Nothing to start off your day like reading some TAR Asia rankings along with your morning bowl of Trix!
SINGAPORE – PHILIPPINES – HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – GERMANY – CZECH REPUBLIC – HUNGARY – SOUTH AFRICA
Previously on TAR: Miscounting steps at the top of an observation tower in Prague created extra work for Paula & Natasha. While rowing a boat was Adrian & Collin’s biggest challenge. But it was an Intersection that tested team’s alliances. Rivals Marc & Rovilson and Adrian & Collin teamed up. Pamela & Vanessa broke ranks to join the Moms leaving Paula & Natasha to wait for hours.
When Henry & Terri finally arrived at the Intersection, Paula & Natasha immediately took control. A ten metre high jump left Vanessa with a mild concussion but both sisters felt the pain.
When the last teams separated, Paula & Natasha took the only available taxi leaving Henry & Terri behind. They were last to the pit stop for the FOURTH time and were eliminated.
Five teams still remain; who will be the next to be eliminated on The Amazing Race Asia?
The dramatic music is cut halfway through to allow for the intro. That editor needs to be fired. It is the most awkward transition into the intro that I have ever seen.
– Intro time.
– Allan introduces us to Prague once again.
You would think the last thing they wanted to do after sitting for five hours is to sit some more.
– Marc & Rovilson, who arrived first at 11:44am, will depart at 11:44pm. They read that they must travel by train to Budapest. They must disembark at the Keleti Train Station to receive their next clue.
There are so many trains in Europe. It is tough to comprehend for a mothercanucker like me to think that people physically travel by train. We would associate that type of travel with the wild wild west.
– Anyways, let’s get back to travelling to Budapest.
Budapest? I’ve never even heard of it.
Yes, Ms. Pickler, it is a capital city in a European country.
Isn’t Europe a country? Is Budapest the capital of France?
– Marc does not intend to apologize for any portion of his gameplay. Rovilson says they always play all out. Marc adds in that it is ‘balls to the wall’.
– Adrian & Collin depart second at 11:58pm. How did they lose fourteen minutes in such a short span of time? Adrian says they are just trying to enjoy the race while they go. He says they already know the next train does not leave until 5:00am.
– Marc & Rovilson are at the train station.
ROVILSON: I love the smell of urine on the walls in the morning!
Since when did teams go to Portland?
– Ann & Diane commence at 12:33am. Ann says they have learned to respect and support each other after several weeks. Pamela & Vanessa begin at 12:37am. Pamela says it is amazing to make it this far. Marc& Rovilson read that the train ride is nine hours long.
– Oh my word. If Paula & Natasha waited over five hours for Henry & Terri last leg, I have a feeling that a train leaving at 5:00am may not bode well for them.
PAMELA: That’s so lame!
Uh. . .what’s wrong with Hungary?
– Marc & Rovilson and Adrian & Collin joke about which countries they are going to. Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Poland.
Time for another bro down.
– Marc says they are hungry and tired while the other teams walk into the train station well-fed and well-rested.
Empty stomach? Are you Hungary? ohoohohohohohoho.
– Marc starts hitting on Ann from a distance.
MARC (makes kissing sound): Mamacita!
I guess Marc is into older women after all. Full out kissing sound and calling them Mamacitas?
Keeps obsessing over mamacitas? Who does he think he is? Kid Frost?
– Four teams are on a 5:00am train that connects to Budapest via Vienna. There is a 7:30am train that goes directly to Budapest.
-Collin feels uncomfortable lying so they decide to break away from the other teams. They realize that the 5:00am train gets them into Budapest ninety minutes earlier than the other train.
– Rovilson’s thoughts on Adrian & Collin?
ROVILSON: They have been using a fourth dimension to their benefit that we haven’t been using–and that’s the Internet.
– So it is time for Paula & Natasha to finally leave.
Didn’t they have to wait over five hours for Henry & Terri? Apparently they made up an hour on Pamela & Vanessa and Diane & Ann during the Intersection.
– Marc is annoyed that there are four hours to kill. Pamela & Vanessa think Adrian & Collin are ahead. Rovilson is slightly doubtful.
Hmmmmm. Did Adrian & Collin have the audacity to stop us from beating Nick & Starr’s record?
