Last week on TAR, the Beardos arrived at the mat first, only to discover that this was an extended leg. And Tim and Marie didn't have their clue so asked Nicole and Travis for help. Nicole demanded the Express Pass. Thankfully, the producers started this week's episode right after the recap, and we discover that Nicole's gambit works: Marie reluctantly agrees to hand over the Express Pass for help. So they follow the ER Docs to the Longhouse.
Back at the Longhouse, the Beardos express their desire to continue racing. Seems they don't need sleep after 30 hours of racing. But that's a moot point because the clue tells them to catch a ferry and a flight to Gdansk, Poland, find Solidarity Square for the next clue. But the ferry leaves at 8:30 pm, ensuring all the teams will catch up. And the trip is 24 hours, so in a sense, they'll get a pitstop to sleep even though it's not an official one. Although it was good TV to see Phil's interaction with the Bunnies. The ladies arrived at the mat in last complaining the leg was torture (for Canadian fans, the Bunnies are like the Sisters, complaining that every task is the hardest thing they've ever done). Phil tortures them even more, with his "you're the last team to arrive" bit. And then hands over the clue.
Before everyone gets to sleep on the ferry, the Exes and the ER Docs surreptitiously meet on deck for the Express Pass changeover. Neither team wants any to know that pass has been handed over. The ER Docs don't want to be a target and the Exes, or rather Marie, wants everyone to still suck up to her. Back in their cabin, Nicole is quite pleased with herself and rightly so. That was some quick thinking and great gameplay on her part. Guess sometimes Doctors on the race can handle the pressure.
Having no Express Pass seems to slow the Exes down because they are the last ones out from the airport in Gdansk. Or maybe Marie is just too obnoxious to customs officials. The Afghanimals are first out the door followed by Oklahoma boys. But once again, the Afghanimals don't read the clue completely and instead of telling their cab to head to Solidarity Square near the Gdansk shipyards, they just mention the shipyards themselves. Big difference. So Oklahoma gets the clue first at the memorial, while the Afghanimals, the Ice Girls and the Exes end up at the actual shipyards, clueless. Again, it's literal and figurative. Gotta read the clue, folks, that's how you win. Or not lose, which is also important until the last leg.
The clue tells Oklahoma, and the other teams that can read clues correctly, that they must head to the Golden Gate, the entrance to the old quarter of Gdansk. And at the Golden Gate, they find another clue for a detour: Pose or Polka. In Pose, teams must dress up like Neptune (the god not the planet) and then strike a pose similar to the statue in the square. Once they raise 75 zlotys (about $25) they can move on. In Polka, teams must dress up in traditional costume and learn a dance. Typical TAR task. Would hate to do one.
But since I used to be a semi-professional clown and was known for an ability to freeze like a statue for long periods of time, and Gord just played Frankenstein's Monster at a city event, I think we'd do well as statues. Dancing, or at least Polka, ain't our thing. But Oklahoma pick Polka and then realize that one has to be the girl in the couple. "You're smaller so you're girl," says Tim, much to the chagrin of Danny. I loved this little exchange, especially how Tim continues to goad Danny once he decides to be the girl and wear the dress. This is the kind of thing Gord and I would (and do) to each other. Despite his beard, Gord does look better in a dress.
Other teams find the clue and head to the Golden Gate, but the cabbie for the Beardos doesn't know where it is. So he calls for help and coincidentally, gets the cabbie driving Jason and Amy. They tell the cabbie not to say anything and he gamely plays along, making faces as he lies to the Beardos, "I know nothing about no stinking Golden Gate." The Beardos figure out what's what, and move on. And not long after they get info on how to find the place.
The Docs, the Daters and the Bunnies arrive at the Golden Gate. The two male/female couples pick Polka while the Bunnies pick Pose. The girls dress up in one-piece lycra suits, with matching beards and tridents. They strike their pose and start raking in cash. Guess their new beards don't detract from their other assets, highlighted by the tight lycra outfits. At the Polka, Tim and Danny are having a tough time. Maybe it was lack of sleep or maybe it was the outfits, but the boys quickly start bickering like a real couple. Funny, funny stuff.
