Previously on TAR: Logan updated his blog so every link is currently available in “The Amazing Race Rankings” page at the bottom of it. Also, in Lucknow teams checked in at what most of them thought was a pit stop but were told they were still racing. Whoa! Phil is a habitual line-stepper. He is cold-bloooooded. Then teams rode a 24 hour train six hundred miles to Jodhpur. When they arrived teams partied with the locals. Gretchen hitched a ride on a wooden elephant while Meredith struggled to push it through the busy streets. At the Fast Forward Joyce participated in an ancient Hindu ritual sending the couple to the front of the pack. Meanwhile other teams struggled with ill-tempered camels. On the way to the pit stop Lynn & Alex got lost. In the end the boyfriends couldn’t recover from their mistake. Now four teams remain. Who will be eliminated two or three rounds from now knowing two non-eliminations remain?
So why do I even blog this episode?
– Intro time. I skipped a potential screen cap of Meredith. I may go to it later. It was borderline.
– Phil introduces us to Jodhpur, India. Ethnic music plays that is straight out of Aladdin. Little do our American editors know that Aladdin is based in Iraq and not India.
Stare into its eyes, Sultan. You shall let Rob & Amber win this season so we get big ratings. . .Rob and Amber will win so we get big ratings. . .
Heh. I made an Iraq reference without Ron’s assistance. I swear I didn’t intentionally set myself up for that.
– Built more than 500 years ago by warriors this city is the agricultural centre of northern India.
And the home to Donkey Kong’s banana hoard.
– In the heart of the city is Jaswant Thada, a royal tomb. This was the eighth (but really ninth) pit stop in a race “around” the world. Your lies of this race being “around” the world will be exposed in minutes, Phil.
– Phil asks if working together will help Romber and Ron & Kelly remain at the front of the pack? And can Meredith & Gretchen finally find a way out of place? Nope.
– Uchenna & Joyce who arrived at 1124am will depart at 1124pm. They open their clue. Fly to Istanbul, Turkey.
WHAT?! THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE A RACE AROUND THE WORLD, PHILLLLLLLLLLLL. WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT CROSSING THE ATLANTIC THEN CROSSING THE PACIFIC! YOU’VE DONE IT SIX TIMES! NOW YOU WANT US TO CROSS THE ATLANTIC TWICE WITHOUT TWO FLYING FECES ABOUT THE PACIFIC OCEAN? SCREW YOU!
R.I.P. Hawaii abuse. 2001-2005.
– Teams take a taxi to the airport and fly more than four thousand miles westward (yes, westward for once. What’s next? Phil buys a pair of boots with a CRAZY green stripe on pure impulse?) to Istanbul. Once there they will travel by train to a dock. At the dock they will board a ferry that will take them to an island lighthouse known as Kiz Kulesi. Planes, trains, automobile, and boat are required to get to your next clue. Is that a record for TAR? Four modes of transportation for the first clue? At the top of the tower is the clue.
– Joyce talks about God and thinks shaving her head means she will win. The Fast Forward was not too advantageous because at 1126pm Romber and Ron & Kelly check out of the pit stop together. Three teams in three minutes on leg ten? I don’t think it’s been that tight since perhaps the Hawaii or New Zealand leg in TAR 2. Rob has enlisted the help of Sanjay for the third day in a row. Sanjay has no problem with only a twelve hour break from helping Romber.
– Kelly wants to see the clue in the darkness because Ron has it and is standing opposite her in their huddle.
RON (calm): Let me see the clue quickly.
KELLY (not chilling out): Geez. Chill out.
RON (calm): If you wanna come around here I can’t see it–
– Ron says the tension between her and Kelly is building and harping on these bad feelings will hinder them running the rest of the race. Rob says teaming up with Ron & Kelly (and Sanjaya) has been a very good partnership but five people working together and splitting cabs may not necessarily be better than one team. Rob gives his millionth “when push comes to shove” comment.
