The Amazing Race Rankings

The Amazing Race (1)

Countries visited:

USA, SOUTH AFRICA, ZAMBIA, FRANCE, TUNISIA, ITALY, INDIA, THAILAND, CHINA

The Good:

– Seeing Phil stumble in the opening, either due to the cold or the nervousness, is humorous to see. It takes about fifteen seconds before he appears in his first turtleneck. It’s black, baby.

Travel packets instead of clues. “Open up your packets.”

– LENNYYYYYYYYYYYY

– It’s the first season. Extremely refreshing to see the documentary style of how it was filmed. Little to no music builds its image of being authentic. The lack of confessionals helps because you don’t get the sense of a storyline being created. Their conversations while traveling is something you don’t see too much anymore.

– LENNYYYYYYYYYYYYY

– Frank knowing there’s a chance they lost while Margarita refuses to believe Rob & Brennan could win in Queens.

– One of only four seasons to feature the perfect version of the Fast Forward twist. I could list twenty reasons why it works extremely well as a strategic and entertaining component in the Race, and zero reasons for why it should be removed.

– Teams had the option of hiring drivers for their vehicles.

– A good all-around route for a first season.

– The more hated and boring teams go home early.

– Steady stream of hilarious quotes from Kevin & Drew.

– Hours of operation weren’t fixed to make the teams equal. The race had an aura of feeling legitimate from start to finish.

– The Africa sections had great tasks.

– Production didn’t shy away from making India more manageable to travel through. Walking with rats and sleeping on trains filled with puke is what the race should be all about.

– The pointless rivalry between Guidos and Kevin & Drew.

The Bad:

– Nancy & Emily, prior to a re-watch, stayed in my mind as a long-time favourite. I watch this season again…and they are effin’ annoying. They whine and cry at virtually every turn. And we’re supposed to sympathize just because they’re “underdogs”? I guess that’s what happens when you’re the first mother/daughter team.

– The final leg of the race. I can see how in the first ever televised worldwide race that they can get away with doing virtually nothing in the last twenty minutes and strictly rely on the anticipation. When you compare it to eighteen other season finales, it probably seems like the most unfair and easiest final city that any group of finalists have gone through. No detours in NYC. No roadblocks. They only had to catch a cab to a route marker then take the subway to the finish line. Then they talked about how the money would change their lives.

– Too many detours were “choose a location hard to find but fun to do” vs. “choose a location easy to find but difficult to do”.

– Too many tasks were completed before they flew to their next country in some legs, rendering the current progress moot and have it all come down to a single taxi ride.

– The last four hours of the season was Frank & Margarita vs. Rob & Brennan. No other storylines existed.

– Few legs feature a “wow, that’s a creative, disgusting, or appealing task” to stand out.

– Not the most memorable of seasons.

– No penalties for coming in last on a non-elimination leg. -_-

Best to Worst Episodes of the Season:

Leg 11: Pai Plong Beach -> Beijing (Where racing around the world without production interference in “Hours of operation” is a rare commodity to find. I’m proud of the crew for letting a legitimate leg take place as opposed to making it more exciting. So what if we know two teams have zero percent chance of winning with two more legs yet to play? A real race around the world shouldn’t be too close in the first place.  The showdown between Joe & Bill vs. Kevin & Drew is the best battle in any non-finale episode. The final elimination takes place via the classic “taxi effed us over despite being ahead”)

Leg 10: King -> Pai Plong Beach (Where racing around the world without production interference in “Hours of operation” is a rare commodity to find. I’m proud of the crew for letting a legitimate leg take place as opposed to making it more exciting. So what if we know two teams have zero percent chance of winning with three more legs yet to play? A real race around the world shouldn’t be too close in the first place. Kevin & Drew’s swimming technique is classic. Thought I accidentally copy/pasted the same paragraph twice, didn’t you? :))

Leg 9: Bairiki  -> Krabi (Such an unusual finish to the leg.)

Leg 1: NYC -> Songwe, Zambia (It’s the first leg ever. Clues in sealed envelopes were called packets. Frank Mesa could‘ve toned it down a notch. Paul & Ana are very satisfying as a first exit.)

Leg 13: Some random place in Alaska nobody cares about -> NYC (One of the most poorly conceived legs in TAR history. Only reason why it’s this high is because the ending is such a classic that includes the biggest upset by an underdog in reality TV at this point.)

Leg 5: El Jem -> Tatouine (Neat walkie-talkie and unique environment. Watching Amie puke into a plastic bag is classic. Maybe too much camel action? This episode seems like the skeleton for Burnett’s adventure show over a decade later.)

Leg 3: Paris -> South of France (Great strategy whether or not to waste your money to get to La Grand Roue in the middle of the night. Good trick with Foucault’s Pendulum. It would’ve been different if ALL teams were bunched together and the order of entering the sewer made the difference, but luckily it didn’t.)

Leg 4: South of France -> El Jem (Gladiators and neat trick with the lighter. Figuring out which country to go to in the first place is also unusual. Marketplace seemed fun.)

Leg 8: Delhi -> Bairiki (Perfect leg until an unnecessary six hour gap for the final task of the leg. Non-elimination drops it down too.)

Leg 7: Italy -> Agra (They do everything in Italy except for one ten minute task and a taxi ride to the pit stop? That’s a leg with 99% luck. Lenny & Karyn went home too which devastated me. Nancy & Emily needed to go home this round because they clearly looked done with the game at this point.)

Leg 2: Songwe -> Paris (Go all the way to Paris just for one lousy task? That’s a bit of a letdown. All you need is a good eye to find the Arc De Triomphe and you win survive the round. Kim & Leslie being the star of the episode probably makes this episode suck, regardless of the fact if they were eliminated at the end of the episode.)

Leg 6: Gabes -> Rome (The least challenging leg in the Race. It was the first non-elimination. Zero suspense built as to who would be eliminated. The only interesting task was to drive a Smart car. That’s when you know you don’t have many ideas. The fight with Joe & Bill was annoying with the sexist comments made by Drew and Rob that took up half of the episode. A very non-professional episode.)

Leg 12: Beijing -> Scotty Lake (What an effing boring leg.)

Least favourite to favourite teams:

11. Matt & Ana – You’re in it for one leg and you make fun of people in the middle of Zambia for not speaking English.

10. Kim & Leslie – I think it’s safe to say they were bullies. The way they picked on Amie for no apparent reason in the second leg probably helped people love the show more because karma reared its head and sent Kim & Leslie unpacking by the end of the episode. Editing may have painted them as the “bad guys” in the fight with Amie simply because they are the first to die, but hey, all we get to see are interviews online and the episodes themselves. Not all of us get the privilege of seeing them at a charity event.

9. Nancy & Emily – I believe I already covered the subject of why I don’t like them as much as a decade ago. Amazing how your perspective of admirable qualities in people changes from when you’re nine years old to when you’re twenty.

8. Paul & Amie – Here’s essentially what happens between this couple in every episode:

AMIE: I can’t believe _____ happened. We have such bad luck when it comes to ______.

(AMIE proceeds to do her best Baby-Mario-Just-Broke-Off-From-Yoshi cry.)

PAUL: Why you cryin? Why you cryin?! WHY YOU CRYIN?!

AMIE (still crying): I don’t wanna go home!!!!

PAUL: We can go home if you like. You know I don’t want to be here. So, we’ll just go home. You f—ing happy?

(AMIE pukes on the ground.)

PAUL: Oh great. F— this s—! You, local! Tell me how to get there. How do I get there? Good. Let’s go.

(AMIE wipes away her tears as they continue racing.

PAUL: God, I don’t wanna be here. This was all your idea.

(AMIE spontaneously combusts.)

PAUL: F— me.

Seriously, this happens EVERY episode. Go back and re-watch if you don’t believe me.

7. Pat & Brenda – Ah yes. The only team besides those in the final four to use the fast forward. As soon as you see them get a confessional, you know they’ll be ousted in the same episode. I honestly couldn’t tell you anything about them besides that they are adventure seeking mothers. In fact, the first three teams eliminated did not have a shred of storyline with the exception of a confessional or a fight in the episode they’re eliminated. I can’t recall Pat & Brenda ever having a scene that had them interacting with another team. Maybe that’s why they’re so freakin’ unmemorable. I guess that’s what happens when you are insignificant in the series premiere, take the Fast Forward on the second leg, then be by yourself wondering around on the third. Hope the adventure was worth it, Pat & Brenda.

6. Dave & Margareta – The original old couple. Not only were they old, but they were likeable. In fact, every team cheered them on when they were eliminated. Yes, even Frank Mesa and Guidos were rooting for their success as the grandparents approached their demise. In the future, we’d see plenty of old couples who flat out sucked or only get far because of hitting the non-eliminations perfectly. This is not the case with Dave & Margareta. They were eliminated via ‘my cab is pushy and won’t accept my money’ route. It was refreshing to see a team lose because of a strict cabbie as opposed to a slow or a foolish one. This is definitely one of the more unusual ways for you to be eliminated. The only reason this team isn’t higher is because they weren’t as entertaining and I didn’t hate any of the end-game teams enough to put them below the old couple. Consider Dave & Margarita the bench mark for star teams in the inaugural race.

5. Joe & Bill – The only time where calling someone “Guido” was acceptable until Jersey Shore debuted on television. I don’t understand the hype about Guidos before, during, and after watching the first season. I could re-watch the season ten more times and think “yes, they were entertaining…but were they THAT entertaining?”

A common mistake many teams make heading into The Amazing Race is they believe backstabbing and cutthroat behaviour take place in the same manner that they do on Survivor. Unfortunately, they are very wrong. You can’t vote out other teams. The only things you can really do is cut in line, direct others to the wrong route marker, or cancel their taxis. That’s about all you can do in TAR until you hit the yield twist. For Joe & Bill, I believe they think it was supposed to be a cutthroat game, but all of their self-proclaimed moves were nothing more than toying with the other teams.

“Yes, I’ll buy everyone’s tickets because I am the only one who can speak French fluently. That’s how good I am, you guys.”

“Let’s block the path to the plane and cause a ten minute delay. You know, just to piss them off.”

“Let’s make an alliance with the top two teams at the end of the first leg, but break it off as soon as we get to the roadblock in the next leg. You know, just to piss them off.”

If I had to give my assessment, I would say Joe & Bill played up the persona that they were cutthroat to the camera, but between themselves, they wanted to do these pranks simply to gauge a reaction from the other teams while enjoying the humour of it. If the latter is true, I am on board with the Guido Train because that’s plain funny. They remind me of Richard Hatch in a sense because Hatch never really took Survivor seriously, but always found a way to have fun and annoy others while getting himself deep in the game regardless if he has a humiliating downfall. Producers love villains who set themselves up for a downfall that could lead to great mockery (“I’ve been bamboozled!”). That’s why Guidos were so quickly cast for an All-Star.

Not to mention, just like Richard Hatch, the players around them would take any chance they could all season long for the best nickname and best insult for Team Guido. That was a competition likely worth more than the million dollar prize itself.

The funniest part about their storyline is that they are the only team in the season to screw up an advantageous Fast Forward to the point they have to suffer through four legs of being twenty-four hours behind the frontrunners. What’s funnier is that they think they can still catch up until they receive a clue thousands of miles away from the finish line that the Race has ended without their presence. Classic.

4. Frank & Margarita – The runner-ups. Unless you were a native of Queens, I highly doubt you were rooting for these to win at the end. Heck, you probably weren’t rooting for them from the first episode! I was surprised to see how much trash talk there was about Frank on YouTube, but I think that was a case of people ganging on his reputation from ten years ago. Let’s face it, if you say you were cheering for Frank, everyone would start flaming you online. I’m going to state the unpopular opinion and say Frank deserves a medal for his entertainment value and for his intriguing personality. He wasn’t over-the-top screaming and pushing his own team-mate (I’m looking at you Jonathan Baker) and he didn’t get into direct conflict with other teams. I was surprised how little of the inter-team dynamics involved Mr. Mesa. He had an alliance with Guidos and Rob & Brennan that was broken thanks to the Guidos, then he created a friendly rivalry with Rob & Brennan. Other than that, Frank kept his nose clean on the race. He is just a good character that was easy to hate on from time to time.

3. Rob & Brennan – Wherever you rank Frank & Margarita, I believe you must have Rob & Brennan one little notch above. These two teams were in the same position for virtually the entire race, and not only did they have the same all around skill level, but they were the perfect dichotomy of “good” vs. “evil”. In future TAR rivalries, this line would be much more blurred. Watch the end of the race when these two teams are in Queens. Frank & Margarita are overconfident they have the win in the bag because the finish line is in their borough and laugh at the idea of Rob & Brennan trying to keep up. Meanwhile, Rob & Brennan acknowledge how royally screwed they are, but rather than give up or whine about how unfair the location is, they do their best to stay on and eventually pass Frank & Margarita’s tail on the race. They were willing to win and lose with the exact same level of grace.

In a random note, is it just me or did Rob stand out much more than his partner? I can picture Rob talking and how he looks in my mind and paid attention to him more than Brennan. Pardon the slight shot at Brennan, but does anyone agree with that assessment? It reminds me of how certain tribes cement their legacy in my mind at the start of a Survivor season compared to their counterpart. Odd, I know.

2. Lenny & Karyn – Okay, you’re probably wondering why Lenny & Karyn, a team that only made it through seven legs of the Race and wasn’t asked for an all-star are in second place. I’ll give you some background on it.

When The Amazing Race 1 premiered, my sister had moved back in my parents’ house. My brothers were out all the time,  my dad worked, and my mom talked on the phone too much to follow a reality show she hadn’t really heard about. So when I watched The Amazing Race, it was typically with my sister. After a few episodes, we couldn’t help but notice how one team who was rarely shown, would talk in the same manner every time they snagged a rare piece of airtime.

(LENNY quietly speaks to Karyn about how he couldn’t get directions. The sound crew can’t pick up LENNY’s frequency.)

KARYN: What?! I can’t believe you!!!!

(LENNY shrugs and walks away.)

KARYN: LENNYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY.

It reminded me of the woman from Singin in the Rain. How can someone’s voice get like that? My sister and I quickly picked up on this, and for the next few years, we would break out our Karyn voice whenever it was deemed appropriate.

SISTER: Logannnnnnn, can you get me a diet coke from the fridge?

ME: Yeah, I guess I can get it in a minute.

SISTER: Logannnnnnnnnnnnnnnn,  why not now?

ME: Fine, I guess I’ll get it.

Thanks to Lenny’s silent nature and not getting more than ten words all season in contrast with Karyn, well, getting the same word in about thirty times in the season, we thank them for bringing joy to me and my sister’s conversations.

Yeah, I don’t have much else to say about them. They had zero airtime in the series premiere, and after that were only shown if Karyn was yelling at LENNYYYYYYYYYYY.

1. Kevin & Drew – They easily earn their position at the top of the list. From “swing bastard swing!” to Kevin swatting Drew’s butt while sad background music plays as they exit a Chinese palace, Kevin & Drew stand alone as comedic relief.

In their eyes, there was no such thing as Joe & Bill or Team Guido — it was Bert & Ernie. They would be angry with each other for no reason. They would be angry with other teams for no reason. They would coach each other how to behave to persuade locals to help you.

At the beginning, Kevin & Drew frequently finish near the bottom, but after only three or four legs, they are constant frontrunners. Yes, the fat, out of shape and belligerent New Yorkers were dominating the middle sections of the race. At one point they were viewed as being virtually unbeatable. In fact, the only reason they get eliminated is because their taxi was sloppy, otherwise they would have been stuck in Alaska twenty-four hours behind the others. I’m sure finishing fourth was much better than third after the fact. Their rivalry with Guidos had the award for best rivalry in The Amazing Race for several seasons. I am certain producers expected the rivalry to continue in All Stars.

You know what else was great about these two? Everything they did could crack you up, regardless of it being intentional or not. They entertain you in a very natural way. That’s why they were a shoe-in to be selected for All Stars. I am sure the producers reviewed the ten funniest quotes from season one, and I can guarantee you all ten were uttered by either Kevin or Drew. How could anyone dislike these two? They managed to be the only team to get a pre-all star cameo for crying out loud!

P.S. It’s too bad they tarnished their reputation and legacy in All Stars. Thankfully we have this first season to celebrate and remember the positive attributes of Kevin & Drew.

Concluding thoughts:

Overall, you can’t go wrong with The Amazing Race prototype. If you don’t like this season, then why do you watch this show in the first place? As you can see, there is nothing controversial that is worthy of discussion. Sure, there are bad taxi eliminations, but that happens in every season. The cast neither excelled in terms of personality overall, nor did they fail by driving the viewers nuts. It’s a relatively calm season given that many of the early sections are filled with a wee bit of drama until it drops off for a ‘nice watch’ in the last few legs.

Is it worth a watch? Yes. Just like Survivor: Borneo, it’s neat to go back to a show’s roots.

Does it feature  over-the-top behaviour: No, not even close.

Rating: 7/10

Current Ranking: 1/1

The Amazing Race 2

Countries visited:

USA (2), BRAZIL (2), SOUTH AFRICA, NAMIBIA, THAILAND (2), HONG KONG, AUSTRALIA (2), NEW ZEALAND (2),

Format changes:

– Teams continue to eat, sleep, and mingle with the others.

– There’s about twenty million more confessionals compared to the first season.

– Phil isn’t wearing a turtle neck in the first episode!

– Route markers are red and yellow, and clues are indeed in sealed envelopes permanently.

– Airport security is huge thanks to recent 9/11 incident.

– Prizes for finishing first on random legs. That’s what happens when your budget increases.

– Phil checks in every team as opposed to only the last placed team in season one.

– Teams were allowed to tie at the pit stop

– Slightly less time spent in airports

– They cast a gigantic jack—.

– Just like the first season teams are leaving twelve hours apart with rare exceptions. Does that occur in present-day Amazing Race?

– Teams ‘may’ be eliminated are used only on non-elimination legs. Everyone knows the pattern. (Glad they eventually change this.)

– Teams are yet to be penalized for coming in last place on a non-elimination leg. (Glad they eventually change this.)

First episode:

Blake’s first quote: “I’ll tell you what scares the hell out of me: Second place.”

Deidre’s first quote: “We’re going to prove them wrong.”

Gary’s first quote: “We’re willing to do everything except felony.” — Do traffic laws not count?

– The Nevada opening is incredible. That truly looks like the end of the universe.

– Claire quote: “If we’re out first, I’ll die.” — I’d take that bet.

– I’d totally slip Fat Maria some tongue.

Will quote: “Tara is the calming one.” — Tara and calm uttered in the same  sentence? Unbelievable.

– Hope & Norm are too boring for TV and don’t excrete likeability. Why were they cast?

– I hate voiceovers.

Second episode:

– Why do they give the lady at the Samba club a horror movie edit at the start of the second episode?

Brandon Hantz Thinks She’s a Temptress.

 Brandon Hantz thinks she’s a temptress.

– Tara continues to be referred to as ‘the calming one’.

– Did you know Russell & Cindy are religious? Did you? Well guess what? They are?

– That mother—-ing taxi driver ran over Doyin’s foot! That b—!

– She may be old, but I want to punch Peggy square in the jaw. She is such a sourpuss. Why sign up when you’re going to whine, whine, and whine? You’re not the loveable elderly team.

– Why did Shola and Doyin waste their fast forward so early? Why not wait for the Gutsy Grannies to be dead from exercise and lack of sleep?

– Gary and Dave playing volleyball is equivalent to my skill.

– Why does Shola or Doyin give the camera that threatening look when Phil announces that they can skip all tasks and go directly to the pit stop? Did anyone notice this? It’s like Yau-Man finding a lemon tree.

 Time to pay back that taxi driver for rolling over my foot.

– It took nearly twenty-seven minutes for Hope & Norm to be featured in a confessional. I love how editors decided to shrug as early as season two to ignore a team completely. This isn’t a new technique in competitive reality television, folks. I guess after Lenny, they decided to go down the slope a bit further.

– Enough of Peggy already.

– “There’s four tickets left on the bus, so only one team can get on.” — Well, this is a rare acknowledgment of the sound and camera guy.

– Chris refers to Danny & Oswald as ‘Cha Cha Cha’. Did they start it?

– Chris & Alex are featured in a confessional for the first time. They fixed the bus that broke down. Would this have been shown if it was any other team?

– Gary & Dave’s bus broke down too.  Public transportation can screw over in infinite ways in The Amazing Race.

– Ah, the start of the Tara & Will vs. Chris & Alex love/hate battle. Time to settle in for the ride.

Chapter 1 of the feud: Tara & Will agree to work with Chris & Alex. Will speeds away in his car intentionally because he thinks they are too slow. What happens next? The car breaks down while Will is driving and expects Chris & Alex to help him. Chris & Alex seem to help regardless of Will making a move to leave them in the dust. Not only that but Alex directs Tara how to find the route marker in the roadblock task.

– Cyndi & Russell, ChaChaCha, Sisters, and Gary & Dave all start and finish the roadblock in seven or eight seconds. I approve of this decision.

– I didn’t care for the dramatics of surprising the Gutsy Grannies that they finished eighth. Why cast them in the first place if you want them finishing above tenth or eleventh to be a major upset? It’s like Phil brought his grandparents to go on the Race just so they can ‘try it’.

– That was a strange editing of the Hope & Norm vs. Blake & Paige fight. Maybe the rumour about Blake’s lawsuit is potentially true. You definitely feel like they tried to cover something up. – “Next time on The Amazing Race…Mary & Peach face their biggest fear!” RANDOM LOCALE: If you go there, they will kill you!

You mean Mary & Peach have a fear of being murdered by locals on The Amazing Race? Who knew.

Third episode:

– They showed a clip of Shola or Doying squinting at the camera again in the preview! Was this an inside joke for the producers that they turned into a game of showing this?

 I have a MMA Record, Keoghan.

– Why point out that teams are given 150 dollars for this leg?

– Doyin: “We were excited to find out we’re going to South Africa. My dad and, well, our dads, are from West Africa. Sierra Leone. So this is like a homecoming for us.”

NOTE: Go look at a map or a globe right now. Look at Cape Town, South Africa. Then find Sierra Leone. It’s like saying that going to Alaska is a homecoming for me. Maybe I’m related to Sarah Palin.

– I would totally turn off another team’s alarm if we had a late night departure. That would be a genius trick to use at a pit stop.

– Mary & Peach get their own ten second scene? “I’ll get my nails done, you get a beer.”

– Alex thinks we need to ANAL-IZE. Hide your kids, hide your wife from the Bostonian accent.

– It took fifteen minutes into the episode before we arrived in Cape Town. This is just landing in Cape Town. Not even grabbing the first clue of the round.

– The Amazing Race turns into The History Channel momentarily. I remember how much this scene freaked me out for the rest of the night. It was so gloomy. That memory triggered as Shola & Doyin were entering the cell.

– Oswald quote about the dance detour: “It was like the Irish River Dance on crack.”

– Cyndi & Russell leaving the airport: Russell: “What are you doing?” Cyndi: “What?” Russell: “What are you going so slow for?” Cyndi: “I’m going fast, honey.”

I have a feeling Cyndi & Russell have this argument on a regular basis. 😉

– HAHAHA WILL GRABS TARA’S BUTT AT THE PIT STOP! Stay classy, Will. How did this guy not return to reality television?

– Peach giving sunglasses to the kids in Langa Township might be the best gesture of goodwill in the entire history of The Amazing Race.

– Cyndi & Russell give perspective on Chris & Alex for ten seconds. Why give us this information?

– These two teams miss a train by seconds. Alex points out that seconds are crucial. I bet he didn’t know how critical those words would be.

– Peggy & Claire are over twenty-four hours behind the second-to-last place team. I wonder if this is the biggest margin ever? Assuming you don’t include passport losses or 24 hour penalties, of course. I mean being straight up millions of miles behind.

Fourth episode:

– The first pre-pit stop fight. Wil vs. Russell.

– Wil’s quote: “It’s okay as long as we don’t stick it in each other’s faces.”

*Cue Alex sticking his mouth into Tara’s face.* Classic. I can’t recall that much fighting between teams in the early days of The Amazing Race. And we didn’t leave the pit stop until four minutes into the episode! Unlike contemporary times where they don’t let teams interact at the pit stop so they blow up during the leg. Producers don’t realize a romance between teams can cause just as much conflict within a team. In fact, it makes the dynamics extremely interesting and complex.

– The driver from Blake & Paige to the airport sounds like the butler from Batman. “Excellent, excellent Mr. Blake, I shall transport without getting you lost like other decrepit taxi drivers in this estate!”

– Reinforcement of the game being about minutes. I haven’t seen a season incorporate so much foreshadowing this early on.

– Cyndi: “All of the other teams that are left are very very aggressive.” — Cyndi, ONLY THREE TEAMS HAVE BEEN ELIMINATED! We can’t be doing this crap that ‘it’s getting down to it’ quite yet. Wait until top six to avoid my wrath.

– They really ramp up the negative edit on Wil at this point. They show him going on a tirade against a woman who is taking the time to arrange for three taxi drivers in an isolated area.

– Danny & Ozzy are using the fast forward when they have a big lead on the other teams? We’re not at season five yet, boys! I don’t think they would have suffered THAT much with Danny’s knee.

– The task of climbing up to the sand dune is straight out of the opening for Expedition Impossible. I’m convinced Expedition Impossible copied this task.

– Gary orgasms going down the Matterhorn.

– Yet another appearance from Alex’s gum-chewing smile. And exposing his Bostonian accent once again.

– “One of my weaknesses is driving a stick.” – Shola. And so Shola is the first casualty of the “I’m Such An Idiot to Not Learn how to Driver a Stick Before the Race.”

– “Did you see a route marka?” “I didn’t see a route marka.” “You sure you didn’t see a route marka?”

-Okay, I just saw Ozzy running. Maybe they really did need the fast forward. That was a painful run to watch.

– Shola & Doyin’s elimination is beyond their control. Booooo.

Fifth episode:

– Tension between Wil and Blake is a storyline before the leg. I forgot how ugly this season was between the teams. Or rather, between Wil and everyone else who throws Blake in under the bus so they don’t have to deal with Wil.

– Eighty dollars was given on this leg.

– Why does everyone hate Blake & Paige? This is the most one-sided feud I’ve ever seen. Every team has said they’ve been nasty every episode but they have not done a single mean thing. They don’t like Tara & Wil which makes them horrible? Guess what, EVERYONE HATES TARA & WIL! So Blake being upfront with it more than other teams makes them bad people? Or that they cut through the trees to beat Mary & Peach to the pit stop even if getting that extra minute had nothing to do with Mary & Peach?

– Five episodes in and Wil has less social skills than Na Onka. He’s blasting his own teammate and allies who are putting up with every single one of his sneak attacks. – What the bleep? Gary & Dave gets directions from Thai people dressed up in cucumbers?! That’s such a Gary & Dave moment.

Pikmin brought to life.

– TARA: If it weren’t for me, you two wouldn’t be here. WIL: I was tired on the plane. I just needed my luxurious ride. TARA: I think you need to apologize to me. WIL: . . .Yeah right.

The two most selfish people communicating with each other. Classic.

– Oswald & Danny picking up someone named Fern to lead them throughout the leg explains why getting a local to help you has always been referred to as the “Fern strategy”. I feel .2% smarter for knowing this now.

– Gary & Dave screwing up with finding a route marker that everyone finds with ease just when they get a lead is another classic Gary & Dave moment.

– WIL: If I’m in the race and I continue to race, I will promise you from this day forward that I will be nothing but humble.

– A roadblock that involves monkeys, cockroaches, dung, and a million bats in an extremely dark cave is a roadblock at its finest.

– Cyndi will never see another Batman movie again.

– They had about three seconds of suspense for who was the last team to arrive and there wasn’t any long-winded story before the last placed team gets to the pit stop. So much more substance in these older seasons when they don’t blast the suspense music for thirty seconds.

Sixth episode:

– Previously on TAR…Blake & Paige…Tara & Wil…Chris & Alex…shots of Gary & Dave…Cyndi & Russell…Danny & Oswald…did we forget anyone? Oh, and Wil swore he will be humble.

– PHIL: Will Wil keep his promise of vowing to be humble? And will Tara stop her flirtation with Alex?

*START OF LEG*

WIL: Let’s get in the boat.

(Driver tries to fix the boat.)

WIL: & TARA: Go! Go! Go! Go!

WIL: Let’s gooooooooooooo!

TARA: Why are you going so crazy? Go! Why are you crazy Wil? Go you idiot driver!

– What the heck? Gary & Dave are narrating for every team coming out of the pit stop in addition to each team talking about how they are a force to be reckoned with.

– Blake is heavily underrated for his creativity with finding tough route markers. He sketched out a perfect picture of the flower he wanted to find.

– This is clearly a non-elimination leg. What’s nice about these non-elimination legs is that the attrition shows through. Nobody is at risk, they’ve been racing for weeks, and now teams will be eliminated twice as slowly. I’ll admit this is one of the few benefits to the 13-leg format. The teams watched the previous season and know four out of the next seven legs may very well be all for naught, but yet you need every advantage you can get to avoid pulling a Joe & Bill, regardless if you are 90 % sure there will be multiple equalizers along the way.

Contrast it with TAR 19. A non-elimination in the same country you were in last round could be ‘drive 20 feet and grab a clue-walk 50 feet and do a detour-take a 1 hour bus ride and do a roadblock-walk to the pit stop. End of leg’. Cutting ten days and a leg doesn’t allow for that honest and organic frustration building up with your team-mate. Pit stops are reduced too and forbidden from talking to other teams. This means you aren’t as sleep deprived, you can’t yell at your partner for flirting with other teams, you can’t follow what everyone else is doing, you can’t form coalition blocks that anger the other teams, and you don’t get to the point where you absolutely crave a comfort zone that you’ve been away for too long.

– This is the worst I’ve seen Oswald. He isn’t even the one with the burned out knee! I do find it funny that when he says four star hotels are worth every penny that he is indirectly promoting these hotels.

– All of the teams go shopping while waiting for the train? It is such an unusual scene. Peach and Mary fight over bartering. Blake and Paige fight over spending money on souvenirs. Alex flirts with Tara in front of Wil. I can see why you would include such a scene when nobody is going home. The idea of shopping when you have fixed funds and you don’t know how much money you will get in future legs is hilarious. Has there been a scene like this ever since? I can’t recall another instance of a cast-wide shopping expedition mid-race.

– I think the kid might have been Thai and not Chinese, Tara. You do realize Thai people may be more common than Chinese people in Thailand?

– 15 hour train ride that requires you to sit the entire time? I can see why producers showed mercy on this leg.

– Rafting while standing is all team work. Brilliant task at this time. Plus it’s funny to see teams race each other in really slow modes of transportation. “They’re very slowly getting awayyyyyyyy.”

– Despite arguing and being shown more than any other leg, Mary & Peach hit the mat first.

– Wil sneaks onto the mat a second ahead of Chris & Alex who clearly didn’t care about racing to the mat. Chris & Alex will only run to the mat when it truly counts. Not for a non-elimination pit stop that has yet to institute a penalty for coming in last. I love how Chris looks like he does not want anything to do with any of the three of them. Poor Chris.

Seventh episode:

GARY: Are you an idiot? Did you book one flight that’s two hours later than everyone else?

DAVE: Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t

(GARY books the earlier flight.)

GARY: From now on, I’ll book the flight. . .and you can open the clues.

– Gary’s toque looks out of place in Hong Kong.

– Gary & Dave are added to the list of teams who pointlessly take the fast forward when they’re in first place.

– Gary’s analogy of Fast Forward to losing his virginity may be one of the most ridiculous (albeit accurate) quotes I have ever heard.

– Mary & Peach become the first team to read a clue in sync.

– In Hong Kong, drinking a man’s herbal tea implies sexual innuendo.

– In Hong Kong, going to rest on a Chinese junk does not imply sexual innuendo. My experience with Age of Empires II clued me into what a Chinese junk really means.

– Tara is the only woman in the mixed gender teams to claim she is the one with steady hands for the roadblock. Hong Kong is the dirtiest leg in TAR thus far.

– I haven’t noticed Alex’s accent for a couple episodes. Just realized that.

– Is this the most interesting Chris & Alex are with each other? Alex harasses Chris virtually the whole roadblock. That’s so unlike them.

– (TARA has just slaughtered everyone at a roadblock that required steady hands.)

WIL: Sometimes girls are better than guys.

WIL (confessional): Seeing Tara with those tiny arms. . .

I love that Wil dishes out an exceptionally harsh insult when his partner excels at a task that cements them second place in the leg.

– Mary & Peach receive one of the longest farewells for a team younger than 60-70 years old.

– I wonder why Blake & Paige thought they were last?

Eighth episode:

– Lay’s product placement!

– Chris & Alex interaction with Gary & Dave is always good. They never have anything good to say about each other but it is a fun way of mocking each other.

– Wil is so paranoid about the other teams that he can’t make up his mind about the Fast Forward. “Chris & Alex are going for it because you told them our plan! But I still wanna go for it! Wait, no! Yes! No!”

– I must admit telling another team you are going for the FF when they still have it (and you screw them over twenty times in seven legs) is not the best strategic move, Tara.

– GARY: Go the Murray House and find your next cl– (DAVE snatches clue) –ueeeeeeeeeeee. Did his brain malfunction and stall?

– Oswald & Danny start their ‘Let’s zen and f— with the other teams’ minds’ trick.

– Wil mouthing ‘F— me’ when he finds out they will be going to Sydney when they think they are ahead of the other teams. The reaction of knowing it might be an equalizer.

– I love that they blindside the teams that they’re going all the way to bleepin Sydney after the first two tasks.

– Oswald & Danny shopping for over five minutes in a mall? What the heck? I love it cuts back and forth between them and the teams freakin’ out about getting the earliest flight. They get rewarded with their carelessness for the race by arriving in Sydney FIRST!

– That is the most creative roadblock I’ve seen thus far in my research. Excellent roadblock. It reminds me of finding the smoke that thunders.

– Wil and Blake have poor reading comprehension.

– Oswald & Danny finish first?! And they win the first prize offered since the first leg? There is such poetry to that on so many levels.

– Tara brings up a good point. I didn’t catch on until now, but I am aware she has done almost every roadblock. Wil doing more roadblocks would have guaranteed eliminations earlier on. And this leg he was lucky because Blake didn’t think about reading it either.

– Blake & Paige must be heavy fan favourites at this point. It’s a non-elimination but yet they get to stay on the mat and talk as if they were eliminated for at least a full minute. At this time, you’re lucky to get more than ten seconds.

Ninth episode:

– Chris & Alex using the FF on leg 9 might be the smartest decision they make in the whole race. They told all of the other teams behind them that they’re going for it, and the only team ahead of them had already used a FF. This way, you are 100% guaranteed to not be wasting your time AND everyone may be willing to help you [unless you’re Wil] at key junctures at the conclusion of the race. Waiting until there are five teams seems to be a good rule of thumb when you want to use the fast forward. Nothing better than being extremely optimistic heading into the final legs of the race when everyone is cringing about when to use the FF or the fact they want to re-fuel and de-stress for just one leg.

– Blake & Paige think Chris & Alex were lying and waste their money to go to the FF? What reason would Chris & Alex lie to you about it when they are already ahead and the route marker isn’t until the following morning. Sorry Blake & Paige, but that wasn’t smart. Or as Alex says in this episode, “wicked smawwwwwwwt”.

– “We made 54 bucks tonight begging on the streets of Sydney? Even if we lose the race, we should come back here knowing we could make a living doing this.” Ah yes, another instance of Gary jokingly playing the post-9/11 ignorant American stereotype.

– Since when does it rain back-to-back nights in Sydney? Isn’t it supposed to be dry?

– Am I the only one who thinks this FF is a lot more advantageous than the other ones? Like Oswald & Danny’s FF or Gary & Dave’s FF. Oswald & Danny had less than an hour. Gary & Dave’s FF only gave them a lousy 20 minute lead despite being in first place when they looked for it. Chris & Alex must be getting at leas 4-5 hours from this.

– VISA product placement!

– CONSULTANT: You’re looking for the Big Winch. . .

WIL (looks at Tara): I thought you were the Big Winch.

– Gary refusing to listen at the airport = big consequences. Last charter flight, buddy!

– How did Chris wear jeans in Coober Pedy after saying it was 150 degrees? Maybe he’s a never nude.

– Wil complaining a task will take forever without doing anything. That must be editing. I refuse Wil to be that horrible while racing.

– A ‘Keep Off the Grass’ sign on a desert golf course. I think that’s a joke by the community.

– I couldn’t do the opal task. I have no idea what an opal is. It’s been a while since I’ve done the mining activity in Harvest Moon for PlayStation.

– Playing golf in 130 degree weather sounds like a nightmare, too. Therefore this detour is awesome.

WIL: Is this an opal?

TARA: Is this an opal?

MINER: No.

TARA: That’s so an opal!

WIL: This is an opal, man!

TARA: Totally an opal!

WIL: Op–

TARA: WIL! SHUT UP!

OSWALD: Is this an opal?

MINER: No.

DANNY: Then what is this?

MINER (deadpan): A rock.

– Gary & Dave switching detours. The clearest memory I have of TAR 2. I’m dreading the rest of this episode.

–  How did they get the nickname Itchy & Scratchy?

– Blake & Paige beat the pack and finish only behind the FF team? My oh my how things have changed.

– Oswald throws the backpack all the way down the hill while running to the route marker. For once, something that is so ridiculous may have saved him a few seconds of his time. Unless he took too long grabbing his backpack considering he went on a big shopping spree in Hong Kong. I wonder if Danny & Oswald’s bags are one of the heaviest in TAR history? They waste their money faster than any other team and this is an era where producers were generous with how much they gave out on each leg.

– Gary & Dave are gone. I think I was close to crying when I saw them eliminated when I was ten years old. I’m amazed how much of their humour I understood ten years ago.

– Did Danny call the Aborigine Mac? That’s mildly witty.

– I wonder if Gary becomes an editor for TAR 5 because of his ability to demonstrate such an awareness for the camera? He might have been one of the first in TV to give confessionals with ease. At the same time, his lack of being himself (which is something that gets praised once we get to Coach in Survivor: Tocantins) must have been annoying for producers and Phil.

Tenth episode:

– Chris & Alex depart at 3:00am. I love how by the tenth leg

– BLAKE: As long as we make absolutely perfect decisions and move quickly then no one can catch us.

Uh, I think that applies to any team in the history of TAR, Blake.

WIL: Tara and I are two stubborn people and it seems the world isn’t big enough for the both of us. So hopefully we’ll at least get along to where we can work together.

– ALEX: Is Wil losing his mawbles? Is he coming unwound?

– Wil sits in between two gas containers at a gas station saying he quits. He looks like a five year old. Chris, Alex, and Tara all make fun of him reminding him how he wouldn’t quit again.

– I love how Oswald & Danny seem really far behind but don’t care in the slightest.

– Oswald is putting on his contacts. That means he’s getting fired up.

– Blake & Paige lied and brought their bags onto the plane. They had it low enough hidden from the

– Alex gets on the intercom and ensures the plane stalls for fifteen minutes just so Blake & Paige’s trick would give them a penalty as opposed to being a benefit. Amazing. Teams that are being cast now are nowhere near as creative.

– Blake & Paige are behind to the point where they waste their FF on a non-elimination leg. Why in the world would you waste it on the least advantageous leg? Why not wait until leg 11, or if Tara & Wil are ahead of you to use it, then you can use it on leg 12.

– The terror music. I haven’t heard this yet in TAR. The next time I can remember this song being played is Flo’s infamous cliff incident.

– Quick Jump vs. Long Hike? Of course you’d take the former. A long hike is not only a much longer path, but I’m sure you’d have a much higher risk of injury than a sport that has to have so many safety rules in place to ensure they can’t have a remote chance of being sued.

– Alex’s laugh sounds strange. Yep, I just criticized someone’s leg.

– I think Wil & Tara’s bungee jumping conversation after they jumped sounds like the time when Tara helped Wil lose his virginity. No joke.

– Wil doesn’t know how to drive a stick. . .or much of anything. He’s broken down about two or three cars on the race. I refuse to believe he hasn’t driven at least five cars already.

– Oswald bungee jumping. My goodness. You would think he was being abused by his mom.

– Separating the black sheep into a different pen, eh? Oh, and I totally called the song that would be playing for the sheep herding task.

– WIL: White — go that way. Black — go that way.

Yeah, I don’t think it’s going to be that easy Phil.

– PETA does not approve of Wil’s abuse of the last sheep.

– Chris sheeps for a long time. Grows frustrated.

*Chris checks his clue*

CHRIS (disappointed): Can’t tackle ‘em.

That’s the funniest thing that team has said that doesn’t involve Alex’s accent.

Chris&Alex 3.3

Tara&Wil 2.8

Blake&Paige 3.0

Oswald&Danny 3.3

Eleventh episode:

– Wil struggles with starting a car. Again.

– Wil & Tara yelling at each other. Again.

– Wil breaks down another car.

– Oh wow. That was a big exchange. They are both a huge mess. Thirty days of being with someone equally crazy does the trick.

– I have never seen Wil this relaxed about being beaten by Chris & Alex.

– BLAKE: It pays to be nice to people and get ahead. . .Oh God, they’re such a jack— to get in front of us!

CRAZY PEOPLE: 1

NICE GUYS: 0

– Oswald & Danny miss the ferry to catch up to the other three teams. Boo.

– Tara just kissed Alex while Wil was asleep. Oh my. Do they think the ferry is the Titanic or something? If only her and Wil’s egos could be the thing that sinks.

– OSWALD: Patience is a virtue.

*Camera cuts to Wil*

At least the editors have a sense of humour.

– Hours of operations force the four teams to wait until 7 o’ clock to start the leg. At least it wasn’t the final task.

– After 21 minutes into the episode, they arrive at the first route marker.

– TARA: You drive while I put my shoe on. . .Wil’s driving which is never a good sign.

Why let him drive if he’s nearly broken about three cars? C’mon Tara. You should know better.

– New Zealand must be one of the best places to live in the world. It’s one gigantic adventure park. Caves, cliffs, bungee jumping, rafting, mountains, catacombs, you name it.

– Chris claims Oswald & Danny sissy-footed the whole cave? Sexist and/or homophobic tendencies in that remark? Nah, I’ve made fun of his partner’s accent. That’s more than enough.

– I wish cameras would follow Tara & Wil to their trip on Mexico. There’s no way they enjoy that trip together.

TARA: Wil and I are completely different people.

You sure about that, Tara?

– They’re all lost except Blake & Paige. Nice.

– I think Chris has not changed his jeans since the first day of the race. They’re all seasons.

– I don’t think any of them are roughriders if you ask me. Sometimes a roadblock hint is just a roadblock hint.

– Look at that bird!!!!

– Nobody cares if you can compete with the guys, Paige. All you’re doing is implying that you shouldn’t be able to compete with the male gender.

– PAIGE: I am totally vibrating right now. I’m so hot!

– Oswald & Danny vs. Chris & Alex’s inabilities to navigate New Zealand. What’s so difficult about driving through New Zealand?

– Zero suspense. I love old school Amazing Race. They didn’t take thirty seconds to decide who would be the final team to be eliminated.

– CHRIS: No holds bawwed.

– Wil’s tongue yell? What the heck?

Chris&Alex 6.7

Tara&Wil 10.14

Blake&Paige 6.4

Oswald&Danny 4.3

Twelfth episode:

– When this originally aired, the final two legs were in a single two-hour finale. You think this would make producers re-think the idea of having this many non-eliminations if they’ve resorted to two two-hour episodes because of it.

– Heh, Tara read a clue with an inflection. I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a question at the end of the clue.

– They’re going to One Tree Hill? A shoutout to television.

– Blake & Paige recognize Chris & Alex are their only competition and that Wil will self-destruct. I’m sure they didn’t know how it would exactly materialize.

– Wil claims he knows how to ‘talk to a guy’ on the phone of an airline. Great stuff.

– Tara goes over to hug Alex. Then Wil accuses her of her head not being in the game and telling them his flight. Did you ever think hugging and kissing Alex may result in Alex helping them out as opposed to the other way around?

– BLAKE: It smells like America here.

Hawaii smells like America? I won’t ask.

– I wonder if the Hawaii leg has teams communicating with their taxi driver as if they’re still in countries that don’t speak English. “Old Mill Road you know? Mori Rapido — er, I mean as fast as possible.”

– Everyone’s walking to find pineapples that have clues inside them. That isn’t stereotyping Hawaii at all.

– Is Chris doing football drills or what?

– Wil physically lifts Tara onto his shoulders? I didn’t know Wil was capable of willing to exert that much energy without breaking down or threatening to quit.

– TARA: I got on Wil’s shoulders and I like found it within forty secondsss.

Oh Tara. We’re all oh so envious of your pineapple spotting skills.

– Molankini island looks cool. No wonder why TAR likes to go to Hawaii so often. It’s such a unique climate. I can see why U.S. colonized the place.

– A real lack of confessionals at this point. They really wanted to shift to the documentary style for the last few legs.

– Wil’s tongue yell is just as messed up the second time.

– Is this the start of about ten seasons where at least one clue has to be on a buoy and at least one that is underwater? I believe so.

– Texans are the strongest swimmers?

– Whoa, I’ve never seen Blake that fired up. If only it were the finish line.

– Tara is screaming even for her standards. Wow.

– Wil is encouraging Tara and being optimistic that they’re not far behind? Wow. He’s coming around ever so slightly. I feel bad for Wil in that situation. He didn’t quit and tried to figure it out despite not getting how to open the clue.

