“Wax On; Wax Off” (Episode Blog #272)
AUSTRALIA – JAPAN – CHINA – INDIA – AUSTRIA – LIECHTENSTEIN – SWITZERLAND – BRAZIL – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Eleven teams got a chance to settle some Unfinished Business. A second chance brought more frustration, more exhilaration, and more tears. Teams battled the elements and each other (way to steal from Probst, Phil). Teams lost their way, lost their cool, and seven of them just plain lost.
Zev & Justin’s first time on the race ended abruptly. With a second chance, the best friends made the best of it by winning four legs, and having fun along the way.
Kisha & Jen’s first time on the race ended with an ill timed bathroom break. This time around the sisters kept their eye on the prize, and overcoming their past demons to launch themselves into the Final Four.
Gary & Mallory’s first time on the race ended in Oman. The father and daughter started their second chance with a bang, but after stumbling in the middle, the pair dug out of their hold to get back in the game.
Flight Time & Big Easy’s first time on the race ended with a penalty. This time around the Globetrotters overcame a U-Turn then strategically used their U-Turn power to keep themselves in the ball game.
Tonight (not really), one of these teams will win the million dollar prize and win The Amazing Race.
NOTE: This was TAR US’ first two hour finale since TAR 11. That means my take on the finalists will wait until the start of the final round–Phil’s summary gets to come first for once.
– Our last intro sequence for TAR 18 commences.
– Slow music like it is from Final Fantasy plays as Phil introduces us to the Matterhorn. Phil’s audio has an awkward cut as editors needed an extra second for other footage.
– And that extra second is used for a commercial as we watch Flight Time & Big Easy check out their vacation courtesy of Travelocity.
FLIGHT TIME: Look at the view!
Travelocity must love his enthusiasm.
FLIGHT TIME: Hey Gnome, he’s not taking you. He is taking me.
Man, producers may be pressured to expand future Travelocity prizes to being a trip for three.
Spoiler: This looks like the opening sequence for Survivor 35. Eighteen Americans. . .
– The Globetrotters, who arrived at an unspecified time, will depart at 7:12am.
Flight Time has to redeem himself from his previous pit start clue ripping folly.
NOTE: Every pit stop since round three has been in a country Kisha & Jen already visited in TAR 14. Switzerland was not only the westernmost country visited in TAR 14, but also the first pit stop from that season. Any further west and Kisha & Jen are guaranteed to be visiting a new location.
If they do not travel west, and instead make teams head north to Germany, Kisha & Jen will officially be the most trolled team in the history of TAR.
– Kisha & Jen can get ready to celebrate, and they only had to wait EIGHT rounds until the penultimate leg for that to happen. With the finish line in the US coming up, Kisha & Jen will need to savour this round. Flight Time reads that teams must fly from the snow of Switzerland to the sunny beaches of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Back in simpler times where no one had Zika on their mind.
Just casually kicking around the volleyball. What other sporting landscape shots we have in Rio?
Man, we’ve got soccer, volleyball, AND combat sports.
– When they land in Rio, teams must take a tram and ride for five minutes to the world famous steps known as Escadaria Selaron. Here they must search for a tile resembling a route marker to receive their next clue.
This isn’t San Francisco, son.
That tram is dangerously close to running over those kids.
I personally prefer Mauricio “Shogun” Rua. The King of the Streets, baby!
The Escadaria Selaron are so world famous that only one soul is shown walking on them during the middle of the day.
Huh. Who knew Powerpuff Girls were popular in Brazil?
Regularly, I update which teams have an advantage in a location on returnee seasons. Kisha & Jen have held this advantage most frequently on the race, but for once absolutely zero teams have the advantage.
Hell, none of them have even been to South America on The Amazing Race before. For the only time this season, they are all on equal footing.
In fact, Jet & Cord are the only team in Unfinished Business who went to South America in their original season.
Do you know who would hate to have their body waxed?
This production member. Those are some hairy arms, dude.
FLIGHT TIME: I wanted to go to the beach, Nate.
– We get a flashback instantly to when Big Easy “fumbled the ball” during the eleventh round of TAR 15.
Yes, it is another Znarf Roadblock flashback. Haven’t we already had three of those this season? Luckily this flashback is only a couple of seconds.
BIG EASY: Until we get over the eleventh leg, we haven’t done anything yet. Today we’ll try to go hard and win.
Wait wait wait wait wait. You haven’t done anything until you get passed the eleventh leg, and have raced a combined total of twenty-three rounds in The Amazing Race?
John Vito & Jill must feel insulted as they were on two seasons and only raced eleven legs total. Could you imagine if there is a returning team down the line who only played in five legs during their original season, and then were first out in their second season? They would have just experienced one-quarter of what Flight Time & Big Easy have.
Thankfully, no team like that exists.
– Globetrotters buy tickets for a 7:39am train to Zurich.
– Kisha & Jen depart second at 7:15am.
KISHA: Make your way to Rio de Junaro.
Eh, this is new for them. And why the hell aren’t they more excited about this?
KISHA: Oh geeeez. (Laughs.)
KISHA LAUGH COUNT: 16
KISHA: We’re the only team left that hasn’t won a leg, but we’ll worry more about what we have to do as a team to make it into the Final Three.
For some reason, casual fans get pissed off if a team wins the season despite not winning any prior leg to the finale. It’s like they glare at you with some sort of shame.
Basically like what this guy is doing right now.
JEN: In our last season this is the leg where we were eliminated from the race.
Thanks, Jen. We now get a flashback to your bladder mishap.
“Why so much? Can your body absorb all of that?”
JEN: Oh, I’m about to pee on myself.
“I was in line first, but she clearly wanted it more.”
Despite going to the bathroom, Jen doesn’t have that expression of relief on her face.
“Kisha & Jen, you have both been eliminated from the race.”
“I should’ve waited until the Cheerleaders were on the mat, then I could have pissed all over them. That’s what R. Kelly would have done.”
Would have made the Final Three in TAR 14. Jaime & Cara knew racing against him was a mistake.
KISHA: This time around, no bathroom breaks.
JEN: I will pee my pants to make the Final Three.
Considering we learned in TAR 14 that Jen doesn’t wear any underwear, this pretty much guarantees she will be saying goodbye to a pair of pants.
– Gary & Mallory are ready to begin at 7:18am.
Well, Gary is. I think Mallory just saw a bird.
“Oh right. This is why the cameras are here.”
And what’s with Mallory leaning on an angle like that? Who would open a clue in that way?
– Mallory doesn’t even start reading the clue and–
Wow. This is the opposite of Kisha & Jen’s reaction.
Once again, Mallory surpasses Kevin Garnett in terms of energy level.
– They take to the streets where Mallory is still hyper.
MALLORY: I am PUMPED up!
All she needs is Chris Tucker and Jackie Chan to walk with her in the street while Edwin Starr’s War is playing.
– Gary & Mallory have a confessional filmed right before their pit start.
She was pumped even before the round began. The clue could have read “Fly to Tumbleweed, Wyoming” and she still would have had the same reaction.
– Gary feels they are in a good spot, and Mallory thinks the remaining competition is tough but can make it into the final round.
There is a random shot of Zev & Justin. How long do they have to stand there?
Mallory is clapping like a seal.
MALLORY: I’m so excited to go to Braziiiiil.
BIG EASY: You’re going to be in trouble. They’re going to have some pretty girls there.
And let’s cue the next Globetrotter joke that makes them more hated by the Survivor Sucks community. Take it away, Big Easy.
Flight Time may be laughing, but this is not going to end well for them online.
BIG EASY: . . .So check the neck!
The Amazing Race 18: Where a Harlem Globetrotter and a 50-year-old dude laugh at a joke about Brazilian transvestites.
Somehow the Final Four gets away with finding this joke hilarious because nobody has had any allegations of discriminating against the LGBT community (I know there was a bit of backlash with how the Globetrotters treated Sam & Dan, but both teams said it was mostly manufactured in the editing department). It also helps that Big Easy gets along well with Kisha.
If Jet & Cord made a joke like this, though? Oh man. This scene would have been as awkward as hell. Especially when “Check the Neck” was short-listed as one of Jet’s political campaign slogans.
BIG EASY: Check the hands and the feet, too!
Alright. You may want to put the brakes on it, Big Guy.
I wonder if Big Easy was expecting this conversation to make it onto TV.
– Zev & Justin bring up the rear at 7:31am.
