TAR Asia episode seven ranking

Episode 7

– Melody & Sharon were eliminated from the race as Singapore’s only representatives on the program.

phua chu kang

Unfortunately he has the honour of being the most famous Singaporean to participate in any version of TAR.

phua chu kang 2

You really thought I would not catch onto that?

But seriously, I just watched an episode of Phua Chu Kang. No idea what the show is attempting in any way shape or form. I am, as Jay Byars would say, “bumpuzzled”.

Anyways, welcome to the seventh episode of TAR Asia! This is the midway point of the season. Let’s proceed.

– Previously on TARAsia: 7 teams set out from Auckland and flew to Dunedin where Andy’s lead foot put him in trouble with the law. Teams drove through Queenstown where some got a bird’s eye view. Back on the ground the terrain was heavy going. One of the world’s biggest bungee jumps was a thrill for some and sheer terror for others. At the pit stop it was the locals who got to the pit stop first. Andy had to face the consequences but it was Melody & Sharon who said goodbye. Six teams remain. Who will be eliminated next?

– Intro time. Still kicking myself for assuming Melody & Sharon are in their 40s. Andrew & Syeon are in sync with their head spin.

– Queenstown. Yes, a “picturesque” resort in the South Island. Rivers, mountains, and lakes. Plus they make quality wine. Wow. Sounds like the same description as my area.

– A twelve hour pit stop interval is not mentioned for the first time all season. Sandy & Francesca, the New Zealanders, depart first at 254am.

Ohhhhh. So that’s why they are suddenly doing well.

– They read to fly to Singapore.

melody sharon kung fu

If only they held out for one leg. Knowing the tiny nature of Singapore, I am certain Melody & Sharon would have no problem finding every route marker in the country.

Did anyone note that Singapore is only kilometres away from where the race began this season? How the heck are there six more episodes? Sounds like a finale to me.

– If you thought product placement was getting out of hand, you really need to re-adjust your expectations.

caltex 4

Yep. The first sponsour in TAR history to be integrated in a task across two countries within the same season. And back-to-back episodes too.

Think that is already enough for sponsours?

ford focus

That’s right. A double sponsoured task. Wu instructs teams that they will be going to MacPherson Road to find a Caltex station and wash a Ford Focus. Whoever completes the task first earns a Sony HD camera. Oh, and we hear a Caltex staff member will hand them their next clue upon washing a car.

– 315am, Zabrina & Joe Jer check out. Andrew & Syeon third at 405am. Mardy & Marsio 422am. Yeah, it’s that quick.

marsio wine

Marsio is not cleared to drive this leg. He is clearly in “I love you, man” mode by the way he hugs Mardy.

– Howard & Sahran depart fifth at 425am. Andy & Laura begin at 605am.

ZABRINA & JOE JER: Pit start! Fly. . .
ANDREW & SYEON: Pit start! Fly. . .
MARDY & MARSIO: Pit start! Fly. . .
HOWARD & SAHRAN: Pit start! Fly. . .
ANDY & LAURA: Pit start! Fly. . .

Why is everyone told to say ‘pit start’ at the beginning of each leg? It’s not like teams at the end of each leg have to shout ‘pit stop!’ upon touching the mat.

– Sandy talks about strong communication with directions being a strategy. Andy & Laura’s penalty means absolutely nothing thanks to teams being stuck on the same flight for the sixth time in a row.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer say their goal was to be the last all-female team standing. They succeeded. Their new goal is to be the last Malaysian team standing. Andrew & Syeon are the new enemies.

andrew headphones

The enemy. He may or may not be wearing Sony headphones.

– Andrew does not consider anyone a threat. In particular they point to Zabrina & Joe Jer are slower and physically weak.

Odd scene.

howard sleep

Was this shot really necessary?

– Teams jump into taxis. Ten bucks says they will drive their washed Ford Focuses. . .Focusi? Every team is in a taxi. Sahran is proud of Howard. Howard aims to be in the top three each leg. I guess they have not caught onto the regularly occurring equalizers.

ANDY: We have a slow taxi driver.
LAURA: No we don’t.

In other words, the driver is slower than 146 kilometres per hour.

LAURA: Wax on wax off.

wax on

So this is where they got the idea for this task. Now they’re just using Hollywoodized Asian stereotypes for tasks. Having Miyagi hand out the clue would be ten times better than Caltex Les/Lex.

LAURA: These taxis are probably wondering why teams are racing to get to the gas station.

So are we.

