TAR All Stars episode four ranking

EPISODE FOUR

Previously on TAR: Nine teams set out from the Atacama Desert of northern Chile and raced to Puerto Montt in Chile’s lake district. At the airport, Teri & Ian clashed with Charla & Mirna. Some racers had trouble with a slippery situation. Charla & Mirna helped Guidos, and were left in their dust. Then the teams took on a wild river. In the end Romber were first for the third time in a row. And David & Mary came in last. Eight teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. The glasses clanking for the Guidos still bothers me. It seems too cheesy and violates the aesthetic of the rest of the intro. I am the only person on Earth complaining about this.

– Phil introduces us to southern Chile. A desolate landscape filled by lakes and fjords, and snow-capped volcanoes. Yes, there’s snow in South America.

Phil’s Questions: For the first time all season, Phil asks questions. Four episodes without a question breaks last season’s record.

“Will Rob & Amber’s three leg winning streak continue or can any of the other teams knock them out of first place?”

All you need is a late equalizer and they will fall down the ladder considerably. It ain’t impossible, that’s for sure.

–  Romber, who arrived first at 611pm, will depart at 611am. Rob reads that teams must fly 800 miles to Punta Arenas, Chile. When they land, they will drive fifteen miles to a Lord’s shipwreck. No doubt looking for India, I imagine.

ROB: You have 302 dollars for this leg of the race.

Something tells me they won’t be driving themselves this round. That’s a lot of money for taxis.

ROB: I’m not trying to be arrogant or cocky, I know I believe in us. You know you believe? Or do you just believe?

– Amber knows her and Rob have great communication skills. Which is true. Romber is probably the best young romantic couple to run the race together.

AMBER: I’m afraid we’re peaking.
ROB: I’m not peaking. I’m not even close to my prime.

Some would say 1st-1st-1st would be peaking. Until TAR unveils Platinum Place or Super First Place as a check-in position at the end of each leg.

– 626am, Uchenna & Joyce check out.

JOYCE: Rob and Amber–

My word. Is that going to be Joyce’s child’s first words? “Rob and Amber”?

Uh oh. A child joke involving Joyce is a huge no-no. My bad.

– Joyce was saying that Romber beat her and Uchenna a lot during TAR 7, but beat Romber when it counted. They know it hurt them inside. Uchenna believes a rivalry was built from that season, and knows they want to set the record straight. Plus he loves a healthy re-match. They’re good sports.

JOYCE: We’re about twelve minutes behind Rob and Amber.

ROBANDAMBEROBANDAMBEROBANDAMBER

– Eric & Danielle begin at 628am.

ERIC: It’s hard having a girlfriend on the race. You have to separate the relationship from everything else that surrounds us on the race. I pretty much treat her like a guy except she has nicer boobs.

So him and Jeremy had sex during the pit stops too and he discusses spanking other women with Danielle? At least Eric is honest.

– Romber pull into the airport. There’s a 940am flight on LAN. Agent says not too many seats are left after the tickets are booked. Rob and Amber go find Internet. Amber needs to log onto Facebook.

– Chipmunks check out at 648am.

KANDICE: We are inconsistent because we overthink things a little bit.

Replace ‘overthink’ with ‘forgetting to read’ and you might be onto something.

– Chipmunks say the trick is to trust yourselves then let go. Yeah, I don’t know what that means either.

KANDICE: I haven’t seen Rob and Amber yet, so I couldn’t give you an assessment on them other than they’re fast and won three legs in a row.

Oh my god. The camera operator totally asked ‘give me your assessment on Rob and Amber as we head to the airport’. This is the most obvious prompt thus far about Romber in interviews. Rob and Amber are the team to beat.

– Romber are surfing the Net. They see paintings of the shipwreck. Amber thinks it’s a shipwreck rather than a painting. There’s a painting of it in Punta Arenas along with the actual shipwreck in. . .Punta Arenas?

romber online

I wonder what the artist thinks of Rob and Amber. Production might ask. Oh, and lol Windows XP.

– Cha Cha Cha check out at 651am. Oswald thinks other teams don’t define them as competitive, but really just like to have fun as they compete. Danny proceeds to discuss his snoring. Danny concedes that he snores but believes that he does not do it excessively.

OSWALD: You know who really snores? Kandice. She can snore up a storm!

Kandice ran away from the TV and called Oswald a ‘big meanie’ for saying that on national television.

– 653am. Teri & Ian proceed to run. Ian knows his physical abilities aren’t as great as the other teams. Oh. That’s all he wants to say.

– What is a one second break on TV is really over an hour because it’s 805am when Guidos begin the leg. They have never finished this low in their TAR career. Joe finds it to be a humbling experience. He thinks it makes them more competitive.

