BEARDS BOOTED IN GDANSK
One leg after finishing in first, childhood friends Brandon & Adam were eliminated in Gdansk, Poland after being U-Turned. Meanwhile, exes Tim & Marie cashed in on their Express Pass to win the leg.
On a desolate road in Norway with no other cars in sight, the standoff over the Express Pass between exes Tim & Marie and married ER doctors Nicole & Travis continued…until Marie blinked first. With Tim shouting in Marie's ear to take Nicole's offer, Marie finally relented and agreed to fork over the Express Pass at the end of the leg in exchange for the Pit Stop clue. Now armed with the name of the Pit Stop, Viking Longhouse, Marie told Tim, "This is the first time I ever let you make a decision. If it's wrong it's going to be the last time." After reaching the Viking Long House in first place, childhood friends Brandon & Adam drove back to Svolvaer where they would catch a boat, the Hurtigruten, to Trondheim and then fly to Gdansk, Poland, a trip of over 1,500 miles. Once there, they had to make their way to Solidarity Square at the gates of Gdansk's shipyards, the site of the civil resistance that led to the eventual collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe. Arriving at the dock in Svolvaer where the Hurtigruten was anchored, Brandon & Adam, along with second place team Jason & Amy, discovered the ship wouldn't depart until 8:30pm, allowing the teams behind them, including third place Nicole & Travis, fourth place Leo & Jamal, fifth place Tim & Marie, sixth place Tim & Danny, and seventh place Ally & Ashley, to catch up. Stepping on the mat in last place at the Viking Long House, the exhausted Nicky & Kim hugged Phil and exclaimed, "That was torture!" When the thrilled baseball wives took their next clue from Phil's hands, Nicky encouraged Kim, "We're still in it, bunny!"
Just before 8:30pm, the eight teams boarded the Hurtigruten and settled into their cabins for a 34-hour ride to Trondheim, from where they would take the same flight to Gdansk. With the magnificent scenery of Norway and the Arctic Ocean surrounding them, exes Tim & Marie stood on the deck of the Hurtigruten and furtively motioned for married ER doctors Nicole & Travis to join them. Not wanting to make the handoff public to other teams, Marie chose a secluded location to make good on her word and give the married ER doctors the Express Pass. When Marie told the doctors to keep this quiet, Nicole responded, "You think we want to have another target on our back too?" Marie later explained she still wanted other teams to believe they had a shot to get the Express Pass because they would be more likely to help her and Tim out.
"THIS KILLED US"
Landing in Gdansk, Poland, the eight teams exited the airport and jumped into taxis, feeling the stress as a Double U-Turn lurked somewhere in the leg. While most teams told their drivers to take them to Solidarity Square or Monument, NHL ice crew members Ally & Ashley and cousins Leo & Jamal only gave their drivers the much more vague location of the Gdansk shipyard. When the two teams arrived at the shipyards and saw no Race flags or clue box, they began to suspect something was wrong. Ally correctly noted, "I don't think this is the right entrance." As Tim & Danny, Nicole & Travis, Jason & Amy, Nicky & Kim, and Brandon & Adam all ripped open their clue at Solidarity Monument, sending them to the Golden Gate, the historic entrance to Old Town Gdansk, the Afghanimals, Ally & Ashley, and now Tim & Marie all converged at a shipyard where their non-English speaking taxi drivers looked around in confusion about where to go. After riding to another shipyard and stopping, the three teams stood outside their taxis while the drivers tried finding directions. A stunned Marie said, "This is unbelievable! Nobody speaks English. Nobody knows where we are." Finally, after riding to another part of the shipyard, Leo found a local man who told them they had to find the Solidarity Monument. With Tim & Marie able to use their Express Pass to neutralize a U-Turn, Leo worried, "Wow, this killed us."
