Previously on TAR: You likely just finished reading what happened last episode. Teams went to Montego Bay. Limbo. Build a raft. Ron hates being romantic with Kelly. Kelly wants more. Other teams work well together. Cab race to the pit stop. Police checkpoint, flat tire, boom, Ron & Kelly first, Romber second then Uchenna & Joyce got their crap taken away by Phil after several run-on sentences.
So to continue tradition this is the part where I discuss the reasons why all three teams have made it to the thirteenth and final leg of this campaign:
Romber – Formed coalitions not only with other teams but also with the locals thanks to their somewhat respected Survivor fame. Fans and fellow teams have guided them to route markers along the way to make for some of the fastest completions of legs in TAR history. Despite some of their strategizing blowing up in their face like their yield use and toying with other teams in Jodhpur regarding a better flight, and going for the Fast Forward, such strategic moves like ensuring more dysfunctional teams were with them on flights or taking a roadblock penalty has kept them alive. It doesn’t help that they are young and fit and excel in high pressure situations.
Uchenna & Joyce – A team that was fairly under the radar for the first seven episodes of the season. They were in the middle of Rob’s coalition for the first few legs before jumping ship to the weaker crew consisting of Lynn & Alex and Meredith & Gretchen. They were hovering around the #3 and #4 spot thanks to their thorough ability to race with the exception of not grabbing a post in Botswana. They were rarely on the trailing flight. They shared airport information with other teams who in turn shared back. The determination to eat four pounds of meat or shave a head of beautiful hair is much of the reason for their success. Unfortunately bad luck last leg has put them in the worst position possible of any team in TAR history going into leg thirteen. No cash, no bags, no possessions. It’s past the point where other teams would give you money to help you out. They are truly on their own with nothing to their name.
Ron & Kelly – A POW and Beauty Queen. Ron’s driving ability and leeching off Romber for guides has kept them as perhaps the biggest 1-2 punch in TAR history. Ever since leg 11 when Romber cut off the alliance Ron & Kelly have proven that they struggle when they only have each other. Bickering has become abundant in these last few rounds. However, no real strategic or physical flaws on the race course has kept them in the top four ever since Bianca’s deception in the season premiere. That is why they will leave this pit stop in first place.
– The final leg. Beautiful Caribbean Sea. Phil introduces us to Montego Bay. Music straight out of Delfino Island plays. Phil explains to us this is the absolute last leg and that there are no more eliminations. No questions from Phil. Ron & Kelly who arrived at 237pm will depart at 237am. Good luck. Kelly opens the clue and reads they have to take a taxi 25 miles to Lucea and pick up a bag of onions. What is this? The production crew’s shopping list? Once they find the shack with onions they will go to a restaurant and chop up all fifty onions. I would cut them in the largest pieces possible.
– Kelly has a bipolar confessional where she says she truly cares about Ron but reality has set in and that the Lord will take care of her as she knows the life journey with Ron has ended. Since when do the words ‘reality’ and ‘the Lord’ end up in the same sentence? Ron thinks Kelly’s emotions need to be pushed aside and that they should not worry about changing their Facebook relationship status until after the race is over.
– So why do I say Kelly’s confessional was bipolar?
KELLY: I believed. . .
KELLY: So much. . .
KELLY: In my heart that. . .
Wow. From smiles to tears in less than a second. Watch the clip for yourself. One of the biggest personality flip switches I have seen since the 2-year-old my mom babysits who is obsessed with angry birds.
– Ron & Kelly pass the security guard. Ron calls for a taxi and tells the guard not to call the other teams one. The guard’s response?
Even the guard is a casual fantard.
– Romber depart. Amber reads that two teams have 445 dollars for this leg and one team has zero. Dang. That is one expensive leg. Romber must have a couple thousand dollars while Ron & Kelly have around 550 and Uchenna & Joyce can’t even enter a cab. Amber says the teamwork has been perfect. Rob is proud of Amber and that they’ll win. End of story. Romber asks Ron & Kelly if they want to split a cab but Ron & Kelly reject. Rob asks the driver to call another cab. When the cab pulls away Ron tells him to not request a cab. Yes. Ron is pulling all the stops this leg.
– Uchenna & Joyce depart at 248am. That flat tire cost them over a thousand race dollars. Romber could be starting out with nothing. Ouch. I am sure Survivor celebrities begging for money would look great. All of their possessions are in a white bag. Uchenna says they came on the race for one reason and it was not to come in last. Way to narrow down your motivation for being on the race, Uchenna. That only leaves a couple million options. Uchenna & Joyce head to the information desk. They ask if Lucea is near the airport. Nope. Opposite direction. Fifteen miles the opposite direction no less. Good luck begging for money in a second world country at 300am. Uchenna agrees the options are limited and will try to find a cab to take them to the airport to beg for money. Romber hail down a cab and get inside. Uchenna & Joyce ask an ambulance for a lift but the driver tells them they need to be standing by.
– The driver yells into a shack for directions but amazingly enough no one answers at 300am.
Hello? Any mon home?
