“Znarf Kafka, You Son of a Bitch”
JAPAN – VIETNAM – CAMBODIA – UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – THE NETHERLANDS – SWEDEN – ESTONIA – CZECH REPUBLIC – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Four teams raced from Estonia to Prague. Meghan & Cheyne battled Flight Time & Big Easy in the air. Brothers Sam & Dan capsized. But made a game changing move to get ahead. At the Roadblock, Flight Time sang a happy tune but in the end it was Meghan & Cheyne smiling in first place, and Brian & Ericka came in last but were spared elimination.
Four teams remain; who will be humiliated. . .next?
– Intro time.
NOTE: We have seen quite the chain of enormous blunders made in the penultimate round followed by a really dull final leg. Many viewers were synced into the idea of looking forward to the penultimate leg more than the final one. Particularly because the audience assumed one team had a lock on victory.
PENULTIMATE ROUND: Jennifer makes a horrible decision to take public transit over a taxi. Audience cheers loudly.
FINAL ROUND: Most boring team possible wins.
PENULTIMATE ROUND: Dallas loses passport and money in taxi. They could barely move ten feet over five hours before Phil has to come out and eliminate them. Audience is stunned that a team could lose their passport.
FINAL ROUND: Nick & Starr crush the other two teams ten kajillion to one as they set the record for most first place finishes at the time. Audience yawns.
PENULTIMATE ROUND: Sam quits the Roadblock. He is doomed to be eliminated. However, Fuzzie volunteers herself for a physical Roadblock minutes later and is forced to quit the task too. Sam & Vince survive by default.
FINAL ROUND: The quitters win. Audience rolls their eyes.
PENULTIMATE ROUND: She and her sister were going to be Final Three and had an excellent shot of winning, but her bladder got the best of her.
FINAL ROUND: All three teams hated by online audience, but only one team is liked by the casual fanbase. The oddest and toughest team to identify with ends up winning after the race was blatantly rigged for them. Boo-urns.
The question heading into this episode would be: If this round is exciting, should we not bother watching the finale? Or if this round is boring, should we be ecstatic that we’ll have our first outstanding finale since TAR 9 or TAR Asia 2?
– Phil introduces us to Prague. It is the golden city and was ruled by the Soviet Union for forty years. Oh, and it’s vibrant.
And has some unnecessarily violent statues displayed.
– Meghan & Cheyne, who were the first to arrive, will depart first at 9:46pm. They read that they must make their way to the Spanish Synagogue by taxi. It is the oldest Jewish residence of prayer in Prague.
Don’t you remember when the Spanish Jews conquered Prague?
MEGHAN: Our goal is just to focus on making it to the Final Three, instead of finishing first for the fourth time in a row.
– Cheyne correctly assesses that they have made the best decisions of any team in the game and can be reflected by having the highest number of first place finishes amongst all teams remaining this season.
He’s putting on the headband flashlight. Cheyne is ready for battle.
– Cheyne points out the Speed Bump sign with excitement, and is surprised to see Brian & Ericka’s face plastered on it.
Team Yellow is fittingly plastered on a yellow sign.
– Meghan & Cheyne waste no time finding the Spanish Synagogue and read that they must now take a taxi to the Ekotechnicke Museum which is only four miles away. They re-enter the taxi.
Note to self: If your car breaks down in Prague, don’t call triple A. You may not get what you expected.
– Sam & Dan depart second at 10:13pm. They label themselves as the villains which is exactly what producers want because producers love Flight Time & Big Easy.
SAM: We’re the villains because everyone has been so friendly and no one’s willing to try and sabotage other people.
And Big Easy.
And Flight Time.
Other than that, Sam & Dan have been the only team to sabotage anyone.
– We get a flashback to Sam & Dan taking the taxi. Dan does not care about being villains. Wow, they really don’t know their spot in TAR hsitory.
– Is this the world’s quickest round? Meghan & Cheyne have their second clue in what appears to be around forty minutes. A Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: In order to obtain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
– The existential Czech author, Franz Kafka, rejected technology and questioned the meaning of life.
There. That’s Franz Kafka. The last Holocaust Survivor to die earlier this year was friends with him back when she lived in Prague. Fun fact.
He also inspired Phoenix Wright’s pointing, and Donald Trump’s “You’re Fired” pose.
– In this Roadblock, one person must enter a convoluted bureaucratic world that many people refer to as Kafka-esque. In this enormous warehouse filled with dozens of empty desks and telephones, teams must search for the five phones that have a person on the other line. When they pick up the ringing phones, the voice will give them one letter in the word FRANZ.
Those unanswered phones will be leaving a ton of voicemail. I bet Kafka did not expect annoying rings to be replaced by catchy ringtones. Particularly, My Humps.
Once they have the word unscrambled, they must fill it in on a special form. If they’re correct, the supervisor will hand them their next clue.
Those boxes are big. How could he not read it without a magnifying glass?
The stamp says Kafka? Classic.
– Meghan wipes her forehead as a bug flies by them.
It’s like if a UFO were an insect. I love how it does not hesitate to exit out of the camera shot.
– Meghan panics because she does not know what she will be doing, but agrees to do the Roadblock anyway. She begins answering phones. Cheyne describes it as mayhem with the crazy phones. He gets to do fun tasks while she has to roll hay bales and answer phones.
What a great fiance.
Every great fiance wears a wife beater in style, too.
– Meghan has a letter. R.
MEGHAN: R as in Rapid!
– Then she gets her next one.
MEGHAN: Z! Z as in Zebra!
That also makes sense.
Hey! They stole our nickname! It’s on now!
– MEGHAN: F. R Z F. Rabbit, Zebra, Ferret.
– Flight Time & Big Easy depart third at 10:17pm. Flight Time reads they have 113 dollars for this leg. Big Easy is proud of him and Flight Time after eleven rounds. He says who they really are has come out throughout the race, and is proud of their character.
So they’re followers, pants pullers, and make people cry over their fears?
