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Previously on TAR: Five teams set out from Prague to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Adrian & Collin put the extra mile on their research to get on an earlier train. Marc & Rovilson relied on locals for directions and learned for the first time what it was like to be at the back of the pack.
But adding numbers while hurdling through the air confused some teams. Marc counted correctly gaining places for their team, but Adrian & Collin proved disability was no obstacle as they beat Marc & Rovilson to the pit stop.
On the way to the pit stop, Vanessa reached her breaking point. . .again. While Paula & Natasha became lost and were the last to arrive but escaped elimination.
Will Adrian & Collin maintain their new lead and can Paula & Natasha catch up despite their time penalty?
Five teams still remain; who will be the next to be eliminated on The Amazing Race Asia?
– Intro time. No non-eliminations left, folks.
– Allan introduces us to Salamon Tower. It was damaged by the Turks during the Turkish invasion.
– Adrian & Collin, who were the first to arrive at 5:08pm, will depart at 5:08am.
– Adrian reads that they must drive to Budapest and find the Little Princess statue. It was sculpted by Laszlo Marton. Write that name down because it could come up on a Hungarian pop quiz at the end of the recap.
Why is the Little Princess wearing the Statue of Liberty’s crown?
ALLAN: It was inspired by his six year old daughter playing in a princess costume.
Wow. He must have had one ugly baby. She looks like she just came from Washington or Colorado.
– They must drive themselves to that statue and find their next clue.
Adrian & Collin when they worked for Hanna-Barbera.
– Adrian hangs on Collin’s every word in the confessional, and how they feel it is a personal accomplishment and change to finally be in first. To them beating Marc & Rovilson specifically is only a secondary motivation. They wonder if the clue refers to a real princess or if it will be a princess or statue.
Odd to see two grown men playing Peekaboo.
– Marc & Rovilson are second to depart at 5:35am. Adrian & Collin started last round with a 90 minute lead after the train ride, but Marc & Rovilson have made 63 minutes of that up.
Ah, they finally ran out of shirts.
– Marc reads that they have sixty dollars for this. Him and Rovilson had nightmares last night because they came in second. They want first back. Rovilson worries about losing a friend in the process of fighting for the Final Three. Marc decides they should translate ‘Little Princess’ into Hungarian.
ROVILSON: We need a hotel where they will know English, Hungarian, and have an Internet access and phone all right there.
Way ahead of you, bro.
– Rovilson tells Marc that the hotel must be a “major juicy one” rather than a hostel.
Speaking of which, why have we not had professional poker players on The Amazing Race yet?
– Marc & Rovilson are still at the hotel after Adrian & Collin are well on their way.
Thankfully this is what pops up when you search “Little Princess” into Google.
– Adrian & Collin get more directions on the street. Rovilson reads from the map telling him where to go. Adrian tells us that him and Collin made the wrong turn. They are lost for ten to fifteen minutes.
– Both teams are shown exiting their car. Both teams see each other at the clue box. Just seconds apart. And even more is at stake.
Fast Forward in round eleven? That seems a bit late for a one-time event.
And yes, cue the “it is ridiculous that a Fast Forward is not offered every round to enhance strategy rather than it be a matter of ‘go for it if you are first to guarantee an even bigger lead for the round'” speech.
– ALLAN: This is the first Fast Forward that teams will encounter on the race. Teams can only use one Fast Forward during the race, so they must decide when it is most advantageous to go for it.
– Marc & Rovilson and Adrian & Collin both decide to do the Fast Forward.
– Pamela & Vanessa begin in third at 6:51am.
– Vanessa says it is a little prize for each round that they are not eliminated.
Well of course it is a little prize. It is almost as if producers give an increasing amount of prize money based on what place you finish at the end of the season. I hear the pay scale really jumps up from second to first.
– Adrian & Collin are first to the Elizabeth Bridge. In Hungary, ‘bridge’ is called ‘hid’. I learned it from the bridge contest where Stephen Colbert successfully campaigned to get a bridge named after him in Hungary in 2008.
I am a bridge and so can you!
– So what is the task for this Fast Forward? Will they have to do something crazy like jump off of it? Although that would be unoriginal seeing how they just jumped off of the Auckland Bridge earlier in the season.
Really? Just count posts? Wasn’t that already treated as a lame task in TAR 9 and TAR 12?
The first team to enter the correct number into a safe wins.
