TAR 5 episode 8 ranking

Leg eight

Previously on TAR: Mirna & Charla and Colin & Christie shove each other for the third episode in a row. Charla & Mirna were unlucky when their earlier flight was ultimately delayed and set them back. While others struggled Chip managed to befriend the locals and is not used to meeting people who look like him. Colin & Christie breezed through the leg until the roadblock. Chip’s iron stomach got him the lead. Colin “scrambled” to eat the egg. Charla & Mirna were eliminated and Charla even gets a confessional. Five teams remain; who will be eliminated next?

– It’s funny how Chip wins the previous leg despite eating watermelon with locals and sitting in chairs. He’s just that dang good. Yep, I’m wasting time during the intro.

– We’re in northern Tanzania where people live harmoniously with wild animals like elephants and creatures you only see in the Lion King. Peaceful music plays until it is time for Phil’s questions. Can Chip continue to “chew” up the competition and can Kamkar work harmoniously in last place? Chip & Kim, who arrived at 2:42pm and Chip makes a Klump-like laugh, departs at 2:42am. I hear at 2:42am is when the lion sleeps. . .tonight.

– Clue: Take a taxi for 100 miles to catch a charter flight to Nairobi. From there fly to Dubai! Get to the top of the six star hotel (Burj Al Arab).  Chip asks around for the price of cabs. They’re all lined up in a row. I guess Americans in Kilimanjaro is a big deal. One cabbie says 150 while another says 100. They take 100. Kim pinpoints their success to Chip being frilly with all of the people they meet. Chip introduces himself and Kim politely to the driver. Chip thinks what you give out to people will come back to you. What goes around comes around I hear.

– Ironically we see a cut to Colin & Christie. Christie says they need to trust each other. Colin asks for a cab. Driver says 100. Colin’s response is “No way”. Would you prefer the 150 dollar cab? Colin haggles hoping it is sixty. He says it’s all they have. Good move. Driver still insists one hundred. I guess the driver assumes any North Americans have a lot of money. Eventually Colin agrees and insists they should be fast.

– Bowling Moms next at 3:06am. Linda believes two moms can be competitive and win the race.

I s’pose. Six teams have been knocked out. Only four more to go.

– Brandon & Nicole ask for a cab. Driver says one hundred. They freak out. Driver laughs. Brandon asks the other cabs and they all say one hundred. Brandon gives in and says “you guys are nuts” before getting in. Nicole says they should be more aggressive because the aggressive teams finish higher. Chip is not aggressive but in the lead. Colin & Christie on the other hand. . .

– Kamkar depart in last at 3:16am. Holy close finish from last leg Batman.
KAMKAR: We are so crazy right now. It’s not the quick teams that finish ahead. It’s the teams who slow down, analyze the clue, and act accordingly.

Luckily their clue is “Fly to Dubai”. I wait for the round where Kamkar searches the souvenir shops at the airport hoping to buy wings. Don’t fly too close to the sun!

– Kim reads the charter plane clue. Teams will be assigned charter buses based on order of arrival.

My guess is 2-1-2 at 45 minute intervals but I could be wrong.

– BOWLING MOMS: We need to pass them.
*Cab prepares to pass Colin & Christie*
COLIN: Okay I’m not paying you anything if they pass us.

If the cabbie were the Canada Guy from last leg, this is where he would be saying ‘you fool’ over and over.

– Cab passes. Colin yells dammit like he’s Jack Bauer.

– Brandon & Nicole pass Colin & Christie. Colin yells dammit like he’s Jack Bauer. Again.

COLIN: You drive slower than my grandma!

I wonder if that expression translates across multiple cultures. How many people in Tanzania even have cars? Do grandmothers drive cars in Tanzania?

– Brandon & Nicole pass Bowling Moms. That’s a dang fast cab.

– How do you infuriate Colin further?

COLIN: Tire blows out. I cannot believe this s—.

Colin walks away but comes back when he’s cool.

COLIN: Do you have a spare tire?

Pop the popcorn, ladies and gentlemen.

COLIN: We’re driving with a donut on the front of the car.

COLIN (pointing at ground): Bad! Very bad!