– Uchenna & Joyce and Eric & Danielle show up at the LAN counter simultaneously. They book the tickets. The next flight leaves at 1115am. Significant gap provided there are no equalizers.

– Charla & Mirna are last to leave. 811am.

MIRNA: I do all of the navigating. I do all of the airline booking. Charla obviously wants to contribute. I do more than any one person has ever had to do on the race.

To put yourself above 243 other racers is a bit of an extreme. I do agree there are few teams with a more uneven level of work load. The only thing I can recall Charla doing from TAR 5 is eating chocolate, caviar, and ostrich egg. Mirna does virtually everything else on her own. I bet Charla’s self-confidence shrinks when she sees this on TV. I also bet people think Mirna is really putting Charla down by saying that.

To me, I think Mirna is overall making a fair statement. Probably the most anyone does in a non-romantic TAR team.

MIRNA: I need to compensate for any shortcomings.

. . . oh my.

– Charla forgot the keys last leg which Mirna scrambled to find. This leg Charla forgets the purse at the travel agency which forces Mirna to run out and retrieve it. You left your passports in the car? Nobody has lost their passports in the first twelve seasons, so no need to worry.

I understand why they’ve finished eighth three times in a row. One more eighth place finish and they’ll be eliminated but tie the record. Just ask Don & Mary Jean, Eighth Place Royalty.

– Cha Cha and Chipmunks book the 940am flight. Oswald speaks fluent Spanish. Dustin teases that Oswald said not to let the blondes on the flight. In a very fake manner. Like she was trying to charm him. Oswald says if he were to stab her, he’d stab her in the front. Cue an awkward laugh from the Chipmunks. They’ve earned the nickname.

oswald stab

Or offer up a big knuckle sandwich.

– Cha Cha Cha and Chipmunks book the 940am flight tickets.

– Teri & Ian run to the counter. For the second round in a row, they are the first team rejected from getting on the best flight. They must hate airports. Cha Cha Cha and Uchenna & Joyce discuss Romber’s whereabouts. They even discuss them having breakfast, creeping up, and being spiders.

oswald claw

Stab a Beauty Queen and scratch Joyce’s face? Oswald may find himself deported back to Cuba sooner rather than later.

– Rob announces to Amber that it is indeed a shipwreck.

– Extreme close-up of Teri as she makes a special request to be on the 940am. Charla & Mirna know they won’t make the 940am flight from the travel agency in time and scamper off to make the 1115am.

– Teri & Ian are approved to be on the flight at the last minute. You guys are no longer allowed to say you have bad luck with airports. Tickets are handed out.

agent hurt

Agents must have a big headache when dealing with a TAR team on standby. The begging results in the skyrocket purchases of Advil.

– Guidos beg to be on the 940am flight. They’re ready to go. Joe demands to hold the plane. He has seen too many romantic comedies. Guidos aren’t used to not being on the best flight. They need a drink.

– Flight leaves.

– Guidos spy on Charla & Mirna entering the airport. They come up with a plan–to get the exact address because there is an hour to kill. So they find someone with great directions. Hopefully it helps in a cab ride where neither driver knows the location. Charla & Mirna book the 1115am flight.

BILL: Charla & Mirna are really good at talking to people.

Unless their names are Marshall, Lance, David, Mary, Colin, Christie, Dustin, Kandice, Teri, and Ian.

– Guidos want to prevent it from being easy for them to chat with the guy who gave them directions. They pretty much stop talking. Mirna knows not to trust the Guidos after the last leg. Awkwardness ends as 1115am is here.

– First flight lands at 1150am. Romber is first into a cab. Uchenna & Joyce are second.

ROB: Uchenna & Joyce have no idea where they are going.
AMBER: Their cab might know like our cab knows.

Oh yeah. Taxi drivers know where places are in their hometown. Huh.

– Rob said that Uchenna asked a lady for directions and she wrote it out for him. Rob came out of the bathroom and claimed the lady’s note as his own.

Why wasn’t this captured on camera?!

– Much like Russell likes to post the letter from JT on Twitter,  Rob shoves the note to the camera.

rob note

Who is Maria Betty?

– Uchenna tells Joyce about Rob stealing the note. I guess TAR 7 won’t work together anymore.

– Romber is first to the Detour with Cha Cha Cha and Eric & Danielle right there. Stealing the note made no difference at all.

– In this Detour, teams are given two Magellan-inspired tasks. Navigate It or Sign It.

In Navigate It, teams must use a map of Punta Arenas to get to the town plaza where the sailor will hand them a compass. They must go directly south to find the Nautilus building. A deep sea salvage business where the proprietor will hand them their next clue.

