Recap: The Amazing Race 21, Episode 8 – “No McDonalds, we’re too fat.”

Recap: The Amazing Race 21, Episode 8 – We Was Robbed

The Leg

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While James & Abba get started trying to track down their passports, Josh & Brent are still struggling at the Detour.  The coach eventually gives them one last shot before the pool closes, but they fail and are given their clue, but also will receive a 4-hour penalty.

At the Road Block, Josh helps Abbie as the two teams stick together all the way to the Pit Stop.  Abbie & Ryan and Josh & Brent step on the Mat together and Phil informs them that there’s another team still out on the course meaning they are Teams 4 and 5 respectively.  The 4-hour penalty for  Josh & Brent will be enforced at the start of the next leg.

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James & Abba return to the Mat and Phil tells them Leg 7 is a non-elimination Leg and they are still in the Race.  However, they still need to produce a passport.

The 8th Leg starts the next day and Trey & Lexi leave the Pit Stop first.  Teams must head to Study Building #6 at Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy where they’ll find the next clue in Large Chemistry Auditorium No. 1.

Trey & Lexi’s first taxi driver drops them off at a seedy underground tunnel before finding another taxi with a dapper, cigarette-smoking old man.  That allow Jaymes & James to arrive at the university first, but HOURS OF OPERATION have them wait for 8am.

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Trey & Lexi’s dapper driver takes them to an abandoned building and they get splashed by a bus before catching up to the Chippies.

The classroom opens and they find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams must figure out the time in five different Russian cities.  They will first be given a local Moscow time, then shown a map of the different time zones in Russia and finally shown a map of cities from the different time zones.

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Jaymes and Lexi work together, but after 11 tries, the professor tells them they are incorrect.  Finally, Lexi realizes the “+X”s on the map aren’t with respect to Moscow (and actually to the UTC), so they adjust the time differences according to that.

Finally on their 12th try, the professor says… “I’m really sorry… BUT YOU WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

They open the next clue revealing the Detour.
In Movers, teams must learn and perform a traditional Russian soldier dance.
In Shakers, teams will attend a fancy party where they must identify the correct number of seven different Russian leaders.

Both teams choose Movers and Jaymes & James make sure to help Trey & Lexi.

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Meanwhile, Natale & Nadiya start the Leg and have a few laughs with their jolly taxi driver before arriving at the university and deciding to use the Express Pass as this is the last Leg they can use it.

The first two teams get to the National Hotel and change into Russian soldier uniforms before choosing a teacher.  James, who injured his ankle in Shanghai, struggles through the pain. 

They both finish and head out together, but Trey & Lexi run the other direction to find a taxi when Jaymes & James were trying to help them get one.  They hurry to the Pit Stop at Sokolniki Park and Jaymes & James claim their first win and a trip to Costa Rica.  Trey & Lexi finish 2nd.

Over at the dancing Detour, Natalie rips her pants while practicing, but she and Nadiya comfortably finish and head to the Pit Stop to officially check-in 3rd.

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Ryan & Abbie start the Leg and head to the university where Ryan chooses to do the Road Block.  He’s sure he’s got it on the first try and even stands up to leave, but the professor tells him he’s not correct.  Ryan becomes frustrated and complains about a mistake on the map or something else and that he couldn’t possibly be wrong.

“Try to relax, I’m on your side,” says the professor as Ryan apparently directs his concerns to the production crew.

On his 25th attempt, Ryan finally realizes what’s going on and the professor hands him the next clue.  They head to the Pit Stop to finish 4th.

Meanwhile, James & Abba continue searching for the passport.  They borrow a local’s cell phone to call the Embassy then go to a police station to see the report.

Josh & Brent get to the Road Block and Brent says he got the trick on the first try and they head out to the Detour.  They choose the Shakers side and decide to just relax and have fun since James & Abba are way behind.

After the Detour, they go to the Pit Stop to officially check-in 5th.

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James & Abba have done all they can to try and secure their lost passport so they continue with the Leg.  The hop into a car with a Russian priest for the Speed Bump before being seen running to the Mat where Phil tells them they are eliminated from the Race.

Episode Thoughts
Well, that was a strange and odd episode.  Probably the biggest logistical nightmare TAR has ever had.  From stolen passports to teams half a day behind, it must have been crazy.

Then we have maybe one of the shortest Legs ever and just a strange flow with the gap between teams just incredible wide.  It was just a weird episode.

