“Sleeping Beauties, Po Pos, and Troublesome Goats”
UNITED KINGDOM – GHANA – SWEDEN – NORWAY – RUSSIA – OMAN – BANGLADESH – HONG KONG – SOUTH KOREA
Previously on TAR: Seven teams raced through St. Petersburg, Russia. A Detour under the big top sent Chad & Stephanie spinning. Kevin & Michael’s mistake had teams talking.
At the Roadblock, Kat swung into the lead as the doctors won their third leg of the race.
Stephanie lost a showdown against Michael, but she and Chad caught a break at the mat. This sent the father and son duo out of the race.
Six teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
NUMBER OF EPISODES A TEAM HAS BEEN MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT
CHAD & STEPHANIE 5
KEVIN & MICHAEL 4
BROOK & CLAIRE 3
NAT & KAT 3
CONNOR & JONATHAN 2
JILL & THOMAS 2
RON & TONY 1
ANDIE & JENNA 1
KATIE & RACHEL: 1
NICK & VICKI: 0
GARY & MALLORY: 0
– Intro time.
Katie & Rachel are carrying Will from Survivor: Worlds Apart, I see.
– Phil introduces us to St. Petersburg, Russia. Founded as a military stronghold by Peter the Great. Now known for architecture and a massive seaport.
Oh, and for tourists hanging out in Speedos.
Not Phil, though. He is above that. We don’t need to see a Kiwi Hammock.
– Nat & Kat, who were the first to arrive at an unspecified time, will depart first at 1:06am. Nat reads the clue.
NAT: Fly to the city of Musk-cot.
PHIL: Teams will now fly 4,000 miles to the city of Musket.
Are both of them making up names of cities?
Oh man, that’s what they were trying to say! For the first time since TAR 9 and TAR Asia 3, we are returning to Oman.
It is known as the only Middle Eastern country besides the United Arab Emirates that is safe for TAR to travel to since TAR 10. It is too bad their options are limited.
– When they land, teams must make their way to Burj Al Mubkharah.
Hey Mubkharah kharah. . .whatever will be will be. . .the future of TAR is not ours to see. . .it will be tainted by Jo-di Winches-ki. . .hey Mubkharah. . .kharah.
– Once here, teams will find a dude waiting outside who will give them an ingot with their inscribed time of departure for the next morning. Then they will climb the stairs at the monument to the next clue.
This guy looks a bit like me. I am kinda freaked out right now. Now I know how Nat felt at the circus in St. Petersburg.
KAT (giggling): Oh man, we’re going to Oman. Oh man!
Cue Russian crickets.
– Nat knew running the race as a diabetic would be a challenge. She claims to have become rather crafty at working their schedule to make sure she is safe and doing everything they want to do.
As long as Breyer’s does not become an official sponsour of The Amazing Race, of course. Then Nat is in trouble. No way to sugarcoat it.
– Nat & Kat hire a taxi and head to a travel agency. Brook & Claire depart second at 1:28am. Claire says she will never be as fast as Brook, but is pushing herself to keep up because she does not want to disappoint her.
CLAIRE: As I see her little neon backpack like “RIGHT! RIGHT! RIGHT!”
Oddly enough, Claire’s expression is the same as a new first grade teacher chasing around six year olds all day. Somebody should take the juice box away from Brook!
The reddest lipstick and the whitest gloves? Brook is trying her best to replicate the Princess Peach look.
– Nick & Vicki commence in third place at 1:29am.
NICK: I’m constantly like stressed out of my mind.
Yes, Nick. You clench your hair more than Brook or Mallory in intense situations, and are known for your erratic demeanour.
You know what? Nick genuinely believes his current state of mind is his ability to handle stress pushed to its limits. Even if the extremes of his stress levels means he calls Vicki names in a bored tone, but doesn’t have an intensity within him.
I know a lot of people who are like that. When they get grumpy or agitated, they will just call you a bunch of rude names and check out of the situation or event that is going on around them. To people like Nick, this is how they express being stressed.
It’s just funny that Nick thinks he is more stressed than Brook or Mallory who appear frantic all the time, thus making viewers perceive that Nick does not appear to be stressed at all.
I don’t know if Oman is ready for a woman in leopard print clothing. Or is it cougar print clothing?
Anti-smoking laws have yet to pass through the Kremlin.
NICK: Me? I don’t really like to make new friends.
“Or any friends to begin with for that matter.”
– Nick is already frustrated, and wants to see the additional route info Vicki is holding.
VICKI: I can’t wait to see you watch yourself.
NICK: I’m fine with that.
“As long as I hold steady at around a 5 or 6 on the Douche-O-Metre, I’m good.”
– Nat & Kat find a travel agent at the Travel UniFest desk.
Which is fitting for Nat since this agency incorporates the Finnish colours into their logo.
– They cringe as the travel agent speaks to them about a flight that gets into Muscat at 8:55pm. Nearly 24 hours later.
I have never seen two people less thrilled about the idea of heading to Schipol Airport.
Maybe they saw what happened to Brad & Victoria in TAR 14.
– The agent has a British accent and books the flight for them.
And here is his profile picture.
lol it’s 2010 and he is still on Windows XP. How many times have we seen travel agencies on TAR refusing to upgrade their systems? I feel like I make fun of them nearly every season for it.
– Gary & Mallory begin the round at 1:46am. Mallory makes a weird noise when she opens the clue.
MALLORY: These past few legs have been such a wonderful time. I have three brothers and sisters, and it’s just that very rare that I get to spend time with just my dad.
“And there won’t be a fourth brother or a fourth sister because, well, you know. . .Norway. . .”
As somebody who has four siblings, I can relate to Mallory. It’s a very crowded household when you have that many people living under your roof growing up. One-on-one time with anybody is near impossible.
Similar to the struggle Ron & Christina had, come to think of it.
– Brook & Claire and Nick & Vicki show up to the same travel agency as Nat & Kat. Brook asks the agent for the fastest flight.
Kat has a suspicious grin on her face. Did she pay off the travel agent to not help Brook & Claire and the other teams?
She probably bribed her with spirals.
– Jill & Thomas start in fifth at 1:53am. They are not happy starting out this round in the back of the pack, and want to make less mistakes.
Did Jill and Brook raid the same makeup drawer in production’s hotel room at the pit stop?
– Jill & Thomas are at the travel agency with all of the other teams.
THOMAS: Has anybody seen Chad or Stephanie? Nobody has seen them yet.
“Maybe last round was a double elimination.”
– Alright, Chad & Stephanie depart last at 2:45am. I assume their 30 minute penalty at the end of the previous round accounts for their delayed presence at the agency.
Or were supposed to depart at 2:45am, anyway. Where are they?
– We cut to the door of their hotel room and hear Chad snoring.
Well this is embarrassing. It feels like it has been forever since a team missed their departure time due to oversleeping. All you need is a working alarm clock. I guess running around St. Petersburg for a full day left them truly exhausted.
In any case, Chad & Stephanie join a very exclusive club which consists of Peggy & Claire and Andre & Damon. The latter of which didn’t even get a chance to brush their teeth this morning.
NOTE: This isn’t even a screencap of Andre & Damon sleeping in at the pit stop in Mexico. It is from the Austria/Germany leg where they slept through their train stop. These guys have a tough time keeping their eyes open.
– Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire book seats on the flight which arrives at 8:55pm. As for the other teams? They are all told there are no seats remaining.
Look how frightened the travel agent is as Vicki leans over the desk. A cranky Vicki at three o’ clock in the morning is not the type of person you want to mess with. The agent is lucky the cameras are recording footage to save her from physical harm. If it weren’t on tape, Vicki would start throwing right hands.
Mallory is scared as she does not have a plan B for other flights into Oman.
Thomas’ brain is in slow motion as he tries to process the news that he just heard.
Yep, still trying to figure it out. . .
Ugh. This is taking too long. The bottom line is that there is a 10:35pm flight arrival for Gary & Mallory, Nick & Vicki, and Jill & Thomas. This flight also connects through Amsterdam.
Don’t pretend this is bad news, Mallory. You know producers will not let you have a night leg in a Middle Eastern country on The Amazing Race. In fact it has never happened. There is always an equalizer when teams arrive in the evening.
– Mallory notes Chad & Stephanie have yet to show up.
GARY: They’ll be lucky to even get on.
“Aw dangit, Mall, I’m allowed to give confessionals too gosh darnit.”
– So we cut to Chad & Stephanie’s room and. . .
