Monday, April 25, 2011

I'm Not Very Fondue Of This Fondue

Roy Lichtenstein, the American Pop Artist, is not from Liechtenstein, but do you know who is from Liechtenstein? Steve Guttenberg. Yup. Apparently, he has a castle there. Who knew?! That Three Men and a Baby money sure does go a long way, doesn't it? Anyhow, the enchanting little principality of Liechtenstein is our next stop in this eternal race around the world. Seriously, when will it end?! Once part of Ancient Rome, Liechtenstein sits cozily nestled in the heart of the European Alps and is known not only for it's exquisite ceramics, but for sausage casings and false teeth. The country's last murder was over a decade ago, taxes are next to nothing and, as soon as I finish this blog, I'm buying a German For Dummies book and moving there. Let's recap, shall we?

Zev & Justin you've each won a Ford Focus! Ford Focus, Ford Focus, Ford Focus! Come, check out your Ford Focii. You can drive your Ford Focus across the Ford Focus and Ford Focus your way to Ford Focusland. Each Ford Focus boasts a state of the art Ford Focus with a touch screen Ford Focus, rear wheel Ford Focus and anti-lock Ford Focuseseses. Streamlined yet roomy for the most discerning Ford Focus, you'll be able to pile your lovely Ford Focus and your charming little Ford Focii (one named Ford and the other named Focus) into your Ford Focuseses and drive to Ford Focus on your summer vacations where you'll undoubtedly play a game of 'I Spy A Ford Focus' - an all around family favorite. So Zev & Justin, enjoy your Ford Focii and remember to Ford Focus at all red Ford Focuseseseseses.

As Ford & Focus were the first team to arrive, they are now the first team to depart. Teams must make their way to Liechtenstein via train where they will find their next clue. Also, a Double U-Turn (which is only scary when people actually use it) will appear at some point in this next leg of the race. So, chop chop, get a move on. Steve Guttenberg is waiting. Team Globetrotter (Flight Time & Big Easy) departs second with Team Banshee (Kent & Vyxsin) right behind them. Vyxsin's nose bell is gone, but I've noticed that a knee or perhaps a shoulder has begun growing out of her neck - an unfortunate consequence from her tumble through the Ganges. Donner (Kent), however, looks lovely and dewy with his immaculate eyebrows and perfectly lined lips. Team Pee Pee (Kisha & Jen) and Team Cowpat (Jet & Cord) depart next with Team Christ (Gary & Mallory) bringing up the rear. Mallory sees the word Liechtenstein on the clue and it's gooey gooey gumdrop time. So sugary sweet is the word Liechtenstein that Mallory has no choice but to crinkle her nose and giggle at how silly "Leek-ten-shine" sounds. Chuckle, chuckle, guffaw, guffaw... SHUT UP! Read the clue like a grown up, stop making silly faces and just race already. I'm sure she's a lovely person in real life and all that, but bitch drives me up a freaking wall on this show. People who are terminally happy like that freak me out. The delight in their eyes and the spring in their step makes a girl wonder if Mallory is simply drunk 24/7, taking four times the recommended amount of Lexapro or is a member of one of those wide-eyed always smiling cults that set up communes in remote Mexican towns. What's the number of her shrink? Does she have sister wives? These are things I need to know. I simply refuse to believe she's naturally that chipper.

So, all the teams board the train to Liechtenstein and guess what time it is? It's romance time! Dim the lights ladies and gentlemen and pour yourselves a glass of Disaronno... bowm chicka wow wow... it turns out little miss potty mouth Jennifer Hoffman has all sorts of googly eyes for one Mr. Flight Time. Flight Time's sparkly teeth, charming demeanor, confident swagger and ability to roll balls all over his body are just what Jen is looking for in a life mate. Fingers crossed that Spin The Bottle is a Liechtensteinian pastime. Anyhow, while all the other teams are busy catching some shuteye and playing footsie with professional basketball players, Gary & Mallory are simply too enamored with the beauty of the outdoors to bother with something as pesky as sleep. Yes, the Alps are pretty, but staying up for 36 hours straight when you have a Speed Bump ahead of you might not be the brightest of ideas.

