SINGAPORE – PHILIPPINES – HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – GERMANY – CZECH REPUBLIC – HUNGARY – SOUTH AFRICA
Episode Four: “Loud Noises!”
Be careful. This is the most haunted blog dedicated to the second season of The Amazing Race Asia on the Internet. Proceed at your own risk.
Previously on TAR: Nine teams set out from Manila, Philippines and flew all the way to Hong Kong just to count a pile of money because we are bunch of jerks, and Daichi & Sawaka were the first to discover they were heading straight back to the airport.
Terri’s temper flared in transit. Teams flew to Auckland, New Zealand where they immediately faced some frightening challenges. Many found the rock climbing Detour too often so they opted for the easier but wetter option.
Brett & Kinar could not make up for time lost at the cultural centre and were faced with an hours of operation when they finally arrived at the Detour.
“Our hours of operation are between seven o’ clock in the morning and go f— yourself at night.”
It was a simple route marker that sent Singaporean Sophie and French-Born Aurelia off track, but they finally made it to the pit stop SEVEN HOURS after the previous team.
Brett & Kinar were left at the hours of operation.
Eight teams still remain. Who will be the next to go?
– Intro time. How far behind were Brett & Kinar if the team before them was seven hours behind the sixth place team? I bet Brett & Kinar only had to wait two hours for the Detour to open up seeing how every team checked into the pit stop at night.
Think about it. Let’s say it gets dark at seven o’ clock in the evening on average. The first team arrives right at nightfall. Singaporean Sophie and French-Born Aurelia would then be checking at two o’ clock in the morning at the earliest.
Brett & Kinar were not told to go directly to the pit stop until well after Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia not only checked in, but when production had to go up to Brett & Kinar’s window to intervene.
And keep in mind that is the absolute earliest. Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia were seven hours after the SEVENTH place team. Given Pamela & Vanessa were in a car accident and dealt with police, I doubt they made it to the mat until at least two hours after Marc & Rovilson. Therefore, Singaporean Sophie & French-Born Aurelia probably did not even show up until four o’ clock in the morning.
No wonder she thought that Brett & Kinar went to Australia.
– Okay. Allan introduces us to Auckland. It is the northernmost city in Auckland. The adventure capital of the world.
ALLAN: Teams must leave twelve hours after pit stop.
You mean this isn’t TAR 12 or later where teams check out whenever the hell production feels like it?
– Marc & Rovilson, who arrived first at 6:30pm, will depart at 6:30am.
Am I good or what?
– Marc & Rovilson read that they must drive to Rotorua, New Zealand. However, they must travel through Tirau via a certain commercial location that we are all too familiar with. . .
Why, a Caltex of course! If your country has a Caltex, it will be featured at some point in the TAR Asia catalogue!
– They must drive through Tirau which is a small farming community that has a Caltex. They must re-fuel their car using a Caltex Star Cash card.
– Marc is driving once again while Rovilson is navigating again. Marc clarifies that Rovilson spent the whole time sleeping in the backseat. Clearly this is a reference to last round when we saw Rovilson taking a snooze upon reaching the haunted house.
– ROVILSON: It’s hard to fall asleep because once in a while he goes on the wrong side of the road, and I have to keep him on the right side of the road.
The right side of the road, Rovilson?
You’re better off sleeping, Rovilson.
Marc stuffs his face with a sandwich while driving. It looks tasty.
Marsio drools from his couch at home.
– Adrian & Collin depart second at 7:40am. Ann & Diane are next at 7:46am. Diane says that Ann really wants to be team number one, but Ann concedes being the third team is a good strategy for the time being.
Yeah. Not being eliminated and sticking to the upper middle part of the pack is indeed wise. Why did I not think of that one?
– Paula & Natasha are fourth to exit at 7:48am. We have heard about ten words between these three teams so far. Paula makes fun of the name of the city.
– Adrian explains to us that Collin navigates while he is driving. When he needs to catch Collin’s attention, he signs and looks in the rearview mirror so Collin can read his lips.
Thankfully MADD has not come up with “Don’t Sign and Drive” rule.
– Henry & Terri are fifth to begin at 8:25am. Daichi & Sawaka are shown seconds later beginning the round too.
And they now have the right to have their departure time shown! Looks like Henry & Terri are finally coming around with Japanese rights. Only when they are ahead of them of course.
– Marc & Rovilson show up to the almighty Caltex. Rovilson receives the clue from a woman named Lizzie.
Forty whacks with a wet noodle, Marc!
– Rovilson reads that teams must head to Okere Falls Scenic Reserve on the Kaituna River. Once there, teams will not do a traditional whitewater rafting, but rather do some sledging.
Yep, the same sledging at the same location in TAR 5. Teams use boogey-boards to travel the rapids to receive their next clue.
Marc & Rovilson are examining the quickest route to becoming number one once again.
– Ann says something, but I rewound the clip about seven times and cannot understand the whole sentence. She says she wants to do something because it is their forte, but I cannot understand what it is that she wants to do.
I give up.
– Daichi is driving and points out that the moms are on the road in front of them. Sawaka finds the moms crazy for passing cars on the wrong side of the road. We hear some cars honking in the process.
MILFinators do nothing to improve the reputation of Asian drivers. Oceanic drivers continue to be pissed.
Between Andy & Laura, Pamela & Vanessa’s crash, and now Diane & Ann narrowly missing a head-on collision, TAR Asia may be banned from New Zealand forever.
This is coming from the guy who is afraid to move too fast because he will become fatigued.
– Paula & Natasha successfully ask for directions. Natasha is stoked to be in the race.
NATASHA: If any teams come by, send them north!
PAULA: North? At least send them southwest.
Yes, Natasha. Send them about ten miles north until they reach the ocean and are forced to turn around.
– Henry asks Terri which way he should be going. Terri yells for him to stop. He tells her just to find the place on the map.