Who knew there would be a financial budget for a task where you count posts. I guess just telling the number to a local or writing it on a chalk board is too lame.
And what is with all of these counting/math tasks?
Think about it. Round nine they had to count steps.
In round 10 they had to add numbers while on a flying fox.
And now in round 11 they are counting posts for the biggest reward in the game?
And if you look on the left you will now see the famed Queen Elizabeth Bridge Vertical Bars which were featured on the second season of The Amazing Race Asia!
– We see both teams read the clue before counting the posts. Adrian & Collin seem to be ahead by about thirty seconds.
Adrian is going with the “two-handed grab” strategy.
Adrian has abandoned the strategy! Both teams are using the mutual strategy of ‘count slightly ahead of each other and come to an agreement every ‘x’ amount of posts’.
Oh my god this is more exciting than anything going on in Sochi right now.
– Marc tells Rovilson to announce when he is at ‘100’ as well as repeatedly yell at him to go faster. Rovilson also employs a borderline illegal strategy.
– Okay, not really graffiti. Rovilson writes down a number onto the posts for every 100. He even turns to the camera to apologize for marking up the bridge.
My apologies to the city of Budapest, but I -will- graffiti your bridge with numbers relating to helping me win a game show. Oh, and I also have my cell number listed on the 326th post in case any of you want to give me a call.
But then it cuts to f—ing Diane & Ann. They talk about their improved map reading to prevent being lost frequently, and are motivated by the fact they were ahead of Marc & Rovilson for most of the previous round.
– Pamela & Vanessa ask for directions. We see Adrian & Collin enter numbers into a safe but after an excessively dramatic pause the safe does not open. Marc & Rovilson also enter an incorrect number.
– Rovilson talks really loudly into the camera as Marc counts in the background.
“SO MARC IS QUIETLY COUNTING THE NUMBER OF POSTS. WHAT NUMBER ARE YOU AT?!”
– Adrian & Collin come up with a similar strategy to Marc & Rovilson.
Always one step ahead.
They are just too busy daydreaming.
– Marc jokes that anthropologists will be stemmed by pen marks written in English and Chinese.
– Pamela has a printed off picture of the Little Princess. They realize the bridge will be tough to turn into because of where they currently are. Marc is still counting. Diane & Ann are asking for directions.
– Suspenseful showdown music picks up again as we see the Fast Forward still going on. Pamela talks to a couple of police officers for directions as she shows them the picture.
You are better off trying to understand Booker and Copper’s speech from Animal Crossing rather than the Hungarian police.
– So the two teams are playing fair at the Fast Forward right?
“1, 202. . .Let me just squeeze by you here. . .1, 203. . .”
– So Marc & Rovilson try to open the safe. Do they get it?
I believe that is a ‘no’.
– They decide to run by Adrian & Collin to make them think they got it. Adrian is certain they did as Marc & Rovilson bid them good luck. Pamela & Vanessa have the clue. They also head to go for the Fast Forward out of pure stupidity. They argue about it in the car until they come to an agreement.
– Marc & Rovilson make the stupid mistake of counting the posts rather than getting away with the bluff. So without telling us directly, Adrian & Collin persevere and count every last post once again.
There is hash on the rail too? I didn’t know it had to work into their count.
Success! Marc & Rovilson missed the hash glued to the 2, 071st post.
– Marc & Rovilson drop a F-bomb as they run back to their car. They are doomed to have second place once again.
– Adrian & Collin read that they must drive to the Freedom Monument. They express how happy they were, and start jumping along the bridge.
Look at the air Collin gets on his jump!
LOL, long time. Well, long long time. Either he is breaking the stereotype or doubling it.
Me love count posting long time.
Eh, if I had to express exciting moments in a second or third language, I would suck so much more at making it clear enough to interpret.
– We now cut to Allan who talks about Freedom Hill where a citadel is positioned.
– Marc & Rovilson know they wasted an hour on the Fast Forward and know they are on the verge of elimination. They hire a local to lead them to the alternate route marker. Both discuss finishing first as an addiction and how hard it is tough to give up that addiction.
– Paula & Natasha commence last at 8:01am. There is major phlegm in Natasha’s throat as she speaks.
NATASHA (phlegm matic): We have found the Little Princess because she is driving the car already.
PAULA: It’s something that you really have to use your skills and lock to get on.