– Howard & Sahran went to the wrong Caltex. I have never heard of Caltex. They must be really popular in Asia. So they hail a new taxi.

– Sandy & Francesca and Mardy & Marsio are at Caltex. Andrew & Syeon too as well as Zabrina & Joe Jer. Andy & Laura show up. Odd 80s sitcom music plays.

– Howard & Sahran are now there. This is the most boring task I have seen. Andy cites luck. He hates washing a darker coloured car. I suppose it does truly make a difference.

– Andrew & Syeon are done first. Teams must now go to. . .
.
.
.
Suntec City. Fountain of Wealth.

suntec

Yep. The same place they visited in TAR 3.

TAR 3: Drive yourself to Fountain of Wealth. One person runs into the fountain to retrieve the clue. Daytime.
TAR Asia: Take a taxi to Fountain of Wealth. Clue outside of the fountain. Night time.

– Mardy & Marsio is the second team done. Sandy & Francesca third.

MARSIO: Fountain of Youth.
MARDY: Fountain of Wealth!

Fountain of Youth would have been much more exciting and an inevitable ratings boost.

zabrina joe jer car

That car is ready to be shipped to The Price is Right studios to be given away.

– Howard & Sahran are fourth done. Zabrina & Joe Jer fifth. Andy & Laura complain about being dead last. Zabrina & Joe Jer successfully hail a taxi.

– Andrew reads that teams must fly to Bangkok, Thailand and take a taxi 85 kilometres to a really long sounding town name and find a Buddhist temple that is disguised as a Gothic Church. Once here they will zipline across a river to the temple. Here they must search the temple grounds for the correct clue box.

sorry try again

Bummer. At least the clue boxes will really stand out.

– Mardy & Marsio and Sandy & Francesca have their clues. Howard & Sahran soon follow. Marsio looks forward to praying to his Buddha.

SANDY: We came all the way to Singapore just to wash a car.

Not just any car, Sandy. It was a Ford Focus!

– Andy & Laura have the clue. Zabrina & Joe Jer went to the wrong spot surrounding the fountain before claiming the clue. We should note Andy & Laura live in Bangkok. They weren’t brought onto TAR Asia because of their trademarked Brit Wit.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer went to the wrong terminal in the airport. They scramble to take a train to the other terminal. The other five teams board the evening flight to Bangkok. It appears this may be the first flight all season to take off without all remaining teams on board.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer beg to make the flight. They are truly unlucky. Oh. Zabrina begs and begs. All of a sudden they make it. Definite production intervention there.

– We fly to Bangkok within .2 seconds. Francesca yells at the driver to follow the leading taxi. Francesca hates her taxi is too slow. Sandy hates he cannot speak Thai to the driver to order the driver not only where to go or follow. Sandy knows they need to switch cabs.

– Since it’s night time I bet all of the money that Sandy & Francesca had at the end of the first leg this will be an equalizer.

thai hours of operation

TAR Asia is becoming really predictable.

– Sandy & Francesca have ordered a new taxi. It’s not going to matter seeing how it does not open for another 7 1/2 hours. It’s two o’ clock and the place does not open until 930am. Teams are observed sleeping in a taxi.

SYEON: I can smell Mardy’s feet from where I was sleeping. It was really smelly.

Other teams comment on the insects biting and overall smell and discomfort experienced during sleep. What is this? An early episode of Survivor?

dog

How I feel about this episode.

– Sahran celebrates drinking coffee in the morning. He wishes to use nice clean toilets. That is his biggest peeve. Howard asks what the name of the temple is. We are wondering that too.

– It’s called Wat Niwet Thamprawat. They display it on screen. Andy said a gentleman’s agreement is kept that teams will depart on the zipline/gondola that they agreed.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer are first. Andy & Laura second. Howard & Sahran third. Mardy & Marsio fourth. Mardy complains about his knee. We see him and Marsio pray. Andrew & Syeon are fifth.

– Joe Jer finds the clue. Teams must take a taxi to Golden Mount Temple back in Bangkok. The monument is displayed on a coin inside the clue.

thai hours of operation 2

Since when do temples have clue boxes with hours of operation printed on them?

– Andrew appreciates Zabrina telling them where to find the clue as they cross paths. Andrew & Syeon leapfrog to second. Zabrina & Joe Jer return to mainland. The other three teams have yet to find a clue.

– Sandy & Francesca have the clue. They are told to go to the temple featured on the coin. Mardy & Marsio are fourth to the clue box.

