Image credit: Robert Voets/CBS
MUSCLE FLOATS, RIGHT? What about self-satisfaction?
The Beards lead the way to the Irlanda Salt Mines, where the teams must bike into the world's largest supply of sodium chloride. That's salt! There's Phil, emphatically pouring some out right now. We don't see whether this natural resource is being sprinkled into a festering wound of Marie's, but any footage of Phil is good footage, and we'll take it.
Will they Mine or will they Brine? The Beards stay ahead, by looking for salt rocks with the most cracks (smart!) in their quest to smash the boulders and find a clue hidden within. Footballers Chester and Ephraim take a different approach -- not merely biting into the rocks or breaking them over their knees, as Brandon thought they might -- but instead just hurling the rocks to the ground. I keep thinking there's candy inside, a taffy center, perhaps, but it's just a clue.
Most teams choose Brining, so they must lug around 50-pound sacks and eventually add enough salt to the least-relaxing pools ever so that they can comfortably float…while reading the local newspaper out loud, in Spanish!
"Do we have to get bathing suits on?" Nicky and Kim ask hopefully. Indeed they do -- the only consolation prize in this torture process, which features Kim hunched over and crying onto a bag of salt, "I can't do this." Oh, but they can. This is The Amazing Race: It may take hours of tears, physical exhaustion, and deep-seated regret, but you will relax in a pool of salty Country Time Lemonade if it's the last thing you do on this earth. A long and frozen victory hug between the Baseballer Wive$ revs them up to run again. They'd lost precious seconds during the embrace, but I'm digging their priorities.
Jason and Amy become (I believe) the first 'baby' couple of the season as they encourage each other to float. "I almost floated out of the pool," exclaims Jason in what seems like a clear ploy to get the cameras to linger on his spandex-shorts…bathing suit? and the buoyancy its contents may have provided. Pink Hair yells at her punching bag for introducing the lemonade-mix analogy, which frankly made a lot of sense to me. None of the couples really look like they're floating as a Chilean miner determines them "suitably relaxed" enough to move on. It's more like "Oh, wow, you didn't sink to the bottom? Here you go."
NEXT: "The next bus is in one hour, maybe."