The Amazing Race 12 season finale ranking

Eleventh episode

taiwan nate jenn talk

We were too focused on the blog for the past three months! We forgot to think about washing and drying the dishes piling up in the sink!

Wow. This is the final post of the TAR 12 blog. Thanks for supporting me for yet another season. I am amazed we have gotten to this point. Have you been watching my yawn-worthy TAR Canada video blogs on YouTube?

Good. Because it’s just me rambling for 40 minutes to an hour each week. No screen caps in the video sadly.

Previously on TAR: Eleven teams set out from Los Angeles, California in a race of thirty thousand miles across four continents.

Teams had troubles with animals. . .vehicles. . .with taxi drivers. . .and U-Turns.

Eight teams fell by the wayside.

– Father and daughter began the race in remission but discovered they had a lot of issues to work on. Eventually the pair found common ground, and their newfound harmony was reflected in their performance.

– Grandson Nic and 68-year-old grandfather Don, the oldest person ever to make the Final Three, had several close calls. But Don’s wide array of talents along with Nic’s willingness t pick up the load kept them both in the game.

– Newly dating couple TK & Rachel maintained a calm attitude throughout the race, enjoying each other, and each moment. When it mattered most their competitive spark propelled them into the Final Three.

– Tonight’s season finale one of these three teams will win one million dollars and The Amazing Race.

– Intro time. Only one season left before we get the remix. Did you know that Jason of Lorena & Jason appeared in an episode of Gilmore Girls? He was clean-shaven when I recognized him last night.

– We are introduced to the city of Taipei on the island of Taiwan.

– No questions from Phil. Let’s get some final answers.

– Ronald & Christina, who were the first to arrive at 947pm, will depart at 947am. Christina reads that teams must fly to their final destination city Anchorage, Alaska.
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.hold it

Wait. Did she just say ‘final destination city’? The leg has only just started! And Alaska is one of the two freak states. How in the world can that be the final destination city?

– This isn’t a big deal to you? Well, if you watched TAR seasons in order, you will notice this was an enormous deal at the time.

For all eleven seasons, teams would go to one or two states/territories/Canada before heading to the final destination city in one of the mainland forty-eight states.

Heck, in TAR 2 teams spent round twelve in Hawaii before heading to Alaska in round 13 before even heading to their final destination city in San Francisco.

Sometimes teams would complete both a Detour and Roadblock before they even entered the final destination city. This was a common complaint amongst viewers because teams wouldn’t even get into the final destination city until the last fifteen minutes of airtime, and typically robbed fan favourites who would slaughter other teams in Alaska/Hawaii/Alberta/Puerto Rico/France.

The biggest controversy of all that sparked a new degree of protest was perhaps in the previous season, All Stars, when the least popular team of the Final Three went on to win after never being a frontrunner until the final task of the finale. Heck, they weren’t a frontrunner for the whole season until the final task at the finale!

The outrage grew, and it sounds like production wasn’t happy with a Eric & Danielle victory in All Stars. Freddy & Kendra won the same way in TAR 6. And the delay in visiting the final destination city probably cost Rob & Amber a million bucks, but we can forgive that because Uchenna & Joyce are awesome.

– Fewer non-eliminations. U-Turns. Speed Bumps. And now they directly visit the final destination city at the beginning of the finale? There will never be a season that pioneers more permanent format changes than TAR 12.

Plus I imagine using Anchorage as the final destination also saves production tens of thousands of dollars on flying teams and production to another city far away, shortens filming schedule, and hiring a new batch of locals.

– They must travel 4, 500 miles to Anchorage. Once here they must take a taxi to 6th Avenue Outfitters. They must pick up some necessary gear for their journey ahead at this outdoor adventure store.

alaska store

Not related to the outdoor adventure store in Sojo that families visited two years ago.

NOTE: There is a sign that says ‘NO SCREAMING WEAVERS ALLOWED’.

– Ronald & Christina count that they have 392 dollars for the final leg. How expensive are cabs in Alaska? I can’t remember if teams have ever received this much money in a single leg.

– Ronald & Christina have a taxi.

CHRISTINA: It’s true. The other teams are strong and smart, but we’re stronger and smarter.

alaska ronald christina

“They’re humble but we’re humbler”.

– TK & Rachel check out 2nd at 1030am. TK believes every team has a way of being successful. Their M.O. is to be calm. Rachel has always wanted to go to Alaska. Yeah, right.

– Ronald & Christina see a flight on China Airlines.

– 1037am. Nic & Don start the leg in last. Nic has nothing but respect for his grandfather and thinks nobody else his age could do it.

CASUAL FAN: Nobody in their 60s could have possibly made it to the Final Three on TAR.

alaska donald

I have.

coach i have

I have, too.

NIC: I have always wanted to go to Alaska.

I will kiss the butt of any state that is about to pay me a million bucks, too.

NIC: There should be some hunting and fishing challenges.

DON: I fished and hunted every day as a child so I’ll be in charge.

NIC: So you’re in charge.

