The Amazing Race 3 Ranking

The Amazing Race 3

Countries visited:

USA, MEXICO, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, PORTUGAL, MOROCCO, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, VIETNAM

Format changes:

– Fast forward on every leg stays intact.

– A season that expands to twelve teams.

– A season with twelve teams that doesn’t have a ridiculous elimination in the first ten minutes.

– Only three non-elimination points yet there’s thirteen legs.

First episode:

– HEATHER: We are both very intelligent and we plan to play into the whole dumb blonde female.

Oh, you play into it more than you ever thought you would, Heather.

– FLO: It’s a test to see how compatible we are.

No comment.

– SYLVIA: Fear no man; be terrified of soccer mom.

How long do you think she came up with that gem before they submitted their audition tape?

– Aaron is wearing the shirt that has the initials of silver on the periodic table; Arianne is wearing a shirt that has the initials of gold on the periodic table. Nobody had the heart to tell them they wouldn’t be anywhere near the podium.

– ANDRE: A mission like this it’s right up our alley.

Firefighters and police officers are trained in airports?

– JILL: We’re actually a team of three. Our third teammate is my brother.

Uh, I’m pretty sure you’re only allowed to have two-person teams. Just sayin’.

– NYC, Vegas, and now the Everglades. It’s refreshing to see a time where production cares about switching up the starting point from season to season.

– Sylvia becomes the first person to trip at the starting line. And the trend begins.

– Flo yells and utters a F bomb in minute nine of episode one. I could’ve sworn it wasn’t until minute twelve before the cursing and yelling begins. “What the F is this?”

– Damon ran the red light. I am sure if Andre did it he would not hear the end of it.

Stealth.

– Heather & Eve begging for money at an airport. They made nearly one hundred bucks. It’s the first leg. I wonder how fast they blow through it?

– Flo has thrown her hands in the air three times in frustration before exiting the United States.

– Another F word. “What the F is this?”

– ZACH: I think Flo is a high maintenance girl. That could be trouble.

Oh boy. Zach. It’s not worth it. Get out now.

– I see a truck with the Domino’s Pizza logo on it. I guess delivery cars are less reliable in Mexico.

– If you haven’t been to Zocalo Square, please note that the place is HUGE. Probably bigger than Red Square.

– I can’t tell the difference between Derek and Drew’s voice. You’re making my confessional counts near impossible.

– Hey, a new song in TAR’s repertoire. Neat.

– SYLVIA: We have to win. We have no choice.

Well you certainly created  one within twelve hours.

– Ken & Gerard race in a cab vs. the Twins’ physique for the FF. The start of one of the best relationships in TAR history. Ken & Gerard have bashed them in three confessionals within five minutes. “I can’t believe I saw sweat on their face. They actually sweat those gods.”

– Ken & Gerard join the exclusive list of those who opt to take the FF on the first leg. I don’t blame them. The first leg typically is the most different from all of the other legs. In addition, TAR seems to have a 2-3 leg learning curve for all the teams.

– ZACH: Let’s skydive. It’ll be faster.
FLO: But it takes long.

I like that logic.

Flo having fun. Enjoy The Race, honey. Have a good time!

So far so good.

Mexico’s version of planking

– Ken & Gerard win a 7-day cruise. I am sure everyone thought they should be thankful they get even that much.

– When Aaron screams ‘Yes!’ after the skydive, that takes me back to the sixth grade. On the official website, they had a T-Mobile extra where each digit on a phone represented a team. You press the team and they produce a 5-second sound byte. For example, Flo & Zach’s sound byte was Flo saying “I’m thinking the whole time they’re going to kill me, they’re going to kill Zach.”

For Aaron & Arianne, it was just ‘Yes!’ as their sound byte. I remember thinking it was funny to play it over and over and over again while on the computer in the elementary school computer lab.

– I hate to be laughing, but seeing Eve cry about an activity that doesn’t have any harm is hilarious. She kicks while they’re in the air. So funny.

– Watching the teams dodge the other skydivers is amusing. Dodge the flying soccer mom, Tramel!

– Did you see what Andrew does when he checks into the pit stop? Flamboyancy at a max.

– I love Ian’s jacka–ery in this season. He stands on the mat and points at the position where he wants his wife to join him. ‘Here Teri, stand. Good wife.’

– Tramel should sign up for a strongman contest. He pushes that minivan like he’s boss.

If this is how they react when they discover they finished in third-to-last, imagine how they would be if they finished first. My goodness they are awesome.

They’re not even close to the pit stop mat.

– I wonder why the twins were cast. They are hard to distinguish between and neither have an explosive personality in their interviews. What did producers exactly see?  They barely survive this leg by minutes.

– Gina & Sylvia are gone. I wish they would have stayed longer so we could get beyond the “we’re moms who want to prove to our kids that they can do anything they want to do.” It’s 2011, but I think we were sick of hearing that crap on competitive reality TV by 2002. Come to think of it, do any of the teams that get eliminated first go down as memorable? I mean on Survivor you have people who remember Chicken, Debb, Peter, Brook, and Jon Raymond. But TAR? The only team that comes to mind is not seen for a long time. Maybe they like to frame the first out as being one-dimensionally nice? Although Matt&Ana certainly didn’t get that treatment.

Below is your confessional count. In the premiere, each team has to be introduced with an opening confessional. As we head into the next episode, I’m sure we’re going to see slants reminiscent of Peggy from last season.

Heather&Eve 1.2
Michael&Kathy 2.2
Dennis&Andrew 1.1
Flo&Zach 3.2
Derek&Drew 3.1
Gina&Sylvia 4.4
Tramel&Talicia 2.1
Silver&Gold 3.1
Teri&Ian 2.2
Andre&Damon 1.2
Ken&Gerard 6.3
JV&Jill 1.2

Second leg

———-

– They showed a split second of Tramel & Talicia’s pit stop screaming again. Great.

– Will Derek & Drew come out of last place? I don’t knowwwww.

– Ken says he wants their nickname to be “O Brother”. Are you allowed to force everyone to use the nickname you provided yourself?

– FLO: Zach is the perfect companion for this kind of journey.

– Michael may be the most underrated confessionalist in the history of reality television. I find myself cracking up at how he phrases things. He’s totally relaxed and he’s engaging in his interviews. He needed to be on Survivor much more than the crazy skydiving adventure hungry adrenaline rushes that he clearly doesn’t seek on The Amazing Race.

– Aaron & Arianne is TAR’s version of Wil & Grace. I am amazed they were never given that nickname.

– Why is there a four-team alliance (Mike, Kat, Gold and Silver, FloZach, JV and Jill) against the Twins. They’re over four hours behind you! Why not have one of you take the FF so they’re completely paralyzed? But nope. Say you’re going on a crusade against them but let them take the FF to go from eleventh to first. What a wise move.

– Andre & Damon oversleep, don’t brush their teeth, and Andre has Montezuma’s Revenge. That is a terrible way to start your race. At least they find a fern.

– Do you think restaurants in Mexico undercook their food because they can just use Montezuma’s Revenge as an easy scapegoat? I am sure you would cut costs for sanitation if you have that scapegoat in plain sight.

– Jill converts into a spider when she goes up pyramids.

– Tramel & Talicia nicknamed themselves TNT.

– JV & Jill are nicknamed Rambette and The Rock. We have Gerard to thank for that.

– Andre & Damon made up two hours. That’s what happens when Ian has to tail Dennis’ slow driving for five hours.

– Eve cries for the second episode in a row to ensure she makes the bus. Andre & Damon miss it by minutes and are now three hours behind.

– Phil recaps which bus each team is on. Andrew sleeping looks like a Silas Screw’d pic. (Andrew pic here.)

– The bus that is three hours behind ends up in a car crash. It’s not like they could

– I noticed Jill has her bathing suit underneath. I wonder if production warned them beforehand? Maybe not considering Arianne took her clothes off in the cab and changed in the cab. How big are her breasts? Her entire upper body is blurred. Was it a nun who edited this segment?

– Is that a new song for the race?

– Detour time. Manpower or Horsepower. Kayak for a clue or use a wicked jet ski. I’d use the jet ski because there’s no way I could afford one. Nothing like a free jet ski you can trash on national television. The Anti-Twins Alliance all wish to jet ski together.

– Arianne criticizes Michael & Kathy for kayaking and using the donkey as opposed to skydiving in the prior detour. Vito and Jill kayak too but remain unscathed from an Arianne verbal attack.

– Flo is yelling at Zack as they jet ski. Fantastic. It’s supposed to be subtle.

– Flo breaks into a whiny voice as she stands on a PARKED JET SKI as she waits impatiently for Zack to carry her bags and pull her off of the jet ski that required a one inch jump to get on the ground.

– Ken claims to be the Queen of the Nile on the kayak. I think Sarah Jones from Survivor: Marquesas stole the title from you as Reality TV Egyptian Queen. I don’t think Cleopatra complained about wanting vests for fat people.

– Heh, Kenny misses the ferry because he was taking a ‘Sunday stroll’ to the ticket counter. It looks like they lose an hour on the Anti-Twin Brigade.

– The second bus. Teri & Ian portray the ugly American. They both yell ‘Saaaan Marinooo Marinaaaa’ in unison. I don’t think they took a Linguistics class.

– Here we go. Tramel & Talicia sloooowly fall over in their jet ski. They fall again ten seconds later. Luckily Tramel can urinate in the lagoon and Talicia claims it’s a comedy of errors. I’ve never seen the trailing pack have such bad luck.

– Teri & Ian fall over too. I remember cheering for their failure because I really wanted Tramel & Talicia to survive.

– Ian’s soon-to-be-trademark of impatience while simultaneously asking for Teri to be patient. She just wants to open the clue, Ian! Relax!

– Tramel & Talicia fall over in their jet ski again. Smooth.

– Roadblock time. Swim amongst dolphins as you search for clues.

– Michael says he’ll swim then says ‘oh crap, I just remembered I can’t swim!’ How do you forget that you can’t swim?! That wouldn’t be something that would slip my mind.

– Arianne finishes first. I recall how Diamante K Bungalows in Tulum translates to Dynomite K Bungalows in Tooloom. One of the best until TAR 10 when teams go to More-Ritt-E-Us.

– “Can’t kayak, can’t skydive, can’t swim…I can cook though.” — Michael. If only you were on one of the last few seasons of TAR.

– I love how the camera runs around Flo as she is out of breath running to her car. She has zero cardio.

– “We have to go to…Chakanub? Chaka Khan? Che? Che Canal? Why can’t nothing be called Detroit?” – Tramel.

– Tramel & Talicia not making the ferry is supposed to be a subtle fact that Andre mentions. I s’pose it becomes blatantly obvious that Tramel & Talicia are hours and hours behind at this point.

– John Vito & Jill doing the roadblock in a .7 second clip may be the briefest summary ever.

– Derek & Drew shout at each other in an unmemorable way on their road to the pit stop. I love that they get to the pit stop first and say “the other teams will be really scared of us now.”

Yes, I am sure teams are afraid of a team that finished eleventh on the first leg and barely finished first when they used the fast forward. I would be afraid of a team that was making numerous errors in the first two legs. I don’t understand why everyone wants them eliminated yet. If it’s the fear of two white alpha males winning yet another season of TAR, people need to be reminded that Chris & Alex hit two non-eliminations and rarely led the pack.

– I love the sequence where Aaron & Arianne do an over-the-top celebration and say that the twins are an Abercrombie & Fitch campaign gone wrong, then Heather & Eve yell when they hit the mat, then Michael & Kathy do the quietest ‘alright’ celebration and clap hands. Michael & Kathy are like Gina from Marquesas. A more subdued team amongst a collection of Type A personalities.

– Three minutes left as three teams battle for last at the roadblock.

– “Last team to check in WILL BE ELIMINATED!” – Teri. I don’t get why the last part is emphasized.

– Tramel & Talicia are the only team to do the roadblock in the dark.

– Andrew pulls off the most flamboyant pit stop celebration for the second leg in a row.

TERI: You want to make sure we’re turning right?
IAN: I can’t see…
TERI: You want to make sure we’re turning right?
IAN: I can’t see…

Nothing like seeing two people bicker about pointless crap.

— Is it Tramel & Talicia or Teri & Ian? There’s about five seconds of suspense before Teri & Ian hit the mat. They ran surprisingly fast. They finished in tenth.

– Tramel & Talicia are the last team to arrive. Boo-urns. I think producers hated that they were gone too. I wish they would have toned the constant T& T references.

Heather&Eve 0.3
Michael&Kathy 3.1
Dennis&Andrew 2.0
Flo&Zach 3.0
Derek&Drew 5.2
Tramel&Talicia 5.5
Silver&Gold 4.5
Teri&Ian 2.1
Andre&Damon 3.2
Ken&Gerard 1.2
JV&Jill 1.1

Third leg
—————–
– We are reminded that we’re in a place where a ukulele is being played in the background. Will Teri & Ian get out of last place? And will the other teams join Aaron & Arianne’s pointless and distracting campaign of targeting the teams? I love how teams on TAR think they can ‘target’ a team in the same manner that you would on Survivor. See Eric & Jeremy as a reference for how to successfully target another team.

– Remember when there was suspense over whether Derek & Drew or Aaron & Arianne finished first? It turns out that Derek & Drew arrived ninety minutes earlier. You have to love editing. Come to think of it, Derek & Drew were over four hours behind the leading pack and still managed to get a 90 minute lead on the pit stop. That may be the most profitable fast forward ever. Imagine if you took the fast forward while you were still in the leading pack.

– Each of the next two teams speak how much they want the twins out. You do know there’s teams like Andre & Damon, Dennis & Andrew, and Teri & Ian who have to beat them for your plan to work, right?

– Kathy loves they went to Cancun because it is where her and Michael met. Michael likes it because it’s the scene of the crime where it all began. I think they view their relationship from two completely different angles.

– Flo believes Zack is marrying material and how she doesn’t want it to be a silly little fling. I wish the producers would remind her of this confessional four episodes down the road. And I believe Zack doesn’t think you’re marrying material at this point.

– Aaron pulls everyone over to ‘get a plan’. Michael mouths to himself that it’s not a stop sign. I love how he doesn’t buy into this bogus storyline. It turns out Aaron’s brilliant plan is to get a direct flight. *face palm*

– Our competition I think it has to be the teams that are strong, beautiful, and in the lead. We’re behind, not as good looking, we’re not as strong…but we’ve got spunk.” — Gerard. One of their best early quotes.

– It’s a twin hunt, apparently.

– John Vito describes Jill as being different from other girls because she is ‘ballsy’. Do you know what people describe women who have balls? Either men or transgendered. Biologically speaking, anyway.

You have zero dollars to spend on make-up for this leg of the race.

– The twin hunt strategy is backfiring. They waste several hours trying to book flights for all eight of them (plus eight crew members) to London. It took them four hours to realize how insane that idea is.

– Andrew talks about being gay and how his dad is coming around. Rule #1 of TAR: If a team member describes their partner as ‘coming around’ then they are either first or last that round.

– Michael doesn’t like chicken heads like Heather and Eve barking in his ear. Is he aware what chicken head means? And do chicken heads bark? Leaving them is like dumping baggage.

– Flo gets her first whine of the episode by insisting that they get a flight to London before they leave Cancun.

– Ken & Gerard, John Vito & Jill, and Andre & Damon have all passed Heather & Eve and Flo & Zack.

– “God please let there be flights available to Cancun. . .screw it, I’ll make calls to airlines and lie about my mom being sick.”

– It’s a frenzy keeping up with nine teams who are all taking different flights. What’s crazier is that Michael & Kathy and Aaron & Arianne doubt that forty minutes is too short to make a connection. I’ve never flown on a plane, but are airports this notoriously slow because of security?

– Here we are in London. Teams are coming in. Detour time. Punt/Boat and Bike/Bike. I’ve never heard of punts since I saw this TAR 3 episode. That trivia question will come up someday I’m sure.

– Derek & Drew get their clue on the detour and now must wait SEVEN hours before the first charter bus leaves. They will tan in the meantime.

– Ken & Gerard operating the punt. They’ve hit one wall.

– Michael won’t do a tandem bike because it’s too corny.

“I should probably just steer it by myself. You can lay down.” — Michael. Ah, typical strong man.

– Gerard just fell into the water and everyone on the bridge is laughing at him. Oh those Brits are having a smashing time laughing at those Yanks. Oh, and he completely flips over and falls again! He’s soaked. Then Gerard pushes Kenny into the water as they switch spots. 99% of the time I’d make fun of a team for wasting time in such a ridiculous manner. You get a break, Kenny.

– Flo and Zack discuss switching detours. Zack discusses switching in a calm manner. Flo, on the other hand, shrieks with every word. Is that her normal voice?

– Cue Eve complaining about everything from the punting task to the weight of her bag that weighs less than half of Heather’s bag. I can’t imagine how Eve could last thirteen legs if she is spent by leg three.

– Flo is standing on a boat and waits for Zack to pick her up and carry her back onto land. Her apology after Zack gets the clue is fantastic.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you left me on a boat after I crawled out there. You just forget about me. You forget me.” — Back-handed slap.

