Everyone gets on to the midnight train and each team gets their own berth to relax in during the ride. Some of the teams will use that to strategize on their own, while others will use the time to sleep or visit with other teams, especially Blair and Brody who’ve decided there may actually be something there after the race. Only time will tell of course but it wouldn’t be the first time that contestants on a reality show developed an affection for each other, . . . just ask Brendan & Rachel, or Rob & Amber.
All teams are even as they race out of the train station and grab a cab to Freedom Square to find the Statue of St. George. There is a definite language barrier in Georgia and none of the teams speaks the local language at all which will definitely add to the stress level as teams try to be understood. That becomes apparent right from the start when Dana is trying to indicate that they need to get to Freedom Square and the cabbie says “airport?” That does not bode well for anyone.
Fortunately everyone is able to locate the statue and grab their next clue and they’re now on their way to Narikala Fortress, which is at the top of the hill and then ride the gondola down to the river from where they’ll need to make their way to the Jvari Monastery to find their next clue. No surprise that Kurt & Brody are the first to the clue box, followed by Tyler & Korey (whom I still haven’t figured out which is which), and dropping into the back as the last to the clue box are Scott & Blair. Slow and steady may win the race for Scott but it’s not likely to do them any favours on this race as the last place you want to be is in last place.
Brody & Kurt are the first to make their way up the hill by cab to Narikala Fortress, one of the oldest churches/fortresses in the world, and right behind them are Korey & Tyler complaining about the height. Apparently yu can only go so far by cab and then you need to race up the stairs to the fortress to grab the gondola back down. Meanwhile, Dana & Matt find themselves on a sightseeing tour of Tbilisi as their cabbie drives them through the neighbourhood before depositing them at the bottom of the hill where the staircase leads all the way to the top. Rather than argue with their cabbie they get out and eventually find those steps but that’s going to add a lot of time to their ascent. Good thing they’re young and in shape.
At least Scott & Blair had a cab that started up the hill but eventually it’s a really steep hill because their cabbie told them that’s as high as he could go when his cab died on the road. Time for them to get out and walk too but I think Scott has forgotten he’s in a race when he advises Blair that they should take their time. What? Come on dad, get moving. I had a blown out knee held in place by a knee brace for eight days in New York and I never once told my daughter we should take our time. Get it done Scott before Blair leaves you behind in her dust. Not that she would because she’s such a good kid but she might want to.
While they walk up Zach & Rachel enjoy a relaxing overview of Tbilisi as they ride down. That’s quite the view from up there. Down go Burnie & Ashley, and then Sherri & Cole. As they exit the gondola and grab another cab, Kurt & Brody are told it’ll take at least 30 minutes to get to Jvari Monastery and Kurt stops their cabbie just to confirm he knows where they’re going before they proceed. A good idea but it did allow Tyler & Korey to get into another cab and pull into the lead. No worries about that for Dana & Matt or Blair & Scott who are still trudging up the staircase to the top.
Having pulled ahead at the base of the gondola, Tyler & Korey are the first to reach the clue box near the Jvari Monastery and find the Detour. Too bad it has nothing to do with the actual monastery, much like the first part had nothing to do with the Narikala Fortress. Nice to look at but apparently production might not have been able to get permission to film in either one . . . too bad. Georgia is believed to be the birthplace of winemaking going back 8,0000 years and one side of the Detour deals directly with that aspect of Georgian culture, while the other side of the Detour deals with making a traditional Georgian candy.
In Clean, teams will need to clean out an enormous clay kvevri fermentation pot that's about six feet deep and buried in the ground to the satisfaction of the winemaker to receive their next clue, . . . while in String, teams will need to make five strings of 20 hazelnuts dipped into a pot of sugary wine glaze and hang them to dry to make the traditional churchkhela, in order to get their next clue. Again, both sides of the Detour seem pretty balanced and time consuming but Tyler & Korey decide to make the candy and choose String. Brodie & Kurt also choose to do String, as do Zach & Rachel and Burnie & Ashley, which fills the four stations for candy-making and any team that arrives afterwards will beed to either wait their turn or switch sides of the Detour.
