The Amazing Race 19 Episode 1 Rankings

THE AMAZING RACE 19

Episode Blog #286

“Twitter Saved My Life”

TAR 1-4: Original Era

TAR 5-9: Revitalization Era

TAR 10-13: Transition Era

TAR 14-16: Static Era

TAR 17: The Exception.

TAR 18-24: Funky and Inconsistent Era.

COUNTRIES VISITED

CHINESE TAIPEI – INDONESIA – THAILAND – MALAWI – DENMARK – GERMANY – BELGIUM – NETHERLANDS – PANAMA – UNITED STATES

Filming Date: June 18, 2011 – July 10, 2011

Airdate: September 25, 2011 – December 11, 2011

Two things to note before I begin. . .

a) I hate cancer. You hate cancer. We all fucking hate cancer and we all know multiple people close to us who have been affected by cancer. Whether it be financial, emotional, or social support, please join the fight to take down this sonofabitch.

b) I don’t know about you, but there seems to be a lot of negativity surrounding people’s attitudes. Hopefully this blog makes you laugh, engaged, and gives you break from all of that bullshit that goes on in our everyday lives. The more you shake your head while you are reading this blog, the better job I did.

It’s the start of another celebration, bitches!

INTRODUCTION

Oh my god. This blog has come full circle. Just prior to the start of TAR 19’s run on TV, I uploaded my first TARstorian blog post. A measly thirteen page account that ranked the teams, the legs, and the season as a whole.

I have a very clear memory of watching TAR 19 on my TV in the basement while blogging about TAR 2 at my computer desk. Yes, I was blogging about TAR while having a new episode of TAR playing in the background.

It is crazy to know that memory is over six years old.

How do I set this season up?

Following the conclusion of TAR 18, it was time once again for TAR to start anew. In the Survivor universe, a quiet and indifferent season typically follows any all-returnee edition.

TAR didn’t have that same issue with TAR 11: Real All Stars. TAR 12 is perhaps the biggest success in the series’ history, and I am certain producers were hoping to strike gold again for TAR 19.

However, that gold didn’t pan out as TAR 19 is, in my opinion, the most forgotten and indifferent season for TAR. That applies to any English language version of TAR that I have ever seen on TV–not just the American version. After the finale I even said “this was a forgettable season,” and my god I have turned out to be right.

Out of the first eleven seasons, I would say TAR 4 was the most forgettable. They had a choppy narrative because mid-to-low tier finishers in the first half of the season claw their way to the end, the route spent too much time in Europe and had a lot of overlap with the first three seasons, few tasks were memorable, and no new stars were established. However, the Mumbai train scene, Reichen & DK being recognized for being a married gay team, the showdown between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck, and being dangerously close to the North Korean border provided memorable highlights. Or that odd three-way tie for first place on the first leg that made Royal Caribbean refuse to be a sponsour in the future.

Here we have a season where top tier finishers remain in the game all the way to the end, the route spends very little time in Europe, and they found a team to cater to the rural country folk population. So what did TAR 19 do differently to overthrow TAR 4 as the most forgettable season?

First, let’s go over the twists.

After a five season absence, the Keep On Racing twist is brought back without any penalty for coming in last for this NEL. In other words, it is as lame as it always has been as nobody gets held accountable for coming in last for this NEL.

The Express Pass returns for the third season in a row. The expiration date wasn’t until the end of leg seven. I really wish production would push back the expiration date for the Express Pass to the end of the game to increase the target on a team’s back. In present-day TAR, the expiration date for Express Passes come as early as leg five. I don’t get it.

Now to the three new twists. All three of these twists happen in the first two episodes and NEVER return again in the future. Well, one returns in TAR Canada 3 but was such a failure again that it went unaired.

HAZARD

In TAR 15 and TAR 18, both Starting Line tasks had severe consequences for the last place team. TAR 15 outright eliminated a team. TAR 18 assessed a team with a U-Turn in the first elimination round.

TAR 18 decided to be much nicer and made it an extra task that the losing team had to complete later on in the premiere and it was a Non-Elimination Leg.

In other words, the Hazard may be the most pointless twist in TAR history. If you want to pull out a piece of obscure TAR US trivia on someone, ask a question about the Hazard.

Apparently the twist leaked pre-season and fans speculated that it was supposed to run for the entire length of the season. That would have been a cool idea to see play out just once. How long can a team last with a permanent Speed Bump?

DOUBLE ELIMINATION LEG

We go from one irrelevant twist to one that was downright hated.

You know how fans are tired of NELs by this point in TAR history? Well, production upped the ante to the traditional four NELs for TAR 19 despite it being a twelve round season.

This means there had to be an extra elimination somewhere during the game. Production decided to make the opening round a NEL and follow it up with the bottom two teams going home on the second leg.

The twist was so controversial at the time that it was the first and final time TAR US ever used this twist. Two likeable teams, including a team production really wanted to go far this season, went home.

GIVE UP YOUR MONEY

During the Double Elimination Leg in the second round, producers decided to test everyone’s attention to detail. . .to an extreme.

Tiny font on a sign near the end of the leg asked teams to give up all of their money. There was a bigger message on the sign that said to just give up part of your cash–which everyone did. The tiny message was so difficult to see that only three out of eleven teams would complete the task correctly. The other eight teams were rejected from the pit stop and had to go back to complete the task correctly.

This twist was never used again for TAR US. However, TAR Canada 3 took a crack at it in their India leg. All five remaining teams in TARC 3 missed the tiny sign, and because none of the teams were affected by it, producers decided not to air it on TV.

These three new twists all failed and made critics who had been losing their faith in TAR since season 14 be more willing to stop their coverage of the show. Following TARFlies and AV Club’s termination of TAR coverage, the second episode (which featured the two twists I mentioned) was the last straw for Andy Denhart who wrote a string of articles about what TAR needed to do in order to improve.

Sadly, Andy Denhart failed to write “watch TAR Australia” as his strongest piece of advice for production.

Keep in mind that this was before multiple podcasts and blogs dedicated to the show would start popping up all over the Internet. Therefore, media coverage of TAR 19 was minimal at best.

Now to the cast itself. This season would mark the final time that a couple over the age of 60 would be picked for TAR. They would go on to be perceived as iconic and awesome for reasons other than being elderly. Remember that I don’t automatically root for someone because of their age. I liked this team overall, but not as much as other fans I have seen online. Everyone was eager to see Bill & Cathi be brought back for TAR 24: Fake All Stars. Sadly, Bill was likely battling cancer at the time as a surprise announcement of his death and disease in June of 2016 came to light.

Bill is bodybuilding in our hearts. Especially Michael Harmstone’s.

Cue the twenty-one pec flex salute!

Out of the 89 teams to make it to the final round of TAR US, there is one team who will be crowned the most invisible finalists ever to cross the finish line. They are so invisible that fellow superfan Wayne Arthurson had to Google them after I mentioned them in a conversation two years ago. That’s impressive for a relatively recent finalist. You thought Amanda & Kris were invisible? One team in TAR 19 will take it to a whole new level.

Another team will become incredibly polarizing. They will make very offensive remarks during the season. It will test how much a fan separates the racer from the human being. Many people, especially those in the Christian South of the United States, will not even view the remarks as being offensive and give them high praise. Everyone else though has to fight over whether the offensive comments should make them one of the most hated teams of all time. It is a debate which goes on to this day.

And lastly, we have Ethan & Jenna. Many people have forgotten about this, but TAR 19 and Survivor: South Pacific aired at the same time on TV. Originally CBS wanted Ethan & Jenna to compete on Survivor: South Pacific. It would be the sequel to the Rob vs. Russell format in Redemption Island. Seeing a couple who had won Survivor individually and are now a popular romantic pair would be perfect for the next showdown in Survivor.

Surprisingly, Ethan & Jenna decided NOT to make their third run on Survivor. That is why we saw the unexpected theme of Ozzy vs. Coach in South Pacific. Ethan & Jenna didn’t feel comfortable competing against each other because they feared it would damage their relationship. Obviously that is hilarious because Ethan & Jenna would break up anyway just over a year after TAR 19’s airing. Their relationship started in Survivor: All Stars and ended sometime around Survivor: Caramoan.

Many people ask “Why did you start watching TAR again after taking a break due to how awful TAR 14 was?” The answer was simple. My fandom for Ethan Zohn brought me back into TAR. He is one of my favourite reality TV winners ever, and is my sister’s all-time favourite reality TV contestant. If you know what happens to Ethan & Jenna in TAR 19, you are probably laughing right now at the idea of me getting pumped at seeing Ethan Zohn return to my TV screen only to get screwed by an early bullshit twist.

I should note Jenna Morasca’s relationship with CBS would be strained after TAR 19. On Twitter, Jenna responded to fans during the season premiere that she found it suspicious that a random local was able to give back a lost passport to one of the other teams at the airport. Of course, we know this isn’t suspicious since this passport incident is well-documented online.

Right after the starting line, the Vegas cocktail waitress didn’t break any stereotypes as she left her passport on the ground outside of a gas station. A local, who had already signed a waiver earlier when talking to another team and figured it was for The Amazing Race, picked up the passport and tweeted about it. The folks at Reality Fan Forum (specifically Peach Georgia, the longtime admin of the site and a friend of alumni/production) told the guy on Twitter to drive to the airport and deliver the passport.

