Previously on TAR: Wait? Another PSA by Phil? Sigh.
– Phil rambles on about New Orleans again and the thousands working tirelessly to rebuild it to make New Orleans return as being one of the great cities of the world. Now let’s race.
– Previously on TAR: Teams traveled from sweet Alabama to Talladega Speedway within the same state where they pedaled as a team around the track. The Weaver Family whose dad died in a racecar accident didn’t want to go. But their mother’s leadership held them through the finish. Stassi and her dad argued over directions and Stassi broke down. Then they got lost right outside of their hometown of New Orleans. The Linz family got an eyeful from the Bransens. At the detour the Gaghans were down on their luck while the Paolos’ teamwork paid off. But it was the Bransens who finished first.
And in the end the Schroeders’ poor navigation cost them the race. And they cried. Particularly Stassi. And I cried too. Particularly about Stassi.
Take me now Magikoopas! It’s simply not worth it to blog anymore!
Six families remain. Who will be eliminated?
– Intro time. We have five non-elimination legs over the next nine episodes. I am not impressed. And neither is George St. Pierre.
– French Quartier music plays as Phil introduces us to the land of Les and giant office chairs and Carissa Gaghan accidentally cutting herself with a seesaw blade. New Orleans is famous for its music and mardi gras. Thanks for the lesson, Phil.
Phil’s Questions: Will the Gaghans be able to overcome a near loss and pull out of last place once again? And will the Weavers continue to find strength as a family and surge ahead?
– The Bransen family who were first to arrive at 1240pm will depart at 1240am. Fly to Panama City, Florida. Wait no.
PANAMA CITY, PANAMA!!!!
The Weavers may think Panama is a state but it’s really a country! Kiss my a– US, we’re leaving the country for the first time this season!
– Teams will fly 2, 000 miles to Panama City and drive themselves 31 miles to the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute where they will travel by boat across the Panama Canal to an island. Once there they will search for a scientist named Ricardo Les Dias who will give them their next clue.
16 hours 42 minutes, and 31 seconds since Ricardo’s last joint and counting.
– They are excited to leave the country. So are we. Wally says a situation where him and his daughters are all equals is unusual for him. He’s used to them requesting him to do stuff at home as opposed to on the race. It’s a matter of his daughters carrying him rather than him carrying them.
– Paolos check out one minute later. Marion has lost the additional information two seconds into the leg for the second episode in a row. Lose the clue once, shame on Marion. Lose the clue and shame on the other three for not keeping it on their person. Marion says the ideal situation would be for DJ to put his arms around her and say “I love you, ma.” Marion begins to tear up. Geez Luis.
– Two minutes later Linzes are out of there. Alex says “Excellentee” like he is the Bumblebee Man. Not everyone in Panama watches a Bumblebee Man cartoon, Alex. In fact no one in Panama does. Megan gives a boring confessional so we can skip over that.
– A taxi driver tells the Linzes he can squeeze them in the regular sized cab. It works out fine.
TOMMY: I love high school. . .spring break. Check out sixteen year old girls.
Wrong Panama, Tommy.
DRIVER: Not Florida.
See? And thank you for making me less weird about my Stassi fascination, Tommy. You managed to outdo the biggest dork on the Internet. Congratulations.
– Beth borrows the cabbie’s cell phone after they get into the van. Wally suggests to call Continental and American Airlines. Continental arrives first at 640pm so they book it.
Lindsay Bransen salivates at the idea of being in the lead.
– Paolos get into a cab too. DJ is taking over the additional information. Marion reminds him that everything is on him if he loses it. The New Orleans airport is called Louis Armstrong. I don’t know why I find that amusing. Linzes are in the airport. Bransens follow and tell the Linzes the first flight arrives at 639pm while the other American Airlines is 910pm.
– Nearly an hour later it’s time for the Godlewskis. Christine knows she is bossy but that her ideas are the best. This is coming from the woman who wanted to run with her backpack for several miles to the pit stop. They fly down an airport shuttle. Weavers are next at 152am. Rebecca says they are their own team. She understands alliances but thinks they are stupid. Alliances on TAR? Yes, they are dumb. Coalitions and being nice to other teams to gain information? Not so dumb.