NATASHA: And something you get to do with someone you really care as well which is a total boner.
No, she did not say ‘bonus’. She very clearly said ‘boner’.
– Pamela & Vanessa drive by the Queen Elizabeth Hid.
– Pamela curses as she tells Vanessa that there is a clearly visible sign that shows it is taken. No wonder Marc & Rovilson’s bluff could not work.
And how lame is that? Teams should not know the Fast Forward is taken until they complete the task. That would actually make it a lot more strategic since TAR 5 when they made the idiotic decision to go down to one or two Fast Forwards per season. Why not make them go through the whole task just to be shot down?
– Pamela & Vanessa now have to ask for directions from a guy on the road. They hire a taxi to follow.
But why did they park so far away from the taxi?
– Diane & Ann grab the clue. They instantly read where Allan quickly sums up that teams must head to Buda Castle. The teams must go into the labyrinth to receive their next clue.
– Marc & Rovilson show up there seconds later as they figure out the taxi driver who led them there ripped them off by about twenty bucks. They spent sixty bucks on the taxi ride.
– It is a Roadblock.
MARC: Who is ready for Raiders of the Lost Clue?
– Rovilson is doing it. So what is this Indiana Jones inspired task?
There are no boulders, hats, snakes, or whips. How is this remotely Indiana Jones?
Yep. For the fourth time in five rounds we have ourselves a Needle in the Haystack task. This time there will be a clue in only one of dozens of treasure chests.
– Allan explains that the labyrinth of Buda Castle was originally used as the castle cellars and bomb shelters.
– Rovilson has a phobia of ghosts and creepy dark places.
– Triumphant music begins to play. Why?
Hey! It’s the woman from the ‘juicy hotel’ but now all dressed up!
GOLD MEDAL: ADRIAN & COLLIN
Nineteen minutes into the episode before any of the other tasks have been completed by the opposing teams? That was quick.
– Collin does not jump up and down because it is not a safe-cracking celebration nor a university graduation celebration.
– Allan asks if it was tough to communicate with the crazy amount of traffic when counting.
Ah. And Collin would not even have to worry about hearing Marc & Rovilson’s numbers messing him up. He can just lip read Adrian whenever he needed to and nothing would distract him.
Re-defining post counting in a whole new way.
ALLAN: You now get to rest for a really long time while they all take the scenic tour.
“Because your twelve hours will feel so much longer than everyone else’s twelve hours!”
– The scenic tour indeed as we watch Rovilson open up chests and talk about it being cold. Natasha has asked a local and another taxi driver for directions. We go back to Rovilson who complains about being a hunchback. He has a good feeling about a more concealed treasure chest and has the clue.
ROVILSON: Where is the ‘You Are Here’ on this poster?
– Paula & Natasha are led to the statue by the local. Paula celebrates as she sees the clue. Natasha acts confused like a Kami or Karli as she does not see the clue until Paula has led her to an inch away from it. They open the clue as they know the Fast Forward must be taken. The two of them track down the same local to direct them. He is very enthusiastic.
Just a dude on a motorcycle.
He seems very fond of them as he watches them run away.
– Rovilson meanwhile finds the correct treasure chest containing the clues.
It is an awfully dark castle if a sun and thirty candles struggle to light up the room.
– Marc & Rovilson read that they must leave their cars and head to the south bridge entrance of Margaret Island by taxi. Once there they must use a pettycab and find where St. Margaret used to live.
And today that is where she rests. Her body is buried at her house? I guess that adds a whole new meaning to a ‘homebody’.
– Once they find where St Margaret used to live, they must then collect a souvenir of Budapest and return it to the pettycab owner.
Bunny rabbits–the official animal of Budapest!
I thought the spiked hair went out of style back in 2001.
– Marc & Rovilson ask for directions from another local.
Who apparently looks a lot like Pat Hendrickson from The Amazing Race 12.
– Rovilson does the math of clues in the clue box and is amazed none of the other three teams have shown up to the castle.
Marc pretends this round is much more of a nail-biter than it really is.
– Pamela & Vanessa have found the castle.
VANESSA: Is this Novice Road?
PAMELA: There the entrance!
VANESSA: I know I just want to check so I can park properly.
PAMELA: It’s fine, la.
Ah yes. Pamela has a habit of adding ‘la’ to about fifty percent of her statements when talking to Vanessa. Must be a Malaysian thing.
