After two weeks off and a leg in the French Alps, The Amazing Race returned and sent the teams to Armenia. After the last leg’s paragliding race to the Pit Stop, there was about an hour spread between the first and last place teams. However, everyone was on the same flight to Yerevan, Armenia placing them on equal footing once again. But there was a little twist to the start of the leg: their first clue revealed there was an Express Pass waiting at the Pit Stop for the first place team. This bit of news put everyone into high gear.
The teams were thrown another curve ball when they arrived at the Yerevan Opera House to get their next clue. Of course they all arrived in Armenia late in the evening, so they had to wait until 8 AM the next morning before they could get their tickets to enter the opera house. Once inside, they had to find their next clue which was hidden somewhere in the building. And they had to do it while an orchestra was playing the famous “Sabre Dance” while performers were dancing (with sabres) and work around a man vacuuming.
Okay. Here’s where we get to see how people in panic mode do not think straight. You’re in this opulent building, there’s crazy music playing and people flying around on stage and you have to find a clue. Right off the bat while watching (not in panic mode), I just knew that the one really out of place thing in this whole situation was the man vacuuming. It took a very, very long time for the first team (Kurt & Brodie) to even consider asking the man for a clue, and they somehow managed to do it without the other teams around them seeing them do it! After jostling for the top two spots since the first leg, I was disappointed that it took Tyler & Korey so long to figure out who had the clue. They were next to last leaving the opera house, with Scott & Blair still behind them. Strangely enough, it was perpetual last placers Sheri & Cole who left in second place.
After the opera house, teams were directed to The Cascade, a massive staircase in the middle of the city. They had to climb 572 steps (991 feet) to the top to get the next clue, which turned out to be a Detour. This leg’s Detour required teams to either prepare and bake 15 pieces of lavash bread, or complete a row of 200 stitches on a carpet. Just looking at the two choices, it would have seemed that the lavash challenge would have been quicker but five of the seven teams chose the carpet, which turned out to be a bit time-consuming, but once you get the hang of making the stitch, it wasn’t as difficult as it sounded.
With the lavash, teams were at the mercy of the dough which had to be stuck to the side of the oven (which was sort of like a tandoori), and then each sheet had to be perfect or the lady judging would send them back to make more. Kurt & Brodie were the first to finish their fifteen pieces of lavash, but the judge only accepted nine so they had to make six more. Burnie & Ashley had eight good pieces on their first try.
Everyone else was doing well with the rug-making, but in the end Kurt & Brodie managed to finish the Detour first, Sheri & Cole finished the rug first for second place, followed by Burnie & Ashley, Zach & Rachel, Tyler & Korey, Scott & Blair, and Dana & Matt. The teams then had to travel to Hatsvana to find a bus, and everyone left the rug challenge in taxis, leaving Tyler & Korey stranded in last place.
Once they found the bus and selected a driver — and this was actually some sort of Armenian party bus — they were dropped off in the middle of nowhere at a roadside “garage” which was just a couple of concrete slabs over a trench in which a mechanic could work under a car. The one breathtaking thing about this location was the clear view of Mount Ararat in the distance. While the teams were awed by the sight, they were also faced with a Roadblock: perform an oil change on a waiting taxi. And there could only be two taxis serviced on the ramp at one time, meaning everyone was going to have to wait their turn, putting them seriously behind the first place team.
Kurt & Brodie arrived first and finished first while Sheri & Cole began the task in second place. Sheri opted to do the oil change, but she had no idea how to get the oil filter off. Again, in panic mode, no one thinks things through. While teams are arriving, waiting and passing Sheri, she keeps insisting on turning the filter to the left and even stopped to cry for a few minutes. Some of the teams even began working together to finish the Roadblock to get ahead of Sheri. Scott tried to help, but then had to do his own, and felt bad enough for Sheri that he went back once he finished. If she had only thought to turn the filter to the right, she would have gotten it off and changed and finished the leg in second place.
Once teams finished the Roadblock it was on to the Temple of Garni, a breathtaking monument sitting practically on the edge of a cliff, and the Pit Stop. Kurt & Brodie finished first and received the Express Pass everyone had been so eager to get (which also contributed to their haste in trying to get through, and screw up, a task). The rest of the teams finished in the following order:
- Burnie & Ashley
- Zach & Rachel
- Dana & Matt
- Scott & Blair
- Tyler & Korey, who will now have to fight their way back to the top
Alas, Sheri & Cole were the last to arrive at the Pit Stop, but they were greeted with some encouraging news: while they were in last place, this leg was continuing so they were not faced with a non-elimination Speed Bump. Thinking they were going home, they were more than a little shocked that they couldn’t even take a minute to catch their breath as they had to get going to catch the other teams.
Will Sheri & Cole be able to catch up? Will Tyler & Korey fight their way back to the top? Who will go home next? We’ll find out next week!
What did you think of this week’s show? Is your favorite team still in the race? Who are you rooting for? Tell us in the comments below!