Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 7 – "I suck at dates."

Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 7 – Speed Dating is the Worst


Teams set off for the 7th Leg of the Race and must fly from Vienna to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates.

The other teams go straight to the airport, but Leo & Jamal stop at a hotel to check Travelocity and find a flight that gets into Abu Dhabi at 5:50am via Austrian Air. It’s only a ten-minute lead on the other teams who all get on a flight via Air Berlin getting in at 6am.

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Once in Abu Dhabi, teams must make their way to the Sheikh Zayed Mosque. Leo & Jamal arrive first and enter the huge mosque to receive their next clue pointing them to the Irani Souk.


The other teams catch up. To enter the mosque, teams had to put on slippers, the men had to cover their legs and the women had to cover their heads, arms and legs.

At the Irani Souk, teams find the Detour.

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For this Detour, teams will choose between two of Abu Dhabi’s oldest industries.
In Sort It Out, teams need to assemble an elaborate display using the correct type and number of dates.
In Sew It Up, teams need to assemble a traditional fishing net.

Jason & Amy and Nicole & Travis choose Sew It Up while the other teams choose Sort It Out.

Leo & Jamal try to maintain their lead, but are confused when the dates in front of the shop don’t seem to match the ones in the example inside. What they don’t realize is there is another table of dates a couple of shops over.


While Marie gets testy with Tim, Nicky & Kim see the other table of dates and try to stealthily collect the ones they need. Leo & Jamal finish their tray and present it, but they get the thumbs down. They notice Nicky & Kim’s tray has the correct dates and propose a deal to help each other, but Nicky & Kim don’t bite.

Over at the pier, Jason & Amy and Nicole & Travis are starting to get frustrated assembling their nets under the scorching sun. And it gets more frustrating when Nicole incorrectly ties the wrong knots, making Travis have to redo it.

Jason & Amy manage to finish the Detour first and open their next clue. Teams must now head to the Al Bandar Marina to catch a luxury yacht to the Yas Marina for their next clue.

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Back at the dates, Leo & Jamal finally find the other table and alert the other teams. They get the correct dates on their tray and get their next clue. They head to the marina where they actually arrive before Jason & Amy and they both board the first yacht. Nicole & Travis finish the Detour and end up on the 2nd yacht.

Tim & Marie and Ally & Ashley get the thumbs up on their dates and head to the marina. They wait for their yacht to depart. Nicky & Kim come running up and miss the 3rd yacht by just a second or two.


At Yas Marina, Jason & Amy and Leo & Jamal open the next clue to reveal the Road Block.

For this Road Block, teams head into the Yas Marina Circuit where they will drop and rappel 200 feet and then hop into a Le Mans Prototype race car with a driver. Taking a lap around the circuit, teams must keep an eye out for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix record holder amongst a number of signs and his time: Sebastian Vettel, 1:40.279.

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Jason and Leo decide to do the Road Block. After two laps around the circuit, Leo relays the correct answer and receives the next clue telling him and Jamal to hurry over to the Pit Stop, the Champion’s Podium at the racetrack.

Jason takes a couple of laps and a few times has the correct racer, but is always one number off the correct time. That allows Leo & Jamal to take first and a trip to Paris with Jason & Amy settling for 2nd.

Travis finishes the Road Block after one lap and he and Nicole check-in as Team #3. Ally and Marie set out on the Road Block together, but Marie manages to finish it first and she and Tim step on the Mat as Team #4.

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Ally’s struggles at the Road Block allow Nicky & Kim to catch up and it’s a Race for last. For a couple of laps, Ally is confused as to what she even needs to do, but she finally gets the correct answer and she and Ashley head to Phil to officially finish 5th.

That leaves Nicky & Kim in last place. But Phil tells them this is a non-elimination Leg.

Episode Thoughts
This was definitely a great episode. Again, it is always great to see teams Racing side by side. The ride on the yacht and spacing teams out like that could’ve been avoided, but it was a non-elimination Leg so I guess it’s okay.

But what is interesting is that Phil did not mention a Speed Bump for Nicky & Kim. Is it a Nick & Vicki (TAR17) situation where a TAR production-error led to them being declared safe? (Though of course, no such correction for TAR14’s Brian & Ericka on the Final Leg which would’ve given them the win.)

Anyway, the Leg design was surprisingly solid since it had several Route Markers. The Detour choices were equally challenging and the Road Block was great because it had several parts to it.

Fun fact. The teams left Vienna on Saturday, June 22nd according to Leo & Jamal checking Travelocity for flights.

Overall, it was a solid Leg and a good episode.

The Teams
in subjective order

I usually have a favorite I’m rooting for by this time in the Race. But not this time. Still, I do like Nicole & Travis and Jason & Amy. Nicole & Travis may have had a little hiccup at the Detour, but they are still very consistent and are avoiding any major (or little) mistakes. Hopefully they can use the Express Pass wisely in the future. Jason & Amy, meanwhile, are chugging along as well. Good for them to not dwell on Tim & Marie taking their cab.

Tim & Marie are still fun to watch, though there are still times they feel too forced. Rolling their eyes at Nicky & Kim at the airport was a nice, fun moment. But their arguing at the Detour went on maybe a little too long and felt like it was all for show. They can get over their little fights quickly… well, imagine that.

I absolutely agree with Nicky & Kim about them needing to be more “on.” They were right on at the Detour not telling Leo & Jamal about the dates. But for that good move, they still needed to hustle. Them missing the yacht was the perfect example of how precious seconds are on the Race. But while the Baseball Wives are too slow, Ally & Ashley are even slower. And not only that, but they are content with relying on Leo & Jamal who are not always going to be there for them. They were doing well on their own for a few Legs. It sucks to see them regress.

Leo & Jamal are in the front for the first time in a long time, which means they are comfortable enough to mug the camera again. What joy.

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