The Amazing Race Asia 2 episode 12 ranking

Twelfth episode

COUNTRIES VISITED

SINGAPORE – PHILIPPINES – HONG KONG – NEW ZEALAND – JAPAN – SOUTH KOREA – GERMANY – CZECH REPUBLIC – HUNGARY – SOUTH AFRICA

paschal english

The only person who has more awkward relationships with younger women than Marc & Rovilson.

– So the season finale is not two hours long. Therefore, Allan Wu will be discussing each of the Final Three teams in the next round. That means it is time for my instalment of giving my thoughts on each of the teams remaining. Let’s work from the bottom up to the top.

DIANE & ANN: They have been solid competition for most rounds. They have had a vice grip on third and fourth place for virtually every round this season except once.

Ann is not a quiet racer, but her attitude of being calm and content makes for extraordinarily boring television. However, it also makes her a borderline sociopathic racer. She shows no emotion. Just a friendly smile to her adversaries is enough for her. However, there is a competitive chi inside of this mother that propels her forward in the race.

Diane lights the fire for the team. Ann may go too slow at times, and you can count on Diane to remind Ann that this is a race. Nobody will hand them 100, 000 US dollars. They have to earn it. The drawback to Diane’s flare is that it has every other team in the race hate her. She mistakes it for other teams viewing her as a threat, but it is really because she is an uber d—-bag to all other teams.

Add in a high degree of physical fitness due to their dancing, and not being fazed by a lack of sleep as parents, and suddenly you have a strong team.

But can they win? So far they have not come close to winning a round of play.

And no, the Tokyo round does not count. They need to take their skills to the top if they want a victory. Third or fourth place will no longer hold them safely.

PAMELA & VANESSA: The most surprising team to make the Final Four, La.

These two may have been cast for their looks, but their hilarious personalities hopefully were the biggest reasons for them being cast.

Pamela & Vanessa have been on the brink of elimination numerous times throughout the season. It is amazing that they have even made it this far. Their ability to communicate with locals quickly, talk fast, being loud, and also supporting each other are the primary reasons why they have made it this far.

It is definitely not Vanessa’s abilities. She can barely drive a car and keep her head together. You can tell her lack of focus mixed in with a huge level of fatigue has put the team at risk several times. It will be a miracle if they survive the next round when an equalizer puts them on a level playing field with Diane & Ann.

MARC & ROVILSON: The most dominant team that the TAR franchise has ever seen. They won seven of the first nine rounds, but are now suffering from back-to-back defeats at the hands of their toughest competitors.

The weaknesses are starting to show. They have too much fun at times shooting for the mile high club rather than going the extra mile to do some research on the best flights available.

And that is their only weakness after eleven rounds of play. There is nothing else they have done wrong up to this point. That ounce of research is the difference between them having won nine out of eleven rounds rather than -just- seven out of eleven.

With two rounds left and equalizer flights ahead, they are more focused and Hungary than ever to close this season out with two additional victories.

ADRIAN & COLLIN: If this were Death Note, they would be viewed as the L to Marc & Rovilson’s Kira.

Kira always thinks he is more clever than L, but L proves to be one step ahead when Kira least expects it to flip the scrip throughout the season. Kira then proceeds to one-up L and they go back and forth. Even to the very end of their battle you cannot predict which one will die and which one will survive. Kira gets with women, uses his maliciousness, money, fame, and brute force to get what he wants. L has to rely entirely on his cunning.

That is the best way to describe Adrian & Collin. They are cunning. You can tell they read every clue and every map from back to front to get ahead. But they are nowhere near perfect. Marc & Rovilson have enough friends and other attributes to help them beat Adrian & Collin most of the time.

But as we enter the two most important rounds of the season to determine which of these two teams will ultimately win, and have their legacy live on forever?

Or will Diane & Ann or Pamela & Vanessa be the Near to Marc & Rovilson’s Kira and Adrian & Collin’s L by winning the game without any logical reasoning behind it due to pure luck?

It is one of the more interesting finishes to a season that we have seen in quite a while.

Previously on TAR: Counting the railings on Budapest’s Elizabeth Bridge became a race between two teams for the Fast Forward. But it was Adrian & Collin who were the first to correctly count the struts and go directly to the pit stop.

But Marc & Rovilson still maintained a strong lead ahead of the other teams.

At the Detour, Pamela & Vanessa asked locals to help them pronounce Hungarian names correctly while Marc & Rovilson smoked through the Rubik’s Cube challenge. And at the second Yield of the race, they yielded Ann & Diane hoping Paula & Natasha could catch up but were too far behind and were unable to finish the race.

Four teams still remain; who will be the next to be eliminated?

– Intro time. I really hope Tyler Perry does not text one of his ideas to Phil Keoghan for TAR 15.

– Allan introduces us to Budapest yet again. I swear Czech Republic and Hungary for four rounds has made an entire month of TAR look the same visually.

– Adrian & Collin, who were the first to arrive at 8:10am, will depart at 8:10pm.

They checked out at 8:10am? That means they were only on the last race course for 3 hours and 2 minutes last episode. That is somehow still 93 minutes slower than Nick & Starr during the Delhi round in TAR 13.

– Adrian reads that they will be flying to Cape Town, South Africa.

Holy crap. That means TAR Asia 2 visited every continent outside of the Americas this season. Well, and Antarctica of course.

– Once in Cape Town they must find Signal Hill to retrieve their next clue.

africa signal hill

Five cars? I guess they must be manual transmission as production must be prepared in case Vanessa breaks down one of the cars.

– Adrian reads they have two hundred dollars for the round. They find a hotel to do some proper extensive research.

– Adrian says their first tier goal was to get to the finals and experience the race. Finishing in first, second, or third will be the bonus tier.

So pretty much it is a one tier goal.

– They start looking up flights to Cape Town on an old computer.

africa google

Hungarian Google.

africa adrian collin

Awe! Hungarian Google! So painful!

– Marc & Rovilson begin second at 10:37pm.

africa marc rovilson

They are so focused. So much intensity. No pause for fun or celebrations. The victory will be theirs.

africa marc rovilson 2

ROVILSON: That was our African Anteater Dance.
MARC: Just in case.