We are now at Andre & Damon territory. Viewers tend to forget that waking up at 2:30am to start the next round is as miserable as it sounds.
– Teams are at Pulkovo Airport. Jill proposes the idea of Chad & Stephanie sleeping in. The teams ask each other if they have seen them.
CLAIRE: I think they slept in. Like our worst nightmare.
BROOK: . . .Don’t even talk about that. That’d be horrible.
Princess Peach ain’t happy with your words, Claire.
The only time all season when Brook & Claire give each other the silent treatment.
– Chad & Stephanie -have- to be awake, yes?
Whoa. This is a record.
Well, until John & Murray intentionally sleep in for two hours in TAR Australia 3.
Oh, good. You’re up. What is this chair made of? Oak?
CHAD: We were two hours late to our release because we zonked out.
STEPHANIE: It would be such a lame excuse to be out of the race.
And judging by how Chad looks, he suffered the Andre & Damon fate of not being able to brush his teeth this morning.
Chad & Stephanie are so zonked out they think they are running from the two maids behind them. They’re just drawings, Chad!
– Chad reviews how they are always frantic and shoot themselves in the foot.
STEPHANIE: This experience with the race has really taken its toll on our relationship.
CHAD: We’d totally been taken out mentally from the game.
Oh, c’mon guys. You haven’t been that disastrous since the end of the third round in Ghana. Europe has treated you better than you think. You are worked up all because you failed to pay your taxi, and received a thirty minute penalty for improper use of a cab in the previous round.
Let’s see the black and white footage.
Okay, that’s just a second example and the maestro was evil.
Alright. Three examples.
The only European round they did not show was the one in Norway where Chad & Stephanie finished in second-to-last place. I guess they have been doing terrible over the past four rounds.
– We cut to Chad & Stephanie at the travel agency.
Heh. The travel agent has a dog sitting beside her keyboard. That’s cute. It makes the news of no seats left on the flight just a little less devastating.
– How do Chad & Steph react to this awful news?
Wow. They both managed to fall asleep upright in those plastic chairs. That is very impressive.
– We are shown another confessional from Chad because he sure as hell didn’t talk much to the camera during this flight scramble. I bet he and Stephanie barely said two words during this night.
CHAD: No one has outright beat us. It really has been us being careless that has not allowed us to finish where we potentially could.
Meanwhile Stephanie still looks exhausted. Even in post-round interviews.
Eight rounds into this season and Chad & Stephanie fall victim to race fatigue. All of that energy they used to fight to stay out of the bottom has broken them. They are in a Millie & Chuck-like state of mind.
FIRST FLIGHT (8:45PM ARRIVAL): NAT & KAT; BROOK & CLAIRE
NAT: Travelling ahead of the other teams is always a bit more relaxing.
No kidding. Otherwise you would look like a zombie as Chad or Steph do at the moment.
SECOND FLIGHT (10:35PM ARRIVAL): NICK & VICKI; GARY & MALLORY; JILL & THOMAS
– Chad & Stephanie receive some news regarding their flight.
Just ten minutes behind the other three teams. This is great for them! Their reaction?
“YES! I COULDN’T BE MORE EXCITED TO MAKE UP TIME!”
Yeah. He’s just zapped.
THIRD FLIGHT (10:45PM ARRIVAL): CHAD & STEPHANIE
St. Petersburg’s two rounds may have gone to the dogs, but this one is going to the cats.
– And we prepare for Muscat.
I think it’s safe to say the boat driver has national pride.
This is why Muscat was ranked as the second best city for tourists to travel in 2012.
Shame on producers for not showing the fancy McDonald’s fast food palace which was highlighted in TAR 9.
– Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire’s flight lands. They each enter a cab.
NAT: It’s ninety plus degrees outside and very very hot out. I can only imagine what it’s like in the daytime.
Brook don’t mind. She can handle it as well as the cast of TAR Asia 3 did.
Now you understand how cruel that Roadblock was in TAR Asia 3 for Fuzzie and Sam. Hundreds of feet to traverse back and forth in the very hot sun. It was a recipe for exhaustion. Something tells me racers who already live in tropical climates in Asia handled Oman better than these TAR 17 racers will.
If Mike’s shirt was soaked running through Monaco, it would completely disintegrate in Muscat.
– The second flight lands. Thomas is unhappy about the heat. Vicki wonders where Chad & Stephanie are.
– Chad & Steph’s flight lands early, and they are all surprised to see each other in Customs.
“We should sleep in two hours at the start of every leg!”
– Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire exit their cabs as they search for the dude holding departure times.
It looks like a freakin’ amusement park. Everything is lit up in funky colours.
– Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire find the man.
His ring is worth more than the million dollar cash prize for this season.
– Knowing they will not depart until 7:30 AM, Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire set up camp for the night.
EDITOR’S NOTE: In an Early Show interview, Nat & Kat and Brook & Claire described this as the worst night on the race. Supposedly alley cats would approach them throughout the night. Whether the alley cats were being playful with a tin can later on is unknown.
I doubt they have to worry about sleeping through their departure time given these conditions.
– Jill & Thomas are next to the route marker. Their departure time is 7:45 AM.
Who thought this guy would be the fastest cab driver?
– Gary & Mallory and the other teams scramble to find the man.
– Gary & Mallory, Chad & Stephanie, and Nick & Vicki all find the man within seconds of each other.
– Chad & Stephanie’s departure time is 7:45 AM.
– Gary & Mallory and Nick & Vicki receive the final departure time of 8:00 AM.
And just like that, Chad & Stephanie are in the best position they have been in over five rounds of play.
I should note the orange blob above Chad’s head is Burj Al Mubkarah. You think it is some odd technical glitch on screen, but it is high up and out in the distance from Riyam Park where teams are currently located.
NOTE: Riyam Park was the location of the first route marker in the Oman leg during TAR 9. Instead of going to the giant incense burner, teams will be running up to the Burj Al Mubkharah.
– Stephanie says they made up some time and need to wipe the slate clean heading into tomorrow. Forget about the mistakes they made over the past couple of rounds.
So far the 3.2 million Omanis are on Chad & Stephanie’s side.
Yeah, Oman is not a very densely populated country.
– Neat Middle Eastern soundtrack plays as the sun rises in Oman.
The Muscat Space Needle.
Holy crap that’s a lot of birds! Did a camera operator get bored and sprint towards them in hopes of capturing great B-Roll?
Brook puts on her battle make-up and is all set with her can of 7Up stolen from Steve & Allie’s cold dead hands.
Nat & Kat do some yoga.
– Chad convinces Stephanie to go for a walk with him.
While Brook lays down on her back with a banana on top of her.
– So Chad & Stephanie go on a walk. A rare look into the downtime on The Amazing Race.
CHAD: I decided um, about a month ago that I wanted to propose to Stephanie. She is the one for me. I think I’m ready to make that commitment.
Oh, and in case you haven’t been paying attention to a single second of this episode or any other episode this season, his name is Chad.
Anyways, Chad continues with his speech.
CHAD: My mother passed away my freshman year of college. My stepdad gave me her ring, and I’ve basically been carrying it with me in each country until I ask her to marry me.
Dang. That’s about as romantic as you can get on The Amazing Race. This is becoming a quick contender for one of the most emotional and heartfelt scenes in TAR history.
What is interesting about this season is how much we are learning about each racer’s family life. In most seasons you are lucky to have somebody reference their uncle or a grandparent.
So far this season we’ve learned about Andie & Jenna’s respective family backgrounds, Kevin & Michael’s relationship, Mallory’s siblings, Nick’s grandmother, Claire coping with the tragic passing of her grandmother, and now we are learning about Chad’s parents.
The question for me when this material airs on TV is if the contestants approve how it is presented for viewers. I can take a guess with who is happy and unhappy over the years with their family members being mentioned on TAR.
And it is a tricky business because once it is presented to the viewer, they go on social media and comment with whatever they have on their mind. This happened a lot during Survivor: Worlds Apart. Contestants were angry with commentators online (particularly with incidents regarding Will’s wife, Mike’s childhood, Dan/Rodney/Will’s sexist remarks being analyzed, and Shirin’s domestic abuse), but how much responsibility falls on producers?
Because, ultimately, editors are gauging how to present the information through pre-season bios online and content throughout the course of the season. How viewers react to it is completely up to them. How much of a right do contestants have in terms of how they hold contestants accountable for how they react to being presented personal information? Information which the contestants did not expect to make it to air, might I add.