– Ronald & Christina book seats closest to the front of the plane. Ronald requests a free upgrade to the lounge. They have their tickets. The lounge has Internet access.

– TK & Rachel head to the same counter. TK plays 20 Questions with the ticketing agent to ensure Ronald & Christina are on that flight.

TK: We’re on the same flight as another team. When’s the last time that happened?

Start of round six when you took the same failed flight to Croatia with Nic & Don via Prague. From there you took your own flight away from them, I believe.

Come to think of it, that HAS to be a TAR record. Five full rounds have played out without TK & Rachel ever sharing a flight with another team. That’s half of this freakin’ season. Rounds four and seven did not have any planes involved too. TK & Rachel must have that record smashed.

– Nicolas & Donald purchase tickets for the same flight. All three teams are on the same flight. Although the last two teams realize Ronald & Christina have not been seen. They have successfully snuck into a lounge and write down the address.

– Both teams are nervous because they have yet to see Ronald & Christina. Suspense has built as we finally see Ronald & Christina join them. Everyone is relieved.

– Anchorage, Alaska. TK asks who are the fastest runners out of the three teams as they gather near the exit.

TK: I’ve seen Ronald run like a ninja before.

miyagi lesson one

TK mistakens ninja for karate.

I wonder if mixing up karate and ninja would be the equivalent to mixing up Japanese and Chinese.

– Ronald & Christina are first into a taxi. TK & Rachel are second. Nic & Don lazily stroll into a cab. Don thinks everything will be equalized once they get to a task.

– Ronald & Christina read they must go to Ship Creek Boat Launch out on the waterfront. Funny thing is that Christina rushes so much that it sounds like she is saying ‘s— creek’.

lahey

Named the creeks in Anchorage.

– They have their gear and run into a cab. Ha. It sounds like she is saying ‘s— creek’ again.

RONALD (looks in gear): It seems like we’re going to fillet-a-fish!

I honestly can’t believe how many rounds in a row that teams always relate the place they are in to a type of food. It is almost as incredible as TK & Rachel’s solo plane ride run.

ronald knife

Ronald finally finds an instrument that can be used to cut out his hernia.

– TK & Rachel have their gear at the shop and head into a cab. The driver ‘thinks’ he knows where Ship Creek is followed by a slow motion shot and dramatic music.

Ahem. I don’t think he knows where he is going.

alaska tk rachel

TK! Rachel! You’re in slow motion! Don’t you know what that means!

– Nic & Don have their clue and exit.

alaska shop

But because Nic has the clue and Donald hasn’t carried anything all season, the gear is left behind.

NIC: We’re only behind by a couple minutes so we’re in pretty good shape.

Heh.

– Ronald & Christina arrive at Ship Creek. Detour.

Cut the Cod or Grab the Crab.

Both sound like STDs in Alaska.

In Cut the Cod, teams must cut through several fifty-pound Ling Cod and search for a miniature clue hidden inside one of the cod.

alaska phil

PHIL: Teams may find this task disgusting, but teams with the GUTS to dig into their work could finish fast.

giles

ConGRATulations Phil! You have impressed the killer with your pun. No vicious turtles shall be placed around your neck tonight.

In Grab the Crab, teams jump into the hold of this boat (what is a hold I do not know) that is filled with over 500 live crabs. They must search through the nipping crustaceans for the one task that is marked with a red and yellow ribbon to receive their next clue.

PHIL: This task is much cleaner–

Uhhhh, I think playing with crabs is not much different than playing with cod.

alaska crab

I shall get you one day, Parvati Shallow!

parvati

krabby

Just wait until I evolve!

– So it’s a TAR first–an easier needle in the haystack versus a tougher needle in the haystack.

– Ronald decides to cut the cod because, in his words, he hates the idea of crabs crawling up his body. They are amazed by the size of a cod. Ronald defines himself as a city slicker and does not know how to fillet it.

– TK & Rachel are dropped off not at Ship Creek but rather. . .

alaska rachel restaurant

But rather an outdoor cafe that can be used one month per year in Anchorage.

NIC: So you know where this is? Ship Creek Boat Launch?

The cab driver’s response?

alaska cab

alaska cab 2

Wow. He totally called out every failed cab driver in the history of TAR with that statement right there. If it were up to him, they’d all lose their jobs.

I think he might be my favourite cab driver other than the Egyptian cab driver in TAR 5 who looked identical to the extra from the Michael Jackson ‘Beat It’ music video.

egypt cab driver

linda cab 2

Remember that?

– TK & Rachel have directions from a local who says it is five minutes away.

– Ronald wonders if people eat guts in Alaska or if the clue has been ingested. Christina clears the ice. He is worried about missing anything. Christina goes through the remains. She has the clue.

– She reads that teams must take a 60-mile taxi ride (hence the 391 dollars) to a boat landing then take a high speed ride up river to 20-Mile Glacier. Once here they must climb the face of the glacier (hence the gear), and then search up top for their next clue.
alaska phil 2

He’s so good at hosting after twelve seasons that he can explain the task while going up a glacier.

alaska glacier

alaska glacier 2

Sadly all of this will be melted away by 2013.

