TAR 9 Episode 5 ranking

Fifth leg

Previously on TAR: Teams set out from Moscow, Russia to Stuttgart, Germany. After cozying up with Danielle & Dani, Eric & Jeremy surged way ahead cracking bottles and jokes at the detour with Lake & Michelle and BJ & Tyler close behind. Fran & Barry emerged from the back of the pack for the first time but had troubles learning a traditional German dance. Mother-daughter team Wanda & Desiree with friends Danielle & Dani in tow couldn’t navigate. They got lost going to the roadblock. The two teams had to compete with each other to avoid last place and Dani found the Travelocity Roaming Gnome first. Ultimately Eric & Jeremy arrived first at the pit stop. And Wanda & Desiree came in last. Now eight teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. Lisa & Joni look so stupid. OOO! The elephant.

– We are introduced to Munich, Germany. It was founded more than a thousand years ago by monks who thought “Yeah, this would be a nice place to crash”. It is now one of the most important business centres in Europe from banking to beers. Classy. One of its most famous landmarks was the fourth pit stop in a race around the world.

– Will Lake & Michelle continue their momentum and stay at the front of the pack? And will Dave & Lori’s solid (no pun intended) relationship keep them on track?

– Eric & Jeremy, who arrived first at 215pm. . .

JEREMY: Give it to us baby.

The Gnome Whisperer.

. . .will depart at 215am. Jeremy reads that teams must fly 850 miles to Palermo, Italy on Sicily. When teams arrive teams must take a taxi to the 100 year old opera house where teams will find their next clue.

– Eric & Jeremy say not over-analyzing maintains their success. Also competing, getting chicks, and “doing the stuff we normally  do man” keeps them ahead. Eric wants Double D to make it because he had a lot of fun with them.

– BJ & Tyler depart at 304am. Eric & Jeremy worked out a big lead. They believe in karma. Their sense of humour and being kind towards others allows for other teams and locals to help them out. Sure enough the hippies ask a driver for directions and proceed to gorilla dance away from him.

Like so.

– Lake can’t stop shaking before he opens his clue. Michelle quietly insists he be still. He complies. BJ wants to go right away but Tyler wants to wait for Lake & Michelle. They wait the whole three minutes. Tyler utters a ‘mamma mia’ before jumping into the Mercedes. Lake thinks Michelle is weak mentally. Each of them have been right three or four times but Lake brags about still being the leader of the team.

– Eric & Jeremy are at the airport. First flight connects through Rome at 635am.

ERIC: Do you girls have hickies? Is that why you have the scarves around your necks?

The hickie scarves are part of the uniform. In other news, their boss has been charged with sexual harassment.

– Lonely airport music plays for a split second as Eric & Jeremy sit in front of Allitalia. The hippies and Lake & Michelle creep into the airport screaming for the Frat Boys. Where could they be? What are they up to?

It’s time for the able-bodied team to train for the disable-bodied Paralympics!

I hurt my spine! Help! I can’t feel my legs!

– Lake & Michelle go to book tickets online. Meanwhile a competition arises between Eric and BJ.

Eric wins the first gold medal ever  in the non-paralympic Paralympic Games! Hey, if a guy with no legs can participate in the real Olympics, I don’t see why a guy with two working legs can’t cross over into the Paralympics.

– BJ goes through the airport in his wheelchair as him and Tyler shout for Lake. One of them calls him Blake and does a bad impression of his accent. It sounds more like Goofy if anything.

TYLER: I do the clicker, you do the typer.

Survey says both are computer illiterate people. One types while one clicks? That is going to be very inefficient very quickly.

– Michelle can’t read the page because it’s all in German. I suppose Google Translate had yet to be invented. BJ has the page in English and prints out the tickets. Michelle tries to book the 635am flight but suddenly it won’t let her get on it. The hippies snuck in and got those tickets. Michelle wants to let Lake book tickets.

LAKE: I can’t do the Internet.

It’s so complicated. Like a series of tubes.

– Fran & Barry smooch at 503am. These teams are far behind the leading trio. Fran says they learn from their mistakes each leg and are getting progressively better. Barry is going to try as hard as he can and move up the ladder. Dave & Lori head out at 528am. Stupid romance time about their deep deep deep love. Lori wants to be smooth like butta.

