The Amazing Race 14 episode 12 ranking

Twelfth episode

“This Is How You Lose a Franchise”

Oh god. The TAR 14 finale. Another effing trip to Hawaii. This time Hawaii is not the boring bridge to the final destination city in the finale, but rather -is- the boring final destination city for the whole hour.

Okay, Hawaii is not boring, but we have seen Hawaii so much in the past ten seasons that seeing a different American city in the continental U.S. would have been a pleasant surprise. Well, a debuting American city anyway.

The winners of this round win by the largest margin ever on the race course. You can imagine what the last ten minutes of the episode are like. Given this is a one hour finale, that is a brutal one-hour finale.

Oh, and what hurts this finale even more is the high number of viewers who did not want any of the Final Three teams to win. This is widely considered one of the worst Final Threes ever besides TAR 20, and may be comparable to TAR 6 if it were not for the redeeming factor of Kris & Jon.

Kris & Jon were on this season too, right? Odd connection.

Anyways, you will hear my concluding thoughts soon enough at the end of the episode. Enjoy the comments from Phil’s episode eleven blog. That will probably be the high point of this season finale post.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/05/04/phil-keoghan-bl/

Sigh. Nothing of interest to report.

COMMENT FROM THE ROAMING GNOME: Doesn’t anyone remember the couple that had lived in Paris having a language advantage because they spoke French? I think they actually won the race that edition. It’s all luck of the draw.

Uhhhhhhh. . .no? Unless you are thinking of Joe & Bill in TAR 1. If the race ended in round two, then yes, they won.

COMMENT FROM DENISE: Loved, keisha and Jen, really were hoping they would make the final three. I agree really got tired of the grudge thing with Margie and Luke–really find some gracious attitude somewhere-accidents happen. As for the language barrier, maybe Cara needs to take a step back and think about how she would like to be treated if roles were reversed, I would have let her out of the cab as soon as she got rude. Her partner may want to softly suggest using more honey than vinegar in her tone when they are in a foreign country. you go Tammy and Victor!!!

You have had eleven episodes to know which one is Jaime and which one is Cara.

COMMENT FROM ns: I don’t think there’s anything unfair about the race being in China and the fact that Tammy & Victor can speak Chinese–they aren’t the first racers who have known a local language. My problems with it are 1) that there was a task that was essentially all about being able to speak the language; and 2) it is quite unusual, if not unprecedented, for the race to spend 3 straight weeks in the same country. We’re used to a little more variety in every season, but no Africa or South America this time.

ns’ comment is the same comment you see posted by 75% of the audience.

COMMENT FROM STALECAKE: Cara is one of my all-time favorite competitors. Relentless, and so relentlessly positive that even after weeks of Jamie that harshest thing she’s done is shrug! Between the massage challenge last week and the food one this week, she is all-round amazing. Which is ironic, because Jamie is one of the all-time worst. What are they, Zach & Flo 2.0?

Whoa. Settle down there, Stalecake. Think about what you are saying.

COMMENT FROM SERIOUSLY SURELY: I like Margie and Luke. I hope Luke wins just for the Deaf community. The first Deaf to win the Amazing Race.

The gay community gets screwed over again. Sorry, Luke can only win for -just- the Deaf community.

COMMENT FROM MAGGIE ROWE: Who do I think should win? I think the prize this season should be split into several awards as follows:
Amazing Mom: Margie
Amazing Sis: Kisha
Amazing Friend: Cara
Amazing Funnies: Mel and Mike
Amazing Bros: Mark and Michael
Amazing Pushthroughkids: Luke and Jen
Amazing Breakoutcouple: Linda and Steve.
I know Tammy and Victor have achieved a lot too, but I’m still finding them too smug and self-absorbed to like. However if they show some kindness or consideration in the final leg towards anyone else, they can have the “Amazing Nevertoolate Award.”

Posting on the Internet just isn’t your thing.

COMMENT FROM DAN ZAWADOWCYZ: It is refreshing to see (as it was not edited out) that people of all types are not the perfect politically correct drones that we’re all somehow expected to be. Calling it like you see it is quickly becoming an extinct species, replaced by uber-sensitivity to everything and everyone. Saying some people have a dumb look or saying a something looks funny to you should be just that – your opinion at the time. These folks are not running for office, nor are they trying to appeal to every single person on the planet. They’re running a stressful, tiring race and seeing some honest, unedited reaction reminds everyone that we’re all just human. I think everyone should be just a little slower to get offended and grow some thicker skin. Those who are quick to label folks are quick to be labeled.
I believe the diverse personalities of the contestants add to the popularity of the race. The schemes, the cat fights, meltdowns, the perseverance & team member’s support all make it more interesting,

I hate it when somebody makes an intelligent post on a message board.

COMMENT FROM allie: For the first time in however many seasons it’s been now, I actually like all three pairs…. jumped up and down when Kisha the Racist and whiny Jen FINALLY went home! I do agree that Mel and Mike were a amazing team, but failing that I like all three teams left and I think they all have unique qualities.

You are in a smaller minority than Luke, Tammy, and Victor.

COMMENT FROM ichorwhip: You’re definitely right about this being one if not the best AR’s yet Phil! I picked V & T to win it all at the starting line and it looks like it may come true even though I had severe doubts about them early and midway throught the race. V has just got to have OCD, and T is a saint for putting up with him and his incessant nattering. Jaime is fairly cute to be such an ugly American, and Cara doesn’t deserve to be partnered up with her. Marge has her hands full literally with Luke, who I find to be a whiny-butt, quitter and all around bad sport who has used his disability only to gain sympathy when it suits him. Sorry, but the deafboy has a lot of growing up to do. I’d like to see him locked in a closet with Jaime to that effect. So only V&T really deserve the win imo, afterall V isn’t such a bad guy for a dork. Maybe Marge and Cara oughta ditch their partners and join forces, they are much better racers and deserving of the big win. See ya in Hawaii!

Their names are Victor and Tammy, respectively. Stop sounding like a forty-year-old who was a jock in high school and does recreational sports in his spare time (seriously, my oldest brother reduces all four of his kids to a single letter). And don’t even get me started on how offensive writing “deafboy” is.

COMMENT FROM E. LACEY: I, as well as many family members and friends have been viewers of the Amazing Race since the firt season. In my opinion, the last four teams should have each had a fair and equitable chance of competing and being one of the final three, on the sole basis of competition. What occurred yesterday was abandonment of the premise of fair competiion. Essentially, a competing team made the decision regarding the final three teams. This was inherently unfair! I am so disgusted with the events that occurred yesterday, I do not have an interest in the outcome. Additionally, unless I learn of rule changes to ensure parity for the last four teams, my viewership has ended. It is not a fair race, when a team is severely handicapped by a competitor…and it certainly is not amazing…

I love how this person has ignored that Yields and U-Turns have ultimately eliminated teams in the penultimate round because they could not improve upon their position from the previous round’s non-elimination. The fact that this U-Turn instead of the Mandarin advantage is the deal breaker for this poster. Such a random incident for this person to quit watching TAR compared to the other poor decisions that they have made over the years.

COMMENT FROM hannah: She was wearing a huge dress thing. No one would have ever known if she peed her pants. I am so mad. They were almost there. Jen is lucky that Kisha is her partner instead of Cara/Jaime. They would have been yelling down her throat.

Heh, I thought it would be a funny if there was a circle in front of her pants, but hey, I never thought about the dress being a good cover.

COMMENT FROM DanKwan: Would you please stop talking about Luke being the first deaf on the Amazing Race? There was already a deaf contestant on the Amazing Race Asia, and he actually won the race. Probably why TAR decided to include Luke in the first place. There was also an all-female team as winner there too.

Hey! Some of us were TRYING to blog TAR Asia season two without spoilers. Screw you, DanKwan. Just be lucky I already blogged about Zabrina & Joe Jer last year.

COMMENT FROM lilly: Luke has done more than his share of challenges. Running in Russia – bungie jumping, foot message, spelling chekov race/sled, bird fetching challenge – alot of the challenges seemed to require two people this time

I would say roughly fifty percent of all challenges this season have required two people.

COMMENT FROM Romber: ENOUGH WITH THE STUPID, MORONIC, INSIPID, SOPHOMORIC, INSANE, IRRELEVANT AND GROTESQUE EATING CHALLENGES.
When a boob like Boston Rob shows you how STUPID these things are on what’s supposed to be the classy reality show, you should know better.

