TAR 3/9: Welcome To The Jungle

Rapids! Overturned boat! Crab-crawling hand over hand on a line stretched across the rapids…or jungle? I couldn’t tell from the preview.

I hope I can stay awake. It’s been a very very very long week here in Kiz Land.

Ah ha ha ha. “We’ll be like Huck Finn and Oliver Twist.”

Why did the father son team go back? Why not just do the hunting task?

I endorse pantless water tasks

I just have to say that it cracks me up every time I hear Phil say “spa”.

Yeah, your grandfather is John Wayne. We know already. ad nauseum.

The woman who taught the girls to use the blow gun was beautiful.

Me, too! He needs to say “spa” once an episode.

The other one’s g-g-grandfather being Dan’l Boone didn’t help her much, though.

I loved the preview for next week’s epi. Luke has a meltdown. Shocker. Not.

Pretty undramatic episode, but that was probably a given since the producers came up with the great idea of having one flight three hours ahead of the other, giving the first six teams a free pass and only putting three at risk. When the Youtubers failed at reading directions and let their cab go, it was pretty much a done deal.

And yeah, Luke having a meltdown at a challenge involving many pieces of dishware? Not surprising…

The river rafts. They had poles, not paddles. Shouldn’t they have been poling the rafts instead of doing some weird faux-kayak paddling? Did they not realize they were just going at current speed, and they could/should have been using the poles to help steer themselves through/around the rapids? I didn’t see one pair attempt to do what I thought they should have been doing, so did I miss something? I’m an experienced canoer, and I don’t think I would have been trying to paddle like that with poles, unless the river was a lot deeper than it looked and poling wasn’t possible. Still, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done much more than just rudder. It was such a large segment of the show it really bugged me.

And meh-saaaage.

Taxi Assessment:

Stuck in the Desert and Officially Detained - or, Philiminated with extreme prejudice.
Natalie & Nadiya and [del]Bopper[/del] Mallory & Mark (already eliminated)
Joey & Meghan (down from “Stopping”) - I’m not surprised that Joey & Meghan were the most recent team to get eliminated. They started last, and with the pre-arranged flights this episode, they wound up in a battle with two other teams far last place. That left no room for error, but then Joey & Meghan shooed away their taxi out in the middle of nowhere. That pretty much sealed their fate. It must be disappointing to make what seems like a minor mistake that has such major time consequences, but Joey & Meghan were not, I think, long for the Race anyway.

Flat Tire - or, not likely to get anywhere soon.
Caroline & Jennifer (holding steady) - Caroline & Jennifer were well out of last place, but that was more due to their good fortune in getting onto the first flight than anything else - note that they did come in last out of the six teams on the first flight. So it’s like the Express Pass they got on the last leg actually saved them for two legs running. Pretty good return on investment. In any case, Caroline & Jennifer are by far the weakest team left, and if there’s a bunching point in the next leg (like the highly probable flight to another destination) that catches the trailing teams up, then they’re in trouble.

Stopping for Gas - or, not broken-down, exactly, but not a good sign.
No one.

"Rapido! Por Favor?" - or, making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat, but in no immediate danger.
John & Jessica (holding steady) - John & Jessica did beat the other two teams that were on the final flight, which is good. They still wound up all the way back in seventh place, though, which is bad. With the elimination of Joey & Meghan, they now have the dubious honor of having the worst finish average of the remaining teams. Presumably, there will be bunching point in the next leg, and John & Jessica will have an opportunity to catch up to the rest of the teams; we’ll have to see how they do then.
Leo & Jamal (holding steady) - Amusingly, Leo & Jamal actually were making meaningless ineffectual comments from the back seat on this leg, so I’m quite happy to leave them ranked here. I’m glad they’re over their lying-to-other-teams-for-no-discernable-reason kick, but I’m not sure they quite get the whole concept that it’s (usually) not a big deal to help other teams when it doesn’t slow you down, but it is a big deal to help other teams when it does slow you down.
Margie & Luke (holding steady) - Margie & Luke have actually been doing pretty well so far, coming in fourth, second, and now fourth again. I’m tempted to move them up a notch, but I’m still somewhat skeptical of Luke’s performance on tasks, especially as the season wears on.

