TAR 10 episode 5 ranking

Fifth leg

Previously on TAR: Eight teams left the city of Hanoi and raced to majestic Ha Long Bay, Vietnam. Sarah faced her fears (again) on a frightening roadblock. Peter wanted to quit, and Sarah lashed back. Rob & Kimberly fought all the way to the front. Tom & Terry turned desperate but despite a valiant effort, they were eliminated. Now seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time.

– This is Ha Long Bay in northern Vietnam. A stunning seascape of three thousand islands. A limestone island jutting out of the sea was the fourth pit stop in a race around the world.

– Phil’s Questions: None. Again. Phil has lost all sense of curiosity and skepticism.

– Rob & Kimberly, who were the first to arrive at 147pm will depart at 147am.

– Rob reads that teams must fly more than three thousand miles to Chennai, India. At least it’s a new city in India. I’m amazed they haven’t recycled locations after visiting India in TAR 1, 4, 5, 7, and now 10. But first they must travel by train to Hanoi.

As you may recall from TAR 3, Vietnamese regulations tickets cannot be sold at airline counters so it’s best to get them at a travel agency.

ROB: We’re going to India, honey. You  ready for some curry?

Out of all Indian stereotypes he decides to go with curry? I bet he used the same line when discovering he would be going to the foreign land of Vietnam, but instead of “curry” he replaced it with “rice”.

– Rob thinks that running this race is a metaphor for their life together. So if they get eliminated does that mean it’s the end of the marriage? For everyone else who is single in the universe, we hope not.

– Rob talks about chilling out some more.

– At 217am it’s time for one-legged Stacy Keibler and Condescending D—-bag to embark. Sarah avoids discussing her leg but rather discusses Peter. She doesn’t hold him on the pedestal as she used to. It’s a different feeling.

– Four minutes later it’s time for–

JAMES: We’re recovering addicts.

LOL! I’m not kidding you. I was going to say ‘former druggies’ at the end of that statement. James beat me to it by two seconds. Oh lord. Let the one-dimensional edit continue. You can probably fill in the blanks as to what he says in the confessional by this point. James talks about being powerless in the race and relating it to being powerless in his own life over drugs and alcohol.

See kids? If you do drugs and alcohol, you’ll be more than prepared for when you are cast to be on TAR! G.I. Joeeeee.

– TYLER: We have to go by train? Chochochocho.
DRIVER: By plane?
TYLER: Draw him a picture.

Much like Mary drawing a flower in the last leg, we play another game of Vietnamese Pictionary. Maybe that will be the next big game show.

– 228 not only refers to the Seoul University Train Station in TAR 4, but also refers to Erwin & Godwin’s departure time. The first thing they wanted to do was enjoy the adventure. The second thing they wanted to do was go play Skee Ball.

Anyone know what it says on the Chos’ shirt? Below the picture of Phil Keoghan there’s a few words detailing the reward. It kills any attempt at a joke if we can’t read what it says.

– 249am means David & Mary can begin. David needs to win this race so he doesn’t have to work in the coal mine. He says he doesn’t like working in the coal mine.

WHAT?! I thought the coal mine was a Kentuckian’s natural habitat. So he’s saying that he doesn’t like it there?! I’ll jot it down in my notes.

– Lyn & Karlyn are sixth at 253am. They avoid talking about their kids for once. Yay! Lyn speaks about how they haven’t spent this much time continuously together since college. And even in college they were roommates but didn’t look at each other 24/7. Karlyn is sick of looking at Lyn. At least we share that in common.

– We fast forward to 346am where it’s time for Dustin & Kandice to read their clue. They are two hours behind Rob & Kim. Very small spread for the first six teams, but luckily Dustin & Kandice and T n T sucked so much at reading their clue or paddling a boat that they fell massively behind. I blame Kandice for this happening.

KANDICE: It’s do or die for us.

If by “do or die” you mean “just don’t be seventh,” then yeah, it’s do or die. There’s so much at stake and s— is getting real where you can be fine finishing first, second, third, fourth, fifth, or sixth in a competition.

KANDICE: We have to be on top of every single thing we do.

Starting with Tyler & James. Ayooooo.

– KANDICE: We’re not aggressive enough.

If they don’t define cutting in front of T n T or Lyn & Karlyn as aggressive, I can’t imagine what their definition of aggressive would be. Shove a kid out of the line in Customs to be out of the airport sooner? Force the cab to park in the handicapped parking zone?

