Recap: The Amazing Race 35, Episode 9 – “In the Belly of the Earth”
Teams will get zero euro for this 9th Leg as teams must first run to Congress Square for the first clue which reveals a Road Block: Who can deliver the goods?
For this Road Block, teams must intricately attach woodenware to a traditional Slovenian back carrier before delivering them to judges. John and Todd decide to do the Road Block. Corey arrives next and gets started. Greg tells Rob that they have plenty of time today because the last place Steve & Anna Leigh are way behind everyone.
A half-hour later, Joel & Garrett begin the Leg as Greg & John open the next clue telling teams to drive to the cave birthplace of dragons, Pivka Jama. The brothers leave as Joel starts the Road Block.
Robbin & Chelsea get to the cluebox and Chelsea does the task. Steve & Anna Leigh begin the Leg at 10:42am, 46 minutes after Greg & John. Anna Leigh catches up to Chelsea at the wood crafts store and manages to get her carrier secured before her. Chelsea ends up missing one piece and has to go back, pushing her and Robbin to last.
Everyone is on their way to the caves. Todd & Ashlie end up going the wrong way and have to backtrack.
Greg & John maintain their lead and enter the caves. They find the cluebox telling teams to head deeper inside to find a dragon they must assemble. Rob & Corey, Steve & Anna Leigh, Joel & Garrett and Todd & Ashlie arrive at the caves.
After a few checks, Greg & John get the thumbs up and open the next clue directing teams to the Fonda Fish Farm. Rob & Corey are 2nd to finish followed by Steve & Anna Leigh and Joel & Garrett. After Robbin & Chelsea miss their exit, they finally arrive at the dragon cave long after Todd & Ashlie have left.
At the fish farm, teams will decide which Detour to complete: Scrape Off or Swap Out. In Scrape Off, teams must use a chain to remove the barnacles off the rings of the mesh fish containers. In Swap Out, teams must use a kayak, pull up a line of mussels from two marked buoys and then swap out the buoys holding each line for a new one.
Greg & John think the barnacles are gross so they decide on the needle in a haystack task as the first team here. Rob & Corey also choose the buoys while Steve & Anna Leigh choose the barnacles. Joel & Garrett want to swap out.
As Greg & John exchange their mussel line for their 2nd buoy, Rob & Corey forget to grab a replacement buoy. Greg & John finish the Detour and can now hurry to the Pit Stop at Grad Socerb.
Meanwhile, the father and son take an old buoy back to the pier with them instead of pulling up a mussel line, completely misunderstanding the task. They end up switching to the barnacles as Steve & Anna Leigh finish the Detour next. Joel & Garrett are close behind.
Joel & Garrett run into Todd & Ashlie on the road. Todd & Ashlie have renewed hope after having fallen behind when they hear Robbin & Chelsea are nowhere to be found.
Greg & John finish the Leg as Team #1 and win $5000 each. Joel & Garrett are Team #2 and the nice Slovenian lady smells Joel’s beard. After a few wrong turns, Steve & Anna Leigh step on the Mat in 3rd. Rob & Corey are 4th. Todd & Ashlie survive the Leg as Team #5.
It is late afternoon as Robbin & Chelsea finish the Detour and jump into the water for a quick swim. They head to the Pit Stop as the sun sets and Phil officially eliminates them from the Race.
An alright episode that probably would’ve been better as a one-hour (TV time)/46-minute commercial-free episode. You only have six teams, it’s probably better to have more than three tasks in a Leg. And no, walking to a location teams already visited in the last Leg at the start of the Leg is not a valid extra task.
I do have to chuckle at Greg & John being so confident they were safe at the start of the Leg by saying Steve & Anna Leigh were so far behind. Even though the father and daughter were just 46 minutes behind. I think that says a lot about the show and its Leg design when teams expect Legs to be so short that they expect a 45 minute lead to be enough to allow them to skate on through to the next Leg. Lol
This Leg didn’t seem to be a short one. Though I think we might be deceived by how far back Robbin & Chelsea were. They were lost several times, so they easily could’ve fallen back an hour or more. And it was telling that Todd & Ashlie had long left when Robbin & Chelsea arrived at the dragons.Maybe even a long time at the Road Block too.
Which was a nice creative Road Block mixing some of the most fun TAR tasks of the past. That of course includes carrying unruly things on their back, unique local traditions like basket bikes and on foot delivery of course. A short task that probably took less than 30 minutes. But a refreshing task nonetheless.
I guess TAR saved the dragon assembly for the cave instead of having it in Ljubljana like TARPHDME19. lolol It was a good location for the task though. But I would’ve liked to have seen teams do more in the caves at least. A very stunning location. Also a shame they didn’t do more around Lake Bled.
The Detour was fine. I think creative editing definitely stretched it out longer than it needed to be featured in the episode.
Really though, this episode just needed one more task. Spending 20 minutes on each task is really too much. And now we’re heading into Legs with even less teams, the show better have more than a Detour, Road Block and one Active Route Info task in these final three Legs.
The most memorable moment, probably of the season, will be nice little Maria smelling and loving Joel’s beard. lol
Well, I guess many TAR fans are celebrating Robbin & Chelsea‘s elimination tonight. Again, I have no idea why people hate them so much, yet cheer on actually horrible people over the years. But it’s whatever. Robbin & Chelsea were an alright team. Their one win was certainly well-earned. But like they themselves mentioned, it’s going to be hard for any team to go up against Greg & John and Rob & Corey.
Speaking of, Todd & Ashlie mentioned all the teams have spent time in the back so far this Race. And that’s true. There is great parity with the teams this season. Even though Greg & John are moving into a dominant performance now, I honestly don’t see them as invincible. So potentially, it could be anyone’s Race yet. I think any two teams could be eliminated next. It only takes one wrong turn, as shown in this Leg.