EPISODE BLOG #290
“Avoid the Noi”
CHINESE TAIPEI – INDONESIA – NOT LAOS – THAILAND – MALAWI – DENMARK – GERMANY – BELGIUM – NETHERLANDS – PANAMA – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Eight teams raced from Indonesia to Thailand. Once in Thailand, Liz & Marie got off to a shaky start. The next morning teams raced to the Detour where Andy & Tommy paddled ahead and Liz & Marie got swept away. At the Roadblock, Andy extended his lead as he and Tommy won their third leg in a row. Twins Liz & Marie came in last but ended the day in smiles.
Eight teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT
ANDY & TOMMY 3
BILL & CATHI 2
LIZ & MARIE 2
JUSTIN & JENNIFER 1
ERNIE & CINDY 1
ETHAN & JENNA 1
RON & BILL 1
LAURENCE & ZAC 1
AMANI & MARCUS 1
KAYLANI & LISA 1
EVERYONE ELSE 0
Phil introduces us to Koh Panyi—a floating village that was built on stilts in the 18th century and is the start of the fifth leg in a race around the world.
“And I really wish we did this leg in Laos instead because this is just the second of three times in TAR US history where I have to do Phuket and Bangkok back-to-back in the same season.”
Andy & Tommy, who arrived first at an unspecified time, will depart first at 10:07am.
Andy pretends to be a DJ on a turntable with a clue as the record.
By the way, why does the sign say Koh Panyee?
Because Wikipedia says something very different.
Tommy reads they must travel by local transportation to Koh Long Song Phraek.
Phil jumps in to clear up any confusion from Tommy’s pronunciation. He says teams must make their way by local taxi called a songthaew to reach Song Phraek and a location called Anda Adventures.
Songthaew is Thai for “floating tires”.
It’s better than those pink taxis we saw in TAR 14.
Once there, they must travel by local transportation: endangered four ton Asian elephants, and go across the Khlong Song Phraek River to reach their first clue and their la proxima pista.
This is the fourth round in a row to show elephants.
Hopefully the elephant instructor is less gropey than the one JK and Treasuri dealt with in TAR Asia 5.
“What the hell? It’s in a well!”
Five rounds in and not a single clue box to be found.
I see this guy is using Tyler & Nathan’s discarded LA Lakers shirt as a way to prevent his ass from hurting so much while riding the elephant.
Andy & Tommy magically board a songthaew. I guess the ride from Koh Panyee to the mainland was uneventful.
ANDY: Faith in God is definitely very important to me and Tommy.
TOMMY: Yeah, we love Jesus.
ANDY: Right on my hip here I’ve got Proverbs 19:2.
It probably covers his whole hip!
Oh. It just says “Proverbs 19:2”.
ANDY: Do not have zeal without knowledge or bring hastiness in way.
Can you one-up him, Tommy?
TOMMY: I have first Thesalonians 5:16. Be joyful always; pray continually.
“And on Andy’s bandana we have ‘Austin 3:16’ which means for the past three legs we’ve whooped your ass.”
It’s true. A hat trick for Andy & Tommy has made them worthy of putting “Austin 3:16” somewhere on their bodies.
“Hey dude, have you been working out? With guns like that we’ll be winning our fourth leg in a row!”
ANDY: We’re still in Thailand. Where’s our surfboards?
If somebody told Andy & Tommy that their surfboards were in the middle of the dense jungle, I bet they would still look for it knowing they could beat Liz & Marie to the next pit stop anyway.
TOMMY: We want to run this race and just have a lot of joy.
ANDY: God opened up the door and we’re just grateful to be here.
Well God should install a door because the back of that car is a disaster waiting to happen!
Andy & Tommy are at Anda Adventures (Ton Pariwat Wildlife Conservation Area).
That is one petrified elephant.
A depiction of what happens when Lucas sees Brittany twerk.
Ah. Much better.
Andy & Tommy run into Liz & Marie’s Speed Bump.
“Enjoy untying a knot, ladies! Bwahahaahahaaha!”
Andy & Tommy hop onto an elephant together.
Needless to say they both are enjoying this more than Brian Heidik.
Don’t grab its ears!
Or its tail! Ouch!
ANDY: I wouldn’t dream an elephant would be this nimble.
Yes. Elephants are the Muhammad Ali of the animal kingdom.
“They also can run up trees!”
ANDY: When I win The Amazing Race, I am buying an elephant. They can do some serious four-wheeling!
“What can’t they do? They are almost godlik—er, wait.”
Justin & Jennifer are second to depart at 11:01am.
TOMMY: You wanna drive him? Look ma! No hands!
Jeremy & Sandy start in third at 11:44am.
JEREMY: 186 Dollars for this leg of the race.
This is the clearest shot we get of Jeremy & Sandy leaving the pit start. I am not joking.
Laurence & Zac start in fourth at 11:45am. Laurence is proud of what his son has accomplished at a young age and wants to be seen beyond his years.
LAURENCE: Not always do they have the wisdom so I’ll kind of have to dictate and being Zac’s father he’ll heed what I say.
Laurence looks like he is about to be dropped off in the middle of Survivor: Tocantins.
What is Laurence’s first piece of wisdom?
LAURENCE: We have to make sure we travel by local transport.
“And make sure we have six buckets with us AT ALL TIMES.”
Justin & Jennifer board an elephant.
JENNIFER: Hey Elephant. I’ll give you back massages with my feet!
To the elephant, it probably feels like being very lightly poked.
JENNIFER: Hello, I am riding an elephant.
I don’t recall the Queen of England riding in on an elephant, Jenn. Why are you waving like her?
Ernie & Cindy depart in fifth at 11:52am. They repeat the amount of money assigned for this leg of the race. Cindy says her and Ernie grew up in very different environments.
Neither environment involved wearing hats from an 80s hip hop group, though.
Ernie said he wasn’t pushed as much compared to Cindy’s family.
ERNIE: I went through life as a ‘B’ student, so to speak. . .It makes you wonder why somebody like Cindy would love me as much as she does.
Probably because if you guys lose The Amazing Race then the ‘B’ student can take all of the blame and be the scapegoat.
ERNIE: In this race I would like to prove I could take it to the next level like she hopes for me.
Ernie has his eye on a 4.0 TAR GPA.
Amani & Marcus start in sixth at 11:53am. Amani looks really confused when she reads the clue.
“What? $1, 000 will be awarded to your team if you can go a whole round without making professional football references? Huh?”
Andy & Tommy’s elephant treks through the river.
Now it’s showing off some serious balance.
Andy & Tommy see the basket of clues.
It wasn’t a bottomless well after all.
Tommy hops off of the elephant.
It would’ve been funny if Andy fell in due to being used as leverage.
It’s a Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who wants to hear some Water Music?
Probably not Jen.
PHIL: This Roadblock requires teams to follow The Sound of Music.
Are you kidding me, Phil?
Two seasons in a row with a reference to the Von Trapps?!
PHIL: This Roadblock requires teams to follow The Sound of Music. . .leading them to this waterfall and a traditional Thai floutist.
Floutist or Flutist, Phil? I think it’s flutist.
A little ham and eggs comin’ at ya.
Once they find the waterfall and the flutist, they must search the pool for their next clue.
I really hope this pool is twenty feet deep so it is somewhat difficult.
And that’s the whole Roadblock. Andy & Tommy duke it out in rock-paper-scissors for the third time.
Tommy cuts Andy’s paper. Tommy makes Andy do it.
Andy finds the flutist easily.
Andy could transition into the Summer Olympics by entering the High Dive.
I wonder if Andy had to do it because Tommy didn’t want to get wet without his wife around.
Andy says the water is murky and didn’t know if he was looking for a typical clue or some sort of symbol.
About a third of that water is liquified elephant dung.
Symbol it is.
Andy decides to swim towards the flutist dive in line with him.
