The Amazing Race Season 17 Episode 4
We Should Have Brought Gloves and Butt Pads
Having survived finishing last in the previous leg because it was a non-elimination leg, Michael and Kevin seemed to be in a deep hole having to complete a Speed Bump in the upcoming leg. However, Michael and Kevin, along with three other teams, would do their homework early in the leg and have the benefit pay off long before the Speed Bump could be an issue.
After the racers spent their time at the Pit Stop renovating the Asebi D/A Primary School in rural Ghana, they were told to fly to Kiruna, Sweden on the Artic Circle. Because of a scarcity of flights out of Ghana, all teams were provided air passage to Kiruna through Frankfurt, but were not required to use it.
Michael and Kevin took advantage of this clause and found a faster flight to Kiruna out of Frankfurt and shared the good news with Gary and Mallory. Nat and Kat also discovered the faster passage on their own and shared the information with Brooke and Claire. The teams had a quick, one-hour turnaround in Frankfurt to make their faster flight, but all of them were able to make the connecting flight and get a two-hour jump on their competitors.
Upon arriving in Kiruna, teams were instructed to find the Ice Hotel to receive their next clue. While Gary and Mallory, Nat and Kat and Brooke and Claire were heading to Fjellborg’s Lodge for a Roadblock, Michael and Kevin discovered their Speed Bump. They were required to sit on furniture famous in the hotel, chairs made out of solid ice, for ten minutes.
Despite the Speed Bump, Michael and Kevin handled the directions to Fjellborg’s Lodge better than the other three leading teams and arrived first at the Roadblock. The selected team member had to partake in a summer training session with dog sled dogs by running them through a summer course on a sled with wheels on it. The competitors had to grab five flags along the way or run a penalty lap for each flag they missed.
While Mallory missed one flag, the four leading teams completed the Roadblock and arrived at the next clue location, the Vassijaure Train Station, with little drama. They were given their next clue, a Detour. The Detour provided the option between Sleds or Beds. For Sleds, teams had to ride a Tech Sled down a steep course in under one minute and 58 seconds to receive their next clue. For Beds, teams had to construct a traditional Swedish sleeping tent, the Gorati.
Although they knew that the Beds option was slower, Kevin recognized that his father might not be able to complete Sleds and went straight to the Beds options. This dropped them from first to fourth place, but it was a welcome finish for the previous leg’s last place team. Nat and Kat took advantage of Michael and Kevin’s limitation to finish the leg in first place. Brooke and Claire and Gary and Mallory were not far behind in second and third place.
In the bottom half of the race, the five remaining teams completed the Roadblock without much incident, but the Detour would determine who finished last. Connor and Jonathan and Chad and Stephanie arrive at the Detour first and choose Sleds, but Jonathan and Stephanie were unable to manipulate the Tech Sleds. Nick and Vicki mastered the Tech Sleds on their first try and leap-frogged the two struggling teams. They would have placed fifth, but Jill and Thomas, who were last heading into the Detour, decided to use the Express Pass they earned by winning the opening leg to skip the Detour and head straight to the Pit Stop.
With a last place finish and almost certain elimination breathing down their necks, the three remaining teams all tried and failed at the Sleds portion of the Detour. Forced to switch to the Beds option, Chad and Stephanie were thrilled to see Connor and Jonathan and Katie and Rachel suddenly trailing them after trying Sleds longer than the couple. Chad and Stephanie were stunned to finish seventh. Unfortunately for Connor and Jonathan they tried Sleds longer than Katie and Rachel, couldn’t make up the time on the volleyball players and were eliminated.