The Amazing Race 16 episode eleven rankings

Eleventh round

“They Don’t Even Understand Their Own Stupidity”

COUNTRIES VISITED

CHILE – ARGENTINA – GERMANY – FRANCE – SEYCHELLES – MALAYSIA – SINGAPORE – CHINA – UNITED STATES

Previously on TAR: Four teams raced from Singapore to Shanghai. At the Roadblock, Jet became the Noodle Master while Jordan got all tangled up. For the first time ever, teams faced a second Roadblock in the same leg while we said a collective “F–K YOU” to Detours.

Cord and Brent battled against the wind. Michael was simply puzzled. In the end, Cowboys Jet & Cord came out on top, and detectives Louie & Michael came in last but were spared elimination.

Four teams remain in a race for one million dollars; who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time.

Number of Episodes Where a Team is Specifically Mentioned in the Previously On. . . Segment

JET & CORD: 5
BRENT & CAITE: 6
HEIDI & JOE: 3
JODY & SHANNON: 1
DAN & JORDAN: 5
JEFF & JORDAN: 4
DANA & ADRIAN: 1
CAROL & BRANDY: 4
MONIQUE & SHAWNE: 1
LOUIE & MICHAEL: 5
STEVE & ALLIE: 2

– Are we at that time already? The tradition of me assessing each of the remaining teams before Phil does in the season finale?

Well, let’s get to it.

JET & CORD: Yeah, I make fun of them a lot. I know. It is tough to not to make fun of a team who was awarded such an inaccurate and biased edit. Jet & Cord are truly TAR’s version of Russell Hantz.

They make despicable remarks, have delusions of grandeur, and hurl really tasteless insults towards others behind the scenes, but are heavy fan favourites when the camera puts them in the spotlight.

I should note people who hate Jet & Cord now have admitted that they were huge fans of them before hurling slurs at fan events after the fact was known.

At the time everybody wanted to see them win. It would be the most popular victory in TAR history. Beating out Rob & Brennan, Chip & Kim, Uchenna & Joyce, and even BJ & Tyler amongst others (unless you are the online audience, scratch the BJ & Tyler part).

This is a team that has identified with the Conservative TAR audience by being “good ol boys from a small town in Oklahoma”, and all teams underestimated them because of it.

In reality, they have been sneaky in terms of trolling other teams, acting extremely independent, and not getting distracted by the dynamics going on around them. While this is happening they have accumulated four prizes, five other finishes on the podium, and a lone goof-up in the ultra linear Seychelles leg.

They are by far the strongest team left in the race. Nobody has performed anywhere near as well as the Cowboys all season long. It is their season to lose.

Dan & Jordan summed it up well in the last round. Brent & Caite U-Turning mediocre Carol & Brandy as opposed to Jet & Cord will be the biggest blunder of the season.

This is the only thing keeping the interest of TAR viewers. Can Jet & Cord humiliate all other teams? All they need to do is properly read clues to avoid disaster.

Speaking of a team who also sucks at reading clues. . .

BRENT & CAITE: How are they still in? Oh my word. I cannot describe to you how hated both of them were. Editing did not help them much as the edit repeatedly put them both down as petty idiots. I mean, the main story arc of the first ten rounds is that they U-Turned a team because they were mean to them.

In an era where Russell Hantz has fans agreeing with him that people need to get past their bitter feelings, Brent & Caite U-Turning based on emotion did not really help.

For some reason, TAR fans will immediately fire upon those who do not know the answer to common knowledge trivia questions (anonymous versus unanimous). Mix that with their rudeness towards certain locals, and you have an ultra hated team.

“They took our spot!”

Plus their constant bickering and Caite repeating that she is the only girl left rubs viewers the wrong way. I know first hand that the casual audience has a tendency to hate most female contestants in their early 20s. They instantly get the “spoiled brat” label unless they are bland or racing with a parent rather than a lover.

Lastly, Brent & Caite being the first ever Survivor/TAR/BB contestants cast due to a YouTube video certainly did not help. Everyone said that the only reason they were picked was because of their viral fame.

And they would be right.

I should note that Brent & Caite have not yet won a leg, but do well whenever they are not incurring a penalty for misreading a clue. You could say they are one of the tougher teams as they left a pit stop three hours late due to Brent & Caite being hospitalized for food poisoning because of a chef who served them food from such as the Iraq.

I think it would be the second coming of Flo winning if Brent & Caite are first to cross the finish line. Especially when this is the first season since TAR 4 to have three all-male teams in the Final Four.

Speaking of teams who struggle at reading clues. . .

LOUIE: MICHAEL: I love when teams say they will be the best competitors ever and end up being nowhere near being the best evuh (tm Phil Baroni).

Jim & Misti from TAR 25 who finished last on the fourth leg and nearly used their Save in round five this week.

Ryan & Abbie from TAR 21 who had waited an eternity to break Dave & Rachel’s record from two months earlier.

But Louie & Michael? They finished 9th, 9th, and 8th in the first three rounds. That was the worst average put up by any team to survive three rounds or more.

Once the race went to Europe, Louie & Michael and the Cowboys teamed up in round four to help Louie & Michael secure a big lead. They U-Turned the second place team in the following round to eliminate them in an easy leg, and no equalizers came about to ensure they won their third leg in a row too.

But once there was an equalizer and they headed to The Seychelles, Michael & Louie have finished in the bottom half in three out of four legs. Their best finish since then has been third. This has included drawing a blank on puzzles, switching Detours, and missing route markers.

In fact they would have been eliminated in round nine if their Wolf Pack members Brent & Caite had not U-Turned Carol & Brandy. That is how much Louie & Michael suck outside of continental Europe.

Did anyone want them to win? Yeah, I guess a couple people did, but those same people would much rather prefer a Jet & Cord victory.

Can they win? Well, Louie & Michael do not know what to do in areas that do not speak much English, and Louie has TERRIBLE cardio. Somebody that out of shape should not be in law enforcement.

The only way these two will win if other teams get lost or lose their passports between now and the finish line. Sure, some would say the Speed Bump is a disadvantage, but we all know Speed Bumps never take more than fifteen minutes. Getting lost in a taxi for forty-five minutes is much more lethal than what any Speed Bump can do.

I should note that Louie & Michael are in the bottom five least popular teams on the message board Survivor Sucks.

Now to our final team:

DAN & JORDAN: The Rhode Island Rattlesnakes. Also known as the Jewish brothers from Rhode Island. They have only finished in the top half in three out of ten legs.

Yeah. Not a very impressive stat.

Everyone acknowledged Jet & Cord throughout the season as unusual people.
Everyone acknowledged Louie & Michael as “nice cops” who turn out to be cutthroat.
Everyone acknowledged Brent & Caite for being Brent & Caite.

But wow, contestants and producers did not really think much of Dan & Jordan.

Just look at them. Any all-male team who has won the race or done well tend to have big muscular builds and are well-traveled as well as adventurous. They are rarely TAR nerds either, and are in their later 20s or early 30s.

Dan & Jordan are none of those things. Jordan is the TAR nerd while Dan is doing this so his brother will shut up about doing The Amazing Race for the past nine years. Neither are adventurous and neither are well-traveled. While all-male teams wish to win every leg, Dan & Jordan intentionally avoid doing well at any task. They want to be invisible to the other racers.

Furthermore, neither have any intention to get a TV career rolling because of being cast on the race. That is rare for who appear on reality TV in their twenties.

Factor this all in and you have producers ignoring them. Pay attention to their edit. Dan & Jordan are shown each episode doing their own thing, and not really asked questions by producers to comment on other racers until the tenth freakin’ round.

PRODUCER #1: Carol & Brandy are out. Dan & Jordan are still in the race!
PRODUCER #2: That means -you- need to create a season long narrative for them.
EDITOR: Shut up, shut up, shut up!

I can guarantee you that is how the conversation went down in the production meeting.

This is a season that was banking on a Joe & Heidi, all-female, Cowboy, Old Cops, or Brent & Caite/Jeff & Jordan mactor victory to build up their stardom.

The absolute last team they want to see win this thing? Dan & Jordan. Their story was just supposed to be Dan doing this race for Jordan.

Even at this point producers believe that their motivation for running the race is over as their objective is met. Dan said it so himself.

And c’mon, they have only beaten Jet & Cord either by claiming the Fast Forward or when the Cowboys fumbled in The Seychelles. All eight other legs have led to the Cowboys whooping them.

Lastly, the Russell Hantz culture does not respect “under the radar” players. Dan & Jordan are the epitome of this role. Therefore, no one is prepared for the possibility of them winning this race.

In short, Jet & Cord are not only heavy fan favourites, but super heavy favourites to win the dang thing anyway.

And that is what producers thought TAR desperately needed to revive the franchise.

– Phil introduces us to Shanghai. It was one of the first Chinese cities open to Western trade. Now it is the most cosmopolitan city in China.

– You know what has been real nice? This has been the first season since TAR 12 where we have not doubled up two legs in the same city. Considering the finale is next round, it is great to go back to a less lazy format.

– Jet & Cord, who were the first to arrive at an unspecified time, will depart first at 8:02am. They read that they must find the Garden Bridge.

PHIL: It is known by its local name–Wei Bo Douche Ow.

Wei Bo Douche Ow? That’s the name of the bridge? Hilarious!

– The bridge is in Shanghai. A lot of the early seasons loved taking teams to a bridge before sending them to their new destination.

– Cord says Jet is the best partner in this race. In 2004 (six years earlier), Cord caught a hoof in the side of the head and got his skull crushed. It was uncertain whether Cord would live. Jet sat by Cord’s bed in the hospital until he recovered.

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A cattle ranch in Shanghai? This must be a pre-race confessional. Where is Jet?

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And Jet has his own Shanghai cattle ranch too, evidently. Geez, they really are stars!

– Jet claims Cord is the toughest guy he knows unless it involves wind. They ask for directions to the Garden Bridge. Locals do not know. A lady and man tell them to just go to the park bridge straight ahead.

– Brent & Caite depart second at 8:36am.

BRENT: Wow, that was a simple clue!

Heh. You’re in for a curveball.

– Caite says it has been three years since the Teen USA pageant.

CAITE: I still get people every single day pretty much, uh, saying negative comments, and, uh, ummmm, andI feel like uh making the Final Three is gonna show the world I can accomplish everything I can put my mind to.

