The Amazing Race 14 episode 4 ranking

Fourth episode

“It Was Like TAR Cast a Group Full of Idiots”



Phil’s third episode entry. In the comments section you can predict how much he was blasted and told to stop blogging because Jeff Probst was blowing him out of the water.

He did not know what to type to the point that a third of his blog was spent on quoting what racers said on-air.

The only insightful part about it is that they learned how to pronounce Nadia Comaneci’s last name. Apparently I was wrong last episode.

And then he spent a ton of time discussing Tammy & Victor.


Previously on TAR: Nine teams raced from Salzburg, Austria to Brasov, Romania.

romania aaron arianne

Surprisingly, Arianne was not to be found in a place called “Brasov”.

At the airport, Brad & Victoria took a gamble that did not pay off. At the Detour, Jon’s brawn propelled his team in the lead, but a simple mistake allowed Mel & Mike to claim their first victory.

Victor led Tammy up the wrong path until Tammy spoke up. The siblings barely survive by eight hours and married couple Brad & Victoria came up short.

Coming Up Tonight: Margie & Luke target one team in a new twist.

We see a montage of them seeing the Blind U-Turn, discussing it, and actually placing the picture on the wall. Wow. Unnecessary.

– Intro time. Finally. We are now at 2:52 of the episode when we begin.

– Mel & Mike, who arrived at 10:49am, will depart at 10:49pm. Mike reads that teams must fly through Moscow to head to Krasnoyarsk in Siberia.

Weren’t we just in Russia for two rounds in TAR 13? All of my Stalin and Lenin jokes have been used up last season.

– Once in Krasnoyarsk, they will take a taxi to the structure that is on the back of a ten Ruble note that they have been given.

siberia clue

What’s that route marker?!

siberia dam

It’s Krasnoyarsk Hydroelectric Dam!

– They take a taxi to the Bucharest Airport.

siberia mel mike

MIKE: My dad is part Woody Allan, part Billy Graham, and a splash of Judy Garland. So I feel like with all of those qualities somehow we’re gonna survive this race.

Yes, Allan with an ‘a’ was intentional. My local newspaper advertised him as ‘Woody Allan’ when Blue Jasmine was released.
judy garland

+billy graham 2

woody allen


siberia mel

Nope. He just looks like an old man who just pooped himself to me.

And how did Mike know a guy who competed in pro wrestling and the World’s Strongest Man during the 70s and early 80s? That is not something I expect from a guy involved in Dawson’s Creek and School of Rock.

bishop dolegiewicz

By the way, Bishop Dolegiewicz was so robbed in 1980.

billy graham

Oh. Hold on. Apparently there is a religious man named Billy Graham. I have a feeling this is the one they meant. That makes much more sense now.

– Amanda &. . .Wait. . .who is this? They are a mystery to me. Are these new players?

romania amanda kris

*looks through papers*


They are Amanda & Kris from San Diego. Dating and an eventually happily married couple, sir.

mr burns

Amanda & Kris, eh?

– They say they have stayed together for a long time and are competitive.

siberia kris

kris lucy

Kris doing his best Kris impression.

siberia amanda kris

I have never seen somebody so fascinated by dandruff.

KRIS: I think we are really going to win this thing.

But it is only their first round. That is a lot of overconfidence.

– Kisha & Jen depart third at 10:55pm.

KISHA: Make your way to Kranesko.
JEN: Yeah.
(Cut to them running to taxi.)
JEN: Yow! My ass hurts!

And that is our round four introduction to Kisha & Jen.

– Kris talks about Siberian Tigers.

– Margie & Luke begin fourth at 11:06pm. Margie talks about Luke living his own dream and how he will be shoulder-to-shoulder with other competition.

– Mark & Michael start fifth at 11:07pm. Mark needs three attempts before pronouncing Siberia correctly. Even at the end it sounds like he has never heard of the place.

germany mark michael

I guess Mark’s reading comprehension does not quite match up to everyone else.

– Christie & Jodi begin in sixth place at 11:08pm. The driver proposes they go to an Internet cafe and offers to take them there. Jodi proclaims him as their favourite new cab driver.

Yep. He beat a field of zero. Nothing sweeter than a default victory.

– Jaime & Cara start in seventh at 11:29pm.

siberia dogs


– They (Jaime & Cara, not the dogs) examine the note.

siberia clue

What does Cara say when she looks at it? Go re-watch the episode. I am not making this up.

siberia jaime cara

CARA: Pretty powerful beavers must have made that dam. I bet they were females!

jaime cara intro 3

Knowing that Jaime becomes a Playboy model after the race, there is indeed nothing more powerful than a female beaver.

– Mark & Michael learned their lesson from the previous round and decide to call the airport while en route.

siberia mark michael

We plan to never look that stupid again!

– We cut to Jaime & Cara. The driver’s cell phone rings and passes it off to Jaime & Cara.

siberia jaime cara 2

Who the eff could it be?

siberia mark

No way.

siberia jaime cara 3

No way.

siberia jaime cara 4

CARA (best Mirna impression): You are calling Lufthansa Airlines.

mirna mug

Mirna would be so proud of Cara’s German accent. She taught her well.

siberia lufthansa

“May I speak to the head of the Russian office, a Mr. I.C. Weiner.”

siberia prank call

You would think Jaime laughing hysterically in the background would be a dead giveaway.

