The finale of TAR. A melancholy time for millions of people. They gather up their remotes, their notebooks, their laptops, their snacks and small, soft objects suitable for throwing at Colon as the two-hour extravaganza begins. I will be covering the 12th leg of the race, my dear friend and hero, Devious Weasel, will be taking on the best part final leg.
Our players are, in order of finish in Leg 11,: Chim--everybody's new favorite married couple. By far more entertaining and loveable than the unfortunate Teri and Ian; the BMs--best friends and bowling partners who are waaaaaayyyyy too perky for women of their age (which isn't that much older than Buggy, but who's counting?); the God Squad 2--a really obnoxious model couple who, when they are not thanking God, Jesus, Allah, Buddah and Vidal Sasson, are whining, pouting, or some combination of both; and finally in FOURTH PLACE, the Dysfunctionals--Colon and Christie have been ripped up, analyzed, shredded, praised, vilified, kudosed (yeah, that's a word), and effigized by TAR fans everywhere. I personally enjoy the fact that they are fourth. Since they are only 16 minutes out of first, I have no faith that they will stay in last place, so I take a moment and just savor them starting last................................ahhhhhh.
This leg of the race begins in the Phillipines. Colon and Christie have further tarnished the image of Americans overseas and whored themselves in the lobby of The Coconut Palace begging for money to help them through the leg. The succeed, probably because Colon is as slick as a used car salesman and Christie wears mini-shorts and a tight tank top, but of course, I could be wrong.
The teams are beginning in the dead of night, so bunching is a given. With some groups, bunching is really kind of boring or frustrating, but with this group, it's entertaining. Among the 8 of them, they have the collected social skills of one 15 year-old. That's good television folks.
In the hotel, it is easy to see that Colon is still about to blow an artery (sort of like Landru, come to think of it) over the whole Yeild episode. No one can hold a grudge like the Colon. Meanwhile, Brandon and Nicole sort of sulk around in the corners and act like they didn't encourage and revel in the yeilding of the dastardly duo.
At 3:46, Chim hits the road on their way to Luneta Park where they must find a statue (gee, TAR, that's an original idea. A statue!!! Wow!) There, they will find their next clue, yada, yada, yada. The other teams follow in short order and the penultimate leg is on (I am so glad to be able to use that word in a summary. It sounds so important). Once they find Jose Rizal, they get their next clue, which directs them to one of two charter flights that will take them to the tiny island village of El Nido. This means they will go to an airport. Airports usually have national flags flying somewhere in the general area. Too bad none of our intrepid travelers paid one bit of attention, but that will come into play later.
Behind Chim, the BM's, God Squad 2 and the D's hit the road. In a suprise to absolutely NO ONE, the BMs cannot find a cab. GS2 passes them fairly quickly, leading the blonde BM to shriek the theme of this race: "Hurry, hurry, they're beating us!!" As if brunette BM was hiding the taxi under her really tacky shirt somehow.
Anyway, they get a cab somehow. I have no idea how, but even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in awhile. They speed off to the statue, but are too far behind GS2. Chim and GS2 are on Charter Flight #1 and the others are on Charter Flight #2. There is a 45 minute difference between the flights, but we all know that is nothing in the grand scheme of TAR (at least until the very end). While in the airport, Chip demonstrates his complete lack of fashion sense by wearing his ever-present do-rag with a handy, dandy miner's light on top of it. Really, if he didn't have such a charming personality, it would be hard not to mock and jeer mercilessly at him every episode (I can't believe I didn't get to provide commentary on the Candian flag hats).
Chim and GS2 arrive on the little island and are directed to boats. Chim has vowed that he will no longer be nice. They will no longer be the helpful team. Theyre going for the jugular, after all. He is bouyed by his yield of the Dysfunctionals, so what does he do? He offers to let GS2 share their Jeepney. You show 'em, Chip. Off to the docks for the next clue
Evidently, the TAR team's crack challenge and clue writing team was on a mini-break for a portion of this leg. The teams are directed to take your boat to a bouy and get a clue. They don't even have to get wet.
Once there, they get the next clue. The task is really not that difficult if you have any powers of observation at all. Since we're dealing with these teams, though, the task is much more challenging. They will be taken by boat to see three different island beaches with a flag. Each flag is different. Their task is simple. Choose the beach with the Phillipine flag, go to the clue box and get your clue. Easy as pie, right? WRONG! None of the teams have a clue what the flag looks like. None.
Chim and GS2 hit the water and GS2 decides that they should do what they do best--follow another team. They watch as Chip swims to a flag and wait to see what he finds out before going into search. After all, Brandon wouldn't want to mess up his perfectly coiffed mop, would he?
Chip FINALLY gets his game back on and after giving Brandon the answer after he inspects the first incorrect clue box, he tells Kim that he will lie at the next one. "We already got Colin hatin' us, why not do a pair, and then three-of-a-kind?" Excellent move. He jumps in while Brandon watches and stays dry. Chip gets the clue from the box and sees that this is, in fact, the flag that they were looking for. He then tells Brandon that it is NOT the right flag and he and Kim sneak off in open water. GS2 whines and moans and whimpers for a moment before they realize that hey, Chip might be lying so they don't stay glued at the hip! Wow! Who'da thunk it?? Brandon plops in the water and exerts himself to get the clue and realizes that his deepest fears are realized. Some people lie. (eye roll) They are shocked, outraged and even more annoying than before. I'm pretty sure sloth is frowned on in the Bible, too, Brandy, hon. Get off your butt and DO SOMETHING!
