It's another leg in the UAE, and it starts by making the racers use their Viking coins from Norway to puzzle out the entry codes to the product-placed SUVs they'll be driving for the day. Leo & Jamal hold onto their lead as the teams have to take a dune buggy ride, and Nicky & Kim expand their lag as they get stuck and burn out their vehicle's clutch, forcing them to switch buggies. Travis & Nicole beat Leo & Jamal to the location of the next clue, which is sending them to the Detour. There, the ER docs use both their Express Pass and the U-Turn, burning the Afghanimals for their pointless and obvious lying. With a commanding lead, Nicole completes a river-rafting Roadblock that requires her to leap for overhanging flags from a moving raft, and the ER docs chalk up another win.
The race goes less smoothly for the other teams, however. At the Detour, they have to either dress up a fancy show-camel for display, or prep a bunch of ingredients for what looks like a traditional chicken soup. Most teams start with the former, though most teams also have to take a second crack at it. Leo & Jamal, after seeing that Tim & Marie have finished the camel task, switch Detours, not yet realizing that they're going to have to do both anyway. The exes wander half a mile or more out of their way looking for a clue that's actually on site, allowing Jason & Amy to recover from some early navigational challenges and come in second again. When Tim & Marie do find the U-Turn, they use it on Nicky & Kim, because of how Marie is still butt-hurt over getting outplayed by them way back at the Sao Paolo airport. And then they come in third. The Afghanimals recover nicely from being U-Turned, probably because they got a head start on the cooking task before switching, and end up in fourth. Ally & Ashley have little trouble with the tasks themselves, but have navigational issues that make Jason & Amy look like Lewis & Clark, leading them to a fifth-place finish.
And finally, the Rasputins of this season, Nicky & Kim. After doing both Detours, a Speed Bump in which they have to swim across a wave pool (and trust me, Kim doesn't make that look easy), and the Roadblock, they are finally, and deservedly, Philiminated. Man, they couldn't even lose quickly.
"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.