TAR Asia 1 episode 12 ranking

Twelfth episode

not asia

Apparently all doesn’t count as Asia in a season called ‘TAR Asia’.

Previously on TAR Asia: Five teams set out from Delhi, India and caught a plane to Dubai. Mardy & Marsio soon realized they chose the wrong person for the roadblock. And it wasn’t just the heat that took the breath out of teams. After locating a golden souk within the bustle of modern Dubai. Teams raced by 4-wheel drive through the desert. Mardy & Marsio were the last team to arrive at the pit stop and had all of their money taken away from them.

Four teams remain. Who will be eliminated tonight?

– I get the satisfaction of seeing Ernie slap Jeena once more.

– Howard & Sahran consume the same alcoholic beverage. Do you think they would ever pick two separate alcoholic drinks?

Because TAR Asia did not air a 2-hour finale, I suppose now would be the time to make my thoughts known regarding the successes and failures of each of the four remaining teams.

ZABRINA & JOE JER: Joe Jer may be one of the quietest people I have seen in TAR ever. Probably one of the calmest, too. Zabrina is the personality sponge of the team, but even she is professional. Probably because Zabrina works in the television industry. I bet Zabrina was looking for a respectable promotion.

This is far different from the West where the way to get a promotion and gain more funds in the TV industry is by acting as crazy as possible so you get asked back, do charity events, and appear on several shows.

Their success stems from not having any outstanding fear or extreme physical weakness. They are just below par in every category, hence their frequent second-to-last place finishes, but have never done outstandingly terrible. Even in a leg where they were non-eliminated.

MARDY & MARSIO: A surprising team to stand out from the field early on and dominate until Andy & Laura disregarded seventh place as a position to finish. Their smarts to complete tasks in the most efficient way possible made them top contenders and catapult them to the front of the pack.

However, because of frequent equalizers, their strategies in airports could never pay off.

As the race has progressed, we have noticed Mardy & Marsio progressively lose more and more steam. They were in a bad stretch between rounds five and seven, but a Fast Forward gave them much needed rest. Unfortunately they have never held a lead since the Fast Forward round, but stayed in the middle of the pack.

Until the past round where their physical liabilities since day one were exposed. Marsio has been the bulk of having poor cardio, but Mardy has not fared much better as of late. They found themselves in last place by a wide margin thanks to a round full of physical tasks and currently have no money to their name. Since this is round twelve, they will have to beg for money and do it fast.

Surprisingly, the biggest threat they identified since the third round of the game has been Zabrina & Joe Jer rather than the commonly targeted teams such as Sandy & Francesca and Andy & Laura.

SANDY & FRANCESCA: Perhaps one of the most inconsistent teams in TAR history. The team was quickly labelled as having zero brains when they finished the very first round in dead last. In the following leg they barely survived with a ninth place finish, thus possessing the absolute two-round stretch possible without being eliminated. A record which had never been held before.

But when round three hit and the most physical task of the race hit teams, their strength was exposed as Sandy put in a Herculean effort and they skyrocketed to second place in a huge upset. They would stay this way until round five when a mental clue of searching for a child dropped them to the verge of elimination. They made up for it the following leg with their first victory of the race.

The next few legs would see them drop in the standings. They landed in the trough when a purely mental task of counting beetle nuts put them dead last but were spared with the second non-elimination of the race.

They have not lost a beat with their physical strength because they won the previous leg where golfing, ice breaking, and lots of running around in a market put them in a solid first place position. While the other teams are worn out, they could not be in a stronger position.

Their biggest accomplishment to date was yielding Andy & Laura to put them out of the race.

ANDREW & SYEON: The dating couple with youth on their side. Despite an opening stretch of 5th-8th-8th to begin the race, they have done a better job of improving than Sandy & Francesca.

Their ability to think things through and complete any task thrown at them that isn’t digging in sand has put them as frequent 2nd place finishers as they have done that every other round since round five which was preceded by their only win this season.

Syeon may be limping her way to route markers, but she is moving about one hundred times faster with an injured foot than Marshall Hudes with an injured knee. Their extreme competitive nature has made them the only team in the Final Four to never finish in last place while Mardy & Marsio and Zabrina & Joe Jer have one non-elimination apiece, and Sandy & Francesca have two to their name.

They have made two alliances that are both still in existence to round number twelve. They picked Zabrina & Joe Jer because they view them as weaker in every category than them, and Mardy & Marsio because of their poor physical ability. Their agreement to help Zabrina & Joe Jer financially if they were to finish last on a non-elimination as opposed to Mardy & Marsio has ended up being a wise decision. In addition, their alliances prevented them from being yielded in round eleven.

They have identified Sandy & Francesca as their strongest threats in the game simply due to Sandy’s raw physical strength that could finish tasks quickly.

– We are introduced to Dubai. It’s wealthy. They work hard. They play hard. And it served as the -eleventh- pit stop in a race around the world. If you plan to watch more TAR, prepare to see Dubai a few more times. It’s a common place for them to travel.

– Wu’s snowsuit has been ditched.

