TAR 12: Episode 7

Just about everything went wrong for TK & Rachel on this leg of The Amazing Race, but they still managed to avoid finishing last. It may not have mattered much, anyway, since this week’s episode was a non-elimination leg.

Teams left Croatia for Ancona, Italy, where they had two choices as to how to drive to the town of Empoli: via Rome or through Firenze.

Nick & Don, Ron & Christina, and Kynt & Vyxsin took the latter route. When the three teams reached the highway exit for Firenze, they found the road blocked for construction, forcing them to either take a circuitous detour or wait for the road to open in the morning.

Jen & Nate had taken the alternate route through Rome, and they got to the next clue several hours before 7am, when the next location opened up for the day. TK & Rachel would’ve been right behind them, had they not had to double back after leaving their clue at a cafe.

But the hippies made it to Empoli just before the grounds opened up. The two lead teams ignored the Fast Forward (the only one on the race) and set out to complete the Roadblock: flying in an ultralight to look for the location of their next clue, which was written somewhere in a field.

Nick & Don just as Nate and TK were taking to the air. The grandfather & grandson decided to complete the Fast Forward, and they drove to a nearby town to get tattooed with the initials FF on their arms, before heading to the leg’s Pit Stop.

Nick & Don showed their inked guns to Phil Keoghan at the Boboli Gardens Pit Stop in Florence. For finishing in first place, they won a vacation to a spa in Cancun. Romantic!

Meanwhile, Nate soon succeeded in finding the name of the town where their next clue was: Vinci. TK returned after 30 minutes to refuel, then headed back up into the air as Ron & Christina arrived. Christina found the clue quickly, as TK failed and had to refuel again.

Even Vyxsin, who’d gotten herself and Kynt lost for hours before arriving at the airfield, was able to find the word "Vinci" in the field before TK did — but only by a few minutes.

In Vinci, teams had the Detour options of recreating a crane designed by Leonardo da Vinci or learning a traditional flag waving/tossing routine. Jen & Nate went for the flags, and they were able to complete it relatively easily. The dating duo finished in second place, followed by Ron & Christina, who’d also chosen the flags.

In Vinci, Kynt & Vyxsin got lost again. Kynt tried to take control of the situation by taking over driving duties, even though Vyxsin had more experience driving a manual transmission car. Consequently, Kynt wore out the clutch, and the goths had to run to the site of the flag Detour, while a new car was brought to replace their broken one.

This gave TK & Rachel enough time to catch up. The hippies chose to build the crane, and they finished before the goths had even arrived at the flag Detour. Despite getting a flat tire on the way to the Pit Stop, TK & Rachel finished in fourth.

Kynt & Vyxsin reached the Pit Stop and learned that this was one of two non-elimination legs on the race — meaning Nick & Don tattoos gave them a temporary lead and a trip to Cancun, but little else (like, say, another team getting eliminated) in the grand scheme of the Race.

At some point during the next leg of the race, Kynt & Vyxsin will encounter a Speed Bump, which is a task only they will have to complete, in addition to any Detours and Roadblocks. The Speed Bump could cost them enough time to knock them out of the race permanently.

Next week, it looks like Ron reverts to his old ways and starts yelling at Christina again.