The Amazing Race 20 Episode 8 Rankings

EPISODE BLOG #305

“A Glitch in The Matrix”

COUNTRIES VISITED

ARGENTINA – PARAGUAY – ITALY – GERMANY – AZERBAIJAN – TANZANIA – INDIA – JAPAN – UNITED STATES

Previously on TAR: Six teams raced from Azerbaijan to Tanzania. At the airport, a heated conversation turned personal. Art & JJ confronted federal agents Nary & Jamie. At the Masai village in Tanzania, teams trained in hunting and courtship. Rachel & Dave sang a familiar tune but found a way to come out on top once again. Meanwhile, Nary & Jamie couldn’t get it together and came in last.

Six teams remain; who will be eliminated next?

Intro time.

****

r kelly angry.jpg

“I’VE BEEN WAITING THIRTY YEARS FOR THE NEXT TARSTORIAN BLOG, LOGAN!!!! YOU KILLING ME, LOGAN!!! THE MOTHERS AND FATHERS AROUND THE WORLD SAID THEY’RE GONNA KILL THIS BLOG!!!!”

MENTIONED IN THE ‘PREVIOUSLY ON’ SEGMENT

DAVE & RACHEL 5
ART & JJ 4
MARK & BOPPER 3
VANESSA & RALPH 2
“JOEY” FITNESS & DANNY 1
MISA & MAIYA 1
DAVE & CHERIE 1
ELLIOT & ANDREW 1
KERRI & STACY 1
NARY & JAMIE 1

Phil introduces us to Ngorngoro Lake and the volcano that erupted 3 million years ago.

tokyo mel white

An eyewitness.

karatu wildlifekaratu wildlife 2karatu wildlife 1

Safari wildlife is shown immediately because #Africa

PHIL: Regarded as a garden of Eden. . .

gabon

“Smd Keoghan”

karatu phil keoghankaratu phil keoghan 1

 

Phil is already itching for that National Geographic gig.

creed arms wide open

Or just a big Creed fan.

Dave & Rachel, who arrived first at an unspecified time, will depart at 6:03am.

karatu dave rachel brown

I don’t get the flashlights. The sun is rising. They are fifteen minutes away from broad daylight.

karatu dave rachel brown 1

RACHEL: Take a drive through Africa’s Garden of Eden.

gabon.jpg

YES! FIRST TIME VISIT FOR GABON ON THE AMAZING RACE! A new African country!

malawi outfit

In your face, Malawi!

karatu zebra

Oh. We’re staying in Tanzania. I am as unimpressed as that zebra.

karatu monkey

Look at how disappointed that monkey is gonna be! He made so much popcorn for this episode thinking he was in for a special treat, but we’re just hanging around Ngorongoro Crater.

It makes you think why Gabon hasn’t been visited on TAR yet. It’s pretty much the most stable country in West Africa.

gabon rich

Politically stable, economically wealthy, and minimal crime. What’s the holdup Bertram and Elise?

When they emerge from the crater, they’ll travel to Safari Junction—a small town in the district of Karatu and find ‘Hilary Clington.’

karatu hillary

Look at Crooked Hillary. . .Clues.

At night I am told the manager tells his employees to #LockHerUp.

Oh, it’s one of those episodes. Because we all know people come to my blog to make commentary about the 2016 US election. Lock her up. Crooked Hillary Clues.

karatu hillary

“We’re zooming in because you won’t understand the pun!”

karatu dave rachel brown 2

“We’re subtitling it because you won’t understand the pun!”

liechtenstein jet mccoy 3

It’s like they want to push Jet McCoy to throw the remote at his TV and have a fatal stroke on his couch.

RACHEL: Caution: U-Turn ahead.

DAVE: If we arrive [at the Double U-Turn] first, we -may- consider U-Turning the Green Team.

karatu dave rachel brown 3

But I don’t think they seem too keen on it—mainly because they have been kicking everyone’s ass and have no real incentive to get anyone mad. If everyone is focused on hating each other at the moment, why draw attention to yourself?

It’s a strategy which is working for Dave & Rachel. They have won four out of seven legs and haven’t made a single enemy nor are on anyone’s radar. That’s incredible given how quickly teams will focus on threats in the past, present, and future.

ryan martha stewart apprentice

Sometimes you can win just one leg and have the wrath of half of the teams on you.

derek drew

Or finish 11th place followed by a Fast Forward and suddenly become the biggest threat in the game.

Mark & Bopper depart second at 6:05am. Only two minutes behind Dave & Rachel. Bopper reveals he injured his knee in the previous round.

karatu mark bopper

If I knew he hurt his knee, I wouldn’t have made so many jokes about it when it happened.

karatu mark bopper 1

Hey Mark, glasses much?

BOPPER: Before I let them put me out, I’ll let them cut it out and keep on trucking.

scout

I’ve seen somebody on a CBS show without a knee but the rest of the leg intact. It’s not a pretty sight.

Mark & Bopper acknowledge they are no longer threats and treated as having an equal chance of winning.

Art & JJ depart third at 6:23am.

karatu art jj

Art & JJ would be just as happy to read “Go to Aleppo, Syria” as they were to read that they need to find Hillary Clinton.

Art & JJ talk about how Dave & Rachel gave them their word to U-Turn Brendon & Rachel should the opportunity arise.

karatu art jj 1

They don’t look terribly confident that Dave & Rachel are going to keep their word. There’s something about clutching your forehead and biting your teeth that suggests a lack of confidence.

flashback bavaria

Ah. Time for yet another flashback.

flashback bavaria 1

“Agree to U-Turn somebody when we’ll always be first and will make it impossible for anyone to get revenge on us for not living up to the deal? We’re in!”

bavaria group

flashback bavaria 2

“We hate summer reality shows!”

Brendon & Rachel depart fourth at 6:48am.

RACHEL: The more the haters hate, the more stronger Brendon and I get.

karatu brendon rachel

taylor swift shake it off

Besides the grammar of “more stronger,” talking about how letting the haters hate is entering dangerously close into Taylor Swift territory.

And yes, Rachel is wearing a ‘BB’ hat just to piss off Art & JJ some more.

RACHEL: Let them drink their haterade and Brendon and I will benefit from it.

karatu brendon rachel 1

flashback bavaria 2

NO YOU WON’T! Two of the three teams who made an agreement to U-Turn your sequined asses are both still in the race and -always- ahead of you. This is an elimination leg too!

You couldn’t be in a worse case scenario than this!

And all of the joke teams are gone. The buffer zones in the form of Misa & Maiya, Elliot & Andrew, Dave & Cherie, and Kerri & Stacy are out.

This is a really bad situation for Brendon & Rachel.

RACHEL: Let them drink their haterade and Brendon and I will benefit from it.
BRENDON: Feed me, Seymour!

feed me seymour

“Feed me, Seymour! Feed me h8erade alllllll night long!”

Oh, Brendon. I can’t stay mad at you guys. You just referenced a movie with a beloved Canadian icon. I miss Rick Moranis.

Brendon tells Rachel they’ll just power through the U-Turn and won’t flip out.

karatu brenchel

Is it just me or are Rachel’s hair extensions in -really- rough shape today?

bob marley

They are resembling Bob Marley’s dreadlocks.

Vanessa & Ralph commence in fifth at 7:18am.

RALPH: Caution—Double U-Turn ahead.

karatu vanessa ralph

“Brendon & Rachel are going to be U-Turned by Art & JJ and then Brenchel will use it on—sheeeeeeeit.”

Yeah. Since the Natalie & Nadiya strategy hasn’t been invented yet, Vanessa & Ralph know they’ll be used as Brendon & Rachel’s escape route.

Everyone remarks on the scenery.

DAVE: The tranquil and mystique is simply phenomenal.

Much more verbose than “it looks nice,” as Jamie would say.

Mark remarks on the landscape too.

karatu mark bopper 2

“I’d be happy to give you a Kentucky Shoulder massage, brother.”

karatu mark bopper 3

However, a fist bump shall suffice.

karatu art jj 2

Art just needs some Spitz and he’d look like a bench player watching a bseball game from the dugout. You’re in Tanzania, man!

karatu rachel reilly

Rachel is in such a good mood today she might bake Ragan some cookies!

The Survivor: Gabon theme plays as we watch a bird fly to its nest.

karatu bird

This is the first of many “Remember, we’re in Africa!” shots.

Major Dave flips out with excitement when he sees a baboon. He orders the Jeep to slow down.

karatu baboon

Major Dave. Professional. Focused. Neutral expressions.

karatu dave rachel brown 4

But OH MY GOD THERE’S A BABOON, RACH!

karatu monkey 1

“That’s rude, Dave. Monkeys point, Dave. Monkeys point.”

DAVE: Koo-koo-ka-choo!

karatu dave rachel brown 5

It might be Art & JJ’s, though.

karatu animal

“I’m so lonely I don’t even have a mating call anymore. The line has been disconnected.”

Mark & Bopper’s Jeep goes through a pack of wildebeasts.

karatu wildebeast

“Teams will earn ten points for each wildebeast they hit. Once they reach one hundred points, they will receive their next clue!”

