The Amazing Race 12 Winner

The Amazing Race 10 winner
The Amazing Race 11 winner
The Amazing Race 13 winner
The Amazing Race 14 winner

With Nathan & Jennifer’s inability to work with each other in The Amazing Race 10 Episode 10, the final three teams were revealed: dating couple TK Erwin & Rachel Rosales, father and daughter Ronald Hsu & Christina Hsu, and grandfather and grandson Nicolas Fulks & Donald Jerousek.

They’ve worked hard at trying to convince us that all three of these teams belong in the final three, and there are no doubt those who would argue there’s some truth to that. Despite that, I can’t help but feel things are a bit lacking here.

TK & Rachel have performed the best of the three, and for that matter, the best of anyone this season other than Azaria & Hendekea. Their laid back attitude has gotten them criticized by some (namely their bitter opponent Jennifer) for not working hard, but it’s this carefreeness that has gotten them this far. As a team that’s unlikely to bicker, they work together quite well.

Unfortunately, the other two teams have been a bit of a disaster. Ronald & Christina have gotten the dysfunctional father/daughter that have grown closer thanks to the show (we saw that edit with Dick & Danielle in Big Brother 8, and it was a lie there) edit. (Looks like I struck a raw nerve with the BB8 comment. I welcome and encourage feedback on this or any other subject… within the bounds of calm, rational discussion.) While he arguably has been more patient with her the last couple episodes when they were in the lead, he’s been quick to freak out at her and pretty much everybody else on the race with little provocation, a situation that’s been uncomfortable to watch at best. If we leave him aside, I have been impressed with Christina, though.

Then there’s Nicolas & Donald. Donald’s effort for his age is certainly commendable. However, it just hasn’t been enough to hang with the other teams. This team is the #6 team of the season in terms of finishing rankings and has relied primarily on major mistakes by another team and second to last place finishes to limp along and not be eliminated.

With all that said, history has taught us it’s still anybody’s game. Whether it’s a flat tire, someone having an EZPass, or the producers forcing a plane to turn around to let a second team board, you never can tell who’s going to be the winner of this race.

For about the third time this season, the show’s actually starting on time.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: Ronald & Christina (9:47am)
Second: TK & Rachel (10:30am)
Third: Nicolas & Donald (10:37am)

The final destination city is Anchorage, Alaska, where they’ll first head to 6th Avenue Outfitters to get equipment for the detour. That means just one plane or one set of planes before the final city, which normally magnifies even the smallest of mistakes.

All three teams get on the same flight, a nonstop flight to Anchorage. With the lead they have, Ronald & Christina are using their time to surf the web and get some extra information on the only thing they know they’ll need: where 6th Avenue Outfitters is. Doesn’t much matter since they take a cab there anyway. The first two teams get their gear. Nicolas & Donald, however, grab the clue and forget their gear.

From there, they will head to Ship Creek Boat Launch.

The detour is a choice between cut the cod and grab the crab. In cut the cod, teams must cut through 50 pound fish and search for a clue inside one of the fish. In grab the crab, teams must jump into a boat swarming with over 500 crabs to find one marked with race colors. So it’s a choice between disgusting or risking being clawed.

Donald blames and gets upset with Nicolas (who’s carried him the whole time) for the mistake. They must return to the store and get their gear.

Cut the cod: Ronald & Christina, Nicolas & Donald
Grab the crab: TK & Rachel

Ronald & Christina seem to make easy work of the cod. TK & Rachel get dropped off in the wrong location, putting them in last by about a minute. But since Nicolas & Donald don’t have their bag, those two can’t actually do the task yet.

TK & Rachel struggle quite a bit with the crabs, to the point where they’re still hanging around when Nicolas & Donald get back. It’s apparent that this detour was nowhere near equal, as Nicolas & Donald finish in a few minutes with theirs like Ronald & Christina did. Still, all teams are within probably less than half an hour of each other.

The bad luck doesn’t stop there for TK & Rachel. They’re finding it easier to communicate with taxi drivers in India than in Alaska, placing both of the last two teams within about a minute of each other.

They’ll travel 60 miles to a boat launch, take a high speed ride to 20-Mile River, and climb a glacier to get their next clue. Ronald’s immediately afraid of the glacier, but it’s Christina who struggles. He’s made it to the top, but the she’s still there when the other two teams arrive. It’ll be interesting to see who this task actually favors, as there’s no team that appears so overly dominant in this type of physical task.

