TAR 7 episode 5 ranking

Fifth episode

Just lost to Ray at a game of checkers.

Previously on TAR: Teams traveled from Mendoza, Argentina to Buenos Aires. Joyce took a wild ride but got right back in the saddle. Heh. Horse pun. On the first flight the lead the lead teams gloated. But quickly changed their tune when Romber boarded. During the detour Ray & Deana did not hide their contempt for Meredith & Gretchen. Susan & Patrick floundered. And tensions rose between them. In the end Susan & Patrick never recovered. Susan cried. Seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time.

– Buenos Aires is the cultural  and economic capital of Argentina. Just outside a polo club was the fourth pit stop in a race “around” the world. Will Rob & Amber’s persistent good luck continue to give them a spot in Phil’s Questions segment and continue to aggravate Lynn & Alex? And will Meredith & Gretchen, a couple who lost a game of checkers to Ray, climb out of last place? Rob & Amber who were the first to arrive at 300pm will depart at 300am. Lovely.

– Fly to Jo’Burg, South Africa. Once there they will choose a marked car where inside has a clue. They have $117 for this leg of the race. Romber thinks there are guardian angels looking out for them otherwise they would not be doing this well. Did you know that guardian angels are suckers for reality TV famewhores? ‘Tis the truth. Brian & Greg check out thirty-eight minutes later. Dang Romber can run a fast race.

BRIAN: I do believe today will be a doozy.

Somebody clearly watched Groundhog Day before they headed out for the race.

– Brian points out that there are six couples with one set of brothers. Hmmm. He’s right. Friends-Friends-Friends-Mother/Son have been eliminated thus far. This is much like TAR 6 except the teams are not all mactors and actually possess a personality. Except Ron. Brian hopes there will be self-destruct buttons in these relationships and let them get ahead.

– Romber arrives at the airport. They book tickets to Johannesburg via Sao Paulo. Flight departs at 1055am and gets into Jo’Burg at 655am. Long wait for them to start racing again. Reminds me of TAR 5. They fly on Varig Airlines. The agent lets Rob carry his bags onto the flight. Brian & Greg book the same flight. Uchenna & Joyce check out at 549am. Uchenna says they need to follow through on their instincts. Ron & Kelly depart at 605am. They argue if they should go to a travel agency or the airport. Kelly gets her way and they go to the airport.

– Lynn & Alex are next at 611am. How do you three teams fall around three hours behind a team who were on the same train as them to the detour in Argentina? Bit crazy. The lady at the ticket counter makes Uchenna & Joyce and Ron & Kelly check their bags. That will cause a delay when they land in Jo’Burg. At least they’re on the 655am flight. Lynn & Alex are on the flight too. They think the two remaining teams may not make it. Ray & Deana check out at 920am. This is even bigger spread than last leg.

– RAY: I cannot stand being in the back of the pack. I can’t take it. It’s not me. Hopefully Deana feels the same way. C’mon. There’s some old people to beat here.

Your grey-haired cab driver is nervous to hear these words. “Beat”? Like with a club? Or hopefully just at a game of checkers. Because little do they know he is Antonio Fischer, the king of checkers.

– Meredith & Gretchen bring up the rear. Gretchen says they will always come at the bottom of the pack but will give this leg a good shot. Ray & Deana get to the airport and book the 1055am flight. Ray wishes he put tacks on the road so Meredith & Gretchen would get a flat tire on the way to the airport.

The last guy who put tacks on the road and had it backfire while on The Amazing Race.

– Meredith & Gretchen get to the airport. Everyone speculates if they’ll be on the flight. Gretchen gets to the ticket counter and asks if there’s room on the flight. There is. All seven teams are on the same flight. Rob complains about being equalized. In his defense TAR 6 has yet to air on TV.

– On the flight Ray & Deana work the stewards into ensuring they can be first off the plane. They think they can do it and bump Ray & Deana up to first class. They sleep peacefully on super comfy pillows. We are introduced to Jo’Burg where there are elephants and people dancing and large roads. The flight lands. Ray & Deana find the marked car and clue first.

RAY: Fast forward.

50/50 shot that this is the Fast Forward that occurs on a non-elimination leg. Anyways Phil explains to us that this is the first of only two Fast Forwards for the season. Each team can only use it once so they need to have half of a brain and go for it when they are in first place. In this Fast Forward teams travel twenty-six miles to the town of Soweto  and find the Orlando Cooling Station. Balancing thirty stories high they will walk along a narrow bridge on the tower.

