The remaining six teams finally got to leave the chilly climes of northern Europe for a much warmer destination — Dubai, and the searing desert heat almost proved too much for several teams. This was an episode full of “I can’t” as the temperatures, the challenges and the highway system really shook up the team standings this week.
Everyone started off on a good note as they were excited to head to a Bedouin camp and pick up their Travelocity gnome. But the excitement turned to dread as they all faced a new Detour – Races or Oasis. Races required teams on bicycles to race two camels. In the desert heat for 2 kilometers against camels that can run up to 40 miles per hour. At least if they needed a second chance, the teams got a little head start.
Burnie & Ashely and Tyler & Korey were the first two teams to race, and were stunned by how fast the camels actually moved. The race and the heat was too much for Ashley so they switched to the Oasis Detour while Tyler & Korey went for a second shot. Meanwhile, Kurt & Brodie arrived to give it a shot, and they actually beat the camels on the first try! Tyler & Korey finished on the second run, while it also took Sheri & Cole two tries to beat the camels. Zach & Rachel also gave it one attempt, even though Rachel continually whined that she didn’t like to go fast on a bicycle. Zach either didn’t care or didn’t listen, but after she got a bit more aggressive after making the attempt, they also switched to the Oasis Detour.
At the Oasis Detour, Matt & Dana had to walk four camels across the open desert for about a mile to a camp where they would enjoy a little food, some camel milk and then get their next clue. Unfortunately for Matt, the walk through the desert heat was only the beginning of Dana’s meltdown as she whined and complained about how hot it was the entire time. And Matt was wearing a flannel shirt and didn’t seem to break a sweat, keeping his constantly cheerful demeanor intact. None of the other teams had half as much drama as they did during this challenge.
Teams then had to make their way to the Aquaventure water park, made infamous in Season 15 when Mika & Canaan fought about her fear of going down the water slide as other teams passed them. This time, it was a Roadblock and one team member had to swim with sharks to get a puzzle which they had to bring to the surface and complete. Both team members also had to don some amazingly skimpy gold lamé swimsuits. After the desert heat, getting in the water should have been a treat but the puzzle also tried the team members’ patience.
The puzzle consisted of a card inside a sealed tube with the letters R-A-C-E cut out and metallic version of those same letters plus two metal sharks. The team member had to get the metal letters in the right spot to get the next clue. Brodie & Kurt were way ahead of the other teams, but Brodie was having a hard time getting the letters in place. Panic set in as a second team arrived, so they decided to risk using their Express Pass … which only took them to another challenge: plunging down a new water slide, twice as high as the one in Season 15.
While they got ahead of everyone else, Burnie managed to finish the puzzle quickly and he & Ashely were right on Kurt & Brodie’s tail as they had to board boats to meet Phil at the Pit Stop. It came down to whose boat was faster and who could run faster, but Kurt & Brodie once again finished in first place, with Burnie & Ashley arriving before Phil could even tell the guys what they had won.
Meanwhile, Sheri & Cole were lost somewhere in the desert, and Dana’s boiling point was rising as she could not get the pieces of her puzzle in place. As Korey and Zach passed her, not even the water slide could cool her down. As they attempted to leave the water park and get to the Pit Stop, Dana & Matt had a complete communication breakdown. For some reason Matt, perhaps confused by traffic circles and unfamiliar roads, was having a hard time understanding Dana’s navigational instructions and determining what was left and what was right.
The confusion led to a lot of unpleasant name calling, and at one point Dana got out of the car and refused to get back in with Matt. It seemed like she had finally shut down and was in danger of dropping out of the race altogether. But the meltdown allowed Sheri & Cole a little time to catch up, but not enough as Matt & Dana finally arrived in what they assumed was last place. Surprisingly, they were team number five but many are left wondering if Dana even has the strength in herself to even complete the next leg. That left Sheri & Cole as the last team to arrive.
And, surprise, it was a non-elimination leg! This is the second time Sheri & Cole have been saved from elimination, something the other teams are not going to be too happy about, especially Kurt & Brodie who basically wasted their Express Pass. But it’s nice to see a team who is still excited, engaged and happy to continue racing. Let’s hope a good night’s sleep will soothe Dana’s frazzled nerves. Next week, Sheri & Cole face a Speed Bump in Indonesia and Rachel faces a very grueling challenge.
What did you think of this week’s episode? Is your favorite team still in the race? Who are you rooting for? Tell us in the comments below!