The Amazing Race 14 episode 10 ranking

Tenth episode

“Watching Season Six Has To Be Easier Than Watching This”



NOTE: There was a task in the previous round that was unaired. They had to run up a hill and hit the ‘Drums of Life’ once that are a major landmark in Guilin. Sadly this went unaired because we needed to see a ten-minute breakdown of the shoving incidents that episode.

This makes the number of music-based tasks up to six. More than double any other prior season of TAR. Production really went out of their way to pick on Luke.

ANOTHER NOTE: The following are comments taken from Phil Keoghan’s TAR 14 episode 9 blog back in 2009.


Wow. I wouldn’t even go that far. How come this guy does not have his own blog?

COMMENT FROM BUCKEYE CHUCK: Victor & Tammy proved to be even more annoying in Chinese than in English, and the cheerleaders did not fail to disappoint in their ignorance.
Good human drama, but I feel like the ugly sides of the racers came through
and tarnished the spirit of the race that Phil tries to uphold. I’ve liked the new and improved elements of the show, but I’m having a hard time getting attached to any of the remaining teams.

Sometimes I feel like I’d rather watch Phil race around the world, solo =)

If you think Tammy & Victor are more annoying in Chinese than in English, just wait until they reveal that one of their uncles is Dutch.

And yes, thank you for proving my point, Chuck.

COMMENT FROM LEON: Could the producers of the Amazing Race bring the “Family” race as done several seasons ago??

I will respond to this question the same way Nelly responds in “Ride Wit Me” when his fans ask him for tickets to the next show. . .
Hell no, yo fo real?

COMMENT FROM ROCKGOLF: It’s true. Luke never let LaKisha or Jen get in his way. Even if they were between him and the clue box.
Did Margie sign “Luke, use the force”? Because Luke was willing to use force, alright.
Deafness is no excuse for poor sportsmanship.

You managed to tie in last night’s episode to Star Wars? You should have your own blog.

COMMENT FROM TARFAN: When the race started I was really rooting for Luke/Margie. Now I can’t wait to see them go. I can’t stand their “We can play as nasty as we want to be but don’t do anything to Luke because he’s deaf” mentality. Hopefully there’s a blind Yield coming up. I can only hope it’s used against them.

Oh, if only blind Yields existed. And thanks again for reminding us just how far south Margie & Luke’s reputation went after this episode.

COMMENT FROM JAN IN SO CAL: It’s sad that because of the way they play and the way their personalities come to surface, that I have lost all interest in which team wins! Margie & Luke started out as a fave, but now….meh. Kisha & Jen.. not a fan from the beginning. Jamie is just too awful to root for her, poor Cara. And, Tammy & Victor are just lame lame lame. But, they’re faces as they watch the other teams fight was just priceless! If I had to choose my team for the win…. I guess I would have to go with Victor & Tammy (can’t believe I just said that)I don’t want their parents to have to cry themselves to death.

Thank you for backing up my assertion in my last blog. I love it when I make an assumption that proves to be right.

COMMENT FROM DAVIDFSF: This is my first time reading Phil’s blog. Why exactly do you feel the need to capitalize “Team?” Are you German or something?

I feel like I am missing something here. . .

COMMENT FROM BRUVARK: I think everyone’s analysis of the situation is way off. Both teams acted poorly and playing the race card was stupid on Margie’s part, but I think Jen was the source of the problem.
As Phil mentioned, Jen played D1 ball. I would suggest that in both cases of physical contact, the use of her basketball background caused the dispute.
The first time she went over Luke’s back to get to the clue box, which would have earned her a foul in the NCAA. Luke’s elbow wasn’t aimed at her head, he was ‘boxing out’ and she happens to be shorter than him.
The second time, they got to the box at the same time, but Jen used her basketball skills to get to the inside. Luke should have slowed up, but as a non-athlete, it’s not surprising that when Jen throws herself in front of him she ends up going flying. As his reaction showed, there was no intent to push her.
This isn’t basketball, so contact isn’t a foul, it’s a mistake. And a nervous laugh in someone’s face is still a laugh in someone’s face.

How does NCAA equate to The Amazing Race. . .? Oh, and a nervous laugh is something you cannot control. Like, oh, I don’t know, being deaf for instance.

COMMENT FROM TRUMP’S HAIR: Your so naive Phil, of course she was laughing at his deafness, at least partly.
It’s only human to laugh at other’s weaknesses. But it’s definitely the low road. Our fear of the different often spurs nervous laughter. All four are blamers, eschewing any responsibility in their nasty little war.
Her apology was jejune. His aggression shockingly abhorent. This is of course the natural outcome of any and all competition. Why should we be surprised?
Competition is main reason our whole world is in a mess. Thank Wall Street, CEOs, oil corporations, million dollar prizes. Bush and Cheney. Many have been killed for less than a million.
The love of money is the root of all evil: This episode is further proof.

Wow. I have a feeling you did not really want to talk about The Amazing Race, did you?

COMMENT FROM JOSHD: Margie is the most disgusting woman to ever appear on the programme – how did that monster make it past the psych test? No wonder Luke is the biggest ass I’ve ever seen – he makes Jonathan look like a puppydog. If they come back for All-Stars I will stop watching.

Well, enjoy the next three seasons.

COMMENT FROM BERT: It wa very ignorant of Margie to play the race card. She should know that only blacks can play the race card, and only when its conevenient for them to do so. Don’t worry. Next week involves swimming, and we all know about blacks and swimming.

This season is a gold mine for people with prejudice.

COMMENT FROM VINCE: i was glad Phil mentioned the funny matter of Vic & Tam caught in the middle of the squabble….
the additional irony of sorts …. 6 Americans , 4 visible minorities, 1 ‘invisible’ minority (Luke) … arguing the hardships of being a minority in China of all places!

