EPISODE BLOG #301
“Threesomes With Gina Marie Are Supposed To Be Good And Fun”
ARGENTINA – PARAGUAY – ITALY – GERMANY – AZERBAIJAN – TANZANIA – INDIA – JAPAN – UNITED STATES
Previously on TAR: Nine teams raced from Buenos Aires to Asuncion, Paraguay. After two legs on top, Dave & Rachel came crashing down “forcing” them to use their Express Pass.
Meanwhile, Art & JJ stacked and danced all the way to first place.
After a long day of frustration, Vanessa & Ralph had one last chance and the dating divorcees came out on top sending twins Elliot & Andrew home.
Eight teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT
DAVE & RACHEL 3
ART & JJ 2
“JOEY” FITNESS & DANNY 1
MISA & MAIYA 1
MARK & BOPPER 1
DAVE & CHERIE 1
ELLIOT & ANDREW 1
VANESSA & RALPH 1
Phil introduces us to Asuncion, Paraguay and the city’s Seven Hills. The pit stop was on one of these seven hills.
The Seven Hills. Sounds like a quest you would find in Legend of Zelda.
“Collect a medallion from each of the Seven Hills before you proceed to face off against Ganondorf.”
Art & JJ, who arrived at an unspecified time, will depart first at 5:10pm. They read that they must fly to Turin, Italy—Italy’s Motor City.
It’s like Detroit but with less crime and more exposed chest hair.
Art & JJ aren’t even upset that their Spanish advantage is gone.
It’s time to fly over six thousand miles. When they land they must choose a Ford Focus and drive themselves to the Lingotto Building to find their next clue.
Surprisingly, there’s no mention of Turin hosting the 2006 Winter Olympics.
It looks like a place which waits for UFOs to land on its roof.
ART: I didn’t bring my Italian loafers, though.
“I only have my socks with sandals. . .that’ll be fine, right?”
JJ: We really don’t think we should be anything but number one every leg.
“Except for the first two legs. Those don’t count.”
JJ: There’s nobody that has the strength or intellect that we do to win.
Except the team that has won two out of the first three legs.
Art & JJ are at a travel agency. When is the first flight?
No flight scrambling today. All of the intellect in the world can’t hold off a basic TAR equalizer.
“I would put you guys on the 8:30am flight, but you guys stopped my sister at the border, Julia. I know it was you. She said the agent referred to himself as ‘The Dennis Rodman of catching rebounding migrants.’ And he wore a douchey bandana that he stole from a freshman’s fraternity at an Ultimate Frisbee tournament.”
You’re going to have to work a bit harder this leg, guys.
JJ: Another night in the airport.
Oh, I’m sure this group is going to get along great after a night in the airport together.
Art & JJ are already at the airport.
ART: Gonna get something funky to eat.
JJ: There’s another team!
JJ: Just teasin’.
Brendon & Rachel depart second at 9:59pm. Yes, Art & JJ beat eight other teams by four hours and forty-nine minutes or more without any advantages or Fast Forwards. I need to scan through 299 other legs if that is a record for four teams to start the day on equal footing and win by that large of margin fair and square.
I love how Rachel takes off even before Brendon can comprehend which country they are going to.
Brendon & Rachel talk about planning their wedding.
BRENDON: We are getting a nice little preview of our honeymoon.
You mean your honeymoon will include getting nearly run over by a Jeep and nearly triggering an asthma attack against a couple of gym rat Guidos? That’s what you refer to as a -nice- honeymoon?
Joey Fitness & “Danny” depart third at 10:00pm.
DANNY: I don’t know too much about Paraguay.
JOEY: The only thing we know are the pretty girls here.
DANNY: The girls are HOT as hell over here, though.
They’re so pretty that Tevin would have to throw the first immunity challenge just to vote them out!
JOEY: So are Italian girls.
DANNY: The Italian girls are hot.
JOEY: I think you like all cultures of women, so you’re alright.
DANNY: I’m not picky.
“You like getting STDs from all cultures of women.”
“I’m not picky.”
“We’re so alike.”
Mark & Bopper depart fourth at 10:08pm.
Two seconds in and Bopper has already called for timeout. I love Mark doubling up on glasses, by the way.
Mark reads they are going to Italy.
Turin, Italy? Tropical?
You can be walking in your speedo and run between the palm trees while sipping on pineapple juice around here in Turin! So tropical!
BOPPER: I have a seven year old daughter. She is very sick. She is on seven different medications for respiratory conditions. That is what the whole race is for me. This is what the whole opportunity is for me—to better my child’s life.
I won’t comment on this now, but keep this piece of info filed away for later as we’ll dive into this subject in far greater detail. It’s one of the pieces of what makes Mark & Bopper being cast for the race a bit uncomfortable from my perspective. It makes me really feel for Bopper because I don’t think he is quite ready for the long term impact that being cast for TAR will have on him yet.
BOPPER: How many times have you been to Italy?
MARK: Oh, about three or four.
I don’t know why Bopper is wearing a shirt that says “Gay Co.” I suppose it is Pride Month.
Nary & Jamie depart fifth at 10:09pm.
“I went on a teaching exchange there last year! It was so much fun!”
“Jamie, we’re not real–”
Jamie smacks Mark & Bopper’s cab with the clue like it’s a dog’s nose.
Bad cabbie, bad!
Nary & Jamie go to a travel agency while Mark & Bopper are heading to the airport.
MARK: Look at what they’re—what a job. We’re Kentucky no more, Toto.
Mark starts whistling.
“Think they’ll come to Clay County?”
He’s like Taboo from the Black Eyed Peas!
MARK: Lordy lordy.
With thick ass
Give Mark whiplash
They think big
Make Kentucky blink fast
Dave & Rachel depart sixth at 10:10pm. That is not a typo.
It really isn’t.
Kerri & Stacy commence in seventh at 10:45pm. They scream with excitement.
Brendon & Rachel are at the travel agency.
Joey & Danny leave their bags in the cab. They copy Brendon & Rachel’s 10:35am arrival.
Nary & Jamie and Dave & Rachel are at the same travel agency. Dave wonders out loud if some teams went to the airport rather than a travel agency.
Good luck concealing the 10:35am flight from the other teams.
DAVE: I think Kentucky went to the airport.
JAMIE: They were like “To the airport!” and I was like “no”.
RACHEL: They just maybe won’t get on a flight that we do.
Jamie retells her interactions with Mark & Bopper in a much more animated fashion.
Mark & Bopper join Art & JJ at a restaurant.
MARK: I see you! Don’t hide!
“Damn. Mark spotted us amongst the biggest crowd at the airport we could find. We were so inconspicuous.”
“No one else is here! Our taxi driver rules!”
They hug it out with Art & JJ.
Bopper asks if Art & JJ already have tickets.
BOPPER: Did you guys already have tickets?
ART: Did you guys go to the travel agent?
I think Art & JJ know the answer to that question.
BOPPER: No, not yet. We’re getting ready to go–
MARK: Where is the travel agent?
JJ: You gotta go to the travel agent before you come here.
MARK: You lying?
BOPPER: We thought the travel agency would be–
JJ: No, you gotta go all the way back.
MARK: You kidding?
You can tell Bopper is already visualizing that first flight slipping away.
No helados for you.
Art & JJ think Mark & Bopper are great guys and know they would reciprocate if they could.
Art and Phoenix feel Mark & Bopper’s pain.
Vanessa & Ralph depart in last at 12:15pm. That would be over nineteen hours after Art & JJ. Wow. They REALLY struggled.
Wait, why is it pitch black outside? I know it’s the southern hemisphere, but light and dark hours aren’t in complete reverse during the day, right?
