TAR 10 episode 12 ranking

TODAY WE HIT 10, 000 FREAKIN’ VIEWS. AWESOME. Whoops, had caps lock on. Pardon the yelling.

Twelfth leg

Previously on TAR: Four teams left the city of Kiev in Ukraine and traveled nearly 3, 000 miles to Ourazazate, Morocco. Dustin & Kandice chose to use their Yield power. Then Rob & Kimbrely suffered a flat tire. And Dustin & Kandice made a big mistake. And arrived last at the Detour. The single moms were vindicated. In the end Tyler & James were the first to arrive. And Dustin & Kandice were the last but were spared elimination. Four teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. Feels odd for this to not be the season finale round. With two straight eliminations et al. I wonder what made CBS not want to air the final two legs in one night. Hadn’t it been a successful move for the past five seasons?

– We are introduced to the Atlas Mountains. Stretching across 1, 200 miles. Separates the Mediterranean from the sands of the Saharan Desert. The nomadic settlement was the pit stop.

Phil’s Questions: Will Dustin & Kandice overcome a thirty minute penalty and avoid elimination?

For once, Phil’s question does not deal with the Six Pack. Instead it is the continuation of bashing us over the head with the presence of Dustin & Kandice. Granted whoever is last after a non-elimination will always be featured in Phil’s questions.

– Tyler & James, who arrived first at an undisclosed time, will depart at 530am. Tyler reads that teams must drive themselves 275 miles through the Atlas Mountains to Casablanca. Then they must go to an area that I can’t spell out where they will find their next clue. I believe Casablanca is our first repeat city outside of China to hold a route marker. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Oddly enough, in TAR 3 Casablanca was featured as a town with only one task in TAR 3. I suppose production feels obligated to squeeze in Casablanca in some fashion.

– Tyler comments on the insane sunrise. Wow they’re lame. James will do whatever it takes to the Final Three. Tyler doesn’t care what place they are in as long as it knocks out the Blondes. Remind me again how you knock out a team from TAR? Oh right. You can’t. Tyler wants the Chipmunks to be eliminated this round over Bama because he feels Bama is less competition.

– Bama is only one minute behind. What happened to Bama being less of a threat than Chipmunks? Lyn has never been this close to the front of the pack before. It feels great. Karlyn has a plan to get the Chipmunks out because the last leg the Chipmunks tried to get them out. Lyn used to love road trips but now she hates them. Imagine being on TAR Family Edition. You’d never drive yourself ever again.

– Rob & Kim are third to leave at 547am. Kim likes that Rob keeps going for it because he used to need a push to get motivated. The Dave Cruser look-alike just wants to make it to the Final Three. He has a certain belief that he will win the million dollars, get to the Final Three, and ride out into the sunset.

Rob & Kim.

– Have you ever thought what the Yoshi’s Valley track from Mario Kart 64 would look like in TAR?

All that’s missing is the egg blocking the road.

– Lyn finds the road nerve wracking and scary. She never envisioned herself in Morocco let alone drive through its mountains.

KIM: There’s so many dogs. It’s scary. Er, lambs.
ROB: Goats.
KIM: Goats. I knew they were goats when I saw the horns.

And after Rob told you they were goats. That was the other hint.

– Rob quizzes her on the animals on the road as a joke.

– Chipmunks are last to depart at 616am. So the teams are fairly close together. Dustin talks about the 30 minute penalty and that they need a 30 minute lead to avoid being eliminated. They talk about the other team’s coldness towards them.  Dustin says all they need is each other. She says they’ll fly like the wind and the teams won’t know what hit them.

– Tyler & James stop at a Shell. They’re everywhere in the world. One person agrees to lead them there. Tyler wants God to allow the guide to take them to the right place. Geez. I think Roxy from Survivor: Philippines had first dibs on God’s Reality Television branch.

– Kim butchers the pronunciation of the place as Rob jumps out of the car to ask at a red light.

KIM: Babe, come on.

1. What are we at? Thirty babes or babies for the season? A bit excessive. Ask Lou Ferrigno for his 110 percent while you’re at it.

– Kandice & Dustin ask a man on the road to join them in the car and show where it is. The guy speaks extremely broken English. Dustin hopes one of the other teams got lost, thus making up time.

– Tyler & James park their car. They run out to search for the clue.

TYLER: Okay, eagle eye it buddy.

No. I thought I would have six more seasons before I would have to suffer through that every round. At least this is the only utterance of the ‘eagle eye’ in the first ten seasons.

JAMES: There it is! Found it!
TYLER: Nice! Look at that eagle eye!

If these two looked for the clue the exchange would be like this:

LOUIE: Eagle eye!
MICHAEL: Eagle eye!
LOUIE: Did you use the eagle eye to get the clue?
MICHAEL: Eagle eye!
LOUIE: You found it!
MICHAEL: Eagle eye!
LOUIE: What’s for dinner?
MICHAEL: Eagle eye!
LOUIE: Mashed potatoes!
LOUIE: Oh yeah. There’s that outbreak.

– It’s a roadblock. Teams must indulge a traditional Moroccan meal. They will enter this market and buy a pound of this camel meat. Then they will find Cafe 11 where they will prepare the meat they bought by putting it through a grinder. Finally, they will eat the meat. Once their plate is clear, they will receive their next clue.

– James is doing it seeing how he rocked the Fast Forward. Indeed he is doing it. Him and Tyler walk to the market together. I thought they would have to do the whole task on their own rather than just the grinding and consuming it.

Speaking of ecoli. . .

– They put the spices on the meat then hand the skewers over to the chef. James claims it smells good. I don’t know if he’s telling the truth or lying.

– Chipmunks are second to the market. They convince the guy in the car to stay with them a bit longer. Bama is on the side of the road asking a cab driver for directions. They agree to follow the cab driver and pay him.

