Last week, the final five teams migrated from Russia to Holland. Natalie and Nadiya choked down some foul-looking fish and copped the season’s final Fast Forward as well as their second leg win, which I find just as foul. At the back of the pack, Abbie and Ryan found that their time deficit, along with being U-Turned by Team Magic Mike, was too great a deficit to overcome, and they were eliminated, ending their quest for a $2 million payday. Four teams remain: Magic Mike, Capricorn, Texas and Evil Twins. BOMP.
Getting down to the end now. Only two more legs before another winner is crowned. I hoped going in that any alliances that had formed would be discarded, because with only one more elimination left and with fatigue probably long since set in, the time for making stupid mistakes is over. The four teams remaining are either the best or the luckiest, and all it takes is one bad decision, one less-than-knowledgeable cabbie, or one wrong turn to demote you from racers to members of the Finish Line Welcoming Committee.
Starting Line - The House of Rembrandt’s Mistress in Ransdorp, The Netherlands. The teams’ first clue of Leg Ten told them to fly to Barcelona, Spain, and from there to take an overnight ferry to the island of Mallorca. From there, they would locate “a traditional Mallorcan spectacle of devils and demons playing with fire”, which is basically a bunch of street performers who have painted themselves red and like to twirl flaming torches around. I think I had a nightmare like that once.
It’s not often that the race gives the racers the time for any kind of respite, but it’s pretty cool that the fates let the three lead teams get just that. They all arrived in Barcelona in the morning, with a full half a day to wait for the first ferry to Mallorca, so they did what I probably would want to do… hit the beach and just let it all hang out (so to speak) for a few hours. A mini-mini-vacation to escape the stress, which was cool, but by the end, all four teams were on equal footing again.
The macabre street show straight out of Dante’s Inferno was located at the Palma Cathedral, one of the prettiest landmarks in Mallorca. I can only hope that the Spanish Inquisition never touched the place (but nobody expected the Spanish Inquisition, or so I’ve heard). Locating the one person representing Satan in the mass of writhing, screeching demons didn’t take long, and their clue told them to drive themselves to their next location, the Centro De Alto Rendimento in the town of Manacor, the hometown of tennis phenom Rafael Nadal.
This location was also the site for the leg’s Roadblock. The building itself was a clay-court tennis complex, and the challenge was fairly straightforward: return twenty tennis balls shot out of a machine (fast), in play, to get their next clue. I played a little tennis in my youth, and it’s really not that easy. It’s all about shifting your weight, and that’s something you don’t learn on the fly. Anyway, after completing the Roadblock, the teams were directed to the town of Campanet in northeastern Mallorca, where they would then find the Coves de Campanet, where some caves awaited.
Once entering the caves, the teams had to locate deep within the bowels of the earth two guys playing guitars, who would then give them this leg’s Detour, and the choices were Spin It and Bull It. In the former, teams had to repair a 400-year-old windmill by attaching two giant blades to the main tower. In the latter, teams had to go to a 1000-year-old bullring, don a two-man bull costume, and run a course through eight matador capes before hitting a bulls eye… in two minutes or less. If I were in shape, I would definitely opt for Bull It, as it sounds like it would go much quicker.