– Dustin hopes the first train doesn’t leave until 5 or 6 in the morning. Rob & Kim, Peter & Sarah, Tyler & James, Chos, David & Mary, and Lyn & Karlyn are all at the train station. Dustin & Kandice see the other teams sitting and lying down outside. It opens at 500am. Evil music plays as Dustin giggles upon hearing the news.

– A scene featuring Tyler & James. You know what this will be about. Tyler saw a guy on train tracks shooting heroin. You know what it reminds them of? Their past. Dun dun dunnnnnn.

– Tyler’s drug addiction stemmed from the loss of his father when he was fifteen. He looked to drugs to fill that void and it made him feel normal. It killed the pain, as Ramon Salazar would say. It took them to a place where they didn’t have to think about reality.

Look at the motif of that shot. It’s like Tyler & James were a prisoner of their own life problems.

– The Chos tell us that them, Bama, and Kentucky are all apart of the Back Pack alliance. T n T was the first team to be eliminated from that heroic eightsome. The Chos refer to themselves in the third person in this alliance. They all read maps together. We see multiple shots of Peter & Sarah. They don’t say anything but merely show reaction faces from Peter.

– Peter announces he is going to the restroom. Lovely. On his way he offers the Chos and Bama to give them info about where the closest travel agency is.

– Peter goes to Dustin & Kandice on his own. He has a theory that the Cho Bros, Bama, and Kentucky are sharing the money and map. Way to go, Inspector Clueso. You figured all of this by sitting directly next to them as they discussed where to go and dropping David & Mary’s names in the conversation? So bright of you.

– Dustin & Kandice have no idea what to do when they get to Hanoi because they don’t have a map. Peter acts independently like Russell of Russell & Cindy from TAR 4 and agrees to show the Beauty Queens their map in exchange for help down the road. Beauty Queens agree to his condition.

KANDICE: Why would he do that?
DUSTIN: Because he likes you.

Ugh. That’s like a quote stolen from Tiffany Michelle in the World Series of Poker.

TIFFANY: DOYOUHAVEACRUSHONMEDOYOUHAVEACRUSHONMEDOYOUHAVEACRUSHONME

God! That was the most annoying feature table in WSOP history. That b—- is my least favourite WSOP player in history. I hope to never talk about her again.

– Dustin doesn’t know whether to trust Peter, but when his best interest is involved they know they’ll be okay. Since when was TAR this in-depth in terms of scheming and developing trust? Usually it’s just hot air like a Twin Hunt.

– Peter comes back to offer to tell them the closest travel agency.

LYN: Quit telling me that you’re gonna tell me and tell me, but you keep walking away. I’m not gonna beg you for anything.

Note: The Back Pack has black listed Peter from all events.

– Wow. I completely forgot about this. It is the best prank besides Doug Roobaker. Godwin has a phone. He hands it off to Erwin as everyone spins their heads to listen to his conversation.

Pssst. Erwin? What flight is he booking? I can’t believe how fast he got through to an agent.

Classic. Okay, I think this prank is better than Roobaker. After only one season you have been toppled, Eric.

Gotcha!

-Peter falls for it as he walks past Godwin pissed off. He concludes that he needs to get a phone. Bama and Chos laugh hysterically.

– A similar incident happened in TAR 7 where Rob tricked Uchenna & Joyce and Meredith & Gretchen into thinking that there was an earlier flight. What happened in that scenario? Uchenna assumed Rob had the best flight and proceeded to call as many airlines as possible until he found a flight  that was far better than the one they were willing to settle for if Rob hadn’t made him doubtful.

Guess what happens here?

– Chos have repeated Rob Mariano’s mistake and Peter finds a cell phone. He is calling every travel agency possible. He books tickets for his team and Dustin & Kandice and have arranged to go to the travel agent.

CHO BROS: Ha ha ha! A fake cell phone! Who’s laughing now?

PETER: Ha ha ha! Why, I believe it’s meeee.

– It’s Hanoi. Various teams call for a taxi. Peter & Sarah are first inside. Lyn & Karlyn are next followed by, oh forget it, a million teams. Rob & Kim are following Tyler & James. Tyler says that they agreed to do this because they intend to get tickets together.

– Sarah softly claps and encourages the driver to go faster. Peter describes the cab as being extremely slow. Dustin & Kandice are first to the travel agency.

DUSTIN: Please help us before you help Sarah and Peter.

If you could move a little more to the right please. Just a bit closer to the villain edit that you oh so desperately crave. I love how the only people Peter is willing to help are the most cut-throat and least trustworthy team since Brandon & Nicole played. Alliance schmalliance, as Aaron & Arianne/Gold & Silver would say. Of course this was after their third failed attempt at a Twin Hunt.