– Cara repeats everything Mark says. Like she is dropping hints all over the place.

CARA: You’re calling Lufthansa Airlines.

MICHAEL (not holding the phone): Calling Lufthansa. . .

CARA: Yes this is Lufthansa.

MARK: From Bucharest International Airport. . .

CARA: From Bucharest International Airport. . .

MARK: Yes.

MARK (quietly to MICHAEL): She sounds American.

MICHAEL (excited): Oh yeah?

siberia mark 2

Something’s up here. . .That guy on the street. He was definitely high up compared to us.

– At this point Jaime starts developing her own sign language for Cara.

CARA: We have a flight that leaves at. . .

siberia prank call 2


CARA: We have a flight that leaves at. . .nine A.M. through Frankfurt but is, I only have business class available.

MARK: No, we can’t do business class.

(Awkward silence.)

CARA: Okay.

siberia jaime

JAIME (quietly somehow): I think you should hang up. I think you should hang up.

siberia mark 3

Hello? Well, just another rude American.

siberia jaime 2

Holding in the laughter is getting to be too much stress for Jaime that she is ready to B.B. Andersen on us.

– How terrible were Tammy & Victor on the last round? They depart this round at 1:30am. That means they spent TWO hours running through the woods. Holy crap.

– Tammy says it was hard to go from first to last in the previous day. Thankfully this is all we hear from them. . .for now.

– Christie & Jodi run into a travel agency and cite their flight attendant experience as knowledge that they can route themselves to go anywhere. The first Moscow connection they find is only an hour and five minutes. That is too tight for them.

siberia christie jodi

A late night staring contest with a computer screen?

alex linz 2

Alex Linz will always be the champion of that.

– Jodi finds an 855pm flight and is three hours earlier than most of the other flights.

siberia flight

What flight did they click on? Departs at 5:40am and gets in at 5:40pm? Something does not quite add up.

siberia jaime cara 4

I had much better service with Carafthansa Airlines!

– Mel & Mike show up to the airport. Amanda & Kris are standing right behind them at the TAROM ticket counter. Mike hesitates with pronouncing Krasnoyarsk.

– Kisha & Jen are now in a different line with Mark & Michael right behind them at Lufthansa. Michael is trying to look over their shoulder.

siberia kisha jen michael

Although looking over somebody’s shoulder may be a bit more difficult in this case.

– Tammy & Victor, Jaime & Cara, and Margie & Luke are all at the Air France ticket counter. Tammy & Victor are somehow at the front of the line. No idea how they made up two hours just like that. The other two teams must already have flights or already went to the other two ticket counters.

siberia three

Take a good look because this is the last time you see these three teams together ever again.

– TAROM (Mel & Mike and Amanda &. . .Kris? Is that right?): Moscow via Frankfurt.
– LUFTHANSA (Kisha & Jen, Mark & Michael): Moscow via Sofia, Bulgaria.
– AIR FRANCE (Tammy & Victor, Jaime & Cara, Margie & Luke): Moscow via Munich, Germany.

I should note this is the fourth round in a row where Munich, Germany has been mentioned.

– Of course we know that all of these teams will end up on the same flight to Krasnoyarsk once in Moscow. How many flights to Siberia could there be?

– Mel describes it as a turkey shoot for flights once you get to Moscow. Jen assumes all teams will indeed be on the same flight to Krasnoyarsk.

siberia mel mike 2

Or as Mike says in this confessional, “Krasnostiraq”.

– We see one plane take off. Suddenly we switch to Google Maps as Phil narrates that all teams are heading to Moscow.

siberia flight plan

Somehow the colour coding makes it more confusing.

Istanbul? Why is Istanbul on the map? If only there was someone to help us.

heidi strobel

As soon as Heidi saw Istanbul on the map, she knew instantly that it was Christie & Jodi’s flight.

siberia krasnoyarsk

– All teams are on the yellow flight to Krasnoyarsk.

These maps are the only improvement over the maps of TAR 1-13.

– The flight lands at 540am. Mark shows the taxi driver the ruble. Christie & Jodi and Kisha & Jen are right behind them. Mark informs us that the other five teams are stuck in Moscow because apparently there were two flights.

– Why did Phil tell us that all teams are on the same flight when there were really two flights that left hours apart?

– Cara and. . .Kris, is it? Both tell us that they missed the earlier ideal flight to Krasnoyarsk, and it is difficult to find any more flights to Krasnoyarsk.

Who knew.

– The soundtrack goes over the top with unique Soviet-based music.

– Another soundtrack plays as the three teams arrive at the dam. Mark & Michael are first ones there.

siberia mark michael 2

Mark & Michael show up to the dam and run in full force.

siberia hours of operation

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The Amazing Race Cock Block.

siberia mark michael 3

“Fudge. Three hours to kill in Krasnoyarsk. Want to go see the sights? The list of sights are. . .the hydroelectric dam.”

“Anything else?”


– Christie & Jodi show up. Mark & Michael break the news to them.

siberia mark 4

MARK: It leaves at eight thirty. Uhuhuhuhuhuhuhuh.