Mark & Bopper talk about never seeing stuff like this.

karatu mark bopper 4

I have a tough time believing Mark has ever been to Manchester. Mainly because I think Michael Harmstone has informed City Hall to refuse entry to him.

MARK: We seen animals we didn’t know what they was!

karatu mark bopper 5

“I don’t know what a Harmstone was!”

karatu warthog

“Where’s Timon?”

karatu zebras

The zebras re-enact Ted and Ghandia’s scene from Survivor: Thailand. Sexy biting!

BOPPER: My little girl would freak out.

Including those zebras mauling each other. Good luck explaining that one, Bopper.

Art & JJ see lions.

karatu art jj 3

JJ is the one holding the map and looking at the lions but yet Art is the one looking at the map but not holding it.

You guys really need to come up with a better gameplan today.

JJ: If we get that million bucks, we could always fly back here.

You mean the 25k for second place split between the two of you won’t be enough?

ART: I’ve got a lion right here.

karatu art jj 4

Art pokes JJ for at least five seconds.

karatu art jj 5

And pokes him some more.

ART: JJ. . .The Lion!
JJ: Get away from me.

mma bj penn

Well, we know JJ’s nickname if he ever breaks into MMA. Better than “The Ginger With the Intent to Injure!”

You won’t believe the next shot we see for three or four seconds.

karatu monkey 2

Casual fans online say TAR 20 was a monkey’s butt, but man did editors run away with that comparison.

karatu brendon villegas

“Hey, there’s Enzo!”

RACHEL: This is way better than the zoo.

rocky balboa adrian

“A zoo is where you take Hayden Moss’ girlfriend.”

Brendon & Rachel watch hyenas and elephants. Vanessa & Ralph see elephants. Vanessa has always wanted to go on an African safari and see an elephant. Oh, there’s baby baboons.

karatu monkey 3

bobby jon jamie.jpg

The baboons re-enact Survivor: Guatemala.

karatu lion

The safari version of “Netflix and Chill.”

karatu safari

Safari over. Race is back on.

Mark & Bopper and Dave & Rachel run around searching for Hilary Clington.

obama stall

outback jet mccoy 2

“This makes my gravy curdle, Cord.”

I don’t think we’ll be seeing a Millard Filmore stall on this street for some reason. We’ll be lucky to even get Polk.

Dave & Rachel and Mark & Bopper have their clue simultaneously. It’s a Detour. Water Supply or Air Supply.

karatu detour

Air Supply?

john kirhoffer

air supply.jpg

I thought John Kirhoffer was the only one at CBS who used rock references for names of challenges.

karatu phil keoghan 2karatu phil keoghan 3

 

“PHIL! YOUR BIKE! LOOK TO THE RIGHT! SOMEBODY IS STEALING YOUR BIKE! WHERE’S YOUR PELATON NOW, BITCH?!”

karatu phil keoghan 4

He got away with it right under Phil’s note.

stole my bike.jpg

 

 

Remember when this went viral about six to eight years ago? Man, that would not fly today.

Many homes in Karatu look plumbing and locals at the communal well can wait for HOURS to get their water.

karatu superman

Not even Superman can fix your plumbing.

karatu lineup

baku joey danny 24

In Long Island, the only time a lineup is this long is to get into one of Joey & Danny’s clubs.

In Water Supply, teams must pick up a cart full of empty containers at a specific address and make their way to the well then must wait for their turn to fill all of their containers. Once the homeowner has all of her precious water, teams will receive their next clue.

karatu water

I’d start blowing into it to make music like Homer Simpson.

karatu phil keoghan 5

The homeowner gets a free yellow and red drape to hang in their home.

karatu bucket

Tanzania: The country where exclusively selling buckets as a business would actually be a fruitful investment.

In Air Supply, teams will use the most popular form of transportation in Africa: The bicycle.

lilongwe cindy halvorsen 1

“It is very primitive.”

Bike repair shops are very common in Karatu, and teams must work with a local mechanic to fix a tire puncture.

karatu dare

Dare to be drug free?

cannabis map

It is not a dare taken by Uruguay, South Africa, or Canada. I can tell you that.

First they must figure out how to remove the inner tube without removing the wheel from the bike. Using the tools provided they must find the leak, patch it up, re-assemble the tire, and pump it up for a test run.

karatu tire

It looks like an alcoholic’s large intestine stretched out.

karatu pump

I guess a foot pump or an electric pump was being rather optimistic.

mario party pump

Any of the characters from Mario Party would love this method, though.

When the local kids give them a thumbs up, the Fundi Biscali will give them their next clue.

karatu bikes

The thumbs up.

karatu phil keoghan 6

And what the hell is a Fundi Biscali? Is Phil not going to explain this term to us? Is it supposed to be common knowledge?

fundi biscali

This is the best Google has to offer.

Dave & Rachel choose Air Supply. So do Mark & Bopper because they have fixed bikes their whole lives too. The two teams align.

Art & JJ talk about Hillary Clington.

ART: It’s kinda old now. I don’t know what she looks like out here.
JJ: She’s wearing a pants suit.

snl hillary clinton.jpg

Just wait four more years after this season airs, guys. Hillary Clington doesn’t act like she is old and frail.

Art & JJ choose Water Supply because they don’t know how many holes the tires will have and also accounting for the spokes.

karatu art jj 6

Hey, there’s a guy wearing a Niagara Falls shirt from Canada in the background. Neat.

karatu fundi baiskeli

Well, my spelling was off.

Dave & Rachel and Mark & Bopper agree to not U-Turn each other.

Can you imagine if somebody U-Turned Mark & Bopper in the social media age? I’d hate to be that inbox.

DAVE: Just use your finger to get around the tire, honey.

karatu dave rachel brown 6

I guess if you’re a married couple, the wife would be the best at performing a rim job.

Just in case you forgot they were from rural Kentucky, Mark talks about how he had to make his own bike growing up.

MARK: We didn’t have no new bikes.

karatu mark jackson

“We couldn’t even afford two tires! We just used one and rode it like a unicycle!”

uniracers

“Every champion of Uniracers ain’t gonna be from nowheres ‘cept Kentucky!”

The locals can’t help but watch both teams fix the tires.

karatu piercing

I wonder if nobody else has earrings because “man, that guy’s didn’t go as planned” or if the one guy thought “man, I really want to stand out.”

Dave & Rachel think they are blowing through this task.

DAVE: You’re a good teacher.

karatu dave brown

karatu mankaratu man 1

miyagi

“And you’re a good ranger.”

karatu art jj 7

We now go live to the Mexican side of the border.

Art & JJ gather all of the supplies and head to the lineup.

JJ: That was a good call. This is simple.

They join the line.

ART: Holy cow.

karatu art jj 8

“This is the biggest lineup I’ve seen since we detained the caravan, and hauled everyone into the station.”

Art sees it takes thirty to thirty-five seconds to fill each bucket and counted a minimum of sixty buckets ahead of him. It will take thirty to forty minutes just to get water for the day.

karatu art velez

“I normally fit like ten wings from the colonel in each of these buckets. I didn’t know you could use them for water.”

We get the usual “we appreciate what they do for minimal resources” confessional.

Art & JJ know it’ll be an even greater waste of time to switch at this point. They’re aware this is the slower Detour.

Brendon & Rachel are guided to a patrol station where Hillary Clington resides. They have the clue and choose Air Supply.

karatu detour 1

Kona Ya Mbulu will be the name of my first son.

Even Rachel picks up on Water Supply being difficult because of the nine containers.

karatu brendon rachel 3

Brendon & Rachel have a much easier time jaywalking than they did in Italy or Azerbaijan.

Vanessa & Ralph have a tough time finding locals who know Hillary Clington.

karatu vanessa ralph 1

I don’t even know what that building is supposed to be.

Vanessa & Ralph ask a couple more people before being stumped.

VANESSA: It’ll probably be something so obvious.

Ehhhhhhh, not really.

karatu vanessa ralph 2

You may have an easier time getting help if you’re in a more populated area.

We cut back to Mark & Bopper.

BOPPER: Did you see them hands? It’s mechanic hands.

karatu mark bopper 6

“They’re sure not typin’ hands—I’ve never set my hands on them keyboardin’ things!”

Mark & Bopper also have an easy time.

BOPPER: It’s like NASCAR pit stuff, baby.

karatu mark bopper 7

“If I was on TAR 29, I would’ve won the whole darn thing.”

Dave wonders why the patch didn’t go on correctly.

DAVE: It’s probably from your screwdriver.
RACHEL: Dave, you don’t know that.
DAVE: You’re making more work for ourselves.
RACHEL: Dave you don’t know that for sure. Stop being a jackass.
DAVE: No, I’m not.
RACHEL: Yeah, you are.

karatu dave rachel brown 8

It’s time to play Erinn Lobdell’s favourite game. . .

erinn lobdell

“Who Is This Jackass?”

RACHEL: When somebody blames you–
DAVE: Just shush. We’re a team.

karatu dave rachel brown 9

It’s taking every fibre of Rachel’s being to not prick Dave’s fingers right now. We’re a team Rach, but -you- fucked up the screwdriver to put us behind Mark & Bopper. Now do as I say.

We cut back to Water Supply.

karatu art velez 1

“If you let me jump the line, I’ll look the other way when you try to jump the border into America.”