– Ronald brags that he picked the right fish, but fails to acknowledge that Christina was the one who found the clue. They re-enter their cab.

alaska cab 3

Doesn’t their cab driver look a lot like one of the Aiello in-laws from TAR 8: Family Edition?

– Nic & Don see Ronald & Christina’s cab coming back followed by TK & Rachel. Christina tells the driver to never let either of those cabs pass them during the day.

– Nic & Don have their clue and choose to do the crab task. Wow. Final Detour and still not willing to get dirty, eh?

donald wrestler

Outside of this moment of course.

– NIC: To grab the crabs, use the rubber gloves provided in the bags you grabbed from the–
(NIC gives confused look and talks in confused tone.)
NIC: What bag?

alaska bag

That bag.

– Nic & Don confused as they read the clue. Donald blames Nic.

DONALD: If you read it it would’ve said ‘get your gear’. So we would’ve asked for gear. Sounds pretty straight-forward to me.
NIC: Your hindsight is always 20/20–

2020

Because old people love Barbara Walters and 20/20.

DONALD: No no! Don’t give me the hindsight! You read the clue but you didn’t understand it. So we’re f—ed and that’s the way I see it.

alaska nic punch

How about I make you some quality Alaskan Black-Eye Salmon, huh?

– TK & Rachel have their clue. Rachel decides to Grab Crab because the ribbon will be on the exterior rather than interior.

– Ronald thinks they are barely ahead at the moment.

alaska ronald glasses

Time to put on the fancy sunglasses!

– TK & Rachel start going through the crabs. Rachel flings one out of fear and complains about pain.

– Nic & Don have the bag. They return to the Ship Creek.

– TK & Rachel hate the pain and consider switching. One of the crabs is taking Rachel’s shoe off. They are closer to switching. TK & Rachel keep talking about switching. Nic & Don are back at the Detour and see TK & Rachel. TK finishes just seconds before they would have switched. Lucky.

– Donald is very grumpy. He tears it open. Nic searches it through with his bare hands. He projects TK & Rachel’s three or four minute lead. Donald continues to be short with Nic.

– TK & Rachel assume Ronald & Christina have a 25-minute lead. Rachel hopes all it takes is one slip-up at a task to get a lead.

– Ronald & Christina enter the high speed boat. Even on camera it looks like the helicopter struggles to keep up.

– TK & Rachel’s cab calls for directions. TK yells that he needs another taxi if he does not know where to go.

RACHEL: It’s easier to communicate with taxi drivers. . .
TK & RACHEL: India.

Wow. An American taxi driver in a rural area is tougher to communicate with than taxis in cities of ten million people? No wonder this guy works the day shift.

– TK & Rachel are at the boat launch. Nic & Don are about one minute behind TK & Rachel. Still anybody’s race. Rachel loves how much fun her and TK have together.

– Nic says the race has been everything he wanted and more blah blah. It’s like the exit speech.

– Ronald & Christina pick up Instructor Max. He tells them they must climb the glacier face. Ronald informs us about his fear of heights. But I’m sure the fear of missing out on a million bucks one hour away is a bigger fear. Ronald hates the ninety degree angle or potentially falling.

– The instructor is impressed with Ronald’s first time doing something like this. His daughter followed right behind him. Ronald is at the top. So where is Christina on the huge cliff face? Recall she started seconds after Ronald.

alaska christina sad

Progress!

– Ronald has yet to coach her how to do it. Instead he just cheers her on. Christina begins making progress. TK & Rachel haven’t shown up. Who knows how much time they truly lost. Maybe a couple minutes.

– The instructor comments that TK is attempting to run up the wall. Ronald & Christina have their clue. They must take a helicopter to Merrill Field. Once here they must travel by taxi to Goose Lake Park. Gettin’ close.

alaska helicopter

That is one sick helicopter ride. I can’t think of a better place for one.

– Rachel is struggling as much as Christina did. Ronald & Christina see the two teams getting to the wall at the same time. TK & Rachel are done and have their clue. Donald is losing a bit of time on the wall, but not as much as Christina did. Donald snaps at Nic to get up there.

– Ronald & Christina are in a cab that is already waiting at the airport. TK & Rachel are done and have their cab too. I wonder how long the helicopter ride was?

– Ronald & Christina show up to Goose Lake Park.

alaska task

Not the greatest of camera shots.

And yes, judging by the construction, this is the true beginning of the tradition to have an elaborate build for the final roadblock of the game.

– Christina reads: ‘Who wants to relive your experience on the race?’

alaska hands

This is a new roadblock explanation shot. The producer’s hands are really far apart.

– In this roadblock, teams must face a field of objects that they encountered along the race course.

alaska task 2

Did they fly in the same Cleaning Man from Osaka? And how does he feel knowing Phil referred to him as an object?

