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The Amazing Race recap: Welcome to Bloody Fingers 101

It’s a race for last in this extra-nutty seventh leg as a choreography challenge wreaks havoc on this season’s team order

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The Amazing Race

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

Ah, yes, choreography… the great TAR equalizer. Coming out of last week’s leg — technically a continuation leg and not a N.E.L. as I had assumed — I would have figured that Tyler and Korey would get right back on top where they’ve been for most of the race, and Sheri and Cole would have had a nearly impossible time getting out from the bottom following Sheri’s oil change snafu…

Of course, that would have been assuming that no one has to learn a complicated “Georgian tango” on fast-forward as their last step before the Pit Stop. And since that did end up being the case, this was a leg where just about any team could have wound up on top, and just about any other team could have sunk to the sudden bottom. In the end though, the last place team wasn’t so shocking, but the race to see who landed there was Bonkers Bananas Crazytown. And while some of that came down to taxis, with Scott at the helm (or… the opposite of the helm?), it didn’t feel like your average TAR taxi drama.

This week, the teams were taking a midnight train to Georgia — wordplay credit: Mr. Phil Keoghan — from Armenia, meaning they start this seventh leg all on equal footing heading into Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi. They get tiny little overnight train compartments, and wouldn’t you know it, Blair is hanging out in the Frisbee Boys’ car. And you just have to imagine Kurt, fan of Platform 9 ¾ , is thinking, “Scram, Hermoine, there’s not enough room for three people here, let alone romance.” But the editors are pushing this coupling hard, and if you’re not a fan of it — well, stay tuned.

They head straight to St. George’s statue, where they’re then instructed to head to Jvari Monastery, accessible by gondola from Narikala Fortress. And somehow, no matter how even the ground they start on is, Teams Torey and Frisbee are always fastest to the first clue, which makes the first teams to head toward the DETOUR: CLEAN vs. STRING, where they basically have to choose between wine and candy — a Sophie’s Choice, if I’ve ever heard one.

In String, the teams must make five strands of Churchkhela, a traditional Georgian treat that involves stringing 20 whole hazelnuts and then dipping them in a candy glaze. Presumably this would be the more coveted task since there are only four spots available, but as it turns out, stringing the hazelnuts is a course in “Bloody Fingers 101.” My favorite line of the night was a tie between one of the Georgian candy-makers cackling, “My god. He is doing it with such difficulty,” and Tyler saying, “You’re driving me nuts — you’re driving me HAZELNUTS!” For the record, both are said in response to Brody’s candy-stringing screams, so apparently this season’s volume issue is a global concern.

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In Clean, the teams must clean out an underground clay wine cask, by going all the way down in it, while their partner runs back and forth, throwing away they gunk they eliminate. It would be hard to judge the difficulty of this task from the description, but it would be easy to think that if you’re toward the back, you should probably choose the task that doesn’t have limited spots. Apparently the Dancers and Juicystar07 do not agree with that logic, however, as even though they’re in last, they head straight to String. When the Dancers see all the spots are full, they hop into a cab to head toward Clean; but Blair and Scott decide to stay, observe the process, and wait for a spot to open up…

NEXT: Georgia is for dancers…