Finally, the madness is over! Both of the March variety, which kept us from new Amazing Race episodes for three weeks, and the madness of all these nicer-than-nice season 28 teams helping each other out at every turn. Of course, this is still a cast made up entirely of ENFPs, so they couldn’t resist helping each other a little bit here and there; but as soon as each team learned there was an Express Pass up for grabs, there was a noticeable shift in the winds: “An Express Pass…this late in the game?” everyone asked while visions of a million dollars (and probably a million new followers/subscribers/users) danced in their heads.
The added pressure to place first and grab the Express Pass that can be used through the ninth leg of the race — plus a shake-up of this season’s frontrunners — made the sixth leg of this rrrrace around the world an extra suspenseful one and a great follow-up to last week’s top-notch episode. Last week, I fell in love with the beautiful (extraordinary, incredible, mind-boggling) scenery of the French Alps, but this week, I fell in love with the people of Armenia, who frankly, seem like a real hoot.
Speaking of love, Phil “Chris Harrison” Keoghan wants to talk about it… in a flashback we see Brodie and Blair cuddling in planes, trains, and grimy airport floors, but the time for cuddles is simply over. The seven remaining teams are flying from France to Yerevan, Armenia, where their first challenge is to scour the Yerevan Opera Theater for the next clue while famous Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian’s “Sabre Dance” is performed for added stress. And it truly must have gotten in their heads, because it took forever for anyone to notice the conspicuous man vacuuming the floor the entire time they searched, and somehow each time a new team finally figured that they should ask him if he was holding any important information, the rest of the teams wouldn’t notice. And for the first time in season 28, none of the teams gave the remaining teams a heads up about what they’d found. Those Express Passes, man — they change everything.
The Frisbee Boys were the first to make it out of the theater to head toward the DETOUR: THREAD vs. BREAD as per usual, but in a twist, Team Torey was the second-to-last team to chat up the janitor, and headed into the Detour tied for last with Juicystar07 (whose placement was less surprising…they might just ride second-to-last all the way to the Final Mat). The majority of the teams chose Thread, where they had to weave a row of 200 stitches on an Armenian carpet that normally takes nine months to complete. Watching the weavers bust out what seemed to be 60 stitches per minute was incredible…and, all told, the teams didn’t do so badly themselves, with Team Alabama heading out in second place overall and Juicystar07 and Team Torey both bypassing the Dancers.
There was a good amount of artistry in Bread as well, where the Gamers and Team Frisbee signed up to successfully make 12 pieces of Armenian bread, Lavash, which requires rolling/slinging out the dough super thin, slapping it onto the side of a brick oven hard enough to make it stick, then peeling it off with a thin rod without letting it fall into the fire below. Not so simple, but it sure looked cool. Not to mention, this Detour was overseen by Maretta, the coolest baker in all the land. She shouts, “No, no, no!” She shouts, “Okay, okay, okay!” She dances! She dances some more! She hugs the teams and tells them she loves them when they complete their 12 pieces. She’s the best!
NEXT: A change of oil and order…