– James thinks the meat tastes good and that it must be nutritional. Tastes good AND nutritious? I for one thought that is an impossible feat. Maybe I’ll give up my vegetarian diet for camel meat. Him and Tyler brag that no one else is here. I’m impressed seeing how this part of the roadblock must take fifteen minutes by the time you sit down to eat. Chipmunks are second for crying out loud.

– Chipmunks have the clue. Kandice is doing it. The guy continues to lead them around the market. Rob & Kim receive perfect directions and are on their way to the market. Two hundred pounds of camel meat says both Bama and Rob & Kim will have a confessional about the Chipmunks beating them to the roadblock.

– Chipmunks make a loud entrance. Tyler & James see them. They think it’s crazy for them to be there second.

DUSTIN: Awesome possum.
JAMES: Did you say Awesome Possum?

If you and Tyler are allowed Eagle Eye, then Dustin is allowed Awesome Possum.

– Tyler & James interrogate Chipmunks about being here second. Chipmunks say it needed to happen for them to have a chance to stay alive. James is done and hands in his plate in exchange for the clue. Tyler reads that teams must fly eight hundred miles to Barcelona, Spain. That’s all we’re told for now which means there must be a long airport scene.

– Rob & Kim park at the marked parking area. They see Tyler & James and ask for the report. James says Chipmunks are here and where the clue and roadblock is. The Mactor Pack is strong.

That’s a technical foul. If only that shape was the Travelocity Roaming Gnome rather than a measly pylon.

– Rob & Kim are lost in the area. Weren’t they just at the marked parking and pointed in the precise direction by James? Rob & Kim have a horrible sense of direction. Dustin comments that Kandice has a lot of meat in her hands.

Dirty joke avoided.

– Kandice hands the meat over to Mohammed. The guy from Superbad is right. Mohammed is the most common name in the world.

KANDICE: I like it medium well.


– Bama is given more directions and still running. The man who guided the Chipmunks is sitting at the roadblock silently. Rob & Kim scream at each other over where the clue is located. Rob yells at epople in the streets for the clue.

KIM: Babe, why you yelling at me?


– Kandice starts eating the camel meat. She claims it tastes good. Rob asks another man for directions and starts running down the narrow alleyways out into the open. Rob whines about being lost over and over. Kandice continues eating and says it is better than fish eyeballs.

– Rob is still lost. Very lost. He yells at the cars, he yells into the air. . .ain’t nothin’ going to save him. Bama is not at the route marker either.  Rob raises his arms into the air. Kim asks what the heck he is doing and he says the following:

ROB: We’re outcasts. Let’s use it.

If human nature has taught me anything, it’s that people in a crowd will reach out to the outcasts.

Don’t you just wanna help me?!

– Rob & Kim and Bama run into each other from opposite directions. Kim informs Karlyn about how Chipmunks are already at the roadblock. Karlyn, per usual, freaks out.

– Kandice is done and trades it in for the clue. Dustin reads it. They run out and the guide directs them to where their car was. Now the guide serves as a memory bank. If I was a racer, I’d do my darndest ro remember how to backtrack where I parked. Why didn’t Dustin run out to where the car was as Kandice was eating? Perhaps the whole ‘don’t be further than 200 feet from your teammate’ was in effect.

– Chipmunks see Rob & Kim. Kandice tells Dustin to hide the clue. Unbeknownst to them that Rob & Kim know they were already at the roadblock. Rob & Kim assume the Chipmunks are running towards the roadblock.

Really? Tyler & James said that Chipmunks were at the roadblock twenty to thirty minutes prior. If I were them, I’d go in the opposite direction. Alas, Rob isn’t the brightest and shouts at Kim to follow Chipmunks. Bama follows Rob & Kim as well.

– Chipmunks are at the marked parking and show the guide their clue.

KIM: They already have their clue.
ROB: No they don’t.
KIM: Yes they do. They’re leaving.
KIM: Do you guys have it already?
KANDICE: It’s back that way.
ROB: Will you show me?
GUIDE: . . .
DUSTIN: Don’t tell them.
ROB: Dammit!

Rob & Kim follow the least trustworthy people to the marked parking lot. Why in the world would the roadblock be there? Rob doesn’t want to ask for info but Chipmunks give up the location of the roadblock. He asks the guide for help, a guide who is already taken, and freaks out when Chipmunks try to prevent their guide from being stolen.

Love it.

– In bizarro world, Rob & Kim and Bama are working together to find the clue. They have no idea where the cluebox is. So what’s the plan of attack?

Outcast strategy in full effect!

– They’re going in circles. Lyn asks for directions and they start walking. Rob is stoked to see it. He grabs the clue. Rob claims to not have a ‘taste for the unusual’. So Kim, who struggled the most at the Cows Lips Fast Forward, is forced to do the task. There must be the roadblock rule in effect here. Lyn is doing the task as well.

– James thinks the Chipmunks looked desperate at the roadblock. Tyler doesn’t want them to stay alive. He wants Bama in the Final Three. James talks about Bama being unfit physically and therefore possessing the biggest upper hand over Bama.

Confessionals like these make me want Bama win even more.

– Chipmunks want to be on a flight before Rob & Kim and Sistuhs show up. Dustin would trade that in for every Christmas present for the next five years.

One million dollars is equivalent to five years worth of Christmas presents? How rich are her parents?!

KANDICE: I would trade in never eating camel meat again.

In some cultures, you trade in something of value for what you desire. I don’t know how they do things in New York. Although they did ban large soda drinks and MMA.

– Rob & Kim grab the meat and run to Cafe 11. Lyn is there next. Rob & Kim are at the cafe. Bama is there next.

ROB: You gotta push it in there.
KIM: I don’t know how to grind the meat.

What will this do to our sex life, babe?

– Lyn says buying meat for her kids means it’s some dead animal. It didn’t bother her.

KARLYN: gogogogogogo.

Kuwait soundtrack plays for the tenth time this season.