Oh, if only Zack could forget about you. He would be happier

– John Vito & Jill have ten minutes to catch the bus after completing the detour. They have a bus all to themselves. 2.5 hours after the main pack of Gold & Silver, Heather & Eve, Mike & Kat, Flo & Zack, Kenny & Gerard, and the Twins.

– Old people argue about their vision again!

“There’s no sign!” — Teri.
“I can’t see.” — Ian.
“But there’s no sign.” — Teri.
“Let me look at the map, Teri.” — Ian.
“How are you gonna see it?” — Teri.

Excellent.

– OPTIMISTIC IAN: We caught Andre & Damon at the bus. That means we are not last, we are tied for last.

– Cut to Dennis & Andrew arriving in London over eight hours after the 1:30am bus containing old people and 9-1-1 have left. That means they’re over fourteen hours behind the first bus. Ouch. How did I not notice this gigantic gap during the first time I watched it? I love keeping track of the exact times.
– Gold & Silver won’t shut up about catching and passing the twins. I feel like it’s the only time producers are willing to give them airtime anymore.

– Roadblock time. Caber toss followed by hammer throw accuracy and a shotput.

– FLO: The person should be feeling game-y.
ZACK: So this is a game of some sort.

Great deduction skills, sir.

– We see Michael & Kathy are lost in their taxi. I wonder why producers wanted to spend so much time to show this particular team? They’re going to finish in the middle of the pack and are irrelevant to any storylines throughout the course of the race.

– Dennis & Andrew win the fast forward. When they’re in the limo, Andrew opens the bottle of wine and reacts in such a way that you think he was being portrayed in a Silas Screws photochop that you’d see on Survivor Sucks.

– Jill does a physical roadblock despite having the most muscular person in the whole cast standing right beside her.

– Ian insists Teri does the roadblock because it’s her turn. Unfortunately the retired police officer who used to be required to be in extreme physical shape won’t do the physical roadblock. Andre & Damon pass them quickly and are ahead by about a minute. They are fooled into thinking they’re last but little do they know. . .

– Dennis & Andrew do not arrive until after nightfall unlike all the other teams who arrive during the day. Andrew continues to be the only one who talks about their relationship coming full circle. I s’pose Dennis was the worst person to interview. His confessionals were no more than one line.

Heather&Eve 2.2
Michael&Kathy 5.2
Dennis&Andrew 2.7
Flo&Zack 1.1
Derek&Drew 5.4
Silver&Gold 4.2
Teri&Ian 0.4
Andre&Damon 1.1
Ken&Gerard 0.4
JV&Jill 4.0

Fourth leg
——————-
– We are reminded from last episode that Eve complains and that Teri & Ian didn’t finish last, and that there is a Twin hunt. Incredible.

– Right before the leg we are told that there is a Twin hunt and that Teri & Ian will be checking out last for the second leg in a row.

– Derek & Drew check out just before eleven o’ clock at night. I bet Dennis & Andrew didn’t even arrive yet from the previous episode. If the teams are leaving at eleven o’ clock, then that means the bus ride from the previous leg was around fourteen hours. Neat-o.

– ZACK: I am doing my best to accommodate Flo’s needs. Flo is doing her best to accommodate mine.

I agree with half of his statement.

– Eve says she has cried more on the race than in her real life. I have a feeling this isn’t exactly true. If it is true, she must get everything she wants before she has time to throw a complete fit.

– The three teams have made an alliance. *groan* Yes, apparently we didn’t know that. Zack uses his innate TAR abilities and found a path that gets his alliance to the route marker faster than the brother teams.

– JILL: We’re going to Portugal, babe.

– Aaron says he wants to “chase down those mothaf—-ing brothas.” Calm down Silver, you need to relax.

– JV and Jill and Michael and Kathy have caught up with the other three teams. It’s five against two. I love how Andre & Damon and Teri & Ian are complete non-factors. All seven of them are on the same flight.

– Arianne’s confessional from last round is that their mission was to catch the twins and mission accomplished. This week she states that their mission was to catch the twins and the brothers. Apparently twins aren’t brothers. And I think their twin obsession needs to cease or they’ll be Philiminated. I think they’d quit the race if the Twins were eliminated because they’d have no idea what to do.

– Andre & Damon leave at 5:26am.

DAMON: We’re going to…Portugal…baby.

I prefer Jill’s more energetic phrasing.

– Ian has a friend from yesterday’s taxi that he calls to help with his next clue. Ian is catching on to proper race strategy.

– Damon has the most unnecessary strategic tactic ever. So knowing Teri & Ian get into a cab helps you how? – Surprisingly this is not a Peeping Tom incident.

– – The Brother teams decide to take a flight to Portugal through Germany that has a 30-minute layover. A huge risk when all you have to do is beat eight other teams. Perhaps one of the biggest gambles ever?

– Brothers are going to arrive slightly ahead of the other seven teams. Here we are in Oporto. Phil reminds us that these teams are going to Calem Port Lodge.

– Ian yells for a taxi in the middle of a terminal until he exits the airport. Maybe Ian hasn’t learned much in four legs after all.

IAN: The gloves are off now, the race is on.

Apparently the race didn’t start until soccer moms, TNT, and the father/son duos were eliminated. Sorry guys. You three teams were merely fodder.

– Detour time. Transport wine by boat or by truck. The boat is of course a much shorter distance and requires very physical work. Truck has a lot of driving involved.

– The comic punting music starts up again for Ken & Gerard again. They’re not in the greatest shape. Meanwhile Derek or Drew single-handedly carry the barrel of wine.

– You know how there was a relative equalizer in the flight from Aberdeen to Oporto and how the brother teams took a huge risk in getting a twenty minute headstart? Well guess what? There is ANOTHER equalizer this leg because teams have to take a train along the coast for the final task. Boo-urns, race, boo-urns.

– AARON: Arianne, Teri & Ian are on the boats.
ARIANNE: They are? Ew.

– Andre & Damon are in the lead of the pack. Unfortunately, they make a mistake by dumping the wine but keep their lead over the other teams. But they make a dumber mistake by going to the restaurants out of order. So much for rallying after trailing for 3 1/3 legs.

– Heather & Eve begin the trend of those who didn’t learn to drive a stick before the race. In the words of Donald Trump in season six of The Apprentice, “How stupid can you be?”

– Eve blocks in Andre & Damon. Geez, it’s like every obstacle was in their way during the race to comedic proportions.

– Michael & Kathy are last because for the second leg in a row they get a really slow taxi that doesn’t know where to go.

– MICHAEL: The race got me sweatin’ and now I gotta row a boat? This ain’t no nursery rhyme.

Classic Michael with unusual confessionals.

– Andre & Damon are stuck behind Heather & Eve even with helping them finish their detour for the sole purpose of making sure Heather & Eve would get out of their way.

– Wait a second…Eve is asking Heather for help with driving a stick. Does this mean Heather KNOWS how to drive a stick and ISN’T DRIVIN THE FREAKIN’ STICK?! If Tara was here, she would say “Heather……you’re an idiot!!!!”

– TERI: It felt great to catch up to them.
GERARD: We felt awful.

– EVE: I just crashed the car.
HEATHER: It’s okay.
EVE: I just crashed the car. Sir, can you sign this?
CLUE MAN: Here’s your clue.
EVE: I just crashed the car.

Uhhhhh, I think she crashed the car.

– EVE: Are we last?
ANDRE: No, everyone is here.
EVE: Huh?
*
EVE: When’s the next train?
JILL: 7 o’ clock.
EVE: Everyone is here? Really? Okay.

I think the editors had a lot of fun with Eve.

– MICHAEL: This is like being on death row. You’re just counting down the minutes until one of us dies.

I love that Michael creates his own reality television cliché confessionals.

– Everyone has to go to a soccer stadium at midnight. Do hours of operation not affect soccer stadiums in Euroope? Soccer players  must be fine playing at midnight.

– Roadblock. Block a kick from a professional soccer player. Flo is surprisingly quiet this episode.

– Mike blocks a kick on his second try. Like a boss. Now they must WALK to the Torre de Belem.

– John Vito gets hit in the face with a soccer ball.    I don’t know if I feel so good, guys.

JV: Did you see how I blocked that? With my FACE!
JILL: Yeah, you did great. Let’s go.

I love how Jill couldn’t care less about his feat.

– The Ugly American Ian beats Gold in a roadblock showdown.

– We get to see a rare scramble of all nine teams walking to the pit stop. Well, except Heather & Eve who interpret ‘walk to the pit stop’ as ‘walk into the pit stop’. I love how the attorneys are the ones who have problems interpreting a clue. That can’t bode well for their careers. The fine  print for the definition of ‘walk’ is clearly laid out in the rules.

– GERARD: We’re putting up a good pace. We can get that ice cream tomorrow.

You get ice cream if you get to the pit stop? That’s what a mother would promise their 8-year-old son if they were on the race. Luckily children can’t be on the race. I am sure a version of The Amazing Race with children would absolutely suck. I mean, who would watch that? /sarcasm

– Heather & Eve are ecstatic to finish in first. Phil smirks.

– Ken & Gerard finish in 2nd* and Flo & Zach/Zack finish in 3rd*.

– FLO: We pulled out all the stops.

By we, you mean Zack.

– Ian utters ‘HOO-RAH!’ for the second time this episode. He’s back, baby! Note that his hoo-rah utterances increase with his position in the race.

– IAN: We ran our asses off, I yelled at her, I dragged her, I prompted her. God Bless America!

One of the strangest celebrations ever.

– Michael & Kathy beat out Arianne & Aaron to the pit stop. Therefore, Aaron & Arianne are last. Or are they? . . .

– PHIL: Aaron & Arianne, as you know, you’re the last team to arrive. However, Heather & Eve, you did not follow the directions correctly. A walk means to travel to the pit stop by foot rather than by car. But you mistakenly take a taxi. You gained a time of at least seven minutes. The custom is to assess a penalty of the time gained plus the standard thirty minutes. Most legs this wouldn’t matter, but because we put in two equalizers for no reason but because the teams arrived so closely together within about 31 minutes the time of 37 minutes makes all the difference. Maybe we won’t put in this many equalizers in a row.

– The image  of two people finishing in first on The Amazing Race.

– EVE: We made a mistake that anybody could make.
Use that on your clients after you lose a case for misreading the details.

– Heather says they ran an ethical race. Apparently begging people for money using your sex appeal does not fall under the unethical category.

– P.S. This episode was shown by my teacher in the sixth grade at my request. I even picked the episode and I chose this one because I loved that Heather & Eve are ousted this round. We then had a worksheet about a detour, roadblock, and a pit stop was. I was able to answer it exactly as Phil says it in the episodes. And here we are over nine years later. I remember my teacher saying “Bleep” right when Aaron says “a–es” at the start of the episode.

P.P.S. I can’t wait for the next episode. For some reason, anytime I re-watched this season a few years ago, I would always re-watch the next leg late at night.

Heather&Eve 5.4
Michael&Kathy 3.3
Flo&Zach 4.1
Derek&Drew 4.3
Silver&Gold 5.2
Teri&Ian 3.4
Andre&Damon 2.4
Ken&Gerard 3.7
JV&Jill 0.1

Fifth leg
—————-
– 11:30PM and here I am watching one of the most well-known early episodes of any TAR season. We’re reminded we are at the Torre De Belem.

– They must find the most western point of continental Europe. The vagueness of the clue reminds me of TAR 1. Flo says Zach is doing a better job of dealing with her emotions. At least he has had a four-episode training course.

–  Andre explains his new strategy: To follow the pack if there is ever a time that they don’t know where we are going because if you stray from the pack you will lose. He implements this strategy immediately as he follows the Brother teams and verbalizes they will follow them. Nothing like a cop tailing you in Portugal.

– Ian goes on a ten-minute berate fest of Teri. He instantly asks her where they’re going, where’s the clue, what’s the plan, and that she isn’t zipped.

IAN: You’re  not zipped. We can’t go if you’re not zipped.
TERI: Then zip it!

That has two meanings.

– KATHY: We love each other but we don’t verbalize it. Actions speak louder than words.

And I bet many people out there are googling for a Mike and Kathy sex tape as we speak.

– AARON: To finish 3, 2, 4, then to finish last was a real kick in the ass.

Aaron busts out the Sandra Diaz-Twine School of Reality Television Nursery Rhymes. I can hear Sandra proclaiming that Jon has yet to wash a dish or clean a fish. Her and Aaron need to get together.

– IAN: I’m the pilot and she’s the navigator. And when I say we need to fly we need to fly.

Oh boy. Teri is crying at the same time. I think this is the first moment where everyone hates Ian on television. I know this is when my sister and mom did.

– Aaron & Arianne arrive at the detour first. Ropes or slopes. Do you honestly need to be reminded what this detour is? It’s one of the most memorable. You rappel down the cliff or you walk down a slope. Magic will ensure shortly.

– AARON: WE’RE FIRST! This is one sweet day.

Excellent foreshadowing.

– Jill face plants while she runs. Epic.   I don’t understand  what the big deal is about running too fast.  Oh. They do have a point.

– Flo arrives at the detour. Here we go.

– We get to see the classic helmet cam that TAR started using last season. Aaron panics noting that his rope is caught. John Vito and Jill pass Aaron.

– Mike says he needs to rappel off the cliff to stop acting like a coward like he has been with all the detours. His storyline is coming full circle. Uh oh.

– FLO: What happens if I get detached?
ZACK: You won’t get detached.
FLO: What happens if I slip and hang off the cliff?
ZACK: …..

Can someone tell Flo that riding in a car for ten minutes is about one hundred times more dangerous than this detour task? Thanks.

– FLO: Is this a joke? This is a f—ing joke!

– TERI: What happens if that undoes?
IAN: Then you fall.
TERI: . . .Maybe we should’ve walked.

Ah, unnecessary fears.

– The ding-dong music starts. Magic, people, magic.

Having fun, sweetie? ^_^

– Zach curses under his breath! Amazing.

– I heard a HOO-RAH! And another! Ian is elated on the cliff.

– I think this is the point where Zach loses romantic interest in Flo. She couldn’t even handle the cliff.

– Teri & Ian have another old people fight. Although this is brief.

– Derek & Drew are last. This is a first since the early part of episode one.

– KENNY: I’m going to be slow…
GERARD: Pretend there’s a dozen glazed donuts on the bottom! Look, he’s running now!

– MICHAEL: Today was not bad. I’ve seen worse days on the race.
You sure about that, Michael?

– Teams drive hundreds of miles to Algeciras. Oh my. What do we have here? Why, the gas tanks of everyone’s SUVs are nearly empty. It’s time to fill up.

– AARON: This baby needs a nice batch of unleaded.

I love how he foreshadows the mistake by complete verbalization.

– John Vito notices it says diesel. Damon notices it says diesel. Aaron & Arianne? Not so much. Michael? Not so much. Michael says he had trouble telling the clerk he wanted unleaded. Next time listen to the clerk, Michael.

– TERI: So we’re not diesel are we?
IAN: No.

Ian’s inability to listen to anyone but himself is particularly amusing when the consequences are devastating.

– Aaron’s vehicle breaks down. There’s a weird sound. There’s no brake. There’s no acceleration.

– Zach buys unleaded.

– Mike’s vehicle stalled on him. Ian’s car stalled on him. Zach is broken down too. I love the music and how we truly get that ‘broken down in the middle of nowhere’ feeling.

– Kenny starts singing “On the road to Algeciras” but Gerard promptly cuts him off.

– Ian and Zach both figure out that it needed diesel fuel. Meanwhile, Aaron & Arianne clearly haven’t. Silver having a bad day. =(

– Three o’ clock in the morning. They’ve been traveling for twelve hours. I like how we’ve only done a detour and there’s less than thirteen minutes left in the episode.

– Flo announces she wants to quit the race for the first time in the game. She thinks they should quit.

FLO: This is over. Very over. I think we should back out of this right now. I don’t feel like dealing with this all night. This car is majorly f—ed up. I don’t want to drive in this and have it explode. We’re done.

Embraces the challenge of a broken down car on TAR.

– Ian gets to work as he cuts the fuel line and waits for gas to leak out. I love how he’s doing this with expertise after three in the morning.

– Zach’s optimism pans out as the vehicle is quickly fixed.

– Andre & Damon and John Vito & Jill arrive at the ferry. Where are the other six teams?

– Zach properly tracks down a mechanic and Ian fixes a truck by himself. Those are champion racers. Michael & Kathy meanwhile enter a nearby hotel and leisurely stroll into a room for the night. Silver continues to sulk.

– Derek & Drew pass Aaron & Arianne. I s’pose Derek & Drew must have been a ways behind. Unless editing is fooling us how quickly Aaron & Arianne were ahead.

– Police pull over and help out Aaron & Arianne. They must’ve lost a few hours though.

– The leading non-unleaded teams are on the seven o’ clock ferry. Zach & Flo and Teri & Ian have five minutes left to catch the eight o’ clock.

– FLO: Zach, please just ask people.
ZACH: Here we are!
FLO: I know but you’re like you don’t know and stuff. If you ask, we would know! It’s like. . .
ZACH: Flo, please don’t yell at me, man. I drove for twelve f—ing hours.
FLO: Because of your mistake. Don’t act like it’s my fault.

