BRAZIL – BOLIVIA – NEW ZEALAND – CAMBODIA – INDIA (AGAIN, SADLY) – KAZAKHSTAN – RUSSIA – USA
EDITOR’S NOTE: Off to India? Oh yeah. This is the start of the major financial cuts for TAR.
This was a huge deal for TAR at the time. In the past twelve seasons, it would happen roughly twice per season where you would spend two rounds in the same country. However, production would make you travel to a drastically different region of the country to make it fresh for viewers on TV. For example, if you spent a round in Sydney, the next round you would head to the Outback or to the west coast. Sometimes this is necessary because some continents do not have too many countries to utilize.
Look at Brazil. In TAR 2, 9, and 13, each visit to Brazil would make be the first two legs of the race. Brazil’s land mass is practically the majority of South America.
This round would pioneer the biggest budget cut to the TAR franchise. Once or twice per season you will see two rounds spent in the same CITY. This of course only applies to the most populated cities in the world.
So you spent round five in Siem Reap? Guess what? You could spend round six in Siem Reap as well.
As a viewer this makes two rounds of TAR come together into your mind as one, and one of the two ends up being the least memorable round of the season.
The worst part about this? It means four out of the five remaining legs before the finale of this season will be spread between two cities. 4/11 rounds in two cities. Not to mention four of these five rounds come in the second half of the season where racing stamina and skill should be coming into effect. Instead everybody gets to have drastically shortened travel time and are familiar with the city by the time we get to round two in the same place.
So prepare for a drastic decrease of quality in the TAR franchise. This season the idea wasn’t absolutely terrible because this is where they throw in non-eliminations, but over time it has accumulated to be one of the biggest criticisms of the series.
When teams complete the second leg in the same city you will the best of them finish a round in ninety minutes flat. That’s right. From the time they open the first clue to the point they see Phil is ninety minutes. Route info, Detour, Roadblock, and Pit Stop all in the space of ninety minutes.
Rounds where I complain about it being six to eight hours doesn’t even include a day of air travel most of the time. But here? Ninety minutes will truly mean ninety minutes. About the quarter of the length it takes me to do an episode blog. I am not kidding.
Previously on TAR: Seven teams set out from New Zealand to Siem Reap, Cambodia. Andrew & Dan got off to a slow start. As did newly dating couple Terence & Sarah. At the roadblock Nick found the clue and lied to the other teams leaving Tina wondering around. In the end Nick & Starr claimed victory. And long distance dating couple Aja & Cabbie came up short.
Six teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?
– We know there are two non-eliminations and they have to be non-consecutive. Will the first non-elimination occur this round or next round? ‘Tis a mystery. If you call 50/50 odds a mystery, that is.
– Intro time.
– We are introduced to Siem Reap. It was once a tiny town, survived the horrors of war, but now is a fastest growing city in Cambodia.
– You know what we get for the first time all season? Phil’s Questions!
Phil’s Questions: Can Terence & Sarah recover their time penalty? And can Andrew & Dan step up their game and get out of last place?
– Nick & Starr, who were the first to arrive at 1122am, will depart at 1122pm. Starr reads that they must fly to Delhi, India. Two thousand miles away. Once they land they must travel to Moon Light Motors by taxi where they will find their next clue. Teams have been given one hundred ten dollars for this leg of the race.
– Nick reads they must purchase airline tickets from a travel agency. This rule is always in play for India and Vietnam too. As I’ve said before, I think this is a law limited to southeast Asia but for a reason that has never been explained on the show.
– Nick says he is in disbelief he is doing this race with his “little sister” because they were at each other’s throats when they were little. He probably pushed her sports bras out the window and Starr would be pissed. Dogs are walking in the background of their confessional.
– Starr thinks India will be as shocking as Cambodia. Nick agrees. Confusion. Chaos. Crowds. Heat.
– Starr shows up to a travel agency.
STARR: Hellooooooooo, we’re first.
Unnatural camera splicing.
– 1134pm. Toni & Dallas commence. Dallas says that his mom likes Nick & Starr. He admits that his mom has caught on to him flirting with Starr, and finds it weird talking to her with his mom and Nick around.
You know what the audience reaction was when Dallas admitted he wanted to be an intimate relationship with Starr?
“NO DALLAS, WHAT ARE YOU DOING!”
– First flight gets into Delhi at 415pm. Toni & Dallas enter the same travel agency as them and announce aloud that they will duplicate their tickets. Dallas asks if the four of them can use Internet somewhere. That somewhere is there at the travel agency. We see Dallas do some research.
In Cambodia there is no such thing as keyboards!
– 1153pm. Ken talks about his relationship and that both need to be committed to making the thing work. Thank goodness a NFL player can be on TAR and can go six episodes without referencing his sports profession.
Fast forward to 2013:
We’re wives of professional athletes!!!!
