BRAZIL – BOLIVIA – NEW ZEALAND – CAMBODIA – INDIA (AGAIN, SADLY) – KAZAKHSTAN – RUSSIA – USA
In rounds six and seven, TAR did a series first where they stayed in the city for back-to-back rounds. They likely cited round six’s non-elimination as a reason to stay in town for the Speed Bump.
In round eight we finally went to Kazakhstan.
Last round we seemed to have covered Moscow where the major landmarks had already been visited in TAR 9.
But guess what? Last round was a non-elimination. That means we will be staying in Moscow for yet another round. In the last five episodes before the finale we will have visited only three cities.
Three cities. Five rounds. Even freakin’ Family Edition covered more ground. You should see the distance between Delhi, Almaty, and Moscow. It’s not extreme for TAR standards when they visit Asia. Cambodia’s awesomeness seems like nothing but a distant memory.
But Moscow isn’t what mattered. The only thing on the viewer’s minds is “reveal who loses their passport already!”
The other 41 minutes of the episode really doesn’t matter. Everyone was waiting to see who wouldn’t make the Final Three because they were silly enough to lose the most valuable possession in the franchise.
Let’s march onwards!
Previously on TAR: Four teams set out from Almaty, Kazakhstan and flew to Moscow, Russia. At the airport Frat Boys Andrew & Dan made an expensive purchase while Dallas mixed business with pleasure. In Russia, Nick & Starr were plagued with taxi problems but Dan’s lack of coordination kept them from being in last. At the Roadblock Dallas battled for the chance to win a leg for his mother. And came out on top.
But Andrew & Dan’s shoe purchase came back to haunt them and they came in last. Four teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time. Only once more before the remixes begin.
Phil will summarize how the Final Three teams were successful by making it to the end. He will do so at the beginning of the next episode.
Therefore it is time for -me- to summarize how the Final Four has made it this far. It is a tradition for this blog and one we cannot ignore:
TONI & DALLAS: They currently possess a 3.00 finishing average. That is quite high for TAR standards. This team has never been remotely close to finishing last in a round.
Dallas’ relationship with Starr has made for a lethal alliance as these two teams have been sitting at the top and have stayed there.
Toni appears to possess the intellectual power while Dallas’ unmatched athleticism, strength, and friendly tone with locals has made them a very well-rounded team.
Other parent-child teams struggle either for health reasons or because of personality conflicts. Toni & Dallas have neither of those. There are simply no weaknesses for them on paper. They are ridiculously smooth operators.
Oh, and they are the only ones who have defeated Nick & Starr in the past five rounds. Everyone is hoping they ride Nick & Starr for one more round before breaking away and win the season.
That is the storyline everyone is hoping for is the one being built since day one.
KEN & TINA: The first couple that contains a pro athlete who doesn’t reference his glory days. Something more substantial is at the forefront–their troubled marriage. Kenny cheated on Tina prior to the race which led to their separation.
They auditioned together for TAR to see if they can reconcile and re-connect in their marriage. This is the first time in TAR history that a separated couple both tried to rebuild their marriage as mature adults while the race goes on. It was intriguing television.
And no, Tara was never interested in wanting to be reunited with Wil. She didn’t even let him touch her butt at the pit stop.
Obviously, Tina’s Type A aggressiveness, impatience, and assisting other teams conflicts with Ken’s quieter, relaxed, and more light-hearted attitude. Most would think this balances out but has backfired over the more recent rounds.
They started off the season by finish in 2nd-1st-1st-1st but the backfiring relationship has made them see successes few and far between. Including already being saved by a non-elimination in the one round they finished last.
Ken & Tina have already proven they are fully capable of winning this season, but they just aren’t playing up to their potential which has made the audience question their abilities amongst their inconsistent finishes.
NICK & STARR: Five victories in the first nine rounds? Only Eric & Jeremy’s six wins in nine rounds beats that record. Colin & Christie are the only other team to win five times in nine rounds.
The only reason they didn’t claim victory number six last round is because easy tasks combined with a poor taxi prevented them from beating out two teams to the mat. However they didn’t seem remotely close to finishing last in the previous round even if taxis lost them over an hour of time.
A sibling team has never seemed so scary in TAR.
a) Nick is uber cutthroat. He has repeatedly lied to other teams as soon as he receives information from them just so him and Starr could get that extra step ahead. Of course it makes the viewers hate them, but dang, a team has never lied so much and get away with it for so long.
b) Nick reads through every clue carefully. We see him repeatedly re-read clues when they are inside cabs or any other time they have a break. This has led to them being one of the few teams all season who haven’t received any form of penalty or being forced to backtrack because of their errors.
c) Starr pressures Nick enough with her worrisome nature which makes both of them perform to the best of their ability. Nobody is ever relaxed on this team.
d) Both of them are physically fit.
In a season that followed Azaria & Hendekea’s four rounds of domination, siblings are now the most lethal team on TAR as Nick & Starr have won 55% of all rounds heading into today’s episode.
ANDREW & DAN: Last but certainly least, Andrew & Dan.
In fact, they are the absolute ‘least’ in all thirteen seasons of TAR out of all teams to make it to the Final Four. Never before has a team made it to the Final Four without finishing better than fourth. It is impressive that a team can finish close to last numerous times in a row without actually being last.
Until this past round of course. Andrew & Dan, according to reader Ben, do well at asking for directions and getting to route markers because they are always in motion when asking for directions to avoid production forcing them to make locals sign a waiver.
But they clearly struggle the most of all teams when it comes to nearly any given task. It is unfortunate, but spraypainting an Indian taxi is the only time they have finished a Roadblock before other teams.
