First, let me apologize again for the Tivo / daylight savings time issues and the dealy in getting this recap out.
Maybe this will make up for it?!
Ah, a classic TARAS moment.
Second, let’s get one thing out of the way – it’s impossible to talk about or even think about this episode without dealing with the ending. If you didn’t see the episode, or if you don’t what to know who was eliminated, be warned — I’m going to discussing the ending immediately after the jump.
So let’s get started.
Here is my impression of me watching the elimination: Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Seriously, we’re stuck with Team Crazypants for another week, they are so annoying! Oh my God!
As you can see, I have a very limited vocabulary. But, to translate, I was not expecting Romber to go home.
And certainly not to go home over Team Crazypants.
Romber has been so strong and fast and have played the game so well that I would never have predicted their downfall. And, between you and me, I was actually starting to like them. Or at least her. But as we make our way through this recap together, we’re going to play a fun game that I like to call “Spot Romber’s Mistakes!” Come on, it’ll be fun! Let’s begin.
The show opens in Playa Petrohue, Chilly (OK, that was just taunting on my part to all of you who hated my reviving Mirna’s “Chilly in Chile” reference throughout the last recap. That’s the last time I will spell Chile as Chilly, and in fact, I’m going to make it the last time I refer to Chile at all. I will now refer to it as The Country We Do Not Speak Of.).
Romber is the first team to leave. From their clue, we learn that the teams must travel over 800 miles to the town of Punta Arenas, still in The Country We Do Not Speak Of. When they arrive, the teams must travel by taxi to Lord Lonsdale’s Shipwreck to find their next clue.
At this point, I try to fight my annoyance that the Race is still not moving on to at least another country, although I am pushing very, very hard for a non-Spanish speaking continent. These teams are All-Stars, and I will not rest until we give them a real challenge. I mean it, Show. I mentioned it last week, but apparently you weren’t listening. But if you don’t step it up, I’m going to turn this recap around and we’ll all go home.
Also, we learn that the teams each have $302 for this leg of the race. Really, $302. Why not $303? Or $333? Why the extra two dollars? And why do they need that much money anyway? This isn’t like the leg in Hong Kong where Cha Cha Cha needed the extra cash to buy stuff.
I’d also like to point out that Amber counts the money.
Do teams really have to check to make sure they’re not getting screwed? Does TAR not have a PA in charge of making sure the teams get their proper money allocations? And if they do not, I volunteer my services. Not only can I count to 302, I really like money. Perfect.
At this point, we cut to what has become one of my favorite part of the show, which is Rob talking about how awesome he and Amber are. Rob blabs about Romber being the strongest team there. When Amber mentioned that she feared they were peaking, Rob responds “I’m not peaking. I’m not even close to my prime.” Amber smiles and puts her head on his shoulder. Aw.
As anyone who read any of the recaps before this knows, Romber drove me crazy in the beginning. I found them conceited and self-centered. But then things started to change. I have to respect a couple who really plays the game well, and does it while having a good time and without yelling at each other. And that’s what Romber does. And I feel like Rob says stuff just to say it, and Amber knows it’s all bluster, and that’s why she laughs. And scene….
Joyce and Uchenna are the second team to leave. And then it’s Eric and Danielle’s turn. And, in typical Eric fashion, he has some brilliant insights to share. Eric explains that it’s hard to have a girlfriend on the Race. “We have to separate the relationship from everything that’s happening around us… I’m pretty much treating her like a guy, except she has nicer boobs.” And Danielle laughs.
Danielle seems flattered that she has nicer boobs than man-boobs. But I think that’s setting the bar really low. Perhaps as long as Eric doesn’t say that she has a nicer package than the PhilPackage â„¢, Dani is happy.
Romber gets to the airport, books some seats on the 9:40 flight and immediately finds an office where they can use the internet. Does anyone else find it odd that someone who works in some office in the airport let Romber and a cameraman hang out in their office to play around on the internet?
