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
4th Jon & Al 3.73
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
I forgot to do that in the previous leg. Please not that the clowns are by far the highest ranked team in TAR history who did not take the Fast Forward. Mary & Peach then Silver & Gold are the next two closest teams. Neat little stat. Now let’s move on to our regularly scheduled programming!
Previously on TAR: Teams set out from Seoul to Australia. David & Jeff, who are so boring they needed an awkward sound byte from India to be used in the previous leg, won the fast forward and secured first place. Jon taunted Reichen & DK hoping to throw them off their game. Reichen & DK screwed up when they did the Heather & Eve mistake of driving instead of walking. However, unlike Heather & Eve, there wasn’t an equalizer with only one task to go to ensure all teams checked in within forty minutes of each other. The clowns are sent packing.
Three of the weakest teams in a TAR finale ever have made it to the end. Phil says this leg is all about positioning for the final leg, but I think that really means teams are free to screw up as much as possible without getting penalized for it. Unless you’re the Guidos.
I wonder if it’s required for a TAR audition tape to turn your heads in unison? Just observing that from the intro.
– Phil says this is Australia’s sunshine coast (isn’t it Gold Coast? Aussie viewers wish to correct me?)
Phil’s questions: Will David & Jeff ride the momentum of being in first place to the finish line? Since when did Phil become a baseball commentator?
Will Kelly & Jon work well enough together to compete against the remaining all-male teams? Because apparently possessing a vagina hurts your chances of winning on TAR.
Can married couple Reichen & DK recover from their time penalty? Nope. 35 minutes will sink them for the remaining two legs.
David & Jeff who arrived at 10:41am will depart at 10:41pm.
Knock knock. Who’s there? David’s right bicep.
– They’re given a dollar for the leg and drive to Ferny Hills Wool Shed. They have to find a clue in a gigantic pile of wool.
– Jon claims Kelly is the only girl in the leg. Kelly says they’ve been saving their money like crazy. What a coherent edit.
– Reichen & DK leave at 11:33. Less than an hour from first to last. Fast forwards aren’t particularly advantageous.
– A little moment I noticed: Jeff said to turn on the ‘trip mileage’ in the truck to ensure they don’t get lost and drive too far. Very good strategy when you have to drive yourselves. One of the smartest moves I’ve heard.
– Wool shed opens at 6:00am. Equalizer. So much for increasing your lead, David & Jeff. Consider Reichen & DK’s time penalty officially made up.
– Kelly & Jon taunt Reichen & DK. Both teams say that it’s a fun competition between them. I agree. I don’t think Kelly & Jon are homophobic. I believe they’re making these remarks because over the past thirty days they have become super familiar with each other that there are no longer any uncomfortable boundaries. It’s like best friends who frequently refer to each other as being ‘retarded’. To the outsider, it seems politically incorrect and ignorant. Within their circle it’s more of a term of endearment. This is definitely the case. In newer seasons, the race ends so dang quickly and U-Turns are thrown in to prevent teams from getting to know their competitors on such a deep personal level.
Another point to bring up is that Reichen & DK’s interactions with Kelly & Jon have become a major storyline over the past couple legs. Every TAR finale hinges upon creating rivalries between the final three teams.
Guidos – Alliance with Frank & Margarita and Rob & Brennan that they break early on. They annoy other teams and try to be the villains.
Frank & Margarita – A rough alliance with Rob & Brennan for several legs until the incident where they silently read the clue. Starting in leg 9 it is them and Rob & Brennan finishing first and second until the end of the season.
Rob & Brennan – Allied with the above two teams until both teams betray them. They represent the ‘good’ in the good vs. evils battle.
Blake & Paige – Blake fights with Wil nearly every leg. Chris & Alex try to impede Blake’s outside-of-the-box moves as much as possible.
Tara & Wil – Tara enters a romantic relationship with Alex. Wil expresses jealousy. They hover between allies and enemies for 12.5 of the 13 legs.