Oddly enough, I would go on to meet Peach Georgia in person at the TAR 28 finale and one year later at the TAR 29 finale.

Peach Georgia probably likes TAR 19 more than ninety percent of the audience out there as it is not only the lone occasion where an episode acknowledged the presence of Reality Fan Forum, but would also have the finish line in Atlanta–Peach’s hometown.

And no, I have never received feedback from Peach Georgia about my TARstorian blogs at any point over the past six years. I am sure me constantly making 2Pac and Phoenix Wright jokes every week is right up her alley.

Jenna would also attack production for the Double Elimination Leg and the hidden ‘Give Up Your Money’ sign. I am curious if her or Ethan will ever get to play Survivor again.

In a largely forgettable season, there really aren’t any highlights that have stood the test of time. The Double Elimination Leg, the Give Up Your Money twist, and the Hazard have all been mentally blocked by 99 percent of the community. No one ever discusses it anymore.

Therefore, I say there are only two true highlights for this season that are memorable:

a) Kaylani & Lisa losing their passport and having it returned thanks to RFF.

b) The Final Four elimination episode.

I have already discussed the former at great lengths so I will jump into the latter. One team is on a path to one of the most dominant performances in TAR history. Heading into the penultimate round, they have a shot at breaking the TAR US record for most leg wins. The penultimate leg is halfway through and something unprecedented happens: The taxi drivers for the other three teams constantly communicate back and forth with each other through the radio. It is not a conspiracy led by any of the three teams against the team that is dominating. It is purely coincidental as an alliance of taxi drivers help the three teams survive this leg and cause a huge online uproar when the dominant team goes home.

To this day I see many people online refer to this as being an extremely unfair round and that producers should be ashamed of themselves. The season essentially ends here.

I should briefly talk about the route. As I said before, this season has the most new countries of any TAR season in a very long time and the number will never be topped again. A whopping SEVEN of the twelve pit stops will be in the four new countries (Indonesia, Belgium, Denmark, Malawi). No future seasons will even have three new countries until TAR 28.

TAR Australia and TAR Asia frequently used Indonesia. TAR US would take Indonesia to a whole new level by using it for TAR 19, TAR 21, TAR 22, TAR 23, and a brief break before its return in TAR 28.

So brace yourselves for lots of Indonesia.

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And yes, half of TAR Asia 5 used Indonesia as a location.

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Deputy Minister Patana sure loves The Amazing Race.

There is one last thing I want to point out: Contemporary technology is present in this season. Teams regularly get help from folks with smartphones. No longer do you have to rely on a map or find a store with Internet access. All you need to do is bombard a local on the street and they can Google the information for you. The days of Rob & Brennan buying your cell phone and mailing it back to you a month later is over.

I know not too many people care about the progression of technology in TAR, but I love spotting little things like this.

Speaking of technology, video clues and electronic U-Turns will be utilized this season. The debut of the electronic U-Turn board was very unpopular because it couldn’t compensate for glare. I believe the electronic U-Turn board is terminated after a couple of seasons because of the glare issue.

With a combination of a lack of big moments, no new twists that received a positive reaction, or a cast that had mildly controversial and not-so-captivating personalities on-screen, TAR 19 just fell flat. It’s not memorably horrible, but it’s not memorably great either. It’s just a piece in an ever growing timeline.

Hopefully my blog can breathe some life into this season and make it memorable for superfans who are reading from around the world.

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Fuck it, let’s face it, Jeremy & Sandy are the heart and soul of this season and you know it!

P.S. Jeremy & Sandy are not actually the most forgettable team for me personally. Liz & Marie made it over halfway and I remember NOTHING about them. I couldn’t picture what they looked like until I just started re-watching the first episode. I have no memories whatsoever of them. It’s insane. Who the fuck are they? No, really.

P.P.S. Thanks to Muneeb Khan for pointing out that Phil became a co-executive producer starting with this season. So if there is anything you hate about TAR from season nineteen onwards, the blame doesn’t solely fall on Bertram and Elise!

FIRST ROUND

Twitter Saved My Life

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The hazy sun rises on another season of The Amazing Race. Wait, a hazy sun?

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An ocean coastline?

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And surfers? Oh god. Don’t tell me we’re doing this again.

PHIL: This is the western edge of the United States! And the world famous coastline of California!

This is the seventh starting line in LA County in the past eight seasons! You’ve got to be fucking kidding me! And this is the tenth LA starting line overall!

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When are Kansas or Nebraska going to have a starting line, Phil? Jesus Christ.

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I hope that truck gets stuck on the beach.

Do you know why it is clear that we have too many starting lines in LA?

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Because when they show where the starting line is going to be, they show another starting line from a previous season!

NOTE: Both times that I have been in LA, I have visited the Santa Monica Pier. It’s a cool place.

So where is Phil in LA this time?

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Standing on a tower of rocks. They’ve really burned through all of their locations.

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Phil is rocking his rooster hair, per usual.

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I see the tour bus from the first season has been brought back for this season.

Phil says the bus is transporting teams to the Hsi Lai Buddhist Temple.

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OK, that’s a pretty cool location.

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Again, unless you’re Leslie Nease from Survivor: China.

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Well, I guess this season is going to start by traveling westward through Asia.

Let’s introduce our eleven teams.

FIRST TEAM

ANDY & TOMMY – Olympic Snowboarders from California.

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Not Buddhists.

We are treated to a highlight reel of their tricks.

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Radical!

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Gnarly!

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Like Tony Hawk on snow!

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Awesome!

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I have never seen somebody get so close to becoming a quadriplegic.

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It’s not like Snowboard Kids where you can injure yourself a ton of times in the snow and get back up like nothing happened.

Andy competed in ’02 and Tommy was ’06.

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The real gold medal is for the plaid shirts.

TOMMY: The other teams will view Andy and I as slackers, but when it’s time to get serious we’ll get the job done.

Yeah, I’m sure the first thing people think of when it comes to Olympians is that they are slackers.

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Tandem snowboarding will be here in time for 2022.

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Hangin’ loose, boys!

SECOND TEAM — Ethan and Jenna. Dating Survivor Winners for seven years.

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My hero who can’t eat the ham! Ethan! Yaaaaay!

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Happier times for the millionaire couple (before taxes).

ETHAN: I was diagnosed with a rare form of Hodgkins Lymphona. It was torture. It was tough. . .I want to prove to the world that there is life after cancer.

JENNA: If we can beat cancer, then we really have no obstacles that we can’t overcome.

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Unless that obstacle is peanut butter and chocolate. In which case Jenna would do a Speed Bump in exchange for peanut butter and chocolate.

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If you didn’t know this was about Hodgkins Lymphona, you would think Ethan had already completed the Fast Forward in India before the start of the race? If only my favourite contestant in this cast was granted such an advantage for TAR 19.

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The toughest Survivor challenge since pulling a marble out of a bag!

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Jenna does her best impression of the “Hand in the Sand” monument in Montevideo.

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Happy birthday Mr. President!

THIRD TEAM – Laurence and Zac. Father and son adventurers from Thousand Oaks, California.

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They are from Thousand Oaks, eh?

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Although I don’t think the name of Thousand Oaks will be intact if these bullshit fires in Southern California don’t stop anytime soon. If we can get it under control, Hundred Oaks can be the new name. If things get worse, however, Ten Oaks or The Only Oak will be more likely.

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Or just scrap renaming the town after the remaining trees and instead go with Professor Oak. I think a lot of nerds like me would get on the first flight to LA if it meant traveling to a town called Professor Oak, California.

In 2009, Zac set the record for the first person to sail around the world under the age of eighteen.

NOTE: Other than Family Edition obviously, Zac is the first teenager to compete on The Amazing Race.

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And he got to meet Ahnold! How cool is that?

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He learned how to sail a boat around the world before learning how to drive a car.

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The son really outshined his dad with his accomplishments.

LAURENCE: Out there on the ocean you are not playing for a big sum of money. It can be alife and death situation. When the odds are stacked against us, we normally rise against the challenge.

Laurence has a thick British accent. This is going to be fun.

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“Out there on the ocean, you are not playing for a big sum of money. . .you are playing for the right to get away from all of those annoying Yankee wankers on the mainland.”

FOURTH TEAM — Ernie and Cindy. Recently engaged from Chicago, Illinois.

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All hail Team Yellow!

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Oh, and look at the colour of their shirts.

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Ethan & Jenna are walking together not too far ahead.

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ROADBLOCK: Who is feeling ticklish?

I think that is the same park where Uchenna & Joyce filmed their audition.

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What engaged couple does a tango in public in the middle of Chicago?

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I would laugh so hard if Ernie wasn’t ready for Cindy to jump and ends up falling flat on his ass.

CINDY: I am definitely a control freak. I like to keep myself in control.

ERNIE: I think there is a race in putting Cindy out of her comfort zone will definitely open her up to seeing the side of life that I see. Come onto the dark side.

CINDY: No.

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Something tells me they’ll be seeing episode eight of Star Wars.

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And yes, Ernie’s first confessional is about making Cindy his Darth Vader.

FIFTH TEAM — Justin and Jennifer. Brother and sister from Stone Mountain, Georgia.

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If Justin & Jennifer are from Stone Mountain, then I think Andy & Tommy are from Stoner Mountain, Colorado.

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Something tells me Jennifer caught the bigger fish.

