Nov 4, 2010, Ep 6: Midterm Selections

The Amazing Race 17 Secret Scenes, Episode 6:  Midterm Selections

As the race hits a midpoint, teams get closer like the doctors and Team QVC while Stephanie & Chad partake in that old favorite, the blame game.  We also get to learn a little more about the last leg, including Nat & Kat’s (pictured) confession about what they did after eating a sheep’s head as well as Katie & Rachel’s shocking declaration now that they’re out of the race!  Read on to find out more!

At the Pit Stop

Featured Team:   Chad & Stephanie, Gary & Mallory ( place)

A Happy Foursome:  Phil asks Gary & Mallory if they’ve had a chance to see how competitive Chad is.  They definitely have as they remember in England how loud he was when he found out he & Stephanie were in seventh place.  Mallory bets a chest bump is mere moments away at all times which worries Phil as he would be taken out by a big guy like Chad.  He can’t even imagine if Chad was still at 280 pounds!  Concerning the women, Phil is certain that they’ve both lost weight running all around the country.  Mallory doesn’t agree but Stephanie thinks that maybe her legs have lost weight with all the running.

The talk turns to Stephanie and Mallory’s performance of the manure Roadblock as they commiserate over how un-ladylike they were shoveling manure into their wheelbarrows.  Mallory hopes her potatoes grow while Stephanie is concerned that no one else wears her babushka dress as it ended up covered in manure.  Phil brings up the manure angle and that prompts Stephanie and Mallory to offer Phil lots of hugs and handshakes.  He politely declines.

Featured Team:  Michael & Kevin (third place)

Getting Better:  Phil comments to Michael that it seems like he & Kevin are more cohesive as a team.  Kevin agrees because they’ve been making less mistakes and doing better in the race.  Michael gives Kevin credit for pulling them along in this leg and he admits he was just cruising along with him.  At the babushka Roadblock, Kevin admits he got duped by the “Russian Drag Race” clue and after realizing he had to wear a dress, he wished his dad had done it instead.  He made the best of it though.  Michael hasn’t seen Kevin in a dress since he was two years old though, as he used to get confused and put on his sister’s clothes.  Kevin is understandably mortified at this revelation to Phil.  He tells Phil that his dad has been working on embarrassing him throughout the entire race, as that’s what dads do.  Kevin is very proud of their performance so far especially compared to the other young teams.

Extra Race Footage

Featured Team: Brook & Claire

Bachelorette Party:  Brook & Claire tell us that they had a blast during the past 24 hours as they spent it with Nat & Kat on the train trip to Stockholm.  Claire appreciates that they finally got some down time and went to sleep at 6:30pm and didn’t wake up until 5:30am the next day.  It was some needed rest for their bodies.  Brook knew they needed the rest when they were all giggling like little schoolgirls.  She is happy to have spent the time with the doctors and they all ended up calling their party “The Amazing Race Bachelorette Party.”  Claire is getting married in August (I guess she is now married) so the doctors made their time on the train her bachelorette party although Brook thinks it turned into the stinky-feet party.

Featured Team: Nick & Vicki

Underwhelmed:  Nick slept good on the train, as did Vicki.  It was a long train ride but Vicki is happy it’s over as she wants to start the leg.  Nick won’t be too sad if he never sees a train again as it gets pretty boring and there’s not much to do.  He’d rather fly.

Featured Team:  Nick & Vicki

Under Pressure:  On a taxi to the Stockholm airport, Nick remarks that Chad looked pretty frustrated.  Vicki defends Chad a little as the morning started out rough when everybody had to fight to find a taxi.  Nick & Vicki recognize that everyone is really feeling the pressure as there aren’t that many teams left anymore.  One mistake can get you eliminated so many of the teams’ moods are changing.  This realization has helped Nick & Vicki to realize their best strategy is to relax and just play the game.  Ironically, Nick says that he has a feeling that he & Vicki will be here until the end (although who knows, maybe they’ll bounce back like Michael & Kevin and prove to be the team to beat!).

