JAPAN – VIETNAM – CAMBODIA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – THE NETHERLANDS – SWEDEN – ESTONIA – CZECH REPUBLIC – UNITED STATES
“Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Waterslide”
Previously on TAR: Eight teams raced from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Dubai. Megan & Cheyne burned rubber at the Fast Forward and sped into first place. After a scorching Roadblock, a frigid Detour had the Globetrotters offering up help. And in the end Lance & Keri came up short.
– Coming up tonight: Mika faces her biggest fear.
Yes. This is our first ‘coming up tonight’ segment since the middle of TAR 14. I hate the ‘coming up tonight’ segments because all it means is that the episode is too boring that they do not have enough interesting footage to use. Just show us the dang episode. You don’t need to tell us what will happen in two minutes!
– Intro time.
– Phil introduces us to Dubai. Fifteen years ago it was an ocean of sand dunes. Now it is a Persian playground.
– Megan & Cheyne, who were the first to arrive during the late morning or early afternoon, will depart at 8:17am.
NOTE: I believe teams have yet to depart twelve hours after checking into the pit stop. We saw this begin in TAR 12 with the rare round, and now it has evolved into a regular occurrence.
Why you should never randomize departure times: It allows producers to indirectly influence which teams make it onto which flights, and if teams will dodge equalizers or not once at the next route marker.
Forcing teams to always depart twelve hours later ensures things are absolutely fair.
– Teams must now choose one of these locked briefcases.
Whoa! Another creative endeavour by production!
– Once they choose a briefcase, they must travel to Dubai Creek. It is a golf and yacht club. They will search the marina’s boardwalk for their next clue.
I don’t wanna wait. . .for this race to be over. . .
MEGAN: Feel like a businessman.
Briefcases trigger a sex change for you, Megan? Wow.
– Megan says she has never been this stressed out in her life from constantly making difficult decisions on the race. Cheyne says it says a lot about Megan’s current state because she is frequently stressed out in her real life.
Megan takes that criticism better than I thought she would.
And why is Cheyne wearing the Albanian flag on his T-shirt?
– Cheyne describes Dubai as an island Vegas. Fabricated and hot all the time.
MEGAN: They get their tans in the winter time when it is like eighty.
F— you, b—-.
– Punjabi music plays. Cheyne grumbles to himself.
Yeah, everyone would love to get in the water when it is forty degrees Celsius by eight o’ clock in the morning.
Well, almost everyone.
– Megan & Cheyne are at the clue box.
CHEYNE: Look at the little boat! Heh heh heh!
Yeah, they’re real funny-looking, Cheyne.
– It’s a Roadblock. Teams must row an inflatable dinghy to a yacht anchored offshore and find this sheik.
Heh, you wish.
Yeah, the guy on the left.
– They will present the team member with a watch following the Arab custom of hospitality. Then they must return to the docks and grab their briefcase. Then they must crack the code. They need to figure out that the time on the watch, 8:35, is the combination to the briefcase. Inside will be their next clue.
Is this The Mole or The Amazing Race?
Be funny if the yacht was only an inch outside of this shot.
– Brian & Ericka depart second at 9:59am. Brian is stoked to be first runner-up, and thinks Ericka is viewed as Pageant Patty but will rough it if she has to.
ERICKA: I start with makeup and good hair but by the end of the day it’s melted off and a mess. But you got to start off fresh and clean.
Nobody said we would have to reach the ‘mess’ part.
– Brian wants to maintain their frontrunner spot after being stuck in the back for a long time this season.
– Cheyne starts singing ‘row row your boat gently down Dubai’.
Nope, it’s not the fact we are seeing Flight Time not bulging his eyes out. It’s what we are -hearing- that is different.
Yep. It’s the Globetrotters theme song. This marks the first time in TAR history where a team would have their own theme song throughout the race.
First of all, and last of all, really. . .I HATE IT WHEN A TEAM GETS THEIR OWN THEME SONG! It just encourages teams to be one-dimensional in the editing room. What’s next? Each team invents their own catchphrase that is aired repeatedly?
This is The Amazing Race. Not a f—ing 80s sitcom.
BIG EASY: It’s too hot. Extremely hot here. It’s as hot as I’ve ever been. I’m going to keep saying the word ‘hot’ because it’s hot.
So close to earning royalties, Ms. Hilton. So close.
– Cheyne is presented with a watch. He is amazed by the watch despite the fact the battery has already stopped working.
– Gary & Matt depart fourth at 10:45am. Matt says it is the longest amount of time they have spent together in their entire lives, and it is going well.
Considering you are sequestered with 2-5 days to go before filming starts, and since most seasons take roughly 20-23 days to film, we are probably at around fourteen days total that teams have been forced to spend together. I would be amazed if any father-son duo went on their own trip without other family members to wander off with for two weeks at a time.
