TAR 8 episode 4 ranking

Fourth episode

Previously on TAR: Oh wait. Not yet.

This episode was filmed in Mississippi and Louisiana weeks before Hurricane Katrina. This is dedicated to the memory of those who lost their lives and are affected by the aftermath of it. Indirectly this is a message to the Schroeders and Rogers families who both reside in Louisiana. In fact, the Schroeder family stayed with the Rogers family after the hurricane hit. Fun fact.

Previously on TAR: Eight teams started in Middleburg, Virginia and flew over five hundred miles to Charleston, South Carolina. The Aiellos and the Schroeders questioned the Weavers’ behaviour. At the detour the Bransens hit the stride. The Aiello family lost their momentum while the Gaghan family zoomed by. Then the NASA centrifuge gave teams a wild ride. In the end the Bransen family arrived first and the Aiello family landed last. Seven families remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. More boring than ever.

– We are introduced to the Space and Rocket Centre in Huntsville, Alabama. Pretty lights. One of NASA’s most prestigious research facilities and a living tribute to America’s great exploration of space. And at the edge of Rocket Park is Space Shuttle Pathfinder. It was the third pit stop on The Amazing Race.

– Phil’s Questions: Will the Weaver’s behaviour further distance them from other teams? And can the Gaghans stay positive after disappointing finishes to get themselves out of last place?

– The Bransen Family, who arrived first at 1:15am, will depart at 1:15pm. Teams must travel 100 miles to Anniston, Alabama and find the world’s largest office chair. It is a roadside attraction. There are two ladders hanging off of it so two people can climb up and break in the chair before receiving their next clue.

– Teams are given 51 dollars. Wally says every leg he has been tired but is holding up pretty good. He will press on no matter how tired he is once the adrenaline kicks in. Nothing creates adrenaline like a 100 mile drive.

LAUREN: When I say the word Alabama I think of ugly.

^ Truth. Same thing when I think about your face.

– Linzes depart at 118pm. Nick says they were brought up to be family oriented and support each other. Alex says their time will come when they will move up to first. Megan and Alex slap each other’s hands. Alex slaps Megan’s legs for cheating.

– Schroeders depart next at 133pm. Stassi is used to coming in first in everything she does. She wants to be coming in first and feels like an underdog. Of course when someone says they are third out of seven I think of them as underdogs. They want to win.

MARK: Which town are we going to?
CHAR: Anniston. Like Jennifer.

Those gossip magazines are coming in handy.

– Sharon is driving and ignores some of Christine’s instructions of which highways to take. Tricia tells us that these two clash more frequently than any other pair in the group. Christine’s Sarah Palin voice and quirks annoy Sharon while Sharon’s aggression annoys Christine.

– Two hours later at 334pm it is time for the Weavers to go. 3:34pm? The Linzes and Bransens did the space camp route much faster than any of the other five teams it appears considering that buses arrived at X:00.

– Linda drives and instructs one of her kids to pray. Rebecca takes the reins and prays for their safety on the road, because considering their track record of operating vehicles so far this season, they certainly need it. Linda says the death of a husband is traumatic and makes you mixed up. No kidding.

She was laying in bed and realized she has the strength inside of her and feels more complete. A more complete jacka– to others no doubt, but more complete nonetheless.

– Cue good ol fashioned Weaver bashing. Stassi says her family does not like the Weavers because the mom is the wicked witch of the west. Hunter says they are white trash. Oh my. Hunter rarely gets to talk all season because he either calls his stepmom a b—- or people he doesn’t like as white trash. Char says they would likely feel bad for them then find out they are heathens. I doubt Weavers are going to convert into heathens. Praying to a single god every day I think solidifies their non-heathen beliefs.

STASSI: They will pray then try and kill you.
MARK: What about peace, love, and harmony?

If looks could kill. . .

– Paolos are next to head out at 350pm. Were the teams at the back of the pack slow or was the bus just flat out slow? DJ asks where the additional information is for their clue as they walk. Marion claims she gave it to DJ already. DJ says he gave it back seconds later.

BRIAN: DJ and my mom fight so much because they’re the same exact person.

Nope. That’s just a reality TV cliche that has been hardwired into your brain, Brian.

– Brian says they don’t look like they love each other but they do. And are exceptionally stubborn. DJ takes some of Marion’s stuff and finds the clue in there. Brian, DJ, and Tony all yell at her for hiding stuff.

