The Amazing Race 18 Season Wrap-Up

The Amazing Race 18 Wrap-Up
       
Another season, come and gone.  It was pretty obvious early in the TAR18 development stage that it would be at the very least, some sort of All-Stars-type, former Racers season.  What was unexpected though was its theme of being”Unfinished Business” and the exclusion of any pre-TARAS team.  Right off the bat, the season was starting to leave a bad taste in the mouths of many long-time TAR fans.

But as the season went on, and now that it is over, The Amazing Race 18 ended up not being bad at all.

Better Than Expected
TAR18 had pretty low expectations to begin with, but it did deliver enough entertainment to at least save it from becoming an irrelevant mess. 

But it was also no TAR17. 

Season 17 is arguably the best season since TAR12 (save for the winners of course) and TAR18, though still great, lacked some of the freshness and spark of last season.  And even worse, TAR18 slipped slowly back into simplicity.

The tasks this season were mostly uninspired with only vaguely interesting, but not so memorable Detours and Road Blocks.

The zero-hour non-elimination Pit Stops were the only tweak this season and they are definitely a great idea.  But it brings to light how the Speed Bump as a non-elimination penalty is great on paper, but has been very poorly executed. 

The leg design has been alright for the most part, though the show seems to be increasingly disregarding uniform Pit Stop durations in favor of letting teams go whenever they feel like.

For a pseudo-All-Stars season, this should’ve been much harder, much more difficult because these people have Raced before and know and ins and outs of the Race, no matter what new twists (and there weren’t any) are thrown at them.

Beautiful HD
Best part about this season though has to be the High Definition.  Finally.  The Amazing Race in crystal clear HD.

The show looks absolutely beautiful in HD and that alone might help Emmy voters lean towards TAR.  The scope of TAR is now fully realized in HD.  Even if the tasks are less than stellar, at least their surroundings look stunning. 

It is so great to have The Amazing Race in high definition.

Hopes and Dreams for TAR19 and the Future
Once again, I hope Bert and Co. step up their game for TAR19.  It is the show’s 10th Anniversary (officially), so TAR should pull out all the stops next season and really take TAR to the next level.

Looks like the Fast Forward is officially dead.  And that is incredibly unfortunate.  Every season, I hope TAR brings the Fast Forward back to importance on the Race as it provides great drama as well as gives teams hope of staying alive.

As for the simplicity of TAR, their Emmy loss last year should’ve been a wakeup call to step up their game and really deliver.  They did well this season, but nothing that might excite Emmy voters and some fans.  TAR needs to make TAR19 more challenging, more fun, and more “amazing” in the travelogue aspect.  There needs to be more interaction with the locals as well as more fresh countries to visit instead of the old standbys.

And finally, the Final Task.  The most disappointing part of the season has to be the lame final leg tasks.  When other seasons have had memory tasks (Road Block or otherwise) as the final challenge before the Finish Line, it is a letdown when a finale comes down to some random, mundane task.  The memory Final Tasks have always been exciting and helps make the finale that much more meaningful.

But overall, a good season.  
ALL-TIME RANKINGS
OVERALL SEASONS
1. TAR3
2. TAR5
2. TAR8
4. TAR1
5. TAR11:AS
5. TAR17
5. TAR12
5. TAR2
5. TAR6
5. TAR18: UB
11. TAR4
12. TAR16
13. TAR14
14. TAR15
15. TAR10
16. TAR13
17. TAR9
*huge gap*
18. TAR7

FINALES
(regardless of winner)
1. TAR3
2. TAR12
3. TAR8
4. TAR5
5. TAR2
6. TAR1
7. TAR16
8. TAR15
9. TAR14
10. TAR6
11. TAR17
12. TAR11: AS
13. TAR18
14. TAR9
15. TAR13
16. TAR4
17. TAR10
18. TAR7

GROUP of TEAMS
1. TAR3
2. TAR8
3. TAR5
4. TAR1
5. TAR11: AS
6. TAR2
6. TAR12
6. TAR17
9. TAR6
9. TAR4
11. TAR18
12. TAR16
13. TAR15
14. TAR14
15. TAR13
16. TAR10
17. TAR9
*gap*
18. TAR7

MY ALL-TIME TEAMS
1. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3/AS)
3. Charla & Mirna (TAR5/AS)
4. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
5. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
6. The Linz Family (TAR8)
7. John Vito & Jill (TAR3/AS)
8. David & Margaretta (TAR1)
9. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
10. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
11. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
12. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
13. Erwin & Godwin (TAR10)
14. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
15. Michael & Kevin (TAR17)

NON TOP 3 TEAMS THAT SHOULD HAVE GONE FURTHER
1. Ron & Christina (TAR18)
2. Teri & Ian (TARAS)
3. John Vito & Jill (TAR3)
4. The Gaghan Family (TAR8)
5. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
6. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
7. Charla & Mirna (TAR5)
8. The Paolo Family (TAR8)
9. Gary & Mallory (TAR17)
10. Joseph & Monica (TAR9)
11. Jim & Marsha (TAR5)
12. Mel & Mike (TAR14)
13. Zev & Justin (TAR15)
14. Toni & Dallas (TAR13)
15. Steve & Allie (TAR16)
16. Michael & Kevin (TAR17)

MOST DESERVING FINAL 3 TEAM (NON-WINNERS)
1. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
3. Teri & Ian (TAR3)
3. Charla & Mirna (TARAS)
3. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
6. Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
7. Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
7. Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
9. Dustin & Kandice (TARAS)
10. Eric & Jeremy (TAR9)
11. Nicolas & Donald (TAR12)
12. Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
13. Ken & Tina (TAR13)
14. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
15. Sam & Dan (TAR15)

