The Amazing Race Season 27 - Episode 9 Recap
It's Always the Quiet Ones
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
November 23, 2015

They've had that face a lot up until their elimination.

Previously on The Amazing Race, it was a non-elimination leg. So far this year, almost every other episode has effectively featured a non-elimination leg , even if it’s not quite semantically true. During the last leg, #TeamTexas became the first team to be the beneficiary of a non-elimination, but we’d had two previous “to be continued” legs where the race continued immediately from the Pit Stop.

Annoyed as we are by the non-elimination, it was virtually guaranteed by virtue of the fact that it was Tanner & Josh who finished at the bottom. Since they’re one of two teams that has any chance to compete with Justin & Diana, there’s no way The Amazing Race was going to let them go that easily.

Speaking of Justin & Diana, they won so handily that we see no reason to worry about them tonight, particularly because the previews showed Josh cackling with glee over something or other. Instead, we’ll be keeping an eye on Tanner & Josh to see if they can overcome both a Speed Bump and an impending U-Turn. We could see Kelsey & Joey wanting to get rid of the only competitive team besides #TheGreenTeam, but more to the point, one of the terrible teams will probably to use the U-Turn to avoid their own elimination.

The leg begins with Tanner & Josh talking to the cheerleaders, and what is their conversation about? “The first thing we’ve got to do is figure out what Justin & Diana are thinking,” says Josh. No. Just no. Justin & Diana are worlds apart from you right now. You need to figure out what the other teams are thinking, because you’re the competition standing in the way of their getting into the top three.

As we’ve said many, many times during the course of this season, #TeamTexas’s obsession with Justin & Diana will be their demise.

Anyway, they worry that Justin & Diana will U-Turn them, but Justin & Diana have no need to U-Turn #TeamTexas. Tanner & Josh are like the ants under their shoes.

We cut to Justin & Diana opening their clue, which tells them they’ll be heading to New Delhi, India. Once there, they’ll catch a train to Agra, home of the Taj Majal. The next clue box is located somewhere on the Yamuna River.

We’re once again reminded of the impending U-Turn. Kelsey & Joey both worry about it and hope they can use it to get first place for a change. #TheCheerleaders lament having wasted their U-Turn on an already secure Justin & Diana in a previous leg.

Since it’s such a long distance to travel, of course all the teams are bunched at the airport. This gives the teams a chance to socialize, and when Justin learns that #TeamTexas came in last, he speculates that they’re probably going to have to deal with both the Speed Bump and the U-Turn. Then, he giggles like a supervillain.

At the train station, Chris tries to bully Justin & Diana into U-Turning #TeamTexas, but #TheGreenTeam isn’t biting. The guys are at the bottom of the heap, they reason, so there’s no reason to waste a U-Turn on them. “Why wouldn’t you make sure?” Chris asks with a whine.

Justin, offering a little bit of Amazing Race 101, tells him, “You should get rid of people who are trying to get rid of you guys.”

“I don’t really know why someone would U-Turn us. We’re not that big of a risk,” says Chris. (This is absolutely true.)

“Being a threat is not the only reason to U-Turn somebody,” Justin replies in an astute bit of game analysis.

It is at this moment that Justin & Diana realize that everything hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows with them and the other contestants. Logan lets it slip that #TheCheerleaders already used up their U-Turn on… Justin & Diana. This is news to them. Since they know that the girls are closely aligned with #TeamTexas, it doesn’t take many leaps of logic to know who engineered the plan. “Don’t tell them we told you,” Logan says.

When Justin & Diana inevitably ask Tiffany & Krista about it, the girls deny it. Pretty sure Justin isn’t buying it, though.

Remember not so long ago when Justin said, “Being a threat is not the only reason to U-Turn somebody?” Well, Krista gets confrontational with #ThePaparazzi, acting all indignant that they said she did that thing she totally did. The girls may not have a U-Turn available to them, but their allies do. Justin & Diana have just ensured that the target has moved to someone else in the unlikely event #TheCheerleaders and #TeamTexas do get ahead of them.

After disembarking from the train, the teams are all now on what appears to be the most dangerous Tuk-Tuk ride you can possibly imagine. There are many near accidents during the various trips.

At the river, the Roadblock asks, “Who’s ready for laundry day?” Phil tells us that India has the largest outdoor laundries in the world. Players will get a bicycle with a basket full of laundry. They’ll haul it over to a washtub, where they’ll learn the proper way to wash it. Once they’ve washed it and laid out all their laundry to dry properly, they’ll be handed their next clue.

Krista, Chris, Denise are first on the scene, and the cheerleader hops on her bike and immediately wrecks it. We also learn that as their Speed Bump, Tanner & Josh will both have to perform the task – presumably not at the same time.

Because there’s a ton of sand, the bikes require more pushing than riding. Teams do eventually arrive at the actual laundry area, though, and quickly learn that the washing process is very specific. Everything must be washed and folded in a particular way. Diana picks up on it immediately (surprise!). No one else does (no surprise!).

Tanner asks if anyone plans to U-Turn them, and the response is initially silence. Then, Diana speaks up and says she really doesn’t think that she and Justin will. The other teams then mumble something about not doing it either, but it lacks sincerity. Joey even admits he probably doesn’t mean it.

Even with Diana’s seeming advantage, the teams are pretty even. They spread their freshly laundered saris on the sand (“I don’t know how this is clean,” Diana says).

Joey is done first, and the next clue sends teams to Hanuman Temple, where they will receive a blessing and yet another clue. Chris and Diana are right behind him.