And would anyone else be tempted to make prank calls from their office phone?
As the BQ’s leave, they tell us that Romber is the team to beat. And as they leave, Oswald and Danny talk about being competitive and how they would never leave home without their sense of style.
Could they be more gay? Or more awesome??
And then we get a real treat. Let’s do this in dialogue form, just for fun. It went something like this:
Danny: “Some people say that I snore. And I don’t always snore.”
Oswald: “Yes, you do.”
Danny: “But I only snore when I drink excessively.”
Oswald: “Kandace… She snores up a storm, that girl. Attention men, Kandace is a big snorer.”
I love them. I don’t know what we have to do to get Cha Cha Cha their own reality show, but I would watch it every day.
Then more talking: Teri and Ian talk about being the older team. Team Guido talks about how being in the back makes them more competitive. Blah, blah, blah, it’s all boring until we get to Team Crazypants. Mirna in all her Mirna genius has a lot to share:
“I work very hard, physically, mentally, to do well. I do all the navigating, I do all the airline booking. Charla obviously wants to contribute, but I do more than any one single person has had to do on the race to compensate for any shortcomings that we have.” Scientific fact: Little people are physically incapable of booking airline tickets and reading a map. Shmirna is very lucky that she has Overbearing McBossy to yell at her about it.
And just as I’m thinking that, Mirna starts to yell at Shmirna. Shmirna forgot to bring their purses, and they can’t book their airline tickets without their passports. Yay for being predictable! I wonder if Mirna will yell any more during the Race. Probably not. She’s too busy working hard and compensating for Shmirna’s shortcomings (and does anyone else find it funny that she used the phrase “shortcomings”, while the Show cuts to tiny Shmirna?).
Meanwhile, Eric and Dani and Joyce and Uchenna get on the 9:40 flight. The BQ’s show up at the airport, with Cha Cha Cha right behind them. When Cha Cha Cha speaks to the ticket agent in Spanish, the BQ’s get very nervous. “What is that strange language those people are speaking?” Dustin asks Kandace. “I am from California, where I have no need for this thing that they call Spanish.”
OK, what she actually said was, “You just said ‘Don’t let these blondes on the plane, didn’t you?’” And Oswald responds: “If I was to stab you, I’d do it right in the front, I wouldn’t do it in the back.”
Which made me love Cha Cha Cha even more. Why, you ask? Is it because a) Oswald is awesome, b) Oswald is honest, or c) Team Cha Cha Cha aren’t dirty players, but I respect a team that knows that you might have to play dirty, but is also going to be honest about playing dirty. Well, it was a trick question, because the answer is all of the above!
Teri and Ian are the last team to get on the 9:40 flight. And the other teams are wondering where Romber is. My favorite guess: “Maybe they’re having breakfast!”, as if Romber are so proficient at the Race that they don’t even need to bother showing up, they can just hang out eating breakfast and still win. But Romber is still in the internet room, and they’ve discovered that Lord Lonsdale’s Shipwreck is actually a shipwreck, not a painting. Good sleuthwork, kids! I wonder how long it will take before Detective Ian decides that it’s actually a pterodactyl.
Team Crazypants books tickets on the 11:15 flight and take off for the airport.
Does anyone else play “What would I do?” while they watch? Well, I do. I always play along and announce to my cat which challenge we’d take on if we were there (“Kitty, you could totally win that eyeball eating competition!”). And I often think that booking tickets before getting to the airport was a good idea. However, in this case, it was not a good idea, so I’m rethinking my TAR strategy.
Anyway, Team Crazypants and Team Guido are the only two teams that are on the 11:15 flight. Guido talks to a local and gets some directions to Lord Lonsdale’s Shipwreck before Crazypants arrives, and then carefully arranges their belongings so the girls can’t sit near them.
But we learn in an interview with Mirna that she doesn’t want to sit with the Guidos anyway. She explains that on the last leg of the Race, the Guidos ditched them, so “we can’t trust them.” Other things that Mirna can’t trust: Team Kentucky, the BQs, the word “hypocritical”.
