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Racing report TAR21, the last episode is on page 1

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maf:
Racing report
Amazing Race Season 21, Episode 7, "Off to see the Wizard"
Film date: 7-8/6 - 2012

Teams are released from the pit stop at Lok Shilpa Jadughar, Dhaka Bangladesh, in the following order:
1.Trey & Lexi       12:352.Abbie & Ryan      12:56(+0:21)3.James & Abba      13:03(+0:26)4.Natalie & Nadiya  13:44(+1:09)5.Jaymes & James    13:55(+1:20)6.Josh & Brent      14:07(+1:32)
Route info: "Fly to Moscow, Russia". Teams get $420 for this leg of the race (cabs in Moscow are expensive). The clue probably also states that they have to enter Russia through the Sheremetyevo airport.

Once teams land they must make their way to the Zurab Tsereteli sculpture park where they will find their next clue.

 "Our relationship is better than ever on this race. I think this is like exactly what we needed to take that next step. Hopefully there'll be a ring on my finger pretty soon... But that's his call.", Lexi makes her intentions clear
 "Is it?", Trey doubts he really has any say in the matter

At the airport it gets painfully obvious that Trey & Lexi haven't really traveled before. They have a hard time even finding the right airline counters. They haven't made any progress when they run into Natalie & Nadiya who help them.

We also see that the Texans are starting to ally themselves with the twins. Which distances them from Abbie & Ryan. Ryan does not have high opinions about the Texans ability to find flights on their own. But the universe is in balance because the Texans do not have high opinions about them either

  "Crazy eyes, Lexi about Abbie

Josh & Brent can't decide which flight they are going to take so they flip a coin.

Teams end up on three different flights.

First teams to land are:
 James & Abba
 Jaymes & James
Who fly through Amsterdam with an 1:10 layover
  KL1614 IST-AMS 17:01-19:48
  KL907  AMS-SVO 21:04-02:01+1

The second plane to land carries:
 Trey & Lexi
 Natalie & Nadiya
who flew through Munich with an 1:50 layover
  TK1637 IST-MUC 20:36-21:55 (took off 0:56 late and landed 0:25 late)
  SU2325 MUC-SVO 23:30-03:54+1

And last to arrive are:
 Abbie & Ryan
 Josh & Brent
They try to fly through Frankfurt with an 1:00 layover. Unfortunately for them their flight from Istanbul is late so they miss their connection (which would have landed at 03:12). Instead they have to go through Warsaw the next day and land at 15:02, which is 13 hours after the first team.
  TK1597 IST-FRA 19:25-22:28 (landed 0:53 late)
  LH1346 FRA-WAW 07:31-09:01
  SU2001 WAW-SVO 11:10-15:02

 This isn't fun anymore", Ryan does not like to be stranded in Frankfurt

in Moscow the first two teams arrive at the sculpture part in the middle of the night, it is dark, cold, raining and the park is closed. It opens at 09:30 in the morning. By that time the next two teams have arrived (around 6:00) so there are four teams present when the park opens.

 "This is so Russia, dreary and dark", Nadiya
 "We're off to see the wizard", Abba gets the title as the mighty park gates swing open

Teams pick up their clue here in the following order:
 1. James & Abba
 2. Jaymes & James
 3. Trey & Lexi
 4. Natalie & Nadiya, a couple of seconds after #1
And many hours later
 5. Josh & Brent
 6. Abbie & Ryan, a second after #5

Route info: "Make your way to the Moskvoretsky Most". Here teams must search for Ivan the terrible's guards, who will hand them their next clue.

Abba & James jump into a taxi while the other three teams jog over there together. As this happen Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent are on their flight to Warsaw. The guards stand out like sore thumbs on the bridge so they are easy to find. Teams reach them in the following order:
 1(+0) James & Abba
 2(+1) Trey & Lexi
 3(+1) Natalie & Nadiya
 4(-2) Jaymes & James, a couple of seconds after #2
And many hours later
 5(+1) Abbie & Ryan
 6(-1) Josh & Brent, a second after #5


--- Quote ---DETOUR

Detour: 'Synchronized' or
'Alphabetized'

Synchronized: Make your way
to Trud Sports Complex and
learn a synchronized
swimming routine. Perform
the routine with a
synchronized swimming team
training for the Olympics to
receive your next clue.

Alphabetized: Make your way
to the Russian State library.
Once there, use the card
catalog to locate four books
from the stacks. Then,
present the books to the Head
Librarian to receive your next
clue.

--- End quote ---

In 'Alphabetized' teams must visit the Russian state library (just across the Red Square). Here teams will be given a list of books (title and author). They must then locate four of these books in the index cards and note their positions. They will then be lead to the storage room where the books are where they will have to find them. The catch is that everything is written in Cyrillic, and the library holds 25 million books.

In 'Synchronized' teams must train with the next generation of the Russian synchronized swimming team. They must learn a routine. Once they have successfully performed it in time with the music they will receive their next clue.

 "It just seems as if the Russian alphabet can be really confusing", Jaymes
 "Nobody wants to give us a ride in Russia. I swear man, it's because we're brown", Natalie & Nadiya have a hard time finding a taxi

 "What do we have to put on our head? Floral swimming caps", Jaymes on the swimming outfit

 "How's it going?", Lexi encounter James & Abba in the library
 "Run for your lives", Abba is not doing well

 "We're looking at shapes basically", Trey finds the looking hard
 "My gosh, what a maze", Lexi is lead through the library to where the book are
 "We did it dude, we did not give up on ourselves", Lexi when they have completed the alphabet detour

The Chippendales tried to wear their bow ties during swimming, but that was not allowed. Initially they thought the task was going to be simple, but they soon had to revise their expectations. They get to perform the routine many times, and we get a montage where their errors are pointed out.

The point which totally, IMHO, makes this task is the reaction of the locals. The teams of girls performing with the contestants can't help laughing out loud at the ineptness of some of the teams.

Nadiya & Natalie loose almost an hour on their taxi problems. But Jaymes & James are still working on their routine as the girls arrive at the swimming hall. The girls debate whether to use the express pass or not. They know two teams are way behind, but the express pass can not be used after leg 8 so they have to use it soon.

 "Not a lick of English. At that point we realized we're screwed", Nadiya realizes the picked the wrong instructor
 "Dude, let's Express Pass", Natalie & Nadiya consider using the express pass
 "Don't waste it", Jaymes does his best to persuade them to not use it
 "At this point we feel like losers for trying to quit", guilt makes the twins continue the challenge

Abba & James have a hard time at the library, so hard that they decide to go swimming instead. After being driven to the wrong place they finally arrive, after the previous two teams are done.

 "I'm already afraid", The judge gets her first look at James & Abba
 "Ohh, rough day in the old pool today man", James after his first rejection
 "We did it probably about 10-20 times", James & Abba had a really rough day

As the first four teams wrestle with their detours the straggling two teams wait for their last flight in Warsaw. The mood is grim. Eventually they make a pact to run this leg together as one unit (I assume until the Phil tears them apart).

When the last two teams finally make it to the guards they initially decide on doing the Alphabetized. Until Ryan reads the additional information and note that the library closes at 16.00, so they have to go swimming.