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Still not the most eloquent person around. And why in the world would anyone still be angry about something you said as a 17-year-old three years earlier?

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Oh. Right. Granted they had no idea who she was until Jordan told them.

– Jet & Cord keep walking. Jet stands halfway on what they are told is the park bridge.

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“Come out Clue, where ever you are.

– So they see a random greenhouse and decide to search it.

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It’s locked? Must be Cowboy Proof.

– The Cowboys look over a balcony.

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Nice view, though.

– The McCoys decide to confirm with locals that there is not a second Garden Bridge. They do not want to be like Kelly from TAR 4 who thought it was impossible for Beethoven to own two houses.

kelly car roadblock

Yeah. This Kelly.

– Brent & Caite find a teenager on the street. This is late 2009. Guess what she does?

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How are you going to search it? That’s what they want to know! They are searching for it themselves! Who are you sending? Cavalry who will report back? They’re on a time crunch.

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Oh. Smart phones. Dang you rich teens in 2009!

I really wish TAR can make a rule where smart phones are not allowed to be used as a resource. The race feels broken at times (particularly in season finales) where teams just ask a local to pull out their phone and look it up.

I can guarantee you those ugly T-Mobile phones in TAR 3 could not access the Internet and provide an accurate answer.

Brent & Caite being the most “with it” definitely gave them an advantage knowing that there are phones with this capability by 2009.

– Brent & Caite are given the correct location and a taxi is called for them. Caite hugs the Asian. Into a taxi they go as Brent tries to communicate “fast” by pumping his arms up and down.

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Is he trying to challenge the driver to a fight?

– Jet & Cord enter a taxi. The driver agrees to take them. Guess what happens next?

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Ouch. At least the driver admitted it.

– The driver calls somebody.

DRIVER: Ohhhhhhhhhh.

– Jet & Cord both find it hilarious.
JET: Oh! Garden Briiiidge.
CORD: Oh, you meant the Garden Bridge? That Garden Bridge?

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Laughin’ at the locals.

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Laughin’ gets more blatant.

– Dan & Jordan commence third at 8:53am. Dan says his one goal was to give Jordan his dream. He really cares and does want the million.

Oh. Now the story changes. I wonder what Jordan’s next dream would be?

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Jordan’s next dream is for Dan to smell his hands after they have been buried under his armpits for the past thirty minutes. You know, to relieve the tension in moments of stress.

– Dan does not understand how they can get to the route marker if nobody speaks English. Brent & Caite are in a cab.

BRENT: I was worried the whole time about coming to China. It’s pretty incredible to see everything and compare it to where we live. The only thing that is killer right now is the language barrier.
(TAR Asian gong plays and shows the taxi driver for some reason.)

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I am a killer?

– Brent & Caite have found the route marker. They read that they must head to Longhua Temple. They are not allowed to take a taxi.
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Dammit. We are stuck in Shanghai for the round. F—ing cheapskates.

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I wonder what locals think when they see a couple of Italian plumbers on a poster just outside of their temple.

– Caite wants to find somebody who can speak English. No kidding. The Cowboys see the box and tell their driver to wait. Heh. Now they have to go back to pay him before finding the route marker.

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The final elimination is coming — time for a prayer!

Really? That was their best segue into this route marker? Why not “This is the final elimination. Use public transit because you need to work for once you lazy sack of f–ks”.

– Brent & Caite pull out a map. Surprisingly, they are making sense of it. Heck, they even make it to their bus in time. Caite did ninety percent of the work. She truly deserves more credit for helping this team with navigating.

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Imagine if Andre & Damon from TAR 3 had to read this map? They would quit on the spot or pay a Chinese man to lead him all the way there.

– Caite boards the bus. All from using that really confusing map. She orders Brent to show the driver where they need to go. I remember this very clearly because I happened to walk into the living room when my mother and my mother were watching this scene.

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“Yes, yes, Lazy American Youths, I know where to go. It’s tough to understand you when you insert “uh”, “um”, “sick”, and “rad” into every other syllable. Or who the hell can talk to you when you mix up anonymous with unanimous?”

CAITE: Obviously we know how to read maps because we’re pretty damn good at figuring out where we are and where we’re going.

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“I’m the greatest mothaf–ka to ever mothaf—kin live.”

– Then here comes the best quote of the episode.

CAITE: It’s -ChIIIna-. So people you can go screw yourselves.

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Yep. Caite just told a country of over one billion to screw themselves. That VISA will probably not be renewed.
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BRENT: Hahaha. Hell yeah!

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Yep. Brent’s response was a few seconds late. It is like he is the hype man for Caite’s rap career. This clip really did feel like a radio edit version of a female rap video.

– So how did this play out in the Saunders household?

(LOGAN walks into the room.)
CAITE: Obviously we know how to read maps because we’re pretty damn good at figuring out where we are and where we’re going.
MOTHER AND SISTER: Ugh.
CAITE: It’s -ChIIIna-. So people you can go screw yourselves.
MOTHER: Oh my god. You need to go home.
BRENT: Hahaha. Hell yeah!

As I’ve said before, middle-aged women will always hate Caite.

It was like when Sabrina reacted to Troyzan’s celebration in the round of nine immunity challenge in Survivor: One World.

troyzan one world

“Go screw yourself, One World.”

sabrina one world

“Oh! Oh my God, someone beat him already.”

– Jet & Cord ask their taxi driver for directions. They are told the train is the best way to go. It is one kilometre away. The Pious brothers are on the same bridge that Jet & Cord were on. They run into an amusing local.

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Morning, boys! Wanna stretch with me?

– It leads to one of my favourite local interactions. The guy can speak English, and even reads their clue.

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Yes, that is him speaking in all of those subtitles.

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I like how he refuses to stop stretching during this. Dan & Jordan learn to give up on him once he asks them where the garden bridge is.

I wonder if he also asked if he could have twenty-two dollars for his leg stretch this morning.

– JORDAN: This language barrier is not a place for Dan & Jordan.
DAN: I HATE China. I will never be back.

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For some reason, this is far less offensive coming out of Dan’s mouth than Caite’s mouth.

A 20-year-old told the whole country to screw themselves.

Five minutes later a 24-year-old told the whole country that he hates them with a passion.

Five years later and I am curious if either Dan or Caite regret saying that they hate the Chinese.

– Jordan suggests that they wait for Louie & Michael and work with them. Weren’t they like two hours behind them? Teams get frustrated easily when there has only been ten minutes that have elapsed since pit start. These spoiled new age racers have it too easy!

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Nevermind. I give producers credit. Finding the Garden Bridge only halfway across town is far more difficult than anticipated.

– Jordan develops a very knowledgeable strategy.

JORDAN: One of our strategies from day one was never be alone and in last.
DAN: We knew Mike and Louie would have a Speed Bump. It would be in our best interest to use them to help us so that the Speed Bump would allow us to go ahead of them.

That reminds me of what I just said online regarding the reason why the Marked for Elimination penalty was broken. A team or two would glue themselves to the marked team if trailing, and the marked team would go by default.

No one has tried that under the Speed Bump rules before.

– Louie & Michael depart last at 11:00am. Just like that they have made up over two hours on Dan & Jordan. The Speed Bump never takes more than ten to fifteen minutes. Michael intends to race hard. Louie wants to show his children that the harder you work the more you can achieve.

– Jordan screams out for Michael & Louie’s name. Wow. That was easy for them.

JORDAN: First of all, we love you guys. Second of all, we just wanted to stick with you guys.

– Michael’s plan? He leads them to the balcony. Mike claims to have great eyes and catches what other people don’t see.

So how will they find this Garden Bridge?

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Yes. He is using binoculars to identify a route marker that is halfway across Shanghai. And they can barely see past two blocks considering Shanghai has maybe just a few tall skyscrapers.

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And no, Mike’s binocular does not have a CBS camera built into it. This is all post-production.

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brandon bino

Just like in TAR 5 where Brandon’s binocular has one half of it blocked because the lid was still on it.

– MICHAEL: Not a lot of gardens here.
LOUIE: I have a good feeling we’re in the right area, bro.

Geez. They might be stuck here for six hours at this rate.

– Brent & Caite are first to the temple. It’s a Roadblock. Caite will do it.

PHIL: Teams must enter Arhat Hall. Arhat in the Buddhist tradition means “one to obtain enlightenment”.

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She has enlightenment already, so you can all screw yourselves.

– Inside the hall teams must count all of the golden statues. If they come up with the correct number, 523, they will receive the next clue. If they are wrong, they must wait ten minutes before counting again.

Yes, another counting Roadblock.

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Which will be much tougher than the chain link count because you cannot touch each indiviual buddha.

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They all suffer from a worse case of premature balding than Jet & Cord.

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It can raise its eyebrows higher than Phil.

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The Lumberjack Buddha.

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The Abe Lincoln Buddha.

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Yes Bubba, this is when you are allowed to say that “buddhas are rockin everywhere”.

– We get a split-screen confessional for the first time ever.

BRENT: People have an opinion of her that she is not the brightest person in the world. This task will show she’s got it upstairs and not as dumb as everyone thinks she is.

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Brent’s record of stupidity will have to be squashed another day.

– Caite figures out that the buddhas are lined up perfectly. He starts counting down and up, but after a while he gets all jagged. She adapts a new strategy–counting each line.

– Brent stands outside and takes in what is going on everywhere around him. He compares it to the Christian religion and their churches while these folks have their temples.

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His hat is like the King chess piece.

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Early morning marshmallows. Holy Mallows.

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Now that is just in bad taste.

– For some reason, it seems inappropriate for Brent to comment on the cultural aspect.

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Eeeek! Antlers!

– Caite submits a guess of 520. She is only off by 3.

don ikea

I want Don & Mary Jean to try counting instead.

– The McCoys have yet to find the metro. Cord says it is taking them a long time.

CORD: Oh my gravy.

OH MY GRAVY COUNT: 12

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Is that “Oh my gravy we’re lost” or “Oh my gravy Brent & Caite is kicking everyone’s butt this round”?

– Michael sees two jackets on the road.

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Target locked.

– Louie says there is no other reason for two jackets to be hanging in the middle of the road like that. They exit the balcony and walk all the way there. I love how Dan & Jordan have zero input in all of this.

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Can we appreciate how Dan & Jordan have likely been racing for three to four hours and have made zero progress. Most legs teams would at least be driving in the right direction, get to an airport or bus station, or be at the freakin’ route marker.

