You mean there’s still two more non-eliminations to go in the next three episodes?
SINGAPORE – PHILIPPINES – HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – GERMANY – CZECH REPUBLIC – HUNGARY – SOUTH AFRICA
– And welcome to another TAR blog. After two rounds of spending it in Korean traffic jams, we prepare to not only head out of the country, but head out of the continent.
We are now into the (just over) second half of the season, so it is time to recap the major storylines.
1) Marc & Rovilson are currently ahead of Eric & Jeremy’s pace for the best team average in race history. After seven rounds, they are averaging a finish of 1.29. Eric & Jeremy’s average was 1.57 after seven rounds of TAR 9.
Also, Marc & Rovilson have officially won five out of the seven rounds. They are on pace to beat Nick & Starr’s record of winning seven rounds in TAR 13.
2) Adrian & Collin have been the only other team to keep up with Marc & Rovilson. Outside of Daichi & Sawaka beating everyone in their home country, and Pamela & Vanessa winning the opening round, nobody else has consistently kept up with Marc & Rovilson.
3) Henry & Terri are crazier than ever. Henry’s unaired fight with the host regarding his money being taken away as a non-elimination penalty was managed off-screen. Teams will “miraculously” give them money to begin the next round out of their own “generosity”.
4) The other three teams are all-female teams. According to the rules of reality television, we are not supposed to acknowledge all-female teams. I mean, I haven’t even bothered with a nickname for Paula & Natasha yet. We just assume all of them have been seduced by Marc & Rovilson.
Previously on TAR: Six teams set off from Busan, Korea and drove to the village of Anseon. Finding a clue hidden amongst thousands (actually 1, 500) of soybean jars was a test of patience and perseverance. Marc & Rovilson convinced local police to escort them to the freeway.
And Natasha & Paula also called on police when they collided with a toll booth. Women drivers. The relationships started feeling the strain. Sisters Pamela & Vanessa and Terri & Henry nearly hit a breaking point. And they were last to the pit stop. It was a non-elimination round, but they had all of their money taken from them.
Six teams still remain; who will be the next to be eliminated on The Amazing Race Asia?
– Intro time. Soooo many Asians. I wonder how rich all of them are compared to everyone else in Asia.
– Allan introduces us to Seoul–it hosted the 1988 Olympics which also hosted the dirtiest 100 metre race in history.
You’re not getting off so easy, Mr. Johnson. You shall be shamed Canuck style. So uh, sorry for shaming you. Sorry, sorry, sorry.
– Marc & Rovilson, who were the first team to arrive at 7:48pm will depart at 7:48am. Marc reads that they are heading to Frankfurt, Germany. They are stoked. Once in Frankfurt, teams must take a taxi to the Old Opera House. Apparently Frankfurt is the business capital of Germany.
That makes sense considering it has the largest airport in Europe.
– Marc reads that they are provided 142 dollars for this leg of the race.
I should note this is only the second time all season where teams announce how much cash they have been provided.
– Marc & Rovilson head to their car.
MARC: Get in, you little girl.
Something tells me these guys never really have much respect for women.
– Marc & Rovilson express how shocked they are about going to Germany. Ten bucks says they are going to mention German women within the next five seconds.
ROVILSON: I didn’t know Germany was apart of Asia.
Dammit. I lost that bet.
MARC: Which airline?
ROVILSON: Whichever has the hottest flight attendants!
Nevermind. I made my bet at 2:31 of the episode. He said it at 2:36. I win!
Well, he never talked about German women specifically. Let’s call it a push.
– Adrian & Collin depart second at 8:07am. How do Marc & Rovilson keep getting these leads on everyone? Adrian wants to make the same flight as the “Filipino Boys”. Marc & Rovilson discover all flights are full. They put their names down on a waiting list.
ROVILSON: What are our chances?
Korean laughter indicates chances are not good.
– Rovilson catches onto the uneasiness of the laugh. Adrian & Collin sign up for standby. Marc & Rovilson head to log onto the Internet.
Marc is using a computer that has the default Windows XP screensaver. Classic.
Rovilson is confused why the website Marc is visiting has been blocked by the airport’s firewall.
– Both teams sign up for both stand-by flights. Rovilson flirts with the agent by asking her to send the other team to Spain or Buenos Aires to hang out with Nazi war criminals.
And Hannah McKay.
– Who is Rovilson flirting with anyway?
Wow, his options really are limited.
– How much are the all-male teams dominating?
Quite the gap until Pamela & Vanessa begin at 9:47am. Paula & Natasha squeal when they see Frankfurt, Germany at 10:04am. Paula did not think they would be leaving outside of Asia.
Since when was Australia and New Zealand part of Asia?
PAULA & NATASHA: It was an amazing surprise.
Yeah, screw Asia. They should have The Amazing Race Europe instead!