 "Because I'm a dance instructor, I wasn't too nervous about synchronized swimming", Abbie
 "Ha, ha, ha", The judge can't contain herself when she sees Josh jumping/falling into the water
 "I think it's fairly evident that I have no background in swimming", Josh
 "I don't think I have the swimming skills to do that", Josh doubts he can complete the detour
 "He wasn't even swimming, he's like a buoy", The judge on Josh's first attempt
 "We're goat farmers, not synchronized swimmers", Brent

Abbie & Ryan seem to get approved on their first try. And now their pact is going to be put to the test since Josh & Brent have a long way to go before they can complete this task. Unfortunately we do not get to see how that turns out since the episode ends before we get to see any more from the last teams.

Some spoilers say that swimmers had to spend 14 hours in the hall that day.

Teams complete the detour in the following order:
 1(+1) Trey & Lexi, alphabet
 2(+2) Jaymes & James, swimming
 3(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, swimming
 4(-3) James & Abba, started alphabet but switched to swimming
 5(+0) Abbie & Ryan, swimming
 ?(+?) Josh & Brent, swimming


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Travel by taxi to the
Luzhkov Most and
search for the "Trees of
Love" to find your next
clue.

--- End quote ---

The next clue can be found on a chest full of padlocks.

 "Girls, we're going to the tree of love. Who's going to join us?", Rocker James to the swimming team

Teams reach the trees of love in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi
 2(+0) Jaymes & James, before Trey has opened any of his locks
 3(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, after #1 has left but the Chippendalers are still at it
 4(+0) James & Abba, after the teams before have left
 ?(+?) Abbie & Ryan
 ?(+?) Josh & Brent

Road block: "Who's ready to unlock the future?". The trees of love are full of padlocks symbolizing eternal love. In fact there seems to be a number of bridal couples passing through the area while teams perform the road block.

The task is to unlock all ten padlocks which locks a race ribbon to one of the trees. Teams are given a big ring of keys (about 100 keys) to try, and the locks they open in turn hold more keys. Once they have opened all locks they can find their next clue inside the ribbon.

 "Looks like everybody is about to go to a wedding, which is kind of funny. One wedding, two wedding, three wedding, uhooo", Lexi
 "Don't you get any ideas girl", Trey does not like her direction of thought

 "Naddie, shut up", Natalie does not want any encouragement
 "You're the worst partner ever too", The twins are tired and cold

In the end the twins put a padlock of their own in the tree.
 "And all of Russia will know that there was a fool from Sri Lanka who came here", Nadiya
 "We fight like a married couple, we make up like little kids, so it's a perfect relationship", Natalie on their mood swings

When Abba starts this task he realizes that it's going to take a while, so they decide to get their bags and release their taxi. But their taxi isn't there anymore.
 "Our driver just took off with our bags, and we're done. Which point I take these and thrown them in the water", Abba wants to throw the roadblock keys into the river
 "Oh well, we're not gonna quit", Abba gets on with the task
 "Don't leave your bags in cabs kids", Words of wisdom from James

 "We've just gotta cut this loss man. It just happened, nothing we can do about it. You got your passport?", James wants to move on
 "Eh, no I do not", but Abba lacks a crucial document

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+0)Trey* & Lexi       (4-4)After 14:102(+0)Jaymes & James*    (4-4)After 14:533(+0)Natalie* & Nadiya  (4-4)4(+0)James & Abba*      (3-4)?(+?)Abbie & Ryan       (3-4)?(+?)Josh & Brent       (3-4)         

The clue in the ribbon is a small metal capsule with a 100 Rubel note inside. Teams must now figure out they need to go to the building depicted on it, the Bolshoi Theater. This is the pit stop for this leg.

 "Where's he going? That back alley to slit our throats and kill us. That'd be a fitting end of today", Abba is not really in a positive mood

Teams reach Phil in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi, win a trip to Maui
 2(+0) Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Natalie & Nadiya
 -     James & Abba, but are sent back again since Abba has lost is passport

Natalie & Nadiya are not happy about their performance during this leg.
 "We were horrible today", Natalie & Nadiya
But they know that they still have the express pass, and this is the longest anybody has ever managed to hold onto it.

The episode ends with a "To be continued". At this point the first three teams have checked in. James & Abba are searching for the missing passport, Abbie & Ryan are waiting for Josh & Brent at the detour. The last two teams are probably around 7 hours behind the leaders.

maf:
Racing report
Amazing Race Season 21, Episode 8, "We was robbed"
Film date: 8-9/6 - 2012

As this episode begins we still have three teams out on the course trying to complete the previous leg. James & Abba are looking for their stolen passport and know that it will take a miracle to keep them in the race. They talk to the police, the embassy and everybody they can think of.

At the Trud sports complex Josh & Brent are trying to complete the synchronized swimming task. Eventually they are told that the pool is closing so they have one more chance.

 "I'm sorry, no", the judge fails the goat farmers

Josh & Brent get the next clue anyway, but with it comes a four hour penalty. Abbie & Ryan stayed true to their word and waited for the goat farmers and they all make their way to the trees of love.

 "There's nothing that fits", Abbie gets flustered while looking for the right keys

Abbie seems to fall through completely on her last lock. She is sitting on the ground looking defeated when Josh comes over and helps her.

 "Most time you're on the race you don't help other people finish their tasks. And in a road block when your partner can't help you, you can feel really alone.", Josh felt good helping Abbie

Josh also felt that Abbie & Ryan had helped them along so he wanted to pay back.

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+0)Trey* & Lexi       (4-4)Shown previous episode2(+0)Jaymes & James*    (4-4)Shown previous episode3(+0)Natalie* & Nadiya  (4-4)Shown previous episode4(+0)James & Abba*      (3-4)Shown previous episode5(+1)Josh* & Brent      (4-4)6(-1)Abbie* & Ryan      (4-4)         

The last teams checks in with Phil, after dark, in the following order:
 4(+2) Abbie & Ryan
 5(+0) Josh & Brent
 6(-2) James & Abba, are saved by a non elimination

 "I have some good news. There still a team out there struggling on the course", Phil breaks the news to the two straggling teams
 "You're telling us we have another shot?", James with hope in his eyes

 "(When I) find that cab driver I'll make him the speed bump", Abba knows whom to blame
 "It ain't over 'til it's over", Phil

Josh & Brent get a 4 hour penalty which will be assessed at the start of the next leg.

This whole pit stop situation feels very improvised. Why where James & Abba first turned away, but then allowed to check in? And why did Josh & Brent get their penalty postponed until the morning? I would have expected production to let James & Abba check in and hit Josh & Brent with the penalty immediately so they would be last and get the speed bump. I assume the reason production did what they did is that they knew that the Rockers are doomed anyway, and that Phil needed to move on.

The next morning teams are released from the pit stop at the Bolshoi theater, in the following order:
1.Trey & Lexi       ~07:002.Jaymes & James    ~07:303.Natalie & Nadiya  ~08:304.Abbie & Ryan      ~14:005.Josh & Brent      ~18:006.James & Abba      ~18:05
No departure times are given. Probably to mask the fact that the distance between the teams is so great that it is only the first 3 teams who can even change positions, unless a miracle happens. The times given above are guesses based on a tweet from Ryan.

Route info: "Make your way to the study building no 6 at the Moscow agricultural academy". Once there teams must follow the marked path to an auditorium where they will find their next clue inside a bag.

Trey & Lexi have no luck with their taxis. Their first driver drops them off at what Lexi thinks is the worst part of town (I think she lacks experience). The second driver is an older gentleman who looks like a clown and smokes constantly. He has trouble understanding them so after a while he stops at a hotel where they can translate. Finally he realized where they want to go an drives them there.

