The Amazing Race 16 season finale ranking

Twelfth episode

“Out of the Saddle, and The Winner Awakens Episode XVI”

COUNTRIES VISITED

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

Previously on TAR: Eleven teams set out on a race around the world. Some teams slipped early while others lost in the heat of battle. Teams crashed, soared, and got a glimpse of paradise. Two teams used the U-Turn provoking their opponents. Eight teams fell by the wayside.

The Cowboys Jet & Cord started the race riding high. But when they hit rough waters, the determined pair’s steady balance and positive outlook bolted them into the Final Three.

Dan had one important reason to run the race, and the brothers had fun along the way. But they had to overcome plenty of obstacles to earn a spot in the Final Three.

Former Miss Teen South Carolina Caite and her boyfriend Brent caused a stir from the beginning, and made plenty of mistakes. Their improved performance as the race went on got them all the way to the Final Three.

Coming up tonight one of these three teams will win the million dollars, and the tears of casual fans everywhere.

NOTE: I recall reading Phil’s interviews he did prior to the TAR 16 finale. Because I had only seen two episodes all season prior to the finale, and hearing non-stop that Jet & Cord are the second coming of Jesus, I was curious how Phil was promoting the finale.

If Jet & Cord do not win, ninety-five percent of the audience will be mad. Like, Russell Hantz fans reacting to Samoa and Heroes vs. Villains’ level of mad. It was inevitable.

Therefore, would Phil indirectly spoil the season? Because there was an interviewer who directly asked “will fans love the outcome of tonight’s finale?”

Phil’s response was something along the lines of “eh, will everyone be happy? I don’t know. It is a show where anyone can win. We’ve had popular winners over the years and not-so popular winners. I hope whatever happens that people will tune in again next year.”

I read between the lines and knew full well that Jet & Cord were not going to win this thing. I was preparing for the message boards to blow up. Would this be the end of TAR? The show was steadily decreasing in terms of viewership at record lows, and the following Sunday would air Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains finale.

Let’s just say Heroes vs. Villains was being much more discussed and talked about than some crappy season in the middle of TAR’s history.

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

JET & CORD: 6
BRENT & CAITE: 7
HEIDI & JOE: 3
JODY & SHANNON: 1
DAN & JORDAN: 6
JEFF & JORDAN: 4
DANA & ADRIAN: 1
CAROL & BRANDY: 4
MONIQUE & SHAWNE: 1
LOUIE & MICHAEL: 5
STEVE & ALLIE: 2

– Intro time.

– Phil introduces us to Shanghai once more. Eighteen freakin’ million people live there. That is more than half of Canada’s population.

– Brent & Caite, who were the first to arrive at an unspecified time, will depart at 2:37am. They read that they must fly over 6, 000 miles to the final destination city of San Francisco. Once they land they must find the Battery Godfery. It is a former military outpost overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

san francisco scenery

Is it just me or do they make San Francisco look like a heaping pile of garbage in this shot?

san francisco road

Sonic the Hedgehog would love this road.

san francisco battery godfrey

The Battery Godfrey?

gilbert gottfried

Is that what powers the vocal chord of Gilbert Gottfried?

– Brent & Caite are amazed being in the Final Three. Jet & Cord, who must have had an awful cab ride to the pit stop or sucked at searching stamps, depart nearly forty minutes later at 3:11am. They say they have never won a championship that they have been able to win together.

CORD: Winning would be pretty awesome.

-Brent & Caite are at the airport. Because production arranges when a leg begins starting with season twelve, Brent & Caite discover the ticket counter does not open until 10:45am. Jet & Cord show up next.

BRENT: It’s down that way!

Nice try, Brent.

san francisco jet brent

A formal handshake between Jet and Brent. They assume one of them will win.

san francisco dan jordan pious

Definitely not the team who is starting nearly three hours after them.

– Jordan excitedly announces that San Francisco is the final city.

shanghai jet cord mccoy 4

Jet has a theory as to why Jordan is excited for San Francisco, but luckily it did not air on TV.

– JORDAN: Cali-freakin-foooornia.

Who does Jordan think he is?

the wizard california

The Wizard?

– JORDAN: San Francisco is a very gay-friendly place. This is great for me.

san francisco dan jordan pious 2

Yeah. Jordan is happy about it.

– Dan discusses the finale.

DAN: This. . .is like the Super Bowl of The Amazing Race. We absolutely have the athletic talent and the brain power to get us to the finish line.
JORDAN: Wait, is California in the United States?
DAN (sigh): Yes.
JORDAN: Hehhhhh. Just kidding, Lenny.

Who is Lenny? Eh, nevermind.

But Dan comparing the TAR 16 final round to the Super Bowl is hilarious. It reminds me of all the times when Mike Goldberg refers to the UFC as the Super Bowl of Mixed Martial Arts. With a card every month back in those days, Goldberg would repeat this nine times per telecast.

In other words, referring to any event that occurs multiple times per year such as TAR finales as the “Super Bowl of _____” gets rather tiresome.

san francisco dan jordan pious 3

I think Jordan tends to space out when the words “Super Bowl” are brought up.

san francisco mike goldberg jordan pious

“The Amazing Race! The Super Bowl of reality adventure television!”

Although Dana White coined the phrase. How tragic.

– So Dan & Jordan get to the airport hours and hours later.

san francisco cord mccoy

Cord is sleeping.

san francisco jet mccoy

Jet is somewhere in the middle of the airport.

– Jordan initiates a series of high fives with his opponents.

san francisco high five

Jordan touches hands with an unenthusiastic Jet, Brent, and Caite.

san francisco dan cord

Rhode Island-Oklahoma fist bump.

– Jordan recaps that he dropped his bag in front of Cord’s.

JORDAN: When we got to the airport, I put my backpack behind Brent & Caite’s backpacks so I felt like we were second in line.

san francisco backpack

You snooze you lose, Cord.

– It is now 10:45am at the Shanghai Pudong Airport.

shanghai pudong

lol pudong. That is not a healthy condition.

– Caite is attempting to book tickets in the most insulting way possible.

CAITE: We are. Trying. To. Book. Non-stop flight. To. San. Fran. Cis. Co. Closest seats to the front of the plane.

But a much bigger development is underway.

san francisco jet cord mccoy

“Wait, we’re second in line despite being at the back, right Cord?”
“Dang right, pawdna.”

– Jet catches on.

CORD: Y’all tryin’ to cut? I can see it.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 2

“This ain’t muh first rodeo.”

– JET: You’re tryin’ to check in before us? You’re not gonna do that.

san francisco airport

“Where I come from, we punish those who cut lines. We’ve got a special whip for that.”

san francisco jordan pious

Jordan pulls out the sassiest expression ever.

san francisco jordan pious 2

O no he di’int.

san francisco caite upton

O yes he did, Caite.

– Cord goes on about how they showed up six hours after them blah blah blah. The point is. . .

stone cold stunner

Stunner! Stunner! The Rhode Island Rattlesnakes have knocked out the McCoys! Can they recover before the pin!

– CORD: Not gonna work.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 3

san francisco jordan pious 3

BRENT: You two should fight it out.

san francisco jordan pious 4

Jordan is not giving up. This is great.

CORD: What are you thinkin’, Jet?
JET: You know what I’m thinking.
BRENT: You two should fight it out.
CORD: You can’t actually grab his backpack and throw him backwards in the airport. You’d get in trouble for that.
JET: I’d get in trouble for kicking his teeth in.
BRENT: You two should fight it out.
CORD: Yeah, that wouldn’t go over so good.
JET: If that’s the way they want to run the race, that’s fine with me.

This is all said loud enough for Jordan to hear. Again the intimidation does not work.

san francisco jet mccoy 2

So much for his dreams. This shot is priceless.

– The discussion of how to send Jordan to Guantanamo Bay continues.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 4

You know why this line from Jet is significant?

shanghai jet cord mccoy 4

“Because we’ve only got one pair of gloves where we live, and they’re coloured yellow.

– Brent & Caite are in a prime position as they have seats closest to the front of the plane, and are nowhere near the feud. Brent suggested for them to start throwing punches so that producers step in and let Brent & Caite win by default, but that does not happen.

– Jordan is at the ticket counter. Jet & Cord take the opportunity to do a confessional within earshot of Jordan.

CORD: He threw his backpack behind Caite’s and I guess he thought it put him officially in line in second.

san francisco flashback

Flashback to two seconds ago in case you forgot.

– JORDAN: I obviously have annoyed the cowboys, but this is a game. This is a race and there is a million bucks and I am going after it. You can hate the game but you can’t hate the player.

san francisco jordan cord

Cord chooses to hate the player, sadly.

san francisco hate

“We cool, right Jet? Pat on the back?”

JET: Get out of the way.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 5

We will never see such a level of anger in Jet & Cord again. They knew it would be very easy for them to win this leg if Brent & Caite was their only competition, but now they are in last.

seychelles clue

This reminds me of the Seychelles leg where Dan & Jordan and Brent & Caite booked tickets at the front of the plane before other teams while Jet & Cord fell into last and ultimately lost the leg.

Here we are again where Jet & Cord get outwitted by the two teams perceived as the four biggest idiots and weakest teams since the beginning.  All other teams have taken elimination rather well, but Jet & Cord seem disgusted by this idea.

keith whitney

Yes, even more disgusted than her.

– The flight departs at 1:45pm. Now, remember how I said that Jet & Cord master the art of painting other teams in a bad light for the camera while making themselves look good? They are supreme masters of this in TAR 24, but you can definitely see their first masterpiece here.

JET: I didn’t really trust Jordan to begin with. It was a wake-up call for me that these people don’t care about people. They just care about money.

Yes. Lone Rangers Jet & Cord care about people. They would do TAR without a million dollar prize.

NOTE: They say almost identical words to a certain incident that leads to their demise in TAR 24.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 6

Those other people don’t deserve to be on The Amazing Race three times and lose.

– DAN: We haven’t done a dirty thing this entire race. Not once. But it’s Final Three, this is it. Nobody is going to help anyone right now. Those days are gone.

san francisco dan pious

It’s like Dan has figured out The Amazing Race. Avoid being last for the first eleven legs of the season, and then at the final leg you come in first to win the million dollars.

Otherwise you will be stuck winning no more than fifty thousand with any other strategy.

I have said before that Natalie & Nadiya may be the TAR team most fitted for Survivor, but Dan & Jordan may be right up there. These two are intelligent when it comes to creating strategies.

vecepia towery

kathy vavrick

This reminds me so much of when Vecepia formed an alliance with Kathy to go to rocks at Final Four and make their Final Two deal, but then Vecepia steps off in the Final Immunity Challenge to backstab Kathy by proxy. Amazing.

– Phil reminds us that teams are flying to San Francisco.

san francisco google

This geographical tidbit is brought to you by Google Earth!

– But the plane has yet to land. Oh no. Brent & Caite and Jet & Cord are sleeping once more. Dan has a brilliant idea. It is not shown on camera at all. Instead we hear audio that is undoubtedly redubbed in the post-edit.

DAN: I have a brilliant idea. Let’s move up to first class.
JORDAN: Let’s do it.

san francisco dan pious 3

Dan & Jordan with Coach in coach.

I mean, this can’t work, can it?

