Hello dear readers! When we last left our intrepid racers, Nick and Vicki were being given a reprieve from Philimination by the Eyebrow himself with no mention of having to do a Speedbump. Just thought I would mention that anomaly. Jill and Thomas had come in first ( is it bad that I didn't even remember who they were until I looked at my notes?) and all the teams had a relaxing time listening to classic music and watching a classic film before they went to toil in the potato fields of rural Russia. Fun times were had by all!

Detour: A choice between two tasks, usually one a bit more physical and the other a bit more time consuming


Jill and Thomas get to leave the Pit Stop at the reasonable hour of 8:30 am but are caught up in a mini equalizer as they have to wait for the gates to open to the Abtobo Circus. When the gates are finally opened, all seven teams are there to choose between two Detours: Circus Band and Circus Clown. In Circus Band, the teams will have to grab an accordion to learn a traditional Russian folksong and preform it in unison correctly. In Circus Clown, the teams have to spin a plate on a long pole and then transfer it to another pole. Once they have 10 plates all spinning on the poles for 10 seconds, they will get their next clue.

Most of the teams with the exception of Nat and Kat and Greg and Mallory decided to spin plates. No doubt the cacophonous memories of the pianos playing in the Classical Music challenge from a previous task were still echoing in their ears. Most of the teams worked fairly quickly and soon had a number of plates spinning about with the exception of Chad and Stephanie. Nick was battling traumatic clown memories courtesy of his grandmother's clown room that he and his brothers had to sleep in whilst they were growing up. Brook and Claire were able to get their plates up and spinning fairly quickly and got their next clue. They needed to solve a Russian mystery and find the Bank Bridge, a bridge over one of the many canals in St Petersburg. This particular bridge had four griffins with golden wings guarding it.

Outside the big tent, Greg and Mallory and Nat and Kat get down with their funky side learning to play a Russian folksong on an accordion - sure to be a Top Ten Hit soon! Nat and Kat are all business with numbering the keys and shouting out the numbers to each other. Mallory learned the song by listening and her dad learned it by copying her. Eventually they were joined by Chad and Stephanie and Jill and Thomas who never got the knack of spinning plates. The teams learned the first part of the song and all seemed surprised that there were actually three parts they had to learn. Nat and Kat and their music by numbers method earned them their next clue first of the music task people and off they went to find the bridge.

One by one the teams finished the task and moved on the the bridge. Jill and Thomas grew frustrated with the music task and switch once again to the plates. They are the last to leave the circus.

There are certain things that every reality participant needs to know before going on certain shows. If you are going on Survivor, you better know how to make a fire. If you are going on Big Brother, don't pick your nose. And if you are going on The Amazing Race, you had better know how to drive a stick shift and know that every clue needs to be read completely. A lot of the teams for got that last one as the clue they received at the Bank Bridge said they had to walk to their next destination at 1 Vladimirskiy Street Tower and could not have a taxi lead them to it. Kevin and his dad did not catch that last part and asked their taxi to lead them to the tower. The first of two things that will return to bite them in their arses.

Only one member of each team can climb the tower at a time, so first there and first up to the top were Kat and Nick. They were greeted with an amazing view of St Petersburg and frustration at having to find something they had no clue for - or did they? The camera kept sneakily panning in on a figurine sitting on a ledge that looked eerily like a church off in the distance. Finally, Nick spots it and shares his find with Kat. On the way down though he was not so sharing as he gave Kevin and Claire a misdirection saying something about "DS12". That was blown when Kevin discovered the figurine and figured it was the Church of the Savior on the Spilled Blood and again instead of reading the clue threw, they missed the part about having to go on foot and all four of them jumped into their taxis and made their way. Brook and Claire discovered their mistake in the taxi and wisely decided to return tot he tower and go again on foot. Kevin and his dad kept going on their taxi trip of oblivion.

The clue at the church directs the teams to solve the riddle of where Peter the Great buried. The teams are fairly easily able to find out they are being steered towards the Peter and Paul Fortress. Kevin calls out Nick on his lie and Nick shrugs it off saying they were all here looking. I had hopes for nick after his seeming turn around from his Ghana explosion, but the evil Nick has returned again as evidenced by his mutterings somewhat under his breath commenting on Vicki and her decision to go off the main street to find a taxi. Passive aggressive much? Didn't hear him making any other suggestions. Finally they were able to track down a cab.

Roadblock: A task that only one person of a team can perform.


The doctors arrive at the fortress and look for the gorodki courts. Phil explains the Roadblock and then the most horrible thing happens: some neanderthal hurls a large stick at Phil in an attempt to knock him off a 5 piece platform. What kind of barbarians are they? Phil goes flying off and like a pro continues on with the explanation. I really hope the medics were there to check out the Eyebrow.

In this Roadblock, one member of the team will have to clear three 5 piece formations from the gorodki court by throwing a large wooden stick at them. They have two throws to clear each pattern, much like American bowling. Kat is up for the doctors and clears the patterns with relative ease. They get their clue that sends them to the Pit Stop located at a bastion on the grounds of the fortress. They reach Phil in first place and win $5000 each.

Michael does the Roadblock for the father son team and Kevin cheers him on. It is taking forever as Michael does not seem to throw with the strength needed to clear the formations from the play area. Brook and Claire arrive and Brook clears the formations for their team and they reach the Pit Stop in second place. Kevin is getting quite frustrated because teams are passing them and his dad has not even cleared the first pattern. Nick and Vicki arrive with Nick doing the Roadblock, and completing fairly quickly. Stephanie takes the court for her and Chad, as does Thomas for he and Jill.and Greg does the throwing for he and Mallory. Nick, Greg and Thomas all clear their patterns easily and they arrive at the Pit Stop with the partners in third and fourth and fifth place respectively.

Michael clears his patterns finally and he and Kevin return to their taxi to settle their fares and get their bags. Stephanie clears her final pattern and she and Chad race to Phil electing to skip getting their bags and paying off their taxi driver only to be told by the Eyebrow they would need to settle with their taxi before he could check them in. Michael and Kevin race through the fortress to the mat only to be told by Phil they have incurred two 30 minute penalties for not reading the clues and 1) having a taxi lead them to the tower and 2) for taking a taxi to the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. They go to sit on the steps to wait out their penalties. Meanwhile, Chad and Stephanie pay their taxi and return to Phil only to be told they have a 30 minute penalty for taking a taxi from the tower to the church. However, their penalty would end before Kevin and Michael's would and they were declared he sixth place team leaving the father/son team in last place and Philiminated.

That's all folks, see you next week!


Race Stats:

Detour Circus Band: Nat/Kat, Chad/Stephanie, Gary/Mallory
Detour Circus Clown: Brook/Claire, Michael/Kevin, Jill/Thomas, Nick/Vicki

Did the Roadblock: Brook, Michael, Thomas, Greg, Nick, Kat, and Stephanie

Finish Order:

1. Nat and Kat
2. Brook and Claire
3. Nick and Vicki
4. Gary and Mallory
5. Jill and Thomas
6. Chad and Stephanie

Michael and Kevin are Philiminated.