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TAR standings updates:

Paul and Steve: 3.75
Shane and Andrew: 5.25
Michelle and Jo: 3.125
James and Sarah: 5.375
Lucy and Emilia: 7.375
Joseph and Grace: 5.125
Sticky and Sam: 3.625

Wow... there are really not a lot of standout teams this season. By comparison, at this point in TAR-Oz 1, there were no teams left under an average placing of 5 (there was also one fewer team, granted).

Paul and Steve have picked up steam, but Paul still irritates me. Part of this is for the same reason that Jeff, from Jeff and Luke last season, irritated me - his accent is just annoying, and when he's being interviewed he sounds like he's putting it on. Some of it is that he's still a bit of a tool.

Grace has shot up further in the annoying stakes as well, and Joseph isn't helping by failing to argue that taking another team's bags out of a taxi is a bad move, and probably against the rules. To be honest I could probably let the taxi stealing go, were it not for the extremely half-arsed passive-agressive apology later on.

Leg design continues to have flaws - if you're going to have a bump leg, then don't effectively turn it into a de facto non-elimination leg by having a "pit stop" complete with penalty in the middle, then no additional task or penalty for coming in last. The taxi stealing penalty should have been at the actual pitstop, and should have been 2 hours plus time saved. That would at least have been entertaining, and possibly long enough for team Armless to make it through - which I would have preferred.

Other than that I mostly enjoyed the tasks - the French ones were amusingly different, and I liked the "Masterchef" feel of the souffle challenge. The Cuban ones were also good, although a bit of an uneven Detour between a 90 piece puzzle and a really long trek with daquiris. I was surprised anyone chose the daquiris to be honest. The "Old Man of the Sea" Roadblock was good... and the you had the crocodiles, which is where I would have been eliminated after taking the penalty. I hate crocodiles. Me attempting to rope even a baby one would have probably resulted in a total melt down, starting from freezing in place the minute I saw them without a fence between us.

Overall though there wasn't really much change in placement during the two legs, even with several forced bunchings and a forced separation. After the separation I think just about everyone with the exception of Team Armless, who got rather spectacularly lost, and Joseph and Grace, who were stupid enough to attempt the daquiris and fail, stayed pretty much in the same place they started off in. Even then that only meant that they swapped places in the order. (Actually no, Team Cops and Team Cheer swapped places too - but they were pretty much neck and neck the entire leg).

So two good teams lost in the last three legs. Meh. Still the Sisters are still in, which at least makes it funny to watch.
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