Previously on TAR: Seven teams set out from Chennai, India and raced to Kuwait City, Kuwait. From the onset, David & Mary were marked for elimination. At the Kuwait Towers, the Cho Bros sacrificed for Kentucky. Then Erwin faced his fear of heights 610 feet above the earth. While Lyn & Karlyn and Dustin & Kandice clashed. David & Mary completed a fiery fast forward, arrived Fast Forward, and did not receive a thirty minute penalty. After Peter & Sarah were hopelessly lost in the Kuwait desert, they came in last. Now six teams remain. Who will be eliminated. . .next?
– So basically we’re supposed to ignore that Tyler & James and Rob & Kim are in this season. I can live with that.
– This is Kuwait. A Middle Eastern country bordered by Saudi Arabia and Iraq (oh my). The water towers are shown off.
Phil’s Questions: Will the alliance between Erwin & Godwin, Lyn & Karlyn, and David & Mary remain intact? Or will the competitive nature of the game force teams apart?
– David & Mary, who arrived first at 1237pm, will depart at 1237am. Mary reads the clue.
MARY: Fly to the island of Moor-Ah-She-Us.
PHIL: Teams must now fly more than 4, 600 miles to Mauritius. A tiny island nation off the east coast of Africa. Once they land teams must choose a car where they will find their next clue.
Ah. A model ship. Mr. Bean is sure to tune in this episode.
MARY: Mauritius? I don’t even know where that is.
– Mary credits the Chos for finishing first. They’ve made friends worth more than a million dollars. In a heartbeat she would sacrifice the race for her friends.
Wow. Got to love that competitive spirit! Or David & Mary know they have performed so poorly that they may as well go out in style and be hailed by the audience.
– Mary has renamed her alliance the “Six Pack” because the “Back Pack” sounds like a bunch of losers. And they’re not losers.
David & Mary have finished 7th multiple times and 10th in the first five rounds.
Cho Bros are currently in fifth.
Bama is currently in fourth.
Awe. Don’t worry Kentucky. Your alliance will always be losers in my books.
– David & Mary are looking for “booketing”. Yes, booketing. They book tickets for a flight that gets in at 650am. There is not much room to play with when you fly to such a small destination. They book the flight.
– Beauty Queens depart at 340am.
DUSTIN: Fly to More-Uh-Tee-Us.
0-for-2. I saw this episode when it aired back in ’06. Needless to say I laughed out loud to hear the butchered pronunciations of a name I heard several times on my Leap Frog globe.
– DUSTIN: It’s really dog eat dog. Each team is out there for themselves.
You picked the worst season possible for that comment, Dustin. You could not be more inaccurate.
– They talk about how only one team can step on the map at a time and they are confident every team will do what it takes to get to the end because the Beauty Queens themselves intend to do so. Again, the worst season possible to make that comment.
– It’s 353am. Time for Rob & Kim to go on a baby frenzy.
ROB: Fly to the island of More-It-E-Us.
ROB: Moreiteus? Never heard of it. Have you?
I doubt it. Otherwise she’d be giggling at you saying ‘Moreiteus.
– Rob admits that he doesn’t know how to get to the airport. Kim says in a confessional that it’s time for her to take control of the team. If she’s assertive it will make Rob trust her. Rob loves seeing Kim going into survival mode and running with it.
– Beauty Queens are booking a flight. They find out it connects through London.
WTF? London? Unlike other teams, I know where Mauritius is. To go from Kuwait City to London to Port Louis is like flying from Vancouver to Nuuk, Greenland to Mexico City, Mexico. The connection screams inefficiency.
– In a bright move, Dustin pulls out an atlas to point that they really do have to go through London to get to Mauritius. The flight attendant is getting annoyed. The Beauty Queens are having a tough time buying it. However, it sinks in for Dustin.
Dustin’s face when she realizes she will have to wait three days to shove back at Dustin.
– David & Mary see Rob & Kim. Rob asks David if he has the tickets. Mary instructs to David to not say anything. David is uneasy as he slowly walks away. Rob brushes David off and is frustrated that David is lying. Rob gives in that Kentucky and Bama will segregate themselves.
DAVID: We’re not gonna help them. We’re mean.
Yep. You’re mean because you will help every single team except them. Congratulations David, you’re officially employing the Colin Guinn strategy. Oddly enough this was in full force during episode seven when Colin got four teams against Charla & Mirna.
– Rob is in disbelief that they have to fly through London.
– 410am. Lyn & Karlyn depart.
LYN: Fly to the island of More-Eetch-Us.
0-for-4. Closest of all teams thus far.
– Karlyn claims she has heard of it and that it is a beautiful place. They discuss how fine their alliance is. Karlyn claims she can draw the line between friendship and the race. She insists she will not bow down to win the race for her friends. Ah. Karlyn understands how coalitions work in this game.
KARLYN: Don’t put yourself out for me because I’m not going to do the same for you.
Sorry, Cho Bros were too busy having a water gun fight. Can you repeat that again?
