The groundhog saw its shadow! That means there will be five more weeks of Marc & Rovilson dominating TAR Asia 2.
Marc & Rovilson are really good. I even saw them pull their bodies up into an air duct. Must have been working out for months.
SINGAPORE – PHILIPPINES – HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – GERMANY – CZECH REPUBLIC – HUNGARY – SOUTH AFRICA
Previously on TAR Asia: Six teams set out from Seoul, South Korea and flew to Frankfurt. The business capital of Germany. Rovilson immediately got friendly with the locals to raise some spare cash. Teams travelled by train to Prague where Pamela & Vanessa struggled to find a holey statue. Dressing as a knight in shining armour was a task that struggled all of the smaller girl teams. And Paula continued to struggle with driving a manual car.
Henry & Terri were left behind as they couldn’t find a flight to Germany to make up the time. They were last to the pit stop but were once again saved by a non-elimination round.
Six teams -still- remain; who will be the next to be eliminated on The Amazing Race Asia?
– Intro time.
– Allan introduces us to Nizbor. Or as the English-speaking local teens call it, “Nizbore”. The king of Czechoslovakia built the castle there during the fourteenth century.
– Marc & Rovilson, who were the first to arrive at 2:17pm, will depart at 2:17am. They read that they must travel to Prague by train. Once there they must find Petrin Hill and find the Observation Tower. Once there they must correctly count the number of steps to the top of the tower (299). Once they give the correct number, they will receive their next clue.
Yeah. I imagine this task was directly inspired by the Polish Tower stair count. I guess stair counting is a common part of central European life.
So once they give the correct number, the next clue is theirs.
Apparently Adrian Brody dressed as a ringmaster will give them their next clue.
– They read they have 105 dollars for the leg.
ROVILSON: Reading the clue is paramount.
MARC: And keeping your eyes open.
Either this is foreshadowing, or the most boring opening confessionals ever. Like, somebody is willingly going to blindfold themselves for the round? Odd.
– Adrian & Collin depart second at 2:24am. Only seven minutes behind. Collin says they have been too excited upon entering most tasks. Him and Adrian are improving on that as they go along.
– MARC: The next train doesn’t leave until 4:20 in the morning.
I wonder what we can do at 4:20 on the train?
Marc & Rovilson decide to look at a map of the nearest strip clubs.
– Diane & Ann begin third at 2:40am. Those four equalizers have helped. Ann says they have been pushing themselves much harder over the past two rounds. Paula & Natasha commence at 3:10am. Waiting until 4:20am for a train is not much of an equalizer. Barely two hours in the middle of the night.
– Pamela & Vanessa begin in fifth at 4:17am. We see them walking to the train station. Pamela hopes they can move up at some point during the round.
– The train shows up. The four teams are all aboard. The sun is not even out yet. There is another alliance powwow between Marc & Rovilson and Paula & Natasha.
ROVILSON: Remember the three. Don’t mess up the system girls.
– PAULA: We have a plan for the Intersection. We all are going to say ‘no’ to the Moms. If everyone says ‘no’ to them, they are just going to be sitting there waiting for a team to say ‘yes’. From now on we’re racing to the Intersection not a race to the pit stop.
C’mon. Treat your elders with respect.
– The first train lands. Marc is excited by the daylight. They go single file up the escalator.
So orderly in such a competitive environment.
Nope. They encounter yet another Hours of Operation. Is nothing ever open for long in Europe?
– Marc & Rovilson show up next and express their frustration. They proceed to have fun with all of the banned things inside of the building.
ROVILSON: You cannot bring in three scoops of ice cream.
ROVILSON: You can bring in two scoops of ice cream. But you can’t bring three.
– Diane & Ann are at the hotel. Adrian asks Diane & Ann to question the clerk how many steps there are at the Observation Tower. They look it up on a fancy thing called the Internet and find out there are 299 steps.
Wow. I have never seen a task be completed ahead of time on TAR via the Internet.
– Pamela & Vanessa reunite with the other teams. Rovilson apologizes for hugging them too hard. He is like the emperor from The Gladiator when he kills his father.
ROVILSON: It’s cold.
Warmth versus showing off your biceps? A manly dilemma since the dawn of time.
– 9:00am is here. Wow. How far behind are Henry & Terri? They have had twelve hours worth of equalizers in the past two rounds.
– The teams run up the Observation Tower. Adrian & Collin are first up and write their guess instantly. Adrian takes the clue and walks past. Marc & Rovilson write ‘299’. They joke about their shaky fingers using the chalk.
– Adrian reads that they must head to Strelecky Island on the Vltava River to receive their next clue.
Yes, I also think that river’s name is missing a much needed vowel.
– Pamela & Vanessa reach the top. 299 steps for them as well. Diane & Ann count 299.
299? Doesn’t that number seem familiar?
I never knew Erik Reichenbach was Czech.
– Paula & Natasha reach the top in fifth. All other teams have passed them already. Their guess?
NATASHA: When it comes to numbers and stuff, we get flustered easily.
Math is tough!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Have you ever noticed that the Barbie’s voice for Teen Talk Barbie sounds like Vanna White? Seriously. Sounds just like her.
– Adrian & Collin ask locals for directions to the next route marker before other teams join them in the funicular. No other team joins them.
– Marc & Rovilson, Pamela & Vanessa, and Diane & Ann wait for the second funicular together. Rovilson informs them of Adrian & Collin’s lead.
– Adrian & Collin are already on the street heading for the train. We see Paula & Natasha make another guess.
Bad news is you do not have the right number. The good news is your cardio is improving drastically!
– We see a bunch of random exterior shots of Prague until Adrian retrieves the clue.
Going into knee deep water with a full backpack on? That would be as tiring as going up 611 steps.