The next task require the teams to snorkel and find giant faux clams on the ocean floor. The next clue is inside. Chim, with GS2 not far behind, begins the swim while the BMs and the D's begin the boat challenge. "Hurry, Hurry they're beating us!!!"
Colon is the only one of the racers that seems to be upset that he was too dense to pay attention to the flag of the country. Naturally, since it is Colon, he just can't let it go. He berates himself over and over as they look for the right flag. The BMs are right behind them. They watch as Colon goes to the second flag and then make a really good decision. They decide not follow the D's. Instead, they go to the other island. They figure it's 50/50 that they'll find the correct flag and that will give them a time cushion. For some reason, they think they won't be able to beat Colon in a physcial challenge (I think this is called foreshadowing). For the first time in 12 legs, their gamble pays off. The BMs have chosen the correct flag and buy themselves about a 20-30 minute lead on the still-fourth-place team. They head to the beach.
Meanwhile, back on the beach, the snorkeling has begun. Kim, gasp, actually puts on snorkel gear. It appears that she might do a physical challenge. Chip praises her for jumping on in and actually doing something for a change. They've got a pool in their backyard and Kim's never used it, but she takes to the ocean like a fish to the dock.
Nicole finds the first clam, thanks to the hand of God, I am sure. Since she's not used to going down (or at least not without Brandon's help), she treads water and yells for him to get over there. Chip takes her flailing arms and yells of help as a sign that she is in trouble. Nicole, being the good Christian that she is, assumes the worst in him and yells at him to leave her clue alone. She and Brandon go down together. Using his skillful hands, he pries open Nicole's clam and retrieves the prize.
GS2 move on the the next task, leaving Chip splashing around and Kim dog paddling looking for a clam.
Meanwhile, the D's have realized that they are way behind. Colon continues to beat himself up over not having some sort of picture of the flag as Christie scours the water for natives that they can run over.
GS2 arrives at the detour first. They are faced with a challenge--use a rope, haul yourself up. Whatever. At this point, I finally realize that there is no way in hell that the BMs are going to beat any of the remaining teams. Chim arrives and, wait...I know this will be a shock to you all, but, Kim tells Chip HE'S gonna do the task. Wow. Really? Chip, as usual, agrees, and suits up so that he can begin his ascent. No matter how hard the crack team of TAR editors try, they cannot fool me. Chip stops and prays, stops and thinks, stops and looks, stops and rests, stops and has a sandwich, stops and...okay, you get the point. He's still safe. The BMs arrive and brunette BM straps her gear on. Chim leaves after praying, crying, cheering and whining. Did you hear me? THere is no way that the BMs are gonna win this challenge. Nada. The brunette (BBM from here on out) has trouble hauling her ass up the mountian (gee, ya think?). It's grueling. Meanwhile blonde BM (hereafter called BLBM) begins an ear-piercing, nerve-grinding session of what I think is supposed to be encourgagement. It just makes me want to eat glass. "Hurry, hurry, they're beating us!!"
After about 30 minutes of work or so...who really knows....Colon and his shadow arrive on the scene. Colon is like a man possessed (okay, who am I kidding, he IS possessed) as he leaps from the boat in a single bound and moans in ecstasy as he suits up for the task at hand. Did I mention that there is no way the BMs are going to win here?
Colon streaks up the line like a scalded monkey. Dude is smoking. Poor BBM can only hang there lifelessly and watch as a half of a million dollars slips through her hands will BLBM is down below still screeching--Hurry, hurry, they're beating us!! As Colon passes her, BBM looks feebly at him and, I think, ponders spitting on BLBM below, but controls herself. Once Colon has a commanding lead on her, she starts pulling herself up. Again, the editors would like me to think that it's sort of close, but really? It's not. Colon has his clue, is down the line, has changed clothes, turned on another personality, and insulted a culture or two by the time that BBM finally hits the top of the cliff, much less makes her way down and into the canoe.
Colon and Christie make a mad dash for their canoe and, as if God is listening to all TAR fans across our great nation instead of the bubble-headed models, Colon flips their boat and they are both dumped into the water. I secretly fool myself into thinking that this might the BMs an edge, but that hope is soon dashed. Colon is like some sort of water Weeble and is up and in that boat in record time. There is no way that the BMs are going to win here.
GS2 hits the mat first. They get to take a cruise when this is all over. I'm sure that they thanked God, but I was too busy gaping at Brandon's gi-normous hair to really pay attention. Chim finishes second. They're looking tired, but happy to have stayed ahead of the D's. Colon and Christie are third, but still determined that they will win and avenge that mean ol' yeild. The BMs are tearful, but oddly endearing as they are told by Phil that they are indeed eliminated from the race.
Up next on TAR--it's a battle to finish...who will win?