The Amazing Race 12 episode 6 ranking

Episode six

bc hippies

Hey! What are TK & Rachel doing on The Amazing Race Canada? Are they the first team to appear on multiple franchises of the show?

And welcome to the literal halfway point of my Amazing Race blogging. For the American version of the program, anyway. 11.5 seasons have been blogged. And with TAR 23 recently finished filming, there are now 11.5 seasons left for me to blog. By 2015 this whole series will be finished and I can therefore move on to bigger and better things. Hopefully.

So we’re in Lithuania–the land of great pastries. Let’s get to it, shall we?

NOTE: There was an unaired Fast Forward in the previous leg. None of the teams used it. Usually an unaired Fast Forward can be identified by a superfan spotting a discarded clue, but post-production did such a good job of pretending that it never existed. Apparently the Fast Forward would have taken teams to a castle on the island.

Sadly that sounded like the most interesting location for the whole round. Perhaps they edited it out because fans would have been so disappointed that nobody went for such a cool Fast Forward. Instead we were told that Shana & Jennifer’s downfall was their lack of social skills and karma coming back to bite them rather than their decision to not go for the Fast Forward.

Oh well.

SECOND NOTE: TAR 3 and 4 is the last season to not have a non-elimination in any of the first six legs. However, those seasons had a twelve team format (and didn’t cheaply eliminate someone in the first ten to twenty minutes of the premiere).

If TAR 12 does not have a non-elimination this round, it will be the first season ever to start with 11 teams and eliminate six teams in a row. So history could be made. It’s doubtful though, right?

Previously on TAR: Seven teams set out from Burkina Faso. Ron & Christina continued to work on their relationship. Teams flew to Vilnius, Lithuania. Nic got lost in the maze of streets while doing the roadblock causing him and Don to fall to last place. Nate & Jenn took their stress out on each other. Shana & Jennifer ran into trouble while navigating. Tension between them boiled over during the Detour and they came in last.

Six teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time.

azaria microscope

Azaria spends quality time scrutinizing his sister’s  past actions.

– When they do the flash of images at the end of the intro, I always expect them to throw in a subliminal message or a shot of Phil Keoghan smoking crack.

– We’re introduced to the thriving city of Vilnius.

Phil’s Question: Will Nate be able to change his behaviour under stress and convince Jenn he is the guy for her in the long run?

How did Phil say all of that without cracking up? I love how the question has essentially nothing to do with the race. Is there anyone out there who honestly believes these two will get married and live long and prosper?

– We are reminded that TK & Rachel were awarded the “vacation of a lifetime” from Travelocity.

tk gnome

I believe that is an HP laptop. Oh? They’re not a sponsour? I suppose I’ll only talk about Travelocity then. Am I the only one who thinks the gnome is holding a gun to TK’s calf? TK could not look more uncomfortable when smiling. He looks as if he is in genuine pain.

And why do they have to have the gnome in their lap? Having a pet shih tzu or a cat on your lap as you surf the Net makes sense, but an inanimate gnome? I really hope they were instructed by producers to do that for product placement. Otherwise TK & Rachel are very weird people.

travelocity

AOL is no longer a TAR sponsour because we do not get to see the search bar that is being used to log onto Travelocity.

TK: I have always wanted to go to Japan for the past four years.

Something tells me that is taken from future footage.

TK: Thank you, Travelocity.

– Now back to the race. TK & Rachel arrived first at 100pm. They will depart first at 100am.

hold it

Yeah. The timeline doesn’t make sense. Last round the flights arrived in Lithuania at 125pm, and the round ended the same day. Plus all of the teams appeared to check in once evening hit.

So you know what? I think teams had a seventeen or eighteen hour pit stop, and Phil outright bold-faced LIED to us. Unless there was an overnight equalizer we never got to see, it is impossible for TK & Rachel to have checked in at 100pm in the previous round.

– TK & Rachel read they must fly nine hundred miles to Dubrovnik, Croatia. When they land, they must take a taxi to the Fort of St. Lawrence.

Croatia?! I was shocked when this episode aired. I just learned in school about the Balkans War and how any country formerly part of Yugoslavia was in terrible shape following the wars involving Milosevic. Wow, I spelled that name correctly on first try?

Anyways, countries like Serbia and Kosovo are still in really bad shape today. So it was surprising that for the ugliest war in Europe during the 90s they were able to have one of the countries recovered by 2008 and be safe enough to film The Amazing Race there.

I have read that Dubrovnik is considered to be one of the prettiest cities in the world. In fact, a writer went there during the 20s and described it as “heaven on earth”. Oh, and did I mention that Dubrovnik’s population is only around 40, 000? It might be the smallest city in Europe to host a full round of TAR. Even the town I live in has a slightly bigger population than Dubrovnik.

croatia map

Dubrovnik has a really weird location too on top of being inside of a weirdly shaped country. The red dot is where it is located in Croatia. The town is now a UNESCO site and was one of the best fortified cities in the world. Until some of the defenses were taken away and was followed by a siege of the city during the 90s.

Whoa. Sorry. Just found Dubrovnik to be an interesting city. That’s all.

– 101am. Kynt & Vyxsin check out in second place. Kynt reads they are awarded 109 dollars for the leg. Both teams take a taxi to the airport. TK & Rachel talk about keeping a mellow head because it is healthy for their state of mind, relationship, and who they naturally are in real life. It just isn’t a strategy limited to use in The Amazing Race.

