TAR 7 episode 8 ranking

Eighth leg

Previously on TAR: Teams set off from the Mahfdjkfjkdi Pans in Botswana and raced to the Khwai River. Uchenna & Joyce hit their stride at the detour while utters got tripped up milking goats. Teams had a scenic drive through the African bush. So did Kim Kardashian. But Lynn & Alex broke down then got a flat. Tensions between Ron & Kelly turned into name calling. Uchenna & Joyce made a costly mistake when they took the flag ribbon off the post rather than the post itself. And Meredith & Gretchen missed their final clue opening the door for last place Brian & Greg. But in the even their outfits couldn’t save them. Five teams remain who will be eliminated. . .next?

– Intro time. The majority of the teams in the intro are no longer relevant. None of them come back for an all-stars. Wonder what they’re all up to. Probably not re-watching themselves and keeping track of stats. Or holding an actual job. But I digress.

– We are introduced to Khwai Village. It is home to a community of bushmen. At the end of the river is Khwai River Lodge. This safari camp was the seventh pit stop in a race “around” the world. Can’t wait until I am allowed to stop using those quotes. Phil asks will the increasing tension between Ron & Kelly affect their momentum? And can retired couple Meredith & Gretchen continue to beat the odds and stay in the race?

– Romber, who arrived first at 1245pm will depart at 1245am. So much for my theory that teams wouldn’t be allowed to depart during the night in the Botswanian bush. Clue instructs to fly over 5, 000 miles to Lucknow, India. TAR wastes no time re-using their Indian ethnic music as Phil says teams must find a religious palace and go inside the area known as the Bouli where they will find their next clue. Teams have been given tickets to Mumbai (Bombay), India and must arrange their own flights to Lucknow. In other words, all teams should be on the same flight to Lucknow unless seats are limited or they are stupid. To begin their journey teams sign up for a charter that leaves later in the morning. So it’s really a twenty hour pit stop given what little they have to do in Khwai. Although one could say how little they have to do as they fly five thousand miles to Mumbai before they have to do any real work.

– $125 is given for the leg. Rob says it’s getting down to it with five teams. Last round it was everyone being competitive and the round before it was crunch time. Now it’s “getting down to it”. I’d like to ask for a conversion chart to understand how serious this is getting. One little mistake could be the end of them. Fortunately any little mistake on the way to Lucknow cannot cost them the race. Except losing passports. Ron & Kelly check out of the pit stop and promise to work on their communication to recover from the spats they had over the past two legs.

Although Ron does not look into the other person’s eyes when he shakes their hand. Communication levels have dropped.

– Kelly says the only way to win the race is to communicate better when the stress level gets high. Ninety minutes later Uchenna & Joyce check out at 208am. Okay, eighty minutes later. Whatever. Uchenna says him and Joyce have found a groove that will be instrumental to get them working together and getting the million bucks and it will be instrumental to get the harmony. 54 minutes later Lynn & Alex are checking out at 300am. They are impressed how well they’ve been doing (despite ruining two cars in a single episode). Every day they deal with adversity and Lynn says that adversity brings them closer together. Regardless if it’s cliche. Alex is shocked at how well they can do. Lynn says they are amazing and Alex says THAT is a cliche.

– Meredith & Gretchen are last to leave at 345am. This is quite the gap considering they drove into the pit stop prior to Lynn & Alex, and only had to drive a total of eighteen miles round trip to go back and grab their clue. Gretchen says the competition are all ferocious lions. Meredith says now that they have caught up they need to avoid breaking a hip. They all board the cessna and comment how beautiful Africa was and how amazing Botswana looks from above. Uchenna comments it is like a postcard and it has a bigger sky than Texas.

– Teams arrive in Francistown. They all pick up their tickets in the tiny airport. The lady is waiting for an hour before she can issue the tickets. I love that this journey is being shown. Oh. Now I know why we’re seeing Francistown. Alex has successfully borrowed a cell phone and is calling a travel agent. After an hour is up the lady tells Rob and Ron she is ready to hand out the tickets. Rob stops her and wants her to wait five minutes. He wants her to look up tickets to Lucknow because Lynn & Alex, Uchenna & Joyce, and Meredith & Gretchen are all outside doing their own thing. It’s the only opening Rob has. Lynn sees Rob and Ron inside behind the counter. Him and Uchenna discuss if Rob is indeed booking flights to Mumbai.

