Two BFFs found Burkina Faso as a lousy location, and rated it as their least favourite destination ever visited on TAR. Who were they?
And. . .
BFFs 4evuh ❤
Disappointed that I would go there, but luckily won’t say anything about it to me.
Welcome to the fifth episode of TAR 12! For those of you who don’t know, I did my first ever video blog for The Amazing Race. Specifically, I did a vlog for my pre-season thoughts of TAR Canada. I intend to upload my thoughts on TAR Canada following each episode onto YouTube.
In contrast to TAR Canada, let’s get to a season that’s like, you know, good.
Previously on TAR: Eight teams set out from the remote village of Bingo, Burkina Faso to the nation’s capital of Ouagadougou. Dating Goths Kynt & Vyxsin whored for more airtime as they received a warm welcome from an African village. Nate & Jenn battled Azaria & Hendekea in a race for first place, but a photo finish at the mat was a tough pill to swallow for Jenn. Mainly because it was a suppository. A new element in the race caused tension between Shana & Jennifer, and angered Lorena & Jason. This sealed their fate.
Seven teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?
NOTE: TAR Asia had two non-eliminations after five rounds; TAR 11 had one non-elimination after five rounds; TAR 10 had one non-elimination after five rounds; TAR 9 had one non-elimination after five rounds; TAR 8 had one non-elimination after five rounds; TAR 7 had one non-elimination after five rounds; TAR 6 had one non-elimination after five rounds; TAR 5 had one non-elimination after five rounds.
Therefore, there has always been a non-elimination in the first five rounds since TAR 4. As you may remember, TAR 1-4 waited until there were five or six teams remaining before having a non-elimination.
So this could be the first time in over four years that the series breaks a non-elimination trend.
The sun never sets on The Amazing Race empire.
– We are introduced to Ouagadougou. Phil says it used to be home to a tribal kingdom. Kids playing in the streets, markets, and people balancing things on their head. Yep. No new footage here.
Phil’s Question: Will Shana & Jennifer’s disagreement over using the U-Turn lead to more dissention?
– Azaria & Hendekea, who arrived first at 645pm will depart at 645am. This means it only took them 10 hours and 47 minutes to complete the previous leg from start to finish. Meanwhile it took me 7 hours and 2 minutes to complete the previous episode blog from start to finish. I’d rather be in their shoes.
Azaria looks like he just became a victim of an America’s Funniest Home Video segment.
– They read that they must fly 3, 000 miles to Vilnius, Lithuania. Once here they must find a marked car and drive themselves to St. Anne’s Church. I guess driving themselves in Burkina Faso was too dangerous.
– Azaria doesn’t believe he is a quick temper. However he pulls his sister off the road who is attempting to flag a cab. He claims a car was coming but we never see a car or a bike come remotely close to where Hendekea would have been standing.
You know how Azaria repeats over and over that Hendekea would have troubles keeping up with him?
Let’s add another piece of evidence that contradicts Azaria’s delusions.
– Azaria admits he always tells his sister what he is thinking. She is upset he pulled her off the road and wonders if he wants her to do anything.
I wonder how many people in Burkina Faso know about New Orleans, or if their English skills are burned alive as they see the word “L<3VIN'” on a shirt. Good luck explaining that grammar.
– Nate & Jenn depart a minute later. Jenn says her eyes are full of fire and that they have balls of fire that will help them rage through.
– Azaria & Hendekea and Nate & Jenn flag cabs simultaneously. Azaria reads that teams must use official airline ticketing office. That means travel agents are no good.
JENN: Burkina Faso is a small airport.
Yep. The official airport of Burkina Faso is small. But seriously, I bet Ouagadougou is the only international airport in the country.
Wanna take a guess as to which airline everybody flocks to upon arrival?
– Azaria & Hendekea pitch the idea of using the Internet. They can’t buy tickets but know they can research flights. Nate & Jenn agree. I’m surprised the ticket counter isn’t open by 700am.
– They find Internet. There’s an Air France ticket office that opens at 900am, but the blunder music plays.
Although she couldn’t seem more disinterested with her job. I mean, look at the way she phrases that the office is open at 900am:
See? ‘Think’. That expresses her uncertainty right there.
– Nate & Jenn decide they’ll stay in the office until 900am.
– Ronald & Christina depart third at 717am. How the heck are they so far in front?
CHRISTINA: My dad and I are working out how we can communicate better.
Translation: How Ronald can stop being a jerk.
Miyagi work hard to stop treating daughter like jackass.
