The Sports Page

Season 9, Episode 3

The longest leg so far started with a zip-line ride, followed by a race for one of three bus tickets that both proved insignificant as the nine remaining teams ended up on the same flight almost halfway around the world. Once again, reading was fundamental for teams that struggled with a Roadblock when they couldn’t figure out what “plunge” combined with “pool” meant. From the pool, teams took an apparently harder-than-it-looked cab ride that eventually brought them all to one of two Detour options . . . just not necessarily the one they thought they were getting. Eric & Jeremy’s doll-handling skills shot them to the front of the pack, but, when they got to Phil at Red Square, he gave them not a sandwich and the night off, but their next clue. When the credits rolled, the remaining eight teams were still strung halfway across Moscow.

Have I mentioned that I hate the words “To be continued?” Screw it. If it looks like a leg, quacks like a leg, and has a Roadblock and Detour like a leg, it’s a leg. I’m just waiting for the final standings. All you who are reading this before episode four, make sure you come back here for the thrilling conclusion.
No team really distinguished itself this week, but for sheer effect I have to award the Play of the Week to Wanda & Desiree for their determined climb out of the basement after the Roadblock.
The leg may not have reached its conclusion, but I've reached a few. No team really distinguished itself this week, but for sheer effect I have to award the Play of the Week to Wanda & Desiree for their determined climb out of the basement after the Roadblock. Desiree got them off on the right foot with her just-right balance of support and nagging to get her Mom to finish the task; after that, they cracked the code on the cab and managed to find the trolley park in record time, vaulting five places in the standings and propelling them out of danger.

There's lots to choose from for the Smooth Move. We had two players, standing outside a swimming pool and reading a clue that said, "Take the plunge," opt to complete the Roadblock only to express shocked surprise that their non-swimming selves would have to, er, swim. Then there was Michelle, who opted out of an easy shot at one of her required Roadblocks because she figured out the task, and didn't want any Russians ogling her swimsuit clad behind. Remember that when you're climbing some sheer ice wall head-to-head against Ray, Michelle. But all of that pales next to Danielle & Dani's Smooth Move when they lost their grip, quite literally, on that most important piece of luggage, the clue purse. I'm betting that, in the scramble to catch up to their sweeties Eric & Jeremy, they just forgot about unimportant details. Eyes on the prize, ladies, and save the boy-chasing for the Pit Stops.

Where the Wheels Came off the Bus, or rather, the trolley, was at Detour selection—something I probably could have told you last week, as the trailing teams all chose the same option. This was a sneaky Detour; on the face of it, it was a classic choice between a slow-but-steady task and a needle-in-a-haystack search that could go very quickly or excruciatingly slowly. The catch was, there was another needle, the trolley depot, in the large and confusing haystack that is Moscow. Before teams could even start washing, they needed to find a municipal works yard that, chances are, doesn’t feature highly on any tourist itinerary. This week was a reminder that it doesn’t matter how easy a Detour option is if you can’t find it in the first place. And, when in doubt, assume cabbies know more about finding theatres than trolley yards.

Follow the Leader
No need to navigate-just follow the cab in front! No need to find a cab-just hop into someone else's! And no need to pick your own Detour option-just do whatever the guys in front of you are doing.
This Race thing isn't so bad, is it? No need to navigate-just follow the cab in front! No need to find a cab-just hop into someone else's! And no need to pick your own Detour option-just do whatever the guys in front of you are doing.

I've busted on Eric & Jeremy more than once for that style of racing. But, as much as it hurts to say it, it seems to be working for them. Three legs in, they are one, two, and one-that's a better record than anyone else has had at this point of the Race. And when you're young and fit, there's something to be said for cruising in another team's slipstream until the end is in sight, then sprinting to the end. Drafting is a valid race strategy.

Still, the Race isn't just about swiftness of foot. Sooner or later, if they don't start taking some initiative, I expect they'll follow the wrong team down the wrong rabbit hole and get themselves stuck. They already did a bit of that last week, but, luckily, they were in the lead. But, if they make a mistake when they're following the second-to-last team, it'll be lights out.


Next Week

Anyone could end this leg in last place; the apparent impossibility of finding the slow-and-steady trolley option on the Detour, combined with the essential randomness of the doll searching, means that it's really up for grabs. I've got a hunch that Fran & Barry are in trouble, though. As for the next leg, yet again, I expect Fran & Barry or Danielle & Dani to drop out. And, judging by the mental errors I'm seeing this week, I think Danielle & Dani's downward slide is picking up momentum.

Leg 9-3 At a Glance

Start pointPrimavera da Serra, Brotas, Brazil
End pointRed Square, Moscow, Russia
Distance traveled12060 km
Distance to date21580 km

 


Start OrderTimeFinish OrderTime
1BJ and Tyler04:48Eric and JeremyN/A
2Eric and Jeremy05:01Lake and MichelleN/A
3Joseph and Monica05:18Ray and YolandaN/A
4David and Lori05:28BJ and TylerN/A
5Ray and Yolanda06:31Fran and BarryN/A
6Wanda and Desiree06:32Danielle and DaniN/A
7Lake and Michelle07:06Wanda and DesireeN/A
8Danielle and Dani07:07Joseph and MonicaN/A
9Fran and Barry08:24David and LoriN/A

 

ROADBLOCK
Take the plunge
Jump from a 10 metre platform into a pool, then dive to the bottom to retrieve the clue.
TeamTaken byRecordInOut
BJ and TylerTyler(1/2)11
Fran and BarryBarry(1/2)22
Ray and YolandaYolanda(1/2)33
Lake and MichelleLake(2/2)44
Eric and JeremyEric(1/2)55
Danielle and DaniDani(1/2)66
Joseph and MonicaMonica(1/2)77
Dave and LoriLori(1/2)88
Wanda and DesireeWanda(1/2)99

 

DETOUR
Scrub
Scour
Travel to a trolley depot and wash one trolley inside and out.Travel to a theatre and search 1500 nesting dolls for a clue hidden inside.
TeamInOutTeamInOut
Wanda and Desiree46Ray and Yolanda13
Danielle and Dani57Eric and Jeremy*21
Joseph and Monica88Lake and Michelle*32
Dave and Lori99Fran and Barry*65
   BJ and Tyler*74

*Switched tasks once

Leaderboard

Leg12345678910111213
Eric and Jeremy121          
Lake and Michelle572          
Ray and Yolanda753          
BJ and Tyler214          
Fran and Barry 895          
Danielle and Dani986          
Wanda and Desiree367          
Joseph and Monica638          
David and Lori449          
Lisa and Joni1010           
John and Scott11