TAR 10 episode 8 ranking

Eighth leg

Previously on TAR: Six teams set out to Mauritius. David & Mary continued their loyalty to Lyn & Karlyn and the Chos. Then Erwin & Godwin kept the Six Pack together by waiting for their struggling allies. Dustin & Kandice crashed their car. But made a smart decision at the detour and surged ahead. While the Six Pack searched in vain, but never caught up. Again, David & Mary finished last. And for a second time were given a reprieve. Six teams remain. Who will be eliminated. . .next?

– Intro time. I have yet to find something humourous in the intro. Otherwise I would have screen capped it by now.

– Funky music plays as we are introduced to Mauritius. It was formed eons ago by volcanoes. The sugar plantation was the seventh pit stop in a race around the world.

– Phil’s Questions: Will Dustin & Kandice continue to push away the other teams and work on their own? And can the Six Pack help their last place alliance members, David & Mary, who are once again marked for elimination?

– Dustin & Kandice, who were the first to arrive at 300pm will depart at 300am.

– Kandice reads that teams must travel 700 miles to the nearby island of Madagascar, and land in Antananarivo. They must search for the Black Angel–a local landmark that has recently been painted white. Note that Kandice butchered the pronunciation of the town.

– Dustin & Kandice decide to not return to the car that they crashed on the last leg. They choose a different car. I am surprised that is allowed because in TAR 6 Don & Mary Jean were penalized for taking somebody else’s car on the race course. There must be an obscure rule in the rule book that you can take a different car if it’s at the start of the leg.

Which makes sense, really. There’s several rounds where teams pick entirely new cars at the pit stop or they have to take a taxi. It’s rare to use the same cars from last leg. In short, I agree with this ruling. Dustin & Kandice must have asked producers at the pit stop because I doubt that would be addressed in the rule book.

And I bet production agreed to it in order to stir up conflict. They know full well nobody wants a crashed car.

– Kandice is not in this race to make friends. Really? We didn’t get that after betraying Peter & Sarah and get into an unnecessary skirmish with Bama?

KANDICE: We’re in it to win it. We know that we probably turn people off.

Well you sure as heck don’t turn people on. Especially with that chipmunk face.

– Dustin will be as kind to everyone as possible in the midst of being competitive. She wants to break free of those teams so she can run faster. Does she not know that metaphors don’t translate perfectly to real life?

– Tyler & James depart five minutes later. They made up a ton of time last leg. Tyler feels that James is too passive in this team, thus causing Tyler to take more responsibility. Of course James is passive. His confessionals are about one-third of yours. That guy doesn’t scream aggression at me.

– James looks at the map and shows the road they need to take.

JAMES: Just take this road and boom we’re there.
(TYLER examines map himself.)
TYLER: I don’t see an airplane.

He did say ‘boom, we’re there’. You’re not confident in James’ sense of direction, Tyler?

– James knows he needs to step up more in the team.

JAMES: Where am I? Oh no. Right here.

Good eye, James. Good eye.

– Four minutes later it’s Rob & Kim. They note that their car has been taken. Rob is willing to settle for the crashed car.

KIM: I don’t want that car. I want a different one.
ROB (sighs): Okay, Kimberly.

She wants a car that isn’t smashed in? I agree, Rob. What a b—-.

– Rob & Kim get way too close for their initial confessional.

No comment.

– They’re still trying to learn to communicate without yelling. Kim yells at Rob to run. Rob likely isn’t running because of how prone he is to tripping over his own foot like last leg.

– Damn it. How did I not say that Peter & Sarah were on their last leg right before they were eliminated? I missed a golden opportunity.

– Rob talks like a grizzly bear and says him and Kim are improving as he squeezes her chest.

– Tyler hangs by Rob’s window and instructs Rob where to go. Rob says that is wrong and points out to Tyler how dumb it would be to drive around the island. He shows the direct route to Tyler.

TYLER: That’s what I get for listening to James.

How is James not driving yet?

– Tyler says they made a wise decision to follow Rob & Kim to the airport.

– James tells us they weren’t looking to make an alliance. The Six Pack forced Tyler & James to make an alliance in response.

The State of Affairs

Six Pack: Chos, Bama, Kentucky
Models: Rob & Kim, Tyler & James
Loners: The Chipmunks

As Hedley would say, the alliances are divided up in a 3-2-1 formation.

– TYLER: They’ll be the dwindled down four pack.

God. Tyler & James tell the worst jokes imaginable. We know they were picked for their looks and not for their sense of humour.

