EPISODE BLOG #297
“Isn’t The Whole City Referred To As The Dump?”
CHINESE TAIPEI – INDONESIA – NOT LAOS – THAILAND – MALAWI – DENMARK – GERMANY – BELGIUM – NETHERLANDS – PANAMA – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Eleven teams began a race around the world. Along the way teams experienced thrilling rides and cultural highs. Teams faced the extreme. . .
SANDY: Oh god.
. . .and faced each other. After seven eliminations, Andy & Tommy, winners of six legs, faced a devastating defeat.
Ernie & Cindy came on the race ready to run. When things didn’t always work out as Cindy planned, the engaged couple pushed even harder but sometimes eased up as they earned a spot in the Final Three.
Throughout the race, Jeremy & Sandy weren’t always in sync but survived several close calls.
JEREMY: Drop it. You gotta get this on your shoulder.
SANDY: I’m trying. Stop yelling at me. That doesn’t help. . .we’ve had a rough day.
. . .To finally win a leg.
Amani & Marcus often dropped themselves into a hole, but with a fighting spirit, drawn from Marcus’ NFL past, and from their family bonds, the comeback kids always persevered to earn a spot in the Final Three.
Coming up tonight: One of these three teams will win the one million dollar prize and The Amazing Race.
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT
ANDY & TOMMY 8
AMANI & MARCUS 7
BILL & CATHI 4
ERNIE & CINDY 4
JUSTIN & JENNIFER 3
LIZ & MARIE 3
LAURENCE & ZAC 2
JEREMY & SANDY 2
ETHAN & JENNA 1
RON & BILL 1
KAYLANI & LISA 1
Phil introduces us to Panama City, the canal, and Panama Viejo.
Jeremy & Sandy won the last leg of the race at an unspecified time, and will depart first at 12:04am.
SANDY: Fly to your way—oh no, we’re going to Atlanta. That sucks.
That’s right, folks. Atlanta sucks. I am sure a bunch of viewers from Georgia are pissed off right now.
I mean, how can you diss the birthplace of OutKast, Ted Turner, Ludacris, Goodie Mob.
I mean, it isn’t just Jermaine Dupri.
Jeremy & Sandy went from being unacknowledged to being on the receiving end of hatred from America’s southeast.
Hey, at least you guys didn’t have to go to Wyoming.
Phil says teams will fly to Atlanta for the first and only time in TAR history. Once they’ve touched down, they must head to Flight Safety International where they will find their next clue.
The place that sucks.
Our third clue box of the season.
I think the Flight Safety lesson would be much better served at the beginning of the season rather than at the very end when all flights are done with for the year.
SANDY: This suuuuuuuucks.
You know what else sucks? When there’s only three teams left, and having to transcribe every word one of the teams will say this episode.
JEREMY (confessional): This is it. Final Three.
SANDY (confessional): We have to be perfect and continue to work together as a team.
SANDY: Aeroporto, por favor?
JEREMY: Air Puerto?
JEREMY (confessional): All we have to do is put the pieces we’ve learned throughout the race to get together and communicate with each other. I think we have a really good shot at winning this thing.
“Hmmmm. My one foot is slightly longer than the other foot.”
“Well, fuck you guys. I didn’t want to take you to the airport anyway.”
JEREMY: Neither of us have any experience in Atlanta and the other teams have. Extensive.
Jeremy strokes his itty bitty beard hairs contemplating this disadvantage.
SANDY: Well Marcus and Amani live in Atlanta. So that is a huge advantage for them. Huge. Huge. Huge. Huge. Huge.
“It’s ‘uge. Bigly.”
Ernie & Cindy depart second at 12:05am.
I think Cindy prepared for the race by reading six manuals in four languages about flight safety.
Cindy complains about Amani & Marcus’ advantage. She says TAR is the ultimate pre-marital counselling.
She figures out Amani & Marcus’ advantage right about here.
Cindy laughs at Ernie’s terrible Spanish accent.
Amani & Marcus depart in last at 12:06am. Amani reads the clue.
She figures out her advantage right about here.
AMANI: Excited to be in the Final Three. We feel we deserve to be here. We made a lot of comebacks.
MARCUS: Now it’s on to the Super Bowl and to win the race would be a life dream.
Once again, Marcus’ first confessional is about the NFL.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 18
Marcus could rack up a lot of them this round.
MARCUS: It’s home court advantage. Home field advantage.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 19
“We play Crib every week! Amani & Marcus should come to Oregon to play with us sometime!”
“Is that two references on NFL’s reference counter already?”
JEREMY: Forty? Four-zero?
SANDY: C’mon babe. Just give it to him.
JEREMY: That’s a lot.
Panama is the most expensive country in Central America because the US Dollar is their official currency. Should’ve used an Uber.
If Jeremy is supposed to give it to the driver, shouldn’t the driver be paying him and not the other way around???
Ernie & Cindy are dropped off at the airport.
Ernie has a very perplexed look on his face.
JEREMY: Everything is closed here.
SANDY: How much does this suck we’re going to Atlanta? They’ve lived there their whole lives.
AMANI: Hey y’all.
SANDY: Are you guys pumped you’re going home or what?
AMANI: Yeah, we’re a little excited.
SANDY: We’re all on the same flight.
They spend one final night at the airport.
They size each other up.
“I hope we have the final task at the Georgia Dome.”
We cut to the morning.
SANDY: We need two tickets to Atlanta, please.
Since this isn’t contemporary TAR, no luxury flights to the final destination city.
SANDY: Thank you.
JEREMY: Thank you so much.
SANDY: All teams are on the 8:30 flight to Atlanta. Game on.
JEREMY: Game on.
SANDY: Game is on.
Shhh. The game is on.
I don’t know why they wore garbage bags to the ticket counter.
Amani & Marcus receive their tickets.
“Hey Amani. My hand is bigger than my face!”
MARCUS: To finish this in the area we call home is amazing.
ERNIE: I’m ready to work some magic today.
CINDY: I’ve been working magic all race.
JEREMY: I’m anxious and there are no more friends right now. I’m ready to run and do whatever it takes to jump in front of them.
Marcus has one more thing he would like to add to this conversation.
MARCUS: We’re playing at home and the ball is on the ten yard lin and we have four plays to get it in. We just have to get out and get it done.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 20
“It’s gonna be a long flight to Panama, Cind.”
Sorry Cindy, but you’re seated directly behind Marcus. Prepare for a full extensive history lesson of the Falcons!
The flight takes off for Atlanta.
The closest TAR US will be to Cuba.
The flight lands in ATL. Lots of running.
JEREMY: Through here. Right here.
SANDY: Let’s go.
JEREMY: We’ve got to get a taxi.
Jeremy & Sandy ditched their bags in Panama.
Amani & Marcus have kept both bags.
Ernie has one backpack. Three different approaches here.
Marcus keeps an eye out for the other teams as they look up directions on a smartphone.
SANDY: Do you know where this is?
(Other teams are scrambling too.)
SANDY: Thank you.
JEREMY: OK. This way this way this way. You’ve got a full tank of gas? Show me show me show me. You’ve got GPS Navigation? OK. Go go go go.
Jeremy & Sandy are first in a cab followed by Amani & Marcus then Ernie & Cindy. Amani & Marcus were the only ones to look up the address on somebody’s smartphone. Jeremy got info from a help desk outside the airport. Cindy promised every driver she encountered a lot of money to driver her, but only one driver agreed to take her.
JEREMY: We’re in a race against these people.
Cindy borrws the driver’s cell phone. They’ll get directions while in transit.
This may have been the smartest move.
SANDY: Don’t tell the other taxi drivers.
Amani is panicking in the cab.
AMANI: We’re in a serious race, my man. This is serious. You see how I’m breathing? This is how serious it is.
“Sweat is coming through my Nike shirts. That’s how serious it is.”
“You alright, ma’am?”
Yet to be determined.
JEREMY: FlightSafety International. I see it.
SANDY: OK. You stay and wait for us.
JEREMY: Yep. I see it I see it. That’s our clue box.
SANDY: Clue box.
JEREMY: We’ve got to grab our box.
(JEREMY & SANDY jump out.)
JEREMY: Route Info.
This is how you open a clue, Andy.
PHIL: Just miles from the busiest airport in the world. . .
Wait, Atlanta has the busiest airport in the world?
Well I’ll be damned. Even one of Atlanta’s very own has a reaction to this.
“A hundred million people?! Who’d the city abduct to force everyone to go through that airport? Chelsea Clinton?!”
Phil says teams will take to the skies one more time in a multi-million dollar flight simulator.
After learning the intricacies of this flight simulator from a flight instructor, they must successfully land their aircraft from an altitude of 2, 500 feet. When the flight instructor feels they have earned their wings, he will give them their next clue.
Phil doesn’t get to go inside?
I hear this flight simulator is only slightly more intricate than Top Gun for the NES.
“My name is Bill and I intentionally dress myself and cut my hair in such a way that I guarantee I haven’t been on a date in over thirty years.”
Nobody has pulled off the slow creepy smile effect since Herman Cain.
SANDY: Choose a flight trainer.
JEREMY: Hi, how you doing.
SANDY: Hi, I’m Sandy. Pleasure.
It’s like The Bachelor.
Jeremy & Sandy go right past the creepy guy. Shut down!
Amani & Marcus are second to the route info.
Holy crap. Ernie & Cindy are in last place right now.
AMANI: C’mon baby. Get your pilot on.
Get your pilot on! Is that your cockpiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
SANDY: Oh my gosh. I’m gonna get planesick.
JEREMY: We work together.
SANDY: When your flight is over you will receive your next clue.
Getting plane sick on a thing that isn’t a real plane. That’d be a first.
“No carry-on bags are allowed on this flight. We made the right move, Sand.”
SANDY: Does this really move?
Amani & Marcus board their plane.
You may have to duck, Marcus.
Ernie & Cindy are last to the simulator.
Cindy still thinks it is rad.
SANDY: What if it moves? I’m gonna get plane sick.
JEREMY: This is awesome.
SANDY: This is a trip. Oh my gosh.
JEREMY (confessional): When we got there, I was stoked.
SANDY (confessional): Jeremy took the lead with captain and I was co-pilot.
JEREMY (confessional): I was excited. I wanted to be the captain. I wanted to fly that plane.
Marcus is the pilot.
MARCUS: I don’t like flying. Flying is nerve-wracking for me.
You know what I want in a pilot? Somebody who is afraid to even enter the structure where he will be completely responsible for operating it thousands of feet in the air.
“Maybe I should’ve been the pilot.”
Ernie & Cindy enter their Learjet. Cindy is very excited to do this.
For once, Cindy has to put up with a backseat driver.
“Can we pull over? I have to use the bathroom. Are we there yet?”
Cindy turns to Ernie.
CINDY: Let’s get it right the first time.
Ernie is scared what happens if he doesn’t.
JEREMY: Got this. Love this stuff.
SANDY: I’m gonna throw up.
Everyone is beginning the simulator.
SANDY: You have to—you have to read this.
JEREMY: Yep. Uh, flop’s twenty. Gear down.
SANDY: I do this first then this then slow?
JEREMY: You have to.
SANDY: Gotcha gotcha gotcha.
JEREMY: This is all by feel.
TRAINER: You guys ready to start?
JEREMY: Let’s give it a shot.
“If you throw up Sand, I’m never flying with you again.”
JEREMY: Flaps down. Flaps twenty. Gear down.
All three teams are shown randomly shouting “three green confirmed”. No idea what the fuck this means, but whatever.
Ernie says the simulator feels pretty real.
SANDY: We’re getting close. . .Five hundred feet outside!
I understand this task is neat if you are the one doing it, but as a viewer this isn’t the most exciting thing to watch because there are so many details we aren’t privy to and don’t quite understand what is going on.
Cindy coaches into messing up their first attempt.
TRAINER: We were so slow we were falling out of the sky. We were stalling.
“We were so slow that John Smoltz’s grandma could have walked faster than your plane.”
JEREMY: Here we go.
SANDY: We got this, babe.
AMANI: We got it, babe.
JEREMY: We got this.
Amani & Marcus are preparing to land.
TRAINER: Fifty. . .forty. . .thirty. . .
“I have a feeling this isn’t in yards.”
SANDY: Woohoo! Good job babe!
Marcus lands the plane sideways.
SANDY: Brake brake brake.
Trainer tells Marcus that the landing was a bit harsh.
For the first time ever, a NFL player wishes he was the kicker because he would’ve been able to land it between the lines.
SANDY: Oh baby.
SANDY (confessional): He did it on the first try. He nailed it.
JEREMY: Thank you. Good job babe. Let’s go. YEAH!
SANDY: Find the former residence known as The Dump.
“Well this doesn’t really narrow things down for us.”
Teams must figure out The Dump refers to the former residence of Margaret Mitchell. That’s the chick who wrote Gone With the Wind.
That was considered a dump?!
I can’t tell if she is standing or sitting.
“And if all of the racers look under their chairs, everyone is going home with a free copy!!!!”
Oh, she was sitting down.
SANDY: Let’s go.
JEREMY: Good job, babe.
SANDY: Marcus and Amani are still here.
JEREMY (confessional): When we ran out and realized the two cabs were still here, we had some fire in our bellies.
SANDY: Do you know the former residence known as The Dump? Can you look on your phone?
JEREMY: Maybe we can ask somebody out here.
SANDY: Take us to an interesection where we can ask somebody.
JEREMY: We need to ask somebody.
Do you guys need to ask somebody?
Marcus fucks up for the second time in a row.
Some people choke under pressure, but I think Marcus is ready to choke himself under pressure.
Ernie & Cindy complete the task.
CINDY: That was so whack.
I never knew the word ‘whack’ was in Cindy’s vocabulary.
Amani & Marcus hold a prayer prior to their third attempt.
“Please God, help us land this fake plane.”
Ernie & Cindy ask their driver Ben if he knows The Dump. I’d laugh so hard if they were taken to an actual garbage dump. Cindy borrows his cell phone again.
CINDY: Where is Jeremy & Sandy?
ERNIE: I think they finished already.
I like how this possibility didn’t come to Cindy’s mind.
