Tom ate more partially formed duck eggs than BJ. Coby showed his puzzle-solving skills as Koror once again beat Ulong for immunity. Steph and BJ had a fire-building contest to determine who went home and who went on.
Sorry. That was previously on Survivor. Previously on The Amazing Race:
Rob and Amber infuriated Romber-Haters by not doing anything even remotely egregious. Ron told Kelly to shut up, which Kelly translated as “Shut the ##### up you stupid #####-##### #####-##### ugly-##### ##### ###### ###### whore”. Uchenna and Joyce made a clue-reading error that would have put them in danger of elimination if Lynn and Alex hadn’t made a driving error that would have put them in danger of elimination if Meredith and Gretchen hadn’t made a clue-reading error that would have put them in danger of elimination if Brian and Greg hadn’t made a clue-reading error that resulted in their elimination.
Now before I get much into this, it’s only fair to say where I fall on the most important issue facing TARFandom. I am a Rob fan, and in the context of TAR I am an Amber fan. I wasn’t always this way – I didn’t care for Rob in Survivor Marquesas, and was at first upset that he was selected for All-Star Survivor (or A$$, as it is affectionately known to some of us). But something happened during A$$. Instead of basing my opinion of him, or any of the contestants, for that matter, on what I had thought of them previously, I took the radical approach of basing my opinion on how they were acting during A$$. As a result, I ended up liking Rob. (I also lost a ton of respect for Lex and Kathy.) The difference was this: On Marquesas, it was clear Rob had decided to play a character. The mistake he made, the mistake all but a very few make when they choose to do that, was to overplay it. (See for example James’ portrayal of a hick in this season’s Survivor.) If you decide that you want to play a character (as opposed to being yourself) on a reality show, you need to underplay it, particularly if you are on one of the good shows. If you underplay it, the editors will still pick it up and get that character through. If you overplay it, that will come through as well. And if that comes through, people will see nothing of you other than that character and not give you credit for having anything else to you. (See for example Jonathon. He says he was trying to play a villain on last season’s TAR. And Victoria says he is not like what he appeared on the show in real life. And maybe he was just trying to be a character, but he so overplayed it that it was all we saw of him.) So Rob overplayed the villain, became the villain for many, and even though it was obvious during A$$ that he wasn’t that person, many still didn’t give him credit for it. And many still aren’t. But I do, and it will probably show through in this summary. It won’t be the love fest He Who Must Not Be Homaged wrote a few weeks back, but there will be Rob-love here. Oh yes. There will be Rob-love.
As to that other issue, using contestants from other reality shows, well, YES. GOD YES! More. I want an all-Survivor TAR, a TAR made up of nothing but groups of former Survivor contestants. I want to see Tom and Ian racing, Rupert and Big Tom, Lex and Kathy, Ted and Rory, Brian and Chris, Ethan and Jenna M, Steph and BJ, Fairplay and Rob C, Hatch and Sue Hawk. I want to see people we know are entertaining, people who are practiced in front of the camera, people who are experienced. Not every season, mind you, but wouldn’t that be cool? And while we’re at it, an All-Tar Survivor would be nice too.
In your heart, you know I’m right.
Cue opening credits.
Back at Kwai Village, and the Kwai River Lodge. No sign of the bridge. Phil, in voiceover, asks if the tension between Ron and Kelly will affect their ability to compete. He also asks if Meredith and Gretchen can continue to beat the odds and stay in the race. The latter he asks because Meredith and Gretchen are the single luckiest team ever to compete in TAR. If Rob pulled a horseshoe out of his butt, Meredith and Gretchen must be dropping horseshoes like a dog that’s eaten a box of Ex-Lax. They’ve not done a thing themselves to keep them in the race – rather, they’ve doddered around while other teams have imploded around them. It’s one thing to get lucky once because another team has blown up – it’s another to have it happen over and over again.
Sorry. Anyway, Rob and Amber, who arrived at some time yesterday afternoon, leave sometime 12 hours later. This of course will also apply to the other four couples. The time doesn’t matter because the mate in the crow’s nest has called bunching ahead. The clue instructs the teams to fly more than 5,000 miles to Lucknow, India. They need to search a palace called Baba O’Reilly and search for their next clue in the Bouli. There are three charter flights to Francistown, Botswana. After they get to Francistown, the teams have tickets to Mumbai, India. However, they must arrange their own tickets from Mumbai to Francistown. As we leave, Rob talks about how now is the time things get tougher. Rob adds that there are five teams left, they are all strong teams, and he and Amber need to stay focused if they want to get to the end.
This little speech caused Romber haters no end of pain. How dare he say nice things about the other teams in confessional! He doesn’t fool us!
Ron and Kelly are the next to depart. Ron says he and Kelly had a long talk about their relationship and how they need to work together to win. Ron, Kelly – Dr. Phil couldn’t help you. Dear Abby couldn’t help you. Sitting down and talking ain’t going to do the trick either.
Uchenna and Joyce are off. As usual, they are happy and excited. Uchenna says he and Joyce have finally gotten their groove on. At least it sounded like that.
Lynn and Alex take off. Lynn says the race is bringing the two of them together. In the pre-race interviews, Lynn said he was nervous about being shown as out because his father didn’t know he was gay. Lynn, hon. Your dad? He knew already. Trust me on this one.
Meredith and Gretchen are the last to depart, followed by a guy in a black robe and hood carrying a scythe. It doesn’t appear that the guy is a stranger to them. Gretchen says that although the other teams are nice to their face, she knows that they wouldn’t mind seeing Meredith and Gretchen out of the race. Yeah. Keep telling yourself that. At this stage, the other teams are all trying to figure out how to keep Meredith and Gretchen around for the end game. Who doesn’t want to run a footrace against these two at the end. If the teams had been thinking last season, they would have carried Gus and Hera with them everywhere just for the opportunity to race against them to the finish line. And given the last stage of the race, Gus would still be eating pizza.