– Sandy & Francesca depart at 745am. 45 US dollars. Teams must take their 4-wheel drive to Desert Area 53. They don’t get to drive themselves again though. Sandy feels it is the most important day of the race. Apparently he is in denial that there will be a minimum of one equalizer during the final leg of the race.

Again, I really wish teams would drive themselves. Maybe production thought it wasn’t the best idea because they’re Asian.

And I don’t understand why this is the most important day. I would assume the Million Dollar Day would be the most important day. Which I assume to be the next day because they don’t have to fly through Hawaii or Alaska to return to the starting country.

– Andrew & Syeon depart second at 803am. Francesca is impressed that Syeon’s ankle has been “broken” for the second half of the race. I still have no clue when her ankle broke. Andrew admits Sandy & Francesca are better than him. Yep. Somebody who can’t count to 1, 223 are better than you.

– Sandy & Francesca are driven to the route marker. Only thing they have to do is run up a hill.

sandy sand

Sandy sprinting up sandy sand dunes. Say that ten times fast.

– Sandy has enough brain cells to utter that him and Francesca are physical threats.

– It’s a Detour. Ride or Seek.

WU: Teams must choose between two tasks in the scorching heat.

It’s only eight o’ clock in the morning. Weak.

In Ride, teams must sit on a camel and using only a camel stick they must guide their camel to collect five flags. Once successful they will receive their next clue.

In Seek, teams must use a metal detector to search for a souvenir camel in a designated area. Once they have found the buried treasure they will receive the next clue.

Guide a camel to five checkpoints or search for an object in the sand? I like surprisingly cruel Detours. I might go with the metal detector because that is a lot easier than digging up a surfboard in a twenty-five foot square area and forty centimetre deep space with your hands.

– Sandy & Francesca choose to Ride the camel. Zabrina & Joe Jer depart at 806am. Francesca says they will change tasks if camels prove to be frustrating right away.

Because I can think of so many instances where camels are cooperative on the race. If only Francesca waited a year to watch TAR 12.

FRANCESCA: There’s no Fast Forward yet.

Fran. It’s leg twelve. Even in the days where Fast Forwards appeared on a weekly basis they would stop making them available in rounds twelve and thirteen. Just ask Blake & Paige or David & Jeff.

– ZABRINA: To be the first all-girl team to win would be awesome.

Much like the state of Palestine, or People’s Republic of China during the 60s, Americans will not recognize you as the first female winners ever. For all intents and purposes, if you win, this blog will be one of ten sites in the whole world that will recognize you if you win.

– Sandy & Francesca ask the guide if it’s more comfortable front or back. I’m surprised they don’t ask each other that. It’s slow going at first. Sandy should feed the camel some of his protein powder. They keep going in circles. Rule says they cannot switch camesl.

sandy francesca flag

Who knew a camel would want to turn around and return to its guides an base camp rather than wander with muscle-bound Kiwis into the barren desert.

– Andrew & Syeon are pissed the driver is not driving to the top of the hill where the clue box is. Eventually they are dropped off and must run up the hill. They decide to go with Seek, but change their mind to Ride when they realize Syeon’s ankle will not do too well in hot sand. Something tells me they will quit the task too and go with the default option of a needle-in-a-haystack.

–  I s’pose get over a relatively easy needle-in-a-haystack task for the start of the round rather than the end.

– Has there been a route marker and a Detour at the location of the previous round’s pit stop? It must be a historic moment for the series. Something tells me that production were called by the head hauncho to cut out a day or two of filming so they set up a bunch of tasks in a five-kilometre radius.

– Francesca reads the instructions for the metal detector. Turn it on. Then move until you hear the beep. So in-depth. Syeon trips on the sand and holds her ankle as she moans.

syeon foot

Syeon.

– Andrew & Syeon make it to the van. Sandy & Francesca continue to search. Andrew & Syeon board a camel.

ANDREW: Oh boy. . .camel.

– Sandy wonders how deep the souvenir will be buried. It’d be funny if it was deeper than what the metal detector could read. The camel follows Andrew’s instructions well. The guide keeps chasing after them. Zabrina & Joe Jer have their clue. Zabrina chooses to Ride as well.

– Sandy continues to fail. Francesca asks Sandy to switch back to the camel task because they can see Andrew & Syeon’s progress in the distance.

– Mardy & Marsio begin last at 820am. I thought they were much further behind based on the previous episode’s editing. The four teams are ridiculously close together for the second round in a row.

– Andrew & Syeon have finished the Detour. They are instructed to go to the Eye of the Emirates which is located downtown.

dubai eye

The London Eye of the East. I suppose they called it ‘Eye of the Emirates’ because ‘Dubai Eye’ sounded dumb and like a warcry or a song. Dubaieyeaieyeaieye.

– But the task is the Eye itself. There are 45 cabins. Each one has a clue. Five of them contain clues. Forty of them do not. And seeing how you’ll be in midair when you realize you have the wrong clue, you’ll have to wait out the whole lap.

And here we go. Hay bales redux. Luckily it’s 40 misses max as opposed to 140 or 150 rolled out hay bales. But do you know how long it would take to do forty laps?! Especially on something like the London Eye?!
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I don’t know either, but I assume it would be a long time.

