Racer Reports

Racer Report - Episode Four

You were good Racers who really got hit with some bad airport luck, and you will be missed!
Team: Bob & Joyce
This week Bob & Joyce showed why I think they'll be fan favorites for a long time. Even though they discovered early on that the airline had made a mistake in issuing their tickets and given them business class tickets on one leg of their flight, causing them to fall at least an hour behind all the other teams, they never gave up and did their best to enjoy their experience right up to the end. They took the hockey Detour option, blocked their five shots quite well, and proved that they really are comfortable on skates, not just for their opening credit sequence -- Joyce's little dance and Bob's little bow to their audience in the stands was when they were both still wearing their skates. Poor Joyce ended up eating that whole hideous bowl of caviar (which I thought was totally unnecessary since they were clearly well behind any other team), but she and Bob still managed to enjoy their sleigh ride -- or at least he did; I'm not sure she was capable of enjoying much at that point. And they took their Philimination with style, not blaming anyone or anything and expressing their enjoyment for the whole experience -- but recognizing that there are more important things in their lives, namely, each other.

Bye, Bob & Joyce! You were good Racers who really got hit with some bad airport luck, and you will be missed! I hope you're very happy together for the rest of your lives!
–– by Mama Tiger

Team: Brandon & Nicole
Welcome to the further adventures of Nikki and The Hair! I hate to admit it, but they finally won me over with this leg. Granted, Brandon isn’t the sharpest tack in the box (and I like my tacks very sharp), and he’s still somewhat overbearing with the religion, but I finally understand what Nicole sees in him. He’s funny, he’s sweet, and he cares about her deeply. Awww. Plus, as she pointed out in the first episode, he’s got a cute butt.
Welcome to the further adventures of Nikki and The Hair!
But sheesh! You’re in a restaurant in a foreign country, Brandon, and the clue says “taste of the good life.” And you think, “um, gee, my girlfriend, she’s Miss Texas, I’ll be she knows all about the good life.” No, dear, they’re messing with your head. In other words: IT’S A TRICK!!! [Yeah, he still may not get that one – MJ] Anytime the Race makes something sound fun and easy, it’s gonna be awful. Of course, the expression on Brandon’s face when he saw the big bowls of caviar was priceless. It was the “Oh, I screwed up” face. And he couldn’t do a thing about it at that point.

Over on the Survivor Sucks boards, a poster called Curmudgeon calculates the calories, sodium, and fat in a kilo of caviar. Let’s say Curmudgeon is right, that it’s about 2,500 calories. At her size, even assuming a lot of exercise, Nicole probably maxes out at 1,500 calories a day. And all that salt? No wonder she was lying on the floor shaking. Poor thing! I thought Brandon was sweet – a lot better than Crazy Eyes was with Christie – and I liked the way he coaxed Nicole back into the task. “Just one more bite.” Yeah, just one more bite. This man’s kids are gonna be members of the clean plate club for sure!

As for the vodka versus the hockey, I think he should have gone for the vodka, but if he felt that strongly against it, I appreciate his integrity – [Yet the Bible says don’t get drunk, not don’t take a drink. It’s not like Jesus provided all the wine for a wedding or anything. – MJ] I don’t have a problem with Nicole fussing at him about it, however. She’s not going to be a doormat, but she hasn’t yet figured out the best way to persuade Brandon when they disagree. And I think they function better as a team when she has a stronger voice. That may be because her tack is a little bit sharper [Really, it’s pretty easy to have a sharper tack – MJ]. We’ll see how they work it out. I’m increasingly confident that they’ll go far, and I’d like to see them get to the end without a meltdown.
–– by Daria and MJMarble

