“It’s the Remix to Ignition Hot and Fresh Out of the Stinky Tofu Kitchen. . .”
THAILAND – VIETNAM – TAIWAN – CHINA – INDIA – OMAN
NATALIE: I am taking the four penalty.
Luke Adams shattering glass, whining, and crying in a restroom possessing more perseverance to finish a task than you may be one of the most humiliating ways to end an episode of TAR.
Over a quarter of the season is in the books! We may now be entering the phase of non-eliminations. There are only three this season, but because we are down to seven teams we should expect all three of them to be used over the next six episodes. Luckily we have eliminated two of the three teams eliminated are the ones who would not add much to when these non-eliminations are used to cement the core group of memorable teams for this season.
So let’s start this sucker up and play!
Previously on TAR: Eight teams set out from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and took the long road to Hue. Once there servicing the local transport was a challenge for Natalie. But old cars were no challenge for Niroo & Kapil, but deciphering the order of coins representing dynasties left both Natalie and Niroo in the rear.
At the Detour Henry showed his crafty side while Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 ditched spice to thresh rice. Finding a clue on a Cyclo had most teams confused, but driving them to the pit stop caused even more chaos. But Henry & Bernie recovered quickly and were first to the pit stop.
At the Roadblock, Natalie took a four hour penalty instead of completing the task. They were last to the pit stop and were eliminated from the race. Seven teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time. Yes, TAR has a full intro. Didn’t you know?
– Allan introduces us to Hue and the Forbidden Purple City.
– Henry & Bernie, who were first to arrive at 2:04pm, will depart at 2:04am. They read that they must fly to Taipei, Taiwan. Once there they must drive themselves to the Red Pavilion. There they will find their next clue. Bernie reads that they have 63 US dollars for this leg of the race.
Wow. They’re going to Taiwan! That’s never happened before!
TAR Asia 3 was filmed in between TAR 12 and TAR 13. Taiwan made its first TAR appearance in TAR 12. Therefore, the novelty of visiting that country had worn off. It was the original Indonesia. They went eleven seasons and two Asian seasons without visiting Taiwan, but TAR 12 and TAR Asia 3 come along and travel there in such a short period of time.
I am curious why the franchise thought they needed to return there so soon. Vietnam had only been shown in 3 and 10, so going there for this season made sense. Thailand had been ignored since TAR 9. But Taiwan? It was the very last country that TAR had visited before ending season twelve in Alaska. This may be the smallest break for an Asian country in franchise history.
– Bernie says her body is finally feeling the exhaustion.
Cracking your head on the pavement after falling out of a Cyclo may or may not have had something to do with it.
– Henry commends her for going as hard as he is.
BERNIE: I’m quite butch but I’m still a girl.
And what is with everyone wearing green bandanas?
F—! Stop with the green bandanas! Choose another damn colour!
– Vince & Sam begin in second place at 2:05am.
VINCE: Is it the toughest? That’s what we’re told. Can we handle it? Yeah.
That is hilarious. They actually promote it during post-round interviews to the players that this is THE TOUGHEST RACE EVER. You would think this is a marketing ploy for viewers, but no, they are even trying to market this to the players. It seems unnecessary.
VINCE: I’ve been to Taipei before. It’s nice there.
SAM: He likes the Taiwanese girls there. He thinks they’re really pretty.
– Ida & Tania start in third at 2:08am. They are enjoying every moment and being fair. For some reason Tania talks about diving in and doing it as she twists her body for the camera and gets all excited. How her and Ida are not lesbians is tough for me to comprehend.
Too much peace, love, and harmony on this team.
– A.D. & Fuzzie start the round. It is 2:10am. A.D. thinks he is the ambulance. Fuzzie believes him and A.D. are in sync most of the time. He feels they reach the same conclusion when they look at a task.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 start in sixth, er, fifth at 2:14am. Tisha 31 reads they are heading to Taiwan which triggers a Black Power Salute from Geoff 26.
Look at how stoic he is. He really is a cyborg.
GEOFF 26: I just get into a mode.
A mode? You fix yourself into a set mode? Confirmation of him being a cyborg came sooner than I thought.
GEOFF 26: I just get into a mode and want to hit it out of the park.
He loves PH? Like, as in acids and bases? Doesn’t Geoff 26 know Marc & Rovilson?
Perhaps Marc & Rovilson love PH too. I mean, they did always yell ‘BASE!’ when they stepped onto the pit stop mat to do their stupid celebration.
GEOFF 26: I just want to hit it out of the park. And I think we’re getting better at it. Plus I love her.
TISHA 31: If yelling and screaming at your girlfriend is loving her. . .
Syntax error. Tisha 31 never finishes her sentence.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 get into a cab.
GEOFF 26: Go. Now. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding.
He always says that in the high-pitched five year old voice. For some reason he cannot use his typical deep sounding voice. It is like he is pretending to be five and using puppy dog eyes to order around his uncle or something like that.
He sounds like the character from Dark Castle when he gets it. Ning-ning-ning-ning.
– Mai & Oliver are happy in sixth at 2:19am. Mai tells us that she has learned more about Oliver because they have never had to work as a team before.
1) He is a great listener
2) He has a long attention span
3) He is a grinder as opposed to a biter.
Yes, grinders (such as myself) grind their fingernails against their other fingernails out of nervousness. They are typically people who find mouths to be too disgusting to come in contact with their hands, and thus refuse to bite their nails. Hence the grinding.
MAI: We’re always like being best friends in terms of partying and going out but to night clubs. Happy times. But not going through tough times.
– Oliver knows they will fight, but are going to fight less. I also had to rewind it to catch Oliver’s reaction of heading to Taiwan.
If Vince is on one end of the spectrum for Taiwanese excitement, Oliver is the exact opposite.
– Niroo & Kapil are behind by a large margin. 3:00am as they close out the pit starts. It is odd to be down to seven teams by round four. That has not happened since The Amazing Race 8: Family Edition.
– Kapil thinks other teams thought they would get tired and get out on their own. Now other teams are reacting to their position and view them as a threat.
Yep. A team that has finished ninth and seventh in the first three episodes are huge threats.
– The seven teams are in cabs. They are told it is six hours before the airport opens. Teams discuss where to spend the night. Mai & Oliver have learned their lesson and want to sleep outside of the airport. Six out of the seven teams sleep at the airport.
What human filth! Yuck!
