– Music plays that sounds exactly like the intro to Survivor: Gabon. After talking about Nelson Mandela last episode, and the previous South Africa TAR episode in season 2 where they went to Mandela’s prison, and showing Mandela books in the gift shop, we follow it up with his neighbourhood being the fifth pit stop in a race “around” the world.
PHIL: This is Soweto. A shantytown where thirty thousand students famously protested apartheid. It is now a vibrant city.
Famously? This is the first time I am hearing of this.
– Phil asks if Meredith & Gretchen can survive after being stripped of everything and can Ray & Deana continue their newfound success?
Huh. No Romber? They don’t hog the camera as much as I thought they would.
– Ray & Deana who arrived first at 1041am will depart at 1041pm. Good luck not being equalized! Drive yourselves thirty miles to the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve and feed the lions. Teams will sign up for one of two shuttles that will head into the reserve where they will feed wild lions. Once they have done so they will read their next clue.
Heh. An equalizer happened literally within two seconds of when I thought it would. TAR wasted no time delaying the inevitable. Ray & Deana run off. Ray says they intend to stay in first place but that is threatened by Deana’s difficulties with handling stress. He wants her to assert herself and her talents more. Deana panics about not finding the third gear. Ray panics about Deana panicking.
– Ron & Kelly check out at 1239am. Ron says they are in the best physical shape and that the other teams are starting to break down and having troubles mentally. Kelly thinks they can step it up a notch and push the other teams out. Only two hours behind FF leaders is not a bad place to start. Even better when you will soon be on the first charter with them. Kelly says they saw the sign for the nature reserve on the previous leg so they are doing some memory recall by driving to where they saw the sign.
– Ray & Deana sign up for the shuttle. They have nothing to do for the next seven hours except sleep. Ron & Kelly are having a scenic drive in Soweto.
How pretty. We can hear the thunder and see the lightning. A hot summer night.
Military Ron Count: 5.5
You could’ve just ignored it or commented on how special it was but nooooo. Your shell shock is back in full force.
– Ron & Kelly find the Nature Reserve. Signing up for a shuttle reminded him of signing up for the military before being shipped off to Baghdad. Brian & Greg end Ron’s memories as Brian opens up the clue at 103am.
BRIAN: Go home and give mom a great big hug and eat all of her chicken enchilladas until you have her food come up. Oh, I mean go feed the lions.
So that’s why Brian never sleeps at the pit stops. He’s too busy thinking about the next zinger as he leaves the pit stop. It’s the only piece of guaranteed airtime that you ever get on TAR. Well, until Jeremy & Sandy got onto TAR. Then the rules changed.
– Brian hits a bump. He comments how much he is sucking at driving. Foreshadowing? Lynn & Alex can’t figure out which way to the marked cars as they depart. Wow they’re tired.
LYNN: We’re people first. We’re racers second. . .Half of the prize is being here.
That may backfire. I hear Millie has asthma. Go wait with her at the train station and stay behind in last place.
– Romber depart. Their angel has disappeared in the night and Ambuh gives a bland confessional per usual. Rob doesn’t think he will be getting Christmas cards from any teams. Brian & Greg sign up for the third and final slot on the 800am shuttle. Uchenna & Joyce are next. Joyce says the orphanage brought their marriage closer together. Over ninety minutes later Meredith & Gretchen depart at 351am. So 3 1/2 hours behind Ron & Kelly? Boy were they lost given they were on the same flight.
– Unusual to see a team walk around with no backpacks. Clue and passports are stuffed into a plastic bag and a gift bag. At least Meredith & Gretchen will have zero back pain when their race is done. That they can be thankful for. Tough though to have no money, no clothes, no maps, and zero comfort.
And no face.