– Diane & Ann are equally stoked about the German news as they begin fifth at 10:26am. Meanwhile Rovilson is instructing the Korean agent what to Google.
ROVILSON: Frankfurt. . .Germany. . .Maps.
“I have also heard there is this new page called Wikipedia. Could you look up the word ‘broccoli’ on this so-called Wikipedia, and tell me its history. After that can you Google ‘My. . .New. . .Haircut. It is a funny video on this place called YouTube.'”
I think that is just a map of Germany.
– Adrian tells us that him and Collin have one of two seats. They just need one more.
Translation: They have three seats, but need just one more. Unless the camera operator and sound operator are sitting on Adrian’s and Collin’s laps.
– Paula & Natasha show up to the airport. They are directed to a different airline. Diane hopes a flight is delayed. Adrian & Collin pass by Marc & Rovilson.
ROVILSON: See you guys in Russia.
ADRIAN: I thought it was Spain?
Rovilson is impressed and gives the thumbs up of approval.
Or practicing his Dee Jay impression.
– Diane & Ann are in the airport too. They run into the same stress as other teams.
ANN: You know my aunty is very very sick in Frankfurt.
My aunty is so sick that I brought this camera and sound crew with me. Don’t you know we are German with our black hair, olive skin, and brown eyes?
– Henry & Terri begin last at 12:07pm. How do they look like after Henry threatened Allan Wu, and Terri was in who-the-heck-are-you-land?
What? How is this possible?
– Henry & Terri board a bus to the airport rather than a taxi. They are definitely lacking funds.
Ah. Now that explains a lot. Although I could see teams giving them money because everyone wants to be in the Final Three with Henry & Terri.
“Someone”? Wow. We cannot be shown the fight between Henry and Allan, but we can air a quote that directly references intervention by producers?
– NATASHA: We gave them money so they’re not tearing each other’s hair out. . .
She’s got a zinger coming.
NATASHA: Although he doesn’t have any hair left for some reason.
Point, Ms. Monks.
– Pamela & Vanessa are fifth to the airport. They lost a half hour in transit already. Everybody at the airport is telling them about overbooking. Paula & Natasha are using the Internet. Pamela & Vanessa are on computers now too.
– Henry & Terri show up to the airport. You know how Henry is a former officer of the NAVY?
Ah, I forgot about the cluster of American military bases in Germany and South Korea.
– They head to a counter. The woman says they have to be military. Henry informs them he is retired military. She responds that they cannot book flights. Henry asks if there is a friend in Germany who can help.
Who knew the military would not be in favour of bending the rules.
– Paula & Natasha meet up with Pamela & Vanessa.
NATASHA: We just went to the guys. Their ideal Final Three is us, them, and you guys.
Marc & Rovilson want a Final Threesome with us, Paula & Natasha? Huh, I wonder why. . .
– Natasha informs us that the plan is also to yield the Malaysian Moms.
I guess Rovilson was never known to be into older women.
Natasha tries to put on her best sexy face for Rovilson.
– The alliance talk continues until we see the other teams scrambling for tickets. Marc & Rovilson have been issued tickets. Paula & Natasha and Pamela & Vanessa have tickets too. So do Ann & Diane.
Us too, please?
– Henry & Terri however are not on the flight because they were last to sign up for the stand-by list.
Only seven minutes into the episode and Terri has already activated her trademark pouting.
– Allan narrates all of the flights.
FLIGHT #1: Marc & Rovilson will be on a direct flight that gets them into Frankfurt at 5:00pm. A journey of 8, 888 kilometres.
FLIGHT #2: Paula & Natasha will be on a flight that gets them in at 5:35pm.
FLIGHT #3: Pamela & Vanessa, Ann & Diane, and Adrian & Collin are all on the same flight landing in Frankfurt at 6:35pm.
They call this The Amazing Race Asia, right?
– Henry & Terri keep running through the airport. Various counters are checked. They try to bribe an official but–oh wait, they can’t.
– Terri is keeping her cool.
– Commercial break.
FLIGHT #4: Henry & Terri are on a 3:25pm flight that heads to Frankfurt via Hong Kong. No arrival time is specified which means they must be hours and hours behind.
– Frankfurt time. Marc & Rovilson hire a taxi right away.
ROVILSON: Adrian & Collin may have rented a chopper actually.
Do they have any shirts without writing on them? Did they hire staff at the sports studio to come up with jokes for their shirts?
– Rovilson asks if this is the infamous autobahn where they can drive a thousand miles per hour.
ROVILSON: Can we hear the ‘beep’ that means ‘buckle up we’re about to hit the atmosphere’.
You hear that ‘beep’? It means ‘look out, Rovilson’s joke makes zero sense’.
– How far ahead are Marc & Rovilson? Well, they landed in Frankfurt, went through customs, hired a taxi, and have already arrived at the Old Opera House. They already have a bigger lead than what they started with in Seoul.