And the Roadblock is done before anyone else shows up once again.
Why is the clue so big? Maybe a shaving kit is enclosed too?
Andy unwraps the clue.
Is that a shell with a heart, club, diamond, and a spade on it?
Tommy joins up with Andy.
Ah. It’s not a shell. It’s a koi.
“Koi! Oh koi!”
Andy cracks open the koi.
The big piece is their clue.
Get it, Andy!
Dammit, Andy! Ten second rule is in effect!
Andy collects the clue.
ANDY: Disassemble a spirit house
Phil jumps in once again to say teams must take a songthaew again and travel to a local shop and disassemble a Thai shrine called a spirit house then deliver all the pieces to the Wat Chanathikaram Temple where they’ll get their next clue.
It’s like the discarded pieces from Survivor: Thailand’s third immunity challenge are all here.
Oh no! It’s being looted!
Once again, no clue boxes.
Tommy hops onto the elephant.
ANDY: Every second counts, Mr. Elephant.
“Every second counts, Mr. Elephant. Don’t you know that?”
Bill & Cathi depart in seventh at 12:22pm.
Justin & Jennifer have the Roadblock clue. Justin is gonna do it.
They’re like young siblings fighting to have more room on the sofa.
Justin isn’t willing to strip down like Andy did. He starts poking the bottom with a stick.
Meanwhile, Jessica also likes poking bottoms too, but instead with her finger rather than a stick.
You may have to go in the water, Justin.
Jeremy & Sandy are in a songthaew.
JEREMY: I bet the local transport is by elephant.
SANDY: That’d be awesome.
Who wants to call shotgun? I hear it is more bumpy in the back!
SANDY: Let’s do this, guy.
Laurence & Zac and Jeremy & Sandy both arrive at Anda Adventures.
JEREMY: Local transport.
SANDY: I’m riding an elephant.
All four are on elephants.
“How do you raise the sails on this thing?”
SANDY: I love my Dumbo.
I cried watching Dumbo as a kid. Thanks Sandy.
Somehow Russell Hantz’s hat found its way to Thailand.
JEREMY: This is gorgeous.
I would love to see the trailing elephant overtake the one in the lead.
Justin tries to get in the water to retrieve the koi package.
He does not like it one bit.
Jennifer smiles and watches an elephant eat.
“What? You don’t want this? More for me! Yum yum yum yum.”
Amani & Marcus pass Ernie & Cindy as they ask for directions to Anda Adventures. Both teams are on elephants. Marcus starts clapping his hands then expresses being nervous about the elephant. I am sure animals love sudden and loud noises.
Southeast Asia will never be accommodating to Marcus’ frame.
We cut to the local shop where Andy & Tommy are already at.
Hopefully Andy & Tommy don’t start moving these shrines to the temple while the artisans work.
Andy & Tommy start taking mental notes of their spirit house consisting of dancers, elephants, and flowers.
They disassemble the shrine and carry it into their songthaew.
“Hopefully there’s no bumps.”
Justin asks the elephant to hurry up. They pass an incoming Jeremy & Sandy and Laurence & Zac.
SANDY: I am having a hard time enjoying it.
SANDY: Cause I’m a little scared.
If I was the driver, I would randomly start screaming.
Andy & Tommy grab the clue. It’s a second Roadblock.
Since this is not a premiere nor a finale, a leg formatted like this is surprisingly rare. Since I refused to watch TAR 16 when it originally aired, this was the very first time I watched an episode live that had two Roadblocks.
Only TAR 16’s leg 10 and TAR 18’s final leg have had two Roadblocks in the same episode up to this point.
How creative is this Roadblock gonna be, Phil?
This is an unusual Roadblock. The whole thing can be explained in three words. Once completed, the monk will hand them their next clue.
It is like an Active Route Info has been split into 50% Active Route Info and 50% Roadblock. It is as if somebody has to exit stage right halfway through this task.
Orange is the colour of the day.
I guess by next episode Andy & Tommy will be playing rock-paper-scissors again.
Tommy starts carrying the disassembled spirit house.
If he trips and falls down, everyone will be able to catch up.
I want that balcony.
Alright folks. For those of you who don’t know, the most controversial confessional of the season is upon us. Here. We. Go.
TOMMY: Andy and I both are Christians and it’s been interesting with the Buddhist temples and these tasks.
Go on. . .
TOMMY: But, you know, god is definitely greater than a temple.
Tommy just mocked Buddhism within earshot of a fairly devout Buddhist! Oh my Buddha!
ANDY: I don’t feel like any weird vibes coming here. We know that one is your god, and it’s pretty straightforward when you read the Bible.
This is not good. Andy & Tommy verbally insulted the Buddhist religion within one of its most concentrated borders. It isn’t good karma, guys. . .and Buddhists invented karma!
OK, OK, maybe it’s not so bad. Like, when you insult Christianity you only have to worry about one dude upstairs being upset with you. How many people upstairs are going to be mad at Andy & Tommy?
Andy & Tommy dodged a bullet on that one. Now it’s just this whole karma thing standing in the way.
Alright. Maybe it just came out wrong or was taken out of context. So let’s go to a post-race interview and see how Andy dealt with a question about religious intolerance, and clearing his and Tommy’s name in this whole incident.
So Andy doesn’t do the best with interviews.
Andy chose to go the “I can say my religion is the best and the PC Police always interferes with our ability to say my god is the only god, and everyone else is wrong.”
Short Version: Don’t have a religious discussion with Andy & Tommy. You’re not going to get very far with them.
I mean, somebody online ranked Andy & Tommy as the 702nd team of all-time because of this episode. They are with teams like Carol & Brandy, Tom & Terry, Kevin & Ryan, Louie & Michael, Dave & Connor, and Art & JJ. That is NOT where you want to be!
Alright. I think this passage has already been awkward enough to read for some folks, and I think the point has been made. Let’s move on.
P.S. KevJumba just unfriended Andy & Tommy on Facebook. He was not impressed.
SANDY: Who wants to hear some Water Music? I do.
And there’s our Jeremy & Sandy update!
Laurence & Zac are at the (first) Roadblock. Zac says it’s all Laurence.
SANDY: I don’t see anything.
OK, let’s pause for a second.
We learned last episode that Sandy is not a very good swimmer.
The Roadblock hint was “Who likes Water Music?” while standing beside a river.
We’ve seen other occasions on The Amazing Race where somebody volunteers for a swimming challenge and realizes “oh shit, I can’t swim”.
But this was just yesterday that we saw Sandy wearing a lifejacket in semi-shallow water. I know the river is fairly shallow, but I think it’s safe to say Sandy isn’t going to be diving into the water like Jeremy did.
For instance, Laurence is treading water.
Tommy tries to complete the second Roadblock.
I am curious if it is actually correct and the woman is pissed off by Tommy’s rant.
Tommy says the fact him and Andy each disassembled one side of the spirit house and now it is causing trouble. Tommy hops on the songthaew because he has no idea what’s wrong.
He may see another team this leg.
Sandy starts swimming around in the water.
Laurence obtains the wrapped koi.
Sandy submerges herself in the water. I hope the Thai flutist is also a lifeguard.
“Or hire us!”
SANDY: I gotta dive.
She did not enjoy that. Like a cat being sprayed with a hose.
Laurence and Jeremy smash up the koi.
JEREMY: Good job.
SANDY: Disassemble a Spirit House.
Laurence & Zac’s elephant suddenly stops moving.
LAURENCE: What the fuck is the matter with this elephant? We’ve got these two teams right on our tail. Nice day to travel on an elephant, eh?
Everyone is together and it’s not like Liz & Marie are going to catch up anyway.
Tommy is at the starting point and begins his sketch.
Tommy begins his sketch.
It’s actually a level of Super Metroid. He isn’t focused on the Roadblock at all!
Bill & Cathi jump out of the songthaew.
BILL: Local transportation.
