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HaMerotz LaMillion (The Amazing Race Israel) Season 3: HaRecaps (The Recaps)

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Thanks for the detailed explanation! Overall, TARI is a very successful and enjoyable show. =]

Jai Ho:
Thanks for the comments, y'all! It's been a busy week and a strange one for me, and I've fallen behind again, but here we are:

Episode 16: Sometimes  A Cigar Is Just A Cigar

We open on Falafel. Eliran completely butchers their next destination, calling it “Hawaiiana, Coba,” and Itzik steps in to correct him. Blue Collar, Sisters, and TaKo all depart on the same flight, with Eliran voicing over that he thinks he and Itzik can win this thing.
Havana. The top four teams arrive and are presented with their pimpmobiles for this leg of the race (Random Fact: according to Microsoft Word, “pimpmobiles” is a word). Blue Collar and Falafel are entranced by the ancient cars. Romi/Michele pick a red one. TaKo read out the clue, telling us that the teams must take their vintage vehicles to the Upmann Cigar Factory. Plenty of “a-HOO-ga”s abound. The factory’s not too hard to find, but the cars tend to break down on the way. I just HATE it when I’m going to my local cigar factory and my car breaks down. Ruins my whole day.

Cars. Montage of teams having no clue how to operate the cars. Itzik and Eliran discover a baseball bat in their trunk. An interesting mystery. Talia breaks her car’s starter. The hell, Talia? (It’s been a while since I got to say that!) Itzik gets his car started, but it refuses to move. Eliran finds it funnier than his partner in the driver’s seat. Eliran of the Blue Collar’s interesting in mechanical engineering benefits them, as they depart first. Sisters get scared and jump in their car. Blue Collar Boys straight up say that women can’t drive. Note the gay hands. Back at the cars, Coral spazzes and can’t figure out a thing. Little Richard sings as Falafel hit the road, attempting to sing “Tutti Fruit,” but just making sounds. They pass a guy who does an awesome backflip for the camera. They are the first to notice the fact that they’ve traveled back in time to the 60s or 70s. Koby gets in the driver’s seat and he and Talia are off like “Gran Torino,” or something.

On the Road. Falafels pass Blue Collar, and Eliran’s hair blows out the window like a model’s. This is stupid. David totally screws up the usage of the word “caramba.” Eliran and Eliran yell across the road at one another. The road splits and they each take different forks. Suspense! In the Falafel car, Eliran still can’t say “Havana” correctly. We see the Blue Collars passing under a Havana sign, so obviously they made the right choice. They also note the “frozen in time” ness of Havana, as do TaKo, who appear to have made it to the city as well.

Cigar Factory. It is raining, and Blue Collar retains their lead, getting their clue from one of three old ladies in white dresses smoking cigars. Route Info: One team member must roll a Cuban cigar – blindfolded! Oh, you naughty Israeli producers. Side Note: Why isn’t this a roadblock? Oh, and there will be a random lady reading to the teams in Spanish over a loudspeaker, because that’s what Cubans have to deal with while they work. They enter the factory and immediately notice the smell, and the young age of all the workers, as well as the old age of all the machinery. Eliran picks a guy with dreads to teach him how to do this task. The actual assembling of the cigar is pretty visual, so forgive me for not recapping everything that happens. TaKo have passed Falafel and arrive in second place. Talia picks a lady in grey to teach her. The two teams hear each other yelling and become increasingly more worried. Eliran screws it up and starts over, and Talia appears to do the same. Both teams are yelling at each other. A Cuban blows a puff of smoke in frustration.

