JAPAN – VIETNAM – CAMBODIA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – THE NETHERLANDS – SWEDEN – ESTONIA – CZECH REPUBLIC – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Brothers Sam & Dan started the race with a strategy. Then in Dubai Globetrotter Big Easy faltered at the Roadblock dropping them into last place giving Mika & Canaan a step up.
At the Detour, Brian & Ericka struggled while Megan & Cheyne sled to their third first place finish.
And in one of the most dramatic finishes in race history, Mika was crippled by her fear of water (and heights) allowing the Globetrotters to catch back up. But Mika could not complete the task forcing them out of the race.
Six teams remain; who will be eliminated in a slightly less humiliating fashion than Mika. . .next?
– Intro time.
– lol Mika. My oh my she was useless.
Meghan & Cheyne waste no time pandering to the World Cup audience.
– Instead of introducing us to Dubai again, Phil tells us about the man-made island of Jumeirah. It is shaped like a palm tree. It is bigger than eight hundred football fields and costs more than twelve billion dollars to create.
Ugh. Phil’s fashion is worse than his turtleneck days. He looks like he is ready to take amagnifying glass to an ant hill in his mother’s backyard.
– Meghan & Cheyne, who were the first to arrive in the previous day, will depart at an arbitrary time of 1:13pm. They read that they must fly 3, 000 miles to Amsterdam.
He’ll be there right away!
Actually, I don’t think he ever left.
– Once there, they must find the asafdljfsjdlkjdljdl.
Okay, that’s not it.
It’s the Afsluitdijk. I am serious. It sounds like Phil is saying “Auschla Dyke” but that is the correct spelling.
– They will drive themselves to Afsluitdijk which is a causeway that connects North Holland and Friesland. When they find the Cornelius Lely Monument, they will see their next clue.
– Cheyne says their focus is to stay in the front and will continue to strive for. He could not care less about a target on his back.
CHEYNE: There’s nothing we can do about it.
How about not go out of your way to win three out of six rounds?
He forgot to return the scarf from the Cambodia Detour.
– Megan & Cheyne are at the airport. They discover the first flight does not leave until midnight.
See, if TAR made teams depart twelve hours after arrival, Meghan & Cheyne could have spent nearly 24 hours in the airport. Production was all too kind to offer them a hotel to sleep in and spend the evening in.
– Maria & Tiffany begin second at 3:09pm.
Considering there were no equalizers last round, we can measure out Megan & Cheyne’s loss/gain of lead.
Megan & Cheyne had a 1 hour and 42 minute head start on second place Brian & Ericka last round.
This time they have a 1 hour and 55 minute lead on Maria & Tiffany. Granted Maria & Tiffany were well over two hours behind Megan & Cheyne at the start of the previous round.
– Tiffany knows it is easy to be at the top of the leaderboard like in poker, and get involved in pots you shouldn’t and fall out of it quickly.
TIFFANY: We’re not going to get too comfortable because we know the higher way up there is a longer way to fall.
Hold on. Did she really just say that?
What goes up. . .
Must come down. That’s essentially what Tiffany is saying. Editors sure love their irony prepared in advance.
– Tiffany announces that Sam & Dan are one minute behind.
– She is right. Sam & Dan depart third at 3:10pm. Dan orgasms when he hears they are going to Amsterdam. Now Sam starts bragging about his college degrees.
SAM: I have a degree in Anthropology. I studied culture all my college career.
You studied culture?
SAM: I’m ready to see the world and travel the rest of my life.
DAN: He’s book smart, and I’m more street smart.
I can’t picture Dan as some street smart used car salesman dealer, or manipulating people that he encounters around town.
Maybe Dan is just “Neither smart”.
– Sam bets ten bucks that they will get to the airport before the Poka Poka Poka Playas.
Oh Logan, you’re so cute.
Cute? Oh god. You’re a POKUH PLAYUH? A POKUH PLAYUH? Ya worse than Hitluh!
EDITOR’S NOTE: That isn’t a diss towards Maria & Tiffany. I f—ing Joan Rivers, and think she had no business winning Celebrity Apprentice over Annie Duke.
Especially saying Melissa Rivers should have outlasted Brande and Annie after Melissa should have been fired during the Kardashian-TLC double boot round.
And outright quitting but being allowed back in. . .ugh. This is why I hate casual viewers. They all wanted her to win over Annie Duke. So Trump gave em what they wanted.
“I don’t want to hear this charity nonsense.”
Cluck cluck cluck spla–get the f—- out of my face.
– Sorry, I hate Joan Rivers. But really, Sam & Dan have a really fast taxi driver.
Who for some reason is wearing the Algerian national colours.
– Brian & Ericka begin in fourth at 3:25pm. Ericka runs far behind Brian. This segues into Ericka giving a foreshadowing confessional.
ERICKA: I don’t know if I’m becoming a nagging wife, but I yell a lot. I realize that, and I hate it. But as long as we’re able to recognize the onset we’ll be able to stop before it gets too out of hand.
Spoiler: She is not able to stop it before it gets too out of hand.
Oddly enough, we have yet to see Brian & Ericka yell at each other so far. Knowing that they divorce not long after the race finishes, we assume editors edited out their conflict and made them to be a really caring couple.
