The Amazing Race season 13 episode 8 ranking

Eighth episode

cambodia terence sarah 2

This is your brain on a normal diet.

delhi terence 9

This is your brain on chili peppers.

india terence sarah 3

Knowledge is power!
COUNTRIES VISITED

BRAZIL – BOLIVIA – NEW ZEALAND – CAMBODIA – INDIA (AGAIN, SADLY) – KAZAKHSTAN – RUSSIA – USA

NOTE: 2008. A time where Borat was still referenced in every high school, college, university, and elementary school across North America. Borat had about an eighteen month period where it was huge. The ongoing legal troubles, the craziness of the stunts, and Pamela Anderson’s scene being as fake as her chest all contributed to one of the longest stays in the mainstream of any film ever.

If Napoleon Dynamite owned 2003 and 2004, Borat owned 2007 and 2008. Borat was easily the biggest film after Napoleon Dynamite. Sure, some movies grossed more money, but no movie was references as much as Borat or Napoleon Dynamite in regular conversation and schools across North America.

I was there in grades ten and eleven. I would have a tough time counting how many days Borat wasn’t referenced.

I bet Borat was the single biggest contributor to TAR deciding that the franchise should visit Kazakhstan. After all there was already the quote from TAR 12 where Nate & Jenn referenced Borat’s “King of the Castle” scene. So it’s clear production loved the movie because not only is Kazakhstan visited, but they air a direct reference to Borat again.

I feel bad for every person of Kazakhstan descent who was living in the USA at the time. You were better off when nobody could point to Kazakhstan on a map.

Are you pumped for Kazakhstan? Well good because so am I!

ANOTHER NOTE: Oh, and another huge thing heading into this episode? In the first twelve seasons of TAR there had yet to be a team that has won four consecutive rounds of play. A few teams have won three rounds over the years, or even four or five out of six rounds of play, but the idea of being unstoppable for four consecutive rounds was unthinkable.

The level of domination required over a variety of legs, equalizers, and probably multiple continents, makes it virtually impossible for a team to be that dominant for such a long period.

But that could all change this round. Nick & Starr have won three rounds in a row. All they need to do is win this upcoming round and the record for longest streak will be theirs. Producers are praying this doesn’t happen because you can’t really build your franchise around a team like Nick & Starr as potentially being the most dominant team ever. Well, up to this point they certainly weren’t making the effort to make them polarizing or universally well-liked.

So that was the huge question going in. Can they claim perhaps the most coveted streak in TAR history?

Previously on TAR: Six teams continued their journey through Delhi, India. A colourful roadblock was no party for Kelly. But a Speed Bump and a traffic jam put separated couple Ken & Tina behind early. At the Detour  siblings Nick & Starr joined forces with Toni & Dallas. While frat boys Andrew & Dan didn’t have a clue until Ken & Tina offered help. In the end Nick & Starr notched another victory. And best friends Kelly & Christy came in last.

Five teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– This is Delhi, India. It is one of the most populated cities in the world. It was the seventh pit stop in a race around the world.

– Phil’s Questions: Having claimed four first place finishes, can anyone stop Nick & Starr?

– Nick & Starr, who arrived at 1014am, will depart at 1014pm.

But they started the previous leg at 855am.

So they opened the first clue, went to the roadblock, the bird hospital, completed the Detour, and arrived at the pit stop in one hour and nineteen minutes.
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HOLY CRAP!

That is by far the fastest completion of a leg in TAR history. I spent eight hours blogging the last episode while Nick & Starr could have done the leg six times in a row? It’s not fair. It’s just not fair!

I am in disbelief. Seventy-nine minutes is all they needed.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Heading into this round everyone was rooting for the downfall of Nick & Starr. Everyone was begging for it. Can a team really win the season after finishing first three times in a row in the middle of the season despite being strongly disliked by the audience? What kind of season would it be if a team wins eight out of eleven rounds? Would TAR even “allow” that?

– Alright. Enough notes. Let’s just watch the dang episode.

– Nick & Starr open the clue. They read that they must fly to Kazakhstan. Upon reading the clue, we hear Kazakhstan’s national anthem.

borat

Kazakhstan is the greatest country in the world
All other countries are run by little girls
Our country’s potassium is the best
While all other countries potassium is inferior

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This is gonna be a fun round.

– But seriously, they are flying to Almatazy, Kazakhstan, according to Starr. Oh. The place is really called Almaty, Kazakhstan. Apparently Starr needs some more Z’s to avoid adding Z’s when reading.

– Once in Almaty they must take a taxi to find the Chicken Factory to receive their next clue.

They’re going to a freakin’ Chicken Factory of all places in Kazakhstan? Oh god. They really did watch Borat.

Careful, the Kazakhstani chickens bite!

– Starr reads they receive 403 dollars for this leg.
borat 2

403 American dollars invested into our economy, I like!

bruce almighty

And at the pit stop they can watch local Jim Carrey film Bruce Almaty.

– Nick says every time he starts out a leg his vision of the future gets bleaker and bleaker. He waits for their luck to run out or for a team to zoom past by them. Starr wants to go to a computer to do some research.

kazakhstan nick starr

What’s with the military gear? Parents were in the army, we assume?

mario party look away

And it looks like they are playing the Look Away mini game from Mario Party 2. Never look in the same direction!

– Toni & Dallas check out ten minutes later at 1024pm. Dallas reveals his limited knowledge of Kazakhstan.

kazakhstan toni dallas

Mama Toni comes in with good advice for Dallas.
kazakhstan toni dallas 2

borat 2

Nobody like-uh the Borat.

– Toni admits her and Dallas have been slipping under the radar and thinks it is an advantage. They meet up with Nick & Starr. Suddenly romantic Film Noir music plays. Toni and Nick are at the desk together booking tickets at a travel agency.

kazakhstan dallas starr

Did we really need Toni’s head magnified with Dallas and Starr in the background.

– The Film Noir music continues as Dallas asks Starr if she ever got into trouble when she was in school. Her and Dallas admit they both did pranks.

