TAR All Stars episode six ranking

EPISODE SIX

Previously on TAR: Teams raced from Ushuaia, Argentina to Maputo, Mozambique. Eric & Danielle fought with the Guidos. At the roadblock, teams got chummy with a rat while Charla & Mirna fell to last yet again. Several teams got lost and endured a messy Detour choice. But Charla & Mirna surged ahead.

MIRNA: Everybody Hollywood nails. Beautiful like a Hollywood.

And arrived first. Uchenna & Joyce got lost in the streets, and arrived last but were spared elimination. Seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. I’m guessing a team has to be eliminated. Otherwise being marked for elimination doesn’t make much sense, right?

– Unique soundtrack! Phil introduces us to Maputo. It’s the same word Luigi uses in Mario Tennis when he returns a serve. It’s the country’s centre of governance and transportation. Fortaleza defended from invaders.

Phil’s Question: Will Uchenna & Joyce, who came in last on the previous leg, be able to come in first place and avoid the thirty minute penalty?

– Charla & Mirna, who were the first to arrive at 907am, will depart at 907pm.

– They read that teams must fly 1, 400 miles to Dar Es Salaam. It is the largest city in Tanzania. The same country where Charla & Mirna were eliminated just six seasons ago. Once here, they will take a taxi to a ferry terminal for one of four sailing crafts called a dow (triangle sails for the win) then sail to the island of Zanzibar for their next clue.

– Mirna finds it nerve-wracking to be in first place for once. Mirna reads that they are “suggested” to take the same car and driver as the previous round. Sounds like they don’t have much of a choice.

– Mirna wants to prove that winning a leg wasn’t just a fluke. She talks about how it’s impossible to win the race without taking risks. I think that only applies to the final leg, but whatever.

MIRNA: Can you go faster, sir?
*Driver goes faster*
*Pedestrian is nearly run over*
MIRNA: And don’t hit the people, mister.

Pick one or the other, Mirna. You’re the lawyer.

– Charla & Mirna have a significant forty minute lead. Chipmunks are next to go. Kandice butchers the pronunciation of the country. Chipmunks really want to win a round this season, and joke that Charla & Mirna/2 Hot 2 Handle are tough to compete against.

– Another chunk of time passes as Teri & Ian commence at 1013pm. Ian does not apologize for being gruff. He believes in character and honour.

TERI: Where are we?
IAN: Manga-heli. Manga-hela. Manangahela. M-A-N–
TERI: Okay, that’s good.

– Cha Cha Cha is next at 1018pm. Danny jokes that Oswald is such a hand model. Oswald proceeds to be one of the Price Is Right hand models as he shows off the clue. At least he didn’t get sexually harassed by Bob Barker to do so.

oswald model

This clue can be yours if the martini is right.

– Oswald thinks being stressed and caught up in the race makes you lose a part of who you are. Cha Cha Cha see Andre is once again their driver. They repeat the name ‘Andre’ over and over again like they are Brian’s cousin Jasper.

jasper

ANDREEEEEE.

– The secret is for Cha Cha Cha to have fun. Guidos check out at 1032pm. Bill finds the racers to be competitive, and Joe refuses to trust anyone.

– Eric & Danielle follow a minute later. Danielle counts out the 124 bucks. She talks about how her and Eric are forming opinions about each other. Danielle refuses to lay back for Eric. He must be getting frustrated during pit stops. She finds him stubborn.

DANIELLE: We’ll hopefully get on a good flight to Tanzania.
ERIC (clearly joking): It is where the Tanzanian Devil lives.
DANIELLE: It’s not Tanzanian Devil. It’s Tanzmanian. . .Tasmania Devil.
ERIC: Tasmanian?
DANIELLE: Oh! Tasmanian Devil.
ERIC: Okay, I was just kidding. You knucklehead.

Eric really wishes he had Jeremy with him right now.

tasmanian devil

I hear he’s from New Zealand. And didn’t expect to be plugged on an American reality TV show.

– It’d be a bummer for Uchenna & Joyce to be eliminated because they were only three minutes behind. Roughly 90 minutes from first to worst. Joyce recaps the Marked for Elimination twist.