That’s right. They checked in only nineteen minutes after the Globetrotters did at the end of the last leg. I bet Zev really did get to make up about fifteen minutes or so at the Roadblock while everyone else was up in arms about Vyxsin supposedly grabbing Flight Time’s bottom. . .or the train to the Roadblock didn’t leave thirty minutes apart as Gary suggested.
JUSTIN: Rio. That’s pretty awesome, right?
ZEV: . . .Yeah.
Jesus. I think everyone needs some caffeine in their system. How are teams not stoked about Rio? Do none of them like to party down? And they all made it to the penultimate round of a season where you needed to win the lottery in order to be selected if you weren’t on TAR 14.
– Zev & Justin are on the same train as everyone else. Zev has proven to himself that the passport blunder was a big fluke, and now feel they deserve to be here. Oh, here comes another flashback.
Four flashbacks in two minutes. Jesus Christ, the only piece of new footage is Big Easy joking about transvestites.
JUSTIN: We want to make sure we make the right choices and give ourselves the best chance of coming in not last.
Unless it is the final leg, that is indeed the name of the game.
– The train arrives in Zurich.
KISHA: Jen, let’s run.
JUSTIN: Oh c’mon girls, really?
MALLORY: Now I feel like I gotta run, too.
BIG EASY: Are we really gonna do this?! Uh, excuse me, ma’am. I’m with the idiots that running.
Wow. Everyone is grumpy today. I guess that’s what spending three rounds around the Alps in the middle of winter will do to you.
Because this isn’t TAR 28 yet where every round after the second leg is an equalizer, hustling to the travel agency may give you a significant advantage.
In an unaired scene, Mallory asks the nice man at the counter if she can take the bear with her to Brazil.
The intensity of finding the best flight is real.
– Zev & Justin find a flight to Rio that gets in at 7:30.
So do the Globetrotters.
– Flight Time is not one hundred percent confident that this is the best flight.
Which they soon learn will backfire on them.
– Zev & Justin approach the British Airways counter.
AGENT: To Rio?
AGENT: . . .
JUSTIN: Tall Black guys?
I wonder if the Swiss ticketing agent was silent because he had never seen a Black man before, and didn’t know what the politically correct term to use was?
– Zev & Justin officially book tickets on that flight.
Meanwhile, the Globetrotters stalk their prey and get some really good news. An eight hour advantage?
– Both teams confirm that 5:40pm is the best time possible.
Big Easy must be squealing on the inside.
– Gary turns to the Globetrotters.
GARY: Y’all find anything?
BIG EASY: . . .
FLIGHT TIME: . . .
BIG EASY: We still. . .we trying to see now.
Wow. Great poker face, guys.
Well, time for Flight Time to hold the ol’ dusty trail.
Gary & Mallory and Kisha & Jen may be slightly suspicious.
Flight Time gives away the biggest poker tell I have ever seen.
They desperately needed Maria & Tiffany to hang out with them more in TAR 15. Maria might invite Flight Time over for a couple of cash games at her house. If Flight Time makes that pose, it’s time to fold your hand; he has a flush or better.
FLIGHT TIME: . . .
BIG EASY: . . .
Gary & Mallory may or may not be concerned that they do not have the best flight.
BIG EASY (casually): C’mon, Big Dog.
“Excuse us, guys.”
“We’ve. . .we just remembered we got some corn to chuck.”
Smooth move, fellas.
– Globetrotters slink away.
GARY: Where’d the Globes go?
“I don’t know. It’s like they are suddenly not interested in booking the same flight as us anymore.”
– Globetrotters check in for their flight.
“I don’t think they saw us walk away.”
BIG EASY: If we get a six or seven hour lead on the other teams, that would be awesome.
Big Easy is not good at math. The correct answer is ten.
BIG EASY: We don’t want to lie to anybody, but it’s the Final Four and we want to get to the Final Three.
I don’t think you have to worry about successfully deceiving anyone, Big Easy.
– The Ervins and the Hoffmans book their tickets.
Nearly a day and a half before they start racing again? Jen is not thrilled.
– Gary & Mallory and Kisha & Jen head over to the British Airways counter to see if there is an earlier flight.
GARY: Did you already talk to someone?
The guy makes it sound like he is in global espionage.
GARY: What’s our best plan? What did you give them?
He cracks under the pressure of their interrogation.
– They start mocking Big Easy’s poker face.
KISHA: I’m glad Big Easy came in because Big Easy gave away there was another option.
Mallory is eager to jump in.
MALLORY: “So did you get anything?”
MALLORY: And I was like. . .
Nice try, Big Easy.
– Gary confirms the other two teams are on the flight.
GARY: Did you get the two tall Black guys and then the two White guys?
I wish the camera panned slightly to the right where another pair of tall Black guys are sitting beside them.
In other news, Zev & Justin are neither tall nor short. According to Gary, they have no distinguishing features.
– Gary concludes everyone will be on the same flight. We head to Rio.
A direct flight all the way from Zurich? Impressive.
Jesus Christ, we’re back in Rio for the first time since TAR 2.
The traffic during the Summer Olympics is going to be insane.
Sadly, the favelas from Fast Five do not make it into this montage.
NOTE: Fast Five is the only good film in the entire Fast and the Furious franchise. Click it or ticket, Paul Walker!
Mika’s worst nightmare.
– The terminal must be extremely narrow as all four teams are constantly shouting “Excuse us” after the plane lands. Everyone is running through the airport which I presume is Kisha & Jen’s fault. They are first to the taxi line. Zev & Justin are right behind.
JEN: The guy in the yellow.
You may have to be more specific, Jen.
– Kisha & Jen take a guy in the yellow (one of four guys dressed in yellow shown in this brief sequence).
After freezing over the past three rounds, a tropical climate may be a huge adjustment for the Final Four.
– Globetrotters are third into the cab. Gary & Mallory are last.
Big Easy does not like this heat.
Mallory is concerned as her and Gary are currently in last.
– Flight Time insists that the driver go faster. It doesn’t work as Gary & Mallory pass them.
FLIGHT TIME: We number four. We’re driving like grandpa.
Probably because he is one.
MALLORY: Fast fast fast. Go go go. Yaaaay. Good job. Yaaaay.
Mallory couldn’t be happier.
Primarily because their driver is not a grandpa.
– Zev & Justin’s cab successfully follows Kisha & Jen to the tram.
A tram which anticipates only Portuguese, Spanish, and English speakers.
– They wait in line.
JUSTIN: Try to get him to go quick.
KISHA LAUGH COUNT: 17
– Gary & Mallory see the sign for the tram.
A sign which clearly takes way too long to read. Couldn’t they just shorten it to “El Tramo”?
– Gary & Mallory join the other two teams in line. There is five minutes before the tram embarks.
MALLORY: The Globetrotters are in a slow cab.
GARY: We left them waaay back.
Nothing like an early head start.
Big Easy is not a fan of grandpas.
Things go from bad to worse. Just think they were -this- close to a ten hour advantage.
– The other three teams scramble to sit on the tram. Globetrotters are stuck at a green light.
BIG EASY: It’s green.
FLIGHT TIME: Let’s go.
BIG EASY: It’s green.
Grandpa cannot handle the stress.
Is he texting while driving? That just ain’t safe, grandpa.
– The teams argue with the tram driver if they are leaving in one minute or two minutes.
Everyone is freaking out because the Final Three could very well be determined right this minute.
I think Mary is receiving another message from Mallory.
JUSTIN: Seriously. Throw some money at him.
Actually, that has worked in prior seasons of TAR. Otherwise the driver will just keep staring at his watch.
KISHA: This is just too much anxiety for me. I just can’t handle it.
Neither can Jen.
– Globetrotters arrive as the tram begins to move.
– There is no magic of editing here. Justin points out Flight Time & Big Easy nearby at the platform.
FLIGHT TIME: Can we get on? Stop that one?
BIG EASY: C’mon.
FLIGHT TIME (casually): How many minutes?
I think Flight Time is expecting maybe ten or fifteen minutes at most.
BIG EASY & FLIGHT TIME: NO! NO! WE’VE GOT TO GET ON THAT ONE!
Definitely not thirty.
BIG EASY: STOP! WE’LL PAY!
FLIGHT TIME: WE’VE GOT TO GET ON THAT ONE!
It’s very slowly getting away.
– The teams can likely hear the Globetrotters shouting, and the tram begins to brake.
Mallory leads the protest. Granted, the act of protesting is not something entirely new in Rio de Janeiro over the past few years.
It’s like Mallory is watching a unicorn die before her eyes.
BIG EASY: You’re going to kill us! You’re going to lose money we wasted!