STARR: Are you a shy person?
DALLAS: No.
STARR: You didn’t make eye contact with me in LA, though. I tried so hard.
DALLAS: I was on the race.
STARR: Whatever.

kazakhstan dallas starr 2

Not a shy person but can’t help but look away.

– The conversation continues. The LA Noire atmosphere rises.

borat 2

American softcore film. . .I like!

creepy 2

Me too.

la noire

What can I say. LA Noire was a major component of American culture back in 2008-2011.

TONI: K, wait a minute. Dallas come here.
kazakhstan dallas starr 4

kazakhstan dallas starr 3

Oh my god. This is soooo funny. The devastation on Dallas’ face as he was probably 1.2 seconds away from second base.
kazakhstan dallas starr 5

So great.

– There is a Lufthansa flight that gets into Almaty at 1150pm. Twenty-five hours from now?

TONI: It gets in at 2350.
DALLAS: That’s eleven fifty at night.

Impressive, Dallas.

– They head to the airport. Dallas wants to help Nick & Starr as much as possible but he wants the million dollars.

DALLAS: I’ll be able to pay for dinner.

– 1043pm. Terence & Sarah start. Sarah is thrilled to be going to Kazakhstan to try their potassium-laden bananas. Their taxi driver is wearing the biggest turban I have ever seen.

kazakhstan driver

Akinator ain’t got nothin’ on me, baby.
akinator

Twenty guesses if you don’t know what that guy is.

– Terence complains he has too many things in his pouch.

kazakhstan terence sarah 2

delhi terence 5

Sarah decides to immediately put a stop to Terence’s complaints right in that moment.
kazakhstan terence sarah

She clearly has had enough of Terence’s BS whininess.

– Ken & Tina depart at 1148pm. Over an hour after the first three teams.

There is a clear divide between the quality racing of Ken & Tina, Terence & Sarah, Nick & Starr, and Toni & Dallas compared to the quality of racing of the other seven teams minus Mark & Bill.

– Tina thinks they are communicating better and need to improve a bit more to become an unstoppable force.

– Toni & Dallas and Nick & Starr show up to the airport. They hope no other teams show up.

– Midnight. Dandrew. They are coming off of their third consecutive next-to-last place finish. Their first words?

DAN: Kazakhstan, baby. Borat!

borat 2

I like my name being mentioned, it’s nice.

– Andrew says the other four teams really mean business. He thinks teams shouldn’t count them out.

kazakhstan dandrew

It’s tough to mean business when one is wearing a shirt that says ‘GIRLS’ and the other one wearing a shirt that has a Delaware joke.

– Terence & Sarah are at the airport. The flight connects via Moscow and gets in at 1:20.

DALLAS: 1:20? That means we land at 1:20 in the morning.

– Ken’s bag breaks as they enter the airport. He sees Nick & Starr and Toni & Dallas.

– Terence & Sarah are told about the 1150pm Frankfurt flight. Ken & Tina battle to get on the flight. It’s a four-way scramble for tickets.

– Nick & Starr and Toni & Dallas have tickets for the Lufthansa flight. Tina tries to convince the attendant to have a bigger plane if it’s full.

– Ken & Tina have tickets.

– Terence & Sarah do not. They were too slow. At least Dandrew is their buffer.

– Andrew finds the airport to be ridiculously busy. Who knew an airport in Delhi would be busy. Terence & Sarah receive tickets for the 120am flight.

– Dandrew do not. They have tickets that are significantly further behind the other teams. They connect through Dubai. The only thing working in their favour is that the only thing working in Kazakhstan at night are their clean prostitutes.
kazakhstan scenery

I don’t know why but this looks cool.

borat 4
This is me in the China Ping-Pong roadblock in TAR 1, yes.

– So into Kazakhstan we go.
borat 5

Welcome to my country!

kazakhstan scenery 2

Very nice.

kazakhstan scenery 3

Very nice.
kazakhstan scenery 4

I like.

kazakhstan scenery 5

All three of them shall be my brides.

– The first flight lands. The three teams all have a taxi. Tina is told the Chicken Factory is ten minutes away.

KEN: We’re not there yet. Don’t count your chickens before they hatch.

– All three teams show up and see a gate. The place is closed until 730am. So they must camp out for nearly eight hours.

– Terence & Sarah show up. Sarah thinks they have to pluck or eat a chicken.

TERENCE: I hope not.

I wonder why Terence objects to eating chickens. . .

– Daylight in Almaty. Nobody thinks Dandrew will make it because, well, everyone has low expectations for Dandrew.

– Their flight lands. Dan does a chicken dance and makes a buck-buck-buck sound in the airport as the taxi driver nods.

DAN: Sometimes you have to make noises.

To look like an idiot? I guess so.

– The driver stops to ask for the address of the Chicken Factory. The four teams wait in front of the gate. They see the gate and the other five cabs sitting in front of the gate.

Why are there six cabs for five teams? One for production?

– TINA: Turkey legs.

Oh. What an insult.

DAN: Seven thirty! That’s my favourite number!

Two numbers, Dan. You even fail at first grade math.

– The gate is opened.
kazakhstan gate

kazakhstan gate 2

Nick already in first after slicing three ribs in the process.

– All of them are sprinting together. It’s a pretty impressive speed. This is like right before everybody jumps off the dock in Matthew Good Band’s Load Me Up.

kazakhstan gate 3

kazakhstan gate 4
Heh. Been a while since Matthew Good Band crossed my mind.

– Dan wins the sprint but Nick rips the clue from his hand. It’s a Roadblock.

PHIL: In this Roadblock teams will have a counter of the Bird Kind.
edna krabappel

Ha!
kazakhstan chicken

Well, you can’t say you didn’t see bird flu coming after seeing this episode.

– They will enter the shack to find one of seven golden eggs.

kazakhstan chicken 2

I like how they frame the image so it looks like the chicken just produced that egg seconds earlier.

kazakhstan chicken 3

Is that the Kazakhstani national flag on Phil’s shirt? Yellow, red, and yellow?
veruca salt

Golden eggs have been a sore topic for the Salt Family days after they watched this episode. According to them, the “bastard kiwi wouldn’t let us buy one”.

veruca salt 2

Veruca got the last laugh when she forced the Oompa Loompas to cover their hair in a kiwi bath.

