As teams raced to Seoul, South Korea for a spot in the final three, dating couple Nick & Vicki started the leg hours behind and missed the flight carrying the other teams leading to their elimination from the race.
Departing the Pit Stop in first place at 4:37pm, doctors Nat & Kat ripped open their clue instructing them to fly 1,300 miles to Seoul, South Korea. When they landed, teams had to drive to the De-Militarized Zone near the North Korean border and search for the Seungil Bridge. While excited to race for a spot in the final three, Nat expressed some concerns about their destination, telling Kat, "I don't wanna drive to the border. We're gonna be deep into North Korea."
As Nat & Kat, Jill & Thomas, and Brook & Claire all waited to board their flight leaving at 12:25am, last place dating couple Nick & Vicki departed the Pit Stop hoping to catch the teams at the airport. On the tumultuous journey the couple had taken up to this point, Nick said, "I think this race has allowed us to open our eyes and see the flaws we do have in our relationship. I was totally out of line. I treated her like scum. I promised to myself and to Vicki that I would never blow up like that again." On the giant hole they dug for themselves, Vicki added, "We're just going to do what we can and hopefully it's in our grasp of being able to catch up with everybody and get into the final three."
Nick & Vicki arrived at the airport just as the other three teams began to board the 12:25am flight to Seoul. Running up to a counter, the dating couple asked for tickets on the flight, but discovered that they were too late to get on it. The news for the dating couple worsened when the ticket agent told them that the next available flight was on Cathay Pacific departing in the morning at 9:30am. Now facing a nearly insurmountable obstacle, Vicki still maintained hope, saying, "There's not too much more that we can do. Hopefully somebody gets lost or something." Nick added, "It really comes down to a miracle."
RUN FOR THE BORDER
Landing in Seoul, South Korea on an overcast, rainy morning, the lead three teams jumped into their cars and started the drive towards the North Korean border. Nat later commented, "Driving to the border, it was such a politically charged adventure." Thomas added, "Just knowing the issues between, not only North Korea and South Korea, but North Korea and a lot of the free world, it was unbelievable." Brook joked, "Maybe if we could create an alliance with North Korea and look out for the other teams and put them in timeout or something. That would work for us."
Arriving at the Seungil Bridge in first place just ahead of Brook & Claire, dating couple Jill & Thomas opened their clue instructing them to raft down the Hantangang River and then board a humvee that would take them to the U.S. Army Base Camp Casey. After putting on wetsuits and helmets, Jill & Thomas, with the help of river guides, carried their raft down the rocky path to the edge of the water and jumped in as Brook & Claire and Nat & Kat followed close behind. Paddling down the roaring rapids, Thomas shouted, "This is awesome!" Laughing at the craziness of the situation, Nat reminded Kat, "We're rafting down the De-Militarized Zone." Loving the adrenaline rush the rapids provided, Brook said, "Now this is what I call living. Now this is my style."
HIGH KICKING ROADBLOCK
Maintaining their lead on the two female teams, dating couple Jill & Thomas arrived at Camp Casey in first place to find a Roadblock. In it, one team member had to choose a headband and walk among 200 soldiers practicing tae kwon do moves to find the soldier wearing the matching headband, all while trying to not get hit. When teams found the correct headband, the tae kwon do artist would kick a wooden board in half revealing the next clue.
After picking up a headband, Thomas ran onto the field where 200 soldiers dressed in their fatigues practiced the art of tae kwon do. Jumping in between the rows and rows soldiers as they shouted and punched their fists, Thomas exclaimed, "There's so many of them!" With Brook now joining Thomas on the field, he continued to check each headband, but couldn't find a match to the one he held. Brook thought she found her match, but when she offered the headband to the solider, he simply took it away forcing her to go back and get a new headband to start the search over. Immediately after, Thomas finally found the soldier with his matching headband and watched as the solider expertly kicked a wooden board that smashed apart causing a clue to fall on the grass. Opening the clue, Jill & Thomas discovered they had to travel by subway train to Seoul World Cup Stadium.
ON THIN ICE
Jumping on a train ahead of Brook & Claire and Nat & Kat who found their headbands shortly after Thomas, dating couple Jill & Thomas maintained their lead on the other teams as they ran onto the soccer field at Seoul World Cup Stadium. Opening their clue, the dating couple discovered a Detour having the choice between Full Throttle and Full Bottle. In Full Throttle, teams had to make their way on foot or by subway to Mokdong Ice Rink, change into state of the art speed skating suits, and skate a 2-person relay for a total of 24 laps. In Full Bottle, teams had to make their way on foot or by subway to Namdaemun Market, put on delivery uniforms, and carry a total of six giant ginseng roots to a holistic wellness center. If they could make the deliveries without breaking any of the glass jars and drink a bottle of ginseng tonic, they would receive their next clue.
