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Racing report
Amazing Race Season 21, Episode 11.2, "Take down that million"
Film date: 16/6 - 2012

Teams depart from Chateau de Chnonceau in the Loire Valley, France, in the following order:
1.Jaymes & James    01:332.Trey & Lexi       01:44(+0:11)3.Josh & Brent      03:06(+1:33)
Route info: "Fly to your final destination city New York, New York". The clue also contains a small postcard showing a painting of an amusement park with some text on the back "Wish you were here!". Teams must figure out that the postcard sends them to the Coney island boardwalk. Their next clue is hidden in a sign visible from the spot depicted on the card. The sign is not in the usual race colors and looks like the poster for a typical sideshow. The big title on it reads "The Amazing Houdini". Slightly smaller text with yellow stripes reads "Race to the Brooklyn Navy Yard" and "Clinton avenue gate".

 "That might be Coney island, we'll figure that out", Jaymes is on the right track
 "It's been a long road to get to this point", Jaymes look a bit tired
 "I've been working in the city for the last five years", Josh things he will have the home field advantage

There is a happy reunion at the airport when the first two teams see that the Beekman boys made it. All teams make the same flight, probably:
  AA45 CDG-JFK 12:02-14:23 (landed 0:58 late)

In New York teams run out of the airport in the following order:
 1. Jaymes & James
 2. Trey & Lexi
 3. Josh & Brent, one step behind #2

All teams have figured out that they need to go to Coney island and nobody have any trouble getting there. They arrive in the same order. But spotting the next clue is a harder task. Some teams run around to look for race flags or anything red and yellow. We get lots of shots with teams in the foreground and the next clue in the background.

 "Anything red and yellow", Jaymes is frantic
 "Are any of these rides marked at their entrance", Jaymes is running around
 "You think it's any of these signs Josh?", Brent is on the right track
 "What are we missing?", James straight in front of the poster
 "This is crazy, we've lost everybody", Jaymes after the other teams have left

Teams spot the sign in the following order:
 1(+1) Trey & Lexi
 2(+1) Josh & Brent, a couple of seconds after #1
 3(-2) Jaymes & James, about 15 minutes after the others

 "I don't know who the Amazing Houdini is", Lexi has gaps in her knowledge (but Trey knows)

 "We know that Houdini was an escape artist so that means they'll probably gonna handcuff us and dump us in a big tank of water", Brent
 "I think it's your turn", Josh

Teams arrive at the Brooklyn navy yard in the same order they left Coney island.


--- Quote ---ROAD BLOCK

Who's up for an
Amazing Escape?

Note: Either of you may
perform this Road Block.

--- End quote ---

Once they have chosen they can open the clue and read:

--- Quote ---Perform one of Harry
Houdini's greatest feats!
Escape from a
straightjacket - while
hanging upside down 15
stories above the
Brooklyn Navy Yard!
Once you've escaped,
you will receive your next
clue.

--- End quote ---

What the clue doesn't tell them is that they will be attached to a bungee-cord as well. Once they have escaped the straightjacket a sprint is pulled and they plummet to the ground, only to be saved by the bungee-cord.

The area is set up with three cranes so that all teams can perform simultaneously. Jaymes & James seem to arrive just as Trey is being hoisted. So we can guess that the security briefing and rigging took about 15 minutes.

 "I'm thinking you", Lexi decides who gets to do the road block
 "I don't like heights at all, don't like being restrained tightly", Trey is however unable to put up a fight as well
 "This is seriously high", Trey at the foot of the cranes
 "I'm not scared, heights don't bother me. The only thing I'm worried about is actually figuring out how to get out of a straightjacket", Brent
 "I had seen Houdini get out of a straightjacek before. So I knew I had to get my arms over my head", Trey at least had a hunch on what to do
 "My gosh, that was the coolest thing I've ever seen", Lexi has just seen Trey hurtle towards the ground
 "I'm having trouble figuring out how to get out of a straightjacket at the moment", Brent is in a tricky situation
 "I came right up to edge of starting to panic", Brent almost didn't make it
 "Dang, he's done already", Brent is surprised how quickly Jaymes escaped

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+0)Trey* & Lexi       (7-6)2(+0)Josh & Brent*      (6-7)3(+0)Jaymes* & James    (7-6)
Route info: "Make your way to the first Pizzeria in New York. Once there ask for the owner John". Teams have to figure out which pizzeria the clue is talking about (Lombardi's at 32 Spring Street) and where it is. Nobody seem to have a problem with this since people around tend to have smartphones.

The only team having a problem here is Jaymes & James whose taxi have left so they have to call a new one, which wastes time. And then they get stuck in traffic.
 "We're gonna run, you meet us there, ok?", James & Jaymes run ahead to the pizzeria

Teams arrive at Lombardi's in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi
 2(+0) Josh & Brent, as Trey & Lexi leave for their delivery run
 3(+0) Jaymes & James, as Trey & Lexi are done


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Deliver 10 pizzas to
three locations on foot.
Once all 10 pizzas have
been delivered correctly,
return to John at
Lombardi's to receive
your next clue.