– It’s a classic case of Needle in a Haystack. . .or in this case an avian-infested Hay Line. Yeah. Production just wanted to prove that Borat having a chicken in his suitcase isn’t too far of a stretch.

– Teams see a Fast Forward is accompanied with the Roadblock. Dan is excited. Teams take a taxi to a restaurant in this Fast Forward.

kazakhstan phil

That apparently have belly dancers. Something tells me it isn’t an ABC or Red Robin.

borat 2

Whaaat? It’s a family restaurant! Two of those dancers with Phil are my sisters! Phil pay them good money for sex! They were paid well as they brought home two dollars each. I used to buy an American sub from Subway cause I like that Jared fellow. I asked for ants but there were no ants! The sub was nice. Very nice.

– They won’t know what they are eating at the restaurant until they arrive. All they know is that it is a local delicacy. What is that local delicacy? Well, a sheep’s backside.

kazakhstan sheep 2

Dat ass.

kazakhstan sheep

They have to eat a sheep’s juicy butt. Poor thing. Being tied down and slaughtered just so locals can eat their bum. Has anybody else had somebody staring at their butt because several people wanted to eat it for personal gain?
coach i have
I have.

I never thought one of Coach’s stories would actually be relevant to a sheep butt being eaten, but wow, that reference was right there.

– I should note they include a ‘baaaa’ on the soundtrack when we see the sheep’s head. PETA will not be impressed.
kazakhstan sheep 3

Seconds, please!

– Once both members have eaten a whole plate of a sheep’s butt then they will receive their next clue.

black sheep
Or if it is the black sheep of the family, it will be a sheep’s badonkadonk.

logan just said that

– Nick & Starr make a snap decision to go for the Fast Forward. It is such a snap decision that you see a rare glimpse of the entire production crew.

kazakhstan crew
rick james couch
F— your fourth wall, biatch!

– Terence & Sarah choose to do it as well. Oh, and Dandrew. Apparently they haven’t learned their mistake from last time during the New Zealand Fast Forward chase.

– Nick & Starr’s taxi leaves seconds ahead of Terence & Sarah. Dandrew are still running to their cab.

TERENCE: We wanted to go for a win. We knew it would be risky.

That is not how you play TAR in round eight. The TAR format is designed for the exact opposite of risks until the final round of the game. Thankfully producers are smart enough not to cast cautious players otherwise everyone would never deviate from the pack and always finish twenty minutes from first to last each round.

– Sarah sees Nick & Starr slightly ahead and comes up with another one of her great observations.

kazakhstan taxi

And Terence counters with another one of his well-thought substantial responses.

kazakhstan taxi 2

These conversations can really apply to any round.

SARAH: Babe, we shouldn’t make a move because it will put us in last and be eliminated.  If this is the wrong way/too difficult of route then we need to go back.
TERENCE: But. . .but. . .I just wanna!

– Dandrew come to their senses.

DAN: This team doesn’t live on big gambles.

kazakhstan dandrew 2

Not big gamblers. Tiny sausages.

– Dandrew says it was an easy decision to change their minds when “top dogs went for the Fast Forward.

– Andrew is first one to enter. Toni and Tina are doing the Roadblock. Rely on mothers to enter a room full of thirty thousand cocks.

– Teams speculate on the Fast Forward. Two will enter. One will be excused from the table.

– Roadblock continues.
kazakhstan chicken 4

borat 2

In Kazakhstan we love our chicken heads!

kazakhstan chicken

Okay, Borat. That was unculled for.

alicia

Dammit, Logan! I’m tired of always hearing about you and the f—ing chickens.

– Teams cheer their partners on. Toni is first to find it. Dallas applauds. Toni bocks on her way out. Dallas reads they must search the grounds for the giant crane trucks. Then travel to the Koktobe Arch at Tienshan Mountains. Once there follow the marked path to the Mongol Warriors.

kazakhstan clue

A clue so long that Kelly & Christy would manage to find three unique ways to misread it receive a penalty in the process.

– So they must enter a crane truck.

kazakhstan truck

borat 3

Lucky Americans! Only the president and the Kazakhstani Secret Service have access to such expensive vehicles. I never got to ride one.

– Once they see the Mongol Warrior they must wait for their next clue. Meanwhile Nick & Starr and Terence & Sarah reflect on the big risk. Andrew has the golden egg. Toni & Dallas enter the crane truck. There are only two Mongol Warriors at a time. Therefore one of the three teams will be stuck with a disadvantage.

kazakhstan toni dallas 3
borat 2

These are our high end taxis, the Crane Truck! Even in Kazakhstan you can live the high life! Yes, yes, yes!

– Tina has an egg too. She runs through the chickens more aggressively than Andrew. Dan and Ken both mock Andrew.

DAN: They’ll move away like sheep if you run!

What unintentional foreshadowing of the Fast Forward task.

– Ken & Tina are ahead and run faster than Dandrew.

– Nick & Starr enter the restaurant about forty seconds ahead of Terence & Sarah. They sit in the restaurant. Surprisingly, there is no waiting period or queue to be seated in the restaurant that serves sheep’s butt.

I wonder if they would pass the requirements of Canadian health inspectors?

kazakhstan menu

At the bottom if you can read the small print you will see that intentionally vomiting, throwing up, or hiding any of your food is subject to penalty.

– Starr read the “bottom” of the menu to briefly see what they would be eating.

Heh, bottoms up, eh Starr?

– Both teams instruct their server to give them their plate as quickly as possible. Terence sees his plate.

kazakhstan menu 2

Terence is surprised to see meat? I can’t think of a single TAR delicacy that has NOT included meat.

borat 6

This dish contains meat pause NOT.

– In fact any delicacy I can think of around the world/from Iron Chef always contains meat. As a vegetarian myself for four years as well as a picky eater, any task involving the consumption of disgusting food is something I would avoid at all costs.

– And Terence reveals the jaw dropper. Something that makes this perhaps one of the top ten dumbest actions ever in TAR history. Every error involving misread clues are trumped by this.

kazakhstan terence sarah 3

TERENCE: I’ve been a vegetarian for fifteen or sixteen years.