Oh. It was a typo. Vanessa & Ralph are only seven hours behind Art & JJ. That’s nothing.
Ralph describes the previous leg as the worst day of their lives. Forget one of their parents dying or something. Stacking watermelons incorrectly was just a nightmare.
“Or the time my uterus went up into my throat.”
Kerri & Stacy find a retired grandmother to book tickets for them at the travel agency.
Or Edith Bunker. One of the two.
Kerri & Stacy are on the 10:35am flight.
Vanessa & Ralph are next in the travel agency. Edith Bunker tells them she will look again for flights.
“I just learned how to use one of these computing things last week.”
While Edith tries to figure out the Internet, Vanessa & Ralph decide to check out Rachel.
RALPH: Is she wearing sequins today?
She is like one of the girls I went to school with in the second grade.
VANESSA: Dang. Holy disco ball, Batman.
“Ha! Ha! I can see Rachel’s whole entire sph—er, sequins.”
I wonder how many more rounds it will take before Rachel’s fashion choices aren’t the ubject of ridicule by Vanessa & Ralph.
Bopper hopes there are still tickets available. Mark is frazzled when they enter the travel agency. He is shaking. Bopper tells him to calm down.
Vanessa & Ralph book the 10:35am flight.
VANESSA: This is for sure the fastest flight.
EDITH: Yes. There is NOTHING.
“If there is something earlier, this Paraguayan Internet connection can suck my dick.”
For barely scraping onto the first flight, Ralph sure could be a bit more excited about it. Also, their wrists are courtesy of Planet Buff!
Mark & Bopper receive tickets too.
Mark & Bopper are the only ones stuck on the second flight.
Bopper of course is unaware of this and does a “We Are Going to Italy” jig in his chair.
“You can join in anytime, Mark.”
We skip ahead to morning while everyone, including Mark & Bopper, sit in the same gate.
I don’t know how, but Charla & Mirna sneak away from everyone to get on the earlier flight. Those sneaky cousins.
It’s five teams and random dude with tablet.
“Joey” asks to look at Mark & Bopper’s tickets.
“You ain’t on our flight, bro. You’re over an hour behind us.”
“I haven’t seen anybody this screwed since I had that threesome with Gina Marie and her cousin.”
“Oh my tater.”
Mark & Bopper ask for a standby spot on the Alitalia flight.
“Standby? What’s that?”
Production is scrambling as they are on the verge of losing their fan favourites on leg four.
“Soooo, I’m an alternate if your sister drops out if you want to race a few more times, right babe?”
“The camera guy just referred to us as “Team Mississippi.” Fuck him. I bet Vanessa & Ralph are gonna block us on the plane too.”
“Ma’am, your uterus can’t fit in the overhead compartment. We have to check it and put it into the undercarriage.”
“Oh. It’s been a while since that’s happened.”
Joey Fitness & “Danny” walk on-board.
DANNY (making stereotypical closed hand gesture): Mama Mia!
Am I the only one that thinks the Guidos are going to get their asses kicked within ten minutes of landing in Italy?
And it won’t even be for blocking a gate in Rome this time.
Mark & Bopper keep waiting.
PRODUCER #1: Fuck.
PRODUCER #2: Better make this a NEL.
“Wanna go for one of those helados while we wait?”
“I dunno what they are. Only saw ’em on those signs.”
“Maybe it’s something cold like a popsicle.”
“Yeah. Hopefully something tropical.”
Commercial break. We resume.
The plane takes off without ’em.
Mark & Bopper are stuck all alone in the airport.
You know what they say on The Amazing Race: That’s the way Kimbo Slices.
Mark & Bopper eventually board the final flight.
BOPPER: We’re not gonna give up. We gotta run hard and think deeply.
“The tropical heat won’t affect us one bit!”
First flight lands in Turin.
I love the green, the white, and the red.
I guess our favourite Italian plumber is still eliminating the spike balls in the rest of the country, and will work his way into Turin.
Can’t even exit the airport without Dave & Rachel being in first place.
Teams land in Turin and search for the marked cars in the parking lot.
Vrooom! Vrooom! It’s TAR Canada’s equivalent to Chevy.
What car do you think they are driving?
Art & JJ complain there are no street signs and are driving train tracks.
RACHEL: Are we in the wrong lane?
BRENDON: I don’t know, babe.
RACHEL: Now I know why Italians hate Americans because we’re idiots.
I don’t know why this conversation triggers a slow motion head turn in the edit, but it does.
Joey & Danny are driving too.
DANNY: Nice to date an Italian girl. Can never trust her so we’re not gonna ask Italian women.
JOEY: My girlfriend is Italian and I trust her.
DANNY: Well, there we go.
Fun fact: Danny fucked Joey’s girlfriend two months prior to the filming of the race. Can’t say he didn’t warn you! #GuidoLifestyle, baby!
Jamie thinks the landscape is pretty.
Dave & Rachel have an amusing fight.
RACHEL: You need to tell me where to go now.
DAVE: I can’t see with your visor down.
RACHEL: I can’t see either.
You know what they say in the Brown household. . .
“It’s Dave’s Way or the Highway!”
DAVE: Stop being a Wise Ass.
RACHEL: I’m not being a Wise Ass.
DAVE: Yes, you are. Just focus on what you want to do.
Oh, I think I know what Rachel wants to do—file for divorce.
“Stop being a Wise Ass, soldier! Ten-hut!”
Rachel swerves into a gas station.
DAVE: What the fuck are you doing?
“Maybe you’re not a Wise Ass, soldier.”
DAVE: What are you doing?
RACHEL: Why don’t you drive? Go.
DAVE: You just yelled “go.”
RACHEL: You’re being testy today.
“Testy”? Just wait until TAR 31 when Rachel runs the race with Shamir.
Kerri & Stacy are still in the airport because, as Andre & Damon would say, “they can’t freaking drive a stick.”
Kerri can’t drive so they have to switch.
Ford will not be happy with this footage.
Kerri hides her face from the audience.
Art & JJ are first to the route marker. They have to run up the parking garage. It is a gigantic circular ramp. Brendon & Rachel are right behind.
Art isn’t going to like this.
Oddly enough, this is what Zack said when talking about Paige in Australian Survivor earlier this week.
I think they’ll catch up quick.
Joey & Danny and Vanessa & Ralph work together while driving. Joey points out the Lingotto sign.
RALPH: Give us a five minute head start. I’ve got this thing.
“I’m going to have to push her ass up there like a donkey.”
VANESSA: You’re a dick.
Or an asshole. Or a c—t. With Vanessa’s vocab, you never know.
Nary & Jamie are fifth to the Lingotto.
VANESSA: I’m going to die.
RALPH: It’s not even steep.
Art & JJ are first to the top. There’s a Fast Forward.
Yes, our first Fast Forward in the game since TAR 17.
Because casual fans can’t remember what they had for breakfast yesterday, Phil has to give us a refresher on the Fast Forward.
In this Fast Forward, teams must land a helicopter on a building.
Wow. That’s a helluva Fast Forward.
Oh. A toy helicopter. I guess you need some sort of pilot’s license for a real one.
Teams must use a remote-controlled helicopter while their parter wears a model of the Lingotto building. Once they’ve made a perfect landing, they will receive their next clue.
If only it was the real Lingotto attached to their helmet.
That guy is really jacked about landing that helicopter.
Art & JJ are doing the Fast Forward. Brendon & Rachel do the Roadblock.
In this Roadblock, one team member will rappel 120 feet down the Lingotto.
It’s pretty much the ideal setup for a rappelling task. On the way down, team members must grab a clue and meet their partner at the bottom. If they fail to get the clue in the two minutes allotted, they must run back to the top and try again.
