“The Amazing Race” Recap: Barin’ It In Barcelona!

So long, Ryan & Abbie. We’ll always remember you as the team too generic to generate a nickname.

Previously on The Amazing Race, teams traveled from Moscow to Amsterdam. Natalie & Nadiya launched their careers as supervillains, hatching a dastardly scheme to ensure Ryan & Abbie’s Philimination and winning the Leg via Fast Forward before some teams had even left Moscow. Jaymes & James wrestled with their consciences (sadly neither nudity nor oil were involved) and carried out their part in the twins’ plan by U-Turning Team No-Nickname before finishing 2nd. Trey & Lexi sealed the deal and took 3rd place by U-Turning Team Chippendale and foreclosing Ryan & Abbie’s only opportunity. Not that it mattered since not one but two blown connections out of Germany broke the team, leading them back into their baffling Beekman Boys bond. The teams raced together until the U-Turn perfidy was discovered. Josh seriously considered sticking with the group until Brent talked him off the ledge and onto the Amazing Mat as team number four. Ryan & Abbie, on the receiving end of too many setbacks and despite Team Beekman’s determination to commit Race suicide, finished last and were Philiminated.

In tonight’s Leg, Racers flew from Amsterdam to Barcelona, Spain and then, after a layover long enough to hit the beach, hopped a ferry to the island of Majorca. Once on the island they had to wade through a sea of insane devil-costumed fire dancers to obtain their next clue. This led them to the Manacor (hometown of Rafael Nadal) and the Roadblock, “Who wants to get smashed?” One team member had to return 20 tennis serves from a single bucket of balls to complete it. From there they must find the caves known as the Coves of Campanet and the Detour. The choices are “Spin It” or “Bull It”. In “Spin It,” teams need to repair a 400 year-old windmill by attaching two blades to the mill tower. In “Bull It” teams dress in a bull costume and must hit the capes of eight matadors, then hit the bull’s eye to launch a dummy matador into the air, in under two minutes. From the Detour it was off to the Pit Stop at the Castell de Bellver, where the last team to check in may be Philiminated. As if we don’t all know before the opening theme song that this is going to be non-elimination.

Trey & Lexi

Team Longhorn rips the clue in third place at 6:38 AM Trey takes the Roadblock because he actually plays tennis and he makes short work of it. Team Longhorn chooses “Bull It” but fail their first attempt by demolishing the matador dummy.

Lexi also cuts the dickens out of her finger. They make it through on their second attempt and are off to the castle. They arrive at the Pit Stop where Phil and a bizarre headless person await them. Team Longhorn is in first place and they win a trip to the Riviera Maya. We note that Phil speaks nothing of the “final three”.

Jaymes & James

Team Chippendale rips the clue second at 5:57 AM and spend the ride to the airport feeling guilty some more about U-Turning Ryan & Abbie. The Roadblock goes to James, who goes through two buckets of balls before landing 20 in bounds. They plan to do “Bull It” with Team Longhorn but get separated from them. They find themselves at “Spin It” and after donning super-sexy construction outfits attach the blades.

They make it to the Pit Stop as team number two.

Brent & Josh

Team Beekman is the last to rip the clue at 9:38 AM. They’re wearing supercute shirts. On Brent’s back it reads “He’s fabulous” with an arrow pointing left. Josh’s reads “So’s he” with an arrow pointing right. They meet up with the rest of the teams waiting for the ferry, which makes this probably the first time they’ve seen a team besides Ryan & Abbie for like a week. Josh foolishly takes the Roadblock despite the ankle he injured in Amsterdam. This is the dumbest Roadblock choice since the guy who was terrified at the thought of skydiving took one with the clue “who’s ready to take the plunge?” while standing on an air strip. He pushes through and Team Beekman head for the Coves. They choose “Spin It” and after mounting the giant shaft quickly attach the blades. Josh notes, “As long as you know where the bolts and the nuts go, it’s just a matter of lining everything up.” Truer words, my friends. They finish up and make it to the Pit Stop in third place.

Natalie & Nadiya

The thieving twins rip their clue first at 2:55 AM and have no idea how to pronounce “Majorca”. From the sound of it and from a subtitle, it seems the clue uses the Spanish spelling, “Mallorca”. After bearding the devils in their den Nadiya drives them to Manacor, struggling with the stick shift and regretting skipping the driving lessons she signed up for. Nadiya takes the Roadblock. Turns out she skipped her tennis lessons as a kid too and she biffs her way through several buckets. They try to latch on to the departing Beekmans who lie that they have to stop for directions. Too late, the twins note that the boys have a map, prompting one of them to comment, “They’re super-prepared! They’re gay!” They select “Spin It” and are shocked! shocked! that “the gays” beat them through the windmill.

They finally straggle into the Pit Stop in last place, but of course this is a Non-Elimination Leg. They must overcome a Speed Bump at some point during the next Leg, a task that only they will have to perform.


The Amazing Metrics

Philiminated with Extreme Prejudice: No one. Dammit.

Hopelessly Lost but Making Good Time: The twins. Killer Fatigue set in quickly and brutally but they did not help themselves at all by not knowing how to drive stick.

Don’t Make Me Come Back There: The twins again. With Killer Fatigue came a marked escalation in their bickering. Coupled with some really questionable comments about the Beekmans and just their general wretched personalities and they were the most insufferable team of the week.

Cruising: Jaymes & James and Brent & Josh. Team Chippendale cruised to an easy second place and the Beekmans were workmanlike and efficient in their solid third place finish.

This Leg had moments of greatness and moments of absolute suck. It was wonderful watching the evil twins struggle so much. How stupid are teams after 20 seasons not to have one person on the team who can drive stick? This is TAR 101, right up there with “read the frakking clue”. But my joy at their sorrow was muted from the knowledge that they were going to be non-Philiminated. I was very happy to see Team Beekman do so well even with their poor Roadblock choice and Team Chippendale is always a favorite. And hey, devil men and fire and explosions, always welcome additions to any proceedings.

But seriously, a layover in Barcelona of 12 hours? Twelve hours? I don’t believe for one minute that there isn’t a single ferry to Majorca between 11 AM and 11 PM. That reeks of producer manipulation stronger than anything has in a long time. I understand that they don’t want teams falling so far behind that they can’t generate any drama and it sure looked like that was a possibility going into Amsterdam, but the Beekmans went from being 13 hours behind the first team to leave Moscow to being less than seven hours back leaving Amsterdam. There was no need for that level of interference and not even the welcome sight of Trey and the Chippendales in their swimwear makes up for it. For that reason and because I have to deal with the thieving twins for two whole hours next week, I must award this Leg a season-low Two Phlying Phils.

Next week: the two-hour season finale! Will the thieving twins recover from their blunders? Can the Beekmans continue to improve? How naked with Jaymes & James get? Who will win the grand prize of One! Million! Dollars! And will Dennis pay me double for the recap?

Bonus shots