In the city of Dubai along the Persian Gulf, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne sped into first place by claiming the Fast Forward. Meanwhile, teams toiled in the blazing desert sun followed by an unexpected chill, and the directionally challenged Lance & Keri were eliminated.
OFF TO DUBAI
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 12:25pm, brothers Sam & Dan opened their clue instructing them to fly to the Persian Gulf and find the world's tallest building. Teams had to figure out that the tallest building is the Burj Dubai, a colossal structure still under construction that is nearly twice the height of the Empire State Building. Once teams realized they would be flying 3,300 miles to the city of Dubai on the Persian Gulf, they would have to make their way to a fountain where they would sign up for one of two groups scheduled to ride the elevator to the 124th floor of the Burj Dubai the following morning.
All eight teams booked seats on the same flight to Dubai connecting through Bangkok. Landing at night in the steamy weather of the United Arab Emirates, teams instantly remarked on hot, humid conditions. They also marveled at the immense, brightly lit skyline of the city. Lance said, "It's an interesting looking city. That's for sure." Gary added, "I don't think there's a recession going on here."
Arriving at the fountain next to the Address Hotel, professional poker players Maria & Tiffany and married couple Brian & Ericka secured spots in the 5:30am group to ride the elevator of the Burj Dubai to the 124th floor. Brothers Sam & Dan and dating couple Meghan & Cheyne completed the quartet for the first group.
Canaan's patience was tested when his taxi driver took him to the wrong place, costing him and Mika a spot in the first 5:30am group. A furious Canaan sniped about his driver, "The guy's an idiot." Settling for the 5:45am group along with Mika & Canaan were engaged couple Lance & Keri, Harlem Globetrotters Flight Time & Big Easy, and father and son Gary & Matt.
ONWARD AND UPWARD
The following morning, as the sun rose to kick off another scorching day in the city, the Burj Dubai towered over the racers as they truly grasped the magnitude of the building's size. On going to the top, Lance joked, "Hopefully a plane doesn't nick me in the head." While Lance kept his sense of humor, a frightened Mika was reduced to tears at the thought of what was waiting for her on the 124th floor. Later, Mika commented, "I'm not a fan of heights at all. I was getting sick to my stomach. I didn't know what was going to happen." Boyfriend Canaan tried to console Mika, saying, "It's all right. It's okay. We're gonna do this thing together."
Putting on helmets to enter the construction site of the still unfinished Burj Dubai, the teams in the first group crowded into the elevator taking them to the 124th floor. Walking out to the deck on the 124th floor where the cluebox waited, teams couldn't believe just how high up they were. Cheyne remarked, "All we could see were clouds. It was wild." Opening their clues, the teams discovered they had to make their way to a parking structure and drive a marked car to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where they would ride 4x4 vehicles to their next clue.
In their envelopes, teams also found the only Fast Forward in the entire race. The first team to complete it would skip all tasks and go directly to the Pit Stop. In this Fast Forward, teams had to travel to the Dubai Autodrome, the only racetrack of its type in the Persian Gulf. Then, driving in an F3 open-wheel racecar and accelerating up to speeds of 100 mph, one team member must complete a lap in 45 seconds or less. As the lead four teams arrived at their vehicles in the parking lot, dating couple Meghan & Cheyne announced their intentions to try for the Fast Forward to the other teams, causing the others to decline the opportunity at the risk of losing the Fast Forward to Meghan & Cheyne.
When Mika stood outside on the balcony of the 124th floor, she looked up at the floors of the building that still towered over her. She breathed an enormous sigh of relief when she realized that she wouldn't have perform a task, saying, "This is the happiest I've felt in forever." Mika's happiness reverted to concern once in the car heading to the desert when she and Canaan chose not to follow Flight Time & Big Easy and branched off on their own. This mistake cost them valuable time as they fell to seventh place ahead of only engaged couple Lance & Keri whose comedy of errors in finding their car in the parking lot, and subsequent fumbling of directions, spiraled them into last place.
