The Amazing Race Season 23 Episode 8 Discussion and Recap (UPDATED)

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Last week was a non-elimination leg of The Amazing Race, but the Double U-Turn is in play for tonight’s episode. That means a team will most likely get eliminated tonight. Will the Double U-Turn affect the outcome of tonight’s episode? Let’s find out.

The six remaining teams must continue trekking around Abu Dhabi for this leg of the race. But first they must use the satchel of coins they received in Norway to unlock a Ford Explorer. Once they enter the five-digit code (0-9-4-7-9), they can make their way to the Sand Dunes.

Leo and Jamal are currently in first place and enter the five-digit code without any problems (except a nasty fall from Jamal as they ran toward the cars). Jason and Amy are in second place, and they already figured out the code when they first received their satchel. Good for them for thinking ahead. Nicole and Travis follow in third place, and they have already decided to use their Express Pass for this leg of the race. That’s a wise decision, especially with the Double U-Turn in play. Tim and Marie are in fourth place, and they worry about the possibility of Jason and Amy U-Turning them. There is still bad blood between the teams since Tim and Marie stole Jason and Amy’s cab, so a U-Turn would be a perfect way to pay them back. Ally and Ashley and Nicky and Kim are fifth and sixth respectively. Nicky and Kim are worried about the U-Turn, especially since they’ll have a Speed Bump to complete in this leg of the race along with their other tasks. But they’re determined to compete well, and assert they’re not going to be bunnies anymore; they’re going to be ninjas instead.

Once at the Sand Dunes, the teams must get into a dune buggy and follow flags leading them to the clue box. It’s a simple task, but problems still arise. Leo and Jamal arrive first, followed by Nicole and Travis, Jason and Amy, Tim and Marie, Nicky and Kim, and Ally and Ashley. Nicole and Travis get stuck in the sand momentarily, but are able to continue on after a few adjustments. However, Nicky and Kim get stuck in the sand too, but their situation is much worse. After overdoing the clutch, they’re trapped in the sand and have to watch in dismay as Ally and Ashley pass them on their workable buggies. Nicky and Kim finally decide to get into a new dune buggy to reach the clue box, putting them in last place at that point.

Next is the Detour: Wedding Guests or Beauty Pageant? Wedding Guests entail teams to prepare a dish suitable for a wedding, whereas Beauty Pageant requires teams to dress up a camel whose physical appearance must be up to the standard set by the judges of the task.

Nicole and Travis arrive at the Detour first, but they use their Express Pass right away. This puts them further in the lead as they continue on their way to the Roadblock. But before so, they decide to U-Turn Leo and Jamal! Their explanation for choosing Leo and Jamal is because the Afghanimals lied about U-Turning Brandon and Adam. It seems as if Nicole and Travis are trying to justify their decision as honorable, but it’s pretty unnecessary. It’s a race, so I don’t think anyone would fault them for using the U-Turn. So I don’t think any explanation is necessary.

As Nicole and Travis make their way to the Roadblock, the other teams are busy working on the Detours. Leo and Jamal decided to prepare a dish, while Tim and Marie go dress up a camel. The bickering exes spend minutes trying to find the most appealing camel of the bunch, but apparently it wasn’t good-looking enough as the judges deem their camel not attractive enough to pass this challenge. Perhaps the camel kicking Tim in the shin was a clue that that camel wasn’t going to lead them to victory? Tim and Marie look for a different camel as Jason and Amy arrive at the Detour. Ally and Ashley and Nicky and Kim, on the other hand, have yet to arrive at the Detour.

Meanwhile, Nicole and Travis are at the Roadblock, which challenges a team member to navigate the world’s largest manmade rapids. A team member must ride the rapids and collect three flags on his or her way through the course. Nicole chooses to take part in this challenge. She struggles retrieving the flags due to how high the flags are raised.

Back at the Detour, Tim and Marie’s second camel is deemed attractive enough, and they receive their next clue. However, Tim and Marie struggle to find the clue box where the Double U-Turn is located. Even though it’s right there in the tower, they go on a wild goose chase and waste valuable time. They accidentally arrive at the other Detour, which worries Leo and Jamal, pressuring them to switch Detours. Jason and Amy, on the other hand, have already completed the Detour, chose not to use the U-Turn (which is a surprise), and are driving to the Roadblock by the time Tim and Marie are still looking for the clue box (and half a mile away according to Amy, who spots them while they’re driving to the Roadblock).

Over at the Roadblock, Nicole manages to retrieve three flags before completing the course down the rapids. She and Travis then head over to the Pit Stop, which is located at Jebel Hafeet – the best driving road in the world, according to Phil. They arrive at the mat and are Team #1! They each win a Ford vehicle with Eco Boost. Their options include the Explorer, the Fusion, the Escape, and many more. So in case you weren’t already aware, Ford is a big sponsor of The Amazing Race.