YOU CHOOSE TO DO A MYSTERY FOOD EATING FAST FORWARD WHEN YOU ARE A VEGETARIAN?! DO YOU NOT KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES?!

Seriously though. This is the absolute worst case of playing to your strength.

kazakhstan terence sarah 4
Yeah. Dunno what I was thinking.
kazakhstan sarah

This was his f—ing idea. He better eat it.

kitty arrested development

Otherwise it will be the last time you ever see these!

TERENCE: I can’t eat it, babe.

kazakhstan sarah

Babe ain’t gonna work here.

– A commercial break convinces Terence to try eating it. Sarah insists it gets better once you start chewing it.

STARR: I would literally take spoonfuls and swallow it.

Congratulations Starr, you have successfully described the act of eating.

– A funny conversation popped into my head.
FRIEND: Hey Logan, what was the hardest thing for you to quit upon being a vegetarian?
ME: Oh, buffalo wings or Chinese chicken wings. Spicy buffalo wings for sure.

FRIEND: Hey Logan’s brother, what was the hardest thing for you to quit upon being a vegetarian?
MY BROTHER: Oh,  I quit being a vegetarian after a year because of Wendy’s Spicy Chicken combos and grilled burgers.

FRIEND: Hey Logan’s sister, what was the hardest thing for you to quit upon being a vegetarian?
MY SISTER: Eggs and Chinese chicken wings.

FRIEND: Hey Terence, what was the hardest thing for you to quit upon being a vegetarian?
TERENCE: I was good for sixteen years, but as soon as that sheep’s ass was plopped onto my plate, it was all over.

kazakhstan terence

On what planet do you live where your girlfriend encourages you to eat a sheep’s ass while knowing you full well want to eat out her ass or the belly dancer shaking her ass next to you.

Sometimes life isn’t fair when you make potentially game-breaking decisions.

– Toni & Dallas hope Nick & Starr beat Terence & Sarah at the task. They ask a guy on the road for directions. Just keep going straight. Follow Almaty’s only road.

– Ken & Tina pull out about five seconds before Dandrew’s crane truck.

NICK: Chew the minimum amount and swallow.

Yep.

kazakhstan restaurant

Hey wife, you won’t believe the prank we pulled. Me and this rich American convinced a bunch of clowns from the US that a sheep’s butt is a local delicacy.

– And Sarah pulls out a quote (and a babe) that couldn’t fit Terence less.

kazakhstan restaurant 2

No one is tougher than Terence.

– Terence is eating at a slow pace to no surprise. Toni & Dallas run along the path. Dallas enter the path that is blocked by Mongol warriors.

kazakhstan road

Halt! You must pay with your Express Pass to gain passage!

Medieval music plays as Toni & Dallas are granted permission to enter.

kazakhstan birdkazakhstan bird 2kazakhstan bird 3kazakhstan bird 4kazakhstan bird 5

Has there been a task that hasn’t involved an animal yet? I must say that is the most impressive bird I have seen on TAR. It makes something like Articuno shake in its boots. Anyways Toni takes the clue from the bird’s foot. At least not from its butt.

– It’s a Detour.

borat 5
In this Detour, teams must decide between Ping-uh-Pong and News Reporting.

Okay, Borat didn’t really do the explanation for the Detour options.

– The Detour options are really Play Like Mad or Act Like Fools.

jermaine dupri

In other words, Play Like Mad or Act Like Jermaine Dupri.

– In Play Like Mad, teams travel by taxi to the Museum of Folk Musical Instrument. Wow, that’s really a museum. Here they will learn to play a simple Kazakh tune using two traditional instruments–the Dundra and the Shinobi Wan Kinobis.

– When the expert feels they have learned the songs well enough, they will enter the streets to play for tips until they make the equivalent of $1.50 before receiving their next clue.

kazakhstan detour

That instrument looks more like a threading needle.

kazakhstan detour 2

And please make them wear that outfit.

– In Act Like Fools, teams head to a children’s puppet theatre and put on a two-person cow costume. Then dressed as a cow, they must walk the streets of Almaty until they find a marked milk stall and drink a glass of milk. They will find the name of their next destination on the bottom of their glass.
gervase 3

And he thought only women could be like cows.

– They will travel to that destination while still wearing the cow costume to the bazaar printed on the glass. Once at the bazaar they will head to a butcher stall. The butcher will hand them their next clue and hope they aren’t mistaken for a real cow.

– Ken & Tina pass an outgoing Toni & Dallas on the path. Dandrew ask for directions on the road but don’t understand a word what the townsperson is trying to say.

– Starr nearly vomits on the belly dancer’s stomach. Sarah supports Terence.

SARAH: I was giving Terence techniques on how to get the meat down.

Spitting and swallowing intentionally is not allowed on this task, remember?

– Terence claims he can’t eat it. He sees Starr nearly done the plate. Sarah claims she can finish her own plate but looks at Terence’s full plate. Terence sees Starr’s plate is empty, and gives up. However Terence is a good sport and congratulates them on completing the task.

– Meanwhile Nick brags knowing that Terence wouldn’t do it.
kazakhstan nick starr 2

borat 7

High five!

– Toni & Dallas enter a cab to head to Act Like Fools. They say they are fools already so it is fitting.

– Ken & Tina have the clue. They decide to wear the cow suit. That Play Like Mad task truly sounds ten times tougher.

– Terence exits the cab to spit out the meat. He re-enters and acknowledges this mistake is entirely his fault as they head back to the Roadblock. Dandrew struggle on the streets as they fail to find someone who can give them directions in English.

– Starr coaches Nick to swallow food. For once she does better at a task than Nick. He finishes. The Fast Forward is theirs. Who knew they would

– Starr reads they can go directly to the pit stop by taxi to Old Square. Into the taxi they go. Starr knew Terence & Sarah wouldn’t do it as soon as she saw it was a food thing.

– Dan goes on the streets but nobody in the crowd of four people speaks English. He re-enters the crane truck with frustration.

