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10-Year Rewatch: TAR12: Goths, Grandpas, Lesbian Ministers, Dominating Siblings, Couples in Conflict, and the Real Truth Flavor!


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#1

Arlo Rowan

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Posted Jul 10, 2011 @ 11:53 PM

Well, after the disaster that was All-Stars, the show really needed to step up their game with a great season.

I'd say they did exactly that.

Pretty much everything delivered. The route was amazing, with some repeated countries like the Netherlands, Italy, India, and Japan being visited, as well as five brand-new countries like Ireland, Burkina Faso, Lithuania, Croatia, and Taiwan getting their first visits. Pretty good roster of new countries for being the twelfth season of the show.

Also good was the tasks. The premiere's tasks were sort of lame, with the only real tasks being the tandem bikes, the high-wire bike, and the donkeys, but hey. The latter task had some hilarity with two of the more hateful teams of the race. There were also the Hoist It/Hunt It Detour in the Netherlands, the ditch-vaulting Roadblock in that same country, the camel-milking Roadblock in Burkina Faso, the Teach It/Learn It Detour in that country, the Shake Your Pan/Shake Your Boot Detour, the Count Down/Step Up Detour in Lithuania, pretty much every task in Croatia, the Invention/Tradition Detour in Italy, the tattoo Fast Forward there, the acrobatic car Roadblock in Taiwan, and the killer final Roadblock in Alaska. Plus, some others I might've forgotten.

Naturally, what made this season really great was the cast. There were some really great, likable teams, as well as some not-so-likable ones that were at least interesting. Obviously, Kate & Pat, the first lesbian team (who were also ministers!), fall under the former category, as do Azaria & Hendekea, Kynt & Vyxsin (the Goths, who were much better this time than they would be six seasons later), Nicolas & Donald, Ronald & Christina (they were polarizing, for sure, mainly due to Ronald, but by the end, he'd definitely mellowed out), and, of course, eventual winners T.K. & Rachel. The latter three teams gave us perhaps our first truly likable, memorable F3, where anyone winning would've been a great sight to see! (Of course, then, we got the least exciting winners of the three, but at least they were likable.) Lorena & Jason and Shana & Jennifer obviously fall under the latter category, as they weren't really likable, per se, but both teams definitely invited some interest.

The tension was high in every episode. My interest, personally, was held as I actually wondered who'd win and lose each leg, each week. The only boring, anticlimactic leg (at least in terms of the losers of said leg) was the Japan leg.

This season also did away with the Yield and introduced the much better U-Turn, which sends teams back to complete the Detour they did not previously complete. Of course, this delay mechanism had its problems, but at least it'd be corrected five seasons later (but that's for a thread to be started five weeks later). Its first use went swimmingly for the team who used it, but the next team to do it stupidly wasted it. . . .

This season also introduced the NEL penalty known as the Speed Bump. Since its introduction, there've been good ones and bad ones. The one Kynt & Vyxsin had to do, the yoga one, obviously falls under the former category, while T.K. & Rachel's run through fireworks obviously falls under the latter category since it was too quick and easy.

Are there flaws? Well, yes. Some of them were in the casting. Ari & Staella were a truly dreadful team to watch (mainly due to Ari -- I don't think Staella had much time to really show herself as likable or not), so it was kind of fun that they got paid back with karma for stealing Ronald & Christina's cab by getting that ornery donkey that took them out right on the first leg. Marianna & Julia, while not bad, were non-entities until their early boot in Burkina Faso. And of course, there's Nathan & Jennifer, the couple on the race to fix their issues with cheating (he cheated on her, to remind you). They certainly kept things interesting, but it was still so much fun to see them just miss the F3.

Also, here's where the editing patterns changed dramatically. After eleven seasons of focusing on everyone as evenly as possible, this season introduced the pattern of only focusing on the longer-lasting teams and shafting the earlier-booted ones. Early-ousted teams like Kate & Pat and Marianna & Julia got little airtime, while the entire F6 (perhaps F7!) got the bulk of it. The story edits also started making some teams' portrayals more about one member than the other (this season, Nathan & Jennifer were one such team, with Jennifer getting nearly all the confessionals, team or individual, and Nathan only being confined to team confessionals). Also, it started heavily foreshadowing the eliminated team in each episode way too strongly. It'd started doing that perhaps in either TAR10 or All-Stars, but it got really heavy-handed in this season.