Christina manages to keep the lead for her team, but they have lost some of their lead. TK makes short work of the glacier, but Rachel’s no slouch either. Donald gets up quickest of the two members of his team, while it’s Nicolas who struggles for them.

Teams must take a helicopter to Merrill Field, and from there they’ll travel by taxi to Goose Lake Park.

The road block is a field of objects they’ve encountered along the race, 15 total. They must choose one from each leg of the race, with a certain number of items they’ve carried to the pitstop, a certain number of animals, etc. The tricky part is that multiple items can fulfill the requirements. It’s a puzzle, with only one right answer. This is potentially a very confusing and stressful task.

Road block (in order of arrival): Christina, Rachel, Nicolas

All three teams are doing the road block at the same time, so the race now is coming down to who finishes the road block first.

Christina gets 9 out of 10 right on her first try. She rearranges them and goes down to 6 out of 10. Then she starts praying. Her third guess is correct.

Rachel gets 7 out of 10. She realizes it’s crucial to stay calm, something the other two don’t seem to get. Her next guess is correct.

Rachel is the first to finish the road block. Christina is next. I don’t think Nicolas has even registered a guess yet.

The next clue is at the statue of Captain James Cook. They’re told to find the salmon hooker (another statue). It’s a footrace, which favors TK & Rachel.

The final pitstop for this race is Girdwood Airport.

And The Amazing Race 12 winners are… TK & Rachel. It’s a good ending for a change. They say their relationship has only gotten stronger as a result of the race, and they believe they’ve proved nice guys can finish first.

Ronald & Christina finish in second place. I do think they have gotten closer during this. Even though it would take a lot more than this to make him change his spots and become a more patient person, it was a good bonding experience for them nonetheless.

Nicolas & Donald arrive at the pitstop in third. Donald’s the oldest person to have ever made it to the final leg of The Amazing Race.

Because of the delayed start to this season (hopefully this has been a lesson to them to not do that again), we unfortunately won’t be seeing The Amazing Race 13 any time soon. However, CBS has confirmed that it’s picked up The Amazing Race 13, presumably for the fall lineup, if not as a summer show. This season’s ratings have been up sharply, a good sign for things to come.

The Amazing Race 12 Episode 10

TK & Rachel got hung up by a bad flight choice in The Amazing Race 12 Episode 9, but they were not eliminated, keeping hope alive that the final three won’t completely suck. That said, they were three hours behind everybody else and will need to complete a speed bump as well.

We’re in for a rare treat tonight. The show’s actually starting on time.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: Ronald & Christina (7:02am)
Second: Nathan & Jennifer (7:15am)
Third: Nicolas & Donald (7:21am)
Fourth: TK & Rachel (10:18am)

The first stop is the Umeda Sky Building and the floating garden, an observatory. Hours of operation are 10am, evaporating the majority of the lead.

Once there, they’re told they’ll be travelling over 1000 miles to Taipei, Taiwan.

Nicolas says, “No competitors are left. It’s a bunch of pansies.” Yeah, pretty much.

Meanwhile, Nathan’s telling us his thoughts about heading to Taiwan. “I know absolutely nothing about Taiwan, except… I think Thai food is pretty good.” Uh…

At the airport, they see the first flight’s at 1pm. Ronald & Christina get the flight. Nathan & Jennifer continue to have their nervous breakdown and are unable to book that flight.

TK & Rachel for the first time are arguing, and it’s really not helping them any. His instincts are right, but she’s not sure why they’re going where they going. While they’re discussing it, they walk right past the clue.

First flight: Ronald & Christina
Second flight: Nicolas & Donald, Nathan & Jennifer
Third flight: TK & Rachel

When they arrive in Taiwan, Nathan & Jennifer go to exchange their money before getting in line. When they get back, they see that TK & Rachel are caught up with them. Jen overreacts as per usual.

Jennifer says she’s got hatred in her blood. We noticed.

Teams will go to Taichung by high speed rail and then to Jiji by taxi. All teams make the same train, with Nicolas & Donald just barely limping their way along to catch up.

The road block is to ride in stunt vehicles. This includes being suspended 25 feet in the air on a giant teeter totter, then driving under water for 17 seconds.

