Previously on the Amazing Race, four teams started the leg and four teams finished. None were eliminated. Kill us now. We're starting to like Team Superbad's chances of surviving the apocalypse. They're harder to kill than cockroaches. Well, a different kind of cockroaches. For them to survive this leg, they'll have to perform an extra task, meaning that as long as there are no colossal mistakes by their competitors, this is the end of Dandrew's surprising run. Naturally, this means that the previews for this week tout a massive, colossal mistake of epic proportions. Stuff like this is why we'd rather be recapping Top Chef.
The Amazing Race 13, Episode 10
You're Gonna Get Me Killed
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 30, 2008
We aren't going to rank the teams again this week since, you know, nothing changed from last week, but we will again point out how impressed we were with mother/son team Toni & Dallas. After winning their first leg, they appear poised to challenge Nick & Starr for supremacy this season. Then again, Ken & Tina ran their best leg in six episodes, meaning everyone is on top of their game...except for Team Superbad. We don't think Dan's gonna be cast in the Footloose remake, but it would be hilarious if he were.
Toni & Dallas are first to leave, as their clue instructs them to head to a retired nuclear Russian submarine and hunt for Red October. One ping only, Mr. Dallas. You'd think we were joking, and in fact we were before we unpaused the TiVo and realized that The Amazing Race has brought in an actual actor from the movie. He will give them their next clue.
On a side note, the producers have elected not to show us the time of departure for the various teams. We're sure this will prove to be significant at some point later in the episode.
What we do know for now is that "submarine" is a difficult word to translate. After raising their voices to loudly repeat the word in English fails to help their cab driver understand them, Toni & Dallas draw a picture of what we think is a golf sand trap. The translation at the bottom of the screen indicates that he understands that they mean a submarine. Ken & Tina are next out of the gate, sometime between five minutes and 17 hours later. They also attempt to shout at their taxi driver before realizing a game of Pictionary is required. Tina proceeds to draw something and show it to the Russian man. His confusion is tangible, causing us to hope that he'll say, "Oh, baby fishmouth!" Instead, he somewhat miraculously says, "Submarine."
Nick & Starr begin the leg in third place, their worst position since the fourth episode. Starr tells the camera that she feels pressure to perform up to her brother's expectations. We admire her dedication, but given the fact that they've already won three vacations, a car and a boat so far, we think he's probably satisfied with her overall performance, unlike...
Andrew & Dan are last to depart. Again. Before we go any further, let's review their performance to date in order to prove that we hate them for a cause. They have finished seventh out of 11, eighth out of ten, seventh out of nine, sixth out of eight, sixth out of seven, fifth out of six, fifth out of six, fourth out of five, and fourth out of four. We think Beck wrote a song about them once. Right on cue, they remark that they can use all the help they can get, and we agree with them. Frankly, Phil could run this leg with them and they still wouldn't have a chance.
Once again we fall victim to shaky editing from the Amazing Race production team, as three of the four teams enter the submarine area at what we presume is its morning opening. Team Superbad is nowhere to be found. That's right. They've falling so far behind that even the latest attempt at bunching doesn't help them.
When the teams enter the submarine, we're a bit disappointed that the NCIS team isn't waiting for them in a shameless CBS crossover. We were rooting for Ziva to destroy Dan & Andrew. The three teams on the sub get their clues within five seconds of one another, creating the closest bunching of the season. We also love the boyish excitement exhibited by the guys, as they all thoroughly have enjoyed the opportunity to run around on a submarine.
The teams are instructed to go to "the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments", where they will receive their next instructions. An indeterminate amount of time later, Dan & Andrew enter the sub. We are surprised by this, as we had expected the Russian navy guys from last week to warn their military brethren to bar access to these uncoordinated goofs.
Nick & Starr are the first duo to find their next clue, and have arrived at a Road Block. This competition is an Agatha Christie novel in execution. Teams have to count the number of statues of Lenin and Stalin, which will eventually give them a number of 62. They will go to a bookstore where they will tell a woman this number, and she will hand them a shoe with a telephone in it, or something like that. Oh wait. What will actually happen is she will hand them a book, they will turn to page 62, and search that page for information that will lead them to the home of Mikhail Bulgakov. Missed it by that much. The best part of this sequence is the picture of his novel, Master and Margarita, which features a cat smoking a cigar and playing poker. How are the LOL Cats people not all over this?
