Amazing Race

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Run for the Border

Nat and Kat are riding the chairlift in what they call their "own private ski resort." I never understand how the race always gets these places to shut down for the day. What do they offer them in exchange, exposure on a primetime American TV series or something? Nat interviews about the breathtaking landscape, which I must agree is a lot more impressive than the photo backdrop she and Kat are sitting in front of. They dismount at the top and soon find the course, with the sleds lined up waiting for them. They basically look like tiny snowmobiles without motors. Nat and Kat don helmets and goggles and get going, and they'd better hope the handlebars on those things work because this course is far from a straight line. In fact, there's a ninety-degree banked turn almost right away, and another turn without a bank after that, and as Nat says after the fact, the brakes are pretty much useless. In fact, Kat hops a bank, crashes into the flimsy fence, and goes rolling out of sight in a shot that looks like she might come to a stop in Finland. Nat doesn't even notice anything's wrong until she crosses the finish line (with an impressive time of 1:48) and realizes she's all alone down there. "Is she okay?" Nat wonders. Physician, heal thyself! A guide skis up to Kat, who's tangled in the flimsy fencing like a fly in a web and is going to have to be extracted. Unlike a fly in a web, preferably.

Gary and Mallory are geared up for their first attempt. Mallory goes careening downhill. Kat's back on course, rejoining Nat at the bottom with a time of 3:36. Yeah, she's going to have to do that again.

Brook and Claire have arrived at the ski resort and Claire spots the chairlifts in the distance. Mallory finished the course in 1:58, and she and Gary are both pretty happy, but that's the time you have to beat, and she didn't, so the guide says she has to do it again. The sign next to the clock reads "Vader & Sno Info," which I can only assume announces the times for upcoming performances by the resort's Star Wars vaudeville duo. I bet their two-man reenactment of the Battle of Hoth is killer.

Michael and Kevin have erected their tent, so now they need to arrange the fur beds and the little metal woodburning stove that goes in there. How clever to bring a fire into your tent; it'll keep you from dying of hypothermia, because you'll be dying of smoke inhalation or burning to death instead. Kevin says his feet are frostbitten, because even though he put on proper pants, he's still not appropriately dressed: "I'm wearing ankle socks." Was Kevin not clear on what summer means in the Arctic Circle? Because my understanding is that it doesn't mean "warm" as much as it simply means "daylight."

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Amazing Race

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