Third round (Episode Blog #263)
“Old Muddy Hollywood Man Rescued From Seppuku Attempt”
AUSTRALIA – JAPAN – CHINA – INDIA – AUSTRIA – LIECHTENSTEIN – SWITZERLAND – BRAZIL – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: A shock in the first leg had eleven teams continue racing from Sydney to the Outback of Broken Hill.
Father and son Mel & Mike got off to a shaky start and Ron & Christina returned to their old bad habits while working together.
Best friends Zev & Justin danced through the Detour and hopped to a first place finish.
Engaged couple Amanda & Kris couldn’t overcome their automatic U-Turn penalty and became the first team eliminated from the race.
Ten teams remain; who will be eliminated. . .next?
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON TAR’ SEGMENT
AMANDA & KRIS 2
GARY & MALLORY 1
JET & CORD 1
MEL & MIKE 1
RON & CHRISTINA 1
ZEV & JUSTIN 1
– Intro time.
“I really hope they spend another round in kangaroo suits. The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh needs any recognition it can get to be put back on the map again.”
– Phil introduces us to the Australian Outback.
Which was once home to the legendary Colby Donaldson.
– Phil says mining has always been the chief occupation in Broken Hill.
And kangaroos are the primary food resource.
Deep down, we know how badly Phil wants to say something degrading about Australia.
PHIL: Teams arrived here at the end of the last leg, and immediately embarked on an overnight train ride through the desert to Sydney.
An Indian Train? That seems mildly offensive.
So much for hotel accommodations after racing for two consecutive rounds.
Or maybe the beds on the train are better than anything Broken Hill has to offer.
Look at how roomy the train is!
Well, unless you’re Big Easy. Look at how far he has to lean back in the seat to avoid hitting his head on the roof!
PHIL: Zev & Justin, who were the first to arrive, will depart first at 11:57am.
Unlike TAR Asia which blatantly lied about its departure times, TAR US producers provide evidence that they are in fact telling the truth.
– Justin opens the clue and reads they are going to Tokyo, Japan. Teams must now fly over 5, 500 miles to Tokyo. When they land they must make their way to the Rotating Parking Garage.
I can’t believe I am saying this, but we will see a Tokyo parking garage AGAIN in TAR during the dreadful season premiere of TAR 26. Not only was it a pit stop, but the parking garage didn’t even rotate.
“We made this garage rotate. Okay guys, let’s break for lunch and come back to create the Somersaulting Paper Clip!”
Yet another impressive (albeit slightly pointless) technological achievement that Japan holds over the rest of the planet.
Unfortunately teams will only be on the edge of the garage.
Probably because if they go any further, I would be there to throw all of the teams from TAR 14, and rotate them with more teams from TAR 13 and TAR 17 with the hopes of producers not noticing what I had done.
Out goes Margie & Luke and Mel & Mike–in comes Nick & Vicki and Toni & Dallas!
– Justin mentions they are going to Japan again.
In fact, Zev & Justin are going back to the exact same city–Tokyo.
I find it funny how TAR didn’t go to Japan until TAR 9, and now it appears exactly once every three seasons. Well, until we go there even sooner for TAR 20. The pattern resumes for TAR 23 and TAR 26.
JUSTIN: Last time I had to down a wasabi roll.
Huh. I did in fact screencap Justin at the wasabi roll task. This is the only challenge they really had to do in Japan other than leading a group of tourists to the pit stop. God the TAR 15 premiere was awful.
– Of course, TAR provides us with the highlight reel.
I truly hate gameshow challenges.
CREEPY VOICE: EAT THE WASABIIII!
Look at him! Lil Justin was so wittle back then!
Chug! Chug! Freshman! Freshman!
Can’t. . .breathe.
– We then cut to a Zev & Justin’s taxi driver doing a stereotypical Japanese sounding ‘ooooooh’ and laughter.
Wait wait wait. This is still Australia. Why are producers editing this guy like he lives in downtown Tokyo?
– Justin uncomfortably laughs along with him.
And Zev is ignoring the mildly racist taxi driver. I think that’s a wise decision.
– Flight Time & Big Easy begin in 2nd at 12:05pm. Sadly there isn’t yet another watch to verify this.
Big Easy is busting out the ol’ Gryffindor scarlet and gold T-shirt today.
– Flight Time also reminisces about Tokyo.
FLIGHT TIME: They’re going to remember you in Tokyo. They thought Godzilla was walking down the street.
“You wanted me to talk about it so we could cut away to another flashback, right?”
Haha. Nope. Sorry, Globetrotters.
– But seriously though, Big Easy is tall but not freakishly tall. Are the Japanese really that short to the point that Big Easy’s presence is overwhelming?
It’s like Big Easy is the human form of Wizpig in proportion to the Tiptup-esque shortness of the locals in Tokyo.
– Jet & Cord depart third at 12:08pm. Jet & Cord join the Globetrotters at the airport line.
“They’re a lot harder to intimidate than Dan & Jordan, buddy.”
– Big Easy asks Jet & Cord where Kisha & Jen are. Cord responds they are right behind them.
– Kisha & Jen start the leg in fourth at 12:09pm. They run to the airport line.
They are only seconds behind. Don’t fool me editors, Kisha & Jen are making this train.
See? They’re jogging.
The doors close. Wow.
How in the world did Kisha & Jen miss the train? Jet & Cord were standing in line and were exactly one minute ahead of the sisters.
TAR 14, ladies and gentlemen!
Jen checks her FitBit to pass the time. I think her heart rate is at around 80 right now.
– Margie & Luke depart at 12:10pm. Margie hushes Luke. The rattle sound effect even plays.
Yes, editors. We get how awkward this is.
– Margie & Luke magically appear at a travel agency to book tickets to Tokyo.
The travel agent is not too thrilled by Margie.
Or just terrified if she has to tell her the next available flight is full.
– Mel & Mike commence in sixth at 12:14pm. Mike reads they have 607 US Dollars for this round. Geez, Tokyo must be expensive. Mel starts running immediately.
MEL: I feel stronger every time we stay another hour another day. It reinforces the idea that I’m old but we can make it. We can do it.
“I’m old but we can make it. . .we can make it to my desired burial site just outside of Shibuya Crossing. I even picked out my stone there nearly twenty years ago! I’m thrilled I can go there on TAR’s dollar and get it over with!”
– Mel & Mike enter the same agency as Margie & Luke. Mel outright states to the agent that he wants the same flight as them. Mike jumps in to confirm with Margie that they are going the fastest route. Margie replies there is a direct QANTAS flight that gets in at 6:15am.
Whether or not the white-haired man wearing a blindfold will also be on the flight is anyone’s guess.
– Kent & Vyxsin begin in seventh at 12:16pm.
Let it be known my cell phone is not the one on the right of her shirt.
(The shirt has a cell phone saying “I’ll text u later” and a regular old school phone saying “?” on the other side).
– How does Vyxsin feel about going to country that she missed out on in TAR 12?
– Kent tells us something about today’s fashion choice.
KENT: Today I’ve broken out the cowboy hat. Wanted to show Jet & Cord they aren’t the only ones who can rock the cowboy hat.
“Who has two black painted fingernails and stylizes himself after the douchiest team of all time? This guy!”
VYXSIN: He’s a grand little urban cowboy.
Wow. I think Kent just guaranteed himself to get laid by wearing a cowboy hat while Jet & Cord have yet to seduce anyone after fifteen episodes.
Unfortunately the confessional cut out the part where Vyxsin says she can pull off the dark bandana too just like Ryan & Chuck.
KENT (at a computer): Going to check Travelocity!
Ah yes. A Ford steering wheel and a Travelocity plug within the first five minutes.
“Going to check Travelocity. . .before we watch some Gothic pr0n.”
– Jaime & Cara start in eighth at 12:24pm. Jaime & Cara go to a different travel agent.
And are ready to knock out the travel agent if he so much as stumbles at the task.
Cara already has one hand on the counter that is ready to lift herself up and hold the agent down as Jaime punches him hard in the stomach repeatedly.
– Gary & Mallory begin the round in ninth at 12:26pm. Mallory gets to see the clue first and audibly gasps.
It’s just Publisher’s Clearing House, Mallory! Your Uncle Ed didn’t pass away and leave you with a twenty million dollar inheritance! YOU DON’T EVEN HAVE AN UNCLE ED, MALLORY!
MALLORY (hushed voice): Fly to Tokyo, Japan!
It would be hilarious if Mallory has a bunch of cuts around her mouth because she tries shoving paper into it right now.
I love how Gary has to slowly ease the clue and money into his hands as Mallory gets possessed by the Excitement Bug.
Mallory’s joy is captured from multiple angles.
– They jump into a cab to get to the airport.
– Ron & Christina start last at 12:28pm. Christina mentions she was recently engaged to Azaria.
“Azaria? I thought his name was Joe. Maybe if I keep smiling and say nothng, nobody will notice my mistake.”
