TAR 8 episode 12 ranking

Twelfth episode

Previously on TAR: It is a 2-hour finale so Phil recaps the entire season. Ten families of four set out from New York City and raced for a million bucks. Paolos got lost in their home territory. At the first detour the Weavers had a close call. Tony Aiello and his three sons-in-law struggled. The Gaghans pulled ahead and the Linz siblings fell behind. In the end it was the Godlewski sisters who triumphed, but the black family was the first to be eliminated.

Leg two took a race to Washington DC where they wandered aimlessly. While the Paolos argued, the Rogers drove in the wrong direction and son Brock got blamed. Then families engaged in a Civil War re-enactment. Wally Bransen couldn’t keep up with his daughters while the Weavers fought to the front. Megan Linz slowed down her brothers but the Rogers lost the battle.

On the next leg the teams questioned the Weavers’ behaviour. Then in a muddy detour in South Carolina the Aiellos got stuck while the Gaghans surged ahead. And in a foot race to the finish the Aiellos landed last.

In Alabama teams pedalled around a super speedway. The Weaver Family, whose father died in a race car accident, resisted. But their mother’s leadership got them to the finish. Father and daughter Mark and Stassi Schroeder argued over directions. And Stassi broke down. The Linz family got an eye full from the Bransens. The Schroeders got lost in their home state of Louisiana and finished last.

Teams flew to the Central American city of Panama City. On the famous canal the Weavers incited the Linzes. On the Fast Forward Marion Paolo’s bravery helped DJ face his fear of heights.

Then in Costa Rica the Paolos delayed the Weavers. While at the roadblock Tammy searched in vain. In a foot race for first place Megan Linz struggled to keep up with her Paolos and the brothers won. But the Gahgans never caught up resulting in an emotional farewell.

Families then flew to Phoenix, Arizona. Tommy Linz drove circles around the competition and the Weavers were nervous. But Linda stepped up so her children didn’t have to. Wally Bransen lost his confidence then struggled to keep his daughters on track but still the team got lost and finished last.

The five remaining teams took a daring flight. Megan Linz grabbed the controls completing a loop in the air. Rolly Weaver excelled at yet another roadblock while Brian Paolo struggled. Then the New Yorkers lost direction and fought all the way to the finish.

Teams raced to Monument Valley, Utah where the Linzes targeted the Weavers then yielded them at the roadblock and finished last.

The next morning the Weavers confronted the Linzes. And the four remaining teams took a scenic tour in hot air balloons. At the detour Wally Bransen finally showed his strength.

And the Godlewskis struggled to build a teepee. The Weavers got held up by police but in the end the sisters arrived last.

One of these three teams will win the million dollars as the winners of The Amazing Race.

Char Schroeder is in tears after how boring the second half of this season has been.

And Hunter Schroeder is watching an orange blob. This orange blob is better than TAR 6 or TAR 8.

– Intro time. I find myself laughing out loud after each time that I watch Char Schroeder cry. Plus TAR production inserts Char’s crying in three separate episodes to make it better. I wish I could cry like that.

But bloggers don’t cry.

Did you notice in the season summary that they glanced over the last four episodes into about one line for narration from Phil?

– PHIL: Eastern Montana. Where cattle and horses outnumber people by millions.


– Phil’s Questions: Will the Weavers continue to isolate themselves from the other teams? And will the Linzes and Bransens continue their friendship with a million dollars on the line?

At the pit stop teams can eat, sleep, mingle, and lasso the other teams.

– The Bransens who arrived first at 304pm will depart at 304am. Beth reads they will fly to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Yes! Out of the country we go for the finale! We are saved. Yaaaaay. Fly 1, 700 miles to Monn-Rey-Al. They’ve been provided with tickets. Travel by taxi to a train station and travel to the underground city. Search the maze of tunnels for their next clue which is located at the CDP Capital Building’s passageway.

– Yes. For the first time in four episodes we have a task and an environment that is unique!

LAUREN: Canada, huh?
WALLY: It’s French speaking there.
LAUREN: French? Crap.

Yep. Eastern Canada sucks. Move over here to the west coast and all you have to do is pick up on a more exciting language like Punjabi or Japanese and you’ll be in good shape.

– Linzes depart next at 308pm. Nick is pumped that they have a one-in-three at a million bucks. Tommy says they want it the most so they will be first on the mat. At 402pm the Weavers check in. It’s a 58 minute spread from first to last. Linda doesn’t understand why they have made it to the final leg.

