Welcome to the Accidental TARist, a freshly scented, brand new weekly article from the mods and writers of the FORT staff. Each week, teams will be dissected and analyzed for the good, the bad, and the ugly for each leg of the race. Join us in laughing at each team's triumphs, misadventures, and what just might keep them in the race another leg or send them home sooner.
Gus & Hera – Father/Daughter aka Team . . . Gone!
Paprika is the Spice of Life: Despite Hera taking a blow to the head, she didn’t have a near-stroke as did Freddie after Gategate 2005, and Gus and Hera pressed on with stoic determination throughout the leg. Gus downed the spicy Hungarian soup with little more than a sweat, and he and Hera did an admirable job commandeering the raft across the Danube, thus saving us from having to see Gus in a Speedo. Hallelujah! However. . . .
If it Weren’t for Bad Luck, I’d Have No Luck at all: No one told them that the water polo goalie was NOT in fact a trained professional, but merely a flailing fool that was probably hired for five forints. Taking the rowing challenge sealed their fate after being left in last place after the number board free-for-all, and they were simply up the Danube without a paddle.
The Sentimental Zone: Gus and Hera ran a solid race, taking time to enjoy and reflect upon things they saw in the midst of the competition . . . all the while growing closer together. “Hera will always be my daughter,” says Gus, “but now . . . she’s my friend, too.” Awwww! Gotta love the happy endings. And don’t worry, Hera--I’m sure Freddie will avenge your injuries . . . if he doesn’t develop apoplexy first.
Freddie and Kendra - engaged models: AKA Team Oh-my-freakin'-God-that's-Disgusting
Bo Bo on a Break: Again....the sweaty hot luv of two models pulls them through the challenges like little troopers. They support each other, they soothe each other, and they use tons of "baby"s. Awwww yeah. *cue happy sunsets* Kendra manages to keep her cool this week. Yep..I said Kendra. For the most part anyway. They pop through every challenge supporting each other yet again, Kendra even holding back from leaping ahead like a gazelle/model at the train museum long enough to check out her baby's new boo boo. And when Freddie hurls in his soup, *gag reflex engaged even while typing*, she weeps for him and can't stand to see her love muffin in pain. You can't buy love like that. Well....not in the states. Damnit.
A rusty pail full of hurl: Bo bo may not have shown up for Kendra this week, but perhaps she *pop* pulled off the angry little second head and attached it to Freddie's new, throbbin' gate bump. After he gets wacked by the gate, he's understandably a little peeved...but he manages to demonstrate Hulk-like rage at the other contestants, accusing them/someone of smackin' him senseless and roars, "Who pulled the gate down? Who pulled it down???!! When I find out...it's somebody's ASS!" I didn't know someone's ass could cause a bump like that...but color me intrigued.
War..what is it good for, absolutely nothin': Where will they go...what will they do? Will they get ahead? Will they stay behind? Will they make it up to the other contestants by french braiding everyone's hair? The answers....we know not. But if they ever DO need help from other teams...Freddie's rage might be a hindrance. Interestingly, the only person who pats the Fredster on the back post rage...is Jonathan. *shudders*
Hayden and Aaron – Dating Actors a.k.a Team Welcome to Dullsville: Population Two
Who cares? The actors continue on their uninteresting but proficient course. Aaron was mildly amusing at points, and Hayden was faintly annoying at others. At the rail museum, Hayden made a good showing against three angry alpha males and snagged the tag that put them on the second rail car ride. They chose what turned out to be the right detour, scoring easily against the “professional” water polo goalie. The good that can be said of Aaron’s soup roadblock performance: he didn’t give up, and he didn’t vomit back into his bowl. Keeping their minds on the race rather than the scenery let them steal a fourth place finish from a less focused team.
Really, who cares? The actors have bad taxi karma. I’m not sure what they can do about that, or how they’ve earned it, but maybe it’s backlash for being so boring. Aaron got spanked by two waify chicks at the soup challenge, which cost them a third place finish.
Yeah—still don’t care: Well, if you consistently come in fourth, you’re guaranteed a top four finish, right? All the teams are on an even playing field physically with Gus and Hera out, so Hayden and Aaron are going to have to race smarter if they want to do better than that. They’re still in this, but they’re going to need better cab luck to win.
Adam and Rebecca, aka Team HellRaiser
The Little Train That Could: Adam's fondness for screeching out "choo-choo!" in this episode could mean that the dynamos are feeling good about their performance in this leg and are in the zone. Rebecca's pitbull-like zeal in demolishing a bowlful of hot pepper mash put the guys to shame and catapults them to a respectable 3rd place.
