Leg 3: United Kingdom
While others were watching Wisconsin's gubernatorial debates on Friday, I was dutifully following -- and sort of live-tweeting -- the CBS reality series The Amazing Race. It looks like Madison's #SweetScientists, a team composed of UW food-science grad students Amy and Maya, is going to go pretty far in the competition.
First things first: I called it! Last week I guessed that #TheFirefighters Michael and Scott would go home, and they did. The ankle injury that was highlighted at the end of last week's episode wasn't as bad as it initially looked, but still it was bad enough to really stomp on their spirit. Also, they got some horrible driving directions that had them running all over the place and burning up way too much of their time. When they got to a pit stop at St. Ninian's Isle, they almost seemed happy to be heading back to Beantown.
At the beginning of the episode, when #TheCyclists Kym and Alli said, "The other teams are square; they're just... boring," my knee-jerk reaction was "Maya and Amy aren't!" But then the cyclists were all "screw this waiting-at-the-train-station-for-six-hours nonsense and let's go get a beer." They finished in seventh place this week, but they were first in my own beer-loving heart.
The #SweetScientists hit a bit of traffic early on in Aberdeen, but that wasn't really a problem.
Amy and Maya were in first place, more or less, right out of the gate, beating eventual losers #TheFirefighters to the challenge envelope, which, for some reason, was given to them by a dude wearing a puffin costume. But the lead didn't last since they had some trouble early on slicing slabs of peat for the "Pony Up" detour. They eventually got their groove back and were the only team whose Shetland pony didn't freak out on them.
I'm going to chalk up the niceness of their pony to the fact that they were also apparently the only team that gave their pony a name. What do food scientists name a pony? Cupcake, of course!
After the Active Route Marker where they had to corralling a flock of sheep into a pen, Amy and Maya were in second place. They might not have given any of the animals names, but when they ordered the sheep to get into the pen in an orderly fashion, the wooly beasts listened and walked right in. Unfortunately, #SweetScientists got bad directions to the pit stop and wandered off course for a while before landing in a thoroughly respectable fifth place for this leg of the race. So far, our ladies are the animal whisperers of this season.
I have to say, #CollegeSweethearts Tim and Te Jay got all mixed up heading to the pit stop and had me worried.
They eventually landed in eighth place, just barely making the cut by the skin of their teeth. Brooke and Robbie (#TheWrestlers) again had a ton of trouble with the detour challenge, taking forever to make a traditional Viking torch used in Up Helly Aa, but they covered a lot of ground and ended up in sixth place, just behind Maya and Amy.
Based on the preview for next week, I predict there'll be a fairly bike-centric episode and we'll finally get to know #TheCyclists a little better. The preview didn't say anything about Amy and Maya, which bodes well for them sticking around for at least another week or so. It looks like the #MomDaughter team of Shelley and Nici are going to have some sort of crazy drama, so my money’s on them going home. But beware: I’m getting a little cocky with my picks, especially after hitting the nail on the head last week.
Keep up with the #SweetScientists and view images of them racing on the team's Facebook page.