The Amazing Race season 14 episode 1 ranking and intro

First episode

COUNTRIES VISITED

SWITZERLAND – GERMANY – AUSTRIA – ROMANIA – RUSSIA – INDIA – THAILAND – CHINA – USA

INTRODUCTION

Here we are. The day has come. This is the last season I saw in its entirety before I went on my five season hiatus from watching TAR. Mostly because this season was just plain awful by the time it was over. I haven’t re-visited the season since it originally aired because it left a bad taste in my mouth.

kazakhstan sheep

cow lips 2

That taste in my mouth was bad as the aftertaste of sheep’s butt or cow lips.

But before we dive into the season it is time to analyze the unique format changes.

TAR 1-4: Original Era
TAR 5-9: Revitalization Era
TAR 10-13: Transition Era
TAR 14-19/20: Static Era

So why is it called the beginning of the Static Era?

Because this was the beginning of TAR’s set rotation of having one season air in September to December and another season from February to May. Prior to this each year had a varied cycle. This included a year long hiatus between TAR 4 and 5 as well as TAR 5, 6, and 7 airing in less than a year altogether. Even the scheduling of TAR 12 aired on television before and after winter holidays.

The recent success of TAR 12 and 13 was enough to convince CBS that it could rely on TAR permanently. Evidently five years and ten seasons later have progressed without seeing any sort of deviation from this schedule. Hence one of the reasons why it is static.

Another reason why it is static is because the series doesn’t really involve during these next six or seven seasons. The same type of casting mistakes and sticking to the same format over and over again induced several yawns from the audience.

Oh, and revisiting many of the same countries and even the same cities also made viewers grow increasingly tired of the series.

Lastly, a twist during this era was to rehash classic challenges multiple times per season.

So let’s go over the new changes that are introduced to TAR 14.

a) New graphics. I’ll screen cap it soon, but a new title graphic will be introduced this season. The same ol’ graphic that you saw for the first thirteen seasons was abandoned. Of course this is controversial because changing the graphic after nearly eight years is not easy to swallow. I personally wish they would remix the theme every season rather than come up with arbitrary seasons to change it. With that being said, I thought the second theme of the series was too futuristic.

I personally thought that the theme would never go away and was planning to write about it for the past month when I would get to TAR 14. However TAR 23 just started airing less than five weeks ago (September 29 2013. Today is November 1st when I write this) and has since debunked my theory. Now I can say that each theme will last anywhere between 10-13 seasons. So expect a new theme in about 2017 or 2018.

b) New music. Oh yeah. Just covered that.

c) New font. Clues on paper still look the same until TAR 15, but the font changes on-screen for the viewer starting in TAR 14. Yeah, I prefer the classic font. But this is one of the few things I couldn’t care less about regarding the series.

d) The twist that allows you to penalize another team reached its next stage to guarantee its use.

Stage 1) None. TAR 1-4.
Stage 2) Yield. TAR 5-11. U-Turn. TAR 12-13.
Stage 3) Blind U-Turn. TAR 14-16.

So we have reached stage three of TAR’s ladder to encourage backstabbing. The only reason why this new stage was reached after nine seasons is because of TAR 13.

Remember in TAR 13 how Nick & Starr U-Turned Kelly & Christy and thus saved Mark & Bill? Oh, right. That never happened. It was the first time in franchise history that a U-Turn/Yield went unused. In fact only one of the two U-Turn spots aired on TV.

So what did production decide to do? Well, they wanted to make the conditions easier for a team to use the U-Turn without being exposed.

Enter the Blind U-Turn. It is just like any other U-Turn or Yield except you do not have to put up your incriminating faces on the board. Therefore a team can effectively U-Turn anybody they want without being implicated. Unless teams are around you or the order of arrival at the U-Turn mat is solved.

But yes, the Blind U-Turn will appear at least once in every future season to ensure that viewers will get to see it being used once per cycle. Production wanted the next step of strategy to evolve on the show. And given TAR 13 was not willing to take that next step, production decided to step it up on the players’ and viewers’ behalf.

e) To Be Continued rounds return. Ugh. My least favourite form of non-elimination. It is the one freebie per season for the last place team. They do not have to complete a Speed Bump. All they have to do is make it to the next equalizer and they have managed to finish last without any repercussions.

Thankfully To Be Continued rounds are not brought back on a regular basis again for a few more years. And to TAR 14’s credit this is the second To Be Continued round that does not have any form of an equalizer (the first being in TAR 9 if I recall correctly).

f) The first shift from pageant and reality TV “celebrities” to real legitimate celebrities. This season features Mel & Mike White.

Which I need to take a grand aside for.

mike white

Yep. That is Mike White in his breakout role in School of Rock. You know how I said that Napoleon Dynamite was an enormous hit when I was in the seventh and eighth grades while Borat was the huge hit while I was in tenth and eleventh grades? Well, School of Rock would probably be the third biggest hit. It came out in 2003. One year before Napoleon Dynamite.

The movie was shown several times during the sixth and seventh grades. It was simultaneously the cleanest and funniest movie to show in class. I think between 2003 to 2005 between movie rentals and movie days I had seen the movie about four or five times. Oh, and it does not help things when it is perhaps the most played movie on TV outside of The Negotiator.

negotiator

EVERYONE AT TBS THINKS WATCHING SAMUEL L. JACKSON ACT LOUD AND ANGRY WILL NEVER GET OLD!

As soon as I saw Mike White advertised to be on TAR I instantly recognized him. Besides a certain contestant this season which we will discuss in A LOT of detail down the road, Mike was the most hyped in the promos. He was the guy who acted as the pussy-whipped friend of Jack Black’s character in School of Rock. Mike White’s character appears in approximately three scenes during the film.

Although pussy-whipped is the worst description for Mike White in real life. Once he accepted after much denial that he was a homosexual, he divorced from his wife at the time and became an activist.

I recently watched the series run for Undeclared. You know, the second of the failed Judd Apatow TV experiments? His first was Freaks and Geeks which featured high school students. It is my short-lived TV show ever. A year later Judd Apatow graduated from a failed high school program into a failed college program.  It not only had a shorter episode run but each episode was only 21 minutes long instead of the 46 minute episodes that Freaks and Geeks had.

If you are reading this buy Freaks and Geeks right now. If you enjoy my sense of humour in these blogs, you will appreciate Freaks and Geeks. Oh, and for Busy Phillips.

Undeclared had the star power but it was never quite as funny as Freaks and Geeks. It makes up for it by a guy rapping about the tribe Pagong in one of the early episodes. I transcribed the whole rap on PoS about two months ago.

“College girls, it’s the place to be

This ain’t high school don’t you see

We’re gonna make drinks and punch

No fake in the funk

I’m gonna get you on the top of my bunk

This is my man. . .
“Ron?”

Aight, Ron.
Taking suckas out like members of Pagong

Strong like an east coast mafia don

This party going til tomorrow

No sorrow

Droppin’ like a. . .sparrow.”

Why am I mentioning Undeclared? Because Mike White makes an appearance in one of the episodes. Again, I recognized him instantly but he was uncredited  in the episode.

And there is one final place that I have recognized Mike White. Sadly it was just his name. He wrote several of the earlier episodes of the series Dawson’s Creek. I have seen the first 3 1/2 seasons of Dawson’s Creek over the past six months.

dawson reaction

James Van Der Beek. My n*gga.