– Christina says she repeatedly tells her dad that she loves him throughout the race despite his discomfort. Case in point this conversation:
CHRISTINA: You’re awesome. I love you so much.
That’s right. Lithuania is the land of pastries.
Christina fires a ‘wtf’ look at her father once again.
– 718am. Nic & Don time.
NIC: My grandpa can’t remember where he put two hats in two days let alone remember what we’ve done in the race.
They’re so screwed once the memory tradition begins for the final leg.
– 722am. Kynt & Vyxsin pop out of nowhere in the shadows and run past Nic & Don to claim a taxi before them. Four minutes made up just like that.
KYNT: I’m a very controlled person.
If this is what Kynt looks like when he is controlled, I can’t imagine his fashion choices when he lets loose.
KYNT: I’ve always wanted to go to Romania or Transylvania or a place with spooky architecture.
VYXSIN: This is so gothy.
Yep. Goth. Goths. Gothic. And its newest form. . .Gothy.
KYNT: I wouldn’t say I control Vyxsin, I just guide her.
Ian agrees. He’s the pilot and she’s the co-pilot. And when he says they need to fly, they need to fly.
Thankfully Nic is not running this race with a spouse.
– KYNT: I smell first place, Vyxsin.
Nope, that’s just the scent of more camera whoring.
– Nic & Don enter a cab. There’s this really awkward slow motion shot of them in the cab. Christina & Ronald run inside the airport hoping they are not seen by Nic & Don as if Nic & Don are big threats.
– Kynt & Vyxsin see the office to gain Internet. Nic spots an Internet Cafe.
– Love it when old people screw up with technology? I present to you Donald’s best shot at understanding technology.
Currently offered is the All You Can Download Brunch Special!
– Hendekea and Christina work together in an office as they call Air France via phone. Nate lurks around the corner as he eavesdrops in a creepy fashion.
Scoping out a new mistress.
– The flight to Paris is 1045pm. Christina concludes everyone will be on the same flight to Paris. The flight to Vilnius is another matter.
– 744am. Time for Shana & Jennifer!
JENNIFER: A la Burkina Faso airport!
SHANA: It’s not Burkina Faso airport. It’s Ouagadougou. Did you tell him?
Shana truly is the brains and brawn of this team. I believe I already went over Burkina Faso airport vs. Ouagadougou airport, so no need for me to reiterate that commentary.
JENNIFER: It’s Burkina Faso airport!
Jennifer, should we go to the United States airport or to L.A.X.? Although I have a feeling I may need to explain the concept of analogies to Jennifer first.
– Jennifer thinks they need to be unified to win, and somehow still feels guilty about the U-Turn.
– TK & Rachel depart dead last at 759am. But with eight teams only 74 minutes apart, and the fact everybody has to ride the same flight to Paris makes this fact pretty much worthless.
RACHEL: Fly to Vulimias.
Given Rachel’s tiny stature, I’m not surprised she looked at a town’s name and thought it was pronounced like ‘Bulimia’.
– TK & Rachel say it’s the first time they begin a round in the lower group and know the competition is fierce, and need to change strategy.
– Ronald thinks the Air France office in the airport could be open, and abandons everyone else to check. Jenn thinks this is dumb because the unconfident agent told them it doesn’t open until 900am.
– Ronald & Christina have a cab. TK & Rachel go to use the Internet but see the rest of the teams inside hogging the only computer. Therefore they go elsewhere.
– Sure enough the ticket counter in the airport is open.
Nobody remembers or cares about TAR 6 well enough to recall her and Jon’s round four mistake in Stockholm.
– Ronald & Christina are first to buy tickets for the equalizer.
Paris -> Prague -> Vilnius – 930pm the following day.
– Christina says they could buy these tickets for now but search for more flights in Paris. Ronald scoffs and looks away. He wants to be prepared beforehand, dammit.
RONALD: We have a lot of ample time.
CHRISTINA: Okay, let’s do it now.
Christina doesn’t have oceans of aggression to battle her father on this matter.
RONALD: Christina is somewhat naive.
Like thinking she could survive running this race with you while maintaining her sanity?
RONALD: . . .to basically teach my daughter how to deal with various kinds of people.
Like this guy for instance?
– RONALD: I don’t want to wait until Paris.
CHRISTINA: I understand.
RONALD: Alright. Good.
CHRISTINA: We’re on the same team!
Just read the shirt Christina, then be quiet.
I don’t think she’ll need any coffee after dealing with the Hsu Family this morning.
Don’t you just wish that the whole Hsu Family could be on Family Edition? It would just be Ronald and the older sisters picking on Christina like she was Cinderella.
