“The Heart of a Lion, The Brain of a Meredith & Maria”
Previously on TAR: Friends Zev & Justin hit their stride in Phnom Penh, Cambodia by befriending a taxi driver until Zev collapsed at the Roadblock allowing Sam & Dan to surge ahead. But it was Zev & Justin who finished first.
However, they were hit with devastating news knocking them out of first. And eventually out of the race.
Eight teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
EDITOR’S NOTE: That is indeed the first time a ‘Previously on’ segment was done entirely about one team. The only other team even shown was indeed Sam & Dan, and that is because they were directly with Zev & Justin. I think this indicates that producers were already aiming to bring back Zev & Justin for a future season. In fact I would not be surprised if TAR 16 was supposed to be some sort of all-star season.
Round four truly was all about Zev & Justin.
We flip a new page as we now never mention Zev & Justin again for the remainder of the season. Players previously invisible will have their edits substantially pick up.
JAPAN – VIETNAM – CAMBODIA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – THE NETHERLANDS – SWEDEN – ESTONIA – CZECH REPUBLIC – UNITED STATES
– Phil introduces us to Phnom Penh. it is renowned for historical institutions and premiere universities.
And also promoter of the failed CBS medical drama, Three Rivers.
– Sam & Dan will depart first at 12:25pm. That means the pit stop was well over twelve hours.
– They read that they will fly to the Persian Gulf and find the world’s tallest structure–the Burj Dubai.
Phil reveals it is a colossal structure still being built (but completed by the time TAR 15 was done airing on TV) and is TWICE the size of the Empire State Building.
It is over eight hundred metres tall. It is 25% taller than the previous tallest structure in the world. The CN Tower is three hundred metres shorter than it. Incredible.
It also gave birth to the world’s tallest crane. Look at how small those skyscrapers are in this shot. What a perspective.
– Once teams figure out they will be traveling 3, 300 miles to Dubai, they will have to make their way to this fountain. When they arrive, they must sign up for one of two groups who will take an elevator to the 124th floor of the Burj Dubai where their next clue will be waiting.
The 124th floor is not a place where you would want to monkey around. I really hope the power does not go out.
– Sam & Dan wonder what it could be. They directly reference Zev & Justin’s blunder. Sam wants to use the head start to finish first this round.
SAM: Where is the Persian Gulf?
DRIVER: I’m not sure, sir.
– Harlem Globetrotters depart second at 12:27pm. Big Easy says they are a strong team because they are tough. He cites going through a hurricane in New Orleans. I think her name was Katrina. They take a taxi to an Internet cafe.
– Brian & Ericka depart third at 12:30pm. He thinks it is a big game of karma. Ericka insists repeatedly that Dubai has the world’s tallest building. Flight Time and Big Easy both look it up on the Internet.
I believe his chair has been adjusted as high as it will go.
BIG EASY: They got one leaving at three thirty today and connect in Bangkok.
FLIGHT TIME: Book that one!
BIG EASY: But you gotta book twenty-four hours in advance.
FLIGHT TIME: So we might as well go to the airport.
BIG EASY: Yep. . .
Then here it comes.
Chicken and Farooq are proud.
– Gary & Matt depart fourth at 12:35pm. Gary wets himself when he hears they are going to the world’s tallest building. Gary did not intend to play a game of follow the leader and believes they are smarter than that.
Doesn’t Gary know that they finished first in a round already and almost always near the top?
– For some reason the fun TAR 8ish music camp soundtrack plays as Gary & Matt are in a cab.
– Megan & Cheyne depart at 12:37pm in fifth. Cheyne is never content to be in a position other than the top.
CHEYNE: We’ve got the frontrunner type mentality. We are never content with anything other than the top.
But yet are content sitting like that. Ew.
– Sam & Dan are at the airport and ask one of the dumbest questions I have heard on TAR.
SAM: Can we book two tickets to the Persian Gulf?
LADY: I have never heard of this before.
SAM: Okay. Persian Gulf is like a big area.
Geez, what type of flu is going through Vietnam and Cambodia? Even she is wearing a face mask.
– Brian & Ericka are now at the airport. They have a specific location in mind.
SAM: Persian Gulf isn’t even a country!
BRIAN (whisper): Gotta go to Dubai?
ERICKA: That’s where it is.
SAM: Okay, but which city in Dubai?
FUN FACT: At my mother’s family reunion where 400+ people attended, we had a talent show for one of the nights. My talent at the age of eleven or twelve was that I could name the capital of any country in the world. My uncle, thinking he could trick me, asked what the capital of Dubai was. I just rolled my eyes and said “uh, that’s a city in United Arab Emirates, whose capital is Abu Dhabi” and simply moved on.
– Lance & Keri begin in sixth at 12:47pm.
The lion has woken up.
– Keri talks about her bond with Lance and the love for one another. She avoids laughing like Janice from FRIENDS.
KERI: Nothing can tear us apawwwwwt.
I giggle like a little school girl when I hear a Bostonian accent in full effect.
– Lance agrees with Keri, but for slightly less romantic reasons.
LANCE: And we have a lot of non-refundable deposits on the wedding at this point. So, I’m not losing out on that. We’re going through with it.
Dare I suggest he does his grocery shopping at a ninety-nine cent store?
– Mika & Canaan depart in seventh at 12:49am.
Has a team ever finished seventh or lower in each of the first four rounds of play and survive to a fifth round? So far only Don & Mary Jean.
That’s right. Mika & Canaan are performing as poorly as one of the oldest couples to ever compete on The Amazing Race.
– Once they read the clue, we instantly elaborate upon Mika’s fear of heights.
MIKA: Heights. . .aren’t my thing.
CANAAN: You need to change your little attitude of yours this morning.
MIKA: You need to quit telling me what to do.
Yeah, quit telling her to do anything. Like, she has done one out of four Roadblocks and only has to find a way to complete four more by the end of the season.
Also, quit telling her to not consider taking a four hour penalty if they reach a height related task.
– Maria & Tiffany depart last at 12:55pm. Tiffany never imagined receiving an early Christmas gift due to a team screwing up.
MARIA: It’s unfortunate what happened to Zev & Justin but the rules are the rules.
Unfortunate? Please, Maria. You hated them. You could not freakin’ care less.
Beat it, Zev & Justin.
TIFFANY: We’re appreciative of our lucky chances and believe we can be contenders.
– Lance & Keri are at an Internet cafe. All other teams are at an airline counter.
For the second round in a row, we see Lance & Keri stuck at an Internet cafe. I am sure this will be equally disastrous compared to their previous visit.
LANCE: The reason the flights are disappearing is because they are getting booked, and we’ve gotta book a flight.
KERI: They’re not getting booked. It’s this computer.
LANCE: It’s not the computer, it’s the site. I’m telling you.
