TAR All-Stars: Episode 7

This week’s episode began with teams heading from Zanzibar, Tanzania, to Warsaw, Poland. Because of the scarcity of flights out of Zanzibar, all of the teams were given tickets that would get them to Warsaw by 11:25 the following morning. However, teams were free to try finding better flights.

The four lead teams started jockeying for the best flights when the local travel agencies opened at 8:30 a.m. The two trailing teams, Eric & Danielle and the Guidos, wouldn’t be starting the leg until late in the day, leaving them stuck on the prearranged flight.

Good manners when dealing with travel agents — as well as prompt connecting flights — got Beauty Queens Dustin & Kandice into Warsaw at 9:07 a.m. Charla & Mirna and Ozzy & Danny arrived within 30 minutes of the first flight, and Uchenna & Joyce — who were originally on the Beauty Queens flight, but missed a connection — arrived shortly thereafter.

The 11:25 a.m. flight would’ve gotten the Guidos, Joe & Bill, back in the race after finishing the last leg nearly 15 hours behind the lead team. Unfortunately, both the Guidos and Eric & Danielle missed their connection and didn’t arrive in Poland until late in the evening, over twelve hours after the other teams.

 The Beauty Queens were first to the Detour, and they made it look easy. Given the choice of tuning one key on a piano (in honor of Warsaw’s Fryderyk Chopin) or X-raying a mannequin to find a hidden clue (in honor of  Marie Curie), the Queens elected to take advantage of Dustin’s years of piano lessons and tune the piano.

After watching a demonstration, they quickly figured out how to properly tighten the strings and received their next clue. They took a cab to the statue of Jan III Sobieski, the great, great, great, great uncle of actress Leelee Sobieski (really) — although that’s not why they made a statue of him.

From there they ran to the Pit Stop, where Phil Keoghan told them they’d arrived in first place. They won a trip to Puerto Rico, with free, unlimited access to their hotel’s spa. The word "spa" triggered a reflex response, and the girls started hopping and shrieking uncontrollably.

Charla & Mirna didn’t have nearly as enjoyable an experience as the Queens did. No one on the street would give them directions, and Mirna pouted, "It’s like we’re the plague or something."

When they arrived at the piano tuning Detour, they succeeded in only making their piano more out of tune. After Ozzy & Danny figured out the secret to piano tuning — breaking two strings in the process — and left for the Pit Stop, Charla & Mirna finally gave up and went to the X-ray Detour. 

The cousins eventually found the clue hidden inside the mannequin, but by the time they checked in at the Pit Stop, Uchenna & Joyce had already tuned the piano and beaten them there. 

At 10:54 p.m., the Beauty Queens were ready to leave the Pit Stop and start the next leg. To give you an idea just how far ahead they were, Eric & Danielle would not even arrive at the Pit Stop until 1:50 a.m. — nearly 3 hours after Dustin & Kandice had already left.

The Guidos checked in at 3:32 a.m. but were not eliminated. Instead, they were "marked for elimination" and needed to finish in first place or face a 30 minute penalty. Being almost 16 hours behind the lead team, a first place finish was all but impossible.

The Beauty Queens’ impressive lead was all but abolished when they had to wait for one of two charter buses to take them to Auschwitz. They boarded the bus at 1 p.m. with Ozzy & Danny and Uchenna & Joyce. The second bus left at 5 p.m.

All of the teams were affected by their visit to the notorious concentration camp, but none more so than Ozzy & Danny and Joe & Bill. When thinking about the Nazi persecution of homosexuals, Bill cried as he said, "Joe and I were born in a time where we can be ourselves. There were people like Joe and me who weren’t allowed to express themselves as we are now."

Teams then traveled by taxi into Krakow, where they were confronted by an Intersection. This meant teams were forced to pair up to complete the next task, and because the Beauty Queens were the third team to the clue box, they had to wait for hours for the next charter bus to arrive.

Meanwhile, the two lead teams, Ozzy & Danny and Uchenna & Joyce, paired up to complete a Fast Forward. After correctly counting the steps inside two towers, they were able to skip all tasks and proceed to the Pit Stop. Both teams jumped on the mat at the same time to finish in first place, but Ozzy & Danny let Uchenna & Joyce have the prize: a trip for two to St. Lucia.

Ozzy vowed, "But we won’t be giving away $1 million."

As the producers’ luck would have it, the Intersection forced the teams that despised each other the most to pair up together. The Beauty Queens and Charla & Mirna were the first to team up, and they had a choice of Detours: eat eight feet of kielbasa (two feet per person), or correctly make 20 bagels in the traditional style as a team.

Despite Mirna’s reluctance, the all-girl squad decided to go for the sausage. Imagine every sausage-related double entendre you can think of, and rest assured that every last one was uttered during the Detour.

When Mirna asked to pray before they ate, Dustin lead them in an earnest, respectful plea: "Hey, Lord, help us to be able to get this sausage down. Help it to taste GREAT. In your name we pray. Amen." 

Food challenges are always risky because you are only as fast as your slowest member. Dustin & Kandice didn’t seem to mind all that much since they had Mirna’s belching, Charla’s puking, and the cousins’ ceaseless bickering to entertain them.

After failing to find the bagel bakery, the Guidos and Eric & Danielle showed up to eat kielbasa, and quickly proved the more adept pair of teams when it came to downing sausage. They got their clue, while Charla was finishing her final bites.

Thanks to some careful clue reading, the girls realized that they needed to drive themselves to their next destination — a castle in the town of Skala — and ran straight to the parking lot. The Guidos and Eric & Danielle wasted time talking to cab drivers before realizing their mistake.

Mirna’s in-race driving troubles are legendary, and this night was no different. First she couldn’t release the parking brake. Then she accidentally asked two taxi drivers at once to lead her to the castle.

When the drivers realized they were both doing the same job, they pulled over to talk to Mirna. They demanded $100, and started to walk back to their cabs.

Overwhelmed by a stomach full of sausage and the prospect of being lost in Poland at 2 a.m., Mirna started to cry. One of the cabbies took pity on her and agreed to help for $50. He even lead her to the castle via a shortcut, and they arrived in second, behind the Beauty Queens.

A short Roadblock waited for the teams at the castle. One team member needed to don a suit of armor and lead a horse down a half-mile path to the castle gates. Dustin dressed in her knightly gear and was off.

Charla, who was logy from the pounds of kielbasa she’d eaten, was determined to prove to Mirna that she was an asset to the team. So she donned her own diminutive suit of armor and attempted to lead the gigantic horse. It led her in circles a few times, but Charla only fell flat on her face twice.

The Beauty Queens finished in third place overall, followed by Charla & Mirna. Joe & Bill reached the Pit Stop minutes ahead of Eric & Danielle, but because of the 30-minute penalty, the Guidos were eliminated.

Next week, Charla & Mirna start a feud with one of the only teams they haven’t irritated thus far: Eric & Danielle. And Ozzy & Danny take their frustrations out on each other.