Road block (in order of arrival): Ronald, Rachel, Nathan, Donald

After the road block, TK & Rachel hit their speed bump. They must go just over one mile to participate in a traditional ritual. They’ll dress the part, run through thousands of firecrackers, and be doused in water. Probably doesn’t take them too long, but it is enough to put them in last.

The next stop is GK Teahouse in Taipei. When they arrive at the high speed rail station, the machine won’t let them get the 7:36 one even though they show up a few minutes before, so they must wait until 8:00, with the exception of Ronald & Christina, who do get on the first train. Christina’s language experience continues to come in handy as it did in Japan.

TK & Rachel use what they learned earlier, getting tickets the automated way instead of in line, which helps them to get on the same train as the others. Jen hates them even more.

At the teahouse, they’ll need to drink a cup of tea before they can leave. Unsurprisingly, Rachel burns her mouth. From there, they must head to Gong Guan Night Market to get a clue from a clown.

The detour is a choice between fire or earth. In fire, teams must write messages of luck on lanterns and send 20 of them off in the sky. In earth, they’ll walk on a 220 foot path of jagged stones (it’s supposed to relieve stress).

Earth: Ronald & Christina, Nicolas & Donald, TK & Rachel, Nathan & Jennifer

The pitstop for this leg of the race is Chang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall. The second and third place teams take cabs. Nathan & Jennifer get advice to go to the subway instead. He questions the decision, but she pretty much tells him to shut up. Then she wants him to be a man and make the decisions. He says he can’t stand her because she’s always freaking out. Ya think?

First: Ronald & Christina (win a trip to Curacao)
Second: TK & Rachel
Third: Nicolas & Donald
Fourth: Nathan & Jennifer (eliminated)

As much as I think Nathan & Jennifer are one of the stronger teams, her inability to deal with stress has been crippling. As a parting thought, she says they killed their relationship on the race.

Still, it is a fairly weak final three, although TK & Rachel are a fairly strong team.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The Amazing Race 12 episode 11, which airs Sunday at 8/7c on CBS, when we will find out who the winner is.

The Amazing Race 12 Episode 9

Kynt & Vyxsin had a chance to change their fate in The Amazing Race 12 Episode 8 but chose to U-turn the wrong team instead of the team that they knew for a fact were going to get there right around the same time as them, which caused Kynt & Vyxsin to be eliminated from the race. That brings us down to the final four, and, well, there’s not really much good I can say about any of them, except for TK & Rachel, who are good racers and overall just calm people. Christina’s likeable, if only she had a different partner. Grandpa Donald’s been on a vacation, but to be fair, he is one of the older contestants. Nathan & Jennifer may arguably deserve each other.

In addition to the scheduling change from 8 to 8:30, there was also a football overrun of about 15 minutes, putting the start time at around 8:45. I will begin a live blog once 60 Minutes is over.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: TK & Rachel (1:25pm)
Second: Nicolas & Donald (1:33pm)
Third: Ronald & Christina (1:44pm)
Fourth: Nathan & Jennifer (2:38pm)

The next stop is Kishiwada Castle in Osaka, Japan, 4000 miles away.

Rachel suggests she has problems with self confidence but is able to feel better with TK around.

Ronald acknowledges his behavior has not been right (again… didn’t seem to matter last time, though). Christina’s excited to go to Japan because she lived there for half a year.

Nathan & Jennifer discuss not arguing with each other. Yeah, I heard this story before, too.

First flight (via New Delhi and Beijing): TK & Rachel
Second flight (via Hong Kong): Nicolas & Donald, Ronald & Christina, Nathan & Jennifer

TK & Rachel leave first, but it’s unclear whether they’ve made a good choice or not. Nobody knows where they are, and they don’t know where anybody else is.

With one less stop, the second plane arrives in Japan first. Uh oh. If TK & Rachel don’t catch up, this is a disaster waiting to happen, although it should be a NEL.

The next stop is Noda Station, where they’ll look for the cleaning man to give them a road block clue. On the way there, they’re discussing the confusing signs, and Christina says she’s never driving in Japan. We know what that means.

The road block is to become a taxi driver. They’ll deliver passengers 5 miles without assistance from the passengers or other drivers, and the address isn’t in English, so first of all they have to figure out where they’re going. The bunch of one way roads and signs all in Japanese don’t help.