– Rachel gives her thoughts on Croatia and the Yugoslavia region in general.

rachel gymnast

I’m not sure if Croatia is the country you were looking for. Nadia Comaneci and the Romanian Crew is probably what you meant. In fact, I have somebody who lives on the same street as me who had the honour and privilege of training with Romanians during elementary school.
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Then she ended up being a bit slutty and dropped out of high school. :/

To be fair, this is what I always thought of Croatia when I was a kid:

world cup

– Kynt instructs his cab driver to keep up with TK & Rachel. He says him and Vyxsin do a good job of encouraging each other to do their best. Kynt laments over the fact that he has yet to be declared team number one.

croatia kynt

This is their newest outfit to display on the race. How big are their backpacks, I wonder?

– 115am. Ronald is excited to hear him and Christina are going to Croatia. He immediately wants to slow down and be careful because he does not want to roll an ankle in the dark. I wonder if that would distract him from his hernia.

CHRISTINA: Our progress in the race reflects the progress in our relationship.

uchenna sarcasm

Uchenna & Joyce’s divorce lawyers may disagree with that.

– Christina asks if they want to flag down a cab. Ronald says there is no point hopping into a cab because there is nowhere “to hop to”.

CHRISTINA: Don’t criticize; legalize.

Ronald has a good point. It’s one o’ clock in the morning. Why waste money on a cab ride to a closed ticketing office rather than run until you find a hotel where you can use their phone to arrange for tickets on a flight? Mr. Hsu has thought this through.

– Christina likes to confront any problems that may arise immediately. Sure enough they enter a hotel and approach the front desk.

RONALD: Is there a phone? We need to make a long distance phone call.
CHRISTINA: See how nice you are to her? You should be that nice to me.

Ronald doesn’t need to be in Salesperson Mode when speaking to you, Christina. He brought you into the world. You shall embark on a race around the world in a struggle to impress your father as you pursue one million dollars.

– It’s 120am. Three hours until BC Hippies can light up. Hendekea once again speaks about how Azaria is a control freak. How many rounds has that been her opening confessional? Three? Four? She says Azaria is always so certain with each decision he makes that she falls under the impression that Azaria is right.

– Azaria & Hendekea take a taxi to the airport. The first two teams find “perfect Internet” at the airport. Ideal Internet for Xbox One’s ‘Always Connected’ feature.

KYNT: TK & Rachel are off the beaten path like us. We definitely get along with them.

tk space

So if one of us wins, we split a million dollars worth of reefer right down the middle, righ’ duders?

KYNT: Check airlines is the earliest.
TK: Check airlines right there. It opens at 430 in the morning.

What airlines are they checking?!
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Yeah, I’m just f—ing with you. They were talking about Czech Airlines.

– Christina reserves a flight on Polish Air that flies out at 625am and lands at 1120am in Dubrovnik. They have not bought the tickets yet but they are reserved. They ride in a taxi to the airport.

– ‘Tis 129am. Jenn is excited over visiting Croatia. She is disappointed that the race has been incredible but she hates that her and Nate have fought so much. Apparently how well they do on the race will determine if the stay together or not.

Hint: They don’t stay together.

And what is this? The race has been disappointing but incredible at the same time?

darrah johnson

It’s like she took a lesson from the Darrah Johnsoon Book of Logic.

– Have you ever wondered how to say ‘taxi’ in an Eastern European country? It’s REALLY tricky.

taksi

Taksi. Apparently the letter ‘X’ isn’t in their language. Even though it’s the most awesome letter ever.

xzibit

Just ask your boy X to the Z Xzibit.

– Nate & Jenn enter a taxi. I suppose I will avoid calling her Jennifer regardless of the fact that Shana & Jennifer were eliminated in the previous leg, and thus no longer have to worry about confusion for the readers.

– Hendekea shares a wonderful story for us because as we know, a family show like TAR is nothing without these fun stories.

HENDEKEA: One of my best friends is Bosnian. I know how to say a couple words in Croatian or Bosnian. I know how to say “Imma Feshta Unka Chama Me”, which means “There is a party in my pants”.

croatia hendekea

Azaria smiles because he intends to use this newfound phrase on Christina at the airport.

stern driver

“If these cameras weren’t around, I vould vake vou vup on vat.”

AZARIA: Hopefully we can get a few dollars with that.

– Azaria & Hendekea show up at the airport and put their bags beside the sleeping hippies.

– Nic & Don depart in dead last at 142am. Six teams within forty-one minutes? That is the smallest spread yet this season.

don height

Don takes his jealousy of Nic’s stature to new heights.

– Don knows it is time to give it his all. He is motivated now he is in last place. Nic knows you have to play aggressively at this stage. Ronald & Christina are in the airport and set up Team #3 in the lineup with the other two teams. Nobody is worried about line cuts.

– Nate & Jenn and Nic & Don join the lineup. Nic jokes that he called first place. Kynt & Vyxsin are stumped why the other teams are all in the Czech line.

KYNT: Why are they all in the Czech line?
VYXSIN: Because they are all sheep.

sheep

Baaad gameplay.

– Kynt meets with a travel agent in the airport who handles flights for multiple airlines. This seems like the ideal place to be.

– Christina quietly gives Azaria & Hendekea the phone number for Polish Air.

polish

I wouldn’t do it because of the toxic nature of the airline.

– They are on their own to discover the country code. Somebody at the information centre gives them the country code. Kynt & Vyxsin continue their meeting. TK & Rachel are curious where Kynt & Vyxsin are. They seem across the airport at an office.