– That was just their reaction to finding out they were going to Cape Town. Now when they discover they have two hundred bucks.

africa marc rovilson 3

Praise Filipino Jesus!

– Pamela & Vanessa start third at 10:56pm. The closest they have been to Marc & Rovilson since they beat them in round one. No celebration for them.  Vanessa defines the trip to South Africa as ‘crazy’. Pamela & Vanessa believe they can compeeeete with the boys.

philippines singaporean sophie french born aurelia 4

Since when did Pamela & Vanessa start developing a French accent?

– Rovilson & Marc wonder where Adrian & Collin are. Rovilson answers that they are the Fourth Dimensional Warriors for using the Internet. Rovilson figures they are chatting with somebody in Cape Town already.

– We cut to Adrian telling us that there is no Internet at the airport. Eventually they go to the Lufthansa desk.

– Diane & Ann depart last at 11:24pm. A cab comes up right behind them on cue as soon as they begin.

africa cab

Seriously. It is already a quarter of the way down the street when they opened their clue.

grand theft auto 3 taxi

It is like the taxis that appear right when you load up your data in Grand Theft Auto 3. You know you are catching the breaks when you receive a video game-like break.

– Diane & Ann want to hide from the other teams. They want to try and make it into Cape Town already. Rovilson says that the Moms are playing mind games, but Rovilson feels saved because he does not have a mind to play those games anyway.

– Diane & Ann already have tickets to Cape Town. She explains it but it is confusing to follow.

africa diane ann

Thankfully production is wise enough to subtitle it. We assume that 7:50am refers to 30 hours from now.

– Diane says that this will either put them ahead or at the back. Considering they are up against two teams who have beaten them 99% of the time over the past twelve rounds, this is a wise move.

africa flight path

Long flight to freedom.

I should note that the flight is 10, 700 kilometres.

peggy claire

I wonder if they will run into the Gutsy Grannies at Heathrow Airport before getting into Cape Town?

– Adrian & Collin, Marc & Rovilson, and Pamela & Vanessa fly to Frankfurt. No, it is not a connecting flight to Cape Town. As I have said a trillion times before, Frankfurt is usually a top five airport in the world in terms of the number of flights offered.

– So the three teams are in Frankfurt. Seconds go by before they have a flight. Is it any good?

africa marc rovilson 4

5:00am? Nearly three hours ahead of Ann & Diane? Let’s go live to Ann & Diane’s reaction.

– Rovilson tells us that Diane & Ann are currently in first because they have a confirmed flight to Cape Town. Pamela & Vanessa are on the same flight as Marc & Rovilson.

– Adrian & Collin are too late and must settle for standby tickets. Collin says “the moment they said they are fully booked our heart stank”.

Yes, with his lisp it sounds like he said ‘stank’ instead of ‘sank’.

africa adrian collin 2

I think it is more painful to hear your heart stinks. I wonder what it smells like?

Well played Senator Clay Davis. Well played.

africa adrian collin 3

I would say Adrian looks stressed for the first time all season.

– Rovilson, Pamela, and Vanessa pray they do not get on. This is Rovilson’s cue to mug for the camera as he wants everyone to feel the tension.

africa rovilson fernandez

Tension apparently equates to looking like an 80s pro wrestler.

– Commercial break.

– We resume with Rovilson posing for the camera. He says loudly to Adrian & Collin that there will be enough room on the flight.

ROVILSON: There will be enough seats. C’mon. Make it make it.

africa rovilson fernandez 2

Nahhhhht.

– Adrian & Collin are jockeying for a bunch of different flights that may be equally effective. Sure enough there are indeed seats. All three teams will be on the flight that gets in at 5:00am. Allan tells us the journey is 9, 400 kilometres long.

africa flight path 2

Everything is so much better when you can fly direct.

– Seconds later we are in Cape Town. Unless there is an equalizer, this may be a dull round. The taxi drivers are in a race to Signal Hill. All of the drivers speak English, including Marc & Rovilson’s who is named Darrell.

– Pamela & Vanessa’s driver must pull over to ask for directions.

– Adrian & Collin’s taxi probably asks the best question that any taxi driver can ask on The Amazing Race?

africa driver

Uh, I believe that is a rhetorical question in this situation.

africa adrian yap

Talk about a lot of pressure from Mother Africa.

– Marc poses a question to his driver if they can purchase his street directory to use for the episode.

africa marc rovilson 5

Rovilson’s reaction to this excellent news?

africa marc rovilson 6

Rovilson photo bombing once again, ladies and gentlemen.

– Marc & Rovilson and Adrian & Collin show up to Signal Hill together. Both teams have maps/street directories from their taxi drivers. The one driver laughs when he sells the map to Adrian & Collin. So could Ann & Diane potentially be saved?

africa hours of operation

Their flight gets in at 7:10am but the route marker does not open until 8:30am? Ah, a big break for them. Marc adds that they have 2 1/2 hours to wait. Given that Diane & Ann’s flight is 2 hours and 10 minutes behind, we should have ourselves a level playing field.

– Pamela & Vanessa show up and get teased about their driver getting lost. They add that Diane & Ann are scheduled to show up to Signal Hill by 7:50am.

africa smog

They watch the glorious smog rise as they wait for Diane & Ann.

– 8:30am is here. Where are they?

africa diane ann 2

Ouch. Ann says they could not make it onto their connecting flight in London right away. Who knows if they are truly just ten minutes behind the other three teams.

– So it is time to open the clues.

africa marc rovilson 7

Even at clue opening Marc & Rovilson are already declared to be in a distinct first place position. No one else can achieve that level of greatness.

It should really be in the 2018 Games–clue opening.

– They read they must drive their vehicle to the summit of Signal Hill and find the correct clue box.
.
.
.
africa clue

“How easy do you think this is going to be?

Sorry Try Again”

Yep. Another needle in a hay stack. There are really TWO clue boxes. The real one is one hundred yards ahead of the fake one.

super mario 3d world

It is like they ripped the idea of having an illusion route marker from Super Mario 3D World’s ghost levels.

But seriously? What is with the needles in the haystack? Why can’t they just come up with alternate tasks?

phillip seymour hoffman

Even Phillip Seymour Hoffman would not have that many needles in a season of his version of The Amazing Race.

