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They Have Gnomes in Turkey? Highlights from the Amazing Race 7

Posted by Fara Kearnes on April 27, 2005 4:01 PM |

Well, Ron & Kelly are at each other's throats again. Boston Rob was finally bested at something and his reaction was "Incredible!" There was occasional racing, the usual backstabbing, and the odd bit of luck continues for the old couple. The teams stormed a fortress in Istanbul and took a few globe-trotting garden gnomes along for a ride.


The race began with Rob & Amber and Ron & Kelly all hanging out together at the airport in Jodhpur dissing Uchenna & Joyce and Merideth & Gretchen. They had a good laugh, saying that it was the "blind leading the blind" for those two groups to team up and help each other. Kelly chimed in, "Yeah, Uchennaís a leech for information." HA! Completely unaware that they were in last place, an over-confident Rob remarked, "They just coast the whole game. They are stupid."

Now who's laughing? Once they reached Istanbul Rob figured out that the other two "stupid" teams had actually found an earlier flight out of Jodhpur, India, and arrived in Turkey TWO HOURS before Rob's plane did. The look on his face was Classic.

Rob fumbled the ball on this one by not pursuing information about earlier flights. The Lucky Grandparents nabbed it and for that reason alone they are still in the race -- just spot them a 2-hour head start over Boston Rob and they can stay out of last place. For once.

The four teams flew 4,000 miles to Istanbul to find tiny Kiz Kulesi island and their next clue. And just for fun, they were required to nab a Travelocity Roaming Gnome to stuff in their backpacks and take with them. Too bad they were only required to carry them around Istanbul -- I wish they had to carry them to the finale of the Amazing Race!

After claiming their own personal gnome, the teams returned by water taxi and then made their way 12 miles to Galata Kulesi Tower for their next clue. There they found the Detour: Columns or Kilos. Three of the teams chose kilos where they were required to weight strangers in public using a bathroom scale. For some unexplained reason, this is a common practice in Turkey. Can you imagine trying to get people to do that in New York? Anyhoo, once they weighed enough people to record a total of 2,500 kilograms, or 5,500 pounds, they got their next clue. The old folks remained mysteriously out of it as they wandered around the public square. Gretchen keeps shrieking and complaining every step of the way. She's more annoying than Kelly at times.

One of the highlights of the show was, again, an argument between Ron and Kelly, this time in a cab over Ronís "commitment issues." The dude was being totally honest in observing that he had seen a lot by traveling around the world and realized that there was a lot more he wanted to do before getting married and having kids. That's when Kelly got her panties all in a bunch and snipped, "I really am not going to sit around and wait for somebody to say everything else in life is more important than me. There are patterns in life that show you don't make commitments."

Ron (scarcastically): "You're right. I was only committed to the military ..."
Kelly: "And you got out of that one."
Ron (stunned): "How did I get out of that one?"
Kelly: "By being a POW. You left your commitment early."
Ron: "Ohh, yeeeahh, I crashed myself ... I went through hell and torture so that I could get out of the army early. I almost DIED but I knew I was getting out of the army early if I survived."
Kelly smiles at the camera at this point and wisely keeps her mouth shut.

Pleeeease! Will somebody SLAP this bitch? Ron's relationship with the beauty queen is so not going to last! Two weeks ago she called him "redneck trash" and he's been a righteous dude to put up with her crap. I know I'ven dogged him at times for mentioning his war experience too often ... but in his defense he was damned lucky not to have had his head chopped off and the video shown on Al Jezeera TV when he was a POW in Iraq.

After the mass human weigh-in, the teams traveled to Rumeli Hisari and did the Roadblock. This Roadblock required one of them to "storm the ancient fortress." Uchenna, Rob and Ron all choose to do the task, in fact, all the men -- except for Merideth. What is up with THAT??

First, they had to climb up a 25-foot rope ladder. Then, run up the stairs to the top of the tower and find a key. Then run back down, and rappel down a wall to the courtyard where the key unlocked a book with their next clue. The clue sent them to the pitstop which was on the premises within the fortress wall. Uchenna and Joyce finished first, but won no leg prize and their gnome was a loser too. Joyce, now shorn of her dreads after being required to shave her head in India at a Fast Forward, continues to have an awesome fun time with her husband during the race.

Gretchen had difficulty climbing the rope and wood ladder but did manage to pull herself up. She's definitely plunky, no question. And it looks like she and her husband have done some clothes shopping because they were well dressed when they left India. So why not buy a second backpack and get rid of that green plastic bag that Merideth has been carrying his clothes around in? Anyway, their earlier 2-hour lead over Ramber and the POW team evaporated somewhat, but they still came in second. They also handed over their Roaming Gnome to Phil on the mat -- only to find out they hadn't won a prize either.

Back at the roadblock, Rob raced up the rope ladder and was finishing when Ron & Kelly arrived. Amber was a bit nervous but Robís lead was too much. Rob & Amber made it to the mat in 3rd place, but also did not have the right gnome to win the Travelocity prize. Rob commented, "We made a stupid mistake today. We missed a flight. Thatís why weíre sitting in third. Next leg, we wonít miss that flight. End of story."

Ron & Kelly finished 4th but as this was a non-elimination round, they are still in the race. They had to surrender all their cash and belongings as a penalty for finishing last. There was a silver lining though when Phil took their Gnome and turned it over, he told them they had the winning one. They were given a cool prize: $20,000 in vouchers to spend on Travelocity booked trips, and that night they would be staying in a First class suite at the Four Seasons Hotel instead of at the pit stop.

Too bad they had to spend it with each other . . .

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