TAR 5 episode 12 ranking

Leg twelve (the first hour of the two-hour finale)

Previously on TAR: Over the past four weeks, teams of two with pre-existing relationships traveled from Santa Monica pier to the Philippines. Seven teams have fallen along the way. Tempers flared between most teams. Competition was nasty with Mirna. Jim and Marshall fought through injuries. Charla had the dream of a lifetime. Montage of all seven teams eliminated.

Dating Christians Brandon & Nicole endured devastating setbacks like Nicole having to do a roadblock and tactical errors like not shaving your head. Their commitment to playing the game and to their faith has brought them to the Final Four.

Linda & Karen, the only “older female” team to make it past leg 10 (they were referencing Nancy & Emily who survived nine legs I imagine?) struggled with directions and financial woes. However a can-do attitude has saved them from elimination.

Married parents Chip & Kim persevered through adversaries, near elimination, and competition by believing in each other to crawl to the front of the pack.

Colin & Christie survived each other (Christie eating caviar), near incarceration (there was no contract!), and a betrayal (yieldy yield). But their commitment to each other and their competitive spirit earned them first place a record SIX times to leap into the Final Four.

One of these folks will be eliminated this round while the other three go on to compete. Who will it be?

– Intro time. Bowling Moms have their family in their intro shots. Hmmm.

– Phil introduces to Coconut Palace which was a tribute to a pope (really?). I wonder if Manila Paper was invented in Manila? It was the only paper I could stand to touch in arts and crafts. I never willingly touched construction paper until grade ten.

– Colin & Christie have no money and will be given none for leg twelve but yet are not viewed as the underdogs.  Colin regrets working with Chip & Kim but hugs Chip. Christie dances around a hug from Chip. Re jected.

– Colin & Christie beg for money at a hotel and restaurant. One fellow exchanged twenty dollars for a kiss from Christie. So much for a penalty.

– Chip & Kim depart at 3:46am. Teams head to Luneta Park and find the monument of a Filipino philosopher. Jose monument.

CHIP: Friendly Chip time where it’s lalala is over. Now it’s Kim time. Go for the jugular.

– Bowling Moms at 3:54am. Brandon & Nicole at 3:57am. Brandon is grateful while Nicole is pissed that Brandon is fine with being third. She wants to be first.

– 4:02am departure for Colin & Christie. They were that close last leg? Dang. Colin explains Chip’s backstab further.

– Chip & Kim are at the monument. Clue says to go to domestic airport and sign up for one of two charter flights to the island village of El Nido. Two teams on each charter that are forty-five minutes apart. From there head to a boat dock to board a boat. The boat driver will take them to their next clue.

– Brandon & Nicole pass the Bowling Moms. Bowling Moms grab the clue and see Colin & Christie at the monument as they leave.

– Chip & Kim get to the hangar. They’re first. Kim says ‘doggone’ and Chip pulls a ‘yeah baby’ accompanied by fist pump mid-sentence.

– Showdown to see who can get to the hangar first. It’s Brandon & Nicole. Therefore Bowling Moms will go mano-et-mano with Colin & Christie. Or however else you spell that phrase.

– We fast forward to the two charter flights departing. Kim talks about Colin & Christie needing to be on the second charter. Bowling Moms talk about Colin & Christie. Even Colin & Christie talk about Colin & Christie.

– Chip & Kim and Brandon & Nicole get into jeep-knees and agree to work together to get to the boat dock. They comment on the island’s beauty. They were even greeted by singers, a guitar, and a tambourine. Was that staged or do they genuinely do that for any tourists who arrive by charter plane?

– Brandon & Nicole sneak into the lead. The two boats lead chase to the route marker.

– Colin & Christie’s jeep-knee passes Bowling Moms. This ain’t the Bowling Moms day for public transit.

– Clue time. There are three islands. Each has a flag posted on a beach with a clue box. Use the binoculars provided to identify the island that possesses the flag for the Philippines as opposed to Czech Republic and Mexico which are on the other two islands. The Philippines flag beach holds the correct clue. The other two flag beaches tell teams to try again. The travel time between islands is twenty minutes.

Kim properly uses a binocular. See how both sides can be viewed? I hope they do not go to that island.

Why is only one side shown? Is my binocular broken?