– Eight minutes later it’s Cho Bros.
ERWIN: Fly to the island of Moo-Rish-Us?
0-for-5. So effin close. One syllable, Erwin. More. Not Moo.
– Godwin discusses the alliance works because they sacrificed something when they gave the Fast Forward. They missed Karlyn’s memo. Erwin thinks that the more they help Kentucky and Bama down the line the more they will be helped down the line. The funny part about that is you think Kentucky can survive to being down the line.
– Dustin says loudly that she wants to go elsewhere because the agents aren’t the brightest bulbs. Kandice wants her to shush because the agents may not be deaf.
– David & Mary’s four hour wait is over as their beloved Bama and Cho Bros. They hug Bama who they haven’t seen since they had supper ten hours ago. Same goes with Cho Bros. Godwin thinks it so nice to see Kentucky.
– It’s 455am. Not too far behind the other four teams from the previous round. It’s Tyler & James. They haven’t had a strong showing in these past two legs.
TYLER: Fly to the island of Mauritius.
JAMES: Where’s that?
TYLER: I don’t know. But let’s go!
1-for-6. That’s a better average than most players on the Seattle Mariners. And really? The models of all teams correctly pronounced their country on the first try? Lucky guess.
These two are very happy to see that they are still in the race.
Not this happy.
Nor this either.
– Tyler thinks the Six Pack (word travels fast because this confessional is shown with Kuwait in the background) is built on a house of cards because somebody from their alliance has to go eventually and everyone needs be out for themselves. It’s only temporary. James wonders when the next flight would be.
– Beauty Queens ask another counter. They are told about the same London flight. Bama is in line behind them. Awkward. Tyler & James peek their heads through the doors as they flirt with Beauty Queens. Dustin loses her selfish grip that she boasts about and requests that the agent book tickets for Tyler & James. This is the most hypocritical group I have seen. Everyone claims to be on their own but yet there are huge coalitions everywhere you look.
– Of course Bama objects to this. They say they can’t book for other teams. Tyler & James back out.
KANDICE: It’s not really in our best interest to help Tyler & James, but I want the Bama Girls to leave today.
Emotion is the enemy of reason. Well, Beauty Queens’ reasoning in the past has been to intentionally alienate yourself from every other team. Except Tyler & James. Being in the same room with your only friends and your strongest enemies reveals the flaws in their strategies.
DUSTIN: Bama definitely doesn’t give anyone on the race the warm fuzzies.
Can you please define that for us? And how do you give warm fuzzies?
– Karlyn, Kandice, and Dustin all yell at the agent.
DUSTIN: You’re being really pushy right now.
KARLYN: I’ve been pushy? Y’all just pushed them in front of us. How have I been pushy?
– Cho Bros book the tickets for the Mauritius flight. Beauty Queens don’t miss their friendship because there was never one to begin with.
– KARLYN: If you think that was right for them to push that in front of us, then you do what you need to do. If you can live with that on your conscience.
TYLER: You guys are trippin.
Wacky inflatable arm flailing tube Bamawoman.
Tyler’s karate stance. Cue Carl Douglas.
TYLER: We buy our own tickets.
KARLYN: Do you have a problem–
Let’s check my invisible watch. Oh, it’s ‘Shut the F— Up Karlyn’ in the afternoon.
KARLYN: Can I ask y’all a question?
TYLER (shrugs shoulders): Wuh?
Tyler has brought in three pieces of African-American slang that I have not seen him use in the first six rounds. Maybe his life as a teenager doing hard drugs on the mean streets of. . .Beverly Hills? Brings out his slang.
KARLYN: If it was reversed though–
TYLER: Yeah I’d be pissed but I’d swallow the pill.
Oh what Tyler would give to swallow a pill. But then he’d have to go to rehab.
LYN: Then what’s wrong with it?!
Karlyn informs empty air to talk to the hand.
TYLER: So stupid. This is idiot banter.
LYN: Be an idiot. Enjoy the banter.
KARLYN: Then why is there anything wrong with it? Why are they worried about it? I mean–
TYLER: Oh my god.
Drug withdrawal can make you do crazy things.
KARLYN: Then shut up.
TYLER: This is the most you’ve talked the whole trip.
KARLYN: If you’re not worried about it then shut up.
KARLYN: Why can’t you tell me to shut up. I can say whatever the hell I wanna say.
TYLER: Say something smart then.
I must admit half of this conversation was impossible to understand. It was like that mini game in Brain Age where you have to differentiate between the simultaneous voices. I think the point of the argument is that if she was in front and the Six Pack came behind the Beauty Queens that she wouldn’t buy their tickets. Tyler didn’t care about the analogy because Dustin & Kandice did not bother to buy the tickets anyway. In other words, Tyler is frustrated that Karlyn is still talking about a situation that he clearly wants to forget.
