The Amazing Race 27 Episode 8
Krakow, I'm Gonna Get You
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 16, 2015

Boom! Non-elimination leg!

Previously on The Amazing Race, #TeamAlabama was absolutely atrocious and would have been eliminated on any normal episode. Fortuitously for them, #ChacAttack was also in the Race. If you didn’t see the episode, you cannot conceive of how terribly they played in that leg. Never has a team more deserved elimination in the history of reality television.

Meanwhile, #TheGreenTeam hummed along as if they were in the competition by themselves. Technically, they aren’t - but only technically. Even #TeamTexas has developed a defeatist attitude. In fact, #TheReporters have been stronger competition lately. They bear watching since several surprise winners over the years were mediocre performers at first before finding their groove during the second half of the season. What we particularly like about their odds is that there are legitimately three teams so incompetent that it’s difficult to envision a scenario where they win. With only six teams remaining, #TheReporters have to love those odds.

The season has gotten so desperate that #TheCheerleaders are the most improved team over the last couple of legs. As a reminder, bystanders were openly scoffing at them during early challenges – and they’re what passes for mediocre at this point. Then again, at least they know that Rotterdam is not the same as Amsterdam.

With all of that out of the way, Justin & Diana will be leaving at 10:10 p.m. to fly to Krakow, Poland. Phil says they will be “the first team” to fly into the location, where they will need to find Plaza Krakow and a barge with a swimming pool on the top.

*Pause for obscene product placement*

Just as Phil had indicated, Justin & Diana are alone on the first flight to Poland. All five of the other teams are on a second flight that will arrive later. That’s just what they needed – a huge lead. They might finish the rest of the Race before the other people get off the next flight.

When the #TheGreenTeam arrives at Plaza Krakow, they quickly realize that one of them will need to dive into the swimming pool to grab their next clue. It sets them off on a Detour, which gives them a choice between Mine or Music.

Mine requires them to go 1,000 feet underground and pick up timber that they will deliver to a loading area. Then, they’ll fill a mine cart with salt and push it through a tunnel. Once finished, contestants will receive their next clue.

For Music, they’ll receive music lessons from a violinist on how to accompany her as she plays a song. Contestants will play on the piano, but first they have to push their piano through the square to a performance area. They’ll have to earn 100 zloty in order to move on. Unsurprisingly, Justin & Diana choose Mine. We’d expect the majority of teams to do the same.

Although Tanner & Josh note on the cab ride to Plaza Krakow that they have a weakness for pompons and miniskirts, they have determined that they’re not going to follow the cheerleaders ever again, because when they do, they lose. Probably a good plan.

The editors do their best to make it look like Justin & Diana’s work in the salt mine is tough for them, but they basically breeze right through it.

Meanwhile, all other teams are at the swimming pool and getting their clues. #ThePaparazzi and #TeamTexas are doing Mine, but shockingly, the other three have chosen Music. Since Music seems incredibly difficult, this seems likely to set someone – probably #TeamAlabama if their previous musical ability is any indication.

The one advantage to Music is that it’s just a 15 minute walk from the current location, and both #TeamAlabama and #TheCheerleaders take that approach to arriving at their destination. None of the remaining three teams is having much luck finding a taxi, and they’re squabbling amongst themselves as to who will actually get the first one. Eventually, Logan & Chris run across a busy highway to where a taxi sits across the street and they are off. Kelsey & Joey head off in a different direction, which also is good taxi luck. Tanner & Josh are the lone team left behind. In fact, now #TeamTexas is just wandering the streets of Krakow, lamenting the fact that the city has no taxis.

Over at Music, Kelsey is trying to learn her piano tune, but she’s… not good. In addition to hating pets, children and old people, she’s also not musically inclined.

Justin & Diana have finished the Detour more or less before any other teams have even started theirs. Their next clue sends them to the Oskar Schindler Factory, which makes Justin nearly cry. (To be fair, he cries a lot. But this one is probably worthy.)

Still wandering Krakow, Tanner & Justin ask some kind-hearted souls to call them a taxi. They hope that their athleticism will get them through Mine quickly, while positing that maybe Music will trip up some other teams. Logan & Chris are at the mine and ready to work.

At the Oskar Schindler Factory, teams are allowed to take a moment of reflection before proceeding. Justin & Diana both have Jewish ancestors, and they are particularly touched by the wall featuring the names of people Schindler saved. With their tour of the location complete, they receive their next clue. It directs them to the Jewish Quarter.

