TAR 11 introduction Part 3.5

It has been two weeks since my previous post. Is that a record for me since the TAR blog began?

It has been extraordinarily busy at university. All of my courses are done on the 7th except for one. During the winter break I hope to complete all of TAR All Stars.

My goal has been to complete the third and final part to the introduction before then.

Sadly it will need to be divided into two half-parts. If that makes sense.

Part 3

In case you haven’t figured it out, I have been very busy with university lately. Luckily the semester ends on the 7th which will give me time to do the entire TAR All Star season over the holidays.

But in the meantime, it’s time to complete the third and final part of the intro to TAR All Star: The reveal of the teams.

But not only that. I thought I would go through EVERY team in TAR history and explain why or why they were not picked. Don’t worry, most of them will be brief.

I thought I would go in reverse chronological order. So without much ado, or further of it, let’s begin.

TAR 10

Tyler Denk and James Branaman (1st place): The least engaging winning duo in the first ten seasons. I ranked them at the bottom of my previous Rank the Teams segment for TAR 10. They were the least engaging team on their season. Nobody loved them but nobody hated them either. Their drug addict story went nowhere. And the series already had more memorable alpha male winners.

Plus James didn’t talk all that much nor was that active. It would essentially be Tyler attempting to lead a narrative again.

I’m sure this was the first team production and Phil looked at. If Tyler & James were to be considered, they would have a heck of a time going down to eleven pairs.

Tyler & James was an instant no. The only person upset was Tyler Denk’s mom and rehab patients.

Rob Diaz & Kimberly Chabolla (2nd place): Their main alliance was with Tyler & James. Although it was perhaps the most successful alliance ever, the Six Pack fans called for their elimination as well as Beauty Queen fans on the opposite end of the spectrum. It was the only thing they could agree on.

Rob holds the record for most cars broken on TAR, and memorable for the brilliant line of being frustrated with foreigners in their home country.

Kim has the pouting incident with the tomatoes while the locals show no mercy.

Some of the fans liked how Rob messed with the Beauty Queens near the end.

But that was it. I guarantee you no casual fan has ever said “Remember when Rob & Kim. . .” after TAR 11 premiered.

Lyn Turk & Karlyn Harris (3rd place): The first and ONLY all-female team to make the Final Three before All-Stars. One out of twenty-seven season finale slots. They carried the torch of the beloved Six Pack to the bitter end. Fans were disappointed (unless you were pro-Beauty Queens).

Everyone wanted to see a Bama vs. Beauty Queen match-up. The battle of the two greatest all-female teams. Isn’t that what everybody was whining about after season four? Wah wah wah an all-female team needs to win. An all-female team needs to win to the point where casual fans think production should fix the game to rig it for all-female teams.

Why not a team that put themselves in complex relationships and gave the Finger after being yielded. Their athletic inability is what made their late season dominance that much more surprising and noteworthy.

But no. Production thought to ignore a huge piece of TAR history and couldn’t care less about their feat, significance, or personality. Instead somebody else would get the honour of continuing their rivalry with the Beauty Queens. Somebody far less capable to beat them.

Dustin-Leigh Konzelman & Kandice Pelletier (4th place):

dustin kandice 1

Lying to teams for no particular reason without any personal gain + doing relatively well on the race course + physically attractive to draw in the younger audience = insta-cast.

Do you remember a program called The Early Show on CBS? Well, during the first fourteen seasons of Survivor and the first eleven seasons of TAR the eliminated player(s) would appear on the program Friday/Monday morning. If it was following a finale, you were guaranteed the whole hour.

Fast forward to Survivor: South Pacific and not even the winner gets invited to The Early Show. Times have changed.

Why am I bringing this up? When I was at school my mom would always tape The Early Show segment for me. The only interviews I saved were the pre-merge boots of All-Stars and the full hour with the Final Four of Survivor: Thailand.

When Dustin & Kandice were eliminated from TAR 10, do you know what The Early Show said the next morning?

“Dustin & Kandice aren’t here because they are out filming All Stars.”