KERI: Okay, yeah uh huh.
Yeah, I think Keri is right here. Blue screen does not translate to “oops, all seats booked in the last ten seconds. Look for more flights? Click here.”
– Globetrotters and Maria & Tiffany are at the airport now too. Megan & Cheyne inform them of the Bangkok flight. Everyone is on the same plane.
– Lance & Keri could not book anything on the Internet. They take a taxi to the airport. They successfully book tickets alone in line on the same Bangkok flight. Lance’s stupidity of not knowing how the Internet works is rewarded.
Ah. Our first return here since TAR 5! There they went to the top of a hotel, played in sand dunes, and went down a huge freakin’ waterslide.
– The plane lands. Brian & Ericka are first into a taxi. Maria & Tiffany comment on the warmth of Dubai despite it being the middle of the night. All of the taxis look extremely foggy.
Not only are the cameras melting, but Maria & Tiffany and Mika & Canaan are somehow at the top of the pack. I assume that is only temporary.
TIFFANY (post-orgasm): It’sssss warrrrrrm herrrrrre.
CANAAN: Is there a fountain? That’s where we need to go.
Way to be specific.
– Sam & Dan are fourth, Megan & Cheyne fifth, and Lance & Keri are sixth. Globetrotters are seventh. Gary & Matt are last.
– Because this is 2009, and as I mentioned earlier, the US is in the peak of a recession at the time. Gary makes an observation regarding Dubai.
Gary’s tongue in cheek remark is very true. You should hear all of the crazy stories regarding the UAE’s wealth.
– Maria sees the sign-up board. They sign up for a 530am elevator. Brian & Ericka are second. Sam & Dan are third to the board. But where are Mika & Canaan?
Is that puddle of mud a fountain?
Canaan asks for directions to the retro Disco Fountain.
Mika’s frustration setting in.
– The man standing tells Mika if they are asking for directions to the water fountain. I should note Canaan is getting really loud and rude. The man standing says it is at the Address Hotel which Canaan whines is something they already passed by earlier in the ride.
CANAAN: The guy’s an idiot.
Eh, have you watched how you and Mika performed in the first four rounds? I think even he could finish better than seventh at some point in the first four episodes.
– Megan & Cheyne take the final spot on the 530am elevator. It was good while it lasted, Mika & Canaan.
I am not sure if proving you are smarter than Mika & Canaan is something worth celebrating.
– Mika & Canaan sign up for the 545am elevator. So do Globetrotters, Lance & Keri, and Gary & Matt. Gary hopes fifteen minutes is not enough to break them.
– Morning. Unique soundtrack plays. Very inspired.
LANCE: I’m just gonna look up. I hope a plane doesn’t nick me in the head.
C’mon Lance. Just jump up 829 metres to roundhouse the spire. It can’t be that hard.
BRIAN: This morning we’re with the poker girls, the brothers, and Team Malibu Ken & Barbie.
We’ll Figure It Out When We Get There to Surfer Boy to Malibu Ken to Cheyne “I Shat Myself” Whitney.
– Gary is at the bottom and talks about being at the base of the building. Mika begins crying. Flight Time says Mika was crying because she was afraid they may have to do some sort of jump.
“No one told me we would have to jump off of buildings in The Amazing Race!”
Jumping off of a building? More like FLIGHT TIME and Big Easy.
Oh wait. That doesn’t work.
CANAAN: Mika’s a little scared. Rightfully so. But we’re going to do this thing together.
You’ve done four out of five Roadblocks, Canaan. She has no interest in doing anything adventurous on this race.
– Maria & Tiffany are first to the clue box. Tiffany describes it as “like the world’s tallest building”. Cheyne says they were high to the point that they could only see clouds.
How’s the view from up there?
– Teams read they must head to a parking structure at the Dubai Mall and find a marked car to drive to the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve where they will ride 4×4 vehicles to their next clue.
Yes! Self-driving after five rounds! About time!
But wait! There’s more!
“What’s this green pamphlet thingy?”
– That’s right. A Fast Forward. Phil reveals it is the only one of the season. Teams must find the Dubai Autodrome which is the only racetrack of its type in the Persian Gulf.
I’d hate to be the poor soul stuck with the car on the left.
– Driving in a F3 open wheel race car in accelerated speeds of over one hundred miles per hour, one team member must complete a lap in 45 seconds or less to receive their next clue.
– Cheyne wants to go for it. Brian comes up with the best way to troll teams at the bottom.
BRIAN: If we see other teams, let’s act like it was the scariest thing ever.
Let’s make sure Mika quits this race over an elevator ride.
– Canaan tells Mika not to listen to the teams as they all exclaim it was crazy. Brian wishes them good luck.
– The leading four teams agree to let Megan & Cheyne take the Fast Forward uncontested. Dan elaborates it would be too big of a risk and create conflict to have a Fast Forward showdown.
It is one of those rare times where teams unanimously agree to have a team step ahead with a big lead.
– How hot is Dubai first thing in the morning?
When two people from San Diego are sweating profusely and faces are red first thing in the morning.
– The trailing four teams have the clue. Mika & Canaan reach the top without incident. Mika expresses how happy she is that they do not have to do any sort of jump.
Wow. That’s what she looks like at the peak of her happiness?
Is she her daughter?
– Big Easy throws his hard hat twenty feet behind him when they return to the base.
He treats it like a doggone frisbee.
– And Flight Time & Big Easy break character.
BIG EASY: This way. This way, Herb!
Whoa! They just called each other by their real name! I thought calling each other by their real name is like if I called my mom ‘Gayle’. That wouldn’t fly at all.
It’s like Big Easy just listened to Obie Trice and realized stage names are dumb after all.
Herbert Lang, real name no gimmickz.
– The Dubai Mall is in plain sight from the base of the tower.
Three teams are all along that railing. Guess who is not running with the other teams to the huge freakin’ Dubai Mall sign?
LANCE: Run a good pace, baby. It won’t kill you.
KERI: Everybody went the other way.
Running a good pace won’t kill you, but running in the wrong direction well.
– Everybody except Lance & Keri are in cars. Mika feels like she discovered a three dollar coin when she can see the world’s tallest building through the sun roof. Gary says he is about to wet himself, but he utters those words with such sincerity.
It’s like Grandpa Simpson is in the backseat.
– And now editors really make fun of Gary when they show Lance & Keri in another parking lot.
That’s right. Lance & Keri keep saying “pee two” aloud to the point that you know it is supposed to be a joke. They even zoom in on that sign which says “P2”. This is ridiculous.
– Lance realizes they should have ran with the other teams. He is sweating and whimpering.
– Commercial break.
– We resume. Lance & Keri are entering an elevator. They are listless.
– Mika is keeping an eye on the Globetrotters behind her to see if they make any turns. Globetrotters turn right while Mika & Canaan turn left.