– Andy & Laura keep searching endlessly. Zabrina & Joe Jer are in a cab. Same with Andrew & Syeon. Andrew mimes the driver to go as fast as possible. Andy & Laura finally have the clue. They’re fifth. Syeon says she needs to use the washroom but Andrew instructs her to hold it in. Howard & Sahran are the only two still looking for the clue. Howard said it took them half an hour to find the clue once they have it. So everyone is fairly close together.

– Syeon starts complaining about the bathroom to the driver as if she was a five year old.

syeon winnie

It’s only appropriate that someone in a vehicle needs to urinate when a cartoon character named Winnie the Poo is sitting right behind her.

billy water

I don’t see why she just doesn’t go in her pants. Billy Madison pees his pants. It’s the coolest.

– Sahran claims they have the slowest taxi. Syeon squeezes Andrew’s hand tightly. Andrew says Syeon could go on the side of the road.

ANDREW: It’s Thailand. You can go anywhere. Nobody is going to give a s—.

But yet Syeon needs to give a urine.

– So will Syeon stop to urinate or will she wait until they get to Bangkok?

syeon exit

She exits so quickly the camera can’t keep up!

– Francesca insists they must go faster. Andrew is fine Syeon had to take a urine break. She says it is her first experience with public urination.

I would say it is also her most relieving experience in the race to date.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer are the first to Golden Temple. It’s a roadblock! That person must go to the top of the temple.

WU: That person must climb to the top and find 560 golden blessing bells.  Hidden inside 100 of these bells are capsules containing clues but only six contain the correct clue.

Didn’t they just do this back at the previous temple? My word.

– Francesca is doing it because Sandy has done three already. Syeon will do it now that her bladder won’t get in the way. Andy & Laura discuss who will do it. It’s Andy. Joe Jer is doing the roadblock too.

Andy, Joe Jer, Mardy, Francesca, and Syeon.

ANDY: It’d have to be me.
LAURA: I might be more patient than you.
ANDY: No, we’ve proved that before.

– Andy is first one done. I suppose 6/100 is not terribly difficult when the capsules are ditched upon use. Syeon is second. It’s a Detour.

Bacon or Eggs.

– In Bacon, teams must take a flagged Tuk Tuk (those rickshaw-like taxis we always see on TAR) to a nearby pig monument where they will find their next clue. They are responsible for directing the driver.

In Eggs, teams must go to Bangkok’s most agricultural wholesale market. Here they must go to a stall and stack twenty trays of eggs on a wheeler and bring them to an egg stall nearby. They are not allowed to break an egg. If they do they must start over.

LAURA: Pick one.
ANDY: Bacon. . .or eggs. . .Tuk Tuk. . .bacon or eggs. . .
LAURA: Just pick one now!
ANDY: Which one?
LAURA: Any! QUICK QUICK QUICK!

Who is the patient one again?

– Howard & Sahran’s taxi is awful. Sahran wants to slap him Mr. Green to Ivette style. Mardy completes the roadblock. But the clue handler has to call him back. Why?

mardy exit

Because the exit is that way.

mardy wait

Wait, what?

– Sandy & Francesca have their clue. Francesca yells at Sandy to pick. Sandy decides to do Eggs. Joe Jer is the only one remaining at the roadblock. Howard & Sahran ask for directions. Mardy & Marsio choose to do Bacon. Sandy & Francesca get into their cab. Joe Jer finishes the roadblock. She passes Sahran on the way.

joe jer sahran

JOE JER: Hi.
SAHRAN: Hi.
JOE JER: Bye.
SAHRAN: Bye.
JOE JER: P.S. You’re last.

– Mardy starts oinking at the taxi driver to symbolize he wants to eventually go to the pig monument. Zabrina & Joe Jer do the same thing. Does that mean they’ll go to the monument rather than the Tuk Tuks?

– Andrew & Syeon’s driver takes them past the market. So they have to turn around. Sahran is done the roadblock. Andy & Laura assume their driver has gone the wrong way.

ZABRINA: If you do not take me to the right place I will not pay you.

Yeah. Good luck with that.

– Andy & Laura exit the cab and start walking around their neck of the woods. The teams are all annoyed that the drivers all insist they know where they are going when in reality they do not have a clue.

ZABRINA: Do you understand what I’m saying? Yes or no?

chris tucker

DO YOU UNDERSTAND THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF ZABRINA’S MOUTH. DO YOU UH SPEAK ANY ENGLISH?

Who knew I would reference Chris Tucker from Rush Hour twice this season.

