The topic that absolutely everyone is talking about is of course Brendon & Rachel’s U-Turning of Dave & Connor. While everyone basically can’t understand the point of that move, Brendon puts up a pretty good defense and explanation of why Dave & Connor were their targets as opposed to Jet & Cord. The key is to understand the motivation behind the move – which is of course what most aren’t getting. We also get some parting videos of the good-time Globetrotters – they’ll be missed but it’s basically that almost the last Tier 2 team is gone; sorry, Country Girls, but you’re Tier 2 as well and I wouldn’t be surprised to see you gone soon. Luck only will take you so far.
Life Lessons From Flight Time: While hard at work on the Roadblock calligraphy/gold-leafing task, Flight Time is talking to us about the value of patience and taking your time. Ultimately, don’t give up as it will work out for you. As he’s saying this, he’s all alone in the chapel. He reminds us that in cases like this, you’ll always learn a lesson. Flight Time mentions to Big Easy that he’s trying to impart some life lessons to youth, which Big Easy chuckles at. He asks what those lessons are, which we learn are: don’t come to Rome and write in their language; don’t write in Roman numerals; pay more attention.
As Flight Time continues working, he remarks that he’s starting to get pretty good at gold-leafing. Actually, it seems he’s pretty proud of a calligraphy curve he just completed. He jokes that the judges are going to be pretty impressed and think his work is better than the source.
The Missing Piece: While driving away from the Detour, Big Easy knows that everyone will be watching this on TV at home yelling at the screen wondering why they missed the key piece of the Donkey Build challenge. (he’s right!) Big Easy’s excuse is the sheer exhaustion they had from all the driving, the running up the bridge, trying to ride donkeys 3 times, and then running back down the bridge and once again back up. He still wonders what the missing piece was in Donkey Build and is sure it’s something small and/or obvious. Flight Time admits that they both ended up looking like dummies. Neither are taking it too hard and are quite able to laugh about it. Flight Time laughs that although he tried his best to reason with the donkey, he couldn’t get the donkey to tell him anything.
Who Has the write Stuff? Caroline & Jennifer are a little panicked trying to determine who will take on this Roadblock. Jennifer assures Caroline that she (Caroline) can do it. Caroline nervously nods while looking into the chapel and doesn’t seem keen on being the one to do this. Jennifer has her stop looking in and has her think about it objectively. Finally, Caroline lets out her breath and agrees to do the Roadblock. Immediately afterwards, Jennifer still can tell Caroline is super nervous about it and asks if she should do it instead. Caroline is totally saying “yes” to that with her eyes, but does force herself to do the Roadblock again. Finally, there’s a look of determination in Caroline’s eyes and she determinedly rips open the Roadblock clue. Jennifer reassures her that she’ll be great for this task as she’s got great handwriting.
Who Got U-Turned? On their way to the Roadblock, Big Easy admits he didn’t really pay attention to who got U-Turned. Flight Time thinks he saw Dave & Connor U-Turn the Afghanimals, which then triggers Big Easy remembering seeing Brenchel U-Turning Dave & Connor. But he thinks that the Afghanimals U-Turned Dave & Connor, but Flight Time points out that Dave & Connor were ahead of them. Big Easy is pretty sure that the Afghanimals did the U-Turning though. Flight Time has it right though and explains that’s why they saw the Afghanimals having to run back and forth on that bridge. All of a sudden, Big Easy correctly realizes what the big and little picture placement means and completely agrees with Flight Time.
Brenchel in Control: Super-sweaty Brendon is concerned about being in the front during a Double U-Turn leg, as if you get to be the team that gets to use the U-Turn first, that target team then gets to also U-Turn someone else. Both he & Rachel wanted to be in control of the U-Turn though. So they U-Turned Dave & Connor as they were right behind them and this gives them more space to be able to get to the Pit Stop first. He then figures that they’ll U-Turn someone else and likely, they’ll U-Turn the Cowboys because of the Express Pass. (So it really did come down to just wanting to ensure a 1st-place finish after all…) Brendon thinks if Dave & Connor U-Turn the Cowboys, that gives them a guilt-free U-Turn as that won’t put the Cowboys out of the game due to their Express Pass. Ultimately, it might save the Afghanimals too, as he & Rachel were trying to figure out a way to ensure the Afghanimals stay in the race. Brendon also discusses that Rachel feels bad and wanted to U-Turn the Cowboys, but that does nothing for their game. The Cowboys would just use their Express Pass and move on, and Dave & Connor would then be right behind them and there’s a tight run for first place. It actually does make some sense if the goal, as is clearly stated by Brendon, is to get that 1st-place finish.