– Nearly an hour later, at 404am, the Chos check out of the pit stop. No doubt they would be willing to wait hours for Bama and Kentucky to start their leg. Luckily Bama is only a minute behind if I recall.

The first words to come out of their mouth?

This is too easy.

– First words for Bama?

I don’t need to watch the episode. I already know how the dialogue will go.

– Bama sees their red car was taken. So that’s the one the Chipmunks took. Bama settle for the crashed car. I’d ask for a replacement car while we wait for Kentucky.

– A mere three minutes later for Kentucky to finish us off. So they were lost for only a minute at the end of last round. I thought they sucked a bit more than that. Maybe I’m underestimating them.

– ERWIN: If we had to choose between coming in first but a Six Pack being eliminated, I’d give up being first in a heartbeat.

Such a competitive edge.

– I wouldn’t be surprised if the Six Pack were on the final leg of the race and still conspired to travel to every route marker together until the Finish Line. You’ll have to wait until TAR 41 for three million dollars to be awarded for a grand prize.

– Chos, Bama, and Kentucky are following each other on the road. Mary explains being Marked for Elimination. I ain’t explaining that s— again.

MARY: I only know about the cartoon Madagascar.

Don’t worry, Mary. I didn’t expect you to spin a globe and point to Madagascar on a map.

– Lyn spots an improved route to the airport and splits off. Chos are fine with Bama being independently minded. Why Bama wanted to wait for Kentucky then is a mystery. Lyn says sometimes you have to do what you gotta do.

– Chipmunks park Bama’s car. Kandice knows they’ll be pissed. I am sure it is no coincidence that they chose the one car that belonged to their biggest enemies remaining in the race.

– Lyn explains the car situation again.

– Rob & Kim and Tyler & James park. Tyler claims that Chipmunks took their car. I suppose every team wants to claim theft from Chipmunks.

– Chipmunks bought a direct flight for 1100am. Rob & Kim and Tyler & James purchase the same tickets. Not too many ways to leave Mauritius. Chos, Bama, and Kentucky are all on the flight too.

DAVID: I ain’t never sit in a window yet. It’s my turn.
MARY: Whatever. Yeah.

You would think they were fifth graders on a school bus.

– Kentucky are first into a taxi. Mary knows that if they have a fast driver that they can stay in first place all day. Bama are second.

LYN: We’re looking for the Black Angel.
KARLYN: Which is me, so I don’t know why we’re looking for it cause I’m right here.

I have a feeling it would have been offensive if I made that joke.

– Chos are in a cab. Whoa. Six Pack are in first, second, and third. Dustin has never seen the Six Pack work so hard. She insists she’ll be on her A-game today. James instructs Tyler to wait for Rob & Kim.

Wait. The Six Pack, who 90 percent of the time are near the back of the pack, are having their strategy copied by Tyler & James and Rob & Kim to an extreme? Well isn’t that something. Tyler thinks Kentucky will need a lot of help to stay in the race with their half hour deficit. He doesn’t know how Kentucky has stayed around this long. Tyler is confident that today will be the knockout punch.

– KIM: Breathing in exhaust is really bad for you, right? So how do these people–
ROB: They die a lot longer than we do. That’s what happens. Most of them don’t get enough protein. So their brains don’t develop as much. Your brain needs protein.

I’m going to say that the life expectancy is low in an Frican nation for completely made up reasons, too. The people of Ethiopia die young because they don’t get enough B6. You need it because your liver will explode if you don’t consume it.


And Madagascar’s life expectancy is really high for an African nation. Don’t look at Zimbabwe’s life expectancy unless you wish to weep for humanity.

– David sees the statue.

DAVID: Now that’s what we’re looking for? Black Lady?
MARY: Maybe it’s not that lake.

– Bama is confused about it too. The Chos’ driver completely goes by it. Tyler & James pass Dustin & Kandice on the road.

DUSTIN: We’ll beat them at their own game.

What is their own game? The Settlers of Cattan or whatever that crap is? Smoking crack? Stop using cliches.

– Lyn tries to communicate with the cab driver but does not respond.

JAMES: That’s it. That’s the Dark Angel.

Who knew James was well-versed in shows that weren’t given to survive the cruel nature of the TV industry. Or maybe only watched it for the main actress. I don’t know.

– James literally shuts the door in Tyler’s face. James is damaging the only thing worthwhile for their team over the past two rounds.

– Rob & Kim’s cab arrives right after Tyler & James.