If they don’t find The Dump, the driver will find Ernie creating a dump of his own in the backseat of his car.
We cut back to Amani & Marcus inside of the simulator.
Good luck explaining what’s going on here to the audience.
MARCUS: Flaps down. Get twenty.
For a second I thought he said “last down”. I just assumed a NFL reference would come out of his mouth.
Marcus fucks it up for the third time in a row.
A meltdown is coming.
Commercial break. We resume. Amani & Marcus are on their fourth attempt. He fucks it up once more.
It’s a combination of ‘dangit’ and ‘shoot’. That’s when you know things are bad.
SANDY: We have to ask somebody.
JEREMY: Find the former residence known as The Dump. . .I’m going to ask this guy in the truck. Hey, we’ve got a question for you.
SANDY: Do you know the former residence known as The Dump here in Atlanta? It’s like slang for something.
TRUCKER: It’s one of the old Home Depots.
This guy is from Ohio. I wouldn’t trust his answer. . .Unless there’s an Akron, Georgia.
Cindy uses her Phone a Friend.
JEREMY: One of the old Home Depot Stores.
SANDY: Let’s go let’s go, buddy.
Hopefully Ernie & Cindy also are directed towards Home Depot or else this leg might be a blowout.
Sheeeeeeeeeit. Hopefully Jeremy & Sandy ask more people prior to heading to Home Depot.
JEREMY: Thank you.
SANDY: Thank you.
JEREMY: Thank you, this is so important.
SANDY: Big tip. Big tip.
JEREMY: This is huge.
SANDY: Oh my gosh this is so nerve-wracking.
Male taxi drivers: The only job where men around you can say they have a big tip for you and it gets you excited.
SANDY: We’re in the final leg for a lot of money, and it’s just nerve-wracking. So nerve-wracking.
ERNIE: Losing to the boys is one thing, but losing to Jeremy & Sandy or Amani & Marcus would be like losing to my brother or something like that.
It would be funny if Ernie’s brother is like ten years old or something.
CINDY: It would be like losing to the ‘C’ student when we’re the A+ student.
Cindy managed to burn Ernie’s brother and the other two teams simultaneously. Well done.
NOTE: Quotes like this are probably why Cindy wasn’t very popular amongst the audience at the end of the season. We’ll talk about that more at the end of the finale.
For those of you who aren’t in the pharmacy industry like I am, Prilosec is a drug for acid reflux.
SANDY: I’m not kidding.
JEREMY: That would make [I can’t make out the rest of what he says]
We go back to the flight simulator.
AMANI: You got it, babe.
Which is what she said during the previous four attempts.
What happens with attempt number five?
You don’t got it, babe.
JEREMY: Oh yeah. He said by the Home Depot. Yeah, up here by the right. By the former Home Depot. Yep. There it is there it is.
Cindy says the taxi driver told her Jeremy & Sandy has a twenty minute lead.
JEREMY: Do you see it?
SANDY: God, where in the world are we gonna find it?
Spoiler alert: Not here.
Ernie & Cindy’s driver cuts through a parking lot.
CINDY: Cutting through a parking lot? Heck yeah! This is what we like.
SANDY: Just wait. OK. Good job, babe. Oh my god.
JEREMY: Alright. Clue box? Where is it?
The current residence known as The Dump.
“The Dumpty Dance is your chance to do The Dump.”
Let’s just take a moment to chuckle at the fact that a real business named themselves The Dump, and somehow attracts customers.
There are no red and yellow flags to be found anywhere. Maybe it’s inside those priceless vases?
JEREMY: Former residence known as The Dump? Former residence known as The Dump?
SANDY: . . .
This is right around the point where they realize something just ain’t sitting right.
SANDY: Is this the former residence known as The Dump?
MAN: It still is The Dump.
SANDY: It is The Dump.
JEREMY: OK. It’s always been The Dump.
Precious minutes are ticking away.
I should note it’s about a ten minute drive from The Dump to Margaret Mitchell House.
JEREMY: We gotta we gotta–
SANDY: Find the clue box.
And old people. Gotta find old people too.
JEREMY: Did we miss anything when we came in? C’mon. C’mon. There’s got to be a marker.
“Hey, we’re wearing the same colour.”
Jeremy & Sandy will be couchsurfing rather than win a million bucks if they don’t get the job done soon.
JEREMY: Let’s hurry. Let’s just hurry.
SANDY: Babe, we have to be methodical.
JEREMY: I know I know I know.
SANDY: Are we idiots and in the wrong spot?
JEREMY: I don’t know.
You don’t want us to answer that question, Sandy.
Meanwhile, Ernie & Cindy find the former Dump.
ROADBLOCK: Who gives a damn?
Neither of them laugh.
Phil reveals the exact room where Margaret Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind.
Turn a shitty house into a tourist attraction and its value suddenly goes up.
By the way, they borrowed Bill & Cathi’s typewriter for this segment.
Phil promotes the book.
Working with an old fashioned typewriter, a Remington III, teams must type out their next clue. They will soon discover there is no key for the number ‘1’, and they will need to use the lower case ‘L’ in its place. When the southern gentleman feels it has been typed to perfection, they will have their next clue.
I wonder how old you have to be to recognize this as a Remington III as opposed to a Remington II or a Remington IV.
Or a Remington Steele.
I would say this task is definitely on the lower end of final Roadblocks we have seen in TAR history. A neat small puzzle if you are a participant, but not very interesting as a viewer. Watch somebody type something!
We know what update was made for the Remington IV.
Apple makes bigger updates with its products than Remington does.
I haven’t seen a typewriter since Track & Field II for the NES.
That bowtie is ridiculous.
Ernie decides he gives a damn.
Ernie drops a big ol’ F bomb.
Who knew Cindy would be the one on this team that is more comfortable with technology. Granted this technology is from about forty years ago, but still.
ERNIE: Now I don’t give a damn.
Ernie shows us how he types at home. The good ol’ two-finger method like my brother Brett.
Ernie shows off Cindy’s octopus fingers when typing.
CINDY: I can type about ten times faster than Ernie.
Probably because you are using five times as many fingers.
“I hope there is another Home Depot now known as The Dump.”
“Time to type up the script for Singin’ in the Rain and send it off to Gene Kelly.”
ERNIE: Am I gonna get any support on how to operate this thing?
“A little help?”
Creed Bratton shuns him.
“So this is what the Internet was like before porn.”
We cut back to Jeremy & Sandy at The Dump.
JEREMY: “Former residence” quote-unquote.
SANDY: The former residence? You sure?
JEREMY: Former residence. I think—is this used furniture?
You know what every Amazing Race fan wants to see in the climax of the season? Watching Jeremy & Sandy walk through a department store for several minutes shopping for furniture.
We are at the FlightSafety simulator. Marcus fucks it up once more.
I would laugh so hard if Marcus successfully punched through the ceiling.
“How could this happen to me?”
Marcus apologizes. Amani says it’s not easy for a reason.
We’re at the Margaret Mitchell House. Ernie has to start over.
I can’t fault him for trying to find a shortcut, though.
JEREMY: Let’s go. We must not be in the right place.
JEREMY: We must not be in the right place.
DRIVER: You got an address?
JEREMY: We don’t know. We can’t find anything.
They didn’t even buy anything. How rude.
The driver studies it but comes up with nothing.
Cindy is stressed because she should have done this Roadblock.
Amani files for copyright infringement.
SANDY: Do you know where we can find the FORMER residence known as The Dump?
JEREMY: Do you by any chance have a smartphone or anything?
Ernie keeps redoing his typing.
SANDY: Oh, this is brutal.
JEREMY: I think I found it. I think I know what it is.
JEREMY: Margaret Mitchell House. Atlanta, Georgia. Gone With the Wind was written in the apartment that Mitchell called The Dump.
SANDY: Oh yeah. Let’s go tell him.
“Also, EW just notified me that Ethan and Jenna broke up.”
Ernie keeps typing. He approaches the ‘715’ part of the challenge.
Jeremy & Sandy hop into a cab.
SANDY: The other teams–
JEREMY: As fast as possible.
SANDY: Our lead is now gone. Shoot, shoot, shoot.
Ernie studies Sir Remington the Third.
This isn’t exactly a leg that I would call a nail-biter, Sandy.
Commercial break. We resume.
Ernie takes a shot at what the number one would be.
It was worth a shot.
SANDY: We gotta nail it honey. Don’t argue. Stay positive.
Cindy is anxious outside. Ernie figures it out by studying the typeface.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a typeface.
Not to be confused with a tight face.
Ernie has it. He is done.
I know what 715 is.
Ernie is very proud of himself.
Ernie is outside and runs by Cindy.
Phil says teams must figure out the numbers on their clue commemorate Hall of Famer Hank Aaron.
Amazingly enough, this won’t be the only time a Hall of Famer in baseball will be part of a TAR finale.
Ah, watching baseball games on TBS from Turner Field was a good chunk of my childhood whenever I gave up on the Blue Jays and Mariners.
Our fourth clue of the season.
Ernie & Cindy are stumped. Cindy borrows the driver’s cell phone once more.
CINDY: Are they exits? Are they highways?
JEREMY & SANDY: Right there. Right there. Stop. Stop. Stop.
SANDY: K. Hurry.
(They run out to the southern belle and receive their clue.)
JEREMY: Hi. Thank you. Roadblock.
JEREMY: Who gives a damn? You?
(SANDY enters the room.)
JEREMY: I just feel like this is one for Sandy right now. She’s done a lot more schooling than I have. If there is something to get thought out methodically in a faster process, this is all her.
SANDY: This is not a Mac. This is an old typewriter.
“Can you guys tell me if Ernie & Cindy have come by yet?”
“Where’s the ‘any’ key?”
Ernie & Cindy stop at a hotel.
CINDY: Is there an Internet we can use?
You sound like my dad. An Internet?
Log into an Internet.
This is the first TAR finale where using smartphones and quick Internet access makes this leg a heckuva whole lot easier.
CINDY: Can we come back here?
What hotel employee wants customers hanging out with him behind the counter is beyond me.
“My god, how fast do you type, woman?”
We watch Sandy type.
SANDY: . . . . . . . . . . . .Yowzer. . . . . . . .
(SANDY taps fingers.)
SANDY: What do I use for a ‘1’?
We’re less than twenty minutes of airtime until the end of the season, and we are watching Sandy type in near silence.
SANDY: The “I”? I am missing a number. This is where we get tricky, huh?
And also where we get to watch you stare at a keyboard for ten minutes.
SANDY: Huh. There’s no ‘1’ on this.
We cut back to the FlightSafety simulator.
Yikes. They’ve been in there a while.
Marcus took a deep breath and finished the task. He sighs. Amani pats him on the shoulder and is proud of him.
If it took Marcus any longer, Joe & Bill could have caught up to him by now.
Amani & Marcus’ cab stuck around, surprisingly. Marcus’ first words in the cab?
MARCUS: I feel like that was a pass in the end zone that I dropped.
AMANI: You did the best you could, babe. You didn’t quit. You kept going.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 21
“I mean you fucking sucked at the task, but you kept going.”
MARCUS: Get to the Super Bowl and I can’t finish. I can’t close it.
AMANI: I still would’ve thrown you the pass if you were in the endzone. You would’ve been my target. So obviously somebody is believing in you.
And they’ve been able to produce four kids. So obviously Marcus can finish most of the time.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 22
This would be the perfect time to affectionately scratch his goatee.
“So much for my dreams.”
Ernie & Cindy continue surfing the Internet.
ERNIE: Oh! It’s Hank Aaron’s numbers!
CINDY: So what? So what about Hank Aaron?
In the Chiang household, watching sports was viewed as a gigantic waste of time.
CINDY (turning to the invisible man): Is there a famous–
“Where’d he go?”
Cindy asks if there is a famous Hank Aaron statue or memorial. The employee checks it out as Ernie & Cindy assume they have to go to the ballpark where he played.
The former ballpark known as Turner Field?
NOTE: Turner Field isn’t even the current Atlanta Braves baseball park anymore. It lasted only nineteen seasons. R.IP. Half a billion dollars of taxpayer money.
We cut back to Sandy at the Roadblock.
SANDY (quietly muttering): What the. . .OK. It’s the ‘L’.
How viewers looked when watching this finale.
SOUTHERN GENTLEMAN: Congratulations.
SANDY: Thank you. Let’s go.
JEREMY: Got it?!
JEREMY: Good job, babe. You killed it.
Jeremy completely high-steps the fence. Cindy feels weak for using her arms to boost herself over.
JEREMY: I don’t know what place we’re in.
It ain’t first.
SANDY: It’s like root coordinates or something. We need to Google it.
Ernie & Cindy are already at Turner Field.
Hopefully this task is extremely difficult to make this finale somewhat suspenseful.
PHIL: Working without any notes, teams must now face a massive mental map challenge that has the potential to completely change the outcome of the race.
The potential. The potential. So Amani & Marcus -potentially- have a shot to still win this thing?
With one team member rigged to a giant map, and the other screaming out instructions, they must successfully map out their race around the world to receive their next (final) clue.
Oh, they just have to remember the order in which they visited countries on the race over the past twenty days? This is as easy as that TAR 16 boot list memory challenge.
NOTE: They didn’t have to include Netherlands or Germany in their answer.
Unless their taxi breaks down on the way to the finish line, Cindy should have this solved in about twenty seconds.
CINDY: Holy bananas.
A gigantic build for an easy challenge.
Cindy has to hook the clip the carabineer through the various country’s clips.
So far so good.
Ernie doesn’t even have to intervene yet.
Amani & Marcus are last to the Margaret Mitchell House.
Neither of them give much of a damn.
I don’t think Marcus spends too much time in front of a keyboard.
Jeremy & Sandy are at a hotel.
JEREMY: Grab that. Hi. 44-715.
WOMEN: Turner Field. 715 Club at Turner Field.
SANDY: Oh yeah. Thank you.
JEREMY: Thank you.
SANDY: Turner Field.
JEREMY: As fast as possible.
Cindy is already halfway done the final task.
ERNIE: Use those bulging biceps.
Cindy temporarily messes up her slack as she gets up to Europe.
No one is in sight.
