|Posted on Jul 14, 2011 11:30am|
Racing through historic St. Petersburg, Russia, dating couple Jill & Thomas returned to the top of the leaderboard while another dating couple, Nick & Vicki, had difficulties completing either side of a difficult Detour as they plummeted into last place.
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 8:26pm, doctors Nat & Kat opened their clue instructing them to travel over 1,200 miles by car, train, and plane to St. Petersburg, Russia. Once there, teams had to make their way to Vasilievsky Island and find the Rostral Columns.
The following morning at 10:26am, all seven teams boarded an overnight train heading to Stockholm, Sweden. On the experience, Mallory commented, "I'm just so excited to have this time with my dad. It's one of the most beautiful train rides in the world and when you're not in such a rush and so frantic it makes to where you can look around." Bunking up together in a train car, doctors Nat & Kat and home shopping hosts Brook & Claire had their share of laughs comparing who had the worst smelling feet. For those keeping score, Brook won in a landslide. Nat later remarked, "We all enjoyed each other's company and to me, it was the best day of the race because we were around such positive people."
THE BLAME GAME
Arriving in Stockholm the next morning, the seven teams raced off the train in search of taxis to take them to the airport. One by one, teams flagged a cab down until only dating couple Chad & Stephanie remained in the now deserted streets alone. As they ran to busier area to find a taxi, Chad laid the blame at Stephanie's feet by claiming that she wasn't prepared for the sprint off of the train. A perturbed Stephanie sarcastically snapped back, "You're right. It's all my fault. Everything's my fault." After the couple finally flagged a taxi down, Stephanie continued to respond to Chad's assertions about her speed, adding, "Don't be pissed because we got the last taxi and you're going to blame it on me. I just think that's really shady." While the dating couple caught a break by getting on the same flight as the other six teams, they clearly had problems to work out in their relationship. On her hotheaded boyfriend, Stephanie said, "Chad, whenever he's pissed and frustrated, it's just Steph's fault. If he feels like that, then we've got a really long road ahead of us."
Landing in St. Petersburg, Russia, the seven teams raced out of the airport into taxis heading for the Rostral Columns on Vasilievsky Island. Marveling at the architecture of the city, Chad said, "This is gorgeous here. These buildings are amazing." Gary thought the city looked "like a postcard." The scholarly Thomas threw out the factoid that St Petersburg is referred to as the Venice of the North. Unlike in Las Vegas where he's from, Nick noted, "I like how they keep all their buildings instead of blowing "em up."
Running up to the cluebox next to the Rostral Columns in first place, home shopping hosts Brook & Claire discovered a Detour having to choose between Classical Music and Classic Cinema. In Classical Music, teams had to make their way to a historic palace, find the maestro with three gramophones, and listen to three different compositions being played. Then teams had to enter two adjoining ballrooms filled with pianos and figure out which three pianos were playing the same compositions as the three gramophones. When teams thought they had identified the correct compositions, they had to take the sheet music on top of that piano and place it in the numbered slot in a folder that matches the number of the corresponding gramophone. If teams matched all three compositions correctly, the maestro would hand them their next clue. In Classic Cinema, teams traveled to a legendary film studio and onto a soundstage where the very first movie was screened in Russia. Once there, teams had to search through piles of film clips and find one that matched any part from the scene playing on the screen. Once teams found the correct clip of Sergei Eisenstein's classic film October, they would receive their next clue.
With Brook & Claire's taxi driver becoming lost on the way to the film studio, father and son Michael & Kevin arrived at Lenfilm Studios in first place. Running onto the soundstage, the father and son saw a massive pile of film clips heaped in the center of the stage along with hundreds more strewn across the edges. An overwhelmed Kevin told his dad, "I have no idea how to do this." A calm Michael replied that Kevin needed to look at the images of the film of "wartime or machine or something" being played on the giant screen above them and try to find the matching strip in the huge piles.
