TAR 12: Episode 2

Father and Daughter Ronald & Christina spent this week’s entire episode of The Amazing Race at odds with one another. But they performed just well enough to avoid elimination.

Married ministers Kate & Pat started the leg with one of my favorite quotes in Race history: "We are religious people, but we have no illusions that God cares whether or not we win The Amazing Race."

As teams left Ireland, en route to Amsterdam, there were a limited number of seats available on the first connecting flight out of Dublin. Nick & Don and Ronald & Christina vied for the final pair of standby tickets. When Nick was rude to the ticket agent, Ronald told him off, much to his daughter Christina’s embarrassment. She didn’t disagree with her dad’s sentiment, but she felt his delivery was as brusque as Nick’s had been with the airline worker.

The lecture didn’t seem to make a difference, as Nick & Don were able to board the plane, and Ronald & Christina were forced to wait 90 minutes with the other teams at the back of the pack: Kate & Pat and sisters Marianna & Julia.

When the teams arrived in Amsterdam, they had their choice of Detours: Hoist It or Hunt It. In Hoist It, one team member tied complicated knots around five pieces of furniture and used a rope and pulley system to lift the items several floors. The other team member waited upstairs in an apartment and hauled the furniture in through the window.

In Hunt It, teams searched thousands of bikes for the two marked with labels bearing a particular color pattern. While this was the less strenuous task, it was time consuming and located farther away than Hoist It.

Jason was adept at tying knots, and he and girlfriend Lorena were the only couple to blow through Hoist It. Hippie-guy TK was so bad at tying the knots that he and his wee partner, Rachel, had to swap positions before getting a single item lifted. Rachel had a much easier time with the knots, although she did have to jump off a set of stairs to get some of the furniture off the ground.

Hunting through the bikes was challenging for most teams, especially Ronald & Christina. As soon as they read the Detour clue, Ronald began finding reasons why they couldn’t complete either task.

He told Christina to choose a Detour, but when she picked Hoist It, he complained so much that she decided they should try Hunt It instead. Ronald continued complaining as they searched through the bikes, and when Christina suggested that he think positive, he mocked her.

Upon finishing the Detour, teams were instructed to head to the village of Ransdorp, also in the Netherlands. As they waited for a bus, Ronald lectured Christina that she needed to be more decisive (even though she was the one who had decided on the Detour, until he complained). He then said, "You basically disappointed me." Though these kinds of scenes often occur between dating/married couples on the show, it was much more uncomfortable watching a father berate his daughter unfairly.

Christina stood up for herself, telling Ronald that he was being hard on her. His defense was that "a 58-year-old man is not easy to change" — which missed the point that he’s had 26 years to learn how to be supportive of his daughter.

Christina countered, "In this race, you need to make improvements overnight." Ronald agreed that he would try.

In Ransdorp, teams encountered a Roadblock requiring one team member to pole vault over a ditch filled with water and, presumably, sheep poo. Lorena & Jason, Jennifer & Nathan, and Shana & Jennifer all arrived on the same bus, and Jason, Jennifer, and Shana undertook the tasks for their respective teams.

Just like in the Detour, Jason made the task look easy, landing the vault on his first try. Jason got their clue and vaulted back over the ditch, only muddying his foot a little. He and Lorena hopped on a bakfiets — bikes with wheelbarrows attached to the front — and rode to the Pit Stop, where Phil told them they’d each won a three-wheeled sport bike.

After watching Jason’s seemingly effortless vault, Jennifer encouraged Shana, "It’s easy! Just go!" Shana landed her initial vault, but she went sideways on her return journey and wound up covered head-to-toe in muck. As a helpful Dutchman pulled a mortified Shana from the ditch, she muttered, "I could die."

The next group of teams — Nick & Don, Kynt & Vyxsin, Rachel & TK, and Azaria & Hendekea — soon arrived. Grandpa Don was optimistic after watching Rachel land her first attempted vault. Even after he saw Kynt plummet straight into the drink, Don said, "I think I can do it."

Grandson Nick gave his consent, but he then said to himself, "I think that may be a costly decision." Nick was right, but it was the TV audience and the people of Ransdorp who paid the price. Don landed in the ditch on his first try, and decided that he simply wouldn’t be able to get the necessary amount of lift covered in mud. So he stripped off all of his clothes and continued vaulting in his black bikini briefs.

Don managed to finish before Ronald & Christina and Marianna & Julia arrived at the ditch. Marianna, a track and field athlete, made the vault in one shot. Meanwhile, Christina had a tough go of it. And her father wasn’t making things any easier. Despite Christina’s repeated requests for him to let her concentrate, Ronald harangued her after every failed attempt.

Kate & Pat, who’d been the last team to find their bikes during the Detour, were also the last to arrive in Ransdorp. They reached the Pit Stop after all the other teams and were sent home.

Next week, Ronald & Christina are still on rocky ground, and Lorena has a meltdown while trying to milk a camel.

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