– Charla & Mirna are at the international airport. Mirna asks the driver to wait seeing how it’s free of charge. There is a flight that departs at 830am, but the woman behind the counter refuses to sell tickets until 500am.

Let the Great Headache begin!

Charla & Mirna attempt to call other airlines but the lady refuses. Charla & Mirna head back to their pit stop room.

– Chipmunks deal with the same lady but quicker and go to the hotel. Teri & Ian get to the counter. Ian wants to spend the night at the airport because he does not want to fight traffic in the morning. Teri is not enthusiastic about it. Guidos see Teri & Ian and tell Ian they will be camping in the airport too.

– Teri & Ian go back to their driver. Teri is pissed because it’s only 11pm. Ian wants to stay at the airport because it will only be for six hours. Teri proposes sleeping in the car and heading to the line at 2 or 3 am. Ian still wants to be in line. Teri gives in and is pissed. The Hat has spoken.

– Teri talks about Ian’s strong and opinionated personality, and how he is very black-and-white with little gray. Ian is agitated because he doesn’t think Teri is understanding him.

IAN: We have to stop, look, and listen. I don’t want to be seventh in line and not get on this flight.
TERI: But do we have to stop in an airport.

Fatigue is setting in, I say. Teri doesn’t understand that being first to buy tickets is half the game to TAR.

– In the morning, Teri jokes to Charla & Mirna she won’t stay here another day and that maybe there will be a flight to Miami because she wants to go home.

CHARLA: Every time we see Teri she says ‘I wanna go to Miami, my hometown’. I’m just about to tell her ‘Go back! What are you waiting for!’

– Teri asks for tickets on the 830am flight. It’s full. Standby is the only flight available. Wow. That’s harsh. So Teri & Ian are on standby. Charla & Mirna too. Mirna asks about a flight that heads to Johannesburg at 700am. However, the connecting flight from Johannesburg to Dar es Salaam is full.

Two full flights but yet seven teams need to be moved? Holy crap. This leg is going to be disastrous for production. All we need now is a flight with a 45 minute connection and have everyone be late for it. Asking the driver to drive to Dar es Salaam might be faster at this rate. It’s only 1, 400 miles.

– Charla & Mirna take the risk and purchase the tickets to Johannesburg. They figure it’s a bigger airport than the Maputo airport. It’s 650am so they scramble away. The other teams in line think it is far too risky at the moment.

– 820am is here. After three hours and twenty minutes standing in lines, the flight to Dar es Salaam is indeed full. An agent directs them to South African Airlines. So they’ll be heading to Johannesburg whether they like it or not.

– Teri is pissed she slept in an airport for nothing. Charla & Mirna are branded as geniuses for their move. The South African Airlines counter does not open until 945am. Some teams have spent over ten hours now actively looking for flights.

charla mirna 2 hot 2 handle

They are too hot for TAR to handle.

– Charla & Mirna find a friend in Johannesburg named Cristo. They stick to him like glue as he is an employee at the airport and talks to the agent. The flight is almost closing. Mirna asks Cristo and Charla to hold hands with her as she prays and begs to be on the flight. She asks Cristo to pray which he does.

CHARLA: We’re not religious people, but holding hands was a little awkward.
MIRNA: He enjoyed it.

Actually, I think he did. Mirna is not being sarcastic. Mirna truly found a friend.

charla hide

Best. Hiding. Spot. Ever.

– Charla & Mirna are given tickets for the flight. Standby is for chumps. They are projected to have a monster lead as they kiss and hug the agent and Cristo. Goodbye Cristo.

– It’s 900am. Teams are stuck in lines. Eric & Danielle sees an office open upstairs and starts moving. Uchenna asks what’s going on, but Joyce doesn’t know and wants to follow him anyway. Chipmunks blindly follow. So do Cha Cha Cha. This is why Eric absolutely dominated TAR 9.

– Bill thinks the other teams are doing something just to be doing something as he sits in the South African Airlines counter. Ian decides to stick with the Guidos. Those kids and their moving.