JJ revises his bucket assessment to there being 100 buckets ahead of him.

Brendon & Rachel are running on the streets.

Bopper works up the locals.

BOPPER: Working hands, baby! RAAAAAAR! Take it and ride, little buddy!
MARK: Don’t wreck it, man.

karatu mark bopper 8

BOPPER: You be careful little buddy!

karatu mark bopper 9karatu mark bopper 10karatu mark bopper 11karatu mark bopper 12

 

“You go get ’em tiger!”

Dave & Rachel continue bickering.

karatu dave rachel brown 10

“Yawn. These two bore me.”

RACHEL: Why didn’t you find that the first time?
DAVE: Because I was too preoccupied with that. Now give me it.

karatu dave rachel brown 11

“What else is on?”

Dave tries to grab Rachel’s knife.

karatu dave rachel brown 12karatu dave rachel brown 14karatu dave rachel brown 13

 

Ooooh! You too slow, soldier boy!

soulja boy

Soldier Boy up in his ho
Watch him try to take that
Watch her say no
Now maybe youuuu
Grab that soldier toy
Maybe youuuuuuu
Grab that soldier toy.

Mark & Bopper’s expert takes the wheel.

karatu bike

Hopefully he comes back.

karatu mark bopper jackson

BOPPER: Now don’t run over no glass!

todd glass

Except this guy. He’s the only Glass you can run over.

karatu shirt

I can’t tell if his shirt is white or pink.

black and blue dress

It’s like the black and blue dress.

Mark & Bopper receive their clue.

karatu mark bopper 13

Bopper nearly crushes the clue giver with his hug.

Mark & Bopper read they must make their way on foot to Jack Stelzer Pub.

karatu jack stelzer

Such a groovy logo! It’s like somebody imported a sign from San Francisco during the 1960s!

alka seltzer

And because this is a rural Tanzanian pub, it is a great thing that Jack Stelzer Pub is right next door to the Alka Seltzer Pub. That stomach will be hurtin’, yo!

BOPPER: Caution: Double U-Turn ahead!

karatu double

The true battle is with the inevitable glare on the electronic board!

Mark asks a group for directions.

MARK: How do you get there?

karatu mark bopper 14

. . . “By jumping to reach your hand?”

karatu mark bopper 15

MARK: No. Tell me tell me. Tell me how to get there.

karatu mark bopper 16

Wow. Editors are really making fun of this local. They actually gave him a series of question marks for dialogue. I feel like that’s how most people feel when Mark & Bopper talk, but whatever.

MARK: Huh?!

karatu mark bopper 17

“What did you just call me?!”

karatu mark bopper 18

Maybe in his indigenous language “yes” means “go right.” You don’t know for sure, Mark.

Dave & Rachel continue to bicker.

DAVE: All we have to pump up is one more. You gonna help?
RACHEL: Is it worth yelling at me for? (Creates fake Southern accent) Nnnope!

karatu dave rachel brown 15

I think Rachel has spent too much time around Mark & Bopper. The Kentucky Fried Injection, y’all!

Mark & Bopper get proper directions from another local.

karatu mark bopper 19

And by proper directions, I mean where the subtitles aren’t a series of question marks.

karatu dave rachel brown 17

RACHEL: Why don’t I just sit back and you do the rest of it?

Brendon & Rachel think they have spotted the Detour task.

Mark & Bopper agree to walk.

BOPPER: My leg is down on you, Bubba.

Was that supposed to be a Forrest Gump reference? Does Mark secretly love shrimp?

Dave & Rachel complete the Detour and receive their clue.

karatu dave rachel brown 16

Rachel reverses her mood 180 degrees for the local. I don’t think the locals need much body language knowledge to know you guys are angry with each other right now.

karatu man 2

Who is that man on the back of his shirt? I don’t recognize him. Ten Monopoly bucks for whoever identifies him.

Brendon tries to get Rachel’s mind off of the Double U-Turn.

karatu nary jamie

Oh. Right. Nary & Jamie are still a team in this season. They depart dead last at 9:21am. Or rather, more than fourteen minutes of the 41 minute running time of the episode. They are more than two hours behind Vanessa & Ralph and there is not an equalizer in sight.

karatu nary jamie 1

I can’t take FBI agents seriously who wear cutesy “I’M RACING WITH MY BFF N E N E <3333” shirts. Is the federal government really that intimidating anymore?

karatu nary jamie 2

And in their likely elimination episode, editors have decided to change Nary’s intro shot to the most flattering frame possible from the last episode. What the hell did Nary do to the editors?

Bopper keeps telling Bubba to slow down because of his foot.

perth sam renae 73

Bubba?

No Sam & Renae, the other Bubba.

Mark & Bopper step onto the Double U-Turn. Phil has to explain this concept yet again.

karatu phil keoghan 7

We’re only one season away from shrinking that board into a Blind Double U-Turn. Or is it Double Blind U-Turn for TAR 21?

karatu u turn

bb memory wall

I see TAR has taken a page out of the Big Brother memory wall and whiteout any team that has been eliminated thus far.

As you know, Mark & Bopper become the faces of TAR after the airing of this season because of their appeal to families around the United States. Do you think that means they use the first U-Turn of the season?

karatu mark bopper 20

“We’re not gonna use it on any o’ y’alls!”

Mark & Bopper not only make the correct move in the game, but also to preserve their image and legacy going forward (until Mark destroys it in TAR 24).

Mark & Bopper read they must go to The Gem Gallery & Arts by car.

karatu gem

In Tanzania, they can start a chain of restaurants with female waitresses called “Hoopers.”

karatu clue

And there be the clue.

Dave & Rachel run by Mark & Bopper.

BOPPER: We didn’t U-Turn nobody.

karatu mark bopper 21

“Not because we didn’t want to, cause I’ve never used an electronic before!”

Dave & Rachel get to the Double U-Turn board.

nelly dilemma.jpg

It’s time for a dilemma!

karatu dave rachel brown 18

“Do we use our U-Turn on Brenchel to keep Art & JJ happy or do we realize we win over more fans if we go against the wishes of Art & JJ?”

What a dilemma. It’s Sophie’s Choice of TAR.

DAVE: Success is achieved either way without creating unnecessary enemy.

RACHEL: We choose not to U-Turn anyone. The Teachers are so far behind.

karatu dave rachel brown 19

It also helps when you win four out of the first seven legs, and have only had one round where you have struggled since the beginning of the race. Dave & Rachel need every friend they can get right now in case somebody beats them to a future U-Turn or need a key piece of info when they do struggle.

karatu dave rachel brown 20

Oh yeah, and how using a U-Turn will be a complete waste and only serve to stir up drama when Nary & Jamie are a minimum of 2+ hours behind every single team in a very linear round of play.

karatu clue 1

And this clue for the route marker is WAY too helpful. Remember the old days where’d you have to find the “smoke that thunders”? I miss those days.

Nary & Jamie comment on the green grass and the baby and big zebras. They get their own safari scene too.

karatu zebras 1

Nary checks out the back of the big zebra.

karatu nary jamie 3

Sheeeeit. Nary wants to hit that. She wants to plow through that Speed Bump. I ain’t lyin’!

Vanessa & Ralph are still lost. They are right at the bicycle repair task as Brendon & Rachel notice them about thirty feet away.

BRENDON: Keep low, babe.

karatu rachel reilly 1

Rachel doesn’t listen and neither does the camera operator. I doubt they are going to duck when the camera weighs like fifty pounds.

karatu brendon villegas 1

Instead Brendon is the only one trying to duck and looks really out of place here.

Vanessa & Ralph do notice them.

karatu vanessa ralph 3

julie lowell

“Even I would notice them!”

VANESSA: They’re right there.
RALPH: They got it. He probably wants you to do that. We don’t even know to come here. We need to get the first clue.
BRENDON: They missed it. They walked right past it.
RACHEL: Vanessa and Ralph keep walking around like they’re good for us. They’re confused.

More like good for Nary & Jamie.

We keep cutting back and forth between Vanessa & Ralph and Nary & Jamie repeatedly as Ralph is increasingly frustrated.

karatu vanessa ralph 4

“Leading us down this road was your dumbass idea.”

Vanessa & Ralph are in Vanessa & Ralph Mode.

karatu nary jamie 4

lorena jason intro

And Nary & Jamie continue to be in Lorena & Jason Mode.

We also see monkeys repeatedly too.

karatu monkey

“There’s no bananas in Tanzania.”

RALPH: Make a decision for us.
VANESSA: I mean, I mean, uh. . .there is no right answer.

Well, there is. It’s not like the way to the clue is going to be an abstract concept. “Hillary Clington will appear when Hillary Clington thinks you are ready to find her.”

karatu vanessa ralph 5

karatu rachel reilly 2

Rachel can’t help but smirk.

Commercial break. We resume.

Oh yeah, Vanessa & Ralph have the clue within ten seconds when we resume after Ralph goes on another rant.

Vanessa & Ralph choose to do Air Supply.

karatu vanessa macias

But not before she gives a no eye contact dead fish handshake. She is really playing up her Latina roots!

Art & JJ are still in line.