Cars. Second flight has landed, which is D/D, Cousins, and LiMor. But Romi/Michele? Still at the cars. D/D pick a sunny yellow car, and Dana must have a magic touch because she gets going with absolutely no help. Take that, Eliran and David. They almost hit a car but don’t. A split screen takes us back to the cars. Sisters? No luck. Ma’Ayan and Batel? On the road. Ma’Ayan plays with the horn as we get a fun transition to Lior driving his team. Side note: These two run a tire shop for a living, so they know a thing or two about cars. Let’s see if this helps them. Lior starts to clap…hands on the wheel, mister. He says that his car has a soul. Hopefully it won’t go to heaven on him. We go back to Cousins car, and of course it’s stalled, with smoke everywhere. This can’t be good for them. A local in a plaid shirt tells the girls that they were riding the clutch too hard – a logical explanation. They thank him and are on their way.

Cigar Factory. Falafel arrive in third. Itzik will roll the cigar. Bob Marley reference. We get a few seconds of some random girl’s boobs. The boys get a guy in a blue beret to help them. Eliran picks up a cigar and smokes it…what? Touching the merchandise? Sheesh. At least Koby and David are paying attention to their partners. Speaking of David, here are Blue Collar, making good progress. Talia complains some more. D/D have made up crazy amounts of time and arrive at the factory in fourth. Meanwhile, Eliran cuts and ties his cigar and gets a yes from the lady in orange who is serving as the judge. They read the next clue, and it’s a Double Battle at Floridita, a bar frequented by Hemingway in his time. The task: transport a tray of full cocktail glasses to a nearby hotel. But before that, they must start their car. They manage to fix it with a waterbottle and Eliran’s foot.

Cars. Romi/Michele…still there. There is an extra vehicle there, and Coral immediately tries it and breaks a piece off of it. So now, there are no cars left. The sisters are not doing it for themselves. They have no choice but to sit and look sad and hope that they’re not out of the race because production screwed up.

Cigar Factory. Talia finishes hers. It is so good, apparently, that the judge offers her a job in the factory. They head out, and it’s time for a Talia history lesson, where she proceeds to name the titles of every Hemingway book ever written. We do not get to find out what happens in the end, because we cut right to the Double Battle. The teams head off with their glasses. Blue Collar are doing very well and moving at a good clip, but Talia and Koby are doing it completely inefficiently. A guy runs in front of TaKo shaking some purple maracas, and then they almost get run over by a pedicab. They seem to be getting harassed more than Blue Collar.

Cigar Factory. LiMor arrive in fifth. Lior has done this before, so he will give it a go. Mor’s claws come out just about immediately. Purples arrive, and Batel takes it for them. Montage of teams arguing. It’s refreshing to see some real competition, with four teams in the same boat. Dana strategizes by imagining that she’s making grape leaves just like she does at home, and it works, bumping them up to third. Itzik, on the other hand, proceeds to self-destruct and they have their first real breakdown of the race.

Double Battle. Both teams seem to be wandering. Koby looks a little shaky, and boom goes a glass. Blue Collar arrive at the hotel with all their glasses intact, and Talia immediately and reluctantly concedes defeat. Route Info: Go to the home of a Santeria priestess and take part in a traditional Santeria ceremony. They stop for a quick dance, and Eliran slaps David on the ass but they head out.

Cars. Romi/Michele are informed that indeed, there is no car. Romi inexplicably starts laughing at their horrible luck entering Cuba. A somewhat nicer car appears, and the girls are off. They have a small advantage in that they get in while the car is already running, so they don’t have to deal with starting it up.

Double Battle. TaKo vs. D/D. Probably easier this time around since everyone knows where the hotel is. Dana wisely bypasses a pedicab and some distractions. The teams keep passing up one another, until one of D/D’s glasses drop, leading to a TaKo win.

Santeria. Blue Collar arrive and are welcomed by older ladies in white that look suspiciously like those at the factory. They don orange smocks and get whacked by the lady, who hits them with tree branches and sings. David is quite uncomfortable. They get crosses drawn on them. Eliran gets spit on with some sort of holy water, then David. It’s all just…a lot. Route Info: Find a tarot card reader on

Hospital Street. Cool! TaKo show up next and are more enchanted by the ceremony. Talia compares the ladies to alpacas.