– Terence & Sarah are at the Roadblock. Sarah is doing it because Terence probably thinks he has to eat a chicken by this point.

– Sarah keeps searching. Terence yells at her to look at the perimeter but she ignores him. Dan yells from the van amongst ten people on the street. Everyone doesn’t answer.

ANDREW: They’re like zombies.
DAN: These are horrible people.

For some reason the zombie comment amuses me.

– Commercial break.

– Dan finds a woman on the street who can speak English. She walks to the driver’s side and tells him where to go. Terence & Sarah finally have a crane truck of their own.

– We’re at Old Square. No mystery as to who is first today.

FIRST: NICK & STARR

– Phil announces they are team number one. Nick has a reaction that undoubtedly makes his h8rs h8 him even more.

NICK: You sound like a broken record, Phil.

Get it? Cause they finish first for an unprecedented fourth round in a row?

kazakhstan nick starr 3

They have won nearly one hundred thousand dollars in prize money by now.

– They have each won an 180 horsepower wave runner. Both are stoked.

kazakhstan greeter

I wonder if he has ever used a wave runner? That’s our pit stop greeter, by the way.

– Nick & Starr brag about their positive attitude and great relationship.

– To show off how far ahead Nick & Starr are, we still have sixteen minutes of footage to watch. Toni & Dallas show up to the puppet theatre.

DALLAS: Someone has to wear a bladder! This is gonna be great!

What planet is this guy from.

TONI: When I saw the outfit I knew exactly what Dallas was thinking.
DALLAS: Yes! I’m gonna make my mom the ass of the cow!

colby

Yeah, Toni! Shake it!

What’s with all this talk about behinds this round? A sheep’s butt, a cow’s butt, a chicken’s butt, and a belly dancer’s butt?

borat 2

In Kazakhstan we admire all our asses. They’re nice!

– As they exit they run into Ken & Tina yet again. Ken prepares to tackle the cow over.

kazakhstan detour 3

It’s a 2-1 handicap match as Ken faces off against a mother and son duo inside of a cow suit. I wonder if this is a fight you see every day in Kazakhstan? Cow versus man versus those that don’t have a cow, man?

– Ken & Tina put on the costume. Tina believes she is a navigator and decides to be at the front of the cow while making Kenny the ass of the cow. Ken immediately moos. Tina cusses him out for being goofy. Classic Tina.

Yeah, right. Her being a good navigator. She didn’t want to back that cow up.

– Dallas is having too much fun.

DALLAS: Wag that tail! Be a good ass! Moohoohoohoo.

DALLAS: It’s Kazakhstan. Everyone was staring. They were laughing at us or laughing with us.
kazakhstan cow

Now that’s how you get her number. The woman on the right seems more disinterested in an entertaining situation than Amber Lamps.

amber lamps

Speaking of reviewing pointless things from 2008 that became really popular. The Epic Beard Guy is now over 70 years old. And Amber Lamps goes on to live in her quiet existence in Oakland. She probably has a car now.
kazakhstan cow
And who is that person behind the red sweater woman? That looks like Weird Al in the 80s!
weird al

I’m the Waffle King of Kazakhstan!

– Toni asks him to ask for directions before making a turn. Dallas gets directions instantly.
kazakhstan dallas

For some reason a guy in a cow costume has an easier time getting directions than a guy normally dressed inside of a crane truck.

– Tina warns Ken to make the turn. She tells him not to push. Dandrew are at the path. Dan asks to carry Andrew’s bag for him because of his slow pace. Andrew declines and instructs him to walk beside him because they are a team. But Dan finds his pace too slow.

It’s true. Dandrew would have made it into a truck before Ken & Tina if it weren’t for Andrew slowly walking amongst the chickens.

– Dandrew have a feud about who is making excuses. Andrew says it is about being a team while Dan says nobody has won by walking or having a last second asthma attack.

– The blunder hiss soundtrack plays as Toni & Dallas pass by the milk stand. Ken & Tina find the stall easily.

TINA: I’m drinking the milk. It’s warm and strong.

She won’t be doing one of those milk propaganda commercials.

kazakhstan tina

Cows don’t drink milk!

– Dallas catches on that they went too far and decide to walk back. Tina stands at the stall but has no idea where to go because she doesn’t know the clue is on the bottom of the cup. She sees Toni & Dallas so she puts on her best poker cow face and walks away.

– Dallas drinks the milk at the stall but is in the same predicament as Tina was earlier. Toni behaves like a mother as she asks him to look at the clue again. Dallas reads and sees that he needs to read the bottom of the glass for the clue.

– Brilliant piece of post-production editing as the inside of the cup is shown after Dallas is seen observing the bottom.

kazakhstan cup

That shot only cost five thousand dollars.

– Dallas shows the cup to a man. He points him in the right direction.

DALLAS: We saw Ken & Tina walking the wrong way. Tina drank the milk but didn’t take the cup with them.

– Tina dumps the helmet as she asks people where she needs to go. She is redirected back to the stall. Tina wonders if it as the bottom of the cup. So off they go.

TINA: What do we do with the cow costume?
KEN: We need to change and take it back.

india kelly christy

Their spirit lives on in all of us.

kazakhstan cow 2

One mighty bo-fine lookin’ team.

Bovine joke, eh?

bovine university

When those cow puppets grow up they will graduate to Bovine University!

– Dandrew receive their clue from a bird. Dan yells at Andrew to run faster. Now they’re in a cab. They agree to do the cow costume. Dan says he wants to be in the front because he can move faster, and adds that bigger guys are usually in the back for weight distribution and physics. Andrew is silent.

– Terence kisses Sarah awkwardly on the hair. Toni & Dallas enter the bazaar while Ken & Tina re-enter the puppet theatre.

KEN: Honey, if it said to not take it off then we should keep going and you aren’t sure–
TINA: I’m pretty sure. . .

So Ken & Tina take off the costume and enter a cab. They’ve really lost their touch since their three-round winning streak back at the beginning of the season.

– Dallas moos while Toni claims it is all about the butt shake. They enter the bazaar. Dallas receives the clue. He reads they must walk on foot to the next pit stop–Old Square. Phil expands upon it being, surprisingly, the oldest part of the city.

