TAR 12 episode 4 ranking

Fourth episode


Old MacDonald unfortunately was never visited on the previous leg. The regional anthem shall remain unknown to Americans.
And welcome to episode four of TAR 12. Down to eight teams. The same number of teams that the previous season, TAR Asia 1, had after three legs despite only starting with ten teams.

It’s leg four. TAR 6 and 9 had a non-elimination within the first four legs. Will TAR 12 keep up this newfound pattern? Let’s find out!

Previously on TAR: Ron suffered a painful hernia. For once “X teams set out for Y location” to begin the recap. I honestly can’t think of the last time it started off with the mention of an individual rather than the generic number of teams and the destination city. Did Ron’s hernia really warrant that?

ron watch

Oh no. He’s watching me. Shhh. We never met.

ron hernia

Hey Christina, do you think this hernia makes my gut look big?

Rest of recap: Teams travelled to Burkina Faso where they had to milk a camel. Some teams coaxed their camel to provide milk while others had more difficulty, including Jennifer doing something questionable to her camel a handy in the process.

jennifer camel 2


. . .Siblings Azaria & Hendekea quickly learned ten ‘African’ words during the Detour. Yes. Ten words that represent all of Africa. And they came in first. Lorena & Jason caught up to Marianna & Julia and were neck-and-neck at the Detour.

jason farrell

Looking more and more like Colin Far–er, Colin Pharrell by the day. Yeah. He changed his last name to a ‘Ph’ prefix because he’s phat like that.

In the end they made it to the mat narrowly beating the sisters. Eight teams remain. . .who will be eliminated. . .next?

– Intro time. Okay. I know I have made A LOT of sexual innuendo references as of late. Probably it’s such a young group of people and there are couples who speak a bit more liberally than most teams of the past. Blame it on the California mactors. I assure you that this episode will match the ‘PG’ rating of the show.

– We are introduced to Burkina Faso. The typical ‘yeah yeah yeah’ soundtrack that plays at every pit stop in Africa is used. Viewers must assume that is the anthem for the whole continent. It’d be like if they had the Bottom of the 7th Inning stretch song as the soundtrack for every North American pit stop in TAR. Just too many generalizations.

In fact, there are a couple more TAR Africa stereotypes in the span of a few seconds.


Lots of adorable kids following  a camera operator on a rural road.

mary scary

boy scary

Remember this?


And soccer played in a field.

soweto orphanage 2

And this too?

– Phil says the country is “famous” for international festivals.

burkina drums

Ah, I see it’s the Donkey Konga-inspired band.

instrument elephant

And a statue of a man with a really long elephant trunk.

– Phil also says the country is great for art and filmmaking. Ah yes. I have seen many o’ Burkina Fasoan (Fasian?) films.

central plaza

And whatever the heck that uneven statue is supposed to be.

– We are finally introduced to the village named B-I-N-G-O. Phil says Bingo is its name. . .

phil interrupt


Phil really likes to interrupt their staring contests. I mean, you do know they have to make with what they have in the village, right?

Meanwhile I played Devil Survivor 2 and Project X Zone today while lazily sleeping on a couch and watching Arrested Development as well as Gilmore Girls throughout the day.

Phil’s Questions: Will TK & Rachel’s calm and steady approach to the race keep them moving ahead? And will last place test Lorena & Jason’s relationship?

What? TK & Rachel are integrated into Phil’s key questions? The least electrifying team on the race gets special mention by Phil over Ronald & Christina, Nate & Jenn, Nic & Don, Kynt & Vyxsin, Shana & Jennifer, and Azaria & Hendekea? Wow. That is a major warning sign that they will probably be eliminated.

tk cringe

TK shares my thoughts exactly.

lorena bent

I bent my wooki!

– Azaria & Hendekea, who arrived at an undisclosed time and likely stayed until after a storm was complete, will depart first at 7:58am. Long pit stop.

– Azaria reads teams must follow yet another marked path to a nearby village where they will find the tribal chief known as Dos Equis Saga. Hey, that’s how it sounds.

dos equis

Stay thirsty, my racers.

tribal chief

In Canada, this outfit would be mistaken for a chef at Ricky’s. Maybe Phil misunderstood him that he is the Tribal CHEF rather than the Tribal Chief.

– The chief will give them a clue and a gift of generosity.

AZARIA: You have zero dollars for this leg of the race.

Ah. Travelling like a local!

– His plan is for him and Hendekea to claim first place every leg until they are awarded the million dollars.

Eh, I doubt it. Brother-sister teams are incapable of dominating TAR.

AZARIA: With Hendekea’s physical limitations.

HENDEKEA: Physical limitations like I’m a re—-ed person I guess.

Yep. The R-word was starting to be censored on cable television at this point.

no h8

Ought to be more politically correct, Hendekea.

