Recap: The Amazing Race 34, Episode 3 – “It’s All in the Details”
The teams board the charter flight which will take them to Bologna, Italy where they will begin their “first” Mega Leg. Marcus & Michael and Glenda & Lumumba open the first clue at 9:30am. The next four teams depart at 9:45am with the last group starting the Leg at 10am. Teams must drive themselves to Arco del Meloncello
The clue waiting for them there reveals a Detour: Head of the Class or The Big Cheese. In Head of the Class, teams will listen to a 16th century medical school lecture and then identify 16 bones, muscles and organs in under 90 seconds. If they pass the exam, they will get the next clue. In The Big Cheese, teams will use a cart to deliver a wheel of cheese to a restaurant where it will be cut in half by a professional. They must leave one half with this restaurant before delivering the other half to a different restaurant. Both will give them receipts. Teams can then exchange the two receipts for the next clue.
For both Detours, teams must drive to Piazza Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Glenda & Lumumba, however, believe they are supposed to make their way on foot. Marcus & Michael are surprised to see them running instead of driving.
Marcus & Michael arrive at the cheese pick-up and get started with the delivery. Luis & Michelle are 2nd to begin the cheese Detour. Meanwhile, Linton & Sharik have the first lecture all to themselves, but they fail the first exam. They must return to the lecture hall where they are now joined by Abby & Will, Aubrey & David and Quinton & Mattie.
Glenda & Lumumba finally realize their mistake and must now head all the way back to their car.
Marcus & Michael run into Derek & Claire who follow them back to the cheese store so they can get started. Luis & Michelle and Derek & Claire finish the cheese before any of the other teams at the anatomy Detour pass the exam. Quinton & Mattie (who did very well with anatomy in college) are the first of that group to pass. The other teams have to go for another lecture with Molly & Emily arriving to join them. For the next exam group, the long-lost twins are able to pass, along with Abby & Will.
Rich & Dom, meanwhile, are struggling with both driving the stick and with directions.
After the Detour, teams must head to the Ducati Factory. Michael & Marcus have just arrived and open the next clue revealing the Road Block: Who’s ready for a brake? For this Road Block, teams must correctly assemble Ducati’s flagship Panigale V4. They must first assemble the wheels and brakes to the approval of the mechanic before then assembling the body panels in order to get the next clue.
As Michael gets started with the motorcycle, Glenda & Lumumba finally arrive at the lecture hall while Aubrey & David and Linton & Sharik go for their next attempt at the exam and finally pass. Rich & Dom arrive for the lecture when Glenda & Lumumba start their first exam, but fail.
At Ducati, Claire decides to do the Road Block along with Quinton, Luis and Will. All the teams have some trouble getting the parts on just the right way and David, Linton and Emily arrive to start the task.
Back at the Detour, Glenda & Lumumba and Rich & Dom finally pass the exam and hurry to try and catch up to the other teams.
Marcus & Michael maintain their lead and open the next clue declaring the beginning of the second half of the Mega Leg which tells teams to drive to Florence.
As the brothers leave, Glenda and Rich begin the Road Block. Emily & Molly move into 2nd place followed by Aubrey & David, Luis & Michelle and Linton & Sharik. Dom tries to comfort a worried Derek and Claire is able to finish next. Abby & Will and Quinton & Mattie follow right after.
Dom takes the time to meditate and it seems to help Rich as they leave next. Glenda & Lumumba are now in last.
Alright, my biggest complaint about this episode is: Why tell the teams this is a Mega Leg in advance?! Surprise them at the midpoint! You want to keep teams on their toes. So telling them even before they open the first clue that this is a Mega Leg or telling them a Road Block clue is ahead or telling them a U-Turn will appear; you’re taking away a part of the Race that could bring some good drama and even more competitiveness.
I mean, really. I think springing things on teams like Mega Legs and Non Eliminations, etc don’t really have any negative effect on the teams. So don’t tell them. Just surprise them instead.
Also, I think most fans knew that this season would feature some Legs that were KOR or Mega Legs even when the show made a big deal about no Non-Eliminations. That and, again, CBS showed us the 12 “Pit Stop” locations a few weeks ago. Lol
As we see, Bologna isn’t necessarily an official Pit Stop, but basically one since it’s the midpoint of this Mega Leg. Funny thing about the “Mega Leg” is it’s just a KOR Leg/no-penalty Non-Elimination leg/Zero-Hour Pit Stop with a new name. Apparently, teams get a short break between the two halves of the Mega Leg. Lol So, it’s just an old “twist” that gets a new name for the sake of being “new.” Also saves Phil the trouble of waiting for teams at the midpoint Mat.
Anyway, it’s fine. The more important thing to look at are the actual tasks. Both the Detour and Road Block were good tasks, but having only those two tasks ended up making the episode drag on a bit since they could only focus on those two things.
I liked the anatomy side of the Detour more since it was more challenging and more tedious. The cheese delivery ended up being easier than it appeared on paper since Phil’s description made it seem like they had to deliver the cheese to two different places. But one of the two restaurants they needed to deliver to was the one where they got the cheese cut. So basically, teams only had to deliver to one restaurant. And it didn’t seem to be that hard.
Very nice “get” to have a task at Ducati. And it was also great to see teams actually catch-up as well. It’s always preferable to have teams side-by-side at tasks. Even though it felt a bit predictable at the top and bottom of the placements at this point.
Also, yay at not playing the full opening credits! It really is the worst opening credits of all 34 seasons lol
Overall, a solid episode. The lack of extra tasks and some interesting editing choices made the episode feel a bit more laborious that it should’ve been. When you have to stay on one task for basically half the episode, it can get repetitive. Especially when we aren’t necessarily getting some great moments or quotes from the teams themselves to keep things fun or exciting.
But we’ll see how the rest of this Mega Leg plays out next week.
I was very excited to see Emily & Molly do so well this Leg. I hope they can continue the good momentum they’ve started.
Marcus & Michael seem to be the team to beat at this early stage. They were able to easily maintain their lead all half-Leg. But of course, the barebones “Leg” definitely helped them a bit.
I was really worried for Glenda & Lumumba. I really like them, so seeing them running around and ending up in last was tough. Hopefully they can recover in Florence.
It was good to see Dom a bit calmer this week. But that looks to not be the case next week. Rich & Dom are such an interesting team since what we’ve seen so far is so different from what you might assume from a pair of motivational speakers. But also the two of them seem like such contrasts to each other as well. So it’s fun to see how they respond and react to the rigors of the Race.
Quinton & Mattie is another team that has stepped it up a bit this week. I honestly would’ve expected them to be one of the weaker teams, based on their performance so far. But perhaps they’ve got some tricks left up their sleeves. From underdog to dark horse? We’ll see!
It’s actually quite a relief to see Derek & Claire are not this unstoppable force. I think usually for Big Brother teams, the show likes to portray them as immediate contenders. And other than Jeff & Jordan, you can see the show setting them up for a long run. Derek & Claire can definitely still make it to the end, but seeing them really work for their spot on the Race helps to endear them a bit more. Which is great.
Linton & Sharik, Abby & Will, Aubrey & David and Luis & Michelle were all alright this episode as well.
Dom: “Objects can be manipulated.”
Dom: “I like when you twist things on.”
Aubrey: “We are coming from the Road Block of death.”