The Amazing Race 17 – I Don’t Think Nick Would Lie To Us, Because He’s Awesome

Nick Wouldn't Lie He's AesomeIn a brief recap of last week, teams were sent to Russia, and faced a detour where they had to listen to 3 sets of music, then go into a massive room, and match the correct sheet music from 3 different pianos with the songs they heard.  Well, Team Tattoo chose this challenge (before going to the other detour, and then heading back), and in the process actually correctly identified the music but kept getting rejected by the Russian guy (maybe he didn’t like Nick?).    They ended up finishing last, but it was a non-elimination leg and were going to face a weak speed bump which would have probably sat them on a bench for 10 minutes.

Due to the error, the producers decided they would skip the speed bump, and probably also made sure they got cabs with non moron drivers  (just speculation on the 2nd part).  They also decided the viewers were morons and would completely forget about last week and not question why they were never given a speed bump, and never explained it in the episode resulting in a lot of questions.    So as you were watching the episode expecting the speed bump to pop up randomly and never happened, now you know why, and knowing is half the battle.

thomas amused by the circus

Thomas Amused By The Circus

On to the episode this week!   As mentioned, teams are in Russia, and while there wasn’t an airport to allow all teams to catch up with each other, this time it was the circus being closed despite a bunch of workers there inside riding around on bikes and shit.  While team Eat, Pray, Love (Jill and Thomas) enjoyed the show, I think I would have been annoyed that I was forced to wait outside with other teams showing up… maybe that’s just me.

The circus was the detour this leg of the race, and the challenges were not bad.     Choosing between Circus Band or Circus Clown, teams had to either spin 10 plates simultaneously on poles, or learn the notes to a song and play it on an accordion.   Of course, most teams right away chose Clown which did seem a bit easier, despite the fact that you had to spin 10 plates, but learning a song is pretty difficult unless you’re musically gifted (which I’m not).  Team Doctors and Team Miss Kentucky were the only ones to pick Band, while the rest went inside to spin the plates on sticks.

  • First off, one thing I noticed is that Phil said teams needed to spin 10 plates for 10 seconds, but I’ve seen a few teams get congratulated the second they got their 10th plate spinning.  Maybe I’m being picky, but you kind of felt the 10 second thing would have been a bit more dramatic in the end.
  • We got to learn about Nick’s clown room that he was forced to sleep in at his Grandmothers house growing up.   Kind of a weird story, but it was funny to see Nick get worked up when the clown went near him.
  • The doctors really impressed by quickly translating music to numbers and allowed them to easily get through that portion of the challenge.   I never would have thought to try that, and they weren’t the only ones who did.  Team Romance (Chad and Stephanie) also did, but I bet they learned that from the Doctors.
  • The clowns were so irritating!    Ok, maybe I’m a bit like Nick with this issue, but I’m not a fan of them either.
Mallory talking about the song

Three Halves To A Song!

  • According to Mallory, there was the 1st third of the song, then the 2nd half, then an ending!  Wait, what?
  • Team Eat, Pray, Love didn’t know what they wanted to do.  They worked on the plates for like 10 mins, then went to the music, got frustrated, then back to the plates after every other team finished them.. d’oh!
  • Apparently Nick quietly saying “nice and easy” to Vicky is considered yelling!
  • Team Watermelon face dominated the shit out of that challenge, and were the first to finish the plates.  It’s hard not to root for these girls.

kevin doesn't read the clue in the challenge

Read The Clue Kevin

Every season, they seem to like to throw in a challenge that’s not supposed to be a challenge, and that’s reading the clues in fine detail.  Almost every year someone gets nabbed by it as well, and it usually involves taking a taxi when you weren’t supposed to.  This season was no different, so who was going to get nabbed by this challenge and who will pass it?  I know everyone’s first guess Team Tattoo would be screwed by this, but they got through with no penalty at all.  The most surprising to get caught by it?  Team Youtube because they’ve had no problems so far reading the instructions carefully and not fucking up.  Michael even said “Read the clue carefully, okay?  Don’t miss a word”… fail Kevin, fail.

