On the first leg of The Amazing Race 14, the bickering couple was eliminated and the inspirational pair of a mother and her deaf son came in first. I guess hope and change really have come to America.
Before the leg begins, we get some footage of all the other teams commenting on how inspirational Luke is. OK, I’ll allow this for now, but I really hope the show doesn’t go too overboard milking this “inspirational” thing. Luckily, it’s overshadowed by the shameless way American Idol is shilling its blind contestant.
Does everyone else love the new opening credits as much as I do? The theme song got a slight upgrade, and I’m digging it.
Margie and Luke leave at 2:56am and learn they must fly to Munich, Germany. All the team depart within about an hour and a half of that. Almost all the teams borrow a cell phone from their cab driver to reserve tickets on a 7:10am flight. Unfortunately, Mark and Michael aren’t that smart, so even though they’re third to leave the starting line, by the time they get to the airport, there are no tickets left.
So the tiny stuntmen and the last place team of Christie and Jodi are the only two not on the first flight, leaving instead about an hour and a half later. At first it looks like they’re screwed, but this leg actually has some great tasks that mean the airport isn’t the ultimate deciding factor.
Roadblock One person must fly like an eagle and jump off a mountain with a paraglider. However, if the wind makes it unsafe to fly, they have the choice to run down the mountain instead.
Tammy and Victor are the first to reach the Roadblock, and right away the wind is too bad, so Tammy chooses to run. Despite his groin injury, Mel foolishly decides to do it. Brad somehow thinks the Roadblock says “Who’s ready to fly like an easel,” which makes no sense, but Victoria is still eager to do it.
However, the wind doesn’t let down, and one by one, most people decide to do the run. But Mel can’t, so he laments the fact that he may have ruined his team’s chances. This could be true, because the teams from the second flight arrive, and despite Mel’s attempts to talk them into staying, eventually every other team chooses to run down the mountain, leaving Mel all alone to wait for the wind to stop.
Tammy is the first to make it down the mountain so she and Victor drive off to the next stop. Margie is the second person off the mountain, followed by Kris and Victoria. Then the wind stops, so miraculously Mel and Mike wind up leaving the Roadblock in fifth place. However, Mel would prefer to stay in the air, provided he had a beer and a sandwich.
One by one, all the other runners make it down except for Linda. She gets lost and winds up on the road, where she flags down someone to give her a ride back to the mountain.
Detour Choice one is to ride a Segway scooter along a two-mile obstacle course. The second choice has the two throw piues in each other’s faces until they find a cherry pie.
The teams don’t actually know the target for the pies is their partner’s face until they choose it, and most teams do. Tammy and Victor have a great time with it. Margie wants to throw pies over Luke’s objection. Luke is a real sourpuss about the whole thing.
Other pie teams include Amanda and Kris, Brad and Victoria, Christie and Jodi and Steve and Linda. They all have the appropriate great time throwing pies in each others’ faces. Amanda is happy this is the first task “I’ve gotten to done.” Thank God she’s pretty.
Mel and Mike choose the Segways because they’ve ridden them before. Jaime and Cara, Kisha and Jen, and Mark and Michael also go for the scooters.
When the Detour is done, teams find a woodcutter to saw them off their next clue. Unfortunately for later teams like Christie and Jodi, darkness falls, making it a lot harder to find the woodcutter.
Pit Stop The end point for this leg is an old-fashioned German castle.
First Place: Tammy and Victoria. The siblings win a pair of hybrid go-karts and are really starting to make back-to-back winning siblings a real possibility.
2nd Place: Mel and Mike. It’s a miracle, after all their mistakes, including trying to climb an iron gate instead of opening it to get to the Pit Stop.
3rd Place: Amanda and Kris.
4th Place: Margie and Luke. Phil is still giving them their results in sign language.
5th Place: Brad and Victoria. I love these old fogies.
6th Place: Jaime and Cara.
7th Place: Kisha and Jen.
8th Place: Mark and Michael.
9th Place: Christie and Jodi. Once again, they finish in the second-to-last position. Not a great start.
Last Place: Steve and Linda. They’re eliminated, and the waterworks start. He says it wasn’t Linda’s fault, but based on her taking the wrong path down the mountain, I would actually put the blame on her. They’re still darn happy to have each other, which is kind of sweet.
Next week on The Amazing Race 14: In Romania, the teams do some gymnastics, which means skin-tight singlets for everyone! And Amanda and Kris possibly lose their money and passports.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of CBS)