Seasons 12 and 13 of The Amazing Race Coming to DVD! WITH Elimination Stations!

Excellent news!

TV Shows on DVD reports today that seasons 12 and 13 of The Amazing Race are finally coming to DVD! And best of all, both sets will include Elimination Station, the special web series from CBS.com that followed eliminated teams into Sequester. This will be the first time Elimination Station will be included on TAR DVDs and the first time TAR DVDs have had any special features since the non-manufacture-on-demand releases of seasons 1 and 7.

Now for some sorta-bad news. The on-demand DVDs have always had poor covers, but these TAR12 and TAR13 covers seem to have taken a step further! That neon purple on TAR12!

Still, it is awesome to continue getting TAR DVDs. There is no release date yet, but you can pre-order both sets now on Amazon.com.

The Amazing Race 12 Marathon TODAY on Travel Channel

The Amazing Race 12 Marathon TODAY on Travel Channel
By LJDB, September 28, 2008

The Travel Channel will be airing an all-day marathon of The Amazing Race 12 leading up to the 13th season premiere on CBS.

The marathon begins at 9am ET/6am PT until 8pm ET/5pm PT.

And don’t miss the 13th season premiere of The Amazing Race on CBS at 8pm ET, immediately following 60 Minutes.

Travel Channel Acquires TAR12-14 Rebroadcast Rights


The Travel Channel has acquired the cable broadcast rights to the 12th, 13th, and 14th seasons of The Amazing Race.

The 12th season will air on Wednesdays at 8PM ET on The Travel Channel, beginning September 3rd. The network will then air the upcoming 13th and 14th seasons at a later date.

The 13th season premieres on CBS on Sunday, September 28th.

The Amazing Race is an iconic American television series that really taps into what exploration is all about—not only the incredible riches that the world has to offer travelers—but the incredible transformative powers that travel brings about in people,” Patrick Younge, Travel Channel’s president and general manager, said in a statement. “The Amazing Race is simply the best travel reality format in the world, and it will nicely complement our stable of popular travel offerings such as Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and Samantha Brown’s Passport series.”

The Travel Channel is the 3rd cable network to acquire rights to The Amazing Race. GSN currently holds the broadcast rights for first eight seasons, while Fox Reality Channel has the rights to air seasons 9 through 11.

Vote for Ronald & Christina in the 2008 Asian Excellence Awards!

Vote for Ronald & Christina in the 2008 Asian Excellence Awards!

Ron & Chris are nominated in the category of Favorite Reality Star.  Click here to vote as many times as you want!

Be sure to support the Real Truth Flavor®!

The Amazing Race 12 Season Wrap-up


SEASON WRAP-UP

The 12th season of The Amazing Race has come and gone.
A season that came earlier than expected, but later than it should have.

And it does seem like it was only yesterday that Viva Laughlin bet all their money and lost, since, with the exception of TAR8, season 12 had the shortest TAR race course ever. Before the season started, different places quoted executive producer Jonathan Littman saying that there would be no more non-elimination legs. But to everyone’s surprise, Kynt & Vyxsin were spared in Italy and we were introduced to a new part of the Race. More on that and the other twist later.

But first, after 11 seasons and a 5th consecutive Emmy win, The Amazing Race was still as fresh as ever. Unlike other shows that stay in the same studio or on the same island for an entire season, every episode of The Amazing Race feels new and fresh. Every season brings in a new set of teams, every episode brings us new destinations and tasks, but the simple formula of getting from point A to point B and completing various tasks along the way still works wonders for bringing an incredible assortment of feelings for viewers around the world.

While we’ve seen the Yield, the various Non-Elimination penalties, the Intersection, and the Fast Forward come and go, the Detour and the Road Block always serve as ways for the teams as well as us the viewer experience new people and cultures.

Within “the game” of The Amazing Race, we were introduced to the U-Turn and the Speed Bump.