The echo must be sick if you fell.

– Deana asks Ray what they should do. Lynn is surprised to find the steering wheel on the other side. Detour time. Tunnels or Tribes. In Tunnels, teams drive fifty miles to the underground caves. Once here teams will repel forty-five feet into the earth and search the underground labyrinth for a clue before exiting. In Tribes, teams will drive forty miles to the Lesedi Cultural Village. It is home to five different native tribes like Maraamu, Chapera, Rotu, Ometepe, and Murlonio. Once here they will find five items corresponding to the five tribes of the village. Teams must deliver one item at a time to the tribe that owns it.

Imagine what the tribes could do if they shared their tools and come up with ways to improve the tools that they have. The chief will hand them a necklace after a successful delivery. Once all five items are delivered they will trade it to separate chief with unknown tribal origin for their next clue.

– Ray asks for directions to the Fast Forward location and heads into the car to tell Deana they’re going for it. Lynn & Alex decide not to go for the Fast Forward.

LYNN: I’m so glad Johannesburg is a real city. I was afraid it was going to be chickens and camels or whatever.

Afraid?

– Deana cannot find third gear. Ray says they can play it safe and go for the Fast Forward because Lynn & Alex are ahead but Ray wants to try for the Fast Forward. Romber gets inside the car. Amber says there’s a fast forward. Rob says they should do it.

ROB: We’ll do it because we don’t know where the others are and we don’t want to waste any time and stay up in front.

There are so many things wrong with the strategic thinking for that statement. Maybe Rob will understand Fast Forwards on his fourth attempt.

– Meredith & Gretchen and Brian & Greg are doing tunnels. Ron & Kelly claim their bags at the baggage check. Uchenna & Joyce wait patiently. Finally they see their bags and choose to do tunnels. They waste more time to buy a map in the gift shop.

Because we are in South Africa TAR continues the tradition of inserting Nelson Mandela into every shot possible. Camera operator followed the rule of thirds here.

– Uchenna talks about South Africa being their heritage and culture. Romber and Ray & Deana ask for directions multiple times. Rob has a feeling they’ve burned their bridge already (which is a pun given that they have to walk on the bridge).

RAY: If we go out we go out in a blaze of fire.

The jet lag prevents Ray from recalling basic cliches.

– Rob finds a guy in the van who tells Rob to follow him directly there. It doesn’t matter because Ray & Deana are first there and pull the first FF sticker. What puzzles me is that they have eleven stickers on the board. Is that necessary given TAR knows when the two FFs will be before hand and that it would be with seven or fewer teams? It’s not like the stickers are reusable.

– Ray & Deana suit up as they ride on an elevators outside the tower. Deana climbs onto it first. Ray is smiling and insists she’ll do fine. Ray does it first. Lynn & Alex pull over for directions and find Lesedi two seconds later. Lynn recaps what they have to do. The chief excitedly welcomes them to the village like a pit stop greeter. They grab the shield and hand it to a Zulu man who pretends to poke them with the spear like they’re JP from Survivor: Vanuatu.

All he wants you to do is sharpen the tip. He is surprised that Lynn & Alex of all people are objecting to do so.

– BRIAN: Greg you wanna get out and ask this lady? She probably thinks you’re mugging her but run out and ask her anyway.

Of course! What did you expect?

GREG: Excuse me. . .

– Ron & Kelly received perfect directions. Uchenna & Joyce are lost on the map so they pull over and ask. Uchenna grrs. Romber finds the water tower but sees Ray & Deana up there. Rob pulls the ‘#2’ and suit up. Ray admits it was the scariest thing he has done in his life as he finishes. Amber says she is banking on Deana not doing the task. She’s nervous. Not as nervous as Deana who is about to do it. Brian & Greg find a gas station and log onto its Internet to get directions.

– Ron & Kelly arrive at the caves. Brian & Greg pull in right behind them. Ron reacts a bit strongly to the clip being yanked up.

OH! KELLY CLARKSON!

– Brian & Greg suit up as well. Kelly says her pageant training comes in handy for this. Ron says she can model the outfit all she wants. Ron repels down into the earth. Then Kelly. Then Brian. Then Greg.

KELLY: I feel like I’m in the army!

Yep. That was Kelly. Not Ron.

