From Amsterdam, The Netherlands to Stockholm, Sweden … by planes, trains and automobiles … with gnomes, explosives and 186 bales of hay.  It seems the latest episode of The Amazing Race had a little something for everyone—including plenty of choice comments that made me go "huh?" or chuckle or possibly raise an eyebrow and groan à la Scooby DooArrumph?

So without further ado, here's what I heard (in no particular or chronological order):

"We're probably embarrassing our family."  Yep.  Probably so.  Team Bro talk about their sibling rivalry and their bickering and yelling as they drive to the airport in Amsterdam to catch a flight to Stockholm.  Got to love their honesty.  Well … at least since last week's "true confessions" time with the other teams.

"We're running a really strong race which is a good sign of compatibility and a good partnership."  Wow.  Seriously!  A pro-marriage statement from Team All American who acknowledged that they were planning to head toward the altar.  Not used to hearing such positive affirmation from a couple on a reality television show.  Maybe Meghan and Cheyne should get a new nickname.  Go Team Marriage!

"I'm on gnome duty."  Team Globetrotter's Nathaniel to Herbert after successfully tossing a ring around the right cone (at a "Roaming Gnome Ring Toss" game at an amusement park) and finding the ceramic-looking Travelocity "roaming gnome" underneath which revealed the next clue; they also had to carry the gnome with them for the rest of this leg of the race.  Later, while driving on their way to blast some explosives (the next challenge required them to go to a rock quarry where they had to build a bunker with dirt bags and then fire off some dynamite), the duo tossed around some nicknames for their new little buddy:  Sweet Pea, Louisiana Shorty ("That's ghetto!") or Harlem Gnome. 

"The guy is supposed to win his girl something at the fair, not the other way around."  But then Team Jungle Fever has always seemed to do things a little differently, haven't they?  Brian said this after Ericka did well at the Roaming Gnome Ring Toss.  And to that, Ericka had to say:  "It's two-thousand-and-nine!" (As in, times have changed.)  Thanks for the history lesson, Ericka.

"Thank the Lord."  Well glory be!  Didn't expect a vertical shout-out from Team Bro (Sam and Dan) whilst doing the hale bay duty.  (The last challenge in this leg of the race required the teams to unroll bales of hay [there were 186 of them from which to choose] in a large field in the hopes of finding one of seven flags which they would need to deliver to host Phil Keoghan at the check-in mat).  But I guess desperate times call for desperate, God-fearing measures.

"We ‘bout to go somewhere and blow something up."  That's right, dawg!  Team Globetrotter's Herbert as the team is driving on their way to the rock quarry to build their bunker and ignite some explosives.

"Scoop!"  Team All American's Meghan to Cheyne while they're loading dirt into bags to build their bunker.  Apparently, Cheyne was not scooping in dirt fast enough (and not in the manner in which Meghan was asking him to) as other teams were passing them by and moving ahead in this leg of the race. 

"Cowboy up!"  Team Father & Son's Matt as he jogged to the rock quarry to build his bunker while carrying the gnome under one arm and wearing his protective helmet.  Albeit, he had on his hard hat with his punkish, pinkish-red hair poking out and the piercings and all, so it was kind of funny.  Kind of.

"Cover up our gnome!"  Team Jungle Fever's Brian to Ericka before pushing the button to ignite the explosives at the rock quarry.  Maybe good preparation for parenthood someday?  Protective instincts … check!

"What he doesn't realize is that I stopped listening to him 10 years ago."  More true confessions.  I love it!  Team Bro's Sam when annoyed by his brother Dan's hay bale-unrolling directives ("Sam, just unroll it and be done with it!") and recommended techniques being shouted from the side of the field.  Apparently, Sam was taking too long to sift through the hay looking for a flag in each bale.

"We had no hay in the projects."  Team Globetrotter's Nathaniel as he shows that he's up to the task while completing the hay bale unrolling task.  He reminds us:  "I'm from the concrete jungle in New Orleans, baby."  "Third Ward!" shouts Herbert from the field's sidelines.  Nathaniel agrees: "Fo sho!"  I'm not making this up, people.  Love me some Globetrotters.

"I was so overwhelmed with pride that that was my girlfriend."  Team All American's Cheyne after a weary and teary Meghan finally finds a flag in a bale of hay which brings them to the check-in mat in second-place position.  Wow.  These two are definitely on a roll (pun intended).  Ten bucks that there's a marriage proposal somewhere in the remaining episodes of this season.  I'm just saying …

"I could not ask for a better wife.  She encourages me and lifts me up."  Team Jungle Fever's Brian praising Ericka to host Phil Keoghan at the check-in mat after he finds a flag in the hay.  Um, okay.  Really?  Have you been watching the last several episodes, Brian? 

"I kept rolling and kept rolling and kept rolling."  Papa was a rolling stone!  Team Father & Son's Gary as he is the last person in the field, yet continues unrolling bale after bale of hay searching for a flag.  Says he grew up with a strong work ethic.  "If you give up, you're giving up on the race!"  Thankfully for Team F&S, this was not an elimination leg, so their last place finish did not see them out.  Props to the Papa! 

And now, since you're probably really confused, here's a quick episode recap …

This week, teams left from The Netherlands and flew to Stockholm, Sweden where they drove themselves to an amusement park.  There, they had to make it through a free-fall ride (the "Frit Faul," I believe it was called) that plunged 24 stories in less than three seconds and before doing so, spot a big arrow somewhere in the park. 

Once teams navigated their way to the arrow, the clue revealed a Detour that presented two challenges:  Nobel dynamite or Viking alphabet.  All teams chose the dynamite.  This task required teams to drive out to the countryside to a rock quarry where they filled bags with dirt to build bunkers and then set off some explosives. 

Amidst the rubble, they had to find boxes which contained their next clue to head to a farm where the Road Block was a switchback to a challenge from a past season:  unrolling giant bales of hay (like huge cinnamon rolls) in order to find flags stuffed inside which they would then need to take to host Phil Keoghan and be counted at the check-in mat.  (In Season 6, a team member was unrolling hay for 8 hours and never found a flag.  Yikes!). 

Thankfully, this was a non-elimination leg of the race, so the last team to arrive at the check-in mat was not arrivederci'd.  Can you say "early Christmas miracle"? 

So now, the standings are as follows: 

1st:  Team Globetrotter (Nathaniel and Herbert)
2nd:  Team All American (Meghan and Cheyne)
3rd:  Team Jungle Fever (Brian and Ericka)
4th:  Team Bro (Sam and Dan)
5th:  Team Father & Son (Gary and Matt)

Next week, the teams will be in Estonia where Matt is "at a loss for words" and apparently "the brothers" will clash with the other brothers (Team Globetrotter vs. Team Bro).  That should be fun.

Until then, keep it simply amazing.  And keep watching The Amazing Race.  See you next week!


The Amazing Race airs on CBS on Sunday nights at 8/7 Central.  Plan your schedule accordingly.

To watch the latest episode in its entirety online, go here.