Great American Road Trip
California or Bust

Episode Report Card
Sara M: C+ | Grade It Now!
Epic Battle

The previously on segment is wrong, as it claims that last week the Cootes got their first loss. Not true! Remember when the Pollards won a challenge in Branson and got to stay at a hotel overnight? How do I know more about this show than the people who make it? It's morning in Vegas, and the teams are heading for Boulder City for the King of the Road challenge. Jennifer Coote says this is now a game for her. Um, it's always been a game for her. Or perhaps this is her way of saying she's loosening up, since it used to be a life-or-death battle and now it's just a game? She says it's also important that the Cootes increase their crown count to six so they'll have an even number, because she's a got a touch of OCD apparently. Over in the DiSalvatore RV, they really want to win the challenge. Blake especially, as it comes with a cool pillow. Such awesome prizes on this show, I swear. Amy tells Silvio that he never has to buy her another birthday card or present ever again if they win this and Silvio ensures that it won't happen by saying he'll have to bring 100% Silvio. Silvio, his hair looking wild in this interview, says he will do anything to win this.

The teams arrive in Bootleg Canyon, and the challenge can't possibly be this soon into the show, right? The road is apparently too much for the RVs to handle, so the families pile into cars and drive into nowhere, where there happens to be a nice long zipline high up in the air. Everyone seems to dread this, but I'd be so excited. Those things are awesome. Reno greets everyone at the top of hill and I know there's no way he climbed up there himself like the families had to. Mostly because he's not still at the halfway point with vultures picking over the remains of his heart-attack-ravaged body. He says a win today is especially important, as it guarantees a place in the finals. The challenge is to get on the zipline and ride it down with paint-filled water balloons in hand, and hit targets on the ground with them as you glide by. Also, the targets have contestants' faces in them. And Reno's. EVERYONE HIT RENO!!! Each family gets one point per target hit, but if any family member refuses to ride the zipline, then the entire family is automatically disqualified. It's about time this show had a real decent challenge. Why couldn't they all have been like this?

The mothers go first, leaving the fathers and kids to stew and get nervous about what's head. Over with the moms, Amy doubts her family will participate in this at all. Amie is more nervous than "a three-legged cat in a litterbox." Wait, what? Why would the cat be nervous? Does he only have three legs because another litterbox chopped the fourth one off in the past somehow? And is it a cat at all, as we know that Amie has trouble identifying animals since she confused a squirrel with a prairie dog. The women go at the same time, and Amie and Jennifer both manage to land a balloon, but only Jennifer's gets inside the stupid circle. The good news is that the target both women hit is Reno! He's waiting for them at the bottom with high-fives. Amy thinks positive and says there's no way anyone else from her family will do this.

Sure enough, while Jake and Anslie are all set to go, Blake is reluctant. How can you watch your freaking mother do this and then chicken out? The kids at school will never let you live it down, Blake. Silvio tries to give his son words of encouragement that Blake doesn't appear to have any intention of listening to. So suspenseful! I don't think I can handle it! Let's go to commercial!

After the break, Silvio's face is suddenly painted purple and he says he had to do something to help his kid face his fear. So he climbs the steps up to the platform and says the professionals in charge of this whole thing won't let him die. "He's got a point," some woman says. Very reassuring, you two. Silvio tells him he can close his eyes the whole way down and not worry about hitting any targets. I'd like to see a Coote parent say something like that to his kid. Blake interviews that he was surprised when his dad helped him because he's not the type of guy to do that. Great example you're setting for the kids there, Silvio. Down at the bottom, the women cackle and scream with joy to see Blake up there, even Jennifer! Maybe she's not as bad as we've been lead to believe, and her family is just getting the evil edit. Which has been pretty easy for the editors to do with the things that come out of their mouths. The kids are finally released, and Blake scores by hitting a target of his older brother. Ha! Aerial sibling rivalry. Jake nails his dad, but Anslie and Blake win the prize for nailing Reno's stupid face. Just like Silvio predicted, Blake got two points and Anslie and Jake one each. Blake says that overcoming his fear like that was the greatest moment of his life.

The older kids are released. Mason hits his mother, while Aaron hits Reno. Which means no points for the Cootes, and Cassidy will surely punished for this.

The DiSalvatores are ahead going into the last round, but that doesn't mean much since Silvio is up next and he's not hitting a damn thing. He puts the purple facepaint on, so that's where that came from. Keith says a Coote victory rests on his shoulders while Ron tries not to roll his eyes. The dads are released. Keith and Ron toss balloons while Silvio cowers in fear and hangs on for dear life. They arrive at the bottom without giving away if they hit any targets or not, and Silvio's look of sheer terror is entertaining for all. Unlike everyone else, he didn't land at the bottom the right way, and finds himself slowly creeping backwards until someone has to go out there and get him. Amy says she's proud of Silvio, and he ruins the moment by saying "wait 'il you smell what's in my pants."

Reno reveals the results: 2 points for the Pollards, so they're definitely not the winners, 4 points for the DiSalvatores (Silvio hit a target! I hope it was Reno), and 2 points for the Cootes. Way to suck, Keith! Aw, the DiSalvatores are so happy! And the Pollards are happy for them! Or at least happy that the Cootes didn't win! To their credit, by the way, I'm pretty sure I can see them smiling and clapping for the DiSalvatores, too. Silvio is so happy about the win that he even hugs Reno! And now he doesn't have to buy his wife any more presents ever! And Blake learned an important lesson about overcoming fears and doing things you don't want to do, which Silvio is very happy about in a nice interview. And this means a Coote vs. Pollard Ultimate Grudge Match. That's as awesome as this show gets.

Tragic music plays us into the Coote RV, where the mood is grim. Jennifer tries to make everyone feel better by saying losses are good for a team, and it's better to get their loss out now than in an End of the Road Challenge. Maybe if she and Keith taught their kids better sportsmanship and dealt with disappointment in life, they wouldn't be so down and out now.

The DiSalvatores arrive in their RV to find the prized pillow! And cheap crown and bumper sticker. Blake puts the crown on immediately, and then all the boys pose for a picture, with Blake totally doing that hand sign that he hates when his father does. Ha! The family revels in their 50% chance of winning $100,000 after doing so badly all game. Mason says they're like the tortoise that takes forever to do it, but ultimately wins. I am totally rooting for a DiSalvatore win. How did this even happen? I hated them in the beginning, but now they are my favorites. Such is the magic of the DiSalvatores. I'll never like Silvio's hair, though.

And now we're going back to freaking Arizona to visit a town full of burros. Reno informs us that the difference between a burro and a donkey is the spelling. He then pauses and laughs at his own joke. Amie wonders where they're heading on this dusty, rocky road. Aaron can't read words too good, so he says Oatmeal, Arizona. It's actually Oatman. The other families are similarly confused as to where they're headed. They aren't even on Route 66 anym

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Great American Road Trip




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