TAR: Back Seat Drivers

Amazing Race
I Just Hope He Doesn’t Croak On Us

Phil checks teams out at the former pit stop of the Bandra Fort in Mumba, India where they find they are heading to Osaka, Japan. They need to fly almost 4000 miles, travel by taxi to Kishiwada castle, and search the grounds to find their next clue.

The order and times that the teams left the pit stop:

  • 1:25 pm -TK & Rachel
  • 1:33 pm – Nick & Don
  • 1:44 pm – Ron & Christina
  • 2:38 pm – Nate & Jen

It showed TK & Rachel (and all the other teams) showing up in daylight hours, but they didn’t seem to have them leave 12 hours later since it was daylight when they left again. Maybe they had a 24-hour layover at the pit stop or something like that? Rachel talked about lacking self confidence, but has more when she is with TK. They head out and go to a nearby hotel to have them use the internet to find plane reservations for them.

Nick talks about carrying his grandfather since he’s old, but is impressed with how his grandfather has pushed himself. Don has wanted to go to Japan since he was in the military, so he’s finally going 50 years later. They decided to head to the airport.

Ron & Christina head to a travel agency. Christina was excited since she lived in Japan for a while and learned the language. Ron talked about being explosive and has to behave himself. He wants to do that for his daughter.

Jen & Nate talked again about needing to not fight. They are obsessed with coming in first place on any leg of the tour, and that’s their plan for this leg–to come in first.

Airport Fun Times

TK & Rachel have the hotel person find a flight leaving at 6:55pm. They stress that it has to be the earliest flight possible that gets into Japan. The hotel guy keeps saying, “I think….” and there so much going back to that moment, that I know something will happen with it. They will get a flight that no one else gets and get there super early or super late. Nick & Don get a 8:30pm flight at the airport. Ron & Christina get the same flight as Nick & Don at the agency. Nate & Jen get on that flight too at a travel agency. The show doesn’t tell what time anyone gets in for added suspense so you know some team or teams are going to be way behind.

TK & Rachel check in at the airport and no one else is around. They view this as a good thing. They are getting on the earliest flight so it seems good. Ron & Christina get dropped off at the wrong area of the airport, where they have to walk super far to get into the airport. Ron freaks out and yells about paying the taxi driver “good money” and he doesn’t drop them off in the right area. Christina yells at him complaining and wasting his energy on something stupid like that. He says he isn’t complaining and she says, “Yes, you are!”

TK & Rachel take off on their flight without ever seeing the other teams. They are going through New Delhi and Beijing while the rest of the teams are leaving later, but only going through Hong Kong. The other teams are all worried about not seeing TK & Rachel. They all think they must be on a better flight, except Nate who thinks they are doing something stupid.

TK and Rachel are shown getting off their plane in New Delhi to make their connection and getting worried they aren’t seeing any other teams. TK has a bad feeling about it.

Osaka, Japan

The plane lands at 2:30pm. Who is on it? TK & Rachel or the other three teams? Oh my god, the suspense! Nate & Jen come walking through a door. Stupid Nate & Jen! They are followed by Ron & Christina and Nick & Don with Nick carrying both backpacks. They all jump in cabs and head to Kishiwada Castle. Jen talks about how she is glad they are the first team out of the airport of the three teams and says it is about time they kick these old teams’ butts. Don talks about how clean Japan looked. Jen says it was very open and spacious. Everyone loves Japan. Everyone also wonders about TK & Rachel. Ron has a gut feeling they are behind them. They haven’t shown them in Japan yet, so I know they are behind everyone, but how far?

Kishiwada Castle

It is a miracle! Jen read the clue. Nick asks if they should go inside the castle to look for the clue box, but Jen says the clue says to “search the grounds” so she wants to run around. This turns out to be correct. Dreams do come true.

Clue: Travel by taxi to JR (something) Noda Station and search for the station’s cleaning man who will hand them their next clue.