See above.

COMMENT FROM LUKE’S FATHER: Anyone ever hear any mention of Luke’s father? I don’t recall hearing anything.

Neither has Luke. Ziiiiiing.

This is the first and only time all season where Phil calls her “LaKisha”.

And that is about as interesting as that blog gets. Even the description of the incident where he takes “LaKisha’s” side is somehow boring.

I am annoyed how Luke just says “wow, Luke is competitive” and avoids painting him and Margie in a bad light at all for the incident. All he said was that they had a thirty minute discussion over who was to blame for the shoving, and that Tammy & Victor stood there awkwardly waiting to talk about being Chinese.

Did I mention how Phil is not meant to be a writer?


Okay, let’s get to it!

Previously on TAR: Five teams raced from Bangkok, Thailand to Guilin, China. A battle at the first clue box had Luke and Jen crying foul/fowl. A battle at the second clue box only escalated the tension between the two teams. A foot race gave Kisha & Jen their first victory. When the building pressures of the day finally erupted, Kisha’s nervous laughter sent Margie over the edge. After the smoke cleared, brothers Mark & Michael came in last.

Coming Up Tonight: Jen faces her biggest fear and contemplates quitting the race and pissing away the opportunity.

– Intro time. Wow. A segment where Tammy & Victor are not mentioned. I believe this is the seventh or eighth time where Phil outright ignores Jaime & Cara.

– Guilin is apparently known throughout China for its beauty. Americans know it as “what’s that?”

– Phil does his explanation of how teams do not know what is in store for them. For whatever reason we are shown Jaime moaning at the pit stop as if she is on the phone committing a deviant act.

– Kisha & Jen, who arrived first and laughed at Luke, depart at 1:48pm. I imagine this is exactly 24 hours after they checked in.

– Kisha & Jen read that they must fly to Beijing, China. Phil emphasizes it was home to 2008 Olympic Games. Once in Beijing they must head to the foot massage place. There are ten other words but we do not see them on screen and is impossible to transcribe from whatever Phil said.

As I have said before, 90% of the reason for this Beijing visit is because of the Olympic Games just a few months earlier.

– Kisha says they are over the Margie & Luke incident.

– 1:49pm. Tammy & Victor check out. We discover they have not only been to China several times, but they were in Beijing for the Olympic Games.

God. Going to Phuket when you are five, but personally visiting Beijing and Guilin is another thing. They should not have been cast.

– Margie & Luke begin at 1:50pm. Luke refuses to talk to Kisha & Jen anymore.

– Jaime & Cara depart last at 2:12pm. Jaime said her and Cara have yet to come in first.

jason amy

taiwan nate jenn

Yep. This is the usual “we have finished 2nd to 4th so many times and are the only team left to not finish first in the race” confessional that comes near the end of the season. This means they will either finish first or be eliminated this round.

– Kisha & Jen complain about the traffic.

beijing traffic

One too many motorcycles on the road.

– Margie & Luke are at the airport. They purchase tickets for a 5:10pm flight. Kisha & Jen get to the airport about ten minutes later. Kisha & Jen stand awkwardly behind them in line.

beijing margie luke

The love is in the air.

– Jen asks the other lady at the counter if she can help. She refuses to answer Jen for several seconds until the lady finally says “no”.

JEN: It’s patented in China. That dumb look.
KISHA: They should be able to say ‘me no speak-uh English’.

beijing kisha jen 2

Jen reacts to Kisha uncomfortably. She knows Kisha may have crossed the line.

beijing margie

Uh oh. Margie prepares to go off on Kisha once again.

guilin margie 4

The other lady at the counter doesn’t speak English very well, and they’re just laughing at her!

– KISHA: They give you this look like zombies.
JEN: It’s kinda freaky.

*facepalm* Kisha. Jen. Just stop talking.

– Margie & Luke are given startling news at the counter.

beijing airport

I cannot recall that ever happening at an airport in The Amazing Race. They are told to go to another counter to purchase tickets. Guess who gets to be at the other counter right away?

beijing kisha jen 3


– Margie is pissed that they are not sticking with the order and says it is not cool. Kisha’s reaction to Margie’s protests?

beijing kisha smile

Kisha laughs weird, sneezes weird, and even smiles weird.

coach smile

Coach proceeds to impersonate the smile as well because of how evil he thought it was when Kisha discovered she would have a lead.

– Tammy & Victor pull up to the airport in a cab. They go to a counter and speak fluent Mandarin as they ask for seats at the furthest front of the plane and how they are in a competition against the others.

– Oh yeah. Jaime & Cara are on this season. They go straight up to Margie & Luke because it is the only way they get airtime unless they yell at a cab.

– Tammy & Victor are in row five. Kisha & Jen have seats in row eight. Tammy tells the agents to put the other teams as far back as possible on the plane. Her and the agents have a good laugh.

beijing tammy

For once, telling an Asian woman you cannot see her eyes is not offensive in this scenario.

– Jaime says that Tammy & Victor are up to something per usual.

beijing tammy victor

Never trust the Asians.

– Victor says he will bring shame onto the Chinese people if he is eliminated this round.

– Victor asks Margie & Luke if they are in the business lounge. Meanwhile Kisha & Jen walk on their own and want the teams to talk about them behind their backs.

– The three teams talk together. Margie explains to Jaime & Cara what happened in the previous round.

beijing victor

Victor cannot hear the conversation as he bites loudly into a scrumptious apple.

peter griffin never ending story

never ending story

Even louder than the kid from Never Ending Story when he is underneath a blanket.

– Victor does the right thing and defends Kisha & Jen like any good lawyer would.

VICTOR: It was just bad. Kisha apologized. She did mean it.
MARGIE: That doesn’t fly with me.

