TAR Asia episode eight ranking

Eighth episode

tarsier

TAR, TARAsia, TARCanada, TARAustralia, what’s next? TARSier?

Welcome to the eighth episode of TAR Asia. Let’s get to it.

Previously on TAR: Seven teams set out from Queenstown, New Zealand and flew to Singapore where teams got down and dirty at a local car wash.

paris hilton burger

Not what Wu meant by getting down and dirty at a car wash.

Thank goodness TAR avoided a Carl’s Jr. sponsour during the car wash task as well.

– . . .and then head to the world’s biggest fountain. Then they were heading for Bangkok–capital city of Thailand. Teams saved valuable time by sleeping where they could and raced to find their next clue amongst hundreds of bells ringing above the city. They soon discovered a whole new world of language problems. Tension was definitely showing. But Laura and Andy navigated the busy streets of their home country and finished first. Zabrina & Joe Jer were last to the mat. Although they weren’t eliminated they must continue the race without any money. With only six teams remaining, who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. This is the eighth time I get to see Ernie slap Jeena in the face. Nothing like spousal abuse on national television!

– We are introduced to Bangkok. It’s busy and lively but the temples reflect the religious culture and offer tranquility. Everybody slept on a reclining buddha for the eighth round of the race.

– Andy & Laura depart first at 100am.

LAURA: You must travel to Krabby, Thailand.

krabby

Cookie, cookie. I knew TARAsia would make the move to traveling to the home of an anime character!

krabi

Oh right. That was going to be my second guess.
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Wait a minute! This served as the tenth leg in the original instalment of TAR. Why does such a small touristy spot get a curtain call in the TAR universe? It’d be like if TAR re-visited San Carlos de Bariloche.

– Once here they must head to Nopparat Thara Bay and find their clue amongst the longboats.

– Andy says it’s all about a plan. At 105am Andrew & Syeon check out. They discuss the Yield once again and how Andy & Laura would most likely yield them. Eight rounds in and we have not seen a Yield yet.

– Howard & Sahran depart third at 111am. Sahran doesn’t speak Thai. He has no idea what day of the week it is or what time it is.

So apparently it’s pure coincidence that they checked out at 111am.

– All teams are instructed to travel by bus. Sahran is frustrated communicating with drivers to take them to the bus station. He goes to extreme measures.

sahran draw

I know he is trying to draw a bus, but the fact he chose to draw it on a YELLOW background makes it look like a taxi. The taxi driver must be confused.

– Laura says two buses were “cancelled”.

Ten bucks says TAR producers bribed the officials to cancel buses to Krabi until further notice.

– So one bus leaves at 700am and the next at 730am.

– Sandy & Francesca start at 136am. Francesca believes everyone perceives Sandy as a physical threat. As if that has mattered thus far this season.

– Howard & Sahran confirm with Andrew that the first bus is seven o’ clock. Andy & Laura mock the decision of choosing between mosquitoes and a hotel. He says the word ‘mosquitoes’ funny.

– Mardy & Marsio ‘pit start’ at 155am. Their goal is not to be first or last until the final leg. Then strike.

MARDY: Strike. Like a dragon.

mardy dragon

That’s not a dragon! It’s. . .

the claw

The claw!

– Mardy & Marsio fork over a bunch of their money to buy lighter backpacks. Too bad they can’t drop a bunch of the weight they are carrying around their guts.

But seriously, why buy lighter backpacks in round eight? Couldn’t you just EMPTY your backpacks of the things you want to give away? Or are the backpacks made of really heavy material?

– They reveal that spending money on backpacks has reduced them to forty dollars. Not only are their backpacks lighter but also their wallets.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer depart at 327am. They were much further behind than we thought. All of the other teams left money behind for Zabrina & Joe Jer. It was enough for them to buy tickets at the bus terminal. Yet another begging montage and remarking on the generosity of locals.

ZABRINA: Does anybody else have any money to give us?