– Ida & Tania stand around deciding what to do. Will they sleep with the other six teams?
Those sixty-three dollars were given to us for a reason!
Leave it to the East Indian team to meditate instead of catch up on valuable sleep.
What a comfortable way to spend the next six hours. The morning is creeping up.
Quickest way to spend your money for the episode. Not even Dan & Andrew wasted their money that fast just a few months later.
– The airport opens. Ida & Tania meanwhile are asking the waiters to plug in a fan for them. Ida is practically begging for them to do so.
Tania’s acting job always cracks me up.
– Ida jokes that she does not have space for airplane food.
– The teams book tickets for the flight. Vince & Sam ask for seats closest to the front of the plane.
– Ida & Tania show up to the airport. They go over the top with acting how refreshed they feel.
Now that is an exaggerated stretch.
– Ida & Tania giggle as Ida says “Goood morning, Vietnam!” when she greets the attendant.
Who also happens to be Vietnam’s best track star.
– Every team boards the flight. Tania is excited over seeing an English newspaper on the plane. It is revealed that they are flying through Ho Chi Minh City before they make the journey to Taipei.
Which apparently is in the shape of a checkmark.
– It is a journey of three thousand kilometres but they do not show up until night. Mai & Oliver are first to the marked car. Tisha 31 cheers that it is an automatic. Ida still wants to take time to learn the car. Niroo struggles with understanding the car. I have never seen problems with an automatic car before. In addition, Phil Keoghan said that driving an automatic is not really knowing how to drive.
“I am not used to cars that are properly functional and can seat more than four people!”
An automatic is not the toughest car you can drive. Just wait for ‘push to start’ engines!
– Fuzzie closes the trunk of the car.
The trunk is closed. Let’s go!
Tian & Jaree’d.
– Niroo wonders aloud what the fourth gear is. Kapil asks him to take a minute to figure out where the window wipers are. Ida shimmies in the car as she celebrates being in Taipei.
– Kapil directs Niroo to take the freeway to find the next destination. At the last second he tries to correct himself and wants him to change into the right lane.
Is Niroo paying attention to the road at all? How can you not ask “uh, should we take the lane that says ‘heading to Taipei’ as opposed to the one that is taking you to the town of Freeway’?
– Bernie honks at another car on the road. Sam is communicating with locals on the road in Mandarin. He says anybody who does not speak Mandarin will be in a world of trouble. A.D. makes the first “I am used to driving on the right instead of the left” comment of the season.
TANIA: I’m worried if you turn you might get lost somewhere.
IDA: I have total faith in your map reading.
TANIA: Okay. Then just go.
Tania ducks away from giving out further instructions.
IDA: Uh, where?
Instead of being angry, Ida finds it hilarious that Tania is not confident where to go. At all.
– Vince & Sam are first to the clue box, obviously. Detour.
We go from wufebeaters to bwutton up shirts.
– They must decide between Shoot It or Shape It.
In Shoot It, teams must drive themselves to the Miniatures Museum of Taiwan and photograph their clue in a display case using a Sony HD Cybershot camera. They will then plug in the camera and print off their image. Printed on the back will be their next clue.
Wow. Reminds me of the Kodak Easyshare camera days. How does the computer to know to print the clue on the back of the photo? What if they took the wrong photo?
I bet the Sony Cybershot just went up by ten percent in price in Canada. Sigh.
ALLAN: This museum contains countless life-like miniature pieces so teams searching for the clue can see themselves finding Big Trouble in a Little World.
Yep. They are in a territory belonging to China. He really did pull off that pun.
c wut i did thar/
In Shape It, teams will make their way to the Raohe St. Night Market (most likely the same one with creepy clowns from TAR 12). Once there teams must use seven pieces to create four puzzles known as tangrams.
Survivor: Thailand Tangram Master.
While here in North America you only do tangrams in elementary school, Taiwanese citizens complete several each day.
ALLAN: This game is called The Seven Boards of Cunning because there are actually two sides. Teams will have to be sharp or else they will have their work cut out for them.
I believe Allan is thinking back to his own tangram game called “The Seven Boards of Wunning”.
– Vince & Sam decide to do Shoot It. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 also choose to Shoot It. Henry & Bernie are there third and agree to the same option as well.
– Ida asks a neighbouring vehicle at a stoplight for directions. He offers some advice about not only the directions, but also heterosexuality.
He finds it necessary to repeat it.
– Ida convinces him to lead them to the Red Pavilion. They clearly did not understand what he meant. A.D. & Fuzzie are somewhat lost on the road. They are confused about the roads. Niroo sees the clue box. An odd discussion goes on.
KAPIL: He’s not coming out. Let’s not lock the car right now because we just need the clue.
NIROO: The keys won’t come out.
– They read the clue.
KAPIL: You may lock your bags in the car and may take your keys with you.
Imagine if Aaron from TAR 6 had to drive this car. That key would end up broken in the process.
– We switch to A.D. & Fuzzie who lock up their car. They also decide to Shoot It. Mai & Oliver show up to the clue and also Shoot It. Mai picks up a local and tells her she loves her about seven or eight times.
Lady in red, prepare to have your evening all Thaied up.
Her name is Eva. And no Eva, just because they are Thai does NOT mean you are abducted for the purpose of being sold into a certain trade.
– Henry tells Bernie that she cannot U-Turn for the time being. Instead of acknowledging the twist of the same name, Henry discusses how navigation was troublesome. I am guessing this is why they always took public transit in TAR 12. A left-hand turn resulted them in being stopped by a cop under the bridge. They manage to get out of it with smiles and apologies and a camera crew. Apparently a U-Turn left was illegal.
I swear that in 2 1/3 seasons of TAR Asia that they have been stopped by traffic cops more than 24 seasons of TAR US combined.
– Ida & Tania were amazed that they were led to the Detour for free by the straight local. Mai & Oliver are first to the Miniature Museum. Eva paid off. Several other teams are in the museum. Mai suggests that her and Sam work together.
SAM: What are you looking out for, though?
SAM: Which is. . .?
Mai and Sam’s first interaction of the season leads to a high school teacher feeling the need to lecture Mai on the concept of the subject in English.
Unless this is what Mai was talking about.
– A.D. & Fuzzie asks a lady at the convenience store. They are told the museum closed at six. Because they are not familiar that hours of operation of buildings are irrelevant when The Amazing Race is in town, and thus leading to locals almost always being wrong in the past, they decide to believe her.