It probably didn’t fit into the overall narrative. They marked Brian & Ericka as the friendly narrators and strategists. Mixing in their marriage issues may have been too complicated for viewers.
– Gary & Matt are fifth as they commence at 3:34pm.
MATT: The only time I’ve been out of the United States was to Canada for a week of fishing. A new continent!
Father-son fist bump!
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the only season other than TAR 24 to visit only two continents outside of the United States.
– Globetrotters depart last as they head to Amsterdam. They could not leave at a more fitting time.
Oh, producers. You set up a fixed time just so producers would depart at 4:20pm.
BIG EASY: I know a lot of teams want to see us go, and I wouldn’t want us either. If it comes down to a foot race or anything close, we’re a very very strong team.
Really? This is the guy who couldn’t crack a 3-digit combination lock. More like Flight Time and Forget Easy.
– All teams are at the airport. It is time for every old school fan’s favourite segment. . .character development!
Chillin mixed with a lil bit of illin.
– Brian decides it is time for another recap.
Oh my. Poor Mika. Well, not poor Mika because she quit over a freakin’ waterslide, but let the humiliation continue!
FLIGHT TIME: Big Easy, give em the replay.
BIG EASY: When we got to the waterfall she was crying like she was about to do it. Then I said “it’s not worth it, if you’re scared don’t do it!” I was sad she was crying. I didn’t want to see her cry, but I didn’t want to go at the same time.
Laughing at Mika.
Also laughing at Mika.
“We’re all laughing and having a good time.”
Laughing at Mika too. I believe that’s everyone.
She has a fear of two inches of water, heights, and doing anything remotely outside of her comfort zone and THEY’RE LAUGHING AT HER!
– After Big Easy is done their story, the floor is clear for Sam & Dan. Sam finds it to be a comfortable setting, and believe it or not, they only like to come out to people when they are comfortable.
SAM: Both of us usually like to come out when it feels right at that moment.
You mean you don’t like to come out when you’re feeling discomfort and ostracizing atmosphere?
SAM: We have an announcement to make.
DAN: We are the token gay people.
I like that by 2009 the expression “token gay guys” is already a known reality TV trope.
– So how do the racers take it?
Ericka proceeds to beat Dan with the clue saying “no, no, no”.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I assume Brian guessed they were gay, and Ericka didn’t think they were.
I wonder what the Harlem Globetrotters’ official stance on homosexuality happens to be. Flight Time applauds them.
– After everyone has settled down, Brian makes another observation.
BRIAN: Now the matching swimsuits make sense.
When in doubt, blame it on mom.
– Dan says they don’t have to present it to them right away.
DAN: A lot of our friends and family don’t know.
MEGAN: They don’t know?
ERICKA: They know now!
– TIFFANY: Gay or straight? It doesn’t matter. They are still the most sweet and adorable and gentlemanly guys on the race. Who they choose to date, we could (not) really care less. Maybe there’s a little teardrop it’s not us.
I haz sad.
– Gary closes out this scene for us.
Spoiler: He is adopted. Awkward.
– The scene closes out. I must say Ericka’s reaction to Sam & Dan coming out was perhaps the most troubling. She hit them saying ‘no’ and had her eyes really wide when Sam & Dan said most of their family had not known. But hey, it’s editing.
And I can imagine his reaction would make this a really uncomfortable atmosphere.
Well, Amsterdam really.
– So the flight lands in the middle of the night. Seeing that they are traveling four or five time zones westward, it is probably three or four in the morning.
This is our first return to Amsterdam since TAR 12 where Donald stripped on the course at ditch vaulting, and TAR 4 where they played in a pile of cow dung and handled phallic eels.
Hopefully Amsterdam cleans its act up by now.
– Teams land in Schipol Airport and get into their cars immediately. Five of the six teams pull away. Brian struggles to get it to start as Erick attempts to coach him.
“What did bitch just say about Miss America not having a luxury car?”
Seriously. Tiffany just said that Miss America is not used to having luxury cars. I bet Ericka drives around town in a Nissan Micra.
– The yelling begins.
BRIAN: I’m holding it down.
ERICKA: You’re kidding me right now.
BRIAN: Babe, I’m holding it down!
ERICKA: Don’t get mad at me cause you don’t know how to work the damn car!
ERICKA: Take a deep breath. Don’t be so frantic.
BRIAN: I got the foot on the break. It’s ridiculous!
ERICKA: Why are you yelling?
This one does not do Mercedes.
– They ask a local to help. Him and his son start the car for Brian. Ericka does a funny jog where her legs swing as she has her hands on her hips.
Not only did she need swimming lessons, but running lessons too.
– They are on the road but the yelling has yet to stop.
Okay, so Brian is just frustrated with himself and they move on, right?
ERICKA: STOP TRIPPING OUT! YOU DICTATE MY MOOD! And you know I have a shorter fuse than you.
BRIAN: . . .Calm down babe you’re good.
ERICKA: Calm down babe, whatever.
Brian shall chew his gum and enjoy the rest of his morning.
– Light enters Amsterdam. It’s windy and rainy. Megan & Cheyne, Maria & Tiffany, Sam & Dan, Gary & Matt, and Globetrotters all park and run to the clue box together. Cheyne reads they must drive to Groningen and find the Martinitoren which is the tallest building in the city. This is where they will find their next clue.