– The driver gets back in the cab and keeps driving. Rob sees the sign for the shack. He grabs the lightest bag. Ron & Kelly see a police car. They hand the clue to the police. The officer gives directions. Ron describes finding the place as a needle in a haystack inside a needle. Cliche ruined.
– Uchenna & Joyce ask a cab for a free ride to the airport. He complies. Uchenna announces this is the first blessing. Next they will beg for money in the airport. Ron & Kelly are at the shack and grab the onions. Uchenna & Joyce thank the guy as they go into the airport. Romber are at the restaurant. There is an example of how fine the cubes must be and just like a Mother Eagle he is always watching. Rob soon realizes fifty onions will take a while. Ron & Kelly join Romber. Rob says they only have a ten onion lead. What is the conversion chart for onions chopped to minutes?
– Kelly says she is no good at cutting things. Rob creates a story that his mom used to lock him in the basement when he was younger and cut onions. Amber doesn’t buy it like an All-Star jury. Rob wonders where Uchenna & Joyce are. We see them at the airport. Uchenna is at the American Airlines counter of the airport. He introduces himself and Joyce as he says he can do cartwheels or dance a jig for money. He emphasizes that he lost all their luggage. Joyce cries in Uchenna’s arms after they walk away empty handed. Rough tourists. Commercial.
– Uchenna & Joyce sit in the airport. Joyce is still crying. She tries to keep the faith. Uchenna wants her to stop crying. Joyce says they’ve been begging forever. Much of it has been edited out I’m sure.
– The sun is up. Must be around 500am. Amber says her eyes are starting to go. Kelly thinks Martha Stewart should look out. Ron & Kelly’s pot does not look terribly full. Uchenna introduces himself and Joyce to two people named Maxine and Elaine at the airport. Joyce fails to introduce herself and apologizes for it before crying into Uchenna’s shoulder.
Hi, I’m Uchenna and this is my social butterfly of a wife Joyce.
– Elaine hands over forty dollars. Uchenna & Joyce go out into the sunshine and tell the driver they only have forty dollars to be taken around Lucea and Joyce adds that they begged for it. The driver doesn’t care how the money was obtained as he accepts their forty dollars. Rob says his back hurts from chopping onions. They receive their next clue. They’re off to Rose Hall sixty miles away. A former plantation house. Ron says Rob has had fear in his eyes for the last couple days.
Fear in his eyes.
Nothing scarier than a bickering couple twenty minutes behind you that is almost broke in addition to a couple who has zero dollars as well.
– Ron goes on to say it would take only an idiot to not know they have competition. So Ron thinks Rob could be an idiot. Ron & Kelly finish chopping fifty onions. They go to Rose Hall. Uchenna & Joyce don’t know where the place is and that it’s been a long day without it even being 900am. Rob tries to pass a truck but the cab refuses. Ron & Kelly is confident he’ll catch them on the road. Uchenna insists they need to keep pushing.
– Romber has traveled 80 miles before Uchenna & Joyce have been able to find the shack 50 miles away. Ron & Kelly are directly behind Romber. The gates to Rose Hall are open. Ron is happy his onion chopping skills came in handy. Romber and Ron & Kelly open the clue. Detour.
In this detour teams choose between Pony Up and Tee it Up. In Pony Up, teams go to a local beach and participate in a local sport known as horseback swimming. Teams must ride a horse into the ocean until it starts swimming. Once it swims teams will slide off and hold onto its tail until they go around a few buoys before heading back to shore. A hundred bucks says Joyce doesn’t do this detour choice.
This goes against all video game logic.
In Tee it Up teams take a set of golf clubs and dress up in appropriate golfing attire. They will make their way out onto the driving range and alternate hitting balls. When either partner hits a sixteen foot area inside the green they will receive their next clue. Tiffany & Maria are shaking in their boots watching the episode. Ron & Kelly are first inside to golf because Kelly has practiced. Romber are golfing too thanks to a day 19 reward when Romber got to hit golf balls off a yacht.
– Rob enters the change room after Ron but leaves before him. He bothers Amber to hurry. She finishes. Both are out. Kelly is done next as she waits outside Ron’s door.
This is the day of graduation all over again. Limo can’t wait forever.
– Uchenna & Joyce pick up the bag and get into the van. They seem to be frustrated by figuring out where it was. They must have drove past it to put themselves even further behind. Amber feels like she is swimming in the clothes. It must be humid. We can hear the wind on the audio. Kelly hits the ball ten feet.
RON: I knew not playing golf and would work against me at some point in my life.
What an odd premonition to have.
– Rob figures out it is a headwind and begins swinging away. He tells Amber to be faster to transition into her turn. We see a montage of all four players missing the ball. Kelly has it go a few inches.
She meant to say her golf lessons were mini golf lessons by an ex at the fun centre.
It’s okay. Babe Ruth swung and missed plenty of times but he hit the most home runs. Oh wait. Wrong sport.
– Amber laughs at Rob’s golfing. Ron clues into the idea that it could take them a while. Uchenna & Joyce are at the restaurant. Uchenna is surprised that they have to cut all fifty. He solves the mystery of how to cut an onion. Meanwhile, back home on the range. . .
