Recap: The Amazing Race 14, Episode 4 – “My ass hurts.”

Episode 14.04: It Was Like a Caravan of Idiots

One thing I am not appreciating is the episode preview at the beginning of the episode.  Thanks for spoiling the Blind U-Turn!  It would’ve been much more exciting learning about it at the same time as the Racers. Hmph.

But, before the leg begins, we get a great edited opening.  Instead of the standard staged shots of the teams at home, we get actual scenes of the teams in the Race before the non-head turns.  It was actually very refreshing.

Wrong Number, Wrong Flights
And so the 4th leg of the Race begins with Mel & mike opening their clue telling them to fly thought Moscow to the city of Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.  They must then travel to the Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric dam, which is printed on the back of the 10 ruble note.  There they will find their next clue.

On the way to the airport, Christie & Jodi make a stop at an internet café to research and find a couple of possible flights using their flight attendant experience.  One of the flights arrives an hour and five before their connecting flight to Krasnoyarsk, determining it to be too tight.  

In the other taxis, Mark & Michael say the greatest tool they’ve discovered is taxi driver’s cell phones to call ahead to the airport.  They borrow their driver’s phone and for some reason they end up calling Jaime and Cara’s driver instead of Lufthansa.  

And with the 2nd best use of the split screen this season, Jaime and Cara play along and tell the brothers about “a flight” in the morning but only with business class seats.  (“It’s an American.”)

At the airport, the teams separate and take one of four flights to Moscow.  From there, they are scheduled to take a 8:55 flight to Krasnoyarsk arriving at 5:40am.

That 5:40am arrival only see three teams get off the plane: Jen & Kisha, Jodi & Christie, and Mark & Michael, with the other five teams stuck in Moscow.

Keeping Warm
Mark & Michael arrive first and find the dam opens at 8:30am.  The other 5 teams don’t arrive before it opens the three teams head into the damn to find their next clue.

They must now head to the Church of Saint Innokenty where they’ll find their next clue.

In this Detour, teams have to choose between two things locals do to protect themselves from the bitter cold of the Siberian winters.
In Stack, teams must stack a pile of firewood in a traditional Siberian method up to satisfactory conditions for their next clue.
In Construct, teams must assemble a traditional Siberian wood shutter then take it to a home marked “Repairs Needed” and install it to get their next clue.

Mark & Michael, Christie & Jodi, and Jen & Kisha all choose Stack and are welcomed by a chorus of locals (“America! I love you!  Haha!”) trying to keep warm any way they can (*wink* *wink*).  Christie & Jodi make sure not to stack too close to the existing stack so as not to knock them over.  (Foreshadowing!)

They begin stacking just as the final five teams arrive in Krasnoyarsk and rush towards the dam.

Back at the logs, the teams are doing pretty well until (*gasp*) Mark & Michael’s wall of logs comes tumbling down.  They instantly decide to switch to the other Detour and the girls cheer themselves on.

Heading to the shutters, and after getting barked at, they decide to go find the home first and then  take their supplies instead of lugging them around.  They fear it’ll take all day.  Hmm…

The final five arrive at the dam with Margie noting that Amanda & Kris would beat them in a footrace, no doubt.

Blind Ambition
Kisha & Jen finish the logs and get their clue warning them of the U-Turn ahead.
Phil introduces the Blind U-Turn where teams who U-Turn can remain anonymous by not posting their picture on the U-Turn.

Meanwhile, the final teams arrive at the Detour and all decide to do the logs.

Kisha & Jen and Christie & Jodi decide not to U-Turn anyone and head to their next routemarker, Bobrovy Log Park.  There, they find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams must complete a three mile bobsled course in under four minutes, all the while looking out for letters along the way.  After writing down all the letters, they will then unscramble them to spell the name of a famous Russian playwright, Chekhov.
Kisha and Christie decide to do it.  Kisha misses one letter and has to repeat the course.  Christie, however, has no idea how to even start unscrambling the letters.

