Previously on TAR: While many teams succeeded with tight spaces, the virgin struggled. People were angry with Tian and DK. They went down a gorge, and Steve & Dave miraculously survived another leg to be the last Steve standing. Who will go home tonight?
Will the fighting between Tian & Jaree continue to escalate? And will Steve & Dave survive after leaving in last place once again?
Well, it’s pretty obvious what the producers want to show this episode. BFGs underdog status and the Feminists fighting moreso than usual.
– Go to Amsterdam and find a skinny white bridge called the Magre Brug. Note it’s apparently a FAMOUS skinny white bridge. Sure, Phil.
This means we are spending ANOTHER leg in Europe. TAR 1 only spent two legs consecutively in Europe. TAR 2 didn’t go to Europe whatsoever. TAR 3 spent three legs consecutively in Europe. TAR 4 is going to be pushing it to five consecutive legs. Let’s break it down a bit further, shall we?
TAR 1: Visited Rome, Italy (ancient aesthetic).
TAR 4: First occasion for the series to return to Italy. They go to Milan (metro), Cortina D’ampezzo (Alps), and Venice (Shakespearian).
TAR 3: Innsbruck, Austria (recreational).
TAR 4: First occasion for the series to return to Austria. They head to the capital (metro).
TAR 1: Visited Paris and Bordeaux, France.
TAR 4: First occasion for the series to return to France. They head to Le Mans and Marseilles.
I can understand why TAR 4 is met with mixed reviews. Retread countries for the opening third of the season could be a turn-off for viewers. Producers need to be given credit (although they never give time credits to contestants anymore) for trying to hit up new places in these countries. It’s funny to think people thought TAR 4 was a sign of decline for the series because it was getting stale. TAR 20 premieres in nine minutes here on the west coast.
So let’s go to the Netherlands. The newest country to be added to TAR’s roster!
Tian bugs Jaree about not knowing where to go yet Tian is the one who possesses the map. Don’t expect Jaree to be your Zach, Tian. You’re in this race together.
– JON: One thing we’re trying to do is concentrate on just us. Put blinders on, don’t worry about this team or that team, keep pushing like we have five teams ahead of us. Pushpushpushpushpush. Like the Clowns are Salt n Peppa if they were on TAR. Baby, baby!
I don’t buy they put blinders on and don’t worry about other teams. Why?
– Here comes another confessional about being married to professional athletes.
MONICA: Sheree and I are still getting along great. We never yell at each other and demean the other like we’re Tian & Jaree. If Tian wasn’t around we’d be very happy.
. . . You did it, Monica! You are no longer branded as being married to professional athletes! Your first confessional about speaking to the dynamics of your team is what we are interested in. Not anonymous NFL footballers who aren’t on the race.
– Steve & Dave are less than two hours behind Tian & Jaree. Steve slaps himself and shakes his head to wake up. In the process, I note that I have never seen that much fat jiggle in a human’s face before. Go look it up for yourself. It’s hypnotic.
– Reichen & DK ask Tian to book tickets for them despite Millie & Chuck, Kelly & Jon, and the Clowns being ahead in line. Tian agrees to it and decides pissing off three teams who are equally skilled will be the best move. This pisses off Millie and she runs off with the clowns to the British Airways counter. Brilliant work, Tian. You’ll incur the wrath of the Virgin Millie. Tian asks for tickets at Air France. There’s only room for two teams. Jon leans over and says
JON: No cutting or I’ll punch your eye out.
Donkey Kong packs up his bananas and looks into other options.
– Tian & Jaree and Kelly & Jon are on the leading plane. The other four teams at the airport are on the second flight.
– The lonely music plays as David & Jeff and BFGs are on the last flight together to Orlee. It’s a 45-minute connection to the other airport. It’ll be close, but shouldn’t be a problem.
Looming bumper to bumper traffic says otherwise.
– Kelly & Jon are leading the pack for the first time this season. Feminists, Supremes, Virgins, Clowns, and Gays are all together now. Ah, it’s a much shorter way to write their names.
– While teams race to an expensive taxi or cheap metro, Tian & Jaree instantly fall to sixth to buy a map for Tian to read and withhold for Jaree.
– Gondola redux. So original. -_-
Virgins have a comfortable lead to navigate themselves to the Chef Boyardee Museum or whatever it’s called.
– Other teams catch up as Millie yells at Chuckie to read the map.
– Back in France, BFGs and David & Jeff arrive at the airport to find their plane has left. Ouch. Not even close. Two more hours
– Kelly says Werewolf and Molly Mole are ahead of them. She explains that last leg when they said Millie Mole it was coined by Jon and Werewolf is Chuck’s nickname. This is when we’re supposed to start hating them.
But I can see why they’d say that. Keep in mind that in the previous leg when these two teams were together that they zoomed in on Millie’s mole. That will be a trend for the remainder of the season. Editors have no shame exploiting this conflict.
– Monica says she’s never directed a boat before. Monica also suffers from short term memory loss.
– Tian insists Jaree reads a map while Tian withholds her map reading skills and studies the scenery.
– The Clowns are the first to the museum and are officially in the lead. When they open the detour they activate the almighty superpower:
It’s this week’s edition of Phil’s Turtleneck Adventures! He informs us of the detour: 500 kilograms or 15 feet.