AMBUH: These are really good balls! I know my dad would be impressed!
What is this? A Spike TV commercial?
– Ron’s ball barely goes off the green. Sure enough the next shot we are shown is Rob’s hitting the green. He gets the clue. Fly to San Juan, Puerto Rico 800 miles away. Once there find a marked car and drive nine miles to Castillo San Felipe Lopez Del Morrow Fort. Both of them have finished changing and are in the van before Ron & Kelly have done the detour. Rob knows there is a direct flight at 915am and insists that they only have twenty minutes. Rob did his research. Good work. At least that research didn’t backfire the same way it did for David & Jeff.
– Uchenna & Joyce have several onions to go. Joyce’s eyes are burning. Uchenna agrees and informs us he is working on pure desire by this point. Ron & Kelly occupy both lanes now that Romber has cleared. Kelly hits a ball onto the green. Ron thinks he deserves a pickaxe through the scalp for not hitting crap.
– Romber is at the airport and begs to be on the 915am flight. The lady asks if they have bookings. Rob says no. Lady is not impressed. She asks if they have tickets. Rob says no. Not even tickets?! David & Jeff booked six different flights prior to leg thirteen in their season. The lady says they cannot be allowed on the flight then. They beg until the lady directs them to the head office. No passage onto the flight for security reasons. Golfing skills are rendered moot. Rob says it is unbelievable. What is more unbelievable is that they had a flight held for them the minute that it was supposed to take off.
– Romber are granted just as good of luck. An 804am flight has been delayed to 954am. Good chance they’ll be the only ones on it. This must be their sixth hour in Jamaica for the leg. Ron & Kelly ask to be on the 954am flight as well. Is the ticketing agent going to pull some strings so that Romber don’t have a solitary lead in the second-to-last city?
This guy never drinks a glass of water that is half full.
Kelly punches herself in the face hoping that it all gets blamed on the airlines and they’d immediately be put on the flight and given free airfare for life. It worked for Tyler Dorsey in Fight Club so why not here?
– Romber boards the flight and gone. Ron & Kelly however have the 1230pm flight. Huge lead for Romber. Over 150 minute lead for Romber on second place. Yikes. Uchenna & Joyce finish chopping onions. The driver says he lives near Rose Hall and agrees to drive them there for free.
– Romber are already in San Juan. Amber is directing Rob from the backseat. Uchenna & Joyce are at the detour. They will Tee it Up. Uchenna has been practicing golf and 150 yards to the green is not bad according to him. Like Joyce would do the horses anyway. Romber get to the castle in San Juan. Clue. Drive 87 miles to Aguadilla and go to an abandoned sugar refinery known as El Muelle de Azucar. Follow the marked path to the next clue. Amber is running out of breath from the exercise.
– Ron & Kelly are on the 1230pm flight. Wow. Uchenna & Joyce are a minimum of over three hours behind. Uchenna is done the detour. Joyce is excited about going to Puerto Rico. Uchenna is shocked they could still be in this thing and not to give up. Romber is amazed by the traffic in Puerto Rico. He thinks everyone on the whole island is simultaneously driving in this traffic jam.
AMBUH: You think you’d be used to this. You drive in Boston traffic all the time.
ROB: When I’m driving in traffic in Boston I’m not trying to win a million dollars.
– Uchenna & Joyce buy tickets for a 458pm flight. Joyce is much happier even though they are now over seven hours behind Romber and 4 1/2 hours behind Ron & Kelly. Joyce has no problem asking for money as Uchenna & Joyce look a lot less suspicious at 300pm in an airport as opposed to 300am. They board the flight.
– Romber get to the route marker. It’s closed. Wow. Opens at 730am. The whole day in Jamaica was all for naught. There is a hotel on the top of the hill so they book a room. A plethora of rest for Romber. Ron & Kelly get to the castle that never closes. They are on their way to the equalizer. It’s well after dark when Uchenna & Joyce get into San Juan. Lucky they only have to drive themselves as opposed to spending money on cabs. They find the castle. Ron & Kelly are at the closed sugar refinery. They sleep in the car as opposed to spend their limited funds on the hotel at the top of the hill.
– Joyce entertains the possibility of the two teams already at the finish line and sleeping but also knows there could be another day back to get even tomorrow. It’s raining now. Uchenna is excited to see people in cars at the refinery. He hopes it’s a team. They are ecstatic to see Ron & Kelly. Ron & Kelly say they are glad to see them too with little sarcastic undertone. Uchenna is stoked that they are confirmed to be back in this race.
– A rooster cockle-doodle-doos. Romber drive to the gate to rejoin their previously robbed compadres. The gate opens and all three teams sprint through the refinery’s outdoor marked path. Ambuh is dead last in the run. Rob is first to grab a clue. It’s a roadblock. Who’s ready to take a plunge? Ron volunteers for it but really there was no other option because this is the last roadblock of the race.
