RACHEL & DAVE MAKE RACE HISTORY
By winning the last two legs of the Race, army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave collected their seventh and eighth victories, a new record, along with the million dollar prize.
A ROUGH START
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 1:51pm, army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave ripped open their clue sending them nearly 4,000 miles to Hiroshima, Japan. When they landed, they had to make their way to Miyajima Island to receive their next clue. Taking the same flight, all four teams ran out of the airport when they landed in Hiroshima, but only three of them made it onto the first bus to the train station. Having difficulties figuring out how to buy tickets at the automated kiosks, Brendon & Rachel watched as the bus carrying the other three teams pulled away. Getting on the second bus, a furious Rachel put the blame on Brendon for not getting tickets fast enough, telling him, "More...It's a race Brendon. Do you want to win or do you want to lose?" When Brendon asked Rachel to lower her voice, Rachel shot back, "You can make all the decisions from now on, because you act like every other male and you don't respect my decision."
EVERY SECOND COUNTS
At the train station, while Art & JJ, Vanessa & Ralph, and Rachel & Dave all waited in line to buy train tickets at the ticket counter, last place Brendon & Rachel arrived and, with the help of a local man they met on their bus, bypassed the line of teams by using the Japanese language automated kiosk to buy the train tickets to the ferry. Art & JJ and Vanessa & Ralph joined Brendon & Rachel on the 10:00pm train, but Rachel & Dave, the last in line at the ticket counter, missed that train by mere seconds, and had to take the 10:20pm train instead. Fuming at being left behind, Dave told Rachel, "This is proof that every second counts." Reaching the ferry for Miyajima Island together, Brendon & Rachel, Art & JJ, and Vanessa & Ralph all got tickets on the 10:42pm ferry, the last one for the night, and waited in nervous anticipation to see if Rachel & Dave would make it in time. When the gate closed and the ferry pulled away without Rachel & Dave, the other three teams breathed a sigh of relief. Art told JJ, "That was huge catching that 10:00 train, dude." A hopeful Rachel said, "Maybe, just maybe someone else can win a leg…like Brendon & I."
ONE MINUTE WASTED
When Rachel & Dave reached the ferry station just moments later, they discovered that the next ferry wouldn't depart to Miyajima Island until 6:25am the next morning. Seeing the missed ferry in the distance, Dave lamented, "That was one million dollars for one minute wasted." The more pragmatic Rachel replied, "No use pouting about it now." To that, Dave responded, "I'm not pouting. I'm telling you the reality of it and the gravity of it." The following morning in the pre-dawn darkness, Rachel & Dave boarded their ferry at 6:25am and crossed the water to Miyajima Island where they found the other three teams waiting on the shore near the Torii Gate for a clue that wouldn't come until sunrise. Relieved at having caught back up, Rachel joked, "I think Dave can take his poopy pants off now." When the sun rose over the island just after 7:00am, a man pulling a rickshaw filled with traditional Japanese baskets met the teams and delivered their clues instructing them to make their way to Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.
Walking somberly into Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the four teams gathered at the Atomic Bomb Dome, the shell of a building that has remained untouched since an atomic bomb was dropped on the city during World War II on August 6th, 1945. While looking at the remnants of the building, Vanessa commented, "It does make you take a step back and try to be more responsible to prevent things like this from ever happening again." PhD student and physicist Brendon said, "We try to use radiation to help people. To see radiation can cause massive destruction, it's a hard thing to comprehend." Combat pilot Dave reflected, "A lengthy war was thwarted, but many lives were lost in Hiroshima and Nagasaki and many lives were lost at Pearl Harbor." On the fully restored and modern city of Hiroshima, event hostess Rachel remarked, "The triumph of human spirit in a lot of dark situations is definitely something to be admired and the Japanese people definitely cultivate that in their everyday lives and that is something very moving."