Which may or may not serve martinis.
– Everyone sounds out of breath and cold. Tiffany is shivering.
Tiffany is shivering the same way Tian did during TAR 4’s Netherlands leg too.
It may not even be -that- cold. Keep in mind only six or seven hours ago they were in Dubai where its coldest daily temperature is still warmer than Amsterdam’s summer peak temperatures.
– SAM: What’s the place called, Dan?
SAM: Like martini as in the drink?
Why did the two gay guys have to make the martini reference? When will there be a flamboyant team that knows nothing about fancy alcoholic beverages.
Flight Time even has his own toque clothing line.
– Gary instructs Matt to follow the other teams. We cut back to Globetrotters.
FLIGHT TIME: If we don’t know anybody’s name on the race, we know Brian’s because we’ve heard a lot of “Brian! Brian! Brian!”
– Intense music plays as they arrive at the monument in last. A sharp dubbed “Brian!” is exclaimed. That was definitely edited. They run back to their vehicle.
– The five teams are now at the Martinitoren. They run out onto the street. Guess which vehicle Sam happens to run by?
Oh. My. Word.
*giggles for ten minutes to himself*
Okay, let’s continue.
– Megan & Cheyne are first to the clue. It’s a Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who has strong legs and keen eyes?
– Phil introduces us to the Martinitoren as giving the best views of the city. Team members must go up the stairs of both floors and count the total number of bells in the carillon. They must then write down the number of bells for the carillonneur. If the number is correct, sixty-two, they will receive their next clue.
– Sam and Megan are doing the task. They agree to work together on the Roadblock.
Yeah, screw regular stairs.
– Brian & Ericka join the rest of the teams at the Roadblock. Brian tells Ericka to do it.
“This one does not do towers.”
– So Ericka begins the task, and decides to take over Mika Combs as the dumbest racer remaining in the season.
You just f—ing said what you’re doing! How do you not know what you are supposed to be doing when you just said exactly what you need to do?
– Ericka defines the Bell Tower as a dark, murky, gloomy, and full of spiderwebs. Too much going on for her.
– Sam climbs to the top to enter daylight. They are at the top of the tower. Something awkward is about to occur.
But first let’s note that Canaan would have done this as his sixth Roadblock because that is where a third of the bells are located. There is no way Mika would have climbed up that high, and with the hint being “strong legs and keen eyes”, she would have not seen herself as fulfilling that requirement.
Look at where Megan is standing.
Uh, can you please move out of the way, Megan? Other people do wish to occasionally finish in first, you know.
I like that she looks all offended as if Matt is being a pervert to come up behind her like that.
– They keep checking the bells as Megan and Sam try to agree on a number. Suddenly, the carillonneur begins playing the carillon and the bells ring in their ears.
Play that annoying beat, Mr. Carillonneur.
Keep dem racers head’s ringin’.
– Matt is the first to exit and submit a guess of 62. He is correct and has the clue. Everyone applauds his efforts. They read that they must drive to Vierhuizen De Marne and find their next clue in front of the windmill.
Yeah, a windmill. That’s a really specific location in the Netherlands.
– Meghan’s and Sam’s guesses of 62 are also approved. Sam tells Tiffany the number as she was running up the stairs. Sam thinks it was a smart move because he is still confident he can beat them.
– Meghan tells Cheyne aloud that Sam told “the girls” the number.
CHEYNE (playfully disappointed): You told the girls?! C’moooon.
SAM: Sorry, I got nervous.
– Meghan & Cheyne and Sam & Dan ask a taxi driver. They hire him to follow his car. Sam & Dan are right behind Meghan & Cheyne. They pass by Gary & Matt who are still asking for directions on the street.
– Flight Time volunteers himself for the Roadblock. Gary volunteers Matt. Maria & Tiffany are fifth to the Roadblock. Tiffany decides to do it.
Which one doesn’t belong?
– Gary & Matt have directions and start driving.
– Tiffany skips the task portion of this and heads straight to the carillonneur to receive the clue. She is exhausted anyway.
– Flight Time and Ericka are both at the top counting bells. The carillonneur is relentless with his playing until Flight Time submits his guess of 62.
– Brian and Big Easy wait at the bottom. Brian looks ridiculous.
Armless Time & Big Easy.
– Flight Time & Big Easy have left. Brian is all alone at the base.
– Ericka submits her guess. The other five teams had it right on the first try.
– Commercial break.
– We resume to one of the most obvious statements of the round so far.
Well, when you only have to count to 62 and make it only two-thirds of the way there, you have a major problem on your hands.
– Brian assumes Ericka is close because all other teams did it quickly.
– We enter the town which has quite the aerial shot.
Tough to believe a place like that really exists.
– Sam & Dan are first to the clue box with Meghan & Cheyne pulling in behind them. It’s a Detour.
Farmer’s Game or Farmer’s Dance?
PHIL: Farm families in the north of Holland have been enjoying the simple country pleasures for generations.
Like ditch vaulting and sheep watching.
– They get to pick between two activities that farmers do after a hard day of work.
In both activities, they must don traditional Dutch costumes and ride bicycles.
In Farmer’s Game, teams must bike to the creek and strip down to their underwear. They must then swim across the creek to play three holes of Farmer’s Golf. The team will take turns hitting the ball until they sink the ball in each of the three holes in eight strokes or less.
