The Amazing Race 9 season premiere ranking

THE AMAZING RACE 9

USA, BRAZIL, RUSSIA, GERMANY, ITALY, GREECE, OMAN, AUSTRALIA, THAILAND, JAPAN

– Ah yes. TAR 9. The black hole of my TAR memory of the first fourteen seasons. For those of you not familiar with what was happening at the time, TAR was on the verge of being canceled again. Family Edition had crippled ratings to such an extreme that CBS gave TAR 9 the 1000pm time slot. If you don’t know anything about primetime programming, you should know that 1000pm is the time slot for either crime shows or failed franchises that are on their way out the door. It’s filler programming.

– So how did the TAR franchise survive being on the verge of cancellation for the fourth or fifth time in its series run? Because TAR 9 was an over achiever. It is responsible for slowly bringing TAR to its 800pm timeslot that we all have taken for granted over the past five years.

– Why exactly did TAR 9 do so well? I’ll list a few reasons.

1) It wasn’t Family Edition. Production pumped the heck out of the idea in their promos that it was “pairs racing around the WORLD”. Pairs. Not families. And the promos emphasized the promiscuous nature of the young all-female team and the fraternity nature of the young all-male team, and then a few romances mixed in with the other teams as well. This was all about it being a grown up race that could appeal to a wide spectrum of the audience.

2) A classic season. Production did not introduce any new twists. Much like a Survivor: Vanuatu, production wanted to ease off and do very little with making a season too controversial one way or too over the top in another. Production gave us a well-rounded, classic season that the audience has been craving for a year. They listened to us and that move is a big reason why TAR lives on to this day.

3) Memorable cast. This isn’t TAR 6 where you have eight or nine forgettable teams. I think from top to bottom this cast really stands out. Unique, interesting, and compelling people can equate to a unique, interesting, and compelling season.

4) Huge showdown. Unlike the 1 vs. 100 theme we saw in Family Edition where everyone tried their best to defeat the Weavers, this season was mano a mano. Have you ever wanted to see TAR titans clash week after week after week in the best TAR chess game witnessed throughout the course of a season? Then this is the season for you. There is one move in particular that I found to be simultaneously hilarious and brilliant. I crack up whenever I watch it play out.

Amongst the casual audience this season is a beloved and cherished TV memory. I reconnected with a friend from high school this year and we ended up talking about TAR. When I asked her what season she liked, she said “I liked the one with the hippies”. And that isn’t the first time I’ve heard that response amongst the most casual fans I know. Perhaps TAR 5 was the last time a season created this much buzz in my personal life. I’m not exactly sure what is common ground for TAR 5 and TAR 9, but for whatever reason it is highly regarded amongst the casuals.

But what if you ask the online hardcore community about this season? 85 percent of them hate it. In a survey done on Survivor Sucks about two to three years ago, everyone ranked the seasons from 1-15/1-16 and someone tallied the results. Guess what? TAR 9 finished dead last. It finished below TAR 6, all of the post-all star seasons, and even Family Edition. When I ask people online what they hate about TAR 9, they can come up with only one reason:

1) Men dominate most of the season. The online audience will despise any season involving male domination on a reality show. The format, the storylines, the players, the twists, production, and editing does not matter to them. If alpha males do well in a reality show it is instantly cut adrift like an elimination on Pirate Master.

You may not have noticed, but TAR 9 is the final classic season that you will see play out. It is the end of an era.

Era #1– The Beginning: TAR 1 – 4. Fast Forwards every round. A standard non-elimination system that begins with five or six teams remaining as well as a non-elimination in leg 12. Always lasts thirteen legs. Non-eliminations do not include a penalty.

Era #2 — Revival: TAR 5 – 9. Yield and roadblock proportions are a new staple. Non-elimination format is played around with quite a bit. Non-eliminations include a penalty that involves money and/or clothes being taken away. Fast Forwards are reduced to two per season.

Era #3 — Transition: TAR 10 – 13: Funky new twists greatly shake up the game. Non-elimination penalties are changed frequently. The 13-leg structure is no longer permanent as anywhere between 11 to 13 legs can take place. The beginning of the race is manipulated a couple of times and the penultimate leg always features an elimination.

This gives you an idea of how I view it in my mind. If you examine it closely, TAR 9 spells the end of many things that will never come back in The Amazing Race franchise. The following scenarios make its final appearance in the series:

1) Non-elimination in leg 12. From TAR 1 – 9, seven of the nine seasons had a non-elimination leg with the Final Three. This was where you set yourself up for the best position possible heading into the million dollar leg. In some cases this meant avoiding the brutal non-elimination penalty right before the Finish Line. Following TAR 9 we will never see a Final Three non-elimination leg.

That’s right. Eleven seasons have aired on TV in a row without a Final Three non-elimination. This mostly stems from the new non-elimination rules that come into effect and that production wants to keep the most exciting teams for as long as they possibly can.

2) Phil taking away money and/or clothes if you come in last on a non-elimination. A true test of your will to carry onwards after this season would never come into play again. This is my least favourite change besides the near extinction of Fast Forwards. Anybody racing from TAR 10 to 21 has it much easier if they come in last on a non-elimination. The days where you were on the edge of your seat as you cringe watching Uchenna & Joyce waste six hours begging for money on the final leg has passed. The race loses its intensity as the players get to keep their food and clothes regardless of what happens.

3) A straight-forward beginning. The season premiere where we typically get 90 minutes to 2 hours to witness eleven teams race through a new area on the race ,and where a team suffers an exit at the end of the long-winded premiere occurs for the final time. Following this season production messes up with such a simple but effective introductory episode to whet our appetites. Instead we must suffer through several season premieres where production packs in so many twists and so many unfair events that b the end of the premiere we are exhausted rather than in a serene and calm state of mind.

4) Always crossing the Atlantic Ocean before the Pacific Ocean. At the end of this season production will occasionally have teams go across the Pacific on the first leg. A minor change but it shows how much production wants to shake up a format that was already working out quite well.

5) Alpha male teams. Honestly, I can’t think of a true alpha male team that runs the race after this season. The only teams that one could argue to be ‘alpha males’ are ones that are heavily compromised personality wise or mentally. Production wanted to rig the series and give an image of ‘anybody can win’. So alpha males who had a history of doing well were ultimately shunned by production and the online community. This is the drawback when people beg for production to promote an agenda of having all-female teams having a greater chance to win. It’s a biased and sexist agenda, but unfortunately one we are forced to adjust to if we want to keep watching.