KYNT: We’re used to people pointing at us. That’s nothing new.

Get it?! Because they’re GOTHS!

– Jenn asks Nate if they should join them at the office. So they ditch their spot in line and stand behind Kynt & Vyxsin. Ronald & Christina barge in there as well.

CHRISTINA: Mind if you let me ask her–
KYNT: Let her finish my transaction–
RONALD: QUICK QUESTION–WHAT TIME DOES THE OFFICE OPEN?!
CHRISTINA: Daddy. . .

goth cowboy

I guess pink cowboy hats don’t intimidate Ronald.

baltic ronald

There are so many people in the office that the camera operator’s best shot of Ronald is from behind. Even then you can see how much of a scene he is making.

– Air Baltic? I wonder if flights cost 450 dollars. Meanwhile Air Mediterranean sells flights for 250 dollars.

– Christina keeps telling her dad to calm down. Kynt instructs him to get in line.

RON: She doesn’t know? Okay, just a simple question man. What’s the big deal? No need for your f—ing reservation.

Ronald uses the word ‘man’ for the first time in his life. I am impressed because he used it correctly.

miyagi lesson one

Wax on, wax off, Daniel-Man.

airport jenn

Even Jenn found that outburst a bit much. Yeah. If Jenn thinks your outburst was overboard, you may have issues.

– Christina is forced to stay in the office after her dad leaves to apologize to the other racers and save face. Vyxsin says it is fine because she has a father too. Kynt defends that he wasn’t trying to block him.

christina apologize

Let’s talk about how much our parents suck.

ronald explanation

Ronald explains his frustrations with Christina, Vyxsin, and the agent to TK and Don who could not be less interested.

– Christina jumps in and tells him he is not allowed to have any of those negative feelings. TK tells us that while everyone else was going crazy, him and Rachel stuck to their plan of waiting in the same line from the beginning. Nic & Don went from sixth to second in line.

– Hendekea tries to phone Polish Air but the call did not go through. So now they are suddenly in the back of the line for the initial flight. He grabs Hendekea and stops her from joining the line. Instead he makes her find another phone to call Polish Air.

azaria abduct

So like any good brother, he grabs Hendekea by the neck against her will and abducts her like she is the son of John Walsh. Someone call Paul Blart, an abduction is in progress!

– In his anger he lashes against her about her attitude. This is the tenth example of the season where Azaria’s own faults are characterized as Hendekea’s errors from Azaria’s perspective.

– TK & Rachel’s Czech Airlines office opens. Nic & Don are second. Ronald & Christina third. Nate & Jenn return to that office after they finished sitting with Kynt & Vyxsin.

– TK & Rachel are told there is a flight via Prague that departs at 600am and gets into Dubrovnik at 1120am. TK books it. Jenn asks the agent from the door if seats are available. TK confirms what she said.

HENDEKEA: We screwed up our lead.
AZARIA: Just remember–we work our a–es off. Just remember.
HENDEKEA: What are you saying?
AZARIA: Just remember, alright?
HENDEKEA: What are you saying?
AZARIA: You sit here and think you’re all badass and one decision and now you think you’re on top of the world.
HENDEKEA: I’m not on top of the world.
AZARIA: You think -something about a flower- and now you look down on me. So I made a bad decision to impress Christina. Get over it.
HENDEKEA: So now we’re here.
AZARIA: Instead of saying ‘now we’re here and sit around and do nothing’  lets figure something are.

christina drool

*drools*

– Christina tells Azaria & Hendekea to check in on Kynt & Vyxsin because they are last in line. They enter right when the agent tells Kynt about the Prague flight. Hendekea interrupts and asks how many seats. Kynt responds that he wants to finish his transaction. Poor Kynt. Contestants being unable to shut up as he wants the agent thinking straight enough and focused to sell the tickets.

– TK & Rachel purchase the tickets. Nic says it is 510am and the flight leaves at 600am. He specifies to not buy business class tickets.

burkina faso lady

Prepares to give him tickets on Air Tahiti that will get to Dubrovnik through five layovers by 200pm four days from now.

– Ronald & Christina go to the LOT office to pick up their tickets.

lithuania schedule

Pirmardienis, better known as Monday, says the office does not open until 530am. They say it does not open until 530 and the flight leaves at 600am. Or it could be Treciadienis or Ketvirtadienis according to the schedule, but the camera seems to focus more on Pirmadienis. Huh. What do ya know.

– Kynt & Vyxsin are informed of a Warsaw flight that lands in Dubrovnik at 1120am as well. The Warsaw flight leaves at 625am. They have to be prepared to board at 621am. Since it departs later, Kynt & Vyxsin book the Warsaw flight. Dang. It’s after 530am and both flights leave between 600am and 625am. This is one of the craziest scrambles I have seen in TAR.

– You know what would be real mean? If Kynt & Vyxsin stalled at the travel agency for twenty more minutes than they had to.

– Ronald & Christina receive their tickets from the LOT office. Azaria books economy tickets with the agent on the Warsaw flight. Hendekea freaks out for the agent to go fast. Azaria shushes her and tells her to go fast. Nate is worried that the Prague flight leaves too soon. Nic & Don confirm their Prague tickets.

– Nate & Jenn are next in line. The agent says they are too late to book the Prague flight. Nate & Jenn are upset because the lady said there were still seats a few minutes earlier.