In short, the estranged father-son angle does not work well.
– Matt admits he brought hair dye on this trip, and Gary never thought he would help his son with dyeing his hair. They are getting real close on this trip.
I will have to stab Gary if he says “in Montana, we’re not used to dyeing people’s hair. . .”
– Gary describes the intense heat some more.
– Cheyne has returned to the dock. He notes it is 8:35. He figures it out instantly. Megan reads they need to take a taxi to the Abra Station in the Old Souk section of Dubai. It is a water taxi port.
The heat really makes some of Dubai’s citizens a bit more prone to sleep.
– Megan wants Cheyne to carry his shoes to the car and put it on inside of the taxi.
CHEYNE: It’s going to take me two seconds.
(1.5 seconds pass.)
MEGAN: Time’s up.
(1 more second passes and CHEYNE is done.)
Yes, I timed it. Cheyne knows he can’t mess with Megan. When he says two seconds, he knows it must really be two seconds. Megan is one of ten people on the planet who will take everything literally.
– CHEYNE: It’s going to be a challenge for some teams because rowing that boat was not easy.
That’s not a reason. You just repeated the same thing twice.
The heat making some people delirious.
– Brian & Ericka has the clue.
BRIAN: Who’s ready to row row their boat?
Ericka is going to do it, right? I don’t see any obvious thing standing in the way of why she wouldn’t.
BRIAN: This one does not do water.
I can’t say I’m surprised. Although I find it really offensive that Brian refers to her as “this one”.
BRIAN: The only type of row this one knows are corn rows.
– Brian has never rowed before. Ericka appears stressed.
ERICKA: He’s strong, he can do it.
I don’t think she understands the concept of rowing.
– Sam & Dan are fifth to depart at 11:34am. Sam struggles to read the clue. They talk about their alliance with Maria & Tiffany.
DAN: When it comes down to the wire, we know we can outrun em.
SAM: The only team we can’t outrun is possibly the Globetrotters. We’re sick of them doing well.
But then we’ll be robbed of this every episode for the next five years.
Yeah. I like that logical line of thinking, Sam.
– Ericka tells us that Brian loves encouragement. She finds Brian to be cute when he reaches the yacht.
– The Globetrotters are taken to the wrong place. The Dubai Marina Yacht Club.
It’s tough to tell a Globetrotter ‘no’ when he is double in height.
That’s a scrape. Not what we think of as bleeding.
– Ericka bandages it up as a rowing injury. Big Easy says you cannot drink water when thirsty here. Instead they drink sweat.
As Flight Time pretends to snort coke.
More like High Time and Snort Easy.
– Gary & Matt are third to the Roadblock. Gary is rowing because of his canoeing experience.
Ah. Great for the back.
– There have already been two split screens.
– Megan & Cheyne have the clue at Abra Station. To the naked eye, Dubai is the epitome of the modern world, but in this ancient market, teams must choose between two materials that have been around as long as mankind itself.
Gold or Glass.
Glass has always been around since the start of mankind? Uhhhhhhhh, okay then.
In Gold, teams must find a jewellery store and use a precision scale to weigh out exactly 500, 000 dollars worth of gold. To do this, they must figure out they need to divide 500, 000 by the gold exchange rate shown by the monitor in the store. However, the rate is constantly changing so teams will need to work quickly to weigh out the gold correctly and receive their next clue.
Constant state of flux.
I love golllllllld.
Nothing more exciting than executing long division on The Amazing Race.
What the heck? Since when was CNBC part of TAR?
Mad racing! Mad racing! Mad racing!
Cocaine’s a hell of a drug.
– In Glass, teams must head to a spice market and choose a crate full of Middle Eastern smoking pipes known as hookahs.
Different from the hookah Charla & Mirna saw in Uruguay.
– Teams must use all the parts from the crate to assemble twelve hookahs using three displays as reference. Once all twelve hookahs are assembled, they will receive their next clue.
I bet all of the mactor teams will breeze through the hookah task.
– Megan & Cheyne are from San Diego. Obviously they are choosing the hookah task. Cheyne says his butt is chafing and on fire. Megan waves to random people on another boat.
– Gary surprisingly makes it to the yacht with his strategy. He is paddling back as he is nearly out of the boat.
I don’t think Jesus has jurisdiction in a Middle Eastern country.
– She describes it as very James Bond to have a briefcase.
TIFFANY: Although I don’t think I have ever seen James Bond sweat.
Well, that’s because Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan both inserted botox into their sweat glands. True story.
– And now a team performing with an average of 7.8, Mika & Canaan depart in seventh/last at 11:54am.
One hour and fifty-five minutes behind Brian & Ericka? The Burj Dubai had teams split into two groups fifteen minutes apart. Wow, Mika & Canaan really suck. Maria & Tiffany even beat them with a blown radiator.
