March 15, 2006

Karen Heins

The end is nowhere in sight!

Well last night was certainly exciting, wasn't it? But not nearly as exciting as whatever that zero-gravity, driving really fast around the racetrack up-on-the-walls thing is that happens next week. Wow.

The contestants had to leave Brazil with a grand exit, jumping a zip line that showed them a beautiful view of Brotas, Brazil, right before reading the clue that tells them they have to travel over 7000 miles to freezing cold RUSSIA!

lakehood.jpgIt was then an auto race to the bus station, where they would take a charter bus to Brotas and then onto the Sao Paolo airport. Unfortunately for Lake and Michelle, "SHUT UP" got in the way of their teamwork and they became lost on the way to the bus station. Parked in a corn field, Lake stood on the hood of his car, trying to see the right direction. Michelle told him to get down because he was denting the roof of the car. Rather than admit he was wrong, Brock told Michelle not "get ugly" with him, and fumed along in silence. Poor Michelle, if only she had competed with her sister or her kid or something.

It was a long flight to Russia, and when they arrived, language was a major problem, as apparently few people in Moscow speak English! Fortunately Wanda was able to communicate by telling her cab driver to open "el trunk," which he understood perfectly.

The Hippies arrived first at the Roadblock, which involved taking off all your clothes and standing in the freezing cold so that the teams would truly appreciate the climate change from Brazil. Then, once they were in little bathing suits (oo la la... Lake looked almost good enough to counteract his bad personality), they had to climb up onto a ten meter high diving board and jump into a warm swimming pool in front of a bunch of jeering Russian Olympic swimmers.

Eric: "Yolanda hurry up! My nipple ring is stuck to my side and it hurts!"

wandadrown.jpgThe diving challenge was going smoothly, with mostly the weaker team members choosing to do it, since it was more about guts than stamina. However, Mom Wanda ran into big problems because of her "fear of deep water." This was probably not the Roadblock for her, since she didn't "know how to dive down." Daughter Desiree, to her credit, was very encouraging, and Wanda eventually overcame her fear with the emotional support of Desiree and lots of tall buff Russian men.

Next came a Detour that seemed an awful lot like a Roadblock. The teams had to choose between washing buses and searching through hundreds of Russian dolls for a microscopic clue. But the dolls were not alone. There was also a traditional Russian orchestra playing dance music for a group of dancers that circled around the searching teams, veering close enough to brush them with brightly colored scarves. I think Linda would have lost her cool!

Obviously most of the teams went for the bus washing, however, there was one problem: No cab driver in all of Moscow knew where the bus depot was, meaning many teams switched Detours at the last minute. Linda and I suspect that the producers chose a difficult-to-find bus station because they had paid the wonderful Russian band and dancers to perform and needed some teams to show up for the doll challenge. That reminds me of the Bata Shoe Museum challenge in Toronto at the end of last season. All those models don't work for free!

Yolanda searches the Russian dolls and wonders why the traditional Russian dancers don't wear more Spandex.

With some teams still washing buses and poor Fran and Barry still searching through all those dolls, Eric and Jeremy were the first to arrive at what they thought was the pitstop, only to have Phil tell them that the leg wasn't over. Oh the suspense of a "To Be Continued..." I could be wrong, but I think this is the earliest extended leg in the history of The Amazing Race. It's pretty expensive to keep all the teams around that long, but the suspense is worth it. We are on the edge of our seats... How are the rest of you holding up?

Posted by Karen Heins in Recap corner on March 15, 2006 12:02 PM


Wow, am I tired ! Quite the leg. I would have stomped those stupid little dolls to pieces. Glad Lisa and Joni weren't in it to complain. (actually only one was a pain).
Lake and Michelle "Team Jerk and wife", the Johnathan and Victoria of AR9 ! She tells him to go right when they leave the pit stop, he turns left then after yells at her and says "we" screwed up. How many times did he tell Michelle to shutup? What an asshole ! BOO!
Eric and Jeremy", Team Neanderthal", have set the image of men back 1000's of years with their mentality residing in their pants. And what's with "Team Easy", Dani and Danielle offering body parts to the Neanderthals, how classy. BOO! to both teams.
If only all the contestants could have the attitiude of BJ and Tyler, "Team Hippy". Crazy man ! Yeah, GO !
"Team Geezer", Fran and Barry are oh so lucky to still be there. Hey, Barry, when you see Russian dolls, start opening them instead of standing there watching and wiping your forehead. It's a race, hurry up for cryin'out loud. At the beginning you said your brains were your best asset- well we haven't seen it yet- or if we have, you're in big trouble.
"Team Carumba" Wanda and Desiree- hey mom, get a grip, relax a bit and you will do much better. AAOOOGA, AAOOOGA DIVE DIVE !!!
"Team Bland" Joseph and Monica - Are they in this leg? They have a chance if Monica stops having those mood swings. GO !
"Team Geek" Lori and David - perfect for each other, treat each other great(are you reading this Lake?), and doing great ! GO!
"Team Booty Call" Ray and Yolanda -I thought Ray was going to hurt some Brazilians at the motorcycle shop ! They seem to be decent and respectful (are you reading this Lake -actually he's more like a pond, no, a swamp, no, a mud hole). May just sneak into the winner's circle. GO !

Posted by: Terry Thomson at March 16, 2006 11:21 PM

Hey great recap Karen! I agree that Barry and Fran consistantly pick the most difficult road block of the two, why is that? Are they masochists?

When I looked at the clock and saw it was, like, 3 minutes to the end of the show and the first team was just coming in I was thinking, "How are they going to usher in 9 teams in three minutes?" Answer: THEY'RE NOT! Very early in the season to be doing a "to be continued..." for sure.

My personal favorites are Team Hippy and Team Geek, though neither of these teams look like they smell very good.

Posted by: Gail at March 17, 2006 2:43 PM

Gail, I've thought a lot about why Fran and Barry choose the hard roadblocks. I think it's because Fran is trying to prove something to herself as a breast cancer survivor. She maybe wants to be able to look back on the Race and say "I might not have won, but by god I scaled that cliff and hauled that side of beef for five miles!"

Love, Karen

Posted by: Karen at March 17, 2006 2:48 PM

Wow! Just found your site! Great commentary! Got you bookmarked now. I think you guys should write a book about your experiences. I am always wanting to hear more behind the scenes stories from past racers. You guys are still one of my all time fav teams.

Posted by: Amy at March 17, 2006 5:08 PM

I loved your review, but I'm dissapointed. The reviews are not really up-to-date, but I know it's because the tv is broken...but you should have a new one by now?

Posted by: Sandi at March 29, 2006 3:58 AM