“A Day of Good Fortune”
We are now halfway through the TOUGHEST RACE EVER!!!!11111
And you know what? I would agree with that for the first three rounds. But given that this season is a shortened length, they have repeated search or food tasks multiple times already, and that they travel a very short distance overall, I think a more appropriate statement is that this is the “MOST FRUSTRATING RACE EVER!!!!111111”.
Particularly with round five, the whole episode was a test of your patience to see if you would be lucky enough and willing enough to complete the round. A team was kicked out of the race against their will due to the task relying so heavily on luck.
This is more like if The Amazing Race was played on a Nintendo Entertainment System from the 80s. The cartridges offer little space to have a long game, but creators can certainly make up for it by having all four or five levels be very difficult.
Basically, TAR Asia 3 is proving to be like Karate Kid for the NES.
THAILAND – VIETNAM – TAIWAN – CHINA – INDIA – OMAN
By the end of tonight’s round, six rounds of TAR Asia 3 will have visited more countries than six rounds of TAR 24.
Previously on TAR: Ten teams set out from Bangkok, Thailand on a race around “the world” for 100, 000 US dollars. Scorpions were hard to stomach for Niroo & Kapil, and
washing passenger buses showed they were being challenged by the hardest race ever. The next day A.D. & Fuzzie quit pounding rice in the hot sun to get down and dirty in the buggy race. Mai & Oliver scored first place, but weren’t celebrating for long.
Kapil & Niroo had trouble reaching the pit stop but it was fellow Indians Neena & Amit who came in last.
God, do we need a season summary in round six?
In the next leg, Geoff 26 struggled to dodge snipers, and Ida & Tania were first to arrive in Vietnam while Mai & Oliver, the Korean brothers, and the Beauty Queens were all left in Bangkok in an act of foreshadowing. Rowing fruit on the Mekong proved too difficult for some and in the end all teams chose to carry chickens. Natalie continued to struggle throughout the leg, but it was Isaac & William who found the Detour the hardest, and were last to the pit stop.
On the third leg, eight teams were challenged by local transport to travel across Vietnam, and on their arrival in Hue, Henry & Bernie’s travel problems continued in more ways than one. Natalie continued to struggle. And the Beauty Queens were eliminated from the race.
After a quick stop in Hue, teams flew to Taiwan where driving themselves caused most of the problems. And Kapil & Niroo were confused simply by how the car worked. At the Roadblock, Mai & Oliver snuck away quietly. While Sam gave the game away. Communicating in Braille tied up Henry & Bernie while Ida struggled to eat stinky tofu but swallowed enough to get to the pit stop first. Niroo & Kapil gave up and were last to the pit stop.
The next day, finding the correct Sony Blu Ray disc amongst a thousand pushed Mai & Oliver beyond their (store hour’s) limits and were forced to take a penalty. Sam & Vince scored the first (and last) Fast Forward of the season, and were first to pit stop. The self-drive pushed Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s relationship to their limit. And Ida & Tania had a close shave. Mai & Oliver’s bad luck continued when their taxi broke down. They gave up racing to sleep in their car, and were eliminated on the spot.
Five teams remain; who will be eliminated at least two or more rounds from now?
Wow. Over four minutes of the forty-six running time has been used.
– Intro time. This is a huge sign that they have very little footage to show for this episode.
– Allan introduces us to Taipei for a second time. This time he said it used to be home to rice and vegetable farmers like that is different from any other Asian city in the 19th century, and said it is now home to the bustling centre of Taiwan’s culture and government.
– Allan still says it is a race around the world.
– Vince & Sam, who arrived at 6:11pm, they will depart at 6:11am while Mai & Oliver were sleeping in their car. They read that they must fly to Hong Kong. Once here they will take a taxi to the King’s Park Grounds and search for their next clue.
Are we just going to hit up every Chinese territory?
– Sam says he was pumped that they finished first for once, and are pumped about their lead. Sam believes that teams will encounter intense Taipei traffic because the city will be busier after six.
