TAR 10 episode 4 ranking

Fourth leg

Previously on TAR: Nine teams set out from Mongolia to Hanoi, Vietnam. Boyfriends Tom & Terry quarreled with beauty queens Dustin & Kandice. At the pit stop brothers Erwin & Godwin came in first. Then Tom & Terry received bad news. While Duke & Lauren struggled. In the end Tom & Terry were safe and Duke & Lauren were eliminated. Now eight teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Another really short recap. Production was aiming for more footage. I’m curious if the recaps will get longer as the fields shrink further and there is less footage to work with. Tom & Terry sure love their ice cream in this intro. I wonder if it went straight to their thighs.

– We are introduced to Hanoi. My brother and his TAR addicted girlfriend are there as we speak.

Instant Replay

ROB (while making coal bricks): I feel so dehydrated.

That tiny clip from Rob last round is relevant now. Phil informs us that Rob passed out from heat exhaustion at the end of the last leg.

Babe, are you feeling okay, babe?

I’m not feeling so good, babe. I stayed too long at Hanoi’s Hilton.

– Ugh. I can’t believe I’m giving Rob props for his effort. It takes true effort and courage to push through heat exhaustion and go through that brutal of treatment. Doctors had to clear him before he was legally allowed to continue fighting. Since when did I start blogging The Ultimate Fighter?

*looks at top of page*

Oh right. I suppose I’ll be going back to those fairly soon.

– Phil asks his first question since episode two: Will Mary’s sprained ankle continue to slow David & Mary down?

– Erwin & Godwin, who arrived at 1055am, will depart at 1055pm. Last leg was extremely short considering that the route marker in Hanoi didn’t open until 800am. If you include the roadblock, catching the bus and going to Vac to do the detour, you reduce things down to less than three hours flat.

– Erwin reads that teams must travel by taxi twenty miles back to Hanoi. So original. Here they will find Ly Thai To Garden. Here teams will need to listen for their next clue. It’s the audio daily double.

He’s happy he didn’t have to do this task.

– Teams are awarded 580, 000 Vietnamese Dong for this leg of the race.

ERWIN: You can pick up your Vietnamese Dong from the man at the table.

This is the most risque TAR clip since last season. And very homoerotic.

– Erwin finds that being an Asian-American on this race is a big responsibility. Okay, Yul Kwon. He wants to prove he can beat with the best of them and show the best sides of Asian Americans. Including their sense of humour.

He’s got that covered. You saying he doesn’t show a good sense of Asian-American humour, Erwin?

– Tyler & James are next to depart at 1122pm. Erwin & Godwin had a considerable lead on the other seven teams who finished tightly together.

– Tyler talks about how close they are. When James is down, Tyler will try to pick him up, and when Tyler is down, James will silently pick him up. I’m wondering if James being silent in the confessionals is much like how in TAR 1 where Rob did all the talking while Brennan stared at the camera?

– Tyler & James get into a cab. Tyler proceeds to make the same lame jokes that I made about Vietnamese Dong. I feel worse about myself.

– At 1126pm, it’s time for Rob & Kim to start. Let’s see if every other word will be ‘babe’ to make up for the previous round’s absence. Rob had heat exhaustion but claims to feel good. He also thinks that control is a good thing in the relationship.

ROB & KIM: Go fast.
TAXI DRIVER moves fast.
ROB: SLOW DOWN, BRO.
KIM: Don’t talk so loud, babe.

Babe Count: 1

LOGAN takes a drink.

– Rob says he has to work on control just as much if not harder than Kim. By the way, I just noticed Rob has a few gray hairs. There is a god.

– Dustin & Kandice depart at 1127pm.

DUSTIN: I think people are getting a sense of how competitive we are and how far we’re willing to push ourselves.

Did you collapse from heat exhaustion yet? No? Then shut the f— up. There’s no substance to what you’re saying for the time being.

– They intend to do their thing and let their competitive juices flow. They don’t care if that lets other racers learn something about them. Uh. Okay.

– Dustin schemes to pay all of the pre-ordered taxis to leave. It’s a bright idea if Dustin had so little Dong in her pockets.

– Peter & Sarah are next two minutes later. Seven minutes from second to fifth? That’s as tight as it gets. Even tighter than the finishes on Family Edition. Sarah talks about how Peter is a complicated guy. She finds some things that are surprisingly wonderful and some things that negatively surprises her about his character.

– Two minutes it’s Lyn & Karlyn. You know how much they talk about their kids?

LYN: This is the longest I’ve been away from my kids.

Wow. Can you avoid using the words ‘kids,’ ‘god,’ children,’ and ‘birth’ in any sentence? This is becoming a broken record. And worst of all this is only four episodes in.

– Karlyn talks about her daughter being her world.

– Peter & Sarah’s cab passes Dustin & Kandice. Dustin insists for the cab to hurry. She thrusts her hand out several times. I think the cab driver would be Hanoied by it.

– One minute later it’s David & Mary’s turn. In a matter of eleven minutes we have teams second through seventh check out of the pit stop. That’s insane. TAR should have planned at least one more task to spread the teams just a little bit. Makes me wonder how Duke & Lauren couldn’t check into the pit stop before the end of a 30 minute penalty.

– Mary says if the race gets any harder that she’s going to have to become Wonder Woman. I doubt that is possible because there is no way Mary could fit into that small of a suit.

MARY: I’m just a couch potato who stays home and watches reality TV all day.

Yeah. What idiot wastes hours every single day watching reality TV? I mean, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. I hate those people who are critical of everyone they watch on TV but have yet to meet in real life.

What a f—ing loser. If I ever meet a man or woman like that, they earn a well-deserved throat punch.

– David & Mary pick up Dong from the man.

