The Amazing Race 9 episode 4 ranking

Fourth leg

LOGAN’S SPECIAL NOTE: Due to TAR airing at 1000pm on school nights during the Spring of 2006, and because Survivor: Exile Island made me lose all faith in reality TV following the lacklustre seasons of Survivor: Guatemala and TAR Family Edition, I never have seen this episode before. I forgot to set up the VCR before I went to bed.

So while you may have seen this episode several times, it is essentially the first “lost episode” for me since the New Zealand episode of TAR 5.


Previously on TAR: Nine teams set out from Brotas, Brazil. Married couple Lake & Michelle got off to a rough start. Teams then flew over 7, 300 miles to Moscow, Russia. At the roadblock a terrified Yolanda took the plunge. And Wanda faced her fear of water.

The only person who dives shorter distances than Wanda.

Danielle & Dani and their race sweethearts Eric & Jeremy shared a taxi but Danielle discovered they made a crucial mistake which caused her team to fall behind. Dave & Lori and Joseph & Monica got lost on their way to the detour while teams grew frustrated searching thousands of nesting dolls for a clue. When Eric & Jeremy arrived at what they thought was a pit stop, they were greeted with a surprise. Now nine teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. Yeah. I’m certain the recaps are longer than prior seasons. So how many minutes until all nine teams are on the same flight? Anyone willing to predict?

– This is. . .oh wait. It’s a To Be Continued Leg. We are shown the entire thirty second clip from the previous leg. I don’t get the point considering other seasons they hand them the clue instantly but not here. Did editors not have enough material?

– Eric reads that they must fly 1, 000 miles by plane to Frankfurt then 100 miles by train to Stuttgart. Once there teams need to find the world’s flagship Mercedes-Benz Factory where they will receive their next clue. Jonathan Baker is throwing himself at a wall pissed off that he didn’t get to be cast on this leg.

– Lake & Michelle are ecstatic to be second. But then Phil tells them the news and Michelle drops an “oh shoot” as she is handed the next clue. She recovers and has her mind set on Frankfurt.

JEREMY: I dunno man. That would have been a prime spot to be holding hands with the chicks.
ERIC: It wasn’t very romantic with Jeremy and I.
JEREMY: Yeah, it was a little gay.

Talking to Phil together is described as ‘a little gay’ but hitting on a male prostitute is merely glanced over? What an odd duo.

– Ray & Yolanda are third and Yolanda drops an “oh shoot” too. Ray wants a flight out of the country tonight so the other teams won’t catch up. Barry found a clue in a nesting doll. Fran puts on her glasses and squints as much as possible as she reads a clue. I hope my vision doesn’t suck that much in forty years.

– BJ & Tyler hope that Fran & Barry aren’t eliminated. They check into the fake pit stop. Tyler throws down the clue.

And can’t help but see the pink elephants that cover the cathedral.

– Phil stops Tyler’s trip down the rabbit hole short as he hands them their next clue. BJ counts the cash and does something that makes me think he is really high too.

He gives Phil a dollar from their provided cash. Andre is going to be pissed.

That’s our thing. But they just wouldn’t listen, man.

PHIL: You sure you don’t need this?
TYLER: Don’t waste that opportunity Phil.

I wonder how much money Tyler was awarded for plugging Phil’s “No Opportunity Wasted” that was airing at the time.

On second thought. . .

– The hippies are stoked to see Fran & Barry get to the pit stop. Both are amazed to hear they are fifth. The hippies come to the mat to hug Fran & Barry. I suppose they can take their sweet time when we all know an equalizer is coming. They scramble into cabs and agree to meet up at the airport.

– TYLER: It’s not over to the Phil Sings.

If anyone knows a way to in fact get Phil to sing, please give me a call ASAP. I’m curious to hear if his teenage days of participating in High School Musical Theatre have stuck with him all this time.

– Dani thought the last thing she’d be doing in Russia is pick up a pile of leaves. I doubt it. The last thing you thought you would be doing is playing in a tournament of Saturday Night Slam Masters with a Chinese immigrant. THAT’S the last thing you’d expect to be doing.

