If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: Check. That. Fitbit. Okay, I’ve never said that, and I assumed tonight’s Fitbit data collection stopped at mere tulip counting, but every single one of those steps mattered in a big way for Justina and Diana.
On that note, one thing I’ve definitely been avoiding saying: It might be near impossible to beat the Green Team. Hate him or tolerate him, Justin and his waning-in-patience partner Diana haven’t dropped out of the top 2 since the first leg, and they won their fourth leg tonight. No matter how far back they drop with a missed tram or a difficult task, they always seem to make their way back to Phil first.
Many commenters have said that they’re having trouble finding a team to root for in season 27, but you guys, I have found mine: They’ve got positive attitudes for days, look great in a high ponytails, and have the piercing screams of banshees on helium. The Cheerleaders aren’t merely athletic, they’re incredibly physically competent, and as they grow more confident in their ability to race and be their own leaders, they’re heading into my very favorite storyline: Unexpected Underdogs. Yeah, they think Rotterdam is in Germany — I get it. But I just love watching those two conquer each new obstacle they’re faced with.
First obstacle in leg 7: Figure out where Rotterdam is. Following last week’s To Be Continued, Team Alabama finally completed their French rap and narrowly avoided elimination at the continuing leg from Paris, as we all assumed they would. They’re in last place heading to the train station where all seven remaining teams will travel to Rotterdam in the Netherlands and have reservations on a 7:22 p.m. train. But the first teams start trickling into the station around 4 p.m., so of course they look for earlier flights… well, all except the Texans, who just assume everyone will take the 7:22 p.m. and decide to see some sights and eat some crepes with their extra time. That little cultural distraction puts them in the back of the pack with the Paparazzi and Alabama.
When the teams arrive at the big red ship in Rotterdam, they’re assigned time slots for the next morning, increasing in 15 minute intervals for each team. Chac Attack is lucky they only fall back one place when they become convinced that Rotterdam is what the French call Amsterdam and miss their train stop. In a physically grueling leg, figuring out where they are at any given time seems to be the toughest challenge many of the teams face tonight.
Why do I love them??? Bless their hearts.
The teams head out the next morning toward Kop Van Zuid to catch water taxis to their next clue, with Justin and Diana in the lead. They talk about how they communicate after each leg to avoid arguing and making the same mistakes, and then immediately start having a very similar argument to the one they had last week. The Cheerleaders and Chac Attack are thrilled to finally be out in front of the Green Team for the ROAD BLOCK: STATE OF THE ART.
One person from each team must look at Van Gogh’s famous “Sunflower” painting, then run around a bunch of windmills, where recreations of the painting are set up, and find the exact replica. Seemingly the challenge would be that the pictures all look very similar, but the larger challenge is that the recreations are very far away from both the original and the judge that they have to bring the replica painting to, so everyone ends up running a lot. After Krista, Rick, and Diane have given it a few tries, Joey waltzes in and impressively selects the correct painting on his first attempt. The rest follow suit fairly quickly and then have to calculate the difference between their current heart rate and their highest heart rate from the last leg, collect that many tulips, and deliver them a ways down the road to receive their next clue. It’s worth noting that the tulip woman is absolutely delightful, and Rotterdam seems like a lovely place.
NEXT: Tulips for heartbeats, dollars for steps…