What is with the odd laughter this season? Mind you it is not as eccentric as the Kisha laugh, but it still is a strange one. It reminds me of Krusha from Donkey Kong Country.


Christie & Jodi, it leaves at eight thirty. Uhuhuhuhuhuhuh.

siberia christie jodi 2

They are concerned over Mark’s well-being. Maybe a Snickers will cure him from being a Krusha.

– Sunrise. We hear the slow fool music soundtrack play like in day 39 of Survivor: Cook Islands. Prepare to hear something stupid.

– Jodi pulls out binoculars to look at a mural.

siberia lenin

Siberia is so far remote that they think Lenin is still the leader.

siberia christie jodi 3

American Failed Assassination Attempt of a Communist Leader #1, 733.

CHRISTIE: Can you see the man’s face?

JODI: It’s either the one who built it or is he a leader here?

CHRISTIE: No, he’s bad, like a dictator guy.

siberia lenin

Bad. Like a dictator guy.
And yes, he was a builder. Of Mother Russia!!!!!

– I must commend Christie’s answer, though.

moscow dallas 9

It is better than Dallas answering Stalin


And far better than Rudy’s answer of “I dunno”.

– 8:30am. Three hours pass and none of the five other teams have shown up. I have never seen such a large equalizer still shut out five out of eight teams since Colin & Christie’s Cairo advantage in round five of TAR 5.

siberia guard

My eyes are on you.

– Mark & Michael have the clue first. They read that they must head to the Church of Saint Innokenty.

I really hope that means Innocent in Russian.

siberia church

Maybe we should turn this gazebo into a church.

– Mark & Michael, Kisha & Jen, and Christie & Jodi all struggle with reading the clue aloud on camera. They get into taxis and show them the clue rather than try reading it.

– Mark & Michael are first to the Detour. Stack or Construct.

In Stack, teams run to the riverbed where they must use a traditional method to stack a pile of firewood.

Sounds easy.

siberia detour

That is a lot of wood. Those Gulags sure know how to provide a lot of output.

norway kubbs

That is enough wood for five professional seasons of Kubbs.

norway freddy kendra

Freddy’s Nightmare.

– They must stack the wood to the satisfaction of a local expert. Once he is 150 to 200 percent satisfied, they will receive their clue.

siberia kevin smith

The Siberian Kevin Smith approves of your work.

– In Construct, teams travel on foot to a workshed where they will find material to build traditional wood shutters and take them to a house which is distinguished by a repairs sign on the front lawn. Then they must properly install it.
siberia sign

That is what a flag looks like, Victor.

siberia window

Once these windows are properly installed, they will receive their next clue.

– Mark decides to stack wood because he stacks wood all the time.

siberia detour

But I have a feeling a stack of wood in his house is not four times as tall as him and his brother combined.

siberia mark michael 5

Okay. Maybe 4 1/2.

– Mark & Michael begin walking.

siberia mark michael 4
MICHAEL: I don’t see MARKers.



– Christie & Jodi and Kisha & Jen see the markers and signs before them. Mark falls on the ground but the screen caps for it are lousy.

– Christie & Jodi are first to stack wood. There is a riverbed morning drinking party there. One lady is yelling “America! I love you!”

siberia detour 2

What is with an accordion player and a group of friends needing to hang out at each Detour? Were these the people who stack the wood but are lucky to have the morning off?

And why is she already drinking by eight thirty in the morning with her friends? Why is she consuming alcohol so early? Didn’t she see Todd Herzog on Dr. Phil this week?

todd herzog

With all sincerity, I fully support him in his road to recovery. I am not that much of a jerk. My grandfather died as a result of his alcoholism.

– Christie & Jodi decide to start on contrasting ends. This is the most airtime we have seen them have all season.

– Oh, and there is a fat guy eating food.

siberia local

What is he eating?

siberia local 2

angel hair spaghetti, pickles, and beets. Yum yum yum!

– Jodi coaches Christie that they need a gap between stacks.

siberia local 3

The crowd critiques their wood stacking ability. Am I the only one who thinks having multiple open fires next to stacks of firewood is a bad idea?


I personally do not see the big deal. Believe in Your Firewood.

– Kisha & Jen meet up with Christie & Jodi.

KISHA: It’s like Jenga. I am going to start separating the flat pieces of wood from the triangle ones.


Since when was there a Jenga set with triangular pieces?

siberia juice

Maybe they are drinking beet juice.


I see nothing wrong with that. I have a glass of beet juice when I eat my freshly grounded up granola bar that Mose prepared for me.

– Mark & Michael join them. Christie & Jodi make fun of Mark & Michael for how often they get lost.

– The three teams try to figure out patterns. Jen wants small wood.

germany jen

In my opinion, she does not want any wood at all. Just a hunch.

– The second flight lands. Margie & Luke, Mel & Mike, Amanda & That Other Guy, and Tammy & Victor all have cabs.

– We go back to wood stacking. Remember that crazy drunken lady from before? She is starting to do drunken dancing.

siberia lady

She really is a morning person.

– Kisha wants Jen to move faster because Christie & Jodi are ahead of them. Mark points out to Michael that he is stacking the wood too much on a lean and it will fall over. He wants him to do the inside first.