The U-Turn, essentially replacing the Yield and basically doing the same thing, allowed one team to force another to go back and complete the other choice of the Detour they did not originally complete. I was never really against the Yield once I saw it in the Race, but I didn’t particularly like it either, especially when used only as a personal act of rivalry instead of a team fighting it out with another, and using the power to ensure they survive. I have no problem if a team is tied for last and they U-Turn a team right behind them. I know I’d do it.

And after letting teams saved by non-elims slide, taking away their money, then taking away all their money and possessions, and finally “marking” teams for elimination, TAR introduced the Speed Bump. A team saved by the non-elimination now has to complete an extra task in the next leg, which will show up anywhere and anytime. While it’s a step up from forcing teams to beg or be forced to wear the same clothes the rest of the Race, TAR will have to find better and equal tasks for future Speed Bumps. While a 10 second run through fireworks seems like huge fun, it’s definitely not as time consuming as calming yourself and doing yoga for a while.

So the two new elements of the Race were good and interesting, but definitely far from perfect. I’ve always held that TAR doesn’t really need new twists to make it more exciting whereas other shows have to pull tricks and change format to keep things interesting. Like I said, the destinations are enough to keep the show fresh.

The racecourse itself was good as well. We got to go to some beautiful new countries and experienced the guaranteed awesomeness of a leg in India. The legs were very well designed this season, and we had less pesky Hours of Operations to deal with which is always good. While TAR10 still has the most physically demanding Detours and Road Blocks ever, TAR12 seemed to have the most culturally involved Detours and Road Blocks ever. Lots more of the teams actually experiencing the different locations and cultures, which is always awesome.

I’ve always wanted to have more mentally challenging tasks though. If only they had the kinds of tasks they had on NBC’s late Treasure Hunters that required the teams to do more thinking. And we finally got that in probably the most challenging Road Block and final task ever. No arranging a totem pole of Race animals or arranging flags, teams actually had to figure out a puzzle complete with real live objects and animals from the last 11 legs. No question it was an amazing final task and really an amazing, exciting finale to an overall great season.

The Teams
As for the teams, we probably got the best elimination order ever for TAR. The most potentially annoying teams were eliminated early on and we were left with probably the best final 6 ever.

Ari & Staella… best first elimination ever. No need for a more annoying “Aaron & Arianne”-lite on the Race. Lorena & Jason, self-admitted struggling actors/models… meh, not sad they left when they did. Neither was I sad for the sort of smug, almost annoying Marianna & Julia, as seen on the Elimination Station. Definitely happy to see them go after seeing them in sequester.

Kate & Pat could’ve stayed a few more legs, but they just weren’t going to keep up with the rest of the teams, especially as the Race got more intense. And Shana & Jennifer seemed to channel a little of TAR10 Bama-ness. One level-headed, nice teammate and another louder, more aggressive teammate usually shutting down any suggestion made by the other. That lack of teamwork did them in.

Azaria & Hendekea seemed poised to coast through the Race… which is exactly why they didn’t. An air of overconfidence may have prevented them from sweating the small stuff that eventually cost them the Race. Strong Racers, petty mistakes that cost them.

TK & Rachel… I just honestly don’t like them. I don’t hate them, but I now kind of resent them for taking away precious time and a spot from a probably more interesting, more interested, and less judgmental team. I’ve always wanted for more “nice” teams, especially after TAR6’s incredible showcase of dysfunction. But we shouldn’t have to sacrifice enjoyment for “niceness. There have been plenty of “nice” teams in the past who were fun, exciting, energetic, and strong while still keeping their calm and stayed out of firing range of other teams. They barely offered anything of substance during the season. Nice teams in the past have had more to offer. Congratulations to them, I hope they use the money wisely, but they will still rank in the bottom of my winners list.

Kynt & Vyxsin could actually be an example of a “nice” team who is still interesting. Most of the time, their appearance was the least interesting part about them. They were fun and witty, Vyxsin was probably one of the stronger female racers we’ve had in a while, and they didn’t let their disagreements get in the way most of the time.