– MEGHAN: N! N. What’s an animal that starts with the letter N?
(MEGHAN checks more phones in silence.)
True. No obvious animals start with the letter N.
– Sam & Dan have the clue at the Spanish Synagogue. Sam comments on Brian & Ericka’s Speed Bump picture as being cute. They head to the next location as they claim their driver is like Jeff Gordon. In other words, he is fast.
– Meghan has all of the letters.
Which are displayed in boxes for our viewing pleasure.
– MEGHAN: Then we had to fill out a form. At the bottom of the form it asked for your last name, first name, middle initial, height, weight, shoe size, your occupation, your partner’s name. Anything to throw you off of the letters you’re supposed to remember.
Following a pit stop that was probably less than eight hours, and a departure well into the night, this format is clearly working.
MEGHAN: This is ridiculous.
Honey Bureaucrat don’t give a crap.
– Meghan pulls the ol’ “I dunno” as she hands over the form.
Because they are in the Czech Republic, having the second letter be a ‘Z’ is not too much of a stretch.
– Flight Time & Big Easy have their clue from the synagogue. They head to the museum.
– Meghan fills out another form. Her second guess?
Something that is logical even at eleven o’ clock at night. She passes, and receives the clue.
– Meghan reads they must head to the Kryocentrum where they will find their next clue. Yes, Meghan & Cheyne have completed two route markers in the first seven minutes.
– Meghan & Cheyne see Sam & Dan arrive with their cab. They intend to take the cab in a sense of karmic retribution. Sam & Dan see Meghan & Cheyne.
DAN: They’re going to take our taxi.
DAN: You stay for us.
Yeah. Sam & Dan stop that humiliation from occurring. Meghan & Cheyne fail at their attempt, and settle for the driver calling for another taxi.
– Dan is doing the Roadblock. Sam thinks the telephones sound like bells and are the old fashioned phones that ring really loud.
SAM: I’m worried that Dan will get distracted and flustered.
– Dan has the first letter. A—-.
– Meghan & Cheyne have their taxi. Away they go.
– DAN: AN—. He picks it up to hear ‘N’ again.
– Brian & Ericka depart last at 11:40pm. There is a taxi placed conveniently next to them in the city square.
Seriously, it looks like they are ten feet away.
– Ericka does not want to start out in last, but believes she can make it into top three anyway. Brian says they can overcome a Speed Bump because of much bigger things they have overcome in their life, and have spent more time on the bottom than any other team remaining.
DAN: ANFZ-. It would be hilarious if a team found FRANZ in order.
– Flight Time & Big Easy show up. Big Easy is going to do without hesitation.
Pete’s job before he moved to Canada and was a contestant on The Amazing Race Canada 2.
Sam not impressed to see Flight Time & Big Easy.
DAN: ANFZR. Wow, an ideal order.
– Big Easy begins answering phones.
Yet another city that does not build objects designed for people over 6’6″.
– Dan begins filling out the form. His guess is something like NFZRA. He didn’t bother with unscrambling it. Dan is not sure if it will be a Czech word or an English word.
– Big Easy has two letters. R and F.
The closest to Reality Fan Forum being acknowledged in the TAR universe.
– Meanwhile, Meghan & Cheyne continue their fourth round in a row of raping the competition by showing up at the Kryocentrum. They read that they must enter a kryotherapy room which they must endure a 180 degree below Celsius room for two minutes. Czech athletes use this frequently. They must strip down upon entering.
If this man smiles upon seeing athletes suffer in the Krocentrum therapy rooms, he may be the first European man to enjoy his job at Guantanamo Bay.
Who is a distant relative of Hoyce Gracie.
– Also, have you ever wanted to see the most inappropriate shot of a Dream Teamer ever?
Well here you go. Enjoy.
– Meghan & Cheyne enter the change room. We get a fun little scene.
Presented by short-lived early 2000s alternative rock group, Wide Mouth Mason.
– And they’re done.
Much more covered than that Dream Teamer. It’s like the Dream Teamer underdressed intentionally as a joke.
My long lost brother guides the teams to choose a mask, headband, and sandals.
It’s like they are entering an isolation unit for the ebola outbreak rather than an icy cold room.
Shaq’s next company expansion for the icy hot sleeve, no doubt.
– You know what’s really odd about this scene?
I can understand the polar bear and penguin on one side, but why is there an elephant and a monkey on the other? Odd.
– Meghan sounds like she is being tortured.
– Brian & Ericka find the Speed Bump. They must find the Green Fairy. First, they must enter the M1 Pub.
That man is preparing for the Detour in TAR 24: “All Stars”. It’s strange to see Phil inside of a bar.
Luke is stuck crying in the corner.
The club Marc & Rovilson visited back in TAR Asia 2.
– In this Speed Bump, they must complete a complicated three-step process to create a spirit drink known as absinthe which they must also drink. It was made in the 19th century, and is known for its high alcohol content.
Also known as a Flaming Moe.
Drink up. We swear it’s only .8% cocaine concentration.
– When they drink the shot, they will be able to continue on with the race.
The Speed Bump for once will literally burn a team’s chances of surviving the round.
– Brian decides to ask the bar next to them for directions. This place will probably be hard to find.
– Dan is writing down a bunch of random words because he does not understand if it is a Czech word or English word.
DAN: Those supervisors are the biggest douches ever.
The first time ever that a judge for a task has been described by a team as “a douche”. I don’t think the word “douche” was even around in 2001. Could you imagine if Joe & Bill were pissed off at a monk at the Buddhist temple and just called him a douche or a ho? This is just downright hilarious for TAR standards.
– BIG EASY: RFZNA. He has all of his letters and prepares to fill the first form. Dan submits his third guess. Failed.
– Big Easy fills out the form for the first time.
– Dan asks Big Easy for his letters. Big Easy recites the five letters. Failed. Dan wonders aloud if it is an English word or a Czech word. Big Easy has a plan.
Fallback to the classic strategy.