Now the good first.  The taxi drivers were hilarious.  Not to mention the fun professor and an extra week to enjoy the fierce swim coach.  The Road Block was a great tricky challenge, but also frustrating to see teams having no idea what UTC is.  Even if you don’t know what that stands for, you should at least know what it means.  How many times have you had to set up your time zone on your computer or on websites?

The dancing side of the Detour was typical TAR, but the other side of the Detour was incredibly boring.  Just horrible.  It was a watered down and poor version of those classic TAR tasks where they had to match a picture or design amongst a room full of people. 

Also, we got no departure times for the teams.  Now, TAR has moved away from having 12 hour Pit Stops or even 24 or 36 and really just let teams depart at arbitrary times (though still with respect to their arrival times). But not showing any times seemed odd.  

As for the passport drama, it was an unusual circumstance having last leg be a non-elimination leg.  Otherwise James & Abba would’ve just been eliminated last leg instead.

An odd episode for a strange Leg.   

Bolshoi Theatre

Study Building #6 at Moscow Timiryazev Agricultural Academy

National Hotel

Veranda Tantsev, Sokolniki Park 


Bolshoi Theatre

Before 8:00am
Trey & Lexi
Jaymes & James

After 8:00am
Natalie & Nadiya
Abbie & Ryan
Josh & Brent
James & Abba



James & Abba were not shown to have completed the Detour
In order of completion
> or < indicates team switched Detours.

Who did the Road Block?
Who’s in the zone?

In order of completion; Italics indicate who did the Road Block
5 Jaymes   James 4
4 Trey   Lexi 5
5 Natalie   Nadiya 4
4 Abbie   Ryan 5
4 Josh Brent 5
3 James   Abba 4

4 Rob Kelley 3
3 Gary   Will 2
2 Caitlin   Brittany 2
2 Amy   Daniel 1
1 Rob   Shiela 1

Veranda Tantsev, Sokolniki Park 

1st Jaymes & James +1
2nd Trey & Lexi -1
3rd Natalie & Nadiya =
4th Ryan & Abbie =
5th Hosh & Brent =
Eliminated James & Abba =

Trey & Alexis Trey & Lexi – A solid leg for them.  Kudos to Lexi for figuring out the trick at the Road Block.  They are getting into a rhythm and staying consistent now which bodes well for the future.  And they’re friendly and nice, which is a plus.
Jaymes & James Jaymes & James – A well deserved win for them.  They Raced well these last two Legs and seem to be stepping up which is something they need to do earlier.  But they’re here now and have a good shot to make it to the end.  
Natalie & Nadiya Natalie & Nadiya – An okay leg for them.  They deserve kudos for having been able to hold on to their Express Pass until the absolute last Leg.  Other teams have wasted it on easy and early tasks.   
James & Mark James & Abba – It wasn’t just a rough Leg for them, it was a rough Race.  They were able to push through a lot of challenges, but seems like losing a passport was the only one they could not get through.  An unfortunate situation thanks to a despicable taxi driver.  They were Racing well and could’ve certainly gone all the way.
Abbie & Ryan Abbie & Ryan – Ryan was definitely not making himself look good at the Road Block.  Was he directing his complaints to the production during that task?  He’s apparently been going on a mini-rant on Twitter too about TAR being scripted with production “f up”s and encouraging fans to watch the American Music Awards instead of TAR.    Um…okay. 
Josh & Brent Josh & Brent – They are incredibly lucky.  They should be gone right now if it hadn’t been for James & Abba’s taxi driver.  They also failed at the Detour of Leg 7 and received a four hour penalty, yet still survive.  They’ve gotten too many breaks this Race for me to want to root for them to the end.  
Quotes from Episode 21.08

Natalie: “No McDonalds, we’re too fat.”

“Lenin”: “Be careful with vodka and Russian women.”

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0 thoughts on “Recap: The Amazing Race 21, Episode 8 – “No McDonalds, we’re too fat.”

  1. The lack of departure times and 12 hour pit stops have really lessened my interest in the show.  It seems that the series is way out of sync and that it has no rhythm.  I hate to say it, but this may be the beginning of the end for the series as even die-hard TAR-watching members of my family are starting to drift away and no longer very interested in the program anymore.I do wonder though if part of the problem is that the director/creator has lost his creative juices.  Maybe injecting some new blood behind the camera and also into the pre-production room might help solve this lethargy and bring some of the old excitement back.

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