What? At least with James or Rupert they would cover it up on The Early Show and say they were unavailable. But Bertram and CBS were so eager to hype up All Stars that they wanted to hype up the return of Dustin & Kandice. Because you know their absence is such a big deal as they go to film a season while their previous one is still airing!

If you wanted a team to stir up unnecessary controversy, then yes, Dustin & Kandice should be your pick if you needed an all-female slot. But with the snub of Bamas, which other memorable all-female teams would be cut?

This was enough to make Phil’s exclusive list of fifteen teams.

Erwin Cho & Godwin Cho (5th place): The first time where I didn’t have to look up the last names for a team. They were legitimately kind people and played into the Sugar Kiper mentality of trying your hardest to see your friends win. Regardless if the price is personal sacrifice.

But these look-alikes to the drummer from Three Ninjas: Strikes Back can’t get cast on that alone. This is All Stars. The cream of the crop from all demographics. These eleven teams will be the most competitive SOBs on the planet to stir up the game and make the race exciting.

Chos don’t fit that bill. Their story arc was completed when they stayed true to their friends until their friends ditched them. Their positive legacy remains intact.

David Conley Jr. & Mary Conley (6th place):

mary scary

See? Their last names are the same. I told you they were brother and sister.
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Okay, I won’t make that joke ever again. I’m just jealous of their popularity. And as Stephenie LaGrossa says (unfortunately), “jealousy gets you nowhere”.

Yes, this was the second team to be picked in the timeline. Rupert Boneham is to Survivor as David & Mary are to Amazing Race. One-dimensional and extremely positive edits that make 90% of the casual audience love them. Even my mom wanted to see them win, and she doesn’t fall for the casual fan crap some of the time.

They talked about the South. David had an everyday working man’s job. Their backyard has a wicked trampoline as seen in the TAR 10 intro.

On one hand they boasted about being loyal to their allies. . .but then were shown blatantly lying to other teams. Somehow these lies were framed as lovable.

Without Chos or Bama, nobody is present to carry Kentucky to the midway point of the race. Much like Rupert, they’ll need to find somebody to leech onto and carry them deep into the game. While the Chos helped Kentucky out of kindness and respect, an all-star team will help them out of a selfish need to create an easy win in the Final Three.

If Las Vegas allowed you to bet on TAR, David & Mary was the biggest longshot. They were the only team picked that had a sub-par average (their average is 6.13, and yes, that’s including the Chos arranging for them to be in first place with the Fast Forward).

I thought pre-season that I would be stunned if they could make it past the first leg. My jaw would drop if they survived the second. And cardiac arrest if they can avoid dead last in leg three.

Phil liked them and wanted to capitalize on their newfound popularity. It’s a good ratings draw too. Phil wants to keep his day job. Er, his 28-day job. Moving on. . .

Peter Harsch & Sarah Reinertsen (7th place): Peter Harsch lived up to his name. He was condescending towards Sarah and frequently questioned their own abilities. Production was pulling our leg as they wanted to use Sarah’s handicap as a way for their team to eat up airtime and their way into our hearts.

It didn’t work. The relationship was really awkward near the end as Sarah wanted nothing to do with Peter anymore by the end of the race. If you ask me, TAR was lucky to ask a team of exes to pretend they were dating on live television again, much to the surprise of Peter & Sarah who had no idea they would be promoted as a dating couple.

Needless to say Peter would have turned down an invitation for his negative edit and wanting to quit half of the time, and Sarah would have turned down an invitation because she couldn’t bear another day on TAR with Peter.

We will have to wait for another 5 1/2 years for TAR to find a person who has a more likable partner and legs she’d need to stand on for support throughout the race.

Tom Rock & Terry Cosentino (8th place): Eliminated too early. Survivor Sucks rejoices.

Duke Marcoccio & Lauren Marcoccio (9th place): What a weird last name.

Kellie Patterson & Jamie Hill (10th place): They are cheerleaders. Buddha prays to Mecca, according to their knowledge. The lone street of Mongolia is a tough cookie to navigate.