Cigar Factory. Lior has a sleep mask on, but no rest for this one. He and Lior appear to finish at the same time. They get the clues and leave in 5th and 6th. Eliran of the Falafels wonder where the sisters are. And finally, here they are at the cigar factory. They seem to cooperate well, maybe they’ve worn out their yelling voices for the day.

Double Battle: Girl on Girl Action (D/D vs. Purples). The purples are shaky, due to the height difference, and they allow D/D to get way ahead. They start over. Elsewhere, D/D lose a few cups, but that doesn’t matter because the Purples have completely given up. D/D are at the hotel and deliver their glasses. Despite only having five, they get the clue. Dana’s arm is in pain but Mom tells her to shake it off. Good on you, mom.

Double Battle: Purples vs. LiMor. It’s actually looking like Mor might be doing an illegal move by balancing her free hand on her partner’s shoulder, but apparently, it’s kosher. The girls’ tray wobbles, leaving only one (Ma’Ayan: “It’s okay, we’re fine, just one”) then BOOM. The girls launch into a huge battle as LiMor go off to the Santeria. At the cigar factory, Coral finishes up and the sisters head off to double battle, not quite out yet.

Santeria. Dana is expecting shantis and yoga, and is rudely awakened with holy water. It’s almost comical, but they get the clue anyway.

Double Battle: Purples vs. Falafel. Purples employ the Mor strategy but look shaky nonetheless. Falafel are cruisin’ like it’s their job. A frightened Batel starts to waver and the girls lose one. As Itzik/Eliran arrive with all glasses intact, the Purples show up with three intact, two of which break upon being set on the counter.

Santeria. LiMor get some blue outfits to wear, and seem to have fun, dancing with the ladies. Lior is particularly getting into it. Falafel arrive and get slapped with brooms. The ladies seem to get rougher with Eliran (who is white), than Itzik (who is black).

Streets of Havana. Sisters comment on their crazy day, and being in last for the first time. Purples bicker.

Next time: Dance party! Lior asks a woman if hair is in his future. I’d say…only if you join the Broadway cast.

Ugh, this race really needs to cut it out with the "three episodes for one leg" thing...I love TAR Israel, but they are REALLY overstaying their welcome. Is this going to be even longer than Season 2? I complained back when I found out that season 1 had 22 episodes :I

Jai Ho:
Busy week, along with two pretty awful episodes and one that I haven't yet seen. Here comes last Wednesday's episode...

Episode 17: Party Like It's 1962

Previously, Cuba. Today, more Cuba, and a detour along with some other tasks.

Blue Collar. They comment that everyone smiles here. TaKo are in second. Talia smells smoke. Talk about something interesting, please?
So, I’ll take a moment to wonder just how the racers got around the fact that Cuba doesn’t formally recognize Israel. Debby comments about the importance of teamwork and that they’ve been going up and down all day.

Route Info. Teams must get their tarot cards read by a Voodoo priestess, then, with her advice, vote for the u-turn board, then go to a square for their next clue. First up:  David/Eliran. They comment on her insanely long and intricate fingernails. She has David mix the cards, and then he draws some. And now, I must refer to my dictionary, because I can’t think English, hear Spanish, and read Hebrew at the same time. She predicts that he’ll be married in two years. To his partner? But then she clears it up by say that Eliran will be married by May or June. Well, it’s July, and according to Facebook he’s still single, so shows you how much this lady knows.

Priestess. TaKo are next. Koby is a Capricorn. Priestess tells Koby that he had problems with love and talks too much, and that Talia will be a good mother in her next life. Not a promising predilection for their current life. D/D are shown with the priestess next, who tells them not to fight – to relax and come together. I’m thinking the producers may have given her at least a tip sheet. This launches both a long interview in which Debby talks about love and mothers and daughters and then they hug and cry and declare their love for one another.