In Sign It, teams musts choose a pole and a set of building supplies up these stairs. Once here, they will use Magellan’s map of his voyage as a reference. The trick is they must figure out his voyage started and ended in Seville, Argentina. They will have to build a traditional local sign post that lists in order the fourteen ports he visited in the world. The signs do not need to point in the right direction, but the cities must be spelled correctly.

sign posts

Charla & Mirna won’t be doing this Detour.

– Amber wants to do the compass; Rob thinks he is better at building stuff. Why? Because he’s in construction?

– Cha Cha Cha and Eric & Danielle navigate it. Uchenna & Joyce sign it with Romber.

– Teri & Ian and Chipmunks have it. Teri & Ian want to sign it. Chipmunks navigate it.

– Everyone picks up their supplies or struggle with the map. Ian reverts to his old self as he commands Teri to go.

– Amber assumes Magellan started in Guam. Ah yes. The great European explorer from Guam. Rob realizes that he started and finished in Seville. Amber assumes he is the only one who has figured it out. Uchenna assumes the start and end was Guam.

– Cha Cha Cha and Eric & Danielle have a compass. Teri & Ian have theirs.

– Spelling Bee featuring Rob Mariano! He thinks this task is so easy. Rob is immune to choking on a task.

rob philippines

LOLOLOLOLOLLOOL.

rob philippeans

You call Rob a Survivor fan? Survivor Philippines finale aired earlier this week and he can’t spell Philippines. Rob ain’t no Survivor fan–he’s just full of Phillippeans!

– Teri & Ian struggle with the compass. Eric & Danielle have the clue. Teams must take a taxi to Presidente Ibinez International Airport and buy tickets on charter planes that leave three hours apart. Then they’ll fly 160 miles to Ushuaia, Argentina. Here they will go to Playa Larga where they will find their next clue.

Goodbye Chile. The home to three detours, two roadblocks, and four flights. I think that’s the longest consecutive record.

DANIELLE: We’re going on our charter plane to Australia.
ERIC: No, Argentina.
DANIELLE: Argentina. That’s what I meant.

No it wasn’t.

ERIC: Yep, we’re going on a charter plane to Australia. Stop for gas eight thousand times.

Good luck finding eight thousand pit stops in the south Pacific Ocean.

– Rob holds up the post. He shakes his head ‘no’.

ROB: Better not be the spelling thing.

– Uchenna & Joyce get checked. Guam is the only error.

– Teri & Ian are done. Three Navigate It teams are done.

– Chipmunks look at the other teams and assume that the way the arrow points does matter.

Proof your problem is not reading rather than overthinking.

– Uchenna & Joyce set up the sign in a bizarre order.

uchenna sign

It may be right, but I think the judge will shake his head ‘no’ regardless.

– Cha Cha Cha are first to sign up on the charter flight. Eric & Danielle are second.

DANIELLE: Where the hell is Rob & Amber?

You would have collapsed by now if you were playing a Rob & Amber drinking game this episode.

– Amber tells Rob that two teams have yet to show, therefore they should do the other task. Of course Rob doesn’t know the charter flights are ahead and carry four teams, so he misses out on a crucial out. Rob’s fatal flaw is exposed: his stubbornness. He keeps at it while Amber declares it to be stupid. They are judged wrong again. Rob knows he is one away. Amber says this is wasting too much time.

– Chipmunks continue working with logs and wooden boards for the Detour.

– Teri & Ian sign up for the #3 slot on the first charter.

ian hat 4

While in the airport, please be cautious of falling hats.

ian hat 5

When something falls from the ceiling and I hear audible laughter from up high, I always look to the left.

ian hat 6

Then backwards.

If this was TAR 3, Ian would’ve spat on the hat and thrown it to the ground in rage as he thinks about somebody doing something so reckless.

– Danielle eventually yells for him and Teri to look up.

ian hat 7

The dude sure loves his hats.

– He tosses both hats into the air. Ian catches on there is a full day layover and asks where they will all party for the night. I’d love to know his idea of a party. What a crazy game of Crib is in store.

– In a rare situation, the three teams watch Charla & Mirna and Guidos enter the airport. They must be thinking “so that’s how ridiculous we look running and screaming through airports”. Charla & Mirna and Guidos get into cabs. Charla & Mirna are still last.

– Chipmunks note the second flight has landed and wonder what to do. Uchenna is rejected and wonders where Magellan is from. Joyce solves the puzzle that it is Seville. They are approved. Rob is traumatized.

– Rob scratches the head beneath his hat. Uchenna is giddy as he enters a cab and stoked Joyce figured it out.

– Charla & Mirna passes Guidos’ cab.

joe tongue

All Stars sure love sticking out their tongue.

– Uchenna & Joyce sign up for the second charter. There was only three slots after all. There must be a third charter then. Uchenna is angry that everyone who did Navigate It beat them.