As dating couple Jill & Thomas joined Kevin & Michael at Lenfilm Studios, dating couples Chad & Stephanie and Nick & Vicki along with father and daughter Gary & Mallory and doctors Nat & Kat all arrived at the palace stunned at the cacophony of piano music blasting from the ballrooms. Chad later said, "It was ridiculous. There were so many pianos all playing at once." As the teams darted from piano to piano trying to tune out the music around them and simultaneously remember the songs they heard on the gramophones, they soon realized how maddening this task could become. Gary later said, "It was hard to concentrate. All the songs had pieces of them like the other ones. One Beethoven song that I recognized." Vicki added, "It was mentally exhausting. It's kind of like a bad dream."
With last place Brook & Claire finally arriving at Lenfilms Studios, Kevin & Michael and Jill & Thomas continued to offer an incorrect piece of film for the director to inspect. Continuing to rifle through the piles of film, Thomas tried to match the wartime images from October along with the few Russian words that appeared in the clip because, according to him, "those pop out the easiest." Finding the Russian word on a piece of film that matched the word on the screen, Thomas presented his clip to the director and received his next clue, a film canister with a picture on the front. Teams had to figure out that they needed to travel to location shown in the picture, Palace Square.
As the incorrect guesses at the palace began to mount for the four teams listening to pianos, they all began to question whether they had made the correct choice in Detour tasks. Kat later said, "The songs after awhile started to sound more and more similar and the longer we were there the more confusing it was starting to get for us." Chad brought up the idea of switching to film but Stephanie firmly rejected the idea replying, "You need to not get frustrated." Father and daughter Gary & Mallory finally had enough of the pianos and jumped into a taxi to Lenfilms. Soon after, doctors Nat & Kat and tattooed dating couple Nick & Vicki cut their losses as well leaving Chad & Stephanie alone at the palace.
With Jill & Thomas opening their clue at Palace Square sending them to the town of Aleksandrovskaya, Chad grew increasingly frustrated with every wrong guess, shouting to Stephanie, "We're running around like a chicken with our head cut off right now!" When Stephanie point blank asked Chad what he would do, he responded, "I felt like we should have left a long time ago." Still not wanting to quit the task, Stephanie replied, "Let's be more productive." Going back into the ballrooms, the dating couple once again listened to the pianos, but this time Stephanie insisted on picking the pieces she thought were correct instead of deferring to Chad's opinion. Chad later called allowing Stephanie to take control of the situation one of "the top five or ten hardest things I've had to do." Stephanie's determination and leadership paid off as the maestro handed the clue to her and Chad, now in fourth place.
WON'T GIVE UP
Unaware that Chad & Stephanie matched the correct pianos, the three teams at Lenfilm studios searched through the piles of film. When doctors Nat & Kat found a correct piece of film, frustration began to set in for dating couple Nick & Vicki. After Gary & Mallory also found one, the now last place Nick & Vicki decided to switch tasks for a second time. Walking off the soundstage, Nick said, "I can't deal with this crap anymore."
Returning to the palace, Nick & Vicki changed the focus of how they planned to solve the puzzling piano task. Instead of listening to all of the gramophones, the dating couple listened to only one at a time and went to search for the corresponding piano in the ballrooms. Nick also made a concerted effort to keep calm and not lash out in frustration at Vicki like he did in Ghana. Vicki later said, "This whole race is a learning experience for our relationship." The couple's composure and change of tactics paid off as the maestro handed them their next clue. Jumping into their taxi, a still optimistic Vicki said, "You never know what's going to happen."
When Jill & Thomas' taxi driver became lost in the outskirts of Aleksandrovskaya, Brook & Claire jumped into first place when they found the neighborhood store and their next clue, a Roadblock. In it one team member had to don traditional babushka clothing and then plant a row of fifty potatoes. What they didn't know was that they had to also fertilize their crop with a very generous helping of cow manure.
