The Amazing Race 14 Episode 4

Having missed their connecting flight in The Amazing Race 14 Episode 3, Brad & Victoria were eliminated.

Teams depart in the order in which they arrived.

First: Mel & Mike – 10:49PM
Second: Amanda & Kris – 10:53PM
Third: Kisha & Jen – 10:55PM
Fourth: Margie & Luke – 11:06PM
Fifth: Mark & Michael – 11:07PM
Sixth: Christie & Jodi – 11:08PM
Seventh: Jaime & Cara – 11:29PM
Eighth: Tammy & Victor – 1:30AM

Teams will fly to Moscow and go to Krasnoyarsk, deep in the heart of Siberia. Based on the departure times, we should see all the teams bunched at the airport (even Tammy & Victor, who did ridulously poorly last time). Then they’ll head via taxi to the Soviet era hydroelectric dam on the back of the 10 ruble note.

Mark & Michael have learned their lesson from before. They ask their taxi driver for his phone. He dials… another taxi. Jaime & Cara’s taxi. They play along and pretend to work for Lufthansa.

Christie & Jodi are hoping their flight attendant experience will start to pay off, and they go to an Internet cafe, where they believe they’ve found the best flight.

It turns out that the teams have all kinds of options, perhaps too many. They can catch all kinds of flights via cities throughout Europe. Regardless of which of the four flights teams have chosen, they are all scheduled to take the same flight from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, so it really doesn’t seem to matter. If it does matter, it’ll come down to dumb luck.

5 of the teams get unlucky. Jaime & Cara, Amanda & Kris, Margie & Luke, Tammy & Victor, and Mel & Mike miss their scheduled flight and will have to try to get another one. The other three teams, meanwhile, are greeted by an hours of operation. They don’t have to worry about catching another flight, but they won’t be going anywhere any time soon. At 8:30 the next morning, the top three teams (Mark & Michael, Christie & Jodi, and Kisha & Jen) are allowed to go with no sight of the others. The point of that wait? To get a clue telling them to go to a church.

The detour is a choice between stack or construct. In stack, teams travel to the river bank and use a traditional method to stack a pile of firewood. In construct, teams will build a set of wood shutters and install them on a house.

All teams choose stack, at least initially. Mark & Michael are doing well, but their stack collapses and takes out the back stack as well (if they take out the back stack, they have to rebuild both). They switch to construct. Kisha & Jen and Christie & Jodi pass the task without much trouble. Mel & Mike’s stack collapses. Jaime & Cara have a minor stack collapse but still seem to be in it. Amanda & Kris (or rather, just Kris) have their stack collapse as well. Mel & Mike aren’t even going to bother finishing with everybody else’s collapsing, so they switch to construct. Mark & Michael have been walking around for a while looking for the house in need of repair, which they can’t find, so they opt instead to finish the construction first and find the house after. Margie & Luke have completed their detour, as have Tammy & Victor. It says they’re in fourth, which means that Mark & Michael’s lead has evaporated. Amanda & Kris opt to switch to the other detour. The three construct teams are all working together: Mark & Michael, Amanda & Kris, and Mel & Mike. Mark & Michael stick around with the others because they couldn’t figure out where the house was. Jaime & Cara have completed their stacking task. That leaves the other three teams in last, all bunched up together. Mel & Mike finally figure out that the house is right near them. Mel & Mike finish, with Mark & Michael close behind. That leaves Amanda & Kris in last.

A U-turn is ahead. The new twist is that it’s a blind U-turn. They don’t have to post their picture when U-turning someone else.

Kisha & Jen aren’t going to bother making enemies unnecessarily, and opt instead to not use the U-turn. Even if they’re safe, it would be a nice chance to eliminate a threat like Amanda & Kris. Christie & Jodi have the same philosophy and do not U-turn. Margie & Luke have decided to do what I would have done: they U-turn Amanda & Kris.

Amanda & Kris, who bailed on the stacking in the first place, now have to go back and do it again, and it’s pretty obvious they will finish last. They believe Kisha & Jen are to blame. Either them or the untrustworthy blondes. Margie & Luke aren’t even suspects.

The road block is to ride a bobsled in under 4 minutes while looking for 7 letters on the course. They’ll then have to unscramble the letters to come up with the name of a famous Russian playright, Chekhov (good luck spelling that without Google).

Road block (in order of arrival): Kisha, Christie, Victor, Luke, Jaime, Michael, Mel, Kris

Kisha does her first run in time but only gets 6 letters. Christie hits 4 minutes exactly. Kisha is successful on her second try. Kisha figures out the puzzle. Christie eventually figures it out as well. Victor knows immediately what it is (apparently everybody does). Luke is just making random guesses, like the first two teams had done. He’s very quickly getting frustrated, but he figures it out eventually. Jaime just guesses and is right on her first try. Mel gets the answer without trouble. Michael misses a letter the first time but gets the answer quickly after riding down again. Kris doesn’t have any idea but ends up guessing like everybody else.

The pit stop for this leg of the race is the theater of musical comedy. Good luck sleeping in there. Mark & Michael are unable to pay their cab driver, leading to a last bit of drama, but it’s obvious Amanda & Kris are too far behind to overcome it.

First: Christie & Jodi (win motorcycles)
Second: Kisha & Jen
Third: Tammy & Victor
Fourth: Margie & Luke
Fifth: Jaime & Cara
Sixth: Mel & Mike
Seventh: Mark & Michael
Eliminated: Amanda & Kris

Because of the U-turn and some dumb luck at the airport, Amanda & Kris are eliminated. They were a strong team, or at least Kris was a strong competitor anyway.

Stay tuned to dingoRUE for another live recap of The Amazing Race 14 Episode 5 She’s a Little Scared of Stick, but I Think She’ll Be OK, which airs Sunday at 8/7c on CBS.

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