DAN: Since we were both there, we decided “let’s just work together”. We’re not like trusting them in an alliance because they are very independent and will stab you in the back in a second.
Independent? You sure you don’t want to drop the prefix from that word?
– Big Easy has failed. So has Dan.
Ready for bed.
‘X’ marks the stupidity.
– Sam’s culture would help out Dan with the answer here. Oh well. Dan complains of frustration. I bet there is ringing in his ears.
– BIG EASY: I just can’t see right now.
He’s gettin’ tired!
– Ten hours ahead, Meghan & Cheyne wrap up their two minutes in the Kryocentrum. Cheyne feels bad for polar bears yet I think coldness is the exact opposite problem for polar bears in 2009.
– They read that they must head to the Charles Bridge. Unlike TAR Asia 2, this clue will not be somewhere holey on the bridge.
– Big Easy and Dan show each other their answers but nothing is working. Another fail for Dan.
– Brian & Ericka enter the bar. Brian comments on the party inside.
BRIAN: This is a Speed Bump?!
“We should finish last more often!”
He is looking like the guy from Snoop Dogg’s What’s My Name music video by looking way too excited for being inside of a club.
Brian gettin’ jiggy wit it.
– Brian admits he doesn’t drink a drop of alcohol, and that this will be tough for him.
But he does now. I think we identified the root cause of their divorce. He left Ericka for a Czech dancer at the M1. Well played, Mr. Kleinschmidt.
Ericka’s face is priceless.
– Brian manages to focus on the task as Ericka has to instruct him on top of that.
BRIAN: You’re going to get me in trouble in here.
ERICKA: You’re going to get yourself into trouble.
930 rock jenna9
Jenna from 30 Rock is there.
Brian focusing on the drink. . .
Brian not focusing on the drink. . .
Brian figuring out how to pitch the idea of a three-person alliance without Ericka being angry in response.
ERICKA: Somebody was looking at all the pretty girls dancing around.
BRIAN: There were girls there?
The one looking at all the women dancing? Wasn’t me.
The lead vocalist has the f—ing whiniest voice I have ever heard for a reggae song.
Just his type.
Now that’s a strong drink.
Still haven’t recovered.
– Ericka says it was the strongest and worst drink she has ever had.
The worst part is when it makes you involuntarily jizz in your pants. Seriously, play that same sound effect of Brian moaning after he consumes the drink. It is disturbing.
“We’ll miss you, Brian!”
“I’ll never forget you, ladies!”
– Brian & Ericka hire a taxi to take them to the museum. Oh, and now the phones begin ringing once again.
– Dan submits a correct guess. He is approved. Big Easy could run over and copy Dan’s answer of ‘FRANZ’. As soon as that occurs, Brian & Ericka are absolutely doomed for the episode.
DAN: It starts with a ‘F’. That’s all I’m saying.
Wow. Big Easy gets trolled for the first time all season.
Big Easy finds the taste of his own medicine to have more of a pop to it than any shot of absinthe ever could.
– But really, Dan is being very helpful.
Instead of the number of permutations being 5 * 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 = 120. . .
It is now 4 * 3 * 2 * 1 = 24.
Dan just knocked out 92 possible options with that one hint. It is making the task nearly 80% easier for him.
“Cheyne ditches us and now this?”
Big Easy doesn’t understand permutations, sadly.
– Dan said he realized why in the world should he tell Big Easy the answer for the Roadblock when there is a Final 3 slot on the line.
DAN: It starts out with a F. It will help you out, trust me.
“If Big Easy cannot figure it out with only 24 more possibilities on the table, and only one vowel in play, then maybe I should have helped him to get to Final Three after all.”
“Is it Farnz? It’s Farnz, isn’t it?”
– We resume.
Brian heads back to look at that woman dancing on stage. He has an idea for what he wants to do to her.
It starts with an F. That’s all I’m saying.
– Dan reunites with Sam as him and Flight Time are unaware what happened inside.
– Dan informs Sam of what went on inside as they entered the cab.
SAM: You told him enough. He’s going to get it in the next five minutes. I guarantee it.
Unless he makes ridiculous guesses like “FNZAR”. The Finnish Czar of the Czech Republic.
– Big Easy slams Sam & Dan immediately.
BIG EASY: We said we’d work together, but once he found his word, he decided not to give it to me.
Dare I say Dan “broke his -word- by not giving you his -word-“? Oh god. This is too good.
That sounds exactly like something you would do, Big Easy.
– Brian & Ericka are last to the museum. Flight Time comments that it is ridiculous as Brian & Ericka have made up ninety minutes of time. Brian is doing the Roadblock.
Meanwhile the judge is engaging in a Big Daddy-like bathroom break.
Big Easy is actively trying to write down all possibilities. I can’t believe he has not been able to write down ‘FRANZ’ by coincidence yet.
BIG EASY: I got it all right here so I’m figuring it out.
Doesn’t have it all right here. Isn’t figuring it out.
– BRIAN: R—-.
– Meghan & Cheyne are on the Charles Bridge. Because they aren’t Pamela & Vanessa, they find the clue right away. It’s a Detour. Legend or Lager.
– In Legend, we are told that a golem was made of straw and clay, and protected the Jewish quarters in Jewish mythology. Teams will cover a wooden golem skeleton in wet mud, and transport the figure across town to the Old New Synagogue–the God’s ancient home. If the rabbi is satisfied with the team’s creation, they will receive their next clue.
We see a golem doing the annual Prague Zombie Walk.
I don’t understand how a wooden golem could protect the Jews. This golem, however, would do a much better job.
During visits to India, teams always do a head shaving Fast Forward for good luck.
It makes me wonder if a trip to a synagogue for a Fast Forward would lead to a circumcision ritual for good luck too.
Thankfully it’s just a clue for today, and he is not asking for a tip. Particularly Cheyne’s.
Team Seinfeld is disappointed.
– In Lager. . .You know what, I’ll let Phil explain this one.
But first, watch this Asian embrace his Czech heritage as he chugs this beer. If only there was a TAR Asia 5!