If they fail at a hole, they must redo the hole until they can get it in under eight shots.
Odd looking clubs.
– In Farmer’s Dance, teams must attend a country festival where one team member must ring the bell on top of the high striker.
What does that have to do with dancing?
Then they must have to learn a folk Dutch dance and perform correctly in front of a crowd. If the instructor approves, they will be offered a salted herring and onions. Once they have eaten it, they will receive the clue.
In English, this folk festival is known as “the boring dance”.
The dance expert.
That is one enthusiastic Dream Teamer!
– Sam & Dan choose the Game. Sam chooses the male outfit. Dan doesn’t care because he just wants to beat Meghan & Cheyne.
– Meghan yells that she cannot play golf while Cheyne insists he cannot dance.
MEGHAN: We’re going to do -your- golfing one.
Ah, passive-aggressiveness at its fine.
Oh, a man in a woman’s outfit. Teeheeeheeheeeheee you’re so funny producers. -_-
Sadly this dumb trend for cheap laughs does not change anytime soon.
– Meghan finds the outfits to be hilarious. She makes fun of Cheyne’s inability to dress himself.
– GARY: I’ve been dressed up before as a girl a couple of times. Pranks for Halloween. You know, nothing kinky.
PARENTING 101: No child wants to hear you say the word ‘kinky’ in a sentence.
He looks like a KKK Dutchwoman.
– Meanwhile, Ericka submits her second guess.
Mr. Rogers holds back on calling Ericka an idiot.
– Ericka starts sniffling. Brian knows Ericka is competitive and feels bad for her.
– Back to the Detour. Dan giggles over his dress. Yo-duh-lay-hee-hoo et al. Meghan expresses her worry over golfing.
Dutch parachute pants.
– Maria & Tiffany are fourth to the Detour.
MARIA: I know I’m good enough at both. Tell me what you’re good at.
TIFFANY: I can do either. Just do the dance.
Detours are so difficult when you know you’ll be awesome at both!
– Sam says it is like the Tour de France. Yeah, biking for ten minutes. Both jump in their Long Johns.
Diving is not a problem here.
– Sam & Dan are instructed to recap the task for the viewers at home. Both comment on the shoes. Cheyne fires his first shot.
I don’t think Meghan has to worry about underperforming anymore.
– Meghan only hits it two inches. She says the footwear is painful.
– Dan sinks the ball on a somewhat difficult eighth shot. Sam compliments him on his golf skills. One down, two to go.
Provided they can, uh, finish in the first place.
– Gary tells Matt to ring the bell. Matt puts -everything- into the swing.
MATT: Piece of cake. One hit.
Yeah. For a reeeeal man.
But we all know you only learned how to time it due to playing Mario & Luigi Dream Team four years in the future.
– We see the instructor beginning to teach. Gary & Matt laugh hysterically in the confessional as they reflect on the ridiculous accordions.
Weird Al’s ancestors.
– Maria stuffs her shoes with hay. Tiffany found it hilarious that Maria was in the male costume. She just looks like a fashionable Mongol in the 1850s.
– Ericka goes back down the steps to meet with Brian. She claims it is the hardest thing she has ever done.
lol, he’s still armless as she cries.
ERICKA: I swear to god it’s the hardest thing.
Even waterslides are easier than this.
– Brian takes her on a five minute walk so she can have a break.
And even re-gains the use of one of his arms! A Dutch miracle!
– Sam & Dan are on the second hole. They sink it on the eighth shot again.
The cow moos in approval.
I should note Dan has done that same showboating dance while yelling “yes!” both times so far.
– Cheyne gives the worst advice possible.
CHEYNE: Pretend it’s baseball but it’s on the ground.
Do you know why I am terrible at golf?
Because I do the exact same baseball swing! Geez, switch tasks already.
– They max out on their eight shots.
MEGHAN: I hate golf. I told Cheyne from the beginning but can’t do anything about it now.
You can switch.
Dutch golf farmer mean mugs their next clue.
– Sam & Dan read that teams must now bike through town to Zoutkamp Harbo(u)r. This seaside retreat is the next pit stop.
It wouldn’t be a Dutch pit stop without teams using an alternative mode of transportation to find the pit stop.
– Meghan & Cheyne suck as Meghan’s four shots matches one of Cheyne’s shots. Meghan is frustrated.
– We resume. Cheyne is doing much better as she puts everything into it.
CHEYNE: It took us a really long time to get the hang of it cause it wasn’t regular golf.
MEGHAN (mouthing it quietly): Awful.
CHEYNE: But she got the hang of it after the first couple rounds.
(MEGHAN rolls her eyes.)
Psst. No golfing trips in the future.
– Meghan & Cheyne are done the first hole as Sam & Dan swim back across the creek.
– Matt looks through the notes for the route info.
“Eat. . .”
Gary knows something is wrong with his son. He no longer focuses on the dance despite that man rudely clapping in his face.
– Matt said he doesn’t really like fish and they switch. They add the excuse that they are not really dancers anyway.
But not golfers? Just say the herring was the deal breaker for you. Gosh. Or you just wanted to show off how strong you are to hit the tope of the high striker.
– Brian & Ericka gather their jackets before returning to the tower.