Colin is using the same technique I was when my dog chews a piece of paper or urinates on the carpet. However I would not dare to use this tone with another person. I don’t understand why Colin is pointing so low. Is Charla behind the driver?

Note the driver’s reaction too. He scratches the back of his head in the same manner that my dog does. It’s like he knows he did something wrong but isn’t sure why an American is so angry and vicious over a flat tire in a third world country.

Colin flags down a cab. It’s Kamkar’s. Colin tells them what happened and says he needs their tire. Kamkar agree and are pissed Colin doesn’t say thank you or acknowledge they put their butts on the line as they race to sign onto charter planes.

Male bonding time is in order. Next time on TAR: Colin and the cabby go on a fishing trip. Remember boys to pack a lunch!

– Kamkar does not believe Colin would have pulled over to give his spare tire.

I agree.

– Bowling Moms’ cab slowly rolls to the side of the road. It also breaks down. Linda’s reaction is great.

I can’t see you, I can’t see the car breaking down so it’s not happening. Lalalalalalala.

The cab does not have oil. Bowling Moms absence of bad luck has expired.

– Kamkar see Bowling Moms on road. They tell the driver to pass them.

KAMKAR: We’re not gonna stop again. This is God thanking us for giving our spare tire away. So I don’t feel guilty. I’m not AAA.

GOD: So, the twins helped my good buddy Colin. As your reward I shall uh…Give the Bowling Moms a gutter ball in the form of no oil. The twins will then pass by them and move ahead at another team’s expense. Linda is oily smited. The karma is level in the universe. Now watch this shot.

– Tire is fixed. Colin & Christie keep racing.

– Bowling Moms are still stuck on road. Colin & Christie’s cab pulls over.

COLIN: That’s what you get guys for driving so fast.

Did Colin make a joke? See, he’s not so bad. He proved Kamkar wrong by helping the Bowling Moms. He asks the drivers to call a cab for the Moms. Colin respects his elders.

So I have no oil. . .
And I have no tires. . .
Alright I’ve gotta crazy idea. . .
You thinking what I’m thinking?
Let’s create a super cab!

– Colin & Christie leave the Bowling Moms and hope they can get on the second charter. Bowling Moms wait another fifteen minutes on a desolate Tanzanian road at 4:00am in the night.

– Chip tips the cab driver an extra TWENTY bucks. Kim says it’s their biggest weakness. One hundred twenty for a cab ride is not the wisest decision.

– First charter is 8:30am. Chip & Kim then Brandon & Nicole arrive. They occupy the first charter.

– Bowling Moms complain about being last for the millionth time this race.

– Nicole tries to give the cab driver their Kenyan money before giving them American dollars.

CABBIE: No. One hundred dollars.
NICOLE: Have you ever used Kenyan money?
CABBIE: One hundred dollars.
NICOLE: This is ridiculous.

Yes. When you ask someone “have you ever used this currency?” and say no, then refuse that currency, I don’t think you can really call foul play.

Brandon sees the logic and pays the fare in American knowing there is no argument to be had. Nicole whines about Brandon’s lack of backbone inside the airport.

Chip comes over to calm the situation. His reasoning?

CHIP: I look at it that this much money is sending them on a new way of life.
BRANDON: I agree. I think you need to chill out about the money.

He forgot the part about how the race gives you virtually no money in the later legs and that tipping cab drivers twenty dollars with those limited funds is encouraged.

CHIP: I agree with Brandon. You need to watch your money but don’t let your money guide your emotions in a negative way After all money is the root of all evil.

CHIP: You think everything I give away is taken away from me, that’s one thing. Or everything I give is given to the world it will come back to me. That’s another thing. It’s only two ways to think about it. So which you thinking about it–

By the way, want to play paper football to pass the time? Just get it between the posts!

– Nicole’s reaction?

Besides copying the pose from Survivor: Thailand’s final immunity challenge, she interprets it as whining to Brandon if she is a giving person.

– Brandon defends Chip. Nicole wonders how Brandon can be so dense and not worry about it, but Brandon still believes what they did is right.

