Recap: The Amazing Race 27, Episode 8 – "He always loves something he can manhandle."

Recap: The Amazing Race 27, Episode 8 – “Krakow, I’m Gonna Get You.”


Justin & Diana open the first clue of the Leg telling teams to fly to Krakow, Poland. For the first time ever, teams will be booking their flights using the Travelocity mobile app right at the start of the Leg.

All teams will take a train back to Amsterdam for their flights. Justin & Diana are able to get on an earlier flight while everyone else takes a 2nd flight.

Once in Krakow teams must head to Plaza Krakow where they will find their clue at the bottom of the pool.

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That clue reveals the Detour: Mine or Music.
In Mine, teams will make their way to the Wieliczka Salt Mine where they will descend 1000 feet. Teams will pick up timber used to strengthen the mine’s passages and deliver it to a loading area. They will then fill a mining cart with salt and push it back through the tunnel to receive their next clue.
In Music, teams will learn how to accompany a violinist on a piano in the Main Square. Once ready, they must push their piano to a nearby performing area where they must perform and earn 100 zloty to receive their next clue.

Justin & Diana choose Mine as the other teams arrive in Krakow.

Tanner & Josh and Chris & Logan choose Mine while everyone else chooses Music. Denise & James Earl and Tiffany & Krista decide to walk to the Square. After having initial trouble getting taxis to stop for them, Chris & Logan and Kelsey & Joey run over to find them, leaving Tanner & Josh in last.

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Justin & Diana finish the grueling work and must now make their way to Oskar Schindler Factory. Here, they will take a moment of reflection and pay tribute to the lives of Polish Jews, including the ones saved by Oskar Schindler during the Nazi occupation of Poland.

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After the tour, teams must head to Kazimierz in the Jewish Quarter. Here, they will find the Road Block: Who can handle a big order?

For this Road Block, teams will use a provided dinner order listing traditional Jewish dishes. They must correctly identify seven of them and deliver the correct number of each to a dinner party at Klezmer-Hois.

Justin decides to do the Road Block.

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Meanwhile, Tanner & Josh are having trouble getting to the mines where Chris is having trouble getting the salt into the cart. Across town, the Music teams have fun transporting their heavy pianos to the performance locations while Tiffany & Krista end up having trouble getting tips.

Kelsey & Joey and Denise & James Earl earn enough money and are off to the Road Block. Justin goes around the area trying to figure out what the dishes on the list are.

Tanner & Josh arrive at the mines just as Chris & Logan are leaving. Tiffany & Krista finally overcome the “mean” locals and earn the 100 zloty.

Justin delivers the tray of food at the door to the Klezmer-Hois and the maître-d hands him and Diana the next clue. That clue directs them to the Pit Stop… at Klezmer-Hois.

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They head inside to a waiting party where Phil officially checks them in as Team #1. They win a trip to Shanghai, China.

Phil also warns them of a U-Turn on the next Leg.

Kelsey and James Earl help each other with the Road Block and get it done quick. Kelsey & Joey finish as Team #2 and Denise & James Earl are Team #3. Phil asks them how they’re going to stop the dominant Justin & Diana. Joey wants to hit them over the head with a flute.

Tiffany is doing the Road Block and decides to just guess what the dishes are. Chris & Logan see her doing the task as they arrive. Logan wants to do it since she has experience, but Chris insists he will do it because Logan already has too many Road Blocks. Logan frustratingly relents and lets Chris do it.

Tiffany’s arms are hurting from the heavy tray, but the maitre-d gives her the thumbs down. She heads back and asks some locals for help.

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Chris hopes to do his Jewish grandmother proud by using his memory, but he also has something incorrect. He heads back. Tiffany has her 2nd tray full just as Tanner & Josh arrive. Josh decides to do the Road Block.

A struggling Tiffany gets it wrong a 2nd time. She heads back and asks Josh if he wants to work together. They do.

Chris gets the last bit of local help he needs and finally gets the thumbs up. He and Logan head inside to Phil where they are officially Team #4.

The waiting Tanner and Krista are frustrated and upset that it’s come down to them two. Josh waits for Tiffany who is still struggling to carry the heavy tray. He says she’ll go before him since she was here first.

At the restaurant, Tiffany finally gets the thumbs up as does Josh who has the same tray. They head inside the restaurant.

Tiffany & Krista are Team #5. They are very emotional and tell Phil they had hoped to go to the end with Tanner & Josh.

Phil says that’s still possible because this is a Non-Elimination Leg!


Episode Thoughts

I thought this was a very good Leg!