And another thing to note in the interview, Shmirna’s apparel:
The first flight lands and there’s the usual rush to taxis. Romber is out first and we learn in the taxi that Rob took a note with directions to the shipwreck that the stewardess was writing for Uchenna. Let’s ask ourselves some questions here. First, how did anyone mistake Rob for Uchenna? And, second, why didn’t Uchenna just ask her to write it out again? But there’s not time for logic, because everyone has arrived at the shipwreck and has to run to the clue.
And it’s a Detour. The first choice is Navigate It, which involves using a map to get to the town plaza, where a sailor will give them a compass that they then use to go due south and find the Nautilus, a deep sea salvage business. The second choice is Sign It, where teams have to build a signpost with the 14 ports of call around the world that Magellan visited. Oh, and cities must be spelled correctly, Phil points out.
Romber, Joyce and Uchenna and the BQ’s decide to Sign it, while Cha Cha Cha, Eric and Dani and Teri and Ian decide to navigate it.
Romber takes some time to write down the city names, and Rob teaches Amber a little bit about history — Magellan started out in Spain. Joyce and Uchenna apparently missed that day of third grade, and have him starting out from Guam. You know, the Powerful Guam, known for exploring the ancient world to establish colonies. Remember when America was part of Guam? Those were good times.
Meanwhile, the teams Navigating It find the plaza with the sailor and the compass pretty quickly. Cha Cha Cha and Eric and Dani have no trouble, but it’s only moments before Ian gets confused by the compass. So he hits it and yells “Come on, Compass! You can do it! Come on!”, momentarily getting the compass confused with how he treats Teri.
Dani watches in amazement as Eric reads a compass and walks at the same time. He really is amazing. Anyone else want to bet that he talks while he chews? And that Dani finds that amazing too? But they are the first team to reach the clue. The teams have to get to the airport and sign up for charter planes that leave three hours apart. They will fly to Ushuaia, Argentina, where they have to make their way to Playa Larga.
Sigh. Well, I guess we just have to be glad that they’re going to another country. But these teams really need to move on to another continent. I mean, I’m not Maguaman, discoverer of Guam and Spain, but I’m pretty sure that there are other continents somewhere in the world.
Let’s check with Rob. Yup, there’s another place. The “Phillipeans”.
And while it is an incorrect spelling of the Philippines, I couldn’t help but thinking that it sounded suspiciously like a book of the Bible. You know, Matthew, Mark, Luke, Phillipeans. Further proof that Rob is Jesus?… maybe so.
In a cab on their way to the airport, Danielle announces that they are on their way to Australia. Because, you know, geography is confusing! Who cares if she’s going to be a teacher, shaping young minds (yup, Danielle is getting a masters in education). She can’t be bogged down with useless things like the difference between Argentina and Australia. Get the girl another shot!
Back at Sign It, Romber can’t figure out what they’re doing wrong. Rob even says “It better not be a spelling mistake.” But while he says it, he doesn’t apparently actually check for spelling mistakes. Amber suggests they try the other task, but Rob won’t budge. He doesn’t think they have to go, because Uchenna and Joyce still have Magellan starting in Guam. And the BQ’s are busy trying to make sure that the signs point in the right direction. So no one is rocking this task.
Meanwhile, Cha Cha Cha and Eric and Danielle are at the airport. Teri and Ian arrive shortly thereafter, and there are some airport highjinxs when the other team drops a baseball hat on Ian. And while the fun continues, the second plane finally arrives. It can’t feel good for Team Guido and Crazypants to realize that other teams are already done and waiting to leave.
Joyce and Uchenna finally realize their mistake, change their start city, and get the next clue. The BQs and Romber finally decide to switch tasks, and set off to Navigate it. They find the sailor pretty easily and decide to stick together to find the next location. Meanwhile, Team Crazypants decides to Sign It while the Guidos decide to Navigate it.