– It is now time to humiliate Mika some more.
MIKA: Canaan is a little more competitive than me. I’ve never played team sports. I’ve never really ran in my whole life. So Canaan has to PUSH me along the way.
Be careful what you wish for, Mika. If push comes to shove, if you tell Canaan to push you, he will be more than willing to do so.
And I think when Mika says ‘Canaan is a little more competitive than me’, all that really means is that Canaan is a little more than ‘not competitive at all’.
MIKA: We’ve got a lot of practice being in the back. Now we try to move forwards.
Canaan panics that Mika is requesting the impossible.
– Gary solves it easily. He jokes if he could see Big Easy riding in the dinghy.
– Globetrotters show up in fourth. Big Easy is doing it after all. It’s been established by this point that Flight Time is an all around better racer than Big Easy. So how does Big Easy do with paddling?
I have heard of ‘one size fits all’, but this is ridiculous.
– Flight Time decides it is Coach Time as he tells Big Easy to do one paddle at a time. And guess what?
Yep. The theme has already been used twice. This is going to get old really fast.
BIG EASY: I couldn’t use the paddles. You know, I’m from the projects in New Orleans. We’ve got the Mississippi River but you can’t go in there cause it’s dirty.
“This one can’t do water.”
– Megan & Cheyne’s Fast Forward appears to be effective for two rounds instead of one as they get to head straight into this Detour. They find the hookah construction to be complicated. Cheyne tells Megan to be relaxed and calm down.
– Ericka wants to go shopping really badly in this beautiful area. She finds it as a coping mechanism for stress.
What’s to stop you from shopping?
– Big Easy begins paddling with his arms.
And he is enjoying every minute of it!
– Sam & Dan show up. Since they are from Missouri, I am guessing their water access is limited too. Dan is getting in.
Paddles are for chumps.
– Big Easy reaches the yacht somehow with his strategy.
– Megan groans as she is frustrated.
I think Megan & Cheyne need to invest in a hookah because Megan desperately needs to use one.
– Cheyne describes Megan as meticulous which is why she is frustrated easily.
– Brian & Ericka enter the Gold option of the Detour.
ERICKA: I don’t know a lot about gold, but I do like to wear it.
Take the hint, Brian. Who knew we would receive direct insight into their inevitable divorce this early in the season.
– Dan has the watch. Big Easy looks exhausted.
If only there was something I could use that would cause less strain on my arms.
FLIGHT TIME: Do it for the hood, Big Easy!
SAM: Do it for the suburbs, Dan!
– Big Easy has returned to the dock with his dingy, but his energy level is low to the point that he nearly rolls himself off the dock. The look of terror on his face is priceless.
Flight Time & Sink Easy.
– FLIGHT TIME: Pull up your underwear!
Oh right, how can I forget when it has only been mentioned 27 times in the past three rounds.
– Maria & Tiffany are at the clue box. Maria wants Tiffany to do it because it is physical. Big Easy is the first person stumbled by the puzzle.
BIG EASY: First one is on the eight, the second one is on the seven. . .
Oh my. Big Easy and puzzles do not mix.
– Dan breezes through it like the other three teams. Flight Time asks him to start from scratch.
BIG EASY: I was thinking the small hand was on the eight, the big hand on the seven, and the last one be the date.
Water + puzzle = Why did I agree to do this task?
– Sam & Dan are eager to see the Globetrotters eliminated.
– Big Easy has tried 870, 871, 872, 873, 874, 875, and 876.
– Because Maria & Tiffany are the only all-female team cast this season, Tiffany will most likely be the only woman to do this task. She is proud of herself for doing the same task as the men.
Ugh. One of the reasons why she was annoying in WSOP. All she wants to do is be “the only woman to (insert task with only other men here).”
– Tiffany has the watch at the yacht and heads back to the docks.
Tiffany becomes the first woman ever to be allowed to paddle a boat on the Persian Gulf.
– Mika & Canaan are now at Dubai Creek.
FLIGHT TIME: If we stay here long enough, Lance & Keri might show up.
Heh. Good one, Joke Time.
– MIKA (confessional): I’m. . .pretty scared of water.
Yes, water and heights. We know, Mika. Editors probably do the meanest thing I have ever seen for a confessional.
“Uh, honey. . .whatever you do, don’t look behind you.”
That’s right. For what appears to be the first time ever, the confessionals for the end of this round are done in front of a water tank. You actually see the fish swim by as Mika utters this statement.
– Canaan is doing his fifth Roadblock in six rounds. Mika now has to do five out of the next six Roadblocks.
– Big Easy keeps struggling. Tiffany solves it quickly because, well, she’s not Mika. Maria is stunned that Big Easy is still stuck.
FLIGHT TIME: Don’t give up.
Big Easy looks like he is giving up.
Big Easy giving up at a Roadblock? Never!
