Recap: The Amazing Race 14, Episode 5 – “It’s like Siberian hell.”

Episode 14.05: She’s a Little Scared of Stick, but I Think She’ll Be Okay

No Time to Waste
The 5th leg begins with Christie & Jodi opening their clue telling them to ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad over400 miles of frozen tundra to the city of Novosibirsk.  And there, make their way to Punkt Tehnicheskogo Osmotra for their next clue.

Jen & Kisha are right behind them and the both make their way together to the train station.  The train doesn’t leave until 10:26 tonight, so they have 10 hours to wait and all the other teams will probably catch up.

Fast forward to 10:20pm and probably for the first time ever in TAR history, we don’t see the other teams depart from the Pit Stop.  No times, no opening clues… just the teams walking down the steps to the platform.

This is a sleeper train, so the teams get comfortable in their little compartments until they get to Novosibirsk in the morning.  On the way, Mike comments on how Margie & Luke are the powerplayers in the Race, especially after taking about Kris & Amanda in the last leg.

Morning comes and the teams are ready to set off running.  Jen & Kisha are off the train first but go one way while the rest of the teams go another to find taxis.  They end being the last ones to leave the train station.

Jaime & Cara get in a taxi first, but wait for Margie & Luke to get their taxi straight and then have them follow.  

After a smoky cab ride, Jaime & Cara arrive at the clue box first and find the Detour.  In this Detour, teams have to choose between two unavoidable aspects of Siberian life, according to Phil; Russian Bride or Russian Snowplow. 
In both Detours, teams have to choose a 4-speed manual transmission car called a Lada and drive themselves.
In Russian Bride, teams have to drive to a Soviet-area apartment complex and find a waiting bride whom they will then drive across town to a church where their groom is waiting.  After the photographer snaps a photo, the groom hands them their next clue.
In Russian Snowplow, teams drive to Stadium Spartak where they must each take turns driving a cumbersome snowplow on a training course.  When completed, they’ll get their next clue.

Jaime & Cara and Margie & Luke decide on the snowplow.  Tammy & Victor are unsure which Detour to choose, ask Margie what they’re doing and decide to go with them.  Tammy & Victor say they don’t really have an alliance with any of the teams now, but will work with other teams when they can.

On the way to the Detour, the three teams are following each other.  Jaime & Cara and Margie & Luke pull into a gas station to ask for directions while Tammy & Victor are still on the road, and someone there.  They then decide to drive off ahead.  With Jaime & Cara still getting directions, Margie & Luke decide to follow Tammy & Victor, while still looking back to see if the girls are still with them. The girls are not happy.

Tammy & Victor stop again a little later on to ask someone on the street.  Margie & Luke behind them ask someone else, she points in the direction, Victor sees and  they are off.  Margie yells out to them to wait, honks her horn, but the siblings drive off.  Margie & Luke are not happy.

Christie & Jodi, Mark & Michael, and Kisha & Jen arrive at the clue. The brothers choose the snowplow while the other two choose the brides.  Meanwhile, Mel & Mike arrive at the apartment complex and they search for their bride whom they hand a bouquet to and whisk her off to the chuch.

On the road, Tammy & Victor hit traffic and suddenly Jaime & Cara drive by them and get in front, with Margie & Luke behind both of them.  They arrive at the Stadium Spartak.

Jaime & Cara and Margie & Luke have no idea where to go or which snowplow  to choose with the locals  not being very much help (“They don’t speak english!”). Tammy & Victor find the right snowplow and get going with the Detour.

Meanwhile, Christie & Jodi are lost and stop to ask a group of guys near some market.  They were apparently all drunk (“They reeked of vodka.”) and weren’t very much help.  The locals deliver an F-you to the cameras and the girls leave, and Christie says one of the guys asked for her name and then grabbed her butt.

It’s a Crisp Day for a Wedding
Tammy & Victor finish the Detour and they get their next clue telling them to head to Gosudarstvennaya Publichnaya Nauchnaya Tekhnicheskaya Biblioteka, the largest library in Siberia for their next clue.  Jaime & Cara and Margie & Luke are right behind.