– Meredith & Gretchen check out of the pit stop in 1133pm. So nine minutes from first to last. Gretchen says their initial goal was to survive one day at a time. Now their goal is to win the race. Meredith comments the taxi driver has so many stickers on his windshield that he doesn’t know how he sees through it.
Anything is street legal in India.
– Uchenna & Joyce are convinced that the tourist company is closed so they go to a nearby hotel and call the tourist company to see if they’re open. They are. Uchenna is on the phone booking flights to Istanbul. First flight is 1020am. He is going to a travel agent to purchase the tickets. Romber and Ron & Kelly are at a 24 hour travel agent. I guess a lot of people like to get the heck out of Jodhpur. There is a 1020am flight through Delhi. They purchase tickets right there. Everyone appears to be on the same flight. The flight gets into Istanbul at 845am.
– Meredith & Gretchen are at the same travel agent that the previous teams were at. They book the 1020am tickets. They run into Uchenna & Joyce and tell them about their flight. Uchenna & Joyce tell Meredith & Gretchen the hotel they’re staying at for the night. Uchenna & Joyce are the fourth and final team to bother the travel agent. His business will likely never waiver from being a 24 hour service thanks to their peak hour being at midnight. Meredith & Gretchen follow Uchenna & Joyce. Joyce says she likes working with Meredith & Gretchen because they are nice people but at the end of the day they are indeed the competition.
– Romber and Ron & Kelly split a room. The four of them bid farewell to Sanjay who has guided them to the top of the pack all throughout Jodhpur. Not as teary-eyed as when Lena & Kristy bid farewell to Audi in Norway I must say. Morning arrives in Jodhpur. Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen wake up early to take a cab to the airport. Romber and Ron & Kelly each get their own cabs to the airport not much later.
ROB: Gretchen, did you get on the earlier flight to Turkey?
ROB: Not yet.
ROB: Ambuh, hear what I said to Gretchen? I asked them if they got on the earlier flight to Turkey? I did it cause number one, I wanted to know if there was an earlier flight, and two, to instill a bit of fear into them “What are they talkin’ about”?
Rob must not care about making reckless moves like this because he knows it’s a non-elimination leg and is sure he can beat Ron & Kelly if they are at the bottom of the pact, and if they are at the top of the pact, then they’re safe anyway.
Why do I say it’s reckless?
Hmmmm. . .so what is the earlier flight to Turkey?
There’s an eight o’ clock flight to Istanbul that gets in at 620am? Phew. Thank god I’m on the same flight as Rob & Amber! If they hadn’t told us, we wouldn’t have known about the flight!
UCHENNA: We have a chance to be first now that we know everyone is together.
Where’s the Robfather when you need him?
– Romber separate from Ron & Kelly at the Delhi airport to go to a travel agent and see if there is an earlier flight. Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen ride in taxis together to the travel agent. Uchenna directs the driver. Ron & Kelly don’t see Romber and Ron says they were at the front of the plane. They go to a travel agent as well. Ron is amazed by the world and the things he has seen. It has told him there is so much to do before settling down and having kids and being married.
RON: I’m never gonna get the chance to do it again in my life. It makes me realize there’s a lot of things to do in my life before settling down and having kids and being married.
KELLY: I’m not really gonna sit around and wait for somebody to say everything else in life is more important to me. I’m worth more than that I think.
On the other hand, Kelly’s value of misinterpreting statements is what’s most valuable of all. This is the point when many viewers at home not only didn’t care for Ron’s Iraq obsession much but also had zero positive feelings for Kelly’s selfishness. Her ability to twist words for making it look like nobody cares for her is in the same manner as what Katie Gallagher did in episodes thirteen and fourteen of Survivor: Palau. It’s all about me, Ian!
KELLY: I’m ready I wanna be with you but obviously you’re not there and I’m not gonna sit and wait anymore. Your patterns in life show that you don’t make commitments.
