Recap: The Amazing Race 28, Episode 7 – "…on a midnight train to Georgia."


Recap: The Amazing Race 28, Episode 7 – “Welcome To Bloody Fingers 101”

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All teams are on the same train to Tbilisi, Georgia. Their first clue awaits at the St. George Statue, a tribute to the country’s patron saint.

That clue tells teams to make their way to the Narikala Fortress where they will take the gondola down to the river and then a taxi to Jvari Monastery.

Tyler & Korey move to 1st place as they learn about the Detour: Clean or String.
In Clean, teams will clean a traditional Georgian wine fermentation pot.
In String, teams must learn how to make five churchkhela candies.
This is a Limited Stations Detour.

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All teams except Sheri & Cole choose String. Dana & Matt and Scott & Blair are the last ones to arrive at the candy home and the other teams suddenly yell at them that there’s no more room at the candy inn. So both teams decide to switch over to the Clean Detour.

But when their taxi driver tells them it’s far, Scott & Blair decide to just go wait at the candies with Blair’s boyfriend.

Sheri & Cole start cleaning with Cole hopping into the underground pot and Sheri transferring the soggy old grapes into a nearby trough. Dana is feeling very frustrated on the way to the winery and regretting their decision to switch. They decide to switch back.

The candy making isn’t as easy as it seems as the head confectioner gives Brodie & Kurt and Tyler & Korey several thumbs down. But Zach & Rachel make it seem very easy as they get their candies approved after the first check. Burnie & Ashley are right behind.

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Tyler & Korey can’t take the pain anymore so they decide to switch to Clean, to the shock of #Blodie and partners.

They run into Dana & Matt and tell them the candy making was too hard, so Dana & Matt decide to just follow Tyler & Korey to the winery.

Teams must now make their way to Rustaveli National Theater.

Phil welcomes Zach & Rachel as they find the Road Block: Who’s light on their feet.

For this Road Block, teams will learn a dazzling ballet routine.

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Rachel tells Zach he can do it. He watches the routine and it is dazzling indeed. Dazzling and dizzying!

Back at the candies, Brodie & Kurt finish and wish Scott & Blair luck. At the other Detour, Sheri & Cole are just finishing as Dana & Matt and Tyler & Korey arrive. Korey says he’ll see Sheri & Cole at the Road Block.

And at the Road Block, Ashley starts learning the dance and seems to be getting it pretty quick. During the demonstration, Kurt manages to get most, if not all the steps down.

Ashley gives it a try on stage and starts too early. She is able to go for a 2nd attempt just before Zach comes out to try as well. And Ashley has no problem getting through the performance.

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Burnie & Ashley can now make their way to the Pit Stop at the Bridge of Peace.

A couple of other teams give the Road Block a try, but it’s Zach who is able to pass next. Kurt finishes next and he and Brodie decide to help Scott a little before they leave.

After the frustration earlier, dancing Dana uses her strengths and is able to fly through the Road Block and finish quickly.

On the way to the Pit Stop, Burnie & Ashley are taken to the wrong location. That allows Zach & Rachel to step on the Mat first. Phil says they’ve won a trip to the Turks and Caicos.

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Burnie & Ashley, Brodie & Kurt and Dana & Matt arrive one after the other at the Mat to finish 2nd through 4th, respectively. Sheri & Cole are 5th.

At the theater, it’s down to two. On Scott’s 5th attempt, Blair is so confident, she puts on her and her father’s bag. And Scott does get the thumbs up. They run out.

Korey is up on stage next and Tyler copies Blair’s confidence by grabbing their bags. Only, his bag is gone. Turns out Scott grabbed it. He runs it back into the theater and hands it to an angry Tyler.

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It’s a taxi race to the Pit Stop and Tyler & Korey’s taxi speeds past Scott & Blair’s. It then turns into an actual footrace to the Mat and Tyler & Korey’s few seconds are enough to save them this Leg.

That means Scott & Blair are last and eliminated.