Would you like some farfaru?

COMMENT FROM What happened?: Where did all the likable people go from the first few weeks?
* Tami/Victor have run the best race aside from the nightmare in Transylvania and deserve to win, but still … having the last 3-4 legs in a country where only you speak the language is a bit unfair.
* The cheerleaders are a mixed bag – one is the ugliest of Americans and the other ROCKED the eating challenge and has kept her cool — I could dig a win, if for no other reason than we’d end the “all female teams never win” thing.
* Margie/Luke – The nightmare scenario. Supermom deserves to win, for sure, but BB Luke (B*tch Boy or Big Baby – take your pick) is worse than Flo … and whinier. He’ll spend all of the finale either gloating over how he got rid of the sisters or whining over the few tasks he has to do while his mommy carries him across the finish line.

For some reason, I don’t think B—- Boy catches on as a nickname for TAR 18 and 24.

COMMENT FROM LEE: Grow up, whiners! Everyone brings an unfair advantage to the Amazing Race, be it language, intelligence, athletecism, strength, endurance, swimming skills, etc. So, Victor and Tammy know how to speak Chinese? Well, you can say the flight attendants had an unfair advantage of knowing about the airline industry. Or, you can say Kris had an unfair advantage because he is strong. Or, you can say Margie and Luke had an unfair advantage because they had much better swimming skills compared to Tammy and Jen. The list goes on and on, whiners. Grow up. If the other contestants were so worried about Tammy and Victor knowing Chinese, then why didn’t someone U-turn them instead of Kris and his partner?

Maybe because nobody thought production would take them to China for 25% of the season. And all three rounds are not even in the areas where they mostly speak Cantonese instead of Mandarin. And all of the rounds were right before the finale.

I am going to guess with a name like ‘Lee’ probably means you are a Victor fan.

COMMENT FROM HEY PHIL: The casting crew did a great job this year, but the planning department needs help. So how about this idea …
Instead of multiple start times on each leg, leading to bunching and unpredictability, run the race “Tour De France” style. Keep a clock on each team for the leg, regroup for 36 hours or so and then start all remaining teams at the same time on the next leg.
It could help with locations not being open or flights not being available for 12 hours, allowing others to catch up. This way, plan the start time for the best time for planes, locations, etc. When they come in, add the times and keep tally as the race goes on.
It would make the competition for prizes on each leg better, it would help for planning purposes and it would make every second count (i.e. you have to beat team X by 2:30 this next leg to stay alive) – plus reward those done first.
Then for the last leg, a staggered start based on time based on the lead for a true race to the finish line!
Think about it!

That. . .is actually an interesting concept. However, most television viewers are idiots and I am sure there would be flaws if we analyzed your concept. Sadly, that means this could never really be popular.

Like what if a team does well on a round with heavy equalizers, but finishes ten hours behind when flights are several hours apart and no equalizers along the way?

COMMENT FROM Tara: Why were Victor and Tammy given such a CLEAR advantage? They speak Chinese and by their own admission, they visit China regularly and know Beijing! It was disturbing and gross watching the contestants eat those poor creatures and now the teaser of the next episode has contestants running around Hawaii carrying a dead pig! SERIOUSLY! STOP WITH THE INSENSITIVITY! I love animals and I’m vegetarian; it was disturbing enough watching those idiots in Thailand in what they call a ‘zoo’ posing with a chained tiger and being forced to watch the elephants perform for their lives, as it were, and now this. I have seriously, SERIOUSLY, just about had enough of this show.

Thank you, Tara. Your comment has made a difference because we definitely did not have rams fighting in Indonesia. I guess we could say you and producers will butt heads on the matter!

COMMENT FROM Kelly: I was thinking that the chinese language challenge was such an advantage to V/T—it would be like having a challenge where everyone has to use sign language and Margie and Luke would’ve sailed through. Everyone would be outraged.

Good point.

COMMENT FROM Big Fat Greek: The food looked so good. When they were frying it in the oil, I was having a gastronomic orgasmic GREEK spew. Where’s Jaime’s nipples, I really miss staring at them.

I think this poster’s name is spelled H-E-D-O-N-I-S-T.

COMMENT FROM Ted: Hi,
HUGE fan of the show since Episode 1 in 2001. Love it. But PLEASE PLEASE GET RID OF THE MUSICAL CUES AND TONE DOWN THE SOUNDTRACK. Enough with the cymbals, gongs, noises when someone makes a stupid comment to inform us it was stupid when we know it was stupid, etc. And every single scene does not need a soundtrack to it. Dramas and comedies and other shows don’t have it, you don’t need it, and you especially do not need the same soundtrack that’s been playing over and over since S2. Makes the ep feel like a rerun.

You will LOVE TAR Canada Ted!

COMMENT FROM TODD: I know The Amazing Race is about existing relationships but I would REALLY love to see people who don’t know each other paired up. It would be great to see strangers learn to work together (or fall apart). It would also break up the monotony after so many seasons. If you wanted to go further you could take couples that know each other, split them up and pair them with someone from a different team. A lot more interesting in my opinion.

Did you watch TAR All Stars? But seriously, they would make it so crazy that the type of show you want to see would end up on VH1.

What I have proposed in the past is to do an all-star edition where they scramble up the teams so that they loosely know each other, and will be competitive enough to go for first place.

*

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Previously on TAR: Eleven teams set out on a race around the world for one milllllion dollars. Along the way teams crashed and soared. Battled the elements, pain, and even each other. Eight teams fell by the wayside.

Luke, the race’s first deaf contestant, set out on a mission with his mother Margie. And exceeded all expectations by winning the first leg. But each had to overcome obstacles to earn their place in the Final Three.

Former NFL Cheerleaders Jaime & Cara began the race quietly in the middle of the pack. But soon Jaime made herself heard. After struggling in the streets of Beijing they barely survived but became the fourth all-female team ever to make the Final Three.

Siblings and lawyers Tammy & Victor began the race as a smashing success but a crisis of leadership in the hills of Romania brought hidden problems to the surface. Since then solid teamwork and encouragement had the pair singing a different tune as they soared into the Final Three.

Coming Up Tonight: One of these three teams will win the million dollar prize and The Amazing Race.

– Intro time for the last time this season. No more having to look at their faces after this round. . .except Margie & Luke’s, Jaime & Cara’s, Kisha & Jen’s, Mel & Mike’s, and Amanda & Jon’s.

– Phil introduces us to Beijing. He also goes the entire season without asking a question.

– We see Phil specifically mention Tammy & Victor’s Travelocity prize to the Galapagos. Victor says the word ‘galapagos’ in a strange way.

VICTOR: Hopefully we get to bring the gnome with us.

maui tammy victor jih

I have a feeling the gnome will be a third wheel.

– Tammy & Victor, who arrived first at 9:15am, will depart first at 9:15pm. They read that they will be flying to Maui, Hawaii. Phil informs us this ride is over five thousand miles away.

Whoa. Hawaii is the finish line? That is a first.

And what is their obsession with starting and ending in the Pacific Ocean for the fourth season in a row? San Francisco ended TAR 11, L.A. started TAR 12, 13, and 14, and now Portland, Alaska, and Hawaii end TAR 12, 13, 14.

The Atlantic Ocean is just not as cool, apparently.

– Once in Maui, teams will take a taxi to Shoreline Access 118. Yeah. Major landmark.

VICTOR: They will be bringing their ‘A’ game, and hopefully we bring our ‘A+’ game to eek it out.

I have a feeling high school was not much different for Tammy & Victor in the academics.

– They are already at the airport. Victor is on the phone. The first flight is at 9:30am. They are told to book the flight at 6:00am.

– Margie & Luke check out at 11:24pm.

maui margie luke

Nothing like a mother-son kiss on the cheek.

– Luke excessively cheers when he discovers they are going to Maui.

maui margie luke 2

Settle down, Luke. There is still an entire clue to read.

maui margie luke 3

Margie & Luke hug it out over Hawaii. Seeing how the flight does not leave for another ten hours, there is no rush to depart.

– Luke thinks he was considered the underdog going into the race because a deaf contestant won just months earlier. Luke thinks teams will watch out for them.

LUKE: We will do anything it takes to win.

Including but not limited to repeatedly shoving a Black woman.

–  Tammy & Victor and Margie & Luke meet up at the airport.

maui margie luke tammy victor

So. . . . .anyone want to play Dungeons and Dragons for the next ten hours?