How does this man afford to give out 450, 000 Dong to a bunch of Americans? Judging by how much time he spends at the table, I think he is a famed Vietnamese man who waits for any opponent to challenge him at Mystic Warlords of Ka’a.

He even beat this man and Wil Wheaton in a 2 vs. 1 match. He’s that good.

– Mary has a sprained foot but is doing it for her kids. Ugh. I wish they’d bleep out anytime a team member mentions their kids anymore for this season. It’s getting a bit much.

– Mary butchers the pronunciation of the Garden. Tom & Terry depart at 1148pm. Sixteen minutes after David & Mary. The powers of editing. When David & Mary showed up last leg we were told that Tom & Terry only had two minutes left. So how do Tom & Terry magically drop fourteen extra minutes? I feel like I’ve been had. Terry thinks it sucks being at the back of the pack, but Tom refuses to be put down by it and will use the same energy like before but pay more attention.

– Erwin & Godwin have no idea where the cab is taking them. This allows Tyler & James to be first at the Gardens. It’s time for the audio clue. They hear the statue speaking. Peter & Sarah’s cab passes Rob & Kim. Kim takes the opportunity to voice her distaste of Peter. Why in the world am I liking Rob & Kim on this re-watch?

– Rob wants to finish right in front of Peter. Sarah asks why Peter is standing still. He freaks out and says he is trying to listen for the clue. In pitch black silence. Of course. Rob snaps at Kim to find out where Peter & Sarah went.

ROB: Where’d they run to?
KIM: Babe, calm down.

Babe Count: 2

LOGAN takes another drink.

– Dustin claims to be very auditory. Her and Kandice stop at a grass patch on top of a garbage container to listen to the crickets. They think the crickets are giving them the clue. They’re about as clear as the egg from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Maybe put the crickets underwater and you’ll hear them perfectly.

Where’s the clue, crickets? SHOW YOURSELVES! By the way, I think Tyler’s probation officer won’t be happy when he sees this screen cap of Tyler’s secret stash on TV.

– Erwin & Godwin exit the cab. Lyn hears the voice. Everyone present gravitates towards the motionless statue.

“Take a taxi across the Red River to Ben Xe Gia Lam. Then take a bus to Ben Xe Bai Chay. Then find the Hydrofoil Harbour.”

The trick here is that the racers don’t get the subtitles on the screen like we do. They have to try and sound out how you would write down the Vietnamese words. If this were TAR 6, every team would have to quit because they wouldn’t be clever enough to progress any further. But this group may have hope.

– The teams write it down and lack confidence as they enter the cabs. The cab drivers don’t seem too confident when they hear the teams say the location. Lyn & Karlyn are impatient and tell the driver to start heading into any direction. Dustin & Kandice enter the cab and place their faith in the driver.

– The rehabbing drug addicts are clever enough. They flag down a cab, yank the driver out of the cab, and yell at him to listen to the motionless statue. Dang. Tyler & James are leaps and bounds above everyone else so far this season. Peter pulls a cab driver out too and gets him to listen to the directions. The drivers are amused that crazy Americans want to go to where the motionless statue is instructing.

That would be like if I was driving through the town square and a foreigner flagged me down and grabbed my arm. Next thing I know I’m hearing a speaker yelling out the directions to Safeway from the water fountain. The people are yelling in Punjabi for me to take them to Safeway. That would freak me out for the rest of the week or I’d call the cops.

– Rob & Kim didn’t do their homework and tell the cabbie to follow Tyler & James. Rob is wondering why the cab is going so slow. Five years of Grand Theft Auto has taught Rob that they are seconds away from losing the only sense of direction that they had. Kim warns Rob not to freak out. But he says he’s about to anyway.

– Tyler & James, rather than slow down and keep their buddies along, keeps telling the cab to go faster. Rob is punching his own fist and is ready to freak out. Kim calms him down saying the cab won’t lose Tyler & James.

– They lose Tyler & James. Kim calmly states that she wants to get out of the cab and find a new one. Erwin & Godwin are sixth to the statue park. Tom & Terry are seventh to the gardens. Mary keeps telling the driver that he loves him because he finds him so cool. She cheers in excitement over seeing the Chos.

– Rob & Kim’s cab stops. Rob instructs to open the trunk because they’re getting out. They scream at the cabbie and refuse to pay him. They find a new taxi driver and bring him to the statue. Chos ask T n T if they know where they’re going. T n T says they know because they’ve picked up a local who will join them in the cab.

In the previous round they nearly lose the race because they didn’t follow the safety rules of avoiding motorcycles. Today they avoid wearing seatbelts. Click it or ticket, TnT.

– Rob is a bit more snappy with this cab. He is slow to get the car moving.
ROB: Are you stoned, bro?

Somebody won’t be going to Vietnam anytime soon.

ROB (annoyed): Dude,  I don’t speak your language dude.

Likely response in Vietnamese

CABBIE (annoyed): Dude, I don’t speak your language dude.

– Rob & Kim are driving in a circle. Yay. Rob is preparing to say something stupid.

ROB: He’s just toying with us right now.

I probably would too right now if I were him.

– Rob tells him to stop. They say ‘stop’ at least four or five times but the driver doesn’t understand a lick of English. They hail down a THIRD taxi. This driver speaks perfect English and everything is fine. Rob & Kim stop talking as a way to not jinx themselves.

– Are you ready for one of the best quotes in the 21-season history of TAR? Here it is:

Yes, this was a statement uttered by Rob. I hate dealing with local foreigners in their homeland, too. They just don’t get my culture in their culture.

By the way, I guarantee you that exact quote was uttered by both taxi drivers after being yelled at by Rob. The situation makes it such a ridiculous quote on so many levels.

Rob’s least favourite band.