**TWO SECONDS LATER**

san francisco jordan pious 5

Cha-ching, Jack.

– Dan spoke with the stewardess and she let them move up into first class. This is a huge deal because you are never allowed to purchase first class seats on The Amazing Race unless they upgrade you for free. This is why the move is mindblowingly good.

san francisco dan jordan pious 4

Remember. This is a team that is on track to have the worst racing average of any team to make it to the final leg in TAR history. They went from being considered zeroes to now the sharpest and conniving finalists ever seen in a season finale.

UPDATE: Andrew & Dan, Adam & Rebecca, and Lyn & Karlyn had a worse TAR average entering the final leg.

san francisco dan jordan pious 5

Pious brotherly fist bump of their own.

– We are now in San Francisco. I always found trolleys to be a bit neat.

san francisco trolley

Although three trolleys may be overdoing it.

bj tyler san fran

And a fourth. Who is that, anyway?

– The flight lands. Heavy United Airlines advertisement. Guess who is first ready to jump out?

san francisco dan jordan pious 6

The McCoys may disagree, but these gentlemen are nothing but First Class. Like X-Men.

– The suspense music picks up as Cord delivers one of the biggest reality TV cliches.

CORD: It’s on like Donkey Kong.

san francisco cord mccoy 2

He is not even the first to say it in TAR.

airport jenn

She was. Why is it on like Donkey Kong?

dk 1

Is it because Donkey Kong won season four?

– Dan & Jordan run off the plane.

BRENT: Is there any way we can cut through?

san francisco flight

Nope, because Jet & Cord are already behind you.

– Dan & Jordan already have a taxi while the other two teams remain on the plane.

DAN: We are being chased by many other teams. That was huger than huge.

Many other teams? Is that including the eliminated teams who pose as the real teams to each route marker?

san francisco road 2

San Francisco roads are not the easiest to navigate.

– Brent & Caite hail a taxi.

CAITE: Are you a fast–
BRENT: Yes! He’s fast!

How do you know Brent? You’ve never met him before.

san francisco taxi

The only thing you know about him is he is hands-free.

– Jet & Cord enter a taxi. They also have an Asian driver. Welcome to the west coast, motherf–kers.

san francisco taxi 2

Not all taxi drivers have caught onto the Blue Tooth rage.

– Jet & Cord say that the other two teams getting into taxis before them is the norm on the race because the cowboys suck at hailing cabs or getting off of flights.

– Presidio time. Dan & Jordan time. They have the clue. It’s a riddle.

san francisco dan jordan pious 7

JORDAN: I was built in 1933. I’m 7 feet and 8 inches tall. I once reached the inside of a dolphin’s stomach with my bare hands. I banged 26 different artists, including your sister. Who am I? When you know, go to me to and search for your next clue.

more shanghai bao xishun 2

Wow. Bao Xishun was on the flight with them and is in San Fran too? What a twist!

san francisco riddle

Okay, here’s the real riddle. I was not kidding about the ‘go to me to’ typo.

he shut up him

Yeah, a real ‘he shut up him!’ moment.

– Phil reveals that this building is the Coit Tower. Located at the top of Telegraph Hill and offering a 360 degree view of the city, this structure is where they will find their next clue.

san francisco dan jordan pious 8

Quit picking your nose and get racing!

san francisco luxor cabs

TAR 5 callback!

– I have never been to San Francisco. In fact there is only one time where I ever heard of someone bringing up Coit Tower. Do you know how I learned about this famous landmark? Take a guess.

mario is missing san francisco

That’s right. Mario is Missing. I immediately blurted out Telegraph Hill before Phil said it on screen.

mario is missing coit tower

The shape of it always stands out.

mario is missing san francisco map

I love how geographically inaccurate it is too. The Golden Gate Bridge is perpendicular to the land there. It is doing the worst possible job of acting like a bridge.

Is Coit Tower in the northeastern part of the city? I have my doubts.

san francisco map

Holy crap. Mario is Missing scaled it correctly. The Golden Gate Bridge is in the northwestern part of the city, and Coit Tower is indeed in the northeast. I never thought Nintendo would scale San Francisco correctly on a map.

– Brent & Caite are in a taxi and see Presidio.

BRENT: It doesn’t have to say ‘battery’ buddy, it’s just a building.

san francisco blue tooth

Blue Tooth Man is letting Brent down.

– McCoy’s taxi driver welcomes the brothers to San Francisco. Jet & Cord find the hills to be like a roller coaster.

san francisco taxi 3

CORD: Sounds like my whole life

– Brent wants to check a map on the side of the road.

BRENT: Let’s check this map real quick. Stop. Get out.

CAITE: He should get out.

BRENT: Just shut up and let’s look!

CAITE: Brent, stop being a f–king ass! I’ll punch you in the face.

san francisco taxi 4

“If their bags weren’t in my cab, I would drive away right now.”

– Jet & Cord see Brent & Caite on the road checking the map.

san francisco brent caite

“So right about here is where Jet & Cord will pass us.”

– Brent & Caite run alongside a bicyclist and ask him the riddle.

JORDAN: People who ride bicycles are smart. It’s a general rule.

san francisco bicycle

And if they bike as fast as possible to make you keep up, they are also generally assholes.

– Brent & Caite’s driver joins them at the map and are struggling to figure it out. They re-enter the cab as Caite may or may not be frustrated.

san francisco brent caite 2

Things such as the f–k you and the taxi Blue Tooth.

– Jet & Cord have the clue. They reveal they bought a tourist book in Shanghai that is the smart guide for San Francisco. Cord says the riddle rings a bell and shows the driver that they need to go to Coit Tower.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 7

If only they could have bought the Smart Guide for Running the Final Leg of The Amazing Race.

– Cord brags about reading the history of California as they re-enter the cab.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 8

Cord is -still- bragging about the smart guide.

– Brent is pissed that they are back in America but cannot find anyone who speaks English.

Yep, welcome to the west coast. If you go to the Vancouver Airport, all of the signs are in Mandarin. In fact some signs are exclusively in Mandarin. Lots of East Indian, Chinese, and Japanese neighbourhoods in cities along BC and California’s coast.

– The driver leads Brent & Caite through a gate. Brent is ready to lose it. Caite yells at the driver to turn around. He does and they go towards an incoming Jet & Cord. Jet & Cord’s driver describes the situation perfectly.

san francisco driver

Good stuff. When they visited San Francisco in the final leg of TAR 2, this was never really a story. It was just Wil’s stupidity that ruined the race for himself rather than a communication barrier.

Oh, and if Tara did not have asthma.

– Jet yells at the driver to not help the other cab who was seeking directions.

– More screaming from Brent & Caite. The driver wants to take them down Lincoln but a few shouts from Brent points them in the wrong direction.

BRENT: GO DOWN HERE! GO STRAIGHT!
CAITE (whimpering): Godddd.
BRENT: Just chill out. Don’t even talk right now. All you’re gonna do is cry.

Is this the first time that Brent wields the whip in the relationship? He would always be the idiot being abused by Caite because of his emotions, but now the tables are turning.

And Caite has an appropriate summary for what is occurring.

san francisco taxi 5

Now I just feel bad for the guy.

– Commercial. We resume.

san francisco golden gate bridge

A beautiful shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. What could possibly go wrong? The Golden Gate Bridge has never suffered in pop culture.

full house

F–k. This is HORRIBLE!

bob saget

“Isn’t Caite a f–king c–t?”

Oh, Bob. Such a family man.

If I was the one who created the theme song, I would shoot myself out of respect for humanity.

san francisco trolley 2

Another damn trolley, too.

And whatever did happen to TAR finales with predictability? Keep in mind that each of the previous two finales in San Francisco were extremely unpredictable.

TAR 2: Chris & Alex’s rally in San Francisco.
TAR 9: San Francisco team BJ & Tyler beat Eric & Jeremy at the final task to produce the biggest Roadblock choke ever.
TAR 11: Eric redeems himself to upset all feminists who thought two dominant all-female teams could produce a victory in San Francisco.

TAR 10:

tyler james

Nothing happened to predictability.

TAR 12:

tk rachel away

Well, TAR 12 is one huge exception of a season. Let’s glance over its amazing awesomeness.

TAR 13:

portland nick starr 6

Uber predictable.

maui tammy victor jih 3

Uber predictable. . .and rigged everywhere you look.

las vegas meghan cheyne 8

Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

– CAITE: Go back to 101! ONE-OH-ONE!

– Dan has yet to see another team. Jordan said his ability to make “friends” with the stewardess is what helped them out.

san francisco promo

One week before we taste Hantz tears! Delicious.

– Dan & Jordan run to the second floor and have the clue. It’s a Roadblock. Geez, I wonder what they will have to do in Coit TOWER?

san francisco phil keoghan

I will gladly stay at the bottom!

– Using a mechanical ascender, they will climb the tower up 120 feet to the archways of the tower before being lowered to the ground.

– Surprisingly, Dan is going to do it because we know how much Jordan loves heights.

san francisco tower

Long way to go, Dan.

mario is missing dan pious

Ah. If you look closer at Luigi’s photo you can see Dan scaling the tower.

san francisco city

The architecture of San Fran is rather eye-catching.

– Cord says his heart is beatin’ so stinkin’ fast. Jet adds a statement of his own.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 9

He is not shaking in his boots, but rather out of his shoes.

Cord’s response?

CORD: Ohhhh my gravy.

OH MY GRAVY COUNT: 13

More than one per episode. Ridiculous.

– Caite yells for the driver to turn around.

CAITE: Dumbass!
BRENT: Baby, you’re gotta get grilled.
CAITE: Brent, shut up, you’re not helping.
BRENT: You’re not helping.
CAITE: I want to punch you in the face.
DRIVER: I want to punch both of you in the face.

– We watch Dan scaling the tower. He is getting tired. Jet & Cord enter Coit Tower. Jordan announces their presence. Cord is doing the Roadblock. Brent & Caite are last to the Battery Godfrey. A solid forty minutes or so behind I would say.

– Jordan has the clue. Good job, bro. Love you, bro. Hold onto the clue, bro. That was freakin’ hard, bro.

– They read that they must head to the Yoda Fountain.

mark bill intro 5

They just creamed in their pants.

yoda fountain

Do or do not; there is no ‘gravy’.

PHIL: Teams must now find this statue of the Jedi Master Yoda.

Did Phil really have to say that?

– The statue is located in front of LucasFilm which is home to the Industrial Light and Magic Company.

san francisco lucasfilm

Pre-Disney takeover.

– You know how Jet & Cord threatened to beat up Dan & Jordan earlier and refused to acknowledge them after that?

JET: See ya guys. Bye! Not too talkative, are they?

san francisco jet cord mccoy 10

You are calling THEM pissy? Aren’t you the one who goes on to utter homophobic slurs and repeatedly whine about the airport incident for the next four years?

– Dan & Jordan’s cab driver starts driving as he calls someone where the Yoda Fountain would be. It is in the Presidio too.

– Jet does not think Cord will be able to do it much faster than Dan. Dan expects Cord to do well and keep up a good pace.

CORD: Oh my gravy.

OH MY GRAVY COUNT: 14

– We’re still being shown Brent & Caite.

san francisco cab

Who opt to abandon their taxi driver for snacks.