– Alex finds a 935am flight and books the tickets for his three teams. Rob spots a different flight that gets in at 930am. He arranges to purchase the tickets for him and Ron on the 930am flight. Rob tries to convince the lady to not tell the other teams if they ask about an earlier flight.

ROB: Say ‘NO!’

I love how she reacts the same way as a mom does to her ten year old son when he makes an outrageous and silly request.

ROB: If they say ‘why not’ just point to me.

– Rob comes outside to tell Lynn to pay for the Bombay tickets. Lynn takes the opportunity to tell Meredith he is on their super awesome (but later) flight. Meredith says god blesses him and asks why Lynn did it.

LYNN: Because we want you guys in the finals with us.

At least Ray was flattering and hailed Meredith as a threat. Lynn is just flat out insulting.

– Ron & Kelly discuss that being with Romber is not such a good idea because the other three teams hate them for it. Ron wants to quit talking to them.

You knew editors would subtitle this quote the second Ron uttered it. Probably not much else to work with from Khwai to Lucknow anyway. Kelly wants to keep her enemies closer. How is Romber their enemy? They have been purchasing the better tickets for them and have been 1-2 in several legs to date. In fact Ron & Kelly struggled the most during the first leg when they finished tenth. This cooperative coalition has only benefited them. Rob goes on to boast that their relationship with Ron & Kelly is one of mutual respect but is in it to win it. Ron thinks he’ll be one of the last teams at the end because their conflict has been minimized. Kelly says everyone was their friend until they started getting first and second. Only natural for teams at the bottom to work together at airports to get to the top. Now you know how Romber feels. Amber agrees.

– Teams are now in Mumbai at 300am. This is the longest airport scene since TAR 5. Romber and Ron & Kelly board their flight. Lynn & Alex don’t know where the other two teams are but are confident they’ll be in the mix. Gretchen takes the time during the three hour layover to purchase a backpack. What happened to them being stripped of all cash a couple legs ago? They must have begged for more and the Botswana legs must have been free. Gretchen tries to get a senior’s citizen discount.

Only cool people two strap it.

– The three teams get on the later flight. Both flights go through Delhi. We skip Delhi and head straight into Lucknow. Ron & Kelly and Romber pre-pay for their taxi. This involves scrambling to pay through an outside office before hailing a taxi. Romber’s driver speaks English. Ron makes quite the observation about Lucknow.

RON: The only thing I can equate this to is when everyone was trying to get the heck out of Baghdad because it was being bombed.

Of course it’s the only thing you can equate it to because it’s the ONLY THING YOU EVER EFFIN TALK ABOUT.

Yet cars are moving in two directions. Which way out of Baghdad, please?

Military Ron Count: 10.5

– Ron & Kelly’s car pulled into a gas station. He just wanted to punish Ron for always talking about Baghdad. Uchenna & Joyce and the others scramble to the pre-pay taxi. However Uchenna & Joyce go inside to pre-pay.  They pay 330 rupees while the other two teams pay 400 rupees but the price keeps increasing. Both teams are face palming. Uchenna & Joyce are gone. Meredith & Gretchen and Lynn & Alex are into their cabs.

– Phil tells us for the third time this episode that teams are going to Bara Imambara Palace. Back in the old days it would take teams 16 minutes to get to their first route marker without Phil repeating it. In TAR 7 Phil has repeated it two additional times. The changes from TAR 1 are extremely noticeable by TAR 7. Romber are at the palace and put on the scarves and headdress. Red Sox cap won’t do? Rob comments on the palace and how it was built for his girlfriend.

The correct answer is the Taj Mahal. Better luck next time.

– Rob says if he built Ambuh a palace it would look twice as nice. Well he did work in construction. Ron & Kelly are at the palace and find peace in a temple that is located in the centre of chaos. No wonder there are temples all throughout India that forbid talking and running. Otherwise Advil would be the hottest item in the country. Uchenna points out that there are hundreds of bikes but not a single woman is to be found.  Lynn says the traffic has woke him up. Romber run to the clue regardless of the ‘no running’ rule. They open the clue.