But everyone should be able to do it on their first attempt, right?
Art & JJ run to what they think will be a real helicopter.
ART: You’ve got to be kidding. I thought we were going to man a real helicopter.
JJ: No. It was put a stupid helmet on and Art will fly a toy helicopter onto my head.
This task would later be used in TAR Asia 5.
JJ: It’s all you, you freaking monkey!
Actually, I think JJ looks more like the monkey right now.
Art is closer to landing the helicopter on his own head.
Man, that controller sucks. It looks more like a MadCatz controller.
Art gets close but the helicopter smashes against the side of JJ’s helmet.
Rachel and Danny are first to the Roadblock. Rachel has rappelled before.
Rachel puts the clue in her mouth like a dog fetching for a stick as a man casually chats on his cell phone.
Danny grabs the clue easily.
BRENDON: She was done before the boys.
. . .Because she started before any of the boys?
Rachel is hilariously off-balance while the safety guy tries to remove her from the harness.
DANNY: I got the biggest wedgie in the world right now.
“No anal for me tonight, bro.”
Rachel reads teams must go to the Museo Nazionale Dell’Automobile. They then must park on the street using the Ford’s Active Park Assist feature. They’ll go into the museo and find the 1916 Tin Lizzie and find the 2 cent Euro coin clue.
“Tin Lizzie Active Parks with a wet noodle, Bart.”
Both teams get in the car.
RACHEL: Jersey Shore is right next to us.
“I thought we beat the boys?!”
KERRI: I’m trying to keep it positive. On the inside, I’m puking. On the outside, I’m cutesy.
That purple and pink outfit won’t be so “cutesy” once it turns into a greenish brown sludge.
STACY: Mama Mia.
“I don’t know why, but I attribute this to everyone else wanting to pick on the all-female teams.”
Mark & Bopper’s flight lands. They try to make up time.
BOPPER: You know Italian?
MARK: I know a little Italy. Italy. That’s all I know.
Also saying it is nicknamed “Das Boot” or simply naming the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles would have helped.
Dave & Rachel are sixth to the Roadblock. Rachel is gonna do it. Dave doesn’t consider doing the Fast Forward.
DAVE: We’re bypassing that Fast Forward. Somebody had to have done that already.
**TWO MINUTES LATER**
DAVE: Hey, babe. Look at this. Fast Forward is landing a helicopter to a helipad. What if nobody has done it–
RACHEL: There’s so many teams here–
DAVE: Babe, there’s five teams here.
RACHEL: You seriously want to do it right now?
“I am trained to operate heavily mobile machinery.”
Yes, this argument is very Ron & Kelly-esque.
DAVE: Aight. Go ahead. Go ahead.
RACHEL: It’s the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
DAVE (sarcastic): Fast Forward is land a helicopter to a helipad. Hmmm. Being a helicopter pilot I could be potentially successful at that.
RACHEL: Where’s Art & JJ?
“Unless they’ve captured Brendon and extradited him back to Mexico, I think they’ve got the Fast Forward, babe.”
“Whatever you do Art, don’t fly it underneath my visor.”
RACHEL: Have you ever flown a handheld helicopter?
DAVE: You don’t know that’s what it is.
RACHEL: It’s a real one. You get to fly a real helicopter?
“If we get to fly a real helicopter, then we’re a happily married couple too.”
DAVE: Could potentially just be directing him to land at a helipad, but if you’re going to continue to act the way you are, I’ll meet you down there.
Ralph asks Vanessa to come down. She’s swaying. Jamie is doing the Roadblock too. Vanessa slowly descends. Very slowly.
Vanessa keeps kicking her feet in the air like a cat flailing in a swimming pool.
VANESSA: How are people doing this?
It’s not the answer Nessa wanted to hear.
Dave describes the situation.
DAVE: It’s a bit of a marital personality conflict right now. I hope she changes her demeanour. Otherwise this will be an extremely long leg if not race.
“And by ‘change her demeanour’ I mean ‘she would not let me play with my chopper toys’.”
So close but yet so. . .well, but yet still not so close for Vanessa as time runs out.
I feel like the announcer from Super Smash Bros. Melee should cut in during challenges like this.
Ralph is not happy with Vanessa’s performance.
Jamie runs out of time too.
Rachel gets her swing on. She kicks herself off of the first spiral to get momentum. She collects her clue quickly. Her and Dave jump up to third.
It is time for Brendon & Rachel to use the Active Park feature.
RACHEL: There’s a parking spot right here.
BRENDON: Yes, I got it.
RACHEL: Press the button. Now reverse. Reverse babe before another car–
The Active Park feature:
Actively turning up the heat in showmances since 2011.
BRENDON: Dammit. Just–
RACHEL: Don’t talk to me like that.
BRENDON: I know, but talk to me. Don’t yell at me.
“Enough of your nonsense, woman!”
Joey Fitness “&” Danny are using the Active Park feature too.
You know this filmed in December of 2011 when you’ve got somebody wearing a Santa Claus hat.
“Look, Ma! No hands!”
JOEY: The wheel turns and slides perfectly into place.
Don’t worry, folks—we get treated to this commercial seven more times.
Joey & Danny are inside the museum looking for Tin Lizzie.
DANNY: It’s gonna be old.
I mean, this car is old too. It goes way back to that Massari music video in 2006.
RACHEL: Keep going.
BRENDON: I am, would you—please. Let’s go.
Brendon has only been in Turin for two hours and is already talking with his hands.
Brendon’s Active Park is finished.
RACHEL: You were so embarrassing! You just raised your fist at me! I hate you!
“I was doing the universal Okie-Dokie hand gesture—no fists were closed with the “why I oughta!” hand gesture, Rach!”
BRENDON: I did not raise my fist at you.
BRENDON: I did not raise my fist at you.
RACHEL: And you can’t talk to me when you get under pressure like that! It’s not OK!
I. . .I think you might have been the one under pressure in this situation, Rachel.
BRENDON: Just stop. Stop. Stop.
RACHEL: This isn’t even worth a million dollars.
BRENDON: We’ll quit the race right now.
For the first time ever, a team will quit without it being due to injury or assuming they are hopelessly in last place.
RACHEL: Fine. Quit.
BRENDON: No, if you don’t. . .stop yelling.
Brendon’s tactic backfired, and backfired hard.
JJ: Steady. Walk it. I think this is the time.
. . .
JJ just casually walks away.
. . .Next time is the time.
When Ahnold said “get to the chopper, get down!” I don’t think he meant the chopper itself.
JJ: You think you can do it within the next thirty minutes?
“God help us all.”
Vanessa and Jaime have the technique down. Jamie is first to snag her clue. Vanessa follows shortly thereafter. Angel has got it. When the safety dude undoos. . .undoes? When the safety dude undoes the harness, he collides with Vanessa’s face.
I don’t know. Do I look like a nasal appraiser to you, Angel?
But I think these two guys are.
RALPH: Hopefully JJ and Art don’t get the Fast Forward.
**TWO SECONDS LATER**
Ralph jinxed it for himself.
The Fast Forward is claimed for the first time in three seasons.
And it is won by the most popular team in TAR history.
Kerri hesitates to thank Jesus and instead thanks God for getting to the Lingotto building.
I am surprised Stacy’s pants didn’t become a trend in future seasons.
BOPPER: We’re looking for the Linguido Building.
Joe & Bill are a Cult of Personality in Turin.
Brendon & Rachel have an absurd fight in the automobile museum.
You know how the fans who hate BB and don’t like to see crossovers from lesser esteemed reality shows come onto TAR to continue bickering on sacred ground? Yeah, Brenchel are absolutely hated by that demographic right now.
I can guarantee you there were accusations of them pretending to fight for the sake of gaining airtime.
