TAR 7 episode 11 ranking

Eleventh leg

Previously on TAR: Despite re-electing Republican George W. Bush, Kelly refused to vote for John McCain because he was a former POW. Then teams flew from Jodhpur, India four thousand miles to Istanbul, Turkey. Kelly confronted Ron about his ability commit. She claims Ron got out of a military commitment by being a POW. At the airport Rob got cocky not realizing they were falling behind. Once in Istanbul teams searched for Travelocity roaming gnomes. At the roadblock Gretchen struggled to scale a wall. While Romber and Ron & Kelly raced to avoid last place but in the end Ron & Kelly couldn’t catch up. But it was a non-elimination and were stripped of all belongings. A lucky break gave them a suite and 20, 000 dollars to spend awarded them the vacation of a lifetime. Four teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time.

– We’re introduced to the historic city of Istanbul, Turkey. It is the only city in the world built on two continents. Screw you, Suez, Egypt and Panama City, Panama. Eat it! Just outside the city is a 550 year old fortress. It was the tenth pit stop in a race around the world. Ron & Kelly were saved by the third non-elimination but lost everything except for the twenty grand they were just awarded.

– Phil asks if it will be the final blow to Ron & Kelly’s already troubled relationship or will the 20 grand they just won bring them closer together as they come from behind? And after jumping ahead in the last leg, will Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen be able to stay ahead of the competition? Uchenna & Joyce who arrived first at 1053am will depart at 1053pm. Joyce reads the clue that directs them ten miles to Sirkeci Train Station and enter a room of spinning dervishes. Dervishes spin in a trance-like state to show devotion to their fate. In random rooms at train stations too.

– Uchenna & Joyce read that three teams will receive 477 dollars while one team receives zero. 477?! Has that much been given out at the start of a leg before? Wow. Sucks to be Ron & Kelly. Uchenna yells out ‘taxi’ into the night and one appears. Joyce is impressed. She goes on to ramble that in real life Uchenna is in one direction and she goes on another. This race has brought them closer together mainly because they have to rely on each other. They are inside with the dervishes. An escort (get your mind out of the gutter) leads them in. We watch random folk spin and spin and spin. Joyce takes a clue from the box.

– Joyce is excited to fly 2,000 miles to London. Teams will find a zebra crossing or crosswalk made famous by a few beetles. Did they get squashed? I understand why Brits call it a zebra crossing because the black granite patterns with the white chalk. Clever. I wouldn’t expect less from the Brits. Teams must figure out that the clue is at Abbey Road. Uchenna & Joyce recall their pointless trivia in the cab.

– Meredith & Gretchen depart over an hour later at 1157pm. They feel bad for Ron & Kelly. Gretchen was just trying to get through the first two legs not embarrassing themselves but here they are still in it. Uchenna & Joyce get to airport and bombard the ticket counters. First flight is 830am and arrives at 1030am supposedly. No flights earlier. Ticket agent gives them the tickets. Uchenna says there could be better flights because they are flying direct but learned nothing from Rob’s mistake last leg and refuses to find another flight because Joyce is afraid to gamble on a connection. Uchenna is excited to eat.

– Meredith & Gretchen walk around the dervishes. Romber check out at 1237am. Less than two hours behind Uchenna & Joyce it seems. Rob butchers the pronunciation of ‘dervish’. Amber says that the nerves of being close to the end has led them to make stupid decisions. Amber has no idea what a dervish is. Rob thinks it’s a topless woman. Huh. Meredith & Gretchen book the same flight as Uchenna & Joyce. Ron & Kelly depart sixteen minutes later at 1253am. Ron took forever to find the key.

KELLY: These rocks are kinda slick.
RON: Not really.

