Man, I live in New Zealand, went to Rotorua early January and went for a luge instead of the zorb. But after watching TAR, why did I make that decision not to zorb?
Anyway, it was a very good season. I've watched every TAR except TAR1, watched some of TAR2 and watched all but an episode or two in TAR3/4. I watched all but 1 (I missed the M&L quitting on the spot one, forgot to record it). I think what made it different was there were so many personalties, and the variation of events, particularly on Detours.
Not often you'd see teams doing either side of a Detour, but you see it in TAR5. Normally in previous races it was easy, you chose one because it was quicker. But this time, there were so many times where teams split and it was hard to tell what order teams would come in.
Yields sucked. Period. The NELs had it longer to look at the Final 5 and see the personalties. But PLEASE, don't have two in a row, that was rather pointless. (Man, how would Charla & Mirna had done if it was a NEL when they came last) There should be more Fast Forwards, but ones where you actually have to sacrifice something.
Colin was a crack-up, full-stop. Honestly, I had not seen anyone decide to mouth off every leg at least three times over little things. He played a smart race at the start, but a few mistakes at the end screwed him. Chip & Kim explained it clearly - that the Colin that played in the middle of the race would have a back-up, but since they fired C&C up, he didn't bother. He played strategically, that's for sure.
B&N near the end shouldn't of been there, they were only there because of other team's success. B&N and C&K seemed to have an alliance over the last few legs, and L&K were included in the 'Elite Dismissal' plan (as I call it)
There should've been more mental challenges. There were a few, and they need to spread them out. I remember someone said that Charla & Mirna got the benefit of the doubt that all the mental challenges were so early and the physical so late. That might be one reason why Charla & Mirna might've dropped off early because of the physical strength.
I also thought some were just plain luck, and stupid. Here's a good one, the chocolate eating Roadblock. That had so much luck that all you had to do was just find the right one, which is pointless for an Amazing Race.
I could say more but everything else was said. It was a good season that's for sure, it ranks up there as one of the best TARs, and will be if the CBS casters keep not casting minorities instead of the dating models.
Let me begin by stating that I have been a fervent fan of TAR since the very first episode of TAR1. Although there was much to enjoy in TAR5, I feel that as a race it was severely lacking.
The Roadblocks this season were very disappointing. 3 of the first 7 involved food (White Center Chocolate, Caviar & Ostrich Egg). The Ribbon Roping and the Osiris Shaft were pretty lame. The Zorb looked like fun, but as a "Roadblock" it was entirely meaningless. Two Roadblocks were so weak that they weren't even aired (the Dubai Nut Market and the Teepee Building in Calgary). I don’t have a problem with the “luck factor” of the Scarab Hunt (it was similar to the Leather Tannery Roadblock in TAR3 and to numerous Detour options in the past), and I thought that the Mud Bricks, the Auckland Bridge, and the Lagen Cliff Ascend were truly TAR-worthy. 4 out of 12, however, is not a good ratio.
Earlier races had some clunkers, too, but they still come out way ahead of TAR5, with TAR4 (especially) taking the prize for Roadblocks.
The Detours were definitely better than the Roadblocks, with “Herd It or Haul It” being the best. The biggest problem I had with the Detours this season was with “Rock & Roll or Hump & Ride” in Egypt. This is the first time that a Detour option was unavailable to most of the teams because it had closed for the night. Hello? It’s not really an option if it’s not available for 12 hours! Very poor planning on the part of production. (I also didn’t care for the 45-minute wait to skydive in the “Off Plane or Off Road” Detour in Dubai. If you’ve got the guts to do it, you shouldn’t be penalized with a long wait beforehand.)
The Yield and the Fast Forward
My hatred of the Yield knows no bounds. It has no business being in the race, imo.
Though they want us to see the Yield as taking the strategic place of the FF, I don’t agree. The FF is something you earn by completing a task. The Yield is simply something that every team stumbles across during the course of the race. Though the FF provides a boost to your own team, it does so without specifically targeting another one. And seeing teams compete to get the FF or going for one only to find it has been taken have been crucial elements of previous Races.
Bring back the FF!
"Drive Yourself" Challenges
This is one of my main complaints about TAR5. If teams aren’t driving themselves, their success in the leg is almost solely dependent on finding the fastest and/or most knowledgeable taxi driver. Some of the most memorable moments of past races have involved self-driven transportation (Batoka Gorge and the Sahara in TAR1, Namibia in TAR2, Diesel-gate in TAR3, Southern France & Malaysia in TAR4).
To make matters worse, several legs in TAR5 featured taxis that were “marked” and waiting, thereby removing even the scramble to find them (another key element of TARs past).
Other Navigating Challenges
In addition to the absence of many “drive yourself” challenges, TAR5 featured a general lack of “navigating” challenges, whether by public transportation, boat or on foot. From the streets of San Francisco (TAR2) to the village roads of the Switzerland (TAR3) to the canals of Venice and Amsterdam (TAR4), the previous races frequently tasked the racers’ ability to tell north from south and left from right. Though we got a little of that in TAR5 (for example, the “Perro” Detour option in Leg 2), overall it was missing.