Mel & Mike finally arrive at the church and the bride reunites with her groom, who gives them their next clue.  Jen & Kisha’s car stalls in the middle of the road for a little bit, while Mark & Michael finish the snowplows.

Christie & Jodi stop to ask for directions and get a man to guide them to the church.  Unfortunately, he takes them to a completely different church on the other side of the city.

The first three teams arrive at the library and find the Road Block.
(Tight close up on Phil) In this Road Block, teams will have to participate in a winter marathon the way only the bravest locals do… (zoom out on Phil)… in their underwear.
They will partner up with two local runners and warm up for a mandatory 10 minutes before running in the underwear 1.4 miles to the Novosibirsk Ballet and Opera Theatre, the largest in Russia, where their partner will be waiting for them.  Once reunited, they can run into the theatre, find Phil, and check in at the Pit Stop.

Just Bare It
Tammy, Luke, and Cara decide to bare the cold (har har) and draw the attention of the locals as they run by.  Victor says he was kind of jealous, he wanted to run around the city in his underwear.
Cara was a little disappointed at first because no was hooting or hollering to her, hoping it would pump  her up.  But then a man came up to hit on her and she thought “Oh, I must not look that bad” and kept going.

Mel & Mike arrive at the Road Block and Mike decides to do it.  Mark & Michael are right behind.  Jen & Kisha arrive at the church and head off to the library while Christie & Jodi finally deliver their bride as well.

At the Theatre, the runners arrive one by one.
Margie & Luke run into the theatre, a little ballerina welcomes them from the stage and Phil checks them in number 1.
Tammy & Victor take 2nd and Jaime & Cara finish 3rd.

On the way, a woman stops in her tracks to check out Mike and he and Mel finish 4th.
Mark & Michael head into the theatre and walk past Phil, heading down into the theatre.  Phil tries to call their attention, the (very Filipino I must say) “Psst” and snapping of the fingers, and it takes them a while, but they finally see Phil who gives them a look and welcomes them in 5th.

Jen & Kisha and Christie & Jodi are the last two teams.  Jen says she looks good in her underwear and Christie is wearing a thong.  Jodi gets treated after smashing her fingers against the car (“mother-trucker” she exclaims, though not as nice as how TAR4’s Jon did).

Jen arrives first with a teary-eyed Kisha excited to see her.  They head into the theatre and finish 6th.
Christie & Jodi are reunited and they step on the mat.  Phil, trying his trickery again (twice this season! Is that part of the “freshening up?”) saying “I’m sorry to tell you… you will be departing last in the next leg.”  In short, it’s a non-elim and the flight attendants will have to complete a speed bump in the next leg.

It wasn’t the most exciting leg and it went by pretty fast without much drama.

The no departure times/departure from the mat was a little weird.  At first, I thought the other teams weren’t going to leave the Pit Stop in time to catch the 10pm train, but then they suddenly appear walking down the stairs at the station.  I guess it’s just weird because it is very different from what we’re used to after 13 seasons.   I guess it saves time and all that, but it is something so TAR, that it is just weird!

The Detour was fun and the Road Block was amusingly cruel.  Those brides probably really thought they were just kidnapped by a bunch of crazy Americans.

The Tammy & Victor ditching didn’t really hold up as a big tension point, especially with the laughing in hugging in front of the theatre.  I guess we’ll see how that goes.

However, the leg did show off more of Siberia which is great.  I think for me, it’s one of those places that I’d love to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.

The non-elimination wasn’t a big surprise, and it is crazy and refreshing (aha!) to see teams rise and fall each week.  It makes things a lot more interesting.  But Margie & Luke’s 2nd win does put them in front right now.  Though seeing how teams’ placement can fluctuate drastically, that might not really mean anything.

So far, so good this season though! 

Oh, and Phil in underwear, if that can’t get him an Emmy over Jeff at least this year, I don’t know what will.