RACHEL: I will stop right now and get last place. You have no right to talk to me like that.
Brendon starts choking himself. Perhaps having the car start its engine and run him over would be equally enticing to Brendon at this moment.
Dave & Rachel, Nary & Jamie, and Vanessa & Ralph see Santa Clauses in the street.
RACHEL: It’s the Santa Pub Crawl.
It’s Jolly St. Nico.
They will soon be laughing like a bowl full of jello shots.
Ralph takes his hands off the wheel for the Active Park.
VANESSA: That’s cool! It’s like Knight Rider! “Well Michael, I think you should wear your leather pants today.”
So that is why Vanessa & Ralph eventually break up. Angel just wanted a leather daddy.
NARY: That was sweet. Was hysterical.
JAMIE: That was wild. Wow, Ford.
“My first kid is going to be named Ford.”
We skip to Stacy already doing the Roadblock.
KERRI: I should’ve done this one.
“If only somebody could block me from doing this like they did on the plane.”
Coulda would shoulda. Welcome to TAR, Biloxi.
KERRI: Good job, that’s how you do it! Now slide your little butt down so we can go.
“It ain’t little, Mississippi!”
Kerri asks Stacy if she is doing all of the heights tasks to cancel out her fear.
A country music theme plays as Bopper keeps struggling with pronunciation. They can’t sound it out despite the logic to it.
MARK: How did he get that outta that? They don’t speak no English neither, brother.
“We gots to be ESL teachers when we get home yonder, Bopper.”
Brendon & Rachel find the Tin Lizzie with a case containing a two cent Euro coin.
They must figure out the building on the coin is the Mole Antonelianna where they will find their next clue.
Look at that building.
Antonelianna was of course the mole in the second season of the Italian version.
Brendon & Rachel wonder if there’s a slot in the car that they put the coin in to release their next clue.
Yes, a Tin Lizzie from the 60s has a secret compartment with a pinball machine inside that will release your next clue. Hell, let’s throw in a fucking skee ball game in the trunk too.
Brendon starts playing with the side view mirror with a mirror to his right side.
BRENDON: I have my BS in General Physics and my Masters in Applied Physics and doing my PhD in Biomedical Physics.
Which is why he likes tweedling with mirrors on cars.
Joey & Danny are second to claim the coin. Dave & Rachel are third.
This image is such a metaphor for their future.
Vanessa & Ralph are fourth. Nary & Jamie are fifth. Rachel asks for the year on the coin. Brendon sees the coin was made in 2011. Dunno how that helps.
I can’t believe I am typing this sentence, but Rachel is asking Santa Claus for help with directions on The Amazing Race.
“Can you direct me to where the cookies and milk are? No, not the reindeer. The cookies and milk.”
Santa Claus recognizes the Mole Antonelianna.
Rachel is ridiculously happy to find out it is in the centre of the city.
“I wonder if my Jewish friends in NYC would prefer seeing a thousand people dressed as the Maccabees.”
Brendon & Rachel watch all of the other teams driving away. Dave & Rachel continue to argue.
RACHEL: They said to go back there.
DAVE: Baby, as soon as I drive it’s logged in my mind. This is going to take us back to where we were.
RACHEL: That’s maybe why we should follow the directions people gave us.
DAVE: Do you want to be supportive or do you want to continue the way you’ve been this whole leg?
RACHEL: I’ll be supportive when you follow the directions of the people who live here. Do you see a roundabout?
DAVE: It’s a freakin’ one-way. Just kill it right now.
RACHEL: All of the Santa Clauses told us to go that way.
DAVE: Rachel. You are–
RACHEL: I suggest you follow the directions of the people who live here.
DAVE: I’m going to stop before I say something I regret.
To be fair, if somebody said “The Santa Clauses told me the way to go,” I would think my partner had completely lost their mind too. What’s next? The Tooth Fairies told you how to complete a Roadblock? The Easter Bunny helped you earn an Express Pass?
“I suggest you follow what Peter Cottontail told me and stop at the Cadbury Factory to pick up a hundred cream eggs and Active Park on the Bunny Trail.”
Brendon & Rachel are standing outside. Brendon asks Rachel if they want to continue racing or stop here and call it quits.
They start playing with imaginary wedding rings.
RACHEL: Why would I want to call it quits here? You say that about everything, Brendon. Just like your PhD.
And there isn’t a Battle Back twist on The Amazing Race.
BRENDON: We’ve hit a brick wall in this whole experience.
RACHEL: And our marriage.
BRENDON: Is that what you really think?
RACHEL: Yeah. Maybe you shouldn’t yell at me and be mean to me.
Just think Rachel Reilly was -this- close to quitting The Amazing Race on episode four of her first appearance. Boy oh boy would that have altered her history on TAR.
Commercial break. We resume.
Brendon & Rachel look at the coin and decide to go to the building on the coin.
RACHEL: Let’s go there and stop embarrassing ourselves.
BRENDON: Should I head that way? That’s where the centre is.
RACHEL: I don’t know where the centre is, Brendon. I don’t live in Italy. Obviously.
“I obviously live in France. Have you seen the beret on my head?”
Kerri & Stacy use their Active Park feature.
KERRI: Gotta get me a Ford Focus!
I can’t tell who would stand out more in Turin today—Rachel’s green sequins, Kerri & Stacy’s purple and leopard print outfit, or Santa Clauses.
Mark & Bopper are last to the Roadblock. Bopper is doing it. No more heights tasks for Mark. Bopper tries to use it like a ratchet. Cue country bumpkin music for the millionth time already.
Just keep pullin’, Bop!
“Can barely open my fist now!”
Bopper has the clue.
Of course that gets referenced.
Mark & Bopper drive to find Tin Lizzie.
Art & JJ find parking outside of the Piazza.
JJ: We just gotta find the Piazza.
Please let him be the pit stop greeter.
For the second leg in a row, they are several hours ahead of the other teams.
Art & JJ start running.
“Welcome to Torino, Italy!”
“Quick! I’ve got him, JJ! Check the green card in his pocket!”
ART: Heeeeeey, Phil.
Canadians get dissed for saying ‘ehhhhh,’ all of the time but Italians get away with it for some reason.
FIRST PLACE: ART & JJ
JJ is so happy he could eat a clue. Who does he think he is?
Werner from Survivor: South Africa?
Their prize? Five thousand dollars each.
JJ says they want to win three legs in a row.
JJ: The race takes you from the highs to the lows, and it’s rapid.
And JJ accidentally foreshadowed Art’s ending to this season in a very literal fashion.
Meanwhile, Nary & Jamie spot the building without asking for directions. Vanessa & Ralph and Joey & Danny accomplish the same thing. Dave & Rachel make it there too.
DAVE: Let’s remedy the situation.
RACHEL: Just stop talking. How about that?
That’s one remedy.
Joey & Danny are leading the pack as they are alone in the elevator.
“Neat elevator, bro.”
DANNY: We’ve got some beautiful ladies in the elevator with me.
“She’s about to be stuck on Danny’s ele-ele-elevator.”
“Would you like to be our Gina Marie? Get your camcorders ready!”
“Kill me now.”
I guess Joey & Danny won’t be able to “vini vidi vici” their elevator attendant going up to the top floor. I feel so bad for them.
“Started from the bottom now we here.”
In this Detour, teams must choose between Clean That Statue and Name That Salami.
“I wish they would do a better job at hinting what the task could be.”
“How about you fuckers be grateful for what you have.”
In Clean That Statue, teams must learn what it takes to preserve the city treasures.
I personally think Joey & Danny deserve a hosing down after a night at the club much more than any Italian statue I can think of.