– Peter & Sarah appear on the scene.

PETER: Don’t screw us.
KANDICE: Don’t worry, we’re not screwing you.

Of course, Kandice didn’t think Peter was referring to the alliance.

– No other teams are at their travel agency. Lyn & Karlyn are first to a second agency. Tyler & James and Rob & Kim are at a third agency. David says him and the rest of the Back Pack were split up in the taxi scrambles. They have no idea where their allies are. Luckily you don’t have to worry about the Cho Bros or Bama screwing you.

– The Backpack are heading to Handspan. David & Mary are delivered to the previous location of Handspan. It’s now moved to wherever Lyn & Karlyn are sitting. Cho Bros are inside of the previous offices and find out they need to head out. Mary requests that the man who told her about Handspan sticks with her because he speaks English and dresses nicely. The Vietnamese man is flattered by this.

You don’t need ZZ Top to tell you that this is a sharp dressed man.

– MARY: Don’t worry, you speak great English.

I don’t know how valid this is seeing as how it came from Mary. The standards ain’t that high, y’all.

– David & Mary are at the travel agency. The Cho Bros are at a separate agency. Back at Beauty Queens and One-Legged With D—-bag Agency, the agent tells them that there is only one flight. It leaves at 800pm to Bangkok then 1100am from there to Chennai. They book the flight.

– Lyn & Karlyn are told about the same sequence of flights and book it. David & Mary are on the flight as well after she badgers somebody at her agency about it being the quickest flight. Or the quackest flight. Mary’s vocabulary can switch dramatically.

– Now let’s go to the agency of drug addicts and babes. They are on a different flight. Head to Singapore, which is the opposite direction, and arrive there at 135pm. Then go to Chennai via Delhi and be there at 920am. That’s nearly a three hour advantage. My two least favourite teams have a monstrous advantage? Dangit.

Oh. Don’t you dare rub it in my face like that, Tyler.

AGENT: We do not print the tickets. They are coming by messenger. We don’t know how long it will take.

By messenger?! Like they beep you over MSN to give you your tickets? Why not through AIM or Yahoo Chat? What about Chatzy? I have never heard of teams receiving their tickets by messenger.

I can picture a Vietnamese man in Da Nang with a triangle hat getting onto a horse with a scroll attached to his waist and racing through the lush countryside. All for the purpose of delivering tickets to young American tourists for a reality television program.

– Oddly enough, Tyler & James are stressed out because their flight leaves in two hours but one hour of it must be devoted to heading to the airport. Why doesn’t the messenger meet them at the airport? That’s twice the efficiency.

– Peter uses ‘Sarah’s name three times within two seconds of getting to the airport. Beauty Queens are there too. Lyn & Karlyn and David & Mary meet up. They are relieved to have the same flights. However they become stressed when they don’t see a trace of their beloved Chos.

Colton, Rocky, and Tum-Tum likely beat ’em up in a rock band’s garage by this point.

– Cho Bros are told of a flight that leaves at 700pm connecting to Hong Kong and Delhi. It arrives in Chennai at 920am. Success for the Cho Bros!

That looks like Windows 95 to me. And that is the clunkiest phone I have seen. Although in the agency’s defense, it is a real phone. Unlike the one in the Cho Bros’ luggage.

– Two-thirds of the Back Pack have a powwow in the airport. Until Lyn sees Peter & Sarah. Peter and Lyn ask each other about their flights.

LYN: What flight did y’all get on?
PETER: Well we did buy tickets for this evening.
LYN: What airline?
PETER: Uhhhhhhhhhhh Tahiti. Ta-ta-ta-hiti. Like eight o’ clock.
LYN: Thai?
PETER: Okay you’re on the same flight?

Peter wouldn’t do well on Survivor.

The Tahiti claim becomes childish when you see where Tahiti is located in contrast with Thailand, Vietnam, and India. Peter’s flight will get into Chennai about two days from now!

– Druggies and Babe-Fest are sitting in the agency. Frantic music plays. Tyler throws up his hands in despair and is tugging at his face. They have the tickets and call for taxis. Cho Bros are at the airport with Bama and David & Mary. They discover that the Cho Bros have an earlier flight. Lyn goes to buy the tickets but Cho Bros remind them about the travel agency rule. At least someone paid attention to the Phil Keoghan voiceover.

– Tyler & James are in the cab. Them and Rob & Kim get to the airport safe and sound. David & Mary hit up the Cathay Pacific office (Cho Bros’ flight) in the airport. Mary wants to be taken to Delhi. Hopefully the agent misinterprets and orders a sandwich for her. Ba-dum-pssh.