JENNIFER: Justin and I. . .we have our ups and downs.

JUSTIN: When we have an issue with each other we talk it out. Sometimes we yell it out. She’s a little bit of a hothead. This girl can get a little out of hand. So it’s going to be a little bit of a challenge, I think.

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“What did you just call me?”

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“Please don’t push me off. . .”

JENNIFER: I agree. HA!

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Well that’s the most Edna Krabappel-like laugh I have heard in a while.

SIXTH TEAM – Bill and Cathi. Married grandparents from Albany, Oregon.

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Not mactors.

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Just tractors.

How different are they from the other five teams who are either mactors, live in the city, and are incredibly muscled? Let’s find out.

CATHI: In forty years living on a farm we really understand manual labour. We have talked about the extreme challenges that happen on the race. People will say ‘wow, they are home’.

BILL: Just another day on the farm.

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I am going to go out on a limb and say they weren’t recruited.

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I am sure they are going to love being thrown into a densely populated Asian city on the first leg.

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But if they keep their chin up, this should be no problem.

SEVENTH TEAM – Liz and Marie. Twin sisters from Deerfield, Illinois.

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They are twins but can’t even run in unison. I am so disappointed.

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Rollerblading Twinsies!

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I hope they stick with those colours so I can tell them apart.

Liz = Pink

Marie = Blue

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“Twins! So majestic.”

LIZ (OR MARIE?): It is the weirdest thing in the world having a twin!

MARIE: Our communication together works so well that we don’t have to literally talk to each other because we have been literally together since birth. We’re not breaking up or losing each other–we are stuck with each other!

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Literally looking at each other.

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Literally feeding a dog.

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Literally taunting a dog.

EIGHTH TEAM — Jeremy and Sandy. Dating from the San Francisco Bay area.

My god. Even Phil’s descriptions of them are identical to Amanda & Kris’ and Garrett & Jessica. Just replace “Diego” with “Francisco” and it’s a match.

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They only have one more confessional in this episode after their intro. I am not kidding. So pay attention.

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Dating couple and piggyback rides?

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Well, that’s already two generic dating couple stereotypes fulfilled.

SANDY: Jeremy and I. . .both of us have previous marriages. We don’t keep a house together and this is a lot of time to spend together.

JEREMY (very calm): This race is more like taking a car into a shop and seeing if you want to buy a car.

SANDY: . . .Heh.

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You know what? I should just transcribe every word Jeremy & Sandy say in this blog. It wouldn’t take much effort for me.

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“Look at how much fun we are! We can’t even drive a golf cart properly!”

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“It’s all in the hips!”

mario golf

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I see they are re-enacting the Mario Golf 64 cover.

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“Look at us! I am doing a goofy dance!”

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“We like to go for jogs together!”

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“We laugh too!”

NINTH TEAM — Ron and Bill. Domestic partners. Both flight attendants from Southern California.

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Wait a second. That’s not Bill!

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That’s Cliff from Veronica Mars! He is my lawyer!

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Look at the spring in his step!

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“Oh my god I hope nobody noticed the stain on my tie!”

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I bet those shorts really show off their thighs.

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“I am stretching my glutes Ron! Feel them, Ron! I have been working them so hard that I bet you could crack an egg on it!”

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They’re so cheerful it’s contagious.

But seriously, that’s Cliff from Veronica Mars. I need to do more research into Bill’s true identity.

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Look! In the Wiki he claims to be Will Smith!

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“My thighs in short shorts are your first, last, and only line of defense!”

Will Smith. I can’t believe anyone fell for that!

TENTH TEAM — Amani and Marcus. Married from Pine Mountain, Georgia.

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He is pumped. It’s game day. Woo!

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I am just going to go ahead and write this up right now:

MARCUS’ FOOTBALL ANALOGIES COUNTER: 0

MARCUS: My career was professional football player. I played ten years for the Indianapolis Colts. I protected Peyton Manning in the passing game. I caught forty touchdowns. The thing I miss the most is competing, but my competitive juices are flowing again. I am in game mode. Anything less than winning for us is not an option. We are going to win the race.

I really don’t want to see Marcus’ juices flowing on the race. I don’t think that footage will be allowed to air.

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“Ah! Amani! There’s leeches in this pond! Wipe them off!”

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FOOTBALL!!!!!!!

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Smallest weight room ever.

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What’s so funny about lifting weights?

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They have their own pond? That’s so kickass!

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Amani just gets to watch Marcus take over the whole intro.

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We don’t get to learn anything about Amani. She may as well be the Monica & Sheree of TAR 19 and be labelled as “Married to a NFL Player”.

ELEVENTH TEAM — Kaylani and Lisa. Former showgirls from Las Vegas, Nevada.

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It’s a sprint!

We cut to their scenes from real life.

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And the very first shot of them is from the breasts down. Classic.

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That is one creepy guy on the left.

KAYLANI: People look at Lisa and I and they’re like “they’re pretty; they’re obviously dumb”. I think you’d be surprised how intelligent the nightclub cocktail waitress is.

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Finally we get to see a close-up of their faces.

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I think I have an idea for a new NEL penalty–whoever finishes last has to wear Kaylani and Lisa’s showgirl outfit for the following leg.

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“No towel just let it air dry.” — Ray J.

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Aren’t they already tanned?

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LISA: We’re guessing the other teams will probably just see us from about here up.

It’s true. Phil Keoghan actually asked if the Hazard for this episode is if he could motorboat Kaylani & Lisa before they receive their next clue.

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Phil’s dad was originally slated to do this, but I hear he prefers blondes.

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But I don’t think all of the other teams will see them from the breasts up. I think some of the racers will see them from this perspective too.

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They plan to high-step the competition.

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LISA: But they need to realize we’ve also got it going on up here. So be prepared.

Yes. Be prepared, guys. Kaylani & Lisa aren’t going to make ANY mistakes. K&L Attack are going to scorch your ass on this race!

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Logan got through all eleven teams! High five!

PHIL: Which team will rise to the top and ultimately win The Amazing Race?

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What happened to finding the team that has the right combination of brain, brawn, and teamwork Dammit Phil, why don’t you stick to tradition?

taipei rocks

From the rocks. . .

taipei trees

To the trees. . .

taipei temple 2

To the temple.

taipei phil keoghan 3

taipei phil keoghan 4

After being promoted to co-executive producer, Phil finally feels like the fucking man.

PHIL: This is the start of a life-changing adventure unlike anything you have ever experienced.

taipei ethan jenna 6

Ummmm about that. . .

PHIL: You will be battling teams who are determined to beat you to the finish line.

taipei ron bill 8

Yes, even Ron & Bill.

Phil announces that the team that wins this leg will get the Express Pass and can use it up and through the eighth leg of the race. I like these longer expiry dates.

taipei liz marie canavan 5

“The Express Pass? Is that where we can skip literally any task when we are in trouble?”

I like how nobody has any reaction to the Express Pass.

PHIL: Clearly the team that wins the Express Pass has an advantage over everybody else in the race.

PHIL: First team to cross the finish line wins one million dollars.

taipei phil keoghan 7

Phil couldn’t help himself to do a Trump-like gesture when announcing the million dollar prize.

cape sam renae 1

Actually, after three seasons of the Express Pass so far, Sam & Renae are the only team that has had an advantage over the other teams.

PHIL: Your first challenge is behind me.

Ugh. A Starting Line task. I hate these. It is always a lame task and involves a stupid penalty.

taipei phil keoghan 5

“Behind me are hundreds of umbrellas.”

fonzworth bentley umbrella

“All sponsoured by Fonzworth Bentley.”

PHIL: It’s a word puzzle that you need to solve using six letters that will appear above those umbrellas along with three specific letters that you need to find on one of the umbrellas. Using those letters twice, and combining them with the six letters that will appear above the umbrellas, you will discover your first destination.

taipei umbrella

taipei umbrella 1

rihanna

Rihanna would be great at this task.

taipei tai

tai trang.jpg

I don’t know what Tai has to do with their first destination, but whatever.

taipei tai 1

taipei tai 2

taipei tai 3

taipei tai 4

I like how we need a whole diagram for the audience.

PHIL: If you come up with the right answer, you will get a set of keys to one of the Ford Explorers parked in front of the temple.

taipei phil keoghan 6

taipei ford

I have a feeling the monks would drive a car that’s a bit more eco-friendly.

PHIL: By the way, the last team to complete this challenge will receive a new penalty called the Hazar which they will have to complete at some time during this leg of the race.

In other words, a forced Speed Bump.

Phil prepares to unveil the six letters.

taipei phil keoghan 8

Swish and flick!

taipei phil keoghan 9

I love the Legend of Zelda-esque music that plays when the sign drops.

PHIL: World is waiting for you. . .good luck. . .travel safe. . .

taipei run

taipei phil keoghan 10

This is Phil’s favourite part of the season.

taipei jeremy sandy cline 9

Jeremy & Sandy sighting!

taipei phil keoghan 11

taipei phil keoghan 12

PHIL: GO!!!

taipei run 1

Everyone sprints all thirty feet to the umbrellas.

taipei umbrella 2

I don’t know. Solving a word puzzle on an umbrella at a Buddhist temple in California to find out you are going to Taiwan sounds pretty normal to me.