We’re employed by professional athletes!!!!
We’re professional athletes!
Oh my word. We have that to look forward to five years down the road.
Screw your ties to professional athletics. I’m here to save a marriage!
– I should note the Cambodian tuk-tuk drivers have numbers on the backs of their fleece jackets.
He is identified by number. The James Bond of Cambodia. 5636, it is your mission to carry these big reconciling Americans to the travel agency. Godspeed, Mr. 5636.
– Kelly & Christy begin at 1159pm.
Proof that Kelly & Christy bother to read clues.
– They race to a driver. Thankfully tuk-tuks don’t turn into pumpkins once it hits midnight.
– Christy takes another shot at her ex-husband.
CHRISTY: I had more fun traveling with Kelly than I did my ex-husband.
Shocker. I thought women LOVE to spend quality time with their ex-husbands.
CHRISTY: I have more fun with Kelly than anybody in the whole world.
Meanwhile Kelly has fun with nobody in the whole world.
– Christy says she could not be on TAR with Kelly if she had not divorced her husband. She has not been to India and intends to be a sponge.
Christy divorced her husband because he didn’t approve of her using the sponge.
– We re-visit Dallas’ quality research efforts. What conclusion has Dallas reached?
– Ken & Tina make it to the same travel agency. Tina orders Ken to use the Internet while she purchases tickets.
– Terence & Sarah depart at 1205am. She has learned that her and Terence are vulnerable to making the little mistakes while running the race. She says it’s all about working out the kinks between them.
First off, let’s work out the kinks with Terence’s hairstyle.
– You know what I love about the race? People in other countries who have learned English as their second language.
TERENCE: Do you know where we’re going?
The driver’s response?
Well, if that’s the case, The Amelia Sequence would have been solved a lot sooner!
– Kelly & Christy stand up and wait in line. Terence & Sarah chats with other teams.
– 1229am. Not far behind Terence & Sarah is the last place team Dandrew. I am surprised that Kelly & Christy and Dandrew were that close to Terence & Sarah throughout last leg.
– All five teams are at the travel agency. Dallas tries to chat with Starr, but finds it awkward to do so in front of the other teams. His attempt at being smooth?
DALLAS: There’s a bar open right here. Get some drinks, come back, make some drunk calls to these places?
Check your mail, Dallas. You’ve been invited to the Player’s Ball.
DALLAS: My mom’s the worst wingman ever.
Wingman? Weren’t you a wingman on your high school rugby team, Dal?
DALLAS: I hope I stay on this race and hope that Nick & Starr stay on this race and get to know her a little better.
Who knew dating someone while having your mother with you 24/7 could be so difficult.
It’s the real life version of these two being cast on TAR.
– Starr tells us in a confessional that there is indeed an attraction between her and Dallas. That is why she chose to race with somebody as neutral as Nick rather than her own mother.
– Nick asks “Captain America” what he is doing.
Since when did Tom Westman participate in TAR?
– Actually it’s Kenny that is supposed to be Captain America. He has the address and is punching it in. Suddenly Tina boots him off the computer and asks him to eat. Not only eat, but eat while sitting across from her on the other side of the desk.
But he sure is hungry.
– Everyone welcomes Dandrew to the travel agency. Dan guarantees that everyone will end up on the same flight.
TINA: Hasta la vista.
Once again Tina, Cambodia is NOT a Spanish speaking country.
– Dan says the balls are in his court. It’s up to him whether or not they waste it. All six teams are shown boarding a plane.
– Wait a minute. Did Christy say earlier that she has the most fun with Kelly compared to anyone else? How in the world is that possible? Does Christy know no other living creature on the planet?
Is Texas full of Frowny McFrownersons?
– Phil reminds us teams are flying to Delhi, India. The flight lands. Kelly & Christy have no idea where the exit is in the airport. All six teams are shown scrambling in the airport.
How do we get out of here?! It’s like the time we locked our keys outside of the car!
– Nick & Starr are first into a taxi. Moonlight Motors. Their parents follow just behind. Toni & Dallas third. A local tells their driver directions before departing. Dandrew are fourth into a cab.
NICK: I think Kelly & Christy are gonna fall to pieces.
STARR: Unfortunately–I would not be comfortable wearing what they are wearing.
NICK: They seem totally oblivious. I said ‘first chance you guys get I would throw anything you got over the shorts. She looked at me like I was crazy and she goes ‘well it is hot’. And I was like ‘okay, I saw how the guys were looking at you on the plane’.
Like. Oh my god. Nick has learned way too much of the uptalk and all of the mechanics behind gossip.
– TAR decides to enhance this by showing multiple shots of men smiling in a creepy fashion. It seems offensive only because NONE of the shots involve the men directly smiling or gesturing towards Kelly & Christy. I guess they needed footage that couldn’t be blurred and could be used for television, but geez, choose something that is accurate.