– Marc & Rovilson are curious enough to go ask one of the agents behind the counter.
Beware of pickpockets? That is a sign I have never seen before. Canadians are too polite to invade stranger’s pockets.
But yet they can write in English?
– Marc & Rovilson and Paula & Natasha are not able to find out about Adrian & Collin’s train.
ROVILSON: They are so far ahead that they are in season three now.
– The four teams are on the 7:30am direct train. Pamela is curious where exactly they are. Paula predicts that Adrian & Collin either made a really smart move or a really stupid move.
– Allan tells us that the journey for the train ride is 443 kilometres. That makes zero sense because the two trains are taking two entirely different routes!
Asia does not recognize Austria as a significant country.
– Diane & Ann begin singing the waltz music. Diane begins waltzing with her map.
You really do get bored by round ten.
This is what happens when you do your research.
– Adrian reads that they must head to Batthyany Square. It is named after the first Hungarian Prime Minister. This is where teams will find their next clue.
Batthyany Square? His last name was Batthyany?
Prime Minister of Hungary.
– Marc is frightened that Adrian & Collin are ahead because he knows they are far too sharp to miss the best train.
Maybe if they were not so focused on packing ten pairs of T-shirts with different messages on them, maybe they would be winning every round!
– Adrian & Collin find the clue on Batthyany Square. They must now select a car and drive themselves to Magyar Farm. Twenty kilometres outside of the city.
Uh oh. I will feel bad for them if it is a Trivant.
Phew. A car that actually works.
– The second train lands. It is anyone’s race. Lots of intense traffic. Marc & Rovilson beat the three all-female teams to the clue box. All four teams read the clue as fast as they can. They race to flag down taxis to Batthyany Square. Hopefully the teams are civil.
Holy geez. These teams are fearless. This is what separates these five teams from Henry & Terri, Daichi & Sawaka, Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia, Brett & Kinar, and Edwin & Monica.
They are just on a different level of competition. These next four rounds feel like the Major Leagues of TAR.
– Diane & Ann and Paula & Natasha beat Marc & Rovilson into a taxi. Marc noticed there were only four clues in the box.
– The four teams all find the clue along the Danube River. I swear this is the same road that Adam & Rebecca had the fight over Adam wanting a romantic evening. Paula& Natasha pick a car, but I am sure are stoked it is not a Trivant.
Wait, they freak out over it being a manual? In TAR 6, there were no all-female teams remaining when they started using the Trivant. Since all three all-female teams this season have nearly crashed with manual cars in the previous round, I think the Trivants were removed as a sign of mercy by producers.
– Pamela & Vanessa are fourth to the clue box. Diane & Ann are last to the box. The round should reset by the end for them to be in third.
– Paula struggles with a manual initially. They hire a car to follow. Marc & Rovilson have hired help too. Collin is not confident with where they are going. Diane & Ann bicker over directions. Pamela & Vanessa have convinced somebody at a gas station to lead them part of the way.
An outdoor physical Detour? Another excuse for Allan to show off his guns. Imagine if Phil Keoghan stripped down to a wife beater and kept flexing for the camera? The Conservative viewers in America would feel like their virginity is being lost before their eyes.
Pitch or Pull.
– In Pitch, teams must stack a pile of hay onto a cart and deliver it to a farmer for their next clue.
“Wanna choose this task?”
“Sure, what the hay.”
Make sure to tell Marc & Rovilson that you are married.
– In Pull, teams must milk a goat to receive 200 millilitres of milk. Once it is at 200 millilitres, they will receive their next clue.
Hopefully these goats are less temperamental than the ones in Burkina Faso.
– Collin decides to do the hay task. They jog in unison. This Detour choice could not be more up their alley.
– Vanessa’s car is smoking. She claims it is not her fault. Cars keep honking and going by her.
PAULA: You know what I did? I parked in third gear.
– We see Vanessa struggle some more.
Another Intersection, pretty please?
The next light to blink will be “Book Manual Driving Lessons at 1-STI-CKS-HIFT
– Commercial break.
PAMELA: You’re letting go of the clutch so fast!
Well there’s your problem–you are thinking the dildo is a stick shift!
That mega driving lesson did not work out.
