After following this season I hear him and Richard Parker intend to sign up for TAR Asia season 2.
And we’re back. May was a mini vacation due to a couple of new changes for the month (starting summer courses and SCWL 5) as well as getting my wisdom teeth extracted. Once extracted I was virtually immobile for five days, and then I had to catch up on everything I fell behind on those five days. So alas, I have recovered!
Previously on TAR: Five teams set out from Thailand’s southern coastline and made their way to Kalkata, India where Mardy & Marsio immediately had transport problems. After lighting a candle for Mother Teresa and shining the local shoes, it was time for a Bengali dinner. Next day tensions rose as Andy & Laura stole Sandy & Francesca’s great taxi driver. At the Detour they were the only team to choose the goat milk-carrying task. While most teams struggled to count beetle nuts, especially Sandy & Francesca, first to the mat were Andy & Laura who were in for a “surprise”. Five teams remain as the leg continues.
As the leg continues? I s’pose they wanted to change the wording for once.
– Intro time. Ernie continues his bout with domestic violence for the tenth round in a row.
– No introduction to Kalkata. We see Laura read the clue on the streets of a very congested area. Although that would be a redundant statement for Kalkata. Laura reads that teams must travel nineteen hours by train to Delhi. Once there they must travel to Delhi’s Red Fort that was built in 1648. Classic TAR 1 visit. In fact this is the second leg in three rounds.
– Kalkata was used in TAR 5. Now the ridiculously long train ride on a TBC leg is taken from TAR 7. What a mix of seasons to integrate into a couple of rounds. It’s like a fusion that lacks originality.
– Now it’s time for a really awkward exchange between Andrew & Syeon who are second to the rooftop as they wait to hear the news from Wu.
WU: Syeon & Andrew. . .
WU: You are the second team to arrive after I arranged your names from what is displayed on-screen.
So happy together. Whoa, Nike swoosh in plain sight.
WU: That’s the good news. . . .But. . .I have some bad news for you.
Hurry up, Wu. Andrew & Syeon need to pee. Malaysians are born with small bladders, didn’t you know?
WU: Andrew has AIDS.
Uh oh. I think Syeon just wet herself hearing the news.
Just kidding. Here’s your clue!
– Francesca screws up her count again.
FRANCESCA: I started counting 1, 2, 3, 4 instead of 2-4-6-8 but I don’t know if I did it from the start.
OH MY GOD LADY. SWITCH DETOURS.
Needs a drink. A protein drink.
– Mardy & Marsio are third to the rooftop. Marsio dreads running up the stairs to meet Wu.
WU: The race is still on. As you requested here is your next clue.
Uh, how can they request something when they are silent? Holy crap. Wu has telepathy! Maybe that’s how he knew Andrew has AIDS!
WU: Keep smiling you can do it!
MARSIO: I’m dying!
– Francesca guesses 1, 227. It’s correct. Francesca is relieved. Little does she know it will be completely irrelevant because there is no way they’ll allow teams to be on separate trains.
FRANCESCA: Wu will be awaiting your arrival. Do not delay.
I wish Francesca would delay to see how far production is willing to go to make this an equalizer.
– Wu greets Zabrina & Joe Jer. Wu hands them their next clue and some vocal chords for Joe Jer to use in her one-on-one camera time. Oh my word she gets to read the clue uninterrupted by Zabrina.
– Sandy & Francesca are the last team. Sandy is laughing.
WU: What happened with the beetle nuts?
SANDY : We just miscounted them. About five times.
Really? The problem with a counting challenge is that you couldn’t count them correctly? WHAT AN ANSWER.
WU: I’m sorry to tell you. . .this leg of the race is not over.
– Sandy & Francesca totally thought they were out. I’ve never seen a team in such a good mood knowing they could be eliminated. I suppose it’s the best way to go out. You can’t blame a cab driver, bad luck, or whatever Andy believes is sabotaging him at the time. Instead it’s because you can’t count from 1 to 1, 227 in the middle of a Kalkata market.
– I should note this is the second non-elimination that Sandy & Francesca have hit during the race. This time it’s even better because they get to keep the money they have accumulated since round two. Luck is on their side.
– Sandy reads there is a Yield ahead. Francesca also sees the forty bucks. She suddenly starts crying because of exhaustion. Long leg already I imagine.
– We see teams look for the train station. Numerous directions are sought. Syeon points out there is a rest room on the way to the train station. She really has a small bladder. More directions are used. Mardy & Marsio tell Andrew & Syeon about Andy & Laura’s taxi theft. I bet they will talk about yielding Andy & Laura for the sixth round in a row.