– Nate & Jenn join Azaria & Hendekea. Azaria informs them about the 625am flight.

AZARIA: Go to the other counter. You’ll be doing much better.

That’s right. Four teams have tickets. If Nate & Jenn cannot get on the Warsaw flight, everybody else is guaranteed to be safe for the round. But nope. Azaria gives Nate & Jenn the perfect path for everyone to be in a virtual tie for first place. Azaria & Hendekea have their tickets and run.

– NATE: Freakin’ bad luck, man.

nate bad luck

NATE: Freakin bad cleavage shot, man.

– It’s odd that they have been showing teams specifying economy class and that they cannot buy business class.

600AM PRAGUE: NIC & DON; TK & RACHEL

– Nic says he is happy to be on the Prague flight. Phil recaps who is on that flight.

– Kynt says the flight leaves in twenty minutes. Nate & Jenn wait to be confirmed. Knowing Nate & Jenn, they must be relaxed.

nate jenn hair

Nothing relaxes her more than her boyfriend giving her a bad hair day at six o’ clock in the morning.

– They are confirmed. Ronald & Christina check in. Hendekea requests to be seated as close to the front of the plane as possible. The agent says it is not possible. Why?

hendekea business

HENDEKEA: Business class?!

The flight takes off in ten minutes and Azaria & Hendekea are forced to rectify the business class error.

– The agent, Sweet Brown, essentially informs Hendekea the issues with fixing business class tickets when a plane is set to take off in ten minutes.

sweet brown

You want economy class tickets in less than ten minutes? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

– Azaria is astonished to hear the news. Of course Hendekea explains to the camera about the explicit business class tickets. Azaria & Hendekea run upstairs back to the office to claim economy tickets AFTER AZARIA TOLD HER ECONOMY IN THE FIRST PLACE! They return to the same woman. She is surprised they want economy class.

625AM: NATE & JENN; KYNT & VYXSIN; RONALD & CHRISTINA

– The woman says no seats are available. Nate & Jenn snagged the economy seats. So Azaria & Hendekea are screwed with a capital ‘S’. The woman offers them a flight via Frankfurt, the biggest freakin’ airport in Germany, that lands at an unspecified time.

AZARIA: Economy seats, please.

Heh. It is said with a sarcastic tone.

– The woman informs Azaria & Hendekea that their competitors flying via Prague will be late because there are numerous delays. There is hope for these unlucky siblings. Hendekea crosses their fingers hoping it will not happen.

– What is extraordinarily alarming is that we are not told WHEN Azaria & Hendekea’s flight lands in Dubrovnik. That usually means they will be several hours behind. Hendekea laughs at the idea of delays and crosses her fingers. The agent laughs too.

– NOTE: In a post-race interview, I read that Azaria & Hendekea’s other issues were unaired in the episode. When hearing they would be in business class seats, and were out of time to buy economy class from the agent, they boarded the Warsaw flight. They occupied someone else’s seats in economy class and held up the plane for forty-five minutes as passengers cursed at them in a variety of languages. Eventually the captain of the plane kicked them off.

It would be hilarious if the Warsaw flight is delayed too because Azaria & Hendekea delayed its departure time. You think holding up a plane for 45 minutes would be enough of a nuisance for the pilot and crew to make special arrangements for them to fly in economy. But nope.

– It’s 720am in Prague as the “delayed” flight lands. Rachel describes the flight as being “super late”. Neither them nor Nic & Don see any planes. Don gives Nic his bag and instructed to keep running.

croatia tk rachel

Where’s all of the people boarding the flight? Fairplay is wondering where the flight is too.

thunder d

It’s gone, dude.

probst

TK, Rachel, Fairplay, you went from really stoned to really sad. What happened?

fairplay

The plane’s. . .the plane’s not around.

– TK & Rachel line up to book a flight to Dubrovnik via Vienna. Nic goes up to the counter next. He is told it is full. There is a flight through Zagreb.

PRAGUE-VIENNA: TK & RACHEL
PRAGUE-ZAGREB: NIC & DON

– So now there is uncertainty as to where everyone is. Which team is first in the scramble?

croatia nate jenn

The team that should be dead last but instead is doing a StepheMe pose.

stepheme

Good times.

– Nate & Jenn succeed in flagging a cab. Kynt & Vyxsin are second to do so followed by Ronald & Christina. I imagine a certain hernia slowed them down. Jenn is amazed by the view of the town. So is Kynt and Christina.

dubrovnik

Okanagan is prettier. Just sayin.

– Nate & Jenn jump out of the cab. Kynt & Vyxsin follow them. All they see is a red and yellow flag as opposed to a clue box.

croatia flag

Not a box.

derek drew

Derek & Drew Riker follow the flags for no apparent reason.

– Christina deviates from the other two teams and spots the clue box. It’s a roadblock.

“Who has a builder’s eye?”

– Phil informs us that the roadblock is all about racers helping with the rebuild and renovation of Dubrovnik’s city walls that were damaged by repeated bombings during the Yugoslav Wars of the 90s. Knew it had to be referenced.

dubrovnik unreal

The city looks unreal. Okay. It might be prettier than the Okanagan.

– Teams must search through a pile of 150 stones for one of eight that fits into the wall. The stone mason will hand them their next clue. Yeah. Slight needle on the haystack depending on how stubborn the correct stones will be when placed. Ronald completes it before any of the other two teams are at the roadblock.

Okay. That was easy. Easy enough that a guy with a hernia can do it.