And that’s all I really have to say for this introduction. Enjoy what truly is a prime TAR season.

First leg

– Such a mountainous opening shot.

If you look close enough you can see the opening scene of Cliffhanger play out.

Sarah, Family Edition isn’t the end of the world! Just reach up, Sarah!

“Nooooooo! She’ll never see All Stars. Noooooooooo!”

Wild animals. Snow. Desert. Barrenness. Are we back at the Utah route marker in TAR 8 for the 2002 Salt City Olympics roadblock?

– Nope. It’s Denver, Colorado. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains. Eleven teams will race around the WORLD. Has Phil stopped lying and that this is indeed a race around the world? I hope so.

– Teams are traveling in trucks to the world renown Red Rock Amphitheatre. This is however the first and last time I have heard the Red Rock Amphitheatre mentioned in my life.

– The first team is Lake & Michelle. Married dentist and assistant. What? Lake is a name? Is Michelle a man’s name? Lake can’t be a man’s name though, can it? Married lesbians, perhaps?

I don’t know. That beard seems legit.

– Michelle says Lake is the leader. She sees herself as the typical Southern woman and is protective.

Kiss the cook. Oh, and Lake is wearing an apron. Unknown if this is man or woman that we’re dealing with.

And there’s his nursing costume. I for one am stumped. Let’s rewind the tape.

PHIL: Lake & Michelle. Married dentist and assistant from Hattisburg, Mississippi.

Ohhhhh. Mississippi. Okay. If they’re married then he’s definitely a man then. Wish I picked up on that cue earlier. The President of Chick-Fil-A can rest easy.

– Danielle & Dani. Childhood friends from Staten Island, New York. Dani says they’ll be focused on the race.

Can you spot the fake tan in this picture? It’s subtle, isn’t it?

DANI: And we love boys.

Cue internal orgasms. Yick. This is a sharp ninety degree turn from Family Edition.

– DANIELLE: When it comes to beating a guy at a certain task, we’ll get down and dirty and do it.

There’s only one task where I see Danielle willing to beat a guy at a task. Hint: It’s down. It’s dirty. And she’ll do it.

– BJ & Tyler. Best friends from San Francisco.

That is the trippiest background I have seen. Did production photoshop it? Or it might be the acid that I took right before watching this episode. A guitar, the tie-dye colours, two frogs, and beards that have been stolen from the caskets of Bee Gees members and superglued onto BJ and Tyler’s faces. Plus didn’t this episode air in 2006 instead of 1976? Is Nixon still president?

BJ: We circumnavigated the globe together.

SPOILERS!!!!! F— you, BJ!

Tyler says they are searchers for the funny and the ironic. And the chronic. Then the Lakers beat the Supersonics.

They are hanging off a trolley in San Francisco? How far into the archives did production dig up this footage? I wonder if next BJ and Tyler hang out with Charles Manson in the Bay Area? BJ has the beard. Now he has to take the much larger step of inking a Nazi symbol onto his forehead.

Phil might have a tough time taking their money and clothes away at a non-elimination. It’s tough when all they have is a top hat and a shirt. They may throw a fit if the guitar is taken. No socks and shoes in public is fine, but they will feel naked without a guitar.

And here are BJ and Tyler practicing fencing for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic games! En Guarde!

Tyler is down and BJ qualifies successfully! In celebration he does some parkour. In about twenty years from now he can audition for The Great American Ninja.

– Ray and Yolanda. Dating lawyer and teacher from Chicago, Illinois. Yolanda says they are capable, smart, and athletic. Huh. Why bother doing the race if they fulfill all requirements needed to win?

Proof of athleticism.

Proof of being smart not found.

– Ray says he is from the Hood where people go to jail all the time. He says that people from the Hood always talk about the system being against them. Ray outwitted his fellow Hood mates and went to Law School so he could feel empowered.

– John & Scott. Lifelong friends (TAR’s subtle way of saying they are gay for one another) and hail from New England.

SCOTT: My father called him his tallest daughter.

Winner! We’ve found the man who is president of Chick-Fil-A!

Yep. Gay couple who own several dogs including a dalmatian. I wonder if John is related to the lead singer of Sublime? Maybe John was awarded the dalmatian in his will.

– John hates how he has not lived a full life and hates to do things like flying. He wants the race to help him overcome his various anxieties and fears. Well. They don’t sound like a very competitive team. A cringeworthy joke is uttered and I am glad to move on.

– Joseph & Monica. A dating couple who look identical to a team that took part in Fear Factor: Couples Edition that ran for about ten episodes six years ago who also happen to be from Arkansas.

MONICA: Joseph and I have an interesting relationship. I think we have a friendship before a relationship at all times.

JOSEPH: We do yell at each other and bicker. We get over it really quickly.

Do you understand what the word “interesting” means?

The only interesting thing found here is that Monica is trying way too hard to be on the movie cover for Jaws 2.

JOSEPH: Watch out for MoJo.

MoJo? . . .Oh! I got it! It’s because Monica’s name has the first two letters as M-O, and the first two letters of Joseph’s name is J-O. When combined it’s MoJo. Is that correct, Swanky? Can I move onto the next team?

Are you tired of how many references to Donkey Kong Country I have squeezed overall into this blog?

– Eric & Jeremy. Bartender and valet from Florida.

ERIC: Five days a week we go to the beach to play volleyball. We work as little as possible. Enough to get by and pay bills.

They can go to the beach seven times a week after how much they’ll earn on TAR. $2, 500 for a last place finish is probably more than they make in a year. According to Kendra Bentley, that is approximately one hundred times more than what a Senegalese taxi driver makes in a year.

Two fit men racing together = the flamboyant online community hates your guts

– Lisa&Joni. Sisters from Houston, Texas.

LISA: We are superheroes. We are glamazons.
JONI: A glamazon is a glamourous amazon.

Thanks for spelling it out for us. Regardless of the explanation it is as lame as the nicknames created from a glamEazon.

– They talk about being six feet tall but still girly girls. They are competitive and will be overlooked. And losing is not an option. I suppose then by default you would win. Huh.

– Fran & Barry. Married for forty years from Middleton, Colorado. I wonder if they know about the Red Rock Amphitheatre?