Azaria still doesn’t back down.

AZARIA: You know what I mean.

HENDEKEA (chuckling): Yeah, I got a gimp leg.

Physical limitations? Like this, Azaria?

hendekea soccer

Like letting in a goal with the worst defense ever?

azaria lose

And. . .this?

Azaria is the biggest jokester since Hank Azaria.

hank azaria

I bet he can’t even master the use of a knife.

– So we skip over Azaria’s stupidity and Hendekea spots the route marker. She sees the man in blue. They receive a clue and a gift. What’s the gift?


A cock. Well. I am afraid I’ll have to rescind on my ‘PG’ promise I made at the start of the episode. That was quick. You may as well skip over to when Shana & Jennifer start the leg if you’re into that sort of humour.

chicken bag

Ever wondered where the term ‘cock block’ comes from? Well, it was a form of netting made in an African village that stopped your cock from escaping out into the open as you interact with locals!

– Hendekea reads that teams must travel over one hundred miles by taxi to Bouda Pelegtanga and search the town for their next clue.

PHIL: As a sign of respect to their tribal chief, teams must keep their newly acquired gift to successfully complete this leg.

chicken bag 2

“On second thought, I think being adopted by Colonel Sanders in the land of opportunity will be more comfortable than this.”

colonel sanders

He welcomes you into his bucket with your friends.

HENDEKEA (reads): No chicken no check-in.

AZARIA (echoes): No chicken no check-in.

We heard the lame rhyme the first time, Azaria.

– Azaria orders Hendekea to keep up with him. He doesn’t seem to understand that handling a cock in her hand is slowing her down behind Azaria for once.

azaria angola

Angola Prison Rodeo? Now that’s a shirt that has me curious.

– TK & Rachel begin at 8:12am. So Azaria & Hendekea made up roughly twenty-five minutes over the teams at the Detour on the previous leg? Impressive.

– TK thinks putting more pressure on themselves will corrupt them. Nate & Jenn depart next. Jenn is happy with finishing top three for the past two rounds. They want the victory this time.

– Kynt & Vyxsin are next. Yep, all one minute apart.

KYNT: Typically when you see Gothic-oriented people on the surface they look distant. But we’re both genuinely sincere people and has been to our advantage so far.

I have never found Gothic-oriented people to be distant. The only three Gothic-oriented people I know did the following:

a) Get expelled from high school for pyromania
b) Beat up a substitute high school drama teacher in the hallway
c) One that went through a Goth phase. It was actually kinda hot.
d) Ended up working at a sex shop upon graduation.

But no, distant never came to mind.

– Another minute passes. Ron & Christina check out. Ron says their relationship is improving and that fifth place makes them feel vindication. He hopes to change more dramatically, and Christina adds she will continue to be more patient.

– Ronald discusses his hernia while running and says he will warn Christina if his hernia starts acting up. They slow down to catch their breath.

RON: My way–
CHRISTINA: Stop talking cause your voice is irritating–

His hernia? I am curious if the sentence just stops right there or not. We will never find out, sadly.

– Another minute. 8:15am. Nic & Don. Nic carries both bags as they run. Don can’t keep up the pace after a moment though. Nic likes having a grandfather like Don because he likes that he has a teammate that possesses sixty years of life experience.

nic don bags

Imagine if Don was in the water challenge from Survivor: Palau, Cook Islands, and Caramoan with the bags in the water?

phillip fall

He might still beat Phillip in that challenge though.

DON: I can’t run with the 20 and 23 year olds, but I’ve got forty f—ing years on him. I must’ve learned something during that time.

nic don confessional

Yeah, he taught Nic something alright. . .

donald dance

Like how to be a sugar daddy.

– TK shushes the chicken as they put it in the bag. Nate & Jenn’s chicken initially gets away and the kids laugh, but they recover.

TK: That’s what you call a chicken in the bag. Nothing out of the ordinary.

tk chicken

Is he trying to suffocate that chicken? I always wondered would happen if you brought a dead chicken to the mat this episode.

I mean, you respected the chief’s wishes. You brought the chicken to the mat. It just happens to flop onto the mat and is dead when you take it out of the bag. It’s the past the twitching point too.

“Hey Phil, I brought the chicken.”
(Dumps chicken out of the bag and onto the mat. THUD.)
“I. . .I see.”
“So do we get to win our ATVs as the winners of this leg of the race?”
“Well. . .yeah. I guess so.”

dead chicken

Yep. That’s a dead chicken alright.

dead chicken 2

Or is it? This may be the one time where I approve of a To Be Continued leg.

RACHEL: Get it away from me.

TK: What? It just wants a little kiss.

tk chicken 2

Whoa. They actually have a personality, see?

– Azaria & Hendekea are inside the cab. I have a feeling production ordered eight taxis to be ready and waiting in Bingo by 8:00am. I can’t imagine locals in a village either having the money nor need a taxi so frequently that eight of them have to be available. I imagine everything would be done by bike or train.