– Christina reads that teams must make their way to the roof of the Fort St. Lawrence. Uh, this town is awfully small. Teams ride a tandem zip line to their next clue.

– Nate spots where the clue box will be on a city map located against a stone wall. I’m not making this crap up.

dubrovnik map

It reminds me of one of those maps you see in a kid’s meal at White Spot. I can’t believe they put a clue box exactly where the “1” is on a city map that is on public display for years and years.

– Nate & Jenn and Kynt & Vyxsin run together. Ronald & Christina prepare to zipline. It’s such a beautiful moment.

CHRISTINA: Don’t close your eyes. You’ll never see this view ever again.

How does Ronald take in the beauty of the moment?

croatia ronald

It’s those little moments in life that count.

miyagi lesson one

Miyagi known to puke on Ferris Wheel like Sandlot. Karate make stomach acidic.

– Thank goodness Ronald didn’t get into chewing tobacco. He yells at the top of his lungs during the zipline ride. Him and Christina claim the clue. Holy crap. It’s a Detour already.

croatia phil

Look at Phil standing there in his T-shirt and jeans. So casual. That sexy Kiwi, Phil!

PHIL:  Teams have to choose between two ways that foreign armies might choose to invade Dubrovnik. NATO Bombing or Rape & Pillage.

Okay. It’s Short & Long or Long & Short. Real original.

– In Short & Long, teams will repel down from the fort to the foot of the base. They will run along a path to the city wall. Then using a rope ladder, they will scale the wall. At the top they must make their way on foot through Dubrovnik’s old town to the plaza to receive their next clue.

In Long & Short, teams use a tandem zipline to fly into the water below. Once at the bottom they will swim to the floating platform and choose a small fishing boat. Using the fishing boat they will paddle around the city walls to the harbour and run to the same nearby plaza where they will find their next clue.

dustin buoy

Better off doing Short & Long. I’m sure they have done Short & Long ones to win pageants too.

RONALD: We chose Long & Short because it is easiest–

Uh. Weird cut in the confessional. Does that mean they will struggle with rowing?

– Nate & Jenn are second with Kynt & Vyxsin right there. Nate and Kynt are doing the roadblock. Jenn tells him to pick two at a time. Vyxsin explains it is just like Tetris. Yeah. Only eight out of one hundred blocks in Tetris can advance to the next level.

JENN: C’mon Nate Dogg.

Yep. The first use of the ‘Nate Dogg’ nickname that everybody named Nathan in the 90s and early 2000s was called in high school.

nate dogg

I guess the nickname is warranted. I hear he had mistresses too, also had hos in various area codes, and left skirts laying on the curb.

– Ronald & Christina complete the zipline tandem and start swimming. Luckily there are no Asian swimming stereotypes.

Their technique with their strokes seems to be in decent form.

nate dogg

Well this is awkward.

– Nate fits the stone.

croatia judge

Judge doesn’t even touch the stone. I have never seen a clue giver on TAR have to do so little work on a task. All he does is stand on the sidelines and watch teams fit stones until a super obvious one fits.

– I am curious if the stones really stand out in terms of shape rather than this task being pure luck like searching for a clue in hay bales or a mound of salt or coffee beans? If there is skill in examining the shape, kudos to production.

– Nate & Jenn run to the rooftop. Ronald & Christina enter the boat. Christina coaches Ronald how to row. Ronald insists he does not have muscles that can row it the right way. They are barely moving as Ronald tries to figure out the rhythm.

– Nate & Jenn  do the zipline to the Detour. Jenn manages to utter “amazing” and “gosh” during the ride. Nate & Jenn are doing Long & Short as well.

– RONALD: This is so ass backwards.

Is he talking about the boat or the side effects of a hernia?

– RONALD: You can’t teach an old dog new tricks at this stage in the game.

Like politeness for instance. You think Christina would understand this is a major clue.

croatia ronald paddle

So Ronald decides to paddle the boat in reverse.

robb

Robb and the rest of Sook Jai agrees that boats go faster backwards than. . .that other way.

– Nate & Jenn tandem into the water. Nate sees Ronald & Christina rowing. Kynt completes the roadblock. Ronald finds the seas choppy and has zero energy.

– Nate gets into the boat and realizes he has never learned how to row a boat.

NATE: How do you do this thing? I have no idea how to row a boat.

wiglesworth

It’s okay. Neither do white water rafting experts.

gervase

But he does.

JENN: We have other teams in front of us already, Nate.

Team, Jenn. Team. Relax. Although you probably never found out about the Prague delay.

NATE: Thanks for telling me that!

JENN: I’m saying we need to figure this out.

NATE: Yeah, let me try and figure it out. Yapping in my ear every second.

Imagine Nate with Flo. Close your eyes. Then try to suppress this thought.

– Ronald comes up with a brilliant idea that no team has thought of yet.

RONALD: I wonder if we should do, you row one side and I row the other.

miyagi lesson one

Miyagi say sharing is caring.

– Christina agrees and has them row in unison. Now they’re moving.

– Jenn tries to paddle. Nothing happens. She switches sides. Nate cusses her out. Then Jenn fights back with a continuation of Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone quotes.

croatia veronica

Sometimes he is the meanest person she has ever met, and sometimes isn’t.

darrah johnson

They are really taking notes from Darrah Johnson lately.

– They argue about whether or not Jenn is trying. Clearly Jenn is trying, but Jenn sucks at rowing. She is on Nate’s other side. I doubt this works out any better.