– Toni then asks if they have to take a taxi. Dallas says they must go on foot. Oh, and the clue says “you should probably take your cow head with you to the pit stop”.

“Probably”? Isn’t that an awfully vague clue? What happens if you don’t? If you get penalized teams could just say “well it said ‘probably’, so we elected the option of ‘I guess not'”. Clues need to be clear, producers.

– Toni & Dallas and Ken & Tina run into each other on the street for the fifth time that day. Dallas asks why they aren’t wearing their outfit. He goes on to explain that they need to continue wearing it.

TINA: YOU’RE KIDDING ME!
DALLAS: Yeah, you have to take it off there then bring part of it to the pit stop.

– Tina has the cup and says there was nothing about a cow costume. Ken decides to enter the bazaar and see what they say. Meanwhile Toni is unhappy they told them about the clue and claims they are idiots for doing so.

Well, you did choose to ‘Act Like Fools’ for the Detour. . .

But seriously, ever since round four we have seen Terence & Sarah school Ken & Tina every single time. In fact, Ken & Tina have already finished in last place. Therefore, dragging a team in a funk like Ken & Tina further into the race may be to their advantage.

– Ken & Tina show up to the stall in the meat shop. The owner rejects them because they are not wearing a cow costume. Meanwhile Andrew talks aloud about how two teams went for the Fast Forward and speculates how long it could take for a team to catch up to them. He is confident they still have a lead.

– Terence & Sarah have the clue from the bird. Terence decides to Act Like Fools because him and Sarah are fools.

She isn’t the vegetarian who wanted to do a meat eating task.

– Dandrew show up to the puppet theatre.

ANDREW: What about our shoes?
DAN: We’ll get our shoes later.

Can you enter a mat shoeless? By the way, the blunder hiss soundtrack plays so we know it is a mistake.

andrew cow

Andrew doesn’t look impressed by his cow costume.

– Their costume is approved by a random lady we have never seen.

kazakhstan lady

I swear I have seen the thumbs up before. . .

borat 8

She does the same freakin’ thumbs up trademark as Borat. This is too much.

– Toni & Dallas hit the mat.

SECOND: TONI & DALLAS

kazakhstan cow 3
Never has a team been forced to enter in such a strange fashion.

brian greg botswana

At least these two did it voluntarily.

– Ken & Tina show up with their cow costume to the marked bazaar. Tina pops her head out of the costume.

kazakhstan tina 2

Just rolled out of bed or classic case of Kazakhstani Cow Costume Hair.

– Tina reads the clue.

TINA: We should probably take a cab.
KEN: No, it says by foot.

Ken is by far the better reader in the relationship.

– Dandrew stop to ask for directions. Andrew cusses Dan for yelling down the street for help rather than go up to a person and ask individually. Terence & Sarah have put on the cow costume and already have directions.

THIRD: KEN & TINA

– Dan keeps yelling at the crew while Andrew still requests him to come to a stop so they can ask individually. Dan wants to keep walking. Andrew provides the logical point that they may not even be going the right way.

– Dan has found somebody and makes the mistake of offering money. The guy asks for “1, 000”, whatever that is. He leads Dandrew because Dan agrees to the deal immediately. Terence & Sarah are sane because they asked for free help. Two marathon runners ask their local helper to go faster.

– Dan drinks the milk and the guy hesitates but keeps leading them. Terence shows up to the milk stall and drinks the milk too. Off they go.

– Dandrew has the clue and convinces their assistant to direct them to the mat.

ANDREW: Our shoes are still in the theatre.
DAN: We’ll get them later.

Later? You’re heading to the mat. There is no later!

– Sarah describes their movement as a trot. Dandrew take a cab to the–wait, they took a cab? Wow.

PHIL: Dan & Andrew, you’re the fourth team to arrive, but unfortunately you have not read your clue correctly.

Andrew picks it out right away that they needed to walk on foot. Normally it’s a thirty minute penalty but here they are allowed to return to the previous route marker. Odd. They are told to go back to the Detour then come back.

PHIL: You better move!

kazakhstan phil 2

This is my one example of imitating Probst. Did you like it or do you prefer me just raising one of my eyebrows?

– Dandrew don’t see any cabs on the street to take them back to the Detour. Andrew thinks it is a long walk. Dandrew flag a cab and are heading to the bazaar. Terence & Sarah keep moooovin’.

TERENCE: Moooove.

delhi terence

At least he didn’t shove anyone.

– Dandrew are back at the bazaar. Terence & Sarah have their clue at the bazaar. They read to run on foot. Andrew asks for directions but nobody understands them. Sarah finds a local who speaks English.

DAN: C’mon dude.
ANDREW: Whenever we’ve been patient for you all race.
DAN: Really? I think you’ve got it reverse. You’ve been patient in different ways. I’ve been patient myself with speed. . .I want the team to go as fast as possible.

I’ve been patient by wanting to move as fast as possible!!!

– Dandrew argue where the pit stop is even though they were just there. We see both teams running to the mat. It appears Terence & Sarah have a slight edge based on running from the bazaar first.

kazakhstan dandrew 3

FOURTH: DAN & ANDREW

There is no way they outran two marathon runners. Terence & Sarah must have been an additional hour behind. Once again Dandrew survives a fourth consecutive tragedy of errors to finish next-to-last yet again.

– Terence & Sarah run onto the mat with only their cow head. The only team to follow instructions perfectly.

LAST: TERENCE & SARAH

– Phil announces they are last.

TERENCE: Fudge, fudge, fudge.

– And are indeed eliminated after a long pause.

– Sarah knows Terence will beat himself over it but hopes the value of the adventure will outweigh that. Terence feels honoured and blessed. He goes on to praise Sarah amongst knowing he cost himself a million bucks.

kazakhstan sheep
daniel powter

So you’ve had a baaaaaad day.

Wow. This is like the middle seasons of American Idol all over again.