SAY YES TO THE DRESS
Arriving at the Golden Gate in first place, Oklahoman best friends Tim & Danny ripped open their clue to find a Detour with the choice of Pose or Polka. Pose required teams to copy the stance of a historic bronze statue of Neptune to earn donations from spectators. Once they collected 75 zloty they would receive their next clue. Polka required teams to learn and perform a choreographed routine in full costume to the satisfaction of their instructor. Running into Old Town Hall, Danny had one huge worry on his mind: who would be the woman when he and Tim learned to polka. While Danny offered to play a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors to decide, Tim simply replied, "You're smaller, dude. You're a more attractive female, dude." By the time the Oklahomans walked into the changing room, Danny conceded and picked up the dress. When Danny emerged wearing a traditional Polish skirt, matching top, and flower in his hair, Danny deflected Tim's compliments, saying, "I don't want to look good in a dress." Entering the ballroom where six couples demonstrated the festive polka to music from a live band, Tim & Danny chose an instructor and watched the dancing before attempting it themselves. By the time the best friends took an awkward and off tempo spin around the dance floor, Jason & Amy and Nicole & Travis emerged from the dressing room to join them. Overwhelmed by the number of steps they had to learn and having little dancing skill to begin with, Tim & Danny began to worry about falling behind the other teams. After their first attempts at performing included forgotten spins and lumbering footwork, Danny snapped at Tim, "You suck. You're leading! You're the man!"
STRIKE A POSE
Meanwhile, in a public square in Old Town where the Neptune Fountain served as a stunning centerpiece, baseball wives Nicky & Kim emerged from a changing tent in charcoal skin tight bodysuits, curly black wigs, beards, and a trident, and took their places on side by side pedestals. After bending into position to mimic the bronze statue directly behind them, Nicky & Kim asked the crowd of curious locals around them to donate Polish zloty into a small collection box at their feet. With their pleasant demeanor and grateful words, Nicky & Kim found many generous donors who quickly got them on the path to the needed 75 zloty. Although the uncomfortable position they had to pose in made their arms shake and required physical stamina, the baseball wives kept up their enthusiasm and got rewarded with a 30 zloty bill. Just as childhood friends Brandon & Adam arrived at the square after unsuccessfully looking for the polka at Old Town Hall, Nicky & Kim stepped off their pedestals and watched as the sculptor tallied their haul of bills and coins. When he handed the baseball wives their clue, sending them to the Medieval Harbor Crane, Kim said, "I'm gonna cry. We actually did something fast." However, Nicky & Kim's success gathering donations came at the expense of Brandon & Adam, who now found that the crowd at the fountain dissipated entirely once the baseball wives departed. Becoming tired from holding the pose and seeing a dim future ahead in fundraising, the childhood friends decided to switch to polka dancing. Brandon joked, "We need boobs. Apparently that's what does it."
As Leo & Jamal, Ally & Ashley, and Tim & Marie finally reached the Golden Gate, Tim & Danny continued to struggle learning the steps of the dance. When Jason & Amy delivered a worthy enough performance to earn their clue, Danny's confidence ebbed further as he told Tim, "I don't think we're gonna be able to do it." Then, seeing Nicole & Travis also get their clue, Danny muttered, "We're going home." Taking a much rosier view of the situation, Tim forced Danny back onto the dance floor, saying, "I think we got it man." This time, Tim twirled Danny around and used the proper technique on the lift as the best friends stayed on beat and got their clue. When they picked up their bags in the changing room, Tim & Danny ran into Leo & Jamal, who just arrived at the Old Town Hall minutes ahead of Ally & Ashley.
Arriving at the Golden Gate dead last, exes Tim & Marie knew that using their Express Pass now became a likely scenario. Walking to the public square in Old Town, the exes didn't see any teams posing at Neptune Fountain and wondered if everyone went to polka or if they were in last place. Worried that someone ahead might U-Turn them, Tim & Marie decided to use their Express Pass to gain some valuable time. After Nicky & Kim ran right past the U-Turn board and over to the other side of the Motlawa River, dating couple Jason & Amy arrived at the Medieval Harbor Crane and found the U-Turn, where two teams had the opportunity to slow down two other teams, forcing them to perform both sides of the Detour. After deciding to not use their U-Turn, Jason & Amy ripped open their next clue, instructing them to make their way to the longest apartment building in Poland, the Falowiec Building.