– We see a sign that it is 37 degrees Celsius. The heat can only aggravate the situation. Tyler makes fun of Bama in confessional. They are jealous whiny a–es. Karlyn argues with Lyn over not stepping into that situation. Lyn keeps cutting Karlyn off so she can book tickets with the agent. Clearly Lyn wants to move on and be rid of the emotions. Tyler mockingly waves goodbye as he walks away with tickets in his hand first.
– All six teams are on the same flight. Phil shows the flight path.
Western Asia to Western Europe to south eastern Africa? Let’s do this in two seconds. That is a lot of tape on the cutting room floor.
– Tropical music plays for half a second. The teams run out to spot their cars. Nobody has it yet. James praises the nice weather and how it feels like home. Tyler grabs the boat inside the car. There is no clue envelope. The only information is a label on the model ship. Leave it to the models to find a model ship.
It’s very Alice in Wonderland. Except the part where you have to swim to the ship rather than eat it.
– Phil pipes in that teams must figure out the model ship represents a real schooner in Grand Baie. Teams must drive themselves to the bay and swim to the boat.
– Tyler steps into the car to drive. However he steps into the wrong side of the car. Somebody has forgotten their Indian driver’s license. They need a refresher on the global south. James wonders if they shouldn’t have been the first ones to take off because they don’t know where they were going. James wonders if they should have followed a team. He thinks a hotel would know where it is. Tyler replies that they don’t know how close they are to a big hotel. Mauritius isn’t exactly known for a bustling metropolis.
– Bama see the ship and Karlyn wants Lyn to drive. Lyn asks if they should wait. Karlyn wants to drive away regardless. She doesn’t think it makes sense to wait for her allies so they would all be behind.
– Mary stops David so they can find the Six Pack. Tough to find a team that will drive away. Beauty Queens are next to the model ship followed by Rob & Kim. Dustin & Kandice and Rob & Kim ask for directions to the ship. Kentucky has the ship and say they are waiting for the Chos. Chos are lost in TAR’s smallest airport.
– Bama is on the road and asked for directions. They’re set. So are Dustin & Kandice and Rob & Kim. Dustin understood to go north. Rob however didn’t understand a word and is following Dustin & Kandice. Chos and Kentucky have directions too. Kentucky is following behind the Chos.
– Mary is afraid of water because of fish. David has been traumatized because of an incident when he was five. Mary compares it to throwing your kid in front of a bus. Usually in reality TV you hear of somebody being thrown under a bus, but not here. Mary is looking forward to being thrown out like a kid made to swim.
– Tyler agrees to go to a hotel. Lyn wishes she had a way to tell the Six Pack that they are in the right direction. Karlyn is puzzled why Lyn would do that out of courtesy. Beauty Queens are pissed that Rob & Kim are following them. Turnabout is fair play I must say.
– Kim wonders how much the blondes are willing to help. Rob doesn’t think all that much and does not find them to be great at the race.
ROB: It’s every man for himself.
Unless you are Bama, Kentucky, Chos, Beauty Queens, Tyler & James, or Rob & Kim.
– Chos have caught up to Rob & Kim. Rob is not happy that it is the “freakin’ Chos”. Tyler & James pull over at a small hotel to ask for directions. James assumes they are way behind due to pulling over for two minutes. Wouldn’t he have seen cars pass by them? Tyler is annoyed that James is assuming that.
– Bama see the ship. Karlyn directs Lyn to a parking lot that was behind them. Karlyn hates that she is expected to swim that far. Every other team except Tyler & James are parking too. Who knew finding a parking spot in Mauritius could be so difficult. The teams scramble to put on their bathing suits. Of course the camera focuses on the Beauty Queens.
Why is this shot necessary? To prove that the chipmunk is capable of picking out the ugliest bathing suits known to man? What’s next? She buys a tutu for the red carpet event at the Oscars?
– Rob & Kim and Beauty Queens put on special shoes to protect themselves from the glass shards. Wow, Rob nor Kim have said ‘baby’ or ‘babe’ yet. Kandice, Dustin, and Kim all put on their life jackets on the dock.
Unless you’re Rob and think swimming one-handed while dragging a life vest will make you go faster.
– KIM: Babe! Wait for me!
ROB: C’mon baby!
But you were doing so well! 1 and 2.
– Rob struggles to put on his life vest in the water. I suppose shrugging your shoulders and having virtually zero room to put it on is much harder than putting it on the dock above the water like everyone else did. Sure enough, the blondes/chipmunks/beauty queens pass them in the process.
– KARLYN (facing away from camera): Gogogogoogo.
Way to use the same soundbyte from last episode, producers.
– Mary says lord have mercy regarding the fish. I think that is why they call them Jesus Fish.
– Tyler & James are stuck in traffic.
Those are a lot of nice cars. Who knew an African country could be so rich. Forget about Gangnam style, how about Port Louis style?
– We see exterior shots of five teams swimming. Chos are not the greatest of swimmers. Karlyn easily has the worst swimming form I have seen since Chet Welch. Kim is first to the dock. However Dustin & Kandice stay ahead of Rob.
KIM: Go baby go!