FRAN: We are each other’s biggest fans. I started dating Barry when I was sixteen.

See. They dated young. Therefore they are old.

Barry says he doubts they can play the role of a kindly grandfather or grandmother on the race. They are too competitive, energetic, and have competed against younger people all of their life.

In fact the first thing they do before competing against one another in a skiing race, they first engage in a staring contest. You have to have some sort of competition as you sit idle on the chair.

– Wanda & Desiree. Following Nancy & Emily being the Caucasian mother and daughter, Deidre & Hilary being the African-American mother and daughter, these two are the Hispanic mother and daughter. From Atlanta, Georgia.

– Their respect for each other carries them forward and keeps them close. Wanda is used to disciplining her daughter and her having trust in her own judgment. As a single mother she will face the challenge of letting her child be an individual and trust her as opposed to control her.

– Desiree says Wanda is not the type to put pom-poms on or be the motherly mom. Wanda is very hip. So what is this? Team Gilmore Girls? Desiree says they are smart while Wanda says they will salsa their way to the finish. Yep. I’m loving the stereotype relationship that exists here.

DESIREE: We’re gonna let them think we are these sexy little tomales.

SEXY little tomales? Remove the wrinkles on Wanda’s face then we’ll talk.

– Dave & Lori. Dating three years from Manhatten, Kansas.

DAVE: We’re probably two of the biggest nerds you’ll ever meet.

Both of you are unbearable to look at so I’ll concede that is likely true. Looks don’t deceive. Although Lori could be Debra Digiovanni’s daughter.

Also nerdy. And a terrible comedian.

DAVE: We’re just in your face nerdy.

I don’t know if riding a tandem wagon is in your face nerdy. It’s in your face dumb.

DAVE: It’s one of our powers. Our competitive nature is unmatched. She is really good at card games. I’m really good at taking tests.

LORI: How can you lose when you have Dave on your team. . .for life?

Whoa. That sounds a bit ominous. I am afraid you are bone’d, David. And I’m not referring to the lame bedroom escapades that both of you suffer through on a regular basis.

Can these teams stand up to the stress of traveling together across sixty thousand miles? Can they stand up after having the worst truck ride in their life and eliminate the soreness from their booty? And which truck will be lucky to sell for more than a couple Benjamins as we get ready to begin The Amazing Race?

Although we’ll have to wait a good twenty minutes to start. Why does Phil go up so high on the buildings? That’s going to be a lot of stairs to walk back down. And who knows how long Phil will be lost as he has no idea where the world renowned Red Rock Amphitheatre is located.


I think Mark Burnett gave advice on how to establish this camera shot. “Epic,” as he would say.

– Phil makes the same ol speech. After nine times I am unable to figure out a way to make fun of it anymore. I’ll save any gems I have for the TAR 10 blog. There isn’t even an unnecessary eyebrow raise. Although I think one eyebrow is unnaturally higher than the other.

See?

– When Phil gives the word they will run up the steps of the amphitheatre and run out to grab their bags, read the clue, and get into the car.

PHIL: The first team to cross the Finish Line wins the one million dollars.

Tyler pelvic thrusts at this news and BJ. . .well, I’m not exactly sure what BJ is doing. Attempting to be Zack Galifinakis, perhaps?

Monica is ready to toss her cookies as she is sickened by the pelvic thrust aimed at her direction. Joseph looks on equally concerned. 70s Hippies don’t interact with present-day Arkansasians that much.

– Phil gives the word. Odd 90s video game music plays right before they are signalled to go. BJ and Tyler are first to the bags. Yolanda reads that they will go to Sao Paulo, Brazil. There are three flights. AA 348 departing at 125pm, Continental 230pm, United 932 departing at 331pm. One hundred forty dollars. Off to the airport they go. BJ asks where they should go. Are you serious? Where do they make those things that let you travel long distances quickly in the air?

– So the cars drive out. There are three cars in a decisive lead overhead. Then the inro.

– Enjoy the classic intro music while we can. It is in its later days, sadly. Yeah! I just heard an elephant make a sound in the intro! This replaces the Kenneth Black yoga yell from last season.

– Intro ends.

BJ: First team to leave and the first team to finish.

What is with this season and giving out spoilers? This is annoying.

– Joseph & Monica are second. How long before a racer makes a comment about the Hippies?

JOSEPH: Yep, that’s them. They’re in front of us.

Mo throws the first jab.

– Lake & Michelle are third. The other eight teams are breathing hard and figuring out how to open the car’s doors. Lisa & Joni and John & Scott are still walking the path to the car in a surprise to virtually no one.

DANIELLE: We are legally dead.

And you are legally the biggest exaggerator in the history of the universe.

– John has nicknamed Lisa & Joni as the Frosties. I don’t get the reference but whatever.

LISA: We have one hundred and forty bucks. Probably so we can eat monkey testicles.

When I think of Brazil, I think of monkey testicles. The proper etiquette is to pay somebody one hundred and forty bucks to eat it too.

– BJ & Tyler have nicknamed the already nicknamed MoJo as Ken & Barbie. Ken & Barbie fly past BJ & Tyler. Their nickname of the Hippies has been cemented by this point.

– Ray & Yolanda say they have been dating long distance and this will be the most time they spend together. It’s the new version of Michael & Kathy. I’ll fall on my own sword if they warm my heart more than Michael & Kathy did. Yolanda teases that Ray is smart.

– Eric says they have one hundred and forty bucks. He suggests hitting up the bars and pick up “chicks” with that money. These dudes are used to living off way less than one hundred forty bucks. They mention this is the nicest car either of them have driven. Danielle & Dani (who will have a nickname soon no doubt) pass Jeremy on the road.

ERIC: Those hos passed us.

I think you’re going to need every dollar you’re given for the bars. Although I hear chicks do dig men who treat them like crap. Jeremy says it’s okay because they are hot. They comment on how they are two men and the other two are two women. If anyone swoops in to take Double D, then all bets are off. Be prepared for Mac Daddy Barry to take over Double D from under you, Jeremy.

– Danielle has always wanted to go to Brazil. She wants a brush and make-up immediately. This may be the dumbest season for how players spend the money given to them. Come to think of it cabs in Brazil are dangerous so maybe the provided money can be wasted.