NICOLE: Do you see us getting raped for our money?

CHIP: We’re not getting raped!

I’d love to work in this airport too. Hearing Americans freely discuss rape is truly groundbreaking.

– Nicole’s only concern is running out of money. Perhaps finishing last on a non-elimination leg would solve all their problems.

– Chip offers more insight. He thinks Nikki only wants to be right and needs to mature. She’ll mature once she gets raped for money, I assure you.

– Kamkar pay their cab one hundred bucks and get on the 2nd charter flight.

COLIN: Fifty dollars. You can take it or not take it.

Did he really put it way below the guy’s face so he has to stare down at it? Wow.


COLIN: Because you drove on a donut the whole way here. Unsafe.

DRIVER: Give me my money.

The driver does not take the cash and Colin holds the cash in the air and puts it in his pocket. Him and Christie casually sign up for the charter. The driver enters the airport. What does he want?

Uh, I think he wants his money. Colin and Christie try again with the fifty dollars.

Nope. Christie tells Colin to put the fifty dollars on the table. Is that to symbolize ‘take it or leave it’? The guy refuses and yells ‘give me my money’ again and exits. Colin heads down the stairs.

– Bowling Moms sign up for the final charter. Alone on a charter one hour behind 3rd and 4th place. Not good.

We are at minute 13 of the episode. All we’ve done so far is sign up for dang charter flights to Nairobi.

– The driver is back. He’s brought company. That person will be no match for Colin’s determination, right?

It’s only the Tanzanian police. Colin can take him. By the way this is the first time there has been a negative police presence. All other police presence prior on the race has been to ask for directions or help with a broken down car because your stupid face put unleaded into a diesel engine.

Hold it. Andre & Damon were detained in Morocco. So this is the second police presence. Luckily the charter flight does not depart until 9:30am so this situation can play out.

COLIN: Bring the police. That’s good.
– Lady behind counter is the only one speaking fluent English. Her advice? Finish with him, and let him go.

The definitive nature of that statement would scare me.

COLIN: You can take fifty dollars or you can take nothing. You can bring any policeman you want down here. You can bring the president of your country down here and I’d be glad to talk to him. For you to drive us for two hours on a donut is unsafe.

COLIN: I will always wave my finger in a cabby’s face.

Kami looks on in worry.

COLIN: We can go out here and talk.

Colin agrees. The station is conveniently at the gates across from the airport.

COLIN: Do you speak English?
OFFICER: Do you know how to speak Swahili?

I nearly spat out my water when I read that. Colin speaking Swahili? I couldn’t imagine.

Christie caves and says this is a waste of time. Colin says the plane does not leave for three and a half hours, and is confident this will finish in five minutes.

OFFICER: You ready to pay your. . .
COLIN: Fifty dollars. No problem. Hakuna Matada.

Colin breaks out his Lion King knowledge. Hakuna Matada. It means no hundred dollars for the rest of your days. It’s his problem free (not really) philosophy.

– Officer says he’ll call his boss. He has a boss?! Big guns are coming in.

Colin and Christie assess the situation.

COLIN: It’d be great if you weren’t making the situation so difficult.

I love it. He is not concerned about the cab driver. Not the money. But that Christie is helping him with the situation. The lone person in the entire station who is on his side is Christie, and he wants to sideline her. She told him how to leave the fifty dollars on the table in the first place. Christie believes it is a waste of time. But it’s the principle of a thing that is at issue, Christie! Come on.

– What does Colin do when the boss has to wake up at 4:30am and come to the station?

Why he politely introduces himself of course. Colin is as calm as ever.

– Colin explains to the boss that he would only pay one hundred if the driver dropped them off at the airport in the same order they arrived.

The boss may or may not be familiar with the structure of The Amazing Race. Just a thought. Colin re-enacts the tire blowing up. He says the ‘fifty or nothing’ spiel. Colin is tired of it and leaves to make his flight. Hakuna Matata right?

Huh. There’s still an issue.

The boss brings Colin to earth that he is at a POLICE STATION in a foreign country. The boss and cab driver must hate Americans after this incident. Boss has to wake up and multiple officers have to deal with an American not willing to pay fifty bucks while he is on a TV show competing for a million bucks.