PHIL: In Lager, teams must drink in the local culture and deliver beer to a group of rowdy soccer hooligans. Soccer is the most popular sport in Europe, and in Prague, beer drinking can be considered a sport. The Czech people drink more beer per capita than any other country in the capital. Teams must carry a total of thirty beers from this brewery to this busy town square and deliver them to this bar. Once they deliver all thirty beers, the bartender will serve them their next clue.
That’s right. You heard it from Phil first. The Czech people are the biggest drunks on the planet.
Take that Ireland!
And take that Germany!
Didn’t you know Howie Mandel is half Czech-half Canadian?
“Nicole. . .open the beer case”.
P.S. I think Deal or No Deal was one of the dumbest primetime game shows to catch on for a long period of time. Sigh.
My grandfather would be all over that.
If Gus had to do this task, it would be down to 17 beers by the time he arrived at the pub.
– Meghan & Cheyne choose to avoid a crappy pub after midnight, and instead go with Legend.
– Sam & Dan have their clue at the Kryocentrum.
I wonder what would happen if they had to go into a spa that was 180 degrees ABOVE zero.
– Sam & Dan enter the change room.
She refrains from peeping. Also, I copy’d/paste’d that poster which is on the orange wall in the Kryocentrum. My guess is that Sam & Dan and her are big fans of that poster.
– They make the same joke that I nearly made earlier.
SAM: We’re wearing a speedo, some gloves, socks, ear hat thing, and a SARS mask. It was like we were in Japan again with all of the people having sanitary masks on.
They go from calling locals a douche to a record of the first non-controversial SARS joke record back in 2009 within a matter of ten minutes.
And what is Dan doing?
Impersonating Bubble Man?
– They enter the room. Guess what? It’s cold.
– Brian is answering telephones. BRIAN: RNAFZ. Yes, he just picked up his final letter.
BRIAN: Can you confirm Z as in Zebra?
Z as in “Brian & Ericka will forever be Team Zebra?”
This has to be a joke. We did not see Brian confirm any of the other letters in the same manner. Editors did not show us “R as in Rumpelstiltskin” or “A as in Alimony”. The only time they showed it was for Brian to say “Zebra” once again.
Was there a drinking game amongst editors that we didn’t know about? They would insert Brian and/or Ericka using the word Zebra as often as possible. Heck, Mika & Canaan even tried to steal that nickname back in Vietnam.
Since when did a zebra become the biggest character of the season?
– Brian greets Big Easy on the way in.
BRIAN: R-A-N-F-Z is what you got, right?
BIG EASY: Yeah.
Oh my god. Big Easy. This has now become the easiest Roadblock. Not only are you down to 24 combinations, but Sam AND Brian have both confirmed that you have the correct set of five letters.
BIG EASY: I’ve been here for 2 and a half hours.
How is that possible?
1) The phone portion if it looks like it takes fifteen minutes at the most. Every team takes roughly the same amount of time.
2) Each time you make a guess, it takes thirty seconds for the judges to verify your answer, and an additional thirty seconds for you to write down your next guess.
3) Sam told you there are only 24 possible options remaining, and that is with a word which contains only one vowel.
Do the math. Big Easy should not take more than ten minutes max once Sam left. I am guessing Sam left over an hour earlier. And Big Easy is still there. How? I recently read a comment that said Big Easy was screwed over on the phone task.
HOW CAN YOU BE SCREWED OVER AT A TASK THAT SHOULD TAKE THE AVERAGE PERSON NO MORE THAN FIVE MINUTES, AND ANYBODY WITH ZERO LOGIC ONLY TWENTY TO THIRTY MINUTES?
What is Big Easy doing? My guess he is drawing a bunch of genitalia out of boredom and couldn’t care less about the task at hand.
– Big Easy submits his next guess.
– Brian decides to write down all five letters right away and list all of the possibilities that could go with those letters.
BRIAN: It’s a visual thing for me.
Or a mathematics thing. Either way you will be done quick.
See? Brian only needs to switch ‘R’ to the spot after the ‘F’ and he is done.
BRIAN: It’s like we’re missing a vowel.
BIG EASY: I’m missing everything.
BRIAN: It’s like we’re missing one vowel.
BIG EASY (yawns): After the first try I went crazy.
– Meghan & Cheyne are fifty hours ahead as they lather up the golem.
MEGHAN: It’s getting hard to hold up.
– Do you know why Meghan & Cheyne are guilty of second degree rape since Estonia?
“Hey Cheyne, we’re in the lead and doing well, but I bet there is a more efficient way to this.”
“Oh, and what would that be, dear Meghan?”
“Oh, I know, get the golem laid and cut down half of the work. We should beat Rob & Brennan and Frank & Margarita to Flushing Meadows before they are done the Alaska leg.”
– Meghan describes it as clay.
There’s no muddying of the waters to figure out who is strong and who is weak in this round.
– Sam & Dan are done.
DAN: Find your next clue at Charles Bridge.
SAM: Oh, that’s the pretty bridge.
Yes. Sam distinguished between all of the bridges in Prague as “that’s the pretty one”.
The pretty sign.
– Sam & Dan run all the way to a gas station as they have yet to find a taxi. They get into one at the gas station.
– Flight Time is waiting outside. It’s probably around two o’ clock in the morning now.
Oh really, eh?
Flight Time & Big Easy? More like Czech-Out Time & Big Easy.
I am sure someone will fill the void of pulling down a police officer’s pants.
– Brian thinks he has it.
BRIAN: That looks about right, huh? Looks about right?
He got this? Yeah, he got this.
And he’s done. Just like that.
Big Easy using his tall frame to potentially copy down the answer.
Oh my god. Replay Ericka’s laugh over and over. It’s a laugh more messed up than Kisha’s. It’s a mixture of a chipmunk, chicken, and a weasel. So creeped out, right now.
Has unfinished business with Big Easy.
– BRIAN: Yes! And I did it drunk too!