Their comedy of errors have stepped up in the past episode as they were the worst at the Detour and Roadblock. They also spent 160 dollars on shoes and gave every dollar they had to their taxi upon entering the pit stop.
The only reason they are still alive is because the past episode was the last non-elimination round of the season.
A miracle needs to happen given the only team they have beaten in a round all season is Ken & Tina. Once.
That’s right. Out of the 27 combined opportunities to beat Ken & Tina, Nick & Starr, and Toni & Dallas, they only won once out of those twenty-seven opportunities. That is probably the craziest statistic I have encountered in the TAR franchise.
Everyone thought their exit would be humiliating as they were accused of being the ones who would lose their passport this episode. If that is the case they will forever be the biggest punchline in TAR history.
If not, they will be viewed as the luckiest sons of B’s to enter the Final Three in TAR history.
– Phil introduces us to Moscow. It is the largest and most populated city in Europe. Really? It’s number one?
Phil’s Question: Will Frat Boys Andrew & Dan be able to overcome a Speed Bump and avoid elimination?
– Toni & Dallas, who were the first to arrive at an undisclosed time, will depart first at an undisclosed time.
I can understand not telling us when they arrived because the pit stop wasn’t exactly twelve hours, but how come we don’t even get to know when they begin? Sadly it will be an annoying trend that begins here for the next several years of TAR.
I’m probably one of only the hardcore fans who are pissed by this.
– Dallas reads that they must travel by taxi to a retired Russian nuclear submarine. They will descend into the bowels of the ship and find a sonar room. Here they will find a man who was an actor in the movie The Hunt for Red October.
The chances a 2000s kid like Dallas has seen The Hunt for Red October before it was released on Netflix is approximately slim to none.
– Dallas sees they have 346 dollars. He mumbles the number very quietly so it is tough to make out. They talk about how badly Dallas wants to win and how he has always made his own decisions since he was very little.
He even chose which brand of diapers he wore as a toddler.
– Toni thinks every parent wants true happiness for their child in life. Dallas communicates with the taxi driver. He draws him a submarine and the driver surprisingly understands the drawing. So off they go. Dallas discusses how Moscow is a big city and tough to get around.
– Ken & Tina begin unknown number of minutes later and flags down a taxi. Tina criticizes Ken for not being aggressive enough flagging taxis. Ken fires back by telling her not to yell as she talks to the driver.
– Tina discusses their relationship. She doesn’t think Ken has their relationship at the forefront enough.
TINA: I am looking for consistency and continuity.
Yeah, I don’t think he has Tina on his mind enough. Maybe Tina can order Ken to have her occupy a bigger part of his mind.
Time for a million dollar game of Russian Pictionary.
– Tina holds up the picture and keeps repeating ‘submarine, submarine’ over and over. The driver eventually tells her that they’ll find it in his Russian tongue. Tina proceeds to brag about her submarine.
I like it how she throws it in his face as if the taxi driver would be clueless. I am curious how submarines are drawn in elementary schools in Russia.
– Ken chuckles and doesn’t challenge Tina.
– Nick & Starr are third to depart at. . .oh right. We don’t know the time. God this is annoying. I guess when a team loses their passport and the pit stop is in the same city you don’t really need to know departure times. Whoever loses the passport is dead.
– Starr is used to things going her way. No kidding when she has won four rounds in a row. She doesn’t want to let Nick’s calm and collective behaviour down. Starr wants to make sure they win the one million dollars. Starr nearly gets run over upon entering a taxi.
– Dan & Andrew depart last noticeably later in the morning.
DAN: We’re a team that needs all the help we can get. Our track record has been spotty.
And things are off to a bad start when Dan gets himself caught in the passenger side door as the driver electronically rolls up the window in order to choke Dan for last round’s debts.
– Andrew thinks being in the Final 3 after what they have been through would be a real miracle. Dan insists upon being a Comeback Kid.
– Toni & Dallas and Ken & Tina both emerge from their taxis. Nick & Starr see it too. I wouldn’t be surprised if all three teams were within ten minutes of each other.
Ah. Nine o’ clock in the morning, eh? I guess production wanted to hide the fact it was an equalizer. Dandrew are probably no more than thirty minutes behind.
– They all run in a line and search the deck together. Not much room to spread out. All three teams have the clue practically at the same time. Dallas reads they must travel by taxi to Park Iskusstv. Nobody at home cares because they just want to see who loses their dang passport. This park is known as the graveyard as fallen monuments.
Probably based directly off of Statue Park in Goldeneye.
– Toni is dehydrated as they run back. She is reduced to a walk as she exhales and begs for water. Ken & Tina and Nick & Starr both pass them. Nick & Starr find the same taxi as before. Just like that back in first. Toni & Dallas are second. Ken & Tina are third. Everyone has re-claimed their taxis.
– Dan & Andrew show up to the submarine. Andrew giggles during the search. They had already ditched their taxi. So just like any normal team they run out to flag one down.
How would I describe Dandrew’s TAR experience?
Dan & Andrew have just experienced their first roadside Moscow Tsunami.
– Starr comments on the insanity of the traffic. The three teams hope everyone is stuck together.
Tina catches up on her valuable map reading. Dang, that line of traffic is brutal.
– Sadly Tina develops a cough inside of the cab. On the previous leg we saw numerous cab drivers smoking inside of their vehicle.
In Soviet Russia, drivers have more rights than the passengers.
– Tina proceeds to complain about the disgusting habits of the taxi driver.
Ken has fallen for it and made his decision.
Ken wants the taxi driver to express his First Amendment rights if he were to move to America. We must win him over with our capitalist beliefs!
– Dan & Andrew find an English speaking taxi driver. They say so far it has been their typical Dan & Andrew day even though it needs to be perfect for them to survive.