Dan & Jordan are still only two kilometres from the pit start.san carlos de bariloche brent caite 2

Brent & Caite lost three hours due to hospitalization in the third round, and even they were able to get to the bus station right after that.

– This is the second round in a row where Pious brothers and the Cops have fallen really far behind the other racers by working together. This is why Final Four alliances do not work at the end of the game. The other two teams have been so much more competitive as individuals.

– Caite submits a guess in sign language.

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She even submits it in writing too in case he don’t speak uh such as English.

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The judge in the Gryffindor scarf just turns and laughs. Ouch. I think you just got owned, Caite.

– Caite’s second failed guess which means she has spent roughly forty minutes at the Roadblock. No one else has shown up.

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Which means Brent is very very very bored.

– Jet & Cord find the metro station and board the train.

CORD: Let’s saddle up.

Geez. I really should have done a tally for each time Cord said the word ‘saddle’.

– Louie & Michael borrow a cell phone and call the translation service. Most cabs have that number for locals to call somebody who speaks English, figure out their destination, and hand it to the driver. Michael talks to a guy on the phone until a cab pulls up beside them.

Pretty soon Google can translate it all for you on a smart phone.

– Dan & Jordan get into a cab behind them and will follow Michael & Louie. Dan tells the Cops to ensure they do not lose them. Pious brothers enter the taxi and instruct the driver to follow the green cab.

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Seems simple enough.

– One block later?

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Alone in last.

DAN: He doesn’t understand. He doesn’t understand. . .Follow! Follow. It’s the simplest thing. Follow. Follow. Follow.

I love that Dan is one of those people who gets exceedingly formal when angry.

– Another block later?

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Alone in dead last.

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So much for Dan’s dreams.

– Dan orders Jordan to get out of the taxi. He is angry and yelling. What makes this scene even better?

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Jordan cannot open the door.

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No one leaves Lee’s cab. Pay up, you Americans.

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Dan tries to exit through the windshield.

– Dan settles down a bit until him and Jordan repeatedly scream to yell at the green car. The driver just sits there silently.

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dk angry

It reminds me of DK’s outbursts from TAR 4 during the South Korea round. Good times.

– DAN: I want to hit someone. We’re screwed. We’re done. This is it. This is. . .
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DAN: STUPID!

– Commercial. We resume. Louie likes that the Pious brothers are no longer in front of them. Have Dan & Jordan recovered from the incident?

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Amazing Race Facepalm.

– Caite is still all alone at the Roadblock. Brent is hoping third time is the charm. Caite says it eventually all comes together as one big gold statue.

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Although I doubt this one blends in.

– Caite’s next guess? 524.

520.
522.
524.

CORRECT ANSWER: 523.

That’s just mean.

– Jet & Cord are at the temple. Now are they at the temple?

JET & CORD: Hey look, there’s Brent & Caite’s bags.

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“There’s Brent & Caite’s bags. No other evidence that we are getting close to the route marker.

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“Oh my gravy, no sign of a clue box, and no one around to help us.”

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“Are they just f–king with me?”

– JET: Any sign anywhere?

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This whole cast is so freakin’ oblivious. It is unbelievable.

Or Shanghai really is that chaotic.

– BRENT: The Cowboys literally walked right by me. Like, they could have touched me if they wanted to. They couldn’t find the clue. I am hiding out so that way Caite gets a little bit more time.

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The thing is that Brent doesn’t really need to hide. You were as visible as you could be.  Heck, you were more visible than Bao Xishun and they still didn’t spot you.

You don’t really need to disguise yourself like He Pingping to protect yourself from the Cowboys.

– Is Caite getting any closer?

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Not if she just stands there.

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What is that statue trying to do? Eat its own socks?

– We see Caite take a fourth crack at it. Jet & Cord keep walking and walking. They finally have the clue. Jet is now inside. He is not worried about Brent & Caite. Jet sees Caite but is not focused on her at all.

– Michael & Louie’s cab tries to pull over and stop the road right beside the route marker on the bridge. Traffic is a bit congested. But guess what?

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Dan & Jordan have caught up. Dan’s fit in the cab seems rather silly now.

– Both teams pull over on the bridge. Dan is repeatedly telling Jordan to hurry up. Dan & Jordan pass by the clue.

MICHAEL: Here it is, Louie!

JORDAN: Oh my god, we just freakin’ walked past it.

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“HERE IT IS, LOUIE! YOU’RE RIGHT HERE? WELL, I’LL YELL OUT THAT THE CLUE IS HERE ANYWAY.”

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“Please yell at each clue box, Michael. Louie’s ears are clogged from Italian wax.”

– Dan & Jordan must be relieved that they will not be traveling by taxi to the next route marker.

– Brent describes the Cowboys as a team that finishes tasks quickly, and is working hard to get past them. Jet checks his clue and realizes that they have to count all golden statues rather than just buddhas. Even the statues with a sock in their mouth.

– Jet presents his first guess.

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Nailed it.

– Caite emerges from the temple with a guess of ‘523’ just seconds later. Jet has made up a full hour just like that. He celebrates by vomiting in his mouth a little. Both receive the clue.

– They read that they must hop a ride in a motorcycle and ride it to the Yuyuan Gardens where they will find their next clue.

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Shanghai’s most vicious motorcycle gang.

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Shanghai’s sexiest man.

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He was the runner-up.

– They are indeed marked motorcycles.

tom terry duck

So no Tom & Terry’ing it.

– Brent & Caite find the ride to be awesome. Generic rock soundtrack plays that TAR has never used before. It is mixed with the blunder music for some reason.

more shanghai brent caite 5

Brent has the adrenalin rush come back to him. Caite did not think much of it.

Or maybe this is their reaction to another activity that they recently shared. I dunno.

more shanghai brent caite 6

It reminds me of Rocky being in an airplane.

rocky j squirrel

– Caite asks to make it faster.

– Jet & Cord are in a motorcycle of his own. Cord immediately relates it to his rural background.

CORD: This motorcycle ride through Shanghai is a new thang for a country boy like me who comes from a town that has one light that is flashing yellow.

Between saddles, bull riding, shocking gravy, and flashing yellow lights, the script runs thin for Cord McCoy.

But the audience eats it up anyway.

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Jet is the more homophobic one, but yet he is the one riding in the “bitch” position on the motorcycle.

more shanghai jet cord mccoy 6

“We have one janitor in our town, and his name tag is CarmenJello.

– Dan & Jordan and Louie & Michael enter a hotel asking for directions. They are instructed to take a bus to the temple. Michael wishes there was a way to hop into a taxi and separate from the brothers, but cannot see another alternative. I guess taking the metro is too difficult to think of in the heat of the moment.

more shanghai crowd

You know what the bottom two teams in the Final Four sticking together reminds me of?

jon al yawn

david jeff end

That time in TAR 4 during the South Korea leg where Jon & Al and David & Jeff share taxis for the day, but realize they need to split up prior to the pit stop to avoid a tie for last place. David & Jeff decide to let Jon & Al take the cab the remainder of the way, and David & Jeff finish in last.

Of course, that meant nothing because it was a non-elimination leg and there were no penalties back then.

more shanghai louie michael 2

Speaking of TAR 4, if this were Mumbai and Michael was a Texas redhead. . .well, let’s just say things would not be going too well for him.

creepy 2

Did you say your name was Michael Naylher?

– Brent & Caite arrive at the road of the route marker. The motorcyclist drops them off. No route marker is present. What road are they on?

more shanghai fangbang road

Fangbang?! Hallowe’en is here and they are at a place called FANGBANG Road? Who is it named after?

the count

The Count?

– Brent is looking for a ‘garden looking area’. Caite says the clue will not be in it. Brent defends he is asking for a barrier. Brent & Caite are in an open market and are devastated by the thousands of people everywhere. She describes the people going up to her to sell things.

She says it in her confessional.

CAITE (Asian stereotype voice): Oh, you want to buy this? You want to buy this?
BRENT: A watch.
CAITE (confessional): Go away!

more shanghai brent caite 7

Now that is just rude.
.
.
.
Yeah, I said it for once. My words. Not Margie Adams/O’Donnell.

– I should note that Caite blinks twice as much as when she emphasizes there are THOUSANDS of people EVERYWHERE. I can hear one lady trying to sell a toque.

– Jet & Cord find the clue box. It’s a Detour.

– Phil says the commotion does not mean the traditions go away.

Isn’t that roughly 90% of all Detours in Asia legs?

In Pork Chops, teams must head to a shop that sells engraved stamps known as chops. They must search for the one that bears a pig and their name on the bottom. Once they have both of their names, they can exchange it for their next clue.

more shanghai stamps

More than 523 stamps.

more shanghai stamps 2

Producers are glad Steve & Allie did not make it this far. They forgot to make stamps for them.

more shanghai stamp man

This rad dude will give them their next clue.

more shanghai stamp man 2

Stamp Man–Mega Man’s next enemy in Mega Man 11. When are we getting that anyway? It has been four years since Mega Man 10. Heck, Mega Man 10 was released the same year as TAR 16.

 

In Pork Dumplings, teams make their way to a restaurant and pick up ten orders of dumplings. They must make their way through the crowded alleyways of the market and deliver them. Teams will then find their next clue.

china restaurant 14

last team

It is not a China visit if they do not go to a restaurant! If only Bilal & Saeed could eat fish eyes a bit faster before heading to the Last Team board.

– Do you recall how Nate & Jenn had to start uttering alternative curses on screen because producers said they were swearing too much?

Well, I think Brent & Caite were given the same order.

(CAITE sees clue.)
CAITE: Freaking ‘A’!

detective mcnulty

F–king A!

– Brent & Caite and Jet & Cord are both doing Pork Chops.

BRENT: I can’t concentrate I need to go to the bathroom.
CAITE: Brent. Go.
BRENT: Go where?
CAITE: Go to the bathroom if you have to go.
BRENT: You can’t look while I’m going to the bathroom.

hold it

CAITE: Then just hold it and deal with it.
BRENT: I literally can’t.
CAITE: Brent. Just hold it.
BRENT: There’s a restaurant here. Let’s just go really quick.
CAITE: No. I’m not going anywhere.
BRENT: Fine then. Whatever.

more shanghai brent horne 4

Brent is not allowed to state the 20-foot camera rule to Caite’s stunt double on screen.