A strange moment in editing shows mother Toni telling her son Dallas, "So you take this pack and you take the money and your passport." We only mention this because it's such an innocuous moment that it's an odd choice for inclusion in the episode unless it plants seeds for later events. We suddenly have a *very* bad feeling about Toni & Dallas. The good news for them is that no matter what misfortune may befall them, they still only need to beat Andrew & Dan to avoid a last place finish this leg. Dandrew has never finished ahead of any of the remaining teams in an elimination leg, in fact.
As if anticipating we were going to say that, the editing shows that Andrew & Dan have just spent 40 minutes driving to the wrong park. We feel we have as good a chance - if not a better one - of winning the Amazing Race this season as these doofuses.
Nick, arguably the best overall competitor this season, is the first to leave the park to head to the bookstore. He has correctly deduced the number of Lenins and Stalins, and barring something unforeseen, the brother/sister tandem should have a significant lead. Meanwhile, Dallas is wandering around aimlessly, expressing frustration that he is doing this task instead of his mother. Moments later, we are amused to see Nick brag about stealing the newly arriving Ken & Tina's taxi.
While their cab is being stolen, Ken & Tina get into a spat about the fact that her jacket doesn't have a hood. She sees this as a big deal that prevents her from being comfortable as she makes her way to the author's home. Ken is foolishly under the impression that they're involved in some sort of race, and that time - rather than hair - is of the essence. A subplot of this discussion is that Tina mentions that she has her money and her passport. This is twice that this has come up, and it's now starting to look like something catastrophic is actually going to happen either to Nick or to Dan & Andrew.
At the book store, Nick has gotten the correct answer and has read the clue in the book to send him on his way to Bulgakov's house. Meanwhile, Dallas is less successful, as he has incorrectly deduced that the number is 36 instead of 62. With the incorrect answer, he'll have to sit in time out for ten minutes before he can guess again. Nick makes his way to the author's residence, and he and Starr are informed that they must travel to Sokol'Niky Park, where they need to find - and we quote - a woman with a shetland pony. We're not doing a joke along the lines of "hey, have you heard the one about the lady and the shetland pony," either.
Andrew & Dan finally arrive at the Road Block, and Andrew elects to do the Road Block. Dan is all too willing to let him, and hands his teammate all his money. The show is building quite the mystery with all the financial transactions.
Tina arrives during Dallas's second time out and guesses 52, which of course is incorrect. This means that Dallas will get to guess before she does, but if they work together they could both be out of there pretty quickly. Tina was actually debating the correct number, while Dallas just appears to be guessing random numbers between one and 100.
Cut to the Good Team (they get capitalized now), who finds the shetland pony (after Nick explains to Starr what that is) and get ready for the Detour. They must either "Ride the Rails" or "Ride the Line". In "Rails", they ride a train to the 1905 station and get a pastry at a snack shop. The wrapper to this pastry sends them to another train, which leads them to yet another statue and a woman who will exchange a postcard for a pastry. The postcard reveals the stadium location and their next clue.
For "Lines", the assignment plays out a lot like The Matrix Reloaded. Teams must ride a bus to find a keymaker who will give them a key to a locker. The locker contains a postcard that leads them to the same stadium location for the next clue. Whoa.
Back at the book store and the numbers guessing game, Dallas confers with Tina before his next attempt. He tries to talk her out of her correct evaluation before eventually trying it her way. Sort of. He guesses 63, which is incorrect. Twenty-two seconds later, Tina goes in and says 62, earning her a reunion with her partner. As she leaves, she tells Dallas the correct answer and informs him that he owes her, which is the God's honest truth. He could have been there until midnight otherwise. For all of our criticism of Tina, she's shown exemplary sportsmanship during the game. It's possible it could come back to bite her and Ken later, but she's been very generous in helping others when it has been needed.
Back in the statue area, Team Dandrew is undone by their taxi driver, who generously offers to assist with the Stalin/Lenin counts. They're off by one Lenin, meaning their first guess is going to be 61.
Soon afterward, the editing shows Dallas going in and correctly guessing 62. He then somewhat pathetically asks for a conciliatory hug with the book store owner. We still have no idea how far behind Dan & Andrew are from the rest of their group - and they haven't even done their extra task for losing the last leg. They have picked up a half hour on Toni & Dallas, but they'll lose at least a third of that with an incorrect guess of 61.
Hold on a moment. When Tina arrives at the writer's residence, Ken is shown celebrating. To his right is Dan, meaning that they're not terribly far behind at this point. This is a relief, since The Amazing Race can be...shaky with the facts at times.