VANESSA: I am really bad with the driving when it comes to a stop and being in the correct lane.
In other words, you are really really bad with driving.
The cars driving around her from the opposite direction would agree.
– Diane notes the temperature listed in her car.
DIANE: Hopefully we’re not doing something outside in the fields.
Heh heh, oh that’s great.
I think we are just lucky that Allan kept his shirt on in this heat.
Collin decides to jump up and down on his makeshift hay trampoline. He never had a trampoline in his childhood.
They really want Adrian & Collin to stop horsing around.
– Paula & Natasha show up to the route marker but the tires keep rolling as Paula struggles to park. They are at the Detour. Their decision is to do Pitch.
Adrian gets to sit in the cart while Collin must walk behind it? Wow, Collin got the short end of the stick on that one.
– Paula & Natasha begin loading up the hay.
NATASHA: My hay fever is not going to like this.
Well of course your hay fever will not like it when you grip the hay with your bare hands!
– Adrian & Collin deliver the hay.
The farmer tries to sell her daughter for their troubles, but Adrian & Collin opt for the clue instead. It is a Roadblock.
Something tells me this is hinting at some product placement. Yet another Sony-sponsoured photography task?
Remember these bad boys?
– Teams must drive themselves to the Fun Extreme Canopy Flying Fox in Visigrad and complete several sections of the flying fox course.
They could really shorten title of their place.
– At the end of each course, a number will be posted for teams to stop. Once they are done all of the courses, they must add all of the numbers in their head. When they correctly recall the correct number, they will receive their next clue.
The number should be something that cannot be identified through a lucky guess, right?
Oh. Well, it will still be really complicated for Paula & Natasha.
These are some low numbers to combine. I guess TAR Asia needed more obscure numbers because Asians are indeed much better at math.
– Teams will be soaring 14 metres through the air at Hungary’s only canopy course for this task. Not a whole lot to do in Hungary.
– Diane & Ann are third to the Detour. They decide to milk a goat. Pamela asks a guy from a shop to show him the way to the route marker.
PAMELA: This time hopefully Vanessa does not stall again and get caught up in the road.
Heh. So they must have lost their original guide who did not want to get his car rear-ended by Vanessa.
– Speaking of rear-ending people, Marc & Rovilson are asking for directions too. Rovilson confesses that this is the first round of the race where he has no idea where all of the teams are currently located.
High five through the bus?
– Diane & Ann enter the pen and begin milking a goat. Ann decides to pet the goat as Diane milks it to keep her comfortable.
What an odd picture.
– Adrian & Collin ask for directions on the street. We pan to Paula who is taking way more hay than she can handle.
I think the hay weighs more than her.
– They work together to bring up the rest of the hay. Adrian & Collin know they are wasting time.
Maybe next time don’t ask for Girl Guides Cookies in the process.
– Diane & Ann cannot get a single drop of milk. Ann is surprised because she is a mother. They declare milking a cow is easier. So away to Pitch they go.
– Paula & Natasha keep loading up more hay. Adrian & Collin are at the Roadblock. Paula & Natasha ride in the cart. Paula is running behind.
Paula looks like a little child there.
– Diane & Ann keep loading up the hay. They work together well. Marc & Rovilson think they got to the farm quickly but see other teams. Natasha picks up the clue from the farmer and starts hugging the daughter.
Remind me to not let Paula & Natasha near my kids. Wow.
– Natasha agrees to the Roadblock. As Paula reads it we see Collin starting the Roadblock. Marc & Rovilson and Paula & Natasha are stunned to see each other. Marc & Rovilson decide to do the Pitch task.
Not a typo.
– Pamela & Vanessa are led all the way to Magyar Farm. They have to drive to the side to let Paula & Natasha through. They also choose to do Pitch.
– Collin continues doing the Roadblock. Diane is surprised to see Marc & Rovilson joining them. Pamela & Vanessa thinks the Pitch task looks too tiring and decide to milk the goat.
But first Pamela decides to practice being a contortionist.
PAMELA: We picked one goat because she looked like she had big, you know, titays. Can I say that?
Why is she pronouncing it like that? Did she listen to one too many Lil Jon songs?
Asian Laughter ensues.
– Pamela complains that she was squeezing but that no milk was coming out.
