Surprisingly, it’s a Canadian company.
Upon hearing this I tried to dig up one of Ron’s past professions, and I believe I found some of his handiwork. . .
Ronald’s programming job in the 80s.
Unnecessarily phrased sentences longer than they should be are his specialty.
But let’s proceed. Nine teams are currently in Netherlands. What crazy adventures will they be on next? Let’s find out.
Previously on TAR: Ten teams set out from Clifden, Ireland and flew to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. At the airport Ron butted heads with Nic & Don then clashed with his daughter Christina. Strong arms at the Detour and nimble feet at the roadblock propelled Lorena & Jason to the front of the pack. And in the end, married ministers Kate & Pat finished in last place.
Nine teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time.
– We’re introduced to Amsterdam and Dugerdam that is outside of the city. ‘Tis a village.
– Phil gives us the least surprising health announcement ever.
RONALD: Due to excursion while riding the cargobikes, Ronald developed a hernia and required medical attention at the pit stop.
Or it’s because he blew a gasket when dealing with his daughter and his daughter’s friends.
Ready for some queasy medical talk?
Between race interviews, cleaning clothes, and the hernia surgery, something tells me there wasn’t much time for Ronald & Christina to sleep, eat, or drink at the pit stop. Christina insists they are in the race to be in it.
Miyagi end great karate career because of hernia that cause discomfort when pooping.
– Lorena & Jason, who arrived first at 419pm, will depart at 419am.
The first flight arrived in Amsterdam at 1215pm on the previous leg. So the Detour, bus trip, roadblock, and pit stop were all completed in just over four hours. Producers must really hate being in The Netherlands. And I thought the visit to Ireland was short.
– Lorena “reads” the next clue.
LORENA: Fly to Ogan. . .doo. . .goo. Woo!
But seriously, because I played so many geography games when I was younger, I knew instantly what she was trying to pronounce and laughed hard. It reminded me of when teams tried to pronounce ‘Mauritius’ in TAR 10–one of those obscure African nations that people hadn’t heard of before.
Carissa Gaghan, back when she blogged on TARFlies, characterized trying to pronounce ‘Ouagadougou’ as “baby talk”. It’s true. You’ve got your ‘wah’ and ‘goo’. That’s the first thing I think of when I see Ouagadougou in print.
I don’t like baby talk. It’s eeeeeevil.
– Teams are only given the city name. They’re not given the country name, but like that would help. Ouagadougou and Burkina Faso are names people haven’t heard of in their lives. If you must know, it’s one of those West African speaking countries that has a huge chunk of its population speak the French language, and owes much of its political stability in contrast to other West African countries thanks to France.
Seriously. You look at West Africa and virtually every country is on the news for a civil war except Burkina Faso.
– Phil crowns it a small developing country in West Africa. Once they have made the 3, 000 mile journey, they must take a taxi to the train station where they will find their next clue.
– Jason is interviewed with Lorena. You know what he compares her over-the-top stress to in her presence? He says her freakouts are like the scene from The Exorcist when the head spins 360 degrees. Wow. He’s got guts.
Considering this is what she was doing only 36 hours earlier.
I expect backlash. But you know what Lorena does?
She laughs! I suppose you can get away with comments like these when you’re in first place. These comments would not be so funny when you are in seventh or eighth.
– Nate & Jenn check out eleven minutes later at 430am. Jason was truly awesome to gain such a big lead despite the first bus having only about twenty minutes worth of tasks to complete before hitting the mat.
You can see the inflection of the statement just by looking at her face.
Closer than Lorena. Our current leader for the time being.
– The cab trip is fifty Euros. Nate talks about how Jenn drives him crazy “sometimes”. Ouch. Women not getting a good portrayal this season. It seems every dating couple sans Rachel has a female that can be over-the-top crazy and hysterical.
– Nate knows if he screws up that Jenn will kick his butt for it.
JENN: Nate needs to watch his mouth.
On second thought. . .
– Jenn has coins in her hand but cannot seem to add up the denominations fast enough. Nate steps in to count the coins for her much to her dismay.
One Euro . .two Euro. . .
– Jenn knows she provokes him, but believes in her heart that she has been working at it. Their relationship must be going fine so far this leg.
If episodes were more than 42 minutes, I think we would have seen what led to this.
– 431am. Shana & Jennifer begin.
Holy crap. She pronounced it correctly. Dang. She hoists furniture, sweet talks donkeys, vaults ditches, and now can pronounce the name of an obscure city on her first try? Shana is breaking all of the blonde reality TV stereotypes.
