The Amazing Race 15: Kooky Customs Rock!
- Monday, November 02, 2009
Just when I was dreading watching another dull episode of The Amazing Race this week, some kooky Dutch customs gave the fifteenth season a swift, wooden kick in the posterior. Hoera!
Teams flew from last week's pit stop in Dubai to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where they had to run through various challenges incorporating traditional Dutch dress (wooden shoes, pinafores and pantaloons!), folk dances, food and recreational activities.
Racing to the check-in mat (not so easy to do in clogs), the teams finished this episode at a Dutch seaside retreat. Only five are left now, and the standings are as follows:
1st Place: Sam and Dan (Team Bro)
2nd Place: Meghan and Cheyne (Team All American)
3rd Place: Nathaniel and Herbert (Team Globetrotter)
4th Place: Matt and Gary (Team Father & Son)
5th Place: Brian and Ericka (Team Jungle Fever)
I won't detail the entire episode's escapades this time. Instead, I want to share some of the "lessons" I learned thanks to the customs, the people, the land and the various teams' reactions …
• Dutch people are very direct folk. And now, so are some of the Amazing Race-rs. This week, Team Bro ‘fessed up to being gay. Keeping their secret has kept them in the race thus far, but when they shared it with everyone else this week they shot to first place. Perhaps a lesson learned. "Now the matching swimsuits make sense," said Brian of Team Jungle Fever. And when Team Bro reached the check-in mat fully decked out in traditional Dutch costumes, host Phil Keoghan asked them if they liked dressing up like that. "We're not that kind of gay guys," said Team Bro. Duly noted.
• The land of tulips and windmills can bring relational issues to the fore. "I don't know if I'm becoming a nagging wife, but I do [nag]," said Ericka of Team Jungle Fever. REALLLLLLY? We hardly noticed. Later in the episode, Ericka barked at Brian: "Stop tripping out. You dictate my mood. And you know I have a short fuse." Like I said in an earlier blog, we'll be thinkin' of you Brian. Hang in there, buddy. You long-suffering husband of a former-beauty-pageant-queen, you.
• Soggy long johns are not attractive. On anyone. When teams reached a Detour where they had to choose between "farmer's game" or farmer's dance," many chose the game. In this challenge, teams were required to strip down to their underwear (they had previously been required to don traditional Dutch outfits with long underwear underneath) and swim across a pond to a grassy area where they would play a Dutch version of golf (a blending of golf and croquet). Droopy drawers and semi-windy conditions were not helpful for anyone's image as they swung club-type mallets with wooden shoes attached to the ends.
• Dutch shoes be derned. You can still "get down" while wearing wooden clogs. In the "farmer's dance" challenge of the Detour, Team Globetrotter (still dressed in Dutch garb), learned a traditional folk dance and had to perform it to satisfaction before they could move on (they also had to down some pickled herring ... ewww ... that's Dutch for "ewww!"). "It was like Soul Train," said the Team Globetrotter duo. "Did you see me getting down, baaaybeee?" We did! We did! And we wish you love, peace ... and SOUL!!!!!
• No matter where you are in the world, hugging is a universal language. After about 70 attempts, when Team Poker (Maria and Tiffany) had trouble swinging a huge mallet and hitting a target that would send a weight skyward to hit a bell (you've seen these kind of games at amusement parks and carnivals—you gots to be strong), they paused and did what anyone would naturally do. "Let's just hug it out for a minute." And rightly so. After an embrace, some tears, some quiet moments for realization and reflection and then a final attempt at Dutch golf, Team Poker was then notified of their last place standing and thusly eliminated.
Next week, teams will "have a blast in Stockholm, Sweden." We're also promised a return to a challenge from a previous season (looked like the rolling out of hay from giant rolls in a big field), so that should be loads of fun. And perhaps allergies.
Until then, keep it simply amazing and keep watching The Amazing Race. See you next week!
WANT TO WATCH?
The Amazing Race airs on CBS on Sunday nights at 8/7 Central. Plan your schedule accordingly.
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