– Jodi comments her own wall is definitely stable. Mark falls over when he is grabbing a piece of wood from the top of the communal wood pile. He goes to place a piece and. . .

siberia mark michael 6

Mark & Michael have reached a new low.

siberia wall

The example wall is what primarily collapses. They do indeed have to re-stack the pile that was already there before they arrived.

siberia christie jodi 4

Christie & Jodi making good progress.

siberia kisha jen

Kisha & Jen making good progress.

jeff probst again

Mark & Michael’s stack falls. You need a stack that is high enough but stable to reach the ten foot goal.

– Commercial break.

– We resume. Mark & Michael decide to switch Detours after devastation. Jodi takes an uneccessary and, quite frankly, stupid stab at Mark & Michael.

siberia christie jodi 5

romania kisha jen

Kisha adds insult to stupidity.

james keep your mouth shut

Keep your mouth shut, Jodi.

– The other five teams are racing in cabs to the dam. Amanda & Kris’ cab passes Margie & Luke. Margie thinks they would win hands down.

– Amanda & Kris, Margie & Luke, and Mel & Mike arrive at the dam in that order. They open their clues and race off. Jaime & Cara and Tammy & Victor pull up in their cabs. Jaime & Cara are seventh to the clue box.

– Kris tells the camera that he is doing alright because teams are behind him.

– Mark & Michael show up to the workshop and start transporting the supplies. They do not see a ‘repairs’ sign.

siberia mark 5

Just watch out for those dogs.

– Kisha & Jen and Christie & Jodi place their last pieces of wood. Kisha & Jen are first to complete the task as Kisha utters her laugh.

KISHA: Caution. U-Turn ahead.

What?! A U-Turn? Oh right. We were told about it at the end of last episode as well as the beginning of this one.

– So Phil takes his sweet time explaining the twist. Because, you know, it was never used in TAR 13. People have forgotten this twist exists.

– And because nobody used it in TAR 13. . .
blind u turn

A blind U-Turn! Thankfully they did not call it a deaf U-Turn.

see no evil hear no evil

Gene Wilder is spared.

– A Blind U-Turn means that the team who uses the U-Turn does not have to place their own picture as the evil do-ers. It will remain a mystery.

– Kisha & Jen start running. Christie & Jodi complete the task. And boy oh boy, the manager really takes advantage of the situation.

siberia judgesiberia judge 2siberia judge 3siberia judge 4

Wow. He is really sticking tightly to them. Christie & Jodi run away, but somehow without the foreman in tow.

– Kisha & Jen enter the loghouse and decide to not U-Turn anyone because they know they have a huge lead. They read they must take a taxi to the Bobrovy Log Park. It is an amusement park.

– Kisha tells us that Christie & Jodi are only a couple minutes behind. Christie & Jodi show up to the Blind U-Turn. They decide not to U-Turn anybody unless it is for their own life. Christie is excited over the idea of heading to a bobsled amusement park.

– Amanda & Kris, Mel & Mike, Margie & Luke, Tammy & Victor, and Jaime & Cara all decide to stack. Teams are all sizing each other up. Amanda brags that she used to stack wood at home.

– Kisha & Jen are at the amusement park. It is a Roadblock.


Real descriptive.

– Phil tells us that one person will ride a bobsled along a winding track of up to fifty-five miles per hour (over one hundred kilometres per hour for us metric users) and must complete a three mile bobsled course in under four minutes.

4 minutes

All they got is fo’ minutes, all they got is fohhhhhh minutes.

Timbaland–the official stopwatch for Siberian bobsledding.

But seriously, this song was in the peak of mainstream when TAR 14 was filming. I even Wiki’d it. The song came out in spring of 2008. This season was filmed in late 2008.
– While completing the solo bobsled run, they must also look for seven letters posted along the way. Once finished they will then need to unscramble the name of a famous Russian playwright.

siberia chekov

I think that would be my first guess even if I had never heard of him.

– Once the name is unscrambled they will receive their next clue. Meanwhile in Abu Dhabi, teams are racing in cars looking for the world record holder of the fastest time on the track.

– Kisha is doing the Roadblock. It appears as if you have no control over the bobsled since it is all automated. Christie shows up to do the Roadblock.

– We see Kisha ride. C-O-H-K-E-H. She only sees six of the seven letters. The final letter was a ‘V’. Jen does not seem too distraught. Jodi has a stronger reaction.

– Amanda & Kris note Mel & Mike are catching up. Cara notices too. Victor instructs Tammy to not look at other teams. Amanda tells Kris not to put any weight on it. Jaime & Cara pipe up as they observe Amanda.

siberia jaime cara 5

romania jon 4

In all fairness, Jon can lift two hundred pound barrels over his head.

– Amanda tells Kris not to use little pieces.

– We go into a confessional from Cara about how much they adore Margie & Luke. Then they proceed to bash Amanda & Kris.

JAIME: Girls rule. Boys drool.

So original.

– Mark & Michael keep walking around in circles. Michael thinks they are way off and decide to turn around.

– Christie’s turn at the bobsled. Jodi thinks Christie does not have a chance of making it under four minutes. What was her time?

siberia four minutes

4 minutes 2

Just in time. Phew.

– Christie remembers all of the letters and begins unscrambling the letters. She has no clue.

siberia christie

Another edition of unnecessary split screens.