Road block (in order of arrival): Jennifer, Christina, Nicolas, Rachel

Jennifer’s first concern is how she looks in the taxi hat. Christina’s not a good driver to begin with, and she relies on public transportation herself.

As the others are completing the road block, we’re finally seeing TK & Rachel, who seem to have gotten stuck with the plane that left first, rather than the plane that landed first. Unclear whether it was their error or not. The fact that everybody else is arriving at every task in the same order (Nathan & Jennifer, then Ronald & Christina, then Nicolas & Donald) and are within 10 minutes of each other doesn’t bode well.

The next stop is Kita-Mido Temple.

The detour is a choice between sense of touch or sense of smell. In sense of touch, teams must use miniature robots controlled by cell phones to play soccer, and each teammate much score a goal. In sense of smell, they need to find one real flower hidden among thousands of artificial ones, using only their noses.

Sense of smell: Nathan & Jennifer, Ronald & Christina, TK & Rachel
Sense of touch: Nicolas & Donald

The pitstop for this leg of the race is Tempozan Park in Osaka. Forgetting that he got bent out of shape about the cab dropping them too far from the airport terminal, Christina claims this is the first leg in which Ronald hasn’t lost his temper, but he has been pretty mild. Jennifer believes everything could cost them the race.

First: Ronald & Christina (each win an electric vehicle)
Second: Nathan & Jennifer
Third: Nicolas & Donald
Fourth: TK & Rachel (non-eliminated)

Thank goodness for non-elimination legs. A final three without TK & Rachel would quite possibly be the worst final three ever. It’s not even close, and this was rather an obvious episode. TK & Rachel are now 3 hours behind, and it’s night, so there won’t be hours of operation, leaving the airport as their only hope. Given what leg they’re on now, it’s pretty safe to say there will be a flight in the next episode. In addition to the current gap, they’ll hit a speedbump.

Nate’s Freudian slip regarding the finale is “The best team’s gonna finish last, and that’s gonna be us.”

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The Amazing Race 12 episode 10, which airs Sunday at 8/7c on CBS (should be on time for a change).

The Amazing Race 12 Episode 8

Kynt & Vyxsin went from a good team to a bickering couple in The Amazing Race 12 Episode 7 but lucked out and were greeted with this season’s first non-elimination leg. In a new twist, they must complete one extra task that the other teams don’t have to do.

As usual, the show is delayed due to a football overrun, about 40 minutes or so tonight. I will begin a live blog once 60 Minutes is over.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: Nicolas & Donald (10:12PM)
Second: Nathan & Jennifer (11:55PM)
Third: Ronald & Christina (1:06AM)
Fourth: TK & Rachel (2:11AM)
Fifth: Kynt & Vyxsin (3:23AM)

Teams must fly almost 4000 miles to Mumbai, India, a leg of the race typically known for breakdowns, not that some of these people aren’t already close to breaking down as it is. Given the starting times, bunching’s likely.

Jennifer doesn’t want to be disgusted/embarassed by her and Nathan’s behavior any more. Ronald is hoping he’s a new man.

All teams start off together when the airport opens. Ronald & Christina have already reserved tickets. Kynt & Vyxsin walk around to various offices to see what they can get.

First flight (arrives 10:35PM): Ronald & Christina, Nicolas & Donald, Nathan & Jennifer
Second flight (arrives 10:50PM): Kynt & Vyxsin
Third flight (arrives 1:00AM): TK & Rachel

The first flight is delayed, and Kynt & Vyxsin arrive a bit ahead of everybody else.

Not that all the drama matters, since the hours of operation start at 6AM, so everybody’s even again. They must purchase a newspaper, where an ad will tell them where to go next (yeah, they waited all night to buy a newspaper). The next stop is Chauhan Tailors. Jennifer’s distracted by… everything. Nicolas & Donald are more interested in watching the other teams for hints rather than doing their own searching.

Before they can do the detour, Kynt & Vyxsin must first do the speed bump, where they perform a series of yoga poses.

The detour is a choice between paste ’em or thread ’em. In paste ’em, they must paste a 6 panel Bollywood movie poster to a wall. In thread ’em, they’ll go to a flower market and create wedding garland, threading 108 flowers in a pattern.