Back at the real shipyards, the three clueless teams are still...well... clueless. "Why are we so lost?" Ally wonders. "Cause we're in Poland," says Tim, intimating that it's got something to do with the Poles themselves or the lack of communication. Of course, it's got nothing to do with him or any of the other teams and their inability to read the clue, does it? No, Tim, when you screw up, it's someone else fault not yours.
While Tim is complaining about Poland, the Bunnies are having a great time and get their 75 zloty, marking the first time that they are actually leading the race. They get their clue, telling them to search the waterfront to find the foreman near a medieval harbour crane. And they must stay in costume for the rest of the leg. Which is good for us (skintight lycra) but not for Danny (dressed like a traditional female Polka dancer). The Beardos arrive just as the girls leave, suit up and pose.
But the Beardos are surprisingly passive. They don't engage the crowd so no one wants to give them money. They switch tasks, which turns out to be a big mistake. While posing might be hard, Polka choreographing is tough. As we witness Tim and Danny fail time after time. The Daters get it on the first try but only because Amy's a dancer, and she guided Jason around, "like a puppet" Jason said. However, their performance is an anomaly; the Docs and Oklahoma still struggle.
Finally, the three teams at the shipyard grab a clue and find a way to Solidarity Square. The Afghanimals and the Ice Girls arrive first with Tim and Marie moving pretty slow. At the Golden Gate, the Afghanimals and the Ice Girls pick Polka, while the Exes languish behind. The Bunnies, in the lead for the first time ever, take some advice from a local too literally, run past the U-turn, leave the Harbourfront and lose their lead. Jason and Amy, who finished the Polka in one try, make it to the U-turn first. They decide not to U-turn anyone, knowing they are plenty of teams struggling behind them and keeping the U-turn option open for later use. Unlike Amazing Race Canada, you can only use a U-turn once in the original TAR. Their clue tells them to find the longest building in Poland, a building that's a half a mile in length. Yikes, talk about classic Soviet Brutalism.
The Exes don't languish at the back for too long, and finally pick Pose as their detour. Unsure of where they are in the race, they use the Express Pass. Maybe a bit too early for me, but since they had no idea where anyone else was, it probably seemed necessary for them. Better to use the Express Pass than be eliminated with one. They head off to the U-turn.
Back at Polka, Danny and Tim are still struggling and arguing, so much so that thei instructor tells them to stop fighting. Nicole and Travis finally nail it down and head out. They are right behind the Exes, who arrive at the U-turn, wondering what to do. At first, Marie suggests they U-turn the ER Docs but Tim worries the Docs might be in front. So they decide not to U-turn anyone. Which is good for Nicole and Travis who are in fact, right behind them. They don't U-turn either, and neither do the Bunnies, who finally figured out their mistake.
Oklahoma stop fighting (technically it was mostly Danny, probably because wearing a dress has never been a job's he had to do before) and get the task done. They start to leave just as the Afghanimals and the Ice Girls arrive. The Beardos also arrived somewhere in there. When Oklahoma hit the U-Turn, they target Leo and Jamal, noting that it was nothing personal, just by the fact they knew the Afghanimals were behind them.
The lead teams get to the long building and it's huge. No surprise they're gonna have to run around there looking for something. And this time, it has a Polish style to the whole thing, although it could also be uniquely Canadian. The Roadblock is called Sweet Tooth and teams get 12 addresses and look for a Rose Paczki, which is pretty much a jelly or cream file donut, hence the Canadian feel. Marie and Amy take on the task and decide to work together. Or rather stick together. It probably would have been smarter to split the list in half to find the rose donut faster but maybe Amy didn't trust Marie, vice versa or both. Whatever, but teams can also be penalized for impoliteness so Tim begs Marie, for once in her life, to be nice.
Surprising, Marie is polite, or maybe just not impolite as they dash through the building trying donut after donut. Jason also notes that the Exes arrived without a costume and wisely surmises that they used the Express Pass. And not long after the Docs and the Bunnies arrive. Kim uses the elevator while Travis runs up the stairs. For the first part, Kim's move is smart because Travis sounds pretty tired climbing up those stairs. But when he hits the elevator button for each floor as he makes his way down, he slows her way down. A simple move but a smart one. And one you really can't be penalized for.