CHRISTINA: Air France?
RONALD: We don’t need to use Air France! She is fossilizing her mind to Air France. Try to have her expand beyond the fossilization of just these carriers.
Imagine what would it be like for them to play Pokemon as a pair?
You need to move past the fossils and not rely on them so much. You only have six open slots in your lineup!
You need to move past the fossil craze of the early 90s and not rely on them in your childhood so much.
– Christina asks to check other airlines. Meanwhile Nic & Don find a 125pm flight. That’s the one they want. Ronald & Christina discover another flight at the airport.
I think she would get King Kong before Wunderbar. Or did Ronald think Wunderbar was a French word before cluing in that it’s either German, Norse, or Candybarian?
RONALD: Arriving at Vilnius at 210pm.
– Hendekea discovers the 125pm flight. Shana & Jennifer and Nate & Jenn follow. Kynt wants to stay and research on the Internet now that the computer is free. Nic & Don are inside the airport. Christina shushes Ronald and they leave immediately to avoid Nic & Don.
CHRISTINA: We don’t want people to know we got this great flight leaving at 210pm.
– Nic sits with the same lady that Ronald & Christina already dealt with. Nic does a double take behind him before revealing the time of the flight.
Although tough to keep things quiet when it’s a small airport and not much else for Hendekea to go.
NIC: Can you give the other teams later flights?
HENDEKEA: You know we can hear you guys, right?
Nic really doesn’t know how to conduct himself in airports.
Needs to take a lesson from Mirna.
NIC: Uhhhh, it’s a gaaaame.
– Hendekea asks Nic what flight they are on. Nic says he doesn’t want to say. Hendekea says he is sneaky.
AZARIA: In the game we’re all enemies, right?
– Azaria & Hendekea’s agent speaks perfect English and books them on the 125pm flight. And sure enough no seats remain as Nic & Don’s agent finally finds the flight minutes later.
– So the agent finds another flight.
Paris -> Prague -> Vilnius 210pm would be obvious, right?
She finds. . .
Wow. Airport ticketing agents REALLY hate Nic.
– NIC: WHAT?!
– NIC: She doesn’t understand ‘earlier’. Okay, we’ll buy it.
– Azaria attributes it to karma. Nic was frustrated. Donald says he did a good job.
DONALD: C’est la vie. That’s French, in case you wanted to know.
Gramps loves smoothing situations over in a passive-aggressive manner.
– TK & Rachel show up to the airport. Nate & Jenn buy tickets for 120pm from the same agent that screwed over Nic & Don.
Must hate Nic & Don.
– TK & Rachel buy tickets through Frankfurt that get them in at 135pm through the same freakin’ lady that screwed over Nic & Don. This is hilarious. But it gets better because Nate & Jenn run into Nic & Don elsewhere at the airport.
NIC: She gave you the Amsterdam seats after she told us there were no seats?
Does Nicolas Fulks have to choke a bitch?
– Kynt & Vyxsin pick up the 135pm flight via Vilnius. Nic & Don eventually get on the Frankfurt flight as well.
Still gonna choke a bitch regardless.
– Shana wants seats closest to the front of the plane and instructs Jennifer to block the office door to prevent others from getting in. Kynt & Vyxsin are standing directly behind them. Hendekea and Jenn try to get into the room as well, but to avoid confusion of having two ‘Jenn’s in the same frame at the same time, Jennifer follows through with Shana’s instruction and asks Hendekea and Jenn to stay outside.
Unless I am mistaking that pink-and-black striped top for a Ouagadougouan local, Jennifer does not in fact want to be in the room alone with Shana.
HENDEKEA: You don’t want us to know what seat you’re sitting in?
I love that Hendekea repeats what they are trying to do and not realizing how stupid that sounds. So what if zero people or one hundred people know your seats beforehand? It’s not like you’re being sneaky with an earlier flight. All you’re freakin’ doing is negotiating for improved seats.
– Jenn announces this is the turning point because you can “see people’s true colours”. For Nate & Jenn, the turning point must have been round one.
– Jennifer is upset that they burned bridges. Shana insists they would’ve done the same thing.
Really? I can’t imagine a situation where Azaria & Hendekea boot people out of an office because they want their improved seats to be a secret.
But who cares how dumb and over-the-top Shana’s strategy is at the moment. Look at those shades! They’re a carbon copy of Bret the Hitman Hart’s pro wrestling shades!
This video really needs more views.
– Shana freaks out at Jennifer that if they hadn’t used their U-Turn that Lorena & Jason would have beat them in the previous round. Doubtful seeing how it seemed like they were several hours behind when they finished.