So who is Mel White? Well, Mike White’s father. Mel is a writer and actor too established in Hollywood. He also attempted to repress his homosexuality but his was more extreme as he used electric therapy and other extreme old school methods. Eventually he accepted it.

Mel and Mike both were ghost writers for far right wing religious figures.

If neither of this father-son duo was in Hollywood, they would be one of the most intriguing teams to sign up for the race. But the fact they are apart of the Hollywood Machine made viewers eyeroll in unison as they felt their celebrity and ‘in’ status is why they were cast on TAR.

g) Casting contestants with disabilities.

This is one of the more interesting changes with TAR that begins this season. In TAR 1-13, Charla was the only contestant with a disability that was cast. And I have a feeling her disability had nothing to do with it given her and Mirna have the biggest personalities on the reality TV planet.

But starting in TAR 14 production made the uncomfortable change to casting people with disabilities. Luckily not to the icky measures that TAR Canada took.

Why do I say icky? Because networks have a primary goal to make what they think is ‘good TV’. Anytime in reality TV history a contestant with a disability is always portrayed heroically. This stems from Survivor: Amazon’s Christy Smith who was deaf and portrayed as a hero, but in post-game interviews it was revealed that she was not well-liked and annoyed all other players.

Think about it. Portraying someone with a disability on TV in a negative perspective is impossible. I discussed this in my TAR Canada video.  Various groups and activists will be very upset if a deaf contestant is portrayed as evil or if someone with high-functioning autism or fake legs is mocked.

Am I saying to ban teams with disabilities? N-O W-A-Y.

But if the team is really boring television and only used to elicit tears from the audience, then I feel that it is the network’s sleazy schemes to gain a higher number of viewers.

It is not the contestant’s fault that they are cast with a disability. I repeat it is not their fault. But if they are boring or are portrayed in an inaccurate and misleading fashion, it makes me dislike producers a lot more.

So TAR 14 has the first deaf contestant for the franchise. It is equally surprising that they are the second season in a row to have a mother-son team. However, unlike Toni & Dallas, this mother-son team will be controversial. Granted most of the casual audience loves this team because “ohmuhgod he is overcoming such big odds!!!!1111oneone” but online there is a division.

And most of the controversy surrounds the mother. It is not even the deaf contestant that is controversial. The mother does some things that will leave an awful taste in your mouth by the end of the season.

h) A twelve-round format is used permanently.

The first eleven seasons had a thirteen-round format. TAR 12 and 13 had an eleven-round format. One is too long. Another is too short. Of course we now head into the era of the twelve-round format.

Almost every season will have eleven teams, two official non-elimination points, and one To Be Continued non-elimination format. TAR 23 is currently airing and has kept up the streak of being the tenth season in a row to have twelve rounds.

I personally would prefer twelve teams just so the To Be Continued non-elimination would be removed, but sadly that has not happened.

I am curious how long it will be before the twelve-round format streak is over. Ten seasons is a long time to stick to a very specific part of the format.

i) I already covered this extensively. This new format change is that one season airs in September/October to December and the other airs in February to May.

That pattern has remained to this day. In the first thirteen seasons due to hiatuses and scheduling there was never a steady calendar for TAR producers. Starting with TAR 14 it is set in stone.

Now it is time to announce the biggest change of all this season.
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j) Teams are sequestered at the end of each round.

Remember how I said Sports Bra Gate from TAR 13 would be one of the most influential points in TAR history? You know, when Christy accuses Starr of pushing her sports bra off of a window ledge without any form of proof other than “we saw her around our hallway”?

Well after this season production decided that teams can no longer interact at pit stops. It makes the relationships between teams a lot more frigid and distant.  The only pro to this change is that camera operators will catch every second of interaction, but a huge negative is that the teams do not keep in contact after the race and are limited to communicating at equalizers. Thus, the race has a more cold-blooded atmosphere.

And that is definitely proven due to an incident near the end of the season when a couple of shoves throughout the round culminate in a huge clash at the pit stop. Last season Phil hyped up the “biggest blunder ever” in the form of Toni & Dallas losing their passport. This season it is “the biggest pit stop meltdown ever”.

The meltdown is lame because only ten seconds of it is captured and the incident is far more annoying than it is intriguing or interesting television.

k) No other innovative twists come for a really long time.

The format you see in TAR 14 will be a staple for the next ten seasons. Virtually every part of this season will influence the structure of all subsequent seasons. This is what epitomizes the static era. Nearly every format change I listed in this section will last for a really long time. Next season will have a section of format changes that is virtually non-existent.

l) This is the only season where Phil Keoghan would do a blog for every episode for Entertainment Weekly. I will post each of his blog entries at the end of each episode. The comments section has still been saved which means I will screen cap some of the dumber comments that I read.

Why did Phil Keoghan do this blog? Because he was doing a big charity event where he would ride a bicycle around the United States. He has never blogged before or since.

***

I really have not much else to say. The route was not great. Only one round of the whole season features a new country. What is worse is that Russia and India are repeated from last season. In fact this is the fifth India round in three seasons while this will be four rounds in Russia of the past two seasons.

The only thing to match that level of lameness is that we spend an unprecedented THREE rounds in the same country. Thank goodness that has never happened before or since. Twenty-five percent of the round in the same country all because of the 2008 Olympics that occurred shortly before filming of TAR 14.

What is worse is that one of the teams speaks Mandarin fluently and has visited China multiple times. In addition they lived in the state of the finish line in the past, and they spent over a month in Thailand where rounds seven and eight are held. In other words, they are given an enormous advantage for fifty percent of the season to the point that one of the tasks involves the other teams following them all the way to the pit stop.

The second half of this season is TAR truly at its worst. I would personally rank it to be just as bad as TAR 8: Family Edition’s second half. The only memorable and worthwhile part to watch is that somebody has a bladder that costs them one million dollars.

Some people view Dallas losing his passport as partially production’s fault because he lost it during a microphone pack change. The bladder issue in TAR 14 has zero production interference. It is such a mind-boggling moment in TAR history that Phil looks devastated when he sees the team at the pit stop mat. Unlike the passport blunder, this one will not be repeated ever again.

The first half of the season may be the only redeemable part of the season. Most of the tasks are creative and feature some hilarious visuals. In fact this season begins with falling cheese. One racer lasts only two rounds but has such a poor performance that you are not sure whether to feel concerned for her well-being on the race or to laugh at the predicaments that she falls into during her short run. Siberia has some of the goofiest tasks in TAR history in the most miserably cold weather ever observed in franchise history.

Lastly, let’s talk about the teams. Most of them are not likeable. There is one sibling team that will be very difficult for viewers to relate to during the season. They are just plain weird and leave you scratching your head. Some of the teams appear to be too out of shape for the competition, or make some really foolish mistakes along the way. Do not bother rooting for a team because I can guarantee you that the team you will be rooting for will be gone early.

Yeah. I have nothing else left to say. No point in delaying what is inevitable and terrible. At least the season starts off good? Oh god. What am I doing? I am. . .I am.. . .