ART: Could you imagine doing this every day for water?
JJ: No.

karatu art jj 9

“Alright, we’ve got our buckets of fresh water. What an effort. Now let’s drink all of this up before that kid tries crossing the border in that caravan!”

Dave & Rachel are still in the cab.

RACHEL: It was nice spending a couple hours loking at the bamboons and zebras.

Yes, she said bamboons. I replayed it twice.
.
.
karatu dave rachel brown 21

Dave waits patiently to let Rachel finish her confessional. Now the race is on.
.
.
.
DAVE: Did you say bamboons?
RACHEL: Bamboons.
DAVE: Bah—boons.

karatu dave rachel brown 22

I like how Dave directs Rachel to study the movement of his lips to understand the pronunciation like he is an ESL teacher.

karatu dave rachel brown 23

Dave really made a monkey out of Rachel!

Dave & Rachel encounter Nary & Jamie’s Speed Bump.

karatu speed bump

If Art & JJ -really- want Brendon & Rachel out, they could always perform Nary & Jamie’s Speed Bump for them!

Dave & Rachel read they must now make their way to the town of Mto Wa Mbu and find Margaret’s farm.

karatu clue 2

I would just say Mtowambu.

Margaret’s farm, eh? I remember when I saw it.

margarets farm

It was one of the biggest scandals in the research community.

margarets farm 1

“Diamonds will make Dave & Rachel’s one-sided dominance all better!”

muntu

It made bigger headlines than that president being overthrown.

margarets farm 2

The Roadblock better involve diamonds.

Mark & Bopper pull up to the clue as Dave & Rachel pull away. They drive together on the road.

Art & JJ have an entourage of kids helping them. They all followed each other in a series of clusters.

karatu art jj 10

Like a. . .

karatu art jj 11

Like a. . .

karatu art jj 12

Like a caravan.

karatu art jj 13

karatu clue 3

“Ah. Brendon & Rachel are U-Turned. I wonder what we should do with the second slot, Art?”

karatu hatkaratu hat 1

 

I for one want a mohawk hat.

Art & JJ are at the Double U-Turn board. It is blank. Remember: Art & JJ were the only ones to choose Water Supply.

JJ: Art, nobody has even been here.
ART: What?
JJ: We’re in first. Dave & Rachel would’ve used it.

karatu jj carrell

“We’re first right now? That’s unbelievable.”

karatu jj carrell 1

“Like we really shouldn’t believe it.”

Art & JJ U-Turn ’em.

karatu art jj 15

ART & JJ: Ohhhhh yeah!!!

karatu brendon rachel 4

“U-Turning us isn’t supposed to be fun!”

JJ: Whoa! We’re clean cut dude!

karatu art jj 14

Art & JJ fall to fourth place after spending several minutes admiring their own picture. This picture would later be hanged in the bedroom of every border patrol agent who shares the same workplace.

JJ: We’re honoring our word. So hopefully Dave & Rachel will come up behind [Brendon & Rachel] and U-Turn the Teachers or Cops or whatever they are.

karatu art jj 16

“Whatever job they are, all I know is they’re not receiving a paycheque from the government this week.”

ART: It was fun to call them out on it. (starts imitating a 2nd grader) Ohhhh they’re not teachers.

karatu art jj 17karatu art jj 18karatu art jj 15

 

That was Art’s biggest highlight of the race so far.

karatu art jj 16

“Heh heh. Education.”

Mark & Bopper’s cab passes Dave & Rachel. Their cab driver is very excited to do the pass.

MARK: You’re happier than a lark!

karatu driver

It’s the pink phone.

kris jon cab

He is the unofficial sequel to the Senegalese cell phone cabbie Kris & Jon had in TAR 6.

Brendon & Rachel successfully repair a tire.

karatu brendon rachel 5

If only it were used as a HoH or POV challenge in BB12 to save themselves.

karatu dave rachel brown 24

Rachel bows before the Tire Lord.

Vanessa & Ralph run by Brendon & Rachel.

RALPH: Cheese and crackers.

karatu run

“Pssssh, they have such a strict diet Brendon.”

Nary & Jamie get perfect directions to Hillary Clington.

Vanessa expects to be U-Turned. Ralph is annoyed Vanessa is being too relaxed as they fix the tire.

VANESSA: Better think about the next challenge cause Brendon & Rachel are U-Turning us. *insert cat noise here*
RALPH: You’re worried about being U-Turned but all la-dee-da at the task.
VANESSA: Let’s make a mistake then.

karatu vanessa ralph 6

Nine months later Vanessa gave birth to a baby boy named Duncan.

Art & JJ have the clue.

JJ: We’re at least third and that’s only if Dave & Rachel would not honour their word which I don’t think Dave would do.

karatu art jj 19

Art thinks otherwise.

Brendon & Rachel see they have been U-Turned.

karatu brendon rachel 6

RACHEL (waving hands): Shockerrrr.

Rachel, it’s your own fault for thinking you wouldn’t be told to go back to where you came from when by border patrol agents when your partner is half-Mexican.

Who has four thumbs and just got sent back at the border by Art & JJ?

karatu brendon rachel 7

These guys.

RACHEL: We had an opportunity to U-Turn our favourite people in the world.

karatu board

“Holy cheese and crackers!”

So yeah. The only two teams of Latin heritage are both told to go back. This episode blog couldn’t come out at a better time. Jesus. . .or should I say, Hey Zeus?

Brendon & Rachel are forced to do Water Supply.

Nary & Jamie are last to the Detour. They go with Air Supply. Only Art & JJ were silly enough to do Water Supply.

karatu vanessa ralph 7

Locals are gettin’ bored.

RALPH: Is it hard?
VANESSA: He wants this thing to pop.

karatu vanessa macias 1

Vanessa eagerly waits for Ralph’s thing to pop. Oh my.

VANESSA: Who wants to ride it?

karatu vanessa ralph 8

It’s a good thing the federal agents are too far behind to hear that one.

Vanessa & Ralph spot the “Teachers” trying to find the Air Supply task.

karatu ralph kelley

The edit is not lying. Nary & Jamie are technically ahead of Vanessa & Ralph right now. They made up a ton of time and there is still a Roadblock to go this round.

phillip sheppard

Nary & Jamie being accused of being federal agents rather than teachers is like the anti-Phillip Sheppard, by the way.

karatu vanessa ralph 9

VANESSA: Don’t be on it, don’t be on it, don’t be on it.

karatu u turn 1

Yeah, you’re on it.

VANESSA: The Green Team suck.

RALPH: We’re so getting eliminated. I am so unbelievably frustrated because we are getting our asses handed to us right now.

Commercial break. We resume.

karatu tractor

She thinks my tractor is sexy!

Nary & Jamie are working on the tire.

Brendon & Rachel jog to the massive lineup for water.

RACHEL: Can we drink this water?
BRENDON: No. Don’t.

karatu brendon rachel 8

I like how Brendon has to be completely serious with that advice.

lex van den berghe 2

But hey, somebody needs to break Lex’s record for worst parasites on a CBS reality show.

karatu rachel reilly 3

“But I’m thirsty.”

BOPPER: We’re going to the Final Three and win the million dollars, but we’d like one first place before we get there.

karatu mark bopper 22

Eh. I’d just take the mil.

Mark & Bopper have the clue. It’s a Roadblock.

karatu roadblock

It’s time to harvest some honey.

More than fifty percent of Tanzania’s economy is agriculture and especially honey. Honey is ideal for a food supply.

ROADBLOCK HINT: To bee or not to bee.

karatu bee

Heh.

karatu phil keoghan 8

Out of all of the tasks Phil chooses to demonstrate this season, he chooses. . .beekeeping?

anita arthur intro 3anita arthur intro 5

“We’re looking for a new roommate!”

Phil says they must harvest honey from a hive surrounded by thousands of swarming bees. Once they have collected 500 grams, the chief beekeeper will hand them their next clue.

Bopper keeps referencing his damaged knee and his knee surgery five months ago.

MARK: He’s down and out. Beverly Hills.

karatu mark jackson 1

Why is he down and out like Beverly Hills? I would just be more confused if somebody told me that.

What’s next? He is up and at him like a laundry basket?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_and_Out_in_Beverly_Hills

Holy hell. That’s an actual saying.

Apparently Bette Midler is a big deal in rural Kentucky.

bette midler

Who knew 80s Bette Midler movies was the wind beneath Mark Jackson’s wings.

karatu mark bopper 23

“If the pancreas don’t get ya, the knees will!”

BEEKEEPER: These are African bees. You need to be perfectly calm. They will sting.

karatu mark jackson 2

“If the bees start stinging, shake the hive as hard as you can to put the bees in their place. Show ’em who is the boss.”

Mark opens up the hive of bees.

karatu mark jackson 3

Mark opens up the hive of bees.

karatu mark jackson 4

Mark hasn’t seen this much honey since he was a single guy in his early 20s hanging around the clubs.

karatu bees

No Superintendent Chalmers, those are steamed bees! They’re a Uttica thing.

Mark grabs a honeycomb and sprays it.

karatu honeycomb

It’s like a dirty sponge.

Dave is next to pick up a honeycomb.

DAVE: It’s not so bad if you don’t mind the pain whatsoever.

karatu dave brown 1

What pain is that? It’s none of your bees wax.