The best  part is that Flo takes the time to yell while they are sprinting to the ferry. She couldn’t even wait until they stopped running.

– Teri & Ian make the eight o’ clock ferry with a minute to spare. Flo & Zach and Teri & Ian shall duel.

– Oh, right. We still have Morocco to get through. The first four teams race to a charter agency where the first three arrive. Nothing like a meaningless little skirmish at ten o’ clock in the morning in the middle of the race. It reminds me of Chris challenging Julie at the day 34 reward challenge for the third spot on the reward trip in Survivor: Vanuatu.

– John Vito & Jill are now in the company of the unleaded problem solvers for the 11:15am charter. The first three teams are on the 10:15am.

– Michael & Kathy start to drive again after an unofficial twelve-hour pit stop.

– Roadblock time. Players must search the vats for a clue. They ask kids to direct them to the vats.

– Gerard does his first roadblock. He puts on the gloves at the start but then they’re not on  in the next shot when he gets the clue. I s’pose he got used to the vats to the point where he was willing to let his watch get a touch of vat.

– Whoa. Damon spanked the clue against his hand after Andre informs him that they’ve moved up two spots from the last leg. Their strategy of following the teams until the very last task is an excellent strategy.

– Kenny & Gerard win the leg. The first prize to be awarded since the first leg of the race is none other than a luxurious Kodak EasyShare digital camera. Which you can enjoy (or sell on eBay) after the race. I doubt they remember to ask for the cameras until they receive it in the mail a few months after the race ends.

– Aaron&Arianne don’t know if Michael&Kathy are ahead or behind.

– John Vito & Jill and Flo & Zach pull a same-time finish. This is the first time two teams have done this since Blake & Paige did it with some other team last season.

– Teri & Ian must be in disbelief that they finished in sixth.

– Silver & Gold finish in seventh. It seems this isn’t even remotely close. We see a big shift from day to pitch black to witness Michael & Kathy arrive without their bags. Despite making Michael a huge character in the first three episodes the producers seem to tone him down in these last couple episodes. He didn’t seem to have any interest in reality television anyway. Michael & Kathy are the exact opposite of TV whores. Relatively few confessionals considering most of the interaction was interpersonal for the teams.

Michael&Kathy 3.4
Flo&Zach 3.2
Derek&Drew 1.0
Silver&Gold 6.0
Teri&Ian 1.2
Andre&Damon 1.2
Ken&Gerard 1.2
JV&Jill 2.1

Thoughts after this episode:

Last week I was reading a pre-race article for TAR 3. What stuck out to me is that John Vito & Jill were the number one team being promoted pre-race, and that the writer herself was crying before the season started because of how much she was rooting for them. Then I noticed the only reason she was rooting for them is because Jill’s brother died in 9/11, and given that this season was only one year after 9/11, the tragedy is fairly fresh at this point. During the premiere they mention several times how Jill initially applied with her brother to be on TAR. So this got me thinking. . .

Did TAR producers exploit the 9/11 tragedy to bring in new viewers? What’s so different about Jill and her brother applying compared to her and John Vito applying that the latter is a lock for the show and will be edited as a fan favourite? I can guarantee you Jill and John Vito wouldn’t be cast for TAR if it weren’t for her brother dying in 9/11. So it’s funny how I always defend TAR that they didn’t start getting icky and dumb until TAR 14. But here we are in TAR 3 and I can guarantee you production milked John Vito and Jill’s personal loss for the own network’s success. I’m not angry or anything that they do this (because I’ve been watching these shows for over eleven years since I was eight years old) but it’s funny how people who watch competitive reality TV in the old school eras constantly defend production and say they were much more ‘honest’ and transparent. Unfortunately, Stacey Stillman in Borneo, the Blake & Paige incident in leg 2 of TAR 2, and Lindsey’s piercing in Survivor: Africa and now John Vito & Jill are prime examples of why this is not necessarily the case.

Another thing I’d like to draw your attention to is that this is the first episode where anyone notices Flo & Zach. Flo merely had the reputation of ‘just another one of those annoying people on reality shows’ until she couldn’t go down a cliff. It’s funny that this is the first episode where Zach has been allowed to speak.

One more thing to notice is that Ian is officially hated nationwide after this episode too. Yes, he fixed a truck all by himself but after yelling for a taxi in an airport and his brilliant “I’m the pilot and she’s the co-pilot” quote made him look more sexist than the casual fan’s preference for Alpha Males in Survivor.

I’ll try to do these asides a bit more often from now on because this is when I start getting more in sync with knowing what fans were thinking at the time, and after hearing how many current fans of TAR haven’t seen any of the earlier seasons, many of the scandals have been dropped and forgotten along the way.

P.S. My mom to this day calls Tara & Wil from TAR 2 as Will & Grace instead. Ten years later and she still can’t get Tara/Grace’s name right. :/

Sixth leg
———–
– Phil asks will Ken & Gerard and Derek & Drew work effectively now that Andre & Damon are positioned between them? Will Teri & Ian, the oldest team ever to reach the sixth leg, continue to avoid elimination? Teri & Ian will go on to obliterate this record, I’m sure.

– It’s time to cue our third extremely memorable episode in a row. We have legal experts not being able to read a clue correctly for the first time in the first twelve seasons of TAR that directly causes an elimination, teams who ignore what type of fuel their truck consumes for the first and only time in TAR history, and now we have another Race first that will never occur again in this leg. Surely you remember?

– Ken & Gerard, who were the first to arrive at 4:31pm, will depart at 4:31am. Phil’s words, not mine.

– The brothers and the 911 team are caravanning together. Note that the 911 team is making it explicit that they will follow the other brothers no matter what. I never knew there could be coattail riders in TAR considering how much you have to be by yourself. I wonder if the 911 team has such a lack of confidence by this point that they have zero faith in their own abilities. I wish they could be successful the other two teams to leg 13.

– Ken & Gerard and the twins both use the phrase “mutual beneficial” to describe their alliance.

– Another HOO-RAH utterance by Ian as he passes the other two teams.

– I love that John Vito & Jill also use the phrase “mutual beneficial” to describe their alliance with Flo & Zach. Me thinks there was some confessional coaching going on here. Apparently no one wants to ally with old people.

– John Vito & Jill’s radiator blew. I love how they play a depressing song when their truck breaks down for the next minute as Flo moans that they lost them. We’re told of the new rule about how there won’t be a time credit if a car breaks down through no fault of the team. Considering what transpired last leg, wouldn’t teams catch on that they screwed it up themselves if the camera crew shakes their head when a team asks for a new truck?

– Silver & Gold are only a little over an hour away from the trailing pack.

– Drew butchers another route marker pronunciation.

– Another old person argument.
IAN: This is what we need to do.
TERI: No, this is what we should do.
IAN: Please don’t berate me!

TERI: You should get off here.
IAN: No.
TERI: You missed another exit!
IAN: Fine, if you want me to get off, I’ll get off. What the outcome is your responsibility.
TERI: Then stay on!
—–
TERI: I don’t know if we should take the fast forward.
IAN: Of course we should–Flo, don’t take our cab!
TERI: Yeah, GTFO Flo! You don’t know it’s our cab!
IAN: I want him to stay here.
TERI: Why?!
IAN: When I make a decision, it’s a decision and that’s it.
TERI: We’re a team!

I love how Ian yells at her in contradictory and sexist ways but yet him and Teri yell at other teams in complete unison. What a team. ❤

– Fast forward time. Search a carpet shop for a rug with the fast forward symbol on it in Marrakech.

– Flo misses a train with the top three teams by less than two minutes but yet she’s not crying. Zach says it’s frustrating but yet his voice couldn’t be more monotone. Him and Becky Lee should get together and blow some steam from the stress in their daily lives.
– TERI: Let’s go! Let’s go!
IAN: Stop talking to me like that or else I’m gonna blow.

I can’t help but recall Ian yelling “YOU NEED TO DO THIS NOW! I DRAGGED YOU, I YELLED AT YOU, I PROMPTED YOU…GOD BLESS AMERICA!” I have a feeling if Teri did the same thing we may have a case of domestic violence on our hands.

Disclaimer: I really like Teri & Ian. They’re my favourite older team to race in history. It just takes a bit before I like them. In the meantime, they’re exceptionally easy targets to poke fun at.

– The comical music plays as Flo-Zach, Teri-Ian, and JV-J all discuss using the fast forward. Zach tries to speak logically to Flo about waiting one more leg to use the fast forward so they can be guaranteed to break into the last half where non-elimination legs are prevalent. Zach discusses telling the teams saying they’re not going for the fast forward but Flo grins and says to let her do the talking. (I think Flo wants to prove she’s oh so useful and sneaky. Unfortunately public relations isn’t her strong suit. Has Zach told her that?)

– I love how nobody references Gold and Silver this leg. They have had a total of twenty seconds of trying to catch up while other teams refuse to acknowledge them. The Twin Hunt storyline is officially over.

– Ian wants to take the fast forward because he’s tired. Has anyone told him your pit stop length doesn’t increase and that it’s always 12/36 hours regardless of when you finish.

– I wonder if everyone who has the fast forward wants to go for it because they’re guaranteed to not use a fast forward on a non-elimination leg?

– Detour time. Ride a horse to search for pottery nearby in sand or ride an ATV and do a rubbing of a clue etched on a stone.

– DAMON: Let’s kick up some dust in the ATV, man!

 Danielle DiLorenzo sighting! I giggled like a Crusha from Donkey Kong Country when I saw this.

– Gerard looks like such an equestrian athlete riding that horse. Now see them dig up the sand like they’re Fido.

– Time for teams to get their clue translated. Neat. Oh, equalizer. The next route marker doesn’t open until 4:45pm.

– Andre & Damon can’t figure out the clue so they agree to follow the twins in hopes they can figure it out. I think the last time Andre & Damon solved a clue on their own is leg four come to think of it.

– Flo & Zach and JV & Jill act excited when they realize both of them are going for the fast forward. They waste several minutes on Rock/Paper/Scissors while Teri & Ian go on a self-described quick pace and assume if they win this fast forward that they’ll be in the top three. I am sure everyone watching laughed at the possibility of them being in the final leg. In fact, even their own kids probably found that comment amusing.

– IAN: I see the flag!
TERI: Where?
IAN: Trust me and jog!
–*Fast forward to inside the shop*—
TERI: We go here.
IAN: Why?
TERI: Because there’s a flag underneath it!
—-
TERI: I got sand in my eyes!
—-
(TERI flips over a carpet by herself).
IAN: You have to wait for me. You have to wait for me!

I think there’s been about twenty jokes about their vision and Ian’s impatience crammed into six episodes. How can they see the fast forward symbol with Ian’s vision and Teri having sand in her eyes. Miraculously, they find it as Ian utters ‘HOO-RAH!’

– Flo & Zach have caught up to Ken & Gerard who were on a train exactly two hours ahead as the brothers leave the detour.

FLO: “First come first rub”? Whatever!

Flo does not find the producer’s pun in the clue funny at all. I think their feelings are hurt.

– IAN: TERI. COME!

(VIEWERS: IAN. SHUT UP.)

– Flo gets off the ATV in fear at the detour despite there aren’t any obstacles around and that Zach has complete control.

FLO: This race is so taxing. I haven’t been very nice to him. He’s so laid back and I’m a bat out of hell. It’s one long stressful dirty date.

*Cut to Flo screaming ‘OW!’ as she is riding BEHIND Zach on the ATV. She doesn’t even get hit by the sand.*

Even on detours Zach has to do all of the work.

– Ian & Teri hit the mat first because Ian yells a ‘HOO-RAH’ at a pit stop only if he is first.

– Phil informs them that they won Kodak digital cameras that they couldn’t be less excited about.

– FLO: Ask him where it is.
ZACH (broken French): Where…uh….is it?
MOROCCAN: C’est glacier café.
FLO: (fluent French: Qu’est que cest une café?

You speak French fluently but force Zach to speak broken English to communicate? What the heck?!

– Roadblock time. It’s time to sell snails. This is when people who rarely do the roadblock will participate.

It should be noted Andre & Damon had to wait over two hours for the roadblock to open up. Silver & Gold are the only ones who didn’t show up on time because they wasted time going to the taken fast forward. If only they were in tune with what the other teams were doing.

– Andre finishes a roadblock FIRST?! Riding the other teams’ butts until you have to do a task that doesn’t require you to find a location is Andre & Damon’s dream leg format.

– Watching Jill cross the street is like a game of Frogger.

– Flo finishes the roadblock dead last. It’s her first and last roadblock of the race.

– Flo & Zach finish in second after leaving the roadblock last? Lucky cab.
– Andre & Damon are taken to the middle of nowhere and into a bad neighbourhood. Their taxi quickly leaves. Minutes later, a Moroccan police officer drives up and detains a firefighter and police officer.

In Morocco, police are trained to tell detainees to talk to the hand.

– Meanwhile, everyone else is having a fun little time as the twins and JV-Jill check into the pit stop. Only two teams remain. We are shown Andre & Damon explaining that they refused to surrender their passport and the TAR security staff were forced to intervene and negotiate their release. I mean, a team gets arrested and taken to a police station where they need the production staff to come in during the middle of the leg to ensure a team isn’t sitting in a Moroccan jail? This has to be the #1 most absurd Reality TV moment that nearly everyone has forgotten. Can you imagine a person going on a reward in Survivor and Fijian police sprouting up and putting Boo in handcuffs? It just doesn’t happen. The absurdness is supposed to remain within the game or within the conflict of the players. We’re not supposed to have foreign police officers detain contestants in the host country. Forget Dieselgate or Team Legal where nobody can follow directions. Andre & Damon got freakin’ detained. After their hard work of making sure the brothers and the twins can’t break away from them, they’re now stuck in the most remote place at the bottom of the pack. Hilarious.

– Gold & Silver are wearing the same shirts from the start of the race. They give a tearful exit along with a team handshake. Aw. How sweet. The Twin Hunt storyline is completely extinguished. It was fun while it lasted for those three episodes. It would have been perfect if they talked about the twins in their closing confessional.

Flo&Zach 2.1
Derek&Drew 3.2
Silver&Gold 4.5
Teri&Ian 0.1
Andre&Damon 1.7
Ken&Gerard 1.2
JV&Jill 4.0

Seventh leg

————

– We’re told Ian & Teri yell, Andre & Damon were detained, and Gold & Silver get a twenty second farewell recap. The producers seem to have really liked them. It’s too bad that the audience wasn’t as receptive as producers assumed they would be. And here we are in episode seven.

– A new song for Marrakech. Really military. I wonder if this is inspired by a team getting freakin’ detained? We get to see Drew and Gerard dance with a belly dancer. I don’t think I need to say who was the better dancer of the two.

– Teri & Ian depart at 3:25am. The clue flat out instructs “Fly to Munich, Germany” and by leg seven teams couldn’t be less phased that they’re flying around a thousand miles to go to a drastically different setting. This is the exact midway point of the race. Only half of the original teams remain which means this is the official attrition leg. Think about it. In a period of three to four days, teams had to stop a soccer kick in Lisbon, drive twelve hours to a ferry or longer if you filled up your truck with unleaded gasoline, and then your radiator blows up or you were detained or you strategize for the fast forward. Now you have to scheme and claw your way to Germany with five other strong teams around you. You can smell the non-elimination leg breathers. It’s not like the first two seasons where the non-eliminations serve as attrition because you know you have to sit through a million of them. In this season, you are on pins and needles hoping you can hold out until one occurs and what’s worse is that you don’t know exactly when they will occur.

– Flo & Zach run around in circles as Flo is freaked out by stray cats. I don’t know if the ‘meowing’ sound is digitally inserted into the episode or if the meowing was that loud.

– Every team is given only one dollar for the leg. I wonder why they emphasize this fact when it doesn’t come into play?

– Ian is saying the strategy is to stay the course. Are they trying to make him hardcore right wing intentionally?

– While Teri & Ian easily make their way to Zurich, the other four teams quickly fly to Casablanca because too many flights are booked.

– Andre & Damon are around eighty minutes behind the second-to-last place team. A leg with a million booked flights is your easiest way to make up time. Andre and Damon get into their first legitimate argument. Andre insists they leave to Casablanca but Damon wants to ask people who said it’s full about a million times.

ANDRE: What’s the most precious thing? Time. And we just wasted a bunch of time back there.
DAMON: We didn’t waste time, dude.

I think Andre wants to punch Damon in the face right now. Plus they spent money on a taxi to drive from Marrakech to Casablanca. Have you looked at a globe? That is an extremely long and expensive cab ride, especially if you only have one dollar for the leg.

– Flo mentions that it’s her and Zach with JV-Jill against the brother teams. Apparently the Twin Hunt storyline isn’t really dead. We do see some flirting between Flo and Derek. They mention how 911 will piggyback on whatever flight they are on.

– Flo speaks to the ticket agent in French pleading to not let Andre & Damon to get on the flight and how it’s a competition. The ticket agent smiles and laughs as he explains that there aren’t flights anyway. Every team except Flo & Zach and Andre & Damon moved fast enough to get out of Morocco and into major European cities. Teri & Ian seem to have a solid five hour lead on the other three teams who are on a noon flight to Paris.