It is, in my opinion, one of the blurriest lines when it comes to competitive reality TV editing. There really is no right or wrong answer. Feel free to debate this in the comments below. I used to write articles about this in university all the time for Big Brother and Survivor.
This uneasy subject over the years is what makes me surprised how frequently editors are bringing up family members throughout this season.
– Anyways, Chad & Stephanie are having an uber romantic moment. Let’s watch.
I bet Chad thought this was a better environment for a pre-round proposal compared to last round when they were surrounded by bears being bottle fed by Danny DeVito.
– Chad spins Stephanie around gently.
“I wish Nick would do that to me.”
CHAD: You’ve come into my life. Done so many amazing things. You taught me so much.
“Like how to play an accordion. That’s the moment I knew you were The One.”
CHAD: I couldn’t see spending my life with anybody else other than you.
Steph goes in for the kiss.
“Why are you making this so awkward Chad? What are you. . .?”
Oh. We presume the other knee is down.
– Commercial. We resume with the same footage being shown once more.
I love how Mallory is the only one with any sort of reaction compared to Nick & Vicki. Nick and Vicki’s emotions make them look like they are at a funeral in contrast to Mallory’s upbeat nature.
I think Chad used the proposal as an excuse to get on one knee and show off his quads. We’re onto you, Chad!
CHAD: Stephanie, will you spend the rest of your life with me? Will you marry me?
It’s tough to hear your answer Steph when your mouth is fully covered.
“You ain’t the first one to propose on The Amazing Race you son of a bitch!”
Sorry Aaron, but proposing when eliminated after melting down and exploding at Chinese people may have been topped by Chad’s proposal on the Omani waterfront at sunrise.
Plus you were on season six. Nobody gives a crap about that season, my friend.
STEPH: Yeah, I will.
Nothing says a romantic moment like wearing one of Nick’s discarded bandanas on your head.
That is indeed the correct finger.
STEPHANIE: It was awesome. It was romantic. It was perfect. Really.
Now let’s get Nick’s take on it as he observes from the bench.
NICK: It was boring. It was dumb. It was lame. No topless biker chicks. This is s–t.
Hug it out.
– After crying and hugging, Chad & Stephanie proceed to join the others. Of course, editors need to have fun with this.
Ha. We will see this visual effect in TAR Canada 2 and to a lesser extent TAR 26.
And the reason this proposal works out is because Chad is not named ‘David Murphy’.
And Stephanie is not named ‘Carolina Eastwood’.
“Good thing you proposed, Chad. Now Jill and I might get some airtime before the end of this episode! Glad you didn’t put it off until a Detour or Roadblock. I don’t want to get Jeremy & Sandy’d, man!”
– Stephanie shows off her ring.
Sorry Mallory, but your watch from the Dollar Store is no longer the best bling on this season.
– We get a major emotional moment as Chad discusses how his mother would be proud that he is marrying someone like Stephanie.
– Alright. Chad & Stephanie are engaged. The race is back on, bitches.
Do you know how mean it is for producers to set the entrance for this route marker to be in front of a bunch of rocks? Somebody is bound to roll their ankle if they are not careful.
BROOK (out of breath): Claire, you’ve got this.
Even when she is having difficulties breathing, Brook always finds a way to utter the familiar motivational phrase to Claire.
Is that graffiti?
– Brook reads that they must drive themselves to Jebel Shams. The tallest mountain in Oman. At the face of the mountain, a safety driver will drive them to the top due to safety conditions.
It will also be the only location this round which will not overlap with the Oman leg in TAR 9 or TAR Asia 3.
– Both teams are in a vehicle. Claire wants to ask for directions immediately as Brook drives. Meanwhile, Kat is reading the map as Nat drives.
“This means something.”
– Kat puts down the map.
KAT: The map we have is a little vague. It seems like a while away.
I love how Kat follows describing the map’s vagueness by giving the worst directions to Nat.
I mean, what is the conversion rate of ‘whiles’ to a ‘fair bit of distance’? This is why Canada uses the metric system.
Nat is as worried as I am.
– 7:45 AM. Thomas smokes everyone on the run up the stairs.
Thomas is Indiana Beast Mode’ing those steps.
– Chad & Stephanie get directions from a local.
Wow. It didn’t take long for a team to discover they need to turn around. Chad & Stephanie never thought they would be saying this, but using Russian taxi drivers may be preferable at the moment.
– Jill & Thomas argue in their cab.
JILL: We need to ask somebody for directions.
THOMAS: CLEARLY, honey.
JILL: Lose the attitude for one. I don’t live here.
Another gaping mouth argument for Jill & Thomas this season.
– They find a guy sitting in a vehicle who sounds a lot like poker player Freddy Deeb. He gives directions, and Jill & Thomas retreat back to their truck. The local proceeds to laugh at them.
“Little do they know they are heading straight for the Omani-Yemeni border. Enjoy the drive!”
– Thomas praises the locals for being extremely nice despite being right up in their face.
I don’t know if locals are being nice, Thomas. They may just be giving you the information because it looks like you are strangling them when you get in their face!
– 8:00 AM. Mallory covers her face with a map to read. Nick & Vicki don’t even bother with using one.
VICKI: Babe, should we follow them? They have a map.
NICK (confessional): It takes just as long to look at the map and get an understanding of it as it is to ask a local that knows for sure to tell you where to go.
“Maps are pure s–t.”
– Nick & Vicki stop at a gas station. Vicki jumps out to ask. Brook & Claire pull into the same station wen Brook describes Nick & Vicki as “the punk rockers”.
BROOK: They’re right in front of us.
CLAIRE: Oh geez.
Yep. You guys lost your whole thirty minute lead.
– Vicki turns to Brook after talking to an attendant.
VICKI: Dude, he said we are going that way. We are already going the right way. That’s what I figured.
“And I happen to point using my arm that is full of tattoos. Jealous of my artwork?”
Being lectured on directions by Vicki? Brook has hit a new low.
And what you are doing wearing all black clothing, Brook? It is going to be one hundred degrees Fahrenheit with humidity today! She won’t be the only person to make that poor clothing decision today.
– Nick starts laying into Vicki for helping Brook.
NICK: Babe. Shut up. Dude, I’m so serious about that.
He is disgusted.
NICK: Shut. Up.
“If it wasn’t for the twenty foot rule, I’d make you sit outside on the f–king trunk right now.”
Nick’s rant is not over with Vicki’s apology.
NICK: You don’t have any common sense in your whole body. I’m gonna go home the next time you give anybody any advice. They’re probably LAUGHING at your dumb ass right now.
(Camera cuts to Brook & Claire laughing.)
The magic of editing. I highly doubt this fit of laughter is directed towards Vicki’s ass. But hey, if Brook & Claire are then they need to receive a stern lecture.
Instead of having Margie Adams comment on somebody laughing at another person for once, I thought I’d let Nick Adams respond to it for once.
Nick threatening to quit over Vicki helping another team wouldn’t be the silliest reason for somebody to forfeit the race. We’ve had somebody quit over a waterslide.
Possesses a subnormally intelligent rear end.
– Chad & Stephanie find people on the highway.
– Just kidding. These are the safety drivers. Their driver informs them they are the first team to this location.
CHAD: You’ll get us there nice, quick, and safe, right?
I don’t know if that’s good or bad.
– Gary & Mallory get into a rare argument.
GARY: You think this is right?
MALLORY: It’s right.
MALLORY: Why are you questioning it? It’s in my map.
“Which I have been reading. . upside-down.”
GARY: I see what you’re saying, but it looks not right, Mall.
MALLORY: It -is- right.
Uh oh. Mallory puts on her pink Rambo bandana. She’s about to get all badass here.
GARY: This has been a bad bad move.
“For all you young racers all across the land, take it from me, parents just don’t understand.”
– Chad & Stephanie make it all the way to the top. They are at the clue box.
Keep in mind this is NOT where the teams in TAR Asia 3 performed their Roadblock. Apparently Oman has several mountains throughout the country.
– Phil says it rises ten thousand feet from the desert floor. Teams must rappel five hunred feet onto a narrow ledge on the side of the mountain. They will search amongst hundreds of lamps for the one containing Aladdin’s magic ring.
I love how TAR 10’s Morocco leg went with an Aladdin 3: Legend of Forty Thieves theme, and here we are in TAR 17 going straight up old school Aladdin.
And we have seen a lot of rings this round. One is bound to bring an evil curse upon the land.
PHIL: Once they have delivered a ring to this showee, he will give them their next clue.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who wants to add a little magic to their life?
