EPISODE BLOG #289
“Thai Boat Thai Boat Thai Boat”
CHINESE TAIPEI – INDONESIA – THAILAND – MALAWI – DENMARK – GERMANY – BELGIUM – NETHERLANDS – PANAMA – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Nine teams continued racing through Indonesia.
JEREMY: Never a dull moment.
At the Detour, Cathi tumbled while Amani & Marcus crumbled. At a puzzling Roadblock, Tommy and Laurence paired up and figured out the complicated answer. The father and son edged out the Snowboarders but an early mistake by Laurence gave Andy & Tommy their second win in a row. In a chaotic foot race to the finish, twins Liz & Marie survived and former showgirls Kaylani & Lisa fell short.
Eight teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT
ANDY & TOMMY 2
BILL & CATHI 2
JUSTIN & JENNIFER 1
ERNIE & CINDY 1
ETHAN & JENNA 1
RON & BILL 1
LAURENCE & ZAC 1
AMANI & MARCUS 1
LIZ & MARIE 1
KAYLANI & LISA 1
EVERYONE ELSE 0
EDITOR’S NOTE: It is without question one of the most boring episodes I have ever seen in TAR history. If you thought episode three was quick and linear, this episode puts it to shame.
Phil introduces us to Indonesia (again). It has 129 active volcanoes which is more than any other country in the world, but yet hundreds of millions of people still live there.
Phil talks about “this” temple that was covered in volcanic ash and hidden in dense jungle for hundreds of years. Today, it has resumed its role as a place of worship.
Well, for everyone except Andy & Tommy.
Speaking of those guys, they arrived at an unspecified time and will depart first at 8:17am.
Andy is like an oil baron firing off pistols in the old west.
Tommy reads they must fly to the unoriginal destination of Phuket, Thailand.
The only time it has been used in the US version before this season was in TAR 14.
I am starting to get PTSD flashbacks from that season.
PHIL: Teams will fly north to Thailand’s tropical playground.
Once in Phuket, they will take a taxi to The Floating Pier at the Nonthasak Marina to get their next clue.
It’s like a Survivor challenge.
Why are there no locals on the pier?
Their clues are attached to a red and yellow barrel at the end of the pier.
Tommy says he has always wanted to go to Thailand.
TOMMY: Maybe we can take one of these horses. Eee-haw!
I don’t think that’s a horse, Tommy.
Andy & Tommy want a “clean and legit” first place. They have a cab and stare at their clue.
ANDY: Thailand. This is sooo good.
Will shapes of countries be the next memory challenge at the end of the season?
Laurence & Zac depart second at 8:28am. Laurence doesn’t want to make another mistake.
LAURENCE: But this game is full of the unexpected. If we make a mistake make sure we are with another team.
“Expect the unexpected? Isn’t that a different show, Dad?”
ZAC: I have not been to Thailand before. Have you been to Thailand, Dad?
LAURENCE: I don’t know. I don’t think so.
How do you not know? It’s not like Europe where you can cross three countries in a one hour train ride. The only way Laurence could be doubting if he was in Thailand or not is if he got super drunk in Phnom Penh one night and boarded the wrong bus and was VERY confused in the morning.
Andy & Tommy are at the airport.
TAR Asia 5’s primary sponsour makes its TAR US debut.
Andy & Tommy are told about a flight connecting to Jakarta.
I like how huddled they all are.
Laurence & Zac join them.
ANDY: We need your soonest flight to Jakarta.
“Soonest? Am I really better at English than you?”
“Why are you looking at us like that?”
Laurence & Zac are disastrous at the counter.
ZAC: We need two tickets to Fuckit, Thailand.
Everyone pronounces it as either Foo-ket or Poo-ket but never Fuckit.
Andy & Tommy book a 9:40am ticket to Jakarta. They go to Laurence & Zac who are about to buy tickets but interrupt them.
Laurence & Zac were just seconds away from discovering a better flight. But no, The Word of Tommy shall spoil their position.
LAURENCE: You’re flying to Jakarta?
ANDY: Yeah, you have to fly to Jakarta.
“And do I have to bring six empty buckets into my carry-on too you lying son of a wanker?”
Laurence & Zac think there will be ten times more options to get to Fuckit once in Jakarta.
Since they have not purchased tickets all the way to Phuket, their lead is bound to vanish.
Jeremy & Sandy start in third at 9:40am.
SANDY: We’re going to Bucket.
I guess they’re going to a city different from Laurence & Zac.
We cut to a confessional.
JEREMY: I think what the race has done for our relationship is bring out a couple things that we still need to work on.
Jeremy even gets a solo confessional!
We now see them on the road.
SANDY: C’mon. C’mon.
JEREMY: No. C’mon. We need to stay here.
SANDY: No. We need to get in the middle.
If Jeremy & Sandy get run over right now, I don’t think the casual audience would even notice they were gone.
We cut to another confessional.
SANDY: It’s this slow process of learning how we both react in these stressful situations.
A solo confessional for Sandy too!
We are in a cab.
SANDY: I’ve always wanted to go to Thailand.
Jeremy not so much.
SANDY: It’s going to be foreign to me, though. Once again!
“We have a solution for that!”
Justin & Jennifer commence in fourth at 9:41am.
JUSTIN: Want to go down this?
JENNIFER: Those are steps. That’ll kill me.
Yeah. A sidewalk is far more lethal than the middle of the road. C’mon Justin! Safety first.
Ernie & Cindy start in fifth at 9:42am. They both hire cabs.
CINDY: Ernie and I are pretty excited because we were just in Phuket, Thailand.
A strong team that had already been to Phuket prior to visiting the city on The Amazing Race, and is also an Asian-American?
More PTSD for me.
And I can’t believe this is a statistic that is now in The Amazing Race database.
Amani & Marcus start in sixth at 9:46am. They talk about their four kids and teach them about perseverance.
“We also want to teach them funny curse words like ‘dogarmit’.”
They are in much higher spirits today.
Bill & Cathi depart in seventh at 9:56am.
Leave it to an old person to reference an old search engine that nobody uses anymore.
Bill & Cathi have another confessional reminding us how old they are.
Bill is like Jon Lithgow when he is shown from afar in 360p.
CATHI: We are almost thirty years older than the oldest team, but every morning we wake up ready to go. I think we’re going to be here a while.
“I think we’re going to be here awhile. . .because we’re going to be too confused to find our way back home.”
Liz & Marie depart last at 10:05am.
Get used to departing in last place, ladies.
Liz & Marie talk about their dad passing away from a heart attack in the summer and how proud he would be.
A surprisingly personal confessional about a specific family member = Next to be eliminated.
Jeremy & Sandy are at the airport.
SANDY: We’re all pretty bunched together. The top two have about an hour lead. I think the majority of us will be on the same flight.