– Gaghans are bringing up the rear at 353pm. Incidentally this is the first time that there is a spread over 48 minutes. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if this 156 minute spread is the largest we will see all season.

– Bill can’t fathom what this race looks like through the perspective of a 9 year old’s mind or a 12 year old’s mind. Carissa says teams underestimate them because of their size but she is smart, funny, and can keep the team going. Well your work last round of getting teams to buy a map and look at the signs is more than the Weavers who don’t know that Pennsylvania is a state or David Aiello who didn’t know his hometown has two reflecting pools outside of major landmarks.

– Paolos walk down the road and we are shown a shot of Gaghans slowly running behind them in the same frame. Tony prepares to be passed but luckily Paolos make it to their car only seconds ahead of the Gaghans.

BRIAN: What’s the name of the place?
MARION: ANNISTON!
BRIAN: Anna–
MARION: A-N-N-I!
(MARION hits BRIAN in the back of the head with the clue.)
BRIAN: Ow! You just gave me a papercut!
MARION: No I didn’t.
BRIAN: Yeah you did.

The sound operator contemplates if that is enough to call Child Protective Services. But maybe paper cuts are a borderline action just like spanking. We should reserve judgment for at least one more heavily edited episode before we decide if Brian is in danger. We’ll wait until Marion says she will cut Brian like uh pizza.

– Gaghans see the Paolos go in the opposite direction. So the question is who went the right way? Bill claims the Paolos are taking a much longer route.

– Bransens are at the office chair. You know how Phil said there was a rule that two people had to walk up the ladder onto the seat of the office chair to get the clue?

You’re nothing but a liar, Phil! Lauren stands on top of a chair in the rain on her lonesome. She climbs back down and reads the clue. Teams must drive to Talladega, Alabama and travel eighteen miles to the Motor Sports Hall of Fame. Once there teams must search the museum for their next clue. Wally Bransen instructs them to go 20 West and says Talladega is where the huge stock car racing takes place. Lindsay catches on that the Weavers wouldn’t be happy to go there because of how their dad died.

– A thought occurs in the Weaver vehicle.

Rebecca may not know Pennsylvania is a state but she does know where famous races occur. Especially the ones, where like you know, your dad dies.

. . .

WRONG! WRONG!

– Linda says her husband didn’t die in Talladega but it was a race track while Rebecca adds that they don’t look at anything that has to do with racing let alone go to a race track. They all sigh and have watery eyes.

– Tommy Linz scales the chair alone.

ALEX: I’m gonna go home and build a chair a hair bigger than that one.
MEGAN: Just to say you have it?
ALEX: Uh, yeah.
NICK: So you can be the biggest dork in the world?

Aw. You make the citizens of Anniston, Alabama feel bad? :/

– Hunter Schroeder scales the ladder alone and comes back down. Geez guys. There were two ladders for a reason! Godlewskis see the office chair and Christine says “oh oh oh oh oh” a million times upon arrival. It’s a very funny soundbyte that you need to search for ASAP.

Christine Godlewski.

You can browse but not carouse, OHOHOHOHOHOHOHOHO.

– Godlewskis go back onto 20 West. Bransens find the museum and the clue. Beth reads that they need to complete one lap around the Talladega Super Speedway. It is the biggest motor speedway facility in the world. What teams don’t know is they won’t be driving a racecar. Instead they’ll be riding a party bike around the track.

What a tease.

In any other season we’d let you drive the race car but because it is family edition you have been downgraded to laughably slow party bikes. Our sincere apologies.

Sincerely, Bertram

– Once they’ve completed the 2.6 mile lap the race official will hand them their next clue. Linzes are the next ones there. Schroeders see the speedway.

Despite the bird poop covering their window. I don’t think a TAR vehicle has had bird poop on it in all eight seasons.

– Bransens run through the tunnel and are disheartened to see a car. They talk about how much they desire to ride a racecar. Carissa climbs up the ladder and Bill brags it was faster. Weavers have indeed lost over twenty minutes. Rolly runs up to take the clue and comes back. He reads it and Linda snatches it immediately to make sure. Rebecca doesn’t want to go. Linda tells her she can stay in the car then. Paolos get to the chair where DJ runs up to claim the clue.

– Bransens are halfway done before Linzes begin. Bransens are solid on the road. Nick thinks it is the coolest thing he has ever seen. It could only be trumped by, oh I don’t know, a racecar? Schroeders are next. Bransens finish.