– Wanda hugs the judge as their trolley is verified. Double D’s trolley is clean. Eric & Jeremy are at the airport and have tickets. Lake & Michelle are right behind and ask to be on the flight. The lady says check-in is finished for the day. Therefore, Eric & Jeremy will fly alone tonight. Yeah. I’m 150 to 200 percent sure that an equalizer is coming. A twelve hour lead for one team on eight other teams isn’t too popular of a situation for production to handle.

LAKE: Dag gummit.

🙂 Yay, Mississippi kiddie cursing is back.

Jeremy says the ticket lady is beautiful as they grab their tickets and board the flight.

Remind me to knock before entering Jeremy’s living room when he is watching Thelma & Louise.

– The 705pm flight takes off. MoJo is done cleaning the detour. Monica overreacts. Dave & Lori are done seconds later. It’s close enough for them to share a cab again. Double D and Team Boricua step onto the fake mat together and cry and hug. Phil interrupts to hand them their clues. Danielle intends to staple the fanny pack to her butt. Personally I’d use the straps but okay.

– Suspense music plays as MoJo enters a pit stop we all know is fake into eighth place. Oh right. Dave & Lori should be expecting to be dead last. So I’d like to take an aside here. . .

Why in the world would you share a cab with a team to the pit stop when they are much faster with you and in addition you are under the assumption it is a pit stop? The only thing to save Dave & Lori in 99% of all legs is if a one-in-a-million situation like Monica breaking her ankle while running or Joseph spontaneously combusting would be the only actions to keep Dave & Lori alive in the race.

I don’t get it. This would be considered the biggest blunder of the season if this was an actual pit stop. Dave & Lori would be asked non-stop about why they took a step further with David & Jeff and Jon & Al’s taxi sharing folly in the Seoul leg. Not learning from past racers as well as avoiding common racing logic is not a good way to progress deep into the race.

– Monica reads the clue in tears as she runs away thanking Phil. Dave & Lori have no reaction to Phil as they hear they are last. Phil gives them the clue and they have as minimal of a reaction.

– Lake & Michelle book a 915pm flight with an airline that’s open. Lake directs Ray to the ticket counter that they were just at. Fran & Barry and the hippies are in a really slow line for the 915pm flight. Wanda & Desiree and Double D are in the line-up too. BJ informs them about the 915pm flight. Dave & Lori and MoJo are there too.

YOLANDA: She said her computer is broken and there’s nothing she can do.

A broken computer for the only airline that has a flight to Frankfurt tonight? And the agency has no other alternatives? No back-up computer? How does a computer at the airport break down? Isn’t it impossible for viruses to infect a computer that does not go outside of checking airlines? I doubt anyone from this season will choose to fly with this airline after the season is over. That is a pretty atrocious mistake to make for a business.

– Eric & Jeremy’s flight has landed already. They board a train as they ramble about cookie dough. Jeremy says they caught the train by seconds. The ticket counter back in Russia has opened. However there is only time for the hippies to get on the flight with Lake & Michelle. So the hippies and Eric & Jeremy are frontrunners with a random team to round out the top three per usual.

– The lady explains to the other six teams that the chief told her to end check-in for the night. That’s it. That’s all. MoJo goes to another counter and are told about a 700am flight. Ten hours behind the leading teams? This is going to be a nasty equalizer coming our way. This is the longest airport session since TAR 5 I would believe.

– Five teams go to a hotel for the night. MoJo decide to save money and sleep inside the airport. No opportunity wasted? Eric & Jeremy meet a man named Johann on the train. He hands Eric & Jeremy a map.

JEREMY: Are there some pretty ladies in Germany?
JOHANN: Ahahahahaha. Yes. Sometimes.

Whenever Johann drinks excessively at Oktoberfest somehow he sees pretty women everywhere. When he’s sober? Ain’t nothin’ to see in Stuttgart.

JOHANN: The more you drink. . .
ERIC: The prettier?

Hypothesis confirmed. That must be one effin’ ugly town. Johann didn’t even stumble to say you need a ton of alcohol in your system to have any intimate expeditions. That’s one place I won’t bother travelling to in the future.

– Eric & Jeremy have their clue. Eric reads that at 830am they can take a test drive on the oldest Mercedes test track. It is known as the Wall of Death. Any car that survives it is presumed to be safe enough for the streets of rage. After completing the course teams will receive their next clue. Eric hates that their lead is gone. I refuse to believe he didn’t see that coming.