WHAOHOHFOHDOHAOHOHIEHIEJIERUUEEUOE

Episode one

Don’t Let That Cheesy Music Annoy Me

SWITZERLAND – GERMANY – AUSTRIA – ROMANIA – RUSSIA – INDIA – THAILAND – CHINA – USA

Previously on TAR: Nick & Starr won for the sixth time in seven rounds and are never seen again.

switzerland intro

Military choppers? I must say TAR has always done a good job of bringing in teams in the most epic form possible. They have yet to repeat identical methods. Remember in TAR 1 when they rode in on buses? Right around TAR 6 when they started bringing in teams in fast speed boats is when the budget for the opening really increased. I believe it was a few seasons ago where they used traditional helicopters or gliders to make it to the starting line.

Okay, maybe the old school cars for TAR 12 and 13 were a little lame.

But dang, military helicopters!

survivor intro

What is this? Survivor Heroes vs. Villains?

PHIL: Southern California. Post seven hundred hours.

Since when did TAR have a military theme? I have a feeling this is the extent of Phil’s military knowledge.

– Phil cannot bring himself to say it is LA anymore. All he says it is southern California and a west coast starting point.

– It is revealed these are US Marine Corps helicopters.

switzerland plane

Story checks out.

charla mirna copter

Where is Charla & Mirna with their barf bags?

– Teams are being transported to the US Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos.

And yes, Los Alamitos is within Orange County. It is production’s way of saying “we shall deny that this is the third time in a row we will be in Los Angeles”.

– We now get introduced to the eleven teams.

The first is Christine & Jodi.

christine jodi intro

Friends who are also flight attendants.

portland kelly christy

Middle-aged female friends in light blue outfits? Did Christine & Jodi receive hand-me-down clothes from TAR 13’s Kelly & Christy? Production really is tightening its budget.

christine jodi intro 2

Why are they dressed up like Avril Lavigne? Maybe Avril Lavigne’s look was inspired by flight attendants rather than Donkey Kong.

avril lavigne

Yep. This is how Avril got famous.

Christine looks familiar.

tricia godlewski

Ah yes. It is Tricia Godlewski in disguise.

JODI: We have a lot of travel tips and a lot of insider information that people aren’t aware of.

martha stewart

I cannot see the harm with using insider information.

JODI: Blonde women in foreign countries really can get away with murder and we will use that to our advantage.

linda holmes

Encouragement of using female sexuality is slowly killing on The Amazing Race.

tyson

Shut. Up.

christine jodi intro 3

Well Jodi is certainly acting like she is on her high horse.

christine jodi intro 4

I do not know how being blonde will give you an advantage if that is the typical expression you wear on your faces.

– Christine did not even speak or open her eyes.

– Now onto the second team.

tammy victor intro

PHIL: Tammy & Victor. Asians. Both lawyers from California.

– Tammy & Victor reveal that Victor is about a decade older than her. For me all of my siblings range from six to thirteen years older than me. And that will be the extent that I relate to Tammy & Victor.

tammy victor intro 2

Whoever’s place that is looks really nice.

Considering they are from California they should find LAX no problem. After that point they are completely on their own.

VICTOR: I’m used to thinking of her as the three year old running around the house trying to get people to pay attention to her.

tammy victor intro 3

They have a piano. Get it? They are rich.

tammy victor intro 4

WHAT IS ALWAYS SO DAMN FUNNY?! They have laughed for the entire freakin’ intro. At nothing. Nothing funny has happened the whole time. She fell off the stool on purpose? Maybe if she was older Paul Asleson would join in on the laughter, but this is too much.

– Tammy wants Victor to be in a position to rely on her. . .eventually.

Oh, and she says the word “me” in a really funny tone. Rely on me! and count on me!

– That is enough from them. Now onto the next team.

margie luke intro

PHIL: Margie & Luke. Mother and son from Colorado.

Ah, the third mother-son team for the franchise. I have a feeling their intro will not be too exciting.

– Luke signs that he is deaf. Margie reads his signs aloud. You know what is terrible about Luke telling us that he is deaf?

margie luke intro 2

There are no subtitles! A deaf contestant is communicating without subtitles. How ultra lame is that?

– MARGIE: I do not read lips. My mom is my link to hearing people on the race.

Wait a second. How am I going to do confessional counts for Margie & Luke? Uh oh.

margie luke intro 3

Luke gives a thumbs up and approves of this blog.

margie luke intro 4

Classic Colorado scenery. Of course they have to be in the Rockies.

NOTE #1: Luke is gay too. However the editors told him that they thought it would be too confusing for viewers. I told you the production crew goes into d—-bag overdrive this season.

NOTE #2: Margie & Luke originally applied for Family Edition. I think they are happy to be rejected now that they get to be on a real season.

– Margie thinks her and Luke will have the advantage because they can communicate without other teams being able to eavesdrop. Luke wishes to be an inspiration to deaf people.

– Onto the fourth team. Here we go.

steve linda intro

Are they from the south or are they from the south? The jeans and wife beater shirt really gives it away. Plus Steve looks like an extra from a car maintenance reality show.

PHIL: Steve & Linda. Married seventeen years from Virginia, and definitely not our desperate attempt to find the next David & Mary.

steve linda intro 2

We got dogs and knitting a quilt, gosh darnit!

steve linda intro 3

STEVE: We will be seen as the hicks from the sticks, the Hillbillies, and the country bumpkins. Which is all true!

steve linda intro 4

Gone fishin’. Now all they need is some muppets and Rivers Cuomo.

– Steve cracks up during the confessional.

goofy

For the next all-star season he will be brought back to race it with his son Max.

– Ready for team number five?

kisha jen intro

PHIL: Kisha & Jen. Sisters and former college athletes.

Aren’t all fit females “former college athletes”? It is as if Phil thinks that anyone not named Ronda Rousey or Miesha Tate can make a living off of sports after college.

So. African-American women in sports. Want to take a guess what is the first clip we see of them in their everyday lives?
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kisha jen intro 2

They are playing f—ing basketball.

– Kisha says it is the first time they will be on the same team. Jenn accepts that they must rely on each other.

NOTE: Jenn is a lesbian, but again, production refused to air that fact at any point because they want to keep their teams one-dimensional this season.

kisha jen intro 3

The net shows the divide in their relationship.

And Kisha ends with the strangest laugh I have heard on TAR in quite a while.

– So who is number six?

preston jennifer intro

PHIL: Preston & Jennifer. Dating two years from South Carolina.

preston jennifer intro 2

The beginning of Jennifer’s love of piggyback rides.

preston jennifer intro 3

If Preston and Jennifer switched positions, I doubt this would be aired.

preston jennifer intro 4

Preston & Jennifer. Not piggybacking.

JENNIFER: I love to be in charge.

PRESTON: If I am in charge everything goes correctly.

JENNIFER: That is not true.

Ah. So we have the hot-headed young dating couple slot filled for this season. Prepare to be annoyed, viewers.

– Enough of them from now. Let’s head to our seventh team.

brad victoria intro

PHIL: Brad & Victoria. Old, from Ohio.

VICTORIA: We are the badass older couple.

brad victoria intro 2

You lift? Then come at me, bro!

brad victoria intro 3

We swear we are not Fran & Barry!

fran barry 1

They can borrow our glasses!

brad victoria intro 5

Here comes the pitch. . .

brad victoria intro 4

Medicine ball right in the baby maker! I guess it is a cheap alternative to getting your tubes tied.

brad victoria intro 6

Get it? We are active than most people our age. Do not underestimate us.