– Nah, they’re actually at an info centre asking for help with the riddle at the front desk.

san francisco arm

Caite has a tattoo? It took us twelve rounds but we finally learned this critical piece of information.

– You will not believe who is helping Brent & Caite at the front desk.

san francisco ashley underwood

It is Ashley Underwood from Survivor: Redemption Island. She is as boring and dumb as ever.

– Away to Coit Tower they go.

CAITE: Very very fast.
BRENT: Just–just–shut him up and let him go.

– Jordan claims he knows what Yoda looks like without seeing the movies. Him and Dan are at LucasFilms.

san francisco lucasfilm 2

I would say the guy in the top right wearing the toque, hoodie, and jeans must feel out of place here.

san francisco dan jordan pious 9

A storm trooper reads the clue over Jordan’s shoulder.

– The iconic Darth Vader music plays. This was filmed in late 2009, but Revenge of the Sith was released four years earlier. The only mainstream Star Wars event going on at the time was Family Guy’s annual spoof.

family guy blue harvest

At least it is not as bad as that awful Thumb Wars sketch that was popular enough to become a full length thirty minute film.

thumb wars

Seriously. They manage to turn good jokes into being really unfunny due to its delivery.

– Okay, in this task one person will wear a motion-capture suit and enter the sound stage. Their partner will direct them through a series of levels inside of a virtual world which will lead them to their next clue.

san francisco man

Aaron here is modeling the latest in motion-capture fashion. And who is that guy in the top right? It is like a freakin’ Medusa beard.

san francisco storm trooper

“It’s impossible to type with this suit on! I know something else I would much rather do!”

san francisco storm trooper thrust

Much better!

– Dan will be the director and Jordan will be the searcher.

san francisco darth vader

You know what would be great? Is if Phil was inside of the Darth Vader suit. He would be two feet away from the teams and nobody would know.

Hopefully Darth Vader can use the dark side of the force to choke Jet & Cord when they show up to the route marker.

Actually, I have a better idea for who should be in the Darth Vader costume (other than James Earl Jones):

Darth Schwarzenegger.

wayne brady

san francisco darth schwarzenegger

Will Darth Brady have to choke a bitch?

– You know what amazes me? Cat Man Mr. Las Vegas was able to make a cameo in TAR 15’s finale, but no sign of Mark Hammill or Carrie Fischer during the task.

princess leia

Bertram and Elise rejected Leia when she insisted that appearing in TAR would be a diplomatic mission to help repair the franchise.

– They are escorted by storm troopers into the room.

bolivia mark 2

Seriously. He needs air.

– Cord has the clue on top of Coit Tower. Brent hopes he is not too far behind the other two teams.

– Cord is back at the bottom. Guess what? Another freakin’ reference to rural life.

san francisco cord mccoy 3

Ever since Jet & Cord played the drums in Singapore, they have compared at least one task per round to the difficulty of riding bulls.

Is riding a bull easier than picking clothes for a model? Twice as easy? Three times as easy? 1.5 Coit Tower ascenders as easy?

– Dan & Jordan are now inside. Jordan thinks this setup is quite cool.

san francisco darth maul

Except for this guy. He was a disappointment.

san francisco emperor palpatine

Jet & Cord still have time to catch up? Goooooood.

– There is also a lead singer of The Killers at LucasFilms next to him. It is rather odd.

san francisco mr brightside

– JORDAN: I strap on this skinny suit with balls around me.

He should be happy.

san francisco jordan pious 6

Not quite what he was thinking.

– They verify that they can hear each other.

DAN: I am not much of a video game guy. I am more of a Boston sports guy.

san francisco dan pious 2

Although after this task he might be converting.

star wars famicom

As long as he avoids Star Wars for the Famicom.

san francisco jordan pious 7

kyle road trip

Again, this shot reminds me of a very Kyle (Road Trip) moment for Jordan Pious this season. It looks like he needs the helmet for his own safety.

DAN: I feel like I am literally directing things here.
JORDAN: Yeah, well I just put on a little suit with balls on it.

san francisco star wars

This monster never got none
What? You think he sold them all?

– Dan begins coaching Jordan on how to move through the levels.

san francisco jordan pious 8

The purple bandana for his computerized version of him is accurate, but not the Aras Baskauksas hairstyle.

aras whambulance

Did he win TAR 12?

san francisco jordan pious 9

To the start we go!

– Okay, he is at the ‘start’. What appears next?

san francisco jordan pious 10

He may have walked too far.

– Jordan takes a step back, and Dan asks him to spin around several times to see everything around him.

san francisco tunnel

A tunnel!

– Dan tells Jordan to go slowly through the tunnel. Of course Jordan does not know there is a wall on the other side of the tunnel, and goes through what Dan describes as ‘the computer wall’, and must return to the blue start ring.

san francisco computer

Inbound.

san francisco computer 2

Outbound.

– Dan re-iterates for Jordan to go slow and do it right the first time. Jordan requests for good directions.

san francisco star wars 2

The audience watches from a galaxy. . .very very nearby. I doubt they even understand what is going on. The guy on the left probably wants to drop his gun and start thrusting.

– Jet & Cord are at LucasFilms. They are eating a piece of candy. Both fail at talking to the Storm Troopers, but are happy they are protected by them.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 11

If you win the million, you can hire this bodyguard service permanently.

– We head back inside.

san francisco jordan pious 11

To where Jordan prepares to moonwalk.

– DAN: Shuffle your feet, and go in a straight line.
JORDAN: A straight line from where my body is facing or where my legs are facing?

san francisco dan pious 4

Ummmm. . .

DAN: Just relax, Jordan. Don’t have to get all excited.

san francisco jordan pious 12

Perfect eyeroll. . .and Cord is in Double Hat mode again.

– Cord has a plan.

CORD: I decided I would start directing you and I didn’t even have a headset on.

san francisco cord mccoy 4

CORD: Hop and skip! Crawl to your right. Whoa! Ballet move!
DAN: Go forward.
CORD: No, ballet!
DAN: Go forward. Slowly. Now stop.
CORD: Now spin! Now go!
DAN: Stop! Don’t move
JORDAN: I’m not moving.
CORD: Stop! Back back up. Three steps. Back up.

san francisco dan pious 5

“Homophobic Defensive Mechanism.”

san francisco cord mccoy 5

“Now gingerly walk to the right three paces.”

san francisco dan pious 6

“Our booths are right next to each other. How am I supposed to do this?”

JORDAN: C’mon bro. C’MON!

san francisco dan pious 7

I will kick you through the virtual world and into the real one!

san francisco dan pious 8

“F–king cowboys.”

– Dan directs Jordan while Cord is still shouting in the background.

CORD: Sneak around Jordan! Four ninety degree turns. Do a backflip! Do a two-step! Sache! Back up back up you just passed it.
JET: What is he talking about? Am I really going to have to do all of this stuff!

san francisco jordan pious 13

Goalllllllllllll.

– Jordan has completed level one despite Cord’s ridiculousness. Cord asks Jet to walk towards the blue marker. Obviously Jet cannot see a darn thing.

san francisco jet mccoy 3

Jet’s computer model is hilarious.

– Brent & Caite have just reached the Coit Tower. The last woman standing is NOT doing the Roadblock.

san francisco dan pious 9

Dan laying back relaxed in his chair. Go towards the goal, Jordan. Geez, video games are boring.

DAN: STRAIGHT, BABY! GOT IT! STOP, JORDAN! STOP MOVING.

san francisco dan pious 10

Yeah, he’s getting into it. A bunch of words flying around the computer screen there.

san francisco hands

Hands up. Hands down.

– Dan confirms that Jordan is not moving. He now has to read the message.

san francisco words

It is like the words are on an acid trip. Tonga? They have to fly to TONGA?!

Wow. Producers really want the Cowboys to win.

– DAN: It’s going by the screen wicked fast. I can’t even see a thing.

– Brent has the clue on Coit Tower. He is drained and is back on the ground.

VIEWER: Wow! Brent did that task really fast!

– Dan figures it out. He asks Jordan to see if he can do anything on his end.

JORDAN: But I can’t see anything!

Not what he meant, Jordan.

– Jordan casually moves his head. Dan realizes that when Jordan spins his head that it slows the words down for Dan to read.

– Jet is right behind Jordan. What is funny is that Jordan keeps twisting his head back and forth which must be distracting for Jet.

san francisco head

san francisco head 2

san francisco head 3

Jet must think there must be some sort of mind control device in Jordan’s helmet that is making him do this.

mario party look away

It is indeed the Look Away mini game all over again.

– CORD: Go straight forward, Jet.

Well, there is a problem with going straight forward.

san francisco jet jordan

Jordan is perfectly in Jet’s way.

The producers really messed up here. They really needed a bigger stage, put them in separate rooms, or ensure that one of the end squares did not intersect with the middle of another person’s path. Should Jet just shove Jordan to the side to enter the goal sphere?

CORD: Give him a wedgie, Jet. Tell him there’s a race going here. Jet, one degree to the left. One degree to the left. Now you’re freakin’ dead on.
JET: I’m not going to walk forward until he moves.

san francisco jet jordan 2

Lalalala not listening–er, not seeing.

CORD (smacking on DAN’s wall): Hey! Direct him out of the way.

san francisco dan pious 11

DAN: I don’t give a Jabba the F–k! Take it up with producers.

san francisco cord dan

CORD: I’m going to get one of those Star Wars guys to take you out, man.

EDITOR’S NOTE: I was watching this with my family on finale night, and I can assure you that they praised every time that Jet & Cord insulted or played “unfairly” with Dan & Jordan, but when Dan & Jordan would do the same things during the episode they ended up being booed for it. I’ll elaborate more on that later.

– Commercial break. We resume.

– More Star Wars music plays.

JORDAN: I’m so f–king dizzy. There’s no other way you can just get it, bro.
DAN: No, JORDAN! OBVIOUSLY NOT!
JORDAN: I’m about to throw up.
CORD: He’s gonna throw up, Jet. You might wanna watch out.
JET: I know.

san francisco cord mccoy 6

“So glad on my gravy that I’m not out on the field playing.”

san francisco jet jordan 3

Keep facing forward, Jordan. For Jet’s sake.

– Jet reiterates that he cannot move around Jordan. I think he is able to side-step or maybe grind along Jordan to get by, but for some reason is refusing to do so. Cord repeats that the goal is extremely close. Jordan keeps spinning. Dan has a hard time reading, and we are stuck in a stalemate.

At this rate, Brent & Caite should show up any second.

– Jet miraculously finds a way to step forward thrice and enter the goal. I would not be surprised if there was some level of production interference here. Because Jet was being trapped there against his will.

san francisco jet jordan 4

Yeah, how in the world could Jet suddenly be allowed to side-step? I wonder if Jordan could have kept blocking him by inconveniently spinning into Jet’s goal sphere.

– Dan informs Jordan that he has a good portion of it. Cord is now coaching Jet on level two.

san francisco cord dan 2

The storm troopers missed their chance to photobomb.

– DAN: Cooled by the fierce ocean wind. I can’t see any more than that Jordan. They built this Polynesian haven, and they. . .we’re good, Jordan. You can leave we’re good.

san francisco message 2

san francisco message

I don’t remember that chapter in Star Wars.

– Now Dan gets his revenge.