Brook quickly and excitedly put on her traditional babushka dress and kerchief before collecting her sack of potatoes and a wheelbarrow. Arriving at the giant pile of manure however, Brook's excitement waned as she picked up a shovel and scooped the foul smelling fertilizer into her wheelbarrow. Running off with the potatoes and a full load of manure, Brook joked, "Claire's not gonna like the smell of me."
When Brook had difficulty finding the field to plant her potatoes, second place Kevin, not entirely thrilled to be wearing a dress, climbing into first place as arrived at the field and received guidance from the babushkas on the proper planting technique before starting on his row in the field. As Kevin set to work planting potatoes, he impressed the women who said to each other, "He'd be a good farm hand, yes?" With Brook now planting her row of potatoes, Kevin continued to work hard as the babushkas cheered him on. As he put manure on his last potato, third place Jill arrived at the field trying to make up the time lost on her taxi drive. After finishing his row of potatoes, Kevin grabbed the clue and opened it with his father instructing them to travel to the Pit Stop at St. Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in St. Petersburg.
BACK ON TOP
Pulling up to St. Isaac's Cathedral, father and son Michael & Kevin ran up the steps at one entrance but couldn't find Phil and the mat. After passing Brook & Claire, whose taxi stopped for gas, dating couple Jill & Thomas arrived at the cathedral having caught up in no small part from Jill's fast planting of potatoes. As the father and son continued to search for Phil directly on the cathedral grounds, Jill's suggestion to look in the park across the street ultimately won her and Thomas their second leg of the race. For their efforts, the dating couple received a trip for two from Travelocity to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Michael had to convince a disbelieving Kevin to scour the park for Phil and in the time it took Michael to do this, Brook & Claire swooped into second place landing Michael & Kevin in third.
With Nat and Stephanie planting potatoes, Mallory donned her babushka dress and picked up her sack of potatoes, but she couldn't find the sign that would lead her to the wheelbarrows at Duck's End. The usually perky and upbeat Mallory turned frantic as she asked locals who mostly couldn't speak English or understand her. One group of men even invited Mallory for a drink of vodka, but she had no luck finding Duck's End until Nat, who finished planting her potatoes ran by, and told Mallory where to find the wheelbarrows.
After Stephanie and Mallory finished planting their potatoes to secure fifth and sixth place for their teams, dating couple Nick & Vicki finally arrived in Aleksandrovskaya where Nick misunderstood the "drag" part of the Roadblock clue, thinking racecars, not dresses. Afterwards, Nick vowed, "You'll never see me in a dress again." As the sun began to set, the dating couple headed to St. Isaac's Cathedral expecting to hear bad news from Phil, but both proud of how they ran the race. On the mat, Phil delivered the obvious news that they arrived in last place, but he also told the relieved and stunned couple that this was a non-elimination leg. Thrilled to have a second chance, Vicki said, "We're ready to stay here and fight. We're not ready to go home yet."
1706 ROUTE MARKERS
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, teams had to choose between Classical Music and Classic Cinema. In Classical Music, teams had to make their way to a historic palace, find the maestro with three gramophones, and listen to three different compositions being played. Then teams had to enter two adjoining ballrooms filled with pianos and figure out which three pianos were playing the same compositions as the three gramophones. When teams thought they had identified the correct compositions, they had to take the sheet music on top of that piano and place it in the numbered slot in a folder that matches the number of the corresponding gramophone. If teams matched all three compositions correctly, the maestro would hand them their next clue. In Classic Cinema, teams traveled to a legendary film studio and onto a soundstage where the very first movie was screened in Russia. Once there, teams had to search through piles of film clips and find one that matched any part from the scene playing on the screen. Once teams found the correct clip of Sergei Eisenstein's classic film October, they would receive their next clue.
Classical Music: NICK/VICKI, CHAD/STEPHANIE
Classic Cinema: GARY/MALLORY, BROOK/CLAIRE, MICHAEL/KEVIN, JILL/THOMAS, NAT/KAT
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. In this Roadblock, one team member had to don tradition