You had one drink, buddy. I did not consume alcohol until I was 22, and I did fine after three beers and a Palm Bay. You’re not that much of a lightweight. Wait until my brother Brett brews up a Caesar’s with six shots of vodka mixed in. Now -that- is a drink.
– Big Easy is rejected once more.
BIG EASY: That is some bulls—!
Oh my word. He is breaking down.
– Big Easy heads outside.
Big Easy has left the building. I feel bad for the person who has to disconnect all of those phones tonight.
– BIG EASY: Herb!
Oh right. These two do indeed have real names.
FLIGHT TIME A.K.A. HERB: What’s up?
Roadblock: Who wants to sit outside after midnight for three hours on concrete steps as they wait for their partner to solve a five-letter word scramble?
BIG EASY: I ain’t get it yet dawg.
“I solved a five-letter word scramble after three hours. . .NOT!
– Herb has an outrageous suggestion.
FLIGHT TIME: Take the penalty?
BIG EASY: I might just have to take it.
“I tried everything! I tried:
And then, in case it was a trick question:
EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, I did all twenty-four combinations off the top of my head in six minutes. I didn’t even have to look it up online.
– At 24:25 is when Flight Time pitched the idea of taking the penalty. They thought long and hard about this.
**TWO SECONDS LATER AT 24:27**
BIG EASY: We’re going to take the penalty for not doing the Roadblock.
There’s really only one worthy response to this.
Yeah. It was long overdue.
– The lone reasonable possibility for Big Easy quitting the task came to mind.
And was promptly shot down.
BIG EASY: We’re basketball players and competitors, and just in life you never quit never quit never quit. But in this instance it benefited us to quit. So I just took the four hour penalty so we could catch up to the other teams.
To be fair, this is the first opportunity they have had to quit something their whole life. These are the Harlem Globetrotters. They go into work every day knowing their victory is guaranteed in advance.
The Amazing Race is the first adventure in their entire life where quitting was an option. And they did it in round eleven where it matters most.
Also, did you catch the quote where Big Easy said “maybe the pressure will get to the other teams, and we can catch up”?
I think pressure did get to one of the teams. . .and correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the team that is now eight hours behind Meghan & Cheyne may be the victims.
– We resume.
BIG EASY: Hopefully everything works out.
Only 3 hours and 47 minutes before the biggest rally of all time goes down!!!!11111.
– Meghan & Cheyne lift up the golem. Cheyne barely lifted it up by himself. He estimates it was 250 pounds or so. Him and Meghan drag the golem together.
CHEYNE: He is a fat ass!
Is that a reference to Sam & Dan?
– Sam & Dan are at the Detour. They also choose Legend. Americans do not like alcohol, it appears.
– Brian & Ericka enter the Kryocentrum.
ERICKA: I am from Florida. And I hate being in the cold! I didn’t see snow until I was 21!
In all fairness, neither did most TAR Asia racers.
– Brian & Ericka prepare for the Kryocentrum.
This will not end well.
Ericka outperforms Dan’s Bubble Man impression.
– Ericka yells like Cartman as the two minutes begin.
– Meghan guides Cheyne in how to move the golem. He grunts from the weight. She exclaims it is because he is taking too much of the weight and not letting her carry enough.
– Sam & Dan also comment on the golem’s weight. They start with the head and work down.
SAM: Heads up heads up. Don’t pull it. I need to go get more clay. Hold it, okay?
Sam prepares to take his finger off of the golem.
Dan doing a good job of holding it up.
But it falls faster than Big Easy analyzing the decision of taking a four hour penalty.
– The arm broke off. Dan is worried, but Sam insists that they can re-attach it with clay at three o’ clock in the morning. If anything, the golem is a bit lighter now.
– Brian & Ericka emerge. Ericka says it has been the coldest she has ever been. No kidding. The coldest place on this season thus far was a ski hill in the middle of the desert.
– Meghan & Cheyne prepare for our favourite TAR Asia game. . .
Except this frog weighs 250 pounds, and considering it is the middle of the night in the most intoxicated city that exists on the planet, this may be dangerous.
MEGHAN: Lift with your hands, not your elbows.
Yes, Cheyne’s Dragon Slayer yelps is not allowed as Meghan has to correct him.
MEGHAN: Tip him up.
(They tip him up.
(They finish tipping him up.)
MEGHAN: Uh, the yelling?
CHEYNE: I’m just screaming in power. I can’t help it.
MEGHAN: I know.
CHEYNE: I’m not yelling at you.
MEGHAN: You’re yelling at me. You’re talking to me.
CHEYNE: I’m not yelling at you.
MEGHAN: Cheyne, think positive. Not stressed out, loud, and rude.
CHEYNE: I know.
She just doesn’t understand us, Cheyne.
– Two seconds later when they drag the golem on the street?
Yep. He completely disregards Meghan on the next lift.
– Sam & Dan argue over Sam spending time cleaning up the dirt on a muddy golem. Uh, I think I am on Dan’s side here. Sam insists the rabbi would be pissed from an excessive amount of dirt.
– Brian & Ericka are at Charles Bridge. Brian chooses Lager because he used to be a server. This is the same guy who doesn’t drink, mind you. They approach a local.
BRIAN: Do you know where this is?
LOCAL: . . .I’m lost.
ERICKA: And you’re drunk.
Who knew you’d run into somebody drunk in Prague in the middle of the night.
– Brian & Ericka are told by a taxi driver that the brewery is seven hundred metres away.
Yep. There is indeed a brewery that sounds like “U-Flick-Hole” in Prague.
This is better than the Diks bus in the Netherlands from earlier this season.
Or in the 90s when an inappropriately named company made children’s cartoons.
– Meghan & Cheyne are done. They read that they must head to the Strelecky Ostrov which is next to the Charles Bridge. It is the pit stop. They quickly hail a cab.
Uh oh. Woman driver. Meghan & Cheyne’s first bad break of the round.
