It must have been a long week in the life of Jill Mader, because I’d totally forgotten about last week’s Amazing Race cliffhanger. The leg began with Phil turning James and Abba away at the pit stop, so they had to try and locate their passports while Abbie and Ryan waited for Josh and Brent to complete the synchronized swimming.
Complicating things for the Beekman Boys, the pool closed before they could successfully complete the challenge so they were handed a clue and a four hour penalty. Man, that is some bad luck. Really, seriously bad luck.
Abbie and Ryan were miraculously checked in as team number four, and Josh and Brent were checked in as team number five. I assumed they’d have to wait out their four hour penalty while waiting for James and Abba to find their passports.
THEN, James and Abba were told that it was a non-elimination leg. I feel like we could all see that one coming, and this whole thing felt like a big, hot mess. Now the rockers had overnight to find their passports, instead of being sent home on the spot.
Who’s in the zone?
The first challenge of the leg required teams to figure out Russia’s many time zones. The Chippendales and the Texan sweethearts got there first, and I didn’t feel confident that either of them would get it on the first try. In fact, it took them well over ten tries before Lexie figured out what they were all doing wrong.
Much later, the Twinnies arrived at the challenge and immediately handed over their Express Pass. Brain power is apparently not one of their strengths.
Movers or Shakers?
Learn a dance, or identify famous Russians? My fiancé Rob and I disagreed on this one – I don’t know what any famous Russian people look like and would’ve danced in “Movers”, but he thought the “Shakers” was the much easier option. If we were TAR partners, I would’ve gone to Movers knowing that at least one of us felt good about it – learning dance routines, if you don’t have a background in it, can be frustrating and time consuming.
It didn’t come as a surprise that the leading teams, James and Jaymes and Trey and Lexie, went for dance. Even though Ja(y)mes was battling an ankle injury. (I refuse to figure out the difference between them.)
Well before the teams at the back of the pack even started, the Chippendales finished dancing and headed off for the pit stop, where they easily arrived in first place. Trey and Lexie were right behind them in second. They caught the Twinnies on their way out, because of course the Twinnies went for the dancing. This is not the smartest set of teams we’ve ever seen on the race.
So, nothing was funnier than that one twin splitting her pants, right? Like, nothing else on this season even comes close? Yeah, that’s what I thought. It was amazing. Even though their performance seemed flawed, the twins got their clue and moved on to the pit stop. Who knew Russian dance instructors were so lenient? They, of course, were checked in for third place.
The Back of the Pack
Abbie and Ryan began the race well behind the first three teams, and it was pretty funny to watch Ryan confidently fill out that time zone quiz only to be wrong. I guess I shouldn’t have been so hard on the first two teams. At Test #18, I began to worry about whether Ryan would ever get it. “The file is corrupt” was maybe the funniest thing anyone could say in that situation. The only thing better than watching a dumb person struggle with something like this is watching a smart person struggle. Watching him finally catch on was quite pleasing, and on Test #25 he finally got it. I really enjoyed the super-supportive test master.
Meanwhile, the Beekman Boys had finally finished their penalty as the rockers were still trying to get their missing passport at the police station. Major, major kudos to Brent (I think it was Brent?) for getting it on his first try. He’s a sharp dude, obviously the sharpest of everyone on this race. It didn’t surprise me that they went for the “Shakers”, while the obvious choice for Abbie and Ryan was the dance as Abbie has a dance background. I loved watching Josh and Brent have a ball at the party. They got it on the first try.
Abbie and Ryan came in fourth, and Josh and Brent arrived in fifth. They were checked in before the rockers had even located their passports, so while the episode was fun, it totally lacked suspense.
I feel bad for James and Abba, but leaving the passport in the cab was a really dumb mistake, and they’re not the only team in TAR history to pay for it. I liked them though, and I’m sorry to see them go when lesser teams are still in the mix.