– Wanda has nicknamed her team as Team Boricua. Thanks to karoaking Big Punisher’s Don’t Wanna Be a Player No More, I know that Boricua means Puerto Rican. Boricua morena. . .boricua morena. . .from butter pecan to blackberry molass. . .

– Fran & Barry are going to the airline for the first flight that leaves. Now we wait to see if it is an elaborate prank set up by the producers of TAR.

DESIREE: The Einstein couple is in front of us.

Everyone and their mother (Wanda in this case) wants to nickname every racer within the first ten minutes. Team Einstein turns out to be Dave & Lori. I suppose they do look outwardly geeky.

– John asks if they will not be on a small plane and goes out of his way to mention he is not a good flyer. He has not flown in eight years. Great show that you picked to go on.

– Lisa wants to shave off some years after being somebody’s mother and somebody’s husband for 25 years. She wants to be herself again. Did somebody not tell her that the filming schedule is only four weeks? Then they call themselves ‘glamazons’.

– Ray reads that they cannot reserve their tickets over the phone. Lake & Michelle get off the highway and call the airlines over the phone. Uh ohhhhhhh.

– MONICA: It’s the hippies. Those buttheads are right on our tail.
BJ: Ken and Barbie. . .

Ken & Barbie, Monica & Joseph, MoJo, BJ & Tyler, Hippies, Buttheads. Six names between only two teams. Time to get the pen and paper out to keep track.

– Desiree insists for Wanda to not speed. This is reverse parenting. Jeremy notes that there are some Dale Earnhardts and Jeff Gordons on the highways racing with them.

– Michelle succeeds booking the flight over the phone.

– Teams arrive at Pikes Peak Parking. Danielle and Dani are FIRST. What the heck? They tell the driver not to stop for any teams.

– BJ & Tyler, Ray & Yolanda, Dave & Lori, Wanda & Desiree, Eric & Jeremy, Joseph & Monica, and Fran & Barry are all on the second shuttle.

JEREMY: Holy heavy bag, Batman!

That makes you Robin by default. Therefore you will prove to be effing useless and no one will care about you, Jeremy.

– John & Scott and Lisa & Joni are on the third shuttle. They conspire to go to the Continental counter first. Danielle & Dani are first to the American Airlines counter. They book the tickets.

AA: 952am arrival.
CONTINENTAL: 1055am arrival.
UNITED: 1025am arrival.

– Danielle & Dani are much smarter than TAR 6 teams who went to the airport.

– Michelle reads the additional information in the backseat because she is no longer the driver. She notices that Lake screwed up big time.

LAKE: I didn’t read the whole thing. Boy we did mess up. Dag gummit.

And here is our second commercial interruption. Now back to our regularly scheduled program.

LAKE: Dag gummit. I’m sorry. That was.  . .partially my fault really.

I believe Lake’s pride was the cause of the ellipsis in  his statement.

I paused the precise moment when his pride strains his eyes. Those eyes could not be more strained and resisting the truth.

– The teams run in the airport to either AA or Continental. BJ & Tyler are first to the AA line. They introduce themselves to Danielle & Dani.

Double D? Ah. It’s their new nickname and it alludes to their appearance. This moment is better because Fran & Barry are right behind hearing the conversation.

BARRY: I think that’s their name.

BARRY: Single A is her name.

– Eric & Jeremy check the departure times for all flights at the Continental counter. They scramble and run to the AA line with Dave & Lori. Eric & Jeremy note that everyone is in line and scramble to United. So do Wanda & Desiree, Dave & Lori, and Ray & Yolanda.

– MoJo are at the back of the AA line. They are the fourth team so they stress if they will make it on.

MONICA (watery eyes): I can’t believe this is happening.
JOSEPH: Are you really starting to cry?
MONICA (unsure): No?
(JOSEPH stares.)
.
.
.
.
.
.
Awkward staredown over. Double D and Hippies have tickets. Fran & Barry buy the last tickets. I guess Lake & Michelle’s illegal tickets are what limited it to three teams on the flight.

(DAVE and LORI kiss at back of line.)
LORI: I love you.
DAVE: I love you too.
LORI: You’re really hot.
DAVE: Yeah, yeah you are.
LORI: Thanks!

Ho ho! Somebody is working up some major foreplay that would put those zits and pimples in a wrinkle. Prepare for takeoff as the nerds are ready to be granted membership into the Mile High Club.

– Lisa & Joni buy the tickets but wait until after the tickets are bought to check the times of the other flights. They want to exchange for United but their dead last Continental tickets are what they are stuck with. John & Scott are on it too.

MICHELLE: It’s over.
LAKE: SHUT THE F— UP!

I laughed out loud. They were so calm about the situation before but all of a sudden Lake goes from “dag gummit” to “SHUT THE F— UP!”

– Wanda & Desiree are on the United flight as well as Dave & Lori. John & Scott are last on. So Ray & Yolanda, Lake & Michelle, and MoJo are on the final flight.

LAKE: C’mon Michelle! Don’t let the Black girl outrun you!

Have you tuned into the Olympics, Lake? Why should we bother to delay the inevitable.

LAKE: I’m Lake.
YOLANDA: Blake?
LAKE: Lake. Like the ocean.
RAY: I’m Ray. Like the sun.

Yes, Ray like the sun. Not to be confused with Bray, like not a name ever.

– Phil recaps who is on which flight. Good thing I’ve pretty much just done that for you. In fact Phil presents the flights out of order so you’ll be confused.

PHIL: Delays in connecting cities have changed the order of arrival times.

Or maybe not.

– We are told teams are looking for the rooftop of Hotel Unique. It would be ironic if it is the blandest hotel imaginable.

PHIL: Which teams will surge ahead? And which team will be eliminated from the race?

And which racer will finally notice my new haircut for this season? :/

– The usual South American soundtrack followed by suspense music plays. The United flight is the first to arrive at 1015am. Goodbye to your beloved lead, Double D. Wanda & Desiree are first to hit the ground running. John & Scott, Dave & Lori, and Eric & Jeremy are right behind. They all assume they are 25 minutes behind the leading teams.

ERIC: Did you see pretty girls with big boobs or a mom and daughter?
TAXI DRIVER chuckles.
JEREMY: What colour did they have?
TAXI DRIVER: Brown.
ERIC: Mother and daughter. They’re a couple minutes ahead. B—-es.