JJ: I just have to believe Dave would follow his word and U-Turn them. I would be really disappointed in Rachel & Dave if they didn’t do that as they said they were supposed to do.
ART: We will find out when we get to the end, brother?

karatu art jj 20

“You can’t guilt ’em into retroactively going back to U-Turn Brendon & Rachel, right JJ?”

JJ: If Big Brother is behind us they are not gonna be happy. Get to the end and find out they have to do the water?

karatu art jj 21

Maniac laughter ensues. Maybe JJ wanted to be the one to U-Turn Brendon & Rachel after all.

We cut to Brendon & Rachel doing the Water Supply task.

karatu brendon rachel 9

So far so good.

A bucket falls onto Rachel’s foot.

karatu rachel reilly 4

“I feel like one of Bopper’s knees right now!”

BRENDON: Pick it up! Pick it up!
RACHEL: I’m picking it uuuuup! Don’t yell at me!

karatu rachel reilly 5

It’s like a stepdad talking to a child. “I’m tryiiiiing! You’re not my reaaaal dad!”

karatu brendon rachel 10

BRENDON: Baby, you can’t spill the water.
RACHEL: I’M NOT TRYING TO SPILL THE WATER!

karatu brendon rachel 11

Brendon is trying to use Jedi mind tricks to control Rachel’s mouth.

“Just put the bucket back into the cart and all will be forgiven.”

karatu brendon rachel 12

“You want your water?

karatu brendon rachel 13karatu brendon rachel 14

 

“Here’s your fucking water.”

karatu brendon rachel 15

Brendon nearly gets dragged underneath the cart.

karatu brendon rachel 16

On a scale of 1 to 10, how pissed off are the locals that fresh water has been spilled so carelessly on the road? I’m surprised nobody has brought out a straw.

RACHEL: I’m bleeding from my legs and arms.
BRENDON: I’m bleeding from my ears.

RACHEL: I’m trying my hardest. Don’t tell me what to do.

Probably good advice for Brendon at the moment.

Vanessa & Ralph are in the queue for water. Eighty to ninety people are ahead of them. They saw the “Teachers” are at the other Detour and are certain they are in last.

VANESSA: The line for water is -really- long.

karatu vanessa ralph 10

This is one line where you can’t flash the bouncer to cut the queue.

Vanessa & Ralph have another “it’s amazing what we take for granted and what other people do to sustain life” confessional. Because, Africa.

karatu vanessa ralph 11

“I’m going to move to Flint just to appreciate what we have a bit more after the race is over.”

Dave and Mark keep snagging honeycombs. Dave thinks it is fun. Mark measures out 500 grams. This was a vey easy Roadblock.

MARK: Make your way on foot to the next pit stop.

karatu mark bopper 24

“But first you will receive a super awkward shoulder massage while reading this clue. Gee golly Bopper!”

Where is the pit stop for this leg of the race?

karatu lake manyara

Didn’t they use this in TAR 5?

karatu manyara

Hmmm. Maybe not. Needs more ostrich egg.

Phil says Ernest Hemingway describes this as “the loveliest lake in all of Africa.”

karatu phil keoghan 9

“I forgot what country we’re in. Shhhh.”

karatu phil keoghan 10

“And there aren’t any signs.”

Mark & Bopper start running.

Art & JJ are at the Roadblock.

ART: There’s a couple cabs right there.
JJ: Geez, did Dave not do what he was supposed to do?

karatu art jj 22

“If I have to hire Louie Stravato to plant cocaine in his bag, I will.”

Art is doing the Roadblock. Rachel is uncomfortable.

Dave has his clue. They will want to sprint out of there before Art & JJ throw them into the Interrogation Room.

karatu art jj 23

Or at least sprint out of there faster than Mark & Bopper. Holy hell you guys are slow.

switzerland gus

Gus could outrun you guys right now.

karatu art jj 24

“I am so disgusted I can’t even look at them right now.”

They couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

JJ: Hey guys, why couldn’t you do the U-Turn?

karatu jj carrell 2

“What happened? Was it the glare? . . .Did you miss the U-Turn board?”

DAVE: Teachers are three and a half hours behind us.
JJ: But we made a decision that’s what we’re going to do.
RACHEL: There’s no way. Did you U-Turn?

karatu dave rachel brown 25

“Ohhhh, you U-Turn? Wah wah wah.”

karatu jj carrell 3

“Yeah, we did U-Turn you lying bitch.”

JJ: Yeah, because we thought you guys might be behind us.
RACHEL: No, the Teachers are gonna be so far behind. Nobody’s gonna be able to pass.

karatu dave rachel brown 26

“k g2g ttyl!”

JJ: Art. No more. Just you and I race.
ART: Aight.
JJ: I am not sharing a damn thing with them anymore. In fact I don’t feel like talking to them ever again. I don’t give a crap. Art and I just got to do our thing and that’s it and win the race. Period.

karatu jj carrell 4

“If they were still close by, I would moon them right now to show how damn pissed off I am.”

Bopper keeps apologizing about his knee. Dave accuses Rachel of walking.

BOPPER: My knee’s bad, buhhh!

karatu animals

I can’t wait for them to be on TAR. Such an odd couple!

Phil does one of his worst dances since TAR 9 as the music plays.

karatu phil keoghan 11

I swear his body moves like half an inch to the music.

So will Dave & Rachel pass Mark & Bopper in the short run to the mat or will Dave & Rachel win their fifth leg in just eight rounds?

karatu mark bopper 25

I can already see the headlines: Bopper perseveres over his botched knee to claim first place from Superpowers Dave & Rachel and Art & JJ.

karatu pit stop greeter

How many times has Mark seen an indigenous Tanzanian local musician before in his life?

karatu mark bopper 26

I am going to go ahead and say that number is zero.

Phil gives them the news.

karatu mark bopper 27

This is hilarious.

karatu mark bopper 28

The only thing that stopped Dave & Rachel from not only winning the unreachable nine leg wins as well as winning eight CONSECUTIVELY was losing this one minute dash to Mark & Bopper.

Two guys from Kentucky who had never left the country, probably think Africa is a country, had a botched knee, managed to not screw up this extremely linear leg nor slow down enough in order for Dave & Rachel to make the pass.

This is the only time a single team will defeat Dave & Rachel in a stretch of eight freakin’ episodes.

Dave & Rachel will have to settle for a streak of three leg wins and four leg wins rather than a gigantic eight leg streak like an arachnid.

I mean, that alone would make me want to file for divorce.

karatu mark bopper 29

karatu mark bopper 30

 

Oh yeah, and let’s just say this will be the last big moment for Mark & Bopper in this race. Buckle in for the next two rounds. It’s going to be funny.

FIRST PLACE: MARK & BOPPER

SECOND PLACE: DAVE & RACHEL

RACHEL: I’m excited. He is being a poor loser.
DAVE: I am excited for these guys.
PHIL: Are you being a poor loser?
DAVE: She should’ve contributed more.
RACHEL: He is being a poor loser.
PHIL: You have to admit she is killing it. You guys have had four first place finishes.
MARK & BOPPER: She is killing it.

karatu pit stopkaratu pit stop 1

 

Apparently if you are supportive of Rachel, you get elbowed in the gut by Major Dave.

karatu pit stop 2

“You elbow my gut, I pinch your shoulder. It’s how we do it in Kentucky!”

Mark & Bopper have won a trip to Hawaii.

karatu mark bopper 31

“Hawaii! We get another stamp on our passports, Mark!”

Gourmet dinner, massaaaaages, helicopter rides, and rainforests.

BOPPER: I’m just a country boy. . .never thought I’d be to with my .
BOPPER: Team Kentucky is in the house, baby!
MARK: And we’re coming on strong.

karatu mark bopper 32

You actually won’t be able to come on any weaker. Revisit this statement in about ten hours, Mark. Boy oh boy is this not going to be fun for you.

Art takes out the honeycomb.

ART: I felt like Winnie the Pooh. That’s how Winnie rolls.

karatu art velez 2

It’s funny because Art kinda does look like Winnie the Pooh.

winnie tigger.jpg

And confiscates Tigger’s honey at the border, too!

Art presents his honeycomb stash.

karatu art velez 3

ART: Hakuna Matata.

You know who the last person to say ‘hakuna matata’ was on The Amazing Race?

colin christie sphinx

This guy. If you know about TAR 31, holy cow this is a random thing to have in common.

Art & JJ exit the Roadblock in third place. Art instantly shuts down JJ’s banter about Dave & Rachel.

Art & JJ stroll onto the mat.

THIRD PLACE: ART & JJ

They have a small reaction.

karatu phil keoghan 12

“Why did you use the U-Turn? The Teachers are three and a half hours behind you.”

karatu art jj 25

Don’t even start, man.

JJ: Dave & Rachel decided they don’t really give a crap about our agreement. That pen they signed the agreement with was full on shit-stained as far as I’m concerned. What a slap in the face. If I could do it all over again and jump in front of them, I would tag them for the U-Turn.

karatu jj carrell 5

karatu pit stop greeter 1

“But you didn’t. Because you aligned with a team who is almost always ahead of everybody. Great strategy.”