– Marc & Rovilson read that they must travel by train to Prague.
Oh my word. Remember that TAR Asia 2 aired not long after TAR 13. That means this trip to the Czech Republic comes before the “real” version of TAR visited it in TAR 15.
Yes, that means TAR Asia beat the American franchise to a country first. TAR Asia took only two seasons to accomplish what the American TAR attempted to do in fifteen.
HINT: The Holy Statue will lead you to it.
ALLAN: Known as the City of 100 Spires, Prague is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. Teams must travel by train to the capital and search the fifteenth century Charles Bridge for their next clue.
You would think hidden immunity idols would be more likely buried in that hole than a clue.
– Marc & Rovilson are already at the train station in two seconds. Rovilson asks for when the next train leaves for Prague when–
Anybody daring to try the number of a credit card that expired six years ago?
Now I want something from Standard Chartered.
– Marc & Rovilson are told it is a night train at 11:38pm. Marc’s reaction?
Women on the train better be hot.
Spelling Bee Runnor Up and I dropped a baby? Clever, Marc & Rovilson.
– They decide to check out Germany.
ROVILSON: We’ve got a credit card. Standard Chartered.
As if the visual was not enough.
– Paula & Natasha hails a taxi. Ann & Diane now land and convince a man to let them jump in line for a taxi. Pamela & Vanessa and Adrian & Collin each have clues in second and third.
PAMELA: It was beautiful driving in like ‘wow so nice we’re in Frankfurt. Then you open the clue and find out. . .you’re going to Prague?’
ADRIAN: We were surprised because we thought we would spend a little more time in Germany.
Prague? Prague? Prague????
Translation: Prague was not one of the cities they were interested in visiting.
– Paula & Natasha have the clue in fourth. Ann & Diane have it in fifth. Surprisingly, everyone pronounced ‘Prague’ and ‘Czech Republic’ correctly.
– Ann & Diane are at the train station. Once again they convince everyone in line that it is an emergency.
All lines are meant to be crossed in the eyes of the MILFinators.
– Diane goes to book tickets for the train station.
We get it. Product placement. I will get a card right now.
– Collin informs us that 11:30pm rolls around as five out of six teams are at the train station. The teams look tired. Marc & Rovilson are low on cash. Rovilson comes up with an idea.
Is it what you think it is? Those ruby red lips in bright lights on a sign plastered against a building downtown?
Yep. Rovilson decides to strip for money. The only other person to do this was in TAR 9 when BJ started the round with no cash, no bags, and only Jolanda’s purple pants.
“Take it off
Take it off
Put it on
Put it on
– Meanwhile at the train station. . .
Collin and Paula are too intense and quiet to think about conversing. Yeah, you can see why we will now go back to Rovilson’s club.
– I can recognize the song being played in the background. Guess what it is? Remember, this was filmed in the middle of 2007.
I guess the German news station playing in the first five seconds was enough for it to cross as a mega German hit. Or maybe because it is just J-T.
Rovilson does not have a sexy back. But seriously, isn’t The Amazing Race supposed to be a family show? I cannot imagine them showing racers stripping for money at a strip club.
ROVILSON: I got into the spirit of the local dance.
Marc is enjoying this more than anyone.
– Marc & Rovilson exit the club with their cash.
MARC: We have enough to buy a sandwich now.
Will Strip 4 Food.
ROVILSON: Stripping is hard!
Anything to flash some McDonald’s on-screen.
– ALLAN: All teams except Henry & Terri are travelling on an overnight train to Prague. A journey of 412 kilometres.
Ouch. Didn’t even hide that Henry & Terri is dead last.
Again, I love the slashes along the train ride.
– We see the sun rise. Pamela & Vanessa start singing.
PAMELA & VANESSA:
The yellow envelope means a lot to us
But finding it is the clue box
See, Sawaka? We can make pointless songs about the race, too.
– Henry & Terri’s flight just landed in Frankfurt. They are now on the train.
– The other five teams are asking for locals as they run on the streets to find something holy. Henry & Terri have a clue in Frankfurt.
HENRY: Travel to Prague, Czech Republic. F—.
If only he knew that he is about six hours closer to the teams because of the move to Prague.
– Marc & Rovilson have the clue They sneak away from the statue to ensure no other teams can spot them.
ROVILSON: Make your way on foot to the Little Shop on Karlova Street Building Number Three. It contains their next clue, but there are strings attached.
Why are there strings attached? What does that mean?
– We see the other four teams ask for directions to the Holy Statue.
Ah. Holey. I get it now.
– Henry does not wish ill on any other team, but Terri cuts him off that they do because they need some kind of disaster.
They always have fun in hopeless situations.
– Marc & Rovilson find the puppet shop (yeah, strings attached) but it is closed until eleven o’ clock in the morning. Rovilson is uber pissed. He drops a f-bomb.
– The other four teams are lost.