Kerplop. All the teams arrive on the edge of Austria and now they must take a cab to the border crossing at Schlong Long (that's what it sounded like and I'm too lazy right now to look up the real spelling) into Liechtenstein. A charming Austrian named Tuni takes one look at Zev & Justin and wonders aloud, "Are you terrorist?" Now, I'm not sure what sort of terrorists travel with a cameraman and a sound guy, but if that's how they're traveling around Western Europe nowadays, then they'll probably be much easier to catch. Yay homeland security! In addition to being suspicious of men with facial hair who wear knitted caps, it turns out that Tuni is one hell of a driver. Justin mutters the word "race" and off Tuni goes swerving in and out of traffic, making a new lane out of the shoulder and running over any Von Trapp's who get in his way. Meanwhile, Gary and Mallory sat stuck at the train station with Father Time adjusting his reading glasses and trying to punch Schlong Long into the GPS system. Team Ass Burgers arrives at the clue first and it's a Road Block.

Using a motorized bicycle, a map and an odometer, teams need to measure the entire length of Liechtenstein and deliver the correct number (22km) to some Olympic dude waiting in the town of Balzers. If teams get the answer correct, Michael Phelps will kindly direct them to Steve Guttenberg's castle (Guttenburg Castle) up on the hill. If their answer is incorrect, teams must turn around and do the whole trip all over again. I like this challenge. It's a game changer especially with that evil U-Turn looming in the distance somewhere. As 1 mile is 1.609344 kilometers, that 800 mile journey would be a bitch to have to do a second time around so precision is key. Justin, Flight Time, Jen, Jet and Vyxsin decide they're up to the task while Gary & Mallory are stuck having to do their Speed Bump. Flight Time takes off first with his royal blue jacket billowing in the wind behind him and a song in his heart while Jen pulls into traffic directly in front of a bus narrowly escaping becoming a Liechtenstinian pancake. Justin struggles to find the brakes while Jet spends too much time talking to the camera crew to notice that he misses his one and only turn in the tiny country.

Back at the Speed Bump, Gary & Mallory had to measure out the proper combination of gas and oil to power their motorized bike. The challenge was lame, but Mallory was stoked. "This is going to be fun! Woohoo! G-A-S GAS! I love gas, you love gas. Who has gas? We all have gas! Yaaaay Gas!" Die. After a few minutes of head scratching and asking Jesus what the answer is, Team Christ completes their silly Speed Bump and Gary races off to catch up to the others. At this point, Jet and Flight Time are figuring out that they're going the wrong way while Jen's map flies out of her pocket and lands in the middle of the road. Vyxsin's map was all creased from being crumpled up into a tiny ball inside her jacket and only Justin seemed to know which way to go. Why he makes silly movies I'll never know. He needs to be in NASCAR with giant Nair and Gilette logos slapped all over his car, right? He could make a fortune in endorsements. Anyhow, Speedracer Boy pulls up to Brian Boitano first and very loudly delivers the correct answer - "The answer is 22 kilometers Brian!" Jen whips out her pen, jots down 22 and the two speed off to collect their partners at Guttenberg Manor.

Jet gets to Apolo Ohno next and tells him the magic number is 35. Apolo laughs in his face, shoves a skate up his nose and directs him back to top of the country. Justin and Jen pick up Zev and Kisha and off they go to catch a bus to the ski resort town of Zermatt, Switzerland located at the base of the famous Matterhorn. Once there, teams have to search through the train station for their next clue. While Team Ass Burgers and Team Pee Pee were waiting at the bus stop for the next bus to Zermatt, Flight Time cruises up and describes how not only did he get lost, but now he'll probably have to turn around and start all over again. It was a sob story that, in this stage of the race, no one should have paid any attention to, but what do you suppose happens? Jen, blinded by love perhaps, tells Justin to give Flight Time the answer and what does Justin do? He gives it to him! No, no, no, no, no! Flight Time and Big Easy are great guys - funny, endearing, charismatic - but they've got a little touch of the Margie & Luke in them if you know what I mean. If there's a way they can cut a corner, they'll take it. They're smooth talking wheeling and dealing guys who are probably very hard to say no to, but that's exactly what Justin should have done - said no. With that million dollars flapping in the wind and a Double U-Turn around the corner, helping people bypass challenges at this stage of the game is an odd choice to make. While it's a nice thing to do and it's fluffy and marshmallow-y and all that, this isn't a show on the OWN Network. This is a hardcore reality competition for a lot of money and I demand people start getting evil right now. Be nice to each other on your own time, not on my time.