– Andrew & Syeon and Zabrina & Joe Jer exit their cabs. Andy * Laura find the Eggs task on foot. Sandy & Francesca find it.

FRANCESCA: He has our bags. . .He’s leaving!

Never trust a Thai cab.

SYEON: Do you know?
(LOCAL points the way.)
ANDREW: Syeon, she doesn’t know. Here they just tell you when they really don’t know.

I’d like to know the cultural differences that involve Thai citizens outright lying to the racers, and try to present themselves as knowledgeable as possible to the point they are knowingly deceiving the contestants.

– Every team discusses how citizens constantly point them in the wrong direction. I think even if I lived in Bangkok for twenty years. I live in a town of only 40, 000 people. These locals have to pretend like they know a city that covers 10, 000, 000 people. And sadly I do not know the location of half of the landmarks in my own town.

– Mardy yells at Marsio for not “conveying” himself correctly to the driver. Mardy gives up and they exit the cab. They walk on foot.

You know Marsio is really frustrated when he is willing to walk on his own two feet.

– Howard & Sahran and Andrew & Syeon say “oink oink oink”. Francesca is pissed they cannot find Eggs. The only team not lost is Andy & Laura who live in Bangkok.

– Howard & Sahran and Andrew & Syeon find their Tuk Tuks. Francesca stops at a gas station. Back the way she came. She claims she will cry. Uh oh. Somebody is running low on steroids. The estrogen is balancing out!

– Francesca assumes everyone has finished the task. She could not be further from the truth.

HOWARD: Finding the pig monument was a pig of a job to do.

Hold up. That’s an expression?

– Andy & Laura transport the eggs. Ten eggs cracked. They go back and put the eggs into a bag.

– More ‘oinking’. English speaking teams do not know that other countries make different sounds for animals. For instance saying ‘ruff’ for dog is only limited to the Western world.

– Francesca finds the egg shop. It took her 45 minutes to travel to a shop two minutes away. However they go to the FINISH point of the Detour. Luckily they run into Andy & Laura who are carrying ten eggs in a bag to replace the ten eggs they cracked in their first run. Andy & Laura point the way.

– It’s time go to the pit stop. They must head to Wat Pho Temple. It has Thailand’s largest reclining Buddha. The Buddha is 46 metres long. Usain Bolt could examine it in roughly four seconds.

– ‘Wat Pho’ sounds a lot like ‘White Power’ in Thai. Unintentionally funny given that Andy & Laura are the ones uttering it in first place. They are already at the pit stop. They say it was ambition to be first in their home rather than skill.

1ST: ANDY & LAURA

WU: You have each won a free year’s worth of gas from Caltex. Fuel that offers unbeatable cleaning of your engine parts.

– Sandy & Francesca have finished transporting the eggs. Howard & Sahran find the pig monument. Big comeback for them yet again. Andrew & Syeon are next to pick up the clue. Sandy & Francesca place the eggs on the stall. Four eggs are cracked. I bet Sandy & Francesca ate those four eggs for protein.

– The four eggs are not cracked in Sandy’s palms. They receive their next clue and flag down a cab. Francesca is still panicking.

– Andrew & Syeon are ahead of Howard & Sahran in a foot race.

SAHRAN: You’re going to run too fast and trip yourself!

Nice try.

– Oh my word. I just noticed I have gone a whole Bangkok episode of TAR without making a tasteless phallic Bangkok joke.

2ND: Andrew & Syeon

3RD: Howard & Sahran

howard sahran 3rd

One of Howard & Sahran’s best finishes! Howard’s expression tells me he couldn’t be happier to be with Sahran as they stay to Bangkok for the twelve hour break period.

4TH: Sandy & Francesca

– Mardy & Marsio and Zabrina & Joe Jer continue to wander around lost. Zabrina & Joe Jer are in yet another new cab.

MARSIO: I think Zabrina & Joe Jer will be one of the most competitive. They never give up and like giving up and never like losing. When it’s race time they never give up information or share with other teams.

They do not like losing and do not like to lose and do not like to think of the possibility that they may have lost the race.

– Marsio runs into Zabrina & Joe Jer. He tries to ask for directions from them but they refuse and their cab pulls away. Marsio is abandoned on the streets.

7 11

Time to stop for a squishee!

– Zabrina sees the Tuk Tuks. Mardy & Marsio are first ones in the Tuk Tuk. On foot worked better than cab. Zabrina & Joe Jer board one. Mardy & Marsio beat them to the pig monument. Zabrina & Joe Jer take the final clue.

ZABRINA: There are three more in the clue box!

Tricky producers.

