The Amazing Race Recap
Off to See the Wizard
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 12, 2012

Please don't let there be a name for this fetish.

We’ve come to that point in The Amazing Race’s season where Daron goes on vacation, meaning that we are your consolation prize hosts for the next two weeks. We should warn you in advance that because we are writing the recaps, there will inevitably be a non-elimination leg or possibly an episode with a “To Be Continued” flashed at the end. Maybe even both. It’s okay. We’ve learned to laugh about it.

So far, our experience watching The Amazing Race this season has shown us that there are only two teams worth rooting for amongst the various duos. These teams include Abbie & Ryan and James & Abba, both of whom have displayed a wonderful spirit of competition and support. Also, though we’re not necessarily hoping they win, the lovable lunkheads Jaymes & James are decent guys with good hearts. Of the other three teams, Josh & Brent are kind of pathetic, Trey & Lexi seemed nice but turned into total jerkfaces last week, and Natalie & Nadiya continue to be possibly the most obnoxious pair ever to (dis)grace the show. In all seriousness, up to now their screeching at each other and cattiness toward the other contestants was annoying, but with their outright theft of money belonging to another team last week, they have climbed the ladder to claim the title of “Most Despicable Amazing Race Team Ever.”

Needless to say, we’re hoping the twins lose, but we know that even if that happens tonight, they’ll get the magic non-elimination bump.

To catch up from last week, Trey & Lexi finished in first despite their culpability in stealing money from James & Abba. Apparently, there are no penalties for behaving like scumbags. We have to hope that karma catches up to the twins and the Texans soon. The monster truckers were eliminated, and rightfully so. They were absolutely inept at the race. As for Josh & Brent, they managed to hang on simply because the monster Rob & Kelley were determined to do things their own way rather than the smart way. The goat farmers are easily the worst team still in the race, though the Chippendales have their moments. Anyway, let’s get to tonight’s leg even though we know that tonight’s entire episode will be pointless do to the impending non-elimination.

This start of this week’s leg is apparently on Mitt Romney’s yacht. It’s sort of small at only 446 feet long. The first two to depart are Trey & Lexi, leaving at 12:35 p.m. They’re instructed to fly to Moscow, where they’ll then make their way to Zurab Tsereteli Sculpture Park, or as we will lazily call it, ZuScu. Judging by the camerawork, the clue is apparently located near an upskirt shot of a muscular statue in a loincloth.

Twenty-one minutes later, Abbie & Ryan follow Trey & Lexi. The divorcees talk some crap about Natalie & Nadiya, and we’re totally on board with that. James & Abba leave less than 10 minutes after that, and we’re hoping that no one steals any of their stuff this time around.

At the airport, Trey & Lexi are having trouble determining which airline is appropriate for Russia. A number of counter workers turn them away, and one even tells them the right place to go, which is Aeroflot. Instead, they go to Alitalia and insult the name of the company to the customer service rep. For no particular reason, they try Air France as well. That counter worker is as snooty and rude as you might expect. Eventually, they decide that they might as well just go to Popeye’s Chicken and have some beans and rice – a popular delicacy in Turkey.

Natalie & Nadiya are leaving at 1:44 p.m, about 40 minutes after the rockers. They share some snacks with their cabbie, who falls in love with them for some reason. Clearly, he hasn’t heard them talk as much as we have.

While Trey & Lexi eat, Abbie & Ryan are strategizing about their flight, trying to plan the best route for the earliest arrival. After doing some Internet research, they find a flight that lands at 3:30 a.m. James & Abba’s counter agent helps them with a ticket to a flight that gets to their location at 2 a.m. It will be interesting to see which plan pays off here, because both flights have layovers.

Our last place team, Josh & Brent, is an hour and a half behind the frontrunners, which isn’t too bad, considering they had to overcome the (admittedly easy) Speed Bump in the last leg.

When the twins arrive at the airport, they realize that Trey & Lexi haven’t even booked a flight yet. Together, they find one that will arrive at 4 a.m., and hope that they are not on a plane with the other “freaks.” The Chippendales get on the 2 a.m. flight, so unless the goat farmers get the 4 a.m. flight, karma may finally be kicking in for the thieves. As it happens, Josh & Brent will arrive at 3:30 a.m. as long as they make their connecting flight. There’s a safer 5 a.m. arrival, but after flipping a coin they go with the earlier one and hope for the best….

Unfortunately, their flight is delayed. Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent are both under the gun, with only three minutes to make their connecting flight. It’s not enough time. There are no flights available until the morning. They will not arrive in Moscow until 3 p.m. in the afternoon. This is one of the biggest airport-related gaps we’ve ever seen in the history of the show. The good news for both teams is that we presume tonight will be a non-elimination leg.

For those who were wondering, tails was the correct choice in the coin flip.

Over in Moscow, we’ve got bunching of all the other teams, who must wait for ZuScu to open at 9:30 a.m. That still gives the early teams a six-hour advantage, which means that if by some miracle this is an elimination leg, there are only two teams in the running.

Every second the twins speak causes us pain. We’re not even going to recap the bitchy things they say.