Disaster strikes a couple of teams in the next moments. First, Andrew is informed that 61 is not in fact the correct number. His cab driver's reaction is priceless. He had clearly envisioned himself the hero in this little play. But it could be worse. As Dallas gets out of his cab, a quick edit shows a backpack being left behind on the floor. People with DVRs should notice something amusing about this. He gets out of a black car, while the one shown with its door closing is in fact a white car. The camera crew re-shot this as a production staff recreation of the event. That can't possibly be good. We strongly suspect the mother/son team is about to be eliminated.
Dallas quickly realizes that his pack with his passport and all of his money is in the taxi. He runs after the taxi fruitlessly. After Dallas informs his mother of this tragic turn of events, the camera cuts over to Dan, who is unsuccessfully trying to seem sympathetic to their cause. In reality, he's jubilant because he realizes that his sucky team has a solid chance at making the final three, an abomination if it occurs.
We don't want to over-exaggerate the point, but being stuck in Eastern Europe without a passport is exactly the plot of Gotcha! And they don't have any dart guns.
Andrew manages to correctly guess the Lenin/Stalin answer on his second attempt. Team Superbad's good fortune continues when Dan is absolved of guilt. Dallas & Toni would have pressured him to let them borrow $10 for a taxi, an action he later says he would rather not have done. But as it turns out, he doesn't have any money as he gave it all to Andrew. And Toni & Dallas know it. Lex Luthor has an easier time killing Superman than The Amazing Race does in eliminating this team.
Dallas & Toni begin to rely on the kindness of strangers when a couple of teen boys offer them guidance on how to complete the task as well as rubles from their wallet to help them do so. Their fate can only be avoided for so long. As Toni & Dallas sprint alongside Team Dandrew to the shetland pony lady, they are denied access to the next clue. The reason why is that they were trying to save money by taking the metro instead of a more expensive taxi to the park. The rules explicitly stated that they must travel by taxi to get to the shetland pony lady. We're not sure how they're going to work this out, but if it were us, we'd get a taxi and travel once along the block.
Team Superbad has hit their Speed Bump, a task that only they must complete. Proving once and for all that the show's producer's have a sense of humor, the task assigned feels targeted toward Dan. The team must learn a Russian dance and perfom it to the instructor's satisfaction in order to proceed. Having seen Dan's previous attempt at rhythm, we know that he'll never be a contestant on So You Think You Can Dance (unless they go the William Hung route). Needless to say, Dan & Andrew fail on their first attempt to complete the dance. Their dancing partners are even shaking their heads.
We visit Ken & Tina for a moment, as they have chosen the Bus task on the Detour. Continuing the trend of "worst Amazing Race contestants ever", they have taken the wrong bus and should apparently be on a trolley instead. We're sure this won't result in a fight or anything, though.
Team Superbad is finally finished with their Speed Bump, though we're feeling like the dance instructor was awfully generous. We briefly get a glimpse of the Good Team, and they've finished their Detour and are first to the Pit Stop. This has been a foregone conclusion for about half the show. And hey, look. They won another trip. Ho-hum.
A few more things happen before the end of the episode. The first is that Dan & Andrew epitomize the quality of this season by finishing in second place, earning themselves a one in three shot at winning the race. The second is that Ken & Tina continue the theme that this is quite possibly the worst overall leg in the show's history when Phil informs them he can't check them in because they forgot to pick up their clue at the end of the Detour. Depending on how you describe a mistake, the teams combined to make somewhere between 17 and 23 in this particular leg. The worst part? There were only four teams - and the Good Team didn't make any mistakes. The most amazing part? One of the participants no longer has a passport. We're redefining gross incompetence.
After a few moments of fake reality show tension, Ken & Tina return to the finish line. They have a one in three chance at winning a million dollars...technically. If we were Nick & Starr, we'd already be putting a down payment on a house.
Rather than extend their misery, Phil walks over to the spot where Toni & Dallas are begging for change on the street and tells them that they have been eliminated from the race. He has the displeasure of informing them that despite the fact that they are significantly better than two of the three teams in the final, they will not be in the final three. A nice mother/son moment occurs, wherein they state their affection for one another and make their peace with their misfortune. Our only consolation is that we are only one episode away from Nick & Starr's coronation, which will mercifully end the abject failure that is Amazing Race 13.
BOP is doing a link exchange with our good friends at Buddy TV this season. For more The Amazing Race info, visit their site.