– Shana wants to look better, but is willing to do it for one million dollars. Her partner may be one of the least compelling racers ever.
– We fast forward to 521am–the time of the 2nd bus group. Kynt & Vyxsin have their pit start. Kynt messes up on the first syllable.
Their hats are the same ones I wear to university once per month. Who knew a piece of my wardrobe would overlap with Kynt & Vyxsin.
– Vyxsin says she takes on masculine gender roles and will open the door for Kynt. No other examples given.
And based on their appearance, no other examples of masculinity are visibly present. That analogy went nowhere.
– Lorena & Jason get into the airport followed by Nate & Jenn and Shana & Jennifer.
– Azaria & Hendekea start 5th at 522am. Azaria messes up on half of the syllables. And in typical mildly offensive TAR fashion. . .
You THINK it’s Africa? Of course, how could I mix it up with Ouagadougou, Europe or Ouagadougou, Asia.
And TAR pretty much proceeds to beat us over the head.
HENDEKEA: We’re from Ethiopia.
Seriously. This is the distance between Ethiopia and Burkina Faso. Viewers are meant to interpret it as if Azaria & Hendekea have citizenship for both countries.
Being in a country thousands of miles away from where our grandfather was born is a bit of a homecoming.
I suppose Shola & Doyin’s distance beats out Azaria & Hendekea. It’ll be tough to top them.
They’ve never been big fans of me.
– Hendekea goes further to say that she feels comfortable in Africa because of this. It would be like me saying that I feel comfortable in East Los Angeles because I am from North America. Just doesn’t work like that. It’s generalizations like these that need to stop.
– The three teams use a computer.
JENNIFER: Flights from Amsterdam to O. . .whatever this place is.
Wow. Shana really does all of the work for the team.
– Jenn is responsible for using the computer on behalf of all six. Jason deciphers from the screen behind her that Burkina Faso is their destination. Like virtually any West African country, Air France is the best place to find available seats.
– 523am. TK & Rachel. It’s Rachel’s turn to take a stab.
RACHEL: Fly to Oh-Wa-Ga-Go-Dog-Oh.
They start giggling which makes my sister smile.
– TK says they aren’t letting things freak them out and enjoying their time on the race. TK makes his own attempt to read the name.
It didn’t go well.
– 546am. Marianna & Julia. They mispronounce it too but who cares.
– Marianna says Julia gets excited, and when she gets excited she does not think rationally. Julia agrees by saying she’s always. . .
That’s all I could decipher. All she does in the confessional is pretend she is shivering like she is ditch vaulting in her underpants during the middle of a snowstorm. I’m not kidding you. There is not a real English or Spanish word anywhere in what she says. This is why they don’t get airtime.
Sorry Julia but our camera battery is low. We’re going to re-charge it in Nate & Jenn’s room.
– Nic & Don check out at 547am.
DONALD: I’ll be 69 in a couple months.
– Don doesn’t consider himself old and why he’s letting it all hang out.
Well he did take it literal.
– Marianna assumes it is in Africa. They ask “for a cellular”. Nic is a normal person and borrows a “cell phone”. Both discover it is in Burkina Faso.
– The first flight leaves at 800am and gets in at 435pm flight. There is a 720am explained to Nate & Jenn but is full. Jenn requests to be on standby. Yep, one of those legs.
– The 2nd bus teams get to the airport.
– Ronald & Christina start last at 626am which they earned thanks to Ronald’s uncooperative behaviour. He begins by acknowledging how much of an idiot he was in the previous leg. He says it’s the deepest hole they’ve been in and admits he failed as a father.
Which warrants a black-and-white flashback. This debuted in TAR 11 on rare occasions, but sadly the annoying black-and-white flashback feature will be used with increasing frequency over the next few seasons. It becomes one of my biggest pet peeves.
Why is it annoying? Because Ron’s round two blowup was shown in the’ Next Time On’ segment for episode one, the blowup itself in the second episode, and in this episode’s ‘Previously On’ segment. It is annoying as a viewer to be given information we have received multiple times beforehand. At least show original footage from his blowup if you are going to recap it.
– Ronald knows he needs to be more uplifting and not criticize Christina.
– TK never thought he would be going to Africa. A bunch of teams receive their 800am tickets. So do Marianna & Julia, and Nic & Don without incident.