Chris & Alex – Alex dates Tara. Wil hates him. Chris wants everyone to stay focused. It’s like what you see in a small town where everyone has gone to the same elementary and high school for several years. They represent the ‘good’ in the good vs. evil battle at the very end to win the game.
Ken & Gerard – Ken goes on multiple mock dates with Flo. They work together in the infamous Singapore map incident. They ally with Teri & Ian in each of the final two legs. The three teams mingle frequently throughout the race.
Teri & Ian – They get into a fight with Flo & Zach over the cab in Morocco. Flo goes to him about her potential relationship with Drew. Teri & Ian ally with Ken & Gerard in the last couple legs.
Flo & Zach – Eh, I’ve already covered it. Note that Derek & Drew were fourth and very much intertwined with Flo & Zach.
David & Jeff – They ally with Reichen & DK in leg three. After the fiacre incident, David & Jeff haven’t had a single alliance. With the exception of Russell & Cindy who were eliminated in said episode. Oh, and the clowns told them where the wheelbarrow clue was in Malaysia. Editors haven’t even bothered to acknowledge that they could be communicating with other teams.
Reichen & DK – Fiacre screw-up with David & Jeff. Not shown interacting with Kelly & Jon until the past couple legs.
Kelly & Jon – Zero contact with David & Jeff despite all three of these teams being at the end of the pack for the first several legs. Communicating with Reichen & DK is a recent development.
So really, even though the editors haven’t shown it unlike other seasons, all three of these teams must be very close considering they started in the back of the pack in the first half of the race and move up the ladder in unison. I just negated my whole point when I think about the season-long alliances in other seasons. I think the reason why the interaction is shown less this season is because the ‘good guys’ were the mega alliance of Steve & Josh, Steve & Dave, Amanda & Chris, Millie & Chuck, and the clowns yet all five of these teams were eliminated prior to the final legs. It’s tough to create a story from teams who hovered in the middle of the pack and find themselves in final three.
David & Jeff do have the least interaction with other teams of anyone to get to the end thus far in TAR. You know why these two were cast for the show in the first place?
Oh hai david & jeff.
– Kelly & Jon find a clue in the wool first. Teams are instructed to fly to Cairns (although pronounced ‘Cans’.)
– Reichen & DK are second. David & Jeff find it. David pronounces it as ‘Carns’. Jon, too. DK is the only one well-traveled.
– Jon just bought his tickets and called the man behind the ticket counter a ‘real splendid guy and I mean it’. Gotta love Jon’s sarcasm.
– Jon says that despite getting his tickets first that the other teams are caught up in the airport equalizer. Oh quiet you. Don’t you recall being in dead last several times early on and benefiting from those very same equalizers?
– The other three teams are having a full minute road race through Cairns. They all know it’s a non-elimination leg so driving recklessly on the road is the best way to blow off some steam before the final leg. Just make sure you don’t cause an Aussie disaster.
– Clue is to find a Kodak Easy Share digital camera and take a picture of their teammate feeding a fish to Sultan the Crocodile. We last saw these cameras in front of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. Such a globetrotter.
– There is a conspicuous display at the front of the zoo for teams to grab a camera. Kelly & Jon somehow miss this as well as the other two teams grabbing a camera. They’re forced to go back to the front to get a camera. David & Jeff are suddenly in first place.
I am sure editors would love to feed David to the crocodile a few legs earlier. Possible change for TAR 5?
Reichen: Not a Kodak spokesperson. I am going to pay close attention to see if Kodak sponsours any future tasks on TAR. If memory serves me correctly, this is the last time.
– We’re off to Wangetti Beach.
– REICHEN: Kelly’s mouth is definitely bigger than all of the crocodiles in Australia.
– David & Jeff are in first. Detour time. Saddle or Paddle. Get on a horse and explore a stretch of beach that has four clusters of clue envelopes. Only one cluster has an actual clue. Or they can inflate their own kayak and paddle out to a buoy that is guaranteed to hold a clue.
