This Is More Important Than Your Pants Falling Down!
The Amazing Race 3: Episode 8

It's a plane! Oops, did I say that the last episode is the best? No, this episode is the best. For this week, I suspect, at least. Five very strong racing teams are left, all the dead weights are gone with the sloughing off of the annoying dandruffs that were Team MIA last week, and it's one wild free-for-all from now on as each team try to claw and step over every other team for the holy million bucks that will buy them many shiny thingies (or, hopefully, a divorce in the case of the Tokens).

Let's see, there's Team Tool, where despite Flowawakiki's perpetual wail mode and the Mumbler's dead-eyed gaze is actually on a steady roll. Team Token must have sold their soul to Demonlords Wail and Tarable to get this far. John Vito and his Rambette Girl, whose clothes and make-up look progressively better as the show continues, have the power of pure physical supremo but alas, they have the worst luck as racers ever. The Tubby Sibs, bouncing jovially along with the power of the Snark and Jollies, although they seem to be losing it as well as their cool - we'll see. And finally, the Bewildering Beautiful Bodacious Zoolander Twins, who start out the dumbest, most mocked, persecuted, reviled, and scorned team in the whole history of the race, only to display beautifully evil ruthlessness and shocking staying power. If the Zoolander Twins win, one could argue that they are just another Rob and Brennan, but I beg to differ. This will be the one time where the real, true underdogs win, and I will be cheering for them, let me tell you that, as they dash to the finishing line.

But this episode is definitely the John Vito Showcase, and boy, what a hot guy he is and that girl is amazing, truly amazing. Did you see Rambette Girl at the mad dash to the Pit Stop? But I'm getting ahead of myself. Time to take a deep breath so that I can be more coherent in the upcoming paragraphs.

First, a minor As The Pit Stop Turns moment: Drew the Blue Zoolander Twin and Flohorna Pikachee have been hitting it off. Drew the Blue thinks that Flo is great. She must have been very quiet around him. So what now for Flo and the Mumbler? (Hint: the Mumbler taking off his headband to reveal that it is actually a cleverly disguised set of ear muffs and yelling, "I'm free! Thank you, sucker!")


(If you want to know the dish, I suggest you hit the upcoming TWoP convention where most of the Racers show up, and then we'll see if Drew the Blue and Floozienana here are actually living together as rumors suggest.)

Anyway, the race. Team Tool start first, as they were first at the last leg of the race. At 10:02 pm, they tear off the envelope of their clue and discover a map as well as directions to seek out the next clue in a huge haystack found in nearby Augustinerhof Farm. Flo says that her relationship with the Mumbler is "undefined" (read: his hair looks like crap in the morning), whatever that means. The Mumbler climbs to the top of the haystack as Flo snarks and ballyhooes him, and he's laughing when he finds the clue. "Shut up!" she responds, and for a moment, I thought I could see why they are friends and why they imagine that they could have something worked out between them. It's kind of a sweet moment, I must confess. See? TAR is the only reality TV show with character complexity. Can The Bachelor and that ugly sex maniac Aaron and his twenty five braindead hos, enjoy the Amazing Race, people. It's really Amazing!

Flo asks the Mumbler to bury the rest of the clues so that the other Teams will be delayed a little bit longer. Evil minx, she's going to corrupt my sweet innocent Drew the Blue. Heh.

The Tools are told to go to the town of Freidrichshafen. There, they must take a ferry to Switzerland, take a train to Schauffhausen where they will find the next clue in Rheinfall. Trivia lovers, Rheinfall is the largest waterfall in Europe.

The Zoolander Twins leave at 12:44 pm, followed by John Vito. They are followed closely by Tokens who depart after the Fiend telling me that he wants to show people that old people are still rude, horrible, treat their spouses like crap, and come off like the McCarthyist that got away. Or maybe he said something like showing people how old folks still got it. Newsflash, Fiend: we Giggles got it. You got nothin'.

The Zoolander Twins and John Vito have no problem finding the farm too, and in fact, they are pretty much frolicking around. "This is disgusting!" Jill squeals happily as she climbs onto the top of the haystack (she's the anti-Flo, I tell you) and pushes the hay down. Both teams find the clues and they're off.

