Rush heads to Paris

Team Navy, Team Gold and Team Scarlet are dropped in the middle of a throbbing techno moshpit at the Tomorrowland Winter Festival, 2000 metres high in the French Alps, in Alpe D’Huez. The festival takes place over 7 days and attracts over 30’000 attendees annually and hosts Europe’s biggest DJ’s. To track down DG, teams must catch gondolas down the mountain and walk across the village town centre of Alpe D’Huez to a local ice-skating rink, using the clue ‘look for the ice away from the drop, if you figure it out, you’ll find your first stop.’ Enlisting the help of locals, maps, and information centres, all three teams will need to find DG in order to collect their dossiers for this French leg of the trip.

Team Scarlet are first to catch a gondola down the mountain and make it to DG, enjoying themselves along the way, they have realised they want to take a second to enjoy the experience they’ve been dropped into. Team Navy is second to make it onto a gondola and head to DG, Sofia putting it upon herself to win the race for the girls after realising she is the last girl remaining in the competition. CK, the last remaining member of Team Gold is first to travel the race solo and realises if he comes last to the Escape Zone in France, it will not come down to chance – he will be going home, so he cannot fault at all. However, he makes the mistake of asking an information desk where an ice statue is and is directed to go back up the mountain. After discovering the slopes are closed and there is no possible way to make it back up the mountain, CK figures out there is an ice-skating rink nearby and heads there only to discover he is last to DG, and his worst fears of coming last in France are being manifested.

To last the entire leg of France, teams of two have been given 600 Euros, while solo traveller CK has been given 400. Deciding to skip dinner to make up ground, CK hails a cab directly to the hotel check-in in Grenoble, over an hour’s drive away. Meanwhile Team Navy decide to stop for a feed before catching a cab there. Much to Adam’s dismay, Team Scarlet attempt to hitch hike their way to Grenoble, in order to save money early on. However, the attempts are unsuccessful, and Adam is growing hangry. Finally, a kind stranger heading to Grenoble offers the boys a lift, but in that time, Team Gold and Team Navy’s taxis have arrived in Grenoble, and it is CK who checks in first place. Team Navy check in one minute after CK, surprised to find him in the hotel ahead of them. Team Scarlet are last to check in, after stopping for a late-night kebab to satiate Adam’s hunger. Hamish has learnt that they must keep Adam fed to have a successful run tomorrow.

Day 2 in Grenoble, and the three teams must check out of the hotel and make their way to Lyon, the Gastronomic capitol of the World, over 100 kilometres away. There, teams must buy a traditional French sausage known as Andouillette, 25 layers of pig intestines wrapped in a pig’s colon. They must find somewhere to cook it and share the delicacy with a local. First to check out and arrive in Lyon is solo Team Gold traveller CK, who sources the Andouillette from a butcher inside an indoor food hall. There he begs a

nearby restaurant to cook it for him and asks the chef to share it with him. Biting into it, CK is not a fan, claiming it has a gross texture and rich taste.

Team Navy are next to complete the mission, walking into the closest restaurant from the butcher, Sofia is blown away by the most gorgeous man she has ever bear witness to, his name is Sebastian, a bald restaurant manager with a ‘jawline chiselled from the Gods’. Sebastian accepts the invitation to cook and share the delicacy from a flirty Sofia, and the team have a rather pleasant experience with their deliciously prepared sausage. Sofia promises to return to France to her future husband Sebby. On the other side of Lyon, Team Scarlet were last to check out and arrive in Lyon, having sourced their sausage, there’s just one problem, Adam is disgusted by the sausage and is not sure he will be able to eat it. Hamish worries this may cause them to fail the mission and result in their elimination.

Adam puckers up the courage to eat the sausage for the sake of winning and digs into what he describes looks like dog food, and not the dried kind. It tastes awful, but they get it in their gobs, nonetheless, racing on towards Paris for the second hotel check-in, using the clue ‘A Stone’s throw from Paris Gare-De-Lyon station, try to stay on track…’

Completing the mission first, CK caught the fast train from Lyon to Paris and arrives at Paris Gare-De-Lyon station first, instinctively walking into the first hotel he can see, a Mercure. Fortunately, it is the correct hotel and CK is glad he’s first place streak is continuing, he just hopes he can maintain this lead going into the third and final day in France, when it counts most.

