SINGAPORE – PHILIPPINES – HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – GERMANY – CZECH REPUBLIC – HUNGARY – SOUTH AFRICA
Episode Five: “Yeah, Shibuyyyyyyy!”
Previously on TAR: Eight teams drove from Auckland to Rotorua–a geothermal town in northern New Zealand. Speed on water became a theme as teams sledged on water and navigated jetboats.
At the Detour, Terri & Henry had trouble weaving a headband. But changing to a stick challenge did not improve matters for their team. Marc & Rovilson once again proved unbeatable and were first to the mat. But Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia had barely started the race when all the other teams had already reached the pit stop, and faced hours of operation at the first challenge and were eliminated.
Allan’s Questions Before We Are Even at the Intro: Can Marc & Rovilson maintain their lead? And can Henry & Terri’s volatile relationship continue to hold them up.
Seven teams remain. Who will be the next to be eliminated on Amazing Race Asia?
– Intro time.
– Allan introduces to Rotorua–apparently the heart of the Maori people.
– Marc & Rovilson, who were the first to arrive at 12:46pm, will depart at 12:46am.
Hold on. They arrived at 12:46pm to finish round four while Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia did not begin until 2:45pm for round four? Wow. They really were screwed no matter what. That means round four lasted only six hours for Marc & Rovilson.
– They read that they must drive back to Auckland. Once there they will fly to Tokyo, Japan. When they land in Tokyo, they must find one of Japan’s oldest reserves–Shiba Park. That is where they next clue awaits.
If only airplanes were shooting stars, I could really use a wish to bring Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia right now,
wish right now,
wish right now.
MARC & ROVILSON: Konichiwa, bitches!!!!
Neither is the Wu Tang Clan.
– ROVILSON: We are playing at the level we are used to. We’re clicking on all cylinders. A lot of synergy, a lot of chemistry.
He describes ten other ways that are synonyms for “we are kicking ass together”.
MARC (Aussie accent): I’m going to have to blindfold my partner because he looooooves the Japanese girls. Control yourself, buddy.
Ew, Rovilson. Didn’t you know Usagi and her other Sailor Scout friends are only 14?!
– ROVILSON: The Amazing Race Asia is all about momentum, and that’s what we got right now.
Really? Where is that in the slogan? I thought it was Outrace, OutSony, OutCaltex.
– Marc & Rovilson are now across from the airport. For some reason they are bowing before a statue?
They are praying for the fact that the age of consent of Japan is fourteen.
– MARC: We just want to thank New Zealand for sharing a bit of their culture. Er, sharing a bit of your culture.
And for their sharing their free Sony Handycams as well as free fossil fuel for a year.
– Adrian & Collin depart second at 2:49am. That’s right. They arrived at the pit stop only four minutes after Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia BEGAN the last leg.
Sorry, I will stop making note of that. Just such a rarity given the mass number of equalizers that occur in the series over the past ten years.
– Adrian thinks it will be hard for people to appreciate how tough it is for Collin to not hear. Collin says it is their first time heading to Tokyo together.
– Paula & Natasha begin third at 3:44am. Wow, teams are really spread out when you have only one equalizer every two rounds. Natasha thinks Paula is a good balancing act for her.
– Ann & Diane are fourth–not third–at 3:47am. Ann wants to do the best for her family and herself. Their goal is to be number one this time.
DIANE: The Philippine Boys, Marc & Rovilson, are the strongest team here. They are what we see as the team to beat.
Oh, c’mon now. Just because they have finished second, first, first, and first as the best start for any team in TAR history tied with Eric & Jeremy’s first, second, first, first start in TAR 9 doesn’t make them the team to beat.
– Marc & Rovilson are told they can book tickets at 4:00am.
– Daichi & Sawaka commence at 4:04am. No error. How do they react to heading to Japan? Well, guess what time it is. . .
SUPER HAPPY FUN TIME!
– Daichi is confident they can win now. Apparently one advantage has boosted his confidence.
– Pamela & Vanessa depart in last at 5:06am. They are excited to head to Tokyo. Pamela says something odd about how you compete on your own terms.
Wait. Don’t we still have to check out Henry & Terri? How are Pamela & Vanessa last?
This is a series first. They show checking teams out of order. But why are they out of order? Allan clearly stated that Henry & Terri were team number seven last round. This episode we still see them leave after Pamela & Vanessa, but are listed as departing ahead of Pamela & Vanessa.