– In this roadblock the players will jump off a 30 foot bridge then swim 90 yards to a buoy that holds their clue then climb in a boat that will take them back to shore. Uchenna is doing it and so is Ambuh. Joyce says Uchenna is a good swimmer. Will the stereotype finally break on reality TV??????
– Romber is running but Rob pauses to understand why Ron is not right behind them. Ron and Uchenna descend down a ladder. Rob stops altogether a few seconds later.
ROB: Where are we supposed to be going?
A true Amber answer. She was just following his coattails mindlessly until Rob stopped to think.
What is this? Flo AI from Goldeneye? Rob has to run back and touch Amber a few times before her programming tells her she needs to continue following Rob.
– Ron jumps into the water in his shirt and shorts. Uchenna jumps in only his underwear. Uchenna gained on Ron during the swimming portion. Ron’s boat is only a few feet ahead. Romber are back to the clue box. They see Ron and Uchenna are both done. Rob points Amber to go down the stairs that everyone else went down then follow the path to the platform. Ron hands Kelly the clue. Final destination city is Miami, Florida. Teams will drive 90 miles to the airport to book a 1, 000 mile flight to Miami. We are treated to music straight out of the Latin Grammys and swimsuits and a woman walking in a pair of shorts. No Teri & Ian or Big Kahunas to be found. When they land they will travel nine miles to the Rickenbacker Causeway. This is where their clue awaits.
– Uchenna meets up with Joyce. Both teams are heading to the airport. Amber dives. She flops into the boat embarrassingly.
If Amber’s legs clap twice it means go.
– Ron & Kelly casually walk in front of Uchenna & Joyce on the narrow path. As soon as it widens Uchenna & Joyce run past Ron & Kelly. Ron & Kelly run the last few steps to the car. Romber has met up and are running to the car. Or are they?
Oh no! Flo alert! Flo alert! Code Zach Code Zach! What do we do in times like this?
This is true Zach style. And sums up the fifteen episode run of Survivor: All Stars.
Oh my god. . .that piggyback was soooo good!
– Ron & Kelly are in Uchenna & Joyce’s rearview mirror. Ron & Kelly pass Uchenna & Joyce. The two front running teams see Romber creeping up behind them. They reach the toll booth. Rob picks the shortest line and is now in first. Ron & Kelly chose the longest line letting Uchenna & Joyce pass them as well. ‘Tis a road race. Rob brags their ten minute error did nothing o hinder them.
KELLY: Airport to the left.
(RON drives to the left.)
KELLY: Go go right.
RON: You said go left!
KELLY: The sign up there said ‘turn left’ I was reading the sign out loud.
RON: This is left.
KELLY: Well open your eyes and read the signs it’s right there in front of you.
RON: I couldn’t see the stinking sign. You said left this is the left. I sell propane and propane accessories, b—-! Don’t get up all on me because I don’t understand what you’re saying cause you said the wrong thing.
KELLY: Shut up please and be quiet.
RON: You shut up.
JAMES CLEMENT: Keep your mouths shut.
ME: No. You.
Not impressed by our immaturity.
– Uchenna & Joyce keep to the right. Romber are first inside the airport and run through. They are at the ticket counter. Uchenna & Joyce go to American Airlines right behind Romber. The first flight is at 1115am. Romber attempt to get on the 1000am but the agent denies them saying it is already closed. She puts them on the 1115am. The two teams wonder where Ron & Kelly are.
– In the cab Ron & Kelly argue. Kelly apologizes for telling him to shut up. Ron is tired of hearing it and wants her to shut her mouth. She thinks that is disrespectful but he doesn’t care to hear it. Kelly uses the camera to sarcastically say Ron is a true American gentleman.
– Rob is convinced there is a better flight after the Istanbul lesson. He finds another flight that is already boarding. The lady lets him purchase standby tickets. Rob purchases them and waits at the gate to get on. Uchenna asks if there is an earlier flight and the agent says it’s 1115am. Uchenna is convinced there is an earlier flight after the London lesson.
– Romber make it at final call. They are granted onto the flight. Barely made it. The door is closed. Uchenna & Joyce see the sign for the 1004am flight on the wall.
An earlier flight right after we see Romber scramble out of sight? Nah. It’ll just be an equalizer. They don’t allow teams to be on the leading flight alone anymore.
– Romber agree to stow their bags on the plane and hope that a kind stranger will send it back to him. Joyce figures the agent must have assumed they could not make the flight. Uchenna & Joyce ask to be on the flight at the gate. Uchenna guarantees Joyce that Romber made it here. Uchenna asks if two Americans in red are on the flight. The lady confirms. So can they get on?
Wait? Is the door opening?
Nope. Much the opposite. It’s closed. Or can they still get on? Please?
Oh. So it really is over. Rob wins. Oh, and Amber again.
UCHENNA: That’s it. Like idiots we didn’t –UH!
You don’t like it when he’s angry.
– Commercial. Uchenna & Joyce stare longingly at the gate. Joyce asks again if they can make the flight. The lady calls the pilot. Uchenna wants one little blessing. After begging for money as a blessing, free cab rides for a blessing, an equalizer as a blessing, and then getting ahead on the roadblock as a blessing. Uchenna should have been on the game show Press Your Luck.