Somewhere in this Travis catches up with Marie and Amy, so Amy, who probably likes Travis better, helps him out. She tells him all the places they haven't been. This helps him cause he's the first to find the Rose Donut. Clue tells him to find Phil on the longest wooden pier in Europe. Jeez, what is it with Poland and long structures? That pier is 1600 feet long and no doubt Phil is gonna be at the end. Since the girls helped him, Travis helps them, passing on the info. And soon we got three teams racing to the pit stop: Travis and Nicole, Tim and Marie, and Amy and Jason.
Somewhere in all that Tim and Danny along with the Bunnies show up at the building. Danny's still in his traditional polka dress. Man, he better win a million bucks or his buddies at work are going to be on him for the rest of his life. Naw, they'll be on him regardless but at least he'll have the cash. They don't team up although once Danny finds the Rose Donut, he lets Kim know where it is. He didn't have to but it was nice of him to do so.
Also in all that, the Afghanimals and the Ice Girls finish the Polka, only to find out the Afghanimals have been U-Turned. Not surprisingly, the boys don't U-Turn their Race Wives but instead make the Beardos do the task they were originally gonna do. See what I mean about switching tasks? Leo and Jamal put on the Neptune costumes while Ally and Ashley race away. This Neptune task was made for the boys because with their vibrant personalities, they make the big bucks pretty quickly, inviting a bunch of kids to playfully grab the final payment from their dad. So they head off to the building.
At the race to the finish, the Exes are in better shape and get to the mat first. According to Travis, they had to win because if you don't win a leg after using an Express Pass, you're a loser. Amy and Jason are second with Nicole and Travis in third. The Exes win a trip to Hawaii but the Docs feel like they won this extended leg; they managed to get the Express Pass and with the other one gone, they're sitting pretty. And they seem smart enough not to use it (or not) incorrectly. There is also a possibility that these could be the final three teams. All are tough and strong, although Tim and Marie have issues, not just Marie but their inability to read clues correctly. If they hadn't used the Express Pass, they would have been way behind.
Although one thing that wasn't addressed is the not getting of the proper clue by Tim and Marie. If you remember in the previous leg, following the truck pull, Tim and Marie grabbed only the bag of coins and not the actual clue directing them to the Viking longhouse. And while they did make it to the longhouse in exchange for the Express Pass, in previous seasons teams who did this, but didn't get a clue, forget one or lost one, were penalized in some way. They were either forced to head back to get the clue or penalized in time. Since they weren't forced back and since this was an extended leg and the longhouse wasn't really a pitstop, I figured there would be a time penalty at the pier in Gdansk. But nope, they won the leg. I'm totally not sure what the heck happened here, what rule they didn't break so they didn't get penalized. If anybody knows, please comment.
Anyway, their final tasks done, you'd expect Oklahoma to come in fourth. But for some reason not shown, the Bunnies beat them to the mat and get fourth, a great spot considering they were last to the mat in the longhouse. So Oklahoma's in fifth with the Afghanimals in sixth and the Ice Girls in seventh. Somewhere this alliance will have to give and I know the Ice Girls will leave the boys behind before the boys will leave the girls behind. They've done that already.
So with the Beardos the only team left out there, the lone question left is whether this is a non-elimination leg. As I watched, I was hoping it wasn't cause with all that work the other teams had done, it would suck not to have another team being eliminated. And the Beardos had a hard time getting cash on a task that should have been pretty easy. All you had to do was pose and entertain the crowd, something I know Gord and I can do in our sleep. But the Beardos get it done, find the Rose Donut and they hit the pier. Phil breaks the bad news: they are the last team and they are eliminated. Sad to see them go; I like these non-celebrity kind of teams. Didn't find them weird cause well I'm a weird guy already. But maybe to mainstream America, dudes with beards who live in the country are weird.
So I predict that the next leg will be non-elimination. Haven't had one yet so it's time. And while it's off to Austria next episode I'm tired of Europe. Can't wait till United Arab Emirates two episodes from now. Sand and heat is always fun.