CANAAN: I don’t know if we’re going the right way.
Maybe you should turn right, then.
– Lance & Keri finally find a car. Keri asks the next car if they know how to get to the reserve, but she asks with the thickest Bostonian accent I have heard in my life.
LANCE: Don’t, don’t, don’t.
Even Lance is embarrassed. For a fellow Bostonian to think even her accent is extreme is really saying something.
Oh no, Keri. . .
KERI: Okay, you drive. I’m not going to ask anybody. You figure it out.
Keri really pulling her weight for the team.
– Megan & Cheyne enter the Race & Drive School.
A place that Meredith & Maria needed to attend before TAR 6.
– Cheyne finds it easy for him to jump into an unexpected situation and handle any scenario. Meanwhile Megan hates not having control of a situation.
– Sam is STOKED to be in the desert. Maria finds the desert to be an amazing place outside of the heat. Those two teams and Brian & Ericka enter a 4×4 shuttle. Sadly they do not get to drive themselves and get stuck in the sand like TAR Asia.
– Mika & Canaan pull over for directions.
MIKA: I have a feeling we’re in last place, but who knows. Never know. Another team may be having the same kind of troubles we’re having.
By that she means being overall shi-ty racers in general.
– Keri yells at Lance that he is going the wrong way three times.
LANCE: This exit?
LANCE: This exit?
KERI: No. Go straight!
(LANCE goes on exit anyway.)
KERI: I said no three times.
LANCE: . . .So we’re not supposed to be on this exit?
I have heard of tuning out your girlfriend, but this is ridiculous.
– Brian comments it was the craziest ride he has ever been on and compares it to the beach. He is first to the clue box. It’s a Roadblock.
BRIAN: Who thinks they can beat the desert heat?
– In this Roadblock, teams must choose a traditional bag and search the landscape for scorded urns buried in the sand. However, not all of the urns contain water. When they find enough water to fill their bag, they must give it to the bedouin and his thirsty camel to receive their next clue.
A traditional bag? Such an odd thing to pick to be traditional. It would be like ‘use this traditional stapler’ or ‘wear this traditional bracelet’.
That urn looks familiar. . .
They designed the urn after freakin’ Q bert.
Or a Deku Scrub.
Bedouins and his camels.
– Brian asks permission to do it.
ERICKA: He didn’t want me to do it because I would probably be crying and frantic because–
BRIAN: She melts.
ERICKA: Chocolate milk in the sun.
Wow. Brian is direct.
Exaggerated kiss if I have ever seen one. Too much duck lip action.
– Ericka narrates Brian’s actions. Squatting. Digging. Brian says he found camel poop.
Careful! Kami is allergic to poop!
– Tiffany is doing the Roadblock. She says it is impossible to have a sense of direction in a huge huge huge desert. Ericka states that Brian is walking to Egypt as the Charla and Mirna of Arabia soundtrack plays.
If he crashes into that blue on the edge, he will be inside of CBS Studios.
– Gary & Matt and Globetrotters are suddenly in the 4x4s in fifth and sixth. They are loving the wild ride.
– Tiffany calls out for Brian. Brian said it was hot and thirsty to the point that he describes the area as an ocean of sand.
I doubt the radius for the Roadblock is that big.
– SAM: Wow, this is definitely the right one to sit out on.
– Tiffany finally finds an urn. It is empty. Brian finds another empty one. So does Tiffany.
TIFFANY: This doesn’t make sense.
Uh, it’s called a needle in a haystack.
– Big Easy and Matt are doing the Roadblock. The rest of the teams tell each other to hush as they currently have a four-team alliance with Megan & Cheyne going. The bottom four teams are all on their own.
– Brian is first to find an urn full of water.
Brian should urinate in the urn. That would be funny.
– Lance & Keri are still driving in Dubai.
LANCE: I’m gonna go 44 East.
KERI: Use your judgment.
LANCE: My judgment sucks. Hahaha!
Why he became an attorney instead of a judge.
– Cheyne starts driving. Megan is confident Cheyne will succeed. She pointlessly cries. Cheyne keeps driving.
Funny thing is that his voice is high-pitched when he states it.
– Did Cheyne succeed?
The man in Lance & Keri colours approves.
CHEYNE: I like to drive fast. I’m like Ricky Bobby. I was excited.
Yeah, who wouldn’t like to drive fast like Ricky Bobby?
– They read that they can take a ride in a Maserati to the pit stop which is the amphitheatre at the Souk Madinat Jumeirah.
– MEGAN: Part of the reason why we want to be on this race is for me to be put into situations that I’m not going to be prepared for.
Hold on. Everyone knows Megan did nothing during this Fast Forward, right? The biggest challenge was for her not preparing to watch Cheyne drive a car fast.
Yeah. Megan really came into her own this leg. >_>
By the way, tis is what a Maserati looks like.
– Back at the Roadblock, teams continue to play in the hot sun. Brian has his bag filled. He whispers to Tiffany and Sam where it is located like he is Jack Bauer. This is all a ploy by Brian to secure help from his allies down the road.
What was once an alliance of Maria & Tiffany and Sam & Dan has now expanded to be led by Brian & Ericka and include Megan & Cheyne. Clearly the Haves* versus the Have Nots.
– Ericka cackles when she reaches Brian. They read they must head back to the city and find Ski Dubai. The indoor ski resort which covers an area of four football fields, and was already featured back in TAR Asia 1. This is where teams will find their next clue.
People think Qatar is corrupt for hosting the FIFA World Cup, but man, I think a country may be corrupt when it builds an indoor ski resort.
I was recently discussing the ridiculousness of this in Dubai with reader/contributor Ben. Either you are stuck outside in the 35+ Celsius degrees heat or you go skiing in sub-zero temperatures. The word moderate does not exist for them.
Maybe one day there will be a Springdome and the citizens can finally experience comfortable conditions for the first time in their lives.
– Sam and Tiffany are there together, but Sam’s ladle broke. Tiffany uses her ladle to help out Sam.
MARIA: I think it’s pretty clear we’re in an alliance with them.
If a ladle breaks down through no fault of the team, a replacement ladle can be provided for them. However, no time credit will be awarded for this unlucky situation.
But seriously, how do you give a team a faulty ladle? How cheap can it be to disintegrate before it is being used?
– Matt has found an urn. Maria & Tiffany and Sam & Dan have their clues. Matt found an urn full of water. Gary is amazed because they have caught up with the first group.
Gary goes strangely out of character here. Where did they teach you that kind of language in Montana, Gary?
– Gary & Matt are fifth as they run off. Flight Time yells for Big Easy to complete the task. He believes Big Easy will do it too because he has gone through Katrina.
I like how ‘hood’ needs an apostrophe before it.