– Marc & Rovilson wonders why there are no teams behind them. All they are doing is driving up the hill. It is not like teams could get lost.

africa adrian collin 4

Adrian still trying to get the car going. If only he can look up a tutorial for starting the ignition online.

africa vanessa chong

Vanessa has already given up.

– Adrian & Collin have another bright idea.

africa adrian collin 5

Let’s run up the summit! We need to keep our quads in shape!

africa adrian collin 6

Or just switch to the fifth car there and hope Diane & Ann pick ours when they show up.

japan r kelly

R. Kelly really needs to show teams how to put the key in their ignition.

– Pamela now enters the driver’s seat and starts the car in two seconds.  Adrian is embarrassed because the solution is easy like a Staples button.

africa engine

Yep. It literally is ‘press start to drive’! Who knew the vehicle would start in the same way as a Mario Kart or a Diddy Kong Hovercraft.

– Marc & Rovilson incorrectly open two clue boxes. They have the correct clue on their third try. They must drive to the flagged entrance of the Killarney Motor Racing Circuit for their next clue.

africa route info

I like how TAR Asia has a habit of showing the route info on camera frequently.

– Allan explains what we just read. Meanwhile Adrian & Collin have asked multiple locals to help start their car.

africa local

“I wonder why he is laughing?”

– Pamela & Vanessa are second to the summit. Marc & Rovilson are already driving away. Pamela & Vanessa are second to the correct clue box. We hear a loud revving as we watch Vanessa drive the car away. She adds that it is fuming and has a bad smell.

rotorua french born aurelia chenat 7

No, it’s not French Born Aurelia’s fault. She is away in Hong Kong somewhere by now.

africa vanessa chong 3

Something wrong, La?

– A local tells Adrian & Collin that they have their key placed incorrectly. They must take it out and start all over again. Marc & Rovilson are stunned to drive by them and see them still struggle.

– So now Adrian & Collin are getting lectured how to start a key.

africa car

Key? No good.

africa car 2

You would think Adrian & Collin are sixteen. Welcome to Africar’s Driver’s Ed.

africa car 3

“Now LISTEN Collin to what I am about to say. I have no idea why you cannot hear the words coming out of my mouth. Now, where was I. . .”

– MARC: They are still trying to get their car to start.
ROVILSON: Wah wah wahhhh.
MARC: Here there is a button that says ‘Push to Start’. Hmmmm.

I really hope karma is not a real thing.

– Adrian & Collin lost fifteen minutes. We did not see Diane & Ann so they must be at least a good hour or so behind.

– Pamela & Vanessa are not fairing much better.

africa car 4

Eh, I’m sure it’s nothing.

– Adrian & Collin are now at the summit. Pamela & Vanessa and Marc & Rovilson are on the same street asking for directions. They ask various locals. Marc announces that another team is behind them on the street.

africa marc rovilson 8

This is Rovilson’s cue to check out Pamela & Vanessa for the 1, 000, 733rd time all season long.

– Pamela & Vanessa run back into their car and drive away. Somehow they are first. Marc & Rovilson are shown getting into their car seconds later. Adrian & Collin have their clue on the summit. We now get an odd mirror camera.

africa marc nelson

Creative license in an episode that is 46 minutes long.

– Pamela & Vanessa ask directions from a funny sounding local. He insists that they follow him to the route marker. The guy talks really loud. Vanessa reveals that he is leading them into the direction that they were going to travel anyway.

africa guy

Who knew South Africa had a Chinese population?

– So Marc & Rovilson are pulled over on the road reading their map. Suddenly a guy in the street runs up to them.

africa dude

The only other White Guy besides me who can pull off the dreadlocks look. It turns out to be a guy that gave them directions back on Signal Hill.

africa dude 2

I am lonely so. . .I will be your stalker–er, guide for today.

africa marc rovilson 9

Wanna audition for our entourage?

– Marc asks Rovilson where Adrian & Collin are at the moment.

ROVILSON: Well I’d like to think they figured it out–push to start. So let’s assume that. So maybe they already got the clues and then–um. . .they’re probably. . .they’re lost!

africa rovilson fernandez 3

And why he does this whole act while showing the devil’s horns on camera is puzzling.

– Adrian & Collin have the clue and are asking a local for help.

africa local 2

And apparently local Aaron Reisberger has indeed agreed to help. Fernin’ his way through town.

– Diane & Ann finally show up to Signal Hill. They have the first clue. Now onwards to the summit.

– Pamela & Vanessa are first to the clue box.

africa pamela vanessa chong

Well, Pamela is anyway.

– It is a Roadblock. One member from each team will get into an open pit car.

africa caltex

Caltex, I missed you.

– Upon completing the first four laps, they must  enter the pit lane. If they take more than seven minutes, they will incur an on the spot five minute penalty.

africa henry

Henry Reed Jr. will make them suffer with the penalty!

africa xonix

This penalty was brought to you by Xonix! Any name sounds cool if you put an ‘x’ at the start of the word.

onix

Yeah, you missed out buddy.

– PAMELA: Who has the need for speed?
VANESSA: I’m doing it anyway.

africa pamela vanessa chong 2

Vanessa–willing to do any Roadblock where she does not look confused.

ALLAN: Teams feeling the need for speed can put the pedal to the medal as they battle for pole position in the final leg.

africa allan wu

No pun? You’re no fun.

– And pole position eh?

europe rovilson fernandez 3

Not that kind of pole position, Rovilson!

– Pamela is shocked that they are first to a location for the first time since round one. Marc & Rovilson show up next as they are confused why only three clues are in the box. We see Diane struggle with getting her car started.

africa diane ann 3

The manual is only three pages long, but because South Africa has eleven official languages, they have to re-print the same set of instructions eleven times over.

– Vanessa is instructed how to use the car. She gets an abrupt start.

africa vanessa chong 4

This protection from another Vanessa Chong Concussion is sponsoured by Caltexla!

– Adrian & Collin show up to the raceway. Adrian is doing it. We see Marc & Rovilson run into a building for Marc to suit up.

africa marc rovilson 10

Parquor!