Featured Team: Michael & Kevin

Michael’s Plan:  On the train, Kevin tells us that during much of the race the people have spoken English, but in Russia, that is likely to not be the case.  He figures getting directions in St. Petersburg will be hard.  Michael bets that the younger Russian generation is likely to speak English.  Kevin is proud that they’ve always treated the locals with courtesy and friendship and it’s a strategy that has yielded good results.  If they continue doing that in Russia, it may help them out there too.  Michael follows up with Kevin on his idea of talking to young Russians instead of older ones as they’ll likely speak English.  Kevin doesn’t know if that will work.

Featured Team: Michael & Kevin

Dad Gives In:  In the Stockholm airport bookshop, Kevin shows us his St. Petersburg travel guide that he just picked up.  Michael doesn’t look too happy about it and we learn why as Kevin explains that the book cost about 47 dollars and they were only given 100 dollars for the leg.  Kevin thinks that they can save by not tipping the taxis in Russia.  Michael didn’t think they needed the book as even though it has maps, they probably aren’t extremely necessary.  Kevin explains to us that while on the race, they are teammates and that trumps the father-son connection.  So Michael can’t pull rank on him and say that he’s the dad and make things go his way.  They did disagree on the purchase of the book but Kevin influenced Michael to change his mind.  Michael doesn’t think the father-son relationship is irrelevant in this case, it’s just that he’s letting his kid have his way.

Featured Team: Chad & Stephanie

The Fight Continues:  On their cab ride to the Stockholm airport, Chad is complaining that they are in last place yet again because they got a cab last.  Chad blames Stephanie as she wants to sleep for 20 more minutes while teams like Nat & Kat are up at 5am and already positioned to get out first and grab the first cab.  Stephanie sarcastically takes all the blame.  Chad says he’s not blaming her, but if she would play like the rest of the teams, they wouldn’t be in this position.  She asks Chad why he didn’t get up at 4:30am then but he says he couldn’t because she was still sleeping.  Why didn’t he wake her up? There’s no real response for that except to say that she was sleeping.  Apparently Stephanie is a monster not to be awoken!

Chad continues that they’re a team and that they have to do things together.  Stephanie retorts that if she’s not keeping up then Chad should just go on without her.  He can’t finish alone so she wonders if they should just quit.  Chad sarcastically remarks that she’s a quitter.  Stephanie just smiles and explains to him that just because he’s not getting his way he figures it is now her fault.  He brings up again that she slept in and caused the delay.  Stephanie explains that she was actually completely done and ready to go before both Mallory and Jill.  Don’t blame her for things just because once again they got the last cab.  She thinks it’s shady that he does that.  He mockingly repeats “shady.”

Featured Team: Nat & Kat

A Good Night’s Sleep:  After they found out that the train didn’t leave for Stockholm until the next day, Nat explains that they had to figure out how to keep the 100 dollars for this leg so it could be used in Russia.  They first checked with the train station’s watchman to see if they could sleep there, but he told them no.  Nat & Kat then went to a hotel to use their internet cafe and over the course of a few hours, they eventually persuaded the desk clerk to give them a free room for the night.  It’s apparently rainy too for the evening so it’s nice to have a roof over their heads and a nice bed to sleep in.

Featured Team: Nat & Kat

Battle of the Sexes:  Nat thinks that both guys and girls have advantages in The Amazing Race.  Guys have upper-body strength and a good cutthroat attitude that allows them to ignore the emotional side of things.  Girls can do the sweet-talking girl routine and get help that way if needed.  Nat & Kat think that the best team would be a girl and a guy so you can get the best of both worlds and divide and conquer.  What it really comes down to though is racing smart and understanding your own strengths and weaknesses.  Kat explains that even if you’re a girl-girl team you can play to your strengths as opposed to wishing you had other skills.  Nat is pretty sure two girls have an easier time getting a free cup of coffee though.

Featured Team:  Gary & Mallory

The Party’s Over:  While in their cab to Stockholm, Mallory explains that they woke up about 10 minutes before the train arrived but as soon as both her & Gary’s feet hit the ground, they were in full on race mode.  None of them had any idea that taxis were going to be so hard to come by at the train station so the race was definitely on at that point.  So even though on the train it was like a slumber party between them and Jill & Thomas and Chad & Stephanie, once the fight for taxis started, everyone was on their own.  They are all still great friends, but when it’s time to race, it is time to race.

