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.
Adam and Rebecca, aka Team #1 HellRaiser
I've Got You, Babe: First place sure tastes sweet when you are Adam and Rebecca. They manage to snag the very last available Fast Forward opportunity and thus get to fly into the pit stop in a private Cessna! Even though Rebecca is tiring of being Adam's mother surrogate, she remains affectionate and supportive of her weaker link.
Chicken Of The Sea: The Fast Forward means donning some old-school dive suits, complete with the metal dome helmets. While Rebecca makes the stroll under the sea to collect the clue look easy, Adam flounders and floats on the surface like some useless flotsam. They lose some precious time and almost forfeit their right to the Fast Forward, unless Girly-Man goes down below and makes it to the lobster cage. Tick-tock, Adam, times a'wastin'!
The Future's So Bright: Adam would have worn shades, if he hadn't lost them. Does it get any better than first place on the mat? I think not. Maybe this is the incentive that this team sorely needs to stay ahead of the group. Once you get a small taste of victory, second place's a bitter pill to swallow.
Freddie and Kendra - engaged models: AKA Team Cuddly Soft™ Returns!
That good, squishy feeling: Nothin' feels better than a toe-ful of sticky fruit, or so it seems for a leaping, giddy, girlish Kendra. The inner beyatch, Bo bo, seems to be hibernating somewhat during this leg. Again they move through tasks with ease, keeping a zesty lead on all the other teams and keeping the "baby's" flyin' at a leg average of 473.2 times. Awwww. *eyes misting* And they know when to hold 'em and fold 'em with their model/actor/street mime alliance. When Freddie loses Aaron in the mountains somewhere, Kendra is all, "dude, it's a race....let them taste our more-powerful-genetic dust!!" While still, most certainly, probably a beyatch to the end, Kendra does manage to be the strong arm in the team and keeps Freddie focused on winning.
The Tiniest, Shrunken-headest Bo Bo example: Kendra still lets Bo bo see air from time to time. She easily ditches the model alliance when it suits her, and speaks firmly to Freddie. In this leg, they do well enough that she doesn't need to pull a full Bo Bo, but I could sense it....Bo Bo will be back, snarling and ready to bite a chunk out of Freddie's model hiney. And they'll break model anti-trust laws, and all will go down the toilet. Or they'll win. Either/or.
Will there be more whine...before it's time? We're headin' into the home stretch, and the headband team seems to be doin' pretttty well. They're rifling through things quickly, supporting each other joyfully, and seem to have the cajones/yabbos to pull a top 3 spot or a win.
Lori and Bolo, a.k.a. Team ‘Roids
Might Makes Right: Our beefy racers were at their best when they stuck to a simple, direct approach. The bustled right up to the ticket counter and secured their spot instead of fooling with those wussy phones or travel agents. Even map reading did not present a challenge to Bolo this week, who found their destination on the map and stuck his finger on it. At the detour, they kept to their strengths and chose the task requiring the most brute force. Perhaps if the task hadn’t required a few ounces of smarts to work the apparatus, they could have held their lead. There were no technical difficulties in smashing grapes with Bolo’s beefy feet - no smarts required. But where the direct approach really showed them to advantage was the final dash to the pitstop. Instead of worrying about parking or packs, they stopped the car and just ran hell-for-leather to the mat, beating the fleet-footed Jon and Kris for a third place finish.
Muscle-Headed Moves: Well, they can’t complain about equalizers since the terror of the missed train to Budapest...oh wait, Lori can. And does. Back in the pack, they couldn’t hold their lead, especially losing time in the wall-climbing event. Muscle is heavier than fat, and Bolo was hauling a lot of muscle up that vertical surface. Peppered throughout the leg were a few personal insults, and I think Lori really wanted to taste that grape juice. So what if she’s still got the taste of pig blood in her mouth – he had to finish the glass to complete the task, silly!
Keep It Simple? No, That’s Stupid!: It takes more than brute strength to make it to the end, so look for this team to hit their proverbial brick wall soon. Rest assured, when it happens, they’ll hit it full force.