And Team Crazypants live up to their name by bringing out the crazy almost immediately. It was awesome. Within moments of starting the task, Mirna begins to yell at Shmirna. It’s an awesome mix of “Charla, come here! Charla, what’s wrong with you, you’re wasting a lot of time! Charla, I already have a bucket!” This all ends with “Why can’t we just go quickly?!” I love that Mirna is completely oblivious to the fact that it’s all her yelling and running back and forth that’s slowing them down, not Shmirna.
As Romber and the BQs study a map, the Guidos arrive, get their compass and take off. You see, the Guidos, who can actually read a compass, figure out what way South is and run in that direction. Rob, deciding that going in the direction that the clue suggested is a really bad plan, apparently leads them north to the naval museum. Good going, Rob, you’ll show that Stupid Race, with its Stupid Directions!
In no time at all, the Guidos have their clue and are on their way to the airport. And Romber and the BQs are discovering that the Naval Museum in the North is not the same thing as the Nautilus in the South. Confusing. But with a little help from the man at the naval museum, they manage to get to the clue. But, as the BQ’s so wisely note in their cab on the way to the airport: “I don’t think teaming up with Rob and Amber was necessarily helpful.” There’s a blinding glimpse of the obvious.
Team Crazypants quickly gives up on Sign It and switches to Navigate It. They get the clue with very little drama. But at least they’re still in last place.
Teri and Ian are the first two to arrive at Playa Larga. As Ian runs past the clue box, he says: “We’re looking for the Clue Box, I hope we didn’t miss it!” He then adds: “If we did, I’ll punch that Clue Box and teach it a lesson, just like I did with that stupid Compass.” Ian then proceeds to run down the wrong path, all the while yelling at Teri to come with him. Honestly, Ian is just as qualified to be a detective as Dani is to be a teacher. Luckily these two teams didn’t work together, or they’d be hopelessly lost in Australia.
Cha Cha Cha and Eric and Danielle find the clue with little trouble. They have to go to a boat that departs every 20 minutes and can carry only two teams. They’ll take it to Isla Redonda, aka the end of the world, where they’ll find a post office where they’ll get their next clue.
Cha Cha Cha and Eric and Danielle leave on the first boat, while Ian somehow manages to blame Teri for their being on the second boat. You know, because it’s her fault that he yelled at her until she followed him down the wrong path.
At the post office, the teams face a Road Block, where one team member has to go through a mail bag with 1600 envelopes to find one of two letters addressed to their team. They must read the letter aloud to their teammate to receive their clue. But what teams don’t know is that the letter was written by a team from their first season on the Race.
At first, I got super excited for this. I thought it could be fun and funny, and we’d get updates on some of our favorite old teams. But it was totally disappointing. We only heard a sentence or two from each letter, with a camera pan across the rest, so you couldn’t pause and read it even if you tried. They didn’t even post the letters on TAR’s website. Lame, Show, lame.
Meanwhile, the second plane lands. The BQs, Team Guido and Joyce and Uchenna get in taxis right away, but there are no taxis left for Romber or Team Crazypants. Crazypants calls a taxi while Romber starts to walk. When Crazypants’ taxi arrives, Romber stops them and hops right in. Mirna starts to blow a whistle and Shmirna starts to wave, apparently thinking that this will not scare the taxi driver. Because waving screaming crazy people blowing whistles always attract cabs, right?
They then run up to the cab and start banging on the window, screaming “Amigo! Amigo! Telefono taxi!” Which I think means “Friend! Friend! Call taxi!” I think it’s pretty clear why the taxi driver drove off with Romber.
While in the taxi, we learn that even though Romber is in seventh place, Rob still thinks that they might be able to win. And Mirna has managed to find another cab driver, but takes her anger out on him by angrily explaining: “We need to win. So vamos.” As if the cab driver is invested in their winning in any way.