– This pit stop is irrelevaaaant.

– Tara & Wil lose a foot race to the pit stop despite driving in first. Part one.

– I love how Chris & Alex don’t go 100 percent when they know it’s a non-elimination round. That helps you stay relaxed.

Chris&Alex 3.5

Tara&Wil 1.2

Blake&Paige 0.0

Final leg:

– Okay, let’s get out of Hawaii. They know this is not the final city.

– Ugh, they’re going to Alaska? So we’re just waiting time to ensure there is only one task left to do in the final city? I can’t believe we have to wait until TAR12 before production understands how to format the final leg properly.

– Chris & Alex are over an hour behind? Oh my.

– Tara & Wil are going to quit because they have been rude to both teams for so long that they know there is no way Tara & Wil would help the other two teams if they were in the same situation. I remember when this happened initially because I was ecstatic that there was a chance Tara & Wil would be utterly humiliated right when the million was in their grasps. The funny thing is that there will be a more humiliating alternative awaiting them.

– Alex and Tara schmoozing it up even though Alex refuses to give them the clue. Great.

– Tara asked different places around Alaska if they were expecting three teams. You would think these places would refuse to give out this information considering that would be an invitation for press to stalk your building. But nope, they gave out the information openly. Doesn’t that affect confidentiality agreements?

– Wil gloating the second they figure out where the route marker is located. He has learned nothing from this experience.

– BLAKE: I have written a new route info for Wil. Go to Siberia and find the most isolated place possible.

– They have to sleep overnight in an igloo? They must be jealous of last season who slept overnight in a cabin. First budget cut?

– TARA: C’mon Wil. I got you to every pit stop Wil. Every pit stop.

How clueless can a team be?

– WIL: What have I done? I thought up until today we were getting along fine.

. . . Okay, maybe he isn’t coming around.

–  Chris isn’t wearing jeans! Alaska was his breaking point.

– They stole a task straight from Big Brother 2. Where’s Bunky when you need him?

– Wil threatens to sit and quit until Tara stops yelling.

– BLAKE: It’s not good for Wil to yell like that. It hurts the team’s moral.

PAIGE: I don’t think Tara is much better.

I don’t think their yelling hurts them if they have the best average of any team in the whole season.

– Wil is a fourth generation San Franciscoan. Tara has family there too. Wasn’t there a team who had their final city be their hometown? I wonder how they finished on the final leg.

– WIL: Blake & Paige are right behind us. Those little weasels.

– Here we go! Final city!

– That first taxi for Blake & Paige may have been a great thing at the beginning, but it turns out to be their demise. Boo.

– Tara & Wil don’t get help from the traffic control because they were shouting and were yelling at traffic control.

– Blake & Paige racing against Tara & Wil simultaneously for the route marker is great. What’s better is that they probably think they’re first and second. Blake’s running expedition earlier and Tara & Wil’s rudeness may give Chris & Alex the million bucks.

– Tara & Wil are first before the final route marker. I am sure everyone watching was sick to their stomach thinking these two would win.

– How much time can Wil shave off with his knowledge of San Francisco? Oh boy. Just remembered what happens here.

– Poor Blake. He probably cost him and his sister a million bucks with his venture into the streets.

– I think interviewing these taxi drivers would be some of the most interesting interviews ever.

– Wil tries to shake them off at a dead end. It was a smart move but executed poorly. They should’ve walked out of the cab and tell him to turn around. Not the smartest idea evidently.

– Tara & Wil have learned nothing on this month-long trip.

– I wonder if they slowly brought the finish line further and further away as the camera and audio personnel called in saying Tara & Wil were going to be there first.  I could picture Tara running while all of the eliminated teams and Phil pull the mat further back.

– You can’t help but feel bad when Tara is hugging Chris and Alex while Wil is standing off to the side alone. He knows if he doesn’t run up the hill that he wins a million bucks. I wonder what we would think of the season if that were the case. Tara & Wil winners of The Amazing Race 2. Would that have killed the show that was so early in its franchise? Probably not considering the winners we see not too far down the road.

– Alex says a decade’s worth of travel in less than a month is exhausting. I would counter that a decade’s worth of The Amazing Race being watched in a month would be equally exhausting.

Chris&Alex 2.7

Tara&Wil 1.8

Blake&Paige 3.2

Best to Worst Legs:

Leg 13: Hawaii -> San Francisco (Tara & Wil lose their clue. Tara & Wil recover. Chris & Alex take risks but they’re all equalized anyway. Karma rears its ugly head for Tara & Wil. Wil pulls one of the most ridiculous manoeuvres I have ever seen. Chris doesn’t wear his jeans for once. The closest finish in the history of the race. The villains being toppled at the very very very end could very well make up for a season that had twelve boring episodes before it. Luckily, this leg doesn’t stand alone in terms of quality.)

Leg 1: Las Vegas -> Rio (‘What looks like the end of the world is the start of an amazing journey.’ = Best opening location EVER. We get introduced to some of the most memorable teams in TAR’s history. Wil raises the stakes by attacking Blake within the first twenty minutes. Gutsy Grannies are openly mocked. Starting the race in Brazil couldn’t be more different from Songwe. Fat Maria keeps in line with old school clues. And to cap it all off, the least competitive team is the first one eliminated. Excellent start.)

Leg 3: Iguacu -> Cape Town (We get to see Nelson Mandela’s prison cell. Arranging flights to Cape Town may very well be one of the best airport strategy sessions considering there was about a dozen different connections in order to get from Brazil to South Africa. The healer at the roadblock has one of the best vocal chords I have heard in my life. Mary & Peach are convinced they will be killed at a route marker. Gutsy Grannies can’t wake up at 4am. Gutsy Grannies are ignored for a chunk of the leg and Peggy is FINALLY eliminated.)

Leg 5: Swakopmund -> Plai Pluh Ploo Plong Plow (Tara & Wil sneak in a few more ridiculous exchanges with other teams. Gary & Dave run into Pikmin. An excellent detour that exploits the chaotic nature of Bangkok. A roadblock that seems very far removed from contemporary tasks in the TAR universe. It loses points for Thailand being visited for the second season in a row. Oh, and I think five episodes is a good place to stop for Cyndi & Russell’s Sunday School class [although TAR aired on Tuesdays during this season, I think.] Did I mention Danny & Oswald are a fan favourite by this point?)

Leg 11: Christchurch -> Auckland (Tara & Wil’s ridiculousness vs. Chris & Alex’s sexistness and accent. Seeing Oswald & Danny fight it out for last place with Chris & Alex for two legs straight in New Zealand was good. Oswald & Danny being eliminated is fine because they already finished in last the leg before so it all works out fairly. The overall two-leg visit in New Zealand may be the true definition of an Amazing Race. Cars, campers, 4-wheel drive, bungee jumping, ATV, hikes in a canyon, sheep herding, navigating confusing roads where one wrong turn costs you thirty minutes in New Zealand makes for a very pleasant visual watch. Plus these four teams are ridiculously distinct. Mary & Peach who? Hope & Norm who? Gutsy Grannies both died by now. Yeah.)

Leg 4: Cape Town -> Swakopmund (The Matterhorn is a page taken straight out of Expedition Impossible. It’s an epic ride. Peach going for a FF that the lead team had already taken is a bit funny. Wil communicating with the woman at the taxi driver provides some laughs. Pre-leg banter between the teams is used appropriately. Shola & Doyin getting their seventh spell of bad luck sucks hard, though.)

Leg 9: Sydney -> Coober Pedy (Another leg in an English speaking country? That’s not as fun. Gary & Dave go home much to my chagrin. Detour was awesome. Roadblock was a bit luck-based, but still good. Chris & Alex make a million dollar move. Blake & Paige counter Itchy & Scratchy’s departure with a high finish. The fireworks between the teams have significantly died down since the start. Maybe things got too nasty by leg 5-6 that teams decided to hold back a bit? Maybe the real eruptions begin now that we’re heading into leg 10.)

Leg 7: Chiang Mai -> Hong Kong (I don’t know why this leg ranks so low for me. It’s just one of too many Hong Kong legs in the history of the race. Gary & Dave are funny in it. Mary & Peach fall enormously behind after traveling to a FF that had already been claimed for the SECOND time in the race. I don’t remember anything else happening. Nothing to really anger me. Mary & Peach receive a long farewell after not receiving as much airtime as the other five teams. A ton of sexual innuendo makes this leg hilarious.)

Leg 8: Hong Kong -> Sydney (There was only one task to do in Sydney, but this is countered by it being a non-elimination leg so it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Oswald & Danny wander the streets of Hong Kong looking for a travel agent haphazardly while buying Gucci products, leave for a route marker to open hours after everyone else only to stroll in with one minute to go, and then win a 5-day cruise for their efforts which happens to be the first prize offered since the first leg of the race. Mix in Wil and Blake being idiots at the roadblock because they were so intently wanting to beat the others despite knowing there’s a 95% chance this will be a non-elimination, and instead pay much more money for three extra taxi rides. Blake & Paige are thankfully saved by a non-elimination but I do wish they would have been penalized even if I like them. I do like that this episode was about 3-4 minutes shorter than the other episodes because it aired in a single 2-hour block with the following episode. That was a good move considering the next leg is an elimination.)

Leg 12: Auckland -> Hawaii (Blake & Paige win a vacation for beating Tara & Wil in a foot race. That’s the only reason this leg is this high. Wil’s tongue yell earns points too.)

Leg 10: Coober Pedy -> Christchurch (The editors didn’t bother with showing them doing ninety percent of the tasks for more than two seconds. It returned to the first season’s documentary style. Tara & Wil maintain their fighting. Wil breaks down cars. Oswald & Danny are saved by a non-elimination, so two of my favourite teams have been saved by non-eliminations. I wish Blake & Paige waited until leg 12 to use their FF. Alex holding up the plane may end up being memorable down the road. Sheep herding looks fun.)

Leg 6: Ratchaburi/Plai Ploo Pluh Plow -> Chiang Mai (Really boring tasks. If this were an elimination leg, we would see Chris & Alex vs. Tara & Wil to avoid last place. Wouldn’t eliminating at least one of these two horrendous teams this round make the rest of the season much better? I mean, this non-elimination leg was the perfect order of placement but it gets wasted as a non-elimination. Instead, we see the rest of the season finishing out in the exact opposite order. Seeing the teams shop and comparing it to other non-elimination legs from the first four seasons makes this better if you compare it to those ones, though. Painful drawn out train ride to punish the teams for having safety is a bonus. Twenty-six minutes from first to last. Is that the closest for a six-way race?)

Leg 2: Rio -> Iguacu (Doyin gets his foot run over by a taxi. Teams fly above the city to start a trend we will see in many future seasons, so even though it is original for its time, now it would be a case of ‘been there done that’ as a viewer. The roadblock is lame. Bus rides for the final task always bring down the quality of a leg. Peggy getting a third of the episode to be edited as an extremely cranky and unlikeable person. For an excellent season, it’s not too bad that this is the only bad episode early on.)

Worst to Best teams:

11. Peggy & Claire (Claire was fine, but Peggy’s pessimism and annoyance got her airtime. Why have older people on if they are not competitive? Claire needed a different partner. I am so happy we no longer have to hear from the Gutsy Grannies with the exception of Bill’s mock reference to them in All-Stars. Please never dominate an episode  of TAR ever again, Peggy.)

10. Deidre & Hilary (Eh. All I know is that they were trying to connect after not seeing each other much for a bunch of years. It seemed like they were going to reconcile regardless of the race. Was the mother keen on racing? Does anyone know?

9. Cyndi & Russell (Less religious confessionals would make you more bearable and likeable. It’s not your fault. It’s editing crew’s fault.)

8. Hope & Norm (You were portrayed as the one-dimensional Southern couple. I am curious to know if you support gay marriage? OK, a bit harsh for the Southern stereotype.)

7. Chris & Alex (A bit sexist but if there is any team to bounce off Tara & Wil’s antics, you certainly completed them. You flirted with Tara. You worked with Wil almost unconditionally. Tara & Wil may not be half as entertaining if you guys didn’t stick around until the very end. My apologies for making jokes at the expense of the Bostonian accent.)

6. Mary & Peach (The producers deserve kudos for casting these two. They didn’t cast two sisters who fit a supermodel stereotype. They picked two sisters who clearly aren’t models and  have substance to be on the race. Their interactions were pretty good. Peach was supposed to be the spoiled one and was reinforced in confessionals, but there is zero evidence of that in the race. Instead we see the older sister bossing around the younger sister. Although maybe I don’t see it because I am the youngest of five kids. I can picture them being just a second too late for any big sale in Peach’s beloved shopping malls. I hear Oswald & Danny got there just before them.)

5. Tara & Wil (They may be the most rotten duo to be cast in the first five seasons but they didn’t cross any racial line with the other players. The fact they kept it to illogical bickering, yelling, whining, aggressiveness, and repeated attempts to quit makes it on the side of entertaining as opposed to cringe worthy. Luckily no team is cringe worthy until season six.)

4. Oswald & Danny (Very nice people. I bring them down to fourth because they considered to quit the race. That’s blasphemous for the thousands of people who apply for the show and wish to compete. They make up for it in the last four legs when their adapted strategy is to simultaneously enjoy their friendship but do well in the race. This intriguing balance act of this approach comes up again and again in their TAR career. That’s what makes them such likeable and interesting characters on the show. Who else strolls in at 7:59am at a 8:00am opening of a route marker? Only Ozzy & Danny.

3. Gary & Dave (They’re up here for their exceptionally witty confessionals. Nothing else. Their departure with Phil may be one of the series’ best.)

2. Blake & Paige (Blake somewhat reminds me of my oldest brother and Paige a bit of my sister. They were competitive and did some unintentionally wacky things on the race. Pulling out a burning paper car out of a fireplace? Check. Giving a couple over-energetic confessionals? Being the youngest racers in the whole cast but make it just minutes away from the winner’s circle? Blake now sells shoes where half the money goes into his pocket and the other half goes to charity. I’ve seen him in commercials too. Oh, and Blake’s attempts to heal his relationship with Wil after their falling out on the first leg is amusing.)

1. Shola & Doyin (The only way these two aren’t your favourites is if you are the parents of one of the other ten teams. It’s such a bummer one of them had their ankle driven over and that their car was stuck in the sand for hours. Bah. They didn’t deserve to be as low as eighth. Luck is always a big factor in these reality shows. Unless you’re Vecepia Towery, Brian Heidik, or Earl Cole. Then you’ve got mad skillz.)

11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0

11th Matt & Ana 11.0

9th Peggy & Claire 9.0

10th Kim & Leslie 8.0

8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0

10th Hope & Norm 7.0

6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43

7th Paul & Amie 6.2

7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8

5th Nancy & Emily 5.67

9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF

8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF

6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)

4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF

5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF

3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF

1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF

4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF

3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF

2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF

1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF

2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Concluding Thoughts:

You can’t go wrong with this season. If you switch Chris & Alex with Shola & Doyin, you have the perfect boot order. So for that, we have to do a minor deduction. We also can’t overlook the fact that the winning team finished last on two of the non-eliminations without being penalized for it, so that takes off .5. Fast forwards being on every leg again is one of my favourite things about the Race. The fact they skipped Europe out of all the continents besides Antarctica is very welcome to see. The tasks were great. Every team that were in top six were entertaining. When I find myself being bummed out about who is eliminated for four of the last five eliminations before the end means this was a great cast. I’m happy I made the time to do this project. There’s so many things I have forgotten, even if the boot order is implanted in my brain. That’s what made this re-watch enjoyable.

So we’re off to season three from here. I don’t know what else to say. It feels like I just blew up a castle in Super Mario World by myself in the basement and I look forward to the retro events that I will experience yet again.

Rating 8.5/10

1. The Amazing Race 2

2. The Amazing Race (1)

P.S. Curious about those decimals? Tara&Wil 1.8 at the end of the lsat four legs, for instance? The ‘1’ represents how many confessionals Tara had, and ‘8’ represents how  many confessionals Wil had. That’s right, I started confessional counting in leg 10.

P.P.S. Yes, that last stat with all 22 teams that have raced thus far are indeed their average finish per leg. Enjoy random stats.

The Amazing Race 3

Countries visited:

USA, MEXICO, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND, PORTUGAL, MOROCCO, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, SWITZERLAND, MALAYSIA, SINGAPORE, VIETNAM

Format changes:

– Fast forward on every leg stays intact.

– A season that expands to twelve teams.

– A season with twelve teams that doesn’t have a ridiculous elimination in the first ten minutes.

– Only three non-elimination points yet there’s thirteen legs.

First episode:

– HEATHER: We are both very intelligent and we plan to play into the whole dumb blonde female.

Oh, you play into it more than you ever thought you would, Heather.

– FLO: It’s a test to see how compatible we are.

No comment.

– SYLVIA: Fear no man; be terrified of soccer mom.

How long do you think she came up with that gem before they submitted their audition tape?

– Aaron is wearing the shirt that has the initials of silver on the periodic table; Arianne is wearing a shirt that has the initials of gold on the periodic table. Nobody had the heart to tell them they wouldn’t be anywhere near the podium.

– ANDRE: A mission like this it’s right up our alley.

Firefighters and police officers are trained in airports?

– JILL: We’re actually a team of three. Our third teammate is my brother.

Uh, I’m pretty sure you’re only allowed to have two-person teams. Just sayin’.

– NYC, Vegas, and now the Everglades. It’s refreshing to see a time where production cares about switching up the starting point from season to season.

– Sylvia becomes the first person to trip at the starting line. And the trend begins.

– Flo yells and utters a F bomb in minute nine of episode one. I could’ve sworn it wasn’t until minute twelve before the cursing and yelling begins. “What the F is this?”

– Damon ran the red light. I am sure if Andre did it he would not hear the end of it.

Stealth.

– Heather & Eve begging for money at an airport. They made nearly one hundred bucks. It’s the first leg. I wonder how fast they blow through it?

– Flo has thrown her hands in the air three times in frustration before exiting the United States.

– Another F word. “What the F is this?”

– ZACH: I think Flo is a high maintenance girl. That could be trouble.

Oh boy. Zach. It’s not worth it. Get out now.

– I see a truck with the Domino’s Pizza logo on it. I guess delivery cars are less reliable in Mexico.

– If you haven’t been to Zocalo Square, please note that the place is HUGE. Probably bigger than Red Square.

– I can’t tell the difference between Derek and Drew’s voice. You’re making my confessional counts near impossible.

– Hey, a new song in TAR’s repertoire. Neat.

– SYLVIA: We have to win. We have no choice.

Well you certainly created  one within twelve hours.

– Ken & Gerard race in a cab vs. the Twins’ physique for the FF. The start of one of the best relationships in TAR history. Ken & Gerard have bashed them in three confessionals within five minutes. “I can’t believe I saw sweat on their face. They actually sweat those gods.”

– Ken & Gerard join the exclusive list of those who opt to take the FF on the first leg. I don’t blame them. The first leg typically is the most different from all of the other legs. In addition, TAR seems to have a 2-3 leg learning curve for all the teams.

– ZACH: Let’s skydive. It’ll be faster.
FLO: But it takes long.

I like that logic.

Flo having fun. Enjoy The Race, honey. Have a good time!

So far so good.

Mexico’s version of planking

– Ken & Gerard win a 7-day cruise. I am sure everyone thought they should be thankful they get even that much.

– When Aaron screams ‘Yes!’ after the skydive, that takes me back to the sixth grade. On the official website, they had a T-Mobile extra where each digit on a phone represented a team. You press the team and they produce a 5-second sound byte. For example, Flo & Zach’s sound byte was Flo saying “I’m thinking the whole time they’re going to kill me, they’re going to kill Zach.”

For Aaron & Arianne, it was just ‘Yes!’ as their sound byte. I remember thinking it was funny to play it over and over and over again while on the computer in the elementary school computer lab.

– I hate to be laughing, but seeing Eve cry about an activity that doesn’t have any harm is hilarious. She kicks while they’re in the air. So funny.

– Watching the teams dodge the other skydivers is amusing. Dodge the flying soccer mom, Tramel!

– Did you see what Andrew does when he checks into the pit stop? Flamboyancy at a max.

– I love Ian’s jacka–ery in this season. He stands on the mat and points at the position where he wants his wife to join him. ‘Here Teri, stand. Good wife.’

– Tramel should sign up for a strongman contest. He pushes that minivan like he’s boss.

If this is how they react when they discover they finished in third-to-last, imagine how they would be if they finished first. My goodness they are awesome.

They’re not even close to the pit stop mat.

– I wonder why the twins were cast. They are hard to distinguish between and neither have an explosive personality in their interviews. What did producers exactly see?  They barely survive this leg by minutes.

– Gina & Sylvia are gone. I wish they would have stayed longer so we could get beyond the “we’re moms who want to prove to our kids that they can do anything they want to do.” It’s 2011, but I think we were sick of hearing that crap on competitive reality TV by 2002. Come to think of it, do any of the teams that get eliminated first go down as memorable? I mean on Survivor you have people who remember Chicken, Debb, Peter, Brook, and Jon Raymond. But TAR? The only team that comes to mind is not seen for a long time. Maybe they like to frame the first out as being one-dimensionally nice? Although Matt&Ana certainly didn’t get that treatment.

Below is your confessional count. In the premiere, each team has to be introduced with an opening confessional. As we head into the next episode, I’m sure we’re going to see slants reminiscent of Peggy from last season.

Heather&Eve 1.2
Michael&Kathy 2.2
Dennis&Andrew 1.1
Flo&Zach 3.2
Derek&Drew 3.1
Gina&Sylvia 4.4
Tramel&Talicia 2.1
Silver&Gold 3.1
Teri&Ian 2.2
Andre&Damon 1.2
Ken&Gerard 6.3
JV&Jill 1.2

Second leg

———-

– They showed a split second of Tramel & Talicia’s pit stop screaming again. Great.

– Will Derek & Drew come out of last place? I don’t knowwwww.

– Ken says he wants their nickname to be “O Brother”. Are you allowed to force everyone to use the nickname you provided yourself?

– FLO: Zach is the perfect companion for this kind of journey.

– Michael may be the most underrated confessionalist in the history of reality television. I find myself cracking up at how he phrases things. He’s totally relaxed and he’s engaging in his interviews. He needed to be on Survivor much more than the crazy skydiving adventure hungry adrenaline rushes that he clearly doesn’t seek on The Amazing Race.

– Aaron & Arianne is TAR’s version of Wil & Grace. I am amazed they were never given that nickname.

– Why is there a four-team alliance (Mike, Kat, Gold and Silver, FloZach, JV and Jill) against the Twins. They’re over four hours behind you! Why not have one of you take the FF so they’re completely paralyzed? But nope. Say you’re going on a crusade against them but let them take the FF to go from eleventh to first. What a wise move.

– Andre & Damon oversleep, don’t brush their teeth, and Andre has Montezuma’s Revenge. That is a terrible way to start your race. At least they find a fern.

– Do you think restaurants in Mexico undercook their food because they can just use Montezuma’s Revenge as an easy scapegoat? I am sure you would cut costs for sanitation if you have that scapegoat in plain sight.

– Jill converts into a spider when she goes up pyramids.

– Tramel & Talicia nicknamed themselves TNT.

– JV & Jill are nicknamed Rambette and The Rock. We have Gerard to thank for that.

– Andre & Damon made up two hours. That’s what happens when Ian has to tail Dennis’ slow driving for five hours.

– Eve cries for the second episode in a row to ensure she makes the bus. Andre & Damon miss it by minutes and are now three hours behind.

– Phil recaps which bus each team is on. Andrew sleeping looks like a Silas Screw’d pic. (Andrew pic here.)

– The bus that is three hours behind ends up in a car crash. It’s not like they could

– I noticed Jill has her bathing suit underneath. I wonder if production warned them beforehand? Maybe not considering Arianne took her clothes off in the cab and changed in the cab. How big are her breasts? Her entire upper body is blurred. Was it a nun who edited this segment?

– Is that a new song for the race?

– Detour time. Manpower or Horsepower. Kayak for a clue or use a wicked jet ski. I’d use the jet ski because there’s no way I could afford one. Nothing like a free jet ski you can trash on national television. The Anti-Twins Alliance all wish to jet ski together.

– Arianne criticizes Michael & Kathy for kayaking and using the donkey as opposed to skydiving in the prior detour. Vito and Jill kayak too but remain unscathed from an Arianne verbal attack.

– Flo is yelling at Zack as they jet ski. Fantastic. It’s supposed to be subtle.

– Flo breaks into a whiny voice as she stands on a PARKED JET SKI as she waits impatiently for Zack to carry her bags and pull her off of the jet ski that required a one inch jump to get on the ground.

– Ken claims to be the Queen of the Nile on the kayak. I think Sarah Jones from Survivor: Marquesas stole the title from you as Reality TV Egyptian Queen. I don’t think Cleopatra complained about wanting vests for fat people.

– Heh, Kenny misses the ferry because he was taking a ‘Sunday stroll’ to the ticket counter. It looks like they lose an hour on the Anti-Twin Brigade.

– The second bus. Teri & Ian portray the ugly American. They both yell ‘Saaaan Marinooo Marinaaaa’ in unison. I don’t think they took a Linguistics class.

– Here we go. Tramel & Talicia sloooowly fall over in their jet ski. They fall again ten seconds later. Luckily Tramel can urinate in the lagoon and Talicia claims it’s a comedy of errors. I’ve never seen the trailing pack have such bad luck.

– Teri & Ian fall over too. I remember cheering for their failure because I really wanted Tramel & Talicia to survive.

– Ian’s soon-to-be-trademark of impatience while simultaneously asking for Teri to be patient. She just wants to open the clue, Ian! Relax!

– Tramel & Talicia fall over in their jet ski again. Smooth.

– Roadblock time. Swim amongst dolphins as you search for clues.

– Michael says he’ll swim then says ‘oh crap, I just remembered I can’t swim!’ How do you forget that you can’t swim?! That wouldn’t be something that would slip my mind.

– Arianne finishes first. I recall how Diamante K Bungalows in Tulum translates to Dynomite K Bungalows in Tooloom. One of the best until TAR 10 when teams go to More-Ritt-E-Us.

– “Can’t kayak, can’t skydive, can’t swim…I can cook though.” — Michael. If only you were on one of the last few seasons of TAR.

– I love how the camera runs around Flo as she is out of breath running to her car. She has zero cardio.

– “We have to go to…Chakanub? Chaka Khan? Che? Che Canal? Why can’t nothing be called Detroit?” – Tramel.

– Tramel & Talicia not making the ferry is supposed to be a subtle fact that Andre mentions. I s’pose it becomes blatantly obvious that Tramel & Talicia are hours and hours behind at this point.

– John Vito & Jill doing the roadblock in a .7 second clip may be the briefest summary ever.

– Derek & Drew shout at each other in an unmemorable way on their road to the pit stop. I love that they get to the pit stop first and say “the other teams will be really scared of us now.”

Yes, I am sure teams are afraid of a team that finished eleventh on the first leg and barely finished first when they used the fast forward. I would be afraid of a team that was making numerous errors in the first two legs. I don’t understand why everyone wants them eliminated yet. If it’s the fear of two white alpha males winning yet another season of TAR, people need to be reminded that Chris & Alex hit two non-eliminations and rarely led the pack.

– I love the sequence where Aaron & Arianne do an over-the-top celebration and say that the twins are an Abercrombie & Fitch campaign gone wrong, then Heather & Eve yell when they hit the mat, then Michael & Kathy do the quietest ‘alright’ celebration and clap hands. Michael & Kathy are like Gina from Marquesas. A more subdued team amongst a collection of Type A personalities.

– Three minutes left as three teams battle for last at the roadblock.

– “Last team to check in WILL BE ELIMINATED!” – Teri. I don’t get why the last part is emphasized.

– Tramel & Talicia are the only team to do the roadblock in the dark.

– Andrew pulls off the most flamboyant pit stop celebration for the second leg in a row.

TERI: You want to make sure we’re turning right?
IAN: I can’t see…
TERI: You want to make sure we’re turning right?
IAN: I can’t see…

Nothing like seeing two people bicker about pointless crap.

— Is it Tramel & Talicia or Teri & Ian? There’s about five seconds of suspense before Teri & Ian hit the mat. They ran surprisingly fast. They finished in tenth.

– Tramel & Talicia are the last team to arrive. Boo-urns. I think producers hated that they were gone too. I wish they would have toned the constant T& T references.

Heather&Eve 0.3
Michael&Kathy 3.1
Dennis&Andrew 2.0
Flo&Zach 3.0
Derek&Drew 5.2
Tramel&Talicia 5.5
Silver&Gold 4.5
Teri&Ian 2.1
Andre&Damon 3.2
Ken&Gerard 1.2
JV&Jill 1.1

Third leg
—————–
– We are reminded that we’re in a place where a ukulele is being played in the background. Will Teri & Ian get out of last place? And will the other teams join Aaron & Arianne’s pointless and distracting campaign of targeting the teams? I love how teams on TAR think they can ‘target’ a team in the same manner that you would on Survivor. See Eric & Jeremy as a reference for how to successfully target another team.

– Remember when there was suspense over whether Derek & Drew or Aaron & Arianne finished first? It turns out that Derek & Drew arrived ninety minutes earlier. You have to love editing. Come to think of it, Derek & Drew were over four hours behind the leading pack and still managed to get a 90 minute lead on the pit stop. That may be the most profitable fast forward ever. Imagine if you took the fast forward while you were still in the leading pack.

– Each of the next two teams speak how much they want the twins out. You do know there’s teams like Andre & Damon, Dennis & Andrew, and Teri & Ian who have to beat them for your plan to work, right?

– Kathy loves they went to Cancun because it is where her and Michael met. Michael likes it because it’s the scene of the crime where it all began. I think they view their relationship from two completely different angles.

– Flo believes Zack is marrying material and how she doesn’t want it to be a silly little fling. I wish the producers would remind her of this confessional four episodes down the road. And I believe Zack doesn’t think you’re marrying material at this point.

– Aaron pulls everyone over to ‘get a plan’. Michael mouths to himself that it’s not a stop sign. I love how he doesn’t buy into this bogus storyline. It turns out Aaron’s brilliant plan is to get a direct flight. *face palm*

– Our competition I think it has to be the teams that are strong, beautiful, and in the lead. We’re behind, not as good looking, we’re not as strong…but we’ve got spunk.” — Gerard. One of their best early quotes.

– It’s a twin hunt, apparently.

– John Vito describes Jill as being different from other girls because she is ‘ballsy’. Do you know what people describe women who have balls? Either men or transgendered. Biologically speaking, anyway.

You have zero dollars to spend on make-up for this leg of the race.

– The twin hunt strategy is backfiring. They waste several hours trying to book flights for all eight of them (plus eight crew members) to London. It took them four hours to realize how insane that idea is.

– Andrew talks about being gay and how his dad is coming around. Rule #1 of TAR: If a team member describes their partner as ‘coming around’ then they are either first or last that round.

– Michael doesn’t like chicken heads like Heather and Eve barking in his ear. Is he aware what chicken head means? And do chicken heads bark? Leaving them is like dumping baggage.

– Flo gets her first whine of the episode by insisting that they get a flight to London before they leave Cancun.

– Ken & Gerard, John Vito & Jill, and Andre & Damon have all passed Heather & Eve and Flo & Zack.

– “God please let there be flights available to Cancun. . .screw it, I’ll make calls to airlines and lie about my mom being sick.”

– It’s a frenzy keeping up with nine teams who are all taking different flights. What’s crazier is that Michael & Kathy and Aaron & Arianne doubt that forty minutes is too short to make a connection. I’ve never flown on a plane, but are airports this notoriously slow because of security?

– Here we are in London. Teams are coming in. Detour time. Punt/Boat and Bike/Bike. I’ve never heard of punts since I saw this TAR 3 episode. That trivia question will come up someday I’m sure.

– Derek & Drew get their clue on the detour and now must wait SEVEN hours before the first charter bus leaves. They will tan in the meantime.

– Ken & Gerard operating the punt. They’ve hit one wall.

– Michael won’t do a tandem bike because it’s too corny.

“I should probably just steer it by myself. You can lay down.” — Michael. Ah, typical strong man.

– Gerard just fell into the water and everyone on the bridge is laughing at him. Oh those Brits are having a smashing time laughing at those Yanks. Oh, and he completely flips over and falls again! He’s soaked. Then Gerard pushes Kenny into the water as they switch spots. 99% of the time I’d make fun of a team for wasting time in such a ridiculous manner. You get a break, Kenny.

– Flo and Zack discuss switching detours. Zack discusses switching in a calm manner. Flo, on the other hand, shrieks with every word. Is that her normal voice?

– Cue Eve complaining about everything from the punting task to the weight of her bag that weighs less than half of Heather’s bag. I can’t imagine how Eve could last thirteen legs if she is spent by leg three.

– Flo is standing on a boat and waits for Zack to pick her up and carry her back onto land. Her apology after Zack gets the clue is fantastic.

“I’m sorry I yelled at you, but you left me on a boat after I crawled out there. You just forget about me. You forget me.” — Back-handed slap.

Oh, if only Zack could forget about you. He would be happier

– John Vito & Jill have ten minutes to catch the bus after completing the detour. They have a bus all to themselves. 2.5 hours after the main pack of Gold & Silver, Heather & Eve, Mike & Kat, Flo & Zack, Kenny & Gerard, and the Twins.

– Old people argue about their vision again!

“There’s no sign!” — Teri.
“I can’t see.” — Ian.
“But there’s no sign.” — Teri.
“Let me look at the map, Teri.” — Ian.
“How are you gonna see it?” — Teri.

Excellent.

– OPTIMISTIC IAN: We caught Andre & Damon at the bus. That means we are not last, we are tied for last.

– Cut to Dennis & Andrew arriving in London over eight hours after the 1:30am bus containing old people and 9-1-1 have left. That means they’re over fourteen hours behind the first bus. Ouch. How did I not notice this gigantic gap during the first time I watched it? I love keeping track of the exact times.
– Gold & Silver won’t shut up about catching and passing the twins. I feel like it’s the only time producers are willing to give them airtime anymore.

– Roadblock time. Caber toss followed by hammer throw accuracy and a shotput.

– FLO: The person should be feeling game-y.
ZACK: So this is a game of some sort.

Great deduction skills, sir.

– We see Michael & Kathy are lost in their taxi. I wonder why producers wanted to spend so much time to show this particular team? They’re going to finish in the middle of the pack and are irrelevant to any storylines throughout the course of the race.

– Dennis & Andrew win the fast forward. When they’re in the limo, Andrew opens the bottle of wine and reacts in such a way that you think he was being portrayed in a Silas Screws photochop that you’d see on Survivor Sucks.

– Jill does a physical roadblock despite having the most muscular person in the whole cast standing right beside her.

– Ian insists Teri does the roadblock because it’s her turn. Unfortunately the retired police officer who used to be required to be in extreme physical shape won’t do the physical roadblock. Andre & Damon pass them quickly and are ahead by about a minute. They are fooled into thinking they’re last but little do they know. . .

– Dennis & Andrew do not arrive until after nightfall unlike all the other teams who arrive during the day. Andrew continues to be the only one who talks about their relationship coming full circle. I s’pose Dennis was the worst person to interview. His confessionals were no more than one line.

Heather&Eve 2.2
Michael&Kathy 5.2
Dennis&Andrew 2.7
Flo&Zack 1.1
Derek&Drew 5.4
Silver&Gold 4.2
Teri&Ian 0.4
Andre&Damon 1.1
Ken&Gerard 0.4
JV&Jill 4.0

Fourth leg
——————-
– We are reminded from last episode that Eve complains and that Teri & Ian didn’t finish last, and that there is a Twin hunt. Incredible.

– Right before the leg we are told that there is a Twin hunt and that Teri & Ian will be checking out last for the second leg in a row.

– Derek & Drew check out just before eleven o’ clock at night. I bet Dennis & Andrew didn’t even arrive yet from the previous episode. If the teams are leaving at eleven o’ clock, then that means the bus ride from the previous leg was around fourteen hours. Neat-o.

– ZACK: I am doing my best to accommodate Flo’s needs. Flo is doing her best to accommodate mine.

I agree with half of his statement.

– Eve says she has cried more on the race than in her real life. I have a feeling this isn’t exactly true. If it is true, she must get everything she wants before she has time to throw a complete fit.

– The three teams have made an alliance. *groan* Yes, apparently we didn’t know that. Zack uses his innate TAR abilities and found a path that gets his alliance to the route marker faster than the brother teams.

– JILL: We’re going to Portugal, babe.

– Aaron says he wants to “chase down those mothaf—-ing brothas.” Calm down Silver, you need to relax.

– JV and Jill and Michael and Kathy have caught up with the other three teams. It’s five against two. I love how Andre & Damon and Teri & Ian are complete non-factors. All seven of them are on the same flight.

– Arianne’s confessional from last round is that their mission was to catch the twins and mission accomplished. This week she states that their mission was to catch the twins and the brothers. Apparently twins aren’t brothers. And I think their twin obsession needs to cease or they’ll be Philiminated. I think they’d quit the race if the Twins were eliminated because they’d have no idea what to do.

– Andre & Damon leave at 5:26am.

DAMON: We’re going to…Portugal…baby.

I prefer Jill’s more energetic phrasing.

– Ian has a friend from yesterday’s taxi that he calls to help with his next clue. Ian is catching on to proper race strategy.

– Damon has the most unnecessary strategic tactic ever. So knowing Teri & Ian get into a cab helps you how? – Surprisingly this is not a Peeping Tom incident.

– – The Brother teams decide to take a flight to Portugal through Germany that has a 30-minute layover. A huge risk when all you have to do is beat eight other teams. Perhaps one of the biggest gambles ever?

– Brothers are going to arrive slightly ahead of the other seven teams. Here we are in Oporto. Phil reminds us that these teams are going to Calem Port Lodge.

– Ian yells for a taxi in the middle of a terminal until he exits the airport. Maybe Ian hasn’t learned much in four legs after all.

IAN: The gloves are off now, the race is on.

Apparently the race didn’t start until soccer moms, TNT, and the father/son duos were eliminated. Sorry guys. You three teams were merely fodder.

– Detour time. Transport wine by boat or by truck. The boat is of course a much shorter distance and requires very physical work. Truck has a lot of driving involved.

– The comic punting music starts up again for Ken & Gerard again. They’re not in the greatest shape. Meanwhile Derek or Drew single-handedly carry the barrel of wine.

– You know how there was a relative equalizer in the flight from Aberdeen to Oporto and how the brother teams took a huge risk in getting a twenty minute headstart? Well guess what? There is ANOTHER equalizer this leg because teams have to take a train along the coast for the final task. Boo-urns, race, boo-urns.

– AARON: Arianne, Teri & Ian are on the boats.
ARIANNE: They are? Ew.

– Andre & Damon are in the lead of the pack. Unfortunately, they make a mistake by dumping the wine but keep their lead over the other teams. But they make a dumber mistake by going to the restaurants out of order. So much for rallying after trailing for 3 1/3 legs.

– Heather & Eve begin the trend of those who didn’t learn to drive a stick before the race. In the words of Donald Trump in season six of The Apprentice, “How stupid can you be?”

– Eve blocks in Andre & Damon. Geez, it’s like every obstacle was in their way during the race to comedic proportions.

– Michael & Kathy are last because for the second leg in a row they get a really slow taxi that doesn’t know where to go.

– MICHAEL: The race got me sweatin’ and now I gotta row a boat? This ain’t no nursery rhyme.

Classic Michael with unusual confessionals.

– Andre & Damon are stuck behind Heather & Eve even with helping them finish their detour for the sole purpose of making sure Heather & Eve would get out of their way.

– Wait a second…Eve is asking Heather for help with driving a stick. Does this mean Heather KNOWS how to drive a stick and ISN’T DRIVIN THE FREAKIN’ STICK?! If Tara was here, she would say “Heather……you’re an idiot!!!!”

– TERI: It felt great to catch up to them.
GERARD: We felt awful.

– EVE: I just crashed the car.
HEATHER: It’s okay.
EVE: I just crashed the car. Sir, can you sign this?
CLUE MAN: Here’s your clue.
EVE: I just crashed the car.

Uhhhhh, I think she crashed the car.

– EVE: Are we last?
ANDRE: No, everyone is here.
EVE: Huh?
*
EVE: When’s the next train?
JILL: 7 o’ clock.
EVE: Everyone is here? Really? Okay.

I think the editors had a lot of fun with Eve.

– MICHAEL: This is like being on death row. You’re just counting down the minutes until one of us dies.

I love that Michael creates his own reality television cliché confessionals.

– Everyone has to go to a soccer stadium at midnight. Do hours of operation not affect soccer stadiums in Euroope? Soccer players  must be fine playing at midnight.

– Roadblock. Block a kick from a professional soccer player. Flo is surprisingly quiet this episode.

– Mike blocks a kick on his second try. Like a boss. Now they must WALK to the Torre de Belem.

– John Vito gets hit in the face with a soccer ball.    I don’t know if I feel so good, guys.

JV: Did you see how I blocked that? With my FACE!
JILL: Yeah, you did great. Let’s go.

I love how Jill couldn’t care less about his feat.

– The Ugly American Ian beats Gold in a roadblock showdown.

– We get to see a rare scramble of all nine teams walking to the pit stop. Well, except Heather & Eve who interpret ‘walk to the pit stop’ as ‘walk into the pit stop’. I love how the attorneys are the ones who have problems interpreting a clue. That can’t bode well for their careers. The fine  print for the definition of ‘walk’ is clearly laid out in the rules.

– GERARD: We’re putting up a good pace. We can get that ice cream tomorrow.

You get ice cream if you get to the pit stop? That’s what a mother would promise their 8-year-old son if they were on the race. Luckily children can’t be on the race. I am sure a version of The Amazing Race with children would absolutely suck. I mean, who would watch that? /sarcasm

– Heather & Eve are ecstatic to finish in first. Phil smirks.

– Ken & Gerard finish in 2nd* and Flo & Zach/Zack finish in 3rd*.

– FLO: We pulled out all the stops.

By we, you mean Zack.

– Ian utters ‘HOO-RAH!’ for the second time this episode. He’s back, baby! Note that his hoo-rah utterances increase with his position in the race.

– IAN: We ran our asses off, I yelled at her, I dragged her, I prompted her. God Bless America!

One of the strangest celebrations ever.

– Michael & Kathy beat out Arianne & Aaron to the pit stop. Therefore, Aaron & Arianne are last. Or are they? . . .

– PHIL: Aaron & Arianne, as you know, you’re the last team to arrive. However, Heather & Eve, you did not follow the directions correctly. A walk means to travel to the pit stop by foot rather than by car. But you mistakenly take a taxi. You gained a time of at least seven minutes. The custom is to assess a penalty of the time gained plus the standard thirty minutes. Most legs this wouldn’t matter, but because we put in two equalizers for no reason but because the teams arrived so closely together within about 31 minutes the time of 37 minutes makes all the difference. Maybe we won’t put in this many equalizers in a row.

– The image  of two people finishing in first on The Amazing Race.

– EVE: We made a mistake that anybody could make.
Use that on your clients after you lose a case for misreading the details.

– Heather says they ran an ethical race. Apparently begging people for money using your sex appeal does not fall under the unethical category.

– P.S. This episode was shown by my teacher in the sixth grade at my request. I even picked the episode and I chose this one because I loved that Heather & Eve are ousted this round. We then had a worksheet about a detour, roadblock, and a pit stop was. I was able to answer it exactly as Phil says it in the episodes. And here we are over nine years later. I remember my teacher saying “Bleep” right when Aaron says “a–es” at the start of the episode.

P.P.S. I can’t wait for the next episode. For some reason, anytime I re-watched this season a few years ago, I would always re-watch the next leg late at night.

Heather&Eve 5.4
Michael&Kathy 3.3
Flo&Zach 4.1
Derek&Drew 4.3
Silver&Gold 5.2
Teri&Ian 3.4
Andre&Damon 2.4
Ken&Gerard 3.7
JV&Jill 0.1

Fifth leg
—————-
– 11:30PM and here I am watching one of the most well-known early episodes of any TAR season. We’re reminded we are at the Torre De Belem.

– They must find the most western point of continental Europe. The vagueness of the clue reminds me of TAR 1. Flo says Zach is doing a better job of dealing with her emotions. At least he has had a four-episode training course.

–  Andre explains his new strategy: To follow the pack if there is ever a time that they don’t know where we are going because if you stray from the pack you will lose. He implements this strategy immediately as he follows the Brother teams and verbalizes they will follow them. Nothing like a cop tailing you in Portugal.

– Ian goes on a ten-minute berate fest of Teri. He instantly asks her where they’re going, where’s the clue, what’s the plan, and that she isn’t zipped.

IAN: You’re  not zipped. We can’t go if you’re not zipped.
TERI: Then zip it!

That has two meanings.

– KATHY: We love each other but we don’t verbalize it. Actions speak louder than words.

And I bet many people out there are googling for a Mike and Kathy sex tape as we speak.

– AARON: To finish 3, 2, 4, then to finish last was a real kick in the ass.

Aaron busts out the Sandra Diaz-Twine School of Reality Television Nursery Rhymes. I can hear Sandra proclaiming that Jon has yet to wash a dish or clean a fish. Her and Aaron need to get together.

– IAN: I’m the pilot and she’s the navigator. And when I say we need to fly we need to fly.

Oh boy. Teri is crying at the same time. I think this is the first moment where everyone hates Ian on television. I know this is when my sister and mom did.