– Oh, and you know how Pamela is insisting that Vanessa’s parking job is fine?
Yeah. Just a couple metres from the curb.
The Claw! Seriously, how did her hand not break as she bent it so far back to wave for a solid five seconds.
– Pamela & Vanessa are inside. Vanessa reads the clue.
VANESSA: Who is ready for ‘Raiders of the Lost Clue’?
Then she gives a really puzzled expression. What is so perfect about it is that she held it as we enter awkward silence.
– Pamela breaks the silence like a true artist.
PAMELA: You look confused. It means you don’t want to do it. I’ll do it then.
Effects from an earlier concussion are beginning to linger for Vanessa.
– Diane & Ann open the clue. Diane ‘has to go’ according to Ann. So I guess it is Diane’s turn. Ann refrains from joy riding, so Diane is able to proceed.
– PAMELA: I don’t think I look like Lara Croft, but I felt like it especially in my Tomb Raider–no, not quite Tomb Raider shorts. In this Amazing Race you feel like you are in movies.
What? And here I thought that Pamela finally admitted to being a Gamer Girl. Instead she is just an Angelina Jolie fan.
NOT Tomb Raider.
– We keep seeing them open empty chests.
PAMELA: It was frustrating to open each chest and see ‘try again, try again, try again, try again’. I don’t know how many I opened.
From Lara Croft to Aaliyah? Pamela has decent taste.
PAMELA: I feel like Scooby Dooby Doo–chest where are you?
This Scooby Doo reference really snuck up on us, eh Scoob?
Hush, La. Malaysians aren’t supposed to know about Scooby Doo.
– Pamela utters a loud cuss as she opens another Aaliyah box.
– Commercial break.
– Marc & Rovilson want to ask for more directions because they are confident their cab driver took them to the North Bridge. So they decide to take a shuttle bus that will take them to the south entrance. It departs every twelve minutes. They thanked Pat anyway for helping them.
Although I doubt she is even aware why she is being thanked. She seems as with it as Vanessa Chong.
– Pamela has the clue and runs down the sequence of tunnels. Diane is shown having the clue seconds later. Pamela & Vanessa are shown getting into a taxi. Then Marc & Rovilson get onto a bus. Then Diane & Ann hire a taxi. Then Paula & Natasha’s motorcyclist takes their route info and correctly leads them to Buda Castle.
Not only can he operate a vehicle with two wheels, but he can also read in two languages.
– Marc & Rovilson have exited the bus and hire a pettycab. The rain begins to fall. Meanwhile Paula is doing the Roadblock. Diane & Ann have exited their cab as they run along the bridge. Rovilson brags about ringing his bell.
Looks more like a golf cart than a pettycab.
– Marc & Rovilson are angry that there is somebody running ahead of them as they pedal furiously. Being outrun by someone on foot while you are in a vehicle? Things are going downhill for Marc & Rovilson fast.
– Diane & Ann get into the pettycab. They ask if somebody cycles for them. Nope, you have to pedal the pettycab yourself you lazy sack o’ s—.
– Pamela & Vanessa recite the clue in unison but in a bitter voice. It sounds like Tim Curry’s character from Clue. Vanessa bitterly says that she is glad she is not driving this time.
Vanessa looks like she wants to give someone else a concussion for once.
– Marc & Rovilson and Diane & Ann keep pedalling. Marc & Rovilson exit their pettycab as they search for the souvenir.
ROVILSON: It could be an old sandwich. Or it could be a rabbit because it is called Rabbit Island.
Something tells me your last guess is more logical.
– Pamela & Vanessa ask directions to St Margaret of Hungary from a long-haired dude who instructs them how to operate a pettycab and where to go. Of course Vanessa cannot figure out how to operate the brake unless explicitly told so.
One of these days a local shown in an episode of TAR is going to stumble upon this blog and wonder “who the f— posted a screencap of me online?”
– Paula is kept being told to Aaliyah as she opens more chests. Marc & Rovilson learn they have been at the wrong ruins.
Wrong ruins? How battered was Rabbit Island during the Middle Ages?
Into the forest you go!
– More ‘la’s are uttered as Pamela wonders if Vanessa is even pedalling hard enough.
Truth be told I think Vanessa is sick of being the one responsible for driving everywhere.
– Paula does not have the clue. She said she has always been a fan of Nancy Drew and is expecting to land in a pile of peanuts. We watch her find the correct chest after adjusting to the dark.