Using the equipment provided, they must carefully clean these statues. Once they’re restored to their pristine state, they’ll receive their next clue.
“I’m trying so hard to perm, y’all.”
If this were Portland, Oregon, this Detour would take several hours just to get all of the human urine off of it from the previous night.
Ah, I see our Pristine Statue Inspector has gone with the “Kate & Pat 2018” look.
In Name That Salami, teams are required tot aste a popular cuisine.
“All while this man stands awkwardly behind you eyeing you with deep suspicion.”
First, they must find Gastronomia Salumeria.
There is no way you can say Gastronomia Salumeria without pinching your thumb against your four fingers while tilting your hand upwards.
Tasting fourteen distinct salamis, they must travel half a mile to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto to identify those fourteen salamis by their correct name. Once successfully named, they will receive their clue from the salumiere.
As a vegetarian, I don’t know how anyone can find these textures appetizing. You’re all heathens.
Tartufo is not Italian for “TARTofu,” is it?
It looks more like brownies than salami. I’ll make sure not to make that mistake.
“Why yes, I would like the salami shaped like a scrotum.”
“It’s our most popular one in stock. We don’t know why.”
Joey & Danny examine the options.
Grunt work is more Joey & Danny’s style. And it should say “restored the statue to its original glory” rather than “restored the statue to it’s original glory.” Proofread much, TAR clue writers?
DANNY: Salami is not my thing.
“If it was identifying the fourteen flavours of fish tacos, Joey and I would be all over that shit.”
Dave & Rachel ride in the elevator.
“I wonder how many people can be blown up with a missile at that height.”
Dave & Rachel marvel at the view. Especially Dave.
Ah, their conflict has eased off for the day. They are appreciating the race.
**TWO SECONDS LATER**
“Open the damn clue, Rach.”
“Let me read the damn clue, Rach.”
RACHEL: Really? Really?
Yep, Dave wanted to save 1.5 seconds but lost 1.2 seconds due to Rachel’s “Really? Really?” protest. However, it is a net gain of 0.3 seconds! Good job, Dave!
“Seeing a team bump into each other is the most un-Canadian thing I have ever seen!”
DAVE: We deferred on the salami because that was just too much meat for us to handle.
“And I say fourteen flavours isn’t ENOUGH meat, my little Brown-nosing friend! Ah ha ha! Why, I spent years helping my uncle at his market where I would shove as much free meat into my mouth each day. No less than two dozen, in fact!”
Nary & Jamie find the “awesome” building. Vanessa & Ralph find the Mole building too. Ralph has a brilliant idea.
RALPH: I’m going to use the Park Assist again! Watch this bad boy!
Be funny if Ralph did this for every route marker for the remainder of the season.
I have never seen someone so happy to drive a Ford.
The Active Park Roadblock sure would have made the Roadblock in TAR 7’s London leg a lot easier.
VANESSA: You’re such a weirdo.
RALPH: Oh, are we in a race? I’m sorry. I was playing with my damn park assist.
“My favourite thing about London wasn’t the people, the culture, the food, the art, the statues. . .it was Park Assist!”
Nary & Jamie admire the elevator.
Whoa, since when was Dustin subbed in for Jamie? Double agent!
Nary & Jamie choose to clean the statue.
Brendon & Rachel are driving.
I am sure we all remember this gem. Take it away, Brendon & Rachel.
BRENDON: I don’t like giving up but I don’t like fightin, and this is obviously causing a huge strain in our relationship. To me it’s not worth it. It’s not worth a million dollars. So if she decides she doesn’t want to be with me because of this experience then that’s what’s gonna happen.
RACHEL: I don’t need that either, k?
BRENDON: Then why did we come on the show?
Wait for it. You know what’s coming.
RACHEL: Because I wanted to go on a trip around the world with my best friend. I thought it would be fun.
And that is the most iconic moment in Rachel’s TAR career.*
*Subject to change in 2019.
Vanessa & Ralph are fourth to the Detour.
RALPH: Fourteen salamis.
VANESSA: Oh, wow. That’s a lot of salami.
RALPH: So we’re gonna clean the statues.
Vanessa is stunned by the amount of salami producers want them to eat.
VANESSA: I haven’t had that much salami since high school.
Both try to keep a straight face.
It’s a good thing producers did not have Vanessa go to Vietnam this season. Just imagine how she would have reacted to the currency.
Rachel also talks about her tragic experiences with salami in high school.
“I wanted to eat fourteen salamis in high school with my best friend. I thought it would be fun!”
Brendon’s day gets worse as they encounter Vanessa & Ralph on the elevator.
Great conversation, guys.
Vanessa is amazed “Green Team is behind us now.”
A sentence which will rarely be uttered in TAR 27.
“This is the second best thing next to Park Assist!”
Brendon & Rachel describe spotting Vanessa & Ralph.
BRENDON: We saw the Ogre.
And what is Nessa?
A trifling ho?
“Brendon is being very Urban right now.”
Ah, thanks Andrew. Brendon had to pull out classic Urban Dictionary lingo to describe a loathed competitor.
BRENDON: They’re rude. They’re disgusting people.
And which Detour option does Vanessa think Brendon & Rachel will pick?
VANESSA: I bet Green Team eats the salami.
Both teams sure love their immature digs this season.
Oddly enough, Brendon & Rachel decide to eat the salami. Good call, Angel.
Brendon & Rachel ultimately get over the fight and focus on winning.
Dave & Rachel are lost on the road. So are Nary & Jamie. Nary & Jamie consider switching to salami. Vanessa & Ralph are lost too, but Vanessa points out the road behind them is where the salami task is located.
Because the statue task is easy on paper, but tough to find, Brendon & Rachel are the first team to start a task thanks to deviating from everyone else.
He didn’t want to give away too many free samples, anyway.
RACHEL: I know nothing about salami. I know they’re on pizza. I like pizza.
Rachel does her best Mirna impression.
Kerri & Stacy find Tin Lizzie in seventh place. As they exit Mark & Bopper pull up.
BOPPER: Those are the Badonky Donk Girls.
All Bopper needs to do is start hanging out the passenger side and he will officially be a scrub.
I am curious if Kerri & Stacy would prefer being called Mississippi than Badonky Donk Girls.
Dave & Rachel find the park of statues.
I like how even the most rundown of areas in Europe still have an abundance of fancy statues.
Am I the only one expecting the statues to come to life upon contact and start throwing shit at Dave & Rachel?
Nearby we have a statue of Poseidon’s homeless cousin.
Dave & Rachel put on their outfits.
RACHEL: SEXY TIME!
And what do we do during sexy time?
Roadblock: Who is ready for a mouthful?
DAVE: Careful. Do not spray me with that. Seriously. Finesse. Rachel. Rachel. Give it to me.
This statue is dripping in Rachel’s finesse. It don’t make no sense.
Dave takes it over and is able to not shoot mist at the statue’s head, and is able to distribute it over the statue’s body. Rachel is in a fit of laughter.
RACHEL: I almost shot her head off!
Rachel nearly destroyed a priceless Turin monument! Hilarious!
Vanessa & Ralph show up. So do Joey & Danny.
VANESSA: Take all the fun toys. Take the hos! HAHAHAHAhmhmhmhm.
Angel don’t want no hos.
Ralph’s hos are gonna spray it all in your face.
VANESSA: The head won’t—the head’s not–
“You knocked his block off!”
Man, TAR isn’t a family show anymore when human decapitation is on full display.
Just wait until Ford invents a “Decapitation Assist” feature.
“Hey, we found a ball for our next game!”
The Aztecs will be pleased.
Yes, Ralph has been working out.
VANESSA: Gonna put her head back on?
RALPH: Yes, no problem.