– Dustin goes to Romber and proposes working together because the second flight landed. That means they have wasted over ninety minutes at this task. Rob says if he screws up once more then he’ll switch to work with them. Rob is indeed wrong.

rob sign

Uh oh.

rob sign 2

Timber!

– Rob tells Chipmunks to hustle because other teams are coming. Oh really? Like they didn’t know. He must be happy to have his insurance for the round.

– Charla & Mirna have the clue. They will do Sign It. Guidos want to do Navigate It. Romber and Chipmunks have their compass.

– Mirna screams at Charla that using a bucket will save her a trip. She wants to take off. Mirna attempts to get her to concentrate. This is why you’re always eighth. Charla picks up two objects.

– Guidos have their compass and wonder what the heck is going on as they pass Romber and Chipmunks on the road.

Old people + compass = success
Four rich young kids + compass = COMPLETE AND UTTER DOOOOOM.

–  Rob has the address for the naval museum and thinks that is where the clue is located. Dustin awards him a gold star.

– Mirna wants to carry it all in two trips because Charla is barely moving. She attempts to carry a box full of arrows but is too slow. Mirna again emphasizes grabbing the smaller objects to speed up the process.

charla pull

Needless to say Charla isn’t listening.

– Mirna helps Charla carry the pole as well as the stuff she is already carrying.

– Guidos have their clue and are excited to head to Ushuaia.

– Chipmunks and Romber at wrong building. Scientists directs them to the Nautilus building.

scientist

I always love a good mustache.

– On the other side of town, the judge rejects Mirna’s sign.

judge

Four layers of clothing is really necessary?

– Mirna breaks virtually her whole sign. Her and Charla immediately switch Detour tasks because they don’t understand what’s wrong. Romber and Chipmunks have the clue. Romber are first into a cab. Kandice concludes that working with Romber was not helpful. Charla & Mirna are doing their own thing.

– Guidos are on the second charter. Romber are on the second charter too. Mirna has the clue and whistles for a taxi using the infamous taxi whistle from last season. Chipmunks are on second charter.

– Rob doesn’t want Amber to comfort him for the rest of the season no matter what. Amber knows Rob is upset because he is not in first and is not on the first plane. She is mad because Rob isn’t admitting it. Rob does the cheesiest camera look ever.

rob camera

ROB: I wanna be in first.

I don’t understand. It’s not even funny. Why is it in the episode?

– Charla & Mirna are on the second charter. Night passes. 800am is here as the first charter takes off. Then lands. The three teams are in taxis.

– Teri & Ian are the first cab but pass by the flagged path and run into the woods. They run off the beaten path into the forest and out on the sea. Ian yells for Teri to help on this wild goose chase.

teri ian sea

This is pretty good camera work, to be honest. Staring into the ocean amidst one of the most competitive shows on television. Unless you’re Josh & Brent.

– Cha Cha Cha are first to the clue box. Teams will take a taxi to Bahia Lapataia. They will take a number and get on a boat that departs every twenty minutes and carries a maximum of two teams. They will be taken to Isla Redonda. Better known as the End of the World.

How fitting for me to blog this episode on December 20th. My last act on Earth is to blog about a season of a reality TV show that aired five years ago.

end of the world

I always pictured burning lava and liquid hot magma at the End of the World. Where are the orcs and pitchforks?

– Once at the End of the World, teams must find the post office where they will find their next clue.

A second season in a row where teams have to find a post office? Since when are those major tourist destinations?

And why is the local post office on an UNINHABITED ISLAND. That is the world’s most inconvenient post office.

“Wanna check the mail?”
“Yeah honey, lemme crank up the boat and I’ll be on my way.”

– Eric & Danielle have a clue. Teri & Ian backtrack.

– It’s 1100am. The second charter leaves.

– Teri has the clue. Ian is impatient as he waves Teri on to go faster and read the clue faster. Oh boy. He’s losing it. Cha Cha Cha can’t figure where the stickers are and are beaten by Eric & Danielle. Triumphant music plays but they end up on the same boat anyway.

– Ian spanks Teri at the dock to grab a sticker. Ian is pissed as he grabs a sticker. I bet four teams were supposed to be on each charter. There must have been a last second change for whatever reason.

– Cha Cha Cha has the clue. It’s a roadblock. In this task, teams must sort through a full mail bag and find one of two envelopes amongst a pack of 1, 600. When the envelope is found, the player must open it and read the letter aloud to their partner.

Why?

Because the letter is written by a past racer from their season! Yep. This is All Stars. Time to incorporate as many past racers as possible into this season. Chos and Gutsy Grannies are the only ones on the board thus far.

susan letter

Huh. I wonder who wrote this letter and who it was for? Pretty obvious.