ANDREW: You knew the splash was coming.
DAN: It was only a matter of when and how much water would be doused on us
– Nick & Starr arrive at the park. They examine the clues to ensure their fifteen consecutive hours of not being in first has finally come to an end.
Nick checks the clue box on camera to verify that he and Starr will never be f—ed with.
Unless Dallas enters the picture, of course.
– It’s a Roadblock. In this Roadblock they must “rev up” their powers of observation.
I have a feeling that Lenin’s head wasn’t there during Stalin’s reign of terror.
1. They must scour the park filled with statues of Soviet era monuments counting the statues of Lenin–6, and Stalin–2.
Stalin’s height in real life. He certainly wasn’t as tall as Robert Duvall.
I am the greatest person to be taller than Stalin of allllll tiiiiime.
– To help correctly identify each statue, they have been given the Cyrillic spelling.
It’s not Lenin! His name is 2piersquared.
And that Dream Teamer needs to trim his fingernails.
2. After joining the two tallies together to create the number 62, they must then head to the antique book shop and tell the number to the shop owner to receive a book.
Bad camera work results in us not seeing the book, but we do get to see a cat!
Granted it was abducted from Smooth McGroove’s house. Poor Charl.
3. They must open up to page sixty-two of the book.
4. Here they will find a chapter called ‘The Evil Apartment’. Going by the description they must head to that apartment which was owned by the author–Mikhail Bulgakov. They will travel to the apartment building by taxi to receive their next clue.
Damn, what’s next? Finding Victoria Falls simply by the description of “The Smoke That Thunders”? One of the few times in TAR history where a clue is a clue.
NOTE: If you give the shop keeper the wrong number, they must wait ten minutes before guessing a new number.
– Nick reads the Roadblock hint.
NICK: Who is good at solving mysteries, literally?
Do they mean ‘literally literally’ or ‘literally literal’?
Dear Nick & Starr,
Enclosed is an idol that will help you with figuring out this clue. The girls are going to convince you to ignore the ‘literally’ ending and assure you it isn’t a pun. But it is. Use this idol, write Parvatikov’s name down, and save yourself.
– Nick is doing the Roadblock. He passes by the Zodiac sign using a bow and arrow.
– Dan & Andrew have shown up to a park. In second? Really? Dan checks the map to see it is the right place. It is sunshine where they are while the other three teams are stuck in traffic and rain. Something is wrong.
– Toni & Dallas show up to the Roadblock so we know Dan & Andrew are way off. Ken & Tina complain about the traffic. Toni is exhausted and tells Dallas to do another Roadblock. That means all of the weight will be on Toni’s shoulders for the last one.
A million dollar Roadblock that will involve a good memory and lots of running around doesn’t look good for the Imbimbo family.
– Toni gives her pack to Dallas.
Dallas stares off into the distance as Toni is speaking clearly and even has her words subtitled.
It would seem too obvious if it happened to them, right?
– Dallas has no clue what the statues are of.
– Dan & Andrew are told they are at the wrong park. What’s worse is that it took them forty minutes to get to the wrong park. Huge amount of time wasted by even their standards. Apparently there are two parks with the same name. The real one that is actually significant is downtown. They head back to downtown.
– Starr waits for Nick at the author’s house. Nick comments on how many statues are spread throughout the park. Nick has counted six Lenins and one Stalin. He sees the second Stalin. Nick decides to head to the shop.
Uh oh! Same sex hug! They should be punished at once! Maybe if we take something of value from them. . .
– Nick observes the arrival of Ken & Tina. as he heads into a taxi himself to head to the antique book shop. Ken & Tina stop to yell at each other because Tina wants to put on a jacket that very second to avoid contracting pneumonia in the cold rain. She examines her green jacket but won’t put it on because it doesn’t have a hole. Ken says to put it on anyway but she refuses as she tucks it away back in her bag. Sounds like the jacket is useless with only one round to go.
Does this green hole-less jacket go with my pink top? Honey, focus. This is what’s important here. Kenny. Kenny. Kenny.
– Ken gives up. Nick steals Ken & Tina’s old cab because it has GPS. Smart move. Alliances are indeed over.
Nick steals his parents’ car for only his own good? Sounds like the typical American child.
– Ken & Tina have stopped. Kenny is annoyed that Tina is stubborn and refuses help to the point she will put up a wall and not listen to reason.
TINA: I’ve got my money and my passport.
Oh, now they’re just teasing us.
Pink jacket. Who knew Tina liked wearing pink as much as Molly Ringwald. Ken for some reason isn’t heading away to begin his task. I love how all Tina needs to do is enter her cab to head to the author’s house and suddenly no more time will be lost.
But instead Ken stands there and acts frustrated because Tina will not listen to reasonable things that he has to say. Tina eventually dismisses her.
In my time Kenny, we would have had an efficient way to deal with comrades like Tina.
– Oh. Tina is the one doing the Roadblock. She dismisses Kenny as she puts together her bag and is ready to start counting heads.
– Dan is pessimistic saying the race is dead while Andrew says it ain’t over. Meanwhile Starr and Toni both greet Kenny with a Fat Albert-like ‘hey hey hey!’
I think he was a retired defense tackle for the New York Giants. Played against Kenny in a NFC conference in ’01.
– TONI: I’m not sure if Dallas knows who Lenin and Stalin are. I pay a lot of money for his education but I’m not sure he’s gonna know the difference.
Canada learns the difference between Lenin and Stalin in high school for only twenty-five dollars, but hey, America is a free state where we have the right to be forced to pay thousands of dollars and still have Dallas not know two major figures in the past one hundred years of history.