A.D. even points out that the museum is across the street but Fuzzie insists it is closed.
In other news, the Stockholm Tower does not open until ten.
Oh, and that flower shop does not open until eight.
– Geoff 26 asks Tisha 31 over to stay with him. Teams are wondering what ‘it’ is. Niroo starts yelling that he cannot get the keys out of the car. Kapil fails at it too. Niroo does not know what to do. Kapil runs on his own to ask for directions.
“Here’s your problem. You need to turn the key to the left.”
A problem so great that Niroo nearly kicks his own dog.
– Kapil has been away for a while and thinks he is re-entering his team’s vehicle.
“How To Take Your Key Out of a Car” is a self-help book that is currently on sale for 19.99!
And for once it is the shopkeeper who gets to tell Kapil “thank you come again”.
“Very very very sorry! Mama Mia!”
If a man from another country followed by a camera crew tried to open the door of my moving car, I would probably wet my pants.
Change of clothes. Please.
– Kapil finally sees where Niroo is parked. Niroo rambles to the camera for a full fifteen seconds. All I can get out of it is that he cannot go anywhere because he cannot leave the car as it is with the key still in the ignition.
Whose dog do you have to kick to get your key out of an ignition?
– Commercial break. I wonder what was advertised during the commercial?
Normally I don’t do this, but uh, let’s give em a look and preview the Asian remix. . .
Although I have a feeling the ignition R Kelly was singing about involved a fourteen year old cheerleader rather than a fifty year old man. Furthermore, R. Kelly has never taken a key -out- of an ignition unless pepper spray was involved.
And that ladies and gentlemen was the first tramp stamp of the new millennium.
– Henry & Bernie park as they handle the Sony HD Handycam. Vince asks aloud what it could be that stands out. He correctly suggests an envelope. Sam’s first guess?
VINCE: This has a Caltex one. And here’s another with Prince Charles on a magazine because of his big smile.
Even Vince laughs at how stupid he sounded just now.
– Kapil makes an attempt at taking the key out as Niroo utters several curse words from the back seat.
See? Niroo’s hand is visible there.
But seconds later he takes his aggression to the next annoying tier.
Kapil’s personal space will be invaded right about. . .
– His hands wave really fast from front to back as he talks quickly to Niroo.
I think Josh Blue has more control over his hands than Niroo.
– Niroo declares they cannot do anything anymore. He said ten other things too, but I could not understand him. Actually I went back to transcribe what he said when talking to Kapil in his clip.
NIROO: I can’t do anything.
(KAPIL keeps trying.)
NIROO: We can’t do anything.
(KAPIL looks at the waving hand.)
NIROO: We can’t do anything.
(KAPIL still examining the waving hand.)
NIROO: So we can’t do anything. We are out.
Welcome to Pailin’s world, Kapil.
– Geoff 26 takes a picture of what he thinks is the smallest TV. Mai starts examining underneath the display case.
– A.D. & Fuzzie show up to the Seven Boards of Cunning. Ah, I see Fuzzie is wearing a new shirt. Nice style of choice for him, I must say.
A shirt that discusses rewarding yourself with beer and now a shirt that hints that you will be taking part in drunken antics tonight? No wonder Fuzzie’s body looks like Wynona’s Vodka + 7Up diet. These two would be perfect for each other.
– The judge approves of their first shape. A second is approved. The other teams are examining the smaller display cases. Bernie thinks it will be in the larger picture. Ida & Tania show up to the Detour. It will be tough for a team to get away with snapping the picture without other teams noticing.
– Which Detour was faster?
How much cunning did you really need?
– They read to drive themselves to the Institute of the Blind. Oh, here’s a sketch of what the building looks like by one of its students:
Nah, just kidding.
Why is there a cross on top of the building? Is this a religious institution for the blind? Maybe these are all devout Christians who ended up going blind from pleasuring themselves. I bet the building adjacent to them is the Institution for the Hairy Hands, too. Repent, my pupils!
I am glad the teacher did not do something mean like have the chairs set up so they spell out ‘F U’ or is in the shape of letters to spell out the word ‘Blind’ or something cruel like that.
– It is an institution for teaching Braille. It takes two years to learn Braille. Allan explains what Braille is. One player will examine the clue in Braille and communicate it to their partner. Their partner will decipher it by examining the Braille chart accompanied by the message.
I love taking Braille lessons at 11:00pm after spending several hours driving through Taipei as a tourist.
– Once they are done, they will receive their next clue. However, one of the cheques will contain a cheque for 612, 000 US dollars. Meanwhile the other six teams will end up looking like pure jerks in the process for offering them nothing.
Oh, it really does have 612, 000 US dollars written there. I thought Standard Chartered would just say ‘612, 000’ but really it is a cheque for 412 dollars and 33 cents.
But in all seriousness and all of my lame insensitive jokes to the side, I believe this is by far the greatest charitable donation seen in TAR history. The US franchise NEVER raises money for charity. In TAR 14 there was a Fast Forward at an orphanage but all teams ignored it. Of course this went unaired because it would make the teams look like insensitive jerks.
But I have to give TAR Asia props. They always donate large sums of money thanks to their sponsours, and it is always to worthy causes. If a task at Caltex or unnecessary zoom-ins on Standard Chartered credit cards is the price we as viewers pay for 1, 000, 000 dollars to be donated to charities each season, it is tough not to support it.
Although I bet teams are a little bitter that the cheque in their hands is more than six times greater than the grand prize for this season. 😛
– A.D. & Fuzzie have no map of the province. They decide to stop at a gas station along the way. I bet they have no idea they are in first.
– Oliver has found a clue in a display case.
VINCE: Mai, did you find it?
– Henry & Bernie and Vince & Sam are both suspicious. Sam sees right through it and believes the race is all about integrity, and way too early to pull off that move in round four as opposed to round eight or nine.
Who’s got two thumbs and is unaware that he has severed all possible connections for the remaining seven rounds of the episode, and is doomed to be U-Turned and Yielded?
OLIVER (aloud to other teams): I can’t do this. I’m leaving to do the other clue. . .k?
“K? . . .It’s like you guys aren’t believing me, or something.”
– Oliver tells us that his decision was based on the fact that him and Mai are not one of the stronger teams. Even though they won the first round and currently sit in second here in round four.