– It is South African AIRWAYS office upstairs. The agent’s office is not open, but will try to book the tickets for them. He sells them the tickets to Jo’Burg. The three teams are on the flight.

There is a flight on Air Tanzania that leaves Jo’Burg at 115pm and gets in at  630pm. However, it’s full. That’s right. A third standby flight. All four teams are put on the standby list.

– Charla & Mirna board a 955am flight to Dar es Salaam. They’ll be in Dar es Salaam by 300pm. If nobody gets on the 115pm flight, we may have one of the biggest leads ever in TAR history.

– Teri & Ian and Guidos’ counter opens downstairs. The flight is full to Dar es Salaam. They agree to take standby tickets along with the other teams. However everyone is on the 1145am flight to Johannesburg.

– 1253pm. Johannesburg. Everyone is at the counter. People shout over each other. Eric tells everyone to let the agent talk. Wise move because it’s the only thing they can do at this point.

Teams with tickets to Dar es Salaam: Eric & Danielle, Cha Cha Cha, Chipmunks, and Uchenna & Joyce.
Teams without tickets: The two old fart teams who wouldn’t go upstairs.

– Charla & Mirna’s lead is limited to three hours on the next four teams. I’m sure Guidos and Teri & Ian will be on a flight close behind.

– Eric & Danielle are in the tunnel. This becomes hilarious after the fact.

ERIC: I can’t believe it actually happened. I’m still waiting for somebody to run after us and tell us to stop.
DANIELLE: Relax!

*Back at the airport*

AGENT: Eric & Danielle — where are they?
GUIDOS: They already left.
TERI: They’re gone.
IAN: They went to the gate.

Huh? I don’t get it.

*On the plane*

AGENT: Eric & Danielle, there has been a mistake. You were accidentally given somebody else’s seats.

What the agent was really trying to say:

Don’t believe me?

eric danielle flight

See? Yep. Somehow the almighty computer system double-booked seats on a flight. Couldn’t the people just sit on each other’s laps?

DANIELLE: You’ve got to be kidding me! But we’re already on the plane! Wahwahwahwahwah.
ERIC: Will anyone get off the plane for fifty bucks cash right now?

Refund + 50 dollars = I can wait another day for Zanzibar.

I love how Danielle whines the whole time while Eric proceeds to make a move to solve his problem. That’s the difference between people who finish eighth and those who are minutes away from winning TAR.

So after helping three other teams get tickets upstairs in Maputo, Eric is screwed over. The odd thing is we don’t see other people proceeding to replace Eric & Danielle’s seats. It’s impossible to double book the same seats in this age. How the heck can an airline do that? Because Eric & Danielle even received their confirmation forms. It’s strange.

By the way, this is the first and last time this happens. Thank god because it is the biggest blunder an airline could make outside of allowing a pilot who is an alcoholic and cocaine user to fly a plane.

Danielle slams her bag down and wants to quit. This is the second woman who has expressed quitting in the first twenty minutes of the episode. Eric is agitated by his partner’s dramatic and pessimistic attitude.

ERIC: Dani, he’s gonna come talk to us. Calm down.
DANIELLE: I don’t wanna do this anymore.
ERIC: Yeah, well, there’s still two other teams to go against. Just relax. Let him see what he can do for us first. It’s as simple as that.

Father knows best.

danielle hand

I think her and Teri could be put on the same flight to Miami. Living with a Big Kahuna sounds more pleasant than anything TAR could bring. I bet Ian and Eric wish they could be a team together.

– The agent comes over. Great news.

AGENT: There is a SAA (South African Airways) flight tomorrow morning at 955am. Arrives at 1255pm. Standby only.

What the heck was happening at the end of 2006? It seems like everyone and their mother is booking tickets in sub-Saharan Africa this week. Does this have to do with World AIDS Day? I don’t picture people packing on expensive jets between Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa all the time.

And another crazy thing! Charla & Mirna’s flight left Johannesburg at 945am today. That means Eric & Danielle are on a standby flight OVER TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER. The biggest equalizer this season has been six hours. I can’t imagine any equalizer that could make teams be remotely close to one another for several rounds.