– Lindsay reads that teams must drive 260 miles to Hattiesburg, Mississippi to find the southern colonel. There teams must figure out the southern colonel is a trailer home dealership where they will find their next clue.

Mississippi’s version of the Travelocity roaming gnome.

– Godlewskis have the clue. Alex rings the bike’s bell and is loving it. Mark wonders how the Weavers will be when they get there. Rebecca says they should get the clue then run the heck out of there. Linda exclaims that will indeed be the strategy. Linda runs in and reads the clue. Rachel yells that they can’t do it.

LINDA: Make your way to the Motor Speedway.

RACHEL: No mommy, we can’t!

Commercial.

LINDA: Make your way to the Motor Speedway.

RACHEL: No mommy, we can’t!

– Linda coaches her children that their dad loved racing and that they are all above the fear of being on a track. I wonder if Weavers were intentionally cast for the sole purpose of putting them on the speedway? If so, that is plain cruel.

MARK: Let me raise the seats.
CHAR: We’re wasting time if we do.
(MARK hops off to adjust chair.)
STASSI: Dad, you’re a pain in my a–!

WHOA! Young lady, you do not talk to your biological father like that! Talking to your stepmom like that is fine, but your real dad? Go to your room.

STASSI: One minute makes the biggest difference why don’t you understand that?

No computer for a week when you get home, missy! Actually, no computer for several months given Hurricane Katrina is about to wipe out your house at the end of filming. :/

– Linzes are done. They tell the Godlewskis they are riding a bike. The Godlewskis screech in excitement. Schroeders are done and Mark limps out. Weavers are next on the bikes. Godlewskis are finished.

CHRISTINE: Find the southern co-lone-e-ul.
SHARON: Colonel. Let’s go.

The English language can be confusing. Colonel and kernel have the same phonetic pronunciation? What a country!

– Gaghans must have fallen behind on the drive to Talladega because they are several minutes behind Weavers. They are excited to go on the speedway. Linda thinks leaving the depressing heavy sadness will help them move on. She is proud. Rachel thinks they have gotten stronger through everything.

CARISSA: I wish you had longer legs.
TAMMY: We wish you had longer legs, too.

Translation: You’re slowing down the team, Carissa! You’re gonna be cut from the payroll and sent to the Minors if you don’t pick it up.

– Paolos are once again last to a clue box. Tony is REALLY excited. He boasts about how great it is going to be.

. . .

WRONG! WRONG!

– Gaghans are done. Bill wants them in the car before the lightning strikes outside. We hear it thundering and the skies have changed colour. Paolos are the only team stuck in the thunderous weather. Tony Paolo cries for his race car.

– Linzes have caught up to the Bransens. Much to Lindsay Bransen’s chagrin.

GUH!

Lindsay Bransen is really Chewbacca in times of frustration.

– Lauren is in the back seat and is really bored in the midst of a 265 mile drive. The Linz family is likely the only family they will see for the next five or six hours. So what does one do in times of boredom as they establish contact with another team?

That ladies and gentlemen is the first time a racer has mooned an opposing team. Normal people would cheer or give a thumbs up when the driver or a cabbie passes the competition. Or fingers the other team if it’s the reverse. However, Lindsay Bransen is not a normal person and so instead of flipping the bird she reveals the moon.

P.S. Don’t look at Wally Bransen in this shot. Just don’t.

P.P.S. OMG Why would you?

Oh, I get it. This is The Amazing Race: Spring Break Edition. All we need is BET and MTV hanging out on the beaches and we would be all set.

– The Paolos are stuck back in Talladega pedaling those stupid party bikes.

I don’t know what the Weavers prayed for, but I think the Paolos are about to be struck by lightning or attacked by Dementors. I’m leaning towards dementors judging by the weather. Does this weather remind you of anything, Ron?

Good observation. You can be sent back to your cell now.

– The Paolos finish and Tony rushes them in as it looks like a hurricane of Katrina is sweeping them away three weeks prematurely.

– Bransens have a phone book and address. They see the clue and cheer. Linzes are right behind them. That was a quick 265 mile drive. Beth reads the clue. Teams will be spending the night in these trailers. How exotic. They will search the trailers for departure times. 720am, 740am, and 800am. Once teams have completed this task normally reserved to fill up the two hour season premiere slots they cannot exchange their trailer for another. Once the ticket is ripped it’s final.

– Megan comes up with the brilliant strategy for teams to look for the earliest ticket. She divides everyone up to look for trailers. They will go one by one. Schroeders are on the road and pull over behind a Sherriff. Mark asks the Sherriff for directions.