– ROVILSON: The other two teams should be here. Or they are lost.
Or they are all all-female teams.
– Ann points out that her legs are too short to reach the pedal. She has to sit at the very front of the seat just to reach em.
– We hear Pamela & Vanessa skid on the side of the road a bit. Marc & Rovilson spot the rabbits. Marc gives one a quick kiss. They hope Diane & Ann are still lost. Rovilson hopes Pamela & Vanessa did not go for “the f—ing Fast Forward”. Pamela & Vanessa are lost while pedaling. Paula & Natasha emerge from Buda Castle and hire a taxi.
What is he trying to do?
Powerslide like he is driving a Mario Kart?
– They exchange the rabbit for their clue. Too bad they did not detach the rabbit’s foot and kept it for good luck.
– They must head to Hero’s Square. But that is not all.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.
– This is the second of two Yields. With the only Fast Forward and the second Yield, this sure is a complex leg. Since Henry & Terri are not around, and because Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson have been finishing 1-2 for the past month, an all-female team shall be yielded.
– Allan gives the long-winded explanation for the Yield. Since this is the seventeenth or eighteenth Yield I have covered in the series so far, I will not explain it.
– So are Marc & Rovilson intending to yield the Malaysian Moms to protect their three-team alliance?
The answer is no.
ROVILSON: We are not going to yield a team based on our own standing–
MARC: But we have been requested–
ROVILSON: By a certain team which will not be named to yield a team.
Code: Paula & Natasha must have asked their alliance to yield Diane & Ann.
– Vanessa is confused as she runs out and picks a rabbit.
Diane & Ann are still in Marc & Rovilson’s ruins trap.
– Commercial break.
– Pamela & Vanessa blame the taxi driver for their lost time. Diane & Ann are back in their cab. Pamela & Vanessa exchange their rabbit for the clue. Vanessa is excited because she knew where Hero’s Square is on the map. I love how they curse when they see ‘yield ahead’ too. Diane & Ann have picked up a rabbit.
– Marc & Rovilson are at the Yield. Will they follow orders?
Yep. They are pulling the Adam & Rebecca excuse.
– Marc thinks that Paula & Natasha will have a difficult time making up for lost time as well as their 30 minute penalty.
Isn’t the 30 minute penalty cruel on a round where Adrian & Collin can claim the Fast Forward? All it does is guarantee that Paula & Natasha’s penalty comes into play.
– Pamela & Vanessa take a tram to Hero’s Square. They are amazed how quickly they found the tram and the fact that Marc & Rovilson’s bags were at Rabbit Island.
You are opting for public transit rather than a taxi just to save money? Be careful you do not get Alison & Donny’d.
– Marc & Rovilson now open the clue. It is a Detour. Say It or Play It.
In Say It, teams must correctly pronounce the names of all fourteen kings at Hero’s Square.
Asians being forced to pronounce the names of Hungarian kings from the Middle Ages? I would pay to see that.
ALLAN: Some of these names could prove to be tongue twisters, but teams that can wrap their tongues around these names will be rewarded royally with valuable time.
Some? Why not all? I guess a king named John Smith is not much of a tongue twister. Although one named Lyle Longley would be.
– In Play It, teams must solve a Rubik’s Cube. It was invented in 1974 by a Hungarian named Ernel Rubik.
Hungary’s most significant contribution to the world.
ALLAN: Teams that can think out of the box could solve this puzzle quickly.
– Rovilson dismisses the idea of pronunciations because of Marc’s Italian accent.
Isn’t Italian and Hungarian pretty much the same thing? I would much rather have an Italian rather than a Chinese person attempt to pronounce the words.
– So Marc wants to take a bit more time before deciding.
– Rovilson has completed the red side. Marc now goes for blue.
And Ann has already gone to an extreme with the colour blue. The pettycab is blue, her shorts are blue, and her tanktop is blue.
With Pamela & Vanessa taking the subway, this is the best time for Diane & Ann to re-establish equilibrium and finish third.
– Rovilson is working on the third colour.
MARC: I remember when these first came out. Does that really age me?
Does it age you when you can recall the Rubik’s Cube coming out in 1974?
And where in the world does Marc’s Italian accent come from?
Well it puts us one step closer to solving the mystery.
– Paula & Natasha are now on Margaret Island. Natasha is cawing. Marc & Rovilson keep solving colours. They brag for each colour that they solve.