– Vince & Sam book tickets on a flight and are shown running through to the airport. Henry & Bernie begin in second place at 10:07am. Bernie tells Henry’s shorts smell, but he says Hong Kong is humid and needs to wear those shorts. Henry expresses his disgust for smelly people too.
– A.D. & Fuzzie commence in third at 10:09am.
A.D.: We’re not concerned about the other teams. We play our own game. We’re not stressing about what other people are doing.
– Fuzzie informs us that Vince & Sam are from Hong Kong which means they will probably have an impressive lead.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 start in fourth at 11:36am. Teams are not as far behind as I originally thought. Tisha 31 says the other teams are grouping together, and believes it is a compliment. Geoff 26 hails a taxi with his stupid whistle.
GEOFF 26: Cool kids don’t really need a group anyway. It’s high school. Let’s go back to high school. I haven’t had a reunion in a long time.
He really ran with that high school reunion stuff.
In North America, you graduate from high school when you are seventeen or eighteen. I think Geoff 26 is eagerly looking forward to his ten-year reunion sometime next year.
High school reunion? It’s not that big of a deal!
– Vince takes over the agent’s microphone to announce the final call for a China Airlines flight.
“Please no parking in the red zone. . .”
– Vince & Sam are boarding an 800 kilometre flight to Hong Kong. Sam is confident they have a minimum of a two hour head start, but Vince doubts the other teams will make the following flight.
The race around the world!
– Henry & Bernie are told they can buy tickets for China Airlines flight CI609.
Did we really have to know the flight number? Is that crucial knowledge for the viewer to learn about the characters or to understand what is going on? Just tell us the damn departure time.
– Fuzzie says the first flight is 12:05pm, but doubts anybody can make it. Henry & Bernie run to make it to the 12:30pm plane. A.D. begs to be on the flight but is rejected.
– Commercial break.
– We return to Henry & Bernie barely making the 12:30pm flight. A.D. & Fuzzie are unable to make it. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 show up to buy tickets for the 1:15pm. They elaborate upon how they always race like they are in last place.
Race like you are always in last? You mean get your key stuck in an ignition and repeatedly take four hour penalties?
In fact, we have had three consecutive episodes where a team took a four hour penalty in last place.
– FUZZIE: We don’t run. Ever. We amble.
– A.D. & Fuzzie and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 ride the plane together.
– Ida & Tania depart last at 1:30pm. They immediately point out Vince & Sam’s advantage. Ida says they always jump into the deep end and are “klutzy”. They have a mock argument about how they never argue. At the end of each round they chat about went wrong and repair themselves by the start of next episode.
They have too much fun.
– They are at the airport and book their flight. However, they also spot an interesting pamphlet at the airport too.
Yep. It’s our host on a jet flying Fwust Class.
– Tania immediately launches into an impression of Allan.
TANIA (super deep voice): Ida & Tania, you are the last team to arrive.
Oh! The shock!
TANIA: However, it’s not a pit stop so keep on going to Hong Kong. Thanks, Allan!
Yep, Tania’s impression of a ten year old on The Amazing Race: Oliver Twist Edition.
– She laughs at her own impression. Allan recaps that teams are all on direct flights to Hong Kong and will take a taxi to a Standard Chartered rugby field.
ALLAN: Here they must run through a training session of the Standard Chartered rugby team. The bank sponsours rugby programs in Hong Kong as part of a youth crime prevention, but here they will be focusing on preventing teams from reaching their next clue.
A 100 pound Chinese man is not quite as intimidating as a 250 pound Maori rugby player from New Zealand.
I should note that this whole sponsoured program reminds me of the Wackarnold’s sketch from Chappelle’s Show.
I should note that Caltex is responsible for sponsouring soccer programs while Standard Chartered sponsours rugby.
– Sam & Vince enter Hong Kong. Vince announces that it is their hood. He says that he picked up a picture of a dog that works at Customs.
Yep, the dog’s name is Sam. Vince jokes it is a great picture of his partner.
– They show up at the park and speak to the driver in Mandarin. They are carrying their backpacks as they run through the rugby team to get to their clue. It is the easiest task I have ever seen. Vince was barely running.