The goat must be in extreme pain.
Pamela shows us that the technique she used on the goat is the same that she used on Rovilson last night.
– Collin keeps soaring as Adrian idly stands by. We go back to pitching hay. Marc is just standing there for a moment. Diane & Ann enter the cart as they finished pitching hay. Rovilson keeps flinging up hay.
Well, Rovilson certainly looks like he belongs in 1895 in New Mexico.
Collin on left.
A metaphor for round ten.
– Just think it is over forty degrees right now. Pamela & Vanessa start getting a little bit of milk. Diane & Ann have the clue.
What is with the teams and constantly hugging the daughter?
– Ann volunteers Diane for the Roadblock. Marc & Rovilson keep pitching the hay. Collin is still going through the canopy. He writes down a guess.
A phobia of counting numbers? Whatever you do, don’t count to five on this leg.
– Collin writes down his first guess.
Back across the canopy.
– Diane instructs Ann on how to operate the car.
That concludes your verbal twenty second lesson on how to operate a manual. Good luck!
– Pamela & Vanessa continue milking the goat’s milk. It keeps wanting to tip over the bucket. Vanessa evaluates the cup.
Bringing it to eye level can be rather tricky.
– Rovilson is in the cart as he jokes that today was the perfect day in Budapest for an outdoor challenge. Pamela & Vanessa read that the goat must be in its holding pen to receive their next clue.
– Commercial break.
– They admit they did not grow up on a farm as they cannot figure out what is different from the pen that the goat is already inside. Initially they thought it was just to put the milk in the pen. They eventually bring the goat in there.
– Marc & Rovilson is done the Detour. Rovilson is doing the Roadblock.
– Pamela & Vanessa think they have it, but are told the goat must be tied up. Ann thinks it is the first time that she is ahead of Marc & Rovilson.
Oddly enough, Ann is not driving the car despite her quick lesson.
– Pamela & Vanessa have everything in order as they finally receive their clue.
The person monitoring the Pull task may or may not be a serial killer.
What? Adrian? Isn’t it the deaf contestant, Collin, that is doing the Roadblock?
*does some quick research*
Okay. Adrian has been the Deaf one all along. I kept calling him Collin. I just got Shyamalan’d.
You know it? I am not changing it at this point. That is Collin and that is final.
– Marc and Natasha recap where all of the teams are, including the mystery of Adrian & Collin’s whereabouts. Pamela & Vanessa are now back in their car. Marc is not comfortable with being third or fourth. He passes Diane & Ann on the road.
ROVILSON: Objects in mirror may appear closer.
– Ann is not impressed.
And that is why you fail.
– So how is Vanessa doing with the manual transmission?
Ah. Nothing out of the norm.
– She coaches herself through it until she stalls yet again. Pamela keeps telling her on how to properly operate the clutch. Eventually they move. Rovilson asks for directions to the Flying Fox. They know Diane & Ann are following them.
– Collin makes his next guess. It is 1, 000. The clue is theirs. They read that they must head to Hercules Fountain.
I did not know Hercules was Hungarian.
– The place where the Hercules Fountain is located is the summer home for Hungary’s most beloved ruler, King Matthias during the 13th century.
Take note. And can teams hang onto this as their own personal funds?
– The Hercules Fountain is where teams will find their next clue.
– Adrian & Collin are checking their map to see if it is a tourist attraction before asking a local guide. Paula & Natasha are second to the Roadblock.
PAULA: When we got there and grabbed the second tag, we thought ‘hmmm, I thought we were first.’ Because we left everyone at the farm like ‘yay, bye everyone’. So when we got there second, it was just like ‘hmmmm’.
And that is why Paula rarely speaks.
In short, they grabbed the ‘2’ ticket.
“Two? What do you mean you grabbed ‘two’? I can’t possibly calculate that deficit when you were in the lead.”
We need something to remember this experience by. You know, something besides it being broadcasted on TV for thirteen weeks and some random guy in Canada blogging about it seven years after the fact.
– Marc does a U-Turn on the road. Diane & Ann are just a couple feet behind. Marc is going crazy. Ann does not think it is the correct location.
– Natasha screams at the top of her lungs. She lands at the end of the first flying fox and sees the number ’48’. Natasha finds herself on the second flying fox now.
