Racer Reports

Racer Report - Episode Twelve

Team: David and Jeff
For the fourth time this season, David and Jeff won a leg of the Race – and prior to the final leg this week. Only one other team in TAR history has accomplished this feat, the winners of the original edition, Rob and Brennan. As they were the winners of the previous leg, David and Jeff departed from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club at 10:41 p.m. They have $1.00 for this leg of the Race, and the teams' first clue directs them to drive 80 miles to the Australian Wool Shed at Ferny Hills. As they depart, David provides a voiceover: “Our strategy and our plan was to use the fast forward in leg 11, go into leg 12 with the lead, and then our goal for leg 12 is to increase our lead. God knows what is going to happen on the next two legs of the Race.” Jeff adds: “Jon and Kelly, Chip and Reichen might be more prone to an emotional attachment to decisions that are made whereas David and I are analytical. It's not affecting us emotionally. It's the nature of the beast to get through this Race and win it.”

We are not told when David and Jeff arrive at the Wool Shed, but it appears that it took all three teams about three hours or so to drive to Ferny Hills, as Kelly and Jon arrived at about 2:00 am, and Reichen and Chip arrived 15 minutes later. The teams encountered an "hours of operation" bunching, since the operating hours were 6:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The task at the Wool Shed required all three teams to work through large stalls of wool to find a clue envelope. David and Jeff wore gloves for the task, and the other teams did not. It took David and Jeff longer to find the clue, and they departed last. All three teams are directed to drive back to Brisbane to the airport, and fly to Cairns. David and Jeff arrive at the Brisbane airport after the other two teams. When they enter, they notice the Quantas flight to Cairns that departs at 7:45 am, and arrive at the ticketing counter while Reichen and Chip completed their ticketing purchase. All three teams take the same flight, and on arrival in Cairns, teams rush for marked vehicles to drive to the Wild World Tropical Zoo, located outside Cairns. David and Jeff depart from the airport second.
David and Jeff notice that Jon and Kelly forgot to take a camera with them.
On the highway, they are between the vehicles of the other two teams. Jeff attempted to pass Jon and Kelly's vehicle, but another driver blocks the other lane and prevents them from passing Jon and Kelly on the highway. David and Jeff ultimately arrived second at Wild World. The clue directs the teams to take a [product placement] camera and follow the marked path to Sultan. One team member is to feed Sultan (a crocodile) and the other is to use the camera and take a picture. The teams were to take the camera to the souvenir shop and print out the photograph. The back of the photo would contain their next clue. David and Jeff notice that Jon and Kelly forgot to take a camera with them. As a result David and Jeff complete this task first and in fact, complete all of the remaining tasks of the leg before the other teams. The clue tells the teams to drive 15 miles to Wangetti Beach. David notes “We kept our heads and came out number one.” Jeff adds, “We're not arrogant and cocky, we do want to win this Race and we're confident we can. We didn’t do this Race to come in second or third, we did it to win.”

At Wangetti Beach, teams encounter this week's detour, "saddle" or "paddle." All the teams chose "saddle," in which the teams have to ride on horseback to find any of four Race flags. Within a 25-yard radius, a bunch of clues have been hidden. Only one of the bunches contain actual clues to the next route marker. David and Jeff change into long pants (they had been wearing shorts) and riding gear, and take a right turn down the 1.5 mile long beach. They find the flag where the real clues are located, and obtain a clue to directs them to the town of Julatten, and an outdoor adventure company called Off Road Rush.

David performs the Roadblock at Off Road Rush, where the team member has to drive a dune buggy on a seven-mile course. The task was uneventful for this team, and they receive their final clue of the leg that directs them to the pit stop at Ellis Beach, which Phil tells us is about 50 or 60 miles away on the edge of the Coral Sea. Reichen and Chip arrive as David is completing the roadblock. Reichen voices over after Chip completes that roadblock that David and Jeff had to be at least 20 minutes ahead of Reichen and Chip as they are driving to the pit stop.

On arrival at the finish mat, Phil informs David and Jeff that they had also won their fourth vacation package, a trip to Europe. We won't know until next week what time they arrived, but we do know it was daylight, and that means the teams will again depart overnight for the final rush to the finish mat. Who will win the $1 million? Will it be Who?
–– by theschnauzers

Team: Kelly and Jon
We are into the finale, and as I predicted in my pre-race report, this team is still in contention. I have gone back and forth in my admiration/disgust of this team and I am now willing to put both feet on one side of the fence and say GO JOKE!!! Beat them all- guy teams. DO IT.

They leave the pit stop at 11:59 pm and I’m with those who are of the opinion that this was an extended pit stop. Having a meal with alcohol after dark just doesn’t fit into the 12 hour pit stop format. They are ahead of the Chipsters because of the Heave-ish penalty. Jon and Kelly are sure that the other two teams will be so worried about each other that they won’t notice them slipping right on past them. Kelly says in what might be some foreshadowing that they’ve been saving their money like crazy and hope it’ll come in handy. Or not.