– ROB: This is crazy. I don’t even think we should still be here.
AMBER: Well we’re gonna be in last if we do go to the detour now.

That’s right. Immobilize yourself at the Fast Forward for another twenty minutes as opposed to get your butts in the car and start driving to the detour. Excellent thinking, Amber.

ROB: I guess we’ll just wait.

Rob bought into this logic evidently.

AMBER: I don’t think there’s a chance they won’t do it.
ROB: Do you want to leave right now then? You make the decision. You decide.
AMBER: …
ROB: You wanna go? I’m asking you to make a decision. Can you do that? Just tell me. Yes or no.
BIG TOM: Don’t yes or no me!
AMBER: ….

Commercial. Can Amber make a decision.

ROB: You wanna stay or go?
AMBER: …

Amber waits so long that dispatch tells Romber at the bottom that Ray & Deana are done. Wow. I don’t need to know anything more about how Amber played in Survivor: Australia or Survivor: All Stars. Rob asks Amber which detour to do.

AMBER: Whichever one is closer.

Wow. Amber can’t decide anything. Rob is frustrated.

– Ray & Deana are excited to win the Fast Forward. They will now proceed directly to the Soweto Overlook. It is just down the street from where Nelson Mandela once lived.

DEANA: I hate this car.
RAY: You handle the stress of climbing that tower but yet you’re freaking about a car? I have so much more faith in you than you have in yourself. You can do so much more than you give yourself credit for.

Since when is Ray a motivational speaker? And Happy Fast Forward Day?

– Lynn & Alex are at the village and retrieve the second necklace.

All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. My two front teeth.

– Lynn & Alex receive their third necklace. Romber are back in the city and pull over to the hospital. With only four teams at a task it appears they have more than enough time to get back in this. At the reception of the Lesedi Clinic the nurses and doctors all recognize them from Survivor. Amber calls them guardian angels. After receiving much fanfare from the guardian angels they are given directions to the tribal village.

– Meredith & Gretchen have directions to the caves. Meredith is back on the road. . .except on the wrong side! He dodges traffic and honks. The detour clue manages to stay in Gretchen’s hands. She believes the caves itself will be easier than driving there. Uchenna & Joyce believe they have directions.

– Brian & Greg are in the tunnels.

greg tunnel 2

greg tunnel 3

And now it’s time for me to take a personal aside.

I have previously mentioned that I have four siblings. All of them are much older than I. When TAR 2 aired I cast my oldest brother and my sister as Blake & Paige. Every time I see my sister and oldest brother together I think of Blake & Paige and vice versa.

As for my two remaining brothers? They would be Brian & Greg. Exactly like them. Goofy, friendly with all others, make close friends with people their own age, popular, and bound to be extremely stupid every once in a while.

When Greg talked about stuffing Brian into the sleeping bag my two brothers happened to be watching it at the same time. They both exclaimed that the older of the two of them did the same thing when they were younger. Add in that those two are only two years younger than Brian & Greg makes them a perfect fit.

Hence why they are my favourite team this season.

– Greg hears Ron & Kelly. Despite the detour saying the clue would be inside the caves Ron & Kelly have both exited the cave and are in broad daylight searching for it on the grounds. Camera cuts to the clue inside the tunnel. Ron reads it and sees it will indeed be near the exit. They go back down through the exit. Lynn & Alex have four necklaces. Brian grabs the clue. He reads it in the pitch black tunnel. They are driving to Soweto. Once a sight for the apartheid uprising it is now a city of two million people and transforming a vibrant city. In the centre of town is the sprawling Bariguana Market where teams will find their next clue.

– Brian & Greg pass Ron & Kelly on the way to the exit. Greg guides them to where the clues are hanging on the rocks along the wall. Ron sees them. Brian & Greg are back in daylight.

GREG: You look like Braveheart dude.

William Wallace would never surrender and eat the four pounds of meat too.

– Lynn & Alex present the final artifact. They loved the last village’s beautiful maze. The chief hands them the next clue. It’s off to Soweto. Meredith & Gretchen are at the caves. They are instructed on safety. Both descend. Uchenna & Joyce are at the caves. Gretchen reaches a dead end. Uchenna & Joyce descend. Ray & Deana find Phil at the pit stop. There is no sign saying it’s Soweto. Nevermind. It is a few feet behind Phil.

PHIL: When you’re team number one sometimes there’s a prize. We have something very special for you guys. See those cars behind you?
DEANA: What two cars?