ROVILSON: I am having trouble with the white one.
Sean is happy that it is the white rubik’s cubes that are causing all the trouble.
MARC: Now time for the ninth Communist red.
How about one of deeeeeeez!
– Paula & Natasha have a rabbit (who knows how long it took), and are now pedaling back. Marc & Rovilson finish the Detour.
Marc & Rovilson receive their clue from Budapest’s Union of Hot Nurses.
– It is pit stop time. They must head to the Freedom Monument and find that elusive citadel.
– Paula screeches loudly for Natasha to stop. Cursing ensues from Paula. Why?
She left the bunny as roadkill!
– Paula & Natasha exchange their rabbit for the clue. They hope that one of their alliance partners yielded Diane & Ann. Pamela & Vanessa show up to the Yield. They seem happy about the Yield usage. Next is to pick up the Detour.
VANESSA: What’s a rubik’s cube?
PAULA: It’s the (miming with hands) chik-chuk-chuk-chuk-chuk.
VANESSA: . . .
Yeah. That’s not gonna help Vanessa.
A better explanation is “you know those tough cubes where you rotate them until you have only one colour on each side? That is a rubik’s cube.”
ROVILSON: Mom, you know what? You know how you said the Rubik’s Cube would never help me in life.
MARC & ROVILSON: YOU’RE WRONG! IT HELPED!
I believe Marc & Rovilson have what we call ‘mommy issues’. And why does that not surprise me?
– Vanessa dismisses any suggestion to do the Rubik’s Cube. Pamela picks up some locals for help with individual names.
The Amazing Race Asia? Strengthening relations between Malaysia and Hungary since 2007.
Apparently today is also the day for grad photos for Budapest High’s Class of 2007.
– After asking a local, Pamela & Vanessa’s first king pronunciation is approved.
I’m just a nerd who really loves being on TAR.
– Natasha are confident that they have not been yielded by Pamela & Vanessa because of the guilt over the Intersection folly, and they are banking on Marc & Rovilson being far enough ahead to yield the Malaysian Moms.
Yeah, Paula & Natasha must be far behind if they have not encountered a team all day.
– Marc thinks that Diane will be more pissed off than Ann.
ROVILSON: Ya think?!
Yeah, you think someone who meditates regularly in vehicles and keeps motivating Diane to be calm is going to be the less angry one?
– For some odd reason, Diane reveals her reaction to being yielded in a confessional about five seconds before we see them react to the Yield at the time.
Yeah, editing out of order. Odd.
ANN: At least these are nice photos of Ann & Diane.
DIANE: And those are really ugly photos of Marc & Rovil–
ANN: No, no, no, doesn’t matter. We at least have thirty minutes to admire this because we don’t know when we will be back. I will put my bags down–
Roadblock: Who is vain enough to stare at a picture of herself for thirty minutes?
DIANE: I am just worried that we will beat them–
ANN: Doesn’t mattuhhhh.
Diane turns away from Ann’s optimistic attitude.
Ah. Finally someone with a high education who has worse teeth than me.
I have a feeling the sun is reflecting directly into her eyes.
– Diane has hindsight bias as she expected this because she thinks Marc & Rovilson did it due to them being within striking distance.
Yeah, swing and a miss. I wonder how shocked Diane & Ann will be to find out they have had a bounty on their head for their personalities since the beginning?
– Marc & Rovilson tell us that because there will not be any more twists in the next two rounds that the only way for Diane & Ann to get retribution is if they flat out beat them.
– Pamela & Vanessa appear to be at the final grad.
Long hair on a forty degree day wearing all black? I have been there before. You would feel gross after about ten minutes.
– Pamela & Vanessa have now rounded up everyone in the neighbourhood to help them with the names they have missed.
– Pamela & Vanessa are now on the final name.
Can he even see out of his left eye?
– They finish and thank the crowd. Funny part is that the crowd does not even applaud or cheer. They just stand there.
“I thought they would never leave!”
– Natasha would be bummed if this was their final day in the race. Pamela & Vanessa awkwardly run by Diane & Ann.
Diane displaying 150 to 200 percent attitude as she drinks from her water bottle.
– Commercial break.
– Ann tells Diane to not think about why and who yielded them. Yeah, that will not work. At all.
– We see Marc & Rovilson in their cab.
