Recap: The Amazing Race 34, Episode 2 – “Patience, Is the New Me”
This season, teams will begin the Leg by departing in random groups every 15 minutes. Today, they will start at 8am and the first clue tells teams to drive from Munich to Innsbruck, Austria. But they must first stop at Grünwalderhof in Patsch.
Derek & Claire, Glenda & Lumumba and Quinton & Mattie are in the first group and decide to work on their own to get directions. Quinton & Mattie, however, end up getting lost in Munich, mistakenly looking for the next Route Marker in the city. In the second group, Marcus & Michael and Tim & Rex decide to work together and they manage to catch up to Derek & Claire at the Road Block: Who wants to call in the cows?
For this Road Block, teams must learn and correctly sing three Alpine yodels. Both team members will dress in traditional Austrian costumes which they must keep on for the rest of the Leg. Claire, Michael and Rex get started with Glenda close behind them.
Claire goes for her first attempt, but fails with the lyrics. Michael and Rex also fail their first attempts.
The next group of teams arrive and Linton, Emily, Dom and Aubrey decide to do the Road Block. Meanwhile, Abby & Will are following Luis & Michelle, but the Childhood Sweethearts realize they are going the wrong way and quickly correct themselves. Luis & Michelle realize their mistake, but Abby & Will had already left them.
Back at the Road Block, Claire and Rex fail their 2nd attempts. But Michael gets the hang of it and he and Marcus move into first. They open the next clue directing teams to Marktplatz in Innsbruck.
Abby & Will and Luis & Michelle arrive just as the brothers leave. Glenda gets the thumbs up on her first attempt, Linton gets it on his second attempt, as does Emily. Abby also passes on her second attempt. Rex finally gets the thumbs up on his fifth attempt. Dom gets it on her third attempt, Michelle does it after her second. Aubrey passes on her third, leaving Claire having to do her sixth attempt. She finally passes and she and Derek are able to leave just as Quinton & Mattie arrive. Mattie needs only two attempts.
Over in Innsbruck, Marcus & Michael open the next clue revealing the Detour: Bells Ringin’ or Partner Swingin’. In Bells Ringin’, teams must learn and perform a traditional folk song entitled “Tiroler Glockenklang” using Tyrolean bells. In Partner Swingin’, teams must learn and perform a traditional Austrian wedding dance.
Marcus & Michael choose the bells while Glenda & Lumumba and Linton & Sharik choose the dance as do Abby & Will.
The brothers grow a bit frustrated after a few attempts, but they get the thumbs up on their fifth. Glenda & Lumumba get the steps down after their third attempt as do Linton & Sharik. The teams are given the next clue pointing them to the Pit Stop at Hofburg Imperial Palace.
Marcus & Michael check-in as Team #1 and win Expedia reward points good for five nights for two to Lima, Peru. Glenda & Lumumba and Linton & Sharik finish as Teams 2 and 3. Derek & Claire get the thumbs up at the bells on their first attempt and head to the Pit Stop to check-in as Team #4.
Luis & Michelle leave the dancing after their second attempt and finish in 5th place. Abby & Will take three attempts while Emily & Molly take four attempts. They are Teams 6 and 7. Rich & Dom leave the bells after their fifth attempt. They get to the Mat, but Phil tells them that Dom needs her hat to check-in. She doesn’t even know where they could have dropped it, but they decide to head back to the garage to check.
Aubrey & David and Tim & Rex initially have trouble finding the parking garage. But Aubrey & David get the dance after their second attempt and head to the Pit Stop to check-in as Team #8.
Quinton & Mattie who had been in last are able to pass the dance after their first attempt. Tim & Rex take ten attempts to get the thumbs up at the bells. Rich & Dom find the hat in the car.
It’s now down to the last three teams. Rich & Dom are able to step on the mat as Team #9. Quinton & Mattie are 10th. That means Tim & Rex are last and eliminated.
This was actually a pretty great episode. In recapping The Amazing Race Australia this season, I’ve looked for which Legs have felt the most “normal.” Mostly because the Network 10 TARAu is so abnormal. Of course during COVID, it’s hard to go back to even the good meh ol’ days of contemporary TAR. But this episode and Leg definitely felt the most like “normal” Amazing Race. And that was quite refreshing.
So this episode was also 90 minutes just to pair with a 90 minute Survivor. They basically used the extra 15 minutes of episode for all that driving which they then used to do a sort of Getting to Know You with most of the teams who didn’t get much screentime in the premiere. And that’s alright. I don’t expect the 90-minute episodes to be the norm. Especially in the middle to the end of the Race when there won’t be as much material.
First with the departure times, I think it’d be better to have a set number every week. Making the number of teams in a departure group feel so arbitrary can give the illusion that things can be manipulated. One week there’s three teams in the first group, other weeks there can be two. Having a standard two or three teams in each group and in a set interval might be a bit better.
Still, self-driving provided enough of a challenge to shuffle teams up through the Leg.
The Road Block was good. And with its scenic location as well. Of course, we saw that some teams struggled mightily, while others had an easier time. This Leg was definitely a performance-focused Leg. So that might have leaned into some of the teams’ strengths while hindering other teams.
Both Detours were good as well, though by that time, teams seemed to have already created distance between each other thanks to the self-driving.
It was interesting to see all those maps out as we really haven’t seen maps on TARUS play a major part in a long time.
So while it was a simple Leg, the tasks and the teams were enough to help make the episode enjoyable and fun. Definitely refreshing in the COVID Era. Especially compared to recent TARC and TARAu.
Elsewhere, I like seeing them returning the city and country IDs in the Route Info locations.
AND! The end of an era for TAR as Expedia takes over as online travel partner from Travelocity. No more Roaming Gnome making an appearance in-show, so that’s sad.
Like Phil, I’m pretty sad that Tim & Rex were eliminated so early. I too have a feeling they could’ve provided some fun moments if they stayed longer. And if it weren’t for being unable to find the garage, they would’ve survived this Leg. It’s too bad.
Strong Legs for Marcus & Michael, Glenda & Lumumba and Linton & Sharik. Glenda & Lumumba especially were able to show off their personalities much more and it was fun to see.
Derek & Claire stumbled big time at the Road Block, but proved they’re going to be a tough team and should never be counted out.
Emily & Molly have such an amazing story. But I think they have big potential to make it far in the Race. I’m definitely rooting for them.
Luis & Michelle, Abby & Will and Aubrey & David were probably the least visible teams this Leg. Or maybe they just blend together a little bit. Definitely can’t say that with Rich & Dom and her unique hair that she uses to power herself up. I think they will definitely be an interesting team if they do well.
Quinton & Mattie definitely have Tim & Rex to thank for their survival this Leg. If Tim & Rex had not spent all that time with the bells, the former cheerleaders probably would’ve been gone.