Still, on the whole, I think this is a season in which the positives truly do outweigh the negatives. Great cast, great locations, great fun. Easy 9/10. Full ten if Ronald & Christina or even Nicolas & Donald had won instead of T.K. & Rachel.

Enjoy this discussion if and/or while you can, because the next four weeks will be about the sucky ones.

Edited by Arlo Rowan, Jul 17, 2011 @ 7:32 PM.


#2

enlightenedbum

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 12:35 AM

Minor miracle that I liked 5/6 people still racing at the end. Ron can bite me.

Generally this was a fairly interesting cast with only one true clunker of a team (with a glorious elimination, even if it did take too long to come) because the other potential clunker got donkey'd right out of the race in the first leg.

Liked the course, most of the tasks. The final roadblock being the best thing they've done on the last leg ever (slim pickings, but still!).

I have less to say because I really enjoyed this season, and it's in my top 5, possibly top 3. It's also the last season I really, really enjoyed.

ETA: This is also the last season Miss Alli recapped. Which makes me sad. Because while M. Giant has done a fine job since she left for NPR, her Survivor/TAR recaps remain my gold standard for the whole site.

Edited by enlightenedbum, Jul 11, 2011 @ 2:49 AM.


#3

Pooki

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 3:54 AM

This season had one of the most satisfying first eliminations ever, when that ass Ari & Staella got eliminated because of the donkey. That whole task was one of the funniest, when the two bitchy teams were by the side of the track whining and being abusive toward their donkeys, while the other teams and their donkeys were happily trotting by.

Although Nathan & Jennifer were kind of entertaining to watch, I didn't like either of them. They were like a slightly more entertaining MoJo for me (and I HATED MoJo).

Marianna (or Julia? I forget which) helping the melting-down Lorena at the camel milking and then getting eliminated for it still stands out for me as one of the dumbest moves ever on the race. Lorena grated on my nerves so much, I would have been happy for her to be eliminated then. And when she spoke she sounded like the little blue cat on Top Cat, which freaked me out.

I remember finding Donald really funny, the way he'd always say he'd done whatever they were doing as a job before.

TK & Rachel didn't make a whole lot of impression on me, so they weren't a team I was actively rooting for, but they weren't hateful or anything, so I was fine with them winning.

On the whole it was a pretty good season, casting, route, and task-wise. There were interesting teams who weren't stunt-casted, stunt-casting being one of my least favorite developments in later seasons, but that's another story.

#4

Vyk

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 1:59 PM

Definitely one of the better seasons in the show's history.

I agree the cast was phenomenal. Eleven teams, and I actually liked nine of them (Kate & Pat, Marianna & Julia, Lorena & Jason, Shana & Jennifer, Azaria & Hendekea, Kynt & Vyxsin, Nicolas & Donald, Ronald & Christina, and T.K. & Rachel), with the only two I didn't like going out first (Ari & Staella) and just missing the F3 (Nathan & Jennifer). Each elimination, it was easy to feel at least a little bit sad to see almost every one of them go (at least for me).

I don't agree Staella had no time to show how likable or unlikable she was, though. She was smiling and high-fiving right along with Ari after they stole Ronald & Christina's cab. Ari was grosser, but she was just as gross. And yes, I could get that from just the one leg they ran.

I'd go from feeling sorry for Jennifer to feeling sorry for Nathan to just thinking that both of them were truly disgusting people who deserved each other. I was VERY glad to see them not make the F3, and on Jennifer's birthday, to boot! Thank goodness Nathan got away from her after the race and found a woman truly worthy of him.

After all the lazy, good-for-nothing black teams that were cast, it was very refreshing to see a dominating team in Azaria & Hendekea. I actually thought they'd have the goods to win it all. It was a shame that travel agent fucked them over when Azaria specifically asked her for economy class tickets, but she gave them business class instead. I know Azaria could be a bit overbearing to Hendekea, but it never really bothered me all that much.

The Goths were also great to watch and, yes, definitely much more likable this go-round than their second try at the race. During this season, Kynt's feminine ways were actually funny, not cringe-worthy like they would be in Unfinished Business, and Vyxsin was just a darling. I almost cried with her when she cried for the impoverished people in Burkina Faso.

Pooki
Marianna (or Julia? I forget which) helping the melting-down Lorena at the camel milking and then getting eliminated for it still stands out for me as one of the dumbest moves ever on the race.

That was Julia, and I agree.

