“Do the Racers Have Large Tallinns?”
JAPAN – VIETNAM – CAMBODIA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – THE NETHERLANDS – SWEDEN – ESTONIA – CZECH REPUBLIC – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Five teams raced to Stockholm, Sweden. On the confusing streets of Stockholm, Gary & Matt got turned around, driving them into last place, as other teams “blasted” ahead.
And Phil doesn’t know how to construct a proper sentence.
At the Roadblock in the first Amazing Race Switchback task, Meghan lost control while Dan lost his cool but later felt regret. The Globetrotters rolled into another first place finish. In the end Gary & Matt couldn’t make up the lost time, but were spared elimination.
Five teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time.
– The episode begins, and with a graphic that has never been done before.
Yes, this is Stockholm, Sweden. Which you’ll learn again in two seconds because Phil ALWAYS TELLS YOU WHICH CITY THEY’RE IN! The subtitle was completely unnecessary.
In fact, the subtitle is still on screen when Phil tells you this is Stockholm, Sweden. Are they doing this for Luke’s sake? Wouldn’t Luke just be watching it in closed captions, anyway?
In short, rookie editors are at work for this round.
PHIL: The birthplace of dynamite, the Nobel Peace Prize, and supergroup ABBA.
Yes. In TAR 3, Phil and the crew listened to several hours of ABBA on the bus to Mexico City. This was from one of the online video diaries that Phil did frequently in TAR 3 and subsequent seasons.
So my hunch is that Phil is an ABBA diehard fan at heart.
All this Kiwi has ever dreamed of is being a Dancing Queen.
– Phil introduces us to Bogs Farm. The way he pronounces it makes it sound like he is saying “boobs”.
– Phil recaps that the Harlem Globetrotters were in first place and won the Travelocity prize. Now we get the annual tradition of the winning team examining their trip on a laptop.
That’s the biggest desk they have in all of Sweden. Poor Big Easy.
– Ah, the Travelocity pages look so inviting!
FLIGHT TIME: Turks and Caicos!
BIG EASY: Beautiful resort. Good view of the water.
FLIGHT TIME: Look at the water. I hope we have double beds.
BIG EASY: They better have double beds.
That’s way too much information to obtain from one picture where most of the view is blocked.
That’s not where the double beds are, Flight Time.
– Flight Time and Big Easy, who arrived first at an unspecified time, will depart first at 2:23am. Close to twelve hours, I assume.
– Flight Time reads that they must take a ferry across the Baltic Sea for 236 miles to get to Tallinn, Estonia.
That many people want to go to Estonia?
Fun fact: I once got an autograph from an Estonian freestyle wrestler who competed at the World’s Olympic Freestyle competition in Edmonton back in 2002.
A side project for the guy who did the St. Basil’s Cathedral.
– Once in Estonia, teams will have to figure out how to unlock this door.
Maybe these keys hanging outside of its doors will aid us in this task. TAR 15 truly is easy!
Wow! The door is pre-opened! Even Mika or Shahla Kara could do this task.
– The building is Mustpeade.
The keys are labelled in case you wake up in a room and forget your name, your clothes, and all that you have on you are these keys.
– So what is this Mustpeade that Phil speaks of?
Okay, promise you won’t get mad, Harlem Globetrotters? These are Phil’s words. Not mine.
PHIL: Teams must figure out how to open this door to the building of Mustpeade. It’s the secret layer of the Brotherhood of the Blackheads.
Hold on. I didn’t get a close enough look at the emblem on the wall.
Wow. The Harlem Globetrotters really are a global phenomenon!
– This offensive location is where they will find their next clue.
– Flight Time says that every team who has made it this far deserves to be here. The editors insert the part where they talk about Sam & Dan. Flight Time thinks the brothers have won a good race, but anything can happen. Big Easy wants to separate himself from the brothers because they are tough competition while they are peaking with arguing between them.
– Globetrotters hire a taxi to lead them to the ferry terminal. Much like last round where everybody was forced to leave in the middle of the night, everything is closed.
– They ring up a voice that communicates with them through an intercom.
The Svedish Verry Automater Vive Vousand at work!
Flight Time making eye contact with an inanimate object when speaking.
Okay. Not as many people go to Tallinn as I initially thought.
FLIGHT TIME: So you mean a long time from now?
FLIGHT TIME: So that’s the only boat all day?
Heh, she does not hesitate bringing them bad news.
BIG EASY: So much for our lead!
Shut it. You just won a trip to Turks and Caicos after leapfrogging people at a 100% luck based task.
– Meghan & Cheyne depart second at 4:12am. Wow, Big Easy was super lucky with the hay bales. He was five minutes behind them but found the flag nearly two hours before them.
– Cheyne wants to pull over a car on the road and have Meghan to “work her magic”.
Work her magic? What is she? A prostitute?
– Meghan concedes that all of the teams remaining are teams they have aligned with. She says you can’t work with teams at this point in the race. They successfully pull over a taxi which leads them to the ferry terminal.
– Brian & Ericka depart third at 4:37am. Do you know how they call themselves the Interracial Couple, Team Zebra, and other names as a source of pride?
Brian is wearing a yin and yang hat. Ah, clever.
BRIAN: We’re really not concerned that we haven’t won a leg yet. You know, during Miss America, Ericka did not win any preliminaries the whole time.
Why you gotta remind me, you jerk.