KELLY: I told Jon to make a right. He says ‘Nope’.
After twelve legs Jon has finally learned that listening to Kelly’s directions is too risky. Regardless if it’s the 1% of the time that she’s right. It turns out that she was right and they slip further behind.
– Reichen & DK miss multiple clusters. So do David & Jeff. The goats are the first to find the correct cluster. We’re off to Julatin’s Off Road Race.
– Hmmm. Kelly & Jon choose horses. Nobody wanted to paddle the Aussie waters.
REICHEN: Kelly & Jon follow us like flies on cow manure.
I have a feeling teams are still talking the Amsterdam detour. Otherwise there is no way that analogy should even be entering their minds.
Hey, don’t look at me like that! You guys are TWINS! That’s why I mixed you two up. It has nothing to do with–oh, forget it. Can we please move on? Donthurtme.
– Roadblock time. In this roadblock someone rides in a dune buggy like they’re Dean Cain in a cable film and must complete a lap along a race course straight out of Super Off Road for SNES.
David will be doing the roadblock first.
– Reichen & DK show up as David quickly completes the roadblock. Nothing eventful happened during his ride. Pit stop time. Ellis Beach.
– DK is getting into the dune buggy. Did they forget to tell him there aren’t any red shells or bananas provided in his buggy to thwart Kelly & Jon’s buggy.
DK, that’s a tire not an item box!
– DK crashes the buggy in the trees.
That’s why you pick the dune buggy with better handling and a LOWER top speed! Have ten years of racing video games taught you nothing?
DK says they’re driving the wrong way too. Where was Lakitu with a sign to direct them otherwise?
A replacement car is sent for DK. I know it’s a roadblock, but Phil should’ve gotten on the ol’ voiceover and said “if a car breaks down through no fault of the team, a replacement car can be given. However, no time credit will be awarded for this unlucky situation.”
And it’s scary I know that explanation verbatim.
– Okay, here’s a reaction shot I’ve always remembered. Kelly & Jon pass by Reichen & DK on the way to the roadblock. They’re obviously dead last, but who gives a f—, everyone knows this leg doesn’t mean s—.
They get to the route marker and see dune buggies. Jon is celebrating and going ‘woo hoo hoo’. Kelly opens up the clue.
KELLY: It’s a roadblock. Who’s up for a wild ride?
KELLY: ….. It’s my turn, though.
EDITORIAL NOTE: Kelly did not do a roadblock until leg four. She did not do one in legs two, three, five, six, seven, nine, ten, and eleven. If you’re reading this Kelly, would you like to clarify what your definition of a ‘turn’ is? Or does a ‘turn’ mean “Whenever I feel like doing a roadblock for once”?
The silence continues.
I have a feeling Kelly will be sitting on the sidelines once again.
KELLY: Fine, you can do it.
You would think Jon just paid Toad twenty coins to get a star.
– Kelly helps the Aussie referee to wave the green flag. Jon’s buggy barely moves and they all laugh hysterically. One of the weakest opening gate starts I’ve ever seen. Although I’ve never seen an opening gate start except for that episode of Tosh.0 where the motorcycle barely moves at the front of the pack and the driver gets ran over by another motorcycle.
Question: What makes Kelly scream at the top of her lungs and invoke you to push the ‘mute’ button on your remote?
A classic case of upside down dune buggy.
Jon of course is fine. TAR does this so many times over all twenty seasons that it has become a joke. If producers want to truly bring in maximum ratings, one of these ‘did-the-person-die-ZOMG’ lead-in to commercial needs to resume from commercial with the player actually dead. For some reason that greatly amuses me. Every editing expert would be so shocked and dumbfounded that they feel horrible for saying “Oh please” prior to the commercial and end up questioning their own existence.
KELLY: OHHHH OHHHH OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. JONNNN. JONNNNN.
– David & Jeff quietly check into the pit stop in first place. They’ve won a vacation to Europe. David proceeds to do that annoying laugh of his.