For those teams who are actually not on an airplane, they are getting their clue, which directs them to proceed to Moskvoretsky Most, which we presume is Russia’s answer to Donny Most.

The Detour has the teams choosing between Synchronized and Alphabetized. Alphabetized sends them to a library, where they’ll get a list of books (in Russian). They must then search through the card catalog to find the location of the books, find them and grab the books themselves. This seems pretty much impossible to us – and Kim took Russian in college. Synchronized also seems pretty tough, as they have to successfully learn a synchronized swimming routine. James & Abba select Alphabetized because of Abba’s knee troubles. They’ll be joined by Trey & Lexi. The twins and Jaymes & James are headed for the swimming challenge.

James & Abba quickly decide that the library challenge SUCKS. They consider switching to swimming. The Chippendales have arrived at the pool and they look absolutely adorable in their Speedos and swim caps. By the time they are done, we anticipate that they will have hundreds of rubles tucked into their trunks.

The twins, master strategists that they are, debate using their Express Pass. Apparently a narrow margin such as a six-hour time advantage is not enough. We hope they waste it.

The library challenge proves to be Kafka-esque, and we say that about a show that once had a challenge specific to Kafka. The alphabetization is proving all but impossible due to differences in the Cyrillic letters. James & Abba leave for the swimming challenge.

Meanwhile, over at the pool, Natalie and Nadiya are frustrated. Their instructor does not speak English. How dare she! As their irritation grows, we start chanting, “Use the pass! Use the pass!”

Back at the library, Trey & Lexi have found all their books in the catalog. Now, all that is left is to find them on the shelf. The attorney wasn’t detail-oriented enough for this task and had to quit. The Longhorns have figured out that matching symbols is the way to go and are working quite well together. They’re still jerks, but this is an impressive leg for them so far.

Over in the water, the manager of the synchronized team is berating Team Evil Twins in Russian. She informs the ladies that they have “big mistakes.” They once more debate using the Express Pass. Eventually, the ladies decide to do so, but Team Magic Mike attempts to dissuade them. Dudes, if another team wants to do something stupid, LET THEM! They certainly won’t be returning the favor.

Trey & Lexi have successfully discovered all their books, which means that they receive a clue directing them to The Luzhkov Most, which is less most than the last most. There, they will search for the “Trees of Love” to find their next instructions.

The Chippendales score a win at synchronized swimming and are on their way. Over at the Trees of Love, they have to unlock a bunch of locks to try to release an Amazing Race ribbon. Trey is taking the task for his team. There are a lot of weddings happening in their area, which gives Lexi a chance to drop a hint about getting engaged. Poor Trey.

Since Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent are so far behind, we haven’t seen much of them for a while. The two teams decide to play together for the rest of the leg, realizing that one of them will finish in last place but understanding that there will be some level of comfort in teaming up.

Either James or Jaymes has taken the lock task. We don’t know which one, because we can’t tell them apart. The twins finally get the thumbs up from the angry judge and are on their way.

Trey has done a good job with the lock busywork, and has found a silver cylinder that contains their next clue. It sends them to the Bolshoi and the Pitstop. It’s looking like the Longhorns are going to dominate this leg.

James & Abba are doing their best at the swimming task, but the judge is rolling her eyes anyway.

The Longhorns are greeted as team number one, and they will receive a trip to Maui, where if Trey doesn’t propose, their relationship is totally over. Trey, the even worse news is we know a Bridezilla when we spot one.

Over at the locks, James & Jaymes have finished and are off to the Pitstop. Their happy-go-lucky response is in direct contrast to the twins. Now is the time when the twins start fighting. Now is also the time when we remember where the mute button is on our remote.

The two last-place teams have finally arrived in Russia and are getting started on their tasks. James & Abba are really struggling with the swimming task, saying that they’ve had to do it about 20 times. They’re determined to finish it off now, and the judge lets them go, mainly because she’s tired of them.

Ryan & Abbie and Josh & Brent are presented with the option to choose between the library and the swimming pool. There is no real choice, however, because the library is closed. Abbie feels pretty confident about the task because she’s a teacher, and Ryan is confident as well. Josh & Brent deflate. They are not strong swimmers and had planned to avoid any water-based challenges. Since this is The Amazing Race instead of Survivor, they should have been able to do so. Alas, missing the connecting flight bites them yet again.

The twins are checked in as team number three (but last in our hearts).

James & Abba arrive at the lock challenge and Abba decides to take it on. They go to tell their cab driver that he can leave. They also want to pick up their stuff from the cab. During the attempt, they realize that the cab is already gone. They have lost everything, including their passports, backpacks and cash. After finishing the challenge, they decide to go ahead and head to the Pitstop to see what happens.

Abbie & Ryan easily breeze through the swimming challenge, but stay to wait for the goat farmers as per the terms of their earlier agreement. Josh & Brent are absolutely terrible at this. Brent can’t flip at all, and the judge berates him.

Over at the Pitstop, James & Abba are told they are the fourth team to arrive, but Phil cannot check them in without their passports. The men have no idea what they’re going to do, and…


There’s a reason we have a gallows mentality about this show.