– Romber sign up for the second shuttle. He tries to erase Lynn’s name from the board but it’s permanent. Meredith & Gretchen find the reserve before Uchenna & Joyce. Uchenna & Joyce have lost over an hour to driving regardless if it is eight miles or thirty miles. Map reading is not their Wil Forte. Uchenna comments that Meredith’s shirt fits him well. Meredith says he doesn’t quite fill it out. I presume that shirt is really Uchenna’s. Turns out it is. Gretchen rounds up all of the teams.
GRETCHEN: We’re starting save the rhino fund. And that’s no “lion”.
Brian laughs so hard at the worst pun in the world that his head crashes onto the headlights of the SUV. Without a car in the world.
– Alex gives five bucks. Uchenna gives them five bucks on top of the clothes they already gave them. So does Kelly. Rob however refuses to give them money because they are the biggest con artists. Rob fails to understand that giving a bankrupt team five bucks is really you having an ‘IOU’ over their heads and will be required to give you information somewhere down the line.
– Then the biggest confrontation of the century begins. Keep in mind this is only 2005.
MEREDITH: Can I count on you to make a contribution today?
U.S.S.R. meets U.S.A.
RAY: I’ll be glad to a little later in the legs where to see where we are.
You could cut the tension with a knife! Well, Meredith can’t. The osteoperosis gets in the way.
RAY: Meredith & Gretchen to me are sacrificial lambs. I want to see them be eliminated. And I don’t want to prolong their agony for them any longer. I’m just sticking it out.
It’s such a Michael Scott move. Ray has deluded himself into thinking that his biggest competition are the 70 year olds. What’s even better is that 70 year olds on TAR haven’t even cracked top four in 6 1/2 seasons so far. Why not chase Lynn & Alex who are almost always at the top? Or Romber who have won two legs? Or Ron &Kelly who are consistent? Why the team that is SEVENTY YEARS OLD WITH NO MONEY, NO CLOTHES, AND NO MAPS?! Please explain why they are your biggest threat?
Am I the only one who thinks that Ray would have been scared s—less if the Gutsy Grannies were cast for this season?
– Guide calls for the 8am shuttle to climb aboard. He informs them if that a lion jumps onto the vehicle that you must remain perfectly still. The meat for the lions are in buckets of ice. The lions are fed. They claw at each other.
I think poachers eventually capture this lion and sell him to the MGM Grand. Don’t you folks at home want to know how the MGM intros are made?
– Teams receive the clue. Fly to Gaberone, Botswana 150 miles away. Once there they will travel over 400 miles by train and bus to the Giant Aardvark located outside the village of Bwetta. Teams concede they must drive back to Johannesburg. Ray & Deana are following Brian & Greg. Joyce is so excited to feed the lions. Hopefully they don’t eat them. Amber mocks the rule about staying calm if a lion jumps into the vehicle. Alex said Lynn wanted to sight see but Lynn claims he wanted to see giraffes. Rob talks about how it feels like Jurassic Park and asks us what happened in that movie.
– Uchenna was nervous but all feed the lions without incident. Ron & Kelly hit South African Airways first. They inform of a flight but tell them that Air Botswana’s 12pm flight is sooner. So they are on the flight. Brian & Greg follow them and successfully book it too. Ray & Deana barely make it onto the 1200pm flight too. Ray grins at the camera. He knows the old people are in trouble.
– Later shuttle gets back to their cars. Lynn & Alex lead the way to the airport. Meredith says he will follow them. Amber says to follow Lynn & Alex. Uchenna & Joyce leave last and are the only ones to not follow Lynn & Alex. Uchenna makes fun of the other teams for doing so because for once Uchenna has the correct directions. Lynn & Alex hit a toll booth and are told to drive ten minutes until they hit the exit and turn around. No noon flight for you.
– The flight is just boarding as Uchenna & Joyce book the final noon flight tickets to Botswana. Uchenna is stoked to be at the front of the pack again. The plane takes off. My god how far did the teams drive in the wrong direction? Or rather, how far did Lynn & Alex lead them astray?
– Meredith & Gretchen are first of the three to the airport. They book the 135pm flight. So do Romber. Lynn & Alex have taken a detour of their own into a part of the city that they don’t recall.