– Aaron & Arianne arrive at the detour first. Ropes or slopes. Do you honestly need to be reminded what this detour is? It’s one of the most memorable. You rappel down the cliff or you walk down a slope. Magic will ensure shortly.

– AARON: WE’RE FIRST! This is one sweet day.

Excellent foreshadowing.

– Jill face plants while she runs. Epic.   I don’t understand  what the big deal is about running too fast.  Oh. They do have a point.

– Flo arrives at the detour. Here we go.

– We get to see the classic helmet cam that TAR started using last season. Aaron panics noting that his rope is caught. John Vito and Jill pass Aaron.

– Mike says he needs to rappel off the cliff to stop acting like a coward like he has been with all the detours. His storyline is coming full circle. Uh oh.

– FLO: What happens if I get detached?
ZACK: You won’t get detached.
FLO: What happens if I slip and hang off the cliff?
ZACK: …..

Can someone tell Flo that riding in a car for ten minutes is about one hundred times more dangerous than this detour task? Thanks.

– FLO: Is this a joke? This is a f—ing joke!

– TERI: What happens if that undoes?
IAN: Then you fall.
TERI: . . .Maybe we should’ve walked.

Ah, unnecessary fears.

– The ding-dong music starts. Magic, people, magic.

Having fun, sweetie? ^_^

– Zach curses under his breath! Amazing.

– I heard a HOO-RAH! And another! Ian is elated on the cliff.

– I think this is the point where Zach loses romantic interest in Flo. She couldn’t even handle the cliff.

– Teri & Ian have another old people fight. Although this is brief.

– Derek & Drew are last. This is a first since the early part of episode one.

– KENNY: I’m going to be slow…
GERARD: Pretend there’s a dozen glazed donuts on the bottom! Look, he’s running now!

– MICHAEL: Today was not bad. I’ve seen worse days on the race.
You sure about that, Michael?

– Teams drive hundreds of miles to Algeciras. Oh my. What do we have here? Why, the gas tanks of everyone’s SUVs are nearly empty. It’s time to fill up.

– AARON: This baby needs a nice batch of unleaded.

I love how he foreshadows the mistake by complete verbalization.

– John Vito notices it says diesel. Damon notices it says diesel. Aaron & Arianne? Not so much. Michael? Not so much. Michael says he had trouble telling the clerk he wanted unleaded. Next time listen to the clerk, Michael.

– TERI: So we’re not diesel are we?
IAN: No.

Ian’s inability to listen to anyone but himself is particularly amusing when the consequences are devastating.

– Aaron’s vehicle breaks down. There’s a weird sound. There’s no brake. There’s no acceleration.

– Zach buys unleaded.

– Mike’s vehicle stalled on him. Ian’s car stalled on him. Zach is broken down too. I love the music and how we truly get that ‘broken down in the middle of nowhere’ feeling.

– Kenny starts singing “On the road to Algeciras” but Gerard promptly cuts him off.

– Ian and Zach both figure out that it needed diesel fuel. Meanwhile, Aaron & Arianne clearly haven’t. Silver having a bad day. =(

– Three o’ clock in the morning. They’ve been traveling for twelve hours. I like how we’ve only done a detour and there’s less than thirteen minutes left in the episode.

– Flo announces she wants to quit the race for the first time in the game. She thinks they should quit.

FLO: This is over. Very over. I think we should back out of this right now. I don’t feel like dealing with this all night. This car is majorly f—ed up. I don’t want to drive in this and have it explode. We’re done.

Embraces the challenge of a broken down car on TAR.

– Ian gets to work as he cuts the fuel line and waits for gas to leak out. I love how he’s doing this with expertise after three in the morning.

– Zach’s optimism pans out as the vehicle is quickly fixed.

– Andre & Damon and John Vito & Jill arrive at the ferry. Where are the other six teams?

– Zach properly tracks down a mechanic and Ian fixes a truck by himself. Those are champion racers. Michael & Kathy meanwhile enter a nearby hotel and leisurely stroll into a room for the night. Silver continues to sulk.

– Derek & Drew pass Aaron & Arianne. I s’pose Derek & Drew must have been a ways behind. Unless editing is fooling us how quickly Aaron & Arianne were ahead.

– Police pull over and help out Aaron & Arianne. They must’ve lost a few hours though.

– The leading non-unleaded teams are on the seven o’ clock ferry. Zach & Flo and Teri & Ian have five minutes left to catch the eight o’ clock.

– FLO: Zach, please just ask people.
ZACH: Here we are!
FLO: I know but you’re like you don’t know and stuff. If you ask, we would know! It’s like. . .
ZACH: Flo, please don’t yell at me, man. I drove for twelve f—ing hours.
FLO: Because of your mistake. Don’t act like it’s my fault.

The best  part is that Flo takes the time to yell while they are sprinting to the ferry. She couldn’t even wait until they stopped running.

– Teri & Ian make the eight o’ clock ferry with a minute to spare. Flo & Zach and Teri & Ian shall duel.

– Oh, right. We still have Morocco to get through. The first four teams race to a charter agency where the first three arrive. Nothing like a meaningless little skirmish at ten o’ clock in the morning in the middle of the race. It reminds me of Chris challenging Julie at the day 34 reward challenge for the third spot on the reward trip in Survivor: Vanuatu.

– John Vito & Jill are now in the company of the unleaded problem solvers for the 11:15am charter. The first three teams are on the 10:15am.

– Michael & Kathy start to drive again after an unofficial twelve-hour pit stop.

– Roadblock time. Players must search the vats for a clue. They ask kids to direct them to the vats.

– Gerard does his first roadblock. He puts on the gloves at the start but then they’re not on  in the next shot when he gets the clue. I s’pose he got used to the vats to the point where he was willing to let his watch get a touch of vat.

– Whoa. Damon spanked the clue against his hand after Andre informs him that they’ve moved up two spots from the last leg. Their strategy of following the teams until the very last task is an excellent strategy.

– Kenny & Gerard win the leg. The first prize to be awarded since the first leg of the race is none other than a luxurious Kodak EasyShare digital camera. Which you can enjoy (or sell on eBay) after the race. I doubt they remember to ask for the cameras until they receive it in the mail a few months after the race ends.

– Aaron&Arianne don’t know if Michael&Kathy are ahead or behind.

– John Vito & Jill and Flo & Zach pull a same-time finish. This is the first time two teams have done this since Blake & Paige did it with some other team last season.

– Teri & Ian must be in disbelief that they finished in sixth.

– Silver & Gold finish in seventh. It seems this isn’t even remotely close. We see a big shift from day to pitch black to witness Michael & Kathy arrive without their bags. Despite making Michael a huge character in the first three episodes the producers seem to tone him down in these last couple episodes. He didn’t seem to have any interest in reality television anyway. Michael & Kathy are the exact opposite of TV whores. Relatively few confessionals considering most of the interaction was interpersonal for the teams.

Michael&Kathy 3.4
Flo&Zach 3.2
Derek&Drew 1.0
Silver&Gold 6.0
Teri&Ian 1.2
Andre&Damon 1.2
Ken&Gerard 1.2
JV&Jill 2.1

Thoughts after this episode:

Last week I was reading a pre-race article for TAR 3. What stuck out to me is that John Vito & Jill were the number one team being promoted pre-race, and that the writer herself was crying before the season started because of how much she was rooting for them. Then I noticed the only reason she was rooting for them is because Jill’s brother died in 9/11, and given that this season was only one year after 9/11, the tragedy is fairly fresh at this point. During the premiere they mention several times how Jill initially applied with her brother to be on TAR. So this got me thinking. . .

Did TAR producers exploit the 9/11 tragedy to bring in new viewers? What’s so different about Jill and her brother applying compared to her and John Vito applying that the latter is a lock for the show and will be edited as a fan favourite? I can guarantee you Jill and John Vito wouldn’t be cast for TAR if it weren’t for her brother dying in 9/11. So it’s funny how I always defend TAR that they didn’t start getting icky and dumb until TAR 14. But here we are in TAR 3 and I can guarantee you production milked John Vito and Jill’s personal loss for the own network’s success. I’m not angry or anything that they do this (because I’ve been watching these shows for over eleven years since I was eight years old) but it’s funny how people who watch competitive reality TV in the old school eras constantly defend production and say they were much more ‘honest’ and transparent. Unfortunately, Stacey Stillman in Borneo, the Blake & Paige incident in leg 2 of TAR 2, and Lindsey’s piercing in Survivor: Africa and now John Vito & Jill are prime examples of why this is not necessarily the case.

Another thing I’d like to draw your attention to is that this is the first episode where anyone notices Flo & Zach. Flo merely had the reputation of ‘just another one of those annoying people on reality shows’ until she couldn’t go down a cliff. It’s funny that this is the first episode where Zach has been allowed to speak.

One more thing to notice is that Ian is officially hated nationwide after this episode too. Yes, he fixed a truck all by himself but after yelling for a taxi in an airport and his brilliant “I’m the pilot and she’s the co-pilot” quote made him look more sexist than the casual fan’s preference for Alpha Males in Survivor.

I’ll try to do these asides a bit more often from now on because this is when I start getting more in sync with knowing what fans were thinking at the time, and after hearing how many current fans of TAR haven’t seen any of the earlier seasons, many of the scandals have been dropped and forgotten along the way.

P.S. My mom to this day calls Tara & Wil from TAR 2 as Will & Grace instead. Ten years later and she still can’t get Tara/Grace’s name right. :/

Sixth leg
———–
– Phil asks will Ken & Gerard and Derek & Drew work effectively now that Andre & Damon are positioned between them? Will Teri & Ian, the oldest team ever to reach the sixth leg, continue to avoid elimination? Teri & Ian will go on to obliterate this record, I’m sure.

– It’s time to cue our third extremely memorable episode in a row. We have legal experts not being able to read a clue correctly for the first time in the first twelve seasons of TAR that directly causes an elimination, teams who ignore what type of fuel their truck consumes for the first and only time in TAR history, and now we have another Race first that will never occur again in this leg. Surely you remember?

– Ken & Gerard, who were the first to arrive at 4:31pm, will depart at 4:31am. Phil’s words, not mine.

– The brothers and the 911 team are caravanning together. Note that the 911 team is making it explicit that they will follow the other brothers no matter what. I never knew there could be coattail riders in TAR considering how much you have to be by yourself. I wonder if the 911 team has such a lack of confidence by this point that they have zero faith in their own abilities. I wish they could be successful the other two teams to leg 13.

– Ken & Gerard and the twins both use the phrase “mutual beneficial” to describe their alliance.

– Another HOO-RAH utterance by Ian as he passes the other two teams.

– I love that John Vito & Jill also use the phrase “mutual beneficial” to describe their alliance with Flo & Zach. Me thinks there was some confessional coaching going on here. Apparently no one wants to ally with old people.

– John Vito & Jill’s radiator blew. I love how they play a depressing song when their truck breaks down for the next minute as Flo moans that they lost them. We’re told of the new rule about how there won’t be a time credit if a car breaks down through no fault of the team. Considering what transpired last leg, wouldn’t teams catch on that they screwed it up themselves if the camera crew shakes their head when a team asks for a new truck?

– Silver & Gold are only a little over an hour away from the trailing pack.

– Drew butchers another route marker pronunciation.

– Another old person argument.
IAN: This is what we need to do.
TERI: No, this is what we should do.
IAN: Please don’t berate me!

TERI: You should get off here.
IAN: No.
TERI: You missed another exit!
IAN: Fine, if you want me to get off, I’ll get off. What the outcome is your responsibility.
TERI: Then stay on!
—–
TERI: I don’t know if we should take the fast forward.
IAN: Of course we should–Flo, don’t take our cab!
TERI: Yeah, GTFO Flo! You don’t know it’s our cab!
IAN: I want him to stay here.
TERI: Why?!
IAN: When I make a decision, it’s a decision and that’s it.
TERI: We’re a team!

I love how Ian yells at her in contradictory and sexist ways but yet him and Teri yell at other teams in complete unison. What a team. ❤

– Fast forward time. Search a carpet shop for a rug with the fast forward symbol on it in Marrakech.

– Flo misses a train with the top three teams by less than two minutes but yet she’s not crying. Zach says it’s frustrating but yet his voice couldn’t be more monotone. Him and Becky Lee should get together and blow some steam from the stress in their daily lives.
– TERI: Let’s go! Let’s go!
IAN: Stop talking to me like that or else I’m gonna blow.

I can’t help but recall Ian yelling “YOU NEED TO DO THIS NOW! I DRAGGED YOU, I YELLED AT YOU, I PROMPTED YOU…GOD BLESS AMERICA!” I have a feeling if Teri did the same thing we may have a case of domestic violence on our hands.

Disclaimer: I really like Teri & Ian. They’re my favourite older team to race in history. It just takes a bit before I like them. In the meantime, they’re exceptionally easy targets to poke fun at.

– The comical music plays as Flo-Zach, Teri-Ian, and JV-J all discuss using the fast forward. Zach tries to speak logically to Flo about waiting one more leg to use the fast forward so they can be guaranteed to break into the last half where non-elimination legs are prevalent. Zach discusses telling the teams saying they’re not going for the fast forward but Flo grins and says to let her do the talking. (I think Flo wants to prove she’s oh so useful and sneaky. Unfortunately public relations isn’t her strong suit. Has Zach told her that?)

– I love how nobody references Gold and Silver this leg. They have had a total of twenty seconds of trying to catch up while other teams refuse to acknowledge them. The Twin Hunt storyline is officially over.

– Ian wants to take the fast forward because he’s tired. Has anyone told him your pit stop length doesn’t increase and that it’s always 12/36 hours regardless of when you finish.

– I wonder if everyone who has the fast forward wants to go for it because they’re guaranteed to not use a fast forward on a non-elimination leg?

– Detour time. Ride a horse to search for pottery nearby in sand or ride an ATV and do a rubbing of a clue etched on a stone.

– DAMON: Let’s kick up some dust in the ATV, man!

 Danielle DiLorenzo sighting! I giggled like a Crusha from Donkey Kong Country when I saw this.

– Gerard looks like such an equestrian athlete riding that horse. Now see them dig up the sand like they’re Fido.

– Time for teams to get their clue translated. Neat. Oh, equalizer. The next route marker doesn’t open until 4:45pm.

– Andre & Damon can’t figure out the clue so they agree to follow the twins in hopes they can figure it out. I think the last time Andre & Damon solved a clue on their own is leg four come to think of it.

– Flo & Zach and JV & Jill act excited when they realize both of them are going for the fast forward. They waste several minutes on Rock/Paper/Scissors while Teri & Ian go on a self-described quick pace and assume if they win this fast forward that they’ll be in the top three. I am sure everyone watching laughed at the possibility of them being in the final leg. In fact, even their own kids probably found that comment amusing.

– IAN: I see the flag!
TERI: Where?
IAN: Trust me and jog!
–*Fast forward to inside the shop*—
TERI: We go here.
IAN: Why?
TERI: Because there’s a flag underneath it!
—-
TERI: I got sand in my eyes!
—-
(TERI flips over a carpet by herself).
IAN: You have to wait for me. You have to wait for me!

I think there’s been about twenty jokes about their vision and Ian’s impatience crammed into six episodes. How can they see the fast forward symbol with Ian’s vision and Teri having sand in her eyes. Miraculously, they find it as Ian utters ‘HOO-RAH!’

– Flo & Zach have caught up to Ken & Gerard who were on a train exactly two hours ahead as the brothers leave the detour.

FLO: “First come first rub”? Whatever!

Flo does not find the producer’s pun in the clue funny at all. I think their feelings are hurt.

– IAN: TERI. COME!

(VIEWERS: IAN. SHUT UP.)

– Flo gets off the ATV in fear at the detour despite there aren’t any obstacles around and that Zach has complete control.

FLO: This race is so taxing. I haven’t been very nice to him. He’s so laid back and I’m a bat out of hell. It’s one long stressful dirty date.

*Cut to Flo screaming ‘OW!’ as she is riding BEHIND Zach on the ATV. She doesn’t even get hit by the sand.*

Even on detours Zach has to do all of the work.

– Ian & Teri hit the mat first because Ian yells a ‘HOO-RAH’ at a pit stop only if he is first.

– Phil informs them that they won Kodak digital cameras that they couldn’t be less excited about.

– FLO: Ask him where it is.
ZACH (broken French): Where…uh….is it?
MOROCCAN: C’est glacier café.
FLO: (fluent French: Qu’est que cest une café?

You speak French fluently but force Zach to speak broken English to communicate? What the heck?!

– Roadblock time. It’s time to sell snails. This is when people who rarely do the roadblock will participate.

It should be noted Andre & Damon had to wait over two hours for the roadblock to open up. Silver & Gold are the only ones who didn’t show up on time because they wasted time going to the taken fast forward. If only they were in tune with what the other teams were doing.

– Andre finishes a roadblock FIRST?! Riding the other teams’ butts until you have to do a task that doesn’t require you to find a location is Andre & Damon’s dream leg format.

– Watching Jill cross the street is like a game of Frogger.

– Flo finishes the roadblock dead last. It’s her first and last roadblock of the race.

– Flo & Zach finish in second after leaving the roadblock last? Lucky cab.
– Andre & Damon are taken to the middle of nowhere and into a bad neighbourhood. Their taxi quickly leaves. Minutes later, a Moroccan police officer drives up and detains a firefighter and police officer.

In Morocco, police are trained to tell detainees to talk to the hand.

– Meanwhile, everyone else is having a fun little time as the twins and JV-Jill check into the pit stop. Only two teams remain. We are shown Andre & Damon explaining that they refused to surrender their passport and the TAR security staff were forced to intervene and negotiate their release. I mean, a team gets arrested and taken to a police station where they need the production staff to come in during the middle of the leg to ensure a team isn’t sitting in a Moroccan jail? This has to be the #1 most absurd Reality TV moment that nearly everyone has forgotten. Can you imagine a person going on a reward in Survivor and Fijian police sprouting up and putting Boo in handcuffs? It just doesn’t happen. The absurdness is supposed to remain within the game or within the conflict of the players. We’re not supposed to have foreign police officers detain contestants in the host country. Forget Dieselgate or Team Legal where nobody can follow directions. Andre & Damon got freakin’ detained. After their hard work of making sure the brothers and the twins can’t break away from them, they’re now stuck in the most remote place at the bottom of the pack. Hilarious.

– Gold & Silver are wearing the same shirts from the start of the race. They give a tearful exit along with a team handshake. Aw. How sweet. The Twin Hunt storyline is completely extinguished. It was fun while it lasted for those three episodes. It would have been perfect if they talked about the twins in their closing confessional.

Flo&Zach 2.1
Derek&Drew 3.2
Silver&Gold 4.5
Teri&Ian 0.1
Andre&Damon 1.7
Ken&Gerard 1.2
JV&Jill 4.0

Seventh leg

————

– We’re told Ian & Teri yell, Andre & Damon were detained, and Gold & Silver get a twenty second farewell recap. The producers seem to have really liked them. It’s too bad that the audience wasn’t as receptive as producers assumed they would be. And here we are in episode seven.

– A new song for Marrakech. Really military. I wonder if this is inspired by a team getting freakin’ detained? We get to see Drew and Gerard dance with a belly dancer. I don’t think I need to say who was the better dancer of the two.

– Teri & Ian depart at 3:25am. The clue flat out instructs “Fly to Munich, Germany” and by leg seven teams couldn’t be less phased that they’re flying around a thousand miles to go to a drastically different setting. This is the exact midway point of the race. Only half of the original teams remain which means this is the official attrition leg. Think about it. In a period of three to four days, teams had to stop a soccer kick in Lisbon, drive twelve hours to a ferry or longer if you filled up your truck with unleaded gasoline, and then your radiator blows up or you were detained or you strategize for the fast forward. Now you have to scheme and claw your way to Germany with five other strong teams around you. You can smell the non-elimination leg breathers. It’s not like the first two seasons where the non-eliminations serve as attrition because you know you have to sit through a million of them. In this season, you are on pins and needles hoping you can hold out until one occurs and what’s worse is that you don’t know exactly when they will occur.

– Flo & Zach run around in circles as Flo is freaked out by stray cats. I don’t know if the ‘meowing’ sound is digitally inserted into the episode or if the meowing was that loud.

– Every team is given only one dollar for the leg. I wonder why they emphasize this fact when it doesn’t come into play?

– Ian is saying the strategy is to stay the course. Are they trying to make him hardcore right wing intentionally?

– While Teri & Ian easily make their way to Zurich, the other four teams quickly fly to Casablanca because too many flights are booked.

– Andre & Damon are around eighty minutes behind the second-to-last place team. A leg with a million booked flights is your easiest way to make up time. Andre and Damon get into their first legitimate argument. Andre insists they leave to Casablanca but Damon wants to ask people who said it’s full about a million times.

ANDRE: What’s the most precious thing? Time. And we just wasted a bunch of time back there.
DAMON: We didn’t waste time, dude.

I think Andre wants to punch Damon in the face right now. Plus they spent money on a taxi to drive from Marrakech to Casablanca. Have you looked at a globe? That is an extremely long and expensive cab ride, especially if you only have one dollar for the leg.

– Flo mentions that it’s her and Zach with JV-Jill against the brother teams. Apparently the Twin Hunt storyline isn’t really dead. We do see some flirting between Flo and Derek. They mention how 911 will piggyback on whatever flight they are on.

– Flo speaks to the ticket agent in French pleading to not let Andre & Damon to get on the flight and how it’s a competition. The ticket agent smiles and laughs as he explains that there aren’t flights anyway. Every team except Flo & Zach and Andre & Damon moved fast enough to get out of Morocco and into major European cities. Teri & Ian seem to have a solid five hour lead on the other three teams who are on a noon flight to Paris.

– ANDRE: Never traveling again.

He says it in a completely flat voice too. He seems like he carries this attitude ever since he got detained. He is tired of Damon and I think he is tired of anything that resembles Morocco. I don’t think he is the type who could ever last all thirteen legs. He would no longer care about the race by the time he gets to leg nine or ten. Or maybe him and Damon weren’t finding each other too much fun to travel with. Maybe Damon does ninety percent of the confessionals because Andre was consistently this lacklustre? I don’t know. Either way they’re only a couple hours behind the middle of the pack.

– 5:30pm as we see Teri & Ian enter Munich. The kasperle hand puppet hands the man in the white hat they must travel to Innsbruck. Ian references how he is older and therefore better. I think two seasons of TAR go against that theory.

– Andre & Damon arrive in Paris and ride a slow terminal bus with a Lufthansa agent. She insists she can help but it turns out they arrive after the ticketing counter is closed. I love how the manager is standing right there and could open it up to dispense tickets but just stands there and says ‘no’ to them. I think Andre & Damon would prefer detainment over being stuck in an airport for a full day.

– Cut to Flo engaging in another one of her simultaneous “shout-and-run in the airport” transactions with Zach. “This ain’t a joke we’re seriously behind so I’m going to lose my breath and eff myself over if we have to run to catch a last minute bus or train. This is serious, Zach!”

– IAN: Don’t run, we’re cool here. One, two, three, four, five, six.
TERI: It doesn’t mean a thing.
IAN: I know it doesn’t–(TERI rips the clue into IAN’s chest)–ouch.
TERI (ignoring him): Sled or skate.

It seems Teri is nowhere near as confident about their position as the gloating Ian.

Ian’s face falls when he hears hours of operation for the detour are 8:00am to 7:30pm. It’s 11:00pm. That sucks.

– Gerard busts out an Ian impression.
JILL: Teri and Ian are ahead of us.
GERARD: Unless he’s in a bar in Casablanca. ‘Teri, I know a way for us to get out of here!’

One of the smartest references I’ve heard on these shows.

– Fast forward time. Flo & Zach discuss heading to chase down a surfer in the river at 7:00am. If they only knew to go to the detour equalizer they wouldn’t have to worry one bit about being too far behind to catch up nor be at risk for elimination considering Damon & Andre are behind. However, how are they supposed to know Andre & Damon couldn’t find a faster flight? Or that Damon & Andre wouldn’t go for the fast forward and catapult themselves ahead of Flo & Zach? It’s the smartest decision Zach makes the whole race.

– Lonely music plays as Andre & Damon report they wait until 6:30am the following morning to leave Paris. This is the part where we assumed production was hinting that this is a non-elimination episode.

– This leg is certainly all about Flo & Zach. Flo won’t stay at a hotel cheaper than 25 euros because she thinks it’s gross. I bet she only buys brand name products at higher prices because they must be ‘proper quality’. She is also the first to call something ghetto in TAR.
– A new alliance forms between the brother teams and John Vito and Jill. Probably because Gold & Silver and Flo aren’t around to form a brigade against the twins.

– The twins covertly tell the brothers to grab a number. So much for their newfound alliance with John Vito & Jill. Bros before Jill and John Vitohs?

– FLO: Go Zach! Flag him down!

We get a few seconds of Zach doing the task all by himself as Flo hangs out twenty feet behind him. Another unnecessary roadblock Zach imposes on himself.

Wait, isn’t Zach supposed to be laughing and Flo the one that stares out into space frowning? This was Photoshopped.

– Everyone uses the bobsled for the detour. Teri & Ian are first to go. We’re supposed to be amazed by how fast it’s going.

– Ken and Gerard smack each other’s helmets for no reason. Easy way to get camera time.

– Bobsled = Coney Island according to Ken.

– Their next route marker is at Seegrube station. I hope that translates to something much nicer in German.

– Andre & Damon have their own random 15-second segments for the past fifteen minutes. It’s like they’re running a separate race from the others. See them get into Munich. See them at the hand puppet thing. See them decline to go for the fast forward because they assume it’s taken.

– Roadblock time. Everyone must dangle off a ledge and into a ravine. I have a feeling Zach would be doing this one if they didn’t win the FF.

– I don’t think anyone successfully pronounced a single location in Austria or Germany.

– Flo assumes they’re finishing in last but puts on a surprisingly good voice. Instead they get to win Kodak digital cameras for finishing first. I wonder which they’re more excited about?

– Gerard’s jeans look like he defecated in them.

– Derek leaves the clue at the ticket counter. Teri points out where it is. She asks for information on the pit stop. He refuses. Derek loses a potential crucial ally down the road. Why make someone who was willing to give you free information angry with you? How many teams do you want on a Twin Hunt? My goodness.

– Another 10-second clip featuring Andre & Damon. All we see is them sleeping through their stop to get off. The editing crew shows the train slowly breaking away from their stop to make it more agonizing for them to re-live watching it at home.

– The brothers break away from the twins and say the Brotherhood crumbles. We break to a confessional where Drew says alliances are over. The ridiculousness of the switching alliances, breaking of alliances, and forming new ones in the TAR format reminds me of the verbal warning system in The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret. There isn’t any rhyme or reason or logic to them. They just put on a label and call it an alliance. Wasn’t there a three-team alliance less than ten hours earlier? I don’t buy it. Teri showed Derek where his clue was around twenty minutes ago.

– Gerard pops a tire and Derek yells at Drew to give a response. Drew and Andre must be the quietest people in the whole season on a ratio basis. Andre didn’t speak until this leg and I rarely hear Drew’s voice.

– This is a 5-second clip of Andre & Damon. They have to travel to another train station. I don’t think they could make the detour at this point.

– If I were Ken & Gerard, I would drive to the pit stop then ask for a replacement vehicle rather than pull over or sit on the road and request a new one. However, I could see why one or two more kilometres wouldn’t be too smart:  Maybe not. This is what I miss about TAR. They take the time for some good natured fun when the outcome is known. They don’t bother with suspense when there’s three minutes left in the episode and let us see a flat tire getting fixed.

– Ken & Gerard think they’re last. Little do they know they’re approximately 15 hours away from the truth. Andre & Damon are told to go directly to the pit stop. They go on some crap about how they proved they’re just everyday people who suck at TAR and end their run by giving back the dollar for this leg of the race. Sooooo that’s why they emphasized the one dollar assignment at the beginning of the leg. Editing deserves an Emmy for that.

Flo&Zach 6.4
Derek&Drew 4.3
Teri&Ian 3.7
Andre&Damon 2.7
Ken&Gerard 7.2
JV&Jill 3.3

Eighth leg
——————
– We are reminded Ian is the oldest in the race, Flo & Zach fight and win the FF, and that alliances are broken. Flo & Zach are figuring out their relationship. Derek & Drew are models who are perceived to be a major threat. Teri & Ian who are an unexpected force. John Vito & Jill whose love strengthens their team. Ken & Gerard whose wit and determination keeps them in the race. I have a feeling Flo & Zach’s romantic future is already figured out by this point. :/ And that’s the recap segment.

– Jill isn’t as annoying as most New Yorkers. Just an observation. Gerard is eating a gigantic pretzel on the pit stop mat. Oh my, bonds are forming between Flo and Drew apparently.

– Find a clue in a literal haystack. This is the prequel to the Lena Adventure. A clue in a giant stack would have been much more preferred by Lena.

– Flo hates touching the hay and touches one single unit. Zach climbs to the top of the hay stack where Flo thinks there’s no way the producers should not expect them to go. If there were two Flos on a team, I highly doubt this clue would be found. They’d quit nine hours earlier than Lena did.

– Ah, Flo & Zach’s FF gave them over a two hour lead on the twins. The twins go on about how nobody can be trusted at this point. Ugh.

– John Vito checks out one minute later and says he’ll do anything it takes to win.

– Ian says they’re old but can compete.

– John Vito and Jill are working with the twins to shake off Ian & Teri and find the next route marker together. So much for no alliances. -_-

– Ken & Gerard are two hours behind the second-to-last place team. It won’t matter because the next three legs will have the record for most equalizers

– Ian & Teri explain how the other two teams lied about completing the route marker. All five teams are on the 5:40am ferry. Equalizer #1.

– A one hour train ride. Equalizer #2.

– KEN: Zach, he’s carrying you all the way.
FLO (sarcastically): I know. It’s a hard life.

– These five teams must be very close to each other personally. They seem to reference each other every minute during the leg. I mean, Flo and Drew are in a relationship. They make jokes about the other team’s dynamics.

– Equalizer #3. The five taxi rides converge into two boats that are only five minutes apart.

–  Jill does her best impression of Becky Lee from Survivor.

– All four teams on the first boat run up to get the clue. Yet the boat drives away with the camera and sound crew still inside but the people make it sound like there wasn’t anybody left in the boat.

– ZACH: The rest of the teams are standing there directly facing Jill. Which was an awkward moment because it was a faceoff.

– Yet Jill stands in the boat and it sits there while John Vito runs up to get the clue. TAR does an amazing job of pretending that there is zero camera or audio presence.

– Everybody combines onto the same connecting train. Equalizer #4. Ken and Flo agree to date upon returning to the United States. While Zach asks a local about where the Lidenhoff is, Flo wanders over to Kenny, Gerard, and Ian to be asked about her relationship with Zach. She then blushes when asked about Drew.

– FLO: I am technically here with Zach but Drew is hot. What am I supposed to do?

Technically with Zach? Like she’s trying to stretch it as if Zach isn’t your partner in this game? I have a feeling ‘technically’ means ‘or else I won’t win one million bucks’. What’s even funnier is that she wanders over to the three oldest men to talk about her relationship. Ian is there of all people making comments! Note how Gerard eggs her on with getting her to divulge her relationship with Zach. You know that not only is it for his own amusement but he thinks he can get information out of it.

IAN: My god it’s chili pepper time.

Is that like Frank Garrison’s sexual way of saying he has never broken the honour of a handshake?

– Ouch. I recall the name of the detour before Phil said it. Count the Money or Run the Numbers. I even got the order too!

– Drew volunteers to work with Flo & Zach to run the numbers. With that I officially crown the Twins as the ‘My Strategic Word Means Crap’ Award.

– IAN: 21 and 24? 43.

F-f-f-f-f-fail.

– ZACH: 3 + 2 + 1 = 5.

See above.

– GERARD: Abort. I think we should abort. Abort. Let’s abort.

This is more than when one of the Baldwin brothers inserted the word ‘unbeknownst’ five times in a conversation in Dr. Drew’s show. Has he used ‘abort’ before or since? I think Gerard is exhausted.

JILL: Where’s the brothers? Did they count the money?
ZACH: No. They aborted mission.

– DREW: We seem to switch alliances when it’s convenient.

Why not say this is your strategy from the beginning!

– Teri & Ian finish later than Ken & Gerard but it doesn’t matter because we have hit Equalizer #5. All five teams are on the same train. John Vito & Jill miss a train by ten seconds. Production refused anyone to gain more than a two minute lead this leg. John Vito & Jill have completed a task first twice but are ultimately tied for last. What crap.

– JILL: Straight? Which way?

Oh c’mon Jill. It’s the other straight. You’ve never heard of the other straight?

– IAN: Yo! Got it got it got it! Yo, Teri I got it girl!

Uhhhh, I think he got it. But not a hoo-rah to be found? I’m sad. D:

– A retired police officer gets beaten in a bow and arrow competition by Zach who only had fifth grade archery camp of experience and Kenny who doesn’t look like a bow and arrow.

– IAN: I still got it. Second arrow.
TERI: Third.
IAN: Second.
TERI: …..

– Flo can’t breathe. Zach is taking two bags in the high altitude of Switzerland. Zach carries Flo over barbed wire too. What do you know Flo is leading the pack in running to the pit stop.

– TERI: Do you see them?
IAN: I smell them.

Okay editing crew is that ANOTHER joke about Ian’s lack of vision? They didn’t make these types of jokes with Luke.

– IAN: We’ve got to go.
TERI: My pants are falling down.
IAN: This is more important than your pants falling down.
TERI: Oh you think so?
IAN: Yeah, I think so. You’re not modest.

All I can say is…OUCH! One verbal slap by Ian because Teri just got pwned by the retired police officer.

Another unnecessary roadblock for Zach. This week it’s carry your partner’s bags for thirty minutes in the high altitude of the Swiss Alps. Meanwhile we have Ian who would rather his wife’s pants fall down than take a short break. Note the subtitles too. Who do you think said it? Yeah, it’s Zach. I love how they subtitle the ‘Like we want it’ part. It’s an editor’s jab at Flo.

– Instead of running with the pack, Ken & Gerard decide to risk being in last by deviating from the pack knowing the pit stop is less than five minutes away. The high altitude produces very dumb decisions. There was no more than a 30 second reward while it is very possible to lose 10-15 minutes by going off the main path and possibly finishing the leg in dead last.

– Derek & Drew win a Kodak Easy Share camera for winning the leg. Derek’s ‘woo hoo’ is the biggest celebration for anyone who wins a camera.

– It’s a non-elimination. This is perhaps the only time in TAR history where I approve of no penalty being given out for coming in last because of five–FIVE equalizers being crammed into this leg. It seems like production really wanted to build the second half of this season around these five teams and really liked the dynamics. I s’pose great chemistry will force you to shove in as many non-eliminations and keep all five teams neck-and-neck so they’ll pull off some vicious moves. I notice how the other teams’ insults about Teri & Ian are shown more than Teri & Ian themselves. They all must be ten minutes from first to last. Derek & Drew are pissed their lead goes to waste but if I were them, I’d look at how they were in third for 90% of the time and wouldn’t be anywhere near first if it weren’t for three of these equalizers. No sympathy for those two in this instance.

Flo&Zach 9.5
Derek&Drew 5.3
Teri&Ian 2.3
Ken&Gerard 6.8
JV&Jill 8.3

Ninth leg

———–

– Phil Keoghan claims his sex tape is fake. Okay, I made that up. But wouldn’t it be hilarious if Phil Keoghan has a sex tape? Possible titles and quotes:
You Are the First Person to Arrive; I’m Happy to Tell You You Will Be Philiminated.
Uncensored Philimination
Mat Chat and Philler Material
Phil Reveals His Keoghan’s Heroes
Phil Always Came in Last*
No Sexual Escapade Wasted

*This one may be more of an insult of Phil’s prowess. . . .
.
.
.
Anyyyyyyyyway, onto episode nine. We’re in the Swiss Alps after Equalizer Mania. The alps stretch across nine countries. Keep in mind that these countries are about .1% the size of Canada, so I’m not impressed. Will Flo and Drew have a more serious relationship? And will John Vito & Jill use the Fast Forward to get out of last place?

– The twins depart at 4:55am. Gletscherschlucht is their next route marker. Racers get a freebie if they can’t pronounce it. Route marker opens at 9:00am. A confessional of Drew from before the race started is airing about how Drew will flirt. That’s sad they needed a pre-race confessional to find Drew talking about something relevant to the current situation. Production must’ve had a hard time with getting Drew to talk about Flo during the race itself.

– John Vito & Jill were last and departed at 5:08am. Production should’ve said ‘YOU’RE ALL TIED FOR LEG 8 BECAUSE IT’S NON-ELIMINATION AND TRAIN IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET ANYWHERE!’

– Gerard talks about missing his family. Oh crap. Is this the leg where they get to talk to family members at home? Isn’t this really rare for the race to do?

– They grab the keys in the Gletscherschlucht and find their clue in the car. They get to drive themselves? No more route markers!

OH NO. They have to drive themselves onto a train where they can load their cars. Equalizer #1 for this leg. That’s hilarious. They have to drive themselves onto a train. I am sure the racers made the same point when they realized they couldn’t move away from the pack for the sixth route marker in a row.

– Fast forward time. Go to a cheese shack and eat a wheel of cheese that has been sliced and cubed until the fast forward is revealed. It’s too bad they have to eat this cheese if it’s a non-elimination after all.

JILL: What if it’s blue cheese? Like smelly cheese? Like the cheese that smells like feet, you know?

Ah yes. Jill is referencing the delicate Feet Cheese that is homegrown in the Big Apple. Watch for the hairs and toenails.

– Next train is 20 to 11 after a route marker opens at 9. That’s right. This equalizer was set up from the start of the leg. We get to hear every team hear that bungee jumping is at the Red Bridge. Or according to the subtitles, ‘bungy jumping’. I guess word check isn’t first priority for reality TV subtitle makers.

– We watch John Vito and Jill eating cheese. As Corbin Bernsen would say, “today is my forte, tomorrow is my farte”.
– Flo, Drew, and Zach chat in the car train. At one point Flo physically gets in Derek and Drew’s car during the ride while Zach is by himself with the sound and camera crew in his car. I have no doubt they hammered him with confessional questions during this time. It’s the peak of Zach’s frustration before he finds a way to cope with it and continue racing with Flo again without anything negative to say.

– The way Flo skips her way back into Zach’s car reminds me of a 15-year-old coming back to her parents after going on her first date. I

– DEREK: You have a compass disability and it’s severe.

Nobody talks to their brother so eloquently. He wanted to look smart on camera. The smart twin.

– FLO: I have a severe fear anxiety.

– Extreme Swiss or Very Swiss. Do a 620 foot bungee jump or drive further away from the next route marker and find a key on a sheep. Personally I’d bungee jump because producers NEVER offer a detour option to a frightening task unless it puts you a good solid half hour behind. Luckily three out of five teams chose not to bungee jump.
– They show Teri & Ian opening the clue in real time. Ian yells for Teri to come while he holds the clue. He didn’t open the clue before she got there because he wanted her to open it for him. She takes the clue and glares at him as she takes a good fifteen seconds to open it up while Ian criticizes her the whole time. Look up the clue for yourself. The editors are having an excellent time with the footage these five teams gave them this season.

– Derek says he wanted to jump first so Drew wouldn’t be scared to do so. Is it me or does Derek take on the role as being the older brother despite being twins? He talks much more to the camera, he speaks more eloquently, and this leg he wanted to jump first to calm Drew down.

Zach is holding up what appears to be a T-Mobile phone. He exclaims in excitement when he reads the T-Mobile information. Gerard couldn’t be happier given what he was coached to say at the start of the leg. The best twist about this phone call is that they must complete the call before they get into the car.

– DREW: Derek was the big brother in this situation.

I called it! And guess who gets to call now? Derek and Drew.

– Derek talks to his wife and Drew talks to his mom. Heh, no wonder why Drew is the younger brother. He has to talk to his mom!

– Gerard is crying as he flips through pictures of his kids.

FLO: I am the happiest girl in the world right now. Zach, I am so happy.

Yep, that’s what she says in this picture. This is minute 27 of the episode. Keep this in mind.

– Teri runs the fastest she has all race when Gerard tells her that the task is to talk to your kids. I wonder if John Vito & Jill were able to make a T-Mobile phone call on their way to the pit stop? Or was this production’s way to make up for a lack of equalizers to screw them over this leg?

– I need to give TAR props for this leg. They had an ad for a phone call home but they didn’t shove it down our throats. It occupied less than five minutes and there were only three zoom-ins of the T-Mobile phone and each team only said ‘T-Mobile’ because it was written in the clue. Go to season 19 and it has all changed.

– Oh, John Vito & Jill are in this game. They check in and receive a 7-day cruise with Royal Caribbean. They must assume they’ll be in the Final Four at this point.

– Roadblock. Assemble a Swiss Army Bike. Gerard compares it to Christmas Eve at morning. The judge has said it’s not safe four times in one minute before they are approved. Pit stop time already. Use the bikes you assembled to get to the pit stop. No wonder why the judge has to approve of it being safe or not!

– Zach and Drew are at the roadblock. I guess Flo is not a nuts and bolts type of person. Teri & Ian arrive what seems to be like ten minutes later.

– TERI: This person should be nuts and bolts.
IAN (shrugs shoulders): Ugh, okay, fine.

I have noticed that Ian is reluctant to do most roadblocks. I think it’s because he is afraid of looking bad because he assumes Teri will be as hard on her as much as he is on her when she screws up.

– Ken & Gerard have the best pit stop arrival in TAR history. They do karate chopping and hops onto the mat. They antagonize Phil to tell them they’re team number two. Phil plays along and is silent for a good half minute before he confirms what they know.

– Flo touches the bike and instructs Zach where the brakes are. This should have 150% been a penalty at the end of the leg. Heather in Mole 2 loses five thousand dollars of the grand prize because she touched an extension of the bike for crying out loud. By this standard, Flo & Zach would be given a ten hour penalty. Ian passes Zach on the roadblock. Please note that the youngest team in the race had the toughest time with the bike.

Believe it or not, this is not a conversation that involves Brian and C.C. Heidik.

They’re looking smooth. Flo & Zach won’t catch up after all.

 Eh, maybe I spoke too soon. By the way Ian, as glamorous as you may think it would be, you need BOTH members of your team to check in at the next pit stop.

IAN: Are you okay? You gotta get  up. You gotta get back up.
TERI: The bike is broken.
IAN: You messed up. Ah Teri.
TERI: Like I messed up on purpose.
IAN: Come on.

It’s convenient that a Teri screw-up means Ian works harder to get to the pit stop.

– Flo is in major whine mood. They see Teri & Ian. Zach insists they can catch up.

ZACH: We caught them on the bike. C’mon, let’s go. We can still catch up.
FLO: We’re losing anyway so we might as well walk. GO GET THE BOAT! It’s over.

Not the happiest girl in the world.

Not the happiest helmet in the world. If this were a video game, the helmet would lose a life and go back to the last save point.

– ZACH: I suggest you put all those desire into those pedals right now.
FLO: What’s the point we lost Zach. I’m not going to get myself exhausted over it if we’re losing anyway.
(ZACH laughs. Boy oh boy did he pick the wrong person to race with. Current romantic future? Zilch.)
FLO: Why’d you have to take off your pants?
ZACH: Because they would have caught in the gear.
FLO: Why not just pull them up?!

FLO: I don’t want to go home.

Add in an extremely whiny tone and you have the prototype for how Flo runs the race. She whines about every little task despite being ahead or behind. Her partner encourages her to press on but Flo’s defense is bringing up a flaw in a task her partner did regardless if they finish early or late as an excuse to not put in her full effort and put the onus of the extra effort needed on her partner. Zach took off his pants to save time in the future? Zach didn’t ask people where the ferry was? Well then you’ll have to lift me off a jet ski, run ahead to get into the boat, and do every bit of the pedaling. Classic Flo.

– FLO: What I did wrong was that I gave up but Zach is so positive that it makes me look back. Zach’s a good guy.

See, this is why taking jabs at Flo in this blog is fun rather than cruel. She knows she is acting like a spoiled only child on this race. Flo is completely aware that Zach is doing much more work than she is and Flo knows repaying him by flirting with somebody from another team isn’t exactly proper etiquette if you yourself is already on a dating team.

Inside of the race Flo is one of the most unbearable partners out of anyone who has raced in twenty seasons. She does nothing and gets to make a deep run into the game. Why, there’s stories out there that the veteran crew forced the rookie crew to be with Flo because she was that annoying to be around 24/7.

Outside of the race? Flo is considered to be an extremely kind and good person to be around. Some people are not made for serious competition or racing with a date. If Flo raced with her friend Lindsay would you see her yelling at Lindsay to go get the boat? Hopefully not. They’d quit leg 5 when they fill their car up with diesel fuel. : )

This is why the early seasons are much better. And by early I mean the first four seasons with the exception of Tara & Wil. They know when they’re being ignorant and are very intelligent people as they run the race. I bet the number of teams you hate in TAR are much more frequent after TAR 11 than prior to TAR 11. They’re much more three-dimensional.

– Keep in mind that this marks the first instance where teams went through consecutive non-elimination legs in TAR history.

Flo&Zach 6.3
Derek&Drew 4.4
Teri&Ian 2.3
Ken&Gerard 1.1
JV&Jill 2.3

Tenth leg
————
– Note this episode airs immediately after the previous one. Can John Vito & Jill keep their lead and will Flo and Drew continue to flirt? We’re then immediately thrust into the next leg. Yay!