From hos to b—-es, Eric & Jeremy are overdue to release their first gangsta rap album.

– Wanda communicates with the driver in Spanish and a bit of Portuguese. She assumes they will get along with the driver “like peas and carrots”. Just because you know the language does not guarantee success. Look at Ryan & Chuck.

– At 1020am the AA flight gets in. It was delayed by forty minutes. BJ says they have learned two Portuguese phrases. “You are the best” and “Would you pass that car?” They use them in sequence and it works.

– TAXI DRIVER: Celebrities?
DANIELLE: Yeah, we’re celebrities.

They’re the Hilton sisters, right? By the way this cab ride has just climbed up about 300 percent. Or free. I don’t know how celebrities are treated here.

– 1055am arrival for the last flight. They all flag down respective cabs. Yolanda always wanted to go to Brazil. Of course NOW you say it.

LISA: I think he speaks Portuguese.
JONI: Really? I thought Spanish was the universal language of the world.

Particularly in China, Canada, and Japan.

– Soundtrack straight out of The Apprentice plays. Wanda & Desiree are first to the rooftop. They must travel three miles by taxi to Viaduto Santa Efigenia. It was built in 1913. This historic bridge will have their next clue. For the first time they don’t get to do anything cool on top of a hotel in the opening leg.

– BJ & Tyler get to the hotel and talk to Wanda & Desiree. Jeremy gives up on pronouncing the clue and rolls his tongue for the last couple words. John & Scott pass BJ & Tyler on the rooftop. BJ & Tyler have fun with their first clue.

I think BJ just clue gasm’d.

BJ: That clue sounds fresh.

F— Subway. The freshness of paper is where it’s at.

Way to get all two inches of air on that jump!

– Lori asks for a kiss. Dang she is one horny nerd. Fran & Barry proceed to the top of the hotel. So do Dave & Lori. Dave & Lori have lost some time. Fran & Barry tell the cab to wait. Eric & Jeremy’s cab has already left. They try to steal it but fail.

– Eric & Jeremy see Double D enter and introduce themselves. Double D blow them off right away. Whether Eric & Jeremy rob the cab is a mystery. BJ & Tyler are back in the cab.

JEREMY: We want you to go ra-peed-dough!

I’d save the forceful and overemphasized nature of clues for the Chinese taxi drivers, Jeremy.

– BJ & Tyler pass Eric & Jeremy on the road. They are second and third. Wanda & Desiree are first. Fran & Berry are fourth. Dave & Lori are fifth. John & Scott sixth. Dave & Lori demonstrate their handshake in the cab. I am not amused. Double D proceed to make fun of Eric & Jeremy’s introduction.

– Wanda & Desiree wander the streets. Hippies, Eric & Jeremy, and Fran & Berry are out running. Dave & Lori also have it in their sights.

– JOHN: Soon soon?
TAXI DRIVER says something Portuguese-y.
JOHN: Musseltoff? What does that mean? Location?
SCOTT: He circled around. I love it.
JOHN: Oh you love it? Well keep loving it cause we’re gonna lose if you don’t get your edge up.

My biggest pet peeve on TAR is when a racer doesn’t have their edges up.

– MoJo have the clue. They are in eighth. They read the clue in perfect harmony. Monica randomly screams and cheers.

She claps her hands together and jumps like a walrus who has been handed a beach ball. I am sure Joseph is happy to have her.

– LAKE: HEY, DID A BLACK TEAM JUST COME THROUGH HERE?
LOCAL: No.

Considering Brazil’s past of racial inequality, a “Black team” may refer to. . .yeah, this blog isn’t really meant to discuss discrimination in Brazil’s urban cities.

RAY: Are we gettin’ close?

Yolanda appears to know of the connotations in Sao Paulo and insists for Ray to lean back like he’s Fat Joe and the Thunder Squad.

YOLANDA: Be nice.
RAY: I am being nice.

The real question in my twisted mind is “How would Yolanda feel with a big black man sitting right behind her?”

I must give kudos for Yolanda’s head snap and doing a very good Snoop Dogg impression.

– They both find it to be hilarious and have their clue and come back. Lisa & Joni are dead last and have the clue.

– Joni wants to stay inside the hotel. Eh. One would think you might be staying there for four weeks after this leg is finished, Joni.

– Wanda & Desiree have the clue. It’s a detour. Motorhead or Rotorhead. Travel one mile to a motorcycle shop and choose a motorcycle frame. Using the parts provided and a finished model for reference, they must finish putting the motorcycle together. Once the mechanic can kickstart the bike they will receive their next clue. In rotorhead teams will travel three miles to the airport that has an unusual name. Using a flight directory they must locate one of these three buildings.

The three buildings. The arrows are cute.

– There are a limited number of tickets for each building so teams need to scramble to purchase tickets for the closest building. Once at the building they must search the top floor for a hidden clue. Quite the elaborate detour task if you ask me. And seriously, TAR booked eleven helicopters? Since when did their budget increase? Even action flicks don’t have eleven helicopters on standby.

– Wanda & Desiree and BJ & Tyler both pick the helicopters. So do Eric & Jeremy. They all get into cabs. Dave’s four eyes passes the clue but luckily Lori has four eyes of her own and takes it. They do the helicopter as well.

– The clue seems to elude Fran & Barry. They look down from the bridge and walk up and down the sidewalk.

Fran searches for the clue. She walks in a straight line.

So she walks around the obstacle, the obstacle being the clue box, so she can continue looking for the clue box.
.
.
.
.
WAIT A MINUTE!

FRAN: I’m not seeing it.

BARRY: It’s gotta be right in front of us.

The word you’re looking for is ‘adjacent,’ but hey, it’s tough to race with an extremely stiff neck and eyes that are unable to recognize new stimuli.

– Fran & Barry pass by the clue in the opposite direction.

FRAN: I can’t believe this.

Neither can we. Kami & Karli have been dethroned. Fran sees Wanda & Desiree and BJ & Tyler getting into cabs on streets. Wanda is getting flustered because she can’t believe that BJ & Tyler are close. Desiree proclaims her role in the team will be to keep them on task.

– Eric & Jeremy and BJ & Tyler meet up in the middle of the street.

Jeremy used the one hundred forty bucks on bath salts as he is ready to clamp and chow down on hippies.

The bath salted man steps down when the potheaded BJ activates his ‘too sweet’ defenses.

