TAR All Stars episode nine ranking

Ninth round

Previously on TAR: Because the previous episode was two hours covering two rounds, Phil makes it into a super recap. Six teams raced from Zanzibar off the coast of Tanzania to Warsaw, Poland. Tempers flared between Eric & Danielle. Then along with Joe & Bill they missed their flight. Later in Krakow came the twist in the race. Forced to work together, Uchenna & Joyce teamed up with Oswald & Danny to do the Fast Forward and came in first. Charla struggled through the Detour and again at the Roadblock. But for Joe & Bill it was the end of the road. Five teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– TAR intro.

– Phil introduces Krakow. Once the country’s seat of government, it is now the cultural and artistic hub of the nation. And just outside the ancient and majestic city, the Skala Castle was the eighth pit stop in a race around the world.

– Oswald & Danny, and Uchenna & Joyce, who arrived first at undisclosed time, will depart at 948pm. Oswald reads that they will fly 5, 500 miles to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. That’s all we are told for now. I guess traveling 5, 500 miles will occupy much of the episode.

– Joyce talks about an increased level of desperation. Oswald says him and Danny have had thirteen years of ups and downs but resolved all of them. Uchenna & Joyce are with a concierge. Cha Cha Cha find a room with a phone.

– There is a 700am flight to Frankfurt that arrives in Kuala Lumpur at 640am. However, there is only one hour in Frankfurt. We are shown Uchenna & Joyce and Cha Cha Cha hearing this simultaneously in different rooms. Oswald is concerned. Joyce knows it is risky. Everyone is concerned.

– Oswald is told of a flight from Krakow to Paris that leaves at 800am and gets into Kuala Lumpur at 725am. Oswald thinks 640am versus 725am won’t be a big deal. Especially when the earlier flight will be difficult to make. Danny agrees.

– Uchenna & Joyce go ahead and purchase the earlier Frankfurt flight. Because Frankfurt has an excellent track record in TAR. In fact, Uchenna & Joyce were screwed by Frankfurt only two rounds earlier.

– At 252am, Chipmunks depart. They’re on the receiving end of a five hour disadvantage. Dustin thinks they are holding on for dear life and other times are on the offensive surging ahead. She wants her and Kandice to be positive.

– 316am. Charla & Mirna check out. Mirna discusses how when all of the teams are together they copy and look over each other’s shoulders.

MIRNA: We don’t resort to dirty gameplay like that.

Please go back to previous rounds where you say ‘just follow that ____ for now”. It’s not dirty gameplay. It’s just. . .gameplay.

– 322am. Eric & Danielle depart. Eric says him and Danielle have tiffs and you pick on the person who you’re racing with. They head to the hotel to use Internet. Eric spots two computers. One occupied by Charla. The other occupied by Mirna.

ERIC: Can we use one of those computers?
MIRNA: No. We just got on.

What type of gameplay would Mirna classify this as?

– Eric & Danielle head to the airport. Eric doesn’t understand why Mirna can’t figure otu why nobody likes her after an incident like that.

– Mirna finds a flight that gets in at 445am. Suddenly they have the best flight. Now they head to the airport. So do Cha Cha Cha. Eric reports to Dustin & Kandice the news.

ERIC: I’ve got bad news. Charla & Mirna are not nice.

This news may have been interesting about three years ago, Eric.

– Chipmunks and Eric & Danielle book the 725am flight. Mirna hears this in line behind them and is happy.

MIRNA: Do you guys mind if I ask the agent one question? It will take like ten seconds.
ERIC: I’d rather you wait, since we had to wait on the Internet.

– Mirna concedes that Eric has a point and goes to a separate line.

Holy crap. Mirna is a good sport when someone rejects a request of hers? This is a first.

– Uchenna & Joyce head to pick up their tickets. Chipmunks decide to sneak up behind them and hear which tickets they’re getting. Eric & Danielle sit as Uchenna & Joyce quickly tell them the flight. They discuss the connection time.

ERIC: One hour isn’t worth the risk knowing what we’ve been through so far this race. You need 45 minutes minimum for an international flight. So if your flight’s delayed 15 minutes, you can’t board the next flight.
JOYCE: I know.
ERIC: You guys have an hour on us. As long as you make those connections.
JOYCE: Don’t say that.

