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Sunday, March 8, 2009

Margie & Luke Use the U-Turn in Siberia

Tonight's episode began with Margie & Luke discussing the newest twist in the game: the blind U-turn. On the Amazing Race, when a team is u-turned by another team, they are forced to go back and complete a second detour task. In past seasons, the team using the u-turn option had to post their photo up so everyone knew who was responsible. Hard feelings often ensued. Now teams can play this move anonymously. That's brilliant, CBS producers!

The eight remaining teams moved on to Siberia (brr) in this leg of the race. They were allowed to choose their own flight from Romania to Moscow. This divided the teams into two groups - those whose connection made the first flight to Krasnoyarsk, Siberia and those who missed it. The stuntsmen, the sisters, and the flight attendants were the lucky ones who made it to Siberia first. Margie & Luke and the remaining four teams travelled on the next flight.

In Siberia teams directed their cab drivers to take them to a hydroelectric dam pictured on a ten ruble note. There they encountered a detour choice of stack (a huge pile of firewood) or construct (shutters and install them). The stuntsmen blew their lead when their firewood pile collapsed. They quickly switched to the second option of making shutters but got sidetracked looking for the marked home where they would install them. The sisters and the flight attendants successfully stacked their logs and took the lead. Both teams chose to forego the u-turn knowing they were well ahead of the pack.

Margie & Luke chose to stack along with the cheerleaders, dating couple Kris & Amanda, father/son team Mel & Mike, and Victory & Tammy. With all the other teams' (except for Victor & Tammy) piles falling, Margie & Luke arrived at the u-turn with an important choice to make. Agreeing that "It's just part of the game", they u-turned Kris & Amanda, one of the strongest teams left. Excellent strategy! Coming right behind, Victor & Tammy were relieved to see the u-turn was already in play.

While the cheerleaders rebuilt their fallen pile, Mel & Mike, and Kris & Amanda switched tasks meeting up with the stuntsmen who were still clueless about where they were supposed to install their shutters. The teams joined together to work cooperatively and completed the task successfully. Back at the clue box Kris & Amanda were angry to discover they had been u-turned and forced to return to stacking wood.

Meanwhile the other teams had gone on to their next destination, a Roadblock. Here one team member was required to ride a bobsled over a rollercoaster like track. Posted along the route were seven letters they needed to solve a puzzle at the end of the ride. If they missed any of the letters, they had to ride again. Their final task was to arrange the letters to spell the name of a famous Russian playwright.

Luke struggled over this last part as he had never taken any Russian literature courses. He tried four times unsuccessfully to guess the right answer. Unable to help, Margie continued to encourage him to "keep trying". Her positive spirit paid off as his next try was correct. The answer: Chekhov. I bounced up and down on the sofa with joy and my son raced over to hug me. Hurray for Luke!

Amazingly, the flight attendants hit the mat first followed closely by the sisters. Victor (who immediately thought of Chekhov) & Tammy came in third. Margie & Luke finished fourth for the third time in a row. After them were the cheerleaders, their closest allies. Last to arrive were Amanda & Kris who were eliminated. They never suspected that it had been Margie & Luke who had u-turned them.

Next week's preview shows Mike discussing the u-turn with Luke. Hmmm. How did he find out? The preview also highlights the teams racing around Siberia in their underwear (huh?). I'd much prefer a parka myself.

Go Luke & Margie, go!


jelly said...

Next weeks previews look funny! Luke in his undies...ah!! I would simply die if I had to do that. Yikes, people would be changing the channel for sure.

It was another good show last night...It is going to start getting really close!

Were you surprised they used the U-turn?

SpeakUp Librarian said...

Nice photo, Kym!
The previews for next week sure were strange. There must be more to the challenge.

I was not surprised that Luke & Margie used the u-turn when they had the opportunity. The reason is that Luke is a huge fan of the show and very knowledgeable of race strategy. Their use of the u-turn was one of the best I've seen. It did exactly what it was intended to do: level the playing field by knocking out a strong team. It was not used for emotional reasons as we've seen in past seasons. Using the u-turn shows how committed this team is to win. Go, Luke & Margie, go!

jelly said...

You are right...they used their U-turn stragedy totally to their advantage and it knocked that couple right out.
Apparently, Luke knows his stuff!! I didn't realize he was a big fan of the show either, but he is very smart.

That picture was taken at work when we had a small mardi gras snack/party thing. I usually don't photograph well, so if I get a decent picture I hang on to it!! :-)