TERRI: You ready to go you don’t even know where you are uh going. . .
HENRY: That’s why I was looking at the map.
Terri puts on her reading glasses to read the map. . .
TERRI: Okay, here–
Oh, she already took her glasses off. She gave up quick.
Just like that, a map gets shoved into Henry’s face. Who does she think he is? Zach Behr from TAR 3?
– The funniest part is watching Henry put on an angry face as we see him spend several seconds trying to unfold the map in front of him but never-quite-getting-it-sorted-out. Meanwhile Terri just mopes in the backseat.
I for one would be frightened if someone gave me that “forty whacks with a wet noodle, Henry” look.
– Ann & Diane pull over on the side of the road. A random guy tells them that they are thirty minutes away from their destination. Unfortunately he picks his nose on camera in the process.
Diane and her knee brace are taken aback. By the way, why is Diane’s knee brace never explained?
– Diane goes back in the car and announces she has no idea where she is going.
– Marc is wearing unzippable pants. He takes the bottom half of each pant leg off in preparation for sledging. Since they are not at a Swiss bike building site with Flo, there is no issue here while he drives. Rovilson sees a lake and thinks the destination is close.
Too bad it’s a river.
– Sawaka reads from a much smaller book.
Henry would prefer having a map in the form of a book to have with him in the driver’s seat, but then again, a heavy book of maps would probably hurt a lot if thrown at you by Terri.
– She instantly tells Daichi that they are going back the way they came. Sawaka casually exits the car. She yells for help in the quietest voice I have heard on the race. In addition, she giggles the whole time as two cars pass.
Sawaka forgot about the part where you are supposed to tell them to stop. Instead she is just staring at the car as it passes. Until the day telepathic cars are invented, Sawaka is doomed.
– I have never seen someone in such a good mood while falling behind.
– Adrian & Collin are second to the Caltex. Paula & Natasha are third. Diane & Ann’s magic placing is no more.
– Pamela & Vanessa are on the road now. For some reason we never see their checkout time. Pamela mumbles to herself for a good five seconds.
– Marc & Rovilson show up to do some whitewater sledging.
Marc & Rovilson head off into the New Zealandish wilderness.
– The instructor says “what we’re going to be doing today mate. . .” upon seeing them.
“Mate”? Hey, this guy is a phony! His Aussie cover is blown.
– Henry & Terri, Daichi & Sawaka, and Diane & Ann show up to the Caltex simultaneously. Paula is nervous about the task. Adrian says any swimming task is tough for Collin because it means he has to remove his hearing aid.
Collin has to remove his hearing aid? Oh my word. It’s like he won’t be able to hear when he goes sledging!
– Marc’s first reaction is how cold it was when he jumped in.
Seriously, how is the mortality rate not 95% for all people who sledge? How do they stay alive?
– Pamela & Vanessa try to make up for lost time. Vanessa is doing a great job of navigating.
Navigating–the Carissa Gaghan way.
– Terri receives the clue and exclaims that she got the guy.
Our dear Lizzie has already left us. So sad.
– Daichi & Sawaka have their clue in fifth. Meanwhile adventure music plays as we see Marc & Rovilson continue on in the rapids.
– We see an extended scene of Diane & Ann filling up their car with Caltex fuel or Daichi beforehand clarifying how to pay for the gas. This is not as over the top as the Sony advertisements, but a bit ridiculous.
– Now we are treated to a scene of Henry trying to drive out of the gas station. Terri warns her to not hit the Japanese car.
Yes, all cars were made in Japan and are technically Japanese cars, but the orange car specifically is Daichi & Sawaka’s. Terri warns Henry to save up his hatred for them for another day. Daichi & Sawaka should not be held responsible for the past.
– So Henry drives very, very, -very- slowly.
See that mark below your gas tank, Daichi & Sawaka? That’s the mark of FREEDOM!
– SAWAKA: You really don’t like him, huh?
DAICHI: . . .
Yeah. I think Daichi senses the prejudice from Henry & Terri.
– Diane & Ann receive their clue and re-enter their car unscathed. Actually, no. Because the car that was scratched was not really Daichi & Sawaka’s. It was Diane & Ann’s. Daichi & Sawaka just happened to see it all go down.
– Marc & Rovilson have already finished the task. They read that they must drive to the Blue Lake and find a 450 Horsepower Agro Jet.
She loves her jets that go agro.
– A brand new TAR soundtrack plays. A very dreamy song like you are in the clouds or Heaven. Odd.
A song so dreamy that you think you are watching a documentary about dolphins at an IMAX theatre.
– Once here at Blue Lake, also known as Tikitapu, they must get behind the wheel of a 450 horsepower jet boat. They must successfully navigate the course (didn’t we just do that last round with a kayak and carabao the round before?) to receive their next clue.
If the driver raises his hand, they must go back to the start and begin again.
Dang. New Zealand really is the adventure capital of the world. Those boats are ridiculous.
I think even more ridiculous than the speed of the boats from Micro Machines 64 Turbo.
– Henry laughs in an evil manner aloud. Ann informs us that Henry scraped her car.
ANN: That is what we call a bit of “bad driving”.
Yes, she used air quotes on “bad driving”. What is she? The executive of Nirvana Corp from Dillbert or Dr. Evil with his laser?
– Henry has caught up to Diane & Ann. He intends to pass them and knows he will pass them.
– Commercial break.
– Henry tells her that he thinks “rapid action” refers to rapids.
TERRI: Oh s—.
Terri heard about the rapids and I was like ‘oh s—‘.
– Paula & Natasha are second to the rapids because Collin took too long to remove his hearing aids. Both of them are shivering.
– Pamela & Vanessa are at the Caltex Gas Station.
– Marc & Rovilson are already at Blue Lake. That’s right. They are a full two tasks ahead of everyone at the moment. Rovilson volunteers to navigate while Marc drives.
ROVILSON: Where is the ‘you are here’ spot on the map?