– ROVILSON: You look like a condom.

africa marc nelson 2

That’s right. Marc has been proven to transmit so many diseases that he actually has to wear protection from head to toe before engaging in any relations. It is for your own good, ladies.

Thankfully Marc makes enough money as a celebrity that he can afford to purchase one on a daily basis.

– Speaking of things that have a climax, Diane & Ann reach the top of Signal Hill.

– Vanessa, Marc, and Collin all cheer on their teammates.

africa rovilson pamela

The nervousness combined with the wind makes Pamela’s hair stand straight up. Meanwhile Diane & Ann must ask for local help as they need assistance to find the clue box on top of the smog-ridden hill.

africa diane ann 4

You know it is bad when you need a local to spot a clue box because of the smog. There cannot be more than twenty feet of vision.

– Rovilson describes how horrendous it was to watch Marc experience the thrill.

ROVILSON: And he gets to race. It was like torture. It is like putting a spoon and fork and making me stand in front of a buffet saying “okay check it out but you can’t eat”.

africa marc rovilson 11

Translation: F—, after a month on the road, Rovilson just wants to eat!

– Vanessa completes her second lap. Pamela screams at her to go faster. Rovilson quips that only Vanessa would drive on the wrong side of the road in a raceway. I bet the Weaver Family is cringing at home. Anyways, Rovilson decides to make another quip.

africa marc rovilson 12

Not even Rovilson can resist the season long roast of Vanessa Chong.

– Rovilson thinks Marc may actually pass Pamela. However, we see Marc spin out at four miles per hour. Rovilson and Pamela are sarcastic about not seeing the Malaysian Moms yet. Marc does indeed pass Vanessa, but it means he is still one lap behind her.

PAMELA: Vanessa drives as slow as she does on the road.

Even her teammate refuses to hold back.

– Vanessa drives into the pit lane. Remember, taking twelve minutes total by the time you leave the pit lane will trigger an immediate five minute penalty.

africa pamela vanessa chong 3

Yeah, no shocker here. She took ELEVEN minutes just to get into the pit lane.

– Diane & Ann finally have the real clue. They notice it is the last clue in the box. If only they knew the smog was not quite as bad earlier.

– Marc enters the pit lane after his first four laps. No penalty so he gets to immediately set out.

africa marc nelson 3

Nobody gets a penalty when you’re hangin’ with The Fonz.

– We see Adrian pull into the pit lane.

africa adrian yap 2

Ugh. I really wish I got each of their names right ten episodes to go instead of intentionally telling you the wrong name for the sake of consistency.
– Rovilson comments that Vanessa has a heavy foot now as Vanessa’s car goes much faster now.

ROVILSON: Hot women in fast cars. Yeah!

africa rovilson fernandez 4

Quick! We need a Marc Nelson Torso Condom stat!

– Ann is in a much slower car with Diane as she discusses the nervousness about fast cars. She hopes a go kart is a different kind of driving. Pamela now tells us that Vanessa drove the second half twice as fast as the first half.

Too bad the penalty could not have been potentially assessed at the end instead of the first half.

– Pamela & Vanessa are done the task. They read that they must drive to a community known as the Khayelitsha Township where they will pick up painting supplies from a Standard Chartered charity group. They will then head to Intyatyambo Community Project and paint a marked section of a daycare to the satisfaction of the painter to receive their next clue.

– I should note the Khayelitsha Township is not the one featured in TAR 2 where a lady on a bus told Mary & Peach would be robbed then killed within .2 seconds of entering the township. That was the Langa Township.

– But there are some distinct similarities between these two townships. This is a little game called “how much has South Africa progressed since apartheid?”

africa langa

Langa Township in TAR 2.

africa khayelitsha

Kayelitsha Township in TAR Asia 2.

africa cape town

And Cape Town.

Two really poor areas where there is a 99% African-American population mixed with .01 White population?

It makes West Baltimore look like a melting pot with equal opportunity, doesn’t it Senator Davis?

But seriously, it shows you that there is a ton of progress that needs to be made as South Africa tries its best to strive for racial equality.

– Anyways, enough education. Back to our regularly scheduled programming.

africa khayelitsha 2

Khayelitsha Township, eh?

khaleesi

Not quite as nice as Khaleesi Township.

africa community

We used to work in Philippines, but Caltex took that one over.

africa community 2

Am I the only one nervous about African-American children playing Ring Around the Rosie? You know, a song about the Black Death? You think this would be the last game they would encourage kids to play after Apartheid was officially over.

africa community 3

Any of your errors with a paintbrush will not go past this guy unnoticed.

– Allan explains that this community daycare is for children living with AIDS between ages one and six, and many are orphans. Some of them are already HIV positive.

And here I am with the opportunity to have enough time and safety in my life to blog about fifteen seasons of The Amazing Race. It reminds me how lucky I really am.

– I should note that no soccer balls are present on the orphanage.

soweto orphanage 2

Nobody will be getting Vanessa Chong’d to the head.

– Pamela & Vanessa head into the change room. Marc is done his final lap. The guy waving the checkered flag stumbles in his booth because it gets stuck on a red wire.

africa flag

Who knew waving a flag could be such an ordeal.

– Vanessa feels like speeding now. Adrian now completes the track and the guy trips up on waving the flag again. This is hilarious. They really need to fix those red wires. Marc & Rovilson and Adrian & Collin both disappear into their cars. Marc & Rovilson drive away no problem. As for Adrian & Collin?

africa adrian collin 7

africa adrian collin 8

africa collin low

Maybe if you spent a little less time at the gym, and a little more time playing video games, maybe pushing start would not be such a hard concept for you and Adrian!

– Commercial break.

– Collin is shown looking for help. He says about four words and they have it started.

africa adrian collin 9

“How about push start?”

– Diane & Ann see Adrian & Collin driving away from the raceway. They must only be 20-30 minutes behind the teams. Ann is the one driving. Vanessa asks for directions. They discover they drove in the opposite direction.

ROVILSON: These streets are quite confusing. At least in Korea we had an excuse because they were in Koreanese. Here they are in English and still confusing. We really suck.

– Marc jokes that a plane landing is their plane, but also adds that Ann has trouble driving a manual vehicle.

africa plane

Yep. The lone plane of Cape Town is landing. It must be housing everyone from around the world on one flight.