– John Vito & Jill depart at 12:42am after sleeping on a yacht as it travels to Geneva.

– John Vito says they have no problem spending this much time together all the time. Apparently that’s not true because they BROKE UP AFTER THE RACE! Ha! Slaaam!

– Ken & Gerard leave at exactly 2:00am. It’s fun to leave on the hour. This makes John Vito & Jill’s fast forward one of the weakest if they won the fast forward at an equalizer but the teams are approximately ninety minutes behind them. As Rebecca would say, “this is a slow forward.”

– Derek & Drew said they had an alliance with the brothers early on but are now completely on their own. In other words, Drew is working to sleep with Flo over the next four legs.

– John Vito & Jill go to Jet D’eau and are given a flag to identify where the Petronas Towers.

– Derek & Drew’s birthday is today. Fun birthday.

– Swiss locals are good at identifying the flag represents Malaysia. The country of six languages can also identify more than six flags. If you had this route marker in the United States, I doubt anyone would recognize that flag. Luckily for me I used to remember flags, capital cities, and American presidents just for fun.

– IAN: Do you know which flag this is?
LOCAL: Malaysia. You’re on the wrong continent.

The local didn’t seem  phased. He said it so casually and despite sounding like he thought they were lost by four thousand miles.

– Teri & Ian are beasts at booking flights. They’re the only older team that can book tickets that well on their own. They’re first to leave. Meanwhile J and J book tickets with seats that are close to the front of the plane.

– Drew booked Flo & Zach’s seats for them because Drew doesn’t want to see her cry. Another step taken to sleep with Flo. Flo thinks Drew is smart and funny.

– Zach notes that Flo and Drew sat together from Paris to Kuala Lumpur  while Zach sat next to an empty seat which is symbolic of their relationship. I would say so because I’ve never rode on a plane before, but I think flying from Paris to Malaysia while your partner sits away from you as you touch three continents is a fairly long time.

– Teri & Ian must ask a local to take a picture of them in front of the Petronas Towers. Note that they are using a Kodak EasyShare digital camera and after taking the picture they must develop it at a Kodak Station. Ian yelling at locals to take a picture is great publicity for Kodak. This is the first time teams go into a local shopping mall. Nothing like experiencing TAR when you visit a Kodak Centre that is connected to a McDonald’s. True Malaysian landmarks!

– If production had to transcribe everything Flo says onto wordle.net I think “GO” and “Z” would be gigantic on the page.

– Flo is at the subway doors and yells for Zach to start running even though the subway doors haven’t opened. She follows this up by being on an escalator with Ken and comments that she loves how he runs like a rat. Kenny runs like a rat? I’ve never noticed.

– JILL: Was there another team here?
LOCAL: Yes.
JV: That’s impossible.

Unless they found an earlier flight.

– Teri & Ian seemed to struggle with getting help from teams while everyone else communicated with locals easily. Shouting at locals saying “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” and knocking on the trunk of a cab must freak people out when you don’t share the same level of English fluency.

– Flo and Drew play cards on the train and comment how attracted they are to each other but both need to be ruthless. Yeah right. It turns out that the orchid garden doesn’t open until 8:30am. Note that the 11:30am train to Singapore left only a little over an hour after Teri & Ian got there so it’s not like production put in two equalizers back-to-back. The train wasn’t a huge delay in the morning either. No criticism drawn from this guy.

– FLO (confessional): I hadn’t slept for two days and showered for two days. I wanted to stay at a nice hotel.

ZACH: Here’s a good cheap one. Should we try the YMCA?
DEREK: The YMCA rents rooms?
ZACH (scoffs): Yeah.

I think Zach is pissed he shared this brilliant TAR money-saving tip when the finish line is only three legs away. Or is Zach embarrassed that he knows the YMCA rents rooms?

FLO: I’m not going to the YMCA. I’m not.

FLO: If you know that’s something I care about why are you giving me such a  hard time?
ZACH: If it’s not a nice place we won’t stay there.
DREW: Don’t worry, we’ll find something else.

FLO: Why does he get to make all the decisions? I wish I would be consulted.
DEREK: Drew, c’mon, we need more options here.

– Zach and Derek are sleeping in one bed while Flo and Drew are sleeping in another possibly? Oh, Flo said she would never do that because that would be stooping too low. Please give Flo some props.

You’re not going to believe what Flo says upon entering the hotel.

FLO: I’m the happiest girl in the whole world right now.

Cue Flo’s rage in approximately seven minutes. The tech crew must be scared for their lives when they hear Flo say this. They know it’s one minor calm before yet another major storm.

– Everyone enters the garden. Right on cue Flo yells “Go, run Zach!”

– Detour. Dry or wet. Swim with the manatees or drive to the apartment of Singapore’s number one TV star in a place where numbers flop from wing to wing and numerous streets that have the same name. When in doubt pick the route marker that has more activity.

– I saw a WWE poster in the backdrop. TAR didn’t hide it well enough. Flo & Zach successfully followed Ken & Gerard.

– Uh oh. JV & Jill are lost. They were sent in the wrong direction.

– DEREK: Look at the map and determine how far it is! I am sick of this! Oh, let’s follow Teri & Ian.

If Derek & Drew and Flo & Zach worked together on the task, we’d be guaranteed to split up any more of the romance storyline. Poor viewers.

– IAN: When we heard we were doing the race, we realized carrying cotton underwear would be absolutely stupid because to wash it and dry it is nearly impossible. Teri doing research found a company that sold disposable underwear. She dropped down to her panties and sports bra to get in that wet suit and I’m looking at her like she’s crazy for doing this. Anything to win the race.

TERI (to Derek and Drew): Modesty, guys.
Heh. I like Teri is suspicious of Derek and Drew. Don’t worry, Teri. They’re not Alex Bell, Dave Johnson, and Rob Cesternino. All we needed was Butch Lockley to yell “I’M NOT LOOKING!”

–  Run through the fountain of wealth because it brings you good luck. What the racers don’t know is that because every team must run through this fountain and thus the influx of good luck is rendered null and void.

– IAN: C’mon.
TERI: Ian, can you help? Instead of c’moning can you help?

That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. Ian uses c’mon so much that it can be used as a verb. Ian’s legacy grows.

– Flo & Zach have a map superior to Ken & Gerard’s map. Too bad the brothers are the only ones in the race with the gift of reading a map. The brothers want to switch maps with Zach because it will be much easier to get to the pit stop.
GERARD: Switch us maps and we can get you to the pit stop. Otherwise we might lose you.
ZACH: No.
GERARD: We need to get a jump on the other teams.
ZACH: No.
GERARD: Uhhhhh, okay.
KEN: Hey Flo, we can’t work together because Zach won’t give us your map.
FLO: WHAT?! Why won’t you give him your map?!
(KEN and GERARD commence laughing at the soon-to-be exchange that will transpire. They wonder how these two survived to leg ten.)
FLO: Why won’t you let us follow them?!

ZACH (confessional): I want to never exchange maps because what if we get lost what if a red light separates us. The map was vital to have. I wanted to hold onto it.
….
(FLO rips the map from ZACH’s hands and walks over with rage to Kenny.)
KEN: Stay by us. I promise we won’t try to lose you, Zach.
ZACH: Well what if we get separated by a red light–who knows?
FLO: We won’t get separated because we don’t know where we’re going!

I don’t think Flo understood Zach’s point. Meanwhile nobody else understood Flo’s point.

KEN: You want us to give you our map as a back-up? So it’s fair?
FLO: No, it’s not fair.
KEN: Don’t yell at him Flo! I promise we won’t lose you.
GERARD: Ken, get in the car.
….
FLO: What is wrong with you, seriously?
ZACH: I don’t know I must have a serious problem.
FLO: We just followed them all the way here–
ZACH: Flo Flo Flo, why are you screaming at me
FLO: Because you–
ZACH: Why are you yelling at me like I’m an a–hole?
FLO: Because you are!
ZACH: (takes off his seatbelt): Okay great then–
FLO: Why don’t you consult me before you make a decision that makes or breaks the game?!
ZACH: God I hate–how does it make or break the game?
FLO: Because–AH WOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

This is why intrapersonal arguments on the race is so much better than manufactured double U-Turns in TAR.
*One minute after commercial break*
FLO: Ken and Gerard just led us all the way here and they offered to lead us again and you don’t want to give them the f—ing map?
ZACH: You know what I won’t yell at you for not finding the f—ing thing on the map!

ZACH (confessional): Flo yells at me so much and calls me names. There’s times where I want to tell her to be quiet and tell her to stop calling me names, stop interacting with her, and say to hell with you.

ZACH: It doesn’t have to be “Greedy! What the hell are you thinking?!” You could say “Zach, I think we should give it to them,” give it to them and it’s over!
FLO: Because—

Whoa whoa, Flo is rationalizing why she is screaming at him as opposed to speaking in a calmer tone? This defense should be good. Take it away, Flo.

FLO: Because they were about to get in their car!

That’s your defense? We’re talking apples and oranges here.

ZACH: And and–
FLO: They were like goodbye and leaving that they won’t give them the map.

– Derek runs in to get the clue because Drew needs to look good to sleep with Flo at the pit stop. Mount Faber is the pit stop.

– FLO: Let’s go! Yeah go! Yeah Zach!

Zach gets the clue in the fountain of wealth. Another unnecessary roadblock for Zach. If I were Zach I’d force her to do a task for once.

– Ken did a somersault out of the fountain of wealth.

– IAN: Sorry I’m short with you. It’s just my winning attitude.

Did Ian really apologize? I guess there’s a first for everything.

– For winning this leg, Derek & Drew win a cruise. I think they’re happy it’s not an easy share camera.

FLO: I can kick Ken & Gerard’s a– in a foot race.  Nope.

– FLO (confessional): When it comes down to it I think we’re a great team. We just need some fine-tuning.

That’s an understatement after this 2-hour episode.

– IAN: This is a gruelling race, make no mistake about it. This is not an easy thing to do but if you don’t quit and focus you’ll have a good shot of making it to the end.

You also have a good shot at making it to the end if you scream at your partner for half the leg, throw your helmet down a hill, and refuse to participate in 90% of all tasks.

– John Vito & Jill have been eliminated. Here is Jill’s wonderful departing confessional:

JILL: Our future now is what our future was before this race even started. We plan on starting to have children and grandchildren together and getting married. We’re excited and can’t wait do it.
JOHN VITO: We plan on getting married before we have children and grandchildren.

None of that happiness will be coming to them because THEY WILL BREAK UP AFTER THE RACE! Bam! Slaaaaam!

Flo&Zach 12.10
Derek&Drew 3.5
Teri&Ian 1.6
Ken&Gerard 2.5
JV&Jill 2.5

As I said before, legs nine and ten aired on the same night. This is perhaps the best editing job ever done by TAR. We are given the nice couple a very positive edit as they head out the door. Ken & Gerard are only shown if they’re being goofy and being utilized as the unlikely strong and dominating team that everyone is rooting for to win. Derek & Drew develop not only distinguishing personalities but personalities at all and express it on a consistent basis. Ian and Teri have troubles being polite to locals but their strategic ability and awareness that maybe they don’t have to be so short is finally coming around.

Meanwhile Flo & Zach have the last seventy minutes to themselves. In my confessional count for Flo & Zach, I really did count only the confessionals as opposed to occasionally rewarding a narrative tone in a car or on a bus when they talk to the camera. This was all what they said at the pit stop. For other teams I gave the occasional credit for talking directly at the camera this leg or any narrative tone because otherwise Ian would be the only person above one or two confessionals. I remember watching this episode with my mom when it first aired and my  aunt who called right after it was on. There is no doubt in my mind the whole viewership were about to put money down on the idea that Flo & Zach would quit by the next leg. It was the first time Zach fought back! Zach physically carries her and her backpack a good portion of the time, he does every roadblock, he asks directions almost every time, he uses plane rides and train rides to get more info, he saves money, and he does every little task that is manageable with only one person. We know Flo was at her limits as of leg five but the question everyone wondered is how much Zach could take. 95% of the population would give in to Flo’s demands and quit with her. However, Zach’s competitive nature and positive attitude puts him in a position where he can take the verbal abuse from Flo and view it as a chronic roadblock to make the possibility of victory that much sweeter.

But no one thinks that Flo can really win the race. Not after these two hours. Could Flo do the unthinkable and win?

Eleventh leg

————

– Previously on TAR, the old couple and Flo & Zach had an uphill battle. John Vito & Jill took an early lead. Derek & Drew win the episode while John Vito & Jill are eliminated. Note that every single Flo statement around Zach was a series of cuts to the different times she screamed.

– I think Mr. Green from the movie Clue would slap Flo in the face to stop her from screaming by now.

– A speech about some Washington state criminal occupies the first nine minutes of the episode. I still have that on my VHS recorded -_-). It took a long time before I was able to see the missing nine minutes.

– For the first time the colours of TAR flags are changed from red and yellow to only yellow for this leg because the Vietnam flag is red and yellow. I have a feeling TAR production did a test run and noticed the problem ahead of time. Good on them.

– Derek & Drew depart at 10:22. Ken & Gerard leave at 10:33pm. Ken orders two cabs because he fears the twins could steal his cab. Drew wasn’t willing to say he was Ken to the taxi driver which results in Derek yelling at him for being a terrible liar and the brothers getting a lead because they went to their other cab. The twins have one taxi waiting to pick up nobody that they can’t use because Drew wasn’t able to lie. Teri & Ian leave at 10:45pm.
– Ian served in the Vietnam War. He busts out the Diem Mow talk. It reminds me of Simpsons when Bart yells Diem Mow to Skinner and says “What part of Diem Mow” don’t you understand?

– Ken & Gerard get on a 11:10pm flight after leaving the pit stop at 10:33pm. Has anyone been able to get on a flight so quickly after leaving the pit stop in the history of TAR? Thirty-seven minutes must be a record. We hear a re-aired confessional about how the twins are the biggest threat. This confessional goes back to the very first leg.

– Flo shrieks at Zach to hurry up and call a cab as he has to run up several flights of stairs. I think Flo would pass out after one flight.

– Drew was worried about stealing Flo’s cab. Or maybe because Flo booked the twins tickets for them on a flight Zach found. It’s the Final Four and you’re booking someone else’s flight for them?! The twins hate alliances but they need to admit they couldn’t have allied more if they tried. And Flo, what happened to you leading the Twin Hunt back in leg two?

– Ian is hopping and clicking his feet in the air. He’s chuckling while talking to Teri??? There’s no c’moning. The c’moning is now c’moned. We’ve entered the TAR 3 Bizarro World.

Gerard mugs it for the camera as he practices for the upcoming roadblock.

– Despite three different paths taken to Kuala Lumpur, everyone is on the same flight to Ho Chi Minh City.

–  Ian’s heart swells up three times its original size. Seriously, what up with that? A smile is not in your repertoire, Mr. Pollack!

– Flo and Zach picked different lines at customs. Zach goes against Flo’s wishes of cutting in line after Flo finishes first and Zach’s delay makes them the absolute last team to leave the airport.

( Circle gets the square?

– ZACH: We’re probably only seven minutes behind.
FLO: We’re probably twenty minutes behind the twins and seven minutes and more than that behind Ian and Teri. And they were behind us in line! There’s no reason to be in the back right now! I DON’T WORK ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT TO GET SCREWED BECAUSE OF SOMETHING SO STUPID.

Now back to our regular scheduled programming as we see Ken & Gerard smile in the cab. Oh wait.

FLO: We should’ve been in the front. A comfortable feeling of being in the front. I picked the line that finished first. I did my share. You should’ve done it I asked you to do it why didn’t you do it?
ZACH: Because I told you I didn’t feel comfortable asking them I thought it was a ??? move to the people behind us and I didn’t think it would hurt us and I still think don’t think it’s gonna hurt us.

– Derek and Drew finish first at the route marker. Time to drive to the Mekong Delta.

– During this time they cram in three history lessons about the Vietnam War and how sad it was. This reminds me of the unnatural Nelson Mandela segment from last season. Ian breaks down a couple times. The seriousness gets downplayed by the fact this is a competitive reality show, the twins’ taxi and Ian’s taxi keep passing each other, and Flo & Zach’s argument. In fact Flo’s threshold for a terrifying experience is about one-tenth of Ian or Teri’s version of a terrifying experience.

– (ZACH looks at his clue. He cracks a smile. He knows Flo will talk again in ten seconds. Sure enough we wait around three seconds as Flo exhales and speaks.
FLO (very soft tone): This is not a joke, Zach. Do you understand this is not a joke?
ZACH: I’m just trying to enjoy the race.

ZACH (confessional): I basically think that if I lose my cool that the race is over for our time.
….
FLO: Take this seriously.
ZACH: So am I.
FLO (crying): No, you’re totally trivializing the whole thing. You’re trivializing everything.
ZACH: I was scared to offend the people in line. It’s a feeling you have that’s so strong that you can’t ignore and it’s so strong that you’re willing to jeopardize the whole race.


FLO (still crying): That makes zero sense. What sense does that make? That doesn’t make any sense.
FLO (crying and angry): Don’t play the moralist now.


ZACH: No, no. It makes as much sense to you as you not repelling or you not bungee jumping makes to me.
FLO: No! Zach, that’s so ignorant and obnoxious of you when you-you know that there’s a thousand physical risks associated with bungee jumping. Are there any physical risks associated with cutting in line and nicely asking someone? I wasn’t asking you to push people!

Zach has a fear of being rude. Flo think this fear is irrational. Zach worked around Flo’s fears that inconvenienced them during the course of the race. Yet Flo doesn’t understand Zach’s fear is in the same boat. I love how this has carried on for two minutes of the episode. Imagine what it was like before it went to the editing room. There’s more, amazingly enough.

FLO: I’m tired of screaming, and I’m tired of having to override your decisions. I’m tired of it.
ZACH: Okay then let’s just quit. If you’re tired then let’s stop, you know whatever.

– Detour time. Easy Buy and Hard Sell. Find the correct stall with one water coconut in the water market or enter the land market and sell fruit until you have $2.50. This is the harshest weather I’ve seen in TAR history. A storm approaches. It’s pouring rain where anyone doing the easy buy can’t see any fruit because everyone is covering their fruit except for the u-wan nook. Ken & Gerard made a mistake changing detours. They didn’t realize the water coconut would be more visible than ever in contrast with numerous other fruits.

– The twins and the old people have a big lead over the other two teams. Ken & Gerard started the other detour option the same time as Flo & Zach but finish a couple minutes earlier.

– GERARD: These people are nice for buying fruit from us wacky Americans.

After they watch Flo & Zach and the old people a few months from now when TAR 3 airs, I can’t help but agree. I wonder if the Spanish or Vietnamese sub can match Flo’s tone? I wouldn’t mind hearing  how they sound in foreign languages. An Oscar for the one who can portray Flo the most accurately? Zach is the one carrying the shoulder basket but Flo is the one who says she is emotionally and physically exhausted. Explain this, Flo?

– This  is the moment I remember the most. FLO: Why are you leaving me here? ZACH: I thought you were right behind me.

Have you ever played Goldeneye 007? Do you know the missions where you have Alex Trevalen, Boris, or Natalia following you? And do you know how on any advanced mission you need to walk at an extraordinarily slow pace to ensure you don’t lose them? That’s what Flo is. Zach deviates a few inches away from Flo and she yells in the same spot for Zach to physically come to physically touch her before they walk back to the taxi.

– Roadblock. The person who does the task will drive the cycloid while their partner sits in.

– IAN: Yee-haw! Yee-haw! Yee-haw! Beep beep! I’m dangerous! Thank you thank you! You numba one1

Yes, this is Ian. Not Kenny nor Gerard.
– Ian notes that they passed the clue box by about thirty feet before they noticed it.

– Derek and Drew arrive at the route marker but notice the flags that direct those who are participating in the roadblock. Uh oh. They’re following the flags away from the clue box. However, they realize they might be wrong and ask “Where’s 2A?” but get directed to two places called 2A. If only they were bright enough to ask using the full address.

– Ken & Gerard notice the flags too. They ask people if they’ve seen a green box that you open. Ken adds in charades of opening the clue box for good measure. They wander around.

– Flo & Zach arrive at the route marker in SECOND!

FLO: Please don’t kill me.
ZACH: I’ll try my best.

I think he would’ve killed you a long time ago if he wanted to. The tech crew may be more threatening than Zach.

– Ken & Gerard follow the twins aimlessly around the water and the yacht. They arrive at the boat. Ken & Gerard head for the boat and separate from the twins.

– Ian yells a hoo-rah as they see the marker for the pit stop. Are you serious? These old people are finishing in first after leaving the pit stop last?

This is bad. I think Ian and Teri successfully re-enacted their vinegar strokes. I think Ghost Silas Screws is directly behind both of them simultaneously. Or maybe that is how Ian acts on the bottom and how Teri is on top? Congratulations, I have implanted a mental image of two 50-year-olds mating in your mind.

This was also the screen cap for The Amazing Race’s Freeze Frame contest on CBS’ site back when it initially aired.

– Flo & Zach get to the boat and see Ken & Gerard behind them ready to get on the boat. Flo tells them that they need their bikes first. The only reason she told them this was to get them away from their boat. Why you would avoid dragging a team with you who will be a full two hours behind you once they realize their mistake is beyond me. Gerard is amazed he was saved by Flo & Zach of all teams.

KEN: Pretend you don’t know, Gerard.
DEREK: Are Zach and Flo on there?
GERARD: I didn’t see them. They were on the boat?
DEREK: They were on the boat. Zach and Flo are on the boat. Did you guys go on the boat?
KEN: No!

Ken & Gerard abandon the twins as they retrace where the clue is. The twins go down to the dock and wait for the next boat.
 Note the amazing cycloid camera. So far so good thanks to Gerard’s practice in the airport.

Maybe the practice didn’t help after all. The guts of the cycloid fall out. The best part is Ken’s face about a half-second before the fall is complete thanks to the cycloid’s camera. Now that’s what I call a roadblock.

– The twins board the ferry ahead of Ken & Gerard. Meanwhile Flo & Zach check in second. Their best finish in four legs.

– DEREK: Park cycloids here??? Check in here? This isn’t right. We don’t have the clue.

– Everyone feels bad for the twins. Misery music plays as they slowly go back to the mainland. Extremely lonely music plays. They pray for a non-elimination. Although I think they must be around two to three hours behind the 3rd place team and around six hours behind the frontrunners.

– It’s an elimination leg. They’re eliminated.

So this is it. The final three teams. Two legs remain. We avoid a second finale in a row where the two people flirting across teams make it to the end. Instead we’re left with three very dynamic teams. In fact, they are this may be the most dynamic final three in TAR’s history. TAR 1 had Guidos who were dynamic but way behind, Rob & Brennan who were one-dimensional, and Frank & Margarita where Frank was the only one who was dynamic. Rob and Margarita were both invisible. In TAR 2, Chris and Paige were both extremely invisible while Tara & Wil drove most of the chaos with Alex wedged in between. In TAR 3, all nine people are very distinct and all present three very different relationships. The young couple who clearly broke up by leg three or four, the first older couple who doesn’t get the “boo hoo root for us because we’re old and don’t have a chance” edit, and two overweight middle-aged brothers who could probably make the final three of every single TAR game.

Flo&Zach 5.6
Derek&Drew 5.5
Teri&Ian 3.12
Ken&Gerard 8.10

Twelfth leg

————

– An extremely brief recap of the first eleven legs. We’re reminded Teri & Ian ran the entire race without alliances and despite being old. Flo & Zach are reminded their friendship continues regardless of lack of romantic interest. Ken & Gerard have great wit and are successful. Wow. I think that was more brief than any of the other ‘Previously on TAR’ segments. Good on the producers.

– The Saigon River is the eleventh pit stop in a race around the world. How neat. This twelfth leg is all about jockeying for position. Will Teri & Ian’s age slow them down? Will Flo’s self-admitted highs or lows weigh down their team or will Zach’s positive attitude help them win? And can the brothers come back to win?

– 5:19am where Teri & Ian depart after a twelve hour pit stop. Time to look for the Imperial Palace. Vietnam/French Indo-China had a royal family until 1945. They dropped the royal family because of budget cuts.

– Ian shouts GOOD MORNING, VIETNAM into the camera. New Ian is too awesome.

– ZACH (confessional): Flo is very fragile these days. I proceed with caution.

No kidding. Remember this?

FLO: I wish we’d gotten eliminated.
ZACH: Come on Flo. We made it so far, you should try and be happy about it.
FLO: I’m done being happy about it, this is misery.

I’ll correct myself from earlier. Flo’s most common words are “I’m” and “done”.

FLO: 24 hour train ride?
ZACH: It’s not gonna be that bad. Maybe we can get first class tickets.
(IAN giggles like a schoolgirl. I’ve never heard him giggle like this in the entire race. I think it’s because a) Ian  knows there is no such thing as a first class ticket in Vietnam b) He knows that Zach is trying really hard into manipulating Flo to get on the train.)

Zach is like a mom who grinds up the pills and sneaks it into their child’s food in hopes of getting them to eat it. This is Zach’s most patient form in the whole race. He won’t yell at her. He won’t flinch at her quitting. He’ll straight up feed Flo BS to get her to do what he wants.

FLO: I’m not getting on this train.
ZACH: Just try and breathe. Relax. We have no idea if it’s 24 hours, that’s what Ian said. No idea. Do you want to look at the schedule ?
FLO: Okay.
….
ZACH: Oh, it is 24 hours.
FLO: I’m not doing it!
(Rinse and repeat for about 30 seconds.)

– Cut to the brothers having the fun music play as they comment on the insanity of rush hour traffic.

– Cue further Flo whining. No beer and no TV and one month of being with Flo make Zach go something something.

– Flo tries to rest on a bench then disco music plays, so she complains about that and goes to another terminal to sleep on a bench.

– GERARD: Y’all right?
ZACH: Define all right.

– Zach pulls off the brilliant strategy of buying air conditioned seats as opposed to a bed because he thinks that will be the biggest priority for Flo.

FLO: My foot’s asleep.
ZACH: That’s good. The more sleep the better at this stage.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. My favourite Zach quote to calm Flo.

– Everyone including Flo discusses if she’ll quit. The music comes on after 19 hours. She describes that she was hit by a truck.

– Ian, Teri, and Kenny talk about the Vietnam War and how beautiful a place it is and the people.

– I don’t know why they are re-airing the audio of Gerard reading the clue at the pit stop.

– FLO: I’m going to throw up.
ZACH: Do you want water?
FLO: No because I have to pee so bad.

Nothing will leave Flo 150 to 200 percent satisfied.

– If it were anyone besides Flo’s parents, they would have bashed their heads against the wall by this stage. Zach, the nurturing mother that he  is, tells his child Flo that they will take it one task at a time. This may be the best strategic move in the whole season. Consider that the twelfth leg is always a non-elimination. Therefore, what’s the rush if you won’t fall more than a couple hours behind? All you need to do is be in a competitive position to get back to the U.S. That is all Zach wants. Get Flo to the U.S. and she will be happy.

– Everyone searches for the pavilion. Now it’s time for a cab ride to Nam O Da Nang.

– IAN: I found it Teri! Here’s the box, Teri!
FLO: Shut up. He needs to shut his mouth.
(TERI and IAN start running.)
FLO: I don’t know why you guys persist on running. There’s no point. I hope you get real tired out.
IAN: Already tired out.
TERI: Can‘t be any more tired than we are now, Flo.
FLO: Good to know.

Good to know? Who is she? Jackie Berckhardt from That 70s Show? This whole conversation seems like it would be on MADtv or SNL making fun of TAR.

– Detour time. Basket boats or basket bikes. Paddle to an island or transport dozens of shrimp baskets.

– Kids are laughing at Gerard, Ian, and Teri doing the bikes. Flo and Zach opt to do the boat.
FLO: You need to help me because I can’t do this!

Another unnecessary roadblock for Zach.

FLO: I want out of this game.

If the detour were basket bikes or basket crying, Flo would be a star. If only a basket boat could be powered by the Tears of Flo and refusing to use a paddle as opposed to paddling.

FLO: I’m gonna quit this stupid game.
ZACH: I think we should really try to get the clue. You’re paddling your boat fine now.
FLO: Did you see how far it is?
ZACH: Yeah but you’re paddling it fine. You can do it.
FLO: I can’t do it. Get me out of here. AH WOHHHHHH.
ZACH (confessional):  Back to where we started. Flo gets stressed out in these situations and it’s part of my responsibility on this team to make sure she’s okay. I’ll do it til we win.
….
ZACH: Flo. Flo. Can we just talk for a second?
FLO: What?
ZACH: Can we talk?
FLO: No.
ZACH: If you’re gonna quit the game we should at least talk about it because I think you should throw the game. We should talk about it because it’s my game too. We should at least check out the bikes and see if it’s any easier. If we get the pit stop seven hours late we can still cross the finish line and have a good race.

GERARD (inside the cab): Is that Flo & Zach? They must be there and back from the island already.

–  Believe it or not, this is how you ride a bike.

– Flo and Zach switch detours.

FLO: I don’t think I can ride it.
ZACH: Well, first put on the helmet.
FLO: THERE’S NOT A CHANCE IN HELL I CAN PUSH IT! THERE’S NO WAY I CAN PUSH IT.
IAN (riding back): Coming through. Beep beep. Beep beep.
FLO: F– you Ian, seriously. F— you.
ZACH: Don’t walk it just pedal.
FLO: I’m not pedaling it it’s LEANING AGAINST MY BODY. This is an impossibility. It’s an impossibility.

I’ve never seen Flo cry to such an extreme. She is crying and gaping her mouth so much that she can barely speak.

FLO: I wanna go home. I want out. Out.
ZACH (confessional): I try to shower Flo with positive thoughts and hope something good comes out of it.

Zach proceeds to hire a local person to sit in the boat with Flo and paddle for her. Did anyone tell this guy that Flo may get a million dollars if he does this task?

– Ken & Gerard get a segment about experiencing a flat tire in a taxi and Gerard’s incredible ability to exchange it with the spare tire in the cab and how quickly he did it. Kenny watched the whole time.

– The Asian Cultural Music in TAR’s soundtrack plays as Teri & Ian snag the roadblock.

– Roadblock time. Use a wich to raise a fishing net that has the clue attached to it out of the water. Ian does the roadblock as Teri rides the boat to get the clue. It’s a 30 second roadblock it seems. China Beach is the pit stop.

– ZACH: Just relax. Take our time. We’ll get there when we get there.
(FLO mopes.)

– They constantly switch back and forth between the two teams running a great leg and the other team playing the ‘Just Don’t Let Flo Quit’ Game.

– IAN (confessional): I know I’m a bit overbearing on Teri. I didn’t think she was this strong and I can’t tell you how proud I am of her.


IAN: We’re coming Phil! Don’t outrun me–don’t outrun me!
PHIL: Ian, you seem to be getting happier.

Uh, not all the way there but he’s making progress. They’ve won two legs in a row. A Happy Ian is a frontrunner Ian.

– FLO (confessional): We get into the boat for the roadblock and it looks so peaceful. Finally I’m back to my old self.

FLO: My first smile of the day.
ZACH: I know, good. I’m happy to see it.

When they get to the pit stop, Flo gets to pick out a sticker and put it on a wall for being such a good sport today. Well, if she was two years old anyway.

– Other teams had their non-roadblock partner grab the clue. Not the case for Flo & Zach. Flo’s boat picks up Zach so Zach can grab the clue.

– FLO: The only thing keeping me sane is this diet coke as it reminds me of normal life.
ZACH: Good.
FLO: I may break down but I will never threaten to quit again.

WHAT?! SHE WILL NEVER QUIT AGAIN?! HOLY CRAAAAP!
Flo&Zach 11.11
Teri&Ian 3.7
Ken&Gerard 3.8

Final leg

———

not quit?

– Teri & Ian depart at 5:38am while Ken&Gerard depart at 5:52am. It looks like Flo&Zach will be finishing several hours behind.

– After going to a temple, teams discover they must fly to Hawaii and find the Big Kahuna.

– Ian gets behind the counter and yells at everyone including the other teams and Teri (although the latter is given). He speaks harshly until Kenny takes him aside and says he’s being rude but will help him book the same flight together. Wow. Leg 13 and Ian gets into his first alliance. Ian is completely oblivious to how rude he is as the other three people insist Gerard talks.

– GERARD: We’re in an alliance with Teri & Ian.
KEN: I think we have an alliance with Teri & Ian.
GERARD: How did that happen?

– Flo & Zach discover no more economy seats are available. Flo immediately takes to the bench as Zach leans across the counter and politely and calmly speaks to the lady who just dealt with Ian to try and get on this flight.

Promise broken one hour into the leg.

Zach buys business class tickets to Tokyo in hopes of being able to book tickets for economy class on the train by borrowing a stranger’s cell phone and call travel agencies. Using this tactic, Zach books the best flight to Hawaii. Yep. It’s been a one-man team for nearly the whole race.

– Zach goes to the hotel to pick up the golden tickets. He goes out of his way to mention the person who found the flight for him was Zume.

– Ian eyes the brothers as the brothers wander to the executive office in the airport to discover an earlier connecting flight. The same flight with Flo&Zach, no doubt. Teri&Ian wait until Tokyo to see if there’s an earlier flight but find out there’s only one seat left. They don’t get it and are instead stuck fifteen minutes later.

– The planes are delayed so the two flights are only fifteen minutes apart.

– They arrive in Hawaii and celebrate. Flo wastes no time to yell at Zach and say he’s not driving Ms. Daisy. No comment.

– All three teams remark on the Mustangs. Equalizer #1 as teams see the route marker won’t open until 10:00am. We are treated to the TAR suspense music with a Hawaiian flavour to it for a couple minutes.

– The Hawaiian ceremony commences. They drink a potion. Clap. And given a clue. Another flight for teams as they fly to some other place in Hawaii. Producers are definitely going out of their way to build suspense to the final minutes of the finale. A Guido experience is no longer welcome. They all get on the same flight.

– FLO: The ranch gate. It must be where the stupid ranch is.
You don’t say.

– Ken & Gerard get to the route marker with Flo & Zach right behind. Detour time. Quick Drop or Slow Walk. I can bet which one Flo&Zach will take.

– Plenty of censors as Ken & Gerard fly through the waterfall and into the water.

– Oh my. Flo decides to do the quick drop because she “wants to get out of the race by doing something risky”. So this is her idea of celebrating.

– Teams find out they’re going to Seattle, Washington.

– Teri & Ian do the detour last and stop bickering during the drop. Ian conquers a fear. Teri pwned him and made him do it.

– Flo&Zach and the brothers scramble to get on a flight to Seattle. Equalizer #3 as all three teams are on the same flight to the final task. Twenty hours of travel is condensed into thirty seconds.

– All three teams get to Kerry Park by taxi and now race on-foot to the International Fountain. Flo&Zach separate from the pack. Zach thinks he read a map correctly to know where to go. Too bad Gerard & Ken get there first. They look to be in line for the win. Teri & Ian are second. Flo & Zach third. They’re going to Lincoln Park. Hide your kids and hide your wife, Ian.

– Flo yells at Ian
FLO: I’m really gonna get mad! Stop giving me wrong directions if you’re not sure!
(ZACH proceeds to ask for directions to Lincoln Park as FLO keeps yelling.)
FLO: You insist on not being honest with me about where we’re going. Oh my god now we’re third despite running our a–es off.

FLO: You could’ve said ‘you know what, I don’t know where we’re going,’ and you led the wrong way. It’s a very big deal.
ZACH: So I took us to the Seattle Centre.
FLO: To the Space Needle, and if you look on the map, you’d see the space needle here and the fountain is here.

Flo’s map of the distance between the space needle and the fountain.

– Flo & Zach arrive at the roadblock first. -_-

ZACH (snickering): You want it?
FLO: No!
ZACH: Okay, I’ll do it.
FLO: Go, go, go!
Zach does the roadblock. Rotate the animals in the correct order that they appeared in the race. Flo manages to yell at Zach before, during, and after the roadblock. She does sneak an ‘I Love You’. Zach finishes first and they can ride a taxi to the pit stop. Teri & Ian are behind while Ken & Gerard are just behind.

– Over two minutes of suspense. The audience drops their jaw to see Flo & Zach emerge onto the scene. Flo whined, complained, and nearly quit and becomes a winner of The Amazing Race. They are absolutely shocked. They assumed Ken & Gerard won. We were hoping that were true too.

– The teams reflect on everything they come away with the race and improved friendships, relationships, etc.

Flo&Zach 15.12
Teri&Ian 3.7
Ken&Gerard 3.6

Best to Worst Legs:

Leg 5: Lisbon -> Fes (The Kevin Nash episode. Get it? Diesel? OK, WWF reference aside, this is TAR’s best episode ever. You have teams leaving close together and new coalitions being formed. Flo has her first full-length featured meltdown along with a  couple of smaller ones. Teams make a mistake that has never been made ever again in TAR history. Four teams make a potential race-ending blunder but the Class A racers in this position separated from a Class B racer. Silver & Gold go from last to first to last to not last in a period of fifteen hours. Michael & Kathy have a storyline of their relationship that comes full circle. The music is great during the episode too. It is extremely memorable. I’ll look past the ferry and charter bus equalizer that both take place right before the roadblock. I have a feeling there was an additional task that wasn’t shown, though. They spent over ten minutes on teams breaking down.)

Leg 11: Singapore -> Ho Chi Minh City (Ken & Gerard lock in the record for fastest flight out of a pit stop. Ian gets his first set of fans after this episode and is overall a little less hated. Flo yells, cries, and threatens to quit because Zach wouldn’t cut in a line at the start of the leg. TAR gets its first taste of bad weather on the race course which makes the leg very distinct. The twins and the brothers face off in the penultimate elimination leg which results in the twins exposing their first weakness since their eleventh place finish in the opening leg of the race. Flo being the one who screwed the twins out of the race is even better and makes the finish even crazier. The Twin hunt is over and its champion is Flo. Yeah, who wasn’t surprised by that? Vietnam, you numba one!!!)

Leg 4: Stonehaven -> Lisbon (The only episode I watched in a public school. Heather & Eve’s exit is very satisfying and the way they get eliminated is rather memorable. It’s refreshing to see Andre & Damon and Teri & Ian get out of the pack. The leader board gets its first shake-up since leg one. This leg is high up simply because of the personal significance this round has for me.)

Leg 6: Fes -> Marrakech (We get a feel for all remaining teams except Gold & Silver who fail to perform well all leg and are ignored except for one minute of the leg. Seeing FOUR teams go for the Fast Forward is a big highlight for the series and is something that makes me wonder why producers wanted to all but make the Fast Forward extinct. You can’t beat the drama of an old couple beating out New York’s Sweethearts in finding the correct piece of carpet. Andre & Damon’s arrest, while infuriating at the time, has held up surprisingly well as a historic moment in TAR after twenty seasons. Teams fighting with other teams? That’s commonplace thanks to production encouraging it. Teams losing their passports? That’s commonplace thanks to production casting increasingly flawed teams. Teams getting arrested by police in Africa? Now that is something special. It’s a bit freaky with how it cuts to commercial too.)

Leg 12: Ho Chi Minh City -> China Beach (If you want to see Flo complain for an entire leg from start to finish this is your leg. The other two teams are an afterthought as you watch the leg because this may be the biggest train wreck of a leg that anyone in TAR history has gone through. There was ONE smile by Flo during the leg. For the rest of the time she was crying, yelling, moping, refused to run, swore at Teri and Ian, and quit at least six times that made it on the final cut of the episode. I don’t think an individual team has ever dominated the airtime like this in TAR history. 90% of the time it’s because producers want to air the more marketable team, but in this episode it is well-earned. Nobody has gone through a leg like Flo before or since. Zach’s dynamic in the relationship was very well presented too. Best non-elimination leg ever?)

Leg 2: Mexico City -> Tulum (San Ma-Rin-O Ma-Rin-A. With Teri & Ian jokes aside, this was an entertaining episode. The start of the leg forces teams to drive for 5-6 hours which TAR earns major props for. Andre & Damon join the Gutsy Grannies as the only two teams to sleep in at the pit stop. Although tasks such as jet skiing and swimming in a little pool to find clues may not be difficult, old people and TNT falling over the jet ski numerous times and the fact Michael volunteers to swim when he CAN’T SWIM makes it entertaining. A bus crashing for the first (and only?) time in TAR’s history is a highlight. Despite my favourite team going home, I think this was one of the best legs in TAR’s history as a fair introduction to every team that was racing, which considering there is eleven teams, is a tough task to do. This leg has a very legitimate design to it and earns points for that.)

Leg 7: Marrakech -> Fussen (Its low ranking is not like the first two seasons where any leg below this point was a mediocre leg. I liked the scramble through the clogged airports. Andre & Damon couldn’t catch a break thanks to being in a sour mood after being arrested in the leg prior. The pumping up of rivalries between the five teams was fantastic because even though none of them are eliminated it’s still an elimination leg. The twins shouting at each other, everyone opposing Teri & Ian, Flo’s second major outburst of the season, and one of the worst looking flat tires I have ever seen makes for an enjoyable leg to watch.)

Leg 3: Cancun -> Stonehaven (A fun leg. I didn’t like how there was a mini bunching for the roadblock so close to the end of the leg but luckily Dennis & Andrew struggled with booking tickets without being told to fly ‘A’ or ‘B’ for the first time to ensure this never came into play. They are the first team to arrive in  last despite using the fast forward and get eliminated. Teri & Ian vs. Andre & Damon’s unlikely rivalry continued. Gerard steering a punt is one of the funniest race moments ever. The ridiculous Twin Hunting mini storyline. Ian’s incessant yelling.)

Leg 10: Montreaux -> Singapore (Flo & Zach fight for the whole episode. The tasks were underwhelming compared to the first nine legs. This doesn’t mean it was a bad leg. I merely feel indifferent towards the overall content. Gerard somersaulting out of the fountain was humorous. Following Flo’s logic of screaming in arguments gave me a headache. Too bad John Vito & Jill lose because of poor directions.)

Leg 1: Miami -> Mexico City (Yep, the first premiere to be beaten by a leg other than the finale. I think this is where the idea of twelve teams at the start may backfire. It wasn’t too hilarious except for Ken & Gerard or Tramel dodging people parachuting. The focus on Gina & Sylvia giving their motivational speech makes me roll my eyes too and desire that we get to know the teams more in-depth than reality television clichés. Heather & Eve did fall on their face shortly after begging for money in an airport, though. Tramel & Talicia’s dance may be the biggest celebration for a team regardless if it was the final leg and they won the million dollars.)

Leg 9: Grindelwald -> Monteux (Two non-elimination legs in a row? Everyone wondered if a second one was picked for the sole purpose of saving Flo & Zach and putting John Vito & Jill into danger again. At least there was about three less equalizers this leg in contrast with the previous leg. I s’pose combining this leg and last leg combines for a much better told story though. On their own they flat out suck.)

Leg 13: Hanoi -> Seattle (Season three and production still struggled with how to formulate the final leg. I couldn’t blog anything interesting for the whole episode which likely resulted in you wondering why my leg 13 recap seems extraordinarily bland. You either have a big payoff with the finale and it will wind up near the top of this list or it fails and it’s at the bottom. Evidently, the latter occurred. There wasn’t any memorable tasks. In fact, the teams didn’t have to do much of anything except find Kerry Park on their own. There wasn’t anything funny. There wasn’t anything entertaining. Rewind back to everyone’s reaction when this first aired in 2002. My mom was yelling at the TV for the entire final hour because Flo hadn’t quit in the previous hour, and when she crossed that finish line first, my mom and anyone else I knew couldn’t believe it. That wasn’t the outcome that was supposed to happen. Were we in a bad dream?
I remember talking to my sixth grade teacher about the finale and how shocked we were that Flo won. I also remember Rosie O’ Donnell interviewing Flo and Zach and insisted that Zach gets $990, 000 of the one million dollar prize. The great thing is Flo owns up to it in every interview. The only question Zach ever gets is “how do you put up with her?”)

Leg 8: Fussen -> Grindelwald (Equalizer. Equalizer. Equalizer. Equalizer. John Vito can’t wink with one eye. This leg has zero inspiration to it. Does anyone remember this leg ever happened? I am confused what producers wanted us to think from this episode.)

Worst to best teams:

Note that the absolute bottom on this list would put you around average on most of my future cast rankings.

12) Heather & Eve. (You promise at the start that you’re not just big ditzes on the race. First leg you beg for money at an airport using sex appeal. Then Eve whines and whines and whines and whines without any personality whatsoever. Heather is okay because she didn’t complain but my goodness, booking a flight for four teams? Saying you’re too strong to do a hammer throw? Being the first team to not know how to drive a stick? One of the most satisfying eliminations ever.)

11) Dennis & Andrew (The team made headlines for Andrew being gay and Dennis not approving of it. Once they get in the race they’re fine and Dennis turns into someone who has zero charisma and is an extremely flat personality. Add in that the only thing they ever talk about is Andrew being gay and you have a team that you want to go home early. Luckily that wish came true.)

10) Gina & Sylvia (It’s hard to root for a team that has 90% of their airtime consist of uttering clichés that belong on Extreme Makeover Home Edition.)

9) Derek & Drew (Did two male models without much personality really need to be on this show? If it weren’t for the twin hunt or Flo romance storylines, these guys would have zero storyline. They have more storyline than any other team but yet on their own their personalities aren’t really distinct. All I know is that Derek takes the big brother role and yells at Drew who seems to have an inability to navigate or drive.)

