While waiting for the front gate to open, Jill and Thomas at least get to watch a little show of clowns clowning around in the courtyard, including one driving a guy in a bear suit around in a motorcycle sidecar. It's a scene of highly concentrated wackiness. Finally the gate is opened, and in rushes everyone. We haven't yet seen Nick and Vicki, who probably still haven't left and should have a Speed Bump ahead of them this leg. Right? Everyone opens the clue at pretty much the same time and learns that it's a Detour. Over shots of more clowns inside the circus tent, Phil says, "The circus has been a fixture of Russian culture for hundreds of years," so this Detour is a choice between "Circus Band" and "Circus Clown." For the former, both team members will have to learn how to play a Russian folk song on the accordion to earn their next clue. For the latter, they'll do a plate-spinning bit where they have to keep ten plates spinning simultaneously on poles for at least ten seconds. Easy to explain, hard to do, on both counts. At least it seems that way. Jill and Thomas decide on the plates. While the other teams are deciding, clowns are sticking foam-rubber clown noses on their faces for them, just to help them get into the circus mood (or, alternatively, to make them look ridiculous for the cameras, because there's a first time for everything). Michael and Kevin decide on the plates, as do Brook and Claire. Nat and Kat opt for Band, Chad/Stephanie and Gary/Mallory decide on the plates, and Nick and Vicki (who have shown up after all) also go for plates.
But where's Nick and Vicki's Speed Bump? I have to admit, I completely forgot about it until after I submitted the recaplet for this episode, and it's not like the show went out of its way to bring it to our attention. But according to Reality Blurred, rumor has it that Nick and Vicki were victims of a judging error at the Classical Music Detour in the last leg (i.e., they made a correct guess and were told it was wrong), so they made it a non-elimination leg on the fly and wiped the slate clean at the beginning of this leg by keeping the circus gate closed until noon or whatever. And now that I think about it, I don't remember Phil specifically saying they would have a Speed Bump this leg after all. It would be nice if we didn't have to do our own research to find that out, especially since I prefer to stick with what's onscreen. But the Speed Bump is conspicuously not onscreen, which I initially thought was because all of the other stuff that happens this leg is so interesting that they edited it out. And by "interesting," I mean "interesting to the editors." I was glad to learn that it was just because somebody fucked up.