– We cut to Diane who says she would have done it if they knew the racecar would be a manual beforehand. Ann is driving it really slow, but it looks like her joyride lessons from Budapest are paying off.

– Marc & Rovilson are excited to do some “graffiti” as they show up to the orphanage. The orphanage is playing an interesting game.

africa orphanage

Correct me if I am wrong on this, but I believe the game is called “What The F— Are We Doing?”

My parents have run a daycare for twenty years, and I remember my elementary school days well. With that being said, I have no idea what the f— this is even supposed to resemble. But they do look like they are having a good time.

– Marc loves the mango coloured paint.

africa mango

Mango flavoured juice? Did Booster Juice become a sponsour?

– Rovilson starts singing a tune that sounds like a K’naan song. I think it is Take a Minute.

africa marc rovilson 13

Apparently an orphanage is boring to the point that they take pleasure in watching paint dry. Mango paint, no less.

– At the track, Diane repeats multiple times that Ann is driving too slow. Well, what do you expect from someone who you wanted to do a driving task when they have not only never driven all season, but struggle with a manual transmission?

Seriously. Diane needs to be more supportive.

– Marc & Rovilson play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe with paint. Rovilson won the game.

africa rovilson fernandez 5

Yet again, Marc & Rovilson finish a game where they finish in the top two positions.

– Rovilson & Marc wonder where Pamela & Vanessa are. They assume they threw away the lead by getting lost in the streets. So we see Pamela & Vanessa asking for directions from a truck driver in a busy area.

africa pamela vanessa chong 4

Number Plates Keys Cut Shoe Repairs?

They number your plates, cut your keys, and repair your shoes all under one roof? Oh my word, all of my most necessary daily needs have been met. Screw scrambling around downtown to three different plazas! I can get it all under one damn roof. That is gonna save me a bunch of gas money or walking around busy intersections.

–  Rovilson accidentally paints a part of the window.

africa rovilson fernandez 6

You guys wanted a mango window, right?

– Diane screams at Ann to go faster. Sure enough the five minute penalty is assessed after four laps. Ann claims that she is a safe driver because she has three kids.

africa ann tan

Racecar driving is -not- in her future.

– Adrian & Collin are second to the orphanage. But now it is time for the orphanage’s third mini game.

africa orphanage 2

Tree running! You run around a tree as many times as possible. The last person to collapse from being dizzy wins!

– Rovilson not only cheers on the tree running game but also Adrian & Collin’s presence.

africa adrian collin 10

Luckily for Adrian & Collin, you do not have to push start to operate this paint bucket.

– Pamela & Vanessa are in a familiar third place position at the orphanage. Some random kid runs by Adrian & Collin. Adrian genuinely likes that they are doing something for charity.

africa adrian collin 11

I believe the kid runs away when Adrian & Collin attempted to hire him as child labour to help with painting their section of the daycare centre.

– Marc & Rovilson remove a smudge of paint on a window, and receive their next clue. We hear them read the whole clue in unison.

MARC & ROVILSON: Thank you for your work here today. Far more than just a challenge it will help to make the Intyatyambo Community Project a better place. We appreciate your efforts and Standard Chartered bank is enclosing a cheque for 34, 500 rand or 5, 000 US dollars.

africa intyatyambo

Standard Chartered is only providing just over 32, 000 rand?

64 000

Maybe its president missed the 64, 000 rand question. The 2, 500 was added because of the appearance fee.

– Once they hand over the cheque to the orphanage, they will drive two hours north of Cape Town to the Aquila Park Private Game Reserve where they will find their next clue.

africa rhino

The only thing in Africa that is hornier than Marc & Rovilson.

africa giraffe

Hey, that giraffe was my profile picture last year!
.
.
.
Then it was euthanized a few weeks ago.

– I should note that my oldest brother’s only ex-girlfriend works at one of the game reserves in South Africa.

– Rovilson tells us that the orphanage only knew about painting the house, but the cheque will be a complete surprise.

africa powerpuff

powerpuff girls

Who knew orphanages were really into the Powerpuff Girls.

– Marc & Rovilson start dancing around with the orphans and the workers as they finish the task.

africa marc rovilson 14

This is not a club, Marc. Although I am sure the lady is flattered.

– Marc presents the Standard Chartered cheque courtesy of the care of The Amazing Race Asia. Yeah, that’s pretty much what he said. The funny part is that it is windy so the cheque and the woman’s scarves are flopping everywhere.

africa marc rovilson 15

Standard Chartered is not held responsible for any cheques that get caught up and fly away in the wind.

– The two women celebrate. In fact the lady who grabs the cheque just starts screaming. No words, no movement. Just screaming like there is a bed intruder at the Dodson residence.

africa woman

kendra fumes 2

34, 500 rand? She is screaming because it is more than she sees in a year!

– Marc & Rovilson promote the ridiculous cheering. Marc takes it as an opportunity to hug both women simultaneously. Rovilson entertains the kids by waving his hands up and down.

africa marc rovilson 16

Rovilson’s over-the-top mugging for the camera seems genuine at times.

africa marc rovilson 17

You can let go now, Marc.

– The woman in orange hugs Rovilson. He tells us that they could not breathe. They proceeded to high five the kids. Marc talks about how tight the hug from the woman was too.

africa marc rovilson 18

Now you’re just exaggerating.

– Marc said the day before that the ability to feed the kids for today was still a mystery. Pamela talks about being blessed and amazed that the kids can be entertained by far more less. Meanwhile we cut to Ann who does not seem to be thrilled in a six-figure go kart. They have the clue and drive away.

– Pamela & Vanessa just keep yelling ‘go go go go’ as they paint.

africa pamela chong

Where did you get those mango streaks in your hair, Pamela?

– Adrian & Collin finish the task. The presentation of the cheque is not quite as exciting the second time. They still do a bit of hugging but not quite as hard. Pamela & Vanessa finish the task a few seconds later. The caregivers have an even more delayed reaction when they receive the third cheque. This was a good solid second or so as if they have to mentally put on their ‘oh my goodness thank you so much’ face.

– Diane & Ann are last to the orphanage. Pamela jokes that she always wanted to be a blonde.