Vipul Patel & Arti Patel (11th place): TAR superfans. . .who sadly were eliminated right away and didn’t have much of a personality. Probably the best people to hang out with on a lazy Sunday, though.

Bilal Abdul-Mani & Sa’eed Rudolph (12th place): One of the two most robbed teams in the history of the series. Their personalities alone would have made them all-stars. Unfortunately not making it past 45 minutes of the premiere won’t cut it. If they made it to leg six or seven, I guarantee you they would be cast.

Oh well. A lot of teams played off of them for the brief 45 minutes.

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

And that ladies and gentlemen concludes TAR 10. This is the part where you take a small break and come back to read all about TAR 9.

Biggest All-Stars Snub: Lyn & Karlyn

TAR 9

B.J. Averell & Tyler MacNiven (1st place): One of the most surprising omissions from Phil Keoghan’s list of fifteen teams is the exclusion of the most popular alpha male winners of all time. Twelve seasons later and they are frequently brought up by casual fans when discussing favourite teams or favourite winners.

There is the fact that the Hippies wanted to play again as much as the fans wanted them to do so.

Why did Phil snub them?

In multiple interviews Phil stated that the Hippies were one-dimensional. Their relationship is cemented and they had one lone conflict all season long with a team who had the least amount of airtime for the first ten years of the show.

Hippies took to cyberspace to protest and complain about why they were blocked from All Stars. It’s not like they were dominating. They finished in last place twice during the season. They had no money and no clothes. Especially BJ. Being an easygoing team isn’t enough to get you into All Stars.

I think they would have been the perfect young all-male team to return, but TAR didn’t want that for an all-star. For whatever reason.

Eric Sanchez & Jeremy Ryan (2nd place):

eric jeremy modified

The most dominant team in the 21-season history of TAR. Eric & Jeremy’s record would be untouchable if it weren’t for that lapse of judgment in Oman. If this were a true All-Star, these two would be brought back. They’re the #1 team. You should have to beat the best to be the best. And there is no doubt in my mind they wanted a re-match with the Hippies. I think the audience would be stoked for a re-match.

I suppose production didn’t like the idea of another season-long showdown that already played out just one year ago.

In pursuit of finding a young and interesting dating couple, which are hard to come by because the relationship needs to last long enough to make All Stars, Eric was picked to race with somebody from another team.

I wish Jeremy was dating a fellow racer because he was the architect behind Doug Roobaker and acted ten times kookier than Eric. Meanwhile Eric stated on numerous occasions that he was seeking to get into a fellow racer’s pants.

And he succeeded.

Ray Whitty & Yolanda Brown-Moore (3rd place): Following Ray’s stunt of proposing to Yolanda on The Early Show, these two faded from everyone’s memories. With Hippies, Beach Bums, the old couple where the wife survived breast cancer and did well for a team, the Jamie Newton knock-off, MoJo, the blondes, and the annoying Pinks, Ray & Yolanda find themselves in the backdrop of TAR 9.

It’s unfortunate because they are likable and hilarious on a re-watch, and the locals sure loved to comment on Yolanda’s booty. I guess Ray flipping The Bird to Yolanda and their lack of strength for the first ten legs made the audience overall ignore them. Their personalities needed to be a bit bigger and more interactive with other teams. Allying with Lake isn’t as much of a ratings draw as opposing Lake.

They’re probably in the bottom ten of least memorable Final Three teams ever. And all of The Nutty Professor sequels in the world can’t change that.

Monica Cayce & Joseph Meadows (4th place): Better off being known as the team who had a 2-round feud with BJ & Tyler. Monica cried carrying swordfish then attacked Hippies for no apparent reason. Are they known for anything else? Were they even given screen time for anything else?

I doubt it. Their airtime had a direct correlation with their degree of anger towards BJ & Tyler.

Not exactly a team that expresses enough agency heading into All Stars.

It will be another eight seasons after All-Stars until a team has less screen time than they do.

Phil wasted no time ignoring these two after making the decision to cut the Hippies.