– At 154am it’s time for the Gaghans. That is a 74 minute spread from first to last. Once again it is close. Who knew mobile homes, climbing up a ladder and finding a gas station would prevent teams from separating too much. Bill explains the strategy is always to finish just ahead of one other team.
CARISSA: Better to be second to last than eliminated.
This differs greatly from the advice Carissa was given back when she rode the party bikes at the Talladega Motor Speedway.
If you’re not first, you’re last. . .except in The Amazing Race format.
– Godlewskis are in the airport. They ask the other teams which flight is earlier. How about the one with twelve backpacks and twelve people lying in front of its counter? Weavers are next. They wonder if there will be enough room on the flight.
I think it will be full. There are so many people in front that the ticket counter lobby in the New Orleans airport looks like the hostels after Katrina hit.
– CARISSA: We’re excited that FINALLY we’re getting out of the U.S.
And you’ll be even more impressed with what will happen two legs from now, Carissa. ^_^
– Gaghans are at the back of a very long line of teams. Linzes are first in line when the ticket counter opens. Tense music plays as the Gaghans are ready to switch counters if the flight is full. DJ insists to book tickets and Marion eggs him on that he believes no one else on the team can do anything.
CGI Wally is not happy with DJ’s attitude.
– Bransens buy tickets. Sharon Godlewski tells the Paolos that if they are going to argue to get out of line. Sharon steps in to tell Marion that DJ is being absolutely cruel to her. Do you really want to cross into another family’s affairs, Sharon? Sharon insists for DJ to be nice to her.
DJ (mumbling): I haven’t been that bad.
“that bad” vs. “a lot of bad” or “bad” general. This must be DJ and Marion’s relationship on a good day.
– Paolos book the tickets. The Godlewskis however are informed the flight is full. The three trailing teams run to the other counter. Gaghans and Godlewskis buy tickets on the second flight then Weavers.
ROLLY: Yes, we’re in last again.
That’s not a typo for ‘Rolly’. I just heard a teenager say ‘Golly’. I thought that word is out of style, dangnabit!
– The first flight departs for Panama followed by the second. Both flights are direct to Panama City. Phil recaps that Paolos, Bransens, and Linzes are on Flight #1 while Godlewskis, Gaghans, and Weavers are on Flight #2.
– The same Central American and South American music that is played in TAR 3, 5, and 7 gets another play here as we see a montage of various landmarks in Panama City. We fade out on a conquistador as the leading pack gets into Panama City. Linzes try out their weak Spanish. Marion Paolo is in a taxi van and directs the driver as DJ is squeezing in.
DJ: From now on I do the talking.
MARION: From now on you mind your own business.
We have crossed over from “not that bad” to “fairly bad”. Bransen daughters call for Wally to talk to the driver. We are in the Linz vehicle and we discover Nick Linz can speak perfect Spanish.
MEG: What’d he say?
NICK: I can’t tell.
What happens in Panama and is verbalized in Espanol, remains in Panama in Espanol.
– Paolos’ taxi zooms past Linzes. DJ tells us if anyone told him he’d be crossing a bridge in Panama full of crocodiles with his mother they’d be out of their minds. Probably because he would expect one of them to push each other into the river of crocodiles and not make it out alive.
– Paolos get to the docks. It opens at 7am. They are camping out on the docks tonight. Linzes get in line followed by Bransens. They wait for the other three teams as the line forms on the dock. The second flight gets in. Rachel and Rolly Weaver try out their Spanish.
RACHEL: Burrito. Conquistador.
ROLLY: El speedo.
You’re too young for that, Rolly. That’s an X-rated version of family edition.