– Ron is excited that Kelly won’t be wearing make-up for a while after they lost their bags and that she is wearing the same clothes over and over. He is surprised by Kelly and has seen everything she wants to see out of Kelly. Kelly is questioning whether she should marry Ron after the race anymore. She hopes to know the answer by the end. Ron & Kelly ask directions from a drunk man who shows them to the tavern. Ron pulls Kelly away. They go to a store saying they have no money. A guy asks from which country. Kelly was crazy enough to say she is from America. The guy goes to a couple cars and gives Ron a bunch of money. It is eight million in an unknown currency. Taxi ride to airport costs six million of it. Romber are at the train station.

Point missed.

AMBER: Kind of spooky. Looks like they’re hanging from something.

Two strikes.

– They open the clue. Rob says his mom is a huge beetles fan. Where is that in the Mariano bloodline? Were one of the band members named Boston Ringo? Romber has wrote down the Turkish translation for the taxi and pointed at it for the driver to read. He obeys and they get to the airport fast. They head to the information desk to use the Internet. There is a faster flight through Frankfurt on the almighty Lufthansa airline. It leaves at 550am and gets in at 900am. Ninety minutes earlier than the other flight. The Frankfurt flight is full. So Romber gambles and go on the waiting list. Staying with the pack is not in their vocabulary. They don’t want to drag Ron & Kelly along as insurance so they tell the agent to not let anyone else use the Internet. Good luck with that request.

– Kelly says the room is like a dream as she grabs the last clue. She couldn’t sound less excited to go to London. Amber has a plan to fool Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen into thinking they are all on the same flight by buying the later flight’s tickets as well. Ron & Kelly spend the remaining two million on a cab to the airport. Meredith surprisingly gives Ron & Kelly some money as payback for Ron & Kelly giving them money after the non-elimination in Soweto. Wow. Karma truly exists in the race. Meredith tells Ron & Kelly about the Turkish Airlines flight too saying it’s the earliest one. Romber’s tickets say otherwise.

– Ron & Kelly buy the tickets. The seduction soundtrack plays as Kelly asks for lipstick from the ticketing agent. She complies and Kelly applies it to her lips. The ticketing agent lady does not seem too impressed that her lipstick is used.

Eliza eyezaroll’d.

– Ron & Kelly looked up at a Lufthansa sign and it reads Frankfurt. For whatever reason Kelly believes this means there is a flight to London from there. Sure enough they go the desk and are given standby tickets. Ron & Kelly take the same risk as Romber.

RON: If you don’t take risks you’re not gonna win.

True. But this is The Amazing Race. The only goal is to not be last until the final leg. When it’s leg thirteen then take risks. But for now I would just hop onto whatever flight Meredith & Gretchen are taking. We all know how well those minds are functioning on day 25/26 of a race around the Atlantic.

– Romber and Ron & Kelly are on the flight together at 550am. Uchenna hasn’t seen them but thinks nothing of it. Meredith has observed nothing either as he doesn’t acknowledge the teams’ absence. In Frankfurt Romber and Ron & Kelly scramble to the shuttle. Both are in the shuttle. Shuttle opens and Rob says first to the desk has first priority on the waiting list. They sprint in the airport and it appears to be a parallel race. Romber lucks out with the ticket counter being on their side of the hallway. Agent grants them tickets and they walk on. Suspense for Ron & Kelly for twenty seconds. Rob is ecstatic to see how pissed they looked.

– It doesn’t matter. Ron & Kelly are on the flight too. It departs at 820am. Back to the adventures of the old people they board the Istanbul flight. Phil tells us Romber and Ron & Kelly’s 900am flight arrives ninety minutes earlier than the next flight.

– 900am flight lands. Romber buy tickets to Paddington. They are a few minutes faster through Customs than Ron & Kelly. Ron & Kelly ask about the Beatles album cover (NEITHER of them knew Abbey Road?!) and a man right away tells them it is Abbey Road. Ron & Kelly are casually walking through the airport while Romber is sprinting.

– Romber are alone on the first train. Ron is pissed they missed it. Romber asks a man on the train named Stewart where Abbey Road is. Stewart volunteers to take them there himself once they get off the train. Ron & Kelly explain their penniless situation and are begging for money. The clip ends literally within two seconds as Ron makes a brief comment being happy about the generosity of others. A guy gave them American dollars.