Well, unless he is doing his nails instead of studying the watch.
– Megan complains of the sweat in her lens. Brian & Ericka keep working on the gold scale. Ericka points out that the gold standard keeps changing on screen, and she freaks out. Then she makes a remark that truly foreshadows TAR 16.
The American education system is doing just fine, thank you.
– Canaan has brought the briefcase to shore. Big Easy keeps working.
– FLIGHT TIME: It may not be what you think it is, baby. I don’t think he’s counting the hands the way it is supposed to be. Take your time and think about it. Talk yourself through it.
See. Helpful advice. Mika’s helpful advice?
MIKA: Does the Muslim clock work differently?
As opposed to our Christian clocks? Statements like that prove that religion influences every aspect of Mika’s life. She associates any possible differences in other countries to their differing religious beliefs. I find it mind boggling that many people exist and go through life like that.
– Mika & Canaan are in a cab. Canaan is stunned that Globetrotters are third and now passed them.
MIKA: To see the Globetrotters struggles was kinda nice. We get those on the race and it makes it that much easier to get to the top.
Until Hurricane Mika starts doing Roadblocks. Hopefully none of the remaining six involve heights, water, physical strength, or puzzles.
– Big Easy continues to not solve a 3-digit combination. He probably could have tried all 999 numbers by now.
– Commercial. Actually, the last shot before commercial is amusing. Not as amusing as Ray looking like a gopher in Botswana heading to commercial, but a different type of amusing.
Big Easy plays his third grade self as Flight Time is his teacher preparing to wake him up from a mid-exam nap.
And who the heck is that in the bottom right corner?! That is the true mystery for this round.
– We return. Big Easy examines the watch and sees 8:35. Solves it fast.
– Big Easy is inside of the taxi. Yes, we talk about Big Easy’s hood some more.
Ah yes. The hood is definitely watching the fifteenth season of The Amazing Race.
The hood’s not the wood, either.
– Megan & Cheyne identify extra pieces. Brian is starting to sweat inside of the gold scales. He wants to switch but Ericka blocks it because she thinks he is smart enough to figure it out.
– We have a Big Brother moment as Brian re-explains the task.
– Megan & Cheyne have lost track of two pieces that are needed as their hookahs are rejected. They miss two pieces next to Megan’s foot.
– Ericka says she is better at spending money than counting and keeping it. Brian puts the gold on the scale and asks for a judge to calculate it.
BRIAN: This one does not do math.
– Gary & Matt are third to the Detour. Matt instantly wants to do the hookah task. Gary thinks they are doing it because they know how to assemble and build things, but Matt knows what a hookah is and explains the concept to Gary.
GARY: We call it something else where we’re from.
A bong. Gary was talking about a bong. They have plenty of those scattered throughout Montana.
– Megan & Cheyne switch two of the hookah’s pieces. Rejected again as Megan is shedding a few tears.
I see Cheyne has taken a word from the Nathan Hagstrom vocabulary.
– Brian will make one more attempt.
ERICKA: He has a heart of gold. Too bad he doesn’t know how to count it.
Oh, the terror as the man with the Goldeneye checks it out.
Ah yes. It is heartbreaking for him. I should note that his hat looks exactly like the pattern of the paper grease absorbers from White Spot.
– Brian & Ericka switch. Cheyne picks up one of the missing pieces that they intentionally did not use. They are washers which go underneath each one. The judge declares them to be correct. Megan & Cheyne read their clue. They must head to Atlantis.
Dubai is ridiculous.
– Once here, they must search for the Leap of Faith waterslide. After taking this six-storey plunge at a nearly ninety degree angle through a shark tank, teams will find their next clue at the bottom of the slide.
I wish they had to swim through a lot of water because of Mika, Ericka, and Big Easy. Sadly that water is pretty dang thin and the clue is only in a knee-high water area.
– Brian & Ericka are assembling hookahs. Ericka wishes it came with an instruction manual. Sam & Dan decide to do Gold. Maria & Tiffany choose Gold too. Tiffany assumes handling money will be good for them.
ERICKA: Why didn’t we do this first?
21:57 is when she uttered it.
ERICKA: Why didn’t we do this first?
22:19 is when she uttered it again.
– Brian gets burned by the glass because of the heat. They do not think the colours matter for the hookahs.
– They are rejected. Ericka assumes it is something miniscule. She sighs heavily.
– Mika & Canaan are sixth to the Detour. Mika rips open the clue but multiple pieces fall out as Canaan has to stoop down multiple times. They choose to put together the hookahs.
– Brian & Ericka argue over how to put the hookahs together. Everyone looks like a hot mess. Gary & Matt are now there too.
MATT (handling the straw): This smells familiar.
GARY: Take some home for the horses?
Hold up. They’re from the country?
– Sam & Dan begin to count the gold.