Nathan & Jennifer… the new MoJo (who is now happily married by the way). They took time apart from each other after the Race, but are now together and happy. The frustration and hectic Race will always get to any team. While MoJo’s outbursts were more at the Race in general and not directed at each other, Nate & Jen took their frustration from the Race out on each other and that ultimately got them eliminated in Japan. However, they should be applauded for their determination in placing first at least once. Jen’s plea to the siblings was really nothing, and just an example of their disappointment at always coming in 2nd.

Proving that teamwork is important, Ronald & Christina flew to the top when Ron controlled himself. After seeing a possibly amazing team in the first leg, we got a real taste (of Real Truth Flavor) in the 2nd. That flavor (and a hernia) served as huge hurdles for them to overcome, and together, they did. Ron has definitely grown during the Race, despite what some might say. We always saw him giving props to his daughter, but in the beginning, those props were overshadowed by his complaints about almost everything. When they finally got things to click starting in Croatia, they were on a roll. They were easily a strong contender for the million, but the Race caught up to them in the end. Still, they take away something that is more valuable than a million dollars, and to them, they probably hold their stronger relationship now even closer to their hearts than money ever could.

True underdogs, Donald & Nicolas, the Race’s first grandparent/grandchild team, really set the bar high for future “Gramps” teams and even parent/child teams (with Ron & Chris). While slugging along in the first half of the Race, the Fast Forward jump started them and they began to step it up to push them into the final 3. Applause for Nicolas and him literally carrying their team to the final 3, and more applause for Don who use his smarts (and smart mouth) to make up for anything he lacked physically. I was rooting for them, and definitely for Ron & Chris, not only because both were truly amazing teams for so many reasons, but also to show the world that you don’t have to be a young dating couple or young friends to win the Race. Again though, it must have been a great prize for them to take home the fact that they did make it that far.


So, as the teams wave goodbye from the Alaskan wilderness, a new Race is about to begin. Let’s all hope CBS doesn’t let The Amazing Race 13 sit around until the summer or even the fall, and also hope that we’ll be enjoying TAR14, TAR15, TAR16… in the future,

MY ALL-TIME RANKINGS:
THE BEST SEASONOVERALL
1. TAR3
2. TAR5
2. TAR8
4. TAR1
5. TAR11:AS
5. TAR12
7. TAR2
8. TAR10
9. TAR9
10. TAR6
11. TAR4
*huge gap*
12. TAR7

THE WINNING TEAMS (As a team)
1. The Linz Family (TAR8)
2. Flo & Zach (TAR3)
3. Rob & Brennan (TAR1)
4. Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
5. Chris & Alex (TAR2)
5. Chip & Kim (TAR5)
5. Tyler & James (TAR10)
*gap*
8. TK & Rachel (TAR12)
9. Reichen & Chip (TAR4)
10. BJ & Tyler (TAR9)
11. Freddy & Kendra (TAR6)
12. Eric & Danielle (TAR11:AS)

THE WINNING TEAMS (With respect to the final 3)
Winning Team / Who I thought should have won
1. Uchenna & Joyce / Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
2. The Linz Family / The Linz Family (TAR8)
3. Rob & Brennan / Rob & Brennan or Frank & Margarita(TAR1)
4. Chris & Alex / Blake & Paige or Chris & Alex(TAR2)
5. Chip & Kim / Chip & Kim or Brandon & Nicole(TAR5)
6. Tyler & James / Tyler & James or Lyn & Karlyn(TAR10)
7. Flo & Zach / Teri & Ian or Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
8. Reichen & Chip / Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
9. Freddy & Kendra / Kris & Jon (TAR6)
10. BJ & Tyler / Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda(TAR9)
11. Eric & Danielle / Charla & Mirna or Dustin &Kandice (TAR11:AS)
12. TK & Rachel / Ronald & Christina or Don & Nicolas(TAR12)