That is the worst begging technique ever. “Any last takers? Plenty of people have given us money, but it would be awesome if you could give us more so we could get our nails done! We’ve pretty much successfully begged from everyone in this terminal.”

– Andrew & Syeon and Howard & Sahran are the only ones on a bus prior to 700am. However this is only a local bus, and thus will be cycling back to the terminal. They did not find this out until talking to the locals on the bus. The two teams debate whether they should jump off right now.

– Sandy & Francesca head to a hotel. They went the Andy & Laura route. Suddenly they have returned to the bus station. Zabrina & Joe Jer show up too. The three teams board the bus.

– Andrew & Syeon and Howard & Sahran stick with their bus. It’s 657am. Andy jumps off the bus and checks to ensure it is the first bus. Francesca speculates the whereabouts of the other three teams. This bus departs at 700am and will not arrive in Krabi until 600pm. It’s an express bus.

– The other three teams were on the local bus. Their gamble assuming the next town would take them Krabi pays off. However, it works out to roughly the same arrival time as the 600pm bus. But it gets worse. This bus was supposed to depart at 900am, but was delayed two hours, and the journey will take ten hours. Therefore, this bus will arrive three hours after the direct bus.

Pray to the Equalizer God.

– Syeon is stressed that she is only competing with “three teams”. Howard & Sahran, Mardy & Marsio, and a third fake team she made up in her head. Apparently the bus they are now taking is told to not connect to Krabi, but others claim there is yet another connecting bus to Krabi.

– The three teams walk around the town of Chumpon to discover the bus to Krabi. After wildly walking around town they find out there is yet another connecting bus that will go to a town where they can catch one last bus to Krabi.

– Muang Tai terminal for the three teams on a wild goose chase. They have alas found a 230pm bus that will take six hours to get to Krabi. Mardy tells Marsio to stop eating in the ticketing lineup.

marsio eat

What else is he supposed to do while waiting? And I love how out of place Marsio looks here.

– Laura says the air-conditioned bus ride had great movies and music videos showcased. The trailing bus connects through Phuket before getting to Krabi. Wow. This is impressive. Highest number of connections to a bus ever?

connect the dots

The number of connections the three teams must make before getting to Krabi.

– Andy & Laura, Sandy & Francesca, and Zabrina & Joe Jer take a local bus to the clue. Andy & Laura complain they chose the worst bus possible, but somehow get to the route marker first. This doesn’t matter because. . .

national park

Yep. The Equalizing Gods are out in full force within Thailand’s borders. Eleven hours on a bus followed by more hotel time.

– A person on the later bus called a friend who is a bus driver that will meet the bus halfway to Krabi. The Phuket stop will no longer happen because the unknown bus driver pulled through.

SAHRAN: We are here in the middle of I don’t know but we’ve got our bus to KRABI!
MARSIO: I have no idea where I am. I am in Thailand for sure.

This is usually the start of most traveling horror stories.

– The trailing three teams get to Krabi.

krabi 16

16 hours of travel time with another twelve hours to spare.

– Syeon gave Mardy & Marsio one hundred dollars because they ran out of money. Mardy & Marsio reject rides in Krabi because of the expenses. Lack of funds is currently holding Mardy & Marsio back more than heavy backpacks ever could.

– The trailing three teams get to the park and see the closure sign. Mardy & Marsio beg during the night. Several rejections. Marsio declares it is his looks that holds him and Mardy back. We see Marsio fail to sell Mardy’s hat several times. Eventually they succeed, and wish to help less fortunate people after the race because of how uncomfortable they felt begging for money.

TAR has taught me that begging for money is really easy.

– 8am is here. Everyone has full wallets and ready to go. It’s a Fast Forward and Detour!

– Fast Forward. Teams must travel on a long-tailed boat to Pranang Bay where they will find a series of kayaks and their next clue.

Again, Fast Forwards that involve an additional clue box is extremely strange from my Western gaze. Not to mention that Wu says “Fast Forward!” followed by the racers reading the instructions before Wu interrupts them again to essentially repeat what they just said.