– So after one of the most bizarre greetings has ended they enter their cabs and race on. God these four act like such crackheads when they are together. They scream each other in the most maniac voices during the exchange too. Tyler regrets not putting on deodorant.

– Double D are on the bridge and run into Fran & Barry.

BARRY: It’s not there. We’ve run up it three or four times.

So Fran & Barry exit the bridge as Double D take a crack at it anyway. Why not? This is definitely an iconic bridge where the clue is supposed to be. We see Double D find it in real time. If only Fran & Barry looked back to see Double D take the clue.

– John insists that him and Scott need to exit the cab. Not only has the driver circled around but the traffic is atrocious. Scott refuses to assert himself into the situation so John is stuck being indecisive and remains in the cab. Troubled music plays.

– Wanda & Desiree enter through the wrong entrance and are told to backtrack in their cab. Desiree claims she will rip out all of her hair out before they get back. Who is the flustered one now?

– BJ & Tyler and Eric & Jeremy both go to the wrong entrance as well so they must also backtrack. This allows for Dave & Lori to arrive first at the airport. They search through the manual as they see BJ & Tyler get there next. Eric & Jeremy are right behind. All three teams are reading the manual simultaneously. BJ & Tyler found the one with the shortest distance. They show it to the pilot but they do not acknowledge. Eric & Jeremy slip ahead and know to show it to the dispatcher. Eric & Jeremy and BJ & Tyler switch on the leaderboard yet again. Dave & Lori have failed to make a decision.

– BJ boyishly screams that they are flying. Dave & Lori have their helicopter. Wanda & Desiree knew their cab was not an aggressive driver. They pick the furthest one but it was the first one they could find in the manual. They wanted to give in right away hoping it makes up for not wasting a ton of time on the manual.

– Double D have chosen to put together a motorcycle. They instantly ask for help from a man. Danielle kisses him on the lips and the audience cheers. The man shrugs and walks away. They struggle. Several people watch Double D struggle putting a motorcycle back together.

– MoJo and Fran & Barry are on the bridge. Fran & Barry have fallen four spots because they couldn’t find the clue.

FRAN: How did we miss it? I don’t think it was there before.

Maybe the taxi driver practiced some Jedi mind tricks on the old couple prior to leaving the cab. Blame the camera operator or the sound operator too, Fran! But don’t tell them outright. They’re your only hope!

– Fran claims she can put things together so off to motorhead. MoJo goes for the much cooler and awesome rotorhead.

– Lake & Michelle jump out and run. So do Ray & Yolanda. Joseph sees Lake & Michelle on the bridge. He has an inaudible nickname for them. Lake screams at Michelle to follow him to the cab.

(LOGAN rewinds the clip.)

JOSEPH: There’s Scott Peterson right there.

I don’t see the resemblance. Joseph is just being mean and offensive for the sake of being mean and offensive.

MICHELLE: I’ve never put anything together ever.

How about two and two?

LAKE: Don’t second guess me or we won’t go there.
MICHELLE: Do what you want.
LAKE: No. Don’t second guess me.

Now everything seems scary with the image of Scott Peterson in my mind.

– Ray & Yolanda are going to the motorcycle shop. Joni asks what the smell is as they know they are in last amongst a long line of traffic.

JONI: Did you fart?
LISA: It’s the city.

Classic cliche of blaming it on the city.

– John makes the decision to leave the cab after wasting hours upon hours of time. He stands on the street corner and asks for directions in the quietest and most passive way I have ever seen on TAR. Scott is saying nothing except to suggest John to be calm. John wants Scott to come up with an idea and do something. They aimlessly wander the streets.

– Lisa & Joni are still stuck in traffic. Above Sao Paulo we see Eric & Jeremy in a helicopter. Perhaps the intro for Fast and the Furious Six. The helicopter lands. I’m waiting to see Jeff Probst to emerge carrying the urn prior to the reading of the votes.

– Eric & Jeremy are inside looking for the clue. BJ & Tyler shortly thereafter. Jeremy has the clue.

– Teams have to travel five miles by taxi to the neighbourhood of Santa Cecilia and find the warehouse at Rua Frederico Abranches 114A. Inside  the warehouse they will witness some type of religious dancing ceremony involving snakes.

I’ve heard of snake charming, but you’d need to be a freakin’ master manipulator to charm an anaconda. Not even J-Lo or LL Cool J were able to manage that.

– For good fortune they will light a white candle to receive their next clue. See? A white candle. Why couldn’t it be a black candle?

– BJ & Tyler have their clue. Eric & Jeremy take off as BJ & Tyler wait patiently for their helicopter.

TYLER: Isn’t this the most James Bond thing you’ve ever done?

James Bond as in Pierce Brosnan or that new guy who everyone vomits thinking about?

The tinted windows of the helicopter cannot protect us from the enormous smile emerging from BJ.

– Dave & Lori land. Bumbling music plays. They see the clue. Everyone comments on how amazing it is. Wanda & Desiree are next to land. Wanda wants to rent the penthouse. Desiree hopes it will be the next pit stop.

WANDA: I’ve never seen such a beautiful property.

Who says ‘property’ outside a game of Monopoly?

– MoJo sees the route marker and asks the driver to turn around. But the driver keeps going.

MONICA: No!
JOSEPH: Shush! Not helping! You’re clear. Cicicicicicicicici. Dammit turn this around god dammit. He’s killing us. How do you get in?

That’s right, Monica. The screaming of Barbie is not respected in Brazil. The screaming of Ken on the other hand. . .

– Danielle & Dani have yet to get anywhere on the detour.

DANIELLE: I’m going to kill this motorcycle.

That may be the problem. If you don’t know you’re dealing with an inanimate object, you may be in trouble.

Don’t judge people based on their looks. I thought these two were a lock for accomplishing this task swiftly.

– Fran & Barry enter. Double D decides they will copy what Fran & Barry are doing. However Fran & Barry sound like they are worse mechanics than Double D. They randomly put a big part in a random spot on the motorcycle. Just get yourself some superglue and you’re good to go.

– Double D notice that Fran & Barry are terrible and make the decision to switch once and for all.

LAKE: It’s green. Go girl!

That may not help because the taxi driver is a man.

