Filed under: Recaps & Reviews
Nick (wearing a Starr original "Today is my birthday" t-shirt) & Starr, the designer herself, start us off with a clue directing them to Moscow. That's in Russia. You know, in case you missed that day in third grade social studies. (Although I suppose depending on your age, it may or may not have been in Russia at the time.)
At the airport, Dallas & Toni run into Nick & Starr at the ticket counter, and schmoopy romantic comedy music plays as Dallas and Starr walk and flirt. THERE IS HANDHOLDING, PEOPLE. Their love is 4rlz. Nick approves and isn't concerned about the distraction. Dallas just wants to beat them one round, soundtrack or no.
Ken & Tina leave the Pit Stop without incident, but the Rats are in hotel slippers because they left their shoes behind at the cow task last leg. The best part is how there is totally a 24-hour shoe store in the Almaty airport. What are the odds? At any rate, all the teams get on the same flight to Moscow.
And in Moscow, teams are to find a monastery. They get cabs at the airport, and the language barrier issue quickly makes itself known. Dallas & Toni and Nick & Starr get there first, and both teams perform a short candle-lighting ceremony and receive their clue from some important, official-looking dude. (I would say he is a bishop, but I'm really not up on my Russian Orthodox clergy titles.)
The clue sends teams by taxi to the Kolosok military camp on the outskirts of the city. Turns out taxis in Russia don't come cheap, so all the teams are stressing about money, especially the Rats, who, you will remember from two paragraphs ago, had to buy shoes. The boys and Ken & Tina get their monastery clue, and over at the military camp, it's a Detour.
Detour: Boots or Borscht
In Boots, teams put on military uniforms and learn a traditional Russian military march. They then march a lap, and if the drill sergeant is satisfied with their performance, they'll receive their clue. Borscht involves ladling borscht bowls out to 75 soldiers. Simple Detour tasks for once!
Dallas & Toni arrive first and choose Boots. I'm not gonna lie, Dallas looks pretty sexy in the army fatigues. Maybe because his tragic hair is covered with a hat.
Nick & Starr's cabbie is majorly lost, so both the Rats and Ken & Tina beat them to the Detour. Both teams choose Boots, the Rats because Andrew has six years of marching band experience, SO THERE. My guess is he played the tuba. The marching routine is incredibly simple: your basic stiff military march matched to the band's rhythm. Dallas & Toni and Ken & Tina rocket right through the task, but the foot wrapping required before the boots can go on is causing Andrew quite a lot of trouble -- so much that he and Dan switch tasks. Looks like someone should have been doing ballet instead of marching band. (Those ribbons aren't simple, people.)
Dallas & Toni finish first, and the clue sends them to a bakery in the town of Zhukovsky. Nick & Starr arrive at the Detour just as the Rats are de-uniforming in the costume tent and Ken & Tina are heading out to the next task.
Sidebar: Ok, so, everyone has their own military uniform with their name stitched on the chest, and for some reason Nick & Starr are wearing each other's jackets. I think they think it's funny; I mean, they haven't shown themselves to be illiterate up to this point.
The Rats, on the other hand, have, and they do once again as they are just about to begin dishing up borscht when they realize they were supposed to have the military uniforms on for this task as well. Which means they have to wrap their feet anyway. And so, they switch back to the march. They are at least self-aware enough to note that a compilation video of their mistakes thus far would be at least as long as Braveheart.
Fortunately for all of us, the Rats' mistakes have allowed Nick & Starr to finish the Detour ahead of them. Not that this means an end to the hilarity the Rats provide, of course. Andrew immediately gets the hang of the stiff march, but Dan is trying to do, like, same arm as leg or something, and he looks like a toddler learning to walk. He's even screwing up his mouth and sticking out his tongue, as if that will help. The soldiers looking on can't help but snicker at his complete lack of coordination. (Snicker? Some of them are about rolling on the ground guffawing.) He can't seem to grasp that it is just like normal walking, only stiffer. He's trying to get his arms going in between the leg beats or something, and it's just totally bizarre nonsense that you have to see to believe.