ROB: C’mon baby, you need to grind. She’s way ahead of you.
KIM: Babe, I need you to not talk to me.

3 and 4.

– Rob coaches Kim how to make a ball of meat (this is too much) and put it on the skewer. Lyn has been beast at this task and is already at the table waiting for the meat to cook. Kim asks Lyn how the “freaking blondes” got ahead of them. Lyn doesn’t know as they sit and moan about the situation.

– Chipmunks joke that Rob & Kim and Bama must be wondering how they got there so soon. Kandice bets that they are accusing them of cheating.

–  Lyn starts eating. She says it’s hot. Karlyn says to hurry up. Lyn replies that Mohammed just took it off the fire. You ever ate food that was just yanked out of a fire? I didn’t think so, Karlyn. Karlyn yells at Lyn to move faster. Lyn yells back. If I were Karlyn, I’d shut up so Lyn can eat as opposed to argue.

ROB: C’mon babe. It’s not bad is it? C’mon baby, you can do it.

5 and 6.

How’s the camel meat, Kim?

– Rob cheers her on but Kim snaps that she can do it. Rob and Karlyn must be the biggest contrasts in cheering on teammates. Rob does it to the point that Kim feels like she’s been talked down. Karlyn does it in a way that makes Lyn feel attacked.

KARLYN: I’m serious, I mean. . .
LYN: I’m racing. If you shut the hell up I could do better.
KARLYN: I don’t think so.

– Tyler & James enter the airport. Royal Air Maroc Agency is the way to go. Chipmunks think they have about a 30 minute lead over the trailing two teams. Kandice thinks they can do this and beat out the sistuhs.

– Karlyn yells at Lyn to finish. Lyn tells her to shut the hell up. Dissension in Bama. Lyn is done and has the clue. They’re not happy with each other. Kim wonders how Lyn ate it so fast. According to Karlyn, that was slow. Rob says the reverse of the kindergarten teacher:

ROB: Just put it in your mouth.

Five year olds rejoice. If you don’t know what it is, just put it in your mouth for a million bucks.

– Lyn says the berating wasn’t helping her to finish. Karlyn is not going to change and if Lyn doesn’t like it then just don’t listen to her.

ROB: You gotta go baby.
KIM: Babe, don’t even talk to me right now.

7 and 8. On pace for a record.

– KIM: We’ve got to find Mohammed V International Airport.

You mean Mohammed the Fifth International Airport?

– Rob recaps they are in last place. He is disappointed. Kim sheds tears.

– Chipmunks are at airport and ask for multiple kisses from the guide. He obliges. Plenty of kisses to go around. Kandice’s remark about the 30 minute penalty is subtitled. They see Tyler & James and ask if they have the best flight.

– The flight leaves at 300pm and gets in at 430pm. Kandice asks if them and Tyler & James are neck and neck, that Tyler & James would let Chipmunks step on the mat first to avoid the 30 minute penalty.

TYLER: Screw off, b—-.

No he didn’t say that.

TYLER: You don’t have enough faith in your game?

DUSTIN & KANDICE (simultaneously as high-pitched as possible): We were just wondering–


– Tyler says it’s the first time all season that the Chipmunks asked to team up with them. And their first request happens to be for Tyler & James to take a dive. That’s what you get for working alone, I s’pose. Tyler in a confessional states there is no way that will happen.

– Rob doesn’t like racing with the Chipmunks because they are relentless and tough. He doesn’t know how they caught up and pass them within the first hour of the leg. Bama says essentially the same thing.

– Tyler & James tell the audience there is no way they would follow Dustin’s suggestion of wanting Tyler to keep them around over Rob & Kim. I suppose Chipmunks have missed the season-long alliance between the two teams.

– Bama are third to the airport. I bet Rob’s car broke down. Bama is on the same flight. Rob & Kim are last and book the tickets. Kim confirms all four teams are on the same flight. James says fourth would really suck. Him, Tyler, Rob, and Kim all wonder how Chipmunks caught up so quickly. Tyler doesn’t know how and wants them out really bad. In case saying it every two minutes for these two episodes has not made it clear.

– Chipmunks know the other three teams are plotting against them. That’s what happens when you alienate yourselves from the other teams.

– Phil recaps the flight. He reveals the clue information as well. Teams must take a taxi from the airport to the Park de Labyrinth where they will search the maze for their next clue.

– We begin our only twenty minutes of TAR in Spain. All four teams scramble for taxis. Tyler & James are first. Chipmunks second. Bama third. Rob & Kim are fourth. Chipmunks feel the pressure and are sweating. Tyler’s cab and Chipmunks’ cab yells at the driver to pass. The Chipmunks win the battle and are in first. Tyler sees the blondes in a state of nothing but worry. The 30 minute penalty is recapped for the millionth time. Tyler’s strategy is to tail them for the whole leg to guarantee they are in the Final Three. That’s a really smart strategy.

– Tyler & James, Bama, and Chipmunks all get out. The route marker does not open until 1000am. We very quickly fast forward to daylight. The four teams slowly gather at the gate. Chipmunks want to call a taxi. They see the most trusting citizens of all in Barcelona.

Nothing spells ‘helpful’ like Barcelona’s finest construction workers. You know you are competitive when you stoop to asking construction workers for help.

P.S. They only whistle at Chipmunks three times.

– Chipmunks tell them to call a cab for 1005am.

KANDICE: It is way necessary that they only take blondes.

Tenth grade Spanish classes are paying off for this duo. Kim sees the Chipmunks requesting a cab. Rob wants her to go spy on them. Why they didn’t have the brains to order a cab is beyond me. Tyler & James and Rob all request for her to use her sexuality.

ROB: Just go flirt with them, babe. Use your sexuality.


– Lyn asks Karlyn if she wants to call for a taxi to wait for them at a route marker.

LYN: We should find one that is willing to wait.
KARLYN: Whatever.
LYN: I’m just voicin’ what my concern was.
KARLYN: Whatever.

