The Amazing Race Season 28 Recap - Episode 7
Welcome to Bloody Fingers 101
By Kim Hollis and David Mumpower
April 11, 2016

How silly do I look in this hat? Thiiiis much

Previously on The Amazing Race, Team Tears finished in last place because Mama Sheri has no idea how to change the oil in a car. Fortunately for them, the governor called, and Phil informed them that they were starting the next leg right now (meaning it was a non-non-elimination). This is happening a lot this year. We wonder if it’s in deference to the “celebrity” status of many of the participants.

Whatever the explanation, another excellent leg from the Frisbee dudes was largely wasted. They finished in first place and were awarded the Express Pass to boot. The more troubling issue in the most recent leg is that Tyler & Korey struggled mightily, and easily could have been eliminated (if The Amazing Race were the type of show where teams actually got eliminated). They’ve postured themselves as the second strongest team due to consistently finishing in the top two, but as much as we tease Brodie & Kurt, they are undeniably the finest team thus far. Meanwhile, this is the second fairly large screw-up for our favorite team this season. The boys definitely need to get it together if they’re going to be viable contenders.

We begin the episode with Sheri & Cole being thrilled about their reprieve, while Brodie & Kurt don’t seem to be resting on their laurels, even with the Express Pass in their pocket. They note that many of the remaining teams are dangerous, and none of them should be taken lightly.

With that, the teams are off to Tblisi, Georgia. They’ll all be taking an overnight train to arrive there, which prompts Phil to say, “Yes, they will be taking a midnight train to Georgia.” We’re 10 seconds into the episode and we already want to turn it off.

Once they arrive in Tblisi, they’ll search for the St. George Statue in Freedom Square, which is where they’ll find their next clue. Since the train ride will take 12 hours, teams have time to hang out together and chat, which means - you guessed it - a little quality time for Brodie and Blair. They both mention that they have a connection and plan to see what might happen in the romance department once they’re home from the Race.

All our teams arrive on the same train, which means their cabs are racing to get them to the statue and their next clue, which instructs them to proceed to Narikala Fortress, where they’ll ride a gondola down to the river and Jvari Monastery. The Frisbee pros and Tyler & Korey arrive first thanks to good cabbies dropping them off at the top of a high hill where the Fortress sits. Meanwhile, Matt & Dana have been dropped off at the bottom of the hill and will have to climb a bunch of stairs to get up to the top where the clue box sits.

Scott & Blair encounter similar trouble when their cab stalls out as it tries to ascend the hill. He tells them to get out and he’ll carry on with his empty car. So, they are also slowly walking up to the top of the hill.

Once teams arrive at the bottom of the hill in their gondola, they are all getting taxis to take them over to Jvari Monastery. Tyler & Korey arrive first, and will choose their Detour task between learning about Georgian wine-making or the country’s favorite candy. Apparently, Georgia is the birthplace of wine-making, where they have a unique fermentation process that uses an enormous clay pot. Our teams who choose this task will have to clean one of those pots in order to receive their next clue.

For the candy task, they will make a string of five “churchkhelas,” which involves them stringing together nuts and then dipping them in wine, flower and sugar. Once complete, they’ll hang out their candy to dry, at which point they’ll be awarded the next clue. There are only four stations at the candy-making challenge, which probably tells you this is the easier task. Tyler & Korey and Brodie & Kurt are the first two teams to arrive, which means they of course choose candy. They’re followed by Burnie & Ashley and Zach & Rachel, who also go with candy, which means any of the remaining teams will be hurting if they try to go to the candy task.

Accordingly, Sheri & Cole are wise enough to choose the cleaning challenge, while Matt & Dana and Scott & Blair will be stuck at the candy challenge without a station to use, because they have both elected to go with that task. We think Blair picks it because she wants to eat the candy. She and her father also figure they can spend their wait time learning how to create the candy string.

Of course, once they see that all of the other teams are at the candy task except for Sheri & Cole, both the dancers and the daddy/daughter team decide it’s better to switch over to the cleaning task. The only problem is that the wine is apparently a pretty good distance away. The dancers go ahead and get back in their taxi, but Blair & Scott decide to just stay and wait for one of the other candy-making teams to finish the task so they can take over their station.