In the Passing Lane - or, ahead of the pack, but not quite comfortably.
Flight Time & Big Easy (holding steady) - Interestingly, Flight Time has done all three Roadblocks for this team so far. I’m not sure if that’s going to become important as the season wears on, but expect to see Big Easy doing them in the next couple episodes.
Brendon & Rachel (holding steady) - Yikes! Bad cabby luck pushed Brendon & Rachel onto the second flight, and their raft fiasco ensured they stayed behind, This team is really lucky that Joey & Meghan screwed up so spectacularly, or they might be going home.

Cruisin’ with Earl - or, drivin’ on the shoulder, takin’ shortcuts, and generally kickin’ butt.
Dave & Connor (up from “Passing”) - I’m a little amazed that Dave & Connor wound up in first place despite taking what looked like a time-consuming detour hiking along the bank of the river after missing their landing area. And that, of course, was due to a violation of TAR Rule #1 (RTFC*), which normally results in a much more severe penalty than that. I can only conclude that Dave & Connor got some wizard of a taxi driver, who got them to both the Roadblock and the Detour so far ahead of the other teams that the extra hike simply didn’t matter. In any case, ignoring the basic mistake here, Dave & Connor really did have a good leg, (obviously) made a good strategic recovery from their error, and landed in first place. With their third and fourth places on the previous two legs, that gives them the highest average placement, and so I’m moving them up a notch.
Jet & Cord (holding steady) - There has been more than one comment so far this season on how fast the Cowboys finish tasks, and it’s pretty true, particularly when the task involves building things, as it did both in this episode and last (and, truth be told, “build something” is a pretty common component of a lot of TAR tasks). That really helps them if they need to make up some extra time, as they did again this episode. Cord made a pretty basic error this leg in not finding the clue during the Roadblock, and the cowboys slipped a couple places. That may be telling later on - were it not for straightforward, easily identifiable errors in both this leg and last, Jet & Cord would have notched up three straight first place finishes. Of course, the only first place that really matters is the one in the final leg, and the cowboys have been well out of last place, but this might be an Achilles heel.

[sub]*"Read the Fucking Clue, for the acronym-impaired.[/sub]

The Cowboys are, over the three Races they’ve been a part of, the most mistake-prone power team ever, IMO. Once they’re at a task they tend to knock it out quickly and correctly, but getting between tasks is always a crapshoot for them. They get lost, they get bad taxi drivers, they bleed time…and yet they keep coming in the top 5 consistently. If they were better at getting places, they’d possibly be the #1 team ever on the Race.

So the father-son have (or appear to have) a pretty brief lead over second place. Completely miss their stop, go all the way down and then walk a 70 pound crate back to the village. Meanwhile second place does it all seamlessly and the father-son team still stays comfortably in first place?

Either I missed them getting way ahead of everybody else or the geography there is confusing to me.

Anyway, one of those episodes where the tasks don’t really reorder the teams (and one of them where it is almost impossible to pass another team) much so once you’re in last place by more than a few minutes you’re screwed.

Considering that several teams appeared to have no clue how to build the raft in the first place, not knowing how to use the poles doesn’t seem surprising.

(Not that I’m a master raft builder myself. :wink: But it seemed kind of obvious to me that you needed to line up the notches in the ends of the long pieces, lay the short piece across the top, and tie it all together. One team looked like it was alternating over/under the short piece, one or two teams looked like they didn’t even use the short pieces and just tied the ends together, and many teams did a horrible job with the rope, to the point that the raft was falling apart before it ever hit the water!)

The video describing the task clearly showed the expert builders putting the crossbeam through the notches, not just laying it across the top. Which makes a hell of a lot more sense from a stability standpoint - tying two pieces of wood perpendicular to each other so they don’t shift or separate isn’t a trivial thing.

Ah thanks. I didn’t catch that on the task video. Did any of the racers have instructions or a pre-built raft to refer to?

I don’t think so - I didn’t see anyone looking at a completed raft, and usually Phil explicitly states that there’s an example to follow. Though that’s usually for tasks where you’ve got to recreate something exactly, like a platter of dates, and a judge tells you if you’re right or wrong. This time the river was the Judge.

I found it interesting that Big Easy was prepared to do the Roadblock this leg of the race, but was told he could not due to his size. I don’t remember that ever coming up in a roadblock or other task before. Does anyone remember if it has?