Hug it out.
– We return to Meghan & Cheyne on the range. Let’s see Meghan’s third shot. It is a hilarious one.
I have a feeling this golfing experience will be a one time thing.
– Maria & Tiffany are bicycling their way to the dance Detour. Third place is very close to being theirs.
Tiffany grins and bares the costume.
Very Jed inspired.
– They arrive at the dance, but first they must go through the High Striker which Matt describes a “piece of cake”.
Tiffany goes first.
Tiffany has decent form, but she really should pull it back further. The force she puts into it seems rather controlled.
– Maria gives it a go.
Maria’s hammer barely catches the striker. It goes up a few inches.
– Both of them are equally uncoordinated as they both do not demonstrate good form.
– Globetrotters are at the Detour. They choose to dance. Big Easy could probably slam dunk the top of the striker.
– Ericka submits another guess.
ERICKA: Hello, my friend.
(Laughs to herself.)
CARILLONNEUR: You’re laughing?
ERICKA: I already cried. You just didn’t see that.
– Brian & Ericka have some sort of proud bonding moment because she was willing to take four attempts to count bells in a tower.
– Sam & Dan park their bikes and run into the mat.
An escaped Dutch inmate and Phil welcomes them.
PHIL: You guys like dressing up like this?
SAM: We’re not that kind of gay guys.
The Dutch inmate eyes them suspiciously.
You mean you’re not rural gay Dutch farmers living in Missouri?
FIRST PLACE: SAM & DAN
Victory is ours!
– Phil informs them that they have won a sand buggy. Given that they won a pair of motorcycles when Zev & Justin were eliminated, they managed to receive the two lamest prizes to date.
– Gary & Matt meet up with Meghan & Cheyne at the creek as Meghan & Cheyne have finished their swimming. Gary confirms they have to strip down to their underwear.
What is with old people having to strip in the Netherlands on The Amazing Race?
– Gary & Matt commence swimming.
– Flight Time & Big Easy continue biking.
That Globetrotter has a poofy tail!
– Maria & Tiffany are at the high striker. It’s only been a minute since we last checked in with them.
Oh my. Twenty-seven attempts are already racked up. I can assure you their strength is probably half of what it was compared to their first attempt.
– Maybe they would do better if Joan Rivers’ face was on the button that needed to be hit.
Like this. If I was a poker player, I would try to hit that s— in the face as hard as I could. And each time you fail, a new Joan Rivers quote comes out like “you’re a pokuh playa” or “I’ve met your people, you don’t even have last names”, and who can forget “you’re worse than white trash”.
“I’ve met your people for forty years in Vegas. None of them have last names.”
To be fair, I doubt Maria promotes the fact that her last name is ‘Ho’ considering the ridicule she probably got growing up for it, and Tiffany’s last name is Michelle. Therefore, Tiffany technically has two first names.
So you’re right Joan. These two don’t have last names.
And how the f— did “Mad Money” Jim Cramer work himself into the Celebrity Apprentice Joan Rivers incident? Such a random connection.
– By the way Maria’s 28th attempt is where she misses the button entirely. On the thirtieth attempt, she finally connects.
That’s not a full swing of the High Striker. It’s like Maria is giving the High Striker a love tap.
MARIA: I can’t even get mine up!
Yes, Maria can’t even get hers up. She suffers from HD. Hammer Dysfunction.
– After a combined total of thirty attempts and no doubt exhausting Tiffany’s arms because she is the only one trying, they get back on their bikes and pedal to the creek.
– Gary & Matt are excited to see the balls. Sure enough they are assigned the green one. The cows moo again as they make their first shot.
– Flight Time hits the top of the High Striker in one hit. He put everything into it.
Why Tiffany did not use this strategy is beyond me.
– They enter and one of the ladies looks freaked out.
Because Big Easy is approximately twenty feet taller than all of them.
Entertaining the locals.
– Meghan & Cheyne hit the mat.
PHIL: You’re not team number one but you’re team number two.
SECOND PLACE: MEGHAN & CHEYNE
Phil really does love going off scrip this season.
– Brian assures Ericka that a bell will not keep them out of the race. They are at the Detour. Brian & Ericka agree to dance.
– Tiffany & Maria enter the creek. They are the only ones thus far to wear life jackets.
I guess there is not much water in Vegas outside of swimming pools and hot tubs on the tops of hotels.
Come to think of it, are there any really good swimmers this season?
I am shocked that Maria & Tiffany need lifejackets in a creek. How deep can it really be?
Mika wouldn’t even be able to do the golfing Detour this round. She would need Canaan to strike the High Striker, and she would do the dance. Then Canaan would eat the herring too.
– Gary & Matt go through eight shots on the first hole and fail. Gay complains of his feet hurting.
– Maria & Tiffany start walking to the golf course as Tiffany compliments Maria on her undies.
Maria’s feet are already in such pain that she has taken off her shoes.
Maria looks like a cat who got sprayed with water repeatedly in the face after jumping on the furniture one too many times.
– Maria & Tiffany join Gary & Matt? Tiffany’s first shot?
“The club went further than the ball!”
– Maria improves upon Tiffany’s shot of zero centimetres.
And the kajillionth split screen of the season.