They get the clue and get back into the taxi as Ron & Christina show up. Jen is thrilled that they didn’t see where the clue box was located. Christina says that the clue box will be obvious and not hidden, so they go searching inside the museum for it. Nick & Don are still in the taxi on the way to the castle. Nick asks if he thinks Ron & Christina speak Japanese. Don says he thinks so since Christina went to a big ‘falutin’ college. This amuses Nick. Christina finally figures out “searching the grounds” means outside, not inside the museum and goes to the clue box. Nick & Don show up, but don’t see Ron & Christina. Poor Don walks up all the stairs in the museum and sees the clue box way down below and across a pond. Don is exhausted and out of breath in the cab. Nick tells him they will get him some water at the station.

While driving, Jen is noticing there are no signs in English. Nate says that’s why they aren’t driving in that country. Ron & Christina are confused by all the one-way streets and the taxi driver using his GPS map to get them to their location. Christina states that she is never driving in Japan. Foreshadowing!

Noda Station

Nate & Jen arrive first and the clue is a road block asking who is the back seat driver.

Road block: Become a taxi driver. A team member must put on gloves and a hat like the local cab drivers wear and take a Japanese couple five miles to an address written only in Japanese through confusing one-way streets. They may not invite a local to lead them or join them in the car and they cannot ask the couple for help either. At the destination, the couple will give the team member their clue, but they have to then drive back to the station before reading the clue.

Jen is getting in her cab when Ron & Christina show up. Jen stops to check out what she looks like with her hat and gloves on. She looks ridiculous with her tank top and camo shorts she is wearing. The couple in the back seat look annoyed that she is checking herself out instead of driving.

Christina is picking the road block since Ron says she speaks the language and he doesn’t. When they ripped open the clue, Christina’s face just falls. Ron says she isn’t good with directions or a good driver. She says she doesn’t drive and takes public transportation back home. Once again, I’m amazed that someone that doesn’t drive would not prepare for that on this race. Teams drive at some point on every race. She can’t rely on her dad to always do it since here is a perfect example of where she can’t rely on him. Do people not watch this show before going on it?

Jen is still checking herself out when Christina is getting into her cab. Jen finally asks for where they want to go and then just sticks her tongue out staring at the Japanese on the card they hand her. Christina reads it immediately as the Osaka Post Office. Jen jumps out of the cab to go find someone that can read her card and tell her where it is located. Christina is trying to figure out how to start the car.

They both get the cars going and are on their way. Jen points out the obvious that it is not like home since she is driving on the right side of the road and all the signs are in Japanese. Christina finally decides to ask for directions after driving, but tries to jump out of the car with it still running. She finally finds the keys and figures out how to take them out before running off to figure out where she is going. Meanwhile, Nick & Don are finally showing up at Noda Station. Where are TK & Rachel? Nobody knows.

Nick asks Don if he is tired and then he does the road block. This leaves gramps time to get some water and snacks, which he shares with Ron. Nick gets the address from the couple first and goes to find out where it is before getting into the cab. Christina and Jen are both lost. Christina talks about how knowing Japanese doesn’t help in this task. Knowing how to drive helps. Nick feels comfortable since he just drove over in Ireland for a bit and drove on the right side of the road. Nick turns on the air conditioning to keep his customers happy.

Jen pulls over to ask where the post office is located, but sees it is across a huge intersection she will have to go all the way around to get to it due to the one-way streets. Christina and Nick run into the same problem. Everyone sees it when they are close, but far away because of the crazy streets. Christina finds a post office truck and decides to follow it. I think that if it is on its route, it might not be going back, but apparently it is so she lucks out.

When Jen gets them there, she is super duper excited and in the best mood I have ever seen her in. Then she is off to find her way back. Christina finishes and heads back. Nick says he remembers how to get back so he hopes that gets him there faster than the other teams. Jen sees the station, but she’s on the other side of the street and can’t get over. Christina does the same thing. Nick is lost so he apparently doesn’t know his way around. Jen makes it back.

