We have made fun of the show really pushing the hashtags and the selfie cameras this season. We did chuckle a bit when the Alabama team was so busy taking a selfie with the bullet train behind them that it left right when they were done with their smack talk video. Come see what else Amy, Steve and I laughed about as teams raced to Nagano, Japan on the second episode of the Amazing Race.
As the episode started both Amy and Steve picked the Alabama team to go home first. Amy really wanted it to be Hayley. I said I would pick Blair & Hayley in the hopes that she would be gone soon.
The episode began, but no one was at the pit stop. We were following the racers after the last pit stop while they were headed to their hotel rooms. I asked, “What is happening? Is the race not starting yet?” Amy said, “I’m so confused.” One of the racers hoped it was a coffin hotel, which it totally should have been. They ended up sleeping in an office cubicle. Why did we have to waste time watching that?
The next day, all the teams had to head to Nagano, Japan on a bullet train. All the teams were on one of four trains except for Alabama that was pretty far behind. The first bullet train arrived in Nagano by the time they even got to the train station. Then when they missed it due to their selfie mishap, they had to take the next one 15 minutes later. They were so far behind, I’m not sure if 15 minutes made that big of a difference.
When the teams arrived in Nagano they found a road block asking them to figure out how to open up a puzzle box. When they open up the box, they would find a password inside that they had to repeat correctly to the guard to get their next clue. As soon as I saw the puzzle box, I yelled “Trick box! Like they had in Hellraiser?!? They are going to raise Pinhead!” Amy was concerned. Also, when the teams were working on the puzzle box, there were guys banging on drums and gongs so it was a nice, relaxing place to figure out the puzzle box.
The first three teams didn’t seem to mind. It was all blind date teams (lawyers, JJ and Laura/Tyler) and the guys worked on the puzzle boxes. Laura found the sound chaotic and energetic. Tyler was the first one to figure out how to get it open so Laura and Tyler were in the lead headed to the next clue.
As they took off to find the next clue, the second train with the Olympians arrived. Steve was quite concerned that the bobsledder’s hat was a Domino pizza delivery guy’s hat. He said, “Does he work for them? Is he delivering a pizza?” The third train arrived at the train station with a bunch of other teams soon after that second one so a big mess of teams would soon be joining the JJ team and lawyers with the puzzle boxes. When the lawyers got it and left and before the Olympians showed up, Jeff said that maybe he shouldn’t have said he was good with puzzles. Steve said “Good with puzzles…still struggling with puzzles.” Amy said “Hashtag I meant the other kind of puzzles.” The Olympians finished the puzzle just before JJ team finished theirs. They were off before any other teams got to the road block.
The truck stop team got to the roadblock next. Mike did the puzzle. He liked the drumming. He said it helped get him into a groove. New Kid and other gay team showed up at the road block shortly after them. Rochelle cheered on Mike and Jonathan cheered on Harley by calling them “babe” and other words of encouragement. Kurt was silent and Bergen had wished he had said “babe” or pretty much anything. So not a love connection there! Tiny tear.
When Laura & Tyler arrived at the next clue, it was a detour between Share and Chair. Phil was standing nearby to say they had to noodle something or do something on the ice. Both Laura & Tyler and the lawyers picked the Share challenge. For that one, they had to feed each other a bowl of ramen noodles with only chopsticks while a fan blew in their faces. Amy said, “A fan? Really Phil?” I thought it would be hilarious. I also said I would be dropping so many noodles. When Laura & Tyler started, he told her to go fast in shoveling noodles to him, but then when she shoved way too many noodles into his face, he laughed and told her it was too much at once. They did seem to work together well.
Laura & Tyler finished just before the lawyers did. They were headed to the pit stop which was in some restaurant complex. I wondered if the teams would be sleeping in a restaurant that night. Laura & Tyler had let their taxi go so while they searched for another one, they lost their lead to the lawyers who had told their taxi to wait for them while in the restaurant.
