Sunday, March 15, 2009

Amazing Race update – Is it cold in here?

We're down to seven teams and everybody has to pile into the Trans-Siberian Railroad for a long ride further east through Russia. The train has sleeper cars so we see everybody sacked out in too-small bunks. The next morning, there's some banter and everybody's looking at deaf Luke in a new light since he U-Turned Amanda & Kris in last week's leg.

Once in Novosibirsk, teams take taxis to some school where it's the Detour: Russian Bride or Russian Snowplow. Teams may take a manual-transmission car to find a Russian bride and then drive her to the church across town; or they may learn how to drive a Russian snowplow successfully through a training course. The four-speed car, called a Lada, goes through fits and starts as everybody tries to get directions to their respective Detours. Most everybody takes the snowplow but Mel & Mike try to find a Russian bride in one of those Soviet-era apartment buildings a quarter-mile long; nevertheless, they seem to find her pretty quick.

Back at the snowplows, a frustrated Team Ginger can't seem to communicate with the snowplow trainers because they don't speak English. They speak Russian, imagine that. This Detour doesn't seem to require much skill since the trainer essentially tells the Racers how to drive. Team Esquire finishes first and head to the next stop: the Bibliotekah, which is the largest library in Siberia. Team Sistahs is bringing up the rear due to stick-shift problems.

At the library, it's the Roadblock: one team member must participate in a foot race while stripped down to "skivvies." It's a 1.4 mile run to the Pit Stop. The women get some whistles and honks from cars; the men not so much. Luke seems to enjoy himself jogging through the sub-freezing weather. He finishes first and Team Say What? takes first place.

Team Drinkcart and Team Sistahs are both bringing up the rear and they're having trouble getting around town. It looks like Kisha burnt out the clutch on their junker and they're stuck in the middle of the road. Meanwhile, the directionless Team Drinkcart charters a cab driver to go to the Roadblock and they'll follow behind. Nevermind: back from commercial, Team Sistahs is on the road again.

Kisha & Jen get to the Roadblock first and, since they're athletes, it looks like they're going to outpace Christie & Jodi to the mat. The Team Drinkcart runner Christie is wearing thong underwear which needs constant blurring by the TAR editors. She arrives last but this is the first non-elimination leg for this season. At some point in the next leg, Team Drinkcart will have to perform an additional task – a Speedbump – before they can continue the Race.

Team standings

#1 – Team Say What? – Margie & Luke
#2 – Team Esquire – Tammy & Victor
#3 – Team Ginger – Jaime & Cara
#4 – Team White Guys – Mel & Mike
#5 – Team Mighty Mites – Mark & Michael
#6 – Team Sistahs – Kisha & Jen
#7 – Team Drinkcart – Christie & Jodi – NON-ELIMINATION LEG

Next week: India again.

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