– TK: After somebody used the U-Turn, it’s not a big group of happy campers anymore. The teams that stress out and waste energy don’t make it to the end.
Guilty. Uneasy feeling around a Hippie Prophecy. Or just really bored when TK opens his mouth. One of the two.
– Shana & Jennifer argue. Jennifer states she is annoyed. Shana says that is fine because she is clearly going to annoy Jennifer no matter what she says. Jennifer wants her to think it out a bit better.
Whoa! An argument so heated that the glasses are off!
SHANA: I am way more methodical than you!
JENNIFER: You are really flattering yourself.
It’s true. I brag to all of my friends how methodical I am all the time.
FRIEND: Hey Logan, you’re a bit of a jerk.
ME: Well guess what? That doesn’t matter because I am more METHODICAL than you! Biiiing! I win!
This schtick has been getting old for the past two episodes. Jennifer is not impressed with any aspect of Shana’s performance as a teammate and racer.
I need a quick break.
– Shana defines herself as defensive and feisty when challenged. Ronald & Christina discuss with Nate & Jenn about the 125pm Amsterdam flight being too tight of a connection.
– Phil reviews the flights that are connecting via Paris and one other city.
Vocal chords recharging.
AMSTERDAM: Azaria & Hendekea; Nate & Jenn; and Shana & Jennifer.
FRANKFURT: Kynt & Vyxsin; TK & Rachel; Nic & Don
PRAGUE: Ronald & Christina
– 125pm. Amsterdam flight lands safely. Jenn runs ahead and yells at Nate. He tells her to chill out. They are first to a car. He repeats for her to chill out.
NATE: Left or right?
JENN: Assuming left.
(Blunder gong plays.)
If they would shut up and hear the soundtrack, they would know to go right!
– 2nd flight lands at 135pm. Nic & Don leapfrog to 2nd as they claim a car right away. Kynt pulls out a British accent at Tourist Info as he asks for a map. TK & Rachel slip into a car. Rachel cheers when she sees Shana & Jennifer and Azaria & Hendekea still running around trying to find marked cars. They find it what seems to be minutes later.
– Nate asks himself why they always put themselves in the wrong direction. Hendekea complains about her sweat. Kynt & Vyxsin are sixth into the vehicle. If only Ronald & Christina were brave enough to face the Amsterdam connection.
RACHEL: Let’s go left here.
TK: We don’t even know where we’re going though.
(Blunder gong plays.)
NIC: Right turn.
(Confirmation Bell Plays.)
NIC: We have a pretty good idea of where we’re going.
SHANA: Turn left.
(Blunder gong plays.)
JENNIFER: I don’t know if this is the right way.
Be funny if they’re completely different roads and editors pretend that turning left anywhere on the route puts you in the wrong area, while always going to the right guides you to the route marker.
– HENDEKEA: We should make a right.
(Confirmation Bell Plays.)
– 210pm flight lands. Christina hires a taxi.
RONALD: Great idea. I never thought of a taxi.
That’s because it is against the rules!. . .I think.
JENN: OH MY GOSH!
I see they are still being warned about their swearing on camera.
– Nic & Don see the church.
Well, it definitely sticks out.
– It’s a roadblock.
NIC: Who’s a good listener?
– Yep. Definitely Nic. Teams must become a Lithuanian messenger. They will find one of the women working outdoors because patriarchy rules this former Soviet state. She will give them a package containing a word and tell them where to take it.
Classic case of woman sweeping streets with a broom.
Weinius? Isn’t that English for ‘elbow’?
– Travelling on foot through the confusing streets of the Old Quarter (probably as old as that woman they consulted), they must deliver it to the correct person. That person will hand them their second package to one of four final destinations where they will find their next clue.
Oh my god. That street is soooo confusing.
Shakespeare. . .lived in Lithuania? The Shakespeare Hotel? What happened to Stratford-Upon-Avon or the Globe Theatre? You think eastern Europe would be jealous of Shakespeare, but nope, the Brit is celebrated at the opposite end of the continent.
– Nic is told to take a package to Vilnius University Courtyard. Kynt & Vyxsin and Azaria & Hendekea run into each other. Hendekea yells that they initially drove too far. They have the roadblock.
– Nic finds the guy. It seems easy. Now he’s onto the final destination. Hendekea and Kynt have their first baskets.
– Nate parks the car. He has a brilliant idea.
NATE: We’re gonna run Jenn. I don’t care what you say.
(NATE & JENN exit car.)
NATE: Wait, Jenn!