So, it turns out that learning the music isn’t really the hard part of the Music challenge. Instead, it’s pushing the piano through the square. Kelsey & Joey are fine, but #TeamAlabama’s piano is only precariously perched on its rolling structure, while Tiffany & Krista’s falls apart and the cover for the keys falls on Krista’s fingers, smashing them.

Perhaps it’s because #ThePaparazzi are by themselves and it alleviates the pressure, but they’re working well together. They’re not nearly as efficient as #TheGreenTeam, of course. Logan doesn’t have the same strength as Diana and Chris… well, he’s excited to manhandle the salt, but then he realizes it’s heavy.

Back over to Justin & Diana (who will likely finish this leg before the 40 minute mark of the show), and their clue tells them their Road Block will be Serve It Up. They have to correctly identify seven traditional Jewish dishes and bring the right number of each to a party. Once they get it correct, they receive their next clue. Justin takes this Roadblock, and he knows a few of the foods already because he ate them at his grandparents’ house.

Kelsey & Joey are pretty great at the Music challenge, and then a different woman gives Denise 20 zloty just to shut up. Logan & Chris are finishing up the Mine challenge when Tanner & Josh arrive…

Er, wait. Somehow, #TeamTexas has arrived at the wrong mine. How is this even possible?

Joey is having a lot of zloty luck with the senior ladies. Apparently grandmas love him. #TheCheerleaders are doing absolutely terribly. Once again, #TeamAlabama must be offending the ears of the Polish residents, because a woman approaches James Earl and asks him if she gives him all the money he needs, will he leave? Obviously the answer is yes, and her ears are mercifully spared any more of their “music.”

At long last, Tanner & Josh have arrived at the salt mines. Logan & Chris are walking out, and they tell the guys the task was easy. (Of course, it will be easier for the guys. Just sayin’.)

While at the Oskar Schindler Factory, Kelsey actually displays some human emotion. It’s only a moment, granted, but still!

Back at the piano challenge, Tiffany is resorting to seeking out young guys and offering to kiss them on the cheek for money. The tactic works, and they’re finally on their way.

Justin has selected his different foods and is delivering them to the party. He gets it on the first try. Because of course he does. It’s the 39-minute mark of the show and they are standing on the mat at the Pit Stop. That’ll teach us to underestimate them! They win a trip to China and probably have a sizable lead that can only be negated by bunching/producer meddling.

Phil also tells them that there will be a U-Turn in the next leg, but do they even really need it? No one’s going to beat them there.

At the server Road Block, Kelsey and James Earl are doing the challenge for their teams. Both of them ask for help from friendly locals.

#TheCheerleaders and #ThePaparazzi are at the Schindler Factory, and Chris feels the impact as a large part of his family is Jewish.

The guys are done at the salt mine, and currently they’re behind everyone else. They’ll need to hope for some bad mistakes at the Road Block. Kelsey and James Earl decide to team up for the challenge, and it works for them, which means that #TheReporters are team #2 and #TeamAlabama is team #3.

Rather than ask for help, Tiffany takes the novel approach to the serving challenge of just picking a bunch of stuff and throwing it on her tray. We bet it doesn’t work. And Surprise! It does not. It’s also heavy, so the fact that she’s going to have to do it again is going to be really tough. She finally decides to get some help.

Logan & Chris fight over who will do the Road Block, so their brief moment of unity is over and done with. Like Tiffany, he just throws stuff on his tray and hopes for the best, and it doesn’t work for him.

Despite receiving assistance, Tiffany still gets it wrong on her second try. She’s in absolute agony from carrying the heavy load. Josh has arrived, so the two of them work together. Unfortunately for both of them, Chris has finished the Road Block, so they’re competing against each other not to be in last place. #ThePaparazzi are officially checked in as the fourth place team.

Josh is incredibly noble as he works with Tiffany. He could easily outpace her as she’s struggling with the tray again, but he stays with her and allows her to stay slightly ahead. The girls take off, and the guys run after them. #TheCheerleaders arrive first, and they start sobbing because they’re really big fans of #TeamTexas. “We wanted to stay to the end with them.”

As predicted in the Power Rankings, they’ll get their wish. This is (of course) a non-elimination leg. Of course the producers are going to do all they can to keep Tanner & Josh in the Race. The guys will have to perform a Speed Bump on the next leg, and there’s also that pesky U-Turn to deal with.

And yet… there are still three terrible teams, so we like their chances.