– Dustin shakes hands with the seaman. It isn’t her first time touching seamen I bet.
– They are given the clue but cannot open it until they are back across the ocean. Cho Bros are next on board. Erwin wants to take a breather on the boat before swimming again. They recover as Godwin canonballs. Bama and Kentucky struggle. Tyler & James are driving but James thinks they will catch up to everyone else. In other words, he is banking on an equalizer.
– Bama are on board. Karlyn is coughing up water. Lyn stands as she waits for Karlyn to be prepared to embark on the second half of the swim. Kentucky are next. She sits down right away. David will wait for Mary to tell him when she is ready.
DAVID: Tell me when you’re ready.
MARY: You go ahead. Go.
Mary is so exhausted that she thinks it is a roadblock.
– Bama heads into the water. Mary eventually gives in. Beauty Queens and Rob & Kim make it to shore almost simultaneously. Kandice reads that they must drive 49 miles to Case Noyale Post Office. A post office? How cultural.
– Kim instructs Rob to follow the chipmunks. Chipmunks are too hung up in making fun of the Six Pack to notice they are being followed once again.
DUSTIN: Bama and Kentucky didn’t look so strong.
DUSTIN: Where’s your Six Pack now?
Burn. Because neither of those teams have anything near a six pack. Instead they wheeled up four kegs.
– Chos are done and take a look at the map. James screams at Tyler to park. Tyler insists for James to chill. Uh oh. Bromance is coming to a head. They see the Cho Bros and ask what place they are in. Chos say they are the third team back. Tyler thought the Chos, Bama, and Kentucky would all arrive on shore together. Godwin responds that they are out in the water and waiting for them.
You’re waiting for the fourth and fifth place teams as you chat with the dead last team who can catch up in about twenty minutes? Normally I’d have a bigger reaction, but the sacrificial nature of the Chos has been beaten to death over the past seven episodes that I have grown to accept their lack of gameplay.
Nothing like a shirtless powwow.
– JAMES: The Chos are aligning with the weaker teams so they can take the stronger teams out.
Are you on crack, James? A universe where the Chos are mad diabolical geniuses is a universe where. . .well, the Chos are mad diabolical geniuses. And it sure as ain’t in this one. Ugh. I’ve been hanging around Mary too much.
– Tyler & James attempt to catch up in the swim. The Chos wait beside their car for Bama and Kentucky. Godwin says people may view it as them aligning with weaker teams, but Godwin insists that the alliance is used to make themselves stronger than the teams who typically work alone.
– Tyler & James are going noticeably faster than Bama and Kentucky. On the road, Kandice has found the next route marker on the map. She wants Dustin to find a way to lose Rob & Kim so they will have to fend for themselves. Since it’s tough to trick people in Mauritian traffic, I’d say they will have to accept being followed. Kim cannot find the route marker on the map.
– Bama is done. Kentucky are still a ways behind. Tyler & James have the clue and are swimming back. Kentucky are on shore. Lyn & Karlyn are gasping for air. The Aleppey Finishing Point music is playing. Chos wonder where the other two teams parked. Bama, Kentucky, and Chos are all together.
– KARLYN: gogogogogogo.
Karlyn is not very good at producing soundbytes, eh?
– Chos lead the Six Pack with Kentucky in the middle and Bama at the tail end. Tyler & James are back on shore. I’d say they are only five minutes behind at the most.
– Kandice notes that there are two routes to the post office. She instructs Dustin to take the road that is harder to follow. It works. Rob honks at the blondes and Kim screams at them to move over on the road but to no avail. Kim says they are officially split up. The Blondes are the Steve McQueen of TAR. Their driving ability successfully lost a team in the car chase.
– Chos go ‘south’ on the road. Tyler & James get lost despite having a map. James cannot tell him how to navigate. I think he should be driving. They ask bus driver
TYLER: We went the wrong way.
JAMES: We didn’t go the wrong way. We just missed our turn.
TYLER: Which means we’re going the wrong way.
JAMES: Well yeah. We’re not going the right way.
What the f— is wrong with my partner? Is he on drugs?
Note to self: Never draft James for your debate team.
– Rob wishes the car would get into gear. He cannot get it into gear. It’s a green light. A row of cars behind him are constantly honking. There isn’t enough room on the road for them to go around. Kim says to just do it and fix it. I think Rob would love to get the car going right now, babe. I mean baby. I mean Kim. Dammit!
– Kim keeps yelling instructions to Rob. In the midst of several horns, I doubt this is the correct approach. Let Rob relax and focus. The pressures of a million dollars is bad enough as it is.
The tourists of Port Louis are impatient. Some of them have only the afternoon to soak up every tourist spot before their flight leaves in the morning.
ROB: You do it! I’m done!
– Clearly Rob needs to get himself into gear as well as the car. So what’s the best way to fix a problem?
Walk away completely from your car that sits in the middle of a one lane road.
– KANDICE: It always feels good to be in the front.
Not that far in front. Dustin is driving like it’s The Simpsons Hit & Run.