Team Navy are second to board a train to Paris; onboard Tylen suggests the hotel could be close to or next to the train station when they arrive in Paris. Sofia instantly disregards Tylen, and instead takes the advice of a local seated near them to head to the Three Trains Hotel. Upon arriving at the Three Trains Hotel, a 10-minute walk away from the train station, Sofia and Tylen discover that it is the incorrect hotel and Sofia is stumped. Again, Tylen suggests they search closer to the train station because Stone’s throw mean’s ‘not far’. Sofia disagrees, she is adamant stone’s throw means ‘far away’, she announces they must search further away from the train station. Their team dynamic is being tested and Sofia’s inability to listen to Tylen is frustrating him.

All the while, Team Scarlet have arrived in Paris and following the same footsteps as CK stumble into the Mercure to discover they have checked-in second, acknowledging their full bellies has helped them gain ground today.

Tylen eventually convinces Sofia to search closer to the train station and there, Tylen points out the Mercure. Sofia reluctantly follows Tylen there, only to discover it is the correct hotel and they have checked in last. Tylen is incredibly frustrated and upset about how the day ended. He reminds Sofia that tomorrow is the worst day to be checking out last, the stakes are high because if they cannot make up ground tomorrow, one of them will be going home.

Day 3 in Paris and it’s Team Gold’s CK who is first to arrive at Chateau de Maintenon, a 17th Century castle surrounded by beautifully manicured gardens a 90km taxi ride from the Mercure Hotel in Paris. There teams must find four almost identical portraits of the Madame, photograph each and return to Paris in search of the Escape Zone. After easily finding the four portraits, CK spots Team Scarlet on his way out of the Chateau, motivating him to hastily catch a cab to Paris. Team Scarlet also successfully spot all four portraits, struggling on the fourth, but it’s Adam’s youthful eyes that spots it. The two then head off in a taxi towards the Escape Zone.

Last to check out is Team Navy, who further delay their journey to the Chateau when they stop to argue on the walk there. Tylen’s underlying frustration towards Sofia surfaces, and she is immediately defensive. After eventually apologising, they continue towards the Chateau, however Tylen is concerned this has slowed them down and pushed them further into last place, they will need to hustle through the mission to have any chance of catching up. Easily completing the mission, Team Navy race off in a taxi, bound for the Escape Zone.

In the taxi to Paris, CK learns the most famous bridge in Paris is Alexander III and directs his taxi driver there. Using up the last of his money, CK exits onto the bridge, but can’t see DG. CK starts to spiral upon realising he may have gone to the wrong bridge, and this wrong turn could have cost him his lead. CK is left to search for the correct bridge on foot and makes his way to several, growing increasingly frustrated each time when he realises DG is nowhere to be found. CK truly believes he’s now in last place and is out of options. Meanwhile, Team Scarlet hit another win when their taxi driver suggests the Escape Zone bridge could be Pont De Bir-Hakeim. Team Navy are also fast approaching Paris in their taxi, and it is now a race for first place.

CK almost given up, reads the clue again and spots a nearby bridge with train rails above it and decides to head there. As he’s walking there, he spots DG. Arriving very defeated, CK tells DG of his perilous route to get to him. DG informs CK he in fact first to the Escape Zone and CK is overwhelmed with emotion. He has been so hard on himself but has now realised he can do this solo – he has proved it to himself and is now determined to win the game. Driving off into the sunset in a vintage Citroen escape vehicle, the two remaining teams race for second place towards the Escape Zone, but it is Team Scarlet who arrive in second.

Stoked with the result, they agree to move into the next country as the only remaining duo is a win. Team Navy finally arrive at the Escape Zone, Sofia is confident they are not in third place. DG questions how the team dynamic played out in France and Sofia reveals they had a tiff but doesn’t think it has affected their position in the race. DG reveals it has in fact affected their position, and that they were the last team to arrive to the Escape Zone. The two become quite emotional at the thought of one of them going home, their fate determined by chance in a game of Rush Roulette.

Sofia steps forward to take a flare and Tylen is handed the other. DG ignites the flares and it’s not long before red smoke starts to billow out of Tylen’s flare. The two embraces in an emotional goodbye. With only two countries left, Sofia will continue on in the game, but for Tylen the Rush is over, his big global adventure ends here.


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