– What’s even dumber about this task is that teams will open up a clue then discard it. This means teams just have to peek inside to see if there’s a clue before moving on to another cabin. That means trailing teams can overtake the lead rather quickly.

SYEON (angry): This sounds like such a luck of the draw!

Yep.

– Sandy & Francesca give their camel another try. Marsio guesses they will be riding camels. He laughs thinking about a camel handling his and Mardy’s weight.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer’s camel is erratic. Sandy & Francesca’s camel picks up speed downhill.

camel guide

Well, if I knew a guide would be handling and directing the camel if teams struggled for a while, I would choose this option in the first place! Such a poor design. I hate it when producers are too worried about the safety of teams or worrying about them exiting the camera and audio range.

– So the guides keep dragging the camels. This task has suddenly been made ten times easier. Sandy & Francesca’s guide lets go for no apparent reason. Suddenly Sandy & Francesca are done the task.

SYEON: He’s lost.

These drivers aren’t even taxis! The driver is on his cell phone asking for directions as he is driving. I love 2007. Driving and talking on your cell phone is perfectly legal. They hit a bump but no one is hurt.

SYEON: From that point on we put on our seatbelts.

Okay, that’s dumber than the poor driving. You’re driving through hilly and rugged sand dunes but you’re not wearing seatbelts? Geez, in TAR 5 teams even wore helmets!

antoine dodson

You are so dumb. You are really really dumb.

andrew syeon laugh

There is nothing amusing about bad road sense. Between a driver going forty kilometres over the speed limit, and Ernie & Jeena’s car crash, TAR Asia has shown why teams rarely drive themselves all season long.

I really hope that The Amazing Race 12 casts an Asian pair to break a stereotype that seriously needs to be corrected in media.

christina drive

Crap. Amazing Race 13 then?

– Zabrina & Joe Jer chose the camel ride because it sounded fun. . .initially. They are used to animals going crazy, and became afraid of the camel tipping them over.

camel head

What are you talking about? Don’t camels typically walk like this all the time?

– Suddenly a really high-pitched voice that does not belong to Zabrina & Joe Jer says “Maybe he is afraid of the flags”. Go replay it for yourself if you can find TAR Asia. It sounds almost like a chipmunk on marijuana. It’s weird.

– Sandy & Francesca passes Andrew & Syeon’s vehicle on the road.

160

Well, I guess it’s fair to say you’ll pass vehicles when you drive 160 kilometres per hour. At least when Andy drove 140 he informed us that it was a lie because he wouldn’t drive that reckless. However at 160 there are no excuses.

ANDREW: This is a game of luck anyway.

Hey. Don’t air this on TV.

– Andrew & Syeon’s van re-passes Sandy & Francesca. Race on the roads.

– Marsio is loving the 4-wheel drive. Zabrina & Joe Jer finish the Detour. So Zabrina & Joe Jer must have taken less than ten minutes on the task because Mardy & Marsio are just reading the Detour clue. Marsio begs Mardy to do the camel task. Zabrina & Joe Jer’s van can be seen in the background.

– Mardy & Marsio board the camel. They really need to borrow one of Sandy’s needles and stick it in the camel’s butt. It’s doing well so far. Slightly stumbling. Marsio is sitting really far back.

mardy marsio edge

See what I mean. If I were on sight I’d worry about him getting Christopher Reeves’d but instead on national TV. Or Joyce Agu’d at the bare minimum.

– Andrew ask Syeon what’s her lucky number for the Eye task. She says she bets on nine in Roulette. Andrew says 19 is his. It’d be hilarious if it works on first try. Meanwhile Mardy & Marsio coach the camel.

ANDREW: Maybe it’s not just luck. It’s the intellect mind.

– Andrew & Syeon and Sandy & Francesca exit the vans simultaneously. They run up steps to board an Eye.

– Joe Jer comments on how new all of the buildings look. Mardy & Marsio finish the Detour. I can’t believe there hasn’t been a single equalizer yet. Marsio thinks he finished the camel task really quickly. He figures he caught up 30 minutes, but the van was stuck in the sand for 10 to 20 minutes. So they’re back where they started.

– Andrew had a dream the previous night that he was in the final leg and the final challenge was a numerical challenge and the correct answer was November 19 because it was his birthday.
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Oooookay. Maybe this is why we shouldn’t have 47 minute episodes when stuck in the same city at Final Four. What’s next? We get to hear a story about Sandy’s fraternity or the time Francesca was lost in the woods?

– Sandy & Francesca board an Eye. They’re told to try again. At least they get to enjoy the scenery.

– Andrew & Syeon enter the 19th Eye. . .
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andrew roadblock

You’ve got to be kidding me.

They get one of the five clues on their first try. It’s correct. The number story makes sense now.

– It’s the final roadblock. That person must eat an Arabic specialty.

ANDREW: Who’s got the brains in the team?

– Syeon realizes she has to eat a brain when they exit. They leave the Eye and run through the streets.

ANDREW: Just stuff it down and puke!