– Yes, we get a flashback. I think it is to the first round of TAR 12.
“That Joe has a nice firm handshake.”
Now that’s the smile of a man who definitely wanted to get with your daughter right from the beginning, Ron.
CHRISTINA: Being able to run the race and see the world together once again with my dad is extra special because once we get married we won’t have this chance again.
“P.S. The wedding will be in Ethiopia after we finish filming this race, and Azaria bought a home just outside of Addis Ababa. See ya, daddy!”
I love how everyone turns when Ron & Christina sit between them.
The guy on the left is on Facebook. Fact.
“Holy crimoli wedding dresses are expensive, Chris.”
– Zev & Justin are near the Sydney airport. Zev talks about the Cowboys and Globetrotters being behind them.
ZEV: We need a cool nickname. I guess we’re the Special Kid and His Friend.
Justin can’t believe Zev went there again.
The driver gets in on the humour as well.
– Zev & Justin head to a computer.
– Back at the travel agency, Mel & Mike are told they can buy tickets for an earlier 6:00am flight, but it is a connection through Hong Kong. Three hours.
Everyone is willing to help the Lord of Yeast.
– Mike pitches to Margie & Luke that they should do it.
MIKE: We should do it, you guys!
MEL: Not me.
That’s such a cranky old man “I don’t like change!” type of response.
Go back to your corner Grandpa White, you’re practically still in your state of delirium!
– Who else isn’t fond of this earlier flight?
MARGIE: With this tight connection it makes me really nervous.
Tight connection? Try Derek & Drew and Ken & Gerard that gambled a small lead in Portugal over a 35-40 minute connection in Cologne, Germany.
For those of you reading: Has any team ever missed a connection that had a three hour layover or more?
“It’s just three yeast-filled hours. What could go wrong?”
. . . . . .
– Globetrotters and Cowboys run into the airport.
– The Globies meet up with Zev & Justin at a computer. They find the same 6:00am connecting flight through Hong Kong.
JUSTIN: And what is fifteen minutes, really? In the long haul?
“Is a fifteen minute lead really essential right now?”
“Nah, we’re good.”
– Globetrotters and Zev & Justin mention how they were already delayed on the first leg.
– Jet & Cord go to a different counter and are told 6:15am is the best flight. They book it.
AGENT: You’re brothers? HAHAHA.
CORD: I know I don’t look like it.
“One of you is adopted then, mate! Probably the ginga!”
You know you do not have the earliest flight when it shows up in a dark red font on screen.
– Kisha & Jen are also on the 6:15am flight.
– Ron & Christina view the 6:00am flight as too dangerous of a connection. They decide to play it safe.
In case anyone was curious, the flight to Tokyo via Hong Kong is 832 Euros.
– Gary & Mallory show up to the same counter as Jet & Cord and Kisha & Jen.
GARY: Hello sir, can you give us the same booking?
STUPID CASUAL FAN: You guys are just following everything Jet & Cord do! Kentucky needs to do their own work!
– Kent & Vyxsin justify booking the 6:00am flight.
KENT: Fifteen minutes is fifteen minutes.
VYXSIN: Great great great.
And you get the powder blue font for choosing that flight. Now you definitely know you made the right choice!
– Jaime & Cara also book the 6:00am flight.
– Zev & Justin and the Globetrotters discuss the 6:00am flight once more. Justin thinks it might be worth the risk.
Justin is relying on the Globetrotters’ travel expertise.
FLIGHT TIME: It could be delayed an hour.
JUSTIN: It’s not gonna happen again.
“Unless another man has a heart attack on the plane and we take a detour to Hawaii. . .which flight did Mel book, by the way?”
– Mike tries to convince Margie to be on the 6:00am flight.
MIKE: We need every minute we can get.
You need every minute you can get, Mike? Are you trying to avoid outright speaking about the nearly dead elephant in the room?
– Margie gives in to Young Mike. She expresses how nervous she is. Mike says he wanted to do it because he is not the fastest in the race.
MEL: I hope we’re not making a baaaad mistake.
That hippity hop seems youthful to me.
– Globetrotters and Zev & Justin enter the Cathay Pacific office. Agent informs them there are only two seats left.
“Do. . .do we have to fight them for it?”
Zev is rightfully nervous.
– Luckily, they reach an easy solution.
Big Easy’s face can’t even fit in the frame.
He is like the tallest man in town from Mother 3.
JUSTIN: I don’t know if this is the smart thing to do.
Oh, -now- you hesitate about buying tickets for the 6:00am flight.
– We get a flashback to the first round when Justin helped the Big Easy with the Roadblock riddle.
BIG EASY: I didn’t like the connection anyway. If they’re delayed, they in trouble.
Yeah, letting Zev & Justin board a flight that gets in fifteen minutes with a connection elsewhere is probably less valuable than having a Roadblock solved for you.
You just talked about how worried you are, Justin.
– Gary & Mallory see Mel & Mike and Margie & Luke huddled in the airport.
MALLORY: Hey guys! How y’allve been?
MEL: How are you doing???
Mel talks to Mallory as if she is about to sit on his lap.
MALLORY: Did you guys find a different one?
“Is somebody talking?”
The Yeast Lord does not answer to a lowly Kentuckian creature, and Luke cannot interrupt his hydration patterns.
If only Shawn Johnson was there to cheer Mallory up.
– The awkward pause continues until Margie breaks the silence.
MARGIE: We have reservations.
MALLORY: Okay. See you guys.
Mel wanted to tell her, but he is trying to find Mike to change his Depends without arousing suspicion.
“Hey Margie. . .why is that little fairy talking to us? Do I know her?”
– Mallory points out the obvious.
MALLORY: They’re being really sketchy.
GARY: Yeah. It makes me a little nervous.
– Mike feels awkward not telling Gary & Mallory, but didn’t want anybody on the flight with him.
– Justin explains five teams are on the flight.
FIRST FLIGHT (6:00AM): Kent & Vyxsin; Margie & Luke; Jaime & Cara; Mel & Mike; Zev & Justin.
– It’s going to be a long journey to Japan.
May as well make the best of it.
KENT: You never get ahead in this game unless you take a risk now and then.
True, but going for the lead is completely pointless when there’s still ten freakin’ teams left, including four from TAR 14.
– The Cathay Pacific plane is in Hong Kong.
It turns out there is a problem with the engine. Who knew there would be an issue with a plane in southeast Asia?
You haven’t had good luck with planes, but have had insanely good luck with being on this season in the first place.
There she is! Looks like somebody needs some coffee.
MIKE: My dad aren’t the fastest team on the field, so losing time like this could be bad if we’re scrambling against four other teams on this flight.
“It’s okay Mikey, I can see the light.”
– Commercial break. We resume.
Yeah, I don’t think that helps, captain.
– Zev tells us they have been sitting for an hour.
And could not be less impressed.
– Margie says it will come down to the five of them for who will be eliminated.
Which Luke is not too thrilled about.
– We cut to the second flight. The captain tells them they will be first to land in Tokyo.
Christina and the Globetrotters become best friends! Well, for now anyway.
– Mallory is excited.
Lindsey Bluth couldn’t be happier.
– The maintenance crew fix the engine. What does Zev think about their performance?
Thank goodness he didn’t fill out a survey.
– We prepare for landing in Tokyo.
JAPANESE ADVANTAGE: Zev & Justin; Harlem Globetrotters (TAR 15: Tokyo.). Ron & Christina; Not Kent & Vyxsin because they were eliminated one round prior (TAR 12: Osaka).
There was something on the arch before. . .
. . .But James already took it down.
The roomiest part of Tokyo.
Needs more skyscraper.
– The five teams start running. More running.
Whenever a flight is delayed, Gary & Mallory always leap from dead last and right into the lead.
– Kisha & Jen read they must get out of town.
It is like there is an invisible hook on Big Easy’s shirt.
– Kisha & Jen are third to the clue box.
KISHA: Get out of town.
– Phil says teams must drive themselves to the city of Kamakoruh and find the Soonuh Hogo Gyachi Manga and find the Yabusame Dojo where their next clue shall be.
Good luck getting up there with your leg cramps, Mel.
I wonder what’s inside of the dojo?
NOTE: The route marker is actually in a city called Kamakura in an area called Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu. (Hey, I tried my best with how Phil pronounced it.)
– They must ask the garage attendant for a car.
All you have to do is press an ‘easy’ button and it appears.
MALLORY: Whoa, cool! I haven’t seen anything like that in my whole life.
No, just some fried chicken.
GARY: What’s the name of the town we’re going to Mal?
MALLORY: We’re going to. . .Kamakura!
She even has to make the slightly offensive face.
You know, Mallory’s over-the-top facial reactions would fit right in with Japanese culture.
She is likely the inspiration for every female in anime.
– Jen talks about Big Easy pressing buttons. Somehow Kisha & Jen’s car comes out first.
– The Globetrotters enter their vehicle.
– Gary observes the tight fit for Big Easy.