– Dustin & Kandice are on their tail too. They concluded that had to be the right lake regardless of the angel being white.

JAMES: It’s a yield.
TYLER: Are you sure it’s a yield?
JAMES: It has a yield sign.

Wrong again, idiot. By this point Tyler needs to do the opposite of whatever James says.

– We see a wipe to Phil.

PHIL: When teams arrive at the Black Angel, they will encounter a new twist: They must join forces with another team and become a league of superheroes until further notice.


Bertram read several comic books prior to season ten.

PHIL: Then perform all tasks and make all decisions together until further notice.

– Tyler immediately calls out to Rob & Kim. He said there was no question to merge with them. Rob did it because he doesn’t trust the Chipmunks.

– Chipmunks grab the clue. They are stuck at the Intersection until another team is willing to pair up with them. Suddenly there’s a high probability that they will be stuck with whoever gets to the Intersection last.

– Tyler has something curious in his hand.

As two teams combined? Neat! Well, until I read the rules for it online.

ME: David & Mary’s team can’t use the Fast Forward because they’ve already used one prior. Sucks to be the other team to partner up.
BERTRAM: Actually, an Intersected Fast Forward is completely different.
ME: How many are there?
BERTRAM: This is the only one.
ME: And they were at the front of the plane and destined to be the first to the Intersection, right?
ME: Okay. I see what you wanted to do all along.

– Phil tells us that in this Fast Forward the teams will make their way 2 1/2 miles to a market and find a stall. They must eat something that is enjoyed throughout Madagascar:

Cow lips.

At least the cow gets to show off her sparkling white teeth for once.

– Once all four members have cleaned their plates, they will receive the next clue. Tyler yells at James to show the driver the next clue. It took about five seconds for James to figure out what he meant by “show the driver where we need to go”. Is James on crack?

– KANDICE: We have to wait for another team.
DUSTIN: But there’s no one. Are we the last ones here?

Oh god. B—-es. Do the math. Please.

You’re killing me, Smalls.

– Tyler & James and Rob & Kim joke about Chipmunks teaming up with Dustin & Kandice.


You know what I was thinking during the commercial when this episode originally aired? That a Six Pack team is forced to be with the Chipmunks. But then I thought that there is such a sacrificial nature to the team that there is no way they would team up with the most despised team remaining. I wondered if TAR was prepared for two teams refusing to work with one another. Would they both be eliminated? Is there a four hour penalty if you choose to work alone? What happens if one team is open to working with the other but the other team refuses? Who gets assessed the blame? I was loving a possible multi-season potential with the Intersection.

– Kentucky’s cab driver is asking Cho’s cab where to go. Dustin & Kandice stand alone at the Intersection. Bama and Kentucky are at the statue about a minute before the Chos. Bama and Kentucky why the Chipmunks are standing alone at a route marker. Although this isn’t the first time Chipmunks have stood around doing nothing.

Kellie & Jamie thought they were done the leg and just chillin’.

– Bama and Kentucky team up and are reading the Fast Forward. They agree to it. Chipmunks bombard Chos to work with them. The Chos agree.

Like they had a choice.

– The final duo is the first to read the detour. Phil pops up on our screen once again. Long Sleep or Short Letter.

– In Long Sleep, teams travel by van 2.2 miles to an open market. Once here they will choose eight thong mattresses and wrap them in mattress covers and deliver them on one mile by foot through the confusing streets to the address provided. Once the delivery is complete, they will receive their next clue.

In Short Letter, teams travel by van approximately 3.5 miles to “this place.” Once here they will choose a paper making station and use local methods to produce and decorate 28 sheets of handcrafted paper. Once the artisan sees that they correctly made their paper, they will receive their next clue.

– Chos and Chipmunks choose to do Long Sleep. Tyler & James yell at the van driver to go faster. Rob & Kim have a confessional where they discuss choosing to do the Fast Forward to guarantee that one of the Six Pack is eliminated.

I don’t think you know the meaning of ‘guarantee’. A lot of people would lose their jobs if 75 percent qualified as ‘guarantee’.

– Bama and Kentucky pile into the van. Mary exclaims that she needs the Fast Forward. Lyn talks some sense into her and that the detour is the sure thing. Mary counters that not getting first place won’t help her. Lyn again speaks greater logic in stating that there is no point driving all the way to the Fast Forward and wasting time rather than do the detour in the first place.

– Mary gives in and they opt to do the Long Sleep task. We’ve got a showdown. The Six Pack is pitted against each other.

