What about the Non-Elimination structure this season, eh? It is nearly identical to TAR 18: Unfinished Business (which is a season I seriously need to get back to work on for my TARstorian project–sorry guys, I just needed a little break).
Week Nine Editing Analysis
Teams are ranked from who I think have the best shot of -winning- to who has the worst shot of winning.
Note that this is different from identifying a specific boot order.
1) Burnie & Ashley #NearCheeseGrateVomit
Even though they switched Detour tasks, editors did not treat them as idiots for doing so.
Burnie was shown as being a bright fellow, and was not knocked at all for refusing to help Korey and Dana at the Roadblock. It could have easily been “Burnie is a sonofabitch” and quickly become a villain, but that was definitely not the case.
Also, editors had way too much fun with Ashley’s near vomiting incident.
But seriously, Burnie & Ashley have received a very positive edit all season long and we are constantly reminded that they are there carrying a strong performance.
2) Sheri & Cole #Rigged
Nah, just kidding. TAR’s NELs aren’t rigged. The only reason I dropped Sheri & Cole a spot this week is because editors did not make it a huge deal that they were saved by a second NEL.
In other seasons where a winner was rescued by two NELs, it tends to get a bit more attention within the episodes. Here it was like “So what? They got saved by two NELs. This ain’t anything special, folks.”
Their winner’s edit is still very strong, though.
And hey, I can’t wait for this week’s Speed Bump. Tie their own shoes? Complete a fifty metre dash in under thirty seconds? Sit on an ice chair for a few minutes? Untie a knot?
Oh wait. Two of these have been actual Speed Bumps in the past. Woops.
3) Tyler & Korey – #MikaMockery
Tyler & Korey were surprisingly under the radar this week. Their knowledge of TAR was shown off when Tyler pointed out the Leap of Faith to Korey that resident 7.75 Team Average 7th placer Mika from TAR 15 had quit TAR over that very slide.
Sure, they still got a heckuva lot more airtime than Zach & Rachel did, but for once they were somewhat subdued in the final edit. Their relationships with the other teams continues to be focused upon.
4) Kurt & Brodie #QuadBurnout
Kurt & Brodie have been viewed as the dominant forces since day one. Each season one threatening team must be toppled by the end of the game to make for a compelling storyline, and I think Kurt & Brodie are filling that role.
Their use of the Express Pass was deemed as being silly, and as Burnie initiates the “every team for themselves” mentality after eight freakin’ rounds, Kurt & Brodie should be terrified if a second U-Turn comes along.
Or maybe it’ll go unused and unaired just like the first one in Colombia. Who knows.
5) Dana & Matt – #UKEndorsement
My podcasting co-host for RTV Warriors Michael Harmstone insists that Dana & Matt are receiving a winner’s edit as of the last episode.
- Dana blew up, but justification and a personal family history was provided as an explanation
- Phil sympathized with them on the mat
- The Phil Keoghan pep talk of “If you want to win, you have to work together as a team”
- Overcoming their relationship hurdles has been a big storyline since day one.
Sadly, one of the other co-hosts Ben Powell also agrees with this assessment, which means I have to be stubborn in my stance that Dana & Matt have received too negative of an edit for anything to be changed in just four weeks, and how much the casual audience dislikes her.
Remember what you guys said about Hayley & Blair’s edit near the end of TAR 26 as you convinced me to flop my guess from Tyler & Laura to Hayley & Blair at the last minute?
Yeah, that’s what I thought.
6) Zach & Rachel – #BicycleKings
Rachel has a fear of accelerating on a bicycle.
They missed a turn to sacrifice their lead.
Some fans were offended that Rachel covered up in her bathing suit. . .I don’t know why that is their concern. People can be weird sometimes. Meanwhile, I am offended that there aren’t any Fast Forwards or how awful the structure was during the Switzerland and France legs.
WEEK NINE PREDICTIONS
Note: This is my prediction for who will arrive on the mat from first to last place in this leg.
This is different from my pre-season projection of how the boot order will shape up for the duration of the season.
1) Kurt & Brodie – 2.0 Team Average
Kurt & Brodie have been on a roll (minus Brodie’s inability to roll letters, but that’s besides the point) for the majority of the season. With a physical round coming up in another very hot climate, Kurt & Brodie should have a huge advantage. Unless an Indonesian invented a new puzzle, Kurt & Brodie shall keep their position intact.
2) Tyler & Korey – 2.875 Team Average
They have been slowly climbing out of their hole since their Caucasus blunders. I don’t see Tyler & Korey winning another leg for the rest of the season, but I do see them keeping things competitive until the end.
They won’t be quitting over a waterslide.
3) Dana & Matt – 3.5 Team Average
Improving teamwork just doesn’t happen overnight. Give em at least one round of leeway to figure things out. I assume they will get this one round of leeway because they have been insanely consistent since the start of the season.
4) Burnie & Ashley – 3.25 Team Average
A 2nd place finish for the fourth round in a row? You ain’t no reporter.
5) Sheri & Cole – 6.875 Team Average
Fact: Five other teams in this season have only finished worse than 6th place only ONCE out of a total of forty opportunities.
Another fact: Sheri & Cole have finished worse than 5th place in seven out of a total of eight opportunities.
Yet another fact: Sheri & Cole have beaten Zach & Rachel once, and Tyler & Korey once. The other four teams have defeated Sheri & Cole in every single leg.
Sheri & Cole may be the biggest underdogs at this point in any US season of TAR, but I think they can pull it off this round. You just have to beat one.
6) Zach & Rachel – 4.5 Team Average
Rachel is doing this week’s Roadblock. I think her apprehension in the past round’s Detour may be direct foreshadowing that she might experience an equivalent sense of apprehension heading into the Roadblock.
Which would be a shame because this team was just starting to show signs of being competitive over the past few rounds.
P.S. Wouldn’t it be weird if editors invest all of this time into Sheri & Cole’s story only to have Zach & Rachel knock them out in an anti-climatic manner?