Recap: The Amazing Race 29, Episode 8 – Good Job, Donkey
Teams take a train to Bari, Italy where they will take a ferry to Patras, Greece from which they will drive a non-sponsor Volkswagen Polo to Arachova.
Self-driving spells trouble for Liz & Michael who take the wrong turn along the way. Becca & Floyd fall to last when they also go the wrong way.
Tara & Joey arrive in Arachova first, but decide to dance with the locals at a Greek wedding. That allows Brooke & Scott to find the Double U-Turn board first and they choose to U-Turn Liz & Michael to ensure their elimination. Tara & Joey decide to U-Turn Becca & Floyd to help their friends Liz & Michael.
Next is the Detour: For the Bride or For the Groom.
In For the Bride, teams must transport two canisters of milk on a donkey to two local cheese makers who will each hand them a piece of local cheese which they can deliver to the bride. In For the Groom, teams must race against locals up 252 steps to the Church of Saint George where they will each be given a sheep and/or goat which they must deliver to the groom.
Tara & Joey, Brooke & Scott and Matt & Redmond all choose the donkey.
Meanwhile, Liz & Michael have driven so far off from where they’re supposed to be despite Liz telling Michael to turn around early on. Michael refuses to turn around.
Tara & Joey deliver their cheese and must now drive to Athens and find the next clue at Panathenaic Stadium. Phil welcomes them before they have to run a lap around the historic stadium before being given the next clue.
They must now head to Zappeion.
Back in Arachova, Liz & Michael finally arrive and are SHOCKED to see Brooke & Scott U-Turned them. Michael is especially incensed since he says he basically did the Dar es Salaam Road Block for Brooke and this is how they repay them. Liz remembers how whiny Brooke was in last Leg’s Road Block.
They run into Becca & Floyd who can’t find their 2nd cheese maker.
Returning to Athens, Tara & Joey find the Road Block: Who thinks they can step in time?
For this Road Block, teams must learn and perform a changing of the guard routine.
Tara, Matt and Brooke decide to do the Road Block.
More interesting however is the battle for last place. Liz & Michael reach the top of the steps and pass the church. Liz takes a goat around neck and they head back to the wedding. The bride says they have to do the other Detour now, but actually they both needed to have an animal around their neck. Becca & Floyd are close behind.
Tara finishes the Road Block on her 2nd attempt and she and Joey head to the Pit Stop at Areopagus near the Acropolis where they check in as Team #1 and win $7500 each. Matt & Redmond take 2nd and Brooke & Scott finish 3rd. London & Logan pop up as Team #4.
That leaves the last two teams battling it out. But Liz & Michael have to do the Speed Bump which requires them to prepare kokoretsi. Michael being a butcher helps them finish the Speed Bump quickly.
But Becca gets the Road Block on her 2nd attempt and she and Floyd run to the Pit Stop to check in as Team #5.
That means Liz & Michael are last and eliminated.
This was an okay episode. The Leg Design was kinda strange, but refreshing at the same time. It was refreshing because it was a Leg that actually lasted longer than a few hours since the drive from Arachova to Athens is about two hours. So in that sense, it was nice since most of the simple, barebones Legs these days last 3-4 hours only.
But at the same time I feel like this was two Legs smashed into one. There totally could’ve been a full Leg in Arachova/Greek countryside and a separate one in Athens. Especially this being the first visit to Greece in 20!!! seasons, you’d think they would maximize the opportunity.
Anyway, this Leg was still very beautiful with some excellent use of drone footage. Love those drones!
Let’s go back to the start of the episode though. After I complained about Phil’s repetitive intro to the episodes last week, they eliminated that and jumped right into the Leg with no intro. That was another refreshing aspect of the ep.
The Detour was pretty solid and a good one for a U-Turn since it was a balanced Detour with both tasks worthy of being featured.
Moving on to Athens, Panathenaic Stadium is definitely a TAR-worthy location. And the Speed Bump wasn’t bad at all.
But that Road Block was interestingly done much better and more fun in TAR China 3. There it was an Active Route Info task where both team members had to do it. I think that has to be a little harder since both had to be in sync with each other while here, teams could just follow the pro.
Having the Pit Stop near the Acropolis was good. But overall, the Leg design was very iffy and didn’t truly maximize either main location. Still a solid episode.
My Subjective Team Rankings
Great Leg for Tara & Joey. They’re really the only team I’m rooting for to win it all. London & Logan were again invisible, especially since they were in between the two main groups of teams running the Leg.
Liz was again the voice of reason on her team. If Michael had just listened to her, maybe they could’ve snuck into safety. But it wasn’t in the cards for them I guess. Kudos to Liz pointing out Brooke’s whining.
Becca & Floyd said no one would want to U-Turn Team Fun. But I’m like, Yeah, I definitely would just because they’re so annoying! lol Well, not so much these last few Legs maybe. But still, they’d be an easy candidate.
Brooke & Scott… Not much whining from Brooke this week. I can’t fault them for U-Turning Liz & Michael since it’s likely the last U-Turn of the Race. They wanted to ensure their spot moving forward. Matt & Redmond were pretty boring this Leg and maybe 2nd most invisible after LoLo.
Finally Michael. It was very strange to see him go from angry and stubborn to resigned to the fact that they’d be eliminated. If he had been calm and listened to Liz, they might’ve had a shot this Leg.
Brooke: “I stepped in poop, that’s probably good luck.”
Brooke: “I’m dying and I still haven’t peed.”
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