– Kisha & Jen join them. Victor tells them it is negative degrees in Beijing. So does Tammy. The call for the 5:10pm flight occurs.

JEN: I don’t make small talk. That’s fake.

They weren’t making small talk before you showed up. Victor just happened to bring up the weather right then. God she is a grumpy person this round.

– 8:05pm. Flight lands in Beijing. Tammy & Victor are first to run out. Kisha & Jen are second. Margie & Luke are third.

Jian Guo Men outer street is the location of the foot massage place. Tammy & Victor are in a cab.

– Where were Jaime & Cara?

beijing jaime cara

Editors thought showing them as far back in the hall would convey that point.

– Kisha & Jen and Margie & Luke cannot find a taxi on the street. Kisha & Jen go to a counter to order taxis. Luke is right behind.

beijing kisha jen 4

Luckily a clue box is not sitting on the counter.

beijing kisha jen 6

AGENT: Over there.

beijing taxi

With the other ten taxis.

beijing kisha jen 6

They turn to start runnin’.

beijing kisha jen luke

Wild Luke appears!

beijing kisha jen luke 2

Luke does his best to collide and trip Kisha and Jen.

beijing kisha jen luke 3

Luke Adams’ Hit and Run!

adventure island

He is like one of those raccoon things in Adventure Island 2 where they chase you down. If you cannot eliminate them from the screen or jump over them, they just run into you and keep going until they are off screen as if nothing happened.

– Yep. Luke runs off as he calls for his mom without a word of apology. That was downright ugly and dir-tee. Kisha & Jen are not surprised.

beijing margie luke 2

Luke brags about intentionally tripping two people to his mommy. Margie doesn’t even react.

– Jaime & Cara get into a cab in last. They have not said a word yet this round until now. They signal to the driver to pass Kisha & Jen. Jen is pissed everyone is ahead.

beijing kisha

Kisha is taking it particularly hard.

– Jaime & Cara pass Margie & Luke too. Margie wonders why Jaime & Cara’s cab has its flashers on.

beijing taxi 2

For once, a flashing incident that does not involve the removal of Jaime’s clothes.

beijing rainbow

A much more appealing image than the hammer and sickle.

– Tammy says she hates feet and does not want to do anything that involves touching feet.

tommy lee

Well, at least we know she is not related to Tommy Lee.

TAMMY: Like crusty. . .
beijing tammy victor 2
VICTOR: Just imagine the toes going (high-pitched) “Tammy, we have–”

TAMMY: Where the skin is crawling and it’s all cracked.

beijing tammy victor 4

beijing tammy victor 3

VICTOR (high pitched): “Tammy, we’ve been waiting for you”.

beijing tammy victor 5

Tammy does not find Victor’s impersonation of toes to be that funny. Clearly Victor’s joke and friendly teasing fell on deaf ears.

– Speaking of deaf ears, Margie reminds Luke that only Kisha & Jen are behind them. Kisha & Jen wants to follow Margie & Luke. That ended when the two cabs go in different directions to the route marker.

– Tammy & Victor’s driver is not sure where to go. Victor tells him to turn around. Meanwhile Jaime & Cara are first to the clue. It is a Roadblock.

CARA: Who is feeing manipulative? Me.

In this Roadblock, one person must take part in a traditional curative to heal the weary body–a foot massage. They must drink some therapeutic tea before going through a foot massage that must last ten minutes which walks a fine line between pleasure and pain.

beijing foot

No wonder it is painful. Your foot turns into blue, green, grey, red, and brown pastel colours after the massage!

– Once they endure the ten minutes, they must drink another cup o’ tea to receive their next clue.

beijing roadblock

I have always wanted to know how far one of my knuckles could go into someone else’s foot?

beijing roadblock 2

Roadblock: Who is feeling ticklish?

beijing woman

Chick looks freaky.

PHIL: If the pain is too intense, the player can say the word “uncle” to stop the massage. However, they must restart the massage from the beginning.

So. . .do the massage or say stop. . .and do the massage anyway? The incentive should have been there to take a thirty or forty minute penalty. Otherwise there is zero point to crying uncle.

– Jaime tells us that Cara hates massages. She tells us this too. Cara finds the tea to taste -not-so-great.

JAIME: I get to bungee jump eight hundred feet and she gets a foot massage. Oh what I wouldn’t do for a foot massage.

beijing jaime

Naughty little smile.

beijing cara

You don’t have to explain to the teenage male viewers that there is a Hot-Tea on screen!

– Margie & Luke’s cab driver pulls over and asks for directions.

beijing margie 2

Something tells me that Kisha & Jen’s cab went in the right direction.

– Kisha’s driver was correct as they are second to the Roadblock. Jen initially volunteers but Kisha overrides the decision. Jen is happy to not do it once she sees the task. Kisha hates the taste of the tea.

– I cannot tell if Cara is experiencing pain or an orgasm.

beijing cara 2

Her face is more exaggerated than an anime character.

– Jen’s reaction to hearing Kisha complain about the pain?

beijing jen

Where did her teeth go?

beijing cara 3

The most fun you can have while keeping your clothes on.

beijing kisha 2

Let’s just say Kisha is afraid after watching Cara’s reactions.

beijing cara 4

That face says it all.

CARA: It hurts so bad.

Sounds like those are the same words that my first female partner will be saying after spending the night with me.

beijing cara 5

Here come the censors. The F-word is the only way you can get through pain that involves stubbing your toe or worse.

beijing woman 2

The music changes as they make it sound like horror music. She has an intense glare.

beijing woman 3

Kisha picks the wise strategy of biting into the jacket.

– Tammy & Victor are third to the Roadblock. Victor volunteers Tammy for it. Cara thinks a baby would be less painful. Tammy breathes hard. She realizes it would have been easier to massage other people’s feet once it started.