Ten bucks she attributes it to God’s will.

– Linda says she wanted to go ‘haw haw haw’ to the other teams. I think that was covered when she said “WE’RE STILL HERE!’ to the other teams in Utah at 5 o’ clock in the morning. Rolly likes being the underdog and Linda jumps in to say Rolly is the man of the team. He has assumed some real responsibilities outside of the race.

– Bransens are at the airport and call to improve their tickets. Beth finds a flight that is direct and ten minutes earlier. It could make all the difference. Linzes do not find a better flight. Point Bransens. Weavers get to the counter with Rolly’s Diet Coke. Linda was nervous about making the flight but they do barely make it. The three teams are in Minneapolis. Bransens try to run fast enough so none of the other teams see them.

– Beth knows the earlier flight is a risk but the ten or twelve minute lead is worth it. The Bransens make it on the flight alone. Linzes call airlines in Minneapolis. They find a flight that lands over an hour earlier in Montreal. Ten or twelve minutes is nice. But fifty extra minutes is better. The Weavers meanwhile are told nothing is better than the flight they already have.

– The Linzes and Weavers land in Toronto. Alex and Rolly run to the ticket counter. Rolly trips Alex and is first to the counter. Alex playfully grabs Rolly. Linda screams for Alex not to touch Rolly. Rebecca screams just in general.

MEGAN: It’s getting personal. It wasn’t personal before but it is now.

You have called the Weavers rude and obnoxious. The Weavers have said you are loud and a bunch of mean idiots. That’s the definition of personal.

– Commercial.

– We are reshown the entire thirty second clash. Geez. No footage for the last two legs. A woman shows the Weavers to a travel agent. They are on the same flight as the Linzes. Suddenly the Bransens have fallen fifty minutes behind. All teams board their final flights to Montreal.

– Phil recaps two lousy flights. Does that really need to be recapped? It’s three teams on two flights. Phil recaps the CDP Capital Building clue too. Again, is there no intriguing footage for this leg?

– Linzes and Weavers land in the airport. Weavers have flagged a taxi.

ROLLY: El fasto.
DRIVER (perfect English): I’m not going to lose my life getting you there. In the back, please.

Maybe try tres fasto and the driver would be more receptive, Rolly.

– Linda directs the driver. She asks him for his name.

That’s very In Heat of the Night of him. He’s even got shades on to make it more dramatic.

They call me. . .Mr. . .Ted.

– Linzes are stuck in the airport until they have a cab. They ask the driver to go fast.

DRIVER: You wanna go fast? You got big money for me!
LINZES: Oh yeah!

If only this was their cab driver to the finish line.

– Bransens are still in the air. Pilot comes on to tell them they will be a bit late. A flight that got there fifty minutes after the other teams will now be there 90 minutes later. Not good. Weavers are in the underground and ask Ted to look them in the eyes and say they will stay. Ted says it is fine as long as they come back. They must come back. Weavers think they ran too far and backtrack. Weavers do indeed find the clue.

– It’s a detour. Teams must choose between two sports popular in Canada. Slide It or Roll It. In Slide It teams must curl a rock inside the house. Curling is only popular amongst those who have no lives. Just like hockey. In Roll It teams must roll four logs along a one hundred foot course. Only Bear Hugger from Punch Out or those who live in rural areas and survive on Dial-Up would play this.

Once teams have rolled four logs to the finish they will receive their next clue.

– Weavers choose to play Curling. It was a ‘HAAAAAWD’ choice. HAWWWWWD. HAWWWWWWWWD.

HAWWWWWD. HAWWWWWWWWD. On the way to McGill Arena they go. Linzes are next to the Underground City. They follow the arrows to CDP Capital and run past the clue box.

– Bransens’ flight arrives and look at a map before hailing a cab. Weavers are at McGill Arena and find chains. The driver taunts them throughout the drive. Weavers realize that it is McGill Hall and not McGill Arena. Linzes are outside and backtrack to CDP. They are confused and wonder how they missed it. They go down the same passageway. Linzes curse when they see the clue. It’s not a mistake you want to make on leg twelve. Or leg thirteen. Or any of the legs really.

– Bransens are in a cab and hope they are not too far behind. The Weavers pray that God will point Mr. Tedds into the right direction.