Paste ’em: Nicolas & Donald, Ronald & Christina
Thread ’em: TK & Rachel, Nathan & Jennifer, Kynt & Vyxsin

Rachel has experience with flowers and feels confident about the thread ’em task, which they complete pretty quickly. Nicolas & Donald likewise finish quickly. After starting the poster off too high to reach, Ronald mostly feels confident in his ability to yell at Christina, followed up by yelling at the judge. He reluctantly lets her take charge so it can be done right. Nathan & Jennifer very quickly get back to bickering. Kynt & Vyxsin appear to be back on track. Both of these teams finish within a couple minutes of each other.

TK & Rachel choose not to use the U-turn since they’re in front of the pack. Nicolas & Donald also choose not to U-turn. Ronald & Christina would have U-turned Nicolas & Donald but aren’t sure whether Nathan & Jennifer are ahead of them, so they choose not to use it. Whoever finishes first of the other two at the flower detour will probably be the one to use it. Despite finishing the final task last, Kynt & Vyxsin arrive at the U-turn first and foolishly waste it on Nicolas & Donald instead of Nathan & Jennifer, who they know for a fact are close to them. They pretty quickly realize this was a mistake.

The road block is navigating the streets delivering tanks of propane on a bike.

Road block: Nicolas, Ronald (despite his hernia), TK, Kynt, Jennifer

The pitstop is Bandra Fort. Nicolas gets sick on the way due to the physical exertion on the road block, even more reason why I’m wondering why the heck Jennifer’s doing it. Oddly, though, the physical part of the task doesn’t seem to be a problem for her. It’s actually reading the clue, which tells her to get receipts for deliveries (she also didn’t read the part of the clue about how to finish the detour). Lucky for them, Kynt is misled to believe the person accepting deliveries keeps a copy of the receipts, so he, too, has to go back and get all the receipts. Either way, Jen continues to whine and whine and whine.

First: TK & Rachel (win a trip from Travelocity)
Second: Nicolas & Donald
Third: Ronald & Christina
Fourth: Nathan & Jennifer
Fifth: Kynt & Vyxsin (eliminated)

Kynt & Vyxsin had a chance to turn this thing around but chose to U-turn the wrong team.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The Amazing Race 12 Episode 9 I Just Hope He Doesn’t Croak on Us, which airs Sunday at 8:30/7:30c on CBS.

The Amazing Race 12 Episode 7

One of the teams that had looked the strongest, Azaria & Hendekea, were unable to work together and fell apart in The Amazing Race 12 Episode 6 and were eliminated after accidentally booking business class seats. Nathan & Jennifer hate each other (more) but still came in third.

Due to the football overrun, the show’s delayed about 25 minutes (as usual). A live blog will begin once 60 Minutes is over.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: Ronald & Christina (2:19am)
Second: Kynt & Vyxsin (2:55am)
Third: Nathan & Jennifer (3:45am)
Fourth: TK & Rachel (5:37am)
Fifth: Nicolas & Donald (7:06am)

Next stop is Ancona, Italy by ferry via a bus from Split, Croatia.

Ronald says all the Italian he knows is that prego means please. Christina responds, “Isn’t prego a… spaghetti sauce?”

Bus 1: Ronald & Christina, Kynt & Vyxsin, Nathan & Jennifer
Bus 2: TK & Rachel, Nicolas & Donald

The gap between buses doesn’t matter. Everybody’s on the same ferry to Italy.

The next clue is in Empoli. They’ll receive a message by (product placement alert) Blackberry but can’t use it for any other reason. Nathan & Jennifer apparently get the most direct instructions on how to get to Empoli. The other teams get the most known way but perhaps not the most direct. Rachel forgot the route info clue where they stopped earlier, putting her and TK quite a ways behind, but they’re going a more direct way as well. The message on the Blackberry is a message from home.

To make matters worse, the less direct way is also jammed with traffic, and they can’t even go the exit they needed to go on because the road’s closed down. Nicolas & Donald just stop and wait for the road to open. The others decide to keep going. Kynt & Vyxsin get completely lost. Ronald & Christina seem to be doing okay.

Nathan & Jennifer arrive at Empoli first, waiting for it to open at 7am. Eventually behind them are TK & Rachel, also showing up before 7. While they’re in the air for the road block, Ronald & Christina show up, with Nicolas & Donald seconds behind them.

