During episode 4 of this season’s Amazing Race, the teams headed off in the middle of the night from Bucharest to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia via Moscow. Unlike getting to Bucharest from Salzburg, Moscow from Bucharest is a piece of cake. Flights went through Munich, Frankfurt and Sofia, Bulgaria. Half the teams were on one flight and half on another once they reached Moscow. After the teams landed in Krasnoyarsk they were in for some fun and games with wood piles and bobsleds.
Here’s one travel tip: On the way to the airport, flight attendants Christie and Jodi stopped at an Internet cafe to find the best option and book tickets. Those flight attendants sure know how to zip through airplane schedules.
This episode was the best so far for giving each team air time, and again showing off the flavor of the country. In Siberia there were traces of snow and grey skies, but the people were friendly and seemed happy to be part of the reality TV experience. Plus, taxi drivers seemed to know where they were going and the traffic was minimal. Besides that, the teams seemed to be enjoying each other each time their paths crossed. Also, when a team experienced bad luck, the others close by doled out sympathy.
First stop, the Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Dam–no bungee jumping this time, just the clue for the next stop and a look at Lenin’s face. This is where this episode began to get dicey.
Once teams headed to the charming, small wooden Church of Innukenty, they could either stack wood or build traditional wooden shutters for a house in need of some TLC. Each task was to give a nod to Siberian winters and had to be done exactly.
The wood pile was daunting for half of the teams who tried. One wrong move and half the enormous pile came tumbling down–and in the worst case scenario, taking the already stacked pile partially with it. While teams were busy stacking, there were some Siberians hanging out drinking, eating sausage cooked that was cooked over an open fire, and playing music to add in some cultural backdrop.
Once some of the teams gave up on wood stacking, the shutter building business proved to be a doable task, but like any task done under pressure, finding the house to put the shutters on gave a couple of the teams pause.
Because the teams were spread out time wise, this episode provided a rollicking switch back and forth between tasks as some teams moved on to the second task while others were just starting the first one. Split screen TV comes in handy.
Once teams either stacked their wood, or made their shutters and fastened them to the house, they were off to the Museum of the Novel “The Last Bow” and the next clue. Here Margie and Luke did a “Blind U-Turn” to Amanda and Kris, who, earlier in the episode, were waxing poetic on how their youth and competitiveness made them a shoo-in to win the million. Yeah, right.
Next stop, Bobrovy Amusement Park and a speedy ride down the 3 miles of a bobsled course keeping track of the 7 letters in the name of a famous Russian playwright. One thing was clear, Russian literature isn’t general knowledge information. Victor was one of the few who knew the answer straight off and seemed to think Anton Chekhov isn’t exactly obscure.
As an interesting aside, this task offered a slight glimpse into what people who are deaf have to deal with when it comes to the interplay between American Sign Language, English and another language. Luke was operating through his second language, English to figure out an answer in another language. It took him several attempts, but by trying various combinations he eventually got it right.
Like last week, this week showed that this season is any team’s game. As Mike said after he and his dad hung their shutters after the wood pile task went bust, then finished the bobsled task and found out that other teams were behind them at the bobsled course, “Just when you think you’re out of this race, you’re back in.”
Once the bobsled task was done, off the teams galloped to the Krasnoyarsk State Musical Comedy Theater.
Who won?: Christie and Jodi made it to the Pit Stop first with Kesha and Jen a close second. For their win, they each received a 650 motorcycle.
Who lost? Amanda and Kris came in last due to their U-Turn, but took it well. They have their love and maybe will pep things up in Ko Samui, Thailand where the other losers are at the Elimination Station.