'The Amazing Race' Hits the Ice in the Arctic Circle
'The Amazing Race' Hits the Ice in the Arctic Circle
To start off the episode, the teams are helping to renovate the Asebi D/A Primary School and it's not a competition so it made everyone feel great. But then everyone goes to Kiruna, Sweden in the Arctic Circle. There they will drive to the Icehotel (Seal and Heidi Klum have stayed there!).

Connor and Jonathan leave first (for the plane ride that will even out the race). This leg of the race is taking place over Connor and Jonathan's graduation so they really don't want to get eliminated. Brook and Claire have decided to start this leg wearing 80's-style workout wear but they'll have to put on more for Sweden. All of the blonde girls are excited because they think they will blend in, even though they don't speak Swedish. The teams all have tickets for the same flight, but they can take a different flight if they want to. Kevin calls the airport to find a faster way to Kiruna. They decided to tell Gary and Mallory about the earlier flight, too. So nice!

Nat and Kat sit down at an Internet Cafe and try to find an earlier flight, and Brook and Claire follow suit. Connor and Jonathan also sense that something is up so they look into it. Connor and Jonathan and Katie and Rachel aren't able to get on the earlier flight as it is already booked. The only hitch is that the earlier teams will have to run to catch their connecting flight. Nat and Kat get on the flight, as well as Brook and Claire and Gary and Mallory. Michael and Kevin ("the asians" - Katie and Rachel) are stuck in an elevator! Plus they have a Speed Bump coming up! They make it on the flight before it leaves, though.

Colder, colder, colder
The teams pull up to the Icehotel and it is so cool. There is a clue etched in a block of ice for them that (hopefully) leads them to Fjellborg's Lodge. Michael and Kevin have a Speed Bump waiting for them, for which they will sit on ice chairs for ten minutes. And Kevin is wearing basketball shorts. It's really funny seeing the teams carry their clues (giant blocks of ice) around. Michael and Kevin are first to the clue box, which holds a Road Block. 

The teams will help keep sled dogs in shape during their off-season using a summer training sled and grabbing five flags in exchange for a bundle of pelts (which will be exchanged for their next clue). The teams will have to do a penalty lap for every flag they don't grab. How fun! Michael riding the sled with the dogs is so cute I almost teared up. And there's a fake bear on the training course! I have to go to Sweden, it seems totally awesome. 

The other three teams from the first flight take their sled dogs on the run. Claire is nominated for the Road Block, once again, because of her experience growing up on a ranch. Animals, you know? Mallory misses the first flag and finds that she has to stand on the rims because she's so short. Claire gets kiss number six in the Brook and Claire Amazing Race Kiss Count. 

Then the next flight arrives, holding a lot of the teams I don't like as well. They all arrive at the Icehotel at the same time and the race is afoot! Meanwhile, the teams from the first flight will drive to the Vassijaure Train Station for their next clue. Jill and Thomas are the last to arrive at the Road Block and go the wrong way for it. It's too bad because this really seems like the most fun Road Block ever. Stephanie uses it as an excuse to pester Chad for a Husky puppy. Wouldn't you?

Jill and Thomas are still lost in the woods and I'm thinking they'll use that Express Pass, but Thomas is not ready to use it yet. They finally find the lodge and decide to complete the Road Block. 

Sporty vs. Sporting Goods
Michael and Kevin are the first to arrive at the train station, where they get a Detour. Teams will choose between "Sleds" or "Beds." For "sleds," the teams will sled down from the top of a mountain and must do it in less than a minute and fifty-eight seconds. Otherwise they'll have to try again. For "Beds," the teams will use traditional Scandinavian materials to build a tent (a "lavvu") and hook it up with some traditional beds. Which would you choose? "Sleds" seems more fun, and Nat and Kat choose it. Michael and Kevin choose "Beds," which also proves to be hilarious.

Gary and Mallory choose "Sleds," along with Brook and Claire. Kat goes over the edge and gets tangled up in the boundary net. Gary and Mallory miss it by one second and have to do it again. Still, this looks like way more fun than "Beds." Chad and Stephanie choose the sleds but Stephanie is not even half as pumped as Chad. This is a bad omen. 

Finally teams check in with Phil at the Norwegian Border, where one team WILL be eliminated! Nat and Kat check in first and win a trip to Belize. Gary and Mallory are second and Brook and Claire are third. Michael and Kevin check in fourth.

Chad gets mad
Meanwhile, Connor and Jonathan are TERRIBLE at sledding, but they're still having a good time. Stephanie is not having a good time. She falls on a turn and Chad says, "damnit." Stephanie tells Chad, "I'm so scared!" and he responds, "well don't even try or anything!" Chad is back! She's telling him she can't and he's not listening. Jill and Thomas, in last place, choose "Beds" and decide to use their Express Pass. Sorry, Scandinavians, you'll have to build your own damn lavvu. 

So Stephanie is scared and wants to quit and Chad is pissed and makes Stephanie cry. When's that big proposal coming, Chad? They make their way to "Beds." Connor is doing really well at the sledding and Jonathan is not. Plus he's not allowed to use magic or the Ministry will send him a Howler. Nick and Vicki get it on their first try, describing themselves as "a physical couple more than mental." So after a while, it looks like the "Sleds" option is not fun. Katie and Rachel choose to switch to "Beds," as do Connor and Jonathan. 

Jill and Thomas check in fifth, having used their Express Pass. Nick and Vicki check in sixth. So it's a tent-off. Chad and Stephanie finish first, leaving Connor and Jonathan and Katie and Rachel to their fire and pelts. Katie and Rachel comfort themselves by saying, "we are so much better than them," but finish just before Connor and Jonathan. Katie and Rachel check in eighth, leaving the Acafellas to graduate from The Amazing Race. How sad, I really liked them! And they were in first at the end of the last leg! What a crazy game.
Next week there's a heights challenge and an eating challenge!

Check out this interview with Connor and Jonathan to hear their post-Amazing Race thoughts and plans!

(image courtesy of CBS)