The editors cutting to the pit stop greeter’s sheepish grin during JJ’s rant is perfect. I will never not laugh at that.

karatu jj carrell 6

“In fact, I am so pissed off I want to slap you right in the kiwis, Phil.”

Brendon & Rachel meanwhile deliver water.

karatu brendon rachel 17

The woman sends a thumbs up to the camera rather than Brendon & Rachel. If anybody is happy about Brendon & Rachel being U-Turned, it is the woman who doesn’t have to spend two hours collecting buckets of drinking water today.

Brendon excitedly opens up the clue.

RACHEL: We know where it is. Let’s just go.

karatu brendon rachel 18

Rachel is not one for formalities.

BRENDON: Rachel bled a little bit.
RACHEL: Is that a little bit?

karatu brendon rachel 19

I wonder if they had to wait a while to get married so the blood would go away on Rachel’s ring finger.

We keep cutting back and forth between Vanessa & Ralph and Nary & Jamie doing the Detour.

karatu nary ebeid

joe budden pump  it up.jpg

Pump it uuuuup.

karatu manuel

Who is Manuel?

manuel the mole.jpg

The first eliminated contestant from The Mole is in really desperate need of some water.

Vanessa & Ralph complete the Detour in fifth place. I totally thought Nary & Jamie would finish the Detour before them.

Nary & Jamie complete the Detour in last place.

Brendon & Rachel are back at the U-Turn, collect their clue, and run by Nary & Jamie. Nary & Jamie are slow. They stop to update them on the Double U-Turn and direct them how to get to the U-Turn board.

karatu strategy

The question is if Nary & Jamie can haul enough ass to catch up in time.

Brendon & Rachel enter a cab. Rachel cries from exhaustion.

RACHEL: I’m just exhausted. Physically exhausted, mentally exhausted.
BRENDON: I know.

karatu brendon rachel 20

As long as Rachel doesn’t say “sexually exhausted,” Brendon will be a-ok and will not pay much attention.

karatu clue 4

Again, another clue that helps teams with directions waaaaay too much. People say TAR becomes more and more about doing tasks rather than the clever abilities of getting from Point A to Point B. If anybody wants to make that argument about how much things have changed compared to the first ten seasons or so, these clues in TAR 20 may very well be it.

Vanessa & Ralph instantly hire a cab as they head to the Roadblock location.

karatu vanessa ralph 12

*FIVE SECONDS LATER*

RALPH: Do we have a flat tire, seriously?
VANESSA: That’s what that sound was.

karatu vanessa ralph 13karatu vanessa ralph 14

 

Not as bad as Ken & Gerard’s flat tire, but close.

VANESSA: Speaking of our amazing luck with cabs. . .

karatu nary jamie 5

“Just like we teach our students—never give up!”

Nary & Jamie are in a cab too.

RALPH: We’re close to last. Oh well. It was a good run, kid if it’s the end.

karatu nary jamie 6

A flat tire on average takes twenty minutes. Nary & Jamie just interacted with Brendon & Rachel. Unless Nary & Jamie moved slowly to the U-Turn board and got lost, they should be able to pass Vanessa & Ralph right now.

karatu vanessa ralph 15

“Should we help?”
“Nah, look at him go.”

karatu vanessa ralph 16

Yaaaay! Dave & Rachel are -this- close to being too damn presumptuous for their own good!

Vanessa & Ralph are at the art gallery. They have the clue. Now let’s go to the Roadblock. Forgot about this route marker.

Vanessa & Ralph and Nary & Jamie are at the art gallery simultaneously.

karatu vanessa ralph 17

Congratulations Vanessa & Ralph. You blew a three and a half hour lead on Nary & Jamie. Nary & Jamie.

NARY: Let’s get our bags.
JAMIE: You don’t want him to wait for us?

karatu nary jamie 7

“Nah, I’m sure we’ll find another cab in the middle of fucking nowhere within a rural town.”

Nary & Jamie are stunned. Personally I assume most viewers given what typically happens when a team spends nearly the whole episode in Lorena & Jason Mode. Like, “nice try editors but we’re not falling for your crap.”

karatu nary jamie 8

Oh right. A Speed Bump. Well, now they’re just about six or seven minutes behind because lol Speed Bumps.

karatu phil keoghan 13

It takes more time setting up that sign than it does to complete the Speed Bump.

For this Speed Bump, they will help local artists to set up an art stand using the painting as reference.

karatu speed bump 1karatu speed bump 2karatu speed bump 3

 

Why couldn’t editors show any of the paintings in full?

PHIL: When the art vendor, Doctor Moses, feels they have a perfect match, they will receive their next clue.

karatu doctor moses

“Let my paintings go. No seriously, your hands are greasy and they are smudging my work.”

Jamie has to explain the challenge repeatedly to Nary as she doesn’t get it.

karatu nary jamie 9

Between this and letting the cab go, I think Nary may be the teammate dragging this team down.

VANESSA: They still have their Speed Bump to do.
RALPH: They’re gonna get that quick.

I think Ralph’s statement was redundant regarding Speed Bumps.

karatu nary jamie 10karatu nary jamie 11

 

“It’s just like hanging up posters in the classroom before the start of a new school year.”

Brendon & Rachel are at the Roadblock. Rachel volunteers.

karatu brendon villegas 2

BRENDON: MAKE SURE THE BEES DON’T STING YOUR BLOOD!

RACHEL: Every time I cut the honey, I kept smoking the bees. I used the smoke like a perfume. I would smoke myself.

karatu rachel reilly 6

It’s the Bees de la Fleur scent. Ah. Such a fragrance.

RACHEL: I’m like Winnie the Pooh. Let’s go.

. . .Americans don’t know any other honey references, eh?

mariah carey honey.jpg

Could’ve at least gone with a Mariah reference to switch it up.

Brendon & Rachel run to the mat. The music plays.

karatu phil keoghan 14

It’s better than Phil humming to himself alone at the pit stop all day.

karatu brendon rachel 21

Now they can all stomp their feet to the rhythm of the beat together.

FOURTH PLACE: BRENDON & RACHEL

karatu brendon rachel 22

RACHEL: Double U-Turn that!

karatu brendon rachel 23

Sigh. Do we have to go over this like I did in TAR 17?

It only counts as overcoming a U-Turn if you beat a team that wasn’t U-Turned and didn’t start out the day several hours behind.

In other words, defeating a team YOU U-Turned and Nary & Jamie who didn’t start this leg until four hours later without the aid of an equalizer isn’t exactly becoming underdogs for this round.

Sorry editors, but let’s not go down this path. You know I’ll call you out on it.

RALPH: Babe, you wanna do it?
VANESSA: You’re better under pressure.
RALPH: You wanna do it?
VANESSA: You’re better under pressure!

If you’re in a scramble to not be eliminated and your partner is shouting YOU’RE BETTER UNDER PRESSURE!!! then yeah, you better do the Roadblock to stay in the race.

RALPH: . . .I’ll do it.

karatu vanessa ralph 18

Logic prevails.

Ralph retrieves honeycombs.

Nary complains about the wind making it sooooo much harder.

karatu nary ebeid 1

Instead of it being a Speed Bump, it is now a Speed Breeze. The task will now take five and a half minutes as opposed to the estimated five minutes.

JAMIE: Nary, grab me that rock.
NARY: . . .

karatu nary jamie 12

Jesus Christ Nary, at least look at Jamie’s finger.

JAMIE: Right here. Right here. Right here.

karatu nary jamie 13

She’s walking AWAY! Oh my god, Nary.

Ten minutes later, Nary finds the rock and they await judgment.

karatu nary jamie 14

Hmmm. . .

karatu nary jamie 15

He approves.

Nary & Jamie complete the Speed Bump in last place.

Jamie has a very unpolished confessional about how not seeing a team gives you hope because you might be ahead, but she was happy to see Vanessa & Ralph.

Ralph gets the Jet & Cord music when he completes the Roadblock.

RALPH: Good luck with your bees.

karatu ralph kelley 1

Man, Ralph Kelley is no Allan Wu. He had the perfect opportunity to say “good luck with your beesness but didn’t take it.”

ludacris rollout

My beesness my beesness. . .oh my oh my oh my. . .

No suspense here. Vanessa & Ralph immediately check in.

FIFTH PLACE: VANESSA & RALPH

PHIL: After completing both sides of the Detour.
RALPH: I am amazed we are still here.

Yeah, it’s like there was a team that started this leg 3-4 hours behind everybody and had an extra minor task to do plus had been the weakest of the six teams since the beginning of the season. Whaaaat an amazing comeback, guys.

karatu vanessa ralph 19karatu vanessa ralph 20karatu vanessa ralph 21karatu vanessa ralph 22

 

I like Ralph’s gut sound when he makes that jump. It is the most success he has had with anything this episode.

karatu vanessa ralph 23

Needless to say they are relieved the day is over.

karatu vanessa ralph 24

“It’s truly a miracle there is a team behind us who sucks twice as much as we do at the race. I had such a tough time finding Hillary Clington this leg I have now switched to being a Republican.”

VANESSA: We had every single complication that anyone could ever anticipate. . .

karatu vanessa ralph 25

Wait for it. . .

(Massive overly animated breast jiggle.)