– Sam & Dan argue as they drag it on the street. Sam tries to coach Dan into using his arm to hold the golem’s loose left arm. Oddly enough, Dan finds it heavy as it is.
Another Detour these two would not do.
If a golem breaks off through some fault of the team, a replacement golem will be provided for them. However, no time credit will be awarded for this unlucky situation.
– DAN: Tip him up.
SAM: Not in the middle of the street!
DAN: Then we’ll stop a car! Tip it up, dumbass!
No wonder Jewish people gave up on the golem after the fifteenth century. He cracks and breaks down easily. So much for it being their protector.
DAN: We can’t break it!
SAM: Yes, let’s leave him in the middle of the street for the car to run him over.
DAN: At least it will stop a car!
Did Dan take out a life insurance policy on this golem? What gives?
– Dan’s idea was to leave the golem in the middle of the street, and run back to the golem so they could take the most direct route possible. Sam not wanting to do that frustrated him.
Uhhhhh, Sam is right in this scenario. You have no idea how far away it is, and all it takes is for a drunk driver to crash into your golem.
– We see a clock showing it is two in the morning. If that is accurate, this has been a very short round thus far. They see a taxi and ask him for directions.
– Brian & Ericka are at the brewery. Brian has eight glasses and Ericka has seven. Brian decided that on their behalf, and tells her to lift the tray from the bottom centre and lift it straight up then walk.
So far so good.
It may be Gay Pride in Vancouver today, but here it is most definitely Drunk Pride in Prague.
**THE NEXT DAY**
DUDE #1: Hey man, do you remember what happened last night?
DUDE #2: Yeah, we saw the first Black woman to enter Prague in over a year.
DUDE #1: Really, bro? Because I saw the first Black dude ever. He was 6’6″ and a basketball player.
DUDE #2: Hey, don’t be racist man! Sounds like you just made it up, dude.
DUDE #1: I bet you did, too.
DUDE #2: Let’s get wasted with that Asian guy in town! He’s the only racial minority in all of Prague!
DUDE #1: Sweeeet.
– BRIAN: Don’t you guys have jobs?
ERICKA: C’mon Brian, don’t engage them.
Ericka’s strategy may be wise.
– Meghan & Cheyne continue their statutory rape of the competition as they approach the pit stop. They jump out and meet up with who Cheyne calls “Big Philly” and the pit stop greeter.
Brian’s future wife, and also Amber Brkich’s second cousin, greets them at the mat.
CHEYNE: Hey, sorry we’re so gross.
Cheyne is wearing a Fiancee Beater for the first time all season.
PHIL: Meghan & Cheyne, you are team number one because our casting agents are capable of only picking one well-rounded team each season for the past year.
FIRST PLACE: MEGHAN & CHEYNE
“Solving a five-letter word scramble, playing golf, and going down a waterslide has given us a one-in-one chance of winning the final leg of this race!”
– Phil informs them they have each won a 52″ LCD TV, and two thousand dollars on their Scotiabank card.
Cheyne now has a 52″ mirror to use to make sure his hair is perfection every morning.
CHEYNE: We are the best team in the Final Three. We’ve won the most legs, we’re the most confident, we’re both physically strong, mentally strong, and prepared for whatever is gonna come our way.
Truer words have never been spoken.
– Back in Mediocresville, Sam & Dan are dragging as Dan complains about the weight, and whines that Sam is not complaining about the weight too.
SAM: You have to tough it out. C’mon, Meghan did it. So let’s go.
DAN: Sam, I seriously can’t.
SAM: Gosh dangit, Dan.
DAN: Shut up!
SAM: Well switch sides with me then!
DAN: Shut up!
DAN: Shut up! Stop yelling at me!
It’s like the One Horse Town from Family Guy.
SAM: You’re being a baby. Let’s go.
DAN: You want me to drop it, dude?
SAM: No, let’s just tough it out and go!
DAN: Shut up!
Sam realizing a six hour Detour penalty is on the horizon.
SAM: Dan, do you realize we could be eliminated literally because–
DAN: I’m trying, okay! It’s harder to do this than be completely exhausted.
SAM: One hand on the side works, Dan.
Now time for some funny dialogue.
It’s like he was always 75% of the way to solving it.
– Flight Time asks Big Easy a personal question.
Not as much as him, I would assume.
– Oh right. I’ll take this question seriously now.
Big Easy shows the stack of forms he accumulated, then chuckles as if he is choking on chocolate milk.
I have never seen a team be so happy about being seven hours behind the second-to-last place team, and knowing this is an elimination.
– Flight Time hopes the other teams are having a tough time.
At least they’re not lying on cement for four hours.
– Brian & Ericka are in the process of transporting their glasses.
Everything is intact. Just need to set it down.
Er, that didn’t go well. Ericka loses all seven drinks, and Brian only kept five of his alive.
BRIAN: We’re alright.
ERICKA: No. We’re not. And I really wanna do the other one.
BRIAN: Babe, babe, babe–
ERICKA: Babe, nothin’! This is not gonna work! Babe, I just dropped every single glass. I’m not willing to make it work!
Just like her marriage! A-yo!!!!!
– Brian suggest she only do three at a time, and he will do seven. She freaks out saying it will take all night. I am guessing Brian knew Big Easy would take the penalty.
– Ericka snaps at the drunks and curses them out. They taunt Brian & Ericka as Brian & Ericka enter the bar.
Who knew wandering around Prague at three o’ clock with free drinks would cause trouble.
Pro wrestling has a following in Prague.
– Brian & Ericka deliver seven of thirty drinks. Hopefully only two more trips.
– Dan needs a break. Sam reminds Dan that he is working just as hard as he is but without the whining. Sam says that whichever brother yells the loudest is typically the winner. He repeats that they need to work together.
– Brian & Ericka are back at the brewery. He claims slow and steady wins. He takes seven glasses, and she takes five. Remember, Brian is the only reason why they are still doing this.
The lady trolls Brian by only touching his drink, but not grabbing it.
ERICKA: MOVE OUT THE DAMN WAY!