WINNERS (subjective; as a team)
1. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
2. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
3. The Linz Family (TAR8)
4. Flo & Zach (TAR3)
5. Rob & Brennan (TAR1)
6. Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
7. Chris & Alex (TAR2)
7. Chip & Kim (TAR5)
7. Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
7. Kisha & Jen (TAR18)
10. Meghan & Cheyne (TAR15)
10. Tyler & James (TAR10)
10. Nick & Starr (TAR13)
*gap*
13. Reichen & Chip (TAR4)
14. Freddy & Kendra (TAR6)
15. BJ & Tyler (TAR9)
16. TK & Rachel (TAR12)
17. Eric & Danielle (TAR11:AS)

WINNERS (with respect to final 3)
 &nbsp  &nbsp Winning Team
 &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp Who I wanted to win
1. Dan & Jordan
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Dan & Jordan (TAR7)
2. Uchenna & Joyce
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
3. The Linz Family
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp The Linz Family (TAR8)
4. Tammy & Victor
 &nbsp &nbsp Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
5. Nat & Kat
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Nat & Kat or Brook & Claire (TAR1)
6. Rob & Brennan
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Rob & Brennan or Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
7. Chris & Alex
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Blake & Paige or Chris & Alex (TAR2)
8. Chip & Kim
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Chip & Kim or Brandon & Nicole (TAR5)
9. Tyler & James
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Tyler & James or Lyn & Karlyn (TAR10)
10. Flo & Zach
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Teri & Ian or Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
11. Kisha & Jen
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
12. Meghan & Cheyne
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
13. Nick & Starr
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Nick & Starr or Ken & Tina (TAR13)
14. Reichen & Chip
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
15. Freddy & Kendra
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kris & Jon (TAR6)
16. BJ & Tyler
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda (TAR9)
17. Eric & Danielle
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Charla & Mirna or Dustin &Kandice (TAR11:AS)
18. TK & Rachel
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Ronald & Christina or Don & Nicolas (TAR12)
My Final Subjective Team Rankings

Ron & Christina Ron & Christina – They were on their way, but one horrible leg is all any team needs to get eliminated from the Race.  I definitely enjoyed them even more the 2nd time around and am grateful to have been able to enjoy them for one and a half seasons.  They were hilarious, sweet, charming, and strong Racers (when they didn’t fail like they did in India).  I would love to see them come back for TARAS2, but I know that is highly unlikely.  They officially became my all-time favorite team though thanks to TAR18.
Kent & Vyxsin Kent & Vyxsin – I definitely do not remember them being this hilariously random and frantic in TAR12, but I enjoyed a lot more now than I did back then.  Even though they may have been playing up to the cameras, at least it was hilarious and enjoyable unlike other teams.  Little mistakes always continue piling up until that last straw that breaks your back.  And it happened with them here.  Still, their drama and hilarity make them one of the more interesting teams this season.
Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – Major props to them for Racing back to back seasons and doing even better the 2nd time around.  (Though the BQs did a better job between TAR11 and TARAS.)  Mallory definitely had more sugar this time around and most of them, she was hilariously jolly and goofy.  Gary is definitely a strong Racer and both he and Mallory would’ve been great winners and a great team to be the first parent/child to win.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Amanda & Kris Amanda & Kris – The 2nd attempt at Kris & Jon 2.0 gets the unlucky draw and gets U-Turned again.  I would have loved to have seen them go far into the Race because they would’ve otherwise been a strong team.  And maybe, finally, they could be the one non-annoying dating couple to have won.
Kisha & Jen Kisha & Jen – The most consistent team this season, Kisha & Jen definitely are deserving winners.  They remained under the radar, but they Raced well, faced their fears and got the million dollars.  It would’ve been nice to have seen more personality from them this season though.  Other Kisha’s hilariously contagious laugh and the incredibly forced Globetrotter flirting the last couple of eps, they were so under the radar, some legs would have them on for maybe a minute or two.  Still, despite the lack of airtime, they at least Raced well and deserve the cash.
Mel & Mike Mel & Mike – We know one time, Mel has incredible fighting spirit a big heart.  Like in TAR14, Mel struggled, but pushed on and at times showed a stronger drive and will to win than his son.  Of course, one’s health takes priority over a reality show, but Mel especially Raced well and proved it doesn’t matter what age you are.
Jaime & Cara Jaime & Cara -One slip-up and you’re out of the Race.  After narrowly losing TAR14, this was their chance to be the next all-female team to win the Race, but it wasn’t going to happen.  They Raced sloppily and eventually got eliminated because of it.  Would’ve been interesting to see how they competed further into the Race.
Zev & Justin Zev & Justin – They may have won plenty of legs (and a Ford Focus!), but they were very erratic and inconsistent on the Race.  If it wasn’t either of them whining and getting frustrated, it was their bad luck with delays.  They let frustrated get the better of them and it eventually caught up.
Margie & Luke Margie & Luke – TAR18 proved how strong Margie is, both emotionally and physically, and how Margie is the ace of her team.  Taking charge and completing tasks Luke would breakdown in, Margie showed her strength and to positive results.
Jet & Cord Jet & Cord – They flamed out earlier than the many new/casual fans had hoped for, but I think they left at the right time if not a little later than they should have.  An inconsistent Race wasn’t going to propel them in the final 3.
Herb & Nathaniel Flight Time & Big Easy – Incredibly annoying.  They’re bullies who are loud and have no consideration for other people’s belongings.  So happy they did not win.  As if they needed the money anyway.
<font face="georgia" size="4"Relive The Amazing Race 18!



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Recap: The Amazing Race 18, Episode 11 – “When they do somethin’ stupid, we think it’s funny.”

 

Episode 18.11 – This is Where it Ends



Leg 11
The teams leave Switzerland and head to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  Once in Rio, teams head to Carioca Aqueduct to catch a tram that’ll take them up the hill to the Escadaria Selarón at Santa Teresa. 