You know what the Chos should do? Because David & Mary suck so much, the Chos should stall as much as possible and throw it all on the line to ensure it’s a foot race between them and the Chipmunks at the pit stop.

– Kandice brags that she could not have better teammates. Chos say the conflict will be forgotten if they work together. There’s no love lost. Dustin is glad that she is on their side and that the Chos are on her side.

– Tyler & James and Rob & Kim jump out of the van like a crime syndicate and run through the market. They freak out over the cow lips. Oddly enough, a couple of them lick their lips. James is the only one stoked to eat. Everyone else is plugging their nose. Tyler thinks it is wrong. Kim hates the hair and fat. Some teeth are on the plate. James encourages everyone.





These cow lips are delicious!

At least James and Bison both enjoy cow lips.

– Chipmunks pump up the Chos. They say that the Chos are the leaders of the Six Pack and intend to use the Chos to eliminate one of the Six Pack. I think Kandice is over-thinking things a bit too much.

– Bama and Kentucky talk about not working with the Chipmunks and how the Chipmunks didn’t want to work with them. The two vans get to the detour at the same time. Kandice wants Chos to keep up the pace.

– We cut back to the Fast Forward. Rob doesn’t know if he can do it. Tyler wants to know what the two detour options are. James says they would be too far behind the other teams. Rob agrees that they are too committed to the task. Each of the squads are cheering each other on more than ever.

– It’s a race between the two squads at the detour.

ERWIN: The blondes were getting the job done. It was tough competing against our friends.

I shed a tear.

– Tyler and Rob agree that none of them are allowed to look at the food around them.

– David & Mary cuss each other out if the covers can be inside out. Mary thinks it doesn’t need to be that way. She launches into a confessional about how they’ve never had to be together like this twenty-four hours per day. David says that they are in it for their kids.

– Bama appears to be working better than Kentucky. Chos-Chipmunks are done. Erwin assigns the Chipmunks to ask one of the locals to help their squad.

GODWIN: When you’re blonde haired and blue-eyed, people are more likely to aid you.

Originally I thought he said “when you’re blonde haired and blue-eyed, people are more likely to hate Jew”.

– Kandice succeeds as well as Dustin. Both are annoyed that the Chos gave them the tasks dealing with locals because they are lucky or know how to smile. I’m still trying to detect the part of that statement which Kandice views as offensive.

– Karlyn cannot believe that the other squad is done. Lyn asks for the address while David & Mary finish the last one. Mary wonders about the bags. Kentucky says to leave the bags behind because they will be coming back. They have a stack of eight mattresses. Godwin instructs everyone how to divide up and move the mattresses thanks to his background in the moving company.

– David comes up with a brilliant idea of using the straps of the fanny packs to bound all eight mattresses. It works. Lyn is impressed as much as I am.

– Fast Forward. Rob and Tyler laugh at James who is chewing the cow lips and having no problem eating. Some are born with the ability to consume million dollar cow lips.

– Dustin & Kandice lose a couple mattresses in transit. It falls off. Godwin is pissed because the local guiding them is walking ahead with the address in paper. He assumes that they must be following like Rafiki in the original Lion King.

– There are several cars on the street. Kentucky wants to get on the sidewalk but Lyn says there is not enough room. They proceed to weave in and out of traffic. Erwin tells the Chipmunks that their local ran ahead and lost them.

– Rob says every bite of the cow lips is a chore.

– Lyn orders the motorcycle in the street to back up. I conclude that their mattresses have touched at least a dozen or so cars. They attempt to push it above the roofs of small cars.

– Rob has vomited.

– Chos and Chipmunks have lost their guide.

– Kentucky and Bama are squished between cars.

Try explaining to the insurance companies that your car got scratched because of a mattress.

Keep in mind that there is also two audio personnel and two video personnel cramming through these cars as well. They certainly picked the wrong time of day to drive to the market.

– Dustin recalls the number for the address. They don’t need to find their guide. At the Fast Forward everyone further praises James for nearly being done. He is making up for his shortcomings.

When you screw up over and over and nearly put your team out of the race, dust your talent for eating cow lips and all will be set right in the universe.

– Chos and Chipmunks set down the mattresses as they run ahead to find the address in advance. Kentucky and Bama set the mattresses down to drag ’em. I don’t see it being faster.

– Tyler tells everyone not to be discouraged while eating cow lips. The other four teams still have a detour and a roadblock to do. Kim and Rob jump onto his line of thinking.

