Amanda Blackledge and Kris Klicka get cut from 'The Amazing Race'
By John Bracchitta, 03/09/2009
The first-ever use of a "Blind U-Turn" in the history of The Amazing Race proved to be the downfall of the "Dating Couple" team of Amanda Blackledge and Kris Klicka as they became the fourth team to be eliminated from the CBS reality travel series during last night's broadcast on CBS.
"The best part of the race, for me, was traveling with Kris," Amanda said following her elimination. "We've done everything together but travel, and to finally get to do that together had been awesome. We've bonded more than ever."
"I'm so deeply in love with her it's ridiculous," added Kris.
The Amazing Race 14's fourth episode began with the eight remaining teams departing from the Race's third Pit Stop at Villa Panoramic, a mountain cottage in Brasov, Transylvania in Romania. Following the mandatory rest period, the "Father and Son" team of Mel White, a 68-year-old writer/clergyman from Lynchberg, VA, and Mike White, a 28-year-old writer, producer and actor from Santa Monica, CA, became the first team to depart at 10:49PM. As they departed, they received a clue instructing them to fly through Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, a city in Siberia. Once in Siberia, they were told to travel to the hydroelectric damn that is featured on the ten-rubel-note for their next clue.
They were followed by Amanda and Kris at 10:53PM; "Sisters" Jennifer Hoffman, a 24-year-old marketing assistant from Louisville, KY, and LaKisha Hoffman, a 28-year-old program coordinator from Bronx, NY, at 10:55PM; "Mother and Son" Margie Adams, a 51-year-old clinical research associate from Denver, CO, and Luke Adams, a 23-year-old college graduate from Denver, CO, at 11:06PM; "Brothers/Stuntmen" Mark Munoz, a 48-year-old stuntman/jockey from Los Angeles, CA, and Michael Munoz, a 51-year-old stuntman/actor from Maui, HI, at 11:07PM; "Flight Attendants" Christie Volkmer, a 37-year-old flight attendant from Choctaw, OK, and Jodi Wincheski, a 40-year-old flight attendant from Houston, TX, at 11:08PM; "Former NFL Cheerleaders" Cara Rosenthal, a 26-year-old law student from Boca Raton, FL, and Jaime Edmondson, a 29-year-old former police officer from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, at 11:29PM; and "Sibling Lawyers" Tammy Jih, a 26-year-old lawyer from San Francisco, CA, and Victor Jih, a 35-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, CA, departing last at 1:30AM.
In an odd turn of events, a call made by Mark and Michael that was intended to go to a Lufthansa ticket agent instead went to the phone of Jaime and Cara's cab driver while both teams were en route to the airport. After taking the call and posing as a ticket agent, Cara told Mark that there was only one fight at 9AM but that there were only business class seats available before laughing and hanging up the phone.
"That was so mean I cant even believe I did it," Cara said after.
As the teams arrived at the airport, they each discovered that while there were only a few flights from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk, that there were a litany of options for them when it came to getting from Transylvania to Moscow.
"That flight to Moscow and beyond is a turkey shoot because from here we can catch all kinds of flights connecting through all kinds of European cities to get to Moscow," said Mel.
After the teams all departed on their various flights to get to Moscow, only the teams of Mark and Michael, LaKisha and Jennifer and Christie and Jodi arrived in time to take a flight out of Moscow that would get them into Krasnoyarsk at 5:40AM. While Mark and Michael were the first team to get out of the airport after arriving in Krasnoyarsk, the three teams reconvened at the dam after they learned that it would be closed until 8:30AM.
Once the dam opened, Mark and Michael were the first team to be let in and were followed by LaKisha and Jennifer and Christie and Jodi. Once inside, they received a clue that informed them that it was time to complete one of two Detour tasks: "Stack" or "Construct."
"Stack" required the teams to travel to a nearby riverbank and use a traditional method of stacking wood into a large square in front of an already completed stack. Once a local expert decided that the stacking had been completed, the team would receive their next clue.
"Construct" required the teams to travel to a work shed where they would find the materials to build a set of traditional wooden shutters. The teams would then have to take the materials to a specifically marked house and install the shutters to receive their next clue.
All three teams chose "Stack." However, Mark and Michael got lost on their way to the riverbank allowing Christie and Jodi to jump into the lead.
Things only got worse for Mark and Michael from there. After their wood pile collapsed midway through the challenge they decided to switch to "Construct," but then were slowed even further when they were not able to find the house where they would be installing their shutters.
The second flight then arrived with the remaining teams who had gotten stuck in Moscow and quickly traveled to the dam. Amanda and Kris were the fourth team arrive at the dam and chose the "Stack" Detour task. They were followed by Mel and Mike, Margie and Luke, Jaime and Cara, and Tammy and Victor, all of whom chose "Stack" as well.