– Once teams read the letter, they’ll receive their next clue. Eric and Oswald are doing this task. A bunch of letters tip over. Teri & Ian’s boat is on the move.

– Second flight lands. Chipmunks are in a taxi followed by Guidos. Then Uchenna & Joyce.

– Only two teams remain. Romber and Charla & Mirna. All taxis have been taken. Rob figures the lone road into the airport is the only entrance for taxis. Charla & Mirna ask to call a taxi.

– Charla says if a taxi comes that Rob will have it first. Mirna then orders Charla to walk with her so they can snag it.

– Romber flags down a taxi and gets in. Charla flags it down too yelling that she called for one. Rob declares she is crazy and lies that he called for one too. Romber gets away as Mirna knocks on the driver’s window to no avail.

– Charla & Mirna flag down the next taxi.

CHARLA: I can’t believe Rob & Amber took our taxi.

You mean a taxi that appeared to arrive thirty seconds after the phone call? How was it your taxi?

– Oswald has the letter. It’s Blake & Paige. We don’t see the letter or hear much of it other than it was nice and references fancy alcoholic drinks. They receive the next clue. Teams must walk around the island until they find Mastil de Belgrano. This overlook on the southern most tip of South America is the pit stop.

– Eric has the letter. It’s from Jeremy & Dani.

“No babies on the race.”

Only thing mentioned in the letter.

– Teri is doing the roadblock. Ian tells her it’s like a needle in a haystack.

– Guidos have the clue. Uchenna & Joyce are next. Chipmunks right there.

– Rob realizes he is last or second to last.
AMBER: We don’t have to come in first.
ROB: We might still be able to.

– Ian tells Teri to concentrate, take her time, and focus. Teams are about two hours behind so there is no point to rush. May as well solidify third for this round. Oswald tells Phil to say something nice, and not say it’s the end of the world for them.

seaman

And the greeter sure looks like a true seaman.

Tee hee. Seaman.

– Phil gives in and tells them they are first. They celebrate and win a trip to Maui. Sweet. Sea turtles and dolphins will be observed on their submarine tour.

DANNY: Will you come with us?
PHIL: That’s a whole different reality show.

I’d watch it. Make it happen, CBS.

– Ian continues to coach Teri as Eric & Danielle finish second.

– Romber misses the flag like Teri & Ian and run down the path. Charla & Mirna follow them. Stick to the clue and they’d have a twenty minute lead.

– Amber concludes it can’t be it because the clue doesn’t say anything about going down a path. You should take notes on clue reading, Chipmunks.

– Romber run out as they pass Charla & Mirna.

CHARLA: Did you find it?
*ROB holds old clue*
AMBER: Got it.
*Mirna looks back in suspicion*

– Amber thinks they are dumb for believing her. Mirna knows Amer is running and turns around.

MIRNA: As an attorney, I can tell when somebody is lying to me.

Amber’s lie in next to last place in a mad scramble for a million bucks requires a lot of deductive thinking. Or inductive. I never know which is which.

-Romber is in the clue and in the taxi. Charla & Mirna take the final clue. Mirna makes fun of Amber’s lie sarcastically.

– Teri has the letter. It’s from Flo & Zach.

IAN: Hoo-rah!

IAN: Winners from season three. Very nice people.

The casual audience who only believes what they see on TV is laughing hysterically.

teri letter

– Uchenna & Joyce grab their bags before running to grab a number. This lets Chipmunks and Guidos take the two spots on the boat because they didn’t bother grabbing their bags until after the numbers were pulled. Uchenna & Joyce pull #6.

– Teri & Ian finish third.

– Romber take the second spot and will be on the fourth boat with TAR 7 rivals Uchenna & Joyce.

ROB: Charla & Mirna might be a while.

Hopefully somewhere around 41 minutes.

– Romber tells the three teams about their failed stunt. Everyone else is laughing hysterically. Guidos and Chipmunks board the boat and see Charla & Mirna arrive.

– UCHENNA: We’re going to be taking the ferry out with Rob & Amber. Old friends.
ROB: ‘Friends’ is being used loosely by Uchenna.

That’s very Probst-like commentary from Rob.

– Charla & Mirna grab the last number and will be on a boat alone. Twenty minutes behind two of the strongest teams ever who are currently in their eighth South American leg in their career, and made the 1-2 spots in their season.

– Charla confronts Amber about the lie.

AMBER: I was telling him ‘I got it I got it, I figured it out’ and took off. I didn’t lie.
CHARLA & MIRNA: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
AMBER: I wasn’t talking to you guys.
ROB: You thought we had the clue right then and there? Ha!
AMBER: I wasn’t even talking to you, I was talking to him!

awkward

All six of these people think they are the smartest ones on the dock right now judging by their faces. Guaranteed.