They exit their taxi.
JEREMY: Thank you.
SANDY: Thank you.
Ernie & Cindy are at the airport too.
SANDY: Let’s follow them.
Jeremy & Sandy follow Ernie & Cindy to the Air Asia counter and book a 12:45pm flight to Jakarta followed by a 4:00pm flight to Phuket.
That kid doesn’t know it yet, but he is in the presence of greatness.
SANDY: Another team’s here.
Jeremy & Sandy have to wait to buy their tickets until the woman in a hoodie and cheetah dress has been dealt with at the counter.
Justin & Jennifer go to the Air Asia counter. They buy identical tickets. So do Amani & Marcus. Cathi informs us that the six teams will be arriving in Phuket at 6:50pm.
In other words, she is doing Phil Keoghan’s job.
This is not good publicity for Garuda Wunderful Indonesia.
That is the happiest ticketing agent I have seen in my life. Air Asia is a fun place to work!
If this was an earlier season, Liz & Marie would be so fucked right now AND WHAT IS WRONG WITH SANDY’S SHIRT?!
The six teams board the guaranteed passageway to Phuket.
ERNIE: Right now on the flight is basically everybody except Andy and Tom, and Zac and uh. . . .Laurence.
“That British Guy with the funny accent. That’s who I am thinking of.”
Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac land in Jakarta. They try to book the flight to Phuket directly.
They screwed that up back in Joe Jer Carter.
Andy & Tommy sneak up on Laurence & Zac.
Here comes the camera mugging!
“Shhh! I’m working for MI-6!”
This whole scene is just ridiculous.
Remember: They are both married.
Andy starts poking Zac.
This is just weird.
Tommy starts flicking Laurence’s grey hairs for a solid ten seconds.
“I feel itchy, mate!”
You can tell this show has been on for nineteen seasons.
Laurence & Zac and Andy & Tommy book a ticket through Bangkok that arrives in Phuket at 7:40pm.
I like how they have to convert the 24 hour clock for the viewers.
Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac board the flight.
Let’s hope this Phuket leg is better than TAR 14’s.
Who knows, maybe an elephant ass massage Switchback will happen this time.
That is one lonely monkey.
So far this looks identical to Indonesia.
It is a night time arrival for the 6:50pm in Phuket.
JEREMY: Let’s go.
Everybody hires a cab. They all give advance warning that they are all going to the same place. Nothing eventful is happening until we hear from Liz & Marie.
SANDY: Nonhasak Marina. We have no idea what we’re doing. We’re hoping when we get there we are going to bed.
But first Sandy gets her third confessional of the episode. My god.
Alright, back to Liz & Marie. Get ready to facepalm because this is one of the biggest blunders I have seen somebody make on TAR that didn’t involve a task or a passport.
MARIE: The geniuses Liz and I have all of this Indonesian money. We did not exchange it for Thai money.
He is not going to be happy.
MARIE: With a hope and a prayer we are going to be okay.
LIZ: And my button.
Here’s my question. . .
How did they pay for that button?!
Justin & Jennifer’s cab driver really takes charge and passes Ernie & Cindy.
“Can you fight for me when it comes to the stairs in my house too?”
BILL: Ling is going to get us there in chop chop. Good shape.
CATHI: Chop chop. Yes.
The expression on Bill’s face?
Their driver starts chopping the steering wheel.
Ernie & Cindy get screwed over again.
Ling couldn’t be happier.
CATHI (ultra Kitty Foreman voice): Ling that was WONDERFUL! Oh, you’re doing just great.
“I will snail mail you my best meat loaf recipe, Ling!”
They’re really hoping for an equalizer right now.
CATHI: Oh you’re doing just great.
Bill & Cathi pass Justin & Jennifer.
“I hate old people.”
CATHI: Oh, you’re smoking them now!
Cathi is acting like she is winning the Kentucky Derby.
CATHI: Who is in that one?! It’s Armani!
“You’ve had four episodes to get my name right.”
Who knows, maybe Armani was in one of the other taxis.
CATHI: Another one! Yay! YES!
Amani’s reaction is priceless.
CATHI: Ling, you are super!
Bill & Cathi need any advantage they can get.
CATHI: Hot dog.
Bill & Cathi are truly RELISHing this moment.
It is now 19:40 and the second flight lands. Laurence & Zac and Andy & Tommy travel to the taxi stand together.
LAURENCE: This is where we going to.
WOMAN: Yes, I know.
LAURENCE: You know?
(WOMAN starts laughing at them.)
She can barely contain herself.
“That means we are fifth and sixth, right?”
LAURENCE: How long ago?
WOMAN: Maybe one hour.
WOMAN (laughing): Oooooooo
Zac needs an Advil.
We go to commercial break with the sound of the woman laughing in their faces. It is not a subtle laugh.
We resume with her still laughing.
ANDY: We’re back half. That’s pretty wild.
Andy & Tommy look anything BUT wild right now.
Andy & Tommy are in a Thai for last place with Laurence & Zac.
Jeremy & Sandy’s cab is first to Nonthasak Marine.
JEREMY: Nonthasak Marine.
SANDY: We found it. We’re the first people here. That’s hard to believe.
JEREMY: Yeah. Yeah. I don’t know.
SANDY: Wouldn’t the guys be here?
I love how Jeremy & Sandy look like they are about to be absorbed by the empty night in Phuket. It is so symbolic of their edit.
JEREMY: Wait, here we go. What is this?
It’s a sign that posts the Thaime when the Floating Pier opens– eight o’ clock in the morning. In other words, the storyline of Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac being behind is null and void. Even if they had been on a flight before everyone else, the equalizer would have remained in place.
JEREMY: Eight o’ clock the dock opens. We have to settle in up here.
Liz & Marie are second to the Floating Pier.
LIZ: Thai people are the nicest people in the world. He drove us here for nothing.
Maybe he was just really lonely.
He looks so happy to have performed this good deed.
Thai people are the most generous people, but maybe not the happiest.
If it was Brook & Claire, he at least would have gotten a kiss out of it.
“P.S. We didn’t tell him we had no money until after we got here. Literally.”
Liz & Marie see Jeremy & Sandy.
MARIE: There’s no clue or anything.
JEREMY: No, we’re just here.
MARIE: Is anyone else here?
SANDY: You guys are number two. We even beat the boys.
LIZ and MARIE: How did that happen?!
This is so fascinating when we know it’s an equalizer.
Ernie & Cindy show up. Amani & Marcus are next. Justin & Jennifer then Bill & Cathi follow.
Marcus nearly slaps and elbows Amani upon excitement.
They see Andy & Tommy and Laurence & Zac arrive after much discussion. Cindy overexplains this situation to us.
CINDY: It’s so unpredictable.