– ANDRE: Never traveling again.

He says it in a completely flat voice too. He seems like he carries this attitude ever since he got detained. He is tired of Damon and I think he is tired of anything that resembles Morocco. I don’t think he is the type who could ever last all thirteen legs. He would no longer care about the race by the time he gets to leg nine or ten. Or maybe him and Damon weren’t finding each other too much fun to travel with. Maybe Damon does ninety percent of the confessionals because Andre was consistently this lacklustre? I don’t know. Either way they’re only a couple hours behind the middle of the pack.

– 5:30pm as we see Teri & Ian enter Munich. The kasperle hand puppet hands the man in the white hat they must travel to Innsbruck. Ian references how he is older and therefore better. I think two seasons of TAR go against that theory.

– Andre & Damon arrive in Paris and ride a slow terminal bus with a Lufthansa agent. She insists she can help but it turns out they arrive after the ticketing counter is closed. I love how the manager is standing right there and could open it up to dispense tickets but just stands there and says ‘no’ to them. I think Andre & Damon would prefer detainment over being stuck in an airport for a full day.

– Cut to Flo engaging in another one of her simultaneous “shout-and-run in the airport” transactions with Zach. “This ain’t a joke we’re seriously behind so I’m going to lose my breath and eff myself over if we have to run to catch a last minute bus or train. This is serious, Zach!”

– IAN: Don’t run, we’re cool here. One, two, three, four, five, six.
TERI: It doesn’t mean a thing.
IAN: I know it doesn’t–(TERI rips the clue into IAN’s chest)–ouch.
TERI (ignoring him): Sled or skate.

It seems Teri is nowhere near as confident about their position as the gloating Ian.

Ian’s face falls when he hears hours of operation for the detour are 8:00am to 7:30pm. It’s 11:00pm. That sucks.

– Gerard busts out an Ian impression.
JILL: Teri and Ian are ahead of us.
GERARD: Unless he’s in a bar in Casablanca. ‘Teri, I know a way for us to get out of here!’

One of the smartest references I’ve heard on these shows.

– Fast forward time. Flo & Zach discuss heading to chase down a surfer in the river at 7:00am. If they only knew to go to the detour equalizer they wouldn’t have to worry one bit about being too far behind to catch up nor be at risk for elimination considering Damon & Andre are behind. However, how are they supposed to know Andre & Damon couldn’t find a faster flight? Or that Damon & Andre wouldn’t go for the fast forward and catapult themselves ahead of Flo & Zach? It’s the smartest decision Zach makes the whole race.

– Lonely music plays as Andre & Damon report they wait until 6:30am the following morning to leave Paris. This is the part where we assumed production was hinting that this is a non-elimination episode.

– This leg is certainly all about Flo & Zach. Flo won’t stay at a hotel cheaper than 25 euros because she thinks it’s gross. I bet she only buys brand name products at higher prices because they must be ‘proper quality’. She is also the first to call something ghetto in TAR.
– A new alliance forms between the brother teams and John Vito and Jill. Probably because Gold & Silver and Flo aren’t around to form a brigade against the twins.

– The twins covertly tell the brothers to grab a number. So much for their newfound alliance with John Vito & Jill. Bros before Jill and John Vitohs?

– FLO: Go Zach! Flag him down!

We get a few seconds of Zach doing the task all by himself as Flo hangs out twenty feet behind him. Another unnecessary roadblock Zach imposes on himself.

Wait, isn’t Zach supposed to be laughing and Flo the one that stares out into space frowning? This was Photoshopped.

– Everyone uses the bobsled for the detour. Teri & Ian are first to go. We’re supposed to be amazed by how fast it’s going.

– Ken and Gerard smack each other’s helmets for no reason. Easy way to get camera time.

– Bobsled = Coney Island according to Ken.

– Their next route marker is at Seegrube station. I hope that translates to something much nicer in German.

– Andre & Damon have their own random 15-second segments for the past fifteen minutes. It’s like they’re running a separate race from the others. See them get into Munich. See them at the hand puppet thing. See them decline to go for the fast forward because they assume it’s taken.

– Roadblock time. Everyone must dangle off a ledge and into a ravine. I have a feeling Zach would be doing this one if they didn’t win the FF.

– I don’t think anyone successfully pronounced a single location in Austria or Germany.

– Flo assumes they’re finishing in last but puts on a surprisingly good voice. Instead they get to win Kodak digital cameras for finishing first. I wonder which they’re more excited about?

– Gerard’s jeans look like he defecated in them.

– Derek leaves the clue at the ticket counter. Teri points out where it is. She asks for information on the pit stop. He refuses. Derek loses a potential crucial ally down the road. Why make someone who was willing to give you free information angry with you? How many teams do you want on a Twin Hunt? My goodness.

– Another 10-second clip featuring Andre & Damon. All we see is them sleeping through their stop to get off. The editing crew shows the train slowly breaking away from their stop to make it more agonizing for them to re-live watching it at home.

– The brothers break away from the twins and say the Brotherhood crumbles. We break to a confessional where Drew says alliances are over. The ridiculousness of the switching alliances, breaking of alliances, and forming new ones in the TAR format reminds me of the verbal warning system in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. There isn’t any rhyme or reason or logic to them. They just put on a label and call it an alliance. Wasn’t there a three-team alliance less than ten hours earlier? I don’t buy it. Teri showed Derek where his clue was around twenty minutes ago.

– Gerard pops a tire and Derek yells at Drew to give a response. Drew and Andre must be the quietest people in the whole season on a ratio basis. Andre didn’t speak until this leg and I rarely hear Drew’s voice.

– This is a 5-second clip of Andre & Damon. They have to travel to another train station. I don’t think they could make the detour at this point.

– If I were Ken & Gerard, I would drive to the pit stop then ask for a replacement vehicle rather than pull over or sit on the road and request a new one. However, I could see why one or two more kilometres wouldn’t be too smart:  Maybe not. This is what I miss about TAR. They take the time for some good natured fun when the outcome is known. They don’t bother with suspense when there’s three minutes left in the episode and let us see a flat tire getting fixed.

– Ken & Gerard think they’re last. Little do they know they’re approximately 15 hours away from the truth. Andre & Damon are told to go directly to the pit stop. They go on some crap about how they proved they’re just everyday people who suck at TAR and end their run by giving back the dollar for this leg of the race. Sooooo that’s why they emphasized the one dollar assignment at the beginning of the leg. Editing deserves an Emmy for that.

Flo&Zach 6.4
Derek&Drew 4.3
Teri&Ian 3.7
Andre&Damon 2.7
Ken&Gerard 7.2
JV&Jill 3.3

Eighth leg
——————
– We are reminded Ian is the oldest in the race, Flo & Zach fight and win the FF, and that alliances are broken. Flo & Zach are figuring out their relationship. Derek & Drew are models who are perceived to be a major threat. Teri & Ian who are an unexpected force. John Vito & Jill whose love strengthens their team. Ken & Gerard whose wit and determination keeps them in the race. I have a feeling Flo & Zach’s romantic future is already figured out by this point. :/ And that’s the recap segment.

– Jill isn’t as annoying as most New Yorkers. Just an observation. Gerard is eating a gigantic pretzel on the pit stop mat. Oh my, bonds are forming between Flo and Drew apparently.

– Find a clue in a literal haystack. This is the prequel to the Lena Adventure. A clue in a giant stack would have been much more preferred by Lena.

– Flo hates touching the hay and touches one single unit. Zach climbs to the top of the hay stack where Flo thinks there’s no way the producers should not expect them to go. If there were two Flos on a team, I highly doubt this clue would be found. They’d quit nine hours earlier than Lena did.

– Ah, Flo & Zach’s FF gave them over a two hour lead on the twins. The twins go on about how nobody can be trusted at this point. Ugh.

– John Vito checks out one minute later and says he’ll do anything it takes to win.

– Ian says they’re old but can compete.

– John Vito and Jill are working with the twins to shake off Ian & Teri and find the next route marker together. So much for no alliances. -_-

– Ken & Gerard are two hours behind the second-to-last place team. It won’t matter because the next three legs will have the record for most equalizers

– Ian & Teri explain how the other two teams lied about completing the route marker. All five teams are on the 5:40am ferry. Equalizer #1.

– A one hour train ride. Equalizer #2.

– KEN: Zach, he’s carrying you all the way.
FLO (sarcastically): I know. It’s a hard life.

– These five teams must be very close to each other personally. They seem to reference each other every minute during the leg. I mean, Flo and Drew are in a relationship. They make jokes about the other team’s dynamics.

– Equalizer #3. The five taxi rides converge into two boats that are only five minutes apart.

–  Jill does her best impression of Becky Lee from Survivor.

– All four teams on the first boat run up to get the clue. Yet the boat drives away with the camera and sound crew still inside but the people make it sound like there wasn’t anybody left in the boat.

– ZACH: The rest of the teams are standing there directly facing Jill. Which was an awkward moment because it was a faceoff.

– Yet Jill stands in the boat and it sits there while John Vito runs up to get the clue. TAR does an amazing job of pretending that there is zero camera or audio presence.

– Everybody combines onto the same connecting train. Equalizer #4. Ken and Flo agree to date upon returning to the United States. While Zach asks a local about where the Lidenhoff is, Flo wanders over to Kenny, Gerard, and Ian to be asked about her relationship with Zach. She then blushes when asked about Drew.

– FLO: I am technically here with Zach but Drew is hot. What am I supposed to do?

Technically with Zach? Like she’s trying to stretch it as if Zach isn’t your partner in this game? I have a feeling ‘technically’ means ‘or else I won’t win one million bucks’. What’s even funnier is that she wanders over to the three oldest men to talk about her relationship. Ian is there of all people making comments! Note how Gerard eggs her on with getting her to divulge her relationship with Zach. You know that not only is it for his own amusement but he thinks he can get information out of it.

IAN: My god it’s chili pepper time.

Is that like Frank Garrison’s sexual way of saying he has never broken the honour of a handshake?

– Ouch. I recall the name of the detour before Phil said it. Count the Money or Run the Numbers. I even got the order too!

– Drew volunteers to work with Flo & Zach to run the numbers. With that I officially crown the Twins as the ‘My Strategic Word Means Crap’ Award.

– IAN: 21 and 24? 43.

F-f-f-f-f-fail.

– ZACH: 3 + 2 + 1 = 5.

See above.

– GERARD: Abort. I think we should abort. Abort. Let’s abort.

This is more than when one of the Baldwin brothers inserted the word ‘unbeknownst’ five times in a conversation in Dr. Drew’s show. Has he used ‘abort’ before or since? I think Gerard is exhausted.

JILL: Where’s the brothers? Did they count the money?
ZACH: No. They aborted mission.

– DREW: We seem to switch alliances when it’s convenient.

Why not say this is your strategy from the beginning!

– Teri & Ian finish later than Ken & Gerard but it doesn’t matter because we have hit Equalizer #5. All five teams are on the same train. John Vito & Jill miss a train by ten seconds. Production refused anyone to gain more than a two minute lead this leg. John Vito & Jill have completed a task first twice but are ultimately tied for last. What crap.

– JILL: Straight? Which way?

Oh c’mon Jill. It’s the other straight. You’ve never heard of the other straight?

– IAN: Yo! Got it got it got it! Yo, Teri I got it girl!

Uhhhh, I think he got it. But not a hoo-rah to be found? I’m sad. D:

– A retired police officer gets beaten in a bow and arrow competition by Zach who only had fifth grade archery camp of experience and Kenny who doesn’t look like a bow and arrow.

– IAN: I still got it. Second arrow.
TERI: Third.
IAN: Second.
TERI: …..

– Flo can’t breathe. Zach is taking two bags in the high altitude of Switzerland. Zach carries Flo over barbed wire too. What do you know Flo is leading the pack in running to the pit stop.

– TERI: Do you see them?
IAN: I smell them.

Okay editing crew is that ANOTHER joke about Ian’s lack of vision? They didn’t make these types of jokes with Luke.

– IAN: We’ve got to go.
TERI: My pants are falling down.
IAN: This is more important than your pants falling down.
TERI: Oh you think so?
IAN: Yeah, I think so. You’re not modest.

All I can say is…OUCH! One verbal slap by Ian because Teri just got pwned by the retired police officer.

Another unnecessary roadblock for Zach. This week it’s carry your partner’s bags for thirty minutes in the high altitude of the Swiss Alps. Meanwhile we have Ian who would rather his wife’s pants fall down than take a short break. Note the subtitles too. Who do you think said it? Yeah, it’s Zach. I love how they subtitle the ‘Like we want it’ part. It’s an editor’s jab at Flo.

– Instead of running with the pack, Ken & Gerard decide to risk being in last by deviating from the pack knowing the pit stop is less than five minutes away. The high altitude produces very dumb decisions. There was no more than a 30 second reward while it is very possible to lose 10-15 minutes by going off the main path and possibly finishing the leg in dead last.

– Derek & Drew win a Kodak Easy Share camera for winning the leg. Derek’s ‘woo hoo’ is the biggest celebration for anyone who wins a camera.

– It’s a non-elimination. This is perhaps the only time in TAR history where I approve of no penalty being given out for coming in last because of five–FIVE equalizers being crammed into this leg. It seems like production really wanted to build the second half of this season around these five teams and really liked the dynamics. I s’pose great chemistry will force you to shove in as many non-eliminations and keep all five teams neck-and-neck so they’ll pull off some vicious moves. I notice how the other teams’ insults about Teri & Ian are shown more than Teri & Ian themselves. They all must be ten minutes from first to last. Derek & Drew are pissed their lead goes to waste but if I were them, I’d look at how they were in third for 90% of the time and wouldn’t be anywhere near first if it weren’t for three of these equalizers. No sympathy for those two in this instance.

Flo&Zach 9.5
Derek&Drew 5.3
Teri&Ian 2.3
Ken&Gerard 6.8
JV&Jill 8.3

Ninth leg

———–

– Phil Keoghan claims his sex tape is fake. Okay, I made that up. But wouldn’t it be hilarious if Phil Keoghan has a sex tape? Possible titles and quotes:
You Are the First Person to Arrive; I’m Happy to Tell You You Will Be Philiminated.
Uncensored Philimination
Mat Chat and Philler Material
Phil Reveals His Keoghan’s Heroes
Phil Always Came in Last*
No Sexual Escapade Wasted

*This one may be more of an insult of Phil’s prowess. . . .
.
.
.
Anyyyyyyyyway, onto episode nine. We’re in the Swiss Alps after Equalizer Mania. The alps stretch across nine countries. Keep in mind that these countries are about .1% the size of Canada, so I’m not impressed. Will Flo and Drew have a more serious relationship? And will John Vito & Jill use the Fast Forward to get out of last place?

– The twins depart at 4:55am. Gletscherschlucht is their next route marker. Racers get a freebie if they can’t pronounce it. Route marker opens at 9:00am. A confessional of Drew from before the race started is airing about how Drew will flirt. That’s sad they needed a pre-race confessional to find Drew talking about something relevant to the current situation. Production must’ve had a hard time with getting Drew to talk about Flo during the race itself.

– John Vito & Jill were last and departed at 5:08am. Production should’ve said ‘YOU’RE ALL TIED FOR LEG 8 BECAUSE IT’S NON-ELIMINATION AND TRAIN IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET ANYWHERE!’

– Gerard talks about missing his family. Oh crap. Is this the leg where they get to talk to family members at home? Isn’t this really rare for the race to do?

– They grab the keys in the Gletscherschlucht and find their clue in the car. They get to drive themselves? No more route markers!

OH NO. They have to drive themselves onto a train where they can load their cars. Equalizer #1 for this leg. That’s hilarious. They have to drive themselves onto a train. I am sure the racers made the same point when they realized they couldn’t move away from the pack for the sixth route marker in a row.

– Fast forward time. Go to a cheese shack and eat a wheel of cheese that has been sliced and cubed until the fast forward is revealed. It’s too bad they have to eat this cheese if it’s a non-elimination after all.

JILL: What if it’s blue cheese? Like smelly cheese? Like the cheese that smells like feet, you know?

Ah yes. Jill is referencing the delicate Feet Cheese that is homegrown in the Big Apple. Watch for the hairs and toenails.

– Next train is 20 to 11 after a route marker opens at 9. That’s right. This equalizer was set up from the start of the leg. We get to hear every team hear that bungee jumping is at the Red Bridge. Or according to the subtitles, ‘bungy jumping’. I guess word check isn’t first priority for reality TV subtitle makers.

– We watch John Vito and Jill eating cheese. As Corbin Bernsen would say, “today is my forte, tomorrow is my farte”.
– Flo, Drew, and Zach chat in the car train. At one point Flo physically gets in Derek and Drew’s car during the ride while Zach is by himself with the sound and camera crew in his car. I have no doubt they hammered him with confessional questions during this time. It’s the peak of Zach’s frustration before he finds a way to cope with it and continue racing with Flo again without anything negative to say.

– The way Flo skips her way back into Zach’s car reminds me of a 15-year-old coming back to her parents after going on her first date. I

– DEREK: You have a compass disability and it’s severe.

Nobody talks to their brother so eloquently. He wanted to look smart on camera. The smart twin.

– FLO: I have a severe fear anxiety.