– Teams have been given fifteen recognizable items from the race. They must place on the stage ten different items that meet two specific requirements:

a) There can only be one item from each of the ten legs
b) Of the ten items. . .
i) three must be animals or animal by-products.
ii) one must be a U-Turn,
iii) two objects must either be at or brought to a pit stop,
iv) two must be items of transportation with wheels,
v) one of which must have been used at a Detour
vi) and the other item of transportation must resemble the shape of a stick

alaska task 3

An animal by-product thanks to his ‘sh–y job’. I wonder if he lives without a paddle at Ship Creek?

PHIL: Think it’s easy? Think again. There are several ways to fulfill these requirements but only one group of ten items that fulfill both criteria.

– Ronald lets Christina do it because she as a better memory, and he is afraid he will get nervous or have a senior moment.

CHRISTINA: You must not use a pen or pencil.

Geez. This task is awesome.

– We see a montage of the ten items they need, thus ruining all of the fun for the viewer.

alaska blackberry

Oh yeah. I remember the leg where they used a Goldberry.

– Christina takes the U-Turn sign first. She brings the chicken onto the mat, therefore the U-Turn is from the India leg.

RONALD: We’re on the precipice of victory, but people behind us are blowing on our necks.

So poetic.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Now that there is a natural break I wish to address something–

This is the beginning of the Epic Memory Lane Roadblock tradition.

TAR 1: Polar Bear Swim (Alaska)
TAR 2: Retrieve clue from large globe of ice (Alaska)
TAR 3: Line up five animal faces in the order they appear on the race. (Seattle–first roadblock in Final Destination City)
TAR 4: Retrieve rock from water and smash it open. (Hawaii–not Final Destination City).

jon dog eat dog

TAR 5: Find two items in a small maze. (Dallas–Final Destination)
TAR 6: Eat a deep-dish pizza. (Chicago–Final Destination)
TAR 7: Dive off a platform. (Puerto Rico–not Final Destination)
TAR 8: Jigsaw puzzle of North America (New York–Finish Line)
TAR 9: MASSIVE field of 285 flags–but there is a map board that shows fifteen flags. Pick nine of the flags from countries they visited and put them in the correct order. (Colorado–Finish Line)
TAR 10: Tandem sky dive with instructor (France–Not even the Final Continent or Final Country).
TAR All Stars: Correctly figure out what your partner thinks of the other ten teams. Otherwise you will simply receive your clue after ten minutes. (San Francisco–Final Task).

As you can see, the tasks were highly randomized in terms of location and the abilities you needed. Most of the tasks like eating pizza or jumping off platforms were one-dimensional. The fact a final roadblock could be held thousands of miles away from the finish line in multiple seasons must be mind-boggling to a newer TAR fan.

TAR 9 is the only season with a task that could fit into the post-all star standard for final roadblocks. In fact it would beat out a bunch of the Epic Memory Lane tasks.

It is shocking to admit that the final task for Family Edition is probably the 2nd best overall up to this point (the Wally versus Elder Linz showdown).

Funniest thing about this list is the very first attempt at an Epic Memory Lane task–TAR 3. Put five animals in the correct order before heading to the finish line. The animals and order was so memorable that everybody completed the roadblock in a minute flat.

So a leaf has been turned. This task is usually declared the best.

– Christina is stuck on the item of transportation that is in the shape of a stick. She is up Stick Creek without a paddle.

– TK & Rachel show up to the roadblock. Rachel thinks she can do it. They kiss before Rachel runs off. TK is confident in Rachel’s intelligence.

– She has a U-Turn and chicken. Matched Christina.

– TK and Ronald have fun with each other as they both feel nervous.

– Christina cannot think of Lithuania.

alaska christina headache

Lithuania? Think think think think. What comes to mind?

ronald pastry

ronald pastry 2

alaska christina headache

DAMMIT!

– Nic & Don show up. Nic is doing it because he thinks Don would get frustrated.

alaska donkey

I never noticed this before, but the donkey physically walked off the stage and is pacing along the fence.

– Rachel has the stilts. Lithuania is no problem for her.

RONALD: The stress is on! Yes Chris! Do it!

alaska stress

Woo! Stress!

– The green bandanas look on.

DONALD: He has a good memory. There’s no sense in me doing this. I’d be there for a f—ing year.

– Christina has the stilts. Rachel has the gun. Nic decides to bring EVERYTHING on stage. Christina declares everything is done. It does not open up. Only Ireland is wrong.

– Rachel gives it a shot. She has Ireland, India, and Japan incorrect. Sounds like the donkey isn’t supposed to be there.

NIC: Lithuania was the blackberry.

Not even close.

– Nic corrects himself on the blackberry. Christina realizes she has two Irelands on stage. The three animals is what’s messing her up.

CHRISTINA: Are you an animal? You’re not an animal.

christina stress

Are humans animals? Who knew this is what would trip me up!

alaska cleaning man

The joke is on you–I am a Cleaning Robot.

– Rachel solves the greatest mystery of all.

alaska rachel

Genius!

– NIC: You are The Amazing Race Cleaning Guy.

Such a flattering title.

– Christina thinks she has too many animals. Rachel doesn’t recall where the Vaulting Stick is from despite doing that roadblock herself.

Maybe also because that task was five seconds total.

