The official midway point of the season.
Previously on TAR: We found out India is poor. Women’s fun parts were grabbed. Tian & Jaree worked together without a single map being snatched, and teams did a fishy task in carrying fish. Also, this guy makes an appearance in the ‘previously on TAR’ segment
Parting is such sweet sorrow.
– Mumbai. 18 million people packed into an area one-tenth of the size of L.A. Wow. I couldn’t grasp that type of population density. Teams need to get to the next yellow and red route marker by solving clues in sealed envelopes blah blah blah.
– Will Tian & Jaree continue working together or will their individual personalities come out once again and ruin their individual chances for success? Can last place circus clowns deliver the ‘performance’ needed to get out of last place? Phil is so clever with his wordplay.
– David & Jeff leave first at 12:51am. Jeff gives a confessional that combines three confessionals from three separate legs. It’s noticeable.
– The train ride is 24 hours. The women must be praying for seating room when they see a train ride is mandatory.
– Jaree says her and Tian are getting along fine now that Tian has agreed to do every roadblock and navigate to every route marker.
– Millie informs us her and Chuck are fighting and may not be compatible. A 13th year of dating virginity looms.
– The clowns get an unusually helpful taxi driver. He tells them everything they need to know about the hours of operation for the terminal and the best of the cheaper hotels.
– Kelly and Jon argue over leaving for the train. Kelly wants six. Jon wants seven. Kelly wins the argument. Jon isn’t the one who will get his butt pinched.
– Tian & Jaree are in a taxi with a driver who was not only driving on the wrong side of the road but drove on the yellow line. . .and with his lights off. How did they stay so calm? I fear being in a car driving with anyone who isn’t my brother, so a taxi cab who is violating the three biggest rules of the road would have driven me bonkers.
If we smash into the car, I’m sure production will be cool with us pushing the reset button.
– David & Jeff’s cab takes them to what he thinks is Panvel Station. It turns out Panvel Station has turned into someone’s house. Driver finds out where NEW Panvel station is.
DRIVER: I’ll take you to new Panvel Station. We go now.
DAVID: Is it actually nicer than this?
DAVID (sarcastically): Oh, wow.
DAVID: These people are staring at us. We may as well go to a hotel because there’s no sense laying around on this dirt longer than we have to.
A lot of people must’ve been turned off by David & Jeff at this point.
“The audience is going to love my clever commentary. Nailed it.”
– Jon wastes no time making fun of Kelly’s fears of rush hour. Sometimes I love Jon’s banter. It reminds me of my older brothers at times.
– Fantard moment for the clowns. They cry in confessionals acknowledging eh poverty levels and that we can all do better. We even see a zoom-in of Jon handing an old guy sleeping on concrete some tea.
– Kelly & Jon are on the train to the one in Panvel. Kelly fears a sequel to last leg’s Gropening. She insists Jon to stand behind her and ensure she doesn’t get groped. Jon is tired and thinks there won’t be an issue.
I side with Jon on this one. What is she talking about? No one is glaring nor will grope her. She’s in safe (and distanced hands).
Er, maybe not.
– Kelly gets groped. Who’s the culprit this time?!
Bahahahahaha, busted!!!! Kelly is not impressed. Her fiance becomes a whole new team mate. Mumbai has no rules. He laughs hysterically for the next thirty seconds. That’s thirty seconds of the EPISODE. That could have been ten minutes of unedited footage.
– All six teams board a 24-hour train. Everyone specifically notes how much it stinks.
JAREE: This is weird for me. It’s not fun. I don’t mind roughing it. But sleeping on the beach by a campfire is roughing it. I think I’ll have to lay down and close my eyes to forget about it. I feel like we’re all packed in here like we’re ready to go to the gas chamber for god’s sake.
The Jewish fan base cringes.
– Eventually teams catch on they can upgrade to a first class cabin for the remaining twenty hours. Sixteen valuable race dollars is the price. Only Millie & Chuck did not upgrade. They say they haven’t made as much of an effort to get in with the other teams. Although their alliances with Amanda & Chris, Steve & Josh, BFGs, and the clowns indicate otherwise. Millie draws a comparison to high school reminiscent of the comments Kelly made about Millie.
– Kelly’s confessional about Millie & Chuck’s nicknames from leg five are re-aired.
DK: I want to go on record that I have nothing to do and never stated her nickname.
Kelly & Jon say ‘Molly Mole’ and ‘Millie Mole’ about twenty times in a row and even mimic Austin Powers’ mole pointing.
DK thinks if he closes his eyes that it proves he does not support the views of Kelly & Jon. Maybe he’ll open his eyes if we tell him there’s a banana in front of him. . .Oh c’mon, that was a Donkey Kong joke not one about his homosexuality! Yeesh.
– The most insensitive shot that TAR editors used:
CAMERA GUY: Millie, can you push the hair on the left side of your face to the side.
MILLIE: Uh, ok.
CAMERA GUY: And lean your head back a bit.
MILLIE: Do I have to?
CAMERA GUY: It’s in the contract.
CAMERA GUY (focuses in on the mole): Okay, I’ll enhance, and bingo, we’ve got a shot. Thanks.
CAMERA GUY: Can’t say.
– The train ride ends. We’re reminded eighteen minutes in that there’s a race going on here. They have to find a billboard.
– All of the buildings are naturally red and yellow.
– DK argues with cab drivers saying their tank must be full. They fall to last place in one of the more unusual arguments I’ve seen with cab drivers in TAR. Reichen says they have to cave in and settle after all of the other teams have left.
– Millie & Chuck’s driver pull over to fill up their tank. Then their car breaks down from overheating. Today is not a good day.