This one does not win preliminaries.
BRIAN: The only thing that matters is winning the final leg.
So far, they agree.
– Brian describes pulling over and “lassoing” taxis is a fun little sport on TAR.
I have said it before, but Brian is a very smooth narrator in comparison to the other teams. That’s why they have a high confessional count every episode except for the hay bales one. They probably had nothing to talk about for the round.
Why do the white lines on each of the road have a bunch of dashes? It’s like a bookmarker in a spiral binder.
– They hire a taxi to follow to the ferry station. It is becoming super common in the Europe legs. Brian admits he would have gone in the wrong direction if not for the taxi.
– Sam & Dan depart at 5:04am. Yep, nearly three hours behind the Globetrotters. Sam confirms there are ten keys on the chains. They note that they should stop bickering and put that aside because it accomplishes nothing.
This means something.
– Brian & Ericka pull into the ferry terminal. They see the Globetrotters’ shoes laying outside of the car.
I s’pose nobody wants to steal size sixteen shoes.
Brian & Ericka watch the Globetrotters sleep silently. Either they are really creepy or are as curious as the rest of us as to how Big Easy is able to fall asleep in a small vehicle.
– Meghan & Cheyne pull into the ferry terminal third. They giggle when they see the Globetrotters in their car. The message gets passed on about the 5:00pm ferry. None of the three teams are happy.
Answer: Big Easy did not sleep in the car. He looks more like Grump Easy.
– There is a slow motion shot of Meghan being unhappy with the 5:00pm departure along with a random Asian guy watching her in the background.
Even the Asian-Svedish stalker has to wait until 5:00pm for the ferry.
– Gary & Matt depart last at 6:29am. Gary was concerned that Matt would see his flaws and did not want to let him down. He wanted Matt to still see him as a father figure. Gary is relieved that Matt accepts him despite his flaws. They will do what it takes to win.
– Racers are suddenly boarding the Tallinn ferry.
Er, Tallink, according to Swedes.
I wonder what people of Muslim descent refer to Tallinn as? Tallibb?
Undoubtedly named after legendary Eastern Bloc rapper Tallibb Kweli.
– Globetrotters and the McMillens see each other in the airport. Big Easy tells us that Sam & Dan should not have been acting the way they were acting at the Switchback. Particularly the cussing each other part.
– Both teams have multiple cuts expressing that they should be ahead of each other and for the other to be eliminated.
– Gary & Matt discover the ferry leaves at 5:45pm. The blunder music plays. All five teams board the 5:45pm ferry which is revealed to last sixteen hours. They check out their pull-out beds.
Uh. . .why?
– The ferry pulls away from the terminal. The teams wave goodbye to Sweden.
Well, four and a half teams are waving goodbye. Matt instead checks out Meghan’s chest.
GARY: We’ve got a Speed Bump. It’s do or die. It’s not a pretty place to be and you’ve GOT to be serious.
MATT: I put on the black headband to show them we mean business and we’re not going to go down without a fight.
HOLY S—! A -BLACK- BANDANA! I AM SHAKING IN MY BOOTS!
All Matt needs to do is dye his hair blonde and he would look a lot like the woman on the left from Zombies Ate My Neighbors.
– This leg started at 2:00am. The ferry did not leave until 5:45pm. Furthermore, the ferry does not get into Tallinn until sixteen hours later.
So 2:00am-9:45am = a long break for a leg when no planes or buses are involved.
– Dramatic music plays as teams gather at the front gate of the ferry to exit.
Can you guess which local is retired?
The shadowy figure releases its prisoners.
– Cheyne wants Meghan to move faster. They are supposed to walk while Big Easy eggs on other teams to run rather than their slow jog. Big Easy says they do it to put racers in the mindset of “we have to beat the Globetrotters”.
– All five teams pile in taxis. Brian makes a proud claim.
Heh, Brian spoke too soon. How far was Brian off from his assessment of being in first?
Yes, two teams are ahead.
– Gary & Matt are fourth into a taxi. And. . .
The jogging does nothing!
– The taxi drivers stop just short of Mustpeade. Meghan runs to the clue box.
She is just a little confused.
– Meghan & Cheyne and Sam & Dan find a keyhole. They work together as Cheyne operates the keys.
“Which purple wire? There are no purple wires!”
– Meghan is panicking as Sam & Dan get all nervous.
Dan is on the lookout.
They’ll do just fine.
– Dan takes over the keys because Cheyne is failing. Dan’s key works. A siren blares. The four racers shove each other through the doors as Meghan yells for someone to close the door.
Dan shoving Cheyne through the door.
– Ericka spots the keyhole on her own anyway.
– Meghan & Cheyne open the clue. It’s a Roadblock. The Mustpeade is a not-so-secret society of merchants in Estonia for at least six hundred years.
He’s really into his role as a Blackhead.
Mixing alcohol with sword fighting sounds relatively safe. What could go wrong?
Look at the framing of that clue! They spent ten hours perfecting that shot.
That is one sad looking candle next to Phil.
– Phil explains that teams will join the ranks of the Brotherhood to uncover a mystery. They must descend into the cellar and locate a candelabra with a room number attached.
– With candelabra and number in hand, they must find the room number that matches the number on their candelabra. Once inside, they will be given a “blank” scroll. They must figure out they must hold the blank scroll over their candle to reveal the name of their next clue.