In doing my little TARPH DryedMangoez editions, I’ve realized just how important logistics really are. Especially when it comes to flights. While I do feel that airport scrambles and booking flights are a big part of the Race, having teams on different flights that may be far apart, especially in today’s simpler Race, takes away from the competition. As we saw here, Justin & Diana getting in front and staying in front wasn’t so much them being all that “dominant” as Phil describes them. But it was really the unavoidable and indirect advantage of being first on the last Leg. They could have just as easily been on the same flight as the other teams.

And again, as we saw here, it makes for an exciting Race when teams are neck and neck and racing side by side.

The tasks this Leg were good. I think the Detour was a little unbalanced, but okay for a Non-Elimination Leg. It of course also depends on how the teams actually perform the tasks as well. The Road Block was also typical TAR and it shows how teams tackle certain tasks and challenges. Like here, it would be logical to go get help with the dish names instead of just guessing.

The Pit Stop right at the Road Block endpoint was also refreshing and it definitely worked for them this Leg with that finish.

And TAR definitely has learned its lesson from the Vietnam controversy. It was a nice tribute to Oskar Schindler and the Jewish people here.

But the most interesting thing for me this season has been how the teams have really grown. The teams were absolutely boring and lifeless in the first 2-3 Legs of the Race. Maybe it was the editing, but none of the teams really stood out or did anything particularly interesting. The Justin & Diana/Tanner & Josh feud also took over a huge chunk of the time as well. But after that, the teams really were able to make a bigger impression. And I think each of them has contributed a lot to the season so far. Especially when tasks may not be all that creative or new, the teams have been able to carry a lot of these episodes’ weight. Which is definitely something that can’t be said about the other recent seasons (except TAR25).

My Subjective Team Rankings

Denise & James Earl have been a great parent/child team. After the debacle of that TAR24 parent/child team, it is definitely awesome to have one here that you can enjoy, like and actually root for. They are tons of fun and have actually been Racing pretty well.

Logan & Chris have been a big surprise for me. They may be the most enjoyable team on the Race. And that might have to do with my low expectations of them. There is of course certain connotations with paparazzi. But like the TMZ girls showed, you should throw those preconceptions out the window on the Race. Logan & Chris have been hilarious fun. And that’s a big deal in a time when TAR teams have been frustratingly bland and/or annoying. Logan & Chris are testy with each other, but haven’t really been negative towards other teams. That’s a big plus.

Tiffany & Krista are like underdogs who have shown huge potential for some breakout moments, in terms of Racing. They’ve had some big moments already, but they are poised for a big win in the future. Despite this close Leg, I think they have a good shot of going all the way. And they have been able to step it up when they really need to.

Tanner & Josh are definitely much more likeable as underdogs and “bros” rather than a team engaged in a back and forth rivalry for Race domination. They’ve become much more enjoyable to watch actually fighting to survive than when they were talking about Justin all episode long.

About Tiffany asking to work with Josh and Josh letting her go first instead of running ahead… WOW! That was fascinating to watch. And I bring myself back to TARPH2. It really was surprising Tiffany would ask Josh for help knowing it was very possible that they were fighting for last place. But there’s definitely a few things present here that were not in TARPH2.

Even when knowing they are fighting for last, it is better to know where your competitor is. So Racing side-by-side with Josh would’ve at least ensured that. And Tiffany would have had to be banking on Josh being a gentleman and not just running off after getting help from her. It seems as though the two teams are actually close, so I would assume that Tiffany knew it was in Josh’s character for him to let her stay in front.

(The lack of development between the two teams seems to speak with the uneven editing this season, but that’s a discussion for the Season Wrap-up.)

But their minds were still on the competition. And it wasn’t like TARPH2 where teams just didn’t want to do the work.

Joey & Kelsey fit the role of the nice, competitive couple. I do feel like they are holding back a little bit because of being an anchor/reporter. They do have a certain image to uphold so I feel like they could be more cutthroat and uber-competitive otherwise. It seems like the show is setting them up as Justin & Diana’s ultimate foil instead of Tanner & Josh.

Justin & Diana are no doubt great Racers. They’ve shown that they know the Race and can Race well. Of course, it always gets a little boring when one team dominates a season, though one can argue that the Leg designs definitely helped Justin & Diana on one or two of those wins. Plus, they haven’t really been portrayed as this unstoppable, dominant couple like Rachel & Dave were in TAR20. So that could speak to their ultimate fate in the Race.

Episode Quotes

Logan: “What if something comes down?”
Chris: “Then it crushes our legs, we’re paralyzed for life. And we keep asking ourselves ‘Why did we do this?’ That the answer you’re waiting for?”

Logan: “Chris always loves something he can manhandle.”

Logan: “You’ll fail. No, you’ll fail if you don’t have this.”

Logan: “You can’t do this.”
Chris: “Yes I can. Anyone can carry a tray.”

Tiffany: “My arm feels like it is going to fall off.”

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