 "Our game plan is gonna stay the same. Keep having a good time, keep being friends with people and just stay at the top", Jaymes

 "I know where it is. I taxi thirty-seven years", The twin's driver wants them to, justifiably as it turns out, trust him

 "We're starting the next leg again as we've started a lot of legs. Josh & Brent against the world", Josh is used to not see any other teams

The first three teams run the entire leg in a rainy or wet Moscow. But by the time Abbie & Ryan start the sun is up and everything is dry. This probably means that the first three teams reached the pit stop before Abbie & Ryan even started.

 "If this has anything to do with numbers or science, then this is my guy today", Abbie has faith in Ryan since they are going to a university

James & Abba start the leg by trying to resolve their passport situation. They call the embassy again, they visit police stations. Along the way they encounter many helpful locals. Once they have done all they feel they can they go back to the race and make their way to the auditorium.

The first two teams find out that the auditorium opens at 08:00.

Teams reach the auditorium in the following order:
 1(+1) Jaymes & James
 2(-1) Trey & Lexi, before 8:00
 3(+0) Natalie & Nadiya
 4(+0) Abbie & Ryan
 5(+0) Josh & Brent
 6(+0) James & Abba

Here James & Abba find their speed bump. In the episode we only get a few glimpses of it. But apparently they had to get a priest to a local church by directing a limousine. The church was surrounded by one-way streets and they were not allowed to ask anybody for help.

The other teams all go for the clue in the bag.

Road block: "Who's in the zone?"

The extended information reads:

--- Quote ---ROAD BLOCK

So far, you've traveled
16.650 miles and
crossed 13 time zones!
Time to test your
knowledge of how time
changes as you travel.

Using the time in
Moscow as a reference,
compute the correct local
time of five cities in
Russia - a country with
none different time zones.

--- End quote ---

In this road block teams will first be shown a map of the nine different Russian time zones, with their offset from UTC. Then a local Moscow time. Finally a map with seven Russian cities. They must calculate the times in at least five of them, before the time is up, to get their next clue. Each round seems to last around one minute.

The error most teams do, all except Brent in fact, is that they forget to take in account the fact that the given Moscow time is given as local time but the map offsets are from UTC. So the time in Tiksi (UTC+10) is six hours ahead of Moscow (UTC+4) not ten.

Jaymes and Lexi work together.

 "Puuuut the pencils doooooown", the professor gets to say this a lot
 "Oh my gosh, we're idiots", Lexi realizes what they have done wrong

 "At this roadblock both of was like 'Hell no', We would have been so screwed", Natalie & Nadiya use their express pass

Ryan is full of confidence as he starts the task.
 "Puzzles and brain games are kind of my strong point", Ryan
He is so sure of himself that he starts packing his things before the professor even looks at his paper.
 "It's not correct", The professor shatters his fantasy
 "I was right", Ryan does not see what he did wrong
Here follows a montage of failed attempts. Ryan is getting more and more baffled and it does not look like he find this to be fun anymore. Eventually Abbie, who is under a lot less pressure, realizes what the trick is. But she can not tell Ryan.
 "My mind like short circuited. It didn't click, and it actually got so frustrating to the point that I thought there's a glitch in the matrix", Ryan
 "Try to relax, I'm on your side", The professor helps as much as he can
 "Ohhh, OHHHHH, Arghhhh, Arrrghhhh I'm so stupid", Finally Ryan gets it

 "This was my element. I was at home", Brent felt confident going into the road block
 "I'm realllly sorry, but you win", The professor

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+1)Trey & Lexi*       (4-5)At 08:25, on her 12th attempt2(-1)Jaymes* & James    (5-4)At 08:25, on his 12th attempt3(+0)Natalie & Nadiya  (4-4)Used the express pass4(+0)Abbie & Ryan*      (4-5)On his 25th attempt5(+0)Josh & Brent*      (4-5)On his 1st attempt!6(+0)James & Abba      (3-4)Not shown         


--- Quote ---DETOUR

Detour: 'Movers' or
'Shakers'

Movers: Learn and
perform three moves
from the famous Russian
Soldier's Dance.

Shakers: Identify the
seven famous Russian
leaders at a cocktail
party.

--- End quote ---

Movers requires teams to learn and perform a Russian soldier dance. The routine they have to perform is, according to Phil, punishing. It takes place in the Petrovsky room at Hotel National.

Shakers takes place at a cocktail party where teams must count how many historical lookalikes of each leader they can find. The present crowd is:
  3x Leon Trotsky
  6x Tsar Nicholas II
  5x Leonid Brezhnev
  5x Peter the Great
  7x Vladimir Lenin
  2x Josef Stalin
  4x Catherine the Great
Teams are given a list of names but must count how many of each there is. One strange fact is that the list of names also includes:
  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
  Sergei Rachmaninov
These composers are probably just included to confuse the participants.

Jaymes & James first have to extract their driver from the local coffee shop. He doesn't look hurried at all.
 "We're in a race and he's having a lil' breakfast", Jaymes

But they are better off than Trey & Lexi who have released their taxi and now have to find a new one. Jaymes & James tell their driver to pull over and call one for them.
 "You should go", Lexi (and Trey) wants them to race on
 "We owe you, we're gonna make sure that's your cab knows where you's going or that he follows us", Jaymes won't leave

At the dance location it becomes painfully obvious that James is having problems with his ankle. It seems to hurt a lot and he starts sweating profusely.
 "James sprained his ankle in Shanghai forever ago', Jaymes
They decide to cut the training short and just try the dance. Unfortunately for them the judge is not satisfied. Apart from the fancy kicks and footwork their performance looked really sharp, you can tell that they are performers.

Trey & Lexi also make a quick attempt, but they suck at it and have to go back.

Natalie & Nadiya arrive at the dance location as Trey & Lexi are waiting for a taxi. Later, when they dance, Natalie has a slight wardrobe malfunction insofar her pants rips open. A lot of people in the room have a very hard time keeping a straight face when this happens. She gets to change into a new pair before they continue.

 "This wasn't girlfriend Abbie hat day. This was dance instructor, dance teacher, dance very hard Abbie hat day", Ryan

The goat farmers are the only ones going for the shakers detour. It turns out they can talk to the guests and at least verify that they are who they think they are.
 "Be careful with vodka and Russian women", words of advice from 'Lenin'
 "Mr Great, meet Mr Stalin", Brent can't resist enjoying himself a bit
The task itself is fairly simple and they complete it without problem.

Teams complete the detour in the following order:
 1(+1) Jaymes & James, movers, on their second shown attempt
 2(-1) Trey & Lexi, movers, a minute or so after #1, on their second shown attempt
 3(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, movers, on their first shown attempt
 4(+0) Abbie & Ryan, movers, on their first shown attempt
 5(+0) Josh & Brent, shakers


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Make your way to the
next Pit Stop: The
Veranda Tantsev in
Sokolniki Park.

Warning!! The last Team
to check-in may be
eliminated!

--- End quote ---

The Sokolniki Park is an expansive forested fairground. The pit stop is at a public performance pavilion in this park.