Sherri & Cole decide to do Clean (sounds like a Mom decision) and Dana & Matt are team number five to choose String which means they’ll have a decision to make, the same decision that Blair & Scott will need to make as Blair really seems excited to do String. Despite some people being annoyed by her, I’ve always liked Blair’s enthusiasm, even if that enthusiasm was for her father to do the task. That’s our last look at the Jvari Monastery before we join Kurt & Brody and Tyler & Korey arriving pretty much on top of each other at the candy task where they get to watch a woman direct them in the art of making churchkhela.
Georgian is a Kartvelian language spoken by all Georgians and it’s fun to watch the confused looks on everyones faces as they try to be understood on either side. No matter how many times Brody asks her how many nuts, nor how many times she tells him “twenty nuts” in Georgian I keep thinking it would just be faster to count them yourself. At least they all know there’s a language barrier as they learn that they need to thread a thick needle with string, tie a knot in the end and then pierce 20 hazelnuts through the center with the needle to make each candy. Tyler is more concerned about stabbing himself with the needle but Korey assures him he can do it. Trust me, there will be some stabbings.
On the way to String, Blair and her father decide that if all the spots are taken they’ll use the time to watch and learn how it’s done rather than racing off to the other side of the Detour. Not a bad idea because younger know how far away they are from each other, nor how hard one is over the other, until you actually get there. Cole reveals that he’s not much good at cleaning his room but he figures he can clean enormous wine glasses no problem. Maybe this was his mother’s way of teaching him how to clean his room before the stuff behind his door starts to ferment.
Tyler is spending more time complaining about stringing the hazelnuts than he is stringing the hazelnuts, while Brody has decided to go ahead and stab himself with the needle. The woman watching them is having a great time as the teams turn an otherwise simple task into some sort of ordeal. Apparently Tyler has been waiting the entire race to be able to make a joke using the word “nuts.” Glad that’s over with because it was pretty lame. While Tyler goes hazelnuts over the task (told you it was lame) Zach & Rachel and Burnie & Ashley have arrived to take up the last two positions. That means there’s no space left at the inn when Dana & Matt and Blair & Scott arrive.
Rather than sit there and wait, Dana & Matt decide they need to switch to the other side of the Detour and head off to Clean while Blair & Scott settle in to observe the process and hopefully manage to pull ahead of someone. Now Dana is second guessing their decision to switch while Sherri & Cole get geared up to begin cleaning the kvevri. Cole lowers himself into the pot while the winemaker takes a pic on his phone and we can see that the pot is as deep as Cole is tall because when he stands up he’s not poking through the top. Cole keeps filling a small bucket with the fermented refuse and handing it up to Sherri who keeps running it back to a trough before returning the empty bucket. When Cole mentions how cold it is in there his mother realizes that she’s wearing the gloves and hands them over. She didn’t want to get her hands dirty, I can relate.
There’s blood everywhere as all the teams keep poking themselves while they make their candy and then Tyler & Korey try another lame nut joke, although this one is a little funnier than the last. Burnie appears to be the only one who hasn’t jabbed himself but it’s Zach who gets to dip his nuts into the glaze first. While the teams are busy dipping Dana is starting to panic about whether or not their driver even knows where they’re going. When she finds out they still have at least another 10 minutes to go she decides it’s too far away from everyone else and she tells the driver to hurry up. That’s exactly what Cole wants to do when he realizes that there are no other teams doing Clean and he’s afraid that they may have made the wrong choice . . . always a risk when you’re the only team at a task but it’s always best to just run your own race and not worry about your position until you hit the Pit Stop.
Brody & Kurt are the first to have their churchkhela checked and they had three that were good but needed to replace two which looked pretty rough.When Tyler & Korey ask for theirs to be checked they only had one good one and need to make four more. Tyler figures that the woman is just going to eat the bad ones but I’m not even sure she understands what he’s saying. Then again, never underestimate the fact that people in another country fully understand English even if they’re afraid to speak it. Dana & Matt wish their cab driver spoke it because after another 10 minutes of driving nowhere fast she’s starting to panic and decides they need to go back to where they started from at String.
