Wade on Birmingham

Simply Amazing: The reign in Spain


Our fair ladies, Lyn Turk and Karyln Harris of Birmingham, have survived fierce competition, tough tasks and wild rides — but can they survive each other? It’s the battle for the Final Three on the penultimate episode of “The Amazing Race.”

Four teams headed to Spain to contend with tomatoes, titans and touchiness. Would Team Birmingham implode en route or keep it together long enough to reach the Pit Stop?

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Lyn faces the grinder at the Roadblock.

Highlights from the 12th leg of the series …

Route: Ouarzazate, Morocco, to Barcelona, Spain.

They’re thinking Barbies: Junkie models Tyler and James and bickering couple Rob and Kimberly are ready to oust beauty queens Dustin and Kandice. The slower Team Birmingham could lose in a footrace to the finish, making them ideal to bring to the Final Three. Looks like single moms Lyn and Karlyn have a new Six Pack alliance without even trying.

Meanwhile, the blondes push hard to stay in competition, having been “marked for elimination” this leg. If they don’t finish first, they’ll incur an automatic 30-minute penalty, a potentially fatal delay in this late lap. So deep is their desperation, they even ask the models to let them win first place. Why race hard when you can just ask to beat other teams?

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Breakfast is served; Tyler chows down.

My humps: The four teams drive through the mountains to Casablanca, Morocco. At the Roadblock, one team member must prep and eat 1 pound of camel meat. The blondes leap from fourth to second, surprising Rob and Kim and the moms, who become lost just looking for the clue box.

Tyler and Kandice speed through the challenge. While Lyn eats, Karlyn complains. And complains. Karlyn: “Are you serious?” Lyn: “If you’d shut the hell up, I could do better.” Karlyn: “No, I don’t think so.”

Now that Karlyn has ticked off everyone else, why not her partner, too? It’s only a leg and a half to the $1 million, makes perfect sense.

The fight continues on the drive to the airport, making Rob and Kimberly look, well, less crazy.

A-maze-ing grace: It’s all even as the four teams share a flight to Barcelona. Even at the park, they’re forced to wait until the next morning when gates open. Then, it’s a footrace inside a hedge maze to the next clue box.

The beauty queens ask nearby construction workers to call a cab to wait for them. The models and Rob and Kim follow suit. When Lyn suggests she and Karlyn do the same, Karlyn responds with a curt, “Whatever.” Arrgh!

Team Birmingham finds the clue last, but escapes the maze first as the other three teams run into dead ends together. The blondes and Rob and Kim hop into waiting cabs, while the models and the moms hoof it to hail cabs, losing valuable time.

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Everyone wins when Spaniards assault Kimberly, left, and Rob with tomatoes.

Let’s call the whole thing off: Teams race to the Detour, a choice between Lug It or Lob It. Lug It involves wearing nine-foot-tall costumes called “gigantes y cabezudos” and walking more than a mile to find another giant for the next clue. Lob It involves finding a clue inside a tomato on a mountain of tomatoes, while being pelted with tomatoes.

The blondies become giants and the models, wanting to follow them, guess correctly and also become giants. They’re neck and neck to the clue.

Rob/Kimberly head to the tomato pile, with Lyn/Karlyn arriving after they leave. Kimberly has a meltdown, then another, as she screams at Rob and the townspeople hurling tomatoes. She even quits a couple of times before Rob finds the clue. Team Birmingham continues to bicker while hunting on the pile. When Lyn finds the clue, Karlyn apologizes and Lyn accepts. Off to the Pit Stop …

Pit check: Lyn and Karlyn finish second out of three teams remaining, making them the first female team to compete in the Final Three. Rob and Kimberly finish first, the second time they’ve won a leg (and breaking their streak of six third-place finishes).

And the beauty queens are last, which reminds us of a joke … How many blondes does it take to finish fourth? Two, one to find the mat, and one to make a lame tiara reference.

“The Amazing Race” airs at 7 p.m. Sundays on CBS 42.

Next episode: The finish line! Team Birmingham completes its unlikely journey around the world. And one team takes home the million-dollar prize. (Set your TiVos carefully: The NFL game will likely cause the season finale to start/end late.)


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Pit stop: more “Amazing Race” coverage.

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