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The Amazing Race
Season 17
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September 26
October 3
October 10
October 17
October 24

Bonds will be forged, tested, and strained, as eleven teams of two, joined by family or relationship, follow a path of twists and turns in a frenetic race around the world for $1 million.

Who will be the first to cross the finish line?

Recaps by Chico Alexander & Chris Wolvie, GSNN

Host Phil Keoghan
Creator Bertram van Munster
Elise Doganieri
EP Jerry Bruckheimer
Bertram van Munster
Jonathan Littman
Elise Doganieri
Mark Vertullo
Packager Jerry Bruckheimer TV
Worldrace Productions
Amazing Race Productions
CBS Television Studios
ABC Studios
Web www.cbs.com/amazingrace
Airs 8p Sun, CBS

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Run, Babushka, Run!
October 31

Crossing the Laplands of upper Scandinavia landed the Racers into Norway. After rappeling off a bridge and climbing back up again, they decided between mountain biking and fish hauling. But Nat & Kat (Rhyming Doctors), wanting to secure their lead, took the FAST FORWARD and consumed a cooked sheep's head, despite Kat being a vegetarian. They succeeded and still leads the back, leaving Katie & Rachael (Jersey Shore Spikers) to get off the court.


Nat & Kat (hopefully after Kat's body got used to meat being in it for the first time in over two decades) are amazed at the fact that it's light outside in the evening. They rip open the clue that starts Leg 6...



Drive yourself to the nearby train station and take the train and then taxis to Arlanda Airport in Stockholm, Sweden. From there, fly more than 1200 miles to the city of St. Petersburg, Russia. Upon arriving, head for the Old Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange and the Rostal Columns (a monument to Russia's largest rivers). Somewhere on the grounds near the Columns, you'll find your next clue.

You have $184 for this Leg of the Race.

Ah, but when they get to the station, they find the Alternate Great Equalizer strikes: the ticket counter isn't open until 6am! And even if they could GET in early, the first train to Stockholm leaves at 10:26am.

So...it doesn't really MATTER when the other teams leave the PIT STOP since they'll all be on the same train. The teams take the time to relax, enjoy the BEAUTIFUL view...and play around like the Docs and Brook & Claire (Team HSN) do when the TV hostesses toss their dirty socks at the ER girls. Oh, and they're sleeping cars so, even though the sun is up until just before midning and then up again just AFTER it, they can still take a snooze.


Fourteen wacky Racers exit the train and scramble for taxis, all telling their drivers about being in a race and that speed to the airport is of the essence. Well, everyone except Chad & Stephanie (Team Almost Engaged), who can't seem to find a cab to save their lives. And, of course, the couple argue about who's to blame. Yeah, I can see Steph knocking him on his ass once he gets down to one knee when they get eliminated. They even argue when they GET a taxi, right behind Gary & Mallory (Miss KY and Dad)!

But, again, it doesn't matter; at Arlanda airport, the earliest flight to St. Pete is VERY light...so ALL the teams board the same jet and head to Leningra...er, I mean....


At the site where the Bolshevik Revoultion kicked off in 1905, the teams once again rush out for taxis to the Rostal Columns. It's tight, but it appears Nat(ashia) & Kat(ya) and Brook & Claire have the early lead. Kevin & Michael (The WuTubers) are amazed...Michael at the scenery and Kevin that the taxi seems so SLOW to him. EVERYONE seems to enjoy the buildings, even Nick & Vicki (Team Ick) who are glad the Russians don't implode old buildings like is done fairly frequently in their native Vegas.

At the park where the large, ornate columns signify such grand rivers as the Volga and Neva, Team HSN are the first to the clue box...which leads them on a...