– Jaime & Cara are shown leaving at 2:04am. Wow. They finished nearly five hours behind Tammy & Victor. It shows you how significant the Mandarin advantage really was for the past three episodes.

– Jaime has no idea why it has taken fourteen seasons for an all-female team to win. Cara tells us not to underestimate them.

– Victor is simultaneously nervous and relieved about it being the last flight.

VICTOR: I am so happy it is the final fight.

final fight

Victor’s final fight.
.
.
.
.
.
Oh. He said flight. Sorry. I had gone roughly 69 hours and 23 minutes without making a Capcom reference. I was suffering from withdrawal. I even avoided referencing Phoenix Wright during Phil’s multiple index finger points, and did not make a Chun Li-Tammy comparison for several episodes. Even M. Bison’s Game Over video has been intentionally excluded.

But here it is. Another Final Fight reference. I felt compelled to make one.

– Okay. Let’s move on.

maui

Maui courtesy of Google Earth.

maui 2

Oh yeah, flying from Asia to Hawaii can take a while. Who knew.

– We see all three teams running out. Jaime & Cara run out without any bags. They must have checked them or ditched them. Brilliant. All three teams are in taxis.

MARGIE: You have to go fast, man. Go fast! Go!

The driver’s response?

maui driver

Fair point.

maui margie adams

Although I think Margie is ready to throw you out of the taxi and drive it herself.

maui driver 2

This is great. They end up with the zen taxi driver. I would personally switch considering it is a million dollar round. Mr. Sunday Driver is not an ideal person to rely upon to win The Amazing Race.

– Phil reminds us of the Shoreline Access 118. You know how production received a bunch of complaints for the Phuket Zoo visit and the birds in Guilin? Well guess what they have to do for the final round of play?

maui pig

Not just transport this pig. . .

maui pig 2

But transport it hog-tied across a beach! It is like Survivor: Vanuatu all over again.

PHIL: Once there they must prep a pig for a traditional Hawaiian luau by seasoning it with island flavouring. Then they must carry the 145 pound pig approximately two hundred yards to the luau.

*random ukulele plays*

maui ukulele

Ukuleles–dividing up sections of a task explanation since 2009.

PHIL: Finally, they must properly cover the pig to be cooked in order to receive their next clue.

– Victor reads the clue.

VICTOR: You must put on the provided swimsuits.

parka

The swimsuit they provided for Margie.

– Jaime & Cara hand off the clue to their driver as they change in the back of the taxi. For some reason production has no swimsuit provided for Jaime.
.
.
.
.
But somehow she insists that they did provide one for her. I am confused because I do not see any clothes on her.

maui jaime swimsuit

Where did she get that CTV logo on her back?

– Jaime promises a tip for the driver if they are not last. They must have a lot of money saved up.

– Tammy & Victor are first to the beach in their swimsuits. We see Tammy bent over which is not a sight we really want to see. They start greasing up the pig. Jaime & Cara show up and have no problem touching male pigs.

maui jaime pig

Something tells me Jaime is used to working with pigs at her job.

– Tammy cannot lift the pole on her shoulder. Jaime & Cara it low. Margie & Luke are now at the beach. For now it is a showdown between Jaime & Cara and Tammy & Victor as they carry their pigs as low as possible without touching the sand.

maui jaime cara

Cara loses her grip. Who knew having a bunch of grease on your hands would make it slippery to transport a pig.

– Margie greases up the pig herself as Luke puts in the pole. Bionic Woman and Luke are the only team who can carry it over their shoulders.

maui margie luke adams

That is how you carry a pig. Sue-weet!

maui tammy victor jih 2

Tammy & Victor’s grip is just a tad bit lower.

– Ever wonder about the sexual orientation of editors and camera operators?

maui jaime cara 2

That pig being positioned there is perfect symbolism for the inclusion of this shot. And it is not like it is a split second. This lasts for a good five seconds or so.

And it is not like there is anything else that the viewers are meant to focus on. It is like producers said “hey, let’s come up with skimpy bikinis to provide for the NFL cheerleaders and zoom in on it for the season finale”.

I mean, they give Tammy and Margie much more conservative blue bottoms. For whatever reason they give Jaime & Cara matching outfits. It is like editors are a bunch of Chamillionaires.

chamillionaire

Soon as they turned around
It was something editors realized
Jaime & Cara look better from behind. . .

– Jaime & Cara are confident they will catch up. How so?

maui jaime cara 3

Clearly Tammy is not getting much credit for making it to the final round of play.

– Luke begs Margie not to fall. They are seen on the same stretch of beach as Jaime & Cara and Tammy & Victor. Victor is annoyed that Tammy is making it harder for herself each time she drops it.

– Jaime & Cara end up dropping the pig like it’s hot (or slippery). Well, Cara is the one who drops it. Jaime can handle her end just fine. Margie & Luke pass by every team. Tammy moves three steps before dropping it.

JAIME: Cara. Please. Pick up the pig.

VICTOR: Tammy, you are doing so great. Do NOT doubt yourself.

I love this coaching.

– Cara drops it again. Jaime yells at Cara to hold the front because Jaime knows how to back up the pig.

– Tammy gives the most feminine ‘tough person’ scream I have heard in my life.

maui tammy jih

Poor Tammy. This is another screen cap that will become the source of ridicule for years to come.

maui lei

This is their first day off from transporting pigs in ages. They have discovered it is much more fun to be on lei duty!

– Margie & Luke set down the pig. Bionic Woman thinks something goes below the pig.

– Cara keeps dropping the pig. Victor tries to come up with some brotherly advice for Tammy.

maui tammy victor jih 2

Victor goes with the “it’s okay, but I know you can do better than that” approach.

– Meanwhile Jaime cusses out Cara for each time she drops it. She makes Cara feel as bad as possible for being beaten by a weakling like Tammy. How weak is she?

maui jaime cara 4

She stays on the ground like this for several seconds.

maui jaime cara 5

I like the Hawaiian dude standing there with a blank look as Jaime just bashes Cara as much as she can.

– Dramatic music to commercial.

– We resume with Jaime & Cara. Somehow the pig is halfway submerged in the water. Do they not know it is easier to walk on land? They now are not far behind Tammy & Victor. Tammy drops it twice with just five steps away from where they need to set it down. Jaime & Cara are assigned a mound that is as far away as possible.

– Margie & Luke are done. They read that they must head to McGregor Field and board a jet ski. From here they will ride for one mile to a Buoy Field. They will search a hundred buoys for their next clue.

maui buoy

A million dollar buoy field.

– Victor realizes that he is putting palm fronds on the pig that have nothing to do with the setup of the luau.

maui pineapple gallery

The pineapple gallery mocks them.

– We see a flashback to about ninety seconds ago where they put the palm fronds on. That may very well be the most unnecessary flashback ever. Jaime & Cara get their mound checked but notice Victor’s palm fronds have been removed.

– Tammy & Victor are done and have their clue. So are Jaime & Cara. Margie & Luke reach McGregor Point. Who do you think is more competitive?

maui margie luke adams 2

Steep downward hills? That wasn’t part of the deal!

– Margie yells for Luke to swim faster as they reach the jet ski. She will be driving the jet ski. Luke incorrectly spots the buoy field multiple times. Margie sees the buoy field. Margie gets pissed when Luke says “mom” about twenty times.

– Tammy & Victor and Jaime & Cara both reach McGregor Point.

maui margie adams 2

maui margie adams 3

Who does Margie think she is? Ian or Talicia?

– They get back on. Tramel is not around so nobody urinates in the water. Tammy & Victor are aboard a jet ski. Luke continues to freak out as Margie’s fuse is ready to blow. I hate that this season may very well come down to searching buoys.

– How choppy are the waves?

maui jaime cara 6

Hopefully the instructor is a good swimmer.

– Margie & Luke wave and cheer at Tammy & Victor and Jaime & Cara. All three teams are shown in  the same shot.

maui split screen

Margie greets King Kong.

maui jet ski

Who shall find the needle first?

– Victor complains he is drifting like the jet ski is a Mario Kart.

– Margie & Luke have the clue and make it to shore. Margie reads that they must drive along the Hana Highway and reach the Native Surfboard Fence. They re-enter the taxi.

– Oh, teams also went to a statue earlier, and the pig task was one half of a Detour option.

– Tammy suggests that she reaches over for the clue while Victor steers. Jaime & Cara have a clue too. Victor announces that he made up time on Margie & Luke. Tammy & Victor appear to be about forty-five seconds behind Jaime & Cara.