With Tim & Marie and Nicky & Kim also deciding not to U-Turn anyone, Oklahomans Tim & Danny, not realizing they were comfortably in fourth place, reached the Medieval Harbor Crane and decided to use their U-Turn, it was simply a matter of who would be on the receiving end. Because they saw Leo & Jamal at the Old Town Hall, Tim & Danny knew they had a lead on the cousins and put their picture on the U-Turn board. Danny later commented, "We're still nice. We just don't want to go home." Reaching the crane moments later in fifth place, married ER doctors Nicole & Travis commended Tim & Danny for their strategic move. At Old Town Hall, Leo & Jamal struggled to learn the polka, but they had plenty of company with childhood friends Brandon & Adam. Neither team looked particularly nimble and graceful stomping across the floor, and both had issues with the spins and lifts. Seeing NHL ice crew members Ally & Ashley get their clue only made the pressure more intense for both teams. At one point, Leo & Jamal vented their frustrations at one another, but eventually the cousins settled down, learned the steps and got their clue ahead of Brandon & Adam, who still hadn't perfected their spin. Hoping not to be U-Turned, the disappointed cousins arrived at the Medieval Harbor Crane with Ally & Ashley and had no choice but to U-Turn Brandon & Adam.
Pulling up to the staggeringly long Falowiec Building, Jason & Amy and Tim & Marie were stunned by the sheer size of the apartment complex. Ripping open their clue, the two teams discovered a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to visit the longest residential apartment building in Poland, over half a mile long and housing more than 6,000 people. Using the twelve addresses provided, they had to search the enormous complex and find a traditional rose-filled Polish pastry known as paczki. When they bit into the right flavor, they would receive their next clue. Walking into the massive building together, Marie and Amy decided to pair up to find each of twelve apartment numbers together. Running along a corridor, they spotted the first apartment and were greeted at the door by a local woman who led them to her couch. As Marie and Amy sat patiently, the welcoming host walked out of the kitchen with a full plate of paczki, eliciting murmurs of approval from Amy. Biting into the pastry covered with a sugar glaze, Amy told her host how incredible it tastes. However, seeing yellow filling inside, Amy and Marie knew they needed to move on to the next address.
KEEPING IT CLOSE
As Amy and Marie continued to search apartments, Travis entered the complex with Kim close behind. After arriving at the first apartment neck and neck with Kim, Travis extended his lead over her by giving her a "present". Taking the elevator down, Kim stopped at every floor because Travis pushed the buttons as he ran down the staircase. Then, Travis hatched a strategy when he spotted Marie and Amy teamed up. Knowing they already visited several incorrect apartments, Travis would save time by joining Marie and Amy's joint efforts. With a little extra hustle, he caught up to them at an apartment, even though Marie tried to ditch him. Having already worked with Travis in previous legs, Amy offered for him to work with her and Marie. The three split up the remaining apartments and searched independently, agreeing to shout if they tasted rose paczki. While Amy and Marie struck out, Travis found the sweet pastry with rose filling and told them where to find it. The three racers ran back to their partners in a virtual tie and ripped open their clue, sending them to the Pit Stop at Sopot Pier, the longest wooden pier in Europe. In the race to Sopot Pier, the three teams' taxis remained within sight of each other as they readied themselves for an all-out sprint to the mat. A visibly nervous Marie told Tim, "I'm gonna have a heart attack, a panic attack, and I'm gonna throw up and pass out at the same time." Exiting their taxis moments apart, the three teams ran along the wooden pier that stretched into the Baltic Sea, hoping to cap their day with a victory. In the end, exes Tim & Marie narrowly edged out dating couple Jason & Amy in second place, while married ER doctors Nicole & Travis settled for third. For winning the leg, Tim & Marie won a trip for two to Hawaii from Travelocity.