Yep. My binocular is definitely broken.

– Chip & Kim opt to go to the green flag island. Mexico? Really? Geography is not his strong suit. Neither is it the strong suit for Brandon & Nicole as they blindly follow Chip & Kim. Brandon does not get out of the boat because if Chip is wrong he will fall to second and suddenly Brandon & Nicole will be in the lead. The Mexico flag is not the Philippines flag so Brandon & Nicole take the lead.

– Bowling Moms hop in side by side with Colin & Christie. They are neck and neck for last.

– Chip picks up on what Brandon did. Him and Kim conspire that if the next flag is right he’ll act like it is wrong and make Brandon pay for trying to be simultaneously smart and lazy. You can’t have it both ways when you’re a model!

– Brandon asks if he should get out. He jumps but Nicole says to stay in. Sure enough Chip gets the clue and yells ‘shucks’. Brandon is a skeptic and knows full well Chip may just be saying that to mislead them. Brandon asks directly and Chip exclaims ‘NO!’

– Chip & Kim must go to a place called ‘Flag on beach’. Once there put on snorkel and fins and dive into the water and open up a giant clam that was imported from Quahog, Rhode Island.

Viewers at home wish one day they can save money to visit ‘flag on beach’.

– Brandon wonders why Chip is not going directly to the island. He goes with his instincts that were no doubt checked in with God before jumping and swimming across the South China Sea before opening up the clue.

NICOLE: They flat out lied to us.
BRANDON: That makes me mad.
CHIP: I thought Colin already hates us, so why not go for a pair. Next we’ll go for three of a kind.

You’ll have to wait until the family edition where a mother and her triplets make up a team.

– Colin & Christie and Bowling Moms get to clue. Bowling Moms decide to mindlessly follow Colin & Christie.

– Chip & Kim and Brandon & Nicole get to the clue box around the same time.

BRANDON: This was the first time I was face to face with Chip since he lied to me. I will not trust Chip again.

– Chip owns a swimming pool but Kim is unable to break stereotypes as she cannot swim. Chip searches the water alone. Brandon & Nicole can be twice as efficient. Nicole is first to find a clam but is as useless as Kim because she is unable to dive into water. She calls Brandon over to help her.

Lord already did Brandon a favour after he helped Nicole on the Calcutta train so it is Brandon’s turn to help Nicole.

CHIP: Nicole was drowning so I went near her to see if she was okay.

This may give the wrong impression after you flat  out lied to them. This context makes him look more like Jaws rather than a lifeguard. Brandon busts out the biggest tough guy talk all game. He invokes fear in the rest of us when he gets angry.

Beat it? Beat it?! BEAT IT?! Holy s—. Brandon ain’t f—ing around with that talk. Chip is bringing a knife to a gunfight with Brandon’s attitude.


– But seriously, I found something neat upon further examination. Does this guy look familiar?

He should. We met him in leg 5.

He fell from being an extra in MJ’s Beat It to driving cabs around Cairo. It’s where all back-up dancers end up.

– Brandon opens up the clam. Another roadblock complete. Chip finds a clam himself shortly after. A roadblock completed for him as well.

– Roadblock time. “Have vertigo? Don’t go”. The task is to use cables to ascend 150 feet to the top of a cliff until you reach a platform that contains a clue. It is extreme physical labour. After that you repel down 150 feet on the same cables.

BRANDON: What’s vertigo?
NICOLE: I don’t know. But you’re doing it, right?

No clue what the task means but Nicole instantly volunteers Brandon. I should note I had just turned thirteen and knew what vertigo meant. At the very least they should have known about it through Alfred Hitchcock.

CHIP: Roadblock. I’ll take this one.

On the other hand Chip volunteers himself. The race is on as the boats head to the roadblock.

– Colin finds a flag. On further inspection it is not quite the Mexican flag. It is not a flag for much of anything. Maybe a Filipino provincial flag? The clue is wrong. He tells the Bowling Moms it is wrong, but the Bowling Moms jump out anyway as they should.

– Colin comments without any tone of bragging that if the Bowling Moms follow them that they are guaranteed to be ahead of them. Linda has powers of telepathy as she intentionally goes for the other flag knowing it might be their only chance to knock out Colin & Christie this leg. Colin comments that it was the smartest move they could make. Bowling Moms are by far my favourite all-female team in these five seasons.