SHERRIFF: South Colonel, mobile homes.
MARK: Ahahahha, no that wouldn’t be.
CHAR: Ahahahaha, that sounds crazy to me.

How many times do I have to tell you? THIS IS FAMILY EDITION!!!!1111ONEONEONE. You have to accept that bland places like a mobile home lot will be a place where you could be doing a detour or a roadblock. Your first route marker was at Eastern Mountain Sports for crying out loud.

– Stassi wants to look at a phone book exactly like what the Bransens did. Mark says it won’t be easy. Stassi asks him to reconsider. Mark tells her to relax. Holy crap Mark. I think you managed to make three poor decisions in less than ten seconds. Stassi is the brain of the team.

STASSI: Daddy, please?

Daddy’s Girl charm activated.

– Godlewskis are in town and search for Internet. They ask for help and a guy in an information desk types it into Google.

Google Maps existed in 2005? Anybody wish to prank call them? The number is right there.

– Weavers pull into a gas station. They are told it’s a mobile homes place and head out immediately. Char Schroeder asks Mark if they should pull into a gas station.

MARK: Uhhhhhh

STASSI: Dad, stop it.

Daddy’s Girl charm deactivated.

– Mark Schroeder takes the phone book from the gas station and tears out the page with the mobile homes. Stassi is pissed that she knew it all along. Plus the candy prices inside the gas station are expensive. here is a sign listing something for $16.59. Who advertises selling something at a gas station for twenty bucks?

STASSI: This sucks! I’m aggravated!

You’re aggravated? That’s your casual way to say you’re angry? We’re more alike than I thought, Stas.

– Linzes and Bransens search the mobile homes.

Let’s see we’ve got a clue, a production camera, purple stuff. . .hey Sunny D! Can I say Sunny D? They are a sponsour, right?

– Bransens found 740 but won’t pull it yet. Linzes find a 720 and know the other one was 740. Instead of looking for the lone remaining departure time they decide to pull the 720 one in haste. Luck is on your side, Linz. That could have backfired. They report it to the Bransens who find a 720am departure of their own.

– The Godlewskis and Weavers arrive simultaneously. Linda greets them as both teams read the clue. They try to be hush and quiet about it. That lasts two seconds as Christine shrieks when she sees 740.

CHRISTINE: 7:40?! Should we take it? That’s pretty darn early!
SHARON: Yeah, whatever, take it.

You know what’s earlier than 740? 720, 700, 640, 620, 600, 540. . .You have nothing to freakin’ compare your departure time to you stinkin’ Godlewskis.

– Weavers begin their hunt. Rachel pulls 800. Nobody else on the team knows if it’s good enough. Why is it so freakin’ hard to look for more departure times? Dang. Family Edition has proven to have a really low standard when it comes to the only complicated task of the season thus far.

– Schroeders sit in traffic. Char is not the driver for the first time all season. She weeps in the back seat. They should be fine considering they tore a page with the address from a phone book.

MARK: I don’t have a f—ing clue where the f—ing thing is.

Whoa. Did Daddy just curse in front of his 16 and 14 year old kids? Typically reality shows cast families who don’t curse at all and are clean. With the exception of rockstar families, of course.

STASSI: Shut up!

MARK: I’m sorry–

STASSI: Please shut up!

MARK: I’m exploding right now.

Papa Bear is going to stop being cuddly with his family and start eating his own children because small animals taste good.

Also, that is a very Christina Cha moment from Stassi.

MARK: My guts are eating out.

My blood is boiling from my anger that it’s eating out. At a fancy restaurant.

STASSI: You are upsetting me SOOOO MUCH.

Geez. Since when was Veruca Salt on The Amazing Race? We’re over, Stassi. I’m dumping you via my blog. We could’ve had a great life together. But sometimes you just act so childish. Go find someone else who will listen to your whining. I need someone who isn’t so bitter and jaded and easy to cast blame. You and Brock Rogers would be an ideal pair.

– They pull into the Southern Colonel Homes. Hunter is relieved. Tears are in Stassi Schroeder’s eyes. What do bears do when they have a fight?

Bear hug!

– Godlewskis tell Schroeders to look for the 740 departure and that 800 is the final departure which also is double trouble because the Weavers are on there. And we know how much the Schroeders like the Weavers after the Weavers shunned everyone. So the Schroeders look through the trailers.