Something tells me the buoys on the course will be enough instruction.
Rovilson could not look less enthusiastic as the instructor informs them that the 1968 Summer Olympics Black Power Salute means that they have to go back to the start.
– All seven teams are already at the gas station or further on in the day. Wait, don’t we have eight teams?
Eight hours and fifteen minutes behind Marc & Rovilson is the dynamic duo of Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia.
– I should note that it appears to be taking teams roughly five to eight hours to get to Caltex. Knowing how much these two suck at navigating and the fact there are no equalizers, these two appear to be very very dead. They need a non-elimination round desperately. Plus they have to do all of this at night.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: I have learned to be a more forgiving person and a more patient person. Especially with her.
Well isn’t that a French slap to the face if I have ever heard one.
Like map reading is actually gonna help them. Look, French Born Aurelia’s map is upside down!
Something tells me that Singaporean Sophie did not need that reminder.
And two hundred kilometres in the wrong direction?! It makes you wonder what Brett & Kinar did to finish even further back than they did.
– Pamela & Vanessa are seventh to the gas station. They have their clue.
– Adrian & Collin are pushed into the river.
NATASHA: Has anybody died doing this?
INSTRUCTOR: No one has ever died doing this.
How is that possible?
– Adrian’s abilities to sign to Collin are gone.
– Ann is asking a random countryman directions. Terri sees them on the side of the road.
TERRI: They’re going north. Lost them.
HENRY: What flag?
Wow. Terri really needs to think before she speaks. I like how one simple question triggers a shouting statement of words that make zero sense. You would think she is taking English lessons from French-Born Aurelia.
– Terri calms down and says that MILFinators are driving the other way. For some reason we get random commentary from Paula about how she loves the Reeds arguing because it slows them down. Paula no longer is afraid of them because she thinks without emotion they would be a strong team.
– Speaking of Paula, her and Natasha enter the rapids. Paula says she was bobbing because she has zero weight to her while Natasha is clumsy and is bouncing all over the place. Adrian & Collin finish the task.
– Don’t we still have a Detour and Roadblock to do?
– Adrian & Collin and Paula & Natasha exit the Okere Falls with clue in hand. Daichi & Sawaka are the fourth team to show up to the task.
– Diane is asking for directions AGAIN. She expresses her shock at hearing she has to turn right multiple times.
Diane objects to being lost like this and relying upon men in this fashion.
Her and Ann explain that challenges are always easy. The navigating is what trips them up frequently.
ANN: Being old we are sometimes forgetful.
Uh, aren’t you two forty-something and younger?
– Marc & Rovilson are on their second attempt.
ROVILSON: If they ever make Driving Miss Daisy, the boat version, Marc would definitely be the main actor. Right Morgan “Marc” Freeman?
Morgan “Marc” Freeman, eh?
A bit closer than the Magnum P.I. comparison, I guess.
– We cut to Terri who is in mid-mock laughter.
Seriously. Terri. What is your problem? You’re gonna give Henry a heart attack.
– Diane laughs in the truck telling us that she is lost again. Sawaka explains how entering a rapid at the wrong angle can flip you over, and you try your darndest not to drown. They exit as Terri & Henry show up.
INSTRUCTOR: Oh sorry, I meant that you really have to go into the rapids. I was just pulling your leg.
– Pamela & Vanessa joke about the journey being an emotional ride. Diane starts snapping in the backseat singing Barney’s “You Love Me, I Love You”. We hear the whole song. Except with a more upbeat and jazzy tone to it.
Snap yo fingers. . .
Lil Jon taught her how to snap it all by herself!
– Diane keeps singing.
Until Diane ends the song with a chest grab!
I guess that is why Barney never had MILFs on-set. Well, there was that one time. The episode never made it on air.
– Diane & Ann and Pamela & Vanessa all show up to the sledging next.
– Marc & Rovilson are on their third attempt. They finish it easily. It is a Roadblock.
ROVILSON (reading hint): Who is a real stick in the mud? By our order it’s. . .
In yo face! I get to bridge jump while you get to play with carabao in the mud and now repeat it again!
Oh the agony on Marc’s face screaming “WHY ME”.
Allan looks a bit more miserable than normal.
– In this task, that person must play in New Zealand’s Hell’s Gate Mud Baths. Yep, a repeat of another TAR 5 Rotorua task. It is still the most active geothermal reserve in New Zealand.
“The smell of these sulphur pools are often compared to the smell of rotten eggs.
Hopefully rotten balut eggs because that scent will definitely put racers in the mood.
– Allan further explains that the forty degree Celsius mud baths have clues hidden inside. Too bad Brandon & Nicole aren’t around for this one.
– Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia are praying that it will be route info for a flight. Furthermore, they pray for taxis.
– Henry says he has a phobia of swimming and water, but was willing to do it anyway. Rovilson reads that he cannot enter the mud pool.
ROVILSON: The non-participating team member must not enter the marked mud pool. Ah, darn it. I wanted to join in it with you too. Oh, and you must also perform a traditional Maori dance. This is a two minute dance.
The funniest part about it all is that -I- get to do skydiving next round.
MARC: You’re kidding. Please tell me you’re joking.
I think that’s called a tell.
– MARC: Yeah, you’re s—ting me!
They share a good laugh.
– Diane says that the sledging was a big adrenalin rush. Pamela says she has never seen a sledge board before.
Pamela not doing too well with her sledge.
Although her sister Vanessa is doing much worse.
– Henry & Terri finish the task in fifth place.
Terri is stoked about that.
– We cut back to the sisters sledging.
WHOA! WHAT THE F— HAPPENED HERE?
– Adrian says that Collin has operated a boat before, but with this situation they have no choice. I can tell Adrian does not elaborate too well. Diane & Ann and Pamela & Vanessa finish the task in sixth and seventh. With Singaporean Sophie & French-Born Aurelia in dead last, it is not a good day for all-female teams.