I don’t get it. At all. This is one of the sloppiest pieces of editing I have ever seen. And keep in mind I saw editors incorrectly list the placings of teams in TAR Canada.
HENRY: Make your way to Tokyo, Japan.
TERRI: Heh heh!
Oh my. Terri is not even excited. She just laughs. I have a feeling this may provide a few uncomfortable scenes tonight.
This is a song most people identify with when they are excited by a new country. Terri may prefer the much more depressing “If you don’t wanna go” alternate version.
– I find it neat that they transition from New Zealand to Japan. Why? Because like many things in Asia, these two countries look alike.
See? I never noticed the similarities until now. Although I think that is where the similarities end for those two countries.
HENRY: We’re not movie stars, we’re not dancers, we’re not singers. We don’t host our own show, we’re not models. We are different from everybody else. It’s just the way we are.
– Natasha says her Japanese teammate, Paula, can speak a bit of Japanese and that people will love her because she is cute.
– Sawaka then says that very few people in Japan can speak English. Ann thinks the major language barrier will be a problem.
– Sawaka wants to help the Malaysian girls (Pamela & Vanessa). The only team she would never help would be Ann & Diane.
Somebody is threatened by the MILFinators.
TERRI: Diane is the sneaky evil one who just wants to be all sweety sweety.
Uh, I think Sawaka’s explanation was better.
Yeah, I know Sawaka provided zero explanation. It was still better than Terri’s.
There is nothing worse about a person if they are “sweety sweety”
TERRI: Besides that she’s a devil too.
Yes. Terri is perfectly relaxed when describing someone as “sweety sweety”. But that one little extra punch of her turning to the sound operator to deliver the devil warning is perfect.
PAULA: Ann seems fine. Just Diane. . .
NATASHA: Ann’s fine. Diane is just the one that is a bit fake. . .You know she wants something, and she knows what she’s lacking and knows what she needs to get it.
Who knew an innocent drive to the airport could be enough time to drop your reputation by fifty points in the eyes of the viewer.
– DAICHI: The Malaysian Moms are rude, and seems like nobody likes them.
I like how Daichi is turning to the camera stating it as if he wants it on a permanent record.
NATASHA: Besides doing purposefully something against us, it’s game on.
– Diane calmly narrates the drive to the airport. She is oblivious to what the other teams think about her. Adrian hopes the other teams are travelling safe.
– Marc & Rovilson define this part of the race as the “great leveller”. They comment that it is not even midnight yet.
WHY IS NONE OF THIS MAKING ANY F—ING SENSE!
– In a matter of seconds all seven teams are on an undisclosed flight to Tokyo.
ALLAN: Teams are now travelling from Auckland to Tokyo. A journey of 8, 839 kilometres.
I feel bad for the day they have a flight that is 8, 840 kilometres.
– The seven teams all show up in Japan as we see a long montage of them running through the airport down to the subway. Daichi & Sawaka appear to be first in line at the subway.
HENRY: I do not recommend anyone to go to Japan for a vacation.
TERRI: They want to help. The problem is we can’t speak English. We have no clue what they’re talkin’ about!
This is sadly less offensive than what I was expecting.
Although when Terri said “hey you Japcan you help me find the metro”, suddenly the locals could not speak English.
– Daichi says him and Sawaka are hiding from the other teams in hopes that they are not followed.
Although tough to hide in a corner when the sound operator and camera operator refuse to hide in the corner with you.
– The montage of teams running continues. The clock is ticking.
METRO TRAIN #1: ADRIAN & COLLIN; PAULA & NATASHA; DAICHI & SAWAKA; MARC & ROVILSON; PAMELA & VANESSA; ANN & DIANE
This is round one of the Philippines all over again. They can never escape the bottom of the pack.
– The party express surges ahead of them. Rovilson does what him and Marc do best. . .
Oldest trick in the Filipino Player’s Book.
Psssst. You may think he is looking at his Rolex, but really it is just an excuse to check something out at the same angle.
VANESSA: What’s your name again?
ROVILSON: What do you want it to be?
His eyes climb back up just in time.
– Henry & Terri are on the solo train. We hear a baby near them. That could be a long ride. I cannot imagine Terri handling children.
-The first train is now in the Tokyo metro station. Marc & Rovilson decide to take another metro line to Shiba Park. He says it is a gamble. Daichi & Sawaka are following a similar game plan.
– Ann & Diane hop into a taxi. So do Vanessa & Pamela and Adrian & Collin.
– Paula & Natasha are running through the station looking more confused than they have ever been all season.