– Romber and Uchenna & Joyce take off on the boat. Mirna assumes this is it. Charla doesn’t buy Amber’s lie because it doesn’t make any sense. Charla & Mirna have twenty minutes remaining before the next boat leaves. How do you kill time?

charla mirna hug

They hug it out, no doubt.

– Chipmunks think Charla & Mirna will have a hard time. Bill and Kandice do the task. Joe commands Bill not to cry out of sentimentality. Kandice wishes she had a manicure for this task. Joe offers his nail clippers.

– Uchenna feels the tension of competition on the boat. After the Charla & Mirna lie, Uchenna felt the desire to beat Rob & Amber.

– Bill has his letter and runs out in excitement to read it. Only to find this:

bill letter 1

Who is this from making all of the potty jokes????????

bill letter 2

What????

BILL: EEEEEEE AHHHHH. PIPPITY PIPPITY POW. BING BANG KAPOOIE. I hope reading this annoyed you as much as you annoy me. Sincerely, Frank Mesa.

joe face

Joe is a bit too excited to hear from Frank.

By the way, I love how Frank is the only one not to send a real letter. Another reason why I feel the guy is underrated. He is hilarious.

If I ever had to send in a letter for this task, I would write in the most offensive words, slurs, and epithets possible, and have it written in the first person. The teams would be forced to read it and cringe while doing so. Plus they’d stir up a fair amount of controversy.

“I, Joe, eat my own s— for breakfast.”

Yeah. I’m a little immature.

– Both give a sarcastic confessional about how much they loved the letter. Then we get a sudden creepy shot. . .

creepy chipmunk

If this chipmunk had snakes in her hair, I’d be petrified and have this blog come to a sudden stop. I will never look at her flat pancake body the same way again.

– Dustin jokes about the letter possibly being from Bama. Guidos exchange their clue and run off.

– Kandice has the letter. Yep. It’s from Lyn. Only Lyn. They talk about how Karlyn was the less warm of the two. We are re-shown the clip between the two.

Yes, the “Y’allve been pushy how have I been pushy” clip.

It’s generic. “We may not have a lifelong friendship but we will always have lifelong memories”. I wish somebody like the Chos or Rob would have written the letter. It’d be more lively.

– Kandice opens the clue. Off they go. Charla & Mirna’s bus takes off.

– The next two teams are at the roadblock. Rob and Joyce are doing it. Guidos are fourth. Amber tells Rob to look at each letter. Chipmunks are fifth.

– Rob and Joyce are taking forever because Charla & Mirna have shown up. Kandice and Bill did the roadblock within twenty minutes. Hurry up TAR 7, you guys are turning into slowpokes. Uncharacteristic of you.

– Charla is doing the roadblock. It’s a 3-wa race.  Rob pushes a stack of letters. Uchenna & Joyce read the letter. It’s the one I screen capped earlier from Susan & Patrick. Patrick continues to be obsessed with Boston Bob.

– Uchenna & Joyce have the clue and start running. I bet all of the teams run aimlessly seeing how no locals exist  on a lonely island.

lonely island

That yacht will be the reward on the next leg of the race. Screw it. I’d trade in the yacht just for T-Pain’s hat.

– It’s 8th-8th-8th versus 1st-1st-1st for last place. What an unlikely clash. Rob in corner, the biggest star of Survivor, versus Mirna, the biggest star of TAR. And the game?

Finding a freakin’ letter.

– Charla taps on the glass and points out the two white letters that Mirna didn’t check. She digs for more letters. They converse.

rob hermit

Rob feels like a hermit doing this task.

ROB: She can’t talk to her.
MIRNA: You know what? SHUT THE HELL UP! You know what, you lie all the time. I said ‘pray to our deceased grandmother to help us’. F— you, you wouldn’t know what that means.

– Uchenna & Joyce are officially seventh.

– Suspense builds. Ten seconds later and Mirna has it.

MIRNA: See you, wouldn’t wanna be.

Best. Taunt. Ever.

– Rob is in disbelief under his breath. Who is the letter from?

mirna letter

If the last three lines indicate anything, this letter was gold. We are shown the “I hate her so much” clip. Hopefully we hear some excerpts.

MIRNA: Hopefully you’re not reading this and have been eliminated from the race by now. You claim to speak five languages but it turns out you can only speak English.

– Charla & Mirna have the clue. Charla is antsy. Uh oh. It’s a long run. Rob apologizes to Amber. Amber claims she can beat Charla & Mirna in a foot race.

MIRNA: Lying b—-.
CHARLA: B—-.

This was my mom’s favourite moment ever.

– Romber have a laugh over how angry Charla & Mirna are. Rob has the letter. He is slow to read it.

rob letter

Susan & Patrick again? Is this going to be over the top?