MARK: 800. We should take it.
STASSI: 800 is what the Weavers are on and the Godlewskis told us to look for 740.

Mark and Char reluctantly give in to Stassi’s request.

– Bill wakes up Carissa and Billy. Carissa asks why she has to be awake. Bill tells her because he will not raise a Flo for a daughter and wants her to help with the next clue. So the Gaghans go inside and grab the 800am trailer knowing it is the only time likely offered for the sixth place team.

Carissa Gaghan may be the first racer in the history of TAR who will need a Night Light on the course of the race.

– Tony calls the clue box a son of a b—- and Marion wants to be done right away. Mark sees other teams looking around and tells Stassi that they need to take the 800 trailer. So Char and Mark agree to take it. Char tells Mark to calm her down. Way to not pressure him. They are with the Godlewskis. Sharon calms Stassi down that they will only be twenty minutes behind.

– Stassi hates no one is listening to her and reiterates that one minute makes the biggest difference. On Family Edition I whole-heartedly agree. Mark wants them to eat and relax after a stressful day.

– Eight million hours later Paolos are the only team looking for a trailer. They find a 740 departure. Ha. Dang teams are real idiots when it comes to this task in the past few seasons. Marion pulls it and wants to sleep ASAP.

720: Bransens, Linz
740: Godlewskis, Paolos
800: Gaghans, Schroeders, Weavers

– Teams grab a clue from the dashboard. They must drive themselves 84 miles to Richland, Mississippi and find this BP Gas Station. They’ll have to search for a man named Les to receive their next clue.
.
.
.
.
.
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WHAT THE F—?!

Search a BP Gas Station for a man named Les?! THAT’S A F—ING TASK?! IT’S ONLY EPISODE FOUR AND THE CREATIVE HAS DIED?! MOBILE HOMES AND BP GAS STATION ARE MISSISSIPPI’S BIGGEST LANDMARKS?! HOW BORING IS MISSISSIPPI!?

I KNOW A  TASK WE CAN F—ING DO! GO TO SPORTCHECK AND BUY A JACKET. THE GUY AT THE TICKET COUNTER WILL GIVE YOU YOUR NEXT CLUE. OR BUY A VEGGIE SUB FROM SUBWAY WITH MUSTARD TO GET YOUR NEXT CLUE

MY GOD THIS IS STUPID. WHY NOT GO TO FUTURE SHOP AND FIND THE PIMPLY-FACED SALES ASSOCIATE NAMED EUGENE?! F— THIS CLUE AND F— THE HEAVY PROMOTIONAL CONTROL BP GAS STATION HAD OVER THIS SEASON!!!!!!

Okay, I’m calm. Let’s proceed.

Hi, my name is Les. If the Schroeders get lost, I get to work overtime today.

– Wally asks if he should send a farewell moonshot. His daughters think that would creep everyone out. The Linz Brothers talk about how hot Walt’s daughters are. The 740am cars are next to leave. Then 800. Everyone is instructed in their clue to drive on 49S. So they are told the exact directions to the BP Gas Station? This is the biggest joke of a clue ever.

-Bransens and Linzes go in and ask for Les. He is standing behind the counter.

My smile won me this TV appearance. Did I ever tell you guys I am pursuing a career in acting?

– Teams are told to drive to the Pelican State. They must figure out on their own that this means to drive into Louisiana and drive 151 miles to Madisonville then find Fairview Riverside State Park where they’ll find their next clue. A state park? Wow. Mobile Homes. BP Gas Station. State Park. Bransens and Linzes ask a guy at the gas station and find out immediately that the Pelican State is the bordering state of Louisiana.

– Godlewskis think they are on the wrong road for the BP Gas Station that they see and drive right by it. They screwed up the most direct and easiest clue in TAR history. Even the clue at the starting line of each season would be tougher to find than a BP Gas Station that instructs you the exact roads to take to drive there. Paolos pull in. Godlewskis see them pull in behind them.

MICHELLE: They pulled off you guys?
SHARON: Mmhmmm.
MICHELLE: Well maybe they went to pick up something.

Yes. They needed to pick up something at the very start of the leg. And where they needed to pick up something was at a BP Gas Station in the town where the clue is. And that “something” they needed to pick up was not the clue.

You’re a genius, Michelle Godlewski.

– DJ reads that they need to go to the Pelican State. Marion wants them to drive away before the Godlewskis see them with the clue. Godlewskis realize they should turn around and indeed find the elusive Les.

– Schroeders’ gas tank is empty.