– The five teams continue stacking. Amanda puts a ton of pressure into the wall. Mike’s wall has completely fallen.

siberia mel mike 3

If only there was someone to hold up the other end.

siberia mel mike 4

For the first time in history, two men could not keep up their wood despite trying their hardest.

siberia jaime cara 6

It looks like Cara is trying to urinate on the fire. Her mistake seems minor compared to Mel & Mike’s.

siberia amanda kris 2

A tower in Pisa is jealous.

– Only that end collapses.

– Commercial break.

– We get a recap of every fallen stack. Tammy & Victor and Margie & Luke are the only two teams to not make a mistake.

– Mel & Mike switch Detours. It may not be wise because Mark & Michael have yet to find the house. They decide to head back and put the windows together first before going out again. We see 80s Video Cam Recorder swipe motions as they keep talking about ways that the windows do not fit together.

siberia mark michael 7

It is like my eighth grade Power Point presentation.

siberia elf

It is like one of Santa’s retired homeless elves watching as we return to Kisha’s second Bobsled attempt.

– She sees the ‘V’. Christie is still staring at seven letters. Kisha is equally stumped.

– Margie & Luke complete the Detour. They read a U-Turn is ahead. I wonder if they are considering to use it?

– Amanda & Kris decide to switch Detours.

– Tammy & Victor also finish the Detour and are now in fourth. They hope to not be U-Turned.

– Margie & Luke show up to the Blind U-Turn board.

siberia margie luke

Should you? Probably not.

siberia margie luke 29

Here comes the pitch. . .

siberia margie luke 3

And it’s a home run. They pick the strong mactor couple. Nobody knows whether to rejoice or be indifferent.

– The goal was to give Jaime & Cara more time to complete the task. Although we know because of how much of a threat they view Amanda & Kris. If they truly wanted to give Jaime & Cara more time, they would have U-Turned Mel & Mike who they knew were switching options.

– Tammy & Victor thank god they were not U-Turned and feels bad for how strong Kris has been during the race.

VICTOR: Nothing fell. Asian engineering.

romania victor 2

jet li

Of course engineering is easy for you when you defy physics in all of your movies.

Is Jet Li any relation to Chun Li? Hmmmm. Siblings indeed.

– Christie and Kisha keep staring at the letters. Kisha thinks she has a proper suffix and puts it together.

– Kisha is right. She is the first one done the Roadblock. She reads they must take a taxi to the pit stop–the Krasnoyarsk Theatre.

siberia krasnoyarsk 2

Which is our first indoor pit stop in TAR history. Phil has become such a diva over the years that he is unwilling to be outside for a few minutes at a time.

– Christie is staring at the letters until she makes a guess. It is the only one we are shown her making. The guess is correct. Her and Jodi run off into a taxi. Christie wanted to look brilliant but failed.

– Mark & Michael run into Mel & Mike. Michael decides that they need to work with them. They agree.

An alliance of four men named Mark, Michael, Mel, and Mike? That is going to be tough to follow.

– Tammy & Victor’s cab passes Margie & Luke. They arrive at the bobsled park simultaneously. Tammy encourages Margie to run.

ROADBLOCK HINT: Who is ready to speed read?

– Victor and Luke decide to do it.

siberia luke

Luke casually crumps in the bobsled.

– VICTOR: C. Cat.


– Amanda & Kris join Mark & Michael and Mel & Mike. Michael states they still have not found the house. Everyone looks concerned.

siberia elf 2

Even the silent elf is gravely concerned. Seriously, he has not said a single word. Who is this guy?

– Kisha & Jen stop at the theatre. They are told to enter through the main entrance. It is wrong. Christie & Jodi also fail. Kisha & Jen screw up again. Suddenly both teams are shown going through the main entrance.

siberia band

It would not be The Amazing Race 14 without more accordion players to greet you at the pit stop. They all yell in unison “Welcome to Russia, Krasnoyarsk!”


siberia jodi

Jodi looks simultaneously disgusted and appreciative at the same time.

FIRST: CHRISTIE & JODI ^ up 5 from last week


PHIL: Yes way.

siberia phil

“Didn’t we have producers set up in Istanbul to delay their flight. . .what happened to their humiliating storyline?”

– The players applaud Christie & Jodi’s performance.

– Phil informs them they have each won a motorcycle. He asks if they are into that.

JODI (sarcastically): Yeah!

Something tells me they do not intend to be biker chicks.

SECOND: KISHA & JEN ^ up 1 from last week

siberia kisha jen 2

The only reason they are in second is because they could find the sign for the washroom right away. The only thing Jen can hold are her own shoes.

– Victor has all of his letters.

VICTOR: When I saw the letters on the ground I knew instantly it was Chekhov. I mean, who doesn’t know Chekhov?

heidi strobel

Heidi knew it instantly too.

siberia victor

When I said ‘how can anyone not know Chekhov’, I knew instantly that I was a d-bag.

– Margie and Tammy laugh at Luke’s reactions to being on the roller coaster. You know how your older brother slaps you on your back several times and you open your mouth to make a vibrating voice? The bumps on the roller coaster are having the same effect on Luke.

– Luke clocks in at 3:58. He has all of the letters. Margie cheers in an over the top manner and very loudly. I have a feeling that volume may not be much of a factor here, though.