This was easily the best GTA knock-off out there. In fact in some ways I prefer this over GTA. I’m tempted to quit blogging right now and break out my disc for this game.
– Dustin & Kandice back that car up. Dustin gets out to check the damage.
Eh, you can buff that out. Take it to the same dealer that Michael & Kathy used. You will have plenty of time to catch up. I guarantee it.
It makes this TAR crash look like bush league.
Andre is pissed that she can’t freakin’ drive a stick.
– Rob heads back into the car. Kim offers to do it but Rob refuses because he does not think she can magically make it work. The car will not go into gear. It looks like first and second will be dropped down to fifth and sixth. The Six Pack will own your arse!
ANDRE: He’s killing me, Dre. He’s killing me.
– The police officer comes up rather quickly to Dustin & Kandice. Perhaps production called the police to keep their favourite all-female team alive? I don’t know. I think back to Aaron & Arianne stuck on a highway for several hours at two o’ clock in the morning waiting for an officer. Granted they were on a highway in pitch black darkness. This is a bustling area that doesn’t offer too wide of roads in broad daylight. I suppose officers are more willing to put down their donuts and coffee and head out to do their job.
– Dustin says it was her first accident. She has never received a speeding ticket in her life either. Something tells me she does not drive that much. She is rattled.
– A professional enters Rob’s car and a bunch of locals push it. The Six Pack see Rob & Kim on an adjacent road. Karlyn does not feel sorry for their plight. The Six Pack is suddenly second, third, and fourth. Unless of course the post office has their clue at the bottom of an office pool.
– Tyler & James continue to truck along. Tyler thinks he could finish first by the end of the round.
– Dustin & Kandice open their clue at the post office. Funny to see a car smashed in.
You two really need to get a sense of humour.
– It’s a detour. In Salt, teams drive two miles to a salt pan–a lynchpin of the country’s economy. Once here they must look through three enormous piles of salt for a salt shaker that contains their next clue. In Sea, teams walk to a nearby dock, choose a boat captain, and take one of these boats two-thirds of a mile to a small island. Once on land they will use a treasure map to find the island’s boat mast and sail. Once they locate the mast and sail they must bring it back to the boat. After attaching them the captain will give them their next clue and take them back to shore.
– Blondes choose to do sea because of a skipper. Kandice is afraid of searching their salt piles.
That’s an odd fear. SodiumCloridophobia? That’s going to eliminate most unhealthy foods at the very least. And good luck preserving any of your meals.
– We see Rob & Kim. Phil’s voiceover interrupts their conversation to re-iterate the rule about a car breaking down through no fault of the team and that a replacement car will be awarded. However there is no time credit for the unlucky situation. A rule that has been in effect since TAR 3. Surprisingly it is one not terribly contested by fans.
– Rob & Kim hop into the car.
KIM: We can do this, babe.
– Blondes are already at the boat. They examine the map. Meanwhile Rob has no idea where the post office is.
ROB: It’s hard to enjoy the scenery when you’re stressed out.
KIM: But babe this isn’t a vaca. This is a competition.
A vaca? That’s the hip lingo you Californians use? Vaca? You can’t add the -tion ending? Don’t have time for that lone syllable? Kim must be a Taoist. She only has so much oxygen allotted. Thank god.
Oh, and 5.
– Rob rolls down the windows so they can ask people on the street for directions. Nobody answers. Maybe English isn’t a language they speak. Rob is pissed and sarcastically mocks the locals. Those foreigners just don’t understand, right Rob?
– The Six Pack find the post office. They have the clues. Chos want to do ‘salt’ as well as Lyn & Karlyn. David & Mary wish to do ‘sea’. The three teams discuss and agree to do the salt task together. I love a multi-team democracy on TAR. The Six Pack pass Tyler & James on the way out. Hooray. Rob & Kim are last. Tyler & James chose ‘salt’ as well because it sounds less complex.
Finding salt versus finding a mast and sail? Yeah, that latter sounds like a real brain buster.
– Dustin & Kandice find being on the water so refreshing. They must have forgotten about Ha Long Bay or the swim to the ship that they did only one hour earlier. They lay down on the boat.
– The Six Pack put on goggles and dig through the salt. It is a huge mound. Maybe ‘sea’ would have been better. Tyler & James are at the ‘salt’ mound. I’m glad they chose it because Tyler utters one of the most out-of-left-field quotes ever.
TYLER: I wonder if this will make my fingers pickle?
Are. . .are. . .are you serious? I would’ve been less flabbergasted if you asked aloud if you could snort the white stuff.
– David & Mary find a shaker and open it. It’s only dirt inside. Mary announces to the other three teams that not every shaker has a clue inside.
– Rob & Kim spot the post office. Kim shouts to park right away but Rob yells back to chill out. Kim says she can be stressed out if Rob is allowed to be stressed out. The sound guy puts his headphones in and listens to his ABBA album.
– ROB: Are we the last team?
POST OFFICE. . .OFFICER?: Last team?