Vanessa & Ralph clean the head.
Brendon & Rachel may be devouring a bunch o’ salami, but Angel is the one who is polishing off the head.
Joey & Danny say Joey & Danny things.
DANNY: I feel like I shoulda took her out on a date before I did this.
JOEY: She’s a dirty girl but not the type of dirty girls Danny likes.
DANNY: I don’t really know what he’s trying to say.
“I don’t know what he is trying to say. The VD was taken care of weeks ago.”
“But what about those new warts, Dan?”
DANNY: This isn’t just jealousy that comes out of Joey’s mouth. I’ve seen some girls Joey has been with in the past.
“We call those girls a Staten 5 or a Jersey 9.”
JOEY: You scrub a nice dirty girl.
DANNY: She has a nice butt, though.
I am sure they did lots of squats in 1st century Rome.
If you look real closely, the statue is blushing.
Nary & Jamie are fifth to the Detour.
RACHEL: Teachers are here.
DAVE: Pay attention to what we’re doing here.
RACHEL: I am paying attention.
DAVE: As soon as you get done I can rinse.
RACHEL: Yeah, you are bitching. Why don’t you help?
DAVE: I’m not bitching.
RACHEL: Yeah, you are bitching. It’s your favourite thing to do.
Also “observe and judge” is another one of Dave’s Faves.
Nary prepares to use the hose like it’s a gun.
This is a statue cleaning! Not a game of Unreal Tournament!
And Nary RUINED IT!
“If famous Americans endorse our salami, we’ll be the most popular salumeria in all of Torino!”
“I am half Mexican and much rather prefer beef.”
Brendon & Rachel walk to the market to guess the salami. They start racking up the correct guesses. Five out of fourteen are easy to point out. Their sixth guess is rejected. Back to the salumeria they go.
It is not as entertaining as watching statues get decapitated. I’ll tell you that.
Kerri & Stacy are in seventh place as they collect the Detour clue. They choose to do the salami task.
Mark & Bopper are a full route marker behind as they find Tin Lizzie.
BOPPER: We don good.
Currently in last place.
The sun is setting. Granted it’s December so it’s probably only three or four o’ clock.
Dave & Rachel ask for an inspection. They complete the Detour in second place.
Teams must now drive to the pit stop—Piazza Castello. Phil has nothing interesting to say about it. It’s the fourth pit stop of the race.
After last leg’s hiccup, Dave & Rachel are right back to where you expect them to be.
I like how no one cares about Phil being in the plaza. It’s the antithesis of the India or Bangladesh pit stops.
Rachel thinks six of the salami flavours are similar. They run back.
RACHEL: We don’t even know which ones are right anymore.
“This was way more fun in high school!”
Brendon & Rachel make another trip back to the salumeria.
Everyone else is finishing their polishing of the statue.
You know you can slap a real butt that is less than five feet away from you, right Ralph? Judging by that slap, I think I know where the nickname “Wreck-It Ralph” comes from.
Joey & Danny’s statue is being examined.
DANNY: Hahahaha. He is looking at the butt?
Are you twelve, Danny?
Nessa is starin’ too.
Joey & Danny are currently in third place.
Always gotta fist bump.
Vanessa & Ralph are fourth.
JAMIE: She’s hot. Ready for a toga party!
Everyone is gone and they can finally talk openly about their current CIA special ops.
Dave & Rachel run onto the mat.
Rachel has her arms up like it is the end of a marathon.
SECOND PLACE: DAVE & RACHEL
And hey, they completed more tasks than they did last week. In fact, the second Rachel grabbed the clue at the Lingotto building meant they did more than the previous round.
Dave is so happy with winning this leg over every team who didn’t use a Fast Forward.
DAVE: This leg was a complete failure from my vantage point. Our communication was lacking, and Rachel and I can only improve from this point forward.
I for one would be afraid of a team who beat -everybody- on a day that they describe as a “complete failure.” Just imagine what your chances are when they hit their stride. You may as well forfeit the race.
Kerri & Stacy enter the salumeria.
STACY: Hi! We need to taste your salami.
You knew exactly what you were saying and how you were saying it.
Brendon & Rachel enter the shop to find Kerri & Stacy.
“Oh, hi. I believe we haven’t met before.”
“Did they add a twelfth team???? Who are these people?”
Brendon & Rachel review the four unknown salamis. Brendon tries to calm Rachel down.
RACHEL: I can’t taste anything anymore. . .we are not doing good and it’s not OK. It’s not OK at all! Stop holding my hand!
BRENDON: Get ahold of yourself.
RACHEL: I might purposefully jump in front of a car!
Hey, the Jeep nearly got her last round. Maybe an old Italian beat up car will do the trick this time!
I’d love to know what’s going through Brendon’s head right now.
And I don’t even want to begin to dissect what is going through Rachel’s.
If this were a China leg, the locals would hate Rachel right now. Such an offensive gesture, Rach!
Rachel tastes another piece and immediately doesn’t know what it is. She begins to cry. Brendon has to tell her it’s OK.
“Idiot Americans. They can’t tell their Toscano from a Cacciawhateveritscalled.
Rachel is helpless once more.
RACHEL: I can’t tell anything. I am done. Amazing Race is supposed to be fun and good.
“And these salamis are boring and bad.”
RACHEL: I’m on Big Brother again! Everything is Big Brother!
BRENDON: We’re out of The Amazing Race.
Commercial break. We resume.
BRENDON: We’re out of The Amazing Race.
RACHEL: Brendon. Stop saying that.
I should note there are only three minutes left in the episode. If people who hate Big Brother crossovers hadn’t labelled Brendon & Rachel as “camera hogs” prior to this episode, they certainly will now.
BRENDON: Then what are you doing? You call me your best friend?
BRENDON: What happens when best friends fight?
RACHEL (sniffling the whole time): They make up.
Yes, they do. And they go back to the shop to figure out the last four pieces of salami.
It was like watching a schoolteacher trying to cheer up a second grader who didn’t get to play with her toys. Hilarious.
Mark & Bopper are last to the top of the elevator. They choose to polish the statue.
Nary & Jamie announce Josephine is ready for her toga party. They receive the clue in fifth place.
“I can’t wait to have a toga party on the last day of school!”
JOEY: How you doin’, Phil?
PHIL (Fake NYC accent): I’m doin’ alright.
THIRD PLACE: JOEY FITNESS & “DANNY”
Handshake or fist bump?
Handshake it is.
Rachel cries while eating salami.
RACHEL: It sucks that all of the people who hate us and are making fun of us are going to win.
I don’t recall John & Scott ever winning The Amazing Race.
Ralph copies Teri & Ian’s “Hoo-Rah!” as he is on the pit stop mat.
Vanessa cringes as she waits to hear her placement.
FOURTH PLACE: VANESSA & RALPH
It’s not so bad.
Brendon & Rachel complete the Detour.
I love how Rachel’s major hysterics doesn’t even equate to them being in the bottom two. Kerri & Stacy barely started this task, and Mark & Bopper are a minimum of an hour or so behind them. Possibly more.
RACHEL: THANK GOD!
It must be exhausting to be Rachel Reilly on The Amazing Race. . .or in general.
Nary & Jamie cheer on the mat.
FIFTH PLACE: NARY & JAMIE
Kerri & Stacy calmly complete the salami task. They get about six seconds of airtime at this whole challenge in contrast to Brendon & Rachel’s five or six minutes.
Of course the Italians have to give approval with their hands rather than verbally.
Kerri is about to remind you she is from the south in 5, 4, 3. . .
KERRI: . . .Thank you JESUS!
If it’s not God, it’s Jesus. If it’s not Jesus, it’s God. Gotta remember that with Kerri & Stacy.