– MoJo check out at 552am.

MONICA: People look at me and think I’m a dumb blonde.

Not one person has said that yet, which apparently every blonde racer assumes others say, but go ahead.

MONICA: I’ll use the dumb blonde and the ditz to my advantage because I’m not stupid.

You’ll use the non-existent dumb blonde and ditz image to your advantage when nobody is thinking that you think you see them that way. That’s going to make a deal breaker in your race.

– Eric & Jeremy don’t have the tickets while Tyler mentions they got it on the Internet. Eric acknowledges that the hippies are smart for doing so and hope they weren’t idiots for waiting.

Michelle breaks down her edible pen in the meantime.

– The flight is indeed fully booked for Eric & Jeremy and Lake & Michelle. Eric & Jeremy book standby tickets. Lake & Michelle book a 930am flight. Hippies have a big lead. Lake is concerned about company on the flight. Fran & Barry rush into the airport and book a flight that leaves at 930am too but it gets in thirty minutes earlier than Lake & Michelle’s flight.

LAKE: You think anybody saw you?
FRAN (shove): No. Please just get back.
LAKE: We already got our ticket.
FRAN: Just step back please.
LAKE: We didn’t do anything to y’all. She’s a doctor’s wife. She shouldn’t do anythin like that.

Oh ho! Fran is one cold b—- when she can slip in to get a 30 minute jump on the pack. She pulled the ol’ ‘Get Back’ on another racer?


– The hippies are on the flight. Eric & Jeremy wait for standby. They succeed. Hippies and Eric & Jeremy congratulate each other on the early flight.

– Dave & Lori are on Lake & Michelle’s flight. Ray & Yolanda depart at 648am. Ray likes seeing what Yolanda is made of in terms of how strong she is and her own way of thinking and her own mind.

– JOSEPH: Tickets to Palamino.
MONICA: No. Palermo.

While you’re at it why not book two tickets to Hachiko, Japan?

– Double D are dead last as they leave at 728am. They hope slow and steady will win the leg. Why not fast and efficient? Second flight with MoJo, Dave & Lori, Lake & Michelle, and Fran & Barry are in the air. Ray & Yolanda and Double D book a flight that gets in thirty minutes later. So it’s anyone’s game for our afternoon leg.

– Frat Boys (their new nickname coming from Hippies that has caught on) and hippies are in Rome. They examine their tickets. It appears the hippies have a slightly earlier flight than the Frat Boys. Hippies have regained their lead and Frat Boys fall all the way to second place. Let the clash of the titans continue.

– Hippies are already in Palermo and get into a taxi. MoJo, Dave & Lori, Fran & Barry, and Lake & Michelle land in Rome. Lake & Michelle go to a ticket counter. Lake yells at Michelle if it’s the wrong counter because the other teams are at a different counter. Michelle says it’s the right one and Lake realizes this could be trouble. He finds out the other flight gets in about an hour earlier and tries to switch flights. Agent tells him it’s full and Lake & Michelle can no longer fight for third. Lake hates racing with a thumb up his butt. That would be uncomfortable. The three teams get on the flight to Palermo. Lake takes the time to simultaneously curse and avoid cursing in the airport.

– Ray & Yolanda and Double D arrive in Rome. They board the same flight with Lake & Michelle. They’re ninety minutes behind that middle pack.

– We are shown Palermo once again. Hippies open the clue at Teatro Massimo. Hippies say everything with an exaggerated Italian accent. You would think Mario and Luigi are on The Amazing Race.

If BJ switched his blue shirt to red, we would be all set.

– Teams must choose a marked car and drive 42 miles to Castellammare Del Golfo. Once there, they will receive their clue from Vito Corleone. Er, I mean they will find the clue on the seaside of the fortress.

BJ: Do we take this horse?
TYLER: DRIVE yourself.

It’s not the fact that the horse is one hundred times slower, but that it’s the clue directions that detract them from riding the horse. Oh well.

Save a horse, ride an ecological friendly vehicle.

– Frat Boys land.

JEREMY: This is more like our flavour. Nice warm weather. And Italian women. Oh Italian women.

Ah yes. Italian women. Where beauty is measured by the number of hairs you allow to fester under your armpits.