– Marc & Rovilson are at Hell’s Gate. Paula & Natasha are third to the speed boats. A lot of all-female teams in this thing. Natasha complains about the cold water again.
– Adrian admits he panicked a bit when he saw Paula & Natasha.
Psssst. You’re not a very good driver.
– Commercial break.
– Adrian & Collin have finished the task upon returning from the break. Natasha asks her instructor if it is like driving a car. Adrian wishes them good luck as he exits. He is doing the Roadblock.
– Marc is now doing the Roadblock. He sinks immediately into the mud.
Quite the dropoff.
ROVILSON: C’mon. This isn’t a calendar shoot.
– Paula is in the boat helping Natasha navigate.
Much to the dismay of the instructor’s blocked view.
– A female Asian driver receives the black power salute. Back to the start she goes.
– Marc completes the task and retrieves the item.
Don’t worry, he did not dismember himself. You exchange that stick for a clue.
– Apparently the woman with the clue is named Ida.
ROVILSON: Ida like to go on a date with you?
Allan is just a pair of headphones away from looking like Neko from The World Ends With You.
– Teams must travel to Papooya and choose between Flax or Stick.
In Flax, teams must weave a teapotty, which is a Maori headband made of flax–a substance native to New Zealand.
I hear Ronald Hsu from The Amazing Race 12 teaches people how to weave flax headbands.
Flax on. Flax off.
– In Stick, teams must learn the tetetoyteya. Also known as the Stick Game. They must throw sticks to each other and move it in beats and patterns to the music.
I wonder if these sticks were retrieved from Hell’s Gate?
In the past, this game was used to train young Maori warriors.
The Bearded Lady and Master Wu looks upon his newly trained Maori soldiers. Plotting to take over the world.
Oh! Master Wu. I have dishonoured myself in your presence.
– The objective is to not drop any of the sticks. Good rhythm and good hand-eye coordination will be a huge advantage for this task.
– Rovilson wants to do something cultural. He wants to emasculate himself for a minute. Therefore, flax is their calling. Paula & Natasha are on their second attempt of the speedboat.
– Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia make it to the gas station during dusk. The slow-paced goofy TAR 3 music plays as they try to figure out the gas tank.
But first Singaporean Sophie decides to grab that soldier’s butt. Thankfully he does not charge Singaporean Sophie with sexual harassment.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: This thing is here. . .
Singaporean Sophie opens the chamber. French Born Aurelia does nothing because no one has explained to her what that word is in English. Saying “this thing” will not help.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: They do it for you, don’t they?
Ah yes. I have a feeling French Born Aurelia does not drive herself around Paris because full serve gas stations are gone by 2004 or 2005 virtually worldwide.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: But you need to be on the right side of the car? Do. . .do you get me?
All migraines point to ‘no’.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: It was stressful. It was extra stressful for me because I had to care of myself and take care of her.
Not Caltex’s publicist.
– Natasha successfully completes a task that is somehow not a Roadblock. Paula is doing the Roadblock. Daichi & Sawaka are fourth to the boats. Rovilson hopes this is the last of muddy or wet tasks.
MARC: What do you mean ‘we’? I always have to do the muddy tasks.
– Marc & Rovilson show up to the Flax Detour.
ROVILSON: Hey look! They’ve got ‘idiot’ cards for us!
They proceed to check out the women weaving before them.
– Daichi & Sawaka enter the boat. Daichi is driving. He is reckless on the course. Diane & Ann complain about being cold as they are next to enter the boats. Daichi is loving the agro boat by the way.
– Marc begins to weave the flax headbands. Adrian enters the mud in Hell’s Gate. Daichi finishes the course on his first try. Sawaka is impressed.
SAWAKA: He can actually be really strong. I realized he can do a lot of things.
Because, like before, I always thought he really sucked and could not do many things at all.
INSTRUCTOR: You were the only ones to do it first try.
Uh oh, stroking the Japanese ego.
– French Born Aurelia returns from finding out that she has to open it. No full service here.
Should be as easy as opening a gas tank.
And back to the drawing board we go.
– Marc & Rovilson weaving a flax headband is about as exciting as weaving a flax headband. Adrian is still searching in the mud.
– Meanwhile Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia have called over the attendant. Apparently you get full service when your car knowledge threatens the lives of others.
He searches for pennies in the ashtray as a personal tip for his work.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: I’ve never filled a tank by myself. This is something challenging.
– I guess there was a button to open the gas tank from the inside of the car because. . .
Ta-da! The elusive gas tank opens.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Your friendly neighbourhood Logan Saunders has never filled up a gas tank either. Even though I am not French. Something tells me that will not change if I go another twenty-two years without a license.
– Rovilson was the navigator while Marc drove the car. Rovilson was the navigator again while Marc drove the agrojet. Marc was the one who found the stick at Hell’s Gate. Guess who is doing the flax weaving?
I guess you could say that Rovilson never likes to take the hands-on approach unless it comes to women.
Although this woman’s body language has instructed Rovilson to have a hands-off approach for the time being.
– Marc & Rovilson go back to the woman to learn how to weave some more flax.
HENRY: There’s the desperate housewives.
TERRI: They’re my enemy.
Who isn’t Terri’s enemy? I think her worst enemy is her mouth.
– INSTRUCTOR (to HENRY & TERRI): Need to take out a bit of aggression? This is the machine to do it.
Too bad they missed that jousting fight with the sledges earlier. A deleted scene, might I add.
– Diane is so short she can barely see over the steering wheel.
HENRY: New Zealand is the outdoor adventure capital of the world. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had some sort of crazy treetop-jumpin branch leaf lickin bungee cord thing going on.
I wouldn’t be surprised if they had something in New Zealand based off of a random string of ten words that I just said aloud.
– Rovilson is still looking at the flax headbands.
ROVILSON: Can we have that instant replay, please?