– Stephanie does not want to do it. Therefore, Chad will participate.
The local with oddly shaped pockets roots on Chad.
While Chad & Stephanie go to do the Roadblock, this goat resumes his duty of guarding the clue box.
– Chad does not have any issues with heights, but it was extreme for him.
Good luck, Chad.
This goat is watching over you, Chad.
– Considering they are rappelling only 500 of the 10, 000 feet possible, this should be easy for everyone percentage wise.
– Jill & Thomas show up to the clue box. Jill is going to do it, and begins reading the instructions.
JILL: Rapul down–
(JILL laughs at herself.)
JILL: I’m gonna rapul down!
THOMAS: Ruh-Pelle. Ruh-Pelle.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who wants to add a little reading comprehension to their life?
Heat stroke can make you delirious when it comes to pronouncing basic words, evidently.
Unimpressed. These goats read at a higher grade level than Jill.
– Chad enjoys the descent. Jill is not liking it quite as much.
JILL: I definitely do have a fear of heights. Just up in really high area. My stomach starts dropping and my heart starts racing.
That’s right. She only has a fear of heights when she is high up.
Embrace the robot that you can be Jill, and all will be fine.
– Some funky music plays as Chad searches through the lamps.
The showee seeks all two inches of shade.
Forget what I said earlier about the entrance to Burj Al Mubkharah being a prime place to roll your ankle. This is much worse.
I wonder if any of the rings seen in this Roadblock will be showcased on Gems TV. Just curious.
Watching somebody search for a lamp is as exciting as it sounds.
– We cut to Nat & Kat who are in the middle of nowhere. They want to ask for directions.
– Gary tells Mallory they made a fatal mistake by going to the north side.
MALLORY: We came straight where it said on the map. I don’t really know what to do from here.
Puzzled Mallory is not the type of person you want reading the map. Things are not looking good for them. It’s time to go off book when things are Mal, Mal.
– Jill reaches the bottom.
Jill receives a thirty minute time penalty for breaking the fourth wall, and telling us the task was cool.
– Chad finds the ring shortly after seeing Jill. He receives his clue and jogs. Chad reunites with Stephanie.
Personally I think Chad should keep wearing that helmet for the rest of the race. He is only a danger to himself.
– Stephanie reads they must head to the city of Nizwa and find a giant stack of books.
Yes, Nizwa was a location used in TAR Asia 3. They went to Nizwa Fort and also the Roadblock/Pit Stop location where Fuzzie and Sam quit.
– Anyways, teams will find their clue on top of the giant stack of books.
Wait, the giant stack is outdoors? Where?
This is not what I was expecting. It reminds me of the giant shoe from TAR 8: Family Edition or the really tall office chair.
This would be a GREAT location to host the Pyramid event in Omani Gladiators.
Just watch out for Laser and Sabre. They will throw your ass down the whole pyramid if they must.
– Jill finds a bejewelled lamp.
Thankfully there are only two blue gems in a row. If there was a third, the value of this lamp on the market would significantly decrease.
– Jill brags about how she took very little time to find her lamp. They greet an incoming Nick & Vicki. Vicki opens the clue to read it.
Awe, the goat wants to read along!
Vicki pulls the envelope away from the goat.
“I’m starving here, bro!”
“Yumyumyum. No. Mine. Yumyumyumyum. Tastes like red and white. Your shirt is the same colour as the clue. Can I eat that too?”
Nick loses a game of Tug O’ War to a goat. Hilarious.
“I’m gonna get your arm. . .I’m gonna get it. Gonna get it.”
“This is delectable! Omnomnom.”
Sorry, Nick. The clue is gone, bro.
“Oooo! Shiny band-aid!”
“Nah, I’m just kidding. That would be plain gross.”
– Nick hates heights. Vicki will do it because she is fearless except when it comes to bugs.
Ninety percent of people would make Nick do it if he called them a “dumb ass without an ounce of common sense in their body” just minutes earlier. You would have been on your own, bucko! You have a generous partner, Nick.
– Jill & Thomas’ and Brook & Claire’s vehicles nearly collide on the road. Brook & Claire grab the clue.
CLAIRE: Do you want me to do it?
Brook is in shock that Claire would volunteer to rappel, particularly after how she was not too fond of it in Norway.
BROOK: Claire comes out of nowhere and says (in a voice that sounds like Rocky of Rocky and Bullwinkle) “Oh! It’s rappelling! I have this!”
I love how inaccurate her impression is of Claire. I like how Claire voluntarily doing a task in a steady tone is the equivalent of Mallory being on crack.
– Brook now does an impression of her double take when Claire asked to do the Roadblock.
Brook’s arms are frozen in position.
Systems will be restored once she adds another to the kiss count.
– Nat & Kat are at a construction site to get help.
Thankfully, construction workers in Oman treat women with more respect than construction workers in North America. Nat & Kat receive very business-like instructions. No workers whistled at Nat & Kat.
NAT: I don’t think anybody could be more lost than us.
And sure enough we cut to Gary & Mallory.
That’s the polite way of saying “you sir are an idiot, Gary”.
Mallory has lost her map guiding privileges. Gary now has to drive, focus on the map, and ask for directions.
He is essentially carrying Zach’s workload at the moment. What is Mallory doing anyway?
She is assigned the role of Paula from EarthBound as she prays on behalf of the team.
The Runaway Five heard Mallory’s prayers, and hoped for the survival of her and Gary.
– Gary enters the vehicle.
GARY: We have to give up on this DAMN map, Mal, and go by their directions.
He said damn. Mrs. Ervin needs to put soap in Gary’s mouth this instant! Where are your Kentucky Morals, Gary?
– Mallory tears up as she hates the idea of going out of the race due to a mistake like this.
It should be noted teams have struggled with maps of Oman in the past. I wouldn’t be surprised if a possible lack of infrastructure and roads in these areas may have something to do with it. My uncle used to work in Yemen and said finding proper roads to drive on was rare.
– Vicki rappels down the side of the canyon. Nick comments on the view.
NICK: That’s way cool. That’s a big ol’ canyon right there.
Nick commenting on world landmarks never gets old for me. It’s how I picture Jay and Silent Bob doing a trip around the planet. The description would be unprofessional and contain a lot of slang. People like Nick are rarely cast for The Amazing Race. I am glad he and Vicki are still in this thing.
“Heh, that one cloud totally looks like somebody’s wiener dude!”
“Wait until I tell all my friends about this in the country of London.”
– Vicki continues to descend.
VICKI: I feel like Spiderman! Or Spiderwoman. Whatever.
Spiderwoman wears blue instead of red. I think that is why Vicki corrected herself.
I hear Stan Lee is taking gender equality and social justice courses at his local community college. The gender neutral term of ‘Spiderperson’ will soon be born.
– Claire claims her heart jumped into her throat as the canyon is in front of her.
– Chad & Stephanie see the stack of books. Jill & Thomas appear to be right behind them.
Chad is so excited at the thought of being in the lead that he powers his way up the stack.
– It’s a Detour.
PHIL: Life in the desert seems impossible, but since the days of antiquity, this harsh world has sustained their people spiritually and physically. Teams will discover the abundance of this land through Water Table or Wedding Table.
In Water Table, teams pump water from an ancient well beneath the Earth’s surface. Once their water truck is full, they will navigate the confusing streets of Muscat to find their designated house. They will make their delivery and get their next clue.
I bet teams would love to swim in that barrel right now.
In Wedding Table, teams head to a traditional Arab market where they must purchase twenty-five frozen chickens and all the rest of the ingredients for a traditional wedding soup known to bring health and virility. When they have presented the bride and groom with the customary bowl of maqbous, they will receive their next clue.
I have never seen a butcher so proud of his chickens.
In North America, wedding buffets have an obsession with throwing cranberries and nuts into everything to make it fancy but taste disgusting.
As a vegetarian, I honestly would put my beliefs aside for an hour and eat maqbous over the crap offered at weddings here in the West. F–k cranberries and almonds.
I am going to go on a limb and say the groom is not a fan of maqbous. Maybe he would prefer to have a cranberry dish.
As long as Chad nor Thomas have to play the music, this wedding should go smoothly.
– Chad & Stephanie choose Water Table. I have a feeling it could be a clean sweep as all teams must be dehydrated.
– Jill & Thomas reach the clue box.
– Thomas asks Jill to duck down to ensure Chad & Stephanie do not see them. It doesn’t matter as Stephanie sees their vehicle and assumes it must be Jill & Thomas on top of the stack.
