Racers must head out from Dubrovnik via bus and ferry to Ancona, Italy, to find their next clue. Nate and Jennifer were on the brink of relationship disaster at the end of the last episode, but they appear to be on speaking terms now, although Jen is not sure if they will make it as a couple. We're pretty sure they're doomed--but glad to see she's still got hope.
All five teams catch up to each other on the ferry to Ancona. Kynt takes this rare downtime to re-apply some of his makeup. Once in Italy, teams must make their way to Empoli in Tuscany. On the way, each team is given a Blackberry on which they will receive a message.
TK and Rachel manage to lose their clue, and must turn back to the café where they left it. Even in the most stressful of situations, TK and Rachel never really snipe at each other. Maybe they could give Nate and Jen some relationship lessons?
As they drive through Italy, teams start receiving messages from loved ones back home. This, of course, is the weepy part of the race where everyone gets wistful for family and friends back home. We're not sure of the purpose of the messages, other than to feature the new Blackberry--gotta pay those production costs somehow!
On the way to Empoli, teams run into crazy traffic problems in Bologna. Teams need to adjust their strategies and directions for this unscheduled and very real traffic detour. Kynt and Vyxsin end up lost in Tuscany, while Nick and Gramps just hunker down and wait for the road to open.
Jen and Nate are the first team to arrive at the next clue, which is both a Roadblock and the only Fast Forward on the race. In this Roadblock, one of the team members must take to the skies in an ultralight and search for a word on the ground below. Once they find it, they can land and receive their next clue. The ultralights can only stay airborne for 30 minutes before mandatory refueling. The Fast Forward only tells teams that they have to track down "Fabio Studio" in Empoli before completing some sort of challenge.
Nate finds the word "Vinci" first, and he and Jen then head off to the birthplace of Leonardo Da Vinci. Nick and Gramps decide to do the Fast Forward and head to Fabio Studio. Turns out they have to get real, permanent tattoos to complete the Fast Forward. Gramps seems a little hesitant, but finally gets inked with the letters "FF"--for Fast Forward, get it? With sleeves still rolled up, they make a beeline for the Pit Stop at the Boboli Gardens in Florence.
Meanwhile, back at the airfield, TK can't find anything and manages to waste a good hour and a half searching around aimlessly. We're sure this isn't the first time he's been that high, while looking hungry and confused. Old eagle-eye might want to get his vision checked, because every other team manages to find the word before he does.
In Vinci, teams hit the Detour: Invention or Tradition. In Invention, teams must assemble a crane and lift a large stone. In Tradition, teams must learn a flag routine and perform it correctly to receive their next clue.
Jen and Nate work the flag routine, and it's obvious she was on Drill Team. She manages to coach Nate and nail the routine perfectly. This probably marks the first time they've ever worked well as a team. Savor it, Jen, because it's probably the last time you'll ever see that.
Meanwhile Kynt and Vyxsin are having some major problems: First they get completely lost, then their car breaks down forcing them to hoof it to the Detour. With "Vinci" finally spotted, TK and Rachel build the crane, and head off to the Pit Stop, getting a flat tire along the way!
THE PIT STOP
Nick and Gramps, having completed the Fast Forward with their new tattoos, arrive at the Pit Stop first and win a five night trip to Cancun. Nate and Jen arrive in second place and at least aren't screaming at each other. Ron and Christina nab third place.
In a nail-biting finish, TK and Rachel beat Kynt and Vyxsin to the mat, leaving the Goths in last place. Phil surprises everybody by saying that this is the first of two non-elimination legs, rendering Kynt and Vyxsin safe for now. Their penalty is a new race feature called a Speed Bump, which is an extra task that they must complete at some point in the next leg.
Ron is back to his cranky old ways screaming at Christina, while Kynt and Vyxsin must pull out all the stops to stay in the race. Be sure to join us again next week for all the Amazing Race action!