What does that translate to? Pick Herman’s toes? That’s a bit sadistic.
This clue is blatantly copied from Treasure Hunters. Find the plagiarism. . .file the lawsuit.
And who is this lady playing the flute?
Did she steal it from Willy Wonka?
– We watch drunken sword fighting as Cheyne and Dan enter. Unlike Dan, Sam isn’t shouting throughout the building every two seconds. Dan and Cheyne work together as they pick up their candelabras.
– Gary & Matt see the Speed Bump. Phil tells us that they must enter the Saunabuss.
– They must strip down and take a five minute sauna with locals.
– Once they’ve sweated it out for five minutes, they can continue on with the race. Factor in change time and they are likely losing ten minutes. A local directs them to where the saunabuss would be.
– Sam and Cheyne finally enter an area with rooms that have numbers on them. They appear to be wasting time. Brian & Ericka do all of the work of unlocking the door as Globetrotters follow in.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who wants to solve a medieval mystery?
– Ericka and Flight Time re-explain the task to us Big Brother style. The most annoying part of TAR’s progression.
– Gary & Matt enter the saunabuss.
Guess who receives all of the attention?
Thankfully they do not stare at an attractive woman in the same Creepy Caleb fashion.
At our local rec centre, there is always an incident almost every week of a man entering the women’s change room. Here in Estonia they do not appear to have that same problem given the comfortable communal nature of the sauna. Heck, women’s only gyms are really popular in our town too.
And Gary decides to impress her with some Tomljenovich family history.
Yes. Gary not only lives on a farm, but he lives on a Saunafarm. Apparently all people of descent from a Satellite state own a sauna. His greatgrandmother was born in Finland, and heritage is Finnish on his mother’s side.
Lip, nose, and tongue piercings are preparing to melt off of Matt’s face.
MATT: If you go into northern Minnesota, it’s a Souna.
GARY: We love the souna. It’s perfect for us.
Soo loves sounas too.
– The four teams are searching for their room. Flight Time is first to match up the candelabra with his room number of 78. He found what looked like a crayon and begins to scribble on the scroll. He thought the piano held a rubbing, I guess.
FLIGHT TIME: I proceeded to scribble like I was in kindergarten.
Big Easy looks so ashamed. Flight Time does not understand that the rubbing is always because of the object you are scribbling on, not the paper itself. That would be one bumpy piano.
Brian & Ericka are as separated as Shawn King’s shoulder.
By the way, Rex & Bob are three days behind due to penalties. They quit hay bales Switchback, the candelabrah because the medieval aura was too spooky, and also quit the key task because they wanted to try only seven keys instead of ten.
– Cheyne matches up with 73, which is oddly enough how many times Tiffany & Maria struck the High Striker in the Netherlands.
– We see Matt looking uncomfortable, licking his lips, and shifting. He then elaborates on the woman next to him. He says it was nice.
Matt wants her to ride his own type of Speed Bump.
You know what kills the mood, though?
GARY: I even know a song about the sauna.
Yes, Gary begins singing an old Finnish folk song. I’ll try my best.
Cookies in the souna
Leh me teh
Cookies in the whooooo-hey.
Why you never bring your dad on a first date.
Only person who would be impressed regarding a song about cookies in a sauna.
– We return to the Black Heads. Oddly enough, we see Ericka unravelling the scroll and lifting it up to a candle. Flight Time completes the rubbing but sees nothing. He walks away as the camera pans to the message being visible.
– Sam is fourth to his room.
– Of course, Cheyne is first to solve it. Ericka identifies the message too. Both run out. No need to exchange it for a clue.
– We cut back to the saunabuss. Gary is -still- singing.
The Wanda Shirk of Saunabusses.
Matt just guaranteed himself a full year without getting laid, and I know exactly what his next ad on Kijiji will look like:
Sorry, Dad. You just didn’t cut it as a wing man.
GARY: You could do this in Minnesota, and it’d go over really big. You could make it a party bus with a sauna in the back.
But with one modification by Matt.
I wonder what a liquor license is like for a Saunabuss.
And there would be one other big change for a saunabuss in northern Minnesota.
The spelling would have to change.
– Matt is rescued by the longest five minutes ever to finally come to an end.
MATT: We’re in dead last. We’ve got a lot to make up.
And sadly nothing for Matt to use to make out.
– Sam is done too in third place. Flight Time finally caught on to the angle of holding up to the candle. All four teams are out. Big Easy congratulates him on succeeding. Most likely because he wouldn’t have solved it himself.
I don’t think that’s an expression, Big Easy.
– Matt enters the lair. Northern Minnesota may have saunas, but they do not have decent English classes as Matt stumbles over the word.
No, they call me the Knight’s Tale.
MATT: Can you lead me to a special room?
Pfffft. You need a new set of keys to enter our brothel.
Do you even lift, candelabrah?
– Commercial break. When advertisers heard Matt pronouncing it as candelabrah, they decided to play this song for him.
– Matt realizes it is referencing a candle. He grabs the one with ’88’ on it and understands what to do.
He could be related to Gus McLeod.
– Brian & Ericka and Meghan & Cheyne are at the Detour. Phil introduces us to the Estonian countryside that is scattered with bogs.
This visual is taken right out of the Survivor: Palau intro.
– It’s Serve or Sling. In Serve, teams must play a round volleyball against a pair of locals.They must score five points to receive their next clue.