– Jaime & Cara reach shore. Tammy & Victor have to swim back to shore. This is where they lose the most time. The two taxis trail each other.

– Margie & Luke show up to the Native Surfboard place. It is a Roadblock. Teams must search through three hundred vintage surfboards for ones that have pictures that are related to things they did earlier on the race. Most surfboards have incorrect pictures.

Teams must create a surfboard fence and stand up the surfboards in the correct order based on their pictures. You know, the order that the pictures would have been taken along the race course. One for each round of the race.

maui nose flute

I love that Ralph Wiggum is featured.

maui surfboard

A nice sequence of eleven surfboards.

– Luke is doing the Roadblock. Uh oh. Margie says Luke is doing it because he has a great memory and has been reviewing everything they are doing on the race. Luke struggles to keep up his bathing suit.

maui local

Random shot of a local.

– Luke finds the first surfboard.

maui flashback

It triggers a San Antonio Spur of the Moment flashback!

– He has the first one. Now it is time for the ten note surfboard from round four. Margie thinks Luke will ace it. We see the Bangkok boats next. Luke is more focused on keeping his bathing suit up. Personally I would just take em’ off to keep my mind on the task.

And weren’t the swimsuits provided? Why would production intentionally give Luke a bathing suit that is far too big? Sounds like production just wanted to annoy him.

– Jaime & Cara are at the wrong surfboard shop. Jaime yells at the driver and tells him to call for the right location.

maui fence

It is a fence. . .just a solid one that has surfboards leaning against it.

– Tammy & Victor continue riding. Victor complains about being stuck behind a slow Jeep. He points out no one is in front of him. Victor is ready to shed some water works.

maui jeep

Who knew something yellow would not perform well on the road.

– Margie & Luke seem to have all of the time in the world to complete this task.

maui tiger

PETA says what?

– Luke has the nose flute. Five out of eleven. Luke decides to take off his bathing suit. Wise decision. He has a sixth board. The nearest team is Jaime & Cara. Where are they?

maui taxi

If Margie & Luke lose the season, it is their own fault.

maui taxi 2

Alright. When you go into town can you pick up some papayas, a mango, a tangerine, a lei. . .

maui jaime cara 7

You’re killing us, Smalls.

– Victor asks Tammy if it is possible for them to pass the Jeep.

maui jeep 2

The answer is no. And the passenger door is apparently flipping them off.

novo victor 2

Revenge, baby.

– We go back to Jaime & Cara’s taxi. The person that the driver is talking to has a clear American accent. She says she has no idea where that place could be. She also is clear enough to rub salt in the wounds for added measure.

JAIME: We need to get a move on!

maui jaime cara 8

maui jaime cara 9

maui jaime

Jaime is stunned that she just lost her reign as the Biggest Bitch on the Planet.

– Commercial break.

– We resume with Jaime telling the driver that they either go back or go forward considering it is a straight road. She decides to borrow the cell phone and call the police department. She tells the operator it is an important race. Instantly the operator responds to go to mile marker 16. So she passes the phone onto the driver.

maui jaime 2

Now that is an eyeroll, ladies and gentlemen.

– The phone call ends, but the bad news keeps on coming.

maui taxi 3

Time to start searching for funeral homes, buddy.

– You can imagine Jaime’s reaction. She cusses him out, threatens his gonads, threatens his family, threatens his pets, threatens his neighbours, and threatens his house.

– Luke in the meantime has collected seven surfboards. It is a perfect run so far. Victor prays for mentally difficult tasks. Luke now has eight out of eleven. Jaime hopes Margie & Luke slip up but is doubtful.

– Tammy & Victor show up. Victor is doing the Roadblock. Tammy and Margie hug.

maui margie tammy

By completing this hug, you agree to give Margie & Luke all of your winnings.

– Luke understands the mental threat that Victor poses. he finds one. But Luke has another one. It is correct. Nine out of eleven are correct. Just the two Beijing surfboards remain.

maui surfboard 2

VICTOR: Saint Christopher! The patron saint of travelers!

Okay, if he remembers that specific detail then he is going to complete this in a scary fast time.

– Victor starts complaining about his bathing suit.

TAMMY: Victor, take your shorts off if you need to. Luke did.

maui luke adams

risky business

Luke in his Risky Business outfit.

TAMMY: Victor, just take your pants off.
(VICTOR strips down.)
TAMMY & MARGIE: Woohoo!

maui tammy margie

Tammy oogling her brother and Margie oogling her son? I for one need to have that memory suppressed.

– Luke puts up a tenth surfboard.

maui skull

Who knew a skull and crossbones would be the incorrect surfboard.

– Jaime & Cara’s taxi pulls into a gas station. Jaime orders him to only put in a little bit. She compliments him for his speed. Jaime apologizes for her shouting and explains her million dollar stress.

– Luke and Victor continue the task. Margie says she cannot remember what they did on the last leg because she was too busy thinking about Kisha & Jen. Luke turns in a final answer.

maui surfboard 3

And it’s wrong.

– Victor finds the foot massage surfboard.

maui flashback 2

Looks crazier than ever.

– Luke has another answer. Wrong too. Victor finds Luke’s other missing board–

maui scorpion

Scorpions on skewers.

maui flashback 3

Eh, better than an incest flashback.

– Luke is wrong for a fourth time. Nine out of eleven surfboards are correct. Jaime & Cara are now on the scene.

ROADBLOCK HINT: Who is ready to build something from memory?

– Jaime is doing the Roadblock but she appears to have a zero percent chance at the title. Luke finds yet another wrong surfboard. The two incorrect surfboards in rounds ten and eleven are noticeably shorter than the other boards.

maui luke adams 2

This is what I mean. There is a huge hint that those two surfboards are the only ones that are wrong.

– Jaime repeats over and over that none of the pictures on each board is familiar. Victor starts placing boards on the wall. He begins with Krasnoyarsk.

JAIME: Some of these things I have never seen before. A clown. An alligator. A lion? When in the hell did we do these things? None of these symbols make any sense.

– Luke has his sixth or seventh incorrect guess. Victor has three of his eleven boards. Jaime is annoyed by a kiwi picture, a kangaroo one, and a donkey.

– Luke puts up another wrong board. He begins to re-evaluate his board. You would think he could look over and see that Victor has boards placed that are in equal length to the other nine boards.

– Luke begins checking off each of the first nine boards. Victor has seven of the eleven boards. He is wrong yet again. Luke chucks the board out of frustration.

– Commercial. Luke will not blow the huge lead, right?

– We resume to Margie repeating her confessional about Luke’s frustration.  Jaime decides to have some fun with Victor.

maui alligator

Nice try.

maui throw

maui throw 2

maui throw 3

Luke throwing his game away.

– Victor has nine of the eleven boards. Jaime has her first one. Luke comes back again.

maui luke adams 3

In this case, size -does- matter.

maui woman

Given the big Hawaiian men she has dated, she agrees.

– Much like the Chekhov task, Margie signs for Luke to keep trying and not give up. Victor catches on that it must be the boat. Luke eventually switches the eleventh with the tenth. It is correct. Victor also has ten out of eleven.

maui luke adams 4

rupert 3

So much for his dreams.

– Jaime has nine of the eleven boards. Victor also has ten out of eleven. Luke is rejected once more. Victor places his final board. He asks for confirmation.
.
.
.
.
maui woman 2

WOMAN: You have never seen me before, but you have received the clue!

maui woman 3

And we never see her again.

– Victor reads that they must travel to the King Kamehameha Golf Club and race to the finish line. Luke throws his hands up in frustration. Tammy & Victor have a cab. Victor thought Luke would be better, but Tammy points out that Luke is too frustrated.

– Margie proposes that Luke works with Jaime. Immediately points out that Jesus is the first one.

JAIME: We saw this? I don’t remember seeing Jesus on the first one. Oh GOD we did see Jesus on the first one!

– Jaime is given her clue. Cara tells her to show Luke the boards as a reward but Jaime cuts her off saying she is doing so anyway. We go through each board one by one. He signs a curse when he sees the scorpion skewers.

– You know what makes it great that Jaime of all people misses the -not Jesus- surfboard, but rather St. Anthony who is another religious figure?

phuket jaime 4

Because she is the only one wearing a cross around her neck out of the six players remaining!

– Jaime & Cara re-enter their cab.