– Godlewskis make it inside the building. They all agree to leave in the order that they arrived. Then the Gaghans. Then the Weavers. Morning comes as the gate comes down. Freddy isn’t around to get his head smashed this time so it’s fairly uneventful. All six teams refuse to ruffle feathers and agree on getting in the boats in the same order. Tony cheers in the boat. Brian wants him to shut up. Geez. It’s a boat ride on the Panama. You’re allowed to cheer.
– Everyone comments on the view and beauty of the lake. Bransens pass Linzes in the boat. So do Godlewskis. Linzes beg for the driver to go faster. Lauren Bransen refrains from mooning the Linzes. Sharon Godlewski however. . .
Spanks herself? Family Edition has a strange cast of people.
– The Weaver boat passes the Gaghans. Carissa Gaghan says it’s not fair. Be thankful you rarely deal with taxis this season, Carissa. The Gaghans are in dead last as the driver tells them he is going the wrong way to pick up another group before taking them to Ricardo. Tammy screams at the driver that it is a race. So the driver radios in and trails the other boats. The Gaghans cannot seem to catch a break these past few rounds. Luckily the driver caved into Tammy Gaghan’s request.
– The teams step foot on the island and search the rainforests for random stoners/scientists in hammocks. Several say they are not Ricardo Diaz and sound like they were imported straight from the pot fields of San Francisco. Every boat passes the Linzes except the Gaghans. Godlewskis are the first to the clue. It’s a detour.
– In this detour teams will choose between rhythm and coos. In rhythm, teams board a red devil bus, known as diablo rojo, to a neighbourhood known as Casa Viejo. They will visit several locations to find four different musical instruments. Once they have all four (trumpet, saxophone, trombone, and a conga drum) they will deliver it on foot to a place called Take Five Jazz & Wine where they will receive their next clue. Whoa. That is a legitimate TAR task.
– In Coos, teams travel by red devil bus to Parque Natural Metropolitano and take the provided binoculars to search the rainforest canopy for wooden replicas of five birds. They will circle the five local birds on the provided chart and hand it in to the bird expert. However if they circle any wrong birds they will have to repeat the task until they get it right.
* This stamp authenticates that TAR has come up with the first legitimate detour of the season. Gracias, producers. Gracias.
– Godlewskis think bird watching will take too long so they will do the instruments. Not to mention bird watching is boring as f—. Unless you’re catching Pidgeys and Spearows. Paolos are next to the clue. They’re going for the Fast Forward. Oh right. That twist which has been watered down to having the dumbest format possible. I nearly forgot all about them.
– Phil says this is the only Fast Forward of the season. So whoever was the first team to the route marker can skip all tasks and increase their lead further because of how mindless this twist has been since they decided to not have them on every leg in TAR 5. Did I mention how utterly stupid this change is?
P.S. There was another Fast Forward offered one leg later but no one took it (probably because whoever claims this Fast Forward would have the lead going into next leg and couldn’t take another one and the other teams didn’t know if they were first so they played it and safe and ignored it. How does production not see the error with changing the Fast Forward format this way?????)
– In this fast forward teams will go to the Pacific side of the Panama Canal and find a crane on a pier. They will split into pairs and jump off the crane’s ledge in a tandem bungee jump. First team to do it will claim the Fast Forward. Paolos are going for the Fast Forward while Weavers want to do the bird watching. Bransens will not go for the Fast Forward and do bird watching. Linzes are going to catch instruments.
BILL (out of breath): RICARDO! HOW ARE YOU!
Just because you’re out of breath does not mean you can yell at Ricardo Diaz. I think he is recovering from a hangover in the hammock so you’re even more cruel.
– Billy wants do bungee jumping and so does Carissa. Their parents did not raise them on proper Fast Forward strategy post-TAR 4. Dead last and you are chasing for the Fast Forward? This isn’t The Amazing Race 2 anymore, Carissa. Tammy gives in to the childrens’ irrational request.
CHRISTINE: Do you know where the buses are?
LOCAL: It’s an island.
CHRISTINE: I don’t believe him, Trish.
SHARON: We’re surrounded by water. So it’s an island. We need to get back on the mainland.