– Teri & Ian and Guidos find another agent. They are told about the 955am flight that is on standby. Teri is pissed to spend another night in the airport.

– Charla & Mirna land in Dar es Salaam at 252pm. That is nineteen hours until the bottom three teams can get on a standby flight.

– Eric wants to find the two remaining teams in the airport. Danielle whines saying she doesn’t want to talk to anyone, but Eric ignores her regardless. He sees the Guidos spot him as Bill smiles and runs to Joe. Eric greets Teri & Ian. Eric and Ian talk about the 955am.

IAN: We’re all on the same sinking ship.

Heh. You’re not even on the dhows yet, Ian. That could put you another ten hours behind.

– Charla & Mirna grab ‘boat #1’. Mirna asks when the first dhow leaves. Inclement weather has caused a delay. The other six teams get their first break of the round.

MAN: Because of weather between here and the island, the dhow will be leaving tomorrow morning at 530.

?! Fourteen hour wait? Well that is one heck of an equalizer. If Charla & Mirna get on the dhow, they would’ve beaten some teams by over 24 hours. I bet this was a cover because production could not handle teams being spread out this far apart. I don’t detect any crappy weather that would cause a delay. Oh well. I guess production didn’t want another TAR 1 situation forming during the sixth round of the game.

– 650pm (21 hours since the leg started) and the second flight gets in. Chipmunks, Cha Cha Cha, and Uchenna & Joyce all scramble into cabs. They get to the pier at the same time and search frantically for a number. They go all around the benches and steps. Oswald grabs ‘boat #1’. Chipmunks grab ‘boat #2’. So do Uchenna & Joyce. The second boat is at 830am. Three hours apart.

At 1000pm: Eric & Danielle, Guidos, and Teri & Ian are further away from the first route marker than when they started the leg exactly twenty-four hours ago. I told you. Driving would be faster.

– We fast forward to 430am. No mention of the bottom three teams. Danny is sitting on a bench. Oswald pretends he is a stranger and asks if Danny is looking for a companion. Give them a break. It’s been a long round.

– Charla & Mirna arrive and see them at the bench.

OSWALD (mocking): This is our corner! We work this bench.
MIRNA: Uh, alright.

Pssst. Mirna isn’t a fan of role-playing. Particularly when it involves prostitution.

uruguay prost

They would just try to get directions from one.

MIRNA: We’ll sleep on this bench then.
OSWALD: There’s no sleeping. You didn’t get the joke.

– First dhow departs at 530am. Cha Cha Cha and Charla & Mirna together on a boat with triangular sails for several hours. They comment on the pretty sunrise and how it’s like ancient times.

OSWALD: We’re going to trade you for food now.
MIRNA: Can I have some of the food?

Who knew lawyers couldn’t be playful or understand a joke.

– Eric is bored and plays a prank. It’s nearly 36 hours since the start of the leg, and almost 24 hours since he was kicked off a plane while holding confirmed tickets.

ERIC: We’re making sure “the line” is going on so everyone can “honour the line”.

eric danielle line

Eric & Danielle physically create a line that everyone will have to follow. How odd and meta of them. Next they will “stand by” an agent to get standby tickets. If they are rejected from a flight, I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re shown them building the world’s largest house of cards.

– Teri & Ian are about to go to the counter.

ERIC: Ian, you’re not gonna honour the line?
IAN: I don’t think there is a line.
ERIC: These ropes are for lines.
IAN: Let’s not fight over standby.
ERIC: Exactly. Let’s just honour the line. We got here first. It’s cool though.
IAN: Let’s get in line behind them.

Wow. That actually worked. What a strange mindf— that Eric put into play.

– Uchenna talks about how Zanzibar was one of the major gateways during the peak of the slave trade. ‘Tis true. Zanzibar is to eastern Africa as Dakar was to western Africa during the slave trade. Dang you, Benin!