– Sandy & Francesca look at the Detour. They will head to an island that is one kilometre wide.

Smash or Grab.

In Smash, teams will smash open coconuts until they find one with red ink. I feel like they have done something like this on Survivor but instead there would be a key or a bag of puzzle pieces hidden inside.

In Grab, teams must snorkel to a set of one hundred buoys. Here they must swim underwater and find one of ten buoys that have a clue attached to it.

So you can choose a task that involves luck and strength or a task that involves luck and strength.

What a decision.

– Howard reflects on Ernie & Jeena’s decision to go for the Fast Forward and have it blow up in their faces. Therefore everyone is too scared to do the Fast Forward except for Andrew & Syeon. Andrew & Syeon think it involves rock climbing. Uh, okay.

– Mardy & Marsio are also attempting the Fast Forward. The Detour teams take in the sights. Howard is sporting a wicked bandana.

howard bandana

“Burn down the barbershop!”

Either I am a sucker for a 60s hippie revival or we are re-visiting Lieutenant LT Smash’s hippie fantasy. At least they’re becoming less frequent, sir.

– The Detour boats make it to shore. Andy instructs Laura to save her energy. Laura responds for Andy to not treat him like a child.

– Howard & Sahran, Sandy & Francesca, Andy & Laura, and Zabrina & Joe Jer are smashing rocks. Andrew & Syeon are going to the buoys. They elected not to do the Fast Forward after all despite being the ones to read the clue for it. That’s confusing. Shame on you editors.

zabrina coconut

Zabrina smashing the coconuts.

zazu

Zazu thinks Zabrina and the other racers have a lovely bunch of coconuts
All of them being smashed in a row
Small ones
Big ones
Some as big as your head

john cleese

John Cleese wonders who had red coconut!

-Mardy & Marsio arrive at the kayaks. They must kayak until they find a clue hidden amongst the caves. This clue is better hidden than a modern day hidden immunity idol on Survivor.

– Joe Jer drinks the coconuts as she smashes them. Her and Zabrina comment on Sandy’s brute force as a fountain is triggered each time he explodes a coconut. Mardy & Marsio struggle at kayaks. Andrew & Syeon have yet to find a clue. Teams contemplate switching the Detour.

– Andrew & Syeon have their clue. This leads Andy & Laura to switch. Mardy & Marsio claim to have a system regardless of flipping twice in the process. Andrew & Syeon have their clue. It’s an instant roadblock. Teams must head to a cliff face where one person will rock climb. Do you want to see what the lousy hint for it was?

kevin rudolf

Sadly this lame hint was written by Kevin Rudolph.

– Marsio instructs Mardy to row while he balances the raft. Andy quickly finds a clue. They are no longer allowed to complain about bad luck. Howard is forming blisters on his fingers. He stops to examine his hands.

– Sandy broke the hammer. Holy crap dude. He waits for a new hammer.

– Andy hopes teams are in despair and affected psychologically as they see two teams go into the water and have the clue instantly. Sure enough Howard does nothing as he looks into the water pleading to switch Detours.

– Sandy has the red coconut. Sahran turns the tables and asks Howard if he wants to switch after Howard was denied that same request only seconds earlier.

howard quit

I like it when teams do absolutely nothing productive as they consider switching Detours.

– Howard puts on the gloves in his bag and resumes smashing coconuts. Mardy & Marsio explore a cave in hopes of retrieving a clue. Howard & Sahran switch Detour options.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer start receiving blisters. They switch options as well despite smashing over half of the coconuts. Andrew & Syeon grab “#1” at the rock wall. What they thought would be the Fast Forward is instead the roadblock. Neither Howard nor Sahran are snorkeling. Howard & Sahran and Zabrina & Joe Jer are on contrasting sides of the water. Joe Jer finds a clue quickly. Just like that Howard & Sahran are last.

– Sandy puts on a bandaid as well as Zabrina & Joe Jer. Andrew is doing the roadblock. Andy is the other one doing this task. Andrew retrieves the clue.

