Amazing Race
One Hot Camel

Episode Report Card
M. Giant: B | 33 USERS: B+
Abu Dhabi Two
In a hurry? Read the recaplet for a nutshell description!

"Much of the United Arab Emirates is barren desert," Phil volunteers over footage of same. I'm sure they'd be touched to hear him say so. "But located next to the Persian Gulf, it has an abundance of crude oil." And there are the pumps churning away, until we cut to the skyline as Phil continues, "This valuable resource has led to the development of modern structures like this -- the Yas Viceroy Abu Dhabi." Phil's coming to us from the podium over the Formula 1 race track that runs through the hotel "which is now the start of the eighth leg in a race around the world."

Leo & Jamal, who won the previous leg, are starting this one in first place at 7:10 AM. I was hoping teams would leave in the dark, because apparently the big curved glass shroud over the hotel lights up at night. But then who would ever want to see that? The first clue of this leg tells them to drive themselves into the dunes, which is pretty vague to begin with in a country that we already know is barren desert. But we get even less information from the way Leo mumble-reads the clue. Fortunately, Phil shows up in a parking garage to hold up a satchel of Viking coins like the ones that all the teams got way back in Norway, which they will have to use to figure out the entry code to get into a product-placed SUV. It seems that each of the five coins in each pouch has a different symbol on its face, and each satchel has those symbols stenciled on it in a certain order. Once the racers put their coins in that order, the flip sides of the coins each have a digit, and punching those numbers into the number pad along the window frame will open the car. Here I was all impressed that at clue was going to carry over multiple legs, but it's just in the service of more advertorial content. I'm sure the clue doesn't tell them all that, but it does tell them to find their SUVs in garage 14 off Pit Row. And also that there's a U-Turn ahead.

Leo & Jamal are obviously pleased to be starting off in first place, and then we get a nice shot of Jamal tripping over his own feet and going sprawling while they try to figure out which direction they're going at a dead run. Jamal interviews that the other teams obviously see them as the biggest threat. Oh, yes, obviously. They find a red SUV, quickly decode the coin puzzle (01479) and head out with Leo at the wheel. Phil reminds us that the teams are driving themselves to what the subtitle simply calls "Sand Dunes," but Phil says something that sounds like "to Ward's Boutique Insurance Village." Which doesn't seem like an exciting place at all, but they're actually going towards Bou Thib Endurance Village a totally different thing. Along the way, a fleet of dune buggies stands parked next to the road with clue envelopes on the windshields. Jamal says that as long as they can stay in the lead throughout this leg they'll be fine. They are idiots, but I can't find the flaw in that logic.

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Amazing Race




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