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Episode Thoughts

Okay, first of all, this was the best episode of the season. An actual well-designed Leg which played out even better in real life. Horrible ending, sure. But overall, a great Leg and a great episode.

First, these “Keep Racing”/virtual Pit Stops are just Non-Elimination Legs with no penalty. Especially when you can see teams have plenty of time for interviews in between these no-Pit Stop Legs. So it’s basically just TAR wanting to save money on hotels and a Speed Bump.

Anyway, the train ride was good because these teams have been pretty pampered this Race. The random gondola ride was an interesting extra Route Marker and it did affect the placements a little thanks to taxis. (Which actually ended up deciding a lot during this Leg.)

The Detour seemed to be about the candies being closer to the monastery, but being a harder task while the wine pot cleaning was farther way, but much easier and simpler. So in that sense, it was good and well balanced. Scott & Blair definitely should have continued on to the winery.

The Road Block was pretty great in theory. Definitely one of the more exciting dances to be learned on the Race. While it did seem overly complicated and hard, the teams didn’t seem to have much trouble with it. Of course, they could’ve easily edited out the other attempts and the first teams could’ve had just as many attempts as they showed for Scott and Korey. So in that sense, the Road Block was good, but could’ve been better and more challenging than depicted.

The Race to the Mat was pretty tough since I liked Scott & Blair and definitely do not prefer Tyler & Korey. But it was a very exciting finish unlike anything we’ve really seen recently. If I were Scott, I would’ve just dumped Tyler’s bag in the lobby of the theater and run off. But Scott & Blair probably would’ve had a penalty. Pretty insane how Blair actually wanting to help her father was one of the reasons they were eliminated.

Overall, it was a great visit to Georgia with great tasks and good Racing.

My Subjective Team Rankings

GAP

I have Zach & Rachel up top because it was definitely a great Leg for them. Other than the one Colombia Leg, they’ve been in the background, quiet, nice. But it was good to see them get in front this Leg, just own that Detour and do their best to maintain their lead to the Mat. They got some luck, but they won and it was well deserved. I definitely wouldn’t mind seeing them go to the end.

Sheri & Cole basically got a huge reset button on their Race. No penalty and the beneficiary of an overnight train ride. Sheri, as usual, did awesome with the tasks. And Cole redeemed himself a little bit with his work at the Detour. I think maybe the first time he’s pulled his weight on the Race so far. At the Detour though, I totally would have told the others to suck it and not given any help or words of encouragement after last Leg. lol

It was a tough way for Scott & Blair to go out. They’ve been a seesaw this season. Sometimes awesome and hilarious, other times not-so-good at Racing and saddled with #Blodie nonsense. In a similar way to Sheri, Scott’s been doing much more of the work this Race. And he did very well at the Road Block. Blair’s character has been all about her romance with Brodie. They probably would’ve finished faster if she had done the Road Block. And their decision not to pursue the winery Detour also contributed to their elimination. It’s too bad since they are one of the few tolerable and mostly enjoyable teams left.

Dana & Matt, though Dana especially, had a full Leg. Their hesitation and Dana’s frustration were great and actual effects of a well-designed Leg. Of course she’d do well at the Road Block. That definitely helped make their Detour indecision more interesting.

Burnie & Ashley feel very bland and almost too self-conscious about their image on the Race. I don’t really feel any authenticity or sincerity in whatever small moments they may have. That’s definitely not exclusive to them or this social media season. But they are one of those teams for me. Brodie & Kurt are also a little boring, especially with their Race sort-of-dominance so far and nothing about their characters except for their part in #Blodie.

And Tyler & Korey. Ugh. #Koreyography? Really? And Tyler’s guffaw reached the peak of annoying and actually being inconsiderate when he just laughed out loud right next to a team that is about to be eliminated. Very appropriate. Not.

Episode Quotes

Sheri: “I would hug you, but I’m dirty.”

Phil: “And yes, they will be on a midnight train to Georgia.”

Tyler: “I’m just afraid of stabbing myself.”


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