Pure Love: We catch up with the Country Girls as they’re driving somewhere and they’ve both just confirmed they’re going the right way. Caroline is driving and lets us know that directions are not their strong suit. She’s fairly confident in claiming that neither she nor Jennifer are good at navigating. They do try hard, and even got a map for this particular leg. Both are happy not to be super stressed like last time – this season they’re actually having fun even while getting lost. There’s just “pure love” and no time for stressing out. They believe the universe is on their side and whatever will be, will be. Cue Doris Day! They’re still in shock that they managed to find their way again. Apparently their gut told them to make a left on this little highway and a guy at a gas station was really confident that their destination was 20km up ahead. Caroline brings up that as soon as Dave & Connor “ditched them”, they immediately got lost.
At the Pit Stop
One Of Those Days – The Globetrotters/Last: Phil remarks that the Globetrotters are hours behind the other teams and wonders what happened? Just one of those days, Big Easy replies. There were difficulties with the Donkey Detour, what with switching multiple times, having stubborn donkeys refusing to move, and building the toy and missing a piece. Despite all that, Big Easy had a fun time, moreso than in their previous seasons. Phil comments to Flight Time that it was a really competitive race. Flight Time agrees and admits they were in the back of the pack for quite a bit of the race. He’s proud that they still had fun and got to make it through 31 legs over the course of their 3 seasons. He also jokes about that they’ll make history as the team who ran the most legs and never won first place. Big Easy is pulling now for Jet & Cord to win it all – everyone deserves the win, but Jet & Cord are from their shared Season 18 and they race in a similar manner. He wishes everyone luck though and looks forward to inviting all the teams to catch one of their shows afterwards.
Brenchel’s Very Good Day – Brendon & Rachel/1st: Phil asks what it was they did today that was so good. Rachel thinks that their teamwork is key, as if one is having a bad moment, the other steps in to help. Rachel also explains their rationale for U-Turning Dave & Connor over the Cowboys, as seen in Brenchel in Control (clip up above). She mentions that they want to win as many legs as possible as that puts you in the front of the pack, improving your chances for winning the million. They are also both well aware of what it feels like to be at the back of the pack and nearly eliminated. They all then pause to take in the beautiful scenery of the piazza they’re in.
Phil asks about all of their UCLA outerwear and Rachel laughs as they have all this cold-weather gear that they never use since they live in Los Angeles. Brendon maintains that it was a good omen that this entire season started with them at UCLA and amongst the UCLA band. Even on their way up to the Pit Stop, there was a stranger who shouted out “Go, Bruins!” Brendon & Rachel are both ecstatic that this also is their 20th leg overall. Phil asks about their favorite leg so far and Brendon remarks that here in Italy it’s so humbling to be around such amazing creations. He regrets that there’s no time to enjoy the scenery.
Pretty As a Picture – Jet & Cord/2nd: Cord remarks to Phil on how no picture can really contain the beauty of the countryside they drove today when leaving Rome and heading to Orvieto. Phil is impressed by this cathedral too. Jet is happy with the fact that they’re still competing, which prompts Phil to ask if they’re starting to smell the Finish Line, especially having been so close to it before. Jet tells Phil that they’re here to win it this time, although it’s not like they weren’t there to win it the last two times. it’s just that this third time is REALLY to win it.
Phil wonders if not winning yet again will be super embarrassing for them with their colleagues back home. Would it be like getting thrown off the same bull too many times? Cord thinks though that sitting on a bull doesn’t make you a cowboy, it’s the getting back on the bull that does. Phil admits he’s impressed at the condition of their cowboy hats – both Jet & Cord inspect them and agree that they’re in great shape so far. Phil asks how people react to their cowboy hats and Jet tells him that when riding the donkeys at the Detour, people definitely responded and cheered for them.
Regarding race dynamics, Phil asks them which team they’d like to see gone and out of the way. Jet admits that’s a tough question and Phil points out that it’s not about personal feelings, just a troublesome team. Cord thinks that Brendon & Rachel have proven that they can easily go from worst to first, and it can be just as easy to go from top to bottom. Pretty much all the teams left can’t be discounted and have an equal shot at winning the million.
A New Target – Leo & Jamal/3rd: Leo tells Phil that Dave & Connor were great this leg as they helped each other a lot in the Detour. There’s no hard feelings towards Dave & Connor for the U-Turn, but Phil knows that Dave & Connor have hard feelings for getting U-Turned. Leo & Jamal agree that it was a shock for that to happen and Jamal just wishes that there’s another U-Turn ahead as Brenchel are definitely a target now. He also points out that the remaining teams who still have U-Turn powers are no fans of Brenchel.