– Jaime tells Cara not to cry uncle over and over again. Cara tells Jaime to shut her mouth.

beijing woman 4

Ready for some level 5 footwork, Charla?

beijing cara 6

Cara trying not to throw in the towel. . .because she needs to bite it.

– Margie & Luke show up. Margie initially volunteers but Luke overrides her decision. All four of them are together which means they are within ten minutes from first to last.

– Cara is done. She already complains about the pain as she exits out of the room.

beijing cara 7

Take this picture with you for the fond memories, Cara.

– Cara reads the clue.

beijing clue

Which is a freakin long one. Guangcai Natatorium-Beijing Muxuyan Sports Technology School. Once there follow the marked path to the clue.

– Kisha is done as she does her awkward laugh. Away they go. Luke whimpers.

VICTOR: He will be alright. Nobody has died from this foot massage.

– Luke and Tammy decide to support each other.

beijing luke tammy

You would think one or both of them are about to pass away.

– The two teams outside ask for a cab driver.

JEN: Not a torium?

No. It’s natatorium. You sound like Schwarzzeneger saying “it’s not a torium”.

– Tammy is done. Her and Victor exit. Jaime asks a cab driver.

JAIME: He doesn’t know. You look like you’re freakin’ f—ed up!

– Kisha & Jen run into another cab driver. . .or so they thought.

JEN: It’s the same driver. They all look alike!

The Chinese are going to love Kisha & Jen when they watch the episodes on TV.

– Kisha & Jen ask Tammy & Victor if they can take them to the natatorium.

– Tammy & Victor offer to work with the other two teams but they all say they cannot find a cab.

– Luke is done the Roadblock. Kisha & Jen enter a cab.

– Jaime & Cara and Tammy & Victor fight over a cab when the driver says he knows it. Jaime and Tammy both motion to enter. Victor tells Jaime to back off.

JAIME: Hell no Tammy. I was at the cab before you.
TAMMY: But you didn’t–
VICTOR: Let em get it.
JAIME: Not gonna happen sister.

beijing jaime tammy

It may be the Year of the Horse in a few weeks, but this season in Guilin and Beijing it is the Year of Shoves.

– Tammy & Victor are not Margie & Luke so the situation ends peacefully. They get into a cab right behind Jaime & Cara.

– Cara is too busy coughing in the cab. Victor is annoyed that he told Jaime’s cab in Chinese where to go but they took the cab anyway. Tammy was not interested in a fight with Jaime. Why?

beijing scare

beijing cara 7

Cara when she is with Jaime after the cameras shut off.

– Margie & Luke are last into a cab.

JEN: Natatorium = nautical. Swimming. Water makes me extremely nervous.

– Tammy & Victor sees the north door on his right. They pass their cab and refuse to look at them to ensure Jaime & Cara do not know the correct door. Jaime & Cara go a different direction.

– Tammy & Victor have the clue. It’s a Detour. Sync or Swim.

– In Sync, use three metre springboards where they must hit the water simultaneously. On a scale of 1 to 5, they must receive a passing score of 5 to receive their next clue.

beijing sync

I have a feeling other teams will not get that kind of air.

beijing dive

What a glorious pencil dive.

– In Swim, teams must put on the revolutionary speedo-lasered suit. It is the same type of suit worn by Michael Phelps.

We then get a picture of Michael Phelps after we see a random Chinese guy wear it.

beijing michael phelps

Unfortunately the only hair on this guy’s body is the one you see atop of his head.

beijing michael phelps 2

A lifetime supply of pot at his disposal.

– Once they put on the swimsuit, they must swim eight lengths of the pool in a 400 metre relay where teams will alternate every two lengths. They are competing against Michael Phelps’ world record time in the 400 metre individual time.

beijing michael phelps 3

Eh, I can beat that no problem.

– But seriously, as someone who trains for triathlons and does long distance swimming and running over the past four to five years, I can tell you right now that swimming 400 metres is very far if you are not a swimmer.

When I go to the lake I try to swim about five hundred metres at least three days per week all throughout the summer. I come back to shore, sleep for thirty minutes on the sand, and repeat the process.

And this is coming from a guy who spends at least 100 hours in the water per year as a self-taught swimmer since the end of high school.

If you are not a swimmer, this would be a really gruelling task. You may need at least 45 minutes to an hour to do something like this.

– Tammy cannot swim, and Victor is not that good either. They decide to do Sync.

VICTOR: She even took lessons a few weeks before coming on the race.

TAMMY: I was the only person in the adult lap pool  who had to learn how to put my face underwater and breathe out. Swimming is not my strong suit.

-Ewww. Victor in a speedo.

– Jaime & Cara enter through the wrong side. Kisha & Jen chose the correct side. They choose to Sync because we hear about Jen’s inability to swim for the sixth time.

JEN: I can’t swim that good.

Nor talk that. . .good?

JEN: I do not like the thought of swimming. I think of drowning automatically.

If only you had appendages that let you resurface to get air.

– Jaime & Cara get annoyed with a local’s pointing because he could not read English.

beijing local

But Jaime proceeds to harass him some more anyway.

– Tammy & Victor watch the demonstration before making their first attempt.

VICTOR: Just jump up twice and jump off just like that? That’s easy.

Yeah, real easy.

beijing tammy victor 6

So far Tammy & Victor are in sync.

beijing tammy victor 7

They are in sync! Give or take three metres.

beijing judges

You’re number one!

– Jaime & Cara go by a 21:04 sign. One of the few times that we know exactly what time it is when they are at a route marker.

– Kisha & Jen are nervous as they see Tammy & Victor fail.

– Jaime & Cara show up. They decide to Swim because it is in their control. Cara has one other goal too.

beijing jaime cara 2

Just a bit of beginner’s luck on your side and it should be no problem.