– How does he not know the difference between Stalin and Lenin? Social Studies 11 was a mandatory course in my high school where we learned extensively about the Russian Revolution and saw all the crazy stuff that the Soviet Union did.
And this is Canada. You think American education would emphasize learning about Russia just to prove how much their system failed under the various dictatorships.
Heck, we even had to see the movie where Daniel Crag, the actor known for the new James Bond films, searches for Stalin’s long lost son.
– Dallas begins counting Stalin heads as Lenin heads and Lenin heads under Stalin heads.
Comrade Dallas, if I were alive today, the KGB would take you out onto the streets and shoot you behind the shed if you ever mixed me up with Lenin. And your mother would be shipped off to the gulags.
– Nick reads the instructions. A skill that TAR 23 racers haven’t mastered after four episodes. He reads through it all. Nick proceeds to guess 62 and fist pumps when he receives the book. He reads the instructions again before searching the page. He sees a street name on the page and is ready.
Sadoya Streets it is. And dang those are some long names in the paragraph.
– Dallas counts three Lenins and six Stalins. He could lose a ton of time here as he enters the taxi and pass by Nick on the street. Nick believes Dallas was oblivious to his presence because Dallas didn’t even ask for a number.
The green spoon sticking out of his mouth while wearing a fanny pack and followed by a camera crew helped him blend in with the streets of Moscow.
– Dallas guesses 36. He must wait ten minutes. Tina meanwhile is going through counting the heads. Dallas’ penalty is done seconds later. Boy that was a quick ten minutes. Ding!
Fourteen across: Name a professional hockey franchise based out of Texas. The Dallas Starrs.
– Dallas re-enters with a guess of 46. Nope.
Ken & Tina’s taxi must have sucked if Dallas has already gone through a ten minute penalty before Tina’s arrival. Or Tina was struggling with her jacket for several minutes too.
– Tina thinks it is 52 but there is “one iffy Lenin to make it 62”. In other words, Tina paid attention in school and is guaranteed to take a maximum of two guesses.
The camera operator has an artistic awakening as it shows Nick and the driver’s conversation entirely through the perspective of the side view mirror.
Once here they must search for the lady with the shetland pony.
Only one vowel away from TAR showing an animal named S—land. I have a feeling the people who clean the stables refer to that pony as s—land.
So anyways, enough of that crap. Teams must go to the park and find the lady with the Shetland Pony to receive their next clue.
– Nick & Starr already have a cab. He is relieved and feels good that Starr is in a cab with her.
Don’t know if it’s sarcasm.
They’re full on Lorena & Jason Bingo Mode. We’rrrre gonna getcha.
– Dandrew are at the Roadblock. Andrew is going to do it. Dan hands over his money to Andrew.
– Dallas cheers as he sees Tina. They have a powwow to discuss the numbers they came up with. For some reason Tina is taking advice from a guy who pulled pranks in school and enlisted full time in sports.
Have Dallas and Tina interacted on camera. . .ever? Combining their heads is probably the only way they can catch up to Nick & Starr at this point. They are honest with each other.
– Tina’s guess is incorrect as she heads outside. They are being truthful in the second-most critical leg of the season. I suppose nobody wants the humiliation of losing to Dan & Andrew.
– Nick asks Starr if he should draw a pony.
STARR: Do they mean like a horse pony or a ponytail?
NICK: No, a Shetland Pony is a breed of pony. It’s like a horse.
Only in the 21st century can an American older male sibling admit to knowing more about ponies than his younger female sibling.
– Nick & Starr tell their taxi to wait as they retrieve the clue from the woman. It’s a Detour.
Ride the Rails or Ride the Lines.
In Ride the Rails, teams head to Cokolooki Rail Station.
Or whatever this is.
– Here they will be given a traditional pastry known as a sansa.
– The wrapper will direct them to another train where they will ride it to a station that has a statue dedicated to the men who created the Cyrillic alphabet.
Betty Whiteitis. Somehow still alive.
– Then on the postcard it will tell them to take the metro to the name and picture of their final destination.
– Then they must spin their head on a dizzy bat before jumping on a trampoline to slam dunk a basketball against Dennis Rodman.
Okay. I made that last part up. At this point they search the grounds of the station for their next clue.
– The task is confusing because the metro is a multi-layered place with signs almost entirely in Cyrillic. However trains come so frequently that multiple mistakes can be rectified. In other words, find a good Fern and don’t let go.
– In Ride the Lines, teams head to a nearby bus stop and wait to hop on a RED trolley bus to a station called . . .ugh, can’t write what Phil is saying. They go to a trolley bus and travel to a station called. . .
That. There a guy will give them a storage locker key that tells them to travel to Rizhskaya Train Station by BLUE trolley bus. Once there they will open a locker using the key to retrieve the same postcard. Then use the postcard to travel by bus to the same final station as the other Detour option to receive their next clue.
– Phil warns that buses can be confusing and using a bus is time consuming in heavy Moscow traffic.
– Nick & Starr choose to Ride the Rails because Nick is a New Yorker.
Wipe that silly grin off your face you Yankee.
– Nick & Starr pay their cab driver before heading to the metro station.
– Andrew forgets what they look like since middle school and asks a guy at the park to show him around.
Andrew being led innocently down the park by a Russian mobster sounds like the beginning to one of Dan & Andrew’s summer movies that will have a 14A rating as they happen to fall into several unlucky and preposterous situations.
The sunglasses are what do it.
– Tina and Dallas have a conversation.
DALLAS: There was six Stalin just in that one area.
TINA: You sure it was Stalin?
DALLAS: I could have them backwards.
TINA: . . .Sounds like it.
Maybe I should put my children into private school. . .