DAN (imitating CORD’s voice): Slide to the left. Faster. No, not that way. The other way. The other way. The other way.

– Teams must find the country’s first tiki bars–the Tonga Room where their next clue awaits. Thanks for confirming that, Phil.

– Jet has reached the end of the second level. He now sees the letters. For some reason he cannot figure out why Jordan was spinning for several minutes. Brent & Caite are now at LucasFilms. Brent & Caite enter as Dan & Jordan leave in their cab. Brent even pointed out both cabs that are waiting.

san francisco brent caite 3

And there is a cameo by the Shadow Camera Operator. Who is this guy?

dark link

Dark Link’s cousin?

– Brent appoints himself as the director. Dan & Jordan’s taxi knows Tonga.

san francisco taxi 6

I really wish this taxi is confused enough to try and drive all the way to the island nation. I think they have been rumoured to host a season of Survivor at least five or six times over the past ten years.

– Dan refers to the driver as “my friend” and insist that he go as fast as he can go. Brent & Caite are setup inside as Cord struggles to read beyond “a long time ago”.

I never thought about this, but what happened if the Director has a tough time reading? Like, “I grew up in a town so small that we had only one reading level” or something similar to that?

san francisco split screen

And another 24-like split screen.

– Cord is still having problems.

san francisco cord mccoy 7

Cord’s problem solving skills.

CORD: Where’s the slo mo on this thing?

san francisco cord mccoy 8

Is he genuinely asking or is he just trying to be funny for the viewers at home? God Cord, you’re not even trying to win this race.

– Caite has perhaps the most disproportionate body out of all three racers in the Star Wars galaxy.

san francisco caite upton 2

Wow, you can tell the programmers are male. How is her huge head able to balance on her tiny neck?

Why are her arms so thin? It truly is a mess.

san francisco caite upton 3

Yeah, Caite’s head is not -that- big. Also note how producers do not have Caite’s path intersect with Jet’s end goal.

– CORD: Jet, this is gonna suck.
JET: If the other two can figure it out, we can surely figure it out.

You would think, right?

san francisco cord mccoy 9

Cord checks to see if the monitor is a touch screen. Nope.

– CORD: On a hill far away something something something.
JET: Did they die?
CORD: Oh my gravy.

OH MY GRAVY COUNT: 15

san francisco jet mccoy 4

Oh My Dentyne.

– I wonder if Brent & Caite are more relaxed because they are nearly falling out of the race.

san francisco brent horne

Maybe not.

alex linz 2

Look at me, Brent.

Wow, that Alex Linz finally has an opponent for a staring contest.

– Caite is closing in on level two.

san francisco caite upton 4

Caite’s mind is blown by these special effects. Where is Dan & Jordan?

san francisco city 2

san francisco dan jordan pious 10

Let’s just say they have a big lead. They are moving through this San Francisco leg as fast as the cars from San Francisco Rush.

– They enter the tiki bar. If you know anything about TAR 16, you should have a good idea of what is going on there.

san francisco music

Music.

san francisco music 2

More f–king music.

– Jordan reads that they must grab a trunk and take it to their next destination.

san francisco trunk

my humps

“Where are Dan & Jordan gonna have to go with all that junk? All that junk inside that trunk?”

– Jordan solves the mystery destination within seconds.

san francisco hall

There is your answer, will.i.am. You sellout.

MORE. F–KING. MUSIC!

At least Taboo appeared in The Legend of Chun Li. What have you done? NOTHING.

taboo vega

Yep. Taboo played Vega.

– Phil says nothing. The message merely appears at the bottom of the screen.

san francisco subtitle

We’ll take the subtitle’s words for it.

san francisco stone

Does that person have a bird sitting on top of their crown?

– Dan & Jordan walk two steps before finding a college student who is familiar with the area.

san francisco columbia

Go Columbia University!

Wait, that is in New York. She must be a desperate TAR fan who flew all the way to San Francisco on short notice. Beats being in a lecture hall if you ask me.

Great American Music Hall -> Columbia University Lecture Hall

san francisco hall 2

Yeah. That’s the extent of how she can help.

My favourite part is how she ducks and gets out of the away. I have never seen a local just tuck their tail between their legs and exit stage left out of shame.

san francisco woman

GET THE F–K OUT! GO HOME, LOSER!

– Cord asks Jet to spin to the left. The words slow down.

CORD: Oh. I’m an idiot. That’s why Jordan got so dizzy.

Yeah, it only took you an hour to solve the issue.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 12

Cord may be Mr. Director, but not Mr. Observer. Now Brent & Caite may even pass him before the finish line.

– Caite has reached the end of level two. Brent tells Caite to move her head right away. They must only be a couple minutes apart.

– Dan & Jordan are at a group fitness club asking for directions from the receptionist. They receive perfect directions.

san francisco group fitness

I think the camera and sound operators have a group fitness exercise called “The Amazing Race”.

– Cord decides to go to Tonga. He has the full message. So does Brent. Both teams are leaving only a minute apart. Jet & Cord are running along the path until. . .

san francisco dog

A two year old tries to sick his dog on Jet & Cord. I think the hide on their boots is what looks appetizing for the dog.

– Caite is running so dang slow (minus TAR 6 Gus).

san francisco run

The twenty foot rule might be broken.

– Both teams re-enter the cabs. Needless to say Cord feels a bit down.

san francisco brent caite 4

BRENT: You had it!
CAITE: Go back.
BRENT (twitches and smacks his own knee): ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

san francisco brent caite 5

You know that look? I know that look. It means only one thing.
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game over

Brent’s hard work is all for naught. To dead last they go.

– Dan & Jordan are galaxies ahead as they reach the Great American Music Hall. Dan is feeling sick. They stop to put on gloves and switch spots on the trunk.

– Jet & Cord enter the Tonga Room. We’re already at the 33rd minute of the episode. Not much time left. Both lift and start moving with the trunk. Dan & Jordan continue running on the streets. They know it’s on Polk. So do the Cowboys after they ask a cab.

san francisco dreamin

It really is California Dream’n as a million dollars awaits less than one hour away.

Or for viewers it is only a few minutes.

– Dan accidentally bumped the trunk into Jordan’s shin which makes them drop it once more. They fight about it for a minute before picking it up again.

JORDAN: Bumping it into my shin is worse than my calf because at least it has padding.

Is this really something worthwhile to fight about at the moment?

san francisco jet cord mccoy 13

This hill looks dangerous.

– Dan & Jordan are on Polk. Cowboys appear to be getting closer as we cut back and forth between the two teams. We now see the Music Hall.

san francisco music 3

Which I bet is overshadowed by the NGOC-YEN services.

And who the heck are The Mother Hips?

They have a special called Stoned Up the Road.

But other than that they are freakin’ boring.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 1

Cowboys still trying to catch up.

san francisco the mother hips

The Mother Hips still trying to make a career.

san francisco guitar

Everyone else is racing, and here I am just jammin’.
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Wait, they’re getting paid a MILLION BUCKS for that? I’m still eating instant noodles!

san francisco dan jordan pious 11

Three shadowy figures stand before Dan & Jordan. It is time for what will undoubtedly be the traditional memory task.

JORDAN: Get yourselves in order!

I can’t wait!

TAR 9 had the flags challenge.
TAR 10 and 11. . .well, let’s skip those.
TAR 12 had the logic puzzle.
TAR 13 had the picture quiz.
TAR 14 had the surfboard picture quiz.
TAR 15 had, well, lousy chip counting. But TAR 15 was terrible overall so we can avoid that.

But what is here for TAR 16?

PHIL: Back in the 1960s, San Francisco was the heart of the psychadellic music scene. With music every night in concert halls like this. To get their final clue, teams must flashback to the age of Aquarius.

I honestly never got the reference. The disadvantage of being born in ’91.

aquarius hair

No wonder the song is called “Hair”.

aquarius horse

The horses dance?!

aquarius hair 2

Wow. My hair would fit in well with them.

san francisco phil keoghan 2

What did they have in New Zealand during the 1960s, Phil? The Age of Sheep?

– Inside the steamer trunks, teams will find eleven psychadellic posters. Eight will feature the teams already eliminated from the race and three represent the non-elimination legs. Teams must hang all eleven posters in the correct order and when they do the band roadie will give them their next clue.

san francisco poster

That’s it for a memory challenge? Really? I think even the animal memory Roadblock from TAR 3 was tougher than this.

– I have one question about the trunk.

san francisco brasil

There is a Brasil sticker on it. Anybody know why? Was that the unaired South American leg?

san francisco adrian dana davis

I think Adrian gets to play Dana’s sax each night.

sax on the beach

Sax on the Beach, to be more precise.

san francisco jody shannon

Wow, Jody is a skeleton.

san francisco monique shawne

Racist.

san francisco joe heidi wang

Asians don’t need much space, apparently.

san francisco jeff jordan

They get a f–king rainbow and unicorn. How perfect for Jordan.

san francisco steve allie smith

Wow, zero creativity with this poster.

san francisco carol brandy

The Pixie Chix? This is 2009. Are producers trying to be clever? Weren’t the Dixie Chicks already old news by this point?

dixie chicks

People in Texas stomped their CDs for badmouthing Bush before badmouthing Bush was cool in the state.

dixie chicks jane krakowski

Holy crap. Are you telling me that the woman from 30 Rock originally appeared in the music video for Goodbye Earl over a decade earlier? I am getting a pop culture overload with this season finale.

dixie chicks earl

Not her best days.

– Okay, okay, okay. We have a finale to finish. Who is the band roadie?

san francisco louie michael

Oh. And Louie & Michael’s poster.

san francisco roadie

WHAT HAPPENED TO HIS THUMB?! Was he out protesting nuclear power plants?

– Jordan is excited because he wrote down what happened each leg.

JORDAN: I have watched the race for fifteen seasons now. And of greater majority have featured some type of memory challenge.

Which is probably why they made this memory task so easy. They know teams will review this information and write it down throughout the season.

This is why TAR Canada resorted to quizzing them about flowers or specific pictures of landmarks they visited.

Heck, we are going to have a memory challenge in TAR 21 where the words that come out of the greeter’s mouths will be the final challenge.

NOTE: Next season they stop teams from using notes in memory challenges.

– Jet & Cord nearly run into a pigeon. Dan wants to put up Joe & Heidi fourth, but Jordan corrects him that it is a non-elim. I like how Jordan just says “Team Big Brother” and “Lesbians”. Neither of those teams have names.

– Dan & Jordan are done. They were as nimble and quick as Jack. Jordan reads the clue. It is a riddle.

san francisco candlestick

I have never heard of this riddle before. It could be really really tough.

san francisco dan pious 12

DAN: Jordan, I know where we’re going. F–k! Candlestick Park!

I totally would not have gotten that. Dan needed less than a minute to answer it. Incredible.

san francisco dan jordan pious 12

DAN: Being a diehard sports fan, I knew the San Francisco 49ers play at Candlestick Park.

And the old school San Francisco Giants for a few decades as well. Now they play where a bunch of people try to catch home runs in a boat.

new zealand dandrew 2

This is the Sports Trivia Challenge that Dan & Andrew were begging for during TAR 13. This would have been the perfect finale for you guys.

san francisco dan jordan pious 13

Dan answered it so fast to the point that Phil does not have enough time to do the voiceover for the finish line.