– Here we are at Paddington Station. Romber split themselves into two lines. Amber’s is faster. Stewart tells her to buy tickets for St. George. So onto the train to St. George we go. Romber is confident Ron & Kelly are behind them. Did Rob learn nothing last leg about just accepting that you never know where other teams are?

– Ron & Kelly get into a cab after getting to Paddington Station. No St. George’s for them. Romber follow Stewart who is running far ahead of them.

Stewart runs before The Mariano Family makes him sleep with the fishes.

– Rob tells Amber to work Stewart into making him stick with them all day long. Clue box. Teams are told to go to the London Eye. Once inside they will scan the skyline for a red and yellow route marker. TAR loves doing this task in the last quarter of every season. Below the flag is the next clue. They go into St. John Wood’s Station. Ron & Kelly have the clue. Ron nearly shoves an Asian lady who backs away at the last second.

Personally I’d get out of the way when two Americans, a sound operator, and a camera operator were running into the direction of a green box standing in the middle of the street. Unless she wanted to be the first civilian casualty on TAR. After all Ron is a POW. The shell shock of someone running into him may trigger a reaction from his Iraq days.

– Ron & Kelly ask for the best way to St. John Wood’s. Ron insists Kelly to run faster because it is a race. A ninety minute lead has spurred plenty of confidence and relaxation within Kelly. She says nothing to the statement and in fact we are not shown a reaction at all. For once Ron & Kelly are being shown for the sake of being Ron & Kelly.

– Romber exit Waterloo station and go to the flagged customer service desk. They buy tickets for themselves and Stewart before getting into an eye.

What’s so special? It’s just a really fancy ferris wheel. Child’s play!

ROB: I feel like I’m in outer space here!

Looks like the Marianos weren’t allowed at the Fun Fair. Actually, Rob said earlier he never watches horror movies. So he’s never seen the movie “It”. It’s about a clown. Clowns are at fun fairs. Ferris wheels only exist at fun fairs. Therefore, Rob has never been on a ferris wheel. I win!

– Rob whines about the fog from the window. Ron gives Kelly a map after he keeps it in his pocket. She calls him a brat. They buy tickets and get into the eye. But it’s not over.

RON: Which side do you want?
KELLY: I’ll take this side. . .after I get my apology!
RON: Ohhhhh man.

– Rob complains that they are at the top and have seen nothing. Suspense is built yet again this episode. Editors must not have had much material to work with. These aren’t even the last place teams. This is for a lead that will mean nothing unless another prize is given out.

So who will spot the clue first?

*Cues dramatic music*

POWs have 150 to 200 percent improved vision


Someone who goes as far as wearing the ugly glasses on the planet should be rewarded with a clue.

This eye smells like fafaru

And Walter was a human sacrifice.

– Rob spots it. He asks Stewart how to get there. Ron & Kelly don’t see it at first but then Ron points it out. Romber are at the clue box at the hotel. Detour time. Brains or brawn.

In brains, teams go to the nearby London subway known as the London underground and solve a series of three riddles. The mystery will lead them to 221 Baker Street which is the home of Sherlock Holmes.  Here they’ll receive their next clue.

Sherlock finds these blatant “clues” to be elementary, my dear.

In brawn, teams go 1.5 miles to Battersea Park. Here they will transport five 175 pound boats from the lake to a storage area 500 yards away. Once all boats are stacked the boat master (what a lame job) will give them their next clue.

– Because Stewart is with him, Rob opts to do the riddles. First riddle tells him to take the luggage to ‘Left Luggage’. Answer is Waterloo Station. That was going to be my first guess. They hand in the luggage. Their next riddle tells them to find the three naked men of Hammersmith.

Not these three men.