– Adrian & Collin read that they must use a row boat and row 140 degrees southeast using a compass provided. When they arrive at the correct destination, they will receive their next clue.
Something tells me that going 139 degrees will still lead you to the clue.
By the way, Yul Kwon called. He wants his idol back.
– Slow bumbling music plays as Paula & Natasha reach the top. They write down 299.
PAULA: We did 3 1/2 rounds.
A bit extreme. I hope for your sake this round does not come down to a foot race.
“A little to the left!”
“Uh, a little to the right!”
“Uh. . .more to the left!”
– Commercial break.
– They eventually get a synchronized rhythm. Marc & Rovilson are second to the clue. As long as they do not spin constantly, they will catch up. Ann expresses her deep love for Diane retrieving the clue ten feet into the water. Pamela & Vanessa have the clue seconds later. All three teams have their life vests on. Diane & Ann nearly tumble upon entering their boat.
– Marc said Rovilson is rowing alone because he is on a rowing team.
I sense another first place finish.
ROVILSON: Not just because my name is ROW-VILSON. Row, row, row, row, row.
Marc refuses to acknowledge the pun.
ROVILSON: You’re in autobahn country. Buckle up kids. You’re going for a ride.
Uh, isn’t that Germany?
Did he just pull a Drew and not realize which country he is in?
– Pamela & Vanessa are rowing.
VANESSA: I think it’s easier to row the boat backwards.
Rowing a boat backwards is better, eh?
– Natasha runs in to retrieve the clue and hopes she does not step onto a fishing rod.
– Adrian & Collin have their clue. They read to head to Prague Castle. It is the biggest ancient castle in the world. Marc & Rovilson see Adrian & Collin running up the hill as they retrieve the clue right behind them. Both teams hail a taxi right away.
ADRIAN: Rovilson is so good, my god.
– There is a LOUD ringtone playing in Marc & Rovilson’s cab while Marc is talking to the camera. He says technique wise that the girls are in trouble.
– Ann rows solo as she manages to overtake Pamela & Vanessa.
That is the worst technique I have seen since Rob The General and John Carroll paddled a boat in Survivor: Marquesas.
– Diane & Ann are third to the clue. Up the hill they go to hail a taxi. We see Pamela & Vanessa dock just seconds after them. They have moved up in the order just as they expected. Pamela & Vanessa cuss each other out to be more aggressive when hailing taxis.
– Paula & Natasha now dock on the island. They have the clue and run up the hill.
– Adrian & Collin are at the next route marker. Whoa!
Could it be? It is the ultra rare Intersection! Only used in TAR 10, TAR 11, here in TAR Asia 2, and once more down the road.
You know my thoughts on the Intersection twist by now. I hate that it is only used for one task out of a season rather than force teams to work together for multiple rounds. It seems like such a weak twist to potentially screw over a team in the last twenty minutes of the episode.
– Adrian reads the instructions. They arrived at the intersection first which means they will work with whatever team comes next. In the meantime they read the clue. It should be a cooperative task, right?
Individually score three points each on your own? Uh, that seems like the one task that does not require cooperation.
– Marc & Rovilson know something is up because Adrian & Collin are “too good to just be waiting around”.
Bro shakes are on as they lock in the alliance.
– After the handshakes are made, Allan explains the task. It is as you just read it. Each person must score one point from three different locations. Once all twelve points are scored, they receive their next clue.
I wonder if that Nokia sponsour is before or after TAR Asia 2 announced they were going to the Czech Republic?
– Diane & Ann spot the Intersection. They ask Collin. Collin apologizes, but Ann expresses that she understands and even encouraged them to make that decision.
Apparently they would have worked together if Adrian & Collin knew that Diane & Ann were only a couple minutes behind.
– Marc talks to Rovilson about what would happen if Pamela & Vanessa refuse to work with Diane & Ann. If Pamela & Vanessa work with Paula & Natasha then that means. . .
That means Diane & Ann have to wait for a team who has not even started this round of the leg yet despite it being minute 16 of the episode.
The glee on Rovilson’s face is priceless.
ROVILSON: I hope the sisters have enough fortitude to think about it and make a decision in front of the moms saying “we ain’t teaming up with you”.
– Diane seems concerned when she reads it is an ice hockey task. An ice hockey task with an all-female team or Henry & Terri? Lose-lose situation?
– Pamela & Vanessa show up to the Intersection together. They will not work with Diane & Ann, right?
– Pamela tells us that when you have no idea how far behind other teams are then you just want to keep racing. Spur of the moment decision.
– My gut is doing butterflies as I watch Paula & Natasha in the cab. Eventually Pamela brings up to Vanessa that Paula & Natasha must wait for Henry & Terri.
VANESSA: We totally forgot about Henry & Terri because they are so far behind.
So did most viewers, Vanessa. You are not the only one.
Oh s—. We forgot Kevin!
– Paula & Natasha are shown slowly pulling up to the Intersection. Oh god. This is brutal.
Oh no, Paula & Natasha. Not only will you not catch up, but you are about to be held hours and hours and hours behind against your will.
Before the Intersection you had a 99% chance of surviving this round.
Now that you are faced with waiting for Henry & Terri? Your odds are now fifty percent.
If only you made the sisters join in on this pinky swear.
– Paula & Natasha are now at the Intersection.
PAULA & NATASHA: INTERSECTION! WE ARE SCREWED. F—. WE ARE SCREWED. F—.
– It is now minute nineteen of the episode. Guess who is just starting their day?
Four equalizers on the previous round and they still begin this leg eight hours behind the other teams. Now they are only five or six thanks to the Prague Observation Tower equalizer.
– Henry says he cannot help but enjoy all of this travel. For him it is like being in the Navy all over again.
HENRY: You don’t remember the bad stuff. You remember the good stuff there.
