Amazing Race

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Out On a Limb
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Remember Moscow? Over leftover b-roll footage from last week of the Graveyard of Fallen Monuments, Phil explains, "On the map for nearly one thousand years, it is still most famous for being the epicenter of Soviet power." Rome and Istanbul are like, "Yeah, that doesn't go away." Phil welcomes us back to the tenth Pit Stop, VDNKh Park, "built as an exhibition center for socialist achievement." Nick and Starr, who arrived first again, are leaving late at night, at 10:56 p.m. "I love you," Starr tells Nick while fidgeting and waiting to open the envelope. Fist bump. And it's immediately apparent that this is not going to be one of those airport-intensive finales, because the clue comes right out and says, "Fly to your final destination city of Portland, Oregon." Okay, then. Phil informs us that's only 5,000 miles away. If he says so. Once they land, they're going to have to find an "adventure camp" to locate their next clue. As they get in their cab, Starr holds Nick's arm and rests her head on his shoulder. They look like an exhausted newlywed couple on their way to their honeymoon. In a deer stand. In a pre-departure interview, Starr admits that they're tired, but are counting on adrenaline to get them through. "I can't believe we're at the end of this," Starr says as their cab pulls up near the airport terminal. Nick tells her they're "far from the end." Inside, they go straight to a Wi-Fi café and get online to research flights. They're leaning toward the one where they change planes in Frankfurt. By the way, it looks like a seat is priced in the mid-four-thousands, so it's a good thing they're not using their own money. This show has to spend more on airfare for these people than the prize itself. They get their tickets, and Starr leans on Nick's shoulder some more. You guys, I'm trying to avoid the incest jokes, but they're going to have to help me out a little.

Andrew and Dan are second to depart, which still blows my mind. But they're leaving at 2:28 a.m., over three and a half hours behind the leaders, so my worldview is still partially intact. In their pre-departure interview, Dan tries not to sound defensive as he explains why he and Andrew deserve to be in the final three: "We've been resilient and we've persevered through a lot of tough times. For people who think we're just going to be chicken feed for Nick and Starr and Ken and Tina, I think they are severely mistaken." Which is probably correct; it's not like the other teams are going to slow down so they can peck at them. Dan keeps up the bravado in the cab as he says they're not racing for second place: "It's first or nothing." I think that can be arranged. Inside the terminal, Dan scans the departure board, thinking of transferring in either Munich or Frankfurt, which probably means Lufthansa. Andrew suggests Barcelona, and Dan mocks him for his ignorance of Spain's smaller airport. "You don't have to laugh, I don't know," Andrew says, stung. I'm trying to think of a joke about Barcelona to put here, but I'm just too distracted by Dan's smug and superior attitude. So I'll just comment on that instead.

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Amazing Race

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