Team: Charla & Mirna
Charla and Mirna overcame a potentially race-ending airport situation to pull off another solid finish in this leg. They are, however, rapidly climbing the list of Teams Most Despised by Fellow Racers. While it’s easy to be a couch critic, I believe that they could have done as well and skipped a load of stress if they turned down the Self-Righteous Attitude-O-Meter a notch (or twenty).
I believe that they could have done as well and skipped a load of stress if they turned down the Self-Righteous Attitude-O-Meter a notch.
The cousins lost a two-hour lead to bus station bunching and truly juvenile behaviour. Instead of taking the opportunity to form a classic Temporary Alliance, Mirna had the gall to imply that Colin was a “criminal” for asking her not to interrupt his conversation mid-sentence. This came back to bite the cousins in the ass when yet another line squabble erupted and Colin specifically excluded Mirna from the “good bus.” Being thus relegated to the slower bus prevented Charla and Mirna from pre-booking tickets at the travel agency, and a great deal of difficulty finding tickets despite being the first team to arrive at the airport. I think their approach (pick one airline and hope for the best) was reasonable, but they unfortunately picked the wrong one and other teams grabbed all of the available seats. The cousins didn’t give up, however, and were saved by cancellations and a direct trans-Atlantic flight.

Once in Russia, the cousins navigated the challenges without much difficulty, and even seemed to enjoy themselves at the hockey detour (accompanied by a wacky pseudo-Russian soundtrack, of course). Charla did admirably well at the caviar Roadblock, while Mirna tossed up her “hurry up, Charla” routine with a few smirks at the other teams. On a side note, seeing the "despicable” Brothers cheering for Nicole was a telling comment on inter-team relationships. At the Pit stop, Charla managed to look less ill than the other caviar-eaters while Phil tossed in a comment on The Hugging.
–– by Kanuck

Team: Chip & Kim – Married Parents
Just when I thought things were looking hopeless for the married duo, they go and pull out a first place finish! And this time it was legitimate! Couldn’t you just see the jubilation on Chip’s face when Phil told him the good news? (Or maybe it was gas from all that caviar?)
He wanted first place so bad he could taste it, and it just happened to taste like caviar.
These guys continue to run a race full of smiles and good humor. This leg they seemed particularly giddy, which may well be attributed to the fact that they knew they were in the top tier of racers for once (thanks to Colin helping them out). But watching Chip power through all those fish eggs was absolutely incredible. I think he smelled a chance to leap ahead of everybody and let sheer will overtake him at that moment. He wanted first place so bad he could taste it, and it just happened to taste like caviar. Their sled ride to the pitstop was adorable, though I have no idea what a Boobie Cooper is, as Chip called Kim.

This leg showed a bit of the fight that I thought was missing from these guys. Hopefully that’ll continue on. Now that they’re number one, I think they’ll do everything in their power to stay in the top. I’d still like to see more of Kim, but for now, I’m enjoying the hell out of these two.
–– by Swimmerboy

Team: Colin & Christie
Colin and Christie were the first team to leave the pit stop in Bariloche. Christie notes that "If we're going to stay ahead, we have to be seen as the team that makes the least amount of mistakes." At the Bariloche bus station, Colin quickly found out options for buses to Buenos Aires so teams could fly to St. Petersburg, Russia. Colin got bus tickets for four of the teams on an express bus that left three hours later but arrived at the same time the next morning in Buenos Aires. He had to deal with Mirna's obnoxious behavior at the bus station while the teams waited for the ticket offices to open. The express bus permitted those four teams to go to a travel agency in Bariloche and make flight arrangements on the earlier flights that arrived in St. Petersburg on the third day of the leg. Colin and Christie got tickets on the earliest arriving flight, which placed them at the St. Petersburg airport at 3:00 p.m., a little more than an hour ahead of the second team and three hours or more ahead of all the remaining teams.