– We see them running on the streets to search for a taxi. Jet & Cord enter the Great American Music Hall. I bet it is not seconds later as the edit is making it out to be. The first two posters are up.

– Jordan sees a taxi. Dan questions if it is active. They run up to it only to see Jordan was right. Dan sees an active cab. Cowboys put up more posters. Brothers do not have a cab. Commercial break. We resume.

– Several shots of San Fran as Dan & Jordan are on the curb. Cowboys think they are one off on the poster.  Dan yells out to a cab that they will pay the occupant to get out and let them ride instead. The Cowboys have finished the task and have the clue.

– Nevermind. Cowboys figure out the riddle within seconds too. Candlestick. Candlestick Park.

san francisco parkour

One last act of parkour for Cord.

– Dan & Jordan hail a taxi. Cowboys have one of their own as well.

san francisco cab 2

Which is inspired by Alfred Hitchcock, evidently.

– JORDAN: This is where we freakin’ put the pedal to the metal.

san francisco dan jordan pious 14

Jordan is excited to the point that he is unable to un-point his index finger.

– JET: We definitely pay extra good for fast service.

Grammar is the least of your concerns in the final route marker of the race.

The editors make it out to be a taxi showdown. On the left we have Jet & Cord’s driver and on the right it is Dan & Jordan’s. Both teams are brothers, but their fate is now in the hands of the two most irrelevant characters in TAR history.

san francisco showdown

Neither have any names. Let’s call the man on the left Cab #1 and the one on the right Cab #2.

– Jordan says Cab #2 is the best in the world. Cab #1 cracks a joke.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 14

Cab #1 just burned you pretty bad, Terry.

– Showdown music plays and plays.

san francisco stadium

Pacific Bell Park is much nicer than this piece of crap Candlestick. I bet Candlestick was much cheaper to use.

– We now get to see the row of cheering teams.

san francisco jody kelly

Led by an overly enthusiastic Jody Kelly.

san francisco phil keoghan 3

Phil sporting some fine leather.

san francisco finish

Dana & Adrian are barely considered cast members to the point that they must stand several feet away from the other three teams.

san francisco dan jordan pious 15

And out from the 49ers helmet emerges a middle finger to silly casual viewers. Dan & Jordan are ready to be announced the winners, and redeem the season by doing so.

– Jody is cheering at unprecedented levels. She is practically roaring. Everyone is very happy.

san francisco carol brandy 2

“Yay! Celebratory ‘Brent & Caite Did Not Win’ Pattycake!”

san francisco jordan pious 14

I like how Jordan walks away initially because he just does a series of fist pumps.

– Phil awards them the million bucks.

– Jordan says he could not have done this without Dan to make his dream come true. Dan claims it is now an incredible experience (because he is a half mil richer).

san francisco phil keoghan 4

“And because you won, we now have an easy excuse to allow Jet & Cord to return in less than ten months!”

– Their bond is stronger than ever.

They are the first team to win a season of TAR with an average lower than 4.00.

FIRST PLACE: DAN & JORDAN

– Cowboy music begins as Jet & Cord run onto the mat. I have noticed the cheering is a bit more subdued. Carol & Brandy are excited to see them too. The two male sibling teams are the top two. All-female teams are truly horrible at TAR US and that will never ever change in the near future.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 15

“We’re not a crook!”

SECOND PLACE: JET & CORD

– Both got along well. We find out Jet is the older brother.

JET: We have found out there are things more important than money. The experience of being able to travel around the world with my best friend and my brother. And in the end having our character and our integrity intact, we can walk out of here with our heads held high.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 16

Translation: Them and the viewers believe Dan & Jordan were only there for the money, and therefore must have sacrificed their character and integrity in the process. Meanwhile Jet & Cord retained their halos all the way throughout.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 17

And once again Jet is licking his lips. Stop it, Jet.

– Lastly, Brent & Caite enter the mat. As per tradition, every team is always polite to all finalists who cross the finish line. There has never been an incident in all forty-seven teams who have crossed the finish line.

san francisco brent caite 6

Everyone happy to see us unconditionally?

san francisco clap

Everyone applauding their presence.

JORDAN: C’mon Peach. . .she’s my little Peach. She’s my little Peach.

san francisco clap 2

The applause continues.

san francisco carol brandy 3

Slow. Clap. Not their Peach. A last stranglehold on airtime.

PHIL: Caite, is there something you wanted to prove coming on this race?
CAITE: I mainly wanted to prove that I am an intelligent person.

san francisco carol brandy 4

“If she was so smart, she would have kept us around because we both hated her and thus would have given all four of us a boost in confessionals over Dan & Jordan and Jet & Cord.”

CAITE: Obviously I was able to travel the whole entire world and FINISH The Amazing Race and be in third place. I am very proud of myself.

san francisco caite upton 5

“And obviously Carol & Brandy can go such as suck it.”

san francisco carol brandy 5

“Jack be quick, Jack be nimble, Jack be furious and jump over Candlestick to clock Caite”.

PHIL: Caite, you are the only woman to finish this race in the Final Three, but there are two women over there who feel that–

san francisco phil keoghan 5

Eh, screw it. We have ninety seconds left and this season scored a record low number of viewers. Just go at it.

san francisco brent caite 7

CAITE: You guys, I’m so–

san francisco carol brandy 6

BRANDY: I don’t wanna hear ‘sorry’ from you.

san francisco caite upton 6

Caite’s reaction is priceless.

“This wasn’t part of the finish line script!”

She offered up an apology and an eliminated team directly challenges her at the mat. All teams in past seasons have made up at the mat briefly before cutting off communication.

For the first time in sixteen seasons, an eliminated team is looking for a fight. No one is allowed to be happy, and the winner’s thunder is officially stolen.

san francisco joe wang

Concerned Asian looks on.

san francisco monique shawne 2

Monica looks on. Or was it Sheree? Aquarius? Nevermind, it is Monique.

BRANDY: You purposefully whacked us. You wanted to be the last woman standing and you are.

san francisco carol brandy 7

These opinions are not sanctioned by the Carol Rosenfeld Commission, and do not necessarily reflect their views.

Stay strong, Carol!

san francisco caite upton 7

“I get to be verbally abused by somebody twice as old as me at the conclusion of my journey. Yay!”

BRANDY: Logically you U-Turned teams that were stronger. The Cowboys should have been U-Turned.

san francisco jet cord mccoy 18

o rly?

san francisco jet cord mccoy 19

JET: Hey Cord, remember the time Caite did not U-Turn us and it led to us winning The Amazing Race 16?

BRANDY: You can’t seem to think logically. I don’t wanna hear ‘sorry’ from you.

san francisco carol brandy 8

“And me yelling at a twenty-year-old at the end of one of the biggest experiences and accomplishments she will ever have has NOTHING to do with why you illogically U-Turned me in the first place.”

– Caite has a stunning revelation.

CAITE: Hey, maybe y’all should have treated people a bit nicer.

san francisco brent caite 8

Hint for Brandy: Yelling at Caite like this is not making her re-think the U-Turn decision. In fact, you are reinforcing the exact opposite of your desired effect for this lecture.

san francisco brandy snow

BRANDY: Hey, I’m sorry you can’t handle it–

Did she just say ‘sorry’ to Caite right after she REPEATEDLY STATED THAT SHE WOULD NOT ACCEPT HEARING ‘SORRY’ FROM CAITE?!

Holy crap, Brandy. Now you have set a rule that -you- can say ‘sorry’, but Caite is not allowed to use that word. You made it forbidden SECONDS earlier. You crazy, Brandy, you craz-eh.

san francisco brent caite 9

CAITE: I am handling it. Obviously I am the one standing here and not you.
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I am amazed. Brandy came looking for a fight, and she paid dearly.

san francisco carol brandy 9

Miss Teen USA’d.

Brandy just got pwned by a 20-year-old who is known for making the worst case for herself on national television.

This is incredible. She -intentionally- went out of her way to get into a debate with the one person in all of America who is awful debating much of anything, and was completely pwned.

It is like challenging Michael Jordan at baseball by throwing him a few curveballs, but instead it is a 25 MPH pitch that he is able to knock out of the park.

Caite winning this argument is like Michael Jordan hitting a home run off of a pitcher in baseball. The pitcher is bound to hang himself hours later.

I have never done this before to a team that was eliminated several rounds ago, but it is fitting here.
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game over

Well earned, Brandy.

You know what Brandy’s constant complaining about the U-Turn, and overall bitterness of Caite’s decision o not do the logical thing reminded me of?

jake billingsley

JAKE: I was excited because Brian said the vote was going to be based on performance because I do know I performed as good as anybody out there and better than most.

brian clay survivor thailand

“Yeah, we don’t care, Jake.”

– We cut back to Caite after the awkward silence.

CAITE: I love you guys, seriously. I really do.

san francisco brent caite 10

“Now applaud for me.”

Brent is reeling from the bizarre fight.

LOUIE: Mike and I really got a lout out of this. Traveling and the friendships we made throughout this whole race was insane.

What? We heard from Louie? He did not even make the finale. Okay, eleven rounds. It was only the day before when him and Mike were still on the course. I guess it is not too far of a stretch.

san francisco louie stravato

I was going to say that he cleaned up a bit, but. . .nope.

– We’ve heard from the Final 3, 4th place Louie & Michael, and 5th place Carol & Brandy. Next up is going to be Steve & Allie.
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No. So we’re just going to stop there and end things with the final words from Dan & Jordan? After all, the winners always have the final words of the season.
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san francisco jeff jordan 2

JEFF: Maybe reality TV is not for me. Round two and I got knocked out again, you know? But the experiences are priceless. We’ve gotta take what’s good out of this race, and congratulations to everybody.

LOL. Oh my god. 7th place Jeff & Jordan who were out in round six get to speak but not Steve & Allie.

This is incredible. Six out of seven teams lasted 50% of the route or longer, and the one team skipped was the one who lasted 75% of the game. What did Steve & Allie do to producers? Did Steve’s drinking problem get out of hand?

JORDAN: We will have these memories with us. The good, the bad, the fights, the 1st place finishes, and the million bucks. This is so incredible we can look back and be like ‘hey bro, when we’re on the same team we’re unbeatable.’

Unless it is legs 1 to 8, 10, or 11.

san francisco finish 2

And a lacklustre season has an above-par finish. Hooray.

san francisco steve allie smith 2

Hey, I found em!

NOTE: Thousands of viewers went online and said Dan & Jordan did not deserve it, and hope Jet & Cord would be awarded a large consolation prize as well as a second chance. I spent the whole night defending Dan & Jordan and simultaneously proclaiming that Freddy & Kendra are the worst winners.

However, everyone was absolutely convinced that Dan & Jordan were by far the worst people to win TAR, and is yet another reason why casual fans are really really really stupid to say the least.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

BRENT.CAITE 1.1
JET.CORD 6.5
DAN.JORDAN 10.7
LOUIE.MICHAEL 1.0
JEFF.JORDAN 1.0

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, used U-Turn. & 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
1st Dan & Jordan 4.33 – FF once TAR 16
3rd Brent & Caite 4.33 – Used U-Turn 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 2.92 – Saved by NEL onceTAR 6
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield TAR 10
2nd Bransen Family 2.85 – Saved by NEL onceTAR 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 Jet & Cord 2.58 – Saved by NEL once TAR 16.
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) Dan & Jordan

We really had an absence of solid characters this season. I really did not like how Dan & Jordan’s edit was nothing but “I am doing this race for my younger bro”. It may be the smallest edit for a pair of winners in the history of the show. They are not shown interacting or commenting on other teams much throughout the season.