Those two cars.

They each get one. Compliments of Toyota USA. They’re 2005 Toyota Radfords.

Phil says that this morning that Ray planned to take a risk and how it paid off. Acoustic guitar plays that they attacked the race instead of each other. Deana says it is a great car. Romber are at the Tribes task. They receive the first necklace. Greg asks for directions. So does Kelly. Ron & Kelly spot the clue. Roadblock time.

In this roadblock that person must purchase five items from the Baragwanath Market for a local orphanage. Once they’ve made all five purchases they will receive their next clue.

“Who likes to shop?”

It’s Kelly. They must purchase a toy, diaper, backpack, blanket, and shirt. Meredith & Gretchen are back in the caves. Gretchen is ready to give up but Meredith says not to give up yet. They skull and crossbones signs everywhere until Meredith sees a marker. Gretchen is working up a sweat. Romber receive their third and fourth necklaces. And their last one. The next clue is awarded. He gives the chief a high five. They have moved up to fifth. Lynn & Alex ask for directions.

– Brian & Greg get to the clue. Greg is doing it. Greg shrugs when asked what size of diaper he wants. Settles for medium. Brian asks him to pick up deodorant while they are in the market. Meredith & Gretchen are out of the cave. Both have taken off their gear.

GRETCHEN: We have to get a clue.
MEREDITH: Wouldn’t it be something that we left here?
GRETCHEN: Yeah.
MEREDITH: After doing all of that other stuff.
GRETCHEN: The repelling was nothing.
MERDITH: Where do we get our clue from?
GRETCHEN: Clue from someone.
INSTRUCTOR: Clue is in the cave.
GRETCHEN: OH S—.
MEREDITH: What? Where do we get our clue baby?
GRETCHEN: In the cave, Meredith.
MEREDITH: What is?
GRETCHEN: The clue is in the cave.

Maybe if I cover my eyes nobody can see how stupid I look on TV.

P.S. It’s the first time we hear Gretchen blatantly curse all season. We’ve gone from ‘dog narbit’ to a Sandra Diaz-Twine ‘OH S—‘.

– Uchenna & Joyce take the clue. Meredith & Gretchen try again and are going back down. Joyce is freaked out by the mud on Gretchen’s face and if she looks like that. Uchenna says she does but is happy that they are guaranteed to not be last.

– Gretchen’s knees are killing her as they descend again. We do not see the fall but just a camera looking into the cave as Meredith screams ‘HEY! HELP US! SHE FELL!’ Commercial. We hear Gretchen is in agony. People descend immediately into the cave. Paramedics are on the scene.

GRETCHEN: I can see four fingers. I’m fine. I’ve been wanting a face lift for a long time. Meredith, find the clue.
MEREDITH: She fell so hard. Scared the hell out of me.

Gretchen will need only one stitch.

– Back where there is no blood Kelly completes the roadblock. They must now load the items into their car and take it to the Orlando Children’s Home. Recruit some of them for the next Annie play.

GREG: I want that blanket. With the little doggie on it. Love it.

– Clue says they cannot run in the orphanage. Lynn & Alex arrive and Lynn is doing the roadblock after he promises not to freak out.. Meredith & Gretchen get the clue. Piano music plays.

MEREDITH: Gretchen is amazing. She said we’re not leaving without the clue. Go get yourself over there and find it. That shows me what she’s made of.

You mean the fact she told you to do the task entirely on your own while she sat on your butt demonstrates her spirit? My parents laughed at it when they heard that statement. Meredith definitely misinterpreted the situation.

– Romber arrive at the roadblock. Amber is doing the roadblock. Alex wished her luck. He showed her. Ron & Kelly are at the orphanage. Ron plugs his ears jokingly from the cheering. Kelly hugs a kid. Lady hands them the clue. A couple kids are playing Foosball. The clue tells them that the aforementioned Mandela neighbourhood is the pit stop for this leg of the race. Ron gives a few of them high fives. Kelly says that was her favourite task all season.

– Brian & Greg are inside the orphanage.

GREG: Stay out of trouble. Don’t do drugs. See ya.

– Ron & Kelly are at the pit stop. They run onto the mat. Ron successfully goes an entire leg without mentioning the military. But Kelly was the one who said ‘army’. Lynn & Alex are done roadblock. Alex says goodbye to Rob on the way out. Brian & Greg are third. Lynn & Alex are at the orphanage. Not as entertaining as Brian & Greg.

