TAR 9 episode 6 ranking

Sixth leg

Previously on TAR: Eleven teams set out. . .Oh this is a recap?

(Next episode.)

Previously on TAR: Teams set out from Segesta–what? Was the last episode a new leg?

(Previous episode.)

Previously on TAR: Eleven teams set out from Colorado’s Red Rock Amphitheatre and flew to Sao Paulo, Brazil. Eric & Jeremy and BJ & Tyler soared ahead and took a ride over the city in search of a clue. Lifelong friends John & Scott struggled to communicate. While the locals cheered on dating couple Ray & Yolanda. Eric & Jeremy arrived first. And John & Scott were last.

In the next leg, Joseph & Monica excelled while sisters Lisa & Joni couldn’t get it into gear. In the end they were eliminated.

Teams flew to Moscow, Russia. Wanda faced her fear of deep water while daughter Desiree was supportive. Teams grew frustrated searching thousands of nesting dolls. Then raced to Stuttgart, Germany. Eric & Jeremy surged ahead of the detour with married parents Lake & Michelle and best friends BJ & Tyler close behind. Wanda & Desiree couldn’t navigate and came in last.

Teams then traveled to the Italian island of Sicily. BJ & Tyler took the lead and found the clue they needed. Lake & Michelle fell behind with a late flight connection. At the roadblock some teams had no problem building a Greek statue but Lori faltered as Dave watched. Lake & Michelle yielded Danielle & Dani then came in last.

Now seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– That recap clocked in at 2: 27. Why in the world did they do an irrelevant recap of the first five episodes? Shouldn’t that be saved for the finale or for a clip show? I honestly thought it was a clip show and skipped to the next episode. What possessed the editors to do such a thing?

– Sicilian music plays as Phil introduces Sicily in general then introduces Segesta in the north end of the island. It was destroyed many centuries ago by Vandals. Hence the term of ‘vandalism’ today. Fun fact. On the outskirts is a temple that was the fifth pit stop in a race around the world.

– Can Lake & Michelle control their bickering and fight their way out of the bottom? And can Ray & Yolanda capitalize on how well they’ve been working together to get out of last place?

– BJ & Tyler, who arrived at 229pm, will depart at 229am. BJ reads that they must drive 135 miles to the city of Catania. BJ reads it as ‘Catalina’. Once in Catalina, they must search for Anfiteatro Romano. It’s amongst the ruins of a 2000 year old amphitheatre that teams will find their next clue.

– Tyler talks about the frat boys. They feel it is more their game than the frat boys’ game because of their traveling experience and situations like this. BJ says that the frat boys are dumb. However the dumbest of people have luck. On the flipside, dumb luck runs out. Hoh.

– BJ makes fun of himself for mispronouncing the city of ‘Catania’. His spirits are lifted when he asks for directions to Catania. . .

From a dog! Rub his belly three times and he’ll hop in the car with you and lead you to the city of Catania.

– They find Catania on the map. It is at the opposite end of Sicily. Another leg on such a small island? Here we go!

BJ: We just follow this route it will take us straight to Katina–Catania.

– At 411am Eric & Jeremy depart. The hippies really have that big of a lead on the other six teams? Dang that was a good flight they found. Eric says as a waiter and a valet (as opposed to being married to professional athletes), they have not traveled as much as the hippies but learning as they go. They hate that the hippies with big smiles behind them.

– At 500am MoJo depart. This has to be the least shown team ever after six episodes. Whoa. Both of them have really long confessionals about butchering the words of the clue and how Mo is holding her own. They run into a guy and beg for the map that the guy has. He relinquishes the map. Monica jumps and hugs him like Rebecca on a Hungarian highway.

JOSEPH: Katina.

– Seriously? How often have I talked about MoJo so far? All of the other teams in this season have or had something going for them. But MoJo? They’re super stern and offer nothing interesting. In fact I think David & Jeff of all people have had more screen caps dedicated to them by this point.

Quit mocking us, Logan.

– Joseph cannot believe these countries. At 500am he stops somebody who gives them directions and a map. There’s no way anyone would do that in the US. Joseph would think he would be murdered if someone stopped him at 500am back home.

