Amazing Race

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Run for the Border

But since this crisis was bisected by an ad break, they make it onto the plane. Now they've left behind five other teams, which Jonathan describes as "the bottom chunk." As a refresher, that includes Katie/Rachel, Jill/Thomas, Nick/Vicki, Chad/Stephanie, and Jonathan/Connor in what Jonathan calls "a five-way sprint to not get last." And after finishing the previous leg an hour before anyone else, too. The only thing I can think of that would be worse than this is missing your college gradua-- oh, wait.

And now we're in Kiruna. Or rather over it, as we see the arctic forests, frolicking caribou, and the city itself. The first flight lands, complete with its green subtitle telling us that the first flight is good, and racers run for the fleet of cars parked there. Seeing their wheels waiting for them, Mallory makes this typically insightful observation: "WAAAAAAHHH!" The four teams hit the road, with Gary & Mallory in the lead, Brook & Claire in second, Team @ in third, and Michael and Kevin in fourth. But then Gary drives on past the Icehotel sign, going "huh?" as Mallory points it out to him. The two female teams make the turn as Mallory makes Gary turn around, snapping, "Told you told you told you!" She's even bubbly when she's irritated. Kevin decides to follow Gary and Mallory. Great plan. Be sure to hit the u-turn at the same spot.

The four women enter the ice warehouse, which is pretty photogenic even in this form. Even if there hadn't been a chick in a Narnian White Witch costume next to the table that's holding nine slabs of ice. Or "ice." Brook remarks on the hostess's outfit, "My fiancée calls me an ice princess, I might have to borrow that later," Brook says. Ice princess? I find that hard to believe, even if she weren't leaving a trail of lipstick marks on faces all over the world. The ice slabs are all etched with the letters "PIETARASJÄRVIVÄGEN FJELLBORGS VID VÄKKÄRÄRVI," like a cat walked across the keyboard of the etching machine. Phil says they'll need to "figure out" that refers to Fjellborg's Lodge, where their next clue is currently chilling (I will only do that once, I promise). The two lead teams pick up their clue slabs and head out, Brook carrying hers alone and saying, "It's not that heavy." Gary and Mallory get there next, and Michael and Kevin see their Speed Bump sign there in the warehouse. And with that, Phil's out in the snow, explaining that this is their "extra task that only they must complete" as a result of coming in last at the end of the non-elimination leg In this case, they'll have to sit on chairs made of ice blocks for ten minutes. Seriously? That's it? I can't see this taking them much more than...oh, ten minutes or so. Kevin's wearing soccer shorts, which seems contrary to common sense when you're traveling to the Arctic Circle, summer or not. "I wish in Ghana we had this chair," Michael says as they perch uncomfortably on the edge of their seats. They look not only cold but hard. Too bad there aren't any frozen gel-packs for cushions.

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Amazing Race

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