– David & Mary and Lyn & Karlyn have tickets to Delhi but only a reservation to Chennai. Mary asks the agent if it’s worth the risk. Well he does get commission on these tickets I’d imagine, so he’ll say yes.

– Karlyn pipes in that they don’t want to be on a flight with Peter & Sarah and the “Barbies,” and too much tension has been created. So the decision to take the risk is purely out of emotion rather than rationality. I think Peter & Sarah and Dustin & Kandice won the fight this round.

– Peter & Sarah and Dustin & Kandice talk about Kentucky and Alabama. I hope that when I’m on the race I am not referred to as “Team B.C.”. I hate the bullcrap of having to represent whatever political border I come from. So annoying.

– They all thought David & Mary and Lyn & Karlyn would be eliminated.

PETER: Kentucky just walks around going “Where do we go?” “David!” “My ankle’s hurtin'”.

It’s not a bad Mary impression. Just that there is a little extra d—-iness thrown in.

PETER: “You see a Burger King around here?”

Now that’s offensive.

– Peter & Sarah welcomes the Cho Bros into their circle.

GODWIN: The beauty queens and Peter asked us about our flight. And we didn’t want to lie. We roughly told them what our advantage was.

The Confederacy will not be happy with you, Godwin.

– Peter knows that Lyn & Karlyn and David & Mary have unconfirmed seats. Peter is going to gamble and stay on his permanent flight. I don’t think he understands that gambling is to take unconfirmed tickets.

– Cho Bros board their own flight.

– Druggies and Rob & Kim take off on their flight. Lyn & Karlyn and David & Mary board their flight. David hopes their alliance can be 1-2-3.

– Peter & Sarah and Rob & Kim board a flight of their own. Newer viewers must be stunned at the idea of four different flights being booked between seven different teams. In this era you couldn’t skip the airport scenes because they were relevant to the outcome of each round. Unless it’s TAR 6. Then you could do whatever you wanted.

– Delhi time. Kim asks if they can sleep in airports. Peter & Sarah and Dustin & Kandice look for earlier flights. The woman with one leg wants her prior or current boyfriend to slow down. He doesn’t. Seeing how the Terry Fox Run is tomorrow, I’m sure Canadian viewers like me would view this as a jerk move.

– Dustin & Kandice have a flight that arrives at 750am. Dustin lies to Peter saying she’s not sure about the flight they are getting. It leaves in forty minutes. Dustin walks away from the counter while Kandice deals with the tickets. Kandice is too focused on the transaction that he sneaks up on Kandice to glance at her tickets.

For the first time ever, the annoying scientific brainiac copies off of a beauty queen for help. The reversal of the History Class exam has just taken place. Welcome to the 21st century.

– Kandice is pissed that Peter looked at her ti…ckets.

On the other hand, I could’ve sworn you were hiding the tickets from somebody who has offered you a ton of help all season. Hypocritical much?

– Dustin & Kandice and Peter & Sarah run off to the lineup. Dustin says that all bets are off and the alliance is over. Peter is pissed that his key allies wouldn’t share a little bit of information.

May I say how shocked I am that I agree with something Peter said? Ugh.

– Here we are again at Delhi. Rob & Kim, Tyler & James, Lyn & Karlyn, Cho Bros, and David & Mary are in the same airport. David & Mary and Lyn & Karlyn are placed on the waiting list. The other three teams board the flight in the meantime. Lyn & Karlyn are the only ones who have tickets printed.

– The flight takes off without David & Mary. Tyler goes from “son of a beehive” to smiling that David & Mary are no longer on the flight.

– David & Mary book tickets for a plane that gets in thirty minutes after the traililng four teams.

– We’re in Chennai. The music from Aleppey’s Finishing Point plays. Dustin & Kandice are first into a cab. Phil tells us that teams must find a bus station and ride a bus forty miles to the town of Mamallapuram and find Valluvar Arts & Crafts. This is where teams will find their next clue.

This voiceover is necessary for once. We’re nineteen minutes into the episode which means it’s been about twenty minutes since the first team checked out to talk about the route marker. We were hung up in the airport drama.

– Peter & Sarah are second into a cab. Peter complains about going from one polluted city to another. The cab driver asks Dustin & Kandice’s cab driver how to get to the bus station. The driver’s response?

– Let me preface it by saying that Dustin & Kandice and Peter & Sarah have a two hour lead. It’s the beginning of the day and thus a night-time equalizer will not be present. It’s you and one other team lonely at the top. If the teams work together they can increase their lead over the cut-throat trailing teams who will be extremely stressed. Shouldn’t this partnership continue?