Everyone just picks random umbrellas and runs them over to Phil.

taipei umbrella 3

Kaylani & Lisa already have it? Wow, the cocktail waitress is more intelligent than we think.

Phil rejects both umbrellas.

taipei phil keoghan 13

“That umbrella has three Q’s on it, Kaylani.”

LISA: There’s no ‘Y’!

What place is Lisa thinking of?

Bill & Cathi are rejected.

taipei phil keoghan 14

Phil gets to be the Simon Cowell of umbrellas.

Phil keeps rejecting everyone.

Andy & Tommy decide to look for vowels.

taipei andy tommy 5

taipei andy tommy 6

This is why Starting Line challenges have always been lame. TAR 15 and TAR 18 had teams find the answer strictly by luck at the beginning then word of mouth travels to the other teams. For the third time in a row, it is playing out in the exact same way.

taipei phil keoghan 15

Phil looks like he has really bad gas.

Andy & Tommy are correct and take a key before running away. Amani snooped on their umbrella.

taipei amani marcus pollard 9

Amani’s first quote of the season.

taipei andy tommy 7

Andy & Tommy have barely left the starting line and already have a lead over the other teams. Get used to this.

Amani & Marcus have the right umbrella.

MARCUS: Tell me something good! Tell me something good!

Phil tells them something good and run away before they have their key.

PHIL: Hold on! You need a key!

taipei amani marcus pollard 10

“TOUCHDOWN!!!”

taipei amani marcus pollard 11

“Wait, you need a key for the car? Our Mercedes starts by thumbprint!”

taipei ford 1

By the way, it’s a Ford they are driving.

Andy & Tommy get into their car and see their clue.

PHIL: Congratulations on figuring out where you are going next–Taipei, Taiwan.

taipei phil keoghan 16

“Or by grabbing one of the eleven umbrellas by pure luck.”

It would have been much better if Phil didn’t tell them their next destination. It should have just been “congratulations on figuring out where you are going next.”

JENNA: It’s Taipei, Taiwan.

Liz & Marie have it in third. Ethan & Jenna are fourth.

ANDY: Are you psyched or what?

TOMMY: Heck yeah!

taipei tommy czeschin

Heck yeah? Oh fudgy nubkins, let’s see what other curse word replacements Tommy uses along the way!

taipei drive

Any team who didn’t research how to drive to LAX prior to the start of the race deserves to lose.

Intro time.

taipei animal

Why is this animal in every TAR intro over the past few seasons?

taipei howard

Howard from TAR Asia 1 earns another cameo.

We resume the umbrella search.

JEREMY: T-A-I. Let’s go. Let’s go.

SANDY: Good job, babe.

Jeremy & Sandy have their umbrella in fifth; Ernie & Cindy are sixth.

Phil gives further instructions. China Air will carry the first eight teams and Eva Air will carry the final three teams which departs twenty minutes later.

I miss the days where the first flight to depart actually arrives later at the destination than the second flight.

Ron & Bill finish in seventh. Bill & Cathi are eighth. Laurence & Zac are ninth.

Andy & Tommy pull over at a gas station to ask a local for directions.

taipei guy

This gas station will be important later.

PHIL (without moving his lips): Only two teams left! Remember, the last team to finish gets the Hazard!

taipei phil keoghan 17

I like that Phil resorts to voiceovers rather than annoy the contestants during times of high stress.

Justin & Jennifer get it. The cowboy theme plays when they run away for some reason.

Kaylani & Lisa have the final umbrella.

taipei kaylani lisa 14

The team that bragged about being intelligent has their first strike against them.

PHIL: As the last team to finish this task, Kaylani & Lisa will be the only team to complete a new challenge called the Hazard penalty.

Wow. Phil explained the Hazard three times in the span of five minutes of footage. Impressive.

KAYLANI: Anything can happen.

Kaylani & Lisa are at the same gas station that Andy & Tommy were at earlier.

taipei kaylani lisa 15

Kaylani & Lisa make a routine stop for directions.

taipei car

And get back into their Ford Explorer without incident. Onwards to LAX!

taipei passport

Kaylani hides her passport behind the tire for safe-keeping.

taipei passport 1

Kaylani & Lisa start driving away.

taipei passport 2

Oh my word. The Hazard looks like child’s play compared to this.

KAYLANI: I am sweating so bad!

If she is sweating just from the drive, I imagine she’ll faint when she checks her pockets for the passport.

Ron & Bill are first to China Air. Ethan & Jenna are second.

taipei teams

Sadly this will be the peak position for both of these teams for the whole season.

We cut back to Kaylani & Lisa’s car.

KAYLANI: Oh my god. Lisa. I can’t find my passport.

LISA: Are you sure?

KAYLANI: I’m positive.

LISA: Oh my god.

taipei kaylani paliotta

“Why did I put it underneath that tire?”

taipei backpack

“Maybe I have it in my backpack rather than my fanny pack.”

KAYLANI: I hope it didn’t fall out of the car when I got out.

LISA: At the gas station?

KAYLANI: Yeah.

LISA: We’re gonna have to go back.

How would it fall out? Where the hell did Kaylani keep her passport?!

taipei lisa tilley

Yeah, turn around and drive to the gas station then head back to LAX. Not much else you can do in this situation.

KAYLANI: I’m seriously gonna vomit all over the place.

taipei kaylani paliotta 1

I am sure Ford would love to pay for their sponsoured spot where Kaylani vomits all over the padded seats in the back.

taipei ron bill 9

Ron & Bill are the new frontrunners.

CHINA AIR

RON & BILL

ETHAN & JENNA

ERNIE & CINDY

Kaylani & Lisa are back at the gas station.

KAYLANI: Please be on the ground.

They go inside the gas station. Nobody has turned in a passport nor is it on the ground.

taipei kaylani lisa 16

judd scumbags

“The passport is most definitely on the ground. . .why doesn’t anyone believe me?”

LISA: Should we just head to the airport and see if one of the other teams picked it up? If none of them have it, it’s over.

taipei kaylani paliotta 2

It would be the most embarrassing run in TAR history.

philippines edwin monica 5

santiago adrian davis 18

ariel nora

dubai mika canaan 23

It would make Mika look like an Amazing Race All Star.

CHINA AIR

RON & BILL

ETHAN & JENNA

ERNIE & CINDY

AMANI & MARCUS

LAURENCE & ZAC

JUSTIN & JENNIFER

ANDY & TOMMY

JEREMY & SANDY

LAURENCE: Two tickets on flight 007.

taipei laurence zac sunderland 3

Leave it to the British guy to make a James Bond reference in the first fifteen minutes.

Kaylani & Lisa are at LAX.

LISA: Lisa has her passport.

taipei lisa tilley 1

So do the other twenty contestants, Phil Keoghan, and the entire production crew.

KAYLANI: Angry will not get us anywhere right now.

taipei kaylani lisa 17

Neither will a missing passport.

LISA: Just be quiet.

KAYLANI: Don’t talk to me like that.

Andy & Tommy ask for high fives from the China Air agent.

taipei andy tommy 8

taipei andy tommy 9

taipei agent

Great success!

JEREMY: Hey there!

SANDY: We need tickets to Taipei, Taiwan.

(Cut to a confessional.)

SANDY: We’re happy we are one of the first eight to get here on that first flight.

taipei jeremy sandy cline 10

Jeremy hates confessionals.

Kaylani & Lisa are at the counter.

LISA: Hey, did anybody by any chance turn in a lost passport to you?

taipei kaylani lisa 18

taipei agents

“Oh honey no.”

Kaylani & Lisa walk away from the counter.

LISA: It’s over.

KAYLANI: Okay, I’m not going to sit here and follow you around. You’re acting like–

LISA: Don’t follow me around then.

taipei kaylani paliotta 3

taipei lisa tilley 2

The rules of TAR state that you must be within thirty feet of your partner at all times, so. . .yeah, Kaylani has no choice but to follow her partner around.

KAYLANI: We need to come up with a plan! Communicate with me.

LISA: What plan? You have no passport! What’s the fucking plan!

taipei kaylani lisa 19

KAYLANI: You need to communicate with me!

LISA: Communicate what?

KAYLANI: Where we are going–

LISA: You have no passport!

taipei kaylani lisa 20

KAYLANI: Go over there and–

LISA: I’m going nowhere because you have no passport!

taipei kaylani lisa 21

Maybe the plan is that somebody at the airport knows a guy who knows a guy that can create forged travel documents. I am sure production would look the other way.

taipei kaylani paliotta 4

Sheeeeit.

taipei lisa tilley 3

So disappointed.

Commercial break. We resume.

Kaylani & Lisa can’t go anywhere.

We cut to the other teams hanging out in the airport.

taipei ron bill 10

“So the Survivor winners are right behind us, eh?”

taipei ethan jenna 7

“Keep our heads down and nobody will recognize us from Survivor.”

JENNA: We’re not telling anybody that we were on Survivor.

Are you kidding me? Ethan has been wearing his Grass Roots Soccer shirt in confessionals. Oh, and Survivor and TAR have a huge overlap in audience as it airs on the same freakin’ network and started within a year of each other.

africa ratings.jpg

Let’s see, thirty million people watched the finale of Survivor: Africa.

amazon ratings

Over twenty million people saw Jenna’s victory in Survivor: Amazon.

all star ratings

Over thirty million people saw both Ethan and Jenna in the premiere of Survivor: All Stars.