 "Can you call one more cab", Jaymes wants to make their taxi call one for Trey & Lexi as well
 "Guys, we can't help each other if you run off", But when Jaymes looks up Try & Lexi have run off to get a taxi on their own

Teams reach Phil in the following order:
 1(+0) Jaymes & James, win a trip to Costa Rica
 2(+0) Trey & Lexi
 3(+0) Natalie & Nadiya
 4(+0) Abbie & Ryan
 5(+0) Josh & Brent
 6(+0) James & Abba, around 22:10, are eliminated

 "It's been an amazing experience. I'm glad I got to run it with my friend James. It's a little bitter today but hopefully the aftertaste will disappear", Abba

In interviews after the race we learn that James & Abba were sent directly to the pit stop after the road block. It then took them six days to get a new passport and an exit visa. But it is not lost, after all they got a six days all expenses paid visit to Moscow:)

maf:
Racing report
Amazing Race Season 21, Episode 9, "Fishy kiss"
Film date: 10-11/6 - 2012

According to Phil teams start the 9th leg in Sokolniki park in the outskirts of Moscow. In reality teams are released next to the Swissotel. Teams are released in the following order:
1.Jaymes & James    19:322.Trey & Lexi       19:49(+0:17)3.Natalie & Nadiya  21:15(+1:43)4.Abbie & Ryan      05:28(+9:46[)/td]5.Josh & Brent      08:11(+12:39)
The envelope contains a small flag and a route info: "Make your way to the capital of this country".  Once teams land they should make their way by rail to the central station and look for their next clue. The clue probably also warns about an upcoming U-turn.

The flag is a Dutch flag. But not all teams know this. The Chippendales look it up on the net. Try & Lexi ask the bellboy, who thinks it is France. Luckily for them they run into Jaymes & James at the airport. The twins thinks it is France, but check on the net. Abbie and the goat farmers all know it is a Dutch flag.

Although at least Abbie cheated a bit because their hotel was next to the starting line so they could see the flags of the earlier teams from their room. And had a world map they could check it on.

 "We're coming. I don't know where we're going, but we're coming", Jaymes know they are going somewhere
 "Oh my god, we're going to Paris. Holy cow", Lexi looks forward to Paris
 "Oh my god, we're such fools", The twins find out on the net that they are going to Holland, not France

At the airport it turns out that there are lots of flights but few seats. Jaymes & James would have preferred to run with Trey & Lexi, but select the quicker flight where only one team can get tickets instead.

Initially the agent refuses to sell the tickets Natalie & Nadiya wants to buy since the layover time in Rome is only 1h. But they insist and are finally allowed to buy that ticket.

At the airport the first three teams, Jaymes & James, Trey & Lexi and the twins discuss the upcoming U-turn. The twins have a plan and get the other teams to agree with it. The first teams to arrive at the U-turn should U-turn Abbie & Ryan. The next teams should U-turn the first. This will deny Abbie & Ryan the chance to U-turn somebody else.

 "You James, brown James, is in charge. You blond Jaymes don't worry. You're way to nice", Nadiya

Abbie & Ryan book a flight through Frankfurt. But they have a short connection and bad experiences of Frankfurt (they missed their flight in leg 7). But this time there are more flights to Amsterdam, so they also book tickets on the next flight from Frankfurt as a backup.
 "Oh my god, Frankfurt! I'm not doing that again" Abbie
 "Once we get into Frankfurt we're gold", Ryan (and Abbie makes a face)

In the end all teams end up on different flights:

Natalie & Nadiya fly through Rome:
 AZ595 SVO-FCO 05:50-07:45
 AZ108 FCO-AMS 09:10-11:43 (0:13 late)
They exit the airport around 12:15

Jaymes & James have a direct flight:
 SU2550 SVO-AMS 11:05-12:31 (0:16 late)
They exit the airport at 13:03

Trey & Lexi fly via Larnaca
 SU2070 SVO-LCA 06:01-08:31 (0:11 late)
 CY498  LCA-AMS 09:20-13:05 (0:05 late)
They exit the airport at 13:31

Abbie & Ryan fly via Frankfurt
 SU2306 SVO-FRA 09:26-10:41 (0:11 late)
Here they arrive too late for their connection, which should have landed at 12:45
 WA1766 FRA-AMS 11:21-12:39 (started 0:09 early)
Instead they went with their alternative, which should have landed at 14:05. But the plane had mechanical troubles so they had to change to another plane
 LH992 FRA-AMS 14:34-15:58 (1:53 late)

Josh & Brent fly via Oslo
 SU2230 SVO-OSL 11:22-11:38
 KL1146 OSL-AMS 14:25-16:00 (0:05 early)

 "I was frustrated three legs ago", Ryan looks like he has given up as they change plane in Frankfurt

As Josh & Brent arrive to customs they find Abbie & Ryan here waiting on their camera guy to complete the formalities.
 "I'm over it, she's over it", Ryan has no fighting spirit left
 "Now hang in there, you still got us behind you", Brent tries to cheer them up

In Amsterdam teams find the clue box at the central station in the following order:
 1(+2) Natalie & Nadiya, at 12:50
 2(-1) Jaymes & James, at 13:30
 3(-1) Trey & Lexi, at 14:05
 4(+0) Abbie & Ryan
 5(+0) Josh & Brent, a second after Abbie & Ryan

The clue here contains a fast forward and a route info.


--- Quote ---FAST FORWARD

Take a bus tour of
Amsterdam and have a
quick bite! Find the
marked bus next to the
Van Gogh Cafe on Prins
Hendrikkade.

Any Team that makes
the bus can compete for
the Fast Forward.

--- End quote ---

The bus is actually a floating bus and part of the tour takes place on the canals. While on the water teams have 7 minutes to each eat 5 herrings. The first team to finish their fish within the allowed time will get the fast forward. If teams fail the bus will go back to the cafe and wait 10 minutes before they can try again.

The twins go for the fast forward, and the episode is edited to make it look like they succeed on their first try. But in reality they managed it on their third attempt. They are directed to make their way directly to the pit stop. As they exit the bus they meet Jaymes & James who also wanted to go for the Fast Forward.
 "I'd eat poo for a fast forward", The twins before seeing the herrings
 "I take a bit and it is so disgusting, But the herring was a border case
 "Let me give you a fishy kiss, Nadiya gets the title (to the judge)
 "I feel good but I feel gross at the same time, and fishy", The twins feel fishy

The other teams go for the route info:

--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Travel by boat to Magere
Brug and look for the
Poffertjesboot to receive
your next clue.

--- End quote ---

The clue also tells them to travel by foot to Heeringmarketed where they will find the marked boats. The boat ride looks kind of relaxing and teams seem to enjoy themselves. At least the first teams, for the last two teams the ride turns less idyllic when the wind picks up and the rain starts pouring down.

 "They're brothers form another mother. These guys are life savers. Cause we've been so down in the dumps", Ryan is back on track now again thanks to the Beekman boys
 "Once again our day has gone bad to worse", Ryan when the weather changes

The Poffertjesboot turns out to be a boat which serves some sort of food. Teams get a plate each together with their clue. They reach it in the following order:
 2(+0) Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Trey & Lexi
 4(+0) Abbie & Ryan
 5(+0) Josh & Brent

 "Holy cow, that was so delicious", Lexi about the food


--- Quote ---DETOUR

Detour: 'Back In Time' or 'Organ
Grind'

Back In Time: "Paint" a
masterpiece! Using costumed
extras, a selection of props, and
yourselves, create a living
diorama of Rembrandt's
painting 'The Night Watch' to
receive your next clue.

