The racers fly to former Soviet Republic Azerbaijan, which Bopper and Mark think is in Africa, but they'll figure it out. After landing, they take taxis to Temple Ateshga, a fire temple where loud folk music, dancing, and sword choreography is in full swing as if it's not five in the morning. The racers join the party until the doors open at sunrise, allowing them in to collect their clues. Other Rachel & Dave and Joey Fitness & Danny race each other to a Fast Forward where they have to unload and stack 150 bales of hay per team. The other teams proceed to the first task, dealing with scary taxi drivers and Mark's backseat carsickness, while Other Rachel and Dave win the Fast Forward, and their third leg, and a pair of new cars. They also send Joey "Fitness" and Danny back to Square Two.
The Roadblock requires half of each team to escape from an underwater helicopter crash simulator that actually looks pretty scary. JJ, Jamie, and Bopper, and Brendon manage that just fine, as does Brendon and even Vanessa. Joey "Fitness" plays catch-up while the others proceed to the Detour where they have to either clean up a man after an oil bath or hunt through apple-stuffed cars for one with a flag attached. Art and JJ come in second after "scrubbing a man's junk," probably due to the rule about each team only being able do one Fast Forward per race. Team Kentucky and Team Big Brother follow them all the way to the Pit Stop in third and fourth place respectively, while Nary and Jamie leave Ralph and Vanessa behind at the apple Detour and come in fifth. But Ralph and Vanessa still finish apple-hunting before Joey "Fitness" and Danny even get there, which may not help them when their cab driver gets lost and briefly abandons them mid-journey, while Team Jersey makes short work of the Detour, so it might be a race for survival after all. Ralph and Vanessa are team number six, and losing the Fast Forward costs Joey "Fitness" and Danny the whole race. Good, I was tired of typing their names a month ago.
"This is Bavaria," Phil says over shots of the stunning landscape, superfluously calling it one of the most scenic places in Central Europe. He adds that it's also the largest state in Germany and the start of the sixth leg. But before the leg starts, we have to watch Art and JJ and their gnome from last week logging onto the Travelocity website to check out some deets on the vacation to Thailand they won in the previous leg. The description makes it all seem very romantic, so of course JJ has to warn Art to stay on his side of the dock when they go. But imagine the adorable little self-aggrandizing, task complaining-about, square-headed babies they'd make! With the semi-annual ritual of the gnome completed, they're starting their leg at 8:48 AM. The clue reads, "Fly to the land of fire, Azerbaijan." JJ is already groaning about being sent somewhere so obscure, as Phil's narration interrupts with the news that they'll have to fly more than 2,000 miles to Baku. That would be the capital city, whose skyline is dominated by a trio of curved towers that look like the claw of some three-fingered glass beast reaching up through the ground. Anyway, since nobody knows where Azerbaijan is, Phil tells us that it's on the edge of the Caspian Sea (oh, sure, everybody knows where that is) and is a former Soviet Republic. Phil adds that there's so much oil and natural gas there it's called the "land of fire."
After landing, they'll have to get to a place called Temple Ateshgah -- or the Temple of Fire -- to find their next clue. After leaving the starting point, Art and JJ head to the waiting product-placed cars. They're Ford Fiestas this week, as you can tell by how much smaller they are than the Focus and also by the extreme close-ups of the nameplate. JJ interviews that after winning three legs in a row, as they have, it's easy to feel a sense of inevitability, "But we both know that we're one Roadblock [or] Detour away from being humbled." Notice he doesn't say they're humble yet. He says they're going to stay with the pack and not take any big chances. Right now they think their biggest threat is the team they call "The Gweeds," by which he means Joey "Fitness" and Danny, who actually have been doing better every leg. JJ comments on the "retro '80s winter gear" that the other team is wearing and we see the aforementioned team wearing winter jackets of the same make and model as the ones Art and JJ are sporting, but with neon blue and green accents. I think heavy winter jackets are provided by the show when necessary, so racers don't have to burn up all their backpack space with them. And thus I'd think Danny's horn-rimmed glasses with the bright orange frames that he's wearing today would be more mock-worthy (which they are anyway), but that's just me.