Ernie & Cindy are already done before Jeremy & Sandy show up.
Phil says teams must race to the most recognizable landmark in Atlanta—Andre 3000’s House.
Nah, just kidding. The Swan House. First team to arrive wins the million dollars and The Amazing Race.
Ernie is still nervous regardless.
“The finish line is at my house!”
Where are the other teams?
Ernie & Cindy link back up with Ben the Taxi Driver. No sign of Jeremy & Sandy during this whole task.
We cut to Jeremy & Sandy showing up to the stadium. The lead is an absolute minimum of thirty minutes, I presume.
JEREMY: Oh, here it is. It’s open right here.
SANDY: Wait for me.
“Nope. Fuck you.”
JEREMY: Re-run your race around the world. I’ll do that. I’ll go up.
We cut to Ernie & Cindy noticing the GPS is recalculating after Ben misses a right turn. This is the best production can do to make it close.
“Oh no, we’re going to lose our whole lead because we missed a right turn!”
In fact, Ernie & Cindy are likely crossing the finish line even before Jeremy & Sandy started the task at Turner Field.
So many trees.
SANDY: Good job, babe.
The clue can also be a visor.
You know you’re going to Taiwan, right?
JEREMY: Uh, right here.
SANDY: I think it’s the one below it.
JEREMY: No, I think that’s it.
SANDY: OK. And then we went to Thailand.
First two locations and Sandy has mixed up Taiwan with Philippines and then skipped over Indonesia. It’s clear there is no way they will improve upon Ernie & Cindy’s time.
Therefore, for the final time this season. . .
SANDY: Lower. Lower.
JEREMY: This right here.
SANDY: After Thailand we went to Malawi, Africa.
That’s going to be a bizzle to undo later.
Just think they had a stable lead just a couple of hours ago.
SANDY: All the way over. The little one that’s not coastal.
JEREMY: Got it.
SANDY: Oh good. After Malawi we went to Denmark.
Ernie & Cindy are annoyed by the traffic in a neighbourhood as the GPS recalculates.
JEREMY: I see here.
JEREMY: It’s right here.
SANDY: If you’re staring at Denmark, Belgium is down two and to the right.
Er, left. Somehow Jeremy still has the correct one.
Sandy is not very helpful with this task.
SANDY: And then we went to Panama City. You got it, babe.
Ernie & Cindy’s GPS is recalculating.
Editors had a tough time filling up the 42 minutes for this episode.
SANDY: OK. Then go up to Atlanta.
SANDY: Now what do we do?
JEREMY: I got to pull it tight, I think. Can I get a check?
“Is it right?”
JEREMY: Thumbs down.
SANDY: Let’s start from scratch.
JEREMY: Oh is this not Thailand? Let’s see. Yeah, this is Thailand right here.
SANDY: Where do you have Indonesia?
JEREMY: We didn’t get Indonesia.
JEREMY: Here we go. You didn’t tell me Indonesia.
SANDY: It must have slipped.
JEREMY: Check. Got it.
SANDY: Good job, baby.
JEREMY: Thank you.
SANDY: Make your way to the finish line. Go go go.
SANDY: Babe, maybe their taxi broke down.
I don’t think Jeremy is entirely convinced.
The GPS from Hell continues to wreak havoc.
It is one last way to toy with Ernie & Cindy.
Commercial break. We resume.
Ernie & Cindy’s GPS is recalculating.
JEREMY: Swan House.
SANDY: Swan House. Andrews Drive Gate. Go, go, go, it’s the finish.
JEREMY: Fast as possible.
I don’t think that’s a seat, Sandy.
Ernie & Cindy are figuring out their turn-off.
SANDY: How far?
DRIVER: Five miles.
JEREMY: Five minutes or five miles?
So. . .both.
SANDY: West Andrews. We need to take that.
Both teams are shown going down West Andrews.
JEREMY: Andrews Drive. Yeah. Go right.
SANDY: Go right.
JEREMY: Turn right turn right turn right.
SANDY: There’s a parking lot. Is this it?
We cut back and forth between the two teams several times. Who is first to enter through the gate?
Did anybody fall for the recalculating GPS when the finale originally aired?
“I could’ve flown that simulator betterr than everyone cause I was in a rock band called Stone Temple Pilots.”
“Ernie & Cindy are literally winning this race.”
Ryan Storms couldn’t make it, unfortunately.
Ernie & Cindy are over the hill.
Just like Bill & Cathi.
“I’m out of a job until Veronica Mars is brought back!”
“Blogging twenty-four seasons of The Amazing Race for TARstorian is truly a reality TV overdose for Logan!”
Phil stops Ernie from overshooting the finish line.
Four continents, ten countries, twenty cities, and more than 35, 000 miles. . .
FIRST PLACE: ERNIE & CINDY
True emotion right there.
“Shit, they’re sweaty. You guys can let go anytime now.”
Oh, and the other two teams are there.
PHIL: At the end of the last leg you said you wanted to win The Amazing Race so badly so you can make some real changes in the world. You wanted to do something. Can you tell everybody what that was?
“Cause Marcus is still staring at that typewriter and we have A LOT of time to fill.”
“We would really like to donate our winnings to the NRA and invest in BitCoin.”
Nah, just kidding.
CINDY: We would really like to create an organization that would really multiply the million and help those who are really in need. We’ve been around the world and all of us have met the most amazing people who are so happy but they just need a little bit EXTRA, you know. And we want to be able to help them, inspire them, to live a better life and to contribute to the global economy.
Man, that answer is so Asian. Cindy has a well-thought out, dynamic, and concrete plan of how to maximize her winnings to the benefit of the global economy and those who suffer from great inequality.
“Wait a second, Cind. . .can we. . .can we buy a PS4 first? Or a Nintendo Switch? I just want to veg out, man.”
PHIL: Your family watching you standing here. . .winners of The Amazing Race. Together? What are they saying?
If this were TAR 10 or TAR 11, this would be Phil’s cue to break out the Sprint phone.
ERNIE: They’re probably passed out in disbelief at this moment.
CINDY: They’d probably say “I knew you’d win.”
PHIL: Oh really?
“Oh really? They knew you’d win over a team that won six of the first ten legs of the race. Tell me more.”
“I can’t believe she said—”
“Just keep smiling, sis.”
CINDY: My parents definitely have that expectation for me to be perfect and achieve the best and be the brightest, smartest, fastest student. Hopefully we’ve shown them we’re the best team together.
Ernie & Cindy say TAR is the best pre-marital counselling. They’re both happy with one another. Yeah, it’s no surprise they got married.
Sandy squeezes through the gate.
I can’t wait for this inevitable riveting mat chat with Phil.
All of the teams cheer them on.
“Haven’t seen you guys all day. Where’ve you been?”
SECOND PLACE: JEREMY & SANDY
The Millard Fillmores of TAR are the runner-ups of this season.
PHIL: Jeremy & Sandy. . .
PHIL: You’re the second team to arrive and officially second on The Amazing Race.
JEREMY: Thank you.
PHIL: You ran an extraordinary race. You guys really did.
“You guys really ran an extraordinary race. So extraordinary, in fact, there’ll be a never-ending highlight reel and you guys are locks to be back for TAR 24. Seven years from now your race will still be seen as so extraordinary that a random Canadian will transcribe you guys did this season just because of how extraordinary your guys’ run truly was.”
JEREMY: We gave it everything we possibly have.
SANDY: We’re exhausted.
JEREMY: We’re exhausted.
SANDY: Happy to be home.
JEREMY: And we’re happy to be here.
SANDY: It was a whirlwind. . .this race has done a lot for Jeremy and I. It really has. We’ve learned to communicate with one another which can take some couples decades, and we’ve learned that in thirty days.
JEREMY (confessional): Our relationship has been going on and it’s going to get stronger from here on out. We’re happy to be together and have done this. Something we’ll always share together, and it’s created a bond and some fantastic memories we’ll take with us.
And with that I DID IT! I TRANSCRIBED EVERY WORD JEREMY & SANDY EVER SAID IN TAR 19! I’M THE FUCKING MAN!
Spoiler alert: Jeremy & Sandy aren’t in TAR 24.
“There it is! The endzone!”
THIRD PLACE: AMANI & MARCUS
PHIL: Marcus, promise me one thing. You will never become a pilot.
Phil asks what happened. Amani says she had to be patient for both of them and had never seen Marcus angry.
AMANI: Never seen him punch anything before. That was my first experience.
PHIL: REALLY?????!!!! NEVER????!!!
“Cause I punch things all of the time! In New Zealand, my dad had me join a boxing league where I squared off against the sheep in my dad’s barn! I literally pulled the wool over their eyes before I laid the smackdown.”
AMANI: Never. He doesn’t have a temper like that. We’ve got four kids that are watching and we have to set examples for ’em. And if they pound any doors in my house, it’s on.
Marcus breaks the fourth wall as if he is directly looking at his kids.
Amani says the lesson for her kids is to never quit.
AMANI: As long as you don’t quit, you always win.
MARCUS: Amani was a great teammate. She’s smarter than any quarterback I’ve ever played with, and tougher than any linebacker I’ve ever faced. . .if you put your mind to it, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish.
MARCUS’ NFL REFERENCES COUNTER: 23
And Marcus reaches twenty-three NFL references. Well done.
Everyone starts hugging at the finish line.
ANDY: We Amazing Racers are at a loss for words. Just blown away by what you just experienced and what you just accomplished and gosh, it’s a gift that God has let us be apart of.
“Except the Buddhists. They can’t be apart of this.”
In classic Jet & Cord fashion, even though they didn’t make the F3, the over-the-top all-male Christian team gets a confessional at the finish line.
Amani acts like Andy’s chest is a drum.
Cindy says the race was worth more than a million dollars.
CINDY: This race was really worth more than a million dollars. The beautiful things we’ve seen, the cultures we’ve seen, the people we’ve met along the way, you can’t put a price tag on that. It’s really been an incredible incredible experience.
Well, the final confessional of the season isn’t exactly a memorable one.
Phil is memorized by Jeremy.
And tries to block him out of the shot.
Below are the final confessional counts, team rankings, leg rankings, and where this season ranks overall for TARstorian thus far.
NOTE: TAR 20’s season premiere blog will be up in exactly one month because. . .I leave for South America on Monday! I’ll be going to Chile, Argentina, Colombia, and Panama! So jokes will at Brenchel and Mark & Bopper’s expense will be aplenty over the course of this summer. Thanks for your continued support for TARstorian and RTV Warriors!
RYAN STORMS 0
NUMBER OF TIMES MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT
JEREMY & SANDY 4
ERNIE & CINDY 3
AMANI & MARCUS 3
JUSTIN & JENNIFER 1
BILL & CATHI 1
LIZ & MARIE 1
EVERYONE ELSE 0
RANK THE LEGS
1) Bangkok, Thailand -> Lilongwe, Malawi
Out of the first half of the season, this round definitely had the best overall design.
Obvious bonus points are awarded for going to a new country in Africa. If I recall correctly, the next new African country is not until Zimbabwe appears in TAR 27, and as of TAR 30 no other countries have been added to the catalogue. Where is the Rwanda visit, production!
We learned something interesting about Malawi other than the African stereotype of people carrying things on their heads. We learned that it is one of the biggest global producers of tobacco. This led to a very physical Roadblock which had comedic value due to how much the locals/workers were dancing and trolling around all of the contestants. We also had that awesome moment of everyone running with Marcus out of the stadium. Well, I know it was a factory, but it felt more like a stadium.
A Detour where teams picked between sewing clothes or building a carton truck seemed reasonable enough. The marketplace and the school were both neat locations. It is also funnier when Sandy gets attacked by a rogue soccer ball and Laurence being inaccurately portrayed as somebody wanting to reinforce gender stereotypes.
Teams shown trying to hire a truck (a private car allowed as a form of transportation on TAR!) or chasing one down is the neat chaos I like to see. Laurence opened the driver’s side door of a moving vehicle! Cindy was freaking out while hanging off the side of the truck, and Laurence & Zac tried to fit the beds into a small taxi.
Seeing teams try to be logical and pay their driver prior to going to the pit stop was interesting. Everyone knows the rules that you must pay your driver before you can check in, but yet two teams made that mistake. The physical labour involved with moving the beds made it Bill & Cathi’s time to shine as well as Cindy finding herself behind bars for the first time in her life.
Andy & Tommy picked up their third win because of another team’s error as well as their fourth win in five rounds making them one of the most dominant teams in the first half of a season ever. They should have been major U-Turn targets by this point.
Ernie & Cindy make small mistakes despite Cindy being a perfectionist. You can see the decline since the Taipei victory taking its toll on her.
It always amazes me how unmemorable all of Jeremy & Sandy’s footage is. They had quite a bit of content this episode, but if you look at other recaps of this episode online or what people say when this episode becomes part of a discussion, Jeremy & Sandy’s journey with the delayed truck, Sandy bleeding, or playing with the children never comes up.
Amani & Marcus suffered a lot of bad luck this leg. They and producers are happy it was a NEL. The top two from Bangkok went to the bottom two in Lilongwe (Bill & Cathi switched to sixth place this round).
I am curious what people thought of every single team choosing their male partner to do the Roadblock. There wasn’t a single woman to be found in one of the most physical Roadblocks that TAR has ever done. It would have been great to see Sandy or Cindy try to tackle it. Especially Cindy because her mixture of frustration and intensity would have been entertaining to watch.
Again, no major alliances or big rivalries are forming. Random teams comment on Bill & Cathi’s strengths or Andy & Tommy running into Laurence & Zac at a couple junctures are the only two points of interaction in this whole leg.
2) Lilongwe, Malawi -> Senga Bay, Malawi
We enter the second half of the season as the editors make it clear they want us to pay attention to one specific storyline: Either Ernie & Cindy or Andy & Tommy are going to win this season.
The episode was all about Ernie & Cindy attempting to strategize as to how they could overcome a team that just can’t stop winning nearly every leg of the race. Other than the Bangkok bus rides, Ernie & Cindy are the only team to definitively beat Andy & Tommy in the first seven rounds. As Andy & Tommy pass Ernie & Cindy in the round’s final steps, it was very much a mentality of “they won the battle but they haven’t won the war”.