– Pamela & Vanessa make a comment in the taxi that is rather cringeworthy.
Nobody in Tokyo knows anything here. . .in English.
– Marc & Rovilson and Daichi & Sawaka are in taxis. Ann & Diane exit a taxi. This is a wild goose chase.
– Paula & Natasha board the second metro train. Henry & Terri just finished their first train.
– Ann & Diane have their flashlights out at Shiba Park. It looks like taking a taxi was the smart idea, but of course it is night time. Even if they get a clue, I believe hours of operation will stop them. Ann defines Japan as being very complicated.
– Commercial break.
– Ann thinks the clue may be a bit more than Shiba Park. Marc & Rovilson are next to show up to Shiba Park. They have troubles crossing the road initially.
How Shiba Park looks during rush hour.
– So Marc & Rovilson cross the road and–
Equalizers ain’t got nuh-nuh-nuh-nothin on you babe
Equalizers ain’t got nuh-nuh-nuh-nothin on you
– Marc & Rovilson read that they must find a flagged rickshaw. Allan tells us that these rickshaws were once the main mode of transportation in Japan. It can still be found
in certain parts of Tokyo today.
Teams must guide these rickshaws to a location that is really significant to Tokyo heritage and is a major landmark. . .
The Sony building! ^_^
– Once here they will find their next clue. Daichi & Sawaka tell the driver politely to politely stop politely in Japanese. They are second to the clue box.
MARC (to ROVILSON): You know what we forgot in Tokyo? A map.
Could’ve had a v8, too.
– Paula & Natasha exit the metro. Henry & Terri shortly follow as both teams get into taxis. Henry insists they will make it. How does Terri’s spirits feel about catching up?
– Pamela & Vanessa and Adrian & Collin search Shiba Park too. We have no idea where Ann & Diane are.
This is what happens when your green magic metre is low.
– Adrian knows the Malaysian Moms were close to them, but they were split off enough for Adrian to find the clue box without others seeing him.
– Marc & Rovilson receive directions from American tourists. That makes things easier for them.
– Adrian & Collin now have a rickshaw. Pamela & Vanessa and Paula & Natasha are also lost in the darkness.
– Marc & Rovilson see Daichi & Sawaka creep up beside them. They decide to tell the driver to follow Daichi & Sawaka. Ann & Diane are fourth to the clue box. Rovilson loves being in Tokyo on a rickshaw.
– Pamela & Vanessa and Paula & Natasha come together and cooperate to find the clue.
VANESSA: The park is so big like four heads is better than two.
PAMELA: This park is so big!
So. . .the park is big?
– Natasha comments that the sisters work together differently than they do. Ann & Diane ask for directions on the street. Daichi & Sawaka realize that Marc & Rovilson are just following them.
For the first time ever, a team comments that another team is following them but without the added “they are awful players for following us”.
– Henry & Terri are at Shiba Park looking for the clue. Henry is taking charge. The two all-female teams have directions.
– Henry & Terri are fifth to the clue box. They made up a lot of time. Impressive. Terri is either frightened by the rickshaw or the Japanese rickshaw driver.
– Marc & Rovilson and Daichi & Sawaka each have their clue.
ROVILSON: Each team must convince one person to sing a traditional Japanese folk song. . .
EDITOR’S NOTE: Uh oh. If I remember anything about TAR Asia 1, I know where this is going. . .
– Yep. Teams must record a local singing a traditional Japanese folk song on a Sony HD Handycam. Apparently the song is about cherry blossoms.
Oh god. This was by far one of the most boring tasks in TAR Asia 1. I suppose we should get this lame task out of the way early rather than near the conclusion of the season.
She loves her cherry blossoms presented by Sony.
A Sony Handycam. . .now in HD!
– They will return to the Sony Building to have the performance assessed. Once the judge is satisfied, they will receive their next clue.
A Sony exec or an expert cherry blossoms vocalist? We don’t know.
– Marc & Rovilson are aggressive with picking a person while Sawaka qquietly follows people and asking politely in Japanese.
And obviously Marc & Rovilson’s strategy works.
And sure enough, the first person they pick is a fifteen year old blonde haired woman. Figures.
The audio is hurting my ears. He is singing more than she is. At one point she refuses to read a line. The performance breaks down.
– Henry sings about heading to a Sony building on the rickshaw. Ann & Diane continue riding on the rickshaw.
Okay. Moving on. . .
– One man instantly rejects Daichi & Sawaka.
He doesn’t even turn his face to the camera.