Somebody is taking the Liam Lynch approach.

I saw a clue on the beach
Opened it
Saw we were going to Vietnam
I was like ‘whatever’
Cause this is my Amazing Race of Whatever!

– Lyn doesn’t care to argue with Karlyn’s short boiling point. Lyn isn’t the type of person to argue so she gives up. This leads to a fight where Lyn doesn’t care for Karlyn’s sarcastic response and Karlyn says it’s on Lyn to take it the way she wants. Lyn says they may as well go home if they can’t agree on anything.

Holy crap. Karlyn is cranky. I’m attributing this round to PMS. I can’t come up with any other logical explanation. You’re only three days away from a million bucks. Is menopause kicking in? Why can’t Karlyn freakin’ lighten up? Poor Lyn.

– Kim talks to a construction worker to order a taxi for 1010am.

Why 1010am? I would order the dang cab for 1000am. The clue is only seconds beyond the gate. What is the point of sitting around for up to ten minutes on the final elimination day of the game? Heck, I’d call a cab for 955am to guarantee the cab is there ready and waiting to take off.

– Chipmunks complain that the other teams are copying them. Confirmation bias is in effect as Dustin assumes this is a regular occurrence. However it’s only happened twice and it happens to be in the same round. In addition teams are tailing them as a smart move due to the Chipmunks’ 30 minute strategy. Duplicate everything they do and thus ensure your survival.

JEFF PROBST: Frustration setting in.

– Kim orders two taxis. 1000am is here. All four teams toss their bags as soon as the gates open.

– The Mactor alliance all go to the same place. Chipmunks reach a dead end. So does Bama. Chipmunks continue to search. Bama is lost. Mactors discover a dead end of their own. Chipmunks head in the direction where the Mactors just came out of. I guess they wanted to rule out the possibility that they found it.

– Mactors are first to the clue and Chipmunks are close enough in earshot that they overhear the celebration. It’s a Detour. Lug It or Lob It.

In Lug It, teams travel by taxi four miles to this street. Then they must travel by foot to the Mary Magnum Bridge where they will slip on a 9 1/2 foot  tall costume in the form of a giant from Barcelona’s annual festival of giants. Once they’ve become giants, they must walk over a mile through Barcelona’s city streets to find this square– Carrer de Sant Felip Neri. Here a tall female giant will hand them their next clue.

– In Lob It, teams travel nine miles by taxi to the Town Square where they will take part in a tomato fight that usually breaks out during the tamatine festival. They must defend themselves as they search through the mountain of tomatoes for one that has a clue hidden inside.

– Mactors run out as James yells at them to snag two of the taxis. Chipmunks are next to the clue and run back on their heels. Bama are last to the clue. Mactors and Chipmunks run into three dead ends together. Rob led everybody into dead ends. He wonders where Bama is.

– In a moment of perfect editing, we see Bama coming out of the maze. I suppose things get hectic as you travel as six people rather than two. Plus you have to worry about three times as many visual and sound crew. Lyn recaps the Mactors yelling at one another.

Karlyn meanwhile couldn’t be less intrigued by the race and instead opts to stare out at the Spanish sunset.

– Dustin comments that Bama being calm has led to their recent success. Tyler cheers on Bama. By the end of the run all three teams have passed Bama. Chipmunks are first into the cab. Tyler & James try to get into a cab but it runs out to be Rob & Kim’s. So where’s Tyler’s taxi? Nowhere to be found. They’re stranded with Bama. I’ll blame it on Doug Roobaker.

– Rob commands the driver to follow the Chipmunks. Kim wants to do the tomatoes task. Chipmunks want to do the giants because they don’t want to bank their race on a needle in the haystack. It seems every other detour this season involves a needle in the haystack. I wish producers would have put more thought into the detours this season. No skill involved as you take a barrage of tomatoes.

– Tyler & James want a taxi to be called. However the construction worker refuses.

Have the construction workers done any work all day? They’re just hanging out watching the race. I suppose helping male models isn’t in the construction worker’s code.

– A cab appears but luckily it stops next to Bama. If it were anywhere else I would think Tyler & James would outrun them like they’re Tara at the San Francisco finish line.

– James is pissed that Tyler gave up that previous cab. Tyler defends that it was ordered for Rob in the first place.  James is having a BJ moment where he thinks he could get away with stealing another team’s taxi.

You can only steal taxis when it’s an innocent bystander.


– For whatever reason the taxi is reserved and won’t pick anyone up. How does a cab stop and pull over but refuse admittance to anyone inside? I bet one of the construction workers called one and reserved it as a prank. They want a taxi to hang out as the teams scream at it to steal the cab.

– Bama are out on the road. So are Tyler & James. The Chipmunks’ lead continues to increase. None of the cabs are stopping. Both teams are frustrated. Perhaps there is a taxi lineup policy like in some countries on TAR. One of the cabs stops but Tyler & James snag it. Lyn requests the driver to call for another cab. Tyler tells the driver to call one more. I imagine in two seconds we’ll hear of Tyler’s plan to save Bama from elimination.

– Surprisingly not. Tyler & James discuss which task they want to do. James asks which one the Chipmunks did. Tyler repeats for the tenth time that he wants to tail the Blondes for this round to guarantee their survival as well as the Chipmunks’ elimination. James thinks Chipmunks chose the giants because they like the physical tasks. Which is true. I can’t think of a time all season where Chipmunks dove into the haystack.

– Bama successfully hails a cab. Karlyn wants to do the tomatoes. Lyn doesn’t know how heavy the Spanish Giant is gonna be. Wise move.

– Chipmunks lament over the heavy traffic. Rob & Kim luck out and pick the tomato task where it’s all back streets. Sometimes luck is all you need to catapult yourself into the lead on TAR.

ROB: Let’s go baby.

10. Shattering the record.

– Rob & Kim start searching.

