The teams are heading to Abu Dhabi, with minimal fallout from the previous leg's cab-stealing incident. The Afghanimals land ahead of everyone else -- by ten minutes. All the teams visit a vast mosque to pick up their first clue (where the female racers must cover their heads), then proceed to the Irani Souk, a marketplace where they find their Detour clue. Both options are pretty fiddly -- either sorting and arranging a platter of dates just so, or putting together a fishing net.
Leo & Jamal soon run into trouble on the date task, missing some of the available date sources, while Nicole & Travis and Jason & Amy sweat under the sun on the net task. But it's obviously not long before Marie is making a spectacle of herself at the date task. The ER docs find themselves having to backtrack on part of the net project and consider using the Express Pass, but only briefly. Nicole proves pretty useless at this task, which means Jason & Amy are the first to complete the Detour.
Back at the other Detour, Nicky & Kim are the first team to find some of the required dates, but know better than to tell the other teams. Still, Leo & Jamal eventually figure it out and are the first to finish that task, followed by Tim & Marie, then the blondes, and finally the baseball wives, because they can never hold onto any advantage for long. From there, the teams have to take a short yacht ride from one marina to another, and the baseball wives miss the second-to-last yacht by mere seconds, which means a fifteen-minute lag while they wait for the next one. Typical.
At the Roadblock, one racer from each team has to zipline and then rappel 200 feet from the top of a blob-shaped hotel into a Le Mans race car. Then they have to ride shotgun on a lap around the track while trying to read signs flashing by. These signs display the names and times of various auto racers, but they have to spot the one with the record and recite the exact name and time before moving on. It takes most teams a couple of tries, but Leo & Jamal are the first ones to make it to the Pit Stop on the champion's podium, leaving Amy & Jason to take second place. Again.
Travis aces the Roadblock and leads the ER docs to third place, so he was clearly that team's MVP today. Tim & Marie come in fourth, and then Kim catches up with Ally, who at first totally spaced that she was even supposed to be doing anything in the car in the first place. The last two teams each make several attempts until it's a race between the blondes and the baseball wives to the Pit Stop. That's a race that Ally & Ashley win, meaning that Nicky & Kim are the last team to arrive. But they're saved by a non-elimination leg. Again.
"This! Is Vienna, Austria," Phil narrates over symphonic-scored footage of a city that could hardly be anyplace else. He adds that it's "known as the City of Music, and once the home to the world's greatest classical composers." And it looks like Haydn, Strauss, and Mozart put up statues of themselves so we wouldn't forget. Phil is coming to us from a huge green lawn as he concludes, "And in the center of this country's capital, Schloss Schönbrunn, a magnificent castle, which is now the start of the seventh leg in a race around the world." Which is usually about the point in the season where I actually sit through the opening credits and say at least twice, "Oh, yeah, them."
Nicole & Travis won the previous leg, as you may recall, so they're the first to start this leg, at 12:03 PM. Now the show is just going way too easy on these teams with the departure times. If people are leaving on a fresh leg of the race at the same time they'd be leaving for lunch, which takes away half the challenge. The ER docs are quite excited to learn that they'll be going to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. Clearly, so is the Amazing Musical Score Composer, who throws in some crazy Ali Baba music over some footage of Abu Dhabi's spectacular architecture. That architecture includes the Sheikh Zayed Mosque, which Phil describes as one of the largest mosques in the world. I find that easy to believe; indeed, it's hard to picture a larger one, as Phil goes on to say that it was "built as a monument to unite Islamic culture." And failing that, to give them all a place to stay. Obviously this is where the racers will be getting their next clue. As the ER docs commence the long run from the expansive grounds of the Schloss to find a cab, we hear Travis say that "power parents" are feeling good about being in first place. And that is the only time you will see me use that nickname in this recap. Travis adds that they're trying not to get flustered because they know their kids are watching, and they want them to say, "See, my mommy and daddy work hard to get a better outcome." Sure, there are kids who talk like that.
At 12:09 PM, Nicky & Kim are proud to be leaving in second place. This really is pretty impressive for any team, let alone them. But Kim is aware that they need to be a little more "on," because every second counts. Remember that.
The Afghanimals are off at 12:10 PM in third place, and you can imagine how excited they are to be going to Abu Dhabi. "I'm coming home to the motherland!" Jamal yells as Leo does his standard ululating during their run to the cabs. I'm no expert in the region, but aren't Afghanistan and the UAE different countries? Even before getting a taxi, their first stop is a hotel lobby to check the internet, where Jamal says that being from the Middle East and having a smattering of Arabic should give them an advantage. Using Phil's favorite travel website, they find a flight that will get them to Abu Dhabi at 5:50 the next morning and resolve to get themselves on it. That actually seems like a solid plan. Who are these guys?