He’s as cold as ice
Willing to sacrifice his race
He’s closing a cab door
Making remarks about the world he’s leaving behind
You can cheap skate the taxis
Ignoring the correct price, I know
But someday you’ll be forced to pay
In Vietnam, you’re cold as rice to them
Cold as riiiice

– Lyn & Karlyn do not see a Red River. They don’t understand what the Hydrofoam Tavern is either. Probably because that place doesn’t exist.

Lyn imitates a fish as a way to signify that it is a river that she wishes to go to. But these foreign drivers just don’t get it.

– Dustin & Kandice and Tyler & James show up at the bus station. Erwin promises that he owes Tom & Terry. Lyn & Karlyn switch cabs. Peter & Sarah wait outside too. Lyn & Karlyn are there too. Rob is annoyed that they went from 2nd to 7th. Kim tells Tyler & James that the situation was worse because Rob is yelling at the driver. They all laugh about it. David & Mary show up last and hug their taxi driver. Wow. Rob & Kim get in three separate taxis but still get to the route marker before David & Mary. Kentucky was on a Sunday drive, evidently.

– 500am is here. All eight teams pile onto the same bus. Terry is confident they can rise because the Cho Bros rose from the back of the pack to first place on the last leg.

– Phil cuts in to announce that all eight teams are on the same bus driving 103 miles east through Vietnam’s countryside to Ha Long Bay. They’ll find Hydrofoil Harbour (not Hydrofoam Tavern) to find their next clue. Lyn observes it as a picture out of a magazine. All eight teams run out onto the sidewalk and see the clue box. David & Mary are first. It’s a roadblock.

“Who’s got strong arms and legs?”

Translation: If you’re a co-ed team, the man should do it.

In this roadblock one person has to summon the guts and stamina to power through a potentially challenge. That person must use mechanical ascenders to climb ninety feet up the sheer face of this rock. There are three ascenders and it’s first come first served. Once at the top they will receive their next clue.

This seems like a duplicate of  the roadblock from TAR 9 where teams had to repel down one of three fire escapes, and the fire escapes were first come first served. There’s only so many fresh ideas you can have in the tenth season.

By the way, can you guess which one is doing the roadblock? How did you know?! You smartie foreigner, you.

– Sarah is going to do this because she has strong arms and strong legs. However she will be slower than the other teams. Peter says it’s alright and that she will rock it regardless. Why would she have any trouble? In case you didn’t know. . .

She has a bruise on her right leg. That’s going to really hinder her performance. Just look at the size of that bruise!

– Mary keeps complaining about her ankle as she walks on the rocky beach shore into the boat. Lyn & Karlyn prepare to board a boat. This is the moment when the Beauty Queens are cemented as the villains for the season.

Yoink!

– While boarding their pirated boat, Kandice trips and falls.

A whole new meaning to cutting in line.

– Karlyn thinks Kandice got what she deserved for cutting in front of her and Lyn. Hammurabi’s ‘eye for an eye’ or a ‘cut for a cut’ policy seems to take effect in ‘Nam.

– TnT are in the lead boat. David & Mary’s boat passes Peter & Sarah on the way.

MARY: BACK PAAAAACK.

Yep. Mary has coined her 4-team alliance as the ‘Back Pack’. Oddly enough I always thought the alliance was known as the ‘Brat Pack’. Nearly six years later for me to figure it out. I feel rather dumb.

– The Cho Bros are passing Peter & Sarah as well. It’s a Back Pack invasion on the Vietnam waterways. Lyn & Karlyn’s boat passes Tyler & James. The lead three boats (David & Mary, Tom & Terry, and Rob & Kim) all dock within seconds of each other. No other teams were in the zoomed out shot of the bay.

– KIM: Go baby go!

Babe(y) count: 3

Rob, David, and Terry are all receiving their instructions.

– Karlyn is fourth there. Godwin is fifth. Sarah is scared to see that it is pure rock climbing. Peter calms her down in a tone that is far less annoying than what we are accustomed to.

– KIM: Go babe! Use your arms and legs.

Babe Count: 4

– Rob is first to work his way up. Terry whines that the straps are high on his crotch. David currently has the lead. Peter says Sarah will be fine. Tyler & James are shocked to see that Peter isn’t doing it. Tyler brags about Sarah’s strong upper body and insists she’ll be fine and can do it.

– There are a few more unnecessary shots of Sarah’s foot. The partners warn the players up high to be careful.

KIM: You’re kicking butt baby!

Babe Count: 5

– More shots of Sarah’s leg and other teammates.

KIM: You’re doing great, babe!

Babe Count: 6

KIM: Good job baby!

Babe Count: 7

– Rob is first to receive his clue and repel down. David and Terry get to the top simultaneously.

TOM: Oh my god, he’s totally gonna make me do the next roadblock after this.

I know a way you can get out of that situation, Tom. It may sound crazy but hear me out. What if you, get this, be eliminated before that happens? Think about it. Ponder it. Call me in the morning.

– Kim reads that teams must travel by motorboat (Tonya Paoni isn’t around so they truly mean a motor boat) 1.2 miles to Sung Sot Cave. Once here they will search inside the cave for their next clue.

– Godwin announces he’d like to give all of his possessions to his brother. A legally binding will on camera. Fantastic.

As it goes between Erwin & Godwin, it’s “Cho Bros before Hos,” evidently.

– Dustin thinks Godwin looks like a stud and asks him to pound it. Godwin for whatever reason proceeds to bump Dustin’s fist. I don’t know why he did that.

– David is down as Mary expresses how proud she is of him. Lyn encourages Karlyn that if she can do the Great Wall that she can do this little bit of rock.

– Terry is down and reads the clue. Erwin gives a piece of advice for Godwin.

ERWIN: All legs!

Guess what is shown two shots later? I’ll give you one guess.

This is Bertram’s non-verbal way of hyping up the audience to wonder “Will this one-legged version of Stacy Keibler climb this wall? Stay tuned!”