– Brian & Ericka exit with their outfits. They disregard the bicycles as they opt to walk to the dancing Detour instead. Not only will this be much slower but it is also against the rules. Will they catch on?
If only there was a way to make this more convenient.
You know you are being punished when not only are you choosing to walk on foot in the most painful shoes provided, but you will be awarded an additional penalty for not taking a faster mode of transportation.
– Maria complains about the golf clubs. Gary & Matt prepare for the eighth shot on hole one.
Wow. He was -this- close from choking.
– The wind is ferocious, and light rain is coming down too. Maria & Tiffany have to restart the hole. Maria asks what they should do. Tiffany reminds them that they truly exhausted themselves at the other Detour option.
Electric Dutch Amish Slide.
– At the herring, the crowd laughs like they are gossiping eighth graders as Flight Time struggles with the herring. He is unusually quiet for Flight Time standards.
Eat this, ja?
Nothing is worse than your high school Amish Dutch bully jeering at you from across the dance hall.
– Brian & Ericka keep running.
BRIAN: How do people wear these?
Probably the same way that you’re wearing them. . .
– Maria & Tiffany decide to switch Detour tasks after Gary & Matt complete the second hole on seven shots.
Back across the creek.
– Flight Time finishes the herring. Big Easy teases him about it.
FLIGHT TIME: Not talking about it. I don’t want to talk about it. Get the camera out of my face. Did you see me get down, though? Did you see me get down? Woo!
Sadly the cameras only want to capture the worst parts of your day.
– Brian & Ericka are still running.
– Maria & Tiffany return to the High Striker. After doing a full round trip of swimming across the creek, playing a minimum round of failed golf, Tiffany running up and down a bell tower, and already hitting the High Striker fifteen times each earlier, and biking across the farm, they must be physically drained.
I should note that swimming is ten times more exhausting if you don’t typically swim. Since Maria & Tiffany are not swimmers whatsoever, I bet they were just done. Especially when they had to carry extra weight due to lifejackets.
– With that being said, are you ready to see attempts 31 and 32? Tiffany’s attempt 31 barely exits the frame.
MARIA: It’s just simple physics.
I think you are about twenty Joules short of succeeding.
– Ericka complains about the shoes.
– Tiffany makes her next attempt.
I assume Tiffany has never put full force into her swing because after twenty swings she is still able to hit it that high. I have never seen a striker give somebody problems.
Er. I take that back.
– Maria continues to be terrible. Brian & Ericka continue to complain about the shoes.
ERICKA: It’s killing me.
BRIAN: Me too.
ERICKA: Not as bad. I did a little more than you today.
BRIAN: No, it’s killing my feet.
Ericka is seriously trying to make Brian feel guilty about complaining that his feet hurt in those uncomfortable shoes?
– We cut back to Maria & Tiffany.
Twenty-five swings apiece and still nothing. Helplessness settles in.
Yes, I am sure producers are relieved. Considering that the 51st swing would probably be at the expense of Bertram Van Munster’s nose.
– So ready for some girl-on-girl 360 degree hugging action?
– We resume. Tiffany is still crying.
MARIA: C’mon Tiffany, you’re my hero. And I’ve never heard you say you can’t do something.
TIFFANY: My hands hurt.
MARIA: I know you can.
– Tiffany’s 51st swing is her best to date. Sadly her arms are probably so burnt out that even perfect form cannot save them. Oh yeah, and Maria’s next swing is useless. She just softly nicks it.
MARIA: I wish I knew how you were doing it. I wish I could help you.
– Ericka states something is not right. Brian reads the clue. Does he figure it out?
Survey says he did.
– ERICKA: I knew this was wrong. We’re supposed to be on bikes. It’s killing me.
BRIAN: Me too.
ERICKA: The least you could do is be compassionate!
Ah, another dubbing on the part of editors.
– Globetrotters hit the mat in third place.
PHIL: Flight Time and Big Easy. . .
PHIL: You look ridiculous!
They and the creepy man in the bottom right corner can’t help but agree.
PHIL: You’re team number three!
THIRD PLACE: FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY
– Gary & Matt are on the final hole. They dribble it until they use up all eight shots to sink it. They have their next clue.
– Maria & Tiffany keep hittin’ it. Brian asks Ericka if she wants to quit.
ERICKA: I’m not saying I want to quit, I’m just saying my knee hurts.
BRIAN: I understand.
ERICKA: I’m a little bit agitated.
BRIAN: My feet hurt–
ERICKA: I’m not giving you any credit for that.
We’re not giving you any credit for doing so poorly at that Roadblock too. Just sayin. Your feet could hurt a lot less if you knew what how to count up to 62 in the first place.
That car could really just take one for the team and bump them a little bit. They’ll know what true pain feels like.
– Maria examines a blister. Tiffany swings again and is SUPER close.
I should note she was practically copying Matt and Flight Time’s form. If she did that 35 swings earlier, they would be in there no problem.
– Ericka decides to be annoying.
ERICKA: You have no idea what pain I’m going in.
BRIAN: I don’t.
ERICKA: I did two hours. Stair stepping. Seriously. Give me a little bit of time.
Again it could have been only twenty minutes if you knew how to count in the first place.
– Back to Maria & Tiffany.
36th time’s the charm.
Eh, maybe 37th.
And she just took a mallet to the testicles. Classic Tiffany.