UCHENNA: 500 years ago they took the slaves this very same path, ladies. Now it’s your turn.
*Chipmunks laugh uncomfortably*

uchenna slave

Heheheheheh. . .oh, he’s not kidding. Farewell, Chipmunks! Off to Jamaica or Brazil you go.

– 955am.  Johannesburg Airport. 21 hours since these three teams entered the airport. This is becoming TAR’s version of The Terminal.

danielle hag

And Danielle has managed to turn into a hag within those 21 hours.

– Danielle complains about having no luck. The three teams are at the counter. The agent says that only one team will be on the flight.
.
.
.
.
It’s Eric & Danielle. For now. Until they board the plane and get pulled from it again.

– Teri is in disbelief. Ian asks the agent to wave a magic wand to put them on the flight.

– Commercial break.

– Ian asks for a flight. It’s Air Malawi that leaves at noon.

– Charla & Mirna’s Egypt music plays as Mirna, Oswald, and Danny rest on the dhow. The record scratches and suddenly Charla is puking on the boat. New soundtrack debuts as hip hop sounding music plays. Very unusual for TAR to use a hip hop beat.

charla vomit

Charla feeds the fishes Don and Hera style.

– Oswald puts a cool cloth on the back of Charla’s head.

MIRNA: You guys know a lot of beauty tips.
OSWALD: They’re not beauty tips. It’s first aid.
DANNY laughs hysterically.

Mirna is doing terrible at this whole conversation thing. Maybe the differences are cultural.

– Mirna is happy she has new faces to see for several hours rather than her and Charla being on their own. I wish there would have been an eight hour boat ride with the Chipmunks or if they did this in TAR 5 with Colin & Christie. Everyone would be dumped off that boat.

– Guidos are ecstatic to be on a plane heading to a route marker. In about fourteen hours.

– Zanzibar. Charla & Mirna and Cha Cha Cha search for a marked kiosk. It has the clue. Detour.

Over halfway into the episode and we have our first task! Twenty-fourth minute of a 43 minute episode.

– Solve It or Schlep It.

In Solve It, teams go to a motel one-third of a mile. Then they must put together a 62-piece puzzle and re-create the same design as the style of the local artwork known as tinga-tinga.

tinga tinga

No doubt will be used as a day 37 immunity challenge for Survivor: Zanzibar. Once solved, teams receive their next clue.

In Schlep It, teams make their way one mile to  Kijangwani Lumber Yard. Once there they must choose a handcart and load two fifty-pound logs into their cart. These uniquely shaped logs are hugely sought after for the construction of the native dhow boats. Once loaded, teams will deliver their logs to a marked shipyard over a mile away to receiv e their next clue.

– Charla & Mirna and Cha Cha Cha both choose to Solve It. Must be a hot day and Cha Cha already made a mistake with the charcoal. Charla & Mirna get there about a minute ahead.

– Danny catches onto the gills trick. Charla & Mirna catch on but think it is difficult. Mirna of all people tells Charla to not talk too much.

– UCHENNA (pirate accent): Yes! My great grandfather was a pirate.
KANDICE: Where’d you get him? Where’d you find him?
JOYCE: I dunno. We’re going to trade him.

!

– Charla & Mirna argue during their puzzle solving. Cha Cha Cha complete the task first. They read that teams will travel by taxi fifteen miles to Kikungwi. Members of the Masaii tribe (most notably from Survivor: Africa) live in this tiny town. This is where teams will find their next clue.

– Cha Cha Cha get a taxi and request that it has air conditioning. Oswald wants to move but doesn’t want to melt.

– Charla & Mirna are done the task and have their clue.

– Oswald is exhausted and asks Danny if he wants to eat. They are dehydrated. So they grab some fruit at a food market to replenish. Charla & Mirna do not stop for fruit and have a taxi. Suspense to see who will be at the roadblock first.

– It’s Charla & Mirna. Roadblock time. “Who’s on target?”

In this roadblock, teams must learn how to hunt using a traditional weapon called a rungu. Phil is unsure if he pronounced it correctly and fires an eyebrow raise at a Masaii.

phil rungu

If I was being stared down by Phil with his raised eyebrow and a hand clutching a rungu, I’d cower in fear. Luckily the Masaii can jump over Phil’s head and be able to escape the reaches of our newly villainized Kiwi.