Stacy’s enthusiasm does not match Kerri’s right now.
Now let’s cut back to Brendon & Rachel.
“No, it’s Delissio.”
SIXTH PLACE: BRENDON & RACHEL
RACHEL: Sometimes we act more like frenemies than best friends.
“Wasn’t today fun, babe? I can’t wait for tomorrow <3”
Brendon says he knows Rachel doesn’t really mean it when she threatens to not marry him. He adds they shouldn’t yell at each other.
Mark & Bopper clean the statue.
MARK: I finally had fun.
Jesus, it only took four rounds before Mark liked a task.
“Mark only likes tasks that involves domestic house duties that our wives does, with nobody else around to socialize with, and in a pitch black setting on a cold evening. Such a fun guy for me to hang with!”
“Bop, I wish we could do this task every day.”
Bopper makes out with Josephine.
In the crudest thing we’ll ever see on The Amazing Race. . .
Mark sprays Bopper in the ass.
“What gave it away? Was it my partner spraying me all over my ass?”
I don’t think gay marriage was even legal in 2012. In fact, I don’t even think it’s legal in 2018!
Kentucky Pride, y’all.
Poor Mark. Maybe he’ll need to get as much plastic surgery as Vanessa and Rachel.
BOPPER: That’s how you get some scrubbin’ done, boy. . .I look like a granite rat.
“I look a little less Fred Willard and a little more rat at the moment.”
Phil sees Kerri & Stacy holding hands.
PHIL: You better hold on tight cause you’re still in the race.
“And might I add you have tiny hands.”
“It’s how God—er Jesus, er, God made them.”
SEVENTH PLACE: KERRI & STACY
Out of the four women on both all-female teams this round, Kerri was the only one to have a confessional. TAR US wasn’t interested in an all-female storyline this year.
Bopper feels good about what he accomplished today. Mark says he had a great day.
PHIL: You know the news is not good.
MARK: Yes we do. We had a great day.
In the most Mark-ish way possible, Mark’s favourite day on the race is the day he knows he will be showing up to the pit stop in last place. That’s so Mark.
“Hmmmm, CBS won’t like losing their inevitable fan favourites of this season in leg four. Hmmmm. I wonder what we can do?”
Phil delivers the news.
LAST PLACE: MARK & BOPPER
They’re tears of joy for Mark.
Not so much for Bop.
Phil asks Bopper about his daughter. They have a good cry.
PHIL: Art & JJ come over. These guys want to say something to you.
When somebody summons two members of the US Border Patrol, nine times out of ten it is NOT going to be something good. Is Bopper being extradited for smuggling in drugs from Moldova or something? Is his real name Hankos Targaryan?
“Bopper, I need you to go with these men. They have a few questions.”
JJ: Art and I came in first and we won five thousand dollars each.
“And we’re going to pay for Bopper’s pancreas operation. . .after TAR 31 is done filming!”
Nah, just kidding.
JJ: Bopper, you start talking about your daughter and how much it meant to you to be on the race that nothing else mattered. So today we won ten thousand dollars. So we want to split the money with you.
BOPPER: You guys don’t have to do that.
JJ: No, we do. Because you’re a good man and working hard for your daughter. You’re our friends for life so that’s what we want to do for you.
“In fact, once this season starts airing on TV, you’ll be our only friends for life.”
I haven’t seen bro-y hugs like this since Wendell and Dom on Survivor.
PHIL: So. . .
PHIL: . . .Is anyone going to hug Mark?
*I assume them hugging Mark was edited out.
Bopper starts crying about the race and how it was an opportunity for him.
“I didn’t get nothin.”
PHIL: Well I got something else to say.
“I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to Geico.”
Nah, just kidding.
PHIL: You are the last team to arrive. However, this is a Non-Elimination Leg.
Mark’s dreams are crushed. “May God have mercy on our souls, Bop!”
Bopper celebrates while Mark is ready to vomit in disgust.
Art torments Mark.
BOPPER: We’re still happy to be here.
MARK: Yeah, our backs are against the wall.
“I wonder if I can slam my head against that wall.”
PHIL: You guys gotta be careful. You just handed over some money and now you have to compete against them.
I don’t think Art & JJ are too threatened by Mark & Bopper.
Next Time on TAR: In the snowy mountains of Bavaria, teams take on a fairy tale, and style a champion male while Bopper & Mark wail.
MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT
ELLIOT & ANDREW 1
MARK & BOPPER 1
JOEY FITNESS/DANNY 3/5
1) Buenos Aires, Argentina -> Asuncion, Paraguy
We have only three tasks total this leg and there wasn’t much navigation within the city of Asuncion.
However, we had a little bit of a flight scramble. Yes, it was just over two flights, but that’s more than what we typically get in TAR during this era. The three tasks we had were all tough as balls. You know it’s tough as balls when Dave & Rachel, a team who people put in the conversation of the strongest team ever are unable to complete ANY of the three tasks.
I assume Dave & Rachel didn’t put in as much effort as they normally would due to the comfort of the Express Pass. It’s like a power player playing loosely when he has a big chip lead. I’ve seen myself do the same thing in Survivor ORGs when I have a hidden immunity idol or am in the majority. When you have an advantage and are damn good at what you do, you just don’t try as hard.
Therefore, I believe the Express Pass wasn’t really a factor in Dave & Rachel surviving this leg. They didn’t even bother attempting the harp challenge and switched the watermelon task early because they knew they could use their Express Pass if the harps presented any sort of difficulty or an abundance of teams. Combine that with Elliot & Andrew and Vanessa & Ralph being several hours behind Kerri & Stacy, and I am about 97% confident that Dave & Rachel make it through no matter what.
So yeah, the Express Pass twist was a waste once again. Luckily Dave & Rachel used it early to prevent it from hogging up airtime. I do think, however, that Dave & Rachel’s performance in this leg erases them from contention in the strongest team to ever run the race.
The storyline of Art & JJ and Dave & Rachel representing the top of the leaderboard continues. They aligned, got on the best flight, and Art & JJ were very strong where Dave & Rachel are very weak. JJ outright says that these two teams will dominate the whole season. We see layers of Brendon & Rachel and Mark & Bopper showing strength in this leg and being presented as the only two teams who could possibly catch the two dominant teams in an upset. The editors have an easy story to tell for this season.
For a team who doesn’t make it to the very end nor will be super popular with the audience, editors invested in Vanessa & Ralph barely surviving this leg. They had their own segment after a commercial break just to show the conclusion in their late night showdown with Elliot & Andrew. Hell, we even got a good chunk of content of their rivalry with Brendon & Rachel. We had the full spectrum of “I can see Rachel’s whole entire ass” to “we will not quit to set a good example for Ralph’s son”. The audience definitely has mixed opinions about this team.
Nary & Jamie being the friendly team with a goofy storyline that trolls Art & JJ’s and Dave & Rachel’s competitive spirit officially begins this round. Art & JJ don’t like goofy folks. Too bad we don’t see a helluva whole lot else from Nary & Jamie except being bumped to the early flight.
Both all-female teams were underedited this leg as Kerri & Stacy were barely shown. They were on the receiving end of being outwitted by freakin’ Mark & Bopper. Editors chose not to bury Kerri & Stacy by showing the online exclusive unaired scenes and rather buried them via lack of airtime. They were outwitted then Kerri twerked to the harp music. We didn’t even see the completion of the Roadblock or more than a second of being at the pit stop.
As for Elliot & Andrew, editors did a great job of capturing their relationship and story all within the span of one episode. There wasn’t much to tell and decided to wait until they were relevant for the round.