– Lake & Michelle and the hippies have the clue. We fast forward to 500am in Moscow. The six teams have their tickets for the flight. At 700am they fly. Now it’s 830am. Sweet mustaches take the three teams for a mustache ride. They drive 170 kilometres per hour. I think you could be fined 300 bucks for those high speeds. I’m curious if they had to pull numbers because Eric & Jeremy finished the ride third.

– The driver hands them the keys to their Mercedes at the end of the test drive. The three teams receive their clue simultaneously. Teams will drive themselves nearly 200 miles towards the city of Bad Tolz. Once in the Bavarian countryside they will need to search for the marked Ellbach Field for their next clue.

– The three teams have all found the city on the map. The third train carrying the six teams is in Stuttgart and all catch cabs. Wanda asks how you say ‘fast’ in German. Driver says it is ‘schnell’.

WANDA: Schnellschnellschnell.

The driver understood what ‘fast’ is in English. Is it necessary to say it in German?

– Dave & Lori have gone from a position of being eliminated into fourth place. At least they aren’t like Don & Mary Jean who aren’t capable of taking advantage of a very early non-elimination leg. Ray & Yolanda are fifth into the Mercedes. Wanda & Desiree are sixth.

DESIREE: Schnellschnellschnell.
WANDA: Schlopschlopschlop.
DESIREE: What is ‘schlop’? ‘Fast’ is ‘Schnell’.

I think when you screw up that quickly and that badly you should revert to the age old classic of ‘rapideuax’.

– Double D is seventh. MoJo are eighth. They are always in the back of the pack it seems. I can’t recall them even cracking a top five position yet. Joseph is an idiot and straps himself into the driver’s seat. He realizes that he is an idiot and goes to the passenger seat. Care to drive 170 kilometres per hour on the Wall of Death, Joseph? I don’t think anything bad will happen. You’re on reality TV. They don’t let you die on TAR. He struggles with the passenger seatbelt. Fran & Barry are ninth.

– Dave & Lori is done the task. They ask for directions but nobody knows. Ray & Yolanda ask too and circle it on the map. Monica is screaming like a Weaver daughter during the ride. Wanda & Desiree ask for directions but Wanda’s Spanglish gets in the way. Desiree confronts her mom about why she says everything in a Spanglish accent. It’s tough for Germans to understand a woman with a fake Spanish accent asking things in a mixture of broken and incorrect German as well as English. Congratulations. You suck in three languages.

– Double D have the clue and are off. So are Fran & Barry. All nine teams are asking for directions. MoJo pull up to Dave & Lori who are outside of their car asking for directions.

MONICA: Do you know?
DAVE: No, we’re going to a gas station.
(MOJO pull away.)
DAVE: Wait until they’re out of eyeline. Then we’ll go.
MONICA: I found it!

All that happened is they lost ten seconds waiting for a team to pull away from them.

– DESIREE: I haven’t seen any signs for Munich, have you?

After doing so well with asking what ‘fast’ is in German, Desiree should have asked what ‘Munich’ is in German. Too schnelling and a little more reading from Team Boricua, I say.

– Double D say the direction they are going is the direction of Wamda & Desiree. A 1/5 shot of picking the one team to follow, and sure enough the odds aren’t in your favour. Double D would be screwed if they were to be picked as tribute.

– Desiree catches on they are going the wrong way and get off the highway. Double D pull up  behind them. Desiree chats with Double D that they have been going the wrong way all this time.

DANIELLE: So we have to make a U-Turn?

Hey! No foreshadowing is allowed yet!

– Eric & Jeremy are at the field. They see hats and feet. It’s a roadblock. Teams have to search the field that has been planted with 150 familiar hats and feet with only eleven gnomes. Teams will find a Travelocity roaming gnome hidden beneath a hat or foot in a hole in the ground. The clue will be on the bottom of the gnome.

George W. Bush sent troops in to find the roaming gnome in 2006. The military are all too familiar with the ‘hide-in-the-ground’ trick. Ladies and gentlemen, we got him.

– I’m projecting a few bad puns from the hippies while they gnome the fields, you gnome what I mean?

– Eric breaks out his British accent to copy the roaming gnome. Apparently Eric can afford TV. Jeremy has the gnome right away. Well, it’s an improvement over the past year when the gnome debuted in TAR 7. Hiding in plain sight on an island in Turkey is easily trumped by being covered in a hole in the ground.

