To me this past episode confirmed just once again that TAR is more about “unmasking” the relationships (or true nature of people) than showing gorgeous locations and amusing challenges. True – locations and challenges quite often save the show when the cast is boring. But once in a while you do get a satisfying glimpse into the true nature of people. So let’s recap, shall we?

Our teams leave for Bandung, Indonesia. All in the order they arrived to the Pit Stop. All on the same flights. No excitement here. We are treated once again to a shot of ER doctors pontificating about honesty and setting example for their children. In fact, Travis informs us that they aspire to become the beacon of integrity and honesty. In life and on the Race. Yeah, right. How can you even pronounce it with a straight face?! But Nicole nods with her usual sour expression that can easily make kefir out of fresh milk. Keep in mind this moment for future reference.

Meanwhile, we are moving on. Once in Indonesia, in order to receive their next clue our teams have to get 2 rams (yes – real, live rams) from a truck. Once they see their rams butting horns, they have to return the rams and get the clue. You can probably guess by now that for the duration of this task the rams were obvious stars of the show. It’s kind of sad that rams can so easily outshine the cast, but oh well.

TAR 23 Episode 9

Having completed the task, our teams have to catch a train to Bandung. There is a tiny hint of drama when Tim and Marie’s cab wouldn’t start, but the drama dissipates when they eventually make it to the train station. At this point the ER doctors, the cloned blondes and the Afghanimals are on the first train. Tim and Marie as well as Jason and Amy are on the second train – one hour behind.

The train ride brings us to the Detour which is a choice between “For the elephants” and “For the birds.” In the first one the teams had to get a specified number of various fruit and plants from the market and deliver it to the zoo to feed the elephants. Just from the very description – “8 watermelons”, “5 stalks of sugar cane” – it was obvious that the task might be quite cumbersome. “For the birds” seemed much simpler – to pick up 2 love birds from a bird market and deliver them to another bird place. Once your birds sing – you get your next clue. Sure, the birds might not sing right away, but eventually – surrounded by other birds and tempted by bird food – they’ll sing. Especially with them being so called “singing birds”. So I was very surprised to see that the majority of teams chose “For the elephants“.  But I can relate – elephants are my favorite animals, and it’s hard to resist the opportunity to interact with these sweet giants. Even if it means a more involved Detour.

At this point Travis and Nicole (who chose the “birds” Detour) are in the first place and moving to the Roadblock. The Roadblock is to assemble angklung – an Indonesian musical instrument. Nicole is the one who is doing the task. And struggling. Meanwhile, at the Detour, our cloned blondes have a double blond moment and misread the directions for their chosen task. Then they argue whether or not they should have chosen other Detour. Then they transport only part of the necessary fruit and vegetables and return for more. The second train arrives carrying Tim/Marie and Jason/Amy, so we can see that at least an hour passed (the difference between the trains was 1 hour).

Meanwhile Nicole is still struggling at the Roadblock. One of the Afghanimal cousins finishes the Roadblock on the second try and – oh, so wisely! and oh, so deliciously! – destroys his creation so that Nicole cannot copy from him. And what do we see? The beacon of honesty and integrity runs after him and pathetically begs to see the assembled musical instrument. Didn’t you U-Turn them because they were “not honest”? Didn’t you proclaim how honest you were? Didn’t you want to set a stellar example to your kids? And now you are begging to be allowed to cheat of someone else? What a pathetic hypocrite! Zero skills – I sort of suspected it a long time ago. But also – zero pride. Zero honesty. Zero integrity. I hope those who did not see through the doctors’ hypocrisy can finally see now. And for those who worry more and more about Nicole practicing medicine (in ER no less!) – from what I hear they do TV more than medicine. Apparently TAR is not their first TV appearance. Maybe there is a market on the television for presumptuous, self-righteous, hypocritical ER doctors.

TAR 23 Episode 9 Roadblock

Now Tim and Marie get to the Roadblock, and Tim completes it quickly, just a few minutes after the Afghanimal cousin.  The Afghanimals are the first team at the Pit Stop, followed by Tim and Marie. Nicole is still struggling. Still with that perpetually sour facial expression and the “fish thrown out of water” look about her. Amy and Jason arrive.  Amy takes a little longer, but finishes the Roadblock. Nicole is still struggling. And then Amy is doing the unthinkable: she actually gets to Nicole and – not just helps her – but practically does the whole task for her. Only the arrival of the blondes (not even the urging of her teammate!) makes Amy get  back to her senses and leave Nicole. Nicole (or should I say – Amy? since Amy virtually completed the task for Nicole) is finally done, so the blondes are the last team at the Pit Stop. They are eliminated from the Race.

Now the question is – is it, so to speak, “kosher”? Was it Amy’s intervention that kept Nicole and Travis in the Race and eliminated the blondes? And if so – was it fair? There was no penalty for anyone, no reprimand from Phil. Based on how much Nicole struggled at the Roadblock and how clueless she was, I am sure that without Amy’s help she would have been still doing the Roadblock…and – even though I am not a fan of the blondes – they could have had a chance. It makes you wonder…

What do you think? Aside from the sheer satisfaction at the hypocrisy being unmasked? Do you think it is fair that Amy or Nicole (or both) did not receive any penalty for that? Do you think it is fair to the blondes? Do you (like me) hope that the hypocrisy would be punished, like in the next episode? Do comment please!