ROB: We hope this letter finds you gross, hungry, and in last place. . .Uh, this is insulting.

– Romber and Charla & Mirna have a 30 second foot race.

MIRNA: LEVEL FIIIIIVE! ON THE TREADMILL! You can do it. Let’s do it together. C’mon. We need to beat those liars. Let’s bite karma in the ass!

charla grass

Or maybe not. Charla will crawl the rest of the way. Romber will be able to make up a five minute deficit in no time.

– Romber isn’t even running.

uchenna charla

Whoa! Since when did Charla switch who was on her team? Uchenna & Charla? That’d be an interesting duo. Unusual combination too.

– So Charla & Mirna hit the mat in seventh after all. Charla wondered when it’s going to change from always coming in last. Well this is no different because you’re still leaving the next leg last if it is an elimination.

CHARLA: We win when it really counted.

Seventh is a win? This is the first time you’ve beaten any of the seven remaining teams all season.

UCHENNA: Never quit. That’s the key to this game. Never quit because you don’t know what will happen.

Is this Charla & Mirna’s mat chat or Uchenna’s?

– Let’s get this non-elimination over with. We know production doesn’t want Romber to leave this early. They hit the mat last. A slow walk.

PHIL: I’m sorry to tell you that you’ve been eliminated from the race.

! Wow. If you ever doubted whether non-elimination legs are legitimate and are pre-determined, this is it. Under no circumstances would producers voluntarily give up Romber.

– Rob is going to miss competing. Two failed poker games, two failed Survivor games, and two failed Amazing Races. His competitive reality TV career ends here.
.
.
.
Heh. You wish.

Next Time on TAR: Tensions spark between Guidos and Eric & Danielle. And teams get up close and personal with a rat. And will they finally freakin’ leave the freakin’ continent?

P.S. Romber has the record for most first place finishes to start out the race before being eliminated. We’ve seen 1st-Last twice, but not 1st-1st-1st-Last. Nobody has come even close. Teams don’t fall that dramatically. It just doesn’t happen. It is a record I’d like to see broken because it implies a major upset.

talladega 3

If you ain’t first, you’re last.

P.P.S. Want to see the complete excerpt of a bunch of the letters?

http://www.tarflies.com/article.php?_f=detail&id=871

Here they are. Again, only about half are there. You can see why these weren’t that good. Ray’s letter to Uchenna & Joyce amuses me, and you’ll know why.

Confessionals

Rob.Amber 7.7
Uchenna.Joyce 4.3
Dustin.Kandice 1.6
Joe.Bill 4.3
Charla.Mirna 4.6
Teri.Ian 2.4
Oswald.Danny 4.2
Eric.Danielle  1.2

Team averages

Bulls— Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0
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 Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
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
–D minus–
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
–D+–
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
–C minus–
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
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85
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
–B minus–
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
–B+–
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
–A minus–
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
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – 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
–BEST OF THE BEST–
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF

Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)

11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 FF

Rank the Legs

1) Calama -> Puerto Montt (Okay, it was a round with rather easy tasks. None of them involved skill. However, everything else about the leg was great. There was the one and only scramble for flights during the episode, and teams drove themselves for the entire round. None of the teams can blame a dang thing on taxis.

The conflict between the teams were organic and set up what is to come for the next several rounds. Guidos vs. Eric & Danielle, Rob’s disrespect for Eric continues, Charla & Mirna vs. Everyone in sight. This makes the round crucial and ultimately a bridge to what will occur the remainder of the season.

Overall, a cast delivers as much as it can as all nine teams had something interesting going on. It’s just that production couldn’t provide a leg that was all-star worthy. Wish we went to a new doggone country.

One last thing that bothered me is how they spent another round in a country where two teams (Romber and Uchenna & Joyce) would have a big advantage, and everyone else is at a disadvantage compared to them. That’s one of the logistic issues when doing an all-star. You have to do countries where everyone is on a level playing field. Sadly, another round that tips the race course in favour of another team is not the answer.

One last thing that I liked is that David & Mary were eliminated. The three weakest teams are gone. From the fourth episode until the end of the game, this feels like a true all-star race.)

2) Calama -> Ushuaia (This is when teams should have gone to the next continent. But half a leg in Chile and half a leg in Argentina? I was over these locations at this point. The tasks weren’t great either.

The stardom showdown between Romber and Charla & Mirna makes this episode an instant favourite for most people. Seeing a team go from finale bound to running a horrible leg and being eliminated in the biggest upset of any round in TAR’s history had people talking. There was no reason for Romber not to win this leg. They were in the perfect location that has been so good to them this season and their past race.

The teams used several modes of transportation except train. That was a bit neat. Also, I approve of the callback to other teams providing letters.