– Mardy & Marsio have already exited their cab at Wat Pho. We see Zabrina & Joe Jer board the taxi but exit as well.

5TH: Mardy & Marsio

LAST: Zabrina & Joe Jer

– Sad music plays. Zabrina & Joe Jer cry upon hearing the news. But it’s a non-elimination. Zabrina gives up the cash as part of the penalty. She claims she had a ton of cash. It was not her day, but feels lucky they are saved. Joe Jer agrees.

Next Time on TAR: The race goes from land to the sea. The fittest will survive. Teams have a smashing time before facing their ultimate fears in this cliffhanger that will take you to the edge.

NOTE: Zabrina & Joe Jer, Sandy & Francesca, and Howard & Sahran have all finished last on a non-elimination leg thus far but yet none of them have been eliminated after seven rounds. That has to be some sort of record.

Confessional Count

ZABRINA.JOE JER 5.4
MARDY.MARSIO 2.4
SANDY.FRANCESCA 3.5
ANDREW.SYEON 3.2
HOWARD.SAHRAN 5.3
ANDY.LAURA 4.6

Rank the Legs

1) Kuala Lumpur -> Jakarta (Tasks were more original this round. None of them had been repeated from traditional TAR. A snake pit had never been done. Simultaneously singing while steadily pushing a cart had never been done. Searching Walkman music also had never been done. Oh, and I suppose the plate dance has similarities to TAR 10’s round one Beijing paddle dance.

Again, every team was easy-going. Did I mention how refreshing that is? The editing remains to be unsteady and inconsistent, but at the very least the music soundtrack had smooth transitions and were relevant to the scenes.

I should note that this was TAR’s first visit to Indonesia. Therefore, we need to credit production for picking an unvisited location.

Ernie & Jeena’s downfall seemed unfair because we were never given the proper criteria for how much soya sauce could or could not be spilled.  Although their terrible navigation throughout the episode made their elimination to be absent of any surprise. Sahil & Prashant claiming the Fast Forward based on a self-admitted gamble was perhaps the highlight of the episode.

Overall, I think this worked out better than the premiere. Just wish we knew what time that Air Asia flight left Kuala Lumpur!)

2) Sydney -> Auckland (This was a fun round. Andy & Laura were not medically evacuated which prevented this leg from being anti-climatic.

I don’t understand why teams were constrained to the same flight. That appears to be the rule all season long.

I enjoyed the trick of having the child on the swing right beside the ferry where teams landed. Seeing teams overthinking it as they ride through taxis, private vehicles, and walking around libraries was amusing.

Rugby and Rigging was a good Detour.

Ferries didn’t screw over leading teams like the ferries in Sydney did.

The biggest problem I have is why Sahil & Prashant were not given a clear reasoning for their time to be penalized. Why one hour? I have never heard of a one hour TAR penalty. In addition, they broke the same rule three times. Shouldn’t they be counted as three separate infractions? I do not understand this. I know teams likely checked within a twenty minute time span at the pit stop, but one hour was such a random number as if production picked a number that would guarantee a team’s elimination.

Scratchin. Muh. Head.

P.S. How many more Sony products will be showcased this season? I have a feeling we have several more to go.)

3) Bali -> Sydney (I was convinced Howard & Sahran would have been eliminated because of their storyline thus far. Their equal abilities to freak out and be fearful of many things was supposed to cost them the race, but it’s all for naught when it turns out to be a non-elimination.

Once again a team who takes the four hour penalty is the team that finishes last for the second leg in a row. That must be a fairly odd circumstance seeing how Sahil & Prashant were in dead last heading to the pit stop. Those fast ferries that were available to trailing teams really made for an unusual second half to the episode.

The Handycam task was original and neat regardless of the obvious sponsour plug. I wish producers told us the criteria that had to be met for a participant to be considered ‘out of key’.

Andy & Laura overcame numerous obstacles to keep their lead until the unluckiest thing of all–Laura damaging her leg, reduced them to their fourth consecutive seventh place finish. And with a non-elimination keeping it at eight teams, it is very possible for them to be seventh for a record fifth time in a row.

I feel bad for Howard & Sahran. They were in sync at the top of the leaderboard for the past 1 1/2 legs and suddenly fall (in a manner that differs from Laura) at a roadblock task that appears to be because of Howard literally not handling the pressure. A glorious fall which once again I wish led to their elimination.

I should note that this is the only season I can think of where three consecutive legs have led to teams all boarding the exact same flight. In episodes that are 48 minutes long compared to the US’ 44 minutes, we see more route markers in this version than the first eleven seasons of regular TAR.