– Nate & Jenn barely make the 720am flight. No other team is on it. Marianna wonders if Ron & Christina will make it knowing they will have only minutes to make it. It’s 730am when they receive their tickets but still need to check in. The agent instructs them to run.
– Ronald tries to run but is reduced to a walk because of his hernia. But then picks up his run again. They barely make it. Both are sweating.
CHRISTINA: Is the hernia acting up?
I don’t think there is such a thing as a hernia ‘acting up’. A hernia is a hernia.
– Nate & Jenn land in Paris safely and board their connecting flight to Ouagadougou.
– The other eight teams are still in Amsterdam. Pilot announces a mechanical problem which he says will take hours to fix.
Thinks he’ll pilot the damn plane himself if he must.
– As it stands they will not make their connecting flight to Paris. Apparently there is only one flight to Ouagadougou from Paris per day. This means Nate & Jenn boarded the 720am for their own amusement. This may miraculously pay off in the form of a 24-hour lead that producers must find a way to equalize within the next two rounds.
– The second plane takes off. Nate & Jenn wait in Paris and get on the flight. Jenn pulls out ‘Merci’. So fluent. The other eight teams are seen running through the airport. Nate & Jenn are on a shuttle bus.
– Nate & Jenn are on the plane alone. Jenn tells every team she is glad they made it while she wears a frown. The other teams eagerly smile. It’s now a tie ball game. So how does TAR paint Ouagadougou in the opening seconds?
– Teams land and all hail taxis. Marianna & Julia are first into a cab. They are welcomed by a driver. Nate & Jenn second. Azaria & Hendekea third. Ronald & Christine fourth.
– Shana & Jennifer hail a taxi.
JENNIFER: Three thousand. We’ll give him five thousand and he’ll hand us two thousand in change.
SHANA: . . .
(Gets into cab.)
JENNIFER: Two thousand in change please, driver.
Revenge on Freddy & Kendra on behalf of the Western African Taxi Driver’s Union.
SHANA: Sir, you have change please?
JENNIFER: Shana! Relax! The guy isn’t going to take our money.
SHANA: Oh really?
Shana points out Jennifer’s naivety. Something tells me Jennifer has never been in a third world country and interacted with locals. Offering up money like that as a tourist is bound to be eaten up by locals who thoroughly enjoy screwing over entitled citizens of first world countries.
JENNIFER: This place is a little scary.
SHANA: Yeah, where are we going?
Now here is why I know for sure Jennifer does not enter Africa. . .
Her and Gina Marie should get together.
Just don’t ask her about insurance whatever you do.
– Marianna & Julia continue to enjoy their lead.
Being in the lead in The Amazing Race is like kissing your sister.
– They’re first to the strain station but miss the clue box. Nate & Jenn slip into the lead. Jenn reads they must travel by train to the African savannah where a guy on the train will call out the name of the stop–Bingo–which is a town in the middle of nowhere. And yes, the town is indeed called Bingo. Much easier to pronounce than Ouagadougou.
Once here they must search for their next clue.
Bingo! Bingo! Bingo!
– The subsequent teams claim their clue. Shana & Jennifer and their cab argue over the price of the fare. The cabbie insists they shall only receive 1, 000 Francs in change. It goes on for seconds until they give up.
Amateurs. He just made more money than he did in a year.
– They are told the ticket office is closed until 600am the following morning. It shall be an equalizer. Shana comments on the smell. Jenn runs into the most fashionable man in Burkina Faso.
Lookin fresh, sir.
– Night time is here. Drums play. Marianna & Julia dance. This perks Donald’s interest.
DONALD: Who’s the one in the middle?
Something tells me this is a substitute for Nic & Don’s time spent at the clubs back home.
DONALD: Well if I was a little younger. . .the sisters. They’re hot. There’s no doubt about it. They’re feisty. They’re hot. A little bitchy but not bad. A guy could learn to live with it.
Thinks he might be turning 69 two months earlier than expected.
And Julia pursues a sugar daddy. That outfit he had on ditch vaulting the previous day was a real turn on.
What an awkward dance.
I’d rather not know what he is thinking at this moment.
– Morning is here. The conductor calls out ‘Bingo’ and the teams board. Rachel comments on the bad smell on the woman walking by. So does Shana & Jennifer.
I wish my work attire was like that.
I swear TAR is obsessed with showcasing Africa as the continent of “Carrying things on your head” for the past twelve seasons.
Don’t know whether to find it offensive or not. . .