Organ Grind: Become street
performers! Play a Dutch street
organ and entertain the people
of Amsterdam. If you earn 30
Euros in tips, you will receive
your next clue.

Note: For both detours you
MUST travel on foot.

Caution: U-Turn ahead!

--- End quote ---

In back in time teams can walk back and forth between the area where they are setting up the diorama and the painting to look at details. There are also multiple sets of extras so more than one team can work on the task at any one time. The judge is a guy dressed up as Rembrandt.

in organ to grind teams must find any of three big street organs placed on three different bridges. One team member must operate the organ while the other collects the tips.

 "That's not good", Abbie learns about the U-turn from the clue

The Chippendales do the Organ side. After a while the crowd thins out, and they still had a lot of tips to earn. So they take off their shirts, bring out the Chippendale cuffs and collars and make a spectacle out of it.
 "I only bite you a little", Jaymes tries to attract the crowd
 "There we are in our cuffs and collars. And up comes your typical grandma with her three grand kids. The lady was just like, here you go 10 euros", Jaymes hit the jackpot

  "Please Rembrandt, they wanna go home, say yes", Ryan thinks about the poor extras

Teams complete the detour in the following order:
 1(+0) Jaymes & James, organ
 2(+0) Trey & Lexi, organ, at 15:45
 3(+0) Abbie & Ryan, paint
 4(+0) Josh & Brent, paint, just after #3

Route info: "Make your way on foot to the Museum Geelvinck. Once there search the gardens for your next clue". In these gardens teams find a double U-turn and their next clue. They arrive here in the following order:
 1(+0) Jaymes & James, U-turns Abbie & Ryan
 2(+0) Trey & Lexi, U-turns Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Abbie & Ryan, together with #4
 4(+0) Josh & Brent

Jaymes looks like he is having a hard time making up his mind at the U-turn board. Should they U-turn Abbie & Ryan or not? He agonizes a bit but in the end they go for the U-turn. And strategically this feels like the right decision. Ryan & Abbie is a strong team and eliminating them opens the field for the other teams.
 "We talked about this long and hard. I don't want to play dirty, I don't want to play mean", Jaymes
 "We're gonna loose a friend if we do this", Jaymes
 "Abbie & Ryan are the strongest team here. And if we're gonna bring the million dollars home to our families, we can't have Abbie & Ryan", Jaymes on why he did it

 "Jaymes & James stuck to the plan, all is good", Lexi after using up the second U-turn
 "Abbie & Ryan are going to be so pissed, and that puts smiles on our faces", Trey

Abbie & Ryan arrive at the U-turn board just before Josh & Brent. They are very surprised to see that it was Jaymes & James who U-turned them.
 "We're done, we're done", Abbie when she realizes what has happened
 "But these guys? I was blown away", Abbie did not expect to be U-turned by the Chippendales
 "We were just gonna have you guys U-turn us and then we would do the thing together", Brent

Josh seriously wants to stay and help Abbie & Ryan, but Brent points out that this would mean that they get eliminated. He doubts Abbie & Ryan would let them step on the mat first and if they step on together then Abbie & Ryan will keep racing thanks to better placement in the previous leg (we learn from Ryan later).

Abbie & Ryan have to go back and do the organ detour. The problem is that it is raining and the streets are completely empty. But they keep at it and eventually the rain lets up and people start to appear. In the end Abbie encounter Pam, an American woman who wants to dance a bit.
 "Please, I'll dance for you", Abbie to the empty streets
 "I'm gonna make it so you're done", Pam bring Abbie to tears, and gets a long hug
 "We've had a horrid day", Abbie sums it up

Route info: "Travel by bus to the village of Ransdorp. Once there search the marked field for your next clue". The additional information states that "After 6pm you may take a taxi" (there are probably no more buses by then).

 "This speaks volumes about them how they establish relationships and friendships and then stabs you in the back", Ryan is really disappointed in the Chippendales

Teams arrive at the field in the following order:
 1(+0) Jaymes & James
 2(+0) Trey & Lexi
 3(+0) Josh & Brent
 4(+0) Abbie & Ryan

 "Oh, it's the vaulting thing. They did that before", Jaymes recognizes this task

The clue box in the field reads:

--- Quote ---ROAD BLOCK

Who's ready to jump
back in time and make a
last ditch effort?

--- End quote ---
This is a switchback from season 12 where teams did the same road block. The performing team member must pole vault over a muddy ditch. Pick up a pair of wooden shoes and then jump back again.

 "Easy", Phil gives his opinion on the pole vaulting, but he doesn't do it himself
 "All you need is courage", An instructor to James
 "Hurry, I'm cold", Lexi wants Trey to hurry up
 "I hurt my ankle", Josh stumbles on the field

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+0)Jaymes & James*    (5-5)Succeeds on hist first attempt2(+0)Trey* & Lexi       (4-5)Succeeds on hist first attemp3(+1)Josh* & Brent      (5-5)Succeeds on hist first attempt4(+0)Abbie & Ryan*      (4-6)         

The next clue is printed on the wooden shoe:

--- Quote ---Behind the church in Ransdorp
is the house rumored to be that of
Rembrandt's mistress.

--- End quote ---

Teams arrive at the pit stop in the following order:
 1(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, at 14:55 win $5000 each
 2(+0) Jaymes & James, just before 18.00 (+3:05)
 3(+0) Trey & Lexi, around 18:37 (+3:42)
 4(+0) Josh & Brent, around 21:50 (+6:55)
 5(+0) Abbie & Ryan, at 22:12 (+7:17), are eliminated

 "All the clothes we've wanted", Natalia translates the price in to tangible terms
 "I do think they're the strongest team. I just hope we don't loose a friend", Jaymes have mixed emotions about the U-turn
 "I already sent my parents a card saying that we're coming back with a million dollars. And I sent it to arrive while we're gone. So I have to be a man of my word, and I'm sorry but my parents are more important than Abbie & Ryan", Jaymes

 "Today was emotional because we just really really hated leaving Abbie & Ryan behind", Josh

 "I don't know what to say. I'm speechless. You never get a chance like this, it's not only once in a lifetime. It's once in a hundred lifetimes", Ryan

It was heart wrenching to see Abbie & Ryan in this episode. They had extremely bad luck with their flights and with the U-turn they seemed to be completely drained. It was mainly the flights which did them in. If they had made the first flight connection then they would have arrived before Trey & Lexi so they would have been able to U-turn another team. And if their second flight had not broken down they would have had a 2h head start on Josh & Brent, which would have been enough time to complete both detours and still survive. But luck was not on their side today.

maf:
Racing report
Amazing Race Season 21, Episode 10, "Not a well-rounded athlete"
Film date: 12-13/6 - 2012

Teams depart from the pit stop behind the church in Ransdorp in the following order:
1.Natalie & Nadiya  02:552.Jaymes & James    05:57(+3:02)3.Trey & Lexi       06:38(+3:43)4.Josh & Brent      09:38(+6:43)
Route info: "Make your way to the island of Mallorca, Spain". Teams must first fly to Barcelona and then catch a overnight ferry from there to Mallorca. Once in Mallorca they must make their way to a place where they will encounter a group of devils and demons playing with fire. One of them holds their next clue.

 "We've had good luck, we've bad luck, we've had dumb luck", Brent on why they are still in it
 "It's so hard to find a fun experience when you know you are either in last or second to last. It's so difficult to not see any other people racing.", Josh on the stress of being behind

It seems as if production has arranged taxis to be waiting for the teams (or else the taxi availability in the tiny village of Ransdorp at night is amazing).