But to be honest, I also agree with Arlo Rowan that they did get unjustly shafted in the editing. The other teams hated them because they were apparently rampant bitches, but we never got to see any of that! I thought they had some awesome moments, like when Marianna called Ronald "Mr. Miyagi," when she totally owned the ditch-vaulting Roadblock, and her excited reaction to surviving the Netherlands leg. Oh, and both of them calling, "NANI!" (sp?) to each other at times. I had no idea what it meant, but it was definitely funny.

Oh, and I loved that Kate & Pat were the first religious team who actually got that God doesn't care who wins a reality show. Shame they left second, as there were at least a few teams I'd have sent home before them (as much as I liked most of the cast). And I appreciated that the show allowed us to see them kiss.

I didn't really hate Lorena's crying because she at least admitted before the season that she could see herself doing that and didn't delude herself into thinking she was the strongest woman there. (See: Stephanie five seasons later.) I thought she and Jason had a decent relationship, and I hope they're happy together.

Never minded Shana & Jennifer, either. I couldn't believe how many shitlists they got onto for one comment Shana (or was it Jennifer?) made in Burkina Faso. Frankly, I liked that they (Shana, especially) were willing to get down to the nitty-gritty (like when Shana hoisted all of the furniture in the Netherlands and did a great job with the ditch vaulting). And I liked that Shana was definitely willing to use the U-Turn to save themselves in Burkina Faso and gave a very mature reason for doing it: no time for friends, only survival. Too bad Jennifer devolved into a wet noodle by Lithuania.

I liked the journey Ronald & Christina and Nicolas & Donald had to reach the F3. Ronald & Christina's relationship deepening and strengthening was one of the best focal points of the season, and Nicolas being constantly impressed with Donald's jack-of-all-trades style of racing was a great reminder of their close bond. I really wanted their teams to be the top two of the season. And they very well could've been. Either of them winning would've been a fresh, welcome change of pace, especially compared to the actual result.

Not that I found anything wrong with T.K. & Rachel. They were inoffensive, and I liked them, but . . . it was just another young couple winning the race, you know? Still, the myriad of ways they could get lost or miss clue boxes was entertaining for sure.

Arlo Rowan
The story edits also started making some teams' portrayals more about one member than the other (this season, Nathan & Jennifer were one such team, with Jennifer getting nearly all the confessionals, team or individual, and Nathan only being confined to team confessionals).

I noticed this, as well, and it actually made it a lot easier for me to spot who'd win or lose in later seasons. Teams whose story edits were mainly, if not solely, about one of their members tended to not win. (See: what would be the future edits of Jaime & Cara both times, Brent & Caite, Andie & Jenna, Jill & Thomas, and Gary & Mallory both times, with Jaime, Caite, Andie, Thomas, and Mallory the focal points of the teams and Cara, Brent, Jenna, Jill, and Gary mostly pushed to the side.) Only teams on which both members were portrayed as relevant to the story of the season had chances of winning.

Yes, I agree that this was one of the best seasons by far. Too bad it was followed by such sucky seasons before we finally got two good ones again.

#5

ratty604

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Posted Jul 11, 2011 @ 3:16 PM

Up until TAR 17, this was easily the best of the post-Family Edition era. This is almost vengeance for Season Six. The nice couple gets to win, and the shitty couple misses out on the final leg.

I'd put the Burkino Faso camel episode up there with Dieselgate in terms of examining all the different group dymanics involved in solving this one milking task. Great stuff.

#6

TheGrimRecapper

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 12:32 AM

Started off with three great episodes but my GOD, this season limped home. Between the gnome hunt and subsequent fencepost-counting Detour in Lithuania, the leg in Croatia with basically no time to gain or lose time (not to mention it's one of the Detours in history that's been literally impossible to Bald Snark), the bad Fast Forward in Italy, how generally lame the next three episodes (India, Japan, and Taiwan) were, and how having three bland finalists meant there was nobody to root against in the final, it wasn't a great one.

Enjoy this discussion if and/or while you can, because the next four weeks will be about the sucky ones.


I don't know, I still rather like the next season in spite of the winners.

#7

NotPatrick

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:56 AM

Everythnig about the season is pretty much perfect apart from the dry, mildly pompous, all but invisible winners. They were there for a good contrast shot to the mostly hilarious bickering of Nate & Jen (hilarious mostly because of whichever race-crew member it was who told them to stop swearing and to instead use words like "FUDGE!" and "DARNIT!". Officially my favourite crew-member of all time) but that was it. The rest of the cast was spot on, and where it wasn't they got eliminated at just the right time (Ari & Staella).