AZARIA: Africa is like a different world, you know?


Burkina Faso to Azaria.

HENDEKEA: It’s kinda like Ethiopia.

lalibela 4

ron mendoza

It’s kinda like Baghdad.

– Azaria & Hendekea talk about how they travelled to Ethiopia together. She loves the feeling of being in Africa because people are happy and warm.

– Vyxsin has a chicken. So does Don and Ronald. Ronald talks about dinner and is freaking out. They all have their clues.

ron chicken

Christina is forced to look away as Ronald is having a fun time playing with his cock out in the open.

– Twenty minutes later, but what seems like hours considering the shortened gap in departure times, Shana & Jennifer embark. Yep, I hit up a thesaurus.

– Shana says they are good friends and bicker back and forth about things. Jennifer stands and cheers when she hears the chief has a gift. They have the chicken without any incident. Inside the cab, Shana calls the chicken ‘Phil’ because he resembles the spiky hair that Phil had in the rainstorm last episode.

phil hair

shana jennifer chicken

Leave it up to Shana to think associate a chickenhead when looking at a cock.

– Azaria is ready to search for their clue and is frantic as Hendekea runs into an unusual direction.

azaria bathroom

Azaria’s exaggerated expression is priceless. He’s like an annoyed parent.

– It gets better because the next five teams are all in town and search for the clue box. Meanwhile Azaria is. . .

azaria sit

Wondering why he let Hendekea drink that soda right before the start of the leg.

– Jenn reads the clue. It’s a Detour.

Shake Your Pan or Shake Your Booty.

– In Shake Your Pan, teams must choose a gold mining pot and use the local panning method to measure out one ounce of gold.

aaron arianne

But we’ve got several ounces of solid gold muscle here! ^_^

– Once completed, they will receive their next clue.

– In Shake Your Booty, teams must learn a local dance and perform it for a panel of local celebrities. They must also include their own creative dance moves. If the judges are impressed, they will receive their next clue.

3 judges

Uh. This looks familiar.

3 judges fiji


mekee outfit

Wondering why the judges are wearing Hawaiian shirts while they dance in palm fronds

dreamz backflip

If anybody can pull off a move like they have been shot out of a DK Barrel or transformed into Blanka should automatically receive a clue. Mekee!

3 judges discuss

So do you think they can dance?

– Phil says if they succeed in their routine they will receive their next clue. If they  fail they will have to try agai–wait no? A ten minute penalty? Really? A ten minute penalty? That’s it? So you can urinate in front of the judges, be declared a failure, and only have to wait ten minutes to receive your next clue while Lorena & Jason are a good hour behind?

Uh. . .instead of working for twenty minutes mining gold, or spending twenty minutes on a routine before performing for two minutes of performing, I think I’ll stick with the plan of going there right away and take a quick diarrhea dump on the judges’ table and wait ten minutes to receive the clue while flies start hovering above.

– I imagine they made it a ten minute penalty because the task is highly subjective, but doesn’t that seem lazy? In fact there are a ton of dancing tasks in the past and present where teams are judged by a single individual who deem them as worthy of the next clue or not. In fact teams in the future have tried over ten times to pull off a dance before receiving a clue.

So what is so special about this situation that it is simply a ten minute penalty? It just seems like a guaranteed method to preserve your lead over Lorena & Jason and know that the only thing you could screw up on is the roadblock.

Sorry TAR, but you did not think this through. The round is only going to take five or six hours to complete from start to finish if this is the crap they will be pulling.

– Nate & Jenn have the lead and decide to shake their booty.

JENN: I just finished being a back-up dancer for the Los Angeles. . .

Go on. . .

JENN: Clippers.

So you were a back-up dancer for a back-up team at the Staples Centre?

JENN: The NBA basketball team.

You didn’t watch much basketball between 1900 and 2010, did you?

jenn clippers

Nate is too afraid to explain to her the difference between the ‘Lakers’ and the ‘Clippers’.

– TK & Rachel opt to shake their booty as well. Azaria freaks out at Hendekea to run after she is surprised to hear that teams are ahead. They choose to dance.

– Lorena & Jason begin in dead last at 10:07am. Don’t give up. Not quitters. Blah blah blah.

– Nic & Don’s cab passes Kynt & Vyxsin.

NIC: Please go. Faster.

The clip is taken from Nic’s communication with the ticket agent in round two. I am certain of it because we never see his lips move.

– Nic thinks his cab is racing for a million dollars as well. Colin Farrell snags a chicken. Jason says he will continue onward.

jason cab

Get used to this visual and that ugly hat. You will see this throughout the next twenty minutes.