Wait, here comes the Tokens looking like starving barracudas out for blood. "Any luck?" Fiend calls. The Zoolander twins, without blinking an eye much, tells them, "Not yet!" The Terror sticks her fiendish face out of the window and gives Rambette Girl the Evil Eye as she cackles, "Have you found it yet?" Rambette Girl, sweet as sin, tells her coolly she doesn't know, "We can't find it!", only to laugh with John Vito as they move away, saying that she's so going to hell. This is so funny, I love seeing the dumb Tokens being given the run around. Those silly fools deserve what they get anyway.

Hell hath no comparison to the blackness of the Fiend's face when he sees the flag marking the farm house and realizes that he and his sheepdog, er, wife, has been had. "Let's get away from here," the Red Zoolander twin says, and the two cars wisely zoom out of the area before the Fiend goes medieval on all of them.

Team Sibs finally leave at 2:42 am. They tell me they're gonna be fast because Skinny hasn't had his morning coffee and look, he dives into the hay, and his hands flail around, and I feel grateful that the haystack can't feel the pain of being assaulted that way. As Fatty drives, he happily calls all the other teams "idiots" that are being led by the Wonder Twins (read: biggest idiots of them all). Ooh, the Tubbies are becoming evil. I like that. But um, Fatty, it's rather awkward to call someone at the (technically, not counting the Fast Forward) first place an idiot when you are last because of a situation your own overconfidence got you into.

At this time, the Tools are standing there looking at the closed ferry terminal gates at Freidrichshafen. They reach there around 1:00 am, but the first ferry departs only at 5:41 am. The steam coming out from Floghoula's ears make a sound that, to my ears, seems suspiciously like "I hate bunching, they SUCK and there goes our Fast Forward advantage, damn you ferries, why can't you let us go first, you wait, when I get home I will petition 7-11 to buy you all out, kick you to the unemployment line, and make everything in this fecking country open 24 hours!"

The Tubby Sibs, predictably, are very happy with this situation. By the way, both parties confirm that the Sibs Alliance are, in Fatty's own word, "kaput".

The Tokens drive up, and Terror complains to the Sibs how Zoolander Twins and John Vito give them the run around. Jill the Rambette Girl tells the Tools and the Twins, who are huddled in the same spot, "I think they're angry with us." What an observant gal. Her intuition astounds me as always.

Did anyone else find this turn of events curious, ie the Zoolander Twins getting on so well with John Vito and the Tools while their former ally the Sibs befriending the Tokens? The Brother Teams are going for each other, and no doubt they are collecting pawns for their impending no-doubt bloody battle.

At 5:41 am (give or take a few dozen minutes, Swiss time), all teams are on their way to Romanshorn, and then it's a dash to the train station for a ride to Rheinfall. I see a Zoolander Twin - Red? - flashing the full Teeth effect on the camera, and I scream in momentary terror. Look, guys, you're sexy and all, but damn, put those big white ugly orthodontia away now! Team John Vito peers out the window as the train pulls up at the station to see where they can best get a cab. But sadly - or ironically enough - the cabs of the other teams kick up a dustcloud, leaving these two behind as the only cab they can find has no driver. Team John Vito, the unluckiest team ever in three years of the Amazing Race.

The Skinny Sib cackles madly as he dashes from the train to the cab. The transmorgrification from Fairy Tubby Grandmother to the Wicked Witch of the Woods is now complete.

Everyone else with cabs, realizing that John Vito is left behind, flash an unified grin of pure glee. For a brief moment I find myself spooked out as I get a Heathers Children Of The Corn moment.

After asking around, John Vito cross the track to the other side. Behold, a cab! (Thank you, God of TAR.)

By this time, everyone else has reached the Rheinfall. It is truly a spectacular panorama of a view, and I wish I could be there myself. The clue is right at the top of the waterfall, accessible by a ferry. The Sibs, the Twins, the Tools, and the Tokens begin making their way to the ferry.