Really? I dunno about that.
I do not think Terri appreciates this experience as much. If only she was in the Navy.
– Five teams are all heading to their respective destinations.
One team is not. Knowing they are four to eight hours ahead, I can only imagine how sore their butts will be sitting there until Henry & Terri show up.
– It clicked for them that Pamela & Vanessa could have waited. Paula says they would have waited for the sisters no matter what. Natasha starts crying. Paula says crying will impact their way of thinking to finish out this round.
Eh, you have at least five hours to kill. May as well spend an hour of it crying.
– Guess who just missed their train?
Eh, we can let a non-elimination save us for a fourth time.
– Marc & Rovilson playfully budge in front of Adrian & Collin to enter the ice hockey rink.
Even when they work together, Marc & Rovilson have to be first no matter what.
ROVILSON: You know what they say? Don’t eat yellow ice.
Ah. Now I don’t feel so bad about my Asian jokes.
Savour this moment. An Asian on ice skates. This is one for the record book, folks. The Sochi Olympics are only days away, and I can assure Singapore and the Philippines delegations will not be one of the qualifying teams.
EDITOR’S NOTE: So far these Asian teams are fairing better on ice skates than I do. I have only worn a pair of ice skates three times in my life, and I can assure you that I did not play ice hockey any of those times. In fact I clung onto the boards or the walker for dear life.
Fling and a miss.
– Rovilson says this was a great opportunity to work with Adrian & Collin because they can see how they operate.
– Henry & Terri are still waiting at the train station.
It is tough to catch up to Paula & Natasha when you are traveling at the same speed as them.
– Speaking of Paula & Natasha, they are watching the Czech Army march right past them.
I think this represents ninety percent of the nation’s national defenses.
NATASHA: I left my wife in New Orleans
With thirty-five cents and a can of beans
Look at the way she claps in rhythm to her own song.
– Henry & Terris’ train finally shows up.
HENRY: We might get fourth place again.
HENRY: We’ll make it girl.
Up. Change direction.
PAULA: We’re screwed.
NATASHA: Now I’m just going craze-eh. Ding dong the witch is dead.
– Commercial break.
What. . .is she doing? Is that dancing? All she is doing is scrunching her shoulders as she hears the music.
This may be the most obscure reference I have done since the extra in Michael Jackson’s “I’m Bad” music video as an Egyptian taxi driver in TAR 5.
– We see Rovilson shooting a puck.
– As Rovilson makes the shot, he bails on the ground.
The one time Rovilson bails at a task.
ROVILSON: Watch your step it’s a little slippery.
It’s like it is icy or something.
– They finish the task. The clue is a Detour immediately. Snap or Roll.
In Snap, teams must find and take photographs of three historical monuments and then bring them to the statue of Josef Manes to receive their next clue.
Yep. Identical to the task they did at the historical village in Auckland. The only difference is that a Sony Cybershot may not be involved this time.
Is that supposed to be Josef Manes? Does anyone outside of Prague even know who Josef Manes is? I am a trivia buff, but even for me that name rings zero bells whatsoever.
Did we get the pun? Good. Let’s head out to the next shoot.
– And who named a photography task called ‘snap’ anyway?
Snap from Pokemon?
– In Roll, teams must collect two 50 litre beer kegs from a restaurant and deliver it to the Admirable Hotel to receive their next clue.
If this beer was not imported from Germany, I think the Germans would invade the Czech Republic.
ALLAN: If teams can roll these unruly beer kegs, they will be on a ROLL to their next clue.
It is like production watched Teri & Ian roll the keg of wine in TAR 3’s Portugal Detour and thought ‘we should make this into the only mode of transporting wine for a task’.
– Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson choose Roll. Adrian & Collin’s cab has left.
MARC: We’ve never wanted Adrian & Collin to find a taxi this much before.
– Adrian genuinely feels bad because he and Collin released their taxi while Marc & Rovilson held theirs. Rovilson helps Adrian & Collin flag down a taxi.
– Diane & Ann yell at Collin on the street where exactly they must park. Rovilson goes up to Pamela & Vanessa’s cab and told them that they should have waited for Paula & Natasha.
VANESSA: We couldn’t think. It’s not our fault.
It’s not your fault that you can’t think?
Oh, Vanessa. You are now the laughing stock of me.
ROVILSON: They got intimidated into teaming up with them. I would have psychological problems for a very long time if I was Paula & Natasha.
– Adrian & Collin get into a taxi and instruct the driver to follow Marc & Rovilson. A familiar pattern.
– Pamela & Vanessa and Diane & Ann begin shooting pucks. Pamela’s shot?
We now present to you ‘Malaysians on Ice’.
– Adrian apologizes to Marc & Rovilson about the cab issues upon showing up to the Roll task. They start rolling a keg. Henry & Terri start counting stair steps.
While Paula has given up on counting dance steps. She now does a pirate-themed sing-a-long with the Prague violinist.
– Henry & Terri take a taxi to the Observation Tower. Apparently before they were just counting the steps at the metro station as practice. They are in the funicular. Terri thinks it is going to the bottom but Henry says it is already at the bottom.
– More barrel pushing and puck hucking action from the four leading teams. Diane & Ann and Pamela & Vanessa complete the ice hockey task. They now choose Snap.
– Marc & Rovilson and Adrian & Collin deliver the barrels.
ROVILSON: Here you go. Shaken.
Just the way I like it.
– They read the Intersection is over.
Wow. What a lame Intersection.
– Now they must take a taxi to the Swimming Pool Prague 4.
– TERRI: That’s a lot of steps. Oh s—.
– Paula & Natasha start screaming “Henry & Terri, it’s 299!” hoping that it helps Henry & Terri hurry up. We see Henry & Terri guess correctly right away. Henry claims their memory is really sharp. Who knew they would be better at a task than Paula & Natasha. So away they go to find the island.