– Kynt is happy to see Ronald & Christina behind him but they pass anyway. Ron & Christina are elated. Nate & Jenn meanwhile choose a dancer.

nate choose

Nate acts out his inner Ash Ketchum and chooses one mask from a variety.


Couldn’t resist.

– Nate could have chosen any one of the dancers in Pokemon terminology.


Thankfully it wasn’t them because they would put the viewers to sleep.

– So Jenn starts choreographing dance moves. She teaches it to Nate. They don’t do anything original in their performance. Azaria & Hendekea and TK & Rachel watch their dance and attempt to pick up moves.

– The judges give them their verdict after much production interference crossout deliberation.

no creativity

Failed like a true LA Clipper. Maybe next year. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that. Or the one after that.

– Jenn is worried she may lose first place. Hold up, the leg has only started.

– Nic & Don choose to mine for gold because Donald has experience mining.

– Ronald & Christina say they will dance.

CHRISTINA: You’re really good at shaking your booty.
RONALD: Yeah, I am.

CHRISTINA (confessional): My dad is a wild dancer.

ronald reflect

Ronald reflects upon his days when he had an afro and bellbottoms and herniated discs only in its infancy. Ah how he used to woo the ladies in Studio 53.

wu smile

Yeah, Studio 53. The one in Chinatown. Ended up being overshadowed by Studio 54 only a few blocks away.

– Christina explains the judges must love them and smile the whole time. TK & Rachel observe the difficult dance moves.

gary crump

Pop it!

rachel dance

Not shaken nor stirred.

– Needless to say TK & Rachel switch tasks as Azaria & Hendekea hear directly from them.

TK: We’re not even going to try.


– Nic & Don go to mine.

NIC: Can you go in there because you have those shoes on?

Translation: Nic doesn’t want to go into the mud.

– Azaria & Hendekea dance.

azaria hendekea dance

They like to move it move it.

– Nate & Jenn have 5:30 left on their penalty. We await the verdict.

AZARIA: Merci–please.

The correct answer is “s’il vous plait”.

– Azaria & Hendekea are approved. Jenn is pissed. Hendekea would have been pissed during the dance too if she hadn’t gone to the bathroom before hands. That would have led to amusing results. Azaria cheers as he receives his clue.

azaria holt

Steve Holt!

– He proceeds to click his heels together in mid-air like Gerard in the airport in TAR 3.

azaria float

Although it looks like he is floating in victory.

dhalsim float

Yeah, sorta like Dhalsim after he wins a fight before he goes on another nine-fight losing streak.

– Nate’s reaction?

nate gosh

I wonder if producers were really telling the truth when they said Nate & Jenn’s constant swearing wouldn’t be able to air or if they just wanted to coax Nate into using child-like curses and make it seem really amusing coming from a thirty-year-old man on TV.

– Azaria reads the clue. They must follow yet another marked path to their next clue at Pelegtanga Market.

u turn debut

“What? What’s a U-Turn?” — Every viewer at home on November 25, 2007.

That’s right folks. This is the franchise debut of the U-Turn. Viewers in the West will no longer see a Yield. It’s this new twist called the U-Turn.

What many people think of as a ‘new twist’ in their minds for the TAR franchise has now been apart of most seasons. Think about it. This is TAR 12 episode 4. TAR 23 just finished filming and will air here in about three months.

Isn’t that mind-blowing? This is virtually the literal halfway point of the series. You would never think that most viewers place TAR 12 as a ‘classic’ season. It really shows the longevity of the series, and especially the longevity of the U-Turn.

Granted the U-Turn has been altered to make way for some bizarre changes in the more contemporary seasons, but still, the fact this twist has yet to be shelved in the TAR universe is shocking.

– In case you are only familiar with the contemporary alterations to the U-Turn, here is how the bare bones version of the U-Turn works:

U-TURN: Only two U-Turns in the whole race. It is found at the end of the Detour. U-Turning another team forces them to complete the other Detour task that they did not complete. You can only U-Turn a team once during the whole race. And yes, they will know you U-Turned them.

And there you have it. Instead of making a team just sit and stare at an hourglass and draw inappropriate additions to a team’s picture, the U-Turned teams must instead do actual work to catch up to the rest of the pack.

– Kynt & Vyxsin decide to shake their booty as Nate & Jenn’s penalty ends. They start running. Jenn knows she will get so much crap from the dancing world for admitting she danced for the Clippers. Azaria & Hendekea do not U-Turn anyone.

– Azaria & Hendekea read that they must head to the outskirts of Ouagadougou by taxi and find Tampouy Goat Market.

goat tire

This goat is getting really TIREd of standing in the market all day.

– Azaria & Hendekea say ‘merci’ and ‘thank you’ a million more times. TK & Rachel fail to see any route markers. Don instructs Nic how to clean the pan and sift for gold. Ronald & Christina dance. The ‘mock’ soundtrack plays.

ronald christina dance

What in the world are they doing? I love how there is one guy standing right behind them in complete isolation. No idea who he is.