Next Time on TAR: Dan marches to the beat of his own drummer. And after several legs of smooth sailing, Nick & Starr hit a bump in the road.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

TONI.DALLAS 3.5
NICK.STARR 2.3
KEN.TINA 2.2
ANDREW.DAN 4.4
TERRENCE.SARAH 6.4

Rank the Teams:

1) Anthony & Stephanie

So awesome. So incredible. So amazing. Anthony inspired all of Brazil to become car mechanics after the opening two rounds. Brazil celebrates Anthomania on an annual basis.

And Stephanie sure loves thinking about her s–ty apartment and finances. Also, she likes putting things in perspective.

2) Mark & Bill

You know how I said at the start of the season that the long-term cast has far less likeability than TAR 12’s high standard?

Well, Mark & Bill’s premature elimination is a big reason why. Just think of all the big stars so far after three episodes. Nick & Starr? Kelly & Christy? Ken & Tina? Terence & Sarah? NONE of them had any fans at the time.

The only other team shown as much as them after three rounds? Mark & Bill. I can tell you that Mark & Bill had ninety percent of the viewership while Nick & Starr picked up the remaining ten percent (primarily the youth flamboyant demographic at the time).

If there was a 39 Day Survivor Challenge for TAR and the category was ‘Most Disappointing Early Exit’, I can safely say that Mark & Bill would be in the top three vote getters. Bilal & Sa’eed and Lena & Kristy would round out a top three if I was evaluating upon the thirteen seasons we have re-watched thus far.

If Jodi Wincheski was on TAR 13 instead of 14, there is no doubt in my mind that she would have brought back Mark & Bill for Unfinished Business.

It’s a shame that Mark & Bill are in high altitude and screw up reading a clue in a round where the whole round played out within three hours of the newspapers being dropped next to Simon Bolivar.

If you can get your hands on their elimination episode, note Phil’s reaction when he eliminates them. It’s one of the few times where Phil adds in his rare ‘sorry to see you go’ on top of eliminating them. When Phil says that it is a good indication of his personal favourites as well as production discreetly liked.

Unfortunately a bad hour of gameplay can send your favourites to the rail.

Much like the elimination of the Gaghan Family in TAR 8, the season takes a sharp change in tone from this point forward. Because Mark & Bill’s “straight edge” attitude is taken away from the equation, it is now a battle of the goofy and incompetent teams against a group of bland sharp racers.

Recalling how bummed out my mother and sister were when Mark & Bill was eliminated is one of the few things I remember from TAR 13 that doesn’t involve marching. And if you were watching TAR 13 at the time, I can guarantee you were bummed out as myself and the other teams were.

It’s too bad Kelly & Christy chose to learn how to read that round.

3) Terence & Sarah

The sequel to Adam & Rebecca played out on TAR 13. Although Terence didn’t go to dramatic extremes like Adam did in terms of wanting to scare Sarah into staying with him.

Terence grew throughout the race. Yes he likes to be babied but he exhibited far more independence than Adam ever did. Terence could, like, you know, do stuff too.

Terence learned that he can’t stop Sarah from talking to other people. In fact he didn’t even hesitate to let Sarah talk to everyone else without ever being mad at her. The only major fault of Terence by the end of the season in terms of his relationship is that he complained excessively.

Oh, and his lack of seeing certain choices having enormous risks is the reason why they were ousted. He thinks the race is about risks but really it is about caution as he went to a restaurant with a local delicacy as he was on the verge of celebrating his sixteenth year as a vegetarian.

Sarah was perfect for television. She was hilarious in almost every single scene. Her voice squeaking, those extraordinarily expressive eyes, her uber competitiveness, putting Terence in his place every now and then, and also the way she had fun with locals and describing other people.

“They wouldn’t even say hi to us!”

“He wasn’t very sympathetic to our condition or how hard we were working!”

What’s even better about this team is how well they did. Nobody thinks of them as being one of the top three most dominant teams of the season, but they were. They managed to finish between second and fifth in virtually every round of the race. A surprisingly consistent team all season long.

And it’s too bad that they got eliminated the way they did because if Terence didn’t choose to risk everything I would imagine him and Sarah coast to the Final Three.

4) Aja & Cabbie

A very nice couple. They probably had the most adorable instances of bickering. One of the few couples that made you laugh and smile when they argued as opposed to annoyed and reaching for the remote like most dating couples.

What’s with long distance couples always being likable?

Anyways, Aja & Cabbie never excelled at any point during the race. They just weren’t the greatest with directions, and weren’t competitive enough when they needed to be. In other words, they typically ran the race in too calm of a fashion.

Not much else to say about them. They were a nice and likeable team that had the chance to take advantage of a great opportunity. I find it amusing that out of any team they happen to be the ones in the middle of the Nick & Starr and Kelly & Christy drama during the third round.

But now they’re gone.

5) Kelly & Christy

I didn’t know whether to put them above Anita & Arthur or below them.

Before blogging this season? Kelly & Christy would have been below Anita & Arthur.

After blogging about them? They are now higher than Anita & Arthur.

Why? Because their negativity, mean spiritedness, and holding the record for misreading clues was absolutely hilarious and a pleasure to blog about.

They just don’t seem to be “with it” in terms of integrating into this cast of characters. This season is full of quirky people. Kelly & Christy aren’t exactly quirky. . .they are mean and gossipy.

I forgot nearly everything about them other than the Teen Wolf incident upon this re-watch. I forgot about sports bra gate. If Kelly & Christy hadn’t accused Starr of pushing their bra off the ledge then teams would be able to mingle with each other at pit stops to this day.

But now the race has become much more anti-social thanks to Kelly & Christy’s  accusations that stem from nothing outside of “We saw Starr near our room”. Who knew such a forgettable incident would have an enormous impact on the rest of the TAR franchise’s history (teams still are segregated at pit stops all the way through TAR 23 that is currently airing).

Their feud with Nick & Starr seemed rather short-lived considering that Nick & Starr plotted to U-Turn them the following round. For whatever reason the second teams hit Cambodia put an end to this conflict in round five. It was mentioned but it just didn’t matter to the other teams that much.