That local transportation just ran over this helpless shit-covered bird, Bill.
Bill & Cathi hop on the elephant.
BILL (giggling): Hehehheheh We’re on an elephant!
He couldn’t sound more amused by this activity.
He is like Ted Danson in The Good Place whenever he tries or says something that is typical for humans. “Is this how you pump up your wrists?”
Oh, right. Liz & Marie. They depart at 1:35pm. That wind must have been a real little B (tm April & Sarah) because they are well over an hour behind Bill & Cathi, and over three behind Andy & Tommy. They couldn’t be happier to see 186 dollars in the envelope.
“That shit isn’t Indonesian money is it?”
MARIE: Today we’re leaving in last place so we also have a Speed Bump.
LIZ: I don’t know why we’re smiling.
MARIE: We’re doing good though.
You guys have finished in eighth or worse in three out of your four legs. Literally. And you ran entire leg without any applicable currency in your pocket. Literally. And you are starting this leg nearly as far back from seventh place as seventh place is from first place.
You are not doing good.
Liz & Marie have a surprisingly personal confessional about their dad that recently passed away which pretty much guarantees they are going home this round. He told them to keep going, be positive, and be successful.
MARIE: At least we have money now.
Most teams are typically miserable when they are at a major disadvantage. I don’t know what drugs Liz & Marie are on, but damn, that’s what I want if I ever find myself in a relatively hopeless non-equalizer round of TAR.
Amani & Marcus make it to the first Roadblock in fifth. Who wants to hear some Water Music?
MARCUS: Oh lordy.
Ernie & Cindy find the Roadblock. It’s Cindy’s turn.
Cindy searches an area that becomes more swamp than river.
At this rate she’ll run into Ziggy from Australian Survivor.
CINDY: It’s terrible.
Meanwhile, Tommy’s re-assembling of the shrine is approved.
I am surprised Tommy got a thumb up rather than a middle finger up from the Buddhist.
Tommy grabs a clue and a goodie bag. Hopefully there is candy in there.
Andy & Tommy read they must travel 550 miles by bus to Bangkok.
It’s right up there with Hong Kong as the most visited city in TAR history.
When they arrive, they must go to the Bangkok Noi Canal where they will feed the fish before receiving their next clue.
The Noi Canal is, obviously, named after The Noid. Avoid bringing your pizzas to this canal!
“If you don’t feed the fish, this clue is null and noid.”
That’s right. Teams will be carrying a bag of fish food for over 550 miles on a bus in one of the most humid countries on the planet.
This will be fun.
Justin & Jennifer are second to the shrine. No trace of Andy & Tommy.
Just a Thai kid out for a friendly jog.
Justin & Jennifer assume there will be a task that will involve re-assembling the shrine. They come up with a brilliant strategy.
JENNIFER: Does the driver have a camera phone?
Remember how I said this season marks the step into modern-day technology?
Well, we’ve got a phone with a good enough camera quality in the middle of rural Thailand. This is in addition to the smartphones we have seen in major cities this season.
Marcus and Cindy are in the river.
“I feel something.”
Cindy is a more polite person than I.
Marcus and Cindy talk about the koi. Cindy finds it a few seconds later.
Cindy likes the water as much as Sandy does.
Both teams crack open their kois and ride the elephant. Marcus makes a super random noise while on it.
Justin & Jennifer have opened the second Roadblock.
JENNIFER: I knew it! It’s heavy! Why didn’t you get this one?
At least Jennifer gets help with this task. I have a feeling she would have been unhappy regardless of which Roadblock she got. Justin laughs at her.
JUSTIN IS LAUGHING AT HER! AND THAT’S JUST RUDE!
Um, OK, Margie.
Jeremy & Sandy are at the shrine.
JEREMY: Here we are.
SANDY: Pay attention because we’re going to have to re-assemble.
JEREMY: OK. I’m gonna take notes.
Get your game face on, Jer!
That kid isn’t wearing a helmet! And look at that toddler on the bike who also isn’t wearing a helmet!
ZAC: We should take notes.
LAURENCE: No no. We’ve got to get this thing packed up.
ZAC: We didn’t take any notes.
LAURENCE: Not a problem.
It’s all of that wisdom stored in your dad’s sweaty noggin of his currently paying off, Zac!
SANDY: Silver thing.
JEREMY: I’ve got that.
SANDY: Gold thing.
JEREMY: I’ve got that.
Jennifer teaches everyone a lesson on how to be religious.
JENNIFER: Doing this, while it may not be the same religion as mine, it still warrants the same amount of respect. I wouldn’t want somebody coming into my church and disrespecting my apostles or anything like that.
“Except Scientologists. I just don’t get those guys. What’s with all of the kidnappings, yo?”
“And the pyramid schemes?”
Jennifer asks the judge for confirmation.
“This is such a huge setback!”
“Oh wait. . .”
“No it’s not.”
Amani & Marcus and Ernie & Cindy continue to ride.
Swing down, sweet chariot stop. . .
Liz & Marie are in their songthaew.
They stick their heads out the window like a couple of dogs!
LIZ: We just saw a sign for–
LIZ & MARIE: Elephant Show!
LIZ: It’s it’s
MARIE: It’s it’s
LIZ & MARIE: Our favourite–
MARIE: It’s my favourite animal!
One twin at a time when speaking, please.
And nobody tell Liz & Marie that this is the most that the elephants are allowed to roam, and whichever elephant is out of sync during the show will have its tusks harvested by the end of the month.
Laurence & Zac are at the second Roadblock. Zac has to do it.
ZAC: Uh oh. . .
Maybe your dad knew this would be the Roadblock and just wanted you to build character, Zac. Sadly no one helps him.
Jeremy & Sandy are fourth to the second Roadblock.
JEREMY: Re-assemble your house. OK, I am going. It’s gonna be easy I think.
Zac may be the one still in school, but it was Jeremy who did the diligent note-taking on this task. Also, look at him muscle around that shrine!
“That’s it. I am going to get emancipated and move out.”
Bill & Cathi are seventh to the first Roadblock. Kitty Foreman—er, I mean Cathi is gonna do it.
CATHI: Who wants to hear some Water Music? I do!
“Playing with the koi with a Thai flutist just sounds lovely! And I’ll make some brownies afterwards when we get home!”
Cathi goes into the river.
“The current is taking me away! Help me, Bill!”
Zac is rejected.
Jeremy eyes his masterpiece.
And we’re not talking about his watch and 90s inspired NBA wrist strap.
HEY! WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH THAT, LOGAN?!
JEREMY: Zac is doing this Roadblock right now with me. Ladies are in the right spot.
Red are on the right?
I could’ve sworn it was jokers on the right, but whatever.
Zac is wrong again, but Jeremy isn’t.
“So long, motherfucker!”
Jeremy opens the clue.
JEREMY: Bangkok. Sweet!
Zac is rejected once more and decides to go back.
LAURENCE: Zac, what are you doing?
ZAC: I told you we need to take notes.
The prison bars are a metaphor for Laurence’s inability to think beyond the borders for what to do in a task.
LAURENCE: Don’t blame me. You’re responsible.
ZAC: Where’s our driver?
LAURENCE: We’re losing time here.
Zac isn’t even paying attention to his father. It’s probably the smartest thing he has done all day.
Laurence walks away in disgust.
O RLY, Laurence?
Because if it’s one thing we know about people once they reach fifty, it’s that their short term memory improves and is far more efficient than that of a nineteen year old who is two years off from the peak in short term memory.
My dad is being a jerk.”
“Don’t you mean a little B, hon?”
LAURENCE: What a pain in the ass.
Laurence can’t see this, but two dragons are sticking his tongue out at him right now.
Commercial break. We resume.
I am amazed that monk isn’t falling asleep on the job.
We rewatch Zac going back to the original site. Laurence says tasks like this aren’t Zac’s forte. He is frustrated.
