Stacking wood and Chekhov challenge teams

Episode four and The Amazing Race 14 is still going strong. Less time in airports, more time on challenges, more time to act like idiots–and more time for the greatest fake-out in the race’s history.

  • At the beginning of the episode, Margie said Luke is “living his dream” and said that when pressured, “he is going to absolutely gun it.” Or break down and act defeated, which is what happened later during the Roadblock.
  • Mark and Michael asked their cab driver to borrow his cell phone to call Lufthansa, but for some reason, they called Jaime and Cara’s cab driver, and he handed the phone to them. One of them–they dress and look nearly identical–answered and said, “Yes, this is Lufthansa.” Mark or Michael said, “It’s an American,” and proceeded to ask questions about flight times. “That was so mean I can’t even believe I did it,” she said afterwords, but really, it wasn’t mean at all, considering she only said that the flight had business class seats available, rather than pretending to book him on a nonexistent flight. That would have been pure evil, but what she did do was still pretty awesome television.
  • At the Detour, a drunk Siberian woman with drinks in each hand cried out, “America, I love you!” And we love you, drunk lady.
  • At the Detour, the local in charge of giving Jodi and Christie the clue said, “You cute girl … the best.” Then he hugged her, and while they read their clue, stood behind them with his hands around them, because why be creepy twice when you can do it three times?
  • “My mom used to make me stack her wood,” Amanda said, and the irony was that now, she wasn’t stacking wood but letting Kris stack the wood which he’s willing to do because she stacks his wood.
  • Other teams noticed Amanda’s lack of effort. “She’s doing nothing while he builds the thing,” Jaime or Cara said, but Amanda was doing something: ordering Kris around.
  • While giant stacks of wood gave teams a challenge, spelling a Russian playwright’s name proved to be near impossible. “There’s no way to guess. I have no clue,” Christy said, even though the letters they had to unscramble (COHKEHV) were barely scrambled (CHEKHOV).
  • Phil told us that in a new twist, the U-turn was now “blind” (thankfully they didn’t go with “deaf”–that would have been awkward), so teams can U-Turn someone anonymously. Luke and Margie used the blind U-Turn against Kris and Amanda, which Luke said is “part of the game,” although his mother, Margie, was upset, saying “we love you” and “we’re so sorry.” Please: if you were really sorry you wouldn’t have done it.
  • After taking a long time to come up with “Chekhov,” Christie said, “I wanted to look brilliant. And I didn’t.” No worries: There’s no risk of that happening.
  • After Christie and Jodi checked in first, one of them said, “No way!” and Phil Keoghan said, “Yes, way.” Oh, Phil!
  • During the Roadblock, I was kind of waiting for Victor to get lost in the woods, even though he was riding a bobsled on a track, which I assumed he’d fight so hard that the bobsled would finally just give up and hurl itself into a ravine.
  • After being U-turned, Amanda said, “What conniving people. We’ve been nothing but so nice to everyone.” Except for the part when you called everyone “conniving” and then started to accuse nearly every team except the one that did it.
  • Jaime or Cara freaked out after getting Chekhov right, and said, “I just made it up!” America: Our education may suck but we’re good at guessing.
  • Michael and Mark ran out of money and tried to give one of their watches to the cab driver, who pointed to his Rolex.
  • Amanda and Kris checked in last, and Kris was carrying Amanda’s backpack for her, which is pretty much a good illustration of why they lost. That, and the U-turn.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.