As their driver turns around to return to the String Detour, Zach & Rachel get the okay on all five of their candies and receive their next clue . . . moving into first place and opening a spot for Scott & Blair. Zach & Rachel are now on their way to the Rustaveli National Theater to find their next clue. as they race out to find their cab Scott & Blair get started and Burnie & Ashley are the second team to get the okay on their candies. Tyler & Korey are not impressed and realizing that they have four completely new strings to make they start wondering if they should switch. That didn’t take long as they decided that they’d had enough of bloody fingers and hot glaze and race out to find a cab, leaving Blair & Scott and Kurt & Brody thinking that may have been a bad decision but it’s a decision that may give Scott & Blair a chance to pull out of last place.
While Tyler & Korey search for some direction they run into Dana & Matt who’ve returned from their wayward journey to find that the boys switched because the task was too hard. Now Dana decides to switch again and both teams are grabbing new cabs and heading off to Clean. At least now, if they get lost, they get lost together. Speaking of lost, that must be how Cole feels when he switches spots with Sherri and she sends him to check the surrounding barrels for water, which he does, paying no attention whatsoever to the water truck parked next to the gear. When they ask for the kvevri to be checked the guy tells them it’s good but not good enough so Sherri drops back in and Cole is surprised to find a water truck right over there beside the barrels he looked in. Silly Cole, go get your mother some water.
The Rustaveli National Theater was built in 1879 and it’s where we now find Zach & Rachel encountering the Roadblock; Light On Your Feet. One of them will need to memorize a choreographed routine and perform it correctly before the choreographer will give them their next clue. Since Zach used to dance as a kid Rachel tells him he can do it and it’s nice to see that support but he’s not looking so sure about it. Even less sure when he watches the routine he needs to perform. That is one quick routine, . . . I think I’d let Wayne do that one, . . . after all, I have a bad knee. Rachel is as nervous as Zach but at least she won’t be the one on stage.
Back at the candy Brody & Kurt have finally finished up and are on their way, leaving Blair & Scott all alone at the task. Brody’s a little concerned for Blair & Scott but there’s not much he can do about that. Over at the kvevri, Dana & Matt and Tyler & Korey have arrived to find Sherri & Cole get the okay and Tyler says they’ll see them at the roadblock. They will if it takes awhile, which is something Burnie & Ashley hope it doesn’t as Ashley decides she’s the one who is light on her feet. I love the wigs that they need to wear for the performance but Ashley looks just as worried as Zach did.
Tyler & Korey and Dana & Matt are both just flying through their cleaning to try and make up time for switching while Blair & Scott complete their five candies and get the okay and the next clue and they’re off to the Roadblock. So far, so good for Blair & Scott but, thanks to the joy of editing, it looks like Dana & Matt have already completed their Clean task and are also racing for the Roadblock, which leaves Tyler & Korey in last place. An unusual spot but this has been a horrible leg for them.
Tyler & Korey get the okay and they know they’re in last place but all they can do is keep on racing. While they head to the theater, Kurt decides he’s going to do the Roadblock despite the fact that they could use the Express Pass and skip this task entirely. Without actually trying the task it is a little early to jump to that and I’m glad that neither of them mentioned it but I’m sure it was sitting in the back of their mind. As Ashley points out, if you’ve danced before you should be able to pick up the steps and that’s what Kurt was counting on, having salsa danced for over ten years.
Ashley makes her first attempt but she’s so nervous that she starts too early. No worries because she nailed the dance steps on her next attempt while Burnie was ready to pass out watching her. They receive their next clue and they’re now on their way to the Pit Stop for this leg of the race . . . a futuristic pedestrian bridge called the Bridge of Peace in the heart of Tbilisi. They jump into their cab and head off to Rike Park while Blair & Scott are heading to the Roadblock, but first they need to stop for gas. I hate when that happens. Why the hell don’t cabbies get gas before they get a ride? And why on earth would he pull in to the world’s slowest gas station?