Dan tries to defend himself in an interview, saying that the marching was music- and performing arts-based, and he is sports- and TV-based. Uh. Ok, then. He tries a few more times, still to no avail, and so they quit and go for the borscht. Again.
Dallas & Toni are first to the bakery clue, which is the Roadblock.
Roadblock: Deliver Bags of Flour
The Roadblocking team member has to unload fifty 55-pound bags of flour from a truck outside the bakery. The bags have to be stacked a certain way. Dallas, as you might suspect, takes it for his team. He does two bags at a time, but his mother wishes for him not to pass out from working too hard. Ken & Tina get there and Ken takes it. 20 bags in, Dallas is starting to waver a bit, and Ken starts to catch up. There is a lot of manly man shoulder action going on in this Roadblock. I approve.
The Rats ladle soup in their ridiculous aprons and chef's hats, and the Russian soldiers still can't stop giggling at them as they try to communicate in the only Russian they know: "Anna Kournikova" and "Maria Sharapova." But of course. And that is why we call them the Rats.
Dallas finishes the flour task mostly in one piece, and the bakery lady is delighted in that very Russian way to send them to the Pit Stop: Neskuchny Sad Park. I don't think that has anything to do with the English type of sad. Ken also finishes in short order, and in much better shape than Dallas. That is because he is a man with strength built from years of being a man and lifting heavy things that are not weights in a gym. I'm just saying.
Nick & Starr, meanwhile, ditch their cab driver as soon as they arrive at the bakery, because he sucks. Nick takes the Roadblock. And I mean, he's a fairly slight guy, but he still manages to do two bags at a time; nonetheless, the bakery lady snarks, "He's not fit," as he deposits his first two bags. After about 30 bags, he wisely switches to one bag at a time. Starr is being very encouraging from the sidelines. Nick finishes and they struggle to find a new taxi.
The Rats get to the bakery, and Dan takes the Roadblock. Really? Should you really trust the guy who isn't coordinated enough to walk to do anything else?
Starr is basically running down the middle of the street trying to hail a taxi now, with limited results. By which I mean no results. Except nearly getting herself killed. They do finally land one, but the driver's about as useful as their last one and they have to switch again. The Rats, also in a cab now, are majorly money-stressed.
Teams in cabs, cabs cabs cabs, oh the suspense.
First to the mat? Dallas & Toni! Good for them. They're stoked. They are also the first team other than Nick & Starr or Ken & Tina to win a leg. They win a trip to the Dominican.
Ken & Tina arrive in second and are pleased with that. Their relationship is heading in a good direction, too.
The last two teams are in their cabs, Starr is freaking out, their taxi driver hates her so much right now, and Nick is trying to calm her down. The Rats seem pretty aware that any chance of their not being last is up to luck and only luck, so they're uncharacteristically calm and resigned. The two teams get to the park at what is apparently the same time, and Nick apologizes to their driver as the Rats haggle with theirs because they don't have enough money to pay him in full. I think their driver is the same one Nick & Starr had for the first half of the leg, but useless or not, I wouldn't wish these useless and broke Americans on him. Dan tries to offer the shoes off his feet to the driver. He is not having it. Finally he just takes the last of the Rats' money, flicks his cigarette, and drives off.
Nick & Starr reach Phil, and Starr is totally convinced they're last. But Phil gives them the good news of third place, and they are supremely relieved.
The Rats run up, and the sun appears to be quite a bit lower than it was when Nick & Starr were there. Phil really fakes them out with an "I'm sorry to tell you," but then he ends it with, "...you're still in the race." Haha! Oh, Phil. The bad news is of course that they will have a Speed Bump task in the next leg. I really need for these guys not to fluke themselves right into the finale. They interview that they're the underdogs and people like seeing the underdogs win. No; no, we don't. Not when the underdogs are such because they are too dumb to read the clues.
Next week: Hilariously, the Speed Bump involves learning a Russian dance. WIN. Also, someone loses their passport and money. FAIL.
Well I just about fell off my couch laughing with Andrew and the marching.
Also, Ken and Tina have somehow become more tolerable. And I'm glad Toni and Dallas won one!