John Vito and his Rambette Gal, looking like cool Goth Babe and Dude, the New King and Queen of Cool, ask their cab driver to go faster. His face is downcast, so is hers. Cheer up, you two. Your bad luck streak can't last forever.

The other four teams are climbing on the ferry. "Teri, hurry!" the reprehensible Fiend yells at his wife. What an ass. They all take stock of each other as the ferry moves away to the waterfall, and all say "Good!" as they realize that John Vito is not with the pack. Heathers, people.

John Vito reaches the place just in time to see the first boat make its way across the lake. They dash for the second boat.

The first boat has reached the waterfall, and now teams must climb up the stairs to reach the clue at the top. They hesitate, looking at their heavy bags, and ask the ferry guy if their bags will be safe. Of course the man says "Ja!" Taking this as an answer that the ferry will wait for them with their bags and all, they all ditch their bags and climb up the stairs.

How did that song go again? "There goes the boat guy..."?

The Tools get the clue first, the Twins second... but does it matter? Their ferry is gone. So are their bags. Dude! Where's my boat, dude?

John Vito, seeing Teams Einstein at the island, knows how the game is played. Jill waits in the ferry while John Vito runs up to get the clue. The four Teams Einstein stand there stonily, staring at Rambette Girl, while Rambette Girl stare silently back. It's hilarious - you have to see the envious, bitter looks on the faces of all four teams to appreciate the sweet Triumph of John Vito here. John Vito has the temerity to wave happily as the ferry pulls away, with his clue, bags, and Rambette Girl happily at his side as they make their way to the mainland first, leaving the others to wait for their ferry to return. This is a pure TAR classic moment: irony, justice, triumph, karma, you name it, it can describe this marvelous moment.

The clue tells the team to catch a train to Zurich. In Zurich, they must head to the Lindenhof square and find a security guy who will ask you to go to the shower and bend down to pick up the soap before he will give you the next clue. Just kidding.

John Vito looks at the town map and decides to catch a bus to the train station and then get a train from there.

The Teams Einstein in the meantime ask the ferry man who tells them that there is a station near the Rheinfall and they can get a train there. At that train station, Fatty Sib and Flomodo Dragon play the funny, snarking up a storm before the Mumbler where Flomodo and Fatty pretend to be dating and all. It's cute, but cuter is Drew the Blue's eavesdropping and spying face when Flomodo kisses Fatty's cheek. Man, I believe that guy is very jealous. Cute, cute, cute!

In the meantime, John Vito boards the train, happy... until the train stops at the next stop and who have to come onboard but the other four Teams! Poor John Vito. First time ahead and... sigh. Still, this competitive side of Team John Vito is kinda sexy. Why haven't they receive more screen time? Why was I subjected to the Hydras' painful camera mugging instead?

Flogoda Pinanasty walks up to the Sibs on the Train, who are sitting across from the Fiend. Fatty Sib teases Flo about her and the Mumbler. What are they, lovers, friends? Flo does this "Awww, I'm so shy" fake look but demurs modestly that Drew the Blue is hot, hot, hot, hothothothot. The Sibs laugh, the Fiend cracks a grin (a hideous sight indeed), and Fatty tells the camera, "But Flo's my gal! I'm gonna kick Drew's ass!" Fun-nee.

Finally, all of them reach Switzerland and wander around like newly sedated and lobotomized stray mutts searching for an ugly security guy. After much wandering around, the Zoolander Twins and the Tools, having formed an impromptu alliance (guess who are the binding force of this alliance), find Mr Ugly Officer first in a walled, leafy alleyway by a door, and the man shows them an underground vault filled with safes that hold their clue. To open the safe, they need to know the six-digit code first (hint: it's 127850). To learn the code, teams must perform one of the two detours. Man oh man, do I sound like Philo Koughie or what? I wish I have his all-natural bouncy boing-boing manboobs. Mine are kinda saggy thanks to gravity and aging.

They can do this detour either by "count the money" (count through a large pile of coins near the safe) or "run the numbers" (running around the town counting things to get the code). The Twins and the Tools run the numbers.