Oswald finds their letter first, and reads a sweet (and incomplete) letter from Blake and Paige. They get the clue and learn that they must follow the path around the island to Mastil de Belgrano, the next Pit Stop.
Eric finds their letter shortly thereafter, and reads some beautiful sentiments about coolness and dorkiness and not being a baby. As I wipe away tears, Eric and Dani take off after Cha Cha Cha.
And as Phil waits for the teams, we get what you’ve all been waiting for… That’s right! PhilPackageâ„¢
And just as exciting as that, Cha Cha Cha checks in as Team #1! YAY!! And they won a trip for 2 to Maui. And they sk Phil to come with them. Yet one more reason to love Cha Cha Cha. Phil declines, explaining “That’s a whole different reality show.” He’s right there. And it’s a reality show that I would watch. And recap. And try to find out there were filming and stalk the set.
Eric and Dani check in as Team #2, while Teri continues to sort through letters. The Guidos, Joyce and Uchenna and the BQs all get the clue and take off for the boat.
But Romber gets to the site, and Rob has “a feeling” that they should follow the dirt path. Probably the same feeling that got him to confuse north and south. So Romber heads down the dirt path, but Team Crazypants runs after them. Because Team Crazypants isn’t so big on thinking for themselves…
Lucky for Rob, he has Amber, who realizes pretty quickly that they’re going the wrong way. They turn around, but as they’re passing Team Crazy, Amber says “Got it!” Implying, of course, that they just got the clue.
Crazypants looks around a little bit before realizing the clue isn’t there and turning around. But Mirna announces “I knew that she was very phony and lying to me. As an attorney, I can tell when someone is lying.” Apparently Mirna went to the Ian School of Detective Law, because she really only figured out that Amber was lying after she looked around for the clue.
And did anyone else notice Shmirna shirt? Is she married to Zach Braff? Seriously, doesn’t that look like Zach Braff??
Teri finds their letter from Flo and Zach, and they take off to the Pit Stop. They check in as Team #3. And who cares.
Romber shows up at the boat dock and learn they will be sharing a boat with their old friends Joyce and Uchenna. And they share the story of telling Team Crazypants that they have the clue. Everyone laughs, because who doesn’t enjoy making fun of a team that crazy? And who doesn’t know that you’re a fool to trust Romber?
But then the boat arrives, and it’s time for the BQ’s and Guidos to leave. The BQs get on the boat, announcing, “Our boata has arrived.” So apparently the BQ’s could have understood Oswald in the airport if they really wanted to. After all, to speak Spanish, all you have to do is put an “a” at the end of English words. Spanish is way easier than that confusing Pig Latin the BQ’s were speaking before.
And then the fun begins again when Team Crazypants shows up. Shmirna immediately confronts Amber with the biting question: “Amber, what happened. Why did you lie?” Amber replies: “Why did I lie to who?”, apparently figuring that if Crazypants was dumb enough to believe the thing about the clue, they’d be really confused with her simple misdirection.
When that doesn’t work, Amber comes up with the following story: I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to Rob. Why, silly Team Crazypants, how could you have even thought that I was talking to you.
This really disappoints me. I have no problem with lying to Crazypants. In fact, I’d love for all the other teams to do the same. But I feel like Amber should have owned the lie and stood up to Shmirna. Amber should have looked her right in her Crazy Shmirna face and said “My lie was totally transparent, and it’s your own fault for falling for it. This is a competition and a Race, and anyone who has ever seen us in a reality show should have known better, so you have no one to blame but yourself. Now RELAX!”
I personally would have added: “And please stop wearing that really ugly white and pink sweater”, but that’s just me.
And now it’s time for a commercial. Question: Do you want to know what music helped Kevin & Drew through the race? Answer: Nope. So let’s hit the Tivo and get back to the show.