– Teams must now travel by a horse-drawn carriage known as a tonga (isn’t that a country?) to the steel emporium where their next clue sits. There is a yield ahead. Rob directs Ron & Kelly to the clue. Ron is worried about Rob yielding them and vice versa. Uchenna enters the temple without wearing a headdress. Lynn wears a cap too. Gretchen wishes she could give a lot of money to the poor people. Uchenna & Joyce have the clue and see the yield. Meredith has a cap too. Alex breaks the ‘no yelling’ rule and has found the clue. Meredith & Gretchen are last to the box but in the same frame as Lynn & Alex. Alex hopes he will not be yielded by Romber.

– Ron & Kelly land on the yield mat. This triggers Phil to explain to us the rules for the yield and how it’s the second of only three. Ron asks Rob what they should do. Rob points out that it could be a non-elimination so there’s no point chancing it.

That’s an interesting point. With three non-elimination legs left in the race why would you make a team hate you who could be around for two more legs due to consecutive non-eliminations? If I were production I would change it so that a yield appears after a non-elimination leg to maximize its use. Or just put it on every leg like they should have done in the first place. Romber however drift from sound reasoning to a confessional where he admitted he would have yielded Ron & Kelly. He says Ron isn’t the brightest bulb on the Christmas tree. I counter with Rob not being the brightest bulb for wanting to secretly waste his yield.

– Roadblock time. Teams must search over 600 tin boxes for one of ten clues.

KELLY: Roadblock: Who has a lot of patience?
RON: That’d be you. That’s not you really but it has to be you for this.

Oh. Snap.

– Amber and Kelly search. Kelly asks Amber to holler if she sees a clue and she’ll holler if she sees one. What good will that do? You have to search only one less box?  Lynn & Alex’s horse passes Uchenna & Joyce’s horse. Amber figures out that only one clue will be in per box. Amber is indeed the first to find a clue. Teams must now hire a cycle rickshaw to take them three miles to Aishbagh and find the nearby gas station. Romber screams for rickshaw. One shows itself. Kelly finds a rickshaw. It’s not much of a needle in the haystack if they do it within five minutes. Ron believes Romber has the biggest luck of anyone he has seen in his life and regrets not yielding them. Rob takes the opportunity to slam Ron in a confessional for not using the yield.

– Uchenna & Joyce choose not to yield. Uchenna is doing the roadblock. Alex is at the yield mat and is dumbfounded Rob didn’t yield them.

You mean Rob and Amber aren’t as obsessed with us as we are with them? How can that be?

– Alex is doing the task. It’s now Gretchen’s turn. Alex does a dance when he snags the clue and is in the rickshaw. There is an annoying hammer sound as Uchenna and Gretchen search. Uchenna has the clue and they board a rickshaw. Uchenna is pedaling along the ground. Does he know that could increase the friction for the bike? People from the top of the apartment above the emporium observe Gretchen. Gretchen swears she has opened every box and wastes time in dead last to hug Meredith. In addition she said she could not reach the boxes at the top.

Why does Logan point out every fallacy I make? Why did I say I opened every box when before that I said I didn’t open boxes on the top? This is when that dog narbit lawyer guy would yell ‘OBJECTION!’

– Commercial. Meredith directs her to new piles but Gretchen swears she has opened them all. Gretchen finds it in a huge box that sat alone by itself on the bottom. She sure feels dumb. They are directed to a rickshaw on the Aishbagh. A couple locals hire a rickshaw of their own to keep up with Meredith’s rickshaw. Romber cheer as the locals cheer. Amber notes the cows. Kelly comments that the gas station is under a bridge. Ron thinks it all smells like donkey crap and it stinks.

Where did Ron live that he knows the scent of donkey crap? Most would say manure. But I could not tell you the difference from horse feces to cow feces to goat feces to an echidna’s feces.

– Romber are inside the gas station. Detour. As Phil explains the detour a kid runs out in front of him during the camera shot. Whenever Phil is in India he has mentioned several times in interviews that around fifty locals will stand around him and are extremely nosey to what he’s doing. They just wanna be on TV.