See how I made that sports reference? Hi, I’m Rovilson Fernandez. You may remember as a sports personality from Manila. . .
The wheels may be turning, but the hamster is dead.
– Natasha once again complains about the cold. Adrian finishes the Roadblock. Collin announces that he wants to do the stick game.
ADRIAN: We are not very good at handicross.
Handycross? Handicross? Er, okay.
– Ann & Diane finish the task. Terri compares the boat to Formula One. Then repeats it twice more.
– Ann volunteers as a stick in the mud. She celebrates knowing where it is. Henry & Terri finish the task. Terri wants to come back because she loved that task. Henry volunteers as a stick in the mud.
– Pamela & Vanessa are now at the boats in a solid seventh place.
– Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia are STILL at the gas station. Holy crap guys. This is a rural village in the middle of New Zealand–not Los Angeles during rush hour.
Wait a second. SHE IS NOT EVEN PRESSING THE F—ING HANDLE!
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: Ez zit going? Iz not moving!
So nothing is moving on screen. Now what?
Bonjour, monsieur! Mademoiselle de la destresse! Aidez-moi, s’il vous plait!
My grade twelve French is coming handy here.
– So the attendant comes out. French Born Aurelia asks one of the best questions ever.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: Iz there a zpecial button to press?
Yes, French-Born Aurelia.
If French Born Aurelia had only known the word for ‘easy’ in English, she could have pressed it at the gas station to fill up the tank!
– Adrian & Collin are on site to start throwing sticks. They are laughing loudly because they are TERRIBLE.
ROVILSON: The end was the problem. Tying loose ends is our problem.
Ah. I see.
– Marc & Rovilson continue to struggle with weaving the flax at the end.
MARC: One of these girls must be left-handed.
Yes. Weaving flax headbands is only for the nine percent.
Just be thankful you are not given the impossible task of pumping a gas tank with fuel.
– Commercial break.
– ROVILSON: We were worried a team would show up. Especially a girl team, and pass us.
That wasn’t sexist at all.
– Adrian & Collin continue to toss away then pick up sticks.
I have heard of intense focus, but dang.
– Paula retrieves the stick from the mud. She is done the task in third. Natasha decides that they shall go do the flax task.
– Marc & Rovilson’s flax headband is approved. Adrian & Collin’s stick throwing is also approved. Detour done.
– Marc reads that teams must race on foot to Pohutu Geyser. Allan notes that they will be welcomed with a traditional Maori greeting.
It is all calm and peaceful then. . .
It is called the “Maoterri” greeting. In English it translates to “Shriek and Scare Others Poopless for No Apparent Reason”.
– Rovilson sees the Pohutu Geyser.
– The competitive music plays as Paula & Natasha run to the Detour.
– Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson take part in a running montage. Who shall be first after being screamed at by the pit stop greeter? It might not be Marc & Rovilson to stop and check the clue.
“Hmmm, where could this pit stop be? If you move a little to the left, carry the one, and is it a full moon, Marc? Uhhh. . .that means we should. . .”
Oh! We got it!
We know where to go!
It was one inch forward all along! Genius!
FIRST: MARC & ROVILSON
– Yep. Three wins in four rounds to match a franchise record after four rounds. Their celebrations are pretty bland now. But they do receive a prize. Guess what it is?
We ran out of gas cards, so this handycam will have to do.
– Adrian & Collin enter the mat.
SECOND: ADRIAN & COLLIN
MAORI: LOUD NOISES!!!!
COLLIN: . . . .
– Just kidding.
He did react.
You know you are really good at scaring people when a scream can even have a deaf person shake in their boots.
– Paula & Natasha watch the demonstration of the flax weaving. Natasha compares it to braiding. Pamela & Vanessa quietly work their way through the speedboats.
– French Born Aurelia exclaims that the numbers are moving. Success! After they are done French Born Aurelia gingerly and softly puts the pump back into its cradle. But she is not done yet.
She quickly cleans the nozzle before sliding it all the way in! Hilarious.
– Daichi & Sawaka make the wisest observation of the whole round.
Yes, Daichi. A team that finished seven hours after you and were probably awake doing the round while you were sleeping are indeed not doing so well.
– Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia receive their clue.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA (receiving the clue): I don’t want to see the word ‘drive’ in it.
Well. This is awkward.
– Sawaka continues her analysis of Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia.
SAWAKA: They are both quite opposite.
Maybe if she knew the English word for ‘think’, this would not be an issue.
Yes. Quite opposite in that one thinks and the other. . .doesn’t think.
– SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: It’s ridiculous that you don’t notice the simple little things before.
The one who thinks.
– Pamela & Vanessa have finished the task. Pamela is doing the Roadblock apparently. Paula & Natasha are calmly going through the weaving. Ann has the strangest outfit as she enters Hell’s Gate.
She really needs her own clothing line.
– Paula & Natasha complete the Detour. Onwards they go to the mat. Daichi enters mud. Ann comments that the geothermal hole is nice. Ann joins Daichi.
Who knew she was a cougar.
– DIANE: Give me an egg. Give me an egg. Give me an egg. Go egg!
I think she wants an egg.
Oh. It took me literally two minutes to figure out what she was really saying.
– DIANE: Give me an ‘A’. Give me an ‘N’. Give me an ‘N’. And what does that say? Go Ann!
– We cut to Henry & Terri.
HENRY: I’m gonna crawl into one of these things.
HENRY: Because. . .that’s what it says.
Is that her normal speaking voice? Like. . .there was no reason for her to yell that reply. At all.
– Paula & Natasha enter the mat.
THIRD: PAULA & NATASHA
NATASHA: F—! S—!
– Allan informs them of their good standing. They celebrate. Someone else is allowed to be third now. They are really stoked about that news.
Can that Maori dude scream again so they get back in line?
– Henry reads the instructions. Again, Terri uses Terrispeak. Sawaka asks Daichi if he needs the pendulum.