The walk of shame. Snoopy music plays in the background.
– Dallas claims it is not 63 so Tina goes to try 62. It is correct. She exits and yells at Dallas what the answer is and exclaims “you owe me!”
Yep. Tina has racked up three “you owe me’s” since the beginning of the season.
TINA: One of these times it will work.
– Dallas thinks his mom hates him and not be in university anymore.
– A guide directs Andrew to every single statue. Andrew has six Lenin and one Stalin. Guides are never one hundred percent. He heads into the taxi. I have a feeling he will bump it up to 62 after the first guess.
– Dallas re-enters. After thirty minutes worth of penalties, he requests a hug from the shop keeper.
And we lose the shop keeper’s face and body forever.
– Nick & Starr head to the first metro station. They read the map and buy tickets. Nick thinks he has a handle on it as they figure out where the transfer will be.
– Tina shows up and tells Toni that she helped Dallas. Ken is unhappy with Tina because they made a decision not to help any teams. But Tina, out of niceness and a little out of wanting to prove how bright she is, caved in and gave Dallas an answer he never would have known.
KEN: We have to stick to it or we’re going to be cutting our own throats.
It’s Ken’s way of saying “if I did the same thing, I would be in ten times more trouble”.
– Dallas meanwhile is heading over to the route marker. Dan & Andrew are a minimum of twenty minutes behind as they have yet to complete the Roadblock nor the Speed Bump.
DALLAS: Really I don’t care about being first or second. I’ll be happy with third because third still gets me to that million.
Not a chance.
– Andrew runs with his guide to the bookstore.
Russian Fat Camp for lazy American boy. Build muscle. Make you strong.
– He enters and is huffing and puffing. That’s a lot of sweat on him. His guess of 61 is incorrect as he huffs and puffs. A ten minute penalty? Last place? Speed Bump? Detour? Everyone else is done the task?
You just killed me, Smalls.
Dallas sees his mom on the street. It’s time to get out.
– He proceeds to slam the passenger door inside of the cab. Ugh, why am I typing out such a trivial detail?
I’ll even make a screen cap of it. Fanny pack is inside.
Dallas realizes fanny pack is slowly getting away.
DALLAS: Oh nooooo.
Believe it or not, Dallas’ fanny pack isn’t at home. . .
Believe it or not, Dallas’ fanny pack isn’t at home
I must be in a cab
Or you would have found it
Where could I beeeee?
Believe it or not I’m not hooooome
Moscow traffic may be congested, but Dallas chasing down his fanny pack proves to be futile.
– But it’s just a fanny pack right? Probably held a decent amount of money. Everything appears to be fine. I doubt Dan & Andrew could catch up.
Until we hear Dallas’ confessional.
DALLAS: I realized when I got out of the cab that my bag with all of my money and our passports were in the taxi that I had taken and that’s when I started getting extremely nervous. I realized we had no money and was in big trouble.
– Dallas shows up at the route marker.
TONI: We’re okay, baby. We’re okay.
Dallas tells her the exact opposite is true.
– You know what really hits it home? Dan is still waiting for Andrew and hears the whole conversation.
Her ex-husband can have full custody.
– Commercial break. It was timed perfectly as everyone at home could discuss what happened and call their friends/brothers/sisters/aunts/uncles.
“This kid on Amazing Race left all of his money and passport in a cab!”
*Everyone tunes in*
This was just over halfway into the episode. About eighteen minutes of airtime remained to find out how production handles it.
1) Is it all just a one hour delay as they chase down cabs in the street until they find their money and passport?
2) What happens if they don’t finish last? Will they eliminate Dan & Andrew and wait for Dallas’ passport to be found before proceeding with the final round?
3) If Toni & Dallas do survive, will Dan & Andrew take their spots in the Final Three?
And what was the immediate reaction when people watched this scene? It goes something like this:
That sounds about right. The team everyone thought could dethrone Nick & Starr to win the season was now in huge trouble.
– Everyone was simultaneously disturbed and intrigued as to what would happen. Would Toni & Dallas quit right on the spot? They are two taxi rides and an expensive Detour away from finishing the round. How could they possibly have enough funds to make it?
– We return from commercial. We see the scene repeated.
DALLAS: How do we travel by taxi? We have no money.
– Dan goes into reporter mode as he tells the camera what happened. We see Andrew guess 62 and get lucky. Little does he know he just had the hugest stroke of luck any last place team has ever had in TAR history and it’s unfolding on the other side of Moscow.
– Toni & Dallas return to Dan to ask him if he could spot them ten bucks. They see Dan has nothing on him.
Dan does everything in his power to not laugh in their face.
DAN (casually): Are you guys, okay man?
TONI: No, we have nothing. But it’s okay. We’ll figure something out.
Such a mom response.
– As soon as Toni & Dallas walk off for good he reveals his true reaction to the whole situation.
DAN: I probably would not give them ten bucks in this situation even if I had the money. I don’t know what they’re gonna do. They’re stranded.
Dan is loving this. He must be in disbelief that the situation didn’t happen to him instead of Dallas who has been kicking his butt all ten rounds.
– Ken & Tina have a boring conversation about Kenny not being positive. Nick brags about how being a New Yorker finally pays off. Everyone is waiting for the next Toni & Dallas scene.
– Toni decides to ask English-speaking people where the park is first. A bus is twenty rubles while a taxi is four hundred.
Sounds like somebody will be riding the bus.
– They begin begging from young boys on the street.
– Andrew comes back. Before he has a chance to open the clue Dan drops the bombshell.
But Dan tells him he’ll explain later and orders him to hurry up and open the clue. They are only five minutes behind Toni & Dallas, according to Dan.