MARSIO: San Fran will yield Andy & Laura.
And there it is. Andrew & Syeon and Mardy & Marsio also vow to yield those faux-Asians.
So do we yield Andy & Laura or do we yield Andy & Laura?
SYEON: Nobody likes Andy & Laura. We should all have an alliance to yield Andy & Laura.
– Andy & Laura find the train station. San Fran are there as well and explain how raving about their cab driver in front of Andy & Laura was never a smart move.
Roomy accommodations for the next 19 hours.
– Francesca requests to have the ability to put her legs underneath the seat. Andy feels like he is a big target for the yield because. . .
ANDY: We’re a big target because we’ve finished 1st, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st consecutively. It’s a compliment really because it’s like they’re saying “we can’t beat you any other way”.
Or maybe it’s that other reason where they all think you’re a jerk.
– So Andy finds a shoulder to cry on as he contemplates what he will soon brand as an unlucky development.
David Stern has made it a rule that NBA players need to come off more sympathetic in the community. His shoulder can press fifty pounds.
Andrew decides to tickle Syeon’s feet for 19 hours to pass the time.
– Syeon says the train ride exceeded her expectation for comfort. Francesca woke up her section of the train. Andy expects them to yield him because of the way they are avoiding them. It could also be because they are avoiding Andy & Laura due to not liking them which happens to lead to a product of a yield.
– Train ride is over. I was expecting a poverty soliloquy. Teams pile into cabs. Zabrina is getting angry and exits the cab because a driver isn’t getting in right away. Teams yell at their cabbies to drive so they can get to the yield. Time to trigger an explanation from Wu.
Yield to the Tao of Wu, my dear reader.
– Andrew said that Mardy & Marsio thinks they will be too slow to the yield and made him agree to yield Andy & Laura.
– Mardy wants to yield Zabrina & Joe Jer. However, Marsio disagrees and thinks it will let Andy & Laura get away.
SYEON: Whoever gets yielded will probably be eliminated today.
Because Dustin & Kandice, Eric & Danielle twice, Joseph & Monica, Adam & Rebecca, Freddy & Kendra, Ron & Kelly, The Weaver Family, and Colin & Christie have all been eliminated on a leg with a Yield, while Dani & Danielle are the only ones to survive the Yield.
– We hear the chants of ‘yelde yelde’ as the only Hindi word that racers know. Lots of honking and crazy traffic. Mardy tells Marsio to stop because he sees the Red Fort. Teams are going bonkers as the taxi leads keep changing. Andrew & Syeon are the first team out, but couldn’t catch sight of the Yield board. It’s awful camera work because Sandy & Francesca magically appear on the Yield mat first without ever seeing them exit the cab.
Why the heck do they have the names swapped in writing on the board? My word. Does nobody think about logistics in TAR Asia?
– What’s funny is that Andy walks around to see the Yield board as Francesca slaps the Yield sticker on. They say nothing and walk away. It’s a Detour.
– Deliver or Donkey.
– In Deliver, teams must find their way to the Sunny International Spice Shop using only a Sony Cybershot as reference.
Sony must have backed up like fifty percent of TAR Asia’s finances.
Once there teams must deliver four sacks of chiles to Delhi’s oldest spice shops. There they will receive their next clue.
Note: Isn’t a Delhi spice shop a bit of a contradiction?
– In Donkey, teams must take one of the marked donkeys and load thirty kilograms of onions onto the donkey before transporting it to the onion vendor. Once delivered the vendor will hand them their next clue.
So really it’s Deliver or. . .Deliver?
– Sandy & Francesca choose to use the donkeys. Mardy wants to Deliver but Marsio insists upon the Donkeys. Mardy gets his way. Andrew & Syeon choose Deliver too.
LAURA: That’s a shame.
ANDY: For who?
LAURA: For them. That they had to play that way.
ANDY: That’s their weakness. They’re such a weak team that they can’t play any other way. They fail at challenges and suck at directions. They knew the only way they could get ahead was by using the Yield.
Ah. Well played.
– Andrew & Syeon enter the cab, but realize they have to ride by a different form of transportation (bicycle). Laura makes fun of Sandy & Francesca’s inability to count, but impersonates them as if Franny was a five year old.
I must have missed the episode where Sandy & Francesca do Jazz hands.