It seems like Eric is indirectly saying “don’t do it, I don’t want to be stuck with Charla & Mirna and the Chipmunks for the rest of the season!”

ERIC: You guys are braver than I am.

– Charla & Mirna board the first flight connecting through Vienna. Uchenna & Joyce are on the second flight connecting through Frankfurt. The final flight holds Cha Cha Cha, Eric & Danielle, and Oswald & Danny which connects through Paris.

– It’s Frankfurt time.
uchenna joyce flight

abbie ryan

These two REALLY needed to watch this season. It’s one thing for Uchenna & Joyce to be fooled by Frankfurt two out of three rounds, but for a team to do it again ten seasons later is a whole new ball game.

– Uchenna & Joyce beg and beg. Uchenna talks to the airline representative on the phone. The flight is gone. They’re stuck in Frankfurt and head to Lufthansa counter.

UCHENNA: When’s the next flight?
AGENT: Half an hour.
UCHENNA: Can we get on?
AGENT: Nope.

The agent is such a tease.

– Uchenna & Joyce go to another counter. How do we know when the flight leaves? Based on Joyce’s reaction you can take a guess.

joyce sad

Uchenna & Joyce go up to a ticket counter. . .

joyce sad 2

And their race comes crumbling down.

– Yeah. Flight leaves tomorrow. They could’ve been stuck with the pack but chose to lay it all out on the line for a 45 minute lead on the last flight. Uchenna & Joyce pray for issues with the other flights.

– Charla & Mirna get into Kuala Lumpur at 445am. Phil reveals the remainder of the clue. Teams will take a train and a bus to the Batu Caves. But it’s up to them which train and which bus will serve them best.

– Charla was told by somebody on the flight to take the Putra bus. It’s sunrise in Malaysia. They run alongside the bus as it moves to flag it down. It works. Off to Batu Caves they go.

– 725am. Chipmunks found somebody on the flight named Nick who would walk with them to the precise route to take to the Batu Caves. Oswald has the most awkward voiceover and sound cut as he mentions that him and Danny did research at the Polish hotel to figure out their route.

– Eric & Danielle were the only team who didn’t do any preparation. Eric shows the destination to a worker at the airport. They are told to take Putra. Same with Cha Cha Cha. Chipmunks however are taking the Sentul train. Their train leaves in three minutes. Eric wonders where they are as they wait for Putra with Cha Cha Cha.

– Eric assumes Chipmunks took a better train. So does Oswald. Chipmunks wonder where the other two teams are.

– Charla & Mirna are at the Batu Caves. They have the clue after going up thirty stairs. Mirna reads teams must travel by taxi ten miles to Kampung Baru Mosque and search the nearby streets for their next clue.

MIRNA: Caution–Yield ahead.

Oh right. Forgot about those things. It has been eleven episodes since we’ve seen one. Episode nine for its debut? Although TAR 10’s Yield didn’t appear until round eleven so I guess this isn’t too crazy.

– Phil recaps the Yield rules. He says there are two opportunities on the race to use a Yield. So I guess two of these three rounds have a Yield seeing how they always expire round twelve. Mirna challenges Charla to run faster. They have a cab and start pulling away. Mirna thinks they have the advantage because they climbed the stairs before the mid-day heat sets in.

– Chipmunks are directed by someone else to the bus station. They are nervous. Eric & Danielle and Cha Cha Cha took a train to the Central Market. Cha Cha Cha got off to travel by bus. Eric stays on the train because he thinks train will be faster.

– Mirna announces she will not yield anybody while in the taxi. She wants to win by playing a clean race and by playing through her own efforts.

MIRNA: And not by trying to hold people back.

Does hogging both computers and delaying another team not count somehow?

– Charla & Mirna search the streets. Charla finds it. More stairs. They choose not to yield. It’s a Detour. Artistic Expression or Cookie Confection.

In Artistic Expression, teams make their way one mile to a place where they must use ancient techniques to exactly duplicate one of three patterns onto a 45 square foot piece of cloth then dye it. Holy crap. That sounds long and difficult.

In Cookie Confection, teams travel half a mile to Chow Kit and find a marked stall. Here they will search through a table of cookies and will eat their way to find a cookie with the LONE cookie with a black liquorice centre. They will exchange it for their next clue.

cookie

I hope the cookie is in the same place for all teams. Otherwise that’s cheap. And who knew that’s what ten thousand cookies look like. And thankfully there’s two people so there is only five thousand cookies between you.

I would personally choose cookie chomping over difficult pattern duplication and dyeing.

At least it is not mandatory for teams to choose the cookie task.

MIRNA: You know how much I love my cookies
Cookies with liquorice
Cookies with liquorice

A sugar high is much more welcome than last round’s Detour where everyone was forced to eat two feet of sausage.

– Cha Cha Cha wait for the bus. Chipmunks are at the bus stop. Eric gets directions from someone on the train. They wait for a bus. All three teams took a different route.

MIRNA: Cookie monster cookie monster. Here’s the cookies. Cookie, cookie, cookie!

I think she likes cookies.

angie cookie

So does she. Angie has re-watched this episode several times growing up.
.
.
.
Before she got diabetes.

– Charla & Mirna start eating cookies. Cha Cha Cha bord the bus. Chipmunks are taking the bus too. Eric & Danielle get on a bus that doesn’t leave for ten minutes.

– Charla & Mirna compliment the vendor for his cookies as he laughs seeing them go through a never ending supply. Cha Cha Cha are at Batu Caves. They have the clue and run down. Eric & Danielle board a bus.

– Chipmunks see a monkey sitting on the railing. I think the Chipmunks stand out.

chipmunks monkey

He’s just hanging.

chipmunks monkey 2

Camera operator is lucky to get such a close-up. And I hear that monkey was on Survivor too.

willard

Ah. Yes.

– Chipmunks have the clue and are inside the cab. They discuss who to yield. Dustin proposes Eric & Danielle because they are probably behind. Kandice proposes Oswald & Danny because they have consistently done much better.

And they’re consistently better than you on this leg too.

– Kandice views Eric & Danielle as a physically bigger threat than Cha Cha Cha. Kandice knows they could be fighting for last at the moment. Eric & Danielle have their clue at the Batu Caves and head into a cab.

– Cha Cha Cha are at the mosque. Chipmunks think they see the mosque from the distance. They see Cha Cha Cha on the streets, but also spot the clue box from the cab. Wow, Cha Cha Cha suck at finding clues. Or seeing people because Chipmunks make it to the clue box without being seen.

– So will the Chipmunks yield anyone? Last season they yielded Lyn & Karlyn, but found themselves in last place during the round anyway. Will they hold back after lengthy discussion?

yield board

Look at that sloppy glue job. Doesn’t the Yield board look old school? Who knew TAR would develop a touch screen that could hold a Double Blind U-Turn.

I wonder if a sound operator with OCD would run back to the Yield board and re-paste the posters on to make it straight.

– Dustin defends it by saying it is entirely strategy. Eric thinks they could be in last.

There’s only four teams at this point right? This is all I remember when watching the episode. It’s a four-way race.

– Chipmunks love the idea of eating cookies, but six hundred boxes sounds like far too many. They find a guide to take them to the Artistic Expression task.

– Mirna asks the crowd to cheer them on.

CROWD MEMBER: Go Charla!

Is that Eamon in the audience there? Who else would recognize Charla?

– Mirna is surprised how many fans they have in Malaysia and the ones who recognize them. Well this is immediately heading to the spoiler groups online while TAR 10 is still airing in the US.

– Danny is sweating and slow. Oswald tells Danny to relax.

MIRNA: After five hundred it gets old. I think all of the teams will be catching up.

– Cha Cha Cha spot the clue. Oswald gasps and knows Eric & Danielle will be pissed off.

DANNY: The cookies will be faster.
OSWALD: WHAT! SIX HUNDRED BOXES OF COOKIES!
DANNY: Yeah, it’ll be faster.
OSWALD: Uhhhhh. . .

Maybe Danny was thinking of the number of cookies in one gross.

– It occurred to me that Charla & Mirna’s 2 hour and 40 minute lead is gone thanks to cookies. They must be biting at a record slow rate. But then again, I’ve never split ten thousand cookies between myself and another person.

– Eric & Danielle prepare for the clue. Eric is sarcastic about the stairs. He sees the Yield.

ERIC: Those dirty hookers. Those dirty pirate hookers. Those dirty dirty hookers.

Eric, like any man who spent time in college in the early 2000s, cannot help but quote Anchorman uncontrollably. My two brothers suffer from the same illness. No known cure exists.

eric poster

With nothing to do but entertain an angry and bored Danielle, Eric takes to entertaining Danielle with poster puppets after ripping up the Chipmunks’ Yield picture.

– Much name calling ensues at pieces of inanimate paper. Danielle thinks the Chipmunks are fake and phony. Both of them call the Chipmunks “b—es” several times.

DANIELLE: I got yielded last race and it’s what got me eliminated.

No, following Wanda & Desiree blindly in circles for four hours is what got you eliminated. Oh yeah, and that Yield because Ray & Yolanda are terrible navigating outside of Australia.

The pageantry must be stoked that two Miss _____ winners are being called b—-es, fake, phony, and nasty on national television.

– Danielle thinks they made enemies for no reason. Charla & Mirna abandon the cookie task and head into a taxi to switch. Cha Cha Cha get to the cookie stand. Danny complains about the heat. Oswald bites the cookie. Danny is frustrated because Oswald isn’t just biting one cookie per box. Oswald re-reads the clue. All it says is find “a cookie”. It says NOTHING about one cookie per box. Danny is getting angry while Oswald is becoming impatient.

Danny was really hoping for six hundred cookies as opposed to ten thousand? Imagine his reaction when he goes through one cookie per box then discovers he need to bite the boxes and cookies on the ground? Even Lena bites her lips at that thought.

– Oswald is done with the task. Him and Danny walk away. Danny stands in front of Oswald and gives a blatantly incorrect speech about the task.

oswald god

Ay dios mio!

– Chipmunks see Charla & Mirna entering the task. They quietly celebrate. Charla & Mirna aren’t enthusiastic about seeing them. Chipmunks’ pattern is approved so now they can paint the dye.

– OSWALD (talking to camera): We’re going to switch Detours because–
DANNY: It can’t be difficult.

Don’t break the fourth wall, Danny!

OSWALD: Fine, then let’s go back!

oswald god 2

Let’s go eat cookies before my martini withdrawal makes me throatpunch your oiled up jugular!

DANNY: Oswald, you can’t just piss somebody off like that and turn around! I listen to you every single time!
OSWALD: Fine, let’s go back. We’re gonna go back. We’re gonna go back. We’re gonna go back.

– Chipmunks are happy to see Charla & Mirna. Charla can’t reach her arms around the covering for the task so Mirna must do it.

MIRNA: We will find a way to make due. If I have to do this challenge, fine, it’s not a big deal. We’re a team and we work together.

Yes. Work together while Charla sits on the sidelines. Teamwork! Hoo-rah!

– Charla acts as cheerleader while Chipmunks complete the Detour. Chipmunks read they must travel six miles by taxi to Taman Sri Hartamas and locate a newspaper truck.

– Charla complains they wasted too much time at the cookie task.

danny nuts

Literally EVERYTHING in that picture are cookies, Danny. You couldn’t be more wrong. Just like with the task details.

– Eric & Danielle continue watching the sand. Cha Cha Cha still bite cookies. Danny decides to switch. Eric & Danielle complain about the heat. They see Cha Cha Cha on the same street while in mid-switch. Two teams tied for last.

They are last right now, yes?

– Eric decides they will do the cookie task because they can dump all of the cookies on the table rather than have a hand using the tray. Smart thinking, Sanchez. That’s probably why Charla & Mirna couldn’t get through a thousand cookies in almost three hours.

– Oswald finds Eric & Danielle to be strong competitors and finds them cunning. But who were the ones that used the Yield?

– Charla announces Danny’s arrival.

DANNY: They didn’t tell me it would be at a sweatshop in Malaysia.

Well that was offensive. He is grumpy. How long before he wants his Mercedes like in TAR 2?

– Eric is going fast biting cookies. Danielle is too busy talking about the task. Eric cracks jokes to make the vendor laugh between bites.

– Chipmunks are at the roadblock already. It’s an eco friendly task in the form of recycling newspapers.

paperboy

Much less wasteful than the Japanese-American tradition of throwing newspapers through neighbour’s windows.

Each person will wear a helmet while riding a bike with a sidecar attached. They must find residents willing to sell their used newspapers. Once they’ve collected enough newspapers to make a stack eight hands high they will receive their next clue. Hopefully they are Charla’s hands.

– Kandice is doing the task. Dustin reads that “old newspapers” means “Surat Khabar Lama” in the local language. They use a horn on the bike to get attention.

– Kandice yells it in the most friendly and Anglo-Saxon way possible. Cha Cha Cha screws up on the pattern because they did sixteen instead of fifteen. They have to do it all over again. Mirna has been approved and is painting the pattern to finish out this roadblock.

– Kandice collects a bunch. One guy says she shouldn’t have trouble collecting free newspaper. He helps her out.

MAN: You should have no problem with getting free newspaper.
KANDICE: No?
MAN: The way you look, yeah.

newspaper man

Even Malaysians prefer blondes.

The Chipmunks have now been judged as fake scheming b—-es and only helped because of their looks. So progressive in 2007!

– Charla wonders aloud where Eric & Danielle are. We are shown them eating cookies. Mirna finishes the Roadblock and they get into a taxi to drive away.

OSWALD: It’s been broughten.

Poor grammar. Although there is no way I could say the equivalent in Spanish. So I’ll just sit and be quiet.

– Eric & Danielle are still biting. Cha Cha Cha is done. They struggle to hail a taxi for several minutes. Danielle finds the magic cookie! Eric & Danielle immediately get into a taxi. Cha Cha Cha keep struggling for a cab until they find one.

OSWALD: We’re exhausted, the heat, and we’re emotionally drained.
DANNY: I’m not emotionally drained.
OSWALD: Do we love each other again?
DANNY: We’re not there yet. Let me have my space.

I knew these two were too mature for TAR to hold a grudge.

– Dustin cheers on Kandice.

dustin chipmunk

This is why they’ve had the nickname chipmunk for the longest time.

– Charla & Mirna have shown up. Mirna labels them as fake.

MIRNA: Who’s ready for a part time job?
CHARLA: It’s a bicycle. You have to do it.

The last time someone did two roadblocks in one round was TAR 3, I believe.

– Kandice completes the Roadblock and reads they must travel six miles to the mansion known as Carcosa Seri Negara. Last team to check in here must be eliminated.

It must be a non-elimination because there are four more rounds to go but only four teams left!

– Chipmunks exit as Mirna begins. Charla hates the Chipmunks are ahead. Mirna is struggling with the bike that she runs into the back of a truck. She has better luck with a stick shift rather than a bicycle.

Sadly my ability to drive or ride a bike is worse than Mirna’s.

ron mendoza

Ron would be disappointed in Mirna’s abilities to operate a vehicle.

Should we just hand the Chipmunks one million dollars right now?

– Eric & Danielle and Cha Cha Cha wonder where each other are. Eric & Danielle get to the roadblock. Danielle is doing it. Cha Cha Cha is there next. Oswald wants Danny to do it. So it’s settled.

OSWALD: Throw me off a horse I’m happy, throw me from a building I’m fine. But bicycles I simply don’t like them.

I really want to see Oswald thrown off of a horse and screaming in pure joy like it’s Six Flags.

– Oswald, Charla, and Eric all discuss about the Chipmunks’ move to yield Eric & Danielle. Eric calls them dirty hookers. Charla has an odd reaction when he says this.

charla reaction

Don’t. . .know. . .if. . .I. . .should be offended.

– Kandice refuses to do a paper job ever again. Dustin claims it was her first job. She can play piano and did paper routes? We’re learning a lot of personal info about Dustin.

– Chipmunks run into the mat. Dustin smells Phil.

malaysia pit stop greeter

Not as interesting as the Prince greeter in Poland.

– Chipmunks are officially first. They have each won a retro scooter. Kandice thinks a victory looks good as long as they keep up the pace.

– Mirna wants to take more newspapers from a woman and calls her a clutterbug. Danielle collects some old newspapers. Danny collects some too. Mirna receives a bunch more. A whole household as Mirna and kids take a bunch of newspapers. Danielle is helped by kids too. Danny takes more and more.

– Eric is unhappy to see Danielle because the stack is only half her size. Danielle insists it is more than half. Turns out she only has half the required amount. Away she goes. Mirna and a whole family of Malaysians push her bike. Mirna has three kids with her.

mirna lecture

MIRNA: Stay out of drugs. Go to schools. Be a professional, and be in good shape.

I listened to the first two at least. I get a kick out of a kid being on her cell phone as Mirna gives the lecture. Kids these days just don’t listen.

– Mirna is done her second Roadblock of the leg. She blows kisses and encourages the one kid as she leaves.