-Teams must toss a rungu 65 feet to destroy a mask to receive their next clue. Mirna is going to do it. I couldn’t picture Charla throwing a rungu 65 feet. She’d be taking a four hour penalty.

– However Mirna misses a few times. She asks Charla for her water bottle. Charla tosses it about fifty feet into Mirna’s hands. She watches the demo.

– Cha Cha Cha is at the roadblock. Danny is doing it. Charla asks where they have been. Oswald flat out admits they stopped for fruit. It’s a showdown. Mirna hits the target. She does a cartwheel towards the clue. Her and Charla scream as the Masaii laugh. They read they must travel fifteen miles to Stone Town and find Old Fort. It’s the pit stop for this leg of the race.

OSWALD: Mirna got it. She must have been praying to her grandmother, her great grandmother, and her eternal lineage.

Oswald is on fire this round. The Masaii keep laughing at Americans attempting to toss a rungu.

OSWALD: If you can throw a boomerang, you can do this.

Oh! Callback to the Coober Pedy roadblock in TAR 2.

– Danny hits the target. Oswald describes Charla & Mirna as formidable contenders who can beat ‘the bajeezus’ out of everyone. Danny insists they won’t stop for fruit anymore.

– Mirna pulls out her French that goes to the extent of ‘monsieur’. Her and Charla get directions. They find everything but the fort including the bathroom. Cha Cha Cha experiences similar problems.

phil swim

Phil pretends to swim in the sky as the first place team checks in.

zanzibar greeter

The Zanzibar greeter prepares to do his job of welcoming.

– Charla & Mirna are first to the mat. They cheer wildly. Phil says they are too hot to handle after finishing twice in a row.

PHIL: You have each won a 12.5 foot catamaran.
MIRNA: Huh?
CHARLA: What’s that?
PHIL: It’s a duel-hauled sailing boat.
MIRNA: Uhhhhh, yaaaaaay.

– Cha Cha Cha is second.

– Uchenna & Joyce and Chipmunks are at the marked kiosk. Chipmunks figure logs will be the better choice.

UCHENNA: We’re going to Puzzle It.

You can’t make up your own Detour options.

– Eric & Danielle’s plane lands in Dar es Salaam. Eric hates being behind but on the other hand is happy to be 2 1/2 hours ahead of two other teams.

– Uchenna & Joyce find the puzzle. They work through it quickly and think it will be much easier than most of the physical stuff.

– Chipmunks are at the lumber yard and load the two logs. We see the camera zoom in on a sign that says “You never know my life–But God know my life”

Heh. Monotheistic fail. Judging by that sentence, God is a plural entity.

– Chipmunks convince a local to guide them to the shipyard.

– Eric & Danielle claim dhow #3. The attendant says they will be leaving “soon”.

– Chipmunks joke they feel like a bobsled team in the desert. Ugh. Desperate Cool Runnings plug?

– Eric & Danielle’s boat exits. Eric is happy to not see the other teams. Danielle is stoked their little trip is not ruined.

– We see stock footage of an airplane. Ian and Joe talk about not throwing in the towel.

– Chipmunks accidentally tip the cart which leads to their bags and logs falling off. They figure out the technique as soundbytes repeat of the logs being heavy. They find the shipyard and unload the logs. They smile at a cat sleeping in the shipyard. Chipmunks receive the clue and the sound byte repeats of Kandice feeling they made the right choice.

Needless to say the Chipmunks have been invisible this round and have said about twenty words the whole time. Editing is moving very fast now.

– Eric talks about how there are so many ‘what ifs’ in this race and that it doesn’t matter whether you’re this far behind. He feels a poke of teams being close behind and saying ‘don’t get too comfortable’.

– 548pm. The final flight lands. Not even on the boats yet. This is the last segment of the episode and they are just getting to the first route marker. Rough day. Both teams are rbight enough to know that one of the two teams has to be eliminated. Both teams run and sprint around the dhow. Both teams wind up on the same dhow anyway. It’s the fifth dhow despite only four being scheduled.