– Colin screams he has a flight to make. The boss says that is not possible because the driver has opened a criminal case against him and Christie. Christie in the meantime yells for Colin to pay the hundred bucks. One of the many many voices of reason at this point.

– Colin doesn’t care and enters the station again.

– Boss is bright. He says both him and the driver are right. He says the driver has rights so they must go before a court of law.

– Oddly enough Christie says there is no time for this. Really? No time for a small claims court as you run a non-stop race around the world? Colin copies Nicole’s move by taking five 20 dollar bills and throws it in a 52-pick up motion across the station. He leaves immediately. I am sure doing that in a government building is illegal but Colin gets away with it.

CHRISTIE: Colin, wait for me.
COLIN: Walk fast.

And that ladies and gentlemen concludes the biggest law related incident in the history of the show. Captured in all eight minutes of its greatness. Minute eighteen and we have yet to board the charter flight.

– The guy at the gate is laughing hysterically as Colin re-enters. It must be the most petty argument that has gone before the Tanzanian court of law.

– Colin re-enters. He walks ahead of Christie muttering he wants a different type of relationship.

LINDA: Did you win, Colin?
COLIN: Came this close but no.
LINDA: Dammit I’m disappointed in you.
COLIN: I would’ve if Christie wasn’t freaking out.

Blame Christie for not wanting to sacrifice the race and be thrown in handcuffs to await trial over FIFTY DOLLARS.

CHRISTIE: Oh my god. Get over it.
COLIN: God, get over it. I’m just telling the story is that okay with you?

Note all other teams are present for the argument. Kim gives a confessional that Christie lives in stress.

– Oh right. We have a race to run. Phil tells us that there are in fact charter flights.

– The four teams are on a noon flight that gets in at six. Bowling Moms arrive too late and settle for a flight that gets in at 12:19am.

– In the airport Chip & Kim shout at Kamkar if they know where they’re going. So does Brandon. Kamkar amazingly enough lead everyone to the cabs.

– Chip asks for a free cab. He moves up to twenty. Kamkar ask to pull over when they see the clue ten feet away but the driver keeps driving. They are frustrated. The other cabs do the same. Who knew cabs didn’t want to pull over several feet short of the world’s six-star hotel.

– The teams backtrack to the clue. Their next clue is on top of the hotel at the helipad. Why not have this clue on the helipad in the first place?

– Hours of operation for: 800am to 6pm. They got there at 615pm. The Bowling Moms catch up.

– Teams get to the helipad. Teams must take a taxi to a water taxi station to the Port of Dubai and search for a traditional boat called a Dhow. Captain Abdul Rah-Man will hand them their next clue.

– Chip & Kim wonder if they have enough for another fare.

– Four of the teams pile on the water taxi. Nicole said Brandon should have got change from the cab driver who did not have change. The teams said they paid their cabs nine dollars. Nicole cusses out Brandon for giving the driver twenty dollars.

– Kim reiterates Chip & Kim are running into problems with money.

– Colin & Christie and Bowling Moms are on the second boat.

– Chip & Kim are first to the captain. Detour time. Off Plane or Off Road.  In Off Plane, teams go to an aero club where they skydive from 10, 000 feet with an instructor above the dunes. The catch is that only one team can fly on each plane and planes take off 45 minutes apart.

In Off Road, teams drive to the dunes. Accompanied by a safety instructor, teams drive through the dunes until they reach the skydiving landing zone to get their next clue.

– Kamkar choose to skydive because they love the adventure.

Brandon & Nicole ask Kamkar which one they are doing. Kamkar reveal they are skydiving. This should deter Brandon & Nicole but Nicole wants to skydive thinking it will be faster. Well, as long as you arrive ahead of the twins you’ll finish fast. Not so much otherwise.

– Kamkar’s cab is ahead of Nicole. Still think skydiving will be faster, Nicole?

– Everyone else is off roading. Chip & Kim talk about not having money for the cab. We see a comedic sequence of shots as the camera cuts between Chip and the money on the meter.