That’s right. Nothing scarier than two homeless people leaning against a building with a shopping cart.
Compton? How would you know Lynn? Hundred bucks says you’ve never been to Compton. And a thousand bucks says that TAR’s lesson about what brought on apartheid did not really get through to you at all.
The extent of Lynn’s knowledge about Compton.
They go from super scared to super duper scared when a guy has the audacity to come up to their window and ask for money. Unfortunately the camera shot makes it look like the guy is posing for a mugshot.
– Alex wants to pull over and ask for directions. Lynn’s tip on who to choose for directions?
Care to tell me how you figured out who is the least likely to have a gun? Dare I say you racial profiled an area that is currently recovering from apartheid and overcoming racial barriers desperately?
I don’t get it. What’s wrong with looking like Tupac? Aren’t you guys from West Hollywood? Aren’t you supposed to love Tupac by default because of the ‘California Love’ rule? Or are you one of those people who hate Tupac just because he was born in Baltimore and is not a true Californian? Just one gigantic poseur.
– Tupac agrees to drive them to the airport if they follow. Lynn does not think he will make the flight. But they do. The three teams are on the 135pm.
– The fist flight lands at 100pm in Gaberone. We are shown gazelles, lions, and rhinos. Ron & Kelly and Brian & Greg split a cab to the train station. they’re tied for first. Ray & Deana are next. Followed by Uchenna & Joyce.
UCHENNA: Ernest Hemingway wrote about hunting in Botswana.
Uh. . .okay? Random fun fact that the TAR editors wanted to air? Is that the most interesting thing they could tell us about Botswana?
– Ron & Kelly buy tickets for the 900pm train. Yes. The 900pm train. It does not leave for almost eight hours. Kelly tells us every team will catch up. So the second plane lands. Lynn & Alex get into a taxi to the train station. Rob sees it and flags the taxi down as it comes beside him.
ROB: Yo! We’ll come with you.
LYNN & ALEX (to driver): Not enough room. Not enough room.
ROB: We’ll come with you.
LYNN: Rob! There’s not enough seats! Can you go driver?
ROB: Whoa whoa whoa!
ROB: There’s plenty of room, bro.
LYNN: No, there’s not enough seats.
ROB: Plenty of room. Is this a bus?
LYNN: No it’s a taxi.
ROB: Is this a bus?
LYNN: Wow Rob. Calm down. We’ll all get there at the same time.
ROB: Okay. We’ll play like that.
LYNN: I love to see Rob pissed off like that it makes me so happy. If that had pretty much been any other team there we would’ve let them on. But I just didn’t want to share a cab with them. Plus I like my air conditioning and I don’t want to be crowded.
Lynn & Alex are officially much meaner to Romber than they have ever been to them.
ROB: He spazzed out like a little girl. Says there’s no room while he’s stretched out like a cawpet (carpet) ride.
– Lynn and Rob confront about how much room there is in the cab at the train station. Rob doesn’t buy it and says Lynn is running Alex like a farmboy.
ROB: This morning everybody was playing the good Samaritan giving Meredith & Gretchen money. I don’t think she fell. I think Meredith pushed her on purpose so people would feel bad for her. I’m done playing nice. It’s crunch time with six teams left.
Please don’t pull out the “it’s crunch time” when we’re only six of thirteen legs into the season. Please. Save me from it. Wait, did Rob say something else?
– Train pulls in to take teams to Francistown at 900pm. Phil reminds us people are taking a train then bus to the aardvark. Ah teams are here already. They open up the clue. Roadblock time.
That’s a big aardvark.
No relation to him as far as I am aware.
Did you know North by Northwest was filmed in Botswana?
In this roadblock must complete a hunting training exercise created by bushmen. They must throw a spear at a moving sandbag approximately twenty feet away. Once the spear hits the sandbag they’ll receive their next clue. Sounds easy. Rob, Lynn, Joyce, Ray, Meredith, Brian, and Ron are doing the roadblock. Brian takes the old wise man. The six teams have all found a bush man.