The Tokens and John Vito then reach the vault too, and the ever charming Fiend barks at Jill for blocking his path. She protests that she isn't trying to block him, but he shoulders past her rudely. What a guy. I wish I can introduce the business end of a boiling hot frying pan with his shrivelled up Mr Winkie.

Flo tells the camera that she and Drew the Blue decide to work together, before coyly explaining that they work together as a team, you see, to look for clues and zzzzzz.

The Tokens decide to run the numbers, and John Vito is right behind them.

The Sibs decide to count the coins. One Swiss franc, two Swiss franc, et cetera.

Everyone else is running around counting the number of trees with red ribbons tied around them (the third two numbers of the code), the sum of the numbers on a clock (the second two), and the number on a metal statue somewhere around (the first two). Lots of bad maths ensue (1+2+1=5 what the heck?) and Fiend asking Terror to run faster, faster, faster, upon which Terror stumbles onto Fiend and they both fall down, crack their heads hard, and lose their memory and have to be admitted to a hospice for the rest of their lives. No more Tokens on TV. Bliss. I'm kidding about the stumbling and the amnesia. Alas.

The Twins and the Tools think they have all the numbers, so they dash back. The Sibs, still counting, see these two, promptly lose their nerves ("Abort! Abort! ABORT!"), and dash off to do the run the numbers themselves. Oh come on, guys, why waste your time? Finish that counting! Next to come back is John Vito.

But no use. All three got the combination wrong and they all dash back to count the trees with red ribbons. It's fun to watch these pathetic people running around like that. Jill sighs in exasperation as she corrects John Vito's counting, and they are the first to crack the code. The clue tells them to board yet another train to Grindelwald, some 125 miles away from here, and find a field where the next clue awaits. They're off.

The Zoolander Twins crack the code next, and they're off too, despite Red Derek's momentary forgetfulness to open the safe and get the clue after cracking the code, that sexy dimwit. The Tools are hot on their heels, dashing down the street side by side and actually getting along like old buddies. Red Derek says that this alliance is one of convenience - in a race, you make alliances when they favor you and break them when they don't. I'm shocked. The Zoolander Twins saying stuff like this? The supposedly meek followers of the now trailing Tubby Sibs? Oh my. And have I mentioned how hot Drew the Blue looks in his black jacket like that? Oh my oh. The Twins are evil. They will conquer all of us when we are not watching (or too busy watching, as my case may as well be). Oh what the heck, conquer me baby. Which part if me do you want to start with?

While the others are dashing to the train station, the Tokens are having difficulties finding the metal statue while the Sibs can't get the hang of the tree counting. Both of them begin hearing the threnody of being screwed by the rest in their heads. It makes Fiend even more nasty to his wife, while Skinny Sib almost get run down by a noisy bus.

At the train station, John Vito tries to get the 11:15 am train (it's 11:13 am now), but they miss it. Jill laments rather bitterly that they could have been ahead of the others by an hour if they got on that train. Poor John Vito, their streak of bad luck doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. Come on, why them? They're nice people. Why can't the Tokens get the bad luck for once? Oh wait, the Tokens married each other. Never mind.

Thanks to an hour's worth of bunching time at the station, The Tokens and the Sibs manage to catch up with the other teams at the station. On the train, John Vito and the Sibs laugh about Flomacarena and her thing with Drew the Blue and the Mumbler, but is it me or the Rambette Girl isn't above having an admiring twinkle in her eye when she talks about Drew? Hmm, Drew the Blue or John Vito. That's such a tough choice: the sophisticated pretty boy or the raw muscle power of JV. I'll have a sandwich instead.

Once they reach Grindelwald, they dash out down a very green field where the clue awaits in the middle. They run and run and run - poor Fatty - until they reach the clue (the Twins first). The clue asks for a Road Block. In the Road Block, one team member must take up a crossbow and shoots an apple off a dummy's head. Terror goes first, and in a shocking miscalculation, sends her arrow straight in and through her beloved husband's groin (dead center) before marching off with her parting blow: "Consider this a divorce, mother^%$#er!". Okay, that didn't happen. Really.