If I was the cab driver, I would be concerned if someone was staring at my meter with that face.

KIM (aloud in the cab): We might not have money for a cab.

Is the cab paying any attention to what they’re saying in the back seat? If a waiter drops food onto my table in a restaurant and say ‘wow, forgot my cash and debit card,’ I think the plates would be pulled away instantly.

– Brandon & Nicole drive by the red and yellow flag. The driver passes it much to their dismay.

Karli announces she sees the flag and stops. Kami says just because they see a flag doesn’t mean that’s the flag and tells the driver to keep following Brandon & Nicole.

KARLI: I’m sorry but I saw a flag.

Brandon & Nicole’s cab turns around. Kamkar’s cab follows them. The cab stops at the flag.

KARLI: Told you.

– Brandon grabs the ‘1’ on the box. Kamkar grabs the ‘2’. Karli sits down and is pissed. She thinks it will put them in last.

– Colin is off-roading. He would love to skydive but he has experience off-roading and does not want to wait the 45 or 90 minutes.

– Chip’s cab stops at the detour. Chip gets away with paying his cab 16 dollars instead of 26. The driver smiles but lets him go. Chip says he does it because he puts out something in the world.

Or maybe because he does not scream ‘you can have fifty or you can have nothing’ and point in the driver’s face.

– Bowling Moms are off-roading. Linda is driving. She asks if the car is four-wheel drive. Oh crap. They drive only ten feet before Linda crashes the car in the dunes. But they recover.

– Colin finishes the detour. He says that was not easy even with his experience.

– Pit stop time. Take a GPS and ride a camel to the pit stop. Instruct the guide exactly where to go until they reach the Bedouin camp in the Desert Oasis. That may or may not be the town name.

– Brandon & Nicole land. They have literally landed into second place. They hop on a camel.

– Bowling Moms are stuck in the sand. So are Chip & Kim.

– We see Colin & Christie and Brandon & Nicole race to the oasis. Brandon’s guide is running through the desert but that is fancy editing as Colin & Christie arrive first. They have won a trip to the sunny Caribbean.

CHRISTIE: I have a problem with stressing out and fearing we are in last place. Sometimes it backfires on me. I should never have been angry with him.

This must be the most edited confessional ever. They make it sound like Christie is being submissive about the Tanzania jail experience and being intimidated by Colin blaming her.

– Brandon & Nicole are team number two.

– Bowling Moms are rescued. They see Chip & Kim up ahead who are still stuck.

– Chip & Kim are saved. Both trucks are in the same shot. They are barely ahead. Nearly bumper to bumper in a huge desert with no other cars.

– Chip & Kim and Bowling Moms get on the camels less than a minute apart.

– We don’t know when but the twins land.

– Chip & Kim are team number three. Chip takes Mirna’s role and hugs Phil.

– Bowling Moms and Twins are racing through the desert for last place. Do these two teams always finish together? What is up with that? And how are both teams still in?

– Bowling Moms are fourth.

– Twins are last. Good news is it’s a non-elimination leg. Bad news is Phil takes their money.

– KAMKAR: The fact Kami and I are starting out this leg without any money is another obstacle –and we are so gonna lie to people. That’s the only way we will be able to survive. We want to be the first female team to win this race.

That has to be the most chopped sound byte ever. I swear all five of those sentences were from five conversations on five different days. What does lying to people have to do with being in last? Why would being the first female team to win come about? And yes, season five is when we had to start hearing the crap about all female teams needing to win more and more. Let’s get to the preview please.

Next time on TAR: Kamkar charm the men of Dubai to get funds. Colin screams “I’m packing it!” and which team will go to the second Fast Forward only to learn they have to cut their hair? That’s right. This is where the tradition of shaving your head on the fast forward is born.

This leg has zero suspense when it originally aired. After Colin’s incident and Nicole’s whining the leg dies. Editors had no interest in showing teams avoiding to be Philiminated. At home we knew there were three more non-eliminations to go but a mere five teams remained. The question was not “Will this be a non-elimination?” but rather “Will the next episode be a non-elimination too?”