Fran Lazarus & Barry Lazarus (5th place): They would be the fittest old couple in the history of TAR. However, production likely thought they couldn’t be competitive enough considering three hours total on the race course were wasted looking for clues.

Sure, teams have ignored crucial information or walked past a pit stop staring them in the face, but no team has done it as consistently as Fran & Barry.

TAR needed a less flawed old couple to run the race.

Michelle Garner & Terry “Lake” Garner (6th place): His real name is TERRY? How do you get Lake from Terry? Whatever.

If they were on TAR 14, they could be cast for another all-star as fodder for other teams. But for the first all-star, there were standards. Despite learning Lake speech and cherishing every complex and well-intentioned Lake blow-up, bottom line is that him and Michelle never did well on the race course.

They were entertaining, complex, and unique, but I think production did a great job of saving Lake a potential heart attack.

Dave Spiker & Lori Willems (7th place): Perhaps the most surprising team on Phil’s list of fifteen teams. They got into silly arguments, and used their adorkable image to gain popularity. However, by the end of the season I think they were largely forgotten. The Nerd image had drifted.

In addition, they were consistently finishing at the bottom of the pack. Compared to the other teams on All-Stars, only David & Mary share their lack of skill on the race. And David & Mary were at their peak of fame.

There is the issue of Dave & Lori not arguing or confronting directly with other teams. And they are not exactly a quotable team. Their charm is subtle enough that only someone who was there firsthand like Phil could recognize their intriguing nature.

That’s why they were exchanged for Eric Sanchez and. . .

Danielle Turner & Dani Torchio (8th place):

dani modified

Yep. Eric Sanchez and Danielle Turner were indeed a couple. One of the few young couples who were available to play and the only team in TAR history to compose of two separate teams. This was the only team not picked by Phil.

Much like the Intersection, having people team up who couldn’t be a duo in the past is a welcome novelty to the series. I don’t understand why this was never attempted in the second all-star because they had more dating couples with more notoriety, but I digress.

Their run was characterized by a lot of laughs, never being taken seriously, and a tendency of getting to the front but finding themselves at the bottom rather quickly. Because legs three to seven all took place within Europe in such a short period of time, the Pinks forgot their bags at the roadblock preventing them from catching up for the remainder of the race. Their only allies were Wanda & Desiree. . .and we know what happened to them.

The Pinks had the record at the time for being the biggest flirts ever to run the race. Plus Danielle’s overreaction and ironic statements made at the Yield obstruction that allowed Ray & Yolanda to squeak out a 7th place finish is mildly memorable. Mildly.

The Eric & Danielle experiment has officially begun!

Wanda Lopez-Richford & Desiree Cifre (9th place): Their energy was zapped by the third round of the game, and they couldn’t navigate on their own. I bet Wanda failed to learn to swim since the Moscow roadblock.

Lisa Hinds & Joni Glaze (10th place): Crazy older ladies who finish 10th and 10th in their two rounds of play? Is there any justification to their exclusion?

John Lowe & Scott Braginton-Smith (11th place): John got over his fear of helicopters. “Do you speak English?” “Do you speak English?” “Do you speak English?”
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Biggest Snub: BJ & Tyler

TAR 8

Pick one team from each of the nine seasons and split a team from Family Edition to have a perfect Battle of the Seasons for TAR All Star. Oh well. Why would each of these families not even be entertained on Phil’s list of fifteen teams?

Linz Family (1st place): When I was convinced at least one team from each season would be featured in All Stars, I thought Linz Family was a shoe-in. Well not the whole family. Tommy was underage and nobody cared about Meg Griffin.

If you recall how the Linz Family reminded me of my three brothers and sister, you can understand why they are perhaps one of my favourite teams in the history of TAR. And if I thought they were awesome, then I assumed everyone else thought they were equally awesome as well.

Go ahead and laugh.

So I waited for Alex and Nick Linz to be announced for TAR All Star. I told you to stop laughing. They were never cast. Phil didn’t have them on his exclusive list of fifteen teams.

Why?