Estonian Lillian Morris gets stuck in the mud.
Diving is rather difficult. I expect lots of injuries.
Joola! The official scorecards of The Amazing Race!
Lady Stark will hand them their next clue.
– In Sling, teams plant themselves in the mud, and using a slingshot, fire assorted vegetables at a moose target. Hit the target, and the table full of cabbage will collapse along with their next clue.
Goo ol cherry tomatoes, potatoes, and brussel sprouts! So lethal!
I thought only Canadians fire things at moose targets.
Not the cabbage!
– Meghan & Cheyne and Brian & Ericka both choose Surf as they chase down taxis. Unfortunately, only one is on the road.
– Brian sees a taxi first according to Ericka, but he denies it and says Cheyne saw it. He infuriates Ericka by trying to convince Meghan & Cheyne to help them out.
Yes, he gives up the taxi to Meghan & Cheyne. According to this photo, Cheyne is ahead of him anyway. I doubt he truly gave it up. We hear Meghan & Cheyne tell the driver to call a taxi loudly before entering.
– Ericka, who was thirty steps behind, calls out Brian.
ERICKA: Wow, dude. You really just gave them the taxi.
BRIAN: I didn’t give it to them. They saw it first.
ERICKA: But are you serious? You saw it first.
No. Cheyne was ahead of him. Remember that from two seconds ago?
And you do know you could have yelled at Meghan & Cheyne, right Ericka? Instead of waiting until after they left and blame the whole thing on Brian.
– So Meghan & Cheyne are in their taxi. So far they have worked well with virtually every team left in the race.
The man shows concern for the bi-racial couple.
MEGHAN: No. We don’t care about them. Just go. Forget about the other taxi.
Sexy sexy Meghan. . .Girl, that was cold. . .blooded!
– Sweaty Matt copies Flight Time’s strategy of being convinced it was a rubbing.
If you’re copying Globetrotters’ puzzle solving methods, you’re in huge trouble.
– Brian & Ericka enter a taxi. Ericka decides to be the biggest jerk possible.
ERICKA: My husband has a heart of gold is what just happened. He just gave away a taxi.
BRIAN: I didn’t give it away. I didn’t give it away.
Ericka and this California music group disagree.
And a more passive-aggressive one. Sigh.
– Globetrotters decide to follow Sam & Dan on the streets to the clue box. However, Sam & Dan have yet to find it.
– Matt solves the scroll puzzle. Sam & Dan have the clue as Globetrotters successfully follow them. Big Easy realizes that his height will give him an advantage on the volleyball court.
– Sam & Dan beg a passenger in a taxi to leave. The man says he cannot walk. Sam & Dan get super whiny. The driver agrees to call a taxi. They see a big van taxi behind them on the phone with the taxi in front. Globetrotters yell to the locals that they are the Harlem Globetrotters and need a taxi.
“We’re the Harlem Globetrotters! We’ve decided to stop doing anything on round nine! Either help us or we’ll follow a team that we morally despise.”
– Sam & Dan’s whininess puts Globetrotters just five steps behind. Flight Time tries to enter the van taxi. When Sam & Dan shout they were being called the taxi, Flight Time counters that they can travel together.
BIG EASY: He wasn’t holding for y’all. Good try, though.
Yes, because he managed to communicate with the Estonian driver to confirm this.
– So both teams share a taxi. For the first time ever, two teams who hate each other voluntarily share a taxi.
This will be one quiet ride.
The joke is on Sam & Dan as the Globetrotters will use their long term survival to put together two more TAR appearances. They should be called Exploit Time & Big Easy.
– Matt reads a map to show a shortcut to Gary. They are running pretty hard. Oh. Nevermind. Matt’s map reading abilities have worked out for once.
– The “Ken & Gerard can’t use a Punt in England” music plays as Meghan & Cheyne and Brian & Ericka read the additional info.
MEGHAN: If you want, you can perform the Detour in your underwear. I’m not gonna do it in my underwear.
He’d pay to see that.
– Brian pitches the idea if the volleyball wetlands are located on a nudist colony.
I’ll assume the thongs are yellow. Meanwhile, Brian will get into his underwear just for fun.
– Flight Time & Big Easy and Sam & Dan argue over the whole taxi situation as Flight Time & Big Easy give confessionals regarding the situation. Big Easy insists the white taxi van happened to pull up and was not Sam & Dan’s requested one, and is tough love he showed up to it before they did. Sam & Dan disagree.
SAM: They’ve been the team the whole time that we’ve wanted out. It’s frustrating to see them doing so well.
Again, three seasons versus your one.
– Gary & Matt lose a ton of time as they aimlessly run around and do not see the clue adjacent to them.
– We return. They find the clue and decide to slingshot it. Their driver is very casual as he does lots of shrugging.
“You smell like Saunabuss. You flirt with my daughter, yes?”
“Hmmmm. Did I uh pick up uh the cannoli?
– Gary concedes they are doing terrible. Gary & Matt’s taxi calls Meghan & Cheyne’s taxi. Matt tells his driver to tell the other driver to go slow. Meghan & Cheyne’s driver hangs up on him saying he doesn’t have time to show him how to get to the location.
– Meghan & Cheyne enter the Detour. They catch on it’s mud volleyball. Meghan changes faster than Cheyne yet again.
Best summer camp extra-curricular activity offered in Estonia.
MEGHAN: I don’t know if this is all mud.