Streets of Havana. LiMor are just happy to be here, and Falafel are watching for girls. As usual.

Priestess. And now…we’re back to Blue Collar? Ah, now they must ask her which team to u-turn. She says something about the one with a spirit of truth and evil in their eyes. This makes them select D/D, which makes sense. TaKo debate between D/D and LiMor. They opt for LiMor, for their strength in doing tasks. D/D are told that they are threatened by the team that wants them out. Well, that’s specific, considering who’s U-turned them so far (hint: everyone) but they opt for LiMor, remembering Sausagegate back in Spain.

Double Battle. Ma’Ayan is reasoning with her partner, and mixes up her pronouns, which is refreshing to hear an Israeli do. In the Sisters car, Romi is giving a history lesson. But they admit that they’ve still got a shot, which is always true, but maybe not on this leg.

Detour. TaKo arrive first, leading the pack for a change. I’m calling this detour Shake It or Shave It. In Shake It, the teams must gather 40 strangers in the square and have them dance in a circle while waving their team’s colors’ bandanas. In Shave It, they must find 2 men to shave, wash, and give a scalp message. Miami Sound Machine plays in the background as TaKo choose Shake It. D/D, having passed Blue Collar as well, arrive and do the same. At the square are dancers, stiltwalkers, and musicians – it’s quite a scene that there are already people gathered around. TaKo arrive and start distributing yellow bandanas. Talia feels like a grade school teacher. Finally,
Blue Collar arrive, opting to Shave It, which actually sounds like a better option , considering you only have to find two people. David and Eliran, however, are finding it difficult but finally get their first customer. On the other hand, if two strange people asked you if they could give you a scalp massage, I’d probably turn and walk in the other direction. We learn that David’s mother is a hairdresser. They
head out in search of their second customer.

Priestess. Lior shuffles the cards, and the priestess blurts out immediately that Mor’s a raging bitch and a control freak. Maybe she’s a better fortune teller than we thought. They ask if Lior will ever grow hair, and the answer is no. A fair assessment. They are told to u-turn the “slow and steady” team. Falafel arrive and shuffle the cards. Eliran is a butterfingers. Or he can’t count to 1. She predicts a big event in their near future. She basically tells them to start being smart. We’ll see how that works out for them. They’re told to watch out for the team that “wants the money,” so they are confused. LiMor pick D/D for the millionth time, but the Falafels decide to go for LiMor because they’re race-bots and always worm their way to the front. They aren’t happy about it, but they choose the married parents anyway and now they lead D/D 3 votes to 2.

Square. D/D arrive with 40 people in tow, and of course pick the red bandanas. Talia and Koby grab their 40th person and begin to dance. Koby shows off his salsa skills. He admits to missing dancing because Talia doesn’t dance with him. I could see Talia as being the “no fun” wife. She does, however, get picked up and spun by some locals. The trumpet player gives them their next clue, which instructs them to pick up a hitchhiker and take them home. Wow, really? They’re relegating the teams to being makeshift taxi drivers?

Double battle. Night has fallen. The Purples have conceded defeat to three teams and now they’re in their final face off: Ma’Ayan/Batel vs Romi/Michele. The cousins take off quickly and fend off people using the LiMor strategy. We learn that Romi has never waited tables, but Coral has. I don’t know if Coral had to do anything quite like this at her job. The cousins, far ahead, have already dropped a bunch of cups, while Romi/Michele have them all. Just as Romi starts to sing a song about focusing, they tip and it’s over for them. The cousins, even though they lost half their glasses, lost 50% less than the sisters, so they’re off to Santeria, which already feel like ages ago. And…their car won’t start. Once they get started, they lament that everyone passed them a thousand years ago, which is true. Well, all except Romi/Michele.