– Kisha reads the clue info and says they are provided a floatation device if they swim.

I really wish they did not. Granted the weight of the floatation device really slows you down.

– Tammy & Victor make a second attempt.

beijing judges 2

Oh no. Now you’re number two!

– Tammy & Victor ask Kisha if she is going. Kisha says they want to watch once more. Tammy wants to see the demonstration because she does not understand what she is doing wrong.

– Tammy & Victor make a third attempt.

beijing tammy victor 8

Somehow they do worse than the first time.

– Tammy hates it but Victor says it is better for her than the swim. Margie & Luke show up as Margie instantly decides to Swim.

– Kisha & Jen are on the three meter board. Both are fearful of the water. Jen insists she cannot do this.

– Commercial. Of course she is going to do it after the break.

– We return. Jen announces that they will switch to swimming. Jaime is first into the water. We see a green bar tracking Michael Phelps’ distance in real time with Jaime.

beijing jaime 2

Okay Jaime, you’re a little behind but I think you will make it up on the next fifty!

– Jaime has the worst breaststrokes I have ever seen.

However, I have a feeling that is not the case outside of the swimming pool.

– Jaime looks exhausted. She finishes the first 100. TAR comes up with the neatest feature by comparing it directly to Michael Phelps’ time.

beijing jaime 3

Granted Jaime did not train for 400 consecutive days leading up to the Olympics.

– Luke complains about the tight swimsuit. Tammy & Victor score a four out of five. They feel it will take just one more attempt.

– TAR really makes fun of the teams’ swimming abilities.

beijing cara 8

In other news, Cara qualifies as a swimmer for the Canadian Summer Olympic team!

– Jaime belly flops into the water. Luke is actually a decent swimmer. Kisha also does a brutal belly flop too.

beijing kisha 3

Jen with the zinger!

professor splash

Kisha should consider breaking Professor Splash’s record with that belly flop.

– We now see Luke’s time.

beijing luke

He is pretty dang good at this. That is an excellent time.

– Kisha is so tired that she has to use the side rail to drag herself along.

beijing kisha 5

Barely twenty metres into the dang thing.

– Tammy & Victor jump. They get a 2 and a 3. Margie has already done two hundred metres. Jaime is spent. Cara took a break at the end of 350 metres. Kisha just finished 50 metres.

– Jaime & Cara are finished the task.

beijing jaime cara 4

With a respectable time I might add. Just under ten minutes is great.

– They read that they must take a taxi to the pit stop–Drum Tower. It was built in 13th century and used to announce the time of day to ancient Beijing.

What is with China and their drums? Last round they had to ring the Drums of Life. In the previous visit back in TAR 6 they had to go to the land of a million drums.

scooby doo million drums

Not that land of a million drums.

– KISHA: I’m coming.

Very. Very. Very slowly.

– Luke is done another 100 metres. Margie takes over for the final 100. Jen tells Kisha that they need to switch to the other one because of how long it took for Kisha to do just one hundred metres.

– Jaime & Cara are inside of a cab. Margie & Luke finish their laps.

beijing margie luke 3

Wow. That was a really impressive time. I did not think anyone could do it less than twice as slow as a pro swimmer.

beijing margie luke 4

The only time ever where Margie has had four men trying to rip clothes off of her.

– Jaime insists their luck with taxis is never good. Apparently she forgets the taxi that made up thirty minutes of time earlier.

– Tammy & Victor received a 3 and 4. Improving. Kisha & Jen take their first dive. A 2 and a 2. Margie & Luke have successfully hired a cab. The alliance is intact.

– Jen is not ready to jump yet. Kisha tries her best to get her to go but refuses to do.  Tammy & Victor receive a 3 and a 4 on their next attempt as Kisha lets them pass.

– Kisha & Jen receive a 3 and a 2. Jen does not know because. . .well. . .

beijing jen 2

She is too busy drowning.

– And now time for the most disgusting screen cap of the round.

beijing kisha 6


– Jen is spitting up a ton of water as she threatens to quit. Tammy & Victor jump once more to get a 3 and a 4. Victor insists they are doing better. He wants Tammy to make the decision regarding to switch. Tammy decides to switch.

– After consoling Jen, Kisha is able to convince her to jump once more.

beijing kisha jen 7

Who knew free access to the training facility for the Beijing Olympic Games could bring so much trauma.

– They jump once more.

beijing kisha jen 8

How is nobody developing a counting system yet?

– Tammy is in the water. She is swimming in a legit fashion. Her tiny frame will make her fatigue quickly.

– Kisha & Jen score a 3 and a 2 as they cough up even more water in the 1/100th of a metre trek. Jen does not think they can do it.

beijing jen 3


– Tammy finishes her first 100.

beijing tammy 2

Better than what I was expecting.

beijing kisha jen 9

Which water is from tears or the actual pool is tough to differentiate at this point. We hear Tammy encouraging Victor in the background.

beijing kisha jen 10


“I knew I shouldn’t have gone to that Olympic Swimming Pool today.”

Yep. Another case of pulling an Arnold from The Magic School Bus in TAR history.

– Victor is back with his first 100. Kisha asks Jesus to help her as Jen will not stop the f— crying.

– Commercial. Resume said crying. Tammy has only fifty metres left. She asks if Kisha & Jen are still around. Victor confirms they are. Tammy is done her 200. Victor closes it out.

– Kisha begs Jen to do the swimming even if it takes them forever. All about finishing strong.

beijing tammy victor 9

That is surprisingly good for someone who cannot swim at all.

– Tammy runs by Kisha & Jen announcing she has the clue. The chlorine in her eyes probably makes her oblivious to Tammy’s presence.