I’ve seen people pushed off flights because they did not have a meal policy to accommodate them or a flight is too full or the gates have closed or security preparations. But get on a flight that is full, closed, and the gate is removed? That isn’t a small blessing by TAR standards.
– The Romber fans claim riggage as such a reversal has never happened before. Joyce cries but Uchenna tells her to stop immediately. Joyce thanks Jesus as opposed to the pilot. Uchenna fist bumps Amber who smiles as they pass by. Rob is frowning and claims it sucks like Caryn Groedel. Uchenna sighs with relief and wipes the sweat off his brow. So we’re off to Miami and–
Oh hi, what’d I miss?
– Agent tells them about the 1115am flight. Kelly says that’s perfect. The flight lands in Miami. More Latin music plays as we see beaches, people in swimsuits, water, and wildlife. Romber are first as the doors to the plane open up. Uchenna & Joyce are right behind them. Romber are first inside a cab and tell him to go under the causeway. Uchenna & Joyce are in a cab about a minute later and give the same instructions. Joyce hopes Ron & Kelly didn’t get any flights they didn’t know about. Camera cuts to them getting on a plane silently to Miami.
– Romber are first to the Causeway. They’re off to Little Havana 2 1/2 miles away. It is a Cuban-American community. I would imagine it is littered with Castro defectors. I read a book about it. Anyways, once in Little Havana (it’s not really Little Havana because it is capitalist but I digress) they will search for the King of the Havanas. Teams must figure out it is in Spanish. That’s not too tough. I know what king is in Spanish. Rob’s knowledge of grade school Spanish should tell him it will be called “El Rey de Los Habanos”. It is here teams will find their next clue.
Yep. That’s the big final task of the season. To find a bloody cigar shop. No arranging animal heads in Seattle, do a riddle in a football stadium, a barnyard maze, or eat a pizza. Just find a shop. Production was lazy even by their standards this season.
Amber has to create hurdles of her own for this to be remotely challenging.
– The driver does not know Calle Ocho which is a district in Little Havana. He does not know the cigar shop. Romber get out of the street and stop people to figure out where it is. Uchenna & Joyce jump out of the cab and open the clue. Joyce gives him the clue and the driver tells them their meter is racking up. Joyce reassures him repeatedly that they will take care of him. The driver is one of the grumpiest I have heard. Rob is given directions to the shop by somebody on the street. It’s on 27th avenue. Romber are back in the car and tell their cab to go there.
– The cab driver for Uchenna & Joyce radio to another driver in Spanish where the store is. What? Radioed in Spanish? Well that makes things extremely easy. Eleventh street. Romber are on 27th and scream at the cab to stay there as Rob runs out. Rob gives the clue to the woman if she knows the store. She shakes her head and appears confused. He is unhappy and asks for God’s help. I think he’s too busy with helping Nicole eat caviar.
– Uchenna & Joyce’s cab pulls over but Uchenna & Joyce are confused because they know zero Spanish. They ask the driver where the word ‘king’ is. The driver explains to them it is in Spanish. Uchenna & Joyce ask for the king of the Havanas.
This is the man’s first TV appearance since being cast for Godfather II. IMDB him if you don’t believe me.
– Uchenna & Joyce open up the clue. Go to Fort Lauderdale’s Modern House. This is it. Go go go. The weakest final destination city since TAR 1. Romber backtrack to their cab but he’s gone. The cab left. Ouch. Romber run down a few blocks but have yet to catch a new cab. Meanwhile Uchenna & Joyce’s miracle cab uses his cell phone and has perfect directions to the Modern House. Uchenna & Joyce are super excited.
– Romber keep running.
ROB: I see a ‘K’ with a crown. You see it?
ROB: Ahhhhhhh, it says Tire King. Uhhhhhh.
Million dollar tease.
– Romber find their abandoned cab driving on the street.
ROB: Little bastard.
AMBUH: He’s looking for us, honey.
The driver asks if they found it and Rob says ‘no’. Rob is convinced it’s along the street though.
– Uchenna & Joyce are on the way to the finish. They are in line to win.
Zoom in on a cab meter? The last time they did that was. . .
Will Uchenna use Chip’s charm to hug at the end of the ride to stiff the cabbie?
– Nope. Uchenna promises the cabbie he doesn’t have it all but will make up for it along the way. It’s like a scene out of a mobster movie. “I’ll have your money, don’t worry, I’ll take care of you”.
Although the driver looks like he is ready to Cuba Gooding Jr. them from Rat Race if it wasn’t for the camera being around. Or he’s doing a Bill Cosby cabbie impression.
– So who could be winning the race after all if Uchenna fails to make the money?
ROB: I knew everything was goin’ way too smooth.
Knew? More like ‘it was’. Haven’t you been in the top three of almost every leg? The way you phrase it is very cartoony. It’s like your Wily Coyote and Bugs Bunny is walking straight into the dynamite until he suddenly disappears then Wily checks the net directly and the dynamite goes off. “I knew everything was going too smooth!”