Their ability to misread clues is a huge part of their legacy. Seriously? They managed to combine a hybrid of both Detour options and thought they were taking a four hour penalty when they gave up on it? Forgetting to tell cabs to wait as instructed in clues? Park at the base rather than summit? Doing part of a Detour before grabbing the Detour clue? Misreading that you needed a specific envelope  then follow it up by looking at the wrong numbers?

That is an enormous list.

What probably set them over the edge as an extremely unpopular team in the eyes of the general public is how they made fun of Toni & Dallas. Toni & Dallas were arguably the most popular team from the beginning through to the end of the season. Therefore, making fun of them while whispering ten feet away based on their appearance is a huge no-no.

Oh, and did you know they had awful ex-husbands? I don’t know how this enhanced their character on the show, but somehow it did. It made how they conducted themselves on the race make a bit more sense. I am not saying that they wrongly left their husbands, but their personalities don’t seem to be the type that have any interest in male authority.

Kelly & Christy are surprisingly strong-willed. The only thing they need to work on is be a bit more happy around others, don’t look for drama, do not be so quick to judge people, and learn to read.

In other words, they lived up to the reputation of the bitter middle-aged divorcee stereotype in America. We really haven’t had another team like them in the TAR franchise.

In short, are these two likable? Absolutely not.
But was their grumpy attitude, pointless conflict, faulty logic, and misreading clues entertaining as heck? Absolutely.

6) Anita & Arthur

You know those friends you have who say they are hippies just because they go camping every once in a while and have picky tastes? Expose them to Anita & Arthur if you want to shut them up. Hippies in the truest sense. Their two jobs all occur outdoors in the wilderness. Self-reliant. Old school. Probably have run more than one grow-op in their day.

I must admit they look a lot like my uncle did for several decades. Facial hair and, well, regular hair is the best of anything I have seen in TAR, Survivor, and Big Brother.

Unfortunately they don’t have a personality that would captivate enough of the audience on TV. I remember watching a deleted clip online where they lost their clue for two minutes as they search between the seats and their fanny packs in the taxi. They did it in a calm manner, found the clue, kissed, and moved on.

That’s why it was a deleted clip.

Super nice people and big fans of TAR. I am happy that production cast them. It is probably one of the few non-mactor teams that will be most remembered for their looks.

7) Marisa & Brooke

Natalie White and Brooke. Candy. Funny expressions. Least competitive racers. Only reason they were accepted onto the show is because Joe Keoghan was a casting director for this season.

This is the drawback to casting a team without any life experience. Neither of them demonstrated any abilities or attributes that could tell producers that they could be competitive on the race.

Sure enough this oversight by producers led to a 10th-9th-4th-8th run for this team. It’s not their fault. I would go on a trip around the world for four rounds even if I knew I had zero skills. Production clearly wanted “two blondes” to be put on the race. They were a less flirtatious version of Danielle & Dani from TAR 9.

If Marisa or Brooke dated Nick or Dallas, they could be the next TAR All Star winner by Danielle’s criteria.

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) Delhi, India -> Almaty, Kazakhstan

Heading into this re-watch I forgot everything about this round except for the Fast Forward blunder and the cow Detour.

And it’s not surprising because it occupies ninety percent of the episode. There wasn’t a single memorable landmark visited in Kazakhstan this round. In fact, can you think of a single memorable Kazakhstan landmark at all?

No, you can’t. That’s why TAR needed to find the strangest places possible to use for tasks.

Cow costumes, eating sheep’s butt, and hunting for golden eggs all contributed to a strange mixture of animal tasks for the round.

Also, the round can be forgettable if you’re not a Nick & Starr fan. Seeing them win a fourth consecutive round with ease probably doesn’t settle well with you. However, there was a bright spot as Toni & Dallas emerge simultaneously as allies and worthy opponents. But still. You hated they got the record, didn’t you?

Did Dandrew ever pick up their shoes? It’s left in the air as a cliff hanger. We saw how hopeless of a team they were as they finish next-to-last for an equally impressive streak compared to Nick & Starr at this point.

Lastly, Borat. This leg would not happen if it weren’t for the movie Borat. Editors included numerous obvious and subtle references to the controversial but ridiculously popular documentary throughout the season. The round would seem awfully lame if you knew nothing about Borat.

4) 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.

5) Delhi, India -> Two blocks down the street in Delhi, India

This round is well-constructed for being its own round, but is super forgettable.

It was ANOTHER India leg. The franchise’s tenth or eleventh in thirteen seasons. Not only that but it was ANOTHER Delhi leg. Two Delhi legs in a row.

Teams either traveled on foot or by taxi. No trains, planes, buses, boats, or ferries. The least amount of transportation required in TAR history.

No round before had relied only on taxis. Sadly this was only the beginning of the franchise’s budget cuts where rounds would be doubled up in the same city.

The Holi Festival was great because I hadn’t seen anything like it in TAR. Dozens of men throwing dye and water in everyone’s face, regardless if you were participating or not, was downright hilarious.

Kelly running twenty of twenty-one feet to the ladder only to run twenty feet back multiple times provided endless entertainment. Or Terence shoving civilians onto the ground? Then producing mucus for Sarah and the viewers after the task? Hilarious.

The Holy Water Speed Bump was pretty good because it was relevant to the everyday life of people I wouldn’t normally think about. Passing out Holy Water on a daily basis is a foreign concept to me.

The Detour seemed to take a total of fifteen to twenty minutes unless your names are Kelly & Christy or Dandrew. Searching number tags is a task you would expect after thirteen seasons while crushing peppers looked much more interesting.

Crushing peppers should have been a roadblock, now that I think about it. But then we would miss Kelly looking like a squirrel avoiding the crosshairs of a bow and arrow.

Ken & Tina catching up and securing fourth is how it should have been at this point in the season. It proves that bad taxis are pretty much the only reason why Kelly & Christy and Dandrew both beat them in the previous round.

Oh, and Nick & Starr winning a third leg in a row. . .eh.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) 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.)

Team Averages

Bulls—
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0
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 Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????)
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
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 – Sucked.
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 Aja & Cabbie 6.2
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
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 – Wah.
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
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25
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.

P.S. I don’t like Daniel Powter regardless of him being born a few minutes away from me.

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