CLASSICAL MUSIC: Head to the palace on the map and find the maestro standing by three "gramaphones" (old fashioned record players). Each one is playing a different classical compositions. Then head into the ballrooms nearby where pianists are playing classical compositions. Find out which three pianists are playing the same compositions as on the gramaphones. Take a sheet of music and put it in the given folder in the order of the gramaphone you heard the composition in. Once you have all three, hand the folder to the maestro. If you're right, he'll hand you your next clue. (For the aural among you, the three comps are: #1) Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition", #2) Rimsky-Korsakov's "Schehrazade" and #3) Thaikovsky's "Troika".)

CLASSIC CINEMA: Head for LenFilm film studio and head for the marked sound stage (#4). There is a scene playing on a screen and a pile of filmstrip on a table. Look through the filmstrips and find one that has a part from the scene being shown on the screen. When you think you have one, hand it to the director in the studio. If you're right, he'll hand you your next clue. (For the movie buffs, the scene is from Sergei Eisenstein's 1927 classic silent film "October: Ten Days That Shook the World" about the October Revolution that put Lenin into power.).

As Brook & Claire decide on CINEMA, The WuTubers arrive next and follow them to the film studio. The others quickly follow suit, choosing the following:

MUSIC: Chad & Stephanie, Gary & Mallory, Nick & Vick, Nat & Kat
CINEMA: Brook & Claire, Kevin & Michael, Jill & Thomas (Team No I'M Right).

Aaaaaaaaand, Team HSN has a stupid cabbie, not knowing where the studio is. That means the father and son arrive first...and gawk at all the film they have to wade through. Jill & Thomas arrive and likewise start to sift.

Meanwhile, Chad & Stephanie arrive at the palace and start to act like Nipper from the classic RCA logo. Once they think they have all three tunes done they head into the ballroom...and FREAK at all the pianists all playing compositions at once. Gary & Mallory get the same treatment when THEY arrive. Team Ick and Team Docs are right behind.

Aaaaaaaaand, Team HSN's stupid cabbie has to ask directions from a nearby hotel to LenFilm Studios. Team Almost Engaged take the first crack at the tunes...but they don't find the right ones according to the maestro, so they listen to the records again. Team Ick thinks they found #3...that is, VICKI thinks SHE found it but Nick is in absolute disagreement (which is sad since it WAS #3 where they were).

Back at LenFilm, Team WuTubers and Team No I'M Right continue their sifting, going back and forth from the screen to the films, looking for a match. Both try a strip with the director, but he says "nyet" to both. Suddenly, Thomas finds a Russian word on one frame of a strip which MIGHT match one of the words shown on the scene. He hands it to the director...he checks...

...and he says "Da!" Team No I'M Right IS right and, on a film cannister, they receive their next clue: a picture of a faraway look at a monument and square. (The same picture is on a record given to those who solve the other part of the DETOUR; they need to find out that the picture is of Palace Square, the central city square of St. Petersburg.) As Jill & Thomas go OUT, Brook & Claire come IN and start to sift along with Kevin & Michael.

Back at the ballroom, the pianos keep plinking and some of the Racers wonder if they can hear the "Refrain from Playing". Stephanie finds #1 "for sure". Vicki thinks she found #1 (which she did) but, again, Nick disagrees. Team Almost Engaged gets a "nyet" from the maestro while the two all-fem teams listen closely and grab sheets. Kentucky & Dad get a "nyet" as well. The "nyet"s pile up as the teams fail and fail again. Chad thinks about switching, but Steph doesn't want to get frustrated.

More sifting through the celluloid for the two teams...more and more "nyet"s from the director. And then...Brook finds almost the same strip with a Russian word in a frame. She hands it in and gets a "da" and Team HSN leaves the DETOUR in second. Michael suddenly gets the idea and finds ANOTHER one with the Russian word and the WuTubers split in third, leaving the piano listeners with ringing ears.


Jill & Thomas arrive at the Square where they get their next...



Travel by taxi to the town of Alexandrovskaya, a "suburb" of St. Petersburg. Once there, follow a marked road to a neighborhood store where your next clue awaits outside.