– Extreme Swiss or Very Swiss. Do a 620 foot bungee jump or drive further away from the next route marker and find a key on a sheep. Personally I’d bungee jump because producers NEVER offer a detour option to a frightening task unless it puts you a good solid half hour behind. Luckily three out of five teams chose not to bungee jump.
– They show Teri & Ian opening the clue in real time. Ian yells for Teri to come while he holds the clue. He didn’t open the clue before she got there because he wanted her to open it for him. She takes the clue and glares at him as she takes a good fifteen seconds to open it up while Ian criticizes her the whole time. Look up the clue for yourself. The editors are having an excellent time with the footage these five teams gave them this season.

– Derek says he wanted to jump first so Drew wouldn’t be scared to do so. Is it me or does Derek take on the role as being the older brother despite being twins? He talks much more to the camera, he speaks more eloquently, and this leg he wanted to jump first to calm Drew down.

Zach is holding up what appears to be a T-Mobile phone. He exclaims in excitement when he reads the T-Mobile information. Gerard couldn’t be happier given what he was coached to say at the start of the leg. The best twist about this phone call is that they must complete the call before they get into the car.

– DREW: Derek was the big brother in this situation.

I called it! And guess who gets to call now? Derek and Drew.

– Derek talks to his wife and Drew talks to his mom. Heh, no wonder why Drew is the younger brother. He has to talk to his mom!

– Gerard is crying as he flips through pictures of his kids.

FLO: I am the happiest girl in the world right now. Zach, I am so happy.

Yep, that’s what she says in this picture. This is minute 27 of the episode. Keep this in mind.

– Teri runs the fastest she has all race when Gerard tells her that the task is to talk to your kids. I wonder if John Vito & Jill were able to make a T-Mobile phone call on their way to the pit stop? Or was this production’s way to make up for a lack of equalizers to screw them over this leg?

– I need to give TAR props for this leg. They had an ad for a phone call home but they didn’t shove it down our throats. It occupied less than five minutes and there were only three zoom-ins of the T-Mobile phone and each team only said ‘T-Mobile’ because it was written in the clue. Go to season 19 and it has all changed.

– Oh, John Vito & Jill are in this game. They check in and receive a 7-day cruise with Royal Caribbean. They must assume they’ll be in the Final Four at this point.

– Roadblock. Assemble a Swiss Army Bike. Gerard compares it to Christmas Eve at morning. The judge has said it’s not safe four times in one minute before they are approved. Pit stop time already. Use the bikes you assembled to get to the pit stop. No wonder why the judge has to approve of it being safe or not!

– Zach and Drew are at the roadblock. I guess Flo is not a nuts and bolts type of person. Teri & Ian arrive what seems to be like ten minutes later.

– TERI: This person should be nuts and bolts.
IAN (shrugs shoulders): Ugh, okay, fine.

I have noticed that Ian is reluctant to do most roadblocks. I think it’s because he is afraid of looking bad because he assumes Teri will be as hard on her as much as he is on her when she screws up.

– Ken & Gerard have the best pit stop arrival in TAR history. They do karate chopping and hops onto the mat. They antagonize Phil to tell them they’re team number two. Phil plays along and is silent for a good half minute before he confirms what they know.

– Flo touches the bike and instructs Zach where the brakes are. This should have 150% been a penalty at the end of the leg. Heather in Mole 2 loses five thousand dollars of the grand prize because she touched an extension of the bike for crying out loud. By this standard, Flo & Zach would be given a ten hour penalty. Ian passes Zach on the roadblock. Please note that the youngest team in the race had the toughest time with the bike.

Believe it or not, this is not a conversation that involves Brian and C.C. Heidik.

They’re looking smooth. Flo & Zach won’t catch up after all.

 Eh, maybe I spoke too soon. By the way Ian, as glamorous as you may think it would be, you need BOTH members of your team to check in at the next pit stop.

IAN: Are you okay? You gotta get  up. You gotta get back up.
TERI: The bike is broken.
IAN: You messed up. Ah Teri.
TERI: Like I messed up on purpose.
IAN: Come on.

It’s convenient that a Teri screw-up means Ian works harder to get to the pit stop.

– Flo is in major whine mood. They see Teri & Ian. Zach insists they can catch up.

ZACH: We caught them on the bike. C’mon, let’s go. We can still catch up.
FLO: We’re losing anyway so we might as well walk. GO GET THE BOAT! It’s over.

Not the happiest girl in the world.

Not the happiest helmet in the world. If this were a video game, the helmet would lose a life and go back to the last save point.

– ZACH: I suggest you put all those desire into those pedals right now.
FLO: What’s the point we lost Zach. I’m not going to get myself exhausted over it if we’re losing anyway.
(ZACH laughs. Boy oh boy did he pick the wrong person to race with. Current romantic future? Zilch.)
FLO: Why’d you have to take off your pants?
ZACH: Because they would have caught in the gear.
FLO: Why not just pull them up?!

FLO: I don’t want to go home.

Add in an extremely whiny tone and you have the prototype for how Flo runs the race. She whines about every little task despite being ahead or behind. Her partner encourages her to press on but Flo’s defense is bringing up a flaw in a task her partner did regardless if they finish early or late as an excuse to not put in her full effort and put the onus of the extra effort needed on her partner. Zach took off his pants to save time in the future? Zach didn’t ask people where the ferry was? Well then you’ll have to lift me off a jet ski, run ahead to get into the boat, and do every bit of the pedaling. Classic Flo.

– FLO: What I did wrong was that I gave up but Zach is so positive that it makes me look back. Zach’s a good guy.

See, this is why taking jabs at Flo in this blog is fun rather than cruel. She knows she is acting like a spoiled only child on this race. Flo is completely aware that Zach is doing much more work than she is and Flo knows repaying him by flirting with somebody from another team isn’t exactly proper etiquette if you yourself is already on a dating team.

Inside of the race Flo is one of the most unbearable partners out of anyone who has raced in twenty seasons. She does nothing and gets to make a deep run into the game. Why, there’s stories out there that the veteran crew forced the rookie crew to be with Flo because she was that annoying to be around 24/7.

Outside of the race? Flo is considered to be an extremely kind and good person to be around. Some people are not made for serious competition or racing with a date. If Flo raced with her friend Lindsay would you see her yelling at Lindsay to go get the boat? Hopefully not. They’d quit leg 5 when they fill their car up with diesel fuel. : )

This is why the early seasons are much better. And by early I mean the first four seasons with the exception of Tara & Wil. They know when they’re being ignorant and are very intelligent people as they run the race. I bet the number of teams you hate in TAR are much more frequent after TAR 11 than prior to TAR 11. They’re much more three-dimensional.

– Keep in mind that this marks the first instance where teams went through consecutive non-elimination legs in TAR history.

Flo&Zach 6.3
Derek&Drew 4.4
Teri&Ian 2.3
Ken&Gerard 1.1
JV&Jill 2.3

Tenth leg
————
– Note this episode airs immediately after the previous one. Can John Vito & Jill keep their lead and will Flo and Drew continue to flirt? We’re then immediately thrust into the next leg. Yay!

– John Vito & Jill depart at 12:42am after sleeping on a yacht as it travels to Geneva.

– John Vito says they have no problem spending this much time together all the time. Apparently that’s not true because they BROKE UP AFTER THE RACE! Ha! Slaaam!

– Ken & Gerard leave at exactly 2:00am. It’s fun to leave on the hour. This makes John Vito & Jill’s fast forward one of the weakest if they won the fast forward at an equalizer but the teams are approximately ninety minutes behind them. As Rebecca would say, “this is a slow forward.”

– Derek & Drew said they had an alliance with the brothers early on but are now completely on their own. In other words, Drew is working to sleep with Flo over the next four legs.

– John Vito & Jill go to Jet D’eau and are given a flag to identify where the Petronas Towers.

– Derek & Drew’s birthday is today. Fun birthday.

– Swiss locals are good at identifying the flag represents Malaysia. The country of six languages can also identify more than six flags. If you had this route marker in the United States, I doubt anyone would recognize that flag. Luckily for me I used to remember flags, capital cities, and American presidents just for fun.

– IAN: Do you know which flag this is?
LOCAL: Malaysia. You’re on the wrong continent.

The local didn’t seem  phased. He said it so casually and despite sounding like he thought they were lost by four thousand miles.

– Teri & Ian are beasts at booking flights. They’re the only older team that can book tickets that well on their own. They’re first to leave. Meanwhile J and J book tickets with seats that are close to the front of the plane.

– Drew booked Flo & Zach’s seats for them because Drew doesn’t want to see her cry. Another step taken to sleep with Flo. Flo thinks Drew is smart and funny.

– Zach notes that Flo and Drew sat together from Paris to Kuala Lumpur  while Zach sat next to an empty seat which is symbolic of their relationship. I would say so because I’ve never rode on a plane before, but I think flying from Paris to Malaysia while your partner sits away from you as you touch three continents is a fairly long time.

– Teri & Ian must ask a local to take a picture of them in front of the Petronas Towers. Note that they are using a Kodak EasyShare digital camera and after taking the picture they must develop it at a Kodak Station. Ian yelling at locals to take a picture is great publicity for Kodak. This is the first time teams go into a local shopping mall. Nothing like experiencing TAR when you visit a Kodak Centre that is connected to a McDonald’s. True Malaysian landmarks!

– If production had to transcribe everything Flo says onto wordle.net I think “GO” and “Z” would be gigantic on the page.

– Flo is at the subway doors and yells for Zach to start running even though the subway doors haven’t opened. She follows this up by being on an escalator with Ken and comments that she loves how he runs like a rat. Kenny runs like a rat? I’ve never noticed.

– JILL: Was there another team here?
LOCAL: Yes.
JV: That’s impossible.

Unless they found an earlier flight.

– Teri & Ian seemed to struggle with getting help from teams while everyone else communicated with locals easily. Shouting at locals saying “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” and knocking on the trunk of a cab must freak people out when you don’t share the same level of English fluency.

– Flo and Drew play cards on the train and comment how attracted they are to each other but both need to be ruthless. Yeah right. It turns out that the orchid garden doesn’t open until 8:30am. Note that the 11:30am train to Singapore left only a little over an hour after Teri & Ian got there so it’s not like production put in two equalizers back-to-back. The train wasn’t a huge delay in the morning either. No criticism drawn from this guy.

– FLO (confessional): I hadn’t slept for two days and showered for two days. I wanted to stay at a nice hotel.

ZACH: Here’s a good cheap one. Should we try the YMCA?
DEREK: The YMCA rents rooms?
ZACH (scoffs): Yeah.

I think Zach is pissed he shared this brilliant TAR money-saving tip when the finish line is only three legs away. Or is Zach embarrassed that he knows the YMCA rents rooms?

FLO: I’m not going to the YMCA. I’m not.

FLO: If you know that’s something I care about why are you giving me such a  hard time?
ZACH: If it’s not a nice place we won’t stay there.
DREW: Don’t worry, we’ll find something else.

FLO: Why does he get to make all the decisions? I wish I would be consulted.
DEREK: Drew, c’mon, we need more options here.

– Zach and Derek are sleeping in one bed while Flo and Drew are sleeping in another possibly? Oh, Flo said she would never do that because that would be stooping too low. Please give Flo some props.

You’re not going to believe what Flo says upon entering the hotel.

FLO: I’m the happiest girl in the whole world right now.

Cue Flo’s rage in approximately seven minutes. The tech crew must be scared for their lives when they hear Flo say this. They know it’s one minor calm before yet another major storm.

– Everyone enters the garden. Right on cue Flo yells “Go, run Zach!”

– Detour. Dry or wet. Swim with the manatees or drive to the apartment of Singapore’s number one TV star in a place where numbers flop from wing to wing and numerous streets that have the same name. When in doubt pick the route marker that has more activity.

– I saw a WWE poster in the backdrop. TAR didn’t hide it well enough. Flo & Zach successfully followed Ken & Gerard.

– Uh oh. JV & Jill are lost. They were sent in the wrong direction.

– DEREK: Look at the map and determine how far it is! I am sick of this! Oh, let’s follow Teri & Ian.

If Derek & Drew and Flo & Zach worked together on the task, we’d be guaranteed to split up any more of the romance storyline. Poor viewers.

– IAN: When we heard we were doing the race, we realized carrying cotton underwear would be absolutely stupid because to wash it and dry it is nearly impossible. Teri doing research found a company that sold disposable underwear. She dropped down to her panties and sports bra to get in that wet suit and I’m looking at her like she’s crazy for doing this. Anything to win the race.

TERI (to Derek and Drew): Modesty, guys.
Heh. I like Teri is suspicious of Derek and Drew. Don’t worry, Teri. They’re not Alex Bell, Dave Johnson, and Rob Cesternino. All we needed was Butch Lockley to yell “I’M NOT LOOKING!”

–  Run through the fountain of wealth because it brings you good luck. What the racers don’t know is that because every team must run through this fountain and thus the influx of good luck is rendered null and void.

– IAN: C’mon.
TERI: Ian, can you help? Instead of c’moning can you help?

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Ian uses c’mon so much that it can be used as a verb. Ian’s legacy grows.

– Flo & Zach have a map superior to Ken & Gerard’s map. Too bad the brothers are the only ones in the race with the gift of reading a map. The brothers want to switch maps with Zach because it will be much easier to get to the pit stop.
GERARD: Switch us maps and we can get you to the pit stop. Otherwise we might lose you.
ZACH: No.
GERARD: We need to get a jump on the other teams.
ZACH: No.
GERARD: Uhhhhh, okay.
KEN: Hey Flo, we can’t work together because Zach won’t give us your map.
FLO: WHAT?! Why won’t you give him your map?!
(KEN and GERARD commence laughing at the soon-to-be exchange that will transpire. They wonder how these two survived to leg ten.)
FLO: Why won’t you let us follow them?!

ZACH (confessional): I want to never exchange maps because what if we get lost what if a red light separates us. The map was vital to have. I wanted to hold onto it.
….
(FLO rips the map from ZACH’s hands and walks over with rage to Kenny.)
KEN: Stay by us. I promise we won’t try to lose you, Zach.
ZACH: Well what if we get separated by a red light–who knows?
FLO: We won’t get separated because we don’t know where we’re going!

I don’t think Flo understood Zach’s point. Meanwhile nobody else understood Flo’s point.

KEN: You want us to give you our map as a back-up? So it’s fair?
FLO: No, it’s not fair.
KEN: Don’t yell at him Flo! I promise we won’t lose you.
GERARD: Ken, get in the car.
….
FLO: What is wrong with you, seriously?
ZACH: I don’t know I must have a serious problem.
FLO: We just followed them all the way here–
ZACH: Flo Flo Flo, why are you screaming at me
FLO: Because you–
ZACH: Why are you yelling at me like I’m an a–hole?
FLO: Because you are!
ZACH: (takes off his seatbelt): Okay great then–
FLO: Why don’t you consult me before you make a decision that makes or breaks the game?!
ZACH: God I hate–how does it make or break the game?
FLO: Because–AH WOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

This is why intrapersonal arguments on the race is so much better than manufactured double U-Turns in TAR.
*One minute after commercial break*
FLO: Ken and Gerard just led us all the way here and they offered to lead us again and you don’t want to give them the f—ing map?
ZACH: You know what I won’t yell at you for not finding the f—ing thing on the map!

ZACH (confessional): Flo yells at me so much and calls me names. There’s times where I want to tell her to be quiet and tell her to stop calling me names, stop interacting with her, and say to hell with you.

ZACH: It doesn’t have to be “Greedy! What the hell are you thinking?!” You could say “Zach, I think we should give it to them,” give it to them and it’s over!
FLO: Because—

Whoa whoa, Flo is rationalizing why she is screaming at him as opposed to speaking in a calmer tone? This defense should be good. Take it away, Flo.

FLO: Because they were about to get in their car!

That’s your defense? We’re talking apples and oranges here.

ZACH: And and–
FLO: They were like goodbye and leaving that they won’t give them the map.

– Derek runs in to get the clue because Drew needs to look good to sleep with Flo at the pit stop. Mount Faber is the pit stop.

– FLO: Let’s go! Yeah go! Yeah Zach!

Zach gets the clue in the fountain of wealth. Another unnecessary roadblock for Zach. If I were Zach I’d force her to do a task for once.

– Ken did a somersault out of the fountain of wealth.

– IAN: Sorry I’m short with you. It’s just my winning attitude.

Did Ian really apologize? I guess there’s a first for everything.

– For winning this leg, Derek & Drew win a cruise. I think they’re happy it’s not an easy share camera.

FLO: I can kick Ken & Gerard’s a– in a foot race.  Nope.

– FLO (confessional): When it comes down to it I think we’re a great team. We just need some fine-tuning.

That’s an understatement after this 2-hour episode.

– IAN: This is a gruelling race, make no mistake about it. This is not an easy thing to do but if you don’t quit and focus you’ll have a good shot of making it to the end.

You also have a good shot at making it to the end if you scream at your partner for half the leg, throw your helmet down a hill, and refuse to participate in 90% of all tasks.