– Jaime is tense about being first that tears form in her eyes.

beijing jaime cara 5

You would think this round was for the one million dollars.

beijing traffic 2

And why did post-production decide to include B-roll from Jaime & Cara’s cab as they record a stoplight that is counting down, and start with the number 69.

beijing traffic 3

Seriously. Couldn’t they choose any other three numbers?

And does that mean they have to wait 67 seconds at that light? No wonder the pollution is terrible in Beijing. Make the traffic move faster, dangit.

Or maybe it is a way to encourage everyone to ditch cars in favour of bikes because of the frustration.

– MARGIE: Jen & Kisha buh bye. They are tough on land but in the water they are nothin’.

– Victor’s leg is cramping. Whether it is because he is Chinese is unknown.

– Jen jumps into the water with her floatation device on. Kisha decides to wear a life vest with her to not make Jen feel alone. Completely unnecessary gesture, but does it anyway.

rebecca nice 6

Sort of like when Adam put his hood on over his face too.

– What is hilarious about this is that the music, Kisha’s crying, and her speech are supposed to make it a touching moment for the season.

beijing kisha jen luke 2

A touching moment that does not include Luke shoving, anyway.

– So this touching moment is hilarious because during Kisha’s crying, the music, and the speech we see Jen flailing in the water with her life vest on.

beijing jen 4

Tee hee.

beijing jen 5

You are not allowed to cry uncle, but you can cry ‘auntie’ here.

– Victor updates us that both of his legs are cramping as they enter a taxi.

beijing victor 2

Charlie Horse! Charlie Horse! Charlie Horse!

– Victor cannot even bring his legs inside of the taxi. He is stretching it first before bringing it inside.

beijing victor 3

Don’t worry, Victor. Kisha & Jen both have to swim 100 more metres each. You have until sunrise to bring your feet into the cab.

– Kisha is done her half of the race. Now it is Jen’s turn to do 100 metres. We see an extreme close-up of Kisha.

beijing kisha 7

Kisha must love how big her head looks on TV right now.

– Victor fails THREE times to get inside of the taxi as he moans in pain. Jen would be pissing herself laughing from seeing this.

beijing victor 4

If Victor is in this much pain from swimming, imagine how much pain he would be in if he did the foot massage too.

beijing victor 5

This needs to be made into its own short film. I think this qualifies as being the funniest thing I have seen all season.

beijing victor 6

Standing up is the exact opposite of your goal. Walk it off, Victor. Walk it off.

– Jen finishes fifty more metres.

– Victor eventually makes it into the cab. Tammy asks if he is fine and he gives in and says yes. He probably knows how ridiculous this will look on TV.

VICTOR: Even with our language advantage, we are still at the mercy of the taxi drivers and the Detours.

And epic Charlie Horses.

– I should note Victor & Tammy have stopped bragging about being Chinese over the past thirty minutes. They are embarrassed that the only reason they are not currently in last is because Jen came onto this race unprepared.

– Jen finishes the last fifty metres. They are finished the task! Want to know their time? Well, because we are in China, we need a drumroll.

beijing kisha jen 11

If this were Sports Day in elementary school, this is where you would receive the “Thank You for Participating” ribbon.

– Jen was glad Kisha pushed her and is happy she was there. She thinks a lot of other people would have let her quit. They hail a cab.

– All four teams are stuck in Beijing traffic. Cara says they have finished several Detours first but arrived at the pit stop not first.

How many Detours have they finished first, really?

– We see Phil on the mat.

beijing phil

Today for the first time ever, he stands on the mat alone. Over twenty million people live in Beijing but all twenty million refused a night-time date with Phil. Maybe turtlenecks are banned under a local law.

Or maybe it was a Chinese gymnast, but when production checked her passport, they discovered she was underage and disqualified from being a pit stop greeter.

– So who is numero uno for round ten?

beijing jaime cara 6

FIRST: JAIME & CARA ^ 3 from last week

– They are so exhausted from the evening, and find the air too cold for a proper first place celebration. Their prize was a jet ski for each of them, but that was unaired on TV for some reason. This makes it the first time in TAR history that a first place prize was not announced on TV.

I find it shocking simply because ninety percent of the prizes are promotions for various companies. I guess the company that provided the jet skis wished to remain anonymous.

– So we see their celebration.

PHIL: But guys. . .this leg of the race. . .

beijing phil 2

PHIL: Is not over! Here’s your next clue! Suck it!

where's waldo

beijing phil 2

“Don’t I look like the Where’s Waldo cover as I have the clue blocking the sight of my mouth.

– Jaime & Cara’s reaction?

beijing jaime cara 7

I think Jaime wants to cry uncle.

beijing continued

Yep. The revival of the To Be Continued round that appeared in each season from TAR 6-10. During TAR 11, 12, and 13, this twist disappeared. Mainly because it was always an equalizer for the following clue as well as the fact that the last place team were not awarded any sort of non-elimination penalty because it was considered a “double leg”.

This season improves the traditional To Be Continued format by fifty percent.

Yes. Something that TAR 14 did right that no other season before it did.

Next Time on TAR: Without any equalizers on the horizon, teams continue to race well into the day to make this one of the toughest back-to-back rounds in history. TAR decides that the upcoming round will have the only penultimate twist in TAR history. Oh, and the foot race to the mat comes to a halt as an exit more historic than TAR 13’s penultimate elimination takes place, thus making it a top five contender for the most memorable exit in all twenty-three seasons of the franchise.




1) Guilin, China -> Beijing, China

I would put this round due to Tammy & Victor’s language advantage, but thankfully it did not impact this round whatsoever unlike the other two China rounds.

Jen flailing as she swims, Victor’s Charlie Horse, Luke’s Hit and Run, Tammy & Victor failing so hard at the synchronized diving, and Cara not knowing whether she was in pain or having an orgasm at the foot massage made it the funniest round of the season.