– Phew! 518am when Fran & Barry depart. 63 dollars. When they first married Barry went to Vietnam for the war. Barry says they grew together as really good friends and lovers. Barry wants Fran to direct him to get to the highway at first.

– The hippies follow a taxi driver in their car. Come to think of it, nobody has had any problems with locals thus far. No near arrests or public humiliation unlike other seasons. The hippies see it is closed and open at 830am. In other words, the first four teams will be there together. BJ comes up with a brilliant scheme to pass the time.

BJ: We should hang up a sign that says ‘team order’. Right under it write our names first.

That’s when TAR has been around for a long time. A team has caught on to do a prank on the sign-in board at closed route markers. This is hysterical. Do you know how stupid you’d feel falling for a fake sign in sheet? Much less at the hands of a guy who looks like a bad impersonator of a Bee Gee?

And when your sign-in sheet looks like the least professional and smallest sign up sheet ever posted in the history of TAR? God. I’d feel like I should be held back from getting my Bachelor’s degree.

– At 606am Lake & Michelle depart. They miss two of the dollars in the pack. It was hidden behind the back of the clue. They say some stupid crap about their relationship. Lake says he is irritated by the sleep deprivation and wants another hour or two of sleep. He snaps too that it is not hard to figure out where to go. That’s why you’re in sixth, buddy.

– Music straight out of the inside of a Kokiri Forest shop plays as Dave & Lori open the clue. How appropriate. Dave hates that he was “supremely” frustrated with Lori. He wants to approach this leg as energetic and positive as possible. It looks good as they run fine and don’t sweat as much as we’re used to seeing fat people sweat.

– Ray & Yolanda check out nine minutes later at 634am. Yolanda says she is loving Ray more and more through his expression of character and understanding her love for him. She gets choked up unnecessarily because of how great she finds him to be. Awe. We love Ray & Yolanda.

– Ray takes his crack to butcher the name of “Catania”. Good ol Catakneeuh. He is corrected by Yolanda and the local. They continue riding.

– Morning arrives. The frat boys are at the route marker. They sign up on the sheet.

ERIC: This is so ghetto. . .wait a second, did they write this?

That’s the disadvantage for the hippies. If somebody like Teri & Ian pulled that prank nobody would know because you wouldn’t expect Teri & Ian to do such a thing. BJ & Tyler however come off as silly and comical people who like to have fun.

Even by looking at him you can see he would do something so stupid.

He would have been homeless if it weren’t for all the money he got for being Happy Gilmore’s caddy.

– Eric figures out that it’s their pen and paper. They go over to BJ & Tyler and laugh about it. Hopefully they will trick other teams. Joseph convinces a man in his car to lead them to Catania. Barry thinks the city is lovely even with a statue that does not have a head. Fran insists Barry to calm down when he doesn’t know where the route marker is and thinks they are screwed. Fran is in a panic to calm down a calm Barry.

– The route marker opens. Frat Boys and Hippies run down opposite stairs. The Frat Boys pick the right way and gain a four second advantage. They read that they must count the heads adorning the fence posts on the ground surrounding the amphitheatre. They will then search the grounds for some random dude in a hat and tell him how many there are total. The hippies and frat boys count from opposite sides. They shout random numbers when crossing to confuse each other. It doesn’t matter as all four of them come up with 41 and find the man in the black hat simultaneously.

– It’s a detour. Two route markers in one location? That was quick. Teams must choose between Big Fish or Little Fish. In Big Fish, teams make their way on foot to a street vendor where they will pick up a 32 pound swordfish. They will navigate a 1/3 of a mile through the confusing streets of Catania to the market of Storico La Pescheria. There they will find a local fish vendor named Lagino.

In Little Fish, teams will go directly to Storico La Pescheria where they will take over a stall and sell four kilos of a small Sicilian fish called “trilia”. After selling the fish they will receive their next clue.

– Both teams are going to do Big Fish. Frat Boys and Hippies run simultaneously through the streets. Barry slams the wheel in frustration driving in circles upon circles. He hates that it is rush hour traffic. Barry goes so far as to honk his horn in anger. He shrugs too. Whoa. He’s losing his cool.

– Lake & Michelle enter the crowded streets. If only you could drive through the city at 500am like frat boys and hippies did.

LAKE: What is that thing right there?
MICHELLE: A school bus.

