This leg of The Amazing Race began with the 8 remaining teams learning that their next destination is Marrakech, Morocco. The cyclists discover that the fastest flight to Morocco will depart at 8:25 am, so all of the teams will be caught up to them. In a cab, Shelley & Nici say that they have reconciled after their disastrous argument at the end of the last leg. At the airport, Misti & Jim tell the other teams that they still have the Save, since it was a non elimination leg. The other teams are visibly upset about this, but Jim doesn’t seem to care. We find out that not only did Nici leave home at 17, she was in the air force, where she learned to speak fluent Spanish in 6 months. I’m guessing that this personal information was supposed to make us form a connection with team mother/daughter, but I’m still not a fan of them. In Morocco, all of the teams take taxis to a giant market, where they have to search for their next clue. The next task (which weirdly enough isn’t a roadblock, because both teammates perform it) is Cart it Out, in which teams must help local food vendors roll out their carts and set up shop in a marked spot to the restaurant owner’s satisfaction. The clue also informs teams that there is a U-Turn ahead. The dentists face a speed bump called Getting the Hang of It, which requires them to gather 8 rugs from a carpet shop, carry them to a hotel, and use hooks to display them for sale on a wire.
While the 7 other teams are setting up their carts, Misti & Jim are struggling to get the rugs hooked on the wire. They keep getting the pole stuck on the wire after they hang the rug up, forcing them to take down both the rug and the pole. The majority of the teams setting up the carts are just blindly following the confusing instructions of the locals who are helping them. Because of the language barrier, it isn’t quite clear how the teams are supposed to know where to place everything. Keith & Whitney finish first (possibly because of the French guy who kept flirting with Whitney and then doing everything for her. I’m not criticizing at all – if you have an advantage, use it!) and are off to Bab Debbagh Tannery. The hook falls off one of Misti’s rugs, and as Jim struggles to tie it back on, she oh-so-helpfully whines and tells him that they are going to be so far behind now. Jim finishes the speed bump and the dentists go to start the next task. Once again, Misti just stands off to the side as Jim pulls the heavy cart by himself. As Jim huffs and puffs and pleas for Misti to try and push the cart, she walks beside him and waves the clue in the general direction of where they are going. The cyclists, wrestlers, and team mother/daughter finish Getting the Hang of It, while team country struggles to find the next clue, and the dentists start setting up their shop. The surfers, scientists, and Double T finish soon after, leaving the dentists as the only team still completing the cart task. When Misti & Jim finish the challenge, Phil shows up and announces that they are at least 12 minutes behind the other teams. Seriously, what ever happened to keeping teams guessing as to what position they were in? The Amazing Race has been successful for the past 24 seasons, it really doesn’t need to change now!
The roadblock Pulling Out Your Hair requires one team member to finish preparing goat skins by scraping and pulling the hair off three hides, then loading them onto a bike and delivering 3 bundles of prepared hides to a nearby cobbler. Once the shoemaker has the leather he needs for his slippers, he will give them a receipt, which must be brought back to the tanner in exchange for their next clue. All of the participants in this roadblock are complaining about the smell and how disgusting this challenge is. Adam’s encouragement to Bethany is that it’s just like shaving his back. Maya says that the smell isn’t that bad, and it’s nice to experience another culture. Jim thinks Maya is weird for saying that, because it smells f*cking horrible. Bethany manages to prepare the goat skin with one arm, but has trouble loading it onto the bike by herself. Two men help her tie the leather onto the bike, for which she is very grateful. Misti manages to finish preparing the hides before Nici, but she can’t get them properly fastened onto the bike. Meanwhile, the other teams are lost on the way to the cobbler. Brooke, Keith, and Kym end up stopped in the same street to ask for directions, when Bethany shows up. Brooke and Kym marvel at how strong Bethany is, because they’re having trouble completing this challenge with two arms and she is excelling with just one. Misti runs her bike into Nici while apologizing profusely, then does the same thing to a civilian riding a bicycle.