– Chos and Chipmunks found the address. Lyn have a guide for their task.

MARY: A bunch of kids make it fun. You can push me. Go on. Push me.

I think the TAR tradition of featuring African kids who do not hesitate to help Americans despite the huge divide in their riches may not be shown for once. I think the kids will be frightened of the West after seeing this woman badger them to push her. To push her real good.

Indeed. The tradition is broken. This kid assumes that Mary is the legend of Godzilla.

It certainly doesn’t help when she yanks a kid’s arm against his will and puts it around her butt. David, the sane one, tells her to stop and focus on the mattresses. And not on the kids touching her butt against their will.

– Kandice has always respected the Cho Bros for their efforts and work ethic, according to her.

I believe it was just last leg where she hated them for not waving back to her on a loud boat.

– They receive the clue. It’s the end of the Intersection.

WHAT?! That’s it? It’s a measly ten minute segment on TV? There is so much they could’ve done with this twist. It would have been amazing if they stuck with this squad through to the end of the season. They could have at least done it for the entirety of this episode.

In fact, why did Bilal & Sa’eed have to be eliminated unfairly as a way to complete the episode order when instead there could have been an Intersection on the third leg where we eliminate two teams simultaneously? Why not force teams to change who their squad once every two legs to keep things fresh? Working together with people you barely know for a million bucks had so much potential.

But TAR thought “eh, ten minutes. We’re good.”

So stupid.

– The newly separated teams must travel four miles to the base of the steps called Tohotohobato Ambondrona Analakely. I’m not making that s— up. Copy and paste it into a search engine right now. See?

– Once here they will search for their next clue.

– Kentucky and Bama are still dragging their mattresses. The guide says to turn around and go back. Chos and Chipmunks run back to retrieve their bags.

– Tyler says it is easier with little pieces. Kim’s stomach hurts and she coughs. Rob tries to push her and that it’s all upstairs but Kim says to stop because it makes her more anxious.

KIM: Babe, it makes me more anxious.


I had to re-play the clip to catch onto that one.

– We see Kim bend down to vomit. Rob cringes as he gives a confessional regarding how you need to learn in a relationship when to kick your partner in the butt, and when to ease up.

– Chipmunks scurry to hail a taxi. Chos are pissed that there is only one taxi and the Chupmunks occupy it. Dustin says it worked out because her and Chos were faster than both Kentucky and Bama.

DUSTIN: It was a win-win for us and a lose-lose for us. Which is the way we like it.

Uh huh uh huh.

And you are trying WAY TOO HARD to come off as b—-y to the camera.

– Godwin screams for a taxi and one shows up. Erwin hates that every step forward ahead means that Bama and Kentucky are falling further behind.

– Kentucky and Bama stop. David is carrying two of the mattresses while Mary holds up the street as she cannot drag it past a wedge. Lyn yells for David to help Mary. The thirty minute penalty is looming.

– Rob says it is a bonding experience. Yep, nothing spells friendship like chewing cow lips.

ROB: We’ll never do this again, though, we’re never gonna do this again.

Much to the chagrin of James.


– Dustin says that two teams going for the Fast Forward makes racing four teams for last place rather scary. Cho’s cab runs out of gas during the drive. The driver gets out and asks for others to help push him. You may as well get out and walk. Instead of helping with pushing, the Chos are inside hoping a gas station is close.

What the heck? Why aren’t they getting out? They’re inactive and adding an additional 400 to 500 pounds in the car depending which of the crew members remained inside.

– The Chipmunks have the clue. It’s a roadblock. In this one, teams must use search for the tool most commonly used by the government of Madagascar–rubber stamps. Teams will search amongst dozens of rubber stamp vendors on the staircases that connect the city’s upper and lower districts. They must find the four different vendors whose stamp matches the symbol of a truck, plane, train, and car. Once they have all four symbols stamped on their paper, they can travel alone by cab to the next pit stop, the Cathedral Andolhalo.

Yes, their team member travels separately before hand.

– Dustin is doing the roadblock. Kandice gets into a cab of her own. Tyler wants everyone to have a clear picture in their head of finishing this task and stepping onto the mat.

– Chos are sitting at a gas station.  They know they are behind as the gas tank is finally full. They drive off. Bama and Kentucky receive their clue and walk quickly back to their bags.

– Chos are at the steps but do not see the clue. Dustin has not found a stamp. Kandice is first to being just outside of the mat. We see Phil dancing for the second season in a row.