About this leg, Leo & Jamal are thrilled with their progress today as they were 2 hours behind everyone at the starting point. They just had superior navigation skills and managed to overtake Caroline & Jennifer and arrive at the Detour ahead of them. Jamal also puts a positive spin on the fact that they got to do both Detours and the Roadblock as they want to experience everything there is to do on the race. Phil admits he’s impressed that they’ve managed to survive 3 U-Turns over the course of their Amazing Race career.
After the Race
A Great Experience: Big Easy tells us that he definitely wanted to come back for another Amazing Race as it’s fun and always puts a smile on his face. A highlight this time was going to Sri Lanka as they’d never been there before. Big Easy was also glad to have gotten to meet both Mark & Bopper at the beginning and also Dave & Connor. Them being cancer survivors ties them to his dad as he died from cancer. He also liked the Afghanimals and Caroline & Jennifer – Flight Time interjects that they were pretty girls too, and Big Easy points out that’s all him. Big Easy is also impressed that the Country Girls always kept their word.
Flight Time recognizes that while they didn’t win the million dollars, they still won as the race gave them exposure to get even more fans. Their fans have always loved how they run the race and Globetrotter fans always make sure to mention how much they loved them on the race and that while they were competitive, they showed how it could be fun too.
Big Easy is looking forward to watching these episodes every Sunday and seeing how their families react to them almost getting eliminated every week. He knows that their familes and the Globetrotters will be proud of how they did. They’re both proud of wearing their jerseys around the world and showing a positive image to cultures everywhere. They can definitely look at themselves in the mirror and feel good about how they raced.
What Happens Next: Connor & Dave admit that seeing their picture on the U-Turn board really ticked them off. It made no sense for Brendon & Rachel to pick them to U-Turn when everyone knew the Cowboys had an Express Pass. Connor isn’t even taking it personally, it just made no logical or strategic sense. Although he realizes a lot of what they do on the race doesn’t make much sense. He thinks that during the next leg they may have a conversation with Brendon & Rachel but also realizes it may not even be worth trying. Dave agrees that it’s likely not worth it. About U-Turning Leo & Jamal, Connor is pretty sure that any fallout from that won’t end up on them, but instead Brendon & Rachel. He thinks if Leo & Jamal get the chance to U-Turn anyone in the future, it would be Brenchel.
Afghanimals U-Turn Theories: Jamal doesn’t get why Brendon & Rachel chose to U-Turn Dave & Connor especially since D&C have raced such an honest race. (my note: who cares about honest racing? it’s a game element, not a karmic balancer). He doesn’t see where the antagonism came from and if it’s because they were concerned Dave & Connor might challenge them for the first place finish this leg. Ultimately, both Leo & Jamal think Brenchel were really angling to get Leo & Jamal out with this move.
Having survived now three U-Turns over the course of their two seasons, Leo & Jamal think that Brenchel didn’t want to have the blood on their hands. They had talked with Brenchel back in Sri Lanka and had been assured they wouldn’t be U-Turned by them as they weren’t going to U-Turn anyone. So first they went back on their word, then their choice of who to U-Turn didn’t make any sense. Dave & Connor was the third-place team while Jet & Cord were ripe for targeting especially since they had the Express Pass. But if the intent was to make sure that Leo & Jamal got U-Turned by whomever Brenchel targeted, then that is certainly a possibility. It’s what they’re still trying to think about.
Cowboys’ U-Turn Reaction: Jet thinks Dave & Connor are running a solid, honest, and individual race much like he & Cord, so he’s a bit confused about what happened with regards to them getting U-Turned. He would love to know what Rachel’s thinking. Jet’s thinking on U-Turning is that you target someone in the back that you KNOW will get eliminated accordingly. Cord accurately assesses that “Super” Dave was pretty upset by it. Cord also would get if he & Jet were targeted, as that made strategic sense. He wouldn’t even have been offended by it. Jet points out that it would have made them use their Express Pass, which of course they were already having to use since it was the 8th and final leg they were allowed to use it. The real upside per Jet is that Brendon & Rachel and Dave & Connor have now used up their U-Turn powers, so even if those two teams get to the next U-Turn box first, it’s irrelevant.
Leg 1 Recap | Leg 1 Bonus Clips
Leg 2 Recap | Leg 2 Bonus Clips
Leg 3 Recap | Leg 3 Bonus Clips
Leg 4 Recap
Leg 5 Recap
Leg 6 Recap | Leg 6 Bonus Clips
Leg 7 Recap
Leg 8 Recap | Leg 8 Bonus Clips
Leg 9 Recap
Leg 10 Recap
Leg 11 Recap | Leg 11 Bonus Clips
Leg 12 Recap