– They read they must take a taxi to Central, Hong Kong. Fusion of old markets and designer boutiques. They will find their next clue there. Vince & Sam successfully run down their cab who was just about to leave.
SAM: We completed the task in the time it took to take a three-point turn.
Toughest race ever!!!!!
– Vince brags about his shake and bake move.
– The second flight announces. Henry says it is ten to three. They discuss where the other teams are. A.D. & Fuzzie and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s flight lands. Geoff 26 compliments his driver for being perfect because of his gloves, shorts, and hair.
Who knew Walter White was their taxi driver?
– Sam & Vince have the clue. It’s a Detour. Get Fishy or Get Lucky. Sigh.
In Get Fishy, teams must gut, skin, and scale fifteen fish to receive their next clue at a seafood restaurant.
ALLAN: Teams that don’t have a good grip on it will find themselves SLIPPING down the SCALES.
In Get Lucky, teams make their way on foot to Mae Lun Stree and find the marked tables. Once there they must bite open 300 fortune cookies until they find the one with the name of their next destination.
ALLAN: Teams that are less fortunate could find themselves stuffed with bad luck.
299 fortune cookies always wong.
– Vince & Sam decide to do Get Lucky because fish are stinky and Sam admits he himself is already stinky. I would choose fish if I were him because everyone would think the fish smells instead of you for once.
– Henry & Bernie get the clue and run back as Bernie screams more than the maid from Clue.
BERNIE: Nobody touches a girl who is screaming non-stop, so I was able to get through.
No kidding. My cousin played on a women’s rugby team, and she said that the trick was to grab your opponents’ hair during each play.
– Sam & Vince start opening cookies.
SAM: A secret admirer will soon reveal himself. No, not himself.
That was reserved for A.D. & Fuzzie.
SAM: The sum of human knowledge is not in any one language.
Yep, they are required to read each fortune.
VINCE: When you make a decision you must be prepared to abide by the consequences.
SAM: Confucius says if you sleep with an itchy backside then prepare to wake up with a smelly finger.
Pause for laughter. Yeah, it’s not coming Sam.
SAM: To be loved deeply gives us strength.
VINCE: It’s like ploughing without sewing.
VINCE: To belittle is to be little.
Vince really puts some ferocity into biting his fortune.
– Sam presents a fortune. It’s wrong. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are the first to put their bags aside as Geoff 26 runs to the clue. The players decide to tackle Tisha 31 and her extensions fall out. She loses a couple teeth too, and a couple of the more desperate teens decide to grope her like they are Drederick Tatum.
Just kidding. This task is f—ing easy. They did not catch up to their taxi in time but gave him up. A new taxi is hailed but realize that giving away the best taxi yet is the biggest mistake they have made.
This really is Geoff 26’s fault. He was having a bit too much fun.
– A.D. & Fuzzie walk slower than ever to get to the clue box. Hong Kong has the worst rugby team ever. I think the grade 8 high school rugby team from my town could beat them. A.D. gets rejected by a couple taxis. He says Hong Kong cabs refuse to go to Kowloon and vice versa.
– Ida & Tania land and hail a taxi. They try to motivate the cab to cut the riding time from thirty minutes down to fifteen.
– Henry & Bernie decide to Get Fishy. Henry guts fish for a living because he is a chef. Bernie has experience with gutting fish too. Sam & Vince read out ten more fortunes. They calculate they ate 290 fortune cookies before Vince opens the correct fortune.
– They read that they must take a taxi to central pier and take a star ferry to the star ferry terminal. Once there they will take a taxi to the Ladies Market where they will find their next clue.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 exit the cab to read the clue. They decide to Get Lucky.
Knowing the fights they have been having all season long, this is the first time both of them have been able to Get Lucky since the race began.
– Tisha 31 asks the cabbie for directions while Geoff 26 grabs the bags. He calls the taxi a “f—ing moron”. Although Tisha 31 ran off without asking the cab for directions.
– Henry & Bernie find the experience therapeutic. In Chinese cooking, you keep the head of the fish. A lady came by and asked if she could buy their fish. That has to be a franchise first. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 suck at reading fortunes as they read over each other. The wind picks up as fortunes and route info start blowing away.