You have to say his name four times before he appears.
St. Anthony doesn’t know Spanish. You are thinking of St. Antony, the singing apostle. Also, please welcome Ralph Mariano is playing with the prayer up his nose!
– Uchenna & Joyce are at a stoplight. Joyce hates the idea of losing over this. Uchenna begins begging at the stoplight.
What’s wrong? What do you mean you wouldn’t give a guy like me twenty bucks? Is it the way I’m stretched out across the entire backseat with the camera operator filming each of us from the passenger window? You’re just being uptight.
– Uchenna concedes that begging from a car will be hard. Romber finds the cigar shop. They have the clue and run into the car. Rob grunts while Amber reads it in the car with the most discouraged voice.
Survivor: Tocantins may not air for another four years but Rob gets a head start with a primal grunt.
– Ron & Kelly’s flight lands. They are in a cab and pray to God that they’ll win. Unfortunately there’s a queue, Ron. Uchenna, Joyce, and Rob are already in line and the gates are closed. Ask the lady at the front to talk to the pilot or St. Anthony to re-open them at the last minute.
– Uchenna & Joyce say the only way to win this game is to have faith in God. The pit stop’s name is the “Bonnet House”. I thought it was Modern House until I saw the sign. I have bad hearing. So the cab pulls in. It’s the finish line. They hand the driver the money.
Wait about three months and I think you’ll get a nice big juicy paycheque. Patience is a virtue. Isn’t what all of this religious talk has taught us? Uchenna tries to sell his ring.
Look at the previous screen cap and you will understand why. The expression on Uchenna’s voice tells me he has run out of ideas.
– Romber asks the driver if he knows where the “Bone Nay” House. The driver nods and Romber is on their way to pass Uchenna & Joyce at the finish line. Ron & Kelly have opened the clue at the Causeway.
Route Info: Why are you still racing?
– Uchenna begs a couple for fifty bucks. FIFTY?! They drop it to forty. Then anything they can spare. This is the Psychology technique of high balling it. Go for a ludicrous amount then drop it to your actual goal. Remind me never to take a cab around Miami. S— sounds expensive. They manage to get twenty bucks and are twenty-five down. Romber are Kris & Jon’d. Almost. The taxi passes the railway crossing just in time. Only minutes away from the craziest finish since Chris & Alex beat Tara & Wil by twelve seconds. Uchenna begs a guy for 25 bucks. He says it sounds like a lot but then drops it to ten. The man’s response?
Uchenna is ready to punch a member of production for making him beg across three countries over two days. Congratulations Uchenna & Joyce, you are the official pan handlers of Amazing Race!
Heh. This man either is making a hilarious comment regarding TAR’s non-elimination policy or is completely unaware of the show’s existence and the camera currently being shoved into his face.
– Romber’s car keeps trucking. Uchenna approaches a driver’s side window and collects ten bucks. Fifteen to go. Amber says she is not ready to have her hopes up but still loves Rob and they embrace.
That’s the sickest name for a cab driver I have ever seen in TAR.
– Joyce asks for money from a retired lady. The lady asks what she’s donating for. Joyce’s answer is the worst as she only tells her that they’re racing. Are they not allowed to say they’re on The Amazing Race? Rob is in a cab and says they could still win and says the cars ahead could be the other teams. The Romber fans and the Romber haters are on the edge of their couch. It is pretty much the end of the episode. Can Uchenna make the remaining ten bucks?
PATRICK: Uchenna & Joyce, Uchenna & Joyce, Uchenna & Joyce. . .
Never seen somebody at the finish line shown blatantly rooting for one team in particular. Most of us forgot this guy ever participated in The Amazing Race.
– So who crosses the finish line first? Uchenna & Joyce who successfully beg for a few hundred bucks in two days or Romber who pass by a begging team at the finish line for perhaps the most controversial victory in the show’s history?
What? We begged for a half hour but still won?!
Oh my. He’s stoked.
His jaw hasn’t closed for over two minutes.
Anytime now Uchenna.
– Each of them hug Phil about a million times. So what do any gracious winners do in victory?
Point, laugh, and gloat at the finish line.
– Uchenna & Joyce they’re going for the baby and announce they’re going for vitro and if that doesn’t work then adoption. They thank the others for enriching the experience. Joyce claimed that she heard everyone’s prayers. Well that’s presumptuous. You don’t think the other teams were cheering for Rob & Amber or Ron & Kelly? Ron is a POW.
The pedophile hiding behind the tree agrees.
– Deana, Susan, Lynn, and Alex all cry. Uchenna insists everyone to cheer with him one more time. 45 minutes later Rob & Amber are at the finish line. They congratulate the competition. Phil says they were very competitive. Amber wants to marry Rob and start having a family. Rob says he wouldn’t change a thing and is happy to have amber. Like JP from Vanuatu.