--- End quote ---

The tricky part is that teams must memorize the locations and which pizzas to deliver to which location. Each team has a different set of addresses to deliver to.

 "We have lived in New York for about 20 year now, and we've had a lot of pizzas delivered to us. But we've never delivered a pizza ourselves", Josh
 "I took two addresses to memorize and all Josh had to do was to get the right pizza pies", Brent blames Josh when they delivered the wrong pizzas
 "I can not believe that you did that, and you're still making me carry all the pizzas", Brent is not happy when they leave for their second delivery run

Teams complete the pizza delivery task in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi
 2(+0) Josh & Brent, mixed up some pizzas so they had to redo two deliveries
 3(+0) Jaymes & James

Once teams are done they get their next clue, which consists of a small blue badge with the UN symbol on it. Of the teams it is only Josh & Brent who immediately recognizes the UN symbol. The others have to ask around. Teams arrive at the UN headquarters in the same order they left Lombardi's.


--- Quote ---ROAD BLOCK

Who has a way with words?

If you did the other one
you can not do this one.

--- End quote ---

Once they have realized they can not choose who's gonna do this task they can open the clue and read:

--- Quote ---ROAD BLOCK

Every greeter you have met
at each Pit Stop has said
"Hello" and "Goodbye" to
you in their native language.
Raise flags with the words
for the equivalent of "Hello"
and "Goodbye" under the
flags of the nine countries
you visited during the Race.

Once you have raised all of
your flags correctly, you will
receive your next clue.

N...

--- End quote ---

There are three sets of flagpoles, and the word-flags are arranged so that teams can't see the flags of the other teams. The correct countries and words are:

USAHelloGoodbyeAlready hoisted as an exampleChinaNi HaoZai JianIndonesiaHaiSelamat TingagalBangladeshShagotomAbbar Dekha HobeTurkeyMerHabaHoscakalRussiaZoravstvujityeDo SvidaniyaNetherlandsHalloTot ZiensSpainHolaAdiosFranceBonjourAu Revoir
An added complexity is that there are some extra word flags to choose from. On the other hand the task is made significantly easier by the fact that as soon as they have hoisted two words under one flag they get told if those are correct or not. But still the task is far from easy and after picking out the easy countries (Spain and France) teams are reduced to either random guessing or methodically trying all combinations.

 "It's a challenge! it's a challenge!", Lexi cant contain her excitement when she arrive
 "We did not write down what the greeter said to us", Trey, but nobody else did either
 "Every time we checked in they always said hello and goodbye, and Phil would say that means hello and that means goodbye. I just thought they were being cordial", Jaymes
 "I panicked", Josh felt the pressure
 "When I saw those flags I though we had it in the bag. I thought we had prepared well and then... hello and goodbye", Lexi was prepared for a lot of things but not this

Lexi is hit in the head by the flag raising contraption when she lowers it too quickly. This is the final straw and she has s small breakdown. Trey has to come and calm her down.
 "You okay Lexi?", Josh has also seen the accident
 "That sounds like a sandwich, making me hungry", Jaymes can only watch as James work (the word is Merhaba)
 "I transformed this challenge from a language problem to a math problem at the end", Eventually Josh started to try every single combination
 "Every time I got on the mat with Phil I paid attention to everything, except what they said", Lexi has no clue

After 2.5 hours the position is:
 Josh, 6/8 correct, and is about to hoist the correct 7th flag
 James, 6/8 correct
 Lexi, 4/8 correct

 "Bangladesh is not good to us", Josh struggles with his last country
 "Dang it", Trey's comment when the Beekmans get their last country

Teams complete this road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+1)Josh* & Brent      (7-7)2(+1)Jaymes & James*    (7-7)10-15 minutes after #13(-2)Trey & Lexi*       (7-7)

--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

This is it! The finish line!

Make your way to
Gotham hall. Go go go!

--- End quote ---

There is now a tense taxi ride to the finish line for the first two teams. Their blood pressure is probably not at all at an healthy level.

In the end teams reach Phil in the following order:
 1(+0) Josh & Brent, win the one million dollars
 2(+0) Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Trey & Lexi

At the final mat in front of Phil we get to see the first show of affection between Josh & Brent when they  hug and kiss each other. They have tried to keep a low profile during the race as to not offend any locals, but now they are home and happy.

 "Three continents, nine countries, 20 cities and more than 25,000 miles", Phil
 "We never ever though we would hear you say those words to us", Brent
 "Yeah, we didn't win the million dollars, but we had an incredible experience", Jaymes
 "Maybe the world will have a different view of Chippendales now. I don't know if that's better or worse", Jaymes
 "Texas is in the house", Phil makes an off camera comment

 "I think we are definitely ready for that next step. It's just a matter of when Trey is ready for that next step", Lexi knows what she wants

 "The Beekman boys changed my life dramatically. Opened my hearth to see that, hey look, it's not for me to judge anybody on their lifestyle, who they are or what they do", Rob

 "Nice guys do finish first sometimes", Josh

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