But seriously, they are NOT Fran & Barry.

– Ready for team number eight?

mel mike intro

PHIL: Mel & Mike. Writers, and the only ones we will allow you to know they are gay during the episodes because math is hard, from Virginia and Los Angeles.

mel mike intro

Marching. Serious. Stern.

MIKE: We are both writers.

mel mike intro 2

Here we see Mel waiting impatiently for his son to send him a ticket to unlock the next stage on Candy Crush Saga.

And here it comes.

MIKE: I wrote a movie called School of Rock.

And there he goes leaving out his writing credit for Dawson’s Creek.

dawson reaction

James Van Der Beek. No longer his n*gga.

mel mike intro 3

Wow. Did they really have to buy identical dogs?

MIKE: Being gay and having a gay father definitely has its advantages. It’s not like you’re disappointing your parents since they beat you to the punch.

Heh.

mel mike intro 4

Who knew two men with dogs would end up preparing for the Downward Dog yoga move just minutes later.

– Now for team number nine.

amanda kris intro 3

PHIL: Amanda & Kris. Dating for three years from San Diego.

Amanda & Kris? We have returning players on this season!

amanda kris intro

They won their first leg of TAR 4 but were eliminated the very next round. They are back for redemption baby!

amanda kris intro 2

Just as long as there is not a single ice skating task, they should be fine.

amanda kris intro 4

KRIS: Being from South Dakota, I know other teams will think of us as backwoods bumpkins.

AMANDA: Kris & I are around each other all of the time. We are practically attached at the hip. I feel like people will think we are young and not capable of winning. We’ll show them.

KRIS: I know 110 percent that I want to be with her and no one else.

I am serious. That is all they say for their intro. You think as a returning team that they would have more to say or be good at math!

– Okay. That was just bizarre to see them back. Ten new teams and freakin’ Amanda & Kris. Let’s move on.

mark michael intro

PHIL: Mark & Michael. Brothers and professional stuntmen.

mark michael intro 2

Move over deafs, gays, mactors, bumpkins, and returning players because we have a team that will rule this race. . .

too short

Cause they are Too $hort.

Speaking of Too $hort, he is associated with Kelis. I am not sure if you have noticed this but Kelis looks a lot like a reality TV contestant.

kelis

lisa

This has been in my mind for six years. No joke. Now I know how the writers at Survivor Oz feel.

mark michael intro 3

MICHAEL: We stunt double children in film and television.

I can only picture all of the kids sitting in their trailers getting pampered while Michael has to jump out of windows and do intense jumps. My money is on them being a stunt double for Frankie Muniz in Agent Cody Banks as well as the three Spy Kids films.

And now we get to the line that will make you cringe.

MICHAEL: Big things come in small packages.

Yeah, get off my TV screen.

mark michael intro 5

mark michael intro 7

mark michael intro 6

Classic case of the one bitchslap knockout.

– I for one am nearly done with this. Can we get to racing already?

jaime cara intro

PHIL: Jaime & Cara. Friends and former NFL cheerleaders.

jaime cara intro 3

JAIME: Often women who are aggressive and assertive are viewed as a bitch or a villain.

linda holmes

Nods.

JAIME: I don’t think that’s fair but I ultimately don’t give a crap what everybody thinks about me.

CARA: She’s not lyin’.

james miller

Cara channels her Inner James.

jaime cara intro 2

They lead a race cheer.

– That’s eleven? Thank god. Now let’s head into this poop storm full force!

phil intro

Phil is down below giving the same old speech. It is likely word for word from the season prior.

phil intro 2

Phil decided to get botox to ensure one eyebrow is permanently raised. This s when you know he has made too much money over the years.

PHIL: Read the clue and jump into one of the parked cars.

mercedes

Mercedes ain’t gonna pay CBS s—.

switzerland margie luke

A sign that Margie & Luke will win.

– Phil gives them the word that they can run over to their bags and read the clue on top of the luggage they brought with them and hop into one of the parked cars and what they do is completely up to them and the first ones to cross win one million dollars does everyone understand on your marks travel safe go.

phil intro 3

Phil stands in the middle of the stampede.

– Teams read that they must make their way to Locarno, Switzerland on one of two flights:

1) Lufthansa at 335pm via Zurich
2) Air France 400pm via Milan

Obviously departure times do not matter as we learned about ten seasons ago. Hopefully teams are bright enough to learn to check when flights connect.

– Mike loves being on the freakin’ Amazing Race.

CARA: It’s on like Donkey Kong.

chip kong

It’s on like him?

TAMMY: We’re doing good.

Yep. All two minutes into it.

– Amanda & Kris view the trip as being insane as they discuss it in the car.

switzerland kris

It is insane to have the trip of a lifetime twice!
– Intro time.

the amazing race

Holy s—! WHAT IS THIS?! THE NEW FREAKIN INTRO?!

– And there’s new freakin’ music too! It’s harder. It has more of a rock element. There is also wailing women. By the way, Linda is still running to her luggage while this intro plays. Producers decided to save her a minute to run.

– Whoa. We are already at the airport. That is the quickest path to the airport ever. Probably by about ten minutes. Teams are not shown being lost. I am thrown for a loop.

– Now we get to see the flight plan.

the amazing race map

I see that The Amazing Race was about four years behind the Google Earth craze.

– From wherever they connect they will take a train to Locarno, Switzerland. In other words, not only do you need to worry about the arrival of your plane, but guess which place can make up time during a train ride through the Alps.

the amazing race map 2

We get to see contours now? It is like the map of the first thirteen seasons underwent a makeover that made it seem like state of the art technology.

– Tammy & Victor decide to go to Lufthansa on the first bus.

– Amanda & Kris, Mel & Mike, and Preston & Jennifer head to Air France because Mel believes that Milan is closer to Locarno regardless of the 30 minute delay.

– Whoa. We are already seeing who is on which flight? Getting to the planes is about ten minutes faster than any other premiere ever. However, I should note this is perhaps one of the few one hour premieres of The Amazing Race that has ever aired.

Victor explains he took the Lufthansa flight because he did not want to deliberately choose a flight that gets in later. Apparently checking out connection times would be too difficult.

LUFTHANSA (30 minutes earlier): TAMMY & VICTOR; CHRISTIE & JODI; MARGIE & LUKE; JAIME & CARA; BRAD & VICTORIA; MARK & MICHAEL

switzerland jaime

I see two reasons why Jaime eventually becomes a Playboy model after TAR 14.

– Luke is worried that his mother could be really far behind him. I am personally not worried because Margie appears to be in equivalent physical shape to Luke.

MARGIE (rolls eyes): So I am an old slow person?

I am curious if Luke could do private confessionals at any point during the season. It is going to be tough for him to be frank in interviews if he has to use social etiquette to smooth things over with his mom after every confessional.

– Jenn found out that the flight to Milan may be later, but the train ride is much shorter.

So. . .is this the first season where your initial flight does not matter? It sounds like all eleven teams will be in Locarno within twenty to thirty minutes of each other.

MEL: I am going to surprise some people. I have been doing push-ups and sit-ups until the cows come home.