An equalizer at the start of a leg is unpredictable? Jeremy & Sandy not allowed in a group shot is unpredictable?
We transition to the next morning.
JENNIFER: I’m going to puke on a speedboat. I know that.
You’re going to love this round, Justin. Glad you are racing it with your sister?
The dock opens. It’s mayhem.
“Eat my dust, bitches!”
Andy & Tommy only leaded about ten seconds to pick up a definitive lead.
I really want to see the Gutsy Grannies or Mel White being forced to do this task.
Everyone is worried about a sprained ankle. I guess taking it slow is worth giving up thirty seconds to Andy & Tommy.
How is Marcus losing this to one of the twins and Sandy?
Andy & Tommy absolutely destroyed everyone in this race to the platform.
They read it’s a Detour. Phil talks about the 2004 Tsunami in Phuket which was the deadliest tsunami in recorded history.
From Indonesian volcanic eruptions to tsunamis, we are remembering all of the devastating natural disasters in Southeast Asia this season.
Phil says this Detour will allow teams to rebuild Thailand’s tourism industry since the tsunami.
Considering it happened in 2004 and this episode was filmed in 2011, I know for a fact that Thailand’s tourism industry was really thriving by this point.
And why are teams being forced to do something charitable for Phuket rather than having a Detour choice between a charitable option and a non-charitable option?
Because TAR 14 contestants all ignored the charitable option which likely pissed off production.
Coral Reconstruction or Beach Preparation is our Detour for this round.
In Coral Reconstruction, teams are required to construct a coral nursery and load it onto a kayak along with a tray of white coral. Paddling out to a buoy, they must dive underwater and strategically place their coral into the nursery. Once the marine biologist is satisfied, he will hand them their next clue.
The cage seems relatively simple to build.
Why is he saluting Hitler?
This task seems really quick if you know what you’re doing.
A clue is actually a clue for once rather than instructions.
In Beach Preparation, teams are required to collect twenty chairs and ten umbrellas with the corresponding stickers found in their clue, and set them up to the exact standards of this beach club.
Yeah, this looks tougher than Coral Reconstruction.
And I have a feeling wind may or may not be a factor.
When the attendant feels everything is perfectly in place, he will hand them their next clue.
It looks like he is about to strangle you like you forgot the cannoli.
Andy has turned into Emeril, evidently.
“Use your spice weasel. Bam!”
Liz & Marie are saved by this Detour since teams have to choose marked speedboats. No Indonesian money for them.
Andy & Tommy. Coral Reconstruction.
Amani & Marcus. Coral.
Justin & Jennifer. Coral.
Jeremy & Sandy. Coral.
SANDY: You want to go underwater.
JEREMY: I do.
Ernie & Cindy. Beach Preparation.
Laurence & Zac. Coral.
Liz & Marie. Beach Preparation.
Bill & Cathi. Coral.
What is in Cindy’s mouth?????
The speedboats are moving.
It looks like a FBI drug raid is about to happen.
Everyone comments on the scenery. It’s like a Survivor intro right now.
MARCUS: Look at Justin! He think he on the front of the Titanic!
“Fans want real people—not Leonardo wannabes!”
“Justin or Jennifer will say they are king of the world in less than ten seconds or else I give you my next pay cheque.”
Jennifer cuts in with the infamous quote in five, four, three. . .
She said it even faster than Michael Scott.
Jim gets to keep his money.
JUSTIN: I was hoping you wouldn’t say that.
So did we.
We cut to Jeremy & Sandy.
SANDY: So we spent all night sleeping on the beach but–
JEREMY: I slept alright.
SANDY: We’re happy to be on the water. So pretty.
Liz & Marie are on a boat.
LIZ: Look at what we’re doing. I’ll never be able to do this again.
What? Being on a boat? They don’t have boats in Illinois where you guys live?
In fact, I know that isn’t true because the TAR 6 starting line was in Chicago where teams were brought in by speedboat. No joke.
Liz & Marie’s speedboat passes people.
MARIE: This is the best day so far and we’re in Thailand!
It’s only 8:20am. A lot could change, Marie. A lot could change. Like the fact you don’t have any change in your pocket.
The whole Detour is happening on this tiny island.
Tommy jumps off the speedboat and starts running ahead of Andy.
At least Tommy didn’t insult him by looking back this time.
For a beach that is prone to natural disasters, I am amazed they have all of the supplies casually laying about in the open.
We cut to Liz & Marie in the boat.
LIZ: This is our Detour.
Why is that Liz? (Michael Rado voice)
LIZ: We were ocean lifeguards for two summers.
MARIE: It’s what we do.
“This is literally our ocean.”
“Lifeguards for two summers? You ain’t the lifeguards of shit.”
Marcus starts shouting at Justin.
MARCUS: It’s going down, baby! Like Full Flight Time it’s going down!
Marcus makes his second reference to Nathan Lofton from TAR 15 and TAR 18 already this season.
Zac gets some sweet air.
Liz & Marie start collecting chairs. The other teams are jumping off of their boats.
Laurence & Zac go the wrong way to the Coral Reconstruction. Cindy is narrating yet again about how it is anyone’s game. Laurence & Zac agree to switch to Beach Preparation when they realize they are at that task instead of Coral Reconstruction.
Amani & Marcus talk about how they choose Detour options that are more familiar to their children. They watched footage about the tsunami and the coral damage with their kids at home and is the reason why they chose Coral Reconstruction.
Why anybody would choose a task based on their child’s knowledge of it rather than cater to your own skill set is beyond me, but whatever.
I really want to know about that graffiti.
TOMMY: Dude, reconstructing reefs. When in Rome.
That’s. . .that’s not how to use that expression, Tommy. I think very few people in Phuket are reconstructing coral reefs.
Jeremy & Sandy mildly bicker.
JEREMY: Let’s separate the pieces for me. We need short and a tee.
SANDY: We got this babe. Just stay positive. Here I am giving them to you.
We really needed that clip in the episode.
JENNIFER: I’m laying them down.
JUSTIN: I am sorting them out for you here.
JUSTIN: You’re not talking to yourself. Did you hear me say I am sorting them! It doesn’t take much to hammer. I can help you.
JENNIFER: It’s hard to move onto the next thing.
JUSTIN: I am about to!
JENNIFER: Then stop raising your voice to me cause it’s not okay.
Isn’t Justin the one with the hammer?
JUSTIN: Then acting like I’m not listening to you is not okay either.
Jennifer is ready to grab Justin’s hammer and clunk him over the head with it.
MARCUS: It’s nice to come here and give back.
Liz & Marie are saying the Detour is hard because it is hot in the hut and is full of chairs.
It’s like going through your grandmother’s house who became more and more of a hoarder as she grew old.
Ernie claims the task requires strength and is why Liz & Marie are struggling.