Are your ideas still best, Christine?
– Paolos, Weavers, Godlewskis, and Linzes. Linda Weaver yells back at the Linz’ bus driver to drive slow. The Linzes are not impressed with Linda’s aggressive sabotage.
What’s dumber than playing the alliance game in The Amazing Race, Rebecca? Playing the ‘Lets Make As Many Enemies As Possible’ game on the race.
– Bransens have fallen to fifth. Gaghans shout for their boat driver to join them on the boat. I suppose he wanted to score weed off of one of Ricardo Diaz’s friends while he waited. Weavers pass the Paolos into first. Christine Godlewski gives her driver two dollars to go faster. It works. Tony Paolo whines that teams are passing him like he is standing still. Linzes pass the Paolos and the Weavers.
ALEX LINZ: That lady needs to take her crazy pills.
I think taking pills that make you go crazy is the exact opposite of what one needs, Alex.
– Godlewskis pass the dock. Megan Linz tells the driver to keep following the Godlewskis. Both teams realize they need to backtrack. Meanwhile the Paolos, Bransens, and Gaghans go from 4th, 5th, and 6th to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd thanks to the leading teams aimlessly following each other past the docks. Paolos and Bransens wonder how the heck it happened.
– Weavers’ lack of geographical sense prevents them from mentioning that they were lost and accept that the docks are wherever the driver pulls over. The Godlewskis and Linzes however are pissed the second they get out. Paolos find the red devil buses.
Babe Ruth? His immoral drinking is a sin.
Making your children watch Star Wars: Phantom Menace? Their tears of boredom and irritation at Jar Jar Binks is also a sin.
– The Gaghans follow the Paolos to the Fast Forward. Wally Bransen knows nothing about birds but hopes the task will be easy. Linzes and Godlewskis are going to work together on the instrument task so they can beat the Weavers who sabotaged them. Weavers are last into the bus.
Nothing like a bus is P-I-M-P like a character from T-O-Y-S-T-O-R-I-M-P.
– Brian is proud to say his dad is a garbage man.
Others find it as a source of ridicule. Ugh I hate Shelbyville.
– Tony Paolo says he’s doing it for his boys in the Bronx east end. Eastsiiiiide. Tony is wearing the gold watch to show off his bling. Billy talks about how this bus is better than his school bus. I doubt there are many Yellow Bananas in America that allow graffiti to tarnish the sides. Bransens find a woman off the street and ask her to join them in the bus to direct the driver. Linda Weaver jumps out too and asks a mini van. The mini van asks her to follow them because he is on his way there. Linda is excited. Really excited.
Linda Weaver has gone but instead Linda Voldemort is on the scene!
There needs to be an intervention for her bath salts consumption.
– Whoever the Bransens picked off the street doesn’t know where to go. Christine Godlewski hires a taxi for them to follow. Linzes pass the Godlewskis on the street. They stop so the Godlewski’s taxi can get ahead. There is no such thing as a free lunch but there is such a thing as a free taxi for the Linz family. Way to mooch off the Godlewskis like they are your parents, Linzes.
– DJ Paolo talks about how heights is his one fear and that is exactly what’s required for the Fast Forward. Marion taunts him how he thinks he is the man and that she is a woman who cannot do anything. DJ is mum and is ready to pass out. The stakes are raised when Marion threatens to murder her own son if he chickens out.
Be disowned by Ma or bungee jump? That is a detour choice of its own.
– Billy Gaghan points out that the Paolo bus is right in front. Tammy wants everyone to run as she screams at the bus driver to stop. Tammy doesn’t know where the sticker stand is and looks around frantically.
– In the midst of Tammy’s concussion the Paolos have the first ticket. It’s time for the Gaghans to backtrack to the detour. Tammy holds out hope that the Paolos will be too scared to do it. I would agree if Flo’s last name was Paolo but it isn’t so they need to switch ASAP. Precious time is ticking.