Chip & Kim enter the pit stop with no money. Brandon & Nicole are down to a couple 20s. Bowling Moms have barely recovered from begging in Egypt. Kamkar have been zapped. The only team with money is Colin & Christie, and we know Colin does not like spending money.

Last episode I said Colin & Christie would eclipse Tara & Wil as the most hated couple ever. The taxi incident here in episode eight is what I was referring to. Because this season aired during the summer, and because I only vacation in the summer, Colin & Christie were a hot topic (no reference to hipsters) when I travelled to my aunt’s in Washington state for my annual vacation. At the time the incident infuriated all of us but nine years later I am instead extremely fascinated.

DRIVER: One hundred dollars?
COLIN: Okay. But get there fast. I’m on a reality TV show.
DRIVER: Uh. . .okay.
COLIN: Donut! Dammit!
DRIVER: No spare tire either.
COLIN: Dammit.
(All is peaceful as they get to the airport.)
COLIN: Here is 50.
DRIVER: No. One hundred.
COLIN: Fifty or nothing. You very very bad. Bad.
DRIVER: I’m insulted. Give me my money.
COP: What’s the problem?
COLIN: No problem.
DRIVER: Give me my money.
CHIEF: What’s the problem?
COLIN: No problem.
DRIVER: Give me my money.
CHRISTIE: Colin, our flight leaves in ten minutes. I know it’s a non-elimination but we’ll be days behind.
CHIEF: He is opening a criminal case against you.
COLIN: Here. Take the money. I blame Christie for this.

I know emotion is the scientific enemy of logic, but Colin blaming Christie for pushing it to a criminal trial over fifty gameshow dollars is downright hilarious. There is no doubt Colin apologized a day after the incident but it made for great TV.

Maybe Colin thought he was God after Charla & Mirna were eliminated. His camp won in his eyes because we all know the Bowling Moms have not been taken seriously as a frontrunner since leg three.

That is another interesting point. Charla & Mirna are gone but Colin & Christie find a way to fight with somebody. Instead it’s the country of Tanzania. If I could interview Colin Guinn, my biggest question would be this:

Have you been black listed from Tanzania? Has your VISA been revoked?

The only other thing regarding TAR 5 on my summer vacation that I remember all these years is that my cousin only mentioned that Brandon took his shirt off. She was lonely and single at the time so I guess a model without a shirt was a memorable event for her. And apparently a memorable event for me if I recall her talking about a shirtless model when I had finished elementary school.

P.S. You may have noticed I said nothing about a roadblock. That’s because it did not appear in the episode. If you research online you will see they had to buy nuts at a market. That must be why so many teams were running low on cash. Therefore the only difficult task all episode was to off road. Production knew expanding Colin’s legal trouble was much more exciting than anything done in Dubai.

Brandon&Nicole 4.4
Kami&Karli 13
Linda&Karen 9.3
Colin&Christie 6.3
Chip&Kim 13.7

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
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
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
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
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
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.)
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – 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

Rank the Legs

1) St. Petersburg -> Giza (Ancient Egypt? The race goes to freakin Ancient Egypt?! God this leg was memorable. Egypt never entered my mind as a destination. The leg was very up and down for all of the teams. Unless you’re Colin & Christie. Yeah there was a stupid Fast Forward but it had no bearing on this leg. Colin & Christie finished with perhaps the biggest lead at a pit stop. Kamkar effs up with a puzzle, Linda effs up her ankle, and Marshall effs up his knee. Nobody was safe. Well, actually everyone was safe. I remember how blown away I was when the last place team lost all of their money and would have zero money for the next leg. My biggest complaint about the first four seasons of TAR had been eliminated. All of the viewers speculated how much of an impact having zero dollars to your name would paralyze you in the race. Charla & Mirna’s Trojan attack in the airport was pretty good too. This is the best non-elimination leg as well because TAR broke the predictable structure of 6-5-4-3 or 5-5-3. Even though there is only four non-eliminations we see it first occur with seven teams which was a necessary shake-up for the race. It forced you to run hard on every leg. Best location ever for the race and a very memorable episode.)