But if Ernie and Princess Peach can handle umbrellas, I am sure Liz & Marie can too.
A hut full of folding chairs is a pro wrestler’s wet dream.
Cindy starts setting up the design while Ernie transports all of the chairs and umbrellas. Cindy apologizes to Ernie for all of the twenty chairs he has to carry. Laurence instructs Zac to study the example because of what happened last round.
Andy & Tommy start paddling out in the kayak. Justin & Jennifer are heading into the water too. Amani & Marcus are as well but it falls apart.
The tray is like a freakin’ chess board.
SANDY: Why is this one not long enough?
JEREMY: Alright. Geez. I don’t want to break this.
SANDY: You have to pay attention.
JEREMY: I am paying attention.
SANDY: Maybe once it all comes together it’ll stay.
Jeremy is getting a headstart on the Belgian bodybuilding task.
The real challenge is to not hit the marine biologists in the head with your oars.
“Hey Tommy, don’t you think these pieces of coral look like a bunch of dicks to you?”
They dive into the water with their cage. The current pushes them away from the buoy (in other words, the ‘strategic location’ part of the challenge is pre-determined for them). Andy knows how a current works because he is a surfer. He puts a rock on the bottom of the cage to keep it in place.
They are surfers AND snowboarders? Is there anything these guys can’t do?!
Justin coaches Jennifer on how to paddle as the kayak paddles. Amani & Marcus are right behind.
JUSTIN: Paddle like it’s a canoe.
. . .Or a kayak.
In other news, Jennifer is wearing a knee brace but no explanation is given as to why she is.
JENNIFER: I need to stay on here to stabilize the boat.
JUSTIN: OK. Whatever.
“Stabilizing the boat is essential and obviously has nothing to do with me not feeling comfortable in the water.”
Andy & Tommy use teamwork to complete the Detour and quickly receive their clue.
I don’t think anyone is stopping them today. Hanging out in the water for a full round is their ideal scenario.
MARCUS: We need to put the blue thing in the water then the coral.
Yes. The blue thing. Or the thingamabob. Whichever works.
Marcus is trying to put it together solo underwater.
MARCUS: I swim, but I am not a competitive swimmer. It was just so tough.
The water looks like it is barely six or seven feet deep. I don’t think Marcus swims much at all.
JEREMY: This is so loose. I just don’t like it. You sure you want to try this?
SANDY: Yes. Hey you guys are fast.
SANDY: Go babe. Everybody else is beating us.
Andy & Tommy return to shore. Jeremy & Sandy and Bill & Cathi are paddling.
Andy & Tommy examine their unusual clue.
Phil explains that teams will have to use their compass to guide their driver north for thirteen minutes to locate the island pictured on their medallion. Once there, they will find their next clue.
Hopefully this island is never dropped.
If your speedboat refuses to drive fast, you could be really Phucked thinking you went in the wrong direction after thirteen minutes. That would be hilarious.
Have clue boxes been discontinued this season? We haven’t had a single one in four episodes!
Andy & Tommy say teams are going to struggle with the current after they proclaimed they slayed the Detour.
We see Laurence & Zac, Ernie & Cindy, and Liz & Marie playing on the beach.
MARIE: I can’t even unfold the damn chair. This sucks. I know how to open a beach chair, but I can’t get it.
“I glued them together.”
“Is that glue?”
“Best two dollars we’ve ever spent.”
This guy is trying way too hard to be a model.
Justin asks Jennifer to bring more coral.
JENNIFER: I need you to grab the boat.
Is Jennifer doing -anything- in this Detour.
This is all part of Jennifer’s plot to make her brother drown.
JENNIFER: Whatever. I’ll just jump out of the boat.
Jennifer gracefully flops out of the boat.
Justin & Jennifer luck out because the coral cage got stuck on a rock which kept everything stable.
And hold onto that buoy for dear life.
JUSTIN: Are you serious.
JENNIFER: Yes, I was serious actually.
Jennifer woke up on the wrong side of the beach this morning.
Jeremy & Sandy are ready to deploy their cage.
SANDY: OK, now what?
JEREMY: Drop it.
(SANDY jumps out.)
SANDY: We got to get off. Jeremy! It’s broken.
JEREMY: God we’re so so
SANDY: We picked the wrong one.
JEREMY: Stop complaining. Let me let me get
SANDY: Then you get off then.
JEREMY: I’m gonna get out.
SANDY: I can’t do this.
That is the last thing I want to see Jeremy do on my TV screen.
We cut to a confessional.
SANDY: It was pretty rocky. I was taking in gulps of water. I did not feel safe.
JEREMY: The current was so strong. I could barely keep the thing together.
We head back.
SANDY: Let’s go.
JEREMY: What are we doing?
SANDY: I can’t do that one, babe. I can’t swim.
I love how there’s three rescue workers ready to save Sandy at the drop of a hat.
Whatever you do, don’t fall forward.
Bill & Cathi are in the water.
Cathi is trying her gosh darndest to keep the boat attached to the buoy. Bill admits he accidentally kicked the cage in the water.
Jeremy & Sandy and Bill & Cathi both switch Detours.
Marcus is trying to pull the cage over but that is not easy in these conditions.
Andy & Tommy are right. This current is proving to be a real B.
Marcus repeats he is having a tough time swimming.
MARCUS: It was just a disaster for us.
“Let’s make some waves!”
AMANI: Oh Lordy! I’m about to flip!
AMANI: Oh, you’ve got to be joking. OK. It’s done.
Amani is the Cleveland Browns of kayaking.
Amani & Marcus wanted to give back, but instead litter the ocean with debris.
SANDY: Well, what do you want to do? Start over or go over there?
I love how Bill & Cathi casually pass them while kayaking.
JEREMY: I don’t know!
SANDY: Why are we so slow at this! Get up! Don’t get mad let’s go over to the other one. We’re switching!
Is that Jeremy. . .mugging for the camera?
The pond at their house is so much calmer than the ocean winds and currents.
Amani & Marcus make it back to shore and Marcus is exhausted.
“Can I have a substitution?”
I think Marcus might need some medical attention. This is bad.
MARCUS: I’ve never been so tired and whipped ever.
AMANI: I know. It was hard.
MARCUS: Golly. . .Golly.
Commercial break. We resume with Marcus saying it is the hardest thing he has ever tried to do before agreeing to switch tasks.
SWITCH COUNT: JEREMY & SANDY, BILL & CATHI, and AMANI & MARCUS
JEREMY: Sandy. Come here. Now.
SANDY: Please don’t talk to me like that.
We cut to a confessional.
SANDY: Jeremy instead of him encouraging me to keep up he is a little bit negative. I am shocked by that.
We return to the beach.
JEREMY: Come here now. We’re gonna set all of that up.
