TAR 4 ranking episode 9

Ninth leg

Previously on TAR: Millie & Chuck have tension on the race. Reichen & DK, after celebrating their anniversary, were in line to win the leg but beat out by the clowns at the last second. Kelly & Jon were last to arrive but saved by a non-elimination. That’s all of them, right? Yeah. We covered all remaining teams. Let’s go.

– Will Millie & Chuck’s personal differences affect their difference? And can Kelly & Jon get out of last place? Fewest questions Phil has heading into a leg of TAR. He wasn’t feeling too inquisitive.

– Clowns and Reichen & Chip find out they’re going to the hot springs. Jon is REALLY excited that he’s going to hot springs.

– They take a boat then a taxi. I hate how rarely they drive themselves so far this season.

– Millie says her and Chuck have been fighting and have been stressed to where they haven’t been getting much sleep over the course of the race. Hmmm. Are we going to have a Jennifer Tilly moment from The Wrong Guy?

If you haven’t seen The Wrong Guy you MUST watch it. Like right this second. Close this blog and order it online. It’s that good.

– Kelly & Jon leave ninety minutes after the clowns in last place at 3:30am. The route marker opens at 6:30am. Kelly & Jon don’t arrive but all four teams were at the hot springs when they opened. They must’ve caught up at least an hour.

– Millie & Chuck are first to the clue box. Teams get to DRIVE THEMSELVES to the next route marker. Yay! And a map is enclosed for reference. You’re truly on your own.

– What do you do when you’re trailing every team in a leg where you don’t have any major equalizers and likely be at the next pit stop in ten hours?

KELLY: Are you kidding me? Hurry up Jon, I don’t care!

(JON giggling.)

KELLY: Seriously Jon, please. C’mon.
JON: I shouldn’t have drank two cups of coffee.

– Kelly & Jon see the other four teams exiting. They must be around ten minutes behind. However, Kelly & Jon get lost searching for the clue box.

– Jeff tells David to turn on his defroster or roll down the window to eliminate the fog. David says he “can f—ing see where he’s going”.

Reichen tells DK to turn on his defroster. DK had it on in the parking lot.
Chuck pulls over on the side of the road to wipe down his car. Poor choice. Can’t waste previous time like that Chuck.

– Kelly & Jon fight over the location of the clue box.

– JEFF: Dude, speed limit is 90. You’re going 80.
DAVID: Dude, f— off. Your job is not to be a douche. I thought your job was navigating.
JEFF: Dude, you just gotta lose the attitude.
DAVID: I think you need to f— off then because the car can’t go any faster or else it’s gonna go.

– Remember how Millie & Chuck haven’t been getting much sleep lately?

Millie pulls a Carissa Gagman (but Carissa Gaghan hasn’t even raced yet!) and falls asleep in a car en route to the detour. Unlike Carissa, Millie doesn’t have the luxury of her parents being present to navigate to the route markers for her. As Phil would say, Millie has to figure out how to get to the next yellow and red route marker by solving clues found in sealed envelopes. Nailed it!

But seriously, Chuck can’t be a Zach and possess the ability to drive and navigate simultaneously. Millie staying up all night in the previous leg to find the earliest flight to Kota Kinabalu on a non-elimination leg is coming back to bite her in a leg where someone may be eliminated.

Millie asks if Chuck is getting sleepy ten minutes into the episode? This is going to be a long day. You’d think Hypno or Drowzee from Pokemon consists of the camera and audio crew. I’ve never seen this as a storyline integrated into TAR this much before.

– Kelly & Jon struggle for a bit longer until Jon sees the route marker.

JON: Let’s go, Kelly. I see it.
KELLY: Shut up.
JON: I see it.
KELLY: You do not.
JON: Kelly. Move you’re a–. Now.

– They open up the clue. Kelly insists to go straight to reading the Fast Forward.

JON: Fast forward: Drive yourselves to the Sepelik . . .Orang-Tuan…Orang
KELLY… Orangutan?!

This screen cap pretty much sums up the whole exchange. It’s okay, Jon. Just sound it out. Take your time. If you were willing to urinate on the side of the road, I’m sure there’s no issue in waiting a few seconds. Once you sound it out, you get a gold sticker on the wall.

– Phil cuts in to say the fast forward is to drive to a nature reserve with orangutans and hike to feed them fruit. Yep.

– Reichen & DK realize they’ve been going on the wrong road for over an hour. However, the road is taking them directly to the Fast Forward. Well, not much choice here. I have a feeling Kelly & Jon won’t be too impressed.

– Detour time. Chop or Haul. Use a tricky bamboo pole to cut down sharp coconut. Only a few of the coconuts contain a clue. In haul, use a wheelbarrow and haul sharp coconuts and throw these heavy sticker-suckers into the truck above. After 25, they’ll get their next clue after the truck drives away to reveal it.
– Millie can’t find a palm oil plantation in an area with a million palm oil plantations. They stop in at restaurants and houses but can’t seem to listen to a word they’re saying. My favourite quick segment is Millie asking ‘is it this way (right) or is it that way (left)?’

The driver responds confused and points back. Millie didn’t even give him the option that ended up being correct! Did I say it was going to be a loooong day.

– David & Jeff can’t find the clue box for the detour. That’s because it’s in a wheelbarrow. They badger the clowns who essentially have to direct them to its precise co-ordinate.

– JON: It doesn’t make ANY sense for any other team to take the fast forward.

I have a feeling Kelly & Jon won’t be impressed. Should they be shocked, though?