The team member can choose an instructor to give him or her pointers on using the crossbow. Floactiveparticipantia, ever the proactive gal, pushes the Mumbler forward with an encouraging, "You! Go!"

Lots of arrows missing apples. "Teri, don't talk to me." Guess which asshole says that.

The Mumbler hits the apple first - he took archery lesson when he was ten, if that was anything - and Flo, ever the contributor, jumps at the Mumbler, so happy because this is the first time "they" (yes, she says "we") have beaten everybody in anything. They get the clue, and it tells them to go to the Pit Stop: the Chalet Arnika at the foot of the Alps, within walking distance from this spot. Go, go, go!

John Vito is having problems winking his left eye, so he can't aim properly. Oh no.

Sibs is the next to succeed, and they reward their (female) instructor with a lovely wet kiss. Run, Bros, run!

The Fiend is next. Damn. "Come on Teri! Come! On!" Freak asshole.

Red Derek of the Zoolander Twins is having a problem with his contacts getting sticky, but just as he says that, zoing, there goes his arrow. Gosh, that sounds dirty. I mean his arrow hit the apple - never mind. They're off too.

Poor John Vito is left trying to shoot arrows at the moon, how futile their inability is at the moment. Come on, JV, show the Twins who's the real man here! Your arrow is bigger, sturdier, and most powerful, so you keep working on that crossbow buddy. But Rambette Girl really wins me over by being so supportive of that man. Not once did she lose her cool, unlike someone, who at this very moment is...

"Zack! I can't breathe! ASK FOR A TAXI!" Flockamocka shrieks as she flops and pants down the street.

The Teams are finding the Pit Stop near impossible to find: the locals aren't being helpful and the streets form a near-impossible maze of tough navigation. Meltdown is happening faster than snowballs in hell.

"You need to help me! I can't believe it!" Terror shrieks when the Fiend rushes ahead and leaves her high and dry far behind. I'm sure these two must be fun to have at parties.

Between Florocko/Mumbler and Terror/Fiend, it's like flashbacks from the past to future of the most miserable couple on earth.

Finally, the Tokens find themselves trailing after the Tools and the Twins, while the Sibs try to be gung-ho and break off and somehow find a miracle short-cut that never exists.

Back at the Archery Range of Futility, John Vito finally knocks down an apple. "Good job!" Rambette Girl tells him, and she sounds as if she really means it. This adds another notch of my always increasing admiration for these two. Damn their bad luck streak, damn it!

"Come on, Teri! Hump it! Hump it!"

I can't take it anymore. I need a bigger mute button on my remote.

"He treats her like a camel," the Sibs tell the camera. High five, you funny guys, you. Too bad you two are slowly unravelling as your insecurities grow episode by episode. Get it together, you two - learn from the Frat Bastards from the first season.

Flobreathlessly asks - "ask", hah! - the Mumbler to carry her bags for her because oh, whycanttheytakeacabshecantbreatheandshesdying OH SHUT UP BITCH.

Everybody is really desperate now as they are lost. It's like being stuck in the most beautiful maze on earth.

The Fiend is angry that his Walking On Two Legs Donkey, Terror, is so slow that they have lost sight of the Tools Twins Alliance they are trying to follow. "I've lost them now!" he barks to his dog/wife. "Thanks! This way! Just stay with me!"

Is it wrong for me to wish that he gets run down by a truck in the middle of his diatribe?

The Sibs ask a nice florist for directions, and she even gives them a map. Nice lady. I hope she charges them for the information.

The Twins find out from a nice cop who "speaks perfect English", according to one of them. Now that they know just where to go, they increase their dash to the Pit Stop. Ooh, this is exciting. You have to watch it to feel it - the music, the sense of desperation and frustration, and everybody looking for the one clue that can save them from elimination. Pure edge-of-seat excitement.

John Vito marvels that Rambette Girl can still stay upbeat despite trailing behind everybody. So do I. I've a feeling I'll be doing my own Flopsychopathia impersonation by now were I Rambette Girl.