THE MOST DESERVING FINAL 3 TEAM (NON-WINNERS)
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3)
2. Charla & Mirna (TARAS)
2. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
5. Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
6. Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
7. Dustin & Kandice (TARAS)
8. Eric & Jeremy (TAR9)
9. Nicolas & Donald (TAR12)
10. Frank & Margarita (TAR1)

THE BEST FINALE(regardless of winner)
1. TAR3
2. TAR12
3. TAR8
*4-9 almost even*
4. TAR5
5. TAR2
6. TAR1
7. TAR6
8. TAR11: AS
9. TAR9
10. TAR4
11. TAR10
12. TAR7

THE BEST GROUP OF TEAMS
1. TAR3
2. TAR8
3. TAR5
4. TAR1
5. TAR11: AS
6. TAR2
6. TAR12
8. TAR10
8. TAR6
8. TAR4
11. TAR9
*gap* 12. TAR7

MY FAVORITE AMAZING RACE TEAMS OF ALL TIME
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3/AS)
3. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
4. Charla & Mirna (TAR5/AS)
5. The Linz Family (TAR8)
6. John Vito & Jill (TAR3/AS)
7. David & Margaretta (TAR1)
8. Don & Mary Jean (TAR6)
9. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
10. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
11. Erwin & Godwin (TAR10)

THE TOP TEAMS (NOT IN TOP 3) THAT SHOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER
1. Teri & Ian (TARAS)
2. John Vito & Jill (TAR3)
3. The Gaghan Family (TAR8)
4. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
5. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
6. The Paolo Family (TAR8)
7. The Rogers Family (TAR8)
8. Joseph & Monica (TAR9)
9. Jim & Marsha (TAR5)
10. Charla & Mirna (TAR5)
Relive the race with hundreds of caps from each episode at:
Photobucket: XangaTheAmazingRaceCaps – Season 12

TEAM RANKINGS FOR SEASON 12
1. Ronald & Christina
2. Nicolas & Donald
3. Kynt & Vyxsin
4. Nathan & Jennifer
GAP
5. Azaria & Hendekea
6. Kate & Pat
7. Shana & Jennifer
GAP
8. Lorena & Jason
9. Rachel & TK
10. Marianna & Julia
11. Ari & Staella

Recap: The Amazing Race 12, Episode 11 – “People don’t eat guts here do they?”


EPISODE 12-11: THE FINAL PUSH

From Taipei, Taiwan, teams learn their next stop is the final destination city, Anchorage, Alaska. Once there, they must travel to 6th Avenue Outfitters to pick up a bag of supplies for the leg and their next clue.

With $392, the final three teams head out on their final leg for the million dollars.
They all take a China Airlines flight and touchdown on American soil, but not before Ronald & Christina gain access to the China Air lounge where they use the internet to find out more information about where they need to go in Anchorage.

Clever TAR editing (as if there is any other kind) has Ron & Chris going into the lounge and the doors closing just as the other two teams roll on past them on the people movers wondering and starting to worry about where the father and daughter are.


Anyway, in Alaska, Ron & Chris leave the airport first, followed by TK & Rachel and then Nicolas & Donald. While the other two teams grab their clue and supplies at the shop, Nick & Don leave their bag at the counter.

Their clue tells them to travel to Ship Creek Boat Launch along the waterfront. Ron & Chris maintain 1st and find the Detour.

In this Detour, teams have to choose between two common tasks by the fishermen in Alaska, Cut the Cod and Grab the Grab.
In Cut the Cod, teams have to use their supplies to cut through several 50 pound lean cod to find a miniature canister containing their next clue inside the fish.
In Grab the Crab, teams must jump into the hull of a boat filled with 500 live crabs, where they must search through them for one crab marked with race colors.


Ron & Chris choose Cut the Cod and Christina finds their clue in their first fish. Meanwhile, TK & Rachel are dropped off 5 minutes away from where they’re supposed to be, with Nick & Don right behind.