Gary is so old he goes with a Fred Flintstone reference.
Nothing amuses Gary more than when people evoke memories of Hannah Barbara cartoons.
Just wait until you are start having to use tuk-tuks again, man.
– Ron & Christina are fourth into their car. Jet & Cord are amazed by the technology.
CORD: I thought I’d just get me a soda pop out of it.
And all you’re going to get is a bunch of RC Cola.
– Ron starts driving out of the road.
CHRISTINA: Go. Go. Daddy, can you go a little faster?
RON: You think I’m doing this lackadaisically? Good grief.
CHRISTINA: . . .You’re doing great.
“If I use big words, people will get off my back.”
“My dad is very lackadaisycal. . .”
– The Cathay Pacific flight gets in 65 minutes later (7:20am). This ain’t good.
– All five teams show up together at the parking garage.
KENT: We would like. . .a car!
“I come in peace!”
VYXSIN: Mike, are you good at maps?
VYXSIN: So we’re just following you then.
Mike would like a choice in this matter.
MIKE: We need a car.
MARGIE: Oh, that’s our car.
JAIME: Sir, may we have a car please!
ZEV: Car! Car!
CARA: Crazy these car parks, huh?
JAIME: Car, this is ours.
VYXSIN: You’ve been here for two minutes. This car is ours.
KENT: Where’s our car? Vyxsin, he’s already brought it down.
JAIME: He already brought your car. You shoulda just already got into it.
Car? Car? Car? Car? Car? Car?
– Zev decides to take the time to mock Kent & Vyxsin’s dramatic moment.
– Margie & Luke leave the garage in sixth.
And Mel & Mike leave in 7th. I guess that’s what happens when you agree that you are good with maps. Everyone will follow behind you.
– Kent & Vyxsin are eighth out of the garage. Jaime & Cara are ninth.
JAIME: Car, shut that! Shut it!
CARA: . . .
Note to self: When you enter a parking garage, pick a nickname other than “CAar”. Otherwise you think everyone is calling your name and your partner is telling you to be quiet.
– Zev & Justin patiently wait as they secure last place.
“I wish we had owed the Globetrotters one instead.”
– Last place does not come without its benefits as they get to watch Jaime & Cara try to pull out of the garage.
JAIME: I can’t see.
CARA: You’re good. I can see.
JUSTIN: She’s going to break her mirror. Watch.
I love how quickly the attendant dashes after Justin makes his prediction.
lol women drivers. Right into the left barrier.
ZEV: Whoap! Wrong way!
– Although Kent & Vyxsin got their car earlier, they had a minor disadvantage being on the left hand side. Jaime & Cara successfully cut them off.
VYXSIN: No, don’t you dare get in there. Bitches.
“You’re too slow, Kent & Vyxsin! Oops, I forgot my seatbelt. First step is to pull on the strap. . .”
Jaime absolutely trolled in this situation. She freakin’ smashes into the barrier because of how much she wanted to block Mel & Mike and Kent & Vyxsin’s caravan.
Jaime & Cara might need an exorcism after this round.
VYXSIN: Those Reds are pretty pushy, but that isn’t a surprise to me.
While Pinks are fuzzy little creatures!
JUSTIN: C’mon ferrari. C’mon porsche. No whammy no whammy.
At least Zev & Justin have fun in last.
– Gary & Mallory, Globetrotters, and Kisha & Jen are all driving together. They are unsure of where to go.
The last thing you want to occur is be lost in a Tokyo traffic jam.
Or try to take a peaceful nap at Kim Kelly’s house.
And Japan might be a bit colder than southern California and Australia thus far.
– Mallory leans out the window to ask the Globetrotters for help.
MALLORY: Are we going the wrong way? What do you think?
“And what do you think about the pink streak in my hair? Vyxsin helped me with it!”
– Big Easy gives an all too familiar answer.
BIG EASY: I don’t have a map. We follow y’all.
I swear the Globetrotters say this at least once each round.
“. . .Remind me never to ally with the Globetrotters.”
And why does the guy one car ahead also have his car out the window? Is that production or just a nosey local?
– Ron & Christina are also trying to figure out where to turn.
RON: Do we go straight or turn left?
CHRISTINA: Can you honk?
CHRISTINA: Can you honk?
“Why the f–k would I do that?”
Because Christina wants to talk to people. Something which Ron is not fond of doing.
– Christina speaks Japanese, therefore communication is rather easy. Where do they go?
Turn towards me? This is breaking the fourth wall, Christina.
RON: She told us to go here. So we might be screwed because of her ineptitude.
CHRISTINA: Really, Daddy? Don’t be rude to her.
It’s the same tone of voice Christina uses when Ron is not fond of a new boy she brings home.
Also, if it helps the situation at all, Ron’s rudeness was only a little bit lackadaisical.
CHRISTINA: She helped us.
RON: Yes, she was helpful. My apologies.
Spoken with such inept sincerity.
But Christina doesn’t have to know that.
– Mallory leans out her window again to shout at Kisha that they need to turn the other way.
Jen is the only one with a map. Clearly Japanese maps aren’t her strong suit.
– Jet & Cord are doing their lone ranger thing. Who cares.
– Ron & Christina are first to the dojo.
Which, predictably, is covered by a bunch of leaves.
What could that Kamakura Camera Crew possibly be filming?
It’s Japanese Robin Hood! Actually, it’s probably Ocarina of Time era Link.
– Ron & Christina jog down some steps. Christina says they both enjoy Japanese culture. She likes another window into the rituals that are part of it.
I can guarantee you there are thousands of people at home watching this thinking “well, they’re Japanese so they must be loving this leg”.
NOTE: Christina lived in Japan for a year. They mentioned this on air during TAR 12.
– It’s a Roadblock.
PHIL: In this Roadblock, teams will face a rigorous training exercise that will determine whether or not they are truly aerodynamic.
Spin the horse a bit more, and you’ve got a clear shot on Phil. Headless Keoghan hosting The Amazing Race would draw bigger ratings.
– The horseman connects with the target.
And does not hesitate to showboat.
“I am the world’s greatest!”
– Team members must dress up as samurai and learn the proper Yabusame ritual and techniques for shooting a bow and arrow from atop a wooden horse.
Jesus. That creature is more uncanny than anything I saw in Spirited Away. Even shinigamis would tremble before it.
– First, they’ll observe an ongoing demonstration and learn a ritual.
Which is doing the most stereotypical Japanese arm movement you can think of.
– Then they must perform it in front of a master.
Mary Jean would be screwed.
– Once they’ve performed the ritual correctly, they’ll be spun on a wooden horse and must hit a target.
Look at that form.
The target seems big to me.
You know Japan has become too Americanized when the target is modeled after a baseball diamond.
– When the target is hit, the next clue will be revealed.
A true samurai never reveals his face.
– Christina states she has faith in Ron. He agrees to do it.
RON: This requires precision. I don’t have good eyesight. My daughter has better eyesight.
But do you know what she can’t compete with, Ron?
Your sense of style as you dress up like Woody from Toy Story.
“You’re my favourite deputy!”
– A Japanese guy yells as he fires the target. Ron is flustered.
– Kisha & Jen and Gary & Mallory park. So do the Globetrotters. Kisha & Jen cannot find the dojo.
– Gary & Mallory have the clue in second place.
GARY: “Who wants to go back a thousand years in time?” I was born a thousand years ago.
You were born a thousand years ago?
Did you and Methusaleh both attend Stanford together? Funny thing is that both of you look younger than Mel.
– We cut to Mallory who starts acting like a crocodile.
MALLORY (crocodile mode): Go-go! Go-go!
How did Mallory pass the psych exams?
– Ron takes his first crack at the Roadblock. He tries to perfect the form.
“How you doin’?”
I think the answer is ‘no’, Ron.
– Globetrotters are third to the clue box. Flight Time is doing it. Then Jen.
– Jen loves the garments including the silk robe.
From now on, Jen only wears silk. Silk basketball jerseys will become the new fad when she returns home.
It’s funny that people actually do wear shoes like this nowadays.
– Flight Time, Gary, Ron, and Jen all practice together. Nobody is getting close.
“I think I’ve got this.”
“If I copy Gary and he passes, then I’ve got this too.”
– Gary decides to try the poses.
I doubt the samurai practiced by taking a dump on the corner of the wall.
– We cut to Jet & Cord on the road. Cord says they should be going south, but Jet points out they are heading east. Cord knows they are going the wrong way.
– Kent & Vyxsin talk about how Tokyo is the Times Square of Japan.
You know you are overpopulated when an entire city looks as congested as Times Square.
– Kent & Vyxsin and Mel & Mike stop in the middle of the road to chat. Margie & Luke and Jaime & Cara are also stuck behind them as they all confer. Such an American way to drive.
I am impressed that producers are letting teams self-drive through Tokyo.
Which is something a mom from the middle of Colorado would find very stressful.
“Toto, I don’t think we’re in TAR 14 anymore.”