You had me there before you said ‘until the cows come home’. Nothing could indicate your old age more than that saying.

MIKE: Everybody may think my dad is Cloris Leachman but he is really MacGyver.

mel mike intro 3

macgyver

cloris leachman

I am going to go ahead and say he looks nothing like either of them.

– Phil announces who is on the second flight.

AIR FRANCE (30 minutes later): KISHA & JENN; MEL & MIKE; AMANDA & KRIS; PRESTON & JENNIFER; STEVE & LINDA

switzerland amanda kris

Back when they played there was three flights to choose from instead of two.

– Steve & Linda admit they have never left the United States. Yeah, production definitely wants them to be the next David & Mary.

– Phil narrates that the teams in Zurich will connect on a train to Locarno. Mark tells us the train is in the airport. I assume it is Mark because he is the only voice I have not heard yet this season.

– Phil narrates the landing of the Milan flight. This one is not in the airport.

JENNIFER: Never in my life have I been to a train station.

What a random fact for producers to air. That would be like them saying “I have never read a second year Math textbook” or “I have never learned how to juggle five tennis balls”. Why is this necessary?

– The excitement behind the exposure of Jennifer to a train station must wait a bit longer because her and Preston are the only team to miss the first Milan train.

switzerland train

Nobody is getting a piggyback ride on this train.

– Jennifer is pissed that they missed the train.

switzerland preston jennifer

If they caught the Zurich flight, their feelings about missing the Zurich train would be neutral.

– We hear Legend of Zelda Hyrule Field music as we hear Victoria narrate the beautiful scenery.

switzerland mark michael

They really do act like children. Look at how they stick their heads out of the window. Now that they are in Switzerland they should be weary about a strange man with a bow attempting to convince them to have an apple on their head.

– Victor is amazed by Margie & Luke’s communication. Tammy finds Luke just as capable as everyone else. Oh so touching.

– The Milan train wonders how far ahead or behind they are. The first Milan train of course. We see the second Milan train as Preston & Jennifer jump on it alone.

JENNIFER: There is no love in the air. He is frustrated and I cannot be around frustrated people.

PRESTON: You just say stuff that just irritates me cause you don’t think. Maybe you need to control your mouth.

JENNIFER: But–

PRESTON: Stop, you’re not getting the last word in.

They really want the sequel to Nate & Jenn, eh? Ten minutes into the episode before we see them have an Anchorman-like argument.

switzerland preston jennifer

Only one day in and Jennifer already shoots herself with an air gun.

– I should note that the ability to be on a train behind other teams was not a possibility in the minds of viewers. There were two flights for teams to take. Nobody was supposed to create their own sub-group by being on a third train. It makes me believe that Preston & Jennifer wasted a good twenty to thirty minutes more than everyone else to find the station.

– The Zurich train has stopped. A lady has told Christie & Jodi to transfer trains with her. The goal is to be fifteen minutes faster than everyone else.

switzerland christie jodi

Jodi may have the longest index finger I have ever seen.

– They walk off the train as the other five teams wonder where they are going.

switzerland jaime 2

Julia Roberts is curious too.

– Once in Locarno teams must head to the Church of San Antonio. Inside they will, you guessed it, sign up for one of three departure times as well as a message from Priest Tim Duncan.

switzerland church

TAR has really come up with every possible style of book for teams to sign up for a departure time in round one. By TAR 16 they will sign in on a roll of toilet paper.

– Christie & Jodi are led to San Antonio Church. Their sneaky move will result in zero reward. On the flip side, Preston & Jennifer will be saved.

switzerland margie luke 2

MARGIE: Luke, he just takes me by the hand and we go.

Where does he think he is going? St. Charles Place?

st charles place

Luke and Margie pictured in 1920s Atlantic City.

– It is a wild evening goose chase on the streets.

JODI: Buon Giorno.

Luckily with Switzerland you can use one of seven trillion languages and have it understood by the locals.

715AM: CHRISTIE & JODI; TAMMY & VICTOR; MARGIE & LUKE; MARK & MICHAEL
730AM: BRAD & VICTORIA; JAIME & CARA

MARGIE: I came in third, and I am 51.

So humble in victory.

– The Milan train arrives. Mel & Mike sneak in as the last ones on the 730am departure. Everyone else ends up on the 745am train. Linda is struggling to run up the street. Sounds like she copied Wynon’as 7UP + Vodka diet.
– Steve is annoyed with Linda’s performance.

switzerland steve linda

They’re not last at everything. They forgot Preston & Jennifer. However, they are last in terms of keeping track of other teams.

730AM: BRAD & VICTORIA; JAIME & CARA; MEL & MIKE
745AM: KISHA & JENN; AMANDA & KRIS; STEVE & LINDA; PRESTON & JENNIFER. . .EVENTUALLY.

So that’s our departure times and–

switzerland amanda kris 2

How did they do that? Uh, okay.

200AM: AMANDA & KRIS
715AM: CHRISTIE & JODI; TAMMY & VICTOR; MARGIE & LUKE; MARK & MICHAEL
730AM: BRAD & VICTORIA; JAIME & CARA; MEL & MIKE
745AM: KISHA & JENN; STEVE & LINDA; PRESTON & JENNIFER. . .EVENTUALLY.

I hate how the returning players get such a big advantage so early on during the game.

– Preston & Jennifer make it to San Antonio. The teams all follow the map in the scroll to lead them to a campsite.

LUKE: No one could think a deaf person could make the top four.

Really? Just because Christy Smith made it to sixth does not mean all deaf people are incapable of making it to Final Four on a reality show.

– Steve & Linda have a pep talk on a pile of hay.

STEVE: You are slow and there is not a damn thing you can do about it. You couldn’t keep up.

I bet this pep talk is going well.

switzerland steve linda 2

“All I did was say you are f—ing terrible at this race. Why does that make you upset?”

LINDA: I feel really bad about it. I can’t run. I’m tired and–

STEVE: Everybody else is too!

LINDA: But they don’t have their husbands yelling at them.

switzerland steve linda 3

You can feel the sympathy and empathy that permeates Steve’s skin.

LINDA: I don’t wanna lose and I really wanna stay in this race really bad.

lol why was this team cast.

– 715am. The bells ring at 715am at the Church. The top four teams all receive their clue. They are given a clue.

switzerland dam

One time they should make teams head to a dam just to help with maintenance work. It would kill any adrenalin they have for the race instantly.

– Anyways they must head to the dam to find their next clue. Mark & Michael scamper into a cab in first place. Tammy & Victor second. Margie & Luke third. Christie & Jodi take their luggage down the hill and have yet to find a cab. We have a slow motion shot to lead us into 730am.

– Mel & Mike are fourth in a taxi. Brad & Victoria are fifth. Jaime & Cara head to a cafe where the employee fails to call a cab for them. Mike claims all cabs are right by the church. Christie & Jodi find a cab and are now in sixth. If only they could have the Locarno train boost this morning.

– Jaime & Cara are still out on the streets. Cara thinks the town is dead.

– Mark & Michael instruct their driver to wait at the dam. It is a Roadblock. Let me count you down. . .
3
.
.
.
2
.
.
.
1
.
.
.
switzerland jump

A huge freakin’ bungee jump. Phil claims it is the second highest bungee jump in the world. Well that’s one way to pay for the costs of the dam. Seventy storey jump.