Tastes like Chicken.

– Dave makes a comment about the traffic too and how the lead teams have a bigger advantage. Yolanda thinks they can drive as fast as you want as long as you leave the other cars alone. If only traffic laws worked like that.

– MoJo are at the route marker. Joseph didn’t see the heads on the way in and is confused until Monica points them out directly. Hippies and frat boys have their swordfish.

PETA probably isn’t too happy.

And neither is he.

– Jeremy complains that the swordfish is puking on him. Tyler says it feels good after a little while because it feels like an ice pack once you’re used to it.

BJ: Buon Giorno! Bug uh fish uh coming through!

BJ has had too much fun with the Italian accent in the past couple legs.

– JOSEPH: I got 40.
MONICA: I got 41.
JOSEPH: You got 41? We’ll go with 41.

Seeing that Joseph didn’t know what the heads on the fence posts were initially, I’d go with Monica’s count too. They have the clue and do big fish.

– Tyler asks where Jagino is. Both teams see Jagino as they yell his name repeatedly throughout the market. Jeremy pretends to bite the swordfish like he’s a shark. Both teams receive the clue. They read that they must drive 40 miles to the city of Siracusa. Once there they must find some random place that we don’t get to hear too clearly.

I’m pretty sure this is what Phil was referring to.

TYLER: There’s something awfully fishy about this place.

Ten points deducted from Gryffindor.

– Frat Boys and Hippies agree to work together. They run into MoJo and give perfect directions to where the swordfish is. The hippies swarm Monica as they hug and kiss her in a very European fashion as they maintain those awful accents.

MONICA: Ew! I have fish blood on me.

Nobody makes her bleed someone else’s fish blood. This means war.

– Barry runs into an alley and drives around until he sees the clue box. Barry is very confused by the fence posts. Hippies and Frat Boys drive off but BJ wants to change his shirt. Frat Boys get impatient and drive away. Fran & Barry yell at the hippies who are in their car. BJ wishes them good luck as they drive away. We are treated to Fran & Barry’s funny way of running as they count heads.

FRAN: Where’s the groundskeeper? HELLO?
BARRY: He’s on the ground. Groundskeeper. And he’s not gonna answer.
(FRAN & BARRY go to ground.)
BARRY: He’s not gonna answer.
BARRY: . . .

– They have the clue. Fran doesn’t think she can carry 35 pounds so they decide to have fun and sell four kilograms. Where is the fun in selling fish in a foreign language is beyond me, but who knows, old people find charm in the strangest of things.

– Monica has fun carrying the swordfish. Joseph pretends to make the swordfish talk. It works about as well as Jemaine making an oven talk.

– Lake cannot believe that it’s bumper to bumper traffic. Meanwhile Dave & Lori are moving faster in traffic. He wants to park and run around to find the clue box. Lori wants to either find it first or ask someone.

Dave wants to RUN AROUND? Does he not remember how much he struggled to run much of anywhere during the one mile hike only fifteen hours earlier? The last sensible decision I’d make if I was him is to run across several blocks.

– On top of that, Dave shoots down Lori’s options of finding the place and to ask people because they are lost. Lori sarcastically encourages him for his unilateral decision making. Ray & Yolanda park their car and run around on foot because they are certainly in shape to run. Ray asks and all of the locals respond with “No”. Ray thinks the people are scared of him. Both him and Yolanda find that funny. Yolanda makes fun of his voice.

– Fran & Barry have a list of Italian phrases that they are unable to pronounce correctly. Not a single person has come to their stand. Monica hates that the fish guts and fish juice are all over her and that the swordfish is beginning to feel heavy. Jo asks where Jagino is but no one knows Jagino. Monica is crying.

– She wipes her tears away with fish juice. Monica wonders if they are in the right place even though they are in the same market as Barry. If Fran & Barry are directed to the same market where MoJo is supposed to end, then what’s the point of questioning where you are? Monica is crying some more.

– At one point Jo leaves the swordfish with a random guy and walks away. Mo sits down with a swordfish on her lap crying. Locals look at her strangely.

Is it the fish guts aroma, the camera crew, or a woman squatting in front of a fish stand that attracts the unwanted attention?

MONICA: Joseeeeph.