– Mardy & Marsio’s vehicle begins moving.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer have the clue. Sandy & Francesca screw up a second time. Sandy tries to calculate how long each lap takes. They get back down and enter a third Eye. They’re happy it has air conditioning. It’s their third miss in a row.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer enter Eye #7. Lucky number seven of course is too obvious. So they miss their first Eye.

– Andrew thinks San Fran will assume it’s an intellectual challenge, and will trigger Fran to volunteer. It’s what he hopes, anyway. By the way, I bet anyone could tell which person is eating the brain without being told who it is.

syeon unhappy

Syeon doesn’t look like someone who has the idea of eating brains on their mind.

amanda kimmel

But she does.

– Sandy & Francesca fail a fourth time. Zabrina & Joe Jer a second time.

– Sandy & Francesca fail a fifth time. Sandy & Francesca fail a third time.

– Mardy & Marsio show up to the Eye.

– Sandy & Francesca fail a sixth time. Zabrina & Joe Jer fail a fourth time. Everyone counts the numbers that have been chosen thus far.

– Andrew tries to convince Syeon that people pay a lot of money to eat brains.

– Sandy & Francesca fail a seventh time. Zabrina & Joe Jer fail a fifth time. Mardy chooses “31” because it is the day of his sister’s birthday after his plan to ask Fran for their failed numbers goes unanswered.

– Sandy & Francesca fail an eighth time.

– Andrew & Syeon show up to the restaurant. We are never told the name of the restaurant by Wu. It’s just ‘do this roadblock at an anonymous location’.

ragnaan restaurant

Brains may taste fine if it is not made by an Italian restaurant in Dubai. It reminds me of the time when my sister and cousin couldn’t eat Italian food for a year because it was an Italian restaurant ran by Cambodians. Sometimes cross-cultural cuisine replication just does not work for our palette.

– Andrew says the word ‘gag’ and puke’ several times more.

brains

Eat this food. Now picture yourself gagging and puking. How come you won’t eat?!

SYEON: The hardest is that meat smell.

Same here, sister.

– Francesca feels like she could be doing this challenge better. Hey, the last time you were given the opportunity to work with numbers you blew it by not understanding how to count. A trial-and-error task is where your best case scenario when it comes to numbers.

– Marsio suggests higher numbers. Mardy disagrees.

– Sandy & Francesca fail a ninth time. Zabrina & Joe Jer succeed. Zabrina thinks Sandy & Francesca have picked “27” a second time without realizing while Zabrina & Joe Jer’s choice of “26” pays off. Francesca realizes their error when they enter the Eye.

– Syeon is struggling to keep the food down but is not exhibiting signs of puking. That’s not until Andrew keeps asking her if she wants a bowl. When she doesn’t respond, he announces he will find a bucket for her to puke in.

How is she not murdering Andrew by this point?

ANDREW: It’s a lot of brain. So supportive.

andrew sunglasses

Camera operator takes the liberty of zooming in on Andrew’s sunglasses so we can see a tiny reflection of the plate of Syeon’s food.

Yeah, I don’t understand the reason for this shot either.

– I guess the Eye task isn’t the absolute worst needle-in-a-haystack task. At least you have to keep your numbers straight. It opens up the opportunity for people like Francesca who could find herself entering the same wrong cabin over and over and over again.

– Mardy & Marsio choose lucky number “13”. Andrew does some more coaching.

ANDREW: Can you do this or not? . . .Stuff it in your mouth, swallow it, and you will puke.

– Joe Jer volunteers to do the roadblock.

ZABRINA: If you have to chuck, chuck.

What is wrong with everybody? If it were me, the reinforced idea to vomit would prevent me from taking more than one or two bites. Watch Tina Wesson during the food challenge as Jeff Varner makes puking noises. It freakin’ works. So why do it to your own dang partner?

– So what happens after Syeon is repeatedly told to puke?

syeon bucket

Time to vomit in this bucket then serve it in Freddy Holliday’s noodles.

– Joe Jer hopes the brain will be baked with mozzarella cheese. Marsio asks what numbers Sandy & Francesca have done. Francesca laughs in their face but assures she loves them.

– Sandy & Francesca fail for a ninth time. Mardy & Marsio fail for a third time. Mardy & Marsio decide to choose “41”.

– Andrew coaches Syeon to put lots of it in her mouth.

– Sandy & Francesca fail a tenth time. Mardy & Marsio fail a fourth time. Marsio says he will use logic this time. Marsio proclaims he will use logic. Francesca sucks at counting again when she states only ten are left.

– Sandy & Francesca succeed on their eleventh try. Mardy & Marsio fail a fifth time. Francesca insists nine remain.

FRANCESCA: Who is the brains of the team?
(SANDY laughs.)
FRANCESCA: . .It might be an eating challenge to eat brains.

Oh. The smile wipes away from Sandy’s face. Then it re-appears. They sit silently and have yet to choose. Mardio keeps rambling about numbers. Syeon picks at her food. Mardio goes on and on about the numbers. Syeon has stopped eating. Sandy knows he can eat the food. Sandy & Francesca still haven’t decided when they exit the Eye. A guy at the gate has to stop them to get a decision from them.

sandy francesca roadblock

When lost in roadblock decisions, this man emerges on the scene. He is the Roadblock Bouncer.

