Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 6 – Choir Boy At Heart
It’s time for teams to set off on the 6th Leg of the Race by taking a train from Gdansk to Vienna, Austria. All teams but the married “Iceghanimals” get on the first train out of Gdansk, but the two teams catch up at the connecting train out of Warsaw anyway.
In Warsaw, Leo & Jamal lie about U-Turning Brandon & Adam, but the other teams absolutely don’t buy it.
After the overnight trip, teams arrive in Vienna and hurry over to the Vienna State Opera House where Rigoletto leads them to the costume department for their next clue. Teams head back out to the theatre to open the envelopes revealing both a Detour and a Fast Forward.
For the Detour, teams need to walk over to the Österreichisches Theatermuseum.
In Light Brigade, teams must dress up and properly assemble a glass chandelier. If their attempt is incorrect, the chandelier gets dropped and they’ll need to start over.
In Masquerade, teams must wear colorful and intricate masks and match them to the masks on a pair of dancers dancing a waltz.
For the Fast Forward, it is a pseudo-Switchback to a TAR4 Road Block. (When Steve & Dave joke about Greenpeace and whales getting thrown off the tower.) Teams must make their way to the Donauturm and bungee jump 500 feet to the ground. But the clue warns it is weather-dependent.
Jason & Amy and Nicole & Travis decide to go for it while everyone else makes their way on foot to the Detour. Seeing that Jason & Amy are already far ahead on the way to the Fast Forward, Nicole & Travis decide to just do the Detour instead.
The teams get started with the Masquerade side of the Detour, but it isn’t as easy as it looks. Meanwhile, Jason & Amy get to the top of the Donauturm where they are told it is too windy for them to jump with no guarantee the wind will let up any time soon. Amy wants to stay and wait, but Jason insists they go to the Detour.
Back at the Detour, Tim & Marie find the correct dancing couple first and open the clue directing them to the Wiener Sangerknaben. Nicky & Kim, Leo & Jamal and Ally & Ashley are right behind and they end up hopping on taxis before thm.
Jason & Amy finally choose to go back to the Detour as Nicole & Travis and Tim & Danny leave.
Leo & Jamal get to Wiener Sangerknaben first and find the Road Block.
For this Road Block, teams will join the Vienna Boys Choir in performing “Die Forelle” by Franz Schubert. After a short lesson with a music teacher, teams will perform the song and be judged on their pronunciation of the German lyrics and their musicality.
Jason & Amy catch up to everyone as Travis gives it a go for his first attempt. But the choir laughs and the choirmaster says no good. Jamal gives it a go, but quickly gets stopped with a thumbs down as does Ally. While Danny hopes his Tim (who is struggling downstairs) can come up and do well, Marie watches her Tim strike out as well as Nicky.
Travis is ready for his 2nd attempt and after going down an octave for this performance, gets through the whole song and eventually gets the next clue pointing them to Schonbrunn Palace.
Nicky gets an “acceptable” and are off. They go to the taxis waiting right outside, but find Jason & Amy’s backpacks in the trunk. Knowing they can’t touch their bags, they decide to just go find another one on the street. The driver starts taking the bags out and the baseball wives consider taking the cab, but ultimately do not, not wanting to get into trouble.
Back inside, Oklahoma Tim has his first attempt, but the choirmaster immediately stops and says it was “terrible.” Jamal and the other Tim follow and are successful.
Tim & Marie see Jason & Amy’s bags on the ground and decide to take their taxi and blame Leo & Jamal. The driver realizes, oops, he took the wrong team, but they say it’s okay. When Amy finishes the Road Block, she and Jason head outside and are shocked. Amy promises to flip out on the team that took their taxi.
At Schonbrunn, teams must enter the maze-like Irrgarten to find their next clue. Nicole & Travis enter first, but Nicky & Kim find the clue first telling teams to head to the Pit Stop at The Gloriette on the grounds of the palace. While Nicky & Kim head outside the palace, Nicole & Travis stay inside the grounds and find Phil and the Mat before the wives.