– Paula & Natasha and Pamela & Vanessa’s four heads are twice as useless as opposed to twice as helpful.
Of course Sawaka is singing on camera with the local. After all, Sawaka really wants that music recording contract with Sony!
– Marc & Rovilson present their video to the judge.
Now they start hip hopping to it like they are extras for a gangsta rap video. The judge is nodding before shaking her head.
WOMAN: She messed up the lyrics.
– Daichi & Sawaka think they are done and head back. Rovilson asks a kid if he is Japanese. He nods. They begin to sing except one thing is slightly off. . .
ROVILSON (singing): I don’t know this song and I’m singing Japanese and he isn’t singing.
I like how the kid is just smiling politely while reading the lyrics.
– MARC: We had a problem called ‘we can’t find Japanese people in Tokyo’.
You think so?
– Daichi & Sawaka read a clue. Pick up a photo from a Sony camera of a girl in cosplay.
Wait. This is an actual challenge? Wow. What losers. Luckily the racers do not have to participate in cosplay. Like, I know this one idiot who has a picture of himself dressed up as Tuxedo Mask that is circulating the Internet. Who does that?
– Allan explains the subculture known as cosplay where people dress up as anime characters from anime and video games.
And no, I have never cosplayed as her.
– Teams must make their way to the youth fashion centre in Shibuya.
Not much selection in terms of clothing, if you ask me.
– Once there, find a cosplay girl from a provided digital photograph to receive their next clue.
Whatever you do, don’t tell Marc & Rovilson you are single.
– Speaking of Marc & Rovilson’s womanizing, they find a group of locals once again. When they bring the tape back Rovilson constantly states “that’s hot”.
Yeah, Rovilson goes from being a navigator to being a backseat driver in this task.
– Daichi & Sawaka enter the subway. Marc & Rovilson are annoyed by how long it took them to complete the task even though they are miles ahead of everybody else that was not born in Tokyo.
– Ann & Diane are third to start the Sony task.
– Pamela & Vanessa and Paula & Natasha find the clue in Shiba Park at long last. Henry comments that his rickshaw driver is in “even better shape than me”. I am sensing envy from Mr. Reed.
That envy could prove to be potentially fatal. . .in The Amazing Race.
– Marc & Rovilson learn that they are eight stops away from the cosplay task. Ann begs several businessmen to help her sing a song.
– Commercial break.
– The businessman seems embarrassed as Ann starts dancing around him. She goes back inside to deliver the video and receives the clue. Collin volunteers to convince locals because he is knowledgeable of the Japanese language.
– The same cannot be said for Adrian who -hated- singing on camera with the volunteer.
– Daichi & Sawaka and Marc & Rovilson exit the metro to emerge onto the cosplay scene.
I thought it was a myth that there are entire crowds of females who cosplay as maids. Maybe the story about the maid restaurant in Japan is actually true.
– We haven’t seen Allan Wu all round.
Ah. He is right in the middle of Shibuya! Excellent.
– Daichi & Sawaka find the correct cosplay woman right away. I would have had no idea because they all look alike to me.
Yep, that’s me dressed up as the maid from 101 Dalmatians.
– Daichi & Sawaka have their clue. It is a Detour. They must travel to Shibuya and choose between Catch It and Cart It.
– In Catch It, they must catch forty goldfish using traditional paddles in a Shibuya restaurant.
ALLAN: This has been a popular children’s game since the seventeenth century.
Then Nintendo was born in the 1980s and reduced the popularity of that game due to the reason of “wow, there is something else f—ing to do in Tokyo”.
ALLAN: Teams will find out it is far from child’s play as their paddles are made from rice and disintegrate rather quickly in water.
I hate it when a goldfish acts all coi.
– In Cart It, teams must find a casual kimono clothing store, and take a kimono to an address listed on the kimono by foot.
A castle, eh? This casual kimono is fit for a king!
– Daichi & Sawaka choose to do Catch It. We cut to Henry & Terri who are on a rickshaw as they explain the frustration of obtaining an answer when the local does not understand the question.
I sense a meltdown.
So does Henry.
– Paula & Natasha are on the rickshaws. Pamela & Vanessa describe their frustration with being last even though the clue was in their face. Adrian & Collin have their clue after a local casually sang the tune on a railing. All of the teams are shown being confused with navigating. Marc & Rovilson have discovered the cosplayers.
Marc goes around to the cosplayers showing a picture of his junk. All of the ladies are rejecting it.
