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The Amazing Race recap: Krakow, I'm Gonna Get You

The Cheerleaders lose a bit of their cheer tonight, and the mighty Green Team carries on.

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The Amazing Race

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

Just in time for everyone to finally figure out where Rotterdam is, Phil asked the six remaining teams to kindly escort themselves to Kraków, Poland, booking their own flights on the Travelocity cell phone app. While this was clearly a blatant bit of product placement, I’m actually not opposed to the update, even if it didn’t actually make for a very interesting twist. Five out of the six teams ended up on the same flight; which brings me to…

Justin and Diana. Because Phil won’t shut up about them, and after three straight first-place finishes, the time has come to address something: Is the Green Team really that good or are the other teams just that bad? A few of the players said it themselves this episode, everyone else is basically just in a race for second—or rather, a race not to be last—because Justin and Diana can do no wrong. Or, once again, is it that the other teams do so much wrong? In Leg 8, I’ll let you be the judge.

The Green Team are the first to be able to schedule their flights to Kraków, so they get the last spot on a flight arriving at 11:20, while the other five teams get on one arriving at 12:40. That time difference ultimately means that Justin and Diana make it to the Pit Stop mat before any other team has even hit the Road Block. 

The first clues are at the bottom of a pool and everyone inexplicably jumps in with their tennis shoes still on. I get that the bottom five were neck-and-neck, but there is no world where an early 10-second lead is worth five hours of squishy socks. Everyone fishes out the DETOUR: MINE vs. MUSIC—they’re much more original in conceit than in name. In Mine, teams must take a mine shaft elevator into a 700-year-old salt mine, carry a wooden beam down a long tunnel, then fill up a train of carts with hundreds of pounds of salt, and push one of the carts filled with salt back down the tunnel to receive their first clue. This is a fairly standard “physical” challenge. I don’t even know what to call the next one…

In Music, the teams have to learn a piano accompaniment to a violin street performance, roll their piano to the town square, and perform their piece while trying to earn 100 złoty from passing locals. That is a lot of variables! At first I think I would never choose this Detour because of the musical aspect, but that ends up being the simplest part. The much more difficult components are the pushing of the rickety piano over cobblestones and then asking passersby for money.

For the level-headed and personable Reporters, pushing the piano and getting people to give them the equivalent of about $25 USD is no problem. The Cheerleaders, however, nearly break their entire piano getting to the Town Square, and are feeling so broken down by the time they get to their spot that they’ve decided to go the “pleading” route of raising money rather than the “winning people over” route, which should really be in their wheelhouse because they’re, uh, Cheerleaders. It’s only once they’ve truly embraced their pathetic state—Krista starts crying while asking for money and Tiffany sells cheek kisses —that they earn the majority of their cash. They leave Music last, putting them just in front of…

NEXT: Do the right thing, do it all the time…