– The classic ‘Wild Africa’ soundtrack plays. Nate & Jenn watch a sprinting race outside.
Apparently the window is a portal to what is happening in the fields of Jamaica.
– Shana & Jennifer are disgusted by how many flies are on the train and how the locals bring in so many flies. Jennifer is shocked to see trash piled outside.
SHANA: Being on the train is beyond dirty. There was trash everywhere.
Not as dirty as your mouths. Did you know a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s mouth?
Unbeknownst to Shana & Jennifer, the Ouagadougou Sanitation Commission happened to be on strike when they entered the city.
So there’s trash everywhere.
The white trash certainly didn’t help the situation either.
– Shana admits she could not live this way because nothing is clean. Azaria giggles to himself, and Hendekea comments that Shana & Jennifer are not comfortable in West Africa.
– Azaria views the continent of Africa as home. Nate finds it incredible to see how people live. Holy crap. Nate & Jenn are one of the most respectful teams in the situation? They treat themselves and other teams like crap, but respond well to world travel. Ah, a redemptive quality. He is grateful to see how other people live and understand how lucky he is.
– Bingo is called. Somebody had a diagonal row from A4-O65–Oh, and Bingo is called because it’s the stop. Teams are confused because they see nothing.
Wow. Production wasn’t kidding with their budget cuts. No Detours, no Roadblocks. . .I suppose just wait for a team to quit before advancing to the next leg. Or let Shana & Jennifer keep playing until they become Lord of the Flies.
– So teams step off and are confused as they search for a clue box. Vyxsin helps Kynt down. Ronald’s hernia is affected by the big drop from the train. It’s a roadblock.
ROADBLOCK: Who’s ready to work up a big thirst?
– Teams must perform a task that local nomads to regularly: Milk a camel.
Oh boy. Camels are known as the most temperamental animal in every season of TAR. Now they have to milk the dang things? Please let Jenn do this task, please let Jenn do this task.
– Teams must fill up the bowl to the designated line. Once approved they must drink the milk from the bowl. Mmmmm, fresh. They must be careful not to spill the milk before being approved, as Phil warns. There is only so much milk a camel can give to foreigners.
I don’t bite. . .only spit.
– Task seems easy enough. But Phil adds another caveat to the task:
PHIL: If their camel runs dry, they must wait for all other teams have finished milking theirs before choosing another camel.
Wow. That’s cruel. So if your camel runs dry you’re pretty much doomed for this leg. Pray for non-elimination on a season without non-eliminations, I suppose.
– TK will do it. And. . .Lorena? Oh god. The only one more high-strung than Jenn? Animals are going to respond well to that. Azaria. Vyxsin. Nate. Jennifer. Julia.
– Marianna reads one of the tips in the clue.
So basically run up to them and yell in their ear to give you milk will do the trick. Frustration also helps.
He would not do well.
– Christina and Donald are the last two to choose to do the roadblock. Donald feels his youth spent on farms and being around animals will pay off this round.
DONALD: It’s where the older wisdom part comes in.
Wisdom? Traveling over a ditch in your underpants and dancing with a 20-year-old Cuban-American corrupts that sense of elderly wisdom for Donald.
– TK begins and congratulates the camel. Lorena begins to tug but the camel kicks her. However she was frightened the whole time.
LORENA: I get really stressed out under pressure. The fear that I felt I can’t even explain.
Is it too late to switch?
Probably thinks we’re all perverts for watching it get milked and have their utters yanked for several minutes.
– Lorena gets kicked twice. She screams each time it happens. Azaria finds the experience bizarre. Hendekea asks him to hurry. He snaps and says he can’t. The camel has a fun time chewing on nothing. I wish Jonathan or Victoria could have done a task like this.
– Jenn yells for Nate to hurry too. The camel kicks in response and milk is spilled. Nate does not shed tears. I think there’s some proverb out there about this exact situation.
– Jenn says he has to be gentle because he is handling nipples. Hendekea echoes her.
Jenn speaks as if Nate has problems handling nipples gently.
And is that the creepiest screencap of Ron you have ever seen?
– So how is Julia’s camel doing?
It looks like it is angry enough and ready to eat something the size of Charla!
She apologizes, but Julia is kicked. She freaks out and does her shivering noise and dance yet again.
– TK thinks being calm is the key to success. It is working for him. Vyxsin and Christina calmly sweet talk the camel. Much like the donkey in round one, this technique works. Jennifer of course complains about its smell. She hates the bugs and flies in it as well the milk’s warmth. I can’t wait for her to drink it.