Cathi has collected the clue.
Where did she find that log?
Bill & Cathi open the clue.
CATHI: Yo! Elephant!
“Hey, I’ve been carrying your lazy asses around all day through jagged rocks and swift currents. I need a break too, y’know.”
Liz & Marie are at the reserve.
“I have always wanted to see a purple elephant.”
Liz & Marie see their Speed Bump and the elephants next to it and start squealing.
The first team that will be happy to have a Speed Bump in TAR history.
Phil says the Speed Bump is that Liz & Marie have to wash and clean after their local transport.
To quote Liz & Marie, this Speed Bump is literally shit.
But somehow less figurative shit than this Speed Bump.
Liz & Marie will volunteer to wash every single one of those elephants.
Again, better than untying a fucking knot.
Liz & Marie continue to squeal and cheer.
It’s like they just won the Showcase Showdown on The Price is Right.
Liz & Marie start shovelling shit into a bucket.
“And you think you have a shit job.”
LIZ: I’m actually really happy to do this because I love elephants so much.
It would have been funnier if this was the whole Speed Bump, and that Liz & Marie never actually get to touch the elephants.
Much like what Ann & Diane said in TAR Asia 2, the elephant dung doesn’t smell that bad.
Zac has returned to the shrine to take down notes.
He is like Sorian Sprocket!
Ernie & Cindy and Amani & Marcus are at the shrine and only Amani takes notes.
She learned her lesson from the Andy & Tommy incident at the Joe Jer Carter Roadblock.
Cindy wants to go back and look at one of the other shrines before they go to the other site.
Ernie pulls a Laurence as he shuts down a good idea.
Laurence describes Zac as tenacious when he returns.
Cindy is questioning her decision to listen to the ‘B’ student.
Zac gets the clue in fourth place. He is frustrated he didn’t take notes.
Ernie & Cindy open up the Roadblock.
CINDY: You remember?
ERNIE: I think so.
“I think so. . .kinda. . .no, not really.”
Amani is glad she took notes. Ernie realizes how tough it is.
Marcus asks Cindy if they took notes, and says Ernie was the one who discarded the idea of taking notes.
“My notes would have been colour-coded.”
Liz & Marie are done shovelling shit. Now it’s time for the fun part!
LIZ/MARIE (squealing like a mouse): SO AWESOME
They both keep shaking and squealing before they even start.
How is the elephant not startled?
Liz couldn’t be happier about this.
Both of them cannot stop squealing the whole time and squeal even more when the elephant starts making noise.
Cathi sees the twins doing the Speed Bump.
Bill doesn’t get the chair nor the umbrella. Also, where is the driver?!
Bill asks the girls how their Speed Bump is going.
“Hi Mom! Hi Dad! Look at what we get to do! We’re helping the Petersontrangladfjdasschan with their elephants!”
Liz & Marie are done their Speed Bump. How good is the elephant feeling after being washed?
Too good, some would say.
Liz & Marie get sprayed before they get back onto the rocks.
If you ask me, Liz & Marie are going to be the ones who need washing after a task like this.
They hop onto an elephant.
I think Marie (or Liz?) is scared because the driver is more focused on the umbrella rather than the elephant.
MARIE: This is the best day of my life. Like, no joke.
I can see that.
Andy & Tommy arrive at the bus station. The songthaew asks for 150 Dollars US. It is a very steep price that Andy & Tommy try to haggle, but the price stands.
Tommy whistles at the price.
“Dude, we should have used Uber.”
Andy & Tommy are told there is a 4:30pm bus to Bangkok that gets in at 6:00am. Hopefully no additional equalizers once there.
“Peace out, wallet.”
Justin & Jennifer see Andy & Tommy at the ticket counter.
Justin does not like the low window for the ticket counter.
Jeremy & Sandy haggle with their driver.
JEREMY: How much?
DRIVER: 4, 500 baht.
JEREMY: That’s a lot.
SANDY We have money from our last leg. Laurence and Zac just got here.
(They enter the bus station.)
JEREMY: When is the next bus to Bangkok?
JEREMY: Yes. Okay. OK. Thank you.
Jeremy is too good for any of this bending down stuff.
Laurence & Zac book a 4:30pm bus but with a different company.
The four teams board the bus.
FIRST BUS (4:30PM)
ANDY & TOMMY
JUSTIN & JENNIFER
JEREMY & SANDY
SECOND BUS (ALSO 4:30PM)
LAURENCE & ZAC
Zac points something out.
“C’mon. Don’t be silly, Zac.”
What’s with dads always wanting first class on The Amazing Race?
So is Laurence right about being allowed to use a first class bus? The verdict?
Ah. I see.
Is Ernie having fun back at the Roadblock?
Ernie’s re-assembling is not accepted. Ernie decides to go back as Cindy reminds him he should have written it down.
I never knew a dragon’s body works well as a pillow.
Amani’s shrine is complete.
“We passed them!”
Frequently dropping to sixth place over the past couple days out of eight teams must be killing Cindy right now. Especially when those two teams are grandparents and the other has been eighth to tenth since the start of the season.
Liz & Marie reach the first Roadblock.
Liz & Marie are the only team to grab the clue without either one exiting the elephant. They always do everything in an odd way.
LIZ OR MARIE: I’m gonna do it. . .Marie is gonna do it.
Ah. So that was Marie speaking.
I love how there had to be a pause before Marie said her own name. It is as if the guy behind the camera shrugged at them as if to say “how the fuck are we supposed to know which one of you is doing it? We can’t just take your word for it when it comes to the Roadblock count.”
Marie jumps in.
Marie clearly stole one of Cindy’s shirts.
She quickly retrieves the wrapped koi.
Bill & Cathi both take notes on the Spirit House. Ernie takes notes too.
ERNIE: And then we’ve got the ladiessssss right here.
Oh man! I didn’t know Ernie wanted to hit that!
He is back in his songthaew.
ERNIE: If I don’t get this, Cindy is going to kill me.
It would be a one-way ticket to Death Row. If Cindy chose to strangle him with one of the dragon statues, that would be hilarious. Hopefully it makes the edit.
An aerial view of downtown Phuket.
Zac re-reads the clue. He realizes a first class bus was indeed forbidden. Laurence & Zac run up to the driver to tell them to let them off.
Which shouldn’t be too hard.
Because there is only four other people on the whole damn bus.
Luckily the driver stops before Laurence dives through the door.
LAURENCE: We’re screwed now.
It depends how far away from the Phuket Bus Terminal you were before deciding to jump out.
NOTE: This is now the third major mistake made by Laurence so far in the game.
Ernie hopes he has it. Bill is there to do the Roadblock. Ernie gets rejected again but makes one additional swap before getting it right.
CATHI: Tough day?
But it doesn’t mean Cindy was ready to sleep with the fishes before feeding the fishes.
ERNIE: I screw up again.
CINDY: It’s okay.
Translation: It’s not okay.
Laurence & Zac are stuck backtracking to the bus station.
“Hey Zac, should we get first class tickets again?”
Liz & Marie are at the shrine and surprisingly take notes. Bill receives his clue.
Monks don’t hug, Bill.
“Yay! I’m ready for another Mai Tai!”
“That’s my pun you jerk!”
Cathi’s head either hurts from dehydration and/or the Mai Tais from the last pit stop.
Liz & Marie are at the second Roadblock. They correctly guessed what the task will be.
MARIE: Liz tried to take notes so hopefully she’ll be able to get this, but I’m worried because her memory isn’t the best.
“Otherwise we’re screwed.”
Hopefully she can read her own writing.
Amani & Marcus and Bill & Cathi both book a 5:30pm bus to Bangkok.
SECOND REAL BUS (5:30PM)
AMANI & MARCUS
BILL & CATHI
Where in the world are Ernie & Cindy?
Ernie & Cindy, who are somehow seventh, try to pay their songthaew driver in US Dollars but he doesn’t want it. He wants 4, 500 Thai baht.