RON: That’s right. I was only committed to the military. . .
KELLY: And you got out of that one.
RON: How did I get out of that one?
KELLY: By being a POW. You left your commitment.
RON: Oh yeah. What I did is I crashed myself and went through hell and torture so I could get out of the army early. I almost died but I knew I was getting out of the army early if I survived it. I’m not gonna argue with you about that and fight all the time. It gets old.
Military Ron Count: 11.5
Kelly has brought up Ron’s stint in the military four times now. I am sure everyone in the military hates Kelly. Does she not know what it means to be a POW? Prisoner. of. War. Prisoner. If Ron intentionally got out of the army then for you to give up your Miss South Carolina crown would mean you would have to flash the whole audience. It’s just something you don’t do in either profession.
– Romber are at a travel agent. The travel agent says 845am is still the earliest flight. Romber are not satisfied and go to other travel agents. Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen pick up their tickets for the 620am arrival. Uchenna asks if everyone is on there but the agent is confused and does not respond. They scurry into their cabs and go back to the airport. Their flight goes through Dubai before heading to Istanbul.
– Romber and Ron & Kelly are at Turkish Airlines ticket counter.
RON: I thought there was a 330am flight.
KELLY: I thought Uchenna said Turkish Airlines?
ROB: Uchenna doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
AGENT: No 330am. Only 445am flight from here to Istanbul.
– Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen board the flight without the presence of other teams. They’re not even on the flight. Joyce thought the selection was limited so she feels she is on the best flight. Romber and Ron & Kelly get to the airport and are confident their flight is the earliest despite no sight of the other two teams. Unusual to see a 2 vs. 2 finish in a season of TAR. I can’t think of another season where it’s paired up like that.
ROB: I think they’re asking Meredith & Gretchen for advice. It’s the blind leading the blinds. You think at 65 or 70 year olds they’d have a clue but they don’t.
KELLY: Uchenna is a leech for information, though.
Could these two teams say any more incorrect statements in thirty seconds? Rob really effed himself over in this situation. The plan is backfiring and he is the one without a clue.
ROB: They’ve been coasting through this whole game following people. Now there’s no one to follow. . .they’re stupid.
And the icing on the cake.
– Romber is confident he’s in the lead with Ron & Kelly. Phil takes the time to tell us teams are going to Kiz Kelusi. First flight gets in seven minutes late at 627am. Uchenna has forgotten about the red cap. The two leading teams get on the train and comment on Istanbul’s beauty. They switch to the ferry. Second flight is in. Romber run down to the train ahead of Ron & Kelly. Ron & Kelly miss it.
– Uchenna & Joyce are on a smaller boat with Meredith & Gretchen. Uchenna & Joyce are first to the clue.
JOYCE: Search the island for a–uh gnome?
– Yep. Phil tells us that these aren’t gnomes. These are Travelocity Roaming Gnomes.
Got my hands in my pockets,
Got my hands in my pockets.
Harder to find than a hidden immunity idol in Samoa.
PHIL: What teams do not know (you mean gnome?) are that these are Travelocity roaming gnomes. Each one has a marking on the bottom. The team that picks the one with the airplane marking and carries it with them to the pit stop will win a special prize.
Brandon Hantz impression.
I’m gettin paid big bucks for this corporate sponsourship. Gnome what I mean?
Oh Gnome! Not the gnomenema!
– By the way this is the debut of the gnome task that will become an annual TAR staple for the next seven years. Perhaps it is the only tradition to survive to TAR 20 besides proportional roadblock performance and the final leg consisting of three teams.
– After grabbing a gnome teams will travel thirteen miles to Galata Kulesi. A big tower in the middle of town. Outside will be their next clue. Gretchen is excited over seeing so many clues. For once the box ain’t empty. Gretchen has a gnome which means. . .
