Previously: The leading three teams successfully conspired to U Turn Abbie and Ryan out of the game—leaving perpetual last-placers Josh and Brent alive.
It's 2:55 a.m. in the backyard of Rembrant's mistress's pad when the twins step up to the mat: Thanks to last week's use of the Fast Forward, they're well in first place—a solid seven hours in front of the Beekmans. We're all headed to Barcelona, where teams will take an overnight ferry to Mallorca, where they'll need to find some devils. There will be no bunching at the airport: The twins are off first, then James and Jaymes a couple hours behind, and then Trey and Lexie, about 90 minutes behind the Chippendales. Josh and Brent are on a fourth flight, and utterly disbelieving (like everyone in the audience) that they're still in the game. Josh: "Can you believe we're one of the last four teams?" (Definitely not.) "It's so difficult not to see any other teams racing," says Josh. It's equally difficult to remember the last time they saw a team other than Abbie and Ryan—it must have been before they left for Moscow, in Istanbul.
There is some bunching in Barcelona—at the overnight ferry, which doesn't leave until 11 p.m. That means the three leading teams have a day on the city's beaches. It's just as hard to remember a time when this many teams got this much time off. There's a number of "final three!" cries from the huddle while they spend the day on the water (money well spent, Barcelona tourism board). Of course, they don't know which team they'll be joined by—until they get back to the ferry terminal and find the Beekmans sitting there. Which means their plan worked. James: "We're happy the strategy with the U Turn worked, and we sent a strong team home," he says. Josh is equally happy about it: "We feel like we have a shot again."
Once in Mallorca, the teams are confronted by a pack of dancing "dimoni," or "demons," in some actually quite scary masks and torches. The three leading teams, trying to work together, run up and down steps, look in and around an outdoor plaza, all while being hassled by the devils—until they ask the right guy for the clue, and he hands it over. It's a pretty weird challenge, one that actually seems to be a bit easier when there's only two people there, rather than six—as it is when Josh and Brent finally show up, by themselves, having had navigation trouble on the way over.
From there, they're told to drive to a tennis center. It's seems like it's pretty obvious that it's a tennis center from the tennis court that's visible behind the teams as they open the clue—a fact that doesn't seem to make nearly as much of an impression as it should on Brent and particularly on Josh, who takes the challenge even though he's still on the mend from injuring his ankle in the Netherlands. The task is Who Wants to Get Smashed: On these courts in tennis champ Rafael Nadal's hometown, one team member will need to successfully return 20 tennis balls. Trey moves right through it, and James isn't far behind, but the twins and the Beekmans are both hobbled: Josh literally and Nadiya figuratively. Nadiya had assumed the role of manual-transmission driver before they left home, but apparently that one lesson doesn't go far, and they've squandered whatever lead they had by the time they arrive, in fourth, at the courts.
While the two leading teams driving to the caves of Campanet, Josh struggles mightily with this ankles, and his nerves. "I forgot my ankle was so bad," he says, grunting his way across the court. "He sounds like Monica Seles out there," says Brent. The only difference is that Seles' screams were aggressive; Josh sounds terrified." Brent hopes that Josh is "controlling his anxiety levels. Of course, he hasn't got them under control in his 42 years of life." Josh has another perspective on this: "Hot sun, sprained ankle, 43 years. Not easy." He rallies, of course, and squeaks by with his 20 returned balls: "I knew the pain [in his ankle] would either get bad enough that I was going to pass out or my foot was going to break off," he says. The twins' dialogue is more along the lines of "Move your ass!" but both teams finish almost simultaneously, and the women follow the Beekmans' toward the caves. At least as much as their driving skills allow them to.
At the head of the pack, the Texans and the Chippendales follow the faint sound of Spanish guitar music through the caves to two men holding the Detour clues: Spin It (replacing two blades on centuries-old windmills) or Bull It (race through a bullfighting arena dressed as an adorable bull). The two teams intend to drive to the latter together, but they split up when the Chippendales decide to take a freeway—which somehow spits them out right in front of the windmills. ("It's like a big giant ceiling fan," Jaymes says.) They say it's an appropriate challenge: "Working at Chippendales, we may have seen a construction outfit a time or two," Jaymes says. "I may have swung a Styfrofoam hammer," James adds. They're set there, while Trey and Lexie have a bit more trouble with the bullfighting challenge: Lexie is hidden under the bull costume, and she needs to listen to Trey's direction as they scoot around eight matadors and their capes—so she can't see anything. They make it successfully around all the matadors, but are supposed to lightly touch a final target—which they run right over, injuring Lexie's finger. Both teams make it out of their respective challenges eventually, though, and race for first to the Pitstop at the Castell de Bellver: It's the Texans who get the prize, perhaps buoyed by their decision to stick with the bullfighting challenge, which they'd noted seemed to involve less of a driving distance.
It looks like it's going to come down for a place in the final-three to whomever can get through the windmill challenge first: the Beekmans or the twins. For once, Josh and Brent seem to recognize that they enjoy an advantage. "We have a wind turbine on the farm," Brent says, incredulous that they have been so blessed. "This was a challenge that was made for us basically," Josh agrees. And so it is: The guys methodically attack the challenge, while the twins learn why "we're supposed to look at everything ahead of time, not pin the bloody tail on the donkey." They know they're done for as soon as they see the Beekmans drive away, and indeed: The guys are third to the Pitstop. "I have seen you limp, collapse, fall down—and you're still there," Phil says.
The twins know they screwed up: "We did this all by ourselves to ourselves," one of them says. Sad music plays as they finally approach the Pitstop, but it's all for naught: There won't be a final three this year. There will, though, be a final four: It's a non-elimination leg.
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"The Amazing Race" airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS.