TAR All Stars episode twelve ranking

Twelfth round

*Note*: The voiceover in the ‘Previously On. . .’ segment is not Phil Keoghan. His voice sounds too weird. Even for a Kiwi.

Previously on TAR: Teams raced from Hong Kong to Macau, China where Oswald & Danny learned a lesson in karma. At the Noodle detour, some teams struggled as Eric & Danielle made up for lost time. Oswald & Danny got lost. Dustin & Kandice were the first to arrive, and Oswald & Danny were last. But were spared elimination. Which one of these four teams will be eliminated TONIGHT? Yes, Phil emphasized that last word.

– The lesson is not karma but rather that Cha Cha Cha refused to ditch a poor taxi.

– Intro time.

– Phil returns to talk about Macau. It’s definitely his voice.

Phil’s Question: Can Oswald & Danny overcome their thirty minute penalty to make it into the Final Three? And furious after being Yielded, will Eric & Danielle knock them out of the race?

– Dustin & Kandice, who arrived first at 215pm, will depart at 215am. Freakin’ Chipmunks.

– Dustin reads that teams must fly to the island of Guam. Guam? All I know about Guam is that Seth Green’s character from Guam had his driver’s license issued there. Anyways, teams must fly 7, 500 miles to the island of Guam in the South Pacific. Once they land, they will drive themselves nine miles to Anderson Air Force Base. Well, this island is certainly Americanized. I sense a big American military theme this round. It’s the only freakin’ thing you can do in Guam.

– Once at Anderson Air Force Base, teams must choose a military escort to drive them to the Air Traffic Control Tower. Once here, they will receive their next clue at the top of the tower.

– Chipmunks go to catch a Turbo Jet to Hong Kong. They know this is an elimination leg and talk about how they were eliminated before. They say it didn’t feel good. No kidding.

– They luck out. There’s a 300am ferry.

– Chipmunks continue to dominate because Charla & Mirna do not check out until 250am. All because they could make noodles faster. Geez. Charla was hesitant to come back because she didn’t know if her body could handle the competition. She goes on about toughness. Ugh, is everyone going to foreshadow the Final Three journey? Charla & Mirna stand in line and barely miss the ferry. They are postponed to the 400am ferry.

– At 306am, Eric & Danielle check out. Eric yells at Danielle to run faster. They talk about how they refuse to go through everything without losing. Eric asks Mirna where the Chipmunks are. Mirna doesn’t know (even though she barely missed a 300am ferry knowing Chipmunks had a lead). So Mirna attempts a joke.

MIRNA: We thought they would be going to the airport to research flights, but Charla said they don’t know how to use the Internet.

mirna laugh

That’s the joke, right Charla?

CHARLA: No, I said I haven’t seen them using the Internet.

eric priceless

Priceless. I think Mirna has a better chance of getting Calvin Coolidge to say three words than getting Eric to laugh at one of her remarks.

– Chipmunks are in a taxi to the airport. They assume the other two teams are on the 400am ferry and are halfway to Hong Kong.

– 437am. Cha Cha Cha is last to exit Macau. Oswald jokes it’s a roadblock. That wouldn’t be a bad twist, come to think of it. I don’t need to tell you they are repeating the penalty and asking forgiveness for the bad karma.

– Hong Kong. Charla & Mirna get into a taxi followed by Eric & Danielle. Mirna asks the driver how to say airport.

DRIVER: Airport.

People forget that Cantonese words are closer to English at times than to Mandarin.

MIRNA: Airport. We need to get the right accent. It makes all the difference.

Mirna has a better chance of making Eric laugh at one of her remarks than getting the right local accent pegged down correctly.

– ERIC: Danny & Ozzy should be eliminated. . .because they suck.

Valid reason.

– Oswald buys tickets for the six o’ clock ferry. He assumes everyone else is at the airport. I guess they couldn’t make the five o’ clock ferry. Chipmunks are at the airport and see all counters open. Mirna calls the airport from her cab. Cathay Pacific is the fastest airling. Hong Kong – Tokyo – Guam. It departs at 905am and gets in at 950pm.

– Chipmunks book the 905am. Eric recaps someone is gone this leg. Charla & Mirna are at the other counter space booking the same flight. Eric & Danielle stand in line because there isn’t a third agent working the counter.

DUSTIN: You look very buff today, Eric. Your white shirt is see-through.
(Everyone else giggles.)

eric dread

Five heterosexual women and two homosexual men oogling him with no other racers to communicate with? Eric closes his eyes and prepares to click his ruby red slippers back to the beaches.

– ERIC: I’ll book the same tickets as they did.
KANDICE: The beauty of doing all the work. ‘I’ll have what they had’.

Kandice should be the absolute last person complaining about flights being copied.

– Cha Cha Cha are in a taxi and head to the airport. Charla knows the three teams are on the flight. It’s only a matter of Danny & Ozzy. Ozzy gets to the counter and finds out the flight leaves in five minutes. Eric hopes they don’t make it.

– Gates are closed. They can’t make it. Ozzy & Danny discover another flight that is going to Guam via Tokyo. However, the connection is only forty-five minutes in Tokyo. I suppose they are scrambling for the same flight from Tokyo to Guam.

– The three teams get into Tokyo. They all head onto the plane as they speculate Ozzy & Danny’s arrival. Another Danny & Ozzy running montage like we saw two minutes earlier. Sure enough it cuts to commercial.

– We resume from commercial. Danny & Ozzy have ran in ten minutes of TV more than Tom Cruise in movies. Danny & Ozzy make it. Eric is crestfallen, and explains for the tenth time why he hates Danny & Ozzy.

DANNY: We don’t know whether we landed in Tokyo or Alaska because we feel a cold breeze. Freezing cold.

Ah. Alluding to Eric’s hatred. Can we start racing now?

– Guam Time. Running montage as teams jump into marked cars. Danny & Ozzy are first. Charla & Mirna second. Charla & Mirna third. Chipmunks are last. Danny & Ozzy get to the base. It’s closed until 700am. We fast forward to sun rising and the other three teams are at the gates with Danny & Ozzy. Editing is wasting zero time with this round.

– Eric talks about Danny & Ozzy’s penalty and hating them. All of them rush to pick an escort. They introduce themselves to each escort. No idea why we need to know each of their names. Suddenly it’s a military tribute as we get to know each escort.

– Chipmunks are first to run. Eric & Danielle second. Danny & Ozzy third. And Charla & Mirna are not only last but Charla’s legs are at Scout Cloud Lee speed. Chipmunks are at the top of the stairwell and on the balcony. It’s a Detour.

phil plane

Phil looks so small compared to the biggest plane I have seen in my life. Was that the one used in the Survivor: Australia premiere?

– Care Package or Engine Care. In Care Package, teams make their way to a warehouse, and take part in an Air Force humanitarian relief effort. They will pick a box and fill it with five hundred Ezra Pounds of essential supplies for locals on neighbouring islands. Once they have five hundred pounds, they will board a C-17 cargo plane for a once-in-a-lifetime air drop training exercise.
air drop

For once inanimate objects, and not racers, will be skydiving on The Amazing Race.

– When they land, the loadmaster will hand them their next clue. The training exercise takes thirty minutes to complete.

– In Engine Care, teams must scour clean a B-52 bomber.

b 52

As opposed to a B 52 that bombs in concert. He needs to be scoured clean after spending time in a Love Shack.

– Chipmunks are going to clean a B 52. They comment on the beautiful base. Danielle thinks the plane is too big to clean. They run to start. Danny & Ozzy are cleaning the engine. Charla & Mirna are last to the clue.

CHARLA: We chose to do the humanitarian Detour because I like to help people that are in need.

You do know that the humanitarian package will be done regardless if you do it on a reality show or not, right?

OFFICER: Alright, if nobody chooses to do the Care Package, we’re going to burn all of these supplies.
RECRUIT: But Sergeant–

– Danny & Ozzy run to the task. Charla is running. Chipmunks are running. Eric & Danielle are running. Danny & Ozzy are running. The recruits coach what they will be washing. Charla & Mirna are running. Then run as they do this task.

charla bag

And that bag is HUGE! Why doesn’t Charla carry a bunch of smaller objects.

charla bag 2

Look! The box is almost as tall as Charla!

And what is the recruit saying? Put it in with some degree of love? The Few, The Proud, The Loving, The Air Force? As opposed to The Few, The Jerks, The Marines?

charla bag 3

Don’t throw it in like it’s garbage? But Charla & Mirna love helping people! And seeing Charla struggle with that bag reminds me of something. . .

gary bag

Good times with Gary Taylor. Wait, you don’t know who this is? I thought everyone knew Welsh Strongman Gary Taylor and his incident at the 1995 World’s Strongest Man where the wall was too high for him. How do you not know this?

– Danny concludes that this is harder than the other option. He sure loves to complain. The recruit is accidentally sprayed by Danny. All six of them are being yelled at by the recruit.  Charla & Mirna have loaded up five hundred pounds. They prepare to board the plane.

MIRNA: I’m sure you’re glad we didn’t join the Air Force.

I think that’s something we can all agree on.

– The recruit is the Simon Cowell of plane scrubbing as he picks apart everyone’s cleaning duties. Hey, it’s their first day.

– Mirna comments on how big the plane is and says it is something out of Top Gun. She prepares motion sickness bags. It is amazing these two have done two seasons of TAR while handling major motion sickness issues everywhere they go. You think that’s medication you would bring onto the race. The plane takes off.

– Back on the ground everyone is scrubbing the planes. No one is approved yet.

KANDICE: There is no way to charm the sergeant.

Well, fourth place is guaranteed if that’s the case.

– The recruit tells everyone that they do this every day. So this is where their tax dollars go.

– Charla & Mirna are told to prepare for a nose dive.

nose dive

Uh oh. It looks like Whitaker is the pilot again.

nose dive 2

So this is also where our tax dollars go. That is a huge freakin’ plane. I can’t even see Charla in the picture.

– Charla & Mirna’s package drops as Mirna compares it to a spaceship. The plane starts returning to base. Chipmunks are approved after charming the recruit. The only thing to stop them from being in the lead in Asia is a Fast Forward.

– Kandice reads that teams must drive themselves to the U.S. Naval Base twenty-one miles away. Once here, a naval escort will do all of the work and drive them to their next clue.

PRODUCER: Hey Bertram, here’s the route for Guam. The penultimate leg of the super duper all-star season. Wanna hear it?
BERTRAM: Fire away after I finish my cocaine.
PRODUCER: Okay, so they start off by having a major equalizer.
PRODUCER: Then they go to an AIR base.
BERTRAM: And then?
PRODUCER: Uhhhh, they go to a NAVAL base. Eh, eh? Really switching things up.
BERTRAM: I’m sold.

If two military bases are the only places they could go to in Guam, maybe TAR should have picked a different location.

– The two teams scrub vigorously. Lots of water wasted. Conservationists would not be happy. Eric & Danielle are approved. Today was a bad day for them to wear white shirts. Charla & Mirna are still inside a plane while Cha Cha Cha is still scrubbing one.

MIRNA (to officer): The only thing about it is we’re in a race. . .and if we can kinda do it fast?

I think a plane is already going pretty damn fast for how low of altitude it is. I would be too scared to tell a pilot to take risks with a huge plane.

– Cha Cha Cha are approved.
OSWALD: I’m bringing you over to tell my maid how to clean cause obviously I don’t know what to tell her.

Ozzy can afford a maid? I forgot how rich these two are. So why does ninety percent of the audience root for them to win a million dollars?

– A couple more teams are running. Ozzy has respect for anyone who does this. Charla & Mirna are last with their clue. Chipmunks are driven outside of the base. Eric & Danielle one second behind because we see them in the same shot. Cha Cha Cha is back to their car. Charla & Mirna find out from their driver that everyone else completed the opposing Detour task.

– Eric tells Danielle to look at a map. She guesses they are going the right way. This will likely be the first and last time she will be in charge of the map. Oswald directs Danny into the wrong place.

– Charla & Mirna pull over at a tourist centre.

MIRNA: I need help to get to the naval base. It’s a matter of life and death.

Isn’t that a bit insulting to, you know, actual Navy SEALs at the naval base who are in life and death situations?

guam bystander

Best. Bystander. Ever.

– A woman volunteers to drive and lead Charla & Mirna to the route marker. Charla tears up really wanting things to go her way.

