Commentary

TAR4 Memories

If you are new to the show and don't know the outcome, these moments might give away the action, so tape/TiVo the GSN repeat, watch the episode, discover your own moments, and then come back and see if yours match up with ours. Updated August 20th to include comments by Clown Jon.

(For each episode, click on the "+" button to see the moments. Click "-" to hide them again.)


Episode One


Hooked - by JenEx
Season four was the first one I watched all the way through. I saw parts of the end of season three and was less than enthused, but a good friend kept talking up the show, so I gave it a shot. There were specific moments early on that had me thinking, wow, I guess this really is gonna be awesome: Phil leaning back as the Racers run by him to their bags; Amanda's "I'm going to eat the back of your fucking car, lady;" David & Jeff (Who?) not being able to get out of the Dodger Stadium parking lot; the motorcycle cop flapping his arms. 15 minutes in, and I am totally hooked.

Trailing Team - by Steve (of Debra and)
We've only got one episode to choose from, so there's not much. But, at the start of the Race, look over Tian & Jaree's shoulders while they read their first clue. You'll see Debra still about twenty yards away, running feverishly. In fact, the overhead shot shows both of us trailing the field by a wide margin. No wonder we were the first team Philiminated!

On the way to the airport, I say something like, "We're lost." The camera then pans forward, and you can see the rear of the ATC's van in front of us.

I guess the other moment to watch for is at the end. You'll see, as Debra & I climb the stairs to the finish line, we are wearing our backpacks. Then, when we step on the mat, (gasp) they're gone. When we reached the top of the stairs, Debra turned to me and said, "Let's just drop these damn things here and run." Unfortunately, by the time we reached Phil, we were reduced to a slow walk.

Floor Cake - by Dave
There were many things that stood out in this episode. First was ticket-gate, second was falling off the mountain, third was the (un-shown but still fabled) "floor cake" incident.

To this day, I still don't understand how having Steve & Josh buy us tickets was such an under-handed thing to do. We really viewed it as a smart, strategic move. We knew that we weren't going to get tickets on the first flight based on the number of teams in line vs. our position in line, so having a team that was far enough up in the line buy tickets for us just seemed smart. Besides which, they owed us. We had an alliance with Weezer and Geezer from before the word "go," and Josh had agreed to allow us to follow them to LAX from Dodger Stadium. Then he took off like a bat out of hell and lost us in no time flat (perhaps the fact that my partner was driving like a 75-year-old, blue-haired lady had something to do with that, but still . . . ).

But then my partner showed his true-blue (and not hair this time) colors by helping me off that mountain. I really did hurt my knee pretty badly, and it was all I could do to walk. If it hadn't been for Steve chipping out footsteps on the way back up, I don't know if I would have made it. That night, when we were in our hotel room, one of the production staff came to our room and told me that the doctor for the Race thought it might be a good idea if I paid him a visit. I decided that a doctor could only give me bad news, so I said, "Thanks, but no thanks." (For those interested, my own doctor has since told me that I did some damage to the ligaments as well as tearing out a big chunk of cartilage from within the knee.)

I think we've explained "floor cake" many times, but for those who still have never heard . . . On the ride from Milan to Cortina, someone found a snack cake of unknown origin on the floor of our bus. Steve (Geezer) asked if he could have it and promptly opened up the package with every intent of chowing down. Chuck then inquired if Steve intended to share, and, between the two of them, they quickly polished off the entire "floor cake."

Come On, Flo! - by miri
The show started with Amanda dropping quite a few F-bombs as she was trying to drive in L.A. traffic. Later, Chris released an F-bomb of a different variety: "Come on, Flo!" When Chris said that to Amanda as they tried to climb a mountain, he let us know two things: They were fans of the show (yay!) and their team was one to watch for humor and fun.

