Amazing Race

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M. Giant: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Cab Fair

After the ads, Brook interviews of Michael and Kevin's predicament, "We had no choice. Even if we'd wanted to help them, it would have been extremely difficult." So they didn't want to help them anyway? That doesn't seem to be entirely the case. Still, between that and Awesome Nick's Awesome Lie, Team YouTube must be feeling a little alone right now.

Back at the tower, Stephanie descends the tower ladder, having given up and asking Chad to go up and look. She seems pretty frustrated. Brook and Claire are dropped off back outside the tower, now on foot, and they start hoofing it back to the church. Up top, Chad's not finding anything right away, either, but he soon spots the figurine in the window ledge. "It was right in front of your frigging face!" he hollers down to Stephanie. "I love it when he rubs it in," she tells us. Must be a lot to love. They get into the cab and Chad laughs in her face. Charming as always. I guess I should be happy that he isn't yelling at her like he usually does when they're in last place, but maybe he should stop mocking her for being an idiot when he clearly hasn't read the clue that says they shouldn't even be in this cab right now.

Nat and Kat arrive at the gorodki courts outside the fortress and open the clue, whose opening question is, "Between the two of you, who is the real player?" Could that be any less specific? Maybe a question like, "Which of you wants to do the next Road Block?" or "Who metabolizes food and breathes oxygen?" Whatever the case, Kat's doing it, and she reads, "Master a centuries-old Russian game to receive your next clue." Do they get centuries to do it in?

Suddenly Phil's at some kind of outdoor game court, informing us with the authority of a born Kiwi, "Americans love their bowling. But here in St. Petersburg, everyone from Peter the Great to Josef Stalin played a difficult Russian version of the game that could take the teams quite a bit of time--" While he's saying this, he steps up on a short little stool of sorts that's set up at the end of a marked lane. And a dude hurls a club from the other end of the lane which knocks the legs out from under the stool, sending Phil stumbling to all fours. Not even he looks cool doing that. "--to master," he finishes from a half-crouch, smiling sheepishly in a way that makes him a better sport than half the people on the race. Then we see other people playing the game of "gorodki," which involves knocking a group of "pins" (actually short, fat wooden dowels) that are set up in different patterns out of a marked area. They have two tries before the pins are reset and they have to start over, "just like in American bowling." What else does it have in common with our version? Do some Russians vaguely remember a show called Gorodki for Rubles? Does the Russian cartoon character Homer Simpovich carry a club instead of a ball, making him even more dangerous than our version? These are the kinds of things I want to know but Phil never tells me. Anyway, after the racers have cleared three different configurations, the gorodki coach will give them their next clue. Kat gets started, and knocks out all but two, leaving herself what looks like a gnarly split. She picks up the spare, though, because that bat is about four feet long. On to the next one.

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Amazing Race

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