Amazing Race
Bavaria or Bolivia?

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | Grade It Now!
Bavarian Creamed

First, Phil explains that for "Fairy Tale," the teams will have to follow a trail of gingerbread fragments through some woods, collecting it in a basket as they go until they arrive at the "fairy tale-inspired village of Oberammergau," where a woman in a witch's costume and makeup is stirring a cauldron. Then they'll have to use the gingerbread they collected to shingle the roof of a half-finished miniature gingerbread house to get their next clue from the witch. Who has a really lame cackle, if you ask me. Phil barely spares her an eyebrow. I think she's not so much a local performer as a production assistant who lost a coin toss.

"Champion Male" is not what it sounds like -- it's just going to another tavern, where a bunch of guys with big beards are waiting for the racers to show up and style their facial hair into the over-the-top designs they displayed at the World Beard Championships, as shown in the photograph of each fully-styled contestant that will be supplied to the team that chooses him or her (just making sure you were paying attention there). They'll have access to a whole table full of hair products and blow dryers and rollers and stuff to use, "Until no hair is out of place." There's one guy there whose white beard and mustache is already shaped like the top of the wrought-iron gates of Stately Wayne Manor. He is apparently the defending world champion, who will decide whether each team's work matches the photo well enough to earn them their next clue. All three lead teams decide to style beards. And when I say, "defending world champion," I may just be using the word "defending" literally.

There's some spectacular mountain scenery, and the last train carrying the five remaining teams arrives in Ehrwald in full daylight. After the mad scramble for the cars waiting outside, Bopper reminds Mark that they still have a Speed Bump ahead. Ralph marvels at the scenery to Vanessa. In the cousins' car, Stacy says their strategy today is to try to stay with the pack, because otherwise they tend to get lost. "I can just about navigate myself to the mall," Kerri says from the backseat. Yes, we get it, Kerri, you're the useless one.

Other Rachel and Dave are the first team to find the beard-styling venue, where the hirsute Teutonic dudes are all waiting in a line. The musical local color at this location is being supplied by a woman playing some kind of zither, which is an instrument one doesn't often see outside of A-to-Z books. Other Rachel and Dave introduce themselves to the beard champion, and then pick out a guy with a longer white beard to work on. Once their choice is made, they open the photo they're going to have to use as a guide, which shows the same guy sporting wide, horizontal moustaches like the whiskers of some exotic moron from another world. They guide him to a chair and Other Rachel gets to work. "You want a Mohawk as well?" Dave asks. They give him a gelled-up faux-hawk anyway without waiting for an answer. Fortunately he's got a jolly reputation to uphold, so he just sits there smiling happily through his beard. But I guess anyone who's allowed himself to be repeatedly photographed looking like the Lord Mayor of Emerald City can't be too particular.

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Amazing Race




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