– Marc has the clue. He proceeds to comment on the cute outfits. Daichi & Sawaka are at the Catch It task.
Elementary school has grades kindergarten through seven. The teachers casually refer to us in one of two categories:
Primary: Kindergarten, grades one, two, three, and four
Intermediate: Five, six, and seven
So I assume the Japanese system is referring to those earlier grades.
I am guessing he quit this game after “primary school” due to owning a Super Famicom as a 13th birthday gift.
They add a Detour of their own by choosing Heads or Tails.
– Tails. They will do the Cart It task because it was the second option. Daichi & Sawaka choose to change Detour options because they have yet to catch one of forty goldfish.
– Paula & Natasha and Pamela & Vanessa are fifth and sixth to the Sony Singing task. Henry & Terri are back in last place as they finally get to the clue box.
It sounds like they keep saying “sakura” while singing the poem’s lyrics.
And yes, Rovilson has already hit on her. I would expect nothing less from someone who claims to be the “alpha male”.
– Speaking of Rovilson, he finds one of his kind to ask for directions from on the street.
Of course this is only a couple years after the New York Yankees picked up the player nicknamed “Godzilla” known as Hideki Matsui.
– Who knows where Ann & Diane are. They are in the middle of a mall. I suppose they know nothing about cosplay. Daichi & Sawaka have a kimono. Ann & Diane ask for directions to “costumes”. I think they are not familiar with the whole cosplay scene.
All she did was record a minute of a man’s collar. Vanessa Chong’s camcorder skills are exactly like my dad’s. He is the same guy who touched a desktop computer screen with his finger thinking it was a touch screen.
– Paula & Natasha complete the singing task. Diane & Ann have found the cosplay woman and have their clue. Adrian & Collin make their way through a crowd of the cosplay women who are now clapping in rhythm to a song.
– Adrian & Collin have the clue. They decide to Cart It. So do Ann & Diane. Terri has fun singing with some locals. His camera work is ATROCIOUS. I swear any man over the age of 50 during the 2000s are clueless when it comes to technology.
I blame the crazy green pants.
O no Logan di’int.
Look at Terri befriending the Japanese people over a song about cherry blossoms. How touching.
– The singer with Terri starts mugging for the camera.
MAN: I am Japanese!
“Imma Japanese! Imma numba one-uh!
– Henry & Terri are last to finish the sakura task. I can only imagine their reaction to the idea of cosplay. It is probably complete gibberish to them.
– Whoa, Daichi & Sawaka have finished delivering the kimono. They open a Roadblock clue. Allan introduces the Roadblock and–
I have no words.
It is like Disco Jimmy T. when he retires and grows old when he is well past his groovy prime.
Jimmy T’s reputation really dropped when he signed up for Survivor: Nicaragua.
– In this Roadblock teams must head to Icebar Tokyo.
This company has really expanded ever since its humble beginnings in the middle of Stockholm.
I wonder how many more glasses Gus & Hera broke?
– No, it is not a Switchback today. Instead it is a puzzle. There are four cubes. Each side of each cube has two letters on it. They must put the cubes together to decipher their next location.
– ALLAN: There are a lot of Japanese cities in this puzzle. So teams have to keep their cool to figure out the correct city.
Heh! Allan made a funny.
– This is actually a neat Roadblock. Re-arranging four ice cubes to reveal a word of a well-known city. The mental fatigue and jet lag must be getting to them after this constant travel and very little recovery time due to few equalizers. So yes, I approve of this task involving ice cubes.
Today was a good Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who is cold and calculating?
– Sawaka admits she is cold and calculating. Meanwhile Marc & Rovilson followed the directions from the Japanese Yankees newspaper vendor and were taken to the wrong dry cleaning store. Ouch. There appears to be a chink in the armour.
Or a “jap” in the armour as Terri would say.
– Terri proceeds to yell at Henry some more. Daichi wants the Malaysian Moms to be eliminated, but admit for them they need Marc & Rovilson gone now because Japan is the only place they can beat them.
Not very high hopes.
– Marc & Rovilson joke to go in the wrong direction when they see Ann & Diane on the streets. Both teams have a kimono.
– HENRY: The Japanese signs really make it tough for an American to get around.
HENRY: I hated Japan before. I really hate it now.
Again, no kidding.
– Marc & Rovilson have already delivered the kimono. That seemed quick. Rovilson is cold and calculating
You know what is unique about TAR Asia? The Roadblock hint is -rarely- at the actual Roadblock location. They usually have to travel by foot or by taxi before they can find the task’s location.