Tyler & Korey talk about “dipping their nuts,” which still isn’t as bad as Phil’s midnight train to Georgia crack. Because they have to use needles to string the nuts together, there is a lot of finger poking. Brodie’s finger is quite bloody, in fact.

Bad Dana returns as they’re on the cab ride over to the cleaning task. She obnoxiously berates her cab driver for being too slow and tells him to hurry up. As for the only team at the cleaning task as of this moment, they figure they’re either killing it or being killed since all of the other teams are elsewhere.

Candy doesn’t prove to be the easiest assignment, though. Brodie & Kurt have to re-do one of their strings, while Tyler & Korey are sent back to do over four of theirs. Zach & Rachel have been fastidious with their strings, though, and are given the thumbs up from the candy judge. They are awarded their next clue, which directs them to proceed to the Rustaveli National Theater. Burnie & Ashley are right behind them.

Since they are having to almost start over from scratch on their candy, Tyler & Korey are really struggling. Their fingers are numb and sore, and they’ve reached the point that they can’t actually string any more nuts. So, they decide that they’d better go ahead and switch tasks. They leave for the winery. It’s looking like another bad leg for our faves.

As they leave, the boys run into Matt & Dana, who have just returned from their long trip. They ask the duo where the winery is, and the dancers tell Tyler & Korey that they were never able to find it. Tyler & Korey tell Matt & Dana that the candy challenge is extremely difficult, so both teams are now headed over to the cleaning challenge. Yikes.

Sheri asks Cole to find some water, and although he looks at several barrels, he misses the hose that is right in front of his face. They ask their judge to check out their clay pot, and he tells them it’s good but not good enough. It’s at this point that Cole notices the spout for water and he rushes over to get some so that he and his mother can complete the Detour.

Our first place team is Zach & Rachel (for a change), and they arrive at the Rustaveli National Theater, which is where the Roadblock for today’s leg will be performed. “Who’s light on their feet?” asks the clue, and the two of them quickly deduce that it probably relates to ballet. So, we’ll call it the “Matt and Dana Challenge,” because they’re obviously going to blow right through it regardless of which one of them takes the assignment.

And it’s true - each team’s representative will have to master some ballet choreography before they can move forward. This is going to be a toughie for a few teams - most notably the Frisbee players and perhaps Tyler & Korey. As for Zach & Rachel, they choose Zach because he did some tap dancing as a child. He immediately flips out because the dance is fast and complicated.

Brodie & Kurt finally wrap up the candy challenge, and encourage Blair & Scott for...well, reasons. (Have we mentioned that Brodie liiiiiikes Blair? Yes? A lot? At least we’re not calling them Blodie today. Or Brair.)

When Tyler & Korey and Matt & Dana arrive at the cleaning challenge, Sheri & Cole get very excited. They have effectively just finished the task, so they can feel comfortable with their position for the remainder of the leg… presuming they know how to dance.

Speaking of dancing, Ashley will take the challenge for their team, while Zach is learning all of the little details that go into the performance. Also, they get to wear awesome wigs, which makes the whole thing worthwhile!

Even though both teams are struggling this leg, Dana and Tyler both seem to be having fun together while their counterparts are down in the pots cleaning. They giggle as they run the waste to the bin, and Matt says that even if the job itself is awful, if it helps them stay in the race it’s not so bad. His attitude is always pretty great, even if Dana can be a pill.

Blair & Scott get thumbs up for their candy, so they’re ready to move on to dancing duties. Dana & Matt are also finished with the cleaning challenge, which means that Tyler & Korey are once again fighting for their Race lives. It only gets worse when they’re told that their pot is good but not good enough. What the heck, guys?

It’s pretty close, though, because they’re sent on their way after a bit of cursory work. Kurt is taking the Roadblock for Team Frisbee. Apparently he’s done salsa dancing for 10 years, so he figures he can probably pick it up pretty quickly.