– Chipmunks are at the Naval Base. They choose an escort based on the fact that she has the cutest outfit. Unbeknownst to the Chipmunks, it is her only change of clothes. Dustin comments on her cute nails. They have their clue. It’s a roadblock.

– In this roadblock, that person must take part in a naval search and rescue exercise. Using a GPS, the easiest device to use ever, they will walk around to locate one of four search and rescue training officers. The officer will then input additional information into their GPS chip providing a new course to a clearing. Once at the clearing, teams will call for an extraction and set off a smoke grenade signalling their location and wait to be picked up by a helicopter and brought to their teammate. Once here, they will receive their next clue.

– Dustin is doing the roadblock. Eric & Danielle are at the naval base. Oswald & Danny stop at a house and ask a guy to drive them to the naval base. He complies.

OFFICER: How are doing today?
ERIC: Crazy, sir. Crazy.

That is not an answer. “How are you?” “I feel crazy,” “Oh, that’s good.”

– Dustin is running. She explains the task Big Brother style. Dustin compares it to searching for an Easter Basket. Yeah, because I use a GPS to find my Easter basket all the time.

“Head west twenty steps to locate one of four of my siblings’ and mine’s Easter baskets. One is inside a stove. The other is under the stairs. Another is in the closet. And the fourth is behind the couch. Once teams find their basket, they will receive their next clue.”

– Eric has done all of his roadblocks so Danielle must do the remaining two. So it’s Danielle versus a Compass.

– Suspense is built between Charla & Mirna and Danny & Ozzy. Several seconds. It’s Charla & Mirna. Kandice is stunned. Charla is doing the roadblock.

Hold up. Charla is doing a roadblock that involves a ton of running? Really? The craziest thing is that Charla volunteered for it. I can’t think of another TAR task that has involved this much running. The only more ridiculous choice is if Charla wanted to push hay bales.

MIRNA: You should not press any buttons. You understand that?
CHARLA: Okay, okay.

Whenever I hear ‘okay, okay’ from Charla I assume it means that Charla doesn’t understand.

– Charla praises the military again. Danielle is lost. Charla has an error. Dustin rescues an officer. Instructions are programmed into it and is on their way. Danielle doesn’t see the pilot who is directly behind her in the bushes. Charla pushed the buttons and triggered an error. Typical Charla. The guy had to reprogram it. Mirna hopes Charla knows how to use it.

– Danielle finds the pilot. She’s now going to do the second half of the task. Dustin is in the clearing. Congratulations, you beat Charla and Danielle at using electronics and a compass. That’s like Bald Bull fighting Glass Joe in a boxing match.

– Charla touched the screen a second time. The officer has to re-program it. Race is back on. Danny & Ozzy are at the base and choose their escort. They fail to mention the non-elimination penalty. Thank god.

– Dustin calls for the helicopter. Danielle sees the helicopter overhead. Dustin throws the smoke canister. She heads into the helicopter. Dang that looks sweet. I am saluting the American flag as we speak. And I’m not even American.

– The three teams speculate on who’s returning. Suspense builds. We know it’s Dustin. Mirna and Eric are pissed. That helicopter ride probably costs a million dollars. Dustin reads that teams must drive themselves eleven miles to Fort Soledad. It’s a 19th century fortress that protected Spanish galleons from pirates. Now it’s the millionth military tourist site in Guam.

– Only eleven miles? This has to be the shortest leg of TAR this season. They barely travelled anywhere in Guam. Danielle is preparing to Guam. Charla doesn’t know how to follow an arrow. Danny & Ozzy are at the roadblock. Oswald is doing it. Danny thinks they are doing fine if the two teams are still at the roadblock.

– I assume Oswald will struggle too given how him and Danny couldn’t use a beacon back in Argentina. Oh that was so long ago. Danielle assumes she is lost.

– Charla touches the screen for a THIRD time. The recruit must fix it. Chipmunks talk about feeling patriotic as they pull into the pit stop. They run into the mat. Yep, they’re first yet again. Ten bucks says an all-female team winning for the first time will be mentioned yet again.

zabrina joe jer

Yep, no all-female team has won.

– Phil does indeed bring up the subject. He informs them they have each won an all-terrain vehicle for winning this leg. Kandice loves the toys they have won.