– Paula & Natasha and Pamela & Vanessa both appear to have found the cosplay lady at roughly the same time. They are fifth and sixth once again for the time being.
– Ann & Diane find a motorcyclist on the street to ask for directions to the address printed on the kimono. Once the driver acknowledges the location and speaks English, Ann begs him to take her.
He clearly does not know of the 20 foot rule.
– Terri cusses out Henry some more.
– Commercial break.
– Same as right before the commercial. They laugh over initially missing a super obvious English sign that points to the mall. Pamela & Vanessa and Paula & Natasha both receive a lack of response from locals. Adrian & Collin pick up a kimono.
– Ann & Diane deliver the kimono. Ann volunteers as being calculating rather than Sweety Sweety.
For some reason we get a random close-up of the kimono lady after Ann volunteers for the task.
– Daichi & Sawaka show up to the Icebar. No crazy white-haired wig for Sawaka. The women running the task tell Sawaka that she can go outside if handling ice cubes freeze her hands too much. Sawaka refuses to go outside.
I am wondering if Sawaka’s knowledge of Japan is to such an extreme that she will form words of really obscure Japanese towns as potential answers rather than aim for more common knowledge responses.
– Pamela & Vanessa ask for directions from a woman on the street. She is silent for about three seconds before uttering a response.
WOMAN: . . .Barbecue chicken.
– Adrian & Collin deliver a kimono. Collin says he is cold and calculating.
I would not expect anything else from a guy who is wearing a drago shirt.
– A man on the metro advises Ann & Diane that a taxi driver would probably know where the icebar is. Wow, what a clever idea.
– Sawaka correctly solves the puzzle. No one else has even shown up yet.
Even if I did not know any Japanese, that sounds Japanese enough to be my first guess.
– The clue is trapped inside of an ice block. She is told to open the clue outside. So how does one open it?
I watched a Lonely Island music video before reading the clue. . .
And THREW the clue on the GROUND!
– Daichi reads that teams must go to a bullet train and travel to, yes, Fukuoka. It is the largest city on the island of Kyushu, and the most important harbour city for many centuries. The pyramid at Fukuoka International Congress Center is the fifth pit stop of the race.
Did I mention how badly I want to go to Japan?
– Allan says the last team to check into the PIT STOP may be eliminated.
– Terri says they are going home. Henry tells her to shut up because he insists to find the clue. She repeatedly tells him “I give up”.
HENRY: You can’t give me until 11:45?
I love how Terri actually looks down at her watch and analyzes if she in fact wants to quit before 11:45pm. It would really help us out if -we- knew what time it was, but I think it must be sometime after eleven.
TERRI: If I’m mad, and want to give up, that’d be it for me.
I believe you.
– Henry & Terri go back to the same location as Terri is annoyed that he keeps wanting to circle the same location. They ask several cosplay women before Terri identifies the correct one.
Wow. That easy, eh? Terri’s insistence to quit nearly matches Flo’s quitting reflex.
– Where are Paula & Natasha?
– Paula & Natasha stumble upon the Catch It task. They are the first team to choose Catch It. Well, they didn’t choose it but rather “no point spending several more hours looking for the one we wanted”.
– Marc & Rovilson show up to the icebar.
ROVILSON: You’re going to see some nipple action on TV, kids.
Wow. I never want to hear a grown man lecture kids about nipples on TV.
– Pamela & Vanessa stand outside. Vanessa is annoyed as she imitates New Zealanders as they tell you exactly where to go while here there is never a response.
– Rovilson is discouraged when we cannot spell “Chicago” and “Vegas” using the four cubes.
– Paula & Natasha have the clue. We suddenly see the entire Roadblock clue.
But they haven’t even chosen who is participating yet! Can editors STOP making logistic errors? God.
– Paula is doing the task and proceeds to read out the full clue like we just saw seconds earlier.
– Paula & Natasha get into a cab. Pamela & Vanessa get to the Catch It restaurant too and break their nets quickly. Paula rambles on about how some tasks are located much closer than expected at times.
– Rovilson reveals Nagasaki. It is incorrect. Pamela & Vanessa continue to collect fish. Sawaka arrives at the bullet train as she complains about how cold her hands are.
– Rovilson presents Nagasaki again.
(WOMAN shakes head.)
ROVILSON: Feel like I just did this one.
– Rovilson correctly solves his puzzle.
ROVILSON: It was Las Vegas here. Let’s go!
– Marc shows more respect for the clue than Sawaka did.