GEOFF 26 (Cartman voice): Confucius say you been bad boy.
That’s not only offensive, but unfunny.
– Which Detour option do you think A.D. & Fuzzie chose?
Yep, the one that involves eating. And is Standard Chartered sponsouring this whole round?
– Sam & Vince point out where they live from the ferry as they discuss having great chemistry between them.
That’s where you live, Vince? Now you just have to narrow it down to one of ten skyscrapers then which floor you live on, then the apartment number.
– Vince & Sam agree there is a lot of nasty things in the Ladies Market. Like what? Used tampons?
– Ida & Tania announce it is the beginning of the end. They are not looking forward to a football related task. Ida starts running in a random direction.
She is going to run into the Chinese mainland at this rate. Tania accidentally gets hit in the head with the rugby ball.
Eyes rolling into the back of her head.
– They sarcastically comment on the strength and masculinity of the rugby players. After kicking themselves for not asking their taxi to wait, they hire a new one.
And things are off to a good start.
– Tania re-visits their sarcasm over the strength of the rugby players.
I think she just gave herself a Tania Harding.
– A.D. reads fortunes with his mouth full. Fuzzie believes A.D. is crazy because she thinks that fortunes define her life.
WAIT, WHAT?! Did Fuzzie just refer to A.D. as ‘she’?
No. F—ing. Way.
Fuzzie has a lisp. Yes. That’s what it is. Fuzzie has a lisp. Let’s go with that. I refuse to believe this is a co-ed team.
– Geoff 26 has his fortune.
– Commercial break.
GEOFF 26: Confucius say you been very lucky boy! You got the right fortune cookie! Let’s go right now! Where is the envelope? Now! Now! Now! Fast! Fast! Fast!
“Oh garcon, my clue please.”
He’s like freakin’ Earl Cole upon entering the Moto camp’s bed.
Seriously. It is one of the biggest acts of obnoxious celebrations in front of another team. By TAR Asia standards, anyway.
– Fuzzie has the fortune. The clue is his. A.D. had cookie crumbs all over him for thirty minutes. Traumatic. Tisha 31 knows where the star ferry is located.
– Henry & Bernie prefer finite tasks rather than needle in a haystack. They finish the fifteenth and final fish. Henry contemplates him and Bernie opening a store together.
– Daylight still. Sam & Vince take a taxi. Vince hopes the Malaysian Girls (Ida & Tania) will stop at Central to shop and fall further behind. Speaking of Ida & Tania, they show up to the Detour and decide to eat cookies.
Fortune cookies, Angie.
– Roadblock. Sam is going to do it.
ROADBLOCK: Who has an eye for the ladies?
In this task, they must choose a handbag and find the woman who is carrying the matching handbag.
ALLAN: The market is quite congested, and teams must have a watchful eye if they want to BAG this one.
I think Allan wants to bag all of them.
Or if this Roadblock was being performed at night:
– Sam refuses to rush it because he does not want to miss her. He is searching high and low for her.
Nice try, Sam.
– Ida & Tania ask for directions to Mae Lun Street. They see the fortune cookies. Ida believes this is a night for love and affection. She says this was a fun task.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and Henry & Bernie see each other in the terminal. In the middle of Tisha 31 discussing that she loves Hong Kong because she has been there and everyone speaks English, she takes an aside to be shocked at Henry & Bernie’s appearance.
HENRY: Geoff and Tish have never been my favourite people from the start. We like to run our own race.
But no matter what, a bro hug is in order.
– Geoff 26 says he can smell the lemon on Henry. Henry will have no qualms to make sure Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 stay behind. They board the ferry.
– A.D. & Fuzzie show up next and buy tickets. Henry does not want Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 to follow them. A.D. & Fuzzie run and barely make it onto the ferry. Bernie tells A.D. & Fuzzie that she knew they would never do the fish task.
– Geoff 26 feels delirious that he sees A.D. & Fuzzie on the ferry.
GEOFF 26: A compliment to us that they feel they need to work together to beat us.