MEREDITH & GRETCHEN ARE IN FIRST PLACE FOR THE FIRST TIME ALL SEASON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
– However both find gnomes easily and are on the same boat. Uchenna & Joyce hail a taxi first followed by Meredith & Gretchen. Did you enjoy your lead while it lasted, Meredith & Gretchen?
– Romber comments on how nice a town looks without smog. It reminds Rob of playing golf. Ron & Kelly know they’re in second once they get on the train. Uchenna & Joyce’s cab tore through town and have the clue. Columns or Kilos?
– In columns teams travel two miles to Binbirdierksarnici, an ancient well held up by 224 ancient columns. Each column displays a number. Teams must use a grid with unique coordinates to four specific columns. Then teams pull a box from the well and use the numbers obtained from the column unlock the combination lock to open the box and receive the next clue. Find the key. Find the treasure. In kilos, teams travel to the town square and take part in a common practice on the streets of Istanbul–weighing people. They must get their scales from a specific man. They must weigh enough people to have a combined weight of 2500 kilograms. That’s approximately 5500 pounds to receive their next clue.
– Uchenna & Joyce do the bland task and opt for the kilos. Disappointed. This shouldn’t have been a detour but rather two separate tasks. Columns is easily the coolest task they have ever done in TAR. Meredith names the gnome Gerome. Romber get on the ferry without Ron & Kelly. Rob doesn’t want to overdo it with their lead. Heh. Dramatic irony.
– Uchenna finds several people to weigh. A steady stream of people. It’s all men being weighed. Meredith & Gretchen are at the tower. They get in an elevator. Apparently the part about the clue being outside is lost upon them. They are at the very top. They do a lap and Gretchen knows they are wasting time. The camera pans to the clue outside the base of the tower. The streak of old people and twins missing the clue continues.
– Uchenna & Joyce finish the detour. That was quick. They will travel ten miles to Rumel Hisari. That’s the sweetest looking castle ever visited on TAR. Meredith & Gretchen still don’t have the clue. I shall screen cap their journey.
A big tower to waste a big amount of time.
GRETCHEN: Z? What’s Z?
FRENCH PERSON: It is Z Tower, no?
BARRY FROM THE MOVIE BEERFEST: If you don’t know what Z is, you can’t afford it.
Lenny is next to him spotting the Notre Dame.
What is it with the streak of old people and twins being the only ones to miss clue boxes anyway?
They missed the inconspicuous clue and are back to the top.
If Meredith & Gretchen didn’t have their money taken away in Soweto, they could purchase these two seeing eye dogs. They can guide you to the clue boxes.
Did the clue say “You will find it in the buffet lid? Also, some of my sweat dripped on the plate.
Who knew looking for a clue with your eyes closed could be so hard!
– So they reach the top and Meredith spots it. Gretchen proclaims doing two laps was a waste of time. They will be doing the kilos task. Romber are on the smaller boat. Ron & Kelly board the ferry. Rob finds out two teams have already been on the boat and were there two hours earlier. A comfortable lead in first has changed to a mad scramble to not be last. They have the clue.
AMBER: I don’t gnome! It’s a little statue!
Neither of you watched season two of The Mole. :'((((((((((((
– Amber has the gnome in hand. Romber get on the ferry back that Ron & Kelly took on the way there. Rob uses his binoculars to see Ron & Kelly on the island. Kelly has the last clue from the clue box. They realize they are in last and could be eliminated. Although they nor the audience ultimately buy it because there are still two non-eliminations to go. Ron has the gnome and are on the boat before grabbing a taxi instead of a ferry.
– Uchenna & Joyce are at the castle. Roadblock. Phil informs us in this roadblock teams will storm a fortress. They will scale the side of the castle then walk up a twenty foot tower. Once there they will grab a key. Then repel back down to the courtyard to unlock their next clue that is written in fancy Middle English font. Uchenna is doing it.
– Uchenna goes up the ladder. Runs up the steps of the tower. He cannot find the key hanging a few feet in front of him.
UCHENNA: Where is it?!