– Luke has never taken Russian or English literature courses to know any Russian names. He wished it was in English.

Personally I would have found English to be tougher because of the numerous permutations and the level of borrowing from other languages that English has.

– Luke comes up with a random combination. He is indeed lost with Russian prefixes and suffixes. Margie could probably sign a suggestion without anyone on-site catching it.

– Mark & Michael start running to find the way. Margie is concerned over Luke’s frustration.

– Mark & Michael, Mel & Mike, and Amanda & Kris come together with a plan.

siberia alliance

Mike looks like the head elf of the workshop. Why does everyone look tiny compared to him?

– Mark tells everyone they walked in one direction for a mile. Mel & Mike decide all they can do is go down the street again. But Mel squeals like a witch with some otherwise normal advice.

siberia mel mike 5

siberia mel mike 6

Mel looks intimidating. Again, him and Mel look like Hakeem Olajuwons compared to the rest.

– Jaime holds up one end as they only have five pieces left. Cara puts on the remaining five pieces. They are approved.

siberia jaime cara 7

Jaime & Cara are trying their best to push through the foreman, but he is currently encouraging full contact.

– Margie states Luke has made three incorrect guesses. Luke prepares to forfeit the challenge.

– The bottom three teams carry the objects through the street. Mel describes themselves as a caravan of idiots.

siberia mel mike 7

The bottom three teams allying together before the final task? I cannot see the harm in that.

– Margie narrates Luke’s confusion and frustration. He says English is a second language. Luke is somehow having a meltdown after only four attempts.

How can you be frustrated after four attempts if you do not know any Russian names? Maybe ten or fifteen tries. But just four? As John Stossel says, give me a break!

– Jaime & Cara see the U-Turn and thank whoever U-Turned Amanda & Kris. Cara notices two taxis are still in the neighbourhood which she hopes is a sign that the other teams are still stuck at the construction option.

– All three teams stop in the road and read the clue again. They have yet to find the house. The camera pans to the house being twenty yards down the street.

How long is a yard, really? I have no clue. I suck at both metric and imperial measurements.

– Luke comes up with a solid strategy. Margie believes he is still writing it on paper.

siberia luke 2

He is writing down the names, yes?

siberia luke 3

Dear Jaime & Cara,

This is a Blind Express Pass. Use it to save yourself when you are next to Amanda & Kris. This is a real Blind Express Pass. I would not waste your time or mine. . .

– Mel & Mike drop the stuff and start walking. Mark & Michael begin dragging the stuff away but hear Mel yell “OH S—!”. He sees it. Michael laughs about it as the teams walk past the front lawn and the marked picket fence.

siberia fence

It was not subtle, that’s for sure.

– Margie thinks Luke is doing a great job. He puts together a combo. It is correct. They celebrate and have the clue. Jaime & Cara run into Margie & Luke. Luke directs them to run up the hill as fast as possible.

– Luke breaks down in the cab about the difficulty of the round. Margie comforts him saying that she believes they are in fourth.

– Cara tells Jaime that she is a great reader and ideal for the task. Jaime agrees that Cara sucks and decides to do the Roadblock.

– All three teams finish the Detour at roughly the same time. Mel & Mike are first to the Blind U-Turn. Mel has a sad reaction to it. He runs out telling Mark & Michael that Amanda & Kris have been U-Turned.

– Amanda & Kris have their clue and start running. They see it. Last place plus U-Turn. Amanda & Kris walk back to the woodpile. Amanda is pissed because she has been nice for their whole one round appearance thus far in the season.

THIRD: TAMMY & VICTOR ^ 5 from last week

– Jaime completes the bobsled run in one try. She curses because she does not know any Russian playwrights. Jaime puts together the most rushed scrambling of letters ever. What funny made-up name did she come up with?

siberia chekov


– Jaime has one of the best reactions ever.

siberia jaime 3

Ya s—in me?

– Cara tells her to hurry but Jaime is still in disbelief.

siberia jaime 4

We’re not worthy.

– Jaime & Cara are in a taxi and head to the pit stop.

– Mark & Michael and Mel & Mike show up to the Roadblock.

FOURTH: MARGIE & LUKE – same as last week

– Michael missed a letter on his first run. Mel is doing the Roadblock.

FIFTH: JAIME & CARA ^ 2 from last week

– We see them jump up and down in slow motion.

siberia jaime cara 8

Julia Roberts lives for another day.

– Amanda & Kris complete the wood stacking task but not before the newest foreman has a request for Amanda too.

siberia man

He points out a wart on his left cheek.

siberia man 2

Fakeout! He swoops in for a full-on kiss.

– Amanda & Kris return to the museum where the U-Turn clue awaits. Kris assumes it was Kisha & Jen. Amanda believes it was Christie & Jodi.

KRIS: When Mike & Mel saw the U-Turn picture they were probably like “aw, it sucks”.
AMANDA: Well, you know, Margie & Luke felt so bad too.

siberia margie luke 4

Little do they know that Margie & Luke have finally shown their true colours.

– Mel completes the Roadblock. He asks if Mark & Michael are still behind. Mike confirms it for him.

– Michael completes his bobsled run. He gets it on his first try supposedly. Mark firmly believes they are safe but does utter the cliche ‘anything can happen’.