Didn’t I sign up for TAR: Europe?
– Jason encourages Lorena. The camel moans and kicks her. She yells for Jason.
– TK is approved and drinks the milk in one big gulp. He found it grainy, sweet, and warm. He nearly vomited for a second, but receives the clue. He reads the clue. They must lead a group of four camels along a marked path to a camel drop-off.
Red rover red rover we call your four camels over!
– After handing the camels to the Tuareg nomads, they will find their next clue.
– Donald drinks the milk and is done. Nate says he is not even close to finishing. Lorena freaks out.
JASON: Take your time, baby! Don’t stress!
– Azaria, Julia, and Lorena continue to be kicked. Julia has all of her milk kicked out. Azaria is hurt by the camel’s toes. Ew.
– Christina is approved and drinks all of the milk. I am waiting for a milk mustache.
– Nic & Don are blindly following TK & Rachel. Nic knows this may not be wise.
– Christina comments that Ron is good with animals.
RONALD: These animals love me because I have their stench.
Ah yes. Another one of Miyagi’s lessons.
Miyagi defeat opponent by the scent of man who lack a working shower.
– Vyxsin consumes the milk. They go onto the path. Ronald wants to follow the leading two teams despite Christina’s protests.
JENN: C’mon Nate, Everyone is already done!
Except Azaria, Lorena, Jennifer, and Julia.
– Rachel realizes they are going the wrong way. Suddenly they go from first to fourth because the other teams follow suit and turn around. Ronald admits Christina was right, and says he must trust Christina’s ability to lead more than his own.
– Nate is done and drinks the milk. Hendekea is not impressed. Jenn sees the four teams all come back. Suddenly they propel to second as they are inches behind TK & Rachel.
RONALD: We’re on our way to Tempor—
CHRISTINA: Daddy, daddy, please–
RONALD: What that’s Camelese for saying–
CHRISTINA: No, that’s camel for saying ‘be quiet please’.
– Kynt & Vyxsin run with the camels. Let’s check in on Lorena’s progress.
– Hendekea sees Azaria drop more milk. Jennifer keeps yanking on the utters to no avail. Julia insists the camel cannot make a drop of milk. Lorena’s complaint?
Well, let’s just say things aren’t going well.
– Lorena asks Lord to give her milk. Nobody else is receiving any more milk.
And Jason hides his face from the fact that Jenny McCarthy is relevant on American television.
JASON: It was tough to see my girl go through one of the most horrific times of her life and I couldn’t do anything.
Meanwhile twenty feet behind him there are kids who are malnourished, lack a proper education, clean drinking water, and have little to no monetary funds. At least they don’t know who Jenny McCarthy is.
Purple Kelly wonders what the big fuss is about. She would LOVE to milk their own milk!
– Azaria and Jennifer switch to the camels of the teams that have finished. Julia’s camel elects to poop. That would fill the bowl quickly, but I doubt you’d want to drink it.
– Lorena gets kicked while heading to a different camel. Azaria fills it up quickly. Except somebody decides to run interference on the task in one of the most adorable moments in TAR history.
Oh boy! I want some o’ this! Yumyumyumyum.
– Azaria drinks it and has the clue.
– TK & Rachel have the clue. It’s a Detour. They must choose between two educational experiences. Teach It or Learn It.
In Teach It, teams choose one of the students in a classroom who does not speak any English.
But don’t tell Chris Tucker that.
– They will teach them the English word for ten common items.
A Death Mobile.
– When they recite all of the English words in one sitting, they will receive their next clue. The teacher will hand them their next clue.
– In Learn It, teams will learn ten words of the primary African language used in the region. Once the teams recite the ten words in one sitting, they will receive their next clue.
– Teach It seems easier because kids are already in learning mode as opposed to adults.
NIC: A kid would be a lot smarter right now than either one of us on no sleep.
And that too. Granted a kid’s calorie intake is probably much lower than the teams in the past 24 hours as well.
– Ronald uses the sleep reasoning too.
– Teams wander around for the school. They all end up in the same incorrect location. Jennifer’s milk is approved and consumes it. Shana was impressed that Jennifer didn’t complain.
– Azaria & Hendekea opt to Learn It and have a kid lead them.
Which for some reason is not against the new rules of “you cannot have locals lead you directly to a location”. Maybe this only refers to vehicles or hired help. But even teams would find a local to walk them around for the day. Perhaps the rule is that the second you enter a vehicle or exit the vicinity that you can no longer use that person?