The Guidos and the BQ’s search for their letters and talk about their manicures. The Guidos find and read their letter from Frank. It was a stupid rhyme, which Frank hoped annoyed them as much as they annoyed him. It didn’t work, because it made the Guidos laugh. They took off, slowly walking towards the Pit Stop. In fact, one of them even declared: “Don’t drive me crazy by running!” Do they know they’re on a race??
The BQ’s find their letter, and it’s from half of ‘Bama. You see, only Lyn signed the letter. It kind of annoyed me that ‘Bama is still so angry at the BQ’s. They did better than the BQs their season, so they need to let it go.
Guido checks in as Team #4, and the BQ’s are Team #5. And Rob and Joyce start to sort through the letters. Amber tells Rob to look at each letter, but he seems to be moving them aside in piles, and even pushing some onto the floor. Maybe giving Rob the task that required patience and attention to detail wasn’t the best idea.
Both teams are still working at it when Crazypants arrives. I start to get worried, because the other teams had a 20 minute headstart, and these needle in a haystack tasks are always hard to predict.
Mirna gets started, even though it would seem obvious that this would be a good task for Shmirna. I guess Shmirna is going to be stuck at the end wrangling the elephants (Assuming they make it to the end. And make it to a place that has elephants, which would mean moving continents, which might just be a pipe dream). They just have to make sure it isn’t a task that involves navigating or reading maps, because Shmirna can’t do those.
Joyce finds their letter from Susan and Patrick. They read it and head off towards the Pit Stop. Meanwhile, Rob asks Mirna and Shmirna to stop talking. This brings out the Wrath of Mirna, who tells him: “Shut up. You know, you lie all the time. I said, ‘Pray to our deceased grandmother to help us.’ You f*** wouldn’t know what that means.”
Honestly, I’m not sure what it means either, but I do know crazy when I see it:
I also like how Mirna’s stopped making any sense at all. And did she forget that Rob is Jesus, and could speak with their deceased grandmother any time he wants to?
You know what’s a fun game? It’s called “Yell at the TV whenever Mirna does or says anything stupid.” You can play it pretty much any time Mirna is on. Try it, you’ll like it! Guaranteed!
Joyce and Uchenna check in as Team #6. And Mirna finally finds their letter. She leaves Romber with a “See you, wouldn’t want to be you.” Ah, once again Mirna proves herself to be the master of the put-down. And by that, I mean the master of the put-down that was cool when I was in 7th grade.
Rob apologizes to Amber. She tells him that it’s not his fault, and he says “Yeah, I know.” Which is nice of Amber, but also totally untrue, because their lack of success in this leg of the race was all Rob’s fault. Amber then announces that they can beat Team Crazypants in a footrace. And I really enjoyed how Crazypants was walking towards the Pit Stop just saying “bitch”, “bitch”, “bitch.”
Rob finally finds their letter. It’s from Susan and Patrick, who wish Romber nothing but ill. Romber starts off for the Pit Stop, and there’s a lot of cutting back and forth between Romber and Mirna and Shmirna.
Mirna starts screaming again, which is always fun. My favorite was “Charla, please, dig in….. Charla, Level Five. Level fiiiiiiiiiiiveeeee!” I think it had something to do with the levels on a treadmill, but I prefer to think that it was just utter nonsense. Mirna starts to pull Shmirna, who falls. And that was awesome too. And Uchenna helps them to the mat, giving them high fives. Or, as Joyce points out, in the case of Shmirna, low fives.
So it’s over. Romber is eliminated. They take it pretty well, all in all. And I have to admit that I’m sad to see them go. They were really starting to grow no me, and they were really good at the Race. And as much as I hate Crazypants (and want Cha Cha Cha to win) is anyone else worried that a show without Romber and Crazypants would be really boring??
I can hardly wait for next week. I am dying to know what Eric says to anger the Guidos and Oswald. Do we think there will be any non-elimination rounds? What about Fast Forwards? Or Yields? Is it possible that I want Teri & Ian to go home next week instead of Crazypants, just for sheer entertainment value? Let’s discuss!!