You think a cab driver would be a wee bit upset when a complete stranger you picked up five minutes ago is covering your mouth as you talk to your friends. I have a feeling Indian etiquette doesn’t view mouth covering as a polite form of saying ‘don’t talk’.

– Peter & Sarah may want to get on the next plane and receive their new membership into the Back Pack. Dustin jokes about covering the driver’s mouth. Peter is pissed that his own driver doesn’t know where to go. Sarah wishes they would have followed the Beauty Queens.

– Dustin & Kandice are on the first bus. Peter & Sarah get there at an unspecified time and get on the second bus.

– The next plane lands. Four teams are trying to get into taxi drivers. Tyler & James’ driver is aimlessly wandering to get directions. He chooses to drive the way they came. Chos have directions and tell Lyn & Karlyn to follow. I hear this usually works out well. Kim misjudges how high the trunk is and smacks her head on the lid. That’s the second time she has hit her head on a trunk this season. I hear they can be lethal.

Just ask Tammy Gaghan.

– David & Mary’s flight gets in as they enter a cab.

MARY: We do not think we’re in last.

Your statement contradicts this evidence.

– David thinks Dustin & Kandice and Peter & Sarah should be on a plane behind them. Unless of course they found an earlier flight.

– Dustin & Kandice are at the route marker. Wow. It doesn’t open until 1130am. Those are late hours. Peter & Sarah show up. Kandice friendly greets them. Peter congratulates on Dustin’s hand job with the taxi.

Only five minutes in a new city and Dustin is giving the driver a hand job!

– Karlyn says the people of India have more substance to their bodies. She said it is in contrast to Vietnam where she received stares because she thought it was for her body fat. It could have been because of something else you know.

– Rob & Kim stand up on the train. Kim must’ve seen TAR 4 and 5 because she tells Rob to not let anyone touch her. If only Jon was around to touch Kim as a joke.

KIM: Can you smell that? Smells like fish.

Just regular ol’ fish? Must not be that bad then if that’s the worst you could come up with.

– KIM: I want to go to Europe. I wanna be with the rich folk.

I’m glad you came on this race to expand your cultural horizons!

– Tyler & James are dropped off. They don’t see anyone. Meanwhile the route marker opens up. Dustin & Kandice and Peter & Sarah receive the clue.

– It’s a detour Wild Things or Wild Rice. In Wild Things, teams make their way nine miles to the Madras Crocodile Bank and locate Pit 16 where they must help two wranglers do something like in the picture (I can’t understand Phil) to one large crocodile.

Never has a crocodile looked so adorable. It’s like a muzzled pit bull.

– Then they must transport it to a new pit.

– In Wild Rice, teams must make their way two hundred yards away to Sthala Sayama Perumal Temple. Once here they must choose one of these outlines for a traditional design then using a picture of reference they must gather specially coloured rice and fill the columns so that it matches the picture.

– Dustin & Kandice and Peter & Sarah are going to the Crocodile Bank. Peter whines that it will be a long day.

– Tyler & James board the bus. Tyler whines that it was a b—-. David & Mary are on a bus too.

– Dustin & Kandice are worried when the taxi driver pulls over. It’s a flat tire. Peter & Sarah’s cab passes Dustin & Kandice on the road. the driver wants to stop but Peter yells to keep going.

For the third time in TAR history, and most importantly for the second season in a row, a task featuring crocodiles is present. Be careful of this particular croc though. Why?

Crocodile bit his hand!

– Peter & Sarah are first to Pit 16. Peter calls for Sarah to come on like she is a five year old with too short of legs to carry her. Sarah wants Peter to wait. She gives a confessional about her hydraulic knee. Well at least we covered it briefly for once. Peter keeps yelling at Sarah. She climbs the wall. Strong upper body.

– Peter wraps a rubber band around the croc’s nose. Sarah compares it to pulling hair back as he puts on a rubber band on the snout. Peter keeps coaching her and claiming it is simple stuff.  These two and the team of croc wranglers work to put down the crocodile. They wrap rope around it. Dustin & Kandice are on the scene. Peter insists for Sarah to hurry for the millionth time. Maybe don’t have the woman with one leg lead carrying the croc on a stretcher.

SARAH: I’m tryin’ Peter. It’s scary.
PETER: Oh c’mon. It’s not scary.

Let’s send you to the Outback then, Crocodile Dundee.

