Previously on TAR: Teams traveled from Iceland to Norway. Adam and Rebecca fought over sunglasses as Adam threatened to jump on the tracks. Things got worse for them when the old people stole their car. Freddy & Kendra broke the rules by grabbing two clues instead of one. Aaron stumbled through the detour in hilarious fashion. Meredith & Maria came in last place because they have not watched a single episode from the first five seasons of TAR. After this long recap who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time. I will go on record to say this episode will go down as containing one of the top three most infamous moments in TAR history. The first five seasons combine for about only two or three dishonourable moments in race history and perhaps all top ten honourable moments in TAR’s history (Maybe there will be a ranking for that?). TAR 6 alone has the first leg where all three flights arrived within five minutes of each other when huge equalizers were ahead, a leg that had the worst navigating ever, and poor casting. This leg we will have one moment that out-stinks them all.
– Phil tells us Norway is picturesque and untouched. It was the second pit stop. Teams apparently do not eat, sleep, and mingle with the other teams. Will Adam & Rebecca’s turbulent relationship become an obstacle they cannot overcome? And will Lena & Kristy remain in last place or will their determination move them to the head of the pack? Kris & Jon, who arrived first at 2:47pm, will depart at 2:47am. First clue? Drive ten miles to Voss train station, take a train, then take a bus to Stockholm, Sweden. From there head to the Stockholm Ice Bar. Jon tells us something boring about ‘staying the course’ like he’s George W Bush.
– Jonathan & Victoria depart six minutes later. Victoria loves that Jonathan is never boring. So do we, Victoria. So do we. Victoria knows about ice bars because she heard it from a Swedish friend. Gus & Hera leave next. Hera thinks Gus is ‘die hard’ despite not being the best shape. Hayden is in it to win. Bolo has had only six hours of sleep.
– Adam is disappointed that him taking care of Rebecca has not come through yet because he is scared of a lot of things. Rebecca says Adam is a five year old a lot of the time and treat him as such. Is she his mother? Grandmother? Girlfriend? Babysitter? Any other insulting things that Rebecca can say? Dang she is good at slamming people in confessionals.
– Freddy & Kendra depart at 3:46am. Kendra says Freddy needs to stop beating himself over little mistakes. Don & Mary Jean, who arrived at the pit stop in seventh, are leaving in eighth because production created a rule two seconds ago regarding Grand Theft Auto. Their penalty is only thirty minutes. Mary Jean acknowledges that they have not used their intelligence this race. Don’t worry because many other teams are in the same boat. Lena & Kristy depart and insist they will not follow any teams.
– The train station does not open until six o’ clock. The town is DEAD. Voss is not a bustling place at four. The nine teams board the same train. Production shows all nine teams on the same train and bus together. Whoa, bus ride was skipped. Everyone grabs their bags out of the baggage hold. Jonathan is screaming for Victoria. He watches her run past him and asks where she is going. Teams are running in opposite directions. Gus & Hera went against the traffic of teams and indeed went to the wrong place.
– Hayden & Aaron grab the clue. Teams must enter a back room and put on parkas. They will take turns sliding a shotglass across a long slate of ice and must land the shotglass on the red circle. The room is kept at a chilling twenty-three degrees. Twenty-three degrees? That’s freakin’ warm! Oh. They are going by Fahrenheit. My logical Canucker Celsius measurements confused me.
When a player misses they must go to the back of the line. Hayden & Aaron get in four tosses before five or six other teams squeeze in there. Fun techno music plays. Victoria and Jonathan argue. Adam & Rebecca then Lori & Bolo find the place in seventh and eighth. Gus & Hera are still lost. Jon is the first one to land on the target as him and Kris leap to first.
– Clue: Take a taxi to the largest Ikea store. Bolo completes the shotglass task next and has gone from eighth to second. Gus refuses to run. Don & Mary Jean is third. Amusingly enough the one lone thing I know about Sweden is that it is the origin of Ikea. In fact the first and last time I went to Ikea was the summer before TAR 6 aired. Lena then Jonathan succeed in back to back shots. No pun intended. Then Aaron. Aaron is bright enough asking the cab to “just go to Ikea”. Heh. The first time the race has gone to a major franchise business. They are running low on doing culturally themed ideas. How much money did Ikea pay to be a sponsour for this episode?
