Amazing Race

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M. Giant: A- | Grade It Now!
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Sent to Siberia

Mark and Michael go with "Stack." "I actually stack wood at home all the time," Mark says, "so I thought it was going to be maybe a better choice than putting something together." Did Mark just admit that he might not be so great at something? I mean, he did it in the context of claiming to be way better at something else, but I'm taking it. The Flight Attendants and Kisha|Jen follow their lead. They actually find the place for stacking first, while the Stuntmen take a wrong turn. One of them even takes a header on the icy sidewalk. Apparently running isn't as simple as they might have once claimed.

The Flight Attendants make their way down a wooden gangplank to the bank of the unfrozen river, where there is apparently some kind of party already in progress. There's accordion music and singing, and a drunken red-haired lady who blares, "America, I love you!" I suspect that America, in the form of The Amazing Race producers, sponsored this little party on the riverbank. I'd also say it's a little early to be two-fisting like she is, but it's Siberia, so I can't judge. I mean, my weather isn't much better, but at least we have skyways. Christie and Jodi discover eight neat, giant stacks of firewood, all lined up along the bank. These are what they'll have to replicate, using the chaotic piles of logs dumped in front of each one. They get right to work, deciding to start at the ends and meet in the middle. Jodi warns Christie against starting their stack too close to the model, lest it fall down and knock over their example. Jen and Kisha arrive shortly thereafter. "It's like Jenga," Jen says, which is going to prove all too accurate for too many teams. Kisha starts sorting the pieces by shape, i.e. the ones with rectangular cross-sections as opposed to triangular. "This is a lot of freaking wood," Jen observes. Two sharp observations in a row.

Mark and Michael finally arrive, the other teams commenting about how they get lost a lot. Mark analyzes the structure. Basically, the ends consist of support columns with the logs stacked in crisscrossed towers that are designed to create enough stability hold the middle logs between them. The teams are all working, and Jen is trying to get Kisha to hand her a piece of wood. "Not that big! Not that big!" How is Kisha the annoying one, now? Meanwhile, Michael points out how Mark is doing it wrong, apparently starting to build support columns all the way into the middle. "Oh, that's right. The other way would have been easier," Mark chuckles. I also notice that they're building their wall dangerously close to the model wall, just like the Flight Attendants didn't.

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Amazing Race

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