Clue: Travel by taxi to Kita-Mido Temple, a 16-century Buddhist temple, where they will find their next clue.

Jen gets in the cab and tells Nate about how no one speaks English. Then she bugs the cab driver by trying to tell him they are in a race, but he doesn’t understand because he probably doesn’t speak much English. Does she not listen to what she just said? Nate & Jen are excited that they might be first today.

Christina shows up. Nick is still lost. Don is freaking out like he did in Italy about Nick taking forever and it could cost them the race. He seems pretty negative when Nick is doing road blocks. Of course, Nick is busy blocking about four lanes of traffic by facing sideways.

Oh wow! TK & Rachel showed up finally! They are both in good spirits even though they don’t think they are ahead of other teams at this point. They are headed to the castle. Nick is getting directions back to the station and Jen is explaining to Nate about her driving experience. She looks over at him and he’s obviously not listening. In Nate logic, he says, “It’s hard for me to pay attention right now, when he’s driving, sorry.” Wha? Jen looks confused. He says, “I’m listening to everything you’re saying. It’s hard…you know what I’m saying.” She responds with “No, I don’t.” Someone should patent Nate Logic 1.0 because it is awesome.

Ron & Christina are having taxi driver issues. He’s breathing super hard and it is a tad scary. It is like he can hardly breathe and his clothes are constricting him in some way. Christina thinks he has some health issues and Ron just hopes he doesn’t die while driving.

Kita-Mido Temple

Detour: Sense of Touch or Sense of Smell. In Sense of Touch, teams have to walk to a building and find a room with little robots that they control with cell phones. They will use them to play soccer against two robotic defenders. Each team member must make one goal against the other robotic team. In Sense of Smell, teams go to a flower shop where only artificial flowers are sold. They must use only their noses to identify the one real flower amongst thousands of artificial ones in the two-story flower shop.

Nate & Jen decide to find someone that knows where both locations are and go to the closest one. Ron & Christina arrive when Nate & Jen are figuring out where to go. Both are equal distance away so they go with the flower shop since Jen has the “nose of a bloodhound.” Ron said he isn’t a Game boy person and Christina has a good sense of smell so off to the flower shop they go. Nick finally arrives back at Noda station. Don says everyone left 10 minutes ago.

Nate & Jen decide to run to the flower shop since they do not want Ron & Christina to beat them. They have to be first! Nate runs right past the flower shop when Jen says they should ask the flower shop where the flower shop is located. Huh? Then Nate realizes it is the one they are looking for. When they step inside Nate is taken aback. He had no idea it was going to be so big with so many flowers.

Nick and Don arrive at Kita-Mido to get the detour clue. Nick says he can’t identify a real flower so they go off to do the touch task. Ron & Christina arrive at the flower shop. They decide to start on the second floor since Nate & Jen are on the first floor. They didn’t want to retrace their steps. Nick & Don are running to the robots with Nick carrying both backpacks again. The robots are super cute! Nick wonders if they are going to show them how to work the robots when the referee tells them the game is on! Nick says, “Guess not.” They see the instructions and go through the basic moves of controlling the robot. Don says he does not play video games and doesn’t have the patience for it so he knows he’s going to be frustrated.

Back at the flower shop, Jen is getting light-headed from sniffing so much. She also thinks she is hallucinating in a Pink Floyd video with all the flowers and colors surrounding her while sniffing away. Ron decides encouraging his daughter is the way to go so he doesn’t demoralize her. Ya think? Jen says something and Nate tells her to shut up and just smell. All he hears is talking. Does he need silence to smell?

Nick and Don are trying to control their robots. Don tries to get his to turn left, but it kicks the air instead. Nick finally gets his robot in front of the ball, it kicks, misses the ball and falls down. He finally gets it near the goal, the defender robot falls over and Nick makes a goal. Yeah! TK & Rachel are still heading to the castle and wondering if they are behind the other teams by half a day or if they are way out in front.