– John Vito & Jill have been eliminated. Here is Jill’s wonderful departing confessional:

JILL: Our future now is what our future was before this race even started. We plan on starting to have children and grandchildren together and getting married. We’re excited and can’t wait do it.
JOHN VITO: We plan on getting married before we have children and grandchildren.

None of that happiness will be coming to them because THEY WILL BREAK UP AFTER THE RACE! Bam! Slaaaaam!

Flo&Zach 12.10
Derek&Drew 3.5
Teri&Ian 1.6
Ken&Gerard 2.5
JV&Jill 2.5

As I said before, legs nine and ten aired on the same night. This is perhaps the best editing job ever done by TAR. We are given the nice couple a very positive edit as they head out the door. Ken & Gerard are only shown if they’re being goofy and being utilized as the unlikely strong and dominating team that everyone is rooting for to win. Derek & Drew develop not only distinguishing personalities but personalities at all and express it on a consistent basis. Ian and Teri have troubles being polite to locals but their strategic ability and awareness that maybe they don’t have to be so short is finally coming around.

Meanwhile Flo & Zach have the last seventy minutes to themselves. In my confessional count for Flo & Zach, I really did count only the confessionals as opposed to occasionally rewarding a narrative tone in a car or on a bus when they talk to the camera. This was all what they said at the pit stop. For other teams I gave the occasional credit for talking directly at the camera this leg or any narrative tone because otherwise Ian would be the only person above one or two confessionals. I remember watching this episode with my mom when it first aired and my  aunt who called right after it was on. There is no doubt in my mind the whole viewership were about to put money down on the idea that Flo & Zach would quit by the next leg. It was the first time Zach fought back! Zach physically carries her and her backpack a good portion of the time, he does every roadblock, he asks directions almost every time, he uses plane rides and train rides to get more info, he saves money, and he does every little task that is manageable with only one person. We know Flo was at her limits as of leg five but the question everyone wondered is how much Zach could take. 95% of the population would give in to Flo’s demands and quit with her. However, Zach’s competitive nature and positive attitude puts him in a position where he can take the verbal abuse from Flo and view it as a chronic roadblock to make the possibility of victory that much sweeter.

But no one thinks that Flo can really win the race. Not after these two hours. Could Flo do the unthinkable and win?

Eleventh leg

————

– Previously on TAR, the old couple and Flo & Zach had an uphill battle. John Vito & Jill took an early lead. Derek & Drew win the episode while John Vito & Jill are eliminated. Note that every single Flo statement around Zach was a series of cuts to the different times she screamed.

– I think Mr. Green from the movie Clue would slap Flo in the face to stop her from screaming by now.

– A speech about some Washington state criminal occupies the first nine minutes of the episode. I still have that on my VHS recorded -_-). It took a long time before I was able to see the missing nine minutes.

– For the first time the colours of TAR flags are changed from red and yellow to only yellow for this leg because the Vietnam flag is red and yellow. I have a feeling TAR production did a test run and noticed the problem ahead of time. Good on them.

– Derek & Drew depart at 10:22. Ken & Gerard leave at 10:33pm. Ken orders two cabs because he fears the twins could steal his cab. Drew wasn’t willing to say he was Ken to the taxi driver which results in Derek yelling at him for being a terrible liar and the brothers getting a lead because they went to their other cab. The twins have one taxi waiting to pick up nobody that they can’t use because Drew wasn’t able to lie. Teri & Ian leave at 10:45pm.
– Ian served in the Vietnam War. He busts out the Diem Mow talk. It reminds me of Simpsons when Bart yells Diem Mow to Skinner and says “What part of Diem Mow” don’t you understand?

– Ken & Gerard get on a 11:10pm flight after leaving the pit stop at 10:33pm. Has anyone been able to get on a flight so quickly after leaving the pit stop in the history of TAR? Thirty-seven minutes must be a record. We hear a re-aired confessional about how the twins are the biggest threat. This confessional goes back to the very first leg.

– Flo shrieks at Zach to hurry up and call a cab as he has to run up several flights of stairs. I think Flo would pass out after one flight.

– Drew was worried about stealing Flo’s cab. Or maybe because Flo booked the twins tickets for them on a flight Zach found. It’s the Final Four and you’re booking someone else’s flight for them?! The twins hate alliances but they need to admit they couldn’t have allied more if they tried. And Flo, what happened to you leading the Twin Hunt back in leg two?

– Ian is hopping and clicking his feet in the air. He’s chuckling while talking to Teri??? There’s no c’moning. The c’moning is now c’moned. We’ve entered the TAR 3 Bizarro World.

Gerard mugs it for the camera as he practices for the upcoming roadblock.

– Despite three different paths taken to Kuala Lumpur, everyone is on the same flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

–  Ian’s heart swells up three times its original size. Seriously, what up with that? A smile is not in your repertoire, Mr. Pollack!

– Flo and Zach picked different lines at customs. Zach goes against Flo’s wishes of cutting in line after Flo finishes first and Zach’s delay makes them the absolute last team to leave the airport.

( Circle gets the square?

– ZACH: We’re probably only seven minutes behind.
FLO: We’re probably twenty minutes behind the twins and seven minutes and more than that behind Ian and Teri. And they were behind us in line! There’s no reason to be in the back right now! I DON’T WORK ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT TO GET SCREWED BECAUSE OF SOMETHING SO STUPID.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming as we see Ken & Gerard smile in the cab. Oh wait.

FLO: We should’ve been in the front. A comfortable feeling of being in the front. I picked the line that finished first. I did my share. You should’ve done it I asked you to do it why didn’t you do it?
ZACH: Because I told you I didn’t feel comfortable asking them I thought it was a ??? move to the people behind us and I didn’t think it would hurt us and I still think don’t think it’s gonna hurt us.

– Derek and Drew finish first at the route marker. Time to drive to the Mekong Delta.

– During this time they cram in three history lessons about the Vietnam War and how sad it was. This reminds me of the unnatural Nelson Mandela segment from last season. Ian breaks down a couple times. The seriousness gets downplayed by the fact this is a competitive reality show, the twins’ taxi and Ian’s taxi keep passing each other, and Flo & Zach’s argument. In fact Flo’s threshold for a terrifying experience is about one-tenth of Ian or Teri’s version of a terrifying experience.

– (ZACH looks at his clue. He cracks a smile. He knows Flo will talk again in ten seconds. Sure enough we wait around three seconds as Flo exhales and speaks.
FLO (very soft tone): This is not a joke, Zach. Do you understand this is not a joke?
ZACH: I’m just trying to enjoy the race.

ZACH (confessional): I basically think that if I lose my cool that the race is over for our time.
….
FLO: Take this seriously.
ZACH: So am I.
FLO (crying): No, you’re totally trivializing the whole thing. You’re trivializing everything.
ZACH: I was scared to offend the people in line. It’s a feeling you have that’s so strong that you can’t ignore and it’s so strong that you’re willing to jeopardize the whole race.


FLO (still crying): That makes zero sense. What sense does that make? That doesn’t make any sense.
FLO (crying and angry): Don’t play the moralist now.


ZACH: No, no. It makes as much sense to you as you not repelling or you not bungee jumping makes to me.
FLO: No! Zach, that’s so ignorant and obnoxious of you when you-you know that there’s a thousand physical risks associated with bungee jumping. Are there any physical risks associated with cutting in line and nicely asking someone? I wasn’t asking you to push people!

Zach has a fear of being rude. Flo think this fear is irrational. Zach worked around Flo’s fears that inconvenienced them during the course of the race. Yet Flo doesn’t understand Zach’s fear is in the same boat. I love how this has carried on for two minutes of the episode. Imagine what it was like before it went to the editing room. There’s more, amazingly enough.

FLO: I’m tired of screaming, and I’m tired of having to override your decisions. I’m tired of it.
ZACH: Okay then let’s just quit. If you’re tired then let’s stop, you know whatever.

– Detour time. Easy Buy and Hard Sell. Find the correct stall with one water coconut in the water market or enter the land market and sell fruit until you have $2.50. This is the harshest weather I’ve seen in TAR history. A storm approaches. It’s pouring rain where anyone doing the easy buy can’t see any fruit because everyone is covering their fruit except for the u-wan nook. Ken & Gerard made a mistake changing detours. They didn’t realize the water coconut would be more visible than ever in contrast with numerous other fruits.

– The twins and the old people have a big lead over the other two teams. Ken & Gerard started the other detour option the same time as Flo & Zach but finish a couple minutes earlier.

– GERARD: These people are nice for buying fruit from us wacky Americans.

After they watch Flo & Zach and the old people a few months from now when TAR 3 airs, I can’t help but agree. I wonder if the Spanish or Vietnamese sub can match Flo’s tone? I wouldn’t mind hearing  how they sound in foreign languages. An Oscar for the one who can portray Flo the most accurately? Zach is the one carrying the shoulder basket but Flo is the one who says she is emotionally and physically exhausted. Explain this, Flo?

– This  is the moment I remember the most. FLO: Why are you leaving me here? ZACH: I thought you were right behind me.

Have you ever played Goldeneye 007? Do you know the missions where you have Alex Trevalen, Boris, or Natalia following you? And do you know how on any advanced mission you need to walk at an extraordinarily slow pace to ensure you don’t lose them? That’s what Flo is. Zach deviates a few inches away from Flo and she yells in the same spot for Zach to physically come to physically touch her before they walk back to the taxi.

– Roadblock. The person who does the task will drive the cycloid while their partner sits in.

– IAN: Yee-haw! Yee-haw! Yee-haw! Beep beep! I’m dangerous! Thank you thank you! You numba one1

Yes, this is Ian. Not Kenny nor Gerard.
– Ian notes that they passed the clue box by about thirty feet before they noticed it.

– Derek and Drew arrive at the route marker but notice the flags that direct those who are participating in the roadblock. Uh oh. They’re following the flags away from the clue box. However, they realize they might be wrong and ask “Where’s 2A?” but get directed to two places called 2A. If only they were bright enough to ask using the full address.

– Ken & Gerard notice the flags too. They ask people if they’ve seen a green box that you open. Ken adds in charades of opening the clue box for good measure. They wander around.

– Flo & Zach arrive at the route marker in SECOND!

FLO: Please don’t kill me.
ZACH: I’ll try my best.

I think he would’ve killed you a long time ago if he wanted to. The tech crew may be more threatening than Zach.

– Ken & Gerard follow the twins aimlessly around the water and the yacht. They arrive at the boat. Ken & Gerard head for the boat and separate from the twins.

– Ian yells a hoo-rah as they see the marker for the pit stop. Are you serious? These old people are finishing in first after leaving the pit stop last?

This is bad. I think Ian and Teri successfully re-enacted their vinegar strokes. I think Ghost Silas Screws is directly behind both of them simultaneously. Or maybe that is how Ian acts on the bottom and how Teri is on top? Congratulations, I have implanted a mental image of two 50-year-olds mating in your mind.

This was also the screen cap for The Amazing Race’s Freeze Frame contest on CBS’ site back when it initially aired.

– Flo & Zach get to the boat and see Ken & Gerard behind them ready to get on the boat. Flo tells them that they need their bikes first. The only reason she told them this was to get them away from their boat. Why you would avoid dragging a team with you who will be a full two hours behind you once they realize their mistake is beyond me. Gerard is amazed he was saved by Flo & Zach of all teams.

KEN: Pretend you don’t know, Gerard.
DEREK: Are Zach and Flo on there?
GERARD: I didn’t see them. They were on the boat?
DEREK: They were on the boat. Zach and Flo are on the boat. Did you guys go on the boat?
KEN: No!

Ken & Gerard abandon the twins as they retrace where the clue is. The twins go down to the dock and wait for the next boat.
 Note the amazing cycloid camera. So far so good thanks to Gerard’s practice in the airport.

Maybe the practice didn’t help after all. The guts of the cycloid fall out. The best part is Ken’s face about a half-second before the fall is complete thanks to the cycloid’s camera. Now that’s what I call a roadblock.

– The twins board the ferry ahead of Ken & Gerard. Meanwhile Flo & Zach check in second. Their best finish in four legs.

– DEREK: Park cycloids here??? Check in here? This isn’t right. We don’t have the clue.

– Everyone feels bad for the twins. Misery music plays as they slowly go back to the mainland. Extremely lonely music plays. They pray for a non-elimination. Although I think they must be around two to three hours behind the 3rd place team and around six hours behind the frontrunners.

– It’s an elimination leg. They’re eliminated.

So this is it. The final three teams. Two legs remain. We avoid a second finale in a row where the two people flirting across teams make it to the end. Instead we’re left with three very dynamic teams. In fact, they are this may be the most dynamic final three in TAR’s history. TAR 1 had Guidos who were dynamic but way behind, Rob & Brennan who were one-dimensional, and Frank & Margarita where Frank was the only one who was dynamic. Rob and Margarita were both invisible. In TAR 2, Chris and Paige were both extremely invisible while Tara & Wil drove most of the chaos with Alex wedged in between. In TAR 3, all nine people are very distinct and all present three very different relationships. The young couple who clearly broke up by leg three or four, the first older couple who doesn’t get the “boo hoo root for us because we’re old and don’t have a chance” edit, and two overweight middle-aged brothers who could probably make the final three of every single TAR game.

Flo&Zach 5.6
Derek&Drew 5.5
Teri&Ian 3.12
Ken&Gerard 8.10

Twelfth leg

————

– An extremely brief recap of the first eleven legs. We’re reminded Teri & Ian ran the entire race without alliances and despite being old. Flo & Zach are reminded their friendship continues regardless of lack of romantic interest. Ken & Gerard have great wit and are successful. Wow. I think that was more brief than any of the other ‘Previously on TAR’ segments. Good on the producers.

– The Saigon River is the eleventh pit stop in a race around the world. How neat. This twelfth leg is all about jockeying for position. Will Teri & Ian’s age slow them down? Will Flo’s self-admitted highs or lows weigh down their team or will Zach’s positive attitude help them win? And can the brothers come back to win?

– 5:19am where Teri & Ian depart after a twelve hour pit stop. Time to look for the Imperial Palace. Vietnam/French Indo-China had a royal family until 1945. They dropped the royal family because of budget cuts.

– Ian shouts GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM into the camera. New Ian is too awesome.

– ZACH (confessional): Flo is very fragile these days. I proceed with caution.

No kidding. Remember this?

FLO: I wish we’d gotten eliminated.
ZACH: Come on Flo. We made it so far, you should try and be happy about it.
FLO: I’m done being happy about it, this is misery.

I’ll correct myself from earlier. Flo’s most common words are “I’m” and “done”.

FLO: 24 hour train ride?
ZACH: It’s not gonna be that bad. Maybe we can get first class tickets.
(IAN giggles like a schoolgirl. I’ve never heard him giggle like this in the entire race. I think it’s because a) Ian  knows there is no such thing as a first class ticket in Vietnam b) He knows that Zach is trying really hard into manipulating Flo to get on the train.)

Zach is like a mom who grinds up the pills and sneaks it into their child’s food in hopes of getting them to eat it. This is Zach’s most patient form in the whole race. He won’t yell at her. He won’t flinch at her quitting. He’ll straight up feed Flo BS to get her to do what he wants.

FLO: I’m not getting on this train.
ZACH: Just try and breathe. Relax. We have no idea if it’s 24 hours, that’s what Ian said. No idea. Do you want to look at the schedule ?
FLO: Okay.
….
ZACH: Oh, it is 24 hours.
FLO: I’m not doing it!
(Rinse and repeat for about 30 seconds.)

– Cut to the brothers having the fun music play as they comment on the insanity of rush hour traffic.

– Cue further Flo whining. No beer and no TV and one month of being with Flo make Zach go something something.

– Flo tries to rest on a bench then disco music plays, so she complains about that and goes to another terminal to sleep on a bench.

– GERARD: Y’all right?
ZACH: Define all right.

– Zach pulls off the brilliant strategy of buying air conditioned seats as opposed to a bed because he thinks that will be the biggest priority for Flo.

FLO: My foot’s asleep.
ZACH: That’s good. The more sleep the better at this stage.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My favourite Zach quote to calm Flo.

– Everyone including Flo discusses if she’ll quit. The music comes on after 19 hours. She describes that she was hit by a truck.

– Ian, Teri, and Kenny talk about the Vietnam War and how beautiful a place it is and the people.

– I don’t know why they are re-airing the audio of Gerard reading the clue at the pit stop.

– FLO: I’m going to throw up.
ZACH: Do you want water?
FLO: No because I have to pee so bad.

Nothing will leave Flo 150 to 200 percent satisfied.

– If it were anyone besides Flo’s parents, they would have bashed their heads against the wall by this stage. Zach, the nurturing mother that he  is, tells his child Flo that they will take it one task at a time. This may be the best strategic move in the whole season. Consider that the twelfth leg is always a non-elimination. Therefore, what’s the rush if you won’t fall more than a couple hours behind? All you need to do is be in a competitive position to get back to the U.S. That is all Zach wants. Get Flo to the U.S. and she will be happy.

– Everyone searches for the pavilion. Now it’s time for a cab ride to Nam O Da Nang.

– IAN: I found it Teri! Here’s the box, Teri!
FLO: Shut up. He needs to shut his mouth.
(TERI and IAN start running.)
FLO: I don’t know why you guys persist on running. There’s no point. I hope you get real tired out.
IAN: Already tired out.
TERI: Can‘t be any more tired than we are now, Flo.
FLO: Good to know.