– Mika & Canaan see a car pulling up behind them. Mika thinks they could be going the wrong way or could be the done task already. They pull over and await the team. What do ya know, it’s Brian & Ericka.
Just a bit tense, Canaan?
– Canaan puts out his hands in hopes of stopping Brian & Ericka. Ericka tells Brian to be quick to give them the correct directions.
That is the expression of someone who is currently in seventh.
– Brian tells them to turn around and drive five miles then turn to their right.
The look of a man who will help anyone that is not from Boston or the state of Montana.
BRIAN: I’m nice, but I’m not dumb. This game is all about karma. If you scratch somebody’s back, they will scratch yours.
ERICKA: He is waaay nicer than I am.
Did Brian watch TAR 14?
– Ericka says there is an expectation for Miss America to be a certain type of girl. She will pull her claws.
– Keri finds it to be less stressful now that they are on the way to the correct location.
– Gary & Matt, Sam & Dan, and Maria & Tiffany all drive out. Mika & Canaan see Maria & Tiffany pulling out. Maria says a car is blocking her. We hear something similar to a gunshot. Canaan watches it unfold.
Be funny if it was a three year old child.
– DAN: Shut the heck up!
– Teams are all worried as to what happened.
Who knew an Asian woman driver would get into a car accident.
– Maria claims it was the car behind her that triggered her to puncture her radiator.
– Commercial break.
– TIFFANY: They leave these little stakes here which gave the tummy of our car a tickle and now it’s bleeding radiator fluid.
Maria in with the sarcasm. It is amazing how much Maria & Tiffany, Mika & Canaan, and Lance & Keri have sucked all season long.
– Sam & Dan are hesitant to go because Dan would still be out there if not for Tiffany’s ladle. Therefore they decide to wait for Maria & Tiffany and await the replacement car. Considering it broke down at the Roadblock location, it should not take long.
– You know how Big Easy and Flight Time have referenced Hurricane Katrina three times this episode? Well get ready for number four.
That’s. . .really something, Big Easy. Or should I say “Drink Easy”?
FLIGHT TIME: Take your time but be fast!
– Canaan volunteers himself for his fourth Roadblock in five rounds. Mika will have a lot of pressure put on her very soon.
– Sam & Dan want to make sure they get a car.
TIFFANY: It’s not up to you whether we get a car, and we’ll get a car.
Tiffany finally using some common sense. The car shows up.
TIFFANY: Leave it up to the girls to wreck the car.
MARIA: It’s okay. I have an excuse. I am an Asian female driver.
Maria. . .I beat you to the joke.
– Lance wonders if it is the same way they were before. Keri says to follow the signs on the road.
– Charla & Mirna of Arabia music plays as Megan & Cheyne show up to the pit stop.
In TAR 14, nobody wants to help out orphans to win a Fast Forward, but what Americans will do is race our fancy multi-million dollar race cars to get ahead.
Americans: Hates orphans. Loves sports cars.
FIRST PLACE: MEGAN & CHEYNE
– They hug. Phil informs them they have won a trip for two to Jamaica. Sandals, Jamaica? Hot, hot, hot.
The gnome is having a great time.
– PHIL: You must feel good about what you’ve achieved.
CHEYNE: Yeah, I’m really proud of myself and Cheyne after today.
Again, what did you do Cheyne?
– Lance & Keri are finally at the Roadblock. Lance asks if they are the last team. The driver denies any knowledge of teams.
Me don’t speak uh English.
– Speaking of not speaking English, the subtitles are used when Keri says “Oh my god this hawwwwd to run in”.
– Lance is doing the Roadblock. He starts running immediately. Canaan prays.
Yes, a spiritual advantage on the horizon.
– Driving through Dubai. Ericka tells Brian that they just missed the interchange. Brian curses. Christmas music plays as Gary & Matt see the ski hill.
Yep, definitely a nice day for hitting the slopes.
– Gary & Matt have the clue. It’s a Detour. Build a Snowman or Find a Snowman.
But first, here’s Phil skiing!
– In Build a Snowman, teams must transport snow from the frigid conditions indoors to the blistering heat outdoors. Here they must build a traditional snowman. If they can finish their snowman before the heat turns their icy statue into melted slush, they will receive their next clue.
Always summer but never Christmas.
– In Find a Snowman, teams take a chairlift to the top of the “mountain” and sled back down to the mounds of snow. Then they must search the mounds for a tiny snowman. When they have the snowman, they must give it to a polar bear to receive the next clue.
Sam & Dan’s sled will undoubtedly break.
The mounds of cocaine sold to finance an indoor ski resort.
The first polar bear costume where the man wearing it likely has a turban underneath.
– Gary & Matt choose Find a Snowman.
From zero to fifty in 3.5.
– Lance defines the heat as “Hellish”. Canaan finally has the clue. Oh my word, he collapses onto the sand next to Mika.
He is more dramatic than a soccer player.
– Lance meanwhile resorts to his Inner Lou Ferrigno.
Peace, bitches. Producers can clean their own f—ing urns.
By the way, it smells like urine.
– We return to the slopes where we learn a bit more about Gary.
We’re learning all sorts of things about Gary today.
GARY: Do you know what a Dubai Snowman looks like?
MATT: No idea.
GARY: Hopefully it’s not White.
Yeah, the Middle East is racially diverse in its types of SNOWman. I hear they are brown in Dubai.
– Maria & Tiffany pull into the parking lot. They are stunned to see Brian & Ericka showing up simultaneously with them. Sam & Dan travelled with them too. Allthree teams choose to sled and search for the snowman.
In other words, they are all done with the heat.
– Lance keeps finding empty urns. He mocks his performance on the season thus far.
Yeah, it’s no problem when you know Mika & Canaan are beating you every single round thus far. In fact, let’s cut to Mika. She is driving.
MIKA: Isn’t it funny you can drive 120 miles per hour here but it feels like you are going sixty?
Yeah, the desert heat makes us all delusional.
CANAAN: That’s one hundred twenty kilometres per hour. So it is only like sixty, babe.
“Ohhhhhh, so I’m a dumbaaaass. I get it now.”
Damn metric system.
– Even with all of their follies this season thus far, Canaan unintentionally takes one major jab.
Yes, -even- Lance & Keri are doing worse than you. Like, you feel being anywhere higher than last is an enormous upset. Mika & Canaan know they are sub-par racers, but sound like they feel pity for Lance & Keri consistently doing worse than them.
– Lance finds an urn full of water and runs back. He runs back and sums up his farewell to the bedouin.
I like how the bedouin fellow just laughs at him.
– Lance reads the clue. He wants to run another lap but knows they need to race to the next clue.
– Maria & Tiffany have sledded down the base. Sam & Dan reach the bottom. Brian is fast.
Ah, the wonders of the Dubai Crotch Sled.
