The ''Amazing Race'' teams arrive in Russia, where it's drink or get pucked. Then they have to eat something fishy.

By Marc Vera
Updated June 14, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT
Brandon and Nicole: Tony Esparza

The Amazing Race

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”The Amazing Race”: In Russia, it’s drink or get pucked

Thanks to the dating Christians, Brandon and Nicole, I am now rethinking my own code of ethics. I’ve learned that it’s OK to screw over your friends. Oh, wait, the other ”Amazing Race” teams aren’t exactly their friends. And, yes, it is a game. But still, What Would Jesus Do?

Apparently He’d go to Russia, home of vodka, t.A.T.u. (yes! — my favorite faux teenage lesbian wannabe pop group!), and rough toilet paper (who doesn’t love that?). After all, how messed up could things get?

Pretty messed, actually. Confronted with the choice of blocking hockey shots or doing vodka shots, Brandon picked the former. ”I don’t feel comfortable with drinking vodka,” he said. ”My faith is absolutely the most important thing to me. I want to live a life that is important to others.” Thank you, Brandon, you’ve taught me a valuable lesson, which I think is ”Men should make all the decisions, but they don’t have to eat caviar.” What a trouper you are!

I think Nicole would back me up on this. She was all about doing the vodka shots. She knew it’d be easier, and she’d apparently done them before. Her pent-up anger came out soon enough. ”Shut up — I don’t want you to talk to me,” is no sign of love. So while Brandon was defiantly yelling, ”Bring it! Bring it!” he had no idea how hard it would be brought — to his girl.

This loving duo got theirs, in the form of two pounds of caviar. Well, Nicole did. Brandon was too busy praying to the Lord, both for Nicole to stop being sick and for their eventual win, since that’s all they care about. Nicole said it: ”Even though we are Christians and want to share the love of the Lord, when it comes down to winning, I want to be as ruthless as I can possibly be.” Let’s leave Him out of it next time, OK?

And why were the teams so shocked by those big bowls of caviar? This is a delicacy, people! It got my mouth watering. Cultured folks, these are not. They made caviar unsexy by gagging with every swallow.

And let us not forget poor Christie and the sobbing wreck that she became while trying to down the fish eggs. It does make sense: That’s likely the most food she’s had in years, and her stomach simply couldn’t handle it. Boyfriend Colin also has a figure to watch, which is probably why he didn’t volunteer for the challenge.

Hold on now. Isn’t that weird? Two fit, manly guys who can’t eat caviar? It may be gross if you’ve never had it before, but c’mon. Both guys spent the entire Roadblock browbeating their partners into swallowing the next spoonful, and they didn’t even get slapped. Only Chip, who either liked caviar or had seen people eating truly disgusting things on ”Survivor” and ”Fear Factor,” chowed down on the stuff like it was a bowl of cornflakes, thus securing a win for himself and his ”married parent” partner, Kim.

In the end, the young guys’ finicky eating habits didn’t really matter, since their teams made it through to the next leg. And fear not, my faith is still intact. Sure, Bob and Joyce, the cute Internet-dating couple, are gone, and that made me sad, but Mirna and Charla, the lifeblood of this season, are still pumping. But was I the only one who noticed the nuns, accompanied by heavenly music, coming down that Buenos Aires airport escalator when Brandon was sneakily changing his and Nicole’s flight to St. Petersburg? Apparently God does work in mysterious ways, but what the Lord giveth, he can taketh away. And we can only hope the ”Amazing Race” gods taketh Brandon and Nicole away soon.

What did you think? Was this episode yummy or yucky?

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The Amazing Race

Phil Keoghan hosts the globe-trotting adventure series.
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