I think if you are able to mistake mango for blonde, you probably have been a blonde your whole life.

– Marc has pulled over and pleads for directions from a guy on the street. Vanessa & Pamela argue about where to go. Pamela insists they made a wrong turn. This is Busan all over again. Adrian & Collin are asking for directions. Pamela tells Vanessa to stop crying.

– Wind is picking up at the orphanage. Suspenseful music picks up as Ann vigorously paints. Vanessa has stopped at a rural road figuring out whether to turn right or left. They watch a white Toyota truck slowly turn away. Adrian & Collin have asked for more directions except this time from a large crowd.

– Pamela is annoyed that she has to backtrack and figure out where they have to go. She wished Vanessa stopped ten minutes ago so they could solve the problem.

– Commercial break.

– We resume with Pamela repeating the request. Pamela is annoyed that Vanessa’s version of stopping is to turn off the road into a mud bog. Marc sees a family of baboons walking on the side of the road. This confirms for them that they are indeed in the continent of Africa.

– Ann tells Diane she is finished. Diane is stuck painting the rest of the wall. Ann decides to start feeding chocolates to the kids.

africa chocolate

I know the best thing for a group of young kids is to feed them sugar-laden chocolate.

They all say ‘thank you’ in the most adorable fashion I have heard in my life.

– Diane & Ann give the fourth cheque. They both tear up immediately. Both continue crying in the car. Apparently Ann is not a robot after all.

africa ann tan 2

Face scrunch.

– Imagine if this was TAR 14 where this would have been a Fast Forward that all teams ignored, or if Diane & Ann’s flight was delayed to the point that Standard Chartered could save themselves 34, 500 rand?

I am curious if Standard Chartered would have been like “well, we -would- have given the cheque, but our representatives thought going through London rather than Frankfurt was a better way to reach you. It is on their conscience.”

– We see Ann shake her foot before driving. The cryfest keeps going on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on. Okay, cryfest and confessional is over. I repeatedly typed it until it was over. Diane admitted she rarely cries, and Ann says it is tough to see kids without families.

africa ann tan 3

where's waldo

Maybe Waldo always holds a book up because he is constantly crying after going through lots of communities that have orphanages.

– So we bid farewell to the Khayelitsha Community Orphanage.

africa orphanage 3

The Amazing Race shall never forget you guys! Well, actually, this is the very last trip to a South African orphanage for at least the next seven years.

Uh, we will return eventually. I guess.

– Pamela & Vanessa are lost on a road. Diane tells Ann that they need to know where they are going as both of them are shedding tears. Vanessa’s car is making funny sounds. We cut back to Diane who is not only reading a map but is thanking Standard Chartered on camera for making the donations to the orphanage happen.

africa diane douglas

Yep. This map reading was brought to you by Standard Chartered. Diane was so moved by what she saw at the orphanage that she cannot even focus on the race. I bet her appetite is lost when she sees all of those kids without families.

africa marc nelson 4

Not the same effect on Marc. Not quite.

africa rovilson fernandez 7

Same goes for Rovilson.

ROVILSON: These hyena dogs are tasty.

Roadblock: Who Likes to Poach?

– Marc & Rovilson are already at the Aquila Park Reserve. Collin informs Adrian to follow the highway for two hours.

– Marc reads that they must enter a cheetah enclosure and grab the clue from the clue box to receive their next clue. Let’s take a look at this cheetah in the enclosure.

africa cheetah 4

Whoa! What a rad cheetah enclosure!

– But seriously, the cheetah enclosure is no joke.

africa cheetah

Go for the clue. I dare you.

– These cheetahs do look a bit old and grumpy. We see some of them run across the screen really fast. It may very well be a race to the clue.

africa cheetah 3

The cheetah in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

ALLAN: Teams must enter the cheetah enclosure to receive their next clue. They must take care to not make any sudden movements or loud noises as this may agitate the wild animal.

africa cheetah 2

Me? Agitated? Who the f— said that?

ROVILSON: I hope your cheetahs are well fed. I hope they are vegetarian.
MARC: When in Africa you apparently hang out in cheetah cages. That’s what the Africans do. So that’s what we did.

I doubt all of Africa hangs out in cheetah cages. Unless the cheetah are made of fine colbalt which power our finest electronics. This blog is brought to you by colbalt!

MARC: Now the cheetah is the fastest land mammal reaching speeds of sixty miles per hour.
ROVILSON: It was an ‘animals attack’ waiting to happen.

Why would the cheetah attack you?

africa cheetah 5

Ah. It ain’t easy being cheesy. That’s why.

– Adrian & Collin are next to the cheetah enclosure.

ROVILSON: How do you outrun a cheetah? You run faster than your friends.

africa cheetah 6

Marc & Rovilson beat the cheetah to the clue and escape the enclosure with just .2 seconds to spare! Good work, guys.

– Rovilson keeps up the tradition of no sudden movements by opening the clue slowly. It is a Detour. Allan goes ahead to explain it for us.

africa allan wu 2

Careful, Allan! A cheetah is stalking you! Do not make any sudden wuvements.

– A ranger will drive the teams to an elephant boma. Here they will choose between In One End or Out the Other.

africa detour

Wait? You have to jump on top of the boma to do Out the Other?

– In In One End, teams must prepare one hundred kilograms of food and feed it to the elephants.

marsio eat 2

Sorry Marsio. You are on your own.

– Allan says “one hundred kilograms of food may take a while to digest”.

Uh, they have to wait for the elephant to digest the food? Or is Allan’s remark making absolutely no sense?

– In Out the Other, teams must clean the elephant dung using only the tools provided (a wheelbarrow and gloves) and transport it to a pile to receive their next clue.

MARC: Poo poo it is.
ROVILSON: Shotgun!

Sloppy work, Marc. Now have to ride in the back of a bumpy Jeep.

africa dung

Teams have to play with dung?

africa dung 2

Look at all of that elephant dung!

gillian larson

Gillian is having an orgasm watching it from home.

– ROVILSON: We were right at home. Our personality, our sense of humour, everything, our stench, it would be a travesty not to do it.

– Marc & Rovilson tell the driver ‘full speed ahead to the boma’. Adrian & Collin have retrieved the clue from the boma. They choose the dung as well.