JEREMY: Oh my god.
SANDY: Do you want to pull it over to me and I’ll start setting it up.
JEREMY: I didn’t really want to but Sandy wanted to change to this.
Which team is getting extra help from the locals?
Good ol’ clumsy Jer tripping over a chair!
Gusts of wind are picking up.
At this rate I think another tsunami is coming.
Cindy narrates the problem with the strong winds.
Zac is wielding that umbrella like a medieval weapon.
They are mocking the former two-time lifeguards.
Everything is going smoothly for Liz & Marie.
Liz! Or Marie! Look out!
Liz (or Marie) starts crying from the futility of the task.
They start crying from their own laughter.
“It’s not funny. . .”
Andy & Tommy are only thirteen minutes ahead as they are now at Soap Island.
Is he going to do that every time he opens a clue or. . .well, does anything from now on?
It’s a Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who wants to be the King of the Hill?
“Who wants to help me with these propane and propane accessories? Isn’t this hilarious?”
Phil praises the Thai limestone cliffs and how it offers climbers an endless number of new challenges (and for TAR whenever they revisit Thailand).
I swear this is the Chuay Gahn camp from Survivor: Thailand.
Teams will see if they can conquer a sheer rock wall on Koh Yao Noi Island. If they can make it to a bird’s nest, they will receive their next clue.
Climb partway up.
And hope birds aren’t hidden underneath waiting to eat your hand alive.
And that’s it for this Roadblock.
JENNIFER: See those two things? They match this thing.
So specific, Jennifer.
Jennifer reluctantly volunteers for the Roadblock.
Cindy tries to trap water in her shirt.
I. . .I. . .I don’t think it will be very effective.
Ernie & Cindy are digging holes and filling it with water to make it dense for the umbrellas.
This is going to work much better.
MARCUS: Let’s go crazy! Let’s go crazy!
AMANI: He picks up these little catchphrases and he enjoys them and let him have at it. So we’ll be going crazy for the rest of the day, I guess. Need help?
MARCUS: No, just going crazy. (Starts screaming like Homer Simpson about to be run over by a car in his garage.)
“Who did I marry?”
MARCUS: I’m going crazy.
No TV and constant Detour switches makes Marcus go something something.
We cut to Liz & Marie who are trying to keep the umbrellas in the sand.
LIZ: You would think we would know how to put those up because we are beach lifeguards but there was an umbrella and chair person who did that for us. It was an assigned job.
She is nearly stabbing her own partner! Look out (again)!
“We just sit in a chair and rub sunblock onto our bodies as we watch people nearly drown like Wendy Peppercorn. Seriously.”
MARIE: We have respect for them.
“Every day Umbrella and Chair Setter-Uppers: Never forget.”
Sandy walks over.
SANDY: You know what this part is?
SANDY: Leave them unhooked until–
LIZ: We did, but this fell and now I can’t get it down.
Liz, when you are talking to somebody named SANDY at the beach, I would listen.
LIZ: Oh, undo.
SANDY: Now build around it.
LIZ: Thank you, Sandy.
I would imagine everyone wants to keep Liz & Marie in the race to knock out other threats at this point.
Sandy walks over to her own partner.
SANDY: Need help? I don’t know what else to do, Jer.
JEREMY: Look, these are too close together. You didn’t measure the lengths.
SANDY: I didn’t. I just put ’em in. Just scoot ’em down a little bit.
We cut to a confessional.
JEREMY: It was a little frustrating today to have to do that all by myself. We can move our relationship leaps and bounds if we can learn from the experiences that we are going through right now.
SANDY: Please stay positive, Jeremy. Don’t get mad at me. Four of my steps.
Sandy Steps: The official unit of measurement of TAR!
Andy & Tommy comment on the island as they arrive. Andy is doing the Roadblock. Tommy compares him to a monkey.
Oh. He already has the clue.
This camera is at the very bottom of the cliff. I think Andy only had to climb three more body lengths to get to the nest just above him. That is an insanely short distance by TAR standards.
TOMMY: We might be out of here before we see another team.
Considering Justin & Jennifer are about ten minutes behind Andy & Tommy, this was an extremely quick Roadblock.
And that includes getting in and out of the boat as well as putting on the harness.
Andy & Tommy read the clue. The same speedboat will also take them to the pit stop.
It is a floating village built more than two hundred years ago and was used to build easy access for fishing. The soccer field will be the pit stop.
At least the floating village in Cambodia had a basketball court.
Although Phil won’t be impressed until he goes to a floating rugby field.
Jennifer completes the Roadblock despite Justin being worried in extended confessionals. Again, no one else shows up.
Ernie & Cindy are done. Cindy asks for approval.
Ernie & Cindy are third to finish the Detour.
CINDY: Which way is north?
ERNIE: . . .That way.
One-in-four shot at being right. I would laugh if they pointed the driver across the island so the boat plows over everyone on the beach before getting into the water on the other side.
Laurence & Zac finish the task in fourth. Away they go.
I didn’t expect this much Jeremy & Sandy content when I agreed to transcribe everything they say.
JEREMY: Hey look. The rungs don’t matter?
SANDY: No. The rungs don’t matter. Judge please! Judge!
“It doesn’t matter whether the rungs are lined up or not!”
Judging by the zoom-in, I think it does.
Amani tells Marcus to make sure he lined up the rungs.
The judge does not accept Jeremy & Sandy.
SANDY: No good. These have to be lined up. All of them at the top.
Amani & Marcus are approved. The clue is theirs in fifth place.
MARCUS: IT’S OKAY!
AMANI: IT’S OKAY?!
MARCUS: Good Lord have mercy on my soul!
Cathi notes Amani & Marcus’ chairs are further back and were approved. Marcus pep talks Liz before he is gone.
MARCUS: Girls, stay in there! Hey, tighten them up. What you gotta do is you gotta spin them down in the ground. You gotta twist em.
“Everybody likes a good twist. All in the hips, ladies.”
SANDY: Yeah. OK. OK.
JEREMY: Thank you.
SANDY: We need to go.
SANDY: OK. You gotta time this. K?
JEREMY: Look at the clue again. Where is it?
SANDY: It’s in your hand, honey. Focus. OK. I’m positive.
“Oh, this? Good thing you told me because I was about to skip it in the water!”
Sandy admires Jeremy’s pecs.
That is one sweet bandana.
Andy & Tommy are already approaching the pit stop.
ANDY: I like the hair!
The wind helps it flow majestically.
I guess this is the only official entry point for the village.
They could build sweet jumps in between houses across the water.
Well that makes it easy.
Phil isn’t alone with the pit stop greeter for too long today.
Andy & Tommy make weird noises before running onto the centre of the pitch.