This reminds Ron of the time in Iraq and he was part of a firing squad.
– Meredith & Gretchen fail to find a bush man despite all six teams having found one square in front of their face by the clue box.
GRETCHEN: Are you listening?
MEREDITH: I’m listening.
How about, oh, I don’t know, LOOKING?!
– Brian labels his bush man as Yoda. Meredith finds the bush man. You think Rob’s experience of the spear throwing challenges on Survivor would help him but it doesn’t.
The bush man pushes the sandbag by hand every once in a while? That could really influence who finishes first.
– Brian is first to finish.
Hmmmmmm, Yoda applauds their success he does. He reminds me of the clapping fellow from Majora’s Mask.
– They must now drive to the cattle bush known as the Xau Xarra. Because there are wild animals a safety guide will ride with them. Brian & Greg, Ron & Kelly, then Lynn & Alex are in the car. Brian & Greg switch seats and cost time.
Who wears a tie in the bush? Is that a status symbol just like here in the West? Or was it a gift from a Chip n Dale performer who came out into the bush to learn the ways of hunting and in return taught them the art of the Full Monty?
RON: Being in the military I’ve driven through the desert in hum vees. I’m sure there is no one here who has ever done that.
Military Ron Count: 6.5
Wait. I have to bump it up to 7.5. Why? I suppose that is a legitimate question.
– Ray is done. Then Joyce. Uchenna does not recall where he set the bags so they wander aimlessly. Ironic considering they just did a task that required aim. Deana is frustrated by not being able to find the gears in the car. Ray says that it must not be easy but just do it. Meredith is done the task in sixth. Romber are in dead last. Rob stops to focus and finally finishes. Uchenna finally finds the bags on the path. Meredith & Gretchen are bumped up to fifth. Romber pass Uchenna & Joyce thanks to Uchenna’s detour to find the bags.
BRIAN: I’ve been hanging out with Lynn too much. I’m all like ‘wee hee hee hee’.
LYNN: Do wa ha ha!
You can’t even say that’s flamboyant language. It’s incoherent language if anything.
– Lynn suffers a bump in the road and labels the drive as being so Indiana Jones. Gretchen makes a terrible connection between driving through bush country and President Bush.
Rob is behind Meredith and the President Bush cart to the right. Rob pulls to the right of both lanes then crosses over back two lanes to the left to be in front. How slow is Meredith driving for Rob to pass him from two lanes over?
– Rob passes Ray & Deana. Ray says letting Romber pass them is a critical mistake.
GRETCHEN: Slow down. You’re going sixty. A bush policeman might give you a ticket.
MEREDITH: Have you seen any markers hon?
MEREDITH: How about that one?
GRETCHEN: Oh my god.
MEREDITH: Tell me less about slowing down and more about markers.
And less about wasting our valuable time with your terrible and atrocious puns.
– JOYCE: All I see is Meredith’s dust.
UCHENNA: That’s her up there?
JOYCE: Meredith is a guy.
Tell me less about the gender of my competitors and more about markers.
– GREG: Whoa watch out B. Don’t try to go deep sand.
BRIAN: You make the littlest movement and you slide. The sand is so slippery.
GREG: No, no, no. Stay on the marks. Stay on the road–watch out Big B.
*Car flips over and the camera is pointed at the sky*
I’m not one to laugh at car crashes (usually, anyway) but Greg utters the biggest stoner ‘whaaaaaaaat?!’ that I find myself giggling every time I see this scene.
So what if I told you I don’t have insurance. . .
RAINIER WOLFCASTLE: Laughing time is over.
– What is the dumbest decision you can make in the race? Well, the dumbest decision you can make before racers stop caring about ensuring they have their passports?
Wtf is Alex doing there? His car wasn’t the one that crashed. Get back inside and you drive that f—ing car. There is a camera crew, a sound crew, and emergency crew already attending to Brian & Greg. The race hasn’t been stopped. You are awarded zero points for pulling over just to look like the good guys. Geez.