– Lyn yells to Karlyn that this isn’t for her but rather for her kid Alaina. Yep. Lyn gives a confessional about how this trip is all for their children. And then they wonder why they didn’t apply to be on TAR 8 if this was supposed to be for their kids. I mean, did the kids get to scale a rock cliff at Ha Long Bay? No. They get to envy their mom as she barely succeeds doing so and are left to wonder what could have been.

What evil parents.

– PETER: Pull the handicap placard down and say you’re next in line.

That joke will not fly over well. At least you didn’t use the word ‘pre-boarding’ in that sentence. Then somebody would’ve poked a hole in that boat and made Peter drown.

– Lyn makes a comment about her being able to do this after delivering a child with no anesthesia. Oh. . .so Karlyn is a mom? Oh gee. I must’ve blanked that out at some time between the fifth time Kim said ‘babe’ and the third time that the camera zoomed in on Sarah’s leg. I looooove one-dimensional editing.

– INSTRUCTOR: What you need to do is–
PETER: SARAH, TAKE YOUR TIME–
SARAH: Peter shush, I need to listen to instructions!

No, you need to listen to the soothing patronizing sound of Peter’s voice.

– SARAH: Oh no. My foot.

Your foot causes you problems? Huh. Didn’t know.

– Godwin shakes when he’s at the top. He whines that his roided up forearms are too weak to take him down. The instructor tells him to take a few deep breaths. I have never heard Godwin so frazzled.

– Sarah’s foot is caught. She says she can’t do it. This is the Great Wall. We all know she’s going to do it. We are led into commercial the same way as when she struggled on the Great Wall. She talks to herself to find her power again. Deja vu.

– Tom & Terry’s boat passes Rob & Kim. Rob & Kim are first into the cave.

KIM: Babe, pace yourself.

Babe Count: 8

– Rob rams his head into a wall of the cave. Rather amusing to say the least. Godwin finishes and closes his eyes as he hugs his brother. They’re fourth.

– Rob & Kim wonder where it is. Lonely music plays for 1.2 seconds before Kim spots the clue.

KIM: Here it is, babe.

Babe Count: 9

– Kim reads that it is a detour. It is a choice between two different tasks that are vital to Ha Long Bay’s economy. Over or Under.

In Over, teams ride a boat known as a junk.

Seriously? Not only is their currency Dong, but their boats are named Junk? Let my maturity reset before proceeding.

– Once on the junk, they’ll ride it to the marked boat. Then they’ll ride a smaller boat known as a sanpan to the supply boat and load provisions. Row themselves to the floating village and deliver the provisions to the two addresses on their invoice. When finished teams row back to the supply boat and return the invoices to the captain. He will hand them their next clue.

– In under, teams ride some more dirty rotten junk to a marked buoy. Here they will row a sanpan to a pearl farm. They will choose a line of buoys within this marked search area and retrieve thirty oyster baskets by pulling them out of the sea and onto their boats. Then they will deliver it to a pearl farmer who will hand them their next clue.

I wonder if the pearl farmer makes the pearls into jam?

– Rob & Kim are going under.

KIM: What is a junk?
ROB: I don’t know.

Well this relationship got a lot more interesting. And clearly neither of these two have played Age of Empires II. Otherwise you’d know what a junk is. I think I made this same remark during the Hong Kong junk pit stop in TAR 2. I love recycling jokes.

KARLYN: You’re there! You’re there!

A clue! A clue!

– Karlyn is at the top. Sarah stops halfway and pants. James cheers Tyler on saying he will pick up time.

PETER: Give Tyler an ugly wub when he passes you. Spit on him or somethin’. UH HAHAHAHAHA.

Note to self: Don’t invite Peter over for Prank Day with Michael Kelso and Eric Forman.

– Rob & Kim spot the red and yellow junk. Karlyn is back down and thinks Alaina will be proud that it’s her mom. Tyler is at the top. James comments that he is Spiderman. Hopefully not the Tobey MacGuire variant. God I hate that guy. That stupid kiss with him and Kirsten Dunst. I never watched another Spiderman movie until his ugly mug was erased from the movies. Good riddance, Tobey.

– Dustin embarks on the roadblock. Tyler is down and has the clue open. TnT and David & Mary are at the caves. Mary whines for the millionth time that her ankle is hurting as she walks up the steps. God I’m hating this round. This round’s editing is more repetitive than my jokes.

– Sarah reaches the peak. Finally we can quit hearing about that foot of hers. For the time being.

KANDICE: You’re doing awesome, babe.

-_-

Babe Count: 10

This is merging into a team effort. You’re all rallying against me. Fooey on you.

– Sarah is back down and is proud she did it. Seventh place is hers. T n T are second. Terry claims he can row a boat. Rob is frightened as to how far they have to row. This leads to some of the worst techniques in rowing I have ever seen. I think John Carroll and Robert DeCanio would have been a better pair than Rob & Kim. We see a solid thirty second montage of them in the dumbest positions possible. They both threaten to freak out at each other.

– Eventually Kim sits at the front of the boat doing nothing while Rob paddles. He tells her to pick a side and paddle. This leads to further arguing.

ROB: We’re never getting out of this harbour.

So if this is a harbour, and you’re searching for pearls, does this make it PEARL HARBOUR?

Instant replay

ROB: We’re never getting out of this harbour.

Many people in Hawaii said this in December of 1945 too. However I think it was under far more serious circumstances. Although I doubt they referred to each other as ‘babe’.

– David is scared of deep water so he elects to do Over. T n T were there beforehand and are doing Under because of Terry’s claim of paddling.

– Dustin & Kandice are in dead last for the first time in four episodes. T n T lounge on the junk for the time being. Terry says he could live here if there was a Starbucks. Luckily globalization is at its finest.