8) Silver & Gold (I was checking comments on a site about what people thought for TAR 3, and I was surprised how hated this team was. They were viewed as being exceptionally critical of everyone else which I find amusing because fans are being critical of this team for being critical about others. That’s one of the reasons that makes competitive reality TV so intriguing is that the fans interact too. For me it’s that I thought they were fine but I was satisfied with them finishing seventh overall. I was content with how long they lasted in this group. They might be higher if they focused less on the twins.)

7) Andre & Damon (They may be a firefighter and a police officer, but they are certainly not globetrotters. Andre doesn’t speak until the leg he is eliminated or to explain his brilliant strategy of following the other teams to avoid falling to the back of the pack. This is a team that had final 3 written all over them but their inability to do anything that required navigating route markers put them dead last. I like these two and they are very nice people and they are champs for withstanding being detained, but in terms of characters or racers they fit in really well at seventh. They ran red lights and stalked an old couple with binoculars, too.)

6) Flo & Zach (One of the biggest contrasts within a team in the history of the race. They have one of the best story arcs in TAR history. Zach turns into a father figure while Flo turns into his only child. Zach did everything. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Flo employed every single move, or lack of moves rather, that makes them the most bizarre success story. How do they always finish in the top five on every single leg? We know Flo isn’t the reason. Therefore, Zach is so good that he can do twice the workload of any person in the history of the race and still finish in the top 5 in every leg. Flo dated Drew for six years as a result of flirting with him on the race despite her being labeled as a dating couple with Zach at the start. Zach not only did ten out of eleven roadblocks but he did additional tasks such as physically carrying Flo off every single mode of transportation and essentially guide every single mode of transportation for her. Even Mirna had to do less work than Zach! If only Zach had an ounce of verbal negativity in his body, we would’ve seen a Teri & Ian victory.)

5) Tramel & Talicia (When I was initially watching their pre-show interviews and their two-leg venture back in the sixth grade, they were the team I rooted for the most. I thought I’d have them ranked as number one on this list. But you know what? Their Team TNT crap was redundant in leg two. If they dropped that gimmick, they’d be number one. However, because they weren’t on longer to have their TNT leg 2 stint to dilute over a course of several episodes, they must drop to #5. Would still love to meet them, though.)

4) John Vito & Jill (They were very self-aware during the race and strictly get through the race by encouragement. I couldn’t care less about the brother dying in 9/11. That has zero influence on them being this high in the list. They are two kind racers and one of few couples who don’t bicker at all during the race. I think the closest was when they jokingly argued about eating cheese or John Vito hiding the bottle for the first route marker in leg four. Two very obscure references that I just made. This is a team I would love to hang out with. It’s too bad they couldn’t have grandchildren, then children, then get married together.)

3) Teri & Ian (The only older couple that doesn’t get the “poor me root for us because we’re old” edit. Dave & Maragetta, Nancy, Peggy, and Claire all got the “poor me” edit. Luckily Teri & Ian were the first truly competitive older team that much of the audience hates to this day, they yelled at each other, they yelled at others, but they both raced in a really smart style once they get through the first three legs. Production was absolute geniuses to get them on the all-star edition. They are a three-dimensional team. It’s funny that these two and Flo & Zach finish in the top two of the season despite being the bottom two in terms of being liked by the audience. What an unlikely rivalry.)

2) Michael & Kathy (It’s very tough for a dating couple to be likeable in TAR. Fortunately the only two dating couples in this season were both very likeable. Michael may be one of my favourite racers ever. I didn’t notice it before but on this re-watch production gives him plenty of narration and it pays off well. I think the quality of the first few episodes would drop if Michael didn’t have his sense of humour when describing Heather & Eve as “chicken heads barking in my ear” and pulling out G-Funk lingo without much hesitation. I wish they lasted longer, but eh, sometimes those things happen on TAR. They’re both married now.)

1) Ken & Gerard (The exceptionally hilarious brothers. They kept it cool and seemed to goof off whenever they had enough wiggle room to do so. These two were great at bringing comic relief along with being very unlikely powerhouses throughout the season. Gerard was an ace with the map and tasks while Ken did great at filling any holes in their game and working with other teams. They have some of the best confessionals in terms of their ability make fun of other teams. Phil would talk about these two appearing on an all-star over the next eight seasons but when the producers chose which of Phil’s 15-team list would be chosen, these two were given the shaft. When Phil Keoghan mentions you specifically in his good books for every pre-season promotion, you know you were real stars. Besides, Ken wished me a happy birthday on Facebook last summer. Did any of the other three hundred plus people in TAR wish me a happy birthday? Noooooooo. (Except Tammy Gaghan.)

12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Concluding thoughts:

The Mole 2 concluded on TV one month prior to TAR 3’s airing. TAR 3 aired along with Survivor: Thailand. This was truly the pinnacle of my obsession with the competitive reality shows because the three giants put out their best seasons in the whole series (Yes, most people hate Thailand, but it’s an easy 7th in my Survivor ranking.) If it weren’t for these three shows putting out each of these three seasons in the same six month span, you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

Did this season have a really weak beginning and one of its worst endings ever? Yep, it unfortunately did. However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it had the best teams to make it to the double non-elimination point and for the most part an incredible boot order. The route was unique and well-planned almost the whole way through and the intra-personal conflicts made this season extremely fun to watch. Keep in mind that no other season has as memorable of a stretch during the early and middle parts of the season. TAR 3 stands alone in that category. Fast forwards on every leg, the first drop in non-eliminations, and one of only twelve-team seasons where production doesn’t have a stupid elimination ten minutes into the episode results in TAR’s best format to date.

In conclusion, 10 ¾ of the race is great, but it’s the middle 1 ½ legs and final leg that sharply reduce the season’s quality. Because the second season had crappy winners who finished last twice during the game too, there isn’t much where TAR 3 can fall behind TAR 2. They’re both similar seasons except TAR 3 is more updated and has more sentimental value for me.

P.S. You know how everyone moans about how an all-female team never wins TAR and goes out of their way to make a big deal about it to cause me a gigantic headache? Well, the first female to win TAR is Flo. It baffles me that an-all female team winning is supposed to be some big deal given the very first victorious female is modeled after Flo. Also, by the time we get to TAR 14/15, the tasks and the race has been so massacred that even if an all-female team wins, it isn’t even legitimate anymore, and anybody over the age of 20 have zero chance anymore too unless the race cuts out its obsession with quick puzzles.

Rating: 8.7

1. The Amazing Race 3
2. The Amazing Race 2
3. The Amazing Race (1)

The Amazing Race 4

COUNTRIES VISITED:

USA, ITALY, AUSTRIA, FRANCE, NETHERLANDS, INDIA, MALAYSIA, SOUTH KOREA, AUSTRALIA

Following an excellent third season of TAR, the series would be forced into its first hiatus. As opposed to airing its fourth season in February the execs delayed it until the start of the summer slot in June. Many people thought this was a sign of the beginning of the end for TAR (we certainly were proved wrong). So what’s different from season four compared to season three in terms of format changes? None.

Twelve teams, three non-elimination legs, weekly fast forwards, and open booking for flights. I find this to be unusual for a show that is put on hiatus and then brought back without any changes to its format. This will be the last season to feature a twelve-team format that doesn’t resort to a ludicrous ten-minute elimination.

However, there is one noticeable change — the route. In seasons past, legs in central Europe were served up as non-elimination legs during the midpoint of the race. This season we see production go a different direction. We don’t go to ‘exotic’ locations like Africa, South America, or Central America to start the journey. Instead production shoots us off to metro Central Europe for the first several legs. Is that much of a hook for viewers? I don’t know. But let’s get to episode one.

First leg

Phil is standing on a tall building in Los Angeles. Wearing a turtle neck. No more everglades and deserts for him anymore. We are in the era of spamming Los Angeles as the starting line. Let’s meet our teams.

– TIAN: Girls have it easier than men in a lot of situations.
JAREE: If you need to catch a ride, or get information, thank god we’re good looking.

OH HOH HOH. Did the editors insert this confessional as a joke? Wait until you get to India. That’s the most ironic opening confessional in TAR history.


I wonder if they’re shooting a laptop? Tommy Jordan has made it all the rage these days.

– STEVE: We plan on doing the whole race without breaking a sweat.


Tasting the mustache of victory.

– Who’s our next team?

Why it’s Reichen and Donkey Kong! TAR has to resort to stunt casting by season four? WTF?

– PHIL: Millie & Chuck. Dating for twelve years and virgins from Tennessee.

ME: Logan Saunders. A university student blogging about competitive reality TV. Not dating. AND  a virgin. From BC.

I thought TAR was better than that. They’re going to be labeled as virgins, which means we assume they’re hardcore Christians from the South, which means they must be a fan favourite because they’re oh so pure? Okay, maybe I got carried away a little.

Virgins. With a farm in the background. Heh. Looks like I was right.

– Steve and Josh. A father and son who do not get along. This time however the son is not gay. Instead he gets the disability of looking like a mix of Rivers Cuomo and Squints from The Sandlot.

Hopefully they’re a step up from Dennis and Andrew’s confessional entertainment ability.

– Russell and Cindy get a messed up intro. Why? This is their opening confessional:


That’s right. It’s ten seconds where they each give a separate confessional. I believe this is the producers’ way of communicating that they are atrocious giving confessionals together, and that they’re boring when they combing for less than ten seconds in their intro.

– Phil get to use his Kiwi accent when the name of the first member starts with the letter ‘A’. It’s “Monica ARND  Sheree”. Gotta love the accent.


You two wouldn’t be married to NFL players, would you?

Oh and get used to the fact they’re married to pro athletes. It comes up A LOT. At least Hogeboom hides it. Grant didn’t care to mention it. Taj held off for three episodes to talk about Eddie George. It won’t be until Jimmy Johnson, Amani & Marcus and Monica Culpepper that you hear so many NFL analogies and stories heard on TAR and Survivor. For now we get to experience the producer’s first attempt at balancing the ‘we know/are pro athletes’ edit.

– David & Jeff.

David. And Jeff.

The obligatory dating couple that has nothing particularly special about them. For some reason whenever I see a generic dating couple on TAR I always assume they were on Couples Fear Factor. I also always look them up if it’s true and find out I was delusional.

What you need to know about this couple: Other teams will think they’re hicks because they’re from South Dakota (despite it being in the top 10 most northern states in the continental U.S.)

JON: We both have type A personalities.

Pics or it doesn’t happen.

– STEVE: We’re fat, we’re forty–
DEBRA: And we’re fun!

I hate them already. This is from their audition tape. My guess is they rehearsed that line for six months. I’ll set the over/under at six months. Place your bets.


Note how Debra has her hand positioned the same way when viewers see them on TV.

– The clowns. Prepare your fantard packs as you see Jon and Al in all of their greatness!


Stop clowning around and get serious about this race you  blundering fools!

– They’re in Dodger Stadium. Overly dramatic music plays. They run awfully short distance to get to their bags. Did they want mayhem with 22 people running in a small line? Debra has zero cardio. Is it possible to fall that far behind in a 100 ft. sprint?

– I’ve never seen the streets of LA look so desolate. They must’ve blocked traffic.

– Tian & Jaree can’t close the trunk. Too bad there isn’t a man around to help them. They have to ask for a replacement car. Patriarchy: 1 Feminism: 0

– Russell and Cindy continue to give separate confessionals. Seriously, what up with that?

– JON: Oh no he di’int.
KELLY: He’s gonna be the serious macho man and I’m gonna be ‘woo hoo! Let’s have fun’.

Ironyyyyyyyyyyyy.

– Amanda has managed to drop ten F bombs in less than a minute of airtime.

– A cop could’ve pulled the NFL wives over, but they ask for directions. Monica says they’re not just married to professional athletes and get all the luxuries. I’m sure asking a cop for directions must be proof to disprove our theories.

– JAREE: How do I get to the airport?
MAN in store: I just told you three times.
JAREE: I still don’t know.

Patriarchy: 2 Feminism: 0.

Everyone yells at the driver to not let Monica on. If only she could scream through the door that she’s married to a professional athlete.

And even Rosa Parks was able to get a seat on the bus.

– How do Jon & Al celebrate when they get tickets on the first flight?

Why, by a regular celebration of balancing a clue on your nose!

– Josh decides to buy tickets for Steve & Dave who are behind Monica & Sheree. Guess what? This conniving move forces Monica & Sheree off the flight. The other teams have conspired them to not get on a bus and to cut them out of the first flight. Los Angeles is a heartless city.

– David & Jeff and Reichen & DK team up to ensure they’re not last. Debra & Steve, Monica & Sheree, Tian & Jaree join them on the final flight.

– First flight is delayed. The first two flights arrive ten minutes apart. The seven teams are essentially clumped together. We’re in Milan.

– Kelly & Jon and Russell have been to Milan before. As per usual, this will prove to be irrelevant. Have you tried to search a Milan gallery for hidden charter bus tickets? Ooooo. The buses leave at 2:00am, 4:00am, and 6:00am. Once you take one you cannot exchange it. So basically it’s the exact same task we watched the teams do for the first twenty minutes of the episode.

– What happens with the two teams that have been to Milan? They pick the 4:00am bus. Milan experience has let them down.

– The virgins use their untainted mind to find the 2: 00am bus.

Is she doing push-ups? Nope, that’s Debra falling in an airport. All of her fat, fun, and fortiness sprawled on the canvas. This is going to be a long race for her.

– Steve & Josh, which consists of Steve who has never left the country ends up on 2:00am. So do the air traffic controllers who look like they haven’t left their town.

– Debra & Steve willingly take the 6:00am bus. You do know there was a 4:00am bus in existence, right? So much for beating the teams mentally.

– Josh takes Monica & Sheree to the 4: 00am bus to make up for their stunt earlier. Josh is employing some of the best social TAR strategy I’ve seen. He brings out-of-shape air traffic controllers to the front of the pack and gives the team he screwed over a minor victory knowing full well he wouldn’t have done anything if there wasn’t a semi-equalizer. His other reasoning for doing this?

JOSH: I felt like they needed the help and I don’t want tose two blonde chicks with the fake tits up in there so, yeah.

Patriarchy: 3 Feminism: 0.

– Debra & Steve didn’t want to spend money on a room. They go to a restaurant (where they spend money) to think about it. When they come back the rooms are all booked. DK lets them share the room with them. How is the plan of beating teams mentally?

– Russell and Cindy sleep on a bench. They have separate confessionals to slam each other. They’re a couple! Not a separated couple. Not recent divorcees. What the heck are the editors trying to shove down our throats?

– The bus takes them to Cortina D’ampezzo. We’re off toe Cinque Torri. It’s essentially a ski resort in the alps.

– Detour time. Search the alps for a beacon that has keys to a jet mobile. Or Rescue where you go on a fast zipline.

A picture is worth a thousand words. Or a thousand turtlenecks.

– Pit stop time with 24 minutes to go. The pit stop is a hotel not far from the ski resort. So all they get to do in a 90-minute premiere is to go across a zipline and find tickets.

– Monica & Sheree are two hours ahead of the trailing pack. Apparently going to Cinque Torri and doing a detour is too challenging and decide to go for a fast forward. Teams need to decide when it’s most advantageous to go for it; I can’t say Monica & Sheree listened to Phil’s advice.

– CHRIS (yelling at Amanda who came to a complete stop on the hill): C’mon Flo!

Hahahahahaha. I forgot about that quote. TAR doesn’t air too many quotes in reference to past seasons unless it’s an all-star. Chris may have become my favourite for saying this. She curses several times but is smiling. She may be a b— but she ain’t no Flo.

–  Steve waits behind Dave as he stands still. Steve cuts in front. Dave takes a step and his knee blows out. I think he broke a sweat.

Sweating and breaking a knee. This wasn’t part of our game plan! What’s next? I lose my walrus mustache?!

– Here we go. Amanda & Chris, Millie & Chuck, and Steve & Josh all travel to the pit stop and arrive together at once. Phil frowns. So do the sponsours. Why? They’re all team number one and they ALL won a vacation for seven days to beautiful Hawaii courtesy of American Airlines. Prediction: American Airlines goes broke and does not return as a sponsour for TAR.

– We follow Steve & Dave for another two minutes as Dave struggles up and down the hills. They share a tender moment.

– Monica & Sheree are team number four. You say won’t second guess your decision to use it but I certainly would. You don’t get a trip, you’re in the middle of the pack as you were earlier, and you no longer have a fast forward.

– Jaree calls for a taxi, and in exchange she is offered to stay for coffee. Too bad the taxi comes before she can taste it. That’s one fast taxi.

– REICHEN: Chip and I are a force. We’re coming up slowly and quietly.

Why use that quote? Hmmmm.

– Russell & Cindy get about ten seconds for the detour and checking into the pit stop combined.

– This is Debra & Steve’s worst nightmare. They are forced to do a zipline and run around  a 5, 000 foot mountain. At least they don’t have to resort to their  mental abilities. I don’t know which is worse.

– It’s between Tian & Jaree and Debra & Steve. Tian and Jaree attach their fanny packs as Tian runs like a workhorse to drag Jaree a la jet ski. Oh, and there’s still David & Jeff.

– Tian and Jaree are stationary waiting for a taxi. I would personally run out or ask locals where to find one but Jaree’s shot cardio hinders them. That’s what smoking does to you.

– So this season takes longer to build suspense. It takes twenty seconds before we find out who is eleventh.

Patriarchy: 3 Feminism: .1

They’re barely in the race.

– Debra and Steve wind up in last place. They had fun and couldn’t care less they were eliminated. Neither can we.

Tian&Jaree 2.3
Steve&Dave 5.7
Reichen&DK 5.2
Millie&Chuck 5.3
Steve&Josh 2.3
Russell&Cindy 4.5
Monica&Sheree 5.3
David&Jeff 4.4
Amanda&Chris 4.6
Kelly&Jon 5.2
Debra&Steve 5.8
Jon&Al 2.2

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Second leg

Previously on TAR: Steve & Josh caused controversy by letting Steve & Dave get ahead. But we won’t acknowledge Monica & Sheree are fine with them because Josh made it up to them. Tian and Jaree fought in the path to eleventh. Debra and Steve are eliminated and will not be acknowledged ever again in TAR history (except for me. All hail Debra & Steve! A team that has an anger level that is milder than the Flanders’ family! And no, that’s not a reference to the team that gets cut in TAR 8.)

– Will the alliance between the top three teams stay intact? And will Tian & Jaree stay alive? The adventure continues at 11:52pm.

– Off to the Trampolino Olimpico where they shall snow raft.

– CHUCK: If being virgins for twelve years don’t show our will and determination I don’t know what will.

Let’s get one thing straight, dear Chuck. There is no will and determination in being a virgin. People who are virgins are typically turned off by the idea of sex, they’re too afraid to engage in such an act, or they’re socially worthless that nobody wants to have sex with them. In other words, nobody buys your explanation. Sorry.

– Millie & Chuck agree to an alliance. Seeing as how Team Dagger was successful in TUF maybe another pointless alliance will work out.

– Millie and Chuck get to the bottom (well of the hill. Certainly not of each other). They’re waiting for the other two teams to head to Venice.

– Amanda does the strangest squirrely squeak when she finds out she’s going to Venice. Go replay the audio. It’s some of the funkiest TAR audio you’ll ever hear.

– MONICA: Sheree and I are best friends. Although we have the luxury of being married to professional athletes we’d like to prove to the world that we are very strong women.

For the second episode in a row the NFL Wives’ opening confessional directly relates to having luxuries through marrying pro athletes.

– Ever wondered how much TAR can take its toll on you after one leg?

Not only does his partner have a messed up knee, but Steve has a black eye after his body had an allergic reaction to all of the sweat that he emitted in the previous leg. His body is as shocked as he is that he broke a sweat.

– Steve & Dave plan to steal the cab from the next team that arrives at the bottom of the hill. Unfortunately that might be a problem if teams can’t follow directions:

Kelly & Jon foil the BFG’s plans when they decide to get dropped off the top and slide down the hill on their butt as opposed to using a raft.

DAVE: Who is that? I want to see who these two idiots are. It’s Kelly and her boyfriend. I didn’t think they were that stupid.

DAVE: What a bunch of idiots. I can’t believe they’d really yawn like that.

– Monica & Sheree tell Reichen & DK that the leading four teams are plotting to get them out. After Steve & Josh’s incident to not honour the lines at the airport in the previous leg, this sets off Reichen  DK. They’re going to hold onto the door of the metro office until it opens. They proceed to physically intimidate Steve. Well, not the Steve from Debra & Steve. And not Steve from Steve & Dave. But rather Steve from Steve & Josh.

– Oh. Al announces a bus is waiting outside that is leaving in three minutes. All of the teams who are there (which is everyone except Team Feminism and Kelly & Jon) pile onto the bus while Reichen and Chip have to undo the superglue they used to attach their hands to the door and follow them. It’s one of those minor hilarious ironic moments in TAR that gets lost through the ages. It’s one I always seem to remember for some reason.

– The two teams wonder where everyone is while the camera cuts to the victory music for the other nine teams.

– Detour time. Waterway or pathway. In other words, use a provided map to travel by gondola or walk through the narrow streets and ask people to get to the next route marker.
– Four teams are ahead of the Virgins on the gondola. They decide to commit Poor TAR Strategy 101 and break away from the leading pack because they were too frazzled by the traffic. Such a foolish decision.

Or maybe not. Hey, did anyone notice that there isn’t “Dating 12 years/Virgins” under their names for once?

– Tian and Jaree fight on the train. Kelly pulls out her best “Mr. Thompson” voice to indicate the feminists are fighting.

– Kelly and Jon get lost. Kelly makes fun of his New York attitude after they got lost. She waves her hands in the air.

Is that Dance Like an Egyptian or Dance Like A New Yorker? You be the judge.

– Equalizer. An obvious pre-planned equalizer too. Why? Because it opens at 5:00pm. When teams leave at midnight and get to the new city in the morning there should be no reason why the next task has to wait until 5:00pm to open. Producers are angling for suspense heading into the final task of the leg. They want a foot race?

– Who doesn’t like a foot race?

But first. . .

Another turtleneck sighting!

– So who doesn’t like a foot race?

These guys!

– JON: We had six hours to kill before the place opened. . .

This is how Jon kills time? Some read a book. Some surf the Net. Others balance a bike in their mouth. I love how this is a two second shot that is meant to be casual.

-Steve and Dave win the leg. The other ten teams scramble to grab a clue for a dreary rainy roadblock. Enter a masquerade to match a photo of a mask with the person who is wearing the mask in the masquerade ball. Only four can participate at a time. Therefore, people like Steve & Josh and Jon & Al screw up by wasting time in town and end up at the back of the line.

– Russell, Josh, Monica, and DK are the first four inside. We get into Big Brother challenge mode where the camera cuts to each person participating in the challenge and summarizes every detail about what they are doing in the roadblock. TAR viewers aren’t idiots like BB viewers, dear producers.

– Josh fails. DK succeeds. Run to the pit stop. Russell succeeds. Monica walks around. Jaree succeeds. Jeff succeeds. NY Jon succeeds. Chris fails. Josh succeeds.
– Reichen & DK crack into second thanks to the almighty equalizer.

– Jon’s excellent sense of direction helps him and Kelly leapfrog ahead five slots and pull out a third place finish. They were absolutely saved by the equalizer considering they were dead last only three hours earlier.

KELLY: The race really helps us communicate better because we realize we have to work as a team there’s no ‘I’m right, you’re wrong’ — (confessional cuts)

Sorry editors. Had to point out how unnatural that cut was.

– Tian & Jaree, David & Jeff, Jon & Al finish.

– Chris fails for a second time. Millie succeeds. Russell & Cindy finish after not having a single confessional together yet again. Millie & Chuck finish. Millie is having a hard time catching her breath. Oh. Bahahahaahahahahaha.

– Steve & Josh are ninth. Monica succeeds. Chris is stuck at the roadblock. He succeeds finally.

– A minute of suspense now. NFL wives or Amanda ernd Chris?

– NFL wives and their clichés are tenth and stay alive to annoy us all!

– The couple that finished in first are now dead last. They can’t be too sad considering who sends them on their way out:

Turn that frown upside down, dear children!

Tian&Jaree 2.1
Steve&Dave 3.1
Reichen&DK 6.5
Millie&Chuck 3.5
Steve&Josh 1.5
Russell&Cindy 3.3
Monica&Sheree 4.0
David&Jeff 1.0
Amanda&Chris 1.9
Kelly&Jon 4.1
Jon&Al 1.3

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Third leg

Previously on TAR: Reichen calls Steve & Josh “Weezer & Geezer” so viewers don’t argue amongst themselves when they’re trying to understand which Steve they’re talking about. Reichen put his backpack in front of the door but we’re not explained why so the segment won’t make sense. Russell & Cindy, who rarely speak to each other apparently have talked enough for tempers to flare. Just for the hell of it, we’ll mention Tian & Jaree are fighting too.  Amanda & Chris were eliminated because Amanda says Chris was a jerk. Four teams have been mentioned: Which one of these four teams will be eliminated tonight?

– Phil asks will Steve & Dave be able to stay in despite lingering pains from injuries sustained on the first leg?

With a cut knee, an abused liver, and forcing all of your weight onto one leg, the cure for all of these pains is heart-clogging chicken wings! Dave means business. Steve needs to eat more wings if he wants to be as prepared as Dave heading into the next leg. Protect that lead, boys!

– Phil asks will Cindy try to get in closer with Russell to get to the front of the pack. I don’t know–oh Steve & Dave who sat down to eat Leif Manson at 2:45pm, licked their plates clean to check out of the pit stop at 2:45am.

– Leg three and we’re leaving Italy. However, it’s only a train ride as opposed to the typical thousand mile plane rides we see at this point. The previous leg must’ve taken around fifteen hours total with that math then.

– Reichen thinks the rest of the competition views him as arrogant.

– Kelly wants to be fifty percent as opposed to two percent of the team. She ain’t no milk variant, Jon. Her version of 50/50 is to yell at Jon to come on. By that logic, Flo was one hundred percent of the team last season.

– Teams are departing by 5:19am. Let’s think on that for a bit. The roadblock from last leg started at 5:00pm.  So to complete the roadblock AND get to the pit stop can take as little as twenty minutes? That means some teams were faster than how long the roadblock took for all nine teams on TV. That’s a technical foul by production. Horrible equalizer. But I digress.

– Cindy gets another solo confessional. Three legs and they’re still two separate teams.

– Millie and Chuck have very disjointed confessionals. Chuck says he doesn’t know if he wants to get married or not. Millie can’t wait Chuck forever again.

– Monica says being professional athletes told them it’s not over until it’s over. Obligatory NFL wives confessional fulfilled?

– All teams (sans Steve & Dave) are bunched at the train station.

– Monica & Sheree form an alliance with Reichen & DK because they’re the two minorities. Monica forgot to mention that Reichen & DK are working with David & Jeff who are a minority of their own — they were born without a TV-friendly personality.

– Everyone scurries to the train except for Millie and Chuck who are having sex!

This is the peak of Millie & Chuck’s sex life after twelve years.

But seriously this woman is having an asthma attack. Suck on the inhaler Chuck is placing so firmly into your throat, dear Millie.

This asthma attack is getting my laptop steamy. Bow-chicka-bow-wow.

– The whole segment is about how nice the clowns are for staying behind to help with Millie & Chuck. The train has LEFT. Jon & Al  are such nice clowns. All other teams are a–holes and are gone pursuing a million bucks.

I’ve never noticed this before. Either Josh stayed behind or this was shown out of sequence. That’d be funny if this scene wasn’t meant to include Josh and its intent was for viewers to fantard over Jon & Al.

– Tian and Jaree get into another fight. Apparently the sight of Kelly triggers their ridiculous feud. I’m getting a bit tired of finding new ways to make fun of the ridiculous female model stereotype team. It’s time I bring in a guest to ramble.

You after ten NFL wife jokes.

Oh, our guest is here.

Hey, Troyzan, what’s up?

–These chicks be crazy. Cindy can’t work with Russell because Russell knows what he’s doing. The dude works. You don’t need to listen to Cindy, man. And those biker babes? God. Jaree’s smoker breath must be unbearable. No wonder why Tian is so irritable. They can’t work as a team when you have that much estrogen in such close proximities.

And Kelly? She should leave the New York City boy impressions to Steve and Dave. She’s a redhead. I’m amazed none of these all-female teams haven’t got themselves eliminated yet.

– We’re reminded Jon and Al are the best.

– Steve & Dave find out they wasted their time in Padua and will now be in dead last. Wasn’t Steve the one who said you need to beat the teams mentally? Oh wait.

– Teams get there by 7:00pm. Jon & Al going out of their ways to be fan favourites thanks to all ten teams forced to camping out until 8:00am. They get to run in the sewers in what Kelly calls ‘potty water’.

– Next task: Grab a ticket from the door of a fiacre. Groups of three or fiacres will travel every thirty minutes. You MUST grab a ticket.

– Josh butchers the pronunciation. It sounds like he’s saying ‘fiarcade’. Does daddy still pay for your tokens to play skeeball?

– Jon (of the clowns) grabs the ticket to steal Reichen & DK’s fiacre. DK says “no…it’s not true!” like he’s an eight-year-old. He was in perfect position to start reigning barrels down on the clowns. Josh could announce the clowns’ point totals, too.

– Tian grabs the ticket on Kelly & Jon’s fiacre. Kelly smacks Jon with the clue, whines for Jon, and pulls out a cry that couldn’t sound more stereotypically southern if she tried. You’re owning up more than fifty percent of the whining, Kelly!

– Reichen and David make a deal. Reichen and DK will each grab a ticket while Jeff distracts Millie & Chuck like they’re Marty McFly. Unfortunately it doesn’t work. Millie is too fast and Jon went for the furthest fiacre. Plus DK goes over to apologize to Millie for shoving his hand into her face. Although DK gets wounded by a cut on the mouth. Liiiiike a virrrrrgin. Cut a mouth for the very first tiiiiime.

Oh, did I do that?

– Detour time. Mozart or Beethoven. Carry a bass fiddle six miles or carry sheet music to one of Beethoven’s little known homes a much further distance. Racers are catching on to the obvious hitch with this detour.

– The NFL wives and the Feminists team up on the base fiddle task to prove Troyzan wrong.

– JON: The paper or the base?
KELLY: THE PAPER! HELLOOO!
JON: It’s obviously going to be further away.
JON: Kelly decides to take the sheet of music because it’s going to be easier for her but like she’d carry the base anyway.
KELLY: We have to take this sheet of music to the Beethoven Memorial which would be logical but Jon is doubting EVERYTHING!
JON: I wanna make sure we’re going in the right direction.
(KELLY exits.)
JON: I WANNA MAKE SURE WE’RE GOING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION! RE-LAX!
KELLY: You’re wasting time. The train is right here, please!
JON: What if there’s more than one place where he wrote music?
KELLY: Are you retarded? How many Beethoven Memorials do you think there are?

– Steve & Josh are going for the fast forward after not being shown letting the clowns and Millie & Chuck taking the fiacres ahead of them. Dang, even Steve & Dave are ahead of them! Fast forward for this leg is more difficult than climbing up a snowy mountain in ski shoes or lying down while Venetians do a mock incision of your body. In this Fast Forward, they have to balance a tray of fifteen glasses filled with champagne across a ballroom that has several couples doing a Waltz.

My favourite segment of each TAR post. Should I rank the turtlenecks in the future?

– 25 dancing couples. I have a feeling that number of dresses and tuxes amounted to a higher-end price tag for a task in TAR.

– Upon winning the Fast Forward, Josh yells and celebrates loud enough to test out the echo of the ballroom. They can now travel to the pit stop: The Scheeshloss Orth. This lisp-friendly place is the pit stop for this leg of the race.

– JON: We need to go the house.
LOCAL: Oh. Not the memorial. You go here.
KELLY: …. (looks at the camera) Jon was right.
JON: Double ding.

Leave the NY impressions to Jon, evidently.

– The female teams are first to deliver. They must go to the Donatrum. A really tall and narrow tower in the middle of Vienna. Anyone want to guess what the roadblock will be?

– Kelly & Jon are in last place right before the roadblock for the second leg in a row.

– Yep. Tallest tower jump in Europe. Tian, Sheree, DK, Clown Jon, and Millie get to do it.

Leading the pack and doing a huge jump. Your thoughts, Troyzan?

–That is one tough chick. I told you these chicks be crazy.

Thank you, Troyzan. An update of our scoreboard, please?

Patriarchy: 7 Feminism: 1.333

– Other teams bungee. They go through the ‘this is going to be nuts/can’t believe I’m doing this’ speech. Millie is having a mini asthma attack but does it anyway.

– Russell & Cindy and David & Jeff are seventh and eighth to the roadblock. Russell hands them a clue first before reading his own. This allows David to get the number first. Oops. But there’s good news:

They finally get a confessional together!!! Although Russell seemed bored to death. It’s like he couldn’t be less attracted to Cindy if he tried.

– Steve does the roadblock to save Dave’s knee.

JON: Take me. I’m yours.

AUSTRIAN: No, no, no.

I guess the Austrian isn’t up for playing into the Europen sexually open stereotype on American TV. Wait until the cameras are off, Jon.

– JON: I asked if I could go backwards and I lied and said I’ve done it a bunch of times before.

Classic Jon. Just for good measure he does a backflip when he gets down.

– David and Russell don’t jump and flirt with the safety specialists as much entertainment value.

– Russell & Cindy and Steve & Dave are the only ones to not make the train. Steve is still stuck at the roadblock.

DAVE: It was an eclipse. Where did the sun go? People were asking to stop throwing whales off the tower.

– Steve & Josh win the leg. Best father-son team in the history of TAR. No FF fail like Dennis & Andrew from last season.

– Russell & Cindy buy their tickets and have two hours to kill. Steve & Dave are at the wrong station.

– Russell & Cindy find out they bought tickets to Gmund as opposed to Gmunden. They lose 45 minutes. Are Steve & Dave really going to survive this leg?

– A million teams check in during this suspense.

Who makes it in ninth?

Two chunky goblins?! When did this stunt casting happen? Oh wait. It’s Steve & Dave laughing. They’re ninth. I think they set a curse on the other train given their current appearance.

– Well we know who’s last. Cindy makes a confession that they’ve never been more in love.

*record scratch*

Woops. I always mix  up my Cindy/Cyndis.

CYNDI is the one who has never been more in love.


CINDY is the one who thinks the relationship won’t go anywhere and thinks it’s a dud.

Next time on TAR: The men try to intimidate Tian. Will the feminist movement hold out or will Troyzan claim victory once and for all? Chuck’s virginity isn’t the only thing that defines him. And prepare for TAR’s biggest format change since they expanded to twelve teams!

P.S. A quick Googling indicates Russell and Cindy didn’t speak to each other after the race ended and Russell couldn’t give a crap about reality TV to the point he didn’t do an “After the Race” interview that everyone was supposed to do at that time.

Tian&Jaree 2.1
Steve&Dave 11.3
Reichen&DK 5.2
Millie&Chuck 5.2
Steve&Josh 2.5
Russell&Cindy 11.6
Monica&Sheree 3.2
David&Jeff 1.5
Kelly&Jon 5.2
Jon&Al 1.2

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Next round I’ll rank the first four legs. You really think I’d forget my favourite part of the rankings blog? 🙂

Fourth leg

Previously on TAR: Teams are wearing out mentally and physically. Couples are fighting. Reichen & DK fight with everyone. Jon jumped backwards. The father & son are the only team mentioned specifically outside of the virgins and DK. Who will be eliminated tonight? And what groundbreaking twists will occur for the first time ever in TAR?

– We’re told the pit stop is a castle in Gmund. No, not Gmund. Gmunden! Will Millie & Chuck continue to be slowed down by Millie’s asthma? Will Reichen & DK tone down their aggressiveness? Steve & Josh, who arrived at 2:57pm will depart at 2:57am.

– Fly to Paris then ride public transportation to Le Mans raceway. It’s four legs in and teams have yet to drive themselves. What up with that? Were there four legs in TAR 1, TAR 2, and TAR 3 where teams didn’t drive themselves? This is Europe after all. I doubt teams will be driving much once we get into Asia.

– Josh says you can’t drive to Salzberg. Steve says you can because it’s only eighty kilometres. The clock is ticking. Your lead will be erased in three, two, one. . .Yep. Lead is gone. Josh gets his way when they ride to the train station to save the eighty to one-hundred fifty bucks. Not to mention the train doesn’t leave until 5:00am when airports will open. Less than an hour later at 3:51am the first words we hear are. . .

– MONICA: Our husbands are professional athletes and when we travel people will take care of us. In this race we take care of ourselves.

Four effin legs in a row. Sheree’s expression reflects that of the audience when Monica speaks. Note how Monica is the ONLY ONE who talks about being married to a professional athlete. Sheree has yet to speak about football, husbands, and luxuries. Sheree doesn’t fall into any of that stereotype crap.

– DK worries about getting too competitive. Jaree tries to grab a map from Tian but she takes it away.

– Steve bets Josh five bucks they all drive directly to the airport. He goes so far as to call his son ‘Little McScrooge’. Steve will go down as the first male figure to complain about youth NOT spending their money. Josh says if Steve is wrong that he doesn’t want to hear a word from him. It’s like Christian Slater and his dad in Heathers when they switch parental roles.

– Millie & Chuck wait for Jon & Al. They have an alliance. Although Amanda & Chris’ interview stated them, Steve & Josh, and Steve & Dave were in this alliance too, it would be too complicated for the audience to comprehend. Although wasn’t there the Twin Hunt alliance?

– Kelly says she’s sick of looking at Jon’s a$$. While she is saying this we get an extended shot of none other than. . .

Yep. While she’s talking about Jon’s a$$, the camera crew shows an extended shot of Kelly’s a$$. The sad part is that it’s not the first time they’ve shown an extended shot of Kelly’s booty during the race. I recall an out-of-place one back in leg two.

– Kelly asks Millie for directions. Millie refuses. Kelly proceeds to trash an opposing racer for the first time this season.
– Reichen & Chip move from standby to receiving tickets for the first flight to Paris with the Feminists and the newly coined Team Supremes. The NFL wives nickname is officially done!

– Who is departing over an hour after the eighth place team?

High five for mounting an inevitable sure-fire comeback! Look out. No knees, a black eye, and a FF used in a prior leg, there’s nothing that will make it safe to go back into the water.

But seriously, I love how much of a joke these two think that they survived three eliminations. They’re so banged up that even Lance from TAR 5 could move at a faster rate.

– Jon & Al and Millie & Chuck sneak away to a different train. Meanwhile Kelly & Jon convince Steve & Dave to race together because they know they can beat Steve & Dave in a foot race. I believe Steve & Josh did this in leg one to ensure they could pad their lead on the first flight.

– Reichen & Chip are kicked off the flight in Frankfurt because their seats were in business class. Oh well. The next flight to Paris was less than two hours later.

– For the third leg in a row Kelly & Jon are in dead last.  They take the time to coin Steve & Dave as the BFGs which is an acronym for the Big Fat Guys. I was waiting for this nickname to be announced because now I can cut down ten extra letters each time I refer to them. Kelly scores a point for this blog.

– Dave’s confessional from leg one is used.
“If there is a foot race, Steve and I will finish way behind. . .If we can use our brains, we’ll do just fine.”
Get it? Because they’re fat and slow.

– Paris time finally. 11:00am. Supremes are in first when they find a faster train. Feminists and DK get on the 12:00pm train.

– 1919: The Treaty of Versailles.
1939: Hitler invades Poland.
1969: Man lands on the Moon.
1970s: Disco is prevalent.
1989: Berlin Wall was torn down.
1992: Toronto Blue Jays win the World Series.
2000: Richard Hatch wins the first season of Survivor.

2002:

OH. MY. GOD. LOOK AT THEIR HANDS. THAT’S A ROADBLOCK. BUT THE DETOUR HASN’T HAPPENED YET.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING YOU F—ERS!? ARE YOU MAD?! THERE HASN’T BEEN A DETOUR YET!!!!

Mind = blown.

That’s right. TAR experiments with doing a roadblock before the detour. What joint circles did they have when they ate, slept, and mingled with the other teams? Yeesh. Unbelievable. The most revolutionary thing to happen in TAR since they expanded to twelve teams. But I digress.

– The det–er, roadblock for this leg is simple. Nail in tires on a race car then hop into the passenger seat of the race car and ride for a full lap. So basically you only need to change tires at a pit stop. Luckily this pit stop is a pre-determined non-elimination location. Ziiiiing.

The roadblock hint: Who can fit into a tight space?

Keep that in mind. I thought of a cruel joke.

– Sheree explains this is the first roadblock before a detour. Now teams have a while to catch up before the detour. Although she fails to be aware that before doing a detour gave you a while to catch up before the roadblock thus creating no difference.

– Drive to Marseilles. Or as Sheree says, drive to “Marsells”. I like butchered pronunciations. It makes me feel better about myself. Note that this will be the first time teams get to drive themselves.

– Tian & Jaree and Reichen & DK arrive at the det–roadblock at the same time. Tian gets a five second head start on DK.

TIAN (re-used confessional): We’re just as strong as the guys. I want to show how strong women can be.

It’s a close one, ladies and gentlemen. Who will score this round?

DK’s rally and surpassing Tian scores a point for this round.

Patriarchy: 8 Feminism: 1.7

– DK says it was a dream come true to drive in Le Mans with a race car driver. Some people dream of being a firefighter or a police officer. But not DK. He wanted to be in Le Mans with a race car driver. That’s a very specific dream.

– Okay. Remember when I said the roadblock hint requires you to fit in a tight space?

A tight space.

Likes tight spaces, too.

Years of experience in tight spaces.

Married to professional Tight Ends. (c wut i did thar/)

Well as long as they choose Millie I s’pose they’ll be fine.


Uh oh. You want to re-think that one? After all as I recall Chuck is a. . .

What does that say at the bottom of the screen? Oh yes. He’s a virgin.

I thought when the hint read “Who can fit into a tight space?” would frighten Chuck. Oh well he should be fine.

So far he’s doing fine. See, tight spaces aren’t so bad Chuck. Although when I stand on a bus and we’re all packed in so tightly together, I’m always freaking out and have cried from the tightness a couple times.

Awww, Chuck was freaked out by the tight space. Just take your time and get back inside. Then everything will be allllllright.

He even gives us this brilliant confessional.

CHUCK: I’ve never done anything like that. As far as being in a tight space I was freaked out for a little while. I was nervous.

And that concludes this edition of Sexual Metaphors on The Amazing Race.

So does that make Millie the only virgin on the team now?

– Jeff completes the roadblock in less than ten seconds.

– Kelly & Jon arrive at the roadblock in second-to-last place. Kelly insists for most of the leg that she really wanted to do the roadblock. Her reaction to discovering what her roadblock is:

Now I know why Flo let Zach do all the roadblocks. . .

– Another effing equalizer in this leg. Route marker doesn’t open for nearly another twelve hours until 9:00am in Marseilles. Although Kelly & Jon don’t get there until 5:30am. How many lives do Kelly & Jon have? Third leg in a row where an equalizer saves them.

– Teams slowly park along the shoulder of the road because security says they can’t park in front of the gate. Teams sleep in their cars. Feminists and Reichen & DK sleep in a hotel. When Feminists get to the gate, security stops them and says to park there because too many teams are parked on the road. They’re in first. David & Jeff and Steve & Dave confront both teams. Steve gives this brilliant line:

Fear the stache.

STEVE: You guys check your tires. Girls, you too. Kehhh, because you’ll never know what will happen. (insert wink and thumbs up here)

You gonna let a MAN boss you around, Tian? You gonna let the straight white men boss you around DK?

This Kong ain’t nothing to mess with. Don’t make him throw barrels at you.

– Reichen & DK pull to the back of the line. DK blows up at everyone else for questioning his integrity.

– So what will the Feminists do? Who gets to score this time?

Tian stands and lets all of that testosterone get their way. Considering she lets David & Jeff, Jon & Al, Steve & Josh, Steve & Dave, and Reichen & Chip all pass her and dominate her in the race, the scoreboard will reflect this change:

Patriarchy: 12 Feminism: 1.7

– Teams arrive at the lighthouse and are instructed to go to the Gorges Du Blavet/whatever the heck it’s pronounced. It’s been four years since I completed French in high school. My spelling might not be as good as usual. Kelly calls Millie as Millie the Mole for the second time this episode.

– David & Jeff get to the gorges in the lead. Reichen & DK park near a flag (it was supposed to be a banner) on the road (the clue said a marked parking lot) and walk through the forest (it was supposed to be a marked path) to get to their next clue. Let’s see how they succeed!

– It’s road–er, detour time! Ropes or Slopes from the Dieselgate leg in TAR 3 is revived.

Meanwhile. . .

This puddle from Super Off Road is apart of the marked path to the route marker, I’m sure of it!”

– The Clowns get to the clue box with the lead despite finishing the roadblock behind David & Jeff, Chateau Des Aillenes is the next pit stop. Kelly & Jon have catapulted into second. David & Jeff revive their detour fail from leg one. Too bad there’s no snow mobile instructor to tell them otherwise.

– Eight minutes left in the episode and Feminists opt for the FF. I’ll be amazed if their lead is more than thirty minutes. The FF requires them to solve a tile puzzle that reveals the location of the pit stop. Six minutes and no one has checked in.

– David & Jeff find the clue and lost at least thirty minutes in the process. They’re in fifth because of their Mr. MaGoo eyes.