– The third flight is in Palermo. Butchered pronunciations flourish. All of the teams are in Palermo. Everyone is inside their cabs commenting on the beauty. Lake & Michelle are in dead last. Frat Boys have their clue. Jeremy checks out his hair in the mirror.

– Hippies are at the seaside. Detour. Foundry or Laundry. In Foundry, teams walk to a nearby metalwork and pick up a 110 pound church bell. Using a vehicle as an Abed,

An Abed. The rumours about all modes of transportation in Sicily being small is true.

they will drive to a building that has a large number of steps. They will hand carry it up the steps up to the church (Chiesa Maria Del Soccorso) where the priest will hand them their next clue.

In Laundry, teams have to find an intersection littered with laundry lines. Then they will walk to the apartment balconies and search amongst 2400 items of clothing for just one of sixteen items of clothing marked with a red and yellow tag. They will find the laundry lady and trade it in for their next clue.

– The Hippies decide to search the laundry lines for their next clue. I suppose the red and yellow tag isn’t too obscure. They are given perfect directions from a local who has a very mob-like accent.

– MoJo has the clue. Followed by Fran & Barry and Dave & Lori. Dave accidentally grabs a second clue but puts it back. It’s the second time Dave & Lori have done it all season. Fran hates how fast Barry is driving. He insists he is driving like an Italian. The traffic is tight. Maybe Sicily should consider expanding its roads. Dave asks why they are going on the highway. Lori replies that it’s because they are going to another town. Dave is not too sharp today.

– The hippies find the piece of clothing. They over-embrace and say everything as loudly and exaggerated as possible. They maintain the accent when they give the clothing to the woman. Tyler proceeds to kiss the woman on the cheek. Tyler makes a sound effect when he opens the clue.

TYLER: Yoiiiiink.

Was that a Bart Simpson reference or a Shaggy reference? Tough call.

– BJ reads that they must drive thirteen miles to the ancient city of Segesta and find the archaeological zone. Once here teams will hike one mile to the Teatro Di Segesta. Built in the fifth century, this ancient Greek amphitheatre is where they will find their next clue.

BJ (swings hips and twists his lips): Caution: Yield ahead.

Elvis Presley is not fazed by the Yield.

– The hippies brag that they will yield the Frat Boys. Yeah. Yield a team who is ahead by several hours on the other teams. That won’t bite you in the future.

– Eric wants to catch up to the hippies and refuses to make more mistakes. Ray & Yolanda and Double D have their next clue. This is TAR 9. If you have watched more than three episodes of TAR, there is one skill absolutely critical that at least one person in your team needs to have if you want to have a chance to win the race. What is that one skill, you ask?

Enjoy driving on the highway, Danielle! You join the ranks of other all-female teams like Heather & Eve and Meredith & Maria who were eliminated in the same leg that they had to drive a stick shift. If your learning curve is more than ten minutes, you’re doomed.

– Lake & Michelle have the clue and pass Double D on the road. Danielle can’t figure out how to get the car to not move back. Cars are honking on the street. Andre & Damon have just shouted in the streets warning everyone that an American driver is up ahead.

– Frat Boys are at the detour. They choose to search for clothes in laundry. They come across an interesting piece of clothing.

ERIC: This is one of Phil’s turtlenecks.

Glad to hear that Phil washes his turtlenecks once every nine seasons.

– MoJo are doing the church bell task. Jeremy finds the tag in one of Phil’s turtlenecks. Eric wonders if the hippies would yield them. Hippies are at the Teatro. Tyler hops around.

Even I’m proud of myself for this screen cap.

PHIL: This is the first of only two Yields on the entire race.

I refuse to believe there were only two Yields. Sounds like we have an unaired Yield on our hands.

– We wait for the Yield explanation to finish.
It’s over.

BJ & TYLER: Weeeee chooooose. . . .NOT TO YIELDDDDDDDDDDDD!

– After their overly dramatic announcement, they have the roadblock. Who’s good at piecing things together? In this roadblock that person must assemble a classical Greek statue. The trick is that they are given two extra pieces. BJ and Tyler have a rotation system so it is Tyler’s turn to do the roadblock. I wonder how big their lead is?

– MoJo find the church bell. They fight over who is carrying their weight and doing i in rhythm. Joseph lifts the bell himself and tosses it into the Abed. They are at the steps. Joseph picks it up much to Monica’s chagrin.