JAIME: I knew all except for Jesus!

maui jaime edmundson

I love that the camera focuses on her cross right after she says this.

– Luke cries in the taxi for blowing it. Jaime also cries. Margie and Cara console their teammates respectively.

maui margie luke 4

Mommy will talk to the producers so we can keep playing until we win, okay?

– We get a unique mellow tune as we see the teams cry in their taxis and talk about how proud they are of each other. Now we see Tammy & Victor.

maui tammy jih 3

Tammy is counting on an improved dental plan with their winnings.

– We see the finish line and the teams cheering. No suspense. Tammy & Victor emerge onto the Finish Mat.

maui finish

Neat shot.

maui phil

Rounds like this make us wonder if TAR really needs a host. I think Phil said about ten words after the ‘Previously On’ segment.

maui tammy jih 4

Her first investment with the million may be to buy some pants.

maui tammy victor jih 3

The Grip of Victory.

– Phil informs them they have won the million dollars after recapping three continents, nine countries, and 40, 000 miles.

– Dawson’s Creek music plays.

– Phil informs Victor that he has cried on the mat a number of times. Victor admits he needed to stay true to his emotions and that it is hard to believe that it all worked out in their favour.

maui linda

A concerned Linda looks on.

maui phil 2

Phil applauds his own jab at Victor.

– Phil points out that Tammy is shaking her head as if this is not happening. She jokes she has no pants on. He asks Tammy if she did prove that she stood up and took the leadership role. She thinks she did and believes after round three that they tried hard to listen to one another.

– Tammy does not think it changed twenty-six years of their relationship, but it has helped it progress. She learns that “the nerdy little Asian girl who could barely hold up her backpack” did quite well.

– Jaime & Cara run onto the mat next.

maui finish 2

I love it when the winning team cheers on the runner-ups as they stand on the mat because it is their way of saying “we beat you here and have the money. Suck it.”

maui jaime cara 10

Real friends hold each other’s hands.

– Jaime cries saying she blew the Roadblock. Cara insists that they did the race together as a team.

JAIME: It is extra special when females can be on the same playing field as men.

Says the playboy model.

– Margie & Luke are still in a taxi. For some reason we get the Lorena & Jason farewell music as if these two are humongous heroes. We see them express how proud they are of one another. Hugging, crying, more hugging, you get the picture.

maui margie luke adams 3

We have some super duper unfinished business.

maui luke adams 5

One day I shall win.

maui margie adams 4

We will. Just let me talk to Mr. Van Munster to sort things out.

– We fade to them entering the mat. Phil signs them their position for the final time. . .this season.

maui luke adams 6

More hugging.

– Phil gets Luke to admit that his mother is the Bioinic Woman. He asks her why his mom is special.

maui margie luke adams 4

And we go back to the deaf thing. Okay, I understand it was a big reason for Luke (and producers) to be on the race, but I wish they would explore more of Luke’s other complex personality traits throughout the season.

maui margie luke adams 5

Am I the only one waiting for Phil to reveal that he is Luke’s real dad?

maui phil 3

Only the second time I have seen Phil on the verge of choking up.

– We cut to Amanda who starts crying. It is an extended cutaway too that makes it seem random.

maui amanda

Amanda wipes away a tear. That hand will turn into a fist when she finds out the truth behind the Blind U-Turn.

– LUKE: I am proud to be the first deaf person on The Amazing Race.

*second

LUKE: Other deaf people could be on The Amazing Race too.

* nope. Luke is the last deaf contestant to appear on the race.

LUKE: No matter what, deaf people can do anything.

* except hear.

– Victor feels like he has done his whole life what people have expected him to do. He likes that there are no walls as to what you could be. He says you can have crazy fun and do whatever you want. It makes life interesting.

It is actually a decent farewell speech. Past ones have been fairly bland. Where did this well-spoken Victor come from?

Next Time on TAR: No more TAR 14. I can tell you that much. Thank god.

maui finish 4

About time. . .about time.

http://popwatch.ew.com/2009/05/11/phil-keoghan-1/

This is Phil’s way of saying “2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th, and 8th will be back in two years. Oh, and the underdogs who I find compelling will be back for an additional third time. Just a heads up.”

COMMENT FROM jen:  I notice that what Phil giving Cara plenty of credit and giving Jamie zero credit. Phil made it very obvious. I still would like to know that how he was able to tell them apart. I watched every episode and still can’t tell them apart.
Phil, there are rumors that for the first time ever, all the teams were sequestered & denied food after the Russia leg. Is this true?

Well, in Russia you line up in a grocery store with your loaf of bread for the day then get out. I have a feeling they did not want to waste it on American reality television contestants.
And seriously, if you struggle with telling Jaime & Cara apart, good luck with Kami & Karli, Shola & Doyin, or Ally & Ashley.

COMMENT FROM INTENSE: i really am disgusted that people keep refering to luke and margie as ‘underdogs.’

Well, it was foreshadowing. Of course a team is an underdog if they lose The Amazing Race on three separate occasions over a five year period.

COMMENT FROM AL CARSDEN: Why is Season 2 never mentioned as one of the greats? There’s never been a team as great as the Chas or Tara and Wil ever since.
I half agree with Phil though – 1,3 + 5 are the best. But 7 and 14 were the worst – if you didn’t like Romber or Luke, you can see there’s nothing there except cheaply done tasks, manufactured drama and a lousy route.

Leave TAR 7 out of this.

COMMENT FROM kobat: Phil, you should a race for the teams that finish either 2nd or 3rd.

Or even better–every team that was on TAR 14.

COMMENT FROM MAGGIE ROWE: To follow up on my “fantasy finale” comment a few days ago, I think I will give V&T the Amazing Nevertoolate Award after hearing Tammy say this morning that she felt sympathy for the other finalists after watching their faces last night during the last leg.
An entertaining season! I liked the humorous parts – the cheese roll, Mel and Mike (how about a Mel and Mike spin-off travel show?)
I’m not keen on the preview spoilers as the show starts, or the recap bits right after the breaks. And yes, I’d love a reunion finale. Also a show on how all the winners are doing now.

Nobody cares about your awards, Maggie. No one.

COMMENT FROM jhab12: I’m not sure why some take it so personality when the team they want to win loses. It’s just a tv show. In a couple days no one will care who won, and none of our lives will be traumatized because a team won we did not like. Tammy and Victor more than earned it.

Yeah. Like those losers who spend eighty hours blogging this season nearly five years after the fact.

Or that person online who created four Facebook accounts to repeatedly tag the admin of the official TAR Canada page and ask why they rigged the race.

COMMENT FROM suebee: I know this has been said before – I haven’t read all the other comments. V & T without a doubt had a huge advantage being Chinese in China. I don’t think it was fair – they were in China for a great length of time not just one episode…They had the edge and you can’t deny it.

There are about another 100 comments like this, and about ten that defend Tammy & Victor.

COMMENT FROM LOLIRIDER: My 3 1/2 year old loves the Amazing Race – he has a picture of Margey and Luke on his wall and didn’t really understand why Keisha and Jen weren’t in the last episode. He wants everybody’s photo on his wall! It’s a great show to watch as a family. Here’s wishing Mel and Mike could have stayed the whole game (YES to Maggie’s travel show idea!) and to more cheese-related detours.

That kid is now about to turn nine. Wonder if he still has a picture of Margie & Luke on his wall in preparation for TAR 24?

COMMENT FROM ANTH: “I’m sure Cara was a great cheerleader on the field, but she is definitely an all-star off the field.”
Please let this equal a cryptic way of saying that there will be another All-Stars, and that Jaime/Cara will be included! My all-time favorite female team (bumping season 5′s Kwins and season 2′s Mary/Peach down).

Kami & Karli are somebody’s favourites? Is this the same person who ranked Lisa & Joni as the 25th greatest team of all time?

And I think Peach is getting her nails done while Mary is getting a beer.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

TAMMY.VICTOR 4.5
MARGIE.LUKE 7.5
JAIME.CARA 3.3

RANK THE LEGS:

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) Beijing, China -> Beijing, China

A Detour where you choose between painting yourselves as opera singers and wandering the streets for hours or take orders in a foreign language to repeat it back is fine.

A Roadblock where you eat an assortment of local delicacies is fine.

A round that has had zero equalizers or rest since the previous round is also fine.

Ending the round at the iconic Bird’s Nest from the Beijing Olympics is great.

An experiment with a U-Turn/Yield/Fast Forward type twist in the penultimate round? I love it.