What? A pendulum?
– Sawaka explains that her friend gave her a turquoise lucky charm. Apparently it gives the user good luck.
I thought only the Irish make lucky charms rather than the Japanese.
– Daichi pulls out the stick in response to the direction that the pendulum was waving.
We are treated to another case of Shivering Daichi.
Terri yells at Henry for not checking out the flags. She lectures him about never learning a lesson. Henry decides to listen to Terri but insists they need to begin moving.
Terri points out the direction she wants to go.
He runs away thinking she is ready to slap him upside-the-head, but is also following the direction she pointed.
– Henry yells at Terri for her to come on and follow her own direction.
You following exactly what I say? O no u di’int.
– Henry & Terri casually walk while other teams are seen running. Sawaka coughs because the smell of Hell’s Gate is making her sick. Pamela & Vanessa enter Hell’s Gate as they pass Diane & Ann on the way out.
– Ann & Diane ask a local if weaving or the Maori stick game will be difficult.
That guy definitely looks Maori.
– We see Pamela in the mud for the Roadblock. Henry joins in shortly afterwards. It looks like Pamela & Vanessa have made up a ton of time. Pamela attempts to search the mud for a stick.
Great miming, Pam.
The mud is not quicksand underneath, right?
– Pamela thinks it is a pipe because it was too tough to get out, and thinks it is too dangerous. So she leaves it alone. Henry comes over to the same spot and finds the same pipe. . .
Nope. Just a f—ing stick.
Pamela puts on her best “But Lennyyyyyyyyyyy’ face.
– Henry confirms for her that it was indeed tough to pull out. He and Terri agree that they should do the flax weaving.
– Pamela has a stick of her own moments later. Vanessa says it is her turn to choose the Detour task. Pamela chooses the sticks. Er, pipes. Wait. Sticks.
TERRI: Go to Uhawaieeuaieeaieeaieee.
– Ann & Diane and Daichi & Sawaka are having fun with sticks at the Detour.
I call this next track the ‘Toga Serenade’.
– We see a quick break of Henry & Terri arriving before Ann gets a stick in the eye.
No wonder Maori warriors trained for battle using this game. This is lethal stuff.
– Daichi & Sawaka giggle after each mistake. Ann & Diane screw up epically.
Diane is rather exhausted.
– French Born Aurelia says today has gone fine because when they are both driving they get along well.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: Where is my brain? I know I left it somewhere. I know I have one. I just have to find it, you know?
She would try to drive to Emerald City to get one, but she fears she may get lost.
– Pamela & Vanessa are at the Sticks Detour. Ann & Diane come up with a rhythm to receive their clue. So do Daichi & Sawaka. Another running montage as they see Henry & Terri entering the building.
FOURTH: ANN & DIANE
– ZERO reaction from the Maori. It was as if they have experienced it twenty times before.
FIFTH: DAICHI & SAWAKA
I cannot say the same for Sawaka.
– Terri sees the demonstration. Instantly she says it is easy. Seconds later she says “not gonna do it”.
TERRI: No, I’m not gonna do it.
HENRY: Okay. Then sit down and watch me do it.
TERRI: You’re the man uh–I got it.
HENRY: Okay, do it.
TERRI: No. I said ‘let me watch the instructor and see what they’re doing’.
HENRY: Okay, then–
TERRI: No. You’re wasting too much time!
Then the other.
HENRY: We choose to change–
TERRI: No! We’re not gonna do that either.
Uhhhhhh. . .do I sense a four hour penalty!
– Pamela & Vanessa start tossing sticks. Vanessa is confused. Henry tries to explain to Terri how he is going to weave it.
She ain’t gettin’ it.
– Terri acts all passive-aggressive. He begs her to switch to the sticks.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: Next thing we’re heading for some rifting or something like this. . .rafting. Yeah, rafting.
She would learn English faster if she would listen to some audio tapes while driving.
– They need to get to the location before night time, according to French Born Aurelia.
– Henry & Terri attempt to throw sticks. Terri wants to quit. She tells him to shut up and go back unless he will do it synchronized.
– Pamela & Vanessa find Henry & Terri’s arguing very distracting. Terri throws a full on temper tantrum.
HENRY: Okay. Just stay within twenty feet of me.
– Pamela & Vanessa finish the Detour while Henry is back to weaving.
TERRI: We can’t work together. Even at our house we cannot work together.
Gee, Terri? I wonder whose fault that is?
SIXTH (BY DEFAULT): PAMELA & VANESSA
– Pretty much impossible to not finish sixth when you know the other two teams.
– Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia have completed the sledging, agrojets, Hell’s Gate, and the weaving since we last left them. . .just kidding. They are not even at the sledging yet.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: Something smells.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: Well it might be the air or. . .
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: No. Somebody ate something wrong.
Yep. Perhaps their final scene of the race is about flatulence. What a legacy.
– Singaporean Sophie thinks the smell is coming from the gas tank. She wants to pull over to see it is screwed on correctly.
FRENCH BORN AURELIA: The last thing we want is the car to explode.
– Singaporean Sophie is shown screwing on the gas tank.
This is beyond ridiculous. I have never seen two people over the age of twenty screw up with putting gas into a gas tank like this since 1907 or 1908 back before Model Ts were invented.
Can you imagine what would happen if one of their shoes became untied? They would have to take a four hour penalty if that was a Roadblock.
The idea of them sledging or guiding a boat or even weaving will put them days and days behind.
– Terri continues to pout as Henry keeps weaving. Terri solves the last bit for him. He has it. The clue is theirs.
SEVENTH: HENRY & TERRI
– How does Terri take this news?
You would think she was last.
– Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia show up. Hours of operation ended at 5:00pm. It’s cool. They will camp out until 8:00am. But they have a visitor.