– Diane & Ann and Pamela & Vanessa are given conflicting directions by locals for their first landmark. One says it is across the river while the other says it is down the street.
They can walk around the entire perimeter of Prague and still be done the Detour before Henry & Terri show up to the Intersection.
– Meanwhile we are back in familiar territory.
Even working with their toughest competition by force still does not provide a different result.
– It is indeed a Roadblock.
The lone task of the whole season where you would want Magikarp to be your partner.
– Rovilson is doing it because he needs a shower. In this Roadblock that person must do a ten metre pool dive. Once completed they will receive their next clue.
Just a ten metre dive? No trick that they have to do? Production really took it easy on them with the final task of the round.
– Rovilson receives instructions inside from a guy wearing a shit.
– Adrian & Collin’s taxi woes continue as they show up in second. Adrian is making a splash.
MARC: It will be a walk in the park.
Or like diving into a pool of water.
– Rovilson tries to explain how small everyone looked from the top of the platform. Marc proceeds to call him a pansy. The whistle blows as Rovilson jumps. Just like that the task is done. Adrian is not even inside yet.
INSTRUCTOR (to Adrian): Never fall backwards.
No kidding. I love that they have to visibly show them that it may not be wise to lean back and hit your head on the platform intentionally when you dive.
Again, it seems like we are missing a vowel.
– ROVILSON: I am in Prague with my nipples hanging out!
“And my biceps flexing! And my pecs flexing against my own free will!”
– The two all-female teams find a statue. Sadly it was long since destroyed. They consider switching tasks as they examine the map for the location of the ‘real’ statue.
– Marc & Rovilson have a taxi who does not know the way. They give it a chance anyway. Adrian & Collin have a taxi right behind. Collin discusses how Marc & Rovilson are always ahead.
– No matter what they will always be a few steps behind. They almost seemed resigned to it. It reminds me of that one scene from The Wrong Guy.
I’ll never catch you.
You’re just too damn good.
I give up.
– Henry & Terri laugh as Henry mistakenly sees stairs outside. They are lost on the bridge.
– Commercial break.
– We resume. Henry & Terri finally find the clue on the island. Paula & Natasha are growing increasingly frustrated because they are driven mad by Henry & Terri’s incompetence. It seems like Henry & Terri should already be there if they were on pace.
NATASHA: No matter what we are taking charge when they show up. Taking control, man. Take your box of chocolates. We’re keeping the lead, man.
– Henry & Terri are now in the row boat. Henry asks Terri to direct.
Wait, I’m supposed to do something when you row?
– Diane & Ann and Pamela & Vanessa are now in taxis. They have not switched tasks as both teams express frustration.
VANESSA: We have wasted so much freakin’ time now.
I wouldn’t go there if I were you, Vanessa.
– Pamela & Vanessa wonder in their cab if working with Paula & Natasha would have been faster. Ann meanwhile is coaching herself aloud to breathe. Pamela & Vanessa tell Diane & Ann that the teams do not wish to wait for them. Apparently the taxis have been taken to the wrong museum. Pamela tells Ann to not get frustrated and be upset. Now they agree to change Detour options.
DIANE: It’s like no matter what I say means nothing.
– Three all-female teams and Henry & Terri as four out of the six remaining teams?
FIRST PLACE: MARC & ROVILSON
No wonder they have won seven out of nine rounds. In fact, they have won all three rounds since we were reduced down to six teams.
Is Rovilson’s shirt supposed to be the ice hockey jersey or a Thai monk tiger training shirt?
– ALLAN: I’ve got even more for you guys to take. For winning this leg of the race you have each won. . .
Okay. They really won a Sony HD Handycam SR7 which has a 60GB hard drive each.
ROVILSON: Only three more and we can open up our own production house and make our own Amazing Race!
Heh. The first All-Female Lingerie Amazing Race, one would assume.
– Seconds later we see a much more subdued celebration.
Happy hands club.
Still only second rate. Also three rounds in a row.
Terri hard at work.
They would have chosen Snap earlier if they knew it would be a barrel of fun!
I never knew Rovilson’s twin brother was a camera operator for this round.
– Henry & Terri have stopped paddling altogether as Henry examines the compass and discusses his strategy. They finally have the clue. Pamela & Vanessa and Diane & Ann have hurt their backs and arms to the point they try resorting to kicking the kegs along.
Diane is just kickin’ it on this task.
– Henry & Terri are in a cab to the Prague Castle.
HENRY: The only way we’re gonna make head way is if somebody else has a blowout. If we took 45 minutes on the rowboat, nobody took 12 hours and 45 minutes.
I love how Terri can still make funny expressions when she is not paying any attention to the conversation.
– The taxi pulls into the Castle.
Free at last!
– Paula & Natasha are -sprinting- to the cab. Paula even opens the cab door.
NATASHA: WHERE THE F— HAVE YOU BEEN?!
Er, Natasha really said this:
NATASHA: WE’RE HAPPY TO SEE YOU! OH MY GOD! WELCOME NEW TEAMMATE!
The best part about this reaction is that Henry &Terri still do not know what is happening yet.
– It is the first time where she has been happy to see another team. Natasha talks to both taxi drivers and organizes the caravan to the ice rink. Natasha is indeed taking charge because she has spent four hours planning the best route to the ice rink.
– Diane & Ann and Pamela & Vanessa have finished delivering the wine. Detour is complete. Pamela is exhausted. Intersection is over for them. I recall the Roadblock being awfully tricky.
– Diane & Ann accuse Pamela & Vanessa of stealing their taxi right away. Even though both teams are not even in the same shot when the taxi is taken.