– Francesca convinces Sandy to do it based on her hunch. Joe Jer hopes it is not baked. Syeon feels sick as bugs crawl onto her food. Francesca is excited to see she is right. Sandy cheers. I have never seen someone cheer on brains.

– Mardy & Marsio succeed on their next try. Marsio volunteers to do it. They feel they made the right call despite Marsio not liking disgusting food. Another repeat of his “I like to eat but not gross food”. Mardy hopes Syeon is having a hard time eating the brains before.

– Syeon repeats she cannot do it. Marsio is starving but says it doesn’t mean he can eat anything. Sandy says Fran is ten times smarter than him.

– Syeon says her throat can’t open and feels full. She throws up some more. Joe Jer has to plug her ears and block out everything except for Zabrina’s encouragement. Joe Jer insists it is the worst food she has consumed in her life,

– Syeon has never ate anything fancy before. She is close to being done. I hope I can see Francesca watch Syeon vomit. Zabrina comments on Joe Jer’s eating machine ways. Marsio knows he will be F3.

– Syeon is done. Her and Andrew have the clue. They must take a taxi to Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum’s House where they will search for their next clue. Be funny if it was a random local. A house invasion.

– Andrew is proud of Syeon. She couldn’t sound more exhausted. Joe Jer eats then vomits. Joe Jer washes her food down with a lime drink. She is done. They flag down a taxi which Mardy & Marsio will have to find a way to pay for.

– Francesca comments how roadblock hints are cryptic and thought the ‘brains’ clue was too easy, and because they were in an Arabic country.

FRANCESCA: I’ve seen Indiana Jones far too many times and went with my gut instinct.

sandy francesca sit

Learned his wife enjoys Indiana Jones. Granted this was before the fourth one came out.

– Sandy stuffs the food in his mouth. He talks about traditional Maori underground cooking being similar to this. Mardy & Marsio discuss how hard of bites to take place. Sandy talks about unusually placed bites.

– Francesca says she can’t watch because if she sees Sandy vomit that she will need an hour to re-cooperate before continuing on. Both of them know this. Wow. She isn’t joking. Sandy comments on the salty nature of brains.

– Andrew & Syeon found the house to be a maze, but retrieve the clue. They read they must take a taxi to Wild Wadi Water Park/Jumeirah Scheirah/Place where teams leave their bags or take wrong forms of transportation/highest and fastest waterslide on the planet courtesy of TAR 5.

– Andrew reads they must wear a swimsuit. Sandy & Francesca are done the roadblock and start making their way to the house. Zabrina & Joe Jer’s taxi has let them out at the house. Sandy & Francesca see Mardy & Marsio on the streets entering the restuarant. Marsio enters the restaurant.

marsio peking

Marsio meditates as he gets in touch with his brains.

marsio peking 2

I wish I understood why it is so significant that there would be no sauce on a Peking Duck. For once, the reference is totally lost on me.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer aimlessly wander the house. Sandy & Francesca continue searching for a cab. Joe Jer finds the clue.

– Andrew & Syeon make it to the water park. Mardy orders Marsio to go faster. He has the meat sweats like my dad or oldest brother.

– Andrew is first down the waterslide. Syeon is next. Want an idea for how crazy the slide is (again)? I must say TAR 5’s camera work of this location was much better.

syeon wadi

She has hidden herself well.

– Marsio says they both were forbidden from eating internal organs when growing up. So the task was hard.

– Andrew reads that teams must take a taxi to the next pit stop–Mina A’salam Beach. It is a beach overlooked by the Burj Al Arab Hotel. I assume TAR Asia’s pockets weren’t big enough to enter the hotel itself. The hotel is built on an artificial island, and is described as the world’s “only seven-star hotel” where rooms can cost up to 18 grand per night. Move over Boardwalk and Park Place. The hotel is in the shape of a dhow (traditional triangular-shaped Arabian ships). It is the most epic location for a pit stop before heading into the final leg of the race.

– Sandy & Francesca ask for directions. Andrew & Syeon are running and see the flag. Andrew comments on the building.

1ST: ANDREW & SYEON

dubai greeter 2

Dressed a bit less formal than the previous Dubai greeter. I wonder if this season has the record for most female greeters in a season?

– Andrew & Syeon are awarded a holiday for two to the Gold Coast including 1k spending money, and an exclusive look at the Caltex F1 Indy racing team. Oh. Couldn’t they trade that in for money? I can’t see them excited to visit Caltex.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer are at the wild wadi. Zabrina jumps first. Meanwhile Mardy is begging for people to give him money. A well-dressed single man hands him cash and walks away silently.

– Marsio says he would rather do Mardy’s work of begging than the work of vomiting brains. We see and hear Marsio vomit.

– Joe Jer closes her eyes while going down the slide. Her and Zabrina thoroughly enjoyed it and receive their next clue. Off they go. Zabrina & Joe Jer receive directions from a local to the house and proceed to enter a cab. Off they go too. Francesca tells the taxi to go ‘fast, fast, fast’.

– Marsio is still vomiting. Francesca borrows the driver’s cell phone for directions. She hangs up and says to go fast.