– Andy assumes being Yielded equates to intimidating other teams. Zabrina & Joe Jer show up to the Yield mat and wave to Andy & Laura. They choose to Deliver.
Watching sand fall is so exciting.
– Laura starts doodling on Sandy & Francesca’s picture.
FRANCESCA: I imagine horns up our nose.
ANDY: This picture was taken before I noticed the massive whitehead she grew this morning.
Whoa! No need for racism.
– Zabrina & Joe Jer switch to Donkey in the middle of their bicycle ride. The driver seems fine with it. Sandy & Francesca are first to start their task. Time to lead donkeys. Andy & Laura’s Yield ends. Laura wants to do Donkeys but Andy finds them unreliable.
FRANCESCA: I got within one metre radius of its backside and then it kicked out like five times. So I wasn’t about to smack that thing’s ass.
Since when was Francesca a baseball coach? Or was she making ass bad of a pun ass I did last week?
– Zabrina & Joe Jer overshot the Donkey task because they saw Sandy. They saw a huge crowd and imagine the racers must be around there. Sure enough the Donkey start is there. The driver takes Andrew & Syeon the wrong way but finally find their way. Andy & Laura are at the Donkey task. Mardy & Marsio show off their Sony Cybershot but get nowhere.
– A bunch of teams walking through the ultra-crowded streets. That’s a whole lotta onions. Andy manages to get his donkey to run a fast pace. Laura wonders how Andy convinced the donkey to move that ass.
– We get another frame of the Sony Cybershot in its own frame. Zabrina & Joe Jer worry they are hurting the donkey as they make it move. Joe Jer heard yanking on the tail makes it go faster but was too afraid.
Smack that ass.
– More Cyber Shots. Andrew & Syeon load up those huge bags. Syeon coughs. Andrew has a bottle of water in one hand. Andrew catches on the bags are loaded in the wrong place and that it is not the site of the bag drop. Them and Mardy & Marsio made the mistake together. Marsio asks a local to show both of them where to go.
– Laura pulled the tail of the donkey and indeed it goes faster. Mardy & Marsio and Syeon find handling the chile peppers to be absolutely brutal. Syeon was too weak that Andrew dragged it. Syeon is struggling to where she INSISTS she can carry it but Andrew’s dragging is outrunning her weak state.
– Joe Jer & Zabrina thoroughly enjoy being followed by a bunch of locals. That’s a first. Mardy & Marsio complain about the task some more but have the right bag drop. So does Syeon as she must resort to dragging. Andrew takes over a huge chunk of the work against her will.
ZABRINA: It’s a pain in the ass!
Intentional pun, no doubt.
– Andy & Laura overtake Sandy & Francesca and make fun of Sandy & Francesca merely walking along the way. Furthermore they make fun of the expression when Sandy realizes he needs to start running. During the run Sandy gives Andy a little shove.
Oppa Jonathan Baker Style!
– Andy responds in his typical condescending British tone, then they best be on their way.
ANDY: Slap you in the f—ing face for that s—!
– Sandy & Francesca are first to deliver the donkey and have the clue. They must go to Grey Goshala or something like that and make dung cakes which is used as fuel.
ROADBLOCK HINT: “Who’s ready to help out on the farm if you don’t mind getting your hands dirty”.
WHAT THE ROADBLOCK HINT SHOULD HAVE BEEN: “Whoever does this task will have a s–tty time”.
– Sandy and Laura agree to do this task. But first they have to navigate their way to the roadblock venue. Mardy’s eyes are burning to the point where he cannot open his eyes. Peppers will do that. Mardy & Marsio finish the task. They currently sit in third. Syeon looks DRAINED. Marsio volunteers Mardy to do the task.
– Andrew & Syeon are fourth to finish the Detour. Syeon says Andrew must do it because it’s physical. Well, he really got the short end of the s— stick.
If you mess up any more in this neighbourhood Julian, I’ll be making you go to Delhi where you’ll roll s— into s— balls and mount them against the walls to make s— cakes with their bare hands. Otherwise I’ll shoot you with my s— machine gun with the barrel trained straight at your heads because you two are a pair of s— apples to fall from a s— apple tree.
– You know this blog has gone low in its third year when it’s a bunch of puns involving fecal matter and backsides. I feel ashamed.
– Sandy & Francesca search for an auto-rickshaw as instructed in the clue. They are lost as they wander the streets. Laura calls for an auto-rickshaw over and over again. Every single team screams or an auto-rickshaw. Andy & Laura have one. So do Andrew & Syeon. Mardy & Marsio have one of their own as well. Andy & Laura want the rickshaw to stop because they see the flag. Suddenly they’re first. Holy dung.
