Things I liked:
*The 'turning Japanese' riff as the non-Frats and the hippies were running around Tokyo. So someone on the editing staff thinks they're wankers too? ;-) Probably not as it did show up later when Yolanda was on the rollercoaster. Still, it made me giggle.
*The hippies' knowledge of the Japanese language. Yes, it does make a difference being able to speak the language. It also meant they were less idiotic than usual.
*Making them drive in Tokyo. I always think that's crueller than letting them take public transport. Especially in Japan. Even more especially in a large city.
*The Detour. Both were cool, and I like the folding bikes! And yay capsule hotel (while I'm at it.)
*Ray and Yolanda at the toll booth. First off, how do you lose your toll ticket in a straight drive from point A to point B? Second off, heh to the guy patting Ray's arse.
*The giant swan. Heh. Successor to the Giant Duck of TAR5.
*The Detour in Alaska - not often that one of the cons is the Detour can't actually be done. Not to mention, is there any way that that wouldn't have been slower than the ice-fishing?
*The snowshoes incident. Heh. The hippies channel Fran and Barry. I particularly loved when BJ called out to Tyler and everyone thought he'd realised, and then they walked straight past them. Again. Heh.
*The final Roadblock. Sadly I had no problems with any of those flags except Oman. Mind you, given they were given the flags on the clues all through the season, I probably wouldn't have had a problem with Oman either. And Jeremy, stop helping! *snerk* Talk about revealing the brains of that outfit. I didn't think they should have given them the clueboard though - let them find the bloody things without help, dammit.
*Finishing in the same place you took off from. Always gives me a warm glow.
Things I didn't like.
*Who won and who came runners up. Still, it was always going to be a 1/3 chance of me liking the winners this season. And at least I didn't hate the hippies anywhere near as much as I have been during the last two episodes.
*The rollercoasters roadblock. You go to Japan and that's the best idea you can come up with? Shit, you could have done that in Florida.
*The fact that I realised in Alaska that there was no way in hell Ray and Yolanda would win. If you're having the same level of navigational difficulty in Alaska - where they speak the same language as you, have road signs in a language you can read and basically can get clear directions with no problem - as you were having in Japan - opposite of all above, plus very confusing road signs! - then there is no way you're going to win this. I have no idea how, but they bled time every single leg. Amazing.
*The final leg mugging. Actually all the muggings, full stop. Seriously now, has it made a difference ever? Please stop it, it's really bloody annoying. Take all the money they've saved, sure, take all their possessions but start them out with the same amount of money as the others get at the start of the leg. The mugging bugs me.
One of the group who was watching at my finale party commented that they'd actually found TAR9 to be more boring than TAR8 overall. Interesting - I didn't (loved most of the places the race went to) but I can see how they would find the final three teams boring/irritating.