TAR 7 episode 9 ranking

Ninth leg

– Previously on TAR: Five teams set out from the Khwai River Lodge and raced more than 5, 000 miles to Lucknow, India. Romber teamed up with Ron & Kelly to purchase tickets. While the other three teams formed an alliance of their own. Once in Lucknow tensions escalated between Ron & Kelly. What tensions? That Kelly asked her to be with him for like two seconds? That’s a heavily created storyline. Rob got feisty with the locals. Gretchen grappled with a tough roadblock. Then the retired couple were mobbed by adoring locals. Frontrunners Rob & Amber checked into what they thought was the pit stop (no they didn’t according to confessionals)  but instead received a twist. A clue. Five teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. I’ll take this time to prepare myself for a ridiculous equalizer that made the entire previous leg pointless. Why oh why did they push themselves so hard to race all this time for nothing. Romber couldn’t even win their fourth prize. I’m expecting Ron to compare a cheezy to Baghdad.

– The episode begins. We are reshown the clip of Phil welcoming Romber to Lucknow. I guess the local greeter has it in their contract to not be paid for To Be Continued Legs. No questions from Phil either. Rob opens the clue and reads that they must walk across the street to the Lucknow Train Station and find platform 2. They are 7 1/4 platforms away from making this the first season to travel to an alternate world.

– Kelly is thinking this is a pit stop. Ron utters a ‘whoa’ but other than that has little reaction. Production is not having this twist pay off as much as they thought. Uchenna & Joyce are next. Phil is sorry to tell them the leg is not over.

UCHENNA: Whoa!!!
JOYCE: (mocking) What a twist!

– Lynn & Alex are casual. Lynn however claims he is freaking out from the leg lasting days and days. Meredith delivers the last cup of tea at the detour and because he is the last business card he delivers TWO cups of tea. The man would rather have two autographs. Gretchen says they need to look for a taxi. What a needless waste of money that will prove to be. Romber hops over a road barrier and dodges traffic to the train station. Phil observes them as he twittles his thumbs waiting for Meredith & Gretchen.

– Gretchen says the people of India have been so inspirational. What would Meredith like to add as the soft endearing music plays?

Meredith has observed nothing else about the city. Wish to meet the Hijra of India, Meredith? Now THAT will be burned into your memory forever.

– Gretchen agrees and believes one of them is cute. We don’t know which one she refers to. The four teams scramble to find the train platform which they do. Meredith & Gretchen reach the rooftop and are relieved to receive a clue. They become the first team in TAR history to be saved by each of the first two non-eliminations. Could they possibly hit two more? Phil says to give it everything they got and salutes them on the way out. Phil loves the underdog. Rob discovers the train boards at 900pm. This gives Phil plenty of time to get on a plane and land in the mystery destination to film the next several route marker locations. This is one of the main reasons I hate To Be Continued legs.

– Lynn explains to us that he has a three-team alliance with Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen. It is supposed to last until the end. Joyce thinks the alliance between Romber and Ron & Kelly will be short term because Rob will do whatever he can to get to the mat first. Finally they board the mystery train. The clue says to wait patiently for their next clue.

He is waking teams up at one o’ clock in the morning? As Erinn Lobdell would say, “Who is this jacka–?”

– What’s funny is that we see him repeatedly walk down the same passageway over and over again. It’s the same technique they used in that Richard Gere when he does one hundred sit-ups but really it is the same sit-up shown one hundred times.

– Teams open up their clue. We haven’t been told where it is but people on the train say it will arrive at 10pm or 11pm. I wonder if teams were banning from asking locals where they were going until the clue was delivered? Unless people buy tickets on trains in India just for the heck of it and go where the wind takes them like they are Pochahontas.

– Alex is not pleased the train ride is over 24 hours. Lynn hates how long he has been racing without skin cream, any cream (I don’t ask), and would drink his cream if it was his only choice. However he seems to be having fun playing cards with Alex. Uchenna & Joyce have fun on the train.

101 Ways to get yourself on the No Fly List while you are on TAR.

– Ron is happy that he gets to sit with Romber for 24 hours. Rob is humourous and Amber is sweet. Amber says Rob refuses to watch scary movies.

I concur. I am a 20 year old and have not seen a scary movie either. Can I play Survivor four times then?

– Romber has a real friendship with Ron & Kelly but will put it aside if it means to win in the end. The train gets to Jodhpur. Romber are first to find the clue in the train station. They must travel one mile to Sardar Market and climb up the clock tower and the clue will be on the first floor balcony. All teams say the words “Sardar Market”. The five teams get on the cabs. Except Romber who wait for a guy who invites them to the rickshaw. Ron & Kelly are first there. The gate does not open until 1000am.