– Michael and Victor are going to jump. Luke is doing the Roadblock. So is Mike.

– Brad & Victoria’s driver tells them it is the biggest bungee jump in Europe in advance. Jaime & Cara announce it is 745am.

– Kisha & Jenn run into a restaurant to get directions. Well, a cafe. It is 745am. Amanda & Kris are eighth into a cab. Amanda points out that Jaime & Cara are still on the streets.

switzerland amanda kris 3

But you think they would look happier. Oh well.

– Do you know how I know that Steve & Linda should not have even been cast for the race?

LINDA: Can you go fast but follow the speed limit?

darrah johnson

She wants to drive fast and follow the speed limit too.

– Victor gets his chi together as he steps onto the ledge. He has never thought about doing a task like that before. Everybody smiles while watching Victor break the ice. Victor is an incredibly tiny dot. You probably do not understand how big that jump is unless you are there.

– Luke admits he is scared now that he looks down. Tammy supposedly squeezed MARK.

– Tammy & Victor read that they must now head to Kleine Rugen Wiese where they will find their next clue.

– Christie & Jodi show up. Jodi is doing the Roadblock.

JODI: This is the one thing we didn’t want to do.

Oh. You get to do the second wickedest bungee jump in the world. Poor you.

– Michael does it no problem because he is a stuntman. Jodi is still freaking out but it is the same dance with a height task after fourteen seasons. I don’t care. Even if Jodi is leaking tears.

– Margie is scared for Luke. Luke cries as he jumps. Damn. Margie hugs Mel. Margie & Luke hop into a taxi. Mike jumps next.

– Amanda & Kris are seventh to the clue box. Jaime & Cara are eighth. Preston & Jennifer are ninth.

JENNIFER: Who has nerves of steel?
PRESTON: I do.

Well that’s one way to claim your masculinity in front of your girlfriend. I think the only Roadblock hint that Preston would not have volunteered for is “Who has a butt that just won’t quit”.

– Steve & Linda are tenth to the Roadblock. Steve volunteers. Kisha & Jen are eleventh. Of course they must race to pull a number. Steve runs alongside Kisha & Jenn to psych them out.

switzerland steve kisha

switzerland steve linda 4

Looks like somebody has watched too much Dateline and 20/20 as they fall asleep each night.

– Linda is nowhere near them in the foot race.  The twenty foot rule is in effect.

STEVE: You need to pick up the pace. You are last again.

switzerland linda

Linda’s Marathon of Hopelessness.

– Victoria jumps. Brad laughs and comments on her bounce. I have a feeling that same bounce in her chest is what gets Jaime signed to Playboy.

– Jodi is next to jump. The instructor has some funny words of encouragement.

switzerland words

And I hope instructors are always this much of a jackass.

– Commercial break because we are supposedly under the impression Jodi may not jump.

– Jodi jumps. Duh.

flo on a cliff

She isn’t Flo.

– The six teams head to the train station to ride to Interlaken. Tammy wants to withhold information about the train they are on. Victor says it is too early to make enemies. He decides that he will pretend that they are not certain about the best train and pretend to ask somebody that tells them to get onto the train.

Round one. You’re in first. And you want to be conniving? I have a feeling this will backfire and create early enemies for them.

– Mark & Michael happily walk up to Tammy & Victor.

switzerland mark michael 2

The man on the right looks like he is seven feet tall by this perspective.

– Mel & Mike, Tammy & Victor, and Margie & Luke are at the first train.

VICTOR: The lady told us to get on this train so we are just going to risk it.
MIKE: What time does it get in?
VICTOR: We don’t know. This is it right here. We are going to gamble it. We are going to risk it.
(They board the train.)
MEL: Watch those guys if they get off the train. We are watching you. It’s not that we don’t trust you, it’s just that we don’t trust you.

Victor is experiencing Edna Ma-like issues from the second round of Survivor: South Pacific.

edna ma

Besides her Tree Mail Hat, do you recall how Edna told Christine that the conversation was about getting rid of Sophie rather than her, but Christine points out that Sophie was standing there in the conversation.

Yeah, Victor’s logic is lining up as well as Edna’s right now.

– So the train leaves and. . .WHAT IS THIS?!

switzerland split

What in the world. . .?

24

Split screens? Why the Face? Since when does TAR do split screens? So strange. It is like they just bought the first season of 24 nearly eight years after the fact and have just been hooked onto the show.

time 1time 2time 3time 4time 5

The following takes place between 841am and 914am on the day of the first pit stop of The Amazing Race 14.

But seriously, time stamps for individual Roadblock completions is brand new. I wish more time stamps were spread throughout the race to give us more insight into how long and demanding this race really is.

– We see Steve & Linda running as Steve looks back every two seconds at Linda to make sure she is not stopping.

– Brad reads a map. Yep. Reading. Something only old people do non-electronically. Brad reads you can head to Interlaken through Lucerne or Italy.

– Christie & Jodi ask the woman at the counter with Brad & Victoria. They decide to head onto the 939am train. Brad & Victoria remain at the counter.

BRAD: The 1050am?
VICTORIA: We’re getting on the one that leaves later?
BRAD: But gets in earlier.

Now Brad is a bright fellow. Victoria has an equally bright idea but goes to a bit of a comical extreme to get her husband’s attention.

switzerland brad victoria

Victoria’s over-expressiveness for the win!

– Christie & Jodi board the second train alone.

– Interlaken. The first train has arrived and the three teams are at the route marker.

switzerland dog

I am required by law to screen cap all dogs seen on The Amazing Race.

switzerland drum

Nothing like a Swiss Pelvic Thrusting Drum Tunnel to welcome you to a cheese shed!

– Teams read they must join the local work force.

switzerland cheese

Discarded lawn chairs from Ikea on hand.

– They must choose a pair of antique cheese racks and climb up to the top of a hill. Once at the top teams will transport two hundred pounds of cheese from this aging shed to the bottom of the hill. Once teams stack all two hundred pounds of cheese they will receive their clue.

There are four wheels of cheese. Each wheel is fifty pounds.

switzerland cheese 2

That is a portable cheese rack instead of a lawn chair? Wow. Swing and a miss, Saunders.

– Want to see an unnecessary competitive moment?

switzerland tammy

Every nanosecond counts!

stassi schroeder 6

Why doesn’t Logan understand that.

– Mark just says “c’mon”.

– Margie describes how slippery it was. Plenty of mud and animal feces.

MEL: My groin muscle would ache as I went up the hill.

I don’t need to picture a sixty year old man’s groin.

– Luke wants each of them to take two cheese wheels down the hill. Margie thinks it will be too heavy. Victor is taking two but claims there is no way Tammy can take one. Michael tries taking two but Mark takes one. Margie & Luke take one each.

– Mel’s cheese rack breaks.

switzerland mel

It really did come from Ikea. Mel’s groin is equally flimsy.

– Mel attempts to take one wheel of cheese.