– IKEA’s first advertisement for the show is their poor hours. It does not open until ten o’ clock in the morning. Adam, Gus, then Kendra complete the task. Hera thinks the task was all about patience because they arrived last but did not leave in last. Oh well. You guys are all effin equalized for the millionth time in three episodes. Everyone camps outside IKEA. The racers want to buy their featherweight furniture stat!
– The racers cannot find the clue box. Rebecca gets the clue first. Bolo sees her. Detour time. In this detour teams will do one of two tasks that might be assigned to an IKEA employee. Sleep with the Boss to get ahead or Spread Corporate Gossip.
Okay, the detour is really Count It or Build It. In Count It teams must choose a series of three bins and count out every pot, pan, and stuffed animal. They will receive their next clue when they come up with the current number.
How would you like to keep track of this many numbers with only six hours of sleep in four days? The correct answer is 2, 304. My god. In Build It, they must build a computer desk using every single part given to them. Once it is fully functional they will be given their next clue.
BOLO: We’re going to do The Count.
Three? Threesome?! AH AH AH.
– Jonathan says they should Build It because Victoria is good at building things.
Count It: Lena & Kristy, Lori & Bolo, Don & Mary Jean
Build It: Kris & Jon, Hayden & Aaron, Jonathan & Victoria, Gus & Hera,
BOLO: Sixty-six. . .sixty-eight. . .eighty.
She has a good laugh.
– Victoria is crying in frustration. Jonathan says she cannot work with her under these conditions. Wasn’t Victoria supposed to be the builder?
– Kristy says she might have screwed up the pans. Rebecca counted the wrong stuff. Lori did not remember a number. There is no way Lena & Kristy could have screwed up though, right?
Did a doctor write all over their hand? Well let’s see what number we got here. Count that splotch on my hand, those three splotches on your hand. . .Wait did we count those? Ugh. How could this idea have possibly gone wrong!
– KRISTY: 1891
These are numbers being thrown out there. Rebecca claims she is losing her mind and opts to count each stuffie one at a time.
VICTORIA: WHERE ARE THE PEGS!
JONATHAN: FORGET ABOUT THE PEGS!
AARON: Don’t yell.
JON: Ha. Ha.
– Kris & Jon don’t give a s— about equalizers because they are first to complete a task for about the fifth or sixth time following an equalizer. Teams must now travel eighteen miles by train to Haggvik then get on a tandem bicycle and ride a couple miles to a rural farm on a marked path. This is where their next clue awaits.
JON: Caution. Yield ahead.
Phil does not even mention the yield. Jon sneaks in this quote. So the first of three yields is on leg three. Interesting.
KRISTY: 3, 168.
FREDDY: 4, 309.
Holy crap. How do you count nearly twice as many as you need.
– Gus & Hera are done. Hera says Gus was the surgeon and she was the nurse. Hayden & Aaron finish. Jonathan is not impressed.
KENDRA: 2, 226
Something tells me this will be the last time Freddy willingly enters an IKEA.
– Kris & Jon and Hayden & Aaron are running to the train station. Gus & Hera are taking a taxi because Gus is the slowest runner in TAR history. Gutsy Grannies could outrun him or Millie in the midst of an asthma attack. No joke.
– Lena & Kristy’s new method is to count in sync as they each put two in together. They count in fours simultaneously. If any other team was around they would have certainly copied this method. I know I will apply it if I was ever on the race and had a similar task.
KRISTY: 2, 304?
Regis Philbin is calling IKEA for his royalties as we speak.
– Jonathan finishes building.
JONATHAN: I love your country everything
VICTORIA: Let’s go sweetie, read it.
– Lena & Kristy and Jonathan &Victoria get into a cab. Gus & Hera are first to train. Hera tries to give US dollars for tickets but the cashier refuses. They scurry into a change bank. This lets runners Kris & Jon and Hayden & Aaron take the first two spots. They congratulate each other and talk about Jonathan’s screaming. What is the very next cut we see?
Car shove. Intensity reloading.
The three o’ clock elbow is ready to be thrown. Watch the strikes to the back of the head, Jonathan. Big John McCarthy will have to take a point away.
And it’s a feint. Jonathan is setting himself up for future strikes. You know who has it the worst in this situation?
I did not svign upth for vis.
JONATHAN: WILL YOU SHUT UP AND LET ME TALK?!