BRIAN: YOU KIDDING ME?! YOU KIDDING ME?!
Brian checks her out anyway. Moron.
– ERICKA: She is about to get her ass beat.
And she gets overheard by some locals standing outside.
ERICKA: Yeah, I do have some American attitude. You touch me and you get punched.
See? This is why night time legs in the city are neat. Teams are forced to interact with locals. Regardless of how sober or drunk they may be.
Normally this would be a good time to play “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” as you wait out a four hour penalty. But since this is Prague, all ninety-nine of those bottles would clear out in thirty-five minutes flat.
– Dan refuses to go backwards but Sam says to follow what he says as he guides him off of the curb.
SAM: Do you just trust me for one second and not think only of yourself?
DAN: Stop talking.
Sam almost won Dan over. Almost.
– The bar must be closed as Brian & Ericka are forced to deliver their drinks onto a table outside.
A welcome wagon prepares its arrival for Brian & Ericka. So much for last call! Good luck figuring out how to cut people off once they’ve had too much.
This is all going to a good cause.
– Eleven to go for Brian & Ericka. Sam suggest to hoist it against their chest before pushing it. Dan notes it is now ten times easier. The rabbis approve as Dan comments it was the Detour from Hell in front of them.
– Sam & Dan hail a cab.
Crew cuts are all the rage in Prague.
Many passengers at this time of night in Prague are typically s— faced. Sam & Dan are the first to be s— bodied and s— handed instead.
Dan concedes he was a baby during the task.
Awe. Now he’s lonely.
– Brian & Ericka emerge for their final trip with eleven drinks. This attracts more friends.
At least they’re wearing yellow.
BRIAN: What? The first girl left?
ERICKA: How’s life? . . .Yeah, that’s what I thought.
They’re certainly grumpy.
– Sam & Dan enter the mat. Dan cat calls the pit stop greeter.
SECOND PLACE: SAM & DAN
Either Sam shrunk himself down to Charla size or Dan drank some Sprout Easy potion.
They are ecstatic to be in the Final Three. Sam was convinced they were out. Dan knows the mission will be to beat Meghan & Cheyne for the third and final time.
PHIL: You really think you can beat those guys?
Phil clearly thinks anyone is delusional if they believe beating Meghan & Cheyne is possible.
– Here we go.
Brian & Ericka have taken nearly five hours on the Detour as Flight Time & Big Easy have finished their penalty. The phones are still ringing inside, according to the audio.
No wonder the supervisors act like such douches. They have to put up with the ringing for eight hours straight.
Have a good sleep?
– Brian notes the party has died as they deliver the last set of drinks by daylight.
Rise and shine. This is what Prague calls “breakfast in bed”.
Brian has such a high amount of energy as he cheers. The bartender does not respond. Ericka tells the bartender that he is beautiful.
Hopefully bartenders do not carry guns.
– Brian & Ericka receive their next clue and read it.
And back to sleep he goes. I find it hilarious he has thirty glasses of warm beer to keep him company.
– Brian said that he hoped the other Detour took just as long, but doubts it because it took hours and hours. Flight Time is optimistic as they head to the Kryocentrum.
– Brian & Ericka have found the pit stop. Phil informs them they are the third team, and what ensues is one of the craziest pit stop reactions I have ever seen.
– The reaction goes on for so long as Ericka furiously punches Brian’s shoulders too, that we see a slow motion fade-away into a confessional with Ericka screaming “WHAT!” with the audio cut.
With an over-the-top fist pump.
– Ericka knows they have made their fair share of screw-ups, but are contenders.
– Globetrotters find the clue at the Kryocentrum and are told to go directly to the pit stop. They refuse to stop racing. Flight Time says they have travelled the world, but the experiences on the race are brand new to them. We suddenly get what is perhaps our first elimination highlight reel as we hear the official theme play in the background.
And unfortunately this is just the beginning of being forced to hear this theme.
– They do a light jog onto the mat.
– LAST PLACE: FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY
And yet they are the real winners as we are only 36% of the way through their legacy. Sigh.
PHIL: Loved watching you guys race around the world, I gotta say. . .and watching all four hours of the raw footage of you two sleeping–er, I mean Big Easy unscrambling Franz. . .and are you free eighteen months from now?
– Big Easy hopes they can still be racing in twenty years. He’s not too far off.
Next Time on TAR: In high-rolling Las Vegas, teams put it all on the line. Experience the highs, the lows, and the King. It’s the season finale you won’t wanna miss. Who will cross the finish line first and win one million dollars?
Big Easy may be a nominee for the worst puzzle solver in TAR history.
Him and Flight Time were supposed to be eliminated because Big Easy was the only one who took more than two minutes to solve a 3-number combination in Dubai, and he took a whole freakin’ hour. They only survived because of Mika.
And then he quit over a task with only 24 raw possibilities, but only two of them that were realistic for guessing.
And while TAR 16 was filming, Big Easy was cast for the Heroes tribe on Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains. He did not improve much there either.
If only Big Easy’s answer of Znarf Kafka would have been the correct one.
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 5.4
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 3.09 Used Yield and U-Turn TAR Asia 3
4th Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy 3.09 TAR 15. Znarf!
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 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) Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy
In fifth overall of the teams to not make Final Three, I cannot help but think to myself “are they really this high compared to the other eliminated teams?”
Let me be clear: I have zero desire to see them play a second time. Let alone a third on top of that.
If you stop the Harlem Globetrotters’ storyline with their appearance here in TAR 15, it is virtually perfect. It was a gimmicky team who are using freaking trademarked names. They’re essentially representing a brand and a company rather than themselves. That would be like if Lori & Bolo raced as Flying Implants & Small Testis as part of the WWE.
They’re the first team to only go by their real names less than half of the time, and in fact their trademarked names are used so frequently that you forget their names are Herb and Nate.
