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On With The Show, This Is It!

Okay, the teams don't sing that, but their actual choice is no less funny.

The Detour Is In The Details

I'm not writing up a separate section for it, but if you're interested in the pre-credits section, I have to note that they play up Danny in the dress something fierce, which gives a fair indication of how the editors reward complaining. It seems odd that the pier is the Pit Stop; did the teams actually sleep under a dock, and if so, where can we see that footage? For the first time I remember, the teams depart at a normal-ish hour; they will take a train to Vienna to visit the State Opera House (Operahaus?). Tim/Marie wait for "Jaymie," and Amy's happy to be visiting the site of The Sound Of Music. The Baseball Wives say they do well when it's not super-physical, and my first reaction is that you'd think being so close to pro athletes would translate into some great physical conditioning; my second, less charitable reaction is to wonder if they really want to hope for mental challenges. Once again, we're treated to Tim's blurry ass crack; someone really needs to help him with some underwear that fits. The train to Vienna goes via Warsaw, and Leo/Jamal and A(sh)(l/le)y are left behind -- but they're able to catch everyone else at the connection. Leo/Jamal lie about U-Turning the Beards, not that anyone believes them; I think almost every team is shown giving their own version of "As if." All teams get the Detour at the same time. Light Brigade: Dress up as court servants and assemble a crystal chandelier; apparently, they have to get it on the first try, or the chandelier crashes to the ground. Masquerade: Join (and by "join," they mean "walk around in," not actually participate in) a lavish Viennese masquerade ball; they must match their own masks to those of a dancing couple. The first one seems so forbidding that it's no surprise no team picks it; it's a pretty bad design choice if the show can't give even an inkling of any possible pros to that task. We learn that the Fast Forward is "weather-dependent" – teams must go to the Donauturm (Danube Tower), the highest structure in Vienna, and Jason/Amy and Nicole/Travis go for it; although they don't say so, Nicole/Travis are in a better position because their Express Pass can save them should they get beaten out; however, sensing that they're behind Jason/Amy, Nicole/Travis opt to save it for a rainier (windier?) day, and head for Masquerade. The masks have a lot of subtle differences, and if you remember back to Season 2, it was a similar task that sent the belovedly foul-mouthed Chris and Amanda home in Venice; this time, the show is kind enough to give us side-by-side close-up comparisons of how the teams keep fucking up. As they near their destination, Jason/Amy figure out that they'll be bungee-jumping -- but when they get to the top of the tower, they're told it's too windy to jump safely, although it's possible that will change. So it's a real dilemma that leads to the first real disagreement between Jason and Amy -- she wants to stick it out, while he doesn't want to wait around "heah." It's one of the best act breaks they've found this season, combining strategy, luck, and relationship dynamics all at once, and a nearby potted plant positively swoons from the tension, although I suppose it could be the gale.

Ach Du Lieber!

Jason agrees to wait in a "it's your fault if we're wrong" way; meanwhile, it pains me to say that Marie takes the most systematic approach with the masks, and she and Tim get out first; the Baseball Wives then step on my earlier joke by succeeding next, followed by Leo/Jamal and A(sh)(l/le)y. Tim/Marie can't get a cab for some reason, while Jason/Amy end up bailing, but while they're frustrated (and it seems like it might be a mistake at this point; there's no way to know) they don't seem too annoyed with each other. The other two teams at the Detour get out, and everyone but Jason/Amy gets to the Roadblock, which entails joining the Vienna Boys' Choir and learning how to sing Schubert's Die Forelle in German. This week's Presented Without Comment offering: Jamal talks about the importance of the "pronounciation." They get coaching from an instructor, and wow, I heard some bad German in college classes but Ally is killing me here; this is schadenfreude from the motherland here. On the other hand, Nicky is fine with the words, as her father speaks German, but her voice is, as Kim describes it, like that of Cameron Diaz in My Best Friend's Wedding. Funny, but she wouldn't give her a hard time if she heard Tim, who provokes the reaction of Ouch, in more than one sense. Travis can't really sing, but he's at least up for the old college try. Jason/Amy finish the detour, and a looooong rehearsal process and several neins from the choirmaster leads to this result (and they all have to sing in front of the group of waiting partners, which is amazing): Travis is first. Nicky is second (one of the things I like about the task is that it is possible to improve quickly, so it's not entirely dependent on natural ability), and she and Kim decline to snake Jason/Amy's cab despite an engraved invitation from the driver: he even takes Jason/Amy's bags out, which WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER. Jamal (who picks up the choirmaster, aching!) is third; Jersey Tim is fourth, and "he and" Marie steal Jason/Amy's cab and plan to blame Leo/Jamal, which is hard to support but also hard to argue with? Btw, they're going to Schonbrunn Palace to search a maze of hedges for the next clue, which gives us hope that the task will be set to the score from The Shining.

Bitch, I Am From Providence!

Amy is the only player to pass the Roadblock on her first attempt, but she and Jason find their bags with no cab and are not thrilled, and if she should find out someone stole it from them, "Providence Amy will definitely come out." Pretty much my only exposure to that city is the movie Outside Providence, but I am still intrigued. The Pit Stop is the Gloriette, "the centerpiece of Schubert's Garden," and it's a race between Nicky/Kim and Nicole/Travis to the end. Although the Baseball Wives invoke Salt-n-Pepa in their race to the mat, and they are growing on me, it's Nicole/Travis (now nicknamed the "Power Parents," apparently) who win again and score a trip to Anguilla; Nicky/Kim are second, followed by Leo/Jamal. Tim/Marie's driver babbles about how he took the wrong team, and since he physically took Jason/Amy's bags out to try to lure the Baseball Wives in, I can only assume this is editorial commentary on "Tim and" Marie. Back at the Roadblock, it's down to Oklahoma Tim and Ally, while Jason/Amy figure out that Tim/Marie stole their cab, and it is a nasty little check-in, which rules. The more New England grudge-y this team gets, the more I'm going to root for them to win.

It's Actually Over When The Oilman Sings

Jason explains to Phil and the simultaneously mystified and amused greeter that "Tim and" Marie "stole ow cab, tampahed with ow bags." They take a "not mad, just disappointed" approach which would be a letdown if they weren't palpably seething, and you can tell that Tim, hanging his head, wants to apologize to Jason all "I love you, man" as the female greeter looks at Phil like "Ummmmmm." Tim and Ally both fail on their third and fourth attempts; Danny is supportive and says he couldn't have done any better. Ally gets it on her fifth try, while Tim continues to be hopeless but eventually gets a pity clue. He and Danny hope A(sh)(l/le)y fuck up, and give each other a "Love you man. Love you too, bro," which in Season 23 are fairly obligatory comments for a team in danger of going home. And, in fact, Tim/Danny are last and are eliminated; they're fairly stoic and thankful, and while this segment isn't going to change your life, I appreciate their not reminding us of how much they could have used the money.

Verdict

Despite the lack of good travel, the extended Vienna Boys' Choir segment alone is worth it, and Jason/Amy's rising temperature has the promise of hilariously trashy results; my hope is that Jason eventually gets so steamed that you literally won't be able to understand a word that comes out of his mouth.

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