NATASHA: Holy statue?
WOMAN: Everybody is holy.
NATASHA: Maybe holey has two meanings.
– Natasha finds the clue. Diane & Ann claim they have been searching for over two hours. Paula & Natasha find the puppet shop. Rovilson drops more f-bombs.
Three equalizers already? And first to all three equalizers? Is production going out of their way to not let us get a victory for the sixth round in seven episodes?
– Rovilson tells us it is nice when teams bunch up because he is sick of talking to Marc for two weeks. Adrian has the clue. He shushes Collin from behind.
Yeah, he did a loud shushing sound from behind Collin.
– Meanwhile the alliance talk at the equalizer continues. They make a deal to not only go to Final Three with the Chong sisters, but promise not to Yield each other.
– Adrian & Collin join them. Natasha is frustrated by the equalizer and not being far behind Marc & Rovilson for once. Ann & Diane and Pamela & Vanessa continue to be lost. The Chong Sisters dance to a musician.
What a beautiful day in Prague.
– Ann Tan uses her skills to grab the clue. Away they go. Pamela & Vanessa are still lost.
– 11:00am is here. Marc & Rovilson, Ann & Diane, Adrian & Collin, and Paula & Natasha have their clue. I doubt they were waiting for more than an hour. They read that they must race on foot to Kinsky Palace in the Old Town Square to find their next clue.
– Marc & Rovilson are first to the clue ten seconds later. Roadblock. Marc is doing it. Allan tells us that they must don medieval armour and rescue a damsel in distress at the old town square.
Once they find the damsel, they must exchange the key for their next clue.
A Knight’s View.
If only there was a jousting Roadblock in TAR.
– This task sounds lame. They just have to walk around in heavy armour to look for the damsel on a balcony. In TAR All Stars, they had to lead a horse to the gate in pitch black conditions. And even that was deemed as being an easy task.
– Marc, Paula, Adrian, and Ann are doing the task.
Heh. Another pun.
– Paula requests the lightest suit while Marc wants her to have the heaviest one. The various teams are outfitted. Marc decides to simultaneously ask for directions and hit on some locals.
Marc mugs for the camera.
– The only outfit that is hilarious is Ann’s.
I think her and Diane should dance in these outfits at their studio.
– Ann cannot even bend their knees. Marc laughs when talking about most of the knights waddling. Pamela & Vanessa are still on the bridge. Pamela claims that they have no idea how long they spent on the bridge. Natasha laughs at Paula’s view when Paula attempts to look up.
Something is obstructing my view. . .somehow.
– Marc spots the damsel. Screw you three equalizers, the lead is still theirs. Adrian is seconds behind.
ROVILSON: S—. We found it for him.
Uh, pretty sure he was about ten feet behind you guys.
– Rovilson reads they have to catch a train to the small town of Beroun and find a marked car at the station. They will then drive themselves to the town square and find a local townsperson who with a Nokia phone that has their team photo on the screen. Teams must play the video message to receive their next clue.
In Czech Republic, they do not strip for sandwiches.
A Finnish phone marketed in a country across the Baltic Sea? Makes sense. Except for the part where it is for a TV show based out of Singapore.
– Pamela has the clue. Vanessa declares themselves as being dumb for not catching onto the 1, 000, 000th production pun.
– Paula accidentally flips off her helmet and nearly lands on Natasha’s foot. Adrian MOANS in pain as the helpers try to take off his armour. Marc & Rovilson exit as Ann finds the damsel. Paula is right behind. A huge crowd of locals have gathered.
The novelty of TAR coming to your country. . .or the fact that this is a novelty for them. They waited six years for this. And they had to share it with the Germans.
– Four teams have completed the Roadblock. They are all racing on foot to the train station. We hear the clue repeated word for word. The teams are in a scramble to the station. There is an odd car on the road. The teams are complaining about the heat.
Was that product placement? It is a mystery due to the nature of TAR Asia.
– Rovilson explains the continued frustration of being first to all four equalizers (except this one where they finished third). Marc hates seeing that lead dwindle each time. Natasha tells us that the train does not leave for forty-five minutes.
An equalizer after each clue means Henry & Terri will eventually catch up.
– Henry & Terri are in Prague. Pamela & Vanessa have the clue in the Roadblock. Vanessa is doing the task.
– The leading four teams are in Beroun. They have their marked car. Diane is struggling to get the car in gear. The other teams are en route. Adrian & Collin have picked up a local to help them.
I wonder if Collin invited him into the car just so that he could check Czech out the other guy’s shades.
– Vanessa gets suited up in her outfit.
No renaissance fairs for her in the near future.
– Henry & Terri are searching for the clue on the bridge. Vanessa asks for directions to a nearby damsel. Henry & Terri are standing right around the holey statue, but go to the other end of the bridge.
It may be getting warm outside, but Henry & Terri are getting colder from the statue.