NATE: I’m gonna walk Jenn. I don’t care what you say.
– JENN: Nateee, c’mon.
NATE: Jenn, c’mon dude.
Oh my word. Nate really looked like the idiot in this exchange. It was his stupidity start to finish. But it gets worse.
– They go inside of a store and ask for directions. How far away is the church on foot?
“We’re gonna drive Jenn. I don’t care what you say.”
Out of mutual stubbornness, they continue to run through the streets. I’m curious if they already ran for twenty minutes by this point.
– TK & Rachel pull over for directions. Jennifer decides to turn around. All is well.
The enemy. Surely that bus will stop as Jennifer backs up in the middle of the street, right?
(JENNIFER licks lips.)
CAMERA OPERATOR OR SOUND OPERATOR: HOLY S—!
JENNIFER: I’m trying! I’m not in drive!
(JENNIFER pulls away.)
SHANA: Holy f—.
Do you know how expensive it is to replace a replica of Bret Hart’s glasses?!
JENNIFER: Just relax.
SHANA: Oh sorry. A bus just almost killed me. I should relax.
And that is why you always learn how to drive a stick shift before applying for the show.
– Ronald & Christina are somehow fourth. Ronald is doing the roadblock. Christina thinks she is a great talker. He stops and waits for his hernia to stabilize before moving. Nic and Kynt are working on the second half of their delivery. Nic calls out to a crowd if they know where his location is.
– Nate & Jenn run. Nate blames their current situation on Jenn’s stress level as she instructs him to keep up with her. They have another Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone Moment.
Clearly you haven’t seen Barry Greenstein.
– Kynt starts a Spanish accent and completes the task. He has the clue. He reads they must drive themselves to. . .
This place. Lietuvos Liaudies Buities Muziejus. A.K.A. An outdoor ethnographic museum.
– They receive directions and start driving. TK & Rachel are at the roadblock. TK volunteers to do the roadblock after Rachel states she sucks at maps.
– Jennifer wants to ask for directions. Shana refuses to do because it kills oceans of time. Nate & Jenn have the roadblock now.
JENN: Who’s a good listener?
ME: . . . . .
YOU: . . . . .
CRICKETS: . . . . .
Yep. Even the crickets and the tumbleweed are silent.
NATE: You are.
No sarcastic tone? Apparently not. Jenn is doing this roadblock.
– Kynt has already finished the roadblock while Shana & Jennifer have yet to find it. Nic, Hendekea, Ronald, TK, and Jenn are all in the middle of doing the task. Nic is frustrated that nobody knows the location of a hair salon. For some reason I don’t view Vilnius as a very prissy place.
– A hippie leads TK to the university grounds.
Oh my god. It’s Shawn Hunter from Boy Meets World. Except today (or in 2008 rather), he is stoned out of his mind in the middle of Lithuania.
– Shawn Hunter takes TK to the courtyard where the man he finds is playing in a pool.
I wasn’t kidding. I can’t imagine it being warm in Vilnius nor can I imagine somebody being in the middle of a pond at a university courtyard. I can assure you nobody ever entered the pond at my university except to pour soap into it every couple of weeks.
– Shawn Hunter knows the place of TK’s next delivery.
He is probably expecting a “delivery”.
– Ronald succeeds at his first delivery, and is now off to a restaurant. Jennifer asks a car on the road to take her to the route marker. So off they go.
CHRISTINA: You can do it! Other teams are here!
RONALD: Don’t give me pressure! Silence s’il vous plait!
Wrong country, Ronald.
– I love how bored the non-competing teams at the roadblock are.
Azaria lazily watches a water bottle float above him in mid-air. That Gothic magic!
– They watch as TK becomes the second person to complete the roadblock.
Anyone want to play Dungeons and Dragons for the next quadrillion years?
– TK & Rachel receive directions and drive away. Ronald finishes the task.
RONALD: Merci beaucoup, achoo achoo.
– He gives the clue to Christina and they head to the car.
CHRISTINA: I love you so much.
RONALD: I don’t want my hernia to act up. I have to walk.
That’s Ronald’s way of saying “I love you too”. Mucho oceans amore.
– Jenn completes her first delivery. Her, Hendekea, and Nic still struggle. Jenn has her clue. Hendekea convinces a local to take her to the hair salon. Apparently the hair salon was by far the toughest. Hendekea is guided to the salon. Nate & Jenn are forced to run to the car. Azaria & Hendekea drive away too.
– What’s worse for Nic is that Shana & Jennifer show up.
JENNIFER: Who’s a good listener? I am!
SHANA: I think I am. You interpret things wrong.
