“Your Flight Time is No Big Easy”
THAILAND – VIETNAM – TAIWAN – CHINA – INDIA – OMAN
You know who loves Easter?
Previously on TAR: Five teams set out from Hong Kong. Ida & Tania, who were last to leave with no money, had to raise enough to get them through. At the ferries, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 made the right move and were the first in the race to Yield.
Then Bernie faced her fears at the very top of Macau Tower. The rowing challenge tested Sam & Vince’s friendship. And A.D. & Fuzzie faced their biggest challenge yet. It was a close race to the pit stop between Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and Sam & Vince. But it was Ida & Tania who were last to the pit stop again, but if they don’t come first in the next leg, they will incur a thirty minute penalty that will be enforced when they reach the pit stop.
Five teams remain; who will be finally eliminated next?
– Intro time. Lol. Isaac & William have an intro shot equally lame to their personalities.
– Allan introduces us to Macau, China. It is only sixty-five kilometres away from Hong Kong.
Since when did Allan become the Wunibomber?
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31, who were the first team to arrive at 4:04pm, will depart at 4:04am.
I love how the first cut to Tisha 31 is her slapping Geoff 26 in the face with the clue. That is her first instinct when she leaves the pit stop with a lead.
I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I feel that departure time is not quite functional. . .
– They read that they must take a taxi to the ruins of St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was a 17th century Portuguese cathedral. This has been declared a World Heritage site.
I have a feeling this cathedral was not inspired by local culture and traditions.
– Geoff 26 reads they have two hundred dollars for this leg of the race. Tisha 31 says her and Geoff 26 need to stick together because the other teams are united against them.
TISHA 31: I hung up my bitch coat but I think I have to put it on.
I have never heard that expression before in my life. What’s next? Geoff 26 is going to talk about how he cannot tear off his Flamboyant Overalls?
GEOFF: Basically we’re the Terminators. GET DOWN! GET DOWN AGAIN! Chchchchchchchch.
Tisha 31 wondering if she is dating Geoff 12 instead of Geoff 26.
“GET DOWN AGAIN!”
Yes! I knew Geoff 26 was a cyborg all along! Why else would he quote The Terminator?
– Tisha 31 tells a local on the street that the other teams are killers AND bad people. Yes, the two characteristics are mutually exclusive.
– Vince & Sam depart second at 4:14am.
SAM: I think in a way the gloves do come off. . .
Yes, Vince is now acting out other people’s confessionals. Why is he physically performing their words?
Is he trying to aid Luke who is watching from home?
But seriously, acting out other people’s words sounds like what Andre Novic from The League would do on The Amazing Race.
It is also tough to take Vince seriously when he is wearing a Scooby Doo wristwatch.
SAM: We will help a team only when it is absolutely essential and not give away free clues.
*ONE SECOND LATER IN TAXI*
SAM: No more help for any teams.
Phoenix Wright will be quick to jump on that contradiction.
VINCE: The gloves are coming off and the warpaint is going on.
Whatever you do, don’t take Crystal’s warpaint.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are at the cathedral. They read that they must travel by taxi to Macau Tower.
ALLAN: Teams must make their way back to Macau Tower.
Remember that time in TAR 11 when teams made the biggest jump in history and Eric & Danielle were yielded again?! Or remember that time when we watched Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 yield Henry & Bernie, and the Roadblock had to be stopped prematurely to give Fuzzie and Tania a significant advantage?
WAIT A F—ING SECOND! THAT WAS JUST FOUR F—ING DAYS AGO!
People think The Amazing Race 15 had the first Switchback by re-using a very specific task or location, but TAR Asia 3 beat them to it by re-using a location only ONE FREAKIN’ EPISODE LATER!
Maybe it is time to put an end to The Amazing Race Asia series where they re-use locations as route markers in consecutive episodes.
It is like that episode of Family Guy where Peter Griffin goes to play at the Barrington Golf Course, but needs to distract his family by making them go on a scavenger hunt through town. Eventually he starts repeating the same locations in town because he has run out of ideas.
So you know your producers are not terribly bright when they take a page out of the Peter Griffin playbook.
– TISHA 31: Something is up.
Literally. She knows something is literally up as she describes that it has to involve heights because, well, the task last round at Macau Tower involved heights too.
Prince John and Tisha 31 do not like heights equally.
– Vince & Sam have the clue. They have a less eventful reaction to it.
– A.D. & Fuzzie depart at 5:40am. They are taking one round at a time. Fuzzie says he, er, she that the fittest do not always win. They are not doing it intentionally. It is because Fuzzie does not have the legs to run.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and Vince & Sam show up to Macau Tower. It does not open until eight o’ clock. In the meantime Sam shows off his new haircut. Tania cut it for him.
Vince is not particularly engaged with the confessional right now.
I have seen more eventful story-telling methods regarding Asians who get their hair cut.
Yep. This is what was considered a video worthy of going viral on YouTube back in 2007.
– A.D. & Fuzzie exit their cab.
FUZZIE: Why are we running?
A.D.: Because our cab is waiting.
Running? That wasn’t part of the deal!
– Yeah, Fuzzie does not run back after they get the clue.