– Kelly & Jon lead the pack. Equalizers have saved them to insane degrees.

– Reichen & DK get to the detour and are slightly behind Steve & Dave.

– Jon gets directions from the locals.
JON: This doesn’t look right. Maybe the French are idiots.

Normally I’d say that would be offensive, but in this case Jon is definitely right. The French are indeed  idiots. I got into the ring yesterday with Glass Joe and Gabby Jay, and can safely say (that rhymed) that the French are idiots and are losers. Luckily Jon can insult them without fearing any backlash, because if Jon is beaten up TAR will step in and give him twelve hours to recover and try again. Ah, equalizers.

– In the 40th minute, Tian & Jaree are team number one. Is this the latest initial check-in for a leg ever? Like for all one-hour episodes in nineteen seasons of TAR? Somebody out there needs to prove me wrong. Usually it’s around minute 30-35 that the leading team creeps in during the Fast Forward era.

– While I typed the previous statement Jon & Al and Millie & Chuck tied for second, Monica & Sheree finished fourth, Kelly & Jon lost thirty minutes because “French are idiots,” Reichen & DK crack into fifth despite finishing the roadblock last, David & Jeff finish sixth without saying a word.

– Suspense in minute 41. Will it be Kelly & Jon or BFGs who will end up last? TAR wastes a mere five seconds to give us the news.

Kelly & Jon are seventh. Jon is disgusted with the finish and the French.

– 

And with yet another Philly turtleneck. The red is blinding.

– 

I s’pose this is long overdue. Phil breaks them the news. They’re team number eight. Wait, what?

Yep, they’re eighth. Dave is confused as we are and shrugs it off anyway. Did we forget somebody? I certainly hope the seven teams are grabbing a baguette to eat before the BFGs clear the table. They have the worst high five I’ve seen in my life.
– Steve & Josh get to the gorges in the dusk.

Oh right. Them. Well, they ran a terrible leg. They took a train to the airport to be behind everyone. Then they caught up at the airport but finished the roadblock near the end of the pack. Then they get in the top five of the pack but drift to being way behind in last place. Whatever happened to the team that finished 1st-9th-1st-9th. Go big or go home with their racing strategy, evidently. Rivers Cuomo and his dad are officially out of the race.

Next time on TAR: A normal leg. That means none of this roadblock before a detour insanity.

1) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

2) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

3) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

4) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF

9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Tian&Jaree 2.3
Steve&Dave 1.5
Reichen&DK 5.6
Millie&Chuck 5.3
Steve&Josh 2.2
Monica&Sheree 8.2
David&Jeff 1.4
Kelly&Jon 6.2
Jon&Al 1.1

Fifth leg

Previously on TAR: While many teams succeeded with tight spaces, the virgin struggled. People were angry with Tian and DK. They went down a gorge, and Steve & Dave miraculously survived another leg to be the last Steve standing. Who will go home tonight?

Will the fighting between Tian & Jaree continue to escalate? And will Steve & Dave survive after leaving in last place once again?

Well, it’s pretty obvious what the producers want to show this episode. BFGs underdog status and the Feminists fighting moreso than usual.

– Go to Amsterdam and find a skinny white bridge called the Magre Brug. Note it’s apparently a FAMOUS skinny white bridge. Sure, Phil.

This means we are spending ANOTHER leg in Europe. TAR 1 only spent two legs consecutively in Europe. TAR 2 didn’t go to Europe whatsoever. TAR 3 spent three legs consecutively in Europe. TAR 4 is going to be pushing it to five consecutive legs. Let’s break it down a bit further, shall we?

TAR 1: Visited Rome, Italy (ancient aesthetic).
TAR 4: First occasion for the series to return to Italy. They go to Milan (metro), Cortina D’ampezzo (Alps), and Venice (Shakespearian).

TAR 3: Innsbruck, Austria (recreational).
TAR 4: First occasion for the series to return to Austria. They head to the capital (metro).

TAR 1: Visited Paris and Bordeaux, France.
TAR 4: First occasion for the series to return to France. They head to Le Mans and Marseilles.

I can understand why TAR 4 is met with mixed reviews. Retread countries for the opening third of the season could be a turn-off for viewers. Producers need to be given credit (although they never give time credits to contestants anymore) for trying to hit up new places in these countries. It’s funny to think people thought TAR 4 was a sign of decline for the series because it was getting stale. TAR 20 premieres in nine minutes here  on the west coast.

So let’s go to the Netherlands. The newest country to be added to TAR’s roster!

Tian bugs Jaree about not knowing where to go yet Tian is the one who possesses the map. Don’t expect Jaree to be your Zach, Tian. You’re in this race together.

– JON: One thing we’re trying to do is concentrate on just us. Put blinders on, don’t worry about this team or that team, keep pushing like we have five teams ahead of us. Pushpushpushpushpush. Like the Clowns are Salt n Peppa if they were on TAR. Baby, baby!

I don’t buy they put blinders on and don’t worry about other teams. Why?

Case closed.

– Here comes another confessional about being married to professional athletes.

MONICA: Sheree and I are still getting along great. We never yell at each other and demean the other like we’re Tian & Jaree. If Tian wasn’t around we’d be very happy.

. . . You did it, Monica! You are no longer branded as being married to professional athletes! Your first confessional about speaking to the dynamics of your team is what we are interested in. Not anonymous NFL footballers who aren’t on the race.

– Steve & Dave are less than two hours behind Tian & Jaree. Steve slaps himself and shakes his head to wake up. In the process, I note that I have never seen that much fat jiggle in a human’s face before. Go look it up for yourself. It’s hypnotic.


He’s bringing sexyface. All the other racers won’t know how to act.

– Reichen & DK ask Tian to book tickets for them despite Millie & Chuck, Kelly & Jon, and the Clowns being ahead in line. Tian agrees to it and decides pissing off three teams who are equally skilled will be the best move. This pisses off Millie and she runs off with the clowns to the British Airways counter. Brilliant work, Tian. You’ll incur the wrath of the Virgin Millie. Tian asks for tickets at Air France. There’s only room for two teams. Jon leans over and says

JON: No cutting or I’ll punch your eye out.

Donkey Kong packs up his bananas and looks into other options.

– Tian & Jaree and Kelly & Jon are on the leading plane. The other four teams at the airport are on the second flight.

– The lonely music plays as David & Jeff and BFGs are on the last flight together to Orlee. It’s a 45-minute connection to the other airport. It’ll be close, but shouldn’t be a problem.

Looming bumper to bumper traffic says otherwise.

– Kelly & Jon are leading the pack for the first time this season. Feminists, Supremes, Virgins, Clowns, and Gays are all together now. Ah, it’s a much shorter way to write their names.

– While teams race to an expensive taxi or cheap metro, Tian & Jaree instantly fall to sixth to buy a map for Tian to read and withhold for Jaree.

– Gondola redux. So original. -_-

Virgins have a comfortable lead to navigate themselves to the Chef Boyardee Museum or whatever it’s called.

– Other teams catch up as Millie yells at Chuckie to read the map.

– Back in France, BFGs and David & Jeff arrive at the airport to find their plane has left. Ouch. Not even close. Two more hours

– Kelly says Werewolf and Molly Mole are ahead of them. She explains that last leg when they said Millie Mole it was coined by Jon and Werewolf is Chuck’s nickname. This is when we’re supposed to start hating them.

But I can see why they’d say that. Keep in mind that in the previous leg when these two teams were together that they zoomed in on Millie’s mole. That will be a trend for the remainder of the season. Editors have no shame exploiting this conflict.

– Monica says she’s never directed a boat before. Monica also suffers from short term memory loss.

– Tian insists Jaree reads a map while Tian withholds her map reading skills and studies the scenery.

– The Clowns are the first to the museum and are officially in the lead. When they open the detour they activate the almighty superpower:

It’s this week’s edition of Phil’s Turtleneck Adventures! He informs us of the detour: 500 kilograms or 15 feet.

One requires you to drive 30 miles and put on funny little shoes to carry heavy cheese ovals onto a scale until the scale reads exactly 500 kilograms. In the other, teams must drive twelve miles to find a clue bare-handed in a fifteen foot high pile of cow manure.

– Did I forget to mention last episode that Kelly called Millie one of those cheerleaders in high school that she spat on during pep rallies? Yeah, thought that’d be funny.

– Tian pulls out a pair of sunglasses and snags the map in anger and gives Jaree a lesson on how to read maps. Jaree informs her she is immature.

The best map reading teacher there ever was, the best map reading teacher there is, and the best map reading teacher there ever will be.

– The Virgins opt to be idiots and take the Fast Forward. Several hours of their lead that they could easily bank for leg six on the trailing teams means nothing. Advantage for when the non-elimination legs start to hit is erased. For this FF they are buckled into a windmill and will spin for one full rotation. Luckily Chuck broke the cherry with the race car last leg and is fine with tight spaces now.

– The Clowns arrive at the cow manure task. Holy crap that’s a lot of feces. C wut I did thar/

– The clowns get into a good ol fashioned poo fight. They fling handfulls of dung and seem to hold the task as finding the clue as secondary. They complete it and drive to the smoker.
– Unintentional pun when Jaree reads the detour.
JAREE: I don’t really wanna do a cow manure pile.
TIAN: Right now I couldn’t give a s—.

Ziiing! Let’s update that scoreboard.

Patriarchy: 12 Feminists: 3.14

– Kelly & Jon are equally excited to be in the dung. She takes the time to acknowledge how much she likes the clowns so the audience will like them too. Villain status for Kelly temporarily erased? They exchange poo high fives.

– BFGs and David & Jeff arrive at the museum at the same time. BFGs choose to do the cheese thinking no one would go into cow dung. The camera cuts to Monica & Sheree giggling the whole time in the dung.

– Roadblock time. Grab twenty-five phallic eels from a boat and use their likely poo-ridden bare hands to grab them and put it into the container.

Al is GROSSED OUT by the idea of grabbing eels yet ten minutes ago he wore a huge smile flinging cow feces. Fun with Feces does not equal Fun with Eel.

And will the boatyard be shutdown once it leaks that poo-laden Americans were the ones sorting the eel to ship it out for the masses to consume? The Dutch have a health code, I believe. Al is squirming grabbing each eel. Didn’t he soak his hands in poop?

– Millie & Chuck use the Fast Forward to check in at the 32nd minute. None of this 41st minute craziness. Millie & Chuck win a 7-day cruise; they win two out of five legs and both happen to be the only two to offer prizes. Luck is most certainly on their side.

– Jon says the eel feels like a long and slippery pe—.
– Monica voluntarily drives off the road for no reason and gets the vehicle stuck in wetlands. I hear Ford vehicles don’t work too well in Euro-made wetlands. After all the crap they’ve gone through (literally) and this happens? Oh no.

– Monica & Sheree do what TAR 20 racers don’t do when their car is stuck: IMMEDIATELY ASK FOR HELP. My goodness.

– Jaree snatches a map from Tian to rack up the map snatching total for the leg to three. They did it prior to the airport, in the gondola, and now on their way to the roadblock. Next time just ask ladies.

– Kelly & Jon are third. Nickname yet to be determined.

– Sheree does the roadblock. I wish she would’ve launched into a confessional about being married to professional athletes helps you handle long and slippery pe—es.

– David & Jeff do the roadblock in an abridged ten second segment. Tian & Jaree pass them and Jaree asks to throw it at Tian.

– BFGs finish and stop to offer their clown shoes. Why not donate them to Jon & Al and best be on your way?

– Jaree grabs the clue in two seconds. I sense a roadblock showdown.

– Reichen & DK and Supremes check in back-to-back.

– David does the roadblock then leaves. Tian announces she has done all four roadblocks and completes it before leaving. Steve & Dave trail at the roadblock in dead last and Steve completes it. Oh, and David & Jeff get to the pit stop one second later.

– Prolonged showdown for who will find the pit stop first. Who can it be? Both teams have sucked quite frequently.

So happy to be in the race! Or not. . .

– Steve runs on his way to the pit stop for the first and last time. Dave says he’s keeping the cheese. Oh, Dave. You probably consumed enough food at the pit stop and tasks that you cracked top three in prize money. Get it? Because he ate so much it was probably worth 50k. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating. You have to be in the nice hotels like in The Mole to accomplish that.

Next time on TAR: Feminism takes another hit.

P.S. This leg aired when I was asked to hang out with the only people I made connections with at the end of the sixth grade. It is the only occurrence in elementary school where I wouldn’t see an episode of TAR live. I walked in the house at 8:35ish to witness Monica & Sheree in a pile of poop. I recall being so bored hanging out with these people that it would be a long time before I socialized outside of the classroom as well as miss a live episode of TAR. Wasn’t I the social butterfly?

1) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

2) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

3) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

4) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

5) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF

9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Tian&Jaree 5.4
Steve&Dave 6.4
Reichen&DK 4.0
Millie&Chuck 5.3
Monica&Sheree 4.0
David&Jeff 2.5
Kelly&Jon 3.2
Jon&Al 3.1

Sixth leg

Previously on TAR: Millie & Chuck argued, cried, and worried about their future while the camera zooms in on her mole. Tian & Jaree snatch maps. Steve & Dave were eliminated to eradicate all ‘Steves’ from the season once and for all. Three gone in five legs. With the viewers no longer confused, who will go home tonight? By the way, the sound byte they played from Dave was that he would keep the cheese.

– Military battle music plays as Phil introduces us to the super serious and combative country of Netherlands.

It’s this week’s edition of Phil in a turtleneck. He switched in red for classic white. Savour the moment, people. This is the last time we see Phil in a turtleneck. His promiscuousness will reach new heights when he starts exposing his neck.

Will Millie & Chuck sustain their lead now that they used/wasted their Fast Forward? And can Tian & Jaree work together? And how long until Phil acknowledges one of the other five teams?

– Millie & Chuck depart at 2:25am in the rain. Millie SHRIEKS when she sees they’re going to India. Mumbai, India that is. Formerly Bombay. So leg six and TAR repeats another country in their short catalogue. At least we’re headed to the east side.

– The clowns leave the pit stop. Al  makes another poop joke that he was happy to come in #2 last leg. Really, guys? The cow manure jokes were sooooooo episode five.

– Sheree gets a rare confessional when she talks about her relationship with Monica reaching a whole new level after spending this much time with her. She doesn’t bother with much more insight than this.

– David wants to run the race conservative. Jeff wants to run it like a business deal and be focused. I doubt any of this means anything.

– Tian & Jaree depart one hour after David & Jeff.

JAREE: We’re not going to get through (this leg) if we keep fighting.

I disagree. You guys have fought for five consecutive legs and are still alive in the race. In fact I think that’s a point for Feminism.

Patriarchy: 12 Feminists: 4.0

– The gay married couple consider a connecting flight to Mumbai through Milan. Kong specifically asks if the weather is fine in Milan. Is that foreshadowing? Anyways, the connection is very tight. The next flight that everyone else is on will be a direct route that will get in forty minutes later. So do you opt for the tight connection go for a forty minute lead but could put you too far behind to catch up or do you stay with the pack? If this were Andre & Damon we’d know exactly what they’d do:

Don’t drift from the pack. If you lose the pack, you’ll be eliminated.

But maybe because Reichen & DK do just fine racing on their own, there’s more thinking to be done.

Am I the only one who thinks the employee behind the ticket counter looks like Sean Hayes?

– Clowns call Monica & Sheree the “NFL Chicks” and David & Jeff as “The Goats”.

– Reichen & DK decide to go against Team 9-1-1’s sage advice and go for the connecting flight. It works, and they get a 40 minute lead. They arrive at 10:50pm while the other six teams arrive at 11:30pm.

We’re no longer in Europe! Hoo-rah!

And what’s the best way to break in a new continent?

Da-da-dadada-da-da-da-da-da-da-dada dada…oh, we’re racing?

– Editors show the same taxi driver driving two different taxis. Apparently he is driving Monica & Sheree as well as Kelly & Jon. Don’t know what that’s about.

We collect some ‘I didn’t mean to say that!’ quotes:

TIAN: I love being in a new place. It smells different–
JAREE: Oh IT smells different.

Be weary of karma, Jaree!

DAVID: We’re going straight into the desert to be sacrificed.

The best part is that Jeff is waiting in the cab while he delivers this brilliant one-liner.

– Reichen & DK get to the Bollywood studio a.k.a. first route marker. Search the stage inside for the next clue. The stage opens at 9:30am. If teams knew this I think they’d wait to get on a flight that gets in at 9:15am.

– Teams arrive at the route marker at 1:30am.

– Producers go way over the top with ethnic music. It’s like they want to portray it as some ‘other’ land.

Millie & Chuck and the Clowns get a full thirty seconds discussing how lucky we are and saying she would donate the money to the people here. They really want the viewers to root for them.

I remember my mom took this as an opportunity to tell me that we are all lucky and I should feel lucky. I don’t know why but that stuck with me after ten years.

– All of the teams get on bikes and ride to the Bollywood stage. The goats get there first and David claims it.

Detour time. The coolest mellow hip hoppy remix I’ve ever heard TAR  use can be heard in the background for this explanation. Suds or Duds. Suds requires you to wash a load of laundry by hand in vats until you can see the clue printed on one of the articles of clothing. Duds requires you to find a hard-to-find shop and search a million sauries/sorees/sourees/saourees/whatever they’re called until you find one with a clue printed on it. You must get to both detours by using India’s bewildering public transportation.

The fun is just getting started, folks.

– Everyone starts to run wildly in opposite directions trying to find a bus while Reichen & DK grab their bikes and ride back to the start of the route marker. Personally I think bikes are faster.

– TIAN: Jaree! She can’t run. It sucks. We’re way behind.
JAREE: Everyone is ahead of us anyway.

I like your logic, Jaree. Note to future racers: When you’re in last, avoid using any techniques that might help you catch up in a foot race.

– Kelly & Jon yell for David & Jeff to get on the bus. Alliance in the making? Millie avoids an asthma attack and gets on.

– Reichen & DK arrive at the train station. It’s time for some fun.

The funny thing is that I currently ride on the public transit that is officially the highest in demand for further additions. So crowded public transportation where you have zero personal space and stand for over an hour at a time is something I’m used to. In fact, my first experience with my university bus rides on the highway is comparing it to the public transportation of leg six in TAR 4. Yep, that was the first comparison to pop in my head a couple years ago.

Reichen & DK squeeze inside.

Kelly & Jon and David & Jeff aren’t satisfied with the lack of room and decide to wait for the next train. You have to be aggressive on public transit. I can teach y’all. As long as you have an arm and a bar to balance there shouldn’t be any complaints.

– Who really has it the worst is the camera and audio crew. The camera crew has to mount a camera on one shoulder and balance expensive equipment while taping meaningful footage. The audio crew has a gigantic microphone to handle. That’s why TAR deserves every award they get.

Kelly complains her booty is being pinched.

– Are producers going out of their way to flood Chuck’s claustrophobia? Despite his hesitation Chuck manages to squeeze inside.

– Tian & Jaree get on the train. Jaree’s first words when she gets on the train?

JAREE: Ow. Somebody just grabbed my boob, man. Don’t grab my boob dude or I’ll throw you off the train.

(Rest of train giggles.)

Patriarchy: 12 Feminists: 3.0

JAREE: Ow! Ow! Why are they pinching me?!

Patriarchy: 23 Feminists: 3.0

JAREE: Can’t believe I’m getting fondled.

Patriarchy: 431 Feminists: 2.0

This isn’t really a scene where you can say ‘this is my favourite part,’ but the editors insert the creepiest photo possible. It’s during Jaree’s Fondling.

Remember that Jaree is yelling about being dry raped on the train.

Guilty!

I’ve seen this season four or five times but this is the first instance I’ve caught onto that. Whichever camera crew worked to get that shot please tell me how you did it.

CAMERA GUY: Okay. I want you to imitate Herman Cain’s slow smile.
EAST INDIAN: Who is Herman Cain?
CAMERA GUY: Oh, a candidate who runs for president nine years from now. I want you to do a three-second slow smile.
EAST INDIAN: You mean like this:
(EAST INDIAN slow smiles.)
CAMERA GUY: Got it! Now if you’ll excuse me I’ll discreetly fondle Jaree while she doesn’t notice. I’ll pay you thirty American dollars if you take the blame.

But seriously, this is the worst a team has been treated for their gender since Nancy & Emily, a team who annoyed me in TAR 1, were not sold train tickets in, whaddayaknow, India because they were women.

Sadly, balancing things on your nose won’t be a roadblock.

– Phil pipes in to remind us what the detour is. Ten minutes showing off the train station has distracted us that these teams are really putting up with this to win a million dollars and likely never visit Mumbai ever again.

– Reichen & DK and David & Jeff complete the detour. They take taxis. Kelly & Jon take the bus. At least it’s not the train.

– Millie washes a local’s clothes and threw them into the dirty water. Oh, Chuck finds the marked clothes. The local gets angry. Another reason to add to the anti-America propaganda–they washed our clothes with dirty water.

– Tian cheers when she uncovers the clue in the vat. She insists for all of the men in the area to rejoice as well. I think the last thing you want to do is encourage the men after your booty got black and blue on the train, Tian.

– Monica & Sheree have an uneventful train ride and quickly complete the detour yet they said they had to wash their laundry twice before getting the clue.

– Jeff and DK arrive together at the roadblock. Load up a basket with twenty of a specific type of fish and carry them back to the vendor. DK says they’ll work together because India is a free for all.

Jeff and DK complete the task simultaneously. They get in a taxi race to Gateway of India. DK’s five second lead at the roadblock is erased when David & Jeff get a taxi nearby. They are bumper to bumper. When David & Jeff exit the taxi, Reichen & DK’s cab was an inch away from running them over like Shola or Doyin’s ankle.

It seems that cruises will be offered as the winning prize until the end of the race because David & Jeff, considered by many to be the most boring team at this point, are awarded it.

– Kelly no longer wants to be a part of the team as she lets Jon do his fourth roadblock of the race.

Chuck, Jon, then Tian complete the roadblock. Tian has now done five roadblocks. After she exits Monica & Sheree enter and Monica finishes in a three-second segment.

– Millie & Chuck are fourth. The clowns get into a foot race with Tian & Jaree. Tian & Jaree have a better sense of direction and beat out the clowns. They totally thought they were gone and get sixth. Five seconds later editors let us see Monica & Sheree. They’re eliminated immediately.

I have to take an aside. Monica & Sheree were barely shown this leg. They received significant amount of airtime in legs prior with Monica narrating a huge chunk of crap but for some reason they were reduced to quick little sound byte confessionals once they hit India. Were they too depressing for any of their footage to get shown because of the train station and not adapting to a not-so-clean environment because they are married to professional athletes? Woops, didn’t mean to say that. Their status as NFL wives didn’t come up in this episode either. You think their pre-race status would be the one exploited the most in their farewell. I think David & Jeff were far more distinctive than Monica & Sheree this leg. It was actually the first time I recall rooting for David & Jeff when this season initially aired. Monica & Sheree become an afterthought and must’ve been unable to be presentable on camera that they end their run on a really low note.

Next time on TAR: Jon gets nasty talking about Millie’s mole. Kelly says something hurts. Tian is unable to hold onto something. And Tian screams.

Patriarchy: 172 Feminists (after an all-female team gets eliminated, moleyness, Kelly whining, Tian’s weakness and screaming): -47.2

1) Hamlet near Amsterdam -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

3) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

4) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

5) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

6) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Tian&Jaree 4.3
Reichen&DK 6.6
Millie&Chuck 2.2
Monica&Sheree 4.4
David&Jeff 3.2
Kelly&Jon 1.5
Jon&Al 3.1

See you next episode.

The official midway point of the season.

Seventh leg

Previously on TAR: We found out India is poor. Women’s fun parts were grabbed. Tian & Jaree worked together without a single map being snatched, and teams did a fishy task in carrying fish. Also, this guy makes an appearance in the ‘previously on TAR’ segment

Parting is such sweet sorrow.

– Mumbai. 18 million people packed into an area one-tenth of the size of L.A. Wow. I couldn’t grasp that type of population density. Teams need to get to the next yellow and red route marker by solving clues in sealed envelopes blah blah blah.

– Will Tian & Jaree continue working together or will their individual personalities come out once again and ruin their individual chances for success? Can last place circus clowns deliver the ‘performance’ needed to get out of last place? Phil is so clever with his wordplay.

– David & Jeff leave first at 12:51am. Jeff gives a confessional that combines three confessionals from three separate legs. It’s noticeable.

– The train ride is 24 hours. The women must be praying for seating room when they see a train ride is mandatory.

– Jaree says her and Tian are getting along fine now that Tian has agreed to do every roadblock and navigate to every route marker.

– Millie informs us her and Chuck are fighting and may not be compatible. A 13th year of dating virginity looms.

– The clowns get an unusually helpful taxi driver. He tells them everything they need to know about the hours of operation for the terminal and the best of the cheaper hotels.

– Kelly and Jon argue over leaving for the train. Kelly wants six. Jon wants seven. Kelly wins the argument. Jon isn’t the one who will get his butt pinched.

– Tian & Jaree are in a taxi with a driver who was not only driving on the wrong side of the road but drove on the yellow line. . .and with his lights  off. How did they stay so calm? I fear being in a car driving with anyone who isn’t my brother, so a taxi cab who is violating the three biggest rules of the road would have driven me bonkers.
.
.
.
Bonkers.

If we smash into the car, I’m sure production will be cool with us pushing the reset button.

– David & Jeff’s cab takes them to what he thinks is Panvel Station. It turns out Panvel Station has turned into someone’s house. Driver finds out where NEW Panvel station is.

DRIVER: I’ll take you to new Panvel Station. We go now.
DAVID: Is it actually nicer than this?
DRIVER: Yeah.
DAVID (sarcastically): Oh, wow.

DAVID: These people are staring at us. We may as well go to a hotel because there’s no sense laying around on this dirt longer than we have to.

A lot of people must’ve been turned off by David & Jeff at this point.

“The audience is going to love my clever commentary. Nailed it.”

– Jon wastes no time making fun of Kelly’s fears of rush hour. Sometimes I love Jon’s banter. It reminds me of my older brothers at times.

– Fantard moment for the clowns. They cry in confessionals acknowledging eh poverty levels and that we can all do better. We even see a zoom-in of Jon handing an old guy sleeping on concrete some tea.

– Kelly & Jon are on the train to the one in Panvel. Kelly fears a sequel to last leg’s Gropening. She insists Jon to stand behind her and ensure she doesn’t get groped. Jon is tired and thinks there won’t be an issue.

I side with Jon on this one. What is she talking about? No one is glaring nor will grope her. She’s in safe (and distanced hands).

Er, maybe not.

– Kelly gets groped. Who’s the culprit this time?!

Bahahahahaha, busted!!!! Kelly is not impressed. Her fiance becomes a whole new team mate. Mumbai has no rules. He laughs hysterically for the next thirty seconds. That’s thirty seconds of the EPISODE. That could have been ten minutes of unedited footage.

– All six teams board a 24-hour train. Everyone specifically notes how much it stinks.

JAREE: This is weird for me. It’s not fun. I don’t mind roughing it. But sleeping on the beach by a campfire is roughing it. I think I’ll have to lay down and close my eyes to forget about it. I feel like we’re all packed in here like we’re ready to go to the gas chamber for god’s sake.

The Jewish fan base cringes.

– Eventually teams catch on they can upgrade to a first class cabin for the remaining twenty hours. Sixteen valuable race dollars is the price. Only Millie & Chuck did not upgrade. They say they haven’t made as much of an effort to get in with the other teams. Although their alliances with Amanda & Chris, Steve & Josh, BFGs, and the clowns indicate otherwise. Millie draws a comparison to high school reminiscent of the comments Kelly made about Millie.

– Kelly’s confessional about Millie & Chuck’s nicknames from leg five are re-aired.
DK: I want to go on record that I have nothing to do and never stated her nickname.

Kelly & Jon say ‘Molly Mole’ and ‘Millie Mole’ about twenty times in a row and even mimic Austin Powers’ mole pointing.

DK thinks if he closes his eyes that it proves he does not support the views of Kelly & Jon. Maybe he’ll open his eyes if we tell him there’s a banana in front of him. . .Oh c’mon, that was a Donkey Kong joke not one about his homosexuality! Yeesh.

– The most insensitive shot that TAR editors used:

CAMERA GUY: Millie, can you push the hair on the left side of your face to the side.
MILLIE: Uh, ok.
CAMERA GUY: And lean your head back a bit.
MILLIE: Do I have to?
CAMERA GUY: It’s in the contract.
MILLIE: Fine.
CAMERA GUY (focuses in on the mole): Okay, I’ll enhance, and bingo, we’ve got a shot. Thanks.
MILLIE: ?
CAMERA GUY: Can’t say.

– The train ride ends. We’re reminded eighteen minutes in that there’s a race going on here. They have to find a billboard.

– All of the buildings are naturally red and yellow.

– DK argues with cab drivers saying their tank must be full. They fall to last place in one of the more unusual arguments I’ve seen with cab drivers in TAR. Reichen says they have to cave in and settle after all of the other teams have left.

– Millie & Chuck’s driver pull over to fill up their tank. Then their car breaks down from overheating. Today is not a good day.

– Reichen & DK’s tank is empty. The driver has the audacity to ask his patrons to pay for his cab. Isn’t that what the cab fare money is for???????

– A roadblock before a detour. Luckily I adjusted to this insanity three episodes ago. It’s bull racing. Or rather, they must hang onto a board being pulled by bulls running at full speed and must hang on to the end of the course.

– Oh, I remember this from when I saw this season in my initial watch.
JEFF: David, hang on. Don’t let go!

– Tian, Jon, and Al are going to do the roadblock. Jon’s fifth and Tian’s fifth. Jaree and Kelly cheer from the sidelines. You think Jaree would want to participate more considering Kelly is outshining her for participation.

– JEFF: Hang on David! Don’t let go! Hang on! Hang on! Hang on!

Way to motivate, Jeff.

– Tian lets go instantly. Al succeeds. Then Jon succeeds.

– Tian has a retry and instantly lets go because her hands can’t grip the board properly.

EAST INDIAN GUY: Excuse me, but please hold properly!

Is he East Indian or Canadian? That’s the most polite tongue lashing I’ve ever heard in my life.

– Tian keeps pulling up her pants that are clearly soaked. I don’t see why she tries so hard to consider herself after all of India felt her up on the train last eppy, but I s’pose saving the editors the extra effort to insert blurring is a nice gesture. Oh, and she successfully hangs on. Solid fourth place at the moment.

– Chuck does the roadblock. They see Reichen & DK come in as they exit. Reichen steps up to do the roadblock.

The tense music plays as we head into the detour. Everyone stares intensely into the distance.

That’s when you know she means business.

– David & Jeff and clowns are within seconds of each other. Detour time. Baskets or Trunk. Load ten live chickens into a bicycle-powered wagon and peddle to a distant farm. In trunks, put fabric on an elephant and sit on it as the elephant walks slowly to the shop. Do teams learn anything from how terribly slow the elephants were in TAR 1?

Nope. David & Jeff, the clowns, and Kelly & Jon all choose to do the elephants.

– David & Jeff and the clowns both allude to the elephants being painful on ‘the friendly family’.

– Tian & Jaree get to the detour. Tian wants to do the chickens. Jaree says that prior to the race that if they go to India they MUST ride the elephants. Tian sighs and caves into Jaree who is becoming not only poor at reading maps, running, doing tasks, or participating, but also poor at decision-making. If only Tian wasn’t past her rope. She would beg for a new team mate at this point.

– Tian & Jaree get on the elephant but forget to grab the rugs. It takes a while before the elephant gets down so they can reload and the elephant has to stand up again. That elephant is not used to do that much repetition of standing up.

– Reichen & DK learn from TAR 1 that elephants are slow and thus become the only team to decide to do the cocks. Er…. -_-.

– Jon says he’d prefer getting dragged by the bulls in bull poop for two hours than ride the elephant for five minutes. I wonder if the more you say how painful the elephant was that the bigger your uh, friendly family is? It certainly seems like the male racers wanted to make a note of it.

– David & Jeff complete the detour first. It’s pit stop time in minute 37. Head to The Finishing Point. Teams are awfully close together.

– Kelly shrieks at Jon for going in the wrong direction. Millie yells at Chuck for not directing them properly either.

– David & Jeff arrive first and become the first team to win back-to-back legs in this season. I believe that’s the longest it took for a team to win consecutive legs. I’m looking it up. Frank & Margarita (legs 6-7), Oswald & Danny (legs 3-4), and Derek & Drew (legs 2-3) were the first in each season to accomplish this feat. So David & Jeff are tied with Frank & Margarita for being the longest to accomplish this feat.

– Clowns are second.

– Reichen & DK went to the wrong chicken farm. The bicycle is temporarily disabled and blocks traffic but gets fixed. It seems Tian & Jaree and Reichen & DK complete their detours simultaneously. Ah, the wonders of editing.

– Kelly & Jon are third. Millie & Chuck are fourth.

– About ten seconds of suspense is built to discover that. . .

These two are safe. They live to see another leg. But couldn’t this leg be a non-elimination anyway?

– Sad and terror music plays as Tian & Jaree check in.

They’re Philiminated. Non-eliminations have yet to show themselves.
TIAN: It’s fine. We tried really hard. Thank you.
JAREE: Oh my god. NO! Are you serious? We’re eliminated???

Next time on TAR: The next phase of the race begins.

P.S. I read an interview online. Jaree apparently had such a high fever for the first couple weeks of the race that the doctors recommended that she quit the race. So Tian naturally had to do those roadblocks. She was starting to feel fine by the Netherlands but the next three roadblocks were eels, fish, and bull, and because Jaree is a vegetarian, they know if it’s an eating task that their race is over right there 100%. So my apologies to Jaree for the bashing. This reasoning was never explained on the show.

Tian & Jaree’s elimination spells the end of the line for all-female teams. A couple legs ago Jaree went on about how she thinks her and Tian can be the first all-female team to win because ‘it’s about time an all-girl team won’. You’re going to have to wait a loooong time for that, Jaree.

By the way, want to know reason #17 why the notion that an all-female team winning is oh so amazing and absolutely needs to happen because of those gosh darn awful alpha males teams hogging the winner’s circle? Besides Flo being the only female winner at this point, the best all-female team in four seasons is. . .

Strongest team to run the race? R.I.P. Nancy. I know I bash her and Emily quite frequently, but I do think outside of the race that she was a much more pleasant person to be around.

Tian&Jaree 6.5
Reichen&DK 3.3
Millie&Chuck 3.3
David&Jeff 3.4
Kelly&Jon 3.1
Jon&Al 3.5

FINAL SCORE:

Patriarchy: 17

Feminism: 4

And that’s it! The first half of the season is done. Seven episodes of consecutive eliminations down and six episodes of drawn out conflicts remain!

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

3) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

4) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

5) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

6) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

7) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF

7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF

7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Eighth leg

Tian & Jaree went for a cab ride down the wrong side of the highway. Jon thinks Millie’s mole is growing because of the race. Al wondered if bull feces got into his mouth during the roadblock. Tian struggled, and lost narrowly to Reichen & DK because of her performance. Phil deceives us and switches from “Who will be eliminated tonight?” to “who will be eliminated next?” Viewers caught onto this trickery last season.

– Reichen & DK are celebrating their one year anniversary at the pit stop. Reichen talks about how him and Donkey Kong met. He had a fistful of quarters and threw them into the machine and the rest was history. They all break down crying. Al says now that it’s down to five (and inevitably with three non-eliminations in the next five legs) that the bond is tighter.

Millie & Chuck say they’ve been dating twelve years and are virgins. Jon & Kelly pipe in saying they’re shocked and had sex on the first week are amazed there are 29-year-old virgins on the race. He wants to know more,

Wow. I think Chuck would rather be anywhere else in the world right now. He’s dreaming of being dragged by bulls through mud.

JEFF: It’s not about your sexual preference, whether you’re a virgin or not a virgin, it’s about two people working together with the strengths that they have. Every team is competitive. The best team will ultimately win.

After this prolonged discussion prior to anyone checks out, David & Jeff finally depart. They’re off to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia at 4:00am. My favourite city to say. Kota Kinabalu. Kotakinabalu. Kotakinablue. Coatakinblue. Okay, I’m good.

– The teams take a taxi to Cochin airport. I wonder if word spread around Aleppey for five cab drivers to be hanging conveniently outside the pit stop? Or maybe the teams called them prior to departing. I have a feeling not too many American camera crews stay extensively in Aleppey.
All teams departed between 4:05am and 4:17am. The tasks in the previous leg may have been too easy.

– Millie & Chuck stand behind Reichen & DK in the Air India office.

Reichen insists to close the door because he doesn’t want Millie to steal all of their hardwork. You can’t fault Millie and you can’t fault Reichen. If you’re Millie, you need to do whatever you can to get the best tickets before they’re sold out. If you’re Reichen, you need to close the door and protect the information you’ve been digging up for hours since 5:00am. This is how you need to play the game when so few teams are left and the team who you slammed into a fiacre or a team whose lip you cut probably won’t be your first choice to align with in the race.

– Millie gets into a fight with Chuck over him blaming her for everything she tries to do. What’s interesting is we never see any segments of Chuck insulting Millie. She gets so much of the airtime that we assume to trust her perspective regardless if Chuck is saying these mean things or not. Chuck’s response is to randomly talk about how much he thinks the clowns are good people and that he likes allying with them. Uh, okay then.

– Reichen is arranging a flight that will get him and DK into Kota Kinabalu earlier than the other teams. While the teams are currently in the air to Mumbai, Reichen & DK are taken to a travel agency on the outskirts to pick up their tickets for the earlier flight.

But the closed garage door next to Kong indicates that the ticketing office is actually closed. Crap. Kong gets into an exchange of words with the guy who took them to the ticketing office. The guy calls the owner of the ticketing office and insists he’s on his way. The team is doubtful.

That isn’t just a random pic of a guy on a motorcycle. It’s the boss! He’s riding a motorcycle. And not in a sissy way either. Why? Because he doesn’t cave in to wearing a helmet. He has large doeses of bada–ery running through his veins.

– Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck are on the same flight. Then the clowns get on a flight alone. Then David & Jeff get on a flight. It seems Mumbai offers a lot of flights to Kota Kinabalu.

– Kelly & Jon sleep on the carpet of the Singapore airport for eight hours. Millie thinks there has to be a better flight and gets one a few hours earlier than Kelly & Jon’s flight.  Jon wakes up to see David & Jeff. He proceeds to call Millie a mental patient running around last night. He must’ve known that would make it into the episode.

– Millie & Chuck get into Kuala Lumpur. Her and Chuck announce they will break up after the race. They’re going their separate ways. I wonder what the editors are making us want to think by presenting this information for this particular episode? Their epiphany is disrupted by spotting Reichen & DK. The clowns join them. They’re top three.

Kelly & Jon and David & Jeff , however, are tied for last.

– DK notes that the race is about committing a comedy of errors and overcoming them. Phil drops by to remind us there’s a thing called route markers in TAR because we’re in the 20th minute of the episode without a clue being found.

– DK’s reaction to his cab driver passing the cultural centre route marker on a one-way road, thus being unable to turn around?

DK: Oh my GODDDD!

One of my favourite sound bytes and overreactions. This is why Chip is always called DK. He does a primal yell mixed with actual words as he physically tears what few hairs he has and grits his teeth. Reichen reacts like a normal person and states a calm frustration. I recall impersonating DK’s “OH MY GODDD!” quite a few times after the episode aired.

– MILLIE: The chanting was unusual. They were saying words under their breath that I couldn’t understand. She could’ve been putting a curse on us for all we know.

Ask Eamon. Maybe it’s true. Maybe Millie will wake up without a mole on her face tomorrow because of the spells the lady chanted.

– Reichen & DK eat up a ton of airtime despite being in the middle/least exciting position in the pack. They’re getting the Michael & Kathy treatment. Although I don’t think Michael was able to steal this high percentage of camera time.

– Jon does a Cartman impression (“Those bastards!”) as David & Jeff wave goodbye on their way out of the ceremony.

– Detour time at the jetty. Net or trap. In net, catch fifteen fish with a pole net on a wobbly boat that has several squares where fish are swimming. In trap, work together pulling up a heavy trap that has a lobster inside. TAR logic dictates you should go with the more physically demanding task.

– Millie & Chuck ask to be taken to the trap. Like any good boat driver in Kota Kinabalu, he takes them to where the fish are with nets.

– The clowns have a definitive lead as they pull up the trap. Use your boat driver to get to Manuken Island.

– Reichen & DK ask to be taken to the lobster boat with the trap. Like any good boat driver in Kota Kinabalu, he takes them to where the fish are with nets. I mix up ‘trap’ with ‘nets’, and ‘fish’ with ‘lobster’ all the time too. Instead of settling to do the nets like Millie & Chuck, DK beats his chest and yells at the driver to take them to the trap. It works out because they finish almost immediately and secure second. Meanwhile Millie & Chuck have ten fish. Millie has to walk with the basket of fish in her hand.

CHUCK: Don’t drop them baby, please–

Either she fell into a pool created by drinking iced tea or she has the balancing skills of Chris Daugherty.

– Roadblock time. Use three weapons and hit the target. Hit one of two layers of wood with a bow and arrow, a fruit with a blowpipe, and a log with a spear. In other words, TAR re-watched the episode five reward challenge from Survivor: Borneo and copied it directly.  After that they run another one hundred feet to the pit stop.

– DK is next to the roadblock. Chuck follows. Everyone struggles with the bow and arrow.

– David & Jeff and Kelly & Jon are back at the detour. Can they catch up?

– Jon completes the bow and arrow task. He’s on to the blowpipe. DK isn’t too far behind. Jon wraps up the blowpipe instantly.

– Millie does a terrible impression of Chuck when he’s in a downward spiral.

– David & Jeff ask their driver to take them to the fish. Does this mean the driver will take them to the lobster?

– Millie calls Chuck ‘Charles’. Is that where the name of Chuck originates from? Learn something new every day.

– David & Jeff catch fifteen fish. . .of the tiny ones. They thought they were so amazing but get shut down by the local whose sole purpose is to count fish.

– Jon tells Kelly to get a grip. For once this phrase is literal because he wants her to get a better grip of the rope to pull up the trap.

– DK completes the roadblock first. But they don’t see the pit stop in plain sight down the beach. What’s better is that the TAR 20 premiere was two days ago so this occurrence is the norm. Jon finishes and they pass the other team to land on the pit stop and claim victory for once this season. Using their eyes allows them to win a 7-day cruise.

– Chuck succeeds with the bow then the blowpipe. We get a montage of him throwing spears. He’s calmer now that he’s no longer threatened.

– Jon thinks he can lift the trap by himself. Big mistake. He says it’s going down but Kelly can’t scramble enough to get ahold of the rope.

JON: Motherf—er. Dammit. Motherf—er.
(JON glares at KELLY.)
KELLY: Sorry.

That’s the best consolation she can offer. They run off to do the fish. They have too much water in their basket because two fish flop their way out and into the square. Millie & Chuck had that happen to them too. Kelly’s solution is not to drain the water but rather to sit on the basket and watch Jon catch.

JON: I need you to help, Kell. You know, farting on the fish does not help too much.

If Jon was partnered up with Kat from Survivor: One World, then farting on something would make sense. But this is KELLY we’re talking about here! I don’t believe this.

– Jeff is doing the roadblock. Chuck is still at the spear. He penetrates the wood. Millie & Chuck are in third. Kelly & Jon finish the detour. Jeff completes the bow and arrow.

– JON: I’d bet the race on a non-elimination right now.

– Jeff completes the blowpipe. While Jeff needs a few tosses to do the spear toss David gives constant advice that doesn’t really help. This minor skirmish doesn’t affect anything because Jeff hits the target and checks in 4th place.

– Jon & Kelly (I switched their names. I’m such a rebel) arrive at the roadblock. Jon, after doing six out of seven roadblocks and doing both detour tasks alone, instantly volunteers Kelly. He’s that confident it’ll be a non-elimination that he can waste time getting Kelly to do a roadblock.

GREETER: Welcome to Kota Kinabalu Malaysia.
DAVID: Oh. So that’s how you say it.

Sarcasm is a universal language, David.

– JON: Be the arrow.
KELLY: Jon, get out of here.
JON: Be the arrow.
(Arrow misses.)
JON: Now be the bow.
KELLY: Jon, shut up.
JON: Be the bow, be the arrow.
KELLY: Jon, go away please. Lord, please let me hit it so Jon will shut up.
JON: Yes, make Jon shut up. He’s dying to shut up. There you go.


– Jon doesn’t shut up, though.

JON: Just stick that thing in your mouth and start blowing it!

I didn’t notice it until this re-watch but Jon DEFINITELY meant that quote in a sexual way. He was too eager and in his sexual innuendo tone of voice when he uttered the statement.

I think that gives him ideas for tonight.

– Kelly & Jon are the last team to arrive. But as expected the non-elimination phase begins. Jon bragged about knowing it’d be a non-elimination leg. You mean to say that with two eliminations and three non-eliminations to go that you’re a genius for deducing there had to be one this leg? You. Are. Brilliant.

– Everyone except David gets a confessional stating the next leg will be brutal. They go into UFC pre-fight promo mode to make up for this episode being a non-elimination.

Next time on TAR: Clowns yell, Jon tells Kelly to f herself, and a road race to the finish. Sounds like fun.

