I’ve been a bit of a slacker in getting this recap up and don’t have a good excuse, so let’s just give me a pass on this and get down to what was a pretty damn good episode. Â First, I loved that it was still set within the Italian countryside – the Tuscan outdoors never fails to thrill me. Â In 2013, Larry & I took that excursion to the Tuscania region which is about halfway between Rome and Orvieto and saw some amazing stuff but I covet the hell out of that dramatic bridge in Bagnoregio. Â The trifling between Dave & Connor and Brenchel was a tad amusing but also frustrating, which I’ll get into later. Â And finally, even though the Globetrotters are fantastic guys, I am actually glad they’re out of the race. Â They weren’t good racers, plain and simple. Â Great fun and full of heart? Â Yep! Â But terrible racers. Â Alright, let’s get into this.
The first challenge was apparently just getting out of Rome, at least for the Globetrotters. Â Everyone was directed to drive to the Civita di Bagnoregio, which ended up being the jaw-dropping saddle in gorgeous Italian countryside. Â As you can see here with Brenchel, it was just amazing. Â Wanted to go back right then. Â On the way there, Caroline & Jennifer strengthened their ties to Dave & Connor by caravaning there, but of course fate splits them up, and the Country Girls feel betrayed. Â Oh boy….
Anyway, Brenchel start the leg out in front and manage to maintain that lead almost the entire leg. Â How? Â By racing very competitively, and playing in a way that ends up irritating quite a few people. Â In this leg, the main anger receptacle was Dave & Connor, who were “rebuffed” by Brenchel when they asked at the Donkey Run detour where to pick up the outfits. Â Now see, I am of two minds of this. Â One side says that you can still play friendly with the other teams especially when there’s not much at stake at this point. Â The other side though, is that it’s a race, and as we are now past the halfway point, it’s everyone for themselves. Â Alliances are great when convenient, but the race is magnitudes more competitive now, so things like the Country Girls feeling betrayed is a little naive. Â Even though Dave & Connor didn’t intentionally ditch them, if they had, deal with it. Â You can’t both win the $1M. Â So, with a Double U-Turn ahead, it’s especially vital that you get to it first or you’re likely to get U-Turn’d. Â That’s exactly what happened too, as Brenchel get done with the Detour first and decide to U-Turn Dave & Connor in that moment. Â And you know Dave & Connor would gleefully U-Turn Brenchel if given the chance.
It was interesting to see Rachel’s reluctance to actually U-Turn Dave & Connor instead of choosing someone like the Cowboys. Â Brendon is persistent about it and it probably is the best move to make. Â Of course, that just solidifies Dave & Connor’s antagonism towards them while also placing the scene for Dave & Connor’s eventual bonding with Leo & Jamal.
What was also of note was that the Cowboys had to play their Express Pass this leg or else keep it as a souvenir. Â So they wisely realized, let’s jump the Detour and see if we can get to the U-Turn first. Â Unfortunately for them, Brenchel were pretty much on fire this time (even with Rachel falling off her donkey during Donkey Run) and got to the U-Turn first.
Double U-Turn Time!
Brendon & Rachel —U-Turn—-> Dave & Connor
Dave & Connor —U-Turn—> Leo & Jamal
So nobody was able to derail the Brenchel train while the U-Turns end up being mostly useless as none of the targets ended up getting eliminated. Â That was mostly due to the Globetrotters pretty bad performance this leg, heavily due to them having a very hard time getting to the Detour in the first place. Â Even more strange, Dave & Connor felt so bad about U-Turning Leo & Jamal that they ended up helping them with that final “secret” of the Donkey Build challenge in that you had to use the supply box as the final piece. Â That good will in turn led to Leo & Jamal returning the favor (even though the karmic scales were well-balanced) at the Roadblock when Connor was having a mini-meltdown. Â U-Turns make strange bedfellows! Â And I wonder if it comes to bite Brenchel in the ass soon now that pretty much everyone left are none too fond of Brenchel.
Roadblock! Â The Write Stuff
Loved this challenge – it required patience and accuracy yet again, and couldn’t be rushed through. Â I was also fascinated by how gold-leafing actually works! Â Things I didn’t like? Â Brendon’s prayers. Â Ugh. Â Things I liked? Â The Cowboys having a lot of fun with the priests there, giving up their hats for them to wear. Â It was awesome. Â Was also amused at Dave & Connor having a mini-implosion, first with both absolutely refusing to do the Roadblock and insisting the other do it, then seeing Connor’s frustrated side come reallllly out. Â I mean, really, you’re about willing to take a penalty because you just KNOW that you can’t do this? Â Come on. Â Anyway, he does get his shit together and gets a solid from Leo. Â But of course before all that, the “artiste” Rachel finishes up first and secures Brenchel’s second victory in a row (and third overall).
Gotta say I’m a bit surprised at how well they’re doing, but with next week’s preview showing Jennifer uttering Rachel’s famous spiel, “The Amazing Race is supposed to be good!!!!” Â I’m a little excited. Â Drama!!!
This Leg’s Finish:
Overall Standings for the Race:
Leg 1 RecapÂ |Â Leg 1 Bonus Clips
Leg 2 RecapÂ |Â Leg 2 Bonus Clips
Leg 3 RecapÂ |Â Leg 3 Bonus Clips
Leg 4 Recap
Leg 5 Recap
Leg 6 RecapÂ |Â Leg 6 Bonus Clips
Leg 7 Recap
Leg 8 RecapÂ |Â Leg 8 Bonus Clips
Leg 9 Recap
Leg 10 Recap
Leg 11 RecapÂ |Â Leg 11 Bonus Clips
Leg 12 Recap