2) San Carlos de Bariloche -> St. Petersburg (I have nothing bad to say about this leg. Mirna continued her path of destruction with other teams as she interrupts Colin and hurls nasty insults. In addition she taunts teams at the roadblock for good measure. If nobody knew who Colin was last episode, they certainly did this episode as he once again stepped in the leader role and booked bus tickets for four teams. They in turn gave them the best flight available. Speaking of flights, the journey from Patagonia to St. Petersburg is perhaps my favourite of all-time in the series. There were five–FIVE planes! Editors should be given an Emmy for editing an episode that likely lasted four or five days into a 40 minute block. Seriously. The tasks were very inspired too. Vodka at midnight, hockey shots with amateurs, and eating the delicacy known as caviar. Do the rich have terrible taste? Chip & Kim’s random jump from being next to last several times into being first place and passing the mactors was great. Nicole and Christie’s reaction to the caviar was one of the funniest things I had seen on the race. Nicole nearly goes unconscious because she doesn’t like the food! The pit stop location is pretty dang epic. Brandon & Nicole cutting ties with their closest allies was also entertaining for its short-sighted move. Overall a very very very good episode of TAR. Even if we lose Bob & Joyce.)

3) Cairo -> Luxor (A gigantic equalizer at the start of the leg is a quick strike. Colin & Christie’s lead should not have been taken down from seven hours to zero minutes before they reach the inside of the pyramid. The shove between Mirna and them was proof of how much nearly everyone hates Mirna which had never been witnessed before. It made the Guidos look like moral gods. Tasks were very inspired. We moved from the royal Ancient Egypt tasks in leg five to the more peasant like tasks of Ancient Egypt here in leg six. No one knew what a scarab was. Junk shots from the goats. Colin awkwardly riding a donkey. The only other downer for this leg is that the Pizza Bros were DOA from the moment I saw Marshall walking out of the pit stop. Kamkar’s poop allergy balanced this.

4) Buenos Aires -> San Carlos de Bariloche (Awesome leg. Pizza Bros’ confrontation with Mirna is so quotable. I have imitated Marshall saying “I hate her sooo much” at least once a month. I have yet to get the accent down. The frenzy in the airport is one of the series’ best. Brandon & Nikki betraying Mirna was great. Mirna wondering why everyone treats her so badly by then pulling an underhanded move on Pizza Bros was great. Colin joining in on the bashing by saying “we have to beat the midget!” creates a clear theme for the season. No taxis are present in this leg which is always awesome. The tasks are great considering how small of a space they are in. Well rounded. Oh, and Kamkar swimming to the pit stop.)

5) Luxor -> Kilimanjaro (Ranking these legs are really tough for TAR 5. I s’pose the midway leg will hover around the midway point because it was solid but not terribly memorable. Nobody quits, hangs out at the Sphinx, or shouts ‘b—’ in opposing taxis. In fact if anything this leg would be considered a slight disappointment. Right when Mirna has a shoving battle with Christie, Mirna is knocked out along with Charla because of luck as opposed to one titan or another using brilliant strategy to get ahead. How in the world was the yield not used by Colin & Christie? Despite losing our star team it was a fun leg. This is one of the most remote locations for the race but also fairly populated. The chaos between Brandon & Nicole with the Calgary guy was fascinating. Chip & Kim stop to hang out with people on the detour on the race is even better. Seeing Colin’s intensity mount to nothing more than whining about eggs was great. There is not much else to say about the leg. Perhaps too much time spent in airports pumping up ‘clash of the titans’ when it amounts to nothing?)

6) Kilimanjaro -> Dubai (It’s tough to rank an episode where only one event worthwhile happens. No elimination, no roadblock, and one big equalizer. This leg was all about money. Colin didn’t want to spend it to the point he would go to jail, Brandon does it only if there is no other choice, and Chip thinks tipping cabs will only have its benefits such as cheap skating a different cab by giving him ten less dollars than required. Nothing else occurs this episode.)