Now that’s how you develop a headcold.
PAMELA: Ow! Dadadadadda.
I am amused when Pamela is frustrated.
– Pamela & Vanessa read the Roadblock hint after completing the goldfish collecting Detour.
– Vanessa volunteers after Marc & Rovilson have disappeared from the icebar, the Boston Red Sox winning the 2007 World Series, and Obama being elected the next US president.
– Ann & Diane confirm with somebody on the metro that this is their stop. They are now on an escalator as Ann complains she can no longer run.
Thank goodness escalators are designed for people to be lazy.
I love how he leaves two cubes blank and just wants to make a b-ball reference.
– We cut to Terri who curses some more.
TERRI: You want to go to the place we’ve already been. Back and forth, back and forth s—.
– Pamela & Vanessa look at a map of larger cities. Collin’s hands are freezing as he drops a cube.
Who’s got two thumbs and would love this task?
Rob Van Winkle would really love this task.
– Henry & Terri show up to the Catch It Detour. The sensei is watching.
This pond of goldfish has been in his family for nine generations. Many kids have come and gone through this pond. Much honour is found here.
– TERRI: Getting the fish with rice paper. . .kind of calmed me down.
For how many seconds?
– Henry & Terri are once again last as they receive the clue from the Goldfish sensei.
– Collin’s next guess is Yokohama. Incorrect.
Tokyo with a sideways ‘I’ is sadly not the answer.
– Ann & Diane are now at the icebar. Henry & Terri get inside of a cab. Ann begins the Roadblock.
– Daichi & Sawaka show up to the train to Fukuoka. Sadly none will leave until 6:00am, making tonight almost completely useless. Marc & Rovilson are there too.
– Collin knows Fukuoka well, but for some reason he admits it took him too long to “unravel the mystery”. Adrian instructs Collin to communicate with the driver. How much of Collin’s hearing is really lost if he can speak fluent Japanese with the driver?
– Ann completes the Roadblock. Off to Fukuoka they go. She is the next in line to complain about the cold.
– Pamela submits a guess of ‘Yokohama’ at the Roadblock. She is rejected once more with an unknown guess.
– Adrian & Collin meet up with Marc & Rovilson. 5:30am to purchase tickets, but 6:00am to board the train. Marc & Rovilson proceed to camp outside.
MARC: We hear it is illegal to camp inside the train station, but nothing about outside of them.
How famous can you be if this is the best you can do for sleeping arrangements?
Otherwise you could just barge into a hotel and say “we are Marc & Rovilson, don’t you know who the f— we are?”
– Natasha comments on Paula’s appearance from outside the icebar.
Such a flattering statement.
And she already has two of her dwarves recruited!
– Paula succeeds as she receives her clue. The methods of breaking the clue is unknown. They are in a taxi.
– Pamela & Vanessa are next at the icebar. Vanessa is doing it.
Think, think, think think think.
– So like any person who overanalyzes a situation. . .
Time to create a chart and a list of combinations for the seven to eight letters!
They have night terrors upon seeing this task.
How do you not know what’s going on inside?! It said directly in the clue “use ice cubes and re-arrange them to form the name of a Japanese city”. Thank god she is not doing the Roadblock because she would not even know what to do inside.
What’s the matter, Vanessa? Don’t want to do complicated word puzzles at two o’ clock in the morning after experiencing nine thousand kilometres worth of jet lag? It’s really five in the morning for her.
– Commercial break.
– Vanessa heads outside. She conferences with Paula about how cold it is and that she cannot figure it out.
My toes is froze, my nose is froze, my tail is froze!
– Vanessa cries some more before entering the icy torture chamber.
Pamela subtly mocks Vanessa’s feelings of misery.
– Henry & Terri are on the scene. Henry is inside doing the task, of course. Terri is outside playing with her fingers.
They call them fingers, but I never see them fing.
– Vanessa is rejected yet again. Pamela projects a long night in Tokyo. What was Vanessa’s guess, anyway?
– Henry’s guess is rejected too. All four of them look drained.
– Vanessa finally succeeds and rushes out. She smashes the clue outside with Pamela as they read outside. So what is Henry’s brilliant idea?
You gotta do what’cha gotta do.
– By the way, how is Henry energized enough to actually do those confessionals?
Because Terri really wants to end this interview and go the f— to sleep.
– HENRY: If I hadn’t looked, I’d still be there.
Again, brilliant move.