Good to know? Who is she? Jackie Berckhardt from That 70s Show? This whole conversation seems like it would be on MADtv or SNL making fun of TAR.

– Detour time. Basket boats or basket bikes. Paddle to an island or transport dozens of shrimp baskets.

– Kids are laughing at Gerard, Ian, and Teri doing the bikes. Flo and Zach opt to do the boat.
FLO: You need to help me because I can’t do this!

Another unnecessary roadblock for Zach.

FLO: I want out of this game.

If the detour were basket bikes or basket crying, Flo would be a star. If only a basket boat could be powered by the Tears of Flo and refusing to use a paddle as opposed to paddling.

FLO: I’m gonna quit this stupid game.
ZACH: I think we should really try to get the clue. You’re paddling your boat fine now.
FLO: Did you see how far it is?
ZACH: Yeah but you’re paddling it fine. You can do it.
FLO: I can’t do it. Get me out of here. AH WOHHHHHH.
ZACH (confessional):  Back to where we started. Flo gets stressed out in these situations and it’s part of my responsibility on this team to make sure she’s okay. I’ll do it til we win.
….
ZACH: Flo. Flo. Can we just talk for a second?
FLO: What?
ZACH: Can we talk?
FLO: No.
ZACH: If you’re gonna quit the game we should at least talk about it because I think you should throw the game. We should talk about it because it’s my game too. We should at least check out the bikes and see if it’s any easier. If we get the pit stop seven hours late we can still cross the finish line and have a good race.

GERARD (inside the cab): Is that Flo & Zach? They must be there and back from the island already.

–  Believe it or not, this is how you ride a bike.

– Flo and Zach switch detours.

FLO: I don’t think I can ride it.
ZACH: Well, first put on the helmet.
FLO: THERE’S NOT A CHANCE IN HELL I CAN PUSH IT! THERE’S NO WAY I CAN PUSH IT.
IAN (riding back): Coming through. Beep beep. Beep beep.
FLO: F– you Ian, seriously. F— you.
ZACH: Don’t walk it just pedal.
FLO: I’m not pedaling it it’s LEANING AGAINST MY BODY. This is an impossibility. It’s an impossibility.

I’ve never seen Flo cry to such an extreme. She is crying and gaping her mouth so much that she can barely speak.

FLO: I wanna go home. I want out. Out.
ZACH (confessional): I try to shower Flo with positive thoughts and hope something good comes out of it.

Zach proceeds to hire a local person to sit in the boat with Flo and paddle for her. Did anyone tell this guy that Flo may get a million dollars if he does this task?

– Ken & Gerard get a segment about experiencing a flat tire in a taxi and Gerard’s incredible ability to exchange it with the spare tire in the cab and how quickly he did it. Kenny watched the whole time.

– The Asian Cultural Music in TAR’s soundtrack plays as Teri & Ian snag the roadblock.

– Roadblock time. Use a wich to raise a fishing net that has the clue attached to it out of the water. Ian does the roadblock as Teri rides the boat to get the clue. It’s a 30 second roadblock it seems. China Beach is the pit stop.

– ZACH: Just relax. Take our time. We’ll get there when we get there.
(FLO mopes.)

– They constantly switch back and forth between the two teams running a great leg and the other team playing the ‘Just Don’t Let Flo Quit’ Game.

– IAN (confessional): I know I’m a bit overbearing on Teri. I didn’t think she was this strong and I can’t tell you how proud I am of her.


IAN: We’re coming Phil! Don’t outrun me–don’t outrun me!
PHIL: Ian, you seem to be getting happier.

Uh, not all the way there but he’s making progress. They’ve won two legs in a row. A Happy Ian is a frontrunner Ian.

– FLO (confessional): We get into the boat for the roadblock and it looks so peaceful. Finally I’m back to my old self.

FLO: My first smile of the day.
ZACH: I know, good. I’m happy to see it.

When they get to the pit stop, Flo gets to pick out a sticker and put it on a wall for being such a good sport today. Well, if she was two years old anyway.

– Other teams had their non-roadblock partner grab the clue. Not the case for Flo & Zach. Flo’s boat picks up Zach so Zach can grab the clue.

– FLO: The only thing keeping me sane is this diet coke as it reminds me of normal life.
ZACH: Good.
FLO: I may break down but I will never threaten to quit again.

WHAT?! SHE WILL NEVER QUIT AGAIN?! HOLY CRAAAAP!
Flo&Zach 11.11
Teri&Ian 3.7
Ken&Gerard 3.8

Final leg

———

not quit?

– Teri & Ian depart at 5:38am while Ken&Gerard depart at 5:52am. It looks like Flo&Zach will be finishing several hours behind.

– After going to a temple, teams discover they must fly to Hawaii and find the Big Kahuna.

– Ian gets behind the counter and yells at everyone including the other teams and Teri (although the latter is given). He speaks harshly until Kenny takes him aside and says he’s being rude but will help him book the same flight together. Wow. Leg 13 and Ian gets into his first alliance. Ian is completely oblivious to how rude he is as the other three people insist Gerard talks.

– GERARD: We’re in an alliance with Teri & Ian.
KEN: I think we have an alliance with Teri & Ian.
GERARD: How did that happen?

– Flo & Zach discover no more economy seats are available. Flo immediately takes to the bench as Zach leans across the counter and politely and calmly speaks to the lady who just dealt with Ian to try and get on this flight.

Promise broken one hour into the leg.

Zach buys business class tickets to Tokyo in hopes of being able to book tickets for economy class on the train by borrowing a stranger’s cell phone and call travel agencies. Using this tactic, Zach books the best flight to Hawaii. Yep. It’s been a one-man team for nearly the whole race.

– Zach goes to the hotel to pick up the golden tickets. He goes out of his way to mention the person who found the flight for him was Zume.

– Ian eyes the brothers as the brothers wander to the executive office in the airport to discover an earlier connecting flight. The same flight with Flo&Zach, no doubt. Teri&Ian wait until Tokyo to see if there’s an earlier flight but find out there’s only one seat left. They don’t get it and are instead stuck fifteen minutes later.

– The planes are delayed so the two flights are only fifteen minutes apart.

– They arrive in Hawaii and celebrate. Flo wastes no time to yell at Zach and say he’s not driving Ms. Daisy. No comment.

– All three teams remark on the Mustangs. Equalizer #1 as teams see the route marker won’t open until 10:00am. We are treated to the TAR suspense music with a Hawaiian flavour to it for a couple minutes.

– The Hawaiian ceremony commences. They drink a potion. Clap. And given a clue. Another flight for teams as they fly to some other place in Hawaii. Producers are definitely going out of their way to build suspense to the final minutes of the finale. A Guido experience is no longer welcome. They all get on the same flight.

– FLO: The ranch gate. It must be where the stupid ranch is.
You don’t say.

– Ken & Gerard get to the route marker with Flo & Zach right behind. Detour time. Quick Drop or Slow Walk. I can bet which one Flo&Zach will take.

– Plenty of censors as Ken & Gerard fly through the waterfall and into the water.

– Oh my. Flo decides to do the quick drop because she “wants to get out of the race by doing something risky”. So this is her idea of celebrating.

– Teams find out they’re going to Seattle, Washington.

– Teri & Ian do the detour last and stop bickering during the drop. Ian conquers a fear. Teri pwned him and made him do it.

– Flo&Zach and the brothers scramble to get on a flight to Seattle. Equalizer #3 as all three teams are on the same flight to the final task. Twenty hours of travel is condensed into thirty seconds.

– All three teams get to Kerry Park by taxi and now race on-foot to the International Fountain. Flo&Zach separate from the pack. Zach thinks he read a map correctly to know where to go. Too bad Gerard & Ken get there first. They look to be in line for the win. Teri & Ian are second. Flo & Zach third. They’re going to Lincoln Park. Hide your kids and hide your wife, Ian.

– Flo yells at Ian
FLO: I’m really gonna get mad! Stop giving me wrong directions if you’re not sure!
(ZACH proceeds to ask for directions to Lincoln Park as FLO keeps yelling.)
FLO: You insist on not being honest with me about where we’re going. Oh my god now we’re third despite running our a–es off.

FLO: You could’ve said ‘you know what, I don’t know where we’re going,’ and you led the wrong way. It’s a very big deal.
ZACH: So I took us to the Seattle Centre.
FLO: To the Space Needle, and if you look on the map, you’d see the space needle here and the fountain is here.

Flo’s map of the distance between the space needle and the fountain.

– Flo & Zach arrive at the roadblock first. -_-

ZACH (snickering): You want it?
FLO: No!
ZACH: Okay, I’ll do it.
FLO: Go, go, go!
Zach does the roadblock. Rotate the animals in the correct order that they appeared in the race. Flo manages to yell at Zach before, during, and after the roadblock. She does sneak an ‘I Love You’. Zach finishes first and they can ride a taxi to the pit stop. Teri & Ian are behind while Ken & Gerard are just behind.

– Over two minutes of suspense. The audience drops their jaw to see Flo & Zach emerge onto the scene. Flo whined, complained, and nearly quit and becomes a winner of The Amazing Race. They are absolutely shocked. They assumed Ken & Gerard won. We were hoping that were true too.

– The teams reflect on everything they come away with the race and improved friendships, relationships, etc.

Flo&Zach 15.12
Teri&Ian 3.7
Ken&Gerard 3.6

Best to Worst Legs:

Leg 5: Lisbon -> Fes (The Kevin Nash episode. Get it? Diesel? OK, WWF reference aside, this is TAR’s best episode ever. You have teams leaving close together and new coalitions being formed. Flo has her first full-length featured meltdown along with a  couple of smaller ones. Teams make a mistake that has never been made ever again in TAR history. Four teams make a potential race-ending blunder but the Class A racers in this position separated from a Class B racer. Silver & Gold go from last to first to last to not last in a period of fifteen hours. Michael & Kathy have a storyline of their relationship that comes full circle. The music is great during the episode too. It is extremely memorable. I’ll look past the ferry and charter bus equalizer that both take place right before the roadblock. I have a feeling there was an additional task that wasn’t shown, though. They spent over ten minutes on teams breaking down.)

Leg 11: Singapore -> Ho Chi Minh City (Ken & Gerard lock in the record for fastest flight out of a pit stop. Ian gets his first set of fans after this episode and is overall a little less hated. Flo yells, cries, and threatens to quit because Zach wouldn’t cut in a line at the start of the leg. TAR gets its first taste of bad weather on the race course which makes the leg very distinct. The twins and the brothers face off in the penultimate elimination leg which results in the twins exposing their first weakness since their eleventh place finish in the opening leg of the race. Flo being the one who screwed the twins out of the race is even better and makes the finish even crazier. The Twin hunt is over and its champion is Flo. Yeah, who wasn’t surprised by that? Vietnam, you numba one!!!)

Leg 4: Stonehaven -> Lisbon (The only episode I watched in a public school. Heather & Eve’s exit is very satisfying and the way they get eliminated is rather memorable. It’s refreshing to see Andre & Damon and Teri & Ian get out of the pack. The leader board gets its first shake-up since leg one. This leg is high up simply because of the personal significance this round has for me.)

Leg 6: Fes -> Marrakech (We get a feel for all remaining teams except Gold & Silver who fail to perform well all leg and are ignored except for one minute of the leg. Seeing FOUR teams go for the Fast Forward is a big highlight for the series and is something that makes me wonder why producers wanted to all but make the Fast Forward extinct. You can’t beat the drama of an old couple beating out New York’s Sweethearts in finding the correct piece of carpet. Andre & Damon’s arrest, while infuriating at the time, has held up surprisingly well as a historic moment in TAR after twenty seasons. Teams fighting with other teams? That’s commonplace thanks to production encouraging it. Teams losing their passports? That’s commonplace thanks to production casting increasingly flawed teams. Teams getting arrested by police in Africa? Now that is something special. It’s a bit freaky with how it cuts to commercial too.)

Leg 12: Ho Chi Minh City -> China Beach (If you want to see Flo complain for an entire leg from start to finish this is your leg. The other two teams are an afterthought as you watch the leg because this may be the biggest train wreck of a leg that anyone in TAR history has gone through. There was ONE smile by Flo during the leg. For the rest of the time she was crying, yelling, moping, refused to run, swore at Teri and Ian, and quit at least six times that made it on the final cut of the episode. I don’t think an individual team has ever dominated the airtime like this in TAR history. 90% of the time it’s because producers want to air the more marketable team, but in this episode it is well-earned. Nobody has gone through a leg like Flo before or since. Zach’s dynamic in the relationship was very well presented too. Best non-elimination leg ever?)

Leg 2: Mexico City -> Tulum (San Ma-Rin-O Ma-Rin-A. With Teri & Ian jokes aside, this was an entertaining episode. The start of the leg forces teams to drive for 5-6 hours which TAR earns major props for. Andre & Damon join the Gutsy Grannies as the only two teams to sleep in at the pit stop. Although tasks such as jet skiing and swimming in a little pool to find clues may not be difficult, old people and TNT falling over the jet ski numerous times and the fact Michael volunteers to swim when he CAN’T SWIM makes it entertaining. A bus crashing for the first (and only?) time in TAR’s history is a highlight. Despite my favourite team going home, I think this was one of the best legs in TAR’s history as a fair introduction to every team that was racing, which considering there is eleven teams, is a tough task to do. This leg has a very legitimate design to it and earns points for that.)

Leg 7: Marrakech -> Fussen (Its low ranking is not like the first two seasons where any leg below this point was a mediocre leg. I liked the scramble through the clogged airports. Andre & Damon couldn’t catch a break thanks to being in a sour mood after being arrested in the leg prior. The pumping up of rivalries between the five teams was fantastic because even though none of them are eliminated it’s still an elimination leg. The twins shouting at each other, everyone opposing Teri & Ian, Flo’s second major outburst of the season, and one of the worst looking flat tires I have ever seen makes for an enjoyable leg to watch.)

Leg 3: Cancun -> Stonehaven (A fun leg. I didn’t like how there was a mini bunching for the roadblock so close to the end of the leg but luckily Dennis & Andrew struggled with booking tickets without being told to fly ‘A’ or ‘B’ for the first time to ensure this never came into play. They are the first team to arrive in  last despite using the fast forward and get eliminated. Teri & Ian vs. Andre & Damon’s unlikely rivalry continued. Gerard steering a punt is one of the funniest race moments ever. The ridiculous Twin Hunting mini storyline. Ian’s incessant yelling.)

Leg 10: Montreaux -> Singapore (Flo & Zach fight for the whole episode. The tasks were underwhelming compared to the first nine legs. This doesn’t mean it was a bad leg. I merely feel indifferent towards the overall content. Gerard somersaulting out of the fountain was humorous. Following Flo’s logic of screaming in arguments gave me a headache. Too bad John Vito & Jill lose because of poor directions.)

Leg 1: Miami -> Mexico City (Yep, the first premiere to be beaten by a leg other than the finale. I think this is where the idea of twelve teams at the start may backfire. It wasn’t too hilarious except for Ken & Gerard or Tramel dodging people parachuting. The focus on Gina & Sylvia giving their motivational speech makes me roll my eyes too and desire that we get to know the teams more in-depth than reality television clichés. Heather & Eve did fall on their face shortly after begging for money in an airport, though. Tramel & Talicia’s dance may be the biggest celebration for a team regardless if it was the final leg and they won the million dollars.)

Leg 9: Grindelwald -> Monteux (Two non-elimination legs in a row? Everyone wondered if a second one was picked for the sole purpose of saving Flo & Zach and putting John Vito & Jill into danger again. At least there was about three less equalizers this leg in contrast with the previous leg. I s’pose combining this leg and last leg combines for a much better told story though. On their own they flat out suck.)

Leg 13: Hanoi -> Seattle (Season three and production still struggled with how to formulate the final leg. I couldn’t blog anything interesting for the whole episode which likely resulted in you wondering why my leg 13 recap seems extraordinarily bland. You either have a big payoff with the finale and it will wind up near the top of this list or it fails and it’s at the bottom. Evidently, the latter occurred. There wasn’t any memorable tasks. In fact, the teams didn’t have to do much of anything except find Kerry Park on their own. There wasn’t anything funny. There wasn’t anything entertaining. Rewind back to everyone’s reaction when this first aired in 2002. My mom was yelling at the TV for the entire final hour because Flo hadn’t quit in the previous hour, and when she crossed that finish line first, my mom and anyone else I knew couldn’t believe it. That wasn’t the outcome that was supposed to happen. Were we in a bad dream?
I remember talking to my sixth grade teacher about the finale and how shocked we were that Flo won. I also remember Rosie O’ Donnell interviewing Flo and Zach and insisted that Zach gets $990, 000 of the one million dollar prize. The great thing is Flo owns up to it in every interview. The only question Zach ever gets is “how do you put up with her?”)

Leg 8: Fussen -> Grindelwald (Equalizer. Equalizer. Equalizer. Equalizer. John Vito can’t wink with one eye. This leg has zero inspiration to it. Does anyone remember this leg ever happened? I am confused what producers wanted us to think from this episode.)