“Singaporean Sophie, French Born Aurelia. . .when we heard that your car may explode after all other teams checked in, we thought it was safe for the citizens of New Zealand if we just forced you to stay put while I came to eliminate you.”
– Allan is a broken record for the second round in a row as he announces the elimination of a team well before they could finish the round in its entirety.
This is the end for them. I bet there was a non-elimination planned seeing how we still have four of them left, but I think waiting another 24 hours and two car explosions later for them may not be wise.
EDITOR’S NOTE: French Born Aurelia did not know if she was eliminated yet because she did not know the French word for it.
– French Born Aurelia feels that she never received support from her partner.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE: I was not supported by her. She would never cover my back. She’s not capable of doing it.
Farewell, our Parisian Princess. You left us nine rounds too soon. But you shall not be forgotten!
We need a song. A French song. No, not one by that Quebecois singer K-Maro. Because much like 99.9% of all people from British Columbia to Ontario, we cannot stand anyone from Quebec.
Also, people from Paris hate people from Quebec and vice versa. Parisians are, like, actually French.
But this is also Amazing Race Asia. So we need a French-Asian dedication to our French-born star.
Such a sweet melody for such a sweet woman. Our hearts collectively ooze blood with sorrow.
Next Time on TAR: Logan flies to AXS headquarters in Singapore, and storms the office telling Allan Wu that he can screw himself following Singaporean Sophie & French-Born Aurelia’s elimination.
Really Next Time on TAR: It is not only a homecoming for Daichi & Sawaka, but also a homecoming for Shola & Doyin.
But who cares, really? French Born Aurelia is gone. My whole motivation to blog this season has been thrown out the window.
SINGAPOREAN SOPHIE.FRENCH-BORN AURELIA 3.3
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0
11th Ari & Staella 11.0
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 Edwin & Monica 10.0 (Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race.)
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????)
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
10th Kate & Pat 9.0
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33
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 – Yielded
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 – Sucked.
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/)
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 Brett & Kinar 6.33
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
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
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn
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
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
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 – Wah.
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded
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
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned
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 and Used Yield
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25
1st TK & Rachel 3.18
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4thToni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
–BEST OF THE BEST–
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2 and Used Yield
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 FF
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF and Yielded
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF and Used Yield
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 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
* 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 Teams:
1) Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia
If it was Singaporean Sophie and her sister, then she would be ranked at the bottom.
Thank goodness that she made the tres tres tres wise decision of having French Born Aurelia as her teammate.
Ah yes. French Born Aurelia. Ex-roommate of Singaporean Sophie who recently reunited shortly before coming on the race.
Singaporean Sophie always picked on French Born Aurelia for not being able to do much and clueless to her surroundings.
The thing is that they were both mutually useless. Once they had to drive themselves they were done. They had troubles with a stick shift and could not even fill a gas tank. Heck, the gas tank comedic routine cost them about thirty minutes of time. That’s not even counting their emergency stop to ensure they screwed the cap on all the way.
There was this je ne sais quois feeling when French Born Aurelia was presented on screen that attracted viewers to her. She was a French model being put on a race around the world.
In other words, a six foot tall 95 pound woman with large earrings had to depend on herself to do many tasks which required a lot of physical strength and mental agility. There was also practical knowledge which her and Singaporean Sophie just could not grasp.
Also, French Born Aurelia has the smallest English vocabulary of anyone to ever compete on The Amazing Race Asia. She was confused about what certain words meant when her partner treated her as an idiot for not knowing every single word in the dictionary.
It is tragic that we lost French Born Aurelia after just four episodes. She had so much promise. But given that her and Singaporean Sophie’s abilities were rather limited, this is probably where they should have finished.
But god. Four rounds in a season with five non-elimination rounds? I wish all five non-eliminations came in the beginning just so we were guaranteed six episodes of French Born Aurelia’s antics.
2) Brett & Kinaryoshih
So Kinaryoshih, or better known as Kinar, is famous? Really? To keep up the metropolitan image, she raced with her boyfriend Brett Money.
Brett Money was a nice guy who happened to be a bit amusing. Besides being too eager to explain to Kinar what an aphrodisiac was, such as balut and lumb, he looked a lot like Joseph Gordon Levitt.
His three biggest goals on the race were to be good to Kinar, have fun, and never quit. Note that winning nor a cutthroat game was ever on his mind.
Kinaryoshih, who earned the suffix to her name by thinking she had to ride the back of an animal, was notorious for her screeching and that funny accent of hers.
They did extremely well in the Philippines, but for some reason they could not find anything in New Zealand. In addition they never did well at any of the tasks. They may have found a clue box in Hong Kong first, but after that they were sixth or lower for the remainder of the round.
In fact, they were so far behind at the end of the Auckland round that the other Detour option closed well after all teams had finished the Detour, and had an additional two tasks to go. Obviously production did not want to wait for them twelve hours after everyone else was done, and guided them to the pit stop to eliminate them.
I assume this was done because they could not even read a map to find their own way to each route marker.
Other than that, not much to say about this young Indonesian couple. They were nice. Provided a few laughs. And not the most skilled team this race has seen.
P.S. After her time on TAR Asia 2, Kinaryoshih won an award for playing a sister-cum-manager in a film with fellow famous Indonesian actress named Titi Kamal.
P.P.S. Kinaryoshih is famous in Indonesia to the point that her and Brett Money secretly married in Australia in 2011. Right before marriage Money had converted to Islam. They have a son named Jamal.
P.P.P.S. Just kidding. The child’s name is Steven.
3) Edwin & Monica
Wow. It actually happened. A team managed to finish last on the first leg, but the second leg as well. As of the beginning of 2014, this has never happened again.
Does that mean they are by default the worst team ever because they could not beat a single team for the opening two rounds?
No. Remember that in the American franchise, teams are almost always bunched together into one or two flights for the second round of play. This is why we occasionally see a team go from first to last or from the back to the front in the opening rounds of play.