Sam & Dan may be inside of Deepu Jewelleries, but will soon find themselves in deep s— when they begin to do calculations.
– They brag about buying a calculator for two dollars at Wal-Mart before going on the race. They are stumped to see the gold change.
The expression of tens of millions of Americans who are in Math class each year.
– Maria & Tiffany are directed to the other room. Maria asks Sam & Dan if she can borrow their calculator for a minute. They picked the right team to align with.
Nothing is more deadly than an Asian armed with a calculator.
And nothing is creepier than a stranger staring at Maria’s butt.
MARIA: Divide 500, 000 by 928.5. . .start loading the thing when I start telling you to.
Hanging on an Asian prayer.
– She shouts the number to Tiffany and Sam & Dan. Dan misses it by half a second and are forced to calculate again. Instead of putting a bunch of gold on the scale before calculating, they waited until she shouted the number.
– Globetrotters are last to the Detour. They choose to do Glass.
CANAAN: I think teams still look at us as we are the zebras and they are the lions.
Uh, they’re the zebras?
I think a team beat you to that nickname weeks earlier, and have the visual evidence to support that nickname. Unless Mika has a Black uncle we don’t know about.
– CANAAN: I grew up with four older brothers and just to lose. . .I just hate it.
I grew up with three older brothers, but at least showed interest in a woman who is very competitive and can swim well as opposed to a woman who is completely useless.
– Maria & Tiffany and Sam & Dan both ding in and have the correct answer. Both teams receive a clue. Sam knows the alliance really helped them today. All three leading teams are scared by the clue saying ‘take a leap of faith’ except Tiffany whose voice squeaks. Megan & Cheyne both admit a fear of heights.
– Megan & Cheyne are first to the slide. We see a dream teamer do it who sounds like she is being attacked on the slide.
– Cheyne is first to the slide.
The worst part is the straightaway that looks identical to a man’s junk.
Yes. The sharks that hover above the slide in a tank are what’s scaring her. Dammit, Mr. Bentley.
You really made people fearful of sharks for generations, my man.
– Megan continues to interrogate the lifeguard about the sharks.
I wonder if Mika’s fears of water and heights for this task will be amplified by a currently unknown fear of sharks.
MEGAN: It was good not to think about it and just do it.
No freakin’ kidding, Megan.
– Megan has the clue. Cheyne reads that teams must now search the expansive grounds of the resort for Dolphin Bay Beach. It is indeed the pit stop for this leg of the race. Sounds like this could be a rough search at such a big resort.
Oh wait. They’re already there.
This terrain could prove to be problematic for Dave.
Megan & Cheyne demonstrate why mactors are chosen for beach rounds.
He looks like he could be in the World Cup.
No turtleneck or cowboy hat for Phil in this weather. He is in an intermediate period where he wears fishing hats at the mat.
And what’s with that necklace?
I am guessing TAR 15 and Survivor: Samoa airing simultaneously is no coincidence.
FIRST PLACE: MEGAN & CHEYNE
– Cheyne picks up Megan in celebration and attempts to drown her in the water.
If it was Mika instead of Megan, Mika would be dead.
– They return to Phil and ask what they have won. Each of them have won a personal hovercraft. Cheyne says this is the experience of their lives hands down.
– From sharks to hookahs as Brian & Ericka and Mika & Canaan try to figure it out. Gary & Matt are there too. Globetrotters eventually show up.
What is this crowd staring at?
The camera crew never changes.
– Ericka begins to pray as Brian describes this as the most frustrating thing ever.
You may want to re-think that statement, Brian.
– ERICKA (seeing GLOBETROTTERS): Aw hell no.
BIG EASY: It’s on now!
– Brian & Ericka get checked again. It’s wrong.
ERICKA: There’s something missing. There’s something MISSING! Dear God.
– Commercial. Ericka’s eyes get all funky as her head tilts in an odd manner.
Ericka doing her best to suppress the situation.
– BRIAN: Let’s walk through this. The fancy bases have fancy middles. The fancy middles have gold tops.
– GARY: We’re missing our tongs. It’s a proverbial needle in a haystack.
– Matt claims he is going to pass out from the heat. Gary is a good father as he tells his son to sit down. The India night time music begins to play. Mika sits down but probably because she is doing nothing in the first place.
– Brian observes that all other teams look stuck.
All tuckered out, son.
MIKA (breathing like a horse): I’ve never sweated like this in my life.
She’s breathing like a freakin’ cartoon character.
MATT: I’m feeling hot. I feel tired. A little shaky. The heat twirls your world. You don’t know what’s up or down.
(Really long awkward pause.)
MIKA: I wish I were naked right now.
Whoa. This virgin is stepping up her game.
– Brian catches on that the striped bases need a striped hose. He asks “his man” to check. He does a lap around the area once it is approved. Him and Ericka leave.