What happens when you forget to wipe.
– Meghan & Cheyne are up One joola-nil joolas. Now two joolas-nil. Three joolas-nil. We see them finally lose a point.
– Flight Time & Big Easy put on their official gear. Flight Time chimes in that they need to put their game face on.
Go easy on me, Sam & Dan. Yesterday was my birthday. Or the day before that. I dunno.
– Meghan & Cheyne miss another joola and another. Finally, their fourth joola. Meghan repeats for their opponents to go easy on them. Brian & Ericka are now at the Detour. Sam & Dan and Globetrotters have caught up to Brian & Ericka. The three teams discuss aloud where to go. All three teams miss obvious arrows.
Let’s just run aimlessly!
– Meghan & Cheyne continue to slaughter this leg, but just need to score their final joola. They describe the mud as being very tiring. Meghan falls into the mud.
So that’s what they mean by “mud butt”.
– Meghan shows off her athleticism.
Can she do it?
Diarrhea splashed right into the face. Lovely.
If only the mud contained Devil’s Snare. We would finally have a competitive season amongst the other four teams.
– Brian & Ericka, Globetrotters, and Sam & Dan have yet to find a sign. This is pretty much turning into a game of “Just Hand the Money to Meghan & Cheyne on Round Nine”. Brian has another one of his brilliant deductions.
BRIAN: If it said “marked”, it would have to be some type of marking.
You sir are a genius.
Some type of marking.
– Meghan & Cheyne score their fifth joola with ease.
Game, set, and joola!
Now let’s celebrate with a grasshopper!
– They read that they must run to Keava Raba Overlook Tower. Rising high above the Marshland, it is the pit stop for this leg of Meghan & Cheyne’s raping of the competition. The last team to check in here will be eliminated because the Speed Bump twist ensures predictability for when eliminations occur.
That place looks epic!
Eh, nevermind. How do we go from an 820 metre high tower three rounds earlier to a tower that looks like producers built it overnight from whatever nearby trees they could find?
– Meghan & Cheyne see the tower from the volleyball court. It’s like the Prairies. When you are on a flat surface for miles and miles in the middle of nowhere, a building barely taller than Charla really stands out.
– Two seconds later they run up the tower and are met by the pit stop greeter.
Yep, most likely the oldest greeter ever. She will also have the record of being the first greeter to be sitting in a chair. She reminds me of David & Jeff’s grandmother.
Yes, I referenced the Goats. Other than “Hold on David, don’t let go!” in mud bull runs, or David rolling his eyes, or finishing 525, 600 minutes behind Reichen & DK and Kelly & Jon, I don’t believe they have been referenced in this blog for years.
Yep. You had no chance of getting that.
If they knew they would be running into a grandma, they would put on their best Sunday outfit.
– FIRST PLACE: MEGHAN & CHEYNE
– Phil presents them the good news.
PHIL: You missed out on the Saunabuss. You guys have won a red cedar sauna.
– Cheyne believes this is the ultimate stage for competition.
– Now to mildly less boring teams as they (really Sam & Dan which leads to the other two teams following them) see the arrow. All three teams are making a mad dash. Gary & Matt are still in their taxi knowing they have to pull out all the stops and need to “cowboy up” like in
Their threats of catching up should be taken as seriously as Lorena & Jason’s.
– Flight Time assumes the White Estonians are intimidated by two good-looking and athletic Black guys.
– Meanwhile intimidation does not really occur for Sam & Dan.
That’s right. It does the zoom in then out sound effect like an 80s beach commercial.
It’s the same thing that went on with Clay when he saw C.C.
Dan is truly daydreaming as Sam is the only one capable of speaking to the producer right now. Bring up the Estonian mud volleyball national men’s team, and the Mcmillen’s mother will instantly have to do a new load of laundry.
– Sam & Dan and Globetrotters ask them who is the worst. Brian & Ericka have to do the sling task because only two teams can play mud volleyball at a time. They put on the mud/snowshoes.
– Survivor: Gabon aired exactly one year before The Amazing Race 15 did in 2009.
Which is why Dan is thankfully not Marcus Lehman’d.
– Flight Time is happy to be in the mud because both teams are at a disadvantage.
– Ericka attempts her first shot at the moose.
And it goes -3 feet as it ricochets off of the funny bone.
The dunce cap wearing local is ridiculed to the point that she is only capable of judging a task that is already self-sufficient on its own.
– Want to see Dan bump a volleyball?
Let’s just say he couldn’t return the serve.
– Big Easy bumps it in a straight line in Flight Time. The joolas will be moving slowly on the counter, I imagine.
– Sam attempts setting the ball.
Just a bit outside.
– Gary has no idea where teams are. Catching up at the Detour is their only chance.
– Big Easy is stuck in the mud after an unfortunate double teaming incident.
I see they both want to play volleyball the Kobe Bryant way.
– We resume. Big Easy is still stuck. Flight Time repeatedly tells Big Easy to move, but the ball goes directly to Big Easy and he scores the point as the lady jumps into the mud. Sam & Dan score a joola too.
– Big Easy attempts to troll his opponents.
Sorry, but even the lady in the dunce cap wouldn’t fall for it. Unless you’re a wannabe country singer who hates anything other than sitting or walking, your plan won’t work Big Easy.
– Big Easy shocks us that he has never played professional volleyball. Both teams discuss how fun it was to play in the mud. Globetrotters have three points. Sam & Dan then score their third.