Instead Brent has to suffer by looking like he is a grown man who cannot go to the bathroom without being accompanied by his 20-year-old girlfriend.

more shanghai brent caite 8

Brent will just stand there and pick his nose until Caite changes her mind.

– Dan & Jordan and Louie & Michael reach the clue box. Dan compliments how the cops look in their Speed Bump picture.

more shanghai louie michael 3

Receding hairlines et al.

– Speed Bump time. Louie & Michael must perform a local good look ritual–they must successfully toss a coin in the incense burner. Once that is done they will be allowed to make up time in the race.

– The giant incense burner is on sight. It looks like it will be real easy.

more shanghai incense burner

They must toss the coin through the top opening.

more shanghai man 2

The NBA is your next stop!

– JORDAN: Who thinks they can sum up Buddha?
DAN: Sum up. Math.
JORDAN: I think it’s a patience thing. It’s yours, bro.

Hint: Jordan did not want to be stuck counting.

more shanghai dan jordan pious 3

Because Dan is definitely not a man of patience.

– We watch Louie & Michael toss coins while Dan is counting 523 Buddhas.

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Not the most exciting split screen.

– Louie has one in. Michael gets it in. Speed Bump over after thirty seconds. It is perhaps the quickest Speed Bump ever. Louie is doing the Roadblock.

MICHAEL: Louie’s a mathematical genius. I’m not worried about Louie. He’s gonna kick some butt.
JORDAN: You callin’ my brother stupid?

– Louie comments on the Buddhas having different facial expressions and how it is making the task easier.

– Brent repeatedly asks Caite to let him go to the bathroom.

CAITE: Nope.
BRENT: Please come with me so I can help.
CAITE: Baby–
BRENT: Stop baby’ing me. I can’t concentrate. I’m being of no help right now. We’re wasting time.

– The Cowboys cannot help but comment.

JET: I’ve never seen anybody that had to go to the bathroom as bad as–
CORD: I was starting to feel sorry for him. I thought he was gonna go in the room.
JET: Caite was telling him to be quiet. He looked blue.

more shanghai jet cord mccoy 7

“He only has one pair of pants, and they were ready to be flashing yellow.”

– Brent refuses to look at the stamps. His hands are shaking. He claims it is the worst he has ever needed to go to the bathroom. Funny thing is that Brent cannot stop moving. Caite caves in and claims he is annoying.

CAITE: You’re so annoying. I don’t want to waste time.
BRENT: JUST SHUT UP!

lisa whelchel survivor

“You’re doing the right thing, Caite.”

Yeah, that is post-production editing splicing at work.

– Jet finds Brent’s stamp. He points it out to Cord.

more shanghai jet mccoy 3

For now, Jet does not care if Brent crams it up his Jade Whole.

– Brent repeats that Caite is annoying.

BRENT: A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do, and she wasn’t getting it.
CAITE: I’ve had to pee ever since eight thirty this morning.

Is Brent insinuating that women do not urinate? How odd. They apparently never had sexual education classes in North Carolina, either.

– Speaking of which, didn’t Brent just brag about the size of his junk? His bladder is disturbingly disproportionate to his junk.

Big Junk in Little Bladder or Bulging Junk, Painful Bladder.

big trouble little china

crouching tiger hidden dragon

Whichever Chinese movie you prefer.

more shanghai sign

Do you want to go to the Tong Han Chun Tang. . .or the Toilet?

Tong Han Chun Tang may be the most sterotypically Chinese name I have heard in my life, but it turns out that it is the name of a pharmacy chain. I Google’d it.

– Dan is working at a self-proclaimed pace. His goal in the race is to take his time and do it right like Nelly Furtado.

– Dan gets it right on his first guess.

DAN: Every team has got to have a closer to get to the Final Three. On this team, I’m the closer.

john rocker

Dan Pious is the John Rocker of TAR 16. He may want to re-think that label.

jim misti raman

And no, John Rocker did not design The Save for TAR 25.

– A remix of “I Think I Am Turning Japanese” plays as Dan & Jordan enter the motorcycle.

Did the editors really think “Japanese, Chinese; close enough?”

DAN: I took the sidecar and Jordan rode ‘bitch’. Ahhhhh!

more shanghai dan jordan pious 9

more shanghai dan jordan pious 8

You-just-got-owned-by.your.broth.er!

– Jordan loved the motorcycle. The goggles, helmet, and crazy gloves. He even liked the part of hanging onto the Chinese man.

Maybe Dan & Jordan will enjoy their Singapore prizes in the end.

more shanghai motorcycle 4

Love is in the polluted air.

– Louie submits a guess of 521. Blunder soundtrack plays. Michael informs Louie that Dan was correct on the first try. Commercial. We resume.

more shanghai louie michael 4

So that’s why we should not have stuck with the brothers for the whole round.

– Jet finds a stamp. He lies to his brother and denies the discovery. Jet does it because he fears Brent & Caite will be more motivated if Jet found his own. It would be funnier if Cord found his too and lied about it as well.

more shanghai jet mccoy 4

Jet does a normal ‘shush’ sign for the camera.

alex angarita shush

Certainly not the Alex Angarita shush.

– Caite finds Cord’s stamp but does not announce it for obvious reasons.

BRENT: Baby, I’ve got mine.
CAITE: Oh, really?
BRENT: Yeah.
CAITE: Good. How big is it?
BRENT: It’s huge.
CAITE: It’s huge?
BRENT: Yeah, just like everything else.
(Chinese dong/gong plays.)

TAR is producing its own blatant example of sexual innuendo? But. . .But. . .What purpose would my blog continue to serve? TAR is doing the only meaningful job I do in here.

/sadpanda

more shanghai caite upton 4

I do not think she understood what Brent and the editors were implying. The innocence of being twenty.

– Dan hits on a random lady in the street. Jordan tells him not to because it may be her boyfriend with her. They note that the lady is now staring at Dan.

more shanghai dan pious 4

Nothing is more badass than having someone else drive you around in a motorcycle as you sit in the sidecar like a nine year old.

– Louie submits his next guess of 523. They enter the motorcycle.

MICHAEL: Drive it like you stole it, baby.

more shanghai michael naylor

singapore louie michael 9

Episode one callback!

more shanghai motorcycle 5

Yeah, callbacks baby.

– Brent reveals his stamp strategy. Cord has his next. Brent & Caite get their clue as Jet & Cord are done seconds later. They read that they must head to the pit stop–the Riverside Promenade which overlooks the waterfront of Shanghai.

– The Cowboys hail a cab before Brent & Caite.

JET: Morir rapido

more shanghai jet cord mccoy 8

No kidding.

– Jet & Cord see Brent & Caite still on the road trying to snag a cab. Jet could not be happier.

more shanghai jet cord mccoy 9

Everything is coming up McCoy.

– Brent successfully hires a cab. He could have been respectful and enter it, but that has never really been Brent’s game.

more shanghai brent caite 9

Oh, Brent. The audience will hate you just a little bit more.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I have a tough time understanding Scots when they speak English.

– Caite says it is rush hour in Shanghai at the moment.

rush hour soo yung

rush hour juntao

Hey. Hong Kong is a few hundred miles southwest.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I just found out that they are in the process of making a Rush Hour 4. Jackie Chan’s greatest film franchise by far can do well with three mediocre sequels because the original was -that- good.

Remember when I used to reference Rush Hour all the time? It feels like an hour since my previous one regardless of the fact that I blogged TAR Asia 2 and 3 this year.

more shanghai traffic

I swear downtown Toronto has worse traffic than Shanghai.

– Dan & Jordan exit the motorcycle. Michael hopes there is a long strenuous Detour.

LOUIE: Bababooey! I’m havin’ a freakin’ blast!

more shanghai louie michael 5

Rhode Side, represent!

– And how does bababooey work in this context exactly? Isn’t it just a way to troll reporters  on air?

bababooey

Michael Louie! Bababooey!

– Jet & Cord exit the cab and start running to the pit stop. Brent & Caite are shown on the streets about fifteen seconds later. Both teams are having a difficult time finding Phil. Where on the riverfront could Phil be?

more shanghai cab 5

According to Brent & Caite’s taxi driver, Phil is suspended in the air.

– Good ol showdown music. Keeps going. And going.

more shanghai bao xishun

Phil and the giant statue await the arrival of the teams.

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Holy crap he can talk!

PHIL: You met my friend Xishun here? The world’s tallest man?

more shanghai phil keoghan

“So if anyone messes me, this guy can hunt you down and kick your scrawny ass.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, this is the Bao Xishun I was talking about in the last episode. At one point him and He Pingping were simultaneously the shortest man and the tallest man. Both hail from the region of Inner Mongolia.

OTHER NOTE: Yes, Bao Xishun loses his title to a Turkish fellow a few days after this was filmed. I guess the other guy had a growth spurt.

FIRST PLACE: BRENT & CAITE

Caite hops up and down for about ten minutes.

more shanghai brent caite 10

I think Brent shares the audience’s reaction at the thought of Brent & Caite being the frontrunners heading into the season finale.

Could Caite be a winner of The Amazing Race? Again, the last time we had a winner that nobody could accept was Flo from TAR 3. Twelve years later and she is a legend.

Will Caite be the second part in that legend?

– Phil informs them that they have won a trip for two from Travelocity to the stunning beaches of coastal Spain. Which incidentally will not be visited until TAR 21.

PHIL: Caite, you are the only woman left in the race.
CAITE: I am ecstatic. I feel like I have accomplished something, and proved to the world that I am intelligent and can read maps.

Now the next step: Proving you are not ignorant. A much bigger obstacle.

more shanghai brent caite 11

Do you think Bao is following this conversation?

– Caite says they were once under the radar, and are now proving to be a capable threat to win this game and a million bucks.

more shanghai brent caite 12

While Brent does the most model-like running of the hand through his hair.

– Cowboy music plays as Jet & Cord hit the mat. No jokes from them about someone’s height this time.

SECOND PLACE: JET & CORD

more shanghai jet cord mccoy 10

Jet has an awful habit of licking his lips. He does it at nearly every mat. In the words of Amber, he can taste the money now.

– Jet feels like he has a great shot of winning. They want to have “Amazing Race Champion” on their buckle.

– Two hours later, Dan & Jordan are at the Detour. They choose Pork Chops.

JORDAN: Hey bro, are we finding a needle in the haystack?
DAN: Jordan, let’s just focus on this right now.