– Colin’s Czech Republic guess is wrong. Bowling Moms have the correct clue. Twenty minute lead. Excellent. Colin blames himself for not having a guide book that shows the flag. Colin & Christie are being. . .humble? Gracious in defeat?

Where is this Colin & Christie coming from? They’re in dead last and not one blow-up. The South China Sea must be calming.

COLIN: I’m kicking myself in the butt for not knowing the Filipino flag. It was something I could have controlled.

I think this is the key to understanding Colin. When he makes a mistake he acknowledges it fully and calmly. When an error is made that is out of his control is when he freaks out. The ox, packing clay, cabs who have flat tires and drive slow, they all frustrate Colin because he cannot control their actions or make these animate and inanimate objects claim responsibility. I might be wrong but I think I have it right.

– Linda finds a clam. Has Karen done many roadblocks?

LINDA: Have vertigo, don’t go. What’s vertigo?
KAREN: I don’t know!
LINDA: You got it. You’re doing it.

Let’s hope Karen’s body is not as broken as her voice.

From the base of the picture to the trees in the top left is where they must climb. What a physical test to have on leg 12.

– Chip and Brandon are given instructions on how to ascend. Chip is bouncing at the base as Brandon’s strong core gets him up quickly. Upper body strength is essential for this one.

– Colin finds a clam but no clue inside. The disadvantage of being in last for this type of task.

– Chip finally leaves the ground. He cannot find the rhythm.

NICOLE (with a smile): I feel so bad I don’t do anything. . .until I have that cheque in my hand.

Flo has inspired Nicole’s philosophy.

– Chip and Brandon cheer each other as Brandon descends rapidly. So much for ‘beat it’. Clue time. Take a two-person kayak and kayak to a small inlet island resort for their next pit stop.

– Linda and Kim are coaching each other. Both wish to defeat Colin & Christie. Both are already tired. Brandon & Nicole are well on their way to the pit stop. Chip reaches the top. He lost a ton of time. Bowling Moms saved forty minutes.

– Karen is stationary as Chip descends beside her. All four positions are clearly defined.

– Brandon & Nicole get to the pit stop. They are congratulated for being one of the three teams. They have won a vacation to the sunny Caribbean. Excellent. Their first win since the second leg if I recall correctly.

– After Kim and Linda say the name “Colin & Christie” a dozen times. Who knew Colin & Christie would eventually arrive. Colin is running on pure adrenaline. While Colin ascends Chip & Kim hop into the kayak and paddle.

– CHRISTIE (pointing at Chip & Kim): There is a little something called karma. What goes around comes around. And he will get it. Colin’s success and Karen’s failure ascending have kept the finish to this leg competitive.

Please don’t pull a Jan Gentry and let the money slip through your fingers, Karen.

– Colin is resting halfway through ascending. Even he finds it exhausting. Chip & Kim meanwhile check in second place. Chip is so out of breath he cannot say anything. Kim kisses him. Chip grabs her booty. Classy. Endless cheering by Linda and Christie on the bottom. Same five quotes are recycled.

And Karen has let the money slip through her fingers. She ain’t gots the willpower to win the million dollars. Colin gets the clue and repels down at rocket speed until he crashes into the instructor at the bottom. Karen reaches the top finally but it looks to be too late. She repels much slower than Colin. Colin & Christie meanwhile get to the pit stop in their kayak. They are third.

– Linda encourages Karen to rest on the kayak as she paddles. They know they lost. Karen tears up in a confessional of how her kids are moving out and assumed she would have to start a new chapter. Fortunately she discovers there is so much out there in the world. Even better is that her voice is drier and ever which makes it a bit funny. Linda says Karen put up with her like her husband which takes a huge person to do.

PHIL: You guys bowled plenty of strikes on this race.

Proud of his pun.

PHIL: Now you left one standing today.
KAREN: That was me.
LINDA: Don’t you dare say that. I wouldn’t have made it up that thing.

– Another voice crack confessional from Karen as editors drag out the joke in bad taste. Suddenly the Bowling Moms vanish from our screen.