The next clue tells the teams to make their way 60 miles by taxi to a marked boat landing where they must take a high speed boat ride upriver to 20-Mile Glacier. The teams don’t know, however, that once there, they must climb the face of the glacier to obtain their clue at the top.

As Ron & Chris leave, they pass Nick & Don and then TK & Rachel on the road.

Once they get their clue, Nick & Don realize what they’ve forgotten and go back to the shop to get their gear. TK & Rachel choose the crabs and are practically pinched alive by them, prompting Rachel to want to switch Detours. But TK eventually finds one.

Nick & Don return to finish the cod Detour and try to catch up.


At the boat launch, Ron & Chris speed off to the glacier and while Ron speeds up the glacier, Chris has trouble. Coming up fast are both TK & Rachel and Nick & Don.

Once at the top, Ron & Chris get their next clue which tells them that they must take a breathtaking scenic helicopter ride to the Merrill Field and from there, a taxi to Goose Lake Park for their next clue.

At the park, Ron & Chris open the Road Block… possibly the most complex Road Block ever in 12 seasons of The Amazing Race.

In this Road Block, one team member is given 15 recognizable items from each leg of the Race. They must place 10 specific items on a stage that match 2 different requirements; First, they must have one item from each leg of the Race.
Second, of the 10 items, they must have:
-3 animals or animal by-products
-1 U-turn
-2 objects either at or brought to a Pit Stop
-2 items of transportation with wheels, 1 of which was used at a Detour
-1 item of transportation resembling the shape of a stick
Phil warns: “If it sounds easy, think again.” He says there are many possible ways to fulfill each requirement, but only one combination of 10 items that can fulfill both. Once they place the correct 10 items on stage, they must say “Done” and the clue box will open for them to get their next clue.
Also, the teams are not allowed to use pencil and pen for the Road Block.

As Christina gets started, we are shown a spectacularly edited and scored sequence of Ron & Chris along the racecourse with the correct answers: tandem bike from Ireland, a bike from the Netherlands, a coconut bowl of camel milk from Bingo, Burkina Faso, a chicken from Ouagadougou, the stilts from Lithuania, the traditional Croatian gun, the Blackberry from Italy, the Indian U-turn, a cleaning guy from Japan, and the tea cups and saucers from Taiwan.


The other two teams arrive as Rachel and Nicolas do the Road Block.

Chris gets all her 10 items on stage, and all but one is correct. She has the Irish donkey instead of the tandem bike.

Meanwhile, Rachel has three wrong items when she says “Done.” Nick has four incorrect items as he is doing his.

Chris is getting messed up with the “3 animals…” requirement as she keeps the donkey on and questions whether or not the human cleaning guy is considered an “animal.” As she tries to find out what’s wrong, she now has three incorrect items when she calls “Done” next.

Nick thinks the Croatian gun is useless while Rachel thinks the same of the pole she used at a Road Block.

As the three struggle to figure out the Road Block, their three teammates are standing waiting for one of them to finish.


Finally, someone finishes, and that person is Rachel. Their next clue tells them to find “Cook’s eye-view of the Sleeping Lady” which is a statue of Captain Cook at Resolution Park in Anchorage.

As TK & Rachel make their way to the statue, Christina, near tears, finishes and Ron says to not give up.

At the statue, TK & Rachel find the next clue telling them to find the Salmon Hooker for their next clue. Ron & Chris are close behind.

The next, and final clue, tells the teams to take a taxi to Girdwood Airport and run to the Finish Line.
It’s the final face-off between TK & Rachel and Ronald & Christina as their taxis make their way to the waiting teams and Phil at the Finish Line.

A taxi arrives and…


…it’s TK & Rachel arriving first to claim their million dollars. Ronald & Christina finish 2nd and Nicolas & Donald come running for 3rd.