7) Montevideo -> Buenos Aires (Mega discos are awesome. Charla asking directions from a prostitute. Kamkar and Chip & Kim get into a mud fight thinking they are last place but it turns out it was all for naught and in fact the face-off in the cab nearly had Alison & Donny catch up. Taxi vs. Bus dilemma was good because it made you think short term versus long term. At the time Alison’s elimination was a bonus because the stunt casting team would not be able to corrupt more than two episodes. The only negative is that we had to see dogs having sex.)

8) Santa Monica -> Maldonado (Although it is this low it is by no means a bad premiere. It’s a great premiere. Jim’s knee injury, Charla & Mirna’s craziness, Chip, Kim, Kamkar, and Donny ignoring a preposition in the clue would be enough to have this premiere be the best leg in any season. But this is TAR 5. There’s just too many memorable and entertaining legs that topple the premiere. The fact Jim & Marsha survive and boring couple Dennis & Erika are first out was one of the better scenarios. Biggest negative for the leg is that the semi-celebrity team is the one that wins the leg. Nearly everyone in the audience thought Alison’s win on this leg was rigged. Obviously this would prove to not be the case. There was also too many equalizers.)

Rank the Teams

6) Dennis & Erika

Why is it that I have nothing to say about the first couple that gets eliminated in each season? They are likely underdeveloped and are branded with zero personality so we do not care about them. Matt & Ana, Hope & Norm, Debra & Steve, and now Dennis & Erika. Dennis played the nice guy to the point it was irritating. All because he could not handle being labeled as a scumbag which none of the other teams really meant too seriously. I doubt anyone cared about their storyline of getting back together and being re-engaged.

5) Alison & Donny

I never approved of Alison being cast on the race. Although Big Brother is not too popular internationally I would say it is still unfair to the other players. Why not cast someone who has yet to appear on one of the big three reality shows? Instead Alison is cast solely for her name. We are lucky that the couple’s extreme lack of compatibility made them have the most ridiculous fights ever seen on TAR, and we are also lucky they did it in an honest and non-camera whoring fashion. They earned their airtime by winning the first leg then falling to last place on the next. I just wished TAR didn’t continue the practice of casting d-list celebrities in the future.

4) Marshall & Lance

Pizza Bros who are loud, witty, and offensive to anyone they don’t like. They gave great confessionals and got along surprisingly well for being a loud sibling team. They were ultimately a casting mistake, though. Marshall should never have been allowed to enter the race as heavy as he was. I cannot recall anybody who has entered the race heavier than he was. His knees were bound to be ruined. I think even Steve & Dave from TAR 4 had an easier time.

However, if you eliminate the weight, there is no real reason why this team should not have been cast. They were great television despite being scumbags. That’s right. Scumbags.

3) Bob & Joyce

The Internet dating couple. Both lost a spouse to cancer but on the race discovered they truly loved each other. They were at the front of the pack for most of the race until a business class ticket screwed them over. Bob looking humorously old and Joyce’s wacky attitude only made them more likeable. They were the first older team outside of Teri & Ian that I truly liked in TAR. Sure Bob got into an odd fight with my man Chip, but hey, who knows how much of that two second clip was set up by editing. It sucks how they went out.

2) Jim & Marsha

One of my favourite teams. Who wasn’t disappointed to see them go early? They nearly miss the first flight of the game because Jim tripped on the pier and had a nail go into his knee. A ton of blood. They were nice and polite to the other teams but remained competitive. Incidentally the only time they finished outside of last place (or next to last place) is a leg that did not involve planes. Sometimes the bad luck is not with the taxis but rather with airports.

They are also the first father-daughter team to be on the race.

1) Charla & Mirna

Otherwise known as “Schmirna & Mirna”. Seriously, can you think of a reason why these two should not be cast? Charla is the first Little Person on the race. However her partner is perhaps the most polarizing person to ever be on The Amazing Race. It goes against the stereotype of reality TV contestants who are celebrated for their disabilities and positively breaking barriers. Mirna & Charla contradict this. Mirna is a conniving mothaf—er and Charla plays along. They have fun, cry, yell at other teams, play victim, play bully, and can do the whole cycle in every single episode. Plus they have the highest ranking of any team to finish in sixth.

Need we say more? Or as we say on Martha Stewart’s Apprentice, need we play more?

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