Amazing Race Week 9 Discussion and Recap *Updated*

We are down to our final five teams and based on my pre-season predictions I picked 4 of the top 5 and if Team Ego falls out this week my top four will have made it all the way.

For a look back here were my pre-season predictions:

11. Caitlin King, 24; Atlanta; special ed teacher; Brittany Fletcher, 25; Chicago; medical device sales (best friends)

10. Rob French, 46; Boston, Ga.; professional monster truck driver; Kelley Carrington-French, 50; Boston, Ga.; professional monster truck driver (married)

9. Rob Scheer, 52; Ketchikan, Alaska; lumberjack and entrepreneur; Sheila Castle, 44; Pigeon Forge, Tenn.; retail manager (engaged)

8. Amy Purdy, 32; Summit County, Colo.; motivational speaker/snowboarder (double amputee); Daniel Gale, 36; Summit County, Colo.; executive director (dating on and off)

7. Abbie Ginsberg, 31; Encinitas, Calif.; dance instructor/choreographer; Ryan Danz, 35; San Diego; financial service company owner (dating divorcees)

6. James LoMenzo, 53; Burbank, Calif.; professional musician/former band member of White Lion and Megadeth; Mark “Abba” Abbattista, 45; Denver; entertainment lawyer (friends)

5. Gary Wojnar, 52, Livonia, Mich.; substitute teacher; Will Chiola, 53; Dearborn, Mich.; substitute teacher (best friends)

4. Jaymes Vaughan, 30; Las Vegas; Chippendales emcee; James Davis, 27; Las Vegas; Chippendales dancer (best friends)

3. Josh Kilmer-Purcell, 42; Sharon Springs, N.Y.; goat farmer/advertising executive/author; Brent Ridge, 38; Sharon Springs, N.Y.; CEO of Beekman 1802 (life partners)

2. Trey Wier, 23; Austin, Texas; land consultant/former college athlete; Alexis “Lexi” Beerman, 22; Dripping Springs, Texas; clothing designer (dating)

1. Natalie Anderson, 26; Edgewater, N.J.; physical therapy student; Nadiya Anderson, 26; Edgewater, N.J.; project coordinator at Bridge2Peace (Twin Sisters)

Not a bad average but I’m still looking for back to back seasons of picking the winner.

As for last weeks results they were:

  1. Team Chippendale (Jaymes and James)
  2. Team Longhorn (Trey and Lexi)
  3. Team Twin (Natalie and Nadiya)
  4. Team Ego (Abbie and Ryan)
  5. Team Goat (Josh and Brent)

It looks like we will have a double U-Turn this week so that can cause some good drama going into the final few episodes. I look forward to everyone’s thoughts and look for my recap later tonight.



I was expecting one flight that would bring all the teams together so that it would be a close last few legs. It seemed like it would be early on but I was pleasantly surprised with how the episode played out.

The Chippendales start off and their clue is a flag. They must figure out which country the flag is from and go to the Capital of that country. The flag can easily be mistaken for the flag of France but in reality it is the flag of The Netherlands and teams are now off to Amsterdam. The Chippendales take the time here to note that they are playing because James father has Cancer and James wants to make sure he can get treatment without having to work again.

The Chippendales play it smart and use a computer to figure out their next stop and are off to the airport. Team Longhorn ask their taxi driver for the answer and when he says France they take him at his word and Lexis excited that they are off to Paris. This could have been an epic fail but they are saved when they run into the Chippendales at the airport and are told that they are actually off to Amsterdam.

The twins also guess France but they are wise enough to ask for help and are told that it is The Netherlands and are also off for the airport. We are also shown Team Ego figuring out that they need to go to Amsterdam and are also off to the airport.

Once we are at the airport the episode starts to get tricky. Luckily Phil breaks it all down for use so I am saved to trouble of having to remind multiple times trying to figure out routes and times.

Flight 1: The Twins are off to Rome and must make a quick connection to Amsterdam. The Travel agent gave them a hard time about buying the tickets since it was a short window between connections but eventually relented.  The Twins are scheduled to arrive at 11:30am if all goes well.

Flight 2: The Chippendales play it easy and take a direct flight to Amsterdam which arrives at 12:15pm.

Flight 3: The Longhorns take another flight which I failed to write down the connection flight but are scheduled to arrive at 1:05pm. I’m still not sure why they choose this flight since the direct flight arrived an hour earlier.

Flight 4: Team Ego flies to Frankfurt and then double up by booking two connecting flights to Amsterdam. The first arrives at 12:45 and the second at 2:05pm.

At this point we still haven’t really been shown Team Goat or their plans. We are shown the Twins, Longhorns, and Chippendales making an agreement to U Turn Ryan and Abbie and then the second team to reach the U Turn if it is a Double will U Turn the team who used the first U Turn. It sounds like an easy plan but Chippendales are worried about losing friends in a game where they are playing for a million dollars. I understand the need to be a good person and friend but at some point these teams to realize this is a game and only one team can win.

We finally get to see some real action from Team Goat as we see them take a flight that arrives in Amsterdam at 4:35pm and connects via Oslo.

Team Twin arrive in Amsterdam with no issues and the clue advises that this leg has a Fast Forward. Teams must head to the Van Gogh Café and get on the marked bus. I’m sure the task will involve something else later. The Twins decide to take their chances with the Fast Forward. They are off on the bus as the Chippendales are shown arriving in Amsterdam on time.

This is the opposite of what happens to Ryan and Abbie who cannot make the first connection since they did not arrive with enough time to check in. They make their way to the second connection and board when they are told that that plane is having mechanical malfunctions. I’m not a fan of Team Ego, Ryan in particular rubs me the wrong way, but at this point even I’m feeling back for them. They have just had the worst luck the last few legs.