– At sunset Ron & Kelly get to the finish line. Kelly says she is the typical woman who wants to walk down the aisle and start a family. Then she goes on to say Ron is the typical guy who is not ready to make a serious commitment. Phil’s reaction?
Backhand your partner at the mat? Awkward. They ain’t staying together for long.
– Kelly says they are on different paths and time will tell if it works out.
– Ron describes it as the adventure of a lifetime. He will hold it near and dear to him for life. The racers all take the opportunity to chat.
UCHENNA: On the last leg we went over 24 hours without food.
LYNN: That’s not gonna happen again.
PHIL: NO! Bahahahahahahha.
Hey Lynn! Lynn! Lynn! Did you hear my comment? It was really funny! Lynn!
– Uchenna spins around in excitement at the mat. Uchenna loves that him and Joyce have broken down the communication barriers and they can talk again. Joyce loves Uchenna and says he is everything to her. Uchenna is happy to hear her say that. So then we get the ol’ class picture and a race that took 29 days (but in this blog was cut down to about 15) has come to an end.
Read below for the stats, rankings, and conclusion for the season!
Uchenna & Joyce 12.8
Ron & Kelly 7.6
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 – 5.0 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
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00
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
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
Rank the Teams
11) Rob & Amber
“Logan only put Rob & Amber down here because he’s a hater!”
Nope. Why is Romber last? Because this is how it would be ranked in 2005. Survivor: All Stars aired less than a year prior to this race and thus seeing Romber make another season-long appearance on television was annoying and came off as attention whoring. In addition Survivor: All Stars is a really ugly season in terms of the cast who was on it and seeing the faces of All Stars return to a show relatively untainted other than the TAR 6 run was the last thing I wanted to see.
The only part great about Romber on the race is that their gimmicky and TV whoring nature is trumped at the very end by a couple who is the exact opposite of stunt casting or mactor casting. They were beat by a team where the wife shaved off her great hair and begged for money in three countries to beat them out.
How about in 2012?
About 99% less irritating to see them dominate airtime. For people new to TAR or to Survivor it’s a bit mind boggling to see a global obsession with a couple who last competed on Survivor together over seven years ago or a mainstream version of Rob before Survivor: Redemption Island. Nobody is aware Rob comes across in a youthful manner with a lack of charm and a saturation of aggression. Rob receiving help just for being recognized is something no other team in TAR history will ever receive. That is such an unfair advantage. Production should have waited a couple years to cast them so the international stardom and magazine cover appearances is gone so legitimacy can be brought to their race.
Plus they gave overall bland confessionals for me to work with. They are both pretty calm in interviews and on the course leading to few screen caps.
If TAR is doing an all-star next season then we should be expecting them back, right?
10) 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.
9) 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.
8) Ron & Kelly
One is a POW and the other is a beauty queen. Haven’t you heard?
If you asked “why are Rob & Amber so low?” then your other question would be “why are Ron & Kelly even this high?”
It’s because of Ron’s shell shock throughout the season. Everything reminded him of Baghdad. He was able to compare Baghdad with Lima. Lucknow with Lima. Soweto’s skies with Baghdad’s skies. If you include the references to being a POW in the season premiere then Ron’s official count is 16.5. It is the ultimate TAR drinking game. Monica & Sheree stuck with “We have the luxuries of being married to pro athletes”. Ron however was very creative with squeezing in the references. Kelly did her part too.
No other team has been in a position to have Ron’s one-dimensional story and keep squeezing it into every little thing that he saw. It is unique entertainment value. Pure and simple. There is nothing else to talk about regarding him or Kelly, really.
7) 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.
6) 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.
5) 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.
4) 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.
3) 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.
2) 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.
1) Uchenna & Joyce
Yep. Not only did they win but they get the number one spot in this ranking. It was very easy to put them at the top to be honest. They were easily the most three-dimensional team on this whole season. Producers were expecting them to be a one-dimensional train wreck given their pre-race interviews where they discuss how crappy their relationship stands. Failures in vitro, daily fighting, financial troubles due to unemployment, and divorce on the horizon? Who wouldn’t want to see how this played out on TV?
The results were better than what production could have expected. They work extremely well together and go under the radar for the first half in contrast with the other one-dimensional ridiculousness that went on during the season. These two weren’t your token old couple or token mactors that you wanted each season. These two had a very real and serious story to tell. Add in that anything other than first place means they will have to wait longer for another round of vitro.
The stakes have never been higher for a team in TAR.
Everyone on the race liked them and worked with them at one point or another. Nobody had a bad word to say about Uchenna nor Joyce all season. Their personalities were fun, hilarious, respectable, and genuine. These are the people you see get rejected to be on TAR because “they are not compelling television”. So thank you Uchenna & Joyce for your resiliency. Joyce shaved her head. They begged for money in three separate countries which no other team has done. You didn’t use your looks or mug the camera for airtime. What we saw is really you and for that you got rewarded with a million bucks.
Thanks for sharing your experience with us and winning this dang thing over attention whores.