I don’t know, but I wish the rule would be explained better for the audience.
– TK & Rachel begin to teach as well as Ronald. Ronald may be the worst teacher ever.
RONALD: Skyscraper. Like King Kong.
I love how he tries to say ‘King Kong’ in a village without electricity and talking to someone who does not speak English. I would be so confused.
RONALD: Motorcycle? Like you know. . .
RONALD: Like in Super Hang On, you know! Sega Genesis.
– Nic & Don teach. The kid has a tough time with ‘motorcycle’.
– The kids teach Kynt & Vyxsin and Azaria & Hendekea.
HENDEKEA: We approached it systematically. You memorize five words and I memorize five words. We’ll be done in a minute. It doesn’t take a brainiac to memorize ten words.
Or in this case five. You need less than half of a brainiac.
– Nate & Jenn are learning. They see the word for ‘girl’ and have it written down. But Jenn can’t read her own writing and is forced to look. Nate is flabbergasted that neither of them can read the writing. Jenn shushes him which frustrates Nate.
– TK teaches ‘skyscraper’. Nic continues. Christina teaches too.
JENN: Things where you need to be patient I am definitely better at so I’m going to use that to my advantage and let him slide on those things.
I love how Nate must space out during the interview to avoid a response.
– Azaria & Hendekea think they have it. They fly through it. 10/10. Made up thirty minutes just like that. They read they must follow a marked path to the outskirts of Bingo to the pit stop. If they can follow a marked path, they’ll be good. A storm suddenly hits.
Jason thankfully has his Wild West bandana or else that is A LOT of sand swept into the eyes and mouth.
Even the locals seem frightened.
– Julia is huddled by her camel. Shana is unhappy about the weather.
Even the camera has a tough time picking up contestants.
Just when her day couldn’t get worse.
– Azaria & Hendekea hit the mat. . .
With their friend as well. I love how the kid stands expressionless while the other two celebrate like mad. Something tells me he has never seen TAR.
But shakes the hands of the pit stop greeter. In a town like Bingo, the pit stop greeter could be his mother for all we know.
You can play with your new friends but please be home by dark, oui?
1ST: AZARIA & HENDEKEA
They have won a 5-night trip to the Elbow Beach Resort in Bermuda. Phil says his funny pronunciation of ‘spa’. Azaria feels the target is bigger on their backs.
– Julia advises her camel to calm down. She finds a way to rub her as she receives more milk. She drinks it and proceeds to cough and vomit it from her system. They exit. Jason tells Lorena they are done. But surely Lorena will keep herself together?
– Marianna & Julia are in eighth. Their only buffer is the woman on her knees crying. Everyone else is halfway done the Detour or, in the case of Azaria & Hendekea, already finished the leg. So what brilliant thing does Julia do?
JULIA: Lorena, try the ones that have a baby with them!
Julia points out the best way for her to lose what little lead she has and be potentially eliminated.
– Lorena follows the advice. Jason tells her to keep her legs back. Suddenly she is flying through the task.
JASON: Be one with the camel.
– Lorena is done and drinks it. Jason kisses her. Lorena asks him if he still loves her. He says ‘no’ and walk in silence.
– Ronald & Christina’s kid goes through all ten words. They have the clue. Ronald is confused and cannot find the marked path.
This is amazing. Teams have had to do absolutely no work in terms of navigation this round. It is marked all throughout the village but yet continue to struggle. What more do they freakin’ need?
– TK & Rachel’s kid succeeds. Nate & Jenn successfully lean the ten words. Nic & Don’s kid mispronounces ‘bridge’ but recovers. Hey, nobody could pronounce Ouagadougou. Kynt & Vyxsin learned all ten words. They decide to follow the four teams ahead of them.
That is three teams I see in that picture. TK & Rachel, Nate & Jenn, Kynt & Vyxsin. Nic & Don see the group of three teams. Ronald stops to put on an extra layer.
What’s his reasoning with a pit stop only a couple minutes away?
An old kind of a young spring chicken? There are so many different types and flavours.
– Nate spots it and the teams all run. Ronald & Christina run too. And surprisingly Nic & Don. Nate is well ahead of everyone and screams at Jenn to beat Rachel. Kynt & Vyxsin are going fast too but are about five seconds behind.
Uh oh. This is quite the collision.