JENNIFER: You wanna do it?
I guess no need for discussion in the future roadblock clue: “Who Wears the Pants on the Team?”
– Donald recaps how him and Nic were the first at the roadblock but everyone has passed them except for Shana & Jennifer. He knows elimination is looming heavily today.
– Nic realizes he has done a complete circle and is at the starting point. Donald assumes he is sunk. Nic is still getting rejected. Shana has her first delivery.
– Kynt & Vyxsin show up to the clue box.
VYXSIN: Lithuania is the Land of Gnomes.
Uh, I have a feeling I know what the task will be.
Bingo. For the fourth season in a row, we’ve got ourselves another gnome hunt. I wonder how they determine when to insert the gnome task each season. Does Travelocity tell producers the specific round and/or requirements? Or is creative control left to the producers? It’s one of the few things in TAR that I am curious about.
– So it’s a house with over 100 gnomes. They must claim a gnome and bring him to the pit stop like a tortured chicken.
– Shana completes her first delivery and is told to find the Shakespeare Hotel. She finds a friend to guide her. Nic finds the salon seconds later. Shana has the clue right after. However, Shana returns to her partner first and exits. They find a local on the road to ask for directions.
– Nic returns and Donald confirms for him that they are the last ones. Luckily, Shana & Jennifer are still asking for directions as Nic & Don drive away. Shana & Jennifer follow what seems to be a minute later.
– Kynt & Vyxsin have their gnome. They read that they must follow the marked path to their next clue. It’s another church.
VYXSIN: It’s easier to carry the gnome than a live chicken.
Comparing a live chicken to an inanimate gnome is like comparing apples to oranges.
– They have the clue. It’s a Detour. Two choices that involve activities that play out during Lithuania’s midsummer festival.
Count Down or Step Up.
– In Count Down, teams make their way through the festivities to a picket fence. Once here, they’ll count every picket that makes up the fence and then reveal their calculation to this villager:
Who also happens to be the town rapist.
717? Judd wouldn’t be the new HoH for this week in BB15 if someone had guessed this number instead!
– If the teams come up with the correct number, they will receive their next clue.
How is that counting DOWN?! You have to count UP to 717?! Change the name of the Detour option, dammit!
– Anyways, I should note this is pretty much identical to the headpost task from TAR 9 where they had to count heads on posts on the railing around a route marker in Sicily.
– In Step Up, teams will engage in a dance-off with Ciaranius. If they can recite her dance moves in a routine, and to the satisfaction of the judges, they will receive their next clue.
Yep. Ciara shamelessly promoting herself on TAR. The winner of this leg also gets to see the red carpet premiere of Step Up. However, after the season was over, CBS forgot to honour this prize, and had to compensate the team in another fashion.
Okay, I’m BSing you. The task is that teams must balance on stilts until they reach a finish line. Each partner must successfully do it once before they receive their clue. If they fall they must start over. This task should be familiar because it appears as a roadblock in the second Bora Bora round of TAR 22. I guess production forgot it was done this round and didn’t bother it declaring it as a Switchback a few months ago.
– Kynt & Vyxsin hate the idea of miscounting, and therefore choose to do stilts. TK & Rachel and Ronald & Christina simultaneously hunt for gnomes.
– Kynt & Vyxsin start Lonely Islanding in their pants when they see the sights of the festival.
Hey, it’s Willard!
Nods in approval.
Bride and Bob Marley play an instrument together. It’s all going accordion to plan.
And to top it all off, it’s a re-enactment of a Madonna Pepsi commercial. Lovely.
Don’t ask me what that’s supposed to be or symbolize. Maybe the pelican from Animal Crossing? Mail carriers are popular in Lithuania, as I understand it.
– Kynt wants a costume. Isn’t he already in one? He feels normal in the crowd and defines it as his favourite moment so far. They have their stilts.
– Rachel snag a gnome. So does Ronald. Onwards they go. A bunch of villagers sing. They see where the finish line is after a couple attempts.
– TK has the clue. Rachel immediately declares she wants to do stilts. So does Ronald because he finds himself to be a good balancer.
– Nate & Jenn show up to the gnomes. So do Azaria & Hendekea. Jenn picks up a gnome. Azaria continues searching.
– Nic & Don and Shana & Jennifer are still on the road. Suspense. We have no idea how close either of them are.
– The top three teams are all failing with stilts. I guess balancing on stilts is much more appealing than touching a picket fence. Vyxsin quits the task and convinces Kynt to switch with her right away. Off to counting posts they go. Ronald falls off stilts for the first time.
