Ali Baba in a Suit
The Amazing Race Season 17 Episode 8 (11/14/10)
A drastic climate change awaited the racers for the start of the eighth leg. Departing from St. Petersburg, Russia, the teams were instructed to fly to Muscat, Oman in the Middle East. Departing first and second, Nat and Kat and Brooke and Claire were able to get on a flight that arrived in Muscat two hours before Nick and Vicki, Gary and Mallory and Jill and Thomas. Chad and Stephanie slept through their departure time by over two hours, but were fortunate to be on a flight only fifteen minutes behind the middle three teams.
Once in Oman, the teams had to make their way to Burj Al Mubkharah where they would receive starting times to climb up the fort to get their next clue. Nat and Kat and Brooke and Claire used their two hour head start to get the 7:30am start times the next day. Despite being on the later flight, Chad and Stephanie caught up to the back of the pack and actually nabbed a 7:45am start time with Jill and Thomas. This left Nick and Vicki and Gary and Mallory in last with an 8:00am departure.
Before heading up to the fort, Chad took advantage of the down time to propose to his long time girlfriend, Stephanie. Giving her the ring of his deceased mother, she said yes and the two enjoyed a teary embrace. The remaining teams looked on and cheered for the happy couple.
The clue at the top of the fort directed teams to the tallest mountain in Oman, Jebel Shams. Any advantage teams had from starting at the fort was quickly erased by the confusing navigation that was required to find Jebel Shams. Chad and Stephanie and Jill and Thomas relied on the direction of locals to find the mountain and found themselves in a battle for first place the rest of the race. Nat and Kat and Gary and Mallory relied on a map, became very lost and fell way behind.
At the base of Jebel Shams the teams were provided with a driver to take them to the top via a treacherous driving route. A Roadblock awaited the teams at the top which required them to rappel down 500 feet and then search through a field of lanterns for one containing a ring. Chad and Jill raced neck and neck for their teams, taking advantage of the large lead they gained on the other teams. Despite starting from the fort in last, Nick and Vicki made it to the Roadblock in third. However, a flat tire on their car allowed for Brooke and Claire to catch up to them.
The four leading teams made their way towards a stack of giant books in a square in Muscat which further directed them to a Detour. The teams had a choice between Water Table and Wedding Table. For Water Table the teams had to fill a water tank truck with water and deliver the water to a local resident. For Wedding Table the teams had to cook a traditional wedding soup to provide to a bride and groom.
At the back of the pack, Nat and Kat managed to find Jebel Shams about thirty minutes in front of Gary and Mallory, but close enough to keep things interesting. The four leading teams and two trailing teams all choose Water Table and completed the task with little drama. After completion, they were sent to Muttrah Souq, a famous market in Muscat with instructions to find the famous Ali Baba.
Upon finding Ali Baba, teams were sent to Al Alam Palace for the Pit Stop. Jill and Thomas arrived at the Pit Stop first, but incurred a 30 minute penalty for following a taxi. This was enough time for Chad and Stephanie to pass the other couple and finish first on the day they got engaged. Nick and Vicki and Brooke and Claire were stunned to learn of their third and fourth place finishes, respectively. Despite being way behind, Nat and Kat managed to stay ahead of Gary and Mallory who were eliminated.