Along the same lines: Where were the tricky or difficult-to-find Pitstops of the past? Songwe Village and the Arc de Triomphe (TAR1). The NZ Warbirds Hanger and Huialoha Church (TAR2). The Torre de Belem, the Riad Catalina, and the Chalet Arnika (the best!) in TAR3. The Citta di Padova and the Chateau des Alpilles in TAR4. Nothing in TAR5 even came close.
The loss of these “incidental” navigation and transportation challenges in TAR5 made almost every leg seem like it was missing a task or two. Although the air distances were large (which made “working the airports” such a key factor), the distances within a region were fairly small. Transportation within a region was frequently limited or force-fed, and the locations of Route Markers and Pitstops were mostly just handed to the racers. (Can anyone imagine the clueless, navigationally-challenged Kami & Karli making it as far as they did in any other season?)
For these reasons (along with several others I haven’t mentioned), I rank TAR5 at the bottom of the list. I only hope that future races prove to be better.
I agree, some of the roadblocks were a little lame, but I think the ones in Egypt was awesome! (This is fun for me!)
But CBS did a great job on picking teams. If only every season could have as great casting as TAR5. Who will be the next Colin? The next Charla? We will have to wait and see.
I actually think the Yield made the last few episodes unpredictable. Without somebody using the Yield, Colin and Christie would have gone to the front yet again (boring!). I think now that we now how it works, the Yield will be used more strategically next season.
Only 2 FFs? lame.
I thought the detours were awful. There seemed to be no payoff to picking the longer detour this season. Except for once when there was a 45 minute delay between teams taking the faster route, there was no real down side to taking the faster but scarier way.
Thus we missed out on the mountain bees, something to do with bees, herding ducks and searching out in a shop in the Calcutta bazaar. Very poor work by the producers who came up with these detours.
However, I very much enjoyed this season more for the personality of the different racers than for the vriety of the tasks.
I think they need to vary the punishment for coming in last to the non-elmination leg... that way the teams can't predict what their punishment will be. This time once it happened the first time, they all knew what to do if they came in last.
It would be cool if they had more knowledge based tasks like the flag one.... :) Would make it exciting & would make people have to pay attention more to where they are.
Other than that it was cool, I'd like more fast forwards cause those always make things exciting & they need to vary the editing of commercial breaks... They would always cut when someone was "in trouble" or was in danger of losing their flight, but we always knew that since they cut it right there, the team would make it! (And they did!:))
Really loved this round of TAR though, the fact that Chip & Kim won, who deserved it the most in my opinion, just really made it the perfect season :)
This is my first season of TAR, but by no means my last. I'm hoping my library has the other seasons on video/dvd so that I can catch up. I was interested because of the commercials, and the emmy, but it's time slot right after BB was what made sure I watched. I was hooked the first episode. In fact, I was a little disappointed that it didn't follow EVERY bb episode. :)
That said, from a newbie's perspective, I didn't care either way for the yield or FF. I especially didn't like the punishment of losing the money on NEL's. It took away from the actual race, in my opinion, watching "rich" Americans degrade themselves for money from tourists. Watching the video of the twins was excrutiating, and I don't care to repeat it at all.
There were some teams I couldn't stand (Mirna/Charla) and some I didn't want to win but they were funny (Lance/Marshall). I was excited when Alison/Donny were eliminated the 2nd week, didn't care for her on BB and didn't like the crossover.
I would like to see more life in the pit stops, what they do how they interact with each other. I think to show Mirna and Colin at pit stops would have been a riot.
Everything I would want to say about improving this past season has pretty much been said... from the lame Yield, to the excellent teams, to great locations ( the Hermitage!), however there is one major thing the producers could do to improve the show dramatically...
and that is to allow Canadians to apply so there would be at least one Canadian team participating. :teeth
And what the heck, they're such great fans, so lets have a team from the Phillipines as well!
My assessment: :up :up
This was the first season that I watched from start to finish. In all the previous season's I lost interest.
Loved this season. How about making the yield anonymous if they keep it? Although if there is only one team ahead of you it wouldn't be to hard to figure out....lol
Let's reverse the yeilds and the FFs. Have the yields toward the end (around when C&K used it. I am not sure how long the yield was but some small length like 5 or 10 minutes is sufficient toward the end of the race with 4 or 5 teams.
Another option would be to have the yield set up with a FF. The hourglass would be a random time from 30 to 60 minutes but after the hourglass emptied the team would have an option of a special fast forward. I realize some teams toward the end would actually ask to be yielded to have access to the fast forward. So some FF would say to turn the hourglass over AGAIN and wait a second time.
Just an idea. And I didn't say it was a good idea :). But it would spice up the game.
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