You Always Remember Your First - by Bart Ender
So I wasn't a fan of TAR at the beginning. I caught the end of episode eight of season three, but I didn't get hooked. After seeing a bunch of banner ads from some seriously committed fans over at Television Without Pity, when TAR4 premiered in the summer of 2003, I decided to give it another shot.

An hour and a half into the first episode, I was a fan. It drew me in, made me realize that good people such as Debra & Steve aren't necessarily good Racers, made me wonder why Monica (Moniker, in Phil speak) & Sheree would go for the Fast Forward when they weren't going to get eliminated anyway, and made me care about a reality show in a way I hadn't before.

Looking back, there have been several episodes that were better than this one. But you can't forget your first. And to think, if it weren't for those banner ads, I probably wouldn't be writing this. Damn you all! And also, thanks.

Tie for First - by TPorter2
Millie & Chuck waited for Amanda & Chris and Steve & Josh so they could all step on the mat together. This made for an unstable end to an excellent leg: No winner and no clear leader. They all won a trip to Hawaii, all 3 teams. Millie said it was because they wanted to befriend other teams. Save that for the "eat, sleep, and mingle" segments, and let's have a clear winner.


Episode Two


Line-gate - by JenEx
As bad as Reichen's holding on to the door handle was, Steve & Josh's trying to claim they'd saved their places with their freaking backpacks was even worse. I was embarrassed for all of them. And rather annoyed at the Clowns, who told everyone about the Alpi bus instead of just getting on and driving quietly away from all the kindergarteners waiting in their little line.

The other thing I remember about this episode is Amanda saying, "I know you want to win, but this is beautiful," while in the gondola in Venice. So many teams fail to appreciate the moments, and I'm glad that Amander had that, at least, before her untimely elimination.

Train Nazi - by Dave
It's too bad you never saw the train ride to Venice, because you missed the guy we dubbed the "Train Nazi." He was the conductor on the train, and he was the biggest pain in the a** you ever wanted to meet. Since we had to buy tickets on the train, we all had to buy tickets from him. I gave him the money and tried to indicate which of the people I was buying for (we would buy tickets for our crew, and then they would pay us back). I pointed to the four people the tickets were for, and he would point to four others. Jon, Al, Chuck, and Millie all had the same problems. We even tried to get a local to interpret for us, and she finally gave up. I remember her telling us, "He's not a very nice person," after he left.

When we finally got to the Pit Stop, they had (and I'm not joking here) tuna fish and artichoke pizza. It was still there (intact) when we left the next morning.

Masquerade Madness - by TPorter2
This episode will always be memorable for the way the Roadblock brought Chris to his knees. They were handed a picture of a masked reveler and had to wander through the rooms of a Venice Masquerade Ball to find the person in the picture. If they guessed wrong, the reveler would take the picture and walk away, and the racer would have to go back out and start again. Chris missed on the first picture and on the second picture. It wasn't that Chris didn't try hard, and it wasn't that he didn't think the task through. I think he was just feeling the pressure as others completed the task quickly. Finally, he succeeded on the third picture, but Chris & Amanda were the last to arrive at the mat and were eliminated.


Episode Three


Those Damn Locals - by Dave
We thought we were eliminated throughout this whole leg. We had about a three-hour lead on everyone else when we started the leg, but instantly made a mistake by believing a local. We wanted to leave the train station before the other teams arrived, hoping that they would think that we were hours ahead. We asked a local at the train station if we could catch an earlier train to Vienna from some other station. He told us that we could from Padua, so we went there. He was wrong. We caught up to everyone else at the entrance to the sewers (we were actually there in fifth place), but fell back when the leg became a footrace to the fiacres. Thankfully, Russell decided to buy tickets to Gmund instead of Gmunden.

Misery Loves Company - by JenEx
Gmund and Gmunden are not the same place, and, in a very satisfying development, everyone but Russell knows it. This was my first real taste of Race schadenfreude, and, mmm, was it yummy.

