The Amazing Racers are off to Moscow, Russia, this week where their first destination will be the Zurab Tsereteli sculpture park. Trey and Lexi are first off the mat, followed by the dating divorcees, the long-haired rockers and Sri Lankans.
The Texans are not exactly winning points in the Mensa race, as they first forget which airline they're supposed to seek out, then try to order red beans and rice at the Istanbul airport. And the Beekmans seem to have acquired a completely misplaced sense of empowerment from surmounting their Speed Bump challenge last go-round, which consisted of -- wait for it -- eating ice cream.
The Amsterdam-Moscow flight, which lands at 2 a.m., takes off with the rockers and Chippendales aboard. The next flight, via Munich, takes off on time with the Texans and twins, and the third flight, which has the Beekmans and dating divorcees aboard is delayed long enough to miss the connection. The only alternative is a flight that lands the next afternoon.
A non-bunching bunch of flights? How shocking! Of course, the sculpture park is closed when everyone arrives, but still, the teams are staggered at last and Moscow is drizzly and cold.
"This is so Russia," one of the Sri Lankan twins drones. "It's cold and wet, scary and dark and gloomy."
"Like Seattle?" the other asks.
"No, like Russia," the first replies in a bad Russian accent.
Road block: synchronize or alphabetize
The rockers head to the library, as do the Texans. "Ohh, everything is in Russian," Lexi moans.
The nerve, right? A Russian library that uses its own language for cataloging books? Who'd have thought?
The Texans start hunting down books. The rockers soon give up. Meanwhile, the twins are stuck in traffic and the Chippendales, clad in speedos, bow ties and flowery swim caps are on the pool deck. The job requires "a little showgirl action," they say. The Olympian swimmers can't stop laughing. The coach gives them a thumbs down and the buzzer goes off over and over, signaling out-of-sync flip failure, until one of the Jameses' "God bless Russia!" exclamations and a hip thrust makes even the coach crack up.
The twins are horrified by the complexity of the challenge and miffed to discover that the Russians speak "not a lick of English." "It's like a nightmare," they say.
Meanwhile, the Chippendales rock the challenge and I have to say, James and Jaymes have become downright endearing. If that male dancer thing doesn't work out, they may have a career in synchronized swimming ahead of them. Even the coach gives them hugs.
Back at Warsaw airport, where they're waiting for their Moscow connection, the Beekman Boys and dating divorcees decide to team up and run this race leg together. If, that is, they ever arrive in Russia.
The Texans head off to the Luzhkov Most in first place to seek out the Trees of Love, trees covered in colorful padlocks, which represent eternal love. The trick? Finding the keys that open all 10 locks on a race ribbon.
"Ten locks, 100 keys," Trey explains.
It's harder than it looks. But eventually he gets the clue -- a ruble bill with an image of the Bolshoi theater, the pit stop for this leg of the race.
They scamper off as the twins arrive, bickering in their annoying droning whine, and telling each other that "Ohmygod, you are the worst partner ever."
But all is not well with the rockers, whose cab seems to have taken off with their stuff. "Don't leave your bags in cabs, kids," James says, trying to inject a little humor into a desperate situation. All their gear and at least one passport is in their bags.
Back at the pool, the divorcees have finished the synchronized swimming challenge with a good bit of pizazz. They have their next clue and they should be heading for the padlock trees, but no. Instead, they stay to cheer on the Beekmans, saying they made a promise -- aww.
The Texans are first to the mat at the Bolshoi Ballet theater -- and they're the winners of a trip for two to Maui. "On a scale of 1 to 10," Phil asks the ecstatic pair, "how in love are you?" "A thousand!" Lexi says.
Chippendale James and Jaymes are team number two, and the twins are third -- which gives them no pleasure. They say they ran a "crappy" race.
The rockers are the fourth to arrive, but they've lost their passports and without the passports, they are hosed. So they --
Wait. What?!? To be continued? So not fair.
Next week: The rockers search for their passports, there's a quiz and some high-kicking dance action.