Love To Hate You: All's tumultuous on the personal front, still. Rebecca can barely contain her disdain for the horned toad that is her partner, when it would be best to present a unified front. Uncontrollable events like traffic gridlock hold them back, that's true, but losing the 4th place slot by seconds is due to some ill-advised touristy lolly-gagging.
Win, Place, Or Show?: The tendency of this team to land at the bottom of the check in list is disconcerting, considering how well they maneuver through the challenges. Don't count them out yet; as long as they continue to narrowly miss being in last place, there's some light at the end of the tunnel.
Jonathan and Victoria, a.k.a. Team Domestic Abuse a.k.a. No Need to Hold Your Hair While You Puke, Hon
Ridin’ High in the Funicular: These two sailed into third place, which isn’t bad when you consider it took more than a dozen jabs, insults and mutual hatefests to get there - and that’s without a lot of screen time this week. With all the verbal sniping at each other they’d be naturals at drinking blood. But they failed to grab the first number at the railroad museum, so no bloody cocktails for these two. None provided by the TAR crew, at least. Still, under Jonathan’s strict direction, Victoria easily slammed her ball past the hapless goalie. Maybe in her mind the ball had a tuft of blue hair and a sneering expression.
Laid Low Like a Penny on the Track: It seems Victoria has a bit of a tender tummy. Perhaps choosing her once again to do a difficult task was the wrong choice, but if there’s one thing Jonathan is in love with, it’s his directing skills. His wife? Not so much. At least, she was unable to take direction when he told her she was a “drama queen” for pulling the paprika yawn. Later, he told Victoria he was sorry he made her eat the soup. He defended the choice, saying he thought she would do a great job since Victoria “loves food.” What a clever man. Even his apologies sound like insults.
This Train is Bound For Glory: it could happen, folks. The screeching, jibing, insulting, and shushing each other- as well as every unfortunate cabbie that crosses their path - is working well for these two. With the rest of the racers convinced they will derail, they might just be on a bullet train to victory.
Kris & Jon – Long distance daters: AKA Team Hot and Spicy
Open swim: I want to personally thank the editors for the water polo challenge. Now the cynical side of me would point out that the defenders did little to nothing to stop the teams from scoring, so this was a gratuitous skin display by design. But who wants to quibble over such things? Given the anonymous nature of these shadows, I will not say who I was watching, however, if that darn Jon would move out of the way, it would have been even more enjoyable for me. Seriously though, a good example of why this is not just a happy team, but more importantly a solid racing team, occurred after the polo challenge. As they were leaving the pool, Adam and Rebecca arrived, and would not allow Kris and Jon to take their taxi. Looking back on the history of TAR, how many times do you think this would have resulted in an argument between teams? I would say many times. Instead, they simply asked the driver for another taxi and went on to finish second, easily outpacing Jonathan and an incredibly sick Victoria in a footrace at the end.
Treading water: Jon made a valid point when he noted that Kris needed to do more challenges. Jon has done four roadblocks to Kris’ two. It is not a critical problem, but they will want to ensure that Kris takes every opportunity in the next few episodes.
Hitting the showers: These two have put on quite a display so far on how to enjoy the race, and kick some serious ass while doing it. Here is hoping karma stays in their favor to the end.
Lori and Bolo, AKA Team Total Turnaround
I Vant to Suck Your Blood: Depending on whether or not you're rooting for the wrestlers, you could credit their performance in this leg to "divine intervention" or "@#$# equalizers". From being asleep on a train station bench, they rocketed into first place, thanks to an overnight delay between tasks and their choice to use their only Fast Forward. This team continues to get props for their generally strong constitutions -- they each managed to guzzle a goblet of pig's blood without even blinking. Yes. Pig. Blood. There's tough, and then there's tough. And when it comes to mindless, bloodthirsty toughness, there's no team that can match Lori and Bolo. You KNOW that kind of task would have the rest of the teams barfing in their soup.
This Bites: The wrestlers didn't really make any big missteps in their Hungarian comeback tour. But Lori obviously doesn't function well on no sleep, and she seems a bit paranoid; during Freddy's freak-out over having a gate fall on his head, Lori's voice kept ringing above all others, denying any part in the incident and proclaiming her and Bolo's distance from the action. Easy there, muscle-girl, no need to be so defensive.
Is a Stake Through the Heart in their Future? This team is still too slap-dash to make it to the final mat. Their racing is inconsistent, and luck, for good or ill, plays way too big a part. One day -- before they get to the final leg -- that luck is going to run out for good.
Special thanks to the contributors, in alphabetical order: Bill, Feifer, LG., Lucy, Mantenna, Shazzer, SnowflakeGirl, Speedbump, spegs, Texicana, and Wayner.