– Christina is glad they are rowing together instead of being dead weight. Ronald says that teamwork with your partner is critical in the race. Instant cut to Nate and Jenn.

croatia jenn 2croatia jenn

That idea worked before right?

lithuania jenn 2

Oh. Yeah.

– Nate has a much better idea.

croatia nate paddle

In other words, I think it should be phrased as the following:

james keep your mouth shut

Keep your mouth shut.

– Kynt & Vyxsin do the initial zipline to the Detour cluebox. They decide to do Short & Long. Uh oh. Deviation. Ronald & Christina are paddling. Nate & Jenn continue. Nate puts forth a lot of effort.

croatia jenn yell

NATE: Because every time you’re paddling you keep yelling–
JENN: WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME?!
NATE: We have to go out and around. We can’t paddle into the rocks.
JENN: We can go that way.
NATE: Just keep going please!

Oh my word. This is just downright hilarious. But Jenn pulls out the funniest quote of the whole season thus far. If anybody could trick you that this is Family Edition season 2, they would succeed if they aired this moment:

croatia jenn yell 2

Yep. Jenn was certainly Jon Lovitz’ daughter from Rat Race.

rat race prairie

Next round Jenn will complain about Prairie Dogs. Thank goodness that never comes to fruition on TV.

JENN: This is so bad. I’m never gonna be with you ever again. I hate you with a passion.

I think Nate will be more relieved than remissed by it.

– Christina knows Nate & Jenn want first place really bad but she thinks her and her dad will be victorious this round.

– Kynt thinks the straps look hot on Vyxsin. He tells us that Vyxsin has a military father. I have a feeling he is an interesting fellow. Apparently her father has taken her camping and done stuff like repel. He has confidence. She does it well. I wish I could see Goths paddle a boat instead.

– Jenn praises her and Nate for their first dose of teamwork. Kynt repels. Nate & Jenn are near the beach. Ronald & Christina tie the boat down. Nate & Jenn seem like they are seconds behind. Jenn is not impressed that Nate didn’t help her out of the boat. Both teams go up the ladder and run through the streets. Supposedly it is a direct path to the clue box as opposed to the other Detour option.

– Christina asks for directions. It’s through the gate. Vyxsin starts ascending. Kynt encourages her as a pink kitten. Now time for another edition of Naughty Camera Operator working in reality TV.

croatia vyxsin

Way to use The Rule of Thirds. -_-

–  Ronald & Christina are going to claim the clue first given Nate & Jenn’s two minute argument in the water.

croatia nate jenn lead

What the heck? They’re going to win this leg after all of that? Three of the flights still haven’t arrived yet. This may be one of the quickest rounds evuh. Dubrovnik’s population of 40, 000 makes it a very fast-paced leg. Why couldn’t the roadblock be an actual task instead of something so easy that it may as well be a contemporary TAR Speed Bump? Fo realz.

– Jenn reads that teams must take a taxi to the Stone Cross That Overlooks the City. I doubt that is its actual name. That’d be a sign in awfully small print. The location is only four miles away.

croatia stone cross

– Ronald & Christina is literally seconds behind. We see Christina grab the clue in the background as Jenn read the clue. Unless Ronald’s hernia vanishes in the next minute, Nate & Jenn will have their first place finish that they waited all six rounds for. I can’t think of anybody who has been more patient to win a leg of TAR.

eric danielle win

zabrina joe jer kid

– Vyxsin encourages Kynt’s climb but not before throwing in yet another Goth zinger.

croatia gi goth

G.I. Goe.

– I can’t imagine cab drivers not knowing that teams want to see the stone cross. Jenn spots the Stone Cross and hires a cab driver. Christina is standing outside of an information centre doing nothing. First place is all but confirmed. Nate & Jenn prepare to enter the vehicle when. . .

croatia driver

Eh, it’s nothing. Jenn continues her descent into the vehicle. She thinks a Croatian is quoting the Pussycat Dolls.

I truly hope Jenn’s brain isn’t that shallow. Maybe Jennifer’s brain, but not Jenn’s.

croatia driver 2

He’s like the Andre 3000 of ‘Wait’ing.

You got the reference, alright?

croatia driver 3

DRIVER: Are you wet?

WHOA! Whoa. So uncalled for.

croatia vyxsin

croatia driver 3

kelly blowpipe

croatia driver 3

joe jer blow

croatia driver 3

mirna puts sausage in mouth

croatia driver 3

donald wrestler

croatia driver 3

peggy claire

croatia driver 3

dawson

croatia driver 3

– Nate is in the background wondering if his ears are clear of the wax that Ronald removed yesterday. Jenn defends it with the best answer possible.

JENN: We’re not -that- wet.

I think the emphasis of -that- is a very North American thing. Nate & Jenn beg the driver to take them. They are shot down. The driver apologizes and walks away.

croatia cab

Note how he has walked away without seeing that the passenger doors are wide open and the trunk is wide open as well.

– You figure Ronald & Christina would be denied as well, right?

christina taxi

Leave it to a father-daughter team to not be wet. Creepy if they were, come to think of it.

I guess it makes sense a young mactor dating couple would be wet.

– Now that my maturity has returned, we can finally finish off the episode.

– Nate & Jenn see Ronald & Christina in a cab. Jenn freaks out and starts crying on the streets.

JENN: Are you frickin’ serious? This is pathetic! Oh my god Naaaaate.
NATE: We gotta get a cab.
JENN: This is so unfair.
NATE: Jenn, don’t give up on me. Jenn, it’s okay.
JENN: I am miserable. It’s not okay. Our relationship SUCKS!