I just like how competitive the whole cast is, particularly the Top 6 or so, and how it's coupled with for the most part really strong personalities. You really feel like any of them could win it, which was an extra bonus coming directly before the three most lop-sided fodderific casts in the show's entire history. You had your early dominators spin out because of one mistake (Azaria/Hendekea), the team that start strong then fall apart (Kynt/Vyxsin) and vice-versa (Ron & Christina), the scrappy perennial bottom-feeder triers (Nick & Don), the volatile team who fly around the finishing order and ultimately have one bad leg too many (Nate & Jen) and the solid MOR team who ultimately come through to win via virtue of patience and tenacity (TK & Rachel, or at least what's they said about themselves, repeatedly, in every confessional).

Every country's used really well (Taiwan only really comes to life in its second half, but other than that is really solid), there's a decent amount of self-navigation without turning into TAR 10s "spend 90% of most legs behind the wheel of a rental car" latter half, and it just feel really fresh and renewed after the dregs of series 6 through 11. There are a couple of series I'm not fond of from here on forward (14, 16) but whereas most people see TAR 12 as the beginning of a decline in quality, I think it's a sign of the show pulling itself out of constantly twisting around of what it's about and to get back on track again.

It's also just funny. "Baby there's no more MIIIIIIIILK", "optimism with the real truth flavor", "DON'T COMPARE ME TO THE OTHER GIRLS!", "77...78...79...90", a decent flavoring of karmic animals, Don trying operate a robot goalie, Don's general Walter Mitty life story, Don in his pants pole-vaulting a ditch, Jennifer's adventures in increasing soppiness, Marianna & Julia's delusions of competence, Azaria FUMING over Hendekea taking a bathroom break, Nate & Jen getting turfed out of a cab for being too wet, Ron & Don's bonding session, "boogers in your bones", "I can't believe you're being so mean to me ON MY BIRTHDAY!", Kynt & Vyxsin when they were the good kind of wacky rather than the bad kind, Don trying to set up some sort of bizarre double date between himself, Nick and the sisters, the idea of Seacrest's Girlfriend as a contestant...good times.

Edited by NotPatrick, Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:58 AM.


#8

Vyk

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Posted Jul 12, 2011 @ 11:23 PM

NotPatrick
Marianna & Julia's delusions of competence

I don't think they were that delusional about that. Remember that they were on the second flight heading into the Netherlands, yet managed to pass by one of the teams on the first flight despite being an hour or more behind them.

#9

Arlo Rowan

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Posted Jul 17, 2011 @ 7:34 PM

Pooki
And when [Lorena] spoke, she sounded like the little blue cat on Top Cat, which freaked me out.

You mean Benny the Ball?

#10

Pooki

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Posted Jul 18, 2011 @ 6:00 AM

You mean Benny the Ball?


That's the one! There's a moment in leg one when Lorena says "Here we go baby!" where she sounds uncannily like him.

#11

Vyk

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Posted Jul 21, 2011 @ 1:32 AM

Ooh, another favorite moment I'm surprised no one mentioned (and I'm surprised I forgot it).

I just watched the premiere again and LOVED seeing Shana & Jennifer looking like they were screwed since they were in last place at one point, but then skyrocketing up to sixth place after passing five teams in a row with their donkey. What made it awesomely funny was that their name and placement tags just stayed on the screen the whole time as they went from last to tenth to ninth to eighth to seventh and finally to sixth.

Of course, it also brought about what I thought was an underrated Ronald quote, which was said to his and Christina's donkey: "You're not gonna let these girls pass, are you? . . . Oh, you're a gentleman. Aw, sheesh."

ETA: Awesome! I'm a Couch Potato now!

Edited by Vyk, Jul 21, 2011 @ 1:33 AM.


#12

smtales

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Posted Jul 27, 2011 @ 5:43 PM

It is interested to go back and review this season.

Kent & Vyxsin were the take home message of the season, and the team to transcend it afterward.

It's all in the editing though. Kent and Vyxsin are the same people in TAR 12 that they were in TAR 18.

In TAR 18, the Editors wished to protect "darling teams" such as the Cowboys (who are confirmed homophobes), and the Globetrotters (who are obnoxious).

If Kent and Vyxsin had been a Final 3 Team in TAR 18, I guarantee their edit would have revolved around their "goth jokes" and their "cuteness."