As they make their way to the wool place, they begin what is to become the theme for this leg – Jon refuses to believe that Kelly can read a map. It seems that Kelly gave Jon a direction that he ignored, and when he stops to ask a local, he patronizingly calls Kelly his “little navigator”. Yoy. This time it’s of little consequence because the hours of operation start at 6:00am.

The next morning there is a scene where K/J explain their strategy regarding Reichip. Kelly says “Good morning Chipper. Are we feeling chipper?” In an interview Kelly says “It’s just fun between Chip and Reichen and us. It’s just fun to push their buttons and get them all riled up because they take it so seriously.” Later she states that “as soon as the race starts you can’t even get a friendly wave. Nothin’. We get nothin’.”

This is interspersed with a funny bit by Jon “bragging” about how they are better suited to the wool task because “I own a lot of wool sweaters, so I’m quite familiar with wool”.
They are the gnats who incessantly buzz around you until you just give up and go in the house. Or you decide to light a citronella candle.
Chip and Reichen are also shown in an interview which leads me to believe that basically Kelly and Jon have their number. “I think Jon’s strategy is to constantly nudge us, nudge us, nudge us, trying to distract us. When we’re on the race and we’re running, we do like to be serious and stay focused”. And this I believe explains K/J. They are the gnats who incessantly buzz around you until you just give up and go in the house. Or you decide to light a citronella candle. And I think that when they perceive a team to be ultra serious and not having fun (Chillie) they just won’t let up. They don’t do this with the Goats because they don’t have that humorless attitude toward the race. K/J make fun of themselves in the same manner, so that strategy won’t work in reverse. Chip tried it at the face-first rappel and Jon just picked it up and threw it back at them. Anyway, they find the clue first in the wool and hightail it to the airport.

On the way, the other teams catch up. Kelly again talks about being the only “girl” left (I wish she would own her womanhood) and that the guys scare her. I don’t know why, but my guess is that guys tend to play more roughly when “girls” aren’t around. But again, it’s not like she has to come into physical contact with them. Jon takes advantage of a civilian’s car and uses it to box in the other teams so that they can’t pass. Good move. He explains “when Chip’s in a car and he’s in traffic, he’s got smoke coming out of his ears, his blood pressure’s going through the roof. I mean he’s a few ticks away from a heart attack.” Two things: One, he’s absolutely correct, but how does he know this? Do smoke signals from Chip’s ears emanate from his car? And two, this is the 4th episode in a row where the title is said by Jon. Since we always look for subtle clues as to the winner, I choose to use this as a sign they win. Flo got all kinds of titles last season and look what happened. (Shudder. On second thought, I’d rather not)

At the Wild World park, they make yet another mistake reading the clue and neglect to grab their camera. But as Jon is reading the clue (that he will later say Kelly ripped out of his hands before he had a chance to read it), he gives Kelly the little rip strip and avoids littering. Yay, Jon! As a result they have to go to the back of the line. They go to the souvenir shop to print out their photo and actually do it faster than a confused Reichip because K/J are “lucky” (tm Reichip) and are now ahead of the boys. Of course Jon gets in one last dig at them when he’s leaving by saying “this is easy”, which prompts one of the Chipsters to “wanna punch them both right now, they get so frickin’ lucky”. Kelly apologizes to Jon about the camera and he says OK. She VOs that she knows they’ll fight at least once a day and get over it and be together forever. But getting back to this week’s theme, Jon doesn’t turn off on the way to the beach when Kelly tells him to, so they wind up 10-15 minutes in the wrong direction. Jon had admonished Kelly about not second-guessing ourselves and Kelly immediately tells him “I’m not second-guessing; my first guess was, that was it”. Ha. So now Reichip have passed them again and K/J arrive at the detour in 3rd place. They do take advantage of the fact that Reichip is coming from the left and going toward the right and assume that the clue is not down the left side of the beach. They get the clue and are on their way to the roadblock.
I love them at this roadblock. Everything they do is delightful.
I love them at this roadblock. Everything they do is delightful. From Kelly playing with him about letting him do it, to his happy little dune buggy dance, to his giggling the entire time, this is my favorite scene this episode. I laugh when she gives him a big sendoff with the green flag only to have him come to a jarring halt as he tries to squeal away and I laugh as Kelly says “That’s downright embarrassing right there”. After he flips the cart and Kelly is frantically screaming, I love his laughing as he climbs out and when Kelly hits him on the arm in relief. I thought her VO about not getting her fancy schmancy wedding or winning the million dollars was cute and showed her happiness that nothing horrible happened.