The audio cuts out as we see Mallory’s lips frantically shouting “Goooo!”
Man, I haven’t seen Mallory look that desperate at any other juncture in her TAR career.
– Commercial break. We resume with an extensive reminder of the drama that’s going down.
BIG EASY: Why can’t we catch that one?!
Big Easy ain’t Big Easy Going when it comes to a spot in the Final Three.
I think Gary forgot to take some Gravol this morning.
– The tram commits to moving on without Herbert & Nathaniel, and the three teams disembark. They run together. The Globetrotters are stuck as Flight Time mopes.
“Somehow, this is Vyxsin’s fault.”
BIG EASY: It’s all good. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If it’s not, hey, we had a good time. We ain’t finished yet though, baby.
Flight Time couldn’t be a more appropriate name as Herb exits stage right.
On the other hand, Big Easy is ready for his close-up.
A Brazil 2016 painting? This episode would have filmed in December of 2010. Nearly six years later, and this painting will be just a few weeks away from being a reflection of the past rather than looking forward to Brazil’s future.
Oh, and we get another montage of these “world famous” steps.
Muhammad Ali will likely be added to the bottom of this tile.
– The three teams are scanning for a clue.
Justin sees it.
Too slow, Gary.
I love the random barefoot local who is reading comic books on the steps. He didn’t even turn to see what is going on.
– Mallory finds a ‘Route Info’ tile next. I think this search took no more than a minute.
Please let it be a piranha tank.
– Jen finds one next.
– Zev & Justin get into a cab. Gary & Mallory have one too. Kisha & Jen are right behind.
JEN: OH! You have air conditioning!
Jen would ditch Kisha, and just have the air conditioning filter as her partner for the remainder of the season.
– Justin recaps that the Globetrotters were last into the plane and last into a taxi (actually, Gary & Mallory were last into a taxi), and it hurt them.
ZEV: Fine with us.
Zev could not care less about Justin’s recap.
Or about Justin’s recap of why the Globetrotters could not make the first tram. Man, that water bottle lid looks tasty.
The one guy glances over at Big Easy.
Then quickly pretends to flip through the pages of his magazine.
– Zev & Justin are dropped off at the rua.
ZEV: Oh my god!
JUSTIN: Oh my god! That’s amazing!
No Rio nightclubs like in TAR 2, but this comes pretty damn close.
Zev’s future wife.
This really takes me back.
Five years ago, my first screencap for TARstorian was a Rio dancer, and the caption was making fun of new Survivor: South Pacific contestant Brandon Hantz. Times have changed.
We also end the 11-week mystery of what Howard from TAR Asia (1) was doing in the intro sequence.
I want to buy that on eBay.
– Zev & Justin are first to the clue box. It’s a Roadblock.
JUSTIN: Who is not afraid of shaking in their boots?
A Roadblock hint like this is -exactly- what will have Zev & Justin shaking in their boots.
– Phil says the samba is the heartbeat of Rio.
It’s not even Carnival–this is probably Brazil’s idea of a Monday.
If Phil chooses to samba with the locals, he will instantly become the greatest host of The Amazing Race internationally.
– Phil says it is only fitting for teams to learn the exotic and complex dance. Not fitting for him though, sadly.
PHIL: Team members will dress in wild Carnival costumes and learn to dance the samba. Then they must lead their personal samba troupe on a parade through the streets. If the judge finds their samba in rhythm with the music, she will give them their next clue.
Sim? What the hell does sim mean?
I must have missed out the expansion pack in The Sims 2 where you can go out and samba with your neighbours–all while you are working as a professional criminal mastermind!
This is who Jazmine & Danielle could aspire to be in a future season. The forehead bowtie fashion style has been taken to a new level.
– Zev has to do the Roadblock because their current count is 5-4. Unless you are Dave O’ Leary, you need to be even heading into the finale.
– Zev gets changed.
In the meantime, one of the drummers is not so subtle. Oh, older men. So predictable.
Zev is escorted onto the stage.
Things won’t be so funny for Justin in about twenty minutes from now.
This is not going to go well.
I think those boots were shoplifted from the Caesar’s Palace.
ZEV: I’m not a good dancer at all. I hate dancing cause I have White Boy Rhythm.
White Boy Rhythm afflicts one in three adult men. Consult your doctor if you suffer from any of the following symptoms: Moving your arms out of sync during the YMCA, a disgruntled look on your face when a Michael Jackson is playing, or a tendency to trip over another person’s feet.
The only known cure for White Boy Rhythm is Cris Judd. Goooooo Cris!
JUSTIN: A million dollars, Zevvy! You look like a million dollars!
Zev has overcome a lot in his life–White Boy Rhythm is just another obstacle which Justin believes can be removed.
– Gary & Mallory are second to the clue box. Mallory is already jumping.
I wonder who is going to do this Roadblock?
MALLORY: Who is not afraid of shaking in their boots?
GARY: This one is made for you!
Even if Gary had done zero Roadblocks, Mallory would be doing this.
The task hasn’t even started yet, and Mallory is already dancing.
JUSTIN: There you go! Uuuuuuuh.
ZEV: I had to go move my feet back and forth ten times then walk forward four times then take three weird steps and a jump.
I hope that is one of the weird steps.
JUSTIN: I have seen him dance but not sober. Luckily we have a lead.
Ah–alcohol. I can personally attest to that being the cure for White Boy Rhythm. It’s the only way I had the courage to dance too in Vegas. . .or anywhere, really.
In the meantime, we have Zev’s sober dancing to enjoy.
Which makes him feel as disoriented as intoxicated dancing. I feel Zev’s pain.
I don’t think Mallory feels any pain.
She awaits her escorts.
GARY: She’s kind of a tomboy but she knows how to dance.
MALLORY: I’ve been dancing for twenty-two years, since I was three years old.
Man, it’s 2011 and dressing up in an all white suit on the dance floor is still in stylistically? Even R&B music videos quit that by 2001.
MALLORY: I love that stage. It’s where I belong.
Somebody thinks they are a shoe in for first place today.
Mallory is so confident with this dance that she starts inserting her own choreography.
You may have to settle for second place this round, Justin.
– Kisha & Jen are dropped off in the wrong area. They bicker as they search the ruas. Kisha’s Brazilian accent starts sounding like a French Disney villain.
‘A’ for effort, though.
The clue could be on the other side of that door.
If only they checked the bottom of their Snapple cap.
JEN: We have to look–
KISHA: Jen, I know but there’s nothing right there.
JEN: I’m looking at the buildings! The landmarks! Do you see all of these landmarks right here?
I personally think it is Vyxsin’s fault that you guys were dropped off at the wrong location.
– We cut to an unnecessary confessional.
JEN: It was like China in our season all over again.
Could you be more specific? You guys spent approximately a quarter of your season in China alone in that sh-tty race.
But sigh. Play the flashback. Our fifth of the episode, mind you.
KISHA: Wong Chong G? Wang Chong G? Wang Chung G?
JEN: Nobody knows anything here!
Everybody have fun tonight!
Everybody Wang Chung G, tonight!
This seems to be much quicker than whatever happened in Beijing.
– Kisha & Jen enter a taxi.
– The Globetrotters are at the steps.
Why is Flight Time trying to be sneaky? Is he attempting to tackle the ‘Route Info’ tile?
I guess Flight Time was searching low, and Big Easy was searching high.
Into his hands it goes.
– They grab a cab.
Needless to say it is not the same grandpa from earlier. Big Easy approves.
– We head back to the Roadblock.
Why need Simon, Randy, and Paula when you’ve got the Samba Queen to judge?
– Mallory says that the steps are really quick even though she is a dancer.
Yeah, it’s tough.
Although she is getting it. Zev is not impressed.
Justin tries to coach Zev into preserving their lead.
I should note that when Justin is saying this, Zev is shown completely frozen on stage. An editing joke, I assume.
– Justin notes that Zev is not putting the steps together in a way that flows like Mallory does. Mallory exits the stage as she leads the group. The TAR soundtrack is obnoxiously overpowering.
MALLORY: They finally let me off the stage, and we get to piss make the party!
What the hell did she just say? Okay then.
Knight has fallen.
– Several locals watch the performance from their balconies.
Oh. Only one person turned up.
What the heck is that thing? It looks like an instrument Nicole would use to copy Jamal.
This might be Mallory’s favourite Roadblock of all time.
– Zev is allowed to attempt it. Justin tells him to have fun.
Not as much fun as Mallory, though.
Justin claps on Zev.
Watch out for that curb, Zev.
It’s a doooooozy.