See? Hungarian taxi drivers can be pleasant when they do not have to deal with Jonathan & Victoria inside them.
– Marc & Rovilson run into the mat and proceed to do their usual celebration.
Marc gets more air than usual.
Get your hands parallel, Rovilson! You really are getting rusty in this race.
SILVER MEDAL: MARC & ROVILSON
– Allan delivers the news that they are second for the second round in a row. Marc congratulates Adrian & Collin as they face the camera.
– Allan interviews them about the whole Fast Forward process. This discussion lasts a full minute. I have not seen it like this where it is a general mat chat. These are usually bonus scenes online. But they are not finished yet.
A kiss on the cheek for Marc.
ROVILSON: I am French so I need it on both sides.
MARC: Every time!
– Diane & Ann’s sand has run out. They decide to pronounce the names. A lot of headshakes.
ANN: Zent izfun. Zent iivan. Zent Icevan. Zint Ivan.
Or you can just solve the damn Rubik’s Cube over there.
– Vanessa explains to the cab driver about the concept of the pit stop. Her and Pamela realize they caught up a bit to Marc & Rovilson today. Diane snatches the cube away from Ann.
Diane is really trying to fill that void of not having her young kids with her for a month.
DIANE: Have you done a Rubik’s Cube before?
ANN: Uhhhh, it was many many years ago. Fifteen to twenty years ago when it was in fashion.
– We cut to Pamela & Vanessa who run onto the mat.
Pamela & Vanessa are so undecided on their celebration that they simultaneously go for a hug, high five, or sisterly kiss. Instead Vanessa accidentally slaps Pamela in the face.
– Pamela does a little dance because they did not have to run far onto the mat. They chat about today being the second Yield. Pamela and Vanessa agree that they would have yielded Diane & Ann too.
VANESSA: This is the way the game goes.
ALLAN: Exactly. You’re not here to make friends. You’re here to make money and win the race.
PAMELA: Make money, win the race, then make friends.
She nailed it! Well, if only she snapped her finger horizontally in front of her face. Then she would have nailed it.
– Diane & Ann have finished the Rubik’s Cube. They hail a cab. Ann loves the “air con” in his taxi.
Air con = air conditioning.
– Paula & Natasha now show up to pronounce the king names. Paula admits that Natasha did 99% of this task. Natasha found it easy.
DIANE: I guess for them we were a bigger threat than Pamela & Vanessa.
ANN: And now we’re on our way to the citadel at the PIT STOP!
I love how Ann tries to talk over anytime that Diane references the Yield decision. No negative chi in her universe.
– Natasha really gets into a local’s face to pronounce another name.
This task really requires you to get into a local’s face to hear the correct pronunciation.
– They now have a couple names left, and find one of my favourite locals in a while.
– Natasha walks alongside him and guides to the name of the statue that she needs help with today.
– So Natasha gets him to re-focuses on the task at hand.
This one? You say? I copy?
– Natasha once again gets in his face to stop him from playing a note. I swear I could watch that all day. He does it three times and gets stringblocked by Natasha not once, not twice, but thrice.
– Oh yeah. Diane & Ann are at the pit stop.
NOT ELIMINATED BUT NOT ON THE PODIUM EITHER: DIANE & ANN
– Allan asks how they felt about being yielded. Diane repeats once again that she feels the other teams are threatened. Ann says nothing. Their mat chat is the shortest of the four teams. Ann truly is a boring interview.
– Paula & Natasha have their clue and enter a cab. Paula never looked at her watch all day as she hopes a team had to backtrack from the Fast Forward. We see them take a long cab ride and a long run to the pit stop while repeatedly saying “please don’t eliminate us”.
– Allan tells them that Marc & Rovilson helped them with the Yield as if they could not read. He also tells them they ran a great race.
NATASHA: Not well enough.
Yeah. Just look up one screencap above, Wu. They finished the season in fifth.
– So they tear up in their post-race confessional as Natasha is constantly wiping her eyes.
Likes it when people cry.
Next Time on TAR: TAR Europe concludes, but does that mean we are returning to Asia for the final two rounds? Not necessarily as we now begin TAR Africa, and teams continue their long walk to freedom!
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 Paula & Natasha 4.45
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
??? Marc & Rovilson’s Average After Eleven Rounds 1.36
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) Paula & Natasha
Much like Andy & Laura in TAR Asia 1, Paula & Natasha are billed as the team from Thailand. You may or may not have noticed that Natasha could not look, speak, or behave in a less Thai manner.