– Margie & Luke are the first ones to attempt walking down the hill. Ready for it?

switzerland margie

So far so good.

switzerland margie 2

The cheese makes a break for it.

switzerland margie 3

So much for its dreams.

switzerland margie 4

The cheese refuses to be like a turtle on its back and immediately rolls to its side. It’s all downhill from here.

switzerland margie 5

Good thing those branches and twigs are there to stop it.

indiana jones 2

I don’t know if I would take that trophy, Indiana.

indiana jones 3

I am sure everything will be fine.

switzerland margie 6

It manages to break through the branches. Dang.  This thing will not stop its wage of destruction. Who knows where it will end up.

indiana jones 4

indiana jones

Oh god. Run for it Indiana!

indiana jones 5

Indiana Jones is now ahead of Steve & Linda!

– Victor falls. The top half snaps but the cheese is still in. He is taking down one wheel of cheese at a time. Luke does the funniest thing where the momentum pushes him down the hill until he falls and the cheese ends up landing a mile away. I must admit watching people fall down on their butt is hilarious.

switzerland luke

Keep in mind he is running about 100 miles per hour.

switzerland luke 2

ONE
TWO
THREE

switzerland luke 3

Bum drop!

switzerland luke 4

Look at the hang time of that cheese!

dwight howard

Move over Dwight Howard, you have an opponent for the next NBA Slam Dunk Contest.

switzerland cheese 3

They have been using cheese racks since they were knee high to a grasshopper. They laugh at your cheese handling.

switzerland luke 5

From doing the second highest bungee jump in the world while letting cheese make you fall on your back as it makes a group of Swiss men laugh hysterically. Welcome to The Amazing Race, Luke.

switzerland cheese 4

The cheese ends up two towns over as a bearded fellow is ecstatic to see a wheel of cheese arriving on his doorstep. There is no such thing as a free lunch, but there is such a thing as free cheese!

– Mike asks if his dad is doing well. What is Mel’s strategy?

switzerland mel 2

If you wanted to test out the fabric of your jeans, butt scooting down a mountain with a wheel of cheese is the way to go.

switzerland cheese 5

Production knew they had a winner with this footage.

– Tammy is unable to stand up.  Another rogue wheel of cheese rolls as Tammy’s rack breaks.

switzerland cheese 6

These guys can now die as happy men. I mean, the high cholesterol from all of that cheese must catch them sooner rather than later.

switzerland cheese 3

Yes. Mel is legitimately concerned about receiving a concussion from a fifty pound wheel of cheese. It sounds like a fear only Salvador Dali’s friends would have.

bruce buffer

And the winner by technical knockout twenty-three minutes into the first episode. . .a wheel of cheese!

– We get another split screen. Christie & Jodi are alone on the train. Jodi realizes Brad & Victoria lied right to their faces because they drifted off to get onto a better train. Well that is the quickest serving of karma ever.

– Margie & Luke find one wheel of cheese. Margie sees her other one. The crowd laughs as Mike places his first wheel of cheese. Margie & Luke are halfway done the task. Mark carries a wheel of cheese. Victor wants Tammy to carry down a wheel of cheese like Mel’s butt scoot.

MEL: I will never eat cheese again.

I would think the same thing if it was pressed against my body for an hour.

– Tammy & Victor have their third pep talk of the task. Tammy says she is too tired but Victor insists that she can draw her power from her ninety minute Yoga classes.

– Margie & Luke resort to the butt scoot. Mike is waiting for Mel to deliver the first wheel of cheese and walk up the hill. Mark & Michael are doing the stupid strategy of carrying the cheese all the way down at one mile per hour.

– Margie & Luke are done the task first. Margie reads that they must take a taxi to the last postal bus stop in Stechelberg. Once there they must listen for a group of yodelers who will lead them to the pit stop.

That is neat. They have never had a task involving listening for a quiet sound to guide them to the pit stop mat in the woods.
.
.
.
Wait. But why choose the first leg of TAR 14? This is the only situation in TAR history where a deaf contestant would be 100% guaranteed present for the task. If it was TAR 1-13, nobody deaf would be playing a listening task. If it was episodes two through twelve, it would not be 100% guaranteed that Luke would still be in the race.

Isn’t that the jerkiest move of jerky moves? Production INTENTIONALLY HAD A TASK THAT REQUIRED HEARING EXACTLY WHEN THEY KNEW A DEAF PERSON WOULD BE GUARANTEED TO BE IN THE RACE!

I am stunned. It could have been any other season or any other round they could have chosen to do this. But to do it in the one episode with absolute certainty that Luke would be around? Bollocks. Bollocks, production.

switzerland yodel

I hear you, Logan.

– Luke is saved by not having to hear the most annoying drums at the entrance and exit. Margie & Luke return to their taxi. Mark & Michael and Tammy & Victor complete the task simultaneously. It is a 3-way race.

– Mel is slowly butt scooting as Jaime & Cara, Brad & Victoria, Kisha & Jen, Preston & Jennifer, Preston & Jennifer, and Amanda & Kris all get there simultaneously. I guess Brad & Victoria were on the train with all of them. Mel advises all of them not to drag it because they break easy. Mel & Mike giggle about the task inside of the cab.

– Steve carries both cheese racks.

switzerland steve

Why is Steve looking back?

switzerland linda 2

Because Linda is still at the bottom of the hill even without carrying a cheese rack!

LINDA: I don’t want to get hurt.

– Preston is carrying both cheese racks too as Jennifer is lagging behind complaining about the steepness. Linda, still worried about getting hurt, continues to move slowly up the hill.

switzerland linda 3

But she does the splits on the hill anyway.

– Nathan, er, Preston yells at Jennifer to hurry up the hill.

switzerland jennifer

Jennifer channels Jill from the Pyramid Climb in TAR 3.

– Steve stops as he waits several minutes for Linda. She is actually sliding down the hill a bit. This was hilarious.

switzerland linda 4

But taking a nap on the hill will not help matters.

switzerland linda 5

Gus and Marshall pass Linda up the hill.

– Commercial break. Linda is still lying there.

– Jennifer is barely breathing. Amanda freaks out about carrying her own body weight if using two wheels of cheese. Christie & Jodi know the only goal is beating one team. Preston yells at Jennifer for fussing with the ropes on her rack.

– Christie & Jodi show up to the task. They see the teams are all there while the teams on top of the hill minus Linda see Christie & Jodi too.

– Suddenly we cut back to the yodelers. The taxi drops off Margie & Luke. Tammy & Victor show up at the last bus stop too.

switzerland margie luke 3

Guess who said that.

– Suspense time.

– The first team is at the mat. But the graphics, music, and split screens aren’t the only changes for TAR 14.

switzerland phil

switzerland phil 2

Got your nose.

switzerland phil 3

Phil really needs shadows for his hand puppets.

switzerland phil 4

Well this is an easy screen cap to take out of context.

switzerland margie luke 4

Easily one of the biggest first place reactions in TAR history.

tramel

Although their tenth place celebration tops it.

– Nothing is said as Tammy & Victor walk onto the mat to interrupt this special moment.

– The extent of Phil’s sign language has been exhausted as Margie signs that they have won a trip for two from Travelocity (Travelocity probably isn’t in the first lesson of sign language) are going to Puerto Vallerta, Mexico. Awesome trip.