– Big Easy convinces Flight Time to switch. They do so because Brian & Ericka were two hours ahead and squandered their whole lead.
– Tiffany has already gone through the slide. So has Maria.
In what universe do Maria & Tiffany do well? This is ridiculous.
Oddly enough it’s the same level of visibility when Maria drives on the road.
– Sam & Dan flip out over the sharks as they take their turn to head down the slide.
SECOND PLACE: MARIA & TIFFANY
PHIL: And look who’s coming behind you.
TIFFANY: The boys! They’re looking like Baywatch guys!
They totally stole those shorts from Shannon Elkins.
We supply the calculator, and you supply the brains! Goooo team!
THIRD PLACE: SAM & DAN
Split screen hug!
– We head to the gold room with Flight Time & Big Easy.
This should be no problem for them.
– Now it is time for Repetition Time & Big Easy. No, Big Easy isn’t talking about the hood.
It’s the f—ing Globetrotters theme for a third time. Unbelievable.
Except it is the biggest personal calculator I have ever seen. Well, I guess it is the appropriate size for Big Easy.
– They acknowledge that people will think they are stupid for doing this task after Big Easy could not solve a 3-digit code. Gary continues his search for the tongs but finally finds it. Matt inserts it and they complete the Detour. Matt hopes the Leap of Faith is huge.
BRIAN: I’m afraid of heights. She’s afraid of water.
Even her thong from Vietnam was yellow.
– Brian assures the cameras that she enjoyed it. Ericka and Brian both do it without issue as both are shaking. See, what’s the point of doing TAR if you’re not willing to conquer your fears.
And they had such a tough time finding Phil on the expansive grounds!!!!111111
FOURTH PLACE: BRIAN & ERICKA
So much for preserving their top spot.
– Globetrotters are too slow to ding the bell as the gold rate changes. Mika & Canaan’s hookahs are approved. They head into the taxi.
MIKA: It’s going to be like some sort of crazy ride.
CANAAN: You’ll have to jump off something.
Either Mika is frightened by Canaan drinking a bottle of liquid like Napoleon Dynamite, or the thought of heading to a place called “The Leap of Faith” is frightening her.
– TAR now does something it has never done before. Sure, TAR 14 featured the occasional flashback. But here we get a montage of every time Mika has expressed a fear of water or heights.
CAI BE: Mika expresses a fear of water.
BURJ DUBAI: Mika is in disbelief that a reality competition would make her do stunts.
– Now back to the present.
MIKA: Just feel like. . .pukin’.
Wanting to be naked one minute to expressing a desire to puke in the next. Lovely.
O’ Doyle Rules!
FIFTH PLACE: GARY & MATT
– Canaan tells Mika that she has been wanting to wear her floaties.
I don’t think she wants to wear them.
And when you turn 24, I believe you refer to them as “water wings”, Canaan.
– They exit the taxi. Canaan encourages her as they reach the Leap of Faith. And boy oh boy, I think producers are about to wonder if Mika is 24 or if her age is as legitimate as the Chinese female gymnastic team.
– Oh god. Mika is wearing water wings.
CANAAN: Hold my hand.
“Hold my hand, Mika. . .Mika. . .where’d she go?”
CANAAN: Hold my hand.
(MIKA lets out a huge whine as her chin tilts to the ceiling.)
CANAAN: Hold my hand.
MIKA: Don’t tell me what to do!
“Don’t make me do something that is mandatory and will be the only thing to help us finish better than seventh, and spare us from elimination! How dare you!”
CANAAN: Stop it.
CANAAN: Get up there.
The shirt comes off. He means business.
CANAAN: We’re not losing the race because of this. You’re going down the slide. Let’s go.
Don’t worry Mika, we don’t bite.
MIKA: I can’t do it, Canaan. I don’t want to do it. I don’t want to do it.
CANAAN: Hold my hand.
MIKA: I don’t wanna wanna wanna. Canaan, I’m scared. I don’t care, I’m scared to death.
“I intend to be more useless than Flo from TAR 3. I don’t care what you say!”
– We cut back to the Globetrotters. They ding the bell and are correct. Big Easy gives the sheik a kiss.
Sharif don’t like it. . .
He will not rock the casbah with Big Easy, I’m afraid.
– Globetrotters manage to avoid triggering their theme song or referencing the hood as they ride down an escalator.
They have a point. It took Lebron James four years to solve how to substitute ‘x’ for a ‘ring’.
– Jack Bauer and Agent Kate Morgan discuss the Mika Combs situation.
“President Heller will comply with Margot al-Harazi’s demands unless Mika agrees to finish the task.”
“So push the bitch down!”
– Ugh. We go back to Mika & Humiliation.
I don’t know, Mika. I have a feeling if a waterslide frightens you, you may be easy to scare.