– Amber is under the assumption she will be the only one to enjoy this. They are given a magnifying glass too. Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen are at the airport. They’re told competitors came through two hours earlier. The two trailing teams board the train together and walk to the cabs together at Paddington. Gretchen says they need to play the game smart but continues to follow Uchenna & Joyce in last place. Joyce loves the architecture. Gretchen awes over Buckingham Palace.

What Rob should have done to his Survivor gameplay after each of the first three times.

– Ron & Kelly apparently found the detour and solved the first riddle. They get highly edited weird looks when asking about the three naked men on the subway. Rob takes the tobacco, pipe, and a scroll of tiny paper. They use the magnifying glass on the paper. Stewart knows to go to Baker Street two words into Rob’s really long message.

– Joyce commentates as her and Uchenna grab the clue followed by Meredith & Gretchen. Taxi race continues. Ron & Kelly find the three naked men and are off to Baker Street. Romber are at Baker Street and grab the hat. Amber has dressed up in Sherlock’s outfit. They hand it off to Sherlock at the museum. Rob hands over the bag and says that all of the visible objects are in the bag. No s—, Sherlock. Rob opens the clue that tells them to go to the Millennium Dome. It’s the world’s largest public arena in the world. In the parking lot is the next clue.

Caution: Yield ahead.

– Romber thinks it’s guaranteed that if they’re not first on the yield mat that they’ll be yielded. Someone has a little too much faith in Ron & Kelly. Stewart says the Dome is quite easy to find. Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen are already in the Eye apparently. Joyce spots it and tugs at Uchenna to point it out. He gives in and sees it as well. Meredith then finds it. 70 year olds aren’t completely senile at finding things.

– Stewart is off the subway as his stop is in Greenwich. Romber is nervous about being alone. Ron & Kelly have solved the third riddle and have brought the items to Sherlock. Kelly wants to catch up so she flags down a cab in downtown London. Arguably the most densely populated city in Europe and she wants a cab? Is anybody home, McFly?

– Ron agrees and they’re in the cab. Uchenna & Joyce have about a minute lead to the detour. They choose brawn and scramble away from the clue but Meredith & Gretchen find it no problem. Both teams have chosen the opposite option because the London underground is too confusing. Off to Battersea Park we go. Romber talk about being yielded. A recycled soundbyte from Kelly talks about how Rob is the biggest competition and they want to yield Romber. Didn’t happen in India ain’t gonna happen now.

– Romber are first to the Millennium Dome. Phil stops us to explain the yield once again. Romber discuss it. They choose to yield Ron & Kelly. Amber wants to yield Uchenna & Joyce so Meredith & Gretchen can be dragged to the Final Three. Rob wants to yield Ron & Kelly because if he yields Uchenna & Joyce and Ron & Kelly still end up last then they waste the yield.
Huh? That makes zero sense, Rob. Do you want three more chances to use the yield before you get it right?

– So Ron & Kelly are yielded. Meredith & Gretchen are surprisingly all on their own. Romber race ahead to open the clue. Roadblock. In this roadblock, that person has to drive a double decker bus through a marked course without hitting any cones and parking it in a designated space without hitting parked cones. If the cones are all standing then they are given a clue. If a cone is hit it’s back to the start you go. Amber tells Rob to do it because she cannot drive a stick. She must have to complete the next two roadblocks then.

– Rob has hit a cone on his first attempt. Instructor tells him he needs to watch where he’s going. Ron is complaining the cab is taking forever. Uchenna & Joyce start dragging boats. They have the first boat transported. Gretchen awes over the big boats. Uchenna & Joyce say each other is the best before cheering on Meredith & Gretchen. The old couple is having a heckuva time with the boats. Rob is on his third attempt. He hits a cone and yells in pain. Very Timmay from South Park of him.

ROB: Fourth  time’s the charm.
INSTRUCTOR: Congratulations.

Yep. Rob’s roots of succeeding at difficult tasks on his fourth attempt goes back as far as 2006. Production is pissed Ron & Kelly were too slow to the yield and don’t get a face-to-face showdown with Romber. Rob looks back at Ron & Kelly’s picture followed by the camera zooming in on it. The clue is a pit stop. Eight miles away to Potter’s Field Park. Situated across the Thames River from the Tower London Bridge. Last team to check in may be eliminated.