The Teams
Well, I’ll get it out of the way. TK & Rachel. Quoting from my week 2 assessment of them, they “were kind of nonexistent again.” And they basically stayed that way the entire Race. Definitely not happy or okay with them winning. After running a barely competent Race while being uninterested and judgmental, I seriously can’t do anything but lump them in with Eric & Danielle and Freddy & Kendra at the bottom of TAR’s list of winners. It really pains me when I can find more redeeming qualities in E&D, F&K, and even BJ & Tyler than in TK & Rachel.

On the other hand, I have nothing but admiration for Nicolas & Donald and Ronald & Christina in overcoming so many hurdles that could have kept them out of the final 3.

As our first grandparent/child team, it was expected that they wouldn’t last long. Nicolas & Donald were either going to sadly say bye early like David & Margaretta or Don & Mary Jean or they were going to surprise everyone and at least come close to going all the way like Meredith & Gretchen. I am happy to applaud them for surpassing even the wildest expectations. A great mix of what makes a good Amazing Race team; wit, humor, a little drama, knowing when to step up, teamwork, and determination.

And Ronald & Christina, having to overcome hurdles within (Ronald’s attitude) and out of (his hernia) their control. They handled all of that pressure well and defied anyone’s expectations to not only make final 3, but do very well when they stepped it up and tried to solve their relationship problems. Once their teamwork got going and Ronald calmed down, they excelled, proven especially by their three 1st place finishes, including the two consecutive ones going into this final leg. Like Nick & Don, they too had a great balance of good TAR team qualities, and not only that, they also were able to strengthen their relationship and probably “win” more than what a million dollars could buy.


Episode Overall
Overall, this was probably the best TAR finale ever…

…until the last five or so minutes.

TAR really stepped it up with the final Road Block/task and was probably the best final task ever, even though I’ll probably resent it for a while. The Detour was great, and how awesome was it to have them in their final destination city for the entire leg.


My full Amazing Race 12 wrap-up later today J


QUOTES FROM EPISODE 12-11
Phil: “…teams without fast hands might find themselves in a pinch.”

Ronald: “How do you fillet these things? This is no easy task for a city slicker.”

Nicolas: “So you know where this is? Ship Creek Boat Launch.”
Taxi driver: “I’m a cab driver. I know stuff like that.”

Ronald: “Man, this is a lot of nasty guts. People don’t eat guts here do they?”

Donald: “He’s got a good memory. There’d be no sense in me doing this, I would… I’d be there for a —- year.”

Taxi Driver: *imitating Ian* “You got numbah one taxi drivah.”

Ronald: “You’re number one in my eye.”

Ronald: “I feel real grateful that even though I didn’t come up with the first place, but I come out with the first place in my daughter’s heart. And the fact that I’ve changed for the better.”


TAIPEI, TAIWAN

RONALD & CHRISTINA

9:47am

TK & RACHEL

10:30am

DONALD & NICOLAS

10:37am

500+ EPISODE CAPS UP NOW! @
Photobucket: XangaTheAmazingRaceCaps – Episode 11

TEAM RANKINGS FOR EPISODE 12-11
1. Ronald & Christina
2. Nicolas & Donald
GAP
3. Rachel & TK

Recap: The Amazing Race 12, Episode 10 – “I wanna rip those dreads out of his head.”



EPISODE 12-10: SORRY, GUYS, I’M NOT HAPPY TO SEE YOU

The penultimate leg of the 12th season of The Amazing Race begins as 1st place Ronald & Christina get their $374 and read their clue, telling them to “Travel by taxi to the building with a hole in it. Then find the Floating Garden.”

The building is the Umeda Sky Building, and The Floating Garden is an observatory at the top, which is where they have to search for their next clue.

Nathan & Jennifer (who is having a birthday) and Nicolas & Donald arrive and unluckily for them, they all learn the observatory doesn’t open until 10:00AM. Luckily for TK & Rachel, their three hour deficit is almost erased.

Once they finally are able to get to the top, they find out their next destination is Taipei, Taiwan. Once there, they will taxi their way to Taipei Main Station for their next clue.