I like that this leg took place in locations we will never see on TAR again. A bunch of random villages several hours away from Lilongwe? Production avoided going to one of the more typical destinations in Africa.
I enjoyed the tasks. A slide puzzle as a one-time Speed Bump isn’t the worst idea in the world. It beats the hell out of untying knots. The Detour was difficult as you were either drained physically or had to figure out how to paddle a boat. Every season of TAR should have a paddling challenge because of how much teamwork it always requires. The cycling Roadblock also proved to be difficult for some of the teams as they were getting lost amongst the many villages spread throughout Malawi.
We also get our first U-Turn of the season. Unlike other ineffective U-Turns which typically go unaired, production decided to show this one. Maybe because the idea of a Jamaica Shop in Malawi was too cool to keep on the cutting room floor or because editors wanted to embarrass Laurence & Zac wasting their U-Turn.
I am sure to this day Jennifer doesn’t know why she was dormant for an hour at the Roadblock rather than go back and meet her partner. According to interviews, that hour is what made the difference in this leg. Just think it would have been Jeremy & Sandy that likely would have been eliminated this round, but were spared with a second-to-last place finish for the second elimination round in a row.
I am going to miss those dancing locals.
3) Senga Bay, Malawi -> Copenhagen, Denmark
Churning butter? Unique but dull to watch.
The Renaissance Dance task? Dull to watch and only difficult for Zac.
The first ever round of consecutive Double U-Turns? I approve.
The bunny hopping task at the Detour? Amazing!
We had three very old school elements that are rapidly drying up as we head into contemporary TAR—scrambling for flights, self-driving, and a debuting country.
Six teams were spread between four flights and teams were forced to drive themselves through the Danish countryside as well as Copenhagen.
The storyline of Ernie & Cindy’s desire to win and be extremely competitive above everyone else was clearly established this round—even above Andy & Tommy’s competitiveness. They U-Turned a pair of sixty year olds just to win a leg. That is a team that wants to constantly be on top.
The unique nature of the U-Turns being used was also interesting to see play out as none of the bottom rung teams were hit by it. Laurence & Zac pulled the rare feat of heading to the pit stop ahead of last place and end up blowing the drive to the pit stop and get eliminated.
Did I mention Bill & Cathi have gone from the team that finished the first leg over four hours behind teams like Kaylani & Lisa and Liz & Marie to nearly being the first team to win a leg after completing a U-Turn.
Marcus not knowing his animals and the suggestiveness of everyone churning butter was hilarious to me.
And how creepy was that dancer in the final stage of the Roadblock? I’m gonna have nightmares about that guy.
In other news, Laurence & Zac probably felt really really dumb for wasting their U-Turn in the previous leg. I guarantee you they would have U-Turned Jeremy & Sandy this round and would have stayed in the race. Or maybe they just U-Turn Amani & Marcus again. That would have been funnier.
P.S. I want to be a pro at bunny hopping. Such an adorable task to watch!
4) Brussels, Belgium -> Panama City, Panama
Our first Central America leg since TAR 8: Family Edition? Well that’s unusual!
In fact, Central America legs won’t appear again until TAR 25.
Andy & Tommy were viewed as nearly unbeatable heading into the episode. They became vulnerable as they completely failed at the opening task. Later on they recover thanks to an equalizer and breeze through a Detour. Everything is set for Andy & Tommy to win their seventh leg of the season and tie Marc & Rovilson’s record with relative ease in the finale.
Then they jumped the gun. They had blinders on and traveled to the wrong location. Other teams were going to mess up the same way they did, but a huge turn of bad luck pushed the betting favourites out of this race. Three teams that had rarely won any legs will fight it out at the end.
That drama and suspense built over the course of the leg makes this a strong episode.
However, a repeat Central America country when many others have yet to be visited in the TAR franchise knocks it down a bit.
I really liked the puzzle at Cathedral Square for teams to figure out they need to go to Panama Viejo.
The Detour was uneventful with sandal making and fish deliveries. The type of stuff we’ve seen many times before.
The TinTin task at the start of the episode was a fun break without the costumes being too ridiculous.
The Roadblock was your usual terrifying heights related challenge of the season. I know people think Andy & Tommy were dicks for psyching out Sandy, but I didn’t think too much of it. There isn’t much to say about it.
The village was a good contrast to downtown Panama City. The diamond-shaped boxer shorts amuse me. I also liked the initial fear that the tattoos were going to be permanent and the band which never stopped.
It’s an episode that looks inoffensive and flat on paper in terms of design, but the drama and who gets eliminated boosts it a couple of spots.
5) Copenhagen, Denmark -> Brussels, Belgium
Denmark. Germany. Belgium. All in one episode. I am a bit annoyed that all of the self-driving was nullified by a very late equalizer this round, but it is all cancelled out thanks to a NEL that will not have a penalty.
We had a series of tasks that we normally don’t see on TAR. Cycling to a destination while memorizing a poem that required you to insert actions into it, assembling a Lego puzzle while spinning in a teacup, and bodybuilding.
I would penalize this leg some more for breaking the streak of no clue boxes being present on the race, but I’ll look the other way this time.
Ernie & Cindy received a ton of content because of the threat of them not being allowed to board the train. It turned out to be an empty threat as they rode the train to Brussels anyway. They continued to narrate the remainder of the leg. Even with a massive equalizer to erase their lead, they were right behind Amani & Marcus.
Their main rivals, Andy & Tommy, showed a lot of vulnerability for the first time in a while. Tommy was lost during the Roadblock, he failed his first attempt, they had Jeremy & Sandy catch up to them at the Lego task, and the cliffhanger had them in a fight for last place with Bill & Cathi at the bodybuilding task. They are no longer perceived as unbeatable. Perhaps it has something to do with not having aquatic tasks.
Amani & Marcus did very well with self-navigation in the first half of this leg, managed to not vomit during the Lego task, and managed to crush the bodybuilding task to pick up their second win of the season.
Bill & Cathi were really showing signs of race fatigue this round. They were the worst at every task this round and sucked at navigating. It’s not the same Bill & Cathi we have seen since the second round of the season.
And then there’s Jeremy & Sandy. They are a team on this season.
I am annoyed editors didn’t explain to us what the other half of the Detour was this round. I am very curious what would make five teams choose to do half-naked bodybuilding rather than whatever the other option was.
Lastly, Belgium makes its TAR debut. To slightly date the upload of this blog post, Belgium was not re-visited until three weeks ago during the Antwerp leg of TAR 30. I could see a possible Bruges visit down the road and have that be the end for Belgium on The Amazing Race.
6) Brussels, Belgium -> Brussels, Belgium
This was a tough leg to rank.
On one hand, we get a leg dedicated to self-driving, Belgian-y flavoured tasks, and none of the tasks are subjective.
However, this round lacked a lot of energy without many moments. Bill & Cathi never were close to catching up, and nothing dramatic nor hilarious happened for the duration of the episode. It’s a bit of a dry watch.
In fact, this leg summarizes TAR 19 in general: Great design with decent tasks that won’t stir any controversy, but nothing specific happens within it to make it stand out.
I like how they didn’t do a dreadful equalizer right after a Keep On Racing leg—the last leg and this one took place all in one day. Perhaps the lack of energy from the racers contributed to a mellow episode.
Making waffles was fine.
Paddling down a canal was cool.
The homing pigeon was brief but neat.
The forced sponsourship plug was mildly annoying, but whatever.
The storyline of Ernie & Cindy trying to not repeat mistakes is a consistent one for this season. They are identifying all of the reasons why they blow their lead and are vowing to be the perfect machine by the end of the game.
Amani & Marcus’ fluctuation from stars to the bench in terms of performance also continues.
Andy & Tommy continue to benefit from the mistakes of others as they climbed from fourth place to their sixth victory of the season. They seem unstoppable heading into the Final Four.
And Jeremy & Sandy are Jeremy & Sandy.
It was a sad day if you root for elderly teams on TAR. As of the end of TAR 30, you won’t see any older teams cast on the planet after Bill & Cathi. It is surprising producers for every franchise worldwide have gone down this path because Bill & Cathi were the most popular team in this whole cast. As they said at the end, they were definitely competitive as they were in the lead or in second place for significant chunks of this season.
I should point out Survivor: Ghost Island is currently airing and they have the youngest age of any season in Survivor history.
Considering Bill died a little over eighteen months ago, the episode is even sadder for some superfans to watch. People wanted Bill & Cathi back for TAR 24, and now we know why that never came to fruition. Sigh.
Overall, I don’t have too much to say about the leg. It represented Belgium well and nothing stupid happened.
The decks are cleared for an episode that will make the casual viewers go into a rage. I’m going to love it and so will you.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) Panama City, Panama -> Atlanta, Georgia, USA
On paper, there isn’t anything wrong with this finale. No controversial challenges, nothing is subjective, and we get a brand new city making its debut on TAR.
However, the way it plays out is very boring. I remember watching this finale live back when it originally aired nearly seven years ago, and as soon as Jeremy & Sandy went to the wrong department store, the season was done.
Other finales that have blowouts have had content that makes you laugh out loud and distracts you from the obvious victory. This one didn’t. All three teams really wanted to win, and handled the stress of it like normal people would, and thus gave us no material for editors to work with to make it entertaining.
The tasks chosen are good for a finale if it didn’t also have to be edited for millions of people to watch. Figuring out a typewriter and substituting one of the numbers for a letter? The FORMER residence known as The Dump? A tricky flight simulator? Playing with a gigantic map of the world?
All of it seems cool if you’re in the moment. Amani & Marcus needed twelve attempts on the flight simulator. Even Ernie & Cindy needed a second attempt on it.
The one complaint that can be made about the tasks is that clipping the countries together on a map was too easy to solve. Jeremy & Sandy messed up on it and were able to fix their mistake within a minute. Ernie & Cindy breezed through it like it was nothing.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about this leg is everyone having a different strategy as to how many backpacks they would take with them. Zero, one, or two? Everyone went in a different direction on that decision.
This also marks the first TAR finale to be dominated by the use of smartphones. I wish a finale could be in Cuba because that country has only a handful of locations where wi-fi is allowed, and would’ve made the Hank Aaron clue and The Dump clue become a lot more difficult. Because Ernie & Cindy used the Internet more than Jeremy & Sandy did, they gained a huge lead during this leg.
The finale is a bit more unique due to the fact the three teams were very far spread out. Other than seeing a taxi parked outside of the flight simulator, teams never saw each other for the whole day. Either a task is long enough or two of the three teams are close enough to spot each other. Teams not being freaked out by the presence of others reduced the drama as well.
Ernie & Cindy were on a different level than Amani & Marcus and Jeremy & Sandy that day. They ran a perfect leg minus screwing up on the flight simulator on their first attempt. Otherwise, good luck beating them to the Swan House.
I think the finale perfectly captures the overall perspective on this season: An inoffensive season without any spectacular or hilarious moments to help define it. The audience overreacted to Andy & Tommy’s elimination, but that’s bound to happen when the casuals get glued to a team of a specific demographic.
10) 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.
11) 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.
12) 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
One) Bill Alden & Cathi Alden
Bill & Cathi aren’t my favourite older team in TAR history. We all know that.
However, I feel compelled to mention they are my favourite team of this season and get a boost due to their significance as the last older team to ever compete on TAR (as of the end of TAR 30).
I am beating a dead horse with the age factor at this point, so I will skip ahead.
Bill & Cathi looked like they were going to be useless. They finished the first leg well over four hours behind the tenth place team. The opening round NEL miracle kept them alive. Initially you think it’s just going to delay the inevitable like with Don & Mary Jean’s early NEL in TAR 6, but that is not the case. Bill & Cathi were in first or second place for the majority of the following round even with their minor Speed Bump.
As the race progressed, you have teams like Ernie & Cindy feel compelled to U-Turn them because they are a threat. They didn’t U-Turn Andy & Tommy—they U-Turned Bill & Cathi who still finished in second anyway.
Their old people antics was funny to watch, and demonstrated they were in stronger physical shape than some of the other contestants who are a third of their age. They run freakin’ triathlons.
Whether it be the bodybuilding task, Cathi saying perverted things to Bill while in Thailand, Bill scowling and swearing over waffles, or amusing me with reciting Hans Christian Andersen, Bill & Cathi provided entertainment value that wasn’t delivered by a chunk of the teams this season.
Lastly, they were very likable.
It’s a shame they couldn’t make it to Final Three.
2) Amani Pollard & Marcus Pollard
You know it is an odd season when Amani & Marcus are ranked this high for my season rankings.
In a season full of one-dimensional and/or inoffensive teams, a team that makes twenty-three NFL references can sneak up to this position on this list.
Amani & Marcus were acting a bit too clean for the camera because of who was watching at home and that fact alone normally irritates me, but nobody else was producing much material so they get a pass here.
I didn’t realize Amani was more underedited than Jeremy & Sandy until this rewatch. It shows Amani was able to make a bigger impression with her minimal amount of content. There were times where the banter between her and Marcus would crack me up.
Their attempts to find substitutes for cursing on-screen was amusing as well. Shoot. Doggit. Shoot doggit. Dog garnit. Eventually Marcus couldn’t hold it in anymore as he punched through the roof of the plane simulator. He had to erupt at some point.
The storyline of having four kids and showing to never quit despite being saved by a NEL, poor flight connections, and bad luck with a taxi in Panama was unique in contrast to the other teams this season.
We will see future teams, especially in TAR 30, force references to the job of their profession. Amani & Marcus were able to do it without wanting me to punch my TV screen or roll my eyes. It became a bit of a game, and a fun game at that.
Much like many of the teams this season, I don’t have too much to say. Amani & Marcus helped fill in the gaps, and in a Final Four where there wasn’t many highlights, they definitely gave the season a much-needed boost towards the end.
3) Laurence Sunderland & Zac Sunderland
Laurence gave me plenty of material for jokes. He is perhaps the most British racer ever to race in the American version of TAR. It’s like what would happen if a cousin of Andy & Laura’s decided to invade this season.
I have a feeling most of what Laurence said was taken out of context because editors clearly wanted to give him a hard time. It was frustrating for him but hilarious for me.