– Mardy & Marsio exit the rickshaw and ask a few people for directions but see the flag. They’re second. Impressive. Marsio sees Andy & Laura. He finds their first place arrival to be a surprise. Andy announces their presence multiple times. Laura is annoyed that Andy is announcing it repeatedly and cannot do anything about it.
– Mardy hates the idea of having to mix the dung with water. Laura starts making dung cakes. Andy tells Marsio about the pushing incident. Francesca manages to utter “cow s—” uncensored. Good thing FCC doesn’t run TAR Asia. Andrew is at the roadblock and starts shoving s—. Mardy is making cakes too. Any cakes that fall must be redone. Andrew slams his against the paint and Andy tries to get them disqualified for it. Francesca utters “cow s—” uncensored again.
– Sandy & Francesca are fourth to the roadblock. Zabrina & Joe Jer look dehydrated in the streets. Sandy spills some dung in the streets. Francesca tells Andy she didn’t mean to shove him.
ANDY: Slam that against the wall like it’s Francesca’s face.
LAURA: That’s enough.
– Andy & Laura start bickering.
ANDY: We are shouting AT the frustration of the situation rather than directly AT each other.
Ah. Good ol case of denial I see.
Hey, is this annoying you?
– Andy & Laura calm down. He doesn’t feel they have annoyed each other on the whole race. Andy wants them to be big enough and wet enough to stick to the wall. That’s a lot of dung. Syeon complains about the heat. Everyone is dying in the heat. Must be over forty degrees Celsius. Virtually everyone takes a water break.
– Nothing like playing with poop in heat of over forty degrees. Andrew & Syeon are done. Syeon instructs him to wash their hands. Norwalk virus may be transmitted to the pit stop greeters otherwise. Sandy & Francesca finish the task in second. Suck on that Laura.
Jain Mandir Dada Bari is the official pit stop for this round. I could’ve sworn Wu said ‘abortion’ in his explanation. Andy & Laura finish the task in third. Mardy & Marsio in fourth. Every team is hailing a taxi. Plenty of honking on the road. Zabrina tells Joe Jer to not panic. She works faster because she is angry.
– Andy & Laura argue if a car on the road is indeed a taxi. Mardy & Marsio are inside a taxi. Zabrina & Joe Jer finish the roadblock. Marsio nearly fainted, he claims. Everyone has a taxi except Zabrina & Joe Jer and Andy & Laura. Zabrina & Joe Jer claim a taxi narrowly ahead of Andy & Laura. Zabrina realizes she may not be last after all.
– Joe Jer are like the aliens from Toy Story. They are eternally grateful. Francesca kisses Sandy on the lips. Luckily not the hand.
ANDY: Honey, your bag is back there.
LAURA: I thought you picked it up.
ANDY: No. Do we have to get it?
I hear bags with your passport inside is crucial. Oh well. Luckily nobody is that stupid to forget their passport all the way to the pit stop. Andrew points out the driver is going only forty kilometres per hour. Andy & Laura have a cab and are under the impression he is lost.
1ST: SANDY & FRANCESCA
– Francesca runs to the mat but complain her feet are hurting THROUGH HER SHOES. I must say it has to be well over forty for that to happen. How the heck do you grip a steering wheel in that heat? Sandy & Francesca have won a trip with Air Asia through Goholiday to an obscure resort island for four days. Wu asks about the fun they had with dung cakes. Francesca was impressed with his skills.
– Andy & Laura appear to take a cab on the road.
– Oh. They all have to take off their shoes upon entering the pit stop. That makes sense. It’s a temple. Mardy & Marsio are second. Mardy’s throat sounds REALLY dry. He sounds like Cuba Gooding Jr. when he is stranded in Rat Race.
I should note they are kneeling because their feet are hurting that much from the temple’s heat.
2ND: MARDY & MARSIO
– Andrew & Syeon lost a minute because they had to take off her shoes. Syeon moans over and over in pain and even sits down on a ledge to lift her feet up despite Andrew telling her to walk through the pain. I feel dirty for listening to her moaning.
3RD: ANDREW & SYEON
– Wu dismisses her from the mat immediately to put water on her feet.
4TH: ZABRINA & JOE JER
– They complained about the heat on their feet too. Zabrina crowned her Dung Man as her way of making up time. Andy & Laura respond to the pain on their feet.