Arriving at the Dubai Autodrome, Cheyne suited up and got buckled into the F3 racecar for his attempt at breaking 45 seconds on a lap around the racetrack, as a worried Meghan looked on, saying, "I can't help but be nervous. It's just scary. It's dangerous." When Cheyne revved the engine and pulled out onto the track, Meghan began to tear up at what her boyfriend was about to do, saying, "I have no control and it's hard just watching everything. I just want to get this done."
While Meghan worried, Cheyne had the ride of his life, cheering as he rounded the corners of the racetrack and shouting, "I am the man!" When Cheyne completed his lap, the stopwatch read forty seconds, five seconds under the time he needed to win the Fast Forward. Opening their clue, Meghan & Cheyne received instructions to take a Maserati to the Pit Stop, the amphitheater at Souk Madnet Jimirah.
Running into the amphitheater where Phil stood waiting, Meghan & Cheyne stepped onto the mat in first place. For their victory, the dating couple won a trip for two from Travelocity to Jamaica. On the successful day, Meghan commented, "I'm proud of myself. I'm really proud of Cheyne especially after today."
AN OCEAN OF SAND
Brothers Sam & Dan, professional poker players Maria & Tiffany, and married couple Brian & Ericka all arrived at the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve at the same time, and jumped into the waiting 4x4 trucks for a wild ride to their next clue. As the trucks sped across the desert dunes, the teams marveled at the vast landscape of sand before them. Sam commented, "It's actually really cool to see this in person." Maria added, "This ride is so fun."
Pulling up to the cluebox perched atop a sand dune, the three teams ripped open their clues to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to choose a traditional bag and search the desert for water that was stored in urns buried in the sand. However, not all of the urns contained water. When they found enough water to fill their bag, they had to give it to a Bedouin and his thirsty camels in order to receive their next clue.
Brian, Dan, and Tiffany all braved the sizzling sun as they began their trek across the desert sand in search of water. Tiffany spotted the first urn but couldn't believe her eyes when she turned it over to find it empty. The trio continued to search through the desert, uncovering a series of empty urns and becoming frustrated at losing their head start as Big Easy and Matt arrived and began the hunt for water. Eventually, Brian quietly found an urn with water, crouched low, and secretly scooped it into his bag without the other teams noticing. On his way back to the Bedouin, Brian whispered to Dan and Tiffany where to find the water to help the pair out. He later commented, "If you help them, they're gonna help you down the road. You never know what the future holds in this race." Opening their next clue, Brian & Ericka learned they had to drive back into the city and find Ski Dubai, an indoor ski resort with more than 22,000 square meters of snow.
Having discovered the urn that Brian told him about, Dan ran into a snag when his ladle broke, but Tiffany offered the use of hers and waited for him as they finished the task together. Maria & Tiffany and Sam & Dan returned to their vehicles in the parking lot of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve, where Maria ran over a metal spike in her car, puncturing the radiator. As radiator fluid gushed from the underside of the vehicle, the poker players stood waiting for a replacement car with their friends and alliance members, Sam & Dan. Once Maria & Tiffany were back on the road, Maria joked, "I have an excuse because I'm an Asian, female driver."
Both Mika & Canaan and Lance & Keri had bad days with directions. Canaan began the Roadblock ahead of Lance but, eventually, both racers roamed the desert with the threat of elimination looming over them. Canaan found water first and headed back to Dubai with Mika as Lance continued his search, growing increasingly more frustrated and exhausted from the blazing sun. After finally locating an urn with water, Lance returned to Keri and the pair started the drive back to the city in hopes of catching up.
A WINTER CHILL
A wrong turn by Brian & Ericka allowed father and son Gary & Matt to arrive at Ski Dubai before them where they discovered a Detour with the choice of Build a Snowman or Find a Snowman. In Build a Snowman, teams had to carry snow from the frigid winter conditions inside, to the blistering heat outdoors. Once there, they had to build a traditional snowman complete with two coal eyes, a carrot nose, and top hat. In Find a Snowman, teams had to take a chairlift up the mountain and then sled down to a mound of snow. Once there, they had to search through the massive pile of snow for a tiny snowman buried within it.