Yeah, A.D. & Fuzzie pulled the whole “we run our own race” last leg, and now this leg we hear Henry & Bernie bragging that they run their own race. It pains me to agree with Geoff 26, but he is exactly right.
Tisha 31 prepares for an evening out at the Ladies Market.
– Vince says it would have been more beneficial if he did it because he is physically taller than Sam. Sam continues to struggle.
– Commercial break.
– We return. Ida & Tania’s accents when reading the fortunes becomes increasingly offensive. Tania has the fortune. Ida eats a fortune as Tania reads the clue.
Ida needs every calorie she can get.
– Sam gets a match. He says it is five o’ clock, and that tourists start flocking to the market. Therefore, Vince & Sam’s advantage is even greater as they finished the task before the area became too congested.
– They read the clue. It’s a pit stop. Their pit stop is at Blake Pier in Stanley Bay.
Yep. This pier was named after Blake following his trip to Hong Kong during The Amazing Race 2.
Look! A Chinese Junk! It’s Blake’s Junk!
– Vince & Sam readjust their boxer shorts, and just like that they have accidentally come in contact with the pit stop. But seriously they enter a taxi.
SAM: Stanley Bay is beautiful.
VINCE: Yeah, it’s picturesque.
I can’t take the word ‘picturesque’ with an ounce of sincerity anymore.
– Sam & Vince have received a tattoo, bit a couple hundred fortune cookies, strolled through a rugby team, and matched a handbag over the past day. In addition, they did it in their hometown.
Toughest race ever?
Henry blocks the exit from the ferry as a joke for A.D. & Fuzzie. Although if Fuzzie squeezes through there, it will be an incredible feat.
– The three teams are in a taxi.
FUZZIE: This is the first time I have ran all race.
For some reason, I find that really hard, er, easy to believe.
The napkin can also be a hat.
– Tisha 31 says nobody has seen the “Hong Kong Boys”, and concludes that they must be killing it right now.
Allan and the pit stop greeter, Paula, who is greeting teams for the third time this season, awaits Sam & Vince’s arrival.
Same time mat stomp!
Paula is wise enough to stay far away from a Chinese junk.
– FIRST PLACE: SAM & VINCE
Again, Sam & Vince have another lame celebration.
ALLAN: When you open the envelope and it said “Hong Kong”. What were you thinking? You had the lead and you’re going to own this one, huh?
What prize are you angling towards this time, Wu?
C’mon boys. . .take the bait. The Blake Bait.
SAM: I want to go home. Say hi to my goldfish.
ALLAN: For taking care of business at home here. . .
ALLAN: And arriving first, your team has earned a three-day two-night/tonight spa getaway at Santiburi Resort in Thailand. All courtesy of. . .
Singha! Yep. They sponsoured two prizes in a row.
– Allan is amazed they have won two consecutive legs as if they were lucky to win the Fast Forward in the last leg and were lucky enough to race through their home city without encountering an equalizer this round.
Toughest Lead Ever.
– Henry & Bernie are second to the Roadblock. Bernie is doing it. For some reason Bernie found it funny that Henry called the white handbag as beige. He insists he said white. A.D. & Fuzzie are third to the Roadblock. A.D. has an eye for the lady. Him and Fuzzie have a good laugh over it. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are fourth to the Roadblock. Tisha 31 is doing it.
– A song is playing in the background as A.D. wonders if the person with the handbag is moving through the market. Bernie accidentally scares an innocent lady as she asks her in Mandarin if their bags are the same. Now we see them wonder through the market. Geoff 26 says that this race is not ruining his relationship. He says they have maintained position while other teams drop off, and that is why they are close to last.
– Ida & Tania enter the Star Ferry Terminal. They barely make it onto the ferry.
Sometimes it is just not your day.
– Bernie matches the clue and hides the clue in her handbag as if she is being clever. Bernie bumps into A.D. We also learn that Bernie’s nickname for brother is “Henny”. Poor Henny.
– They talk in the cab about Bernie’s clever ploy.
HENRY: The best part about this is that I think Bernie has stolen a handbag.
Bernie stole a handbag? Has she realized what she is done?
She does now.