Back at the Detour, Mark & Michael are lost looking for the house, and the other teams are mostly halfway done with their stacks.  Jaime & Cara point out to Margie that Kris is doing all the work while Amanda is apparently just standing there (that is debatable).  They proclaim “Girls rule!” since they have no men helping them in their tasks.  

Everything seems to be going well until… *gasp* three of the stacks topple.

Mel & Mike and Kris & Amanda decide to switch detours, while Cara & Jaime decide to continue on with their stacks.  Margie & Luke and Tammy & Victor’s stacks stay up and they finish.

At the U-Turn, wanting their BFFs to stay in the Race, Margie & Luke U-Turn Kris & Amanda, whom they also believe are the toughest competition on the Race.

From Bottom to Top
At the bobsled track, Christie and Kisha have no idea how to even start the unscrambling of letters and begin to randomly move them around until they get it right.  Kisha figures it out first and they get their clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop, the Krasnoyarsk Theater of Musical Comedy.

They must enter through the main entrance.  Kisha & Jen enter a different way allowing Christie & Jodi to grab a surprising first place for the leg and each winning a motorcycle.  The sisters finish a very close 2nd.

Mark & Michael finish assembling their shutters and start looking for the home again when they run into Mel & Mike.  They agree to help them assemble their shutters and afterwards they’ll all go out together.  Kris & Amanda meet up with them at the workshop and they ALL decide to work together.

Victor finishes the Road Block and instantly assembles Chekhov and they head to the Pit Stop, finishing 3rd.
Luke meanwhile gets frustrated when he has no idea.  He takes a while but they head to the Pit Stop to take 4th.
Jaime & Cara arrive at the Road Block just as their BFFs leave and eventually finish 5th.

The three shutter teams begin wandering around the little village with their shutters on their ladders as they lug them around not knowing where in the world the home for repair was.
They are down the block when our trusty cameraman sees the sign, which eventually the teams see and they finally finish.

Already GoneKris & Amanda, last at the Detour head to the cluebox only to find their faces on the U-Turn.  Crushed, they head back to the logs and wonder how someone could be shady enough to U-Turn them when all they’ve been was nice.  After finally finishing and on their way to the Road Block, they speculate that leading teams Jen & Kisha and Christie & Jodi were the ones who U-Turned them and that Tammy & Victor and especially Margie & Luke would feel bad to see them U-Turned.  Sucks that they were mistaken.

Mel & Mike take 6th and Mark & Michael only have 5000 rubles for an 8000 ruble cab ride.  They offer their watch, but the driver has a Rolex.  He doesn’t want their jackets and eventually accepts the 5000.  They finish 7th.

Kris flies through the Road Block and dating couple head to the Pit Stop to finish last and are Philiminated.

Well, it was an exciting leg even though things may not have worked out how they were originally planned.

The log Detour could’ve been epic  but it only ended up being amusing when the logs fell over.  The shutters could’ve cooler as well but they had little to no interaction with the locals since it looked like they were in a deserted village.
And the Road Block, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it easily.  Not everyone can think of Chekhov off the top of their head Victor!

Siberia looked absolutely beautiful.

The U-Turn.  I’ve always said the U-Turn (and the Yield before it) are fine when teams used them to save their own skin and not because of personal reasons.  It’s harsh, but it’s part of the game I guess.  I only wish (as I do every season) is to have the Fast Forward back every leg.  That would create just as much drama, if that’s what they are looking for, but it’s all up to the budget I guess.

I can’t blame Margie & Luke for using the U-Turn because they did eliminate one of, if not their biggest competitors.  Using it to save their BFFs though isn’t the smartest thing to do though.  You can have friends in the Race, but Margie & Luke better hope they won’t need the U-Turn the 2nd time around.

