurant, they forget to take their clue. After driving back to get it, they take the good route to Empoli and surprisingly arrive there second. But TK struggled mightily at the road block, having to go up four times to find the word “Vinci”. They avoided finishing last only because as bad as their leg was, the Goths were that much worse. Which brings us to …

KYNT AND VYXSIN: Yep, for the first time, the race was getting to their heads and nerves. Vyxsin was forced to drive all night because they took the long road to Empoli. Vyxsin did find “Vinci” on the first try but then they began to have car troubles, costing them a lot of time (not to mention Kynt yelling uncontrollably at Vyxsin for the first time). They got through the Detour o.k. but not enough to save them from last. Kynt’s inability to drive stick-shift hurt them as well.

However with the quick raise of the eyebrow, Phil gave them the good news that this is a non-elimination leg. The bad news is that at a random spot in the next leg, they’ll have to complete a “speed bump” task which could cost them a lot of time. I still believe there’s a lot of fight left in the Goths.

Next week, the teams help ring in the new year with Ron apparently not having learned anything about how to treat his daughter during 2007.

Hope you’re having a great holiday season. Later.

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