You’re arguing with somebody carrying 110 pounds? Personally I’d be ecstatic to not carry that much weight.

– Fran & Barry saw Joseph move the bell earlier and decide to not do that detour option if it comes up. They park their car to look for the clue.

FRAN: I feel like there should be a clue box.
BARRY: It’s not down here. That’s obvious.


– A couple years ago I had the chance to hang out with Fran & Barry at their house with their grandchildren. We had a fun time playing some of their grandchildren’s favourite games.

BARRY: Hey Fran, do you see this Waldo fellow? The kids can always spot him in two seconds. I think they used whiteout to trick us.

– Joseph successfully carries the clue to the priest. They ask for directions. Joseph offers a dramatic kiss to the locals. Fran & Barry find the clue.

BARRY: Okay we walked right by it. We lost only five minutes. No biggie.

Compared to wasting 45 minutes on a bridge,  this is a personal best for Fran & Barry.

– They choose to do the laundry task. Barry wonders if the other teams know what a clothespin is. Now you’re just bragging about your age. Let the pity party commence.

– Dave & Lori have the clue. They choose the laundry task because they are not athletic. Barry has the piece of clothing from the clothespin and tells Dave & Lori that it’s fun. Lori notices that Fran & Barry are turning up the heat. They shaved off forty minutes off of their usual clue searching, so the other teams better be on their ‘A’ game.

– Ray & Yolanda choose to carry the bell and are happy it’s a physical day. Michelle congratulates Lake on seeing the boxes. They choose to do laundry as they pass the incoming Double D. Danielle is frustrated that they are last.

DANIELLE: We are always last.
DANI: We’ve stayed in it for so long. We’re two girls. We’re twenty-two. We just graduated from college. All of these people–they’ve traveled all over the world. Calm down. We’re doing good.

Ray & Yolanda haven’t traveled much. Neither has Dave & Lori and they are notoriously out of shape. Fran & Barry waste hours finding clues. MoJo don’t really travel. Some of them are pretty much your age. Stop with the excuses, Double D. And I think you set back the women’s movement a couple decades by sighting being females as a reason for a poor performance.

Also did good for being just a 22 year old little girl.

– Lake & Michelle see a clothesline that belongs to an actual family. Normal people do clothes on clotheslines in Sicily too. It’s not an ancient cultural thing that is incorporated into the race unlike many of the other tasks we see.

– Double D find the clothesline before Lake & Michelle. They share the balcony with Lake & Michelle. Dave & Lori say they need to kick it into high gear as they know it’s a battle for last place.

LAKE: Y’all having fun yet?
DANI: No I wanna kill myself.

Did I mention you are on a balcony?

– Dave doesn’t think there is a red and yellow tag anywhere. It’s the disadvantage of 16-in-2400 odds have been reduced to around 12-in-2400. I love fairness on the race.

– Ray single-handedly carries the bell up to the church. Yolanda wants to cry as she witnesses Ray’s strength. It’s everything she looks for in a partner–someone who can do all of the work. Dave & Lori and Lake & Michelle both have found items of clothing. Lori asks Dave if they want to yield somebody.

– Ray & Yolanda stops at a cafe to ask for directions. They see Dave & Lori get into their car. Dave & Lori have successfully slipped ahead.  Yolanda yells at their car that they’re coming. Lori sarcastically mutters “Good for you”. So snotty. Ray & Yolanda see no signs and have no idea where they are on the road. Asking for directions proved to be a waste of time.

– Frat Boys park beside the hippies car. They run the one mile trail. Tyler is still working on the detour.

TYLER: Good thing I took that human anatomy class in high school.

He said the title of the episode!!!! Aw yeahhhhh.

– Tyler asks aloud if there is two extra pieces. He gives in and asks if it’s right. The architect slowly gives them the clue. Hippies read in unison that teams must make their way on foot one mile down the hill to the Tempio Di Segesta. It’s a temple. This is the most preserved temple of ancient times. It’s the pit stop for this leg of the race.

– Frat Boys see the hippies on the trail. They curse themselves for not catching the hippies. The hippies greet the greeter with exaggerated Italian and kiss her hand.

