Recap: The Amazing Race 34, Episode 10 – Don’t Look Down
Teams continue the Mega Leg by driving an Audi convertible to Ronda, Spain and finding a tour guide holding the Andalusian flag on top of Puente Nuevo. Luis & Michelle arrive in Ronda first and open the next clue revealing the Detour: Bend Over Backwards or Dress for Success.
In Bend Over Backwards, teams must build an arch using a traditional method. In Dress for Success, teams must study a flamenco performer’s costume and then find the accessories needed to dress a waiting dancer in the exact same way.
Luis & Michelle choose the flamenco. Derek & Claire, who fell behind while trying to get out of Malaga, catch up to David & Aubrey who feel grateful and indebted to Derek for helping them at the Detour. Both teams also choose the flamenco side of the Detour and they are able to catch up when Luis & Michelle are missing one detail.
Luis & Michelle stay in first place when they get the thumbs up and must now walk to Paseo de Kazunori Yamuchi to find a wood carver.
Aubrey & David are next to get the thumbs up and try to help Derek & Claire who are getting something wrong. Emily & Molly spot Aubrey & David as they are running away. But the twins don’t know exactly where they need to go. It takes them a while before they find the flamenco Detour. Marcus & Michael, still in last, choose the arch.
Luis & Michelle find the carver and he hands them the Road Block clue: Who’s been paying attention? For this Road Block, teams will traverse a tightrope underneath the Puente Nuevo bridge. They must identify a clue with the Andalusian flag, which the tour guide had been holding, on the other side. If they choose the wrong flag, they will have to make their trek across the line again.
Michelle excitedly chooses to do the Road Block and she picks the right flag. She and Luis can now make their way to the Pit Stop at Mirador de Ronda. They officially check-in as Team #1 and win enough Expedia reward points for a trip to Tokyo.
Back at the Road Block, Aubrey and Claire choose to do the Road Block. Neither of them are fans of heights. But they get through it and are able to choose the right flag. Afterwards, Claire has to let out her tears as she was truly so afraid of the task.
David & Aubrey and Derek & Claire head to the Pit Stop to check-in as Teams 2 and 3.
It’s down to the sibling teams to avoid elimination. Emily does the Road Block and she is not sure which flag she actually needs. But she ends up choosing the right one. She and Molly head to the Pit Stop and check-in as Team #4.
That means Marcus & Michael are last and eliminated.
After this episode, I am convinced that TAR introduced the Mega Leg just so they can justify having less tasks per episode. Because if they had to stretch last week, they definitely had to pull and pull even more this week to give this episode enough content.
It was honestly quite a slow episode. And such a waste considering Ronda and Andalusia deserves a much better visit than this.
Both sides of the Detour were fine tasks. TARPHDME did a similar task with the arch before (lolololll). It would’ve been a good Active Route Info task here instead because the teams obviously would choose the flamenco side which required less physical and mental effort. Let’s be honest. It sucks when the Detour is not balanced and both tasks would’ve been great challenges for teams. Talk about a waste.
For Marcus & Michael, why when the foreman checked their work, he based it on whether they put the stones in between the bricks. They should’ve just removed the brace and let the bricks fall if they were wrong. What’s the fun in just giving them the thumbs down and not having to do all the work over again. That’s why this task would’ve been much better as an Active Route Info task. Have all teams here struggling to get it done. AND be a task where they can’t help each other at all.
The Road Block was okay. You always need those kinds of tasks on the Race. But a “get in line,” first-come, first-served task right before the Pit Stop? Having to guess the Andalusian flag is not enough of a wild card to trip up teams. And especially when it comes at the end of a “Mega” Leg, with teams so spread out already, it almost doesn’t even matter anymore.
This Mega Leg overall would be one regular Leg in other seasons. So to have it spread out over two episodes with only five teams, it really tested the TAR editors’ skills. And unfortunately, modern TAR editing has been lacking. So having to fill this episode and be exciting and enjoyable was a huge task that they sadly did not accomplish.
Absolutely no surprise with the results this Leg. Marcus & Michael‘s decline has been evident for weeks now. And with the way this Leg was designed, there was no chance for them to recover. It’s too bad because they were really a great, strong team. But I guess they just peaked at the wrong time.
With Emily & Molly, they’ve gone from top contenders to now the underdog. And while I was already rooting for them before, I’m rooting even harder for them now. They definitely have to make the Final Three! It would be so exciting.
With Derek & Claire, I’m really appreciating Claire as a competitor. Not having watched most of their BB season, I have no idea if she was like this there. But as a Racer, she’s been great. Eyes on the prize, doing all the toughest tasks. That’s not to say Derek’s not doing anything. But Claire has definitely had more standout moments.
Luis & Michelle have gone from invisible to emerging contenders to now kind of Racebot-y. Very interesting character development for them. But they’re setting themselves up for a good run to the Finish Line if they survive next week.
Aubrey & David are also peaking at the right time as well. If we didn’t have a plane ride for next Leg, then they’d probably have an easy time getting to Final Leg. But it’ll be a level playing field next week. So it’s anyone’s Race still. But with modern Leg design, who knows. Plus, Derek could easily pull them across the Mat again if needed?