In case you suffer from retrograde amnesia or you have not tuned in since the season premiere, Linda Weaver is religious.

– Sure enough the person on the other end of Ted’s cell phone was touched by God and gives perfect directions to Ted. Rebecca tells Ted that he is so good. Linzes ask an older woman to explain to their driver how to get to McGill Arena. Nick and Tommy take note of the attractive Metropolitan Montrealites.

– Lauren knows they are in last but will not give up. Ted is instructing the Weavers on how to play Curling. Don’t overshoot. Never overshoot. And work your booty into the broom sweeping.

Okay that part I made up.

– Weavers are at the Curling Rink. They are given helmets.

You actually don’t need helmets when you’re curling. The production staff put it there fore their own amusement knowing none of the teams have zero knowledge about curling. I doubt the teams will catch on to the practical joke played by production.

Mr. Ted is stumped why they are wearing helmets too.

– The Linzes go to the same wrong arena that the Weavers initially went to. They test the doors and they are chained just like they were for the Weavers. The Bransens are inside the underground. Wally barely keeps up with his daughters. The Bransens pass the clue box.

Finally round that is challenging.

– Rebecca successfully fires a rock that lands in the house. Apparently each of the four of them need to be successful once. Linda screws up by not throwing on her first throw. Linzes ask a guy riding a bike to tell their driver how to get to the correct arena. It is a thirty minute drive. This means the Weavers have an enormous 45 minute lead. I say it is enormous because the gap between first and second has usually been around three minutes this season.

– Lonely Dieselgate music plays as the Bransens are stumped on where to go. But seconds later they successfully run back to retrieve the clue. They kick themselves for missing it. Linda’s rock ricochets into another rock and lands in the house. Rachel takes a turn and is successful. Rolly is the fourth and final person to go. He aces it on what appears to be his first throw. They are awarded the clue.

– Rolly reads that Montreal had a world expo in 1967. This unfortunately led to the failing MLB franchise known as the Montreal Expos. Teams must travel 26 miles to find the American Pavilion. Once here they must climb to the fifth floor to their next clue. Weavers climb back into the van with Ted. Ted is already on his cell phone to get directions. The level of wireless communication has really stepped up by TAR’s eighth season.

– Linzes are inside the rink. Nick has a brilliant idea.

Surely nothing can go wrong if I do the Splits on slippery ice?

– Alex messes up the first toss by barely throwing it but succeeds on the next one we are shown. It nearly passed the house entirely. Bransens are at the Roll It detour. Wally and Lauren work together. Weavers cheer on Ted and discover he is a Christian. A minority given the Catholic nature of Montreal. Tommy is next to throw the rock in the house. Wally and Lauren complete the first log. Weavers have the American Pavilion in their sights.

– Nick and Megan complete their turns. They receive their clue. Tommy wants to move to Canada because he loves Curling. They all claim they could play Curling all day. Alex wants to build a curling rink in Cincinnati, Ohio. It will likely be the first ever curling rink in Cincinnati, Ohio.

– TED: I pray to God that this is the American Pavilion.

It was really the local shopping mall, but just because you prayed Ted, we are going to morph it into the American Pavilion. You’re welcome, by the way.

– Weavers do an entire lap around the sphere before finding the stairs. Linda runs up with her children trailing to grab the clue. They run back down. Teams must now drive six miles to an industrial park on 2350 Dickinson Street and search for La Porte J.

PHIL: What teams must figure out is that La Porte J stands for Door J.

Are you effin kidding me? That’s a riddle? That ‘Door’ means ‘Porte’? It is in the top fifty of French words everyone can translate. And you’re in Montreal? Ask ‘what does la porte’ mean and someone will answer within two seconds that it means door. I have not been in a French classroom for three years and I could recall what ‘la porte’ means from my fourth or fifth French lesson in the fifth grade.

Way to stump them, production.

– Linda says Ted is so smart and Rachel says he is so smart. Linda calls Ted’s name in the cab a few times. I think the Weavers have met their new daddy. Linzes tell the cab driver to hurry up.

ALEX: Andele, andele.
MEGAN: That’s Spanish.
ALEX: It’s French. . .right?

Andele andele, est-que je peux aller ole! aux soup du jour et je ne sais pas ou es le bibliotheque avec moi et le metro. Je suis une pizza, mon frere.