– The rest of their routine is equally awkward but creative. The locals laugh and are silent. Nic & Don find plenty of gold and assume it is enough. The judges reject Ronald & Christina.

ronald christina penalty

T.I.A. If you can’t dance, a big buff Black dude stares you down awkwardly for ten minutes.

– Nic found the task easy as they receive the clue. He runs into TK and tells them directly where to go about two feet away. Rachel wonders how they found it easy.

JENN: We choose not to U-Turn. We’re going to win this race like freakin’ men.

It’s true. Because an all-female team has never won before.

zabrina kleenex

– Nate & Jenn keep walking until they find a cab. Shana & Jennifer elect to dance. Jason talks to the chicken. He should not go into acting. TK cannot figure out what’s gold and what is not as he regrets his decision.

– Kynt elects to do Courtney Marit-like fire dancing with the sticks. It’s tough to screen cap. The audience applauds and smiles.

judge wonderful

That judge is really nice. I wish he was a motivational speaker.

– Ronald & Christina have four minutes left on their penalty. Kynt says him and Vyxsin are never beat in a dance competition. I believe him. Nic & Don ask where the Pelegtanga Market is but find no response. He tries to Francosize the word ‘Market’ into ‘Markeeet’. Hilarious.

– Nic acknowledges they could be in the opposite direction of the clue. Kynt & Vyxsin decide not to use the U-Turn. Kynt is in the cab talking about how him and Vyxsin must look like aliens in Africa and was surprised to find out how warm and kind everybody is in the country.

kynt cab

Aliens in Africa. Think that would be a good apocalyptic flick? Or what if they have a beetle? Yes, a Gothic Beetle mixed with Africa. Surely that has not been written before.

– Ronald & Christina have their clue. Shana joins a dancer. Ronald thanks the kids sitting against a wall. Christina instructs him to join her and not scare the locals.

– Donald knows several teams have probably found the U-Turn by now. Ronald & Christina show up to the U-Turn mat where he gives one of the most unusual reasons for not using an item on the race.

RONALD: We choose not to use the U-Turn because we are not dead last.
What? Let’s translate that into an equivalent phrase.

ronald u turn

RONALD: We choose not to use the U-Turn because we are in a position to use it.

I’m not kidding. That is essentially what he just said.

miyagi lesson one

Miyagi only use U-Turn when paralyzed and when opponent free.

– Nic & Don spot it and run to Ronald & Christina. Christina is happy to be ahead of them as they run to the cab. TK finds the gold and speculate that anyone who danced must have won.

jason cab

They’re gonna get you, bro.

– Shana & Jennifer do their own dance. It is a really good time warp to every dance move you saw in a female pop music mega hit from the 2000s. Want to review?

the aguilera


The Aguilera.

the shakira


The Shakira.

the pcd


The PCD.

– Pop music benefits them as they are approved. TK & Rachel finish their gold panning task. Jennifer spots the U-Turn mat. So does TK and see them ahead. Shana wants to U-Turn somebody. Jennifer is against it but Shana insists whoever it is “a strong team”.

SHANA: It’s a really good picture of us.

first u turn

The first U-Turning. It begins.

shana jennifer picture

Cue the opening of Pandora’s Box even before Big Brother introduced that twist.

– TK sees that they U-Turned Lorena & Jason.

TK: I think it’s a bad move by the blondes because they will have a target on their back.

Well, if Lorena & Jason are eliminated the only team that knows the U-Turn was even used is. . .you. So you’re responsible for any target that could be painted, TK.

– Shana thought it was Lorena & Jason behind them but really it was TK & Rachel. That would’ve been a -very- fast taxi ride if that was the case given the task did not take more than ten minutes for them to complete.

– Jennifer still hates the decision but Shana reminds them that it is not about being nice. TK & Rachel have their clue and intend to catch up to them. Somebody finally uses the word ‘vite’. Jennifer is worried about karma. Shana says it isn’t bad karma if it is apart of the game. TK says he wouldn’t do it.

– Lorena & Jason show up to the Detour. They shall shake their booty. Hendekea observes a bike in front of them at the cab. Let’s just say it’s a tight fit for the animals on the bike.
goat motorbike

I’ve been apart of families where we sit on each other’s laps as we ride during family vacations but this is just ridiculous.

– Azaria & Hendekea have their clue at the market. It’s a roadblock. In this task that person must load up a bike with a bunch of supplies as well as a potentially uncooperative goat. They will ride their bike to another marketplace where they must find a specified vendor in exchange for their next clue.


– Azaria and Jenn are doing the task. What’s the list?