– Gretchen shouts for the man with scales. Then just yells “scales” repeatedly.
He could be hiding amongst the thousands of pigeons obscuring your view. Alfred Hitchcock has them up to something. I know it.
– Back at the castle Uchenna finds the key. He cannot believe it was right in front of his face. Joyce is glad Uchenna climbed it. He opens the clue. It’s a pit stop. It is somewhere in the interior of the castle.
Isn’t this castle sweet?
There’s even a gatekeeper at the entrance! He has dethroned the gatekeeper from Thor, I must say.
– The gatekeeper opens up the entrance for Uchenna to collect Joyce and run to the pit stop. They find Phil no problem.
Welcome to Istanbul. I am Akinator. I can guess the past Amazing Race team you are thinking of in twenty guesses or less.
– Phil raises an eyebrow.
Like so. It’s like he is a face for Mario Party’s face lift mini game. All he needs is his cheeks stretched.
– Phil lowers the eyebrow and says they are team number one. Uchenna hands over the gnome. Phil says if there is a plane they’ll receive a nice prize. It’s a car, but they are first for the second leg in a row. Uchenna is having fun regardless of not winning prizes on these legs.
– Gretchen yells for “big man” to come over and weigh themselves. Some are not too enthusiastic about this label. Romber are in a taxi and wonder if they could have done so from the ferry. Meredith & Gretchen finish the task. Ron & Kelly says if they had to ride a ferry then they wasted a ton of time. Romber are lame-os and are doing the scale task too. However they are struggling to find the town square.
– Ron & Kelly are at the top of the tower after the taxi driver told them to run up the stairs. Romber have directions and running one kilometre. Ron & Kelly spot the clue box from up top. They argue about it. Ron wanted to be at the bottom the whole time while Kelly apologizes but says Ron should have spoke up more and that he never said to go outside. Ron agrees. Kelly however misinterprets another statement and thinks Ron is being mocking. Ron wasn’t but Kelly throws all of the clues and fanny packs at him. Ron turns to the camera and jokes he’ll be running the race alone from now on.
– Ron & Kelly have the detour clue. Ron thinks columns will be easiest. Meredith has yet to see Romber or Ron & Kelly. Gretchen says it would be a great feeling to hit the mat ahead of both of them. Romber acknowledge not taking a taxi to the town square was a mistake. Rob gabs the scale. He is running the task single-handedly. Amber is not getting more than a word in. One guy hates being 82 kilograms. In the cab Ron claims he’s not mad at Kelly and was mad at the situation. Kelly agrees and they make up.
– Ron & Kelly are at the columns. They head inside.
The dark lights. Takes me back to my Mole days. What do Ron & Kelly see inside at the Columns task?
c wut i did thar/
If you don’t recognize this game, then congratulations. You have made me feel old and no longer hip nor with it.
Although blogging about an episode of TAR from 2005 already implies that conclusion.
This detour task is brought to you by the movie Battleship. Now out in theatres!
– Ron & Kelly navigate the board and have two numbers. The third. And the fourth. Off to the well.
I would be too spooked to go down that narrow hallway of darkness.
– Meredith & Gretchen are at the castle. Gretchen is doing the roadblock. Meredith thinks her determination will carry her through. Gretchen wobbles on the ladder while ascending. Romber have finished the detour.
– Ron is pulling up the box from the well.
I was picturing a well that could barely fit Baby Jessica. But this will do.
– Kelly reads off a few combinations. Several of them fail.
The number of combinations is 4! or rather 4*3*2*1 = 24. If the lock had three digits then more teams would have flocked to it. So how long does it take for Ron to get it?
Chelsea has caught up from behind and has undone the lock! Chelsea wins reward!
