The hippies’ ability to stay cool under pressure really paid off on this leg of “Amazing Race 12.” They faced the kind of setbacks that would’ve made other teams crumble under pressure -- or at least break down in tears -- but TK and Rachel kept going, with a smile and a positive attitude.

At one point they lost their clue at a café where they stopped to ask for directions and they had to backtrack to retrieve it; TK took longer than anyone to complete the Roadblock; and they got a flat tire on the way to the Pit Stop. But through it all, the hippies remained the calmest, most relaxed contestants ever. Apparently they don’t watch enough reality TV.

This week: Croatia to Italy

Biggest hurdle: Navigating the Italian freeway system

Spotlight on Style with Kynt & Vyxsin: When do the goths find time to put on all that make-up -- and keep it on? Kynt wears more make-up than all the racin’ ladies combined.

Boy, you said it: “We were bickering, and not in a loving, fun, cute way, but in an actual we-are-not-happy-with-each-other way.” --Vyksin, after she and Kynt almost came apart at the seems

Poor product placement potential: While driving deep into Tuscany, the racers received a BlackBerry smartphone, with which they got a message from their families. But they weren’t allowed to use the BlackBerry for any other reason -- like, say, to look up driving directions or get traffic updates on the highway construction. The producers obviously didn’t want to give anyone an advantage in the race, but what the hell was BlackBerry thinking by NOT allowing their smartphone to be used properly? The whole point of a BlackBerry is to be able to get live updates while you’re on the road. It was really a missed opportunity for the product placement people.

Permanent vacation: Nicolas and Grandpa Donald got a lasting souvenir of their “Amazing Race” adventure. As part of the Fast Forward -- allowing them to skip past the Detour and the other teams -- they each got a tattoo: A small “FF.” It supposedly stands for Fast Forward, but it could also mean Fall Frenzy, Fried Fish, Fresh Fruit, Full Fridge or Funny Face. It’s the tat that keeps on giving.

Bu-Bye: Kynt and Vyxsin -- psych! This was the first non-elimination leg of the race. An ill-advised detour around the Italian traffic jam almost cost them, but the goths will be back next week.