Once in St. Petersburg, Colin and Christie were the first team to reach the battleship Aurora, and encounter the detour -- block five shots or drink one shot. They chose the second option, which involved drinking a double shot of vodka balanced on a Cossack battle sword held by a swordsman. They then went to find the Bronze Horseman statute in the center of St. Petersburg. There, the teams were directed to find The Old Tower Restaurant in Pushkin, a town 15 miles away from St. Petersburg. At the restaurant, the teams encountered a roadblock, where a member of each team had to consume 1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) of caviar. Christie volunteered to do the roadblock in part because Colin was unsure he would be able to perform an eating roadblock. She had considerable difficulty completing this task - it apparently took her several hours. I have nothing but praise for how Colin supported Christie with this most difficult roadblock, or Christie getting through what had to be an extremely hard and uncomfortable task- perhaps the most difficult food roadblock ever. Their problems though, appeared to have cost them the lead they had into St. Petersburg over all of the other teams, and given the arrival of several teams at the restaurant, it appears Colin and Christie spent several hours there, and completed the roadblock after Chip and Kim.

Colin and Christie were still the second team to arrive at Catherine's Palace, the pit stop for this leg of the Race in Pushkin. This was still a consistent, strong performance by a team that has shown excellent Racer skills in a number of ways throughout the Race to date, especially with dealing with locals and in arranging their ticketed transportation. The leg, itself was apparently one of, if not the longest, leg ever in the five cycles of the Race to date, nearly three full calendar days. At the Amazing Mat, Colin said "I wish I had chosen to do the roadblock instead of Christie, but I don't think I would have been able to do that, so she was much stronger that I am. I'm very proud of her."
–– by theschnauzers

Team: Kami & Karli
In sports, they say that being battle tested is good for being able to handle the stress of the playoffs. For instance, a team that has had to fight for the playoffs is better equipped to go further because they have already experienced a tougher road than the really good team that had a cakewalk. I certainly hope that’s true for the Race because these women have had more close calls than any other team in recent history. They have finished next to last (thus avoiding Philimination) in three of the four legs thus far. Either they’re lucky or just good enough. Honestly I’m not sure which it is.

Their pairing up with the Bowling Moms seemed to help out both teams. They ran well against each other and also managed to be the first teams out of the second bus to have tickets to St. Petersburg. Maybe the loose alliance will continue to help both teams.
What ever happened to our self proclaimed “fast girls”?
On the flip side, whilst no major mistakes were made, there are signs of Killer Fatigue kicking in. For instance, when getting off the bus in Argentina they were the last ones to get to the taxis. What ever happened to our self proclaimed “fast girls”? I mean, Charla and Mirna (the Bitch) got there before they did. The Hell? If you need another example just go catch their attempts at finding the gun on the Aurora in St. Petersburg on the Insider section of CBS.

Finally, the best line of the week from them was when they were racing the Bowling Moms in the taxi talking about how each team would do what it needed to win (where was this attitude with Chip and Kim?) one of the twins said in her best “Bring It On” voice “The Race is on!” Seriously girls, let’s try to keep the blonde to a minimum.
–– by MJMarble

Team: Linda & Karen – Women with Balls
Phil said the Moms were “competitive.” I’m taking that to mean they’re around for a lot longer, and not just because I think they’re gonna win. No, if they’re supposed to be competitive, we’re not seeing it right now, so it has to happen in the future.

When Crazy Eyes bought tickets for himself and Christie and three other teams in Bariloche, he didn’t pick the Moms to ride on the “cool kids” bus. I’m wondering why this is. Maybe because he underestimated them and viewed them as fungible? If so, that’s all right – better to be underestimated than targeted, although I wonder what will happen once the other teams figure out the Moms are a force in this race.

I did like that the Moms joined forces with the twins. While the indistinguishable ones (I mean the twins, not the Doughboys) are not my favorite team, they’re not vile (then again, how can I consider the Doughboys vile when there’s Omirnarosa in the Race?). The two teams had the right idea in working the terminals together but not the tasks. I also appreciated that the Moms didn’t rub the twins’ noses in it when Linda out-ate whichever twin choked down her team’s caviar. In all the seasons of the Race, I can’t recall an effective alliance between two female/female teams. This could be the first, if it continues. I’d like to see it develop further.
This team gets slowed down by transportation, and usually not cabs or cars they’re driving themselves, but rather buses and airplanes.
Linda’s comment on the CBS Insider video about doing well on tasks but needing to work the terminals better was encouraging, because that’s exactly what she and Karen need to focus on now in order to be competitive. This team gets slowed down by transportation, and usually not cabs or cars they’re driving themselves, but rather buses and airplanes.

