Amazing Race

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Gypsies, Vamps, and Beams

The first flight into Bucharest lands in the middle of the night, and the four lead teams wrangle cabs to the "Sala Gimnastica." Inside, young gymnasts are in full workout mode, because I guess in Romania they don't let them sleep. Amanda is the first to the clue box, which tells them this is a Road Block. Phil informs us, "One person must engage in an activity that has made Romania world-famous." And as a young girl sticks a tumbling run right in front of him, he explains, "Gymnastics." Who'da thunk? Whoever takes this for each team will do some moves on the balance beam, parallel bars, and floor exercise in turn. Then they'll get their next clue. As for the decision of which team member will be doing it, Amanda sees this as a no-brainer, as does Luke: "I'm not wearing that girl's leotard," he signs to his mom. Over on the floor, Amanda has changed into a leotard with Romanian colors and is watching a preteen gymnast demonstrate the moves she'll need to do, while a trainer runs them down on a clipboard. Amanda mounts the beam and, despite a few bobbles, finishes quickly. "She's kicking butt," Kris remarks to himself. Then it's on to the parallel bars. Meanwhile, Margie is up on the balance beam while Luke calls out, "Don't fall!" Which doesn't work, and Margie has to start over. Maybe Luke should have signed it instead. Amanda finishes the parallel bars and moves on to the floor exercises as Mel and Mike arrive, and agree that Mike is the more Nadia of the two of them. Amanda finishes the floor exercises with more determination than grace, but they're out of there in first place.

Their next clue is sending them to Brasov, Transylvania. Oh, and if you freeze-frame on the clue, you can see that someone is a Young Frankenstein fan; the top paragraph reads, "Pardon me, boy, you need the Transylvania station." The camera transports us to Brasov, which even has a Hollywood-style sign mounted on one of the hills that surround the town. Except the letters spell out "BRASOV" and not "HOLLYWOOD," which would have come off kind of pretentious. Phil tells us that once they get there, they'll take a taxi to Biserica Niegra, or "Black Church." Which, I'm just saying, does not look black on my TV.

Margie finishes the balance beam, just as Mike hops up. He's not wearing a girl's leotard, by the way. Margie bulls through the parallel bars while Mike flop-sweats on the beam, but they both get it done. Thus Margie and Luke hold on to their second-place slot.

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Amazing Race

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