Food Fight - by Clown Jon
All the teams were at a pit stop, where we rested a bit and ate like kings. During lunch I excused myself to use the restroom, and when I returned I saw that someone had made a perverted design with my food. I found out that ATC Steve was also an artist! So I told Al I have to get this guy back, left the table again, and came back with a newspaper, all excited I approached the table, saying that we were in the paper! I walked right over to Steve opened the paper and pied him right in the face with whipped cream I'd hidden inside the paper. It smacked him so hard that whipped cream splattered all over the restaurants walls, and I started scrambling to clean it up before the waiter came in. It was a great moment.


Episode Four


Out of Gas - by Steve (a.k.a. Geezer)
On leg four, following the Road Block at the Le Mans, we got into a car and drove across France from Le Mans to Marseille. The drive was long, and Josh, as usual, was being stingy with the money, so that meant no coffee for me. At one point, the crew was getting a little nervous, as we had been awake for over 24 hours, eaten no meals, and were dog tired. The crew kept shaking my shoulder to make sure I was awake when I drove (they were just a little nervous that I might fall asleep and kill us all). In fact, they made a deal that one of them would stay awake to keep an eye on us while we drove.

Once we got to Marseille, it was freezing cold, and we had some time, so we all hunkered down to get a little shuteye. We noticed we were running very low on fuel, but decided to stay in line, so we wouldn't lose our place (remember the "watch your tires" comment from Dave & Steve)? Anyway, I decided to leave the car running for just a minute to get us warm. The last thing I remember Josh saying was, "Dad, don't fall asleep." Next thing I know, I'm waking up to a dead engine. I woke up Josh and the crew and told them we were out of gas and that we needed to be very quiet and leave before anyone found out. Needless to say, Josh was furious. We called a cab, got some gas, and made it back on time to leave with the group. I will tell you this, when we were driving to the light house, I wasn't praying we would find the light house, but that we would have enough gas to get back out to a gas station. This was the beginning of the end for us. With the exception of one very cool Spanish taxi driver, France sucked for us.

Tire Retread - by Dave
Man, did I have an evil partner or what? Threatening to flatten poor Tian's tires like that . . . for shame! I'm not going to rehash this one again, but I will say to watch the episode one more time. Look at all the other teams that are milling about when Steve made his comment. We weren't the only ones arguing with Tian & Jaree.

True story-Steve & Josh were so far behind that production finally sent a car to catch them and lead them to the Pit Stop.

Gate-gate - by TPorter2
The confrontation between Tian & Jaree and Steve of Steve & Dave at the #4 gate to the Marseille Lighthouse came to be known as Gate-gate. Reichen & Chip and Tian & Jaree had arrived first the night before, had found out about the hours of operation, and had left to spend the night in a hotel. Other teams pulled up later and spent the night in their cars. When Tian and Jaree showed up the next morning, they were directed to park at the front of the line. Chip & Reichen pulled in right behind them. This irritated several other teams. I think Tian & Jaree ultimately showed their class by letting the other teams enter in front of them.


Episode Five


High Poo Five - by JenEx
I loved the show before, but the poo Detour absolutely won me over forever and all time. Clown Jon loses his boot and is later shown peeling off that nasty poo-covered sock and is entirely good-humored about it. Kelly & Jon, who had been getting on my nerves, were so happy and silly about the whole thing. When they poo-high-five, and then Jon interviews "holy shiii-poo!" and Kelly collapses on him giggling, I start to love them a little.

Pilots, Planes, and Poo - by Dave
Bad luck plagued us throughout this leg. First, our flight from Marseille to Paris was delayed for an hour, because the pilot decided to de-ice the plane. We work in Chicago, where planes really need to be de-iced. That plane didn't need it. Had we departed on time (or even up to 45 minutes late) we would have made our connection.

Then we hit the mother of all traffic jams from Orly airport to de Gaulle. We got to de Gaulle in time to see our flight leave-without us.