18 minutes later, TK & Rachel leave the mat, as the rest of the teams head to the airport.
Rachel doubts TK about going up into the building and once they are up there, they walk right past the clue.


At the airport, Ron & Chris get the last tickets on a 1:00pm flight on Eva Air and Chris tells the ticket agent to tell other teams the flight is full. That leaves Nate & Jen to take a 1:15pm China Air flight with Nick & Don.

Ron & Chris arrive at 2:51pm with the 2nd flight arriving at 3:05pm. While Nick & Don are waiting in the Immigration line and Nate & Jen exchange money, TK & Rachel high kick into the picture and it’s a three-way Race.

With their next clue, teams must now take a high speed train to Taichung and the town of Jiji and find Acrobatics Jeep for their next clue.

There, Ron & Chris find the Road Block, “Who’s ready to go for a tricky ride?”
In this Road Block, they must become a passenger in a car, driven by a professional stunt driver, that will rock back and forth on a teeter-totter. Then they will hold their breath for 17 seconds as they ride in a jeep underwater. “If they are still alive when it’s over,” Phil says, they can get their next clue.


Ron finishes the Road Block and gets the clue telling them to take the train back to Taipei and head to the GK Teahouse where they will have to order a cup of tea, which they will have to drink to reveal their next clue at the bottom.

Ron & Chris head to the train station and make the 7:16pm train while the other teams all arrive at the Road Block, which Rachel, Nathan, and Don complete.


However, TK & Rachel find the Speed Bump.
In this Speed Bump,TK & Rachel have to travel 1 mile and complete a traditional Chinese ritual where they must put on safety suits and run through a barrage of firecrackers aimed directly at them. Then they will be doused with water and then return to Acrobatics Jeep for their next clue.

Nate & Jen and Nick & Don are not able to buy tickets for the 7:36pm train, so they have to take the 8:00pm train which TK & Rachel make.

Back in Taipei, Ron & Chris head to the teahouse and get their next clue which is at the bottom of the cup and written in Chinese. The clue tells them to head to Gong Guan Night Market where a clown will give them their next clue.

The clown’s clue tells them about their Detour, Fire or Earth.
In Fire, teams must write messages of luck, good or bad, on laterns, burn spirit money under them, which will fill them with hot air and lift them to the spirits above. After making 20 of them fly up into the sky, they will get their next clue.
In Earth, teams walk down and back a 224 foot path of jagged stones, which, according to tradition, reduces stress. Afterwards, they get their next clue.

Ron & Chris do Earth as the other teams arrive at the teahouse. Nick & Don finish their tea first, while TK & Rachel take theirs to go and Nate & Jen find a friend in the teahouse.


After finishing the Road Block, Ron & Chris head to the Pit Stop, Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Plaza, where they place 1st for the second leg in a row.

The three teams decide on Earth.
A local tells Nate & Jen it’s better to take the subway and then a bus instead of a taxi, which Nate doubts but Jen is insistent on.

TK & Rachel flow their way to 2nd place and Nick & Don take the final spot in the Race to the finish line.

Nate & Jen end the leg in tears as their quest to be 1st is over.


The Teams
TK & Rachel overcome their three hour deficit with nothing they did on their own, and complete an easy, quick Speed Bump. Just saying. I am not against nice teams. It’s great that they are nice to each other and mostly nice (when not standing on a moral pedestal being judgmental ) to the other teams, but they just aren’t good Racers; with wealth of very simple mistakes all along the way, all with an unexcited and unenthused demeanor as they travel the world. I would definitely be less than thrilled if they win. It would be an unfulfilling end to what has been one of the better seasons of TAR for me.