Oh, and Ethan had appeared in other dating shows, a cameo on Celebrity Apprentice, and Jenna was a pro wrestler in TNA Wrestling.

morasca wrestling

Granted there are some people who clearly want to forget Jenna was ever a professional wrestler.

And if you thought that I would take the time to look up the match between Jenna Morasca and Sharnell. . .you are right.

It makes your local amateur wrestling charity events look like Wrestlemania.

The point I am trying to make is that Ethan and Jenna not only had over ten percent of the world’s population watch them in each of their seasons, they appeared in other television shows and magazines to make them very recognizable.

SANDY: The Survivor people beat you with the umbrellas.

JUSTIN: Who?

taipei airport

taipei justin young 1

NOTE: Justin has never watched Survivor.

AMANI: The curly haired guy, right? I knew it!

SANDY: He won Survivor!

LIZ: He did?!

SANDY: Their names are Ethan and Jenna. They both won a million dollars.

taipei liz marie canavan 6

“They were figuratively on Survivor or literally on Survivor?”

taipei liz marie canavan 7

Liz & Marie’s reactions crack me up.

JUSTIN: That’s just greedy.

We cut back to Ethan & Jenna.

ETHAN: Knowing we were on Survivor puts a little bit of a target on our backs.

JENNA: A little one? It’s a giant one!

taipei ethan jenna 8

But it’s Ethan! Who would U-Turn Ethan?

taipei ethan jenna 9

“I won’t tell them I am a professional wrestler either.”

taipei ethan jenna 10

I wish Jenna made that face in her PlayBoy shoots.

We listen to the PA at the airport.

PA: Would passenger Kaylani Paliotta please report to the information desk.

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“Phil is probably waiting for us there.”

RANDOM GUY: Is one of you Kaylani?

KAYLANI: Yes.

taipei man

Oh my word.

taipei passport 3

“But first I want twenty bucks.”

They start sprinting to the Eva Air desk.

taipei run 2

And the local runs with them too.

taipei locals

Kaylani mobs the other guy.

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“Can we keep these guys with us?”

KAYLANI: They found my passport at the gas station exactly where I thought I lost it.

TWITTER GUY: I just walked around my group and it happened to be there. There was a group who actually talked to me. It wasn’t their group–it was a group of white guys. Obviously there is no phone number attached to the passport so I tweeted it. I was like “hey, this is kinda crazy I was on The Amazing Race”.

taipei twitter guy

It’s 2011. Twitter is the new ‘it’ thing to be on.

taipei ryan storms

Yep. Being on The Amazing Race and rescuing a team from an embarrassing elimination is just another day in #TheLife of RyanStorms.

taipei ryan storms 1

Sorry, Ryan Storms ™.

TWITTER GUY: So this other lady tweeted me back saying “they have no communication and no cell phone and no way to contact anybody else”. Her dream was gonna die right now if I didn’t get her her passport.

taipei ryan storms 2

And yes, “this other lady” would indeed be Peach Georgia.

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“It’s been our dream since a recruiting agent contacted us three months ago.”

taipei twitter guy 1

taipei twitter guy 2

They finished the first task in last place and lost their passport in the first twenty minutes of the race. I think they might be a bit of a longshot, Mr. Storms ™.

EVA AIR

BILL & CATHI

LIZ & MARIE

KAYLANI & LISA

taipei map

When teams arrive in Taipei, they will make their way by bus to Ximending Commercial District. Instead of looking for a clue box, they must look up and figure out they are trying to find a billboard which will reveal their next destination.

taipei district

taipei clue

taipei clue 1

That’s actually pretty damn tricky.

taipei dragons

taipei dragons 1

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Dragons! Dragons! Dragons!

The first flight lands. Everyone from the first flight is on the bus.

CINDY: You a football player?

MARCUS: I used to do a little round-ballin, but do kinda do a little protecting of famous people.

CINDY: That’s pretty exciting. I’d be scared of you.

taipei marcus pollard 1

I have never heard of basketball referred to as “round-ballin”.

taipei ernie cindy 7

I think Ernie is terrified of Marcus.

taipei marcus pollard 2

“I can’t say who I protected that was famous. . .Ariana Grande.”

MARCUS: I don’t plan on telling anybody I was a professional football player because they may look at us as competition. I’m not lying because “are you a professional football player?” is present. I am not. Protected to me is I pass-block for Peyton Manning and he is a professional guy. So I’m not telling a big ol’ tale just a little tale.

Except you said that you are a basketball player instead of a football player.

taipei marcus pollard 3

“Fooled you!”

Second flight lands. Bill & Cathi are still in the airport while the other two teams are already on the bus.

taipei bill cathi 6

And what thell is wrong with that bunny?

taipei bus 1

The twins break the fourth wall.

taipei bus 2

Bill & Cathi are left in the dust.

BILL: We’re now down to the tail end of the duck.

taipei bill cathi 7

Well that’s the first time I have heard that expression.

taipei bill cathi 8

Old couples tend to not do too well in TAR, but this is a record for how quickly the old couple has fallen to dead last.

taipei free yourself

The sign “Free Yourself” is very appropriate in Taiwan considering it has spent centuries trying to free itself from Chinese rule.

The first bus gets into the commercial district.

ANDY: I mean, what are we looking for?

TOMMY: We’re looking for our next clue.

. . .You don’t say, Tommy.

Cindy contemplates if it would be a billboard.

JENNA: Everything around here had race colours. The workers on the street were wearing red and yellow. It’s practically the national colour here.

taipei street

That guy is going to have a lot of people asking him if he has their next clue.

taipei ethan jenna 11

Even Ethan’s shirt is red and yellow.

Ernie & Cindy are in the square. Cindy points out a random red and yellow arrow.

taipei sign

taipei kfc

So close. Maybe they think the colonel has their next clue.

Andy & Tommy find a random guy taking out his garbage.

TOMMY: You’ve got a clue?

taipei boxers

taipei boxers 1

I think that would be a clue normally reserved for season 39 rather than 19.

Everyone is walking by the billboard.

MARCUS: It can’t be that billboard with the balloons. Red, blue, and yellow.

taipei amani marcus pollard 12

In other news, Marcus is colour blind.

SANDY: Good eyes, good eyes.

Justin & Jennifer bicker.

JENNIFER: Read the signs. It says right.

JUSTIN: Which sign? There are signs everywhere! Will you relax?

JENNIFER: Over it.

JUSTIN: Well, it’s just the beginning.

JENNIFER: So. . .I could care less right now, Justin. Every time I say something you have to double-check.

JUSTIN: You pointed. . .I’m not even going there.

JENNIFER: Of course not.

taipei jennifer young

taipei justin jennifer young 6

A rare bickering brother and sister team on The Amazing Race.

Amani & Marcus run into Justin & Jennifer. Marcus is convinced the balloons are the answer. Everyone eventually agrees.

taipei justin jennifer young 7

They are not going to get along.

taipei pollards

Let’s see how well a professional NFL player can replicate Mandarin characters using pen and paper.

Ron & Bill see the same billboard. Justin & Jennifer find a local who tells them it is the Confucius Temple.

taipei justin jennifer young 8

I love how the local blankly stares at Justin & Jennifer as if he is waiting for confirmation that he gave the right location.

taipei justin jennifer young 9

Good news: He did.

taipei teams 1

JENNIFER (shushing everyone): We are NOT telling!

It doesn’t matter as nearly all of the other teams are copying the message.

SANDY: That has red and yellow balloons. . .we have to ask this guy.

CINDY: I can’t read it but I can copy letters kinda well. Seven years of Chinese school.

taipei ernie cindy 8

Chinese school? Chinese school?????????? You’re telling me that there are still schools in the United States which forces a minority group to go to their own school? I thought this type of segregation was over! This is ridiculous. What goes on in Chicago?

Jeremy & Sandy ask the same local that the other two teams did. Ron & Bill then Ernie & Cindy have the correct location too.

The second bus arrives at the commercial district. Liz & Marie and Kaylani & Lisa align.

KAYLANI: It couldn’t possibly be on that screen?

LIZ (OR MARIE?): No, it would be more obvious.

taipei alliance

This alliance is not ideal.

Bill & Cathi’s bus is at the district.

taipei bill cathi alden

A sightseeing task with old people? This is not going to end well.

BILL: I’m not seeing anything. We might be ordering Chinese in.

taipei bill cathi alden 1

taipei bill cathi alden 2

Knowing Bill, he will probably want the tail end of a Peking Duck.

Andy & Tommy and Ethan & Jenna work together on a sign. They are told it is Confucius Temple. Ethan believes that has to be the location. He convinces Jenna to go.

TOMMY: It’s never balloons. . .it is always red and yellow stripes.

taipei tommy czeschin 1

“Even if the sign listed a completely random location in this city that has nothing to do with the commercial district. . .I don’t believe it.”

The top five teams all ride the metro to Confucius Temple.

taiwan nate jenn bus

The same metro that led to a hilarious elimination of Nathan & Jennifer.

SANDY: It’s right here. It’s a Roadblock. “Confucius says ‘who is ready to play telephone’?”

taipei jeremy sandy cline 11

Jeremy & Sandy are indeed first to the Roadblock.

taipei jeremy sandy cline 12

“Telephone, Sandy? Isn’t that gonna involve talking? I don’t want any part of that shit.”