– Eric reads that they will drive themselves to the Bavaria Film & ???? in Grunnel. Take your gnome to the gnome along with you safely to the pit stop. Eric sees the town on the map. They’re all good.

– Lake & Michelle try to figure out precisely where Ellbach Field is. They find a big man standing in the middle of the street. Lake asks if he can follow him in his car.

BAVARIAN: It’s a little bit hard to go there.
LAKE: Can you show me where it is?
BAVARIAN: Okay. I-I-I can’t drive and I’m too drunk anymore.


– Lake asks him to get inside the car. The drunken man sits in the middle of the back seat. I wonder what he smelled like. The hippies and Lake & Michelle are at the roadblock simultaneously. BJ and Lake are doing the roadblock. Michelle wants Lake to do it. Three roadblocks already for Lake? Does Michelle not know that she has to do six out of the nine remaining roadblocks? That could be interesting later on.

– Michelle tells Lake to start at the opposite end of BJ. Tyler is jumping around like he is more under the influence of drugs than the guy who is too drunk anymore.

He is in his own little universe, I’m afraid. How embarrassing would it be to lose to that guy on TAR? I mean, at least it’s not Flo. But it would still be pretty bad.

MICHELLE: The gnome is lucky. You want the gnome.

I hear if you touch his belly button he gives you an Express Pass.

– BJ: Find that gnome
Bring it home

It’s better than his zipline rap that ended after 1.2 seconds.

– Lake has the gnome. We can hear Tyler yelling in the background as Michelle reads the clue. If you can hear another player on the audio and they are nowhere the other team, then that player is being really really loud. Editors must have given up on altering the audio.

Tyler just can’t stop moving. He is doing a jig at twice the regular speed. Who sprinkled cocaine into his airplane food?

– BJ: What does it look like?
(BJ pulls hat and sees gnome.)
BJ: Like this!

What is it with coincidences in tasks when BJ is getting frustrated? He asks for a lucky clue dance and it leads to a perfect lead-in for Tyler to interrupt him. Here he asks what it looks like and he finds it a second later? Strange.

– Lake & Michelle tell the hippies to follow them to the route marker because the drunken man knows where it is. The only catch is they need to drive to the guy to his house which is only five to eight minutes out of the way. Better situation than pulling over and wasting fifteen minutes shouting questions at several gas station attendants in a frenzy.

– TYLER: TTOW for now! See you guy.
BJ: Lake & Michelle have a German guy in their car.
TYLER: How did they get a German guy? Did they rent him?

Yeah.. What’s even better is that they got him from Blockbusterschauffhausen, so there’s no late fees. There’s a 7-day grace period. Miss the grace period and you have to buy them a beer.

– Fran & Barry are at the roadblock. Barry is doing it.

BARRY: A gnome is like a little person.

A little person. He’s hiding beneath a hat too just like the other gnomes. The clue is below his armpit rash, Barry!

– You know the gnome sucks at hiding when Barry can find it within seconds of a heavily edited episode. Barry proceeds to refer to himself in third person as he informs us that Fran & Barry travel in a car with a map. That’s what they do. It’s how they get their stride. They must be real exciting to hang out with in real life.

– Wanda & Desiree have their eyes peeled for highway exits. Then they realize they have turned at the same spot that they did a few minutes ago in the episode. All seven teams have done the roadblock while in that same time Wanda & Desiree make the exact same mistake twice. A big bold sign for Munchen is a hard thing to find.

What makes this scene even better?

Double D followed them again. They are the true idiots for blindly following a team into the abyss. Are Double D searching for a Munchen exit? Apparently not. They thought Desiree had it covered, who has already proven that she doesn’t have it covered, and never for one second considered the idea of doing their own navigation.

Wow. Just wow. They deserve to spend rounds two, three, and four at the bottom of the pack.

WANDA: This is like Groundhog Day.

I know, right? They edited it out, but Wanda received advice from Ned Ryerson after completing the Wall of Death.

Watch out for that subtle sign to Munich, I hear it’s a dooooooozy.

– Double D is relaxed while Wanda & Desiree cuss each other out until they see the sign. Third time is the charm. I doubt you’ll get too far into the season when you need three tries on a highway to get to the next route marker.