If Phil learns one step per season, he could apply to be on Dancing With the Stars 23 at this rate.

– Kandice finds being at the pit stop with Phil waiting twenty feet away to be nerve-wracking. She decides to dance as well. No wonder people outside of rich urban areas dance so much. There’s nothing better to do.

Look at the distance between the hat and her head. She has freakishly long arms. Since when did Kandice become Lanky Kong?

– Kandice has found the car stamp. One down. Three to go.

– Kim has thrown up multiple times. All four of them are still chewing. James is first one completed. The audience has gathered and cheers. James catches on that this is the first time he has been good at something all race.

– Chos see Dustin.

CHOS: Do you have it?
DUSTIN: It’s tough.
(DUSTIN flashes roadblock clue.)
CHOS: She has it.

And the hatred commences again. Why in the world would you lie to Godwin in such a blatant and obvious fashion? Don’t you know the Chos are the most selfless people in the whole season? After the Intersection, I bet he would have shared everything with you for the remainder of the race. Sometimes I feel like Dustin & Kandice go out of their way to be hated.

– Godwin finds the clue and says it has to be him.

– Kentucky and Bama are unable to find their backpacks. Rob is next one done the Fast Forward. Karlyn sees the backpacks. They pick up the backpacks and scramble for their own taxis.

– Dustin has three out of four stamps. Godwin has the car stamp. Erwin joins Kandice at the pit stop.

KANDICE: You need to come back where you came from.

O_O racist much? Oh wait. She meant the route marker. It totally came out wrong.

ERWIN: That’s how it is? After we’ve worked together?

Erwin fails to understand the idea of some teams working on their own. Erwin and Kandice both hope the Fast Forward was horrible.

– Kim is afraid she can’t do it. The others won’t hear of this negative talk.

– Dustin has her final stamp and the clue.

TYLER: No team is going to finish a detour and a roadblock ahead of us.

I have a feeling this comment was made before Dustin finished the task. It seems too good to be true for it to air only seconds after Dustin finished the roadblock.

JAMES: They’re probably like ploughing some field, sweating, hating life.

TAR decided that they didn’t want to cause any more broken oxen. Sorry to disappoint you with an absence of ploughing fields, James.

– Dustin is inside a cab. She enjoyed the task. James talks about the van taking them straight to the pit stop. Mary yells at the cab driver in terrible French. She hopes a team made a mistake and will be thirty minutes behind. Lyn yells at her cab to go.

Something tells me Bama has no problems with abandoning her beloved Kentuckians.

– Rob calls Tyler a stallion as Godwin collects the third stamp. Kim is taking a breather. She starts again but vomits on the first bite. Madagascar locals are clapping behind them.

I wonder if the Madagascar locals are clapping because they find it hilarious to see Americans struggle with local food or if they are truly encouraging them? I don’t know.

– Kandice and Erwin are relived that the Fast Forward teams have yet to find the pit stop. They don’t know where Bama and Kentucky are. Kandice wants Dustin to arrive quickly.

– Dustin wonders out loud if the Fast Forward teams have arrived at the pit stop. Meanwhile the three men cheer on Kim and call her a machine as she finishes the cow lips.

I have to give Kim credit here. I would never do a disgusting food challenge on TAR. I quit drinking V8 after four days because it tasted like poison. My stomach cannot handle food or drinks no matter how hard I try. Clearly, Kim has my version of gag reflexes as we saw her vomit four different times in the episode but yet still finishes. I am impressed.

– They receive the clue. It’s the end of the Intersection. The teams flag down separate taxis as they head to the pit stop. Rob kisses Kim’s lips and cow lips.

TYLER: The other teams cannot be ahead of us unless they ran a miracle.

– Dustin feels like she is ahead of Chos. Godwin has the fourth and final stamp. Suddenly Godwin is shouting “FAST FAST FAST FAST”.

Godwin Cho is anxious? Really? That’s a first.

– Dustin’s cab needs gas. She tells the cab driver to only fill the tank a little bit. Seeing how the Madagascar car (heh) gas tanks are the smallest in the world, ‘a little bit’ of gas will barely take you down the street.

– David & Mary are next at the roadblock. Mary is doing it. Where the heck is Bama? Since when do they fall behind Kentucky? Bama is last to the roadblock. Lyn is doing it. Former allies square off for the second round in a row.