– Henry makes fun of her that Bernie is acting all innocent as if she did not mean to do so. Geoff 26 meanwhile says this is the first time that he has never had a visual on Tisha 31.
This is the first time she has been out of his sight? Sounds like he has jealousy issues.
– Commercial as Tisha 31 is lost.
– We return to A.D. receiving the clue.
Someone is happy to complete a Roadblock in the Toughest Race Ever.
– He also comes up with the brilliant idea of hiding it in his handbag.
GEOFF 26: I just want to see someone running in this direction!
Not what he had in mind.
– A.D. & Fuzzie attempt to hail a taxi who will take them. A.D. cusses as he sees Tisha 31 receive her clue. Heh, she said junk. A.D. & Fuzzie are rejected by a couple more taxis. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have a taxi before them.
– Henry asks what is in Bernie’s handbag. A newspaper. Bernie says it is rude to rummage through a lady’s bag. Fuzzie expresses his frustration over cabs not wanting to cross districts of Hong Kong.
– Evening. Ida & Tania say today has been much better as they enter a taxi to head to the market.
– Henry points out the junk as him and Bernie step onto the mat.
SECOND PLACE: HENRY & BERNIE
Handbag stolen et al.
– Allan is surprised to see Bernie still carrying the handbag.
How dare you, woman. DISQUALIFIED!
– Henry says he has a fish in his backpack.
ALLAN: You sound and smell fishy.
I don’t know if Allan meant for that to be a pun.
– Allan commends them on another great leg before dismissing them. Henry plays with the fishy pun for way too long.
– Ida & Tania show up to the Ladies Market. Ida runs off. She thinks Tania would have done a better job because she works in retail, but Tania’s love of shopping may have led to Tania’s disappearance for the rest of the season.
– Geoff 26 points out a free beer sign as Tisha 31 is annoyed and yells at him to go.
THIRD PLACE: GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31
– They dance.
ALLAN: Smiling, dancing, running well. Back in business.
– Allan is impressed with how much time they caught up in this round.
GEOFF 26: This girl is the bomb. I can’t say that in an airport, obviously.
ALLAN: Yeah, you shouldn’t say that.
“No, I said she was the bomb!”
“She is the bomb?”
– Ida walks by a funny sign during the Roadblock.
It’s Captain Bald Peaceful SmileyClown! The official mascot of The Amazing Race Asia!
– A.D. & Fuzzie ask for directions to the pier. They slowly walk onto the mat.
ALLAN: A.D. & Fuzzie. . .
A.D. & FUZZIE: Allan. . .
Makes me chuckle every time. Maybe it’s the mildly seductive way they say ‘Allan’ for that extra .5 seconds when they see him.
FOURTH PLACE: A.D. & FUZZIE
FUZZIE: Good to know.
ALLAN: I like that calm, cool, collected, non-chalant walk onto the mat each time.
Allan cannot help himself but to praise every single team he sees, eh?
ALLAN: This is six legs now. I know you usually don’t run, but this will do you in the final episode, and you see a team coming up behind you or in front of you. And this is for 100, 000 dollars. Will you two forego the amble and just start running?
A.D. & FUZZIE: On the last leg we will possibly–
A.D. & FUZZIE: Don’t hold us to it.
Yes, don’t hold us to ‘possibly’. Don’t hold us to the chance of us even remotely considering to run on the final leg.
“Even Steve & Dave ran harder than you two. . .”
– We do several 360 degree turns as Ida wanders through the Market. She asks a woman if the bag is a match. The man standing next to her is fearing of being robbed. He is frantic as he shouts “What do you want?! What do you want?!”
Turns out the lady does indeed have a matching bag.
He looks terrified.
– Ida keeps yelling “hot water” as she runs through the market. Ida is amazed as she utters the words ‘Chinese junk’. Perfect. Her and Tania manage to convince a lady to give up her cab to them. Tania tells Ida that she loves her and believes they ran a great race. They run onto the mat.
LAST PLACE: IDA & TANIA
ALLAN: Ida & Tania. . .you are team number five.
IDA: What?! There’s a team number six behind us!