All 8 teams wind up in a street corner together until Te Jay realizes where the cobbler is, and then it’s a mad dash to hand in the leather and receive a receipt. Drama erupts – shockingly, with team mother/daughter in the center of it – when Keith tries to give the tanner his receipt. Shelley claims that the teammates need to be together in order to hand in the receipt, so she and Nici should be able to go first. Since Whitney is nearby, Keith says it’s not a big deal, but that doesn’t stop team mother/daughter from physically pushing him to try to get ahead. This is extremely ridiculous, because they’re at the front of the pack, and 5 seconds won’t make that much of a difference. Shelley & Nici need to reevaluate their race plan, because apparently it’s life or death to get a clue within a few seconds, but it doesn’t matter if you intentionally drive past the pit stop and lose minutes. Also, it’s ridiculous to get physical for no reason, and it wouldn’t have even changed their standing in the race! I could understand if they were on the way to the pit stop and it was a hustle to the mat, but getting a clue first or second doesn’t really matter that much. Team mother/daughter should get a penalty for being intentionally physical unprovoked. If it had been the other way around and Keith had shoved Shelley or Nici, I’m sure they would have thrown a fit. Of course, team mother/daughter refuse to admit they were in the wrong, because they believe that it’s ok to push someone as long as you have a good reason. They claim that karma will come around, and I sincerely hope it does come and bite them in the butt.
The teams now face a detour. Twirl Time requires teams to join a dancing troop and become street performers, with one team member twirling their tassel and playing the qraqeb and the other playing the drums until they can twirl the tassel for one minute while maintaining a beat. Tea Time requires teams to pick up a typical Moroccan tea set and carry it to a restaurant, where one team member must use one arm to balance a tray of glasses while the other performs a traditional pour to the satisfaction of the professional tea taster. At the Tea Time detour, the dentists are struggling because Misti doesn’t realize that she has to hold the tray with one hand, while the wrestlers don’t pass because Brooke doesn’t hold the tea pots at the correct height. The surfers take time to practice the tea pouring before going to judging, which could definitely give them an advantage. At Twirl Time, teams are having trouble either keeping the hat on their head, or getting the tassel to spin without getting dizzy. Bethany & Adam are the first to successfully complete the detour, and they are now off to Le Grande Balcon Du Cafe Glacier, the site of the U-Turn. Kym says she is too dizzy to keep spinning the tassel, so she and Ally switch places, and they complete the detour. Kym & Alli get better directions than the soul surfers, and manage to make it to the mat seconds ahead of Bethany & Adam. Phil tells Alli & Kym that they are the winners of this leg of the race, and that they have each won $5,000. Shelley & Nici finish the detour, and now have to decide who to U-Turn. Since they’re so friendly, it’s surprising that they would want to U-Turn anyone, right? It comes down to team country or the dentists, but team mother/daughter chooses to U-Turn Keith & Whitney, because of the earlier altercation (in which Shelley & Nici where totally in the wrong). Double T finishes the detour, followed by the dentists and the wrestlers. Whitney wants to switch detours, but Keith refuses to. Double T comes in 3rd place, team mother/daughter is in 4th place, the wrestlers are in 5th, the dentists are in 6th, and the scientists come in 7th place. Team Country is still stuck at the detour, and they haven’t yet discovered that they are the only team that has been U-Turned. Keith & Whitney switch detours and complete Tea Time, only to learn that they have been U-Turned and must do Twirl Time again. Keith & Whitney are good sports about it, but they come in last place and are eliminated from the race.
I’m starting to sense a pattern from production – every time I start to like a team that I’ve previously disliked, they are eliminated that leg. First Dennis & Isabelle, now Keith & Whitney. Maybe I should pretend to like Shelley & Nici… Anyways, what did you think about this leg of the race? Did you think it made sense for team mother/daughter to react the way they did, both with pushing Keith and with using the U-Turn? Personally, I think they should’ve either not used the U-Turn, or used it on a strong team. I liked Keith & Whitney, but I didn’t really think they had a good chance at winning. If I was in Shelley & Nici’s place, I would’ve U-Turned the wrestlers, because they seem like very strong competition. I don’t like it when the U-Turn is used because of a personal vendetta, but then again, team mother/daughter has been running the race pretty childishly. Let me know what you thought about this week’s episode in the comments below!