It's 2:32 AM CST. I thought I was done with all-nighters...apparently not. Here's to you guys...hope this helps your viewing experience! Let me know what you think of this leg, the teams, or the recap by giving me a PM or posting here.
Episode 1: “Peace Out, Girl Scouts”
Port of Haifa! Boats! Baha’i Gardens!
Ron’s at the Port of Haifa. 11 teams competing, blah blah…they’re getting there by TRAIN?
Wow, they’re really going all out for this race.
First out of the gate (literally): Romi and Coral (Michele), sisters from Petach Tikva. Never were there two more different sisters! Romi is “boring” because she reads plays such as Waiting for Judo (lol, silly Coral). She also collects stamps. Coral has lots of nail polish. They do not hate each other, and show their love for each other by going tanning together. Well, Coral tans, as Romi reads The Diary of Anne Frank by the light of the tanning bed. Ah, history.
Next up: Talia and Koby, newlyweds from Givatayim. Zooey Deschanel plays the ukulele as we go through a wedding montage in stop-motion. They do lovey-dovey romantic things. Talia has lots of degrees from American schools – I sure hope her English is up to par. They debate fine art in a coffee shop and ride off on a pink motorcycle. Koby says he can lean on Talia. I sure hope she can support him – she’s so thin she looks like she’s about to fold over. Koby does a Muppet voice and they giggle.
Third: Dana and Debby. Oh boy. Dana calls her mom Debby. Dana interviews that people think Debby’s her sister not her mother. Debby is an independent woman who needs her lipstick. Debby interviews that she keeps Shabbat and kosher, and they can’t stop from cracking up as Dana calls her mom a liar. They work out at a gym and Dana hopes she’ll meet her real mother on the race. That would be an interesting twist, and Dana’s father would have much explaining to do.
Next: Shimi and Yasmin. They are a couple. They play pool together. Shimi comments that he “made” Yasmin, and they have a “magical connection.” Yasmin tries on clothes and Shimi is a bit anal. Hope that won’t become a recurring theme. They bowl in slo-mo to passionate string music as Shimi comments that love softens his heart. Sheesh, just get a laxative! Shimi comments that they fit like a glove. I could make a colonoscopy joke but since this is a family show I will not.
Doing the funky chicken down the aisle, here come Herut and Yoftut, youth-group friends (similar to Girl Scouts) who admit to acting like teenagers. First, Herut must talk about Yoftut’s strange family with their made-up names. They pray in a park. They claim they don’t represent all religious people, as their books magically change to fashion magazines. They do a funny little back and forth about Harel Skaat (Yoftut’s pop star crush) and then, in true Girl Scout fashion, sing into hair straighteners. Now, shift to them dancing at a wedding. Of course they love weddings, even if there is a giant panda bear attacking the bride and groom (?). Being religious, they dance with the other girls, but admit to mingling with guys on their way to the bathroom. Weddings are also their workout of choice, Herut commenting that she loses 4 kilos a week dancing.
Next up: Eliran and Itzik, childhood friends. They are from Carmiel, and cheer about that. Itzik explains that Eliran is his brother since he has only sisters. They sell falafel and inspect the quality of the beach. Of course that means the ladies. Eliran also needs slow down his speech, I have a hard time understanding him. Itzik is electric at making falafel, until Eliran shows up in an unfortunate tank top. They don’t give up with the ladies or in life.
Now, it’s time to meet Andrea and Ronney. Andrea speaks Hebrew with an American accent, and occasionally breaks into English, conveniently for me. If I was on the race, I would do the same, which is why I am not. She is your stereotypical New York Jewish mother and I love that about her. They are grandparents who met and married later in life. They have a really bright green phone. Andrea types on an old-timey typewriter and they tell their love story, he takes photos of her with an old-timey camera, as if they’re actually from the 1920s. Way to make them feel old, show. They run in striped shirts and headbands, doing a “nursing home workout.”
Uh-oh, here come Ronit and Liran. They are wearing a lot of pink. Would it surprise you to learn that they are fag and hag? Not me. They play backgammon, which is the only intelligent thing they do in their whole segment. Liran was Ronit’s birthing coach. They shop and Ronit oohs and aahs over…everything. They go to a medium, who predicts they’ll be besties forever. Moving on!
David and Eliran, friends from Ashdod, are construction workers at a port. They have a dangerous job. And they can’t get no appreciation. When David meets girls, they are unimpressed and ask him what his actual dreams are. Seaworthy music plays as they eat their lunches. They work out shirtless and are boring.
Lior and More, our married parents from Eilat. They are “stuck together.” That’s either really good or really bad thing to say about a relationship. They sing karaoke in their living room with their two cute but uninterested children. Now they play in a ball pit with their children. I could imagine them excelling in the Washington DC final task from last season. They don’t have much else to say.