– They play a soundtrack of Gary laughing when Zev stumbles. How rude.
Mallory is dancing her heart out for the Samba Queen.
She peers into Mallory’s soul before declaring her verdict. . .
It’s Sim! Sim is good, right?
Mallory secretly wishes she had failed to guarantee more dancing.
But then again, first place would be nice.
The trademarked yellow watch is front and centre.
– Mallory reads they must make their way by taxi to Copacabana and find a specific salon which Phil refuses to pronounce for their next clue.
Phil struggles with Portuguese.
That artwork is obscene.
– Gary & Mallory get into a cab.
The dude in green is outperforming the guy next to him who clearly stole that shirt from the guys in the Bad Touch music video by Bloodhound Gang.
– Zev is really slow at this dance.
I do appreciate the hop at the end. He should get his clue just for that.
Samba Queen disapproves.
Zev doesn’t know what “Nao” means, and is still hopeful. Does he get the clue, nao?
His instructor has to spell it out for him. Too bad.
– Justin instructs for Zev to be fluent in the dance on the practice platform before doing it again.
JUSTIN: Dancing is just not his thing. It’s a tough thing and always has been.
If only the Roadblock involved Justin being a catcher for a baseball team.
– Kisha & Jen arrive at the Roadblock location.
What is that truck, by the way? BOOOOA? Are there lots of snakes in there?
Whistling AND dancing? What a multi-tasker.
– Justin tells Zev to feel the beat.
“You stick your left foot in, you put your left foot out, you do the hokey pokey and you shake it all around, and that’s what it’s all about!” might be the extent of Zev’s beat knowledge.
– Kisha is doing the Roadblock.
– Justin tells Zev to be smooth and loosen up.
As my friend Sade would say, Zev is a smooth operator.
“Be as loose as a spaghetti strand. . .or as loose as Jaime. Whichever analogy works for you.”
It’s like Kevin Nealon in freakin’ Happy Gilmore.
Kisha needs to enter her hometown of Louisville, Kentucky like that. Everyone would bow before her. But who would be their town’s king?
Oh. Right. That was easy.
– I love how Jen randomly shouts “YEAAAAAH!” in a Lil Jon voice.
Jen is excessively hyping up her sister for this task? OOOOOOOOKAAAAAAY.
– Justin instructs Zev to shimy.
Or just pretend to jerk off everywhere. The instructor puts his hand up to stop Zev, and the female choreographer appears disgusted.
– Gary & Mallory’s cab drops them off.
This is quite the lead they have built.
– Gary points out that it is #53 on the 7th floor.
The sign reminds Gary of his age.
– Gary & Mallory find the clue box with the obscene artwork.
They both avert their eyes from the artwork.
MALLORY: Consider this the ultimate rip and read.
Both of them are confused. Mainly because one of the most painful tasks in TAR US history is about to occur.
PHIL: In this place, where hair seems to be an enemy, all team members, male and female, must endure a Brazilian waxing session. Once finished, they will receive their next clue.
They are totally shaven–we call it the Greg Louganis Approach.
“Hey Random Person, can we film your silky smooth legs for a reality adventure show. Wait, there is a single hair on your right shin! You f–king lied to us you sasquatch!”
It looks like such a peaceful environment.
I love a Cringing Keoghan.
While teams receive a clue and a one-in-three shot at a million a bucks, the locals receive nothing but a dent in their bank account and a lot of redness.
MALLORY: I can do that. I already get em, anyways.
-You- can, Mallory. It may not be as easy for others, though.
Gary is in surprisingly good spirits.
GARY: OK. This is my first time. I think this is going to be painful.
Whoa, whoa, whoa.
Does that mean Mallory was adopted then?
Oh, he meant the waxing. I have a tendency to take things out of context.
MALLORY: It’s funny to be waxed beside your dad. It’s not something you ever think you’ll ever experience in your life.
Gary is already in pain, but the waxing hasn’t even started yet.
It’s just another case of pageant prep for Mallory.
MALLORY: In the pageants with women on stage who are going to be in a swimsuit? You better believe I am getting this EVERYWHERE.
Mallory may find her own joke hilarious, but that is more than what we needed to know.
GARY: It’s worth a million dollars.
Let’s revisit that statement in fifteen minutes, Gary.
MALLORY: Beauty knows no pain.
Beauty may know no pain. . .
But Gary does.
– This would be the quickest way for Jack Bauer to obtain information from terrorists in 24.
TELL ME WHERE THE BOMB IS OR I’LL WAX YOUR CHEST!
– Let’s see where Mallory is being waxed next.
– Something occurs to Mallory.
MALLORY: Oh my gosh, dad. Think about Zev. I’ve never seen a hairier person than Zev & Justin.
Sadly, Zev & Justin have more pressing issues to deal with at the moment. What the heck is happening there?
One of the few times where CBS has to blur a local.
– Zev prepares for another go.
JUSTIN: Show em the rhythm. Just show em the rhythm. That’s all you got.
I don’t think Justin has the rhythm either.
– Kisha steps down as she gives it a go too. Justin yells for Zev to loosen up and pay attention. He is rejected for a second time.
JUSTIN: The details and the vibe, Zevvy. You’ve got to treat it like a dance and not a Roadblock.
Such wise words.
– Let’s quickly break down how Zev failed for a second time.
That’s the final move of the act he must perform.
Zev just does not quite mimic it.
– Zev throws the Roadblock paper up in the air.
Zev getting easily frustrated is not brand new information.
Kisha can do the move, and is approved by the Samba Queen. In traditional Kisha & Jen fashion, they are shown doing a task for no more than two seconds.
– Zev sees Kisha’s routine being accepted.
“This is bullshit, guys.”
Kisha runs so fast back to the change room that the camera operator can’t even keep up.
JUSTIN: He can’t dance. It’s going to be tough. He is doing the best that he can, and I don’t know if it’s ever going to be good enough. I feel bad for him.
“Asperger’s is one thing. People can overcome that. But White Boy Syndrome? . . .”
“There’s nothing you can do about that. It wears you down, man.”
– Justin sees Herb & Nate. Audio clips from past rounds are taken as the soundbyte of “Hey Zev, look!” is stolen from the Kunming Zodiac Roadblock, and Justin’s grunt from when he was doing the Lijiang dinosaur task is also replayed.
My assumption is that it was tough to pick up good audio during the sounds of Carnival.
– Commercial break. We resume. You can barely hear Big Easy volunteering himself for the Roadblock.
Zev gets his butt slapped by the female choreographer.
If only that was the move Zev was missing to get his next clue.
JUSTIN: Feel the vibe. Be like Jay Z. Be smooth.
Jay-Z would have won four legs on The Amazing Race, too.
Jay-Z would have completed a samba dance on his first try, too.
Jay-Z would have been willing to get his body waxed on The Amazing Race, too.
Jay-Z would have kept track of his passport before checking into a Cambodian pit stop, too.
Every team should aspire to be more like Jay-Z.
“Although don’t be the early days of Jay-Z where he may or may not have trafficked drugs to Brad. That was Jay-Z’s Pre-Smooth days.”
Oh, shut up Tomi Lahren. I already made a joke about your rant in a previous TAR blog post. No need to make a second appearance. Move along.
– We cut back to Gary & Mallory finishing the wax job.
Gary has come around after fifteen minutes.
Mallory has not.
Now I know why.
Gary doesn’t even mind a last second armpit hair pull at the buzzer. The waxers really utilize those fifteen minutes.
MALLORY: Oh, the memories.
Such a bonding experience.
– Gary & Mallory read their clue.
DETOUR: On the Rocks or On the Beach?
Mallory is ready for a drink.
PHIL: With their bodies freshly waxed, teams immediately face a Detour and must decide where they feel most comfortable.
And if you’re Phil Keoghan, apparently wearing jeans during the middle of Rio’s summer in December is where he feels most comfortable.
– In On The Rocks, teams make their way to a specific local bar which Phil neglects to pronounce yet again (Espaco). Here they must make the most popular drink in Brazil–The caipirnhas. It consists of sugarcane liquor, sugar, and lime. Sounds tasty. Anyways, they must mix up a sticky concoction of lime juice, sugar, and a liqorrrre made of sugarcane. Once one hundred drink acceptable caiprinhas are made, they will receive their next clue.
I can’t believe the ground will become a Detour puzzle nearly ten seasons later.
I think a caipirnha drinking contest with Phil Keoghan is in order.
Lucille Bluth would be the ideal opponent.
This guy is smoother than Jay-Z.
