Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 8 – “Ooo, you gettin’ all fancy on me!”

Recap: The Amazing Race 23, Episode 8 – One Hot CamelTAR2308

It’s time for the 8th Leg of the Race. To get going on this Leg, teams must use their satchel of Viking coins they obtained in Norway and decipher a code that will unlock a Ford Explorer. The symbols on their coins must be placed in the order that they are stenciled on the satchel. Flipped over, the coins reveal the five-digit sequence needed to open the SUV.


Leo & Jamal are the first out of the Pit Stop and open the clue telling teams to head into the Al Khatim Desert to find the Boudthib Endurance Village. Jason & Amy go the wrong way while Nicole & Travis catch up to the cousins. Tim & Marie get going, but both Ally & Ashley and Nicky & Kim take a little bit of time trying to figure out the passcode.

At the Endurance Village, teams must hop onto a dune buggy and follow a marked course to a cluebox.


Nicole & Travis get stuck in the sand allowing Leo & Jamal to get out in front, but both teams stay in the lead. Tim & Marie catch up to Jason & Amy while Ally & Ashley pass Nicky & Kim who also get stuck in the sand.

After the dune buggies, teams must head to the Al Ain Oasis where they must search amongst palm trees for their clue, which a local will retrieve for them.


Nicole & Travis manage to find the Oasis first and get the next clue revealing the Detour.

For this Detour, teams head to Al Jahili Fort.
In Wedding Guests, teams have to prepare a traditional ceremonial dish by collecting the ingredients and preparing them according to the recipe. After delivering them to the cooking station, they’ll get the next clue.
In Beauty Contest, teams must identify a prize winning camel and dress it up to present to judges for approval.

The married doctors head to the fort and decide to use their Express Pass, as this is the last Leg they can use it. They get the next clue pointing them to the Al Jahili Tower where they find the U-Turn board.


They decide to U-Turn Leo & Jamal for lying to them about U-Turning Brandon & Adam in Leg 5.

Leo & Jamal arrive at the Fort and choose Wedding Guests while Tim & Marie choose Beauty Contest.


Tim & Marie start looking for the prettiest camel. They choose one and start dressing it. The camel kicks Tim in the shin as they finish up. They take the camel to the judges, but they don’t think it’s beautiful enough so they have to choose another one just as Jason & Amy arrive.

Meanwhile, Nicole & Travis head to the next Route Marker at Wadi Adventure where they find the Road Block.

In this Road Block, teams must navigate through the largest man-made rapids in the world to collect three different colored flags to receive their next clue.


Nicole gets started, but struggles with reaching the flags.

Back at the Detour, Tim & Marie present their 2nd camel and they get a thumbs up and the next clue telling them to find the Al Jahili Tower on foot.

Jason & Amy congratulate Tim & Marie as they leave. They take their camel to the judges, but it suddenly starts acting up and then dirties its clothes so they need to start over.

Tim & Marie run around the fort and end up finding Leo & Jamal. They ask if they know where the tower is which makes Leo & Jamal decide to switch Detours.

Tim & Marie have no idea where to go and decide to take their bags from the cars and leave the fort. Jason & Amy finish the Detour and easily find the U-Turn board and their next clue. On their way to the water park, they drive past Tim & Marie running around far from the fort.


Across town, Nicole & Travis finish the Road Block and head to the Pit Stop at Jebel Hafeet where they officially step on the Mat as Team #1. They win their choice of two Ford vehicles with an Eco-Boost engine.

Meanwhile, Leo & Jamal finish the camels and head to the tower where they discover they’ve been U-Turned by Nicole & Travis. They head back to the cooking to finish what they started earlier.

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Tim & Marie finally get pointed back to the fort. Marie is upset, but they get to the U-Turn board and decide to U-Turn Nicky & Kim to give themselves some breathing room and to pay them back for the airport drama in Leg 3.

Ally & Ashley and Nicky & Kim get to the fort and both choose the camels. But Nicky & Kim decide to switch to the cooking where they catch up to Leo & Jamal who try to make it seem it is an easy task. Ally & Ashley quickly finish the Detour and head off to the Road Block where Jason has already finished.

Jason & Amy head to the Pit Stop where they check-in as Team #2. Tim does the Road Block and he and Marie meet Phil to officially finish 3rd.


At the Detour, Leo & Jamal exchange their ingredients for a finished dish and exchange that for the clue. The go back to the tower and are back on their way.

Nicky & Kim finish the cooking Detour but head to the tower to find they have been U-Turned. They hurry back to the camels while Ally & Ashley get lost on the way to the water park.

But they manage to catch up to their Race husbands and they both head to the Pit Stop. Leo & Jamal finish 4th with Ally & Ashley coming up right behind them to check-in 5th.

That leaves Nicky & Kim in last place as they arrive at the water park where they must first complete their Speed Bump.

For their Speed Bump, they must jump into a wave generating pool and swim across to grab onto a rope ladder they’ll use to get up on the other side.


After pushing through the Speed Bump, they finish the Road Block and head to the Pit Stop where Phil tells them that after getting saved twice by non-elims, they are now officially eliminated.

Episode Thoughts
This was a pretty good episode. And I definitely needed it to get the horrible taste of the final TAR24 cast out of my mouth. Ugh. But we have a couple of months to worry about that.

Back to TAR23, these last few Legs have been much better than some really bad Legs at the beginning. Now I love any TAR task with animals, but the camel Detour was horrible. It seemed pretty arbitrary how the judges decided who to give the thumbs up to. It would’ve been a fine Road Block, but it was a horrible Detour choice. The cooking Detour should’ve been paired with some kind of physical task in the sun.

The Road Block was okay, but definitely standard TAR and seen on plenty a TAR in the past.

I see the one U-Turn per team rule is still in effect on TARUS. I hated TAR Canada not enforcing that rule. It was unfair.

It was a pretty linear Leg though as evidence by teams getting grouped together in top, middle and bottom pairs. And Nicky & Kim’s elimination was pretty obvious halfway through the Leg.

But it was still a fun episode to watch and much better than the season’s first few Legs.

I’ll take it.

The Teams
in subjective order

Nicole & Travis are smart, consistent Racers. Much kudos to them for not needing their Express Pass until the very last Leg. They are definitely Racing very well and barring a huge mistake, seem to be a lock for the finals.

Jason & Amy are fine, but I’m still wishing they were more fun. They called this Leg “pure torture,” but it was a pretty simple Leg compared to the others. If they were overwhelmed with this Leg, I don’t even know. They’ll need to step it up.

Tim & Marie are still the bickering couple, but they seem to be losing steam Race-wise. They’ve been alright so far, but they are quickly losing their way and that does not bode well moving forward.

Nicky & Kim just couldn’t dig themselves out of last place. They were Racing okay, but maybe a little extra burst of energy could’ve given them much more of a shot to stay.

Ally & Ashley fell forward this Leg. They are just an elimination waiting to happen, unfortunately. I wanted to see them Race well without their Race husbands, but they are definitely lagging. Leo & Jamal were rightly U-Turned, but what sucks about that is them portraying themselves as the underdogs. Wannabe villains or underdogs, which is it? Ugh.

Recaps are nice, but watching the episode yourself is even better! Miss it or want to watch it again?
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