DIANE: It’s not their f—ing cab.
Whoa. Mrs. Douglas with the potty mouth for her kids to see.
– Apparently Diane’s complaint is that she saw it first. Wow, seeing it first means virtually nothing on the race when you leave the street at different times.
HENRY: At this point I’m glad I am with my wife and not one of those crazy chicks. They would’ve driven me nuts in the first three days.
As opposed to Terri who drives him nuts in the first three minutes.
– Henry & Terri and Paula & Natasha are at the ice rink.
– Vanessa volunteers to make a splash. Ann is the next one to volunteer. Both are about to jump. Vanessa jumps. Ann grabs the ‘4’ to jump. Vanessa runs. Says it was scary. Her lip starts bleeding. An instructor asks if they want to see a medic. She declines.
Who put ketchup in the pool?
– Ann is next. She dances a bit on the platform.
– Pamela & Vanessa exit. Ann completes the jump. Ann & Diane run out of the swimming pool next.
– Henry & Terri and Paula & Natasha suck at ice hockey. Paula fails four times before scoring her first point.
– Diane & Ann and Pamela & Va
VANESSA: What did I do? I am dislusional. What did I just do? What did I just do?
PAMELA: You jumped. Jumped from the water.
VANESSA: I’m confused.
Uh oh. Migraine setting in. Did she have a concussion from hitting the water? How can she not remember what she did just moments earlier?
PAMELA: Vanessa, come on.
VANESSA: Wait, I’m confused.
PAMELA: What? Why are you confused? We need to get a taxi.
VANESSA: What did I just do, offhand?
PAMELA: You jumped from the top of the water. What the f— is wrong with you?
VANESSA: I don’t know. I forgot what I did.
I have seen MMA fighters get knocked out and have a better recollection of what they did seconds earlier compared to Vanessa Chong.
– Diane & Ann are ridin’ in their taxi. They see Pamela & Vanessa looking for a taxi on the street. Diane is excited.
– We go back to Vanessa freaking out.
VANESSA: I don’t know what I just did.
French Born Aurelia does not know either, but that is because she is does not know the English word for ‘dive’.
– Pamela tells Vanessa to calm down, and she herself becomes concerned. Both of them start freaking out.
Is it a head injury or is Pamela confirming to see if Vanessa is really stupid due to a lack of brain cells?
The Intersection is over, but this hug indicates otherwise.
– Pamela keeps repeating what Vanessa did. She has no memory of it, but remembers the plan to get a taxi. So all is fine? Vanessa is even confused that they are going to a pit stop. She is still freaking out about forgetting that they need to go to a pit stop.
– Pamela tries to flag Diane & Ann’s taxi down. Diane tries to mock them by ducking in the cab to trick them into thinking it is empty.
– Commercial break.
VANESSA: Where’s the clue box?
PAMELA: We already got that.
VANESSA: I forgot that.
Vanessa is in such hysterics that she even lowers her head to evade the camera.
Sweety Sweety turns into Evily Evily.
– Pamela & Vanessa surprisingly get into a cab without a medical intervention.
– Paula & Natasha and Henry & Terri complete the ice rink task. They now have the Detour. Natasha tells them that she has been to Prague twice before, and is confident she can find each location on her own. She asks if Henry & Terri are cool with her leading again.
I believe Henry & Terri are saying something along the lines of “hell yes” at this point.
– NATASHA: I knew we had to take control in order to get this task done properly. We know how they work–they don’t work.
NATASHA: We’re learning how to communicate with each other.
HENRY: It’s okay. I’m very easy.
Yes, Henry is very easy when someone besides his wife is taking the lead, and in addition is leading him directly to each route marker.
– Disaster repeatedly strikes Vanessa’s forehead in the cab.
– Vanessa apologized. Pamela said she was scared she had brain damage. Supposedly Vanessa’s memory is coming back to her.
– Natasha finds the first monument.
Paula & Terri take a vacation photo together.
– Henry & Terri have the first picture.
HENRY: When we first came together I wanted to come up with a consensus. But those two are so scatterbrained that it would take days, weeks, years probably to figure that out.
Aaaand Terri has tuned out.
– They find the Communism Museum.
Welcome to Commic Con.
Where is the olive wall paper, though?
The peace sign in front of STALIN? Okay. That’s funny. They did the peace sign beside the most violent man in the history of the planet.
– Terri is annoyed that Paula & Natasha refuse to give them any info. Both teams show off their pictures. Henry has a plan.
Sounds pretty straight forward.
– So the Intersection is over. It is ultimately a taxi ride with the exception of the ten foot brain-breaking dive.
– We see Pamela & Vanessa and Diane & Ann running on the streets to the mat.
Ann shows off her cardio by hanging against the railing as she is well ahead of Diane to check in on the mat.
THIRD PLACE: DIANE & ANN
Marc & Rovilson are first?
Adrian & Collin are second?
Ann & Diane are third?
Considering these placements have been set in stone no matter how many equalizers and Intersections have been thrown out them, the equilibrium in the universe is maintained.
FOURTH PLACE: PAMELA & VANESSA
– They hug it out some more. Allan congratulates both teams on a great job.
– Natasha promises to pay extra to the taxi driver if they can get to the swimming pool in five minutes.
HENRY: We’re gonna use our minds to beat em. They are scatterbrains. It was chaos with those two.
Chaos = they find each location on the Detour in an efficient manner while you did nothing.
– Unbelievable. Henry & Terri are fifth to the Roadblock. Henry & Terri try to hide against the car. Henry volunteers to do the Roadblock. Paula curses when she sees Henry enter. Natasha agrees to do it.
– Henry jumps and has the clue. Natasha is next. Henry reads the clue for the pit stop.
Not in last for the first time since Seoul with only minutes to go before arriving at the mat? Those nipple rings must be a good luck charm.