Hey, it’s Hal Johnson from Bodybreak!
Who else is in India firing creepy smiles at Kelly & Christy?
YOU? AGAIN?! You just won’t quit until you grope and touch every female TAR racer that enters India’s borders, eh?
– Terence & Sarah are last into a cab. Surprising because they have always been first out all season. Sarah probably ran too far ahead of Terence.
So it’s not just outer space where monkeys play with telephone lines.
– For about the ninth episode in TAR history, we see scenic shots of India. The usual East Indian inspired music soundtrack. The streets full of bikes, small cars, and people. Stray animals. Tiny homes and homeless people.
– Starr describes the craziness of the traffic in terms of everyone honking horns and everyone in cars. She said in Cambodia everyone was sensible and drove motorcycles. Ken spots a cow on the road.
DALLAS: I thought India was way different than this.
Am I the only one who is extremely curious to know what Dallas did think of India beforehand? He didn’t know it was big. He didn’t know where Cambodia and New Zealand were. Dallas’ geographical knowledge is borderline zero.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he thought it was the Taj Mahal occupying one half of the country while a billion people spaced out in rural farms for the other half of the country.
Or thought a place called ‘Delhi’ in India would be filled with sandwich shops from street to street!
The most patient pedestrian in India. Every day he walks to Baskin Robbins and buys himself a little treat!
– Dan complains about the heat in India. He declares Cambodia was child’s play compared to Delhi.
– Christy finally recalls that cows are a holy animal in India, and that’s why they are everywhere and not being punished for it.
Uh, I see you’re taking a break from appearing on the Funny 115 and Survivor: Blood vs. Water?
If cows are treated well in India, then maybe Kelly & Christy should move there if they want good husbands!
Uh, thanks Gervase. That’s pretty offensive, but whatever. I’ll just go ahead and blame Joel for it.
CHRISTY: Cows are a holy animal in India. I guess that’s why they say “don’t have a cow, man”.
– Starr fans herself in the cab. Tina comments on the craziness. Ken & Tina and Toni & Dallas talk to each other at a stoplight. They ask each other about their cabs. Ken & Tina admit to them that they are certain their driver doesn’t know where it is.
– Ken gets out and asks for directions. The guy says it is a turn at the light. During the conversation Tina keeps yelling “It’s right down the street, it’s right down the street”.
Well if it’s right down the street then why ask for directions and run instead! Ken has to manage someone who isn’t the best English speaker and somebody like Tina who speaks loudly and in a nagging fashion.
I love how Ken is looking past the local and instead at the camera operator as if he wants to take the camera and spike it like a football into the concrete.
– Ken gives a confessional about how Tina feels she is right 99.9% of the time. Ken believes that Tina needs to have faith in him and trust him sometimes if they want to progress forward.
I may have cheated on her, but she needs to have faith and trust in me!
– Nick & Starr show up to Moonlight Motors while the classic old school TAR Morse Code music plays. It’s a Roadblock.
HINT: Who has an artistic flare?
– In this Roadblock, one person from each team will paint auto rickshaws green to signal that they run on a more environmentally friendly substance–natural gas. Before they can paint they must mask the yellow exterior and interior with newspapers.
What’s with India and newspapers in TAR for last season and this season?
– Once they are done this task they will receive their next clue. I doubt it takes more than twenty minutes at the most.
– Starr is doing the roadblock. Dandrew show up second. Andrew is doing the Roadblock. Thankfully he’s not working with diesel fuel. Nick is very hands on with the task. Same with Dan.
– Dan feels great to be 1-2 with Nick & Starr because he likes them and doesn’t feel intimidated by them.
– We immediately cut to Nick telling Andrew to take off the mask because he won’t need it until spraypainting. Nick proceeds to laugh. I find it hilarious that all five teams correct Andrew on his silly moments because EVERYBODY wants him and Dan to make it into the Final Three with them. Correct and laugh at their mistakes and pray that they make your 33.3% chance of winning the final leg increases to a fifty percent chance.
They know all about that!
If Nick scolds Andrew for doing something wrong like his father. . .does that make Ken & Tina his grandparents?
– Tina sees that the driver is on the wrong street. Kelly & Christy’s driver has pulled over to ask for directions. Terence & Sarah pull alongside them. Sarah is happy to know they are no longer alone at the bottom.
Christy’s cheeks swell from stress and Frowny McFrownerson has an appropriate punishment in mind for the driver.
– It’s dark outside. Nick coaches Starr on the technique. Dan acts as a cheerleader. Toni & Dallas show up. Toni is doing the roadblock. Starr tells Dallas it is easy. Nick responds for her to focus while acknowledging the relationship is cute.
– Kelly & Christy are now present at the Roadblock. Kelly supposedly has creative flare.
