Yes, ROMANIA! Was at the arrivals area at the airport in Bucharest last night, at about 12:45am, waiting for a friend to come through baggage claim. Suddenly a man with a large videocamera appeared out of nowhere and stood waiting in front of the crowd at the automatic doors. I wondered if it would be someone important, but figured just a local soccer celebrity or something. A few seconds later an Asian couple with backpacks came running through the doors. They seemed to be looking for something and very rushed, and the cameraman followed them as they ran behind me and out the doors to the outside world. My very first thought was AMAZING RACE?!?! And then when I heard them talking to each other in English as they passed, with American accents, I thought it was an even greater chance it had been AR . . . but sadly, I'd never know the truth.
Or would I?!? Few minutes later two girls, looked to be in their 20s, came running out shouting at the crowd asking where the taxis were. Then suddenly they both stopped, looked around very confused-like like they were looking for someone, then stood off to the side a bit, literally about two feet from me. I noticed right away that they both had little yellow and red-striped markers on them, so I was getting even more convinced this was AR. Then while they were waiting, one of them took out an envelope and pulled out of it a blue pamphlet-sized type thing that had the AR symbol on the front, consulted it really quickly, then tucked it away. Now I'm 100% convinced it's AR!! All of a sudden there was a huge flurry of activity as their camerman came running up (apparently that's what the two girls had been waiting for), and then I saw at least two other teams and their camera crews come running through the doors - one was two slightly older African American ladies, and another was two rather short men. All four of them also had the yellow and red markers on their person (some were on fanny packs), and were being chased by cameras as they frantically ran for the taxis. I *think* there was another team arriving a little further down, but I couldn't get a good look in all the excitement. Then last but not least, a very frantic-looking cameraman and sound man ran out in the clearing outside the automatic doors, apparently having lost their team for the moment, and paused scanning the crowd for a good minute or two. Then they took off, so presumably spotted them. Phew.
It gets better. About a half hour later my friend finally came through the double-doors from baggage claim. I was giddy with excitment to tell her about my AR spotting, and her response? "So THAT'S who they were!!" Apparently they were on her flight from Munich! At least some of them were. She was sitting right next to one of the contestants, my friend said she was a Kelly Ripa lookalike. This contestant had another friend sitting up a few rows, who she kept referring to as Chrissy. My friend said they made small talk throughout the flight, and the lady had said she and her friend were making a travel documentary, going to places off the beaten path like Romania to try and generate interest for tourists to go to those countries. So THAT'S their cover! The lady also told the flight attendant that she and her friend Chrissy are Southwest Airlines flight attendants back home. She was also asking a Romanian passenger on the other side of her for advice, my friend didn't catch all of it but did hear them talking about the train station (how to get there, safety, etc). My friend said after the fact, knowing it was an AR team, a lot of the lady's mysterious behavior now made sense: Spending half an hour putting on makeup before they landed (after midnight?!?), asking the flight attendant for an extra sandwich (Chrissy had told her they might need it tomorrow!), etc. My friend said that by the time the plane was ready to deboard, the Kelly Ripa lookalike and her friend Chrissy (and their telltale backpacks) had already worked themselves up to the front of the plane to deboard. She said she also had noticed one other team of two girls with backpacks and camera crews, which I suspect *may* have been the pair I saw stalled outside baggage claim, but not sure.
Soooo, long and short of it: At least two teams were for sure spotted by my friend on the flight from Munich to Bucharest; I spotted at least four teams coming thru baggage claim at about that time, one of which might have overlapped with the ones my friend spotted. They were heading for taxis, so not sure if that means a task in Bucharest, or if they were taxing to the train station to venture elsewhere in the country. Making it at least five or six teams here in Romania today! How exciting!! I live not far from Dracula's Castle, which I'd suspect will be one of their stops, so I'll be keeping an eye out for any more sightings!
Sorry for the ramble, but I've been a huge AR fan since Season 1, Episode 1, and all this time I've been really pulling for them to come to Romania - what are the odds I'd see them arriving at the airport here, especially at 12:45am on a Wednesday?!? Can't wait for this season to air!!