The Olympians and JJ team both picked the Chair detour. Teams had to push their partner around the ice skating track in a chair and then switch in under 3:55. The Olympians were thrilled when they got there since Aly was a speed skater. When I watched them teams attempt it I said, “With a little momentum, I could totally push Steve. I don’t know about the turns though. I might run him into some walls.” The Olympians finished it, but said it was a bit difficult. If it was hard for them then how were other teams going to do it?
Meanwhile, the lawyers got to the pit stop first and found this dude wearing two hats. As the first place prize, they won a FitBit wellness kit, a personal chef, cooking classes for a year and a year gym membership. I said I would tell Phil, “I would like a trip instead.” Amy said, “Me too. That healthy stuff is bullshit.” Then Phil started in about the love connection. Amy said, “This is really pushing it with Phil asking everyone if they are in loved.” I said, “I know. Calm down, Phil.” Laura & Tyler came into the pit stop in second place while the lawyers were on the mat so it was pretty close. Phil also tried to bombard them with love questions.
Back at the road block, New Kid and the other gay team finished up, leaving the hair dressers and Blair & Hayley. The hair dressers finished up soon after leaving a very stressed Blair & Hayley behind. They probably thought they were the last team, but Alabama hadn’t arrived yet! They didn’t get there until all the other teams were gone and were shown finishing up quickly. How far behind were they from the last team? Tricky editing wouldn’t let us know.
Speaking of tricky editing, it was shown that JJ team finished up the puzzle box soon after the Olympians, but they completed the chair detour and arrived at the pit stop before they showed the JJ team trying the chair detour. JJ team had some trouble getting the task done in time, but they did finish it with the third attempt. The truckstop team showed up when JJ team was going for their third try. Roller derby girl said it was more her style, yet there were some issues with her or Mike staying on the chair or just upright.
Meanwhile, New Kid and the other gay team were both eating noodles at the same time. The New Kid team was thrilled to be doing the challenge since they were starving. Kurt, on the other hand, said he hated the taste of the noodles. WAT! Bergen thought they tasted fine and they started arguing because Kurt started to eat the noodles really slowly so when Bergen went to feed him, noodles fell on the table. There were so many noodles everywhere. Amy said, “I hope the table is clean.” The New Kid team finished and left while the other gay team was told they still had some noodles in their bowl so they had to eat the rest before they were able to leave.
Back at the ice, Mike steered Rochelle right into a wall so she asked to see a medic about her wrist. Amy said, “This better not be another Achilles moment.” While they were deciding if they wanted to continue or switch, the hair dressers showed up. Rochelle wanted to try it again, but Mike was not in shape enough to push her around the rink. They switched while the hair dressers tried for the first time and didn’t make it in time.
It seemed that the JJ team left their detour first, but the New Kid team made it to the Pit Stop before them. They also got a date night in one of their clues so they got to have some spa time at the pit stop. Nice! The other gay team came in fifth place and then JJ team showed up while the other gay team was still there.
At the detour, the hair dressers completed it around the time that the truck stop team got to the noodle challenge. That was really more of their speed. As Rochelle shoved a huge amount of noodles in Mike’s mouth, he started choking and had to spit a lot back out into the bowl. Steve said “They excel at noodle eating…oh wait..” They finished pretty quickly after they quit choking. As they finished, the hair dressers showed up at the pit stop.
At the chair detour, Hayley had no body strength to push Blair at all. He had to help her by pushing with his legs while sitting on the chair and she was pushing. They finally got the hang of it and finished in their third attempt. They finished as the truck stop team arrived at the pit stop.
That just left the Alabama team. The editing made it look like they arrived at the noodle place right after the truck stop place and that they finished right after Blair & Hayley finished, but they were so far behind when they left the pit stop in Tokyo, and there was no equalizer, so they probably super far behind. No teams were on the mat when they arrived at the pit stop in last place so I’m guessing they weren’t that close to any other team. They were eliminated.
What do you think about the race not having an equalizers and making it actually matter who comes in first to the pit stop instead of just who doesn’t come in last place?