– Dan & Andrew are back in a taxi. Andrew realizes they are back in the game.
– Toni & Dallas meanwhile are taking a subway to the Detour. I know from riding public transit for four years that every minute traveled by car takes roughly three to four minutes by bus.
– Ken & Tina are second to the Detour practically by default.
KEN: We can’t make mistakes.
Be hilarious if they lost their passport too and we end up with the first Final Two on the final leg.
– Nick & Starr have their sansa and read the instructions on the wrapper. Back on the subway they go.
– Ken & Tina are choosing to Ride the Lines/trolley bus.
– Toni & Dallas emerge from the subway and see the pony. They casually walk. Dan & Andrew have arrived by taxi. Toni sees Dandrew running behind her and a foot race begins.
And to make this round even more unbelievable, the Speed Bump is a task that is equally lethal as losing your passport for Dan & Andrew.
– Toni & Dallas show up to retrieve their clue but are denied by the lady. So they stand looking around.
She stands at attention. Well isn’t she acting like a Little Shet.
DALLAS: We screwed up big time.
No, I think it’s just ‘we screwed up’. You can add ‘big time’ if it is losing something substantial. Like, I don’t know, a passport.
– Toni catches on that they must travel by taxi. So they have to head back to the previous route marker before taking a taxi.
– Dan & Andrew open the Speed Bump. Oh god.
You MUST perform a traditional Russian dance.
Wow. A team in last has no passport but yet the team with passports and money is at risk because Dan must pass a dance test.
Holy crap. This round still has suspense.
– I was able to find the dance online.
It is easy! Just follow Comrade Zangief!
– Dan & Andrew are in high spirits for this task. I would love it if Toni & Dallas somehow found their fanny pack on the street. That’s the only thing that could make this round more epic.
– Dan is confident he can follow the dance. There isn’t much coordination. But his optimism is reduced.
– Toni & Dallas run into a guy to ask how they can get back with few rubles.
– One of the dancers squeaks as she leads them in the dancing.
– Two of the men on the street give Toni & Dallas all of the money they have in their pockets.
For a game show. For an American game show. They won’t eat tonight, or maybe they are one of the billionaires in the city, but they gave their money to a team who are getting a free plane ride back to the US and all of the necessary funds they need upon returning home as well as a five day trip to the Dominican Republic that is all paid for by a billion dollar company.
But it’s all worth it for just one kiss from Mama Imbimbo!
– Toni & Dallas take the bus back to the street of the author’s home. They have lost at least an hour by this point.
This is the biggest look of despair in TAR history. They had it all. They started the day in first and were still in first all the way to the Roadblock. Then they were reduced to being in a solid third place with about an hour ahead of Dan & Andrew if you factor in the Speed Bump. Even after Dallas received three ten-minute penalties.
No money led to them begging until they had enough on the subway and rode it to the Detour. A fifteen minute advantage over Dandrew as the Speed Bump was next to the clue.
But now they must head back to the last route marker by bus before begging for enough money to ride a taxi back to the Detour. The quickest route to go there and back will be a minimum of ninety minutes.
– Ken & Tina board a green trolley bus and hope it’s the right one. The blunder hiss plays.
– Dan & Andrew fail on their attempt. Surprise. Dan is flabbergasted. They shall try once more.
– Tina is told on the bus that it is a regular bus as opposed to a trolley bus. If it ain’t got wires it ain’t a trolley bus. So they jump out and take a taxi back to the beginning of the Detour. Luckily Dan & Andrew are still dancing.
But they receive the clue anyway. Much more lenient than a military officer.
– Dan wants to Ride the Lines. They head to the trolley bus.
– Toni & Dallas hire a cab for four hundred rubles. Toni says they are taking it one step at a time.
– Ken & Tina run across the busy street to board the bus. Dan & Andrew are directed to the trolley on the other side of the street that they barely missed. However they board a new one minutes later.
ANDREW: Not a bad dance for a White Jewish kid like Dan.
What, there’s plenty of outstanding White Jewish dancers like. . .uh. . . .yeah, I got nothing.
– Nick & Starr have found the clue. They must make their way on foot to VDNKh Park
Yep, that’s its name.
It was built as an achievement to the Soviet Union’s accomplishments.
Once again TAR is promoting that socialist agenda.
Bertram and his Leftist content! Although I can’t explain why he hired a bunch of women dressed as Sailor Moon to be part of the performance.
– Nick & Starr are told to run straight.
Look at me! I stole hat from Stalin’s tomb!
Starr’s cleavage looks on.
FIRST: NICK & STARR
– They have won a trip for two to the island of Anguilla. Resort and spa. Sunset catamaran and a five star dinner at the chef’s table. And of course a wine tasting.
– Phil confirms they will be one of the Final Three teams racing for the million dollars and heading to the finish line.
STARR: Our first goal was to not be the first eliminated. Now our goal is to be at the finish line first.
Six victories? Lucky B’s.
– Ken & Tina see the keymaker and have the key. They head back to the trolley bus.
– Dan & Andrew run into the keymaker and get back on the trolley bus.
– Toni & Dallas are still in a taxi to the Detour.
Back across the ocean.
– Dandrew has unlocked the locker too and received the postcard. Tina reads that they must search the station for the next clue.
– Toni & Dallas show up at the Detour. Both teams are on their way to the station to receive their clue. They seem dead in the water. Toni & Dallas can’t even go into the subway for the task yet. They have to beg for more money. A woman gives them fifty rubles and board the trolley bus to head to the subway.
– Ken & Tina are dropped off across the street from the station but assume they are at the wrong place and keep running up the wrong side of the street. Dan & Andrew are on foot looking for the box too.