But in the post-production editing suite they tried to insert as many scenes with Dan & Jordan as possible.

Sadly, this mellow edit meant that they were viewed as followers due to their inability to win legs. In fact they had the worst average of any team to win in TAR history.

At this point we can skip to the finale. Jet & Cord are the super duper ultra fan favourites who happen to have prejudice against Jordan. Dan & Jordan make the unprecedented finale move of cutting in line at the airport after trailing all season long, and suddenly Jet & Cord’s all-star level dominance is undermined as Dan & Jordan make several subsequent brilliant moves.

Everyone is left scratching their head as to how the heck Dan & Jordan won, and were rewarded for their so-called unethical behaviour.

I should note that not only was Jordan’s homosexuality controversial in the eyes of Jet & Cord and a portion of TAR’s demographic, but I think their religious beliefs may have been met with xenophobia by that same well-known TAR demographic too. A small percentage, but enough to fuel the outcry regarding the season’s outcome.

I personally thought they have been the best winners in several seasons. Since TAR 10, the only winners I thoroughly approved of have been Eric & Danielle and TK & Rachel.

And yes, I would’ve preferred a Charla/Mirna victory in TAR 11, and a Ron/Christina or Nick/Don win in TAR 12.

But here it was neat to see a team with a struggling superfan who wants nothing more than to just be on the race to end up winning over a team with a Russell Hantz-like edit was amazing to see. This followed the trend since TAR 13 where the frontrunners at the beginning hold onto their lead all the way through to the end of the season. Meghan & Cheyne, Tammy & Victor, and Nick & Starr were never toppled. Jet & Cord were the first to be toppled.

I loved Dan & Jordan’s overall strategy. They were not going to be show-offs. It was just to not lose which is a boring but effective strategy. This is not an audience pleaser by any means. In the end, they pulled out a bunch of moves that was definitely meant to win. Cutting lines, solving clues faster than ever, hailing taxis, finding the right people to ask for directions, and manipulating stewardesses into first class.

Nobody will U-Turn you along the way, and you catch your enemies off guard with your late game tactics. Over five years later and Jet & Cord still express bitterness over Dan & Jordan tricking them.

Therefore, I will always approve of the victory of the Rhode Island Rattlesnakes. It reminds me exactly how Natalie White won Samoa or Sandra in Heroes vs. Villains. You play a flat game for the first 38 days, and just pull out all the stops on the 39th day is all you need to claim a million bucks.

Oh, and the title which many all-stars and repeat players continue to crave to this day.

I just wish Dan would own up to the fact that he partially did the race for himself. Maybe he did, but producers did such a crappy edit for them. Oh what could have been. They had potential to have a wonderfully edited storyline.

4) Brent & Caite

Wow. This season lacked characters. I agree with my podcasting partner Michael in that a Caite win would be hilarious for this season. . .but nah. It is not quite as epic as Flo’s win. Flo was ten times more useless than Caite, and Caite was ultimately a recruit rather than a Flo who signed up but was way over her head.

Caite being cast as TAR’s first player under 21 other than Family Edition proved to be uncomfortable at various points of the season. As a 23-year-old now blogging this season, I think twenty can be a very vulnerable age to throw yourself into a game like TAR or Survivor. Particularly after you spent the two years prior to that being abused on the Internet.

My big question is how Caite would have been edited if Carol & Brandy were not present. On one hand, Caite would not be in the conflict and accused of wanting all women to be eliminated before her, but on the other hand she would not have someone attacking her to make her look like a victim.

In other words, Carol & Brandy targeting her triggered an increase in Caite’s fanbase. It also happened to create more h8rs for her too.

I think Brent entering his 30s but possessing the same maturity level as Caite boggled my mind. Both had the personalities of those I went to high school with six years ago. I was waiting for them to gossip about their friends and who was going out with who.

Their reading comprehension was terrible. There were four rounds where Brent & Caite screwed up collecting a clue properly on the way to the pit stop. And somehow there was a team like Jeff & Jordan or another awful team who would be far enough behind to the point it did not matter.

I wish they were in a Final 3 where the other two teams were older than them. It is crazy to think Brent was the oldest player in the Final 3, and Caite was only a few years younger than the other four. Maybe that is why this season is considered to be overall unappealing. The only capable teams of lasting long enough were all young.

Producers brought Caite onto the race because not only was it done for a ratings draw, but to answer the question of whether Caite can come off as intelligent.

But guess what? I could not care less if Caite repaired her reputation or not. The point of the matter is that Caite was a minor character who delivered some good comedic moments, and possessed a high school student-like personality that had never been seen on TAR before.

So thank you for being unique, Caite.

5) Carol & Brandy

They are mean people. Mean Lesbians, to be more specific.
.
.
.
.
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.

P.S. Brandy initiating a fight with Caite at the finish line and making a fool of herself was great. Poetic.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) Jet & Cord

Jet & Cord McCoy or Jet & Cord Hantz?

TAR has a documented Conservative and Southern core fanbase. Did you know they are drawn to teams from the South who play up the ‘good ol boy’ image? All they wanna do is just compete, and put down anybody along the way who threatens their road to victory?

Well, Jet & Cord mastered that. I think they are very camera savvy and know how to get fans to like them, but they really are not easy to talk to in person, nor seem terribly interested in unique groups of people.

I love the Hantz flaw where players would like nothing more than to win at all costs, but are denied victory time and time again. Furthermore, the key is that they personally believe they are the best, and will paint anybody in a bad light who threatens their popularity or defeats them along the way.

Jet & Cord possess every single one of these qualities, and we are only seeing the beginning of how it eats them alive over the next four years.

There are three stories to tell regarding post-race crap that goes on with Jet & Cord.

PART ONE: At a TAR fan event, Jet called Jordan a homophobic slur in front of Jordan’s mother.

This has been corroborated by numerous people who attended that event, and in TAR 18 many cast members will reinforce that Jet & Cord are ridiculously bitter about how TAR 16 went down. So much to the point that the other ten teams are overwhelmed by it because all of them have gotten over their season. Jet & Cord were acting like they relieved their defeat every day.

Jet & Cord do have their moments. I love their sense of humour at times. Producers gave them a bunch of wacky soundtracks along the way.

However, there is a maximum to the amount of times that ‘out of the saddle’, ‘___is harder than riding a bull’, ‘back in the saddle’, and ‘oh my gravy’ can be uttered each episode. I cannot blame Jet & Cord for this. It is strictly how editors made them out to be as characters when we see them on-air.

We need better editors.

And seriously, nobody wanted to see Jet & Cord TWO more times. . .except for the thousands of hardcore Jet & Cord fans that have miraculously survived nearly five years.

I will not be surprised if producers are compelled to bring back Jet & Cord for a fourth time. TAR 25 is at the midway point, and I am not convinced TAR 25’s success is any more than a one-time fluke.

9) 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.

10) Adrian & Dana

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

11) 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) Shanghai, China -> San Francisco, California, USA

I will admit it: If Dan & Jordan did not come out of nowhere to be TAR masters and we were treated to a Jet & Cord win, this would have been the lamest final leg in quite some time.

The Roadblock was a simple tower ascension.
The Star Wars task allowed for too much sabotage and interference between teams because of how the small provided space.
Another dang music theme.
The final memory task was super duper easy. Minutes? Seconds? I dunno.
And the final riddle that both teams solved on their own? Seconds too.

This was by far the easiest final leg since the revamped format in TAR 12.

What was the most exciting part? Brandy yelling at Caite? Jeff & Jordan getting airtime out of left field?

That’s how boring the tasks were. A big steaming pile of lameness.

12) 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.

Conclusion

The Good:

a) No awful twists.

b) A race course that circumnavigated the globe.

c) Seychelles is a new country added to the catalogue.

d) Lots of stupidity and physically incapable racers made for a type of comedy not typically seen in other seasons.

e) Winners proved that you can finish 4th to 8th for most of the season, but can still win in the end to switch up the leaderboard. TAR needed this desperately.

The Bad:

a) Intersection was revived temporarily, but was killed after producers were lazier than ever as they failed to embrace the concept.

b) Too many teams that producers knew would not last more than a few rounds, thus making the race a little less competitive.

c) A borderline propaganda edit for the runner-ups.

d) The teams with the most amount of airtime were not the most endearing or likeable.

e) An unusual season where many teams would rarely receive meaningful airtime.

f) Speed Bumps became a bigger joke than ever.

TAR 13, 14, 15, and 16 flopped. The TAR 16 finale drew not only a bunch of controversy, but also a very low number of viewers. Everyone was growing tired of the series. It was on a path to being cancelled.

Something was needed to rescue the series. A season so good that it would trigger viral clips, and word of mouth spreading that TAR may be worthwhile to watch again.

Well, until we get to TAR 24 and make that hard work collapse. Hopefully I can skip over that season when we get there.

In all seriousness, I hear something rather unprecedented happens with  TAR 17. Business which involves watermelons. I dunno.

Season Rankings Updated
—-

Scroll down to the Conclusion section. For the first time ever, I included a short summary for each of the eighteen seasons that I have blogged about to date. Where does TAR 15 fall?

1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10

“After a year off the air, and TAR comes back with its most epic race course ever. Producers put all of their chips on the table like UFC owners did with TUF 1, and the payoff was enormous.

We had TAR 6 an 7 green-lighted, produced, and aired less than ten months after TAR 5 aired. Everyone and their mother was talking about what was going on in TAR 5 throughout the summer.

The two teams you wanted out the most were gone in the first two episodes. The second team did so by repeating Amanda & Chris’ feat from TAR 4.

The most format changes until TAR 12 would take place for this season as producers wanted to give viewers a new feel to the series. Not the least of which was the beginning of the Yield, and began the tradition of allowing one team to flip off another team and shove them into the dirt for a pre-determined amount of time. What was even better is that the Yield was offered -every- round. Unlike today where U-Turns only appear twice or thrice per season.

Colin & Christie, Chip & Kim, and Charla & Mirna are three of the ten biggest characters in TAR history. We were amazed to see them all be cast for the same freakin’ season. Because they all made it at least halfway through the game, there was never a dull moment. Include Marshall & Lance, Bob & Joyce, Jim & Marsha, Bowling Moms, and the antics of Kamkar made for a top of the line cast.

It is a crime that neither Colin & Christie nor Chip & Kim have been brought back. Colin & Christie did not compete in TAR 11 because Christie had a kid.
.
.
.
So was she pregnant during TAR 18 and TAR 24 too? Where was Charla & Mirna’s invite for TAR 24? Where are Chip & Kim’s invites, too?

These three teams made headlines all season long to the point that Charla & Mirna were incorporated into numerous TV sketch parodies for the following year. They were the face of TAR for season five, and returned to be the faces for TAR 11. Again, how did the Globetrotters, Cowboys, and Margie & Luke play three times instead of them?