MIRNA: Win more medals. . .in school.

You told a Malaysian to be a Mathlete? I don’t know how I feel about that.

– Danny delivers the newspapers.

OSWALD: See why I wanted my big strong boy to do this.
DANNY: Quiet, Oswald.
OSWALD (looks at camera): He is unhappy today.

– Danny is missing about half. He says he is hating Oswald over and over with a passion. Oswald thinks Danny is upset because he is doing the Roadblock.

DANNY: Haaating you. . .Haaating you. . .Haaating you. . .Haaaating you. . .
OSWALD: Does anybody have a rope so I can hang myself?

Maybe they’re not mature after all.

– Danny collects some more. Danielle hits the curb and locks her bike. She finds it broken. Danny asks for a glass of water because of the heat. He asks for more from the same house but he claims she gave them all to “the girl”.

That really narrows down the suspects.

– Danny asks another man who is collecting old newspapers if he can buy them. He refuses to sell. He is in a scramble trying to avoid last place. Danielle is walking her bike slower than Rob in The Mole 2.

rob bike

If only Darwin heard that he doesn’t leave the house except for work!

– Charla & Mirna check into the pit stop. They’re team number two. Surprisingly, we hear nothing from them afterwards.

– Danielle is gathering newspapers from a house. Danny meanwhile is at a shop and will buy out the store’s newspapers. He’s done begging. It’s time to pay to avoid being Marked for Elimination. Danny gives the shop ALL OF HIS MONEY. Dang. The money should’ve been left with Oswald.

– Danielle convinces the house to give up a a ton of newspapers AND a boy from the house to push the bike all for the cost of. . .
.
.
.
Zero!

– Danny is the sucker of the Malaysian recycled newspaper industry as Cha Cha Cha has no money. They can’t even buy a coffee. That’s right. Not even a Subway coffee.

– DANIELLE: Every roadblock that is designed for a guy. . .I am doing.

ERIC: I do all the easy challenges.

eric mock

B—- please. Riding bikes and begging for newspapers, moving fish, and tossing a rungu are gender neutral. There’s two all-female teams who have done perfectly fine with this. Heck, Dustin rode a bike for a living.

But seriously, Eric gave you the option to lead a horse ten feet and find a letter.

DANIELLE: He’s a woman.

What about a smelly pirate hooker? Can he be that too?

– Both severely struggle as some newspapers fall. Danielle is first back and immediately complains the task as Eric laughs.

DANIELLE: Why am I doing this one?
ERIC: We didn’t know what it was.

– Eric & Danielle receive their clue. They made up their thirty minute Yield disadvantage as well as their mistake with public transit. Shows how badly Cha Cha Cha and Charla & Mirna performed this round.

– Danny is done and they have the clue. Too bad they’re last and have virtually no money. Danny has barely any money left as they hire a cab. Oswald pretends he is not angry about losing ninety percent of their funds.

DANNY: It was fine; I asked the lady to give me lemonade. I was dehydrated!
OSWALD: Wait, while I was worried about you, you were drinking lemonade?
DANNY: Yeah, I chugged it.

danny proof

Sufficient proof. Look at the glee on Danny’s face.

– Suspense music plays. Who will barely stay alive while the other is left? Suspense continues. It’s Eric & Danielle. They finish third despite the Yield. Danielle is the only player yielded in two seasons. Meanwhile Chipmunks are the only team to use the Yield twice.

DANIELLE: There was no reason for it.

I would agree. But how were the Chipmunks supposed to know that everyone would suck this round?

– Cha Cha Cha step onto the mat in last. Get on with it, Phil. We know it’s a non-elimination.

PHIL: Oswald & Danny. . .
OSWALD: You’re the last team to arrive.
PHIL: You’re not the first team to arrive.
(CHA CHA CHA laughs.)

Way to add insult to injury, Phil.

PHIL: You’re team number four.

– Why are they relieved? Oh right. There was five teams. Who was the fifth team?

OVER TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER

uchenna joyce airport

– In a 43-minute episode, Uchenna & Joyce manage to disappear for 31 minutes. That has to be a record. Sundown. Joyce refuses to quit. Uchenna wants to keep the spirits up and plug along until they catch up.

UCHENNA: Plug along until we catch up or we get. . .I don’t even want to say those words.
JOYCE: He doesn’t want to say it.

