The Amazing Race Recap
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 19, 2012

Perhaps we should not have rock and rolled all night and partied every day.

Previously on The Amazing Race, something happened. Like an M. Night Shyamalan movie ending, we do not understand exactly what that was, though. There was a leg run with two teams losing the Airport Shuffle. Abbie & Ryan, a great team, and Josh & Brent, a not so great team, wound up so far behind their fellow competitors that the elimination of one of these teams was a foregone conclusion.

At least, this was the presumption before James & Abba left their travel documents in the back of a cab whose driver decided to leave the gentlemen. The Amazing Race ended with a “To Be Continued” moniker, thereby creating more questions than answers. Shaky rules interpretations like this are why we grouse incessantly about the etch-a-sketch nature of The Amazing Race competition.

As of this moment, we have no idea which leg of the race will be the focus of tonight’s episode. Are half the teams finished while the other three attempt to avoid elimination? Will there be another leg? If so, doesn’t such a scenario indicate that two different teams will be removed from The Amazing Race tonight? Since Daron is still on vacation, the odds of one team being eliminated are remote. Two teams getting kicked out in the same episode is only possible in our fevered dreams.

When last we left the bottom three teams, Josh & Brent were struggling to keep their heads above water in a literal sense. Apparently, goat farmers don’t do a lot of swimming. Abbie & Ryan completed the same challenge; alas, they were honor-bound to wait for their less coordinated cohorts. So this quartet is finishing the synchronized swimming challenge while James & Abba have a few hours to produce their documents. Our suspicion is that all of this is a swerve with (easily) the weakest team remaining, Josh & Brent, soon to be eliminated. With The Amazing Race, however, the most logical conclusion is rarely the correct one.

Phil tells James & Abba that they are not the last team to arrive, and therefore they have a chance to find their passports and avoid being eliminated in this leg. They head off to chat with the police and see what they can discover. Meanwhile, we head back over to the aquatic complex where a very grumpy judge is sick to death of dealing with Josh & Brent's inability to complete the synchronized swimming challenge. They are told they have only one more chance to complete the challenge. Although they are better, they cannot do the challenge and are given a four-hour penalty on top of everything else.

Since we can see that James & Abba are searching for their stuff during daylight hours and it is nighttime when Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent leave the aquatic center, we have a feeling that this isn't really going to be close at all. After all, Josh & Brent not only have to serve out their four-hour penalty, but there is also still a Roadblock for them to complete.

We're over at the Roadblock now, where Josh & Brent note that there's really no reason for Abbie & Ryan not to work with them since the four-hour penalty makes the winner between the two of them a foregone conclusion. This works out well for Abbie, because she's unable to figure out the key task and needs the help of Team Beakman to proceed.

James & Abba have attempted to get a new passport issued from the US Embassy, but they seem to be accepting that the Race is over for them. The two of them agree to go say goodbye to Phil. They discuss how much this has strengthened their friendship. This is really a shame.

Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent arrive at the mat and are given the good news that they are not in fact the last teams to arrive. Needless to say, they are all thrilled. Team Beakman will have to serve out their four-hour penalty at the beginning of the next leg.

Cue the sad music as James & Abba walk to the mat. Phil asks if they've been able to procure their passports, and they tell Phil that the answer is no. He tells them that they are in fact the last team to arrive...


Because we are recapping this episode, there will be no elimination. James & Abba will remain in the race, giving them extra time to come up with their passports. They will only be eliminated if they get to a point where they need them and can go no further. If the US Embassy can help them before that time, they're still in the race. They have a Speedbump to contend with as well, but with Josh & Brent's disadvantage due to the penalty, it's still totally up in the air as to who is in the worst position.

Summing up our two Amazing Race recaps, we have hit the Daily Double. Not only did we get the dreaded "To Be Continued" episode, but we also were "awarded" with a non-elimination. We're hoping that we at least get to see Phil send someone home later tonight.

We're not holding our breath, though.

With all that out of the way, Trey & Lexi are first to leave. They don't tell us what time they're departing, which tells us that the gap is extremely big. In fact, we're pretty sure that the time distance between the Longhorns and the Headbangers is so great that Trey & Lexi can wear white and be fashionable, while James & Abba cannot.

The clue sends them to the Agricultural Academy, where they will go to Large Chemistry Auditorium #1. We're picturing a room full of oversized beakers and test tubes. Hopefully there is no giant Walter White to go with them.

Trey & Lexi have established themselves as smarter than some other contestants, as they actually remove their backpacks from their cab, which means that they have their passports. Also, they are aware of their sizable lead, but claim that they will run the race as though someone is right behind them.

It's off to a bad start, though, because their cabbie has dropped them not only at the wrong place, but in what seems to be the shadiest area of Moscow. They're scared of all the broken bottles, but we figure at least we can use those as weapons to defend themselves. They quickly find a new taxi driver who claims he knows how to get them where they're going.

James & Jaymes are next out, and their attitude is as positive as ever. They plan to just stay near the top, and manage to do just that, as they arrive at the Giant Laboratory ahead of Trey & Lexi thanks to the Longhorns' new cab driver also having no idea where to take them. The Chippendales look at the sign and realize that they can't proceed until 8 a.m. They also think that the sign says "Beyonce," and we're surprised that they automatically don't start taking off their clothes. Their cab driver agrees to hang out with them, and he is nonplussed when the boys tell him that they are both named Ja(y)mes. He just wants to go have more vodka.

You know that Trey & Lexi's taxi situation is rough because they are given silly music to accompany their escapades. They stop at a hotel, but not for what you think. They pass on the opportunity to have a threesome with their cabbie in order to have someone at the front desk translate for them. Eventually, they arrive at the lab, and are told that they'll need to wait until 8 a.m. for Beyonce's arrival. We really hope she doesn't sing "Single Ladies". We hate that song.