Flight Time & Big Easy get left behind at the tram station and the other three teams get a 30 minute jump.  At the Escadaria Seladron, teams have to look for a tile painted with the familiar “Route Info” logo for their next clue pointing them to Largo de São Francisco de Paula.

Zev & Justin arrive first and find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams must participate in a Rio Carnival parade by dressing up in a costume, learn how to dance the samba and then lead a parade of dancers.  If the Carnival Princess approves of their dance, they’ll get the next clue.  If not, they’ll have to start over.

Zev gets a head start on Mallory who arrives close behind, but it is Mallory who gets the clue first.  Teams must now head to Copacabana and find Centro de Orientação Profissional Salon for their next clue. 



Zev struggles as Jen & Kisha arrive and finish before him.  Then come the Globetrotters.  Zev finally gets a SAO before Big Easy has to repeat his performance one time before moving on as well.


Meanwhile, Gary & Mallory get their next clue telling them to get a Brazilian body wax for 15 minutes.    Afterwards, they receive the Detour.
In On the Rocks, teams must learn how to correctly mix and make 100 Caipirinhas, the most popular cocktail in Brazil.

In On the Beach, must sell US$60 worth of bikinis at Copacabana Beach and have the person buying the bikini model it.

 

Gary & Mallory choose the drinks as do Jen & Kisha.

After giving the wax ladies an unwanted kiss, the Globetrotters choose the drinks while Zev & Justin, after already experiencing the excruciating wax on their hairy bodies, decide to struggle some more with selling bikinis.

Gary & Mallory finish the Detour and head off to the Pit Stop below the Museum of Contemporary Art to officially claim their spot in the final 3.



Zev & Justin decide to switch Detours, but it is too late.  Jen & Kisha and the Globetrotters claim the other two final 3 spots, leaving the two friends eliminated in 4th.


Leg 12


The final leg begins as the teams head for their final destination city, Miami, Florida.  In Miami, The Globetrotters grab the first taxi with Jen & Kisha close behind, but Gary & Mallory’s taxi driver has no idea how to head to the first Route Marker at Marine Stadium Marina.


The first two teams arrive and find the Road Block.  Teams will have to transport a boat using a forklift to drydock without dropping it. 

As Kisha and Flight Time carefully do the Road Block, Gary & Mallory’s taxi driver ex-49er head coach Mike Singletary Sterling gets lost. 


The Globetrotters finish the Road Block first and Jen & Kisha stay close as they head to the next Route Marker at Jules’ Undersea Lodge in Key Largo.  There, they find a second Road Block.  This time, teams will head underwater in a submersible, their own personal submarine known as a bob dive and search amidst a school of mermaid and an underwater band for a clue hidden in dozens of treasure chests.



Teams must now make their way to Mile Marker 29 for their next clue.

As Gary & Mallory get to the Undersea Lodge, Jen & Kisha and the Globetrotters get the next clue telling them to walk across a shallow part of the ocean to Horseshoe Island and search for the tallest tree for the next clue.

Jen & Kisha keep a lead as they get the clue telling them to take a speedboat to the Galway Bay Mobile Home Park in Marathon.

There, they find the final task.  Teams must put together a trailerhood according to a picture in a provided brochure by setting up a lawn, awning, tables, chairs, and other accessories.  When Miz Rose approves, they get the next clue.

Jen & Kisha and the Globetrotters get started and Gary & Mallory are picking up speed to the point where they actually catch up.  All three teams are at the trailer park now.



Jen & Kisha finish first and get the clue telling them to head to the Old Seven Mile Bridge.  There, they’ll have to ride a tricycle to the Finish Line.

It’s over and Jen & Kisha officially win the one million dollars.  The Globetrotters finish 2nd with Gary & Mallory in 3rd.




Episode Thoughts
I gotta say, I was excited when we learned we’d be getting a two-hour finale this season.  But it turned out to not be as exciting as it could have.  The Rio leg was fine.  The Road Block could have been more hilarious though and the waxing was just hilariously painful.

The Detour was uninspired and it was pretty much a straightforward leg.

Now the final leg, man.  It was probably the easiest final leg ever.  It seemed designed to keep the three teams neck and neck the entire way with the only variable being the cab driver, which was bad luck for Gary & Mallory.  

Having two Road Blocks in the final leg with both team members having to do one was a nice twist.  Should be interesting to see if they’ll do that again and depending on how the Road Block count shapes up during the season, it could end up being one person doing both Road Blocks.

What sucked though was not having a memory task. Even if it was a simple memory task like TAR16’s, at least it would’ve been better than at least the boat Road Block.  Memories of TAR15’s horrible chip counting final task come to mind.  Ahhh!

It doesn’t seem fair then when other seasons have ridiculously hard final tasks, especially final Road Blocks like ones in TAR3, TAR9, and of course the notorious TAR12 final Road Block.  And for an All-Star-lite season, memory and nostalgia should have been even more welcome.

As for the taxi problem, taxis ending up deciding the winners, it is not going to be a problem easily solved.  TAR is adamant with not having teams recklessly drive around in the final leg.  Using public transportation is an interesting option though or even having at least half the leg on foot would add another element to it.

  But at least the Globetrotters didn’t win.  And having an all-female team to win back to back after a 16 year drought is pretty amazing indeed.