VANESSA: And we’re still here!

karatu vanessa ralph 26karatu vanessa ralph 27

 

Ralph was waiting for it.

We cut to the Roadblock for 1.2 seconds. Nary did it.

JAMIE: Thata girl! You did it so fast!

As did everyone else.

karatu nary ebeid 2

The most responsibility Nary is allowed to have on the race.

LAST PLACE: NARY & JAMIE

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“Is there cake at Elimination Station?”

PHIL: You guys did so well today. You did extraordinary job.

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“Especially you, Nary. You killed it with finding that rock at the Speed Bump.”

They reflect on their special friendship.

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The shirt says it all.

NARY: I wouldn’t have done it with anyone other than Jamie.

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Note Jamie doesn’t have the same confessional.

JAMIE: My budd-ehhhhhhhhhhh.

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“Now let’s go with those snipers to Yemen.”
“Will there be cake?”

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Nary & Jamie do their best Misa & Maiya impression as they walk away from Phil at the mat.

Next Time on TAR: Art & JJ face off with Rachel & Dave. In the vibrant city of Cochin, India, Mark has a Bollywood meltdown.

MENTIONED IN THE ‘NEXT TIME ON’ SEGMENT

MARK & BOPPER 2
ELLIOT & ANDREW 1
NARY & JAMIE 1
ART & JJ 1
DAVE & RACHEL 1

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

MARK/BOPPER 9/8
BRENDON/RACHEL 3/5
NARY/JAMIE 4/2
RACHEL/DAVE 4/7
VANESSA/RALPH 3/2
ART/JJ 8/7

Leg Rankings

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) Torino, Italy -> Bavaria, Germany

This round wasn’t terribly electrifying with entertainment value compared to the past two rounds. However, I love the design of the round.

They went all in with a fairy tale theme within Bavaria. Other than the minor equalizer at Gasthof, which only let two teams catch up to Art & JJ, teams had to completely self-navigate from start to finish. A ten hour train ride followed by about six or seven hours of driving yourself around Bavaria? That’s true TAR.

Art & JJ won their third leg in a row. When only two teams win the first five legs of the race, it really cues us up that we are in for a Titan season. No one could touch Dave & Rachel in the first two legs. Nobody has been able to come remotely close to Art & JJ in the next three legs. Right now the only team who has demonstrated to be competitive has been Joey & Danny.

The Roadblock was lame but surprisingly difficult for a couple of teams. Slide a pawn across the ice into a circle. That’s it. Not the most physically draining of tasks, but pretty much dictated who went home this round (if they hadn’t got lost).

The Detour was very offbeat. Collect gingerbread pieces on a snowy trail as a ridiculous witch taunts you. The other option was shaping a man’s beard.

It is also one of those rare episodes of TAR where it takes place while it is snowing. You can thank filming in the middle of December for that.

Seeing Kerri & Stacy blow it on the self-drive over Nary & Jamie on a short drive to the pit stop is something we don’t see often—however, it would have been more memorable if Nary & Jamie and Kerri & Stacy weren’t borderline invisible up until this point.

Seriously. How many of you remember Kerri & Stacy and the way they went out? Because it wasn’t an entirely straight-forward elimination.

Lastly, I love how the producers tricked teams with going to one of the two castles. How did nobody make this mistake in TAR 3? Was the clue in TAR 3 just “Go to Neuschwanstein Castle” rather than “Go to the castle that inspired Sleeping Beauty” like they did this season?

P.S. Brendon falling on his ass at the pit stop was hilarious.

3) Fussen, Germany -> Baku, Azerbaijan

Good news: We have a new country added to the TAR catalogue.
Bad news: We won’t see another new country until the endgame of TAR 22, and it is a very Anglophone country. The next non-English speaking country added to the TAR catalogue won’t be added until TAR 25. Yep. Five seasons.

In terms of suspense as to who will be eliminated, it is telegraphed less than halfway into the episode. Joey & Danny and Dave & Rachel both chasing down the Fast Forward led to a guaranteed elimination for whoever lost the battle. Obviously, Joey & Danny tanked this battle.

The oil bath task provided a lot of interesting visuals and is one of the more unique tasks. Nobody has ever had to clean oil off of a living human being as if they were a duck in an offshore oil spill.

Dave & Rachel win the leg and Art & JJ attain second place to continue their dominance. Three wins apiece. The Titan Season is in full effect.

Vanessa & Ralph barely escape elimination again thanks to Joey & Danny taking an unnecessary risk. They don’t do well with tasks involving fruit or things “hidden” in plain sight.

Mark & Bopper received the Jet & Cord theme music when checking into the pit stop and a lot more scenes this week really played up the “good ol’ country boys” narrative. From this point forward, it is really going to build.

We also see Nary & Jamie not quite match up to the other teams as they never excel at any of the tasks or pull off any brilliant decisions.

The Roadblock to do underwater training is neat in concept but lame to watch on TV. The task takes about ten seconds. All they do is swim out of a window and go up to the surface. I get that the risk is somebody panicking underwater, but nobody did and therefore the task had no real payoff. After the first couple of demonstrations, we could’ve just moved on.

The Fire Temple group dancing at the start of the leg is the last time the group will get along. Starting next round. . .things change.

4) 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.

5) Baku, Azerbaijan -> Ngorongoro, Tanzania

This leg is very tough to rank.

On one hand, we have some of the best airport drama and conflict between teams that we have seen in contemporary seasons. Undercover agents being exposed, Brendon sprinting through the airport for no apparent reason, Vanessa burning Rachel over and over, Dave & Rachel having their own absurd fights, and Vanessa’s biggest rival becoming a bicycle.

We also get a very brief visit through Kenya. When will we get a full Kenya leg? Damn you, TAR Canada 5! You were so close.

From the start of the episode Phil made it clear: “Africa—one of the most challenging continents in the world!”

In other words, production made the most generic leg in Africa possible. Drive in a vehicle with an assigned driver. Do multiple tasks within a really small area. Toss another rungu. Jump with Masai villagers. Assemble something in the bush. Oh look, animals.

This is a leg where anything good was 100% from the teams and 0% was from the production design.

Dave & Rachel winning another leg with Mark & Bopper right behind sets up for the only big upset of the season.

By the way, this might have been one of the most telegraphed mid-season NELs in a long time. We all knew it had to happen this leg. Nary & Jamie stopped to check out freakin’ elephants because of how confident they were. It took me back to the Final 3 NELs from the early seasons where nobody gave a fuck about what happened to them.

I could rewatch Vanessa trying to ride a bike on a repeated loop. That was hilarious.

6) Ngorongoro, Tanzania -> Lake Manyara, Tanzania

There was suspense to who would be eliminated for about thirty seconds this episode, but then we were reminded of the Speed Bump and how easy the Roadblock was this episode. Two teams U-Turned, Rachel bleeding, Vanessa & Ralph’s flat tire as well as getting lost, and Nary & Jamie really didn’t have a chance to catch up this round. They even received directions and help from Brendon & Rachel but that wasn’t enough.

Once again we get a “Welcome to the town of Rural in the country of Africa” leg. I bet viewers don’t even recall what country they were in by the end of this episode. We had all of the Africa staples—a safari, small towns with ultra linear tasks, and a “wow, look at how hard it is to get a basic necessity” string of confessionals. It’s funny because Tanzania, Rwanda, and Mozambique just a few years later are part of the string of countries in southeastern Africa with the highest GDP growth on the planet.

You either really hate this episode or really like this episode as Art & JJ’s conflict with Dave & Rachel starts here because they didn’t keep their word regarding the U-Turn.

And knowing how much Brendon & Rachel occupied reality TV pop culture as of TAR 20, you probably hated this episode alone for all of Rachel’s antics and the drama surrounding the Water Supply Detour as well as the Double U-Turn.

And you probably hated this episode because Dave & Rachel, Brendon & Rachel, Art & JJ, and Vanessa & Ralph all survived this episode as you lose one of the two teams that the casual audience somewhat liked at the time. And knowing who gets eliminated next, those last two episodes are really going to be fun for the audience.

Hillary Clington was an amusing route marker, finding the route markers this episode seemed too easy (unless you’re Vanessa & Ralph), and the Roadblock was neat in concept but very lame in execution. There were almost no highlights of it—in fact, I think there was about one or two minutes of footage total from it. Playing in a swarm of thousands of bees sounds crazy out loud but it did not translate to interesting television.

The Detour was fine, though. Clearly one task was easier than the other, but both reflected the local culture so I am fine with that.

Also, I guess that Speed Bump task was alright given the five seconds we saw of it. Hanging an art display without any commentary on it means I have no commentary to provide on it.

In spring of 2012, people were super bummed to lose Nary & Jamie. It is funny because re-watching this season seven years later and having enough distance from this season makes me have. . .a much different take on Nary & Jamie. This team was being compared to a Brook & Claire or Nat & Kat and I have seen people on message boards want them brought back for TAR 24 or another all-star team as a “team that could have been,” but I can’t agree with that at all after what I had seen in eight episodes.

7) 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.

8) 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.

Team Rankings

1) Joey Fitness “Lasalla” & Danny “Horal”

I had so much fun making fun of these guys. They maximized the Jersey Shore stereotype like no other team I have seen on the race. That’s probably a good thing as we really didn’t need to see this more than once. A six episode streak of Jersey Shore was the perfect amount.