– Paolos are in the elevator as DJ pulls out his Fred Savage expressions as he does not want do it. Tony asks the instructor if anyone has died doing it as a joke. Marion is telling DJ that he has no choice but to do it. What compassionate parents.
– Tony and Brian jump tandem and are done. That means DJ and Marion are together as a pair. No doubt production intentionally arranged it. Tony decides to embarrass his son by kissing his cheek on national TV. Lunch time will be fun in the school yard after this episode airs. Gaghans continue to be delusional that DJ and Marion won’t do it. Whoa. DJ keeps telling the instructor not to grab his hand yet and that he will not do it. Eventually he agrees to do it. He screams in a higher pitch than Carissa. Marion laughs at him. Marion is proud of DJ and DJ kisses her.
Carissa ought to put soap in your mouth!
– Gaghans scramble to their bus. Marion meanwhile rejoices to hear her sons love her. It is all she wanted out of the trip. They have completed the Fast Forward and will go directly to the pit stop. The Miraflores Locks. The Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal. It is the pit stop for this leg of the race.
– The woman the Bransens picked up gets off the bus. Lauren Bransen goes off with her and asks her if this is it. The woman speaks frantically in Spanish. Bransens get back in and realize the woman tricked them into taking her to where she works. Ouch. Weavers are first to the bird watching site. They have found all five of their birds and hand it in. It’s wrong. Try again.
– Bransens get to the birdwatching site and see the Weavers ahead of them. Godlewskis and Linzes are at the instrument detour. Christine leads them to the saxophone. At the other side of town the Paolos are officially team number one. Tony only hugs this time around instead of tackle. Phil tells them they have won a trip to. . .
Panama. Didn’t they just win one there called The Amazing Race? In addition they will be staying for five nights to the home of Ricardo Diaz. Way to send them to someplace new, Phil. Phil asks if DJ ever thought he’d be bungee jumping with his parents. He says he doesn’t even like to eat with them. Unless it’s home cooked lasagna.
– Back to racing. Weavers argue over which birds are which. They make a last second change and are officially done the detour. They must now travel two miles to a baseball stadium. I have no idea how to transcribe the name I heard. It’s really long. Search the grounds outside the stadium for their next clue. Wally takes control of the binocular and announces his precise description of each bird. The daughters match the description to the pictures and hand it in. They got it right on the first try. Off to the baseball stadium they go.
– Alex collects instruments for both teams and tests out a conga drum in another building. All of the instruments are collected as they head to the jazz bar. Gaghans are in dead last as they find the instruments. They’ve got a saxophone. Godlewskis offer up a makeout session with Trish as Alex or Tommy’s reward for carrying everything. Tommy barks at the notion. Down, boy.
– The coalition delivers all instruments and puts them in their cases. Nick Linz struggles to pronounce the name of the baseball stadium. His team laughs at him leading Alex to take the clue and look at the name for himself. The Godlewskis breeze through the name and run ahead to the bus before the Linz family. Gaghans have all of their instruments.
– Weavers are at the stadium and find the clue. It’s a roadblock. In this roadblock one person has to play the most popular American sport in Panama–baseball. The home of Mariano Rivera.
And where umpires are fascinated by Phil’s belt buckle.
– One team member must get a base hit or a home run off a Little League pitcher. They will be given three pitches in their at-bat before their turn ends and another team will go. The umpire will give them their next clue once successful.
– Rolly is doing the roadblock. He bats left-handed! You think the religious family would train him to bat right-handed when he was younger. Bransens are next to the roadblock. Beth is doing it. Rolly has switched to the right side within his first at-bat. Something tells me none of the Weavers are athletic.
– Beth strikes out in three pitches. Back to Rolly’s turn. Paolos could potentially have a big lead barring any equalizers next leg. Most teams don’t seem to have a player who could do this roadblock. Sharon Godlewski is doing the roadblock because she plays baseball.
This isn’t America. These are the Central American and South American countries. It’s not like these kids are going to be taken offguard by anything related to sexuality.