JEFF: We’re confident we can win heading into the last leg. We just don’t think we’re not going to make the mistakes that other teams make and that will keep us ahead of them.
Keep these words in mind.
– Jon completes the roadblock. They’re off to Ellis Beach.
– Reichen & DK are team number two.
A South Korea sound byte is used. The camera goes off DK as he says “I am really lucky to have him as a partner”. Production really wants to re-iterate that Reichen is an incredible partner.
– Kelly & Jon lollygag into the pit stop in last place. The only time a team enters into the pit stop knowing they’re in last place and are smiling, to my recollection. That’s when TAR knew they needed to re-consider leg twelve being a non-elimination.
KELLY: We came to a sad conclusion today.
PHIL: What’s that?
KELLY: We cannot have children. We can’t let them inherent our stupidity.
Phil asks the following: Can David & Jeff maintain their first place finish all the way to the finish line? Or will their archrivals (archrivals? Really?) hold it together to take the lead? Or will the underdogs, Kelly & Jon, the only co-ed team left in the race, be able to win it all?
Next time on TAR: Jon is naked. Every decision and mistake could be their last. Oh, and a bunch of people are running aimlessly.
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) Sandakan -> Seoul (As Darkwing Duck would say, “Let’s get dangerous”. Teams have to suffer for the first time from communication barriers, breaking hands, and literally freezing themselves throughout the course of their venture in South Korea. Not to mention two of the teams see the border. The bizarre short-sighted decision by the clowns and the goats to share a cab plays out which is neat to see. I couldn’t imagine all twelve teams being able to put up with these tasks if it was thrust upon them at the start of the season. This was designed for experienced racers. Also, why does Reichen get to narrate virtually the whole episode?)
6) 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.)
7) Seoul -> Mooloolaba (One of the worst elimination legs seen on TAR. When this originally aired everyone was too busy being sad that the clowns were going to be eliminated that they couldn’t care less what the other three teams were doing. In fact, Kelly & Jon’s comments would have been handled better by the public if the clowns weren’t in peril. Unfortunately, it adds fuel to the fire as viewers were rooting for Reichen & DK’s intensity to be punished or Kelly & Jon’s bullying to be punished as well. David & Jeff are given zero personality this leg but I recall rooting for them during the episode and hoping they’d win. We go through the episode awaiting the clowns’ dismissal. In the last five minutes the fans jump on their feet thinking the clowns can upset Reichen & DK to break into the finale and win this game. This excitement lasts for about one minute of the whole episode which doesn’t make up for the 35 minutes that we all thought it was a foregone conclusion that our favourites would be sent packing. Phil proceeds to fake out the audience and sends the clowns home. Everyone resorts to their next pick for who they want to win. Note how I didn’t mention any tasks that occurred in Australia or any incidents that teams had with the locales. This is why English speaking countries only belong in season finales. For some reason legs are really underwhelming if it’s just ‘go down the third cliff of the season’ and ‘do a five-minute task that doesn’t require any skill’. This episode is not memorable. If only we could have been privy to a David eye roll.)
8) 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. -_-)
9) 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.)
10) 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.)
11) 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.)
12) Mooloobooyabalashakakanba -> Ellis Beach (It’s tough to take a leg seriously when you, as well as the other racers, know that no one is at risk of being eliminated. Add in that the next leg of the race will almost certainly feature an equalizer to go to Alaska or Hawaii and teams are making the race a joke. David & Jeff wanted the prize, Reichen gets his foot run over by his own partner, and Kelly & Jon copy Flo & Zach’s leg 12 strategy to put themselves in a position for leg 13. It’s funny that two seasons in a row feature a team taking all of the time in the world knowing they can conserve their energy for leg 13. A strategy I am sure production was frustrated to see taking place. Not much else happens in the leg. Horse-riding and dune buggying with zero suspense is not the ideal for a TARer. I remember watching the episode when it originally aired thinking ‘Why the heck do I need to watch this?’