 At the airport we learn that Josh injured his foot in the last leg.
 "Can you practice your Lamaze breathing? Breathe through the pain?", Brent
 "I'm not pregnant", Josh

There are many flights to Barcelona so teams end up on four different planes:

Natalie & Nadiya on:
 HV5131 AMS-BCN 06:04-08:10

Jaymes & James on:
 VY8313 AMS-BCN 07:24-09:34

Trey & Lexi on:
 KL1665 AMS-BCN 07:55-10:15

Josh & Brent on:
 HV5135 AMS-BCN 12:32-14:32

The twins arrive at the ferry terminal at 9 in the morning. It's closed. When they return at 10 they meet Jaymes & James and learn that the ferry leaves at 23:00.

 "Barcelona, what a great city to get stuck in", Jaymes doesn't seem to mind the wait

The first three teams seem to have bonded quite a bit because there is a lot of shouts of joy and hugging when they run into each other in Barcelona. Since they have twelve hours to kill they decide to hit the beach and go swimming.
 "One of the best days on the race, ever", Jaymes appreciates the day off

In the evening the three teams go back to the ferry terminal. Some of them are more anxious than the others to find out who the fourth team is going to be. They are all very happy to see that it is Josh & Brent.
 "We're happy that the strategy with the U-turn worked, and we ended up actually sending a strong team home", James is happy
 "After being behind for so many legs in this race, It's just so great to be with the other teams, finally",Josh

The next morning teams arrive in Palma de Mallorca and jump into taxis. They all make their way to the devils, all except Josh & Brent who end up being driven to the wrong place.

 "These devils were like scary", Lexi
 "I felt like I was in a horror movie or something", Lexi

Teams find the clue at the devils in the following order:
 1. Trey & Lexi
 2. Natalie & Nadiya
 3. Jaymes & James, not long after #1
 4. Josh & Brent, after the previous teams have left


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Drive yourselves to
Manacor and find the
Centro de alto
Rendmiento. Once
there search for Pista 8
to find your next clue.

--- End quote ---

 "Nadiya, stick, you're driving", Nadiya is in charge of stick driving
The first three teams decide to stay together to not get lost. But Nadiya has hard time driving a manually shifted car so they immediately fall behind.
 "Should have taken extra driving lessons", Natalie
 "I took one class  and then you know, this seems easy enough. But definitely wasn't prepared", Nadiya

 "My foot is feeling much much better", Josh feels better today

Teams reach the centro in the following order:
 1(+1) Jaymes & James
 2(-1) Trey & Lexi, a second after #1
 3(+1) Josh & Brent, as Jaymes & James leave
 4(-1) Natalie & Nadiya, before Josh & Brent are done

Road block: "Who wants to get smashed?"

In this road block teams get a chance to test their skills on Rafael Nadal's home court. Players must face a high power tennis machine and successfully return 20 balls, within the bounds, before the machine runs out of balls. If they fail they can try again as soon as all the balls have been collected.

 "I happen to play tennis so it was a great choice for us", Trey "We look over at Trey, and apparently, when you wear the Andre Agassi look headband you play like Andre Agassi", Jaymes is impressed of Trey's tennis skills
 "I'm not even close", James on his first try
 "I'm not a well rounded athlete, if you haven't noticed", James gets the title
 "Neither of us have played tennis in like the last 25 years", Brent has an excuse

Josh foolishly took this roadblock. He was soon reminded that his ankle is not completely healed. After two failed attempts he just sits down and try to gather some new energies.
 "They're probably gonna power past", Josh see the twins arrive
 "Am I left handed or right handed?", Nadiya does not give the impression of being a seasoned tennis player
 "You got to run a little bit man, its' not a one spot game. It's not bloody badminton", Natalie coaches her sister
 "This is really tiring, hot sun, sprained ankle, 43 years, It's not easy. But I can either keep hitting those balls or I can drop", Josh surveys his alternatives
 "She's holding her racket really weird. Like a cricket bat", Natalie about her sister

We learn that the twin's mother had tennis ambitions for them when they were small. But they weren't interested and skipped the lessons every week.

 "I feel like I just won the Olympics", Josh has just succeeded returning 20 tennis balls

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+1)Trey* & Lexi       (6-5)Succeeds on his first shown attempt2(-1)Jaymes & James*    (5-6)Succeeds on his second shown attempt3(+0)Josh* & Brent      (6-5)Succeeds on his third shown attempt4(+0)Natalie & Nadiya*  (4-5)Succeeds on her second shown attempt, less than a minute after #3

--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Drive to the town of
Campanet and find the
Coves de Campanet.
Once there, enter the
caves and follow the
music to your next clue.

--- End quote ---

The music in the caves is provided by two guitar players.

 "Do you guys know where you're going?", Natalie asks Josh & Brent
 "He has a map! How did they have a bloody map? I don't know, they're stupid prepared, they're gay", the twins feel inferior to Josh & Brent

 "Jaymes & James showed up and we were like, lets just do this together", Lexi met Jaymes & James at the parking lot by the caves
 "This is awesome guys, this is like nature right here", Jaymes seem to be a city boy

 "Aughhhh we suck, everybody is like hours ahead of us", Natalie is not happy with their driving

Teams find the clue in the caves in the following order:
 1(+1) Jaymes & James
 2(-1) Trey & Lexi, a second after #1
 3(+0) Josh & Brent
 4(+0) Natalie & Nadiya


--- Quote ---DETOUR

Detour: "Spin It" or
"Bull-It"

Spin It: Repair a
windmill! Once you have
properly attached the
missing blades of a
windmill, "Don Quixote"
and "Sancho Panza" will
hand you your next clue.

Bull It: Be the bull!
Complete an obstacle
course of real Matadors
while dressed as a bull.
If you complete the
course in the allotted
time, the Picador will
hand you your next clue.

--- End quote ---

In spin it teams must attach two blades to a windmill on top of a small tower. It is not that high and the task seems fairly straightforward.

In bull it teams dress up as a bull. The front person can not see straight ahead so the back person, whose head sticks up out of the costume, will have to instruct the front end how to turn. They must circle around 8 matadors and finally hit a bulls eye. They have two minutes to complete the course.