– If you know stereotypes, I bet you can guess which one of the six players are struggling to get down the hill.
ERICKA: My butt’s cold! I’M COMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING. WOO HOO HOO. WOOOOOOO. HOO HOO HOO. WOO HOO HOO. HOO HOO HOO. WA HA HA. WOO HOO. HA HA HA. My nose is runny!
She even poses for the camera.
– Harlem Globetrotters are currently in sixth as they show up to the hill. They are the fifth of five teams to choose Find the Snowman. Brian proposes that the four teams work together.
Brian & Ericka, Gary & Matt, Sam & Dan, and Maria & Tiffany all in a virtual tie for second.
– We cut back to Lance & Keri.
LANCE: We didn’t come here to lose. We came here to win the whole damn thing. I’m kicking myself. It’s too soon to be out of the race.
– Now back to the Detour.
Yes, Tiffany. Maria is really a mutant and can convert her hands into “man hands”. Maria apologizes for using her woman hands this whole time.
– Ericka’s strategy of digging at the base works.
GARY: How big is it?
ERICKA: Tiny! Tiny! Tiny!
I have never seen Ericka get so excited over talking about a tiny thing in her hands, but I guess that is why she was willing to date a White dude in the first place.
– Ericka exchanges the clue. She has one prayer left for this round.
ERICKA: Please tell me to go to the pit stop.
I think it did. Just a hunch, judging by that Miss Americagasm.
– Teams must now drive themselves to the Souk Madinat Jumeirah. It is in stark contrast to the rest of the city. Our beloved pit stop. Brian & Ericka get into the car and start driving.
– Lance & Keri struggle with directions as they head east instead of turning left.
– All three all-male teams and an all-female team are together. Gary & Matt and Maria & Tiffany switch. Dan wants to switch, but Sam does not want to. Therefore, they stay. Globetrotters start searching a snowman.
I have a tough time picturing Maria & Tiffany building anything, but okay.
– Flight Time chucks his sled into the air as Big Easy trolls Sam & Dan.
One, two, three. . .
– LANCE: This is 66 East.
KERI: I thought we were going west.
LANCE: No, we weren’t.
KERI: Honey, I don’t know.
LANCE: I know, honey.
KERI: Just tell me what I know.
LANCE: I just think you made a mistake.
How can Keri make a mistake when she refuses to do anything in the first place?
Lovely Dubai traffic.
– We resume. Lance & Keri agree they must turn around.
– Back to the slopes. Sam wants to switch saying they could be done with Build.
– Now to Build. Funky Christmas Hallmark music plays.
This looks more like a Big Brother challenge, if anything.
That snowman has an uncanny resemblance to Mr. Blizzard from Super Mario 64.
– How cold was it inside of Ski Dubai?
Cold enough that Maria & Tiffany are relieved to be in the heat.
– Canaan yells at Mika to switch lanes in traffic. Mika refuses to do so in a timely fashion. Canaan is getting frustrated.
MIKA: Stop yelling at me. I’m not stupid.
CANAAN: I didn’t say you were.
But he certainly was thinking it.
– LANCE: We’re now going the right way. I think. Each of our decisions cost us half an hour. We’re just poor, bad, despicable.
KERI: We are directionally challenged.
I think you’re just challenged in general after these five rounds.
– Oh right. A pit stop. Brian & Ericka check in.
SECOND PLACE: BRIAN & ERICKA
– Ericka describes Brian as someone who is loyal, kind, dedicated, and will always go out of his way to help people. That is why she married him.
But the tiny white thing is why she divorced him.
– Sam & Dan opt to switch. Sam agreed because he doesn’t think Harlem Globetrotters would not find it. Seconds later?
Yes, nothing more manly than playing in snow looking for a snowman. Next the most masculine sport will be to make wicked snow angels.
– Have you managed to forget that Big Easy is from New Orleans in the past five minutes?
There you go. Just a quick reminder. That’s all.
Oh, and judging by how quickly they found that snowman, they should be called Flight Time and Search Easy.
– Tiffany announces that the Globetrotters succeeded. Sam & Dan are devastated.
– Mika & Canaan run into the Globetrotters in the parking lot. Flight Time informs them that they should run back to their car and get their coats before entering the ski hill.
CANAAN: That was really kind of them. We ran to the car and grabbed our cold gear. Those Globetrotters helped us out.
“I would have had no idea it would be cold inside of an indoor ski resort”.
– Sam & Dan and Maria & Tiffany all express difficulties with building a snowman. Gary suddenly becomes Grandpa Tomljenovich once again.
GARY: Coming from Montana. . .The cold.
Yep. Editors probably had ten minutes of Gary talking about how the state of Montana relates to this task, but were kind enough to cut down his confessional to five words.
– Matt says they knew they could make a snowman because of being from Montana.
Gary & Matt’s snowman looks like it is preparing for a visit to Dr. Drew’s rehab, but it is approved nonetheless.
The lady keeps a straight face as she approves.
– Gary & Matt are currently in fourth.
– Mika & Canaan are at the clue box. Canaan reads both options.
MIKA: I can’t sled. Never done it.
Canaan doesn’t even know how to react.
Holy crap, Mika. Can you do ANYTHING?!
The last time I went sledding was when I was ten years old. Twelve years ago. Nobody sleds past the age of twelve because all you do is ride down a gradual downward slope on your butt. Then you walk up said slope and repeat. You do so until you are old enough to attend wild parties, and you never have to sled again.
Remember that Olympic hill in TAR 4 that Kelly & Jon rode down on their butts when they forgot their snow rafts? It was ten times scarier than this slope.
This is one of the few things all five year olds are allowed to do, and Mika cannot even do it. No heights. No water. Just using a freakin’ board and sliding on your bum. And she can’t do it!
How in the world is she thinking in her mind that she can do four out of the next five Roadblocks is beyond me. If she was not able to drive, she would be a more incompetent partner than Flo.
Even he didn’t sabotage his own team quite as much!
– Yeah, they’re building a snowman.
– Lance & Keri calculate they are ten minutes away from Ski Dubai.
– Night Before Christmas/Russian doll music plays as Harlem Globetrotters launch off the steps and enter the mat.
They don’t call him Flight Time for nothin’.
FLIGHT TIME: Good job old man.
PHIL: Old man.
Uh, were they talking to you Phil?
And what are the Brinkley Tigers, anyway?
Do they have anything to do with people who were chasing down Christie Brinkley when she was a cougar?
THIRD PLACE: FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY
– Back to the slopes once again. There is a live reindeer in the background! Holy crap.
“Can I go back inside now?”
Do you know in school how you learn that introducing a foreign species into an environment can completely devastate the ecosystem’s food chain? Certain algae here in BC lakes from abroad have drastically altered the food chain in our lakes, and some of our fish have devastated food chains in African lakes.