Let’s hope they make up some ground in Egypt.
–– by Daria

Team: Marshall & Lance
After Episode 4, I can finally say with assurance that I like Marshall and Lance. I thought they were all right in the first two episodes, but in the third they were beginning to bug me. Now, in the fourth episode, along with just being less abrasive and more interesting in general, all the reasons for their previous behavior towards Mirna became abundantly clear, and I can no longer even be all that upset at them for the drive-by “bitch!”

They did a very good job in this leg – they were right on the bus situation when Colin/Christie found the better line and were 100% correct in their assertion that this is a “new line” for a new bus. It was kinda silly for some of the other teams to assume that they would all stay in the same order.

Luckily, since the bus left later than the other teams’, they were able to book flights from there, along with Colin/Christie, Brandon/Nicole, and Chip/Kim. They shouldn’t have been angry that Brandon/Nicole decided to going their own way (100% their right) and I don’t really think they were. Sure, there was a “scumbags” lobbed in B/N’s direction, but it was used so lightly I honestly think it’s a word that doesn’t hold serious weight with them, sorta like the way my brother and I toss “loser” at each other all the time.

I honestly have no idea why they decided to walk to the Old Tower Restaurant for the Roadblock instead of just taking a cab, but that’s what they did, and for me it was the only scene in this episode were they courted rudeness, yelling at each other in front of the poor guy trying to lead them there. Then again, I’d want to be sure the guy knew where he was going, too. I still don’t get why they didn’t take a cab.
Lance takes the Roadblock with aplomb, seeming to get the job done fairly quickly.
Lance takes the Roadblock with aplomb, seeming to get the job done fairly quickly. I love the obvious friendship they have with Chip and Kim and it’s cool when he tells Chip good-naturedly “Dude, I can’t believe how quick you’re gettin’ through that!” I also like it when they applaud Christie when she finally soldiers through it.

So, Marshall’s knee problems aside, I think I might be taking back my prediction from last week that they would be gone soon. They seem smart and resilient, and really care for each other, which is obvious when they lay their heads on each other in exhaustion at the Pit Stop. Looking forward to seeing them in action next week.
–– by Jason(Ronin47)

Our Amazing Host: Phil
The episode starts out in Argentina with Phil as always reminding us what happened last week, telling us how many teams (8) are left, and asking that fatal question - Who Will Be Eliminated…Next. Our first sighting of Phil this week has him looking splendid in blue - blue jeans and a short sleeve blue shirt. Since it is very confusing with each team's flight making about three stops on the way, Phil (along with the always awesome AYL) sums up how each team is getting from Argentina to Russia (thanks Phil and AYL!). We next see Phil in Russia as he tells us about the detour while strolling in the falling snow - block shots vs. drink one shot. He is dressed for the cold weather - wearing a white ski jacket, dark pants and black gloves. After studying the tape carefully, I decide that the jacket has a red lining in the collar - at first I thought it was red and yellow but now I only see red. When Phil tells us about the Roadblock (caviar - not so yummy after all), we see that he is wearing a gray sweater. Then, it is time for the Pit Stop. This leg, Phil is at Catherine's Palace with Rasputin as his sidekick. As Phil welcomes the teams he gets hugs (Chip), kisses (Mirna), tears (Christie), and wishes that they could just curl up and die (Nicole and Karli) from the Racers. (Honestly, I am not mocking them, the three women looked very very ill -- Phil is very lucky that no one threw up on his nice white coat). Sadly, as it is his responsibility, Phil has to end this leg by eliminating Bob and Joyce.
–– by M. Darcy

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