– Zev & Justin drive by the four teams. So much for being in last.
– Jaime & Cara step out of their car as they tell Margie & Luke that Zev & Justin flew past them on the road.
“They should’ve played fair and pulled over like the rest of us.”
“Hmmm. . .if Jaime & Cara are directly behind us, then technically we’re not in last place.”
– We cut back to the dojo. We get a bit of B-roll of everything happening in Kamakura.
Including this stone house that has a plant on top of it with a manbun.
That’s what the houses were missing in Adventures of Link.
– Ron makes another attempt.
“You want some more of this, big boy?”
I love how there is even a wooden pony in the background.
Ron, a samurai, a pony with a saddle. . .that’s what Ginuwine was singing about.
“What’s it going to take to seduce this guy?”
You might be here awhile Ron. You might be here awhile.
– Ron admits his frustration with strict judging holding him back. Well isn’t that ironic for him.
– Jen finds it all very pretty but also detail-orienting. Everyone is failing as the mild blunder soundtrack plays repeatedly.
Not on the floor, Flight Time! This is a Harlem Globetrotter practical joke on the court taken too far!
– Zev & Justin are fifth to the Roadblock. That’s right. They are now hooked up with the group from the “first” plane.
JUSTIN: I’m going to do it. Wish me luck–
ZEV (ignoring him): Hey!!!!!
Dammit, Zev! Your partner needs support!
I understand why Zev ditched Justin before he even went inside the dojo.
Because Justin is never this excited to see Zev.
This looks like Mai’s dressing room on a daily basis. Justin has always wanted to know what it is to be royalty for a day.
Ron must be jealous.
– Gary asks Justin if anybody was with him when driving to the dojo.
Justin outright ignores him. I guess Justin’s policy is to ignore everyone who isn’t a Globetrotter.
“I am copying the face Justin is making. It could be part of the pose.”
– In a Dana & Amanda-esque move, Jaime & Cara run out onto the sidewalk and yell if anybody speaks English.
– It is only round three, and Mike pulls out the dagger.
Mike clearly doesn’t give a damn about his bad reputation.
MIKE: Stay close to me.
And sadly, Margie & Luke get to be in on the plan.
Put in your hearing aids, gramps.
MIKE: We’re the last four people.
That look of horror on Margie’s face is priceless. She knows what has to happen if she wishes to stay alive.
A caravan without Cara just isn’t the same.
– Kent & Vyxsin are in on the trimmed caravan. Jaime & Cara go back to their car to see everyone else has left. Margie acknowledges it is ridiculous if all four teams had all agreed to stick together to the dojo.
JAIME: We’re never gonna get there.
TAR 14, everybody.
– Jet & Cord keep going south.
– Jen proclaims she is great at being detail-oriented. She completes the Roadblcok in a very brief five second clip.
Usually whoever completes a particular task first in each episode gets the most amount of airtime doing it other than the person who struggles the most. Jen really got buried on this one.
She would be great at the final immunity challenge from Survivor: Thailand.
JEN (on the horse): Yoiiiiiii.
Jen attempting to yell in Japanese is something which should never occur again. It’s probably a good thing she completed the task right away.
Although Asian languages have never been Kisha & Jen’s realm of expertise.
RON (sees JEN finish): Oh no. C’mon.
Ron’s lead is gone.
– Kisha & Jen read they must drive to the town of Minamiashigara and find the Kintaro Statue at the Daiyuzan Railway Station.
Hold up. Kintaro?
Tyler MacNiven, the hippie who won TAR 9, had a documentary called Kintaro Walks Japan where he walks the entire length of Japan for his girlfriend.
Furthermore, Tyler was nicknamed by locals as “Kintaro” based off the Japanese golden boy Kintaro legend. When he was in Japan during TAR 9, TAR’s first visit to the country, people recognized him by his nickname.
So let me get this straight.
TAR 18 is visiting the Kintaro Statue which is connected to one human being on the planet who coincidentally happens to be the same guy who won The Amazing Race nine seasons earlier.
NOTE: I watched the Kintaro Walks Japan documentary about four years ago. It’s really good.
I personally don’t recall the episode where Tyler wielded an axe, though.
– This has to be one of the most obscure inside jokes that producers have ever set up on The Amazing Race. Can you think of a better one?
By the way, Logan & Chris only gave these kids twenty bucks.
– Justin says he knows it is about paying attention to detail. He did so by thinking about what each pose means as opposed to memorizing the mechanics.
Although a little bit of mechanics couldn’t hurt.
– Justin finishes the task in second place. Wow. Gary completes it next with saying “Yoi!” in the most stereotypical old man voice possible.
The Duck Whisperer? Ah. A reference to when they excelled in Vietnam during TAR 15. Hopefully you guys live longer than the Dog Whisperer.
Mallory gets to be apart of it by ripping the clue.
– The three-team caravan of Mel & Mike, Margie & Luke, and Kent & Vyxsin are at the dojo together. Kent, Luke, and sadly not Mel are doing the Roadblock.
– Margie signs to Luke to watch their mouths.
KENT: This outfit feels wonderful. Judging from the skirt and yellow, I think it’s promising.
Kent will drop the Goth look to become a samurai. I think it’s time for a change, quite frankly.
You know who isn’t a big fan of Japanese feudal fashion?
– Flight Time is done the task in fourth.
It was a tense for a moment, but he succeeded.
– Jet & Cord make it to the dojo in eighth.
JET: Holy cow, everybody is here but us.
Cough. Except for the four teams who already left. Cough.
– Ron is on the horse and prepares to fire the bow and arrow. He does a Bruce Lee yell and it is spectacular.
Every single one of my dreams came true. Thank you, Ron.
I love that the guy spinning the horse has no idea how to react.
– Ron stumbles with the bow before firing the arrow. He connects. Ron proceeds to bow (with a bow in his hand) for the sensei.
“You’re welcome. . .now please leave.”
– Jaime says she feels like a mouse in a maze. Cara taps her fingers nervously.
Cara does not deal with stress well.
The camera operator was bored enough to do a close-up of Cara’s fingers tapping.
JAIME: I have never driven on this side.
CARA: Stay to the right a little bit more Jaime. You’re getting awfully close on the left side to the other cars.
Even in this shot you can see how much she is trailing off to the left.
That’s what happens when you chug a bunch of red bull before driving.
It’s all up to Cara to ensure Jaime avoids another international incident.
If you think based off of this screencap that Jaime just hit another car seconds after Cara stated how worried she was, then congratulations, you win your fantasy pool draw for the week.
JAIME: OH GOD! HOLY S–T!
Sounds like somebody needs a replacement car.
JAIME: I definitely hit something there. I need to stop for that.
Nah, I’m sure producers are okay with aiding and abetting a hit and run on The Amazing Race. Go go go!
– Jaime parks and walks over to the smashed vehicle. Thankfully, she only hit a sideview mirror.
JAIME: Did I hit your mirror? Is it okay? I sorry.
All side view mirrors in Japan have a speech chip. Just talk to it Jaime and see how it’s holding up.
– Jaime tries to be a diplomat in the situation.
JAIME: Can we just give you some money for your mirror?
This would be the perfect time for Jaime to have one of her magazines on hand and give it to the driver as compensation.
– So what does he do?
Sorry, Jaime. The PoPo are being summoned.
JAIME: He wants to call the police. I don’t know.
“Why is he being such an ass about the whole thing?”
Cara is sad because her cat Sprinkles is caught under the front right tire.
– Jaime comments on how complicated the language barrier is as she acknowledges it could be hours before they resume racing.
Cara cringes in advance for the words that are about to come out of Jaime’s mouth.
JAIME: I’m just frustrated with him right now. We can’t even have a conversation because I keep hearing ‘Mmm’, ‘mmm’. ‘Yes, mmm mmm’.
That’s right, folks. All Japanese people speak in electronic dance music. Cara isn’t helping things by making the Asian Eyes face too.
MAN (on phone): Mmmm.
– Thundering music as we go to commercial.
This is a great Tokyo Life Clip. . .even if it comes at the expense of Jaime wanting to punch the guy out for copying dubstep.
– I wonder what played during the commercial anyway?
Campbell’s Soup which is mmm mmm good.
– We even have a musical sponsour for this episode.
Thanks Imogen Heap! I know you’re only famous because of Dear Sister from SNL and also Jason The Ruler, but hey, you still did your thing.
– We resume. Cara recaps the situation.
You would think in Japan that Jaime would win points and secure a high score by the damage she caused.
J-Popo show up.
– Jaime wishes they could have just gone through insurance.
JAIME: He made it more dramatic than it needed to be.
I think the drama was a team effort.
JAIME: It was just a mirror.
Actually, it was his grandmother’s.
– Cara apologizes to him on Jaime’s behalf.
So heartfelt, Jaime.
– We cut back to the dojo. Kent’s form is rejected. So is Luke’s and Mike’s.
MIKE (whisper): It’s a lot harder than it should be.