PHIL: I’ve got some good news for you.
TYLER: We get a pizza pie!

Between a paid 7-day vacation to the Caribbean or a supremo pizza pie, the way the hippies’ faces are lit up suggests they’d like a pizza pie.

By the way, what up with the Bowling Moms t-shirt? Fans or friends of the Bowling Moms, I imagine?

PHIL: You have won a digital imaging package which comes complete with (blah blah blah)


I don’t know if Duracell thinks that is an authentic promo or if they are being mocked by the hippies.

Oh god. Get these f—ers off my mat already.

– Eric is doing the roadblock. Jeremy offers to pose so he can be used as a point of reference.

MONICA: No one’s going to Yield us, are they?


– JEREMY: As soon as Dani makes one of these guys she will probably leave me.

Greeks trump fraternities I hear.

– Eric wonders if there’s two extra pieces and asks the judge for confirmation. He receives the clue and off the frat boys run. Run Frat Boys, run. They think the greeter is a “holy hottie”. Holy hottie? Is that the way Robin hits on Cat Woman? She offers no reaction and does her job of saying “Welcome to Sicily”.

PHIL: Eric & Jeremy, you are team number two.
ERIC: Well, we’re not eliminated.
PHIL: Geez. You guys could be a little more excited.
ERIC: We made a lot of mistakes today.

You know a team has really high standards when they finish in second place out of eight teams. I suppose it is to be expected when you win three out of the first four legs.

– Lake prays to ‘Jees’ in search of the clothesline.

LAKE: Kiss me darn, sugar blossom!

Here’s a question, and anyone is free to answer it. . .

– Michelle reads the clue. Lake announces he saw it on the map and Michelle points out the yield. Michelle will let Lake decide if they use the Yield or not. Lori and Dave talk about driving through the back roads of Brazil and the back roads of Italy. Michelle cautions Lake to slow down and to get to the route marker fast. Lake points out the contradiction in his statement.

– Double D have the clothing. They trade it in.

DANIELLE: We’re hanging on by a thread.

Did you come up with that pun before or after you were checking out clothes?

DANI: It could be worse. We could be in Russia.

In Soviet Russia, Double Ds b—- slap you!

– Ray & Yo pull over at a construction site and ask for directions. Ray discovers that they lost fifteen  minutes worth of time.  Yolanda thinks it was thirty. I believe we have determined who is the optimistic one in this relationship.

– Monica notices that one piece is missing from the statue. She feels dumb. Joseph insists for Monica not to get frustrated. Fran & Barry are at the roadblock. Barry says that it is Fran’s baby. Barry loves the view and encourages Fran while Joseph and Monica bicker. Monica gives up with the two pieces and wonders if that’s the trick. She asks and receives the clue. Barry is sitting beside Joseph and Fran is beside Monica so Fran & Barry seem to be done only a couple minutes later.

– Dave & Lori complain that it’s taking forever to get to the route marker. Dave thinks they took the slow route. He looks behind and sees Lake & Michelle’s car. Lake has made up a ton of time. Dave & Lori run for a few feet before slowing down. Lori comes to a complete stop before walking. Lake & Michelle keep their pace. Joseph throws his fanny pack high into the air and lets it fall behind him as him and Mo enter the mat. They’re third once again.

– Lake & Michelle see Phil and enter the temple. Lake is on the edge and clues in that they should have gone up the huge hill that they just ran all the way down. They pass Fran & Barry.

LAKE: Where’s the teatra?
BARRY: Can’t tell you.

In most cases this would be viewed as being a d—-bag to another team, but I bet Barry truly could not tell you where it is. It probably moved.

– Fran & Barry check into the pit stop in fourth. Movin’ on up. Yolanda thinks they went in the wrong direction and pull over at a gas station. It is dark outside. Dani is convinced that the yield has already been used as they pull into the teatri. Lake & Michelle run up and talk about the yield.

LORI: Freakin’ ridiculous.
DAVE: This is stupid, Lori.
LORI: Stop saying that. I need some water.
DAVE: Okay, please stop saying that.

Stop saying ‘stop saying that’. Maybe if you focused your energy on running up the hill rather than wasting precious air on speaking to each other you’d already be up the dang thing.