– Rob & Kim’s cab pulls over. Rob wants to switch to a new cab. Tyler & James’ cab goes on the left of the fork in the road. Tyler asks if it’s a shortcut and the driver confirms. Dustin looks behind her. She wants to be at the cathedral before the Chos. Her wish will come true because Godwin suffers through an empty gas tank for the second time this leg. He will check the gauge the next time he gets into a cab.

– Rob & Kim exit the cab and a local runs with them to where the pit stop is located. Suspense music plays as we wait to see who will be first.

– It’s Dustin & Kandice. They are first for the second leg in a row. If memory serves me correctly, this is the third time in TAR history that the team claiming the Fast Forward does not finish first.

– How does Erwin react to the Chipmunks finishing first?

We’re not just going to China, Tom Harkin. We’re going to Vietnam, we’re going to Mongolia, then we’re going to Madagascar and fail to take first place, BYAHHHHH.

– Godwin is mad that there is no gas in his car in Madagascar. He would’ve known if he had taken etymology in school.

– Chipmunks have won a trip to the Kona coast in Hawaii island. They’ll get to explore the volcanoes on a helicopter. They hug Phil.

I think Phil is an introvert. And why did Phil’s nose get exchanged with Richard Nixon’s nose?

– Dustin & Kandice thought that the leading squad took the Fast Forward. Phil interrupts them to say they beat the Fast Forward team. More cheering ensues. I have never seen the Chipmunks this excited all season. Kandice feels like this has given them momentum and a stamp of validation.

– Mary has found her first stamp. Lyn has yet to find one. Tyler & James step onto the mat in second. They are disappointed. Lyn asks Mary if she has found a stamp. Mary directs her to one.

So, how’s the plan to save yourself from the thirty minute penalty coming along?

– Mary gives yet another confessional about how her friends are worth more than a million dollars. TAR may not be the right show for you.

– MARY: I’m not gonna become a devil for the money. It’s not worth it to me.

What the heck? How does racing another team constitute as being a devil? She bragged about lying to Rob & Kim only two episodes ago. Mary is becoming too contradictory with her statements. Is she trying to mug for the camera in a heroic fashion like Rupert Boneham?

– PHIL: Rob & Kim, you’re team number three.
KIM: Ohhhhh, babe.
(Camera cuts to next scene.)


– Mary has her second stamp. Godwin sprints out and sprawls on the mat.

One of these days a team needs to accidentally slide tackle Phil on the mat.

GODWIN: Am I safe?

Don’t ask, Phil. He only does officiating if the Seattle Seahawks need an easy victory. Although I’d avoid asking that question when you enter the Ukraine.

– Chos are fourth. They hug. Lyn has her first stamp. The drums play harder. David hopes it ain’t him that goes home. Mary has the third stamp. Karlyn knows they can’t stay together forever. Mary has the fourth and final stamp. She talks about missing and creeping out kids which makes her think of her own.

– Lyn has yet to find the remaining stamps. Mary really wants to be thirty minutes ahead of a team. I’d start that process by not telling THE LAST PLACE TEAM EXACTLY WHOW TO COMPLETE THE TASK.

– Lyn has her second stamp. Suddenly we see David & Mary step onto the mat. Phil reminds them of the Marked for Elimination twist. The clock starts. Mary doesn’t want to be out but knows it means that Bama is out. Lyn has the third stamp. She cries. Lyn doesn’t shed a tear as she collects her fourth stamp. Silence except for the music playing and Lyn telling the driver to go fast.

– Guess what? The driver pulls over to buy gas. “There’s no gas in mada car,” is what the driver said. Probably. Lyn is fed up and says the driver should have told her that there was no gas. Rob attributes the small gas tank to a lack of protein.

– Suspense. Lyn emerges to meet up with Karlyn and step onto the mat. Bama is officially fifth. David & Mary step onto the mat. All four of them are crying. There was twenty minutes remaining on the clock. Phil is sad. David talks about kids. Mary and Lyn talk about their friendship. They hug.

MARY: Kentucky is who we are.

KATIE: And Delaware is who she is.

Finally they’re off my effing screen.

Next time on TAR: Lyn & Karlyn get emotional upon receiving a message from home. And teams find themselves in a muddy situation. Yeah. Greetings from home. Wonderful.

Confessional Counts

Rob&Kimberly 3.3
Dustin&Kandice 7.8
David&Mary 4.13
Erwin&Godwin 5.1
Tyler&James 4.2
Lyn&Karlyn 7.4

Team averages

Bulls— Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0
11th John & Scott 11.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8

9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Monica & Joseph 3.50
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF

Rank the Teams

1) Bilal & Sa’eed

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

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

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

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

That quote alone is enough to put them above last.