You need to hear how Joseph says ‘what’. He does it several times in the season. I’d buy it as a ringtone. It would be the perfect ringtone.

(Mom is calling.)

MONICA: Where are you?
JOSEPH: What do you want?
MONICA: It’s not him or he’d give you a clue.

– Jo shows the clue to a man and asks if he’s Jagino. The merchant laughs in his face. Jo is not impressed. They are outside in another part of the market where Mo has dropped the swordfish.

MONICA: Joseeeeeph.
(MONICA cries and signals him to come into her fish battered body.)
MONICA: I can’t carry it! This is the worst thing I’ve ever done.

– How does Joseph relieve his stress?

Fan Counter: Zero.

Even the swordfish’s jaw drops at hearing such a statement.

– MoJo has the clue.

JOSEPH: Did we not ask that sonofab—- if he was him.

He probably heard you call him a sonofab—- and made you walk around the market for another thirty minutes for his own amusement.

– JOSEPH: Drive yourselves to the town of. . .and find the. . .whatever.
MONICA: Siracusa.
JOSEPH: Whatever.

I can see why it took production six episodes to show these two. Wow. They have zero charm and zero personality.

– Fran points out that Monica is crying and has sold a kilo. They sell another kilo and another. They’re done and have the clue. Barry completes reading the clue. Barry loves doing that task. He certainly he enjoyed that more than driving in traffic jam. Monica whines and whines about the fish guts and points out people on the streets who are clean and don’t smell like fish guts. Then for good measure a complaint about the traffic is thrown in.

– Lake & Michelle see Fran & Barry driving. I’m curious if Lake thinks he is ahead of him. He pulls over and has the clue in the amphitheatre. They count the heads. Both of them count 41. Michelle doesn’t think it’s 41.

LAKE: Are you the groundskeeper?
LAKE: 41 is that correct?
STRANGER: Correct.
LAKE: Yes!

Yes! High five! Did he just give me the clue?

I don’t see a clue in my hand, dag gummit!

Psst. . .that’s the actual groundskeeper.

LAKE: We’ve gotta go on foot, dig dog.

– Jo honks his horn at the traffic as Mo wants to borrow the clothes of teens who walk by. Somebody honks his horn back. Joseph retaliates. The truck honks his horn back again. Joseph does it one more. MoJo has gone from a silent team nobody cares about to a tea that everyone finds annoying to death and doesn’t care about.

– Michelle wonders if they took the wrong swordfish. Lake says sons of b—-es don’t let you steal their swordfish. Oh right. The #1 trait of a sonofab—- Sicilian vendor: Don’t take his fish or he uh cuts you up like uh pizza pie.

LAKE: Pitstoppitstoppitstop.

Is Lake tired of doing roadblocks and hoping one doesn’t come up for once? And since the TAR 6 rules of each player only allowed to complete six roadblocks, I can’t think of a time where somebody has done the opening four roadblocks. Michelle is going to be forced to do some that are way outside of her comfort zone. If she can’t do a statue puzzle or going down a fire escape, I fear for her sanity as she does the tougher ones that are more prevalent in the latter parts of the race.

LAKE: Hola. Wait. Not hola. I know I was speaking Spanish.

What happened to Lake’s leg one proclamation that he was done with Spanish in Brazil? Who knew Lake would have a change of heart.

– Dave caves in and asks for directions in a neighbourhood. A car nearly crashed into him. A guy has suited up on his motorcycle and is leading Dave & Lori directly to the clue. Ray & Yolanda have the clue. Michelle sees them. Lake can’t see them walking in front of him. Michelle points them out and says it’s a waste of time.

– MICHELLE: At the light take a right. You’ll see the sign.
LAKE: I’ll blow some money right here and ask this taxi cab to take us there.
MICHELLE: Lake, I know where Siracusa is.
LAKE: SHUT–LISTEN! I’m overruling you.
MICHELLE: What are you gonna ask him?
LAKE: I’m gonna tell him to leave me out of this damn town!
MICHELLE: Hey look. Siracusa right there. The sign.
MICHELLE: No, I’m just very smart.
LAKE: Eh, you did good.

Talk about giving credit where credit is due.