– The dhow does not leave until 800pm. Even the bottom two teams have to wait for the boat. The first dhow left at 530am. If it’s any consolation, these two teams have made up 12.5 hours on Charla & Mirna in the past couple days.

– Uchenna is doing the roadblock and barely jumps as the Masaii’s jumping abilities is much greater. Chipmunks are in the cab wondering where Uchenna & Joyce are at. Joyce tells Uchenna to use a ton of energy. Uchenna breaks the mask and has the clue.

uchenna jump

Okay. Uchenna jumps pretty dang high. He held his own.

– Uchenna says jumping with the Masaii is a dream come true. Chipmunks are next to the roadblock. Dustin is doing it in the pitch blackness. Eric & Danielle find the marked kiosk. Uchenna & Joyce make it to the pit stop as Joyce exclaims to start the clock. Considering how boats are a minimum of three hours behind, there is no reason for them to be worried.

– Eric & Danielle do Solve It. They finish the puzzle.

– Uchenna & Joyce are third place.

– 800pm. The final dhow begins. It won’t be in Zanzibar for probably about eight hours.

– Dustin breaks the mask. Chipmunks check into the pit stop.

– Eric & Danielle are at the roadblock. Danielle is doing it. Eric makes fun of Danielle for the entire duration of the roadblock. She throws a bit better than my sister at least.

– Guidos and Teri & Ian hype up their showdown.

– Eric jokes that he can see Phil in the darkness. They check in at fifth place.

phil crows nest

Look at the Crow’s Nest under Phil’s eyes. And his voice sounds terribly dry. He has been standing out there for well over twelve hours at this point. I remember watching this episode and thinking that they should be showing Charla & Mirna and Cha Cha Cha checking out any minute now.

– No other teams on the race course so we go ahead to 300am/400am. Hours of operation apparently don’t matter. You can solve a tinga tinga at a hotel no matter what time of day. Granted hotels are always open. Guidos are first to the kiosk by about ten seconds. Both teams will do the puzzle because Teri & Ian do the puzzle and Bill wanted to copy the Detour task that Teri & Ian chose so they don’t break away.

– Teri & Ian barely work into their puzzle as Guidos already finish. Ian is impressed. However it doesn’t sound too sincere because both teams sound absolutely exhausted. No energy. I expected Bill to fall asleep halfway through the confessional. Guidos do not feel confident that they will win the round. It’s daylight. Again. Teri & Ian finish the puzzle.

– Roadblock time. Bill is doing the roadblock. Joe whines that Bill is waiting too long to release the rungu. Teri & Ian hope the Guidos get stuck at the roadblock. Suspense builds for about a minute. Bill breaks the mask. Guidos enter their taxi van and drive away.

– Teri & Ian are at the roadblock. Ian is doing it. Teri is smiling for the first time all season. Guidos know Ian will do the task fast. Ian is really excited when he breaks the mask and almost utters a ‘hoo-rah’.

– Guidos think the driver is lost and they seem stuck in a traffic jam. Guidos run out but go through the wrong door. So do Teri & Ian. Suspense builds some more as the teams scramble.

– It’s the Guidos. Phil sounds like all of the energy is drained out of him too.

phil crows nest 2

Phil hasn’t combed his hair in days and days and days.

– We hear birds twittering as Phil informs them they are sixth.

– Teri & Ian run towards the mat.

TERI: Phil, we’re coming.
IAN: We’re coming, Phil.

Both do it with about 99% less ‘hoo-rah’ in their voices. Teri even screws up her only trademark line.

IAN: Hey Phil, sorry to get you up so early.

More like ‘sorry to keep you up this late’ I would think.

– Phil breaks the bad news that Teri & Ian are last and are eliminated. Teri said she had fun and sorry to be eliminated. They talk about their love and kids. Nice farewell. Phil fell asleep during mat chat, by the way.

