Pressed For Time (Episode 9-2)

A tricky stick shift brought an end to the Glamazons’ Amazing Race. The six-foot-tall, tiara-wearing sisters, Joni & Lisa, struggled to drive their vintage VW Bug over the muddy roads of Brazil, and they were narrowly defeated by oldsters Fran & Barry. At least Joni will finally have time to get a handle on her bladder control problems.

Teams started this leg of the race by taking a taxi two miles to a tall building, Edificio Copan, for their next clue. All of the teams left between 5:30 and 7:30 a.m., but, because the building didn’t open until 8 a.m., all of the teams really started this leg at the same time.

On the way to the building, Frat Guy Eric ogled a prostitute’s behind. It took him a few seconds to realize that he was ogling a man. To make up — if not overcompensate — for his mistake, he spent much of the rest of the episode flirting with the Pink girls, Dani & Danielle. At one point, he told the camera, “We gotta make the girls feel good, so we can get in their pants later.”

When teams finally got their clues, they learned that their challenge was the season’s first Roadblock. One member of the team had to climb up one of the building’s three fire escapes and then rappel 400 ft. to the ground. Contestants would rappel in the order by which they arrived at the top of the building.

Jeremy was first to the top of stairwell #1, followed by Ray, Desiree, Danielle, and Fran. Joseph lead the way up stairwell #2, followed by Lake, Dave, and Joni. For some reason, BJ was the only one to choose stairwell #3.

At the bottom, the next clue sent teams to a bus station to find tickets for charter buses leaving at 10:15, 11:15, and 12:15. Jeremy, Joseph, and BJ were first down the building, and their teams took all the seats on the 10:15 bus.

On the 11:15 bus were Ray & Yolanda, Dave & Lori, and Wanda & Desiree. Lake rappelled down the building in fourth place, but he and Michelle took a bus to the wrong station. They wound up on the 12:15 charter with the Pink girls, the Glamazons, and Fran & Barry.

The charter buses dropped teams off in Brotas, Brazil. There, each team chose a vintage VW Bug to drive to the next Detour. Teams could either climb 50 feet up a waterfall, or they could distill sugarcane juice into ethanol.

All of the teams from the first bus chose the waterfall. They climbed it using ropes and mechanical ascenders, require good coordination and are tricky to learn. They’ve confounded more than one team in past seasons of the Race.

Eric was the only one from the front pack who didn’t master the ascender immediately, but even his troubles were brief. The Hippies, Frat Guys, and Joseph & Monica (a.k.a. MoJo) finished the task quickly and drove to the Pit Stop. The Hippies arrived first, winning a trip to Tahiti and some hacky sacks.

Ray & Yolanda arrived on the second bus, and were the only team from their group to climb the waterfall. Nerds Dave & Lori chose the sugarcane option because Dave had once done the ethanol conversion as an experiment in school. They were followed by the mother/daughter team, Wanda & Desiree.

While making ethanol sounds like a very technical procedure, the process contestants used was very simple. Each team cranked 15 sugarcane stalks through a press to extract the juice. The juice was then heated over a Bunsen burner until the distilled ethanol dripped into a container.

Then the teams topped off their car’s gas tank with the ethanol they’d created. Phil pointed out that one-third of cars in Brazil run on ethanol, not fossil fuels. By sheer coincidence, immediately after this week’s show aired, President Bush announced plans to attack Brazil.

Dave & Lori called upon the spirit of Nickelodeon’s 80s science icon, Mr. Wizard. They finished ahead of Wanda & Desiree, who briefly got lost, and also feared they might’ve chosen the slower Detour.

Wanda & Desiree had nothing to fear, as neither Fran & Barry nor Lisa & Joni would be reaching the Pit Stop until after nightfall. Lisa had trouble keeping her stick-shift Bug in gear, putting her in a panicked state that lasted until they reached the Pit Stop.

Lisa & Joni chose the less physically demanding ethanol task. Joni cheered Lisa on a she cranked the sugarcane through the press, saying, “Pretend you’re giving birth to a child.” Lisa retorted, “I didn’t! I had a C-section!”

Lake & Michelle and the Pinks had no trouble with the waterfall, but Fran couldn’t get the hang of the ascender. She and Barry chose to climb the waterfall this week, after wasting so much time on the wrong Detour last week, too. If Fran and Barry keep making such poor decisions, they should be the next team out.

Fran & Barry ran into further bad luck when their car’s battery died on the road to the Pit Stop. They were given a new car, but no credit for the time they lost. Luckily for them, they still edged out Lisa and Joni.

Lisa sobbed on the mat when they finished the race. It had been her idea to go on the show, and she blamed the loss on her poor driving. Joni assured her that they won or lost as a team, and that the greatest gift she could have received wasn’t a victory, but a chance to travel the world with her sister.

1 – BJ & Tyler
2 – Eric & Jeremy
3 – Monica & Joseph
4 – Dave & Lori
5 – Ray & Yolanda
6 – Desiree & Wanda
7 – Lake & Michelle
8 – Dani & Danielle
9 – Fran & Barry
10 – Lisa & Joni (eliminated)

Next week, the teams travel to Moscow, where they must search hundreds of nesting dolls for a clue. And Wanda must face her fear of drowning, as she retrieves a clue from the deep end of a swimming pool.