Although Confucius lived over two thousand years ago, his words of wisdom live on today.

taipei man 1

Any excuse to play with incense.

taipei phil keoghan 18

I wonder if Phil is a Buddhist?

In this Roadblock, teams will need to take on a Confucius clue using a payphone at this temple.

taipei phone

A payphone was installed in honour of Confucius?

india phone

This is more random than the telephone in the middle of rural India in TAR 14.

taipei confucius

1-800-CONFUCIUS to get yourself converted now!

taipei andy tommy 1

“No thanks.”

Once they dial the number, they will hear a Confucius proverb. They must memorize it without taking any notes. If they can recite it word for word to a monk, they will receive their next clue.

taipei confucius 1

Call Confucius. “Hey Confuzzles, how’s it hangin’ bro?”

taipei monk

Just once I want to see a monk with long and luscious hair.

JEREMY: You do it.

SANDY: I’ll do it. I’m doing it.

Sandy, Cindy, and Amani are the first three to start the Roadblock. Coincidence? Jennifer is fourth.

SANDY (tapping a screen): Hello?

taipei sandy cline

“Hello? Confucius? Turn on your hearing aiiiiiid.”

taipei cindy halvorsen

Despite asking in Mandarin, the monk refuses to help Cindy.

MARCUS: Use your college degree!

Ron is doing the Roadblock.

BILL: I like how all the girls are doing it.

MARCUS: Yeah, cause they like telephone. All girls like telephone.

taipei marcus pollard 4

I think Marcus is secretly jealous.

dreamphone

dream phone.jpg

Marcus is right. In the 90s, there was even a board game marketed towards young girls where the main object of the game was to use a pink phone to call cute boys. I am not joking.

Jenna volunteers Ethan for the Roadblock in sixth.

taipei cindy halvorsen 1

Cindy finds the phone and Sandy sees her.

taipei cindy halvorsen 2

Cindy was probably hoping the operator would speak in Mandarin rather than English.

taipei cindy halvorsen 3

I like how they light up the words as if it is a karaoke program.

taipei cindy halvorsen 4

“I didn’t get it, did I?”

wayne brady

I feel like Wayne Brady should be there curating this task.

taipei monk 1

“On all of the hairs on my hairy head head, no, you didn’t get it.”

CINDY (over-exaggerated): Oh no!

Laurence & Zac and Andy & Tommy have a local decipher the same sign for Andy & Tommy.

ANDY: That’s pretty gnarly.

Yeah, red and yellow balloons are gnarly.

Liz & Marie and Kaylani & Lisa keep walking in circles. They decide to go back to the starting point.

taipei crossing

If there is any place to not lose your passport, it would be in downtown Taipei.

Bill & Cathi are completely lost.

BILL: I was a school teacher for thirty years and she was principal of two high schools. As educators to our students, it was embarrassing. We weren’t making any headway.

We are treated to a montage of rejections.

taipei wrong

“YOU’RE WRONG, FOOL!”

taipei cindy halvorsen 5

Wait for it. . .

.

.

.

taipei cindy halvorsen 6

WRONG!

taipei ron zeitz

Ron is straining his brain so hard to remember, but in the end. . .

taipei wrong 1

WRONG!

charlie murphy wrongg

WRONG!

taipei wrong 2

charlie murphy

WRONG!

Ethan and Sandy are both wrong.

SANDY: In all things success, there is sure to be preparation.

preparation h

Confucius really needed that Preparation H.

More people get it wrong. Ron panics a little.

taipei ron zeitz 1

“Oh boy, I feel a migraine coming on!”

Cindy tries it again.

taipei cindy halvorsen 7

It’s all green. Cindy is good.

taipei clue 2

Phil doesn’t even bother introducing this route info. This is the only description we get.

Jennifer tries really hard on her next attempt.

taipei jennifer young 1

Or maybe it’s just the glare from the rising sun.

It’s good. Jenn is done in second.

JUSTIN: YEAHHHHHHHHHH!

taipei justin young 2

Justin sure is excited.

SANDY: Good job, guys.

Andy & Tommy enter the temple.

taipei entrance

Well, they certainly chose the right entrance. No mystery over where the payphone is located.

Andy & Tommy are seventh to the clue. Who is going to do it?

Laurence & Zac are eighth to the Roadblock; Zac will do it.

SANDY: Without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure.

taipei sandy cline

Jeremy & Sandy: A team so underedited that they can’t even be shown uttering an entire sentence for a Roadblock.

Sandy completes the Roadblock in third place.

Liz & Marie and Kaylani & Lisa keep walking. Liz or Marie see the billboard.

taipei liz marie canavan 8

KAYLANI: Are we idiots or what?

taipei kaylani paliotta 5

Kaylani doesn’t want you to answer that or she’ll pinch your wrist.

They are told the correct information and are off.

LIZ OR MARIE: We really got to think a lot harder.

Bill & Cathi enter the tallest building they see.

taipei bill cathi alden 2

They are way off.

taipei building

Really way off.

taipei bill cathi alden 3

At least Cathi had enough sense to not exit the elevator and search the whole floor.

CATHI: Okay, this isn’t it. Honey, this is way too hard.

BILL: Well, colour me stupid.

taipei bill cathi alden 4

Bill & Cathi are determined to search the top of every skyscraper in Taipei.

taipei bill cathi alden 5

Hopefully Kaylani & Lisa have an absolutely brutal Speed–er, Hazard ahead.

Commercial break. We resume.

CATHI: Bill and I do a lot of problem solving, and we are not really accustomed to being defeated. We’ll keep at it until we find a solution.

Back at the temple, Andy submits a guess.

ANDY: All things shshshsh says depends on. . .so. . .

taipei andy finch

“Maybe if I mutter the answer he’ll just give me the clue. . .”

taipei andy finch 1

Andy’s English is sounding closer to Mandarin at this point.

taipei andy finch 2

ANDY: DOS. . .Ummm. . .

taipei monk 2

“Confucius says fuck off.”

taipei andy finch 3

Andy takes the walk of shame.

taipei tommy czeschin 2

His buddy who is wearing a hat with a credit card logo cheers him on.

Zac is rejected.

ETHAN: Without such previous preparA-TION there is sure to be failure.

taipei ethan zohn 1

I love Ethan’s intensity as he overemphasizes some of the syllables.

Ethan finishes the Roadblock in fourth place.

Ernie & Cindy are at Dajia Riverside Park.

CINDY: Yay! Nee how!

taipei ernie cindy 9

“Make way for Cindy!”

taipei man 2

I swear every leg in China always has a drummer.

taipei clue 3

Has the budget for clue boxes disappeared this round? We haven’t had a single clue box.

Cindy starts jumping.

CINDY: Join a dragon boat racing team!

taipei ernie cindy 10

Cindy is very jumpy.

Teams will now join professional racers. One person must paddle while the other must keep the rhythm going. If they can successfully work with their crew to complete the task, they will receive their next clue.

taipei boats

taipei drum

It’s the same as the task in the premiere of TAR Canada 5, but without Kevin & Ryan’s non-stop douchiness.

taipei phil keoghan 19

taipei phil keoghan 20

CROWD: YEAHHHHHH!!!!!

They are pretending to be soldiers going into battle. How cute.

taipei phil keoghan 21

PHIL: Dafuq?

taipei captain

Every captain really wants to be chosen.

taipei ernie cindy 11

The captain has to clothe Ernie like he is his mommy.

The paddlers in the harbour keep cheering.

NOTE TO SELF: The Taiwanese sure love dragon boats.

taipei ernie cindy 12

Choose your crew!

taipei ernie halvorsen

If I was Ernie, I would paddle the wrong way just to see if my crew could compensate for it. I mean, twelve guys should be able to compensate for one amateur, right?

taipei cindy halvorsen 8

shanghai caite upton 2

singapore caite upton 3

Caite Upton is so jealous of this task right now.

taipei bridge

For Valhalla!

taipei cindy halvorsen 9

match game

“How Asian was she?”

china tammy victor 2

Not Asian enough. Cindy has yet to cross the other bridge of mentioning she speaks Mandarin every 15.7 seconds.

Marcus is antsy as Amani completes the Roadblock.

taipei amani pollard

“Take me; I’m yours.”

taipei marcus pollard 5

taipei marcus pollard 6

POW!

Amani & Marcus leave the Roadblock in fifth. Laurence & Zac finish in sixth.

And I think Bill is finished with his shirt because is sweating through three-quarters of it.

taipei bill smith

“I am not sweating–I am glistening, Logan!”

taipei ron zeitz 2

Ron looks like he has been burned by a few of the incense candles.

Ron & Bill leave the Roadblock in seventh.

taipei ron bill 11

Ron’s shirt isn’t in much better shape.

taipei ron bill 12

One of the sweatiest hugs ever.

Andy is done in eighth.

ANDY: Let’s go find us a crazy taxi driver.

crazy taxi

Hopefully not a Crazy Taxi taxi driver.

Kaylani & Lisa and Liz & Marie are at the Roadblock. Kaylani wants Lisa to do it. Don’t ask me if it’s Liz or Marie who is doing it.

Cindy keeps beating her drum.

taipei cindy halvorsen 10

See?

Justin & Jennifer are second to the boats. Jennifer is drumming while Justin rows.

Jeremy & Sandy are third to the bridge.