– Ray & Yo count 41 heads and have the clue. They decide to carry the fish. Dave & Lori park at the amphitheatre. Lori wants Dave to kiss her for putting up with her. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

– Ray & Yo pick up the swordfish. Ray palms it with one hand. Dave & Lori have counted 41 heads and have the clue. They decide to carry the swordfish.

You are the last uh Americans I have to lay my eyes upon uh! Now get uh off my lawn!

– Frat Boys have parked. It’s a roadblock. Whoever plays this one must play in a popular sport in Siracusa–Kayak Polo. Working solo they must join a professional kayak polo team. They will join them in an ongoing match. Their objective is score one goal for their team. The yellow team has Kobe Bryant so I suggest putting on the red uniform.

– Jeremy is doing the roadblock. He crashes his kayak into other kayaks. He has the ball but the other players swarm him and block him. As Probst would say, there’s a learning curve to this challenge.

– Ray & Yolanda ask for directions to Siracusa and find the road with this sign.

– DAVE: Lori.
LORI: What?
DAVE: I love you. This is fun or what?

– Dave & Lori hand in their swordfishes and have a map to Siracusa. Away they go. They see the sign.

– Eric is screaming at Jeremy to hurry up. Jeremy scores a goal. He makes it back and has finished. The hippies see the frat boys reading their clue. Eric reads that they must make their way on foot through the old streets of Siracusa and find Fonte Aretusa. This natural spring is the pit stop for this leg of the race. Much to my chagrin Phil isn’t wearing a turtleneck. Jeremy asks for directions from people sitting on the bridge.

– BJ is doing the roadblock. He scores a point right away. He put on the red uniform unlike Jeremy. So Kobe was on the yellow team after all seeing how quickly BJ finished. They start running through the streets.

– Fran & Barry and MoJo are there one after the other. Barry and Joseph are competing against each other. Neither have scored a goal. BJ yells ‘fonte aretusa’ numerous times as frat boys land on the pit stop.

JEREMY: Give me some good news, Philly style.
PHIL: Eric & Jeremy. . .you are team number one.

PHIL: And I did have some good news for you, but then you chose to maul the greeter on this leg of the race.

– By the way Jeremy is saying “back to smiles” as he does his weird maul dance. And Phil gave them a cruise for two which includes the first surfing experience for two. Phil comments that they stink.

JEREMY: It’s a new cologne we’re trying out. It’s called “Sword”.

– BJ & Tyler dance as they enter with the band playing on the path to the pit stop. Oh. Did I forget to mention that a band plays as each team enters the pit stop?

Another race first. You were lucky to get a cow bell in the first eight seasons. Now they’ve all been upgraded to a full scale symphony. Lucky bastards.

The hippies are forced to get creative as they’ve already run backwards, danced, and hopped into the pit stop. This is a move copied from the Thriller music video if I recall.

Spin move! Again.

– Tyler claps his hands saying “2” is good.

– Jo completes the roadblock. Fran says Barry is pathetic at the task. Barry finally completes it. Both teams run on foot. Barry refuses to run it appears. Lake sees the marked parking for the roadblock. Michelle is doing her first roadblock of the season. She misses three throws and does it with terrible form.

LAKE: I should’ve done this one.

And go 5-0 with seven roadblocks to go? I think you mean “I shouldn’t have done a different one”.

– Michelle scores a goal and Lake is ecstatic.

MICHELLE: Make your way on foot to the next pit stop.
LAKE: Foot! Yes! Foot!

The traffic must be horrendous in Sicily. I haven’t heard anyone cheer as loudly to be running on foot to a pit stop.

– The band plays at the pit stop.

And Phil busts a move. He has learned that a T-shirt as opposed to a turtleneck gives you much more mobility. Plus I wonder if Phil paid them to play a theme song as he walks around Siracusa?

For a loop of Phil dancing, watch this video:

Trump is dancing to the band music too.

– MoJo are told they are team number three. Phil asks if Mo loves him regardless if Jo smells like fish. She says she smells worse.

MO: You don’t want to have dinner with us?
PHIL: If you have a shower, maybe.

Maybe? That always means no.

– Fran & Barry are fourth. Yolanda asks for directions. So do Dave & Lori. Lake & Michelle run in as the band plays. They are fifth. Ray parks. He is doing the roadblock. Yolanda was bright enough to avoid a water task this time.