– Eric & Jeremy are at the building free of Phil narration. It’s a detour. Teams choose between Break it or Slap it. In Break It, teams must alternate breaking stunt bottles over each other’s heads until they find one with the word ‘prost’ printed on the back of the label. ‘Prost’ is the German word for ‘Cheers’. Or is it schlop? The catch is that they can only break one bottle per cuckoo from a cuckoo clock. An odd way to measure time but we’ll roll with it.

In Slap It, teams must learn and correctly perform a sequence of steps from a German folk dance known as the Schublabba. The team with the right rhythm could finish fast. This is the second of many many many dance tasks. Jeremy comments on the attractive woman hanging out at the detour. She looks like she is straight out of the movie Beerfest.

– Eric & Jeremy try to come up with witty lines that provide no laughs prior to each glass breaking. It’s like a pro wrestling match. Back at the roadblock Ray is performing the task of finding the gnome. MoJo has caught up. Joseph is doing it. Ray has a gnome. Yolanda nearly runs over Ray in the process.

– Dave & Lori are at the roadblock. Dave is doing it. There are too many ‘go baby’s from Monica and Lori. Yolanda pulls over to get directions from a funny looking German guy.

Surely there’s some witty remark or celebrity comparison I can make here?

– Lori squeezes in the word ‘baby’ an excessive amount. Dave has the gnome. I think Dave is skinnier than the gnome. You’ve been one-upped, Dave. Put on twenty pounds for All-Stars and you’ll have your title back.

– Eric asks if the woman at the detour will go out with him and get some beers later. Usually the locals who operate the tasks do not acknowledge the racers whatsoever. But the woman couldn’t resist.

If you read the fine print, The Amazing Race takes no responsibility for any roofies consumed while fraternizing with the racers and are not libel should such an event take place.

JEREMY: That was some serious German karate.

‘German’ and ‘karate’ is a bit of a contradiction, don’t you think? I have watched 2, 000 matches of MMA and not only have I not seen a German karate master, but I have not even seen a German fighter.

– Lake drops off Hans (the man who is too drunk anymore) at his house. They lose a few minutes but there seems to be nothing to worry about as Wanda & Desiree and Double D must be a few hours behind by this point.

–  Lake & Michelle and the hippies are at Bavaria Film. Both teams choose to Break It. Tyler has to change because he isn’t wearing any underwear.

“That’s scandalous!”

– Simultaneously Eric & Jeremy have the ‘prost’ label. They give it to the woman for their next clue. They have the clue and proceed to beg for a kiss from her. Jeremy wants some good lipstick on there.

Dear Penthouse. . .

– Teams must now travel ten miles into Munich and find the street of Leopoldstrape where they will find the siegestor. It is a 150 year old monument. This is the pit stop for this leg of the race. Eric & Jeremy run back to their car and brag about the lipstick prints on their face. So much for “Don’t Kiss and Tell”.

– MICHELLE: You get to break a bottle over my head?

Nothing gets Lake more excited than being given permission to commit spousal abuse. Jonathan Baker is throwing a tantrum that he missed out on this task. He would wind up before each bottle smash, I would imagine.

– Lake only gets to strike his wife once before finding the label. BJ finds it too and says in German that he would like to go dancing with the woman. The woman accepts the compliment. She must find Americans to be arrogant after today’s task. Both teams drive to the pit stop. Fran & Barry are next on the scene. They choose to do dance. Old people excelling at a task involving co-ordination has a long track record on TAR, I hear. We see some of the Germans in line laughing at them. Fran can’t do it that fast. Barry is exhausted from the least straining dance I have ever seen.

– Eric & Jeremy are at the pit stop. They take the gnome and go.

A real life version of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome greets them at the pit stop. It’s the first time I have seen a Karl Marx beard in colour.

– The double leg does not impact Eric & Jeremy as they are first again. They receive a trip for two to the Zanbezi River and ride on the back of an elephant so they will eliminate all sperm in their body from the ride.

PHIL: Is that lipstick on your face? That’s a kiss from who?
JEREMY: Polly Girl.
PHIL: You guys are the biggest Casanovas we have ever had on The Amazing Race.
ERIC: Danielle & Dani they’re real sweethearts and are a good time.
JEREMY: We just hope they make it onto the mat so we can do a little more tongue wrestling. Whatever.
PHIL: . . . .

Phil is stumped how these two can stay focused enough to dominate each leg of the race.