SANDY: So I’ll do the drums and you do the row.

Justin & Jennifer are slow to get their vests on so Jeremy & Sandy sneak into second place.

taipei justin jennifer young 10

I think Jennifer is ready to knock out the captain.

JEREMY: C’mon. We’ve got to do this.

SANDY: We’ve got to haul ass.

taipei sandy cline 1

Sandy is looking away from the camera.

taipei jeremy cline

“Please don’t film me!”

taipei ernie halvorsen 1

taipei ernie halvorsen 2

While everyone yells “stroke,” I think Ernie is closer to experiencing vinegar strokes.

taipei jennifer young 2

I am amazed Jennifer isn’t making Justin’s head act as the drum.

Ernie & Cindy make it back to the bridge.

taipei bridge 1

How is one man stabilizing a twenty person dragon boat?

Ernie & Cindy read they must take a cab to the first pit stop–Martyrs’ Shrine. It was built in memory of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who died while protecting Taiwan. Today, the fallen soldiers are honoured with a ceremonial changing of the guard every hour.

taipei shrine

taipei shrine 1

Do they have a payphone here too?

taipei flag

Unlike the TAR Australia 1 contestants, I assume everyone will memorize this flag.

taipei soldier

That soldier looks like the Jack Bauer of Taiwan.

taipei soldier 1

russia march

Dandrew should be forced to do a changing of the guard with the soldiers.

taipei phil keoghan 22

taipei phil keoghan 23

The sacred grounds are now the first pit stop in this leg of the race.

PHIL: Last team to check in here may be eliminated.

taipei phil keoghan 24

Ummmm. . .I think you might have to be a little closer to the pit stop, Phil.

Jeremy & Sandy finish the dragon boats in second.

SANDY: Thank you. Make your way to the next pit stop!

Justin & Jennifer are done in third.

Liz or Marie makes her first guess.

LIZ (OR MARIE): In all things there is preparation. . .

taipei liz marie canavan 9

Not even close.

Kaylani makes her guess.

KAYLANI: In all things success depends on previous preparation, and without such previous preparation there is sure to be failure???

taipei kaylani paliotta 6

Does she get penalized for saying it as a question rather than a statement?

Nope. Punctuation doesn’t matter. Kaylani finishes the task in ninth place with a Hazard to go.

taipei liz marie canavan 10

That twin is pissed.

Because they sucked so much with the umbrellas, Kaylani & Lisa now face their Hazard.

taipei kaylani lisa 25

Which Phil reminds us of for the fourth time.

They must take a taxi to Core City Pacific Mall and search the eleventh floor for their next clue.

taipei mall

The cocktail waitresses get to hang out at the mall?

taipei mall 1

That number is fitting because I think it’s where everyone expects Kaylani & Lisa to finish this season.

taipei hazard

I wonder which CBS producer has this sitting in their office? The unforgettable Hazard board!

Liz or Marie makes another guess.

LIZ OR MARIE: In all things that say–

taipei liz marie canavan 11

She can’t get through more than three words again.

MARIE: Liz. C’mon.

Well, we now know who is doing the Roadblock. Thanks, Marie!

MARIE: Why don’t you write it down?

LIZ: You can’t!

taipei liz marie canavan 12

Well there goes that idea.

Bill & Cathi are still searching for the clue. Bill says they have been searching for four hours.

taipei bill cathi alden 6

I love how Bill checks his watch to verify his statement.

Kaylani & Lisa are already at the mall.

taipei kaylani lisa 26

Brace yourselves, ladies. This Hazard is going to be a doozy!

CLUE: Kaylani & Lisa, you have reached the Hazard.

PHIL: Since Kaylani & Lisa were the last team to complete the first challenge of the race, they now face a penalty called a Hazard.

taipei phil keoghan 25

Thanks for reminding us for a fifth time, Phil. Dear God.

One team member must leap head first into the crowded mall.

taipei mall 2

taipei mall 3

If the rope snaps, they will land inside of the kitchen of KFC at the Food Court.

 

Let’s just say Sahran is happy he doesn’t have to do the Hazard. This is straight out of TAR Asia 1.

And yes, that’s it for the task. One person does a quick bungee jump. Kaylani is going to do it because she did the Stratosphere in Vegas.

KAYLANI: Last time I did a harness my bungee cord started to undo.

LISA: Yeah. Wasn’t a good experience.

taipei kaylani lisa 27

Nearly falling to your death wasn’t a good experience? Where is the sense of adventure!

taipei mall 4

“That crazy gringo is gonna jump.”

taipei kaylani paliotta 7

I think many teams would have voluntarily finished the task in last place if they knew it meant to do a bungee jump.

taipei 24 land

There is a place called 24 Land in the mall? Kiefer Sutherland would love it there.

taipei lisa tilley 5

This Hazard is brutal for Lisa!

taipei kaylani paliotta 8

Extreme Close-Up!

taipei women

(in Mandarin) “Where’s her harness?!”

taipei kaylani paliotta 9

She is born ready!

taipei kaylani paliotta 10

Even the bungee cord is red and yellow.

taipei kaylani paliotta 11

taipei kaylani paliotta 12

taipei kaylani paliotta 13

Screaming ensues.

KAYLANI: I said I would do anything for a million dollars. I meant it.

taipei kaylani paliotta 14

“And this former Vegas Showgirl does mean -anything-.”

Liz is still doing horrible at the Roadblock.

LIZ: In all things that say there is previous. . .

MARIE: Liz, you said it every time.

LIZ: I don’t know what I am missing!

MARIE: Word for word–

LIZ: I don’t know what it is missing then!

MARIE: C’mon!

LIZ: You should’ve done this one!

MARIE: You can’t say that! You just have to do it!

taipei liz marie canavan 13

“I don’t know what it is! I’ll listen to the proverb again!”

MARIE: If you don’t know the beginning, listen to the end. If you don’t know the end, listen to the beginning.

taipei marie canavan 1

That only works if she knows what’s wrong, Marie.

taipei confucius 2

CONFUCIUS: In all things there is literally success. . .

taipei liz canavan 1

“And without literally doing that preparation there is sure to be failure. Literally.”

taipei liz marie canavan 14

Liz is literally rejected over and over in this montage.

taipei liz canavan 2

MARIE: Liz, you’ve heard it a hundred times! You said the exact same thing again!

(LIZ is rejected again.)

MARIE: Liz, you’re missing obviously a word.

taipei liz canavan 3

All of the money that Liz & Marie started with this leg of the race is all being used as quarters to feed this payphone.

I should also note that Marie didn’t say that it was literally a hundred times that Liz has messed up.

We cut to the pit stop.

taipei soldiers

Ka-Pow!

taipei ernie cindy halvorsen

Ernie & Cindy hit the mat.

taipei soldier 2

That soldier has a lot of medals.

taipei ernie cindy halvorsen 1

I think they know what place they are in.

taipei phil keoghan 26

“YOU are number one!”

FIRST PLACE: ERNIE & CINDY

taipei phil keoghan 27

“As your reward, this completely pointless item is yours!”

taipei ernie cindy halvorsen 2

“We were hoping for a trip to Fiji.”

PHIL: This Express Pass obviously gives you a huge advantage over the teams.

NO. IT. FUCKING. DOESN’T.

ERNIE: Control freak Cindy on the race is actually. . .ummm. . .

taipei ernie cindy halvorsen 3

taipei ernie cindy halvorsen 4

Choose your words carefully, Ernie.

ERNIE: . . .A pretty good teammate.

CINDY: Which should have been obvious. Hopefully it extends into the next few legs of the race.

taipei ernie cindy halvorsen 5

Cindy is so not smug right now.

SECOND PLACE: JEREMY & SANDY

taipei jeremy sandy cline 13

Yeah, no mat chat at all for them. They didn’t say a word.

taipei justin jennifer young 11

THIRD PLACE: JUSTIN & JENNIFER

Andy & Tommy are fifth to the dragon boats; Laurence & Zac are sixth. Ethan & Jenna finish the task in fourth.

taipei andy finch 4

Andy is as enthusiastic as the drummers.

Amani & Marcus are seventh to the dragon boats. Marcus is going to row.

taipei row

YEAH!

taipei row 1

YEAH!

taipei marcus pollard 7

YEAH!

MARCUS: Once we came down the hill, the team that we were rowing with really got excited. And to me, it almost felt like running out of the tunnel from a football game.

AMANI: I knew you would like that.

MARCUS: I did.

taipei marcus pollard 8

I think Marcus is more excited than the rowers.

Also. . .

MARCUS’ FOOTBALL ANALOGIES COUNTER: 1

taipei andy finch 5

Andy has fun as the Drummer Boy.

LAURENCE: I used to be a Coxman for the Coastal Fjords in England. I just thought this was so great.

taipei laurence sunderland

taipei laurence sunderland 1

I don’t think anybody west of the pond knows what a coxman is.

While Laurence is drumming he is critiquing everyone’s performance in the boat. Hilarious.

MARCUS: Let’s get it, baby! LET’S GO!

Marcus is never gonna turn down the dial is he?

Andy looks over at Marcus.

ANDY: That’s a really nice pink shirt you got.

taipei andy finch 6

taipei marcus pollard 9

Oh, Andy didn’t just say that! If anybody has seen my profile picture on Facebook, he would know NEVER to diss the pink shirt!