– Commercial break.
– We come back to see Henry & Terri at the opposite end of a bridge. Vanessa has found her damsel. Rovilson asked where they can park at a building, and comes out telling him where to park. They now search a park where several people hold up a Nokia phone. There are multiple people who are holding up ‘try again’.
Geez. Even a cell phone warrants a needle in a haystack task. The one time where it will not be followed by an equalizer, too.
And why are all of the cell phones offline? It can’t even play a video. Who gave them these phones? Robin?
Let me just show you the video message–oh. No bars.
– Adrian & Collin are in the town square too. Paula & Natasha took the second train to Beroun. They are in a solid fourth at the moment. Apparently they also struggle with stick shift.
PAULA: Before we came on the race, we had one mega lesson each.
Okay. I’ll give you credit. Some teams go on the race where neither racer even takes a driving lesson using stick shift. You’re not like Meredith & Maria, Mirna, Heather & Eve, and countless others who are embarrassingly bad at stick shift.
Maybe I spoke too soon.
I wonder if the Paolo Family is in that garbage truck?
– PAULA: Driving is usually therapeutic. But that was -not- therapeutic.
– Diane & Ann are doing awful with the stick shift. They keep stalling and squealing their brakes on the road. Pamela & Vanessa initially went to the wrong train station, but are now at one that they consider smelly. Henry & Terri are still on the bridge even with four equalizers to help them out.
HENRY: It may just be a statue full of holes.
– Pamela & Vanessa talk about meat, lettuce, and holes. Can’t follow that conversation. Terri starts yelling at Henry because he stops walking and is too busy yapping.
You do know that production wants you to talk while searching for a clue, right? When Terri gets frustrated with Henry, you pretty much know what’s coming.
Anger followed by. . .
Notice how far away the camera operator stands? It is like they are bracing for Terri to start yelling.
– Marc & Rovilson find the last guy that they have yet to search. Sure enough it is the right one. Guess who is providing them with the video message?
Nokia: Bringing Asian families together. Aw.
SAM: So remember. . .BASE!
Wow. I guess acting like a d-bag runs in the family.
– Adrian & Collin now have their phone too.
I totally thought that was Collin’s mom.
– Rovilson claims he “needed that”. Yeah, I’m sure he needed to hear from Marc’s brother. Now it is time for Rovilson’s mom.
Right after stripping for money, hitting on Korean women, and bragging about winning five out of seven rounds, Rovilson hears from his mom named MODESTA. That may be the most ironic name that could have possibly come up as Rovilson’s loved one.
Do Adrian & Collin not have any family? I love how this guy’s ears make him look like an elf, by the way.
In 2007, not many cell phones could be protected from extreme heat and glare. It seems like a struggle to even see the video.
GILBERT: Where are you? I have no idea. I can only imagine you are dirty, stinky, smelly, and wet, and something horrible.
What an odd friend.
– Both teams have their clue. Detour time. No hos on this one. They must drive to another town called Nizbor.
For once, it literally is a detour on the road.
I bet Marc & Rovilson choose ‘blow’ right away.
– In Blow, each team must cut a design on the bottom of a glass cup. Nizbor is well-known for producing high quality bohemian crystal. If teams have the patience and precision to uphold this age-old tradition, they will make the -cut- and receive their next clue.
You would think Allan Wu’s last name alone would satisfy him in the pun department.
Every glass of water truly is holy water.
– In Bow, each team must hit a coloured circle on a target using a crossbow.
They just need a white border instead of yellow to make it look like the Japanese flag.
If they included a photo of him with the clue, I think all three all-female teams would choose that task.
– You know who has never used a crossbow before?
Allan simply models that crossbow.
– Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson both choose Bow rather than making crystal.
There’s so much money in making bohemian crystal.
– Paula stalls and screeches in the middle of the street. Ann & Diane keep running around looking for the Nokia phone at the town square. They find it.
Apparently neither of them wanted to hear from their children.
– ANN: He is quite long-winded. I know my husband well.
Yeah, I feel bad for the team that was stuck listening to a ten minute video. Note to future racers: Tell your racers to give a ten second video to give them a time advantage.
– Pamela & Vanessa are now in Beroun. Paula & Natasha are at the Nokia Town Square.
PAMELA: S—. Manual.
VANESSA: I have driven a manual on and off. Not regularly. And the steering wheel is usually on the opposite side.
Vanessa stalls a couple of times as she complains about the absence of power steering.
NOTE TO ALL-FEMALE TEAMS: DRIVE A STICK SHIFT REGULARLY PRIOR TO GOING ON THE RACE. YOU NEED MORE THAN ONE MEGA LESSON. PUT IN FIVE SESSIONS! OTHERWISE YOU WILL FUFILL THE WOMAN DRIVER OR ASIAN DRIVER STEREOTYPE WHILE THE ALL-MALE TEAMS LAUGH AT YOU AND WIN THE ROUND BY TEN HOURS!