This leg also receives extra credit for being a debuting country for the TAR catalogue. Paraguay has never been visited before or since. If they do choose to return to Paraguay, hopefully we get a leg outside of the only major city that 99% of the population can point to on a map. Can you think of another city besides Asuncion? I doubt it.
Wow, I totally forgot about Joey Fitness & Danny until now. There wasn’t much time for their comedic relief. Too much story was going on, they finished in the middle, and Rachel and Bopper were trying too hard to entertain the audience. Sorry guys. Maybe crop your mohawk Danny and you’ll get more attention.
2) Asuncion, Paraguay -> Torino, Italy
If you are not a fan of Brendon & Rachel’s bickering, you probably hate this episode as it occupies about ten minutes or more of the airtime.
If you can look past it and/or embrace it, it’s another leg with a decent design.
No equalizers and it’s all self-drive. As an old school fan, you can’t ask for much more.
The Roadblock of scaling down the Lingotto building did its job by messing up a couple of teams and triggering what I presume to be a twenty to thirty minute delay for them, but not the most interesting to watch unless you love to laugh at Vanessa flailing in midair.
The Detour was more comedic rather than it being particularly difficult. You either went to the easy-to-find salami shop but more time-consuming to complete or go to the hard-to-find junkyard but with a straightforward head-lofting cleaning process. They are a couple of more unique albeit not the most interesting tasks to watch. It’s a good thing the teams were able to entertain what could otherwise be mundane tasks to see play out.
Oh, and it is the first of THREE Fast Forwards! Not zero, one, or two. Three! Landing a remote control helicopter on somebody’s head seemed difficult. We wouldn’t see this task again until TAR Asia 5 where teams also sucked at it. It provided some amusing scenes where Dave was willing to risk his life in the race just to prove how much of a pilot he could be.
In terms of storyline, Art & JJ evened up the score with Dave & Rachel as the two teams have won two legs apiece. Thanks to the Fast Forward, they won by several hours for the second leg in a row.
Furthermore, the dominance of these two teams is solidified by the fact that Dave & Rachel kicked a lot of ass despite being at each other’s throats the whole leg and describing their performance as a failure. That should terrify all of the other teams.
Mark & Bopper’s travel inexperience was highlighted as they couldn’t figure out how to book flights to Italy until it was too late. Thanks to a pre-determined NEL (or CBS production interference if you’re a conspiracy theorist), their underdog storyline grows as Art & JJ’s act of charity combined with Bopper talking about his daughter made it memorable for the casual audience. Mark & Bopper became the official fan favourites thanks to this episode.
Vanessa & Ralph and Joey & Danny both tried to one-up each other in terms of sexualized and crass humour. I think Vanessa is still the queen but it could tip in Joey & Danny’s favour soon.
And lol @ Nary & Jamie and Kerri & Stacy combining for 45 seconds of airtime this episode. If you have seen all of the secret scenes, Kerri & Stacy were not well-liked by production as any interesting scenes with them were edited out.
Lastly, I know people think Art & JJ donated money to Bopper because they just wanted to look like good guys on TV and use Mark & Bopper in the race—but I do think it’s a bit extreme to assume ulterior motives were involved. Maybe Art & JJ -can- be good guys under certain circumstances. Or at least have a mixture of ulterior motives and generosity on The Amazing Race.
P.S. Yet another visit to Italy for TAR but luckily it is a brand new city.
3) Santa Barbara, California -> Cafayate, Argentina
I am not a fan of Starting Line tasks, and here we get another clear example of how a Starting Line task makes a season premiere feel super rushed and condensed. The first time we see two teams interacting is when Art & JJ and Dave & Rachel team up during the Roadblock. A couple of other loose observations during the tasks, and that’s it. Thankfully future rounds will explore these social interactions more.
There is one good thing about the Starting Line task this year: It’s the first one without any sort of penalty for the team that finishes last. They just have to get to the airport like everybody else.
Making 120 empanadas prior to reaching the pit stop was more of a unique task in TAR, and I appreciated it. We saw quite a bit of position shuffling due to the difficulty of it.
We saw a classic Roadblock fakeout as the team that thought they were going to skydive never ends up skydiving. Producers wanted more terrified racers to do this task, but the best moment we got was from Stacy and even that was a very small and repetitive moment we have seen over the course of twenty seasons.
Part of me wishes the pit stop was at a separate location, but it is the only reason why we got our Misa & Maiya elimination moment. I saw this episode live when it originally aired over six years ago, and the idea of this ever happening on TAR was thought to be reserved more for fanfics.
“A team is within plain sight of the pit stop less than100 yards away and doesn’t see Phil, camera crew, the pit stop mat, and the pit stop greeter? There’s no way that could happen.”
But it did. And not only that, but it was in the final showdown to determine who would be eliminated from the premiere. Knowing what happens at the finish line of this season, it really sets the tone for how TAR 20 is going to go.
Speaking of setting the tone, the way many of the teams carried themselves indicated who would be dominating this entire season. Dave & Cherie, Kerri & Stacy, Joey Fitness & Danny, and Misa & Maiya presented very clear weaknesses in this first round as the audience could quickly narrow down our contenders at the top. And Mark & Bopper were going to be our wildcards.
It’s not an awful premiere like others we’ve seen during this era of TAR, but more work still needs to be done. This episode would have been very unmemorable if not for the Misa & Maiya elimination.
4) Cafayate, Argentina -> Buenos Aires, Argentina
This leg had too many equalizers for only having two tasks.
Want to do a Detour? Wait for everyone until sunrise.
Want to do a Roadblock? You have to board one of three buses and hope yours doesn’t have somebody come up and smash your bus window with a baseball bat. Oh, and there’ll be a pit stop immediately afterwards.
Because TAR gives a lot of airtime to a pair that are prominent on other reality shows whenever a crossover occurs, we had an overwhelming amount of Brenchel content. Seeing how they competed on consecutive seasons of BB, an episode where they have several scenes early on in the season triggered a lot of groans within the viewership.
And because Art & JJ represent that anti-Brenchel Brigade within the viewership, their excessive comments towards Brendon & Rachel were also constantly shown. It doesn’t help when you know these two teams will be sticking around for a very long time in this season. What’s the point of the other nine teams being there?
Art & JJ and Dave & Rachel’s alliance dominated the whole cast for the second round in a row. It must have been scary to be any other team as they know the top two duos have decided to become a Superpower. A counter-strike has to come soon.
The Detour was a bit unique in terms of using a solar panel with minimal instruction to be setup and heat a tea kettle to a boil. That was fun to watch as teams didn’t know whether that would be quicker than the donkey alternative. Art & JJ made the absolute right call in this situation.
We found out Kerri & Stacy are good at things you wouldn’t normally associate with their archetype in TAR. They are handy and are good at math? I wouldn’t have guessed.
Mark put aside his Eeyore tendencies and was very pleasant this episode. Same with Bopper. No mention of how much they need the money. They were just having a grand ol’ time out there. This is how Mark & Bopper should be edited. They didn’t complain once during the task in an eyeroll-y fashion.
Vanessa & Ralph were the narrators for this episode. Who expected that?
Danny making himself bleed by accident and Joey Fitness’ leap onto the platform for the Roadblock clue was mildly amusing to watch.
Elliot & Andrew are invisible.
And poor Clown Dave. Nobody wanted to save him at the Roadblock.
Lastly, Diego Maradona always laughing at other people’s tragedies is about as much as you need from a pit stop greeter.
This leg just wasn’t well-designed and two teams hogging too much of the airtime is what drops it down in my rankings.
P.S. Nary & Jamie’s lie that they are kindergarten teachers is very believable considering their reaction to everything so far. I totally think Nary called a buddy in Langley to smash the second bus, though. I am certain of that.