RONALD: I don’t want this hernia to pop out!
The obscene and crass part of me really wants TAR to stoop to a new low.
– TK is completely relaxed and is the first one to cross the finish line. Smoooth. Rachel follows and huffs and puffs in frustration.
Tammy would be proud.
– Nate & Jenn have their clue. Jenn has zero interest in stilts. I guess something that involves physical ability after physically running around Vilnius for over an hour makes a mental task sound more appealing. Azaria finds a gnome. The music at the festival continues. Nate & Jenn awkwardly jump on the road and put their hands in the air. Kynt & Vyxsin reach 300. Jenn announces 100. Kynt & Vyxsin disagree halfway through and start over.
– Azaria & Hendekea choose to attempt stilts. Christina succeeds. The two calmest people have succeeded. Christina keeps saying ‘achoo’ over and over.
Maybe it’s a subliminal message that she has a thing for Mel Brooks movies.
– Rachel has finished the stilt course flawlessly. Her and TK receive the clue. It’s a pit stop. They must make their way on foot to Aukstaitija Windmill. Last team to check in may be eliminated. Apparently it was built in 1884 as a testament to Lithuania’s boring agricultural past.
– Kynt & Vyxsin point out TK & Rachel finished before writing down their guess for the posts. What is their final answer?
Bingo! First or second is certainly theirs.
– TK calls out for a windmill as if it is a lost domesticated dog in the streets. Vyxsin spots the windmill. They see TK & Rachel running ahead much to their chagrin.
1ST: TK & RACHEL
They deliver the Travelocity Roaming Gnome to. . .
An alive and well version of the Travelocity Roaming Gnome. TK & Rachel celebrate their finish, and have won a 10-day trip for two to Japan. Blossums, Mt. Fuji, Imperial Palace, whitewater rafting, and hot saltwater springs. TK is stunned because him and Rachel traveled alone for most of the leg.
TK & Rachel look away as they feel bad that this prize is probably valued as much as all of TAR Canada’s production costs combined.
Rachel gracefully fixes her top as TK gives the confessional. No idea why it had to be shown rather than a voiceover. Poor Rachel.
So TK scrunches her as a little sister as she feels embarrassed after the incident.
2ND: KYNT & VYXSIN
– We now go live to Jenn the Clippers Cheerleader as she has fun with numbers!
The American education system failed her.
He is so upset and feels such a failure as a teacher that he is going to open the front door and expose himself to sunlight.
– Azaria & Hendekea fail on the stilts again and opt to switch. Ronald makes a bit more progress.
JENN: 59, 60. (turns to crowd) Stop!
NATE: Shut up.
I love interrupting a concentration-based task to address the crowd.
– Ronald is only a couple of feet from the finish. Let’s check in on his progress.
Pow, right in the hernia!
– Christina helps him get up. You know his first complaint?
RONALD: Ow, my hernia!
No s—, Sherlock.
– Jenn counts 727. She is surprised to hear it’s wrong.
NATE: I’m counting too this time.
JENN: Okay, but count in your head.
– Meanwhile, Ronald gives it another go.
Praise the hernia, he succeeds!
– Shana & Jennifer ask for directions at somebody’s house. Nic & Don are at the house. They snag one. Shana & Jennifer are at the house while Nic sees them get to the house behind them.
– Nate & Jenn argue over counting out loud as random festival personnel yell at them and Azaria & Hendekea. Azaria & Hendekea count silently
3RD: RONALD & CHRISTINA
Christina’s first words when they hit the pit stop?
CHRISTINA: So proud of my dad. He’s my superman. He’s a hernia but he’s running.
What. He has a hernia? I didn’t know.
NATE: 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400
JENN (several feet behind him): Nate, can you count in your head please?!
NATE: I’m not stopping!
(One minute later.)
Who knew getting a partner to stop yelling at you as you count could be so difficult.
– Nic & Don are sixth to the Detour. Sure enough they count. Shana & Jennifer are last to the Detour. Jennifer declares she is VERY GOOD at counting. So it’s a numbers game.
– Has Jenn learned her lesson as only two teams remain as a buffer?
This is getting laughable. She is trying to execute this task through the worst strategy possible. I find it hilarious that she asked if she could go in front of him while they are in the middle of their third or fourth attempt.
Needless to say Nate is getting frustrated.
Nate walks out in frustration while Jenn is stumped why he would call her such a name.
NATE: What are you doing?
JENN: Are you serious?
NATE: Why would you say ‘don’t talk to me’ then ask me a question? I’m not doing this again. We’re doing stilts.