It’s painful to see Joey & Danny being convinced that they would’ve won the race if not for the Fast Forward attempt. Every team always has the ‘what if’ moment where if they dodged the bullet then they would have won the race—the funny thing for Joey & Danny is they think a mistake on leg six would have produced a victory on leg twelve.

I do agree to a certain extent, though—they were being competitive with both Art & JJ and Dave& Rachel after the third round. Just don’t go into a direct Head-to-Head showdown with Dave & Rachel earlier than you have to on the race.

And I guarantee you they went back home immediately to have a threesome with Gina Marie followed by using their short-lived TV fame to get a whole bunch o’ numbers. That’s just a given.

Danny’s grandfather may want to hose down the apple truck.

2) Dave Gregg & Cherie Gregg

Misa & Maiya weren’t capable at The Amazing Race. Dave & Cherie just seemed to really suck at math. Well, Dave anyway.

They were on the second bus and well on their way to the third round of the season, but a tragic bus accident where a window went smashy-smashy led to putting them at peril. Since the only task in Buenos Aires was for Dave to do math. Vanessa succeeded, Andrew and Joey aligned, and Dave was ultimately doomed.

Producers clearly loved Dave & Cherie. Constant positive content, exploring Dave’s history with a familiar cancer, and their own theme music. That fast motion exit with Cherie tripping and doing cartwheels was a unique piece of editing.

Dave & Cherie had terrible jokes, but at least they had a great PMA (Positive Mental Attitude!) from start to finish. No wonder Dave & Rachel were willing to give them a bit of help with the Detour. Too bad they couldn’t rescue them from the Roadblock.

During the first leg they seemed doomed to be that middle-aged couple who goes home instantly, but a combination of determination and Misa & Maiya and Joey & Danny being terrible drivers allowed them to leapfrog to a decent eighth place finish.

In a season that will be dominated by conflict between all of the teams, it’s nice that there was a sideshow of clowns who kept things relatively upbeat for the first couple of rounds.

And unlike Misa & Maiya who appeared to be recruited for the sole purpose for us to laugh at their blunders, we had a team who loved TAR and knew we were laughing with them.

Teams who go home on the second leg have a tendency to have the smallest edit of the season, but that isn’t the case here.

3) Elliot Weber & Andrew Weber

Much like Misa & Maiya, and to a lesser extent Dave & Cherie, Elliot & Andrew weren’t the strongest casting choices. They had as much charisma as fellow soccer enthusiasts Isaac & William on The Amazing Race.

They expressed frustration with each other in leg three (as well as sarcasm in unaired footage with Mississippi), and Andrew tossing a backpack and string was entertaining. However, they didn’t have any specific highlights beyond being a team who choked as badly as another team during a very long day.

Well, a very long day if you suck at both tasks.

Even if Dave & Rachel hadn’t used their Express Pass, Elliot & Andrew would have still been eliminated. During the first two legs Elliot & Andrew would either be at the back of the group they flew/rode into a city with or very close to last. They did only slightly better than Misa & Maiya at tasks and only beat Dave & Cherie at math or the occasional self-driving directions.

I can see during casting that Elliot & Andrew had some entertaining banter between them and having interesting backgrounds in the form of music and being professional soccer players, but we didn’t hear Andrew until leg three. That awkward confessional of Elliot joking about being incest-ish gay brothers set the tone right away.

The good news is they provided that “dangit, those nice guys were eliminated in that close race with the controversial couple” which was a bit of an early season highlight.

It’s not much, but hey, we needed at least one likable team in a sea of controversy. And I’d rather watch these guys for an approximate three episode run. They went home at the right time and served their role in the season.

4) Misa Tanaka & Maiya Tanaka

Poor Misa & Maiya. Their reputation on TAR is going to be known for that one very very infamous blunder (which lucky for them will be overshadowed just two seasons later). They run a terrible leg. They can’t drive. They spend two hours searching through the same baskets in the hot air balloons. They can’t run fast.

But right before the pit stop they get a task that falls under their vary narrow tree of personal strengths. They make up a ton of time and aren’t last and then. . .completely fuck it all up by not seeing Phil. Joey Fitness & Danny slip through, and they are the first team eliminated.

Misa & Maiya have to be in the conversation for some of the worst racers ever.

John & Scott weren’t competitive.
Dana & Adrian chose the wrong person to complete a Roadblock.
Ron & Tony get very lost while driving.
Mika refused to do anything involving heights or water.
Meredith & Maria can’t drive and have no sense of direction.

Misa & Maiya. . .were mediocre or atrocious at everything that didn’t involve gyoza-related challenges. I think if you ran this season ten times, Misa & Maiya are the first team to be eliminated on nearly every leg imaginable.

It’s too bad because they wanted to be presented as strong women to the audience, but boy oh boy did that not come through.

5) Nary Ebeid & Jamie Graetz

Of the six remaining teams, only two teams weren’t hated when TAR 20 aired in the spring of 2012. People were upset to see them go as the ugly 4-way conflict between Vanessa & Ralph, Dave & Rachel, Art & JJ, and Brendon & Rachel were reaching uncomfortable heights. TAR 20 would conclude as one of the least popular seasons ever.

Seven years later and. . .Nary & Jamie are not a very charismatic team. You can’t even make the argument of “I don’t care about charisma I just want good racers” that I frequently see online because Nary & Jamie weren’t competitive racers either. In seven out of eight legs, they finished in fifth, sixth, and seventh. Those are middle of the pack finishes which guarantees you don’t really have much of a story or impact on the season. You can’t be a crazy early boot or a compelling endgame team.

Let’s talk about Nary & Jamie’s story other than they like cake. They are badass federal agents who lie and say they are kindergarten teachers.

But here’s the thing: They didn’t do anything secretly badass and raced this like kindergarten teachers the whole time. It would have been better if they were kindergarten teachers and lie by saying they are federal agents. That would’ve been hilarious.

And this doesn’t even become a storyline until their last two episodes because Art & JJ confront them about it. If Art & JJ didn’t decide to be overly aggressive and confront them, this storyline would’ve been one of the most empty plots in TAR history. In other words, they had to rely on another team to get any sort of substantial airtime this season.

TAR 20 was a ROUGH go for all-female teams. Thank god we get Natalie & Nadiya for TAR 21.

You had one all-female team be so incompetent they couldn’t even identify Phil Keoghan ten feet away.
You had another all-female team who was apparently disliked by every team and production that their airtime was reduced to “I miss my kids.”
And the most successful all-female team this season likes cake and was interrogated by border patrol agents right before being eliminated.

If I had to come up with a comparison for Nary & Jamie, it would be this:

They are like some of the women I know on co-ed softball teams. Friendly, dare I say peppy (although that term has uncomfortable connotations so I caution using that word), competitive enough on teams to not be terrible but not competitive enough to excel, not the most dynamic of personalities you would meet in your city, but the easiest people to talk to in a situation while everyone else is acting like drunk assholes on the field.

That is the role Nary & Jamie had this season, and I guess they did their job. Maybe the federal agent thing is a lie and they really are semi-professional softball players. Who knows.

6) Kerri Paul & Stacy Bowers

Unaired: They were angry over how they were treated by Elliot & Andrew and Vanessa & Ralph. This would have made for great TV, but I guess when one of those teams goes home early and they go home early themselves, and we have Brendon & Rachel coming off of two stints on Big Brother where any interesting footage was automatically going to be aired, Kerri & Stacy’s storylines got erased.

How erased were their storylines? It got reduced down to “Kerri is out of her element and hasn’t traveled enough to navigate or drive a standard!” for Kerri and “I miss my babies!” for Stacy.

They messed up the drive. Mark & Bopper duped them with giving up their taxi in Paraguay. Stacy was afraid of heights.

I think I just highlighted every single scene from the first five episodes. It’s a shame because they could have been a three-dimensional social trainwreck but instead fit into a mold we have seen several times. Hell, their storyline was almost replayed verbatim like Kaylani & Lisa—I don’t know what it is about all-female teams that go home early but it’s the truth. If they have a kid, cue up tears and a photo upon elimination. If they don’t have kids, they’ll talk about being the next all-female team to win. If not, they’ll be shown a bunch of brief highlights of them being really far out of their element.

Kerri & Stacy’s edit didn’t bring anything unique to the table. A fun team to watch in a couple of scenes, but that was it. Editors didn’t do them enough justice.

Team Averages

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.

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


— D+ —

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 Nary & Jamie 5.5 TAR 20 Saved by NEL once

6th Gaghan Family 5.5 TAR 8

7th “Joey” Fitness & “Danny” 5.5 TAR 20

6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF TAR 4

This entry was posted in The Amazing Race, The Amazing Race 20, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Amazing Race 20 Episode 8 Rankings

  1. Reds Kevin says:

    Glad to read your posts again. Enjoyed them!
    PS: Please check out my Survivor recaps also. Please comment and tell me where to improve. https://redshopeweekly2016.wordpress.com/tag/survivor/

  2. maukamauka says:

    I just want you to get to TAR21 before I die of old age. Pleaseeeee

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