For the first time ever in TAR history, the pit stop greeter is tackled by multiple members of the task. Even Phil had a tough time getting out of the way. It’d be funnier if she fell into the mud. She is sturdy.
– Phil numbers them off.
Maybe next time have tasks a bit further apart or make them have a higher discrepancy in how long it takes to complete them.
2ND: TK & RACHEL
3RD: NATE & JENN
4TH: KYNT & VYXSIN
– They celebrate but two more teams to join the party.
5TH: RONALD & CHRISTINA
6TH: NIC & DON
This is easily the biggest pit stop gathering on camera. I am curious to see them all check out within seconds of each other next leg.
PHIL: I cannot believe after all those thousands of miles that all of you turned up at exactly the same time here on the mat.
Blame TK & Rachel and the teams following them without looking for arrows after the roadblock.
– Shana & Jennifer decide to teach ten words. Jennifer mimes ‘cowboy’. Marianna & Julia declare they are second to last and assume aloud that Lorena & Jason are stuck at the milk task.
MARIANNA: It sucks, but we have to look out for ourselves.
–TWO MINUTES EARLIER–
– Jason start running. Marianna & Julia refuse to run and make loud noises. Lorena & Jason continue sprinting.
– Shana & Jennifer’s child succeeds. Marianna finds the camel footprints funny. Marianna & Julia see Lorena & Jason are directly behind them. They decide to run as well. The clues are ripped open simultaneously.
7TH: SHANA & JENNIFER
– Jennifer cries on the mat.
Phil revives his 80s hairstyle.
– Shana wonders why Jennifer is crying. She doesn’t want to be eliminated and it means so much for her to stay in.
– Marianna & Julia and Lorena & Jason search for the school. Lorena & Jasona re first inside. Both teams choose to Learn It. Jason tells Lorena to shush because he thinks he can memorize all of the words.
I can’t imagine coping with this much stress while learning ten new words. How in the world do you keep yourself focused to ensure these words reach your short term memory?
– Jason says he is ready and they are first to be tested. Marianna & Julia decide to review the words a couple more times.
Now try testing yourself in front of twenty kids, cameras, and a teacher for a shot at a million dollars.
– Marianna & Julia go to be tested. Marianna fails Short Term Memory 101 and decides to give new instructions to Julia in the form of “Think before you come up with the answer”.
So not only does she give her new info, but tells her to stop and think before giving an answer that relies on short term memory.
– We see the showdown play out. Both teams are stuck stuttering. They fail on the words a couple times and try different variations. Lorena & Jason are done what appears seconds before Marianna & Julia. Julia sees Lorena & Jason elsewhere off-screen. Both teams look for the path.
– Jason sees the marker and they run with their bags. Marianna & Julia do the brightest action all round and drop their bags during the run. So who gets to the mat first?
By far the youngest person in a town called ‘Bingo’.
– Suspense is built. So who wins the showdown?
8TH: LORENA & JASON
Lorena does a victory pose for the camera.
Zangief has taught her well. . .and Zangief wants his royalties.
– Phil asks what went wrong with the camels.
– Jason says she is emotional because she is passionate about life, doing well, and passionate about pleasing him. In more ways than what we see on camera, no doubt.
LAST: MARIANNA & JULIA
– They are eliminated.
MARIANNA: It’s like we had a black cloud hovering over us the whole race.
They are stumped as to why they are eliminated due to bad luck instead of their inability to drive to airports, do tasks well, and not keep quiet when giving vital help to the only team that was behind them during the leg after everyone else was on the verge of completing the round.
– They love each other and couldn’t imagine running the race with anyone else.
JULIA: I know I couldn’t have a better teammate.
You finished ninth. Quit with the denial.
Next Time on TAR: FOX collects its royalties and a present-day TAR staple makes its series debut.
Rank the Teams
1) Kate & Pat
Much like Pat & Brenda, Peggy & Claire, and Lisa & Joni, the significantly older and non-athletically built all-female team crashes hard very early in the race.
This is a very likable team that received a ton of pre-season hype for being Lesbian Ministers. You can see why it’s not controversial in their town is because they are both outstanding people.
They are Ministers who never brought God into the race. They understand God has zero investment in The Amazing Race. Sorry Uchenna & Joyce.
They showed some life in their second/final leg of the race, but there just wasn’t enough airtime to give them the proper treatment. They were good for reactions to the conflict of other teams.
Unfortunately they never had the opportunity to do much more than that.
