Lena & Kristy, Eliminated

In this leg of the race, teams had to travel from a farm in Norway to Stockholm, Sweden by train to Oslo, Norway then by bus to Stockholm. Teams had $363 for this leg. Surprisingly, Don & Mary Jean were penalized 30 minutes for taking Adam & Rebecca’s car in the previous leg, so they started in 8th place even though they had originally arrived in 7th place. It’s the first time that two penalties were awarded on the same leg that I can remember.

All the teams were bottlenecked for the trip on the train and then later on the bus trip. Once in Stockholm, teams made their way to an Ice Bar, made entirely of ice to slide a shot glass onto a target on the bar. Let me say that this place looked way cool. The walls, bar, fixtures, tables, glasses, and everything were made of ice. The drinks were the only exception. In order to keep the place from melting, the entire room is maintained at a very cool 23 degrees Fahrenheit. Teams even had to wear parkas to go inside. Once again I must say that this was an amazing destination on the race.

After the bar task, teams had to make their way to the world’s largest Ikea store for their next clue. It was the middle of the night and the store didn’t open until mid-morning which made the whole bar task unnecessary and inconsequential. Some teams slept at the Ikea, but it seemed that Don & Mary Jean slept in a hotel and returned to the store in the morning.

This appeared to be poor planning by the Amazing Race production team. Why make the teams get there in the middle of the night when they could have easily made them all get there when the Ikea was open. Instead, there was another bottleneck for all of the teams. Everyone tied for first, as they had been for the entire leg–boring! They tried to add some drama by showing Gus & Hera lost trying to find the bar, but it was all clever editing, they got there and were not the last to leave.

After all this disappointing “bunched-upped-ness,” the Ikea opened in the morning to reveal a Detour: Count It or Build It. In Count It, teams had to perform an exact count of Ikea merchandise, pots and pans and stuffed animals, in order to get their next clue. In Build It, teams had to build an Ikea desk perfectly, using all the parts, in order to get their next clue.

Let me just say, the Count It tasked looked overwhelming. All of the teams had to count the items more than once, and only three teams performed an accurate count. It looked like Don & Mary Jean were going to pass out and die trying to perform the count. At one point, he pleaded for sympathy and said, “They’re 40 years younger than us!” as if the Ikea employee would just hand him the clue–wishful thinking. Lori & Bolo also couldn’t pull off an accurate count and seemed to be getting more frustrated by the minute. Eventually both of these teams chose to build a desk instead.

After the Detour, teams had to travel by train to a designated station, then by tandem bike two miles to a rural farm to find their next clue. At the farm, teams found a the first of the three Yields of the race, which was not used by anyone. There was also a Roadblock. In this Roadblock, one team member needed to unroll bales of hay in a huge field to find their next clue. There were 270 bales of hay and only 20 clues within the field.

The story of this leg, and possibly of the entire race happened here. Although Lena & Kristy arrived at the Roadblock in 3rd place, they couldn’t finish this task. Team after team came to the field and found a clue–some on their very first bale. After seven hours it was dark, and after two more hours Phil came out to the field and told them that it was over. Needless to say, this girl was probably sore for a week! Damn.

Funniest Moment(s): Lori & Bolo trying to count at Ikea.
Smartest Play: Lena & Kristy performing the first accurate count at Ikea.
Dumbest Play(s): Kris & Jon letting Hayden & Aaron finish first.
Balls of the Week: Lena unrolling hay for over nine hours at the Roadblock. According to Phil, she unrolled over 100 bales of hay and didn’t find a clue!

Next Team Eliminated: Jonathan & Victoria (hopefully)
Pick to Win: Kris & Jon (Currently 2nd, by choice)

Who will be eliminated next!?

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