– Dustin & Kandice wish for a wild crocodile to not be roaming about. I hear this tourist facility can stay open and attract visitors with crocodiles running about. Sarah climbs over another wall as she uses a big tree for balance. Dustin & Kandice are nervous about the wall. Peter & Sarah each remove a rubber band. The crocodile is free. Detour is done. Not a long day after all. Sarah reads that teams must travel by bus to Chennai and look for the Karthik Driving School.

– Peter wants Sarah to run so they can make the bus. Dang Sarah is mimicking Peter greatly. They see the bus pull away. Sarah cries and sulks knowing Peter wanted her to go faster. Peter retracts his millions of requests for Sarah to go faster by saying he didn’t want her to go faster. Sarah knows it’s a lie and is crying that she can’t keep up.

– PETER: Get it together, Sarah, c’mon.
SARAH: Oh f—.

– Peter says he won’t be aggressive anymore. He says this is how he rolls and that he likes how he does things. Sarah interrupts saying it isn’t all about him. That they’re a team. Peter’s response?

PETER: We’re in fist place, Sarah. Just sitting here.

I think you missed the point, Peter. Who knew a team that has a one-legged participant wouldn’t be the one receiving all the attention. Of course this will change in later seasons.

– PETER: Remember it’s just a game. We’re having fun.

Says the guy who wanted to quit at the end of last round.

– We go to commercial and come back with the exchange repeating. Sarah once again emphasizes she’s not having fun with Peter. She might break up with her non-boyfriend yet again.

– Dustin & Kandice remove the ropes and rubber band. They make a point to open the clue outside the bank. They join Peter & Sarah at the bus stop. Cho Bros and Lyn & Karlyn have the detour clue. Lyn & Karlyn want to look at the design. Cho Bros think wild rice will be tough but refuse to split up from their alliance. They agree to take a look at it at the very least.

– Cho Bros and Lyn & Karlyn take off their shoes and socks. They are impressed that people can walk on these hot tiles. Nothing like walking on tiles outdoors in 40+ degree heat. You may be better off putting your hand on the element of a stove top to cool off. Cho Bros and Lyn & Karlyn do the task regardless knowing that it would take a long time to complete.

– Rob & Kim will do the croc task. They enter a cab. Kim is fascinated by the cow.

KIM: Look at the cow. Is it a homeless cow?

*Facepalm*

KIM: Seriously, babe? What? Is it something I said?

– Peter & Sarah and Dustin & Kandice board the bus. I love how Dustin talks to Peter as if they didn’t try to eff them over three times this episode. Once at the ticket counter, once at the airport, and a third time in the cab. At least Peter caught on to cut the alliance after the third offense. At least he learned something.

– Cho Bros and Lyn & Karlyn quit together when they cannot handle the heat. Karlyn doesn’t mind being bitten. The heat must be that brutal.

– Rob & Kim do the detour in two seconds. They have the clue. Cho Bros pass Tyler & James’ incoming bus. Both teams saw the other. Rob & Kim are at the bus stop. Rob clarifies with a local that the bus comes every half hour. It took about thirty seconds before Rob understands the concept of thirty minutes. How much is this free weekend too?

– Rob & Kim see Cho Bros and Lyn & Karlyn enter the Crocodile Bank. Rob talks blatantly to the camera that they’re doing the task. As if they are playing dirty. Odd.

GODWIN (at the Crocodile Bank): You know James & Tyler do this every Tuesday right?

I think it’s wrestling each other in general.

– Tyler & James read that the Crocodile Bank is first come first served so they choose to the Wild Rice option. Both teams are doing the crocodile task simultaneously. Rob wants the bus to show up right away. Meanwhile Lyn is struggling to climb up the wall.

Have you noticed that whether it’s a shale wall, the Great Wall, or a stone wall, this is the only time when Lyn & Karlyn are given their extra airtime. That’s right. Struggling with walls in three episodes is when we get to know Lyn & Karlyn. Their trials and tribulations.

– Production stops beating a dead horse and Lyn gets over a few seconds later. Cho Bros and Lyn & Karlyn show up to the bus stop after finishing the detour. Needless to say that Rob is frustrated and throws in a Tony Paolo “sonofab—-” for good measure. Godwin asks how long he has been waiting. Rob can’t tell time too well and replies that it’s been forever.

Forever = Less than thirty minutes

– Tyler & James concede it could take a while. The bus arrives and the three teams get seats on the bus. The first bus gets into Chennai. Peter & Sarah are first into a taxi. Dustin & Kandice second, of course.

– Tyler & James note they screwed up and redo a part of the picture. David & Mary’s bus gets into the detour town of Madras. Mary wants to do the Wild Rice task because she can see it. David thinks the crocodile task would be easier but Mary yells that it could be far away. And did you know Mary has a bad ankle? No need to aggravate it. So off to Wild Rice they go.