Nathan & Jennifer ‘s intensity got the better of them. I think the comparison to TAR9’s MoJo is definitely fitting now that they finish 4th. At the beginning, I did see them as the 2nd coming of Monica & Joseph (who are happily married now! Congrats!), a team that explodes under pressure but still loves each other. However, Nate & Jen were definitely more explosive since MoJo’s blow ups were more concentrated on the situation at hand than with each other. One thing to commend Nate & Jen on however, is their drive and determination to place 1st and they’ve done very well with their own physical (and sometimes mental) strengths. I think they could’ve definitely done better if they calmed down (not becoming monotones though), but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Meanwhile, for all of their predecessors, it is justice as the first parent/child and grandparent/child two-person teams ever to reach the final leg Ronald & Christina and Nicolas & Donald went from underdogs to contenders, despite what Nick said about playing like bitches and pansies.

Nicolas & Donald have overcome a lot, and have fought not only obstacles in the Race, but their own speed bumps as both have experienced fatigue on the Race, while Nick literally carries their team forward. What he doesn’t contribute physically, Don makes up for it in other ways, which is definitely one of the reasons why there are racing for the million. The right amount of teamwork, having fun along the way, and a growing determination to make it to the end all make them a worthy final 3 team.

And Ronald & Christina who not only had to overcome their own physical setbacks (hernias aren’t pretty), they had their relationship to work on. As Ron grew to realize his outbursts, especially with his daughter, weren’t helping their team, he changed course and they finished 1st two times in a row. Like Nick & Don, teamwork, enjoying the Race, and the drive to finish 1st got them past the other teams to enable them to Race to the finish line. It is great to see family teams make it far, and I hope Ron & Chris (and Nick & Don) take it all the way.


Overall
I’ll have to say that non-eliminations have both their pluses and minuses. Yes, it might save a team that had bad luck in a leg or save your favorites, but it definitely does not help the other teams who weren’t last. Especially because equalizers, whether they be Hours of Operation or a pesky flight, will always be in the next leg. And you never know when you’ll be leaving the Pit Stop in the middle of the night or perfectly in daylight.

And the only danger with Speed Bumps is that some may be quicker and simpler than others…

Regardless, it was a great Road Block, a great Detour, and the tasks throughout the leg (except for the waiting 3 hours instead of being handed a clue telling them going to Taiwan) were a nice way for the teams to get around and experience Taipei.

Next week is the finale! Let’s hope TAR13 comes sooner rather than later!


QUOTES FROM EPISODE 12-10
Nathan: “We’re like the Incredible Hulk. All of a sudden we’re just gonna explode and tear our shirts off and just, everyone’s like ‘Woah!’and like ‘Watch out for Jen & Nate’.”

Nicolas: “On this leg of the Race, we’re going to be aggressive, we’ve been playing the game like bitches so far, and so has everyone else. No competitors are left. It’s a bunch of pansies in the game.”

(Christina: “I think my dad and I are a smarter team than Nate & Jen and Nick & Don.”)
Nathan: “Jen and I know absolutely nothing about Taiwan, except… we think Thai food is pretty good.”
(Ronald: “No, they’re… these guys are smart.”)
Jennifer: “We’re going in there cold-blinded.”
Nathan: “I have a couple of Thai friends.”

Jennifer: “Holy schnikeys!”

Jennifer: “I wanna rip those dreads out of his head.”

Nicolas: “I’m pretty disappointed that TK & Rachel made up all this time, I really want to shave his beard off.”

Ronald: “I think my callus feet over those stones helped a lot.”

Donald: “We started out on the idea, gee, let’s not be the first team eliminated because our family’s gonna watch this, we’re going to look like a couple of schmucks, you know.”

Phil: “You are the last team to arrive”
Nate: “Ffffudge.”


OSAKA, JAPAN

RONALD & CHRISTINA

7:02am

NATHAN & JENNIFER

7:15am

DONALD & NICOLAS

7:21am

TK & RACHEL

10:18am

EPISODE CAPS UP NOW! @
Photobucket: XangaTheAmazingRaceCaps – Episode 10

TEAM RANKINGS FOR EPISODE 12-10
1. Ronald & Christina
2. Nathan & Jennifer
2. Nicolas & Donald
GAP
4. Rachel & TK