Zach blows his hand moves as Sherri & Cole arrive and Sherri chooses to dance, then Kurt comes out and . . . yeah, he blows it too. To be fair, it’s a fast dance, but when Dana & Matt arrive it’s no surprise that Dana chooses to dance because this girl needs to dance off a little steam. Kurt’s getting better but once again not good enough as Tyler & Korey arrive and nobody seems to have noticed that Blair & Scott still aren’t there as Korey decides to do the Roadblock.
Everyone keeps practicing as Burnie & Ashley are dropped off at the park, unfortunately they were dropped off at Vake Park in a totally different district than Rike Park. Fortunately they found an English speaking local that got them headed in the right direction again but will they be fast enough to keep their lead? Probably not because Zach just nailed his moves and Zach & Rachel are heading to the Pit Stop, followed closely by Kurt & Brody.
Finally Scott & Blair arrive and she convinces her father to take the Roadblock. As Brody goes past he lets them know there are still three teams there and hopes they can just push through and get ahead of the others Brody tells them to just take their time and do it while Scott wonders how he’s supposed to put the shoes on. Blair looks on a little lovelorn while Brody & Kurt head out to the Pit Stop. It’s all up to Scott now if they’re going to stay in the race or not, but they no longer have to worry about Dana & Matt because Dana nailed it and now it’s just Sherri, Korey and Scott to perform.
It’s not even a footrace to the Pit Stop on the Bridge of Peace as Zach & Rachel have managed to arrive as Team Number 1 and also win a week long trip to Turks & Caicos. Right after that, in run Burnie & Ashley who got screwed by a bad cab to be Team Number 2, and right behind them are Brody & Kurt as Team Number 3. Out of the bushes comes Dana & Matt as Team Number 4 and that’s all four teams on the mat at almost the same time, which will create an interesting start to the next leg.
Korey looks terrible on stage and steps down to let Sherri try, and Sherri nailed it. As Blair points out . . . and then there were two. At this point I’m really hoping for Scott to pull it off before Korey does and he’s certainly a lot lighter on his feet but he still looks pretty stiff. While the boys have a dance off Sherri & Cole are Team Number 5.
Attempt after attempt from both Korey and Scott ends pretty badly, but they get further along each time. On Scott’s sixth attempt he was looking so good that Blair felt confident enough to pick up her bag, and then to increase her confidence she picked up her dad’s bag too. That was kinda cute and she was right to do so because Scott nailed it. Blair told him she had his bag but for some reason he was running out with a bag on his back and that can’t be good.
Korey’s eighth attempt and while he’s dancing Tyler starts throwing a hissy fit about his missing bag. Yep, that’s right, the bag that for some unknown reason Scott decided to pick up and run off with. As Korey completes the Roadblock Tyler’s hissy fit increases as he starts whining abut somebody taking his bag like he’s in a room full of thieves. Dude, get over it.
When they hit the cab Blair notices that her dad has someone else’s bag and tells him to just run it back in but that could be the death knell for Blair & Scott because there’s no way they can beat Tyler & Korey in a foot race and with Korey just finishing his performance that’s what’s gonna happen. Scott runs back in yelling he has Tyler’s bag and then races back out but the young bucks are a lot faster than the old doctor, especially when their cab passes them on the road.
The dreaded footrace to Phil has Tyler & Korey as Team Number 6 and unfortunately Blair & Scott as Team Number 7, the last team to arrive. Of all the teams that I wanted to stay longer in the race Blair & Scott are probably at the top of my list. I wouldn’t have been sad to see Tyler & Korey go (maybe a little) but I really didn’t want to see the father/daughter team go out because of a series of unfortunate mistakes, most of which were beyond their control. Okay, the bag one was probably the worst, especially after Blair told her dad she had his bag, but still . . . They had a good run and I’m going to miss them. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m going to miss her . . . and so will Brody.
This was a really great episode of the Amazing Race despite how it turned out. Next week teams are dropping in on Dubai while Sherri & Cole get lost in the desert. No idea why Kurt & Brody are racing camels but it looks like the camels got the better run on that one. I’ll be right here again to let you know how it plays out. Until that time.