That is everyone’s reaction whenever Jill & Thomas are in the lead. . .and is that a Toyota the teams are driving this leg? It won’t be much longer before we get to seasons where Ford has exclusive rights over transportation in TAR.
I wish Laser and Sabre could both form a double team and toss Thomas back onto the roundabout.
It’s like Thomas is reading a bedtime story to his little sister.
By the way, their butts must be on fire because the books do not have any shade from the piercing sun.
– Jill teaches us a fact about Thomas.
JILL: Cooking could be time consuming. He is just clueless in the kitchen.
“You’ve hurt Thomas’ fweelings. Sad muffin.”
– Jill & Thomas decide to follow Chad & Stephanie for the time being.
“Copying the Andre & Damon and Herb & Nate strategy? High five!”
– Vicki says this is so bizarre (or since this is the Middle East, she may be meaning it is so “bazaar”), and estimates there are a bazillion lamps.
She knows numbers about as well as world geography.
– Vicki and Claire each find a ring. We see them both in the same frame getting their clue which means they are seconds apart.
– Brook sees Nizwa in the clue and states it was the town where they just were. Both teams run back to their cars. Nick sees something is wrong. On the audio we can hear air escaping from one of the tires.
If Nick had the same Brazilian taxi driver as Shola & Doyin had in TAR 2, he could be facing a severe head injury. Luckily that taxi driver is not around.
– Vicki announces their tire is leaking, but Brook & Claire drive away anyway. It should be noted the leaking tire is not Nick & Vicki’s fault because they were not responsible for driving it up the mountain.
Also, who the heck is that?
NICK: This is a joke, man. Are you kidding me?
VICKI: How do we do this?
NICK: Tch. Yeah. On a hill. Good luck.
Nick winds up.
Nothing but net.
Not quite Hayden & Aaron’s backpack toss record, but close.
– Commercial break. We resume. Now we find out who is responsible for popping Nick & Vicki’s tire.
I knew it. The goat was behind it all along. We just got Shyamalan’d!
– Vicki tries to calm Nick down as he swings doors shut and snatches the jack from the trunk.
NICK: THIS IS BULLS–T, DUDE!
Jack down. I hope the Omani jacks are durable.
This is the biggest close-up of Nick’s knuckle tattoos we have seen thus far. Are the letters ‘MANA’ on his right hand? It certainly looks like it.
Three things we know about Nick’s interests: Clowns, dirtbiking, and JRPGs. What an interesting fellow.
– We watch Nick & Vicki work on repairing the car.
In Omani theatre, a black goat is a bad omen.
– Brook & Claire drive away from the mountain.
I have a question. Where are their PARENTS?! Who lets their kids go hang out with the goat. The goat is a bad influence! He eats clues, he pops tires, and I think I caught him laughing at a dumb ass.
– Nick promises he will beat Brook & Claire to the mat. Mallory cries in the car as Gary’s only wish is to stay in the race.
– Thomas loves the race for first place. In other words, he has not given any of the trailing four teams any credit. Chad & Stephanie find the water truck.
Much like the Internet, the Water Table is a series of tubes.
I have a feeling teams will not be allowed to touch the equipment.
– Jill & Thomas immediately show up to the Water Table. Thomas parks.
THOMAS: Careful what? I’m driving.
“Careful when driving? Are you a f–king lunatic, Jill? Have you not driven a car before?”
– Jill tells Thomas to be careful as they walk along an uneven path.
“Careful what? I’m looking down to read while running into an industrial site. I don’t care if I don’t have a free hand to brace a fall. That’s for losers.”
Jill has a lot of holes in her pants.
– Chad is allowed to operate the string motor. Same with Thomas. Apparently it is a man’s job. Chad & Stephanie fill it up.
If this were Fiji water, this water could not be shipped due to Stephanie touching it. I guess Omani water does not have the same restrictions.
– Chad & Stephanie’s driver gives them a thumbs up.
He approves of their water table filling abilities.
– Chad & Stephanie ask their water driver for help. He says he can’t help. Stephanie reads the address.
“Ass Swat Al Eed”.
Yeah, I had a feeling that pronunciation wasn’t right either. Arabic linguistics is not Stephanie’s area of expertise.
– Jill informs Thomas the water table is sufficiently filled. Just enough in it, right?
Okay. Just a little.
Okay. Maybe a lot.
A local laughs at Jill & Thomas successfully emptying out the ancient well in the span of thirty minutes.
– The only issue with a task like this is that each team being assigned a different house could indirectly affect who is put at an advantage or disadvantage depending on the location of the house.
It’s like playing a round of Crazy Taxi. You may be given a string of addresses that are close by and give you extra points, or you could be stuck frantically searching for hard-to-reach locations. You just have to hope when you show up to play you receive the optimum series of addresses to find.
– Brook & Claire are third to the stacked books. Brook thinks this place is cool. They read the Detour and choose Water Table.
By the way, Brook’s double step on the way up is impressive.
– They explain why they did not choose Wedding Table.
BROOK: You would think girly girls like ourselves are big cooks.
I am not sure if ‘girly girl’ is a label you will have for much longer, Brook.
BROOK: Claire and I? We do not cook.
Cook? Not gonna happen.
– Nat & Kat are fifth to the Roadblock. Kat is going to do it because we repeat Nat is terrified of heights.
Much like how Kat would be terrified at the thought of eating this goat.
– Gary says they have gone the whole race without maps. He is a pilot who loves navigating and using maps. Today his love of maps backfired and he apologizes for it.
MALLORY: Don’t be sorry. I couldn’t have gotten this far without you.
It’s true. I doubt Mallory would have crushed a game of Gorodki yesterday on the race.
Mallory. It’s okay. You can dial it back to a 9. Phil isn’t going to shoot you in the face at the pit stop. You’ll live.
– Chad & Stephanie pull into the Shell gas station. Before they jump out, it is clear somebody did something highly inappropriate.
Why else would they all be staring at each other with disgust?
– Nobody at the Shell gas station can help Chad & Stephanie. It seems Jill & Thomas may have the same address.
I guess I was too quick to mock Stephanie or the pronunciation. That is pretty much how it sounds when you read it off of the paper.
– The local agrees to lead them to the address.
“Jill, why didn’t we ask a local to help us out with every route marker this season? we could’ve won so many more legs!”
I love his flip flops.
I am surprised the camera operator was able to get inside of the local’s car. Jill & Thomas aren’t even with him. This is a rare shot to get.
– Nick & Vicki run up the stack of books. Nick says they made up time. Vicki complains of the heat. We can see the wind picking up. Nick receives some good luck with finding Water Table.
That’s right. A water truck is directly in front of him. He better hope the truck is returning to the water well rather than going out to a job on-site.
– Brook assumes they have veered off in the wrong direction.
BROOK: I really wonder how far behind we are now.
Claire doesn’t even want to think about it.
– Goats watch Kat descend at the Roadblock.
We need a count of how many people we have seen rappel or do some sort of descent outdoors over the 21 seasons I have blogged. I bet the count is fairly high.
That is one lonely hawk.
– Kat starts giggling to herself as she reaches the bottom.
It is no fun for me when somebody genuinely enjoys a heights related task while their more frightened partner sits out.
I would have enjoyed it much more if Nat had done it. I want tears. I want anxious fits. I want to see somebody have a nervous breakdown to the point they vomit like a female Canadian Olympian. This is just lame.
– Kat says her breath has been taken away by the various Omani landscapes.
– Chad & Stephanie find a stranger’s house, and the stranger agrees to help them. They return to their water truck and follow him.
Geez. A day that is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit and he chooses to wear dark clothing too. Perhaps this is a cooler day than what the norm is in Oman.
– You’re not going to believe what happens when Jill & Thomas confirm the address with their guide.
MAN: This house is my cousin.
THOMAS: Your cousin is Abdullah Vince Salam?
THOMAS: No way. We found the right guy.
That is either one of the craziest coincidences in TAR history or very suspicious.
“Hey cousin, I agreed to have Americans deliver water to me for a reality show later today. They are getting it from the water well.”
“Which reality show?”
“Something called The Amazing Race.”
“Ah! I’m a member of Relaity Fan Forum! I’ll park two blocks away and see if I can have a team follow me to your house. Then I shall be famous in America and meet Ryan Seacrest and watch Entourage!”
“You need to get a life, cousin.”
“Oh, cool it Abdullah. Let me dream.”
– Jill & Thomas show up to Cousin Abdullah’s house.