– Mardy & Marsio argue over them to eat. Marsio stops to yell. Mardy catches on and says he knows Marsio will finish and quits talking. Marsio isn’t done though and yells back at Mardy to give him hope until he is done.

mardy marsio eat

That’s how I eat all the time too.

BRAINS: Psst. Marsio. Over here.

– Mardy reminds Marsio how he volunteered to do it. Marsio is angry and frustrated. He says ‘forget it’ and begins to break into his food. But he stops to tell off Mardy again and how the volume of food was more than he anticipated.

2ND: ZABRINA & JOE JER

How the heck did that happen? A top two finish for them?

– Sandy & Francesca enter the housing maze. A bunch of portraits exhibited in one of the rooms.

MARSIO: It was so hard. Eating is one of my favourite hobbies, but I select what I eat.

Did he just call eating a hobby? He really needs to meet my dad.

– Mardy says he doesn’t care if Marsio eats it or pukes it, and that it will count as his breakfast.

– Sandy & Francesca have the clue. Mardy doesn’t think Marsio is determined enough. Marsio drops an uncensored s-bomb on TV. Marsio knows he needs to “cut the s—“.

– Sandy & Francesca discover their taxi has left them. Marsio has finished his meal. They have the clue to head to the house. Francesca tries to hire a parked taken taxi, and is forced to find yet another one.

– Marsio knows he is not mentally prepared for a hard life yet. He is used to having it easy. They show up at the house and begin exploring.

mardy head

Brace yourself with your hand. . .

mardy head 2

A bonked head is coming.

– Sandy & Francesca hire a cab. Francesca assumes she cannot be first or second. For once a prediction out of pessimism is incorrect. Sandy & Francesca understand their driver is confused.

– Sandy & Francesca are stripped to their bathing suits and enter the slide. Mardy & Marsio follow. Francesca jumps first. Sandy is next. I want to go down it backwards.

– Next up are Mardy & Marsio down the slide. Sandy & Francesca read the clue. Mardy & Marsio have the clue as well. Both teams enter cabs. Suspense continues to be created. Francesca hopes one team is behind. Mardy & Marsio exit at a resort area and begin running. We see Sandy & Francesca arrive at the area next and start running. Who shall finish third?

3RD: SANDY & FRANCESCA

They’re saved. Which means. . .

LAST: MARDY & MARSIO

– Marsio says it was harder than anything possible. Yeah. A race that never travels more than a couple thousand kilometres from their home is the hardest thing ever. They feel fortunate for their opportunity despite disappointment that they didn’t finish top 3. They chuckle then are never heard from ever again.

NEXT TIME ON TAR: The finale. After 15 cities and 36, 000 kilometres, it all boils down to this–the final 3 teams give their all to be first at the Finish Line. Will it be one of the couples or will the all-female team make history?  Who will be the winners of the first TAR Asia!

Confessional Count

ZABRINA.JOE JER 5.5
MARDY.MARSIO 1.6
SANDY.FRANCESCA 5.9
ANDREW.SYEON 4.1

Rank the Teams

1) Andy & Laura

They attributed everything in the universe to bad luck including receiving a ticket for driving forty kilometres over the speed limit, but were entertaining regardless.

They had this odd personality where every team simultaneously hated them and loved them. Andy & Laura’s strategies such as re-arranging maps or stealing taxi drivers that other teams raved about were original and great, but playing too hard when it was unnecessary seemed to rub teams the wrong way. Why not just stop with the map trick?

Those 7th place finishes in each of the first four rounds were hilarious. It’s like they aimed specifically to finish seventh for the first third of the season. Even when they were in the lead and Laura suffered that ankle injury just short of the pit stop.

Speaking of which, Laura was a real trooper. We only heard her ankle injury referenced once or twice in the following six rounds. It’s not like that crybaby Dave where he would not shut up about his Achilles tendon every dang second.

For quotes that made me laugh consistently, and for having such low expectations for the locals and the racers around them, but somehow pulling an impressive streak of top tier finishes, I applaud Andy & Laura for being a great team to watch in TAR Asia.

P.S. They’re also the only team to have a rift with any of the other teams. If they were in the US version of TAR, they would be edited as a relatively tame team while Charla & Mirna would spit in their mouths like Roberto Alomar and the Weaver Family would pull that lever full of bibles and crosses on top of Laura’s head.

So congratulations on getting an unlikely villain edit. Well done.

2) Mardy & Marsio

90% of ranking Mardy & Marsio this high is because of Marsio. The guy was downright hilarious. He was shown eating food on-screen more than any other contestant in TAR history. He was like Brad Pitt’s character from Ocean’s Eleven in terms of shown food consumption.

They may be the most unlikely team ever to emerge with a period of domination in the race. The last time I can think of being this surprised was when Ken & Gerard were seen as a major threat in the last ten legs of TAR 3.

Their mental agility was strong compared to other teams. Their extravagant use of monetary funds was amusing at times. From massages to backpacks.

Refraining from yielding Andrew & Syeon in the previous round may have cost them the race. I don’t blame them though because I would have banked on an equalizer too. Oh well.