– Dan & Andrew have the clue before Ken & Tina. Holy crap. Dandrew is in second. Ken & Tina keep arguing over the clue and think the arches. Tina sees Dan & Andrew. They immediately chase down Dan & Andrew. Dan yells at Andrew to run to the mat.
SECOND: DAN & ANDREW
Unbelievable. Loo at that celebration. This is the biggest celebration at the mat all season. But really, they’re just team number two. For them finishing second after nine rounds of finishing fourth or worst is like receiving the million bucks to them.
– Tina reacts loudly too because she realizes that Dan & Andrew beating them to the mat does not mean they are automatically last. Ken doesn’t smile and stands there confused wondering how Dandrew is better than third as well as the fact that Dandrew is better than third.
If Dan & Andrew are second, and we are third after screwing up on the trolley. . .then something is terribly wrong in the universe.
Dan reaches up to see that Ken is about two feet taller than him. Tina refuses to open her eyes to see that her and Dandrew both finished in the top three in the same round.
– Phil tells Ken & Tina that they need to pick up the clue at the end of the Detour.
You can see it on Ken’s face that he is trying as hard to get the wheels turning even though the hamster is dead.
TINA: The key was the end of the Detour.
PHIL: Did you get the clue to tell you to come to the mat?
PHIL: Then you need the clue to tell you to come to the mat.
The greeter just smiles and nods as he watches Phil speak. I love how lost the greeters probably are in most rounds over the years.
– Ken & Tina yell at cabs sitting on the street and know daylight is withering away. Ken & Tina see nothing. We go to commercial break with four minutes to go. They are so close to the mat that they can leave their bags on the mat. Yet they can’t find the dang clue.
– Toni & Dallas are sitting on the trolley. Ken & Tina re pointed towards the station.
– Toni & Dallas arrive at the subway to show up to the Detour.
– Ken & Tina have the clue and run back to the mat as expected.
THIRD: KEN & TINA
– The greeter re-greets them as they are officially third. Phil gives them the good news. They fist pump and hug. Tina feels awesome and knows Ken has been trying and possesses patience.
TINA: I need someone with a lot of patience.
– Tina wonders how important the relationship is to Ken and how important she is to him. Ken talks about the relationship too and that they yelled at each other too much again this round.
So the mystery continues to remain a question mark. But you know what isn’t a mystery?
Why are we following Phil?
PHIL: Toni & Dallas, I had to come out here and ask because I couldn’t wait to ask. You are the first team to not even arrive. . .and what the f— were you thinking?
PHIL: Toni & Dallas, three teams have checked into the pit stop. Those three teams will be the ones racing to the finish line for one million dollars. I’m sorry to tell you you have been eliminated from the race.
PHIL: . . .Rough day.
– Toni & Dallas discuss Dallas’ mistake. Toni insists Dallas didn’t let her down. They wanted to keep going until the end. Incidentally that end was being the first team ever to be eliminated by Phil before the mat without even quitting.
– Dallas has pride in himself and his mom. He knows everything he is because of his mom. Toni feels closer to his son more than ever. She fights back tears as she says she has never been prouder of Dallas.
“So uh, how do we get home?
This is the last time we ever see Toni & Dallas.
No, I’m dead serious. Toni & Dallas head off to the American Embassy where somebody eventually drops off Dallas’ passport a few days later. Given TAR’s filming schedule, teams begin the final leg in less than twelve hours and will be flying to the US within the next 24 hours. Therefore teams will reach the finish line in about 36 to 72 hours.
In case you can’t put it together, Toni & Dallas don’t receive their passports in time to get on a plane and fly to the finish line. So them walking in the middle of Moscow is truly the last time we see them. Never has a team been eliminated in such a devastating fashion.
In earlier seasons, if a team was really far behind they would receive a clue upon entering the city to head straight to the pit stop. Phil actively seeking out a team only occurred in TAR 5 because Marshall & Lance quit on the spot, and, well, Lance really needed a wheelchair by that point. And the second time because production screwed up because they didn’t think through the design of the hay bale Roadblock, and were thus forced to eliminate Lena & Kristy after ten hours without finding a clue.
So this was the first time where a team had lost everything but still wanted to finish the round. . .were blocked from doing so. No check in at the mat nor being able to reunite with teams at the finish line.
The worst part of it all is that it was the last realistic part of the whole season where they could have lost a passport. It’s much tougher to lose a passport when both teammates are present. And if they lost the passport during the final leg it wouldn’t have even mattered because there would be no more countries to visit.
They screwed up at the absolute last moment possible for all of this to happen. And they would have easily finished second this round, and Ken & Tina would have gone home.
Toni & Dallas vs. Nick & Starr in the final round is the showdown everyone wanted to see. And it was robbed from us. One of the biggest battles of super unlikely underdogs versus the grand champs of kickassery.
Lastly, Dallas losing his passport implicates a controversy for production. Dallas says the fanny pack was lost during a requested battery pack change from the sound operator traveling with him. So in the franticness of changing his batteries as quickly as possible because he wanted to enter the Final Three, Dallas lost his fanny pack in the midst of the chaos.
– Instead we have a Final Three of Nick & Starr, Ken & Tina, and Dan & Andrew. 99% of the viewers think Nick & Starr have it in the bag heading into the final round. Nick & Starr have beat both teams in six of the past seven rounds, and their only defeat has come because of one of the sloppiest taxis in TAR history.
– UFC promo time.
Starr thinks she can win.
Dan says it is a new race.
Ken says it is time to take their destiny.
Andrew thinks it will be a graduation gift.
Tina intends to dominate.
Nick wishes to bring it on.