A team being eliminated due to a pee break only a minute from the pit stop mat as they dropped from third to last as a direct result of that decision is awesome. It is a top ten series highlight.

But guess what drops this down to number nine?

Because Tammy & Victor are in this round where a task involved speaking and understanding a language that they speak fluently with only one round to go! Oh, and did I mention that there was a U-Turn immediately following the task? So Tammy & Victor simply U-Turned their biggest threat and made them do the Mandarin task knowing it could get them eliminated.

I know Jen’s million dollar bathroom break would not have an impact if Tammy & Victor did not have this advantage, but this production error angered ninety percent of the audience. In fact, many newspapers and online sites spoke up about Tammy & Victor’s obscene advantage and said it was one of production’s biggest errors since Family Edition.

I agree with that statement to the point that I must drop what otherwise was fantastic round, and drop it amongst the worst rounds of the whole season.

Just be thankful Tammy & Victor’s three round Mandarin advantage is over and we will have a level playing field in the next location. . .or will we?

10) 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.

11) 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.

12) Beijing, China -> Maui, Hawaii

Hawaiian luau with the pig was part of the Detour.

Jet skis + buoy search = ridiculous.

The surfboard image search was similar to TAR 13’s final task. Not bad, but not great either.

Luke blowing a task that superfans know are coming was the most exciting part of the finale. However, Tammy & Victor’s obvious win balanced that out.

Nothing else really happened. I was most entertained by the one taxi driver who did not play along with Margie, and the operator woman who refused to help Jaime & Cara.

I have absolutely nothing else to say about this final leg except a big ol’ “Boo-urns” regarding the outcome.

RANK THE TEAMS:

1)

Brad & Victoria

The sequel to Fran & Barry, but with improvised vision.

They did quite well by finishing in the middle of the pack both rounds. However, come round three and they made a mistake that far too many racers make:

Intentionally getting yourself on an earlier flight alone but the arrival time is in the middle of the night when you are bound to run into an equalizer.

Even if the 730pm flight panned out for Brad & Victoria, they would have been on the exact same 630am train as the other eight teams. What else should they expect at two o’ clock in the morning?

This is famously known as the error that Uchenna & Joyce made in All Stars where they ended up about twelve hours behind.

The episode was equally boring as the Uchenna & Joyce boot thanks to Brad & Victoria’s flight delay putting them on the mat roughly eight to twelve hours later. I wish we would know how their face was cut up. Did they both face plant on a twig?

Brad’s drug addiction is something we did not learn about until their final appearance. I am not sure why production did not want to incorporate it into his edit beyond the ten second mention, but I must admit that not bashing us over the head with that fact made Brad & Victoria much more ‘real’ than the other teams.

It is too bad that they were gone early because they are one of the 50+ year old couples that have a legitimate chance to win The Amazing Race. Those teams appear rarely on the race.

2)

Mark & Michael

An all-male team cast as fodder? I never knew they made such an animal!

But this season we got Mark & Michael. I must admit that I really thought nothing of Mark & Michael for the past five years until this re-watch. I mean, what is there to talk about other than having penalties in back-to-back rounds?

They were not shown too much because their storyline was downplayed and they ultimately come up short in communicating with Margie & Luke compared to other teams, thus being deemed irrelevant to the season.

Seriously. Pay attention to that fact since I blogged the first episode. Anybody who had a positive relationship with Margie & Luke (Jaime & Cara, Mel & Mike) and those who had a negative relationship (Kisha & Jen and Amanda & Kris) were brought back for a future season.

And who are the only teams from this season that get excluded from the next all-stars? The teams that did not have a relationship or storyline involving Margie & Luke.

Do you see how irritating this season is now? It was really all about Tammy & Victor and Margie & Luke from day one.

But back to Mark & Michael. They were hilarious for reasons never seen before in the TAR franchise–they were oblivious to everything. To other teams, to their own actions, to the actions of others, and to the basic rules that have governed TAR for the past seven years before the season aired.

There might be one person in a duo that is oblivious but never before are both players sharing their own little world equally.

Can you think of any team cast in the first fourteen seasons that could not tell the difference between transvestites and women?

Or not realize that bartering your own items while still possessing cash is a big no-no? Or interrupting the layout of a Detour to sabotage the other teams? Or not knowing to call an airline ahead of time to book flights? Or not realize that you are talking with a fellow racer rather than a ticketing agent? Or not see Phil staring right at you when you enter a room even after he snaps his fingers and whistles?

Mark & Michael did all of those in just nine rounds.

The only bummer is that even though they survived seventy-five percent of the total route, their elimination round is uneventful. Heading into the episode the only thing I remembered is them dancing in slow motion at the Detour.

And the fact Mark & Michael are #2 out of eleven teams in this season’s team ranking shows you how terrible this season really was.

3)

Jaime & Cara

Oh god. You know this cast is not the greatest when I feel compelled to put Jaime & Cara as the third best team for this season.

Jaime & Cara would have been the perfect winners for this season. Beating out Tammy & Victor and Margie & Luke who were meant to be the stars would have been a hilarious ending. Especially given when Jaime & Cara were not only underedited, but portrayed as the most negative team of the season (Jaime anyway).

Starting in TAR 7 with Debbie & Bianca, you know how much I hate the obsession over “we need an all-female team to win! we need an all-female team to win!”

Flo was the first female winner. Do you really want an all-female winner? And if Jaime & Cara broke that barrier, that would have been hilarious.

Jaime & Cara joined Lyn & Karlyn, Dustin & Kandice, and Charla & Mirna as the only all-female teams to make it to the final round. And if memory serves me correct, Linda & Karen and Kisha & Jen are the only other all-female teams to make the Final Four.

The list of teams was short, and knowing how only one percent of the TAR audience knows about Zabrina & Joe Jer, the reputation of all-female teams would continue to be an obsession for another full year.

In fact, as of TAR 23’s end, all-female teams have gone way down in performance over the past three years.

Jaime hates taxi drivers. It doesn’t matter if they are local or foreign. You can tell she hates not being in control of a situation, and that is why she ends up saying things that make the viewers think she has zero cultural awareness. Meanwhile you have Cara who is the biggest optimist and is fine putting up with Jaime’s Type A personality.

I would say these two balanced each other out quite well. They were capable of handling virtually any task. For being cheerleaders, I never really thought them as being dumb. Jaime seemed to have book smarts and good logical thinking, while Cara displayed social smarts and street skills that helped push them ahead.

I remember heading into the Final Four being stumped as to who I could root for to win. After debating who I liked the least, I realized I wanted Jaime & Cara to win. You cannot really say they are truly nasty people when Jaime outright sacrificed any possibility she had at the million bucks just to help out Luke.

Think about Jaime’s reputation. She was portrayed as the most vile and despicable person towards Cara and any locals she met. But somehow this vile and despicable person voluntarily gives up a million bucks just to help out a friend?

Because production wanted to hype Margie & Luke and Tammy & Victor, they never knew what to do with somebody as complex as Jaime.

Did they deserve a slot as an all-female team in a future all-star season? Well, the all-female teams in TAR 12 and 13 have been embarrassing (Kelly & Christy, Kate & Pat, Marianna & Julia, Marisa & Brooke). Christie & Jodi were terrible this season and are ineligible due to Jodi being a casting agent for TAR. Kisha & Jen were poor decision makers.

Jaime & Cara definitely earned their all-star spot. Sure they are no Dustin & Kandice or Charla & Mirna in terms of abilities or entertainment value, but out of TAR 12-14, they look like superstars.

I must say the most common remark I have heard from people reading the TAR 14 blog is “wow, I did not know Jaime & Cara had that little of airtime”. Maybe that was one of the problems with this season. We needed more focus on Jaime & Cara as central characters to make this a better season in the post-production room.

4)

Kisha & Jen

Let’s put all potty jokes to the side for now.

The reason why I rank Kisha & Jen this high is because of how freakin’ awkward of a racer Kisha is all season. From sneezing to laughing to her decision making process, she is one big ball of awkwardness. I think Kisha may be the most awkward person to appear on The Amazing Race.

Jen is not much better in the awkward department. We find out she runs the race commando and loses the race because she had to pee.

I mean, who is willing to put themselves in a position where a pee break is the difference between playing for a million dollars in Hawaii and losing the race for good?

Also, I love how they did not let Margie & Luke intimidate them by exploiting Luke’s disability. They held their own and were unapologetic. Furthermore, they were allowed to act like the victims, but refused to stoop down to Margie & Luke’s level.