The Thai version of Common just won’t have it.
Ernie ignores this and asks Cindy to give him a hundred bucks.
It’s Ernie’s way of telling you to kiss his dirty baht.
And nobody tells Thai Common to kiss his baht.
Ernie & Cindy book tickets for the 5:30pm bus.
Cindy has a visitor.
ERNIE: That’s USD. That’s much more.
If it was LSD rather than USD, Ernie may have gotten away with it.
The Songthaew Police magically appears without warning.
“Who is talking?”
Who is Cindy talking to?
It is an unnamed woman from the omnipresent Songthaew Police. I don’t know why she is pointing at his crotch.
“I am here to protect your rights!”
CINDY: All of a sudden this crazy woman comes out telling us we’re ripping him off.
I love how Ernie & Cindy don’t know who she is. Ernie suddenly turns to her.
ERNIE: Who are you?
“Seriously? Where are you from?”
(ERNIE proceeds to talk to their driver.)
ERNIE: You taking the money or not.
(WOMAN says something.)
ERNIE: I don’t even know who you are. Do you even want the money or not?
CINDY: C’mon. You were a terrible driver!
“Don’t do it, man.”
He declines the offer.
Actually, the crazy woman is correct. 100 US Dollars is indeed far less than 4, 500 Thai Baht.
CINDY: You take it. We’re going.
You know how Liz & Marie said it was their favourite day on the race? I don’t think Ernie & Cindy are saying the same thing.
“Not on my watch! I am the Great Phuket Defender!”
Oh shit. The stakes have been raised.
Something tells me it won’t be as entertaining as Colin’s run-in with the police over a cab fare.
ERNIE: We don’t have time to exchange money.
And she knows this.
Cindy admits defeat. Something she rarely does.
WOMAN: OK. OK.
“Let’s just say I won and call it a day.”
CINDY: Why did you do this to us?
ERNIE: I can’t believe you did that to us. You’re a terrible driver!
“And your family sucks too!”
“And I prefer LL Cool J!”
CINDY: It was not our finest hour. That behaviour is not acceptable in our lives, but the race is so stressful.
That stress is 100 percent legit.
THIRD BUS (ALSO 5:30PM)
ERNIE & CINDY
Amani & Marcus see Ernie & Cindy on the other bus.
MARCUS: I wanna go. C’MON BUSSAY!
Marcus tries to fire up the driver like it’s a sporting event to go.
Laurence & Zac are almost back at the bus terminal.
LAURENCE: We cannot take a first class bus.
I think Zac already knows this. Is that a reminder for yourself, Laurence?
Ernie & Cindy see Laurence & Zac walking.
Yellow is not the best colour for camouflage.
CINDY: They looked busted.
ERNIE: They looked pretty bad.
I have never heard of a tired person before being referred to as “busted”.
It’s a Chicago term, I bet.
Urban Dictionary didn’t help me this time.
MARCUS: Bye Zac. Bye Laurence. Peace!
Hilarious taunting by Marcus. Too bad the father and son can’t hear him.
Laurence & Zac are booking another ticket.
ZAC: What’s your next second class bus to Bangkok?
Well, that’s one way to lose three and a half hours.
Liz completes the second Roadblock. It’s still daylight when they are riding in the songthaew.
LIZ: Just keep going.
That smile will vanish once the price of the fare is announced.
LAURENCE: We are on an eight o’ clock bus to Bangkok. With a crying baby in the background.
LAURENCE: I’ll be strangling a cat.
I hear first class buses do not have crying babies on it. Perhaps that is what Laurence wanted to avoid.
FOURTH BUS (8:00PM)
LAURENCE & ZAC
It pulls out.
Liz & Marie are at the bus terminal. Let’s settle up this bill.
Marie tries to gauge the driver’s reaction to the money she has given thus far.
MARIE: I think we need more. Go buy our ticket to get money back.
Assuming you -get- money back, Marie.
Liz & Marie are told the bus is about to leave Bangkok.
That bus is gonna be their last shot at staying in the race.
Liz & Marie find somebody to translate the negotiation. Marie shows all of the money currently in her possession.
So naturally they are going to take more when they see more. They ask for all of the money in sight.
Since Liz & Marie’s funds are so low, I assume they only have one hundred dollars as the driver asks for forty more to match the price that the other teams paid.
LIZ & MARIE: That is all I have.
LOCAL: You need money.
In the words of Michael Jackson, this is it.
I have never seen a human being look more disgusted in his life. He is PISSED.
The clock is ticking, ladies.
MARIE: We have to get on that bus. If we don’t get on that bus, we have to buy another ticket. And we don’t have money to buy another ticket.
This is their absolute last shot to stay alive.
MARIE: There goes the bus.
And there it goes.
“You happy with yourself now, buddy?”
“Hmph. You deserved it.”
Commercial break. We resume. The driver not only accepts the money but agrees to drive them to their bus where it has stopped a couple of blocks away! That is insanely lucky. Both squeal.
LIZ: I’M SO EXCITED! HOLY CRAP! OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD!
Simmer down, Liz.
Hopefully they can do the rest of the round on foot in Bangkok.
To Bangkok! For one lousy route marker!
Where are the pink taxis?
Ernie & Cindy are nervous being alone on the bus. Everyone on the other buses are worried about bus delays and extra passengers being dropped off.
SANDY: We’re on the bus with Justin & Jennifer and Andy & Tommy. We’re supposed to, we thought, arrive at 5:30 and it is now 6:00am.
Hey, pink taxis!
Will Andy & Tommy sweep for the fourth leg in a row?
An all too familiar sign we have seen in other TAR instalments.
It’s time for the Bangkok Bus Terminal. Ernie & Cindy are first because they were the only ones with an express bus.
FIRST BUS TO ARRIVE
ERNIE & CINDY
CINDY: We were in Bangkok two and a half years ago.
ERNIE: I don’t think being in Bangkok at all is gonna help us here really at all.
CINDY: Unless they tell us to find some Ladyboys. We know where that’s at.
FUN FACT: That’s how Ernie & Cindy first met!
And yes, this does in fact become a task during the next Bangkok visit in TAR 26. Ernie & Cindy were on the wrong season!
Although I don’t think this guy would know exactly where to go.
SECOND BUS TO ARRIVE
ANDY & TOMMY
JEREMY & SANDY
JUSTIN & JENNIFER’S
Tommy says their bus made a lot of stops.
JEREMY: Sandy, c’mon.
Andy likes the colourful taxis.
Jeremy & Sandy approach a cab.
SANDY: Bangkok Noi Canal?
THIRD BUS TO ARRIVE
AMANI & MARCUS
BILL & CATHI
That looks like a good hiding place.
Amani & Marcus instruct their driver to follow Bill & Cathi’s cab.
Bill & Cathi have no idea if they are in front or behind due to how split the buses are.
Laurence & Zac repeat the same thing about the unknown position.
Liz & Marie repeat the same thing about the unknown position.
MARIE: We’re dead last and we haven’t seen teams in over twenty-four hours.
Wrong. You saw Bill & Cathi.
Liz is tying back her hair in preparation for the fish.
MARIE: We have to walk everywhere because we have no money now. Now we have to go feed fish.
LIZ: Marie hates fish.
MARIE: I hate fish.
They both hate fish.
Ernie & Cindy are at Bangkok Noi.
And who the hell is that?
Ernie & Cindy feed the fish and remark on the huge fish.
Yep. They came to Bangkok just to feed fish.
Because Ernie & Cindy read it is time to go to the next pit stop.
Phil says the pit stop is the home of a former Thai Prime Minister.
Can they feed the fish in this pond too?
He doesn’t look very charismatic.
Phil says the architecture of this guy’s house stands in stark contrast to the contemporary buildings of Bangkok.
Last team named Liz & Marie to check in here WILL be eliminated!”