– David & Mary see Tyler & James at the Wild Rice task. Mary cusses them out for not putting on clothes.

MARY: Put some clothes on!
(TYLER & JAMES go to change.)
TYLER & JAMES: How’d we screw that up?

Since when did Mary become their mother? I love how they mumble under their breath too as if they give in begrudgingly like any child does to an order by their parents.

Mary cusses out David as he creates the design. How about you get off your fat ankle and do something about it then? Gosh.

– TYLER: I feel like I am a retarded kid.

Margie is filing a petition with CBS as we speak. I hear they will settle it out of court. The agreement will come to fruition in about two years. Oh joy.

– Mary asks David why she would want to wrestle a crocodile. I don’t know. Maybe to experience new cultures and things that you don’t have the opportunity to take advantage of in Kentucky. They’re from Kentucky, right? I don’t know if they’ve made that clear in 4 1/2 episodes.

– Peter & Sarah are at the roadblock.

ROADBLOCK: Who is the driving force behind this team?

No subtlety to what the task will be. In this roadblock one person must go through the proper process of obtaining an Indian driver’s license. They will sit through a driver’s ed class and then navigate their way through India’s notoriously frenzied and confusing streets to pass a driving test.

Maybe being home to a driver from The Fast and the Furious who is practicing his drifting may be part of the problem. It benefited the B-Roll that TAR needed though.

– Once passed they will receive their Indian driver’s license. Peter sits through a lesson and is in the car. He is told to not drive crazy. First try and he completes the task. Sarah reads that teams must drive their driving school car with their instructor ten miles to find the Chettinad House. this royal palace completed in 1934 is the pit stop for this round. They jump into their car.

– Dustin volunteers to do the roadblock. Back at the detour Tyler & James ask for a judge and are told it’s wrong. They made too many circles and have to re-do that part of it. Dustin drove on the wrong side of the road but the instructor says she did it. Wow. Standards for a license is low. You think it would be much higher given that the streets are much more congested than most areas in North America.

– We cut to Peter & Sarah stepping onto the mat. They might be the first team in a long time to not have a glorified first place arrival. I suppose last season when teams either dove or walked backwards into the mat must have sucked out any willingness to watch traditional entrances.

Although in this case somebody would walk on one leg into the mat.

– Phil gives them the good news. They each won a home gym system and a standing air bike. Given that they are triathletes I bet this is something they already have set up in their homes. Especially seeing how they barely react to the details of the prize.

– Rob & Kim get into a cab. Lyn and Chos ask if they should drive or walk to the driving school. The local says to walk. Not only is it slower but I hear traffic is horrendous. Even if it was close I’d get into a tuk-tuk for safety reasons. So Chos and Lyn & Karlyn walk.

– Dustin & Kandice step onto the mat in second.

PHIL: Are we looking at the first all-female team to win The Amazing Race?
KANDICE: I think you are, Phil.

LOL.

– Rob is doing the roadblock.

INSTRUCTOR: Do not drink and drive at any moment.
ROB: What?
INSTRUCTOR: Do not drink and drive.
ROB: Drink what?

Kim’s turn to facepalm.

– Back at the detour Tyler & James ask for another judge. For the first time in their life, a judge rules in Tyler & James’ favour. They have the clue. David & Mary cuss each other out as they are falling behind.

– Rob is done the roadblock. The instructor jokes about not drinking and driving. That joke was over a long time ago.

– Godwin is doing the roadblock and so is Lyn.

If you honk that special horn, it means for women, children, and animals to get out of the way. Once you use the horn, it’s their own fault if you run their a– over.

– Lyn drove on the wrong side of the road and asks which side to drive on. Godwin is told to slow down. The fact he is driving fast in his first attempt at driving in urban India indicates that he is a very brave soul. It’s not too surprising knowing he willingly brought a water gun into an American airport.

LYN: They drive like a bunch of jacka—es out there.

If you want to know jacka– drivers, move to Alberta.

– Godwin is back and has the clue. Lyn has her clue too. Rob & Kim check in at third place.

– David & Mary are still doing the wild rice task. They ask for approval and are done. They go catch a bus to Chennai. Cho Bros are fourth. Phil asks to explain the shirt.

Ah. Now the shirt is much funnier. Bushel of kiwis. I didn’t know that was the proper unit for kiwis.

GODWIN: This is a very important person.
PHIL: That is one ugly shot of me.

Phil is such a diva.

– Tyler is doing the roadblock. He is in class. Next we see Lyn & Karlyn check into the pit stop in fifth. Sure enough the talk turns to their allies.