– Ericka nearly hits the target. Both take several more turns.
– Sam & Dan have their fourth joola. Globetrotters now have their fourth. Brian barely misses the target. Ericka has more respect for David & Goliath.
Although I missed the part where Goliath used a slingshot.
– Globetrotters have their final point as they high five their Estonian opponents. They put on their gear.
But not before Flight Time barks at the Estonians and moons the crowd.
– Sam & Dan score their fifth point and open the clue. Dan knows where to go.
What happens when Flight Time has no one to follow.
– Globetrotters turn around as they sprint on the bridge to catch up to Sam & Dan.
Remember in TAR 24 how Globetrotters’ repeated phrase was “all you have to do is beat one team each leg except for the final one”? Well, a strategy like staying really close to a top team, even if the top team hates you, has evolved to become a huge component of their strategy. Now they will use their athleticism to outrun them.
Unless your name is Bail Time.
Flight Time is too desperate to beat Sam & Dan for a pointless finish. All this is for is a pointless increase of their Team Race Average that only 100-200 fans care about.
– However, Flight Time decides to pull out the biggest trick. In fact, it is a trick that the Harlem Globetrotters literally pull at every basketball game.
When trailing, pull down your opponents’ pants down!
Hahaha, Globetrotters just got f—ing owned.
SECOND PLACE: SAM & DAN
“That didn’t work? I don’t wanna play anymore.”
THIRD PLACE: HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS
Big Easy is pissed that they magically finished seconds behind a team that they intentionally followed for the entire round.
– Phil asks them about the incident.
PHIL: Big Easy has a look on his face like he wants to kick some butt right now. Alright, was there some elbow play going on guys?
DAN: We run in. He came behind me to try to push me. That way when we both fell down.
BIG EASY: We didn’t know that the elbow and the physical stuff was in play. Now we know that it’s in play so….
DAN: I don’t see how I could have turned around and hit him. We were running. He came beside me and that’s when he fell. Then I fell.
BIG EASY: It is what it is. I’m 6’10” and 260. So we’re going to do what we gotta do.
Oh yes. Threatening another team with physical violence. Unless you’re Dick Donato, I doubt this can end well.
But for him to be in play, he has to be fast enough to be within someone’s proximity to punch them in the face.
SAM: They have this big vengeance that they want to seek out because they think we wronged them. What do they plan on doing? Punching us?
BIG EASY: I think in the final leg we’d have to run through the guys.
I think Big Easy needs to swap out if he intends on passing anybody while running, and successfully pwn them on the way by with major swag. I propose a team change.
Now presenting Flight Time & Young Jeezy!
– I should note you can barely see Sam or Dan throwing an elbow in the flashback, but it doesn’t connect with Flight Time. I think he was more off balance if anything. You know what the worst part about all of this is?
It all happens in front of grandma! C’mon guys, you all know better than that!
– Gary & Matt ask their cab to pull over at the Detour site.
A mask of a man with a child beneath him picking his nose.
– Brian hits the target. Ericka screams a bunch of random words. They squash some cabbage on the way to retrieving the clue and on the way back.
It’s the Estonian way of stomping grapes.
– They see the tower and somehow elbow Flight Time in the process.
PHIL: Do you know if you’re last or not?
ERICKA: No. Not completely, no. Oh.
PHIL: I’m going to put you out of your misery. You’re team number four.
FOURTH PLACE: BRIAN & ERICKA
Interracial arm raise.
Okay. . .Tone it down.
– Brian says they have never been this determined and focused. Both are adamant that they must be in the top three.
– Gary says their primary goal was to have fun and race as hard as they could for as long as they could.
GARY: I think we accomplished that.
You do know there are three rounds to go?
The only correct sense of direction they had all round.
– They run into the mat.
LAST PLACE: GARY & MATT
Phil eliminates them and applauds them for racing hard.
– Gary talks about taking this experience for many years. He breaks down instantly. It’s priceless to him. We see a montage of the things they did. Gary learned that he needed to let Matt take the reins throughout the race. He is proud of him. The glasses come off.
Yes, that was sarcasm, Justin.
– Matt closes us out well.
MATT: I never wanna see another candelabra in my life time.
Nor a candelkadabra.
– They hug it out.
GARY: I like you just the way you are.
– They exit as Phil stares at them from the tower.
And Phil will spend the rest of the pit stop listening to stories from Estonia under Communist rule from grandma. He wants to Philiminate himself in the head, I’m sure.
Next Time on TAR: Another new country! In the city of Prague, Flight Time serenades. And Sam & Dan get sneaky.
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 6.8
Below is a list of all teams from seasons I have blogged to date, ranked by racing average.
e.g. Don & Mary Jean finished 9th, 8th, 8th, 8th, and 8th. Add up the numbers and divide it by the number of legs they have played.
Therefore their average is 8.2.