What he said.
BRIAN: I don’t want you guys to lose the race because of us.
No, if Lynn & Alex come in last this leg it’s because of their own stupidity and being overly concerned about a situation that they can do nothing about. Seriously. What were Lynn & Alex accomplishing by staying behind? Trying to win the Sprint Fan Favourite Award? Fo realsky.
– ROB: Ah! Caw flipped ovuh!
Okay. Guilty as charged. I laughed at Rawb’s accent here. The subtitles even say “Ah!”. Although why they put ‘car’ instead of ‘caw’ just like Rob said is an inaccurate transcription. Rob feels bad that somebody got hurt in a competition but what can they do? So they press forward.
LYNN: Is that Rob & Amber? That is so typical of their game.
Lynn & Alex stopped for no reason at all except to express sympathy and blame anybody named ‘Rob & Amber’ if they do not follow suit and stop? So typical of Lynn’s game.
– Ron & Kelly find the clue box. Detour time. Food or Water. In Food, teams use a traditional wooden container known as a ‘kikha’ and two sticks to grind corn. The bush woman (talk about being other’d) will reject it if it is not the right consistency. Teams must fill a basket up to the green line with consistent corn. Once done they will receive their next clue. In water, teams use reed straws to suck water from the underground.
The last cover of National Geographic but censored by the Florida Family Friendly Commission.
– They will blow the water into an ostrich egg. Once twelve are filled up and buried in the earth for storage they will receive their next clue. Sounds like the faster one if you ask me. Terrible.
– The doctor is announced to be on his way. Lynn & Alex get back in their car.
LYNN: I cannot believe Rob & Amber stopped. They are awful pigs. Literally.
I cannot believe that you actually stopped. Useless pig. Or some pig. Wilburrrrrr.
– Ray & Deana do what a normal person would do and slow down their car simply to ask Brian & Greg if they are alright then continue driving and are happy they are okay.
DEANA: Do you realize I’m the only woman driving a stick shift?
RAY: Because you can’t read a map.
DEANA: You can’t either!
RAY: . . .This is your role. Do it. Don’t complain.
Nice recovery, Ray.
– Gretchen tells Meredith to be careful driving because she does not want her bladder inside her chest cavity. Ah. Old people always worried about their urine organ. Meredith & Gretchen drive past silently. In Lynn’s eyes they should be equally awful to Romber. Uchenna asks if they are alright for half a second before driving either. Brian & Greg are dead last as the unconscious man is still on the ground and the doctor has yet to arrive with a back-up car.
– Ron & Kelly work up a sweat beating the poles. Ron has his shirt off now. Rob says pounding is hard (TMI) and thus opts to do water. He does not like to beat his Boston Bob and instead sucks his Boston Strawb.
AMBER: Baby how are you so fast at it?
– Lynn & Alex do the food detour and are beside Ron & Kelly. Lynn tells them about the crash and how Rob (and later three other teams) did not have the audacity to stop. Ron & Kelly don’t care as they finish the detour first. Teams must now drive themselves seven miles to the Makgadikgadi Pans.
In other words, just keep going straight until you see Phil and a camera crew on a patch of empty land. It helps that teams are instructed to follow the markers. It takes real skill to get lost on the way to the pit stop.
– We are told the Pans was once a lake that dried up two thousand years ago and today serves as the world’s largest salt pan. Teams will spend the night here. Ron & Kelly head for the hum vee. Ron hated the skin being pulled off his hands in the task. Romber is done. Lynn refers to the corn as rice.
MEREDITH: I am so stiff! Hon, help me!
– Ray & Deana are next to the food task. Uchenna & Joyce are next followed by Meredith & Gretchen. The replacement car is there for Brian & Greg. The four teams are all still at the corn beating detour. Uchenna comes up with a technique that rather two people hog a small space and have a rhythm that one of them just pounds the heck out of it then the next person takes over. Meredith follows suit.