ANDY: I am feeling it in my hands. Specifically in my hands.

You went to the same Confessional School as Mardy & Marsio.

– Andrew returns to the base. He reads teams must travel by boat to Koh Hong also known as Home Island. Here teams will find their next clue. There is nothing around.

– Andrew & Syeon exit as Sandy & Francesca enter. Laura is getting dizzy as she watches Andy continue climbing. Francesca thinks Sandy broke his hand opening coconuts but is doing the roadblock anyway.

– So what kind of progress are Mardy & Marsio making with the Fast Forward?

mardy marsio boat

Their kayaking skills match that of Chipmunks and Firefighters.

– Howard finally has the Detour clue after spending thirty minutes in the water. Andy has completed the roadblock. Sandy looks to be about a minute behind.

– Howard is refusing to do the roadblock because of his injured hands. This means Sahran has no choice but to do a task involving heights. He assumes he cannot do a roadblock and instead focuses on Howard’s temporarily injured hands.

– Mardy & Marsio have the Fast Forward award in their hands! It’s off to  Ko Pak Bia. That’s English for “another random island in Krabi”.

– Zabrina curses repeatedly as she attempts to scale the cliff in the roadblock. Sandy found the task easy.

zabrina climb

That cannot be comfortable.

– Howard declares he should have done the snorkelling Detour option all along. Mardy complains about being hungry. Zabrina retrieves the clue and scales back down. This has become a foregone conclusion. The bummer with these island resort legs is that it is impossible to screw up navigation unless it is a rare ‘read this map and do it’ task.

– Sahran is at the roadblock and, shockingly, is doing quite well. He is crying and resistant throughout, but is taking directions from the instructor at the bottom. I should note everybody who did this roadblock received mandatory directions from the instructor for them to follow. I guess we get to watch Sahran struggle for the last ten minutes. Sahran slips!

– Mardy discovers the pit stop is twenty minutes away. None of the other teams are at the random island of Koh Hong. Sahran finished the roadblock.

HOWARD: You absolutely amaze me. You did fantastically.

Adverb abuse.

– Andrew has his shirt off for the first time all season as he retrieves the clue from Koh Hong. They are told to keep riding on the boat towards the pit stop. Andy & Laura have their clue about ten seconds before Sandy & Francesca. Francesca has the ugliest bathing suit of all time.

francesca

So bad they had to blur it out.

– Sahran silently cries and cries and cries on the boat. Zabrina & Joe Jer retrieve the clue. Francesca is relieved that this is a direct path to the pit stop. Andrew & Syeon are taken to the wrong island. Bummer. Nothing they could do. Howard & Sahran take the last clue from the box. It’s going to be dang near impossible for them to catch up.

pit stop greeter

The pit stop greeter joins us in prayer that he will never shave his mustache for as long as he lives.

FIRST: Mardy & Marsio

– Howard complains about his hands some more. Three teams yell at their respective drivers that they are being taken to the wrong island.

SECOND: Andy & Laura

THIRD: Sandy & Francesca

FOURTH: Andrew & Syeon solemnly check in after THREE teams overtook them on the island mixup. Oh well. They are all within two minutes of each other and will be equalized.

– A bit o’ suspense.

FIFTH: Zabrina & Joe Jer

LAST: Howard & Sahran

Gone for good as the sad music plays.

SAHRAN: We’re closer as friends than we’ve ever been.

They were FRIENDS? And all this time I thought. . .ugh. I feel as dumb as when I thought Melody & Sharon were in their 40s.

Next time on TAR: Andy & Laura make a quick getaway. And teams go nuts trying to focus. The last thing is on their minds is to lose count. Teams try out the local savoury fair for a meal they won’t forget.