Seeing how they have never been defeated, Uchenna &Joyce cannot physically bring themselves to utter the word ‘eliminated’. So sad.

– They find the Batu Caves route marker. It tells them  to go directly to the pit stop. Uchenna understands what is happening. Suddenly they are at the mat. Phil breaks the bad news to them. Their 22 leg run ends. They talk about never being eliminated before.

JOYCE: He’s my life partner. I can’t imagine being without him.

Then the divorce came. Go look it up. I’m not joking.

Next Time On TAR: Chipmunks target Charla & Mirna. And Oswald & Danny take a wild ride.

Confessionals

* The first number you see corresponds to the player on the left. The second number you see corresponds to the player on the right. So Uchenna had six, and Joyce had four.

Uchenna.Joyce 6.4
Dustin.Kandice 7.5
Charla.Mirna 3.10
Oswald.Danny 11.0
Eric.Danielle 7.5

Team averages

* Everyone’s finishes divided by the number of legs they lasted

* FF stands for the team taking the Fast Forward

* N/A means a team was eliminated prior to the end of the first round for really dumb twist-based reasons implemented by production.

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
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
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
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – 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
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 Two FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None

Rank the Teams

1) Uchenna & Joyce

They will likely be the only winners who will get to come back for a chance to win two seasons. As I said before, their personalities and behind-the-scenes relationship issues made them a team too dynamic to keep out of All-Stars simply because they are winners.

I really don’t have a bad word to say about these two. They played twenty-two consecutive rounds of TAR before suffering defeat. I know they get a divorce after the race which makes all of the “we will work it out” montage at the end seem like dark humour, but hey, if that’s what needed to happen, then I support them.

Yes. Support people who appear on your TV screen for one hour total between the past six and eight years.

There has never been any winners as dynamic nor popular since.

The worst part is I think they would have absolutely slaughtered three of the teams this round if they didn’t risk going on the Frankfurt flight. It must have been painful to watch as teams switch Detour options multiple times and struggle at the Roadblock. Oh well. They’ve had their million, and the Frankfurt choice was their own fault.

And I find it amusing that they are invisible with more than 30 minutes of airtime to go in the episode. Thirty-one minutes. No team has suffered that fate. Even Steve & Josh’s elimination in TAR 4 was more merciful.

2) 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.

3) Joe & Bill

“We are just two gay grandpas!”

And yet they were villains for thirteen straight episodes in TAR 1. Come time for TAR 11 and their villainous reputation is essentially gone. In fact, the only team they fight with is the mildly “douchey” Eric & Danielle. And I don’t think there are enough Eric & Danielle fans for Guidos to be viewed as the antagonists once again.

They ended up to be bumbling buffoons this time. Their La Maquina error led to following Charla & Mirna but ditching them to make a run for the pit stop. Perhaps their only villainous act all season that was awarded a thumbs down by the crowd.

Otherwise they were seen as eccentric. More clothing was tagged with ‘Team Guido’. Their dog is mentioned more than any other dog in TAR history including Hachiko in TAR 9.

Blocking Eric & Danielle’s car, the La Maquina incident, falling over sixteen hours behind in multiple rounds, taking a shower using French cologne, discussing their thong wardrobe, flirting with Phil, Joe ringing a bell and screaming at a Kenyan airport, and failure to find a ticket dispenser all led to nobody taking them seriously this season. Ever.

The great thing about the Guidos is they can have fun when they are a million hours behind but still keep a very competitive spirit. This is much like how they handled the conclusion to TAR 1. Other teams such as Eric & Danielle or the Chipmunks don’t have the attitude to be entertaining when a million hours behind. They simply lose all energy and get humbled.

4) 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.

5) 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!

6) 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.

7) 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) Stone Town -> Warsaw (This is one of the few times where I can remember the day when I watched the premiere of this episode. My parents and my siblings were out of town. I was left alone in the house to watch TAR. Because I live in a house with five or six other people, the idea of being alone for a full night always freaks me out a bit.

When you’re thrown into a unique situation, all of your sensory experiences go to an extreme. That’s what happened when watching this episode. For a round where solitude and loneliness is the prevailing theme, I couldn’t help but feel moved by the editing crew’s techniques as we saw an unprecedented spread of teams. Chipmunks break the record for biggest non-Fast Forward lead on second place team, and I believe the biggest lead ever on teams who don’t get eliminated.