– Marc & Rovilson shake hands with the guy at the den.

africa rovilson fernandez 8

ROVILSON: You’re gonna shake our hands now but not later, right?

– Rovilson sees the den and pretends to look all shocked.

africa marc rovilson 19

ROVILSON: Oh s—.

africa rovilson fernandez 9

Good thing I brought my recreation centre nose plugs!

– They joke about shovelling the elephant poop and how the elephant must have been eating a lot of bran muffins. Nothing will beat the Dutch cow dung from TAR 4. Rovilson freaks out when he sees that some of it touched his bare hand. They dump the first pile. When they do the second, Adrian & Collin join them.

ADRIAN: You’ve never seen so much dung in your life!
MARC: Oh no! You haven’t seen us on big nacho night.

I agree with Marc.

– Adrian & Collin have finished dumping the first pile. Rovilson thinks their area is too clean now. Pamela & Vanessa are third to the enclosure.

– Marc & Rovilson have finished the task and receive their next clue.

africa marc rovilson 20

Marc & Rovilson are not so subtle with wiping their hands all over the guy’s wool jacket.

– They read they must take a ride by safari truck to the pit stop at the Aquila Park Private Game Reserve.

africa allan wu 3

There must be a pre-determined route because it may be tough to find Allan on a reserve that is 4, 500 square hectares of landscape.

ALLAN: The last team to check in here. . .*glances around*. . .

africa allan wu 4

ALLAN: WILL be eliminated.

– Pamela & Vanessa have the clue.

PAMELA: Let’s do the s—.
VANESSA: Do the s—.

– Pamela & Vanessa giggle as they see Marc & Rovilson in another truck, and laugh even harder when they see Adrian & Collin dumping the wheelbarrow full of dung. Marc & Rovilson celebrate when seeing Pamela & Vanessa behind them. It means the Malaysian Moms have zero chance today.

africa marc rovilson 21

Fun ride.

– Pamela comments that the dung smells like rust since they do not eat meat.

africa dung 3

Who knew elephant dung would look like coconut husk.

– Adrian & Collin and Pamela & Vanessa continue their crappy rivalry. Diane & Ann meanwhile show up to the cheetah enclosure. My gut tells me they are about forty minutes behind, and since each task has very little variance in completion time, it is safe to say the outcome of this round is more solidified than  fibre-filled elephant dung.

– Thrilling music plays as Diane & Ann open the clue. They also decide to clean up the dung too. Vanessa says using their hands would be faster with their hands rather than the shovel and broom. I am sure they asked off camera if it was against the rules.

africa vanessa chong 5

Yes. Much faster.

– Commercial break. We resume to Pamela & Vanessa picking up the dung with their hands.

PAMELA: We were like dung machines. The Dung Queens.

PAMELA (scooping up the dung): Three pointer! Anyone want to marry me now?

africa pamela chong 2

A three pointer? I think it is more of a slam dung!

– Adrian & Collin complete the task. Into the van they go. Collin discusses the smell.

africa adrian collin 12

You think a person who has lost another sense would then have their sense of smell enhanced. Odd.

– We see another montage of the animal life. Marc & Rovilson ‘ooo’ and ‘awe’ as they go by in the truck.

africa lion

Who dares to disturb my slumber?

africa zebra

I wonder how Apartheid would have gone down with zebras? I mean, they have black AND white stripes on their body.

– Pamela & Vanessa thought the other two teams, particularly Marc & Rovilson, would have used their bare hands too. They mock them for being too clean with their hairs and nails. Marc & Rovilson see a stone cottage with a flag.

africa safari

Nope. Just a pure coincidence it is red and yellow.

africa safari 2

Looks like their ride is the same one that the Brawns tribe from Survivor: Cagayan will be riding in on.

– The truck comes to a stop. It is time to hit the mat.

africa marc nelson 5

Marc exits like it is a freakin parallel bar.

africa marc rovilson 22

It is an uphill climb to regain your first place lead.

africa marc rovilson 23

“Base!”

– They receive the news that they are indeed first.

FIRST PLACE: MARC & ROVILSON

– Marc feels good about having pole position for the final round. They are told that there is a prize to go along with their eighth victory. It is a ridiculous prize.

africa allan wu 5

For once a female greeter is free from contact with Marc & Rovilson.

– ALLAN: You get to come back to South Africa and have a truly amazing experience at your own pace. Which includes firing off a start gun at the Caltex Fan Marathon, do some whale watching, specially guided safari tour, accommodated meals and flights.

africa marc rovilson 24

Holy elephant dung.

ALLAN: And all is courtesy of Caltex.

ROVILSON: We love Caltex!

Caltex spends 100k on trips for rich sports celebrities.
Standard Chartered spends 20k on an orphanage in Cape Town.

Who is the winner here?

africa marc rovilson 25

And that crowd for the marathon has a lot of potential for Marc & Rovilson to make women feel uncomfortable.

– Pamela & Vanessa finish the Detour and enter the safari truck.

DIANE: It’s just a big elephant with a big diaper.

Or it is just a den full of elephant dung. Although an elephant wearing a huge diaper is great.

– Diane & Ann further add to the potty humour as they give us their analysis on elephant dung.

ANN: We can tell you that a baby’s poop is much smellier than an elephant’s dung.

africa diane ann 5

What are you feeding your children?

DIANE: Cause elephants are vegetarian.

Vegetarian elephants–their s— don’t stank.

– Adrian & Collin hop onto the mat.

SECOND PLACE: ADRIAN & COLLIN

ALLAN: Smiles all around. Happy to be in Africa or happy to be team number two and in the Final Three?

There is way too many references to number two on this round.

Collin’s answer is that he is happy with both. Why?

africa adrian collin 13

Ah. An in-depth explanation.

– We see suspenseful music pick up as Diane & Ann are done with dung. Of course it is poointless because both trucks are on a fixed course. Both teams comment on the wildlife and the nasty nature of today’s task. We see a new animal!

africa ostrich

Everyone’s favourite–the ostrich!

expresso

Their relationship to Expresso is unknown.

– Pamela & Vanessa hit the mat after initially not seeing the pathway. They are given the good news. Lots of hugging, squealing, and fist pumps. Both say they are saving their best finish for last.