Laurence telling us he would be an expert on something he had never done while Zac messes up that task at the Roadblock, wanting everyone to go to bloody hell, viewing unusual things as being bloody ridiculous, not knowing the rules of the race when it comes to transportation or completing challenges, and accidentally phrasing a statement that made it look like he thought women should always be able to sew. He also managed to screw up navigating on the ocean when it’s something he should know inside and out. Oh, and he U-Turned a team that was ahead of him before being U-Turned himself on the very next leg.
Other than TAR 8, Zac was the youngest contestant TAR US had ever seen. He didn’t have much to say or anything. However, Zac’s presence was required for Laurence to play off of him and give us those hilarious soundbytes that made Laurence a good racer for me to work with in my blogs.
4) 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.
5) Ernie Halvorsen & Cindy Chiang
I forgot how hated Cindy was by the audience when the season originally aired. It took a re-watch to see what parts of her personality rubbed everyone the wrong way.
I think the whole “I am supposed to be the best and -will be- the best” had an indirect message of “everyone else is dumber than me.” Cindy never put down any of the other teams, but she boasted about her family’s expectations so much that it is what the audience chose to deduct from her statements. It’s not her fault and she probably never thought of it that way before until social media directly went after her.
You can see why Ernie & Cindy operate well as a couple. I know other married couples like this too. One is a perfectionist and wants everything done right, while the other is relaxed and likes the person enough to be there for the ride.
They are a perfect match for each other.
Despite Cindy’s negative traits, her and Ernie still had a good attitude throughout the race. They never did anything malicious except U-Turn old people. Even when Cindy was saying things about Malawi being primitive or asking why kids weren’t in school, a quick pause to think about Cindy’s upbringing makes you realize why Cindy would be so shocked by kids wandering around a remote village during school hours.
Were Ernie & Cindy the best case scenario for who could win this season? No, I think Ernie & Cindy being eliminated near the end would have made for a much more compelling story than their victory that everyone was expecting to occur by the end of leg one.
Sure, the story of them ironing out their little blunders along the way was a decent story too, but I am much more curious to see how Cindy would have handled being eliminated and bringing permanent shame to her family and potential eternal damnation.
Ernie & Cindy were funny little side characters with Ernie being goofy and Cindy hopping up and down out of excitement. But do they work as main characters? No, not really, and is why this season doesn’t stand out.
P.S. We never did find out about the bruises on Cindy’s butt. For some reason, every website who did an exit interview with Ernie & Cindy were mature enough to not ask such a stupid question. I for one am disappointed.
6) 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.
7) Justin Young & Jennifer Young
It was tough ranking Justin & Jennifer in contrast to Liz & Marie.
Liz & Marie were one of those teams you knew were doomed to go early on TAR, but literally provided us with some running jokes on their way out.
Justin & Jennifer were a more capable team, but didn’t provide a huge amount of material.
I was surprised by how much editors pushed them onto us in the early episodes. I have spoken to other fans about this online, but they didn’t recall Justin & Jennifer fighting as much as they did until they read these blogs. That scene at the Jakarta train station ran for a while. The paddling Detour in Phuket was also another one of their more memorable fights too, and Jennifer having such a vivid sassy face that even Phil was trying to replicate it made you realize they were supposed to be one of the bigger characters of the season.
However, fast forward six years later and almost nobody remembers them. I mean, TAR 19 is generally agreed upon as the least memorable season of TAR ever, but even when TAR 19 is discussed Justin & Jennifer are never mentioned. Liz & Marie, Ethan & Jenna, and Kaylani & Lisa are all talked about more than Justin & Jennifer.
They have the best average (4.27) of any team to exit in seventh place up to this point in TAR’s history worldwide. It’s just that one mistake which put them out early.
Hopefully this blog gives them some sort of legacy.
P.S. As of TAR 30, they are the last brother/sister team to compete in TAR US.
8) 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.
9) Jeremy Cline & Sandy Draghi
I did it. Long ago I decided to transcribe every word Jeremy & Sandy say in TAR 19. As of two weeks ago, people are still posting on Reddit if Jeremy & Sandy are indeed the least memorable team ever to cross the finish line. https://www.reddit.com/r/TheAmazingRace/comments/87o5uz/least_memorable_final_3_teams/
After thirty seasons of TAR US, five seasons of TAR Canada, five seasons of TAR Asia, and three seasons of TAR Australia, that is really saying something.
Wayne Arthurson, a fellow TAR blogger and podcaster, didn’t even know who Jeremy & Sandy were when I made a joke about them three years ago. He had to look them up—a team that made it all the way to second place just three or four years earlier.
Jeremy & Sandy received more content than what most people would remember. Look at some of their confessional counts towards the end and you’ll see what I mean. Yes, their airtime was still minimal, but they weren’t invisible either. It’s just that the content they did receive failed to make any sort of impression on the audience.
No matter what happened to them in any episode, there were always four or five moments that stood out to the audience which was talked about each week. Even when they sucked at the Phuket Detour or were second-to-last in a couple of rounds.
I bet most of you forgot until now that Jeremy & Sandy had a lead after the first task in the final leg. Most people recall TAR 19’s finale as “Ernie & Cindy crush everybody” or don’t even recall the finale episode itself at all.
Jeremy & Sandy are normal people who found themselves cast on TAR. That’s the best way of putting it. Contrast this with TAR 20’s casting (which I will touch upon later), and you’ll see why these two seasons couldn’t have been received more differently.
10) Andy Finch & Tommy Czeschin
I didn’t find them as entertaining as a lot of the other teams. I thought I would laugh more or have more Andy & Tommy moments to pick out that were fun, but there really isn’t. I dunno if it’s because the whole cast was low key, but Andy & Tommy are kinda. . .flat to watch.
Then the whole “my religion is superior to your religion so suck it” mentality and sticking to it in post-race interviews puts them in second-to-last for this season.
I do like the role they served as “Bland religious all-male team benefits from a bunch of lucky breaks and is unstoppable then disaster occurs in the eleventh hour” did give TAR 19 at least -something- to try and definite it.
But when you compare to the material Liz & Marie, Kaylani & Lisa, Ernie & Cindy, Amani & Marcus, Bill & Cathi, Ethan & Jenna, Justin & Jennifer, Laurence & Zac, and yes, even Jeremy & Sandy offered during this season, Andy & Tommy don’t quite measure up.
11) 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.
Bullshit Round One/Starting Line Eliminations That Do Not Count
Eric & Lisa N/A
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0 TAR 4
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0 TAR 3
11th Ron & Tony 11.0 TAR 17
11th Adrian & Dana 11.0 TAR 16
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0 TAR 14
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0 TAR 13
11th Ari & Staella 11.0 TAR 12
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0 TAR 11
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0 TAR 10
11th John & Scott 11.0 TAR 9
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0 TAR 7
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0 TAR 6
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0 TAR 5
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0 TAR 2
11th Matt & Ana 11.0 TAR 1
10th Edwin & Monica 10.0 Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race TAR Asia 3
10th Yani & Nadine 10.0 Would have survived round two, but were marked for elimination and thus officially finished in last both rounds TAR Asia 4
10th Jody & Shannon 10.0 TAR Adventure 16
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0 TAR 9
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0 TAR 11
10th Neena & Amit 10.0 TAR Asia 3
10th A Black Family 10.0 TAR 8
— F +–
10th Andie & Jenna 9.5 TAR 17
10th Steve & Linda 9.5 TAR 14
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????) TAR 13
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.) TAR 7
11th Ron & Bill 9.5 TAR 19
11th Garrett & Jessica 9.5 TAR 15
10th Kate & Pat 9.0 TAR 12
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
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 6.33 TAR Asia 1
8th Pailin & Natalie 6.33 TAR Asia 3
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25 TAR 9
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2 TAR 13
7th Paul & Amie 6.2 TAR 1
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF TAR 4
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF Saved by NEL once TAR 10
5th Kent & Vyxsin 6.0 Used U-Turn and Saved by NEL once TAR 18
7th Ron & Christina 6.0 TAR 18
8th Lance & Keri 6.0 TAR 15
9th Zev & Justin 6.0 Passport lost. TAR 15
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0 TAR Asia 1
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0 TAR 4
6th Andre & Damon 5.86 TAR 3
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83 TAR Asia 2
7th Dave & Lori 5.83 Saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Kami & Karli 5.8 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8 TAR 3
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8 TAR 2
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn TAR 12
9th Heather & Eve 5.75 Legal team beaten by rule book. TAR 3
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67 R.I.P. Nancy. Saved by NEL once. TAR 1
7th Jeff & Jordan 5.67. Saved by a stupid Blind U-Turn once but dead next day. TAR 16
5th Bill & Cathi 5.5 Saved by NEL twice, U-Turned once and Used U-Turn once TAR 19
6th Gaghan Family 5.5 TAR 8
10th Alison & Donny 5.5 TAR 5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF TAR 4
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF. Beaten by a bunch of rules. TAR Asia 1
8th Katie & Rachel 5.4 Had all of the tools to finish with a 5.4 ratio TAR 17
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36 Saved by NEL twice TAR 7
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF TAR 4
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33 TAR 5
9th Monique & Shawne 5.33 TAR 16. Praise Jesus.
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33 TAR 7
7th KevJumba & Michael 5.29 TAR 17. NEL once + Heather & Eve Syndrome.
7th Gus & Hera 5.29 TAR 6
4th Nick & Vicki 5.27 TAR 17 Saved by NEL twice
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25 Saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25 TAR 5
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned TAR 12
5th Mark & Michael 5.22 Saved by NEL once but came up just short TAR 14
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 13
7th Silver & Gold/ Wil & Grace 5.17 TAR 3
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14 TAR 13
5th Chad & Stephanie 5.11 U-Turned TAR 17
7th Ray & Deana 5.0 FF TAR 7
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0. Screwed over by weird penalty for another team. TAR Asia 1
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 FF TAR 4
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 FF TAR 1
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 Wah. TAR 13
5th Fran & Barry 4.89 TAR 9
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88 TAR Asia 1
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded TAR 10
7th Ivan & Hilda 4.83 TAR Asia 4
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83 TAR 11
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF and saved by NEL once TAR 3
6th Mai & Oliver 4.8 In a car TAR Asia 3
7th Schroeder Family 4.75 TAR 8
9th Connor & Jonathan 4.75 TAR 17
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield TAR 9
6th Brian & Greg 4.71 TAR 7
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70 TAR 10
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 6
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67 TAR 10
3rd Hussein & Natasha Saved by 4.64 NEL once TAR Asia 4
6th Gary & Mallory 4.625 TAR 17
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 6
6th Jet & Cord 4.56 – U-Turned, saved by NEL once TAR 18
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF TAR 3
6th Chris & Anastasia 4.50 TAR Australia 1
8th Kris & Jo–er, Amanda 4.50 U-Turned TAR 14
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 2
3rd Amani & Marcus 4.42 Saved by NEL once TAR 19
8th Joe & Heidi 4.40 – Blind U-Turned with Injured Knee; TAR 16
6th Laurence & Zac 4.375 Used U-Turn and U-Turned TAR 19
4th Louie & Michael 4.36 saved by NEL once, used U-Turn. & trained wolf cubs TAR 16
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 11
1st Dan & Jordan 4.33 – FF once TAR 16
3rd Brent & Caite 4.33 – Used U-Turn TAR 16
4th Jess & Lani 4.3 TAR Asia 4
7th Justin & Jennifer 4.29 TAR 19
4th Kisha & Jen 4.27 Saved by NEL once, U-Turned once TAR 14
3rd Brian & Ericka 4.25 saved by NEL once TAR 15
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF TAR 2
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23 saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Gary & Matt 4.22 saved by NEL once and c—blocked once in Saunabuss TAR 15
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned TAR 12
4th Linda & Karen 4.17 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15 TAR 11
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.) TAR 2
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield TAR 8
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11 TAR 7
5th Dave & Kelly 4.10 TAR Australia 1
2nd Sam & Renae 4.083 Saved by NEL once and Used Express Pass TAR Australia 1
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded TAR Asia 1
5th Carol & Brandy 4.00 – U-Turned. May or May Not Be Mean. TAR 16
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL, grew goatees TAR 4
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
2nd Jaime & Cara 3.92 TAR 14
2nd Pamela & Vanessa 3.92 TAR Asia 2
4th A.D. & Fuzzie 3.90 – U-Turned and saved by NEL once TAR Asia 3
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF TAR 2
6th Sunaina & Dimple 3.875 – Used Yield, U-Turned TAR Asia 4
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85 Saved by NEL twice TAR 4
2nd Michelle & Claire 3.81 Used U-Turn and Yielded TAR Asia 4
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
2nd Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy 3.75 U-Turned and Used U-Turn TAR 18
4th Diane & Ann 3.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 2
4th Jon & Al 3.73 TAR 4
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71 TAR 5
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF TAR 4
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 12
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL once TAR 11
2nd Jeremy & Sandy 3.58 TAR 19
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
6th Mel & Mike 3.57 TAR 14
5th Ethan & Khairie 3.56 TAR Asia 4
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56 TAR 6
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54 Saved by NEL twice TAR Asia 3
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded TAR 9
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46 TAR Asia 1
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded TAR 6
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45 TAR 12
4th Zev & Justin 3.45 TAR 18
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st TAR 12
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 2
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield TAR 5
6th Steve & Allie 3.38 – TAR 16, and ain’t got no clothes.
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF TAR 1
1st Kisha & Jen 3.33 TAR 18
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
4th Matt & Tom 3.27 Saved by NEL once TAR Australia 1
3rd Gary & Mallory 3.25 Saved by NEL once and Used Express Pass TAR 18
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25 TAR 13
1st TK & Rachel 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 12
4th Godlewski Family 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 8
3rd Jeff & Luke 3.17 TAR Australia 1
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 10
2nd Sam & Dan 3.17 U-Turned Pointlessly TAR 15
2nd Brook & Claire 3.17 U-Turned Once TAR 17
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17 TAR 10
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL twice TAR 8
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF TAR 4
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 7
4th Toni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia TAR 13
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF TAR 3
2nd Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 3.09 Used Yield and U-Turn TAR Asia 3
4th Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy 3.09 TAR 15. Znarf!