Leg Eleven Itinerary
DEPARTURE
Swiss Cabin at Mürini & Mittagstadel
Zermatt, Switzerland

DESTINATION CITY
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

ROUTE MARKERS
Carioca Aqueduct
Rio de Janeiro

Escadaria Selarón
Santa Teresa, Rio de Janeiro

ROAD BLOCK
Largo de São Francisco de Paula
Rio de Janeiro

ROUTE MARKER
Centro de Orientação Profissional Salon
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

DETOUR
Espacio X Bar
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

Copacabana Beach
Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro

PIT STOP
Museum of Contemporary Art
Rio de Janeiro

Leg Twelve Itinerary
DEPARTURE
Museum of Contemporary Art
Rio de Janeiro

CASH
$354

FINAL DESTINATION CITY
Miami, Florida

ROAD BLOCK 1
Rickenbacker Marina
Virginia Key

ROAD BLOCK 2
Jules’ Undersea Lodge
Key Largo

ROUTE MARKER
Mile Marker 29
Big Pine Key

Horseshoe Island

Galway Bay Mobile Home Park
Marathon

Old Seven Mile Bridge
FINISH LINE
Pigeon Key Historic District
Pigeon Key

Leg 11 Departure Times

Swiss Cabin at Mürini & Mittagstadel
Zermatt, Switzerland

Flight Time & Big Easy 7:12am
Jen & Kisha 7:15am
Gary & Mallory 7:18am
Zev & Justin 7:31am

Leg 11 Departure Times

Museum of Contemporary Art
Rio de Janeiro

Gary & Mallory 8:54am
Jen & Kisha 9:05am
Flight Time & Big Easy 9:29am

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion

ON THE ROCKS




ON THE BEACH
*

* Team switched to other Detour

Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Who’s not afraid of shaking in their boots?
5 Gary Mallory 5
5 Kisha Jen 5
5 Zev Justin< 5
5 Flight Time Big Easy 5

Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Transport Boat
6 Flight Time Big Easy 5
6 Kisha Jen 5
6 Gary Mallory 5

Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Bob Dive
6 Flight Time Big Easy 6
6 Kisha Jen 6
6 Gary Mallory 6

5 Zev Justin 5
4 Kent Vyxsin 5
5 Jet Cord 3
3 Ron Christina 3
2 Margie Luke 3
2 Jaime Cara 2
1 Mel Mike 1
1 Amanda Kris 0

Leg 11 Order of Finish
1st Gary & Mallory (+2)
2nd Kisha & Jen (=)
3rd Flight Time & Big Easy (-2)
4th Zev & Justin (=)

Leg 12 Order of Finish

Winner Kisha & Jen (+1)
2nd Flight Time & Big Easy (+1)
3rd Gary & Mallory (-2)


My Subjective Team Rankings for Legs 11 and 12

Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – A great leg 11 for them, but unlucky final leg.  They could’ve gone on to win it all had it not been for ol’ Sterling.  Either they breezed through all the tasks or the other teams were very slow at that final task.  They were the only team I was rooting for after Ron & Christina were eliminated and I guess it isn’t time for a parent/child winner yet.  Nonetheless, two back to back Races and a good finish.
Kisha & Jen Kisha & Jen – It was a great consistent Race for them.  Under the radar, but getting the first when it counts.  A strong team and definitely a deserving all-female team to win. 
Zev & Justin Zev & Justin -  One misstep after another, so is the Race of Justin & Zev.  When they fall apart, they really fall apart.  They weren’t consistent despite grabbing all those firsts.  
GAP
Herb & Nathaniel Flight Time & Big Easy – Well, annoying to the end and thankfully not the winners of TAR18. 
Quotes from Episode 18.11
Mobile Home Lady: “When they do somethin’ stupid, we think it’s funny.”


Episode Caps



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The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - The Amazing Race

Recap: The Amazing Race 18, Episode 10 – There’s Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

Episode 18.10 – There’s Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen



The Leg
The leg begins as teams get a clue telling to head into the unknown.  To go there, they have to first make their way to the Air Rescue Helicopter Port to sign up for one of the helicopters, each leaving in five minute intervals.  Before taking off, they’ll receive their next clue.


With all the teams at the heliport, they get their next clue, the Detour.
In Search, teams must use an avalanche beacon to search a glacier for a training dummy which they’ll dig up and exchange for their next clue.
In Rescue, teams use a special device to lower one team member into a crevasse to hook a carabiner to a trapped mountaineer.  When the team member is pulled back up, the team will then pull the mountaineer out of the crevasse and he’ll hand them their next clue.

Zev & Justin and Gary & Mallory brave windy conditions to do Search while Kisha & Jen, Kent & Vyxsin, and the Globetrotters do Rescue.



Jen & Kisha finish first and get the clue telling them to take a helicopter to a nearby ski resort where they’ll find a train back to Zermatt where they’ll make their way to Le Petit Cervin for their next clue.  Kent & Vyxsin and the Globetrotters are right behind.

Gary & Mallory struggle with pulling their dummy out of the snow, but not as much as Zev & Justin who get left in last place at the Detour.

The other teams catch an 11:08am train and they arrive at the clue box in Zermatt and find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams must create a Travelocity Roaming Gnome out of chocolate.  Using a mold, teams will adhere to Swiss methods including using snow as a cooling agent to get the approval of the head chocolatier who will exchange the chocolate gmore for a real one with their next clue. 



The four teams get started on the Road Block as Zev & Justin finally finish the Detour and are able to catch up.  In probably the first time in a looong time, we have confirmation that the six Road Block rule still applies and because of that, Zev has to do the Road Block this time since he’s only done three so far.

With all five teams now making chocolate gnomes, tension starts to rise.  Because teams work on two halves of the mold, they place one half in the oven freezer while working on the other half.  When he goes to get his other half, Flight Time doesn’t seem to know or remember which one is his, so he just takes the mold sitting on the bottom which is the one Vyxsin had just placed.

She points that out, but now Flight Time doesn’t know where his mold is.  Big Easy gets heated with Kisha agreeing with his conclusion that Vyxsin took Flight Time’s mold.  Déjà vu sets in as Big Easy starts mouthing off towards Kent &Vyxsin to which Kent tells him to chill out.  (Somewhere TAR15’s Mika is hoping the Globetrotters screw up this leg.)