– Dave & Lori choose not to yield. Lori is doing the roadblock. Lake & Michelle are at the yield. Michelle throws Double D’s picture on the board and apologizes over and over to the camera.

DANIELLE: That’s pathetic. We’re a threat to you? Grow up.

It’s true. Dani & Danielle are 22 year old women and can’t drive a stick shift. Any acknowledgment to having any brains, brawn, teamwork, or skills to squeak by is an insult and you should be ashamed for giving either of them any credit as racers or as people.

– Lake is doing the roadblock.

LAKE: I’m a dentist. You know I’m good with my hands.

I had an infected pinky finger last summer. Thank god I went to a dentist and cleaned it right out and stitched it up.

– Dave yells that Double D is yielded to Lori. Lori whines that she has extra pieces. Ray & Yolanda are at the teatro. Danielle whines and cries that it is pathetic.

DANIELLE: They know there’s another team behind us.

Do you know how the Yield works? They have to know WHO is behind them. You can’t say “Oh, we’ll yield team number eight”. That’s why yields don’t get used that often in the first place.

DANI: Cause they’re pigs from the south and they’re jerk offs. End of story.

The audience chooses to yield Dani & Danielle.

Besides, who’s the real pig here?

My favourite pig muppet. Miss Diggy!

– Lake shouts and cheers loudly. Lori is trying to squeeze one of the missing pieces on the thigh. Lake is done and receives the clue. He cheers and screams even louder with Double D right by. Michelle meanwhile tells Double D not to hate them. Maybe telling your husband not to scream would help.

– Double D’s sand has run out. Dani is

DANI: It’s not hard. It just has to fit in.

Enter Eric & Jeremy from stage right.

– Lori moans and cries about the two pieces not fitting. Dave would help but if he could see that far then he wouldn’t be wearing glasses. He thinks it is part of the thigh or neck. Lori tosses a couple pieces and has taken the statue completely apart.

DAVE: Lori, That’s got to be part of the thigh.
LORI: I know! But it doesn’t fit!
DAVE: It’s not part of the neck.
LORI: It does not fit anywhere.
DAVE: Oh my god.


*New segment plays for a few seconds*

DAVE: Oh my god.
DANIELLE: C’mon Dan.
DAVE: Lori, that’s got to be part of the thigh.
LORI: I know! But it doesn’t fit!

And if you hit this table one more time the record might skip -might skip- I told you, quit hating the table.

– Lori gives in and notices that the whole statue is smooth. She checks with the judge and is angry that there was two extra pieces the whole time. She says it very loudly that there is two extra pieces as Double D would have watched her agonize over it and complete the whole statue. Therefore Double D should be a lock for seventh and Ray & Yolanda have yet to be seen and are guaranteed to be eliminated.

– LAKE: We’ve got fat Dave behind us and the girls.
MICHELLE: Don’t be ugly.
LAKE: Well he is bigger than me.

ME: We’re at the club. I haven’t got a date but at least that autistic guy is right behind me.
MICHELLE: Don’t be ugly.
ME: Well he is less sociable than me.

See Michelle? Lake and I are just pointing out the obvious. We are exonerated from political correctness.

– Lake & Michelle see Ray & Yolanda on the hill. Lake is SCREAMING that they still have time and to haul a– up the hill to catch Double D.

Holy crap. Lake has a ton of energy as he carries his wife into the pit stop.

Uhhh, what is it with people entering the pit stop this season? Run backwards, yell odd phrases, carrying others, and diving into the mat? Who the f— cast these guys.

And Lake isn’t done as he kneels and looks away from the Almighty Turtleneck.

THE TURTLENECK: Rise, my friend.

– Lake chuckles and claps Phil’s hand celebrating that they came in dead last.

– Ray is doing the roadblock.

RAY: I need a thigh. Now an upper thigh. Like my girl she got some good thighs.

Ray may be distracted a bit too much for this roadblock.

– Dani has it checked. The judge says it is incorrect. It is the first time a judge has declared a team to not have completed the statue. Probably because it is extremely obvious if a piece does not fit.

– Dave & Lori are sixth. Dave cries and hates that they got frustrated and how he was short with Lori. The Turtleneck issues an order for Lori to hug Dave. Phil says it’s a good workout plan that he has them on. The amount of sweat on them is something that belongs more on The Biggest Loser than on The Amazing Race.

