October 19 2005

Amazing Race 8, Episode 4

Amazing Race:Family Edition started where it left off, at the Space Shuttle Pathfinder mock-up at Rocket Town, USA in Hunstville, AL, also known as Space Camp. The teams were instructed to drive 100 miles to Anniston, AL and locate the world?s largest office chair, a roadside attraction built 24 years ago. I tell ya, the worlds biggest ball of twine is coming! I feel it in my bones!

Once at the office chair, one member of each team had to climb on to the office chair and grab the clue. Yes, Carissa, the 9 year old girl from the Gaghan family, did climb up there. She is quite the little firecracker. The clue instructed the teams to drive 18 miles to Talladega, AL to the International Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Um…does anyone rember the crazy Weaver family lost their father in an accident at a race track? Needless to say, the Weaver’s were not thrilled at the prospect of being around race cars.

At the Hall of Fame, teams located a clue that instructed them to go to the Talladega Super Speedway and complete one lap of the track on a contraption known as a Party Bike. A bicycle built for seven people, it just looks blasted odd going around the track. I really, really hope this stop on the race was decided on before the Weavers were chosen for the race. This was also where we saw the first indications that the Schroeder family was breaking down, and especially Stassi, the teenage daughter. When Mark was having problems with the bike seat, he stopped to adjust it which led to a Stassi freak out. Also, we were treated to Carissa being unable to reach the peddles, and her declaring that her legs weren’t tired when the task was over. Too funny.

Upon completition, the teams wereinformed to drive 260 miles to Hattiesburg, MS and find the Southern Colonel, a trailer home dealership. Once there, the teams were told to search the trailer homes for yellow cards with departure times. Once they pulled a time they could not switch trailers, and they would be spending the night in the trailers they were in. Departure times were 7:20 AM, 7:40 AM and 8:00 AM.

And prepare yourselves for Stassi freak-outs take 2 & 3! As they searched Hattisburg for the Colonel, the Schroeder’s stopped to ask a cop if he knew what it was. He told them it was a home dealer and exactly where it was. Mark, the dad, said that didn’t sound correct to him and he wanted to search more on his own, Stassi freaked saying they should listen to the cop. Once they stopped at a gas station and learned the cop as been correct, Stassi freaked out some more, but full-blown freak-out #3 was still to come. Once at the trailers, the family wanted to grab the first time they found, 8:00 AM, Stassi said no to it, but the rest of them said yes. And yes! full-on freak-out #3 commenced!

In the morning, the teams were told to drive 84 miles to Richland, MS and locate Les at a BP gas station…..Les….an Amazing Race clue where you have to find a guy named “Les”….I’m speechless. Along the way, the Linz and Bransen families had some good natured fun as they were driving literally neck-and-neck. The Linz boys were treated to the sight of a Bransen girl girl mooning. Dad must have been so proud.

Stassi freak-out #4 came when the family had to get gas at the BP station. After meeting “Les” (I am still speechless), the teams told to drive 151 miles to Madisonville, LA and locate the Fairview Riverside State Park. The Stassi freak-outs continued as the Schroeder family made the mistake of taking a smaller highway as Mark felt the interstate would take them too far out of the way.

At the park, it was detour time and, as always, I will cut to the official webite explanation:

In this Detour, Teams had to choose between Work and Play. In Work, Teams would use a two-person handsaw to cut four slices off a log 12 inches in diameter. In Play, Teams would make their way to a riverboat and play 21 against a professional dealer. To win a round, the hand of each Team member needed to total more than the dealer?s hand. Once Teams win three rounds, they would earn their clue.

Tough, tough call. 21 was further away, but sawing is hard work. I think I would have gone with the sawing as it was right there. And blast it if the Gaghans didn’t switch half-way through! I hate that! Never a wise choice! Stassi had some mini-freak-outs, but nothing major darn it.

The teams new clue told them to drive to New Orleans,LA (yes, this was filmed pre-Hurricane Katrina) and find Preservation Hall, a 255-year-old landmark in the famed French Quarter which was serving as the pit stop for this leg.

We also had another family freak-out this time with the Goldlewski sisters. when Christine insisted on taking her backpack while her sisters didn’t want to, not knowing how far they would have to walk. Christine cried at this…me thinks the pressure of the race is too much for some people.

As the teams came racing in, the Bransen family took first again, and won a trip for four from Travelocity. The Paolos, whom I prefer not to discuss at all as they irritate me so much, came in second.

And in last place, and eliminated…the Schroeders. I find it interesting this is the second family eliminated, the other being the Rogers, that had a ‘kid’ not be listned to, the father laying down the law and they ended up being eliminated. Think there is a moral here?

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