Kynt & Vyxsin are still completely lost, and she’s starting to have a breakdown.

The road block is to look for the next destination while soaring above the city in an ultralight (sneak peak of the road block).

Jennifer wants to do the fast forward (the only fast forward on the entire race). Nate declines. Ronald has no interest in doing the fast forward and gets very vocal about it, which is upsetting to Rachel, who can’t believe how he’s treating his daughter. Nicolas & Donald opt for the fast forward. They must get a permanent tattoo of FF (for fast forward), which is made a big deal, but ultimately they don’t seem overly hesitant and do complete the fast forward.

Road block: Nathan, TK, Christina, Vyxsin

Nathan finishes the road block easily, as does Christina. TK is unable to finish after 30 minutes and must land and then try again. He lands a second time after an hour. At that point, Kynt & Vyxsin show up. TK still doesn’t get it a third time, but Vyxsin gets it on her first try like the others. On his fourth attempt, TK finally gets it.

The next stop is the town of Vinci, the birth home of Leonardo da Vinci.

The detour is a choice between invention or tradition. In tradition, they must create a replica of a crane designed by Leonardo da Vinci. They’ll assemble it and use it to lift a stone, then place a mirror and read a clue. In tradition, they must learn a local flag routine.

Tradition: Nathan & Jennifer, Ronald & Christina, Kynt & Vyxsin (after immediately switching from invention)
Invention: TK & Rachel

Jennifer takes control like she did with the dancing challenge, while Nathan struggles to pick it up but eventually does with her help.

On the way to the detour, Kynt & Vyxsin get into an argument while driving over, well, it’s not really clear why they’re fighting, aside from being frustrated with all the driving they’ve been doing that day. Kynt forces her to get out of the car and let him drive. Too bad he has no clue how to drive a stick and screws up the car. His response is to keep telling her to shut up. They leave the car there and run to the detour, hoping the replacement car will be there when they get back.

TK & Rachel finally catch a break, after having a horrible leg, and they notice they’re no longer in last… then they get a flat tire. When Kynt & Vyxsin finish the detour, they do have a replacement car, which he wisely lets her drive.

The pitstop for this leg of the race is the Boboli Gardens in Florence.

First: Nicolas & Donald (win a trip to Cancun)
Second: Nathan & Jennifer
Third: Ronald & Christina
Fourth: TK & Rachel
Fifth: Kynt & Vyxsin (non-eliminated)

This is the first of two non-elimination legs. The penalty is a new twist in the race, a speed bump, which is a task that only the non-eliminated team must complete (please don’t blow this up into a bigger deal than necessary like with the U-turn). Nathan & Jennifer finally find out that if they work together they do a lot better (memo to Jennifer). Kynt & Vyxsin, however, who have gotten along the entire time, find out what it’s like when a team fails to cooperate, much like the fate Azaria & Hendekea suffered last week.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The Amazing Race 12 episode 8 Honestly, They Have Witch Powers or Something, which airs Sunday at 8/7c(ish) on CBS.

The Amazing Race 13 Official

Given the strength of the show this season, this was to be expected. CBS has picked up The Amazing Race for a 13th season. Due to the delayed premiere of season 12, however, it does not look like it will be back in time for the spring. They could certainly fill in some time in the summer like they used to, but it’s more likely that we’ll be seeing it again at the start of next fall.

The Amazing Race 12 Episode 6

Following Shana & Jennifer’s use of the U-turn, the producers really tried to overplay the impact of the new U-turn twist in The Amazing Race 12 Episode 5. By the way, did I mention there’s a new U-turn twist? And a team… used it? So anyway, following the excessive amount of drama over the elimination of a team that didn’t have a prayer with or without the U-turn twist, we saw Shana & Jennifer, who disagreed over whether to use the U-turn, not be able to agree on anything else either. Eventually they were both eliminated. Speaking of Jennifers, Nathan called his teammate Jennifer a bitch. This isn’t going to be pretty.

As usual, there’s a football overrun delay. I’ll begin a live blog in about 25 minutes when 60 Minutes is over.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: TK & Rachel
Second: Kynt & Vyxsin
Third: Ronald & Christina
Fourth: Azaria & Hendekea
Fifth: Nathan & Jennifer
Sixth: Nicolas & Donald

Only a 42 minute gap between teams. Unlikely to make a difference.