Times were simpler back when a high kick of a soccer ball simply ended up in the neighbour’s yard.
Believe it or not, he was the legendary goalkeeper of the Phuket Corals.
Andy & Tommy thank him for his futbol prowess.
FIRST PLACE: ANDY & TOMMY
PHIL: Andy & Tommy, you’ve done it again.
And this time it’s not because of somebody else’s penalty. This win is legit, and Ernie & Cindy are about to be insulted as the third non-Express Pass prize is about to be given away.
PHIL: You have won five thousand dollars EACH. You guys absolutely smoked this course today.
“You made this leg look like The Amazing Race Neighbourhood Edition.”
Yeah, you can be tripping a lot with that kind of weed money when you win 5k each.
TOMMY: We are so stoked on this clean first and that’s what we wanted.
Which is kind of funny because neither of them likely have clean urine until right before an Olympic cycle.
TOMMY: We’re just gonna continue to play smart and be aware and uh–
ANDY: Praising God. We’re just really blessed to be here today.
And trust me on this: Andy & Tommy have a lot more to say on God during the next episode that gets the online community talking. You just press pause on this storyline for now. Get ready for super duper awkwardness soon.
Andy compliments the pit stop greeter’s beard.
“I’ve been grooming it for weeks! Thank you!”
Justin & Jennifer board Koh Panyi.
I wish Jennifer would preserve that hairstyle.
Her hair is getting awfully close to Shadow the Hedgehog territory.
SECOND PLACE: JUSTIN & JENNIFER
JENNIFER: It’s been a rough day.
PHIL: My measure by how rough it is if you use your look. Can I see your look one more time?
PHIL: When I do it I kinda . .
Trying to be sassy has never been one of Phil’s strongest traits.
JENNIFER: It takes practice. You’ll get it.
Jennifer is all smiles in second place.
We now catch up with Ernie & Cindy.
ERNIE: What’s over there?
CINDY: Yellow canisters!
I don’t think that’s it, Ernie.
It looks like a whole lot of nothing to me, guys.
Laurence & Zac are at the Roadblock.
LAURENCE: G’day, mate!
Is Laurence British or Aussie?
Laurence tells Zac to be King of the Hill.
How are Liz & Marie handling the wind?
CATHI: I can’t tell whether the girls are finished or things are crashing down.
I think it’s the latter.
Bill & Cathi are approved and finish the Detour in seventh place.
CATHI: Keep at it, girls.
LIZ (crying): I know! I’m so annoyed they keep falling!
CATHI: I know. See if you can get a shell in to help you dig.
“We promise to come back and help once we reach the pit stop!”
I love how they casually walk around Liz & Marie’s mess.
I also love how Bill just looks down the whole time like he has zero fucks to give about Liz & Marie’s position. I love Bill & Cathi.
LIZ: It’s the beach. It’s fun.
Where’s your Fun Meter, ladies?
We cut back to Ernie & Cindy.
ERNIE: I don’t know if it’s the salt or the sun but I am ROASTING.
It’s a combination of that and being a pale ass mofo from Illinois.
Amani & Marcus are fourth to the Roadblock.
AMANI: I do? I want to be King of the Hill?
Considering you have oxygen in your lungs for once Amani, I think this is going to be your best case scenario. Marcus turns away to pretend he isn’t an alternative option.
Laurence & Zac are at the Roadblock. Laurence is happy he isn’t doing it because he gets vertigo every now and then.
Laurence can’t help but pose with a boat whenever he has the chance.
What Laurence also failed to mention is that Bill & Cathi saw the movie Vertigo on their first date.
Cindy was convinced they were going the right away, but Ernie thinks they were slightly off from going directly north.
Jeremy & Sandy are fifth to the Roadblock.
SANDY: There’s only three left.
JEREMY: Got it. Who wants to be King of the Hill?
Liz starts yelling at Marie for her slow sand filling skills.
LIZ: You’re going so slow!
MARIE: Shut up.
LIZ: You’re going so slow!
MARIE: OK, you do it! Do it!
When you were told a pair of twins were going to take turns going down on a pole, this is probably not the way you expected it, eh?
Fill ‘er up, Liz!
Ernie & Cindy see a boat and head for it.
Unfortunately it’s a Wannabe Pirate Ship.
Which happens to be covered in discarded flags from Shy Guy Says.
CINDY: Now we’re like in the middle of nowhere. This is not good.
Will Ernie & Cindy ever get themselves out of this tight jam?! We’ll find out after the commercial break!
Commercial break. We resume.
ERNIE: Oh. There it is.
WORST. CLIFFHANGER. EVER. Jesus Christ. That’s the very first thing Ernie says when we return from the break! In fact, this is the very first shot when we come back from the break.
Editors weren’t even trying to drag it out.
Ernie explains how he messed up south from north because he was looking at the wrong point.
We shift to Liz & Marie.
MARIE: Oh. The chairs have to be right here.
LIZ: Oh. Hey start moving them back!
MARIE: OK. Just shut up.
LIZ: Well c’mon we’ve been out here for like three hours.
MARIE: Oh shut up. Like shut up. Why you yell about it?
LIZ: Well don’t be so non-chalant about it.
MARIE: I’m not! We’ve fucked this up, so. . .
I thought Twins could communicate without speaking.
We cut to Zac doing the Roadblock.
Laurence wants to be a future Boat Model.
Zac has the clue. No one else has shown up. Laurence praises Zac’s map-reading abilities from sailing around the world.
I don’t think that map would be too tough to read.
LAURENCE: This is basic navigation.
Well, for most people.
Ernie & Cindy are sixth to the Roadblock. Ernie shall do it.
Liz & Marie try to finish their task.
LIZ: That should be our motto. Pay attention to detail. It screwed us over every time.
Liz does her best Tom and Ian impression.
Hopefully Confucius doesn’t call them at the beach asking them to repeat a message.
Liz & Marie ask a judge to literally tell them they are correct. The clue is theirs.
(LIZ starts to cry.)
MARIE: Are you gonna cry?
LIZ: I’m not gonna cry I just wanna fucking–
MARIE: We already cried. I don’t want to do that anymore.
Liz & Marie have dropped a lot of F-bombs in just four episodes.
Amani begins the task. Marcus decides to be a sports commentator and talk about everything Amani is doing.
I don’t know why the camera is positioned like that, though.
SANDY: This looks scary.
JEREMY: Is there anybody else here?
MARCUS: No. Think it’s just us.
MARCUS: Are you doing it?
SANDY: You’ve got this, babe.
SANDY: I am very confident in Jeremy’s ability to climb this rock. You got this, Jer!
(AMANI claims the clue.)
JEREMY: Good job.
AMANI: Thank you!
SANDY: Jeremy is doing a good job. He’s doing awesome. He’s going fast.