I love how she randomly references the relationship when it has NOTHING to do with the current situation.

croatia jenn 3

Waaaah.

aras whambulance

Somebody call the whambulance, Jenn is crying on the course!

– Nate & Jenn find a car on the road. They ask if he’s a cabbie.

croatia no

Well I don’t see the problem. I bet there is no rule against hitching a ride with a vehicle that isn’t a taxi on The Amazing Race, yes?

prashant glasses

Nate & Jenn check in with Sahil & Prashant to make sure it’s okay.

JENN: None of the taxis would take us because we were a little bit wet, can you believe it?

DRIVER: I believe it.

croatia driver 4

Well, they never said he was the most agreeable of locals.

– Kynt & Vyxsin are navigating the streets and ask for directions.

– Vienna flight gets in (TK & Rachel).

– Ronald & Christina arrive at the Stone Cross. They run on the path.

croatia phil 2

Croatian man eyes Phil’s expensive watch as Phil looks on to see Ronald & Christina running up.

croatia ronald christina

No harm along these steps, yes?

croatia gun 2

Surprise, mothaf—a!

That may be the best job anyone has ever had in TAR. Just absolutely scare the s— out of the teams checking in. I can’t think of a time on TAR where they greet teams into a pit stop like that. Awesome.

– Okay this is what the guy actually looks like.

croatia gun

Yeah. That’s why I went with Doakes.

1ST: RONALD & CHRISTINA

– They hug. Phil asks who is their daddy now. They have won a 12 and a half foot catamaran. Whoa. Spelled it right. It is a lame prize, regardless. I wouldn’t want something so craptacular.

CHRISTINA: My dad and I are living proof that success in The Amazing Race is about teamwork.

Living. . . .For now.

– Nate & Jenn curse followed by a “gosh” when the gun goes off.

2ND: NATE & JENN

They are surprised.

PHIL: However, you didn’t take legal form of transportation. You need to go back to that spot then get some legal transportation and get back here before you check in.

So off they go.

NATE: It’s like the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae that’s already melted.

croatia nate sundae

Nate takes advantage of the penalty by trying out a line that will be the title of the episode. Jenn missed this opportunity because she decided to pout instead.

I wonder what other lines Nate tried?

“It’s like. . .yeah. I’ll just stick with the ice cream sundae one. It’s only a four mile ride.”

– Kynt & Vyxsin have the clue. They have been dry the whole time so they have no problem getting a cab.

– TK & Rachel are at the roadblock. Rachel is doing it. Rachel is overwhelmed by the number of stones. TK tells her to calm down and enjoy the weather.

– Nate & Jenn return to the clue box where Jenn sarcastically reads the clue. Rachel struggles to heave a stone on the wall. It’s correct. Nate tries to calm down Jenn in the cab.

JENN: I can’t handle this. I don’t wanna be here anymore.

Give her ten minutes and she’ll be fine.

2ND: KYNT & VYXSIN

– TK & Rachel finish the zipline. They are at the Detour. TK asks Rachel what she is most comfortable doing. She wants to do the repel and ascend. I guess hippies can’t swim.

ozzy

Nevermind.

– Nate & Jenn re-enter the mat.

3RD: NATE & JENN

croatia nate jenn mat

What a romantic celebration. Five fingers touching five fingers of their lover. Awe.

– Phil makes fun of them for the lack of affection. Nate & Jenn admit they are not happy with each other. Jenn is sick of their up-and-down relationship and wonders if it’s too late to rekindle it.

– Nic & Don’s plane lands via Zagreb. He says it is the first time where he has no idea where any of the other teams (except obviously TK & Rachel) are today. TK is doing the descent.

– Speaking of descents, Azaria & Hendekea’s plane has descended. It appears they are in the thick of things. They hire a taxi. Nic & Don are at the roadblock. Don is going to do it.

– Hendekea asks her cab driver if the driver has seen anybody like her today.

croatia hendekea question

You know? Did you see anybody look like us coming through the airport today?

DRIVER: Yes, many many.

As a viewer, I don’t know which version of the question the driver was answering.

– Don slowly walks. Nic reminds him it is a race. Don couldn’t care less. TK cheers on Rachel finishing the climbing of the ladder.

– Nic sits down during the roadblock to tell us that his grandfather is approaching this task too much like their strategy in the race–too methodical. It’s a nice way of saying they are too slow. He hates how long Don is picking out each stone.

– Azaria & Hendekea are in Dubrovnik. Don gets rejected twice more. Nic doesn’t know how many are ahead or behind. Don admits he is tired.

– Don is finally approved. Time for them to run up a long set of stairs. This could be a while.

– TK & Rachel have completed the Detour. Nic & Don are preparing to zipline. Nic spots Azaria & Hendekea at the base beginning to do the roadblock. Hendekea’s soundtrack scream from the fourth round race to the pit stop mat where she yells “Azaria!” is replayed out of place. It appears that Nic & Don’s lead is only fifteen minutes. Nic & Don have yet to beat Azaria & Hendekea all season.

– Azaria is doing the roadblock. Hendekea screams as she sees Nic & Don doing the zipline above them. Hendekea reminds Azaria they are still in it. Azaria tells her to be calm. Too bad for him that only three blocks remain. He is approved. Hendekea thanks Azaria. They read the clue and run.