The travel from Zanzibar to Warsaw was such a grind for each individual team that production cut out a roadblock and cut down the Detour coverage in favour of showing the eight hours spent in a travel agency for teams or a tiny percentage of the thirty hours of straight travel that the trailing teams went through.

It is quite the mindf— when TWO-THIRDS of all teams sincerely believe they are stepping on the mat in last place, when really last place is 6-12 hours behind them. An incredible level of isolation is required for teams to make that assumption.

No other teams have experienced this type of mental attrition. Have seasons past been more physically demanding up to this point? Yes. But the level of mental attrition is nowhere near what we witness in this round and the one before it.

And the fact we are shown Chipmunks departing before two teams start the first task of the round is priceless. A Hall of Fame worthy episode of TAR. And we don’t even see a team get eliminated.)

2) 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.)

3) 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.)

4) 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.

5) Warsaw -> Skala (I didn’t expect myself to rank the episode this high. For some reason I always remembered this episode as being terrible.

But upon a re-watch, there is a lot of subtle gems in this episode that we really don’t see in TAR.

The biggest thing of course is a visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp. Perhaps the most memorable route marker in TAR history. It is the heaviest location TAR will ever visit. You can’t top Auschwitz. You just can’t. So for production to take that leap is really ballsy and should be rewarded. I approve of my emotions being challenged for once.

This leg was a night round for all teams. It must have been around 7pm-8pm when the first bus arrived at Auschwitz. It made for a leg traveled entirely in the dark which is something we rarely see in TAR. Can you think of a round in the past where all teams must play through in complete darkness? It is probably what made this round so freaky and eerie as a viewer. The light never comes.

The Detour was amazing. One task was easy to find but tough to perform while the other task was hard to find but easy to perform. Classic Detour logic that stems from the Tunisia Detour in round one.

Seeing Chipmunks and Charla vomit is a series highlight. Charla inducing vomit is hands down the grossest image I have ever seen in a round of any TV show.

Charla & Mirna bickering with each other and continuing to find unfriendly locals and also seeing more in-depth analysis of other teams helps build characterization to finish out the remainder of the season.

With several many crowning achievements why does this episode rank so low?

Because the massive equalizer was unnecessary. They could have at least made the teams travel to Auschwitz in three buses rather than two. I don’t understand why they went with two buses except to make Guidos and Eric & Danielle much more competitive.

The Intersection did nothing in TAR 10 thanks to production being too scared to do anything with it. What happens with the Intersection here in TAR 11? The exact same thing! There was zero benefit except force the Chipmunks to lose their fifteen hour lead entirely. Stupid stupid stupid.

Oh, and the Fast Forward offer is the easiest Fast Forward I have seen since production reduced each season to have only two Fast Forwards for another set of stupid reasons. Counting steps? Why can’t they eat two feet of sausage each?

And the roadblock was lousy. Lead a horse down a straight line? Unless you’re Joyce, this should be done within ten minutes and without any variance between the time gained or lost for each team. And the pit stop was twenty steps away? This was even worse than the unaired roadblock + run to the pit stop combo that we saw in the previous episode.

It’s like production is becoming lazy when finishing out a round of TAR.

6) 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.)

7) Skala -> Kuala Lumpur (This leg has never clicked for me over the past six years. All I ever remember is “Eric & Danielle get yielded” and “Uchenna & Joyce miss a flight”. I was genuinely surprised by the Detour and Roadblock tasks. The cookie task didn’t a ring a bell for me. Or the patterns. I’ll forget those tasks by this time tomorrow.

The Roadblock isn’t terribly memorable either. Collecting newspapers when nothing is on the line for any of the teams?

This round and the Roadblock task begin the “Cha Cha Cha self-destructs” storyline. Between the arguments and Danny making one of the dumbest financial decisions ever on TAR, this is the lone credit I give to this leg. I didn’t recall the Roadblock task, but I knew it involved biking and Danny wasting his money at some point.

I suppose when nothing is at stake the round falls flat on its face. The one great thing about this round is we do not have any equalizers. This round is played straight up which puts it above the worst legs of the season.

Otherwise this round is rather deflated. Perhaps the disappointment in Uchenna & Joyce being royally screwed was too much.)

8) 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.)

9) 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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