3 African print blankets
1 Plant
2 yellow containers
A bundle of sticks
Two tea kettles
Two hoops of twine
A goat in a basket
And fiiiive golden rings!

goat sleep

I am a vegetarian and really hope that goat is sleeping.

– Nate tries to coach Jenn. Azaria puts the hoops of twine around his neck. Him and Jenn tie up their goats. Lorena & Jason dance. They each have one stick.

jason jump

Jason proceeds to levitate. Dang. He jumps as high as Uchenna and the Masai.

uchenna jump

Ah. Memories.

LORENA: I love to dance. Puerto Ricans love to dance. It’s apart of our culture.

JASON: When I first fell in love with her I saw her dancing on the dance floor and I was like ‘I wanna dance with her’ even though I’m not much of a dancer. I was thinking ‘she was hot’.

Translation: He wants to get laid.

jason smooth

Nailed it.

And let it be known that you can find the love of your life shaking their hips on the dance floor of a club. I believe this is unprecedented.

JASON: I feel like I’m on American Idol right now. In Africa.

jason idol

Doesn’t know if he’s allowed to reference a FOX show on CBS.

JASON: That’s Simon. That’s Paula Abdul.

He is really running away with the reference.


And they are running away with royalties.

And yes, these were the judges of American Idol. Ellen Degeners, Kara Dioguardarwhocares, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban, and what I assume to be Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, and Jaleel White on the horizon do not count.

– Lorena says ‘merci’ as a substitution for ‘please’ as well. They have their clue and start running. TK & Rachel pass Shana & Jennifer on the road. Azaria continues tying things up. Jenn has no idea where to go. Nate tells her that she must ask. Azaria convinces a man to take him to the market. Jenn does the same.

– Kynt & Vyxsin have the clue. Kynt & Vyxsin and Nic & Don have the clue as well.

– Lorena & Jason see they have been U-Turned. Lorena is pissed off. Jason is stunned that somebody used the first one. Well, there is only two.

– Jenn says it’s the most culture shock she has experienced because she does not speak a ‘lick’ of French.

ronald christina bikes

Or an ocean of French.

– Jenn keeps yelling the name of the stall. No one answers. Azaria has the correct stall and delivers it all. Jenn eventually finds the stall as well. Azaria has his clue. He reads teams must ride a taxi to the Hotel de Ville in Ouagadougou. It is located outside of the mayor’s office outdoors. They must have chicken in hand. Azaria is unsure he is exiting the market in the correct way. He yells at Hendekea to prepare their bags as he is about to re-join her. Jenn re-joins Nate.

– Azaria tells the driver “Him? No pass.”

Or you could have said “Il ne pass pas”. Heh. It’s amusing if you know French.

– Nate tries to congratulate Jenn by hugging her but she is beat red and says not to touch. She changes her mind and lets him kiss her on the cheek.

JENN: I’m so hot right now.

jenn hot

For once this is literal.

– Lorena & Jason start sifting gold. Apparently they are doing well at this task. Ronald screams at Christina in Mandarin. Or Cantonese. One of the two. Christina is doing the task. Vyxsin’s bike falls over which means she must restart balancing her bike. Nic thinks he has it balanced and starts biking.

RONALD: Bon voyage!
CHRISTINA: Merci beaucoup, daddy.
RONALD: May the force of good fortune be with you!

Even Yoda Speak is less awkward than Ronald’s use of the English language.

– Lorena is working on the task as they approach its completion.

lorena gold

NO. F—ING. S—.

– TK & Rachel show up to the roadblock as well as Shana & Jennifer. Rachel is doing it as well as Shana. TK instructs her to be calm and collected. Vyxsin is still struggling with her bike.

KYNT: Should’ve grabbed another bike.
VYXSIN: Uhhhh, a bit late for that.

No use crying over spilled bikes, as they say.

– Jennifer discusses how bad she feels for U-Turning another team. TK couldn’t care less and simply responds that they already made the commitment. Lorena & Jason have their clue again. Jennifer rambles on about how the U-Turn was a bad decision. Jason is intent upon catching up to the other teams. Vyxsin’s bike falls over yet again. Rachel and Shana can’t find a way to make the bike secure.

jennifer u turn

The most we hear from Jennifer all season. I believe it’s her first solo confessional. Pretty much it’s ten seconds of her whining about the decision to use the U-Turn.

jason cab

They’re gonna get you, bro.

– Vyxsin’s bike falls over again. lol. Christina has locals following her. Kynt tells her to bike to the left. Vyxsin comments on the mounds of garbage and being followed by cheerful kids. Such an over-the-top edit for Vyxsin.

JENNIFER: Tie it down to the bike!
SHANA: He’s gonna bite me, isn’t he?
JENNIFER: He’s not gonna bite!
SHANA: How do we know that?
JENNIFER: Cause they’ll ram you! They don’t bite you.

Just like a night with Ryan Seacrest.