1st Nat & Kat 3.08 – FF and Used U-Turn Once TAR 17
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF TAR 10
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 7
3rd Jill & Thomas 3.00 – Used U-Turn once and Used Express Pass TAR 17
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00 – TAR 12
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92 – Saved by NEL once TAR 6
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield TAR 10
2nd Bransen Family 2.85 – Saved by NEL once TAR 8
1st Ernie & Cindy 2.83 – Used U-Turn Once and Express Pass TAR 19
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield TAR 8
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 1
–BEST OF THE BEST–
3rd Margie & Luke 2.75 Used U-Turn once TAR 14
5th Henry & Bernie/Bunn-Eh 2.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 3
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield, Choked TAR 11
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 3
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF TAR 3
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2, Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 11
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 13
4th Andy & Tommy 2.64 TAR 19
2nd Jet & Cord 2.58 – Saved by NEL once TAR 16.
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF, Yielded, and saved by NEL once TAR 5
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF TAR 2
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF TAR 1
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF, Used Yield, and saved by NEL twice TAR 9
1st Vince & Sam 2.45 FF TAR Asia 3
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF TAR 13
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF TAR 10
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF TAR 1
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38 TAR 6
1st Tammy & Victor 2.33 Used U-Turn Once TAR 14
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31 TAR 7
1st Richard & Richard 2.27 FF TAR Asia 4
1st Tyler & Nathan 2.25 Used U-Turn TAR Australia 1
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF TAR Asia 2
1st Meghan & Cheyne 2.00 FF TAR 15
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF TAR 9
lol 3rd Marc & Rovilson 1.46 Used Yield and Yielded TAR Asia 2
Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)
11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 10 + 11
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 3 + 11
6 legs (lol) Amanda & Kris 5.17 U-Turned twice TAR 14 + 18
17 legs Jaime & Cara 5.06 Used U-Turn and U-Turned TAR 14 + 18
10 legs Mel & Mike 5.00 TAR 14 + 18
18 legs Kent & Vyxsin 4.94 Used U-Turn Twice, Saved by NEL twice TAR 12 + 18
18 legs Danielle 4.78 yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF TAR 3 + 11
18 legs Ron & Christina 4.44 TAR 12 + 18
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF TAR 1 + 11
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 TAR 5 + 11
16 legs Zev & Justin 3.875 TAR 15 + 18
20 legs Gary & Mallory 3.80 Saved by NEL once, Used Express Pass TAR 17 + 18
23 legs Kisha & Jen 3.78 Saved by NEL once and U-Turned once TAR 14 + 18
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF, saved by NEL thrice TAR 1 + 11
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2, saved by NEL twice TAR 7 + 11
18 legs Margie & Luke 3.61 Used U-Turn TAR 14 + 18
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF, yielded x3, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
21 legs Jet & Cord 3.43 Saved by NEL twice, U-Turned TAR 16 + 18
23 legs Herb & Nate 3.43 Used U-Turn once and U-Turned once TAR 15 + 18
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3, used Yield, saved by NEL twice TAR 2 + 11
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 used Yield twice, saved by NEL once TAR 10 + 11
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF, Yielded x2, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 Used Yield TAR 7 + 11
* I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.
1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10
“After a year off the air, and TAR comes back with its most epic race course ever. Producers put all of their chips on the table like UFC owners did with The Ultimate Fighter 1, and the payoff was enormous.
We had TAR 6 and 7 green-lighted, produced, and aired less than ten months after TAR 5 did. Everyone and their mother was talking about what was going on in TAR 5 throughout the summer.
The two teams you wanted out the most were gone in the first two episodes. The second team did so by repeating Amanda & Chris’ feat from TAR 4.
The most format changes until TAR 12 would take place for this season as producers wanted to give viewers a new feel to the series. Not the least of which was the beginning of the Yield which began the tradition of allowing one team to flip off another team and shove them into the dirt for a pre-determined amount of time. What was even better is that the Yield was offered -every- round. Unlike today where U-Turns only appear twice or thrice per season.
Colin & Christie, Chip & Kim, and Charla & Mirna are three of the ten biggest characters in TAR history. We were amazed to see them all be cast for the same freakin’ season. Because they all made it at least halfway through the game, there was never a dull moment.
Include a supporting cast of Marshall & Lance, Bob & Joyce, Jim & Marsha, Bowling Moms, and the antics of twins Kamkar made for a top of the line cast.
It is a crime that neither Colin & Christie nor Chip & Kim have been brought back. Colin & Christie did not compete in TAR 11 because Christie was pregnant.
So was she pregnant during TAR 18 and TAR 24 too? Where was Charla & Mirna’s invite for TAR 24? Where are Chip & Kim’s invites, too?
These three teams made headlines all season long to the point that Charla & Mirna were incorporated into numerous TV sketch parodies for the following year. They were the face of TAR for season five, and returned to be the faces for TAR 11. Again, how did the Globetrotters, Cowboys, and Margie & Luke play three times instead of them?
Oh, the route? Incredible. It holds a permanent record of being the best route of any TAR season. Argentina to Russia to Egypt to Tanzania to Dubai to India to New Zealand sends chills down my spine.
I mean, they went to freakin Egypt. Can we just give it a nine for that alone?
So why is it not a ten? They eliminated my favourite twist known as the weekly Fast Forward starting with this season, Brandon & Nicole survived for nine rounds too long, Colin didn’t actually get thrown in jail for the night in Tanzania, and Kamkar didn’t fall off the map for their stupidity.
Caviar, chocolate, and eggs also makes for too many Roadblocks involving local delicacies.
P.S. A TAR book was named after a Colin quote from this season. How is this not number one?
EDIT: My Ox is Broken returned in the tenth round of TAR 25.
2. The Amazing Race 12 – 9.0/10
You want to fix the worst problems with TAR, but have your first new cast after All Stars be a bunch of people from California? This season could have gone down as a failure.
But it worked against all pre-game logic. Cutting down on non-eliminations, experimentation with U-Turns and Speed Bumps, new players, fewer rounds of play, shorter rounds, and eccentric old people made for a really fun season of television. This was the most popular season of TAR in terms of US ratings.
Annoying and useless teams went home first, but the villains rightfully went home in the penultimate round.
Sprinkle in a couple of stars along the way, and you have a very feel-good season. Feel-good television typically does not apply to fierce competitions like TAR and Survivor. But really, it is very relaxing. It is the ideal season for a re-watch.
The final Roadblock task is considered the best final task ever done in TAR history. A difficult brain teaser combined with remembering what happened on the race is all that is needed to satisfy viewers.
Sure, you may find the winners likeable but boring, but look at the winners we have on the horizon until TAR 16’s amazing upset.
I love that players approaching seventy years old can find success in TAR, and not be super entitled about it. I love that some racers have their personalities change throughout the course of the season. I love that a sibling team you thought would win every round would instead get eliminated halfway through in a big upset.
Along with TAR 5 and TAR 9, it was responsible for helping the series recover and gain its primetime hold. There may not be any -huge- moments, but just a fun race course that will make you laugh, smile, and sit back along the way.”
3. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10
Wedged between TAR 6 and TAR 8: Family Edition, TAR 7 really needed to deliver.
The stakes of the non-elimination penalties were raised, and production intentionally set up intense foot races to avoid being last at the mat.
Villains were known even before the game began as Rob & Amber came off their boring stint on Survivor: All Stars to potentially corrupt TAR.
They annoyed most of us with exploiting Danny & Oswald’s Fern strategy by combining it with their temporary celebrity status. They were essentially the precursor to the Harlem Globetrotters Strategy except Romber were a bit better when working on their own compared to the Globetrotters.
Ray’s rivalry with the elderly, the Mendoza Meat Roadblock, The Legend of Brian & Greg, the car crash, head shaving and other over-the-top India adventures, and old people falling in underground caves contributed to a memorable season.
But it was all topped by the season finale. Uchenna & Joyce had nothing in the middle of a third world country after coming last in the shortest leg in TAR’s seven season history. They begged and begged and begged for resources until they had enough to get out of the country. Somehow they make up a 200 hour time deficit and get on the same flight as Romber to Miami.
Uchenna & Joyce miraculously build up one of their rare leads when it mattered most-the final destination city before realizing they could not pay their cab at the finish line. What ensued was one of the craziest scrambles ever as viewers were ready to torch CBS Studios if Romber would casually stroll by a frantic Uchenna & Joyce to win the game.
A great finish truly makes a worldly difference in competitions. TAR 7 is no exception.”
4. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10
“Ah, the beginning of my obsession with Survivor, TAR, and The Mole. Survivor Thailand, The Mole 2, and here we have TAR 3 all airing close to simultaneously.
It has been close to three years since I last watched this season, but before that I watched it at least once per year. The only reason why it is not number one is because it had too many equalizers, and I have yet to decide whether I love or hated that the ending to the season trolled me.
Epic Flat Tires.
Tramel & Talicia’s lone celebration.
The fall of Heather & Eve.
The fall of Gerard on a punt.
A cop is placed under arrest.
Michael “213” & Kathy.
The heroics of John Vito & Jill.
The emotional and racing turnaround of Ian & Teri.
Just two of these elements in any season would be great. But here in TAR 3 we were spoiled as all of these went down in the span of thirteen rounds.
I will forever remember being in the sixth grade and having my classmates and teacher watch Heather & Eve’s humiliation for all of us to re-watch. I still have a copy of the tape I specifically brought to class that day.”
5. The Amazing Race 17 – 8.65/10
If producers of ageing competitive reality shows need to know what it takes to make a strong season after being on the air for a decade and having done so many seasons before, this is the quality you are still capable of reaching.
When I was in high school, a mark of 86% or higher was considered an ‘A’. I think TAR 17 is worthy of this grade.
The only reason I put this above TAR 9 is because while Eric & Jeremy vs. BJ & Tyler may be one of my favourite rivalries with an overall fantastic conclusion as the hippies take the prize, TAR 17 had a bit more depth to its cast.
Brook & Claire, Nat & Kat, Nick & Vicki, Chad & Stephanie, and Gary & Mallory with a couple of other teams in the supporting role makes for an insane cast to have squished into one season.
With only one team going on record to return to play again, this makes TAR 17 an overall hidden gem of the series. There is so much more to it than just being “the first time an American all-female team won”.
Visits to Ghana, the Arctic Circle, Bangladesh, and a hilarious round in Hong Kong made for the best route designed since TAR 12. Seriously, TAR 14-16 had the least inspired race courses, and TAR 17 decided not to fall into a rut.
Watermelons to the face, car slices to the eye, apples being bitten, shoes being smelled, testicles being crushed, butts falling on ice, and YouTubers having dreams crushed all made for a hilarious season.
There was also a high level of penalties this season which is unusual for TAR US. Heck, it is in that mid-range of penalties with TAR Canada 3.
So why does this season not get ranked any higher regardless of a great cast, worthy all-female teams, and a wonderful route?
Well, there is a couple of mistakes producers make.
a) The start of the modern day Express Pass. It was irrelevant in TAR 17, and am happy people like Hamilton & Michaelia are saying it is also irrelevant now.
b) The first leg in St. Petersburg was such a mess for producers to the point they intentionally equalized everybody in the following round, and erased Nick & Vicki’s Speed Bump. That is sloppy for TAR standards.
c) The last couple of legs were not exciting, and Los Angeles is a lousy place to finish a season.
Overall, this is the last truly great season TAR US will produce for a long time, and thank god we had something to break the awful trend of seasons between TAR 14-16. Ratings were at its lowest point after TAR 16, and TAR 17 is exactly what was needed for the series to be recognized as a mainstream hit. The praise for TAR 17 will be so strong that the audience will continue to follow the series until producers lose their trust with TAR 24.
It is amazing to think out of all twenty-six US seasons that this is the season I followed the least during its original airing. Oh well. That’s what happens when TAR 14 and the premiere of TAR 15 temporarily killed my spirit.
6. The Amazing Race 9 – 8.6/10
“Perhaps the most unexpected pre-All Star season to do well. Coming off of Family Edition which pushed the show to 10:00pm timeslot and inevitable death, TAR was close to being written off.
Much like TAR 5 and TAR 12, TAR 9 is right up there for saving the series. Greece, Sicily, Moscow, Oman, and Tokyo all delivered with their respective debuts. This season was really the story of two teams having one epic season long showdown. Sure, Fran & Barry, Lake & Michelle, and Ray & Janet Jackson were decent supporting characters, but Eric & Doug Roobaker versus BJ & Tyler is what we all remember.
Not John & Scott, and MoJo, surprisingly.
BJ & Tyler are pretty much the Tom Westman of TAR. Ninety percent of all viewers absolutely loved them, and everyone always says ‘my favourite season? That one with the hippies’.
Editors embraced the 10:00pm timeslot as this season had some of the most mature content ever released, but also happened to be a season long comedy show. Fran & Barry’s missed clues, Lake’s yelling, 24th greatest team of all-time Lisa & Joni’s run (with full bladders nonetheless), Dani & Danielle not knowing they were terrible, Dave & Lori’s adorable nerdiness, and locals enjoying their interactions with teams.
Shockingly, Mugged for Elimination would end with this season despite it being the most entertaining Mugged for Eliminations ever where BJ truly had no clothes. It is parallel to Exile Island ending immediately after Coach went there in Survivor: Tocantins. Exile Island could not top Coach’s presence just like how Mugged for Elimination could not be topped by BJ just trying to find some freakin’ pants.
EDIT: San Juan Del Sur brought back Exile Island a few months ago. Sorry Coach.
This features the second most exciting finish in TAR history. Eric & Jeremy are ahead at the final task. All you have to do is match up several flags in the order you visited them. In a Rovilson-like fashion, Eric chokes as BJ passes him with the finish line in plain sight.
It was easily the most exciting moment that the state of Colorado had ever seen.
Lastly, Doug Roobaker may be my favourite moment in TAR history.”
7. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
“Sadly this is the season I have seen the least, but that does not stop it from getting a high rating.