Cousin Abdullah’s mother sees the camera pointed at her.
It has only been a second and she is already batting away the paparazzi.
– Chad & Stephanie see Jill & Thomas already pumping water.
Thomas. You’re just pumping water. Relax.
Looks like Thomas has crowned a new homie.
– Stephanie is pissed off.
STEPHANIE: Somehow someway no matter what we do when we’re in front they always find a way to pass us and weasel right in.
To be fair Steph, this is the only time all season you have ever been in front. It’s not exactly like blowing a lead is a weekly occurrence.
– Jill & Thomas read the clue. Where are they going?
Muttrah Souq? That is where the Carpet or Count It Detour was held in TAR Asia 3.
Granted TAR 17 will not be utilizing the fancy schmancy Sony Cybershot.
– Once at the Muttrah Souq, they must find a vendor who will hand them a frankincense vendor (I didn’t know Mary Shelley was of Omani descent) and find the market for the famous Ali Baba. They will trade in their frankincense for their next clue.
What is frankincense, anyway?
And why does it come in a Chinese takeout box?
Ali Baba is one cool dude.
– Chad hooks up the pumps after Steph clamps it; he pulls out the string for the motor.
He yanks out the cord as if he were unearthing the Excalibur.
– They receive their clue and thank the locals for their help. Nick & Vicki pass by a familiar sign.
That is the same word on the back of Abdullah’s cousin’s shirt. I guess his cousin was repping where he was from.
– NICK: Let’s go pump this water and get this s–t over with.
Nick is close to Nathan & Jennifer for most curse words uttered on TAR.
I doubt producers even bothered to coach Nick into saying ‘fudge’ like they did with Nathan & Jenn.
– Brook proclaims a god as she finds the water table Detour. They are there at the same time as Nick & Vicki. Vicki says she is soaking wet.
I would laugh if the string comes out quite easy, and Brook puts too much energy into pulling to where she flies back and hits her head on the truck.
– Brook & Claire try to shout a confessional over the pumps.
Unless they take out a camera in the process.
Or make the foreman panic from overflowing water.
– Brook & Claire are inside of the water truck. Brook is fired up.
Sorry, guys. Her face is permanently in this state forever. She will be unable to kiss anyone ever again.
– Goats make noises as Kat struggles to find a ring. Nat roots on Kat. Gary & Mallory find the mountain after what Mallory describes as a nine hour drive.
– Jill & Thomas return to self-driving. They are stunned to see Chad & Stephanie coming back into the water well. It is going to be a close race between Jill & Thomas and Chad & Stephanie.
– Gary says he will be pumped up if he sees another team completing the task on the mountain. He will keep competing like someone is right behind him.
The same may not be said for Mallory. This is the first time all season where she seems to be worn out. That ain’t good.
– Kat has yet to find a ring. I assume this task is designed so that there are fewer rings in play as each person finds one. She says she has searched hundreds of “lanterns”.
– Commercial. We resume. Kat finds one. She and Nat return to their vehicle. They re-hydrate.
Why is Kat drinking sweat? That’s GROSS. Who drinks sweat, really? She’s the doctor. I guess she knows what she is doing.
– Gary & Mallory see Nat & Kat exiting the mountain. Gary & Mallory read the clue without a goat interfering. Gary instructs Mallory to do it because it will be fun.
It’s probably their last day on the race and Gary wants his daughter to have fun. How generous of him.
– Jill & Thomas are at the Muttrah Souq. So are Chad & Stephanie.
Has Jill learned nothing? Here in Oman they say ‘holy goat’. Holy goat, Jill.
– Jill says there are a billion shops. Thomas manages to search through all billion rather quickly as he throws his arms up in the air when he sees the frankincense shop.
What’s with the really long name? I thought we were in Oman rather than India.
– They are told to take it to Ali Baba. Where is Ali Baba?
Yes. Ali Baba in the souq. Got it.
– Thomas hustles through the market with the frankincense as Jill trails behind him. Chad & Stephanie have the frankincense too.
– Mallory is searching through lamps. She is back to her bubbly self. Brook & Claire also find a neighbour of Abdullah’s to guide them.
Teams have been told to go “up a few blocks” before, but this is the first time somebody has been told to go up in a literal manner. How high can you jump, Brook?
– The camera pans to the right as we see a child in a hallway.
Who is he?
Brittnee Blair’s younger brother from Big Brother Canada 3?
– Nick & Vicki walk around a neighbourhood. They must be close as well.
– We see Mallory continuing to search for the ring.
“This doesn’t look so hard!”
– Nat & Kat are on top of the stack of books. They choose to do the Water Table.
– Brook & Claire begin pumping water. For some reason they start jumping up and down as they celebrate giving Abdullah water.
“We are making H2O our bitch!”
I have never seen people on vacation so excited about water since a wet T-shirt contest.
Wow. It appears Michael Jackson is popular in Oman.
– Nick & Vicki receive their clue after supplying water. They are focused on passing Brook & Claire.
– Mallory finally finds the lamp. I think the setup of this task screwed her over. She and Gary run back to their vehicle as the sun sets.
– Jill & Thomas meet up with Ali Baba.
Thomas -loves- frankincense.
– They read that they must drive to the pit stop–Al Alam Palace.
And yes, this was used as the first route marker once teams landed in Muscat in TAR Asia 3.
There are only twelve letters total, but yet six of these letters have ‘al’ in the sequence. This is like the Walla Walla, Washington of the Middle East.
– We are tipped off about who the pit stop greeter will be for this round.
Where is he?
Ah! It’s beloved local figure, Muscatman John.
– Chad & Stephanie also receive their clue from Ali Baba. Thomas hires a taxi to guide them to the pit stop. Okay, this is definitely a penalty. I know there is a grey area with locals voluntarily helping a team, but hiring a taxi to lead them to a location is black and white since TAR 11.
Although knowing how much time teams have spent driving around being lost today, a thirty minute penalty may be a net gain overall. That would have saved Gary & Mallory 8 1/2 hours of driving.
– Chad & Stephanie are not far behind. Nat & Kat watch water go into their truck.
Nat attempting to drink the water would be hilarious. She would be like the kid who wanted to drink from the fire hose in UHF.
Hopefully Nat has a less painful outcome.
– Jill & Thomas see the pit stop and run to the mat.
Okay. I lied. The pit stop greeter is not Muscatman John.
He doesn’t even have a stutter.
– Phil informs them they are the first team to arrive.
This is always awkward for Phil. It would be easier if the team he was penalizing were complete jerks. Then he could let them celebrate, have a ten minute mat chat, and at the end say “oh by the way you guys are dumb and must wait thirty minutes”.
But here he has to announce they are the first team to arrive, and interrupt their celebration once the noise level goes down.
Like once the hug ends. That is a natural cue for Phil.
PHIL: However. . .
PHIL: I’m afraid to tell you you’ve incurred a thirty minute penalty.
I think Thomas is in shock.
PHIL: Rules state that you cannot pay a taxi driver to lead you to a location.
“In other words, much like what I said to Kevin & Michael at the pit stop last round, you two are dumb f–ks. You’ll have to wait out the thirty minutes on an uncomfortable bench. Meanwhile the remaining teams and the viewers at home will be laughing at your dumb ass.”
Thomas has yet to react after the explanation.
At least his eyes can move.
Just once I wish they’d use colours other than black and white to recap a penalty.
Now he’s pissed.
– Phil directs Jill & Thomas to a set of stairs. It looks to be as comfortable as Kevin & Michael’s penalty arrangements from last round. Thomas apologizes because it was his idea to hire the cab driver.
Whether Thomas’ mouth is closed remains a mystery.
THOMAS: Stupid mistake. Stupid mistake. We just lost first place.
– Chad & Stephanie hit the mat.
PHIL: Chad & Stephanie. . .quite an emotional day, right?
All Chad & Steph do is silently nod.
All they want to do is sleep through mat chat.
PHIL: Well, I wanna end with some joy cause you are team number one.
Phil Keoghan–a man of joy.
Now they’re awake.
I hear Phil Keoghan’s hairs go up in a spiky manner when he is happy and excited.
– It is impossible to transcribe what they are saying. Phil tells them their prize for this leg is a trip to Belize.
STEPHANIE (in a New York accent as if she was Keri from TAR 15): Ohhhh my gee-awwwd.
She drops her Floridian accent for a New York one. Hilarious.
The gnome on the zipline is my favourite.
PHIL: Not a bad way to end the day. And you dropped down on your knee today?!