Back in Amsterdam the Twins discover they are on a Boat Bus and are about to drive into the harbor. I live in Halifax, Nova Scotia and we have this tourist attraction called the Harbor Hopper that is an old Military Land and Sea vehicle that is used to take tourist through the historical properties and then drive around the harbor. It holds a special place in my heart since my wife and I boarded it on a honeymoon before we decided to move here. If you are ever in Halifax I would recommend trying it out.

The Fast Forward task involved each team member having seven minutes to eat five herring. If they fail to do so then they will return to the Café and must wait ten minutes before them can try again. As the Twins start the task the Chippendales find the clue and decide to head for the Café hoping the Fast Forward is still available.

The actual route information card tells teams to make their way to the docks to take a boat to find the PoffertJexboot for the next clue. As the Chippendales arrive to get on the bus they run into the Twins who inform them that they completed the task and are on their way to the Pit Stop. The Chippendales congratulate them and are off to the next clue. The Twins are now off to the Pit Stop at the House of Rembrandt’s Mistress. As they take a taxi the Twins take the time to smell their hands and make disgusted faces and sounds. This is both funny and gross.

Chippendales are riding the canal as Longhorns decide to go straight for the docks since they make the correct assumption that the Fast Forward would have already been completed. As they are off Team Ego are finally leaving Frankfurt for Amsterdam and the Twins finish first and each win $5000. My Pre-Season pick to win it all is peaking at the right time but I now anything can go wrong on this show so fingers are still crossed.

On the canal the Chippendales get food and the clue for the detour

  • Detour
    • Back in time:  Teams must dress as characters in Rembrant’s most famous painting and use extras to recreate the painting.
    • Organ To Grind: Must find a street organ. One member plays organ and other collects tips. Once they have earned 39 euros they can move on.
    • There is a Caution that there is a U Turn ahead.


Both the Chippendales and Longhorns decide to try Organ to Grind. After having some trouble collecting donations the Chippendales pull out the Chippendales costumes and it appears more dudes were coming over to give donations but either way they reach 30 euros when an older lady with her grandkids gives them 10 euro to help them complete the task. I suspend she just wanted the riff raff off the streets but either way the Chippendales are off to the next clue at the Museum Geelvinck and must search in a Garden for their next clue.

Back at the airport Team Goat arrive and run into Team Ego who is also just getting into Amsterdam. They decide to do the leg together again since they are all part of the back crew. They get to the next clue and are off to the canals for the information for the detour. Both teams decide to go see Rembrant. Abbie also sees they caution for the U Turn. The figure that the Twins or Longhorns will U Turn them and then luckily it will be a Double U Turn and they can U Turn Team Goat.

This would have been a good plan had the other three teams not decided to agree to use both U Turns. We get a little inner arguing but The Chippendales keep their promise and make the smart move of U Turn Ryan and Abbie. James notes that it will suck to potentially lose two friends but he is playing for his family and family comes first. The clue now tells them to take a bus to Ransdorp and search marked field for next clue.  Later the Longhorns will complete the agreement by U Turning the Chippendales so that Ryan and Abbie cannot use the U Turn on Team Goat.

At Ransdorp we arrive at the episode’s Roadblock which involves a Race classic called Ditch Vaulting. It simply involves teams vaulting across a ditch to get the next clue and then vaulting back to move on. It first appeared in Season 12 and teams hard a hard time completing the task. I tried to find some video of the task but come up empty.

Regardless of how classic the challenge is James makes it easily and they are off to the Pit Stop where they finish second. Trey also completes the task easily and the Longhorns finish third. The only highlight during these scenes was Phil telling the Chippendales that they actually played the game today by using the U Turn. The Chippendales reinforced they fact that it will suck to lose two friends but family comes first and they made a promise to win the race.

Back on the canal the bad luck continues to follow Team Ego as it starts raining with heavy winds while Team Ego and Team Goats are on the water. Both teams recreate the painting fairly easily and are off together for the Musuem and the garden where Abbie and Ryan get the bad news that they cannot U Turn Team Goat which effective ends their race since there is no way the producers can have a Double U Turn and Non-elimination leg in the same episode. Team Ego and Team Goat hug it out as they go their separate ways since team Ego must go back to complete the organ challenge.

I am nearly driven crazy as Josh says he wants to wait with Team Ego. I understand that he is a nice guy and as a person he is awesome. As a player is isn’t fit for the race because he follows his heart too much. Brent makes the excellent point that it isn’t like Ryan is going to let Team Goat step on the mat first to save them if they have the chance at 2 Million dollars. This drives a little sense into Josh’s head and then move on to complete the roadblock and leg in fourth place. Josh comments on how it sucks that Team Ego will be eliminated in that way. Phil offers to eliminate Team Goat rather than Team Ego if that will make Josh happy but he wisely declines the offer.

At the Organ challenge Abbie is having trouble since it is raining and less people outside. A lady stops to have Abbie dance with her and then rewards her by giving them the last 6 euros they need to complete the challenge. This brings Abbie to tears as she hugs the lady. If they would have shown more of this side of them maybe I could have gotten behind them a little more.

But instead they spend the last moment blaming the Chippendales on their loss. They end by taking the game personally rather than realizing that at some point everyone will do what is needed to win the game since that is what they signed up for. They arrive at the mat and are told that their race is now over.

Going into the last two episodes I can easily predict that Team Goat will leave next. I just think they have two much time to make up to be a factor in stopping the Twins, Chippendales, and Longhorns from making the finale. Of course as I said earlier anything can happen on this Race. Just a few weeks ago Team Ego were the front runners and look what happened. See you next Sunday!