– Paula & Natasha show up to the bullet trains. Henry was able to decipher ‘sh’ as ‘ka’. Pamela asks Vanessa if Henry looked at her answer. She says he saw part of it, but did not think he would actually look.
– After 46 minutes of footage, all seven teams will be on the same freakin’ bullet train to Fukuoka. Rovilson narrates the various sleeping positions that everyone has taken.
Ah. Much warmer to sleep inside.
Henry & Terri must sleep on their own.
– We fast forward to the morning.
Nothing to start your day like a big obnoxious yawn.
For once this season, Marc takes the role of a gentleman.
– Allan narrates that teams are taking a bullet train to Fukuoka. It is a journey of 1, 110 kilometres. All for one lousy pit stop. The racers must love that.
I cannot think of an equalizer that has EVERY team come together only once in the leg and have it after ALL tasks have been completed for the round. I imagine the last place team will protest instantly.
– They’re off and only 87 seconds to go in the episode. A running montage through the station. Now a montage of teams running into taxis. Everybody is in a panic as we see a long line of taxis.
You know it’s a train because of the slashes through the long line.
– All of the teams narrate the taxi chase that is impossible to follow.
ANN: I like this driver. He drives like a Malaysian.
Wow. I will avoid being a pedestrian in Malaysia then.
– Henry smiles as he believes he is passing Magnum P.I. Apparently Magnum P.I. is Adrian & Collin this time.
Again. . .no idea what Henry is talking about.
ADRIAN: Cool cool cool.
I didn’t know Community started airing before TAR Asia 2. . .
Raise the roof, says Ann.
ALLAN: We have some more news for you two.
Yeah, Allan. We know.
ALLAN: It’s not a pit stop. . .
ALLAN: But instead I have this. . .
Hi, I am his cousin, Allan Clu.
ALLAN: Good luck, the race is still on.
Those dreaded words that grant all things in life null and void during the seasons of TAR 6 to 10 have returned to haunt us all! Ahhhhh!
Next Time on TAR: Yep. This is yet another To Be Continued round. A classic TAR twist in a rarely visited location more than makes up for it.
P.S. Due to the ridiculousness that the pit stop was an obvious setup for the following round, and because TAR has never pulled a “every task is complete now head to the pit stop via a train equalizer for all teams”, I will change the official placings for each team to how they arrived at the bullet train in Tokyo.
FIRST: DAICHI & SAWAKA
SECOND: MARC & ROVILSON
THIRD: ADRIAN & COLLIN
FOURTH: DIANE & ANN
FIFTH: PAULA & NATASHA
SIXTH: PAMELA & VANESSA
SEVENTH: HENRY & TERRI
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 happening is during the Cancun round of TAR 3 with the bus.
3) Rotorua, New Zealand -> “Tokyo”, Japan
The fifth round of the game but only our second equalizer as teams head to Tokyo.
It is no secret that I love visits to Japan. In the future, we will see numerous TAR visits to Tokyo where every appearance involves a MXC-inspired gameshow.
But this is back during the TAR 9, 12, and TAR Asia 2 days where we never reduced ourselves to that.
And for two visits to Japan already in the books, every task was brand new. Cosplay? Icebar puzzle? Navigating the confusing metro streets at night using trains, taxis, and your own two feet?
And this was all immediately landing in Tokyo after a nine thousand kilometre trip from New Zealand. Just look at a map to appreciate the distance.
Yes, because this race is exclusive to contestants from Oceania and Asia, a team is bound to have an advantage. This time it was an advantage for the slow-moving Daichi & Sawaka.
Much like BJ & Tyler in TAR 9, and Ronald & Christina in TAR 12, they suddenly found themselves dominating the round as they could communicate well with every local as all other teams became increasingly confused and frustrated.
I don’t understand the song about cherry blossoms other than that they needed to work in some more product placement.
As for the fact that it was a classic To Be Continued leg where nobody is punished for coming in last, and the fact that this pit stop was located 1, 1000 kilometres away from the previous route marker, AND that it was an equalizer for all seven teams to ensure the standings came down to a taxi ride. . .well, this is where the rating for the episode drops.
In fact, having an equalizer for all teams after the final route marker but before checking into the pit stop is absurd to the point that I do not recognize their placements. Instead, I consider the order in which teams arrived at the Tokyo bullet train station as the true end of the round.
The trek through Tokyo would be Daichi & Sawaka’s lone shining moment for the race. Somehow the only other thing they knew how to do was to be near the bottom of the pack and indirectly ask locals on the street for help.
4) 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.
5) 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.