Claire Looking For The Clue

Where is the Clue??

Their next stop was to go to some creepy tower, go to the top and simply figure out that the little statue of a building was their next stop, but every single person who went up there missed it at first and looked out at gang signs and shit thinking the producers went up on a rooftop and spray painted their next clue on some random persons house.    Nick decided to try and mislead other teams about the gang sign, but nobody fell for it and found the correct clue regardless.

After teams found their clue at the top of the building (that wasn’t DS13),  Team Youtube rubbed off their lack of reading to Team Watermelon Face (Brook and Claire) and all hopped in their taxi’s to go to the next stop, where they were supposed to walk.   Once they were away from Michael and Kevin, the girls smartened up and re-read their clue and seen that they had to walk to the next stop.   They told their driver to turn around so they can hoof it, very smart move for them.

Once at their next stop, they get the route info which tells them to find somewhere Peter The Great is buried inside, and no, it isn’t Paris Hilton.   After stopping a bunch of random Russians, including stopping an entire bus to ask people, they find out they have to head to the Peter and Paul Fortress.   Oh, I can’t leave out the verbal assault on Vicki from Nick when she goes down a back road looking for a taxi to get to their next stop.  Jeez, some angry guys this season.

Finally, after much drama, teams arrive at the next challenge which is a road block.  One member of each team much play Gorodki which I guess is similar to bowling, except there aren’t pins, and you throw sticks instead of balls.  Some highlights from this challenge:

  • Kevin decides to let his father do the challenge because he’s done so many challenges thus far on the race.   Michael… well let’s just say he’s not going to be joining any Gorodki championship teams any time soon.
  • Kat on the other hand, may be as she destroyed this challenge very quickly.
Brook dancing during a challenge

Brook Dancing Between Rounds

  • Brook was her entertaining self during the challenge, and they gained a small fan base watching her.
  • After destroying Vicki in the cab ride, he carried that over to the challenge and destroyed that as well.  Nick’s on a rampage this week.
  • Gary simply rocks, he was a champ this challenge, whipping that stick as hard as he could, and Mallory is so cute the way she cheered him on.. all the way from the challenge to the pit stop.   Hard not to like this team either.
  • Thomas scoffed at Jill’s attempt to give him tips.  Now if she went to Notre Dame like him, maybe he’d listen!  Bad Jill
  • Kevin is still berating his father on the sidelines, and while it was his fault for the slow challenge, he’s going to be in for a shock soon.
  • Stephanie did the challenge, and was also struggling a little, so it was quickly becoming a race between Team Youtube and Team Romance for last.

So, in the race for last between Team Romance and Team Youtube, it got pretty exciting.  Chad and Stephanie decided finishing was more important than paying their taxi, but Phil made them go back.  Team Youtube, on the other hand, simply didn’t have enough money to cover, so they were forced to dish out American dollars to pay the rest of their bill.   I wonder if those earlier rides had anything to do with that?

kevin made a mistake in reading clues

Uh Oh, You Made A Mistake Kevin!

The biggest question of the day, were Michael and Kevin going to be penalized twice for the taxi rides, or just one 30 minute penalty, which would have been the difference between going home or not as Chad and Stephanie also broke one rule and took a cab ride.   Phil let them know the bad news when they arrived, it was two penalties, so they were forced to sit and wait for an hour.    Michael was calm about it, even though he told Kevin to read it carefully, which clearly did not happen twice.    This was a good team, and it’s too bad they had to get the boot based on an error like this.

kevin and michael get sent home

No Ice Block This Time

  1. Team Doctors (Nat and Kat)   $5k cash each
  2. Team Watermelon Face (Brook and Claire)
  3. Team Tattoo (Nick and Vicki)
  4. Team Miss Kentucky (Gary and Mallory)
  5. Team Eat Pray Love (Jill and Thomas)
  6. Team Romance (Chad and Stephanie)
  7. Team Youtube (Michael and Kevin)  – Eliminated


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