– Ron & Kelly have the clue. They are in the cab. Gretchen is stuck on the ladder. She is saying she does not have the energy. She keeps hitting against the castle wall. She could very well get Linda’d on the ascension. Oh. Nevermind. She has climbed the castle wall. Gretchen thinks 66 year olds shouldn’t be doing this. Wha happened to age being just a winner? Gretchen has now climbed the stairs. She initially has troubles finding the key but has it and is ready to repel. She utters plenty of “holy’s,” “ohhhh,” and “wooo”. She is down and has let her husband out. They land on the mat in second. Phil examines the gnome. It does not have a plane. Gretchen says they are so proud of themselves and rather than benefit from other team’s mistakes they did it on their own power. Yes, Uchenna telling you about the flight is on your own power.
– Romber are at the fortress. Rob is going to do it. He flies up the ladder. Ron & Kelly are at the castle. Ron is doing it. Amber and Kelly stand together. Amber hopes they dropped their gnome. Ron begins the ladder. He is at the top. We transition to Rob snagging the key in approximately two seconds. Suspense is built as Rob repels. Ron is up the stairs and searches for the key. Rob unlocks the clue. Ron has done a full lap all along the watchtower.
There must be some key to get me outta here..don don don don.
– Rob has met up with Amber and they run to the pit stop. Rob says they barely escaped elimination. I say they barely escaped non-elimination. The most awkward part is Ron seeing them get on the pit stop from the watchtower. It is karmic retribution for what he did to Ryan & Chuck in the first leg. Romber are officially team number three. Phil points to a visible Ron on the watchtower and how hard it must be for Romber to watch Ron suffer in dead last.
Can I come down now?
– Romber hand over the gnome. Great. 50/50 shot they get the prize. I’m sure they get it too. Right after Amber says that Ron & Kelly have been tough competition for being only a couple minutes behind them for this whole leg. Phil turns over the gnome and amazingly enough it is not a plane. Consolation prize is being team number three. Rob says they won’t miss that crucial flight anymore.
– Ron has the key, repels, rescues Kelly, and they go to the mat. They’re last. It’s a non-elimination and they seem unmoved by it. Phil asks them to hand over their bags and money. They only keep the clothes on their back.
Does he get to keep the straps and carabineer?
– Phil tells them to hand over the gnome after taking all money, clothes, bags, and being penniless at the start of the next leg. By process of elimination their gnome holds the plane. They have won twenty thousand dollars to spend on Travelocity. While teams are at the pit stop Ron & Kelly will go to a first class and buy their s— online. I’d take the precious sleep and planning routes to the airport, personally.
KELLY: Thanks Travelocity!
So they get to surf the Net and purchase their tickets.
Windows XP and Internet Explorer? Laaaaaaaaaaaaaaaame.
– Ron says their team cannot disintegrate in communication otherwise they’ll disintegrate overall.
Next time on TAR: The 2 vs. 2 gameplay continues in the British Isles as we continue heading westward. Will it be a non-elimination or an elimination? Will Ron reference the military or will Kelly be the one responsible for that edit? And will Romber feed the dramatic irony for the audience? And will Joyce hide her shaved head some more? Stay tuned!
Uchenna & Joyce 2.7
Meredith & Gretchen 4.8
Ron & Kelly 6.5
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
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) Jodhpur -> Istanbul (Ron & Kelly and Romber no longer finish 1-2 at the top of the pack. Rob’s strategic musings backfires like no other in TAR history except perhaps Guido’s transportation choice and lollygagging from the Fast Forward. Uchenna is responsible for backfiring Rob’s move and is able to pick up Meredith & Gretchen to take them to the front of the pack. Meredith & Gretchen take two whole laps to find a clue. Istanbul is one of the most unique cities ever visited on TAR. Architecture is astounding. The ‘columns’ detour task is the most creative in the show’s history. The episode is capped off by Ron standing from a watchtower to see Romber occupy the remaining spot where Phil doesn’t mug you. This leg will be known for the debut of the Travelocity roaming gnome.)
4) 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.)
5) 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.)
6) 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.))
7) 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.)
8) 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.)
9) 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.)
10) 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.)