Finally, Ma Ayan and Batel, who sit Indian style in purple sweats and do a handclap game. They are cousins from a moshav in the South and they are also of Persian descent. Ma’Ayan might be a little too in love with her cousin as she almost crushes her. Ma’Ayan explains what cousins are to those of us who don’t know. Thanks for wasting a few minutes of our lives, Ma’Ayan. Now she drums while Batel dances. Ma’Ayan is the angel and Batel the devil. Ma’Ayan says an assortment of random English words she knows. A person in Seattle is watching this right now and saying “ahhh, it makes sense now…so THAT was the random girl running through Pike Place Market a few months ago yelling “Dog cake fish!” at all the shoppers.
Time for the parade of teams. More rides on Lior’s back, Ronney salutes with a hat.
Bags! Port! Line of teams! Wooo! Let’s go!
But wait…twist time! Only NINE teams will make it out of Israel. WTF, producers? First the dumb train opening and now this? Money must REALLY be tight. Dana is scared. Andrea clarifies “two YOUNG couples.” Oy vey indeed. And they’re off!
First task: Human Chutes and Ladders, where the teams must get their clue from the top of a huge shipping container.
Theme song: Coral rudely pushes her sister. Andrea does a goofy pose with a phone.
Port of Haifa. Teams run. Well, all but Andrea and Ronney, who are doing a speed-walk.
Rip and read. The teams need to choose items wisely to get them to the top – both physical and mental. Actually, a pretty awesome opening task, all things considered.
Port of Haifa. Talia takes the candy cane and mimes grabbing a rope with it. Correct. Itzik grabs the little key which opens a secret door, containing a stepladder. Correct. Romy and Michele? Arguing over a yoga ball. Romi wonders how a yoga ball can possibly help them climb. Mom and daughter? Doing it itemless. This should end well. Itzik and Eliran, our Falafel boys, are crossing the first bridge.
Aaaaand, here to comment are Liran and Ronit. They think the other teams should just go home and the show should just give them a million for being fabulous.
D/D. Dana’s climbing and Debby’s whining. Talia motivates her partner. Romy and Michele? Still bitching and plotting to block each other on Facebook. No, they actually say that. Deb’s climbing now and complaining about her manicure. Lior is climbing. D/D are stuck at the top. Oops. Falafel, on the other hand, brought the iron ladder and have no trouble at all, as do TaKo and LiRonit. D/D hurry back to the start for the iron ladder. Falafel boys swing and get their stepladder…victory for them as they officially complete the task in first. Now, the clue directs them to Kibbutz En Shemer. Then it’s detour time.
Falafel in the car, Eliran can’t read a map. That’s promising. Back at the port, Talia zips to the finish and her team and LiRonit finish at the same time. Koby, in 2nd, can read a map. They leave as Shimi screams at Yasmin. Construction guys are doing well and cooperating. Yoftut waves a giant toilet plunger at her partner, and says that this’ll look good on her marriage resume. LOL. Grandpa Ronney is now across with Andrea not far behind.
On the road. Falafel boys are literally sitting in the median strip, doing nothing. Totally lost. Eliran gets out and walks into incoming traffic hoping to flag down a truck.
Port of Haifa. Sisters and ShiMin get the clue and leave in fourth/fifth. Shimi hands his partner the map…who promptly rips a huge hole in the map. Back at the task, the cousins are flailing and failing. Debbie and Dana have the hang of it now. David/Eliran and LiMor do the swing, get the clue, leave in sixth and seventh.
On the road. ShiMin and Bickering Sisters are lost. Shimi gets out and asks for direction. Romi is annoyed. Liran/Ronit, on the other hand, arrive at En Shemer in first. Darn.
Detour, En Shemer. The tasks each have to do with a children’s story. In the first, the teams must carry 12 bags with one member on his/her knees, until the conductor turns around a sign. In the second, teams must convince some people to donate their clothes to make a rope to pluck a giant carrot from the ground. So basically, I’m calling them Carrot or Carry. Funny how that worked out.
LiRonit debate which task, then choose Carrot, running and recruiting random people, including an elderly kibbutznik named Chaim who agrees under the condition that they don’t make him late for lunch. TaKo arrive in second at En Shemer and debate the pros and cons for…quite a while. They are still deciding as Romy/Michele, Shimi/Yasmin, and LiMor arrive. TaKo? Still deciding. The lovers pick Carrot, while the sisters opt to carry, as do LiMor. Romi remarks that her sister looks like Gepetto. Coral and Mor are on their knees for their teams. TaKo join the others in Carry.