MARK: We need to buy gas when we pull in.
STASSI: One second makes the biggest difference.
ME: I just ate a grape.
STASSI: One second makes the biggest difference.
ME: Stas, you’re not listening to me. Heart breaaaking. ;_;
STASSI: One second makes the biggest difference.

– Gaghans and Weavers find the BP Gas Station. Weavers are shocked to see the Godlewskis there. Suddenly the 740 and 800am teams minus the Paolos are all bunched together.

MARK: We need gas. Get out of the car!
STASSI: Shut up!
ME: Yeah Mark. You don’t have to be so demanding!
STASSI: Shut up, one second makes all the difference.

– The teams all storm back into their respective cars.

BILL: Where’s my pen?
CARISSA:

Where’s your lucky pen
Where’s your lucky pen
Where’s my lucky pen
Luckyyyy pen

I think Weird Al already wrote a song about a Lucky Pen. Sorry Carissa.

– Schroeders say they live in Fairview, Louisiana. Yep. The race is going directly into their hamlet. Weavers taunt the Schroeders as they drive by them. Stassi is frustrated that they’re buying gas.

STASSI: God I hate that Florida is ahead of us.
MARK: Stass chill out.
STASSI: Shut up.
ME: Stas, stop talking. After all, one second makes all the difference.
MARK: You’re being nasty and it’s ugly.
STASSI: You’re looking ugly too right now.
MARK: Okay.

– Godlewskis scream at Christine who screwed up the map directions temporarily. Michelle is so pissed at Christine and rolls her eyes under her sunglasses. The Bransens and Linzes envoy lands them at the park. It’s a detour. Teams have to choose between Work and Play. Doing only work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, though.

– In work, teams work use a 2-person handheld seesaw to cut slices off a log twelve inches in diameter. Once they’ve cut four slices off the log teams will receive their next clue.

Doesn’t look so hard.

– In Play teams play game of 21 against a dealer. Once the team has won three rounds against the dealer they will receive their next clue. Bransens and Linz are both doing ‘Play’.

TOMMY: Let’s do Blackjack.

MEGAN: Guys I think that’s the best bet.

Pun! I bet those folks over at TARFlies picks up on it.

– BETH: You must put on the period clothing before starting either task.

I bet TARFlies wouldn’t make that pun.

– Bransens and the Linz families are in their clothes and get into the canoe to paddle out to their Blackjack boat. Schroeders meanwhile took the wrong highway. Yep. They chose the wrong road to a park that is less than thirty minutes from their house and only five minutes away from where Mark used to work. Char says there’s no excuse for it.

– A band plays right outside the boat. It’s like the French Quarter. Lindsay Bransen admits she doesn’t know how to play Blackjack. Luckily it doesn’t require much skill. Paolos are doing the ‘work’ option of the detour. All four Bransens beat the dealer in a hand to score their first point. Godlewskis are cutting wood. Gaghans put on their clothes and go to gamble. Linzes realize how much luck is involved and paddle back to switch tasks.

– Bransens have scored two of three hands. Bill loses a couple hands and understands why the Linz family gave up. Paolos have three pieces chopped. Linzes have one done. Paolos are. . .in the lead? That’s a first.

– DJ reads the clue. Teams must drive across the world’s longest bridge into the city of New Orleans. Once there teams must park their car on Esplanade Avenue and run through the famed French Quartier to Preservation Hall (which is ironic considering Hurricane Katrina takes out this building only a few weeks from now). It is home to the jazz band. This 255 year old landmark is the pit stop for this leg of the race. Last team to check in may be eliminated.

– No roadblock???? Huh. Les got in the way of things.

– Bransens succeed and have won three rounds. They tell the Gaghans to stay patient. Bransens paddle back and tell the Godlewskis and Linzes to keep going. Weavers drive in and ‘high five’ Bransens on the way. Weavers want to play. Linzes are done chopping wood. They’re third. Godlewskis are done.

– Weavers are done paddling and have already won a game of blackjack. Gaghans are stuck with their grand total of zero wins. Weavers win a second round. They announce they won two rounds in their first two hands. Gaghans haven’t won a round in over thirty minutes. Bad luck.

– Bill asks Tammy what they should do. Should they keep gambling their luck? Bill decides too much time has been wasted and they paddle back. Time for some good ol fashioned child labour as Billy and Carissa are chopping wood.

