Commentary

TAR5 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.

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


Episode One


Lessons Learned - by Linda
We knew that TAR 5 was destined to be a memorable show after the 1st episode - within the first 2 minutes with Jim falling and actually making the flight with 25 stitches. Wow, what a start! Karen was so nervous that she actually did not eat anything for 2 days and barely slept for the first 3 days. The first night we spent in a tent with Chip and he snored so loud that no one slept that night. (Sorry, Chip). He still says that it was Marshall snoring. Yeah right! Karen did the zip line first. She knows how competitive I am and that if she did it, I would do it too. We learned something from each episode. On this episode, we were on the first boat leaving the island with Alison and Donny and Joyce and Bob. We all took a bus to the butcher shop. When we got there, Charla and Mirna were already there because they had taken a taxi. So, needless to say, NO MORE BUSES! We still can't believe that Donny and Alison took a bus on the next episode. They did not learn from the previous episode and got eliminated.

Where's the Beef? And the GAY??? - by whereverthefk
When TAR5 premiered, I was, of course, as excited as the next girl. After all, it had been a loooooooooong wait since TAR4, including a time when we didn't even know if TAR would be back at all. Yet when the first episode of TAR5 finally aired, I remember thinking that something (or things) just wasn't right. Sure, it seemed like the same show I had grown to love and be willing to give up most of my shoe collection to go on. "Race around the world"? Check. "Yellow and red route markers"? Check. Teams with pre-existing relationships who "have no idea what's in store for them"? Check. Phil? Mmmmm… Check. So what was missing?

For me, the answer was twofold. What was missing from TAR5 was (1) the hunky eye candy (Sorry, Brandon fans-blonds just don't do it for me); and (2) the GAY! For the first time since the dawn of TAR, I was to have neither a Hot Fake TV Boyfriend nor a Fabulous Fake TV Gay Best Friend (and certainly none of that incredibly rare combination of the two [See: Oswald]) on the show. DIS!appointing!! Of course, I watched every episode anyway and even enjoyed most of them (particularly the finale!), but with the subtraction of the hot and the gay and the addition of ever more mactors and famewhores (yes, I AM looking at Alison-why do you ask??), for me, this was when my beloved TAR began to lose some of its lustre.

Elimination Sensation - by TPorter2
This was a first for me. I looked up from the screen where I had just watched the first episode, and into the eyes of the team that was eliminated. Dennis and Erika were gracious, shrugging off the elimination and talking about how much fun they had. I was at the TAR5 premiere party at Cafe Nostra, Lance & Marshall's Dallas restaurant. I had paid the $20 cover charge and eaten some wonderful Italian food. I'd watched the episode with Amazing Racers: Lance & Marshall, of course, and Colin & Christie and Dennis & Erika. Later on, TAR2 winner Alex showed up with Marsha. More importantly, I met fellow TAR fans, like miri and Paris in Spring and Yuppie Lawyer.


Episode Two


Tricky Exchange - by Linda and Karen
While watching episode 2 with Karen and her family, we were floored when Marsha and Jim thought that we tricked them into changing their money. We literally had no idea they had those feelings until we saw the show. When we were on the Ferry Boat, we had mentioned that we had changed our money in case the taxis did not take American money. That is all that we said. What's even stranger is that we spent the night in the same room with them at the Pit Stop and, even then, they never mentioned it. PS - I still want to open up a foam club in Palmdale.

Foam Club - by TPorter2
The first rule of Foam Club is you don't talk about Foam Club. Uh, never mind. I had heard of foam clubs before, but never seen one until The Shake Mega Disco was featured on TAR. The clue said the team had to find inflatable globes on the dance floor and burst one for the next clue. With foamy bubbles falling from the ceiling, and with some female racers being groped by the foam club patrons, they did so. Quite a new sight for TAR.


Episode Three


Marshall & The Chocolate Factory - by TPorter2
Teams were instructed to find a chocolate factory in Bariloche, Argentina. In this Roadblock, one Team member had to bite into as many chocolates as necessary to find one with a white center. Of the almost 11,000 chocolates on the table, only 20 had the coveted white center.

Odds of finding the white center: 0.0018181818181818181818181818181818 Less than 2/10ths of 1 percent

Marshall had hoped to finish the roadblock quickly. But the pile of discarded candies grew and grew and still no white center. He sat down and kept trying. At one point, Lance even asked Marshall if he knew what white looked like. Three other teams came and went and Marshall was still biting into candies.

Blown Away - by Linda and Karen
Patagonia was so beautiful. It reminded us of Lake Tahoe, NV. When Karen and I got to the top of the mountain to Parasail, it was getting kind of windy and the clue said that if it got too windy, you would not be allowed to do it. The wind dragged Linda across the mountain before she actually took off. That was the scared look that she had. Karen had taken off and could not understand why they would not let Linda go. They were just waiting until the wind calmed down so that she could take off.