Ally and Ashley and Nicky and Kim finally make it to the Detour just as Leo and Jamal finish dressing up their camel, but not before Jamal is kicked by the camel. Their camel is deemed appealing enough by the judges, and they make their way over to the clue box and find out they have been U-Turned. Since Leo and Jamal already used the U-Turn once before, they are unable to use it again. So they go back to prepping their dishes again, which they quit about halfway through after seeing Tim and Marie. They are joined by Nicky and Kim, while Ally and Ashley dress up a camel of their own.

Tim and Marie finally find the clue box, and they decide to U-Turn Nicky and Kim. With a Speed Bump still uncompleted, this puts the bunny ninjas in a very difficult position. Tim and Marie then head over to the river rapids Roadblock, which Jason has already completed. Jason and Amy head over to the Pit Stop and are in second place again. Tim finished the Roadblock without any problems, and he and Marie are Team #3. Marie explains they used the U-Turn on Nicky and Kim due to a stunt they pulled in the airport back in Leg 3. But it really wasn’t a stunt. Nicky and Kim were smart enough to put their names on a waiting list first to get the one pair of tickets on a faster flight instead of waiting in line.

Anyway, this just leaves the Afghanimals, the ice hockey girls, and the bunny ninjas to battle it out for a spot in the Final Five. Leo and Jamal finish their dish and make their way to the Roadblock. Nicky and Kim finish their dish too, but soon learn they have been U-Turned. However, with the magic of television editing, it is suggested that Nicky and Kim have completed both Detours and are on their way to the Roadblock before Ally and Ashley, who somehow get lost on their way to the Roadblock. However, it seems like the three remaining teams get there around the same time, but Nicky and Kim have a Speed Bump to complete. They must swim across a wave pool and climb up a ladder without getting wiped out. They struggle with the Speed Bump, but manage to complete it. However, the damage is already done, because Leo and Jamal and Ally and Ashley are already checking in at the Pit Stop by the time Nicky and Kim start the Roadblock.

Therefore, Nicky and Kim are the last team to arrive at the Pit Stop and are sadly eliminated from the race. They are clearly disappointed, but handle their elimination well. They say they have no regrets and are very proud and thankful of the experience. However, they do say they won’t be ninjas anymore and will go back to being bunnies. Anyway, with a Speed Bump and getting U-Turned, the odds were not in their favor tonight. It’s a shame to see Nicky and Kim eliminated from the race since they were such a positive presence on the show. They never argued with one another and seemed to really enjoy competing in the race. They will be missed.

Final Results of the Episode:

1st place: Nicole and Travis

2nd place: Jason and Amy

3rd place: Tim and Marie

4th place: Leo and Jamal

5th place: Ally and Ashley

Eliminated: Nicky and Kim


Next week on The Amazing Race, the remaining five teams race to Indonesia! Also, there looks like there will be a confrontation between Leo and Jamal and Nicole and Travis. What will happen? Thanks for reading and join me next week for another recap of The Amazing Race!


  • RemusL

    Nicole and Travis were pretty sanctimonious with their complaint that Leo and Jamal lied to them. Even though I sometimes find the Afganimals annoying, this is a race and your competitors are under no obligation to give you information just because you request it. I know Leo and Jamal wanted to pretend they could still use the U-turn which, to my mind, is a smart play.

    Of course, Marie is as unpleasant as ever. If she had only said they were U-turning the bunnies to give themselves a cushion, that would have been ok. But claiming the bunnies pulled a stunt (ie cheated) when they didn’t makes Marie even more despicable, if that is at all possible.

  • Eric Mitchell

    The reasoning behind the u-turns were stupid and pointless … I wish teams would just admit that they did it because a team was a threat

  • catlover84

    My favorite is Jason & Amy and they finished 2nd, again. This is the 5th time I think? Like, really. Even I’m frustrated. lol

    And I agree, Leo & Jamal can be annoying, but withholding information or giving false one is just a strategy. To u-turn them just because of that was silly. On the other hand, I was surprised too when Jason & Amy didn’t u-turn Tim & Marie. For me, “They stole our cab” would have been a good enough reason. Maybe they’re just that nice. Btw they’re going to my country next week! Soo excited!

  • ellen8

    I can’t understand why Leo and Jamal are in the All Star season. They don’t seem to be so popular.

  • HKfan

    Jason and Amy are my favourites of the ones left….I don’t really get why Leo and Jamal are so disliked, they seem quite nice to me, and seem like they’re having a good time..
    Looking forward to them going to Indonesia next week, beautiful place.

  • Wellworn

    Agree. They are funny and a little loud, but so what? I like all the teams except Marie.

  • Wellworn

    I really wish that Jason and Amy had u-turned Tim and Marie also. It would have given the bunnies a chance, and it would have been so satisfying to see Marie react to the u-turn. They had to know that Marie would u-turn someone. Her excuse for u-turning the bunnies was ridiculous. Also agree that it was silly for Nicole and Travis to give their excuse for the u-turn. I like Nicole and Travis, however, and worry about them after seeing next week’s preview.