Next time on TAR: Danielle loses patience with Eric. That’s all we’re shown in the preview. I’ll just add that Guidos be cray-zay.

P.S. Even I felt drained by the end of this episode.

P.P.S. Yes, I was told there was a major holiday during this leg and that’s why so many flights were booked. I am curious if TAR did this intentionally.

Confessionals
—-

Uchenna.Joyce 3.1
Dustin.Kandice 1.2
Joe.Bill 5.4
Charla.Mirna 4.4
Teri.Ian 1.6
Oswald.Danny 2.1
Eric.Danielle 6.3

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 Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
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
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 FF

Rank the Teams

1) Teri & Ian

If you’ve kept up with this blog, this shouldn’t surprise you. I think these two are the best overall older couple to run the race. In terms of personality, performance, and entertainment value, these two blow all of the other older teams in TAR history out of the water.

This season they continued to deliver as they changed into a progressively more light-hearted team. However, there was a slight role reversal as Teri came off grumpier and Ian seemed to be a lovable goofy man. If they were able to win a leg, I’m sure we would have seen another legendary set of facial expressions.

Much more dynamic couple than Rob & Amber. That’s for sure. They were eliminated this season thanks to some karmic retribution. They could have been hours and hours behind in the fifth round in dead last, but they stumble upon the opposing and much easier task out of sheer luck. The following round they fall to the back of the pack and get eliminated. I feel content with their elimination despite rooting for them since the start of the season.

But oh well. We still got six rounds out of them, and thus puts an end to their TAR legacy. I am content with a total of twenty episodes from these two.

2) 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.

3) 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!

4) 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.

5) 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.

Rank the Legs

1) Maputo -> Stone Town (One of my favourite episodes in TAR history. Seven teams spread across several dhows and several flights. Teams had to actively strategize to get from Maputo to Dar es Salaam by going further away from where they need to be. Figuring out flights took days as opposed to mere minutes. Every flight to the destination city was full to the point that putting yourself on priority standby and leading the lines became the name of the game.

Teams having team-on-team interaction in the dhows led to some memorable relationships forming. Charla & Mirna with Cha Cha Cha? Chipmunks with Uchenna & Joyce? And the dhows were a very unique form of transportation.

The tasks weren’t too bad either. It looked like it only took about two hours once in Zanzibar, but regardless were solid enough tasks. The puzzle appeared to be much faster than transporting logs, however.

Nearly a full day from first to last gave the round a classic feel as if there was not any over-the-top equalizers or heavy production intervention as if we were thrust into the TAR 1 days.

I find it amusing that the Guidos find themselves a full day behind most teams. The running joke continues to cap off a spectacular episode.)

2) 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.)

3) Ushuaia -> Maputo (Yes! A new continent for this season! Yes! A new country to add to TAR’s catalogue! Yes! A unique roadblock!

But production did a terrible job with the Detour. One appeared to take two minutes max while the other option appeared to take well over an hour. Teri & Ian seemed to be about an hour behind all teams but come in third ahead of every team that did the charcoal option? That’s ridiculous. I think the nail polish task should have raised it up to ninety meticais. I am curious who was in charge of going with thirty meticais. Did they have a Dream Team test it out but they ended up struggling?

Cha Cha Cha chasing Phil is easily a top ten moment in TAR history. I don’t think any mat entrance has matched that since. I think Tramel & Talicia would like to come back and regain their crown.

This episode avoided taxis. Anytime you present taxi help as optional rather than mandatory is always the way to go in TAR. Teams each being assigned their own driver is a classic element from the first two seasons of TAR.

Visiting sub-Saharan Africa is always a wise choice because you get some unusual encounters compared to the WASPy nature of Europe. Teams are thrown out of their comfort zone. The growing rivalry between Charla & Mirna vs. Chipmunks and Guidos vs. Eric & Danielle makes the season a bit more fun.

And LOL at Guidos’ charcoal mustache. A comedic episode overall, but was in desperate need of possibly fewer equalizers and a more polished Detour. At least last round had the exciting finish.

4) Puerto Montt -> 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.)

5) 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.)

6) 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.)

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