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The Amazing Race Recap

She's a Little Scared of Stick, but I Think She'll Be OK!

By David Mumpower

March 16, 2009

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Previously on The Amazing Race, I slept through the episode and my wife was kind enough to pick up the slack in my absence. While I was unconscious, up was down and down was up on the show. The flight attendants ran a brilliant leg, the sisters dominated a task, and Amanda and Kris got eliminated. If the major league baseball season plays out this way, the Washington Nationals and Kansas City Chiefs are going to dominate while the Philadelphia Phillies are scah-rewed. Also, I'm not prepared to recap a season where the flight attendants demonstrate anything resembling competence.

From Russia with love, that's where we begin today's episode. Specifically, we start at the Theater of Musical Comedy, which is presumably not a celebration of the career of Weird Al Yankovic since the place was founded during World War II. The first team to depart this week is the flight attendant tandem, which blows me away every time I think about it. They exit at 12:34 PM, presumably from an alternate dimension where up is down, Bizarro Superman speaks nonsensically, and the Pussycat Dolls are talented singers who would never use their sexuality to garner attention.

The destination for the early part of this episode's challenge is the marvelously named Novosibirsk. Their transportation for this leg is the Transsiberian railroad, meaning the teams must be on the lookout for Ben Kingsley's bad acting. I've seen the movie. They should take that threat seriously. His fake Russian accent alone could make your ears bleed. Once they arrive in the city that has never been pronounced correctly by a foreigner, the contestants must seek out (and I quote) Punkt Tehnicheskogo Osmotra. Surprisingly, this is not a trendy Eastern European nightclub but instead some sort of small car graveyard. There are about 50 cars in the lot and all I can think is that at 6'4", I couldn't fit in any of them.


Kisha and Jen, the college athlete sisters, are the next team to depart at 12:36 PM. The fact that they were only a couple of minutes out of first place last week also surprises me, although I have felt all along that they were probably stronger competitors than they had shown at the start of the race. They seem smart and, more importantly, even tempered, which is important for success in this competition. Unfortunately, the two teams in the lead catch a bad break once they arrive at the train station. They are informed that the next train departure isn't for another ten hours, meaning that all leads will be negated. Of course, this is a bit of karma since similar circumstances in the past are the primary reason both teams are still in the competition. This makes discussions about departure times a bit irrelevant. In fact, the show cuts straight to 10:20 PM rather than show all of the fluff, a good decision they hadn't been making in seasons past.

The train's comfort level on a scale from Slumdog Millionaire's depressing parts to Bill Gates' nicest house falls in the range of elementary school bus. Everyone is miserable with my consolation particularly going out to Kisha and Jen. Their feet hang off their bedding area and their heads are less than a foot from the ceiling. They won't be eating a can of sardines any time soon due to the sympathy pains. The only noteworthy aspect of the train ride is that Mike, the bastard who made me suffer through Nacho Libre, takes a moment to celebrate Luke's mean streak during the prior leg. Upon realizing that the other team would never know who made them repeat a task, Luke chose to penalize Amanda and Kris. This heady strategic move was immediately decried as shady by both of them, but it proved effective and savvy when the strong players were eliminated from competition. Mike says that Luke is creating a new reality show archetype, "the sinister deaf kid". That's infinitely funnier than any joke in Nacho Libre.

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