– Nic has the Vaulting Stick but doesn’t understand where the Croatia Gun was from. Perhaps it was too traumatic for him.

– Christina went from having one wrong to four wrong. She swapped the correct Croatia Gun for the Croatia Boat.

alaska christina

I wish Nate & Jenn could do this task just so we could see one of them trying to lead a donkey on stage.

– All three players are stumped. Every lead is gone. Ronald declares whoever solves it first shall win. We get a ton of slow motion shots before heading to commercial.

– Ronald recaps that everybody is nervous and that all three are struggling. All three players recap.

CHRISTINA: Netherlands is all over the f—ing map.

Think I’m making up her F-bomb?

alaska christina 2

Even the sweetest of people can have the foulest of mouths.

bodybreak 2

Until next time, keep fit and f— off!

– Nic is angry with the gun. Rachel decides to bring on a stick. She realizes if she takes a bike off and a different one on that she’ll have two Netherlands. Christina starts praying as she also has two Netherlands.

alaska christina pray

Phil said the task was all about testing the racer’s nerves after 11 rounds of play and a million dollars only miles away. Judging from this they succeeded.

– We hear a series of dings as people make changes. Rachel suddenly has the pole vault task in her mind. She recaps the items one by one and submits her answer. After each guess we are to assume there is a five second pause before the clue pops out of the box. I assume a producer operates it from behind the wall. I don’t see any other way.
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Will the box open?
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alaska clue

– Rachel almost trips over the objects as she grabs the clue. TK cheers. They are frantic to open it. Teams must now travel by taxi to the Captain Cook Statue. Here they will find their  next clue. Thankfully they don’t have that crappy taxi any more.

CLUE: Find a Cook’s eye view of the sleeping lady”.

Taxi driver tells them the Sleeping Lady is across the inlet. We’re going with a traditional “The Smoke That Thunders” TAR 1 style clue.

– Christina prays yet again. She takes the pole off. She has the clue and re-joins her father. It’s unclear how far they are behind. She starts crying and apologizes. Christina asks her driver to catch up to the taxi that left before them.

– TK & Rachel’s taxi driver announces they must turn around. Ronald says to not give up. A ton of suspense is built.

– TK & Rachel are first to the clue.

TK: Find the Salmon Hooker.

– It’s a statue. They must find the statue of the Salmon Hooker to retrieve the clue. They must walk. Ronald & Christina have their clue. They continue running the streets. It looks like they are seconds apart but I doubt it.

– TK & Rachel have the Salmon Hooker. They read that they must take a taxi to the Girdwood Airport and run to the finish line. Both teams have a cab.

TK: We’re in a very big hurry.

That’s an understatement.

– TK keeps discussing how intense it is. Rachel is in disbelief about this moment. Ronald recaps how he has become a better person.

RONALD: You’re number one in my eye.

– Both teams claim they are ready to run. Suspense. It looks like a short sprint.

alaska finish

The cheering section looks oh so small.

– So who hits the mat first?

alaska finish 2

10 cities, 4 continents, nearly 30, 000 miles. . .Congratulations Rachel, you just made Christina feel really disappointed with herself, and will cry her way onto the next all-star edition!

– More cheering and hugging. TK is speechless and thinks none of it is real. Phil asks them to talk about their relationship. TK assumes their relationship has grown. Then they share the longest kiss ever recorded in TAR history.

alaska finish 3

Who knew supergluing each other’s lips could be such a bad idea.

– Ronald & Christina hop onto the mat next. They all congratulate each other.

alaska finish 4

CHRISTINA: There’s no one else in this whole entire world that I would run this race with.

alaska azaria

Except maybe this guy.

RONALD: I didn’t come up with first place but I did come up with first place in my daughter.

– Phil asks Ronald to tell his daughter what she means to him. More tears flow.

– Nic & Don eventually show up. The crowd is quieter. Phil informs Donald that he is indeed the oldest person to complete the entire race. Everyone applauds and Donald takes his bow.

alaska donald 2

Oh c’mon, we all knew I would’ve finished first if this f—er could have read a clue better than female lawyers.

heather and eve pic

Being a lawyer, studying legal gaming terms is hard work.

Who held the record before him?

alaska finish 4

The guy on the left from twenty minutes ago.

PHIL: Did you ever think you would make it this far?

alaska donald 3

DONALD: Yes, but not in third.

– Phil asks Nic if he got what he wanted besides winning. He said he did. That’s the only interesting thing he said. He loved doing this with his grandfather. Donald is proud he finished the whole race.

– TK & Rachel discuss their feelings.

TK: Nice guys can definitely finish first.

alaska finish 5

The gang is together for the last time.

So what’s the closing freeze frame shot for this season?

alaska finish 6

TK biting his lip as hard as he can and Rachel walking like an Egyptian. Perfect.

Confessional Count

RONALD.CHRISTINA 11.10
NICOLAS.DONALD  5.3
TK.RACHEL 10.6

Rank the Teams

Let me preface this list by saying it was easily the toughest ‘Rank the Teams’ ever. I am not kidding when I say the worst team on this list would probably be ranked higher than any team on TAR 6 and one of the later seasons in particular. It would be like picking your favourite child. Unless you are Ronald, then you publicly announce on national television that Christina is your favourite by the end of the season.

