Amazing Race

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Eisenstein, Tchaikovsky, and Babushkas

At St. Isaac's -- or rather, the park across the street -- Nat and Kat jog up to the mat, the latter clicking her heels. Phil tells them they're team number four.

Nick and Vicki arrive at Neighborhood Store late in the afternoon, and Nick's all over "Russian Drag Race" because he takes the clue literally. Until, that is, he is handed the dress. "This is how I'm going out, like this?" he says as he puts it on. Nick soon finds his potatoes, but getting directions to Duck's End is a little tricky. Although one guy does says, "America, friendship," and clasps his hands together. Don't worry, tovarische, Nick isn't armed. Nobody else has directions for Nick, but they're happy to pose for pictures with him, because they don't know any better.

If there's such a thing as a nail-biter for fifth place, we're about to see one. Gary/Mallory get dropped off, and Chad spots them from their cab, directing the driver to pull over at the park. Both teams run for it, but fifth pace goes to Chad and Stephanie, closely followed by Gary and Mallory. They're teams number five and six, respectively, and couldn't be happier about it. Of course Mallory probably doesn't yet know of Stephanie sabotaged her. Or should I say sapootaged?

Nick has found the field, and he says, "I never thought I'd be planting potatoes in Russia in a woman's dress." Only one babushka is outside with him. He finishes and gets his clue, politely shaking the babushka's hand. "Run, babushka, run!" Vicki calls as she sees him returning to her outside Neighborhood Store. "Warning, the last team may be eliminated," Vicki reads from the clue. In the cab on the way back, the daytime light is failing, and Nick looks defeated as Vicki says they did their best and are proud of each other. "It was worth every second of it," she says. That's good, because they spent a lot more seconds racing than everyone else did.

They finally reach the Pit Stop mat in the evening twilight. Phil funereally informs them, "I'm sorry to tell you you're the last team to arrive," which is the first sign that it's a non-elimination leg. He adds, "I'm very sorry to tell you that.........you gotta run another leg, 'cause you guys are still in the race." Not as sorry as I am. Vicki whoops and hugs Nick as Phil tells them it's a non-elimination leg. "Luck was not our side for some reason," Vicki says. "Til now," Nick points out. Actually, Nick wasn't on their side for part of the leg. They interview that they're not ready to go home yet. "We're gonna come out on top anyways," Vicki says. Well, they made it to the halfway point, which is better than I thought they'd do, so you probably shouldn't listen to me when I predict that they'll be the first team ever to fail a Speed Bump.

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Amazing Race

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