But did you ever think reindeer of all animals would be introduced to the Dubai landscape? I am curious how they would adapt.
– Maria & Tiffany ask for their snowman to be checked.
Another one ready for Dr. Drew’s rehab!
– Yes, the lady approves it.
A rare shot of the complete route info.
– Maria & Tiffany leave in fifth.
– Mika & Canaan and Sam & Dan continue to build.
CANAAN: We can build a snowman in Virginia and Kentucky. Ain’t no way I’m losing this race because of a snowman.
I bet they are glad to grab their snow gear so they could work in 40 degrees Celsius heat!
Since when does a snowman have chicken legs for arms?
DAN: Just put it in!
That’s what she said.
SAM: One carrot nose, one scarf, three buttons, one hat, one pipe, and breasts for arms.
You sure that’s what you meant, Sam?
– The lady approves of Sam & Dan’s snowman.
“Breasts for arms? I like!”
– Sam & Dan are sixth to receive their clue. Canaan narrates that Sam & Dan have left. Mika is exhausted.
FOURTH PLACE: GARY & MATT
– Maria & Tiffany are lost.
MARIA: West? But it says west? Didn’t you say we have to go east? I don’t understand what you are saying.
Do I have to talk llama to Maria?
– Sam & Dan find a taxi to ask for directions. Lance & Keri pull up to Ski Dubai and run inside. Mika & Canaan’s snowman is praised by the lady as they finish the task in seventh.
The snowman is almost as tall as Mika.
And much taller than Charla.
– Canaan reads the clue because Mika probably can’t read. He thinks they are screwed if Lance & Keri choose the other option. I don’t know how he reached that conclusion, but okay.
– Lance & Keri choose to build the snowman. Therefore, Mika & Canaan are saved?
FIFTH PLACE: SAM & DAN
– They share a slow motion hug where Dan sticks his booty out really far.
– How focused is Tiffany?
You would think a pro poker player from Vegas would be adjusted to the heat. Well, the heat may be one thing, but consistent exercise is another.
– They drive to the pit stop and run onto the mat. Phil does something unique.
PHIL: Maria & Tiffany. . .
TIFFANY: Uh huh? Do you have a crush on me?
PHIL: Mmmmm. . .
PHIL: Pick a number.
Phil is going off script!!!!!!
TIFFANY: I say six.
PHIL: You guys are good with numbers.
PHIL: You are team number six!
– Yeah, even though only one of them could have had the correct number in that situation, Phil praised them both. It is the most obvious attempt at a threesome ever.
PHIL: Now which one of you wants to touch my kiwis?
– Lance & Keri work together to begin the construction of a snowman. Mika & Canaan are asking for directions at a gas station and successfully hire a taxi to lead them.
CANAAN: You know Lance. I don’t see him giving up.
It’s not over until the Fat Lion roars.
SEVENTH PLACE: MIKA & CANAAN
– Are they always going to be seventh? Geez. Five rounds in a row being seventh or worse and somehow still alive. Incredible.
– Goofy music plays as Lance shoves the carrot into the snowman. It breaks.
That snowman has a short life span around a karate master.
He loses an eye too. A broken nose and down to one eye. I wouldn’t expect anything less from a Lance Layne Snowman.
– Lance asks for approval. It is accepted. Lance asks if he can kick the snowman.
Passive euthanasia: Let the 45 degree Celsius heat get to it and melt him to death.
Active euthanasia: Let Lance kick the living snow guts out of you.
Things aren’t looking good for him either way. However, the lady has the best response possible.
She completely trolls Lance in the process.
LANCE: Can I kick him first?
KERI: Honey, just get the clue.
– The snowman is spared from a roundhouse, sadly. I just wish Lance would have destroyed it.
KERI: I wish I could come back. . .just to build a snowman.
Yes. That’s what Dubai is all about in terms of tourism.
KERI: It’s amazing how bad we did today. In the history of all the races, I don’t think anybody has done this bad.
You have lots of catching up to do, Keri.
– Serious music plays as they enter the mat.
LAST PLACE: LANCE & KERI
– Dramatic pause.
Regrets sparing that snowman.
PHIL: I’m really sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from this race.
– Lance has some neat closing words.
LANCE: We had a great time. It was a dream to come here. Keri and I, we have a great relationship. We are different people, but I don’t think I’d want to marry myself. I think it would suck, so. . .
KERI: Two of you would be too much.
LANCE: I don’t think I could handle that.
I personally beg to differ. I think those would be awesome karate duels.
It would be like Lance Layne versus Dark Lance Layne. I would watch that.
Next Time on TAR: Teams take the slide of their lives, but Mika faces her biggest fear.
* Except Maria & Tiffany.
P.S. Wow. Lance & Keri are by far one of the most underrated teams in terms of comedic value in TAR history. This is one of the reasons why TAR 15 has such a sucky second half. You can tell editors crammed in as much of Lance & Keri as they could into each of the first five rounds because Lance provided endless entertainment without being a d—-bag.
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 1.2
Bulls— Round One/Starting Line Eliminations
Eric & Lisa N/A
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 Edwin & Monica 10.0 (Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race.)
10th Neena & Amit 10.0
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????)
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
11th Garrett & Jessica 9.5
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 Marcy & Ron 7.67 – Bald.
9th Isaac & William 7.5
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/)
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Henry & Terri 6.44 Used Their Yield; Finished last on a non-elimination round THREE times. R.I.P. Henry.
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Brett & Kinar 6.33
8th Pailin & Natalie 6.33
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
8th Lance & Keri 6.0
9th Zev & Justin 6.0 Passport lost.
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83
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 R.I.P. Nancy.
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
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
6th Mai & Oliver 4.8 – In a car
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
2nd Pamela & Vanessa 3.92
4th A.D. & Fuzzie 3.90 – U-Turned
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 Diane & Ann 3.75 – Yielded
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25
1st TK & Rachel 3.18
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4thToni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
2nd Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 – Used Yield and U-Turn
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–
5th Henry & Bernie/Bunn-Eh 2.75 – Yielded
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 Vince & Sam 2.45 FF
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF
lol 3rd Marc & Rovilson 1.46 Used Yield and Yielded
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.
Rank the Legs
1) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -> Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Where to begin with this round?
I am not sure how much production intervened to ensure all nine teams were on the same flight, but hey, sometimes you have to give them benefit of the doubt, right?
Cambodia is a rare location for the series, so visiting a place like Cambodia earns big points right there.
Two unique clues were also used in this episode. The opening made teams speak in a whisper like a 1970s foreign journalist as they entered a cafe to receive their next clue. The costumes the journalists wore were amusing. So was Canaan’s refusal to initially read the clue.
The following clue being a picture of Jacqueline Kennedy which also is hanging at her suite on the opposite side of town was really creative. I thought that was really neat.
