Monday, September 28, 2009

TAR15, Recap Leg 1, 9/27/09

Welcome to Leg 1! We’re back to TAR after a hiatus, which, in my opinion, was a bit too long. But it’s the same old, same old, as we have careening! Los Angeles! Cop Cars! And all sorts of teams in brightly colored shirts coming out of the sewers! Who are they, the Ninja Turtles or something? Anyway, we’re back, and this time with more teams. The twelve teams are: (click for more)

Brian and Ericka, AKA Yin-Yang, are married fro two years from Tennessee. And Ericka was Miss America 2004. They are the race’s first interracial couple, so you can plan on hearing about that for the next ten weeks. (Toyouke: “I knew Brian and Ericka would irritate me.”)

Lance and Keri, AKA Team Street Lawyer are engaged from Salem Massachusetts. Lance claims that his team is a powerhouse both physically and mentally. And what does Keri have to say about that? Keri: “He’s smahhht.” (Toyouke: “Not wicked smahht?”)

Maria and Tiffany, AKA Team Poker, are professional poker players, but their MO for a while will be that they are counselors for homeless kids in LA. OR at least until the first poker fan spots them and gives away their secret. Oh and they are competitive.

Zev and Justin, AKA Team Apsergers, are best friends from LA. Justin: “Zev isn’t afraid to speak his mind.” Zev: “Aw, That’s nice. *tear!*” Hee. Sound bite whore? Oh yes. I hope so.

Mika and Canaan, AKA Team Bathtub, are YDCs from Tennessee. Canaan is a songwriter. Mika: “Being Christian will probably help us win the Race.” And how, pray tell, is THAT going to help. (God: “The Amazing Race is on. I’m in the tub. No prayers will be answered for the duration of the race.”)

Flight Time and Big Easy, AKA The Globetrotters, are Harlem Globetrotters. Enough said. (Toyouke: “OMG I LOVE THE GLOBETROTTER MUSIC! I love that they cut that in.”)

Sam and Dan, AKA The Hot Guys, are brothers from Missouri. And they’re hot. And smart. And gay! WOOT! (Toyouke: “Mm, hot brothers.”)

Gary and Matt, AKA Pinky and The Brain, are father and son from Montana. Dad hasn’t gotten much time with his son while he was growing up. Good reason to run the race dad.

Eric and Lisa, AKA Team Yoga, are married yoga instructors and former drug addicts. Allow me to describe the team in Eric’s words: “We are what you call yoga in the hood, and we’re going to be numero frickin’ uno.” Not according to my sources, yoga man.

Garrett and Jessica, AKA The Waffles, have been dating on and off for years. Garrett has never had to deal with women, and Jessica is Colombian. The country, not the city. And apparently, Colombian women are strong willed.

Marcy and Ron, AKA The Oldsters, are dating from San Francisco. They met on the internet. Marcy is high energy for a 60 year old. Marcy: “I’ve never dated a bald man before!” (Toyouke: “Woo old people! With bow and arrows! Oh, and Ron just grabbed her butt.”)
Meghan and Cheyne, AKA Preschool Sweethearts, have been friends since they met when they were three. Meghan is convinced that Cheyne (pronounced Shane . . . we need to have a talk with those parents) is going to marry her. And with Cheyne’s shock at this statement, I’m not sure she isn’t delusional.

The camera careens to the tarmac where the teams are standing where Phil gives his standard speech. There will be “a number of legs” where each team will get a “small amount of cash”. But in a new twist, the teams have to complete a challenge before they get their plane tickets and only eleven teams will get tickets. We have our first eyebrow pop, and Phil tells them that their first clue is on their bags. They are to run to their bags, solve the clue to get their tickets, and then to drive themselves to the airport, and the first team to finish will win ONE MILLION DOLLARS (US$1000000)! Then oh so sexy Phil does his standard patter: “Ready? The world is waiting for you. Good luck, travel safe. GO!” Who will be eliminated . . . tonight?

Los Angeles, California

Clue: Travel to Tokyo, Japan! You may take one of two flights: American, which departs at 12:45 pm, or United, departing at 1:15 pm. To get tickets on a flight, teams must search the fence of over 1000 license plates and find one of eleven with the symbol for the Shinegawa District of Tokyo, which is where Tokyo Tower, their next destination, is located.

(Toyouke: “I think there are other Japanese license plates, just to make it harder. Which I approve of.”) So, teams race to the fence. At first, people just rip off license plates, until they realize that the clue to which plate to grab is on the clue. Teams grab plates and eventually finish in the following order:

1- Maria/Tiffany
2- Marcy/Ron
3- Meghan/Cheyne
4- Flight Time/Big Easy
5- Gary/Matt
6- Zev/Justin
7- Sam/Dan
8- Mika/Canaan
9- Garrett/Jessica
10- Brian/Ericka
11- Lance/Keri
12 – Eric/Lisa

And Eric and Lisa get eliminated. That is. . . actually wonderful, because now I don’t have to deal with the yoga teachers. Eric: “It’s a shame, but the pain is gone for everyone else now, we’re just happy to set everyone free of their suffering!” Um. . . right. (Toyouke: “Seriously? Well, that's the last of that.”)

1st – Maria/Tiffany
2nd – Marcy/Ron
3rd – Meghan/Cheyne
4th – Flight Time/Big Easy
5th – Gary/Matt
6th – Zev/Justin
7th – Sam/Dan
8th – Mika/Canaan
9th – Garrett/Jessica
10th – Brian/Ericka
11th – Lance/Keri

Teams get in their cars and drive in order to arrive at Los Angeles International Airport. I don’t know the order, but it doesn’t really matter, since Phil handed out tickets at the fake mat. So, the first six teams are on the American Flight, and the remaining five are on the United.