Without an equalizer you could say that Edwin & Monica could have done better than other teams in round two simply based on time to complete the tasks, but finished last because their surplus was not enough to climb out of last. The only bottom-feeders along with them were Henry & Terri, and Henry & Terri knew their hometown well in addition to having a Detour that fit in with their skillset.
Furthermore, Edwin & Monica never had the chance to drive themselves. For all we know other teams suck at driving a stick while Edwin may be a master at it. They could have very well lived and died by the taxi and bus drivers in the opening two rounds.
Other teams who have been eliminated suffered from not knowing how to talk to locals politely. Edwin & Monica were never rude to others that they met.
I would say that the only sub-par elements of their game in the first two rounds is that Monica has atrocious cardio. She is one of the skinniest racers ever, and could not even keep up with Edwin who carried everyone’s bags. Both rounds involved a lot of running which meant Monica’s speed could have easily dropped them thirty minutes in the process.
They had a tough time navigating themselves with running on the streets. That is how they fell to last right away. Stuck on the streets of Singapore as they could not adjust their way of thinking with only minutes into the race. They easily lost a couple hours right there.
Add in a Detour at the end of round two where Monica had no idea how to put a bike together, and suddenly you see why it is not much of a surprise that they wound up last in back-to-back rounds.
Monica may have a case as the slowest racer ever, but Edwin not so much as he did well with his Roadblock, made the right decisions, and could move well for carrying twice as many bags as a typical team member.
Personally, from the first fourteen seasons of TAR, I would still have Meredith & Maria, Don & Mary Jean, or John & Scott as the nominations for worst racers ever.
Rank the Legs:
1) Singapore, Singapore -> Manila, Philippines
This was ten times better than the opening round from TAR Asia 1.
Go-karting and descending a mall is replaced by eating balut, flying to another country, no equalizers, and a wicked 181 metre high tower traverse. I should also note that the teams are a bit more compelling and more extraverted than the crowd gathered for the first season. No Sahil & Prashants or Sahrans.
The only slight con is that Marc & Rovilson occupied more than a quarter of the airtime while the first place team, Pamela & Vanessa, were shown half as much as them.
Oh, and the tricky non-elimination in the opening round for the second season in a row was a nice fakeout by production. We also see the introduction of the TAR 10/11 non-elimination penalty being introduced to the East.
2) Manila, Philippines -> Auckland, New Zealand
You know what’s left out of this description? The side trip to Hong Kong for one task before heading to Auckland. In Hong Kong they went to a pier before going to a bank where teams spent two to three hours counting coins and notes.
Everybody was on the same flight to Hong Kong. But guess what? After the task, everyone was on the same flight to Auckland. Hong Kong had zero bearing on the round.
However, these lame equalizers were made up by teams having to drive themselves around Auckland. In addition, there was SIX destinations around Auckland that teams visited. One of these tasks was a gruelling Detour, a jump off a bridge, using a Sony Cybershot through a heritage site, visiting a winery, going through a haunted house, and lastly finishing in a haunted forest.
Teams appeared to finish from first to last about eight to ten hours apart. Well, the last place team, Brett & Kinar, was ordered to skip -two- tasks in order to check in at the mat. And they could not even blame it on a late flight because everyone shared the same one.
Seeing Pamela & Vanessa collide with another civilian vehicle is extremely rare for the franchise. Usually teams wipe out in their own vehicle, sometimes smash into an object, or get charged with speeding. But seeing a civilian car crash right into them? The last time I can recall that happeneing is during the Cancun round of TAR 3 with the bus.
3) Manila, Philippines -> Manila, Philippines
What I loved about this round? There were no equalizers. Well, there was buses that left every fifteen minutes, but nearly every team had their own bus multiple times during the leg.
I think it is even more important this happened because the previous round was a non-elimination. So how you finished on the first leg carried over directly to this second round.
I must say this has to be the most forgettable trip to an orphanage in the history of TAR. In fact anytime you integrate product placement into a round will certainly make it an unmemorable task. And when it is the same product placement in the form of Caltex, you get a lot of snoozers.
Although if it were not for Caltex’s heavy advertising, TAR Asia may never exist in the first place.
Heading out to Pila and directing an animal that I never heard of before was definitely a treat. It is tough to go to a location that the “real” TAR has been to before, but find unique things to do.
That Roadblock seemed rather difficult, come to think of it.
I approve of the Detour. Do a task that will have a small variant in how long it will take compared to a high risk-high reward option made for a great dilemma. Do you chance it on hoping you can fix a bike quickly or do you sort through 250 pairs of shoes?
The insight into the public transportation of the Philippines, and truly understanding the how common the sight of jeepneys are in Manila, produced an interesting bit of info for viewers during the episode.
I would say that dropping boxes off at the orphanage should have been more difficult to navigate, but after seeing what happened with Pamela & Vanessa, may be it was difficult enough.
Lastly, seeing Edwin & Monica finish dead last in each of the first two legs is a highlight for the franchise. Granted there was no equalizer to make it as two distinct last place finishes, but still funny to think about when it comes to the TAR franchise.
And the round needed more carabao.
4) Auckland, New Zealand -> Rotorua, New Zealand
This leg was awesome.
No equalizer. Check.
Teams forcing to drive themselves rather than take taxis. Check.
Random Caltex appearance. Check.
Terri being crazier than her usual self. Check.
TAR 5 sledging. Check.
TAR 5 Hell’s Gate mud bath. Check.
An elimination? Check.
So what’s wrong with the episode?
Because French Born Aurelia was eliminated due to starting this round over eight hours behind all other teams. Her and Singaporean Sophie were out before the leg even began.
Words cannot describe how tragic it is to lose her by the end of round four.
A tough Detour where teams had to either weave or play with sticks.
P.S. One reader out there is upset that someone besides her has a full on dedication after their elimination.
It was supposed to be just meeeeeee.