– Lake & Michelle are at the motorcycle shop. Lake is convinced it will be easy. Michelle tells him to calm down for about the fourth time this episode. Lake lets Barry copy him because they may be key allies in the future. Fran & Barry don’t appear to be the ‘use you and diss you’ type on the race. Michelle is not impressed that they are helping another team.

– Ray & Yolanda are on the scene. The crowd of spectators for the task grows for only one reason.

The sex-positive nature of Brazil rears its ugly head. I think the camera operator took a bit too much creative license.

I don’t think that really needs to be commanded. About every male between the ages of 20-35 in Sao Paulo have gathered around to watch the detour task.

Too much excitement for the season premiere. Especially for the horniest mothaf—a in the history of TAR who is fap fapping away with his back to the camera.

The only one not looking at Yolanda in this scene is incidentally Ray. Therefore, there is not a drop of Brazilian blood in his body.

– John & Scott finally get directions from traffic cops. They do it meekly. Lisa & Joni have directions too. John & Scott have the clue on the bridge. They sneak past Lisa & Joni before the Glamazons/Frosties can spot them.

– John is excited to be in the helicopter. We are reminded that he has only flown once in the past eight years. He wishes to overcome his fears. Yep. A one-dimensional edit if you ask me. Joni cheers as loudly as possible when she sees the clue box. It’s definitely been a long day. They hear the Fat Lady singing and yell as loud as possible inside the cab. If this were the same cabbie that Jonathan & Victoria had in Hungary, he’d immediately let them out.

“Finito!”

ERIC: Martinez, how many girls do you get? Seriously being a helicopter pilot, they’re all over you.
MARTINEZ: No. No. That’s not true.

That’s right. You need to be an actual pilot of an airplane. Look at Jake Pavelka.

– Eric & Jeremy have a cab. So do BJ & Tyler. Joseph asks BJ how it was. He says it was the most amazing thing ever. It seems production is going all out on leg one. Joseph wants to go to Atrium V because they assume all of the clues at the closest building have been taken.

– Dave & Lori and Wanda & Desiree have landed. Lori and Dave have both kissed multiple times. Nerds would fit in fine with Brazilian culture.

– Monica & Joseph land. Joseph says he has never been in a helicopter before. They are inside the building and have the clue. They take off and continue to be amazed by the experience.

– Fran & Barry are possibly having less success with the task than Double D did.

LAKE: Get it in the hole!
MICHELLE: I’m getting it!
LAKE: No you’re not. Get it in there.
MICHELLE: Oh I see.
LAKE: C’MON BABY!
(Old people/Fran & Barry watch with intensity.)
LAKE: DON’T BE MY DEMISE!
MICHELLE: Lake, calm down.
LAKE: Why?

This leg easily has the most sexual innuendo of any leg. All of the teams are dropping nicknames like Double D and the locals comment on everyone’s bodies. Dave & Lori have embraced more than any other team in history. Lake is struggling to get his nuts and bolts in a hole and is panting out of breath. Don’t let it be this season’s demise.

– Yolanda brings out a piece as the crowd outside cheers.

LAKE: If we get that nut in there, we’re done.

Now he’s not even trying to cover it up.

– The judge kickstarts the motorcycle. They have the clue. Lake helps Fran & Barry with several tips. Unfortunately they know nothing that they can’t interpret his straight forward instructions whatsoever. Lake asks Ray on the way out if he’s fine and he instantly says yes. Ray probably isn’t in a terribly chatty mood.

– Fran & Barry switch tasks. Considering  they couldn’t do the task after being given step by step instructions, I’d throw it in too. Ray & Yolanda interpret Fran & Barry’s exit as having accomplished the task. Let the unnecessary panicking commence.

– Danielle & Dani are at rotorhead. They see MoJo land as they take off. John & Scott are at what they think is the rotorhead detour. It is the wrong entrance that other cab drivers were fooled by. MoJo are in their cab. They yell out their cab as they see the Glamazons. Lisa & Joni return the cheers too.

– Lisa & Joni casually walk in to look at the manual. If you’re last you should be running. They look behind to see Fran & Barry RUNNING in. Hint not yet taken?

LISA: We’ve got somebody behind us.
JONI: What a big load of turds.
LISA: Go for Atrium V?
JONI: Iseeitiseeatriumfiveiseeatriumfive.

Seriously. There was no pause. Joni says it all under her breath in one word as she jumps up and down.

– John & Scott are on the scene as Lisa & Joni head to the helicopter. Lisa & Joni’s reaction to seeing a team in dead last on their tail?

It’s the Glamazonian cheer.

LISA & JONI: WAHHHHH WOOOOO WAHHHHHH AHHHHH.

All hail the dead last team preparing to pass us! Let’s take a moment and celebrate the foot race between the two slowest teams possible!

LISA & JONI: OH MY GOD!

JONI: Are you Atrium V?
DISPATCHER: Yes.

OH S—! IT’S ATRIUM V! EVERYONE GET DOWN!

LISA: WOOOOO. SONOFAB—-. WE’RE STILL IN IT!
JONI: I just peed my pants.

FRAN: Honey, what’s wrong with those women?
BARRY: It’s okay, sweetheart. Don’t pay any attention to them. Quiet while I finish my Sudoku puzzle.

LISA: THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU JESUS!
JONI: WE’RE NOT LAST! WE STILL HAVE A CHANCE!

The viewers also wish that Joni could grow wings and fly out of our TV screens permanently.

LISA: I peed my pants!
JONI: Me too!

– Fran & Barry have found the building in the manual and have a ticket for a building.

Ha! You fell for our trap. You’re mine, b—-! The helicopter is taking you away to a place very far away from us and the rest of the world.

However Lisa successfully manages to scream louder than the whirring of a helicopter and is brought back for us to endure. Crap.

– John asks Scott to help with the task. Scott may be the least competitive and most apathetic contestant to ever race. John & Scott find Atrium V and bring it to the dispatcher. She says there is nothing left. They have gone through the manual once and try again. They go to the furthest hotel. John says he was in a helicopter when he was ten and yelped the whole time.

– We’re at Santa Celia. Eric & Jeremy are inside first. BJ & Tyler are right behind. Eric & Jeremy hug a person with a cobra wrapped around their body. They are given the clue. BJ & Tyler enter as Eric & Jeremy exit.