No other episode is even close. Victor needs a Charlie Horse every episode if he wants him and Tammy to be my favourite team of the season.

The masseuse of the foot massage place may be the most evil person I have met in my life.

Also, it is so much easier to laugh at everyone performing terribly when ninety percent of the audience hates all teams remaining.

It was also neat to see Beijing just a month or two after the Olympics.

Lastly, the entire round took place at night. A round that occurs at night is nearly as rare as a Survivor night challenge.

If Tammy & Victor had a clear advantage in the tasks because the language barrier is down just for them, this round would slide six slots. But because Tammy was afraid of swimming, and Victor does not recover well from exercise, they decided to bring their A-game of unintentional comedy.

2) 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.

3) Bran, Romania -> Krasnoyarsk, Russia

A battle for flights at the beginning was great. Four flight paths for eight teams? You do not see that happen too often.

But that collapsed when all teams were connecting on the same Moscow flight. However, for a relatively unexplained reason, teams were split between two Moscow airports to head to Krasnoyarsk. I think half of the teams were dropped off at the domestic airport while the other half were at the international airport.

The time difference was roughly four hours between flights. The equalizer at the dam was reasonable because it opened at 8:30am and stayed open relatively late.

Anyways, I loved the wood stacking and window constructing Detour. It is a Detour that could be used in Siberia or northern Canada. Both tasks appeared rather difficult. The falling stacks of wood was rather amusing.

The group of people at the Detour camping out as they eat strange food and laughing at the falling stacks as well as the drunken lady who was dancing and singing the whole time. I have never seen people so energetic in the morning.

The Roadblock added an extra layer to what was becoming a tired task. They have used multiple bobsled runs in the past where all they had to do was complete it under a specific time limit. The addition of coming up with a Russian last name that does not require you to know his name, and instead use logical reasoning, was a refreshing change to the task.

The introduction of the Blind U-Turn is a change I do not particularly mind. Whether it is a Blind U-Turn or have its senses fully functional does not matter much to me. However I do not understand why its use had to be hyped up at the start of the episode.

The only con to the episode was how much airtime Margie & Luke received, but I guess that is expected from a team that production wanted to be the first three-timers in TAR history.

And the round in Siberia proved that it is drastically different from the previous four Russian rounds in TAR where they spent it in major cities west of the Urals.

4) Phuket, Thailand -> Bangkok, Thailand

I liked the old school aspect to the teams being lost and traveling to preserve their travel gear. Losing your stuff is apart of real life traveling and evaluating the time you spend retrieving certain stuff made this episode feel like season one over all again.

Mark & Michael are not only oblivious to the people around them (again) such as mistaking transvestites as women, but oblivious to the rules as they managed to rack up a total of four infractions in these two rounds. Seeing them get struck down after each moment of brilliance was hilarious.

Margie also was a one-woman wrecking crew this round. Seeing her just beast it through the propeller Roadblock, taking the bags, and slaughtering the dentures. Granted this round overall seemed to play out rather quickly. Who knows if Margie was just that good or if a knowledge of what you are doing made everybody take anywhere between a minute to ten minutes to complete those tasks at the most.

Kisha running barefoot through flooded streets all the way to the pit stop without her passport may be one of the dumbest moves ever made. If her and Jen took their bags in the first place, they would have finished second. But instead they had to waste time begging for free rides and constantly worry about their bags.

Seeing Jen’s reaction to being declared fourth as opposed to dead last by fifty minutes was a highlight for the season.

Jaime & Cara were pretty much invisible this round. The only times we saw them were the two times that Jaime freaked out at drivers or calling one “meek”. That was it. I think editing wanted us to hate Jaime & Cara because we have not been given anything else about their edit for the past few rounds.

The only reason why this is not at the top is because the day in Bangkok seemed too easy and too fast.

Also, what exactly is the bargaining rule? Can you not settle a cab bill with your personal possessions when you still have money? That makes sense. If you are not allowed to use personal possessions at all, then many teams in the past have tried breaking that rule because we have seen shoes and watches offered in the past.

5) Novosibirsk, Russia -> Jaipur, India

It is somehow in the top half out of the first six legs of the season. As much as I rag on production sending teams to India for the eleventh leg in TAR history, they were able to come up with some unique tasks. In fact it beat the India rounds from TAR 12 and 13.

The tasks were original except for the Speed Bump. Feeding camels was neat to see before they go on to be a bunch of divas in Abu Dhabi.

Jaime freaking out at taxi drivers for no good reason was great too.

The sweltering heat really took its toll on teams. I just wish the camel task and the Shakers tasks were a bit tougher.

But do you know how they have run out of ideas for India? Because they decided to plop a red phone next to a sacred tree. I never thought production would stoop so low as to make teams listen to a call centre.

Mark & Michael provided most of the entertainment this round as they were oblivious to their awful jokes and their offensive ululating like they were doing a bad Leo & Jamal impersonation.

The two huge negatives are the over-the-top Margie & Luke moments of emotion, and yet another freakin’ “there is poverty but they are all so harmonious” clips. There must be an hour of that footage total that has aired on TAR over the years.

But why this leg is up to number three for the time being is because of two things:

– Man spontaneously kicked by camel.
– Pit stop greeter playing a flute up his nose.

6) Salzburg, Austria -> Bran, Romania

Gymnastics. Loading up a gypsy cart. Minimal equalizers. A quote from Young Frankenstein. Running aimlessly through the woods. A new country. Scrambling for the best flights.

These are all makings of a great round of TAR. In fact I would have ranked this as the best round of the season by far because this is the only new country of the season and the tasks were great.

But then it had to be ruined by showing Tammy & Victor for the majority of the episode! Just look at the confessional counts of the episode. For once Margie & Luke were pushed to the side in favour of Tammy & Victor of all people. We saw a minimum of a five minute breakdown of each of their tasks.