As they split and the other two film buff teams approach close-by, the pianos are STILL plunking along. After another "nyet", Gary & Mallory decide to switch to CINEMA. Right behind them is Team Ick and Team Docs, leaving Team Almost Engaged behind (and possibly heading for another blow-up). Steph insists on staying, even though they're the last one at this DETOUR.

Team No I'M Right has issues finding the marked road and the neighborhood store...and Team KY and Dad have issues with the films while the other teams arrive right behind them. Chad & Stephanie...well, they argue and fail and argue and fail.


Still no luck with the store for Jill & Thomas. Not even pantomiming and slowly talking English is helping to get the point across to their cabbie. Fortunately, Brook & Claire have no issues and find the store. Their reward?



Women known as "babushkas" do much of the farm work. For this ROAD BLOCK, you must don the clothing of a babushka and plant fifty (50) potatoes properly on a strip of land. Once it's done properly according to the Babushka Matron, she will hand you your next clue.

(What they DON'T know at first is that, as part of the "proper way" of planting, they must fertilize the land with a healthy dose of fresh cow manure!)

Brook decides to don the kerchief and dress of the bubushka and heads out to find the potatoes and the wheelbarrow. Only THEN does she realize the s**t she's (literally) got herself into. Still, she starts to shovel the stink and she hefts it to her row.

Meanwhile, the WuTubers show up and Michael, again, lets his dad rest while he does the ROADBLOCK...and, once he finds out about the dress, he wishes Kevin had done it instead. Brook gets lost en route to the field while Michael shovels his sh...OK, y'know, it's just too EASY to do these manure jokes...so I won't. In any case, he arrives at the field first and watches the demonstration: dig a hole, drop some manure in, drop in the potato and cover it up. Simple enough...except the dress.

Back in St. Pete, the CINEMA buffs are struggling and HOPING Chad & Stephanie are still having their ears rung. Sure enough, they are...and Chad's about had enough! He thinks they should've left with the other teams...and he feels like Steph's insistance on staying will lead them to elimination! They decide to keep trying to get the tunes right since the other teams are probably well on their way right now. They argue when Steph wants to try to do it herself and Chad refuses. The yelling overshadows the loud pianos in the ballroom...but Steph's cooler head prevails. And, lo and behold, they are the ONLY one to finish that DETOUR! They leave for Palace Square in fourth! It was hard for Chad to take a back seat, but he won't forget it...as long as Steph keeps reminding him!

This is unbeknownst to the CINEMA Racers who are still looking. But Nat finds the right strip and she and Kat head out the door in fifth.

At LAST, Jill & Thomas find the store and the ROADBLOCK. Jill does the babushka-ing and grabs the potatoes while Michael is complimented on his hard work by the matrons (in Russian, of course). Brook finally finds the field, learns the routine and gets to work. But, as she's getting started (and SCREAMS at stepping in poo), Michael (with the encouragement of the matron) finishes up. She hands him the clue, which he and Kevin read together:



Head back into St. Petersburg proper and locate St. Isaac's Cathedral, the largest Russian Orthodox church in the city (and second tallest in all of Russia). It is the next PIT STOP for the Leg of the Race.

WARNING: The last team to check-in MAY be eliminated!

Back at the studio, the last two teams keep looking...and the one who finds the strip first...is Mallory. She and Gary split in sixth, leaving Team Ick in the dust. Nick & Vicki does the very rare "double DETOUR reverse" and returns to MUSIC...seemingly already resigned to their fate.

Babushka Brook finally finishes her crop and leaves the ROADBLOCK with Claire in second, with Jill just starting her row. But Jill seems to finish up before anyone else shows up...so she and Thomas leave for St. Pete in third. Add to that that Team HSN's cab needs a refeul...and it's anybody's Leg.

Team Docs shows up next at the store and Nat gets her babushka on for the ROADBLOCK. As she shovel, Stephanie opts to do the task when they show up. She gets her potatoes and asks a local for directions to the wheelbarrow...while Nat walks RIGHT BEHIND HER!