– Michelle doesn’t know where to go. However BJ & Tyler are right in front of them. They pull over and talk to each other. Tyler thinks it might be around the corner so he lets Lake drive ahead first. The hippies ask another car and are told to not turn at all and instead go straight through the stoplight.

LAKE: Did they go or did they stay?
MICHELLE: I don’t know. I don’t care anymore. I’m getting tired of all these streets etc.
LAKE: Baby, zip the negativism out. Just stop talking.

So sincere.

– The hippies park at the pit stop. They run into the pit stop.

Did I fail to mention that they run BACKWARDS into the pit stop! A series first. In fact I can’t think of any other team who has been silly enough to do it since. It’s not like it’s a short distance. They do it from the moment they park their car and do it all the way down the street.

PHIL: They’re running backwards. Do you see that Peter?
(PETER nods emphatically.)

That’s the real exchange. I’m not BSing you. The greeter is referred to by their first name for the first time in TAR history as well. This is a special moment. Peter looks like he is glaring at the hippies. He wants them to shave their ridiculous beards.

BJ: Santa!

That’s a real milk spitter. Look at how BJ’s face lights up. Despite Peter glaring only two seconds earlier, BJ still has the guts to call him Santa.

“For Christmas I want a bunny, a chimpanzee, legalized marijuana, a shower, and a millllllion dollars”.

– Phil tells them they are team number two. The hippies still aren’t done.

Because they engage in lesbian finger sex before walking off the mat. Santa puts you on the naughty list, BJ.

– Lake & Michelle are far less eventful with their entrance. We go back to old people doing a dance. They succeed. Better than dancing for a Bollywood film, I hear. MoJo enter as Fran & Barry exit. MoJo breaks it. Joseph thinks she looks sexy. He breaks a bottle over her head that sends Mo’s hat flying.

– Dave & Lori sneak ahead of Ray & Yolanda. Yo refers to them as sneaky rats. Both teams choose to break it. They suit up. Lori is too fat for ‘dem jeans.

RAY: Do I have it on backwards?
YO: No, it’s right. Your butt’s just big.

– Ray & Yo pass Dave & a pants-less Lori. These nerds are freaky in planes, cars, pit stops. . .and a Bavarian film studio. Wow they are desperate.

– We are treated to a montage of marching Germans and bottles breaking. Dave & Lori is done. Danielle & Dani and Wanda & Desiree arrive at the roadblock together in a tie for last place. The skies indicate that it is about to be dark. In other words, they are several hours from the third to last place team. Desiree is digging in a hole where a gnome was already found. She catches on that she probably doesn’t have to dig and that the gnome was there before.

That bugs me about tasks like these. Only eleven spots have gnomes. If you lift up a hat or boot you put it back in its rightful place. So it’s not like the obstacle is removed. Therefore the first seven teams have good odds of finding a gnome. For Double D and Wanda & Desiree, they are reduced to a 4-in-150 shot of finding a gnome compared to the start of the day where Eric & Jeremy had a 11-in-150 shot. I’ve been wanting to write about this all episode, but I think this was the appropriate time to mention it.

At least production didn’t screw this up as badly as they did with the hay bales in Sweden. 250 hay bales without a clue that takes minutes to roll each individual one out? God. It would take three times the amount of narcotics that the hippies indulge for somebody to be that stupid with designing the hay bales roadblock.

– Showdown music plays. Ten seconds later Dani has the gnome. The weather is much more foggy. Wanda criticizes Desiree for walking while Dani was running. Desiree says she is walking because she doesn’t know where to look. How about under the boots and hats? Did you try there?

WANDA: It’s a guh-nome. Look over there, Desi.
DESIREE: Mom, it’s a gnome. The ‘G’ is silent.

Now’s not the time to correct your mother’s Spanglish  reading abilities. As amusing as it is. Heh. Guh-nomes. It was in the advanced English lessons.

– What was once a sunny field has morphed into a field of pitch blackness and intense foggy. No way you can see all 150 hats and boots. She claims that she has looked under everyone. But yet there’s four of them she hasn’t found? That’s a weak effort. It is much darker before Desiree has the gnome.

– Fran & Barry drive, walk, told they are fourth, and kiss in a five-second clip.