I PUT THIS IN ALL CAPS BECAUSE THIS WILL STILL BE A PROBLEM HEADING INTO THE AMAZING RACE 24.
– Paula & Natasha accidentally walk up to a guy and repeatedly ask him to see his phone. The blurred kid just walks away and seems severely creeped out. It is one of the more awkward exchanges I have seen.
Right up in his personal space. I wonder if he walks away because he will be killed if people find out his phone is not provided by Nokia?
– Henry finds the almighty holey statue.
HENRY: S—. Can you believe that s—?
– Paula & Natasha find the correct phone.
Well he certainly isn’t shy. You would think he was hugging Jodi & Christie.
My cell phone is from 2008, and I think mine has a bigger screen than that. And it doesn’t even play videos.
I think Natasha may or may not have been adopted.
KASAN: And remember Natasha, don’t swear too much on the camera.
If only that piece of advice came eight rounds earlier.
The only ones who do not get named? Cruel.
– Adrian is frustrated by the car but seems to be doing fine. Marc & Rovilson grab the ‘1’ ticket. Adrian & Collin grab the ‘2’ ticket. Marc misses his first shot. So does Adrian. Collin thinks him and Adrian would always be first if not for Marc & Rovilson.
Yes because you have placed second in five out of seven rounds, right?
– MARC: The reason we move so fast is because we know they are always on our tail.
That is indirectly insulting the other all-female teams.
Based on how the past three or four rounds have gone, we are better off fast forwarding to round thirteen at this rate.
– Rovilson misses. Adrian hits the target. Marc is pissed. Four equalizers have gone past, but have checked. Rovilson hits his target.
– Pamela & Vanessa search for Nokia phones. Henry & Terri have the clue at the puppet shop. They are not even remotely in a hurry. Terri just laughs at the clue when they find out they must walk on foot to the town square.
– Marc hits the target. Marc & Rovilson are first. They read they must drive to Karlstejn Castle. It was once home to the Czech Coronation jewels.
I swear ninety percent of all Europe pit stops in TAR take place outside of a castle.
I repeat, this is -not Neuschwanstein Castle from TAR 3. No Sleeping Beauty association here.
– Marc & Rovilson drive off. Shortly after Collin hits the target.
You MUST leave your bags in the vehicle. You MUST leave your keys in the vehicle.
Isn’t that the exact opposite of what you are supposed to do in everyday life? How does the production crew avoid getting robbed constantly?
– Henry & Terri are at the Prague Town Square. Henry is doing the Roadblock. Pamela & Vanessa keep looking at phones. It is the correct one.
PAMELA: Oh my god. It’s my mom.
Uhhhhh, aren’t you two sisters?
Because they are siblings, they only receive one message instead of two. Efficiency!
Remember with Derek & Drew in TAR 3 when Derek talked to his wife, and Derek passed the phone off to Drew to talk to his mom?
I still feel bad for Drew to this day. Derek’s loved one is his wife, while the loved one of a 24 year old is his mommy.
– Both cry. Both say they needed it. Both have a clue. They say they choose the skill one when they don’t actually have the skills for that task. Henry meanwhile is being fitted as a knight.
HENRY: A damsel in distress is usually like going ‘ooo! Help me, help me!’ Or some s— like that.
I really want to see Henry perform a reading of other medieval stories. This is hilarious.
And you know he is not into that damsel s—.
And since when did Jesus Christ sign up to be apart of the production crew?
The Black Knight is all prepared and ready to go!
That’s not what I meant. 😛
– Diane & Ann are at the Bow Detour. Diane misses. Paula squeals while they drive. Natasha keeps repeating for Paula to stop. Paula apologizes to the driver while Natasha jokes she sees her life before her eyes.
– Diane hits the target. Barely. We now see Ann miss multiple times.
– Paula & Natasha realize this is not easy, and are freaked out by how sharp the spinning wheel is. I would choose Bow rather than make a Star of David.
– Ann barely hits the target too. They have regained their familiar third place position. Away they go to the pit stop provided they do not stall five times.
– The cup judge observes Natasha. Natasha failed once. Now it is Paula’s turn. The cup judge never speaks.
Judging someone else’s cup cutting is about as exciting as. . .well, cup cutting the glass yourself.
– Paula’s cup is rejected too. Natasha gives a second shot at it. At this point I would just go with the crossbow task.
– Commercial break.
– Natasha’s glass is approved. Maybe this task is easier than we thought. Paula’s is approved too. They have the most feminine celebration I have ever seen. The men just stand around in the background watching them. Paula & Natasha have their clue and race off.
– Sunset approaching for Henry. He exchanges the key with the clue.
– Marc & Rovilson wait for a train to pass on the train tracks before driving through. Adrian & Collin are right behind but get stopped because a new train is coming.
You just got Kris & Jon’d, motherf—ers.