For a team named GLOBETROTTERS, and having traveled to over seventy countries to play basketball, they appeared to be very average at traveling the world. Once the weak links were gone, they feared elimination and losing airtime for their brand to the point that they followed each of the two strongest teams (mostly Sam & Dan who always hated the Globetrotters in return from the beginning), and stuck to that strategy so rigidly to ensure they were in the Final Four.
Oddly enough, a basketball team on TAR would go home at Final Four.
They continued the short-running tradition of TAR 12-Asia 3-13-14 of having a huge blunder made at Final Four followed by a really lame season finale.
I remember not seeing the episode when it aired, and only reading about it online the next day. My mother said “the task looked tough”. But man, you can’t unscramble a five letter word with only one vowel, and the word matches up with the museum you are visiting during the round?
Seriously, F-R-A-N-Z. Since it is the Czech Republic, you could make an argument that putting the letter ‘Z’ as the second letter in the word. But seriously, that leaves only ten to twenty reasonable combinations out of a total of one hundred-twenty possible permutations.
Flight Time & Big Easy are also the first team to get their own theme song. Once again, it’s the licensed Harlem Globetrotters theme that TAR was able to be purchased/awarded the rights to use whenever they wished.
In short, they may be the most one-dimensional team on TAR this season. They were portrayed to be this fun family-friendly team that are inspiring youth to get out of the projects and make a name for themselves.
So why do they have them higher than last place if they are one-dimensional?
Well, because if you read between the lines of their one-dimensional edit, you see a relatively rude team who loved to troll people. Yes, they were major followers, but you get the impression that they chose to follow Sam & Dan rather than Meghan & Cheyne most of the time because they knew it would annoy Sam & Dan more. I am convinced they wanted Sam & Dan to have a great reaction to ensure Sam & Dan would be edited as villains, and the Globetrotters would be granted the hero edit.
But, I mean, one of the top twenty meanest moments ever was when Globetrotters were dead last in round six, doomed to be out in seventh place and likely have their legacy end right there. However, Mika decided to be super duper useless rather than her usual super uselessness as Big Easy goes over-the-top with making sure Mika’s chances of going down the waterslide goes from 0.09% to 0.04% by psyching her out.
Yet the editors play it off as a light-hearted moment when, really, it is one of the biggest jerk moves ever seen. What we see in the next round is Big Easy recapping it for everyone else as they are all laughing hysterically at Big Easy’s storytelling.
Lastly, Flight Time & Big Easy’s desperation to stay alive as long as possible to push the brand rather than win did indeed spawn some character moments. Primarily you can point to the incident of pulling down Sam’s pants as they race to the pit stop. There was absolutely no reason to do so except to hide how big of followers they really are by finishing ahead of Sam & Dan.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Harlem Globetrotters and Bertram Van Munster had made some sort of financial deal that resulted in Flight Time & Big Easy being cast twice more.
P.S. Between Dubai watches and five-letter scrambled words and other tasks, Big Easy is not a very skilled TAR racer. His appearance shows the downside that having somebody like Andre the Giant would not be ideal to complete tasks in the TAR universe.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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.
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) Prague, Czech Republic -> Prague, Czech Republic
Going into a room that is 180 degrees below zero? Brutal.
I hate that Big Easy and his fans feel betrayed by Dan who Big Easy stalked for the whole season, and repeatedly antagonized Sam & Dan during this process. Somehow, Dan being kind enough to practically do the task for Big Easy and allow him to copy once again was viewed as a dirty move.
I think the response to Dan helping Big Easy shows the bias against Sam & Dan, and the obvious casual fandom for Flight Time & Big Easy.
This round proved why none of the remaining teams have a chance of beating Meghan & Cheyne barring bad luck or a minor slip-up. They slaughtered the competition.
Brian & Ericka were by far the most entertaining team of the round as I found myself laughing out loud when they were at the club and dealing with the city’s drunks.
I approve of all of the tasks. It was much better than what we saw in the previous round. This was a worthy penultimate round, but they really needed to have more travel rather than the whole round being completed in about seven or eight hours total.
The elimination of the Globetrotters signalled the first time that a team would be rewarded for being given a dishonest edit in the form of playing a caricature that did not represent their true personalities on the race. Sadly this trend will continue heading into the very next season.
I will never get over the fact that Big Easy quit a five-letter word scramble where he had only twenty-four possibilities to answer. Maria & Tiffany were more persistent than that.
Lastly, this round continued the four-season tradition of having an exciting penultimate leg heading into what will be a rather dull final leg. Thankfully that will be the end of this trend as the next couple seasons will feature much more exciting finishes.
P.S. The supervisors must have hated listening to those telephones ring for eight hours. I bet Flight Time & Big Easy taking a four hour penalty, thus leaving the supervisors inside for four additional hours absolutely tortured them.
6) Tallinn, Estonia -> Prague, Czech Republic
A new country for the TAR US catalogue is sadly tainted by stupidity on the part of producers.
An unmemorable needle in the haystack Roadblock is compensated with an amusing Don Giovanni impersonator. Sadly a crappy needle in a haystack leg cannot be forgiven because a caricature is placed front and centre.
The teams broke off every single bond except the one between Sam & Dan and Meghan & Cheyne as the four teams screwed each other over when it came to working together or stealing taxis. It really made up for the lameness of this round.
This round is given a boost because this is a new European country for TAR to visit. Only three more European countries will appear in the TAR universe, if I’m not mistaken.
The Detour was a bit lame. Traversing a rope course against a near impossible boating task made all teams choose one by default. Well, Sam & Dan had to fail the boating one three times, but yet again we see a lopsided affair when it comes to Detour options.
Miraculously, nobody quit traversing the ropes.
You know why else I thought this leg was better than several others? And not just because there was a really fat taxi driver? Because the pit stop was not ten feet away from the most recent task. Teams had to take a taxi to the pit stop for one of few rounds this season.
Oh, and there was the final non-elimination this round which had to occur by default. I doubt Brian & Ericka ever felt in danger.
Lastly, I believe Czech Pragas work better than Hungarian Travants or Mongolian Jeeps.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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.
11) 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.