Due to March Madness I was forced to watch 60 Minutes almost in full. And just when I couldn't take it anymore, I heard the sweet warbling of Andy Rooney's voice. The Amazing Race was finally starting! 45 minutes late.
After recovering from last weeks war, teams were to drive themselves 37 miles to Reims, France, a city famous for being liberated by Joan of Arc. There, they had to find a woman playing a singing sword (which is clearly the instrument they use to make any/all noises associated with aliens) next to the only outdoor statue of Joan of Arc. All of the teams contemplated Joan in their own way. Where was she? Would she speak? How would they find her? Ask the locals of course! Brothers Dan & Jordan found a nice woman who was more than willing to explain that Joan was at the cathedral. Only problem was, Americans, or at least the brothers, have a very hard time deciphering French accents.
Jordan of team Big Brother on the other hand, got Joan mixed up with another famous "Arc" related historic figure. Hint: it has something to do with animals. And water. And the bible.
Caite, the girl half of the dumb yin to Jeff & Jordan's stupid yang, had a similar idea. But instead of being all cutesy and naive like Jordan, she just sounded dumb and annoying when insisting to Brent that Joan of Arc was a man.
The teams retrieved a cork with "Champagne Leclerc Briant" inscribed on it as a clue from the singing swordstress. Thumbs up for more boozy challenges! Champagne Leclerc Briant is a champagne cellar located in the town of Épernay, and was the site of the Road Block. Considering there was a tourism center right next to the cathedral, most teams just went in there and asked what/where Champagne Leclerc Briant was, but good ol' boys Jet & Cord saw "champagne" and assumed they were supposed to go to the town of Châlons-en-Champagne, which they had seen earlier on the road. This silly move set them back to sixth place for a portion of this leg.
At Champagne Leclerc Briant, teams had to rappel 100 feet (courtesy of a French Santa Claus impostor) into a champagne cellar and search through hundreds, if not thousands of bottles of champagne to find one marked with The Amazing Race colors, red and yellow. Then, using a huge saber, they had to slice the cork off the bottle in one swift badass move, and their clue would come pouring out with the champagne. This needle in a haystack challenge had a lot more bark than bite, and every team had little trouble finding the flagged bottle. The only exception may have been Brandy, as she's got a thing about heights. Instead of freaking out and not going down at all, she just used it as an excuse to complain about her fear, much like the bungee jump in Hamburg.
Inside the champagne bottle was a slip of paper that read "Taittinger La Marquetterie", which led to the most confusing destination for racers I've seen in a while. Usually locals end up being the saving grace to a lot of teams bumbling around in unfamiliar places. However, the locals in Épernay don't seem to know their geography. Most of them saw the clue, only read "Taittinger", and told them to go back to Reims. That poor woman at the Taittinger in Reims had to explain the same directions to the correct Taittinger over and over again. The detectives and the lesbians happened to ask locals who actually knew their surroundings, and were sent to the correct chateau in Pierry. The detectives were even escorted by a French guy in a Porsche. Talk about arriving in style!
The beautiful chateau that nobody could find held the Detour: Tower or Terra. In Tower, teams had to build a 15 level high champagne glass tower using 680 glasses, with the top level only holding one glass. Then, they had to pour the biggest bottle of champagne ever into the top glass, letting it cascade into the levels below without breaking a single one. In Terra, the racers had to scour 1 sq. kilometer of grape fields searching for one bunch of grapes with flagged with the race colors. I was expecting the grape challenge to include something like this, but was sadly disappointed. Both tasks seem ridiculously tedious, but we're getting down to the wire! It was about time The Race stepped up both sides of the Detour. Louie & Michael, Brandy & Carol, Steve & Allie, Jet & Cord and Brent & Caite all started out with Terra. Dan & Jordan and Jeff & Jordan initially tried Tower.
I was super excited to see the mysterious Steve and Allie finally make their mark this week. And make it they did. By wrecking a car! I guess Steve was a little too excited and jumped the curb, destroying the front right section of the bumper. To add insult to injury, the accident happened at the wrong Taittinger. So the father/daughter team rode with a messed up front end until Allie's worry caused Steve to stop and fix it. Using his wife's duct tape advice, he duct taped the shit out of it and drove off hoping that CBS insures all their Mercedes.
Back at the Detour, Louie & Michael seemed to find the grapes in Terra right away, and Michael explained why he is so good at finding things in hard-to-find places. "If I can find crack in someone's rear end, I can find grapes in a vineyard." How poetic. And with that lovely image, they were off to the Pit Stop (and the scariest mime EVER!) at L'orrca. Carol & Brandy and Steve & Allie were not too far behind finishing in second and third place, behind the detectives, who for the third week in a row, checked in first. Jet & Cord, lucky as ever, found their grapes almost instantly, and passed Brent & Caite, securing themselves a fourth place finish. The models, after mistakenly following the lesbians to the Pit Stop before completing the Detour, and then being passed by the cowboys, became so frustrated with the grapes and each other that they went back to try Tower. Cue the foreshadowing music.
Dan & Jordan took their sweet time with the delicate challenge of building the glass pyramid, but did it with grace and they were the only team to complete this portion of the Detour without shattering the entire thing. The time consuming challenge cost them a few spots, and they ended up in fifth place.
Brent & Caite weren't so lucky. After building the pyramid correctly, Brent began to pour the champagne, but didn't have Dan's practice and grace (the brothers jokingly attributed their success to the many, many champagne glass pyramids they saw at Bar and Bat Mitzvahs as kids) and after about five seconds, everything came a tumblin' down.
So they went back to find the grapes, while Jeff & Jordan began to build their tower. The Big Brother vets didn't even make it to the champagne before they destroyed their pyramid. But it was too late. Caite found the grapes, and the irritating models came in sixth.
It's with a heavy heart I have to report that CBS sweethearts Jeff & Jordan just couldn't hack it another leg. They weren't granted the same luck as they had been two legs earlier, and were finally eliminated from the race. As an homage to our fallen reality tv stars, let me share with you the first moment I, and I would bet all of America, fell in love with Jeff & Jordan. The place? The Big Brother House. The incident? Jeff teaching Jordan how to tell time.
Ahhh, those were the good old days, eh? Au revoir mon cheries!