ROB: We were there for  like an hour.
RON: Cab ride took an hour.

– Ron & Kelly see the yield. Ron is convinced it is the nail in the coffin. Uchenna & Joyce load up the fourth boat. Meredith is panting. Meredith & Gretchen are done boat number two. Uchenna tells them to keep trucking and that they’ll catch the leading teams. Gretchen praises them for giving her the extra incentive to press on. Uchenna loads the fourth boat. On the way to the fifth he tries to push Meredith’s boat but Gretchen reminds him that the instructions say no one can help. Uchenna ceases pushing immediately. Anything to drag the old couple to the final rounds.

– Uchenna hates Meredith & Gretchen putting so much effort into this because it is a difficult task. Uchenna & Joyce are done. Joyce is blown away that this leg does indeed hold the final yield. Off Uchenna & Joyce go to the Dome. Uchenna shouts one last message of encouragement as Meredith forgot to undo a rope before flipping over a boat.

– Uchenna & Joyce are about to go into the cab but the driver tells him the traffic is so bad that he is willing to turn down his fare and insists Uchenna & Joyce get on a train. Even cabbies who are paid to drive through London would like to avoid traffic whenever possible. Meredith & Gretchen are done the fourth boat. Uchenna & Joyce board the subway. Meredith & Gretchen finish the fifth boat. Meredith is panting. Gretchen is unfazed. Meredith & Gretchen flag a cab instantly. They brand it as being lucky. Meredith hopes someone will have trouble and anything can happen. Like hitting the third non-elimination of the season? Uchenna & Joyce see a train pass by them. They are told by a local they are on the wrong platform and told to go underground onto the subway.

– Uchenna says the mistake cost them some time. Meredith & Gretchen note that there is a lo of traffic. Meanwhile Kelly has fun with markers.

In Catholic School, drawing ‘devil doodles’ onto people is the equivalent of drawing dicks on their mouths in public school.

– The sand runs out faster than their maturity.

ROADBLOCK: Who’s got the drive to win?

RON: Yeah.

– Ron notes that he has completed five roadblocks already so Kelly had to do this one despite it being tailor-made for Ron. Better to even up the roadblock standings with your weaker player when second place is locked down. Well, unless the yield was more than the usual fifteen to twenty minutes. Kelly hits a cone.

– Romber find Potter’s Field Park and hit the mat. The greeter is dressed exactly like I was for my United Nations project in political science last semester. I’m serious. I was Great Britain. I put on a top hat and a long coat and spoke in what my classmates described as a decent cockney accent. I also happened to be the only one out of all fifty people in the class to either dress up in costume or speak with an insulting accent. I may have made some insensitive comments about the Syrian issue and the country of Russia in general to reduce our project mark to 95 percent out of 100. My bad, guys. If you’re out there.

Me in political science.

– Phil tells them they are team number one. They have also won a JVC home entertainment system for each person. Excluding the season premiere, Romber has finished in first four times at official pit stops. There have only been five out of nine legs to offer a prize to the first place finishers. Romber has hit four out of five in the nine leg span. This makes me think that the distribution of prizes from advertisers may have a clause that they had to be saved for being awarded to the most well known contestants on the season. Or it’s luck. I don’t know. Lena did roll over 100 hay bales without getting a clue. Anything can happen in TAR.

– If you pay attention, Amber reacts by wheezing and clapping her hands. Suddenly the woman from Beaver, Pennsylvania has indeed turned into a beaver. Perhaps this is the high school cheer? Clap-clap-wheeze-wheeze. Actually her voice sounds more like when Dopey swallows the bar of soap in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.