They will forever be the Asian Kevin & Drew. Arguing with each other over nothing, but still finish strong each round as well as be popular amongst other teams.

Some will say they were robbed due to not being given a chance to make up any time in the twelfth round of the game. I am convinced it was impossible to make up more than twenty minutes for the whole episode combined.

If you told me what was entertaining about Mardy, I’d be at a complete loss. I have nothing to say about him as an individual. The camera was fixated on Marsio whenever he spoke or moved all season.

3) Able Sisters

I don’t typically put the flirtatious team high on any of my rankings, but at the very least I put them above Ernie & Jeena. The Able Sisters weren’t flirts in the traditional sense. They didn’t come off as lazy or attempt a showmance. Their charm was strictly limited to begging money from rich businessmen at airports.

They seem like the most brilliant people on the planet. Not only did they quit a task, but would have been eliminated anyway. They probably saved an additional hour or two of digging achieving the same result.

4) Ernie & Jeena

One of the strongest teams who happen to be married for at least ten years. A fit older team is rare on TAR. Their biggest weakness was surprising because it came in the form of mentally navigating the confusing metropolitan cities. If it weren’t for navigation, these two would have fared much better. Bad luck with cabs also contributed to their demise.

Jeena’s Type A personality made for some entertaining interactions during their limited presence on the show. Both of them had a great sense of humour. Going from first to last in what appeared to be a very close four hours of racing around Jakarta may be one of the more unusual events to occur in TAR history. That twenty minute detour (as opposed to the Detour/task) was the difference between first and last. Usually it is not that narrow of gap from first to last in TAR’s earlier years.

5) Melody & Sharon

Neither of them have a memorable quote. Sharon seemed to be the crazier of the two thanks to her extreme level of perseverance at the beach digging task in Bali.

Confession: I thought these two were in their early 40s. Absolutely convinced and made the assumption for the six-episode run. You did too? Well, look their ages up on Amazingracewikia. Yeah. I was -way- off.

They are probably the lightest pair to ever compete on the race besides Carissa Gaghan and Austin Black. Yes, I would say they are even lighter than Charla.

I must say they were robbed in their elimination. They should have been saved due to a penalty for the second leg in a row, but I guess producers are too obsessed with Andy & Laura attempting to fulfill the villainous role.

I liked Melody & Sharon although it was clear they could not be a strong team after the Bali mishap. The fatigue was starting to show. At least Melody got to do a bungee jump and cry for ten minutes afterwards.

6) Howard & Sahran

I always have a tough time applauding production for  approving a team to be on the race who have so many liabilities that render them to be out of contention for the title.

In case you can’t figure it out, Howard & Sahran were cast because they added to the ‘diversity’ for the season and provided entertainment value. But it came at a price. Sahran flat out refused to do many of the height related tasks, and Howard had several phobias of his own that ensured this team could not make it far in the race. In fact, I think they beat a lot of close calls to stay alive for eight rounds.

Without these phobias they would be #1 on this list because they were great television. I understand why production cast them. But I think they really should have moved on to another team to take their spot on the show.

6) Sahil & Prashant

I have virtually nothing to say about Sahil & Prashant. They are from Mumbai. They are models. And much like Robb Zbacnik, they hate being beat by a bunch o’ rules.

Team Averages

Bulls— Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0
11th John & Scott 11.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
–D minus–
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
–D+–
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF
–C minus–
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
–B minus–
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
–B+–
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Monica & Joseph 3.50
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17
–A minus–
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
–BEST OF THE BEST–
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF

Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)

11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF
18 legs Danielle 4.78
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 None
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3!
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 None
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None

* Note: I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.

Rank the Legs

1) Kalkata -> Delhi (I never expected the best leg of the season to come from an India episode. As I said last round, India episodes rarely do well anymore because it is the most repeated location in TAR history. How many India legs do we have by TAR Asia? Ten?

Anyways, the biggest issue I have with this round is editing. The middle of the episode with the Detour and Yield specifically. The editing is so dang confusing and impossible to figure out where everyone is until after the Detour has played out. That’s not a production error but rather an editing error.

I loved the tasks. This was no ordinary delivery–either pick leading a donkey and have onions on its back to make you cry or personally handle really heavy bags of chile peppers that want to trash your throat while simultaneously surviving the scorching heat.

Add in car emissions and a saturation of people in the streets of Delhi and you have chaos. Lovely.

The ten-episode story arc with the Yield finally paid off. We can argue if being hit with the Yield truly put Andy & Laura out of the race or if they were in the wrong place at the wrong time as they searched for a taxi to take them to the pit stop. No way to prove which argument is true.

The roadblock was original too. I wish we knew exactly how many dung cakes players needed to make, but I can assure you there was a lot. In addition we witnessed teams become exhausted as they lifted buckets of dung from the courtyard and up the stairs to smash it against the wall. Apparently this is a way to pass time in East Indian rural villages.

Then the final dash where Zabrina & Joe Jer pull the upset to take out Andy & Laura shocked the audience, and made the players ecstatic as the biggest threat to win the mil since 7th place was eradicated, had finally been eliminated from the game.