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

3) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

4) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

5) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

5) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

6) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

7) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

Reichen&DK 9.8
Millie&Chuck 10.6
David&Jeff 3.5
Kelly&Jon 5.1
Jon&Al 2.3

Ninth leg

Previously on TAR: Millie & Chuck have tension on the race. Reichen & DK, after celebrating their anniversary, were in line to win the leg but beat out by the clowns at the last second. Kelly & Jon were last to arrive but saved by a non-elimination. That’s all of them, right? Yeah. We covered all remaining teams. Let’s go.

– Will Millie & Chuck’s personal differences affect their difference? And can Kelly & Jon get out of last place? Fewest questions Phil has heading into a leg of TAR. He wasn’t feeling too inquisitive.

– Clowns and Reichen & Chip find out they’re going to the hot springs. Jon is REALLY excited that he’s going to hot springs.


– They take a boat then a taxi. I hate how rarely they drive themselves so far this season.

– Millie says her and Chuck have been fighting and have been stressed to where they haven’t been getting much sleep over the course of the race. Hmmm. Are we going to have a Jennifer Tilly moment from The Wrong Guy?

If you haven’t seen The Wrong Guy you MUST watch it. Like right this second. Close this blog and order it online. It’s that good.

– Kelly & Jon leave ninety minutes after the clowns in last place at 3:30am. The route marker opens at 6:30am. Kelly & Jon don’t arrive but all four teams were at the hot springs when they opened. They must’ve caught up at least an hour.

– Millie & Chuck are first to the clue box. Teams get to DRIVE THEMSELVES to the next route marker. Yay! And a map is enclosed for reference. You’re truly on your own.

– What do you do when you’re trailing every team in a leg where you don’t have any major equalizers and likely be at the next pit stop in ten hours?

KELLY: Are you kidding me? Hurry up Jon, I don’t care!

(JON giggling.)

KELLY: Seriously Jon, please. C’mon.
JON: I shouldn’t have drank two cups of coffee.

– Kelly & Jon see the other four teams exiting. They must be around ten minutes behind. However, Kelly & Jon get lost searching for the clue box.

– Jeff tells David to turn on his defroster or roll down the window to eliminate the fog. David says he “can f—ing see where he’s going”.

Reichen tells DK to turn on his defroster. DK had it on in the parking lot.
Chuck pulls over on the side of the road to wipe down his car. Poor choice. Can’t waste previous time like that Chuck.

– Kelly & Jon fight over the location of the clue box.

– JEFF: Dude, speed limit is 90. You’re going 80.
DAVID: Dude, f— off. Your job is not to be a douche. I thought your job was navigating.
JEFF: Dude, you just gotta lose the attitude.
DAVID: I think you need to f— off then because the car can’t go any faster or else it’s gonna go.

– Remember how Millie & Chuck haven’t been getting much sleep lately?

Millie pulls a Carissa Gagman (but Carissa Gaghan hasn’t even raced yet!) and falls asleep in a car en route to the detour. Unlike Carissa, Millie doesn’t have the luxury of her parents being present to navigate to the route markers for her. As Phil would say, Millie has to figure out how to get to the next yellow and red route marker by solving clues found in sealed envelopes. Nailed it!

But seriously, Chuck can’t be a Zach and possess the ability to drive and navigate simultaneously. Millie staying up all night in the previous leg to find the earliest flight to Kota Kinabalu on a non-elimination leg is coming back to bite her in a leg where someone may be eliminated.

Millie asks if Chuck is getting sleepy ten minutes into the episode? This is going to be a long day. You’d think Hypno or Drowzee from Pokemon consists of the camera and audio crew. I’ve never seen this as a storyline integrated into TAR this much before.

– Kelly & Jon struggle for a bit longer until Jon sees the route marker.

JON: Let’s go, Kelly. I see it.
KELLY: Shut up.
JON: I see it.
KELLY: You do not.
JON: Kelly. Move you’re a–. Now.

– They open up the clue. Kelly insists to go straight to reading the Fast Forward.

JON: Fast forward: Drive yourselves to the Sepelik . . .Orang-Tuan…Orang
KELLY… Orangutan?!

This screen cap pretty much sums up the whole exchange. It’s okay, Jon. Just sound it out. Take your time. If you were willing to urinate on the side of the road, I’m sure there’s no issue in waiting a few seconds. Once you sound it out, you get a gold sticker on the wall.

– Phil cuts in to say the fast forward is to drive to a nature reserve with orangutans and hike to feed them fruit. Yep.

– Reichen & DK realize they’ve been going on the wrong road for over an hour. However, the road is taking them directly to the Fast Forward. Well, not much choice here. I have a feeling Kelly & Jon won’t be too impressed.

– Detour time. Chop or Haul. Use a tricky bamboo pole to cut down sharp coconut. Only a few of the coconuts contain a clue. In haul, use a wheelbarrow and haul sharp coconuts and throw these heavy sticker-suckers into the truck above. After 25, they’ll get their next clue after the truck drives away to reveal it.
– Millie can’t find a palm oil plantation in an area with a million palm oil plantations. They stop in at restaurants and houses but can’t seem to listen to a word they’re saying. My favourite quick segment is Millie asking ‘is it this way (right) or is it that way (left)?’

The driver responds confused and points back. Millie didn’t even give him the option that ended up being correct! Did I say it was going to be a loooong day.

– David & Jeff can’t find the clue box for the detour. That’s because it’s in a wheelbarrow. They badger the clowns who essentially have to direct them to its precise co-ordinate.

– JON: It doesn’t make ANY sense for any other team to take the fast forward.

I have a feeling Kelly & Jon won’t be impressed. Should they be shocked, though?

Donkey Kong wants to do the ONE task in the WHOLE season that involves monkeys? We are all suckers for not seeing this happening from a mile away. Of course DK wants to take time off from the insanity and check in with his long lost Malaysian friends and family. I’m sure they have a save point barrel waiting for him. Nine legs is a long time to go without saving.

That orangutan is full of fruit. I think it’s safe to say it’s bloated.

Reichen & DK can now skip the detour and roadblock to head directly to the next pit stop: The Sepilok Nature Reserve.

– Millie & Chuck do the wheelbarrow because Millie wanted to do it. Chuck insists to change. So they change. Chuck struggles too much so they go back to the wheelbarrow.

Millie yells at Chuck for being stubborn. Chuck yells at her for not following his instructions. They aren’t communicating whatsoever.

– Kelly & Jon giggle about Jon messing up orangutan. The fast forward is a sure thing.

In the words of Sir Richard Rose, “I say, bit of bad luck!”

JON: Motherf–trucker.
KELLY: You’re always right, I’m always wrong. We’re done.
JON: Kelly, don’t f— yourself.
KELLY: What did you just say to me? You’re walking a thin line. You won’t talk to me like that!
(KELLY exits the car. And enters.)
JON: The clowns probably took it. Millie said “Please guys, Jon and Kelly are gonna take the fast forward tomorrow so you have to get it so we won’t be eliminated.
KELLY: Jon, please please please PLEEEASE, quit being a big jerk. You’re being a big jerk to me and a big jerk to everyone else. Let’s go finish the race and go out like normal people and not be bitter. We had fun.
JON: Now it’s not fun.

Please note Jon’s impersonation of Millie couldn’t be more inaccurate.

– Chuck tells Millie to keep her eyes peeled for the sign. They both claim to have not had any sleep. Millie looks down at her map as editing shows the fading sign that directs travelers to the cave. Oh. Now we’ve got a race.

– The clowns get to the caves. Roadblock time. Go up a HUGE ladder and retrieve a basket used to feed birds and climb back down. Jon, the professional human cannonball, immediately volunteers. He specifically mentions the ladder being covered in poop. His hands and feet are covered in poop.

How does bird poop compare to bull poop or cow poop? These are the serious questions we need to know.

– Pit stop. The clowns exit as David & Jeff enter. Jon high fives each of them with his bird poop-filled hands. The joke is on you, David & Jeff.

– Reichen & DK check in first. Phil informs them they’ve won a trip to “Festive” Latin America. As opposed to the impoverished Latin America or lame Latin America.

– Kelly & Jon get to the detour. They have to match the wheelbarrow to the truck. They have to read ‘5’ that was clearly written on the truck. Kelly sees the letter ‘C’ but misses the ‘5’ about one inch to the right.

I spy with my little eye something that looks like a 5. Can you find it? It’s REALLY hard. So they switch detours. After pulling down coconuts with blank clues, they find the correct one. They’re hours behind at this point.

– Millie complains about not seeing the sign and blowing a couple crucial hours. They get to the caves. Kelly & Jon complain about going for the fast forward and blowing a couple crucial hours. Do the math and it can only mean one thing:

Ladies and gentlemen, we have the closest race at a roadblock between two trailing teams in TAR’s 4-season history.

– Clowns check into the pit stop in second place.

– Kelly and Millie are meanwhile shouting at their partners. Jon overtakes them.

– Millie shouts at Chuck to look at the map. Chuck says he can’t look away and lose them if Millie can’t figure out where to go. It’s best for Millie to inhale that puffer and prepare to sprint it out. Good strategy by Chuck.

Jon takes the competition to the next level. He passes a truck and uses his knowledge of driving a stick to create distance. Chuck can’t find the gear.

Millie & Chuck don’t even see Kelly & Jon in front of them anymore. The suspense is gone. Production adds on another thirty seconds for the heck of it.

How the heck did they stay in? Kelly didn’t really follow through last leg’s promo of saying ‘the other racers won’t know what hit them’. It was a matter of Millie & Chuck  royally effing up every little task they did after the hot springs.

– Millie & Chuck check in. They’re eliminated. Will they stay together maybe not blah blah blah. They’re done.
Next time on TAR: Teams wander into North Korea. Hopefully.

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Kota Kinabalu -> Sandakan (Teams drive themselves for a huge chunk of the leg and have a map so they can completely own where they’re going. This leg exposed major attrition by multiple teams. The only team that wasn’t at each other’s throats were the clowns. Even David & Jeff were given airtime to show their intrapersonal conflicts! Reichen & DK couldn’t follow a road so DK got to play with his own kind, Kelly & Jon screwed up the location of the hot springs and spotting the number 5, and David & Jeff not finding a clue in a wheelbarrow, and Millie & Chuck messing up every second of the entire leg makes this a comedy of errors. I like the setting for this leg too. There were very few people around because it was a rural area leaving the teams needing to go well out of their way if they wanted to contact locals. The sharp coconuts drew first blood for some of the teams. In fact, the detour was a great test of patience which is great in the ninth leg of the season. Also a great showdown that nobody was expecting in a non-equalizer leg as Jon and Chuck faced off in the roadblock and testing their knowledge of using a stick shift effectively.)

3) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

4) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

5) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

6) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

7) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

8) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

9) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF

7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Reichen&DK 8.4
Millie&Chuck 8.8
David&Jeff 5.4
Kelly&Jon 8.6
Jon&Al 3.4

P.S. Jeff Garst is a fellow ranking his top 100 characters here on WordPress:

jeffssurvivorblog.wordpress.com

Tenth leg

Previously on TAR: David & Jeff are featured for the first time but still aren’t named. Kelly & Jon come out of nowhere and defeat America’s favourite virgins in Millie & Chuck. Reichen & DK win the fast forward where we hear Reichen comment on the orangutan’s hands feeling like his hands. Who will be eliminated next?

– Phil tells us that this is the island of Borneo. He mentions everything about Borneo except that it’s where Survivor was born. Will Reichen & DK maintain their lead? And will the three all-male teams overwhelm Kelly & Jon who are the last co-ed team in the race.

– Reichen & DK depart at 10:26pm. Drive to a temple. The largest temple. . .in Malaysian Borneo. -_-

Once there find a key amongst a million candles with your name on it and open up your woven bag.

– Reichen says the competition is on. He has to watch his back. If a mistake, it’s all over.  After watching Kelly & Jon’s performance last leg, we know that’s not exactly true. They made five mistakes and are still in.

Reichen & DK find their key and bag. It’s off to Seoul we go. Get to the top of Seoul Tower. Vans to take teams to the airport arrive at the temple starting at midnight and depart every thirty minutes. Odd van service if you ask me.


Reichen takes the time to pray.  Aren’t hands usually together instead of interlocking? I don’t know. The only time I’ve been in a church was for a redneck wedding when I was eight years old. But I digress.

They sit around until the van arrives.

– Clowns then David & Jeff leave. David thinks he’s the underdog. By TAR 4, nobody considers the alpha males as underdogs anymore. Sorry.

– David claims the clowns are their biggest threat. So they have two good rounds in a row and suddenly are the biggest threat?

– Kelly & Jon check out approximately 2 ½ hours behind the leaders. Kelly says she’ll bust her butt because she’s the only girl. Apparently being in a sea of women discourages you from putting out full effort in the first nine episodes. Maybe if Teri & Ian were in fourth, Flo would’ve been a major force amongst Zach, Derek, Drew, Ken, and Gerard.

– KELLY: We’ve been doing very well with our strategy of being relaxed. . .The wrath of Kelly is fixing to come out.
JON: I think the wrath of Kelly is fixing to come out on Jon.

Too true. Also, were Kelly & Jon ever truly relaxed?

Well they did take the time to sleep.

– REICHEN: We realize there’s no reason to have an alliance anymore. It’s every man for himself.

Miiiiight take offense to that statement. Kelly is not a man!

– Everyone is hanging out in Malaysia Airlines ticket counter.

JON: This is the best of the best. Kelly and Jon, guy and girl team very strong. Reichen and Chip very very cunning. . .
AL: . . .David and Jeff don’t give up.

I think David and Jeff get the short end of the stick in that description.

– David and Jeff book a flight to Hong Kong but it’s full. Them and the clowns purchase standby tickets. Eventually they check back in the counter to find out if they’re on the flight.


DAVID: Whaaat? Because when I came up here you said the flight is full and we wanna be on standby. You said ‘okay’. You said you can’t be on standby unless you purchase tickets. I said ‘okay, so we’ll purchase a ticket’. Wasn’t that the obvious agreement?


JEFF: You sold us a ticket without putting us on standby. So I don’t think that was very fair.

DAVID: Maybe in consideration of not putting us on standby, you’ll give us tickets to Hong Kong.

Heh. The subtitles portray David and Jeff as two big silent mob cronies attacking that smaller female because her boss didn’t let the mob have their share of the racketeering!

Say hello to my little eye roll.

DAVID (turns to the male attendant): Is she checking us out?
MALE ATTENDANT: Yes.
DAVID (spit’s a little): Okay.

Oh, and the clowns use politeness to get on the earlier flight. So David & Jeff and the clowns lead. Kelly & Jon and Reichen & DK wonder where the other two teams went. Oh well, most likely a non-elimination so no biggie.

– They get to the top of Seoul Tower. Time to get to the Sundam Valley in the rural north of South Korea only minutes away from the border.

– How many South Korean taxi drivers does it take to comprehend an Amazing Race clue written in English that has a destination for one of the capital’s biggest landmarks?

Four taxi drivers! When you’re not in central Europe where people know half a dozen languages, or India that was part of the British Commonwealth, or the island of Borneo that is a tourist hotspot, behold a city that may be challenging for racers to communicate.

– The clowns and David & Jeff discover a one-way ride to Sundam Valley costs one hundred American dollars. So with two teams, two camera personnel, two audio personnel, and a taxi driver, what do you do?

Split a cab. I wonder if David & Jeff paid a higher percentage to have those front row seats? Or maybe the clowns are mooning the locals out the side window.

– Reichen & DK waste a lot of time when they get to Seoul Tower and ask about ten people if anyone speaks English. Nobody understands him. However, the one thing the driver understands is to go to the hotel. At the hotel, the English-speaking concierge arranges for an English speaking taxi driver that doesn’t speak English. Yep, you read that correctly. The concierge follows this up with ‘English?? Ohhhh, Engliiiish. I get it now.’

Reichen & DK are on their merry way. Especially when the taxi driver turns on the ‘hazard lights’ which gives him the permission to run red lights.

REICHEN: We can hang our a–es out the side of the car naked and be fine. It’s legal. With the hazards on.

– The driver for the clowns and co. claims he knows where Sundam Valley is. Well, except for the fact that he doesn’t know where it is and stops in a gas station to ask.

I think he’s finding Les at the BP gas station.

The two teams get together with the taxi driver and ask a clerk for directions.
CLERK: Take a left before the bridge.
JEFF: Got it.
(DRIVER nods.)

The driver goes past the bridge. I don’t see any harm in it.

AL: The South Korea border is scary. In the U.S. you’re not used to twenty tanks being lined up with military guys in rifles and bunkers.

That’s true you don’t see that in the U.S. Although I’m sure you’d find twenty American tanks lined up in other countries.

– Reichen & DK and Kelly & Jon’s plane arrived forty minutes after the first plane. Although Kelly & Jon pass the clowns and David & Jeff. Reichen & DK overcome all language barrier delays and pull off the first place tag at the route marker (I assume it doesn’t open for several hours). Kelly & Jon are second.

REICHEN: David & Jeff have obviously formed an alliance with the clowns which makes them an even bigger threat. We hope Kelly & Jon stay on because they’re not as big of a threat.

Episode ten: The leg of non-stop threat talk. The real threat is North Korea in this leg, though.

– Roadblock time. The Alaska roadblock from leg 13 in TAR 1 is revived. DK, Jon, Al, and Jeff all have to jump in freezing water that is currently having the ice on the surface cut out by a chainsaw just for them.

– JON: We hate the silence. So we thought we’d do something to break up the tension.

So they look into the camera and bust out into a dance to hog further camera time. Grrr.

– KOREAN DOCTOR: Have you had a heart attack? Hearing problem?
DK: Nope.

How cold is this water for those conditions to come into play? I have a feeling Millie couldn’t do it.

DK: There’s a route marker in Subway Station 228 in Seoul. Find it.

That’s officially the shortest clue ever given on the race.

– Remember when the clowns and David & Jeff shared a cab to Sundam Valley? Well. . .

Jeff finishing the roadblock third doesn’t mean much when you wait for the last place team. If I were them I’d take off the cab. You must REALLY want to save money if you wait to be tied for last with only a detour to go.

– David & Jeff make a dumb move. They choose to be the ones to separate and take the extra two minutes to load up in another cab while the clowns peel into the third.

– The clowns and Reichen & DK get off at a subway because of the traffic. They were traveling for over three hours until they got into the subway.

Kelly starts up a ridiculous fight. Remember when Kelly said last round that she’d want to lose with grace and dignity rather than pout and quit?

KELLY: I’d rather not come in than come in last.

Thank goodness Kelly has come full circle for our viewing pleasure.

– David & Jeff get on the wrong subway at the poor advice of a local who insists she was right. So David & Jeff get into another cab.

DAVID: Seoul University?
DRIVER: . . . .
DAVID: Do you understand?

This was a full-on eye roll. You should see it in all two seconds of its glory.

– Jon goes against Kelly’s wishes to jump in the subway and opts to stay in the cab. The traffic clears up and thus Jon’s decision pays off and lands them at the detour first. Strong hands or strong stomach. Smash some boards in Tae Kwon Do with your hands or eat a Korean delicacy at a restaurant.

Jon says it’ll be “butt lickers,” leading him and Kelly to do the boards.

– Reichen & DK however opt to eat. It can’t be anything disgusting, right? When they enter and see the bowl of octopus in a pool of water in front of them, as well as hearing the furious chopping in the kitchen, Reichen provides one of the best reaction shots of the season.

Reichen’s memories from childhood when his mom says to eat his octopus flashes into his mind. They have two very full plates of octopus to eat. The plate is moving. Donkey Kong is making some of the most uncomfortable vomiting noises I think I’ve ever heard in TAR.

– Kelly fails to break boards in the detour until Jon says to pretend the boards are his face. Then they break no problem. Kelly pulls a Ken Shamrock and breaks her  right hand in the process. She’s bleeding and the one knuckle looks messed up. It does look like Ken Shamrock’s hand from the early UFCs. I’d hate punching boards that don’t break and crush my hand, too.

Pit stop time. Gyeongbokgung Palace. Now that we’re in a colder climate it’s time for the return of our favourite segment after a brief hiatus:

Phil’s covered up neck. That’s the most luxurious turtleneck I’ve seen Phil wear yet.

– David displays his season long cultural ignorance once again.
DAVID: I don’t think this is such a good idea. There’s eyeballs and stuff. This is disgusting. This is disgusting. Even though we’re behind this is not happening.
.
DAVID: If I had two or three more bites I probably would have puked.

I have a feeling David won’t go into public relations.

– Reichen calls his taxi driver a “wamb”. Urban dictionary it and report back to me what you come up with.

– Who will come in first? Kelly & Jon or Reichen & DK?

By the way, this is the greeter for this leg of the race. Is he supposed to be a caricature from Age of Empires II or did he steal Raiden’s costume from Mortal Kombat? Either way it’s Kelly & Jon who are team number one. They win a vacation to the SUNNY Caribbean.
– Reichen & DK are second. Two minutes remain.

– The clowns check in third place after ten seconds of suspense. That means the last place team is. .

Whoever these guys are. Jeff’s smile and David’s s— eating grin indicate it is indeed a non-elimination round. I trust it was pre-determined because I’m sure production wants to find any excuse to kick these two off before Kelly & Jon, the clowns, or Donkey Kong.

Next time on TAR: Every player is angry or screaming. Even the clowns.

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Kota Kinabalu -> Sandakan (Teams drive themselves for a huge chunk of the leg and have a map so they can completely own where they’re going. This leg exposed major attrition by multiple teams. The only team that wasn’t at each other’s throats were the clowns. Even David & Jeff were given airtime to show their intrapersonal conflicts! Reichen & DK couldn’t follow a road so DK got to play with his own kind, Kelly & Jon screwed up the location of the hot springs and spotting the number 5, and David & Jeff not finding a clue in a wheelbarrow, and Millie & Chuck messing up every second of the entire leg makes this a comedy of errors. I like the setting for this leg too. There were very few people around because it was a rural area leaving the teams needing to go well out of their way if they wanted to contact locals. The sharp coconuts drew first blood for some of the teams. In fact, the detour was a great test of patience which is great in the ninth leg of the season. Also a great showdown that nobody was expecting in a non-equalizer leg as Jon and Chuck faced off in the roadblock and testing their knowledge of using a stick shift effectively.)

3) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

4) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

5) Sandakan -> Seoul (As Darkwing Duck would say, “Let’s get dangerous”. Teams have to suffer for the first time from communication barriers, breaking hands, and literally freezing themselves throughout the course of their venture in South Korea. Not to mention two of the teams see the border. The bizarre short-sighted decision by the clowns and the goats to share a cab plays out which is neat to see. I couldn’t imagine all twelve teams being able to put up with these tasks if it was thrust upon them at the start of the season. This was designed for experienced racers. Also, why does Reichen get to narrate virtually the whole episode?)

6) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

7) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

8) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

9) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

10) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

Reichen&DK 16.3
David&Jeff 7.12
Kelly&Jon 7.6
Jon&Al 6.6

Eleventh leg

Previously on TAR: Teams travelled 4, 000 miles to South Korea. Teams got lost at the North Korea border. Phil busts out his best puns when he says teams experienced a “chilling roadblock” (swimming through ice) and Reichen & DK having a “lively meal” (eating octopus that are moving on their plate). Kelly broke her hand smashing boards. It was a race between two teams but recently visible David & Jeff checked in last and were saved by a non-elimination. Four teams remain. Who will be voted out–er eliminated tonight?

Phil introduces us to Seoul. He says the pit stop is in the “heart” of the city. The heart of Seoul? Ugh. Stop the puns, Phil!

– We’re told this is a crucial leg because this is the last elimination before the final leg where teams race for a million. We are treated to at least one person on each team saying ‘one million dollars’. It’s serious biz.

– Phil asks if Kelly’s hand injury will prompt her and Jon to go for the last fast forward. And will David & Jeff successfully get out of last place much to the chagrin of the producers?

– Kelly & Jon depart at 3:46am. We’re off to Hangang Park where teams will retrieve a kite. Taxis in South Korea continue to not speak any English as Kelly & Jon struggle to find an English-speaking cab. I can’t recall a country thus far in TAR where teams are having this difficult of time finding English-speaking cabs.

– Reichen gets his thousandth confessional of how he wants to be in the top three. Ughhh. This is going to be an annoying leg. Producers are going to shove it down our throats.

– Kelly goes on about the pressures of being the only girl and how she hurt herself. Wonder if production will post the suicide hot line on screen? And I think the pressures of being two gay men exceeds the struggle of being the only girl in any social environment. Just sayin’.

– The 3-step Process of DK’s intensity:

1) Grinding the teeth in deep thought.

2) Hiding his ape-like eyes.

3) The ‘I Need to Go to the Bathroom Because I’m Racing So Intensely’ Pose.


– Reichen says “We forget to have fun which is crippling to our team.”

The next cut:

(jon al fun)

No Donkey Kong-like intensity found here.

I just caught on that the route marker is Yoda (Yeouido) Island. Too bad I’m not a Star Wars nerd and don’t care in the least about the name.

– You know what you find in Seoul at 4:30am? I have a feeling Kelly wasn’t thinking too clearly when she chose these people to ask for directions.

It’s the eleventh leg. Give her a break. I do appreciate she approaches them while the one guy is given a Chun Li-inspired kick straight to the crotch.

– DK freaks out at the cab as it passes by Hangang Park and doesn’t turn immediately. He slams the window in frustration. The clowns find themselves in the lead and find the next route marker that will take them to BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA! The days of non-English speaking countries are over.

– Reichen & DK are in second. Kelly & Jon were at the hotel to get directions and find a driver that could speak English.

– Kelly explains that Jon pulled the main kite string and the entire string broke. Ten years later and I still have no idea how that works. If there are any kite experts out there reading this, please tell me what the significance of why there is a ‘main string’ versus the other strings available have any significance.

– David & Jeff quietly check out of the pit stop. Jeff’s goatee is zoomed in on and speaks of how it’s a new day for it and David’s goatee. They checked out at 5:15am, in case you were wondering.

– Everyone’s on their way to Inchon airport. Ticket centres closed until 6:00am.

– Jeff mentions the FF clue for a split second. A hint by editing?

– Jon comments how Zeus threw down a lightning bolt of fog. It was like a plane flying directly into a cloud.

– Flights are delayed because of fog. Clowns are on a flight alone. The flight with the other three teams leaves more than two hours earlier than the clowns.

NOTE: Behind the scenes the other three teams were told to stay in the Brisbane airport until the Clowns arrived. I guess exposing production difficulties isn’t popular beyond TAR 1.

– Clowns miss the better flight with the other three teams by mere minutes. They asked to board it just a bit too late.

JON: Very rarely do you see the clowns stressed out, we’re stressed big time. I’m about to explode man. The blood’s going right through to my head.

That’s what Jon is wearing when he’s saying all of this. That’s great. If you’re wondering “why did the Clowns have the highest popularity rating of any CBS Survivor and TAR contestant ever?” Well, here’s your answer. Not once do they shed a tear or get angry, not once do they hurt another team, but not once are they boring. They’re entertaining us purely from their ability to be fun people.

– The clowns waste time in the airport by Jon balancing yet another pair of glasses. I won’t bother posting yet another screen cap for that. There’s already been three of those. But here is something worth screen capping:

JON: Hey Al.

AL (drinking water bottle): What?

JON: Why did the chicken cross the road?

AL: I don’t know. Why did the chicken cross the road?

Wait for it. . .

JON: To get on Korea Airlines!

Water meet Jon’s face. That was a full blast. I s’pose Al spits rather than swallows.

– Music as teams fly into Brisbane is stolen straight from Survivor: The Australian Outback. Which is unusual because they’re on the Gold Coast and absent of didgeridoos.

– David & Jeff clear customs first and are heading straight to the Fast Forward. Phil informs us that this is the last Fast Forward on the race, and although it gives racers the opportunity to skip all tasks, it does not guarantee victory. Why are we being informed of this if it has only been relevant in one leg per season?

– The other two teams are heading for the ol’ concierge. Teams constantly remind us that this day is all about making top three. Kelly & Jon took the train while Reichen & DK took the cab. Surprisingly, Kelly & Jon spot them in their cab while in the train. They must eat their carrots.

– The teams are taking the elevator to the top of a random tall building. My harrowing TAR detour sense is tingling.

– And it is. Face First or Foot First. In Face First, teams will take a face first repel down the face of the hotel. In Foot First, teams have to walk down the stairs to the first floor of the hotel and walk across the street until they find another building to get the clue.

– Kelly can’t grab the rope because of the broken hand while breaking boards last leg. Meanwhile Flo wouldn’t do this task if she had two perfectly healthy hands.

DK and Jon race down the building simultaneously. DK swings down the building faster than his non-simian competitor. Kelly is ready to be nervous and anxious about doing this task with a broken hand.  . .

– Which is a perfect time to cut to David & Jeff doing the FF. They are struggling. Jeff tells David to “Hang on David! Don’t let go!” I observed that this is the EXACT SAME SOUNDBYTE from the Aleppey leg FOUR EPISODES AGO. They must’ve been terrible during tasks and interviews if they needed a sound byte from four rounds ago.

– Kelly coils as the instructor shakes her broken hand. She mentions how he shook her broken hand. Jon chimes in and says Kelly broke her hand on the previous detour while breaking the boards. How. Dumb. Are. Viewers?

– JON: C’mon Kelly! Don’t let that GAY GUY beat you!

Evidently Jon is NOT a gay rights activist. Congratulations, 70% of the reality TV viewing community officially hates you.

– Kelly screams, moans, and whimpers as she goes down the building because she can only use her broken hand. It was a very Blair Witch Project tone of voice.

– Teams are heading to Mooloolaba something something. I don’t know. I wasn’t paying attention.

– David & Jeff finish out the FF. For a few years I thought the body they rescued in the water was a mannequin. On a re-watch about five years ago I noticed once they’re back on the beach that the body shakes their hand and then in the next shot she’s standing up. I believe I thought it was a mannequin because Jeff puts her on his board with her butt directly into his face.

The most sexual position you can find while you’re doing a surf n rescue mission. See what I did there? Surf n Rescue? As opposed to Search n Rescue? It’s 1:00am and I am on fire! Anyways, David & Jeff are on their way to Mooloolaba Yacht Club.

– Clowns are doing the detour. They seem to be miles behind considering how quickly they show them doing the face first task.

– Reichen & DK and Kelly & Jon are on their way to Mooloolaba Waterworld.

– They get to the roadblock. The clue is ‘just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water’ and they’re surrounded by eels, stingray, and sharks. Kelly, who I don’t know, has a broken hand I guess? She wanted to do the task. Jon overrides her decision in .01 seconds and insists he can beat one o’ the gay guys.

– My mom is deathly afraid of sharks. However, this shark instructor provides useful tips to avoid angering sharks.

WHAT?! I can’t stand on a shark? What is this? I was going to be like Bobby Flay in that TV special where he jumps on the cutting board after he beats the iron chefs from Japan and the Japanese chefs are all pissed because a cutting board is sacred. Or maybe I’d use the shark as a foot stool to see above Leif Manson who is observing me from the outside. Or invite a fish to stand on the shark and we’d have a sumo match where first one to fall off the shark’s back loses.

Don’t stand on sharks or else they’ll bite. Geez. Is there ANYTHING you can do while you’re around a shark? Frankly if you can’t stand on ‘em, I really don’t see the point. What a grouchy bunch of mothaf—ers.

Heck yeah, I don’t like being stood on! I used to have people jumping on my back all the time ,but man, it really starts to wear you out after a while. So please watch the back! I’m slouching over as it is. By the way, where’s that waiver that gives you guys permission to show me on camera?

You didn’t say ‘Simon Says!’

Except Russell Hantz. He flipped a shark to his side to avoid pulling rocks in a tiebreaker.

– JON: When I passed Reichen his eyes were like the cat on the ceiling with its claws stuck in it. So I kinda laughed at him.

KELLY: Whenever you see the shark pass Reichen you’d see the buggles go ‘Ooooo!’ and a few seconds later it’d be ‘Ooooo!’

Editors are really painting Kelly & Jon as homophobic. I s’pose editors were desperate for a storyline in the last couple episodes of the season.

– Kelly opens up the clue. It’s time to head to the Mooloolaba Yacht Club. David & Jeff have yet to check in. The clowns are nowhere in sight. It seems to be a foregone conclusion.

– David & Jeff arrive at the pit stop. They’re first once again. They win a 7-day trip to “exotic Mexico”.

– Clue instructs teams to walk to the pit stop. Kelly & Jon are running while Reichen & DK hop into their car. DK orders Reichen to join him in the car and drive to the pit stop.

– The clowns get to the roadblock. Al is doing the roadblock. Jon tries to tell Al to limbo under a shark. He is dumbfounded that Al doesn’t want to lean back and hurdle under a big freakin’ shark.

– Reichen & DK celebrate their 2nd place finish at the pit stop. Phil pulls one of his few infamous ‘however,’ and tells them they have a penalty of 35 minutes. This is back in the good ol days where all rule violations are 30 minutes plus the number of minutes gained. Back when rules were logical.

– Kelly & Jon get to the pit stop in 3rd but are bumped up to 2nd.

– Reichen & DK hope the clowns arrive late despite loving them as people.

– The ‘2nd to last place triumph’ music plays as the clowns get to the pit stop. Viewers are under the impression the clowns must be saved. Phil tells them Reichen & DK have a penalty. The clowns giggle. But Phil crushes their hopes and dreams to announce that the penalty wasn’t enough. Ouch.

The clowns talk about Jon being a good family man. They are given applause by the others and hugs all around. Geez, this is a bit much. I am sure producers were under the impression that they want to bring them back for an all-star at this point.

– UFC promo time. Kelly thinks DK will do something particularly sneaky to get ahead. Reichen gets to talk multiple times. Jeff is ignored but David gets to throw in a ‘you’ve seen nothin’ yet’. Baby babyyyy, you’ve seen nothing yet!

In the previews Phil says “teams jockey for position” as the camera jumps to a shot of teams on horseback. Really? Phil starts off with the bad puns and ends on the bad puns. This is worse than my “Syria is in Syrias trouble” joke.

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Kota Kinabalu -> Sandakan (Teams drive themselves for a huge chunk of the leg and have a map so they can completely own where they’re going. This leg exposed major attrition by multiple teams. The only team that wasn’t at each other’s throats were the clowns. Even David & Jeff were given airtime to show their intrapersonal conflicts! Reichen & DK couldn’t follow a road so DK got to play with his own kind, Kelly & Jon screwed up the location of the hot springs and spotting the number 5, and David & Jeff not finding a clue in a wheelbarrow, and Millie & Chuck messing up every second of the entire leg makes this a comedy of errors. I like the setting for this leg too. There were very few people around because it was a rural area leaving the teams needing to go well out of their way if they wanted to contact locals. The sharp coconuts drew first blood for some of the teams. In fact, the detour was a great test of patience which is great in the ninth leg of the season. Also a great showdown that nobody was expecting in a non-equalizer leg as Jon and Chuck faced off in the roadblock and testing their knowledge of using a stick shift effectively.)

3) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

4) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

5) Sandakan -> Seoul (As Darkwing Duck would say, “Let’s get dangerous”. Teams have to suffer for the first time from communication barriers, breaking hands, and literally freezing themselves throughout the course of their venture in South Korea. Not to mention two of the teams see the border. The bizarre short-sighted decision by the clowns and the goats to share a cab plays out which is neat to see. I couldn’t imagine all twelve teams being able to put up with these tasks if it was thrust upon them at the start of the season. This was designed for experienced racers. Also, why does Reichen get to narrate virtually the whole episode?)

6) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

7) Seoul -> Mooloolaba (One of the worst elimination legs seen on TAR. When this originally aired everyone was too busy being sad that the clowns were going to be eliminated that they couldn’t care less what the other three teams were doing. In fact, Kelly & Jon’s comments would have been handled better by the public if the clowns weren’t in peril. Unfortunately, it adds fuel to the fire as viewers were rooting for Reichen & DK’s intensity to be punished or Kelly & Jon’s bullying to be punished as well. David & Jeff are given zero personality this leg but I recall rooting for them during the episode and hoping they’d win. We go through the episode awaiting the clowns’ dismissal. In the last five minutes the fans jump on their feet thinking the clowns can upset Reichen & DK to break into the finale and win this game. This excitement lasts for about one minute of the whole episode which doesn’t make up for the 35 minutes that we all thought it was a foregone conclusion that our favourites would be sent packing. Phil proceeds to fake out the audience and sends the clowns home. Everyone resorts to their next pick for who they want to win. Note how I didn’t mention any tasks that occurred in Australia or any incidents that teams had with the locales. This is why English speaking countries only belong in season finales. For some reason legs are really underwhelming if it’s just ‘go down the third cliff of the season’ and ‘do a five-minute task that doesn’t require any skill’. This episode is not memorable. If only we could have been privy to a David eye roll.)

8) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

9) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

10) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

11) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

Reichen&DK 11.4
David&Jeff 6.7
Kelly&Jon 7.9
Jon&Al 1.6

Twelfth leg

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF

7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF

7th Silver & Gold 5.17
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
4th Jon & Al 3.73
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

I forgot to do that in the previous leg. Please not that the clowns are by far the highest ranked team in TAR history who did not take the Fast Forward. Mary & Peach then Silver & Gold are the next two closest teams. Neat little stat. Now let’s move on to our regularly scheduled programming!

Previously on TAR: Teams set out from Seoul to Australia. David & Jeff, who are so boring they needed an awkward sound byte from India to be used in the previous leg, won the fast forward and secured first place. Jon taunted Reichen & DK hoping to throw them off their game. Reichen  & DK screwed up when they did the Heather & Eve mistake of driving instead of walking. However, unlike Heather & Eve, there wasn’t an equalizer with only one task to go to ensure all teams checked in within forty minutes of each other. The clowns are sent packing.

Three of the weakest teams in a TAR finale ever have made it to the end. Phil says this leg is all about positioning for the final leg, but I think that really means teams are free to screw up as much as possible without getting penalized for it. Unless you’re the Guidos.

I wonder if it’s required for a TAR audition tape to turn your heads in unison? Just observing that from the intro.

– Phil says this is Australia’s sunshine coast (isn’t it Gold Coast? Aussie viewers wish to correct me?)

Phil’s questions: Will David & Jeff ride the momentum of being in first place to the finish line? Since when did Phil become a baseball commentator?

Will Kelly & Jon work well enough together to compete against the remaining all-male teams? Because apparently possessing a vagina hurts your chances of winning on TAR.

Can married couple Reichen & DK recover from their time penalty? Nope. 35 minutes will sink them for the remaining two legs.

David & Jeff who arrived at 10:41am will depart at 10:41pm.

Knock knock. Who’s there? David’s right bicep.

– They’re given a dollar for the leg and drive to Ferny Hills Wool Shed. They have to find a clue in a gigantic pile of wool.

– Jon claims Kelly is the only girl in the leg. Kelly says they’ve been saving their money like crazy. What a coherent edit.

– Reichen & DK leave at 11:33. Less than an hour from first to last. Fast forwards aren’t particularly advantageous.

– A little moment I noticed: Jeff said to turn on the ‘trip mileage’ in the truck to ensure they don’t get lost and drive too far. Very good strategy when you have to drive yourselves. One of the smartest moves I’ve heard.

– Wool shed opens at 6:00am. Equalizer. So much for increasing your lead, David & Jeff. Consider Reichen & DK’s time penalty officially made up.

– Kelly & Jon taunt Reichen & DK. Both teams say that it’s a fun competition between them. I agree. I don’t think Kelly & Jon are homophobic. I believe they’re making these remarks because over the past thirty days they have become super familiar with each other that there are no longer any uncomfortable boundaries. It’s like best friends who frequently refer to each other as being ‘retarded’. To the outsider, it seems politically incorrect and ignorant. Within their circle it’s more of a term of endearment. This is definitely the case. In newer seasons, the race ends so dang quickly and U-Turns are thrown in to prevent teams from getting to know their competitors on such a deep personal level.

Another point to bring up is that Reichen & DK’s interactions with Kelly & Jon have become a major storyline over the past couple legs. Every TAR finale hinges upon creating rivalries between the final three teams.

Guidos – Alliance with Frank & Margarita and Rob & Brennan that they break early on. They annoy other teams and try to be the villains.

Frank & Margarita – A rough alliance with Rob & Brennan for several legs until the incident where they silently read the clue. Starting in leg 9 it is them and Rob & Brennan finishing first and second until the end of the season.

Rob & Brennan – Allied with the above two teams until both teams betray them. They represent the ‘good’ in the good vs. evils battle.

Blake & Paige – Blake fights with Wil nearly every leg. Chris & Alex try to impede Blake’s outside-of-the-box moves as much as possible.

Tara & Wil – Tara enters a romantic relationship with Alex. Wil expresses jealousy. They hover between allies and enemies for 12.5 of the 13 legs.

Chris & Alex – Alex dates Tara. Wil hates him. Chris wants everyone to stay focused. It’s like what you see in a small town where everyone has gone to the same elementary and high school for several years. They represent the ‘good’ in the good vs. evil battle at the very end to win the game.

Ken & Gerard – Ken goes on multiple mock dates with Flo. They work together in the infamous Singapore map incident. They ally with Teri & Ian in each of the final two legs. The three teams mingle frequently throughout the race.

Teri & Ian – They get into a fight with Flo & Zach over the cab in Morocco. Flo goes to him about her potential relationship with Drew. Teri & Ian ally with Ken & Gerard in the last couple legs.

Flo & Zach – Eh, I’ve already covered it. Note that Derek & Drew were fourth and very much intertwined with Flo & Zach.

David & Jeff – They ally with Reichen & DK in leg three. After the fiacre incident, David & Jeff haven’t had a single alliance. With the exception of Russell & Cindy who were eliminated in said episode. Oh, and the clowns told them where the wheelbarrow clue was in Malaysia. Editors haven’t even bothered to acknowledge that they could be communicating with other teams.

Reichen & DK – Fiacre screw-up with David & Jeff. Not shown interacting with Kelly & Jon until the past couple legs.

Kelly & Jon – Zero contact with David & Jeff despite all three of these teams being at the end of the pack for the first several legs. Communicating with Reichen & DK is a recent development.

So really, even though the editors haven’t shown it unlike other seasons, all three of these teams must be very close considering they started in the back of the pack in the first half of the race and move up the ladder in unison. I just negated my whole point when I think about the season-long alliances in other seasons. I think the reason why the interaction is shown less this season is because the ‘good guys’ were the mega alliance of Steve & Josh, Steve & Dave, Amanda & Chris, Millie & Chuck, and the clowns yet all five of these teams were eliminated prior to the final legs. It’s tough to create a story from teams who hovered in the middle of the pack and find themselves in final three.

David & Jeff do have the least interaction with other teams of anyone to get to the end thus far in TAR. You know why these two were cast for the show in the first place?

Oh hai david & jeff.

– Kelly & Jon find a clue in the wool first. Teams are instructed to fly to Cairns (although pronounced ‘Cans’.)

– Reichen & DK are second. David & Jeff find it. David pronounces it as ‘Carns’. Jon, too. DK is the only one well-traveled.

– Jon just bought his tickets and called the man behind the ticket counter a ‘real splendid guy and I mean it’. Gotta love Jon’s sarcasm.

– Jon says that despite getting his tickets first that the other teams are caught up in the airport equalizer. Oh quiet you. Don’t you recall being in dead last several times early on and benefiting from those very same equalizers?

– The other three teams are having a full minute road race through Cairns. They all know it’s a non-elimination leg so driving recklessly on the road is the best way to blow off some steam before the final leg. Just make sure you don’t cause an Aussie disaster.

– Clue is to find a Kodak Easy Share digital camera and take a picture of their teammate feeding a fish to Sultan the Crocodile. We last saw these cameras in front of the Petronas Towers in Malaysia. Such a globetrotter.

– There is a conspicuous display at the front of the zoo for teams to grab a camera. Kelly & Jon somehow miss this as well as the other two teams grabbing a camera. They’re forced to go back to the front to get a camera. David & Jeff are suddenly in first place.

I am sure editors would love to feed David to the crocodile a few legs earlier. Possible change for TAR 5?

– The last thing Kodak executives want to hear for their product placement?

Reichen: Not a Kodak spokesperson. I am going to pay close attention to see if Kodak sponsours any future tasks on TAR. If memory serves me correctly, this is the last time.

– We’re off to Wangetti Beach.

– REICHEN: Kelly’s mouth is definitely bigger than all of the crocodiles in Australia.

Buuuuuuurn.

– David & Jeff are in first. Detour time. Saddle or Paddle. Get on a horse and explore a stretch of beach that has four clusters of clue envelopes. Only one cluster has an actual clue. Or they can inflate their own kayak and paddle out to a buoy that is guaranteed to hold a clue.

KELLY: I told Jon to make a right. He says ‘Nope’.

After twelve legs Jon has finally learned that listening to Kelly’s directions is too risky. Regardless if it’s the 1% of the time that she’s right. It turns out that she was right and they slip further behind.

– Reichen & DK miss multiple clusters. So do David & Jeff. The goats are the first to find the correct cluster. We’re off to Julatin’s Off Road Race.

– Hmmm. Kelly & Jon choose horses. Nobody wanted to paddle the Aussie waters.

REICHEN: Kelly & Jon follow us like flies on cow manure.

I have a feeling teams are still talking the Amsterdam detour. Otherwise there is no way that analogy should even be entering their minds.

– DK pulls a Brazilian TAR 2 taxi driver and runs over Reichen’s foot. Reichen takes the role of Doyin (or Shola?)