ROB (sighs): Aw, just go. Nevermind.
Part of me thinks the postman was f—ing with Rob.
– (KIM reads the clue.)
ROB: You’re missing words.
The American education system has failed us.
– KIM: You’re freaking me out–
ROB: No you’re freaking me out–
KIM: Calm down! Which one you want to do?
ROB: We’ll do the salt, just chill out.
KIM: I am chilling out.
(They begin running.)
ROB: You’re losing it.
KIM: I’m gonna lose it on you.
This shot is symbolic of how far apart they are in their relationship.
This symbolizes nothing. It’s just funny. Babe, I fell!
KIM: What are you doing?
ROB: I JUST FELL!
Geez. Never have I heard somebody whine so much about falling on the ground since I was five years old. And yes, I was the five year old who fell. Uhwaaaah.
– They’re not done it. Kim is inside the car as Rob throws the clue inside the window.
KIM: Did you really just throw that at me?
ROB: No, I just put it in the window. I didn’t throw it at you
He wasn’t throwing the clue at you. He was throwing it with you.
– Back where teams are getting along, the chipmunks are on Treasure Island. Sadly no D-List celebrity cameo by Long John Silver or that squirrely boy. The chipmunks may welcome a squirrely boy. They cannot find the mast and sail.
– Tyler whines that he wishes he was in water. You’d get fat because the water in your body would soak up all the salt. And after dealing with solid salt, you’d be going into salt water. You lose either way. James finds a shaker with dirt in it. Rob & Kim arrive at the salt detour. It’s a rare five-way rat race for salt.
Hold on. 6. Okay, wrote it down. Continue?
KIM: If we went to the other one. . .this could take all of these teams forever. What do you think, babe? You wanna go? I’m making the decision cause you’re taking too long. Let’s go.
ROB: Okay, we’re doing the other one.
The teams you thought were so far ahead have yet to succeed. On the other hand the salt mounds are much smaller to the point where you could finish the task extremely quickly. I do not know if it is too wise to switch this late in the round. It’s like if Lena rolled 240 of the 250 hay bales and you choose the other task because of how long she has already taken.
However, I won’t penalize the team too much seeing how tautology likely isn’t Rob & Kim’s strongest subject.
By the way, 7.
– Tyler wants to follow suit because they have wasted ten minutes. James defends that they could get it right away seeing how much time they have invested.
Ten minutes? That’s a big time investment on a needle-in-a-haystack task as of TAR 10? Geez Luis. Lena was going strong after eight hours. Now that is a true time investment.
– Tyler makes the final decision as they slowly walk back to the car.
– Blondes can’t identify the mast and sail on the map. The map is described as too rudimentary. Kandice asks Dustin if she wants to switch. Dustin refuses the offer. Nobody is liking their detour choice.
– Rob & Kim board a boat. Tyler & James are at the dock next. How can I tell the difference between a fast boat and a slow boat?
You just got Linz’d.
– Kentucky finds another shaker. Dirt again. Bama agrees to switch.
MARY: You wanna leave?
DAVID: It’s stupid to quit right in the middle of something. I’m not a quitter.
No, but you are stubborn.
– Chos switch too.
MARY: Chos and Bama Girls came here to win just like anybody else. I hold no hard feelings. They’re great people.
The audience cries as Mary displays true character. Awwww. They’re such good sports. Let’s all give them friendly kisses on the cheek. Muah muah muah muah muah.
– We get a series of cuts between quick confessionals from the Six Pack. Lyn prays. Chos hope for the best. Mary says they need to make the right decisions.
MARY: We’re gonna be the stupid couple that stays out here all night long and doesn’t find the thing and then gets eliminated because of it.
I’m not the only one who has had the production crew’s mishap from TAR 6 on their mind.
MARY: We’re gonna be the stupid couple that stays out here all night long and doesn’t find the thing and then gets eliminated because of it.
I hate it when too much audio is repeated after the commercial break.
– David is open to switching; Mary snaps that he finally gives in. Isn’t this what Mary wanted? Or does she want to yell at her brother?
– The Blondes see the mast and sail. It’s within reach. Kandice is excited and starts sprinting. I see no harm.
Woops. Booby trap. It’s Devil’s Snare. Sit tight. I’ll go fetch Hermione. She’ll coach you through this.
Just relax, Harry and Ron. I mean Dustin and Kandice. Bloody hell.
– Kandice falls under the bottom of Mauritius and re-appears on top. Chos and Bama are on the boats. Blondes retrieve the mast and sail. Dustin reads that teams must drive twelve miles along the road to find Chateau Bel Ombre. This colonial mansion is the pit stop. They board the boat. Tyler & James whistle at Dustin & Kandice but the blondes don’t hear. Kandice is concerned that she is the only one who did the task as we can visibly see the four boats all heading to the island.
– Tyler & James are in the jungle. Rob is next and thinks it is along the beach. Bad move. Mary convinces a frustrated David to quit the task. David doesn’t like quitting. Especially when their mound is about half the size of when we last saw it. Mary did nothing as David dug into the salt in every single clip that we saw this episode.