And for me, I’m bummed Kris & Amanda were the victims of the U-Turn.  We finally get a nice dating couple that aren’t wannabe model/actors, don’t have their head in the “clouds,” and aren’t bickering, and they’re eliminated early.  🙁 We’re still left with a good group though, so I guess it’s okay.

Leg Four Itinerary
Vila Panoramic
Bran Castle, Braşov, Romania

Moscow, Russia

Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia

Krasnoyarsk hydroelectric dam
Braşov , Transylvania

Saint Innokenty Church

Bobovry Log Park

Krasnoyarsk Theater of Musical Comedy
Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia

Departure Times
Braşov, Romania
Mel & Mike 10:49pm
Amanda & Kris 10:53pm
Kisha & Jen 10:55pm
Margie & Luke 11:06pm
Mark & Michael 11:07pm
Christie & Jodi 11:08pm
Jaime & Cara 11:29pm
Tammy & Victor 1:03am

Who Did the Detour?



All three teams chose “Stack” first before switching Detours.  Amanda & Kris completed both Detours after being U-Turned.

Road Block Count

In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block
Who’s ready to speed read?
3 Kisha Jen 1
2 Christie Jodi 2
2 Tammy Victor 2
2 Luke Margie 2
2 Cara Jaime 2
2 Mel Mike 2
2 Mark Michael 2
1 Amanda Kris 3
0 Brad Victoria 3
1 Linda Steve 1
1 Preston Jennifer 0

Order of Finish
Christie & Jodi 1st
Kisha & Jen 2nd
Tammy & Victor 3rd
Margie & Luke 4th
Cara & Jaime 5th
Mel & Mike 6th
Mark & Michael 7th
Amanda & Kris Philiminated

My Team Rankings for Leg 4
Amanda & Kris Amanda & Kris – Well, there goes my Kris & Jon v2.0. They were both nice, they were both pretty, they were both more than capable, and more importantly, they were couple that wasn’t aloof and in the clouds all the time.  It sucks seeing them go so early and by such crappy circumstances, but that’s the Race. 
Tammy & Victor Tammy & Victor – So they’re getting back up to speed, thank goodness.  They really are one of the stronger teams mentally and physically as long as they don’t have a repeat of last week.
Mel & Mike Mel & Mike – Not the best leg for them. But they’re doing okay so far as well, no real big mistakes so far.
Christie & Jodi Christie & Jodi – I definitely appreciate the fact that they went from last to first in four legs.  Though also a testament to the close Race where places can constantly change, they had the right combination of plane luck, good performance, and drive to push through even as other teams collapsed.  Good to see them on the upswing. 
Lakisha & Jennifer Kisha & Jen – Also stepping up their game, their sisterly disagreements seem to be past them and they are moving forward very well.  Could we possible have three all-female teams in the end? 
Cara & Jaime Cara & Jaime – Well, they’re getting a boost from their BFFs, but on their own they are still a pretty capable team as well.  Good team dynamics and reasonably very good at the tasks.  If they keep it up, they’re good to go. 
Mark & Michael Mark & Michael – Not a good leg for them.  They were just all over the place.  And they’ve had some slip ups in the past too.  It is those little mistakes that can cost a team the Race, so they need to work on that.
Margie & Luke Margie & Luke – I can’t blame them for using the U-Turn, doesn’t mean it I’m happy about it though.  The “he can do anything” testimonials are getting a little old since no one’s really underestimated them and there’s already much proof to say that “deaf people can do it.”
Quotes from Episode 14.04
Mike: “My dad is part Woody Allen, part Billy Graham, and a splash of Judy Garland.”

Jen: “My ass hurts.”

Kisha: “We’re flying to Siberia.  I know that’s where they have Siberian tigers!”

Cara: “Pretty powerful beavers made that damn, they must be females.”

Fun local: “America! I love you!”

Kisha: “It’s like Jenga”

Touchy Feely local: “You cute girls… the best”

Victor: “Nothing fell!  That’s Asian engineering.”

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