Bulls— Round One/Starting Line Eliminations
Eric & Lisa N/A
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0 TAR 4
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0 TAR 3
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0 TAR 14
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0 TAR 13
11th Ari & Staella 11.0 TAR 12
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0 TAR 11
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0 TAR 10
11th John & Scott 11.0 TAR 9
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0 TAR 7
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0 TAR 6
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0 TAR 5
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0 TAR 2
11th Matt & Ana 11.0 TAR 1
10th Edwin & Monica 10.0 Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race TAR Asia 3
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0 TAR 9
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0 TAR 11
10th Neena & Amit 10.0 TAR Asia 3
10th A Black Family 10.0 TAR 8
— F +–
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????) TAR 13
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.) TAR 7
11th Garrett & Jessica 9.5 TAR 15
10th Kate & Pat 9.0 TAR 12
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0 TAR 11
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0 May or may not be gutsy. TAR 2
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0 TAR 6
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF TAR 3
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33 TAR 12
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33 TAR 4
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2 Saved by NEL once TAR 6
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0 TAR 10
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0 TAR 1
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 Yielded TAR 9
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 Sucked. TAR 13
7th Mika & Canaan 7.67 Why the heck did they sign up? TAR 15
9th Marcy & Ron 7.67 Bald. TAR 15
9th Isaac & William 7.5 TAR Asia 3
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33 TAR 5
8th Aiello Family 7.0 TAR 8
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/) TAR Asia 2
8th Tom & Terry 7.0 TAR 10
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta TAR 1
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0 Producers refused to hay bail them. TAR 6
10th Hope & Norm 7.0 TAR 2
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75 TAR Asia 3
6th Maria & Tiffany 6.57 Saved by NEL once and Justin’s blunder again TAR 15
9th Rogers Family 6.5 R.I.P. Renee. TAR 8
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5 TAR 7
6th Henry & Terri 6.44 Used Their Yield; saved by a non-elimination round THREE times. R.I.P. Henry. TAR Asia 2
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43 Saved by NEL once TAR 1
9th Brett & Kinar 6.33 Rocky finish. TAR Asia 2
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 6.33 TAR Asia 1
8th Pailin & Natalie 6.33 TAR Asia 3
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25 TAR 9
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2 TAR 13
7th Paul & Amie 6.2 TAR 1
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF TAR 4
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF Saved by NEL once TAR 10
8th Lance & Keri 6.0 TAR 15
9th Zev & Justin 6.0 Passport lost. TAR 15
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0 TAR Asia 1
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0 TAR 4
6th Andre & Damon 5.86 TAR 3
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83 TAR Asia 2
7th Dave & Lori 5.83 Saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Kami & Karli 5.8 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8 TAR 3
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8 TAR 2
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn TAR 12
9th Heather & Eve 5.75 Legal team beaten by rule book. TAR 3
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67 R.I.P. Nancy. Saved by NEL once. TAR 1
6th Gaghan Family 5.5 TAR 8
10th Alison & Donny 5.5 TAR 5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF TAR 4
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF. Beaten by a bunch of rules. TAR Asia 1
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36 Saved by NEL twice TAR 7
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF TAR 4
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33 TAR 5
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33 TAR 7
7th Gus & Hera 5.29 TAR 6
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25 Saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25 TAR 5
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned TAR 12
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 13
7th Silver & Gold/ Wil & Grace 5.17 TAR 3
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14 TAR 13
7th Ray & Deana 5.0 FF TAR 7
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0. Screwed over by weird penalty for another team. TAR Asia 1
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 FF TAR 4
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 FF TAR 1
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 Wah. TAR 13
5th Fran & Barry 4.89 TAR 9
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88 TAR Asia 1
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded TAR 10
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF and saved by NEL once TAR 3
6th Mai & Oliver 4.8 In a car TAR Asia 3
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83 TAR 11
7th Schroeder Family 4.75 TAR 8
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield TAR 9
6th Brian & Greg 4.71 TAR 7
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70 TAR 10
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 6
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67 TAR 10
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 6
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF TAR 3
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 2
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF TAR 2
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23 saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Gary & Matt 4.22 saved by NEL once and c—blocked once in Saunabuss TAR 15
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned TAR 12
4th Linda & Karen 4.17 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15 TAR 11
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.) TAR 2
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield TAR 8
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11 TAR 7
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded TAR Asia 1
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL, grew goatees TAR 4
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
2nd Pamela & Vanessa 3.92 TAR Asia 2
4th A.D. & Fuzzie 3.90 – U-Turned and saved by NEL once TAR Asia 3
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF TAR 2
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85 Saved by NEL twice TAR 4
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
4th Diane & Ann 3.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 2
4th Jon & Al 3.73 TAR 4
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71 TAR 5
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF TAR 4
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 12
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL once TAR 11
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56 TAR 6
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54 Saved by NEL twice TAR Asia 3
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded TAR 9
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46 TAR Asia 1
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded TAR 6
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45 TAR 12
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st TAR 12
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 2
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield TAR 5
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF TAR 1
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25 TAR 13
1st TK & Rachel 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 12
4th Godlewski Family 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 8
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17 TAR 10
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL twice TAR 8
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF TAR 4
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 7
4th Toni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia TAR 13
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF TAR 3
2nd Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 – Used Yield and U-Turn TAR Asia 3
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF TAR 10
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 7
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00 TAR 12
4th Hayden & Aaron Saved by NEL once 2.92 TAR 6
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield TAR 10
2nd Bransen Family Saved by NEL once 2.85 TAR 8
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield TAR 8
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 1
–BEST OF THE BEST–
5th Henry & Bernie/Bunn-Eh 2.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 3
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield, Choked TAR 11
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 3
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF TAR 3
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2, Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 11
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 13
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF, Yielded, and saved by NEL once TAR 5
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF TAR 2
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF TAR 1
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF, Used Yield, and saved by NEL twice TAR 9
1st Vince & Sam 2.45 FF TAR Asia 3
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF TAR 13
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF TAR 10
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF TAR 1
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38 TAR 6
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31 TAR 7
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF TAR Asia 2
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF TAR 9
lol 3rd Marc & Rovilson 1.46 Used Yield and Yielded TAR Asia 2
Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)
11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 10 + 11
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 3 + 11
18 legs Danielle 4.78 yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF TAR 3 + 11
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF TAR 1 + 11
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 TAR 5 + 11
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF, saved by NEL thrice TAR 1 + 11
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2, saved by NEL twice TAR 7 + 11
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF, yielded x3, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3, used Yield, saved by NEL twice TAR 2 + 11
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 used Yield twice, saved by NEL once TAR 10 + 11
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF, yielded x2, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 Used Yield TAR 7 + 11
* 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) Stockholm, Sweden -> Tallinn, Estonia
A new country added to TAR’s catalogue after fifteen years? Hell yeah!