THIRD PLACE: PAMELA & VANESSA

africa pamela vanessa chong 5

Vanessa and her awkward hugging. Classic.

– For the first time all season, TAR Asia uses TAR’s sad piano music as a team drifts to the pit stop.

ALLAN: You are the fourth and final team to arrive.

Allan loves the awkward wording when he checks in the last place team.

LAST AND FINAL PLACE TEAM: DIANE & ANN

africa diane ann 6

Per usual, Ann is all smiles.

ANN: I miss my family so it is time to go home.

Well, you have to be at the finish line. So there is actually zero difference between when you are allowed to go home.

– Allan asks Ann a question which may be the biggest non-answer I have heard in my life.

ALLAN: What is your most memorable experience from the race?

ANN: The memorable experience is actually being on the race itself.

africa diane ann 7

Even Diane is reacting to the utter stupidity of what Ann just said.

africa allan wu 6

That’s. . .not an answer, Ann.

It would be like asking this:

ME: Hey Eugene, what is your favourite Star Wars movie?
EUGENE: My favourite Star Wars movie is actually the entire series as a whole.

See how that could not be less of a response to the question posed? This is probably why Ann’s mat chats are always so short for the past twelve rounds. She cannot give an answer where either:

a) she picks favourites because that means she is indirectly saying that other things are not her favourite
b) she picks her least favourite because that would just be mean

She is probably a producer’s worst nightmare for interviews.

– Ann says not many mothers would do this on the race (well). Diane & Ann say it has strengthened their friendship and that reaching forty will do nothing to stop them from enjoying life.

Next Time on TAR: It’s the Final Three! Marc & Rovilson are one win away from having a record that will never ever be topped again. Adrian & Collin however have proven to be stiff competition that will use their brain for research and directions as well as their gym muscles to propel them ahead. And Pamela & Vanessa have always been the wildcard. It should be fun and Amasian finish to the season. Don’t miss it.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

MARC.ROVILSON 9.14
PAMELA.VANESSA 9.6
ADRIAN.COLLIN 7.4
DIANE.ANN 7.8

Team Averages

Bulls—
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’. :/)
–D minus–
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
–D+–
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
–C minus–
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
–B minus–
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 Diane & Ann 3.75 – Yielded
4th Jon & Al 3.73
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71
–B+–
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
–A minus–
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 12 Rounds 1.33

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.

;_;

</3

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) Diane & Ann

Fit dancing mothers in their late 30s and early 40s who finish anywhere between third and fourth for the whole season?

I believe they came, they danced, they MILFed their way onto the show. Okay, I will be serious now.

Outside of driving a manual transmission or perhaps not excelling at directions, they were a very well-rounded team. Usually a team of mothers are out in the first three episodes of TAR, or you manage to go far because you bowl professionally.

Or you are masters with reading maps but fall hard on the final round.

Yes, that was a reference to Linda & Karen and Lyn & Karyn.

But check out the team averages. Ann & Diane have the best out of any mother-mother team so far. If you can get a 3.75 average when facing Adrian & Collin and Marc & Rovilson in the same season, you must be doing something right.

Diane was shown to have a bit more teeth to her while Ann is perhaps a contender for the calmest racer ever.

However, Ann’s meditations, calmness, and joyriding weren’t the only things she did well on the race. She also managed to trick Sawaka into getting herself eliminated during the Busan round where Diane & Ann appeared to be doomed for elimination.

It was interesting to see that virtually every team hated them. Perhaps not hate, but rather be genuinely disliked by every team except Adrian & Collin. There is no explanation for this except that the Malaysian Moms were being viewed as fake.

Rather than Diane occasionally being angry or Ann being emotionless, they went out of the race on a high note as they just crumbled emotionally after seeing the orphanage. It did confirm that Ann does indeed have feelings.

My apologies to Diane & Ann for not counting their Fukuoka pit stop win–I am not recognizing production’s stupidity. The true pit stop should have been right before the most ridiculous equalizer I have ever seen.

It is interesting that Diane & Ann were unaware just how much teams did not like them from the beginning. When they were yielded, Diane was unaware to the point that she assumed it was because of being a threat rather than it being completely personal.

How awkward will that be for their kids to watch on television? “Why does no one like you, mommy?”

According to my calculations, it is going to be a -really- long time before I will be blogging about a team of mothers making it to the Final Four again.

Except instead of being MILFinators who love to dance, they will be strapping on rollerblades to clobber the competition.

Ann & Diane were a likable and strong team. However, their quiet nature will not make them memorable, and because they could not crack the top of the leaderboard outside of their religious third and fourth place finishes, they truly define a great-but-not-spectacular level of competition.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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) Budapest, Hungary -> Cape Town, South Africa

The penultimate round of TAR Asia 2. In terms of a shocking elimination, you will not find it here as Diane & Ann screwed up when they took a risk on a London flight to Cape Town while all other teams traveled through Frankfurt.

They were supposed to be saved by an immediate 2 1/2 hour equalizer, but the London flight was delayed by an additional hour to make the outcome of the episode known about ten minutes in.

That does not take away from the landscape and tasks, though. This is the only episode that the TAR Asia franchise will be in Africa which makes this round special.

Also, none of the locations overlapped to where the real TAR had been in TAR 2 or TAR 7. Zero mention of Nelson Mandela or Morgan Freeman, oddly enough.

Instead they went to a place called Smognal Hill, er, Signal Hill which may be the smoggiest place I have ever seen.

And who can forget Adrian & Collin losing twenty minutes to not being able to operate a car where all you do is push ‘start’?

Add in racing open pit cars, navigating the confusing roads, help at an orphanage, a trip through cheetah enclosures and elephant dung, and a fun safari ride makes for a great leg.

And all of this was possible because of Caltex and Standard Chartered!

Oh, and a HUGE storyline is Marc & Rovilson reclaiming first place from Adrian & Collin to secure their eighth victory of the season. They just need to win the most important round of all to secure the record.

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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.

8) 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.

Agrojets. 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.

9) 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.

10) 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?

11) 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.

12) 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.

black family

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.

This entry was posted in The Amazing Race Asia, The Amazing Race Asia 2, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s