With those teams gone, Tanner has returned to allow Josh to do his part of the Roadblock. Once again, Tanner and Tiffany discuss U-Turning #TheGreenTeam, figuring that every team will want to do that. Of course, they’ve got to beat Justin & Diana first, don’t they?

Having received her blessing, Kelsey claims to be moved, not that you can see it in her expression. Their next instructions indicate that it’s already time for the Detour, which gives them the choice of Cans or Candy.

For Cans, teams have to load a cargo bike with 120 oilcans and then navigate the busy (treacherous?) streets to deliver them to an oil company. For Candy, they will wash and cut 90 pound white pumpkins to make a type of Indian candy. They’ll have to deliver two full batches to a confectioner before they receive their next clue.

Kelsey & Joey and Justin & Diana choose Cans, while Logan & Chris go with Candy. Back at the Roadblock, Denise and Krista have finished, while Josh is just now getting started. Tanner looks understandably discouraged. (It’s really kind of cruel of The Amazing Race to string them along like this if they’re just going to make the Speed Bump so tough. Why not just eliminate them last leg?)

Unfortunately for #TheReporters, their Tuk-Tuk took them to the wrong place, so guess who’s about to be out in the lead again? If you didn’t guess #TheGreenTeam, you obviously haven’t been watching the Race this season. Or reading our recaps. Why are you hear exactly?

Logan & Chris fight as they begin the Candy challenge, and #TheCheerleaders have arrived on the scene and will be headed to the pumpkin area themselves. Denise & James Earl will also join them.

By the time Kelsey & Joey get to the Can area, Justin & Diana are pretty much done stacking their cans and about to leave to deliver them.

Back at Candy, #TheCheerleaders and #TeamAlabama are working nicely together, while Logan & Chris continue their hateful ways. There’s a lot of back and forth that goes something like, “You’re stupid, stupid!”

“No, you’re stupid!”

“Shut up.”

“No, you shut up!”

“Chris, just keep my name out of your mouth.” (This one really happened.)

You just know that friends and family are watching them on the show and saying, “See? I told you that they’re toxic together!”

With that bit of unpleasantness out of the way, #ThePaparazzi decide they must have enough pumpkin to proceed, but are quickly sent back to get more.

As mentioned, Justin & Diana are off to deliver their oilcans. “Damn,” says Joey. Story of their Race. Diana tells him to take it slowly, and he is cautious but cheerful through the entire ride.

After a second weighing, Logan & Chris have finished and are on their way to deliver their candy.

With their oilcans completely unloaded, Justin & Diana are directed to Bijlighar Chowraha Roundabout, where they will find the U-Turn. Phil shows up to ask the audience whether another team can beat #TheGreenTeam there, but what do they take us for? Fools?

There’s a bit of false tension as the editors try to convince us that Justin & Diana are lost, but their driver quickly gets some handwritten directions and they arrive first. As promised, they choose not to U-Turn anyone. They’ll now search the Moonlight Gardens across from the Taj Majal for the Pit Stop location, where they will inevitably check in first.

As we speculated at the beginning of the recap, Kelsey & Joey do in fact U-Turn Tanner & Josh. “We just want to make sure we’re safe,” Kelsey says, but obviously they’re just cleverly eliminating the stronger competition. #TheReporters have all but assured themselves a spot in the final three. And given some of the weirdness that has happened in the final three in recent seasons, that may be enough.

Justin & Diana are, of course, the first team to arrive. They win a trip to Honolulu. They will be unable to work during the next calendar year because of all their vacations. #TheReporters and #ThePaparazzi commiserate on the mat, with Chris saying, “They’re not winning the million.” Isn’t he cute? Well, no. He’s not. But still.

#TeamTexas hustles, but obviously they’re U-Turned. #TheCheerleaders were just barely ahead of them, and if it had come to a footrace, they probably could have come out ahead. Instead, they’ll be off to do the Cans task, courtesy of Kelsey & Joey.

“It’s always the quiet ones you have to watch out for,” says Krista, as she and Tiffany fume about what has happened to the guys. Of course, without Kelsey & Joey, they could lose the leg, so they should be thanking #TheReporters.

When #TeamTexas arrives at the U-Turn, they realize that Kelsey & Joey’s dastardly heel turn has doomed them. This causes the most unlikely alliance since Hulk Hogan and Randy “Macho Man” Savage.

“I’m rooting for #TheGreenTeam now,” says Tanner.

Tiffany & Krista beat Denise & James Earl to the Pit Stop because #TeamAlabama goes to the wrong garden initially. This gives the editors an opportunity to manufacture a bit of false tension, but obviously the guys are going home. It’s even carried through the commercial break.

Even though Denise & James Earl do manage to beat #TeamTexas, they’ve had a bad enough portion of a leg to put themselves well behind. We’re now to the point where the truly terrible teams will have to start picking each other off.

You hear that, Tanner & Josh? That is the sound of inevitability. Yes, #TeamTexas is eliminated from the race, but at least Tanner is able to admit that Justin & Diana were the stronger team. As we’ve discussed for six legs now, Tanner & Josh’s obsession with #TheGreenTeam was their undoing. It all fell apart when they botched the Express Pass and the subsequent Double U-Turn. Had they just focused on the Race and finishing ahead of other teams, their story might be different. Either way, they lost their swagger after the Express Pass fiasco, and it just never came back.

Next week, more arguing amongst Logan & Chris! We can’t wait for another round of “Do what I say!” “No, I’ll do what I want!” “You suck!” “Back atcha!”

At least we have a mute button.