Rob searches. It’s quiet. A little too quiet. Eerie, almost.

Holy crap. The Spanish Armada! Prepare for the biggest tomato beatdown of your life.

– Rob & Kim are getting pelted. Kim complains about the pain and that it is stupid. She wants to do a different task. Rather than searching in the tomato she is simply pushing them away. One of those tomatoes must have hit her too hard.

KIM: C’mon babe, they’re coming.


KIM: Is it in the tomato, babe?


– Rob is playing his own game of Castle Defense as he whips tomatoes as he protects Kim. It won’t matter because his opponents are seasoned experts who can aim tomatoes accurately. Now I know why Spain almost qualified for the World Baseball Classic.

– I won’t be able to do it justice with screen caps but trust me that Rob is attempting to give his opponents concussions. He is like John Rocker or Roger Clemens–not scared to go for the headshot. The big lady in the crowd is really good at ducking.

– Dustin thinks the tomato fight would have been fun but doesn’t like the idea of searching. We’re reminded about the 30 minute penalty for the millionth time. Tyler wants to make up good time by using his physical attributes in a strength task. He tells James to dig deep. Lyn talks about how it is frustrating that the Blondes are always first into the cab. She hopes the three teams can come within thirty minutes to eliminate them.

– More b—-ing from Kim. She is done and hates how they are hurting them. By ‘them’ she means only her. Rob insists it’s fun. As she gets demolished in the head by another tomato. Oh my god I am loving every second of this.

KIM: No, babe, I’m done with this one. They’re hurting us.

12. This is one record not even Usain Bolt dares to break.

Castle Defense: TAR Edition!

I love how Rob waves his hands in the air like he is egging them on in a professional wrestling sense.

– Rob refuses to leave. I agree. It’s Final Four and switching tasks will cost too much time when everyone was tied heading into this final task of the episode. She starts crying that it will take forever.

– Chipmunks ask for a giant. They are on a bridge but see nothing. A man points in the opposite direction. Rob is in the mound searching for the tomatoes.

KIM: I say we go to the other one.


KIM: Babe, this could take forever.


ROB: It’s too late to switch now. Just do the damn task.

Will logic or Kim’s b—-ing win out in this session? Let’s find out.

KIM: It’s not too late–
ROB: Honey–

Oh. We’ve gone from ‘babe’ and ‘baby’ to ‘honey’. That’s when you know Rob is laying all of his s— on the line. You only get to ‘honey’ her once a year for those special favours.

KIM: Babe it’s not too late!


ROB: I’m not doing it!

KIM: LISTEN TO ME!!!!!!!!!!!

The rotten tomatoes used to rate Batman & Robin shrivel up in fear.

Note: Play this clip against Marion Paolo’s scream from the end of the TAR 8 premiere. I think Kim’s scream may take it. I’m frightened sitting at home with the volume turned down. The only person who has had a louder scream than Kim is. . .

It’s not every day I get to make two Ghandia references in the same season of TAR. I laughed more than I did quiver in fear.

– Kim says if they go they won’t be a half hour behind the Chipmunks. That much could be true. But do you want to risk it? Are you knee deep in tomato sauce that to get out would be fruitless (or vegetableless? I never know with tomatoes) at this point. Will Kim’s screaming triumph over Rob’s reluctance?

– KIM: BABE! Stop paying attention to them and get this.

15. Now editors are just rubbing it into our faces.

– Rob defends that he is getting hit by tomatoes and that’s why he’s throwing.

KIM: Who cares.

I-R-O-N-Y. I believe you want to quit this task because of the tomatoes, correct?

KIM: BABE! I wish you’d listen to me.


– KIM: I’m going, I’m going. I’m done.

Ladies and gentlemen, Ghandia Johnson has left the building.

KIM (5 year old voice): I’m done! I’m done!
ROB: I’m not done.

Heh. They’re like 3 year old friends getting potty train’d or finishing their food.


Gotcha. Just when we thought she would leave. All a trick. She’s like a 10 year old pretending to run away from home as a way to get what she wants. Not on my watch, babe.

I don’t know if Rob has a migraine from the barrage of tomatoes or from hearing Kim’s voice during this task.

ROB: Why can’t you be tough! We’ve been here for five minutes.
KIM: We’re never gonna find it.

17. And if that’s true, Kim gives up very very very easily.

– Chipmunks are amazed by how big the giants are. Who knew giants would be big. They start walking through the streets. The giants are holding up random objects like ice cream cones. Barcelona is a weird place.

– Kim takes out her frustration of wanting to beat the Chipmunks by tossing tomatoes at Rob’s ribs. Rob may use the most outdated 90s Dave Cruser lingo, but even he does not deserve this. A fifth flat tire of the season would be more pleasant than this.

– ROB: Stop crying, dude.

Engagement is off, me thinks. She claims to be done and cries as she walks away. Way to Flo it up, Kim. Five minutes and your breaking point is reached.

– Kim throws two last tomatoes at a man as he smiles and ducks. The spirit of the festival lives on.

ROB: Please God. . .

Rob cannot put up with this situation that he is trading in his Million Dollar Prayer for a prayer that will shut up his fiance. I may have done the same. Karlyn’s PMSing would be more pleasant than Kim this episode.



– Rob runs after her.

ROB: Way to go, Kim. Way to cry.
KIM (crying): I’m not crying.

*stirs* Is that the first time Rob has referred to her by her first name? The pet names are gone. A bump in the relationship.

– Rob takes her pack and runs to the cab. He curses and says Kim threw in the towel. She blew it and threw in the damn towel. Over and over.

Either those are tomato seeds or Rob’s prayers have been answered by casting the first of many plagues on Kim. Where was this for Tara & Wil, Freddy & Kendra, or Flo?

– Rob refuses to go to the other task because it is twenty kilometres away. Kim calms down and agrees. She sounds in a more neutral tone than Rob. Perhaps that initial panic of tomatoes got to her and she needed room to breathe for a minute. The task will go seamlessly now.