Vyxsin gets upset and while waiting for their mold to harden outside, she cries about the mean spirited nastiness that’s suddenly popped up.

TAR doesn’t really explain how it all works out in the end, but oh well.  They all move on.  The teams all head outside to chill their mold.  Zev gets rude with the head chocolatier. 



The four teams head back upstairs with their molds.  Carefully removing the chocolate from the mold, teams will now do touch up with the color before getting handed their next clue.  Big Easy apparently hasn’t moved on and mocks Kent before Vyxsin finishes first.

Teams must now make their way on foot to the Pit Stop, an old cabin at Mürini & Mittagstadel. 

Kent & Vyxsin head to the street… to find a taxi.

The other teams know how to read and they fight the high altitude to get to the Pit Stop.  The Globetrotters snag first place with Jen & Kisha in 2nd.

Kent & Vyxsin arrive 3rd via taxi, but Phil informs them of their 30 minute penalty.  Gary & Mallory slip officially slip into 3rd then leaving Zev & Justin still not at the Pit Stop.

They finish the Road Block and head off as Kent & Vyxsin wonder how in the world they could have missed the critical part of the clue.  And it turns out that was their fatal mistake.  Zev & Justin walk around the corner and officially check in as Team #4.

And Kent & Vyxsin are eliminated.



Episode Thoughts
First of all, thanks to CBS for actually airing the episode on the West Coast! I was sure we were going to have to settle for CBS.com or maybe a slight chance of a Saturday encore (thanks a lot evil terrorist mastermind).

But thankfully, CBS went straight to it at 9pm PDT.

And it was an interesting episode.  What an excellent place for High Definition eh?  The Matterhorn and the snow drifts and the crevasses looked absolutely stunning and some of the best images we’ve seen on The Amazing Race in a long time.

The Detour was good, though maybe the Rescue side was a little easier than the Search side (which is actually a Road Block they did on The Amazing Race Asia 4 a few months ago).

The Road Block was interesting because it took up half the episode for such a simple task.  The pointless drama probably had something to do with it and yeah, déjà vu to the taunting of Mika at the pre-Pit Stop task in TAR15. 

Once again though, we are all reminded that when you go on The Amazing Race, you must know HOW TO READ.  I guess there will never be a day that teams no longer skip over the “on foot” part of clues.  

Leg Ten Itinerary
DEPARTURE
Bergrestaurant-Moos
Zermatt, Switzerland


ROUTE MARKERS
Air Rescue Helicopter Port
Zermatt

DETOUR
Matterhorn
Switzerland

ROAD BLOCK
Le Petit Cervin
Zermatt

PIT STOP
Swiss Cabin at Mürini & Mittagstadel
Zermatt, Switzerland

Departure Times

Bergrestaurant-Moos
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zev & Justin 6:54am
Kisha & Jen 7:02am
Kent & Vyxsin 8:00am
Gary & Mallory 8:18am
Flight Time & Big Easy 8:43am

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion

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Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Who’s ready to make a new friend?
4 Kent Vyxsin 5
5 Flight Time Big Easy 4
4 Kisha Jen 5
5 Gary Mallory 4
4 Zev Justin< 5

5 Jet Cord 3
3 Ron Christina 3
2 Margie Luke 3
2 Jaime Cara 2
1 Mel Mike 1
1 Amanda Kris 0

Order of Finish
1st Flight Time & Big Easy (+4)
2nd Kisha & Jen (=)
3rd Gary & Mallory +1)
4th Zev & Justin (-3)
Eliminated Kent & Vyxsin (-2)








My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 10

Kent & Vyxsin Kent & Vyxsin – They’re still on top for me this week because of that combination of hilarity and Racing.  They can Race very well when they focus and put the effort in, but they are also absolutely hilarious, even when they play to the camera. (Which is more than can be said about other teams.)   I thought they’d be the team that stumbles their way into the finale, but I guess they’ll eternally be stuck in 5th place.
Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – With the hilarity now out of the Race, my full support for the crown officially rests on Gary & Mallory.  While it might not be theirs to lose, they have what it takes to go all the way.  I just hope they don’t screw up next week! 
GAP
Zev & Justin Zev & Justin -  Well, after a quick break, Zev is back to being the whiny, frustrated one of the team.  And rude too to the locals.  
GAP
Kisha & Jen Kisha & Jen – Their Globetrotter crushes automatically push them low on this list.  Kisha’s hilarious laugh is not so anymore erased thanks to Flight Time. 
Herb & Nathaniel Flight Time & Big Easy – This leg should’ve been karma for them for almost screwing over Ron & Chris in Japan, but they survive to hopefully get eliminated in the penultimate leg.  Please make it happen!
Quotes from Episode 18.10
~


Episode Caps



Almsot 300 HD! episode caps at xangatheamazingracecaps

Miss the Episode?
Watch the full episode for free at CBS.com/Race or
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - The Amazing Race

Recap: The Amazing Race 18, Episode 9 – “I’ll step on your face. I don’t care.”

Episode 18.09 – We’re Good American People

The Leg
After selling a few more Ford Focuses, Zev & Justin get their clue telling teams to take a train to Feldkirch, Austria where they’ll take a taxi and cross the border into Liechtenstein at Schaanwald.  All teams get onto the same train and as soon as they get into Feldkirch, they scramble for taxis.

Zev & Justin luck out with a “crazy” taxi driver that gets them the lead while Gary & Mallory fall behind with a clueless taxi driver. 