KARLYN: I don’t see David & Mary. I hope this is a non-elimination leg.

Karlyn leads the prayers for the southern and/or casual viewers of TAR. Elsewhere the hardcore fan base and the online community are praying for their elimination.

– David & Mary are still on a bus. Doubt those prayers will be answered. Ten seconds later Tyler & James complete the roadblock and are at the pit stop. Tyler is astounded that they are as low as sixth. James finds it humbling. Next time you should take the Cho Bros advice and wrestle a ‘gator. James deems it as something they needed to experience. After finishing at the top of the pack oh so many times.

– The sun sets as David & Mary step off the bus. David takes the last clue. The sad music is not playing whatsoever. Instead Mary is recapping how the day went and that they are indeed  in last place. David is not impressed with grabbing the last clue in the box. David is doing the roadblock. Mary talks about the race being aggravatin’ and stressful. She goes on to say how David is stubborn and refuses to quit. This is one freakin’ long goodbye for a team.

– Mary loves him more than the day she met him. He does the roadblock we assume and they check into the pit stop. Come to think of it we were never introduced to the greeter before. Maybe that’s why these pit stop check-ins have been unusual.

I think that’s India’s answer to Mr. Monopoly.

– Phil informs David & Mary that they are last. However, he is pleased to tell them that this is a non-elimination. The voiceover cuts in that unlike in seasons 5-9, they get to hang onto all of their money.

Wuh? So no penalty? This is ridiculous!

– The bad news is that on the next leg they are marked for elimination. What that means is that you need to arrive at the pit stop first. Otherwise, you’ll incur a thirty minute penalty. During that time other teams could check in and eliminate them.

– Mary finds the challenge of coming in first on the next leg to be “ridiculously tough” because of the competition that they got. Don’t think you can finish first? Then why show up to be on TAR in the first place? Anytime she wants to give up she thinks of her kids.

Next Time on TAR: The long string of one-timing countries begins. TAR heads to one of the most tumultuous places of the past twenty years. And you know how David & Mary are incapable of finishing in the top three on their own? Well let’s say TAR producers throw in something to ensure that David & Mary’s odds of being first can occur. It also involves a big bluff.

Confessional Counts

Peter&Sarah 3.4
Rob&Kimberly 2.0
Dustin&Kandice 2.1
David&Mary 4.2
Erwin&Godwin 2.1
Tyler&James 5.4
Lyn&Karlyn 3.2

Rank the Legs

1) Ha Long Bay -> Chennai (This is in my opinion the best leg. Yes, even for it being the first non-elimination leg of the season. I have my reasons.

The first is that hours of operation don’t really play into this leg with the lone exception of the thirty minutes for the detour clue. Minimal hours of operation makes a fan out of me.

The second is that this style of episode will be borderline extinct within the next couple of years. Teams spread across several flights or key coalitions simply aren’t present as we draw into the more recent seasons. This episode however featured both predominantly. The millions of visits to India took a backseat to the drama between teams, coalitions, pranks, and figuring out the best airlines to use for the round.

In fact, all seven teams were in one of three coalitions. Tyler & James partnered up with Rob & Kim. Cho Bros, ‘Bama, and Kentucky tried to work together despite Cho Bros booking a flight of their own initially and David & Mary lagging behind. Dustin & Kandice and Peter & Sarah should have had a long term coalition, but Dustin & Kandice thought it would be fun to completely burn and shatter the team that gave them an enormous boost throughout this episode.

The relationships between teams were strained a bit. Well, that really only applies to Peter & Sarah. For the second round in a row, the team with the greatest conflict is the one that emerges in first place. The fighting existent and non-existent couples are dominating the season.

Another reason this leg was enjoyable is that Tyler & James experienced being in peril for once. Much like the Oman leg from last season, an unlikely order of finish was put together. With the exception of David & Mary being in the bottom of course.

– Cho Bros’ cell phone prank was flat out awesome. What makes it more awesome is that it backfired to put Peter ahead of all other teams. Heck, he made himself feel way above Sarah. What a racer.

The tasks were pretty good. A detour between a scary crocodile or making an intricate design on hot feet made for one scary task being significantly faster than the other. The Indian driving school roadblock was a very creative task set up by TAR. Surprisingly we don’t see the task for no more than about ninety seconds altogether. I suppose it was tough to film. I wish I could take a driving test where I could drive on the wrong side of the road and still pass. Maybe next time in India teams will be forced to take a first aid course.)

2) 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.)

3) 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.)

4) 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.)

5) 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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