Amazing Race

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

Team @ does board a gondola up to the mountaintop, and Kat is trying to buck Nat up while Nat tries and fails to keep her eyeballs from leaking. In a pre-race interview, Nat says she's given Kat permission in advance to "push me off the ledge" if necessary, and Kat says she'll do exactly that if need be. Up in the gondola, Kat idly observes, "This might be the highest--" and then shuts up in a hurry. Nat checks her blood sugar, which she thinks is a little high due to her nerves. Or -- and I'm no endocrinologist -- from wanting to strangle Kat, maybe.

That's a pretty spectacular view in all directions as they get off the gondola at the top and find nothing there but a clue box, which Nat takes as a good sign. An even better sign is that it's a Fast Forward. Phil explains that this one requires teams to go to "this restaurant" (which actually looks more like a barn) out in the boondocks and "participate in a traditional Norwegian Christmas ritual. What they don't know is that it involves eating an entire roasted sheep's head." Ew, even the skull? I hate sheep skull. When each team member has eaten her half of the head, they get to go straight to the Pit Stop. Obviously Nat is thrilled, not only by the Fast Forward but by the fact that she doesn't have to bungee-jump down the mountain.

Brook and Claire are the next team to find the gondola station, and they wait excitedly on the platform while the gondola carrying Team @ returns. Gary and Mallory have fallen behind enough that Brook and Claire end up boarding the car by themselves, leaving Gary and Mallory flummoxed at ground level. This, by the way, is the first episode this season that my wife Trash has watched with me, and Mallory has emerged as her favorite because of how Mallory is clearly insane.

By the time the next group of three cars arrives (looks like there's more than one group on the cable loop), Michael and Kevin have also found the gondola station, so they get to ride up right behind the other dad team. That way Mallory and Michael can wave dorkily at each other. "They're our best friends," Mallory says, apparently under the impression they're on Amazing Friend.

Jill and Thomas are the next to arrive at the gondola station, where she commits the offense of taking his raincoat out of the car. Maybe if she'd gone to Notre Dame she would have known not to do that.

Up top, Brook and Claire have found the clue box in second place, so we get to learn what the teams not doing the Fast Forward will be doing instead: going to Skjombrua Bridge to find their next clue. Now Brook and Claire have to wait for a ride back down, and while waiting on the upper platform, Brook mimes hauling Gary and Mallory's car in. They trade places, and the two dad teams open the clues on the mountaintop. Neither team seems inclined to go for the Fast Forward, until Mallory reads from the clue, "A Christmas ritual? I love Christmas!" Looks like she's getting overruled, though. Maybe next time, Cindy Lou Who.

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Amazing Race




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