From Bucharest, the teams scatter throughout Europe before converging in Moscow and proceeding to Siberia. A Detour requires them to either stack walls of firewood or assemble wooden shutters. Kisha and Jen take an early lead, while Stuntmen Mark and Michael suffer such a serious setback on the former task that they're further behind than when they started. Then when they switch tasks, they end up getting lost. The second wave of teams at the wood-stacking task suffers an epidemic of collapsing, and Mel|Mike and Amanda|Kris follow in the Stuntmen's meandering footsteps. This season adds the "Blind U-Turn," which allows one team to screw a team behind them -- but without giving themselves away as the ones who did it. Which is what Margie and Luke do to Kris and Amanda. The Road Block requires Racers to not only ride a bobsled, but also collect letters, unscramble them, and, ideally, to have heard of Anton Chekhov. ["It is depressing that the last part of that was the most difficult challenge for people." -- Angel] An all-female race to the Pit Stop has the Flight Attendants winning their first leg, with Kisha and Jen in second. Amanda and Kris never do recover from being U-Turned, and get Philiminated even though the seventh-place Stuntmen don't have enough cash to pay their cabbie at the Pit Stop. Well, if you U-Turn someone, I guess it's a lot less awkward to be rid of them as a result.
Who will win this season? Check out our predictions. Come back later in the week for M. Giant's full detailed episode recap.
After a re-edited title sequence (no more Jennifer licking her teeth in close-up!), Phil welcomes us back to Romania, and flogs the Transylvanian connection to the story of Dracula some more before welcoming us back to Vila Panoramic, the third Pit Stop. Mel and Mike arrived at 10:49 a.m., which is earlier than I suspected, and so are leaving at 10:49 p.m. "Flying to Siberia," Mike reads from their clue. Phil tells us that everyone has to fly to Moscow and thence to the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk. From there, they need to head to what's shown on the ten-ruble note, which is "the Soviet-era Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric dam." Dude, how convenient is that? They're so lucky they didn't have to go find what was shown on the U.S. nickel. In other news, my mind is somewhat blown that spell-check recognizes "Krasnoyarsk."
As the Whites climb into a taxi and commence some polyglot banter with their driver, Mike interviews, "My dad is part Woody Allen, part Billy Graham, and a splash of Judy Garland. So I feel like with all of those qualities, somehow we're going to survive this race." Has anyone ever been killed on the race? I'm just asking.
Amanda and Kris are leaving four minutes behind, at 10:53. They cannot pronounce "Krasnoyarsk." Kris interviews that because they're so young and competitive and have been together so long, they're going to win. Barring anything unforeseen, of course.
Kisha and Jen are out of there at 10:55, which is even closer behind. "Oh, my ass hurts," one of them says as they run for the taxis. In the recurring "what do you know about your destination" segment, Kisha ventures, "I know that's where they have Siberian tigers."
Margie and Luke are leaving in fourth, at 11:06. "Sound effects," Margie comments as Luke makes his own clue-ripping noise. Margie solo-interviews that Luke's living his dream. "When we are in a competition and it's shoulder-to-shoulder with other teams, he is going to absolutely gun it." But what will he do if another team is not shoulder-to-shoulder with him, but far behind, and he has a chance to screw them over? What happens then?
I know "Krasnoyarsk" is hard to pronounce on first sight, but as he and Michael leave at 11:07, Mark is struggling with "Siberia."
Right behind them at 11:08 are the Flight Attendants, Christie and Jodi, and as they get into their cab, Jodi talks about the importance of research. The cabbie offers to find them an internet café, and thus becomes their "new favorite cab driver." Well, that was easy.