Featured Team: Nat & Kat, Jill & Thomas

A Sheep’s Head Recap:  Kat describes to Jill & Thomas what the split sheep’s head looked like that they ate on their Fast Forward.  Jill wonders if there was fur on the head.  She then asks Thomas if he heard what Nat & Kat did on their Fast Forward.  After telling him about eating a sheep’s head, he asks if they were sick, especially since Kat is a vegetarian.  They admit that after the challenge they forced themselves to throw up.  Nat laughs that the challenge presented the sheep’s head in a very romantic setting but when it was set down in front of them, they just tore right into it.  Kat tells them that she was intending to throw the chunks of food to the back of her mouth and swallow it down with water without trying to taste it.  She did that the first time and then asked for a refill of water.  She was refused.

Jill asks if they would have preferred to do the other challenges instead.  Kat would have preferred to change but she knows Nat would have had an issue with the heights of the rappelling Roadblock.  Thomas explains that only one person had to do the heights.  Kat would have done that one then as they agreed before the race that any heights-based challenge would be hers due to Nat’s fear of heights.  Jill congratulates them for succeeding in the Fast Forward and for winning the trip.  Kat kept telling herself during the sheep’s head challenge that the food tastes like Bora Bora and other nice places.

After the Race

Featured Team: Michael & Kevin

Race Relationship:  Michael doesn’t know quite when their relationship changes between father-son and teammates.  He thinks they’ve been racing well so far, but even though he tries his best to suppress the dad reaction, it still emerges.  When Kevin made the decision to do the cinema Roadblock without even consulting with him, Michael was offended.  He was offended as a father primarily though, because here’s his kid telling him what to do.  Michael has noticed that as the race has progressed, Kevin has become more assertive and confident.  Kevin explains that they’ve made a conscious decision to treat each other as teammates and not as father and son.  Otherwise it will always be a lot of stress as father argues with son.  In the teammate capacity though, Kevin is assertive and quickly makes the decision on which challenge to take.  He takes the leadership role and his dad has done a great job supporting him and letting Kevin make the decisions.

Elimination Station

The gang is in the awesome infinity pool about to play a round of pool volleyball.  This seems to even make Katie & Rachel happy.  But for how long?  Privately, Katie & Rachel pledge to not let their loss get to them too much and they pledge to make the most of their time at Elimination Station.  Back at the game, Rachel jokes that her team is going to win (because each race pairing has been split to form the two four-person teams) and if they don’t, they’re dead.  Jenna tells us privately that when Katie & Rachel first arrived, they were so mad about being eliminated, but they eventually started having fun and finally let it go.  This statement is quickly followed by Rachel spiking the volleyball into Connor’s head.  Rachel jokes to us that when they get to End City, they’re going to flaunt their tan to the presumably pale winning team.

Katie puts a red flower in her hair right before the group leaves the house and heads to the beach.  There’s a volleyball on the ground nearby so I presume a beach volleyball game is in our gang’s future.  In the meantime, everyone is sitting around a table speculating about who is going to use the U-Turn and on whom.  Katie & Rachel have no qualms stating how much they were looking forward to using the U-Turn on someone.  Jenna asks who Katie & Rachel want eliminated next and they immediately state either Brook & Claire or Nat & Kat.  Rachel doesn’t want an all-girl team to win now since they’ve now been eliminated.  Andie doesn’t understand that sentiment.  Katie claims the remaining girl teams suck.  Andie tells them that that attitude sucks.  Ron & Tony somewhat jokingly state they’re afraid of what Katie & Rachel honestly think of them.  Katie jokes (?) back that he doesn’t even want to know.  Can’t we all just get along?


Hobie Barnes works in NYC at 30 Rock (the building, not the show). While not conquering Midtown, he might be found watching DVR’d reality TV, mastering intermediate guitar (is that you F chord?  get ready to be rocked), or getting lost on the subway. He can be reached at


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