The Amazing Race

Season 19 Episode 10

Release The Brake!

Aired Friday 8:00 PM Nov 27, 2011 on CBS

Episode Fan Reviews (3)

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  • We're still racing! (spoiler alert)


    At the end of last week's madcap episode, Marcus and Amani arrived at the mat first, only to be handed a new clue by Phil and sent on their way. It was probably inevitable that this week would be an enervated letdown, and indeed, the entire hour played like a protracted epilogue to the previous episode. It never really seemed plausible that last place Bill and Cathi would catch up to the rest, despite the best efforts of the editors to convince us otherwise. But we'll get to that later. First, we've got some product-placed cars to test-drive!

    The Roadblock is the Ford Proving Ground in Belgium, where one member of each team must take a brand-new Ford Horsey out on the track for a 100 MPH sprint, a 16-second slalom, and a double victory donut. Marcus and Amani get a little lost, so Ernie and Cindy are first to arrive. That's not necessarily great news for Ernie, as he gets stuck with the most deadpan, humorless driving instructor possible. In fact, I'm pretty sure I took my driving test with this guy. Despite Ernie's trouble with the slalom—he repeatedly hits the big blue balloon at the end of the track—he is the first to finish, and he and Cindy are off to Gent.

    Jeremy, who is apparently much more of a gearhead than Ernie, is hot on his heels. Marcus and Amani finally arrive, followed by Andy and Tommy, who were still flexing in their Speedos when this episode began. Tommy takes the task, leaving Andy seething with jealousy. Well, as much as a Dude can seethe, anyway.Bill and Cathi? Still way behind.

    In Gent, the Detour choice is Water or Waffles, which is really no choice at all. The answer is Waffles every time as far as I'm concerned, which might not have been the smartest gameplay in this case, but still...waffles! Unfortunately, teams are not forced to consume large stacks of waffles, but merely build waffle stands and create 18 distinctly decorated waffles. This proves to be a time-consuming process, whereas the Water task, which entails building a raft with pontoons and paddling down the river to collect two pieces of the clue, is a bit more expeditious. Perhaps because it lacks the distracting temptation of delicious waffles.

    For the final task, teams must help a trainer release a flock of homing pigeons, although in this case "help" apparently means "watch," as I didn't notice the teams doing anything at all. They must then drive to an address that the pigeons have allegedly flown to and collect a tiny clue from one of the pigeon legs. The clue contains a picture of the Atomium, a giant sculpture of an iron atom in Brussels. What a fun attraction! I must add Brussels to the itinerary of my next European vacation. The Atomium is the pit stop, and Andy and Tommy are the first to arrive. They are each rewarded with a customized Ford Horsey.

    It's certainly no surprise when Bill and Cathi, who have been at the back of the pack all episode long, are eliminated from the race. It is slightly surprising that they get their own greatest hits montage before arriving at the mat. Then again, maybe they deserve it. After watching them spend the first episode of the season wandering around like befuddled tourists, I remember expressing some frustration that they were spared by an unprecedented first leg non-elimination. I believe I may have even called them "toast." Well, the toast took an awful long time to brown, so I have to give them credit for surviving as long as they did, and even thriving for a while. It's just too bad their exit couldn't have been part of a more suspenseful episode.

  • And then there were four...


    The five teams continued racing from the last Pit Stop as they arrived.

    This leg saw the teams racing through Belgium to rural areas outside Brussels. The Roadblock was nice, a tough challenge with many obstacles to overcome.

    The Detour at the castle was even better. I would have done the rafting challenge because I am just no good at shapes and designs, and even if it is waffles lol, no good for me. I was really hoping Jeremy & Sandy would win the leg but it didn't happen once again. Andy & Tommy got it instead and Bill & Cathi predictably got eliminated. The pigeon aspect was just OK, not a real challenge in my opinion. I loved the Pit Stop location, a nice famous tourist attraction.

    Honestly I thought the European legs of this season would be next to flawless but I am afraid I am still not entirely convinced by the effort being put into this season. It seems like they're running out of ideas, and short of making a top effort. Oh well, I could still go back and watch Seasons 3, 5 and 6 anytime I want for the excellent times - where teams actually got a sufficient amount of screen time, where there were Fast Forwards, and tough exciting twists, not weird ones.

    I am not babbling on, but I am disappointed with this show now. Its like they're not even really trying at this point. Onto something that is out of control of the producers, the teams continue finishing legs in the same order without much change. I also don't find much interest going on from the cast anymore. Ernie & Cindy are just annoying, Jeremy & Sandy should have been on TAR 15, Bill & Cathi were unable to keep up, Amani & Marcus same thing but less interest, and Andy & Tommy hold my attention - but to see them winning almost every leg is just repetitive.

    Belgium, the Roadblock and the Detour held some interest, but I would rather have seen other (prettier) European countries like Scandinavia, Italy, Albania, Corfu etc. Who cares if they have over visted them.

    Bill & Cathi are out, sadly. Now the final four teams go to Panama next week for the penultimate leg. I thought it would be the final... I wished it was at this point.

  • I expected more... (Spoilers ahead...)


    Well, Europe on TAR19 has been quite abysmal, with the exception of the Danish Detour on Leg Eight. On this leg, however, we had another decent Detour plus a lot of other dull and unnecessay stuff.

    The Roadblock was pathetic. At this point - we had had two tasks in Belgium after the country is getting its first visit after 19 seasons - and those tasks are bodybuilding and car driving. That is not the way to showcase the culture and beauty of Belgium. While th car task would've been fun and exhilarating to do, it was laborious to watch, and extremely suspenseless and pointless.

    The Detour i s the saving grace for this episode. Both options were interesting for me. I would've done 'Waffles', as I have a good eye for deatil, but both seemed fun to do, and they showed us a little of the Belgian culture and the beautiful rivers as well, which all the other tasks failed to do.

    The homing pigeons was rather pointless, but I choose not to complain about this task, due to the fact that it resulted in Ernie & Cindy losing first place!

    The Pit Stop location was wonderful! That is perhaps the one thing they have done well in Belgium! The atomium was spectacular, and a beautiful backdrop for the Pit Stop!!!

    All up, disappointing to se e Bill & Cathi go (obviously), but I am glad to see Marcus & Amani hanging in there! Hope they can make the Final Three, and I sincerely hope that Ernie & Cindy are booted off...