Jordan’s play-by-play historical TAR knowledge must irritate Dan at times. Dan finds Louie’s stamp and shows Jordan what it looks like. Sunset has come as Michael & Louie choose Pork Chops too.

– Slow rock showdown music plays. Dan wonders if he is missing something as he starts jumping in the air.

more shanghai dan pious 5

Dan just wants to jump up because he wants to check himself out in the mirror.

– MICHAEL (to the judge): How are ya?

– Louie & Michael catch up. They say Dan & Jordan had a twenty minute lead.  Louie asked if they found one of their stamps. Dan orders Jordan to stop complaining. He goes on in a confessional about he does not want to hear excuses.

DAN: It’s us or them. As simple as that. It’s anyone’s game.

(Cue commercial break on that quote.)

– Yeah. We resume. Jordan is told to stop complaining again by his older bro.

LOUIE: Just like a search warrant, brother.

Is there crack hidden in one of the stamps?

– Dan has found his own stamp and shows it to Jordan. They lead 1-0.

– Okay. Michael. You are most likely not reading this, but this may be the dumbest strategy for any task that I have seen.

more shanghai michael naylor 2

He is shining a flashlight on the stamps! For several seconds, might I add.

“The power of my flashlight compels you! Reveal yourself, you scumbag!”

more shanghai michael naylor 3

Have you been drinking tonight, Porky?

more shanghai louie stravato

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And Louie is knocking the stamps over!

– Dan & Jordan have yet to find Jordan’s stamp. Jordan decides to check Dan’s section again after looking through it two times. Carving your own name must have taken a lot of effort to do for producers.

more shanghai name carving

Oh. Nevermind. I s’pose it is rather easy.

– How intense is it?

more shanghai louie stravato 3

So intense that Louie starts breaking out in duck lips!

– Jordan found his own stamp. His idea to switch sides worked out. We hear a voiceover of Dan telling Jordan to stop wasting time reading the clue and follow him. My guess is he never said it as it comes very unnaturally.

more shanghai dan jordan pious 10

Reading? Dan is not interested.

– Jordan convinces a lady to walk with them. She does not get a chance to respond as they grab her by the arm and start running. If it were not for the cameras, this would be kidnapping.

– Michael finds Louie’s stamp once he puts away the flashlight.

more shanghai dan pious 6

Get to the chopper!

– The lady tells the taxi driver where Dan & Jordan need to go. Dan flashes the money and they enter the cab.

more shanghai cab 6

Money really gets him moving.

– DAN: We’re racing to the pit stop. It’s for our lives in this race. If we’re last we’re out. Simple as that.

So many things are simple to Dan.

Follow another car–simple.
Focus and find a stamp–simple.
Getting to the mat before Michael & Louie–simple.

Yet I believe Shanghai is anything but a simple city.

– Louie finds Michael’s stamp. They receive their clue and head outside. Into the cab they go.

more shanghai stamp man

Farewell, Stamp Man.

–  Michael hopes the brothers experience a bad cab ride. It is dark as we see a scenic view of the city.

more shanghai scenery

It looks more like Vegas than Shanghai.

– Dan & Jordan think they have a driver who is clueless because he refuses to pass another vehicle.

more shanghai road 2

I think Dan & Jordan may be the clueless ones. Good luck passing a car here.

DAN: Lots of money.
COUNTER-ARGUMENT: Lots of ways to crash your vehicle too.

more shanghai dan jordan pious 11

I think Dan needs some new pants.

more shanghai dan jordan pious 12

Stop with the theatrics! The cab driver might think you are experiencing a stroke.

– Dan thinks the cab driver is lacking any real motivation to go faster. Jordan tries telling him to go faster.

more shanghai dan jordan pious 13

The Jordan Pious Foot Stomp.

more shanghai dan jordan pious 14

Stop. Being. So. Dramatic.

– Michael repeats his prayer of a bad cab driver for Dan & Jordan. The driver lets out the brothers. Jordan whines that he really wants it as much as Brent needs a restroom. Michael & Louie also leave the cab.

– Dan & Jordan run but Dan orders him to turn around. A running montage. Who shall be third?

THIRD PLACE: DAN & JORDAN

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Will Dan finally chill?

– Phil asks Jordan what this means to him. It becomes a cryfest as he discusses how his older brother has always been there for him. Their gameplan has worked to the end.

JORDAN: The name of the game is avoiding elimination. Now we will be turning it up 150 percent. My brother and I are going to win the million dollars.

natalie and meaghan

Or rack up a million dollars in prizes!

LAST PLACE: LOUIE & MICHAEL

– Phil is bummed to see them go. Michael said he cannot think of anything bad about the race other than not winning it.

more shanghai louie michael 6

Bao Xishun proceeds to crush Louie in a handshake.

MICHAEL: We had a great time.
LOUIE:  There was a couple incidentses (yes, that’s how he said it)  where we literally had to share a full sized bed together.
MICHAEL: Let’s not say that, man.

more shanghai louie michael 7

Michael puts on a fake smile as he thinks about how the cameras were twenty seconds away from being shut off, and that story never coming to light. So close, Mikey. So close.

NEXT TIME ON TAR: After a season of thrilling moments, emotional highs and lows, it all comes down to a pair of small town cowboys, a beauty queen with something to prove, and two brothers determined to fulfill a dream. As they race to the finish these teams must scale new heights and explore new galaxies. Which team has it takes to win The Amazing Race?

Number of Episodes Where a Team is Specifically Mentioned in the Next Time On. . . Segment

CAROL & BRANDY: 3
JET & CORD: 4
DAN & JORDAN: 4
BRENT & CAITE: 5

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

BRENT.CAITE 8.8
JET.CORD 4.3
DAN.JORDAN 6.5
MICHAEL.LOUIE 13.11

Team Averages

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 Adrian & Dana 11.0 TAR 16
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 Jody & Shannon 10.0 TAR Adventure 16
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 Steve & Linda 9.4 TAR 14
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
–D minus–
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 Christie & Jodi 6.67 Saved by NEL–Became the Devil of Casting Later TAR 14
9th Brad & Victoria 6.67 TAR 14
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
–D+–
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
7th Jeff & Jordan 5.67. Saved by a stupid Blind U-Turn once but dead next day. TAR 16
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
–C minus–
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 Monique & Shawne 5.33 TAR 16. Praise Jesus.
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
5th Mark & Michael 5.22 Saved by NEL once but came up just short TAR 14
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
8th Kris & Jo–er, Amanda 4.50 U-Turned TAR 14
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 2
4th Louie & Michael 4.36 saved by NEL once and trained wolf cubs TAR 16
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Joe & Heidi 4.40 – Blind U-Turned with Injured Knee; TAR 16
4th Kisha & Jen 4.27 Saved by NEL once, U-Turned once TAR 14
3rd Brian & Ericka 4.25 saved by NEL once TAR 15
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF TAR 2
–B minus–
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
5th Carol & Brandy 4.00 – U-Turned. May or May Not Be Mean. TAR 16
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 Jaime & Cara 3.92 TAR 14
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
–B+–
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 Mel & Mike 3.57 TAR 14
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
6th Steve & Allie 3.38 – TAR 16, and ain’t got no clothes.
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
–A minus–
2nd Sam & Dan 3.17 U-Turned Pointlessly TAR 15
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–
3rd Margie & Luke 2.75 Used U-Turn once TAR 14
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
1st Tammy & Victor 2.33 Used U-Turn Once TAR 14
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31 TAR 7
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF TAR Asia 2
1st Meghan & Cheyne 2.00 FF TAR 15
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) Joe & Heidi

A middle-aged Asian couple on The Amazing Race who love to compete and are nice people in general? Not only are they trash-talking a bit, but they can back it up a bit by finishing near the top in each of the first four legs?

This is a team that deserved a better way of being eliminated. Jon Gosse–dammit, I mean Joe Wang! Joe and Heidi really should not have been a team that is overall a footnote in TAR history. Being stuck as the only team -forced- to do an impossible Detour option while a team ten hours passes them was tough to see unfold. It showed us how imbalanced the design of the leg happened to be.

I will forever be amused that their guess of “The war is over” was incorrect after five hours versus the correct answer of “We will prevail. Viva La France”.

Okay, I loved the unintentional humour involving their last name. Particularly when Joe got hit in the groin by a llama or falling off a horse and onto his groin. Only reality TV editors dig that low standard of comedy.

Joe & Heidi were by no means the Golden Parent team of TAR 16. They did allow the “Mean Lesbians” Carol & Brandy to cut in front of several teams in the second round. Nearly every team was already hating Carol & Brandy except for the Rhode Island Rattlesnake Dan Pious. This incident combined with their high finishes is 99% of what led to their U-Turn by Michael & Louie who were most affected by the Chilean Line Cut.

Now to the knee injury suffered during the jump with Steve & Allie. Joe was truly crippled by this. I have stated it about twenty times in these two episodes, but I can guarantee you that after going through trenches that Joe would have to withdraw and forfeit by the end of the following round. His knee looked ruined when exited the trench. I cannot imagine him being able to walk to a route marker, walk some more, and ride a bicycle for a few miles without causing severe pain.

If there was any team with unfinished business from TAR 16, Joe & Heidi would be your peeps.

P.S. Joe & Heidi would have been a satisfying elimination for the viewers if not for them teaming up with Steve & Allie in the past two rounds.

P.P.S. Where are Steve & Allie? Seriously? This is getting ridiculous.

2) Steve & Allie

TAR 16 was truly TAR’s counterpart to Survivor: Samoa in terms of editing. Ninety percent of Steve & Allie’s airtime would come in rounds seven and eight. The first six rounds was just two second clips of Steve’s alcoholism and Mama Smith’s duct tape obsession.

I was willing to rank Monique & Shawne low because they seemed like such bores who had nothing to talk about except Jesus and being mothers.

Steve & Allie had much more substance, and were a rare father-daughter combination who could kick butt on the race. Between TAR 12, 16, and 17, this would become the norm. Never ever thought that would happen.

They were likeable. What was disappointing is that their lack of airtime came about because they refused to diss other teams, and could not care less about Jeff & Jordan and Brent & Caite.

Heck, Michael & Louie hated Joe & Heidi but could not justify betraying their closest allies Steve & Allie. That is how much teams liked them. And in a season where everybody hates everybody, and the only true alliance is between Michael & Louie and Brent & Caite, it means people will have little to say about you.

They recovered from most events during the season and finished second place numerous times during the season. Once they exited Europe, their race took two odd turns.