SECOND: TAMMY & VICTOR

THIRD: MARK & MICHAEL

switzerland mat

Top three teams entering the mat at the same time on the first leg? That hasn’t happened since. . .

switzerland amanda kris 5

Amanda & Kris were on the race! I can’t wait to see if this happens for a third time if they are in All Stars.

– Luke is interviewed on the mat.

– Preston’s cheese rack breaks. So does Kisha’s.

switzerland jaime 3

The cheese rack nearly breaks Aime’s neck.

– Steve announces he will take three cheese wheels while Linda will use one.

switzerland steve 2

Steve comes up with a genius method of transporting cheese down the hill. Linda is butt scooting along with Jaime & Cara. Jodi wants to copy Steve’s method.

– Preston & Jennifer decide to work together by carrying two wheels of cheese on a cheese rack.

switzerland preston jennifer 3

switzerland preston jennifer 4

switzerland preston jennifer 5

Linda’d.

– Preston is angry as the cheese rack completely breaks. Jen takes a -brutal- fall.

switzerland jenn

switzerland jenn 2

switzerland jenn 3

That is going to hurt in the morning.

switzerland headphones

Who the f— is that? I guess they make cheese-scented headphones in Switzerland.

– Jennifer hesitates to pick up the wheel of cheese because of poop underneath. Amanda & Kris have their clue as Amanda claims it is the hardest thing she has done.

– STEVE: You outsmarted every one of them.
LINDA: No, you did.
STEVE: You did, too.

Steve did.

– Steve & Linda are the sixth team done. Wow. I never expected that.

FOURTH: MEL & MIKE

– Preston has a wheel of cheese go rogue on him.

JENNIFER: You have to go get that one. Dammit.

It can’t be that far from where he is, right?

switzerland cheese 7

Imagine if that happened to Linda. Round three would be finished in Romania by the time she got there.

– Brad & Victoria finish the task in seventh. Christie missed one of her wheels at the top of the hill. Jodi is not impressed when Christie announces it.

switzerland jodi

Jodi is throwing a wheel of cheese at her partner’s head in her mind at the moment.

– Jodi has brought back both wheels. Jaime & Cara finish the task in eighth while Kisha & Jen are the ninth ones done.

FIFTH: AMANDA & KRIS

switzerland amanda kris 4

Amanda & Kris check into the pit stop.

– Christie & Jodi have the last wheel and must drag it down the hill. This allows Preston & Jennifer to finish the task in tenth. Jennifer cries as she thinks about Preston’s strength and how good he has been during the task.

– Steve & Linda see footprints on the ground.

LINDA: Maybe we cross here.

STEVE: No, it’s a river!

Yeah, Linda didn’t outsmart everyone on the cheese task.

– Steve decides to take a page out of Linda’s book.

switzerland steve 3

switzerland steve 4

180 faceplant. Excellent.

– Brad & Victoria however have no trouble finding the yodelers.

SIXTH: BRAD & VICTORIA

PHIL: How’d you get along with the cheese?

VICTORIA: I think we were the only ones who did it right.
BRAD: We were the only ones who walked upright.
PHIL: Is that right? Let’s turn around and see if you’ve got any marks.
VICTORIA: No mud.

switzerland phil 5

Phil stares at Victoria when he makes the request.

switzerland brad victoria 2

Brad seems offended while Victoria looks away hoping Phil is not serious.

switzerland phil 5

I am waiting.

switzerland brad victoria 3

akon eminem

switzerland phil 6

switzerland brad victoria 3

ace ventura

Ace Ventura’s immaturity should never be repeated.

SEVENTH: JAIME & CARA

– They are excited. Steve & Linda wander into a dead end.

EIGHTH: KISHA & JEN

– Kisha laughs. That is all you need to know.

NINTH: STEVE & LINDA

LINDA: You got the eyebrow!

switzerland phil 6

Even by Phil’s standards that is an extreme eyebrow raise. I think it’s still sprung from Brad & Victoria.

– It is a two team race. The taxis are supposedly following each other to the mat. Preston & Jennifer are about a minute ahead. They see Christie & Jodi catch on to the sound just before them. It turns into a sprint. All four of them should be sprinting.

switzerland race

Nope. Jennifer wanted a piggyback ride instead at the most inconvenient time possible. Christie & Jodi pull away quickly as soon as the piggyback ride occurs.

TENTH: CHRISTIE & JODI

– They celebrate.

LAST: PRESTON & JENNIFER

– They are eliminated.

– Jennifer feels like she let Preston down. Preston knows Jennifer did as much as she could.

switzerland race 2

Awkward.

Next Time on TAR:  When teams travel to Germany, Linda gets lost in the Alps. And Margie and Luke get cream.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

CHRISTIE.JODI 1.4
TAMMY.VICTOR 1.5
MARGIE 8
STEVE.LINDA 3.1
KISHA.JEN 1.3
PRESTON.JENNIFER 3.5
BRAD.VICTORIA 2.2
MEL.MIKE 4.2
AMANDA.KRIS 2.1
MARK.MICHAEL 3.1
JAIME.CARA 1.1

RANK THE TEAMS:

1)

Preston & Jennifer

Before I re-watched this season I remember them for nothing except the piggyback ride in the final seconds of the episode.

In fact, their inability to piggyback on the pack is what did them in. They couldn’t even find the first train station and were saved by the 745am departure time.

Preston & Jennifer may be one of the worst 20-something mactor couples in terms of being able to perform well at TAR.

a) They couldn’t find a train station that everyone else found.
b) They must have sucked at driving to end up on the last flight
c) They screwed up a physical challenge such as transporting cheese.
d) They were at the pit stop location before Christie & Jodi, but ran into the wrong direction.
e) A piggyback ride was believed to be necessary in the first round’s final seconds.

There really is nothing this team could do well and definitely deserve finishing in dead last for TAR 14.

Production really wanted to have their next Nathan & Jennifer judging by a couple of their ridiculous arguments, but it is tough to have another Nathan & Jennifer when you cast a team who struggles with every dimension to the race.

RANK THE LEGS:

1) Los Alamitos, California -> Stechelberg, Switzerland

I give kudos to production for allowing their thrill-seeking task to be out of the way early. Doing the second highest bungee jump in the world is certainly no small feat. Believe it or not this was the second bungee jump they have done in Switzerland.

This really needed to be a longer premiere. It truly is a shame that we could not see the first scramble to the airport nor seeing teams interact with each other before the lying and deceiving would begin. Seeing teams have fun before flying to the first route marker is one of my favourite parts to each season.

There was no Detour because production wanted teams to carry cheese down a steep hill instead. Production knew they had struck gold because this had one of the most screen cap intensive scenes in the history of my blog. There is something about people falling on their butt, scooting on their butt, and rogue wheels of cheese crashing through Swiss houses that led to lots of laughter.

Overall, this was a very solid leg, and will probably be my favourite by TAR 14 standards.

Lastly, I find it a bit disgusting that production waited until the first round of TAR 14 to make Luke do a hearing task. It is like they were really desperate to expose the weakness of his disability. It really defeats the whole idea of “deaf people can do anything” when production pulls offensive crap like that.

Team Averages

Bulls—
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0
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
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18
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
4thToni & 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 Ken & Tina 2.64 FF
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 Nick & Starr 2.45 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF

Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)

11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF
18 legs Danielle 4.78
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 None
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3!
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 None
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None

* I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.

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