Next stop is Dubrovnik, Croatia, which is 900 miles away.

TK & Rachel discuss how they keep cool heads. The other couples could learn something from them.

Nathan & Jennifer are using this race as a test of their relationship. Somebody tell them that never works.

Ronald & Christina are working together with Azaria & Hendekea, giving them the information they called ahead to get.

Kynt & Vyxsin go to a travel agent instead of waiting around. Everybody else gets paranoid and wants to do the same. Ronald, the great communicator he is, goes over to them and screams at them. Christina has to apologize for his behavior and ask him to not do that again.

Azaria tells Hendekea not to give him her attitude. He insists on handling things and tells her to be quiet. His expert handling of the situation gets them business class seats, which they can’t use.

Despite all the chaos to book flights, everything arrives at 11:20am, and for that matter, the flight that leaves earlier has a tighter connection, making it a less ideal option. Granted, either of them could be unpredictably problematic.

First flight: TK & Rachel, Nicolas & Donald
Second flight: Kynt & Vyxsin, Ronald & Christina, Nathan & Jennifer
Third flight: Azaria & Hendekea

Azaria & Hendekea are now too late to get on either of the first two flights. While they’re rebooking their flight, they’re told that the first flight, with the tight connection, will be delayed.

The second flight touches down at 11:20am, on time. The other flights are, well, not that lucky.

The road block is renovating city walls damaged by a civil war. Only certain rocks will fit into the wall, so it’s pretty much a puzzle. Apparently a fairly easy puzzle.

Teams must then make their way to the Fort of St. Lawrence right in front of them, where they will ride a zipline to the other side.

The detour is a choice between short & long or long & short. In short & long, teams rappel down from the roof of the fort to the base, follow a marked path and scale a wall, then navigate the streets to the plaza. This is less physical but has the potential to be more confusing. In long & short, teams use a tandem zipline to the water below, then choose a fishing boat, row around the area, and head to the plaza that’s less far away. This is more physical.

Short & Long: Kynt & Vyxsin, TK & Rachel
Long & short: Ronald & Christina, Nathan & Jennifer, Nicolas & Donald, Azaria & Hendekea

Ronald doesn’t want Christina to teach him new tricks. Nathan’s looking forward to the physical aspect of this challenge, even though he doesn’t know how to row a boat. He and Jennifer are beginning to continue falling apart. She wants to talk; he just wants to paddle. Then she says, “I hate you. I hate you… I hate you with a passion.”

Teams must then travel 4 miles to the pitstop for this leg of the race, a stone cross that overlooks the city. Already? That seemed like a pretty quick leg to me.

Nathan & Jennifer are unable to get a cab because they’re damp. Ronald & Christina, however, don’t have any problem getting the same cab. Somehow, this is Nathan’s fault, and Jennifer believes it relates to their terrible relationship. “I am so miserable.” Yeah, no kidding.

They hitchhike to the pitstop. Not good, as their safety can’t be guaranteed in an unknown pedestrian vehicle. I don’t recall a penalty resulting from this in the US version, but on the first season of The Amazing Race Asia, one was assessed, causing the elimination of Sahil & Prashant, to everybody’s delight.

TK & Rachel land at 2:39PM. Nicolas & Donald get in at some time that’s a secret. Azaria & Hendekea land in last, apparently not too far behind Nicolas & Donald.

First: Ronald & Christina (they win a catamaran)
Second: Kynt & Vyxsin
Third: Nathan & Jennifer (they were in second but were made to return to the place where they hitchhiked, though it may just be because they didn’t take a taxi as instructed)
Fourth: TK & Rachel
Fifth: Nicolas & Donald
Sixth: Azaria & Hendekea (eliminated)

Azaria & Hendekea were a strong team, but ultimately they failed because he was more interested in being in control than thinking smartly. The first flight delay that did cause a situation in which they were at least reasonably close is a good lesson for future teams, though. Just because a flight leaves earlier doesn’t mean it’s better. Nicolas & Donald appear to be on their last legs and are limping along. Nathan & Jennifer unfortunately will probably continue to place well, but their relationship’s dead when all’s said and done.

Next week’s show will be preempted for the finale of Survivor: China.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The Amazing Race 12 episode 7, which airs Sunday at 8/7c(ish) on CBS.