Oh, the route? Incredible. It holds a permanent record of being the best route of any TAR season. Argentina to Russia to Egypt to Tanzania to Dubai to India to New Zealand sends chills down my spine.

I mean, they went to freakin Egypt. Can we just give it a nine for that alone?

So why is it not a ten? They eliminated my favourite twist, the weekly Fast Forward, Brandon & Nicole survived for nine rounds too long, Colin didn’t actually get thrown in jail for the night in Tanzania, and Kamkar didn’t fall off the map for their stupidity.

Caviar, chocolate, and eggs also makes for too many Roadblocks involving local delicacies.

P.S. A TAR book was named after a Colin quote from this season. How is this not number one?

2. The Amazing Race 12 – 9.0/10

You want to fix the worst problems with TAR, but have your first new cast after All Stars be a bunch of people from California? This season could have mixed results.

But it worked. Cutting down on non-eliminations, experimentation with U-Turns and Speed Bumps, new players, fewer rounds of play, shorter rounds, and eccentric old people made for a really fun season of television. This was the most popular season of TAR in terms of US ratings.

Annoying and useless teams went home first, but the villains rightfully went home in fourth. Sprinkle in a couple of stars along the way, and you have a very feel-good season. Feel-good television typically does not apply to fierce competitions like TAR and Survivor. But really, it is very relaxing. It is also the ideal season for a re-watch.

The final Roadblock task is considered the best final task ever done in TAR history. A difficult brain teaser is all that is needed to satisfy viewers.

Sure, you may find the winners likeable but boring, but look at the winners we have on the horizon until TAR 16.

I love that players approaching seventy years old can find success in TAR, and not be super entitled about it. I love that some racers have their personalities change throughout the course of the season. I love that a team you thought would win every round would get eliminated halfway through in a big upset.

Along with TAR 5 and TAR 9, it was responsible for helping the series recover and gain its primetime hold. There may not be any -huge- moments, but just a fun race course that will make you laugh, smile, and sit back along the way.”

3. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10

Wedged between TAR 6 and TAR 8: Family Edition, TAR 7 really needed to deliver.

The stakes of the non-elimination penalties were raised, and production intentionally set up inevitable intense foot races to last for the mat.

Villains were known even before the game began as Rob & Amber came off their boring Survivor: All Stars to potentially corrupt TAR. They annoyed most of us with exploiting Danny & Oswald’s strategies by combining it with their temporary celebrity status. They were essentially the precursor to the Harlem Globetrotters Strategy except Romber were a bit better when working on their own.

Ray’s rivalry with the elderly, the Mendoza Meat Roadblock, The Legend of Brian & Greg, the car crash, head shaving and other over-the-top India adventures, and old people falling underground contributed to a memorable season.

But it was all topped by the season finale. Uchenna & Joyce had nothing in the middle of a third world country after coming last in the shortest leg in TAR history up to that point. They begged and begged and begged for resources until they had enough to get out of the country. Somehow they make up a 200 hour deficit and get on the same flight as Romber to Miami.

Uchenna & Joyce miraculously build up one of their rare leads in the final destination city before realizing they could not pay their cab at the finish line. What ensued was one of the craziest scrambles ever as viewers were ready to torch CBS Studios if Romber would casually stroll by a frantic Uchenna & Joyce to win the game.

A great finish truly makes a worldly difference in competitions. TAR 7 is no exception.”

4. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10

“Ah, the beginning of my obsession with Survivor, TAR, and The Mole. Survivor Thailand, The Mole 2, and here we have TAR 3.

It has been close to three years since I last watched this season, but before that I watched it at least once per year. The only reason why it is not number one is because it had too many equalizers, and I have yet to decide whether I love or hated that the ending trolled me.

Twin Hunt.
Dieselgate.
Epic Flat Tires.
Tramel & Talicia’s lone celebration.
The fall of Heather & Eve.
The fall of Gerard on a punt.
A cop is placed under arrest.
Michael “213” & Kathy.
The heroics of John Vito & Jill.
The emotional turnaround of Ian & Teri.
Flo.

Just two of these elements in any season would be great. But here in TAR 3 we were spoiled as all of these went down in the span of thirteen rounds.

I will forever remember being in the sixth grade and having my classmates and teacher watch Heather & Eve’s humiliation for all of us to re-watch. I still have a copy of the tape I specifically brought to class that day.”

5. The Amazing Race 9 – 8.6/10

“Perhaps the most unexpected pre-All Star season to do well. Coming off of Family Edition which pushed the show to 10:00pm timeslot and inevitable death, TAR was close to being written off.

Much like TAR 5 and TAR 12, TAR 9 is right up there for saving the series. Greece, Sicily, Moscow, Oman, and Tokyo all delivered with their respective debuts. This season was really the story of two teams having one epic season long showdown. Sure, Fran & Barry, Lake & Michelle, and Ray & Janet Jackson were decent supporting characters, but Eric & Doug Roobaker versus BJ & Tyler is what we all remember.

Not John & Scott, and MoJo, surprisingly.

BJ & Tyler are pretty much the Tom Westman of TAR. Ninety percent of all viewers absolutely loved them, and everyone always says ‘my favourite season? That one with the hippies’.

Editors embraced the 10:00pm timeslot as this season had some of the most mature content ever released, but also happened to be a season long comedy show. Fran & Barry’s missed clues, Lake’s yelling, Lisa & Joni’s run, Dani & Danielle not knowing they were terrible, Dave & Lori’s adorable nerdiness, and locals enjoying their interactions with teams.

Shockingly, Mugged for Elimination would end with this season despite it being the most entertaining Mugged for Eliminations ever. It is parallel to Exile Island ending immediately after Coach went there in Survivor: Tocantins.

This features the second most exciting finish in TAR history. Eric & Jeremy are ahead at the final task. All you have to do is match up several flags in the order you visited them. In a Rovilson-like fashion, they choke as BJ passes them with the finish line in plain sight. It was easily the most exciting moment that the state of Colorado had ever seen.

Lastly, Doug Roobaker may be my favourite moment in TAR history.”

6. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10

“Sadly this is the season I have seen the least, but that does not stop it from getting a high rating.

Sure, the route was lame considering how much overlap it had with the original, but we saw a ton of new and neat locations. TAR was not quite out of the documentary stage yet as we saw raw travel footage. This is reality TV nostalgia right here along with TAR 3.

Shola & Doyin were the original tragic characters as nothing would go their way, Tara & Wil may be the biggest jackasses to ever dominate the race, and the beginning of Metrosexual Loners Danny & Oswald. Remember Fern?

A ton of crazy things happen despite it being only the second season. The Africa drunken pit stop fight between Pastor Russell, Wil the Jackass, and Alex the Slightly Less of a Jackass? Gutsy Grannies being the original players to sleep through their pit start but somehow surviving two eliminations as well as being the only team to enter Europe all season, the Blake & Paige controversy, and lastly. . .it deserves its own paragraphs.

The most talked about final twenty minutes in perhaps of any reality TV season. The love triangle of Tara, Wil, and Alex finally facing off for a million bucks. Chris & Alex have done terrible most of the season. They had been saved by non-elimination twice because Wil screwed them over. Tara & Wil meanwhile showed nice guys can GTFO as they had few problems staying ahead of the competition, and Tara manipulating Chris & Alex for a chunk of the race.

Then everything leading up to Baker’s Circle and concluding with the most iconic foot race to end a worldwide marathon. You have undoubtedly seen the footage 20, 000 times as TAR bashes you over the head with it. Chris & Alex were disliked for 95% of the season, but their reputation turned around in a matter of ten minutes of television.”

7. The Amazing Race 11: Real All Stars – 7.2/10

“The best all-star format of any season seen in Survivor, Big Brother, and TAR history. Phil submitted a list of fifteen teams that he would love to see again. They were either really popular and/or really skilled. Production picked ten of these teams, and added the hybrid team of Eric & Danielle because Eric & Jeremy would have had a 1.10 race average if they competed.

Would we love to see a winning team from each season, and two Linz teams to have an eleven-team all winners edition? Absolutely. Would we have loved to see each season represented including Lance Bass? Absolutely. But for what reputation Survivor and Big Brother had, what TAR gave us was very fair and above average.

The route, the tasks, the travel, the stories, and the characters all collided for a season that for some odd reason was not well liked by the audience. Perhaps the LGBTQ community was pissed a Frat boy managed to whip an all-male gay team, and two all-female teams at Final Four as he had a partner who was viewed as spoiled and worthless (she did get 500k out of it).

Compared to casting for TAR 18 and 24, this all-star had the only true all-star cast of the entire series. None of the choices evoked a “Mary Who?” response, and catching up with our original stars along with new frontrunners made for an interesting clash.

It truly marks the end of an era as many familiar format rituals will be disregarded almost immediately after the season is over (Yields, Intersection, four NELs, 13 rounds, Marked for Elimination, multiple final cities in final leg, non-memory tasks, etc.).

Which is what makes TAR 11: Real All Stars such a great season. It effectively wraps up the core of the TAR franchise, and closes the chapter on some of the most important reality TV characters who can pat themselves on the shoulders for preventing TAR’s cancellation.

I urge the many people who view this as a bad season to re-watch and think about everything TAR accomplished because of the people playing, and enjoy the insane Africa rounds of play. Also, please appreciate Eric a bit more. Otherwise, there is no hope for you.”

8. The Amazing Race Asia 2 – 7.19/10

The golden season for the Asia series. Producers went all out for this season, and boy oh boy, they were rewarded for it. Adrian may be the most badass contestant we have had to race with a disability (Luke could learn from Adrian), and go on to win. Until David O’ Leary suffered from Crybabyitis.

Producers learned from their mistakes in TAR Asia 1 except for stuffing the race with five non-eliminations. Perhaps a case could be made that Marc & Rovilson were too rich/well-travelled/athletic/good at everything except flags for them to be allowed onto the race.

Put that aside and you have a base for what separates good seasons from great seasons. Anything above a 7.0 is a -great- season to me. Seeing Marc & Rovilson dominate, no, SLAUGHTER everyone for 80% of the race until Adrian & Collin began to rally, and top it all off with Adrian passing Marc & Rovilson at the final task had an incredible payoff. Oh, and Pamela & Vanessa passing Marc & Rovilson at the final task too equated to the biggest choke in TAR history.

Later on we would see Czech Republic make its debut even before TAR 15 could get there, and certain places in South Africa we had never seen before.

We also were exposed to the only team in TAR history to finish dead last in back-to-back legs at the beginning of the season. Somehow those two weren’t Henry & Terri, who hit three non-eliminations as Terri may be one of the most uncooperative racers ever. Paula & Natasha were a rare combination of being young, all-female, nerds, and doing well in the race.

We also had two mothers from Malaysia become the villains in the eyes of the other racers as them, Pamela & Vanessa, and Paula & Natasha made it very possible for an all-female team to win yet again in TAR Asia.

Lastly, the first four rounds were single-handedly carried by French Born Aurelia as we ventured through a familiar New Zealand and Philippines. Seriously. Watch the season just for French Born Aurelia alone. I cannot even come up with the French word for why she is amazing.

R.I.P. Henry.”

9. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10

“The adventure and experiment of a lifetime begins as Bertram Van Munster and Phil Keoghan are apart of the first season. It is tough to rank it because it is edited more as a travel documentary rather than a competition.