– The Linzes take out a page from The Sandlot movie’s taunts as Rolly bats. The Weavers do not pick up on this reference and tell the Linzes that they are a family who encourages everyone. This is the same family who trash-talked many of the teams and sabotaged their drivers. Rolly hits a slow roller. This is a champion Little League team so it should be no problem.
Bill Bucknero! He will need to wait another twenty years before he gets a chance to win the championship and knock out Rolly Weaver from the trophy.
– Weavers read the clue. Go to the pit stop. Teams must travel five miles to Miraflores Locks. We know this place already. This “majestic gateway” is the pit stop. Last team to check in may be eliminated. Weavers are back in the bus and Linda goes on about how mean the Linzes were to heckle Rolly. Dramatic irony at its finest.
– Carissa thought a conga drum would be smaller and thinks the jazz club is cool. The family dances as they exit the club with the clue. The pitcher throws one way outside to Beth. This pitcher is playing favourites. Beth manages to hit the outside pitch and scores a single. Her and the others run out of the stadium. Nick is doing the roadblock and gets a huge hit in his first at-bat. Alex wishes luck to the Godlewskis and wonder if the task will be tough “for those Godlewski chicks”.
ALEX: Did you hear that lady yell at me? ‘Don’t try to make him miss. Just be encouraging.’
MEG: I would’ve told her to screw herself.
– Gaghans ride the bus to the baseball stadium knowing they are in last place. Some racers feel down or don’t feel too focused when they are in last.
Or some who lie upside-down on a bus and examine how big their hands are. All the same, really.
– Carissa thought the jazz detour was cool. Bill compliments how fast she was. Carissa is not listening to any of it and shouts that she sees the stadium. Parents congratulate her on maintaining focus after examining her hands. Bill is doing the roadblock in a desperate attempt to avoid last place and elimination. Christine sees the marathoners joining them. Sharon must have struggled with this detour for quite some time already.
CHRISTINE: We gotta whack this ball and get out of here.
– The pitcher throws another massively outside pitch that Vladimir Guerrero would miss at the plate. Billy commentates that his dad is a great baseball player from the times he has played catch with him and do really well. It’s a first pitch home run. They run into the bus and caught a lucky break to pass a team on the lone round where talent is a factor.
CHRISTINE: C’mon Sharon, crack that ball! You can do this!
No comment again.
– Christine wonders if she can swear. Michelle tells her it’s baseball so swearing is fine. Unlike those non-swearing sports like Spelling Bees or the World Series of Catholic Prayers.
CHRISTINE: Pretend it’s your boss and you’re trying to get that raise!
You have to find a way to crack your boss’ balls to get a raise? What line of work are the Godlewskis in?
– Sharon scores a single as a poor throw pulls the first baseman off the bag. They are in the bus too. The five teams all are on the road to the boss. Rolly gives a high five to Phil on his way in. They cheer loudly but refrain from screaming as they are second. It took five rounds but their vocal chords are wearing down. The Linzes see the Bransens up ahead. ‘Tis a tight race.
– The Gaghans are driving fine until another bit of bad luck. It’s a roadblock. An actual roadblock.
Just a classic case of a Pepsi cooler stuck on truck. Did Pepsi pay to block the road to have their product inserted into the episode? If so, the Gaghans are victims of corporate advertising. This is further supported by the bus refusing to drive around it.
– The Godlewskis speculate if it will be a non-elimination so they put on several layers of clothing. Tricia Godlewski claims she is wearing three bras. The Bransens bus has arrived and is running. The Linzes have them in sight. Bransens check in third place with Linzes pushing them off the mat to be declared fourth.
– Suspense music plays for the last two minutes.
CARISSA: That was like a roadblock.
HEY! THAT’S MY JOKE!
– Godlewskis complain about being warm and joke they are a warming department store. The Gaghans see the sign and are running up the steps. Christine Godlewski wants everyone carrying their backpacks for whatever reason as they climb the steps too. I guess they don’t expect to win a foot race. Gaghans check into the pit stop in fifth place. The Godlewski family checks in next.