– Blondes turn their head to see Cho Bros. Dustin makes fun of them that they didn’t wave.
DUSTIN: Hey Bama!
BAMA: . . .
DUSTIN: Not a friendly bone in her.
KANDICE: She needs to take her happy pills in the morning.
Those would be the least effective happy pills ever if Bama was taking them on the race. I think Colin Guinn smiles more than Lyn & Karlyn. You know what new brand of happy pills were discovered?
It’s Prozac for chipmunks.
– Tyler & James are stumped by the map. They find the rusty shack. Rob & Kim run into the jungle. Kim falls into the booby trap as Rob grabs the mast and sail. Tyler & James re-analyze the map.
JAMES: Siiiiigh. We should’ve stayed.
TYLER: Shut up, dude. What good is that gonna do us right now?
And that is why the camera isn’t attracted to James too often. James doesn’t have an uplifting or dynamic enough attitude to keep the audience’s attention or make him too likable. Poor James. No wonder he got into drugs.
– Rob & Kim are running out of the jungle. Shadow of the cameraman is in view.
I bet the camera operator has caught himself uttering ‘babe’ on multiple occasions.
– Chos land as Rob & Kim take off. Rob is amazed by how many times the game has flipped. Second to sixth to second in less than an hour.
– LYN: I feel like Hansel and Gretel.
Since when did they look for buried treasure? I thought Hansel dragged his sister to a gingerbread house so he could fatten himself up more than Marshall and Lance Hudes.
– Beauty Queens wave at Kentucky. Mary waves back. Dustin announces that Kentucky is her favourite team of the Six Pack. Ah yes. Pick the only team who can hear you over the loud noises of the boat. It’s the Penny Ramsey logic to friendship.
– Dustin manages to get the smashed car started. Kandice says the strategy is to encourage the car along the way so nothing negative will happen. I bet there’s some elementary school playground in America that would consider what you just said to be a form of a jinx.
– Tyler wonders how the Blondes found the mast and sail. He sees it and collapses into the booby trap. They run out. Bama and Chos converge in the jungle and agree to work together. Tyler & James throw their hands in the air as David & Mary are in the jungle.
– Rob & Kim are in the car. Kim sees the druggies not far behind. Tyler & James say ‘their pack’ will be in the top three while the Six Pack will be in the bottom three.
JAMES: Their Six Pack will be in the bottom three. More like the Back Pack.
That would be clever if it WASN’T THEIR FREAKIN’ ALLIANCE NAME TO BEGIN WITH!
– Kentucky asks Chos where Bama is. All three teams are together. So much for a competitive edge as they slowly stroll about.
– The leading three teams all drive fast. Bama sees the mast and sail with the Chos. Lyn yells for Kentucky. They show up. Maybe all six of them will step on the mat in last place together.
Wouldn’t that be hilarious? You see teams step on the mat together in first, second, third, or somewhere in the middle of the pack. But something we never see are two teams confidently stepping onto the mat in last. Since TAR 4 ties have been banned, and are therefore solved by rock-paper-scissors. We do not get to see the rock-paper-scissors game played until TAR 11 because earlier ties are edited out due to time constraints.
However, wouldn’t it be downright hilarious if a team is eliminated because they lost a game of rock-paper-scissors? I would think so.
– Kim asks for directions. A jogger tells them to turn around. Dustin & Kandice park at the mansion. Tyler & James are directed there. Dustin & Kandice step onto the mat in the 55th minute of the episode. They have each won a motor scooter.
PHIL: Good for driving around town. It’s good on the highway. It can carry a passenger so you guys can. . .take a date out if you want.
DUSTIN: Can we take you Phil?
PHIL: Can I take you, Phil?
PHIL: Uhhhh, this wasn’t in the script. Where’s my turtleneck?
– Dustin feels great to have won a leg but the real plan is to take it one leg at a time. Just ask Sarah.
– Tyler & James saunter on the mat in second. James is stoked to be back on top.
– The Six Pack all open their clues simultaneously. Mary is Grumpy Pants. Rob & Kim are officially the third team at the pit stop. I have never seen a team shuffle their position so frequently in an episode.
– Chos say that once they draw near the pit stop everyone is on their own. It’s nothing personal, according to Godwin.
Holy s—. Did Godwin really draw the line in the sand in terms of selfless acts? I had to replay the soundbyte to ensure I wasn’t delusional.
– Mary says that when David parks she will wait on the Bama girls. Holy crap. We could have a tie for last after all. Fingers crossed.
– Karlyn immediately says she will not wait on the other teams because she doesn’t expect them to do so. Sounds like Karlyn wants a million dollars. Tough to wait on people when you’re in dead last though.
– Chos, Bama, and Kentucky all get directions. Bama passed Kentucky and Chos on the road. All three teams are on a road.
MARY: It says hotel. Go right.