After re-watching this season, it is very bizarre that Ron and Christina were re-cast for TAR 18. It was clear that their "story arc" was resolved....their relationship was supposed "healed" by the TAR-bandaid. in the end, they talk about how they are so loving with each other now, that's not "Unfinished Business". They should not have been brought back.

Next to Kent and Vyxsin, the next best choice for TAR 18 would have been Nate/Jenn.

Edited by smtales, Jul 27, 2011 @ 6:27 PM.


#13

Arlo Rowan

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Posted Jul 27, 2011 @ 9:35 PM

Nathan & Jennifer have since started seeing other people, so there was no way they could do Unfinished Business.

And Ronald & Christina did have unfinished business. They didn't win. So it made sense to ask them back.

#14

Isuzu

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Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 1:52 AM

Furthermore, Christina was getting married to Azaria, so she wanted to make a big trip with her dad to commemorate it.

#15

Nalan

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Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 9:15 AM

Great route, great tasks, five great teams (T.K. & Rachel, Ronald & Christina, Nicolas & Donald, Kynt & Vyxsin, and Azaria & Hendekea), three really good teams (Shana & Jennifer, Marianna & Julia, and Kate & Pat), one relatively decent team (Lorena & Jason, even though Lorena could be annoying), and the only two really bad teams (Nathan & Jennifer and Ari & Staella) coming nowhere near the big prize. Definitely one of my favorites ever.

Though I agree with some of the above posters. Likable though T.K. & Rachel were, their rather predictable win marred the season a tad. Still, better than many of the others before it, and even most of the ones after it.

Edited by Nalan, Aug 16, 2011 @ 3:28 PM.


#16

smtales

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Posted Jul 28, 2011 @ 8:05 PM

And Ronald & Christina did have unfinished business. They didn't win. So it made sense to ask them back.


So by your definition:

Not Winning = Unfinished Business

Thus, every team that runs the Race that doesn't win "makes sense" to ask back?

Sorry, I disagree.

Nathan & Jennifer have since started seeing other people, so there was no way they could do Unfinished Business.


That doesn't matter and would have actually made their interaction even MORE compelling and entertaining. Nathan & Jennifer were spotted together at the TAR-18 Finale in Miami so they are at the very least on speaking terms.

Ron and Christina were just a bizarre choice to bring back because - according to their TAR 12 Story Arc - the Race healed their relationship and they went off into the sunset hand-in-hand.

They were a much worse team in the Unfinished Business and barely lasted even half of the game.

Likable though T.K. & Rachel, their rather predictable win marred the season a tad. Still, better than many of the others before it, and even most of the ones after it.


TK and Rachel were the most impotent, forgettable winners in the history of the franchise. I fall to asleep every time they are on screen. Rachel has a screechy voice and I can tell - just from watching - that she smells horrible.

Edited by smtales, Jul 28, 2011 @ 11:25 PM.


#17

NotPatrick

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Posted Jul 29, 2011 @ 4:19 AM

Ron & Christina's Unfinished Business was Christina having a meltdown and costing them the entire race at the very last task when they were right on the verge of winning the race against the odds. In terms of the concept as presented they were the best choice out of all 11 teams, except maybe Margie & Luke, because their little blurb at the beginning of UB involved probably the least bs'ing or stretching to fit the theme (unlike the Cowboys and the Goths and Kisha & Jen, who we were told lost for reasons that...they didn't lose for; or Mel & Mike or Jamie & Cara or Gary & Mallory whose reasons were lame ; or Amanda & Kris or the Globetrotters whose reasons for leaving were a U-Turn and being quitters which were hardly unique to them or particularly interesting). Tripping over your own feet just before the Finish Line is pretty much the dfinition of Unfinished Business.

Obviously the real reason they were cast is why almost everyone was cast (particularly the ones the edit ended up focusing on) - they were a high-profile team who either had a lot of fans or caused a lot of drama who didn't win. I mean, if they'd booted out Amanda & Kris and replaced them with Nate & Jen I would have been ecstatic, because those two lamewads had no business being there, but then again I would have taken more or less any of the losing cast of 12 as Unfinished Business (even with the attendant twisting of the theme to suit) over most of the people cast.

#18

smtales

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Posted Jul 31, 2011 @ 7:09 AM

To this very day I wonder why Amanda and Kris were cast. They did not have a fanbase.

#19

The Australian

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Posted Nov 6, 2011 @ 7:54 AM

In its own way, TAR12 was just as important a season as TAR5 had been. The show had lost a guaranteed timeslot, had only one cycle greenlit for the 2007/08 season and it really seemed that its best days were well and truly behind it.