Leg Five Itinerary
Krasnoyarsk Theater of Musical Comedy
Krasnoyarsk, Siberia, Russia

Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia

Punkt Tehnicheskogo Osmotra

Stadium Spartak

Gosudarstvennaya Publichnaya Nauchnaya Tekhnicheskaya Biblioteka

Novosibirsk Ballet and Opera Theatre
Novosibirsk , Siberia, Russia

Departure Times
Braşov, Romania
Christie & Jodi 12:34pm
Jen & Kisha 12:36pm
*The depature times of the other teams were not revealed.  All teams made the 10:26pm train to Novosibirsk.

Who Did the Detour?




Road Block Count

In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block
Who has stamina and absolutely no shame?
3 Luke Margie 2
3 Tammy Victor 2
3 Cara Jaime 2
2 Mel Mike 3
3 Mark Michael 2
3 Kisha Jen 2
3 Christie Jodi 2
1 Amanda Kris 3
0 Brad Victoria 3
1 Linda Steve 1
1 Preston Jennifer 0

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

My Team Rankings for Leg 5
Tammy & Victor Tammy & Victor – I think them “ditching” the girls and Margie & Luke wasn’t that big of a deal.  I think that is probably smarter than the girls waiting for Margie & Luke, which despite alliances and all that, could hurt more than it can help.  And we haven’t seen that there was any alliance made between them.  Still, karma, an increasingly overused term in TAR in recent seasons does exist, and whether or not that was good or bad karma, we’ll have to wait and see.
Mel & Mike Mel & Mike – It is awesome actually, seeing them Race because they are having fun (I think Mel even more than Mike) and still racing well.  They help each other (why wouldn’t they, they’re father and son) and really do work well together.
Christie & Jodi Christie & Jodi – Sucks that they went from first to last.  They really didn’t do anything wrong, except get wrong directions to the church, otherwise they would’ve right in it.  It will interesting to see if they can complete the Speed Bump and still be in it next week. 
Lakisha & Jennifer Kisha & Jen – They did okay this week.  Kisha’s funny laugh made a big comeback.  And I thought I saw hints of that tension again between them but it was probably more about the fickle car and not being able get the bride to the church.  
Cara & Jaime Cara & Jaime – They are definitely shaping up to be the closest we’ve had to the next BQs.  They are strong and race well together.  But their alliance with Margie & Luke and all the waiting is not going to work in the long run.  They were able to move ahead though on their own when the other two teams drove off, so it shows that they can do well without anyone else.
Mark & Michael Mark & Michael – They’re fun.  It’s strange because they aren’t necessarily racing their best, but seem to be having fun, and it is interesting watching them and their “blunders.”
Margie & Luke Margie & Luke – Well, my opinion of them in Race hasn’t changed, but hearing and reading about their possible “lies” make me think less of them =[ They’re racing well, but their other antics aren’t sitting well with me.
Quotes from Episode 14.05

Jodi: “Is this warm?”
Christie: “Anytime it has this many consonants in it, it is not warm.”

Kisha: “I don’t want to walk around Russia.”
Jen: “Why not? It’s beautiful.”
Kisha: “Beautiful my ass.”

Mike: “Let the last become first and let the first become last.”
Mel: “He’s quoting the bible!  Thank God!  It’s a miracle!”

Cara: “It’s like Siberian hell.”

Michael: “Being stuntmen, we do know how to get hit by cars.”

Mike: “I’d rather party with virgin brides than snowplows.”

Mark: “I’ve got a bride, brides are always more technical.  I don’t need another one, I’ll go deal with a snowplow.”
Michael: “I’d rather go snowplow than find another bride.”

Jodi: “We look really dressed for a wedding.  Sorry for our dress.  If we really came to your wedding, we would look nicer.”

Christie: “She thinks we’re trying to kill her.”

Mel: “I couldn’t get myself across this town with 4 people and a guide dog.”

Jen: “How sure are you?”
Kisha: “I’m 99.9999% sure.”
Jen: “So that .0001% ain’t gonna get your ass kicked, right?”

Mel: “You poor frozen little son of a gun.”

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