Production is trying way too hard to make us like Tammy & Victor. It is not like they were hidden in the first two episodes either. Why keep showing us a team that mildly annoys us and has a personality that is impossible for the viewers to identify with as they watch?

To make things worse, the only team other than Brad & Victoria to be shown was. . .virtually no one. We had the first Jaime blow-up, a bit of Kris & Jon because of their blunder, and Mel & Mike’s victory.

But other than that it is impossible to think of a single thing that the other teams did. It was entirely from the perspective of Brad & Victoria and Tammy & Victor.

Ugh. They ruined the best round of the race by doing this. Now it is an episode that many TAR viewers have forgotten because Tammy & Victor are people you try your absolute best to forget!

7) Krasnoyarsk, Russia -> Novosibirsk, Russia

The underwear run should have been longer and more gruelling. No navigation to the pit stop was a bit annoying (unless you were Mark & Michael).

Too much focus on Luke and Victor yet freakin’ again.

Not seeing teams check out of the pit stop annoyed me.

The snowplows were far easier than the bride task. Like people who never drive cars were completing the snowplows on their first try.

The only thing that saves this round is that teams had to drive themselves to a couple of route markers using the Lada and struggling with a stick shift. It shocks me that there will always be players who do not learn how to drive a stick upon entering the race!

And another indoor pit stop at a theatre two rounds in a row was repetitive. These two rounds have been molded into one in my memory for the past five years. I thought the last round was going to be underwear running and the bobsled Chekhov puzzle, but realized that those were both Roadblocks.

Two rounds in a row in not only the same country, but also the same climate, and also using identical locations for the pit stop really drags down this episode.

Oh, and it was a non-elimination.

8) Stechelberg, Switzerland -> Salzburg, Austria

The round was constructed with zero equalizers. I do not understand why we needed a two minute dedication to Margie & Luke at the start of the episode, but for some reason it was there.

The Roadblock was your usual paragliding task, but seeing it reduced to a one hour jog down the mountain made for some boring television to the point that production did not include any of it except for Linda’s wrong turn on TV.

We saw the growing gap between Kisha & Jen. Seeing Jen’s increasing levels of frustration with Kisha’s older siblingitis was fun to watch.

Watching Mel narrate ten minutes of the episode was annoying because you knew that he is only narrating due to the minor celebrity status of himself and Mike. The part where Mike tries to scale the gate was definitely worthy of being on TV as Phil looks on trying not to laugh.

Pie throwing acting as a needle in the haystack task was boring. The Segway obstacle course was overly linear and straightforward to the point that barely any of the footage made it on TV.

Seeing the woodcutters was neat. The pit stop location was gorgeous.

Mark & Michael being idiots by not asking for a cell phone inside the cab was amusing.

Then watching Steve & Linda’s interactions for the whole round was definitely the meat and potatoes of the episode. Linda’s performance in these two rounds qualifies her as one of the worst racers in terms of ability to appear in the show’s history. Wonderful people, but Steve & Linda were not built for TAR.

The only person with worse abilities than Linda are the abilities of the casting director for TAR 18.

The trend of seasons that visit Europe are weak overall does not slow down thanks to the kajillionth trip to Germany and Austria.

P.S. When this episode aired on TV I was quite sleepy. Rewatching it today and that has not changed.

P.P.S. What was up with the one minute dedication to Margie & Luke between the ‘Previously On’ and Intro segments? Ridiculous.

9) Bangkok, Thailand -> Guilin, China

I remember virtually nothing about this round other than ‘Follow Victor to the Mat’ and some of the shoving. Jaime, Cara, Mark, and Michael are all invisible. Tammy & Victor say they are Chinese about a quadrillion times.

The birds are neat, and the Detour would have been fine if it felt like a real Detour, but it was all overshadowed by Tammy & Victor cruising to the mat along with two teams ready to choke each other out.

The mat meltdown was not even that good. Eighty percent of it was because of Margie & Luke overreacting and exploiting Luke’s hearing disability, and Kisha’s laughter takes the other twenty percent.

It is one of the few times where Phil looks completely annoyed.

I know nothing about where they went because the whole focus was on the shoving incidents and Tammy & Victor bragging about speaking Mandarin. There was zero adventure.

There was not a shred of suspense between Jaime & Cara and Mark & Michael. It is one of the few times where editing could not care less about manipulating how close the race for last was at the end of the episode.

I doubt anyone even remembers that this round was in a city called Guilin. I mean, where is it? What are the major landmarks? The people? The whole adventure aspect was ripped from this episode.

And somehow it is not the worst episode this season.

10) Jaipur, India -> Phuket Thailand

This was a lame design. A zoo where you just move between two stations is not challenging. Neat, but not challenging. That picture seemed easy to figure out if you spent at least one minute on the street.

The ‘Pick a Drawer’ task may be the lamest task I have ever seen on TAR that does not involve gas stations or climbing up onto a big chair.

Nobody bothered with the Fast Forward, thus making it the first season ever where a Fast Forward was offered but ignored for the whole season.

And there was no reason to not have a Roadblock. It just gives the weaker players a free pass.

Did we really need to see that many monkeys?

The only things that made up for it this round is that Tammy & Victor and Margie & Luke received far less attention this round. Jaime & Cara, Mark & Michael, and Kisha’s sneezes provided ninety-nine percent of the entertainment. I think Mark & Michael may be my favourite characters because of how odd and unique their personalities are.

Oh, and their penalties for doing things that are clearly stated in the race rules. Nobody has received two penalties for breaking race rules in the same round. A one hour penalty is unheard of in TAR.

Lastly, Margie passing out after being declared the Bionic Woman was a great example of dark comedic timing. Phil could not have said it at a better time.

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