Jeremy and Amani’s key interaction which will set up so many long-term storylines for this season.
Sandy is stuck watching Jeremy do the Roadblock. . .and so are we.
Amani & Marcus read the map easily. They should travel with Zac.
Marcus has encountered an unexpected Roadblock.
JEREMY: I got it!
SANDY: Good job babe! I am proud of him. That’s Ernie and Cindy. Why in the world are they here?
“Well nice to see you too, you bastard.”
Sandy didn’t actually mean it that way.
SANDY: Cindy! What happened?
CINDY: We went the wrong way on the boat.
SANDY: There’s still two teams behind us. You’re good. Good job, baby. You hauled.
JEREMY: You’ll find Phil at the Floating Stadium. Last team to check in may be eliminated.
Cindy says her and Ernie practised rock climbing before they appeared on the race.
Although you don’t need much practice with this wall.
Cathi asks Bill to hold onto her as she makes it to Soap Island in seventh place.
It would have been funnier if Bill pushed her in for the lolz.
Bill looks like a university professor who is becoming frustrated with an unsolved variable in a science experiment.
Bill agrees to do it.
CATHI: Good that you’ve got it, Baby Cake.
Bill “Baby Cake” Alden. Hilarious.
Laurence & Zac are. . .lost.
LAURENCE: I am used to working with marine charts. Either the compass is off or the map is off. It shouldn’t be an issue at all.
“Let me put on my smart person glasses and see if I can figure this out.”
ZAC: What do we do, Dad?
LAURENCE: I don’t know.
“Let’s just stare at the peaceful ocean until the answer comes to us in the form of a seagull.”
Zac has sailed around the world but is having a helluva time with the waters of Fuckit.
Cindy says Ernie did the Roadblock quickly and is done. Just like that.
Liz & Marie are last to Soap Island.
This guy can go home now.
Unless Liz & Marie fight over the rope.
Liz volunteers to do the Roadblock.
Cathi says she doesn’t know how long her and Bill will be around in the race, and therefore force Bill to do a Roadblock to gain points at times like these.
CATHI: I like the view I have!
BILL: Oh, you old lady.
Do we really need to watch eighty year olds hit on each other? That’s why Bill & Cathi are the last couple to be allowed on The Amazing Race! No one wants to see elderly foreplay.
BILL: Got it.
CATHI: Oh my gosh! He’s got it already?! This is super. The twins aren’t even here yet.
“Jesus. Even Carissa Gaghan could do this Roadblock in a couple of minutes.”
Laurence & Zac are still lost. They search for a bearing.
“Follow meeeee boys!”
They see another team’s boat and instruct the driver to follow them.
I think people will now be checking into Zac’s world record after this episode.
MARCUS: I’ve played in a lot of stadiums, but I’ve never seen a floating stadium. This is a first for me if I can get an applause for finishing fourth.
MARCUS’ FOOTBALL ANALOGIES COUNTER: 5
Although I think he’ll be up to seven in no time.
Jeremy & Sandy are in a boat.
SANDY: This is awesome.
JEREMY: We need the main pier.
SANDY: Yeah, it’s over. We got to haul to the mat. Marcus is right in front of us.
I wonder how many fans remember Sandy is a pen chewer?
Amani tells Marcus to keep his eyes open because he is really observant.
JEREMY: Go go go go go go go go go.
SANDY: Floating Stadium?
JEREMY: Way to Floating Stadium. That way?
SANDY: Let’s go this way. C’mon.
Laurence & Zac disembark.
This non-floating stadium is better than the other non-floating stadium.
SANDY: Why are you going that way?
JEREMY: Cause I am following the signs.
He be creepin’.
JEREMY: Hurry. Hurry. Sprint!
SANDY: Baby, I’m coming.
Why is Jeremy’s compass designed like the flag of Brazil?
THIRD PLACE: JEREMY & SANDY
SANDY: We still have a lot to work on. We need to continually be positive.
JEREMY: Every relationship is going to have its miscommunications and you just have to work through those and cut each other a bit of slack sometimes.
Jeremy has never looked so happy.
Their first mat chat/pit stop confessional of the season.
PHIL: And have a look behind you.
I thought Phil was going to trick them and slap them in the face, but it’s actually another team.
SANDY: No way! Holy Moses!
FOURTH PLACE: LAURENCE & ZAC
Well this is one strategy for Jeremy & Sandy to extend their airtime.
Ernie & Cindy park their boat. Amani & Marcus keep walking around. They find their original starting point.
They have already lost two spots in this tiny village.
Ernie & Cindy hit the mat.
FIFTH PLACE: ERNIE & CINDY
SIXTH PLACE: AMANI & MARCUS
This leg really was way too small of a course. Too damn linear.
Marie has the clue.
LIZ: She did a good job. She did it really fast.
SPOILER ALERT: So did literally everyone else.
Liz & Marie are loving the scenery but accept they are “riding to their death”.
SEVENTH PLACE: BILL & CATHI
PHIL: Is that your lucky number?
CATHI: It must be but it better change tomorrow.
We hope so too.
Liz & Marie arrive at the pit stop.
The Dude With the Beard welcomes them.
LITERALLY LAST PLACE: LIZ & MARIE
LIZ: We figured. We haven’t seen anyone for hours.
Andy & Tommy haven’t seen anybody for hours either.
Phil asks if they are glad they came on the race. Liz & Marie talk about the experience and don’t want to go home.
“If I say it’s a NEL, you guys promise not to cry anymore?”
And indeed it’s a NEL. Today is their lucky day.
Scratch that. The screaming is worse. Much worse.
“I am so happy I want to bop you on the nose with this newspaper right now!”
MARIE: Oh my god. Are you serious?
No, he’s just fuckin’ with ya. You’re gone, Marie. Go home.
PHIL: Of course it does mean at some point in the next leg of the race you’ll be untying a knot.
“And I have to warn you: The Ulong tribe reinforced this knot so it’s gonna be tough as balls.”
Unfortunately for Phil, they cried anyway.
LIZ: We’ve still got the next leg of the race to make up time and prove we deserve to be here.
And gives you time to EXCHANGE YOUR INDONESIAN MONEY INTO THAI MONEY!
Next Time on TAR: Teams race by local transportation. Jeremy & Sandy bumble through Bangkok. And Liz & Marie scramble to catch up.
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT
JUSTIN & JENNIFER 1
ERNIE & CINDY 1
BILL & CATHI 1
LIZ & MARIE 1
JEREMY & SANDY 1
EVERYONE ELSE 0
RANK THE LEGS
1) Taipei, Taiwan -> Joe Jer Carter, Indonesia
First off, thank god production chose to not do the Contradicting Sign Twist ever again.