Teams cross the border and arrive in Schaanwald and find the Road Block.
In this Road Block, teams will hop on a motorized bike known as a Solex and with a provided map, measure the length of the entire country of Liechtenstein using an attached odometer.  After riding the bike down 22km from Schaanwald to Balzers, teams must present their guess to Olympic ski racer Marco Büchel who’ll hand them their next clue and point them to Castle Gutenberg up the hill where they’ll reunite with their teammate.   However, if their guess is incorrect, they must ride back to Schaanwald and measure the country again.

As the first five teams head out, Gary & Mallory bring up the rear and before getting the Road Block, must complete the Speed Bump.  For their Speed Bump, Gary & Mallory must figure out the correct mixture of gas and oil to power the Solex using the ratio of 25 parts gas : 1 part oil (or 2 liters of gas).    They finish and Gary sets off.

The ride down Liechtenstein should be straightforward enough, but teams are encountering plenty of problems.  Jet and Flight Time take wrong turns, Jen loses her map, and Vyxsin has no idea what she’s doing. 

Gary catches up to Jet and he decides to follow him.  Jen runs into a lost Justin and she offers to read the map and guide them if he lets her see it.  They get to Marco first.  Justin gives his answer of 22 and he gets the next clue.  Jen asks Justin if the answer is 22, just to make sure and she is right behind him.

Jet arrives 3rd, but has 35km as his answer.  He has to go all the way back.  Gary, whom Jet leaves behind, meets up with Vyxsin and they work together

Justin and Jen collect their partners at the castle and they read their next clue telling to take a bus and train to Zermatt, Switzerland.  They go to wait at the bus stop when Flight Time stops and tells them he doesn’t want to have to go back after getting lost.  They freely give him the correct answer and he drives off.

He runs into Gary and he gives Gary the right answer too.  They and Vyxsin finish the Road Block and head onto the same train together, leaving the Cowboys in last place.  Jet finishes his 2nd ride and meets back up with Cord.

Couple of hours later, Jen & Kisha and Zev & Justin arrive in Zermatt and find the next clue, the Detour.
In Cheese, teams make their way to a restaurant where they’ll have to finish a whole pot of cheese fondue.  When finished, they received an empty pot with their clue printed inside.
In Wheeze, teams will have to walk around Zermatt delivering 20 pieces of luggage from the train station to at least five different hotels, from which they will collect luggage tags which they will present to the porter who’ll hand them their next clue.

Both Jen & Kisha and Zev & Justin choose Cheese first, but Kisha’s stomach isn’t cooperating so they immediately switch.  Justin whines before they even get started but Zev pushes him to stick with it.

The next three teams, Gary & Mallory, Kent & Vyxsin, and the Globetrotters, arrive and all choose the luggage.

As Jet & Cord get to town, Justin whines and hurls himself through the Detour, but they finish first and get the clue telling them to head for Hinterdorf near the Inderbinen-Brunnen for their next clue.  Jen & Kisha are right behind them and there, they find the Double U-Turn.  Neither team decides to use it and they take the next clue telling them to head to the Pit Stop at Moos Restaurant via electric taxi.

Zev & Justin claim another leg win while Kisha & Jen take 2nd.

Kent & Vyxsin finish next, but Kent is exhausted so Vyxsin tells him to get onto the cart so she can pull him.  The Globetrotters think they’re done, but they find they’ve brought two pieces of luggage to the wrong hotel.  They think they’re done again, but they head back to the porter to hand him the tickets, but they only have 18 of the 20.

Kent & Vyxsin and Gary & Mallory choose not to U-Turn anyone and they check in to the Pit Stop 3rd and 4th respectively.  Phil gets a huge laugh from Mallory’s crazy faces.

That leaves the Globetrotters and the Cowboys fighting for last (yes!) and a chance at the U-Turn.  The Globetrotters arrive there first and U-Turn the Cowboys to ensure their safety.

They officially check in 5th leaving the Cowboys in last and officially eliminated.  


Episode Thoughts
It was a very interesting episode.  While I was pleased with the ending, the leg itself was pretty poorly designed.

Too many long train trips in one leg caused unnecessary equalizers.  The Road Block measuring Liechtenstein was great, fun and creative.  But having to hop on another train to the next destination eliminated a lot of excitement.  This leg was probably a good example of when equalizers are not executed well.

That left the U-Turn at the END of the leg which eliminates any possibility of the U-Turned team from catching up and ensures their elimination. 

The Speed Bump too seems to have reached new lows of irrelevance.  TAR may have to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new non-elimination penalty otherwise just go to the double/super legs/virtual Pit Stops instead.

It was fun however to see the teams Racing around at night.  TAR needs more running around in the middle of the night legs.  How about a Finish Line at night?

And about the Road Block.  It has always been annoying when teams find ways around actually finishing a task or finding a way around the actual directions.  Not sure about penalties needing to be assessed, but TAR does need to take a look at how to enforce the directions and rules they set out.

Leg Nine Itinerary
DEPARTURE
Villa Trapp
Salzburg, Austria

CONNECTIONS
Feldkirch, Vorarlberg, Austria
ROUTE MARKERS
Schaanwald, Liechtenstein

Castle Gutenberg
Balzers, Liechtenstein

ROAD BLOCK
Liechtenstein

DETOUR
Zermatt, Switzerland

Walliserkanne Restaurant
Zermatt, Switzerland

ROUTE MARKER
Hinterdorf near the Inderbinen-Brunnen
Zermatt, Switzerland
PIT STOP
Bergrestaurant-Moos
Zermatt, Switzerland

Departure Times

Villa Trapp
Salzburg, Austria

Zev & Justin 3:14am
Flight Time & Big Easy 3:25am
Kent & Vyxsin 3:39am
Kisha & Jen 3:49am
Jet & Cord 3:50am
Gary & Mallory 4:36am

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion

CHEESE

WHEEZE
*



* Teams switched Detours

Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Who’s better at giving a measured response?
3 Zev Justin 5
4 Kisha Jen 4
4 Flight Time Big Easy 4
5 Gary Mallory 3
4 Kent Vyxsin 4
5 Jet Cord 3