– I could watch Charla, Danielle, and Oswald searching the bushes forever with a compass. Oswald doesn’t see the pilot that is in the same camera shot as him. We go to commercial as all teams assume they are last.

– Charla goes through the grass. She finds the pilot in the grass. Now she searches for the landing zone. Danielle accidentally hit the side buttons and the officer re-programs the landing zone location. Oswald finds the pilot casually drinking water.

OSWALD: Did I pass you like a thousand times.
(PILOT nods.)
OSWALD: And you were standing here this whole time?

guam camoflage

Ah, the pilot has a better feel for comedy than Mirna.

– The three teams aim for the landing zone. Danielle finds it and is thrust into the helicopter before we know it.

DANIELLE: Kill me now.

The last words I would ever say in front of the US military.

– Charla steps through the grass. She falls.

CHARLA: No one likes to call the grass here.

Blame budget cuts.

One billion dollars/year on sweet a– helicopters?
Two hundred dollars/day to cut grass?

Keep the sweet a– helicopters? Wise decision.

– Danielle reunites with Eric. They have their clue. Charla is still running around. So is Oswald. Now Oswald is walking. Charla is running. And some more. Charla finds the landing zone. Oswald is one minute behind. Oswald makes perhaps his funniest observation of the season.


That’s why PBS has struggled recently with fundraising. Parents didn’t approve of “Po Chased By the Po Po” or “Tinky Winky Blasts La La to La La Land”.

– Oswald radios in for a helicopter. Charla is retrieved. So is Oswald. Suspense builds even though we know who is ahead. Forty seconds pass by. Maybe longer. It’s Charla. Danny accepts the fact it will be dang near impossible to make up thirty minutes. Danny hugs both of them. Charla & Mirna disappear into their car. Oswald returns.

– Eleven miles for Cha Cha Cha to gain a 30 minute lead on Eric & Danielle or Charla & Mirna. Eric realizes they are going the wrong way and turns around. Danielle freaks out at Eric that he isn’t going fast enough despite going the speed limit. Charla tells Mirna to turn around. Oswald & Danny think they have it.

– Suspense is built as 90s RPG music plays. It’s a unique soundtrack. After a while, Eric & Danielle step onto the mat. Like Eric could get lost. Leave it to Charla & Mirna. Eric & Danielle are second. They are the second team to make it to the final leg without winning any legs (Lyn & Karlyn being the first. . .for some reason I always thought it was Kelly & Jon who did that).

– Phil announces it is Eric’s second time in the Final Three. That’s right. 26 consecutive legs. And Danielle is just happy to make it past round five. Phil wants Eric to be proud of her for beating out a lot of tough  competition. Uh, I wonder who did most of the work in that partnership? Eric gives a political answer.

– UGH. Twenty millionth suspense segment this round. That’s when you know the tasks were lame. It’s super windy. Charla & Mirna are officially third. What the heck? Two all-female teams in the Final 3? Oh, their segment ends.

– Oswald & Danny hit the mat. They are last and eliminated. Both talk about it being an awesome experience.

OSWALD: We sincerely want Charla & Mirna to win.
PHIL: Why is that?
DANNY: Those ladies are a class act.

Oh hohohohohohohohohohohoho. Hohohohohohoohho.

charla vomitscharla vomit

Class act.

– No regrets from either of them.

OSWALD: There are many chapters to be written in the life of Oswald & Danny. You have one paragraph for The Amazing Race. Now two.
DANNY: Two chapters. We’ll give them two chapters.
DANNY: After doing this, I know Oswald will always be in my life. He’ll be pushing my wheelchair into the nursing home. A gay nursing home that I’m going to “open up”.
OSWALD: And hopefully by then he won’t speak so much that he won’t be interrupting me every time I say something.

– UFC promo time. We’re gonna win. It’s on. We better win. We deserve to win. We’ll win. We have the crowns.

– Next time on TAR: Dustin & Kandice’s relationship capsizes. The Final Three teams swim, drive, fly, and run to the finish line. Find out who will win the million dollars.


Dustin.Kandice 5.5
Charla.Mirna 6.7
Oswald.Danny 5.2
Eric.Danielle 10.5

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
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
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
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2
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 FF x2
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3!
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None

Rank the Teams

1) Oswald & Danny

The only team in reality TV that could get away with shooting an arrow at a dead puppy, and still be likable. Nobody expected them to be cast considering their passive racing methods. However, Phil recognized their on-camera potential and ability to make unorthodox moves while being great people in the process. An entertaining version of the Cho Brothers, perhaps?