– The five teams all book a motel given it’s an eleven hour wait. Amber asks Ron & Kelly to split a room but Rob overrides the decision and wants his own room. Apparently saving money on TAR isn’t in Rob’s strategy guide. In his room Rob is visited by a man named Sanjay. Rob asks how much he would have to pay Sanjay to be taken around Jodhpur all day tomorrow. Sanjay replies free of charge and insists he is the guide for Rob. Wonder if Sanjay was really part of the production staff?

– So the five teams hang out on the balcony.

And stay there for good reason. Fireworks, costumes, parades, and loud noises. Domestic disturbance must not be a law here.

Although Lynn & Alex brave it and are pulled into a wedding dance floor with a bunch of men. Lou Bega’s backup crew is present too. Uh trump it.

– Meredith & Gretchen are stoked to see Lynn & Alex dancing. Meredith shows off moves of his own.

Only 70-year-old men can get away with those dance moves. Or Butch Lockley.

Booking his flights to Jodhpur online as we speak.

– Morning is here. Rob tells Sanjay to not deviate and help the other teams. Ron thinks Sanjay is serving him too. It is revealed Sanjay is the manager of the hotel. Lynn is inside the clock tower and comments it is dusty like Cinderella’s castle. Teams open up the clue. It’s a Fast Forward. The second of only two. In this Fast Forward teams travel 10.5 miles to engage in a traditional Hindu good fortune ritual–having their head shaved. All Hindu men and women do this at least once in their lives. If Brandon & Nicole were willing to do this in TAR 5, they would have won the race no doubt.

– As per TAR 5, teams do not know it is head shaving until they get to the temple. Gretchen reads the other clue. Detour. Trunk or Dunk. In trunk, teams go to Jodhpur’s old city and choose one of these Sikh elephants weighing six hundred pounds. They must push the elephant half a mile. Much like the engine-less taxi cab from TAR 5 this task is meant to rely on local help. In dunk, teams go to a neighbourhood famous for tye-dye fabrics. Teams will then dye white sheets. When the sheets are dyed they can take it out and the clue will be clearly visible. That’s pretty neat.

The catch?

The clue only appears on one of the many sheets available to them to dye. Ouch. Getting through a basket of twenty-five could take a while. Meredith & Gretchen do detour because if they miss the Fast Forward they know they will not be capable of catching up. Lynn & Alex announce they will do the Fast Forward. Ron is thinking along the same lines as Meredith. So does Rob after committing that exact error in South Africa. Ron tries communicating with Sanjay but Rob stops Sanjay until they are separated from all teams.

– Uchenna & Joyce are going to Fast Forward. Lynn & Alex are right behind them in the taxis. The other three teams meanwhile are running in a pack to ride the (fake) elephants. A band plays next to them. Nobody is riding the elephants. Makes sense. Why add the extra two hundred pounds? Everyone throws their bags underneath the elephant on the flat bed. Oh. The local asks Gretchen to ride the elephant. She agrees. What once was a 630 pound elephant is now 850 pounds.

Why did he ask her to get up in the elephant?

At the end he’ll ask for an autograph. His fingers are really sunk in there.

– Rob asks Amber if she is supposed to be in it. Amber says no. This confuses Rob as he wonders why Gretchen is riding it. Amber insists the clue says nothing about riding. Lynn & Alex know Uchenna & Joyce are a ways ahead and turn around to do the elephant. The four teams are screaming at locals to push. Lynn & Alex arrive at the elephant in last. Rob yells at Sanjay to yell at others to help.

PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT
PUSH IT

They wish they were around to help. May they live forever in our spirits.

– Lynn & Alex push by Meredith & Gretchen who are not budging an inch.

GRETCHEN: We have a bad elephant.

If you have a bad elephant then Colin Guinn’s ox is broken.

– The tail fell off Romber’s elephant and almost trips Ambuh. Gretchen has recruited a ton of kids to help them. Nothing like child labour on TAR. Rob reels in kids to help them push. He catches onto my sense of humour and says it’s tough organizing Indian labour.

JOYCE: I hope it’s not a head shaving. That stuff freaks me out.

If Uchenna looks at the camera and sound operators he will see them smirk and giggle at this very moment.

– Ron & Kelly bring the elephant to the elephant parking and are first done. Teams must now travel eight miles by autorickshaw to Deora Krishi Farm. Here they will find their next clue. Romber is next done. Kelly attempts to get Sanjay to ride with her in the cab but Rob yells that Sanjay has to ride with him. Sanjay follows his master and proves his loyalty to the Robfather.

– Uchenna & Joyce arrive at a temple but it’s the wrong one. Uchenna asks if there is another one nearby. The man says there are twelve or fourteen more temples around here. It’s “temple, temple, temple” on the outskirts of Jodhpur. So Uchenna show the cab where it is and they are on their way. Lynn & Alex are next done detour. Meredith is spent and exhausted. Kelly sees Meredith exhausted. She screams out of her cab for other people to help Meredith push. I s’pose there’s a benefit to asking people to help the weakest team remaining.