As Kentucky & Dad reach the Square and head for the suburbs, Tem Ick returns to the scene of the pianos and tries again...and they seem disheartened that Team Almost Engaged had finally solved the puzzle. THIS time, instead of all three compositions at once, they concentrated on one at a time, found the pianist playing that one, then went back to the gramophones for the next. Took some time...and a LOT of patience on Nick's part (not wanting to repeat the blow-up he had in Ghana)...but they got it done, leaving the DETOUR in last.


Team WuTubers and Team No I'M Right arrive at the cathedral and look around the grounds for Phil, the local and the PIT STOP mat. They don't seem to realize that those are waiting at the park NEARBY the cathedral. One partner of both teams think it MIGHT be the park...but Michael disagrees with Kevin. Thomas, however, believes Jill and head for the park.

As such, for the first time since the first Leg, Team No I'M Right is Team #1! Sao Paolo, Brazil will be waiting for them for 5 nights and a chopper tour at the end of their Race thanks to (who else?) Travelocity!

Kevin TRIES to convince Michael to head for the park...but Michael ain't listening. Brook & Claire arrive and spot Phil right away. Michael FINALLY breaks down...and they sprint upon seeing Phil. And Team #2?

Team HSN! The WuTubers are content with being Team #3.

Back in Babushkaland, Nat's sweating it out in the field and Steph is STILL lost. Gary & Mallory reach the ROADBLOCK and Mallory decides to haul sack and crap. The two girls find each other but don't team up to find the wheelbarrows. Steph FINALLY finds it and gets to shovelling while Mallory wanders (and Team Ick gets to the Square and heads towards them). Mallory even runs into some Russian men who...well, I'd like to say they "hit on her" but...I don't think asking her to stay for vodka qualifies as such.

Nat finishes up her row and, as she passes Mallory, tells her she's going the wrong way to the wheelbarrows, giving no other clue as she and Kat split in fourth. Steph uses some strategy and tosses the shovels FAR into the pile of manure, hoping Mallory will be too freaked out to get it and buying them more time. Mallory FINALLY finds the wheelbarrows and, despite being a bit grossed, gets a shovel and starts piling. She actually stands IN the pile to shovel it up...losing shoes in the process (well, hey, "Cinderella" started as a Russian fairy tale so...). Steph doesn't get the process (hole, crap, spud, cover) right the first time or two, helping Mallory to catch up a bit. Nick & Vicki aren't giving up yet; they're en route to the ROADBLOCK. Steph finishes ahead, though, and Team Almost Engaged leaves in fifth. Miss Kentucky & Dad leave in sixth...while Team Ick is still on the road.

Nat & Kat check-in as Team #4.

Nick, who got confused about the whole "drag race" part, chooses to do the ROADBLOCK in full regalia. He grabs his sack, shovels the manure and gets to work.

Back at St. Pete, Chad & Stephanie and Gary & Mallory find the park at the same time and sprint. Team #5 is...Team Almost Engaged! Team KY and Dad are Team #6:

Nick keeps up the digging, not believing he's doing this...but determined to see it through to the end, despite that it may actually BE the end for him and Vicki. He finishes and they head back to the city in the dusk hours, feeling they did the best they could under the circumstances. They arrive at nighttime and get the bad news: they're the last team to arrive.

Phil caps it off by saying, "I'm very sorry to tell you...that you gotta run another Leg because you guys are still in the Race!"

Ayup, this is the second N.E.L. out of three in this Race. The DOWNSIDE to that is, of course, that a SPEED BUMP awaits Team Ick at some point during the next Leg. They seem very confident that they'll come out on top in the end.



1) Jill & Thomas (+2) - Express Pass [USED], Brazil
2) Brook & Claire (+3) - Hawai'i
3) Michael & Kevin (+1)
4) Nat & Kat (-3) - Belize, Costa Rica
5) Chad & Stephanie (+2)
6) Gary & Mallory (-4)
7) Nick & Vicki (-1)

To see this episode in its entirety, or to apply to be a contestant on "The Amazing Race", visit the official website at www.cbs.com/amazingrace