Ernie & Cindy hop into the same cab.
ERNIE: He is going to phone a friend. Good to have your lifelines.
And in a city as congested as Bangkok, the Ask the Audience lifeline would be another very easy one to use.
Ernie & Cindy blow it up like an episode of Bill Nye Saves the World.
The traffic is blocking Andy & Tommy, Jeremy & Sandy, and Justin & Jennifer.
SANDY: We’ve gone one street block in twenty minutes.
They do not care for it.
Bill & Cathi’s driver takes a shortcut which puts them at the route marker in second and Amani & Marcus in third.
Both teams have really improved their position this leg thanks to the buses and cab drivers.
Bill & Cathi are done.
CATHI: Thank you VERY much.
Cathi is super polite to the fishfeeder.
Bill & Cathi and Amani & Marcus talk to one of the cab drivers.
Or rather, Cathi does all of the work and Marcus plays with his goatee.
Bill is inside of the cab and starts doing this First Nations chant from inside while waving his hands back and forth.
That won’t get annoying for the cab driver in ten seconds.
MARCUS: I hate to run this thing against Bill & Cathi.
“Really, honey? You’re afraid of losing a sprint to two people in their 60s?”
FOURTH BUS TO ARRIVE
LAURENCE & ZAC
They get a taxi.
A thirteen hour bus ride hurts the ol’ neck.
FINAL BUS TO ARRIVE
LIZ & MARIE
They are told it is just three blocks away.
LIZ: No mon-o, no fun-o.
Liz tries to snag her purse.
That seems really short.
Yeah. Not three blocks.
Prepare for much-o no fun-o.
Cindy is stressed out by the traffic.
I think this is one of the side effects of Cindy wanting to be in control.
Bill & Cathi and Amani & Marcus are encountering little traffic.
CINDY: I am so pissed we got out of that cab.
Because these guys just have to beat a pair of sixty year olds to claim the prize for this leg of the race, and still leave you guys with a lousy Express Pass.
MARCUS: It’s gonna be a foot race. They look like Ma and Pa, but they can run.
AMANI: Don’t let them fool you.
I have a tough time believing they’ll beat out a professional NFL player.
A taxi blocks Amani & Marcus.
MARCUS: Hey y’all! Get it out of the road!
Yeah, Marcus is not happy.
Marcus orders his driver to turn around and go another route. Both teams are shown jumping out and running to the house.
Phil points out the incoming team.
Unfortunately no pit stop greeter crossovers for this Thai round. Sorry Paula from TAR Asia 2!
They have no idea if they are first or seventh.
FIRST PLACE: AMANI & MARCUS
“Raise the roof!”
Amani is SCREAMING.
I think Cathi may have overheard the news.
Phil invites Bill & Cathi onto the mat.
No more lucky number seven for them.
Bill would dump a bucket of gatorade on Marcus if he could.
SECOND PLACE: BILL & CATHI
They can now be taken seriously by the other teams. No sudden drop to the middle like the other times when they found themselves in the lead.
Sure, going from seventh to second required a bit of luck this round, but given everything they have done since round two, they are a legitimate team in this race.
Amani & Marcus have won a trip to Bali including a spaaaa and massaaaage.
What’s even more amazing is that Marcus went through the whole round without making a NFL reference–
MARCUS: We are like a NFL team. We struggled a little bit early to get our momentum, if we can keep it going, I think we’re a team to watch out for come playoff time.
“Oh. Did I just talk about football again?”
Yes you did, Marcus.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 6
And he is so damn proud of himself for that.
Ernie & Cindy are next to the mat.
They get the Stink Eye from the pit stop for some reason.
They are not expecting much.
THIRD PLACE: ERNIE & CINDY
Everyone has clearly assumed the worst today.
Liz & Marie find a local to ask for further directions. I am assuming they have ran more than three blocks.
How long will it take to walk to Bangkok Noi, Mr. Local?
It’s like Twin Goldilocks and the Three Bears of giving directions. One lied and said it was too short, and this guy is lying and saying it is too far.
Marie is feeling too guilty to ask for money to hire a cab given which part of Bangkok they are currently in.
Good luck finding cash laying around here.
LIZ: I guess what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
And I guess what pride you refuse to sacrifice will guarantee your elimination.
Major Bison, I think it’s time. Liz & Marie refuse to ask for more money or free rides from the locals. The floor is yours.
Andy & Tommy are at Bangkok Noi.
JEREMY: I see a team. Let’s go.
Jeremy sees Andy & Tommy. He and Sandy are also now at Bangkok Noi.
Both teams feed the fish.
JEREMY: Wow, look at this fish.
SANDY: Oh my gosh.
They are done feeding the fish.
JEREMY: Thank you.
SANDY: Thank you.
JEREMY: Warning: Last team to check in may be eliminated.
Andy & Tommy start running cause they are told it is across the water.
And because Tommy just loves to run.
Jeremy tries to stop a tuk tuk.
The rainbow coloured seating is rad.
JEREMY: Wait wait. You take us?
JEREMY: Let’s take it, Sandy. This might be faster. Zoom zoom, race.
“Imma sniff you. Do you use Tide on the Go?”
Justin & Jennifer proceed to feed the fish and hire a cab.
Let’s check in on Liz & Marie.
I feel bad for the video and audio crew that have to keep up with them this whole time.
That guy is wearing a really long shirt.
Liz & Marie agree to ask a taxi driver to take them for free.
MARIE: We have no money. Will you take us?
TAXI DRIVER: . . .
Once he realizes they are being serious, he starts laughing at them.
They should say “back to Phuket so we can play with the elephants.”
He wants to confirm that they really just did ask him for a ride without cash.
It was crazy enough to work. For the third time in two rounds, Liz & Marie receive a free cab ride.
And it was a good thing they did.
LIZ: Never underestimate the generosity of people.
Ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm. . .
. . .He may or may not be expecting you guys to put out.
Andy & Tommy stop by a random store to ask for directions.
“Look at our clue.”
Hopefully they only read the top part.
The woman steps away to look up directions.
The waiting game begins.
I stand corrected.
The waiting game has just begun.
Andy & Tommy reveal this place is a school.
I have no idea what she is doing nor why Andy & Tommy aren’t just taking the clue back and asking other people where to go.
Laurence & Zac feed the fish and are in seventh place. Andy & Tommy continue to wait.
ANDY: We can start pacing. That helps. Wanna pace?
I have heard only crazy people start pacing.
A new woman emerges with news about their clue’s whereabouts.
Well that was a mistake.
I bet the route info is quickly becoming the most popular item in today’s Show-And-Tell.
TOMMY: We need to go.
ANDY: We’re in a race.
WOMAN: Oh, okay.
ANDY: No, not okay.
TOMMY: Oh my gosh. She has the clue.
ANDY: Can we go up there?
TEACHER: No, no.
“We could probably outrun her, dude.”
ANDY: Can you call her?
The teacher exits.
Tommy’s facial expression is identical to the mannequin’s.
Commercial break. We resume.
Andy asks Tommy to keep the faith.
ANDY: Anything could happen and it’s God’s will. It will be done.
TOMMY: God is always there with us and he is going to help us.
“I don’t know if his visa grants him entry into Buddhist territory, though.”
Eventually a random man emerges to give them directions. It is clear they need a taxi.
That guy does not look like a very happy man.
Andy & Tommy say it is a wild goose chase after entering the taxi.
Justin & Jennifer run onto the mat. Jennifer steps on it with a whimper.
“C’mon Phil, give us the good news.”
FOURTH PLACE: JUSTIN & JENNIFER
“Oh, that’s it?”
JUSTIN: We were hoping for first, but we’ll take fourth.
They were expecting first place? Oh my word.
“You are agreeing to take fourth place as if you have the choice, Justin? How about you just take whatever fucking place I give you no matter what, huh? I’m Phil Keoghan. My name is in the intro for season 30 now. I’m the fuckin’ man.”