Thus, the flights shake down like this:

Flight 1: American, departs 12:45 pm
1) Maria/Tiffany
2) Marcy/Ron
3) Meghan/Cheyne
4) Flight Time/Big Easy
5) Gary/Matt
6) Zev/Justin

Flight 2: United, departs 1:15 pm
1) Sam/Dan
2) Mika/Canaan
3) Garrett/Jessica
4) Brian/Ericka
5) Lance/Keri

The Amazing Red and Green Lines take us from Los Angeles to Tokyo.

And we get a new topographic map to look at. So, teams arrive in Tokyo, and grab taxis. Team Poker blows up at each other because they miss the first shuttle. And the United Flight that was a half hour behind arrived in Japan a bit early, so all the teams are pretty much neck and neck.

Teams are now to travel by taxi to the TV Studio at Tokyo Tower in the Shinegawa District. Teams arrive in the following order:

1- Mika/Canaan
2- Sam/Dan
3- Meghan/Cheyne
4- Marcy/Ron
5- Gary/Matt
6- Flight Time/Big Easy
7- Brian/Ericka
8- Garrett/Jessica
9- Maria/Tiffany
10- Zev/Justin
11- Lance/Keri

Once they arrive, they walk in and find themselves at the first roadblock. Which is not any Roadblock . . it’s Sushi Roulette! And it’s a Japanese gameshow! With graphics! And there’s lots of cheering as we wait for all eleven teams. (Toyouke: “Is that everyone? Intentional bunching?”)


(question not shown)?

In this roadblock, one team member must participate in Sushi Roulette. On the wheel are nine pieces of sushi and two wasabi bombs. If you get a piece of sushi, you must eat it. If you get a wasabi bomb, you have 2 minutes to consume it, and when you do, you get your next clue. (Toyouke: “Good thing the vegans are gone already.”)

The following team members complete the Roadblock. (Toyouke: “Dude. Stop the descriptions and watch. This graphic is like...what was that game show where you could call in? It was a Japanese game show and they had like, shopping cart jousting and Mr. Shake Hands Man...Banzai! This is like "Banzai" and it is awesome.)

1- Canaan
2- Dan
– (Toyouke: “Damn...go Dan. I really want to come up with a dirty comment about swallowing but I can't think of one.”)
3- Cheyne
4- Ron
5- Gary
6- Big Easy
– “Tastes like money!”
7- Brian – who ends up having to eat two for not opening his mouth in time.
8- Garrett
9- Maria
– who ends up having to eat two IN A ROW for not opening her mouth in time.
10- Justin
11- Lance

After much sushi and wasabi eating (Toyouke: seems like you would root for the wasabi, because once you eat it you can leave.), teams complete the Roadblock in the following order:

1- Meghan/Cheyne
2- Marcy/Ron
3- Zev/Justin
4- Garrett/Jessica
5- Maria/Tiffany
6- Flight Time/Big Easy
7- Lance/Keri
8- Mika/Canaan
9- Gary/Matt
10- Sam/Dan
11- Brian/Ericka

Once the roadblock is completed, teams are given a colored flag to match with the colors of visors of 20 Japanese tourists in the audience. Teams have to be tour guides and take them through the Shibuya Crossing, one of the busiest in Japan, to the Konno Hachimangu Shrine.

Teams start their journeys in the following order:

1- Meghan/Cheyne (RED)
2- Marcy/Ron (BLUE)
– (Toyouke: “Marcy is a crazy person.”)
3- Zev/Justin (YELLOW) - Zev: “It would be nice if this lady’s shoe worked.”
4- Garrett/Jessica (GREEN)
5- Maria/Tiffany (LAVENDER)
– who somehow lose 2 people in Shibuya Crossing.
6- Flight Time/Big Easy (AQUA) – Flight Time: “It’s like Godzilla walking through the street here.”
7- Lance/Keri (FUSCHIA)
8- Mika/Canaan (ORANGE)
– (Toyouke: “And another team is destroyed by a potty break. Maybe.”)
9- Gary/Matt (PURPLE)
10- Sam/Dan (LIME)
11- Brian/Ericka (PINK)
– Ericka: “You can throw up later, we have a task to do.

Teams must now get themselves to the PIT STOP, the Konno Hachimangu Shrine. Teams must have all of their tourists to check in. This is the first pit stop in a racearoundtheworld. The last team to arrive MAY be eliminated! (Kmanpat: “Oh? It’s early for that. . .)

1- Meghan/Cheyne – They win a trip for 2 to Aspen and Vail. A pretty trip for pretty people.
2- Zev/Justin
3- Lance/Keri
4- Marcy/Ron
5- Flight Time/Big Easy
6- Brian/Ericka
7- Gary/Matt
8- Garrett/Jessica
9- Sam/Dan
– Sam: “That’s horrible, but we’ll take it.”
10- Mika/Canaan – who lose one of their tourists as they walked to the pit stop. They found her though, unlike. . .
11- Maria/Tiffany

And Maria and Tiffany get. . .not eliminated! Oh, shades of TAR Asia 1, when Allan told Joe Jer and Zabrina that they were safe and ended up winning. Phil informs them that this is the first of three non-elimination legs on the race. However, because they were last, they will have to complete a Speed Bump on the next leg of the race. At least the Poker Players are still around!

1st – Meghan/Cheyne
2nd – Zev/Justin
3rd – Lance/Keri
4th – Marcy/Ron
5th – Flight Time/Big Easy
6th – Brian/Ericka
7th – Gary/Matt
8th – Garrett/Jessica
9th – Sam/Dan
10th – Mika/Canaan
11th – Maria/Tiffany

Next week: We’re headed to Vietnam, where the Race flags are a different color, the streets are flooded and the mud is thick. And the ducks are wacky! Until next time . . .

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