The first, their narrative was given much more airtime.
The second, they would be at both the front and back of the pack.

Speaking of packs, they were the first team to voluntarily abandon their backpacks for multiple rounds. This sacrifice came with a huge reward for winning the Seychelles leg. Even if they ain’t got no clothes.

Sorry Mark Jackson.

In their final round, we saw signs of anger from Steve & Allie. Frustration with each other. Let’s just say their judgment became very clouded when stressed, and led to them losing the leg by a large margin. They exited their cab in traffic and chose to run for a half hour to the wrong location. From there they would switch Detour options, Steve & Allie giving the taxi driver mixed signals, and ultimately going home.

Their legacy holds up after all these years. Enough fans wanted them back for TAR 18: Unfinished Business, but they would be 1up’d by another religious father-daughter team just one season later.

And sadly there was an even more competitive father-daughter team who made it to the end by being extremely entertaining in TAR 12. If only TAR 18 would have allowed three father-daughter teams.

Yes, I am repeating myself here. A kind, generous, funny, competitive and interesting team that deserved more praise by the editors.

A populated Asian city was simply too much for them to handle late in the season.

3) Carol & Brandy

They are mean people. Mean Lesbians, to be more specific.
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.
.
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Okay, but seriously. Wow. They invested way too much of their time insulting a twenty-year-old immature female who is known for saying something stupid on national television, and became one of the first truly viral clips.

They received a large amount of airtime considering how much of their energy was spent trash-talking the most immature team on the race. At least something came out of it as they were humiliated in the worst way possible. They complain they were U-Turned by Caite as opposed to teams who treated Caite much more nicely during the race.

But guess what? In order to be U-Turned you need to be behind the team that U-Turned you.

INTERESTING STAT: All five teams who have completed both sides of the Detour due to the U-Turn have all been eliminated since TAR 12. Lorena & Jason, Amanda & Kris, Kisha & Jen, Joe & Heidi, and now Carol & Brandy. There is a better chance of surviving a Speed Bump than the U-Turn.

That’s right. You’re better off finishing last than appearing to be a threat/complete jerk.

Oh, and the lone U-Turn in TAR Asia 1-3 resulted in A.D. & Fuzzie’s elimination.

In terms of TAR twists, 0-for-6 survival rate is a death sentence.

I was surprised how much Carol & Brandy were hyped each episode by producers. Why, they were even in the conversation as a possible all-female winner. Yeah, they didn’t win any of the nine rounds.

Not only were they just the second same-sex female couple in US TAR history (first being Debbie & Bianca),  but they were one of the grumpiest and oldest all-female teams. We rarely saw them enjoy doing the tasks. It wouldn’t be a leg of TAR 16 if you did not hear Carol & Brandy complain about what the producers were making them do.

Overall, they proved to be one of the more bearable newly dating couples in TAR history compared to many in the past. Yeah, they were still really annoying, but at least they were not angling for a slot in Hollywood. You have to respect teams who are being themselves.

Even if it means they come off as grumpy jerks in the process.

This makes Carol & Brandy who were worthy of being cast for TAR, but tough to hold them in high regard. This is a shame because they were the strong lesbian couple that the franchise needed. If only Debbie & Bianca did not drive three hours in the wrong direction in TAR 7.

4) Louie & Michael

Any member of Survivor Sucks will hate that I have Louie & Michael ranked this high.
Any other fan may be annoyed that I have them ranked this low.

They will inevitably drop after the season finale, but for now they are in the top half overall.

It is such a mixed bag in terms of my opinion on Louie & Michael.

For instance, Phil loved them. He dropped his hosting persona at times and appeared to have genuine banter with these two. You rarely see that happen with Phil. This is the same guy who spent five years advocating for Ken & Gerard to be brought back.

I also would praise Louie & Michael for never taking the race too seriously. They never made fun of locals, and kept the same mood levels regardless of whether they were in first or last. They truly enjoyed the experience which is rare compared to the other teams who may not be entirely respectful at times.

Now to the part that makes them hated on Survivor Sucks. Louie & Michael viewed themselves as the masterminds all season long. In their defense, how many Survivor and TAR contestants think of themselves as masterminds even when it isn’t true? Heidi Strobel comes to mind.

But part of Louie & Michael’s beliefs have evidence to support it. They became the first ever team to U-Turn while in first place before the penultimate leg, and the team they chose happened to be the second place team on their heels. That led to a devastating defeat as Jeff & Jordan passed the U-Turned Joe & Heidi to survive.

Of course, Joe  & Heidi were well-liked, and since Joe’s knee condition was going to have him evacuated sooner rather than later, the U-Turn decision was viewed as a low blow. I even discussed that at great lengths because that was the only damn thing to happen that whole round. Other than Brent & Caite misreading a clue and finishing ahead of those two teams.

We have the other U-Turn where Louie & Michael and Brent & Caite agreed to U-Turn Carol & Brandy. Although Caite did the physical act of U-Turning them to help Louie & Michael survive, Louie & Michael took credit for planting the Russell Seed in Caite’s mind.

Nobody cared about this quite as much because Carol & Brandy are mean by Brent & Caite’s arbitrarily defined lesbian standards, but Dan & Jordan saw this as a stupid move as the Cowboys were doing far better than anyone else in the race.

What also did not help Louie & Michael at the beginning is that they were -convinced- they would be the most dominant team in TAR history. A sequence of finishing ninth, ninth, and eighth quickly shut that down. Now, doing something like that would make you really popular because of the irony, but people resumed hating Louie & Michael when a lucky break in Europe led to them winning three consecutive rounds.

Nobody wants to see an all-male team brag about and truly believe they are the most dominant after they went to such great lengths to humiliate themselves. Humiliation followed by a hat trick means fans will only remember the hat trick.

Louie & Michael produced some comedic moments. You cannot help but laugh at Michael’s eagle eyes. Somehow being a detective meant they would have an advantage, but in reality those very skills would put them at a disadvantage. Not to mention they were developing cold sweats once they had passed two weeks without being able to chase down a crack dealer.

Michael’s tools such as the binoculars to look for clues hiding behind skyscrapers which severely limited vision, and the infamous flashlight to look at an object that required you to lift it to receive your next clue, he turned out to be like Inspector Gadget but with none of the gadgets being relevant in any given situation.

It truly is a mixed bag with Louie & Michael. And given this cast where you have teams like Jeff & Jordan, Monique & Shawne, Adrian & Dana, and Jody & Shannon, their position is going to be inflated a bit higher than in other seasons.

In other words, their fans nor Sucks members will be happy with me.

5) Jody & Shannon

Shannon may be one of the blandest people to ever be on The Amazing Race. I can honestly not recall a single word Shannon said in either of the two episodes. Her personality is as thin as her body.

Clearly, that is not why this team was cast.

After this season we only have one older team that comes to mind. Here in TAR 16 we are granted the oldest exception for the franchise as Jody Kelly runs the race at seventy-one. She competed in rowing, triathlons, half marathons, and does weight training on the side.

Sure, she would get beaten by TAR Ukraine’s Vladimir Valisenko by one year at the age of 72, but hey, did anyone follow TAR Ukraine? There was a season in 2013, but why wasn’t there one in 2014?

Jody also happened to be one of the most eloquent confessionalists in series history. There has never been a person in reality TV history who speaks more clearly and coherently than her. She needs to be given major props for that.

These two could have survived longer if they wished to do so, but there was zero competitive fire. It is like they chose not to race hard because they were afraid of hurting the other team’s feelings. If Adrian was able to get across that cable, Jody & Shannon would have slowed down like an adult racing their five year old niece.

Sadly, their inability to preserve a second-to-last place is what prevented them from making a reasonable run. They were certainly capable of it. Plenty of teams would have helped them if Jody & Shannon were willing to fight harder to stay in.

Instead Jeff Schroeder helps middle-aged males in physical shape get out of last place and ultimately beat Jody & Shannon by about five to ten minutes. Seriously Jeff, you must have known Jody & Shannon were in last. You really didn’t want to take the time to ignore Michael & Louie?

Just imagine a world where Michael & Louie, a team who proclaimed they would win all twelve legs, get eliminated by a 71 year old in the second round of the race following a ninth place finish in the premiere.

But that was not Jody & Shannon’s goal. They just wanted an adventure rather than a competition. Complete your run rather than win the run. This decision results in a very predictable finish for them.

We need somebody in their 70s who truly believes they can win The Amazing Race. That is what we need to see.

If only they fought for a better bus.

6) Jeff & Jordan

Jeff & Jordan benefited from a reality show where they have dumb opponents and twists that are rigged heavily in their favour. Coup D’etat? Porsche’s Pandora’s Box? It led to two of them finishing in the top five in BB11 as well as Jordan winning, and both making a deep run into BB13.

But The Amazing Race where Allison Grodner is not around to intervene? In the last three rounds that they play there is not a single equalizer. Perhaps an unprecedented stretch for TAR since the very first season. Jeff & Jordan are forced to play on the same level playing field as everyone else.

Yes, there was the Blind U-Turn, but that was not really biased against another team. Just an element of the race.

Bottom line: Jeff & Jordan had to play on an even playing field, and seemed to fall further and further behind with each subsequent round. The only time they did really well during the season was in the beginning when it was equalizer galore right before the Adrian Must Die Before You Can Paint a House and Win task.

After that they misread clues as much as Brent & Caite, find an early bus but fail to transfer to the correct bus station, get inside of taxis that take them to another continent, and just be slow to figuring out every single task thrown at them.

They hogged the airtime for the first 2 1/2 rounds, but their edit drops down for the next 3 1/2 rounds. Phil agrees they are underdogs at the end of fourth round when Jeff & Jordan are saved by non-elimination. So they become quiet underdogs who must rally, and get served with three episodes where they quietly start two to five hours after everyone else at the pit start to try and survive.

1. Get taken out of Hamburg by a taxi driver, fail at sauerkraut and switch as they are absolute dead last. Not eliminated thanks to a non-elimination.

2. Absolutely struggle with finding the baguette shop and Jordan not knowing how to crawl in a field. Joe & Heidi are screwed by a Blind U-Turn, and Jeff & Jordan are still hours and hours behind everyone else.

3. An equalizer has yet to be scheduled and they have built up such a deficit that it was impossible for them to catch up. Finally eliminated at the halfway point of the season.

