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.
Hayden and Aaron – dating actors a.k.a. Team Phoenix
Rising from the Ashes: Hayden and Aaron beg well. Hayden’s tank top, what there was of it, apparently did not hinder their attempts to earn money on the streets. They made enough to catch the ferry to Nice and to pay the cab driver that took them to the airport. Luck is definitely with the actors, as they neither have to read a map or drive a car this leg of the race. As usual, they opt for the faster detour and raise the roof. But the donkey challenge is where this phoenix takes flight—Aaron proves that he really knows how to drive an ass; neither of the donkeys nor Hayden give him any trouble. They take the lead, Hayden accomplishes the non-physical roadblock with ease, and the actors cruise to the pit stop first.
Down in Flames: Even though they end up on the slowest international flight and then the second charter flight, the actors recover quickly.
Will they fly on to glory? Hayden and Aaron are back in the game. However, they will probably be asked to read a map at some point during the conclusion of the race—ah, that dreaded Achilles Heel. They may place in the top three, but they’ll have to race better than they have been if they want to win it all.
Kris and Jon – AKA Team Stealth
Take off in darkness: Yes, they really are still in the race. They are there, you just have to look very hard. Those CBS editors are experts in the art of camouflage. They made up a deficit at the beginning of the leg by wisely using a travel agent again to reserve their tickets to Addis Ababa and rejoined the lead group on the way there. Kris made short work of the roadblock, two in a row for her, and they cruised to a 3rd place finish.
Coming in low, under the radar: Kris and Jon seem to be slowing down. I am not sure if they are just not getting enough sleep, or if their calm demeanors are working against them, but there have been several instances in recent legs where they started out even with other teams and ended up behind them in the end. Lori and Bolo passed them this week in one such situation. It is time for Kris and Jon to get their second wind.
Returning to base: Kris and Jon are still in a comfort zone, and if they can get their energy back, I still love their chances.
Lori and Bolo, aka Team Roids
Abs of Steel: Bolo took his shirt off again. ‘Nuff said. *drools* Ok, they did do some other stuff well. Our wrestlers ran a solid race this leg, getting to Addis Ababa (despite Bolo’s inability to pronounce it) on time, getting on the first charter flight to the village, directing donkeys adequately and generally managing to stay near the front of the pack. It’s hard to quibble with a second-place finish.
Achilles Tendons: When your strength is muscle, and you’re faced with two tasks that both look equally muscular, it has to be hard to figure out which one is easier. Especially when your strength, as previously stated, is not brainpower. Lori and Bolo chose to slap mud on a hut – which turned out to be messy, smelly and took a long time – rather than help villagers tote a roof to a hut. Fortunately for them, they managed to catch up with the roof-toting teams later on. Also, they earned some hostility from Kendra (or was it Hayden? Some model chick) by cutting in front of her at an airport counter. Maybe Bolo’s lack of a neck makes it hard for him to turn his head around to see who’s nearby.
Chances of Longevity: This team has had some ups and downs, but has generally run in the middle of the group. As that group gets smaller, their chances of winding up as the last team to arrive get greater. Next week’s previews promise a blow-up from Lori, which is likely to slow them down further. They’re not the best racers; their only hope is that the other teams are worse ones.
Freddie and Kendra - engaged models, Team Baybayyyy
Using Bo Bo for Good: Kendra verbally slams Jonathan into the SWEET DIRT by screaming at him to help an injured Victoria. A gutteral warble emerges from her throat when she Kujo-attacks him with the voice of Linda Blair: "Jonathan HELP HER!!!" *rawr* This pleases me. So much so, that I rewound that portion of the show several times. He he he. Anyhow, much delight is had. Again they work together with only minor incident, and for the most part, yes, again, the babies are flying. Not literally. But that would be cool. *cue Wild Kingdom voice* "Behold the flying babies of Ethiopia..."
Evidence of Headband Restriction Injuries, and/or HRI's: Kendra thanks GOD that they're in a 3rd world country with cool poverty for a change. Sheesh. According to her, these locals know how to live high on the hog/donkey. (Off track: The Hog Donkey = would that not be a cool new animal?) Freddie does manage to lose his cool and blame a yield on Kendra's totally "planned" and "intentionally-meant-to-harm-them" perch on a small, muddy, hill. Yeah, Freddie, what a loser she is, walkin' unprofessionally all over that unmarked, rural path. Also on parade, is an asthma attack that we haven't ever witnessed from Kendra before. Will this hinder a sprint to a future finish line? Oh, and Freddie kisses a monk. Was this a smart move in the holy land? Better to have kissed a monkey, judging by the look on the holy man's face. Will their cultural naivete harm them in the future? One can dare to dream.
Will God Bless the raaaiiin down in Aaafricaaaa? Who knows. Every week, they're here. They yell, they form lame alliances, and yet they're still here. I predict that their luck will not limit itself to their genetics and they'll pull in a big win.
Adam and Rebecca, aka Team HellRaiser
Raise The Roof: First out of Corsica. First on the charter flight to Ethiopia. This is thanks to Adam's early-bird tactics and all-around neurosis. He and Rebecca waste no time at the Detour getting seven local chaps to help put a roof on a thatch hut.
Loose Lips Sink Ships: And then it all goes to hell. An omen of trouble comes early on when Rebecca blabs their flight info to Jon and Kris in a moment of chuminess. They fall behind while wrangling donkeys to a temple. At Jonathan's bidding, they misuse a Yield on Freddy and Kendra, who still manage to beat them to the checkpoint. Listen Adam, just because you have hair horns does not mean you have to obey Satan incarnate, Jonathan.
Move Your Ass, You Ass!: This couple needs to engage in some serious bustle in order to move up from last place. Talk about a long, hard fall from glory. Any of the other four remaining couples have the smarts and muscle to leave them in the dust. Go to the light,
CarolAnn, you two!
Jonathan & Victoria - a.k.a. Team Domestic Abuse
Proof of the Existence of God: The best news I could possibly bring you about this couple is that they have at long last, after much screaming, crying, and general sturm und drang, been eliminated from the competition.
Proof that There Might Yet Be a Devil: They didn't leave in time to save my retina from being burned with the horrific image of Jonathan stripped down to his underpants, rolling around, disturbingly close to naked, in a pit of mud.
Just Like Heaven: We may now proceed to enjoy the remainder of our lives without having to suffer Jonathan's abuse. Sadly, Victoria may not be so lucky. (Now that you're off the show, Vic, pleeeease seek some help!)
Special thanks to the contributors, in alphabetical order: Bill, Feifer, LG., Lucy, Mantenna, Shazzer, SnowflakeGirl, Speedbump, spegs, Texicana, and Wayner.