Rank the Legs
1) Montego Bay -> Ft. Lauderdale (Only 87 minutes of airtime for this leg and the previous one to share on TV. However this one took up 52 out of those 87 and it was well-earned. An ending that stays away from Hawaii and Alaska is refreshing. New areas of Jamaica and Puerto Rico were explored before going to a brand new finish line in Florida. The only task to stand out was chopping fifty onions in one sitting. All of the other tasks were nothing noteworthy but are not extremely bland either. Uchenna & Joyce begged for hundreds and hundreds of dollars to get as far behind as six or seven hours. Romber looked unstoppable for almost the entire leg as it seemed they could not make a mistake that occupied more than a few minutes of their time. Plus who can remember the famous, or infamous depending on your perspective, incident where the gates to a flight are completely closed but then re-opened on the pilot’s orders for the first and only time in TAR history? Oh, and the ending? A million times better than TAR 6. If your heart wasn’t racing as Uchenna & Joyce spent ten minutes begging for money at the finish line then you my friend have no pulse and should not be watching TAR anymore. This is as good as the series will ever get. The finish line scramble alone puts this leg as #1. A prime example of what a season finale should look like.)
2) 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.
3) 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.)
4) 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.)
5) 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.)
6) 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.)
7) 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.)
8) 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.))
9) London -> Montego Bay (It is perhaps one of the toughest legs for me to rank. On one hand we get to know the teams a bit better and all of the storylines are cemented for the final leg of the season. On the other hand there were was only one task per day and a really long ride to the pit stop where we had to wait it out for a gas station fill-up, a police checkpoint, and a flat tire. It was like The Matrix 2. Way too much time spent on a car chase and all other aspects were largely ignored. However the fact the leg was so condensed made it entertaining for a 25 minute spot. It just has an inability to stand alone as its very own episode. )
10) 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.)
11) 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.)
12) 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.)
13) 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.)
So that’s TAR 7. A season that outperformed everyone’s expectations and shut down Jonathan & Victoria’s TV notoriety and anything to do with TAR 6 along with it. This season erased any damage TAR 6 had done. There are very few people who can recall TAR 6 ever occurred anymore. Virtually every team outperformed any given duo in TAR 6. The route was extremely refreshing. Foot races taking place on-screen in real time kept you guessing what would happen each episode. Car crashes? The most brutal non-elimination penalty ever? An ending that has you on the edge of your seat? This was delicious!
So input all of this and how does this season rank with the others?
1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10
2. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10
3. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10
4. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
5. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
6. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10
7. The Amazing Race 6 – 3.9/10
Wait you thought it would be #1? You are crazy!
Demerits for TAR 7
1) To Be Continued Legs remain. How has production not caught on how stupid it was in TAR 6 and that it added nothing to the race except “You know how you thought this leg was over? Well it isn’t! Ha. Got you!”
2) Only three yields and two Fast Forwards for the second season in a row? Groan.
3) Rob & Amber appear so soon after Survivor: All Stars without giving us enough time to recover from seeing them for seventeen episodes and a wedding on TV and a million other TV appearances? You have no heart, production. The biggest reason this season is below TAR 5.
4) A few of the teams obsessing with Rob & Amber.
5) The Khwai River leg may be one of the most boring I have seen in the history of the race. So bland.
6) A manufactured foot race on the first leg. This is a result of the last truck delivering teams to the final route marker before the pit stop which prevents teams separating from one another except in a lone cab ride.
1) A+ casting. Brian & Greg, Lynn & Alex, Uchenna & Joyce, Meredith & Gretchen? Ray? Ron? Debbie & Bianca? Patrick? Even Megan & Heidi? All very memorable faces.
2) Only one leg is in Europe.
3) The four pounds of meat roadblock.
4) Brian & Greg recovering from a car crash to beat Ray & Deana in a pit stop.
5) Ray’s one-sided checkers rivalry with Ray.
6) Every second of the final leg.
7) The non-elimination penalty is by far the best version in series history. Anybody who can scramble from losing everything to winning the whole game truly deserves their win. Unlike Chris & Alex or Flo & Zach who can come in last multiple times but can reach the finish line in first place without so much as a slap on the wrist.
8) Ron’s POW drinking game.
9) Who won.
10) The last four countries visited on the race were all exciting and new.
11) Somebody goes through with the head shaving Fast Forward that never had a chance to play out in TAR 5.
12) The craziest finish that is right up there with TAR 2 and only has two more contenders join it over the next 13 seasons.
I cannot think of anyone who didn’t like this season. This should universally be ranked as a top five season.
So what’s next? Thanks to the disappointing nature of Survivor: All Stars that led to an overall ratings drop of the series a change was in order. Big Brother and TAR both wanted to stay far away from an All Star given that it largely failed for Survivor. TAR is a family show. An all star edition that gets super personal is not what TAR is about. But they need to do at least something for its eighth season. So what should they do? Was their concept for TAR 8 any better than Survivor 8’s concept? Was it just as bad?
The overall feeling? Yeah, it was pretty bad. But is it really as bad as people and critics remembered? We shall review it over six years after the fact.
When I find out who’s still dissing TAR 6 one of you I’m gonna break in half!