The reason could be that you suck at the task.
You’re closer to being a mime trapped in a box than you are a samurai.
– Kisha & Jen ask for directions. . .
At a funeral home. Jen got them there due to her map reading skills.
Jen’s insensitivity was unintentional.
JEN: Sorry. Rest in peace.
KISHA LAUGH COUNT: 5
– Zev & Justin are on the road. Justin glances at the map as he drives.
JUSTIN: Look for the Daiyuzan Railway Station. It might be some tiny little thing.
I know that look. That is the look of somebody who is presented with a golden opportunity for a very witty and distasteful remark on screen. Remember, this is the lead in Justin paved for him:
“Look for the Daiyuzan Railway Station. It might be some tiny little thing. . .”
Cue the censor!
– Zev says what you think he says.
You should have seen that unaired episode of The Magic School Bus where Carlos makes a pun about an Italian woman and armpits.
Zev just made one of the most offensive remarks in TAR history, and successfully got away with it. Good job, sir!
Why does he get away with it but not me?
– Mallory doesn’t help things.
MALLORY: Oh! There’s little. . .there’s little. . .Justin! There’s little statues right there! Look!
If we could use Jimmy Kimmel’s Unnecessary Censorship on the word ‘statue’, I definitely would.
– Editors play off of this as the Asian Riff plays when the two teams pull into the station.
MALLORY: I like those kids a lot! Hi guys!
Even their sassy hand gestures!
– They open the clue. It’s a Detour. Phil says the Japanese have many colourful rituals.
PHIL: Some have religious significance while others are just for fun.
Are you saying religion isn’t fun, Phil?
– Teams must choose between Prayer of Purity or Frog of Luck.
You can’t see it because it is off screen, but the dragons are spitting on potatoes.
– In Prayer of Purity, teams take part in a Shinto religion cleansing ritual. They must put on traditional wardrobe and learn a prayer that is both physical and vocal.
It looks more like clothes you would find after a massage.
How many times are teams going to be forced to dress up this leg?
While a certain thing may be small Zev, I can assure you this man makes it up with his goatee.
Row row row
Row your boat
Gently down the stream. . .
It’s the most intensive performance of a nursery rhyme I have ever seen.
– After learning this prayer, they must stand underneath a cascading waterfall.
If I recall correctly, spirit mediums in Japanese culture tend to train underneath freezing cold waterfalls. How do I already know this?
Oh yeah. That’s not surprising. Phoenix Wright taught me everything.
– The water comes directly from the snows of Mount Fuji.
If this is your ideal temperature, feel free to move to Nunavut.
– Phil informs us that the temperature is 45 degrees Fahrenheit (or 7.222222 degrees Celsius for countries that are smart). They must stand there for one minute.
I hear it’s a bit warmer than two hundred degrees below Celsius.
Phil is wearing gloves? Wuss.
– In Frog of Luck, teams strip down and enter an enormous mud pit.
All sumo masters fear him.
– Once they enter the mud pit, onlookers will pelt them with mud as they search for a buried frogs. Frogs are a symbol of good luck. They will exchange their frog for a clue.
An calf fetus is in better shape than that frog.
What is going to happen to that frog?
He’s going to eat it? He knows it is not edible, right?
– You know who wouldn’t choose the Prayer of Purity task?
T-Boz and Chili. They wouldn’t go chasing waterfalls.
– Zev & Justin choose Frog of Luck. So do Gary & Mallory.
MALLORY: The Globetrotters!
– Yes, our heroes the Globetrotters appear with Ron & Christina seconds behind.
CHRISTINA (to the kids): Konichiwa! They are so cute.
I love how Christina acts like there is an invisible barrier between her and the kids.
– Globetrotters and Ron & Christina both choose Purity.
And nothing says purity like McDonalds!
– Kisha & Jen have dropped a few spots as they are fifth to the clue box. They go with Frog of Luck.
– Jaime & Cara are last to the Roadblock. Cara is shocked that three other teams are present. Jaime makes an unexpected apology.
Eh, you’re fitting in with the aroma of the samurai in the middle ages, Jaime.
JAIME: To get here and still be teams here is exciting. I don’t have the best aim. I’ll be honest.
It might not be the first time in the past year that Jaime has needed an older Japanese man to show her what good aim looks like.
– Luke hits the target. So does Cord after rambling about Oklahoma’s relevance in this task.
– Kent does a Catholic Inquisition chant before hitting his target.
We are dangerously close to a Marilyn Manson video.
– Mike lost a ton of time as he finishes the task in ninth place.
– We get an exterior shot of Mount Fuji. Zev & Justin and Gary & Mallory find the mud pit together.
If you take the Carissa Gaghan approach and hover on top of the mud, you can avoid this fate.
– The camera pans to Gary.
Don’t look at the diagram behind you, Gary.
Or the onlookers of. . .middle-aged men? I don’t think this is the show they were expecting today.
ZEV: We looked like really skinny sumo wrestlers. Let’s find this frog then eat its legs for good luck.
But first, nothing like a good afternoon jog. This will be my running outfit once spring rolls around.
Now I want spring rolls.
– Justin walks into the pit.
But not without a little bit of help.
– These individuals in the mud must be desperate models who are eager to build their career.
Because there is no way they would hang out in cold mud for fun.
Justin quickly acts out his aggression on some innocent guy for what Zev did to him.
He is working out his childhood anger issues at the moment.
ZEV: Get me out of this place.
But you’ll never know what frog legs taste like, Zev.
MALLORY: This is like Miss America all over again except I’m fifty pounds heavier.
FIFTY?! How skinny were you in Miss America?
Were you Miss KenflatStantucky or something?
Mallory is horrified by the Kentucky Hazing which is about to ensue.
Look to your right, Mallory!
**TWO SECONDS LATER**
Pa! It’s fun to get dirty! Just like the family swimming hole!
NOTE: It is now time for a Leap of Faith.
Best belly flop ever!
– Whimsical and dreamy Japanese music plays as the Globetrotters and Ron & Christina show up at the waterfalls. They change. Globetrotters join in on the prayer, and utter an all too familiar phrase.
FLIGHT TIME: Let’s do what they do.
“Do your own Shinto prayer, Flight Time!”
– We can see Big Easy’s breath when he exhales.
Peace. Calm. Nirvana.
Big Easy. Not. Any. Of. That.
It’s time to break out the incense. This is why Tyler loves Japan so much.
That’s snow. . .right?
– Big Easy sprinkles something into a pot as a bell dings.
Alright. Breathe in. Breathe out. Let’s prepare the chant.
Oh. Note Christina’s fanny pack. This is important.
– So the master prepares the chant.
The dude has a sceptre. He starts chanting some words with rhythm. It sounds like more Hindi words if anything.
– What did the Globetrotters think he said? Well. . .
Please forgive these American guests. Ommm mmmmmm.
They sound like a freakin’ upbeat church choir right now. This is the most offensive episode of TAR I have witnessed.
Globetrotters proceed to the nursery rhyme.
“MERRILY MERRILY MOTHERF–KERS!”
– Meanwhile, Ron & Christina begin the chanting. The master stands behind them.
Did he just mime smacking Christina’s butt with the sceptre?
– While Ron & Christina are chanting, you can hear the Globetrotters yelling on the audio.
– Margie & Luke and Jet & Cord are sixth and seventh to the clue box respectively. They go with Frog of Luck.
– Cara is anxious as Jaime is alone inside of the dojo.
CARA: I’m sure she is doing a great job. I’m hoping she is not having any sort of frustration.
Don’t let go of the arrow.
– Alright. She has the arrow back and prepares to fire.
It’s like the whole world hates Jaime right now.
And we’re all in on the joke except for her.
– Back to the mud pit.
MALLORY: It’s not my first time in a pit of mud, but it is in this outfit.
I wouldn’t expect anything more from a primarily male production and editing crew. It’s going to be obvious if every season from now on forces players to play around in mud.
– Justin finds a frog as TAR Asia triumphant music plays.
Justin is humble and quiet as he exchanges the frog for the buttcrack clue.
Zev not so much.
– Justin reads they must travel to the Kurihama in Yokosuka. It’s a monument that commemorates the landing of Commodore Matthew C. Perry.
Could there -be- any other landing?
I knew Japanese FRIENDS was a bit hit, but now I finally know why.
Matthew Perry is 150 years old? Damn that actor has some good botox.
I wish they would use the engraved world map as the pit stop mat for this leg.
Producers missed out on that opportunity.
– We cut to one of the strangest pieces of B-Roll ever.
a) Do you know how people who are sick in Japan typically wear those nurse masks to prevent the spread of germs?
b) Do you know that 70s dance move where you spin your wrists around each other in front of your body?
Welcome to Japan where a sick Japanese person on a bike hangs around a guy who won’t let the disco revolution die.
– Mallory tries her hand at hitting on a Japanese mud slinger.
I never thought I would see the day where Mallory wants to put the mac down.