TAR’s only visit to Estonia was surprisingly tame. Sadly, pit stop departures were once again an arbitrary amount of time, and had teams waiting nearly 30 hours to get on a ferry and cross the Baltic Sea.
While the Brotherhood of the Blackheads came off as a rather racist secret society, it ironically enough only had White people inside. The four teams could solve the key task easily as they copied each other in pairs.
The toughest part of the leg occurred as the Roadblock was a very Treasure Hunters-esque puzzle. Find a candelbrah, identify the number, and match it with room number. Once inside, pick up scroll on piano and use a candle (without any brothers) to reveal the location of their next clue.
The Detour/final task of the round and pit stop being combined for the fourth round in a row shows laziness and a lack of budget on part of producers. The order of finish miraculously changed in the two minutes it takes to run to the tower because the Harlem Globetrotters have zero sense of direction.
Gary & Matt were given a ton of airtime in their farewell round. Seeing how they were the least shown of the top five teams for the first eight rounds, I am glad they finally received the attention they deserved. Matt being c—blocked by his dad’s singing in the Saunabuss as his hopes of getting laid by the blonde-haired woman evaporated, messing up directions, Matt not knowing what a candelbrah was, their Sicilian taxi driver, and their tearful farewell as Zev made fun of Gary’s emotions.
Oh, and then that whole accusation of Sam & Dan throwing an elbow at the Globetrotters on the way to the pit stop after the Globetrotters stalked them the whole round as if Flight Time turned into Caleb and Sam & Dan fused together to become Amber.
Seriously, Globetrotters forcing them to share taxis and tailing teams against their will from the second they set their foot in Tallinn really dropped their credibility.
4) 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 Megan & 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, Megan & 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) Zoutkamp, Netherlands -> Vasby, Sweden
I liked that it was self-driving for the whole leg. The amusement park was a thrill, but a bit too easy considering only one of them had to do it rather than both. That seemed unnecessary to restrict them like that when it wasn’t a Roadblock.
Travelocity managed to get the TAR Asia-like unnecessary additional task plug, but those are usually necessary to help pay for the show and give out cool prizes. Unlike TAR 24 where they contribute to extremely dull prizes.
The Detour was lopsided. Who in their right minds would choose to learn the Norse alphabet when you can FREAKIN’ EXPLODE DYNAMITE IN PUBLIC THROUGH A LEGAL AND TELEVISIED FASHION! I feel bad for the Vikings who had to stand outside all day. If they knew dynamite was the other option, I bet they would not bother to show up.
TAR debuted the Switchback twist where they duplicated the geography and circumstances of a past task. This time it was the dumbest Roadblock in production’s history–the hay bales Roadblock. A Roadblock so dumb that a team was stuck doing it for ten hours without any other method to find the clue faster.
Sure, this season made it a non-elimination knowing how dumb the task is, but it should never have been brought back again. Switchbacks should do Hall of Fame tasks. Not Hall of Shame tasks.
And why Lena & Kristy were not brought back for TAR 18 (okay, I know because Jodi Wincheski is the most biased casting director ever) or for TAR 24 is beyond me. Maybe TAR 30 will be their time?
Nevermind. The Globetrotters will take their spot and play for a fourth time instead. Tough break, ladies.
9) 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) Gary & Matt
Upon looking at them, you would believe Gary was the hardened Conservative father while Matt would be the free spirit. Not exactly the case as Gary would frequently act like the kooky dad during the race course, and Matt would be the more serious one.
They proved to be in the second tier of contenders as they won the second round of the season. After that they held their position in Vietnam with a third place finish. However, it would be confirmed that they would be second tier permanently as they finished fourth or fifth for the remaining six rounds of their time in the race. It doesn’t happen too often where a team finishes in only two positions other than first for six straight rounds.
They were given a second chance when they were saved by a Non Elimination Leg, but choked harder in their final round and probably performed worse than the other four teams anyway. They occasionally alluded to it being their worst performance throughout the round. I s’pose the Saunabuss threw them off their game as Matt couldn’t read words nor directions, and Gary probably had a musical about saunas stuck in his head.
Matt would go on to be apart of TAR’s Facebook community, and he would even go on to host his own online adaptations of reality shows. Sadly a failed version of Next Top Model led many to ridicule him, and he disappeared from the Internet ever since.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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.