The Amazing Race Ep. 21.6, “Get Your Sexy On”: The subway curse strikes again!

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The Amazing Race Review, Season 21, Episode 6
“Get Your Sexy On”
Airs Sundays at 8pm (ET) on CBS

In a fast-paced competition like The Amazing Race, conventional wisdom might suggest that it’s wise to avoid getting stuck with the pack. However, the chaos and confusion actually make this false thinking in most cases. Teams that believe they can outperform the others in challenges should want to stay with the group. This approach ensures that they’re following the right path and aren’t venturing into unknown territory. There are rare exceptions where a team is so powerful that they can grab a big lead and force others to follow. Season five’s Colin and Christie are a good example of this approach. They realized that few teams could stay with them and took charge to win most of the legs. On the other hand, there are less skillful players that are determined to “play their own game”. While this approach may work among the cannon fodder of the early legs, its chances of success are limited. Once the race is down to six or seven teams, the loners generally start dropping. It isn’t necessary to make alliances, but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye on what the other teams are doing.

The victims this week are Rob and Kelley, who make the wrong choice in Istanbul and take the metro instead of a taxi. This is a common error and happens nearly every season. In fact, a team (poor Paul and Amie) made this mistake before they even left the U.S. in the very first episode of the entire series. What makes this gaffe feel worse is Rob’s insistence that they play their own game. He’s worn it like a badge of pride since the start, and they’ve spent much of the show near the back of the pack. The metro decision feels safe because it avoids traffic, but the constant stops make it a slow journey. Jaymes and James also hop aboard, but they wisely realize the error and bail for a taxi. That move gets them back in the pack and avoids a scramble for survival. The monster truckers make a strong effort to rebound, but the gap is too large for them to avoid elimination.

The leg begins with teams receiving a clue to fly to Istanbul, and everyone ends up on the same flight. Before they depart, Natalie and Nadiya make a controversial move when they grab money left on the table by James and Abba. The rockers are still in the room but don’t realize their mistake. Trey and Lexi are co-conspirators with the twins, and it is definitely in the gray area of fair play. It wouldn’t have been a shock if Phil gave them a penalty at the mat. This doesn’t happen, and James and Abba do a nice job begging for money. This is not a fun task anywhere, but it is especially awkward in Dhaka. They’re on the other side of the coin as a team that stays apart from the pack. The difference is that the rockers are more capable players and can get away with it. Their resilience is very impressive because they never seem to be in a hurry. The teams first travel to Kabatas Ferry Terminal and then head right back to Asia on the Bosphorus Strait for the Detour.

The options are Simit or Scrub It, and the second choice is a much better move. It requires players to sit through a Turkish bath at a sixteenth century bathhouse. While it’s a pretty rough scrub down, there is no skill necessary. They just sit there and let someone wash them. This is nothing compared to the crazy oil baths from last season. The other option is more difficult and involves carrying stacks of bagels known as simits on their heads. They balance them on large trays and must navigate to specific locations in town. Brent and Josh are the only team from the leaders to choose this task and really struggle to find the addresses. They probably don’t smell as nice as their fellow teams at the Pit Stop. Before choosing the Detour, they compete in another very easy Speed Bump, but the hapless guys find a way to make it hard. They must eat an ice cream cone from a Turkish vendor who does a comedy act. Unfortunately, the goat farmers don’t approach the marked stand. Sigh. Even with these issues, they remain ahead of Rob and Kelley heading towards the Roadblock.

It’s time for a sales challenge! Players must don silly outfits and at a bazaar and sell Turkish sherbet. The world’s first soft drink is attached to an urn on their backs, but the real trick is simply being outgoing. This is a problem for James, who isn’t the world’s greatest challenge master. Lexi has no problems being energetic and finishes first. This leads them to an enthusiastic first-place finish. They’re too cute! Abbie and Ryan, James and Abba, and Natalie and Nadiya are the next teams to reach the Pit Stop. Even with their struggles, the Chippendales and goat farmers stay ahead to knock out Rob and Kelley. They seem like nice people and have a strong relationship. Even so, their strategy to go against the flow hurts them in the end. It’s a pretty fun episode that works because the teams enjoy themselves. Looking beyond the stealing, everyone’s getting along okay. Ryan manages to get in a few more arrogant comments, but he’s the only one who’s really grating. That’s a pretty small percentage for even a less controversial show like The Amazing Race. It hasn’t been a thrilling season, but the affable cast has made it an enjoyable race.

Dan Heaton

3 Comments
  1. Jess says

    I was totally rooting for Rob and Kelley to go home but I felt kind of bad when it happened because of all the praise he gave her. It was annoying that he kept acting like his idea of them playing their own game was really helping them out.

    As far as the money goes, I totally see why they did it but at the same time it was a shitty thing to do because it wasn’t even worth it. James and Abba still placed decently so it didn’t do anything to give the twins an advantage. The twins really just stole from the locals there when it comes down to it. I still like them but it definitely felt a bit sour (now if they did it to Ryan & Abbie I wouldn’t feel quite as bad…).

    The detour was weird to me. I would think the bath option should have taken longer to make it more of an equal challenge.

    1. Dan Heaton says

      I agree about Rob and Kelley. They seem like nice people, but he got so proud of himself for dumb moves. They lucked out earlier in the race because they did poor research on flights. You make a good point about just robbing from the people of Bangladesh with the stealing. They were playing it off like it was funny, but it felt strange.

      The detour options used to be more unbalanced in earlier years, but that doesn’t happen as much now. This is a rare case where one was tough and the other was a breeze. Maybe they thought people wouldn’t want a bath? There was some serious bad design with those options.

      1. Jess says

        Yeah, I was thinking maybe they go for the bath but then don’t realize it takes over an hour (or however long is a really long time during the race haha). It seemed like it went pretty quickly compared to the other challenge.

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