-Tina is increasingly frustrated and orders Ken to tell the locals to direct them to Moonlight Motors. Terence & Sarah rate their cab driver’s communication skills a ‘C+’. Tina shuns a local when he doesn’t respond to her Chris Tucker-like condescending behaviour. They re-enter the car and hope for the best. Suspense music plays to see who will be fifth to Roadblock.
– It’s Terence & Sara. Ken & Tina’s driver stops because he is lost. They ask for directions but think they finally have it. She keeps telling him to hurry. They exit and ask him to hurry. Ken is doing the Roadblock. Tina is amazed that every team beat them.
Subtext: Why did Kelly & Christy and Dandrew beat them?
– Starr’s newspaper is approved. So is Andrew. Dallas is impressed with Toni’s current work.
– Terence, per usual, is demanding Sarah to complete the task to perfect specifications as if he is the judge for this task. All six teams are in such close quarters that everyone hears Terence’s typical behaviour for the first time since the second Detour in Brazil.
And yes, Christy is the first person to be shown reacting. I bet Christy wasn’t even reacting to Terence & Sarah, but this is the best shot they could find.
In the Bible it states “All women should listen to and obey men when it comes to putting newspapers inside Indian auto rickshaws and spraypainting it green. Oh, and the Bible states that “Only men can wear their hair however they like”, and “he must always run ahead of her but not vice versa”.
– Dandrew tears Terence apart in the confessionals.
ANDREW: Who makes their wife do bodywork on a vehicle?
I’ve seen men who let their wives wash a vehicle with a hose and soap while dressed in a bikini. Oh, and the men typically make six, seven, or eight figure salaries.
– Tina becomes Kenny’s new coach since he retired from the NFL.
TINA: You’re doing it too perfect. Don’t make it too big. Every tiny tear like that is taking more time. You’re taking so much time tearing it if you just rollll it out. Ken, also, look here. Kenny. Can you turn and look for a second?
Surprisingly, Ken gives a confessional that the marriage is in jeopardy.
Ken is examining the duct tape a bit too much right now.
DAN: Andrew is a Da Vinci-Michelangelo-David of all rolled into one right now. He is just a madman with this paint.
Raphael always gets the shaft.
– Dallas coaches Toni how to properly spraypaint. Toni loves that Dallas is coaching her but wonders how her son knows how to spraypaint so well.
– Terence is critical of Sarah babe and tells her babe that it does not babe need to go babe higher than where babe it currently sits babe.
That yellow line? Yeah, just ignore it. Covering the window will be fine.
TERENCE: I’m telling you what you wanna know when you’re not listening to me.
SARAH: Babe, don’t get frustrated with me. I’m asking you a question. I swear to god if you talk to me like that it’s gonna get worse. Don’t talk to me like that!
TERENCE: Go look at it, babe. I’m going back and forth–
SARAH: You should be supportive, babe.
– Sarah is frustrated and feels that her fragility from Terence’s critical behaviour got in their way. Yet again Sarah takes the blame for Terence’s actions in a confessional.
– Terence finally bites his lip and says he is doing a great job until he tells her that Ken & Tina has passed them.
– It’s a race to see who will finish first. Dandrew are done first! They run out.
DAN: Our best finish yet!
– Andrew reads they must head to the Ambassador Hotel. Once here they must search for an Indian Doorman who will hand them their next clue.
– They run onto the main road to flag a cab.
Ah yes. Fun times.
– Starr is finished the Roadblock. Her and Nick exit as they yell for a taxi into the darkness. Dallas maintains his coaching of Toni. Terence coaches Sarah. Dandrew have yet to claim a cab. Nick & Starr have one, however. Just like that Dandrew’s lead is gone.
– Toni & Dallas are done. He yells for ‘English’ before entering a taxi. Whole strategy is not to finish last. No kidding. Christy feels that Kenny is speeding through the task. He yells for the painter. Tina thinks he is going to an extreme.
– They run into the street upon completing the clue. The driver of their cab is found after losing him for a minute. Dandrew have a cab and are in fourth place.
– Terence emphasizes Sarah to speed up after showing her how to hold the spraypaint. She runs out of paint. Terence requests more paint. Kelly is done the task and exits. Terence throws in another ‘babe’ upon sharing the news of Kelly & Christy’s exit. Terence emphasizes to paint it not too high.
– Nick & Starr show up to the Ambassador Hotel. It’s a Detour.
Launder Money or Launder Clothes.
– In Launder Money, teams make their way to a banquet hall and decorate a necklace with Indian money known as rupees. . .
Must avoid first thing that comes to mind. . .
DAMMIT! Gotta do it!
– The necklace must have ten individual rupee notes that add up to the sum of exactly 780. Teams must exchange their own stash of cash for the exact number of Rupee notes. Once it is finished they must find a waiting groom and trade it for their next clue.
Hoskote presents Naina with her own future before her eyes.