– MoJo switch to do the dance because they haven’t found a note. Ray & Yo make fun of them for dancing as they still don’t have the note. MoJo finish doing the dance before Ray & Yo have the note. That shuts Ray & Yo up. Ray & Yo follow suit and change after seeing their rivals succeed. Seconds later we see Ray & Yo complete the dance.

YO: I love you, New York!

How the heck does a crappy German folk dance make you think to reference any part of New York City culture? For real?

– Dave & Lori check in at fifth place. They say the shift of working on their own helped boost them from ninth to fourth. Or perhaps not dealing with Russian taxi drivers who cannot understand obscure streets in a foreign language may make a difference too.

– MONICA: We’re coming, Phil!

Don’t steal Teri’s line, b—-.

– MoJo and Ray & Yo check into the pit stop in sixth and seventh respectively. Double D and Wanda & Desiree have yet to get to the detour. Double D is firs there. They decide to do the dance. They finish the task and squeeze past Wanda & Desiree who are on their way in. Wanda & Desiree are inside. Of course Team Boricua is dancing.

DESIREE: I feel like Hansel & Gretel.

Don’t spoil stunt casting for TAR 16! Hush.

– Double D whine about not finding the pit stop.

And with one flick of the wand, all of Danielle’s brain cells shall DISAPPEAR!

– Double D get out of the car and ask a local.

LOCAL: I can’t describe for you.

– Suspense music as we go back and forth between the two teams. Double D get out of their car and ask if the huge stinkin’ monument in front of them is the Siegestor. A guy in his car confirms it for them. They run ahead. Desiree sees the sign for Munich. She’s a pro at this now. Wanda & Desiree see Double D directly in front of them in their car. It’s a foot race. However both teams aren’t in the same frame so a traffic light must have separated them.

– Double D step onto the mat in eighth. Triumph music switches to sad music. Santa Marx is sad. Wanda & Desiree are eliminated. For good reason. They sucked from leg two forwards.

DESIREE: These past four days have been Hell.

That sums it up. And. . .goodbye!

Next time on TAR: We embark on our fifth leg where a new country has yet to be seen. It is an unfortunate TAR record that is broken. Lake invents more phrases, the hippies score some dope from the German locals, and Eric & Jeremy make a tape with Double D that can only be found with the .de domain name. Germans love their copyrighted material.

Lake&Michelle 1.0
Danielle& Dani 2.2
BJ&Tyler 0.1
Ray&Yolanda 1.0
Joseph&Monica 0.1
Eric&Jeremy 1.2
Fran&Barry 0.2
Wanda&Desiree 3.1
Dave&Lori 2.1

Team averages

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th John & Scott 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 Lisa & Joni 10.0
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
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
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
3rd Weaver Family 3.15
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
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77
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 Legs:

1) Denver -> Sao Paulo (Much like the TAR 7 premiere, a new cast and a new route to follow a terrible season can make an episode ten times better simply due to its contrast with the content leading up to it. After suffering through episodes seven through thirteen of TAR 8, one cannot help but feel giddy as they witness this season’s opener. A brand new starting line that exhausts teams with its altitude combined with the first trip to Brazil in seven seasons? Yeah, I’m game.

The level of mature content has never been so prevalent in TAR but is necessary because of the watered down nature of TAR 8. Then there’s the kooky cast. They are all over-the-top mixed with the exceptionally brilliant and the exceptionally stupid. Many of the players are superfans who seem to be playing a game of one-up with each other to see who can parody the events of TAR the best. Compare the pit stop entrances of the first eight seasons with what you see in the premiere and you’ll know what I mean.

Fran & Barry losing 45 minutes for a clue sitting in front of their face the whole time is an extremely bizarre sighting (no pun) for TAR. Locals sexually harassing one of the players has not occurred to such an extreme since the train rides in TAR 4 with Kelly and Jaree being fondled.

And the tasks? Running up an amphitheatre? Going to fancy bridges? An insanely expensive helicopter scavenger hunt? A religious ceremony and tracking down a huge soccer stadium? That my friends is a proper premiere. The icing on the cake is that the worst and the biggest bore of a team is gone in the opener too.)