– An angel in disguise (but really a fan) goes up to Amber and buys all of her items forever and runs around in heels.

She could handle Amber but Boston Rob too? Those high heels better not be ruby so she doesn’t have to go home and instead stay with Romber. Shockingly Rob recruits her into the van to go to the orphanage.

She is being paid in the greatest currency of all–autographs. One now and one later. Amber’s I am sure was the one she got now. If it were Rob’s she would have no reason to stay with them the whole time.

– Uchenna & Joyce pull over to study the map. Meredith got directions too that he is confident in. Lynn & Alex hit the pit stop in fourth. Joyce refuses to shop so Uchenna is doing it. Romber did not put the stuff in bags so they load the lady’s arms with all of their stuff. Boston Rob kicked one soccer ball before leaving. The “angel in disguise” is still in the van directing them to the pit stop. Uchenna has every item. Off to the orphanage. Gretchen is shopping.

Surprisingly no eyebrows are raised as Gretchen goes through the market.

– Uchenna feels they’re last. Joyce cusses him out for putting forth the negative energy out there. He obliges to not say it anymore. They give the bags to the lady. Joyce says that the trip made her realize that there are so many unwanted kids in the world that are looking for a home like theirs. She says her inability to have a kid may not be so bad considering adoption is a viable option.

We are then shown a montage of the kids at the orphanage who are smiling at the camera or frowning with bruises on their head. All that is missing is Susan Sarandon or Rod Black to complete the TAR adoption infomercial.

– Gretchen receives the clue. Romber hits the mat.

Since when does TAR have three to a team? This ain’t no Treasure Hunters. The angel has no idea what the show is about so she has to wait for Romber to tell them that being fifth is good. Phil asks who in the world is this third person. Rob says her name is. . .Lalindaleigh? Shalinda Leigh? Like a Rudy Boesch, I dunno. Rob says that today was the toughest day on the race. You’re doing fine if the toughest day is when you find a fan who takes you through the roadblock and two route markers. Meredith & Gretchen find the orphanage.

While Meredith & Gretchen are at the orphanage a curious incident occurs. See the soccer ball in the boy’s hands?

Bombs away! Will anybody adopt that kid just to solve the mystery of who hit him with the soccer ball? I see a tale of vengeance in the making.

– Meredith & Gretchen believe they’re last unless someone is still lost. Uchenna & Joyce make a u-turn but are sixth.

PHIL: You’re team number six.
UCHENNA: ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I’m still chewing dirt from the tunnels task.

Phil asks for them to elaborate about the orphanage experience. Joyce cries about seeing the lady’s patience with the children and the kids themselves. It is the longest mat chat of the season. Maybe of the series for a team who is not eliminated.

Am I the only one who has always believed that this shot is either really good cinematography or that Meredith & Gretchen are in front of a green screen? It’s ridiculous.

– Meredith & Gretchen walk the lonely path into oblivion. Or the pit stop mat. Whichever. Phil says that they are last but luckily the first of three (but really four) non-eliminations have come. They are happy to hear the news. Odd that the norm as of TAR 7 is to flat out expect a non-elimination to occur in the first five episodes.

PHIL: But you know there’s a penalty.
MEREDITH: We’re giving all of our money up.
PHIL: That’s exactly right. I need you to hand over everything that’s in your pockets.
(MEREDITH forks it over.)
PHIL: Just so you know you won’t be receiving any money at the start of the next leg. And you have to start the next leg of the race with zero dollars to your name.
(MEREDITH & GRETCHEN nod.)
PHIL: Unfortunately I have some more bad news.

What? That Gretchen’s stitch is infected? That they didn’t do the detour correctly? That Ray challenged them to a game of checkers? What?

PHIL: I need you to hand over all of your possessions. That means your bags.
MEREDITH & GRETCHEN: . . .
PHIL: I’m taking everything from you except your passports and the clothes you’re wearing right now. Everything else put down here at my feet. . .Whatever you do don’t give up.

Meredith refuses to give up until they cannot take another step forward.

So that concludes the best non-elimination penalty ever. All of your possessions are stripped from you for the remainder of the race. And you can’t beg for money until the leg begins. Hopefully you have enough bonds with other teams that they’ll give money to you a la Don & Mary Jean in Senegal. It’s tough love but your butts just got saved on a non-elimination.