– Reichen & DK’s tank is empty. The driver has the audacity to ask his patrons to pay for his cab. Isn’t that what the cab fare money is for???????
– A roadblock before a detour. Luckily I adjusted to this insanity three episodes ago. It’s bull racing. Or rather, they must hang onto a board being pulled by bulls running at full speed and must hang on to the end of the course.
– Oh, I remember this from when I saw this season in my initial watch.
JEFF: David, hang on. Don’t let go!
– Tian, Jon, and Al are going to do the roadblock. Jon’s fifth and Tian’s fifth. Jaree and Kelly cheer from the sidelines. You think Jaree would want to participate more considering Kelly is outshining her for participation.
– JEFF: Hang on David! Don’t let go! Hang on! Hang on! Hang on!
Way to motivate, Jeff.
– Tian lets go instantly. Al succeeds. Then Jon succeeds.
– Tian has a retry and instantly lets go because her hands can’t grip the board properly.
EAST INDIAN GUY: Excuse me, but please hold properly!
Is he East Indian or Canadian? That’s the most polite tongue lashing I’ve ever heard in my life.
– Tian keeps pulling up her pants that are clearly soaked. I don’t see why she tries so hard to consider herself after all of India felt her up on the train last eppy, but I s’pose saving the editors the extra effort to insert blurring is a nice gesture. Oh, and she successfully hangs on. Solid fourth place at the moment.
– Chuck does the roadblock. They see Reichen & DK come in as they exit. Reichen steps up to do the roadblock.
The tense music plays as we head into the detour. Everyone stares intensely into the distance.
That’s when you know she means business.
– David & Jeff and clowns are within seconds of each other. Detour time. Baskets or Trunk. Load ten live chickens into a bicycle-powered wagon and peddle to a distant farm. In trunks, put fabric on an elephant and sit on it as the elephant walks slowly to the shop. Do teams learn anything from how terribly slow the elephants were in TAR 1?
Nope. David & Jeff, the clowns, and Kelly & Jon all choose to do the elephants.
– David & Jeff and the clowns both allude to the elephants being painful on ‘the friendly family’.
– Tian & Jaree get to the detour. Tian wants to do the chickens. Jaree says that prior to the race that if they go to India they MUST ride the elephants. Tian sighs and caves into Jaree who is becoming not only poor at reading maps, running, doing tasks, or participating, but also poor at decision-making. If only Tian wasn’t past her rope. She would beg for a new team mate at this point.
– Tian & Jaree get on the elephant but forget to grab the rugs. It takes a while before the elephant gets down so they can reload and the elephant has to stand up again. That elephant is not used to do that much repetition of standing up.
– Reichen & DK learn from TAR 1 that elephants are slow and thus become the only team to decide to do the cocks. Er…. -_-.
– Jon says he’d prefer getting dragged by the bulls in bull poop for two hours than ride the elephant for five minutes. I wonder if the more you say how painful the elephant was that the bigger your uh, friendly family is? It certainly seems like the male racers wanted to make a note of it.
– David & Jeff complete the detour first. It’s pit stop time in minute 37. Head to The Finishing Point. Teams are awfully close together.
– Kelly shrieks at Jon for going in the wrong direction. Millie yells at Chuck for not directing them properly either.
– David & Jeff arrive first and become the first team to win back-to-back legs in this season. I believe that’s the longest it took for a team to win consecutive legs. I’m looking it up. Frank & Margarita (legs 6-7), Oswald & Danny (legs 3-4), and Derek & Drew (legs 2-3) were the first in each season to accomplish this feat. So David & Jeff are tied with Frank & Margarita for being the longest to accomplish this feat.
– Clowns are second.
– Reichen & DK went to the wrong chicken farm. The bicycle is temporarily disabled and blocks traffic but gets fixed. It seems Tian & Jaree and Reichen & DK complete their detours simultaneously. Ah, the wonders of editing.
– Kelly & Jon are third. Millie & Chuck are fourth.
– About ten seconds of suspense is built to discover that. . .
These two are safe. They live to see another leg. But couldn’t this leg be a non-elimination anyway?
– Sad and terror music plays as Tian & Jaree check in.
They’re Philiminated. Non-eliminations have yet to show themselves.
TIAN: It’s fine. We tried really hard. Thank you.
JAREE: Oh my god. NO! Are you serious? We’re eliminated???
Next time on TAR: The next phase of the race begins.
P.S. I read an interview online. Jaree apparently had such a high fever for the first couple weeks of the race that the doctors recommended that she quit the race. So Tian naturally had to do those roadblocks. She was starting to feel fine by the Netherlands but the next three roadblocks were eels, fish, and bull, and because Jaree is a vegetarian, they know if it’s an eating task that their race is over right there 100%. So my apologies to Jaree for the bashing. This reasoning was never explained on the show.
Tian & Jaree’s elimination spells the end of the line for all-female teams. A couple legs ago Jaree went on about how she thinks her and Tian can be the first all-female team to win because ‘it’s about time an all-girl team won’. You’re going to have to wait a loooong time for that, Jaree.
By the way, want to know reason #17 why the notion that an all-female team winning is oh so amazing and absolutely needs to happen because of those gosh darn awful alpha males teams hogging the winner’s circle? Besides Flo being the only female winner at this point, the best all-female team in four seasons is. . .
Strongest team to run the race? R.I.P. Nancy. I know I bash her and Emily quite frequently, but I do think outside of the race that she was a much more pleasant person to be around.
And that’s it! The first half of the season is done. Seven episodes of consecutive eliminations down and six episodes of drawn out conflicts remain!
1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)
2) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)
3) 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.)
4) 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.)
5) 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.)
6) 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.)
7) 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 FF
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
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
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