VICTORIA: We need to go here.
JONATHAN: WE ARE HERE!
VICTORIA: No. You gotta go there.
JONATHAN: We are there.
JONATHAN: CAN I TALK TO HIM!
JONATHAN: WILL YOU LET ME TALK TO HIM!
JONATHAN: WILL YOU LET ME TALK FOR A SECOND!
– – Kris & Jon and Hayden & Aaron are on the first subway. Gus & Hera were too late. Them, Lena’s team, and Jonathan’s team are on the second subway. Freddy is done detour. So is Adam. Bolo fails and does a very Bald Bull impression in agony. Don asks for help because he is old.
The IKEA supervisor trembles in fear. She may agree to the next number being correct regardless if it is 2, 304 or not.
– DON: Please we’re the oldest people in the race. Just give it to me. 2, 197.
While Don is exploiting the whininess of old people he is huffing, puffing, sweating, and red. His hair is drenched. All from exercising his mind. Somebody needs to buy Brain Age: Train Your Brain in 15 Minutes a Day.
DON: I’m forty years older than the rest of them.
SUPERVISOR: I’m sorry.
Age is just a number but when you suck and get frustrated you turn it into being a cheap tool. Everyone should be off the TAR old couples bandwagon while Don & Mary Jean fill this role.
BARBIE: Math is hard.
But it surprises me they chose to count instead of build. Aren’t people with kids and grandkids automatically going to be about 250% faster at building things like bikes and desks compared to more youthful racers? See Gerard and Teri & Ian.
– The two teams are stuck building stuff. Kendra freaks out why Freddy wants to go to subway but Freddy tells her that’s the same as a train.
– First train arrives. Tandem time. Adam & Rebecca are on a train alone. Freddy & Kendra miss the train and wait ten minutes for the next one.
DON: 1, 876.
DON: Let’s build the desk.
LORI: 2, 201.
BOLO: We’ll build.
A detour nightmare I must say. Switching detours when you are in eighth and ninth is disaster.
– Hayden & Aaron pass Kris & Jon on the bikes. They are first to the farm. Aaron says they have to stop on the yield. Phil explains the Yield power. The design is much different rather than the enormous orange sign from TAR 5. Roadblock time. “Who Has Hay Fever?” This roadblock requires teams to unroll bales until they find a clue hidden inside the bale. There are 270 hay bales but only 20 clues hidden.
270 bales / 20 clues = A team should find a clue after thirteen to fourteen hay bales. But you could just as easily push 250 hay bales without finding a clue. Although if a few teams have somewhat bad luck then nobody should be pushing more than 30 to 40 hay bales in the absolute worst case scenario. There is still a huge discrepancy though. A poorly designed roadblock when I did the math in my head as the episode aired. Roll the dice, baby.
This is just one hay bale. It is essentially an equalizer. Jon complains about having to roll a second hay bale. Jon finishes. He is first despite a train equalizer with Hayden & Aaron. Pit stop time. Take a train to Stockholm. From Stockholm they must take a taxi to a ship called the Af Chapman. Nothing about the teams being the last team to check in will or may be eliminated. Aaron is done. It starts to rain. Lena & Kristy are third to roadblock. Lena is doing it.
KRISTY: Roll another one. You may have to go through several.
– Jonathan instantly volunteers Victoria for the most physical roadblock. Victoria is having trouble breathing. Lena’s hands are cut from the stuff they seal it with. Gus is doing the roadblock.
– Kris & Jon and Hayden & Aaron are at the train. Another semi equalizer for them. Kris complains about the roadblock sucking. Lori & Bolo complete the detour after five hours inside IKEA. They didn’t even have time to make wise purchases. Mary Jean cannot believe they are the last team in IKEA. 99% of us can believe it without much difficulty. Lena rolls out another bale. There is a bunch of hay on her butt. Victoria is ready to pass out but finds the clue before she has a chance to do so.
– Kris & Jon and Hayden & Aaron run to the pit stop together. Which way do we go?
Phoenix Wright’s drowning hand puts them in the right direction.
– Hayden & Aaron and Kris & Jon run in unison to the pit stop but then we are treated to a shot of Hayden & Aaron being several steps ahead.