– Mary talks about her ankle some more. She wants to stand up but David has a brighter idea of having someone with the sprained ankle to sit down. But she refuses until the day that David is her boss. Rob & Kim coach each other some more as they paddle. Dang that’s messy. Rob can’t see the baskets. Their lead shall wither away. Rob is splashing and grunting. Kim is grunting too as she yells for Rob to get out of the way. They have an incomprehensible argument. Not a lick of English is spoken.

– Tyler & James will do Over. They hide the clue on Lyn & Karlyn and lie that they are looking for the clue too. Karlyn eyes him suspiciously. Lyn & Karlyn have the clue two seconds later and decide to do Over because thirty oysters is too many.

– Kim has the first two baskets. Peter & Sarah are doing Under. T n T are the second team in the rowboat.

TERRY: You’re a rower, honey.
TOM: Not this kind of rower.

Yeah, the type of rower who doesn’t use paddles. He rows in his dreams or in partnership with an ex-boyfriend who was an Olympic rower. Or when he was a kid him and his dad would go rowing but his dad would lie to Tom and say he was doing a great job when really he was doing all of the work.

– Dustin & Kandice are last to the clue. They’re doing Over and agree to keep running the race until they hit the mat.

– Mary doesn’t paddle as David is working both paddles. She merely talks and critiques David’s paddling. Her ankle must be affecting her upper body strength. David defends that he has never done something like this.

– Of course this leads to a confessional about being from Kentucky. They’ve never been into a real life ocean. As opposed to a fake ocean like Star Ocean.

– Unlike Mary, Tom tries to paddle and help despite being useless. Terry reminds him that they don’t have time and to let him do this. Tom is having a tough time relinquishing all uncontrollable control of a paddle. Godwin claims he knows how to row as him and Erwin prepare to row.

– Tyler & James are in a boat. Tyler is working both paddles and says he’s fine. James gets to sit and stare at Tyler’s mesmerising eyes.

They have an exact copy of this photo from the time they spent on the lake at rehab.

– Erwin & Godwin attempt to row together but cuss the other out for not rowing properly. Peter takes control of both paddles.

SARAH: You need me to do anything?
PETER: I need you to not say anything.
SARAH: You’re doing awesome!
PETER: Shhhhhh!

Sarah was never good at listening to instructions. Way to break Peter’s unwavering focus.

SARAH: You’re doing fine.
PETER: I don’t need direction. I just need encouragement.

Boy have the tables have turned, Peter.

– Lyn whines that she can’t row because it’s too windy. Dustin & Kandice know they are working to not be last (although that’s the goal of any leg). They try out different methods quickly knowing that time is critical. Half the audience desperately wants them gone and half the audience desperately wants them to stay alive. Most polarizing team that the show has seen in quite a while.

– T n T figure out that they are in the wrong spot and three quarters to the wrong detour. David is paddling but has them knocked into a shale wall. T n T conclude the task is impossible. Meanwhile Dustin & Kandice voice Lyn’s opinion that it is impossible to paddle because of the wind. They cry. Such delicious tears.

– David & Mary have paddled so far away that they are closer to the Under task. What would be hilarious is if they intend to paddle towards Under but do it wrong again and find themselves closer to Over. Then rinse and repeat. This could be a very long day.

– KIM: BABE DON’T TIP US!

Babe Count: 11

Oh my gravy.

– Rob snaps and wants her to shut up. Kim snaps back to not tell her to shut up. She has the thirtieth basket. It appears Rob & Kim had great success with rowing.

ROB: Up! Down!
KIM: You don’t have to yell it. I’m right next to you.
ROB: Yeah I do.
KIM: No you don’t.

I see now that second grade banter is a regular occurrence for Rob & Kim.

– Tyler has the first basket. James has done squat. Tom whines that he is bleeding. Terry says to not be a baby. Tom reminds the audience for the eleventh time that he can’t do this.

– Rob & Kim have the clue. Kim reads that teams must row their sanpans back to their junks and travel approximately nine miles to this beach– Soi Sim Island. Or in the Vietnamese language, Dao Soi Sim. This rocky island, one of Andre three thousands in the area, is indeed the next pit stop. The last team here may be eliminated.

What is Bertram gonna do with all those junks
All those junks worshipped by monks?
He’s gonna get Kandice chipmunk
That chipmunk drunk
Then make her ride his junks
His junks his junks his junks
His junks his junks his junks
His lovely little junk
Then he’ll make her come last
And force her to do a Speed Bump
Check it out.

– Kim is not impressed that they have to row to do the junk. Lyn & Karlyn do a decent job of rowing and have the provisions from the Over task. Time to deliver. Rob instructs Kim but she tells him to shut up. Rob insists he knows how to row and Kim sarcastically says that Rob went to school for it.

KIM: No, babe.

Babe Count: 12

(KIM boards the junk.)

KIM: Screw this thing!

Teehehehehehehehehehehhe.

– Kim is frustrated when Rob loses his patience because he is very intense. The race has intensified their arguing.

GODWIN: There it is baby!

Babe Count: 13

– Peter keeps telling Sarah to shush as she encourages him. He leans over too far to pick up oysters that he nearly tips the boat. She proceeds to lean with him after warning him about the boat possibly tipping and getting too much water in it.

– Lyn & Karlyn remark on the clothesline that one of the boats has set up. They find it cool that people live on the boat. Ah the sailor’s life. Just watch out for the scurvy. They deliver to the first address.

– And here is where the whole audience hates Peter. T n T have struggled paddling. It’s taken up over ten minutes of airtime. They finally wind up at the Under task. Their boat is right next to Peter & Sarah. In fact it blocks their boat from going further.  Out of nowhere Peter LOSES IT. I mean full scale thrashing. He drops a F-bomb and shoves T n T’s boat in anger. He yells at T n T for being in their way. Peter then tells Sarah to grab a rope. She can’t find it nor reach it. Peter loses his patience after one second. By the time he pulls the rope himself, Sarah already has found it.