Put a couple whiskers on Mai’s watch and she is the proud owner of a Hello Kitty wristwatch.
OLIVER: We’re not a strong strong team. Strategy may be a bit mean but we can’t be nice all the time.
MAI: We need to like crank it up a notch.
– Oliver doesn’t want to help Geoff 26. Not because he doesn’t like him but because he does not understand what Geoff 26 has against everyone else. But yet he somehow will not be U-Turned or Yielded thanks to Oliver’s stunt.
You may be laughing now, but when Yield season comes along. . .look out. This ain’t season four anymore.
What? Weren’t Yields in season three?
No, I think they used that twist from the start in season one.
– Sam says he wants to take pictures of himself and print it out. Yep, he is resorting to selfies.
– Sam says “Ah! Stupid!” when he sees the clue in the miniature village.
“I hope no one heard me. . .”
S—. His voice echoed louder than Brandon & Nicole’s in the Hermitage museum.
– Vince & Sam, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31, Ida & Tania, and Henry & Bernie all finish simultaneously. Sam drops a F-bomb for screaming it out and helping all other teams. They all make fun of him in confessionals but also feel bad for Sam’s stupidity. Everyone assumes Niroo & Kapil went off to do the tangram game.
TANIA: I wonder where Pops and Caps are?
Ready to pop a cap up a car dealership’s ass.
– They stand outside on the road.
Use the force Young Kapil Skywalkerunasprintamarathon.
– Niroo & Kapil look into the camera and declare that they are going to quit.
KAPIL: We. Quit.
NIROO: Please. We want to go back home.
What’s with the fish eye camera? Does it have to be slow? Is the camera operator a big fan of late 80s and early 90s hip hop videos?
– Commercial break.
– They return and Kapil says that nobody will take the car, and insists it is insured to ensure nobody would take it and steal it.
Yeah, I have no doubt production told Kapil that when Niroo & Kapil announced they were quitting. The clue specifically said to make the necessary parking arrangements and lock up your vehicle.
Not “leave the lights on, the key in the ignition with the doors unlocked, and park it in the middle of the road”.
– Niroo & Kapil enter the miniature museum. Too bad the echo of Sam’s voice is gone. Geoff 26 starts singing “We’re Driving on a Freeway in Taipei”. It is a clear parody of something, but I cannot recognize that classic rock tune.
– Geoff 26 wants them to stay in the Taipei County in order to knock it out of the park. The translation is that he asks a cop car for directions. Too many baseball analogies. Henry & Bernie discuss dots and dashes as Braille even though it is Morse code. Henry thinks that Mai & Oliver found the clue.
How did Oliver find the clue though? Wouldn’t he have yelled by instinct?
– Mai & Oliver are first to the task. Oliver is blindfolded.
This looks familiar. . .
You sunk my battleship!
– So Oliver described the board while Mai deciphers the letters based on his description.
And you know what I just realized?
There is no way Margie & Luke could have done this task. If Luke was blindfolded, he would have to keep lifting his fingers from the board if he wanted to sign the description to Margie.
If Margie was blindfolded, Luke would have to figure out when to look at Margie for the description from the board and when to time it for himself to look down.
It would be the meanest task possible for them to perform.
– Niroo & Kapil wander the museum aimlessly. A.D. & Fuzzie have paid a cab driver to lead them the way. Except neither of them know what the driver is saying.
Something tells me this driver is an interesting fellow.
– Mai & Oliver finish the task. They read that they must drive themselves to Shenkeng which is a small town in southern Taipei. It is a popular tourist destination for its wide variety of food and drink.
Food and drink? Didn’t they do a food eating task in round one? Is this why they consider it to be the toughest season ever?
– Niroo & Kapil find the clue. They hire a taxi driver to lead them there. Ida & Tania are working on the Braille task. Ida is blindfolded. Henry & Bernie and Vince & Sam show up there not long after. Bernie and Vince are blindfolded.
– Ida & Tania have finished the task. It sounds like they did it surprisingly fast.
Something tells me this is not the first task that Ida & Tania have completed which involve at least one blindfold.
– Imagine if Brice from Survivor: Cagayan did this task?
Dot dot to start on the left. Mmmm hmmm.
– Ida & Tania take off in second. Tania says she cannot afford a taxi but they cannot afford to lose time either. So her and Ida hire a taxi anyway. They must be at risk of losing all of their cash.
– A.D. tries to turn into a different lane on the freeway but is cut off. She curses. Geoff 26 advises Tisha 31 to do a U-turn on the road. Mai sees Ida & Tania on the road right behind them. Tons of cursing. Mai is impressed by how fast Ida & Tania’s taxi is compared to their own. Taxis are making a lot of money tonight.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are at the Institute for the Blind. Geoff 26 tries to get Tisha 31 to cheat by looking at him over the divider, but Tisha 31 insists a programming error/producers prevent her from doing so.
– Vince & Sam finish the task. They are the lucky ones who get to present the cheque for 612, 000 dollars. But when Sam presents it the cheque is only for 20, 000 US dollars. The 612, 000 must be in yen or whatever the Taiwanese official currency is.
So that’s where the money for TAR 24: All Stars (II) went. . .
– Sam says some crap about being privileged to hand over the cheque. Vince looks like a nervous schoolgirl standing there as he brushes the back of his neck when he presented the cheque. Vince & Sam drive away.
– So who gets the next confessional?
Is that Pailin’s new partner? And what’s with all the typewriters behind her?
Yeah, it’s the lady who is the head of the Institute. She talks about how they needed new computers.
– Vince understands how important your eyes.
She is wearing a surprisingly cute dress for working at a Blind Institute. I would just get away with wearing a stain-filled shirt. I mean, it’s not like anybody is gonna -notice-. However, I would make sure I slapped on some sweet-smelling cologne.
– Tisha 31 decodes it. Geoff 26 is annoyed and asks if his blindfold can be taken off. Tisha 31 enters a command for him to take it off.
– When Geoff 26 receives the clue from the worker, he utters the most awkward line of the season.
GEOFF 26: You know what? I -really- admire you.
Look at the eye contact. He says it with a stone cold face too. Sorry Tisha 31, but Geoff 26 has executed Order #281 as he dumps his older girlfriend for some random guy he just met twenty minutes ago. I mean, he -really- admires him.
