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The Amazing Race recap: Gypsies, Vamps, and Thieves

Victor’s stubbornness gets Tammy lost in the mountains of Transylvania, while Kris is trapped in the taunted house

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Victor Tammy
Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Amazing Race

TV Show
Reality TV
run date:
Phil Keoghan
Jerry Bruckheimer
Current Status:
In Season

I’m a little nervous going into this week’s recap. Last week I was chastised on the message boards for using the word ”hillbillies” to describe Steve and Linda. I could see how people might think I was a snobby, patronizing Northeasterner. But I only used the term because Steve called himself a hillbilly. I figured if that’s how he wants to introduce himself, I can sure call him that myself. And I realize that the word doesn’t apply to everyone with a southern accent. I mean, I wouldn’t call Matthew McConaughey a hillbilly? I recognize that hillbillies very rarely run shirtless on the beach for the paparazzi. Unless of course, they’re trying desperately to get in the tabloid Spittoon Weekly‘s regular column: ” Stars: They Am Just Like Us, Dadblammit.”)

But having riled a reader up last week for implied insensitivity, now I’m gun-shy about mocking other groups, for fear of offending someone. What I’m saying is: Do I have to worry about upsetting a Gypsy readership this week? I’m not even sure how many there are out there reading my Amazing Race TV Watch. I haven’t noticed too many curses being applied in the message boards, nor anyone posting under the name ”GIANTCARTFULLOFCRAP17.” Well, as I progress in this recap, I’ll just have to hope for the best.

In the meantime, let’s start at the beginning. The teams left Austria for Bucharest to do gymnastics as a tribute to Nadia Comaneci, Romanian gold medal winner in the 1976 and 1980 Olympics. Sure, I guess some people might remember her for that accomplishment. Personally, I remember her from her more recent achievement, being the second person eliminated in last year’s Celebrity Apprentice. Why not do a challenge based on that to honor Comaneci? The teams could run around Bucharest trying to sell hot dogs to their famous Romanian friends for hundreds of leu. I’m sure you could get a cameo from Steven Baldwin. I understand he conveniently just booked a gig shooting an infomercial in Bucharest for the Romanian Snuggie: It has no sleeves, but the fabric is 12% herring, so there’s that.

Anyway, in what would turn out to be one of the biggest falls from grace in Amazing Race history, Tammy and Victor started out nearly two hours before the second place team. They easily hopped on a 3:20 p.m. flight, alone and at least 70 minutes ahead of the next group. And then the fates decided to have fun with them: Their flight was turned back to Munich for technical difficulties, and they found themselves on the last flight out with the stragglers. The only team to have worse luck was Brad and Victoria, the sole pair to get on a flight going through Amsterdam, where they were fogged in for the rest of the night. Brad revealed at the beginning of the episode that he was a former drug addict; bad luck to get stranded in Amsterdam. It’s like locking a Biggest Loser contestant in the Duncan Hines factory.

I predicted that all the flight delays would be moot, as I was sure that all flights would land after the gymnastics studio was closed, and everyone would end up bunched up in the morning. But it was a tribute to how quickly-paced this season has been that the gym was seemingly open all night, and teams could tackle the challenge right away and keep moving. No wonder Romanians win so many Olympic medals: They’ve got 9-year-olds practicing the parallel bars at 10:00 at night.

NEXT: Somersault? Is that some sort of local delicacy?