Look at him go.
– In On the Beach, teams make their way to Copacabana Beach and pick up an umbrella decked out with bikini tops and a portable changing room. Then teams must convince each customer to model their new bikini and sell enough bikini tops to earn 100 Reals, about sixty dollars. Once they do, they will receive their next clue.
Teams have to sell bikinis. . .to locals who already own dozens of bikinis, and are currently wearing one?
You’ll have an easier time selling the umbrella on the left without the bikinis for shade rather than the one on the right.
A portable changing room? It looks more like a laundry hamper.
Wait a second.
There really is a market for this. Impressive. Don’t you usually buy a swimsuit BEFORE going to the beach?
Just another day at the beach.
– Gary decides they will perform On The Rocks. They bid the Master Waxperts farewell. Mallory repeatedly thanks them, for some reason.
They have zero customers at the moment. What the hell do they do now? They are going to be really bored.
– Zev takes a water break as Justin tells him to do the best he can.
I think Zev is starting to get over this task: His frustration has become apathy.
– Big Easy emerges from the change rooms.
FLIGHT TIME: Oh! No!
It ain’t easy being green.
– Since it is a dancing task, Flight Time feels he has to dance more than Big Easy.
As long as Flight Time doesn’t try his hand at writing lyrics again, we will be spared.
Zev is still having difficulty with the hop.
Is that f–ker trying to moonwalk?
Zev knows there is no more wiggle room as Big Easy. . .well, as Big Easy does nothing except wiggle.
– Justin pleads with Zev to get ‘er done.
“I’m the rock and you’re the paper, Zev.”
“Know your role Justin, and shut your mouth! Let Zev do his thing!”
– Big Easy is allowed to go next.
Justin is about to have his wish granted: In fifteen minutes, Zev WILL be smoother than Jay-Z.
The Whistler seems disturbed. We’ll never know why.
FLIGHT TIME: I know Big Easy really enjoys dancing so this is right up his alley. I don’t know if ol’ Zevvy will ever get this.
Yeah, Big Easy likes to dance just a little more than Zev.
– An instrument plays where it sounds like a bunch of raccoons are laughing. I need to buy that instrument–it is like it is unintentionally heckling you.
Was this shot of Big Easy’s ass really necessary? Was the camera operator thinking “Man, I’ve got to get some B-Roll. The locals, the choreographer, the Samba Queen, the bands, the steps, Copacabana Beach. . .oh, and Big Easy’s ass!”
By the way, this is now on my hard drive. Great.
– Justin is desperate for Zev to succeed.
– Zev finishes his routine.
He knows he has got it.
Samba Queen confirms.
Justin does the King’s Ransom Sigh of Relief (trademark of Bobby “BobDawg” Mason from Survivor: Exile Island).
– Zev receives his clue.
Justin could not be happier.
Zev is nearly pulled from the race due to a crushed cranium.
– Big Easy didn’t do the last hop and kick at the end. Therefore, he is rejected.
Big Easy’s instructor is not happy. All his instructor needs is a cane, and suddenly he would look like a pimp.
– Zev & Justin get into a cab.
ZEV: Well, I’m sorry.
JUSTIN: You have nothing to be sorry about. You did the best you could. I know you did the best you could.
“Unless we get eliminated this leg. Then it’s all your fault, Zev.”
Big Easy does the tiniest of hops, but the Samba Queen approves.
– Big Easy immediately sandwiches himself between two of the male dancers.
What is Big Easy doing?
Did he watch Night at the Roxbury right before heading out onto the race?
Globetrotters have probably made up about ten minutes on Zev & Justin. Flight Time reads their destination as ‘Capacobana’.
– At Capacobana Beach, Gary & Mallory make their arrival.
Since this guy is not Bethany Hamilton, he should be relatively safe when surfing.
I like how Gary is halfway to the bar as Mallory hangs back to cheerfully wave at a cab driver she will never see again.
They get their own band to play for them as they make drinks. You can’t get away from the music in Rio.
Gary’s bartender is very demanding.
Five limes. Two sugars. Four pushes. Four ice cubes. A shot of rum. Then mix.
Mixing is the fun part.
– Gary & Mallory determine it will not be a difficult task.
MALLORY: Dad, we can smash it!
Gary’s daughter: Not a smasher.
– A guy at the bar takes a sip of the first drink.
Who wastes an alcoholic beverage?! What is this? Iran?
– I love how the horror soundtrack plays when the drink is dumped out–apparently emptying a drink in Brazil is the equivalent of somebody being murdered in Canada.
MALLORY: It was probably because I did it in the wrong order.
“Or probably because I sampled the drink beforehand!”
MALLORY: Now shot–
GARY: No! Ice!
Oh my god, Mall. What have you done?!
She yelled like the bug from Mario Paint, by the way.
“Don’t squish me! I need more caipirnhas!”
– Gary says the task was simple, but kept getting the sequence out of order.
GARY: Mall, what are you doing?
(Drink is dumped.)
Mallory should feel ashamed.
– The unique Rio soundtrack picks up as Kisha & Jen get waxed.
Jen is not too keen on the armpit hair removal.
JEN: I have never waxed my armpits before. My armpits hurt a little bit.
KISHA: That was a lot of hair to get.
JEN: I shaved my armpits yesterday!
Jen turns this discussion of armpit hair into an excuse to flex for the camera.
KISHA LAUGH COUNT: 18
– Justin hops out of the cab to confirm directions.
Let’s hope their lead over Herb & Nate is still preserved.
– Jen informs the viewers she has never had her forearms shaved before.
She is loving this.
So is Kisha.
So is Amy.
– Globetrotters are much closer than we think as they enter the room. They are just over six minutes behind Kisha & Jen.
Awkward subtitles it is.
FLIGHT TIME: I don’t let everybody do this, you know?
Oh, Flight Time.
BIG EASY: There were some pretty girls in there doing it. Flight Time, you know, was saying it was an honour for them just to rub on his chest.
Oh, Flight Time.
– Flight Time starts rolling his stomach.
You can’t see it beneath her mask, but I doubt she is laughing.
Flight Time adds in an eyebrow raise for that extra flair.
FLIGHT TIME: Your lucky day, girl.
But not his.
– We head back to the beach.
Such fun times with the band.
Mallory is shaking her drink like a Polaroid picture.
– After all of their hard work, how many drinks have they completed?
Four percent completion after all of this time?
Their progress is slower than a Playstation 1 disc’s loading screen.
GARY: Alright, finally. I’m getting it down now. No mistakes from here on out.
If Gary screws up just once between now and the next ninety-five drinks, Mallory has permission to cuss him out.
I don’t know if that’s sweat on Gary’s shirt or a lot of lime juice.
– A freakin’ Congo drum line forms as Gary & Mallory continue.
Did I say “Congo drum line”?
I meant Conga drum Line.
– Now we cut back to the waxing.
The jokes suddenly come to a stop for Big Easy.
Jen is LAUGHING at Big Easy’s pain, and that’s just rude.
KISHA: That’s making me feel better.
FLIGHT TIME: How lucky am I? . . .How lucky is she?
I don’t know, Flight Time. She must be wearing a big mask to prevent her from being able to smell your body odour. Therefore, she may not be as lucky as you think.
And how lucky is Ralph Kiser from Survivor: Redemption Island that he doesn’t have to do this task? You dodged a bullet, Relf!
Conclusion: Neither of you are lucky.
Big Easy’s response is perfect.
– Kisha & Jen finish the task.
KISHA: Thanks for not causing too much pain.
That’s not something Zev & Justin will be saying. Just a gut feeling.
– Kisha & Jen choose On the Rocks. That’s a lot of free drinks for Rio locals.
– Zev points out Kisha & Jen exiting the wax salon.
“Look, there’s Jen & Kisha.”
“They look like they are in good spirits. The task must be fun!”
– Kisha & Jen see Zev & Justin. They are likely about twenty minutes apart.
– Globetrotters are wrapping up their session.
Am I the only one cringing?
– Their time is up as Flight Time is handed the clue.
Flight Time is the first basketball player who gets away with a kiss on the cheek without stirring controversy.
Tristan Thompson was better off signing up for The Amazing Race.
How the hell do I remember this random basketball highlight from two years ago?
I guess Tristan Thompson just has one of those faces you don’t forget.
And why would Flight Time kiss the person who just physically hurt him? Sounds like Flight Time is experiencing from Stockholm Syndrome, and I am not talking about hay bales.
– Herb & Nate choose On The Rocks.
– Zev & Justin arrive at the clue box.