The Detour of Matching Scarves Like TAR Asia 3’s Handbags versus Selling Helmets to a Family of Four seemed relatively easy. But hey, the leaderboard did shift which means teams were better at it than others.
Although Brian & Ericka got freakin’ lucky.
The monkey Roadblock was really easy for the first two maneuvers, but the final one was difficult enough to shake up the leaderboard a bit too. I just think the first two tasks took a total of thirty seconds to complete. I wish it was five to ten maneuvers. Perhaps the scorching heat that day is what discouraged producers from pushing them.
The pit stop location was neat too, and interactions with taxi drivers and locals were fun.
Then the huge blunder for the leg. Zev & Justin rallied from dead last to make the first flight thanks to standby tickets. They were first to clear Customs, and hail the best taxi driver in TAR for years.
Everything went smoothly for the rest of the day minus Zev’s Roadblock performance, but the taxi driver made up a ton of time and arrived at the pit stop first.
Once there, and undoubtedly told about the prizes they won off-screen, Zev & Justin only find one of two passports. It was depressing to see the most well-liked team (unless you count Maria & Tiffany’s perspective) kick absolute butt on that leg, but find out they made a bigger blunder than Toni & Dallas.
Keep in mind Dallas lost their passports and money in TAR 13, but he was choking so much at each task that I can guarantee you him and Toni would have been eliminated no matter what.
In Zev & Justin’s case, I was expecting them to hit Final Three or Final Four of this season, but Justin misplacing crucial items for the second time in three rounds led to their elimination.
Cambodia has not been re-visited since despite being a great location in TAR 13 and 15.
P.S. Who can forget monkeys, unicycles, the band, and Lance challenging Phil to a fight after him and Keri missed ANOTHER clue?
2) Cai Be, Vietnam -> Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
No equalizers. They started out the day by traveling a couple hours via taxi to Ho Chi Minh City. The chaotic nature of Ho Chi Minh City and its ties to American history on an American program is always neat to see.
The Teri & Ian moment for this season came through Marcy whose experience became a side story for this round. Perhaps if she made it further her and Ron would have had a more dynamic edit.
The tasks were fine. Disassembling VCRs saw a shift in the leaderboard which means there was some skill to it. Same with the Child’s Play Detour with hauling the heavy animals across a few blocks to collect balloons.
Lance & Keri have officially taken the crown from Fran & Barry. Like, Lance & Keri missed the post office clue, the pit stop, lost on the way to the Roadblock, the lady holding the clue at the end of the Detour, and MISSED THE CLUE THEY WERE HOLDING IN THEIR HANDS!!!
Never before has a team screwed up on every single route marker during the leg.
And somehow they still survived.
The locations were fun. The interaction with locals was necessary after ignoring locals for the first two rounds. Doing a labour related task within the community was great.
I have no complaints about this round except why Marcy & Ron were silly enough to choose Word Play which looked really tough on paper.
The premiere was awful. The second round was passable. But this round? Now we are finally back on track with what Amazing Race is supposed to be like.
P.S. I enjoyed the uniqueness of grabbing the bullet from a dragon’s mouth, needing to open the bullet, and seeing the picture of the post office inside. I thought that was a nice way to start the round.
3) Phnom Penh, Cambodia -> Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I love self-drive legs. . .but I HATE needles in haystacks.
ROADBLOCK: Search the desert for one of few urns that contains water.
DETOUR: Find a snowman in a huge mound or build it yourself.
It was TAR’s second trip to Dubai (previous trip was in TAR 5). Much like TAR Asia 1, they checked out the desert and the indoor ski resorts.
Our first Fast Forward since TAR 14’s unaired orphanage Fast Forward was ignored by all teams, and Megan & Cheyne were the first team to claim it since Nick & Starr ate cow butt before Terence’s vegetarian stomach could.
The race car Fast Forward would oddly enough be re-used in a United Arab Emirates trip in TAR 23.
The main storyline for this round was heavily centred around Brian & Ericka helping every team not named Flight Time, Big Easy, Lance, or Keri.
The initial trip to the tallest tower on the planet was neat. Seeing how it was making the skyscrapers downtown look miniscule in comparison, you get a sense that this is one building you would be terrified to do some tower jumping.
Maria helped repair the reputation of Asian female drivers by puncturing her radiator when she ran into a visible stake.
The other continuing story of the round was Maria & Tiffany finishing sixth, Mika & Canaan finishing seventh, and Lance & Keri finishing eighth for the fifth round in a row as the other five teams continued to play for who actually has a chance in Hell of winning the season.
Dan’s ladle breaking through no fault of his own was funny. I love that he acted like he could not scoop out water without Tiffany’s ladle when the bowl portion of his ladle was still functioning.
The round ends on a depressing note as Lance & Keri get beaten by Mika & Canaan. The lion is put to rest. One day he shall roar again.
4) Tokyo, Japan -> Cai Be, Vietnam
Producers must have known it was going to be a two-hour two round season premiere beforehand, because there are very few tasks this round.
Placing mud against fruit trees, walking to a farmer’s festival to herd ducks, and walking to the pit stop were the only things they did.
Yes, there was a flight and bus scramble, but none of that mattered as all teams were on the same plane and all teams were equalized at the docks.
The best part about this round is that editors went back to traditional TAR 1 style of editing. There were few tasks, and were crammed into the end of the episode. Their focus was instead on ten of the eleven teams. I say ten because Marcy & Ron were rarely shown for the whole episode.
A surprising amount of focus was on Maria & Tiffany and Sam & Dan. The Globetrotters may go on to play three times, but they were really near the bottom for airtime. Zev & Justin stole the show for their rollercoaster ride as Justin choked with losing the clue but Zev not only gave away his jacket to a stranger but made up a ton of time at the duck herding task.
Maria & Tiffany could have been the first team in TAR history to play two rounds of TAR and finish with a 11.0 average, but the Roadblock being a duck herding task which Tiffany did when she was a kid may be the biggest miracle they could have hoped for.
We learn about Tiffany’s identity because, well, she flat out revealed it to a stranger with teams within earshot, and made the episode about her. God she’s so selfish.
Oh, and the Speed Bump was super easy as usual. People have been complaining that the Country Singers had it too easy with Speed Bumps in TAR 24, but viewers forget that easy Speed Bumps date all the way back to TAR 15. Serving soup or transporting a typewriter?
Even with the faults of this round, it was still ten times the first round. Because instead of it being a cheap game show, this round truly felt like we were watching The Amazing Race.
Oh, and Garrett & Jessica were eliminated. How tragic.
5) Los Angeles, USA -> Tokyo, Japan
Oh god. Where to begin? The design for this round is worse than I remembered. I fully understand now why I quit watching TAR until TAR 20 after this episode aired.