Nate & Jen decide to head upstairs to find the flower. They are shocked by how many flowers are up there too. Jen said it was a mistake and they should have done the other detour. Nick says that is a great attitude. Ron & Christina are still smelling. Nick is helping Don by telling him what to push. The other defender guys don’t seem to be trying too hard to block anything. One is just standing there while the other is falling down and their controllers don’t look as difficult as the cell phones.

Jen & Nate are about to give up when they finally find the flower. They turn it into the flower lady for the clue and I swear she has green hair.

Clue: Travel by taxi to the next pit stop of Tempozan Park, which is named for Mt. Tempo, the lowest mountain in Japan.

Jen & Nate are thrilled and know they are going to make first place. Christina finds the flower, but tries keep quiet. They don’t know if Nate & Jen found the flower and left or if they went to the other task. They go off to find a taxi. Nate & Jen can’t find a taxi that can find the park. Ron & Christina find a taxi right away. Nate & Jen find someone on the street that knows where the park is located and have him tell the taxi driver how to get there. When they get into the cab, Nate shoves Jen into the cab since apparently she is taking too long to get in. She yells at him for shoving, but he denies it. He says he put his hand on her back, but didn’t push her. Good thing the show has instant replay showing the shoving! Somehow Jen thinks the shoving is going to cost them. Huh? Nate tells her to quit being so negative.

Don is getting closer to the goal and the defenders actually look like they are doing their job. They are in front of the goal. Don kicks the ball and is just short of the goal. He scoots his robot closer to it and the defender tries to get over to him, but falls over instead. They are on one slick surface which causes a lot of falling over. Don’s robot kicks the ball in. Goal!

Tempozan Park, Osaka, Japan

Both cabs with Ron & Christina and Nate & Jen are worried about how far they are driving and if they are going the right way. Who will get to Phil first? It’s Ron & Christina. This makes me very happy. Mostly because it isn’t Nate & Jen. haha! They both get an electric car. Wow! Maybe Christina will learn how to drive. 🙂 Phil asks how her dad did on the leg. Christina says he didn’t yell once (well he did, but he did do much better this leg). I wonder if he sees a correlation between not being a jackass and coming in first place. Both legs they got along and didn’t argue, they came in first. Phil asks if Ron is improving and Christina says he is “improving worlds” and she had such a blast all day.

When Nate & Jen came in second place they were not happy. Jen blamed it on them bickering. I think it has more to do with the luck of the taxi this time around. Nate Logic then pronounces that the best team is going to finish last and that is going to be him and Jen. Wha? He corrects himself and says the best team is going to win the last leg first and that’s going to be them. Oh crazy nonsense-saying Nate.

Don & Nick get their way to the pit stop and it is dark out. They are thrilled that they are in third place and still in the race. Don says he was very tired the entire leg. He says he is about 35 years older than almost everyone on the race, but he’s doing what he can and they have what it takes to win the million dollars.

Where’s TK & Rachel now? They are at the castle. They know they are in last place since they show up to places that no one else is around and it is dark. There is a long stretch of them talking about what a great time they had on the race and I feel so bad for them since they aren’t even really getting to compete against the other teams. Rachel does the driving road block and they decide to do the flower detour since she did work in a flower shop. She finds the flower really fast. They had a ball even though they know they are in last place. They are my new team that I am rooting for and I so hope it is a non-elimination round since Phil hasn’t congratulated any team for getting into the final three. I have some hope!

He does tell them they are last, but it is a non-elimination round. Yeah! The bad news is the speed bump is ahead of them and they are three hours behind the other teams. Of course, being far apart at the beginning could mean nothing if they have to catch a flight out somewhere. They could all be caught up again. Go TK & Rachel!

  1. Ron & Christina – each get an electric car
  2. Nate & Jen
  3. Don & Nick
  4. Last Place – TK & Rachel

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