– Ron & Kelly and Romber have a foot race to the pit stop. Romber grabs up the clue. Turns out they are not in the same frame. Ron & Kelly hit the mat in first. Phil tells them they are sleeping out here. Romber are second and Phil questions them about the car wreck. Evil music plays as Rob says he didn’t stop.
PHIL: So you just left them on the side of the road?
With food, water, a camera crew, sound crew, communication with base camp, emergency crew, and eventually a doctor? Phil is trying oh so hard to feed their polarizing image for viewers.
– Lynn is now jumping with the stick into the bowl. Ray & Deana pour some corn into the bowl. Ray says they are getting the least of anyone. Uchenna instructs Joyce to keep pounding it as hard as she can. Lynn observes that Meredith & Gretchen are doing the best.
ALEX: Go get it, pirates.
Meredith is a pirate? And Gretchen? I think she needs to take a tumble in the Soweto Caves and bust her eye and get an eyepatch before she can be referred to as a pirate. One stitch on the forehead isn’t enough. Ray & Deana’s basket is barely filling. Uchenna & Joyce have snuck up from last to third as they finish the detour. Meredith & Gretchen take turns resting.
LYNN: Let’s go to the next pit stop is maladalada pans.
– Ray & Deana and Meredith & Gretchen are doing the task side by side. Ray hits Deana on her head with his pole.
DEANA: The least you could do is apologize.
RAY: It’s teamwork, and we don’t work as a team. That’s a problem.
DEANA: You do it yourself.
When you are in a tie for fifth the wise choice would be to suck it up and apologize even if you really don’t mean it. After all Ray was the one who said you need two people to cross the finish line. Well, unless you have Zach on your team that is.
Question: What is my favourite cliffhanger shot before we black out to a commercial? And yes, out of all twenty seasons too.
Oh no. I’m losing to a seventy year old man. And his wife too nonetheless!
– After we resume following the most ridiculous suspense shot in TAR’s history we see Brian & Greg arrive at the detour. They make the logical choice that if the other teams are doing food then the only way to pass them is to do the other option. Meredith & Gretchen barely missed making the basket’s green line and are forced to do more grinding.
– Uchenna & Joyce finish the leg in third place. They celebrate regardless already having seen the two cars parked. Like it could be confused for other traffic. Lynn & Alex check in shortly thereafter.
PHIL: You are team number four.
ALEX: We would have been team number two.
PHIL: If. . .
LYNN: We would’ve not stopped and helped the car that crashed. Sometimes you have to stop and do the right thing.
“Helped”? Please elaborate how you did so. Did one of you do CPR?
– Back where I’m not as pissed off, Meredith & Gretchen’s corn is not at the satisfactory mark.
DEANA: Ray, I’m tryin okay?
RAY: You b— way too much. It’s depressing doing this with you.
DEANA: I think it’s depressing doing this with you.
Detour: Argue or Focus on the Race?
– Brian & Greg burp into the straws and spit out some water. Meredith & Gretchen are done the detour and in fifth. Ray & Deana are closer to the line. Brian burps again and claims it’s his own sprinkler system.
– The teams applaud as Meredith & Gretchen run past them. Gretchen is stoked to be team number five.
PHIL: You guys have done the almost impossible.
Eh, it’s not too crazy. You don’t need much when there aren’t any taxi rides for the leg and you use other teams’ money to buy bus and train tickets then everything else is by marked car. You don’t need much from your no longer existing bags yet. They will feel it in the coming legs I’m sure. Gretchen talked about how low their spirits were but Meredith lifted them. Depressingly enough this is their best finish to date.
– Ray & Deana are done the detour. Brian is impressed that no one will ever know where their water is now. Although in a few years from now and wars begin over water that teams Botswanians will watch this footage and steal this water in the middle of the night. Brian & Greg complete detour and see Ray & Deana aren’t too far ahead. They wait until they get in the car to read the clue.