PETER: I’m done after this. I don’t wanna do this anymore.

But that’s not quitting though, right Peter?

– T n T are at the buoys but aren’t at the baskets. David & Mary are at the pearls finally and have their first basket. Tyler & James have their thirty baskets. Kim argues where Phil is but Rob eventually points her out. They step onto the mat.

Raiden’s sister welcomes them to Ha Long Bay.

I hear there was failed contract negotiations to have Raiden as a greeter.

– Rob & Kim have each won a jet ski because we know how much they love water after today. They talk about how they’re so intense that they get under each other’s skin. They need to learn to chill.

– Lyn & Karlyn wind up in the same shale wall as David did earlier. Cho Bros have their thirty baskets. Tyler & James have the clue. Then the Chos. Dustin & Kandice are still in the middle of nowhere. Peter & Sarah have their thirty baskets. Lyn & Karlyn are still stuck at the shale wall and blame the wind. Sarah has the clue for the pit stop. Tyler did all of the paddling. James labels him as superman while labelling himself as merely a passenger. At least Tyler took James’ lack of effort well.

– Peter is in the junk but left Sarah in the boat. I hear her foot makes it tough for her to get in a boat.

SARAH: You did awesome. You rocked.
PETER checks out the scabs on his elbows.
SARAH: . . .

Confessional time, of course. Sarah’s feelings for Peter has changed. She is not impressed with his temperament or his treatment of her.

– Sarah cries right next to Peter as she talks about Peter giving up in the middle of a task which kills Sarah because she put in one hundred percent and never thought about quitting. She thought making up all this ground would be enough would make her feel good but it doesn’t. Peter is emotionless and silent.

– T n T have nine baskets. Terry is doing all of the work as Tom faces the camera to say this task has been hard. You can save the confessionals for the pit stop, you blundering fool. We see Dustin & Kandice and David & Mary at the baskets too. Dustin comments that the water is gross.

– David & Mary have their clue. Peter & Sarah see Tyler & James’ junk from afar. James complains that the boat is so slow. Peter & Sarah appear to pass. Tyler’s captain pulls an anchor from the water. Ah. No wonder one is going so slow. The dang anchor was in the water the whole time. Tyler sarcastically says good job to the captain. It’s insulting but it seems to be more out of fun and getting over the situation rather than being mean-spirited.

– Peter & Sarah dock. I see Sarah’s foot does not do well on sand. They hit the mat in second place despite the bickering. In fact the two most bickering teams finished first and second. Tyler & James finish third. Mary struggles inside the junk. Cho Bros are fourth. T n T have sixteen baskets. Dustin & Kandice have their thirty and are leaving. T n T do nothing as they watch the chipmunks paddle away.

– Lyn & Karlyn are nowhere to be found. It’s a battle of the Back Pack at the. . .back of the pack?

– Mary spots Phil in the orange shirt from the boat. She calls him a scrawny but gorgeous thing. Dustin & Kandice are sixth to have their clue.

DUSTIN: I think we have to row to the pit stop.

Uh oh. The one time Dustin practices safe sex by avoiding junk just happens to be the one time that she is required to go to one. Oh the irony.

– Phil informs David & Mary that they are fifth. Mary is shocked thinking she was sixth. T n T have their thirty baskets. Dustin & Kandice dock at the beach because they don’t see Phil. They try to re-read the clue but it has become shredded in Kandice’s possession. Dustin blames Kandice and thinking they’d be fine if it weren’t for it being in Kandice’s care. Kandice calmly states that it’s not okay to place blame.

– Terry wants Tom to paddle harder but Tom whines that he is exhausted. Exhausted from doing nothing but setting the team back. Dustin cries from being so tired. Kandice says to not cry. Dustin counters to let her cry as she paddles.

– Lyn & Karlyn are on the junk. Lyn gives a confessional of it being mind over “the matter”. Blah blah blah blah. Karlyn cries it may all be in vain because they think they may be eliminated.

– Kandice figures out (whether by help of production or not) that she bets they only have to go back to the initial junk. Dustin agrees. So they go to the junk. Terry keeps telling Tom to not give up. He’s not giving up because he wants the task done and be done with the leg.

TERRY: Take your time.

I hear that’s the best strategy when you’re fighting for last place with only minutes to go to the end of the round.

Tom regurgitates a lesson from the Stephenie LaGrossa School of Water and believes that being outside of a boat and pulling it is faster than paddling.

– Tom & Terry are at a shale wall and attempt to flag down their boat.

I think production is forbidden from sending the boat to you and pick you up. Just a gut feeling.

– Karlyn sulks as she hits the mat. She smiles at hearing she’s sixth. Dustin & Kandice say they can’t feel their arms. T n T wonders why the boat wouldn’t come. Tom agrees to swim some more and pull the boat. We see a shot of T n T being close to the boat. Dustin & Kandice board the boat. Dustin keeps rambling about it being Kandice’s fault. Kandice is tired of the blame game and always says that no matter what it’s her fault.

– Dustin cries some more. T n T board the boat. Tom is so awful at getting inside that two to three of the sailors have to yank Tom into the boat. He even falls in the exact opposite direction of where the sailors push him that they have to make another attempt. So funny.

They call this place Ha Long Bay, but judging by this shot with a gay couple and this anonymous man, I’d say it is called Ha Long Gay.

*crickets*

Is this thing on? They call this place Ha Long Bay, but judging by this shot involving a gay couple and an anonymous man, I’d say it is called Ha Long Gay.
.
.
.
.
This would have been funny amongst a group of ten year olds, I swear.