Coupled with this the show was clearly being downsized, with a smaller budget, noticeably shorter legs than previously, and only 11 of them in total here. Thankfully the show responded with a fine season that demonstrated that the format could still work in straightened circumstances.

Mind you, that wasn't immediately apparent. TAR12's premiere was clearly the worst one to that point, and while it may have been poetic justice to see Ari & Staella get the chop, it really shouldn't have come down to managing a donkey.

Thankfully things picked right up after this - and while the tasks and locations perhaps lacked a sense of grandeur, they were well designed and still contained lots of visual interest. And the U-Turn and Speed Bump were actually welcome enhancements, not least because this was when the Speed Bumps actually were tricky little tasks in their own right and not the stupidity they would soon degenerate into. The airport drama is also well done and quite meaningful here.

But as with TAR3, it's the cast that help to make this season. Even the team you like to loathe (Nate & Jen - well, mostly Jen) turn out perfectly. Their endless quest to come in first, but never quite managing it, is hysterically funny; I still laugh heartily when we come back from commercial in Croatia to be greeted by Jen emitting a high pitched wailing noise after their cabbie kicked them out for having wet clothes. And they get the perfect elimination, too.

Everyone else is either extremely likeable or at least tolerable (from sweet Kate & Pat to the enjoyably ditzy Shana & Jennifer, driven Azaria & Hendekea to the strange Ron), but there are a few standouts. Don is the ultimate old salt, seemingly having done everything he is confronted with, and he is still the oldest person to complete the race by quite a margin. And while he and Nicolas aren't the most dynamic team, their presence is a welcome one.

But the show is very much stolen by Kynt & Vyxsin. While the goths could have been muggers in the BJ & Tyler mould, they actually come across very well as three dimensional people and provide much of this season's entertainment. While you can perhaps see the seeds of TAR18 at times, you have to admit that Kynt's "performance art" in Italy is one of the rare occasions that sort of thing has actually worked.

Unfortunately the ending really nobbles this season. TK & Rachel were either very dull or very self-righteous, and their victory just feels like it robs the season of the happy ending it deserved - although like Danielle just before her, I admire Rachel for keeping her composure and coming through at the final Roadblock, one of the most difficult they've done.

So while it's not perfect, TAR12 is a definite improvement on most of what surrounds it. 8/10.

#20

sinycalone

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Posted Nov 7, 2011 @ 6:29 PM

YMDV - I loved T.K. and Rachel, and got tired of the Goths by the time they were eliminated. I agree that Don was just a joy to watch -- even though he wasn't always Mr. Sunshine.

#21

TDI Ashley

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Posted Feb 26, 2012 @ 2:26 AM

The Australian
while it may have been poetic justice to see Ari & Staella get the chop, it really shouldn't have come down to managing a donkey.

Why not? It's not like they were the only team to have trouble with the task. Marianna & Julia and Nathan & Jennifer struggled with it, too.

#22

starrynight71

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Posted Apr 11, 2012 @ 6:08 AM

Saw this recently and quite liked it. The main weakness towards the end was the third place team who didn't really have that interesting characters I thought. Their story seemed to be he was the oldest guy to reach that point of the race, that was the only interest there. However I was happy with either of the top 2 winning. The production probably did help TK and Rachel back into it, but that's just the nature of the show. The audience want a close ending and I'm glad they helped a more likeable team than one of those I found less likeable or more boring.

#23

ZeroThree

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Posted Jul 19, 2012 @ 10:06 PM

while T.K. & Rachel's run through fireworks obviously falls under the latter category since it was too quick and easy.


It may have looked that way, but according to T.K., preparing for the run with all the gear and safety briefings took 30 minutes overall, which would have been the same as the previous Marked for Elimination penalty. As an aside, I do find the whole "rest area" mentality of the Speed Bumps in their original season amusing. No doubt Nathan & Jennifer could have benefited a lot from that.

One thing that makes this season stand out for me is the rise of parent-child teams as serious contenders on the race. Considering that they tended to burn out very early in seasons past, having two of them make it to the final three made the finale feel very unique at the time. And though it was mildly disappointing that they both lost to another young dating couple, at least T.K. & Rachel earned their victory with that brilliantly tricky final roadblock, unlike that stupid luck-based gossip quiz from All-Stars. And I just loved how positive the ending felt, in which just seeing each team cross the finish line was a victory in itself.