LAST: ANDY & LAURA
Andy said his prophecy of being eliminated by a bad taxi would come true. They still had a ton of fun, are grateful of the experience, and exit the game on good terms.
And you know what else they should feel good about? That they share a record with Dani & Danielle! 😀
At this rate you get to be on All-Stars! ^_^
Next time on TAR: Amateurs tee off to be on par. Teams have some delicate moments on an icy expedition which they would rather not undertake.
ZABRINA.JOE JER 4.4
Rank the Teams
1) Andy & Laura
They attributed everything in the universe to bad luck including receiving a ticket for driving forty kilometres over the speed limit, but were entertaining regardless.
They had this odd personality where every team simultaneously hated them and loved them. Andy & Laura’s strategies such as re-arranging maps or stealing taxi drivers that other teams raved about were original and great, but playing too hard when it was unnecessary seemed to rub teams the wrong way. Why not just stop with the map trick?
Those 7th place finishes in each of the first four rounds were hilarious. It’s like they aimed specifically to finish seventh for the first third of the season. Even when they were in the lead and Laura suffered that ankle injury just short of the pit stop.
Speaking of which, Laura was a real trooper. We only heard her ankle injury referenced once or twice in the following six rounds. It’s not like that crybaby Dave where he would not shut up about his Achilles tendon every dang second.
For quotes that made me laugh consistently, and for having such low expectations for the locals and the racers around them, but somehow pulling an impressive streak of top tier finishes, I applaud Andy & Laura for being a great team to watch in TAR Asia.
P.S. They’re also the only team to have a rift with any of the other teams. If they were in the US version of TAR, they would be edited as a relatively tame team while Charla & Mirna would spit in their mouths like Roberto Alomar and the Weaver Family would pull that lever full of bibles and crosses on top of Laura’s head.
So congratulations on getting an unlikely villain edit. Well done.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
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
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
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
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
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
5th Andy & Laura 4.00
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
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
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.
Rank the Legs
1) Kalkata -> Delhi (I never expected the best leg of the season to come from an India episode. As I said last round, India episodes rarely do well anymore because it is the most repeated location in TAR history. How many India legs do we have by TAR Asia? Ten?
Anyways, the biggest issue I have with this round is editing. The middle of the episode with the Detour and Yield specifically. The editing is so dang confusing and impossible to figure out where everyone is until after the Detour has played out. That’s not a production error but rather an editing error.
I loved the tasks. This was no ordinary delivery–either pick leading a donkey and have onions on its back to make you cry or personally handle really heavy bags of chile peppers that want to trash your throat while simultaneously surviving the scorching heat.
Add in car emissions and a saturation of people in the streets of Delhi and you have chaos. Lovely.
The ten-episode story arc with the Yield finally paid off. We can argue if being hit with the Yield truly put Andy & Laura out of the race or if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time as they searched for a taxi to take them to the pit stop. No way to prove which argument is true.
The roadblock was original too. I wish we knew exactly how many dung cakes players needed to make, but I can assure you there was a lot. In addition we witnessed teams become exhausted as they lifted buckets of dung from the courtyard and up the stairs to smash it against the wall. Apparently this is a way to pass time in East Indian rural villages.
Then the final dash where Zabrina & Joe Jer pull the upset to take out Andy & Laura shocked the audience, and made the players ecstatic as the biggest threat to win the mil since 7th place was eradicated, had finally been eliminated from the game.
2) 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!)
3) 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.)
4) 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.)
5) 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.)
6) 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.)
7) 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!)
8) Krabi -> Kolkata (There have been several India legs in prior seasons of TAR, and I would say many of them fared much better. Because the bar has been set high for India legs, this round inevitably falls to a sub-par section of the ranking.
Oh, and the fact it is a TBC leg deducts several points as well. Do I need to repeat why I hate TBCs in TAR? Just make it a dang non-elimination or a temporary one instead of letting a team run scot-free.
All of the tasks had been done before, and pretty much all from TAR 7. Transport stuff on your head. Shine shoes. Eat a massive meal. Count stuff. Head to the rooftop to trigger a To Be Continued leg. I was waiting for Uchenna & Joyce to pass Andy & Laura during the milk transport.
Seeing Sandy & Francesca brag about their cab only to have it stolen was a highlight. But that was negated by the numerous equalizers.
This leg was fairly crappy for those reasons, but it could also be crappy because of the number of times they all had to run to the bathroom after that spicy and calorie-laden meal.
9) 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!)
10) 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?