As Jill & Thomas took the subway to Mokdong Ice Rink, Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire arrived at Seoul World Cup Stadium. While the doctors quickly decided to take a shot at speed skating, Brook & Claire had a difference of opinion on what option to attempt. Claire didn't trust her abilities on ice, telling Brook, "I haven't ice skated since I was seven." Brook insisted that she would skate faster to make up for any deficiency on Claire's part, but Claire still wasn't sold on the idea. When Brook grudgingly conceded to deliver ginseng, Claire agreed to the skating because she felt that Brook was "copping an attitude." In all of the confusion over which task to choose, Brook & Claire failed to noticed that they needed to take the subway or walk to the ice rink and mistakenly jumped into a taxi.
(NOT SO) SPEED SKATERS
With Nick & Vicki landing in Seoul and starting the drive to Seungil Bridge, Brook & Claire arrived at Mokdong Ice Rink in first place after illegally taking a taxi. Changing into the incredibly tight and form fitting suits, Brook joked, "The attire, that was disgusting. Not the Brook & Claire flair." As Brook & Claire took to the ice, Jill & Thomas arrived at the rink confused at how the home shopping hosts passed them, asking, "How did they get here so fast?" Quickly putting on their suits, Jill & Thomas stepped onto the ice just as Brook & Claire completed their first lap around the rink. On the whole experience, Claire joked, "This is not very elegant." While Claire had her difficulties as she slowly tiptoed along trying to keep her balance, Jill took several spectacular spills sliding across the ice before picking herself back up to continue on. However, Thomas more than made up for Jill's lack of skating skills as the dating couple slowly overtook Brook & Claire and finished the event a full lap ahead of the home shopping hosts. Opening their clue, Jill & Thomas discovered they had to make their way to Han Riverside Park, also known as Yeouido Hangang Park, and search for a statue of an airplane. Running off the ice, Jill said to Thomas, "Did you see how many times I fell? That was ridiculous."
Trying to keep their slim lead over Brook & Claire, Jill & Thomas arrived Han Riverside Park, but they couldn't find anyone who direct them to the airplane statue. As the dating couple kept searching, Brook & Claire arrived at the park and quickly spotted the plane statue and the cluebox. Opening their clue, the home shopping hosts discovered they had to travel across town to the next Pit Stop at the Temple of Heaven, an imperial shrine built in 1897 for the first and only emperor of Korea.
Stepping on the mat at the Temple of Heaven, Brook & Claire heard from Phil that they were "the first team to arrive" rather than "team number one." Of course, this meant Phil was ready to dish out a penalty to Brook & Claire for taking a taxi to Mokdong Ice Rink instead of the subway. As the home shopping hosts sat out a 30 minute penalty for their mistake, dating couple Jill & Thomas stepped onto the mat to claim first place and a spot in the final three. Along with the victory, the dating couple won a trip for two from Travelocity to Argentina. Thomas said, "We're here for one thing only and that's to win this entire race. We're gonna just to work as hard as we possibly can. Hopefully things work out for the best."
After their penalty time expired, Brook & Claire finished the day in second place, still ecstatic to be racing for the one million dollar prize. Brook said, "I feel so much pressure to be that team. We want that title." Coming in third place, doctors Nat & Kat told Phil they would love to be the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race. Nat said, "Seventeen seasons, no girls have won. It's about time. We believe in ourselves. We believe that we can."
As the sun began to set in South Korea, last place dating couple Nick & Vicki finally arrived at the Seungil Bridge and ultimately reached Phil at the Temple of Heaven after darkness fell becoming the eighth and final team eliminated from the race. On the experience, Vicki said, "From day one ‘til now, I feel like we're completely different people. We learned so much about each other. We're still learning to communicate with each other. It was a start." Nick added, "The hardest part is acknowledging the flaws we do have in our relationship and now that we knowledge that, it's just time to fix it." On his partner, Nick added, "I'm very proud of Vicki. Every single challenge, every single leg she went at it a hundred per cent in life and in this race. I wouldn't change her, not even for a second." Vicki ended by saying, "I think this race has made us better people. We still have things to work on communication wise, but it can only get better from here."