– In Launder Clothes, teams head to a laundry shop. Here they will choose an ironing station and use a traditional charcoal-heated iron to press twenty pieces of clothing. When the laundry woman feels the clothing has been properly pressed she will hand them their next clue.
Luckily Millie & Chuck aren’t here for this year’s India Laundry task. Otherwise they would steal somebody’s iron and iron someone else’s clothes.
– Nick & Starr can’t make a decision. Toni & Dallas emerge onto the scene and grab a clue. Ken & Tina realize their taxi is horrendous and decide to switch.
– Toni & Dallas open the clue. Nick & Starr continue to debate. Toni tells Dallas he is a pro ironer. Both teams decide to Launder Clothes. Apparently nobody is willing to help a drug deal launder money.
Money laundering? Teams will finally visit a bakery on TAR?
– Dandrew show up to the Roadblock. Kelly & Christy come by and grab the clue but yet Dandrew aren’t in the shot. Kelly & Christy run into the cab and decide to launder clothes because they don’t want to be confused with money.
Feminism takes a big leap ahead when two divorcees decide they are only capable of laundering clothes because, well, handling money is so gosh darn tough!
– DAN: They’re two semi-attractive females. That’s how they’ve gotten so far.
ANDREW: Semi-attractive. That’s good.
Semi-attractive. Where you’re attractive. But not really.
– Sarah is done. They are last as the Morse Code music plays. Sarah is upset with how Terence treated her.
TERENCE: Let’s not even talk about it. I don’t wanna talk about it.
SARAH: I’ve never ever ever been in last place.
TERENCE: Well now we’re in last place unless you can get us there quicker.
SARAH (to driver): Please! Fast!
Did Terence. . .just play the victim role?
Is that a mole Sarah has on her face after spraypainting?
Kelly & Jon can’t help but point it out.
Doesn’t appreciate it.
– Nick & Starr watch a demonstration. He touches an iron and feels it is hot. They grab gloves from their bags. They are approved piece by piece of clothing which makes the task seem much easier than it did on paper.
– Ken & Tina’s taxi pulls over next to another taxi because of Ken’s request. He has found a new driver who knows where it is. However, they have to settle the fare with the previous driver.
TINA: How much.
(DRIVER holds up two fingers.)
KENNY: Two hundred rupees? You may have cost me one million, you know that?
Hey Kenny, why don’t you take that million bucks and. . .shove it up your ass! Now give me those two hundred rupees.
– Terence & Sarah choose to Launder Money. Ken & Tina are last to the Detour clue. They choose to Launder Money.
KEN: We’re just hopin and prayin.
TINA: C’mon Kennyyyyyyy.
Although I think Ken would race with Tina ten times before Karyn once.
– Very fast paced editing right now. Toni & Dallas’ driver admits he is lost and asks for directions. Dandrew’s cab is also lost. Kelly & Christy are second to Launder Clothes. Kelly & Christy and Nick & Starr comment on each other’s presence.
– Christy asks for gloves but they are not provided. Toni & Dallas show up to Launder Clothes and are pissed to see Kelly & Christy. They also do not have gloves. Starr tells them the gloves are their own.
Well, Nick & Starr really came prepared to race. The other two teams look like idiots right now.
– Toni’s iron doesn’t slide according to her. Starr said her and Nick didn’t iron once when growing up. Kelly & Christy make the same comment that I did earlier.
Get it? Cause they’re divorced and hate men worldwide.
CHRISTY: Oh god! Please singe my skull with this blazing hot iron.
For some reason we get a random close-up of an observer.
Divorce? What’s that?
And oh my god, is she developing chicken pox? Nope. Wait. That’s just my ignorance speaking.
– Dandrew eventually show up to Launder Clothes. Nobody else is done yet. Dandrew asks for gloves but Nick tells them they aren’t provided. Kelly laughs at them but gets burned.
Making fun of another team for doing terrible at a task while you make a dumb mistake at the same task while ironing?
– Ken & Tina and Terence & Sarah read the clue over regarding Launder Money. The suspense is built as to who will be there first.
TINA: You need ten notes that equals exactly 780.
KEN: You’ve completely lost me on this.
He was an athlete. Not a mathlete.
Finally. A face on the race that is more painted than Kelly & Christy.
The idea of space in a banquet hall is a foreign concept in India.
If I knew Terence & Sarah would say ‘babe’ this often, I would have pitted them against Rob & Kim. I think their count may be just a few shy of Rob & Kim. Oh well. I’m sure they won’t be the last team to babespam on TAR.
SARAH: That’s how we staple it on there. That’s the sample. We need to go get change. Let’s get change from those people down there.
TERENCE: . . . .
What a thoughtful response.
– Terence wants to go outside on the street where people aren’t at a banquet hall spending top dollar. Ken & Tina show up to the Detour. Both teams begin exchanging money but struggle.