Racers are instructed to follow what’s in their clue as the primary source of instruction. During the Detour, they were told to give up the Rupiah they earned to the orphanage. It said nothing about giving up your American Dollars. Teams said that even if they noticed the sign (primarily the words of Jenna Morasca) that they still would have followed what it said in their clue rather than some random sign. I believe that since Phil could have penalized them at the pit stop for not following their clue correctly or unintentionally trick teams into giving up precious money for the following round of play.
It is even worse that this twist occurs simultaneously with the Double Elimination. If the sign wasn’t there, Ethan & Jenna finish this leg in ninth and are saved over Kaylani & Lisa. That’s a potentially big change to have a ripple effect throughout the rest of the season.
This round also had what many consider to be the dumbest Speed Bump of all-time. Untying that rope took somewhere between 5-8 minutes based on the order of events on-screen. I am sure the audience was happy to see Bill & Cathi take the lead after doing the Speed Bump, but we all wished they did a bit more to earn it. Sadly nearly every Speed Bump in the future will go on to be a joke collection of tasks. I have been long advocating for a new type of NEL penalty because clearly the Speed Bump is not working.
The Roadblock was a cool location and was a decent task. A spelunking obstacle course was fun.
The Detour wasn’t particularly memorable. Because of the nineteen teams checking into the pit stop, it was one of the most condensed tasks in TAR history. I think we saw about twenty seconds of dancing and about thirty seconds of motorbikes being parked. It didn’t appear to be memorable or difficult.
The only reason this leg isn’t at the bottom is because Indonesia was a brand new location for TAR US. Other franchises beat them there but it was nice for TAR US to get it off of their check list.
Jeremy & Sandy’s only storyline of wanting the Survivor winners effectively comes to an end this round. Watch their airtime dwindle even more.
Justin & Jennifer was more annoying than it was fascinating to watch. I think the pettiness of the fighting outweighed the comedy of it which is a shame. I wish they recorded some of their physical altercations when they were younger, though. Did anyone get a broken nose?
Despite Bill & Cathi dropping to seventh because they had to run several kilometres, it was still a great comeback for a team that finished the first leg over six hours behind almost all other teams. Yes, two massive equalizers helped but at least they are no longer perceived as a team of fodder.
Kaylani & Lisa’s airtime essentially dropped down to nil this episode. For a team that made a huge blunder in the first leg and were extremely lucky to be saved this round, production didn’t want to focus on them when they aren’t doing anything jaw-dropping.
And I think Ron & Bill finished where most people expected them to this season. They were too mellow for the race.
2) 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.
Three) Joe Jer Carter, Indonesia -> Magelang, Indonesia
This leg is definitely the worst out of the first three in terms of design.
Easy cycling task where the only way the order changed is if your bike had an unintentional malfunction.
Both sides of the Detour were quick and uneventful. Either plant rice in mud or fill up grass to an arbitrary line that was either accepted or rejected based upon questionable criteria, fill buckets, and herd goats. The bags of grass still mildly annoys me since some of the teams’ bags looked really full.
The Roadblock and the Pit Stop were in the exact same location. That means whether or not you happened to settle with your cab beforehand solely determined who went home because all of the teams were close together. In other words, it was a roll of the dice to figure out who was going home.
Andy & Tommy won another leg because of a team ahead of them being penalized at the pit stop. We don’t know why the penalty was determined to be fifteen minutes rather than the standard thirty. Perhaps because the leg was so short and linear that a fifteen minute penalty was the equivalent to a thirty minute penalty in other legs.
Ernie & Cindy received a huge amount of attention during this leg as a team being aggressive and skilled at the race, and Amani & Marcus rallying from certain doom were the two key storylines of this leg. Oh, and Bill & Cathi are old people who can’t stand in tall grass. Everyone applauding whenever they complete a task is kind of hilarious as if they aren’t capable of going far in the race.
Lastly, we hit upon Kaylani & Lisa’s only non-passport storyline. Kaylani has a young child at home that she misses. Phil, Lisa, and hopefully others successfully convince Kaylani that she isn’t disappointing her daughter. It was a roller coaster for a team that goes home in the second elimination leg of the season. Considering they originally checked into the second pit stop in tenth, and Phil was on his way to eliminating them in the first leg, they are probably grateful they got three rounds in The Amazing Race.
This leg would have been much stronger if they travelled to another part of Indonesia that was outside of Java.
4) Joe Jer Carter, Indonesia -> Phuket, Thailand
This leg was excruciatingly linear and took place in a shorter amount of time than the leg in Joe Jer Carter.
Other than Liz & Marie struggling at the Detour and Justin & Jennifer’s usual antics, the only source of conflict in the whole episode was Jeremy & Sandy. It was extremely uneventful and was a very ‘normal people’ type of fight. Seeing two level-headed people butt heads in a diplomatic way does not make for entertaining television. If it was hilariously calm or hilariously overboard, then yeah, we want to see it, but otherwise it doesn’t need to make it beyond the editing room suite.
After TAR 14’s teams refused to do a Fast Forward for charity, we had it as one of the two Detour options. While many teams switched tasks, it seems like the amount of time lost was very minimal for everyone except Liz & Marie.
In fact, all of the mistakes this leg other than Liz & Marie cost very little time. Ernie & Cindy’s compass clue was easily corrected, Laurence & Zac were able to follow another boat, Jeremy & Sandy had to shuffle a few chairs, and Amani & Marcus couldn’t find the pit stop for a few minutes in a very limited area to search.
Setting up umbrellas and chairs was lame as a Detour task until the gusts of wind happened. The coral cage was cool and fighting the current was a legitimate challenge.
The compass task of directing your boat thirteen minutes to an island using a medallion was neat on paper, but ended up being relatively easy for everyone.
The rock climbing Roadblock was perhaps the easiest version of it I had ever seen. Maybe the ladder from Family Edition is the only one that was easier. There was no way for Liz & Marie to make up time in this round. It all truly came down to the Detour.
The floating village was bland. I wish they had done something there or showed neat things about the village. It looked like a lifeless ghost town to me unlike the Cambodian floating village from TAR 13. Production could have done so much more with it.
I don’t know why there was such a big deal made about the arrival of the flights when there was a mass equalizer to make it all pointless. Those scenes could have been cut down so much more.
And Liz & Marie were really really really lucky that they didn’t need any Thai money beyond the initial taxi ride. This leg made it obvious that Liz & Marie aren’t destined for a deep run into this season in contrast to everyone else.
No major storylines were developed this episode. Laurence & Zac messed up sailing, Liz & Marie messed up at something similar to being lifeguards, and Marcus struggled with a sports stadium. All were amusing little moments.
And yeah, this was the perfect leg design for Andy & Tommy. I estimate their morning was done in less than two hours. After three consecutive leg wins, Andy & Tommy secured their spot as the biggest target of the season.