Were they worthy of an all-star spot in the future? Given the way they were eliminated, Luke shoving them, and the fact they were one of the stronger all-female teams between TAR 12 and 17, I think it is tough to declare Kisha & Jen’s return as a bad decision.

If they did not shove Luke nor Jen deciding to take care of her unfinished business before checking into the Beijing pit stop, I doubt they return.

5)

Steve & Linda

I wish I could have done more to make the comparisons of Steve to Goofy. Sadly there is only so much you can do in two rounds.

The lesson here is that Linda is terrible at racing. I think her only skill was spotting the yellow sign. Otherwise she qualifies for the short list as one of the weakest racers in TAR history.

I should note that Steve & Linda DO NOT have an abusive relationship. The screen caps and the yelling and the crying just make it appear that way.

I found them to be more ‘real’ and entertaining than Preston & Jennifer. Other than that they had zero business being on a show as competitive as TAR. It is a miracle that they even made it to round two overall.

6)

Margie & Luke

I have a tough time ranking Margie & Luke. If we all made a list for the top five teams we expected to play three times from the first seventeen seasons of TAR, Margie & Luke would be not far behind Dustin & Kandice, David & Mary, Rob & Amber, and Charla & Mirna.

So why number six? Because of how much production shoved them down our throats like a scorpion and a grasshopper. In fact it is the same reason why Tammy & Victor are low in my rankings too. Any team that production goes out of their way to hog the airtime and push others to the side annoys me. Especially when it is not necessary or needed.

Phil called them underdogs all season long. How so? They are perhaps one of the fittest teams cast for this season, and we just came off two consecutive seasons where a parent-child team made it to the Final Four or further. I think Luke’s disability was made a far bigger deal than it actually was, and producers had already planned out a route that had far more musically inclined tasks than any other season ever.

What I wish editors would have focused on is that Margie & Luke were probably the meanest and least likeable parent-child team to ever run the race. Parent-child teams are either fan favourites or complex fan favourites immediately.

Well, if you exclude Susan & Patrick that is.

But Margie has a rough personality. I think she is far more interesting than Luke. I cannot really think of a person who seems to have a tough time getting along with people or not knowing how to exactly use charm. However, she is extremely fit, competitive, and protective.

She could not be more different from Toni, Susan, Ralph, Ronald, and Jim who have all ran the race with their child in past seasons. The way she is visibly angry, frustrated, and aggressive all season long was fun to watch.

Seeing Luke go through the race with a disability was fun for about one round. After that we got the idea. Yes, he has to work a bit harder at times or rely on his mother. But we also saw just how few practical skills that Luke holds. He really is the reality TV superfan who goes on television only to find out that he does not possess many real life skills.

And knowing how active and aggressive Margie is, my guess is Margie’s children did not really need to learn any. Margie probably integrated all of those skills into her regular exercise regiment.

Seeing the way Luke shoved Kisha & Jen three times over a two-episode stretch, Margie’s blowup, and how Margie & Luke refused to get over it showed you how flawed of racers they really are. I think Margie & Luke are used to having things go their way because things work out when Margie intervenes, but that was probably the first time in a long time that Margie had been her wishes. She wanted Kisha & Jen to be ultimately punished right on the spot, but producers did not comply.

Now the question you probably want me to answer: Should Margie & Luke have returned twice, let alone once?

Three times in five years? No. That is too much. To make three appearances between TAR 14 and TAR 24 is too excessive.

My concern with them returning is that they have not changed at all. I have not seen TAR 18 yet, but my assessment is that they would be the exact same people. If they played differently or if Luke was a bit stronger as a person, and Margie was a few years grumpier, I think they would be a fascinating team to watch.

I have heard that they are just not worth watching in TAR 18. A four season gap between appearances was too much.

I agree. They played a full season and had the most airtime of any team. They are a close mother-son team. No big blunders during the season either. The surfboard task was tough enough that screwing up those last two boards is not that much of a blunder. I think Toni & Dallas needed that mother-son slot more than Margie & Luke did. Toni & Dallas had unfinished business. Margie & Luke did not. I would be fine with the Margie & Luke legacy ending here.

But as you can see, they were such a complex team that it was tough to pass them up. If anything, there was reasonable grounds to pick Margie & Luke and Toni & Dallas to both be chosen for the second TAR All Star.

As you can see, even I am divided on how to respond to Margie & Luke. Am I responding to the edit or how they truly are? I do not know.

7)

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.

8)

Mel & Mike

Cast only because of Mike’s “fame”. In fact, those quotes are not enough. Mike is “”famous”” because of his appearance in School of Rock and Undeclared, and his writing credits for Dawson’s Creek, School of Rock, and some other shows in the decade leading up to TAR 14 that nobody really cares about.

Mel is a great speaker. Add in that he is the oldest racer to make it to the seventh round and you have a candidate for one of very few older racers who could do fine if he returned in an all-star format.

Although Fran & Barry would be ideal.

Some of their jokes were a bit forced and playing up for the camera, but hey, they need to advance their careers somehow.

I am sure production liked them because they were able to be entertaining characters without needing to argue with other teams.

We shall always wonder why they never took the unaired Fast Forward. Oh well.

And yes, they are dropped to fourth because their “”fame”” is the only reason why they were cast for this race.

9)

Christie & Jodi

They would be ranked higher, but it is for what Jodi does in the future that her and Christie are brought this low.

Christie’s bubbly moments were unlike what virtually anybody could bring to the TAR franchise. She was unintentionally funny.

Jodi was way too serious and just. . .ugh, no sense of humour at all. Then she manages to screw up a season down the road.

Plus Jodi was terribly skilled as a racer. The only time her and Christie had a decent finish is when they were lucky to be at the correct airport to head into Krasnoyarsk alone with two other teams.

And those two teams? Kisha & Jen and Mark & Michael.

Jodi could possibly be the worst racer we have encountered in the TAR franchise to make it as far as seventh.

10)

Amanda & Chris/Kris & Jon

I did not like how they were the only returning players in this cast. If you are going to bring people back, it should be in an all-star format. No different with Survivor and Big Brother.
.
.
.
I seriously have nothing to say about Amanda & Kris. Like. . .what the f— is there to say?

11)

Tammy & Victor

TAR 14 was filmed at the end of 2008 during the American economic meltdown, and also happened to be the same year that the Beijing Olympics occurred. If you were around in 2008 and 2009, all of the talk in North America was surrounding how China would take over the world within the next twenty years. There was a global fear that they would go on to be the new world superpower.

Whether or not that will be true is not really the point, but in 2008 and 2009 that was what the whole world was talking about. Beijing just hosted an Olympic games that sent out a message to the international community that there may be a changing of the guard for who could be controlling the direction of the global climate.

I bring this up because this is the only reasonable explanation to cast the first ever Asian-American team in TAR history. Both were longtime race fans, but somehow they were cast for the first TAR season after the Beijing Olympics and the American economic crash.

It is too bad that they could not be on another season where their run in a Romanian leg or being in a country other than China at the end would have been too much pressure for them. Instead they receive a very comforting route where they do not need to be in a situation that truly tests them. Yes, Romania was tough for them but a team was ten hours behind them. That does not really count.

They were bland, tough for any brother-sister audience to relate to at all, and had a tough time utilizing charm. Add in their enormous advantage beginning in round seven, and you have a team that proceeds to annoy ninety percent of the audience.

Most of Tammy & Victor’s post-race interviews were spent defending their unprecedented language advantage. TAR not only had never spent three rounds in a country before, but the fact that these rounds determined who finished 4th and 5th heading into the final round made an unprecedented advantage that much more extreme.

Add in the fact that they are lawyers fuelled the convenient “they do not really need the money” complaint that comes up whenever the audience’s least favourite team happens to win a reality competition.

What is the worst for Tammy & Victor’s legacy is that nobody thought of their win as being legitimate. In fact, several commentators and viewers thought that this was the only season that was rigged in their eyes. If you know how much I defend The Amazing Race and Survivor in terms of credibility, then you would understand how big of an issue it was when even I think this season may have been rigged.

I will say that I do not believe any other season of The Amazing Race was remotely close to being fixed. I will only entertain that theory when it comes to TAR 14.

With that being said, I think that is why I feel bad for Tammy & Victor. If they are on Twitter like most TAR and Survivor contestants are nowadays, they would have been attacked for a good week or so. I know they probably heard enough complaints through e-mail and on the streets. Heck, their post-race interviews were already spent defending their language advantage.