So this is why Phil always says “you’re the last team to arrive”. . .
ALLAN: I’m sorry to tell you you’re the last team to arrive. However, this is a pre-determined non-elimination round.
– Allan requests that they surrender all of their race money.
Yep, we’ve reverted back to the mugging penalty. Tania’s tongue is far more bearable compared to Henry punching a producer in the face and twisting the sound operator’s arm last season.
– Allan takes the money.
Phew. Allan has enough to re-stock on protein drinks for the next month.
– Ida & Tania thank god for it being a non-elimination.
Who knew Tania was more of a Prayer Warrior than Natalie White.
Next Time on TAR: Since nobody is being marked for elimination or getting Speed Bump’d, I will be shocked if a team will be eliminated anytime soon.
LADY RUNNING INSTITUTE OF THE BLIND
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.
5) Taipei, Taiwan -> Hong Kong, Hong Kong
All of the teams are exhausted. They needed a leg of mercy after being pushed to their needle in a haystacking and food eating limits.
Thankfully, they gave them a much smaller haystack and a much smaller pile of food to sift through this round.
A direct flight and a journey through Hong Kong did not take more than ten hours from the beginning of the round to when the last team checked in. This has to be by far the easiest round of the season.
By the way, going through the rugby team to receive your next clue was one of the lamest things I have ever seen.
Lastly, the only reasonable task was matching the handbag at the Ladies Market.
I have absolutely nothing else to say about this round. Did anything happen at all except for the long awaited return to a Chinese junk?
6) Taipei, Taiwan -> Taipei, Taiwan
Most of the time staying in the same city means the round is lame, short, and is the worst round of the season.
I can safely say that one out of those three is true.
Let’s review the locations. A shopping mall, a coal mine, a shopping mall, an itty bitty portion dedicated to a temple, and then a building downtown.
Let’s review the tasks. Searching through 1, 000 Blu Ray discs for one clue. Searching through hundreds of kilos of coal for a clue. Playing a twenty second crane game or the one team who went to a cool temple to lift a bucket. Then an astrolog–er, astronomical museum. Well, the outside of the museum.
Because Vince & Sam finished the disc task first, they went for the only Fast Forward to get bland tattoos and finished the episode about eight hours or so ahead of everyone else. Their lead was bigger than Colin & Christie’s. Yeah, never thought that would be possible.
Three teams were stuck at the Sony Store for hours upon hours. In fact, the task was impossible to the point that Mai & Oliver were kicked out of the store! They started the task at the very beginning of the round, and were the third team to show up. Can you comprehend just how long it took if they could not succeed at putting discs into a Blu Ray player after eight or nine hours of doing so?
Lena would rather unravel hay bales again if she played in TAR 15 rather than do the Blu Ray task.
Ida & Tania did not celebrate or look happy when they found the coin in the coal. The happiest team in the whole season did not bother to smile. That’s when you know you have gone too far.
Ugh. There is a difference between making tasks that are so tough that teams will quit compared to tasks that hinge upon luck to the point that you have to kick them out.
The latter was true. Is it really the toughest race when I have ten thousand hay bales, and only six of them have a clue? No, that’s just called being an asshole.
I feel horrible for Mai & Oliver. They should not have been allowed to go through an experience like that. In addition, I know for a fact that this was supposed to be a non-elimination round, but how many freakin’ penalties would Mai & Oliver have to take to finish the round in a reasonable amount of time? The Roadblock, the Detour, and then traveling to the pit stop?
Furthermore, what would Mai & Oliver’s reaction be when they see the Roadblock was another needle in a haystack task? They would quit on the spot. Mai’s body could not handle a shovel, and Oliver would want to knock himself out with the shovel too.
A non-elimination format that I assume was supposed to be 6-6-5-5-4-4-3 for the last seven episodes or 6-6-6-5-5-4-3 or 6-6-5-5-5-4-3 had to be thrown out the window. That has to be the first pre-determined non-elimination in history to be cancelled.
Now we are stuck with three non-eliminations in what will most likely be a span of four episodes. And the locations are about to get exciting again. Ugh.