BRING THAT CHICKEN HOME
After taking their moment to reflect at Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park, the four teams travelled by bullet train to the city of Osaka. Once in the city, Rachel & Dave, Brendon & Rachel, and Vanessa & Ralph all were dropped off at the wrong building, allowing Art & JJ to reach TV 8 Studio in first place. Opening their clue, the border patrol agents discovered a Roadblock where one team member had to hotfoot it in a Japanese game show, Bring That Chicken Home. Sprinting on a giant running track, they had to jump up and grab three rubber chickens hanging from the ceiling. If their legs could carry them all the way to the finish, the game show host would hand them their next clue. Walking onto the stage where JJ and the game show host waited for him, Art, wearing kneepads and a protective helmet, walked over to his bright green and yellow striped treadmill and started to run when the treadmill began moving. Once the treadmill got up to a brisk running speed, a red light signaled that Art could begin his attempts at jumping for the chickens above his head. On his first try, Art grabbed the lowest hanging chicken, but then he immediately lost his footing and fell down, sending him backwards on the moving treadmill. On his second try, Art jumped up and just barely swiped the next chicken hanging above him and again hit the ground as JJ laughed. Having to start back at the yellow line for his third attempt, Art ran the entire length of the treadmill to reach the highest hanging third chicken above him, and with a solid jump he snagged it, but then fell across the finish line instead of running across it. This meant that Art had to go back behind the yellow line and sprint all the way to the finish line jumping onto the blue mat at the end of the treadmill. With the other three teams nearing TV 8 Studio, Art's first two tries at jumping onto the fast moving treadmill ended with him taking a hard spill as JJ laughed, "This guy's a buffoon!" Exhausted and panting from the extreme cardio exercise, Art took a moment to recover and then on his third attempt, he ran as fast as he could and reached the mat in a clean jump from the treadmill. Ripping open their clue, Art &JJ discovered they had to make their way to the Floating Sky Observatory on the roof of the Umeda Sky Building and look for a pair of Windows 7 Touchscreen PCs. A double tap of the finger would reveal which side of the Detour they wanted to choose.
To keep the number of Roadblocks performed between teammates equal, a Race rule, Brendon and Vanessa both had to compete in the Japanese game show joining army wife Rachel on the treadmills. After tripping and falling in the previous leg, Vanessa still nursed a sore ankle and worried how physical this would be. As the treadmill increased in speed, Vanessa began struggling to keep up the pace, later commenting, "It really hurt. It's just counterintuitive to run off of an injured ankle." Almost immediately, Vanessa turned her ankle and fell down shouting in pain. A few more tries at running only ended with her falling onto the moving treadmill that sent her flying into a pit of white balloons. As Brendon and army wife Rachel grabbed all three chickens with only a few minor (and funny) crashes and stumbles and left TV 8 Studio, Vanessa tried again to conquer the treadmill and this time she managed to snag one rubber chicken before once falling down in agony. Frustrated at watching Vanessa struggle in pain, Ralph begged her to quit and take the penalty instead. In tears, Vanessa told Ralph, "I have to do it." After another failed attempt by Vanessa that ended with her falling again, Ralph shouted, "It's not worth it!"
Still in excruciating pain, Vanessa didn't want to let Ralph down so she got back on the treadmill with a swollen and bruised ankle, continuing to run with fierce determination. After grabbing the second chicken, Vanessa stumbled and fell down again, but this time she got right back up. Even more focused and determined, Vanessa took off her jacket and kept up the pace of the treadmill even though she yelled in pain with each step. When she leapt up and snagged the third chicken, Vanessa fell onto the treadmill and ended up in the pit of balloons. Now, faced with running the entire length of the treadmill to cross the finish line, Vanessa mentally prepared herself as Ralph offered support. On her first attempt, Vanessa couldn't stick her jump from the treadmill to the blue mat at the finish line and fell backwards into the balloon pit, shouting, "Come on!" On her second try, mustering what little strength she had left in her injured ankle, Vanessa ran her hardest and finally crossed the finish line. Ralph said, "I can't tell you how proud I am of her. She stuck it out."
SUSHI SHOUT OUT
Arriving at the Umeda Sky Building in first place, border patrol agents Art & JJ double tapped the Windows 7 Touchscreen PCs to reveal their Detour clue. In Bingo Shout Out, teams had to pick up sushi off a restaurant conveyor belt and place it on a bingo card. As the chef called out names of sushi, teams had to correctly identify pieces of sushi with a letter attached to it and match them to a name on the board. Once they had the correct five pieces in a vertical, horizontal, or diagonal row, just like bingo, they could yell out "Sushi!" and then eat all five pieces. In Photo Cut-Out, teams had to pick up a camera and two life-size cutouts of sumo wrestlers and convince locals in groups of three to pose for a photo. Once they took ten different photos, they had to deliver them to the photographer to receive their next clue. Walking into the sushi restaurant, Art & JJ sat down at a table across from two very excited patrons and began looking at their bingo board as the chef called out "S-Unagi." With the conveyor belt offering a dizzying array of sushi plates and the chef calling out more names, a confused JJ announced, "I have no idea what's going on." With a better understanding of the game, Art listened to the chef and determined their best chance at bingo would be a horizontal line through the middle of their bingo board.