You want to stay longer in the race? Then fight.

By the way everyone thought Meredith & Gretchen didn’t stand a chance to survive another leg in the same manner nobody thought Linda & Karen could not fight it out longer.

In addition this was a 2-hour 2-part episode. One hour for each of the two legs. So my next blog post will be leg six which aired directly after leg five. Evidently production wanted to pull in more ratings by not having a week filled entirely by a non-elimination. Wise move.

Team confessionals

Ray & Deana 5.0
Romber 5.3
Uchenna & Joyce 5.3
Brian & Greg 1.0
Lynn & Alex 2.0
Meredith & Gretchen 3.5
Ron & Kelly 2.5

Team averages

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2
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
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
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
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
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
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – 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
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46
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
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
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
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38

Rank the Teams

4) Megan & Heidi

They’re blonde. They like alpha males. Heidi drove 70 in a 50 zone. Drove on the wrong side of the road. However both of them knew how to drive a stick shift which instantly trumps previous best friends to be cast in Meredith & Maria. Their fondness of shopping cost them the race. You need to check your first world tendencies at the door when you go onto the race. I do applaud them for a couple of ‘Wtf’ quotes in two short episodes. Their failed showmance with Brian & Greg was lawlzy.

I’m still crying from them losing in a foot race to their newfound loves. Parting is such sweet sorrow.

3) Ryan & Chuck

Hillbillies who can speak Portuguese and are taken straight out of the Barenstein Bears books. Luckily none of them had a drinking problem like Papa Bear or anorexia like Sister Bear. I understood what they said a bit more than Tom Buchanan which is a plus. They are the heaviest racers in the show’s history if I do declare.

2) Susan & Patrick

Besides Adam & Rebecca, TAR needed a mother-son team that had a stereotypical  spoiled mother’s boy-mother dynamic. Susan was rational, calm, and optimistic while Patrick was whiny and complained about everything. Hilarious jokes were there to be told the whole time. It was about time TAR broke this barrier.

1) Debbie & Bianca

A team that went on and on about being an all-female team. . .but was actually interesting overall. Both were insanely competitive and worked hard with weaker teams. Bianca’s fluent Spanish propelled them to the front of the pack combined with Debbie’s guts (including the ones she just ate) made them a tough team to beat. However, an unnecessary lie to POW Ron made themselves a target from Romber’s antics. Mix in poor independent map reading and you have a strong team taking an early and disappointing exit from TAR. The Gina Crews of TAR, perhaps.

Rank the Legs

1) Santiago -> Mendoza (One equalizer at the very beginning of the leg at a reasonable time of day. Teams previously on the bottom rose to the top much like the transition of leg four in TAR 3. Unprecedented quitting of the roadblock is a highlight of the series. That’s not even considering the fact that THREE teams quit the task too. What’s even more bizarre is that all three teams weren’t even close to the danger of being eliminated. Romber stealing cabs and Debbie interpreting a map she wasn’t even on makes it a very smooth and unpredictable TAR episode. Good job in the format, production.

2) The LBC where it’s hard being Snoop D O double G -> Cusco (Only because it was the most refreshing episode to see in over a season. The TAR 6 nightmare was officially over.)

3) Buenos Aires -> Johannesburg (We head to a new continent at just the right time. Leaderboard is greatly shaken up as teams have only one equalizer at the start before having to drive their own way for about a ten hour day in the suburbs and city of Johannesburg. The orphanage is a highlight. Gretchen getting stitches is a highlight. Ray & Deana taking part in the scariest task that was taken straight out of The Simpsons on the wobbly volcano bridge for a Japanese game show was another highlight. Brian & Greg being hilarious from start to finish. And a non-elimination penalty that the last place team can finally now dread being last? This leg really stands out for being a mid-season non-elimination.)

4) Cusco -> Santiago (Too few of tasks in Santiago. I wish there was perhaps one more task to even things out. Lynn arguing over a rigged scale, Gretchen ‘OOOOing’ at every little event, and a foot race where the team I was rooting for hit the mat first makes this a quality episode. Plus the irony of Debbie & Bianca being nauseous that another team lied.)

5) Mendoza -> Vincente Cesares (This leg just didn’t quite have the magic that the other legs had. Lynn & Alex reinforce obsession with Romber, Ray obsesses with old wrinkly people, and the last few minutes of the episode is so rushed it throws you for a loop. Not a bad episode by any means though.)

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