“Like this. In fact, let me show you what else I can do. . .”
“This is you in the intro, right?”
“See? I just fucking ruined your life just like that. I annexed your ass.”
Jeremy & Sandy are pulled over on the side of the road.
JEREMY: Kukhrit Heritage Home? How far?
LOCAL: Not far.
JEREMY: Walking? Down the alley?
SANDY: We walk?
JEREMY: Yeah. We’re going on foot.
SANDY: Are you sure? What if we’re going the total wrong way.
JEREMY: Let’s go.
SANDY: We don’t know where we are, Jeremy.
Once again, Jeremy & Sandy deal with conflict in a normal and sane people manner.
Liz & Marie are the last team to feed fish after putting out off-screen. The footage is lost forever.
“Elephants were better!”
They had to beg for a songthaew ride, buy a bus ticket, and beg for a cab ride just to feed some fish in Bangkok. Hilarious.
They read the clue to discover one last cab ride remains.
“What are we going to have to literally suck this time?”
Thank God producers are around to make sure everything is safe.
Free. . .what? The ellipsis makes me uneasy.
“How do we keep doing this?”
“My stallion awaits!”
Jeremy & Sandy keep running through the streets.
That hedge between them is the perfect metaphor for their relationship over the past two rounds. . .or is just a hedge between them on the streets of Bangkok.
SANDY: We’re lost. We can’t find where this heritage home is. How far a walk?
LOCAL: Thirty minutes.
SANDY: We’re we’re getting the wrong directions. You wanna ask this taxi?
(JEREMY shows the clue to a pink taxi.)
JEREMY: How far?
DRIVER: Far, far.
JEREMY: OK. I don’t know how people are gonna do this without money. It’s like legit taking cabs all over the place.
SANDY: We’ve lost a lot of time today. We could be dead last and we have no idea.
“Like, unless I became a gigilo, I don’t know how you could finish this leg with only Indonesian currency in your pocket.”
Andy & Tommy hop onto the mat.
Before Phil can say anything. . .
Familiar company shows up, and they weren’t even on the same bus.
FIFTH PLACE: ANDY & TOMMY
SIXTH PLACE: LAURENCE & ZAC
Everything is just peachy.
Phil wants to ask Laurence & Zac a question.
No matter how this plays out, Zac foresees embarrassment.
PHIL: Can I just ask you guys what you were thinking when you got off the bus?
LAURENCE: We realized the first bus we were on was a first class bus. We ran three miles back to the bus stop and got a second class ticket.
“Uh. . .huh.”
PHIL: In regards to the first class travel, that rule only applies to air travel.
PHIL: So you were right to get on the bus. You guys could have been eliminated from the race just because of that choice. You lost a lot of time.
“We don’t play by TAR Australia’s rules. I mean, I am from New Zealand. No way in hell would I allow that.”
“It’s my damn wisdom again.”
The last two teams in cabs, albeit several hours apart.
SANDY: I hope this is right.
JEREMY: I’m nervous about this, though.
SANDY: If this is the end for us, I’m very proud of Jeremy.
(JEREMY starts chewing the air in a weird close-up.)
It’s so weird. It’s like a dog in front of a fan for a few seconds.
SANDY: He has done more than what I expected.
JEREMY: If this is the end, I am very proud of you too.
SANDY: Thanks, babe.
Liz & Marie have viewed today as a hard day due to lack of funds.
SANDY: Not happy with the race that we ran. Wanted to make it farther along than this.
LIZ: Slowly but surely it worked out for us, though.
Of course we immediately cut to Jeremy & Sandy hit the mat.
PHIL: Jeremy & Sandy. . .I guess you have a pretty good idea of what I am going to say?
SANDY: Here for hours running around. It’s been a rough day. Really rough day.
It was one clue, Sandy.
Phil stops trolling them and makes it official.
SEVENTH PLACE: JEREMY & SANDY
Look at what you did, Phil.
PHIL: I can just eliminate you if you wanted.
“Or I can say you are team number one. I love fun games like that.”
PHIL: You want to stay in it?
PHIL: Really badly?
SANDY: Very badly.
Then Liz & Marie step onto the mat.
“Please tell us Bill & Cathi got confused.”
Phil breaks familiar news to them.
LITERALLY LAST PLACE: LIZ & MARIE
They say it wasn’t about the money and how it was all for their dad.
I presume the audience is more sympathetic to their motivation for running the race than Corinne.
They talk about their dad some more.
It’s an emotional exit.
And in a surprise to no one, possibility of an all-female team winning for the third season in a row is already extinct by the end of the fifth round.
That was quick.
Next Time on TAR: In the warm heart of Africa, teams take on tobacco, and it’s anyone’s game in a gruelling race to the finish.
SANDY: My shoulder is bleeding.
RYAN STORMS 0
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) Fuckit, Thailand -> Bangkok, Thailand
I think we were all fearing the same thing: When teams had to take the bus to Bangkok, the possibility of a mass equalizer would have really messed up this round.
Luckily that wasn’t the case, but the luck of what bus you chose shifted the standings more than they should. Thankfully it produced the same elimination outcome, and didn’t truly affect anything long term. However, it was still a silly design.
In contrast to the other Bangkok legs that I have seen, it isn’t the most draining one that I have seen. Nobody fainted or anything. The only exhausted team was Laurence & Zac for needlessly ditching a first class bus or Liz & Marie who had almost no Thai money for most of this leg.
Once again, this season struggles with interesting tasks.
Disassemble and re-assemble a spirit house at a temple.
Search a river for a couple of minutes to find a wrapped koi.
Wash an elephant as a Speed Bump.
By far the most interesting part of the episode and what makes it rank higher than most of the earlier legs is that the scramble from the bus station to Bangkok Noi to the pit stop caused a lot of trouble for teams. Liz & Marie were given bad directions, Andy & Tommy lost a ton of time by hanging around a school, Jeremy & Sandy didn’t know what the hell to do, and Ernie & Cindy’s bus station frustrations and traffic frustrations led to a big shuffle right before the pit stop.
I mean, the elephants were cool, but this was the fourth episode in a row where we have seen an elephant this season. It was like a stampede.
Producers trying to leave a hint for teams to take notes on the spirit house was also a slight boost for this episode. Seeing people like Andy & Tommy, Laurence, and Ernie shut down the notion of re-assembling the spirit house was funny to watch. It wasn’t a bad idea for a Double Roadblock implementation.
Once again, a significant amount of airtime is dedicated to Ernie & Cindy and demonstrating the contrast in their personalities, and how they handle a major confrontation with a local. Given the circumstances, they didn’t go over-the-top in the moment and handled themselves quite well in confessionals when talking about the incident. Producers really want to make it their season, and give them a relatively positive edit.
However, not everyone was able to get away with a positive edit this round. Andy & Tommy stirred up a huge controversy that is still talked about online to this day. Even months after the episode aired, Andy & Tommy couldn’t respond to it in a way that produced much forgiveness from the online community. I am interested where the conversation would have gone if one of the interviewers wanted a more extended dialogue about this topic and give themselves a chance for redemption or be clearer about what they exactly meant. Because as it stands, Andy & Tommy are stuck being ranked 702nd out of all TAR teams worldwide by another TAR expert.
Another team that didn’t get such a positive edit was Laurence & Zac. Even with Bill being significantly older, Laurence was the one who came off as the grouchy old man. He told Zac not to take notes and then complained that Zac couldn’t memorize a series of subtle details while claiming he himself could do it without a single hiccup. Fast forward to the end of the episode where Phil mocks Laurence more than I have seen him mock anyone for jumping off of the first class bus.