For those of you who only know the Guidos and Kevin & Drew from their laughable performances in All Stars, watch this season. Your opinion of them will change for the better.

Note that this season featured so few equalizers that the top two teams managed to build a lead of well over 24 hours on the trailing two teams by the end of the season. This will never happen again.”

10. The Amazing Race 13 – 6.8/10

“This season has a very unique combination of being funky and good. This marked the final season in TAR’s transition era. No U-Turns were used and much of the format including the shortened eleven round format was copied from TAR 12.

The route was great for the first half of the season, but spending four of the last six rounds in Delhi and Moscow really hampered the season. A mixture of jaw-dropping blunders never before seen on TAR through no fault of the teams being terrible, watching a team prove that you can indeed virtually win every leg as well as the season, and decent casting made for an entertaining season.

Not only did we see the first ever super duper dominant brother-sister team take the first sibling crown, but a mother-son team proved that you can do well on the race as long as you hang onto your passport. Frowny McFrownerson was simultaneously a buzzkill but fun to irritate, the bra gate incident which led to teams forever being sequestered at pit stops, the great tale of Dandrew, the whiniest male contestant since Adam from TAR 6, Cabbie on the Street, and Mark & Bill all contributed to a fun adventure.

Tina tried to exchange this for a bigger rating, but it failed. Seeing Cambodia and Bolivia debut is the only reason why I have this above TAR Asia 3. Yes, again, seeing a team lose their passport at the most painful point possible gives this a boost as well.”

11. The Amazing Race Asia 3 – 6.7/10

“This season was definitely a step down from TAR Asia 2’s amazing route and cast, but it provided a surprisingly solid season.

Hyped as #toughestracever , what it really meant is that vomit-inducing cuisines, physical activity in really high temperatures, super extended rounds, late night tasks, and needle in a haystack tasks that made unrolling Swedish hay bales look like a cake walk covered the first six rounds of the game.

The second half saw a drop in overall difficulty but a favourable route for quitters Sam & Vince. Tragically, Sam & Vince would go on to win the game just one day after taking a four hour penalty because Sam could not pull himself twenty more feet across a gorge.

Why is the rating for this season nearly a seven then despite bad winners, needle in haystacks, and a bad route? Well, because the casting was really really goooood in the words of Audrey from TARC 2. Ida & Tania were simultaneously dominant and underdogs throughout the season as their late season run pointed towards a victory in the final leg, but was sadly not meant to be. Mai & Oliver, Henry & Bunn-eh, Niroo & Kapil, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31, and all-male team A.D. & Fuzzie set up for an incredible cast.

It would have been 6.8 if not for Isaac & William. What the hell were they thinking when casting them?

Perhaps the biggest improvement on previous TAR Asia instalments is that the number of non-eliminations was dropped from three to five. Although with this cast it was always sad to see anyone go.”

12. The Amazing Race 10 – 6.5/10

“Its two biggest faults: An opening round twist which eliminated one team halfway through the premiere, and perhaps a contender for the dullest winners to date in a horribly designed finale leg.

In between that you have a strong season. Mongolia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Ukraine, and Kuwait all appear for the first and only time this season. The Six Pack versus Rob & Kim and Tyler & James lasts all the way to the end, Rob breaking down cars, an out-of-shape all-women’s team is the first all-female team to be in the Final Three, brother-sister team David & Mary, Social Outcasts and Chipmunks Dustin & Kandice, Condescending Quitter Peter/Prequel to Rex Harrington & One-Legged Sarah make up for the beginning and ending.

This marks the first of three Intersections and the first of two seasons with the Marked for Elimination penalty.

It is perhaps the most creative production and the most epic route that TAR has ever done. Again, a jump to an eight or higher is very possible if not for its start and conclusion.”

13. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10

“TAR 4 offered very few new things. An overall likeable cast, a route that spent too much time in Europe while going virtually nowhere new despite it being only the fourth season, and is the only season other than TAR 8 and 24 which pushed TAR closest to cancellation. The show goes away for a full year after this season.

Kelly & Jon are odd figures to become villains, the initial dominant alliance gets slaughtered quickly, Monica & Sheree talk about luxuries of being married to NFL players, and the most important figures on reality TV for the gay company even more than Richard Hatch appear this season.

Oh, and remember Jon & Al who had a 96% popularity rating? Even more popular than Jessie Camacho from Survivor: Africa? They help carry this season. The creepy and gropey Mumbai local did not have a 96% popularity rating, sadly.

It will be the last season to have a Fast Forward offered each round, and was the most fascinating part about the series. Sadly it will never return.”

14. The Amazing Race 16 – 5.8/10

“Well, it did not have terrible winners, a horrible impromptu elimination twist, and five non-elimination rounds. I will give it credit for that and why it is not much lower.

But yeah, a rating of 5.8 indicates that this season is not very good. That is a ‘C’ or ‘C-‘ in the eyes of most people.

Adrian & Dana, Monique & Shawne, and Steve & Allie received invisible edits. Heck, we did not know who Steve & Allie were until the seventh round. Even the winners Dan & Jordan were not acknowledged by producers until the end of the game was drawing near.

Instead the narrative of the season revolved around irrelevant Jeff & Jordan, over-the-top Jet & Cord, and the rivalry between Brent & Caite and Carol & Brandy. These are not exactly people who can bear the responsibility of a season on their shoulders. U-Turning Joe & Heidi early on did not help matters much either.

Only one new country being added to the catalogue was beginning to hurt the series. Is there any reason to keep watching if the show is going nowhere new?

The Intersection twist made teams work cooperatively on a Roadblock rather than a Detour, but is now more of an answer to a trivia question rather than reviving a twist in an interesting manner. I would say the Intersection is a very interesting twist in concept that producers put zero effort into running with it.

The biggest and most talked about moment is when Dan & Jordan cut in line in the final leg. It led to the audience blasting a ton of hate in Dan & Jordan’s direction because everybody was desperate to see Jet & Cord (the team to receive the most biased edit ever) to win the season. Thankfully that desperation was not appeased, but it created an outcome where Dan & Jordan were made to feel guilty while everyone else was bitter.

Even the third place team was threatened into guilt because of what they did three rounds earlier to Carol & Brandy leading to the first ever finish line fight.

Overall, this did indeed play out like a season, albeit a bland one, and it concluded with much needed underdog winners.

There are comedic subtle moments in every round. You just have to look a bit harder.

In short, I find this to be an inoffensive season that is not great nor awful. It reinforced the idea for the sixteenth time that two women cannot win TAR together as all-male teams once again filled three of the top four spots, and was our youngest Final 3 ever.”

15. The Amazing Race 15 – 4.9/10

“The season premiere, the return to the hay bales task, and the finale are three rounds that should never happen in TAR. Eliminating a team at the starting line and having nothing to do in Japan before a non-elimination; making teams roll hay bales AGAIN; and a dealer who screwed Brian & Ericka out of what could have been the most unexpected victory of all time.

Flight Time & Big Easy were the first team to be cast without using their real names and representing a brand. This is a horrible direction that the series would go into over these next five years, and probably until it gets cancelled by the time TAR 25 wraps up in the Friday Night Death Slot.

There were also casting choices who quit too such as Maria & Tiffany and Mika who were truly incapable of reaching the finish line, Yes, Maria & Tiffany had one good round, but they could not have reached the end. It is no surprise that Meghan & Cheyne essentially raped the competition once they put more effort into winning each round.

It may be billed as a season full of blunders by players with visits to Czech Republic and Estonia for the first time, but the above errors by producers when it came to casting and twists were outrageous that it ultimately makes it a failure.”

16. The Amazing Race Asia 1 – 4.55/10

“The first expansion outside of America. It featured the first all-female victory ever, granted one of the winners indirectly worked for the TV network which produced the season.

Again, five non-eliminations really held up the momentum of the season. Andy & Laura can only do so much, Mardy & Marsio could only eat so much like they were Brad Pitt or Sally & Tyson, Sahran’s fear of heights constantly, and Sahil & Prashant’s rage after their penalty.

The locations were repeated in the US TAR for the most part. Their inexperience was noticeable when they had things like the Bali beach task where producers had to change the rules on the spot, and a huge number of penalties for the first half of the season that left everyone confused. Remember the formula of being penalized the following round for two minutes per kilometre driving over the speed limit?

Luckily TAR Asia improves greatly for seasons two and three. You can forgive its failing debut.”

17. The Amazing Race 8 – 4.0/10

“This is what the audience wanted. Production earns points for having a unique theme and giving it a try. Unfortunately, the restrictions of travel, and a glaring drop in difficulty of tasks turned off the audience. In fact, it is what pushed the series to the brink of cancellation again as the show finds itself airing at 10:00pm until it recovers by TAR 10. As soon as teams exit Costa Rica and enter Arizona, the Midwest theme as teams put up with an unprecedented FIVE non-eliminations bored everyone.

The crazy antics of the Weavers being isolated, being the first to be yielded twice, and asking producers to help them behind the scenes kept up the raw entertainment along with Linzes and Christine Godlewski. And did you know it is just over a year before Billy and Carissa could sign up as a duo for TAR? Scary.

Why is it not the absolute worst? Because producers tried something new and fresh to comply with the wishes of the audience.”

18. The Amazing Race 6 – 3.9/10

“When three seasons are filmed in less than a year, one season is bound to be forgetful and be shorthanded when it comes to a strong cast. The route is surprisingly unique for its time. Making every team complete their fair share of Roadblocks for the first time would become a staple for the series until TAR 14.

However,  the horrible decision to think the hay bales, too many flight equalizers, the dullness of Scandinavian locations, and Freddy & Kendra’s victory over a popular but really dull team dropped the reputation of the season. Oh, and remember Jonathan shoving Victoria? An incident that was so controversial that it led to an appearance on Dr. Phil. Lastly, the final leg was virtually the only one without a flight equalizer as Freddy & Kendra managed to get a time advantage in Chicago.

Due to TAR 5 and 7 airing in the same year and both being incredible seasons, you will see TAR 6 fade within a year.”

19. The Amazing Race 14 – 2.5/10

“A mediocre route, but introduced us to Jodi Wincheski who would become the worst casting director for TAR in subsequent seasons as she would be guilty of corruption.

An unlikeable Final Four combined with five rounds being set in areas that Tammy & Victor were more than familiar with led to the most suspicious victory in TAR history. Anyone who believes Tammy & Victor were awarded the title rather than earning it have a solid case.

Mix in boggling casting choices like Amanda & Kris, and Enabler Margie who would be rewarded with two additional appearances, and you have a contender for the worst season of TAR ever played.

The unbalanced editing is a big contributor.”

***

Ready to get to TAR 17?

singapore allan wu 3

Well, twu bad. We have to wrap up the final part to the TAR Asia quadrilogy.

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One Response to The Amazing Race 16 season finale ranking

  1. Jordan Pious says:

    Just wanted to say that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading your recaps, and appreciate your support for Dan and me so very much. It’s been nearly 5 years since TAR16 and you helped me relive some of the great (and yes, some of the not-so-great but I still enjoy those too) memories from the Race. You’re pretty astute for picking up on some of the bs, and provided me with a few belly laughs too. Thanks for putting a smile on my face! 🙂

    Best,

    Jordan

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