Nicole & Travis are officially checked in first and win a trip to Anguilla while Nicky & Kim take 2nd with Leo & Jamal joining them on the Mat to finish 3rd.
While Tim and Ally are struggling back at the Road Block, Tim & Marie head into the maze and find the clue. Jason & Amy are close behind and recognize their taxi and driver. They see Tim & Marie’s bags in the back and are shocked to see their friends they had worked with last Leg could’ve done something so horrible to them.
Tim & Marie head up to the Mat and Jason & Amy manage to sneak up next to them. Phil officially checks them in as Teams 4 and 5 respectively.
But Phil notices Amy is upset and asks them about it which leads to Jason & Amy expressing how upset they are while Marie defends Tim and herself. Jason tells Amy to shut up so he can respond. Phil and the pretty Pit Stop Greeter are speechless.
It’s a battle between Ally & Ashley and Tim & Danny for last place. After several attempts, Ally finally gets it on her 5th attempt. Danny encourages Tim on his 5th attempt and he too finally receives the thumbs up from the choirmaster.
But Ally & Ashley maintain their slim lead over Oklahoma to officially check-in as Team #6. That leaves Tim & Danny in last and eliminated.
This was probably the best Leg and episode of the season. The first time we’ve seen neck and neck competition doing tasks that are actually challenging.
Now the Road Block was difficult and could be a little subjective, but there are plenty of tasks where teams learn dances and songs so it’s nothing new. (Hello Jig side of the Pig or Jig Detour!)
The Detour was great though, but I think it would’ve been even better if both were Road Blocks on the same Leg. The mask side of the Detour is definitely a TAR staple and has always been a Road Block. Having one team member doing that by themselves is much more challenging. The chandelier side of the Detour would be great too as a Road Block. Dropping incorrectly assembled chandeliers would’ve been awesome and would’ve bred lots of frustration in teams.
Still, this was a very good Leg and exciting episode.
But maybe the biggest part of the episode was TAR23’s version of taxigate. Now taking someone else’s taxi can be iffy. You feel bad about it, but it’s part of the game and it is as much on the driver as it is the teams. Now, there is also another element to it though. The way Tim & Marie took the taxi was okay. The way Joseph & Grace took James & Sarah’s taxi in TARAu2 was not. They actually grabbed James & Sarah’s stuff from the taxi and dumped them out so they could take it.
Of course, Sarah tried to take the taxi back, but she was unsuccessful. You can’t mess with anyone’s personal belongings. And as much as it sucks for a team to take another’s taxi, Tim & Marie didn’t mess with Jason & Amy’s belongings.
Seeing some drama and rivalry brew is great though. And thank goodness for it because we need some nasty back and forth on this season.
in subjective order
Nicole & Travis are really stepping it up. It is great to see them be so competitive and Racing very well. I want to see more of feisty Nicole (and maybe an exchange between her and Marie again!), but they have been Racing well while not being too boring.
It was a tough way for Tim & Danny to go, but it was good to see them not repeat their defeatist attitude from last week, Danny especially. While it seemed like a lost cause for them, they kept Racing and didn’t let frustration get the better of them like last Leg.
Finally! Some fire in Jason & Amy. Jason was pretty obnoxious at the Mat though. Some Jonathan-lite moments there. Eeek. But it was good to finally seem some personality from them and hopefully this pushes them to really get competitive in addition to Racing well. For Tim & Marie, it was a ruthless move, but perfectly legal on the Race. Again, I appreciate and enjoy their dysfunction more when it comes off natural instead of the forced moments from the early Legs. In this Leg, it felt a lot more organic, thus more fun to watch.
Ally & Ashley are hanging by a thread and are really going to need to step it up if they want to make it far. No sense of urgency this Leg, which is disheartening. Meanwhile, Nicky & Kim talk about Racing well as long as they don’t have to do anything physical. Yeah, good luck with that. That is not good foreshadowing right there and it’s a pretty bad attitude to have moving forward.
And Leo & Jamal lying about the U-Turn was pointless. It seems like they desperately want to be the villains you love to hate, but they’re trying too hard and they are just making themselves look lame and annoying. Nothing villainous about them.
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