WHY THIS HAPPENED
– In the first leg of TAR 4, Steve & Josh, Millie & Chuck, and Amanda & Chris stepped on the mat together to win three separate trips for winning the opening leg. A tie for first? Sponsours were not happy. So after TAR 4 a new race rule was implemented that only one team can check in the first place spot. If they miraculously get to the mat together then rock-paper-scissors or some other tiebreaker would occur to determine who gets first and ultimately the sponsoured prize. This will occur several times over the next fourteen seasons but there is only one occurrence where we see the tiebreaker take place on TV. Fancy editing, eh?
– My guess is Hayden & Aaron are going to “exotic” ______. CRAP. No effin adjective again. Whenever it is Royal Caribbean they do not use adjectives. I need to wait for when it is AA.com. Kris & Jon are second. Neither team says anything. Gus completes the roadblock. Adam & Rebecca arrives. Adam is doing the roadblock. Freddy is doing the roadblock. It is pouring rain. Lena is still rolling hay bales.
– Don & Mary Jean complete the detour and are at least an hour behind Lori & Bolo given train ride transitions and at least an additional four or five behind all other teams. The old couple is doomed. Yay. Lori & Bolo must have gone to the wrong place because them and Don & Mary Jean arrive at the subway simultaneously. Bit of bad luck, I say. Bolo is worried about the cost of the cab because they are running low on money.
– Adam finishes the roadblock. They are third team to finish the roadblock before Lena. Marshall had it worse at the chocolate roadblock in Patagonia though.
– Gus & Hera take a bus to the pit stop. They are team number three. Jonathan & Victoria had wandered around the whole park before seeing the ship and finish fourth. Lena’s arms are dead. Freddy finds the clue. He tells Lena that it is easy to spot. Okay, Freddy isn’t a total jacka–. Adam & Rebecca are fifth. Lori & Bolo and Don & Mary Jean are in a tandem bike race. Let’s say the two pro wrestlers pedal faster than two 69 year olds. Bolo volunteers for the roadblock. So is Don. The four hours plus advantage that Lena had on these two teams is gone. My goodness.
– Mary Jean is in disbelief that another team is with them and Lori & Bolo. Bolo muscles the hay extremely quickly. It seems like very few hay bales as he gets the clue within forty seconds.
Something tells me it is only his first bale yet his skin indicates that he would be absolutely finished if he had to do more than three or four. He is coughing and ready to vomit. Lena runs to Kristy to drink some water. Freddy & Kendra check into the pit stop in sixth (without penalty).
– Don and Kristy continue to push hay bales. She is using the backs of her arms to push it and waits to use her hands until the very end. Now it’s at the point where even Marshall’s luck at chocolate was better than Lena’s at hay bales.
MARY JEAN: Pretty soon there won’t be any bales left.
Oh, don’t fool us editors. Lena got to the roadblock over four hours before Don. Maybe even five. She has been pushing bales non-stop while Don is knocking on B.B. Andersen’s doors to reality TV death.
What? Is this a joke? Is this a f—ing joke?
I believe what Lena’s face is saying is “Are you f—ing kidding me?”
LENA: I can’t believe this.
– DON: We’ve got to…pedal…like we’ve never…pedaled…before.”
Oh my goodness. He might actually get a heart attack. Lena still has a shot!
– Lori & Bolo check in. Don & Mary Jean check in. We haven’t even seen Lena again yet. The train station is ten to fifteen minutes away. Trains depart once every ten minutes. It takes ten minutes for the train to travel. It takes another ten to twenty minutes to find the pit stop. So that means Lena has been pushing hay bales for nearly an hour after Don left without being shown. Holy. Crap.
LENA: I don’t know what to do.
LOL. Yeah. The answer to that question is “The same thing you have been doing for the past five to six hours” but I get what Lena means. It is an extremely simple roadblock. The simplest besides riding a zipline. All you do is push hay bales until you find a clue. However if anyone was in Lena’s shoes you would think you misread the instructions. Eight other teams have found a clue in the hay bale in what appears to be twenty to thirty minutes. When you are digging through for a clue five hours longer than any other team you begin to question if everyone else did something differently.
KRISTY: I am sure there have been a bunch of piles that haven’t been rummaged through. Why don’t you go through all of them?
Are. . .are you serious?
LENA: Because my back hurts and I don’t want to be here for another seven hours.
KRISTY: What if it’s a non-elimination? You never know.