However these two are still super competitive. They tore through the competition for most of this season. But Malaysia hit and suddenly they found themselves consistently on the ropes.

If any other team was in the Final Four for those 3 1/2 legs, I think all-stars would be viewed as one of the most boring seasons ever. It’s a lot of racing for nothing to happen plot-wise. But Oswald & Danny managed to do the following:

a) Lose all of their money
b) Agree to be in an alliance to oppose the Chipmunks
c) Sell their Yield for money
d) Piss off all the other teams
e) Be the only team who could joke about everything that was going on

Yep. Literally everything you remember about these rounds is because of Oswald & Danny. The other three teams have virtually zero memorable moments except Eric’s reaction to being yielded twice, and Charla & Mirna partaking in the ninja climb task. And per usual, Chipmunks didn’t engage the audience.

So Oswald & Danny were funny, likable, entertaining, competitive, and made major moves. This means. . .

Oswald & Danny made All-Stars the season that we all know and (if you’re like me) love the season that lives to this day in our minds. Oswald & Danny deserve to be the first team to have a third shot on TAR.

Oh, and these guys finished fourth in back to back seasons, yet ratio wise improved upon their stint nearly ten seasons ago. It’d be amazing to see them return another twelve seasons later. Will Danny be in his wheelchair yet?

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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.

6) 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!

7) 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.

8) 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) Hong Kong -> Macau (Were you expecting this round to be high? I wasn’t. This was a round of the race where all four teams were distinct and enjoyable to watch that this round could be two hours for all I cared. The dynamics where everyone hates everyone in a friendly manner makes the race comfortable to watch.

The tallest jump in TAR history was perfect for All-Stars. The Detour was a bland Detour but was saved by the funny bouncing and Danny getting uber angry. The Dragon option could’ve been made more difficult given that it was duplicated. Mini Mokes were amusing to watch as Mirna nearly gets hit by a bus.

The Yield era ends on its highest note ever. A Yield triggering money, betrayal, and creating the first team to be yielded in one hundred percent of opportunities available (Weavers don’t count because there was an unaired/unused Yield in the first round of TAR 8), and thus created one of the biggest underdog teams in TAR history.

Add in the usual distinct humour brought in by all teams except the Chipmunks, and you have yourselves the second greatest Final Four non-elimination episode ever. Can you guess the greatest? I’ll answer it while I get a wrench to repair my ox.)

4) 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.)

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) Kuala Lumpur -> Hong Kong (One of the strangest Final Four dynamics form, and it is all thanks to the All-Star nature of this race where we have seen each of these teams compete in more legs than virtually any other team in TAR history. Cha Cha Cha’s alliance with Charla & Mirna to oppose the Chipmunks left Eric & Danielle on the outside with no one willing to help them unless it was to push back their enemies.

This leg felt very inspired with life in Hong Kong. Traveling through crowded and confusing streets as teams battled ninjas on scaffolding, being filmed in a car crash, and kicking down doors at an abandoned building made this round distinct.

The money woes of Cha Cha Cha was edited in a great way as we see it constantly alluded to knowing it will play an important role soon.

I wish the tasks were made more difficult, though. This was probably the easiest challenge catalogue for any leg since the season premiere.

And a non-elimination we all see coming makes this episode a mellow experience.)

8) 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 footage from confessionals where teams discuss Rob & Amber to be used in the episodes.)

9) Macau -> Guam (The episode is funny from start to finish. But the one hour long commercial for the US military and the constant suspense building was unnecessary. The first task started by 700am and I bet they were all at the pit stop by 1200pm. It made me feel like the budget cuts were being done during all-stars rather than after. C’mon. This season is a celebration. A Final Four celebration should have been the most exhausting grindfest either. Instead it was just a bunch of planes and helicopters being shown off.

Still fun with this squad though. Luckily we have these four teams to entertain us. Because production certainly didn’t care.

10) 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.)

11) 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.)

12) 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.)

This entry was posted in The Amazing Race, The Amazing Race 11, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s