Justin’s face says it all.
JUSTIN: Oh boy. Zev, these challenges were not made for us today, buddy.
ZEV: We’re still in it, though.
Let’s revisit that in fifteen minutes.
Zev’s dance moves aren’t as smooth as Jay-Z, but Justin’s leg certainly is.
He’ll never instruct anybody to be smooth again.
Here comes the pain, Zev & Justin!
I forgot about how stupid and unfair this task was.
Watching Zev & Justin getting waxed is as painful as watching The House of Wax.
Justin quotes the famous waxing scene from 40 Year Old Virgin.
And since when was waxing a spectator sport? Most of the women aren’t even doing anything.
ZEV: OWWWWWW! DO IT ALREADY!
Head down, Zev.
ZEV: DAMN YOU!
She said ‘head down’, Zev.
If Zev can repeatedly raise his head for the next fifteen minutes, no more body parts have to be waxed. It’s a brilliant strategy.
– Kisha & Jen are second to the Detour.
There is no shortage of bands in Copacabana.
JEN: It’s like making a mojito, actually.
– Jen previously worked as a bartender. She may go back to bartending.
KISHA LAUGH COUNT: 19
– Gary & Mallory have finished seventeen drinks.
Are your arms tired yet, Mal?
– A random guy takes a caipirnha from Kisha & Jen.
KISHA: Oh, you’re having it! Alright!
KISHA LAUGH COUNT: 20
He didn’t tip the bartender. How rude.
KISHA: Oh, so that’s a no?
Yes, Kisha. If your drink is being poured into a garbage can, it might be no good.
“If your drink is being poured into a garbage can, you might be a redneck!”
Oh go f–k yourself, Foxworthy.
KISHA: Bartending is not my thing.
Neither is getting airtime in the first ten episodes.
– Globetrotters begin mixing drinks.
Not much space to work with for this Detour. The judge takes a sip of the Globetrotters’ first drink.
– Gary flips off the camera. No, I am serious.
Boom. The Bird is front and centre.
GARY: I cut my finger on the rim of the martini shaker. I didn’t know bartending was such a dangerous job.
Worst Rim Job ever.
Not so peaceful setting.
ZEV: She waxed my whole chest. . .and then my armpits!
What else was she supposed to wax? She already waxed your legs, man.
– I think producers start to worry as Zev & Justin’s pain threshold is surpassed.
ZEV: Are you going to tell me when you’re going to pull it?!
She’ll just keep faking you out until you least expect it, Zev.
She is as evil as the Beijing masseuse from TAR 14.
– Seeing Justin lose his composure after a part of his chest is waxed is a highly unusual sight. Justin never ever ever loses his cool on the race, but this chest waxing is the first time I have seen him break down.
I want this to be over.
JUSTIN: I swear to God I am going to punch you in the face! I swear to God I am going to punch you in the face. Oh my god. This is so painful.
Prepare for the longest six seconds ever.
– The other side of his chest is waxed.
JUSTIN: What’s the penalty for knocking her out cold?
You know what? You’re in last, Justin. If you start throwing haymakers left and right at all of the employees, there really aren’t repercussions at this point. It would be the biggest rampage in TAR history.
I wonder how Zev & Justin’s edit would have changed in post-production if that were to happen, though.
This is the worst fifteen minutes of Justin’s life since he walked out on Fifty Shades of Grey in the movie theatre on Valentine’s Day.
And there you have it. One of the most unnecessary tasks in TAR US history.
NOTE: Remember how I said that I quit watching TAR between TAR 15 and TAR 18? Well, I saw the first two episodes of this season live (just to laugh at Amanda & Kris’ invisible legacy becoming more hilarious) as well as about ninety minutes of this season finale.
I distinctly remember watching this with my parents and my mother commenting “if I was Justin, I would knock her out too. This challenge is so unfair.”
I could not agree more. It was just a matter of sitting through a fixed amount of time of pointless torture AND it is guaranteed to be more physically painful for racers like Zev & Justin while somebody like Mallory essentially gets a free pass.
I am all for ridiculous challenges in TAR. In fact, I have openly encouraged for TAR US and TAR Canada to borrow things from Hamerotz LaMillion (Israeli TAR).
However, this waxing challenge deserves to be thrown into the Hall of Shame with the Swedish hay bales from TAR 6.
What a stupid and idiotic task. Next.
You know what you did.
– Zev & Justin choose On The Beach. It is a wise choice as they desperately needed to choose the other Detour option as a way to catch up.
– Gary & Mallory have fifty drinks mixed. Kisha & Jen are at twenty-eight.
It would be better if the band sampled the caipirnhas, and started playing their music while intoxicated.
– Big Easy wants to drink ’em. He is at thirteen.
– We head to the beach. Well, the other part of the beach.
So much blurring in Rio. The man on the right is definitely not seeing any CBS intervention, though.
– Justin tells Zev to carry the umbrella as he starts yelling at women on the beach.
I have a feeling she is not buying one.
Justin is like Michael Bluth in Altitude magazine.
ZEV: Buy your lady a nice outfit!
Jesus. That guy looks like a freakin’ bodybuilder. He is probably too busy flexing his pecs rather than acknowledging Zev.
– Zev & Justin find a couple who are willing to buy one.
It makes sense seeing how she isn’t even wearing something that qualifies as a swimsuit.
Zev & Justin may have a shot.
JUSTIN: Put it on.
Well, that was direct.
JUSTIN: Please. Senora.
Don’t blow this sale, Justin.
– Zev brings out the laundry hamper.
I think they are losing this sale.
JUSTIN: In here!
She is laughing at them.
– Zev & Justin give up on her.
ZEV: Thanks a lot. This is awesome.
JUSTIN: We need somebody who is drunk.
Start handing out free drinks to the locals, guys. It’s just fifty feet away.
– Justin approaches more women.
I think Connor & Jonathan could have more luck with the ladies than Zev & Justin at the moment.
Justin is -this- close to offering up himself for prostitution in exchange for making a bikini sale.
JUSTIN: I don’t know what to do.
Zev has a better way of describing it.
– Commercial break. We resume.
Summers could take a few lessons from Rio as to how to fill their beaches. You’re a resort town, guys! Rio is slaughtering you!
The camera operators are sure loving their B-Roll for this round.
– Zev & Justin approach a woman and explain the situation.
ZEV: Please. We’re begging you. Please.
Will it work?
She just pwned them.
Good luck, though!
– Gary & Mallory have ninety-four drinks. Kisha & Jen are at fifty-eight.
KISHA: Every one counts.
– Globetrotters have fifty.
I am curious if Christ the Redeemer can turn blood into caipirnhas.
– Gary & Mallory reach 100 glasses.
– They receive their next clue.
– Gary & Mallory read that they must head to the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Where did the Brazilian government find the money to build this? They know how many favelas are in Rio, yes?
– The pit stop isn’t at the building itself, however. It is at the beach down below from the building.
Two beach pit stops in one season?
It’s David O’ Leary’s worst nightmare.
The coconuts replace Snapple as the pit stop treat.
That is an extremely zoomed out shot of Phil. You can barely see his light blue shirt.
– Gary & Mallory get into a cab. Mal hands the clue to the driver. He knows exactly where to go.
MALLORY: Hey, can we go very fast? In a race.
MALLORY (lightly claps hands together): Yaaaaaay.
It’s times likes this that make me weep how Mark & Bopper fanatics will attempt character assassination on you in six seasons from now.
– Jen informs Kisha that Gary & Mallory have left. Globetrotters repeat this information. We see the Globetrotters have a drink of theirs tossed by the guy in the Reedemer shirt.
The camera operator is still on a mission for B-Roll Booty. This is getting rather blatant.
There hasn’t been this much blurring since Amanda Kimmel was on Survivor.
– Zev & Justin have yet to make a sale.
JUSTIN: Is anybody really rich?!
Knowing the crime rate in Rio, there is a zero percent chance that somebody is going to yell back “I am!” in a tourist hot spot.
– Zev & Justin have their biggest fail of a conversation yet.
Justin tries his hand at Portuguese.
This is off to a great start.
ZEV: Yes or no?
JUSTIN: Si or no?
Didn’t see that coming.
ZEV: Alright. I say we just go do the other task. So we just go make our drinks?
The Charlie Brown music needs to be played here as Zev & Justin’s Hail Mary pass ultimately failed.
I think Zev & Justin would have preferred the TAR 27 Detour of either playing volleyball or solving a puzzle on the beach.