Donkey Kong wants to do the ONE task in the WHOLE season that involves monkeys? We are all suckers for not seeing this happening from a mile away. Of course DK wants to take time off from the insanity and check in with his long lost Malaysian friends and family. I’m sure they have a save point barrel waiting for him. Nine legs is a long time to go without saving.

That orangutan is full of fruit. I think it’s safe to say it’s bloated.

Reichen & DK can now skip the detour and roadblock to head directly to the next pit stop: The Sepilok Nature Reserve.

– Millie & Chuck do the wheelbarrow because Millie wanted to do it. Chuck insists to change. So they change. Chuck struggles too much so they go back to the wheelbarrow.

Millie yells at Chuck for being stubborn. Chuck yells at her for not following his instructions. They aren’t communicating whatsoever.

– Kelly & Jon giggle about Jon messing up orangutan. The fast forward is a sure thing.

In the words of Sir Richard Rose, “I say, bit of bad luck!”

JON: Motherf–trucker.
KELLY: You’re always right, I’m always wrong. We’re done.
JON: Kelly, don’t f— yourself.
KELLY: What did you just say to me? You’re walking a thin line. You won’t talk to me like that!
(KELLY exits the car. And enters.)
JON: The clowns probably took it. Millie said “Please guys, Jon and Kelly are gonna take the fast forward tomorrow so you have to get it so we won’t be eliminated.
KELLY: Jon, please please please PLEEEASE, quit being a big jerk. You’re being a big jerk to me and a big jerk to everyone else. Let’s go finish the race and go out like normal people and not be bitter. We had fun.
JON: Now it’s not fun.

Please note Jon’s impersonation of Millie couldn’t be more inaccurate.

– Chuck tells Millie to keep her eyes peeled for the sign. They both claim to have not had any sleep. Millie looks down at her map as editing shows the fading sign that directs travelers to the cave. Oh. Now we’ve got a race.

– The clowns get to the caves. Roadblock time. Go up a HUGE ladder and retrieve a basket used to feed birds and climb back down. Jon, the professional human cannonball, immediately volunteers. He specifically mentions the ladder being covered in poop. His hands and feet are covered in poop.

How does bird poop compare to bull poop or cow poop? These are the serious questions we need to know.

– Pit stop. The clowns exit as David & Jeff enter. Jon high fives each of them with his bird poop-filled hands. The joke is on you, David & Jeff.

– Reichen & DK check in first. Phil informs them they’ve won a trip to “Festive” Latin America. As opposed to the impoverished Latin America or lame Latin America.

– Kelly & Jon get to the detour. They have to match the wheelbarrow to the truck. They have to read ‘5’ that was clearly written on the truck. Kelly sees the letter ‘C’ but misses the ‘5’ about one inch to the right.

I spy with my little eye something that looks like a 5. Can you find it? It’s REALLY hard. So they switch detours. After pulling down coconuts with blank clues, they find the correct one. They’re hours behind at this point.

– Millie complains about not seeing the sign and blowing a couple crucial hours. They get to the caves. Kelly & Jon complain about going for the fast forward and blowing a couple crucial hours. Do the math and it can only mean one thing:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the closest race at a roadblock between two trailing teams in TAR’s 4-season history.

– Clowns check into the pit stop in second place.

– Kelly and Millie are meanwhile shouting at their partners. Jon overtakes them.

– Millie shouts at Chuck to look at the map. Chuck says he can’t look away and lose them if Millie can’t figure out where to go. It’s best for Millie to inhale that puffer and prepare to sprint it out. Good strategy by Chuck.

Jon takes the competition to the next level. He passes a truck and uses his knowledge of driving a stick to create distance. Chuck can’t find the gear.

Millie & Chuck don’t even see Kelly & Jon in front of them anymore. The suspense is gone. Production adds on another thirty seconds for the heck of it.

(kelly jon 4)

How the heck did they stay in? Kelly didn’t really follow through last leg’s promo of saying ‘the other racers won’t know what hit them’. It was a matter of Millie & Chuck  royally effing up every little task they did after the hot springs.

– Millie & Chuck check in. They’re eliminated. Will they stay together maybe not blah blah blah. They’re done.
Next time on TAR: Teams wander into North Korea. Hopefully.

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) Kota Kinabalu -> Sandakan (Teams drive themselves for a huge chunk of the leg and have a map so they can completely own where they’re going. This leg exposed major attrition by multiple teams. The only team that wasn’t at each other’s throats were the clowns. Even David & Jeff were given airtime to show their intrapersonal conflicts! Reichen & DK couldn’t follow a road so DK got to play with his own kind, Kelly & Jon screwed up the location of the hot springs and spotting the number 5, and David & Jeff not finding a clue in a wheelbarrow, and Millie & Chuck messing up every second of the entire leg makes this a comedy of errors. I like the setting for this leg too. There were very few people around because it was a rural area leaving the teams needing to go well out of their way if they wanted to contact locals. The sharp coconuts drew first blood for some of the teams. In fact, the detour was a great test of patience which is great in the ninth leg of the season. Also a great showdown that nobody was expecting in a non-equalizer leg as Jon and Chuck faced off in the roadblock and testing their knowledge of using a stick shift effectively.)

3) 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.)

4) 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.)

5) 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.)

6) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

7) 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.)

8) 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.)

9) 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
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 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

Reichen&DK 8.4
Millie&Chuck 8.8
David&Jeff 5.4
Kelly&Jon 8.6
Jon&Al 3.4

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