– Phil asks them about their luck in the race. Romber says they have been extremely lucky and Amber concedes that luck is the most important thing in the race. Finally they are humbled. Uchenna & Joyce get to the clue. Uchenna celebrates not being yielded. Ron tries to coach Kelly from across the lot but the noisyy double decker prevents her from hearing him. Ron thinks this is coming down to the wire now. Joyce is doing the roadblock. Ron is insisting Kelly to get out of the bus right away when she screws up. Meredith & Gretchen are at the roadblock. Meredith is doing it.

– Uchenna is doing the play-by-play. He thinks Joyce will pass Kelly then goes on to say it’s anyone’s game. We are shown a humourous montage of the three people sitting out coaching those inside the bus.

JOYCE: You just directed me right over that. . .I don’t understand what the hell you’re saying!

Getting my wife’s head shaved then ordering her to do a double decker may have me worried for my life. Vitro better work when we get home.

You wanna crash the vehicle right? Cause I did that awful well when I was a POW.

This detour is too easy. That’s why I’m driving it with only one hand to give myself a challenge.

I am mooning the guides outside the driver’s side window! Was that part of the task?

It’s a DOUBLE decker bus, Meredith. Not an UPPER decker. The strain on your face tells us an upper decker is too hard to create anymore.
Yes. That was a potty joke. You just unsubscribed. >_>

– RON: It’s like teaching a woman how to drive.

Production really wants to bury both Ron and Kelly as a team nobody will remember after this season, eh?

– Uchenna agrees to shut his mouth. Kelly succeeds on her seventh attempt. They run off into the taxi.

RON: It took a little instruction.

Tension music plays before getting inside the cab. We’re inside the cab now.

RON: You did great, baby.
KELLY: Thank you.
RON: Very proud of you, baby.
KELLY: Thanks.
RON: *uncomfortably laughs*
KELLY: What? You were being mean about it the whole time.
RON: Oh my god. See this is a woman-to-man problem.

I’m all ears, Ron.

– RON: When you become a soldier you don’t deal with that you just say whatever you want.

Ron’s military side (12.5 references now, by the way).

RON: And then this is the emotional side that I’ve never had to deal with.

The emotional side. It appears the emotional side refers to having the most awkward and rejected hug possible.

– So does Kelly stay silent during Ron’s drunken rant?

KELLY: My brother’s in the army and he wouldn’t talk to me or be rude like that.

Wow. So Kelly didn’t accept Ron’s drunken rant that makes sense to no one?

– The military talk continues.

KELLY: You’re acting like you could do it better.

Will Ron let the issue drop?

RON: I flew a 35 million dollar helicopter highly trained operate a mobile machine. For me that wouldn’t have been much of a challenge.

Now I know how Cindy McCain gets her migraines.

And here we get to perhaps the funniest quote Ron will say in his entire TAR career.

RON: You just have this big ego thing way up here and if I say anything, you know, it’s the whole ego thing.

Saying you were mean does not make it an ego thing. Ron does not know what ego means. And saying “anything” does not include you boasting over and over about your military training to drive vehicles.

KELLY: Me with the ego? It’s you sitting there saying ‘I can drive anything. I can park anything. I’ve driven this. I’ve driven that.’

And so Kelly brings up a point that doesn’t irritate the audience for the first time all season. Ron makes a point so ridiculous that even Kelly can debunk it. The US military will never recover from this. So Ron says Kelly’s ego gets in the way of everything. What happens next?

RON: Tell him to turn around. We’re going back to the challenge. I’ll lose this entire race to drive that bus through the obstacle course. Once. Maybe twice.

Ron would like to drive it, but Kelly’s ego gets in the way when she tells him they can’t lose the race for him to be a man. Ugh. Kelly’s ego is such a bizzle at times.

– Meredith fails. Uchenna says Joyce has been doing much better with his mouth shut. Perhaps that would work better in their relationship. Joyce parks it like it’s hot and it’s off to Battersea they go. Uchenna asks a few people who do not know where Battersea Park is. It took her five attempts. The double decker has a passenger capacity of 69 people. My university bus is much smaller and the limit for that is 65. Dang we’re parked in like sardines. Meredith does it on the seventh attempt. Gretchen thinks the park is where they bury people.