One requires you to drive 30 miles and put on funny little shoes to carry heavy cheese ovals onto a scale until the scale reads exactly 500 kilograms. In the other, teams must drive twelve miles to find a clue bare-handed in a fifteen foot high pile of cow manure.
– Did I forget to mention last episode that Kelly called Millie one of those cheerleaders in high school that she spat on during pep rallies? Yeah, thought that’d be funny.
– Tian pulls out a pair of sunglasses and snags the map in anger and gives Jaree a lesson on how to read maps. Jaree informs her she is immature.
The best map reading teacher there ever was, the best map reading teacher there is, and the best map reading teacher there ever will be.
– The Virgins opt to be idiots and take the Fast Forward. Several hours of their lead that they could easily bank for leg six on the trailing teams means nothing. Advantage for when the non-elimination legs start to hit is erased. For this FF they are buckled into a windmill and will spin for one full rotation. Luckily Chuck broke the cherry with the race car last leg and is fine with tight spaces now.
– The Clowns arrive at the cow manure task. Holy crap that’s a lot of feces. C wut I did thar/
– The clowns get into a good ol fashioned poo fight. They fling handfulls of dung and seem to hold the task as finding the clue as secondary. They complete it and drive to the smoker.
– Unintentional pun when Jaree reads the detour.
JAREE: I don’t really wanna do a cow manure pile.
TIAN: Right now I couldn’t give a s—.
Ziiing! Let’s update that scoreboard.
Patriarchy: 12 Feminists: 3.14
– Kelly & Jon are equally excited to be in the dung. She takes the time to acknowledge how much she likes the clowns so the audience will like them too. Villain status for Kelly temporarily erased? They exchange poo high fives.
– BFGs and David & Jeff arrive at the museum at the same time. BFGs choose to do the cheese thinking no one would go into cow dung. The camera cuts to Monica & Sheree giggling the whole time in the dung.
– Roadblock time. Grab twenty-five phallic eels from a boat and use their likely poo-ridden bare hands to grab them and put it into the container.
Al is GROSSED OUT by the idea of grabbing eels yet ten minutes ago he wore a huge smile flinging cow feces. Fun with Feces does not equal Fun with Eel.
And will the boatyard be shutdown once it leaks that poo-laden Americans were the ones sorting the eel to ship it out for the masses to consume? The Dutch have a health code, I believe. Al is squirming grabbing each eel. Didn’t he soak his hands in poop?
– Millie & Chuck use the Fast Forward to check in at the 32nd minute. None of this 41st minute craziness. Millie & Chuck win a 7-day cruise; they win two out of five legs and both happen to be the only two to offer prizes. Luck is most certainly on their side.
– Jon says the eel feels like a long and slippery pe—.
– Monica voluntarily drives off the road for no reason and gets the vehicle stuck in wetlands. I hear Ford vehicles don’t work too well in Euro-made wetlands. After all the crap they’ve gone through (literally) and this happens? Oh no.
– Monica & Sheree do what TAR 20 racers don’t do when their car is stuck: IMMEDIATELY ASK FOR HELP. My goodness.
– Jaree snatches a map from Tian to rack up the map snatching total for the leg to three. They did it prior to the airport, in the gondola, and now on their way to the roadblock. Next time just ask ladies.
– Kelly & Jon are third. Nickname yet to be determined.
– Sheree does the roadblock. I wish she would’ve launched into a confessional about being married to professional athletes helps you handle long and slippery pe—es.
– David & Jeff do the roadblock in an abridged ten second segment. Tian & Jaree pass them and Jaree asks to throw it at Tian.
– BFGs finish and stop to offer their clown shoes. Why not donate them to Jon & Al and best be on your way?
– Jaree grabs the clue in two seconds. I sense a roadblock showdown.
– Reichen & DK and Supremes check in back-to-back.
– David does the roadblock then leaves. Tian announces she has done all four roadblocks and completes it before leaving. Steve & Dave trail at the roadblock in dead last and Steve completes it. Oh, and David & Jeff get to the pit stop one second later.
– Prolonged showdown for who will find the pit stop first. Who can it be? Both teams have sucked quite frequently.
So happy to be in the race! Or not. . .
– Steve runs on his way to the pit stop for the first and last time. Dave says he’s keeping the cheese. Oh, Dave. You probably consumed enough food at the pit stop and tasks that you cracked top three in prize money. Get it? Because he ate so much it was probably worth 50k. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. You have to be in the nice hotels like in The Mole to accomplish that.
Next time on TAR: Feminism takes another hit.
P.S. This leg aired when I was asked to hang out with the only people I made connections with at the end of the sixth grade. It is the only occurrence in elementary school where I wouldn’t see an episode of TAR live. I walked in the house at 8:35ish to witness Monica & Sheree in a pile of poop. I recall being so bored hanging out with these people that it would be a long time before I socialized outside of the classroom as well as miss a live episode of TAR. Wasn’t I the social butterfly?
1) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)
2) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)
3) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)
4) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)
5) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
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 Russell & Cindy 8.33
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
8th Steve & Dave 6.2
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
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 Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
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