Sure, the route was lame considering how much overlap it had with the original, but we saw a ton of new and neat locations. TAR was not quite out of the documentary stage yet as we saw raw travel footage. This is reality TV nostalgia right here along with TAR 3.
Shola & Doyin were the original tragic characters as nothing would go their way, Tara & Wil may be the biggest jackasses to ever dominate the race, and the beginning of Metrosexual Loners Danny & Oswald. Remember Fern?
A ton of crazy things happen despite it being only the second season. The Africa drunken pit stop fight between Pastor Russell, Wil the Jackass, and Alex the Slightly Less of a Jackass? Gutsy Grannies being the original players to sleep through their pit start but somehow surviving two eliminations as well as being the only team to enter Europe all season (not wise to connect through a city in a continent that producers are not visiting in your season), the Blake & Paige/Hope & Norm car controversy, and lastly. . .it deserves its own paragraphs.
The most talked about final twenty minutes in perhaps any reality TV season. The love triangle of Tara, Wil, and Alex finally facing off for a million bucks. Chris & Alex have done terrible most of the season. They had been saved by non-elimination twice because Wil screwed them over. Tara & Wil meanwhile showed nice guys can GTFO as they had few problems staying ahead of the competition, and Tara manipulating Chris & Alex for a good chunk of the race.
Then everything leading up to Baker’s Circle, and concluding with the most iconic foot race to end a worldwide marathon. You have undoubtedly seen the footage 20, 000 times as TAR bashes you over the head with it. Chris & Alex were disliked for 95% of the season, but their reputation turned around in a matter of ten minutes of exciting television.”
8. The Amazing Race 11: Real All Stars – 7.2/10
“The best all-star format of any season seen in Survivor, Big Brother, and TAR history. Phil submitted a list of fifteen teams that he would love to see again. They were either really popular and/or really skilled. Production picked ten of these teams, and added the hybrid team of Eric & Danielle because Eric & Jeremy would have had a 1.10 race average if they competed.
Would we love to see a winning team from each season, and two Linz teams to have an eleven-team all winners edition? Absolutely. Would we have loved to see each season represented including Lance Bass? Absolutely. But for what reputation Survivor and Big Brother had with their all-star seasons, what TAR gave us was very fair and above average.
The route, the tasks, the travel, the stories, and the characters all collided for a season that for some odd reason was not well liked by the audience. Perhaps the LGBTQ community was pissed a Frat boy managed to whip an all-male gay team and two all-female teams at Final Four. Also, this Frat boy had a partner who was viewed as spoiled and worthless (she did get 500k for her “efforts”).
Compared to casting for TAR 18 and 24, this all-star had the only true all-star cast of the entire series. None of the choices evoked a “Mary Who?” response, and catching up with our original stars along with new frontrunners made for an interesting clash.
It truly marks the end of an era as many familiar format rituals will be disregarded almost immediately after the season is over (Yields, Intersection, four NELs, 13 rounds, Marked for Elimination, multiple final cities in final leg, non-memory final tasks, etc.).
This is what makes TAR 11: Real All Stars such a great season. It effectively wraps up the core of the TAR franchise, and closes the chapter on some of the most important reality TV characters who can pat themselves on the shoulders for preventing TAR’s cancellation.
I urge the many people who view this as a bad season to re-watch and think about everything TAR accomplished because of the people playing, and enjoy the insane Africa rounds. Also, please appreciate Eric a bit more. Otherwise, there is no hope for you.”
9. The Amazing Race Asia 2 – 7.19/10
The golden season for the Asia series. Producers went all out for this season, and boy oh boy, they were rewarded for it. Adrian may be the most badass contestant we have had to race with a disability (Luke could learn from Adrian), and go on to win.
Until David O’ Leary suffered from Crybabyitis, that is.
Producers learned from their mistakes in TAR Asia 1 except for the part where they once again were stuffing the race with five non-eliminations.
Perhaps a case could be made that Marc & Rovilson were too rich/well-travelled/athletic/good at everything except flags for them to be allowed onto the race.
Put that aside and you have a base for what separates good seasons from great seasons. Anything above a 7.0 is a -great- season to me.
Seeing Marc & Rovilson dominate, er, I mean SLAUGHTER everyone for 80% of the race until Adrian & Collin began to rally, and top it all off with Adrian passing Marc & Rovilson at the final task had an incredible payoff. Oh, and Pamela & Vanessa passing Marc & Rovilson at the final task too equated to the biggest choke in TAR history.
Later on we would see Czech Republic make its debut even before TAR 15 could get there, and certain places in South Africa we had never seen before.
We also were exposed to the only team in TAR history to truly finish in dead last in back-to-back legs at the beginning of the season. Somehow those two were not named Henry & Terri, who were a different team that were saved by three non-eliminations as Terri may be one of the most uncooperative racers ever.
Paula & Natasha were a rare combination of being young, all-female, nerds, and doing well in the race.
We also had two mothers from Malaysia (Ann & Diane) become the villains in the eyes of the other racers as them, Pamela & Vanessa, and Paula & Natasha made it very possible for an all-female team to win yet again in TAR Asia. In fact, they are three of the strongest all-female teams in the entire TAR franchise.
Lastly, the first four rounds were single-handedly carried by French Born Aurelia as we ventured through familiar New Zealand and Philippines. Seriously. Watch the season just for French Born Aurelia alone. I cannot even come up with the French word for why she is amazing.
10. The Amazing Race Australia 1 – 7.1/10
We also saw multiple Intersections in the same season. The first and only proven use of the Express Pass that saved a team. A season where only one U-Turn was available. The revival of having multiple destinations in the final leg. Unique penalties.
Those were the unique aspects of TAR Aussie’s debut.
This season’s biggest strengths were visiting Israel, lots of self-drive legs, and excellent casting.
In contrast to TAR US casting minor celebrities and pro athletes in recent years, TAR Australia went with everyday people.
Anne-Marie & Tracy work in a freakin’ supermarket, Renae is a model who fixes cars, Alana & Mel were sisters who hadn’t seen each other in a very long time and have polar opposite personalities, Mo & Mos were a Muslim team that lasted more than one leg, and we had a middle-aged motorcycling couple that were perceived as devious.
Oh, and cowboys who weren’t total douchebags and who also had no idea what a bagel was.
We also had one of the best early boots of all time in the form of FOCUS! BELIEVE! ACHIEVE! I can’t believe supermarket ladies kicked their asses most of the time.
It’s tough to pick between French Born Aurelia & Singaporean Sophie as my favourite early boots against Richard & Joey.
Chris & Anastasia’s fight during the Guns n’ Roses Detour becomes one of the most absurd TAR fights in history.
The only weak team in the cast happened to go home first. Everyone else brought something to the table. Yes, even Jeff & Luke. A few pieces of unintentional comedy were in play every single leg.
Tyler & Nathan were worthy winners. They had some goofy moments, some heartbreaking moments, a compelling social game, and a great rally from having all of their money stolen in a season where you needed to hang onto whatever cash you could until the very end. This isn’t TAR Canada where they hand you thousands of dollars.
This season was strong overall, but it suffers in my eyes from too much overlap with activeTV’s other TAR production of TAR Asia (locations and/or tasks from the first four seasons), and a few instances of disappointing leg design and a luck-based finale along the way.
If you don’t care about the TAR Asia overlap, this season would go up a couple of spots in this ranking. I just wish a bit more creativity was involved.
Overall, it is above the Mendoza line of TAR 1. All seasons ranked above TAR 1 are considered strong seasons in my books. TAR Australia 1 definitely belongs in this category in my books.
11. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
“The adventure and experiment of a lifetime begins as Bertram Van Munster and Phil Keoghan are apart of the first season. It is tough to rank it because it is edited more as a travel documentary rather than a competition.
For those of you who only know the Guidos and Kevin & Drew from their laughable performances in All Stars, watch this season. Your opinion of them will change for the better.
Note that this season featured so few equalizers that the top two teams managed to build a lead of well over 24 hours on the trailing two teams by the end of the season. This will never happen again.”
12. The Amazing Race Asia 4: “The Race of a Lifetime” – 6.81/10
“The final season of TAR Asia is a relatively good season. I think this is the perfect season to be positioned in the middle of my rankings. Nothing great happened to take it to the next level, but nothing infuriating that would make this a bad season.
Along with TAR 19, TAR Asia 4 is the season I have heard people talk about the least since its airing. You know TAR 19 was lacklustre when it shares a record with an obscure foreign edition.
It is tragic that this is the final edition of the Asian franchise, but an overall natural conclusion to the series. There is not much more they could have done with the series given the limited options for producers.
Casting was equally strong to TAR Asia 3. Scratch that, this cast was stronger than TAR Asia 3 since nobody was as much of a dud as Isaac & William. No real weak links in this cast.
Furthermore, nobody in casting was repeatedly irritating me. Hating on a certain father-daughter team or Dominatrix’s logic was more fun rather than being a strike against the season. Only downside is that producers failed to avoid mactors and mactresses yet again. Oh well.
The tasks and locations faired reasonably well. This aspect of the race was successful in the long run that American seasons, and Asian producers for the Australia series, would recycle these tasks and locations. Trendsetters in their own right.
However, many of the tasks were poorly explained. A rare problem I have encountered in TAR. How do you drop the ball after twenty English-speaking seasons?
Allan kept bringing the puns. I enjoyed that.
Perhaps the biggest reasons why this season has fallen into obscurity is because of the following:
a) No significant rivalries or conflicts. Besides docks, an EVIL EVIL man, the early U-Turn and Yield, not much happened.
b) No characters that are over-the-top to an extreme.
c) Winners are likeable, and won in an acceptable fashion.
On the flipside, these are the exact reasons why I like this season. It was a breath of fresh air. Nearly everyone was a source of comedy. Manas threw sticks, Hilda being carried away without breakfast, Hussein falling off of things, Jess & Lani wasting the money they begged for on clothes, Yani petting a snake, Dominatrix eating chicken balls and making funny faces, Richards with their comedic errors, Ethan with his polar bear outfit as well as his sheep herding, Sunaina & Dimple attempting to ski, and Alan feuding in broken English.
Experimenting with another Intersection as well as record-breaking early NELs was welcome to the series.
TAR Asia 4 could burn through all three NELs by top six for two reasons:
1) They have only ten teams to begin the season.
2) Episodes run four to ten minutes longer than US episodes.
Therefore characters have enough time to be developed from day one, and thus editors do not need to worry about giving a team an invisible edit because too many teams are left after seven rounds of play. This was the perfect format to have all six teams be alive with zero NELs left in the race.
In short, TAR Asia 4 is the epitome of a good season. Every series needs seasons like these. Unfortunately easy-going seasons are tough to rank near the top of the chain.”
13. The Amazing Race 13 – 6.8/10
“This season has a very unique combination of being funky and good. This marked the final season in TAR’s transition era. No U-Turns were used and much of the format including the shortened eleven round format was copied from TAR 12.
The route was great for the first half of the season, but spending four of the last six rounds in Delhi and Moscow really hampered the season. A mixture of jaw-dropping blunders never before seen on TAR through no fault of the teams being terrible, watching a team prove that you can indeed virtually win every leg as well as the season, and decent casting made for an entertaining season.
Not only did we see the first ever super duper dominant brother-sister team take the first sibling crown, but a mother-son team proved that you can do well on the race as long as you hang onto your passport. Frowny McFrownerson was simultaneously a buzzkill but fun to irritate, the bra gate incident which led to teams forever being sequestered at pit stops, the great tale of Dandrew, the whiniest male contestant since Adam from TAR 6, Cabbie on the Street, and Mark & Bill all contributed to a fun adventure.
Tina tried to exchange this for a bigger rating, but it failed. Seeing Cambodia and Bolivia debut is the only reason why I have this above TAR Asia 3. Yes, again, seeing a team lose their passport at the most painful point possible gives this a boost as well.”
14. The Amazing Race Asia 3: Toughest Race Ever – 6.7/10
“This season was definitely a step down from TAR Asia 2’s amazing route and cast, but it provided a surprisingly solid season.
Hyped as #toughestracever , what it really meant is that vomit-inducing cuisines, physical activity in really high temperatures, super extended rounds, late night tasks, and needle in a haystack tasks that made unrolling Swedish hay bales look like a cake walk, covered the first six rounds of the game.
The second half saw a drop in overall difficulty but a favourable route for quitters Sam & Vince. Tragically, Sam & Vince would go on to win the game just one day after taking a four hour penalty when Sam could not pull himself twenty more feet across a gorge.
Why is the rating for this season nearly as high as seven out of ten despite bad winners, needle in haystacks, and a bad route?
Well, because the casting was “really really goooood” in the words of Audrey from TAR Canada 2.
Ida & Tania were simultaneously dominant and underdogs throughout the season as their late season run pointed towards a victory in the final leg, but was sadly not meant to be.
Mai & Oliver, Henry & Bunn-eh, Niroo & Kapil, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31, and all-male team A.D. & Fuzzie set up for an incredible cast.
It would have been 6.8 if not for Isaac & William. What the hell were producers thinking when casting them?
Perhaps the biggest improvement upon previous TAR Asia instalments is that the number of non-eliminations was dropped from five to three. Although with this cast it was always sad to see anyone go.”
15. The Amazing Race 10 – 6.5/10
“Its two biggest faults: An opening round twist which eliminated one team halfway through the premiere, and perhaps a contender for the dullest winners to date in a horribly designed finale leg.
In between that you have a strong season. Mongolia, Madagascar, Mauritius, Ukraine, and Kuwait all appear for the first and only time this season. The Six Pack versus Rob & Kim and Tyler & James lasts all the way to the end, Rob breaking down cars, an out-of-shape all-women’s team is the first all-female team to be in the Final Three, brother-sister team David & Mary, Social Outcasts/Chipmunks Dustin & Kandice, Condescending Quitter Peter/Prequel to Rex Harrington & One-Legged Sarah make up for the beginning and ending.
This marks the first of three Intersections and the first of two seasons with the Marked for Elimination penalty.
It is perhaps the most creative production and the most epic route that TAR has ever done. Again, a jump to an eight or higher is very possible if not for its start and conclusion.”