– Uchenna & Joyce get into a cab. So do Meredith & Gretchen. Ron & Kelly arrive at the pit stop in second. They admit it has been the most trying time for their relationship on the whole race. Suspense is built. Both comment on the beauty of the park. Both exit their cabs. Phil turns his body as a team has come in from an alternate entrance. Uchenna & Joyce are team number three. Gretchen comments on the beauty of the bridge before hitting the mat. They’re last. . .
And indeed eliminated. They hug and comment they made it much further than they ever dreamed of. Gretchen thinks it is more than a million dollars of memories. Meredith says Gretchen is the most amazing person he has met and that if he ever sees another double decker bus it will be too soon. Phil pipes in that they are a real inspiration for old people as opposed to the other elderly teams who have sucked over the years. You have been dethroned Gutsy Grannies!

– UFC finale promo time!

UCHENNA: We’re in the game. One in three chance of winning a million bucks.
AMBUH: When it comes out in the end we’re coming out on top together.
KELLY: Ron and I are just as much 100 percent well. We’re gonna win this race the right way.
RON: I see a lack of character in Rob and Amber.
ROB: I can’t lose. Losing is not an option.
JOYCE: Rob and Amber and Ron and Kelly are worried about each other. They’ll just cancel each other and we can just sneak on ahead.
RON: I don’t think you can doubt anyone in this race. There’s no telling who will be there at the end.
JOYCE: We’re gonna win it.
ROB: I’m telling you we’re winning this race.
KELLY: This is gonna be so on.

. . . You guys are the worst trash talkers on the planet.

Next time on TAR: For the first time in three seasons we will have a Final Three for the last two legs. Finishing last on the last leg is the worst time to be saved by a non-elimination as you will get stuck zero cash to bribe the cabs at the finish line and zero bags to provide you with optimal wear and essentials to give you an advantage in the million dollar sprint. Believe me this twist works out better than the producers could have ever thought when they agreed to do it during the creative process.

Romber 10.10
Uchenna & Joyce 9.6
Meredith & Gretchen 3.6
Ron & Kelly 9.7

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
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
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

8) 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.

7) 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.

6) 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.

5) Meredith & Gretchen

Gretchen’s personality was so over the top. A huge step up from Don & Mary Jean where this team was likeable. Oldest combined age for a team to compete in TAR (yes, all 20 seasons). Their stretch of finishing 6-7-7-7-7-5-5-5-4-2-4 has to be the worst of any team to last eleven legs. Look at where they finish up on the team averages placing. Even Monica & Sheree are head of them. Nothing really else to say about them except it was fun to see teams bring in Meredith & Gretchen into their alliance for the sole purpose of dragging them to the Final Three. A Meredith & Gretchen victory would have been the most random and most unexpected win of all-time.

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) Istanbul -> London (Nothing to complain about this episode. There were no equalizers. They went to all of the major London landmarks except Big Ben. Teams had to figure out if taxis or public transit was faster given London’s dense population. Detour was okay. Roadblock required a ton of skill and major gambling as teams are forced to guess if they should enter the final two legs 5-5 in roadblock usage or have one person use up their sixth and final roadblock. Bee Rob doing the roadblock on his fourth attempt was the most unintentional and hilarious joke set up by producers. Ron & Kelly were irritating to viewers at home because Kelly’s ego was in the way. This was a very Empire Strikes Back episode as Romber and Ron & Kelly make up for the previous leg’s error by taking a turn to be on the earlier flight than our unlikely heroes Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen. This episode was one of the best bridge episodes to a TAR finale ever. Will Uchenna & Joyce rally? Will Rob win for once? And will Ron & Kelly’s dysfunction make a major ‘wtf’ finish? All would be revealed soon.)

7) 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.))

8) 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.)

9) 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.)

10) 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.)

11) 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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