– Oh right. The detour. Solid or Liquid. In solid, teams travel one mile to a coal depot. Once there they will have to smash coal into small pieces and put them in two burlap sacks and put them on a scale. Once the scale reads over 175 pounds. Coal is so 1900. Once at this weight they will put it on a flat bed tricycle and transport it four blocks to a store where they will receive their clue. In Liquid teams travel three miles to a local tea stall and take a tea cart and push it one hundred yards to an unmarked three story office building. Once there they will search for five people on a sheet list of employees. They will deliver the tea in exchange for a business card. Once they have cards they will bring it back to the tea stall along with the cart in exchange for their next clue.

Have at it with those names. Talk about jobs being outsourced.

– Romber and Ron & Kelly work together to do the Liquid task. Romber get on the rickshaw. Kelly requests Ron to be with her. She wants a taxi but Ron says a rickshaw will be faster and there is not a taxi to be found anywhere on the street. Would you want a taxi who would be stuck in the traffic anyway? Rickshaws can weave in and out of traffic at the very least.

– LYNN: I love the people. I wish I had things to throw at them. Oh my god this is the way to see the city. For real.

Things to throw at them? They aren’t the ducks in your local pond, Lynn.

– Alex has this insightful and wise detail to add.

Good to know. Lucknow is lovely.

– Uchenna helps pedal and chants random crap in the streets. Lynn & Alex are at detour. They do liquid. Lynn wants a taxi and Alex says their rickshaw guy is right here. Alex believes valuable time is being wasted. Uchenna & Joyce are at gas station. Lynn sees them and believes Alex was correct all along. Gretchen chats with the guides who ride in a rickshaw parallel to them. Romber find the cart and are pushing it real good.

Unfortunately that’s the same colour as the urine of a skateboarder after they end up in the ‘Biggest fails’ bonus video when you beat Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.

– Ron & Kelly are at the stall. Romber and Ron & Kelly maintain their 1-2 punch. Rob shouts ‘COMMITTEE’ department directly in the face of locals. They go inside and try to figure out all of the different departments.

ROB: Do you have a business card?
ROB: Do you have a business card?
ROB: Do you have a business card?

Return of Prodigal Son?
Return of Prodigal Son?
Return of Prodigal Card?

– Rob finds the first fellow. He is stone-faced during the whole exchange. Ron & Kelly are now at the building. They shove their lists in everyone’s faces. Romber hates Ron & Kelly following them. Rob asks directions and one guy speaks fluent English. Rob instantly has a light bulb go off in his head and asks him to walk with them. They have two. Ron & Kelly get their first. Uchenna & Joyce have a cart. Lynn & Alex get there a few minutes later.

That poor girl. She thinks Gretchen is Joan Rivers and Meredith is Joe Biden. Hopefully the girl was bright enough to sell the autograph on eBay within the first two months of TAR 7’s airing before it would become more worthless than a Canadian penny.

This is a funny quote about the roadblock that my friend Ben shared me that was posted online when this episode aired.

“Gretchen took so long to finish the Boxblock that by the time she was finished, the season had already wrapped, aired, and earned her a throng of local fans who followed her all over India, shooting the season’s continuity all to hell.”

Forgive me. They think Gretchen is the Queen of England on the visit. Gretchen even imitates the Queen’s wave. The throng of fans up top wave and pump their fists like those who hang out on the balcony of Zangief’s power plant.

Why are they doing this?

You’re happy to see TAR racers? Every racer insults the smell of India on TV. Kelly, Jaree, and Nicole all get fondled and insist the country is awkward. Indian citizens must be thrilled to have a new batch of contestants to visit and insult their smell and public transit.

Although they may be celebrating because after three seasons of TAR coming to India that all of the old teams are gone, seeing grey-haired racers is like catching a wild Mewtwo after you complete the Indigo Plateau. The girl’s autograph is a Limited Edition Old-Timer.

– Meredith & Gretchen announce they have the last clue from the clue box. Gretchen says 175 pounds of coal is a lot of weight. Meredith claims it’s how much he weighs. So they go to do the liquid.

You know who I thought would be asked for an autograph this leg but weren’t?

Um, them.

The children rejoice in the streets when they discover the old couple will finally be eliminated from the race. Now the real season can begin!