– Romber is pissed that Ron & Kelly are barely ahead. Kelly wishes she had Sanjay. Lynn is flustered by the great level of traffic. Uchenna & Joyce get to a temple but people are praying inside. Two wrong temples. Romber’s cab passes Ron & Kelly. They’re ecstatic. Meredith & Gretchen finally finish the detour. Gretchen comprehends that getting up in the elephant was stupid all along. Meredith thinks it was fine because she had a good time. Besides her screaming “Meredith!” every two seconds.

– Romber and Ron & Kelly get to the roadblock. “Who is ready to steer their team in the right direction?” In this roadblock teams pick a camel cart and get inside to direct the camel two laps around the track. Kelly and Amber are doing the task. Amber’s camel initially goes backwards. Lynn & Alex see Meredith & Gretchen right behind them.

Aroo? Sparky wants some fresh air?

– Kelly’s camel is on the second lap. Alex argues with the cab over the fare allowing Meredith & Gretchen to get to the clue box first. Meredith is doing the roadblock after he just did one pulling an 800 pound elephant. Lynn is doing the roadblock too. Uchenna & Joyce are at the correct temple. Joyce sees the scissors. Great.

As if reading the name of the temple a bunch of times wasn’t a headache enough.

UCHENNA: Uh oh.
JOYCE: I knew that was coming. I freakin knew it. Okay. Fine. Alright. Let’s do it.
UCHENNA: Honey–wait a minute. You sure you wanna shave your head?
JOYCE: LET’S GO!

okay.

– Uchenna says she doesn’t have to do it. Joyce is crying but talks sense into him that after taking all the trouble to find this place that they’re guaranteed to be eliminated if they go back. Provided it’s not another non-elimination which it was when Brandon & Nicole refused to do this. Uchenna tells her she doesn’t have to do it but Joyce points out that half of her hair is already gone. Uchenna apologizes.

UCHENNA: My head is already shaved.

That’s enough out of you, Mr. Agu.

– It would be hilarious if Ken & Gerard did this Fast Forward. They would be handed their clue immediately. Uchenna hates Joyce had to make this sacrifice. The barber is unfazed. At the roadblock Amber’s camel ignores all instruction and is doing its own thing. Same with Meredith’s camel. Lynn passes Meredith. The soundtrack from TAR 4’s The Finishing Point plays. Amber is on her second lap. We see Joyce who has quit crying. Uchenna comments that she has a nice shaved head. She starts crying again. Joyce says the shaver is a weird feeling.

JOYCE: I got a big forehead like you now.
UCHENNA: Yep. You do.

Before.

After.

– They have the Fast Forward. Their clue directs them to Jaswant Thada. A royal tomb on the outskirts of Jodhpur. Joyce puts on the bandana right away after she checks herself out in the cab’s mirror. Ron & Kelly are done roadblock. Phil tells us about Jaswant Thada literally 45 seconds after we already heard about it. The only new piece of information is that it’s 6 1/2 miles away from the roadblock. Uchenna & Joyce may not even be arriving in first this leg.

– Rob asks if it’s a pit stop and Ron says yes. How does that help them? No idea. Right before the finish line Amber’s camel does a complete 180. Gretchen tells the camel to do a reverse lap. She is laughing hysterically. The guide successfully brings the camel across the finish line. Sanjay joins them inside the cab to the pit stop. Lynn passes by Meredith. Although Meredith’s camel has done a 360 turn Gretchen is laughing at their bad luck with the camel. She is having a ball. Lynn is on his second lap. So is Meredith. Lynn & Alex are inside the cab. Their cab driver tells Lynn he knows where Jaswant Thada is.

– Uchenna & Joyce, Ron & Kelly, and Romber are all racing to the pit stop. Meredith is done the roadblock in dead last. Him and Gretchen slip into the cab while the other four teams are well on their way. Lynn & Alex are at what they think is the pit stop. That can’t be good. They are on a ledge and see no teams and no flags. They scream at their cab. Turns out it is the wrong palace.

– Uchenna tells Joyce she is beautiful for the millionth time this episode. He even says ‘you look beautiful’ three consecutive times.

LYNN: I don’t have any more nails.
ALEX: Neither do I. They’ve all been bitten off.
LYNN: I’m gonna have to start on my toenails.

Ever seen the movie Biodome?

– Gretchen agonizes over a slow camel, slow elephant, and slow driver. She buries her face into her hands. Ron & Kelly’s cab pulls over to get gas for the second leg in a row. Now that is when you can claim about having bad luck with cabs. Too bad the expression of having bad luck with cabs has been abused in seven short seasons of TAR. Romber passes them as they watched them at the gas station. The cabs are alongside each other. Uchenna & Joyce see Jaswant Thada and run out onto the stairway to the mat. Phil’s smile awaits.