What jerk in production called Phil ahead of time to tell him about the proposal? Maybe Chad & Stephanie wanted to tell Phil personally and see his reaction. That producer needs to be fired.
FIRST PLACE: CHAD & STEPHANIE
They can’t Belize they lost the prize for this round.
– The celebration was probably crazy due to the fact they have finished above fourth place only once since the start of the season.
STEPHANIE: Today. . .I honestly don’t think could have gone any better. I got engaged. I was travelling around with my fiance. And then I won a trip to Belize. Yeah. Pretty much a perfect day.
“And this was after we slept in over two hours after we were already starting the leg in last place. In other words, suck it Jill & Thomas.”
– Jill & Thomas are called back to the mat.
Thomas looks like he is ready to knock Phil out.
SECOND PLACE: JILL & THOMAS
There is an awkwardly long pause. It’s as if editors are making fun of Jill & Thomas’ mistake and having nothing to offer for finishing second.
. . .Maybe propose next round and you will get first, Thomas?
– Brook & Claire head straight as they near the Muttrah Souq. Unfortunately, Brook makes a terrifying discovery.
Uh oh. This isn’t good. It’s a one-way street.
Although I suggest the one-way is always Brook’s way in life.
So this is the evidence used for why women are not allowed to drive in a neighbouring country.
CLAIRE (sees police car behind them): Son of a bitch.
Please let there be an Omani Brook & Claire car chase through downtown Muscat. That’d be a great action film.
CLAIRE: The police came after us.
Anything to add, Brook?
BROOK: Yeah, the Po Po came.
Much like Michael of TAR 3, Brook picks up some unexpected lingo in San Diego. Nothing says gangsta like Miss Oregon 2004.
– The police car pulls alongside Brook. There is lots of honking.
BROOK (to the cop): We know we are going the wrong way.
It is the officer’s polite way of saying “no s–t you don’t know where to go. Why else would you be driving in the wrong direction in a one-way street?”
CLAIRE: We’re two little White girls causing back-up.
BROOK: Do you understand how to get there, Claire?
CLAIRE: No. Not at all.
Brook is driving on a one-way street while Claire’s ability to navigate is a no-way street.
Maybe this round has more suspense to it than we thought it did.
– Nick & Vicki follow basic road laws. They find a local who shows them to the correct stall. Nick & Vicki receive their frankincense.
Vicki goes on to confirm what the man says.
This is such a Kim moment from TAR 10. Arabic words go over their head.
What can we say? Ali loves to look sharp for the ladies.
But seriously, this is the shortest game of telephone. The very first person to hear the instructions is the one who messes it up.
– Gary & Mallory reach the top of the stack of books. They elect to do the Water Table. I think the wedding is now cancelled.
Gary & Mallory earn the award for synchronized book climbing.
– Mallory recaps her pageant history.
MALLORY: It took me three years to win Miss Kentucky, and I won on my last year.
After that she was considered too old to run and was forced to retire. And you thought baseball had a young age for retirement.
– Nick & Vicki deliver their frankincense.
“What kind of suit is that?”
– Brook & Claire deliver it too. Nick sees Brook & Claire running out of Muttrah Souq.
CLAIRE: C’mon Brook, c’mon.
Claire is telling Brook to hustle? Well isn’t this a little role reversal!
– Gary & Mallory fill up the water table.
I bet this is the pose Mallory used to win in her final year of the Miss Kentucky pageant.
I think Mallory has found a new job.
– Nick & Vicki and Brook & Claire both park at Al Alam Palace.
THIRD PLACE: NICK & VICKI
Vicki is pleasantly surprised.
This morning: Nick was laughing at her dumb ass.
This evening: Nick is smiling and applauding her dumb ass.
– Brook & Claire run onto the mat.
FOURTH PLACE: BROOK & CLAIRE
You would think they were the ones who just got engaged and won a trip to Belize.
“Go see Brook. Go see Brook. I think she has a treat!”
Phil looks like he is trying to shoo off an excited puppy who wants to jump up to lick him.
Brook is the first person to be throat punched at a TAR pit stop.
– Nat & Kat pump water into the pipes. Some of it leaks out as Kat comments it is the best shower she has had in a couple days. They receive their clue.
Nat is quickly becoming the master of the awkward hug on TAR. She always keeps physical contact with locals to a minimum. It would be like if my sister or introverted people were contestants on TAR.
– Gary & Mallory have somebody lead them to Abdullah’s house. They see Nat & Kat in a water truck. Nat & Kat are terrified while Gary & Mallory are excited.
Now is a good time to test your blood sugar, Nat.
Even Gary is excited. This is becoming a showdown.
– Gary & Mallory find the house as Gary & Mallory watch the expert at work.
I wonder how much more time it took Nat & Kat and Gary & Mallory to pump water simply because it was night time.
Dang. Mallory’s face is really red. There hasn’t been enough time over the past several hours to re-apply sunscreen in the afternoon.
– We see Mallory skipping as she receives the clue and returns to the water truck.
MALLORY: Yay! We did it!
You’ve gotta love Mallory’s childlike spirit even when elimination is imminent.
– Nat & Kat find frankincense in the Muttrah Souq. Most of the vendors appear to be closed. Nobody is walking around. That makes the whole chaotic theme of the task go away.
– Gary & Mallory are also at Muttrah Souq. Gary is running the fastest I have seen him run all season long.
MALLORY: I smell it, Dad! It smells like my church!
Yes, I am sure churches in Kentucky burn incense that is only found near the Arabian Sea and the African Horn.
The only people still inside Muttrah Souq is the frankincense vendor and someone who I presume to be the janitor. It must be really late at night if nobody else is around the busiest souq in Oman.
I think it is safe to say that Gary’s testicles are finally recovering. Otherwise it would be impossible for him to sprint at this speed.
– Nat & Kat deliver the frankincense. Away they go. Seconds later Gary & Mallory find Mr. Baba.
GARY & MALLORY: You’re him!
Geez. Gary has never matched Mallory in terms of inflection before. He really wanted to meet Mr. Baba.
Just once I wish a mall or a large store would let people have a wicked game of laser tag during the night. This should have been the task for a nation versus nation challenge during the filming of TAR Australia 3: Australia vs. New Zealand.
– Nat & Kat and Gary & Mallory are driving to the palace. Kat has a map.
KAT: Go past Riyam Park (where the first route marker was). You’ll keep going. Past past past.
NAT: . . .Here’s hoping.
“Whatever it is I just said, do the exact opposite and we’ll find the pit stop perfectly.”
– Nat & Kat are already turning around. Mallory gives Gary better directions than what she did earlier. Mallory sees another team’s vehicle driving around.
MALLORY: THAT WAS A TEAM!
GARY: Who was that?
MALLORY: I DON’T KNOW BUT IT WAS A TEAM!
Nobody would have expected this turn of events. Particularly when it took Gary & Mallory over nine hours to find the Roadblock clue.
MALLORY (like a toned down version of Randy Savage): Ohhhh yeah.
If only Slim Jim was a sponsour rather than Snapple.
– Oh. Want to hear a shocker? Nat & Kat are somewhat lost.
“You know that thing I said earlier? Yeah, I might’ve been wrong.”
– Nat responds to the situation with an appropriate statement.
– Now it’s just showdown time. Both teams are edited as running to the mat.
FIFTH PLACE: NAT & KAT
Relief and tears.
I am surprised Nat can emit tears after spending sixteen hours outside in Oman. I thought there would be no more water left in her body.
– Gary & Mallory are on the mat. We know what’s coming.
I hope Gary retires his shirt after today.
PHIL: Gary and Mallory. . .
I love how uneasy they look. Mallory cannot even handle bad news like a normal person.
PHIL: I’m sorry to tell you you’ve been eliminated from the race.
– Phil knows they really wanted to do it. Mallory says it is a really special experience to do with her dad because he is special. Gary brings up once again that Mallory is the boy she never had, and proud to have run the race with her. It turns out Mallory is the oldest.
Something tells me that Steve & Allie are not in the running as the father-daughter team to be brought back for a future season.
Probably because Allie was a mature adult who never had that energetic and childlike “aww shucks” quality to her.
And Gary overshadows Steve because Gary doesn’t have a drinking problem.
Hmph. Good point.
– Mallory has some last words before we close out.
MALLORY: I wouldn’t have competed in Miss America or compete on The Amazing Race if it weren’t for the things my dad taught me. Keep going after your dreams. You’ve got one life and you have to live. Live it full out like it’s a race.