Unnecessary zoom-in shot? Well, you learned two new words in Czech anyway.
– Henry & Terri board the fourth and final train to Beroun.
– Marc & Rovilson exit the car and run onto the mat. No suspense here.
Amazing shot. This is why TAR should always get the Emmy. They make a race around the world seem seamless.
Allan waits with a squire to give news that is too familiar by this point.
– Marc & Rovilson do the typical spin-with-arms-raised celebration.
They need to come up with a new celebration.
FIRST PLACE: MARC & ROVILSON
Flex those guns, son!
– They have each won five thousand dollars courtesy of Standard Chartered.
MARC: We’re coming back to the Czech Republic with that money.
ROVILSON: And buy that outfit.
SECOND PLACE: ADRIAN & COLLIN
– Allan asks what it is like to be second again. Adrian insists he is just happy to still be in it.
– Pamela & Vanessa are at the crossbow task in a solid fifth. Both miss several times. At first they would hit the sand rather than the target. Henry & Terri find a marked car in Beroun.
TERRI: THAT WAY!
HENRY: Just tell me right or left.
TERRI: THAT WAY!
– This is an appropriate segue into a confessional from Henry about communication.
– Diane & Ann park their car.
THIRD: DIANE & ANN
Order is restored in the universe.
ALLAN: Great job, girls.
Uh. . .is Allan trying to flatter them?
– Henry & Terri are now searching for the Nokia phones. Try again. Try again.
– Vanessa hits the target. We see Pamela miss it multiple times. Henry curses aloud as he sees the message from home.
He doesn’t speak English, so the message is subtitled. Why is it subtitled that he is calling her ‘older sister’?
You say he’s just a friend?
Yep. I went the Biz Markie route on that one.
– Pamela hits the target. They have the clue for the pit stop in fifth place.
FOURTH PLACE: PAULA & NATASHA
Again, very little suspense with this round.
– Vanessa somewhat expects to be last as a joke. They are welcomed by the greeter.
FIFTH PLACE: PAMELA & VANESSA
ALLAN: You are team number five.
PAMELA & VANESSA: We know.
Did they know Henry & Terri were so far behind that they knew they could finish two or three hours behind Marc & Rovilson and solidify fifth?
– Two minutes to go in the episode. Yet another montage of Henry & Terri yelling, we assume. So with four equalizers during this round we must assume Henry & Terri were reasonably close.
At least two hours behind at the very least.
– They are at the Bow task. Both miss. And miss some more. It is how they ended last round with the Too Ho task. More misses. They laugh some more. Henry hits the outer yellow rim. So now it is all on Terri. Now she hits it too. Henry screams in celebration as he runs along the sand dune.
And he goes for another lap.
Extended shots like this is why 47 minute episodes may not be the best idea.
– For some reason, the showdown music is being played. In American TAR, we would have piano music for a dead last team 99% of the time. But here it is as if there is a mystery seventh team only seconds behind them.
It would be a soundtrack error you would see in TAR Canada.
– LAST PLACE: HENRY & TERRI
ALLAN: I hope you are happy to see me because I am very happy to see you two.
Why? Does Allan love to see them in last?
Henry looks like he has a ‘f— you’ expression on his face.
– ALLAN: You are team number six.
Also known as last.
ALLAN: However, this is a pre-determined non-elimination point. So you two are still in the race. Okay, well I have some news for you. For coming last on this leg of the race, you must come in first on the next leg. Otherwise you will incur a 30 minute time penalty may ultimately place you in last place and see you eliminated.
– HENRY: A team that wins this should have great athleticism, great communication, and great cooperation. So if we were to win this, it’ll be a kind of fluke.
Henry Reed: Not a cheerleader.
And yes, that means Henry & Terri have a wicked record.
They are the first team to come in last place on THREE non-elimination rounds. We have seen numerous teams over the years come in last on two non-elimination rounds, but never three.
But dad, TAR Canada aired my remark that we were the only team to be saved by a non-elimination round two times.
– SAVE #1: Henry & Terri are last to the bullet train in Tokyo. If you are counting Fukuoka’s Pyramid as the pit stop, then you can go Fukuoka yourself. No penalty for coming in last.
SAVE #2: Henry & Terri are last in Seoul. They have all of their money taken away. This makes sense because being Marked for Non-Elimination is not really a penalty.
SAVE #3: Coming in last this round. Now they are Marked for Elimination.
So not only have they finished last on three different non-eliminations, but they have also received three very different penalties.
P.S. In TAR All Stars, they had back-to-back non-eliminations where Eric & Danielle was Marked for Non-Elimination. I imagine TAR Asia corrected this because it is one of the most pointless penalties that you can assign.
P.P.S. Marc & Rovilson’s average is now 1.25. They have won six out of eight rounds. Their worst finish has been second. All they need is one more win to tie Nick & Starr’s record at the time, and only two more wins to tie Dave & Rachel’s all-time record.