Kris & Jon – Long distance daters: AKA Team Casual Stroll
Stomping out another good finish: Another strong leg for this team, and once again, they faced some adversity. Given that everyone was bunched up leaving the wine cellar, I thought it was clever to grab a taxi, but take time to make reservations over the phone for the flight to Corsica. It almost bit them in the behind though when they arrived and found the flight closed. This was the first time we saw real anguish on this team, but they generally stayed true to form, and politely asked again to try to get on the flight. It worked, though I am convinced that Kris saying “please, please, please” probably made the difference. They didn’t face any other difficult tasks on the way to finish, and Kris did do the roadblock, so they are in good shape there.
Still some walls to climb: I am concerned that their unhurried pace could hurt them in the future. Given that they cruised through this leg for the most part, but finished 4th (well, really 3rd in terms of people who did the tasks), they need to pick up the pace a bit to ensure a final three spot.
Fresh grape juice, the breakfast of champions: Kris and Jon have to be considered one of the top teams still racing. They just need to keep doing what they are already doing, and they can compete for the top prize.
Jonathan and Victoria aka Team Loathsome
Napoleon the Great: Despite themselves, Jonathan and Victoria managed not to finish this leg of the race last. They made a smooth move by stopping at a travel agency in Hungary to purchase tickets to Corsica rather than just proceeding to the airport. This put them on the first flight along with only Lori and Bolo; too bad for them about the hours at Napoleon’s birthplace. Jonathan was also able to avoid letting his extreme hubris lead him into attempting to climb the wall. He knew he couldn’t do it and admitted as much causing Jonathan and Victoria to do the Fly Behind detour.
Napoleon Complex: Where to start? This episode Jonathan and Victoria put the “un” in unpleasant. When they arrived at the fast forward and found that Adam and Rebecca had beaten them there, Jonathan reacted by acting shocked that someone could have gotten there before them. He then chose to once again berate Victoria, telling her that “It’s one hundred percent your fault.” Huh? Victoria made the whole thing even more depressing by saying he was going to drive it home that it was her fault until she committed suicide. Jonathan affirmed that was his intention. Now that’s what I call a healthy relationship. At the roadblock, the duo dealt with adversity with their usual aplomb. In other words, Victoria shrieked and Jonathan pouted. Even the local dog ran away. When things went Jonathan’s and Victoria’s way, he was sure to claim all the credit. Jonathan did have his first moment of insight during the race on the way to the pitstop. He said that “we deserve to lose; we don’t work together.” That’s true on so many levels.
Waterloo? Jonathan and Victoria barely avoided coming in last. This episode exposed all of their weaknesses. The complete lack of respect for each other is finally starting to cost them. Jonathan also showed himself to be a wuss at physical challenges. He may think he’s mentally superior, but in fact, he’s just mental. The next episode may be their last. Can I get a Hallelujah?
Aaron & Hayden, dating actors a.k.a. Team PMS
Accentuate the positive: If you have to pick a leg to really flub it up, you can’t choose a better leg than an NEL. And kudos to the actors (or are they really models? The model alliance seems to think so) for their challenge performance skills. They make pretty short work of that part of the race. Aaron must have flown through those grapes to finish so closely behind Team Loathsome.
That not so fresh feeling: Hayden needs to get a grip on her hormonal fluctuations! Her constant whining and freaking out is clearly not motivating them. And, Hayden needs to figure out how to read a map. Or how to drive. One or the other, so that Aaron is not doing both at the same time (and neither one well). Even with another pair of pretty models to follow, they managed to get themselves lost. Again. Also, Aaron has just performed two non-physical roadblocks in a row. This is a bad move, and it’s sure to catch up with them soon.
Will the sun come out tomorrow? Hayden and Aaron still have a good shot to win this. If they don’t have to drive themselves anywhere. Or read a map. Or perform four grueling endurance roadblocks. Or keep their cool (Hayden, I’m looking at you). Yeah, it’s not looking pretty for the
Special thanks to the contributors, in alphabetical order: Bill, Feifer, LG., Lucy, Mantenna, Shazzer, SnowflakeGirl, Speedbump, spegs, Texicana, and Wayner.