CANAAN: It’s water and it’s a slide. C’mon. Get a grip. A million dollars to go down this slide, really? A million dollars. Let me walk you to the slide, okay?
Just a freakin’ slide, as they say.
CANAAN: Just sit down. Start by sitting down.
Wow. Mika is really turning this around on Canaan? Last I recall, Canaan is politely telling you to go down a slide while you were screaming, hollering, whimpering, and crying, and stomping your feet.
He really is employing Jack Bauer tactics.
Ah. If only Canaan was a federal agent.
– Canaan was not even using any force to put Mika onto the waterslide as Mika tries to escape his grip.
Mika acts like she is being raped and begs for help, but the lifeguard stands there expressionless and motionless. Classic.
I don’t know whether to grind you. . .
– We resume. Wow. Progress has been made.
CANAAN: Sit down. Scream if you have to.
You may be thinking that I am overdoing it with the 24 and spousal abuse references, but geez, that is exactly how the scene looks. It is a bit disturbing.
“At this rate, Lance & Keri are going to catch up.”
CANAAN: That’s all you have to do is sit down, sweetie. Please please sit down. Just sit down. Please sit down. Yes, you can, Mika.
MIKA: I hate this.
CANAAN: Watch this, I’m going to sit behind you.
MIKA: Noooooo. Do not force me.
“There are dementors at the bottom of this slide. They’ll take my soul!”
No means no. No matter how dumb it sounds in this situation.
CANAAN: I’m not forcing you.
MIKA: Why would people want to do this stupid stuff? It’s stupid. This is stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
– Hmmmm. Why would people want to go down a waterslide in Dubai? Let’s examine this argument.
Oh my word. It’s an even matchup.
(MIKA sits down.)
CANAAN: Thank you.
MIKA: I can’t.
She sits down and. . .
Faked you out!
– Canaan resorts to begging.
Let’s review the strategies thus far.
CANAAN: You will regret not doing this.
1. Do it or we lose.
2. Calmness and politeness.
3. Appeal to emotions by begging.
4. Say she will be proud of herself.
– Big Easy knows teams are praying and wishing for them to be eliminated. He thinks they still can catch up.
Mika prays for the ability to go down a waterslide.
Oh my word. She is actually going to do it. God gave her the ability to put both hands on the bar.
– All she has to do is swing herself from the bar with her legs out and she will be down and finished the task. She is about an inch away from completing this task, checking in sixth place, and eliminating the one-dimensional Globetrotters.
– Cut back to Globetrotters. They plan to walk on them.
MIKA: Don’t get close to me.
CANAAN: Mika, trust me.
MIKA: I don’t trust you.
MIKA: Shhhh shhh.
CANAAN: Both hands. Close your eyes.
I like how she says “don’t get close to me” like she has a freakin’ gun in her hand. This truly is an episode of 24. Is there a threat in Dubai we don’t know about? My word.
– So you know how Mika said “don’t get close”?
Like 99% of viewers, we don’t really care what Mika has to say.
MIKA: No! No!!!!
LIFEGUARD: You can’t push her. You can’t push her!
MIKA: Get out.
CANAAN: Just do it.
Geez. I swear Natalie Tenerelli sounded more mature than Mika Combs. Let’s examine the pros and cons of Mika hating her life right now.
– Oh my word. The Globetrotters are now at the water slides but have yet to find Leap of Faith.
– We cut back to Mika & Canaan. Canaan now uses the strategy of anger.
MIKA: I can’t do it.
CANAAN: Yes you can.
MIKA: I can’t do it.
CANAAN: Yes you can.
MIKA: Whyyyyyyyy. Whyyyyyyy.
CANAAN: Don’t waste time asking why. Just go down the slide.
Heh. Canaan is now just mocking her. He is about to sum up what we’re all thinking by this point:
Sounds about right, Canaan.
CANAAN: Because you’re a complete moron. It’s a freakin’ waterslide.
I could do this all day.
– But the party gets disrupted.
Are there waterslides in New Orleans?
No better time than now to do crunches.
– We’re informed that Canaan’s two minute command refers to the fact that when another team is waiting for you to go down the slide, you have two minutes to go down. Once the two minutes are up, you must stand aside and let the other team go.
Yes. Because Canaan will probably go to prison for what he might do.
Mika decides to use SPLASH on her knees for the first minute of those two minutes.
Magikarp would be more useful as a teammate this season than Mika.
CANAAN (exhausted): You can do this. I promise you, you’ll be so proud of yourself. It’s gonna be worth it.
– And the Globetrotters, traveling the world with their basketball diplomacy, give some thoughtful words of encouragement to today’s youth.
The other strategy was to pants Mika, but seeing how she was in her bathing suit, Globetrotters decided that was not the best time to do it.
CANAAN: Don’t listen to him.
Oh, Canaan’s mad now.