– Dan burns himself but continues. He talks about how nobody does any ironing at frat houses. Dan discovers he is terrible at folding too.
– Nick & Starr are done. They read they must take a taxi to Baha’i House. It is the national headquarters of the Baha’i faith. No idea what the baha’i faith is but it is a nice house from the 1930s. Nick & Starr enter a cab. They are told the pit stop is far. So the round shall come down to a taxi ride.
– Ken & Tina and Terence & Sarah continue exchanging money. Tina’s yelling isn’t as successful as Sarah’s friendliness.
– Terence & Sarah have their last bit of change amongst a large crowd.
SARAH: Woo! I love you! I love you!
That probably doesn’t have the same Latin American meaning in India because one of the members of the crowd tries to take her up on that declaration.
It’s hilarious because the voice that says it is so casual. What’s even better is that HER FREAKIN’ BOYFRIEND IS STANDING RIGHT NEXT TO HER!
That takes guts. He asks for a kiss in front of her boyfriend. Either he’s drunk or thought the whiny guy behind her was her little brother rather than a lover.
SARAH: Uh, no kiss.
Sarah meets a casual request with a casual response.
– Whoa. Nick & Starr are already at the pit stop.
How can a faith unite mankind if I have never heard of it before today?
If I was Phil I would be really nervous if someone was standing next to me balancing flames on their head.
She’s like a human umbrella. But instead of standing next to her when there’s rain, you stand next to her to avoid walking in darkness.
And whatever you do, don’t bow.
1ST: NICK & STARR
– Phil informs them that they are team number one for the second time in a row. They have each won an electric car. It’s environmentally friendly.
PHIL: You’re in India. The wind is blowing. It’s hot. You’re team number one.
That has to be one of Phil’s most random statements ever. All he did was describe how he was feeling as if he was being passive-aggressive in some fashion.
Which happens to fit in with the attitude of India, come to think of it.
NOTE: Nick & Starr have won legs 1, 5, and 6. Ken & Tina have won legs 2, 3, and 4. With MLB playoffs currently ongoing, I can’t help but feel that they are having TAR’s first ever best-of-seven series.
And what’s depressing about this fact?
The fact that there are nine other teams on the TAR roster who have yet to claim first after six rounds. Not since TAR 9 have we seen six rounds of the season be won by only two teams.
– Starr feels blessed to have Nick and feel balanced.
No. Not her.
DAN: You got the picture. Ironing clothes or putting flowers on a necklace. Picking the lesser of two evils.
– Kelly & Christy are done. Holy crap they are moving on up in the pact. They are told the pit stop is two minutes away by taxi.
– Terence & Sarah start putting the necklace together. Tina is upset a guy won’t give her change but Ken notes that he has plenty of change. He eventually gives change.
2ND: KELLY & CHRISTY
And the team they wish to beat the most is the -only- team that beat them.
– Terence & Sarah have finished putting the necklace together.
– They must search reception for a groom. Ken & Tina start putting together the necklace. Tina is angry and insists she can do it herself.
– Toni & Dallas are done the Detour. Dandrew starts to worry.
Mosh pits are calmer than India’s banquet halls.
– Ken & Tina have finished the necklace. Dandrew are close to ironing. The lady keeps rejecting articles of clothing left and right.
Have they said ‘babe’ ten times this episode? This is rather excessive.
– Everything the teams say are subtitled because of the band and crowd.
You can barely see Tina.
– Dandrew continue ironing but the wind picks up and blows a bunch of their clothes away.
Andrew looks like he is ready to punch her square in the face.
– Dan whines about six articles of clothing being blown over which means he has to re-fold them. Terence & Sarah meanwhile find the groom. Again everything must be subtitled. Ken & Tina find a groom too.
– Dandrew still have eight articles of clothing to go. Terence & Sarah’s cab was waiting for them. Ken & Tina didn’t make the same request and instead must make the effort to flag down a cab.
3RD: TONI & DALLAS
DALLAS: You have fire on your head. That’s insane.
– Dandrew keep getting rejected. Dogs meanwhile chase Ken & Tina down the street. Thankfully Ken’s instinct wasn’t to tackle them.
Oh yeah. This happened just one year earlier.
4TH: TERENCE & SARAH
– So much for Dandrew being in the lead just ninety minutes earlier. Andrew coaches Dan how to iron. He must be done his half. Ken & Tina have a taxi and get moving. Dandrew are finally done the task. They ask for directions from a local before entering a cab.
– Ken & Tina’s cab must pull over and quickly ask for directions. Tina has an argument over whether there’s enough space for her to get in. She asks him to move his feet.
You know how the promo said that there was a big fight at the end of last week? Well here’s the fight:
KEN: Please! Get in!
(TINA gets in.)
That was it. No joke.
I can understand why she thought there was no room.
More comfortable ride than the Bransens, though.