2) 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!)

3) 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.)

4) 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.)

5) Delhi -> Dubai (A clear theme for this leg–do every resort-like activity possible within Dubai. Teams seemed to all finish this leg within a span of thirty minutes. For some reason the length between teams checking in has drastically decreased over the past few rounds.

I enjoyed the fact that the Dubai leg did not overlap with TAR 5 too much. In fact, the only overlap was the location of the pit stop. They did unique activities like golf in extremely hot temperatures, visited the world-famous and recently-built indoor ski resort that still blows my mind can exist in a city that frequently cracks 40 degrees Celsius, and searching for a gold shop within a market maze.

For a leg where I was expecting a non-elimination, there was still some comedy throughout. I found myself entertained in a 50-minute episode despite it being a non-elimination and a Final Four. Producers should be proud of themselves for doing so.

Oh, and remember how a Yield on the eleventh round went unused and can’t even factor in as a ‘what if’ because Mardy & Marsio were probably more than 30 minutes behind Andrew & Syeon? Yeah. That’s why you don’t put Yields on back-to-back legs.)

6) 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.)

7) 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.)

8) Bangkok -> Kingler (You know what’s always the most difficult part in the ‘Rank the Legs’ section each season? Anytime there is an island resort leg. Why? Because they have absolutely nothing in common with any of the other legs each season. No taxi drivers, everything is ‘go here and use some sort of water transport’ then a task that involves buoy checking/some other luck thing then followed by rock climbing prior to the pit stop. During this you just pray your boat’s motor doesn’t die.

If I compare it to other island resort legs I would say that it was terrible by those standards. I didn’t mind the equalizer (for once) because island resort legs rely on daylight for the whole day. However, I had major issues with the Detour, and found the Roadblock could have been altered to have more skill, strength, and overall brutality involved. Also, the Fast Forward task was extraordinarily lame. If you are reducing yourselves to three random Fast Forwards per season, how about putting the time and effort into making them memorable!)

9) Krabi -> Kolkata (There have been several India legs in prior seasons of TAR, and I would say many of them fared much better. Because the bar has been set high for India legs, this round inevitably falls to a sub-par section of the ranking.

Oh, and the fact it is a TBC leg deducts several points as well. Do I need to repeat why I hate TBCs in TAR? Just make it a dang non-elimination or a temporary one instead of letting a team run scot-free.

All of the tasks had been done before, and pretty much all from TAR 7. Transport stuff on your head. Shine shoes. Eat a massive meal. Count stuff. Head to the rooftop to trigger a To Be Continued leg. I was waiting for Uchenna & Joyce to pass Andy & Laura during the milk transport.

Seeing Sandy & Francesca brag about their cab only to have it stolen was a highlight. But that was negated by the numerous equalizers.

This leg was fairly crappy for those reasons, but it could also be crappy because of the number of times they all had to run to the bathroom after that spicy and calorie-laden meal.

10) Dubai -> Twenty kilometres across the city (In recent seasons of TAR on television, budgets have been cut to where teams staying in the same region or even the same town for the following leg happens from time to time. However, they still move throughout a big city and typically assigned tougher tasks to make up for the reduction in leg length. I thought these legs were the shortest in TAR history and clock in roughly around six hours at the shortest.

TAR Asia’s second Dubai leg may have set a record for quickest leg, though.

a) Their route marker was about five minutes away from that pit stop.
b) This route marker held a Detour.
c) The Detour took place about a mile away.
d) The Detour was completed for them by the camel guides. Therefore not much discrepancy in time lost.
e) They were assigned a driver to drive them to the Eye of the Emirates.
f) The Eye of the Emirates was a task that was process of elimination. It appeared to take anywhere between two to thirty minutes.
g) The restaurant roadblock task seemed to be nearby.
h) No two teams ever converged at the roadblock, meaning teams worked quickly through the meal. No more than 30 minutes here. Probably closer to ten minutes each.
i) The house was another needle but in a much smaller haystack. Probably ten minutes total.
j) The pit stop was in the exact same district as the Wild Wadi slides. None of the tasks were in the core of the city, and were done early morning, thus reducing traffic on streets.

The only task that required any sort of skill was the brain eating roadblock. Everything else was completed for teams or it were several needles in haystacks.

The only reason I praise this leg is because it is virtually the only leg all season without an equalizer. So that will keep it out of the bottom two spots, and at least the brain eating and the Eye of Emirates were original.

I am still outraged that Andrew & Syeon’s assigned driver got lost without a time credit given, and Mardy & Marsio’s assigned driver was stuck in the sand for twenty minutes.

I would say this leg and the two below it in this ranking are in a league of its own. They are the scraps in this season where production didn’t seem to understand how to produce a show.

The most impressive thing about this leg is that it may have been a record short leg AND there was only four teams. That’s not much footage to work with for a 47-minute episode. Every task was shown individually for each of the four teams in an in-depth edit, but somehow I never felt bored or sleepy watching it. And this was after midnight, mind you.

In other words, this was a penultimate leg where the skill level was reminiscent of Carissa Gaghan climbing a ladder as a roadblock clue.)

11) 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!)

12) 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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