TYING THE RECORD
After a brief but explosive argument over who unzipped a bag, Rachel & Dave calmed down and set to work luring Japanese locals to pose with their heads sticking through the cutout sumo wrestlers. At first, the army wife and combat pilot used a polite approach and had difficulties convincing anyone to stop for them. When the couple became a little more assertive in their tactics, they started to attract people to pose as sumo wrestlers. As Dave funneled locals to the cutouts, Rachel would set them in place and snap the picture. On his job, Dave joked, "I feel like a carny." Once the couple took ten pictures, they placed them on a board and presented it to the photographer who handed them their clue instructing them to find the Pit Stop at Osaka Castle. Stepping onto the mat in first place at Osaka Castle, army wife and combat pilot Rachel & Dave secured their place in the final three and tied a Race record with their seventh victory. In addition, the excited couple won a trip for two from Travelocity to Phil's homeland of New Zealand. Rachel promised, "We are going to win and make history in this next leg. I just know it."
With Art & JJ calling out bingo and heading to Osaka Castle, Brendon & Rachel began to worry when last place Vanessa & Ralph walked through the restaurant door. Seeing the dating divorcees sent Rachel into panic mode as Brendon told her, "Just chill! I cannot do this when you're acting like that." With Vanessa & Ralph gaining ground, Brendon & Rachel returned focus to their board and found the last piece of sushi they needed to make a vertical bingo. Only moments after Brendon & Rachel sped off in their taxi, Vanessa & Ralph completed a diagonal bingo to earn their clue. In a taxi, Vanessa hoped that another team messed up or were "abducted by aliens."
On the sprawling grounds of Osaka Castle, Art & JJ frantically searched for Phil when Brendon & Rachel pulled up in their taxi, making JJ even more anxious. Now both teams wandered the castle grounds as Vanessa & Ralph approached in their taxi. When the dating divorcees exited their cab, Art & JJ broke away from Brendon & Rachel, spotted Phil, and ran to the mat for a second place finish. In a nail biting foot race on the castle grounds, Brendon & Rachel found Phil first and narrowly edged out Vanessa & Ralph to claim the last spot in the final three. Stepping on the mat in last place, Vanessa & Ralph became the eighth and final team eliminated from the Race. Tearing up, Ralph said, "She's been a trooper. I would never want to do this with anyone else." On their relationship, Vanessa added, "From here on out, it's smooth sailing unless there are rubber chickens."
HEADING TO HAWAII
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 4:15pm, Rachel & Dave ripped open their clue sending them on their final flight to Honolulu, Hawaii. When they landed, they had to figure out they needed to find the twin towers known as Mauka and Makai. Taking the same flight to Honolulu, the final three teams burst out of the airport and into taxis asking their taxi drivers if they knew where to find Mauka and Makai. Getting an early lead, Rachel & Dave took the advice of their driver who told them Mauka meant mountain and Makai meant facing the ocean and suggested he take them to a pair of buildings that face the ocean and mountains. Following behind Rachel & Dave, Art & JJ told their driver, who couldn't solve the cryptic clue, not to lose the army wife and combat pilot in front of them. Seeing Art & JJ tailing them, Rachel & Dave's helpful taxi driver managed to lose the border patrol agents at a stoplight prompting JJ to say, "Should've never just grabbed a cab. So stupid."
GOING UP, COMING DOWN
With Art & JJ now circling the city completely lost, Rachel & Dave reached the twin towers in first place. Opening their clue, they discovered they had to pull themselves up the 45-story tower to the rooftop. Once there, they had to scour the horizon to spot their next destination, but to get there, they had to first rappel face forward back to the ground. As Brendon & Rachel arrived at the towers in second place after wisely taking extra time at the airport to figure out Mauka and Makai, Rachel & Dave began their steep ascent up the side of the tower. Using all of her upper body strength, Rachel slowly inched up the cable lagging behind husband Dave who scaled the tower with little difficulty. Laughing as she neared the top, Rachel said, "This is so high! It's getting really windy up here." Once she joined Dave at the top of the tower, the army wife and combat pilot scanned the picturesque landscape around them until Dave noticed a yellow and red banner at a park across the water. After taking a moment to map out streets to the park, Rachel & Dave began their terrifying face first rappel down the other side of the building. Dave later said, "It's always a little concerning when you're stepping off the ledge of 44-plus story building." Any fear the couple had when they started their descent to the ground turned to exhilaration while they enjoyed the wild ride. Rachel joked to Dave, "You look like my superhero!" When they reached solid ground, Rachel & Dave jumped into their taxi and directed their driver to the park they spotted from the rooftop.