– We cut to the Museum of Contemporary Art. Cartoonish music plays as Gary & Mallory try to find the trail to the pit stop. The music couldn’t be more fitting for Mallory’s antics.
“This way, Mal!”
“Mal! The kitty in the tree could have Zika! Phil is waiting for us! We’ll have Snapples and Ice Cream when we see Phil!”
This is deja vu from the first episode.
PHIL (hyped up): Garyyyyy and Malloryyyyyy!
(PIT STOP GREETER claps.)
This is the first time I have heard Phil talk like a sports jock.
Mallory is working hard to get up that 1.2 percent incline. It is like she is preparing to slide into the pit stop Kenny Lofton style.
Mallory does a gymnastics finish on the mat.
Ken & Gerard would be proud.
GREETER: WELCOME TO BRAZIL!
Finally, a pit stop greeter who can match their energy level.
PHIL: Gary and Mallory. . .
“Say it, Phil! Say it!”
PHIL: . .You are team number ONE!
For the first time in TAR US history, a father-daughter team is heading to the final round.
It is not an international record, though. That belongs to one of the biggest quitters to ever run the race. Why did Hussein & Natasha have to be the first? Or, well, just Hussein, primarily? Ugh.
Considering Gary just climbed most of Mount Everest earlier this year, I don’t think there is a chance he will forfeit the game on a heights related challenge.
Mallory can’t help but show off her freshly waxed armpit.
– Phil confirms they will be part of the Final Three heading to the finish line.
PHIL: And I do believe if you win this race Gary, you will be the oldest person to ever win The Amazing Race.
“Because you aren’t getting any younger you old sack of s-it. Aren’t you glad we are reminding you how old you are despite it being one of your happiest moments?”
Way to kill the mood, Phil.
He thought it was funny.
MALLORY (excited squeal voice): ohmygodwegettoberacinginthefinalthree
Just like when they won the India leg (and the Snapples), Mallory’s peak of excitement is when she starts thinking she is a butterfly and flaps her wrists as if they were wings.
– Mallory starts jumping up and down for no reason.
– Phil informs them they have won a trip along the “magical Mediterranean” with MSC Cruises for eleven nights for a cruise courtesy of Travelocity. They also get to go on short excursions to Rome and Casablanca.
That is a much bigger prize than half of the prizes in TAR 28 combined.
– Globetrotters have one more drink dumped. Flight Time sees Zev & Justin slowly walk to the bar.
Something tells me that catching up to Flight Time & Big Easy is far out of their reach by this point.
Especially when the Globetrotters have approximately sixty drinks on the table.
– Kisha & Jen complete the Detour and hail a cab.
JEN: I wanted one of those things so bad.
What was stopping you, Jen? It’s not like this was a self-drive leg.
JUSTIN: We’re going to make these and see where we have to go next.
ZEV: Do I have to samba while I do it?
“Do we have to get our back waxed after we complete fifty drinks either?”
– Globetrotters are at seventy-six.
BIG EASY: Fourteen more to go.
BIG EASY: . . .Right?
Big Easy’s mental math abilities are matching that of the Barbie “Math is hard” doll.
BIG EASY: . . .No, twenty-four more to go. My bad.
Zev & Justin get their first bit of encouragement all day.
– Justin says the tables can turn. Yeah, I don’t think so.
– Kisha & Jen make it to the mat.
PHIL: There are two athletes right there.
Well, one is.
PHIL: I think you two need a drink straight away.
Ah, so the pit stop greeter is essentially Phil’s bartender.
Jen is like a zombie wanting those drinks.
PHIL: Would you guys be happy with team number two after eleven legs of The Amazing Race?
KISHA & JEN: Yes we will!
I wonder if Phil remembered to put the lime in the coconut?
“Well, too bad. You’re the last team to arrive, and I am sorry to tell you that you’ve been eliminated from the race. Go f-ck yourselves.”
– Nah, just kidding.
SECOND PLACE: KISHA & JEN
They’ll take it.
– We go back to the beach. Uh, the other beach.
33 degrees Celsius? That’s more than manageable.
Ugh. It’s starting.
– Flight Time starts randomly dancing to the music as he and Big Easy sing along with the band as Zev & Justin try their darndest to catch up.
Zev & Justin share the same expression as the audience. There is only so much singing and dancing from the Globetrotters that one can take in one episode.
– Flight Time & Big Easy start chanting “Aye aye aye” like it’s Rick Sanchez being tazered.
They never miss their cue.
Sugar, we’re goin’ down.
I think the Globetrotters have become so distracted that they may not even finish this task.
Keep goin’ down, fellas.
Flight Time never gives up eye contact.
Justin is ready to take all of his frustration out by waxing the Globetrotters’ ass into a hat if they don’t stop it.
BIG EASY: Belly roll. Belly roll. OHHHH.
He loves it when you call him Big Poppa.
ZEV: How are they still doing this?
BIG EASY: Who got the fire? Who got the fire? You got the fire! You got the fire!
Fort McMurray has the fire.
JUSTIN: They’re really annoying me right now.
The scheming begins.
– The Globetrotters receive their clue.
The Redeemer didn’t appreciate Flight Time & Big Easy’s antics either. The creation of caipirnhas is sacred.
“All you, baby!”
I don’t think M. Bison even needs to appear to tell Justin that his race is officially over. I’ll spare him of this.
On the other hand, high fives all around!
– Flight Time & Big Easy hire a taxi. Zev & Justin are nowhere near done.
JUSTIN: We started the race and we’re gonna finish. We don’t want to give up. . .we’re just doing it, man.
– A montage of mixing their remaining drinks is shown.
JUSTIN: Yours is the last one Zev, and I’ll make one for us to share.
Screw it. After a day like today, they both deserve a full drink.
ZEV: To a good run.
And good rum.
– Phil cheers on Flight Time & Big Easy as they arrive.
PHIL: C’mon! Right to the end! Yyyyyyeah!
Phil has to be a little bit drunk today. He is never like this.
THIRD PLACE: FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY
It’s their routine chest bump.
“You are one of the three teams who will, for whatever reason, be singing and dancing their way to the finish line. Even Dana & Matt knew not to be excessive about it.
Big Easy is ready.
– Zev & Justin are in a cab.
Justin is on his second drink.
ZEV: Pretty bad feeling knowing your race is about to come to an end.
JUSTIN: A tough way to go.
You know what time it is? More flashbacks!
– The first flashback we see is unintentionally hilarious.
I think Zev’s shirt was burned in a bonfire at the end of this episode.
JUSTIN: As far as our experience goes, we got cut short last time and we wanted another shot at it, and we really proved oruselves. Asperger’s or not, I have learned a lot about this kid through the two races we have done. He has proved a lot to himself and to a lot of people. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything no matter how much money we won or didn’t win.
Flashback! Flashback! Flashback! Flashback! Flashback!
JUSTIN: This is where it ends.
JUSTIN: This would be romantic if we were a couple.
Yeah, this would have been a really romantic setting if it were Kent & Vyxsin. Kent would probably claim he was drowning whenever a wave came onto the shore.
– Zev can barely acknowledge the pit stop greeter.
Zev just can’t muster the courage to look at Phil or the greeter. Did Zev call him Eduardo?
Phil gets to be over-the-top ecstatic for the top three teams, but the mood must change when eliminating a team in the penultimate leg. It is arguably the most psychologically hurtful position to finish in the race.
LAST PLACE: ZEV & JUSTIN
They don’t even react.
PHIL: I’ve seen you look happier.
JUSTN: I’ve been happier.
ZEV: I’ve been happier also.
– Their exit confessionals are more cheerful.
ZEV: He was the ‘race’ and I was the ‘amazing’. We fit that combo pretty well. Better than any other team.
JUSTIN: I’d say that was pretty accurate.
ZEV: In the end, what we saw out in the world there is a much bigger picture than to try to win a million dollars.
JUSTIN: That’s a good point, man.
ZEV: Thanks. . .man.
Their final confessional of Zev mocking Justin is a fitting end of Zev & Justin’s journey.
– It is UFC promo time filled with more montages.
KISHA: The only time when it matters when winning a leg is this last leg.
Unless an eleven day Mediterranean cruise is on the line.
BIG EASY: We’re definitely gonna go hard. We’re going to leave it all out there. Four quarters are all over now. It’s time for overtime, and it’s sudden death baby. We’re going for it all.
Jesus Christ the Redeemer, Big Easy–take it easy on those sports analogies.
MALLORY: We’ve got mental, we’ve got physical, and we’ve got luck on our side.
Oh, Mallory. That luck is about to expire.