Andy & Tommy finish rowing in fifth. They do an insane jump off the bridge.

taipei andy tommy 11

Look at all of those red and yellow balloons. Is it Phil’s birthday or something?

taipei andy tommy 12

taipei andy tommy 13

They got air NBA Jam style!

Laurence & Zac finish the task in sixth. Amani & Marcus are seventh.

taipei amani marcus pollard 13

taipei amani marcus pollard 14

MARCUS: AAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!

I know which racer packed steroids for this race.

Bill & Cathi are back at the beginning.

taipei bill cathi alden 7

CATHI: You don’t think it’s one of those balloons, don’t you?

taipei cathi alden

Spoiler Alert: The local teenager in the wifebeater and reverse baseball cap solves the clue for Cathi. Cathi’s face is getting awfully red.

There is hope. Liz is still at the temple.

taipei liz canavan 4

Liz used ‘that’ instead of ‘such’. Liz’s improper everyday English is biting her square in the ass right now.

LIZ: I don’t know what I’m missing. I really don’t know. Maybe I’m dyslexic.

MARIE: It’s a phrase!

taipei marie canavan 2

In other news, Liz will NOT be doing the final memory challenge of the season.

taipei liz canavan 5

And here’s hoping Liz is never tested on what the word ‘dyslexic’ means during the race.

MARIE: Two sentences!

LIZ: Just stop talking.

taipei liz canavan 6

Liz is physically exhausted by a memory challenge.

Commercial break. We resume.

taipei liz canavan 7

Liz submits her answer with a question mark. She is correct.

taipei liz canavan 8

Liz attempts to hug the monk, but backs away citing that she isn’t allowed to hug him.

taipei monk 3

Not because of any religious practices, but because Liz is super sweaty atm.

Liz & Marie hire a cab.

LIZ: I am not old; I am twenty-three. I should be able to do something like that.

taipei old

I hope their old taxi driver isn’t listening.

Speaking of old people, Bill & Cathi arrive at the Roadblock.

BILL: No smoking.

taipei bill alden

Bill will notice any signs in Taiwan. . .as long as they are eye level.

He tells Cathi to play telephone.

Ron & Bill are eighth to dragon boat racing.

taipei ron bill 13

taipei ron bill 14

Kaylani & Lisa see Ron & Bill entering dragon boats.

taipei kaylani lisa 28

Kaylani is very pleasantly surprised.

taipei kaylani lisa 29

Kaylani & Lisa fight over who grabs the clue from the drummer’s front pocket.

taipei clue 4

We finally get to see the full clue for the dragon boats.

Bill says support is key no matter what after forty-one years and that Cathi is very driven, achieves all goals, and has a good memory.

taipei cathi alden 1

Although Cathi may want to call for a Non-Elimination Leg this round.

taipei cathi alden 2

Cathi supposedly gets it on the first try. I assume being an educator allowed her to not replace words with ‘that,’ ‘there,’ or ‘literally’ in her answer.

Cathi receives the clue.

CATHI: Oh, bless you.

Cathi reads the clue.

CATHI: Travel by taxi. Oh my goodness my dream has come true.

taipei bill cathi alden 8

I think Cathi is done with walking today.

Ethan & Jenna make it to the pit stop.

taipei ethan jenna 12

Sideways entrance for Jenna.

FOURTH PLACE: ETHAN & JENNA

taipei ethan jenna 13

taipei ethan jenna 14

If I had to use Survivor edgic to rate their performance, I would say it is very MOR3.

Ron & Bill finish dragon boating in eighth. Kaylani & Lisa are ninth.

Amani & Marcus step onto the mat.

taipei phil keoghan 28

What happened to Phil’s eye?

FIFTH PLACE: AMANI & MARCUS

taipei amani marcus pollard 15

Amani is pleased with fifth place.

Liz & Marie are tenth to the dragon boating. One of them volunteers to row.

taipei rowers

YEAH!

taipei liz marie canavan 15

The twins are fearing the worst.

Meanwhile, we have a footrace for sixth place.

taipei pit stop

taipei pit stop 1

I think Andy should be penalized for his prison-like contact with Zac.

SIXTH PLACE: LAURENCE & ZAC

SEVENTH PLACE: ANDY & TOMMY

taipei pit stop 2

Tommy lets out a big yawn.

Liz & Marie are done rowing. To the pit stop they go.

EIGHTH PLACE: RON & BILL

taipei ron bill 15

Here come the Men in Blue! SoCal Defenders!

taipei kaylani lisa 30

How are Kaylani & Lisa going to feel about having an abysmal performance this round?

NINTH PLACE: KAYLANI & LISA

taipei kaylani lisa 31

Surprisingly good.

Phil asks about their rough start.

taipei kaylani lisa 32

I think that holds all of the answers.

taipei liz marie canavan 16

They want some good news.

TENTH PLACE: LIZ & MARIE

taipei liz marie canavan 17

“My dad would be so jealous right now!”

taipei liz marie canavan 18

I think it’s the biggest group hug Phil has experienced on the race.

CATHI: We’ve had a wonderful time on the race. Some frustration of course, but I think we feel good about the race that we ran. It was one of the hardest things we had ever done, but all in all we enjoyed it.

Man, the old couple is gone early.

They finish rowing.

CATHI: That’s more fun than I’ve had all day.

taipei bill alden 1

I think it’s because you had the easy job in this task, Cathi.

taipei bill cathi alden 9

At least there is still daylight when they check in.

LAST PLACE: BILL & CATHI

taipei bill cathi alden 10

Not surprised.

PHIL: However, this is a non-elimination leg and you are still in the race.

Cathi pauses for a beat and then. . .

taipei bill cathi alden 11

CATHI: HAAAAAAAAAAAH!

Cathi turns into a maniac for a second.

PHIL: Sometime in the next leg of the race you will encounter a Speed Bump.

Ugh. The Speed Bump is still around.

PHIL: Are you ready for that?

CATHI: Absolutely.

taipei phil keoghan 29

“It won’t be as easy as untying a knot. . .oh wait.”

PHIL: I have some other news I need to tell you. For the first time ever in Amazing Race history, we have a Double Elimination Leg. That means at the end of the next leg of the race two teams will be eliminated from the race.

taipei phil keoghan 30

“Just to piss off Andy Denhart just a little bit more.”

taipei bill cathi alden 12

“So we just need to beat Liz & Marie and Kaylani & Lisa next leg? I think we can manage.”

CATHI: We will need some ginseng or something to get the energy up.

Or some sunscreen for the sunburn from being out in the Taipei sun all day!

CATHI: We can put all of our energy into positive ideas about tomorrow.

taipei bill cathi alden 13

Or just come in 10th or 11th tomorrow and make this NEL feel like a gigantic waste of time. Either or works.

Next Time on TAR: Justin & Jennifer face off. And in an Amazing Race first, two teams will be eliminated.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

ANDY/TOMMY 1/1

ETHAN/JENNA 2/4

LAURENCE/ZAC 3/1

ERNIE/CINDY 2/4

JUSTIN/JENNIFER 1/1

BILL/CATHI 6/7

LIZ/MARIE 1/2

JEREMY/SANDY 1/2

RON/BILL 2/1

AMANI/MARCUS 1/5

KAYLANI/LISA 5/3

RYAN STORMS 1

NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT

JUSTIN & JENNIFER 1

EVERYONE ELSE 0

Rank the Legs

1) Los Angeles, California -> Taipei, Taiwan

I hate Starting Line tasks. I hate pointless Speed Bump-esque penalties that aren’t entertaining and/or serve no purpose to the race other than ‘look at this repackaged twist that we are pretending is brand new!’

I am becoming increasingly more open to NELs in the season premiere, and surprisingly I am okay with the setup for the Double Elimination twist. Eliminations in TAR have always been arbitrary, and choosing to eliminate the bottom two teams in exchange for saving a team this round is perfectly fine with me. . .even with who eventually goes home because of it. -_-

I like that producers didn’t use a single clue box this round. We had a tough billboard challenge that left old people scrambling for five hours.

The other tasks weren’t particularly interesting to watch.

The umbrella task came down to pure luck for most teams at the starting line and led to a pointless penalty that was even more pointless because of the NEL. It just cost us precious Taipei time.

The Hazard required only one person to participate while their partner did nothing.

The dragon boat task wasn’t really a task. It was all to be done in a fixed amount of time for the most part. They had twenty people helping them.

The Confucius Roadblock was alright. I wish the phrase was just a little bit longer, but was enough to stump Liz for a really long time.

I am seeing evidence of why this season doesn’t make a big impression on people. You either didn’t like the twists or were indifferent to it, and no major storylines really developed.

Cindy is controlling.

Marcus loves football.

Kaylani & Lisa had the worst start ever in TAR history, but somehow finished the leg in ninth. How far can they go? And that whole incident with Reality Fan Forum was a memorable moment.

Bill & Cathi are nice. Hopefully they don’t screw up this second chance.

Ethan & Jenna were on Survivor.

Premieres need to either grip you in with story or be hilarious to make people settle in for the ride–this was neither.

Overall, the good cancels out the bad and leaves us with a very mediocre season premiere for TAR.

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This entry was posted in The Amazing Race, The Amazing Race 19, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The Amazing Race 19 Episode 1 Rankings

  1. Jordan says:

    This was the first season that I watched on CBS live.

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