As the other teams arrived, LaKisha and Jennifer were the first team to complete the Detour challenge and receive their next clue instructing them travel to the Museum of the Novel's "The Last Bow" where they would encounter aThe Amazing Race first: a "Blind U-Turn." Unlike previous U-Turns where the team who decided to use it on another team would have to identify themselves, the "Blind U-Turn" did not require the team to reveal their identity. However similar to previous seasons, the team burdened with the U-Turn would have to return to the Detour and also complete the second Detour task.
LaKisha and Jennifer chose not to U-Turn anybody and went on to receive their next clue instructing them to travel to the Bobrovy Log Park amusement park. Once at the park, they received their next clue: a Roadblock instructing one of the team's members to ride a three-mile bobsled course in under four minutes. While on the sled, the player would have to notice seven blocks -- C, K, H, E, O, H, and V -- with individual letters on them and correctly state them after completing the course. Finally, the player would have to take the letters and spell out the name of "a famous Russian playwright" (the correct answer being "Chekhov.")
Christie and Jodi finished the Detour second and began the amusement park Roadblock in second place, but moved into first place when LaKisha finished her sled run in under four minutes but missed the seventh letter on the course. Christie remembered all of the letters and finished her run at four minutes even.
Back at "Stack," the teams began running into more trouble as their piles began falling. While both teams of Mel and Mike and Amanda and Kris decided to switch to "Construct" after their wood fell, Jaime and Cara decided to stick with stacking the wood.
The former NFL cheerleaders also received help from Margie and Luke, who finished "Stack" in third place and proceeded to U-Turn Amanda and Kris.
"It's part of the game, Kris and Amanda I'm sorry, we love you guys," said Margie as she put up their picture on the U-Turn board.
Tammy and Victor followed Margie, finishing the Detour in fifth place.
While Christie struggled to name spell out the Russian playwright, LaKisha was able to get all seven letters correct on her second sled run and then use her limited knowledge of Russia to correctly guess "Chekhov," causing them to become the first team to receive the leg's final clue instructing that instructed the teams to take a taxi to the leg's Pit Stop at the Theater of Musical Comedy.
"I don't know how I assembled the letter to get what I did, but it did," an excited LaKisha said in the cab after the Roadblock challenge.
Christie successfully completed the challenge soon after LaKisha and headed to the Pit Stop with Jodi in second place. However both teams ended up struggling to find the theater's main entrance, which allowed Christie and Jodi to retake the lead and become the first team to check-in at the Pit Stop. Upon their victory, The Amazing Race host Phil Keoghan informed them that they had both won motorcycles as their prizes.
"We don't wanna get low [and we] don't wanna get a bit too confident because we've been to the very top and we've dropped down to the very bottom, but we feel pretty good about being in first," Christie said following her team's win.
LaKisha and Jennifer finished just behind Christie and Jodi in second place.
After getting to the amusement park in third place, Victor quickly completed the Roadblock challenge, instantly knowing that "Chekhov" was the answer. However, Luke had much more trouble decoding the letters and was on the verge of tears before he finally got the phrase right on his fifth try. Jaime and Cara also had little trouble with the Roadblock, both entering and leaving the amusement park in fifth place. The team's did not swap places during their final trek to the Pit Stop and finished the leg of the race in that order as well.
The three remaining teams still remained stuck at the "Construct" Detour. As the teams finished pre-building their shutters, they decided to team-up after still having no luck in finding the house they needed to install the shutters on. After nearly giving up, Mel finally found the house and was able to complete the Roadblock with Mike and leave in sixth place. Michael and Mark followed in seventh place, with Amanda and Kris bringing up the rear. However, upon learning that they had been U-Turned, the dejected couple turned around to complete the "Stack" Detour task as well.
"What conniving people!" Amanda said of whomever had U-Turned them. "We've been nothing but so nice to everyone."
"I know, it's stupid," added Kris.
Kris added that he thought LaKisha and Jennifer had U-Turned them, while Amanda suspected Christie and Jodi. Neither seemed to suspect that it had been Margie and Luke.
After Mel and Michael both completed the Roadblocks for their respective teams, Mel and Mike went on to finish the race in sixth place while Mark and Michael followed in seventh.
While Kris attempted to make up ground on the Roadblock, the U-Turn proved to be too much to overcome. Upon arriving at the Pit Stop, the team was informed by Phil that they had been eliminated from the competition.
The next episode of The Amazing Race will air on Sunday, March 15 at 8PM ET/PT on CBS.
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