Was it lazy casting to make Jeff & Jordan play? Yeah. CBS was trying very very hard to make them the new Rob & Amber. A couple who fell in love on one of their shows and find a big enough audience willing to be obsessed with them.

July-September 2009: Big Brother 11.
November-December 2009: The Amazing Race 13.
June 2010: Jeff Schroeder on Around the World for Free.
July-September 2011: Big Brother 13.
2012-2014: Jeff Schroeder hosting exit interviews for Big Brother.
August 2014: Jeff Schroeder proposing to Jordan Lloyd inside of the Big Brother 16 House.
September-December 2014: Jeff Schroeder conducting the Survivor: San Juan Del Sur live show.

If you asked me after Big Brother 13 that Jeff Schroeder would still be a big deal in the reality TV community, I would have not believed you. I thought the ship had long sailed. Their BB13 appearance reeked of desperation, but did have a fanbase. It should have been over after that. Even Boston Rob is done in early 2011 as well thanks to winning Redemption Island.

Will either of them be a contestant on Big Brother, TAR, or Survivor again? No. Jeff is practically a full time employee for CBS now. People like him, Parvati, Dr. Will, and Boston Rob definitely fill that role of those who are above reality TV and wish to be creating material behind the camera rather than in front of it.

In short, Jeff & Jordan’s personalities do not interact well outside of the Big Brother/trashier reality TV genre.

7) Adrian & Dana

She, uh. . .should have done the Roadblock.

8) Monique & Shawne

Monique & Shawne may be the most religious team I have seen on The Amazing Race since The Weaver Family. They were shown a little bit in the premiere where all they did was talk about Jesus. It is one thing for teams to be religious on The Amazing Race, but if it is incorporated into every action they take or every confessional where they speak, you are essentially giving editors zero footage to use.

Nobody wants to watch a show called The Amazing Sermon.

Them being invisible was not surprising because of this. It makes for rather boring television, and you wonder what was dynamic enough to put them on the race.

The other annoying thing about this team is that Monique did not physically prepare herself for the race, and producers were willing to cast her. Her and Shawne were both fatigued just three rounds into the game. You cannot fault Monique & Shawne for this, but rather producers should be ashamed for green-lighting a middle-aged all-female team who were out of shape.

Lastly, their early elimination qualifies them for being one of the least memorable minority teams in The Amazing Race history.

P.S. And they were the only obstacle to prevent Michael & Louie from suffering the biggest humiliation in The Amazing Race history. Boo.

Rank the Legs

1) Penang, Malaysia -> Singapore, Singapore

Bus, cab, train, and boat all used in the same round? I enjoyed that. Yeah, it was an equalizer, but you cannot really complain about that when there is no need for a plane and teams were all within an hour or two of each other.

The Roadblock appeared to be difficult but everyone breezed through it one try. Well, except for Michael & Louie who revived their South America racing skills by misreading a clue and lost time.

The Detour was fine, I guess. Kids teaching adults how to drum a simple beat was amusing to watch. Not even Michael & Louie could stick through it and opted to switch to selling ice cream. These local interactions are always fun to see.

Particularly when you see Singaporeans struggle with eating ice cream. There is something funny about watching people across all cultures having troubles with supposed local snacks.

The Mega Zip and Singapore Flyer were both truly thrilling tasks. Perhaps the two greatest height related tasks of the whole season. Screw descending into a wine cellar eighty feet.

Dan & Jordan winning their first leg while nobody else cares about them was hilarious.

I loved that we managed to get the best U-Turn of all time. Joe & Heidi being U-Turned out of the race? Not so fun.

Carol & Brandy being U-Turned and eliminated due to the person they ridiculed for nine episodes? Hilarious. What was even better is that Carol & Brandy would be extremely bitter about it for not only the rest of the leg, but also all the way through to the finale. No Louie & Michael, you had nothing to do with Carol & Brandy being gone. That was all Caite. And a little bit of Brent.

Take note, though. Carol & Brandy will not be the most bitter team when TAR 16 is over at the finish line. One team will topple them as they will resent what goes down for the next six years.

Lastly, there is one reason why this leg is the best one of the season: Allan Wu.

Wu -> TAR 16.

TRUTH!

2) San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina -> Hamburg, Germany

Although it was edited out, the eight remaining teams were split amongst three different flights to Hamburg. Once they landed, they were given further choice by choosing between taxis, metro trains, and walking on foot to each route marker.

Freedom of choice in transportation is what all viewers miss in the TAR universe. Nobody wants to see a linear leg.

The teams were evenly divided between doing the Soccer and Sauerkraut Detour options. It is refreshing to see after an era of everybody completing the same dang option.

I also liked that the pit stop was in the Red Light District. Not every monument in existence is on the perimeter of the city in some fairy tale like landscape. They can be bars or clubs in questionable areas.

However, this round has some faults. The one-time return of the Intersection in the US franchise appeared pointless at best. Watching only one team check out of the pit stop, who also happen to be the stars of the season, really keeps many of the other teams hidden from the viewer.

Watching teams physically drained such as Joe’s knee injury and Caite’s hamstrings prove that the TAR experience is legitimate.

Watching Das Boot from Beerfest directly inspire a task was hilarious. I also appreciated a team being at the bottom of the pack in Nowheresville climbing to a first place finish was a breath of fresh air. Regardless of it being Michael & Louie, seeing a change of pace of “One Team Dominates All” since TAR 13 was good to see.

Yes, there is controversy surrounding the round finishing in the first Round of 8 non-elimination since TAR 6, and the fact it happened to save one of three teams production favoured going into the season.

This is by far the best leg design after four rounds. That is rare for a non-elimination round to beat out the first three elimination rounds.

Lastly, Vomiting Brent and Alcoholic Steve.

3) Reims, France -> Praslin, The Seychelles

The best point in most TAR seasons is when they head to a new continent after spending half of the season in the previous continent.

Not only do we get that this round, but also a brand new country added to the TAR franchise catalogue!

The Seychelles had a really neat Detour as teams chose between playing with a 100 year old tortoise by leading it on with a banana, or relying on an ox cart to transport 299 or 300 coconuts.

Memorable moments such as Steve & Allie choosing to race without their backpacks to pick up TAR’s ridiculous 7, 000 dollars + 7Up 4 L7FE prize, the trailing three teams moving to the front because they chose seats closest to the front of the plane, and Brent’s anonymous mishap.

Oh, and the Cowboys finishing last because they failed to remember to do anything this round.

I was disappointed with how easy it was for teams to find the pit stop. Or how easy it was to retrieve the bottle during the Roadblock. Or how easy it was to assemble that map. They could have done so much more with The Seychelles, but turned it into an overall rather quick and lame leg. I swear it took no more than 4-7 hours to complete the leg once in the country.

4) Praslin, Seychelles -> Penang, Malaysia

Main story of the round: Cowboys comeback from being in dead last once the plane landed and needing to complete their Speed Bump, and do so by winning the leg in a dominant fashion. The first team ever to complete this feat.

Other developments included Michael & Louie and Brent & Caite agreeing to U-Turn Carol & Brandy at the next opportunity. Michael also loaned Steve some desperately needed underpants.

I always enjoy the first Asian leg of a season (if it is not in China or India) because I love to see teams try and handle a densely populated Asian city. It is far different from the resort legs or European legs. Some teams can absolutely crumble under the heat, pressure, language barrier, population density, and knowing the million dollars is only a week away.

Steve & Allie were that team. The lighter load by not having their backpacks meant nothing as each task and each form of transportation was a struggle. What was once the strongest team in the race turned into a Porky Pig-like disaster.

The tasks were fine. I particularly liked the one Detour option where teams had to balance those huge flags on their nose in a Jon & Al tribute. Jet & Cord smoked it, and all other teams were too afraid to attempt it. They chose a long and gruelling steep incense candle transport task. The heat was killing them.

The Roadblock was a neat cultural task. Not memorable nor particularly difficult, but one of these neat ritual tasks that need to be sprinkled throughout each season.

Making teams take off their shoes beside a phone booth was a bit amusing. Why a specific phone booth?

Carol & Brandy were not referred to as “mean” as frequently this round. They certainly were in a much better mood.

But OMGz, did you see Jet & Cord win the leg after still having to do that Speed Bump? OMG I ❤ MY COWBOYS <3333333333333333!!!!11111ONE.

5) Singapore, Singapore -> Shanghai, China

China was not as terrible as I was expecting. We knew this round had to be a non-elimination going into it, and since the biggest twist they could come up with was the first ever Double Roadblock/Screw Detours, leg design, this was better than expected.

Yes, the modeling task was taken straight from TAR 6’s finale and was as relevant then as it was this time. Well, I would say that if not for Michael & Louie refusing to use their eagle eyes. How did they not receive a penalty for missing a clue? Was it assessed at the start of the next round because they were last anyway? This was never answered.

The first Roadblock of making noodles was alright. It is better when Charla & Mirna are forced to bounce on a bamboo stick to produce the noodles.

The Owen Wilson film references made me question the taste of the teams that remained.

The second Roadblock was more difficult than producers planned. Seeing tiles fly everywhere for Brent and Cord was fun to watch. From there it was the usual Survivor-esque tile puzzle. What does that have to do with Shanghai? Finding 384 people to hold puzzle pieces was neat, though. That many cold people were willing to do that?

It was odd to see much of the first part of the leg spent on Caite bragging about eliminating Carol & Brandy, and thus becoming the last woman standing. Why not work on being the last racer standing?

And what is with this season having multiple greeters at some of the pit stops? It was like a Shanghai all-girl pop group hanging out with Phil.

What puts this round in the top half is because of He Pingping. You forgot teams were racing as everyone was paying attention to the 29 inch specimen before them.

Overall, this round exceeded expectations considering the nation is typically dull in later seasons. We enjoy the language barrier screwing over teams every now and then.

6) Les Monthairons, France -> Reims, France

What? No bus tickets? No being automatically sent to a route marker with other teams on a form of private transit arranged by production during the pit stop? This leg started from the pit stop and teams were completely on their own until the end of the leg.

Not a Non-Elimination. No equalizers. No taxis. It is all you from the time you check out to the time you check in.

What was great about this round is that we were finally introduced to Steve & Allie for the first time all season. Steve’s subtle alcoholism from round four was re-visited here in the champagne region. Seeing him fix a car with duct tape could not have been more Red Green.

Also, his uncorking skills are questionable.

