Amazing Race
I'm In Russia, Playing With Dolls

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Miss Alli: B | Grade It Now!
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Drivers, divers, and dolls

When Lake and Michelle open the clue, Lake says, "Fly to...freakin' Russia! Dadgummit, I was hopin' we wouldn't have to go to Russia." "Shut up, it'll be fun," Michelle says. I have to say, I think Lake is...a blowhard, but probably harmless, for the most part. I think he's kind of one of those guys who's all talk as far as being an asshole, you know? Of course, my first thought when he said he didn't want to go to Russia was that he didn't want communist cooties, but when they're in the car, what he's talking about is that it's going to be cold, which I can certainly understand. We don't have communism up in my neck of the woods, but that doesn't mean you'd want to come here in the middle of the winter. In the winter, our pitch is pretty much down to "Hey, It Could Be Worse. You Could Be In Wisconsin."

At the bus station, Danielle and Dani get on the 10:00 AM bus. "You guys look so good today," Eric or Jeremy says to them. There is a bit of business where Eric comes over and fiddles with Dani's shirt on the theory that he's picking something off it, har har. If we were supposed to think that there was "pairing up" at the pit stop, it's a little disrupted by the fact that Eric is the one fiddling with Dani's shirt. In an interview, Dani says -- listen closely -- "Danielle and I spent time with Jeremy and Eric at the last pit stop, and, you know, we got to know the boys a lot better." Danielle adds, "They made our time there a lot more fun, like, I really have to say I enjoyed my time at the pit stop." That interview is, to me, absolutely teeming with an "in spite of the fact that we recognize that they're basically assholes" vibe. Like, "Even though they're pretty much dicks, we did have fun with them and got to know them more, and they're kind of entertaining for pit-stop down time." I'm not saying there won't be budding romances there, but I hold out hope that that entire clip of her talking was a qualifier on her real opinion.

Fran and Barry complete the zip line and get the Moscow clue.

At 9:15 AM, the first bus leaves with BJ and Tyler, Joseph and Monica, Eric and Jeremy, and Dave and Lori. In Lake and Michelle's car, he asks her to read the clue to him one more time. "I'm going to punch you in the mouth," she says. "It doesn't say anything different." "Hey, listen to me," he says with a hint of a smile, "Don't be ugly. Because we haven't been ugly to each other, you hear me?" She protests that he was being ugly on the way to Brotas, but...with these people, much more than with some others, I can kind of begin to see that this might be the way they talk to each other, in a way that's not all that troubling, even though it's certainly not what I would choose for myself. They get to the bus station and get a departure time of 10:00 AM, along with Danielle and Dani. And as they talk, Michelle realizes that she left the fanny pack in the car. Lake scolds her not to ever take that pack off, which is probably fairly good advice. "We're not arguing over something so silly," she says firmly. "It's here, we didn't lose it." "Can we agree, listen, just don't take it off?" he says. "Can we agree for you to hush?" she comes back. "Michelle, don't be a bitch, now." I have to say, I like the line, "Can we agree for you to hush?" Like I said, it's not the marriage I would choose, but it's certainly not Jonathan and Victoria, you know? In fact, I have to say, I believe I'm tucking away "Can we agree for you to hush?" for future use.

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