The racers have to catch a flight to Stockholm. Two flights leave for Sweden, one at 6:55 a.m. and the other at 9:25 a.m.—a significant difference. The beautiful blonds, hot guys and Globetrotters manage to snag the early flight, but Mr. and Mrs. America and Pinky and the Brain aren't as lucky and get stuck on the later plane. From the plane, the teams have to take a train and then a ferry to get to Tivoli Grona Lund Amusement Park. Although the beautiful blonds, hot guys and Trotters are all together, the basketball players have problems operating the ticket machine and miss the train. It's a disappointing start for birthday boy Flight Time.
At the amusement park, the beautiful blonds take first and the hot guys second. There, each team must send a member on the Fritt Fall, a free-fall-type ride, where they must spot an arrow pointing to the location of their next clue. The catch is that the clue is only visible for only 15 seconds before the ride falls 24 stories in less than three seconds. Gulp. With the poker pals gone, the hot guys make an alliance with the beautiful blonds and they work together to find the arrow.
The arrow points the racers to the Roaming Gnome Ring Toss, where competitors must throw rings around cone-shaped objects, some of which have gnomes under them. The gnome gives them the next clue. All of the teams easily do this. The Trotters ponder names for their gnome. After considering Sweet Pea and Louisiana Shorty, they settle on Harlem Gnome. We think they should have chosen Harlem Gnometrotter. Meanwhile, Pinky and the Brain also have ticket machine issues and miss the train, which makes them fall into last place with the Americas the lead. Is it seriously that tough to use a train ticket machine?
In this detour racers get to choose Nobel dynamite, which nods to Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite, or Viking alphabet. In the former, contestants build sandbags for bunker then make an explosion, which reveals a box with their next clue. In the latter, teams must decode a message using the Viking alphabet. All of the teams choose to blow stuff up.
Filling the sandbags proves to be harder than it looks. The Trotters catch up with the beautiful blonds and hot guys at the bunker. Jealous Dan asks the ballers, “Did your fans help you get here?” Big Easy counters, “Our feelings are hurt. Now we’re about to blow y’all up.” At the site, the hot guys smartly ditch the minishovels they are given and use their hands to fill the bags. Their strategy gives them the edge to finish the task first. The beautiful blonds get into a tiff when both argue about the best way to fill a sandbag. We see the ugly side of Mrs. America when she digs in the dirt. "I can't even think about beauty at this point," she says. "If I'm dirty and stinky, I don't care. I just want to win." Spoken like a true competitive pageant queen.
While everyone is either digging or on to the next challenge, last-place racers Pinky and the Brain have a hard time with the long and hard-to-pronounce Swedish street names to and end up going in circles. They can't seem to make it to the dynamite station. When they finally do show up, the Americas only have a couple of bags left to fill.
The roadblock leads the teams to Bogs Gard Farm, where they have to do an Amazing Race switchback and complete one of the hardest roadblocks in race history. A season six contestant spent nearly 10 hours looking for a flag hidden in big, heavy bales of hay. And there are a whopping 186 bales to scour to find seven flags. Cheyne wimps out and makes his girlfriend do it. "She's really carrying the team today," Cheyne says from the sidelines, as Meghan sweats and struggles with the heavy bales. The roadblock unleashes the hot guys' sibling rivalry, as Dan keeps screaming instructions to his bro. Sam shoots back with many "Bitch!" responses. "I stopped listening to him 10 years ago," an agitated Sam says.
Flight Time tries a more encouraging approach to motivate his pal. He mentions Louisiana's Third Ward as Big Easy unfurls the hay bales. "We had no hay in the projects, though," Big Easy says.
The roadblock becomes an equalizer. As front-runners the hot guys and beautiful blonds continue to search for the flag after more than two hours, the Americas and Pinky and the Brain catch up. Dan keeps on berating his brother and telling him what to do and even Mr. America has to step in to say that it isn't as easy as it looks. "Oh my God, I'm going to kill my brother," Sam says.
The farm also serves as the pit stop for the race. It may have been birthday luck, but Big Easy finds the first flag. The Trotters win a seven-night vacay for two in Turks and Caicos. "This is the cake and the icing on the cake," says birthday boy Flight Time. The Trotters then make use their Dutch dancing lessons from last episode for a victory boogie. An exhausted Meghan finally finds a flag and decides to have some fun with her lazy boyfriend. She tells him she's can't handle it any longer and must quit. She then pulls out the flag and the couple run to second place. "I am so happy she's my partner in this," Cheyne tells TAR master Phil. "I'm so happy she's my partner in life." Wait—was that a proposal? The Americas take third with a come-from-behind win.
The poor hot guys are the first to get to the farm, but a sweat-soaked Sam is one of the last to find a flag. But he's not the last. The guys make it in time, and Dan cries at the pit stop, ashamed of the way he bullied bro and they make up. Brotherly love is so sweet. Unfortunately, the Brain is the last to finish the roadblock. Pinky and the Brain arrive at the pit stop sad, though a proud Pinky calls his dad Superman for his refusal to quit. And then shocker! It's a non-elimination leg. The father-son duo are safe, but they'll have a speed bump in the next leg of the race.
The racers go to Tallinn, Estonia. Pinky can't find a candelabra and can't pronounce the word, either. The hot guys keep up their feud with the Trotters as the teams try to outrun each other and someone gets taken down.
RECENT RACER'S RECAP by Kelly Crabb
Kelly Crabb competed in Season 13 of The Amazing Race, taking 6th place with her best friend, Christy. Coined as "America's Divorcee," this freelance writer and travel enthusiast lives life to its fullest in Houston, Texas and remains "bitchy with a heart of gold." This is her take on the show:
Last night’s episode was dynamite! Teams faced one of the most frustrating and toughest Road Blocks in Amazing Race history, which entailed finding a tiny flag among nearly 200 bails of hay on a Swedish farm.
Sam, Dan, Meghan and Cheyne started this leg off right as the leading teams. After riding a roller coaster and spotting an arrow from 24 stories, they traveled with their gnomes to a quarry. There, they filled enough sandbags to make a wall, and then blasted out their next clue. Once at the farm, Sam took his time, thoroughly sifting through countless hay bales, while his brother, Dan, discouragingly barked at him from the sidelines. As Sam kept screaming, “Shut Up!” most concluded that Dan deserved a swift punch in the stomach. When the brothers finished fourth, Dan was in tears and felt overcome with guilt for bossing his brother around.
Last night, we witnessed Meghan and Cheyne’s first lovers’ quarrel. I’m really overjoyed that my Meghan, my heroine, didn’t lose it during the Road Block and kept on trucking! I find it even more amusing that she had the energy and wit to trick Cheyne once she found the flag. This leg of the Race was a tough one for this adorable couple, but when they arrived in 2nd place on the mat, Cheyne gave her all the credit that she definitely deserved. Having found their flag first, the Globetrotters scored not only a first place celebratory birthday finish, but a free trip to Turks and Caicos form Travelocity! Everyone predicted that tonight would, in fact, be a non-elimination leg of the Race. Next week, Gary and Matt will face a speed bump, but if you ask me, those are a joke. They won’t be hindered much.
I appreciated the perseverance from all teams tonight whole heartedly. The hay bales Road Block seemed physically exhausting and very frustrating. I actually went back and watched what I believed to be another one of the toughest Road Blocks from my Season: The Holi Festival in India. That’s pretty funny stuff...