– UFC promo time.
CHRISTIE: Going into the thirteenth leg and everyone wants to win. . .we’re all strong teams but we’re the strongest.
KIM: I will stay behind him 100 percent as long as he stays behind me 100 percent.
You know that’s spatially impossible, right?
BRANDON: If the Lord has it in his plan for Nikki and I to win this race then there is no one that can stop us. They’re not even going to see us coming.
CHIP: It’s on like Donkey Kong.

Because this was part of a two-hour episode, the extended intro and the drawn out nature of the final leg cuts down this leg to roughly 39 minutes ish.

If one of the three teams incorrectly guessed what vertigo was, I have no doubt in my mind the Bowling Moms would be final three.

P.S. The clam task was part of a detour. The other option must have been ridiculously long considering the clams were in the water about thirty feet away. I am curious why production wanted it to be a route marker as opposed to a detour because it is not like it cuts airtime when you show the task in the first place.

Brandon&Nicole 6.8
Linda&Karen 5.4
Colin&Christie 5.6
Chip&Kim 6.10

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
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
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
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
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) Manila -> El Nido (The best leg 12 to date in the history of TAR. Primarily because it is an elimination we see all teams give it their all and conserve no energy for the final leg. In addition, production tried as hard as possible to wear the feces out of them thanks to a cab race to charter flights, sitting in the hot island sun between tasks, racking their brains for the Filipino flag, diving for clams like they were Bobby Jon Drinkard, using their body to ascend 150 feet, and finish it off by paddling a kayak to the pit stop. Could you see how drained the teams would be to leave on a million dollar leg twelve hours later? Classic narrative as Colin & Christie catch up to Bowling Moms but then fall 40 minutes behind. Their showdown on the roadblock signalled the rebirth of the most notorious team. The education system fails the teams as no one knew what vertigo was. The island leg at its best.)

5) 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.)

6) 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?)

7) Rotorua -> Manila (Somebody finally uses a yield. Chip & Kim shuffle their position so many times until they shock everyone and finish first. And an ox breaks. The villains get the first dagger as David from TAR 4 would say, but Phil fails to push in the second dagger and instead settles for taking the villains’ money. Good stuff.)

8) Dubai -> Kolkata/Calcutta/Mother Teresa Land (Non-eliminations are plagued by police intervening on cab fare disputes. Teams catch up on flights. Wicked waterslide. The beginning of Chip’s campaign to foster Colin’s self-destruction. India’s train rides minus Kelly’s booty getting pinched from last season. Unique engine-less taxi. Two non-eliminations in a row can be a bit much. At least they caught us off guard with the non-elimination.)

9) 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.)

10) 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.)

11) Calcutta/Kolkata -> Rotorua (Too predictable in editing techniques. Only noteworthy moments are Kamkar lying about having reservations booked to sneak onto a flight and Chip faking out that he will use the Yield when he was extremely close to making TAR’s biggest blunder. Zorbs and sledges are cool.)

12) 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

8) 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.

7) 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.

6) Linda & Karen

They’re likeable. They’re competitive. The only knock against them is that they weren’t shown much and do virtually nothing memorable. What is the most memorable thing the Bowling Moms do on the race?
Nothing. They’re not a boring team by any means but for some reason they don’t stick despite being the most groundbreaking team in terms of the ridiculous notion of “all-female teams NEED to win this race before any other significant minority!”

The Bowling Moms have one subtle legacy of being the reason for a new rule that will come into effect on TAR 6 and last through for many years to come. A rule that would simultaneously be more fair but also benefit all-female teams.

I don’t have anything against the bowling moms. There are simply teams who are either more entertaining or likeable. It is such a strong cast that even the Bowling Moms are sixth.

5) Kami & Karli

A difficult team for me to rank. On one hand there was about zero instances where I rooted for them to win the season, but approximately zero instances where I was rooting against them. I sincerely hope casting picked up on the fact that these two are so similar and have unorthodox logic skills that they would make some of the biggest mistakes ever on the race. In addition, the fact they survive six eliminations is a miracle in itself. They did not deliver when they did well on a leg. Do you remember anything about the twins if they succeeded on a leg? Do you remember all of the screwups on any leg where they finish next to last? Of course.

In short these two were never meant to be competitive for the million bucks. They were merely the figures appointed for oddball moments on the race. And it worked.

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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