"I LOVE POLAND"
With Nicky & Kim and Tim & Danny taking fourth and fifth place respectively, Leo & Jamal entered the public square in Old Town in their very snugly fitting Neptune costumes and began asking locals for money. Knowing Brandon & Adam wouldn't be far behind; the gregarious cousins had no problems finding generous people to help their cause. Leo shouted, "I love Poland! I love Polish hot dogs. My wife is Polish!" Just as Brandon & Adam saw their picture on the U-Turn board and reacted, "That's weak," the Afghanimals spotted some kids whose father wore a BYU t-shirt. When the cousins engaged the man in conversation, they got more than they bargained for. He offered 50 zloty if they could name any two quarterbacks from BYU. Completely stumped, the cousins instead rallied the man's kids to take the money from their dad and place it in the collection box. Their plan worked and the Afghanimals ran out of the square just as a shocked Brandon & Adam arrived, asking, "You guys got it already?" Returning to the pedestals where they failed the first time, Brandon & Adam faced the same issue they had before. Beginning the task immediately after a popular crowd pleaser finished, the childhood friends found that the big crowds disappeared quickly. An even greater problem emerged when the childhood friends, completely exhausted from the polka, struggled to remain balanced on the pedestal in Poseidon's pose. Calling the situation "brutal," Brandon & Adam refused to give up and shouted to any local passing by their pedestal for money. With only ten more zloty to earn, Adam joked, "Look at two weirdos!" This seemed to work, as a man stepped up and put ten zloty in their donation box to earn their clue.
With Brandon & Adam in a taxi headed for the Falowiec Building, Ashley and Leo separately roamed the many hallways of the apartment complex looking for the rose-filled paczki. Shouting down a stairwell, Leo got Ashley's attention, and she suggested they run to the next apartment together. Sitting down at the dining room table of a lovely blonde woman in a leopard print shirt, the two friends cheered when they tasted the rose filling. After Leo stepped onto the mat with Jamal in sixth place, he commented, "We definitely have proven that we're not easy to get rid of and we're not going anywhere." Meanwhile, NHL ice crew members Ally & Ashley hugged after taking seventh place. After Adam found a rose-filled paczki, he and Brandon arrived at the mat on Sopot Pier in last place. When Phil officially eliminated the childhood friends, a disappointed Adam said, "I'm not so worried about losing the money but it's been a lot of fun running this Race. I'm a little sad that we're gonna be missing the rest of it." On a hopeful note, Brandon added, "We've been doing crazy stuff together since before the Race started. It's not going to stop just because the Race is over."
2305 ROUTE MARKERS
Order of Finish at Virtual Pit Stop 1. Brandon & Adam 2. Jason & Amy 3. Nicole & Travis 4. Leo & Jamal 5. Tim & Marie 6. Tim & Danny 7. Ally & Ashley 8. Nicky & Kim
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks. In this Detour, teams had the choice of Pose or Polka. Pose required teams to copy the stance of a historic bronze statue of Neptune to earn donations from spectators. Once they collected 75 zloty they would receive their next clue. Polka required teams to learn and perform a choreographed routine in full costume to the satisfaction of their instructor.
Pose: Nicky/Kim, Leo/Jamal, Brandon/Adam, Tim/Marie (used Express Pass)
Polka: Jason/Amy, Nicole/Travis, Tim/Danny, Leo/Jamal, Ally/Ashley, Brandon/ Adam
Double U-Turn: A Double U-Turn gives two teams the opportunity to slow down two other teams by forcing them to perform both sides of the Detour. Tim/Danny U-Turned Leo/Jamal. Leo/Jamal U-Turned Brandon/Adam.
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one team member can perform. In this Roadblock, that person had to had to visit the longest residential apartment building in Poland, over half a mile long and housing more than 6,000 people. Using the twelve addresses provided, they had to search the enormous complex and find a traditional rose-filled Polish pastry known as paczki. When they bit into the right flavor they would receive their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: Amy, Marie, Travis, Kim, Danny, Leo, Ashley, Adam
Order of Finish: 1. Tim & Marie 2. Jason & Amy 3. Nicole & Travis 4. Nicky & Kim 5. Tim & Danny 6. Leo & Jamal 7. Ally & Ashley 8. Brandon & Adam ...