– Dustin wants to let it out and requests to cry on Kandice’s shoulder. Tom is teary and a bloody leg. He is sweaty. He is sulking. Terry is proud of him. Tom whines that he can’t row a boat to save his life.

– Dustin & Kandice step onto the mat in seventh. They are so relieved.

DUSTIN: I am so relieved right now.

What she said.

– T n T relax and recline on the seats. They are suffering from Starbucks withdrawals.

– Phil has a two second staring contest with the ground before we see T n T emerge onto the mat. They’re last. No early non-eliminations this season, which indeed means that these two are eliminated. Tom talks about it being the hardest thing he has done. Terry is proud.

TERRY: I don’t know what made him jump out and drag the boat in the ocean, but he did.

Answer: Complete and utter stupidity.

– Their relationship is much stronger as a result.

Next time on TAR: After five teams have been eliminated in four rounds, the cast has rapidly dwindled. We head to the only remaining staple location in the race. So enjoy that before we go through an enormous stretch of new and one-time only countries. Expect plenty of babes, one legs, and rolled ankles to be the key points of discussion. I’m looking forward to it.

Peter&Sarah 1.4
Rob&Kimberly 4.2
Dustin&Kandice 2.0
David&Mary 0.2
Erwin&Godwin 1.0
Tyler&James 1.0
Lyn&Karlyn 3.6
Tom&Terry  3.4

Team averages

Bulls— Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0
11th John & Scott 11.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th 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 Kellie & Jamie 8.0
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
8th Tom & Terry 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 Fran & Barry 4.89
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
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
4th Monica & Joseph 3.50
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
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF

Rank the Teams

1) Bilal & Sa’eed

This team was heavily promoted prior to the season. A Muslim team?! They’re really going to pull over on the side of the road to pray no matter the circumstances? How long can they last? How will other teams react? Has the U.S. truly evolved and are acceptable of all people? How will the Christian right react in terms of viewership?

These were the questions waiting to be answered as we were set to begin The Amazing Race. However all of this remains a mystery to this day thanks to the biggest bulls—-ing twist of the bulls—.

So what did we get out of it? These were Cleveland sports fanatics who happened to pray towards Mecca. Sa’eed brought nothing to the table but it was Bilal who delivered. He lasted only half an episode but his interviews were always entertaining. His refusal to shake a cheerleader’s hand will stick out.

“But it doesn’t say that this was a pIT STOP!”

That quote alone is enough to put them above last.

2) Duke & Lauren

The second father-daughter couple of the TAR franchise. It’s surprising that it took five seasons for another one to be cast. This is another case of “strict parent struggles to approve of gay child”. This one is a bit more unique because the parent is funnier and more dynamic than someone like Dennis from TAR 3.

Duke seemed to have a great time chatting with locals and failed to allow his daughter to be a leader. His daughter had surprisingly little agency within the team. Duke made most of the decisions, asked for most of the directions, and did much better at most of the tasks than Lauren.

Besides Lauren being gay, not much is explored with Duke & Lauren. They learned to support each other but that was a result of Duke accepting Lauren for who she is. Everything revolved around homosexuality.

But yet, they’re a likeable enough team who had an interesting take on a story regardless of whether we’ve seen it before. Duke grew to have a light-hearted attitude which set him apart from previous TAR fathers like Jim from TAR 5 or Steve from TAR 4.

It’s a close call between Jim & Marsha and Duke & Lauren, but I think Duke & Lauren may be runner-up because they weren’t as outright hilarious. However, they’re a strong enough team within TAR 10 to be more likeable, stronger, and more entertaining than some of the other teams that we encountered.

3) Tom & Terry

The stereotypically gay couple does indeed go here. I’m only putting them this high because they expressed a well-rounded personality and edit. This is different than most of the teams we see this season. We saw their strengths, their weaknesses, their good fortunes, and their “strokes” of bad luck. Yeah. Bad pun, I know. Although I suppose the paddling is more of a skill than luck.

They didn’t always choose the most popular detour. This team was prone to bickering but didn’t do it in excess. Tom being so drained from the final detour that two or three men had to push him into the boat is a hilarious highlight.

Although they finished eighth place in three out of four legs and nearly tying Don & Mary Jean’s record, I would like to point out they were at the top of the pack frequently. In fact they were second to lead all teams in the fourth leg to the detour. Add in that they were second on the third leg to check into the pit stop until that minor mistake dropped them to eighth. So they were overall a top contender to take the title this season.

Their dispute with Dustin & Kandice began the chipmunks’ polarizing edit. Other than that, I have nothing to say about Tom & Terry.

4) Kellie & Jamie

We’ve seen several teams cast over the years who are supposed to be like a pair of Reese Witherspoons from Legally Blonde. It started with Heather & Eve in TAR 3, Godlewskis in TAR 8, and Danielle & Dani in TAR 9. Here we are in TAR 10 and Kellie & Jaime are “just another team”. They probably surpassed a huge chunk of teams for dumbest quotes ever uttered. What is more impressive is they did this in two short episodes.

Is Allah apart of Buddhism? Are they way confused? Go around the circle then turn as perfect directions?

Yeah, the list would be much longer if they stuck around. But they don’t. So this was it. And I feel after everything is said and done that they’ll be ranked fairly low. They needed a stronger personality.

5) Vipul & Arti

These two were tough to write about. Arti looks like Princess Jasmine. . .and that’s all I could come up with in this blog. These two got along and had their romantic future set in stone. Nothing compelling happened to them on the race. They sucked for the first half of the episode as well as the second half. Their elimination is a generic bad taxi and a mistake on a couple tasks.

In other words, they weren’t terribly competitive and were doomed to be bottom feeders. Unlike Bilal & Sa’eed, these two had the luxury of playing until the pit stop before being eliminated in the opening round.

