Amazing Race

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Eisenstein, Tchaikovsky, and Babushkas

For "Classical Cinema," the teams head to a film studio, specifically a soundstage that, according to Phil, was "the very first place that a movie was screened in Russia." Then they'll have to dig through a giant pile of film clips -- seriously, it's like several of those piles of film in Inglourious Basterds -- to find any piece of the clip playing in an endless loop on the giant screen in the soundstage (which happens to be from Sergei Eisenstein's October, also known as Ten Days that Shook the World). Then they'll show it to a guy in a director's chair dressed up in a 1920's tweed suit, and "the director" will give them their next clue. I'm sure CBS will be inundated with complaints about their showing pro-Bolshevik propaganda during the family hour, or they would be if anyone who'd complain about it knew that's what it was.

Brook and Claire decide on that one, and head back to their cab to ask their driver to take them to Lenfilm Studio while Michael and Kevin arrive at the clue box. "That classical music sounds so gnarly," Brook remarks. Kevin somehow decides that his experience making videos will come in handy for "Classic Cinema." Chad and Stephanie decide on Classical Music, as do Gary and Mallory. The other three teams all arrive at the Rostral Columns at roughly the same time. Jill and Thomas will be doing cinema, Nick and Vicki music, and Team @ (currently in last place) cinema as well.

Unfortunately for Brook and Claire, their driver doesn't know where Lenfilm is (philistine), so Michael and Kevin are the first team to get there and find their way onto Soundstage 4. YouTube auteur Kevin gets taken down a notch or two when he takes in the scene: "I've never studied that kind of film." Yes, his directing experience doesn't really apply to the kind that requires you to spend hours punching those little holes in the film. In fact, it's Michael who has to tell Kevin how to hold the clips up to the light so they can see what's on them. Oy. One hopes Kevin is able to see the images on the film for what they are rather than looking for series of ones and zeroes.

Jill and Thomas arrive next and join the search. Brook and Claire's driver, however, is still searching for the studio itself. Man, nobody who gets a lead in this leg gets to enjoy it for very long.

Chad and Stephanie get to the palace where the music Detour is being held and quickly find the three gramophones. They bend over to listen to each of them in turn and think they've got it, until they head into the ballroom and find a score of grand pianists collectively making a noise like a hailstorm in a Steinway factory -- and then another ten in the next room. Chad and Stephanie start putting their ears on piano lids like they're doing a high-speed remake of Immortal Beloved. The other three teams doing this Detour arrive and are almost immediately equally overwhelmed. But at least they're at a Detour, as opposed to Brook and Claire, who still aren't.

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Amazing Race

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