Wade on Birmingham

Simply Amazing: Chokin’ Kiev


Part 2 of the European leg brought our final five teams to Ukraine on “The Amazing Race.” Birmingham’s Karlyn Harris and Lyn Turk wavered on their alliance with the Cho brothers as they continued to fall behind.

Teams drove tanks and broke ranks in the one leg that spans two continents and three countries. Would the two Six Pack teams follow each other to the bitter end?

amazing race

It’s on: KRLyn-1 vs. Eazy D busting rhymes.

Highlights from the 10th leg of the series …

Route: Helsinki, Finland, to Kiev, Ukraine.

Rope-a-dopes: The Front Pack, junkie models Tyler and James and beauty queens Dustin and Kandice, complete the last challenge of rappelling down a tower before heading to the airport. This slight-but-significant time advantage separates them from the other three teams for the remainder of the leg.

Meanwhile, Karlyn and Lyn offer up a few prayers on the way down. The Cho brothers nearly choke on the challenge, with Godwin chickening out temporarily to let Erwin go first. He ends up being lowered to the ground while scraping his helmeted head along the wall, or as we call it, falling with style. To inanity, and beyond …

Flight or fight: The models and the blondies grab an earlier flight to Kiev, while the Six Pack and bickering couple Rob and Kimberly end up on the later flight. However, both planes are due to land at the same time.

But … the second plane faces a 30-minute delay in connecting city, Warsaw, Poland. While the last three teams fight it out, the blondies and the models cooperate and scheme their way to first and second place, just like in the first half of this leg.

Follow for now: The Chos, armed with a map and directions, lead Lyn and Karlyn around Kiev for most of the leg. Karlyn become increasingly frustrated as the brothers stop frequently to ask or confirm directions with cabbies, gas station attendants, other drivers, small children, a cute squirrel … They do know they’re being timed, right?

Rob and Kimberly have jumped ahead to third place, only to be cursed with a vehicular breakdown again (echoes of the Mauritius leg). A replacement car sets them on their way again, but with no way to catch the frontrunners.

Tanks for the memories: The Roadblock forces one team member to drive a tank around an obstacle course. All five teams complete the task without much effort. The Chos finish a few minutes ahead of Karlyn and Lyn, but wait for them in the parking lot. Talk about mama’s boys …

Sour notes: Returning from the tank task, Team Birmingham finally becomes fed up with the repeated stops as they follow the Chos. The girls take off, and the Chos end up following them to the next clue. It’s a Detour, a choice between hunting down sheet music for a pianist to perform, or writing and rapping.

And yes, costumes are involved in both tasks. Delicious.

Team Birmingham composes their rhymes on the drive to the dance club. They rap, somehow looking less gangsta than even the white-bread beauty queens. The Chos pick this moment to ask for directions, rather than follow the single moms to the club. They end up going to the sheet music hunt after being unable to locate the first Detour, as Erwin says, “I just don’t want to follow them anymore. We’ve got too much pride, G.” Too much too late?

On the final dash to the Pit Stop, the Chos encounter one last obstacle. They’re pulled over by the cops for attempting to drive down a street closed for pedestrian traffic. Just another case of DWA: driving while Asian. Hmmph.

Pit check: Karlyn and Lyn finish fourth out of four teams remaining; this is the third time Team Birmingham has narrowly avoided Phil-imination. The models finish first, which they haven’t done since the first leg in Beijing.

And the Cho brothers are the proverbial nice guys who finish last (or at least, fifth). Erwin and Godwin, meet your long-lost brother, Can’t-Win.

“The Amazing Race” airs at 7 p.m. Sundays on CBS 42.

Next episode: The amazing chariot race. Plus, will Team Birmingham delay the Barbies with the first Yield?

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Pit stop: more “Amazing Race” coverage.

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