Maria tries transferring what little strength she has left.
– Tiffany asks Maria what to do.
MARIA: Let’s do the other thing. We’ve tried this a lot.
A lot is an understatement.
FOURTH PLACE: GARY & MATT
– Maria & Tiffany switch.
Back across the creek. Again.
– Brian & Ericka find the. . .what do you call it?
ERICKA: Isn’t that one of those things?
Yes, thank you for the specific answer, Ericka.
– Brian takes his first attempt at the High Striker.
– In they go to prepare for the dance.
– Maria & Tiffany are back at the golf course. Tiffany elaborates that they are much weaker and colder by this point. They go through eight shots quickly. Tiffany comments on the cows.
MARIA: We can do this. I can feel it.
– Brian says the dance was great because it brought them back down to Earth. Ericka says she fell in love with Brian again. Both of them devour the herring after completing the dance.
– Now let’s return to the golf course.
MARIA: Don’t try to overthink it.
Yes. Because overthinking it has been your problem, Maria. -_-
71 attempts at High Striking and now sixteen attempts at golf.
71 swings + (16 rounds * 8 shots) = 199 epic fails.
– You know what other things take sixteen attempts, Maria?
Survivor season 70.
– Brian & Ericka finish their herrings. A random local devours a herring just for kicks.
“Hey baby, I’m dead sexy”.
– Brian & Ericka read that they must take a bike to the pit stop. Since they did not take the provided bikes, they have to convince a random dude to take his bikes.
BRIAN: Can we borrow two bikes? We’ll bring em right back after we’re done, I promise you.
Old man grants permission. Although I have a feeling that he is not in the best of shape to ride those bikes anymore.
And given the three-storey bike lots in Amsterdam, bikes are probably dirt cheap and are in over abundance like cats are in America.
– I assume they will be receiving an additional penalty. Borrowing the bikes to go to the pit stop should be like an unsettled fare with a taxi driver. When you take someone’s personal property to the mat, you must return it before your round is officially done.
“This is much easier than walking!”
– Maria & Tiffany are on the final shot of hole 1. Can they make it?
“You will not make this putt. . .you jackass!”
– And they miss. Damn you, John Flaherty!
– Ericka admits this is not their finest hour as her and Brian enter the mat. Penalties must be assessed. However, Phil begins with telling them they are fifth.
They took an additional two hours to make it to the Detour, and that was after Ericka taking four times as long to do the Roadblock.
– Phil assesses the penalty. However, it has nothing to do with taking the old man’s bikes. No, it’s just for not taking the bikes to the dance hall as instructed. In the past, teams have had to go back to the previous route marker and take the correct mode of transportation before checking in.
But Brian & Ericka are going to get off relatively easy here.
But not easy enough for Ericka to be relaxed.
Yeah, just a thirty minute penalty. Maria & Tiffany have yet to complete one hole.
– Tiffany complains that they could do better if it was not windy.
Enough with the hugging.
– Tiffany wants to try again and see if she can do it.
“You’re going to need a windbreaker and a tent, because you’re never gonna get off this farm. . .you jackass!”
A reasonably good shot.
TIFFANY: I don’t feel like my arms are working anymore.
Really? After 36 swings and 101 shots of a golf ball, and three laps across the creek?
– We see a lot of awkward standing around for Maria & Tiffany, and Ericka crying on the bench. Two seconds pass.
FIFTH PLACE: BRIAN & ERICKA
How many teams don’t suck this season?
Feeling just a wee bit under the weather.
– Tiffany commits to one more shot.
Yeah, she’s done.
So what does one do when done?
Phil comes out to check the hugging.
PHIL: Maria & Tiffany, I understand you want to give up on the race?
And since hugging is not a third Detour option, and since Sam & Dan did not lose their passports, you’ll be out of the race?
TIFFANY: We don’t want to give up on the race, but we do not foresee that we will be able to finish the challenge with this weather. We are quitting the race, and as a result we understand we’ll be eliminated from the race.
And incur an uncomfortable extreme close-up in the process.
MARIA: We know in our hearts that we’ve really really given not this challenge but every challenge our all and that’s all we can do.
You f—ing kidding me, Maria?
How quickly we forget things.
MARIA: Tiffany has been my hero this entire race. I see her as completely invincible, but at the end of the day we can only do so much.
Like calculating the gold standard, and solving a 3-digit combination lock. . .and, well, that’s about it. That really is all they can do.
Lesson learned for American all-female teams after fifteen seasons of TAR: You can only do so much.
TIFFANY: We’re not going to get too comfortable because we know the higher way up there is a longer way to fall.
Ironically, it was Tiffany avoiding going too far up and having a longer way to fall that kept her and Maria from surviving this round.
You can’t do waterslides, play golf, or hit a High Striker. You may as well be responsible for being the only time in TAR history where teams quit in back-to-back rounds.
Next Time on TAR: Teams have a blast in Stockholm, Sweden. And then the race returns to one of its dumbest and most unforgettable Roadblocks where teams must endure an Amazing Race Switchback.
So there you have it. The only all-female team this season is out due to quitting on a physical task. After being the first team to be saved by a first round non-elimination in the American franchise, and to also be saved by the first ever post-check in passport loss just three rounds later, the fact Maria & Tiffany made it to this point is very very lucky.