Confessional Count

ZABRINA.JOE JER 5.4
MARDY.MARSIO 5.7
SANDY.FRANCESCA 2.5
ANDREW.SYEON  2.4
HOWARD.SAHRAN 6.4
ANDY.LAURA 7.8

Rank the Legs

1) Kuala Lumpur -> Jakarta (Tasks were more original this round. None of them had been repeated from traditional TAR. A snake pit had never been done. Simultaneously singing while steadily pushing a cart had never been done. Searching Walkman music also had never been done. Oh, and I suppose the plate dance has similarities to TAR 10’s round one Beijing paddle dance.

Again, every team was easy-going. Did I mention how refreshing that is? The editing remains to be unsteady and inconsistent, but at the very least the music soundtrack had smooth transitions and were relevant to the scenes.

I should note that this was TAR’s first visit to Indonesia. Therefore, we need to credit production for picking an unvisited location.

Ernie & Jeena’s downfall seemed unfair because we were never given the proper criteria for how much soya sauce could or could not be spilled.  Although their terrible navigation throughout the episode made their elimination to be absent of any surprise. Sahil & Prashant claiming the Fast Forward based on a self-admitted gamble was perhaps the highlight of the episode.

Overall, I think this worked out better than the premiere. Just wish we knew what time that Air Asia flight left Kuala Lumpur!)

2) Sydney -> Auckland (This was a fun round. Andy & Laura were not medically evacuated which prevented this leg from being anti-climatic.

I don’t understand why teams were constrained to the same flight. That appears to be the rule all season long.

I enjoyed the trick of having the child on the swing right beside the ferry where teams landed. Seeing teams overthinking it as they ride through taxis, private vehicles, and walking around libraries was amusing.

Rugby and Rigging was a good Detour.

Ferries didn’t screw over leading teams like the ferries in Sydney did.

The biggest problem I have is why Sahil & Prashant were not given a clear reasoning for their time to be penalized. Why one hour? I have never heard of a one hour TAR penalty. In addition, they broke the same rule three times. Shouldn’t they be counted as three separate infractions? I do not understand this. I know teams likely checked within a twenty minute time span at the pit stop, but one hour was such a random number as if production picked a number that would guarantee a team’s elimination.

Scratchin. Muh. Head.

P.S. How many more Sony products will be showcased this season? I have a feeling we have several more to go.)

3) Bali -> Sydney (I was convinced Howard & Sahran would have been eliminated because of their storyline thus far. Their equal abilities to freak out and be fearful of many things was supposed to cost them the race, but it’s all for naught when it turns out to be a non-elimination.

Once again a team who takes the four hour penalty is the team that finishes last for the second leg in a row. That must be a fairly odd circumstance seeing how Sahil & Prashant were in dead last heading to the pit stop. Those fast ferries that were available to trailing teams really made for an unusual second half to the episode.

The Handycam task was original and neat regardless of the obvious sponsour plug. I wish producers told us the criteria that had to be met for a participant to be considered ‘out of key’.

Andy & Laura overcame numerous obstacles to keep their lead until the unluckiest thing of all–Laura damaging her leg, reduced them to their fourth consecutive seventh place finish. And with a non-elimination keeping it at eight teams, it is very possible for them to be seventh for a record fifth time in a row.

I feel bad for Howard & Sahran. They were in sync at the top of the leaderboard for the past 1 1/2 legs and suddenly fall (in a manner that differs from Laura) at a roadblock task that appears to be because of Howard literally not handling the pressure. A glorious fall which once again I wish led to their elimination.

I should note that this is the only season I can think of where three consecutive legs have led to teams all boarding the exact same flight. In episodes that are 48 minutes long compared to the US’ 44 minutes, we see more route markers in this version than the first eleven seasons of regular TAR.

Mardy & Marsio still dominate the edit as TARAsia’s Kevin & Drew, no doubt. We haven’t learned too much personal info from all of the teams. I think it has indeed been very task-oriented. Maybe this is because we have seen zero conflict form after the first four rounds. Four episodes without conflict would be unacceptable to American producers. We see previews of conflict erupting next leg thus I may change my tune for the next leg I rank.)

4) Gibbston -> Bangkok (Moar equalizers! Moar Caltex!