FLIGHT TIME: We’re the best team.
Actually, Kisha & Jen have an average of 3.45, Gary & Mallory have an average of 3.27, and Flight Time & Big Easy have an average of 3.90.
Therefore, Flight Time, you are actually the -worst- team. Good day, sir.
JEN: We’ll come out strong.
And hey, no matter how it ends, the greatest victory of all is that you guys will have your first aired mat chat of the entire season.
GARY: I think we’ve got what it takes to win the race.
Phew. UFC promo time is over.
Next Time on TAR: The second hour of the first two hour finale since TAR 11 airs, and another winner is crowned. Miami makes its final TAR appearance. Will we see an Oswald & Danny or Dexter cameo? Who knows.
What we do know is that the winner will either be a cartoon character from Kentucky and her father, two basketball players who are the epitome of stunt casting, or two sisters who have their s-it and piss together as they run the race. One of these teams shall win Unfinished Business.
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON TAR’ SEGMENT
GARY & MALLORY 6
FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY: 5
ZEV & JUSTIN 5
JET & CORD 4
KENT & VYXSIN: 3
AMANDA & KRIS 2
MEL & MIKE 2
JAIME & CARA: 2
MARGIE & LUKE: 2
RON & CHRISTINA 2
KISHA & JEN: 1. lol.
FLIGHT TIME.BIG EASY 4.6
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON TAR’ SEGMENT
KENT & VYXSIN 3
GARY & MALLORY 2
RON & CHRISTINA 2
ZEV & JUSTIN 2
JET & CORD 1
MEL & MIKE 1
JAIME & CARA 1
MARGIE & LUKE 1
KISHA & JEN: 1
FLIGHT TIME & BIG EASY: 0
AMANDA & KRIS: 0
Rank the Legs
1) Kurihama, Japan -> Lijiang, China
2) Broken Hill, Australia -> Kurihama, Japan
3) Kunming, China -> Kolkata, India
4) Kolkata, India -> Varanasi, India
5) Salzburg, Austria -> Zermatt, Switzerland
6) Lijiang, China -> Kunming, China
7) Zermatt, Switzerland, -> More Zermatt, Switzerland
8) Zermatt, Switzerland -> Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
There is not much to talk about with this leg. It was obvious that editors were mainly using this round to setup the second half in their two hour finale. Did we need every team to have a flashback when leaving the pit stop? It’s not like anything new was being shown as they talked about the same highlights that they mentioned during the season premiere and subsequent episodes.
Correct me if I am wrong, but stopping for only one round in South America is a TAR US first. I did not mean a return to Rio too much as we had not seen the city since its iconic appearance in the TAR 2 season opener.
I wish we got to see the Girl from Ipanema in the form of a Switchback after being away for ten years. She would have been around seventy years old during TAR 18. That would have been somewhat funny. . .or if teams had to kiss Fat Maria again. Zev & Justin would have had a field day with that.
The airport drama in the beginning was hilarious as Big Easy demonstrated the worst poker face known to man. You know it was bad when Mallory can see through your guilt.
The Samba Roadblock was fun, but not particularly difficult as every team completed it in three tries or less.
Checking out those “world famous” steps was cool, and seeing the Globetrotters miss the tram as they must pout for thirty minutes was a bit entertaining.
I for one have never approved of the waxing challenge, especially how it didn’t change anything and was strictly designed to torture one specific team. Watching Zev & Justin endure that as they were in dead last was a low point for the season. Well, the lowest point other than Jet & Cord being saved by a NEL at the end of the first round.
The Detour was not very thrilling. Making one hundred caipirnhas had a relatively fixed pace, and watching teams mix one hundred drinks was not thrilling TV. On the other side of the Detour, convincing locals to buy AND model new bikinis in a portable changing room appeared to be a brutally difficult task. You really had no choice but to mix one hundred drinks unless you were as desperate to take a risk as Zev & Justin were.
And I am sure Zev & Justin loved switching back to the Detour as the Globetrotters unintentionally antagonized them by dancing and singing along with the bands.
This round was not awful, but it wasn’t that good. It wasn’t very memorable either except for the infamous waxing challenge. It is not as dumb as the Swedish hay bales or the “let’s make the teams cross-dress and point and laugh at the cross-dressers because hahahah hehehehehe we’re so funny” type of tasks, but it is up there.
At least they did Rio stuff, I guess. Perhaps make both sides of the Detour be a social task would have made this round better? It’s Rio, for crying out loud. Everyone should be interacting.
P.S. My podcasting co-host/proofreader/the man behind the scenes for helping improve this blog, Ben, has almost convinced me that the waxing task is not unfair as I initially assessed since I completed this post.
9) Varanasi, India -> Salzburg, Austria
10) Manly, Australia -> Broken Hill, Australia
11) Palm Springs, California, US -> Manly, Australia
Rank the Teams
1) Ron & Christina
2) Kent & Vyxsin
3) Zev & Justin
Who received the biggest boost from their original appearance? The answer is most definitely Zev & Justin.
In TAR 15, the editing made Zev & Justin seem like a team where it was one guy who was cast with his friend who has Asperger’s because of stunt casting and Bethany Hamilton-esque inspiring storylines. The first four rounds were edited so the casual audience would weep when they were eliminated due to their tragic blunder.
Here in TAR 18, the editing would take a 180 degree turn. You didn’t get the impression that editors were exploiting Zev & Justin at all. Instead you got a team full of memorable quotes and hilarious interactions along the way. They could make jokes that no other team could get away with like they did. It was awesome.
They also had one of the most extreme cases of fluctuating their position on TAR. They could win two legs in a row near the beginning then finish next-to-last in the following two legs and follow that up with winning another two legs back-to-back. There was never any consistency to their progress in the race.
If you ever wanted a team of entertaining, compelling, and likable all-male team of friends, Zev & Justin would be near the top of that list. Considering two out of the three all-male teams (who were a realistic option) were chosen to come back for TAR 24, it stuns me that Zev & Justin were turned down in favour of both the Globetrotters AND Jet & Cord. What the hell, producers?
Zev & Justin were also great in confessionals and reacting to other racers. Zev’s attitude combined with Justin’s well-spoken nature helped push the narrative of the season.
While Ron & Christina were the best parent-child team since TAR 11, and Kent & Vyxsin were the best dating couple since TAR 11, Zev & Justin may be the best team of friends since TAR 11. It is a no-brainer that these three teams occupy the top of this season’s Rank the Teams list. Everyone else falls below this line.
Zev & Justin only finish in third because Ron is Ron and Kent & Vyxsin’s dynamic is just downright ridiculous.
<insert incredibly offensive joke about Asians here, courtesy of Zev>
4) Jaime & Cara
5) Margie & Luke
6) Mel & Mike
7) Jet & Cord
8) Amanda & Kris
Below is a list of all teams from seasons I have blogged to date, ranked by racing average.
e.g. Don & Mary Jean finished 9th, 8th, 8th, 8th, and 8th. Add up the numbers and divide it by the number of legs they have played.
Therefore their average is 8.2.
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.
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56 TAR 6
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54 Saved by NEL twice TAR Asia 3
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded TAR 9
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46 TAR Asia 1
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded TAR 6
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45 TAR 12
4th Zev & Justin 3.45 TAR 18
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st TAR 12
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 2
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield TAR 5
6th Steve & Allie 3.38 – TAR 16, and ain’t got no clothes.
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF TAR 1
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25 TAR 13
1st TK & Rachel 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 12
4th Godlewski Family 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 8
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 10
2nd Sam & Dan 3.17 U-Turned Pointlessly TAR 15
2nd Brook & Claire 3.17 U-Turned Once TAR 17
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17 TAR 10
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL twice TAR 8
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF TAR 4
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 7
4th Toni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia TAR 13
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF TAR 3
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
17 legs Jaime & Cara 5.06 Used U-Turn and U-Turned TAR 14 + 18
10 legs Mel & Mike 5.00 TAR 14 + 18
18 legs Kent & Vyxsin 4.94 Used U-Turn Twice, Saved by NEL twice TAR 12 + 18
18 legs Danielle 4.78 yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF TAR 3 + 11
18 legs Ron & Christina 4.44 TAR 12 + 18
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF TAR 1 + 11
15 legs Zev & Justin 4.133 TAR 15 + 18
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
18 legs Margie & Luke 3.61 Used U-Turn TAR 14 + 18
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF, yielded x3, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
21 legs Jet & Cord 3.43 Saved by NEL twice, U-Turned TAR 16 + 18
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.