2) Sao Paulo -> Brotas (It’s been a while since TAR has had to cram ten teams into a single one hour episode. In this episode it is noticeable. We repel, we go to the next destination, we ascend, then pit stop? Ascending and repelling in two places only one hundred miles apart makes this a very ho-hum leg on paper. The episode plays out more like a recap show where a couple of key characters are the only ones shown (hippies, Eric & Jeremy, and Double D)

3) Moscow -> Munich (This is the first time that a leg doesn’t have an enormous equalizer right after a To Be Continued episode. I give major kudos for making the race a bit more legit. Being in the lead finally has an impact leading into this round. In terms of production decisions, I deduct marks from them for the design error in their Travelocity error.

The detour tasks were both amusing. I can’t quite get over the cuckoo clock that would have driven the teams crazy and the locals in outfits that they would never wear in the streets of Germany. The co-ordination of Fran & Barry was fun to watch. Unfortunately their lack of co-ordination would be nothing compared to a certain task four seasons from now. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, then you haven’t seen TAR 13.

Wanda & Desiree missing a sign for the city not once but twice, and also going on the same incorrect road not once but twice is memorable. It was the first leg where teams were given a vehicle to drive themselves across long distances. That was necessary because Wanda & Desiree’s extreme lack of direction was exposed and we know now that they should never be in a position to win TAR. Same with Double D who followed Wanda & Desiree blindly. What were they thinking?

And who can forget the Wall of Death? You put your life in the hands of a German who drives a normal Mercedes vehicle 170 kilometres per hour on a ramp that you think only Tony Hawk could clear on a skateboard.

To cap off the episode, Eric & Jeremy and the hippies’ rivalry continues as they also provide a huge amount of comic relief. I should give a nod to Lake, too.)

4) Brotas -> Moscow (I hate To Be Continued legs. Think if this leg was an elimination or a regular non-elimination. Do you know how much of a blunder Dave & Lori sharing a cab with a team all the way to the pit stop in last place would have been? That would be in every TAR highlight reel. The commercials would have promoted the heck out of it. But instead it was tossed aside and minimized for the episode.

The hippies and Eric & Jeremy were hilarious per usual. So was Lake. I wish those five could be on every season.

Double D nearly sink themselves by being of many victims to leave their fanny pack at the previous route marker that erases their lead. Then there is Wanda’s fear of diving that rivals Ibrahim Rahman from Survivor: Palau. She had to kick for three seconds and she would have received the freakin’ clue. What’s wrong with her?

In addition seeing locals have troubles communicating with Russian taxi drivers was great too. Especially when Lake & Michelle and Eric & Jeremy give up and decide to follow Ray & Yolanda to what is the less desired detour option. Such good unintentional comedy. Also let’s not forget what little about Russia that all of the teams know. They’re just a country who all smokes and drinks all day? I thought that was Germany’s reputation, personally.)

Rank the Teams:

1) Lisa & Joni

The frosties and/or glamazons. For some reason the only thing I remember about these two heading into this re-watch is that they were extremely negative and cranky. However that only occurs for Lisa at the end of the second round. Joni was much more upbeat but lacked that urgency you need to do well on the race. Both of them are dead last to virtually every route marker except for maybe one or two. The one time they weren’t last is when they spent five minutes screaming and shouting into the faces of everyone they ran into.

P.S. Lisa & Joni are the only team to have an average of 10.0 for playing at least two rounds. Out of all teams to play in only two rounds, they are by far the worst of all-time. They sucked that much.  I hope to get their screaming and urine talk out of my head eventually.

2) Wanda & Desiree

I put these two below the frosties/glamazons because they weren’t quite as dynamic and outrageous. Wanda’s fear of diving more than a couple inches could have been more memorable. But can addicts of TAR 9 really recall Wanda’s diving fears clearly? It’s already a bit foggy for me.

What I do give this team kudos for is being a very well defined Puerto Rican mother-daughter team. Boricuaaaa. Wanda’s Spanglish phrasing and inability to use any language correctly will be her legacy. Gnome is guh-nome, schlop is schnell, and using her Spanish on Brazilian and Russian citizens provides some season highlights.

Desiree was okay too. You do need some people in the cast who aren’t over the top to allow the audience to breathe. So she gets a nod.

3) John & Scott

John has a fear of flying but doesn’t have a fear of flying. Scott is quiet and non-chalant. John wants to ask for directions and change their strategy when things don’t work out well. Scott thinks things will work out on their own and is taking in the scenery. He hopes John can get over his non-fear fear of flying.

Oh joy.

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