Hey, don’t look at me like that! You guys are TWINS! That’s why I mixed you two up. It has nothing to do with–oh, forget it. Can we please move on? Donthurtme.

– Roadblock time. In this roadblock someone rides in a dune buggy like they’re Dean Cain in a cable film and must complete a lap along a race course straight out of Super Off Road for SNES.

David will be doing the roadblock first.

– Reichen & DK show up as David quickly completes the roadblock. Nothing eventful happened during his ride. Pit stop time. Ellis Beach.

– DK is getting into the dune buggy. Did they forget to tell him there aren’t any red shells or bananas provided in his buggy to thwart Kelly & Jon’s buggy.

DK, that’s a tire not an item box!

– DK crashes the buggy in the trees.

That’s why you pick the dune buggy with better handling and a LOWER top speed! Have ten years of racing video games taught you nothing?

DK says they’re driving the wrong way too. Where was Lakitu with a sign to direct them otherwise?

A replacement car is sent for DK. I know it’s a roadblock, but Phil should’ve gotten on the ol’ voiceover and said “if a car breaks down through no fault of the team, a replacement car can be given. However, no time credit will be awarded for this unlucky situation.”

And it’s scary I know that explanation verbatim.

– Okay, here’s a reaction shot I’ve always remembered. Kelly & Jon pass by Reichen & DK on the way to the roadblock. They’re obviously dead last, but who gives a f—, everyone knows this leg doesn’t mean s—.

They get to the route marker and see dune buggies. Jon is celebrating and going ‘woo hoo hoo’. Kelly opens up the clue.

KELLY: It’s a roadblock. Who’s up for a wild ride?
JON: ….
KELLY: ….. It’s my turn, though.

EDITORIAL NOTE: Kelly did not do a roadblock until leg four. She did not do one in legs two, three, five, six, seven, nine, ten, and eleven. If you’re reading this Kelly, would you like to clarify what your definition of a ‘turn’ is? Or does a ‘turn’ mean “Whenever I feel like doing a roadblock for once”?

The silence continues.

I have a feeling Kelly will be sitting on the sidelines once again.

KELLY: Fine, you can do it.

You would think Jon just paid Toad twenty coins to get a star.

– Kelly helps the Aussie referee to wave the green flag. Jon’s buggy barely moves and they all laugh hysterically. One of the weakest opening gate starts I’ve ever seen. Although I’ve never seen an opening gate start except for that episode of Tosh.0 where the motorcycle barely moves at the front of the pack and the driver gets ran over by another motorcycle.

Question: What makes Kelly scream at the top of her lungs and invoke you to push the ‘mute’ button on your remote?

A classic case of upside down dune buggy.

Jon of course is fine. TAR does this so many times over all twenty seasons that it has become a joke. If producers want to truly bring in maximum ratings, one of these ‘did-the-person-die-ZOMG’ lead-in to commercial needs to resume from commercial with the player actually dead. For some reason that greatly amuses me. Every editing expert would be so shocked and dumbfounded that they feel horrible for saying “Oh please” prior to the commercial and end up questioning their own existence.

KELLY: OHHHH OHHHH OH MY GOD OH MY GOD. JONNNN. JONNNNN.

– David & Jeff quietly check into the pit stop in first place. They’ve won a vacation to Europe. David proceeds to do that annoying laugh of his.

JEFF: We’re  confident we can win heading into the last leg. We just don’t think we’re not going to make the mistakes that other teams make and that will keep us ahead of them.

Keep these words in mind.

– Jon completes the roadblock. They’re off to Ellis Beach.

– Reichen & DK are team number two.

A South Korea sound byte is used. The camera goes off DK as he says “I am really lucky to have him as a partner”. Production really wants to re-iterate that Reichen is an incredible partner.

– Kelly & Jon lollygag into the pit stop in last place. The only time a team enters into the pit stop knowing they’re in last place and are smiling, to my recollection. That’s when TAR knew they needed to re-consider leg twelve being a non-elimination.

KELLY: We came to a sad conclusion today.
PHIL: What’s that?
KELLY: We cannot have children. We can’t let them inherent our stupidity.

Phil asks the following: Can David & Jeff maintain their first place finish all the way to the finish line? Or will their archrivals (archrivals? Really?) hold it together to take the lead? Or will the underdogs, Kelly & Jon, the only co-ed team left in the race, be able to win it all?

~End episode~

Next time on TAR: Jon is naked. Every decision and mistake could be their last. Oh, and a bunch of people are running aimlessly.

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Kota Kinabalu -> Sandakan (Teams drive themselves for a huge chunk of the leg and have a map so they can completely own where they’re going. This leg exposed major attrition by multiple teams. The only team that wasn’t at each other’s throats were the clowns. Even David & Jeff were given airtime to show their intrapersonal conflicts! Reichen & DK couldn’t follow a road so DK got to play with his own kind, Kelly & Jon screwed up the location of the hot springs and spotting the number 5, and David & Jeff not finding a clue in a wheelbarrow, and Millie & Chuck messing up every second of the entire leg makes this a comedy of errors. I like the setting for this leg too. There were very few people around because it was a rural area leaving the teams needing to go well out of their way if they wanted to contact locals. The sharp coconuts drew first blood for some of the teams. In fact, the detour was a great test of patience which is great in the ninth leg of the season. Also a great showdown that nobody was expecting in a non-equalizer leg as Jon and Chuck faced off in the roadblock and testing their knowledge of using a stick shift effectively.)

3) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

4) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

5) Sandakan -> Seoul (As Darkwing Duck would say, “Let’s get dangerous”. Teams have to suffer for the first time from communication barriers, breaking hands, and literally freezing themselves throughout the course of their venture in South Korea. Not to mention two of the teams see the border. The bizarre short-sighted decision by the clowns and the goats to share a cab plays out which is neat to see. I couldn’t imagine all twelve teams being able to put up with these tasks if it was thrust upon them at the start of the season. This was designed for experienced racers. Also, why does Reichen get to narrate virtually the whole episode?)

6) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer but it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

7) Seoul -> Mooloolaba (One of the worst elimination legs seen on TAR. When this originally aired everyone was too busy being sad that the clowns were going to be eliminated that they couldn’t care less what the other three teams were doing. In fact, Kelly & Jon’s comments would have been handled better by the public if the clowns weren’t in peril. Unfortunately, it adds fuel to the fire as viewers were rooting for Reichen & DK’s intensity to be punished or Kelly & Jon’s bullying to be punished as well. David & Jeff are given zero personality this leg but I recall rooting for them during the episode and hoping they’d win. We go through the episode awaiting the clowns’ dismissal. In the last five minutes the fans jump on their feet thinking the clowns can upset Reichen & DK to break into the finale and win this game. This excitement lasts for about one minute of the whole episode which doesn’t make up for the 35 minutes that we all thought it was a foregone conclusion that our favourites would be sent packing. Phil proceeds to fake out the audience and sends the clowns home. Everyone resorts to their next pick for who they want to win. Note how I didn’t mention any tasks that occurred in Australia or any incidents that teams had with the locales. This is why English speaking countries only belong in season finales. For some reason legs are really underwhelming if it’s just ‘go down the third cliff of the season’ and ‘do a five-minute task that doesn’t require any skill’. This episode is not memorable. If only we could have been privy to a David eye roll.)

8) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

9) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

10) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

11) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

12) Mooloobooyabalashakakanba -> Ellis Beach (It’s tough to take a leg seriously when you, as well as the other racers, know that no one is at risk of being eliminated. Add in that the next leg of the race will almost certainly feature an equalizer to go to Alaska or Hawaii and teams are making the race a joke. David & Jeff wanted the prize, Reichen gets his foot run over by his own partner, and Kelly & Jon copy Flo & Zach’s leg 12 strategy to put themselves in a position for leg 13. It’s funny that two seasons in a row feature a team taking all of the time in the world knowing they can conserve their energy for leg 13. A strategy I am sure production was frustrated to see taking place. Not much else happens in the leg. Horse-riding and dune buggying with zero suspense is not the ideal for a TARer. I remember watching the episode when it originally aired thinking ‘Why the heck do I need to watch this?’

Reichen&DK 9.6
David&Jeff 5.10
Kelly&Jon 8.6

Final leg
—-

A better alternative to wasting your time reading this blog.

Previously on TAR: Teams yelled at each other. Teams conquered their greatest fear. Teams (or Millie, rather) had asthma attacks. Nine teams sucked enough to not be in the final leg.

David & Jeff: Survived travel troubles, faltering alliances, and tides that somehow leads Phil to think they’re a force to be reckoned with.

Kelly & Jon: The only co-ed team left. Jon peed on the side of the road, told Kelly to f— herself, and we’re given a clip of Kelly’s butt getting pinched in India. Their determination and their faith in one another propel them to the front of the pack (although they’re currently in last).

Reichen & DK: Persevered over their adversaries, language difficulties, and an octopus task that was hard to swallow. Their teamwork has pulled themselves into the final 3 (Note they are pulling a crate while Phil says this).

One of these three teams will win the race and the one milllllion dollars.

– Phil informs us that we’re in Ellis Beach that served as the twelfth pit stop in a race around the world. No questions from Phil. We get straight to answers as Phil tells us David & Jeff are first to depart at 1:47am.

– They must drive to Aboriginal Cultural Park.

JEFF: David and I will win this race. We make the least mistakes of the three teams remaining.

ROFLROFLROFLROFL

– I’m willing to bet hours of operations brings all three teams together. Jeff struggles opening van doors.

– Reichen & DK depart. They talk about how people view all gay people as Queeny. My Word file indicates with a red line that Queeny isn’t a word.

– Kelly & Jon depart at 2:38am. The ceremony doesn’t open until six o’ clock. Called it!

KELLY: I can’t believe we’ve made it this far. That freaks me up. Not only do I think that we don’t deserve to be here because we’re so ssssstooopid, but it’s so surreal that there’s a million dollar pot at the end.

What’s even more surreal is that viewers are being told to buy into the idea of her and Jon being villains.
– Everyone catches up to each other in the pouring rain.

YES! There’s a didgeridoo sighting on TAR! Sweeet.

– Teams wait through the pointless ceremony until the Aboriginee gives them the clue in a cluster of sticks that apparently have carried messages for thousands of years.

Note that there was one point in the ceremony that the Aboriginees fired a lit arrow into a nearby island and engulfed it in flames. Unfortunately those in the first immunity challenge of Aussie Survivor were unable to do the same.

– Off to the General Aviation Terminal. David & Jeff lead. Kelly & Jon in the middle. Reichen & DK try to pass Jon. Jon’s response?

It’s like what my dad does when he’s frustrated in traffic. Wonder if giving the finger is a Canadian and American thing only. Everyone else would be confused if they saw that on the road.

Reichen is petrified at the idea of DK driving.

Eh, no biggie.

– Jon has another great reaction.

Okay, maybe he is a villain after all.

– DK recovers and is immediately back behind Kelly & Jon within seconds. Holy crap. I guess DK thought he was still doing the dune buggy task. I wonder if the sponsours were hoping DK would mention the great safety that he experienced during the crash?

– Detour time. Wing It or Wander It. Skydive like the first detour in TAR 3 or go into a forest, get into a boat, and motor to the skydive landing zone all the way to the end of the lagoon. Hmmm, what are you going to choose on leg 13? Survey says all three teams will skydive. They’re all pumped.

– David says it’s the first time him or Jeff have skydive’d.

Funniest confessional of the season:

REICHEN (completely serious tone): I’m sitting in the airplane thinking ‘I’m not going to be afraid of this because I’d rather be doing this than sitting in the backseat of that car with Chip driving.’

“You’re saying I have to jump from the plane and get back in the car?”

– There’s a great few seconds where DK literally breaks a sweat. Awesome camera work.
– We go to commercial as Kelly says “I knew I couldn’t do it”. Yeah, right.

– Kelly & Jon sure enough jump in about five seconds. Reichen & DK quickly follow.

– Teams are told to fly to Hawaii. Once there, drive to Kalauna Bay which is the southernmost point in the United States.

DK lands. He searches the sky for his partner.

We’ve got some more driiiiivin to doooo.

REICHEN: Uh, I think I’m gonna be a while. Please go on ahead without me.

– Jeff convinces David that the best way to get to Hawaii will be to go through Sydney.

– Reichen & DK are the only team to go to the domestic terminal. They think Qantas will help them no matter where they want to go to in the world.

– Kelly goes to another counter and says the only flight through Sydney will not connect to Hawaii until the following day. They say it’s a mistake for David & Jeff to fly to Sydney without even looking into a connecting flight into Hawaii.

Maybe we should listen to the conversation two feet behind us.

Nah, I think our idea is still good.

Swish.

ANDRE: They just do not want to listen, man.

NOTE: That is the only thing memorable about Andre in his racing career. His frustrations of Damon not listening to him will forever be remembered.

– Kelly & Jon and Reichen & DK buy tickets for the other flight that connects through Tokyo. Also a tight connection that is 45 minutes.

– Meanwhile, our lovely heroes in Sydney are fighting valiantly.

Poop. Race over.

– DAVID: That’s the first dagger. You’re not done yet, but it tells you to work a bit harder if you don’t want to die.

Second dagger.

And you’re dead.

R.I.P. Goats.

– Kelly & Jon don’t have boarding passes yet. They went on the wrong terminal. Reichen & DK however have their boarding passes and they themselves only get on the flight with four minutes to go. Kelly & Jon are a minute late to the desk as the lady who ran and got on the bus with them is begging the desk to give Kelly & Jon their tickets. The supervisor shoots down every suggestion. Kelly & Jon are stuck in Tokyo as Reichen & DK are on the flight.

– Not only are Reichen & DK on the flight, but the employees had to rush so quickly that they ushered them into business class. They raked up champagne on the flight. Nothing like getting inebriated when you’re a little over 24 hours from claiming a million dollars. That could be a million dollar hangover.

– Kelly & Jon are getting in at 8:05am. Reichen & DK arrive at 6:55am.

– David & Jeff are getting on a flight to Hawaii. Arrival time unspecified.

– Kelly & Jon arrive in Hawaii. Framed to not be too far behind Reichen & DK.

– Roadblock time. Someone has to swim out a few feet into the water and retrieve a rock from the bottom. Once on shore they will use the tools to smash open the rock. Inside is the clue.

He’s retrieving the rock in the water.

– DK opens up the rock. Time to drive to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Walk along a field of hardened lava until they snag the next clue.

– Kelly & Jon arrive at the roadblock. Jon doesn’t want to get his clothes wet, so he opts to pull a Dave Cruser and do the task naked.

– Dog Eat Dog is up next. Oh, and Jon is naked. I am surprised that this shot went completely uncensored. What happened to TAR being a family friendly show?

– Remixed track plays as Reichen & DK reach the clue box. Final destination city is Phoenix, Arizona. Because the roadblock and detour have both played out in this episode, the finish will be 99% determined by taxis. Even TAR 3 had an endgame roadblock. Apparently we’re taking a step backwards.

– Reichen & DK go to Hilo, the closer but smaller airport. They fly to Honolulu.

– Kelly & Jon get to the further Kona airport, but it’s a bigger airport. They fly to Hnolulu.

– Reichen & DK are on the 11:15 flight to Phoenix. They’ve booked at the very front of the aircraft. Kelly & Jon are four rows behind.

– Reichen & DK and Kelly & Jon found the exact address for the USS Arizona. Everyone is prepared for the final flight.

– DK says this will come down to racing like crazed animals. The irony of that statement.

– They’re running and bypassing lines of people on stairs at the airport until they get outside and hop into a cab.

JON: Here’s the first hundred bucks to show you how serious we are.

Who will be first to the anchor? It’s. . .

Four rows in front and possessing the exact address makes all the difference. Please note DK is reading the clue at supersonic speed. Probably because there’s nine minutes left in the episode and they also have to fit in a commercial on top!

– Kelly & Jon appear to have shown up seconds later.

Jon in true gymnast form ready to scale the railing.

Pathetic. I think Paul Blart Mall Cop had smoother moves than Jon. I love how the music dies.

– Reichen hands his driver another fifty bucks. It’s a taxi driver’s dream to be hired on the final day of a TAR race course.

– Clue time in Sun Devil Stadium. “Happy Valentine’s Day White + White”. They be stumped on the White + White part. It’d be hilarious if they couldn’t recall what day Valentine’s Day was. They’re going to section 2 row 14.

– DK solved it. They’re off to Papago Park for the finish line. Kelly & Jon have arrived at the stadium while Reichen & DK are there but yet you can’t see both taxis simultaneously. Crafty editing, I presume.

– Reichen & DK are on their way to Papago Park. Ride a bike along the marked course to the finish line.

– A full minute of suspense. Who it be?

Yep. The “Chip n’ Dales” are first. Reichen is nervous as DK could try to pass him on the bikes only to end up spun out and ram the bike into the ditch.

– Kelly & Jon are on the bikes before Reichen & DK are at the finish line. The eliminated teams are in full Laff-O-Lympic exaggerated cheering and jumping fashion. I’m waiting for the season where an eliminated team spits and bites the winning team on the way to the finish line.

– Reichen & DK arrive at the mat first. DK managed to avoid crashing the bike.

– One hug down. Kelly & Jon get to the mat.

Another lame a– hug.

Jon squeezes in another ‘Kelly was the only girl left in the race’ comment.

– Reichen trusts his partner implicitly. DK thinks teams have seen that Reichen needs him and that DK needs Reichen. However, that can’t be true because they both divorce and Reichen runs off to join N*SYNC. That was a bold-faced lie, DK.

Just out of curiosity:

What’s missing in the picture?

Reichen&DK 11.9
David&Jeff 4.6
Kelly&Jon 14.11

1) Muiden -> Mumbai (An incredible leg. The equalizer occurs at a time that makes sense when teams arrive at the first route marker at 2:00am. The season gets a breath of fresh air (poor pun I know) in India as it contrasts with the central European spamming where it’s either cold, recreational, or gondolas everywhere. The train ride is one of the most daring ventures in filmmaking as teams get one of the biggest culture shocks in recent memory. Millie ruins a stranger’s clothes, the infamous creeper smile, and a leg that has you engaged from start to finish is TAR at its finest.)

2) Kota Kinabalu -> Sandakan (Teams drive themselves for a huge chunk of the leg and have a map so they can completely own where they’re going. This leg exposed major attrition by multiple teams. The only team that wasn’t at each other’s throats were the clowns. Even David & Jeff were given airtime to show their intrapersonal conflicts! Reichen & DK couldn’t follow a road so DK got to play with his own kind, Kelly & Jon screwed up the location of the hot springs and spotting the number 5, and David & Jeff not finding a clue in a wheelbarrow, and Millie & Chuck messing up every second of the entire leg makes this a comedy of errors. I like the setting for this leg too. There were very few people around because it was a rural area leaving the teams needing to go well out of their way if they wanted to contact locals. The sharp coconuts drew first blood for some of the teams. In fact, the detour was a great test of patience which is great in the ninth leg of the season. Also a great showdown that nobody was expecting in a non-equalizer leg as Jon and Chuck faced off in the roadblock and testing their knowledge of using a stick shift effectively.)

3) Mumbai -> Aleppey (Legs that are a part two to racing in the same country tend to be bland and uninteresting. Check on my rankings from previous seasons and you’ll know what I mean. This had a really good format. Yes they get bunched on the train but not much you can do when teams check out between 12:00am and 3:00am. I also like the unique environment of southern India. The roadblock was very inspired and made several players feel disgusting and likely worn out in the heat as we head into the second half where attrition becomes a factor. Editors did a really good job with the showdown between Reichen & DK and Tian & Jaree at the end of the episode. Sometimes you need to have a good ol fashioned showdown even if it is pretty manufactured once you’re in the midway point of the season. I’m in love with the idea of the pit stop being at a place called ‘The Finishing Point’. I don’t know, everything fused together extremely well for this leg.)

4) Marseilles -> Hamlet near Amsterdam that nobody cares about (The only European leg to not feature any equalizers. It’s incredible. The rivalry between Kelly & Jon and Millie & Chuck increases when they equally share nasty names for each other when the audio crew is nearby. A detour where teams put up with a lot of crap is fun to watch. Don’t forget the phallic roadblock. Tian’s sunglasses are a highlight too. Did I mention everyone in Amsterdam looks like they’re stoned? Oops. Will my Arts editor edit that one out? But seriously, this should’ve been the first leg of the season. It could’ve set the tone for the whole season.)

5) Sandakan -> Seoul (As Darkwing Duck would say, “Let’s get dangerous”. Teams have to suffer for the first time from communication barriers, breaking hands, and literally freezing themselves throughout the course of their venture in South Korea. Not to mention two of the teams see the border. The bizarre short-sighted decision by the clowns and the goats to share a cab plays out which is neat to see. I couldn’t imagine all twelve teams being able to put up with these tasks if it was thrust upon them at the start of the season. This was designed for experienced racers. Also, why does Reichen get to narrate virtually the whole episode?)

6) Venice -> Gmunden (There’s only one equalizer and it’s before the detour and roadblock. It’s an inspired leg for racing in central Europe. Producers bring out fiacres straight out of the 19th century, Beethoven vs. Mozart as a detour because they had the biggest rivalry until Yankees vs. Red Sox, and the largest tower jump in Europe is acceptable enough for a mindless task. Now to the highlights. Millie and DK get into a scrap where the female virgin cuts DK (although it’d be funnier if the gay guy cuts the virgin — C’MON, the irony of the situation!), Tian and Jaree get into a fight over who knows what, and Kelly goes into full on Southern Flo mode. Millie’s asthma attack where Josh sneaks into the frame is great, too. Also, Steve & Dave surviving the third leg was the most surprising thing I’ve ever witnessed in TAR history at this point in time. Steve & Dave were hours behind Russell & Cindy, the only task remaining was to take a train to the pit stop, and in the scenario that Steve & Dave arrive in Gmunden first, how could they possibly avoid being outrun by Russell & Cindy to the pit stop? Steve & Dave’s reaction when they get to the pit stop is hilarious too. They were as shocked as we were that they were ninth.)

7) Ellis Beach -> Phoenix (I think placing it in the centre of this ranking is an appropriate place. The ideal finish would be for David & Jeff to win and the least ideal finish would be a Kelly & Jon victory. We have middle ground right there. The setup of this leg was poorly formatted. There was too much airport time for a final leg because teams had to be spread out on flights to Japan’s connection, then spread out to Hawaii, then scurry to Phoenix. Skydiving detour was too mindless for leg 13 despite being thrilling. TAR 3 got it right by putting it in the very first round to set the tone of the season. The roadblock, rock smashing, was largely irrelevant as Jon and DK both completed it in what appeared to be minutes prior to driving to the airport where they end up on the same flight regardless. In Phoenix, there was an anchor and the really easy riddle that appeared to take no less than few minutes as well. Add in the fact that Reichen & DK lead for the whole leg after David & Jeff’s incident and you have a flat finish. The drama in the closing twenty minutes never quite delivered in its initial airing. In a rewatch it comes across even flatter. There isn’t too much to complain about at the very least.)

8) Seoul -> Mooloolaba (One of the worst elimination legs seen on TAR. When this originally aired everyone was too busy being sad that the clowns were going to be eliminated that they couldn’t care less what the other three teams were doing. In fact, Kelly & Jon’s comments would have been handled better by the public if the clowns weren’t in peril. Unfortunately, it adds fuel to the fire as viewers were rooting for Reichen & DK’s intensity to be punished or Kelly & Jon’s bullying to be punished as well. David & Jeff are given zero personality this leg but I recall rooting for them during the episode and hoping they’d win. We go through the episode awaiting the clowns’ dismissal. In the last five minutes the fans jump on their feet thinking the clowns can upset Reichen & DK to break into the finale and win this game. This excitement lasts for about one minute of the whole episode which doesn’t make up for the 35 minutes that we all thought it was a foregone conclusion that our favourites would be sent packing. Phil proceeds to fake out the audience and sends the clowns home. Everyone resorts to their next pick for who they want to win. Note how I didn’t mention any tasks that occurred in Australia or any incidents that teams had with the locales. This is why English speaking countries only belong in season finales. For some reason legs are really underwhelming if it’s just ‘go down the third cliff of the season’ and ‘do a five-minute task that doesn’t require any skill’. This episode is not memorable. If only we could have been privy to a David eye roll.)

9) Aleppey -> Kota Kinabalu (For a non-elimination leg, it was fine. The race slowed down as we learned about the five teams that will leave the most significant impression once the season is over. There were few taxi and boat rides which also means less of a luck factor. Look at the order of finish. The skill of teams in terms of the tasks and ability to find flights directly reflects where they finish at the pit stop this leg. Anytime the race limits the luck factor is when you know production has done a fine job. I just wish more was at stake than a seven night cruise. -_-)

10) L.A. -> Cortina D’ampezzo (Over an hour premiere is a good idea. Particularly when all twelve teams get airtime. Sure, I agree it’s the weakest premiere yet when teams have to find the best airplane ticket then the best bus ticket for the first forty minutes. Jaree abandoning a coffee before she can drink it while in last place is memorable for me. The most satisfying part of the episode is when Debra & Steve get eliminated. If you look up their interview on RNO you’ll see them agree that they aren’t the most exciting television to watch.)

11) Gmunden -> Marseilles (I s’pose it was an okay leg. Not that great. I’m happy teams were able to drive themselves this leg which producers wanted to be a rarity this season for whatever stupid reason. Nowhere near as much tension on an intra basis this leg except the mild bickering between the father-son. Chuck panicking about tight spaces and a roadblock coming before detour makes this memorable enough. I wish the detour had a bit more originality. It took DK’s inability to follow directions to make this one entertaining. I don’t know. The leg otherwise feels a bit flat.)

12) Cortina D’ampezzo -> Venice (Okay. This leg isn’t THAT bad. The mountain rafting looked awesome. Kelly & Jon snow rafting without a raft was hilarious. The guy at the pit stop could have bitten his thumb at the teams. Gondola race was neat. Reichen & DK hanging onto the doors when a bus arrives to put them at the back of the line is a funny little moment. Did you know it was revealed that David & Jeff held onto the doors as well? However, a couple of equalizers in a 17-hour leg makes this one of the sloppiest designs to a leg in TAR.)

13) Mooloobooyabalashakakanba -> Ellis Beach (It’s tough to take a leg seriously when you, as well as the other racers, know that no one is at risk of being eliminated. Add in that the next leg of the race will almost certainly feature an equalizer to go to Alaska or Hawaii and teams are making the race a joke. David & Jeff wanted the prize, Reichen gets his foot run over by his own partner, and Kelly & Jon copy Flo & Zach’s leg 12 strategy to put themselves in a position for leg 13. It’s funny that two seasons in a row feature a team taking all of the time in the world knowing they can conserve their energy for leg 13. A strategy I am sure production was frustrated to see taking place. Not much else happens in the leg. Horse-riding and dune buggying with zero suspense is not the ideal for a TARer. I remember watching the episode when it originally aired thinking ‘Why the heck do I need to watch this?’

12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8

9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Silver & Gold 5.17

9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
4th Jon & Al 3.73
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF

Rank the Teams (Worst to First):

12) Debra & Steve

A boring boring boring team to watch on our television screen. Only one episode and they had a very Flanders family presentation. It reminded me of the Simpsons sketch where Ned gets mildly angry thinking his kids aren’t attending church:

ANNOUNCER: He’s got a bald head, he goes to church and cries, everybody loves Steve Carmody!

ME: But not me!

STEVE: Kids, what are you guys still doing in bed?

KIDS: We wanted to sleep in.

STEVE: But kids, it’s time for church.

KIDS: Dad? It’s Saturday.

STEVE: Oh, pardon me. I didn’t mean to get so mad.

ANNOUNCER: He’s got a bald head, he goes to church and cries, everybody loves Steve Carmody!
Can anyone outside of their family say they’re honestly upset that these two are first out? I never found myself saying during the premiere “Oh, I wonder what antics Debra & Steve are up to right now!”

In fact, viewers were probably annoyed that he cried over not getting the hotel room booked.

11) Monica & Sheree

ME: Monica, why did you guys go on the race?

MONICA: Because we’re married to professional athletes. We wanted to do something without the luxuries of being married to professional athletes.

ME: Monica, why did you guys get eliminated in India?

MONICA: Because we’re married to professional athletes. We couldn’t handle missing the luxuries that are around when we’re married to professional athletes.

ME: Monica, why did you guys get involved in two marital rape cases?

MONICA: Because we’re married to professional athletes. It’s one of the few downsides of being married to professional athletes.

ME: Uh….I think we’ll stop the interview here. Thanks.

10) Russell & Cindy

Russell and Cindy were dating long distance. Russell wanted to race on his own after seeing Zach do it all the way to the million dollars in the previous season. Unfortunately, when your partner WANTS TO DO SOMETHING, trying to minimize your partner as much as possible makes you look like a d—–bag instead of the one-dimensional hero. Russell’s d—-baggery was done with zero personality whatsoever which made him completely ignored by viewers. Cindy tried to get something rolling and was happy enough to do post-race interviews, but her in-game impression was underwhelming because the only thing she did was ask Russell to not treat her like a d—-.

9) David & Jeff

David & Jeff were my favourite team when I initially watched this season. Today I realized that David is a bit ignorant. He rolled his eyes and made offensive remarks about the other countries. Jeff was more pleasant though and I’d love to hang out with him on the west coast at some point. I think he would race in a similar manner to how I would except he doesn’t have quite as much eccentricity in him.

Not much else to say about the goats. There’s not much else to say except Jeff is overall pleasant. A team like them will never be cast again. Producers learned their lesson.

8) Reichen & DK

Uh oh! What am I doing? Why are the winners this far down? Well, ‘tis quite simple. They don’t exactly have the electrifying or a likeable personality. DK is very quiet most of the race and offers very few interesting interviews. His demeanour doesn’t change with the exception of non-English speaking cabs. Reichen puts up with DK’s antics and is a very straight forward teammate.

Don’t get me wrong, I’d rank these two ahead of Chris & Alex as winners so far. Rob & Brennan would be ahead only because they’re super likeable.

Reichen & DK found themselves in unpopular alliances. They were close with Kelly & Jon, NFL Wives, and Tian & Jaree. On the other hand they antagonized Millie & Chuck, and frankly shoving Millie away from a fiacre won’t win you any points with the fans. It’s tough to ever get one hundred percent behind Reichen & Chip.

I think they’re great, but there’s a lot of other teams who I would’ve preferred to win this season.

P.S. I will give them a nod for holding the door in Verona while the other teams behind them simply turned around to get seats on the bus.

7) Steve & Josh

The father is a prison guard. The son is a free spirit. What’s ironic is that their photo in the intro is the son behind bars. I’ve always found that amusing. What I liked about this team is that they’d fight over the dumbest things but reconcile quickly. It was a good conflict. They weren’t trying to camera whore or be completely mean to each other. Their disagreements resembled very much of a father-son relationship in real life.

Josh’s strategies to alienate NFL Wives, drag Steve & Dave with them, then give NFL Wives an improved bus ticket in Milan is one of the best season premiere strategy moves I’ve seen.

I don’t know. I just really liked them.

6) Millie & Chuck

Millie – Experiences asthma attacks. Super competitive. Has a mole.

Chuck – Experiences anxiety and claustrophobia. Not-so-competitive. Looks like a werewolf.

They’ve been dating for twelve years and are virgins. So add in tension and frustration into their relationship as well. What’s even better is that they’re both extremely religious which produces dilemmas on a whole other platform. This team was doomed to fail from the start. But they did it in a likeable way.

They are the most memorable of any team on this season. Do you remember Millie Mole? Her cutting Chuck’s lip? Sure, Chuck was quiet and took a backseat to most of Millie’s shenanigans, but he would attack Millie passively throughout the race.

You knew that these two weren’t compatible and were letting their childhood friendships get in the way. It was a fascinating story to watch unfold as Chuck tries to keep up with Millie and Millie has to relax Chuck and slow down. These two couldn’t be more opposite in terms of their demeanour. It was great. Their downfall was very fitting. Why? Because their frustrations reaches a peak following a leg where Millie was so dang competitive in getting the best flight during 3 in the morning when everyone knew it was a dang non-elimination leg. This made her and Chuck so sleep deprived that they were unable to pay attention to much of anything while they had to navigate on the road.

A lesson that it is possible to race too dang hard. Wish they were brought back.

5) Tian & Jaree

Some of the best storylines in reality TV are where you start by absolutely hating a team but then progressively like the team more and more until the point that you are bummed when they are eliminated.

Enter Tian & Jaree. I was rooting for them to be first out so freakin’ hard in the premiere. I became annoyed that they continued to survive and would celebrate when they would finally be eliminated. Jaree’s constant bickering about her cardio, and Tian being such a snot and snagging maps weren’t exactly appealing. Also, as Josh points out, nobody wants to see rich spoiled blondes with fake breasts to win a TV show. It just doesn’t happen.

These two truly evolved and grew on the viewer when they started to be respectful towards one another and Tian sucked it up and accepted 100% of all work without complaints. That’s what the race is all about. When they raced Reichen & DK in Aleppey, there must have been a legion of people who were rooting against Reichen & DK’s success. It was not meant to be as the models are booted when they finally figured out a successful M.O.

Note: Heather & Eve made it into TAR 3 because Tian & Jaree lost their paperwork and had to be pushed back to this season. If only we were privy to Tian & Jaree’s awesomeness a season earlier.

4) Amanda & Chris

A surprise pick but they impressed me in only two episodes. Teams are great when their conflict is intrapersonal but they balance it out with some of the wittiest insults.

CHRIS: Let’s go Flo!

They win points for being self-aware of how they’re probably coming across at home and having a good laugh after each fight. Those are the teams you want to see succeed. The ones who cater to the above average intelligent TV viewer. These two understand what’s up. Their post-race interviews proved to be pretty dang amusing as well. Although Chris brands himself as a jerk and Amanda as the spoiled b—-, they hardly portray themselves as someone I want off my TV screen ASAP.

3) Steve & Dave

They refused to run. They provided hilarious commentary. They screwed up their knees to the point that Jonathan Penner and James Clement are saying “Dayum!” They finished next to last for two legs when they were absolutely convinced they were last. I think if they made it through the Netherlands leg that they would have experienced serious health risks of dehydration and the humidity in India. Besides threatening to bust Tian & Jaree’s tires (which is rumoured to be creative editing) this team always brought a smile to our faces. Usually older teams cry and be like Rupert Boneham where you make intentionally stupid moves or promote yourself as honourable so you win over the stupid casual viewers at home. Not the case with Steve & Dave. They didn’t BS us and went through the game truly as themselves.

2) Kelly & Jon

Wait. Why did I put these two so high? Well it’s for a few reasons.

1) A ton of pop culture references. Anybody who can incorporate Fat Bastard on TAR wins serious brownie points.

2) Once you get to the last six teams who remains in your memories forever? It’s these two. They were the only point of conflict for other racers regardless if Kelly & Jon were intentionally trying to annoy other teams.

3) They didn’t camera whore it. Kelly nor Jon gave too great of confessionals and didn’t rehearse anything they said.

4) Kelly’s obsession with marriage and Jon’s obsession with completing his Bachelor Bucket List was an ongoing from episode one through episode thirteen. There aren’t too many storylines that get a 11 hour arc like that.

5) They prided themselves upon being the dumbest team to get to the Final Three. Would Fairplay ever admit he is too stupid to have kids? Would Frank Mesa admit that? Tara & Wil? Flo? No. You can’t count Kelly & Jon as villains when they degrade themselves throughout the season.

That takes us to our #1 team of the season. I believe it’s a foregone conclusion.

1) Jon & Al

94% popularity on CBS.com. Jon is given the job to host The Finish Line for around three years. Not once did the clowns fight with another team nor did they fight with each other. They liked talking about feces. They flung feces. Al was dragged through feces. Jon climbed on rungs that were full of feces.

When TAR All Star was announced there was a significant percentage of people that were shocked hearing “The Clowns” weren’t invited back.

Is there much else to say about the clowns? Not really. They were enjoyable to watch thanks to Jon balancing random stuff on his nose and charming the locals. I think TAR 4 would be viewed entirely different if this team had won.

Conclusion:

The Amazing Race 4

Rating: 6.25/10

TAR 2 improved upon TAR 1. TAR 3 improved upon TAR 2. However, TAR 4 took a step backwards. It didn’t make any improvements to some of the mistakes TAR has made in the past. They only made things slightly worse. For that, it is automatically in position four out of four. Although it will not finish anywhere near dead last by the end of this countdown, it shouldn’t come close to the previous three seasons.

Why do people universally disregard TAR 4 as a lesser season when it first aired? I always thought it was the underwhelming characters.

Kelly & Jon filled the villain role but Millie Mole is the extent of their nastiness and we are forced to suffer through the same three quotes being recycled for a couple rounds. Millie and Kelly barely interact. Also, Jon is far too goofy to be taken seriously as a villain.

Reichen & Chip’s intensity was a turn-off for a chunk of viewers, and the audience forgot David & Jeff existed. Seriously, for the TAR superfans out there how often do you talk about David & Jeff other than being the team who didn’t make it to the finish line? That’s something David & Jeff should be happy about. They’ll forever be a common TAR trivia question.

If Tian & Jaree, Steve & Dave, Millie & Chuck, and Amanda & Chris are in the endgame, I feel strongly that the audience would be ecstatic about this season.

However,  because of my stats obsession, I spotted another factor other than underwhelming teams that could contribute to the audience’s displeasure:

None of the final three teams were dominating early on. The teams who won in the first five legs are all eliminated prior to the Final Four. In addition, the two teams who race to the finish line weren’t viewed as a bottom feeder or a dominator until the tenth episode. It’s tough to get a payoff editing wise when you have to create a story arc in the span of four episodes. How in the world do you focus on David & Jeff, Reichen & Chip, and Kelly & Jon if they’re all finishing in the 3rd – 7th range for the first half of the season? Even Jon & Al who end in fourth don’t claim a win until there were five teams left.

Another reason for the drop from other seasons is that TAR repeated locations. Malaysia, India, France, Italy, Australia, and Hawaii had already been used in the first three seasons. People were already thinking that TAR was becoming repetitive and losing its fresh appeal. Not only did they repeat locations but the travel route was not considered the greatest. Spending five legs throughout northern Italy, Austria, France, and Netherlands does not exactly translate as being diverse on-screen. It is far too much time to be staying in one continent. Africa, South America, northern Europe, southern Europe, and western Asia were all ignored for the entire season. I would say Mumbai’s train system and Seoul were the only two cities on the whole race that provided any buzz amongst viewers. Multilingual central Europeans are not the largest of cultural barriers for teams to overcome.

Major points for preserving the weekly Fast Forward which to this day is the most strategic twist that production has created.

The leg format may be another source of complaint. TAR 3 was the first to shake it up with 5-5-5-4-3-3 as its finish. TAR 4 reverted to the TAR 1 and TAR 2 days where legs were 5-5-4-4-3-3. Production definitely agreed with me because we do not see 6-6-5-5-4-4-3-3 or 5-5-4-4-3-3 ever again. Come to think of it I can only recall one more non-elimination that occurs when three teams remain.

1. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7
2. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
3. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
4. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10

What’s next? The Amazing Race 5 (well it’s really TUF 4 next but I think that will be done in a week). TAR suffered a big drop in ratings at the conclusion of season four. How close was TAR to being permanently cancelled?

TAR 4’s finale was in August of 2003.
TAR 5’s premiere was in July of 2004.

When TAR 5 was finally announced everyone was excited. Of course, there is a price for bringing back your favourite TV show from the ashes–the series’ biggest facelift to date. Would it improve the series or would the facelift work as well as it did for Joan Rivers? We shall see.

P.S. Earlier I asked what was missing from the picture. Here’s your answer:

David,

The production team has made an all-Chip n Dale Alliance. They’re going to tell you to fly to Sydney insisting it will give you an advantage. Don’t listen to them. Use the idol inside and save yourself from embarrassment.

XOXO,

BFFs forever,

J.T.

They just wouldn’t listen, man.

0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

I cannot keep posting multiple screen caps of the same thing without cutting into my allotted GB limit. From now on I will be posting the links to my blog posts from future seasons as a long-term solution. It saves loading time on your browser anyway. Win-win situation.

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/24/tar-5-episode-1-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/tar-5-episode-2-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/26/tar-5-episode-3-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/tar-5-episode-4-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/tar-5-episode-5-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/28/tar-5-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/tar-5-episode-7/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/tar-5-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/04/30/tar-5-episode-9-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/tar-5-episode-10-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/02/tar-5-episode-11-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/tar-5-episode-12-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/03/tar-5-episode-13-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/11/tar6premiereranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/tar6episode2/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/13/tar6episode3ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/14/tar6episode4ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/15/tar-6-episode-5-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/16/tar6episode6ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/tar6episode7ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/18/tar-6-episode-8-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/19/tar6episode9ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/tar6episode10ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/20/tar6episode11ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/tar-6-episode-12-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/21/tar6finaleepisoderanking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/tar-7-season-premiere-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/02/tar-7-episode-2-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/tar-7-episode-3-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/04/tar-7-episode-4-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/05/tar7episode5ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/tar-7-episode-6-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/tar-7-episode-7-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/tar7episode8ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/09/tar-7-episode-9-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/tar-7-episode-10-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/tar-7-episode-11-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/13/tar-7-episode-12-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/15/tar-7-finale-episode-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/the-amazing-race-8-episode-one-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/29/the-amazing-race-8-episode-two-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/the-amazing-race-8-episode-3-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/tar-8-episode-4-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/02/tar-8-episode-5-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/tar-8-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/04/tar-8-episode-7-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/tar-8-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/tar-8-episode-9-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/tar-8-episode-10-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/tar8episode11ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/tar-8-episode-12-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/07/12/tar-8-final-episode/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/05/the-amazing-race-9-season-premiere-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/tar-9-episode-2-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/06/tar-9-episode-3-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/the-amazing-race-9-episode-4-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/tar-9-episode-5-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/12/tar-9-episode-6-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/14/the-amazing-race-9-episode-7-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/16/tar-9-episode-8-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/19/tar-9-episode-9-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/20/tar-9-episode-10-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/22/tar-9-episode-11-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/24/tar-9-episode-12-ranking/https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/tar-9-season-finale-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/08/26/tar-10-episode-1-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/tar-10-episode-2-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/02/tar-10-episode-3-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/tar-10-episode-4-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/15/tar-10-episode-5-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/tar-10-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/23/tar-10-episode-7-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/tar-10-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/09/30/tar-10-episode-9-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/10/07/tar-10-episode-10-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/10/13/tar-10-episode-11-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/10/15/tar-10-episode-12-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2012/10/16/tar-10-finale-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/06/24/tar-season-12-episode-1-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/07/01/the-amazing-race-12-episode-two-rankings/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/07/04/tar-12-episode-3-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/07/09/tar-12-episode-4-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/the-amazing-race-12-episode-five-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/07/24/the-amazing-race-12-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/tar-12-episode-7-ranking-episode-blog/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/08/03/the-amazing-race-12-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/the-amazing-race-12-episode-nine-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/the-amazing-race-12-episode-10-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/08/19/the-amazing-race-12-season-finale-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/08/28/the-amazing-race-13-episode-1-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/09/14/the-amazing-race-13-episode-2-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/09/20/the-amazing-race-13-episode-3-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/the-amazing-race-13-episode-4-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/the-amazing-race-13-episode-five-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/10/04/the-amazing-race-13-episode-6-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/10/13/the-amazing-race-13-episode-7-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/10/21/the-amazing-race-season-13-episode-8-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/10/25/the-amazing-race-season-13-episode-9-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/10/26/the-amazing-race-season-13-episode-10-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/10/29/the-amazing-race-season-13-finale-episode-11-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/11/06/the-amazing-race-season-14-episode-1-ranking-and-intro/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/11/11/the-amazing-race-14-episode-two-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/11/16/the-amazing-race-14-episode-3-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/11/20/the-amazing-race-14-episode-4-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/11/26/the-amazing-race-14-episode-5-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/the-amazing-race-14-episode-6-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/the-amazing-race-14-episode-7-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/11/tar-14-episode-8-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/the-amazing-race-14-episode-9-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/the-amazing-race-14-episode-10-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/the-amazing-race-14-episode-11-ranking/

https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2013/12/27/the-amazing-race-14-episode-12-ranking/

 https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-1-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/09/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-2-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/15/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-3-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-4-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-five-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/27/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-7-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/02/02/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/02/04/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-9-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/02/08/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-10-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/02/13/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-11-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/02/16/the-amazing-race-asia-2-episode-12-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/02/19/the-amazing-race-asia-2-season-finale-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/03/03/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-1ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/03/14/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-2-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-3-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/03/25/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-4-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/03/30/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-5-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/04/03/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/04/11/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-seven-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/04/20/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-nine-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-ten-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/the-amazing-race-asia-3-episode-ten-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/the-amazing-race-asia-3-season-finale-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/the-amazing-race-15-episode-1-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/the-amazing-race-15-episode-2-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/05/30/the-amazing-race-15-episode-three-rankings/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/06/07/the-amazing-race-15-episode-four-rankings/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/06/14/the-amazing-race-15-episode-five-rankings/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/the-amazing-race-15-episode-6-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/06/28/the-amazing-race-15-episode-7-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/07/12/the-amazing-race-15-episode-8-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/the-amazing-race-15-episode-9-rankings/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/07/29/the-amazing-race-15-episode-10-ranking/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/the-amazing-race-15-episode-11-rankings/
https://thesupacoowackiestblogintheuniverse.wordpress.com/2014/08/11/the-amazing-race-15-season-finale-rankings/
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s