So, there goes Flight Time with his little answer tucked neatly away in his pocket. Cruising along the highway he runs into Gary and for god knows what reason decides to give him the answer too. I saw the movie Pay It Forward and I realize yesterday was Easter, but come on! I don't think Jen and Justin intended for Flight Time to go telling everyone he crossed paths with the answer. You know what would have been funny? If Flight Time gave Gary the wrong answer and Gary had to go all the way back to the start. That's a move I could appreciate. I think Flight Time probably did it to get rid of Team Cowpat, but still... this helping people crap has got to stop. Anyhow, Flight Time and Gary give Nancy Kerrigan the right number with Vyxsin, who did it all on her own, right behind them.

At this point, Team Ass Burgers and Team Pee Pee are on the train to Zermatt while Flight Time, Gary and Vyxsin are collecting their partners at Guttenburg Castle. Gary tells Cord that Jet had to start all over again to which Cord responded with wide-eyes and a blank stare. After everyone leaves, he calls himself the lone ranger and I just sort of grimaced because I'm so over their hunky dory aww shucks giddyup vernacular. Eventually, Jet finishes and gives Shaun White the right number which is a good thing because I'm running out of winter olympians to reference.

Race, race, race, here we are in Switzerland. Team Ass Burgers and Team Pee Pee get their next clue and it's a Detour: Cheese or Wheeze. In Cheese, teams have to make their way to a restaurant and finish a giant pot of glue calling itself fondue. In Wheeze, teams have to travel on foot and deliver 20 pieces of luggage to at least 5 different hotels collecting tags of delivery along the way. Immediately, Zev wants to do Cheese. Justin, however, isn't so sure. He remembers what happened back in Vienna on that ferris wheel of horrors and he isn't too keen on having to do it all over again. Zev is hungry though so, Cheese it is. Team Pee Pee is hungry as well so they head to the restaurant where yodellers and a giant vat of orange mucus awaits them. I love cheese and fondue can be quite tasty, but what sort of Velveeta shit was that? It was clumpy and gooey and looked a little bit like something you'd use to lay bricks with. Justin takes one look at the cauldron of mortar and begs Zev to let him out of there before a gastrointestinal mishap takes place. Zev ignores the request and starts chowing down.

Team Pee Pee arrives and before she even takes her first bite, Kisha feigns a stomach ache, grabs Jen by the hair and races out the door. Justin watches longingly as they disappear into the night while Zev throws bread at Justin's head and tells him to continue eating. With their bellhop uniforms on and some ill-fitting hats, Team Pee Pee strategizes and makes a plan to deliver 4 pieces of luggage to each hotel. Back at the restaurant, Justin lies lifeless in the corner of the booth with little strands of coagulated cheese hanging out of his mouth. Tiny beads of sweat on his forehead, glassy eyes, a gurgling in his stomach... it's not looking good for Team Ass Burgers as Zev is forced to work alone and Justin settles in for nappy time.

The second train from Liechtenstein arrives and all teams onboard choose to do Wheeze. I wondered if maybe Donner was lactose intolerant because why, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, why, would Team Banshee choose to do a challenge where manual labor - especially carrying stuff - was required? On second thought, I guess Donner is pretty dainty. He probably lives off of clove cigarettes and Absinthe. The closest he's ever come to eating cheese was that one time his mom made him macaroni and cheese and he turned the noodles into a fetching macaroni necklace.