Why Walk 4 Feet When You Can Swim? - by whereverthefk
You know when Racers do something that just so sums up the entirety of their racing style/general approach to life you can hardly stand it?? (See, e.,g. [from TAR4], Team Who falling so far behind in that they eventually got the Guido Edit, but still thinking they might be in first place; the Chipsters stumbling across the clue that lead them to the win, rather than, you know, ACTUALLY SOLVING THE PROBLEM; see also the Chipsters doing the orangutan FF just, well, because that's where they ended up.) Well, here we have another prime example. When faced with the need to get over to the little island, do KamiKarli find the shallow little walking path (like EVERYBODY else)?? Nooooo, of COURSE they don't! Much better to jump into the water and shuttle your little emaciated (though of course "manipulative") bodies across, so you can stand on the mat like the little drowned rats you have now become for absolutely. no. reason.

"That was quite an entrance."

Sheesh. Even Phil seemed a little embarrassed for them.


Episode Four


Killer Transportation Leg - by TPorter2
Departing from San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, teams were instructed to take a 1000 mile bus trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina and then an 8000 mile plane ride to St. Petersburg, Russia. Not only were the distances extreme, but the temperatures as well. The race was run in January/February. Winter in South America was one thing, winter in Russia was quite another.

Bus Ride From Hell - by Linda
What was really never shown was how hard the 24 hour bus ride was. Karen and I got stuck on the longer bus ride that did not have fully reclining seats. It really took a toll on our mental game. Karen really shut down. She didn't speak for the whole bus trip. Mirna and Charla and myself tried to bring her back. At this point, she was really missing her family. That was definitely the hardest part of the race for us. What bought us back was the First class air we got to Russia. The question that I am most asked was "How was the caviar?" It was the salt and the amount that was the worst. I actually swallowed it like a pill. The thing that they did not show was that everyone except Chip threw up. Had we not thrown up, I don't think that we could have finished it.

TAR Means Never Having to Say "Who ARE You?!" - by whereverthefk
This episode was not particularly interesting to me, except for the fact that it was when I officially gave up on the idea of ever being able to tell Christie and Nicole apart. Quite frankly, I was pretty damned impressed the other Racers were able to tell them apart. Not to mention their respective boyfriends. Whether it was the long, dark hair (not that there's anything wrong with that), the not-doing-of-roadblocks (YAAAAY, new Season 6 rule!!), the incessant bitching and/or whining or the boyfriends I'd never date, I don't know. But at this point in the race, they were, for me, the SAME DAMN PERSON.

[Note: I did actually manage to figure it out several episodes later. Thanks, TEXAS-ass shorts!]


Episode Five


Lost in Egypt - by Linda
AHHHHHHHHHHHH - Egypt. I have seen enough of the pyramids to last a lift time. We arrived to the pyramids late so we had to use a side entrance. The clue said to follow the yellow rocks to the clue box. What Yellow Rocks???? We must have walked around every pyramid there looking for the clue box. We would ask the locals where the shaft was and each would point us in the wrong direction. It was a nightmare. Then, to top it all off, I step in a hole and sprain my ankle. It was pretty bad but I did not want to stop for fear that they would not let me continue. By the time that we got to the mat, we were literally exhausted. We kind of thought it was a non-elimination round. Being the first to lose all of your money was pretty rough. You really did not have any example to follow. So we figured: hit up the tourists!

On Top of the World - by PepeNY
The Pyramids were, by far, one of the most amazing sights I have seen on the race. TAR always inspires me to travel, but seeing the Pyramids actually made me jealous.

One of my most vivid memories is of Charla on the camel. She looked so pleased with herself and seemed to be having so much fun. I was rooting for them to get to the (detour?) before it closed.


Episode Six


Spare Change - by Linda
Having started out this episode with no money, Karen and I went to the breakfast buffet in our hotel and started collecting fruit to sell. What was not shown on TV was that when we left the hotel to go to the mat, we saw a tourist bus full of Americans. I went on the bus and said we had no money and needed money for a taxi. They thought that I was a scam artist and started asking me if I knew who won the Super Bowl or the World Series. Sorry to say that I did not know either answer. But, some awesome man held up a 20 dollar bill and said: "Good Luck." I walked up and down the whole bus and had more money than I needed. It was great! We had all of this fruit that we had collected to sell, so we started selling it at the entrance of the Pyramids for some extra money.

"Meh" is the New Exciting - by whereverthefk
Oh, cool! The Bowling Moms were last in a non-elimination leg last week and got mugged by Phil (*pauses to consider how really not so bad actually getting mugged by Phil might be*… *removes mind from gutter and proceeds*), and now we get to see how HUGE the repercussions of that will be!! Seriously, dude-I think they're screwed. There's no WAY they're going to get through this one! They're TOAST, I tell yo---

Huh? They've already gotten enough money to continue? When/how did that happen? And how is it only like 9:04?