Next Time on TAR: Former alliance members square off. And a Cinderella story tries to win it all. It’s the final sprint to the finish line and the competition is fierce. Every mistake could be their last. Who will cross the finish line first and win the one million dollars?
And there you go. Only one episode left for the season. Heading into the finale everyone groaned as they accepted the fact that they will be tuning in for one final hour of Nick & Starr dominance. But doesn’t that just seem all too easy of an outcome?
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) Toni & Dallas
A team forever remembered as the first to commit the enormous blunder of losing their passport and all of their money. To this day everybody talks about Toni & Dallas’ mistake that shocked the TAR world.
You could say that they have some “unfinished business” which sadly is unresolved to this day. One of the things he hardcore TAR universe will hate Jodi Wincheski’s casting bias down the road.
So what made Toni & Dallas so special? Well, it was only the second mother-son team in the TAR franchise. Oh, and the first mother-son team to be likable.
Like, what do you expect of a mother-son team who signs up for TAR? Divorced mother with a flamboyant son who spend all of their evenings together watching Entertainment Tonight and every competitive reality show on television on a religious basis since 2000?
Because that is certainly the trend that we will see on TAR before and after Toni & Dallas’ appearance.
But Dallas couldn’t be less flamboyant or less of a reality TV fan. This is a guy who is a true jock, or as Patrick would say, “dumb as a rock”. You know he didn’t pay a second of attention in class but played every sport and chased down every girl during high school.
And Toni? Not even close to being the smothering figure that viewers would joke about when it comes to Susan or Margie. Toni rarely acted like Dallas’ mother. Sure she encouraged him, but she let Dallas be his own man as he let Dallas act on his hormones to hit on Starr or direct where the team should go in a friendly manner.
I wish more teams like Toni & Dallas are cast because they feel like real people who have lives outside of obsessing with Rob & Amber or want to create drama just to snag more airtime.
They were a strong team all season long as they set themselves up to not only be the only long-term allies for Nick & Starr but also the only long-term rivals for Nick & Starr.
Now you can understand why the audience was devastated when Dallas lost the passport and money. The season was viewed as being over and two of the least likable and interesting teams cast this season would be in the final leg of the season.
What is equally devastating to the lost passport and money is that Toni & Dallas weren’t even invited for the next all-star season. Phil Keoghan said “other teams have better stories and are more interesting people”.
Are you f—ing serious? What’s more interesting than the first team who could have won the season but lost it at all at the last moment possible because of the biggest blunder in TAR history? And did he forget Dallas’ relationship with Starr? Oh, and the part that they were an entertaining mother-son team that didn’t annoy us?
What were they thinking!
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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) Moscow, Russia -> Two blocks down the street in Moscow, Russia
Moscow for the second round in a row was actually much more challenging than Moscow in the previous round.
Last round had an easy march (unless your name is Dan) and a repetitive flour transport task which made taxis the only relevant part of the round.
But this round? Riddles and focus was a huge component. The Roadblock was awesome as teams had to count statue heads of Stalin and Lenin to come up with a two-digit number to tell a shop keeper to receive a book where they must look at that page number in the book for the name of their next destination.
Seriously, that’s a freakin brilliant idea for somebody in production to create. That person needs to be in charge of creating tasks more often.
And the Detour proved to be a confusing mess as teams had to navigate the public transit system for a couple of hours as all of the directions would have been in Cyrillic. The only team to dominate the task was Nick & Starr because Nick mastered public transit as a New Yorker.
So the tasks were great. The trip into the submarine at the beginning was neat.
But what made this episode really memorable was the fact that Dan completed a dancing task as him and Andrew not only finished fourth or third, but finished in second. They improved twice as much upon their best finish all season. Ken & Tina and Toni & Dallas’ devastation as they saw Dan & Andrew ahead of them was truly hilarious.
Oh, and Dallas being the first player ever to lose his passport in all thirteen seasons as well as losing all of his money. Casual fans will remember nothing about this round because of how much Dallas’ error overshadowed the rest of the episode’s brilliance.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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.)
10) Almaty, Kazakhstan -> Moscow, Russia
Yeah, there wasn’t much hesitation to put this episode at the bottom. If there was ever a bridge episode in a season of TAR, this would be it.
Moscow is nothing new for the TAR universe, and none of the locations wowed the viewer.
This round is hampered by the fact that ninety percent of people expected this to be a non-elimination leg, and thus you never felt like even if Nick & Starr came in last that they were truly vulnerable. It took too much of the excitement away from Toni & Dallas’ victory and break Nick & Starr’s huge four round streak.
I honestly forget about the Roadblock because it seemed to be a straightforward but not lethal ‘caveman’ Roadblock. Both Detour options seemed rather easy for three of the four teams.
The only reason this episode ranks as ‘good’ is because of Dan & Andrew. Starting the round with less clothes than the previous leg for the first time since the TAR 7-9 non-elimination penalty where Phil took all of your possessions, helped make Dan & Andrew’s race journey even more laughable.
Then there’s the fact they spent 160 bucks on shoes.
Then there’s the fact they gave up every dollar they had and sat on the side of the road until the taxi driver took the money and walked away.
Oh, and the marching. Dan’s experimentation with the military march is immortalized. Besides Tara & Wil’s last minute TAR 2 defeat, my brother’s girlfriend always brings up Dan’s marching.
Next round may have the almighty passport blunder to make TAR 13 memorable, but this round helps immortalize TAR 13 as a goofy season because of Dan’s marching alone.
Imagine if Dan had to do the line dancing Roadblock from TAR Canada? He would be taking the four hour penalty almost immediately.
Surprisingly, this round will not finish dead last in the rankings. That will belong to the final episode.
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
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
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
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
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
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
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 Toni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia
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.