Considering they finished first this round despite FOUR equalizers, they should have no problem winning two out of the remaining five rounds.
Next Time on TAR: Only one non-elimination remains in the next four rounds. Will a team finally be eliminated? And if so, will there be a surprise elimination when an Intersection twist comes up to force a team to undoubtedly be stuck in last with 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.
6) Busan, South Korea -> Seoul, South Korea
You know in TAR 1 how every episode felt like a travel documentary, and the tasks took a backseat to the difficulties of travelling?
That is how I would describe this episode. About ninety percent of the footage was the inside of a team car. Ten to twelve hours of driving for all teams meant they were in a pressure cooker as they went through busy roads and confusing streets of a country that does not speak English.
There was no suspense as to who would finish first or who would finish last. That seemed to be their absolute last priority when editing this episode.
Just think that this was round seven of thirteen. The halfway point of the season. It is amazing that these racers were up for playing another six rounds.
The Roadblock of opening jars was lame.
The Detour however seemed quick, but it is much better than any of the tasks we saw overall this round or last round. South Korea really sucked for tasks this season.
And do the police officers have nothing to do in this country?
Seeing Henry completely break down when dealing with not only Terri but the non-elimination penalty of money being taken away was a huge part of this episode.
I had to drop the rating for this episode simply because the pace was a bit too slow, and editors leaving out the full blowup from Henry at the host is a major injustice. How can you leave out something that has never happened in twenty-three seasons of TAR in the West?
7) Seoul, South Korea -> Nizbor, Czech Republic
I would have this round much higher, but it was FOUR FREAKIN’ equalizers that did it.
Yes, this was the first ever trip to the Czech Republic in the history of the TAR franchise.
Yes, this was the first time where a racer stripped for money.
Yes, seeing Henry & Terri finish last for a record breaking third time on a non-elimination was hilarious much to Allan’s chagrin.
Yes, seeing a Final Three alliance of Paula & Natasha, Marc & Rovilson, and Pamela & Vanessa was neat to see.
Yes, I loved that TAR Asia had enough funding to go into Europe for the first and only time out of all four seasons.
Yes, I loved that we left behind the awful tasks in South Korea.
But still, four equalizers in a round where a team was supposed to be half a day behind and never doing anywhere near as well as the other five teams was ridiculous to see. Back-to-back non-eliminations also reduces the momentum of any given season.
8) Fukuoka, Japan -> Busan, South Korea
This may be one of the worst rounds of TAR ever designed. Remember Paula’s quote during the episode?
PAULA: The real challenge is getting to the challenge rather than the challenge itself. . .
That about sums up this round.
Slither Detour and the Padlock Roadblock were shown in REAL TIME for EVERY team. That is absolutely ridiculous when you see that seven teams are still in the game. Most challenges take twenty minutes to two hours. But both of these tasks took no more than a minute for each team.
The only task not shown in real time was Taekwondo, and we saw most teams do each individual kick. We just didn’t get to see the reset between each time the instructor grabbed a new board.
Ninety percent of this round was spent in a taxi and it certainly showed. Henry & Terri kept their cool which meant that nothing exciting happened in a taxi. Nobody was super lost. The only reason you may think that is because the round was so short that losing thirty minutes to a bad cab is extreme given the length of the round.
I cannot get over the fact that each task took no more than three minutes. In fact Marc & Rovilson completed every task in SECONDS. Family Edition never went to that extreme.
If your tasks are easier and shorter than a round of Family Edition, then you are insulting the intelligence of other teams.
Even Austin Black would have blown through the Taekwondo task, the Slither Detour, and the padlocks.
The seventh place team should have been eliminated in Tokyo, and this round should have been the non-elimination.
If Henry & Terri Yielded any team behind them, that team would undoubtedly be gone. No way that Daichi & Sawaka lost by more than ten minutes.
Daichi & Sawaka seemed to switch Detour options almost right away. I doubt they lost more than ten minutes.
Yeah, Sawaka’s Detour option combined with being tricked by Diane & Ann single-handedly sent her and her brother home.
Perhaps the only memorable highlights from this episode is that Marc & Rovilson finished first for the fourth time in six episodes, and keeping up with Eric & Jeremy’s team average ratio of 1.33 after six rounds. The seventh round is when Eric & Jeremy fell to fourth. So Marc & Rovilson may take the lead.
I have nothing else to say. My episode blog probably makes the episode far more entertaining to read than it is to watch. I found myself getting bored because of how obvious it was that there was very little usable footage. I would not be surprised if they forced Marc & Rovilson to put on the fake mustaches to distract viewers from the fact that was going on.
So here it is. A contender for the worst episode in series history. No, franchise history. What a waste of an awesome location.
P.S. Yes, Sawaka really did sing for 45 seconds as the episode faded into credits.