– Linzes follow the Bransens across the bridge. Paolos are ahead on the bridge. Godlewskis discuss if they should take their bags. Everyone understands they should abandon their bags because they could be running for miles in the street. Christine goes against the logic and instantly declares she is taking her bag. Everyone else tries to talk sense into her but they fail.

– Michelle cries saying she wants her backpack like she is Dora the Explorer.

CHRISTINE (crying): Sometimes crying is a release.

The non-botoxed side of her face wells up with tears. Isn’t all crying a form of release? It’s releasing salts for CRYING out loud.

CHRISTINE: Thanks for making me cry guys. I hope you’re happy.
MICHELLE: You did it to yourself.
CHRISTINE: I don’t want to be crying at the mat. Can you let me pull myself together? Thank you!

What a supportive team.

– Weavers have won three rounds and drive away. Gaghans are chopping wood. Bill and Tammy are a team who will presumably do all four pieces of wood while Billy and Carissa are their own team. The Weavers scream at the top of their lungs when they see the Schroeders drive by on the way to the detour.

LINDA: Don’t get excited because they know this area.

The team who got on the wrong highway knows this area? I’m confused.

– Schroeders open the clue. They start chopping wood in dead last but switch to the other detour after halfway through a piece. Indecisiveness is exactly what you want when you’re behind. Gaghans have two pieces of wood done.

Considering Carissa can barely reach the handle I would say she has not cut any of them. Billy is one quick push away from giving Carissa a case to file for worker’s compensation.

– Billy and Carissa are standing away from the log watching mommy and daddy do all of the work. Schroeders have done a round.

TAMMY: Who doesn’t know the meaning of quit?

Not Billy and Carissa.

– Gaghans are done chopping wood. Bill and Tammy are exhausted but hustle back into their car. Schroeders have won three rounds.

CHAR: We’re going home!

Is that “we’re going home” as in you’re literally going to your home in Louisiana, or “we’re going home” as in the reality TV term that you’re being eliminated? Or in this case both?

– LINDA: This is one of the five Great Lakes.

You’re reading your map upside-down again, Linda.

– Teams are now in New Orleans. Paolos park their car and are told to run six blocks. Bransens are running about too. Hunter finds it hilarious that they will be eliminated with their house visible from the pit stop.

– DJ screams at Marion for running by herself in the wrong direction. Suspense builds as we don’t know if the Paolos or Bransens found it first. It must be the Paolos considering their lead.

– Nope. It’s the Bransens. They have won a trip for four to Orlando Universal Resorts and admission to Universal Studios. Huge prizes racked up. They’ll have a million bucks before leg 13. Paolos awkwardly stand behind them and congratulate Bransens with enthusiasm. Tony tackles Phil again. Godlewskis and Linzes are running the streets. Linzes are third. Phil asks them about how there was a moon out today. Godlewskis announce crazy women are coming through. They are fourth.

– Weavers and Gaghans are running too. Schroeders then are running too. Stassi cat calls throughout the street. Suspense time. Linda announces she is scared to Phil as they hit the mat. They are ecstatic to be fifth. Rebecca thinks they are starting new and Linda says it is all about having a new outlook on life.

– It’s now the Gaghans and the Schroeders. Could the Schroeders possibly be eliminated after traveling through neighbourhoods that they lived in? They traverse the streets. A guy inside Preservation Hall is playing the drums. Gaghans arrive at the mat. Phil informs them they are sixth. They barely escape elimination once again.

– Slow music plays. Schroeders await their fate at the mat. Phil tells them they are not only last but are eliminated from the race. Char’s levee breaks as the water works flow from her eyes. They share a group hug. It’s as if Phil doesn’t exist during their moment. Mark says he worked a mile away from the park where they got lost. He thinks it is shameful they are the fourth team eliminated. Stassi loves her dad but wishes he would listen to her because she would have made a big difference to the outcome of their leg today.

– Mark feels responsible for Stassi’s crying and blames himself for every little mistake this leg that was made by the team because he was team leader. However he has learned that his family can take care of themselves and handle real stress and glad that they can deal with hardships when they may arise.

Then the hurricane came. What an ironic final quote from Mark Schroeder. No doubt intentional by editors.

* Note: The Schroeders stay with the Rogers Family after Hurricane Katrina hit.

* Second Note: Guess what the missing roadblock was? It was climbing up the ladder into the office chair. That’s right. Climbing up ten steps was roadblock worthy. Production was too embarrassed to reveal it as a roadblock publicly.