1) Ronald & Christina

Parent-child teams are notorious for early exits. The best a father-daughter team had done in the past was ninth. Heck, the best parent-child finish has been eighth if I am not mistaken up to this point in TAR history (excluding Bransen Family or Weaver Family, but that’s like the whole premise of Family Edition).

Ronald’s mobility was limited by his hernia. He had the most strained parent-child relationship of any parent-child team to be cast on the race.

But Ronald grew as a person, and Christina learned to adapt to her father’s outbursts and fits of irrationality.

Neither of them are mactors or reside in California. This was a raw relationship with real flaws. Christina couldn’t drive, Ronald gets flustered, and each leg is a brand new day for them to improve their communication.

Plus it’s safe to say that this season would be nowhere near as memorable if it were not for Ronald’s famous phrases and outbursts. Many people have a father like Ronald, and is the main focus of the season in most people’s minds. Sure, Nate & Jenn had their bickering, but Ronald stood out more simply because he wasn’t an archetype typically cast for a competitive reality TV show.

Besides Christina forever shaming the family for screwing up the final roadblock, they were on such a roll at the end of the season that they ended up being the most unlikely team to ever dominate a TAR endgame. Remember when their rivals were Kate & Pat of all people?

Think about it. They went from barely beating out Kate & Pat to smoking people like TK & Rachel and Azaria & Hendekea on the race course. Tell me that transformation doesn’t amaze you.

If you ever wondered why TAR 12 has the highest viewer count of all time, you can simply point to a team like Ronald & Christina. And that’s the cold hard real truth flavour.

Keep in mind that a victory would have retired Ronald & Christina as one of the biggest upsets to dominate the second half of a TAR season, and enshrine their legacy.

However, a defeat sealed a future all-star appearance. Sadly, an appearance in all-stars would be depressing due to Ronald’s rapidly declining health. A hernia was the least of his worries.

2) 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.

3) Nicolas & Donald

They would have been lower if they had not crossed the finish line.

It is awesome a 69-year-old crossed the Finish Line. If memory serves me correct, everybody who has crossed the finish line since then are all HALF his age except for maybe one or two teams.

Nicolas & Donald are probably memorable for having that enormous age gap between them, and the fact that they crossed the finish line shocked everyone. Neither of them were in strong physical shape. All they did was not do anything really stupid until the final leg of the game.

They were vastly underedited once Marianna & Julia were gone. It’s tough to think of any funny incidents besides Nic throwing up, Nic’s efforts to trash talk, and Donald’s mild references to how old he really is.

I know they must have had more moments, but editors seemed to have a tough time with them considering all of the other teams had bigger personalities and shed more tears.

4) Kynt & Vyxsin

Everybody hated Shana & Jennifer for using their U-Turn, but for some reason Kynt & Vyxsin are praised for using theirs.

That’s the type of popularity they wielded during their run on TAR 12.

Kynt applied for Survivor originally, but I guess TAR was a better fit because then he could keep his makeup and crazy outfits all intact. Plus Vyxsin is much more engaging out of the two of them. In fact, Vyxsin is a very strong racer in contrast to Kynt. Kynt’s skills are a bit more limited.

They were probably picked for looks alone, but they ended up being very good speakers and narrators all season. Plus they didn’t make too many working relationships with other racers which made them a bit of a loner, and thus have their own unique storyline.

It didn’t hurt that they had as many goth references prepared in advance and were ready to use them right from the opening minute. That made them unique alone after 22 seasons.

Dynamic, popular, respectful, not too serious, likable, unique, and the super over the top wardrobe? Yeah. They’re probably the most likely married couple to return for a potential all-star. I expect them and Azaria & Hendekea to make a second appearance.

Tied for 5th) 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.

P.S. I recognized Jason in an episode of Gilmore Girls.
Tied for 5th) Nathan & Jennifer

There is no shortage of bickering young couples in the TAR universe. In fact, it seems to be the norm in America based on what TAR has taught us.

But what bickering couple is told by producers that they swear so much that they are reduced to saying “Gosh!” and “Fudge!” all the time?

The people everyone loved to hate this season. Perhaps the only reasons they are remotely likable is because they are reasonably self-aware, referenced Borat, came up with some of the most ridiculous quotes ever that always make you laugh, Jenn being eliminated on her birthday, and the fact they never got what they wanted most–a first place finish.

It is only fitting that a couple, regardless of always being at the top of the pack every round, ends up going home because of their bickering. Usually teams who fight a lot can attribute it to other reasons such as bad luck, but Nate & Jenn were truly gone because of their bickering.

Ron Burgundy and Veronica Corningstone, thank you for taking the standard of the bickering young couple to a new standard.

7) TK & Rachel

Don’t get me wrong, I love TK & Rachel. I am not sad by their victory at all.