– Will Lena really care though? She has gone through hay bales for over five hours. I’ve heard of hay fever but this is ridiculous. No way she’s gonna continue. . .
Wow. She does. That might be the loneliest camera shot in TAR’s history. All teams have checked in. The sun is setting–SETTING! All we see is Lena in a field of about fifty unrolled hay bales and about two hundred that have been rolled. I would personally keep rolling hay bales rather than rummage through old ones. They go so far out into the distance.
KRISTY: Seven hours you’ve been going.
And nothing to show for it.
Not even nightfall changes your luck. Although is there really anything called ‘luck’ at this point?
And more nothing.
LENA: There’s three or four more I can check.
Well at least they can finish the race out.
Wild Phil appears.
PHIL: The last team checked in more than two hours ago. Lena you’ve been out here for eight hours plus. Pushed more than a hundred hay bales we figured, and unfortunately this has been an elimination leg and both of you are eliminated.
– If I was production I would feel like total d-bags for not making this leg a pre-determined non-elimination. How do you not see that a team could potentially have a gross level of bad luck? And they get punished for it? Yes, there’s cabs on half the legs that can make or break you, but this was a task specifically arranged, tested, and packaged together by production. They must have had a practice run and have somebody experience remotely close to what Lena went through.
What did producers intend to have occur? Forty hay bales max? Was that the dream teamer record? Fifty? Lena was there over eight hours and still hadn’t found a clue. That’s the most important part. She could have pushed around thirty to forty hay bales for another five hours and still come up empty. This is the biggest failure by production. Instead they herald it as a memorable episode because somebody had to experience pushing over one hundred hay bales.
Worst. Episode. Ever.
Next time on TAR: This round we saw the worst ever roadblock played out in TAR’s history. Next round we will see the worst ever quote uttered in TAR’s 20 season history. Lori & Bolo fight. Adam & Rebecca fight again. And Don lets his feelings show for Mary Jean. Groan.
Pushed less hay bales than Lena.
* This is the first time Phil goes out to the race course to eliminate a team that did not quit. It is the second season and second time overall of eliminating a team on the race course. Too bad Joe & Bill nor David & Jeff got this treatment.
Don&Mary Jean 3.2
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 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
9th Lena & Kristy 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
1st Chip & Kim 3.38
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
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
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
Rank The Teams
3) Meredith & Maria
Neither of them could drive a stick. Neither of them could follow directions. Neither of them could do any of the tasks well. The out of shape 70 year olds beat them in a physical task. They are good people, but production loses marks for not catching on that this team is incapable of doing virtually any tasks on the Race. Why cast them if you know they will need a miracle or an insane number of equalizers to survive each round?
2) Avi & Joe
They looked exactly like characters from Seinfeld. Avi had the potential to be one of the most polarizing players in TAR history. It is about as good cop/bad cop as a team could ever get in TAR. I must say it really was too bad that these two went home so early. Avi taunted at teams as he passed them in a car and Joe was a ‘nice guy’ to the others. We will forever question how their storyline would have played out if it wasn’t for a late leg error.
1) Lena & Kristy
They are the only all-female team in the past couple seasons to not talk about the ‘we need a female team to win!!!!1111oneoneone’ crap. Therefore, that alone made me be fans of theirs. They screwed up in the first couple legs but ran a nearly flawless third leg. However it was the same leg when production made its most poorly thought out roadblock in the history of TAR. I wish they would have let Lena find a clue before going onto the course and eliminating them. At least give her that satisfaction.
Rank the Legs
1) Reykavik -> Voss (I s’pose it was okay. There were a couple equalizers but at least they drove themselves all leg. Jonathan & Victoria carry this episode from start to finish with their antics. Adam’s ridiculousness persists with doing the roadblock, lost sunglasses, and jumping on train tracks. A pit stop penalty and old people stealing cars makes it a memorable one.
2) Chicago -> Reykavik (Errors, errors everywhere and not a team running flawless. This two hour premiere featured a secret alliance where two of the teams in the alliance finished tenth and eleventh. Nothing original as several equalizers occur and tasks are modeled after TAR 3, 4, and 5. It was okay I guess?
3) Voss -> Stockholm (F— you producers. Worst episode of all time. Even worse than TAR non-elimination legs in the first four seasons. Let’s never speak of this episode again.)