– The mud slinger denies her advances.
Sorry Mallory. You have to accept that you’ll occasionally strike out.
We interrupt this program for another belly flop.
– Gary picks up a frog. It would be hilarious if it was a live one.
The mud slingers celebrate Gary’s success the only way they know how.
– Gary & Mallory read that it is time to head to the pit stop. Mallory does her best Disney laugh.
Somebody as old school as Gary likely does not know what to make of Japan after today.
MALLORY: You’re going to have two redheads I’m pretty sure. They’re going to look pretty good in this outfit. Don’t worry.
(Cut to the mud slingers cheering.)
Yep, editors made it seem like the mud slingers are a bunch of horny men who are waiting for two American redheads to wrestle in the mud.
They’ll stick around too.
– Zev & Justin are in area where they can hose off the mud.
This is an epic water hose fight.
ZEV: How’s my face?
I think Justin won this round.
– Zev & Justin are in the change room.
JUSTIN: I was starting to feel like we might have a shot at first place. I was not ready to stop and put on pants.
Zev, meanwhile, prefers to wear pants.
Personally I think Justin chose to not wear pants so he had an excuse to check himself out.
ZEV: He wore underwear. I’m not wearing any underwear.
JUSTIN: Right now?
Where is this going. . .?
JUSTIN: That’s hot.
It’s going to be one breezy mat chat with Phil.
– Mallory comments on how cold it is as Gary rinses her off.
She can’t even get her mud-filled goggles off by herself.
– Kisha & Jen are at the mud pit. Kisha isn’t happy with the plummeting temperatures either.
KISHA: I don’t do bikinis.
You don’t do bikinis, Kisha?
No wonder you made Jen do the icicle underwear run in Russia during TAR 14.
JEN: It was thirty degrees outside and I was in a diaper.
Hey, it’s more clothing than you had in Russia, Jen. You weren’t even wearing any underwear that day if I recall correctly.
Thanks to affirmative action, we get the lone female representative. The funding for the Mud Slingers Club probably doubled because they included a woman.
That’s not a belly flop!
That was closer to the Eddie Guerrero Frog Splash.
Which was a really bad idea.
That’s some Jen pwnage right there.
I guess the Kisha Laugh Count will stop at five. Sigh.
– Kent & Vyxsin are eighth to the clue box. They choose Frog of Luck. Mel & Mike are right there with them and follow suit.
MIKE: I think it would be somehow satisfying to beat Jaime & Cara.
Yes. Jaime & Cara would be humiliated by losing to a guy who has been legally dead twice so far this season.
– Jaime finishes the Roadblock.
JAIME: Hopefully a comeback in the making.
No voodoo magic on the race, Jaime!
– Flight Time & Big Easy are ordered to submerge their heads underwater several times.
FLIGHT TIME: The water was absolutely freezing. It was terrible.
BIG EASY: It was cold.
FLIGHT TIME: We definitely used to dunking and we got dunked.
Big Easy nearly kicks the lady in the face.
She gets revenge by forcibly drowning his friend.
– Christina is really getting into the intense nursery rhyme portion of the task.
“My daughter is freaking me out. Good luck in this relationship, Azaria. I fear for the day you do something wrong.”
– New TAR soundtrack plays. It’s like the Wild Wild West meets rural Japan style of music.
– We see the Globetrotters shiver underneath the waterfall.
She is making the Globetrotters her bitch. This is awesome on so many levels.
Ron & Christina pretend to throw ninja stars.
– The woman gives the Globetrotters the signal that the one minute is over. Big Easy steps off the rock.
The only occasion where Flight Time is taller than Big Easy.
Who knew somebody would die on this season before Mel.
Big Easy is like a freakin’ turtle on his back. Flight Time couldn’t find this funnier.
Big Easy may have preferred playing in the mud.
– Flight Time tells some random guy named “Nate” that they have to get their bags.
Why here is Christina’s fanny pack.
Which Flight Time adopts as his own.
Ron feels a disturbance in the atmosphere.
– Ron is screaming. He speaks in a confessional about how the freezing waterfall was so intense that it felt like somebody was throwing rocks at him.
The rest of his hair will be pelted away.
– Christina said she must have had a lot of evil spirits as they finish the task in fifth place. They head back to the starting point.
Yeah. About that. . .
The fanny pack was possessed by evil spirits. It had to be disposed of, Christina.
CHRISTINA: It was right there. Someone took it.
Flight Time keeps his head down as not to arouse suspicion from the guard.
“I didn’t take it. Some guy named Herb did.”
– Flight Time asks Big Easy if he left the fanny pack in the male changing room. He said he did.
CHRISTINA: It has all of the passports and money. I would never leave it by my side.
You mean you wouldn’t leave it in the male change room? Sounds like classic Christina to me.
– Christina tries to communicate with the master if he has seen their fanny pack.
CHRISTINA: It’s like this but black.
“Ahhhhhh. . .our gift shop is at the bottom?”
Now would be a good time to pick up a frog.
– Commercial break. We resume.
– We recap the situation.
CHRISTINA: This doesn’t make any sense.
RON: I know! I saw it physically up there!
Ron is onto them very quickly.
Ron is ready to take a basketball and slam dunk it in their ass.
CHRISTINA: I mean. We just have to go. It’s not here so. . .they must have taken it.
RON: Why would they make such a stupid mistake?
Christina is not a big fan of these new school teams.
– We cut back to Kisha & Jen in the mud.
KISHA: There is dirt in places dirt should not be right now.
Judging by the blur, that does not surprise me.
– Kisha grabs a frog and hands it to Jen.
JEN: Oh my god! Your t-ts!
– Jen brings the frog to the man.
JEN: He needs to be muddy too.
“My bandana! It’s ruined!”
– Jen spits out some of the mud as Kisha reads the clue. They leave in fifth place.
– Ron is fuming as he throws down the shirt.
– It’s time for Ron to play some Hide-And-Seek.
I think he got it.
RON: Oh shut the f–k up! WHY WOULD THEY DO SUCH A STUPID THING! GOD!
– In case you fell asleep, Christina re-explains what happened once more.
Mr. Miyagi was a professional hide-and-seek champion in Hong Kong. Nothing gets by him.
– Ron & Christina enter their car.
RON: He just caused a consternation. It just irks me.
And that consternation was anything but lackadaisical. It caused great discomposure.
– Zev & Justin pull into a Toyota dealership to ask for directions.
JUSTIN: If a guy gets out of his car in his underwear in the States, you run the other way. Here they don’t even bat an eye.
I don’t know if he was totally cool with it, Justin.
JUSTIN: I have never talked to strangers in my underwear before.
And it won’t be happening again.
– Gary wants to pull over. Mallory wants none of it.
MALLORY: Go straight. Keep going straight. I’m going to take the charge right now cause I saw the sign. We’re not going to waste time.
GARY: I think somebody can help–
MALLORY: Keep–Please keep going.
Mallory has become very aggressive this season. At least she’ll always say ‘please’ beforehand with her tennis scarf.
– Jet & Cord change and are ready to play in the mud.
Do they have mud in Oklahoma too? And is it coloured yellow?
MARGIE: Oh! My! God!
I think Margie would prefer the leotard.
– She exits and begins running on the path to the mud pit.
But not before nearly crashing into the sign.
– Jen is audibly shivering inside of the car.
JEN: I’m s-s-s-so f-f-f-freezing c-c-c-cold. C-c-can’t feel my body.
The chef’s hat is the only thing keeping her warm.
– Jet slides into the mud.
He really went all out.
CORD: I kept listening for that ‘ribit’.
That’s cute, Cord.
CORD: Live frogs jump at any time. So you know you want to stay quiet. You want to stay down.
I’m hunting wibit.
Both follow the technique.
– Jet has the frog, and has to tell Cord something important in the confessional.
Jet silently nods.
Cord knows it will be making it into the episode.
“That explains why he wouldn’t let me have it for dinner.”
– Kent & Vyxsin, Margie & Luke, and Mel & Mike are all in the mud.
A task in cold mud is Kent’s worst nightmare.
A seventy year old man in weather that is hovering around zero degrees Celsius? This sounds like fun!
– Jaime & Cara are at the Kintaro Statue.
They wave at the kids who have been standing in cold weather waving flags for nearly three hours now.
“If you didn’t take so long, we could be at home playing Shin Megami Tensei right now! And we’ve only seen hair like that in animes!”
NOTE: The parents of the kids sued TAR producers for violating child labour laws. This is another reason why production is not too fond of Jaime & Cara. Why did you have to smash the mirror, Jaime?!
– Jaime & Cara choose Frog of Luck.
JAIME: Maybe we will get luck and get it fast.
“Or maybe we’ll smash another mirror.”
We get a shot of the harbour.
– Zev & Justin see Phil from the road. They pull over. Justin verifies that Zev has their fanny pack.
Phil was probably worried Zev would make the same joke as earlier.
Which is why both Japanese pit stop greeters are female. Sorry Zev.