– More people beg for their autographs. How pathetic. I would never do the same if TAR teams came to MY town.
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>_>
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<_<

– Ron & Kelly have served three cups. Uchenna & Joyce are in the house tax department. Their first is delivered. Lynn & Alex now ask a guy if he knows if any of the people who are thirsty for tea. They show the list to several people and are rejected by virtually everyone they see. Lynn comments going up the stairs is a J-Rock aerobics workout. They find somebody named ‘Kumar’. No White Castle logos to be found. That guy has been waiting a whole lot of time for some f—ing goddamn tea! I would have spit in the tea or serve it cold just for fun. They wouldn’t know until they saw it on TV.

– Romber have two people claim the same cup of tea. He’s looking for the real Sharpe. I thought that was a felt marker but it’s a person too. They serve Mr. Sharpe and use their local to direct them back to the stall and hopefully the pit stop. Ron & Kelly have five business cards. Romber have the cart and run into a car blocking the massive amount of foot traffic.

– Uchenna & Joyce serve cup number three. Lynn has cup number two. Gretchen asks Meredith to ask their helper where it was. Meredith says he is taking them and is simultaneously working out the payment for the help. ‘Tis hectic after Meredith’s carpal tunnel kicked in from signing a hundred autographs. Romber find the owner and have the clue. So do Ron & Kelly.

– Rob reads the clue. “Make your way to Phil at the mat.” Teams must go 1 1/2 miles to a random building and go to the rooftop where Phil awaits. It says nothing about a pit stop! Amber notes that the clue is written uniquely too.

Phil and the mat? Elrod is returning to haunt Rob yet again?

– Romber and their friend for the past twenty minutes walks with them through the streets. I’m guessing the local has nothing better to do? Romber hire a taxi. Ron & Kelly hire a rickshaw after a taxi rejects them and does not know the location. Kelly sees Romber’s taxi and is mad. Ron says to lighten up the attitude. Uchenna & Joyce have five business cards. We see them pass Lynn & Alex in the same frame. Lynn finds Avish Kumar. Still no White Castle. That was the fifth cup.

– Lynn runs with the cart. Uchenna & Joyce spot the owner. The owner comments Uchenna is tired. What a jack—. They’re in a taxi now. Lynn delivers the business cards.

LYNN: I hope there’s a pit stop because I’m dead.

– Lynn & Alex speculate where Meredith & Gretchen are. Lynn wonders if they tore through the coal task. Meredith & Gretchen must be an hour behind if they are nowhere in sight. Suddenly Meredith & Gretchen are at the office building and talk about the tea.

MEREDITH: I could drink some of this.
GRETCHEN: I could drink some of this TOO.
ME: Yeah? Well my dad can beat up your dad!

MEREDITH: We wish to give you some tea.
WORKER: Thank you, thank you.
MEREDITH: We need a business card from you. Please?
WORKER: Huh?
MEEDITH: What is your name?
GRETCHEN: Not on there? RAJ!
RAJ: Yes?
GRETCHEN: That’s Raj?
MEREDITH: Yes, yes.
GRETCHEN: He took your tea! Shame on you! Taking the tea.

I think that worker will be put into timeout for ten minutes and think about what he’s done. In his defense the ‘house tax’ department is the most taxing one on your mind as you work through the day.

– Romber’s taxi pulls over. They ask how to access the roof. The local runs with them. Romber find Phil on the mat.

PHIL: Rob and Amber. . .welcome to Lucknow. You guys probably think this is the end of the leg?
AMBUH: But. . .
PHIL: I don’t wanna hold you up, I have your other clue. You’re still racing. This leg is not over.

Oh my god. . .this is so not good!

The real joke here is that I have been sitting on their clue in the hot sun alllll day.

Next time on TAR: The previous leg is rendered moot when teams party with the locals so Phil has time to film the detour and roadblock segments. Stubborn camels slow the progress of other teams.

Romber 5.1
Uchenna & Joyce 4.0
Lynn & Alex 7.3
Meredith & Gretchen 2.5
Ron & Kelly 6.4

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.)
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

6) 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.

5) 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.

4) 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.

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) 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.)

7) 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.)

8) 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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