If this is a non-elimination leg and all of their bags are taken, how can they possibly carry that much clothing in plastic bags?
– PHIL: Godleweski Family, I’m sorry to tell you you’re the last team to arrive.
Hold it! You’re not allowed to say “sorry to tell you” until AFTER you have announced they are the last team to arrive. It’s “sorry to tell you but you have been eliminated from the race”. That’s a bigger curveball thrown than the one that Little League pitcher threw this episode. It’s like I don’t know you anymore, Phil.
– Phil informs them it is indeed the first of FIVE (five!) non-elimination legs and that they are dressed appropriately. However, the bad news is that all of their money will be taken away and that they will start the next leg of the race with zero dollars to their name. The Godlewskis are surprised that it is all he is taking. Then he brings upon the news that he will be taking their bags too. Huh. I thought for some reason Phil didn’t take their money in non-eliminations this season. I was wrong. It doesn’t matter considering they rarely pay for taxis this season which means the only money they have to beg for is enough to cover food until the pit stop.
– PHIL: Did you know it was illegal in Panama to wear underpants on top of underpants on top of underpants on top of your pants?
It’s also illegal to shove squirrels down your pants for the purposes of gambling.
– Christine hopes their positive attributes such as charm and beauty (I thought those were negative but okay) and will rely on the kind-heartedness of the people in Panama to get them ahead.
And that was that.
Next time on TAR: We slowly make our way back to the United States after just getting started. -_-
Tony.DJ.Brian. Marion 0.3.2.3
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
But seriously, this team is one of the reasons why viewers were willing to put up with TAR Family Edition for the first few episodes. Mark wanted to throw handicapped people in traffic to block the other teams and gets away with it on national TV. If Colin Guinn said it there would be an official complaint filed against the show.
Char reiterates throughout the season that she likes being a friend to her stepkids rather than filling the stereotype of “THE stepmom” but is in for a rude awakening as the kids viewing her as a friend is thrown out the window. Most families would be fine having their kids play with the other teams. But the Schroeders? Not so much. Hunter plays with the Weaver boy at 4am and gets a scolding from his stepmom. His team ostracizes him for the rest of the episode all because he wanted to make friends. Shame on you for making lifelong relationships on this race, Hunter!
Then there’s the Mark-Stassi relationship. It is the first time we see a daddy’s girl relationship play out in front of us on TAR. How well can a daddy’s girl bond do on TAR? Not very well. Stassi moans, whines, and cries whenever Mark failed to agree with the strategic moves she wanted to take. If this were home I am certain Mark would do whatever Stassi wanted but because they were playing for one million dollars Mark had to assert his authority. That’s when the fireworks began and were cut way too short.
Hunter insulted his mom in episode three and was ostracized. Mark and Stassi blew up all throughout round four. We are left to speculate how much more they could have crashed and burned by episodes five and six.
Rank the Legs
1) New Orleans -> Panama City, Panama (Now this is how a real race looks! This is how a season of Family Edition should have done in round one instead of round five. Panama would have been a great opening leg. All six teams are revitalized by the idea of leaving the country like they thought would happen at the beginning. Teams humourously use their Anglespanol to get around town. DJ yells at Marion for being incompetent until he himself is ready to chicken out of a task until Marion sends him a death threat. Gaghans start the leg in last and manage to finish second to last yet again while a Pepsi truck and a concussion occurred in the process. Bransens tried to use a local for directions but the local tricked them into driving her to work. It marks the beginning of the Linz-Weaver rivalry. This leg deserves to be this high regardless if it is a non-elimination.)
2) 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.)
3) 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.)
4) 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.)
5) Huntsville -> New Orleans (Sitting in an office chair. Party bikes. Go to a mobile home for the night. Find a BP Gas Station. Go chop wood or play Blackjack. This is not your cousin’s road trip last summer. This was a leg on a season of The Amazing Race. The production crew should be fired. The cast on the other hand should be given free gas for life because without them the ratings would have crashed faster than the 2029 great reality TV market crash.)