Terror is slow. She complains to Fiend (who is ranting and foaming at the mouth ordering her to keep up pace) that her pants are falling down. "This is more important than your pants falling down!" the loving tyrant tells his punching bag. "You're not modest." And he's a classy guy too. He finally and roughly pulls her pants up the way one would haul sacks of rotten turnips to throw them down the cliff.

Finally, finally, all teams catch sight of the flag that marked the Pit Stop. I could breathe a deep sigh of relief with these people. How long have they been running around the place? The Sibs decide to take a short cut and climb up a steep cliff to intercept the leading Tool Twins Alliance. Bad move. Fatty and Skinny up a steep cliff is like watching two elephants trying to do line dancing in heels.

Flogroanie is whining and moaning like a broken vacuum cleaner.

Poor Sibs. When they finally pant and huff at the top of the slope, they realize they are nowhere near the Pit Stop. They are lost. Oops.

The background music rachets up speed. This is exciting time, people. Everyone's so close, yet so far away - one misstep can cause a team, any team, a fatal elimination from the race. Oh dear.

Flowhinagroanamoana tosses the Mumbler her bags, and then whines that he is too slow. Unbelievable, that woman. Drew the Blue, please, run away while you still can!

Finally, the Zoolander Twins reach the Pit Stop first. First people. First! Can you believe it? The dimwits, the meek mild-mannered doofies aren't turning out to be Clark Kent as much as Ming the Conqueror underneath their cool sports T-shirt and hunka-wunka black jacket from Planet Sexy. They are evil. They are probably under the patronage of the ultimate sexy evil himself, Will Kirby of Big Brother 2. Now all the Zoolanders need is a sense of humor. And Derek the Red, stop yelling like an idiot, for crying out loud!

Philo Koughie tells them that they have won the same crappy camera they gave out in the last two episodes. "Woo!" the Twins say in the most unenthusiastic way possible as they share a "Is this idiot for real? I have better cameras at home!" look. Maybe they do have a sense of humor, hee hee hee.

The Tools are second.

Damn, the Tokens are marching up the Pit Stop. Will someone drop a boulder on the heads of these two freaks? Damn, they're third. Philo Koughie tries not to throw up as he comments how they are working their way up. Philo, you missed out "my nerve" after that "way up" bit of yours.

The Sibs climb over a fence and scare some goats (really!) even as John Vito see the Pit Stop and the Sibs. "Come on!" Rambette Girl calls to her man, and she flies. She flies, she does, speeding across the fields like a glorious superwoman triumphant, it hurts my heart to see such a strong, willful woman in action. John Vito dashes behind her, but this is Rambette Girl's moment of glory. She's Woman, she's Strong, and she Flies. She trips over the fence, but she just bounds back on her feet and keeps charging like an avenging Valkyrie. She takes my breath away.

But they are just too far away, and the Sibs make way for them as John Vito step onto the mat last. We Giggles hug each other and vow to personally fly down to choke Philo Koughie ourselves if he dares say the "Elimination" dirty word. Don't you dare, Philo! Don't you &^%$ing dare!

"John Vito and Jill, this is a predetermined non-elimination round - "

"NO!... Huh? Wait a minute. What did he say?" I turned to ask my hubby, high heel in my uplifted hand for the coup de grace on my TV screen.

"They're not being eliminated," hubby says, dazed.

Silence as we try to digest the information.

Rambette Girl is having a hyperventilating meltdown. Her guy asks her to sit down, lie down, whatever on the map. She should. She deserves it, she deserves a standing ovation, and she deserves the money for being such a cool kickass babe.

"I almost had a heart attack," she pants.

We Giggles cheer and hoot and hug each other and would have given them a loud standing ovation if we don't want the neighbors to think we are crazier than they already think us to be.

The Twins are not happy that John Vito isn't eliminated. The Sibs say that the Twins are now their biggest threat (as opposed to the Tokens and the Tools?) - I see Skinny and Fatty have now seen the razor-sharp evil underneath the Twins' deceptively mild-mannered exterior. Floguana announces that she and the Mumbler are going to win this thing. The Fiend says that things will really get vicious, and that's even before I get to ripping your big ugly nose off your freak face, asshole.

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