This greeter loves his facial hair. Except on his chin. A bare chin is a symbol of good fortune, too. Or just a fetish of hairless chins.

– Phil tells them they are team number one. Joyce refuses to show Phil her bald head. Not much of a sacrifice when you the bandana hides your brightness. Ron & Kelly’s cab is ahead of Romber by inches. They all scramble for an entranceway. They hit the mat simultaneously it appears but Ron & Kelly must have won the coin flip.

Good luck figuring out who hit the mat first from this photo finish.

– Both teams hug each other and shake each other’s hands at the mat. Phil informs them they are second and third.

Sanjay approves.

– Ron thinks that everyone is very competitive and why they did a 100 yard sprint. Lynn hopes the leg is over because it’s been the longest leg and is exhausted. Meredith is worried about being last but the only thing he wants to think about is beating one other team and tells Gretchen to cheer up. She shakes her head. Their fate is sealed in her eyes. Lynn is confident he is beating Meredith & Gretchen.

– So we’re treated to about 45 seconds of suspense. Who is fourth? Well, it’s a foregone conclusion I can think.

That is one Chad Crittenden gaping mouth and one Eliza Orlins gaping mouth coming right up!

– Meredith’s jaw takes a good ten seconds before it shuts. I’m surprised his jaw can go that wide at such a brittle age. Phil tells them the good news is that they are the oldest team to get to the tenth leg of the race. The TAR trivia brainiacs try to figure out which record has been broken. Lynn & Alex hit the mat without their bags. Phil says they are last and that it is indeed an elimination. They put on several layers again. Lynn goes on about how amazing the whole experience has been and with the people they ran into across the planet. Pretty boring sendoff.

– Next time on TAR: It’s down to the Final Four but two non-elimination legs have yet to occur. We know there will be one next episode for Meredith & Gretchen to arrive in last place yet again. The question remains if it will be 4-4-3-3 or 4-4-4-3? Have Meredith & Gretchen already locked a spot into leg twelve or will they need to survive leg 11 as well and be in the dash to the finish line? Time will tell.

Romber 5.2
Uchenna & Joyce 4.4
Lynn & Alex 9.2
Meredith & Gretchen 6.3
Ron & Kelly 6.1

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
7th Ray & Deana – FF
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
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.)
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
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

7) 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.

6) 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.

5) 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.

4) Lynn & Alex

The first stereotypically gay team to ever run the race. Obsessed with creams and Rob and Amber. And Rob. And Amber. Exaggerated reactions to things were great. They modeled rowing for Phil. Both of them would break out into random comments and had short attention spans. Their calm demeanour was refreshing too. Some of the ways they phrased certain incidents was quite a hoot as well. They earned their position to be this high. Next time just stop obsessing over Romber.

3) 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.

2) 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.

1) Brian & Greg

Funniest team ever to run the race. Nobody has been so bold as to intentionally screw themselves over if it was a non-elimination. No other team has been last to a pit stop but beat a team to the mat itself in two separate legs.

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) Lucknow -> Jodhpur (I liked that there was a 26 hour train ride to wear down the teams. Although giving them twelve hours to recover afterwards earns a thumbs down. I was disappointed that there didn’t seem to be much to do this leg. There were only two tasks after the third equalizer was over and both tasks seemed to finish quickly. Taxis and tight traffic prevented teams from being able to separate until the pit stop on the outskirts of town which 100% relied on taxi knowledge and speed. Highlights include Gretchen riding in an elephant for no reason, stubborn camels on the race course, and Joyce being the only person to agree to have her head shaved during the race. Memorable Fast Forward (so why did production nearly make them extinct?! They’re the most exciting part of the episodes in the earlier seasons. Joyce’s head shaving alone puts the leg this high.))

6) 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.)

7) 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.)

8) Khwai River -> Lucknow (Meredith & Gretchen’s paparazzi welcoming is one of the strangest things I have seen on the race. Really? Them of all teams get the celebrity treatment? The pace of the leg slows down as we get to know the teams better as we stop at several airports between Khwai and Lucknow. There was tea stealing. But the leg is a gigantic ball of frustration when it’s a bulls— To Be Continued Leg. Otherwise this round would be a bit higher.)

9) The Pans -> Khwai River Lodge (You know a leg sucks when the majority of the footage is inside a car. And a roadblock is performed inside a car. And a team broke a car twice. No change of scenery from the previous leg to make it forgettable. Highlights are limited to two teams being turned away, Lynn & Alex’s car troubles that I have already mentioned, and Brian & Greg entering the pit stop in swimsuits praying that it’s a non-elimination and they’re stuck without a shirt for the rest of the race. It’s as bare bones as the race gets.)

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