– Paula & Natasha read the clue in dead last. Terri tries talking to the taxi driver but he does not respond. Terri says it was like talking to a wall. So Henry & Terri are on the street looking for another taxi.
When it is crunch time, they are not willing to chance it on a bad taxi.
But they do. Natasha begs and begs and begs. He keeps saying ‘no’ repeatedly. The driver agrees on the 22nd request.
– Terri was so pissed that they cannot get a taxi while the original run has taken off with Paula & Natasha.
TERRI: Oh my god I was so pissed off about this cab. Then I realized ‘oh, that is the guy they probably flashed their boobs too”.
– Natasha heard Henry & Terri’s cursing. They pass Henry & Terri on the street.
And couldn’t be happier.
HENRY: They were just nice to the guy. Like buttering him up, smiling at him, probably showing their t-ts or something like that.
Henry even mimes the flash.
Surprisingly, Henry couldn’t be more wrong. Natasha couldn’t be any less nice.
Natasha just had really good instincts that yelling at the driver the same thing twenty times in a row would make him eventually crack.
– Henry & Terri finally have a cab.
HENRY: We need to get to–
MAN: . . .
TERRI: HONEY HAVE HIM OPEN THIS FIRST BEFORE
HENRY: Okay. Hold on a sec. Relax. Please.
That would just be sensible.
– Natasha told Henry they waited for five hours. Henry informs us they must be crushing everybody because they were behind twelve hours when it came to those original flights.
– Everyone is running to the mat. Never in the same shot though.
FIFTH PLACE: PAULA & NATASHA
LAST PLACE: HENRY & TERRI
HENRY: For the third consecutive leg of this race, you are the sixth and last team to arrive. I am sorry to tell you that you have been eliminated from the race.
If this were China Rush, you could get away with yet another non-elimination leg with six teams remaining. Oh well.
EDITOR’S NOTE: I completely forgot about the Marked for Elimination penalty until Paula & Natasha checked in. Editors did a good job of creating more suspense than there really was in this round.
– Knowing that Henry died in 2013, this is a bit eerie of a statement.
HENRY: This is a huge shot of memories. If you look over your life, and you look back on things you’ve done, and the people involved in this, there’s nobody who has done anything like this. A lot of people don’t even have a passport. And we got a passport with stamps to all over Asia and all over the world, really.
Next Time on TAR: Nine episodes down, but producers are Hungary for one more non-elimination. Stay tuned!
Black Power Salute as they ride into the sunset with Henry’s final final words.
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A
— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0
11th Ari & Staella 11.0
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0
11th John & Scott 11.0
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0
11th Matt & Ana 11.0
10th Edwin & Monica 10.0 (Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race.)
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0
10th A Black Family 10.0
— F +–
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????)
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.)
10th Kate & Pat 9.0
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 – Yielded
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 – Sucked.
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/)
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
9th Rogers Family 6.5
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5
6th Henry & Terri 6.44 Used Their Yield; Finished last on a non-elimination round THREE times. R.I.P. Henry.
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43
9th Brett & Kinar 6.33
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67 R.I.P. Nancy.
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 – Wah.
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25
1st TK & Rachel 3.18
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4thToni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
–BEST OF THE BEST–
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2 and Used Yield
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 FF
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF and Yielded
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF and Used Yield
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF
Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)
11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF
18 legs Danielle 4.78
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 None
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3!
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 None
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 None
* I determined Eric & Danielle’s average in this last section by adding up all of their individual points from TAR 9, then adding up their total points in All Stars and dividing it by 31.
Rank the Teams:
1) Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia
If it was Singaporean Sophie and her sister, then she would be ranked at the bottom.
Thank goodness that she made the tres tres tres wise decision of having French Born Aurelia as her teammate.
Ah yes. French Born Aurelia. Ex-roommate of Singaporean Sophie who recently reunited shortly before coming on the race.
Singaporean Sophie always picked on French Born Aurelia for not being able to do much and clueless to her surroundings.
The thing is that they were both mutually useless. Once they had to drive themselves they were done. They had troubles with a stick shift and could not even fill a gas tank. Heck, the gas tank comedic routine cost them about thirty minutes of time. That’s not even counting their emergency stop to ensure they screwed the cap on all the way.
There was this je ne sais quois feeling when French Born Aurelia was presented on screen that attracted viewers to her. She was a French model being put on a race around the world.
In other words, a six foot tall 95 pound woman with large earrings had to depend on herself to do many tasks which required a lot of physical strength and mental agility. There was also practical knowledge which her and Singaporean Sophie just could not grasp.
Also, French Born Aurelia has the smallest English vocabulary of anyone to ever compete on The Amazing Race Asia. She was confused about what certain words meant when her partner treated her as an idiot for not knowing every single word in the dictionary.
It is tragic that we lost French Born Aurelia after just four episodes. She had so much promise. But given that her and Singaporean Sophie’s abilities were rather limited, this is probably where they should have finished.
But god. Four rounds in a season with five non-elimination rounds? I wish all five non-eliminations came in the beginning just so we were guaranteed six episodes of French Born Aurelia’s antics.
2) Henry & Terri
It is no secret that Henry & Terri were one of the more entertaining teams this season. It is also no secret that they were hated by 90% of the audience.
They made a couple of unprecedented moves.
a) They were the first team to finish last on THREE non-eliminations legs. That has never happened anywhere else in the TAR franchise. It was not until the following round that the final deathblow was served.
b) They are the first team to directly argue with the host at a pit stop.
Also, this is not directly related to the season, but this is the second time I have blogged about a TAR contestant who died by the time I reached their season.
Margaretta Groark died about three years before I did my TAR 1 blog. Nancy Hoyt died about six months after the TAR 1 blog.