LAME.

In other news: Quitting! YAY, Quitting!!


Episode Seven


The Petty and The Pretty - by miri
Now, I'm not saying that either side had behaved wonderfully up to this point, but Mirna and Charla's childish gloating over getting airplane tickets in Cairo was the nail in the coffin of my dislike for them. Yeah, it must have felt great to feel like they had gotten the better of someone as stubborn and "focused" as Colin, but still. Gloating is never pretty. Taking time to enjoy the Race and the locals, however, is pretty. So, I'd like to give a thank you to Chip and Kim for warming up this episode with their lovely interactions with the people of Tanzania.


Episode Eight


Police and Thieves - by miri
Not a good episode for Colin. He gets nasty over a cab fare after the cab blows a tire and Colin notices that they were driving on an undersized spare and are now stranded without a spare. Once they get to the airport, he insists on a reduced fee because the driver was driving the car in an unsafe condition. He has a point, but he goes about making it all the wrong way. I think, at first, he was pissed at himself for not noticing the small spare tire and he took that anger out on the cab driver. Then it kind of turned into a game he was playing to help relieve the tension and waste time until their flight. But then he let his emotions get the better of him and turned into an ass - taking out his frustration on the cab driver, the police officers and Christie. It wasn't comfortable to watch, but it was almost worth it when Linda got in her little dig. "So you didn't win, Colin. Dammit, I'm disappointed in you!" Perfect.


Episode Nine


I'm Packin' It! - by miri
Brick meet Colin. Colin meet brick. Throw in a little unappreciated advice from Christie and you get one of the all-time great TAR lines. "I'm packin' it!" So simple. So perfect. So easy to work into day to day conversations. Ah yes. A truly classic moment.

Shave her? I barely know her! - by whereverthefk
This Fast-Forward That Wasn't is one of my favorites EVER, for just that reason-that it didn't happen. As soon as we, the audience found out that in order to win the FF, the Godels would have to shave off their luscious locks, I knew we were in for a treat. The looks on their faces, the justification by each of them for not doing the FF task (Brandon: "I didn't want Nikki to have to do it." Nicole: "His hair is his trademark." Just say it, kids- "I DON'T WANT TO BE GOSH-DARNED BALD!!!") and the way they convinced themselves that possibly throwing away the whole Race just to keep something that will totally grow back anyway? Awesome. And, of course, it became even more snarktacular 2 seasons later, when Uchenna and Joyce (ok, really just Joyce) bad-assed their way through that same FF and ultimately won the whole dang thing. WOO!

(Plus, it lead to some memorable inter-whereverthesiblings fun in the process. As many of you know, wtsister and I have watched nearly every season of TAR together (and even applied once to be on the show). And when we aren't in the same place watching TAR, we often call each other and chat on commercial breaks when something interesting comes up. Some of you may also know that I am extremely EXTREMELY fond of my hair. [Arrested Development] "NO TOUCHING!"[/Arrested Development] In light of all these facts, it was unsurprising when my phone rang during the first commercial after the reveal of the head-shaving FF and my sis demanded to know "OK, would you do it??" I think she nearly swallowed the phone when I said I would. Heh.


Episode Ten


Zorb! - by miri
The main thing I remember about this episode? The Zorb! That looked so darn cool and fun. Although, the site of the Racers leaving the Zorb was a bit disturbing - it's now the mental image I get whenever I hear the phrase "born again."


Episode Eleven


Olly Olly Oxen Free - by miri
Colin vs. The Ox. Again, not the most comfortable thing to watch, but it's the kind drama you just aren't going to get anywhere else. I wonder if the Ox knows what a star he's become. Does he just lounge around, eat bon-bons and refuse to plow unless he gets at least three close-ups and a better trailer?

The Broken Ox-Bow Incident - by whereverthefk
I was in London when this episode aired, but thanks the benevolence of one PepeNY, I was able to borrow the tape when I returned.

Play. Rewind. Play. Rewind. Slow-mo. Rewind. Fast-mo. HEE!

Thank, Pepe!!


Episode Twelve


Dallas - by TPorter2
The feelings I got when I realized the finish line was in my city were mixed. There is the "Yeah, the Race was here" feeling and the "Man, I missed the Racers being here" feeling. I'd lived in Dallas for 40+ years, and had no idea there was a Trammell Crow park, named for a local developer. I had roamed around in the Fort Worth Stockyards they used for the maze, and enjoyed seeing teams on the area highways.

Happy Ending - by miri
Wait. This can't be right. The team I liked the best of the final three just crossed the finish line first. The cheering at TARcon? Amazing.