Then we were forced to check our bags from de Gaulle to Amsterdam-the first time in the Race that any airline required us to do so. They even made our crew check their equipment.

Then all but one of the other teams decided to dig through poo. To this day, I'm still astounded by that fact.

Then-the worst luck of all-Phil told us we were eliminated. Ah well. At least I really did keep the cheese.

Cheese, Anyone? - by Clown Jon
While traveling by train on a long trip, I decided to get out of my seat and walk around a bit. I bumped into the camera and sound crew in the dining car, so I went up to them and chatted a bit. I also wanted them to know where to find us if they needed us, because Al and I changed our seat on the train, and the crew needs to know where you are at all times. While I was there the crew offered me some cheese, and I said "no, thanks" because the crew is not allowed to give you any thing! And we are not allowed to accept anything. But the crew insisted so I took a small piece. It was disgusting! It was LIMBURGER CHEESE. They all started laughing, and at that moment an idea popped into my head, I told the crew that Al has the weakest stomach that I have ever known, the sights and smells of some foods makes him instantly vomit, so I left to get Al!! When I reached Al I told him that the I bumped into the film crew and they are pissed at us for changing seats, they were looking all over for us. I said we have to go talk to them; he followed me to the dining car. When we approached their table we sat down and the guys offered Al some cheese, which he declined. They said go ahead, don't worry, Jon had some. I said, "yeah, I did Al, I was starving" (and I knew Al was starving, too), so Al took a big piece and shoved it right in his mouth. As soon as it hit his taste buds, Al's face turned red, he started gagging, his whole hand reached in his mouth as his started franticly scraping it off his tongue, and while gagging he ran to look for a restroom, panicking, then he found one and was over the toilet throwing up. And the entire time, from the moment Al shoved that cheese in his mouth, the film crew had the cameras rolling. It was so hilarious we were all crying!


Episode Seven


Bull Racing - by TPorter2
For this roadblock, a team member would hold onto a bar dragged behind bulls as they moved across a muddy field. Tian tried twice and couldn't hang on. She finally got it on the third try. There's just something special about that moment, a racer being dragged through the mud, successful at last.


Episode Eight


*Yawn* - by Bart Ender
Of all of the episodes of all of the seasons of TAR, this is my least favorite. There have been episodes with bad Roadblocks, horrible outcomes, and the sight of paper underwear, but at least something happened in those episodes. This leg? Not so much. Most of the leg focuses on the teams getting from India to Malaysia, but, as a hard-transportation leg, it pales in comparison to Brazil to South Africa or Argentina to Russia. Kota Kinabalu has a beach and is near an ocean, which is all the scenery of Malaysia we see in this episode. The boring tasks are all next to each other. And no one gets eliminated.


Episode Nine


Nutbunches - by TPorter2
An addition was made to the TARspeak vocabulary this episode: nutbunches. In the Detour, Chop or Haul, teams had to chop down or haul off palm tree nutbunches.


Episode Ten


Dancing Clowncicles - by Bart Ender
Exhibit A as to why the clowns are awesome: Their dance of joy while waiting to swim in the frozen river in Korea. Good times.


Episode Twelve


Sad Goodbye - by Clown Jon
It felt like it came to a sudden halt! The race was over for Al and me, and the film crew and field producers and even the security were literally in tears, it was so overwhelming and moving to see that we were well-liked and were going to be missed. On our race it was the first time the eliminated team (Al and I) was allowed to approach the remaining teams to say goodbye. It was an emotional roller coaster, sincerely wishing them the best of luck, and yet crushed that it was over for us. WHAT A RIDE! My Thanks To The Amazing Race.


Episode Thirteen


The Naked Roadblock - by TPorter2
The Roadblock involved swimming out to retrieve a rock and then using a chisel back on shore to break open the rock and get the clue. Jon didn't want to get his underwear wet, so he did the roadblock naked. The Amazing Pixelators had their work cut out for them to make this an "Ok for TV" scene.