As for Henry Reed? He joined them about a year ago. Given how short my TAR 1 blog was, I consider this to be the first time where I truly blogged about a deceased contestant. It is odd to blog about roughly 200 teams before coming to a racer who is the only one out of 400 to die.
You know what I find amazing? There were three non-elimination legs between rounds five and eight. This meant there was only six or seven teams left. Despite that their average for the season is still 6.44. Finishing 9th-9th-5th-7th-7th-3rd-6th-6th-6th is next to impossible in the TAR Asia format.
Part of me wishes they finished sixth instead of third in the Busan round. They would be practically guaranteed the worst average of any team to reach sixth place in any season of The Amazing Race.
So why did this team perform so horribly? Well, because of Terri’s antics. I swear they would have been a much stronger team if Terri did not blow up or pout at every twist and turn.
Henry said it would be their brains that would get them ahead of the other “scatterbrained” teams. But what this really meant is that Henry & Terri just paused too long before acting upon the next correct move. The delays between each move can be largely attributed to Terri interrupting the thought process.
I would not be surprised if the level of stress knocked a few years off of Henry’s life during the race, but if you watch the race, you can see how much more he enjoys being with Terri than any other racer. That Intersection with Paula & Natasha was enough to kill him, even if it meant a much greater chance of surviving a round that they started out 10 hours behind all other teams.
Production intervened after Henry fought his money being taken away, and given they were last only a day later but were only Marked for Elimination as they finished ten hours behind, and even followed that up by an Intersection that forced a team to wait nearly six hours, Henry & Terri were given every chance possible to survive.
Heck, rounds one and two were in the Philippines, and Henry & Terri have lived there together for fifteen years. Despite that they still finished ninth both rounds, and that is only because Monica Lo is the worst racer I have ever seen.
If it were not for Henry & Terri, I would assume Marc & Rovilson’s airtime would double. So if you are not fans of Marc & Rovilson, you should be thankful that producers viewed Henry & Terri as being entertaining enough to steal some airtime away from them.
There is not much to say. Terri was expressive, pouting constantly, and interrupted any focus that the team could have had along the way. To balance that out they were extraordinarily lucky to survive three non-eliminations.
Oh, I cannot end this without mentioning that them Yielding Marc & Rovilson (a.k.a. Magnum P.I. as they called him for no apparent reason) may have been the most pointless Yield use ever. Even Kynt & Vyxsin Yielding Nic & Don in TAR 12 seemed more reasonable than Henry & Terri.
3) Brett & Kinaryoshih
So Kinaryoshih, or better known as Kinar, is famous? Really? To keep up the metropolitan image, she raced with her boyfriend Brett Money.
Brett Money was a nice guy who happened to be a bit amusing. Besides being too eager to explain to Kinar what an aphrodisiac was, such as balut and lumb, he looked a lot like Joseph Gordon Levitt.
His three biggest goals on the race were to be good to Kinar, have fun, and never quit. Note that winning nor a cutthroat game was ever on his mind.
Kinaryoshih, who earned the suffix to her name by thinking she had to ride the back of an animal, was notorious for her screeching and that funny accent of hers.
They did extremely well in the Philippines, but for some reason they could not find anything in New Zealand. In addition they never did well at any of the tasks. They may have found a clue box in Hong Kong first, but after that they were sixth or lower for the remainder of the round.
In fact, they were so far behind at the end of the Auckland round that the other Detour option closed well after all teams had finished the Detour, and had an additional two tasks to go. Obviously production did not want to wait for them twelve hours after everyone else was done, and guided them to the pit stop to eliminate them.
I assume this was done because they could not even read a map to find their own way to each route marker.
Other than that, not much to say about this young Indonesian couple. They were nice. Provided a few laughs. And not the most skilled team this race has seen.
P.S. After her time on TAR Asia 2, Kinaryoshih won an award for playing a sister-cum-manager in a film with fellow famous Indonesian actress named Titi Kamal.
P.P.S. Kinaryoshih is famous in Indonesia to the point that her and Brett Money secretly married in Australia in 2011. Right before marriage Money had converted to Islam. They have a son named Jamal.
P.P.P.S. Just kidding. The child’s name is Steven.
4) Daichi & Sawaka
Daichi & Sawaka have a subtle complexity to them. If you cannot remember, Daichi got married in Mexico without telling Sawaka or their parents because “he did not believe it was important”.
Daichi reminded me of one of my brothers Adam simply because I could see the high powered intellect, but the laziness and slow pace that went along with it.
Sawaka had a lot of energy at the start of the race, but her reluctance to do anything on her own such as ask for directions or accept the conniving nature of the race really set her back. I think Daichi & Sawaka may be contenders for the worst at asking for directions.
The only time these two did well was when they visited Japan for one round. Obviously they finished first unofficially, and as soon as they hit South Korea they fell back to the lower rungs like they always do.
I would say this was the perfect round for Daichi & Sawaka to be eliminated. I thought they would go in eighth or ninth, and thus find their seventh place finish an upset. Passivity and introvert nature are not good qualities for a race.
And apparently they led the counter-alliance against Diane & Ann. They refused to use a Yield because they thought Diane & Ann were ahead of them. That proved to be a fatal error as Henry & Terri decided to Yield Marc & Rovilson.
Did they do anything memorable in this race outside of being passive or Daichi’s initial fear of heights? Outside of being Japanese, there is nothing too special about them.
Sawaka is the only racer in TAR history who had her own solo backed by the credits music band as the episode came to an end. An odd honour for a racer to receive.
And no, Sony never signed her.
5) Edwin & Monica
Wow. It actually happened. A team managed to finish last on the first leg, but the second leg as well. As of the beginning of 2014, this has never happened again.