– NICK: It’s an older building if it was built in 1967.
MEGAN: Let’s ask older people then. They’d be around back then.
NICK: That makes sense.

The Statue of Liberty is one of the oldest buildings in New York. I say anyone below the age of 200 has no idea how to get there.

– Wally coaches Lindsay and Beth. Lindsay asks Beth to chill out. They finish their second log.

LINDA: Ted is the man. Ted is the man. This is the funnest day we’ve had. You are a blessing from Heaven.  I said ‘God please give me a good taxi ride’.

This is how a religious widow hits on a potential mate.

– Wally and Lauren do another log. The other two sisters scream ‘eek!’ numerous times. There is something freaky about those logs. Lindsay and Beth do another one that is cut down to a ten second trip. The audience at home assumes they did it fast. They receive their next clue. Their driver knows where the American Pavilion is.

– Rebecca loves how funny Ted is. The agony for us ends as the Weavers get to the clue box. It’s a roadblock. In this roadblock one person must successfully complete a maneuver known as ‘The Catch’ on the Flying Trapeze. Once they have been caught they will receive their next clue. The three members of the team volunteer Rolly. Linda instructs Rachel to pray for him.

– Linzes find the clue at the American Pavilion. The driver knows where Dickson Street is. Lindsay Bransen says she will not be disappointed no matter where they finish. Wally thinks they will be back in it before it is over.

– Rolly is caught on his first attempt. He is the roadblock master of the team. Rebecca reads that they must take a taxi two miles to Parc Olympique. Or as it is known to anyone who doesn’t speak French, Olympic Stadium. It hosted much of the heavily boycotted Olympic Stadium and the ten dollar payroll of the Montreal Expos. Teams will ride a golf cart into Stade Olympique and must find a way in through the one open door. In the centre (as opposed to center) of the field will host the next clue.

– The Weavers high five the professionals.

LINDA: Rolly is so weird. He can do anything that he tries and does it perfectly.

That’s weird man. It’s like if you put into effort you will succeed at something. What a trippy concept.

– Megan wonders if ‘La Porte J’ is a bar. Megan is excited about doing the trapeze but Alex and Tommy wanted to do it more. Alex is doing it. He is twice as big as Rolly. Tommy comments on the women at the top and Nick comments on Alex’s fat booty. Alex fails the first attempt. Tommy is not happy and reacts to the failure.

By farting directly into Megan’s face.

– Bransens find the American Pavilion.

I suppose I could have screen capped it earlier. Can you believe this was built 45 years ago?

– Bransen daughters get to the clue but wait for Wally to drag his own fat booty over  there too. Then the clue is opened. They want to keep on trucking. Weavers are in the cab with Mr. Ted still.

The most perverted camera operator sits in front of Rebecca waiting for her to uncross her legs in the mini skirt.

– Weavers have the golf cart. Rolly drives it. Rebecca butchers the pronunciation of ‘bonjour’ to an innocent bystander on the street. Linda says to drive to the left because the right is the most common way for people to go.

70% of all boxes are to the right.
…Brick Road.

– Linzes joke that Alex is twice the size of the guy catching him. Alex is becoming extremely sweaty.

All he needs is a mouth mask and he will be shipped off to a maximum security prison right away.

– Bransens are at the roadblock. They have caught up to the Linzes. We do not know who is doing the roadblock. Alex is not sure if he’ll be able to do the roadblock. Alex triumphs right before the Bransens begin. Linzes tell the Bransens that they haven’t seen the Weavers for a long time. Megan and Nick saw it on the map. They know exactly where it is.

– The Weavers are still searching for the opening. They go to the map on the wall outside. They would suck navigating Dungeon Man. Megan asks for directions to Stade Olympique directly across the street in plain sight. Who knew that big Olympic Stadium would be Stade Olympique.

– The Bransens discuss how hilarious it would be for Wally to do the roadblock.

Well that’s not nice.

– Luckily Wally’s flabby body is sitting out as Beth Bransen is doing the task. She eeks the first time and succeeds. It helps she is half the weight of Alex. Bransens conclude the Weavers are way ahead. Beth will be pissed if the Weavers win the race.

Although their lead is fading rapidly. Crash into the elevator again and see what happens!

Oh my god! Are you okay, Weavers?!