– It’s the race for first. Azaria is certainly not one to rub his lead in the face of others.

azaria phoenix

Nope. Certainly not. Just doing his Joaquim Phoenix in The Gladiator impression for just his kicks.

– Nate is craving to be ahead of them.

AZARIA: We’re gonna be first place. Get your mind focused.
HENDEKEA: It’s focused.

Alright. Azaria is not convinced. It looks like Azaria will have to do all of the work when entering the mat.

– Hendekea screams for the door to open. Nate & Jenn exit too. It’s a sprint.

NATE: You dropped something!
(Sprinting continues.)

That didn’t work.

JENN: You’ve got first three times!
(Sprinting continues.)

Only twice, but still doesn’t work.
– So Azaria’s mental abilities is much better than Hendekea, right?

azaria fool

I can’t recall a time up to this point where a teammate runs separately away at a pit stop from Phil while the other partner makes a direct hit for Phil. BJ may have taken the scenic route when he was shoeless during the TAR 9 Australia incident, but at least he saw Phil from the start.

Azaria here disregarded his teammate and assumed it would be his job to seek out Phil. He is really underestimating Hendekea.

azaria urch

phil ouagadougou

Phil must be worried that another incident involving a greeter being tackled was about to occur.




Only a tourist could get away with making physical contact with a soldier in West Africa.

– The ladies raise their cocks to Phil as the chickens are checked in. Azaria & Hendekea celebrate as I am sure Phil had to verify with producers that Azaria & Hendekea won the round. Jenn starts crying on the mat.

JENN: I feel like everybody should have their time, and they’ve already had their time two times before this.

Ah yes. A rotation system. Let’s see what Ari & Staella, Kate & Pat, and Marianna & Julia think about this. It should work out when a team has to be eliminated each round, yes?

– Hendekea says openly at the mat that she loves Nate & Jenn, but wants to go as far as she can go and didn’t feel comfortable throwing a first place finish.

– Nic struggles to pronounce the name of the person at the stall as he trades it for his next clue.

NIC: Christine T-T-Merci.

– He sees Christina and gives her the little sister treatment.

nic rub

There, there, little one.

jason cab

They’re gonna come at you, bro.

– Christina has her clue and bikes back. Vyxsin is still on the paths. Rachel fails to properly tie it all. If Rachel can’t get these knots, TK would have been in serious trouble with this task.
tk slipknot

So where are the Slipknot tickets?

– Vyxsin rocks back and forth on the bike before having the clue. Jason knows he will catch up and assume a team fails.

jason cab

They’re gonna come at you, bro.

– Rachel claims she knows where she is going and starts biking. Shana is still at the starting point tying everything down. The rest of the teams enter cabs. Vyxsin cries as she tells Kynt about the mountains of garbage and the nice people she was dealing with during the task.

I should note that slow piano music is playing. It is so over-the-top in terms of melodrama that I cannot tell if producers are being sarcastic like the editors of Big Brother or if they are being sincere.

vyxsin cry

Let’s feed this melodramatic fire with a familiar tune, shall we?

jason cab

They’re gonna get you, bro.

– Lorena & Jason are convinced that they shall catch up as Shana is not happy with the issues of the language barrier. Rachel has yet to find her stall.
jennifer catch up

Jennifer assumes they will pull up any minute.

– This is totally like South Park. “We’re gonna exit the cab any minute and come at you, bro. Yeah. Totally. Yeah, bro. We’re gonna exit the cab, bro”.

I’m serious. This is what it has felt like for the whole hour. Just show up to a task in the same space and time as the other teams already. Enough is enough.

– Lorena intends to put out good energy and that nothing is certain. Rachel and Shana are struggling as we head to commercial for the last six minutes of airtime.

– Shana slowly moves through the streets. Rachel declares she has no clue where she is.

– Ronald & Christina and Nic & Don exit the cabs. Nic is too busy searching for directions as Christina sees the building. Don sees them running elsewhere and wants to follow them. Sure enough Christina’s eyesight proves valuable.



– Both teams talk about how they are steadilu moving up the ladder. Who knows if this is foreshadowing or not.

nic nose

They could’ve edited out this shot of Nic’s nose.

– Rachel finds Safi Baba and has her clue. However she is equally lost in terms of finding the bike path. She does not have her bike.

RACHEL: I’ll head for the trees, I guess.

– Shana has her clue and re-joins Jennifer as they head to their cab. Rachel repeats she has no idea where she currently is at the moment.
jason cab

Just come at them already. Lorena discusses hope yet again.


Phil acts about the local reaction to their outfit. Kynt talks about tolerance. Vyxsin finds the people amazing. We see a montage of a ton of kids. Vyxsin hates seeing wonderful people with so little.


jason cab

JASON: We are going to get back in the race and screw  over the blondes.