2) Duke & Lauren

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

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

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

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

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

3) Tom & Terry

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

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

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

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

4) Peter & Sarah

The recently dating dating couple (no, that wasn’t a typo). Much of the hype pre-season was around Bilal & Sa’eed and Peter & Sarah. Well, Sarah predominantly. She was the first person in history to run with a prosthetic leg. We would have to fast forward (no pun intended) to TAR 21 where somebody would double Sarah’s feet. I mean feat.

Seeing a racer do well with one leg while the other one acted as a flat tire was intriguing. These two dominated most of the episodes. Strategically and physically.

The best and worst part about the team is that Sarah’s partner, Peter, was a guy who made prosthetic limbs for a living but yet was the biggest d—-bag to someone with a prosthetic limb. You wouldn’t find that trait amongst too many people. This led to subtle arguments between Peter & Sarah. There was not much confrontation but Sarah would wait until confessionals to express her frustrations and disappointment with Peter. Peter likely did not have a clue.

Another funny thing is that Peter, who is an athlete, dates an athlete, and makes prosthetic limbs, announces he wants to quit the race. Somebody quitting with that background is not something you would find in too many places. Great job of TAR casting.

What took away much of the enjoyment for this team is how much Sarah’s leg was emphasized. In the first five episodes we saw THREE tasks where Sarah had to climb up a wall. Each time Sarah would be featured with the “can she do it despite her leg?” storyline. It was fine seeing it in the season premiere. But the next two times? Entirely unnecessary. It was like a 40 minute episode being cut down to 37 minutes as a result of the editing crew’s decision.

That’s all there is to the no longer dating recently dating couple. Not the most dynamic but they certainly had some ironic turn of events come their way.

P.S. Don’t hand Sarah a map.

5) David & Mary

The couch potato superfan parents from the south. Production did an excellent job of exploiting every realm of these facts. They were a decent casting choice because of the unusual way they phrased things.

“Fast fast quack quack!” leaps to mind.

On paper they looked like a great casting choice, but on the show they were flops. Well, they should have been a complete flop. Production manipulated their edit in a way that makes them appear noble and ‘beyond the competitiveness of the race’ and create one of the most popular teams in the history of TAR.  Of course a chunk of the hardcore fans saw through the edit and found David & Mary’s strategy to be ridiculous.

I don’t understand why you would go on the race if you sacrifice yourself to your favourite teams unconditionally. The Chos can do it and be a top tier finisher. David & Mary knew by round one that they were an extremely weak team that needed every advantage they could get. If you exclude the Fast Forward they won thanks to the Chos, Kentucky finished dead last in three consecutive rounds.

Mary was frustrating and hilarious as a racer when she cussed out David for every action while she did nothing.

David & Mary’s story should have ended with how they were eliminated this season–sacrificing themselves to their allies. That should have clued in producers to not use their popularity as a draw in a future season.

Unfortunately production could not avoid the temptation.

P.S. Did you know they were from Kentucky and had kids?

6) Kellie & Jamie

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

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

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

7) Vipul & Arti

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

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

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

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

Rank the Legs

1) 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) Port Louis -> Antananarivo (One of the least memorable legs in all of TAR? Typically any location in Africa makes for entertainment because of the unique nature of the tasks. I think we were all surprised to discover how bland Madagascar was.  If you tell me the episode, I can usually remember two of the tasks. However, going into this round all I could recall was the disgusting food Fast Forward.

Needless to say stamps and carrying mattresses in a small contained area without incident is not going to embed in our memories. Except perhaps Kentucky and Bama scratching a car.

Speaking of cars, the only other event worth mentioning is the Chos being screwed twice by an empty tank, Lyn being screwed over once because of the same issue, and Dustin for the same reason. I think it’s a record for taxis being forced to fill up gas with so few teams remaining in the race. I’m guessing Madagascarians don’t travel terribly far.

Oh, and I suppose I should speak about the Intersection once again. What was promoted as a groundbreaking twist had zero impact on this round. None. The producers had done it in such a weak and miniscule fashion that it drifted from our memories. Sure, Vancouver’s The Amazing Hunt renamed it as “the merger,” but other than that it did not take hold. If production followed my proposed ideas, I think the Intersection would be viewed as a worthwhile twist and held in critical acclaim.

Other than that, the constant talk about Six Pack and watching people drag mattresses and slowly chew cow lips for over twenty minutes made for a relatively flat round of play.)

8) 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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