A high-minded person would probably spend 400 words talking about how The Amazing Race mixed up the real and the fake by hiring an actor from The Hunt for Red October to be in an actual Russian submarine on tonight’s episode (November 30). There could be big old 25-cent words thrown around about stuff like that. Essays could be written. Doctorates awarded. I’m not that guy.
So instead I’ll just say it was weird and move from that (the teams’ first task was finding said actor) to the next stop on the race, Park Iskusstv. Phil said people refer to it as "the graveyard of fallen monuments," which to me made it seem like the place from Goldeneye where 007 met Janus. The place looked different, but the idea was completely the same, so maybe the producers of Goldeneye just built a set for it rather than doing a location shoot (or maybe the producers of this show built a set, hmmm…).
Our teams had a Roadblock at the park, and Nick and Starr, who started in third, were already in the lead by then (clearly they weren’t very far behind when they began). Andrew and Dan? Yeah, those poor kids, their driver took them to the wrong park. It’s funny, but it almost goes without saying that on their way to said wrong park a truck splashed water from a puddle onto the guys, it was really sort of fitting. I’ve always gotten the sense that while DAndrew aren’t the brightest of bulbs, they have gotten more than their fair share of bad luck this season.
The Roadblock itself was, for the jokers we have on the race this season, incredibly complicated. It required them to count statues of Lenin and Stalin, go to a bookstore, get a book, turn to the right page, and then head off to a building where the author of the book lives. Ironic, these teams that haven’t bothered to read clues all season heading to a bookstore for a clue.
I was convinced that the teams would fall down on the whole reading thing. How wrong I was, the problems started long before that. Dallas couldn’t tell the difference between Lenin and Stalin and miscounted the Stalins who he thought were Lenins anyway. Once Dallas gave the wrong number to the lady at the bookstore he just started to randomly guess numbers (and teams were required to wait 10 minutes after a wrong guess), not smart. Tina didn’t have the right answer either, but the two working together did eventually manage to suss it out.
I should have had more faith in Nick though who not only counted correctly, but grabbed Ken and Tina’s cab on his way out of the park, knowing full well that the cab had GPS. Brilliant! I knew they were my favorite team for a reason. At the end of the Roadblock, Nick and Starr were in the lead and off to meet a lady with a pony who would give them the Detour information (that would be a pony pony, not a ponytail — Starr was confused).
The Detour required the teams to either "ride the lines" or "ride the rails." Both tasks required a number of bits and pieces, but rather than detailing those — and it was all very intricate and complexly plotted — I think I should instead mention that immediately prior to picking up the pony lady info, Dallas realized that he had gotten out of his cab but not bothered to take the pack which had their passports and money out of the cab with him. Dan, who was standing right there as Dallas explained the situation to Toni, had a glimmer in his eye. I don’t think he was happy Toni and Dallas were having issues, but he was at least smart enough to recognize an opening when he saw it.
Dallas and Toni couldn’t afford the taxi needed to get to the pony lady, so they headed out to go beg on the street. I guess Moscow is full of nice people, it didn’t seem to take too long for them to find a couple of kids who gave them enough cash to continue. I think that’s great — the million dollars was so important that Dallas let the passports go for the time being.
Unfortunately, he also let go of the rules. The teams were required to travel by taxi to the pony lady, and Dallas and Toni opted to conserve their donated money by taking the subway. The pony lady wouldn’t give them their clue, they had to go back to the last stop and take a taxi. By that point, DAndrew were at the pony lady and the location of their Speed Bump, which required dancing. I think we all remember Dan’s trouble with marching and dancing was equally problematic. The judge took pity on them after their second try with the dance, allowing them to move on.
I’m not going to lie to you, everyone except for Nick and Starr were having huge problems tonight. While Dallas and Toni found a few more generous souls to donate money to their cause, Ken and Tina, who were doing "ride the lines," jumped on a bus instead of a trolley. Big no-no. Tina told Ken they weren’t doing the right thing, but Ken didn’t listen (you just know that she was ready to tear him a new one for that). They realized their mistake early on, but it still cost them some time.
At that point, DAndrew were a close third (well, close to second, but not first). Unbelievable, truly unbelievable. Those two guys have terrible luck, but somehow manage to not get eliminated over and over again. Miraculously, after finishing the Detour, Ken and Tina actually fell back to third. They must have finished just around the same time as DAndrew, but they got off the trolley heading in the wrong direction and didn’t pick up the clue that sent them to the check-in point. They saw DAndrew however and tried to race them to the mat. They lost the foot race, but it wouldn’t have mattered anyway, not without the last clue. Ken and Tina worked it all out eventually and still checked in third.
At that point I’m not quite sure what happened. It was clearly some time later in the day and Dallas and Toni were still trying to finish their Detour. Phil came out of a building to tell them that they had been eliminated. Dallas and Toni were sent home then and there, and all because he lost the passports and the money.
I hope they let those two get home. How does the State Department look on such things? Do you think The Race helps them out? Are Toni and Dallas going to be at the final check-in with all the eliminated teams cheering on the final three or will their new passports not have come in yet? I can’t wait to find out.
The TV and Film Guy’s Reviews — you’ve already got your passport in hand.