Washing the car in Singapore is a unique task. I mean, it was poorly thought out to have teams finish faster based on the colour they picked, but at least a sponsoured task was not completely lame.

We see the first repeat route marker in the TAR universe thanks to the Fountain of You–Wealth. Then Singapore ended up being irrelevant. I was expecting them to go to AXN Headquarters to go all out with sponsourship this round.

Bangkok was fine. Confusing streets and drivers provided a rare experience so far in the race after easier legs in Australia and New Zealand. Teams seemed truly drained as they slept in cabs and prepared to murder their cab drivers the following morning. The temples were neat. The Detour was fine.

But the ‘find a clue on the temple grounds amongst fake ones’ and ‘find a capsule with a clue amongst fake ones’ seemed unnecessary and repetitive. I think this round would have been better to be an elimination round because the anxiety and stress surrounding cab-racer communications would have made for a great end to the episode. But alas, it was the third non-elimination round of the season. Very average round.)

5) Kuala Lumpur -> . . .Kuala Lumpur (It would have been funnier to either have the pit stop at the pit stop of the stadium or to make them go back to the starting line of the race.

The route was fine for the first round of the first ever Asian edition. Production did a good job of avoiding any landmarks already seen in Kuala Lumpur throughout multiple seasons of TAR. The teams are all friendly and cordial which makes it an extremely unusual competitive reality TV show. Nobody screams. Nobody shoves another. Nobody gets into arguments with locals. This is the calmest and most respectful group of people I have ever seen. Well, until Sandy goes a few more days without his muscle milk.

The jungle trail to the pit stop is unique and inventive. The rest of the tasks were fairly textbook TAR. An eleventh team being cast would have been a better idea than a first round non-elimination merely because the non-elimination penalty is not very effective when teams cannot be devastated by the penalty.

If I had to describe the round in one word: Calm. Yes, I described a race as being calm after one episode. Shows how crazy those dang Americans are.

And whoever is in charge of timing the use of the TAR soundtrack needs to be fired. I think the editors of The Amazing Hunt do a better job with music.)

6) Bangkok -> Kingler (You know what’s always the most difficult part in the ‘Rank the Legs’ section each season? Anytime there is an island resort leg. Why? Because they have absolutely nothing in common with any of the other legs each season. No taxi drivers, everything is ‘go here and use some sort of water transport’ then a task that involves buoy checking/some other luck thing then followed by rock climbing prior to the pit stop. During this you just pray your boat’s motor doesn’t die.

If I compare it to other island resort legs I would say that it was terrible by those standards. I didn’t mind the equalizer (for once) because island resort legs rely on daylight for the whole day. However, I had major issues with the Detour, and found the Roadblock could have been altered to have more skill, strength, and overall brutality involved. Also, the Fast Forward task was extraordinarily lame. If you are reducing yourselves to three random Fast Forwards per season, how about putting the time and effort into making them memorable!)

7) Auckland -> Gibbston (Remember how we did Go Kart laps at the beginning and then a big bungee drop last leg? Well, let’s make them drive 250 kilometres. Then drive into a gas station and show them filling up their vehicle with gas. Then drive some more. Then either drive a few kilometres around a track or bungee jump. Then drive some more. Then guess what? Yeah. Drive on a Quad doing one lap. Then guess what?

I said GUESS!

Yes. We make them bungee jump.

Then drive some more. Then rig a penalty to not take effect this leg thus sending a less villainous team home.

Everyone okay with this leg design? I think there is a good balance and a variety of tasks to this leg. I do not see anything wrong with this picture. This leg is going to be the bomb!)

8) Jakarta -> Bali (Easiest ranking ever for the bottom place. This will never be topped for its terribleness. Not only is watching teams dig in sand for 30 out of 45 minutes of an episode, but everything else was so dang rushed that it was impossible to follow what was going on for the next three tasks.

I should note that I have never seen production screw things up as badly as they did with this leg. Scratch that. The hay bales from TAR 6 was worse because they could see it on paper how screwed over a team could get strictly by examining odds.