Oh cool. A flying fox! This is neat for TAR.
Oh. This is what they meant.
Peppy! It’s not that type of Flying Fox. Jesus.
– Vanessa is driving.
VANESSA: Now it just looks like we’re not going to the right place at all. This is crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy, crazy.
I might have a mild concussion concussion concussion concussion concussion concussion concussion.
– Natasha writes down her first guess. It is rejected.
“Sorry bitch, but you’re wrong.”
I know. A bit harsh for a family show, right?
NATASHA: What? How can I be wrong?!
– Rovilson convinces Marc that they will still want to be first this leg. Diane & Ann grab the ‘3’ tag. We then see a shot of a random guy on the Flying Fox for exactly one second before cutting back to the action.
Hey, my tour is not over until I reach the other side. I am just going to stay stationary in the middle of the course. That will get my money’s worth!
– The locals help Diane into her gear.
I think he is a bit too close for comfort.
– Marc & Rovilson are stunned to pull the ‘4’ ticket.
ROVILSON: Did you pull the wrong one, Marc?
Heh. Denial is the first stage of grief.
– Marc & Rovilson are frightened about the situation.
“Will trade teammate for food (a pocket of peanuts will do. . .)”
I wonder if it is a female that they have to reach into Marc’s pocket to grab the peanuts?
– Paula, Natasha, Marc, and Rovilson deduce who must be ahead. They do realize that Adrian & Collin must be the ones leading the round.
“That’s why we call them The Terminators. They use time travel to get hours ahead of us.”
– Marc realized it all came down to a train which gave Adrian & Collin a two hour lead. Adrian & Collin have the last clue. They must head to Salamon Tower. There is a correct entrance which they must use to access the pit stop.
But little do they know that Alla n is ready to drop down and pounce on his prey. Crossbowmen have been set up in the adjacent towers too. It’s a Wuvasian.
– Diane drops multiple ‘F’ bombs because Ann is not present. Her partner must be with her in order to progress. Paula tells Natasha that they may be able to go again or Marc & Rovilson may go because Ann is not there.
Oh my god. A Mommy has gone missing! There is hope!
Mommy needs some soap in her mouth.
Time for a 40-year-old joy ride!
ANN: I am now in third gear which I am very proud of myself.
“Diane, aren’t you amazed that I can drive a manual transmission now?”
“. . .Diane?”
– Diane eventually sees Ann.
“Where the f— where you?”
Isn’t stealing cars fun, Ann?
Your free driving lesson just cost us second place! Now we’ll be third for the twentieth time in a row!”
– Paula & Natasha hope Diane & Ann fight long enough to let them be ahead and go up to third. Otherwise they will be fourth in line. Marc & Rovilson are currently in second.
NATASHA: They’re not very good sports. She’s not a good a sport. Their team is not working well which hopefully is another advantage to us.
“Yes, but my point is that I parallel parked. Parallel parked!”
– Adrian & Collin have found Salamon Tower. They parked and are now running the streets. Marc finishes the Flying Fox Canopy and writes down ‘1000’. Just like that he has gone from fourth to second.
– Meanwhile Adrian & Collin check into the mat. They are first, right? Nope. They are told they did not complete a task correctly. What could it be?
Yeah, I am sure there was nothing wrong with parking in the middle of a gate into a major tourist destination.
Yeah, I am sure that narrow gate is a marked area.
– Allan even makes them do something that I have never seen Phil Keoghan do.
ALLAN: Adrian & Collin, it has come to my attention that you did not complete one of your tasks correctly. Can you please re-read your clue for me.
Yes. I will meditate while I wait.
“Adrian & Collin,
The girls will be writing YOUR name down tonight. Use the idol to save yourself. Write down PAMELA. Burn this after reading.
BFFs 4 ever,
– Allan sounds like a complete jerk when he responds to Adrian re-reading the clue.
ALLAN: Now please proceed to re-do your task correctly.
“And stay out long enough until Marc & Rovilson can finish first again, because they know how to endorse a Sony Cybershot.”
You know things are bad when Adrian is pressured enough to produce a facepalm.
– Commercial break.