So why this low? Well, their only exciting and memorable moments is when they go off script and go against their mantra of being calm and getting along.

And what about their relationships with other teams?
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.
.
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Give up trying to think of their interactions with other teams? You can attribute that to the fact that after they blasted Shana & Jennifer for U-Turning Lorena & Jason in round four, they rarely run into a team on the race course. Going 5 1/2 legs without being on a plane with another team means there is very little overlap on the race course.

Were they cast for the fact they are good looking and from California? Yes.

But that doesn’t change the fact that they are humble winners and nice people. When TK was nervous or angry, it was hilarious to see his demeanour change but it was done in a subtle way. Afterwards he would be traumatized by his supposed anger without acknowledging that Nate & Jenn’s freakouts require ten times more emotion and energy.

A million dollars is indeed freakin’ awesome, TK. Don’t let the dumb h8rs online down play your win simply because you were ‘boring’, because you weren’t. You had enough diverse moments, but compared to a chunk of other teams this season, it seemed like you were ice cold.

8) 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.

9) 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.

10) 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

11) 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) Taipei, Taiwan -> Anchorage, Alaska (This is an honourary position simply because all of the formatting changes for the final leg of the season was awesome.

a) No cities or countries are visited before the Final Destination City.
b) Tasks and climate was challenging
c) Alaska is finally used as a finish line rather than the ‘warm/cold up’ to the endgame.
d) The final roadblock was the most epic and least biased way to declare who is indeed the best team of the season.
e) It marks the first time ever where all three teams in the finale are such great people that you would be perfectly content with whoever wins. No villains, and no idiots. You encourage them all to win equally. This will likely never be repeated in TAR again.

2) Dubrovnik, Croatia -> Florence, Italy (Awesome round even though it is a non-elimination. The reveal of the Speed Bump was an intriguing and buzz-worthy twist.

The leg was very long. Teams were forced to drive themselves for 220 miles in a country with relatively high density population. This made navigation tested moreso than any other leg this season which was awesome. Their stamina was finally tested.

Plus the ferry ride to Italy looked like a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

I liked the Fast Forward task. No more hair-cutting which made producers look creative for once. Instead teams had to permanently mark their body for the first time in TAR history. So that was neat.

The Roadblock was simple unless you’re TK, but the contraption was very Vinci-like and fit in with the adventurous aspect of the race.

As for the Detour? The Invention task was super cool. It was like watching Treasure Hunters. Tradition could have been less subjective in terms of judging.

Add in TK & Rachel’s and Kynt & Vyxsin’s one-uppsmanship in terms of mistakes on the race and you have a near perfect round of TAR. Add in the errors that other teams couldn’t avoid making and this race truly looks like anybody’s game.

Oh, and did I mention how much the casual audience cheered that there was only two non-elimination rounds?

Such a great round.)

3) 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.)

4) Mumbai, India -> Osaka, Japan (The editing in the episode was perfect. I was floored that this round was a non-elimination even though I knew it had to be this round or the next round. Dang editors tricking me.

The tasks were very creative. In TAR 10 they made teams get a driver’s license in India, but it seemed like they were ridiculously lenient. For this revamp in Osaka they made the task much more independent, racked up the difficulty by making them navigate to an address and back, and put them in the downtown district of one of the busiest first world streets in the world.

So awesome. The only thing I could ask for is to include a stick shift for the task.

We understand why teams were never allowed to drive themselves to the route markers outside of that task. I’d fear for their lives.

The Detour was excellent. It didn’t even feel like a needle in the haystack because teams had to rely entirely on a sense of smell which had never been tested before. I must admit the other option was much cooler–robot soccer using cell phones? In 2008? I didn’t even know you could do that!

I wonder if anybody has won a college scholarship so they could play robot soccer professionally?

The interactions between all of the teams were great, and the airport scramble was intriguing enough due to TK & Rachel’s major error.

There hasn’t been a bad leg since the fourth round when they did a linear exploration of Burkina Faso.)

5) Florence, Italy -> Mumbai, India (For being the first city to experience being re-visited in full length in the TAR franchise. . .producers did a very good job to make it different from the last visit. In fact, there is no way to tell it was re-visited unless I was directly told it was Mumbai.

The fight for flights was fun even though it ultimately didn’t matter, and the equalizer’s timing during the day was very reasonable.

This trip to Mumbai was MUCH easier overall compared to TAR 4’s Mumbai round, so that is a shame knowing they could have made the city a much more draining experience for teams. I guess they didn’t want Vyxsin, Jenn, Rachel, and Christina to be groped. Can you imagine Ronald’s experience? Everyone on that train would be dead.

Every task except for the roadblock was relatively new and creative. The garland looked like it could have been frustrating to learn initially and the poster task was hilarious to watch Ronald suffer through it and not fully understand it. The crushed cardboard crate is downright funny.

Teams shuffled very frequently throughout the course of the day which is something that is not seen on TAR to such an extreme.