– Eric reads that they must travel 2 1/2 miles by taxi to the pit stop: Estadio de Pacaemu. This World Cup stadium is the pit stop. But first Phil tells us they must travel the majestic streets of Sao Paulo and that soccer is the world’s most popular sport.

How is soccer the most popular sport? The players are all bigger drama queens than Adam from TAR 6 and half the time it ends in a tie or those stupid stupid penalty shootouts. The world has terrible taste.

– Dave & Lori complete the ceremony next. Wanda & Desiree do a dumb dance of their own with the other people involved in the ceremony.

WANDA: Do you drive quickly?

The taxi driver may answer ‘yes’ out of desperation to earn the money for the fare.

– The crowd has stuck around for an hour to watch Yolanda finish putting the car together. The mechanic kickjumps the motorcycle and awards them the clue. The audience cheers. My question is where will this crowd move to for more entertainment. Host a Hungry Hungry Hippos tournament? Watch some soccer? The possibilities are endless. Oh wait. Here comes another team!

Yep. The Brazilian crowd is definitely sticking around for the twelfth team that was recently added to the race.

And make up a ton of time when a local is able to help. What the local is doing to fix the motorcycle is beyond me.

It’s a local celebrity. I believe he was the catcher for the Sao Paulo Giants.

– Ray & Yolanda are in a taxi. Dani tracks down the clue in real time. It took about three seconds. Barry can’t think of anyone else he could run this race with. Except maybe someone who knew how to repair a motorcycle. They manage to find the clue. I suppose their blindness is limited to clue boxes.

– Lisa & Joni land.

LISA: My panties are falling down.

For the love of god, please pull them up. You’re crazy enough as it is.

– Scott is proud of John. John is calm throughout the whole experience. Their helicopter lands. They call it a “fabulous suite”.

No comment.

– They have the clue and get back in the chopper. John is proud of himself and says you have to live. Double D’s helicopter is back at the base and are inside a cab. Fran & Barry flag down a cab too. Barry orders a kiss. Lake & Michelle are at the ceremony. Lake lights the candles and waves the one candle like an idiot. It takes three or four requests from Michelle before he puts it down. MoJo are next to the ceremony.

If Joseph had a skateboard, he could clear the bum on the ground and earn a few points towards a high score in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2. I never thought I could reference that video game in back to back season blogs. Even I amaze myself sometimes.

– Monica reads the clue and is excited to go to the pit stop. Lisa & Joni land at the base and can’t find their taxi. John & Scott see Lisa & Joni on the ground from the air. The frosties/glamazons/whateverthehecktheyarecalled run around on the ruas to see a cab. They flag one down and are extremely excited once again and thank Jesus. John & Scott have a cab of their own too.

– BJ: Now that we’re inside we’re clawing at our teeth.

Be careful what you ask for, BJ. You forgot about Tyler’s earlier work in professional wrestling.

This brings back traumatic memories.

– Eric & Jeremy exit the cab and run. So do BJ & Tyler. Phil looks on as the first team arrives at the pit stop.

But they may have to wait a while before the greeter acknowledges the team. Soccer really is a huge sport in Brazil. What’s it going to take for the greeter to not stare at the heavens? Yolanda?

Jeremy has it covered as he fails to slide tackle the greeter. Americans are atrocious at soccer.

JEREMY: Give us some good stuff, baby!

– Eric & Jeremy dance together.

ERIC: What do we win Philly, what do we win?

– They have won ten thousand dollars each. The tradition of the 20k victory is brought back. Eric says being idiots who don’t overanalyze is the key to doing well.

– Here comes BJ & Tyler. Can they top Jeremy’s entrance?

Well Tyler’s slide tackle is the best thus far. At least he had his feet out and scared Phil enough to back away. I can’t figure out what BJ was attempting to do.

– Tyler says they haven’t eaten or slept much but that being fuelled by the Race is powerful stuff. Dave & Lori enter the stadium and look for Gate 23. Wanda & Desiree find the marked path while Dave & Lori missed the marked path entirely. Wanda & Desiree slip into the third spot. Wanda gives a cheer for Team Boricua. I guarantee you that won’t catch on. Dave & Lori celebrate their fourth spot and talk about their love for each other.

– Ray & Yolanda are seventh to complete the ceremony. Double D dwell over the big line of traffic. Fran & Barry cross the street to complete the ceremony. They have a cab. Double D are next. Lake & Michelle check into the pit stop. Lake nearly rips Michelle’s arm off.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu dictates that arm should be broken.

LAKE: Michelle! C’mon baby! Jump into my guard! I bet you CAN’T pass into side control! I grappled with Rickson Gracie and didn’t let him BE MY DEMISE!

– MoJo are sixth. Joseph says they have redeemed themselves. From what? They think they are much more interesting than they really are.

– Lisa & Joni run out of their cab and realize they are going the wrong way.

– Scott says they should pull a Genie. It never fails them supposedly. They wish to not be eliminated.

From talking about fabulous places to acting out scenes from a retro TV sitcom, John & Scott are really breaking new ground.

– Ray & Yolanda check into the pit stop. Ray is ecstatic to be seventh.  Fran & Barry celebrate their eighth place finish. Their forte of their mental ability is what let them down, according to Barry. Double D are ninth.

– JONI: Frederico abra kadabra.
LOCAL: Go straight ahead.

Who knew what magically appears right in front of you. . .is what was already in front of you. It’s as elusive as a clue box.

– Lisa & Joni finish the ceremony. So do John & Scott. It’s now a race through a traffic jam to the pit stop. Suspense music plays while Pele dribbles the soccer ball on his shoulders and head.

– It’s Lisa & Joni with their belly fat jiggling about. They scream, yell, and cheer. A few seconds later the sad music plays as John & Scott sprint into the pit stop. Phil gives them the big bad news. They’re out as Scott expected. Phil talks about John’s fear of flying that did not play out in the episode as he never expressed being nervous once. And one of the worst teams ever built for the race is indeed gone.

Next time on TAR: More Brazilian adventures. More screaming from all of the teams except one or two. Wild animations. And too many screen caps for me to endure.

Lake&Michelle 1.2
Danielle& Dani 1.1
BJ&Tyler 4.3
Ray&Yolanda 3.3
John&Scott 5.3
Joseph&Monica 1.1
Eric&Jeremy 3.3
Lisa&Joni 2.2
Fran&Barry 3.3
Wanda&Desiree 2.4
Dave&Lori 5.4

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