Do I think Tammy & Victor had any influence over what happened? No. They played the race to the best of their abilities, and the race course happened to favour them. That would be like saying Boston Rob was in on Redemption Island being rigged for him. You can only blame producers. Contestants have nothing to do with what goes on behind the scenes unless Stephenie LaGrossa loses a tiebreaker challenge to Bobby Jon Drinkard.

Given how much Tammy & Victor and Margie & Luke were pushed onto us by production every single week, I know this is what production wanted. However, production did not expect this much of a negative reaction by the audience.

In short, Tammy & Victor are great people who do not make for entertaining competitive reality TV contestants. And when TAR fixes the race for the only time in history, it makes Tammy & Victor’s stock drop significantly.

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 Steve & Linda 9.5
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 Brad & Victoria 6.6666666666 – Fran & Barry 2.0
7th Christie & Jodi 6.6666666 – Mark of the Casting Director Devil
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
5th Mark & Michael 5.22
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
8th Amanda & Kris – 4.5 Blind U-Turned
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF
4th Kisha & Jen 4.27 U-Turned
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
2nd Jaime & Cara 3.92
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 Mel & Mike 3.57
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–
3rd Margie & Luke 2.75 Used U-Turn
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
1st Tammy & Victor 2.33 Used U-Turn. Chinese.
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.

Conclusion

This season is awful. How awful? I will answer this question right away before I give my final thoughts on the season.

1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10
2. The Amazing Race 12 – 9.0/10
3. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10
4. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10
5. The Amazing Race 9 – 8.6/10
6. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
7. The Amazing Race 11: All Stars 7.2/10
8. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
9. The Amazing Race 13 – 6.8/10
10. The Amazing Race 10 – 6.5/10
11. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10
12. The Amazing Race Asia 1 – 4.55/10
13. The Amazing Race 8 – 4.0/10
14. The Amazing Race 6 – 3.9/10
15. The Amazing Race 14 – 2.5/10

Yeah. That awful.

Tammy & Victor’s Mandarin advantage for three rounds, knowledge of Thailand, and growing up in Hawaii makes a season that could have been a solid six or seven drop down to a three.

So why is it a six or seven without Tammy & Victor’s favouritism by producers? Because the countries visited this season had already been visited multiple times over the past five seasons. Two rounds in Thailand, two rounds in Russia, a round in India, three rounds in China, and a final round in Hawaii makes the last 75% of the race route seem unoriginal and bland.

I admit I enjoyed Olympic Beijing, but other than that the highlights in terms of location was central Europe. If you know anything about TAR, central Europe is usually their least memorable trip whenever they choose to visit it.

The scramble for flights was somewhat interesting for the first few rounds, but that died down in the later legs as teams were typically on the same flights.

Not much to complain about in terms of tasks this season. The wheel of cheese is forever in the running for top twenty challenges in TAR history. Stacking wood in Russia was also a great task. The only complaint is that the foot massage task was just “suffer through this for ten minutes and get your clue”, or some of the things like the propeller Roadblock that took seconds versus minutes to complete. But that is a complaint you could apply to some of TAR 12’s and 13’s tasks.

The Blind U-Turn was refreshing and probably much needed after TAR 13 went through the whole season without any U-Turns being used.

The cast this season was a bit like TAR 6 in that they seemed like minor league versions of teams before them.
– Tammy & Victor were dominating but less interesting siblings compared to Nick & Starr
– Margie & Luke were far less likeable compared to Toni & Dallas and probably exploited Luke’s disability way more than what should have occurred.
– Mel & Mike were cast solely based on their Hollywood background
– Mark & Michael were of small value compared to a Ken & Gerard, and delivered little.
– Christie & Jodi were cast so Jodi could ruin TAR 18
– Brad & Victoria went home too early
– Preston & Jennifer may have been the bickering dating couple that neded to make it further along in the race
– Steve reminded me of Goofy, but they were a prime example of fodder.

The other two teams, Kisha & Jen and Jaime & Cara, were probably the biggest bright spots of the season that made it into the final stretch of the race. And sadly their airtime was connected to however Margie & Luke treated them, which is as annoying as hell.

Yeah, the huge amount of focus on Margie & Luke and Tammy & Victor while nearly all other teams are in minor roles may be one of the biggest editing errors of all-time.

Phil ranking this season as high as TAR 1, 3, 5, and 7 is a head-scratcher. But maybe it is an ode to how little Phil is invested into analyzing the race or not really minding Tammy & Victor’s possible riggage. Oh, and the fact that the product on the actual race did not translate well to the product we saw on television.

I must say it is odd to see a season without a single mention of the Fast Forward. I miss the days where it appeared every round to make things fair and strategic.

The one thing I did like is that production has nearly perfected To Be Continued rounds. Making it two rounds in a row without an equalizer is a huge step in the right direction. The only other remedy they need to make is that the last place team still needs to complete a Speed Bump in the second half of the day.

I hated the brand new ‘Coming Up’ segments and the excessive use of flashbacks.

I am indifferent to using a new intro and graphics.

Lastly, the worst thing to come out of this season is that Jodi Wincheski becomes a casting director. I am in disbelief that she was allowed to cast five of her friends to make up nearly half of the cast for the second all-star season. This season suffers its rating because it managed to ruin TWO seasons instead of one. That is why the rating for this season drops even further to a 2.5.

And that’s it. A season with an absurd second half that favoured one team ruined the credibility of the whole season. That is what makes a mediocre season turn into an awful season. Very few viewers did not have a sour taste in their mouths at the end of the season finale. Perhaps the best thing to come out of this season’s end is that production knew to never favour one team so heavily ever again.

Coming Up Next: It has been exactly one year since I blogged TAR Asia. Check back in the New Year for the start of the TAR Asia 2. Seeing how TAR 14 was dominated by Asians and a deaf contestant, I thought it would be the perfect segue.

Thank you everybody for making 2013 the most successful year for this blog yet. Not only has the viewership improved, but the quality of each of my posts has improved as well. My apologies to anyone who wanted to see me blog the remaining twenty-six episode of Big Brother Canada–just didn’t have time for it.

For those of you who read this blog in order to catch up on The Ultimate Fighter seasons, you will be happy to hear that I intend to blog all of TUF 12 during January. I am not sure how many seasons I will complete this year, but note that I am doing my best to at least reach TUF 16 by the end of the year as well as posting my TUF 18 and TUF Canada blog.

P.S. Our winners for TAR 14:

chun li endjet li

And let us never speak of it again.

chun li end 2

Advertisements
This entry was posted in The Amazing Race, The Amazing Race 14, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Amazing Race 14 episode 12 ranking

  1. Jordan says:

    I like you blogs and I should recommend it to others, This season being the exception because of you hatred of it makes it awkward for readers who like the season

    • Ah, fan mail!

      Hey Jordan,

      I think when it comes to Survivor or TAR, every fan is entitled to disliking a season that may go against the grain of public opinion.

      Or liking a season that nobody else does. For instance, I love Survivor: Fiji and Survivor: Thailand.

      On paper, TAR 14 is not an objectionable season. No really stupid twists, and the two Beijing rounds right before the end are grueling.

      If you replace Tammy & Victor (and their huge familiarity advantage with locations in Thailand and beyond) with another team, I can pretty much guarantee you my rating goes up.

      And this season is one of the few seasons of TAR to have a long-term influence considering Jodi Wincheski becomes a member of casting, and casts all of her friends from this season for TAR 18.

      This season’s blog was written after TAR 18 had already aired, and thus I am probably harsher on TAR 14 than if it were a standalone product. One could argue that is unfair to TAR 14 in general.

      Plus maybe I should give it a couple extra points because I have used the Margie’s “They’re LAUGHING at him” meme about thirty times on my podcast and in Facebook groups online.

      And Victor’s leg cramp in the taxi has yet to get old for me as well from a comedic standpoint.

      Anyways, glad to hear from you. It does not matter (too much) if you disagree with my assessment, but just happy to know that you are indeed reading!

      — Logan

      • Jordan says:

        I like your looking at your team ranking and we both like Survivor Nicaragua (excluding The Double Quit of Course, which is the main reason it is hated). Also, Thailand is a good season too, but lost a lot of entertaining people pre-merge(John, Tanya, Ghandia, Robb & Shii Ann) and an unlikable winner

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s