Ashley thinks she’s ready to dance, but she’s so excited to dance that she starts too early. But she gets to go again before Zach can get an attempt in, and she succeeds. She and Burnie are instructed to go to the Pitstop at the Bridge of Peace in the heart of Tblisi. They grab a taxi and are on their way.

Scott says that he and Blair “celebrate mediocrity” because it always turns out okay for them in the end. Remind us not to hire him as our doctor/lawyer. They’re slowed up on their journey to the theater because their taxi driver needs gas. Needless to say, their nerves are on end.

Zach gets it wrong on his first attempt, which gives Kurt a chance to move the Frisbee dudes ahead of them. But he also messes up, though to his credit he immediately knows exactly what he did wrong. Matt & Dana arrive and as predicted, she nearly cries when she sees that it’s a dance challenge. She’s going to breeze through this thing.

Kurt messes up again, but knows it immediately. Sheri and Korey are taking the challenge for their respective teams. We supposed Blair & Scott are still getting gas.

Our leaders, Burnie & Ashley, believe that they have arrived at the location of the Pitstop but are quickly disabused of that notion by a local who tells them that it is in “quite another district.” They ask her to write directions in Georgian so that they can share them with their cabbie.

This opens a door for Zach & Rachel, because he has finished his dance successfully. Kurt is just moments behind. Blair & Scott are finally at the theater, and she tells her father that she thinks he should do the task. Oh… dear. This is going to end poorly for them, isn’t it?

Obviously, Dana gets it right on her first attempt, and looks amazing while she does it. At this point, we have a pretty tight race between as many as four teams for first place. Ultimately, it appears to come down to Zach & Rachel and Burnie & Ashley - is it faux editing or will we have a shocker here?

And… it’s a shocker! Zach & Rachel pull of the first place finish. They can’t believe it, and it only gets better when they learn that they’ll be going to the Turks and Caicos. Burnie & Ashley come in right behind them, followed almost immediately by the Frisbee dudes and the dancers. For once, Dana is smiling.

Korey is pretty terrible at the dance, to be honest. Unless the judges are generous, he’s going to struggle with this task for several attempts. Sheri, on the other hand, is terrific and gets it on her first try.

As Blair says, “And then there were two.” At this point, Tyler & Korey’s best hope is the fact that Scott is doing the challenge, because we’re pretty sure if Blair had taken it that it wouldn’t even be close. Charmingly, she tells her father that “the most important thing is to have fun. We’re still in it.”

With the music playing for the first time, Scott struggles and knows almost right away that he’s way off. Sheri & Cole finish the leg in fifth place. She tells Phil that they were looking for a beautiful woman, because they knew they’d find Phil beside her. Mr. Keoghan only takes a little bit of offense.

On his sixth try, Scott finishes the dance. Blair & Scott are on their way. Korey kindly yells, “Good job, Scott!”

And, oh dear. Blair had picked up both her and her father’s backpacks before leaving, which means that Scott… picks up Tyler’s backpack. Tyler almost immediately notices and starts to freak out, but at the same time he knows he needs to cheer Korey, who finally gets it done on his eighth attempt.

Before they get into their cab, Blair notices that her father has Tyler’s backpack. She tells him that he has to take it back, and he does. Of course, this means that it’s now a cab race between the bottom two teams to the Pitstop. Scott figures he can beat them in a foot race. Of course, they don’t count on Tyler & Korey’s crazy driver, who blows right by the father/daughter taxi and then drives on the sidewalk to get them where they’re going.

And it’s Tyler & Korey who hit the mat first, meaning that the last team to arrive is Scott & Blair. “No more dancing for you,” says Tyler. “One day I’m going to play that song and you’re going to have, like, war flashbacks.”

Scott & Blair have, sadly, been eliminated from the race. Blair talks about how her father is her hero, while her dad says that “Blair was more successful in her life at the age of 15 than I was at the age of 50...You’ve gotta be proud to have a daughter like that.”

We’ll miss Blair’s upbeat attitude and kindness to everyone she encounters. Maybe, just maybe, if she and Brodie become a thing, we’ll see them on another edition of The Amazing Race.