Nothing makes sense. I know this world cannot function without a few idiots in the mix, but did all of them need to be working on the design for The Amazing Race 15?
Every decision they made needs to be followed by a chorus of “Why?!”
Why did they need to eliminate the first team at the starting line?
Why did we need a task at the starting line? What does searching for license plates have to do with the city of Los Angeles or Tokyo?
Why not let teams drive to LAX and determine their own order for flights?
Why do a task at the starting line when you can only do two tasks in Japan?
When the starting line task is essentially in a studio, why did we need the Tokyo task to be in a studio too? What does a game show inside of a Japanese studio have to do with Japanese culture?
Why make it an equalizer at the Roadblock to negate any reason for putting teams on separate flights?
Why make it a randomized order of who eats the wasabi rolls rather than the order of when they arrived?
Why have those unique graphics that make it look like they are meant for a Nickelodeon or YTV game show?
Why have the pit stop immediately after the Roadblock?
Why couldn’t Maria & Tiffany keep track of their tourists?
Why have a non-elimination in a round where you eliminated somebody at the starting line? That is extraordinarily insulting to Eric & Lisa.
What a waste for an awesome location like Tokyo.
I will go on record to say that this is the worst leg design in the history of The Amazing Race. It was awful from start to finish.
P.S. Not only did Eric & Lisa skip out on Elimination Station, but they also refused to be at the Finish Line. It was their stance against putting up with this awful twist which prevented it from appearing ever again.
Rank the Teams
1) Lance & Keri
Oh my word. I had very low expectations, and even though the first two rounds were awful, rounds three, four, and five rebounded with lots of material from Lance Layne.
The Karate Kid. Roundhouses. The Bostonian Chuck Norris Lawyer.
That’s right. He was a martial artist, goofball, lawyer, and had the Boston accent to go along with it.
Furthermore, his fiancee sounds like Janet from FRIENDS.
In addition, they absolutely shattered Fran & Barry’s record for not only most missed clues in a season, but missed super duper obvious placements of clues. It was incredible. Between rounds three and four, they missed every single clue box until the round four Detour. If you go through and count it, you will be left speechless that they had such bad eyesight.
Lastly, they frequently had a terrible sense of direction in between route markers. Their only saving grace was doing Detours and Roadblocks reasonably well.
Being ousted in round five is fitting for them considering they were lucky just to survive the first ten minutes of the season (it was either them or Eric & Lisa that would go home). So even if I am bummed to see them out early, it is roughly 4 3/4 episodes longer than what could have very well occurred.
Lance seems genuinely disappointed and let down that Phil refused to take him on in a freestyle wrestling match. In fact, he appeared to suffer from withdrawals whenever he went more than an hour without kicking an object.
I sense that Lance & Keri will stay at the top of this list because I think the entertainment value of TAR 15 will drop in the remaining seven rounds. Nobody else is bringing much to the table. Editors are struggling.
A Megan & Cheyne would be number one on this list if racing ability was the lone criteria, but geez, finding people who love competition even if they suck at it but will be their true selves in the process can be very refreshing.
Thank you Lance & Keri for getting me through a stretch of rounds where only two out of five are proper TAR standard.
2) Zev & Justin
2nd to 5th to 8th to 9th over the course of four rounds? Are they really all around weak racers?
No, because that ninth place finish when they are eliminated is a bit misleading.
Zev & Justin did quite well all season. The reason they finished eighth because Justin lost a ton of time when he forgot their route info. The reason they finished ninth is because they lost their passport after WINNING THE ROUND!
This is one of the biggest elimination blunders ever. You could say it ranks right up there with Heather & Eve taking a taxi instead of walking to put themselves out of the race.
I would say Kisha & Jen are number two, but given what Jen did, I would say they are number one.
Toni & Dallas, as I have stated earlier, were doomed to finish last in Russia regardless of being the first to lose their passports. Zev & Justin? They had already won the round when they figured it out, and were well on their way to being in the thick of it with competition.
Zev being the first mildly autistic racer was given the Luke treatment at times, but we did get a feel for him having an all around personality rather than CBS exploiting it. And Justin definitely did not come anywhere close to act like Enabler Margie.
Zev & Justin’s friendship may be one of the most endearing ones to be showcased in the twenty-four seasons of TAR.
It was tough ranking them ahead of Garrett & Jessica, but I feel like I made the right choice.
3) Eric & Lisa
Perhaps the only team from California this season that may have been cast as mactors, but had a worthy enough personality that you can understand why they have been cast.
You can see they thought being eliminated was as dumb as we all assessed it to be too.
I can only imagine how they watched from home seeing teams get approved by luck alone. . .and see a team be saved by non-elimination in the very first round.
If only they could have been numero freakin’ uno. They join Bilal & Sa’eed in the Super Duper Screwed teams in TAR history. Both teams would have been interesting to see go further, and both were robbed of a journey they worked so hard for.
4) Marcy & Ron
Not as great as the potential of Eric & Lisa, but heck, a monkey could get a higher ranking than Garrett & Jessica at this point.
Editors did not pay much attention to them. Ron was bald and Marcy was fearless for round one. In round two they were ignored. In round three we learned Marcy’s dad was a Vietnam vet. And considering they were eliminated at the site of where the Vietnam War ended, their elimination was practically tailor made. A bit spooky considering this will be the third of only four visits in twenty-two seasons of TAR, and the only one to go to the Reunification Palace.
Marcy was funky and fun. You can tell she is wound up with high energy. Ron’s face never recovered from being slapped with the clue. I also love how Ron ignored her ninety-nine percent of the time.
They were not long for the race given they finished really low in rounds one and two. The whistle did not help them.
Why they chose to do a really tough Detour (Word Play) while all other nine teams chose the other one (Child’s Play) is beyond me. The route info for Word Play had to be three times as long.
But hey, as long as they had a great bald time, right? Ron’s old cap should be proud.
5) Garrett & Jessica
That’s what you would be saying if it were not for my blog. I tried my best to make Garrett & Jessica entertaining for you. The most electrifying team in reality entertainment, Jessica as Colombiana, and Garrett’s Undertaker eyes.
They could not be a more boring team. Okay, maybe not as boring as Kris & Jon from The Amazing Race 14. . .wait, is that their real names? Ah, fudge it.
If I were a producer, these two would never be cast. Garrett sucks the energy out of a confessional. Jessica is not a great speaker either. If I was the person interviewing them in casting and after both pit stops, I would question my reason for living. I would beg to interview any other team.
Heck, I would beg to interview a blade of grass. I would hate to know who was the 13th team cut in favour of Garrett & Jessica to be on the show.
Garrett proposes to Jessica at Elimination Station. You can tell how healthy that marriage turned out.
In any event, you’re welcome, Garrett & Jessica. Because if it were not for me, nobody on the planet would remember you on The Amazing Race.