It’s been twenty seconds and I am still laughing. If you can access this episode, just watch how Geoff 26 delivers the line at least three or four times. It gets funnier each time.
– Geoff 26 exits the building with a high kick.
Who does he think he is?
– Geoff 26 considers the task easy considering that Henry & Bernie showed up before them but beat them at the task anyway.
– Bernie is failing–er, not succeeding at describing the letters she is feeling.
– Commercial break.
– We resume. Henry enters his guess and it is wrong. Bernie consistently complains that it is off centre. Henry keeps repeating that there is no such thing as off centre in Braille. They both agree that Bernie is having a tough time grasping Braille.
Go To Shenbeng? So close to Shenkeng. Poor Henry.
But seriously, Shenbeng? It sounds like the name of a town in Taiwan that was inspired by William Hung.
Shen beng! Shen beng!
She reminds me of a dash dash dash dot dot circle.
And. . .something about a bee.
– Bernie admits she has no concept of Braille. Henry makes the biggest mistake, though.
Only one letter off but cleans the whole slate. Ouch.
– Oliver honks at his own taxi driver. He gets out to talk to the driver. It turns out the taxi driver missed the exit. Oliver reaches into the cab’s vehicle to snatch back his clue. He is uber pissed and assumes he will be last. Last of all teams who have the skills to take a key out of an ignition, of course.
The driver is thankful his face is being blurred on TV after Oliver blatantly called him a “F—er” to his face.
– Ida & Tania are first to the Roadblock.
TANIA: Who knows a good challenge when they smell one?
– This cuts to Allan who explains the task. The task is rather straight forward.
ALLAN: That person must eat one large bowl of stinky tofu.
Just the thought of entering ‘Stinky Tofu’ into the graphic is hilarious. You would think a nine year old created this task.
“Make them eat something stinky!!!!”
– The stinky tofu consists of duck blood, feremented tofu, spices, vegetables, and some of Kapil’s scorpion vomit from the first episode.
ALLAN: The first person to consume this pungent stench truly deserves to be in the lead.
Allan Wu gives his best “Awwww, leftovers!” face.
– Ida is doing the task. Two food eating tasks in four rounds is cruel.
I cannot wait to see Kapil vomit some more.
– Ida begins consuming the delicacy.
“I regret eating that gourmet Vietnamese breakfast. . .”
– A.D. & Fuzzie have a conversation I do not understand. They finally show up to the Blind Institute. Fuzzie is wearing a blindfold. Niroo & Kapil now show up. Niroo is blindfolded.
– Henry smiles when he correctly deciphers the clue. A.D. asks for approval too. Very quick for fifth and sixth. They decide to work together and pick a taxi to hire to lead them to the restaurant. It is unknown how far behind Niroo & Kapil are. I will assume about thirty minutes.
– Ida tells us that she loves tofu.
Tania is already trying to put her finger into her throat, and she is not even the one doing the task!
I believe that is what we call an allergy, Ida.
– IDA: The thing is I really love tofu, but this was the most horrible tofu I have ever seen. Sorry Taiwan, I am sure it was delicious.
Ida thinking back to the tofu.
Your apology came a little late, Ida. Making up with the people of Taiwan would make them your Lovetoful.
– Ida burps. She wants to cry thinking about it. In fact she cries a little on the spot. Mai & Oliver show up to the restaurant. Oliver volunteers for it. Mai does not think it will be bad. Ida grunts as she swallows the next bit of tofu. Oliver psyches himself up like he is Bobby Jon Drinkard, and Mai gets into his face to psych him up too.
Before she saw Ida.
After she saw Ida.
– Mai keeps psyching up Oliver. She is massaging his shoulders before battle as if she is the freakin’ Genie from Aladdin.
You’ve got some power in your corner now, Oliver.
Oliver’s stinky tofu is revealed.
Oh, Mai, you. Up to your old tricks.
– Oliver is making those lovely vomity noises.
The In or Out paddles from TAR Canada would come in handy here.
– Vince & Sam are third to the clue box.
Or so we thought.
Seriously? How did they miss it?
– Vince has to point out to Sam. He smiles as he grabs it but Sam is impatient and orders him to open it. Vince decides to do the task because he has good nostrils.
– Ida vomits into the bucket right before completion. Mai laughs. Ida cries. No one is having fun.
– Commercial break.
– We return. Sadly we see Ida vomit again but without the details. Everyone is amazed by Vince eating tofu without any issues.
SAM: We’re Chinese. We’ll eat anything.
VINCE: I had a chocolate bar before we came because I was hungry.
And he ate the wrapper too. He was that hungry.
– Tania drops numerous F-bombs to pump up Ida, but all it pumps up is her esophagus because she vomits some more. It sounds like a long drawn out liquid stream on the audio.
I don’t understand why Vince is plugging his ears. Liquid retching has a lovely melody to it.
– Mai fans Oliver. She says that he needs to eat like a wolf. Ida and Oliver take turns vomiting. Even Mai considers vomiting.
Everyone in the building vomiting would be a re-enactment of the dog vomit cartoon from The Simpsons. For some reason the ‘No Smoking’ sign in the background cracks me up.
– Everyone including Vince is praising Ida’s efforts. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 argue over directions. He says they are going nowhere fast. Enter the tunnel.
– Niroo & Kapil are still at the Institute for the Blind. They finally finish the task.
“How can I tell my battleship has sunken? I can’t even see!”
– Niroo is back in the driver’s seat. His car troubles increase as Kapil hunts down a cab driver to hire.
I thought a stick shift only stays in park when you’re in South Korea. . .
– Geoff 26 convinces a police officer to lead them to the restaurant. He must have agreed because he knows of the restaurant’s reputation.
GEOFF 26: We’re not gonna have a park. Nuck nuck nuck nuck.
What is Geoff 26 saying?
– Tania orders her to finish so they can get out of the place. Ida looks like she is ready to die.
I would be careful putting that thumb out in front of Ida’s mouth, judge. I am amazed he escapes without receiving any vomit on his hands.
Ida looks worse than Dumbledore did after the Stinky Potion of Despair.
– Tania proclaims her as a legend. They read that their next pit stop is the City Hall Square in Taipei. It is not far from the mayor’s office.
TANIA: We’re going to be first because of you, babe. Just puke in the streets.
– Ida takes over and drives. She feels like she is nine months pregnant. Oliver gets a bit of vomit on Mai. She is a good sport about it.