The third foot race of the season? This is a bit extreme.
– You know what Brian says after he suffered the worst car crash of his life only one hour earlier?
BRIAN: Get your seatbelt off.
I guess he was never one for road safety. The new camera operator understands why the previous one perished earlier today. He will trade spots with another camera operator at the pit stop.
Whoa. Closest foot race ever.
I’m waiting for Team Gypsy to emerge mid-way through the frame and beat both teams.
Brian & Greg rally to win their second foot race from behind this season. Greg looks like he got pepper spray’d at the pit stop again. He must get too close to Phil.
PHIL: It seems like it means a lot to stay in race, huh?
Almost sounds sarcastic or mocking.
BRIAN: Well it means a lot because my brother Greg here has been pepper sprayed twice now, so, uh, yeah.
– Phil tells them the cameraman they nearly killed is going to be okay. To add insult to injury Brian & Greg are given the task of calling Ray & Deana who they just indirectly eliminated in the sprint. Ray & Deana talk about their relationship. Ray says he deserves it. Deana says she wants the relationship to work between her and Ray but Ray needs to know he can’t always get what he waaants and that there are two people. Ray meanwhile speaks of how he might not accept Deana because she lacks competitive fire. Ray ends it by saying they need to figure out what is keeping them together and tearing them apart.
And they walk into the sunset as they head to old folks’ homes as they take on all comers in games of checkers.
Ray & Deana 5.2
Uchenna & Joyce 5.3
Brian & Greg 5.6
Lynn & Alex 3.1
Meredith & Gretchen 3.2
Ron & Kelly 4.5
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
7th Ray & Deana – FF
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
5) 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.
4) Ray & Deana
Deana is fairly bland. Extremely bland for anybody who has been on the race. But Ray? That’s a different story. People on YouTube were comparing Ray to Jonathan from TAR 6. I see nothing in common between them except that Ray tries to guide Deana. However by that definition every couple in the history of TAR would be similar to Jonathan. What makes Ray special? His squirrel face right before the last commercial of leg six.
But seriously, he takes part in the most one-sided rivalry in the history of TAR. His rivalry? With the oldest and nicest couple in the race.
MEREDITH: Hey Ray, is all well? You wanna hang out at my cabin after the race. We have fish, you and Deana can use our hot tub, and we have a spare room.
RAY: Yeah, sure.
RAY (confessional): This is all a ploy so I can get free food and board then when the man is weak from giving me everything he has, he’ll be so worn out from his hospitality that I can beat him at checkers! It will be sweet. It’s like getting rid of Jafar’s lamp! Or tricking Biff into a pile of cow manure! I’ve been working at this for a very very long time.
The best part? Ray’s one-sided rivals and the weakest ones he could have picked as a rivalry beat him in the race. After six episodes the couple who has yet to finish above fifth and only had twenty bucks to their name with zero items defeats Ray.
Way to f—ing go, Ray.
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) Johannesburg -> Maghakfjdkjsfdjfhddki Pans (This was an unusual leg. It was part of a two hour episode where the Soweto leg was 46 minutes while this one clocked in at 39 minutes. Significant difference. TAR turns into National Geographic as Botswana is portrayed as composed entirely of bushmen. How other’ing of them. The route markers were pretty much just ‘follow the flags’ to your next task making it impossible for teams to get lost. There were only two tasks and both appeared to take a total of 45 minutes to complete. Lynn & Alex’s obsession was more annoying and biased than it was enjoyable. Brian & Greg’s carwreck is a series first and their ability to rally from behind at the pit stop itself in a foot race for the second time this season is a ridiculous feat. It sent Ray & Deana home who had worn out their welcome by this point. Well, not as much as Ray & Deana had worn out their welcome. This leg also featured Meredith & Gretchen rallying from no money and no bags to arriving in fifth for their best finish yet. The audience rejoices.)
5) Cusco -> Santiago (Too few 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.)
6) 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.)