I can see why Mallory is a motivational speaker. When most teams are eliminated, their sad farewell speech is always boring. Mallory can speak in a way that keeps your interest.
EDITOR’S NOTE: During their episode of Elimination Station, Mallory called the other teams to tell them the leg lasted for over sixteen hours. This means it ran from 7:30am to 1:30am at minimum.
Producers told her it was one of the longest continuous legs they had ever done in series history (TAR Asia 3 Vietnam leg considers sixteen hours child’s play).
They said they lost to Nat & Kat by less than fifteen minutes. This is false. Producers stated Gary & Mallory had an unapplied thirty minute penalty for using maps which was prohibited in a clue.
This is confusing news to take because we saw Nat & Kat using maps as well. In fact, I watched an Early Show interview with Nat & Kat where they said the maps they had were the same as Gary & Mallory’s. Perhaps every team’s thirty minute penalty cancelled each other out?
P.S. This episode marks TAR US’ final trip to the Middle East for quite a while. In fact, there will only be one trip to the Middle East between now and TAR 26 (it will come near the end of TAR 23, and it will be to the all too familiar United Arab Emirates).
This episode would have been filmed just before the Arab Spring. Therefore, it is not much of a mystery as to why an American production crew has been nervous to go to the region over the past ten seasons.
Next Time on TAR: In densely populated Bangladesh, an amazing race first–the Double U-Turn.
A new country and a new twist. It should be memorable.
NUMBER OF EPISODES A TEAM HAS BEEN MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT
KEVIN & MICHAEL 2
BROOK & CLAIRE 1
NAT & KAT 1
NICK & VICKI 1
CHAD & STEPHANIE 1
GARY & MALLORY 1
RON & TONY: 0
ANDIE & JENNA: 0
CONNOR & JONATHAN: 0
KATIE & RACHEL: 0
JILL & THOMAS: 0
BROOK ROBERTS.CLAIRE CHAMPLIN 5.4
CHAD WALTRIP.STEPHANIE SMITH 11.7
NAT STRAND.KAT CHANG 2.5
NICK DECARLO.VICKI CASCIOLA 4.6
JILL HANEY.THOMAS WOLFARD 3.4
GARY ERVIN.MALLORY ERVIN 4.5
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.
Because of how long this list has become, I only show the relevant section where the eliminated team from this round has fallen amongst the ranks of what TAR history has to offer.
Therefore their average is 8.2.
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded TAR 10
7th Ivan & Hilda 4.83 TAR Asia 4
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
9th Connor & Jonathan 4.75 TAR 17
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
3rd Hussein & Natasha Saved by 4.64 NEL once TAR Asia 4
6th Gary & Mallory 4.625 TAR 17
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 Jess & Lani 4.3 TAR Asia 4
4th Kisha & Jen 4.27 Saved by NEL once, U-Turned once TAR 14
Rank the Teams
1) Gary & Mallory
An average finishing position of 4.625 barely puts them ahead of other father-daughter teams Duke & Lauren and Hussein & Natasha. It would be tough to accept a world where Hussein is a better racer than Gary.
After watching their eight round run here in TAR 17, I understand why Gary & Mallory are brought back immediately for a second chance, and just a couple years later when Mallory is an alternate who ultimately has a third chance.
They appeal to TAR’s core demographic in the US. Conservative families who are either above or below the 18-49 demographic. Most of the season they would promote these family values, and not do so in the creepy Duggar family fashion.
This is the core difference between Gary & Mallory and a team like Jet & Cord.
Jet & Cord’s edit is manipulated because producers know how to make them appealing to the casual audience who don’t bother reading about the allegations and rumours behind the scenes.
Meanwhile, Gary & Mallory’s edit does not need to be manipulated whatsoever. Their personalities are so freakin’ genuine. They are competitive but ‘honourable’. Having an ulterior motive is a concept neither of them will really possess.
I was worried tat they were going to be over-the-top religious. That didn’t happen. At all. Especially during their final leg here in Oman. Teams in the past who have outspoken religious beliefs tend to be really offensive once they enter the Asian continent in TAR. Gary & Mallory didn’t do that whatsoever.
I feel bad for Steve & Allie because they may have had a ten percent chance of being cast for TAR 18. That percentage dropped down to zero once Gary & Mallory entered the picture. Gary & Mallory have so much more personality and are much more engaging with the audience. Steve & Allie were too calm and mild-mannered to captivate an audience.
Even if Steve & Allie are better statistically. I doubt producers care about who are the owners of the best average finishing position in my charts.
Essentially, Steve & Allie are like Nas’ album Illmatic while Gary & Mallory are Nas’ album Stillmatic.
Illmatic may have come first and be well-crafted and full of talent for us to respect, but Stillmatic had much more mainstream appeal and improves upon what Illmatic did anyway.
And in a cast full of great teams I like, Gary & Mallory being ranked this high is a true distinction.
P.S. Mallory, has the Cartoon Network approached you to do voiceover work or use your facial expressions as inspiration?
P.P.S. Gary, if you are reading this, feel free to comment down below as to whether or not your testicles have returned to normal size and are fully healed. I hope this blog did not leave you with the nickname the Norwegian Ball Crusher in your everyday life.
2) Connor & Jonathan
3) Andie & Jenna
4) KevJumba & Michael
5) Katie & Rachel
6) Ron & Tony
Rank the Legs
1) Gloucester, Massachusetts, USA -> England, United Kingdom, London (according to Nick Decarlo)
2) St. Petersburg, Russia -> Muscat, Oman
If you know anything about my TAR rankings blogs over the past few years, I always give extra points to any leg where they visit the Middle East.
TAR’s final trip to Oman for the time being was certainly a memorable one. Chad & Stephanie had one of the craziest one-round storylines in TAR history.
a) They broke the record by starting the round more than two hours late due to sleeping in. No one has had such a late departure in the history of the program. John & Murray reached two hours in TAR Australia 3, but did so intentionally.
b) They somehow ended up on a flight that landed early and caught up with the other teams. They managed to snag a departure time for the next route marker in the middle of the pack.
c) Before their day started, Chad proposed to Stephanie in Riyam Park at sunrise. In the words of Audrey, “she said yes!”
d) After being bottom-feeders for the past four rounds, they had the lead for most of the day in Oman.
e) At the last possible moment, Jill & Thomas finished the Detour before them and checked into the pit stop ahead of them.
f) Jill & Thomas incurred a 30 minute penalty en route to the pit stop. Therefore, Chad & Stephanie won their only leg of the season.
And that’s just one team we are talking about. Nat & Kat and Gary & Mallory sucked at maps, Brook & Claire were pulled over by police, and Nick & Vicki had a flat tire as well as a goat eating their clue.
I repeat: A goat eating a clue.
Oh, and who could forget Nick telling Vicki that he assumed “everybody is probably LAUGHING at your dumb ass right now”, and then ten minutes later he needed her dumb ass to do the Roadblock for him because he was too scared.
Sure, many of these route markers overlapped with TAR Asia 3. That’s to be expected in a country of only three million people and rough terrain.
The tasks were fine. The lamps and gems during the Roadblock all looked neat. There was a lot of self-driving which is what made this leg last over sixteen hours for some teams. Not to mention it took over nine hours for Gary & Mallory to find the Roadblock location, but somehow only lost this round by 15 minutes (45 if the penalty was applied).
I found the Stack of Books monument to be yet another gruelling physical task to throw at teams during a very long day.
The Detour where everyone chose Water Table was the more comedic one as it allowed for interaction with locals. It is suspicious that one of the houses belonged to the cousin of the person who was helping Jill & Thomas.
Overall, it was an eventful round that tragically ended with Gary & Mallory’s departure. However, their departure is only temporary.
I guess the only fault with this round is that the tasks could have been just a bit better. Once again, the cast continues to shine.
3) London, England -> Accra, Ghana
4) St. Petersburg, Russia -> St. Petersburg, Russia
5) Accra, Ghana -> Riksgransen, Sweden-Norway Border
6) Accra, Ghana -> Accra, Ghana
7) Riksgrandsen, Sweden/Norway -> Narvik, Norway
8) Narvik, Norway -> St. Petersburg, Russia
Alright. That’s it for this round. I hope I made you laugh, and I also hope wherever you may be in this world today is a pleasant place to be. If not, I hope this blog provided some relief.
See you next round for the brand new W-Turn twist in Bangladesh.
Have you wanted to read about the other two rounds hosted in Oman?