– Adrian & Collin know they screwed up the parking job. Diane meanwhile is in third position to do the Flying Fox. She is so light that she goes slowly to the first platform. Rovilson tells Marc that Natasha screwed up on her first attempt.
Who said it? Probably someone who did not have a good grasp of English grammar, either.
– Natasha prepares for her second attempt. Away she goes! At least I got her name right.
– Pamela & Vanessa are last to grab a tag at the Roadblock. Adrian & Collin have yet to find the marked parking. Diane continues through the canopy. Adrian is still hunting for the flagged parking lot. Him and Collin examine a map. We see Diane, Pamela, and Natasha do different sections of the Flying Fox.
Look at that concentration.
– Adrian is getting frustrated as him and Collin run onto the streets asking for directions to the correct parking area.
This is why you need 90 minute leads on Marc & Rovilson at the start of the round.
– Marc & Rovilson have pulled over to ask for directions as well. We see Diane submit a guess of 1030. She was annoyed that the different guides kept talking to her. Natasha submits a guess too.
Wow. It only took her two tries! Counting to 1, 000 in different chunks is easier than counting 299 steps.
– Adrian is certain they are going the wrong way. He tries to talk to Collin but is tough for Adrian to sign and drive.
You don’t need sign language to realize that Adrian feels lost.
– Pamela has random victorious music playing as she does the next stage of the canopy tour. You would think she was done. Marc & Rovilson discuss where to go to find the palace.
– Pamela is at the final stage. Intense number crunching time.
Dear God of Malaysia, please give me the strength and energy to come up with the correct number.
170?! Not even close! Okay, she really wrote ‘970’, but the chalk for the circle in ‘9’ was faded.
I wonder if the judge thought she wrote 170 or 970?
– Pamela unleashes some curses when she is told it is wrong.
– Marc & Rovilson have parked and found the fountain. They have read that they must drive to the next pit stop. Suddenly another first place finish is not so far away.
– Diane writes down ‘1000’ as her guess. It is correct. Her and Ann are in fourth as they go on to find the Hercules Fountain.
– Pamela goes through the canopy once again. Natasha asks multiple people for directions to Hercules Fountain.
A puppy casually walks up to Natasha. Its tail up and everything.
– Pamela finishes her second attempt. She eyerolls as she writes down her guess. It is rather amusing. Pam writes down ‘1000’ and the instructor approves.
He likey. This is like a T.a.T.u concert all over again.
Vanessa immediately starts making out with Pamela upon hearing the news. If you are reading this from Sochi, please leave this page immediately.
– Pamela & Vanessa receive the clue along with the 1000 note.
Oh! I get it! They guessed 1000 to receive a 1000 note. Makes sense!
– Adrian & Collin park in the marked parking area finally. Marc & Rovilson are next.
I am guessing Adrian & Collin drove over the flag earlier.
– We see a series of dramatic cuts between Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson. Spy music begins to play temporarily.
Marc & Rovilson steal the shrubs. I hear it is like stealing corals from the Great Barrier Reef. The almighty Hungarian shrubs.
Look at that stealth!
It makes Solid Snake’s box look conspicuous.
– So who makes it to the mat first?
You like my hair, ja?
FIRST PLACE: ADRIAN & COLLIN
Double-team sign! Ay-yo!
– ALLAN: That’s great, you guys still got first place. But be careful Make sure you read your clues correctly!
Allan speaks with such an inflection at the end that it sounds like he is talking to his four year old niece. ‘Don’t play in the mud’, ‘read your clue correctly’, if you do not know what it is, don’t put it in your mouth’.
“Make sure you read your clue correctly!”
“Okay Uncle Wu!”
“That’s my girls.”
– Allan informs them that they have won a Nokia N95 and a Nokia N73. What the difference is between the two is unknown.
These prizes brought to you by the letter ‘N’.
– Allan congratulates them on finally securing first place and outsmarting the other teams.
– Adrian reveals that Collin looked it up online at the train station.
ADRIAN: 77 LUKE: 4
– I would imagine Collin is the one who did it anyway. Why?
Because Adrian is too busy picking his nose.
– Marc & Rovilson meanwhile are still playing with their shrubs as they enter the mat.
They’ve been there this whole time!
Why the Face?
“Got you! Got you!”