Amani & Marcus and Bill & Cathi managed to go from frequent cellar-dwellers to claiming the top two spots for this leg. Neither team got much airtime because bigger storylines were going on, but at least we got to see both teams thinking they were the bottom two simply because of what has transpired in the past four legs. I bet both teams were riding a huge high before heading to Malawi. They were the teams that broke Andy & Tommy’s attempt to grow a hat trick into a grand slam.
Lastly, let’s talk about Liz & Marie. They received a significant amount of content in their elimination because of the unusual circumstances. It was an increasingly rare scenario where a team had to fight through multiple episodes without any cash and seeing their position continue to decline into a state of hopelessness. However, they absolutely LOVED playing with elephants in their Speed Bump. They would have probably traded the million dollars for the chance to play with elephants. The brief storyline of playing this race in honour of their recently deceased father was an added touch. None of the scenes seemed unnecessary.
P.S. Jeremy & Sandy fought through their issues like normal people.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
RANK THE TEAMS
1) Ethan Zohn & Jenna Morasca
This is more of a ranking to reflect Ethan’s presence rather than Jenna’s. It is always how I have felt about this seven year dating couple on Survivor. Their Survivor personalities were repeated here in TAR 19. Jenna was always pissed off and making big mistakes like forgetting the Detour clue while Ethan was positive, interesting, and fun to watch.
Editors appeared to have very little interest in showing Jenna. They wanted Ethan to do all of the talking which was probably wise in their limited run.
Out of all of the teams to go home on the first elimination leg, Ethan & Jenna rank high up there in terms of attention attracted by the other teams. There was a surprising number of scenes where teams were talking about how much they wanted Ethan & Jenna eliminated from the race. Thankfully Ethan & Jenna weren’t completely segregated as they were shown having fun with teams like Laurence & Zac and Andy & Tommy.
It is a shame that the Contradictory Sign and the Double Elimination twist had to combine their bad taxi driver to put them in a guaranteed spot to be eliminated. I am sure Ethan was mildly embarrassed to be eliminated because of a task that required them to give money to charity.
This was supposed to be Ethan & Jenna’s epic return to competitive reality TV, and they are barely a footnote in this season. In fact, Ethan nor Jenna have not made another appearance on Survivor or TAR since then. They really should have taken that initial offer of competing against each other on Survivor: South Pacific.
I am sad. My ten year old self wanted to watch Ethan try and win again.
2) Kaylani Paliotta & Lisa Tilley
In the first episode, they lost a passport and were saved by social media moments before Phil was going to eliminate them at the airport, thereby cancelling the Double Elimination twist.
In the second episode, they were about to be eliminated but were one of only three teams to correctly read a sign at an orphanage.
In the third episode, Kaylani missed her daughter. Then was eliminated.
That is the three episode story arc of Kaylani & Lisa.
Their opening confessional was making a comment that viewers and their opponents would only see them from the breasts and upwards. They also wanted to break the stereotype that models and showgirls have on The Amazing Race. Did they break the stereotype? Overall, probably not, but is it really Kaylani & Lisa’s responsibility to break that and rocks should be thrown at them if they didn’t succeed at that objective? Of course not. They’re just people.
I am amazed how invisible they were in the second episode. We see Kaylani cry at the pit stop and that’s it.
I am glad they found a new friend in the form of Ryan Storms ™ because of their TAR experience. That’s not a story you read about too often.
3) Liz Canavan & Marie Canavan
Much like Kami & Karli in TAR 5, a pair of female twins were a complete disaster on The Amazing Race. They didn’t try to board a plane without a boarding pass, but still.
You knew the chances of an all-female team winning this season was not very high after the first episode. Kaylani lost her passport and Liz couldn’t memorize a couple sentences in English. Literally.
They frequently hovered around the bottom and finished in eighth or worse in four out of their five legs. Their race truly ended at the start of round four when they forgot to exchange their Indonesian money into Thai money. Round four didn’t require much money, but Liz & Marie dropped to dead last due to their inability to fight the elements at the Detour. They finished round four hours and hours behind the other teams, and needed to stop and beg for rides non-stop in round five. I don’t think producers ever expected them to do well at any point this season.
There is something about twins on TAR where both racers think too much alike and are more prone to blatant blunders. I doubt twins will ever win a season of TAR because you need two people who think and perform in a slightly different manner.
This was confirmed by the fact that they kept finishing eighth over and over until they were eliminated.
Prior to the start of this season, I had absolutely no memory of anything Liz & Marie did. Thankfully now we have the Indonesian currency error and the running joke of overusing the word literally.
So yes. Liz & Marie now have a legacy in TARstorian. They will never be forgotten. You’re welcome.
In short: Nice people; terrible racers.
And that’s okay.
4) Ron Zeitz & Will Smith
I don’t have much to say about Ron & Bill. They liked sweating through blue shirts, Bill didn’t know how to dance, and had fun with Phil when they were eliminated.
Ron received very little airtime in contrast to Bill. None of the other teams ever talked about them, and they were never shown interacting with the other teams.
They just wanted a fun adventure as a couple. Unfortunately, their lack of hustle kept them on the bottom after their initial arrival at LAX. In fact, LAX is a great way to describe how they ran the race.
They were somehow eliminated before other teams who almost always struggled this season.
Below is a list of all teams from seasons I have blogged to date, ranked by racing average.
e.g. Don & Mary Jean finished 9th, 8th, 8th, 8th, and 8th. Add up the numbers and divide it by the number of legs they have played.
Therefore their average is 8.2.
Because of how long this list has become, I only show the relevant section where the eliminated team from this episode has fallen amongst the ranks of what TAR history has to offer.
9th David & Mary TAR 11: All Stars 9.0 TAR 11
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0 May or may not be gutsy. TAR 2
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0 TAR 6
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF TAR 3
10th Anne-Marie & Tracy 8.67 TAR Australia 1
8th Mo & Mos 8.60 Saved by NEL once TAR Australia 1
10th Mel & Mike 8.33 Mel died. TAR 18
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33 TAR 12
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33 TAR 4
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2 Saved by NEL once TAR 6
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0 TAR 10
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0 TAR 1
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 Yielded TAR 9
9th Jaime & Cara 7.8 U-Turned and Used U-Turn TAR 18
8th Liz & Marie 7.8 Saved by NEL once TAR 19
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 Sucked. TAR 13
7th Mika & Canaan 7.67 Why the heck did they sign up? TAR 15
9th Marcy & Ron 7.67 Bald. TAR 15
9th Isaac & William 7.5 TAR Asia 3
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33 TAR 5
9th Richard & Joey 7.25 U-Turned once TAR Australia 1
9th Alan & Wendy 7.25 Saved by NEL once TAR Asia 4
8th Manas & Sahil 7.0 TAR Asia 4
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/) TAR Asia 2
8th Aiello Family 7.0 TAR 8
8th Tom & Terry 7.0 TAR 10
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta TAR 1
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0 Producers refused to hay bail them. TAR 6
9th Kaylani & Lisa 7.0 Hazarded. Saved by Ryan Storms ™. TAR 19
10th Hope & Norm 7.0 TAR 2
10th Ethan & Jenna 7.0 TAR 19. Double Eliminated.
11th Ryot & Liberty 7.0 TAR Australia 1
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75 TAR Asia 3
7th Christie & Jodi 6.67 Saved by NEL TAR 14
9th Brad & Victoria 6.67 TAR 14
7th Alana & Mel 6.67 TAR Australia 1
6th Maria & Tiffany 6.57 Saved by NEL once and Justin’s blunder again TAR 15
9th Rogers Family 6.5 R.I.P. Renee. TAR 8
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5 TAR 7
11th Amanda & Kris 6.5 TAR 18 Automatic U-Turned.
6th Henry & Terri 6.44 Used Their Yield; Saved by a non-elimination round THREE times. R.I.P. Henry. TAR Asia 2
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43 Saved by NEL once TAR 1
8th Margie & Luke 6.4 TAR 18
9th Brett & Kinar 6.33 Rocky finish. TAR Asia 2