– Rob asks why she’s crying. She is crying because it will take forever. Half of a forever as driving twenty kilometres. Rob says it is taking forever because she is crying. He finds the clue amidst the crying.

– Kim reads that teams must travel across town and find this fountain–Palau Nacional of Mont Juic. Originally built for the World Exposition of 1929, it now contains the world art museum of Catalonia.

There was a live Big Brother-ish version of The Mole held in Catalonia. Yeah. I used to read up on every single adaptation of The Mole when I was younger. It also helps that three different versions have filmed in Canada as well. U.K. season 2 which filmed twenty minutes from my house, Norway season 3 which filmed about five hours from my house, and a Dutch version that filmed at the opposite end of the country.

Note: I love The Mole more than Survivor, TAR, TUF, and Apprentice. If only I did a Mole blog.

– ROB: It was a needle in a tomato stack.


– Chipmunks ask for directions. Lady doesn’t understand English. Dustin complains of pouring sweat.

Pouring sweat?

PUNISHER: I was just ran on a treadmill for the first time in ten years. I was sweating buckets. You’ll understand the true meaning of pouring sweat. . .uh oh!

– They reconcile their differences in the car. Rob apologizes for yelling but says they needed to finish the task. Kim defends that she was worried they couldn’t catch up.

– Tyler & James are stuck at a light. Bama arrives at the tomato festival. The tomatoes come in. Neither are crying.

LYN: Bastards!
KARLYN: This is impossible.

Here we go again.

– Karlyn uses the worst strategy of searching for the clue in this task.

Grinding your feet in the tomatoes? C’mon, have a little more sense than that.

Not even Rick James would be willing to claim that he grinded his feet in somebody’s tomatoes. He has more sense than that.

– Tyler & James get inside of the giants. Goofy music plays as James brags he is a hot giant chick. They see the Chipmunks and walk up to them. Well. Tyler & James intend to tail the Chipmunks to the pit stop. Chipmunks cannot escape the 30 minute penalty. Rob & Kim are in first. Bama seem to be right behind at a task that will be over in less than ten minutes.

Do you want to take over, M. Bison?

JAMES: I’m having a tough time in this giant chick’s skirt.

Suffice it to say that James is not a chubby chaser.

Needless to say it is the only context where TAR will feature a man shoving his face into a woman’s skirt. Look at the sweat pouring down James’ neck!

– Rob & Kim wants to finish first so he can beat the Chipmunks to the mat. He wants Bama and Tyler & James to squeeze in.

– Chipmunks have directions and suit up. They say it’s ten to fifteen minutes straight ahead. James thinks the tomato thing could take forever. Karlyn says they need to switch because it is impossible and doesn’t see the clue yet. Lyn says if Karlyn wants to go then they’ll go. Let’s say Lyn is as enthusiastic as Rob was about switching. Karlyn hates how Lyn is putting it on her to make the decision. Lyn defends that it’s because she doesn’t want to leave yet.

– Tyler takes the skirt of and asks for more directions. The split off from Chipmunks. Kandice sees them enter a narrow alleyway and realize they need to split off as it’s the only way to avoid the penalty.

– Bama has the clue. The needle in the haystack proves to be the faster choice for once. Karlyn smiles for the first time all episode. Her and Lyn run faster than I have seen them run to date. The crowd applauds them for their efforts. Karlyn apologizes for not having the will to push through to the end of the task. Lyn accepts it. She is easily my favourite racer all season.

– Rob & Kim’s taxi drops them off. Kim doesn’t think this is it but Rob knows it is. They search a bit longer and see the staircases leading to Phil. They drop their bags. Phil delivers the news that their string of six consecutive third place finishes (a record for a streaking position in the American edition of TAR, by the way) and did it by winning the leg. They would’ve been wiser to save up breaking this streak for next leg, but oh well.

– Phil confirms their passage into the Final Three. In addition they’ve won a trip for two to Barbados. 300 dollar spa certificate and a tour of colonial plantations and snorkeling with sea turtles. Awesome possum.

PHIL: Are the other teams as hungry as you to win this?

Kim is full from cow lips and camel meat. So I’m guessing no.

– Kim says the other teams win the money and are friends. She believes her and Rob have more to gain because this could define their relationship forever. Phil asks about the potentially life-changing moment. Rob starts crying  on the mat and says it would mean a lot to him to win.

Everyone needs to stop f—ing crying. This is getting out of hand.

– Kim kisses him as he sheds tears. He is soooo getting laid at the pit stop. Rob wants to use the million dollars to start a family with Kim. Ah. So she is getting preggers at the end of this round after all. I hear Uchenna & Joyce won the million but couldn’t start a family of their own. So don’t get your hopes up, Rob.

– Chipmunks took the right path and snag the clue. Tyler & James are seconds behind. They are third and fourth respectively. Both teams hail their cabs. Tyler & James win a foot race to a cab. Them and Chipmunks get into cabs simultaneously. Dustin tears up hoping they can beat the boys to the mat. Kandice blames Dustin for sticking with Tyler & James during the Detour.

In Dustin’s defense, what else could she do? Go in the wrong direction and be further behind? Not many alternatives here.

– Tyler assumes Bama is way behind and that the other option is way out of the city. Everything Tyler and Chipmunks are saying indicates they are assuming to be in first and second place right now. Chipmunks are in for a surprise.

– Lyn wants the cab to hurry up.

– Tyler & James wear their backpacks and run up the steps but see nothing. Chipmunks drop their bags to search. James thinks the fountain at the other end must be it. A tourist gives the same advice to the Chipmunks. Tyler & James ask for more directions. Bama is on the scene too. Chipmunks ask some more but a local does not know. A tourist points Chipmunks in the opposite direction.