The episode was primarily focused on the storyline of “Will Kynt & Vyxsin Survive the Speed Bump?”. The outcome was that they didn’t, but the Speed Bump had nothing to do with it. Kynt & Vyxsin created a first-time blunder by yielding/U-Turning a team that was already ahead of them, and thanks to Mrs. Ladak saving Jenn a good twenty minutes to ensure she beat Kynt & Vyxsin to the mat with Nate.

Nic’s exhaustion will stand out too. Overall, I can’t really complain. The Speed Bump was very fitting and was very fair.

Just wish Mrs. Ladak didn’t end the round on a sour note.)

6) 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.)

7) Osaka, Japan -> Taipei, Chinese Taipei/Taiwan/Republic of China/Formosa (If it weren’t for who got eliminated and the editing of the episode, it would be lower.

Think about it. What were the tasks? Sitting in a car where the most challenging thing was holding your breath for seventeen seconds? Running a 220-foot course on jagged rocks? Virtually no skill involved and definitely cannot spread out the teams.

Mix in the fact that teams relied entirely on taxi, and 75% of teams were always equalized on the subway before each route marker, and suddenly you have an artificial close finish.

The only part that involved any skill was figuring out the best flight and avoiding the Money Exchange Counter right when you enter Taipei. Ronald & Christina successfully blocked everyone else from being on the best flight, and ended up with an approximately 24 minute lead for the whole round.

There was very little room for error–and somehow Nate & Jenn made every error possible. For starters, Nate & Jenn didn’t bother with the Immigration line because they didn’t think the next flight with TK & Rachel wouldn’t land in the airport for quite a while. Moments later they found themselves behind TK & Rachel in the Immigration line.

Oh, and their bickering reached new heights to the point that they decided riding on a bus to the Detour was the best option.

Factor in the fact it was Jenn’s birthday when her and Nate are eliminated makes up for the fact that this round didn’t have the most impressive design.

The Speed Bump seemed like it didn’t take more than six or seven minutes total, and that is including driving time.

8) 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.)

9) 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.)

10) 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.)

10) 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
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned
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
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield
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
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
1st TK & Rachel 3.18
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.

Conclusion

So this is it. The end of TAR 12. You know full well that this season will be ranked really high. The viewers love it, the casuals love it, the hardcores love it, and I love it.

This season has so many staples that have managed to survive to the present day and have become stale since, but at the time were awesome twists and format to attempt for TAR.

1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10
2. The Amazing Race 12 – 9.0/10
3. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10
4. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10
5. The Amazing Race 9 – 8.6/10
6. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
7. The Amazing Race 11: All Stars 7.2/10
8. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
9. The Amazing Race 10 – 6.5/10
10. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10

11. The Amazing Race Asia 1 – 4.55/10
12. The Amazing Race 8 – 4.0/10
13. The Amazing Race 6 – 3.9/10

Why is TAR 12 only .21 away from being the best season ever up to this point? Weren’t the teams, dynamics, reduction of equalizers, reduction of non-eliminations, moments, format, twists, final leg, and route amazing?

Yes. . .but I have to take a full point away because not only did we never fall below the equator, but there were some legs that barely lasted half a day.  This is the first season where there were multiple roadblocks that lasted ten to thirty seconds, and some that lasted no more than a minute.

Plus you could say that repeating Mumbai was unnecessary. Repeating a city for a full leg again had never happened before either. But that’s a very minor complaint.

TAR 12 was only 30, 000 miles while TAR 5 was around 70, 000 miles and a longer filming schedule. Not to mention TAR 5 was almost as much of a pioneer for format and twists that would last through to All Stars.

And that’s it. I have nothing else to say about TAR 12. It was truly a great season. Everything on paper said it should have been terrible, but it exceeded everyone’s expectations. Tragically expectations were exceeded to the point that production has been too stubborn to give up some of the formatting that has become stale or is losing effectiveness over the years.

On the horizon we have TAR 13. This is the last season of TAR’s Transition Era. After that the series of face lifts completed over a course of four seasons will be complete.

So what should you expect for TAR 13? If TAR 12 is the season of upsets and expectations being exceeded in terms of organization then TAR 13 is a season of domination and oddball moments involving the cast that left production wondering what they had done wrong. It isn’t a bad season, it’s just. . .offbeat.

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6 Responses to The Amazing Race 12 season finale ranking

  1. Randy says:

    Nancy/Emily (mother/daughter) finished fifth during the first season Amazing Race. So they held the highest placement for a parent/child team until Ron/Christina came along.
    Random trivia: Azaria and Christina are now married. I’m kind of hoping they allow those two to compete together in a future all-stars edition.

  2. I like this season, but I think it is vastly overrated. I felt the opening 5-10 mins were trashy (the one-dimensional intros for the all-female teams as “flirts”, the opening location) and an indicator of the direction where the show wanted to go. The skewed casting of many young teams didn’t hurt the season but it would future seasons.

    A big problem is TK & Rachel as they provide nothing to season and literally the most boring winners in US TAR. They only have two memorable moments (finding the misplaced clue in Italy, and overcoming the Roadblock). Your job is to make yourself compelling/interesting on RTV show and they failed on that level tremendously.

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