JASON’S MIND ON A DANCE FLOOR: JASON: We are going to go and screw  over the blondes.

– Rachel asks for directions to Safi Baba. She is doing the roadblock task twice. She finds Safi Baba. How do we really know it’s Safi Baba?
safi baba


– She asks him for directions. Again, I think asking someone who works for production for directions should be against the rules, but Safi Baba is a generous and kind soul who directs Rachel on the road to TK. All she had to do was go straight.

– Rachel gives the clue back to TK. She thought she would be left there for hours because she never had any idea where she was. TK says it’s okay and he non-chalantly enters the cab.

– Lorena & Jason show up to the roadblock afterwards. Jason is doing it because I have a feeling that Lorena was done dealing with animals. Lorena loves Jason for never giving up.


Rachel handles the news calmly.
rachel shock


– The Robben Island Nelson Mandela from TAR 2 soundtrack plays.

I personally think it is mildly offensive comparing Lorena & Jason’s defeat to Nelson Mandela.

lorena cab cry

Realizes she won’t be coming at them. . .bro.

JASON: It’s gonna be okay, baby. We’ll make a million dollars another way, okay?
LORENA: I don’t want to go home.
JASON: We might not be done yet. Have hope. Alright? It’s okay.
JASON: They don’t have anything here. Money doesn’t make you wealthy, alright? Okay?
JASON: I love you.

rom com

I am truly amazed that they managed to have a non-rehearsed and honest conversation that wasn’t lifted from a romantic drama. Seriously. That was epic. The music was perfect. It is one of the few scenes in TAR that just. . .works.

Again, I am amazed. Hollywood needs to be taking notes from Lorena & Jason.


jason chicken

Although it’s tough to take their romantic ending seriously when he is holding a chicken in his hand at the mat.

– Lorena wants them to take it to the next level and make their own million bucks. More poverty is shown. Lorena says they can slow down and not rush. Jason finds confinement in a marriage, and believes a deeper love is experienced when free. So the relaxed approach is the conclusion they come to.

Yeah, that relationship probably didn’t go anywhere after all.

Next Time on TAR: Ron takes a nasty spill at the Detour. And trouble bears down on the Blondes.

It is 3:40am. I started working on this at 10:00pm. This will probably be the last time I do a single episode of TAR in one sitting. Holy crap.

Confessional Count


Rank the Teams

1) Lorena & Jason

They have to be one of the most likable dating couples to ever race. Jason’s relaxed and beast-like skills in every task was fun to watch for the couple rounds where he did well.

The team’s Achilles heel was definitely Lorena’s contrasting quality of being the most nervous and overwhelmed wreck who could not keep herself together. She always recovered in interviews and was very nice to everyone, but things like camel milking or deviating from map directions just did not settle well with her ability to function. And it’s the very reason for their shocking early exit.

At least they get to be in the record books for being the first team to be U-Turned.

And they will rank fairly high in the “Unfairly Screwed Over” section of the TAR roundtable discussion.

Overall, a very likable and amusing team to watch for four rounds. They received a surprisingly high level of airtime during their short stint.

2) 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.

3) 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

4) 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.)

4) Bingo, Burkina Faso -> Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso (This leg is the worst of the first four episodes for one reason:

It was too easy.

Both Detour options didn’t even seem challenging whatsoever. None of the teams ever said during the Detour “Wow, this is difficult and/or frustrating!” for either task.

The roadblock was a neat change in difficulty. Teams trying to figure out how to balance the bikes before embarking to find a market stall a mile away  allowed for interaction with locals and needing several skills to complete the task quickly. It was the only time teams struggled for the whole episode. Vyxsin, Rachel, and Shana all experienced setbacks.

The most annoying thing about the leg is that it is the first time I can recall that a team starts out a round less than two hours behind everyone else, and U-Turned to only be put twenty minutes further behind, that they weren’t given a chance to give up. All of the tasks combined didn’t seem to take more than an hour to complete.

Therefore, Lorena & Jason were screwed over. If this were TAR Asia, or virtually any TAR season, a bus or a plane or a train would have simply clumped them in with several other teams. But for whatever reason, this leg was stuck to pre-determined taxis on an extremely linear race course. There wasn’t much variance in how you can accomplish anything this round.

And the “Imma come at you bro” drama that was promoted for virtually the whole episode had zero pay-off. Why not just pretend like Lorena & Jason aren’t there to trick the viewers into thinking TK & Rachel are last like they do in previous years? Reminding us of Lorena & Jason’s presence only made the episode drag for the whole hour.

And that dancing task needed to be significantly re-worked. I can’t get over its lazy format.

Plus Vyxsin’s tears were a bit too over-the-top for the camera. That same image of the kids gathering in front of the camera was really beating the viewer over the head.

In short, this leg was lazy.)

Team Averages

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
–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
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
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
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
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
–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
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.

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