DANIELLE: C’mon Dan!
– RAY: C’mon Dan cause I’m coming like Christmas!


– Dani complains that she cannot get a piece to fit in. Both Ray and Dani ask the judge. Ray is given the clue while Dani is rejected yet again. Ray & Yolanda have the clue and run. Dani leaves the two pieces and makes a switch. She has the clue. It’s a montage of the foot race. Ray & Yolanda stop to consult the tourist map of how to get to the pit stop.

If only the temple could stand out visually in the dark.

– Suspense continues for about fifteen seconds. It’s Ray & Yolanda. They’re seventh. Yolanda asks how many teams there are. Ray responds there’s eight. Double D walks onto the mat. Phil says they have been eliminated. Dani talks extremely fast and that they’ve made it far. Wow their expectations are low. Danielle said she did things she thought she could never do. Like you can make a statue into a puzzle? You can jump off fire escapes? Yeah, you can.

– Phil says they had the biggest success ever with the opposite sex on The Amazing Race and jokes with them that it was a quick hook-up. They’ll stay friends with them forever and ever. They talk about having big minds, big hearts, and big. . .

– Dani says they’ve learned more on TAR than people learn about themselves in their lifetime. Oh the naiveté of 22 year olds.

Lake&Michelle 2.1
Danielle& Dani 2.2
BJ&Tyler 1.1
Ray&Yolanda 2.2
Joseph&Monica 0.1
Eric&Jeremy 3.2
Fran&Barry 1.1
Dave&Lori 1.1

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
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8
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) Munich -> Segesta (I was a big fan of this leg. Your order of departure gave you an advantage or disadvantage unlike what we’re used to seeing in recent seasons which made it one of the fairest legs of the race. This round perhaps featured more strategy than any of the first four rounds. There were multiple flights to take to Palermo which led teams to scrambling around many airlines. Lake & Michelle’s fail dropped them to last while BJ & Tyler’s wise planning launched them into a definitive first place finish.

Then there was the yield. The leading teams chose not to use it to avoid making any enemies. Lake & Michelle however used theirs to yield the weakest team knowing they were minutes away from being eliminated. Yielding the weakest team increases your chances of survival while also ensuring the team you yielded is gone and cannot come back to haunt you. What if they yield Ray & Yolanda? Wouldn’t Ray still kick butt on the puzzle and Double D is gone regardless?

Teams had to drive a stick shift to ensure all of the teams are well-rounded. The team that could not drive the stick were the ones who ended up eliminated. Other teams got lost driving themselves rather than at the hands of an incompetent taxi driver holding your fate.

The roadblock is one of the tougher puzzles seen on the race. You needed to have your wits about you to conclude that there is two pieces that do not get used anywhere on the statue.

The ability for this season to make the viewers laugh continues. Two unique pit stop entrances occurred this round as BJ & Tyler make a joke of Phil offering the sponsoured prizes on the race and Lake carrying his wife onto the mat. Let’s not forget the wheelchair Olympics in an airport and how BJ and the Frat Boys sat in that wheelchair across multiple segments. Add in ironic quotes from Double D, Fran & Barry missing another clue, and Lake’s high energy level produces a very entertaining episode.

Last but not least Ray & Yolanda rally from being last only one mile from the pit stop and successfully stay alive. It is one of the biggest upsets in TAR history. You rarely see a team make up that much time with so little distance until the pit stop and avoid the wrath of the turtleneck.)

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) Danielle & Dani

For now these two are up this high. However they weren’t the most entertaining. They were saved by Eric & Jeremy chasing after them and incorporating them into their storyline for this season (and future seasons to come). Their comments on Eric & Jeremy and what the frat boys said about them is the only memorable thing about them.

Their interaction with another team, Lake & Michelle, perhaps triggered their only memorable moments as they said some of the stupidest crap while in last place and pouting on the yield mat.

The audience was never really rooting for them either. Did you root for them? I doubt it. We all wanted them gone for losing fanny packs at roadblocks or not knowing how to drive a stick which drives us nuts thinking those types of people don’t deserve to be allowed onto the race. They were good for the odd sound byte, but overall not the most likable of people.

In addition, they wore a ton of pink.

3) 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.

4) 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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