Her and Paula are childhood friends. Natasha’s parents are supposedly British or Aussie.
Anyways, it was established early on that we would hear from Natasha far more than Paula. Heck, Natasha uttered more curse words than all of the words that Paula said combined all season long.
They were good entertainment all season long. Particularly Natasha who wore her emotions on her sleeves and attempted to strategize in an alliance with Marc & Rovilson and Pamela & Vanessa.
I think I would probably get along with Paula & Natasha more than any other team if I met them in real life. They would just be a lot of fun to hang around.
Was I disappointed they finished as low as fifth? Considering there were two episodes left, and they had finished fourth and sixth virtually every round all season, I am content with them going home before the Final Four.
There is really only one specific moment to attach to Paula & Natasha prior to interacting with the street violinist–the Intersection. Pamela & Vanessa were supposed to reject Diane & Ann, and instead wait to partner with Paula & Natasha. However, Pamela & Vanessa forget about that plan and partner up with Diane & Ann anyway.
Paula & Natasha waiting for FIVE HOURS for Henry & Terri’s fatally slow racing speed was gut wrenching to watch. If you are fan of dark humour, you are not going to find a better example of it anywhere else in the TAR franchise.
Or maybe one other moment is Natasha’s loved one on her Nokia cell phone telling her not to cuss so much after Natasha already dropped 18, 000 s-bombs and f-bombs on international television.
Oh, and Paula driving a manual stick shift. That can apply to every all-female team, but dang, Paula was probably the closest to a car crash of all teams. In fact her or Natasha even popped a tire while driving into a Korean toll booth.
Seriously, it is stuff like that which makes TAR equally funny to Survivor.
Overall, Paula & Natasha were just great characters (mainly Natasha) who made nearly every scene better.
Oh s—! I forgot about the scene with the bunny!
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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) 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) Budapest, Hungary -> Budapest, Hungary
Yeah, there was some things this round did well and some other things. . .not so well.
Like other seasons of the TAR franchise, thirteen rounds can be too much for production to handle for some routes.
And when you do a 13-round season after thirteen American seasons and one Asian season has aired on TV, you are going to have a tough time coming up with original tasks.
That was apparent when the Fast Forward was counting posts on a bridge. Yes, a counting task for the third round in a row. Instead of writing this number on a chalkboard, teams had to punch it into a safe.
Counting posts on a bridge may be a sign that there is not much else to do in Budapest.
But after that hiccup which let Adrian & Collin finish the episode within two or three hours of pit start, the round really picks up.
Teams using a pettycab to transport themselves around Margaret Island (a.k.a. Rabbit Island to locals) was neat as they needed to not only find where St. Margaret lived, but also a specific ruin where they would find a souvenir. This souvenir ended up being a bunny. Clever producers.
The Roadblock was not quite a needle-in-the-haystack. Teams had to search through a ton of chests for the one with clues inside. However, the true challenge was navigating the dark labyrinth. This is far more creative than opening a bunch of crates stacked in rows upon rows or unrolling haybales or biting into chocolates or biting into chocolates or digging through a salt mound or sifting through thousands of coffee beans or digging in the sand for a tiny surfboard.
Yeah, TAR loves this s—.
But the labyrinth? You needed a good sense of direction to figure out where you needed to go. Plus the location was cool and had some history too.
Again, the unique and historical nature of the location trumps “unroll hay bales at a farm that could really exist anywhere else in the northern hemisphere”.
The Detour was amazing. Rubik’s Cube or pronounce names of Hungarian kings? This may have been one of my favourite Detours. Both sound like a bizzle to go through.
And then the other Yield was mixed in here for a bit of drama as the three-team alliance finally colluded and carried out their plan of Yielding the Malaysian Moms. This of course meant nothing because the round was only eight hours long, and Paula & Natasha were a good hour or so behind the second-to-last place team.
The only other points I deduct for this round is that the only Fast Forward all season appears in round eleven. Yes, I want a Fast Forward every round. To not only reduce it to one Fast Forward for the whole season, but also delay it to round eleven for a guaranteed pass into the Final Four, I found it downright ridiculous.
And the task was counting posts.
Sigh. Producers never know how to deal with Fast Forwards anymore.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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?
10) 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.
11) 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.