– The greeter on the left welcomes them.
ZEV: Domo arigato.
Heh. The extra ‘domo’ had to be a Mr. Roboto reference.
PHIL: Zev and Justin. . .
ZEV: Yes, Phil?
Zev knows what is coming.
FIRST PLACE: ZEV & JUSTN
Zev has to pull Justin off of him.
ZEV: Did you just hump me?
JUSTIN: I did just hump you.
“And I don’t regret a second of it.”
Phil was not expecting humping to be the first point of discussion for the winning team.
In fact, I can’t think of any mat chat where the word ‘humping’ was used outside of an Asian or African task involving camels.
“Can I get in on it?”
– They have won a trip to tropical Costa Rica.
Which includes a gnome and a rubber ducky.
JUSTIN: We’re in it to win it this time.
ZEV: Cause we’re a team.
ZEV: Don’t touch me.
The humping made things awkward. I didn’t think that would happen.
– We cut back to the mud pit.
Somehow most of Vyxsin’s hair has avoided the mud.
KENT: Stop it.
She just points and laughs at Kent. How embarrassing.
– Vyxsin finds the frog. Her and Kent give it to the master.
Which Kent takes waaaaay too far.
The man feels both numb and violated.
– Jaime & Cara are stuck at a tunnel. Jaime finds it amusing that they have a luck task when luck has not been on their side today.
CARA: Sounds like it’s going to be dirty.
JAIME: It’s going to be dirty and dark.
I’ll leave that one alone.
– Vyxsin yells at Kent to stop prancing around because two teams are guaranteed to be behind them.
– Kent makes an observation.
KENT: Somehow my makeup still held up.
It’s mud-proof. Whichever company owns Kent’s makeup stock is desperate for a plug at the moment.
KENT: It was cold. Were you cold?
VYXSIN: No, because I was working really hard.
Kent doesn’t have a comeback. Vyxsin wins this round.
– Mel & Mike and Margie & Luke remain in the mud pit.
MIKE: Are you okay, Dad?
MEL: My muscles will be sore for years, but I’m fine.
Wait. Mel legitimately thinks he still has -years- left before he goes?
– Margie has a frog.
She holds it up with such triumph.
IT’S OURS CHARLIE, WE WON!
“I bet the mud makes the frogs taste terrible.”
– I wonder if the chocolate frogs in Harry Potter were an invention stolen from that muggle Wonka.
Editors are trying to make it like Jaime & Cara can catch up, but I highly doubt it.
– We see a shot of the sun going down.
Gary & Mallory are really hoping to be #1.
SECOND PLACE: GARY & MALLORY
Two is good, though.
THIRD PLACE: FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY
The fanny pack sabotage worked.
– Cara explains she has never been this close to the bottom in TAR history.
That isn’t true since they only survived the Beijing elimination due to Kisha & Jen being U-Turned and a malfunctioning bladder, or the round in rural China where Mark & Michael’s penalties from the previous leg saved them.
CARA: We really want this day to end.
And it just got a whole lot darker.
– Mel & Mike continue searching in the mud.
MIKE: It got really miserable out there. It got colder. At some point it just felt like a lost cause.
I will laugh so hard if Mel pulls his arms out and his hands are missing.
MIKE: Dad, we’ve got to stop.
“Can someone check his pulse? Please?”
MEL: No, I’m going to try, Michael, but let’s not push it.
All heart-to-heart conversations take place in mud pits when Japanese men fling mud at you.
MIKE: Dad, I’m serious. I’m afraid for you.
MEL: I’d rather die here with you than at home in bed. I’m sorry.
In other words, Mel is willing to die as long as the mission is completed
Which is a policy even the Japanese stopped following as of seventy years ago.
– Ron & Christina make it to the mat.
FOURTH PLACE: RON & CHRISTINA
Which leads to, for the first time ever, Christina looking angrier than Ron.
PHIL (voiceover): Christina, you don’t look so happy.
– Christina goes into her long-winded explanation.
CHRISTINA: After the Detour, the fanny pack was no longer there. The Globetrotters just took it. If it was an innocent little mistake, they should’ve at the very least brought it back up to the mountain. That delayed us significantly.
“I’m sorry I asked.”
– Phil understands why she feels upset.
PHIL (voiceover): I’m going to give the Globetrotters a thirty minute penalty and that puts you in third place.
“Yep. That was all me. -I- gave them the penalty. Producers don’t tell ME what to do–I tell them what to do. And you know what else?
“Jet & Cord, you have received a six hour penalty for being complete douchebags. Which, thankfully, means I can tell you that you have officially been eliminated from the race.”
– Christina likes to play honestly, and assumes if the situation was reversed that the Globetrotters would do the same thing.
– Kisha & Jen are exhausted.
PHIL: Been a rough day.
My gut tells me they had to be lost in an unaired clip on the way to the pit stop, and genuinely believe they might be last.
FOURTH PLACE: KISHA & JEN
They start screaming like crazy as Jen hops onto Kisha. All because of a mid-pack finish.
– Jaime & Cara see the sign for the mud pit. Mike is finished.
MIKE: I can’t, Dad. I’m done.
Not even Nick would quit a Detour if he was running the race with his 70 year old dad.
I am curious how good that fire feels for Mike after spending several hours in a cold muddy pit.
FIFTH PLACE (unaired): GLOBETROTTERS
SIXTH PLACE: JET & CORD
MIKE: Dad. Stop.
MEL: Okay, Mike. This has been the toughest day of my life.
– Cara stumbles over a ledge before they get into the pit. They giggle over the incident.
They have a future in dancing for the Japanese Football League if things don’t work out well in America down the road.
An ambulance shows up as Mike enters it to warm up.
Please don’t tell me Mel is still searching in the pit?
– Mel is in the ambulance too as Mike visibly shakes.
I think Mel suffers from PTFD–Post-Traumatic Frog Disorder.
I can’t believe this is how the round will end. . .okay, maybe I do believe it a little.
– Cara points out something that was previously unknown to us.
Nah, everyone else is warm, Cara. You must have low iron levels.
– Kent & Vyxsin step onto the mat. Kent says he is still cold.
How many teams think they are last this leg?
SEVENTH PLACE: KENT & VYXSIN
Kent is rather happy to keep going.
– Mel & Mike continue to hang out in the ambulance.
Seeing as how they are in an ambulance, I am thinking the answer is ‘no’.
There are newborn babies less wrapped up than you are, Mel. You’re definitely not okay.
– Jaime & Cara have yet to find a frog.
The lone frog will be in the most poorly lit part of the mud.
– Margie & Luke make it to the pit stop.
They are both barefoot in the chilly rain as Luke wears shorts and Margie has a towel wrapped around her head.
Certainly there most puzzling entrance yet.
PHIL: I’m not going to leave you guys standing here. You’re team number eight.
EIGHTH PLACE: MARGIE & LUKE
Mike secretly watches Jaime & Cara as Mel sinks deeper into his makeshift KKK outfit.
– Cara has a frog.
All smiles even though they can’t see the ambulance with Mel & Mike inside.
JAIME: That was utterly miserable.
Eh. It could be worse.
– Jaime & Cara are back on the road driving.
CARA: We were driving -convinced- we were eliminated. That’s a weird feeling for us. We’ve never been in that position before.
And traffic must be brutal if Cara can sneak in a nap in between lights.
Cara should have to wear that for the rest of the season as a punishment.
– Jaime & Cara run onto the mat.
“The kangaroo outfit suited you more.”
PHIL: Jaime & Cara. . .
JAIME & CARA: “You’re the last team to arrive and you have been eliminated.”
“You can’t fool us, Phil.”
PHIL: You are incorrect.
Earth to Cara. . .Earth to Cara. . .
CARA: Shut the front door.
Okay. NOW you are eliminated. It is one of my least favourite sayings.
JAIME: We are calling this the big giant lump of panda poop.
CARA: And when a bird poops on you people say it’s good luck because we are still in the running.
JAIME: In conjunction with the frog.
I say it looks like somebody vomited cucumbers all over Cara’s face, but I guess it’s the same thing as panda poop.
NINTH PLACE: JAIME & CARA
– Mel & Mike casually walk towards Phil.
Well, minus Mel doing a little hop.
PHIL: Mel and Mike, after a “valiant” effort today, you’re the last team to arrive and have both been eliminated from the race.
“I don’t think they heard the sarcasm, Keoghan-San.”
– Mike is proud and grateful for the experience with his dad. He says the word ‘experience’ about five more times. Mel states this is the closest they have been in their whole lives, and that’s a big gift.
Not as big of a gift as panda poo, but still a big gift regardless.
Extreme Unnecessary Close-Up of Phil.
There is no way two Hollywood writers would have an umbrella with them during a rainy evening without uttering the lyrics of a song from Singin’ in the Rain. TAR must not have the rights to it.
MEL: He knew he was going to lose the race by telling me to get out. He said ‘get out’. He cared more about me than he did about the race. And it felt good.