– Linzes are in their golf cart and are in the parking lot of the stadium. Wally hurts his toe but was the first one to make it to the golf cart. It will be the first and last foot race Wally wins all season. He drives the cart too. What a power horse. Weavers have found a stadium. The Montreal Alouettes are nowhere to be found. Rebecca reads the clue. They must search the 60, 000 seat stadium for one of three departure times leaving the next morning. 545am, 550am, and 55am. The flight is a mystery destination. So getting a lead at the end of leg twelve is impossible. Poor Weavers nearly had this game.

– The Bransens and Linzes have a golf cart race. Megan screws up how to pronounce ‘stade’ by inserting a ‘n’ about six times when asking for directions. Linzes grab the clue. Bransens are next. Weavers think this is so unfair and frustrating for there to be an equalizer like this.

Hey. You were able to make up four hours on the Utah leg because of an equalizer. And you landed last on a non-elimination. So no whining.

– Wally’s toe is killing him. He does not want to think about how it will feel tomorrow. The Weavers think about how expensive it will be to have Ted wait outside for forty bucks an hour. So they drive out (hoping they don’t get lost and ram an elevator again on the way back in) to pay Ted.

LINDA: You got us to be the first ones here but we have to look for a stupid departure time that we haven’t found yet.

Searching for departure times didn’t get stupid on the race until the fifth or sixth time that teams have been forced to do it this season.

Parting is such sweet sorrow. Farewell my poutine guzzling prince!

– Megan Linz recalls that their taxi is still outside. So do the Bransens. Both teams drive out to pay their cab. The Linzes try to squeeze by the Weavers who are on their way back in. Weavers refuse to give the Linzes space on the road. This frustrates Tommy.

Rolly goes after Megan Linz. Ouch.

TOMMY: Rolly Polly. Shut it.
LINDA: They called you ‘rolly polly’? They were calling names? C’mon.

You did hear Rolly call Megan Linz ‘thunder thighs,’ did you not, Linda?

ALEX: Down with the Weavers. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

That quote has been sticky’d.

– The three teams have all paid their cabs. Linzes agree to help the Bransens because they want to do whatever they can to prevent the Weavers from winning. Bransens will be happy if Linzes win so they can beat the Weavers. Weavers have yet to find a departure time. None of the teams have found one let alone three departure times.

BETH: Dad you need to stay with us.
WALLY: I’ll be there.
LAUREN: No, you have to stay with us.
BETH: You’re holding us all up. We could have been down there by now if you would have just come up here and finish this batch.
WALLY: Shut up. I can’t get enough of this. It’s going to take all freakin’ night. I’m about to kick somebody’s a–.

*rewinds tape*

WALLY: I’m about to kick somebody’s a–.

*rewinds tape again*

WALLY: I’m about to kick somebody’s a–.


– Nobody has found a departure time yet. The Weavers have been at this for nine minutes of airtime.

No idea what the purpose of this is.

– Weavers refuse to follow the Linzes or Bransens. Did you not hear? They do their own thing. Bransens wonder how the Linzes found the top bleachers. They decide to follow the Linzes.

The Weavers take in the Expos game in progress. That’s usually the average attendance at a game.

– Rolly insists for his family to look for a departure time in the bleachers.

LINDA: If it’s not easy to get up there then there won’t be a departure time up there.

Or maybe Linda Weaver is just trying to talk herself out of searching those rows upon rows upon rows upon rows of bleachers. It took production twelve legs before they were cruel.

– Linzes find a departure time. It’s 550am and take it. They take it because the idea of finding another one sounds like a nightmare. Off to bed they go while the other two teams walk around like zombies. Rolly begs his family to look up in the top bleachers but they still refuse. Weavers sit on a deck refusing to believe the Linzes found one. Wally Bransen sweats as Lindsay Bransen found the 545am departure. She brags that it is -her- departure time and Wally laughs.

– Rebecca looks at all of the bleachers.

REBECCA: There’s more bleachers than I can count.

Seeing as you failed Math twice, I don’t know whether I should take that statement to be literal or not.

– Weavers are the only ones to not find a time yet.

Linda sleeps as she dreams of Ted.

– Rachel thinks it is the stupidest thing they have done. Megan is happy the Bransens found it and don’t know if the Weavers found one yet.

REBECCA: By not doing this it’s not like I’ve not accomplished anything it’s not that I’m a better person or anything it’s just. . .stupid.