SIXTH: MEL & MIKE v 5 from last week

– Kris is doing the Roadblock. He completes the bobsled portion but screws up his first guess. We see him complete it seconds later. Night is falling. Long day.

– Mark & Michael’s fare is eight thousand rubles. They only have five thousand. Uh oh. Mark & Michael offer their watches.

siberia mark 6

Mark laughs out loud upon seeing the driver’s Rolex.

– Their next brilliant plan?

siberia michael

Sew our jackets together to create one that fits you!

– They are stumped. Amanda & Kris’ cab inches closer. How can Mark & Michael settle this fare?

siberia mark michael 8

Mark hugs it out with him, only to pickpocket three of the five thousand rubles he just gave them, and re-submit the three thousand rubles as the remaining fare. Michael is in line for a classic American handshake.

– But seriously, the driver lets them off the hook for the remaining three thousand. The guy has a Rolex, so he should be fine.

SEVENTH: MARK & MICHAEL v 2 from last week

– No suspense as to who is last.

LAST AND ELIMINATED: AMANDA & KRIS v down 6 from last week

– They should have kept in Kris & Jon or Amanda & Chris. Oh well. They have the most boring send-off ever.

Next Time on TAR: Luke gets a reputation for using the U-Turn. And in the frigid Siberian winter, teams grin and bare it.





Brad & Victoria

The sequel to Fran & Barry, but with improvised vision.

They did quite well by finishing in the middle of the pack both rounds. However, come round three and they made a mistake that far too many racers make:

Intentionally getting yourself on an earlier flight alone but the arrival time is in the middle of the night when you are bound to run into an equalizer.

Even if the 730pm flight panned out for Brad & Victoria, they would have been on the exact same 630am train as the other eight teams. What else should they expect at two o’ clock in the morning?

This is famously known as the error that Uchenna & Joyce made in All Stars where they ended up about twelve hours behind.

The episode was equally boring as the Uchenna & Joyce boot thanks to Brad & Victoria’s flight delay putting them on the mat roughly eight to twelve hours later. I wish we would know how their face was cut up. Did they both face plant on a twig?

Brad’s drug addiction is something we did not learn about until their final appearance. I am not sure why production did not want to incorporate it into his edit beyond the ten second mention, but I must admit that not bashing us over the head with that fact made Brad & Victoria much more ‘real’ than the other teams.

It is too bad that they were gone early because they are one of the 50+ year old couples that have a legitimate chance to win The Amazing Race. Those teams appear rarely on the race.


Steve & Linda

I wish I could have done more to make the comparisons of Steve to Goofy. Sadly there is only so much you can do in two rounds.

The lesson here is that Linda is terrible at racing. I think her only skill was spotting the yellow sign. Otherwise she qualifies for the short list as one of the weakest racers in TAR history.

I should note that Steve & Linda DO NOT have an abusive relationship. The screen caps and the yelling and the crying just make it appear that way.

I found them to be more ‘real’ and entertaining than Preston & Jennifer. Other than that they had zero business being on a show as competitive as TAR. It is a miracle that they even made it to round two overall.


Preston & Jennifer

Before I re-watched this season I remember them for nothing except the piggyback ride in the final seconds of the episode.

In fact, their inability to piggyback on the pack is what did them in. They couldn’t even find the first train station and were saved by the 745am departure time.

Preston & Jennifer may be one of the worst 20-something mactor couples in terms of being able to perform well at TAR.

a) They couldn’t find a train station that everyone else found.
b) They must have sucked at driving to end up on the last flight
c) They screwed up a physical challenge such as transporting cheese.
d) They were at the pit stop location before Christie & Jodi, but ran into the wrong direction.
e) A piggyback ride was believed to be necessary in the first round’s final seconds.

There really is nothing this team could do well and definitely deserve finishing in dead last for TAR 14.

Production really wanted to have their next Nathan & Jennifer judging by a couple of their ridiculous arguments, but it is tough to have another Nathan & Jennifer when you cast a team who struggles with every dimension to the race.

4) Amanda & Chris/Kris & Jon

I did not like how they were the only returning players in this cast. If you are going to bring people back, it should be in an all-star format. No different with Survivor and Big Brother.
I seriously have nothing to say about Amanda & Kris. Like. . .what the f— is there to say?


1) Los Alamitos, California -> Stechelberg, Switzerland

I give kudos to production for allowing their thrill-seeking task to be out of the way early. Doing the second highest bungee jump in the world is certainly no small feat. Believe it or not this was the second bungee jump they have done in Switzerland.

This really needed to be a longer premiere. It truly is a shame that we could not see the first scramble to the airport nor seeing teams interact with each other before the lying and deceiving would begin. Seeing teams have fun before flying to the first route marker is one of my favourite parts to each season.

There was no Detour because production wanted teams to carry cheese down a steep hill instead. Production knew they had struck gold because this had one of the most screen cap intensive scenes in the history of my blog. There is something about people falling on their butt, scooting on their butt, and rogue wheels of cheese crashing through Swiss houses that led to lots of laughter.

Overall, this was a very solid leg, and will probably be my favourite by TAR 14 standards.

2) Bran, Romania -> Krasnoyarsk, Russia

A battle for flights at the beginning was great. Four flight paths for eight teams? You do not see that happen too often.