Mardy & Marsio still dominate the edit as TARAsia’s Kevin & Drew, no doubt. We haven’t learned too much personal info from all of the teams. I think it has indeed been very task-oriented. Maybe this is because we have seen zero conflict form after the first four rounds. Four episodes without conflict would be unacceptable to American producers. We see previews of conflict erupting next leg thus I may change my tune for the next leg I rank.)

4) Gibbston -> Bangkok (Moar equalizers! Moar Caltex!

Washing the car in Singapore is a unique task. I mean, it was poorly thought out to have teams finish faster based on the colour they picked, but at least a sponsoured task was not completely lame.

We see the first repeat route marker in the TAR universe thanks to the Fountain of You–Wealth. Then Singapore ended up being irrelevant. I was expecting them to go to AXN Headquarters to go all out with sponsourship this round.

Bangkok was fine. Confusing streets and drivers provided a rare experience so far in the race after easier legs in Australia and New Zealand. Teams seemed truly drained as they slept in cabs and prepared to murder their cab drivers the following morning. The temples were neat. The Detour was fine.

But the ‘find a clue on the temple grounds amongst fake ones’ and ‘find a capsule with a clue amongst fake ones’ seemed unnecessary and repetitive. I think this round would have been better to be an elimination round because the anxiety and stress surrounding cab-racer communications would have made for a great end to the episode. But alas, it was the third non-elimination round of the season. Very average round.)

5) Kuala Lumpur -> . . .Kuala Lumpur (It would have been funnier to either have the pit stop at the pit stop of the stadium or to make them go back to the starting line of the race.

The route was fine for the first round of the first ever Asian edition. Production did a good job of avoiding any landmarks already seen in Kuala Lumpur throughout multiple seasons of TAR. The teams are all friendly and cordial which makes it an extremely unusual competitive reality TV show. Nobody screams. Nobody shoves another. Nobody gets into arguments with locals. This is the calmest and most respectful group of people I have ever seen. Well, until Sandy goes a few more days without his muscle milk.

The jungle trail to the pit stop is unique and inventive. The rest of the tasks were fairly textbook TAR. An eleventh team being cast would have been a better idea than a first round non-elimination merely because the non-elimination penalty is not very effective when teams cannot be devastated by the penalty.

If I had to describe the round in one word: Calm. Yes, I described a race as being calm after one episode. Shows how crazy those dang Americans are.

And whoever is in charge of timing the use of the TAR soundtrack needs to be fired. I think the editors of The Amazing Hunt do a better job with music.)

6) Auckland -> Gibbston (Remember how we did Go Kart laps at the beginning and then a big bungee drop last leg? Well, let’s make them drive 250 kilometres. Then drive into a gas station and show them filling up their vehicle with gas. Then drive some more. Then either drive a few kilometres around a track or bungee jump. Then drive some more. Then guess what? Yeah. Drive on a Quad doing one lap. Then guess what?

I said GUESS!

Yes. We make them bungee jump.

Then drive some more. Then rig a penalty to not take effect this leg thus sending a less villainous team home.

Everyone okay with this leg design? I think there is a good balance and a variety of tasks to this leg. I do not see anything wrong with this picture. This leg is going to be the bomb!)

7) Jakarta -> Bali (Easiest ranking ever for the bottom place. This will never be topped for its terribleness. Not only is watching teams dig in sand for 30 out of 45 minutes of an episode, but everything else was so dang rushed that it was impossible to follow what was going on for the next three tasks.

I should note that I have never seen production screw things up as badly as they did with this leg. Scratch that. The hay bales from TAR 6 was worse because they could see it on paper how screwed over a team could get strictly by examining odds.

Here producers gave everyone the same forgiving plot of sand, and once they were awarded big boy shovels rather than the tiny shovels everyone disregarded for 3 1/2 hours, the task played out in a fair manner.

You know what’s the craziest thing of all upon reflection? Hours of operation were set up so that any team who completed the roadblock in less 90 minutes would be able to do the Detour and finish out the leg. If teams took any longer, they would be stuck waiting around until 900am the next day. Do you know how messy that could have been?

Or did producers ensure the task was impossible that everyone was guaranteed to be equalized right before the end? If so, wouldn’t they know how messy things would get with a four hour penalty being awarded right before an overnight equalizer? No matter how you look at it there wasn’t anybody assigned to logistics for this round. Is the carefree surfer attitude of Bali the reason for this?

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