– Rolly wants to keep going and tears up as the rest of the team doesn’t want to find it. Linda eventually gets up and gathers the troops to find it. Rolly has found one. Amazingly it is the one that wasn’t taken. It’s a 555am departure. They get into a taxi to the airport. Weavers want to have plenty of time to make it to the airport. If they got into a taxi right away that they must have found it well after 400am.

And that concludes things for this leg.

Next time on TAR: The shortest final leg in TAR history takes place. Who will be awarded a million dollars and pay all contestants to never mention this season ever again?


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
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
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 Paolo Family 4.13 FF
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
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
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:

7) 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.

6) 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.

5) 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.

4) Godlewski Family

This is where the Godlewskis shall fall. Right in the middle of the pack. Primarily because no one thought this dysfunctional group of sisters would dominate the first half of the season. Look at their first place finishes and you’ll know what I mean.

This team is proof of why the Family Edition 4-person dynamic can work. If Godlewskis were two separate teams they would be very forgettable teams. But as a quartet? You get to witness Michelle and Sharon air out their frustrations with Christine, Christine’s very Sarah Palin-like naivety and not exactly knowing what she was getting herself into, and no resolution at all for Christine with the other sisters.

Then there is the awkward outsider in Tricia. The only time we notice her prior to episode eleven is when Tommy Linz talks about how attractive she is. In the eleventh episode she seems to be the only true sister to all of the sisters as well as flirt with Buffalo Bill.

I for one don’t regret the idea of Godlewskis being cast at all. It’s very three-dimensional for a team to go from frontrunners into the most dysfunctional group of people possible. Something that could not be done in any other season of The Amazing Race.

Plus the fact the Weavers chose the Godlewskis as their target for no apparent reason is also amusing.

3) Paolo Family


2) 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.

1) Gaghan Family

This is probably what everyone pictured when they originally heard about the concept of Family Edition. A mom, dad, and their two young children racing around the world. They have prior experience globetrotting and all run in major races. The physical endurance of the children and their history of traveling allows them to handle what the audience expects for a Family Edition of the world’s biggest competition.

But it’s the other teams who proved they are not capable of racing around the world and force production to confine everyone in North America. Bummer.

So why do I rank the Gaghans this high?

Because this is what the audience wanted. Two little kids with their parents who possess the physical endurance to run around the world. Think of all the little remarks that Billy and Carissa brought to the table throughout the course of the race. Now picture the chance of any of those remarks being uttered in the other twenty seasons of TAR. It can’t happen, right? That’s exactly what could have made a TAR Family Edition so fun. Carissa saying trailers are evil, inquiring about spraypaint rules, and falling asleep during the middle of navigation couldn’t happen elsewhere. Neither could anyone else get away with quoting Rob Schneider like Billy did without getting hit.

It’s too bad the race ended for them because Tammy couldn’t see the colour red for quite a while. I doubt anyone would have predicted that the team would go down not because of the children but rather because mommy slowed them down at the roadblock. The season really needed a team with young kids to sneak their way into the last stretch of the race to support the idea that this season wouldn’t be owned by fit teenagers and adults.

And another reason why it would be interesting to see the Gaghans make it far is what would happen when attrition makes its presence? In other seasons of TAR the attrition settles in at around leg nine or ten and some teams completely fold. How would the Gaghan parents and their children handle it? Would the double role of parent and competitor be too much? Would Carissa’s gas tank empty from the unorthodox sleeping times? Or would Billy and Carissa become progressively more adult-like as the race went on? There was so much to explore there that we would not have the chance to explore ever again.

However, regardless of not making it to the halfway point of the race the Gaghans somehow went down as the second most memorable team all season from the audience’s point of view. If you can last only six of thirteen rounds and leave your mark on the season, you must have done something right.

P.S. Billy and Carissa Gaghan will be of age to apply for TAR when season 25 comes around. No joke. Carissa was nine when she played TAR 8 and will be nineteen when the 25th cycle comes around. 25 or 26 is the next projected all-star season if the pattern continues, and TAR 8 has yet to have a representative re-cast in an all-star season. It may as well be the Gaghan kids who would be a testament to the race’s longevity.