16. The Amazing Race 18: Unfinished Business 6.4/10
“This season was expected to be the worst season of all time, and had a best case scenario of being an average season. Thank God the absolute best case scenario happened, and the season was ultimately saved from being utter shit.
I don’t know what producers were thinking prior to the start of the season. Very few of their decisions made any sense.
Pick FIVE teams from the worst season ever? Check.
Plan a route which heavily favours these five teams, and insert only one new country for a third of a round? Check.
Plan a terrible twist at the beginning, and do absolutely nothing interesting for the remainder of the season? Check.
This was the season I was originally going to come out of my TAR hiatus to watch live five years ago, but all of these factors made me delay watching this season until this TARstorian project.
I see why now it is not a despised season: Producers really lucked out by having their bad decisions not play out the way they wanted it. Hallelujah.
Unlike TAR 11: Real All Stars, this season was full of snubs with teams they could clearly replace in this cast. Sorry, TAR 13.
We saw a revamped version of the Eliminate Somebody at the Starting Line for No Apparent Reason twist from TAR 15 where Amanda & Kris were doomed after the opening minutes of the race (they will be automatically U-Turned during the first elimination round and essentially screwed–brilliant!). Thankfully, Amanda & Kris are the biggest head-scratcher of a team to be chosen to return in TAR history, and took the well-deserved bullet for everyone else.
Things got better. Nearly everyone else from TAR 14 fell in a row at the start of the season, and allowed teams like Gary & Mallory, Zev & Justin, Kent & Vyxsin, and Ron & Christina dominate the airtime for nearly the whole season. Because of this, there were a ton of hilarious moments. Kent & Vyxsin’s insane blunders and meltdowns alone kept us going for weeks.
Luke’s epic fail at the tea Roadblock in India was perfect dark comedy. Some, for odd reasons, state it was one of the saddest reasons in TAR history–I view it as the exact opposite. There are few times where more unintentional comedy has been provided for a viewer in The Amazing Race.
Ron eating, Christina falling out of cars, Kent & Vyxsin losing their passport or driving twenty hours in the opposite direction and pointlessly betraying other teams, Zev making inappropriate jokes, Justin providing great commentary, and Mallory being a 24/7 cartoon character kept us going from week to week. Oh, and who can forget Jet & Cord’s delicious elimination in the ninth round?
Kisha & Jen’s victory provided a minimal reaction for the audience. It is not bad, but not super compelling either. Everyone can accept their victory, but not have a strong opinion about it.
TAR 18 was a strange way to wrap up another era of TAR. It was all over the place, a lot of it never really made any sense, there were a couple of good seasons here and there, but somehow the series continued to survive.
Perhaps the biggest fault for this season is it never addressed any of the long-term complaints that the audience had about the show for the past decade. This failure to address the viewers is why TAR 18 will mark the end of the program’s grip in American pop culture, and fade more and more into a niche market until. . .well, until today where TAR 29 has already been filmed, but no word on when it will air beyond it being a “mid-season replacement”. And perhaps the other major fault is that this season does not have any major highlights or anything significant to keep it alive outside of Kent & Vyxsin’s humongous blunder in Japan where they couldn’t even make the required flight. The following season, TAR 19, will also suffer from being unmemorable, but without the strong characters to save it.
Lastly, any season involving returnees needs to have challenges which are a step above a “regular season”. TAR 11 accomplished this, but sadly TAR 18 did not. None of the tasks felt like the teams were playing for keeps.
If anything, this season should have been a lesson for producers to start listening to the experts who support the series.
P.S. This season is the first one to not even have a planned Fast Forward.
17. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10
“TAR 4 offered very few new things. An overall likeable cast, a route that spent too much time in Europe while going virtually nowhere new despite it being only the fourth season, and is the only season other than TAR 8 and 24 which pushed TAR closest to cancellation. The show goes away for a full year after this season.
There are a few highlights, though. For instance, Kelly & Jon are odd figures to become villains at the end of the season. The initial dominant alliance gets slaughtered very quickly which hadn’t really been seen before. Monica & Sheree talked about luxuries of being married to NFL players, and the most important figures on reality TV for the gay community (even as much as Richard Hatch) appear this season.
Oh, and remember Jon & Al who had a 96% popularity rating? Even more popular than Jessie Camacho from Survivor: Africa? They help carry this season. The creepy and gropey Mumbai local did not have a 96% popularity rating, sadly.
It will be the last season to have a Fast Forward offered each round, and was the most fascinating part about the series. Sadly it will never return.”
18.The Amazing Race 19 – 6.2/10
I feel like I am splitting hairs when it comes to TAR 4 and TAR 19. Both seasons have an identical perception in the TAR community: Seasons that run smoothly and are unmemorable.
It became clear that TAR 19 is slightly inferior to TAR 4.
TAR 19’s highlights:
Kaylani losing her passport.
Double Elimination Leg.
Andy & Tommy’s elimination.
TAR 4’s highlights:
Mumbai train culture shock.
Millie’s asthma, Millie Mole, punching DK’s face, and Malaysian meltdown with Chuck.
Millie & Chuck vs. Kelly & Jon
Reichen & DK’s victory entering mainstream pop culture loosely and their late game showdown with Kelly & Jon
David & Jeff and Jon & Al within miles of freakin’ North Korea and start getting scared.
Overall, TAR 4 is the clear winner here. Even if TAR 19 had more new countries than TAR 4 somehow.
Perhaps the cultural aspect is what was missing from TAR 19. Or rather, teams being worn down by the cultural aspect and it becoming a storyline. We had too many teams who behaved calmly and didn’t do anything offensive or dumb in some of the sketchy situations in Indonesia, Thailand, and elsewhere.
The one bit of praise I will give TAR 19 regarding its unique twists is that they knew it didn’t work. Double Elimination Leg and the Hazard are never to be seen again. It fell completely flat.
Production didn’t seem too keen on Ernie & Cindy’s victory. The audience didn’t like them from day one, and it showed as there was great disinterest heading into the final episode of the season.
Furthermore, not a single team was invited back for TAR 24. Ernie & Cindy make a cameo during the TAR 29 finale, but thas been it for this season being acknowledged.
If you want to watch a season that won’t make you emotionally invested out of love or hatred, this is definitely the one to watch. You also get the neat Denmark-Germany-Belgium leg, and a few little quirks along the way like the subtle absence of clue boxes and random costumes from a comic strip. You also get the goofy antics of Liz & Marie which I had completely forgotten about.
There’s also a bunny obstacle course. It’s so adorable!
I don’t have too much else to say about TAR 19 given this season’s reputation. It’s a safe season in what has now become a massive TAR timeline. There are funny moments and bits and pieces of narrative here and there. You just have to look a bit harder. This is ideal to watch if you just finished a season that you absolutely hated.
19. The Amazing Race 16 – 5.8/10
“Well, it did not have terrible winners, a horrible impromptu elimination twist, and five non-elimination rounds. I will give it credit for that and why it is not much lower.
But yeah, a rating of 5.8 indicates that this season is not very good. That is a ‘C’ or ‘C-‘ in the eyes of most people.
Adrian & Dana, Monique & Shawne, and Steve & Allie received invisible edits. Heck, we did not know who Steve & Allie were until the seventh round. Even the winners Dan & Jordan were not acknowledged by producers until the end of the game was drawing near.
Instead the narrative of the season revolved around irrelevant Jeff & Jordan, over-the-top Jet & Cord, and the rivalry between Brent & Caite and Carol & Brandy. These are not exactly people who can bear the responsibility of a season on their shoulders. U-Turning Joe & Heidi early on did not help matters much either.
Only one new country being added to the catalogue was beginning to hurt the series. Is there any reason to keep watching if the show is going nowhere new?
The Intersection twist made teams work cooperatively on a Roadblock rather than a Detour, but is now more of an answer to a trivia question rather than reviving a twist in an interesting manner. I would say the Intersection is a very interesting twist in concept that producers put zero effort into running with it.
The biggest and most talked about moment is when Dan & Jordan cut in line in the final leg. It led to the audience blasting a ton of hate in Dan & Jordan’s direction because everybody was desperate to see Jet & Cord (the team to receive the most biased edit ever) to win the season. Thankfully that desperation was not appeased, but it created an outcome where Dan & Jordan were made to feel guilty while everyone else was bitter.
Even the third place team was threatened into guilt because of what they did three rounds earlier to Carol & Brandy leading to the first ever finish line fight.
Overall, this did indeed play out like a season, albeit a bland one, and it concluded with much needed underdog winners.
There are comedic subtle moments in every round. You just have to look a bit harder.
In short, I find this to be an inoffensive season. It reinforced the idea for the sixteenth time that two women cannot win TAR together as all-male teams once again filled three of the top four spots, and was our youngest Final 3 ever.”
20. The Amazing Race 15 – 4.9/10
“The season premiere, the return to the hay bales task, and the finale are three rounds that should never happen in TAR. Eliminating a team at the starting line and having nothing to do in Japan before a non-elimination; making teams roll hay bales AGAIN; and a dealer who screwed Brian & Ericka out of what could have been the most unexpected victory of all time.
Flight Time & Big Easy were the first team to be cast without using their real names, and also the first to be representing a brand. This is a horrible direction that the series would go into over these next five years, and probably until it gets cancelled by the time TAR 25 wraps up in the Friday Night Death Slot.
There were also recruit casting choices who quit too such as Maria & Tiffany and Mika who were truly incapable of reaching the finish line, Yes, Maria & Tiffany had one good round, but they could not have reached the end. It is no surprise that Meghan & Cheyne essentially raped the competition once they put more effort into winning each round.
It may be billed as a season full of blunders by players with visits to Czech Republic and Estonia for the first time, but the above errors by producers when it came to casting and twists were outrageous that it ultimately makes it a failure.”
21. The Amazing Race Asia (1) – 4.55/10
“The first expansion outside of America. It featured the first all-female victory ever, albeit one of the winners indirectly worked for the TV network which produced the season.
Again, five non-eliminations really held up the momentum of the season. Andy & Laura can only do so much, Mardy & Marsio could only eat so much like they were Brad Pitt or Sally & Tyson, Sahran’s constant fear of heights, and Sahil & Prashant’s rage attack after their receiving the penalty that eliminated them.
The locations were repeated from the US TAR for the most part. Their inexperience was noticeable when they had things like the Bali beach task where producers had to change the rules on the spot, and a huge number of penalties for the first half of the season that left everyone confused. Remember the formula of being penalized the following round for two minutes per kilometre driving over the speed limit?
Luckily TAR Asia improves greatly for seasons two, three, and four. You can partially forgive its failing debut. It does not have the same excuse as TAR 6 or 14 where American producers should have a full grasp on how to make a good season regardless of the circumstances.”
22. The Amazing Race 8: Family Edition – 4.0/10
“This is what the audience wanted. Production earns points for having a unique theme and giving it a try to please the audience.
Unfortunately, the restrictions of travel, and a glaring drop in difficulty of tasks turned off the audience. In fact, it is what pushed the series to the brink of cancellation again as the show finds itself airing at 10:00pm on Wednesdays until it recovers during TAR 10.
As soon as teams exit Costa Rica and enter Arizona, the Midwest theme along with teams putting up with an unprecedented FIVE non-eliminations in the second half of the season bored everyone.
The crazy antics of the Weavers being isolated, being the first to be yielded twice, and asking producers to help them behind the scenes kept up the raw entertainment along with Linzes and Christine Godlewski. And did you know it is just over a year before Billy and Carissa could sign up as a duo for TAR? Scary.
Why is it not the absolute worst? Because producers tried something new and fresh to comply with the wishes of the audience. And some of the teams do not disappoint.”
23. The Amazing Race 6 – 3.9/10
“When three seasons are filmed in less than a year, one season is bound to be forgetful and be shorthanded when it comes to finding compelling teams to cast.
The route is surprisingly unique for its time. Making every team complete their fair share of Roadblocks for the first time in history would become a staple for the series until TAR 24.
However, the horrible decision to think the hay bales task, too many flight equalizers, the dullness of Scandinavian locations, and Freddy & Kendra’s victory over a popular but really dull team dropped the reputation of the season.
Oh, and remember Jonathan shoving Victoria? An incident that was so controversial that it led to them being invited onto an episode of Dr. Phil, and followed even later by Joe Rogan kicking Jonathan Baker’s ass.
Lastly, the final leg was virtually the only one without a flight equalizer as Freddy & Kendra managed to get a time advantage over Kris & Jon in Chicago.
Due to TAR 5 and 7 airing in the same year and both being incredible seasons, you will see TAR 6 fade within a year in the eyes of the audience and the eyes of the producers.
It is no wonder why none of these teams have been invited back.”
24. The Amazing Race 14 – 2.5/10
“A mediocre route which also introduced us to Jodi Wincheski who would become not only the worst casting director for TAR in subsequent seasons, but also would be guilty of indirectly corrupting future casting choices.
An unlikeable Final Four, combined with five rounds being set in areas that Tammy & Victor were more than familiar with, led to the most suspicious victory in TAR history. Anyone who believes Tammy & Victor were awarded the title rather than earning it have a solid case.
Mix in boggling casting choices like Amanda & Kris, Enabler Margie who would be rewarded with two additional appearances, and you have a contender for the worst season of TAR ever played.
The imbalanced editing is another big contributor to its awfully low ranking.”
More and more viewers are tuning out of TAR. This season was no longer talked about after a week had passed.
So how do you follow up a season with a reaction ranging from mild disappointment to neutrality and everyone getting along?
By following it up with the final of three Titan seasons (TAR 9 and TAR Asia 2) where two teams absolutely dominate, several teams hate each other’s guts, the return of my favourite TAR twist ever, bizarre events from the starting line to the finish line, odd records are set, and you’ll hate everyone equally to the point that you can just sit back and watch them claw at each other’s throats wondering what is happening.
It is one of the weirdest seasons of all time filled with weird people and a very weird ending. You don’t know whether to refer to this season as an ugly mess or one where you can just point and laugh because you’re not the one responsible for cleaning it up.
It couldn’t be more different from TAR 19, and something tells me that is exactly what production was hoping for, and they got it.