Both teams are surprised to see that James & Abba were the last place team and that they will have to complete a Speedbump on this leg of the race. As for Team Headbanger, they're not super enthusiastic about what the day holds for them, but maybe they'll get their mojo back.

Today's Roadblock has participants sitting in front of a map of Russia, which is divided into nine (!) different time zones. They are given a sheet of paper with a bunch of cities, and they have to pick five cities and list the correct time for each one of them. We initially think this challenge will be quite difficult, and then we see page three of the PowerPoint presentation. They are given Moscow's time, and must determine their times from there. It's a combination of Memory and mathematics. Neither Lexi nor James (or is it Jaymes) get it right on their first, second or third try, and a stern professor gives them mean looks while they fail.

As if a snooty Russian professor wasn't evil enough, it's time for the twins. Natalie & Nadiya say that today is the last day that they are allowed to use the Express Pass, so they're obviously going to turn it in and move forward.

On their tenth try for the time zone test, Lexi & Ja(y)mes start working together (or as they call it in college, "cheating"). They still fail. Suddenly, Lexi realizes that they are doing everything wrong. The time is based on Moscow time and you add your hours to that number. Once they figure this out, they're golden.

For the Detour, the teams must chose between Movers or Shakers. For Movers, they must learn and perform a Russian soldier dance (which looks pretty tough - more or less like the Russian dance from The Nutcracker). Shakers requires teams to identify seven historic Russian leader lookalikes at a cocktail party. When they finish the task, Alexander Pushkin lookalike will give them their clue.

James & Jaymes bitch that their cabbie wants to have a cigarette and coffee instead of heading out, but they're like 12 hours ahead. Let the guy have his fun. Even better, they're already ahead of Trey & Lexi, who are standing out in the rain being ignored by every taxi that drives by. James & Jaymes get out and help them, saying that they owe the Longhorns one. They might be goofy as hell, but they're really decent guys. Frankly, after their bad behavior with James & Abba's money, Trey & Lexi don't really deserve this.

Natalie & Nadiya are in their taxi for only ten minutes, but the cabbie is already wanting to drive them off a cliff. He wants to drive them to McDonalds, but they say no.

Both the Longhorns and the Chippendales choose to dance, a decision that James & Jaymes instantly regret due to an ankle injury for Ja(y)mes. They decide to just give it a shot rather than keep trying to learn it. They do so-so on their first shot, but still get the thumbs down. (Keep in mind that they learn choreography for their day jobs.)

Over at the geography/time zone test, Natalie & Nadiya have of course decided to turn in their Express Pass. Hopefully this means we won't see much of them today.

Despite the ankle injury, James & Jaymes complete the Detour and are headed to the Pitstop, which is located at Sokolniki Park. It's a very pretty location, including roller coasters and a public performance pavilion. Trey & Lexi are right behind them, and the guys try to help them with their taxi again. The Longhorns have disappeared, though.

Natalie & Nadiya have arrived at the Detour, and have also chosen the dancing challenge. Immediately upon beginning, one of the twins rips out the seat of her pants...twice. We enjoy this a lot more than we should, but unfortunately, it does mean that we have to hear more from them before they check in at the Pitstop.

Hey, remember James & Abba, Josh & Brent and Abbie & Ryan? They're still in the race, apparently. James & Abba are continuing on their quest to come up with passports, while Abbie & Ryan are off for their first clue. Remember that Josh & Brent have to sit and serve their four-hour penalty before they can proceed.

First place goes to James & Jaymes today, which is pretty fantastic since they displayed such great gamesmanship. They win a trip to Costa Rica. Trey & Lexi are next to the mat. The twins get through the Detour without a lot of commentary, which we appreciate.

Ryan takes the time zone test for his team, and he loves puzzles and brain teasers, so he thinks he'll be done in two minutes - NYET! He's up to eight tries before we move over to Natalie & Nadiya arriving at the Pitstop for third place.

Josh & Brent and James & Abba pretty much depart at the same time, but Josh & Brent have the advantage of, you know, having their passports.

Over with the evil professor, Ryan is now up to 22 tries and getting pissed off. We're pretty certain he's making the same mistakes that Lexi and Ja(y)mes were earlier. He's petulant and embarrassed, but on the 25th try, he figures out his mistake, and is able to laugh at himself. He and Abbie head off to go dance.

James & Abba go to a "police station" (which actually looks like a shed) to find out if their passports have been turned in. A local goes to help them by translating. Honestly, it just feels like The Amazing Race is torturing them for a day before kicking them out.

While the rockers waste precious time, Josh & Brent arrive at the professor's lair. Brent takes the task for his team, and he immediately figures out the proper way to proceed through this task. He gets it on the first try, and the professor is duly impressed.

The headbangers have done everything they could to get their passports, but it's looking grim. They move ahead to do their tasks for the day, hoping that they'll get lucky.

Abbie & Ryan have no problem getting through the dance challenge, because Abbie patiently helps Ryan figure out all the steps. Team Beakman chooses the cocktail party instead, and it's a breeze for them. They say they chose this task because it was relaxing, but honestly, we think they got through this task faster than they would have completed the dance anyway.

We head to the Pitstop, where Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent finish in fourth and fifth place. That means we hear a bunch of sad music while we view a montage of James & Abba's moments in the race. In a stunning upset, they are not given a chance to survive for another day. The headbangers are eliminated from The Amazing Race.

Abba quotes the old boxing mantra as he says, "We was robbed." In fact, they were. Twice!