“Uh, dad? I knew we were going to lose the race long before we entered that mud pit. I wasn’t sacrificing anything.”
MIKE: My dad. He will never give up. That’s why sometimes you have to give up for him.
– We cut back to Mel’s final words.
MEL: At eighty, I’ll be back on my walker.
PHIL: You got it.
“You just sign five additional pages of waivers and we can make it work.”
So. We already have a team cast for TAR 38. Bring Amanda & Kris back just to see if Mel & Mike can defeat them for the third time in a row.
And the Whites leave us in a surprisingly good mood. That is the attitude to be expected from a team who knew they did not stand a chance from the first minute of this race, I suppose.
Next Time on TAR: Zev gets hung up in China. Ron comes unglued. And Kent & Vyxsin veer off course.
P.S. Mel White passed away shortly after the filming of the race. He contracted pneumonia the day after this episode, and never recovered. He is with us in our prayers.
Whether these prayers go to the Christian gods or the Catholic gods remains to be seen.
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON TAR’ SEGMENT
RON & CHRISTINA 2
JET & CORD 1
MEL & MIKE 1
JAIME & CARA 1
ZEV & JUSTIN 1
KENT & VYXSIN 1
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 0.2
Rank the Legs
1) Broken Hill, Australia -> Kurihama, Japan
Oh my god. This episode was unintentionally offensive. Can TAR ever go to Japan without making extremely inappropriate jokes?
Zev made a joke at the expense of the Japanese male anatomy, the Globetrotters’ chanting was cringeworthy, Jen led Kisha to a funeral home to ask for directions, Jaime mocking the local for the noises he makes when talking on his phone, and the Japanese actors going over-the-top with belly flops and frog splashes in the mud.
Not to mention the b-roll of kids standing for hours with the Kintaro statue, and the locals who stared at the racers in the mud pit.
All of the right teams got airtime. Zev & Justin were hilarious from start to finish, Ron’s extensive vocabulary when fired up was back in play, and Mallory taking charge while preserving her childlike positive vibes.
I am happy this was a Japanese leg that did NOT feature an artificial game show task. Producers going with the feudal Japan theme was much more intriguing, and incorporated tasks which felt like they could fit into lost clips of Rashomon.
Sure, we saw the rotating parking garage at the beginning, but hey, you have to show the crazy technological component of Japanese culture, right?
The Roadblock did not seem particularly difficult. I wish they had done more with what they had. The pieces were there, including Ron’s Bruce Lee screech.
The Detour was difficult. While the waterfall appeared to have a fixed time limit before teams would receive their clue, it was miserable enough that it took a toll on the teams.
Meanwhile, searching for the frog in mud only took a really long time if you were Mel & Mike. I think the Japanese men were belly flopping throughout the evening just to keep warm.
The pit stop paying tribute to a FRIENDS actor was unsettling. It is insensitive at best.
I am amazed we never hear from the Globetrotters regarding the fanny pack incident. Editors thought harping on it would probably make them look bad. It is just another case of producers preserving their stars.
Although it would have been great for Jaime & Cara to go home because Jaime wrecked somebody’s mirror, Mel & Mike needed to be eliminated to ensure the viewers would start taking this season seriously.
We also needed them to be saved because we need to see what happens if Jaime has to take part in another self-drive leg.
P.S. I wonder if Tyler was aware the Kintaro Statue was a shoutout to his documentary?
P.P.S. Thanks to a post-race interview Mel did (and which my friend/reader Muneeb linked me to), the Prayer task did indeed close at night which I suspected. Mel & Mike couldn’t even switch tasks even if they wished to do so.
2) Manly, Australia -> Broken Hill, Australia
Ron & Christina’s interactions with everyone else and Mel nearly dying made this round hilarious.
The kangaroo outfit entertained producers way too much. I didn’t find it that funny.
Bunching all eleven teams at the Detour was dumb. Was there any degree of separation between the teams?
The clue being in the form of a periodic table and referring to street names was neat. It was creative.
Too many stupid cartoon sound effects.
Amanda & Kris going home was 2nd best case scenario. I never thought they could be more dull than they were the first time. I have nothing else to add.
3) Palm Springs, California, US -> Manly, Australia
We go from the TAR 17 premiere. . .to this. -_-
It is one thing to cast a bunch of teams from an unpopular season and your one-dimensional homophobic fan favourites thinking they will deliver. However, it is another thing if they all pretty much fall flat and you rely on the other five teams to be interesting for the audience right out of the gate. It has been a long time since so many characters could be written off after one episode.
Furthermore, it was a stupid decision by producers to essentially model this round after the disastrous TAR 15 season premiere. A Starting Line task which gobbles up more than a third of the airtime? Hitting a team with such a tough penalty in the second round that they may as well give up? Not eliminating anybody in the season premiere just because producers were too scare to lose any of their favourites in an upset heading into the race?
I don’t get it. The Express Pass, while a twist which needs to go away badly, is understandable to present. Just because a minor twist didn’t work the first time is not enough evidence it will fall equally hard in a second appearance. One could argue the Express Pass has as much unfinished business as the other contestants.
Let’s talk about the tasks. The paper planes task was neat in concept. I love how it ended up being an anti-reward where eight teams were suddenly in an 8-way tie for last because of some dark comedy in the form of a heart attack taking place on their plane.
It is a shame the dash to the airport did not matter because the paper planes task determined everything. This is also the reason why none of the teams were shown interacting with each other. All of that valuable airtime was assigned to the paper planes, tragically.
With all eleven teams so close together in Sydney, there appeared to be a tiny time gap in terms of when everyone finished the round (except for Jet & Cord). Even the top three teams on the “second” plane saw all of the other teams entering Oceanworld while solving the Roadblock, and likely had only a fifteen to twenty minute lead on them at most. Meanwhile the other seven teams were neck-and-neck due to mass alliances and not having a chance to separate themselves from the pack.
I personally loved the Roadblock. They took the shark tank Roadblock from TAR 4 (Reichen was much more afraid than Jon was!) and supersized it with a word puzzle as well as a secondary location to find. Sure, the location seemed to be very close by, but eh, it was a valiant effort.
The skiff task was alright. I wish it wasn’t so close to Oceanworld, though. It made for an easy round of navigation for teams.
This round showcased how none of the teams have really changed. Alliances were predictable, Jet & Cord said everybody was following them, Kent & Vyxsin are the most flustered team, Kisha & Jen still can’t swim, Mallory was ridiculously upbeat, and Zev & Justin laugh at everyone else’s personalities. Unfortunately there wasn’t that comedic moment which never really stuck out.
I feel like I am forgetting somebody. Does anyone know who?
Rank the Teams
1) Mel & Mike
This is what happens when network producers get too hooked into the “we need an old person for the sake of having an old person”, and having their decision completely backfire.
As I have said before, TAR will never cast a racer as old as Mel again. In fact, TAR 19 will be the last season to have anybody that is as much as 61.
I do not understand why producers thought this was a good idea. Mel had a documented history of being injury prone in TAR 14. From my perspective, whoever green-lighted Mel’s return needs to be slapped upside the head because Mel nearly died by the end of round one.
Can producers tell me with a straight face that they honestly thought Mel could complete this race without suffering any long term damage? The only reason he is alive is because Mike quit the race on his behalf just a quarter of the way into it.
It is sketchy to me when two Hollywood writers get to be brought back for a second time on TAR (even if Mike is responsible for ending the Redemption Island twist on Survivor and being our saviour). If you wanted somebody who is older to be on the roster, you had plenty of other options. Mel’s puns are no good when he can barely move.
Even though I rip this casting choice apart, it still makes more sense than picking Amanda & Kris for this season. Not only that, but Mel & Mike have beat Amanda & Kris in both appearances.
Mel needs to come back with his walker in TAR 38 just to see if he can indeed beat Amanda & Kris on all three occasions. I’ll be ready for gimmicky twists by then.
Mel & Mike did play their best given their huge handicap, though. They were always trying to work with another team, and never made huge mistakes with getting from place to place. Hell, they even finished the paper planes starting line task in first, and did surprisingly well at a couple of other challenges in their brief stint.
So I will give them credit for that.
I ranked them above Amanda & Kris because regardless of getting exactly what we all expected, they managed to deliver a lot more content than Amanda & Kris ever did.
P.P.S. Yes, Mel really did die of pneumonia. You think I would make that crap up? C’mon now.
2) Amanda & Kris
Holy shit they are boring. My parents and my sister forgot who they were less than one week after their elimination for a second time. Enough said.
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 episode has fallen amongst the ranks of what TAR history has to offer.
Therefore their average is 8.2.
10th Steve & Linda 9.5 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
10th Mel & Mike 8.33 Mel died. TAR 18
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
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
6 legs (lol) Amanda & Kris 5.17 U-Turned twice TAR 14 + 18
10 legs Mel & Mike 5.00 TAR 14 + 18
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.