– Lots of honking. Both teams don’t want to be last. Suspense. Both teams identify the pit stop. So who will get fifth on what could easily be an elimination round?
“WE BEAT A GOOD TEAM! WE BEAT A GOOD TEAM! FOR ONCE!”
– Dan keeps yelling that he can’t believe they aren’t last.
For the third round in a row they have finished next-to-last. They have taken over Marisa & Brooke’s role from the first three rounds.
LAST: KEN & TINA
– Phil informs them they are last. . . however it’s a non-elimination round. They are relieved. Phil explains to them the Speed Bump twist.
The Speed Bump: Get on your knees and admit Dan & Andrew are better racers than you for five minutes.
KEN: Everyone loves a comeback. We’re not talking about a little football game or The Amazing Race. We’re talking about an all-encompassing situation which is. . .(cries). . .(camera cuts five minutes later). . .And. . .we want this race and we want to win it for each other.
Stop yo cryin’.
Next Time on TAR: It’s an elimination round as Ken & Tina fight to stay alive in the shortest round of TAR’s 23-season history. Terence does the craziest thing he has ever done, and Kelly & Christy get lost in translation.
Rank the Legs:
1) La Paz, Bolivia -> Tauranga, New Zealand
This was by far the greatest designed round from the first four episodes of the season. It wasn’t a five hour day once you entered the country like the first three rounds.
Teams started before dawn and didn’t finish until just before or just after dusk.
That made the round a big grind. Dandrew, Starr, Aja & Cabbie, and Marisa & Brooke all suffered from the attrition of the round. Heck, Starr was hysterical by the time she hit the pit stop with what she thought was a broken arm.
This was easily the toughest gnome finding task of the season. Teams appeared to take several minutes before spotting a gnome several blocks away. Remembering its location and figuring out how to get there once you left the rooftop seems much more difficult than simply searching for it in a hole or around a Lithuanian house.
The roadblock irked me because it took no longer than a minute total. Too bad Amanda & Chris weren’t around to take forty minutes. The only thing to make up for the task’s easy difficulty is that the Maori warriors intentionally messed with the minds of contestants.
I loved how Starr had to pay the price for what she did in the previous round and once again couldn’t get Kelly & Christy off their back. What’s even funnier is that Nick pretended to help them when really he wanted them to suffer. Then Kelly & Christy end up demolishing the task to make Nick’s diabolical plan blow up in his face.
Given that Detour tasks have seemed really easy thus far, it is no wonder why so many teams switched out from the kiwi crushing to the Blow Kart racing. I think Blow Kart racing was neat because I never knew vehicles like that existed in the first place. New Zealand is truly the capital of adventure sports.
Also, I enjoyed the task of undoing the Gordian Knot. No idea why it had to be done in New Zealand specifically but it was neat regardless.
And lol @ Kelly & Christy running up the entire summit for no reason.
All in all it was a fun round. Sadly the last fifteen minutes of airtime plays out really rushed when you watch it. You’ll notice the choppy commentary in my episode blog for this round but that is because we switched scenes every four seconds. No joke.
Plus. . .PHIL’S DAD!!!!!
2) Taurangua, New Zealand -> Siem Reap, Cambodia
I enjoyed it.
Okay. Going to a new country is always a ton of fun. You get to visit the most memorable and most unique places in that country when it makes its TAR debut. The floating island community is to this day recognized as one of the most intriguing places visited in TAR.
Oh, and freakin’ Angkor Wat. A modern wonder of the world for the past millennium. It’s right up there with TAR’s visit to The Sphinx. Actually, no. Sphinx and Pyramids were much more awesome.
Anyways, some of the tasks seemed to go by too quickly. The handpump task was just way too easy. . .unless you’re Dandrew.
It was one of those “will our boat break down or not?” leg designs. Luckily the teams weren’t bunched up. Seeing a team go home because a boat broke down seems dumber than a bad taxi because boat travel is a rarer form of transportation in TAR, and there is nothing you can do about faulty boats because you’re not even the one driving it.
Also, the diesel trucks traveling in an ultra linear fashion was also a matter of luck. You had to hope your driver wasn’t slow enough to be passed by other teams as they all traveled in a convoy to the harbour.
No equalizers! I love a round without equalizers. Even if it tragically comes at the expense of Aja & Cabbie.
Plus Kelly & Christy and Dandrew’s fight over “Who could make dumber errors” was a fun storyline that played out this round. Yet somehow neither were eliminated. Aja & Cabbie must have been hours and hours behind but yet it was still daylight. Seeing how teams landed by 705am, the round probably didn’t take more than seven hours total. That isn’t a whole lot.