Or maybe they’re screwed either way.

– Rescuers come to put Ray back in his boat. He throws virtually unchallenged. They have the clue and run. Dave & Lori see Ray & Yolanda running out. Dave is doing the roadblock.

LORI: May the force be with you.

Get it? Because they’re nerds.

– Dave misses a few tosses before scoring the point. They start running. ‘Tis a foot race.

Look how big that band is. How much do they cost to book for a single episode of TAR? You think production would force an extreme equalizer right before the roadblock so they would only have to be booked for 45 minutes as opposed to 5 or 6 hours. They make more money this episode than a legion of taxi drivers make in a lifetime.

– Little suspense as Ray & Yolanda step onto the mat in second to last place yet again. They can’t seem to finish too high. Dave says that if it’s a non-elimination round that they will be forced to wear their fish clothes. They don’t bother to put on extra clothes. Good thing is they don’t need to worry because they’ve been eliminated. They kiss regardless of the fish. Both start by thanking Phil for letting them on the race and allowing them to have a blast.

DAVE: Nerds rule.

“Dave & Lori — 7th”.

Source: Wikipedia.

Dave goes out as a dirty stinkin’ liar.

Next time on TAR: They compete in some Greek games. It’s erotic. Also, Fran hates bungee chords. So guess what? She is forced to bungee. Much crying to be had. Then there’s a ton of rain. Jeff Probst is wetting himself from home as he sees the preview.

Lake&Michelle 1.1
BJ&Tyler 1.1
Ray&Yolanda 1.2
Joseph&Monica 2.2
Eric&Jeremy 1.2
Fran&Barry 1.1
Dave&Lori 3.2

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
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
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.)

3) 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)

4) 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.)

5) 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.)

6) Segesta -> Siracusa (This leg seemed extremely brief. It was like TAR was in a hurry and needed to cut a leg so that filming would be done by the deadline. That is what happened to this round.

There was a route marker in a town about three hours away. At that same route marker was a task you needed to complete there. Once done you were given your detour task that was within a third of a mile. From there you drove twenty miles to do a roadblock that takes about five minutes followed by a pit stop less than a mile away.

In other words this leg seemed very limited in terms of location. It wasn’t so much as getting lost as it was to keep your mind focused in one of the biggest traffic jams that teams are forced to drive through on the race. There was very little freedom to move ahead of your position from last leg or fall behind. The only thing you could do was yell for directions as often as possible and make sure you can run during tasks. Other than that you needed nothing else for this round.

So it makes me wonder “why do a round that has zero traveling and limits you to two precise locations”? Where’s the adventure or race in that? If you compare the finishes from this leg to last leg, the only difference you see is Dave & Lori moving down a spot while Eric & Jeremy moved up a spot thanks to map reading inability or ability. That was it. There was nothing anyone else could really do.

The tasks aren’t terribly noteworthy. Count 41 obvious heads? Carry fish to a market and find the correct stall? Play a game of polo that can be rigged entirely by the professional players? It’s not as weak as a round of Family Edition or TAR 6, but we’re certainly closing in on it.

What’s worst of all is that it was an elimination round. There is no way such a quick leg should count as an elimination. It would have been perfect as a non-elimination because the teams who barely scraped by in earlier legs can fight it out for who doesn’t get stuck with the major disadvantage. Unfortunately Dave & Lori don’t have a chance to wear their swordfish blood and guts drenched on their shirts for several consecutive days.

Try getting locals to help you when you’re covered in another’s blood and guts.)

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) Dave & Lori

What an adorable couple. They are nice to each other. The audience liked them. I liked them. It’s refreshing to see a team that does not bicker. They usually chose the less popular detour option which distinguished them from other teams. Seeing Dave run up fire escapes and big hills was amusing to see.

Then there’s Lori who claims to be a master of puzzles but can’t catch on that there is two obvious extra pieces that everyone except Double D catches onto right away. They referenced more obscure crap than I do in an episode blog at some points which I think we should give them credit for.

I do wish I had more to say about them but I really don’t. They were real people. Their insanity wasn’t that of the Glamazons nor did they have exaggerated Spanglish or Air Head issues, they were just somebody that the common folk could root for. And in every season I think you need a team like that.

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) 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.

5) 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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