After taking a thrilling sled ride down the ski slope, Gary & Matt set to work digging through the huge pile of snow. Soon, Maria & Tiffany, Brian & Ericka, Sam & Dan, and Flight Time & Big Easy joined the father and son in sifting through the snow for the tiny snowman hidden beneath. As Gary & Matt lamented the loss of their lead on the other teams, Ericka uncovered a snowman, and exchanged it for the next clue instructing her and Brian to drive to the Pit Stop at Souk Madnet Jimirah.
As Brian & Ericka claimed second place, teams digging through the endless piles of snow reconsidered their decision. Professional poker players Maria & Tiffany made the move to build a snowman followed by Gary & Matt. After even more digging, brothers Sam & Dan threw in the towel leaving only Flight Time & Big Easy on the mound of snow still searching. The Globetrotters' persistence paid off when they uncovered a snowman to finish in third place while the other teams built their snowmen. On the way to their car, the Globetrotters encountered Mika & Canaan just pulling into Ski Dubai and told the newly dating couple to bring their coats into the chilly weather. An appreciative Canaan later said, "That was really kind of them. Those Globetrotters, they helped us out."
A LOST CAUSE
The afternoon worsened for engaged couple Lance & Keri when they realized that they drove in the entirely wrong direction heading back to the city. With only Mika & Canaan still building a snowman, the pair hoped they still had a shot. However, once the young dating couple finished their snowman and arrived at Souk Madnet Jimirah in seventh place, Lance & Keri clung to the hope that this was a non-elimination leg. On their long day, Keri said, "It is amazing how bad we did today."
Stepping onto the mat in last place, Lance & Keri didn't get their wish from Phil, when he eliminated them from the race. The couple took the news in stride, with Keri saying, "We just have so many other good things to look forward to that we can't be sad." Lance added, "We'll never forget it, but we were hoping we could do more of it. It's just a great thing to have in your life."
1505 ROUTE MARKERS
Roadblock: A Roadblock is a task that only one person can perform. In this Roadblock, one team member had to choose a traditional bag and search the desert for water that was stored in urns buried in the sand. However not all of the urns contained water. When they found enough water to fill their bag they had to give it to a Bedouin and his thirsty camels to receive their next clue.
Performed Roadblock: BRIAN, TIFFANY, DAN, BIG EASY, MATT, CANAAN, LANCE
Detour: A Detour is a choice between two tasks, each with its pros and cons. In this Detour, teams had to choose between Build a Snowman or Find a Snowman. In Build a Snowman, teams had to carry snow from the frigid winter conditions inside to the blistering heat outdoors. Once there, they had to build a traditional snowman complete with two coal eyes, a carrot nose, and a top hat. In Find a Snowman, teams had to take a chairlift up the mountain and then sled down to a mound of snow. Once there, they had to search through the massive pile of snow for a tiny snowman buried within it.
Build a Snowman: LANCE/KERI, SAM/DAN, GARY/MATT, MIKA/CANAAN, MARIA/TIFFANY
Find a Snowman: FLIGHT TIME/BIG EASY, BRIAN/ERICKA
Fast Forward: This was the only Fast Forward in the entire race. The first team that completed it could skip all tasks and go directly to the Pit Stop. In this Fast Forward, teams had to travel to the Dubai Autodrome, the only racetrack of its type in the Persian Gulf. Then, driving in an F3 open wheel racecar and accelerating up to speeds of 100 mph, one team member must complete a lap in 45 seconds or less.
MEGHAN/CHEYNE WON FAST FORWARD
Order of Finish
1. Meghan & Cheyne
2. Brian & Ericka
3. Flight Time & Big Easy
4. Gary & Matt
5. Sam & Dan
6. Maria & Tiffany
7. Mika & Canaan
8. Lance & Keri