Next time on TAR: We leave the country!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Carissa.Bill.Tammy.Billy 1.0.0.0
Megan.Tommy.Nick.Alex 0.0.1.0
Tony.DJ.Brian. Marion 0.0.1.0
Lauren.Beth.Wally.Lindsay 0.0.1.0
Linda.Rachel.Rebecca.Rolly 4.1.3.0
Stassi.Mark.Char.Hunter 3.2.1.0
Michelle.Christine.Sharon.Tricia 0.1.0.1

Team averages

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
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 Aiello Family 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
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
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
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:

4) The Rogers Family

One of the few teams I was looking forward to analyzing again in their short run. My analysis leads me to conclude they are not only the least entertaining team all season but also in the bottom tier for least likable. Denny seems like a man straight out of a 50s TV show where he expects dinner the moment he comes home from work, Brittney plays the “I’m just a girl so I can’t do _____ card, Renee plays the role of Donna Reed where she just wants everything to be perfect for everyone around her, and Brock is saturated with angst and hates rules.

If it were up to me I would eliminate them round one.

3) The Black Family

Ever wanted to see a crossover between The Cosby Show and The Amazing Race? What would be produced is the Black Family. They don’t scream or yell. The family works together to do fun little tasks. If an issue does come up they deal with it calmly and say it is all about trusting their family bond. They are not nasty to any teams.

In addition it plays out like a Cosby Show episode. At the beginning nothing happens to any of them and by the end nothing has happened to any of them. The 90s G-rated urban sitcom has officially played out.

P.S. Thanks for giving me a ton of material to work with in the first episode.

2) The Aiello Family

Kevin Aiello is such a drama queen. His ability to screw up directions in his hometown is a great storyline for episode two. Matt’s extremely goofy nature sets himself apart from the other in-laws. David Aiello barking at a 4×4 in the mud for hours may be one of the funnier moments in race history.

Just the fact it is three in-laws racing with their father-in-law is an intriguing dynamic. Tony is extremely protective of his daughters which forces the new sons to kiss his ring throughout the race. Add in all four having an extreme fear of insinuating eroticism and you have a very entertaining squad.

1) Schroeder Family

Mark has some of the most eccentric quotes in the history of the series.

Char fills the role of Queen B—-y Stepmom.

Hunter gets away with groin slaps and calling his stepmom a b—- on TV.

And Stass is well. . . . <333333333

Rank the Legs

1) Middleburg -> Huntsville (Space camp! Teams finally book flights in an actual airport. Teams kept the screaming to a minimum this leg. Plus this leg looked exhausting with forcing kids to do the race at 1am to 5am in the morning. Mystery bus rides pinched the team’s nerves. David Aiello screaming rap lyrics at a 4×4 for thirteen attempts on a track is memorable when you cut it to Bill Gaghan who guns it on his first try. Bodies morphing in a centrifuge was a memorable experience. The 3-way sprint to the pit stop at the end makes it a memorable episode. Oh, and how can we forget the Weavers absolutely going bonkers in a waffle house at three o’ clock in the morning? And shunning the Godlewskis and Aiellos.

P.S. Groin slaps.)

2) Lancaster -> Middleburg (After viewers have grown accustomed to the disappointing nature of Family Edition, this episode breathes life into the season. Missed highway exits leads to screaming. Traffic congestion leads to screaming. An empty gas tank leads to screaming. Oh, and a government-based theme combined with the Civil War battle makes this leg very distinct like the Amish and NYC fusion of the season premiere. David Aiello’s errors were amusing as well as Papa Gaghan who refused to ask for directions at the reflecting pool. The big shoe gave me an excuse to reference Snoop Dogg so that was G double O D. And the Rogers were mercifully removed from the race.)

3) NYC -> Lancaster (The last time the race started in New York they flew to Johannesburg. This season they don’t even fly. They drive across a couple states. Viewers were extremely disheartened to see after two hours that the ten families only traveled a little over 100 miles from the starting line. The Gaghans have probably run from New York to Pennsylvania in less time than the several days it occupied in the show’s filming. This marked the first episode where Phil started became an Advil popper.)

4) Huntsville -> New Orleans (Sitting in an office chair. Go to a mobile home for the night. Find a BP Gas Station. Go chop wood or play Blackjack. Yep. That counts as a leg on The Amazing Race.)

Bonus Feature

This is dedicated to our fallen lovely friend this episode: Stassi Schroeder. Let’s reflect on her journey through the season. Let’s play the song and head onwards!

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