Rank the Legs

1) New Orleans -> Panama City, Panama (Now this is how a real race looks! This is what 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) Absarokee, Montana -> Montreal, Quebec, Canada (A surprisingly difficult leg. Multiple teams were lost on the way to the CPC Capital Building. All three teams had to strategize their way through airports for the first time in FIVE episodes. Log roll versus curling were both time consuming tasks. The flying trapeze took a significant level of skill (or a lack of weight) to be awarded the clue. And searching Olympic Stadium for a departure time is one of the most Hellish tasks ever seen in the history of TAR. Ted the Driver, mixing up French with Spanish, butchered words, the Weaver-Linz rivalry finally gets physical, and getting lost multiple times contributes to a very solid leg on any given season of the race.)

3) Panama City, Panama -> Quepos, Costa Rica (The true beginning of the “Everyone Hates the Weavers and the Weavers Hate You” storyline. The rude nature of the Weavers had rubbed everyone else in the race the wrong way to where five families of four worked together to trump a lone family of four. We see the tone of the season change when one family yields another to show this game has been taken to a higher level. Weavers battled on their own through a yield and a Linda Weaver hysterical breakdown before squeaking out a fifth place finish. The tasks could have been better, but hey, just be thankful we’re out of the country.)

4) Quepos -> Fort McDowell (The first half of the episode is typical TAR. Swim to a buoy to get a clue. This was entertaining thanks to Tony wanting to swim but not being able to swim back because he forgot he can’t swim. The 4-team alliance against the Weavers was a big storyline yet again. The detour featured two tasks to show off further Costa Rican culture. Then we have the scrambling for airline tickets that put five families on three different flights. It is perhaps the best airport strategy session we see all season. DJ and Marion’s screaming reaches its biggest heights since round one.

But then we are back in the United States. Over ten minutes of the episode features Go Kart racing. I already covered why this is perhaps the worst roadblock in the show’s history. The only memorable thing to occur in the second half was the Paolos wasting valuable time putting on extra layers then seeing a team behind them come in and be forced to run in unfortunate clothing to the mat. This would be the only time such an event occurs in TAR which means it is a highly underrated moment. But still. The return to the United States prematurely. -_-)

5) 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.)

6) Fort McDowell -> Paige (Traveling within the same state back to back legs? That is brutal. The  only saving grace for this leg is the absolute stunning scenery that is replicated nowhere else in the US. It beats the heck out of landscapes like New York or Virginia. The cavern in Lake Powell is one of a kind. Did you see how big the Glen Canyon Dam was? My goodness. This is the first leg as a viewer where I feel like the season needs to end. There is only so much “Everyone vs. Weavers followed by ironic Weaver quotes” that we can handle. Even the Paolos yelling at each other and losing a clue at the beginning became stale. The Bransens do nothing. Godlewskis look like a boring mess that suppresses their true emotions which prevents compelling television. The Linzes are the only ones igniting the other teams to have more of a personality and have fun on the race course. Like telling a police officer that you are racing other cars or creating your own cliches? Linzes have the season on their shoulders.)

7) 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.)

8) 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.)

9) 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.)

10) Paige -> Salt Lake City (If you thought rounds seven and eight were boring then this leg is on a whole new level. More Weaver trash talking or throwing. People don’t like Weavers. Bransens wedged in the middle. A non-elimination everyone knew was coming. Repel, chopper, and a bear placed on highways in areas where there is no culture shock or nothing unique about the experience. And a pit stop at a library? For real?)

11) Salt Lake City -> Some random ranch in Wyoming (Go to class. Go in a balloon. Check in here and sleep in your trailer again. Check in here and sleep in your trailer. Again. Production equipment error prevails. Again. Ranches galore. Clue in the middle of an empty valley. Again. Weavers bicker with Linzes and Godlewskis. Again. At least ladders, party bikes, and BP Gas Stations are unique. This leg could not have been more generic and uneventful. The To Be Continued BS is the icing on the craptacular cake.

12) Some random ranch in Wyoming -> Absarokee, Montana (When the episode finished I honestly couldn’t distinguish between legs ten and eleven. I am serious. I originally wrote that the Buffalo Bill task was in episode ten but had to double check to see I JUST WATCHED IT. Seriously. Is there anything remotely memorable about this episode? Because I have forgotten half of what happened already. By this point in the season the stretch from legs seven to eleven are simply becoming an increasing blur. Anyone in the world who can form the exact timeline of tasks from legs through to eleven needs to sign up for Norway’s Memory Olympics ASAP. Let’s be thankful though that production avoided draining another car battery.)

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