Recap: The Amazing Race 35, Episode 8 – A Planes, Trains and Automobiles Day
The 8th Leg of the Race has teams traveling by plane and train to Ljubljana, Slovenia. Teams will pick up pre-ordered tickets from a local travel agency, but can book earlier tickets if available. Greg & John are able to get on a 4pm flight to Vienna while the other teams have to settle for the 7:30pm flight.
Teams drive to Frankfurt Airport and Todd & Ashlie and Rob & Corey are able to get on the early flight via standby. In Vienna, the three teams think they’ve found a faster train itinerary than the tickets provided to them. But a severe delay on one of the trains, ensuring they miss a connection, forces them to backtrack to Vienna and have to take the originally ticketed train with the trailing teams.
After all of that, all the teams arrive in Ljubljana at the same time. They must run to Congress Square to pick up their cars which they will drive to Lesce Sports Airfield. Steve & Anna Leigh are already arguing just leaving the garage.
Joel & Garrett are first to arrive at the airfield and open the next clue revealing the Road Block: Who wants a bird’s-eye view? For this Expedia Experience Road Block, teams will hitch a ride in a glider plane and spot four numbers in Lake Bled. When back on the ground, teams must unscramble the numbers to represent the year Slovenia gained independence (1991). When they get it right, they can open the pilot’s clipboard to reveal their next Expedia-sponsored clue.
Garrett and Rob are the first to head up in the air. Due to height restrictions, Ashlie must perform this Road Block while John chooses to do it. Robbin and Lena are next to decide on the task. Steve & Anna Leigh are lost.
Garrett gets the numbers, but guesses 1199 as the answer which is wrong. He has to go to the back of the line and go up again. Rob, however, gets the right answer as do Ashlie, John and Robbin. Lena is not sure of the numbers and guesses 1976 so she must go back up.
The father and daughter arrive and Anna Leigh refuses to do the Road Block because she is so upset.
Garrett finally gets the right answer on his second attempt as does Lena.
After the Road Block, teams must drive to the Planica Nordic Centre. Todd & Ashlie arrive first and open the next clue revealing another Express Pass is available. Teams must climb up 1100 steps to claim it and then take a ride down the world’s steepest zipline.
Todd & Ashlie decide to go for the Express Pass, but do not see the marked stairs and end up walking down the wrong path. That allows Rob & Corey to arrive and start up the stairs first. Todd & Ashlie see them and hesitate before eventually deciding to try and pass them. But they end up turning around. Greg & John arrive and decide to give it a try, but they also give up as well.
For teams not attempting the Express Pass, teams must ski to the top of the training center in order to choose a Detour: Field Work or House Work. In Field Work, teams must collect, fluff and place freshly plowed hay on a hayrack or kozolec. In House Work, teams must assemble a bee home.
Greg & John and Robbin & Chelsea choose the hay. After some bickering getting up the ice, Todd & Ashlie choose that as well.
As Rob & Corey claim the Express Pass, they head inside to the skis and choose the hay while Joel & Garrett choose the homes. Lena has a bit of trouble finding her balance, but she and Morgan get to the top and choose the hay Detour.
Steve & Anna Leigh, still in last, decide on the bee homes. But they also decide on going for the Express Pass, not seeing that it has already been taken. They get the shocking news at the top and think they are already eliminated. They at least enjoy the zipline back down and appreciate the experience.
Though they arrived 3rd, Todd & Ashlie get the thumbs up at the Detour first. Rob & Corey, who arrived 4th, leave next. Greg & John and Morgan & Lena follow.
Steve & Anna Leigh catch up to Joel & Garrett at the bee homes as Robbin & Chelsea finally get the thumbs up at the hay. Joel & Garrett finish the bee homes and Anna Leigh tells them this is the last time they’ll see each other on the Race. Joel & Garrett tell them to stay positive.
After the Detour, teams can pick up their next clue by climbing 230 feet up a spiral staircase to the top of Neboticnik Skyscraper. On the way, Corey has to take some Benadryl after having an allergic reaction to the hay. Meanwhile, Joel & Garrett have to go back to the bee homes to retrieve their notebook.
Greg & John and Todd & Ashlie climb the stairs and open the clue pointing them to the Pit Stop on Dragon Bridge. On the other end, Robbin & Chelsea, Morgan & Lena and Steve & Anna Leigh have trouble with navigation.
Greg & John and Todd & Ashlie step on the Mat as Teams 1 and 2, respectively. The brothers win Expedia Key Cash they can use for a trip to Namibia. Rob & Corey catch up to the them on the Mat to check-in as Team #3.
Joel & Garrett are 4th, Robbin & Chelsea are 5th.
Steve & Anna Leigh get to the top of the building before Morgan & Lena. And that is enough to save the father and daughter from elimination. The father and daughter are officially Team #6.
That means sisters Morgan & Lena are last and eliminated.
Let’s get the nitpicking out of the way first. Having more Route Markers and little tasks is great. But when we whine about having more tasks, I think fans and viewers mean more than just having two tasks climbing stairs in the same Leg. Lol
The show is lucky the teams were either too ambitious or suffering from tunnel vision. Otherwise, there would have been zero drama to the Express Pass like the first Leg.
And teams had trouble finding the building, but that was definitely all on the teams and not on the actual tasks.
Moving on to the “airport drama,” it’s funny that no matter what moves the teams made with the flights or the trains, they were all going to be equalized at the Road Block anyway. Which, in contemporary TAR, is just more proof that there is really no need for airport drama anymore. Just fly teams to the next country and let them depart based on their Pit Stop arrivals from the previous Leg.
It did use up 12 minutes of episode time though lol
The Road Block was a good way to feature Lake Bled. And it was well-positioned here at the start of the Leg. It was a straightforward task with just enough trickery to trip up some teams.
The indoor skiing is a perfect extra task for the Leg. Just random little tasks like this in between Detours and Road Blocks really go a long way to drive competition.
The Detour was a good pair of tasks as well. The apiary building was just a good physical task that actually could’ve been a good Road Block too, especially if they included a memory aspect to it with the story pictures. The hayrack is a unique task for the location and a nice twist on familiar drying structure tasks from TARs all over.
It would’ve been good to have another extra task in Ljubljana NOT just climbing more stairs. Imagine the navigation challenges PLUS a task that could’ve changed placements of more teams. That would’ve been even more exciting. Maybe recycle a task from TARPHDME19 where they assembled a dragon friend and delivered it to Dragon Bridge. Hehehe
Anyway, a better episode with the quantity of tasks. The quality of some could’ve been better. But a great Detour and teams delivering the drama helped to boost an otherwise straightforward Leg in a beautiful new location.
Sad to see Morgan & Lena go. It was fun watching their bickering. They were especially funny at the skiing. I did notice some creative editing with the audio they used for the first scene of Lena falling over. But it was still funny. And an example of the team’s great entertainment value this Race. It’s too bad they couldn’t recapture their early Race performance though.
Greg & John are definitely the top contenders now and really stepping it up at the right time. So far, they are on their own at the top. The next tier would include Rob & Corey and Todd & Ashlie as the more consistent teams. Joel & Garrett and Robbin & Chelsea are in the next group as teams who have shown great promise at times during the Race, but not on a consistent level yet.
And finally, Steve & Anna Leigh are definitely not the parent-child team I expected to see on the Race. But they are the parent-child team I want to see on the Race now. Their arguments are hilarious to watch. And the fact that they have shown they can Race very well, I think, makes them a team to watch for the win.