JENN: I can’t believe you’re that mean and would call me that.
Well, I mean, he did cheat on you.
4TH: AZARIA & HENDEKEA
– Nate is in disbelief as he sees Nic & Don begin the task. Nic sees Shana & Jennifer right behind him.
– Sure enough Nate & Jenn seem to complete the task quickly because we do not see any of their repeated failures.
– Nic gets to the end and realizes he counted fence posts and gates. Don clarifies that they weren’t supposed to do that. Backtracking they go.
5TH: NATE & JENN
– Nate thought he was out. And that’s all we hear.
– Nic goes back to subtract from 737.
– Shana stops because they do not have one system.
SHANA: We should’ve each taken a side and come together to add the numbers up.
JENNIFER: . . . .
(JENNIFER continues counting.)
– Shana offers her partner plenty of silence and support to allow her to concentrate as they are over halfway through counting.
So this is why they have only been above sixth place for one round all season.
– Shana is pissed off. Jennifer stops at an arbitrary point and says it’s 470. Shana refuses to count from the other side for whatever reason. Shana tells Jennifer to finish counting but the outcome is her responsibility. She really pulled an Ian.
– Nic counts twenty fenceposts and gates that he figures he counted. That’s right. He thinks he remembered which of the fenceposts and gates he counted. So what’s his answer?
Wow. That may be the most impressive feat that a team has pulled all season.
6TH: NIC & DON
– Shana says it could be a non-elimination leg. Jennifer starts crying. It is indeed an elimination leg. Jennifer says being eliminated makes her heart break and is disappointed.
SHANA: We come from a comfortable life. We get manicures, pedicures, and facials.
Some of those facials courtesy of Ryan Seacrest. Sorry, it’s the last time I get to make a Seacrest-Shana intimate relationship joke. Just let me have my moment, k?
– Shana is amazed by how they accomplished, and Jennifer doesn’t care about their differences. They shall always be differences.
Next Time on TAR: Azaria loses patience with his sister. And Nate & Jenn reach -yet another- breaking point.
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) Shana & Jennifer
The perfect combo to run together. It was like if Pinky & Brain went on TAR together. One makes all of the decisions, possesses all of the brilliance, and always scheming to do her best to take over the race and win it single-handedly–meanwhile, she is with a partner who is a complete doofus and cannot do anything remotely cruel but has zero intellectual ability.
This is the type of pairings you always want to see in TAR at least once per season. We get to witness Shana’s frustration as Jennifer holds her back every round except for round two where Shana completes every task in a solo manner. Unfortunately Shana would be drained by Jennifer’s inability to strategize that Shana would grow frustrated in the fifth leg to the point that she was making slip-ups herself as well.
Plus Shana “dated” Ryan Seacrest several times. Yet no one knew who she was prior to the race. I for one find that fact highly amusing.
3) 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.
4) 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
5) 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) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso -> Vilnius, Lithuania (This leg was extremely smooth. Teams spent the first 17 minutes of the 43 minute episode strategizing for flights which will become a rarer and rarer aspect of the race. In fact this is the first time since the middle of TAR 11 that flights have truly mattered.
I liked that teams had to drive themselves around the capital and navigate the relatively crowded and narrow streets. The tasks were all fine. Jenn counting the posts is one of the most underrated moments in the TAR franchise because it is tough to believe that somebody could develop such a horrid counting system.
The roadblock was great on paper, but producers failed to understand that splitting everyone down into four final locations was a big mistake. Why? Because the teams that were assigned the hair salon took the longest of all teams while the restaurant was quick to find. Hopefully TAR producers revise this if they attempt a task like this in the future.
The Detour was fine. In fact it was really inspired as teams counted amidst a hectic festival or would have to learn stilts which have a steep learning curve. That did not seem like a pleasant Detour. Although I question if counting pickets in a picket fence is an activity in Lithuania midsummer festivals. Plus those costumes may be the most ridiculous things I have ever seen.
And much like Burkina Faso, there was too many ‘follow the marked path’ to clue boxes and the pit stop once they reached the outskirts of town. It seemed too easy.
The only way this leg could be better is if Jennifer’s lack of proficiency with a stick shift led to the bus hitting her car, thus forcing producers to -only- cast teams who can use a stick.)
3) 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.)
4) 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.)
5) 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.)
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 – Yielded
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
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn
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
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 – Yielded
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded
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 and Used Yield
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded
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 – Used Yield
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 – Yielded Twice
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice
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 – Yielded
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
–BEST OF THE BEST–
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2 and Used Yield
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF and Yielded
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF and Used Yield
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.