 "It sounds easier to find. We've got to drive to Muro", Jaymes on why the bullfighting sounds better

Jaymes & James and Trey & Lexi decide to work together, but get separated at a roundabout where they make different choices.
 "I think those boys are gonna have trouble since they went the other way", Trey has faith in their navigation skills

Jaymes & James are indeed going in the wrong direction, but luckily for them they stumble upon the spin it detour location so they quickly decide to do this task instead (Around 11:08).
 "Looks, what's that yellow and red on there", Jaymes has good eyes
 "Looks like big giant ceiling fan. It can't be that hard", Jaymes spots the windmills and utters the famous last words
 "Working at Chippendales we may have seen a construction outfit a time or two", Jaymes at least know how to wear the provided equipment
 "Yeah, I may have swung , you know, a Styrofoam hammer here and there", James also has extensive experience at looking the part
 "We got this so easy, are you kidding me?", Jaymes find the task surprisingly easy
 "This is some man work right here", James tightens a bolt

Meanwhile Trey & Lexi arrive at Plaza de Toros la Monumental where the bull it detour takes place. Here they find the task as well as a small band which provides some local flavor. Lexi takes the front position so Trey will have to navigate. Rounding the matadors goes without problem but instead of hitting the bulls eye they ram the entire stand where it sits. They fall over and Lexi hurts her finger. They had 43 seconds left on the timer at this point.
 "It's gotta be something with the nail. It's almost blue", Lexi has hurt a finger

On their second try Trey gets to play the head, and this time they succeed (with 45 seconds to spare)
 "Straight, nose to the right, left I mean", Lexi gives crystal clear directions (as did Trey)

Natalie & Nadiya arrive at the windmills as Josh & Brent are suiting up for the task.
 "I didn't want to run over people", Nadiya on why she ignores her sister's driving directions
 "Whatever competitive drive that I have really did kick in when the twins pulled up", Josh gets inspired

 "We have to do this rapidamento", the twins have taken Spanish lessons
 "No, rapidamente", so they can quibble over grammar

 "This is just like repairing a tractor", Josh finds the task easy

 "Yeah, after you hit me you say 'watch out', fool", Natalie when her sister drops a tool and eventually says 'watch out'
 "Oh my god Nadia, stop joking around", Natalie doesn't like that her sister monkeys around

 "That was teamwork, I guess the two of us are better than each one separate", Brent after they have completed the task
 "That's why we've been together for 14 years", Josh

 "Gays are done", Natalie gets stressed when she sees that Josh & Brent are leaving
 "Oh my god, we're so last place", the twins are not having a good day
 "We suck", But the twins blames nobody but themselves
 "What makes it worse is that it was mo master plan against us, nobody was plotting against us, we just did this all by ourselves to ourselves", Nadiya

Teams complete the detour in the following order:
 1(+0) Jaymes & James, spin it
 2(+0) Trey & Lexi, bull it
 3(+0) Josh & Brent, spin it
 4(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, spin it


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Drive yourselves to the
next Pit Stop:
'Castell de Bellver'

Warning!! The last Team
to check-in may be
eliminated.

--- End quote ---

The castle with the wonderful view is located in Palma.

This time the greeter is a performer without a head. That is a person dressed up as she was a lot longer than she is so no head is visible (but the voice sounds female). The effect is eerie. Teams reach the mat in the following order:
 1(+1) Trey & Lexi, win a trip to the Riviera Maya
 2(-1) Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Josh & Brent
 4(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, are saved by a non-elimination

 "This guy ain't got no head", James
 "I think you'd be hard pressed to find someone who is more motivated or driven. I mean when you have the health of your loved ones on the line", James on why they are so motivated
 "Couldn't drive stick shift, couldn't get directions, couldn't screw nuts and bolts in", Nadiya on what went wrong
 "SO we just have to put our game face on, make sure we're making smart decisions and hope there is no bloody driving cause then we'd be screwed", Natalie on their plan for the next leg

maf:
Racing report
Amazing Race Season 21, Episode 11.1, "Take down that million"
Film date: 14-15/6 - 2012

The episode starts as last episodes tend to do with a look back at the season and a presentation of the final four teams.

The Chippendales Jaymes & James, struggled in beginning but came back with a positive attitude. And they are motivated by their family situation.

Goat farmers Josh & Brent, are the contestants with nine lives. They have narrowly escaped elimination many times and never won a leg.

Dating couple Trey & Lexi, started without any travel experience but got stronger as the race progressed.

The twins Natalie & Nadiya, race loud and proud.

Teams depart from the castle Belver in Palma in the following order:
1.Trey & Lexi       09:322.Jaymes & James    09:46(+0:14)3.Josh & Brent      10:27(+0:55)4.Natalie & Nadiya  11:14(+1:42
Route info: "Make your way to the garden of France, the Loire valley". Teams must now fly back to Barcelona and from there travel by train to St Pierre de Corps in the Loire Valley, France. When they arrive they will find their next clue on a brand new car, provided by a race sponsor.

 "I know we can rely on Trey & Lexi and Jaymes & James to help us", the twins wants help to overcome their speed bump

Teams seem to fly on different flights to Barcelona. At least one team seems to fly:
 VY3995 PMI-BCN 13:40-14:29

From Barcelona teams travel by a night train to Paris. All teams travel on the same train. One the train the twins gather their allies to make a plan.
 "The Beekmans, they're here taking up a spot, and we want it way more than them.", the twins wants the other to help them get ahead of Josh & Brent.
 "Just remember, six heads are better than two so you'll be fine", James reassures
 "What's going on? Why did we get quiet all of a sudden", Jaymes eventually realize that the goat farmers have turned up

The Beekmans overhear this gathering, but when they happen to make themselves known Jaymes invites them over. It seems like he wants to include them in the group.
 "We had a real sort of mental decision point when we overheard that there actually was an official alliance that we weren't a part of", Josh
 "It's almost like High School all over again", Josh has some bad memories

From Paris teams travel on a local train to St Pierre de Corps. This trains arrives around 09:37. At the station there is a chickens with their heads cut off moment until the teams find the provided cars. On the windshield is their next clue:


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Pick up eight empty
crates outside of the
Brasserie de la Tour
located next to the
station. Then, using the
Hands-Free Liftgate,
"kick" open the liftgate
... crates into
...

--- End quote ---

Teams must now pick up some empty crates and use a fancy feature to open the boot and load the car. Finally they must drive themselves to Chateau de Villandry where they must find a stone dog statue, which holds their next clue.

 "There's no need for us to fret about how to get there. We might as well just stay in the pack 'cause we know they'll be working together.", Brent prefers waits while the other teams get directions
 "If we finish first today, I hope we win a car. My mom has kind of needed a car for a while", James realizes there is a good chance that they can win a car today
 "The Sri-Lankans are going to start panicking during this leg, so let's just play to it", Brent expects the speed-bump to help them

As teams drive towards the castle the twins start getting anxious. They ask the others for help to loose Josh & Brent. But no help is forthcoming.

 "This place is gorgeous", Lexi as she runs through the very large ornamental gardens of Chateau de Villandy

In the gardens teams start asking a gardener for directions. They have communications trouble until Josh appears and start talking French.
 "Sneaky", The twins finally learn that Josh speaks French
 "Ohhhh, whoa, Josh just starts spitting French at somebody. That was a little scary to know that he knew that", Jaymes was also surprised
 "You guys starting to sweat a little bit?", Josh taunts the twins
 "Wait a minute. These boys are pulling all kinds of tricks.", Jaymes is surprised by the speed the recently injured Josh can move at, and his knowledge of french

The twins encounter their speed bump next to the stone dog. They must find a specific room in the castle and once there lace a corset worn by the lady of the house. There is an example on a mannequin which they can look at.

 "Can't believe we're gonna lose 'em and they're gonna get to follow them", the Twins are stressed when they get separated from the pack but the Beekmans can stay in it
 "Guys, please lose them, don't let them follow you", The twins try to elicit help from the other teams
 "You guys don't need to lose us. Play nice and don't listen to these bitches", The Beekmans bites back
 "Have fun at the speed bump", Brent, ironically, to the twins

Teams reach the stone dog in the following order:
 1. Trey & Lexi
 2. Jaymes & James
 3. Josh & Brent, a second after #1
 4. Natalie & Nadiya, after having performed their speed bump

Route info: "Find Da Vinci's final resting place for your next clue". Teams must now figure out that Leonardo Da Vinci is buried at Chateau D'Amboise, and drive themselves there.