Back at the restaurant the scene is grim. It's a human explosion of sounds and burbles. The yodellers lay dead on the floor while Justin leaned over and belched into the curdled cheese. Zev sat listless while halfheartedly trying to stab his bread. They've gone too far to turn back and they know it. They have no choice now but to finish. Out on the street it was a very different scene. It was a hustle and bustle of chaos with Vyxsin yelling at Donner and the Globetrotters piling all twenty suitcases on their cart at one time. Mallory tried color coordinating her luggage while Vysxin ran over Donner with her cart. Chaos, chaos, mayhem. The only team doing well was Team Pee Pee. Their plan to preorganize and choosing to hit the farther away hotels first was paying off.

The scene then shifted back to the restaurant of death and I couldn't decide whether to cover my eyes or my ears. It was an assault on the senses that I wanted to end as quickly as possible. When I finally dared to peek through my fingers, there was Justin picking bits of cheese out of his beard while lying fetal in the booth. He grunted to himself and kicked the table in anger as the cheese in the pot seemed to multiply and multiply. Bloop bloop went the cheese, "Oh god no" went Justin and "Shut up and eat!" went Zev. The music became more forceful while Justin writhed in agony and Zev simply gestured to the window with a flick of his wrist. Those poor Swiss people below didn't know what hit 'em as Justin proceeded to hang his head and vomit all over them. Zev gazed into the camera with a look I can only describe as "Get me out of here. I want to die." Out on the street, Kisha & Jen cruised by and waved up to a green Justin hanging limply off the terrace. Justin tried to wave back, but all that came out was some spittle and moans. Inside sat Zev - upright, chipper and determined to finish even though his friend was lying there in a clammy puddle of goo.

Team Cowpat finally arrives in Zermatt and wisely choose Wheeze. They're small compact guys but they're quick and agile with lots of muscle. They pile up twenty suitcases with nary a grunt and run full speed up the streets of Switzerland. Back at the Fondue Warehouse Of Fun, Zev is licking the bottom of the pot while collecting his clue and kicking that lifeless lump next to him back to life. They did it (!) and now, if Zev can figure out a way to roll Justin down the street, they can make it to the U-Turn before anyone else. Back at some hotel up the street Donner is once again elaborately delivering his wares to the various proprietors. With a tip of his hat and a deep curtsy he announces, "I have luggage for you good sir" and with a click of his heels he collects his tickets and scampers off into the night. I've decided that whenever Donner gets to perform a bit of theatre and turn real life into a masquerade, he thrives. Give the boy a costume with some shiny buttons and he's good to go. Oh sure, he whines and throws a tantrum or two, but once he's at his destination, all of that is erased with one grand and sweeping toss of his arm.

So, Team Ass Burgers arrives at the clue box first and they choose not to U-Turn anybody. *sigh* I guess that's ok since they're in first place, but still... evil, think evil. Teams must now make their way by electric taxi to the next Pit Stop. Drive, drive, drive, voila! Those cheesy bastards have won again! This time it's a trip for two to Curacao. According to my calculations (google), Curacao is a country off of the Venezuelan coast and it looks like the winter months are the best time to visit. It's a polyglot society and I'm not sure what that means, but I'll bet it involves cheese. Enjoy! Team Pee Pee comes in second while back at the luggage challenge, Vyxsin is skipping through the streets pushing Donner around in a cart. He squeals with glee, wraps his feather boa around himself a little tighter and thanks the eyeliner fairy above for this glorious opportunity he's been given. Since those painted angels already used their U-Turn, they prance merrily by the box and arrive in third place at the Pit Stop. Gary & Mallory arrive in fourth where Mallory does that annoying nose scrunch thing and kills the last bit of goodness I ever had inside me. Seriously, it's gone now. Farewell, gentle heart. Farewell.

In the end, the Globetrotters ended up U-Turning the cowboys and Team Cowpat is now eliminated from the race. Thank god. I don't care who was eliminated. I'm just glad someone was eliminated finally. So, there you have it. What did you guys think of last night's episode? Do you think a team arriving at the clue box before the Globetrotters should have used the U-Turn on them instead? What will Zev & Justin win next week? I hope it's a wheel of cheese. Comment it out bitches and have a great day!