When you factor in even more useless female racers this season like Mika, Jessica, Keri, and Marcy, you wonder if women in general just really suck at TAR. We have had fifteen seasons, and viewers think it is the show’s fault for not having an all-female winner yet.
But look at the Asian version. In two out of three seasons, two all-female teams made the Final Four. Furthermore, the one season where only one all-female team made the Final Four happened to be the one where an all-female team won.
So it appears that stronger all-female teams are cast in Asia, but female racers in general in America have a trend of being weaker or lack a competitive spirit.
Another reason for why people like Laci Green need to exist.
I have always been a big fan of Laci Green’s.
Why. . .why. . .why. . .
Let’s pretend that never happened.
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 2.2
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 Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th Neena & Amit 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
6th Maria & Tiffany 6.57
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
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 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
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) Dubai, UAE -> Zoutkamp, Netherlands
Ah yes. A season which only visits two continents, and round seven marks the transition into Europe.
I loved the character scenes at the start of the round, and I also love that they had to self-drive as well as self-bike most of the round.
On paper, all they had to do was count 63 bells and play either three holes of Croqolf or have a classic circus game/folk dance/herring feast.
You would think these were four Detour options, but it’s not. I love that they finally threw a physical round at them. The worst of it up to this point has been either paddling or enduring heat. Very little running or co-ordination required up to this point.
Counting bells was really easy for five out of six teams. I am puzzled how Ericka spent two hours on it.
The swim to the golf area then play golf was neat. The three teams who completed it all did it fairly easily.
The other Detour option seemed really easy for Brian & Ericka and Harlem Globetrotters. Hit the bell which takes ten seconds, learn a dance which takes ten minutes, then eat a herring full of onions which appears to take just under a minute.
Wasabi bombs are probably tougher than a herring for most teams. How Matt was compelled to switch at the sight of herring is beyond me.
Earlier I said that the top five teams alive at the end of the episode are on their own playing field while the other six teams were bound to go at one point or another.
But after seeing Gary & Matt’s performance, Ericka’s performance and Brian’s reading comprehension, and Big Easy’s inability to do most tasks, I see only two contenders now.
Sam & Dan and Meghan & Cheyne are truly in their own league. The other three teams are one tier below, and the first six eliminated teams all are terrible in one way or another.
What is the most shocking thing is to learn that only Sam & Dan, Meghan & Cheyne, and Gary & Matt are the only three of the top seven teams who know how to swim up to par.
I am usually annoyed with pit stops that are really close by because they tend to be too easy to find, and place that much more emphasis on the tasks rather than skill level.
Now to the controversial part. Was Maria & Tiffany screwed due to being the only all-female team where a woman had to hit the top of the High Striker?
The answer is no. We saw how close Tiffany was after three laps of swimming, several rounds of golf, and nearly thirty swings later. If she put that same energy and form into her first swing, Maria & Tiffany probably finish near the top.
And can we comment how out of shape Maria was for most of the season? We also touched upon how poor Tiffany’s cardio was from time to time.
And if Maria & Tiffany were screwed at the Detour, who cares? They were saved by America’s first ever opening round non-elimination after they quit the task, and when Zev & Justin lost their passports. Those are two rounds where they should have been out in eleventh or ninth already.
Just because Maria has one good round in the previous episode suddenly doesn’t make up for how crappy they were before, and declare their elimination to be a “robbery”.
Overall, this leg looked weak, but two teams managed to suck so badly that we are given the false impression that this was one of the toughest rounds ever.
Also, Brian & Ericka should have been forced to return those bikes, and complete the biking portion properly.
4) 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 Meghan & 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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 Meghan & 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) Maria & Tiffany
I went into this race absolutely despising producers for casting Tiffany. Do I need to touch upon all of the crap she did in the World Series of Poker again? Hating other women, annoying men by repeatedly saying they have a crush on her, and calling the clock on pots she was never supposed to be involved in, and doing this all for the sake of extra camera time on television.
Maybe this was the reason why they were the only all-female team cast this season. Perhaps producers did not want Tiffany acting catty towards another team.
That lie about them working with troubled teens was so weak that Tiffany openly admitted to a stranger she was a poker player with another team in earshot.
They quit on the third task of the season, but saved by a non-elimination and the smallest penalty ever for quitting a task.
Also, they were super lucky by grabbing the correct license plate at the starting line on their first try.
They were going to be eliminated in round two, but saved by Tiffany having a duck farming Roadblock that she had experienced in her childhood.
They would have been done in round four by a mile, but Justin lost Zev’s passport.
Then it was at the point where Lance & Keri and Mika decided to be useless at everything, so Maria & Tiffany were given two free passes.
Then a physical round came after a mental one, and we saw just how poorly Maria & Tiffany can be at certain tasks. They were sent home approximately six rounds after they should have been.
Maria & Tiffany should be grateful.
But seriously, I wonder if Maria & Tiffany would be Villains x 10, 000 if another all-female team was on the season.
Speaking of their edit, it went from Super Villains in the first two rounds to being Sam & Dan’s sidekicks for the next five. Editors were bumpuzzled in terms of what to do with them.
I am amazed I am ranking Maria & Tiffany this high, really. They exceeded my awfully low expectations.
P.S. I hate Joan Rivers.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.