I like both of them. I’ve even talked to Vipul on Facebook a couple times. Both of them are huge TAR fans. But TV wise? For one episode it’s tough to be “OMG I want these two to win!”.

I imagine if these two lasted until the end that they would be massive fan favourites, but like most of the nicer couples who go early, it’s best they go at the beginning if they won’t be with us at the end.

Rank the Legs

1) Ulaanbaatar -> Vac (TAR got real creative with this leg. Teams were awarded no cash at the start of the round which rewarded teams who didn’t splurge their money. What made the twist more awesome is that they had to choose between sticking around at the roadblock longer to make more money or whether to end the task as quick as possible to ensure they survive the round. These are the types of twists I love to see on TAR.

TAR enters a rare history lesson mode for the third time in its franchise. We see a lot of footage of Americans in Hanoi’s prison from the Vietnam War. Including a youthful picture of John McCain that must date back to the 1800s.

There was other things that were great about the leg too. Reasonable hours of operation for the first task led to teams having the entire leg to fight it out. We were also saved from hearing Rob & Kim say “babe” or Peter spamming Sarah’s name. The only thing thrust upon us is the super duper heroic edit of David & Mary.

The Cho Bros became the first team ever to display good karma and have it all play out within one round. They were in dead last only a few hours from the pit stop before catapulting themselves to first place. Seeing teams get really lost on their way to finding the detour made for a great finish.

In fact, the chaos in the streets of Hanoi was a great cultural experience. I will never forget Kim being bumped by a motorcycle.

So what else do we got? A lame detour choice. One was favoured more and sounded much easier than the contrasting option. A mistake on production’s part. They should set up a detour so the tasks contrast greatly in what skills are required, but if a team can excel at both tasks they should be able to complete it in the same amount of time.

Then the suspense of Tom & Terry’s penalty as they dropped from 2nd and waited until the episode’s final minute to barely have their penalty play out before the final team arrived. The audience was holding their breath as it played out, no doubt.

So yeah, this was a pretty fantastic episode.)

2) Beijing -> Ulaanbaatar (There’s good news and bad news. The bad news is that there was an enormous equalizer. The good news is that it occurred before any route markers in the episode.

This episode featured Peter & Sarah for the second leg in a row. It is one of the most negative episodes I have seen for a team. The one-legged circus and Peter literally not understanding the meaning of ‘quit’ were two great storylines. It is perfect timing for me to re-watch this round as the Paralympic games are in full swing.

We also got to see a brand new country in the Genghis Khan homeland of Mongolia. It was a surprisingly challenging round. Teams either struggled with directions, operating the car, avoiding the hazardous mud, riding horses, guiding heinecks, folding tents, and firing arrows. Following how much the leading position changed was truly remarkable. I can’t recall a time where after each task it felt like the whole line-up of teams had shuffled.

We managed to hate Rob & Kim a bit more as they abused the word ‘babe’. Eight times for the whole episode? Their ironic reactions to breaking down and seeing a different team break down was classic.

Plenty of other storylines are set up. Dustin & Kandice want to be a strong female team but they crumble and cry when they make such a silly mistake. Erwin & Godwin’s kindness nearly eliminated them for the second round in a row. David & Mary’s lack of world and social experiences put them at a disadvantage. Rob & Kim’s bickering will set them back. And Tyler & James finding new joy in life. Isn’t that incredible how we get that many stories that will play out all season long? And we learn the origin of Rob & Kim’s conflict with Lyn & Karlyn. The friendship between Chos, Lyn & Karlyn, and David & Mary are present too.

Kellie & Jamie are a decent second boot seeing how nobody was taking them seriously, and us as viewers didn’t want to see stupidity like that rewarded for too long.

Plus it benefits from not having an extremely unfair elimination like we witnessed in the season premiere. That helps too.)

3) Vac -> Ha Long Bay (The structure of this leg was okay. It just seemed really short. Back to Hanoi? Why couldn’t they do this in the previous leg?

With that said, the audio clue was very creative. They have never done anything like that in the ten seasons of TAR. This opened a whole new avenue of clues that we would see in future seasons. Teams had to figure out on their own the appropriate strategy to use to communicate to the cab driver to take them to the correct location. The results were so compelling that this meaningless route marker occupied a third of the episode.

However when teams woke up they were equalized on a train and given a detour and roadblock that were very close to one another. Production was saved when none of the teams had experience paddling a boat. The teams truly made this segment for what could have been a very dull, quick, and uneventful second half to the round. Tom pulling a boat in the ocean and falling over several times before boarding the junk is one of the funnier things I have seen on the race. Kandice shredding a clue in the water also made it memorable.

This leg would have been ranked higher if rolled ankles, a missing leg, and babes weren’t shoved down our throats. But it was decent anyway.)

4) Beijing -> Seattle. Woops. Reverse it. Seattle -> Beijing. (There was plenty of comedic material to work with in the opening round. Water guns in an airport are busted out by the Cho Bros. Ironic quotes uttered by nearly every single team. The shocking nature of heading west to begin the race was a bonus.

But then the bad came. Taxis were abused once we entered China. And then Bilal & Sa’eed’s elimination came. It was worse than scaling down of Fast Forwards and Yields. Or the non-eliminations in seasons 1-4 when teams managed to get off scot free. It was random and served no other purpose than to “set the tone” that would be quickly erased for the remainder of the season.

Then there’s Peter who made me want to punch my TV screen on multiple occasions. I don’t know Sarah. Are you okay Sarah you can do it Sarah Oh sarah i dont know sarah. God. Shut your face.

The tasks weren’t that bad. Climbing into the pit stop was creative. In addition this was the first premiere to feature a roadblock (other than the unaired one in TAR 1). But all of that is overshadowed by the injustice of eliminating Bilal & Sa’eed.)

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