– Globetrotters don’t give a crap about Canaan Smith.
CANAAN: You can do it. You can do it.
You can go down the waterslide all night long.
Again, Big Easy has a point.
CANAAN: Shut up Big Easy.
CANAAN: If you don’t go down this slide, we’re gonna lose. They’re saying you can’t do it. I’m saying you can go down this slide.
The suspense? Can she do it?
And those words come down:
. . .
“Step aside, mothaf—a.”
– Globetrotters turn. Maybe they were telling the tru–
Nope. It was a bluff.
I’m surprised a fight didn’t start right there.
– Big Easy did not like seeing Mika cry, but says it was a race.
BIG EASY (yells in his biggest booming voice possible): THAT’S HOW YOU GET IT DONE!
Eh, that was probably not entirely truthful.
– Well, Mika & Canaan still have a chance in a foot race. Canaan goes down the slide.
Maximum guilt trip achieved.
MIKA: I wish we were doing anything but this.
– Canaan knows she was psyched out by fear.
MIKA: He’s gonna hate me.
Mika taking the biggest walk of shame in reality TV history.
– Flight Time prances his way to the mat.
SIXTH PLACE: LUCKY TIME & BIG EASY
PHIL: This is one of the most dramatic finishes we’ve ever had.
FLIGHT TIME: This was last second shot. My gut was to alley-oop, she was running point, and we slam dunked it.
More like Mika allowed twenty turnovers and walked off the court.
– Mika & Canaan slowly walk onto the mat.
LAST PLACE: MIKA & CANAAN
– Phil informs them they have been eliminated.
PHIL: Mika, how are you feelin’?
MIKA: I feel like I let Canaan down and myself.
– Canaan forgives Mika, and says there is freedom in forgiveness and freedom in understanding that people aren’t perfect and neither are you.
Next Time on TAR: We depart from Asia and head to the second continent of the season: Europe. If you thought Mika’s exit was humiliating, just wait for a slightly less humiliating exit in the very next round. TAR 15–Where the finalists shall be determined by default!
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 2.6
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.
7th Mika & Canaan 7.67 – Why the heck did they sign up?
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) Dubai, UAE -> Dubai, UAE
Hello, budget cuts! I hate it when they do back-to-back rounds in the same city. Having two rounds in the same country already annoyed viewers in the earlier seasons.
The Detour was by far the best part about this round. Counting the gold rate versus assembling hookahs appeared to be two difficult tasks if you weren’t a mathematically sensible person or knowing how to put things together.
The Roadblock? That seemed much easier than what Big Easy made it out to be.
Traveling by taxi was a bit boring. Why not drive themselves like last round?
And combining the pit stop with a ten second task that should have been uneventful is lazy.
Seriously, this round would have been very unmemorable if not for Mika being a three year old in disguise.
I should give kudos for Maria & Tiffany doing the best of any team this round. This will be the lone time I give them any credit without a backhanded remark.
Hopefully nothing ridiculous happens next round too. . .oh wait.
5) 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.
6) 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) Mika & Canaan
Why was Mika cast? She only did one out of six Roadblocks. She would not do anything that involved any sort of jumping, heights or water. In any team tasks she relied entirely on Canaan.
Her answers to get through the race were to try and pray instead of actually do it herself.
And I have a feeling much of the motivation to be on TV was to further her career, which if I recall correctly, has gone nowhere.
Canaan was not too bright either, but at least he was willing to do stuff. I can’t believe I am saying this, but his partner was more useless than Flo. Flo may be a quitter and complainer, but at least Flo had major competitive and strategic fire when needed. Plus she spoke foreign languages et al.
Mika did nothing. There will be three Roadblocks to come in the remaining six rounds that there is no way she would have done.
I blame producers for casting someone who clearly had zero clue what they were getting into, and served as nothing but pure fodder for the other teams.
They are the worst 7th place team in TAR history. 10th-8th-7th-7th-7th-7th. And what’s crazy is if Mika goes down that slide then they would have made it to top five. Unbelievable we were that close to a potential Mika & Canaan deep run into the season.
But then again, Mika would have to quit once she would be forced to do Roadblocks.
I am curious what Canaan was thinking when he saw the Roadblock count go from 1-1 to 2-1 to 3-1 to 4-1 to 5-1. He probably expected Mika to throw in the towel once number five was reached.
Did producers cast Mika for the sole purpose of humiliating her in this precise task? They had to know she was absolutely terrified of water and heights. And knew there was a good chance they could beat some of the crappier teams like Marcy & Ron or Lance & Keri to reach this point.
The only reason they beat Garrett & Jessica is because they still served up some entertainment and funny mind-boggling logic throughout the season.
And doesn’t it bother you that production cast a team knowing that 99% of airtime would be dedicated to embarrassing them?
It really is troubling.
6) 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.