Because after exploring the Internet, it was clear most people found their goofiness to be annoying rather than endearing. It is the Jason Mayhem Miller Effect (he is a MMA fighter who is goofy that most fans are turned off by him).

Bransen Family (2nd place): The rare conflict for the Switzerland of TAR 8 came when the three sisters heckled their dad to an extreme.

Lauren Bransen mooned the Linzes.

I can’t think of anything else, really. Wally was two minutes away from winning his daughters a million dollars. Instead Wally’s Girls Escort Service recently opened up.

You’re on your own to find further details.

Weaver Family (3rd place): As crazy, annoying, and crazy, and loud, and crazy as the Weavers were. . .only Linda was of age. If TAR waited another year they could have cast Linda and Rebecca. Can you imagine these two attempting to read a map in a foreign country? They were stumped as to whether or not Pennsylvania was a state.

Meredith & Maria would demolish Linda & Rebecca on the race course.

Godlewski Family (4th place): The first ever all-female team to dominate in TAR. Is it scary I can recall from memory that Tricia was the Helen Hunt look-alike, Michelle was the grumpy one with the Daphne haircut, Sharon was the taller one who looked like a lifetime smoker, and Christine found excuses to cry?

Yeah. It might be time to take a break from TAR.

My guess is that production would want Christine on the race but Tricia, Sharon, and Michelle would refuse to race with her. Tricia is too relaxed but at least has pigtails. And since nobody on the planet liked Michelle and Sharon, the book was closed on a second life of the Godlewski family.

Paolo Family (5th place): There had to be some consideration to adding Marion to the All Star roster. She was the biggest complainer that TAR didn’t travel internationally. However, I think her fatigue from traveling domestically is what made Phil not bother with casting her. We’ll never know Tony’s life outside of moving from Italy when he was ten years old and being a garbage man.

Marion’s fatigue could have been from being in a van with Tony, Brian, and DJ for a month rather than the actual race course.

Gaghan Family (6th place): One of the most universally liked teams in the whole roster of Family Edition. In addition, Billy and Carissa are the last racers ever to compete as being younger than a teenager.

The camera and the audience were much more focused on Billy and Carissa than they were on Tammy and Bill. I think Tammy talked during most of the interviews. Much like Brennan from TAR 1 or James from TAR 21, Tammy was probably the best talker during interview sessions.

Perhaps the only reason why Bill and Tammy would be cast is so Disney could make an animated cartoon based on the crazy and wild adventures Billy and Carissa get themselves into from being home alone while Bill and Tammy are out filming TAR. It’d be an instant hit. Carissa could overcome the evil Colonel Trailers and Rob Schneider will chase Billy down for being humiliated after Billy made fun of his line in The Waterboy (“You can do it!”).

You know what is one of the most fascinating things about the Gaghan Family?

Billy and Carissa could apply as a team for a big person’s race during the TAR 25/26 cycle. I could be blogging about Billy and Carissa again by the time I get to the end of my TAR rankings.

Mind. Blown.

Schroeder Family (7th place): America’s favourite family. Oh wait. Besides the Rodgers, they were the most dysfunctional family. I think at this point Stassi may have been preparing to film Queen Bees. And she wasn’t old enough for TAR All Star anyway. I believe that was when we were dating too. It was long distance, so it never quite worked out. Thanks for asking.

Char is likely still crying at the pit stop and Mark has gone into the woods after convincing himself once and for all that he is indeed a bear.

Hunter, against his parents’ wishes, is currently playing with Roy Holland Weaver the Fourth. A.k.a. Rolly Weaver.

Aiello Family (8th place): Bertram called, but Aiellos said they were too busy stroking it.

Rogers Family (9th place): Bertram called, but were too busy with counseling sessions with Freud. Also, Denny Rogers adheres by his traditional values, and does not believe in reality TV shows having All Star seasons. It’s unnatural and hurts human bonds.

Black Family (10th place): I forgot to text Bertram that there was a married couple named Reggie and Kim Black that competed in the past. I ran out of minutes. So close, Black Family!

Biggest Snub: Alex and Nick Linz. Although no one will agree with me.

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