You too close, Wyclef!
SAM: Your reward for doing this is that you get to be the first to use the toilet now.
No kidding. I think everyone who does this task will be running to the bathroom all night.
– Oliver finishes followed by Vince. Vince is running somehow. Mai sees the location on the map. Oliver sounds drained.
– A.D. & Fuzzie and Henry & Bernie show up together. Henry and not Fuzzie is doing the task. Henry brags he does not have a gag reflex.
– Tania begs a couple of cops to lead them to the pit stop. It takes a bit of time but it works. They seem to not care less.
– It is two o’ clock in the morning, which is a perfect time for Vince & Sam to pick up a local and bring him into their car.
Although Sam appears to be regretting that decision rapidly.
– Mai talks to a cab driver but he does not where to go. Then she goes into a gas station and talks to a lady through the window. No response. At all.
LADY: . . .
MAI: You don’t know where it is.
Taipei? It is such an obscure city.
The neon lights make it look like Mai is asking a lady who is in the midst of a drug den where the lady just finished shooting up.
– Henry burps about twenty times as he comments on A.D.’s abilities to do it without any problems.
FUZZIE: This is pleasure. Not torture.
HENRY: Today has been a real steady torture.
FUZZIE: He is not enjoying it as much as you.
– A.D. has the loudest burp I have heard in TAR history. Two more follow.
– Ida & Tania and Vince & Sam both park their cars. Who will be first?
Paula Taylor is the greeter for the second time this season? Odd.
Actually, the bottom photo is the lady who was the pit stop greeter for the Taiwan round in TAR 12. Same outfit and dare I say same woman?
FIRST PLACE: IDA & TANIA
I hear if you squeeze Ida too hard, more vomit comes out.
– ALLAN: For answering the call and winning this leg, you have won the latest Nokia N96 phones loaded with maps, games, and credits to download your favourite music from the Nokia Music Store and you can call of your friends with the phone after the race.
Sarcasm much? I bet this phone was obsolete by 2010.
What Allan failed to mention is that these phones are Pay As You Go.
SECOND PLACE: VINCE & SAM
– Sam knocks into Vince upon entering the mat. He really wants him to vomit.
– Henry says aloud that it smells like a men’s restroom as A.D. burps twenty more times. Fuzzie even refers to A.D. as “dude” as he finishes. Henry is done in third and A.D. in fourth. They agree to work together to find the pit stop.
– Goofy night time music (usually reserved for Charla & Mirna in TAR 5) plays as Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 enter the restaurant. Tisha 31 programs herself to do the task.
Except she gets to wear a nose clamp. That may be one of the most unfair advantages I have seen for a task in TAR history. How bad does the tofu smell?
Even Geoff 26’s systems are not prepared for such a stench! Activate bandana!
– Geoff 26 rambles on with advice about how she needs to mix the broth in for each bite because the broth has to be consumed too. Of course Tisha 31 yells ‘shut up!’ to him. That is mainly because he is talking to her like she is his five year old daughter.
Geoff 26 is being real brothersome right now.
“Just trying to be helpful!”
– HENRY: The food’s coming up to bite me in the bum.
– The three teams all park their cars.
THIRD PLACE: MAI & OLIVER
FOURTH PLACE: HENRY & BERNIE
FIFTH PLACE: A.D. & FUZZIE
– A.D. burps when he steps onto the mat. Allan jokingly inhales deeply right after A.D. burped.
Compliments to the host.
Allan wunhales deeply.
– We cut back to the Roadblock where Tisha 31 is on her own.
Commencing mouthal ejection! Cannot be above 122 pounds!
– Geoff 26 declares they are second-to-last. Tisha 31 is not convinced.
– Niroo & Kapil show up to the Roadblock. Kapil volunteers for it.
Because we know how well he does with food tasks.
Boston Rob for some reason is taking credit for convincing Kapil to quit a food eating challenge.
Uh, okay Rob. Maybe he just had no desire to fit the damn thing into his stomach rather than forfeit for strategic purposes thanks to your words.
– They cite their physical and mental exhaustion as the reason for not completing the Roadblock. The real reason is that there is no way in heck that Kapil can put himself through a second eating task in less than a week, and this one seems much worse than the scorpion one in the premiere.
SIXTH PLACE: NIROO & KAPIL.
SIXTH PLACE: GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31.
Geoff 26 kisses Tisha 31. He is disgusted by the kiss and regretted doing so.
I swear the difference between these six teams and the bottom four so far is like night. . .
. . .And day.
– Niroo & Kapil say they ran the race exactly as they wanted. Their desire was to frequently hover at the bottom of the pack, complain about things frequently, and be bitter when teams refused to help them along the way by doing nothing in return.
Next Time on TAR: Six teams remaining but we have yet to use any of the three non-elimination rounds. We appear to have our true core of six teams as non-eliminations, Yields, U-Turns, and Fast Forwards will all begin to emerge on the scene!
Next Time on TAR:
LADY RUNNING INSTITUTE OF THE BLIND 1.
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 Neena & Amit
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 Isaac & William 7.5
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33
8th Aiello Family 7.0
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/)
8th Tom & Terry 7.0
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0
10th Hope & Norm 7.0
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75
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
8th Pailin & Natalie 6.33
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2
7th Paul & Amie 6.2
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0
6th Andre & Damon 5.86
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83
7th Dave & Lori 5.83
5th Kami & Karli 5.8
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn
9th Heather & Eve 5.75
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67 R.I.P. Nancy.
6th Gaghan Family 5.5
10th Alison & Donny 5.5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33
7th Gus & Hera 5.29
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18
7th Silver & Gold 5.17
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14
7th Ray & Deana – 5.0 FF
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0
9th Steve & Josh 5.0 – FF
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0 – FF
9th Mark & Bill 5.0 – Wah.
5th Fran & Barry 4.89
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83
7th Schroeder Family 4.75
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield
6th Brian & Greg 4.71
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned
4th Linda & Karen 4.17
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.)
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF
2nd Pamela & Vanessa 3.92
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
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25
1st TK & Rachel 3.18
4th Godlewski Family 3.18
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 3.17
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF
4thToni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield
2nd Bransen Family 2.85
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF
–BEST OF THE BEST–
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2 and Used Yield
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 FF
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF and Yielded
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF and Used Yield
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF
lol 3rd Marc & Rovilson 1.46 Used Yield and Yielded
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) Neena & Amit
A very likeable team. The last cousins to race on TAR were Charla & Mirna.