– Out of nowhere Bama is on the mat. How the heck did this happen? Tyler & James must have aimlessly followed the Chipmunks who were going the wrong way. So Bama is in second place for the second leg in a row. Could Bama really win this thing?

PHIL: You are the first ever all-female team to make it to the Final Three in the history of The Amazing Race.

These two? Who would’ve thought.

– Chipmunks run up the steps onto the mat. . .oh, camera tricked us. Suddenly Tyler & James are on the mat. Neat effect. Tyler says it was close but they barely beat out the Blondies. They outran the Blondes about a minute earlier.

– Piano music plays as the most overhyped team of the past couple rounds is eliminated. The thirty minute penalty didn’t mean crap. Dustin & Kandice cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, cry, and cry some more. Bama beat you as the representative of the best all-female team in the first ten seasons of TAR. Suck it.

– UFC time. Every team for himself. Ability to remain calm. Kim will keep it together. James has the most #1 finishes.

Next Time On TAR: The million dollar leg. Only a one hour finale for the first time since TAR 4. Let’s cross the Atlantic and get it on!

Rob&Kimberly 7.5
Dustin&Kandice 4.7
Tyler&James 10.8
Lyn&Karlyn 10.2

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
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
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
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17
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

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) Cho Bros.

Yeah, I think it’s only fitting that the ringleader of the Six Pack finishes in sixth overall for this ranking.

The Chos may be the most unconditionally loyal people to be on the race. They were the reason why there is never a case after about episode three where the Six Pack doesn’t finish in three consecutive positions. Even when it came to the other teams they didn’t feel like lying. On one hand, we wonder why such a team would be cast for a million dollar competition. On the other hand, it was refreshing to see a team whose last goal was to win but yet be skilled enough to make a deep run. It’s a combination I doubt we will ever see again.

They put themselves on the line to the point where they let several teams pass by them all because they wanted their teammates who may have been terrible at certain tasks to stay as a unit. That is true commitment. And let’s not forget the Fast Forward Fakeout that they engineered for David & Mary to be saved from the non-elimination penalty.

Lastly, they have a goofy streak. Who forgets the water gun stunt at the airport as a playful joke? Well, most people I imagine. TAR 10 isn’t exactly a standout season.

The Chos could arguably be the most unique racers of all time.

7) Dustin & Kandice

They were competitive. They were horrendous socially. And they were competitive.

But do these two have much of a personality?
Give up? I sure did.

For some reason we never get to a legit personality. These two come off a bit cold to other racers and overall serve as an antagonist to the other teams. Have you noticed how the other teams talk about Dustin & Kandice a lot more than Dustin & Kandice talking about themselves? The Chipmunks/Beauty Queens/Blondes/Blondies/Barbies didn’t exactly give much insight throughout the race other than expressing hatred for the Sistuhs.

Their competitive spirit mixed with the worst strategic moves seen on TAR could’ve been enough to catapult them to the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong. I love seeing that type of team on TAR. But what happens when you put these two in the interview room? Do they have any memorable quotes? Any memorable moments that isn’t glorified by other teams? The answer is ‘no’ to both questions.

Go ahead. Make a case that these two have an engaging personality. That these two weren’t cast as competitive and socially decrepit mactors. I’m all ears, Twila.

P.S. Ever wanted to know what Kandice’s ‘personal life’ section looks like on Wikipedia?


She doesn’t like to share much.
8) 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.

9) 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) Helsinki -> Kiev (We manage to avoid the dreaded aftermath of a To Be Continued leg. This is by sheer luck because the trailing three teams were due to arrive in Kiev at the same time as the leading teams, but their plane was delayed by thirty minutes. Otherwise I’d cuss out production for being idiots for the fifth season in a row.

Kim hopes she can catch up to Tyler & James.

Kim hopes she can catch up to Tyler & James.

The Return of the Prodigal Son?

The Return of the Prodigal Son?

Yeah, that was a big strike for this race. TAR struggled with producing footage, but other than this hiccup they did a decent job. Rob & Kim were only shown for the car breaking down. Bama was heavily featured for fracturing the Six Pack (which became the Four Pack) for good. Apparently the first nine episodes failed to convey that Erwin is one of the most indecisive navigators in the history of the show. Perhaps that is why they were desperate for a Six Pack alliance. They couldn’t function without other voices to help them.

The Oxford tank Fast Forward from TAR 3 episode 3 was revived as the teams did a solo roadblock. I don’t mind it when a task is put on the shelf for seven seasons until its next use. As opposed to some tasks that are used several seasons in a row. Like a needle in a haystack.

Chos always waiting for Bama while Bama tried as hard as they could to break away from them is one of the funnier events this season. Bama clearly can do this race on their own.

What’s even funnier though is the rap task in the detour where teams make up the worst raps in my life. Jeff Probst’s niece could rap better than these teams. At least we found out that I am the best lyricist.

The uneasy partnership between Tyler & James and the Chipmunks was another highlight. Add in that the nicest guys finish last due to trouble in the law was a fitting ending to an overall solid round of play.)

6) Kiev -> Marrakech (The first and final return to Morocco. For the time being, anyway. The non-elimination rounds this season have been much better compared to the non-elimination rounds of previous seasons where the editors appear to give up completely.

We go to an area of Morocco that is far less populated than what we see in TAR 3. The tasks were perhaps the most unique of the season as teams took part in the biggest studio simulation of ancient times. My analysis dictates that the roadblock must have been the most expensive task of the season. Seeing James’ horse go way off track as well as James failing to do the easiest part of the roadblock was amusing.

I enjoyed the detour as well. Milling olives would be much easier than throwing pots (but not physically throwing them as James initially thought). The caveat of having only three slots available made the detour much more interesting. A great twist that production employed. Sure enough all four teams chose to mill olives and the team that should have been there first overshoot the route marker and end up there fourth. How deliciously tragic.

Watching teams abduct children in southern Morocco must have gone over well with our international viewers. The editing makes it so harmless. Meanwhile if I tried to pick up a child at one o’ clock in the morning to direct me to a shop outside of town, everyone would view it very differently.