I thoroughly enjoyed the comedy throughout the leg. The teams from the bible belt mixed up Noah with Joan of Arc. That was both hilarious and depressing. Is the American educational system really that bad?

The mime at the pit stop was creative. It seems pit stop greeters and judges have had wackier personalities of their own ever since TAR 12. Just a direction TAR has gone.

I liked Santa Claus helping teams enter the wine cellar at the Roadblock. Speaking of the Roadblock, that was the lamest part of the episode. It was the longest needle in a tiny haystack which made the task not only dumb like other needles in haystacks but pointless as well. The sabre wine uncorking did not have to be performed with any finesse which should have been made a TAR Canada-esque “you are not done until you do it in proper form”.

What if teams had to go into the hole, grab another bottle, and climb back up after each time they failed with sabreing the champagne cork? That would have been a much more compelling task.

The route markers mixing up their names with places in other cities helped make the day much tougher.

Producers finally tricked teams by having the needle-in-a-haystack task (searching for grapes) be much much tougher than the skill task. I personally wish the grape searching be replaced with brutal wine stomping or some exercise to match how awesome the wine tower pouring played out. I can watch a tower of 680 champagne glasses be on the brink of destruction all day.

Watching teams look for a vine of grapes? Not so much.

In short, the tasks were lame except for the champagne tower. The actual driving aspect and finding the route markers was much more intriguing.

Oh, and Jeff & Jordan were eliminated. Now we just need to eliminate Jet & Cord, Carol & Brandy, Michael & Louie, and Brent & Caite all before the Final Three.

7) Shanghai, China -> Shanghai, China

I hate it when a city hosts two consecutive rounds of TAR. Five more seasons and we are back in Shanghai again. Sigh.

But it was indeed our first visit to TAR 6 where Yielding, a non-elimination, and window washing was in play.

This round proved to be a bit tougher than that. Some teams took nearly four hours just to reach the first route marker within the city. The language barrier was only cracked by smart phones and an English translation service centre via cell phone. We are getting a true sense of technology interfering with the authenticity of the race.

Making teams take public transportation to the following route marker continues this season’s obsession with public transit. I am not sure if this was their way of making budget cuts, but forcing teams to read maps and navigate the bus stops in a confusing city was a treat to watch.

The Detour, Roadblock, and Speed Bump was all very very very lame.

Counting? Been there, done that just two rounds earlier and in every freakin’ season ever.
Needle in a haystack? Ugh. Do we have to go there again?
And tossing coins into the top opening of an incense burner? Besides the stench of copper, I assume this took no more than a minute.

The tasks can be ignored because they were awful this round. But was not awful was how teams dealt with the stress of traveling throughout the leg. That is what made TAR successful in the beginning.

We saw that Dan Pious handles situations in a far more stressful manner than his superfan sibling counterpart.

Brent & Caite dealt with being in the lead by Caite refusing to let her boyfriend go to the bathroom in a Lisa Whechel manner, and both of them agreeing that the entire country can go screw themselves.

Knowing the audience was terrified of Brent & Caite being first out of the gate heading into the final leg is hilarious to me. Absolutely nobody wanted them to win.

Lastly, we went from seeing the world’s shortest living man in the previous round who would go on to die before the episode aired be followed by the world’s tallest living man whose title was revoked only days after filming the episode.

I initially thought that Marvel owned the region of Inner Mongolia, but now I believe Inner Mongolia knows the art of perfect timing.

8) Valparaiso, Chile -> Puerto Varas, Chile

The “most gruelling season ever” takes a huge step down in difficulty for this round.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle was for the racers to see Jeff & Jordan every twenty seconds. We did not see any of the other nine teams check out of the pit stop. The only drama with them was missing both buses in Temuco, but still being in the middle of the pack for the whole round.

The other obstacle was hearing the City Slickers theme repeatedly as Jet & Cord utter the phrase “oh my gravy” four times. Lone Rangers was uttered three times. References to their hat protectors was out of hand, too. Their sneaky little tactic to be the first bus into town  is when they were the most popular team in TAR at the time.

The initial route marker of making teams two or more buses along with taking a car and a boat was one of the best in TAR history.

However, the tasks and driving to subsequent route markers were very quick. Jump off a pier or put a blanket on a llama? Go around a barn collecting eggs, flour, and milk a cow? Then drive straight for twenty minutes to the pit stop? That is really easy stuff.

I could watch teams get kicked in the body by llamas and cows on repeat. That was the only upside to it.

In short, the five different options teams took to get to the first route markers was great. After that it was ultra easy and simplified. A bit of a letdown, really.

Screw you Jeff Schroeder for helping Michael & Louie to get out of last place to beat Jody & Shannon. If only Jody & Shannon knew to buy tickets for a connecting bus as well.

9) Puerto Varas, Chile -> San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina

Teams are provided with bus tickets at the start of the leg? Wow. That takes a huge part of the adventure away from the show.

Once in Argentina, Jet & Cord were treated to an episode all to themselves because the entire round was a freakin’ cowboy theme. Not since Family Edition have we seen such an extreme cowboy theme at play.

The first task was one hundred percent luck as teams sat in a chair waiting for their clue. All we saw was the dealer giving cards to a team and cards to a GNOME in a poker game. If a team beat the gnome, they received their clue. Some teams were unaware when their hand was better.

Once they had the clue, teams walked one hundred feet to the Roadblock task. They appeared to take anywhere between one minute to twenty minutes at the task.

When that was done they drove a short distance to a set of cliffs where the Detour awaited. This was the only challenging task of the round (unless you were Shawne). They had to choose between counting out steps on a coordinate, dig up a bag, and bring it to the train station or taking swings at a ball and getting it past a certain distance within nine shots.

The number of teams switching from the bag bandit task to the polo task must have been a TAR record for a Detour. In fact, Monique & Shawne switched from the polo task to the bag bandit task. Only Jeff & Jordan and Steve & Allie did not switch out of all nine teams.

Steve rolling in mud, Big Joe Wang falling off a fake horse, Monique exhausted from doing nothing, and Michael & Louie completing the Detour for another team were all hilarious moments.

Also, Michael & Louie have an average of 8.67 after three rounds. Only 7.67 points off the pace for being the best of all time.

And did anyone think it was a bit unfair that Brent & Caite were treated and given care for over three hours as they had plenty of time to catch a bus? Sure, Brent was terrible at directions and only a lasso saved him as Caite demonstrated her stick shift skills, but you can’t help but wonder what Monique & Shawne could have done with a bit of treatment.

Do you remember where you were when Monique & Shawne were eliminated? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

10) Los Angeles, California, USA -> Valparaiso, Chile

Compared to TAR 15’s premiere, this one is ten times better.

But compared to virtually any other premiere, this one is probably sub-par. One hour premieres with eleven teams are truly rushed.

Phil starts out the season with the dreaded “toughest season ever” tagline that we know all too well from TAR Asia 3. However, TAR Asia 3 nearly lived up to that tagline. TAR 16’s premiere? Not so much.

First off, teams were brought in on the same bus. Next? They had to get to LAX using public transit. Therefore, this was the cheapest ride to the airport in TAR history, and obviously meant that several teams would get to the airport simultaneously.

Another pointless twist was that only three teams would be on the first flight, and eight teams on the second flight. That makes zero sense because you are at much more of a disadvantage if eight teams are on the first flight, and only three teams on the second flight. If the first flight suffers any sort of delay, they will be at the biggest disadvantage of all.

And guess what? The first flight was delayed, and all eleven teams were forced to be on the second flight! This is the first time in TAR history that all teams left the United States on the same flight. I can’t get over that.

Thankfully the rest of the stupidity lies with the contestants. Jet & Cord exchanging money for a currency that has nothing to do with Chile, Adrian doing the Roadblock instead of Dana, Brent & Caite refusing to read, Jordan Lloyd beating everyone, Steve & Allie painting the inside of a stranger’s house, and Michael & Louie humiliating themselves.

There was an unaired route marker prior to arriving in Valparaiso. I guess a neat castle was too much for 42 minutes. Instead we needed to listen to Jeff Schroeder’s commentary and laugh at Adrian in the process.

Dana & Adrian were heavy favourites entering the season because not only were they superfans, but viewers thought they would be like Chip & Kim or Uchenna & Joyce. I know. That’s a disturbing way of thinking.

They led most of the way until Adrian decided to do the Roadblock. The first hurdle of the season and they were nowhere close to achieving it. I personally think Dana & Adrian were doomed to go early despite this blunder. Adrian and Dana both sounded fatigued even before the Roadblock. I think him or Dana would have experienced a serious injury within the first couple of legs. They would not have held up physically for twelve legs.

So far “toughest race ever” is proving to be “least expensive race ever” after the premiere.

11) Hamburg, Germany -> Les Monthairons, France

What were producers trying to accomplish with this round? Every team stayed in the exact same position except for Joe & Heidi who suffered a Blind U-Turn.

Why did teams need to be driven to the pit start across two countries? Couldn’t they just have allowed teams to check out in Hamburg (even outside of the Red Light District for safety reasons), and make them drive across into France? The legs where teams have to self-drive for several hours show teams who have a good sense of direction versus those who do not.

This leg was perhaps the first post-premiere leg in any season to not have a Roadblock. They started out by driving about a half hour to the baguette shop. From there it was a WWI re-enactment in a spot with a Speed Bump, U-Turn, and a Detour combined. From there they walked for roughly ten to twenty minutes to a bicycle task which was a fifteen bike ride from the pit stop.

In other words, it was an extremely short leg. What was worse is that all teams chose a Detour option that was ten times easier than the other (trench crawl versus Morse code). The Morse code task was difficult enough that all teams in franchise history would have struggled for several hours except for Jim & Misti.

What was worse about this leg is that the previous round was a non-elimination but this round was not. In other words, a Speed Bump meant nothing unless you were the one U-Turned and forced to do the Morse code.

It is painful that Louie & Michael thought eliminating a team who was well on their way to a medical evacuation was a team needed for immediate ejection. Did you not see how much ice Joe needed? The guy was going to be stopped very soon. Gus McCleod from TAR 6 could have moved faster than him.

So pissed. This leg could have been so much more rather than an ultra linear 42 minute World War 1 re-enactment while teams do not know which war it is and having to sit through listening to Jeff & Jordan, Brent & Caite, and Brandy.

Although I did appreciate a break from Jet & Cord. Thank God.

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