They hold hands as they run to the mat and she says “Hi Phil”. Jon says “Hellooooo”. Kelly says “We came to one very sad conclusion today; that we cannot have children because we do not want them to inherit our stupidity. At every point you could possibly make a mistake – even the points where you couldn’t make a mistake, we managed to make a mistake.” They hope that it’s out of their systems and that they can run a clean last leg. I hope so too. It’s a solid strategy to make the other teams flustered with your teasing, but it’s all for naught if you can’t capitalize on it. GO TEAM JOKE!!
–– by emjaytee

Reichen & Chip − The Chipsters
Reichen and Chip depart in last place at 11:33 p.m. following last weeks’ illiteracy penalty. They are given one dollar for this leg of the race. Good thing they’re spoon‘ fed their transportation for the first part of the leg! They voice over that they both want to be in control and prove to each other that they know what they’re doing. Chip correctly points out that that sort of intensity can hurt them. Taxi karma anyone? The clue directs them to drive to the Australian Woolshed in Ferny Hills. They ask for directions and are told it will take about 2 hours to get there. They arrive in third place shortly after 2 a.m. and wait for the woolshed to open at 6.
Jon taunts Chris for a while about owning a lot of wool sweaters, and how that should make the task easier. Hee!
Jon taunts Chris for a while about owning a lot of wool sweaters, and how that should make the task easier. Hee! I have the feeling it doesn’t take much to get Chip worked up at this point in the race. Each team is directed to a huge pile of wool and begin searching simultaneously. Jon and Kelly find the clue first and are directed to fly to Cairns (someplace I’ve always wanted to go…). The Chipsters find the next clue and are off to the Brisbane airport to book a flight. Kelly and Jon arrive at the airport at 7 am, so it couldn’t have taken too long to find the clues. There is a flight leaving for Cairns at 7:45 a.m.. All the teams make it and are bunched (or equalized, as Jon puts it) once again.

On arriving in Cairns, they have to drive to Wild World in marked cars. Jon’s commentary about Chip continues, this time about how badly Chip handles traffic. Yeah, no kidding. He’s not the calmest guy on the road. At Wild World, the teams are directed to feed a crocodile and take a picture of it. Here come the Kodak Easy Share Digital Cameras! I was wondering where those were. Reichen and Chip grab the clue last, but Kelly and Jon forget their camera, so they are second to feed the crocodile. They race off to the souvenir shop to develop their photo. Chip is not too technologically inclined and can’t figure it out. Uh oh. They’re back in last place. The next clue is printed on the back of their photo and directs them to Wangetti beach. They pass Jon and Kelly on the way to the beach and choose the horseback riding option of the Detour. They go search for clues to the left while Dave and Jeff go right. Dave and Jeff find the clue on their first try, while Chip and Reichen find two ‘try again’ clues. Kelly and Jon arrive and follow The Chipsters to the right and the correct clue (after one more ‘try again’).

In their rush to leave for an ‘Off Road Rush’ near Julatten, Chip runs over Reichens’ foot and they have a brief argument in the car. It doesn’t seem too serious, though. Chip seems very apologetic. For the Roadblock, one team member must drive a dune buggy around a marked course. Chip takes the Roadblock. Mr. Road Rage himself. Oh dear. Reichen points out that the need to be extremely vigilant about details. Foreshadowing? Yup! Chip wrecks the car soon into his lap and has to wait for another car. He still has some trouble staying on course, but finishes without killing anyone. They retrieve the next clue and head to the pit stop at Ellis Beach. Dave and Jeff have a pretty good lead over them, but they arrive in 2nd place.

Next week? Skydiving, nudity and more car crashes!! The big finish! New York here I come!
–– by devajd

Host: Phil
Phil starts off by reminding us about what happened last week. Sniff. For some strange reason, Phil then asks us who will be eliminated next. Well, no one Phil. No more philiminations left. Sorry, sweetie.
The point of this week's leg seems to be to have the teams do as many tasks as possible in Australia.
After seeing scenes from Australia, we see Phil is now wearing a pretty dark blue shirt. The point of this week's leg seems to be to have the teams do as many tasks as possible in Australia. They 1) hunt through wool in Ferny Hills 2) Feed Sultan the Croc in Cairns and figure out how to pick up and use a Kodak Easy Share Camera (this portion of the Phil report brought to you by Kodak Easy Share Camera. So easy that eventually even a person who can't tell the difference between walk and drive can use it) 3) Ride a horse at Wangetti Beach 4) crash a dune buggy at the Off Road Rush and 5) actually find Ellis Beach and check in.

This week, Team Who is the first to check in and win another trip - this trip is to Europe (this portion of the Phil report is brought to you by American Airlines). Reichen and Chip are number two and Kelly and Jon are number three. Kelly totally cracks me up by pointing out that Jon and her should never have children because they should never pass on their stupid genes (actually, Kelly, that could be said of all three teams). Since there are only three teams left, Phil has time to actually stop and chat for a few minutes with each team reminding us of his adorable accent.

Phil then tells us that next week is the season finale and we see a preview where we see that BuffJon is now NakedJon. We then also learn that the Reichen and Chip and Team Who are now mortal enemies (huh, when did that happen?). Phil (and most of the viewing audience) is then set to ponder the question if all three teams will actually get lost on their way to the finish line. See you at TARCON4 Phil!
–– by M. Darcy