3 Ron Christina 3
2 Margie Luke 3
2 Jaime Cara 2
1 Mel Mike 1
1 Amanda Kris 0

Order of Finish
1st Zev & Justin (+1)
2nd Kisha & Jen (+2)
3rd Kent & Vyxsin =)
4th Gary & Mallory (+2)
5th Flight Time & Big Easy (-3)
Eliminated Jet & Cord (-1)

My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 9

Kent & Vyxsin Kent & Vyxsin – The hilarity continues.  And in a week when other teams lost a couple of points for basically not doing the Road Block, bouts of hilarious insanity will be very welcome.  And Kent & Vyxsin definitely provided the random laughs.  Race-wise, they are continuing to fall forwards into the final three.  They aren’t screwing themselves like teams can do, but they aren’t exactly dominating.  But you don’t really have to dominate to make it to the end.
Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – They fall behind even before that ridiculously easy Speed Bump.   They were pretty relaxed for someone who was behind with a Speed Bump.  And if it wasn’t for them taking part in playing telephone, they might have just fallen to their Omani mistakes.  Mallory’s face contortions weren’t enough to make up for their lack of urgency.  They were lucky this leg.
GAP
Kisha & Jen Kisha & Jen – Another good leg for them,  but very quiet.  The train flirting was very forced and could get old very quick.  But otherwise, they’re staying the course, though unexcitingly.
Zev & Justin Zev & Justin –  The frustration returns for them but this time it was Zev who stepped up for a whining Justin.  So far this Race, they’ve made the right decisions at the right time and have been just as lucky.  They can go all the way if they can keep it up.  But luck can always run out.
Jet & Cord Jet & Cord –  Well, can’t say I’m sad about them being eliminated.  It almost seemed like TAR was intentionally editing out possible Seychelles-level childish behavior from them in their last couple moments on the Race.  Oh well.  It was their own doing.  Maybe they would’ve gotten some help from other teams if they had a better attitude.  But kudos for actually finishing the Road Block.
Herb & Nathaniel Flight Time & Big Easy – With Jet & Cord gone, the Globetrotters own the annoying team slot all their own.  Please let them be next.
Quotes from Episode 18.09
Kent:  “I’ll step on your face.  I don’t care.”
Vyxsin:  “I’ll kick you in the head.”

Kent:  “Look, there’s a special man!  Let’s go visit him.”

Vyxsin: “I just need you to quit acting like a chick.”

Vyxsin: “If we get eliminated today, I swear to God, I’m never speaking to you again.”

Episode Caps

370+ HD! episode caps at xangatheamazingracecaps

Miss the Episode?
Watch the full episode for free at CBS.com/Race or
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - The Amazing Race

Recap: The Amazing Race 18, Episode 8 – “I just need you to quit acting like a chick.”

Episode 18.08 – I Cannot Deal With Your Psycho Behavior



The Leg
All the teams but Jet & Cord get on a flight to their next destination, Vienna, Austria getting them in at 5:35am.  The Cowboys play safe with a flight that gets them in at 6:00am with one less connection.

The teams arrive in Vienna and have to get into a brand-new Ford Focus where Phil will give them their next clue.  Via a video on the fancy screen in the car, Phil tells them to put the car in reverse to activate the back-up camera to see their next destination on the ground: Schloss Schallaburg.  And also, the winners of this leg will each win a brand-new 2012 Ford Focus.

The teams head out, but Gary & Mallory have trouble figuring out what to do.  They get it just as the Cowboys touchdown in Vienna. 



All the teams get directions and are on their way to Schloss Schallaburg.  Zev & Justin arrive first and receive their next clue, a book, from a lady in medieval clothes.  The book directs them to find Librarian Prunksaal at the National Library in Vienna.


Zev & Justin keep their lead to the National Library and find the Detour.
In Long Hard Walk, teams make their way to the Freud Museum (Sigmund Freud’s personal home and office) to pick up a psychoanalysis couch and deliver it to his former office at the University of Vienna one mile away.
In Quick Easy Meal, teams head to the Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel where they’ll pick-up two servings of Wiener Schnitzel and Sachertorte, Austrian specialties and take them to the dining cars on the ferris wheel where they must clean their plates before the end of a 12 minute ride. 



Zev & Justin decide to eat.  As do Kisha & Jen and Gary & Mallory.  The Globetrotters grab their clue, but Flight Time needs to pee so he decides to pee on the Austrian National Library.  They and Kent & Vyxsin decide to move the couch.

At the Detour, Zev & Justin and Kisha & Jen find eating all that Wiener Schnitzel isn’t easy and fail to finish before the 12 minutes.  They both run into Gary & Mallory and don’t let them know they didn’t finish.

The Globetrotters and Kent & Vyxsin starting going with their couches as Kisha & Jen arrive at their 2nd Detour.  Zev & Justin are close behind and Jet & Cord catch up.

Gary & Mallory fall to last after failing to finish their food and they head on over to the couch as well.



The teams drag, carry, and roll their couches along the icy streets of Vienna.  The Globetrotters finish first and get the clue telling them to find Sternbräu Restaurant in Salzburg. 

Kent & Vyxsin, Kisha & Jen, Zev & Justin, Jet & Cord, and Gary & Mallory finish the Detour in that order and they all drive to Salzburg where they find the Road Block.


In this Road Block, teams become chimney sweeps.  After dressing up in uniform, they’ll be led to the roof where they will use a weighted tool to clean three chimneys.  After, they’ll head downstairs to the cleanout door, open it, and retrieve their next clue.



Big Easy finishes the Road Block first just as Zev & Justin arrive and they get the clue telling them to head for the Pit Stop at the Villa Trapp, the home of the Von Trapp family famous thanks to the Sound of Music.