Yeah, those are impossible shoes to fill.
Neena & Amit were not shown much even in their one episode run. They were genuinely enjoying themselves, asked for directions as often as they could when their taxi was lost at the end, and they performed well at every task.
It really is just a case of a strong team going early due to multiple bad taxis.
I wish them nothing but the best.
2) Niroo & Kapil
They finished ninth, fourth, seventh, and seventh. Due to a major equalizer happening at the start of each round they played, you cannot say they were Margie & Luke 3.0’d or Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia’d out of the game by not recovering from a poor performance in the round prior.
Several teams have fallen to “I finished poorly in round five, and because there was no equalizer in round six, I was done”. As I said above, Niroo & Kapil did not fall to that problem.
With this team and Neena & Amit eliminated in the first four episodes, TAR Asia’s first experiment with casting teams from India did not work out too well. Neena & Amit led for most of round one, but bad luck made Niroo & Kapil the representatives of India on the race course.
It did not go well at all.
And it does not change anytime soon.
Niroo & Kapil seemed unfriendly. None of the teams hated them like Oliver or Geoff 26, but you did not hear teams praise them or wish to ally with them during the race either. In fact Niroo felt entitled to being helped by the younger teams whenever he grew frustrated and weak.
They did well at changing oil in cars and if Kapil could carry some of Niroo’s weight. They also found the best flight in round two to give them their lone good performance of the season.
It was clear this was a weak team at the beginning when they struggled with the opening food task. Niroo was spent by round two. Both of them would be grumpy and done with it in a Natalie sense when it came to a few of the tasks. Okay, comparing them to Natalie is a bit insulting. But that joy just seems to evaporate from them.
The key to their defeat was indeed their inability to find a solution for the key in the ignition. Why not ask a local to help them take the key out? Instead of standing on the side of the road when you cannot do it on your own after an hour.
But Niroo & Kapil must have been slow to fall several more hours behind other teams to the point that not only were they the only team to arrive at the pit stop after sunrise, but also skipped the Roadblock entirely.
If Niroo & Kapil did not have their ignition troubles, there is no way Niroo & Kapil survive the round anyway. Kapil had a zero percent chance of eating the stinky tofu.
Now to end Niroo & Kapil’s legacy on a positive note. They were never nasty to another team. Their arguments were funny and genuine. I would say Niroo & Kapil’s authenticity is what made them fun to capture in each episode. I bet several father-son relationships in India related to Niroo & Kapil’s interactions.
And I will leave it at that. Good people who were not designed to do well at The Amazing Race. When it comes to expanding TAR Asia into the India market, that is not exactly a bad thing.
3) Pailin & Natalie
Pailin & Natalie looked like they were going to be a tough team. They finished fourth on the first leg, and prided themselves upon being the Beauty Queens who could ear scorpions better than everyone else in the race.
They looked like they could be a more dominating version of Dustin & Kandice.
But episode two came along and we discover that only one of them had a desire to break the competitive model stereotype. Natalie was not disgusted by eating scorpions, but the idea of sleeping in an airport put her over the edge. From that moment onwards she had no desire to compete. The only reason she stuck it out is to not make herself look bad on television and because Pailin really wanted to play.
Somehow they pulled out a seventh place finish. Perhaps a night of sleep would change Natalie’s mood. That was not the case. Natalie was more determined to do nothing like Flo than ever. She never ran once more. She dropped slurs on the locals. She was disgusted with being dirty.
It was like my aunt was on The Amazing Race.
She went to the car repair task and made Pailin do 99% of the work. In fact she was sabotaging the challenge as she did not help Pailin lift a tire, and did not use a wrench to screw in the bolts. She used her freakin’ fingers. For some insane reason, she volunteered to do the Roadblock but appeared to quit after putting in little thought or effort. Natalie claimed she was going to vomit but she never looked pale or sickly.
She took the four hour penalty to doom her and Pailin for good as they took their time to complete the last couple of tasks. Natalie may be the first racer in TAR history at that time to be happy that she was eliminated early. Rarely do you see someone be ecstatic that they do not have to be on the adventure of a lifetime anymore.
Sadly, we learned little of Pailin because much of the focus was on Natalie’s two-episode story arc of quitting.
In short, Pailin is very competitive and would do whatever it takes to win. Even lose a leg in a Cyclo.
Natalie may be the least competitive person ever. I think she went out of the race as if she has her head held high and better than everyone else around her, but in reality she comes off as being one of the weakest people to ever compete in franchise history.
4) Isaac & William
This team is viewed as having the most boring intro shot in franchise history. Kicking up a soccer ball. Not even a head turn.
Well, that translated to their personalities. After two episodes they had the least amount of screen caps of any team. For a team that is second out, it shows how little airtime they received in the first place.
They liked sports. They liked God. They do not like chickens. . .dayum! Okay, no Chicken Morris screencap necessary.
They also know that Ho Chi Minh City is located in Vietnam.
The first two teams ousted in this season are simultaneously the two nicest and most boring teams.
Well, Neena & Amit had far more personality. But man, Isaac & William never really gave us much. Becky Lee was also from South Korea, and she is considered to be Survivor’s most boring contestant ever.
Are there no big personalities in South Korea that can be cast on Survivor or TAR? I have a couple of Korean friends, and one of them knows every Dave Chappelle joke from heart. So I know entertaining Koreans are out there, but my goodness, how are they not being discovered by casting?
Rank the Legs
1) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam -> Hue, Vietnam
The Amazing Race 24 episode 4 just finished airing when I blogged for this week. Oh my word. Comparing the two seasons is like night and day. TAR Asia 3 looks like a real season of TAR while TAR 24 has been designed for babies.
A brutal twenty-five hour bus ride opens up the episode. Most teams were crammed onto the bus without air conditioning. In Hue, they had to get down and dirty to repair a Jeep in the hot sun. Next they had to do a Roadblock that required lots of walking, focus, and concentration in the heat. The Detour was the easiest part of the episode as most teams were happy to sit down and do some artistry with incense.
But then came the Cyclos. Henry & Bernie’s crash may be one of the most brutal things I have ever seen. All that they needed to do was land wrong and they could have been medically evacuated. Other teams crashed too. Fun times.