– SECOND PLACE: MARC & ROVILSON
– Allan tells them they still got second, but Marc wants to know how Adrian & Collin got ahead. Allan reminds them that they were next-to-last at the Detour. Rovilson believes this will kick their butt into gear.
Now they shall be unstoppable.
– Alright. Back to our three useless all-female teams who have not even found the fountain yet. Vanessa insists she is not relyyyyying on Pam. Diane struggles to see the full sentence for Visegrad on a sign. Pamela asks for directions on the road. She is told it is a building just across the street. Well, that makes things easy.
CYCLIST: It’s just this building right here.
PAM: -This- building?
– Ann apologizes for her mistake at reading the map. Diane cuts off her apology saying it is not worthwhile at the moment. They find the clue shortly after Pam & Vanessa. Ann believes she is last.
Wait? They are third instead of Diane & Ann? Think of the equilibrium in the universe!
– Pamela & Vanessa have found the castle too. Pamela warns Vanessa of various hazards on the cobblestone road leading up to the castle. They run up the steps and hit the mat.
Uh, read your clue too?
– Pamela reads the clue verbatim. She does not even catch on to what is wrong.
“If you and your partner are not twenty feet of each other, the camera operator may penalize you. You cannot barter your own personal possessions. Please do not create an application tape longer than three minutes–
Uh, marked entrance?
“I don’t remember! Where am I? What show is this? Who is this Asian man? He looks Wunderful.”
– Vanessa starts panicking. She breathes really hard on camera. We see her struggle to even put the car in gear. Pamela tells Vanessa to calm down.
– Commercial break.
– We resume. Vanessa is in a panic but finally has the car moving. Too bad it stalls two seconds later. She keeps letting go of the clutch too quickly. This goes on for several seconds. You can see sweat dripping off of her face and it is just red.
I fear she will faint at the wheel any moment now.
– Paula & Natasha are directed to Hercules Fountain.
Who is he looking at when he points to the fountain?
– They keep searching through the place. Natasha yells out if anyone is present as if she is trespassing upon an open house.
You mean this battered piece of wall is not a fountain?
– Paula & Natasha have the clue. Just like that they have fallen from third to last.
– Pamela coaches Vanessa on what to do. During this Vanessa asks Pamela to take over about 77, 932 times. Instead Pamela sticks with her driving lesson.
“Oh my god, I just want to be a backseat driver, Vanessa!”
“Now I am going to teach you how to use a clutch that you have already been using correctly for the past four days.
– Paula goes into a one-way street. Natasha interrupts her that it is the wrong entrance. Natasha sees the pit stop but Paula has to get out.
– Vanessa starts panicking hardcore. Holy s— she should not be driving.
VANESSA: Where are we supposed to paaaark.
PAMELA: Vanessa, what is wrong with you?
I don’t know, but the list is pretty dang long at this point.
VANESSA: I don’t know where to park I am so worried about this, okay?
VANESSA (confessional): It is more being frustrated with myself. Not her at all.
VANESSA: I need some water! I need some water!
She even points at her own throat as if she is trying to communicate to someone that she needs water in a foreign language.
Only one hand on the wheel? Now I am frightened.
Holy s—, she goes to town on that bottle of water! The bottle is halfway down her throat. Every germ in her body is on the lip of the bottle now.
– Natasha tries to explain to Paula how to turn into the parking area.
– Vanessa’s freakout continues.
PAMELA: Just calm down.
VANESSA: Yeah, but wereteamnumbertwoandteamfourificanjustcatchuplikethats—.
I’m going to go ahead and say that you do not do well under pressure, Vanessa.
– PAMELA: Stop here!
PAMELA: I’ve got to bloody check where’s the bloody marked area? Only at the ‘marked entrance of the car park’.
(They get out.)
VANESSA: Right here?
PAMELA: Yep, here.
VANESSA: YES! OH MY GOD! OH S—!
PAMELA: Anyone can catch up. C’mon Vanessa.
VANESSA: I’m trying! I’m trying my best! Just wait for me, Pam. Wait for me. Wait for me please.
Looks like Vanessa forgot how to run, too.
Once Pam waits for her sister, Vanessa decides to run ahead of her to the mat. Wow.
Freeeedom!!!! Or is that a pit stop orgasm? I don’t know.