DAVID: Yeah, but what makes you think we’re goin’ to a hotel? They went up the hill.
MARY: I know. Just go to the right.
Mary did nothing during the tasks and nothing in terms of navigation. On top of that she has a habit of badgering David. She’s like a Kentuckian version of Flo but for whatever reason is a fan favourite rather than greatly despised.
– Chos follow Bama on the road. Mary asks for directions and finds out they need to turn around. Oops. Chos pass Bama in the foot race. Kentucky exit the car and start walking. At least Bama was willing to run. Chos are greeted in fourth. Bama is fifth. Karlyn is beaten up because she knows who sixth is.
– For the second time we hear the sad piano music play for David & Mary. We prepare to bid farewell to America’s favourite team this season (for whatever reason).
And here’s the greeter. Again the greeter is not featured. Rob & Kim and Dustin & Kandice must not have entertaining interactions with the greeter.
– Phil breaks the bad news that they are last. The good news however is that it’s a non-elimination leg. Nothing about it being pre-determined. David & Mary both cry and sigh. They are visibly worn out. Phil says they are marked for elimination. No fast forward lifeline can magically appear next round.
– We see the Six Pack huddle in the hotel.
MARY: No doubt in my mind that we have an alliance to get to the Final Three.
Wrong show, Mary. Racers never learn that alliances can’t go on cruise control and vote out all other players. Much of this is independent work and impossible to blockade the other teams from progressing forwards.
If you aren’t cheering for this alliance, you are un-American and instantly branded as a Communist.
Next time on TAR: An earth shattering twist is introduced to TAR but for only one episode this season. If only the twist lasted multiple episodes. In addition, production throws in a provision to the Fast Forward that gives David & Mary the chance to claim it again and avoid the thirty minute penalty. Way to be subtle, producers.
P.S. Did you notice something missing from this episode? The roadblock was unaired this round. For an episode that was relatively uneventful, I am surprised they chose to not air the task. I’ll let you know now that it was a kayaking task. In the past roadblocks are unaired only if the order of placement did not change from when teams entered to when they completed the task. We’ll assume the same happened here.
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) Chennai -> Kuwait City (Extensive road navigation. Check. Middle Eastern setting. Check. Elimination. Check. Following one of the best airport and strategic episodes in recent seasons, we see one of the best road navigation episodes.
Who knew a country as small as Kuwait would be confusing to find route markers? I thought you could stumble upon route markers by luck and coincidence. Not the case. Teams drove around the ring roads for one to six or seven hours during this round. Not a single team had an easy time finding a route marker. Teams frustrated while driving in this mess is something that cannot be experienced through the luck of cab drivers.
The spread out nature of finishes is a highlight as teams were coming out of different sections in left field to discover what it is they needed to do.
There was significant strategy and collisions too. Cho Bros pull off the only pick to be instated into a round of TAR when they blocked the Beauty Queens as Kentucky scrambled to the Fast Forward. Karlyn elbowed a Beauty Queen to stop a local from giving directions. However Beauty Queens wouldn’t budge.
The tasks were difficult. A puzzle re-arranged the order of arrival to the roadblock to the order of completion. Anyone who chose the ‘manual’ task were truly drained by the end thanks to the no doubt unbearable heat of Kuwait.
Not much else to cover. This round was the epitome of adventure. Teams using any means necessary to get to the next destination should be what TAR is all about. And this round delivered. The only shame is that we won’t be seeing any more Middle East countries for a long time, if ever. Dang you political unrest!
Oh, and Peter was eliminated. That’s a bonus.)
4) 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.)
5) Kuwait City -> Port Louis (This is perhaps the most boring episode of the season. The airport scene could have been limited to the 3-way fight between Bama, Blondes, and Tyler & James. Particularly because no other flights were available and we weren’t learning much about the other teams.
In fact the majority of the episode was more of a tool used for the audience to love the Six Pack. Tyler & James bickered. Dustin & Kandice were viewed as being ‘unfair’ and overall snotty to the nice Cho Bros. Rob & Kim screamed at each other and said ‘dude’ and ‘babe’ far too many times for those in their late 20s or early 30s.
Then on the other side you have the angelic Six Pack. Nothing bad about any of them. We were shown plenty of material of how wonderful, awesome, and amazing each of them are in their own unique ways. Personally this episode made me want to drown all six teams in the ocean.
The only real highlights are the two car malfunctions. Seeing Rob attempt to fix a broken car is hilarious, and Dustin going from uber prorotype female racer into the stereotypical ‘blonde girl can’t drive mode’ was icing on the cake.
So what else happened this round? Swimming to a boat. Swimming away from a boat. A detour where you dug through salt or looked for a sail. I can’t say that’s the most engaging set of tasks for the audience to watch. Was kayaking really that bad for the audience to be trimmed down to two tasks?
I like there was no equalizers. That’s why this round isn’t ranked lower. Other than that it was either ‘I am part of the Six Pack’ or ‘I don’t like the Six Pack’. So compelling.)
6) 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.)
7) 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.)