But that collapsed when all teams were connecting on the same Moscow flight. However, for a relatively unexplained reason, teams were split between two Moscow airports to head to Krasnoyarsk. I think half of the teams were dropped off at the domestic airport while the other half were at the international airport.

The time difference was roughly four hours between flights. The equalizer at the dam was reasonable because it opened at 8:30am and stayed open relatively late.

Anyways, I loved the wood stacking and window constructing Detour. It is a Detour that could be used in Siberia or northern Canada. Both tasks appeared rather difficult. The falling stacks of wood was rather amusing.

The group of people at the Detour camping out as they eat strange food and laughing at the falling stacks as well as the drunken lady who was dancing and singing the whole time. I have never seen people so energetic in the morning.

The Roadblock added an extra layer to what was becoming a tired task. They have used multiple bobsled runs in the past where all they had to do was complete it under a specific time limit. The addition of coming up with a Russian last name that does not require you to know his name, and instead use logical reasoning, was a refreshing change to the task.

The introduction of the Blind U-Turn is a change I do not particularly mind. Whether it is a Blind U-Turn or have its senses fully functional does not matter much to me. However I do not understand why its use had to be hyped up at the start of the episode.

The only con to the episode was how much airtime Margie & Luke received, but I guess that is expected from a team that production wanted to be the first three-timers in TAR history.

And the round in Siberia proved that it is drastically different from the previous four Russian rounds in TAR where they spent it in major cities west of the Urals.

3) Salzburg, Austria -> Bran, Romania

Gymnastics. Loading up a gypsy cart. Minimal equalizers. A quote from Young Frankenstein. Running aimlessly through the woods. A new country. Scrambling for the best flights.

These are all makings of a great round of TAR. In fact I would have ranked this as the best round of the season by far because this is the only new country of the season and the tasks were great.

But then it had to be ruined by showing Tammy & Victor for the majority of the episode! Just look at the confessional counts of the episode. For once Margie & Luke were pushed to the side in favour of Tammy & Victor of all people. We saw a minimum of a five minute breakdown of each of their tasks.

Production is trying way too hard to make us like Tammy & Victor. It is not like they were hidden in the first two episodes either. Why keep showing us a team that mildly annoys us and has a personality that is impossible for the viewers to identify with as they watch?

To make things worse, the only team other than Brad & Victoria to be shown was. . .virtually no one. We had the first Jaime blow-up, a bit of Kris & Jon because of their blunder, and Mel & Mike’s victory.

But other than that it is impossible to think of a single thing that the other teams did. It was entirely from the perspective of Brad & Victoria and Tammy & Victor.

Ugh. They ruined the best round of the race by doing this. Now it is an episode that many TAR viewers have forgotten because Tammy & Victor are people you try your absolute best to forget!

4) Stechelberg, Switzerland -> Salzburg, Austria

The round was constructed with zero equalizers. I do not understand why we needed a two minute dedication to Margie & Luke at the start of the episode, but for some reason it was there.

The Roadblock was your usual paragliding task, but seeing it reduced to a one hour jog down the mountain made for some boring television to the point that production did not include any of it except for Linda’s wrong turn on TV.

We saw the growing gap between Kisha & Jen. Seeing Jen’s increasing levels of frustration with Kisha’s older siblingitis was fun to watch.

Watching Mel narrate ten minutes of the episode was annoying because you knew that he is only narrating due to the minor celebrity status of himself and Mike. The part where Mike tries to scale the gate was definitely worthy of being on TV as Phil looks on trying not to laugh.

Pie throwing acting as a needle in the haystack task was boring. The Segway obstacle course was overly linear and straightforward to the point that barely any of the footage made it on TV.

Seeing the woodcutters was neat. The pit stop location was gorgeous.

Mark & Michael being idiots by not asking for a cell phone inside the cab was amusing.

Then watching Steve & Linda’s interactions for the whole round was definitely the meat and potatoes of the episode. Linda’s performance in these two rounds qualifies her as one of the worst racers in terms of ability to appear in the show’s history. Wonderful people, but Steve & Linda were not built for TAR.

The only person with worse abilities than Linda are the abilities of the casting director for TAR 18.

The trend of seasons that visit Europe are weak overall does not slow down thanks to the kajillionth trip to Germany and Austria.

P.S. When this episode aired on TV I was quite sleepy. Rewatching it today and that has not changed.

P.P.S. What was up with the one minute dedication to Margie & Luke between the ‘Previously On’ and Intro segments? Ridiculous.
Team Averages

Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0
11th Ari & Staella 11.0
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0
11th John & Scott 11.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Steve & Linda 9.5
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????)
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
10th Kate & Pat 9.0
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 – Yielded
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 – Sucked.
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
–D minus–
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Brad & Victoria 6.6666666666 – Fran & Barry 2.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF
–C minus–
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 – Wah.
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Amanda & Kris – 4.5 Blind U-Turned
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
–B minus–
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25
1st TK & Rachel 3.18
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield
–A minus–
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4thToni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2 and Used Yield
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 FF
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF and Yielded
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF and Used Yield
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF

Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)

11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF
18 legs Danielle 4.78
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 None
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3!
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 None
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None

* I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.

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