THIRD PLACE: PAMELA & VANESSA
– Vanessa says something under her breath as she does a head shake prior to hugging Pamela.
Who knew her favourite pro wrestler was D’Lo Brown.
– Vanessa says they just need to pay more attention down the road.
And do the Zangief pose, apparently.
EDITOR’S NOTE: That ends a three episode streak without a Street Fighter 2 reference.
– Road race between the last two teams. We see Diane & Ann park immediately and run. Paula says it is not fair that the moms are in front of them now. Ann & Diane make their way to the rooftop.
FOURTH PLACE: DIANE & ANN
– Allan congratulates them on being top four.
– A series of shots as Paula & Natasha park, run, and Paula does her best to impersonate Allan’s niece as she says “please don’t eliminate us”.
LAST PLACE: PAULA & NATASHA
Let the puppy dog eyes commence!
– Allan informs them that this is indeed the last of five non-elimination legs. Natasha drops an ‘oh s—‘ right away and hug Allan.
Natasha resorts to covering her mouth just to prevent the curses from coming out.
Even Wu gets in on the giddiness.
“Why can’t every round be a non-elimination?”
– NATASHA: What do you want from us?
“You can be Marked for Elimination OR we can do a thing called the anti-mugging where I take nothing away from you except the clothes on your back. Huh? What do you say ladies?”
I am guessing that is a ‘no go’ because Paula pretends as if she heard nothing.
– Paula starts making funny faces.
Does this look good on camera?
NATASHA: We can do that. We can do anything.
Except not come in last as you just demonstrated.
You will do “anything”? Anti-mugging it is!
– Natasha informs us that she must now talk to her allies and be more specific in their conversations.
NATASHA: If the Yield does come up, if you could please yield another team.
And by “yield another team”, we mean “yield the moms”.
Next Time on TAR: Hungary for more TAR Europe? Do not fret as teams stay inside the country to determine who will be the first to go in this trilogy of eliminations.
Rank the Legs:
1) Prague, Czech Republic -> Budapest, Hungary
I. . .really liked this round. Nothing really dragged. In fact the airtime in this episode is a full minute less than all of the other episodes thus far. I think it was a wise move.
You can tell how fatigued the teams are by round ten. Marc & Rovilson slipping to fourth with only one task to go really shows that.
Adrian & Collin being the first team to outwit Marc & Rovilson all season is a huge shift for the rivalry. Why? Because that means we have, you know, an actual rivalry. Note that the last time Marc & Rovilson lost a round is when they were beat by Daichi & Sawaka in Tokyo.
Yeah, losing to a team in a complicated city like Tokyo where Daichi & Sawaka not only live but also know the language is not exactly a defeat.
Before that? Pamela & Vanessa beating Marc & Rovilson by a couple minutes in round one.
So I would contend this is the first round where Marc & Rovilson legitimately lose a round of play. They cannot even blame it on a billion equalizers.
Adrian & Collin nearly blew the lead by parking in the middle of a major tourist attraction rather than in the flagged area. I have a feeling they lost a good twenty minutes or so.
It was neat to see 2nd through 5th place continuously shift for the whole round. Nobody ever solidified their placing until they found the pit stop. I cannot remember the last round of play where finishes were completely unpredictable. Marc & Rovilson getting second was viewed as an upset.
I enjoyed the tasks of navigating the train route, the flying fox math puzzle, searching for a location based on a note of the local currency, and a Detour that stuck them out on a farm in 41 degree Celsius heat. Especially when it makes Pamela Chong sound like Lil Jon.
Lastly, the divide between the all-male teams and the all-female teams were evident this round. In fact, I cannot recall a time that same-gender teams all occupied the final five teams. Seeing the all-male teams master the stick shift while the women would repeatedly avoid close collisions made you wonder why in the world they did not get more lessons before the race.
Oh, and Ann’s joy ride was awesome.
In short, this was probably the most enjoyable round of the season. This is the final non-elimination round, which meant that the storyline was set as we enter the final three legs of the race. And what better way to set up this transition too than to have Marc & Rovilson finally seem vulnerable.
Mix in Vanessa’s ongoing freakouts, and this round leaves nothing to be desired.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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?
9) 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.
10) 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.
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.