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9 thoughts on “PARTING THE SEA OF HYPOCRISY (Episode 9 TAR 23)

  1. I could not disagree with your post more. I cannot stand the Afghanimals, and I find their behavior both annoying and rude. They are liars, as Nicole and Travis have said, and to destroy their instrument so no one else could view it was not only unnecessary, but also culturally ignorant. If I had been at that particularly road block as long as Nicole and Travis had, I too would probably be desperate for inspiration and help. I don’t think trying to view the finished creation is hypocritical – if they were trying to sneak a peek while claiming they were uninterested, that would be considered hypocritical, but to request, and blatantly attempt, to see the instrument is not. Honest, respectful people would probably volunteer the information in the first place.

    You are obviously a fan, but and I am not, so I suppose we must agree to disagree.

  2. Will, of course we can agree to disagree. It would be boring if every fan was rooting for the same team, so we all have our favorites and less favorites.
    I actually am not a huge fan of the Afghanimals (if you go back and read my team introductions before the start of the season, you would see that I did not like them much). Yes, they are annoying at times. But! They are not boring. And since I watch this show to be entertained – it seems they are doing that job well. It’s impossible to deny – they have joy for life, they enjoy racing, they take things lightly. All the qualities I like in TAR racers. Nicole, on the other hand, showed us the qualities that (to me personally) are unpleasant to see in the racers – presumptuousness, self-righteousness, falling apart under pressure. There is nothing entertaining about her.
    Even the blonde girls completed the Roadblock in 10 minutes. Kind of tells you the level of difficulty.
    It’s a RACE (= at the end there is only ONE winner, ONE team that is) – so volunteering information and help might be counterproductive. Ok, Amy helped Nicole. Not just visually helped, not just verbally helped – she practically finished the Roadblock for Nicole. You say it is fair. But please consider this: had she not done this, the blonde hockey girls would have finished the Roadblock before Nicole did (that is – if Nicole ever did). You can read in the interviews that it took them barely 10 minutes. And so – they would have stayed in the race while Nicole/Travis would have been gone. Is it fair to the blondes? And if your answer is “yes” – where do you think it should stop? Can you help by letting other teams look at your finished creation? Can you help by giving verbal instructions? Can you help by actually performing the Roadblock for the other team? Can you help by actually running the Race for the other team?…but if yes – then what’s the point of all these teams competing?…see where it leads?…a very slippery slope…

  3. Yes, watching Nicole chasing Leo around trying to steal a glance at his completed instrument was definitely entertaining! Ditto for her begging Amy not to leave her. Pathetic and embarrassing, but entertaining (and yes – I am cruel 🙂

  4. Will G; They did not “destroy” the angklung but merely disassembled it into the loose parts they had started with, so Nicole couldn’t copy it. I’m sure no Indonesians were harmed or insulted. If you watch the show closely you will see that the behavior you consider annoying and rude is well-received by the local people, more so than some other teams who enter every situation yelling English English, anybody speak English here?

    Afghanimals are the best team because they seem to enjoy everything they do and every place they go. When leaving the UAE they even said ” I love this place, I’d like to stay a few more days”, and that about a country that is 80% desert sand. i missed the first few episodes but I have yet to see them getting angry at anyone, or screaming and blaming their partner when things go badly. They are quick, intelligent, resourceful and always positive in their attitude.

    When I watch the show I think which team I would most like to travel with and this season it is the Afghanimals

    ps. In the preview of next week it looks like they have difficulty completing the task in a tea plantation, so I’ll see how their good nature holds up in that situation.

    • I must agree, Robert, with much of what you said. If you look at my teams’ descriptions from the beginning of the season – you’ll see that I wasn’t a fan of the Afghanimals. But as the season progressed, I couldn’t help but notice their enthusiasm and joy for life. They seem to be the only team who actually enjoys the Race, who derive great fun from this experience. The rest of the teams seem too preoccupied with winning and come across as way too serious. The Afghanimals seem to have this light-hearted, joyous attitude that is quite contagious. I dig it a lot in the racers. So for that alone I appreciate them. Yes, I hear various rumors about this and that, and how the teams disliked them. But I can only base my opinion on what I see. Maybe this is just the edit, maybe not. But from what I see of them – I enjoy watching them.
      P.S. I enjoy watching Marie as well, although for different reason – I find her directness quite refreshing. She is what she is, she doesn’t try to sugarcoat things and present herself in favorable light. She might not be fun or fun-loving like the Afghanimals, but at least she has a distinct personality.

  5. The Afghanimals became my faves after some of the other ones I liked went by the wayside. They are wacky, interact well with the locals and have had a good attitude about the whole race experience. I saw nothing wrong with them doing their own little U-turn of the smug Nicole after the way she’s put them down.

    My only fear now is that the ER docs win, which would prove to Jason and Amy that no good deed goes unpunished. Since I just read Leo and Jamal will be in the upcoming TAR All-Stars season, I have a feeling the roadblock double whammy they have to overcome may prove too much to pull out the win.

  6. I would love to se the Afghanimals on the All-Stars season. They truly looked like they enjoyed every moment. Not just the race – but the country and the people and the customs. A refreshing change from self-righteous, holier-than-thou couples, if you get my drift.

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