Worst to best teams:

Note that the absolute bottom on this list would put you around average on most of my future cast rankings.

12) Heather & Eve. (You promise at the start that you’re not just big ditzes on the race. First leg you beg for money at an airport using sex appeal. Then Eve whines and whines and whines and whines without any personality whatsoever. Heather is okay because she didn’t complain but my goodness, booking a flight for four teams? Saying you’re too strong to do a hammer throw? Being the first team to not know how to drive a stick? One of the most satisfying eliminations ever.)

11) Dennis & Andrew (The team made headlines for Andrew being gay and Dennis not approving of it. Once they get in the race they’re fine and Dennis turns into someone who has zero charisma and is an extremely flat personality. Add in that the only thing they ever talk about is Andrew being gay and you have a team that you want to go home early. Luckily that wish came true.)

10) Gina & Sylvia (It’s hard to root for a team that has 90% of their airtime consist of uttering clichés that belong on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.)

9) Derek & Drew (Did two male models without much personality really need to be on this show? If it weren’t for the twin hunt or Flo romance storylines, these guys would have zero storyline. They have more storyline than any other team but yet on their own their personalities aren’t really distinct. All I know is that Derek takes the big brother role and yells at Drew who seems to have an inability to navigate or drive.)

8) Silver & Gold (I was checking comments on a site about what people thought for TAR 3, and I was surprised how hated this team was. They were viewed as being exceptionally critical of everyone else which I find amusing because fans are being critical of this team for being critical about others. That’s one of the reasons that makes competitive reality TV so intriguing is that the fans interact too. For me it’s that I thought they were fine but I was satisfied with them finishing seventh overall. I was content with how long they lasted in this group. They might be higher if they focused less on the twins.)

7) Andre & Damon (They may be a firefighter and a police officer, but they are certainly not globetrotters. Andre doesn’t speak until the leg he is eliminated or to explain his brilliant strategy of following the other teams to avoid falling to the back of the pack. This is a team that had final 3 written all over them but their inability to do anything that required navigating route markers put them dead last. I like these two and they are very nice people and they are champs for withstanding being detained, but in terms of characters or racers they fit in really well at seventh. They ran red lights and stalked an old couple with binoculars, too.)

6) Flo & Zach (One of the biggest contrasts within a team in the history of the race. They have one of the best story arcs in TAR history. Zach turns into a father figure while Flo turns into his only child. Zach did everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Flo employed every single move, or lack of moves rather, that makes them the most bizarre success story. How do they always finish in the top five on every single leg? We know Flo isn’t the reason. Therefore, Zach is so good that he can do twice the workload of any person in the history of the race and still finish in the top 5 in every leg. Flo dated Drew for six years as a result of flirting with him on the race despite her being labeled as a dating couple with Zach at the start. Zach not only did ten out of eleven roadblocks but he did additional tasks such as physically carrying Flo off every single mode of transportation and essentially guide every single mode of transportation for her. Even Mirna had to do less work than Zach! If only Zach had an ounce of verbal negativity in his body, we would’ve seen a Teri & Ian victory.)

5) Tramel & Talicia (When I was initially watching their pre-show interviews and their two-leg venture back in the sixth grade, they were the team I rooted for the most. I thought I’d have them ranked as number one on this list. But you know what? Their Team TNT crap was redundant in leg two. If they dropped that gimmick, they’d be number one. However, because they weren’t on longer to have their TNT leg 2 stint to dilute over a course of several episodes, they must drop to #5. Would still love to meet them, though.)

4) John Vito & Jill (They were very self-aware during the race and strictly get through the race by encouragement. I couldn’t care less about the brother dying in 9/11. That has zero influence on them being this high in the list. They are two kind racers and one of few couples who don’t bicker at all during the race. I think the closest was when they jokingly argued about eating cheese or John Vito hiding the bottle for the first route marker in leg four. Two very obscure references that I just made. This is a team I would love to hang out with. It’s too bad they couldn’t have grandchildren, then children, then get married together.)

3) Teri & Ian (The only older couple that doesn’t get the “poor me root for us because we’re old” edit. Dave & Maragetta, Nancy, Peggy, and Claire all got the “poor me” edit. Luckily Teri & Ian were the first truly competitive older team that much of the audience hates to this day, they yelled at each other, they yelled at others, but they both raced in a really smart style once they get through the first three legs. Production was absolute geniuses to get them on the all-star edition. They are a three-dimensional team. It’s funny that these two and Flo & Zach finish in the top two of the season despite being the bottom two in terms of being liked by the audience. What an unlikely rivalry.)

2) Michael & Kathy (It’s very tough for a dating couple to be likeable in TAR. Fortunately the only two dating couples in this season were both very likeable. Michael may be one of my favourite racers ever. I didn’t notice it before but on this re-watch production gives him plenty of narration and it pays off well. I think the quality of the first few episodes would drop if Michael didn’t have his sense of humour when describing Heather & Eve as “chicken heads barking in my ear” and pulling out G-Funk lingo without much hesitation. I wish they lasted longer, but eh, sometimes those things happen on TAR. They’re both married now.)

1) Ken & Gerard (The exceptionally hilarious brothers. They kept it cool and seemed to goof off whenever they had enough wiggle room to do so. These two were great at bringing comic relief along with being very unlikely powerhouses throughout the season. Gerard was an ace with the map and tasks while Ken did great at filling any holes in their game and working with other teams. They have some of the best confessionals in terms of their ability make fun of other teams. Phil would talk about these two appearing on an all-star over the next eight seasons but when the producers chose which of Phil’s 15-team list would be chosen, these two were given the shaft. When Phil Keoghan mentions you specifically in his good books for every pre-season promotion, you know you were real stars. Besides, Ken wished me a happy birthday on Facebook last summer. Did any of the other three hundred plus people in TAR wish me a happy birthday? Noooooooo. (Except Tammy Gaghan.)

12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Concluding thoughts:

The Mole 2 concluded on TV one month prior to TAR 3’s airing. TAR 3 aired along with Survivor: Thailand. This was truly the pinnacle of my obsession with the competitive reality shows because the three giants put out their best seasons in the whole series (Yes, most people hate Thailand, but it’s an easy 7th in my Survivor ranking.) If it weren’t for these three shows putting out each of these three seasons in the same six month span, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Did this season have a really weak beginning and one of its worst endings ever? Yep, it unfortunately did. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it had the best teams to make it to the double non-elimination point and for the most part an incredible boot order. The route was unique and well-planned almost the whole way through and the intra-personal conflicts made this season extremely fun to watch. Keep in mind that no other season has as memorable of a stretch during the early and middle parts of the season. TAR 3 stands alone in that category. Fast forwards on every leg, the first drop in non-eliminations, and one of only twelve-team seasons where production doesn’t have a stupid elimination ten minutes into the episode results in TAR’s best format to date.

In conclusion, 10 ¾ of the race is great, but it’s the middle 1 ½ legs and final leg that sharply reduce the season’s quality. Because the second season had crappy winners who finished last twice during the game too, there isn’t much where TAR 3 can fall behind TAR 2. They’re both similar seasons except TAR 3 is more updated and has more sentimental value for me.

P.S. You know how everyone moans about how an all-female team never wins TAR and goes out of their way to make a big deal about it to cause me a gigantic headache? Well, the first female to win TAR is Flo. It baffles me that an-all female team winning is supposed to be some big deal given the very first victorious female is modeled after Flo. Also, by the time we get to TAR 14/15, the tasks and the race has been so massacred that even if an all-female team wins, it isn’t even legitimate anymore, and anybody over the age of 20 have zero chance anymore too unless the race cuts out its obsession with quick puzzles.

Rating: 8.7

1. The Amazing Race 3
2. The Amazing Race 2
3. The Amazing Race (1)

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6 Responses to The Amazing Race 3 Ranking

  1. Josh says:

    Ken and Tammy wished you a happy birthday? Well guess what, Mirna wished me a happy birthday!!!!I’ve got the best one of them all lol…I feel like I’m the happiest TAR fan in the world lol…I always thought that this was a very good season…This was the 1st TAR season that I watched when I was a 9 yr old boy in 2002. I always thought that it was nostalgia that made me love this season….But re watching this right now as I am now on Episode 10, this IS really one of THE BEST season along with season 5…Teri and Ian were my first team to root for….but they got overshadowed by Charla and Mirna when season 5 came, but actually when season 5 first came, the 1st team that I was rooting for were Bob and Joyce because they kinda reminded me of Teri and Ian, but after they got eliminated, my eyes were set to Charla and Mirna! 🙂 I always thought Dustin and Kandice were overrated, but that doesn’t mean I hate them though…It just happens that they happen to piss of my 2 favorite teams which happens to be Lyn/Karlyn and Charla/Mirna.

    • Yep. TAR 3 is the most nostalgic season for me as well. I probably included it in the TAR 3 ranking, but that and Survivor: Thailand were the first seasons I recorded onto VHS tape for my own personal use. Some of them still have commercials in it so that is always a nice flashback to the past.

      I would be in a similar age group as well as I was eleven when TAR 3 aired.

      It’s funny I mentioned Ken and Tammy in that blog because I haven’t spoken to either of them in well over two years.

      I loved Bob’s Mr. Magoo glasses in TAR 5.

      Charla & Mirna deserve a good percentage for helping save TAR. The franchise was extremely close to cancellation. Charla & Mirna’s antics brought them into the mainstream. There hasn’t been a team like them before or since. I am shocked they did not become the first team to play TAR three times.

      I have always been indifferent to Dustin & Kandice. They have terrible social skills with other racers on the race, but it’s that same social inadequacy that makes them entertaining to me.

      • Josh says:

        Just finished re watching the finale of season 3, whether we like it or not….I really love the background music being used in the older TAR circa TAR 2 – 12….especially the finale music…also the music being played when Gina/Sylvia, Dennis/Andre, John Vito/Jill were all being eliminated. There’s just something with those music that gets you carried away…you can call those music over exaggerated at times, but you can’t deny those chills….In all honesty, Flo isn’t that much of a useless partner compared to some damsels in TAR 5 (Nicole). I think she’s smart…and the one thing that I appreciate about her is that she is aware that she is being negative to her partner, which is very rare to some contestant these days….I even watched this interview, I forgot what that show was…This was when the F3 of that season were guests on that show, she admits that it was hard for her watching how she behaves and wants to use the prize money for her therapy lol (I know she was kidding but still…..) Imagine if she was in ALL STARS…what would have happened….I would love to see that interaction between Flo and Mirna and see who will win when they have an argument…It’s either going to be EPIC or TRAGIC or BOTH, but it didn’t happen…but oh well…I forgot how strong racers JV and Jill were, specifically Jill…Yeah I know that their average is 4.80 which is already a “B” in my books which is above average…..All in all this season has a lot of gems, moments in it especially funny ones

        – Heather and Eve’s questionable reading skills
        – Andrew and Dennis’ LMFAO FF attempt
        – Bags being taken away by the boat in leg 8 allowing JV/Jill to pass the teams which was hillarious
        – Flo’s moments
        – Teri’s bicycle moment in Vietnam
        – Flo unintentionally helping Ken and Gerard to get the bike for pit stop in leg 11
        – That gasoline mistake
        – Michael’s persistence of choosing the slower roadblocks
        etc etc

        sigh…..what a SEASON indeed….season 26 was not this good, but it certainly isn’t that bad…I would say that season 26 is good/decent.

        We also share the same feelings towards Dustin and Kandice…I not necessarily hate them, in fact I like their racing style when they are being sneaky….but somehow, I question their skills in choosing the right team to YIELD…they lose to both teams that they YIELDED, not only that, but they are sometimes not that good in reading comprehension….like for example, that incident in leg 4 of season 10 when they listened to crickets (LMFAO)…or when they went pass the Detour in leg 11 causing them to be last….regardless, they are the strongest all female team, even the highest averaged ranked too…3.04, if we exclude or don’t count their points in the TBC leg from season 10, they could be higher also.

        Also, I am shocked by how Charla and Mirna are having some negative comments and reactions from people specifically in Survivor Sucks….I remember in 2004 that they have lots of fans and supporters and I can barely see a hater…but reading now I am very shock….I am guessing, these are modern TAR fans who don’t know a SH*T…And I agree with you about them being called back three times….I was one of those fans hoping for these two to go back….I am getting sick of Jet and Cord being shoved down our throats…I liked them in season 16, but by the time they got called up for ALL STARS in season 24 again, I’ve had enough…

      • Yep. The present-day change of opinion regarding Charla & Mirna has done a 180 degree turn in the past few years.

        There is a TAR Facebook group online where I run a daily popularity poll.

        On day one, I started with Matt & Ana vs. Kim & Leslie. Whoever receives the most votes is the champion, and they face off against Pat & Brenda the next day.

        This pattern continues until we reach present day.

        Anyways, Charla & Mirna beat Teri & Ian during their first appearance. . .and then eliminated by Linda & Karen the next day.

        This followed a discussion of Charla & Mirna where about 60-70 percent of commenters absolutely hate them.

        If we rewind back to 2007 or 2008, the percentages would be different. I think we are seeing a much different fanbase today. The type of fans who I see want Jet & Cord back for TAR 27.

        Speaking of TAR 26, Jelani messaged me saying he went to the same high school as Flo. She was a few grades ahead of him.

        Flo is nearly 40 years old today compared to TAR 3 when she was 23 years old (coincidentally I am 23 years old at the moment as well). So the type of person she is today is nowhere near the type of person she was in 2002.

        This is why I have much more interest in seeing a team who played in TAR 9 or earlier simply because they are going to be at a much different spot in their life rather than, say, any team who was brought back for TAR 24: Fake All Stars.

        I never thought about Flo and Mirna interacting before. That would have been must-see-TV. There is no way those two would get along during the race.

  2. Josh says:

    Yeah, your right about Charla and Mirna’s opinion from the viewers changing drastically…Wow! That’s some fun stuff you’ve got from Jelani…Yeah, I think it would be very interesting to see teams from the 1st era of Amazing Race (1-10) being called back, because by this time, they could now be changed persons…The past 2 return team seasons (Unfinished Business, ALL STARS 2) were not successful in terms of casting….I still can’t get over the fact, how uneven the teams from different seasons that were cast. there were 5 returning teams from Amazing Race 14, and I question some of them returning…I don’t get why we have huge numbers of returning teams from season 14, it was like watching season 14 Part 2.0….I don’t even think that season 14 was really that special except changing the main theme of the show, I thought that season was uneventful to me, so for that season to feature huge numbers of returning teams still boggles my mind…..also there are a lot more deserving teams to return with much more valid “Unfinished Business” to settle…The reasoning for such teams returning in 18 was questionable as well, such as:

    Amanda & Kris being uturned….for me, there were a lot of teams that got uturned with more valid reason to be called for unfinished business…so why them. Also, they were not even that dominating in their previous season…Their average before being eliminated was 3.33, so for them being eliminated wasn’t really an upset…They were not even that memorable to the viewers

    Gary and Mallory for being lost, I don’t care if people will get mad at me for saying this….but there were also a lot of teams that got lost with much more valid reason to return…

    These are the teams who I think should have returned
    Azaria and Hendekea
    Toni and Dallas
    Michael and Kevin
    Joe and Heidi

    Where are these teams?????????

    For season 24, I felt like, they just threw some random returning teams in there…also there were 4 returning teams from season 22…making me feel like watching season 22 Part 2.0…To this day, I still don’t know how the country singers were brought back, they were even shocked also…I like them though but for me, their whole run in season 22 was so uneventful…they were just chilling in the mid pack, to slightly higher pack.

    Season 26 doesn’t have a dominating team as well. No one even had an average of at least 3.00 and above….majority of them were B+ players with average ranging from 3.01 – 4.00. Their highest average team is 3.08 (Laura/Tyler). This season is among the few seasons of TAR to not have a team reached an average of 3.00 and above…along with seasons 4, 18 and 21..I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing…Is this a good thing because it means that the team are all equally skilled with each other causing no one to dominate the entire race. Or a bad thing because we don’t see a stand out team that is worthy for a next All Star….

    • I’ll be blogging about TAR 18: Unfinished Business by early August. TAR 14 is my least favourite season out of the first 23 seasons of TAR to air.

      So you can imagine on what my opinion of TAR 18’s casting will be. I have an ongoing joke about Amanda & Kris ever since the moment TAR 18’s cast was originally announced.

      In my opinion, I found Amanda & Kris to be the absolute least memorable team from the first 17 seasons. My jaw pretty much dropped when I heard they were cast for a second time.

      I don’t mind the odd season where many of the teams are evenly matched. It just means editors have to look harder for a story to tell. Once TAR 13 hit, it seemed like every season was “one or two teams are dominating and the rest cannot be taken seriously”.

      That storyline becomes dull after a while, particularly in those situations where the dominating teams took it all the way to the finish line or their rivals were equally uninteresting/not as likeable.

      My favourite seasons involving dominant teams/rivalries are TAR 9 and TAR Asia 2. Those stories are told really well, and the cast of Asia 2 was amazing.

      And yeah, don’t even get me started on casting for TAR 24. I never thought a season could screw up which teams to invite back as much as TAR 18 did. -_-

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