If you switch Romber to finishing 3rd or 4th, you would end up with the worst leg of the season by far. There was virtually no other exciting things going on this round. Nothing that indicated to you this was a race at an all-star level.

The biggest compliment about this round is that producers no longer have a reason to use only footage from confessionals where teams discuss Rob & Amber to be used in the episodes.)

3) Miami -> Quito (The season premiere of any all-star edition of any competitive reality TV show is always a top ten episode of any franchise. Why? Because of the unlikely interactions. You can’t help but feel giddy as Ian groans at Charla & Mirna, as David and Drew physically fight over a car, teams going from goons to gods, and gods to goons. Who can finish at the top of the all-star pact or falter to the bottom? How do they match up against our expectations? So many great storytellers for the first round make minor events seem like the funniest things in the world.

Then there’s the jokes editors throw in. Gutsy Grannies reference thrown in for good measure. Themes in how teams continue to treat each other. You should watch a different show if you didn’t enjoy the premiere.

The only way I can penalize this episode is that the difficulty of these tasks were lousy. Cotopaxi seemed to be tricky for teams but it did not translate well on TV. Producers could have been more harsh, but with so many teams to catch up on in a one hour episode, I believe a one episode grace period is in order.

And Poor Drew. He probably gives enough hope to people like James & Abba to try their luck at a Craps table.)

4) Quito -> Calama (Both tasks were great. However, that flight to the final task is what ruined the episode. Add in a one-lane road to the pit stop with only one exit, and suddenly you have the bottom four teams having no choice but to travel as a pact to the pit stop. Luckily they screwed up on the same turn, but the fact production opened the door for complete chaos is not something I approve.

Drew’s 2-episode glamourous return was well worth it. We were graced with the opportunity to witness the least enthusiastic racer in TAR history. Charla & Mirna broke the record for blowing a situation out of proportion.  Mary giving directions based on the number of words was a series first.

Drew eliminating Phil from the pit stop was great. He just shuns them. There is no rule that you had to stand there as the sad music plays and Phil requests a life transformation from you.

Eric sounding like a lost kid as he followed Oswald and Amber and repeated ‘what is it’ over and over is an underrated moment. Or Charla falling.

Overall, the cast and tasks delivered. It’s just that one flight that knocks it down. Split charter flights would have been a better alternative if production was stuck in a crappy situation.)

Rank the Teams

1) Rob & Amber

This would have been the perfect farewell for these two. After being a duo in Survivor All Stars and finishing in the Final Two, then going on TAR 7 and making it to the Finish Line, then an invitation two years later for one last chance to extend their stardom where they go home early would have been a fitting end.

Fourth round. Poof. They’re gone. Two games of Survivor and two games of TAR. That should have been a competitive reality TV career.

At least we know they’re done with TAR. Amber has three kids and virtually no motivation to play again. As we know, Rob is far from over as he has played Survivor TWO more times.

As of December 2012, I declare that we will not see him nor Amber anymore.

Rob & Amber had a tough time stirring up any real controversy besides the last twenty minutes of the fourth episode. Producers and editors tried to milk their anti-social behaviour as a way to make them out as ‘too ahead to talk with other teams’. In fact, they were essentially being shown doing nothing.

However, their competitive nature and a fitting end to a long drawn out saga puts them higher than some of the teams who had no business being back at all.

2) John Vito & Jill

Bad directions from locals and perhaps bad luck from an overnight sleep at a restaurant sent them out the door.

It was nice to see them return and disappoint my sister yet again. However in a field of such crazy teams, they are probably ecstatic to avoid the chaos that will no doubt ensue any moment.

Go Team Friends With Benefits!

3) David & Mary

Fan favourites who recorded the 78th best average in TAR history came back. . .to perform the exact same way. No new dimension to their relationship other than David unwilling to go with his gut regarding Petrohue and the wrong turn that Mary wanted to take because it ‘had the most words’.

This is All Stars. They barely survived two eliminations and sure enough eliminated in the first round of TAR that they had to do entirely on their own. Three times in a row they finished ninth. They wanted to play aggressive and not have alliances, but sure enough they get by on an alliance and get burned within two rounds.

The most surprising thing is that Rob & Amber or another skilled team didn’t help them along the way to ensure they had a weaker team with them in the final legs of the season.

And if you have a team so weak that others are considering that strategy, production should have really re-considered another team to play in their place.

4) Kevin & Drew

I have to put these two last. Drew, particularly. Yes, seeing the least enthusiastic player ever attempt to go against all TAR convention was a treat to see. It was like Drew was parodying the show. But if this were to continue? It would have been annoying in episodes three and onwards.

Plus you can’t help but feel a team like Ken & Gerard would have appreciated that spot ten times more than Drew. I wish Drew was more grateful for it.

I can’t believe he made production stop for six hours to watch footage that didn’t matter.

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