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The Amazing Race Has Georgia On Its Mind

In Tblisi, teams take a literal stab at making Georgian hazelnut candy, and a figurative stab at some ballet moves.

You're Gonna Love My Nuts

Everyone's off to Tblisi, Georgia -- another first-time country for the show, and one where swooping modern architecture pairs quite aesthetically pleasing-ly with old castles and stone walls. Phil is way too pleased to point out that the teams are, in fact, on a midnight train to Georgia -- a train which features teeny-tiny sleeping compartments for all. Before turning in for the night, Blair and Brodie spend some additional time "getting to know each other" in the bros' train compartment while Kurt is all, "It's cool, guys, just pretend I'm not here."

After stopping off at a big statue of the country's patron saint, the racers are directed to visit a local fortress on a hill, which is accessible via gondola, although it appears as though some of the teams' drivers are either unaware of the gondola or choose to make life difficult for their charges: several teams are dropped off at the stairs instead.

Tyler and Korey, in first place, open the Detour clue, which implores them to select between "Clean" (scrub out empty wine pots) or "String" (make traditional Georgian candy by threading nuts onto a string and dipping them in a sugary wine-based coating). Naturally, they choose the one that seems more fun, as do pretty much everyone but Sheri and Cole, who figure that Sheri's cleaning skills will help them pull ahead. But there are only four candy stations, meaning some of the teams will be left twiddling their thumbs while waiting for other teams to finish. Dana and Matt immediately peace out of there when this turns out to be the case for them, which is probably smart, since some of these teams are going to be there awhile. Making candy turns out to be tough work for those unaccustomed to stabbing hazelnuts with a needle. The task judge gently heckles Kurt and Brodie in Georgian when it turns out they're much more adept at stabbing themselves than they are at stabbing the nuts. It's times like these where you kind of wish Jeff Probst would drop by with some cleverly worded bon mots.

Nuts To All That

The wine barrels we were shown when that particular half of the Detour was introduced weren't really shot with anything to establish scale. It turns out they're big enough for Cole to climb into and stand upright. Cleaning wine barrels turns out to be tough work, especially when there's no water around. ("Look for a hose!" yells Sheri, which would be even more snicker-worthy if it weren't for all the nut-related commentary at the other task.) Well, no water except for the giant tank that's ten feet away.

Back at the candy task, everyone's making slow progress and bleeding all over their hazelnuts. Tyler and Korey make some great jokes about dipping their nuts, which makes me yearn for Jeff Probst a little less. It turns out there's a lot of finesse to dipping a nut stick, and some teams (Zach and Rachel, Burnie and Ashley) are better than others (Kurt and Brodie, Tyler and Korey), on account of their inability to get the tip just right (hee). Eventually Tyler and Korey run out of finger dexterity and decide to hit the wine barrels.

Dana and Matt's cab driver has taken them about twenty minutes into the middle of nowhere, and the fact that he doesn't speak any English isn't really helping much. Eventually, they convince him to take them to the candy, but when they run into a frustrated Tyler and Korey, they decide to turn around and take one more stab at scrubbing out the wine barrels. Naturally, Sheri and Cole are pretty jazzed to learn they aren't in last place, especially since they're done just a minute or two later.

Zach and Rachel, in first place, reach the Roadblock at the Georgian National Ballet, in which one team member will have to learn some complicated Georgian choreography.

Putting The "Korey" In Choreography

Ashley (who's taken a few dance classes) and Kurt (who enjoys salsa dancing and watching dance moves on YouTube videos) both think the choreography will be manageable. Dana, who misses dancing, is very excited to have a task that plays to her strengths (and indeed, she slays it on the first try as if she was born doing Georgian ballet). None of them actually seem to have much trouble, even though the dance looks fairly daunting at first glance.

Ashley and Burnie are out of there in first place, but when their cab driver mistakes "Vake Park" for "Rike Park," they lose their lead, enabling Zach and Rachel to finish up and snag first place out from under them. But Team Roosterteeth is right behind them, and Kurt and Brodie and Dana and Matt are right behind them.

Inexplicably, Scott elects to take this Roadblock on, despite any lack of practical experience (apart from Blair's assertion that "he can groove" at weddings). But it's Korey who seems to be having the worst time of things despite Tyler's shouts of encouragement ("good luck on your Korey-ography!").

That's Not My Bag, Baby

After Sheri clears the Roadblock with little difficulty, the only racers left are Scott and Korey, and neither seems close to finishing. Blair's got confidence, though: so much so that she picks up her bag and her dad's bag before he finishes his sixth try. Sure enough, he nails it, and they're off. Korey wraps it up right afterward, but they're delayed when Tyler's bag turns up missing due to the fact that Scott accidentally picked it up on his way out. It's sorted out pretty quickly, but whatever lead Scott and Blair might have had is gone. This means the finish is down to an intense footrace, and Tyler and Korey, sobbing with relief, are the victors, meaning Scott and Blair are done.

There are some tears on Scott and Blair's end as well, but sad ones, of course, and "we've learned so much" ones.

Verdict

A brand-new country, tasks that actually seem like they're culturally relevant, photo finishes on the front and back ends, and a whole bunch of double entendres about nuts? Truly, my wine barrel runneth over.

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