Does that mean they are by default the worst team ever because they could not beat a single team for the opening two rounds?
No. Remember that in the American franchise, teams are almost always bunched together into one or two flights for the second round of play. This is why we occasionally see a team go from first to last or from the back to the front in the opening rounds of play.
Without an equalizer you could say that Edwin & Monica could have done better than other teams in round two simply based on time to complete the tasks, but finished last because their surplus was not enough to climb out of last. The only bottom-feeders along with them were Henry & Terri, and Henry & Terri knew their hometown well in addition to having a Detour that fit in with their skillset.
Furthermore, Edwin & Monica never had the chance to drive themselves. For all we know other teams suck at driving a stick while Edwin may be a master at it. They could have very well lived and died by the taxi and bus drivers in the opening two rounds.
Other teams who have been eliminated suffered from not knowing how to talk to locals politely. Edwin & Monica were never rude to others that they met.
I would say that the only sub-par elements of their game in the first two rounds is that Monica has atrocious cardio. She is one of the skinniest racers ever, and could not even keep up with Edwin who carried everyone’s bags. Both rounds involved a lot of running which meant Monica’s speed could have easily dropped them thirty minutes in the process.
They had a tough time navigating themselves with running on the streets. That is how they fell to last right away. Stuck on the streets of Singapore as they could not adjust their way of thinking with only minutes into the race. They easily lost a couple hours right there.
Add in a Detour at the end of round two where Monica had no idea how to put a bike together, and suddenly you see why it is not much of a surprise that they wound up last in back-to-back rounds.
Monica may have a case as the slowest racer ever, but Edwin not so much as he did well with his Roadblock, made the right decisions, and could move well for carrying twice as many bags as a typical team member.
Personally, from the first fourteen seasons of TAR, I would still have Meredith & Maria, Don & Mary Jean, or John & Scott as the nominations for worst racers ever.
Rank the Legs:
1) Singapore, Singapore -> Manila, Philippines
This was ten times better than the opening round from TAR Asia 1.
Go-karting and descending a mall is replaced by eating balut, flying to another country, no equalizers, and a wicked 181 metre high tower traverse. I should also note that the teams are a bit more compelling and more extraverted than the crowd gathered for the first season. No Sahil & Prashants or Sahrans.
The only slight con is that Marc & Rovilson occupied more than a quarter of the airtime while the first place team, Pamela & Vanessa, were shown half as much as them.
Oh, and the tricky non-elimination in the opening round for the second season in a row was a nice fakeout by production. We also see the introduction of the TAR 10/11 non-elimination penalty being introduced to the East.
2) Manila, Philippines -> Auckland, New Zealand
You know what’s left out of this description? The side trip to Hong Kong for one task before heading to Auckland. In Hong Kong they went to a pier before going to a bank where teams spent two to three hours counting coins and notes.
Everybody was on the same flight to Hong Kong. But guess what? After the task, everyone was on the same flight to Auckland. Hong Kong had zero bearing on the round.
However, these lame equalizers were made up by teams having to drive themselves around Auckland. In addition, there was SIX destinations around Auckland that teams visited. One of these tasks was a gruelling Detour, a jump off a bridge, using a Sony Cybershot through a heritage site, visiting a winery, going through a haunted house, and lastly finishing in a haunted forest.
Teams appeared to finish from first to last about eight to ten hours apart. Well, the last place team, Brett & Kinar, was ordered to skip -two- tasks in order to check in at the mat. And they could not even blame it on a late flight because everyone shared the same one.
Seeing Pamela & Vanessa collide with another civilian vehicle is extremely rare for the franchise. Usually teams wipe out in their own vehicle, sometimes smash into an object, or get charged with speeding. But seeing a civilian car crash right into them? The last time I can recall that 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) Nizbor, Czech Republic -> Prague, Czech Republic
Remember how we just did a bunch of tasks in Prague only one round earlier? How about we make teams go back to Prague and do seventy-five percent of the round there?
Again, I wish they cut down on the number of equalizers since they had so many in the previous round.
The Intersection returned for its third time, but did nothing to improve upon the TAR 10 and 11 Intersections. Only one of the Detour options was cooperative. The other task, shooting hockey pucks into a net, was strictly individual between the four players.
The ten metre high dive was a one-dimensional task. If it were not for Vanessa suffering from brain damage/concussion/hysteria/whatever it was, it may go down as the weakest Roadblock ever used in TAR history.
Now I wonder what would have happened to Vanessa if the board was fifteen metres high.
Editors did a good job of making you forget about Henry & Terri’s penalty. They needed roughly ten hours to get to the Intersection where Paula & Natasha had been waiting for five hours. If you could recall the penalty, you knew Henry & Terri were done for good.
Marc & Rovilson finished first for the seventh time this season, which at the time tied a franchise record. With four rounds to go, everyone was curious if Marc & Rovilson would keep this up and have one of the most dominating performances in the history of reality television.
The Final Three pact between Pamela & Vanessa, Paula & Natasha, and Marc & Rovilson suffered because Pamela & Vanessa agreed to team up with Diane & Ann at the Intersection. This complicated the storyline of Everybody but Adrian & Collin versus the Moms.
I should note that this was another bridge episode as Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson teamed up at the Intersection to size up each other’s gameplay. With Marc & Rovilson finishing first for the third time in a row, and Adrian & Collin finishing second for the third round in a row as well, everybody was expecting this to build up through to a season finale showdown.
As Henry & Terri secured the worst average of any team to place sixth in franchise history, and avoid being saved by a non-elimination for a fourth time, we finally bid them farewell for good as only the ‘good’ teams remain.
In fact, Henry’s farewell would be permanent as he is currently the only TAR Asian to die since the four TAR Asia seasons aired.
7) 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?
8) 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.
9) 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 Family 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.