8 teams remain... who will be eliminated next? Time to leave La Paz, Bolivia.
More drama between between the Divorcees and the Siblings during the pit stop. Seriously folks, spare me. And we're off to Auckland, New Zealand... now that's a long trip from Bolivia... and one that's sure to put all 8 teams essentially even to start out the leg.
I immediately sense that this is going to be a rather boring leg... because there's a lot of wasted time just getting to the airport. Aja & Ty exhibited the first "relationship breakdown" we saw so far, but looked just like a little sleep-deprived frustration. Nothing too bad. If the producers had to squeeze every ounce of drama out of that, things must have been pretty peaceful around. What it must be like to be one of the cameramen whose only job is to videotape every teams most dramatic conversations. Must be quite the experience.
And wow, that flight to New Zealand took all of about 5 seconds. Impressive video editing. Ah, and we're back in rental cars with the teams driving around and getting lost... oh, and the steering wheel is on the wrong side of the car, nice. Aja and Ty got a flat tire... too bad.
Untie the Gordian Knot to find the next clue... the summit of Mount Eden... AND we have a Fast Forward option: go to the tallest structure in the southern hemisphere and climb this maintenance ladder from the top to the VERY top of it. Nice. I'd totally go for that... as long as I was in first place.
Roadblock to find the warrior with the tattoo that matches the picture. Ha. Not as easy as it looks. But not so hard.
Has anyone else noticed how many times the teams have to get their clue from someone who pulls it out of their pants?
Is it just me or are the roadblocks not nearly as difficult as they've been in the past? Usually there's at least one that's physically demanding or a scary challenge, but we've just had some pretty bizarre mental challenges for the most part.
THE GNOME RETURNS. In its first appearance of the season, Travelocity's product placement of the Roaming Gnome becomes the next challenge. Use binoculars from the top of a building to find a roaming gnome somewhere in view, and THEN go and get it. This is a big challenge. One of the better ones using the gnome. I think we'll call this a new route challenge, the Gnome Hunt. Because really, that's almost always what you have to do... find the gnome in some bizarre way or other. It's like a lifesize Where's Waldo? puzzle.
Oh yeah, the blondes are STILL trying to find the Gordian Knot and untangle it. So, when the rest of the teams were doing this challenge, it was the middle of the night, and now the blondes are doing it in the day. I'm pretty sure they're a LONG way back. It's these other teams' race to lose now.
Ken and Tina successfully captured the Fast Forward, and got to take a helicopter to the pit stop... not bad for transportation! :) And there's Phil on the magic carpet... and only appropriate with Phil in his homeland of New Zealand that joining him as the local ambassador is... Phil's Dad! Hilarious!
Back to the rest of the racers, who did not fast forward:
DETOUR: Matter of Time or Matter of Skill. Stomp kiwis, make juice, and then drink a glass. Hmmm, can't say I've ever had the honor of enjoying a glass of kiwi juice. Matter of Skill has to assemble a blowcart and ride it... whatever. Giant lifesize puzzle. Who cares, let's go back to watching the teams meet Phil's dad, that's more fun.
Starr thinks she broke her arm after crashing her blowcart... ow, that looks painful.
It all comes down to Aja & Ty, and the Blondes... both of which must be at least 5 hours behind the other teams, based on my assessment of the amount of daylight left (which by now is zero). Aja and Ty are shocked to come in 7th. As Marisa and Brooke arrive on the magic carpet crying, Phil's dad looks like he has tears in his eyes too. And they get a hug from Phil's dad. How cute. But alas, they are eliminated.
I admit it, I was wrong. This actually was a really good leg, probably the best of the season so far. Now I'm kinda excited for next week.