Port. Rondrea and Girl Scouts are at the rope swing. Andrea jumps on the rope…boom. Ouch. They almost beat D/D to the top but the ladies get there first. They depart in eighth. Debbie immediately checks her makeup. Andrea yells down support to the remaining teams as they get the clue in ninth, and the Girl Scouts in tenth. Ma/Ba? Still bumbling around.
On the road. Girl Scouts seem to know where they’re going. D/D find a friendly driver named Issam to drive them there.
En Shemer. Construction boys arrive and do Carry. Falafel boys arrive in En Shemer, having dropped from first to seventh. Not a good sign. Over at Carrot, LiRonit are collecting clothes, and one girl donates her bra. Ronit yells at lunch guy to take off his underwear. Just let the man eat his lunch, for crying out loud. She gets the underwear and they make a rope.
Carry. Congrats, Romi and Michele, you finished first. Romi rips, and it’s a pit stop: the Roman theatre in Caesarea Maritima. They jet off, with LiMore and LiRonit right behind them. Lior is singing and not paying attention to the road.
Port. The cousins FINALLY get their clue.
En Shemer. D/D arrive thanks to Issam, and choose Carrot. Falafel boys? Totally not understanding the point of the detour. Eventually they choose Carrot and break a bunch of people through a fence and into the kibbutz. Breaking and entering much? Rondrea arrive next and do Carry, with Andrea singing “Old Man River.” Never thought I’d hear a Show Boat reference. TaKo and Construction are done in fourth and fifth and leave.
On the road. Romy and Michele are bickering again. Usual topics.
Pit stop. Who will it be? LiRonit are getting close, as are LiMore. Both arrive. It’s a footrace, and…congrats Married Parents, you are team number one. They are pleasantly surprised. Lior comments that he’s never run like this before. Fag and Hag…team number two. Ronit babbles on and on about Miss Universe and being blonde and having lots of Facebook friends.
En Shemer. Girl Scouts arrive and choose Carrot. They have little luck, unlike D/D. Over at the Carrot field, ShiMin and Falafel finish, and over at Carry, Andrea leads her team to victory. ShiMin and Rondrea hit the road. Falafel boys? Can’t find the cars. They finally do, get in one…and it’s not their car. They bleed a lot of time trying to start it, but alas, it’s still the wrong car. They finally get into the right car and leave.
Caesarea. Romi/Michele, Talia/Kobi, David/Eliran close in, but it’s the sisters who get there quickest, and they are third. Boys are in fourth, and TaKo in fifth.
En Shemer. Cousins finally arrive and fumble at opening the clue box. D/D get their carrot. Cousins picks Carry. Girl Scouts? Getting frustrated with the people who refuse to help them at Carrot.
Caesarea. Rondrea close in, with Falafel and Lovers not far behind. Falafel see Rondrea and realize they need to pick it up. Rondrea limp in, only to be passed by Falafel. Eliran trips his way to the finish line and they arrive first, with Rondrea right behind. Momentary panic, but then they get told that they’re in sixth and seventh. General singing and celebration.
En Shemer. D/D get their carrot. Ma’Ayan and Batel finish as well. Girl Scouts finally gather their people and get their carrot. All three teams depart, with Girl Scouts behind. Cousins and D/D play chicken with the cousins passing the mom/daughter. Elsewhere, Herut is crying her mascara out because she knows they screwed up at the detour and should’ve done Carry.
Caesarea. Mom/Daughter and Cousins close in. The editing makes it seem like the Girl Scouts are close, but it’s clear that the other two teams are there as they are shown running, with Ma’Ayan in the lead. And…the cousins in purple take the lead and hit the mat. They are team number nine, and Batel collapses in a flurry of emotion. They hug Ron. Here come Debbie/Dana. They make small talk with Ron as if they’re already eliminated. They indeed think they are last. Awkward pauses. Crying. Blather. They’re team number 10…but wait! There’s going to be another leg in Israel, so they’re safe for now! Much relief. Ron warns them that if they come in tenth next time, they will not be as lucky.
In walk the Girl Scouts. Yoftut has her brave face on. They know they’re done for, and Ron confirms it. Herut is heartbroken. They are both disappointed and they know it sucks, but they hug anyway. Awww. In their defense, they cooperated well and tried hard on a leg that was pretty much linear with no chance of pulling ahead other than Eliran/Itzik’s massive navigational fails. However, they were solidly in 10th for pretty much the whole leg, and that’s not a good thing. Peace out, Girl Scouts.
Next episode: Still in Israel. More hijinks. Another team will join the Girl Scouts on their Israeli staycation.
Who impressed you this leg?
Who do you like?
Who do you hate?
What do you think of the Girl Scouts?
Who's going home next?