Square. LiMor opt to Shave It, and jacket up at the barber shop. Their local is very good-natured about it all. Falafel have found their second victim, and he wants a little more from the young men than they want to give, which I found pretty hilarious. They get the clue and head out, having dropped to 2nd. Falafel arrive at the square, choose to Shake It, and find a local boy named David to help them find people. They choose pink bandanas and start off with a small group of kids that grows.

Shake It. Debby and Dana are getting their groove on with the locals and get their clue. Elsewhere, Romi/Michele’s legs hurt as they head over to the Santeria task. They are annoyed and disappointed in their luck. Romi carries her tired sister on her back through the streets of Havana and it’s awfully cute. Back at their car, they lament being last again.

Santeria. Cousins arrive, this should be entertaining. Sisters arrive and are put in pink smocks. Both teams are shown getting spit on. Coral is clearly not a happy camper, as is Batel, but Ma’Ayan is just laughing it off, even grabbing a broom and hitting the ladies back with it. They leave with their fortune-teller clues. For some reason, we see a large fire.

Shave It. LiMor are on their second customer, who has little emotion.

Shake It. A lady in a pink dress demands that Itzik/Eliran supply all the children with drinks and candy, and when they do not, she takes all the kids and runs away. Back to square one for you. Elsewhere, Romi/Coral flirt with some other drivers.

Priestess. Ma’Ayan is given tarot cards to mix. She is asked what astrological sign she is, and she initially has no clue, but says “fish.” The priestess predicts that she’ll come into money, which is a pretty good sign considering the fact that she’s on a reality show. Romi/Michele enter  and Romi is handed the cards to mix. Coral talking-heads about how she’s afraid of dolls. Romi shocks me when she correctly pronounces her star sign, “Sagittarius,” perfectly. Most Americans can’t even pronounce that. The priestess tells Ma’Ayan and Batel that they will win, which earns her a hug and kiss from Ma’Ayan, which probably would’ve happened even if she’d predicted a fiery death. They u-turn D/D, which means that it’s up to Romi/Michele to break the tie. They are told to fear the “black turkeys.”  They choose LiMor, so the deed is done.

Square. Ma’Ayan/Batel arrive and grab the Detour clue. They decide to party.
U-turn board. No dice for TaKo, so time for them to exit this episode. Blue Collar uncover the same fate. D/D stumble up to the board, commence their usual prayers, and…they work for once, with only the usual suspects (LiMor, Cousins, Blue Collar) picking them.

Square. Romi/Michele get the detour. Coral wants to do the shaving and get it over with, while all Romi wants to is dance.
U-turn board. LiMor approach as tension builds. Lior knows it’s them, and they briefly acknowledge their oppressors (Falafel, D/D, Romi/Michele, and TaKo) and head off to dance.

Shake It. Falafel are doing their second try at that task. LiMor arrive and start distributing white bandanas. One of Itzik’s ladies runs away, and they run after her, only to find a little boy riding away with another one of their bandanas. Cousins arrive and start with their green bandanas, Ma’Ayan gets to crowdsurf. Mor gets to go upside down. Cousins complete the task, as do LiMor. So much for the u-turn inconveniencing them. Back at the square, the sisters decide to Shave It and not only find two guys, but get them to give them a free lift to the task in their pedicab. That’s the way to do it. Coral hopes that the guy doesn’t give them headlice. Back at the dancing detour, Falafel are desperately trying to make up some time by handing out more bandanas, hoping no one’s planning to punk out on them, giving their 40th to David, who refuses to dance. We get a quick back-and-forth montage of Romi/Michele shaving and Eliran/Itzik dancing, and they get their next clues. The latter team is so moved by David that they give him some money, which is a nice goodwill gesture. “Stress is the name of the game,” says Itzik. Elsewhere, the sisters get in their car and lament about their sad situation some more, trying to stay positive.

Next time: A fancy hotel. PIT STOP. Everyone is shown crying.
Are you glad that this leg is almost over?
Will anyone ever get eliminated?
Are you over this season yet?

Maxine Rama:
Lol this season sounds like a trainwreck...


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