 "It was very interesting how quickly the alliance broke down because as soon as the twins were no longer in the picture, Chippendales and Lex & Tex where like whatever we wanted to do", Brent suddenly find the other teams cooperative
 "We'll follow Josh, if you want to bring your French skills on in and help us out then, hey you know, Bonjour", Jaymes gladly accepts the help
 "The only thing that worries me is that they're not really good with directions", Lexi doubts it is a good idea to follow the Beekmans

Lexi is soon proven right when the Beekmans get lost and have to stop and ask for directions.
 "Can they not use the map that we have?", Lexi wonder why the Beekmans are asking for directions

Teams find the next clue on the side of a pot of flowers in the castle church in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi, a few minutes after noon
 2(+0) Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Josh & Brent, within a minute of #1
 4(+0) Natalie & Nadiya


--- Quote ---DETOUR

Detour: 'Plow' or 'Chow'

Plow: Using a one
horsepower "tractor", till
the soil to create 4
furrows in the fields
adjacent to Chateau de
Cheverny.
...

--- End quote ---

Both options takes place at or near Chateau de Cheverny.

In Chow teams must sort, weigh and cut various meats to create a well balanced meal for a pack of hunting dogs. In the process they must debone the the meat and remove all foreign objects.

In Plow teams must use a horse and plow to till a field. The area is set up with three 'lanes'. One is used for a demonstration and the other two are for the teams. Making the furrow straight is a lot harder than it looks. But it doesn't matter that much since the judge approves all teams doing it on their first try.

 "Do you think our cookbook skills will stretch to dogs?", Brent wonders if they can do the Chow option
 "Ok, we can do Chow with you. We can help each other through it", Brent plans to work with Trey & Lexi

Initially Trey & Lexi plan to work with the Beekmans, but their competitive side kicks in and they decide to just go and not wait while the Beekmans fetch their car.
 "Their allegiance may be to the twins at this point. So we just have to be extra cautious, you really can't trust anybody at this stage of the race", Brent when they realize Trey & Lexi have left

On their way to the detour Trey & Lexi change their mind and decide to go with Plow instead. They think this will let them forge ahead of the other teams.

Teams arrive at the detour location in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi
 2(+2) Natalie & Nadiya
 3(-1) Jaymes & James, less than a minute after #2
 4(-1) Josh & Brent, less than a minute after #3

 "This is why we stay by ourselves baby, we're rocking it", Lexi when they arrive first
 "Being born and raised in Texas, I have horses on my ranch", Lexi is used to working with horses

 "We have no cushion anymore", Jaymes feels the pressure when the twins have caught up
 "Oh well. You know, we do what we can", Josh has a more fatalistic world view when he sees the twins
 "We have made dog food with our grandfather before", The twins on why they choose chow

 "My forearms are killing me", James finds the plowing hard
 "This is so awesome, us country people doing the country detour", Lexi is enjoying herself

The twins arrive at the meat cutting tables seconds before the Beekmans. A great amount of trash talking ensues as both teams try to distract the others. All of it is however in god humor and the teams are good friends even after the race.
 "We're competing against goat farmers who use their knives regularly, stabbing people in the back", Natalie
 "The nice gays became the evil gays today", Natalie implies that Josh has faked his injury
 "We've always been evil, we've never been nice", The twins admit they are not nice

The Beekmans have a strategy to pick meats which do not need to be deboned, while the twins just seem to take whichever piece of meat is on top.
 "You guys can cut and talk at the same time, we can not. Evil gays!", Natalie realizes that the Beekmans are trying to distract them

When teams are done with the meats they must weight and bring 20kg of pellets as well.
 "Oh my god, this is what we wanted to avoid", The twins realize they are way behind in the detour
 "The Gays bloody beat us", The twins admit defeat

Teams complete the detour in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi, plow
 2(+0) Jaymes & James, plow
 3(+0) Josh & Brent, chow
 4(+0) Natalie & Nadiya, chow


--- Quote ---ROUTE INFO

Make your way to Bourre
and find La Cave des
Roches.

--- End quote ---

Teams find the clue by the caves, in a basket of mushrooms, in the following order:
 1(+0) Trey & Lexi
 2(+0) Jaymes & James
 3(+0) Josh & Brent
 4(+0) Natalie & Nadiya

The twins arrived at the caves before the Beekmans, but ran into the cave to search for the next clue there. Which was wrong since the clue is in the shop at the parking lot.


--- Quote ---ROAD BLOCK

Who's a 'fun-guy'?

Note: Jaymes, Lexi and
Brent must perform this
Road Block.

--- End quote ---

In this road block teams must search a vast underground limestone mine which nowadays is used to grow mushrooms. Teams are shown three different kinds of Champions and must find and pick 10 of each kind in the cave. The cave is vast, there are no signs and the sparse lighting tends to go on and off randomly.

Teams must first unload the crates from their car and bring them to the boutique.

 "Freezing up in here", Lexi find that the caves are cold
 "That cave was enormous, and it was dark and a little bit scary", Lexi
 "There is a ton of different mushrooms down there", Lexi realizes the task is harder than it seemed at the surface
 "Am I running in circles? I'm so confused", Lexi is having a hard time
 "That's to easy, it can't be right", Jaymes thinks he found the mushrooms immediately
 "Don't get excited, it is really confusing down there", Jaymes to James when he is the first to emerge form the cave

 "I usually try to be very Zen. But when I saw the twins there I knew this was neck and neck. I was so frantic I didn't know exactly what I was trying to do", Brent start looking for mushrooms under rocks etc

Teams complete the road block in the following order (* denotes team member doing the roadblock)
1(+0)Trey & Lexi*       (6-6)2(+0)Jaymes* & James    (6-6)Failed once3(+1)Natalie* & Nadiya  (5-5)4(-1)Josh & Brent*      (6-6)Ten minutes after #3
Route info: "Drive yourselves to the next pit stop, the castle of the ladies". The clue also tells that the last team to check in will be eliminated.

The real name of this castle is Chateau de Chnonceau. And like all the other castles in this episode it looks gorgeous.

Trey & Lexi get directions to what turns out to be the wrong castle. They arrive at the right castle close on the heels of the Chippendales. Both teams start searching the grounds for the pit stop. This time there is no talk of working together.

It is a tense race to the pit stop between the last two teams. They both know that it is about a spot in the final, and they both want it. On the way both teams encounter the same real detour, which just adds to the heart rate.
 "I hope they're going the wrong way", Josh has a wish when the twins leave the road block
 "Now we're just kind of heading in this direction, hoping it's right", Nadiya has issues navigating
 "We should have followed the detour arrows", Brent practices hindsight

Teams find Phil by the river, they have to run through the castle to get there, in the following order:
 1(+1) Jaymes & James, win a new car each
 2(-1) Trey & Lexi
 3(+1) Josh & Brent
 4(-1) Natalie & Nadiya, are eliminated

 "Momma needed some wheels bad, I can't wait to see the look on her face. She's probably gonna drop just there from excitement", James is going to give his car to his mom
 "We're certainly gaining momentum and confidence, at the point we need it the most", Brent
 "I'm telling you, the Beekmans have tricks up their sleeves", the twins respect the Beekmans
 "If we can take anything from this race it is to say that we need to harness the potential we have into a more positive reaction instead of only crazy", The twins have some insight
 "We had a lot of fun on the race", The twins have happy memories

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