4TH: TK & RACHEL

– They had a cancelled flight that put them at risk but somehow still finished this leg in the least entertaining way possible of all teams. Impressive.

– Nic & Don choose Long & Short.

– Azaria & Hendekea choose Long & Short as well. Er, Azaria chose that.

croatia azaria

Get it? Because Azaria thinks Hendekea is useless athletically.

– Nic tells Don to row faster. Don suggests that Nic row. So he does. Azaria & Hendekea zipline into the water. Nic reminds us that he wants to maintain the lead. Don coaches Nic how to keep distance between the oars. Azaria is paddling well but at a slightly slower rate. Hendekea warns Azaria to not hit people with his boat.

croatia vacation

Good ol family vacation.

– Nic & Don park the boat and start walking. Azaria still paddles. Nic has the clue. Don directs them to where to catch a cab. Nic is skeptical. Hendekea asks for directions. Nic finds the streets to be confusing like a maze. It’s Vilnius all over again. Azaria &

– Hendekea have their clue. Nic asks for directions to catch a cab at a restaurant. They are directed and claim a cab. Azaria & Hendekea are shown catching a cab a second later. Good ol editing.

– Don says he has no idea how fast Azaria & Hendekea completed their Detour. Of course the leg can’t end before Nic & Don run into some turbulence. Nic is a pilot after all.

croatia car

Classic case of car parked halfway on road.

– Suspense plays out. Hendekea is really excited about the race to the pit stop.

croatia hendekea excited

It’s like we are watching their reaction to Two Girls One Gross YouTube Video.

– More suspense. Hendekea gives a really exaggerated expression that is frozen for a couple seconds. I know it lasts a couple seconds because Azaria is moving within the frame.

– Nic & Don aren’t as dramatic.

croatia nic don calm

Calm, cool, collected.

croatia hendekea shock

She is still watching Two Girls One Gross YouTube Video.

– So who is it?

5TH: NIC & DON

croatia nic don finish

– Which means last and not, actually, yeah, least. . .

LAST: AZARIA & HENDEKEA

For the first time ever in a season with 11 teams, they are the sixth team to be eliminated in a row without a non-elimination round present.

NOTE: Phil is still saying that this season will have ZERO non-eliminations. I should have never doubted Phil.

– HENDEKEA: We didn’t get beat by somebody else–we beat ourselves.

Whatever that means. I think business class tickets are to blame.

– Azaria claims he is impressed. Hendekea knows his brother was only hard on her because he wanted her to succeed and go as far as she can. She thinks their relationship will grow stronger.

– Azaria thinks his job as a brother was to challenge Hendekea and never seen that type of fire from her before.

Totally all-stars in my opinion.

NEXT TIME ON TAR: Don is stunned by a Fast Forward. So are we because we didn’t know there was one this season. Kynt loses faith in Vyxsin in one of the most replayed scenes in TAR history since The Shove.

Confessional Count

RONALD.CHRISTINA 2.6
KYNT.VYXSIN 4.0
NICOLAS.DONALD 8.2
NATHAN.JENNIFER 1.2
AZARIA.HENDEKEA 1.4
TK.RACHEL 2.1

Rank the Teams

1) Azaria & Hendekea

Out of the bottom six teams, this was a no-brainer. They were hilarious, engaging, likable, charismatic, smart, athletic, both had aggressive personalities, and a surprisingly complicated relationship as siblings. They dominated at many aspects of the race, but surprisingly had a couple of flaws in terms of communication.

Azaria’s image of himself as being ten times better than this sister at everything was a surprising storyline to notice during this re-watch. Hendekea was without question the smarter and stronger racer. I would want her as my race partner if I ever played. Except for maybe Eric or Jeremy.

Much like Lorena & Jason, this team was viewed as a team guaranteed to be in the Final Three. The two biggest upsets up to this point.

By this point it was established that competitive reality TV could have more than one all-star season in each franchise. Or multiple seasons with returning players at the very least. A return of Azaria & Hendekea was inevitable in the eyes of the whole audience.

Why?

Their elimination had major “Unfinished Business”. Put on last flight because they were assigned business class when they specifically asked for economy? The flights also happened to be leaving so early that they didn’t have enough time to swap? Oh, and what about the fact that the Dubrovnik leg seemed to take no more than ninety minutes total once in town, therefore making it impossible to catch up?

Lastly, what about the fact that they didn’t hit a non-elimination round after FIVE consecutive eliminations?

That is the epitome of bad luck after having a 2.4 pit stop average after five rounds including a victory in sixty percent of all rounds up to that point.

The only way they shouldn’t be invited back for another all-star is if one of them died or becomes unable to physically move. Seriously.

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.

5) 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

6) 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) Vilnius, Lithuania -> Dubrovnik, Croatia (One of many rounds this season that seemed too easy and had virtually zero navigation.

In fact, I only place it this high because Dubrovnik is perhaps the best location they have ever visited in Europe.

The tasks were neat on paper but were too easy in execution. Plus teams didn’t travel more than about six or seven miles the whole round. Super lazy.

This leg is also saved by some of the best strategy involving airport and airline scrambles. For once, booking a flight quickly and making fast decisions was critical to finish this leg early enough.

I could have ranked this leg lower simply due to Azaria & Hendekea’s premature exit from the season.)

5) 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.)

6) 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

Bulls—
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
–D minus–
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
–D+–
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
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
–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 – 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
–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 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
–B+–
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
–A minus–
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
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00
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.

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