Zev finishes quickly as well with Kisha & Jen and Kent & Vyxsin close behind.  But it is Zev & Justin who squeak by to step on the Mat first and claim their new Ford Focuses.  And in Race Red and Yellow too!

The Globetrotters settle for 2nd while Kent & Vyxsin pass Kisha & Jen for 3rd.

Back at the Road Block, the Cowboys are just leaving when Gary & Mallory arrive.  After getting lost, Kisha & Jen run ahead of the Cowboys and they check in together, 4th and 5th respectively.

That leaves Gary & Mallory in last… but it is a non-elimination leg and they are safe.




Episode Thoughts
Well, admittedly I’m less excited about the rest of the season, but this is The Amazing Race after all and it is still exciting and a joy to watch.

It was a great episode to see the teams in cold weather finally this season.  Austria looks beautiful and even better in HD.  The tasks were probably the simplest of the season and didn’t provide for that much excitement though.  The teams took center stage this week and provided the few laughs and excitement we got this episode.

The locations for the Route Markers though seemed like they were wasted.  The castle and then the National Library would’ve been beautiful places to have tasks at.  The National Library looked especially breathtaking in what little we saw of it. 

It was an alright episode.

But how about the preview?  Who in the world did the voice over for that?  Where was Phil?  It was very jarring and very random.  First time ever TAR has had a Phil-less preview?


Leg Eight Itinerary
DEPARTURE
Ramnagar Fort
Ramnagar, India

CONNECTIONS
Delhi, India
Mumbai, India

DESTINATION CITY
Vienna, Austria

ROUTE MARKERS
Schloss Schallaburg
Vienna

National Library
Vienna

DETOUR
Sigmund Freud Museum
Vienna

University of Vienna
Vienna

Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel
Vienna

ROAD BLOCK
Sternbräu Restaurant
Salzburg, Austria

PIT STOP
Villa Trapp
Salzburg, Austria

Departure Times

Ramnagar Fort
Ramnagar, India

Flight Time & Big Easy 2:07am
Zev & Justin 2:12am
Kisha & Jen 2:53am
Gary & Mallory 3:30am
Jet & Cord 3:35am
Kent & Vyxsin 3:44am

Who Did the Detour?
In order of completion

LONG HARD WALK


*
*

*

QUICK EASY MEAL
*
*
*

* Teams switched Detours

Road Block Count
In order of completion; Italics indicate who did this week’s Road Block

Who’s feeling lucky as can be?
3 Flight Time Big Easy 4
3 Zev Justin 4
4 Kisha Jen 3
4 Kent Vyxsin 3
4 Jet Cord 3
4 Gary Mallory 3

3 Ron Christina 3
2 Margie Luke 3
2 Jaime Cara 2
1 Mel Mike 1
1 Amanda Kris 0

Order of Finish
1st Zev & Justin (+1)
2nd Flight Time & Big Easy (-1)
3rd Kent & Vyxsin +3)
4th Kisha & Jen (-1)
5th Jet & Cord (=)
6th Gary & Mallory (-2)








My Subjective Team Rankings for Leg 8

Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – Just like their Oman leg, they fell behind early and couldn’t recover.  Thank goodness for the non-elimination, otherwise this season would be completely lost to me.  Though they weren’t completely behind that they didn’t have hope of catching up, at least they didn’t give up and kept up the pace.  Here’s hoping to a recovery next week.
Kisha & Jen Kisha & Jen – They are slowly but surely solidifying their place in the finals.  They are Racing smart and doing well.  As long as they keep it up and not make any big mistakes, they have a great chance at the Finish Line.
Kent & Vyxsin Kent & Vyxsin – With Ron & Chris gone, Kent & Vyxsin are now the lone source of hilarious dysfunction.  And they certainly delivered this leg.  Random outbursts, Kent’s random whining… all hilarious.  And Gary & Mallory seem to think so too.  I can see Kent & Vyxsin falling into the final three easily.  There’s always one team right?
Zev & Justin Zev & Justin -  They may have won legs, but they’ve been up and down and not consistent like maybe Kisha & Jen have been or even Gary & Mallory.  Their jokes can be very forced too, too much playing up to the camera which diminishes their luster for me.
Jet & Cord Jet & Cord -  An okay leg for them.  They’re quietly moving forward, thank goodness (and I mean that as opposed to them hogging the spotlight and being self-righteous).  But them saying they need to step up or they’ll be eliminated is hopefully foreshadowing to trouble soon.
Herb & Nathaniel Flight Time & Big Easy – Still loud and camwhoring.  But what was up with the peeing on the National Library?  Really now?
Quotes from Episode 18.08
Kent:  “I’ll step on your face.  I don’t care.”
Vyxsin:  “I’ll kick you in the head.”

Kent:  “Look, there’s a special man!  Let’s go visit him.”

Vyxsin: “I just need you to quit acting like a chick.”

Vyxsin: “If we get eliminated today, I swear to God, I’m never speaking to you again.”


Episode Caps



340+ HD! episode caps at xangatheamazingracecaps

Miss the Episode?
Watch the full episode for free at CBS.com/Race or
The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business - The Amazing Race

Ron & Christina Give More Details About the Race

Ron & Christina Give More Details About the Race

Ron & Chris talk to Deadbolt about the differences between TAR12 and TAR18.

While Ron & Chris tell Reality TV World about the Race penalties.

Ron & Christina Explain What Happened in India and How They Didn’t Necessarily Lose

Ron & Christina Explain What Happened in India and How They Didn’t Necessarily Lose

Ron Tells TVGuide why he couldn’t team up with another team.

Ron & Christina Tell Reality Wanted about first getting the call and their excitement at getting a 2nd chance.