No subjective tasks nor any video games integrated into the episode made for a brutal race course. Granted, far fewer tasks than the previous 90 minute episode that aired a week earlier, but the 25 hour bus ride and a full day spent in the heat appeared to zap everybody.
The round ends on an unusual note as Natalie repeatedly sabotaged her and Pailin on purpose to guarantee their elimination from the race. Other racers knew that Natalie had signed up for the wrong show. Her initial goal of breaking the supermodel Miss Universe stereotype instead solidified as Natalie declared the idea of traveling into third world countries and not staying at five-star hotels as being an experience for less than humans.
Yes, she can eat scorpions. But doing typical things that most people do when traveling or repairing their cars at home is something that she believes no human should experience. I doubt she has ever camped in her life.
Oh, and how can we forget Mai & Oliver repeating what the other person says? Niroo & Kapil arguing? Henry abandoning Niroo? And everyone hating Geoff 26’s antics? This was a great episode overall.
But yeah, if it weren’t for the Cyclos, the ending would have been dull. I am assuming this is why they did not announce Natalie’s penalty until only eight minutes of airtime remained.
2) Hue, Vietnam -> Taipei, Taiwan
Everyone ended up on the same flight. I guess that is bound to happen when an airport is closed until all seven teams catch up to each other. They were bound to be on the same flight.
Of course this was more entertaining than usual thanks to Ida & Tania wasting their money on a hotel and fancy breakfast while the other six teams slept outside of the airport in Hue.
And what’s even better? It was a full night leg in Taipei with no equalizers. Furthermore, Ida & Tania wasted all of their money on comfort, food, and hiring taxis all to finish first and receive two. . .phones as their prize?
The Detour was neat as teams went through a neat miniature museum and it was a rare appearance for tangrams in the TAR universe.
The Institute of the Blind hosting a Braille task may have been another charity sponsourship for Caltex/Standard Chartered/Sony/Nokia/whoever else sponsoured this round, but I do think it was a great task to decode Braille which incorporated teamwork.
Lastly, a Roadblock that produces the second food eating challenge in four rounds was brutal. This one could not have been easy considering everybody except A.D., Henry, and Vince vomited. Although A.D. did burp about 200, 000 times in the process. I imagine he vomited in his mouth a little.
Even though Taiwan was used as a location just months earlier for its debut in TAR 12, they did not overlap any of the locations or tasks. That was awesome. In addition, while teams used public transit in TAR 12, teams here in TAR Asia 3 had to drive themselves through the confusing streets and freeways.
The only thing left to be desired in this round is that no particular event stands out other than Niroo & Kapil struggling with the most unique way to get yourself eliminated from the race, and Kapil forfeiting a food challenge within seconds.
I will miss Niroo & Kapil yelling at producers and arguing with each other. Their elimination marked the worst race average for any seventh place finisher in TAR franchise history.
3) Chiang Mai, Thailand -> Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Depart in the middle of the night. Wait until a flying fox canopy tour opens.
Then go to a plantation. Dodge paintball snipers.
Then go to the airport. Fight for flights to Vietnam.
Then play a F-Zero knock-off where you may actually screw up and lose 90 seconds of time.
Then head to a flower stall where you may have to sleep outside until morning.
Then load up baskets of chickens or do an impossible rowing task before you switch to catching chickens and transporting them.
Then go to a post office to help out a charity for a couple of hours (or minutes if you were in Miss Universe).
Then head to a pit stop via the local zoo.
Include being transported by long bus rides for some of these tasks on top of that.
No wonder why this episode had to be hyper-extended. Even at the end the pit stop check-ins felt really rushed. Production wanted to induce vomiting in round one, but decided to drain teams of all energy by round two. The rests at the canopy tour and flower stall were just a few hours rather than a full night. No way teams slept for more than a couple hours during that 40-48 hour period.
By the end of this episode you had a really good sense for every team excluding Isaac & William who remained to be bland until their elimination. You understand why everyone hates Geoff 26. Ida & Tania are suddenly your favourites. Henry cries as much as Henry from last season. Natalie comes off as a super spoiled brat. Oliver may be the most serious and humourless person ever seen.
This episode did several things right. Although no one chose to do a rowing task because paddling without sleeping for 40 hours is impossible due to the amount of concentration required.
But what it did wrong irks me. Teams were assigned to different charities. Some of them you could be done in a matter of ten minutes while others looked like it took well over an hour. I like that TAR Asia regularly does charitable donations, but you have to keep in mind that it is a race. Teams know not to be big enough jerks to say “hurry the heck up” during this.
And did watching teams play System Rush Revolution urge anyone to buy a Nokia phone as soon as they watched the episode? Although it did lead to Geoff 26 showboating. So I guess it was worth something.
And how many paintball snipers were there? Did they roam or were they set in a fixed spot? Because some of the snipers could have gone rogue and just chased down the same player over and over again. I mean, it was not like the players could fire back and kill the sniper. They were defenseless. I wish production would reveal how they tried to make that task fair.
Other than that, I was shocked that a 68 minute running time did not drag at all.
4) Bangkok, Thailand -> Chiang Mai, Thailand
Thailand makes a rare appearance at this point in the TAR franchise. Only the fourth appearance total for a relatively safe country at the time.
Tuk-tuks may be the least flattering way to take teams to the starting line. Unless production will be going for a gritty and rough motif all season long, tuk-tuks go against the epic nature of TAR’s opening cinematography.
This has to be the most disgusting opening task to a season. It should be a difficult task halfway through a season. I find it odd that it is not only a food eating task, but results in half of the teams vomiting. I think Pailin & Natalie did so well because they had not eaten any food since the conclusion of the last pageant.
Then we were glued to the buses for half of the round. The idea was executed so poorly that after a complicated formula for departures, seven out of ten teams were on the last bus together. Neena & Amit finished fourth on the Buddha Search task but had to wait hours for the trailing teams.
The Detour was original. Well, not doing an eight kilometre ATV course. But putting together those rice balls had never been done before, and seemed brutal on your back and hands.
The shortened hose at the gas station was hilarious, and it was really bizarre to see a first place team preparing to quit on the first leg. That has to be one of the more unbelievable things I have ever seen.
“You just won five THOUSAND dollars!”
“F— your VISAS, we quit.”
So yeah, a really tough premiere compared to the wimpy premiere in TAR 24, and it provided more than enough entertainment.