3) Salvador, Brazil -> Fortaleza, Brazil
Funniest round of TAR in a long time. Everyone delivered.
a) Tina’s sense of entitlement and telling everybody and their mother that they single-handedly increased the size of the plane even though it was really because Kevin Smith was on board
b) Terence being such a mixed bag of right and wrong and crybabyitis. This leg was all about Terence & Sarah from start to finish. He is simultaneously hated and loved by every team.
c) Kelly & Christy continue their quest of inspiring everyone on this season to make horribly dumb decisions. Oh, and did you know they are divorced?
d) Nick & Starr play such an antisocial game because Nick’s sphere of caring does not lie outside of Ken, Tina, and Starr. Also, forcing Starr to kiss seamen is downright amusing.
e) Anthomania. Anthony’s obsession with failed cars.
f) Marisa & Brooke pretty much acting like twelve year olds as they run through the race. I mean, handing out candy and squealing whenever they saw nudity on the beach.
g) The Detour was fairly creative. Even if one of the options was a mirror of a Detour from eight seasons earlier.
The only issue I had was the lacklustre roadblock. But seriously, the huge errors and personality quirks that the teams suffered from makes this an incredible episode from start to finish.
4) Siem Reap, Cambodia -> Delhi, India
This round drops to #4 solely because of how many times TAR has visited India. In fact, they did multiple tasks in Delhi back in the inaugural TAR season. This would mark the tenth pit stop in India. Ten pit stops in thirteen seasons is ridiculous.
But the round itself was designed well. Ironing clothes and putting together a necklace full of rupees were two creative ideas. Spraypainting and newspapering an auto rickshaw was great too.
Plus the confusing streets were so confusing that most taxi drivers couldn’t handle driving around the nation’s capital. I bet there are places in India that you don’t visit as a taxi driver for several years because of the enormous population and side streets.
The culture shock of India is repetitive by this point in the TAR franchise, but it is always neat to see a clip of teams freaking out or potentially shutting down. These six teams handled themselves well.
One of two non-eliminations being used this round was a surprise for viewers. But what was an even bigger surprise is that Dan & Andrew weren’t the ones that finished in last place.
5) Los Angeles/Where else? -> Salvador, Brazil
The least memorable tasks in a premiere ever? I forgot about baristas, churches, military base, boats, and the descent.
Heck, the only memorable task before I watched this episode was Dandrew crawling up the steps, but that’s because Dandrew can make anything they do memorable. Even if they eat a bowl of Cheerios they would be more interesting than any other team doing anything except Anthony & Stephanie.
But seriously, Dandrew isn’t the only redeeming factor to balance out the uninspired and rehashed tasks this task. There was a lot of hilarious moments of foreshadowing and character interactions that are downright entertaining. In fact. that essentially takes over the episode.
Perhaps the reason why the competition aspect doesn’t engage us is because all eleven teams check in within a space of about eight minutes. It was far too chaotic for the viewer to follow. That’s what happens when the pit stop is barely a minute away from the end of the Detour. If I was an editor I’d have a tough time making it cohesive on screen.
Get used to appreciating the characters while they last. Anita & Arthur are a fitting first team to be eliminated and made enough of a contribution to the series.
Lastly, this episode receives a major positive boost because Anthony & Stephanie survived, and frankly back when this season originally aired in 2008, that is what we all only cared about.
6) Fortaleza, Brazil -> La Paz, Bolivia
(The round was too short. Seriously. We needed ten minutes spent on Sports Bra Gate. At the time it seemed relatively minor, but in the grand scheme of things we never knew it would forever change the series. After this season teams would no longer be able to mingle with each other at the pit stop.
It’s funny because Christy could have slammed a door too hard, or the wind could have picked up to blow away the sports bra. If Starr really did it, she should have her house egged for making pit stops seem extremely bland for these past five years and making teams estranged from one another.
Newspaper reading wasn’t original given that we saw it as a task just six episodes ago.
The Musical Marching seemed rather bland for a Detour option. I hated that the speed of the musicians was not a fixed speed and differed from crew to crew. They should have been forced to keep up with the speed of the teams.
I can see why Phil Keoghan and Bertram both hyped up the fast wooden bikes. That looked like by far one of the most dangerous tasks in TAR history. I was expecting a team to get med evac’d. Christy is very lucky to escape with a few scratches and bruises.
I am curious how much more exhausted Mark & Bill would have been if they stayed in the high altitude longer. Despite being given a drink to deal with the altitude, teams really had a tough time with being focused or handling the physical tasks.
The roadblock was neat. It is one of the few times where judging was objective. You either fit the criteria or you didn’t. The funny capes and costumes must have been a hoot to wear.
It is too bad that the round ended on a bummer of a note as Mark & Bill check in seventh but a time penalty allowed Fan Least Favourites Kelly & Christy to pass them.
Oh, and did we mention this is the round where Nick continues his quest to be the first edited sociopath in the history of TAR? Prepare to watch TAR’s equivalent to Lord Heidik continue to go through the race.
P.S. lol. Nobody used the U-Turn despite all of the hatred being present.)