And did you know Pat is sixteen years older than Kate? It is probably one of the biggest age discrepancies for a dating and/or married couple in the history of TAR.
Come to think of it, I can’t think of a time when TAR casts in this atrociously poor demographic after this season.
Shame. They just need to cast the strongest team they find in this demographic regardless of their lacklustre personality. Just take the dang risk.
2) Ari & Staella
Surprisingly, they don’t speak much in the premiere. It’s more of other teams talking about them, and Nate & Jennifer occupying a huge amount of airtime. Their edit was shoved to the side for most of the episode.
Those one-episode storylines in reality TV when players assume they will take the game down but get knocked out 45 minutes later (or early on when you’re 15 minutes away from your house) is always a great way to see contestants go down. It’s the reason why you like to tune into reality TV in the first place– because of the characters.
Karma and/or donkeys: 1 Ari & Staella: 0
3) Marianna & Julia
Somehow Marianna & Julia will be re-shown in a Switchback task in TAR 22 over five years after their under-the-radar journey on the race was complete.
Their only relationships in the race seemed to be with Nic & Don and Lorena & Jason.
They couldn’t navigate themselves much like Meredith & Maria. Marianna excelled at ditch vaulting to keep them past the second leg was the peak of their abilities.
No matter how many equalizers there were during the first three rounds, these two always magically found themselves between 7th to last in a matter of minutes.
They were nice enough people. Too nice to the point that they were responsible for eliminating themselves from the race due to helping a desperate Lorena get out of a hopeless situation, and also responsible for Donald ditching Viagra.
Their legacy will forever be that they attributed to Donald’s character edit.
And after this re-watch, they will be primarily known to me as having the Shivering Sister. That’s one of the funnier things in TAR that are tough to catch on your first viewing.
Rank the Legs:
1) LA -> Tony Clifden, Ireland (One of the funniest TAR episodes ever. From the starting line where Nic & Don stalled the rolling of the credits, to Ari’s infamous proclamation, teams taking several wrong turns, funny trips, funny falls, ironic quotes, inappropriate insults, and the word ‘bitch’ being used in about a hundred different ways, this was a very memorable opener.
The tandem bike was neat. The ‘sign up for X charter that leaves in the morning’ continued, and you know you can expect entertainment when high-strung teams are required to lead donkeys. Production has learned that the best way to eliminate a mean-spirited and/or crazy team is to give them a donkey. Look at Jonathan &Victoria.
Ari & Staella are the perfect first boots for this season. They came into the game thinking they were 150 to 200 percent certain they would win, but alienated themselves so early on that they were stuck all alone to complete the task and eliminated in the blink of an eye. I admire their ability to take their elimination rather well.)
2) Ransdorp, Netherlands -> Bingo, Burkina Faso (I think this beats the Dutch leg in the previous round because it is a new country, and they spend time in a town called ‘Bingo’. It is surprisingly not a retirement town.
The camel milking task, while requires a great amount of skill, may be controversial due to the fact that not all camels are equal and some may have more milk than others This unfairly led some of the teams down the bottom of the pack while others rose to the top.
The number of marked paths was frustrating as a viewer because it made teams travel in packs together and follow the first team to spot a marker. That’s what happens when every route marker is within a two mile radius.
Lorena’s freakout may be one of the season’s highlights. Ronald’s hernia was referenced a bit much for a single episode. Between the train ride and the moonlight dancing, we had a lot of character development for each team. Every team benefited from this character development with the exception of Shana & Jennifer who did not particularly enjoy being in West Africa.
The school task was a TAR first. It was creative and had a ton of skill involved. Personally I think ten words was too easy and should have been bumped up to fifteen given the fact they could make multiple guesses.
The leg was unique and had a good concept on paper, but its shortcomings can all be explained by the screencap of five teams huddling around the pit stop mat.
Good, fun, and creative leg overall, but definitely could be re-worked in the future to make it more well-rounded.)
3) Clifden, Ireland -> Ransdorp, Netherlands (I wish this round required more teamwork. The only way you had to have teamwork is if you chose the biking option for the Detour.
It was a short distance for teams to travel, and the whole task seemed to take no more than four to five hours in round two. I will give points for the ditch vaulting for being amusing even if it could be done in five seconds.
The round was completely character-driven. Everybody played in their necessary roles and made the round a treat to watch them play.)
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Ari & Staella 11.0
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.)
10th Kate & Pat 9.0
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33
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
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77
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
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Monica & Joseph 3.50
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
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
* 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.