Rob & Kim claimed a TAR record by breaking down a car in four separate episodes in a single season. Rob’s frustrations and Karlyn’s commentary was entertaining.

Two of the dumbest airport moves were made this episode. Rob & Kim lied saying there was a better flight only caused the Chipmunks to search for a better flight until Rob informed them he was joking. The other stupid move is the Chipmunks booking a flight with a tight connection despite taking the other flight where everyone would end up together on the final flight regardless. Chipmunks miss their flight but are lucky that a flight several hours later arrived just in time for the equalizer. What a bunch o’ knuckleheads.

With Phil pressing the Chipmunks with the notion of the first all-female team possibly winning, we witness a leg where the two all-female teams receive ninety percent of the airtime. I bet everyone and their mother thought an all-female team would win this season. It’s bashed over our heads that the Chipmunks are evil while Bama are the Last of the Mohicans/Six Pack and will harbour all of that energy to beat the other mactor teams. Yes, the other three teams are all mactors.

The only Yield of the season appeared and was put to good use. Rob & Kim and Tyler & James weren’t using their head, while Chipmunks seized the opportunity to push back the most popular team of the season. For the second season in a row, the team who uses the yield would finish last on a non-elimination leg. Karma has recently made a string of appearances when it comes to the Yield.

My biggest complaint about this episode is it focused too much on Chipmunks being evil. If the Chipmunks were eliminated, I would be fine with it. But the fact that they were saved means we will need to put up with another episode or two of ‘Chipmunks are evil and untrustworthy creatures’ as the most prominent storyline.)

7) Antananarivo ->Helsinki (I really liked this leg. It could be higher if it were not for the last two minutes of the episode and the messages from home. We know how much I hate these two things in TAR. Let’s move on to the positive aspects of the episode.

The relationships between the five teams and their personalities made them more three-dimensional than what we have seen in the past few episodes of ‘Six Pack vs. The World’. The Chos and Bamas greatly splintered in how they approached the race. Rob expressed his hatred for them right to their face. Tyler & James seduced Dustin & Kandice into working with them but yet managing to leave Dustin & Kandice in the dust when convenient. Essentially beating Dustin & Kandice at their own game.

There was hilarious moments in this round. Chos were angry and aggressive with multiple teams and with each other throughout the episode, but somehow keeping their composure to help Bama in every minute of the leg. Of course Bama left them behind when they felt threatened by elimination.

The episode had a good combination of taxi rides, trains, driving yourselves. There was flying by airplane too. Oh, and biking and running. And skis. This is easily the best leg if you want to see as many forms of transportation incorporated into a one hour block of adventure television.

The races to board trains and make flights was great too. The simultaneously strange and entertaining aspect of the episode was the ode to David & Mary from start to finish. Any casual viewer of TAR would have assumed they died at the pit stop in the previous episode. I’m not kidding.

The switch to an unusual location of Finland was a great transition from equally unusual (but unfortunately boring) islands off of east Africa. I don’t know why they failed so much with Madagascar and Mauritius, but the tasks in Finland were more unique and eye-popping.

As far as the tasks, the epic mud run is one of the best tasks all season. Also we should not forget biking a gruelling course deep inside a darkened mine and following it up with exhausting yourself to break open limestone.

Rob & Kim freaking out at the Six Pack as well as James spanking Tyler was enough to carry an episode of TAR in terms of its amusement factor. Players being stuck in mud helplessly is a bonus too.)

8) Marrakech -> Barcelona (This leg was designed so that if the Chipmunks didn’t finish first that they’d be eliminated. With half the leg conducted in Morocco, a flight that served as an equalizer, and the gates in Barcelona being closed until the next morning made for about ninety minutes of actual racing in the final day of the leg.

Ninety minutes may even be a stretch. In addition, it was very easy to spot where the clue was in the maze and as a result we see all four teams begin the Detour simultaneously. How can Chipmunks survive finishing second or third? But hey, it’s the nature of the penalty. It’s supposed to weaken your position considerably and put you on the ledge. If they wanted to survive, why didn’t they just do a decent job on the previous leg?

Again, we see an abuse of Chipmunks dominating the airtime. A bit annoying if you ask me. Like production wants to ensure we remember the Chipmunks in the future.

Rob & Kim and Tyler & James tailing Chipmunks throughout the round neutralized them and paralyzed ’em. The new non-elimination penalty has already been mastered. If Chipmunks made stronger social bonds, I doubt the other teams would be that cruel. In a sense some TAR fans would view the move as ‘unfair’.

In terms of tasks, the roadblock was generic but the other two tasks were fresh. Search a maze for the clue? Hasn’t happened since TAR 5 when it served as the final task of the leg. And what about the detour? Tomato throwing festival versus suiting up as 9 1/2 foot tall giants? Producers really immersed themselves into the Spanish festivals.

The giants were fun as teams dressed up as the Burger King mascot or knock-offs of Disney characters. Seeing James inside of a woman’s skirt for the first time in his life was highly amusing.

Then the tomato throwing. Kim. Babe. We have a winner. One of the biggest blowups in ten seasons? Certainly. I am curious how the sound personnel reacted to her screams. The decibels skyrocketed for a couple minutes. I love how it took only five minutes for her to resort to screaming. Mr. Green would not hesitate to slap her like a maid.

Rob & Kim uttered the word ‘baby’ or ‘babe’ eighteen times. That is a deduction for this leg.

The leg was okay. It was just a foregone conclusion that Chipmunks would be eliminated once we found out that the Barcelona Maze was an equalizer.

The most shocking thing about this leg is that the detour and pit stop will be the only visit to Spain in 21 seasons of TAR. I thought it was impossible for a populated western European country to be this neglected on TAR.)

9) 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 prototype 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.)

10) 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.)

11) 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.)

12) 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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