Here producers gave everyone the same forgiving plot of sand, and once they were awarded big boy shovels rather than the tiny shovels everyone disregarded for 3 1/2 hours, the task played out in a fair manner.

You know what’s the craziest thing of all upon reflection? Hours of operation were set up so that any team who completed the roadblock in less 90 minutes would be able to do the Detour and finish out the leg. If teams took any longer, they would be stuck waiting around until 900am the next day. Do you know how messy that could have been?

Or did producers ensure the task was impossible that everyone was guaranteed to be equalized right before the end? If so, wouldn’t they know how messy things would get with a four hour penalty being awarded right before an overnight equalizer? No matter how you look at it there wasn’t anybody assigned to logistics for this round. Is the carefree surfer attitude of Bali the reason for this?

Rank the Teams

1) Able Sisters

I don’t typically put the flirtatious team high on any of my rankings, but at the very least I put them above Ernie & Jeena. The Able Sisters weren’t flirts in the traditional sense. They didn’t come off as lazy or attempt a showmance. Their charm was strictly limited to begging money from rich businessmen at airports.

They seem like the most brilliant people on the planet. Not only did they quit a task, but would have been eliminated anyway. They probably saved an additional hour or two of digging achieving the same result.

2) Ernie & Jeena

One of the strongest teams who happen to be married for at least ten years. A fit older team is rare on TAR. Their biggest weakness was surprising because it came in the form of mentally navigating the confusing metropolitan cities. If it weren’t for navigation, these two would have fared much better. Bad luck with cabs also contributed to their demise.

Jeena’s Type A personality made for some entertaining interactions during their limited presence on the show. Both of them had a great sense of humour. Going from first to last in what appeared to be a very close four hours of racing around Jakarta may be one of the more unusual events to occur in TAR history. That twenty minute detour (as opposed to the Detour/task) was the difference between first and last. Usually it is not that narrow of gap from first to last in TAR’s earlier years.

3) Melody & Sharon

Neither of them have a memorable quote. Sharon seemed to be the crazier of the two thanks to her extreme level of perseverance at the beach digging task in Bali.

Confession: I thought these two were in their early 40s. Absolutely convinced and made the assumption for the six-episode run. You did too? Well, look their ages up on Amazingracewikia. Yeah. I was -way- off.

They are probably the lightest pair to ever compete on the race besides Carissa Gaghan and Austin Black. Yes, I would say they are even lighter than Charla.

I must say they were robbed in their elimination. They should have been saved due to a penalty for the second leg in a row, but I guess producers are too obsessed with Andy & Laura attempting to fulfill the villainous role.

I liked Melody & Sharon although it was clear they could not be a strong team after the Bali mishap. The fatigue was starting to show. At least Melody got to do a bungee jump and cry for ten minutes afterwards.

4) Howard & Sahran

I always have a tough time applauding production for  approving a team to be on the race who have so many liabilities that render them to be out of contention for the title.

In case you can’t figure it out, Howard & Sahran were cast because they added to the ‘diversity’ for the season and provided entertainment value. But it came at a price. Sahran flat out refused to do many of the height related tasks, and Howard had several phobias of his own that ensured this team could not make it far in the race. In fact, I think they beat a lot of close calls to stay alive for eight rounds.

Without these phobias they would be #1 on this list because they were great television. I understand why production cast them. But I think they really should have moved on to another team to take their spot on the show.

5) Sahil & Prashant

I have virtually nothing to say about Sahil & Prashant. They are from Mumbai. They are models. And much like Robb Zbacnik, they hate being beat by a bunch o’ rules.

Team Averages

Bulls— Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0
11th John & Scott 11.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
–D minus–
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
–D+–
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
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
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 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
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88
–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
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15
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
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62
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
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 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 Dustin & Kandice All Stars 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
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
18 legs Danielle 4.78
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 None
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3!
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 None
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None

* Note: I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.

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