– Henry & Bernie depart fourth at 6:04am. Bernie (or as Henry calls her, “Bunn-eh”) is unhappy with their current position. But first Bernie has to overcome her greatest enemy.
Bernie succeeds at everything. . .except opening a sliding door.
– The four teams are at the entrance of Macau Tower. Guess who is proud of Sam’s new haircut?
Proud of his young disciple.
SAM: I look like you now.
HENRY: And that’s a bad thing.
– The four teams open up the clue. For the second round in a row, Macau Tower is hosting a Roadblock.
Yep. It is time to duplicate what was done back in TAR All Stars–a bungy jump.
At least it says something factual rather than “toughest bungy jump ever”.
And you know what is odd? I looked up the term “bungy jump” and apparently the only time they spell it as “bungy” rather than the correct way of “bungee” is when it is a webpage talking about the Macau Tower.
“Who’s ready to Wungy?”
– Geoff 26 reads the clue after Tisha 31 has agreed to do it and SCREAMS that it is a bungy jump. Obviously the other teams know what the task is before deciding who will do it. Bernie repeats over and over that she will not do it as Henry attempts to convince her otherwise.
– Sam, A.D., and a reluctant Bernie will do it.
– TISHA 31 reaches the top and talks to the instructor.
TISHA 31: Couldn’t you just physically push me off?
It’s been tried before. Doesn’t work out too well.
– Tisha 31 rolls her eyes but jumps anyway after a lot of screaming. Dang that looks like one wild ride. Everyone applauds her efforts. Everyone except Henry & Bernie, presumably.
– TISHA 31 (reading clue): Congratulations for being the first team to complete this challenge. Caltex is helping you to speed your way to Hong Kong by providing you with a helicopter.
– Allan informs us that four teams will be traveling to Hong Kong by ferry, but the first team who completed the Roadblock will indeed travel to Hong Kong by. . .
This bad boy.
One adult only? I s’pose Geoff 26 will be left behind.
– Once in Hong Kong, teams must search for the Maskargo Warehouse.
– Once there they will search amongst all of those boxes for one that contains a letter. When they finish reading the letter, they will receive their next clue.
Is this a record? Two pieces of product placement integrated into a single route info explanation?
– Tisha 31 wishes everyone good luck as Geoff 26 yells at her to preserve the lead. Tisha 31 watches Sam jump as her taxi drives further and further away.
The ever flattering Junk Cam.
– Vince reads the clue. Going back to Hong Kong again, eh? Vince & Sam may be the only ones happy about that.
– A.D. jumps. She looks like Oliver without her glasses. A.D. believes she will be scarred for life.
A.D.: It was a wham bam thank you ma’am situation.
A.D. without her glasses.
– Ida & Tania depart nine minutes and thirty five seconds into the episode at 8:13am. Tania recaps the penalty. They have their first clue. Wow, they appear to be hustling. Tania looks out of breath. Bernie meanwhile thinks the speed of the descent is equivalent to F1 racing.
– Henry cheers wildly. Bernie is stoked she did it. Lots of screaming. They calm down and resume racing. Bernie was insistent upon doing it once she saw Tisha 31 doing it.
– Speaking of Tisha 31, her and Geoff 26 are at the heliport.
TISHA 31 (kissing Caltex banner): Thank you, Caltex!
Tisha 31 has an easier time being intimate with a flag rather than Geoff 26.
– Vince & Sam are unaware of the helicopter reward because they think Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are on an earlier ferry at 8:45am. They take the 9:00am ferry.
Geoff 26 wears his best childlike Dewey expression possible.
– A.D. & Fuzzie board a 9:30am ferry. Henry & Bernie join them once again. Ida & Tania show up to Macau Tower. Tania thanks Ida forletting her do the bungy/bungee jump. Triumphant music plays as Tania is the last one to take the plunge. Now would be a hilarious time for lightning to strike the tower.
That is a lot of blood rushing to her head right now.
– Ida & Tania hail a taxi. Tania has to correct Ida when Ida asks the driver to take her to Maskargo.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 compare their reward to a Fast Forward as they have a reasonably big lead on the competition. They are now at the Maskargo Warehouse.
TISHA 31: Which ones are you checking so we don’t do double.
GEOFF 26: It’s good if we double.
TISHA 31: We’re wasting time if we double.
GEOFF 26: Shut your head and just do it.
Yes, shut your head. Further evidence of them being cyborgs.
– They come across three other teams’ boxes. Unlucky for them. Ida & Tania dance their way onto a 10:30am ferry. Less than two hours behind the pack.
– Vince & Sam are in Hong Kong. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have their box. But how will they open it?
The box has feelings too, you know.
GEOFF 26: Here’s yours. Wanna read yours first? Ladies first.
What a gentleman as he never lets Tisha 31 answer the question.
– What could possibly be in the letter?
Dear Tisha 31,
Henry & Bernie are coming after you. Play the Express Pass to save yourself. Put Henry & Bernie’s name down on the Double U-Turn board.
See you on the finish mat,
Okay, it’s not a letter from JT.
TISHA 31: Hi Tisha, your mom and I are pleased to know. . .
– Oh no. Letters from loved ones.
Ika took it upon herself to shred Geoff 26’s letter.
– TISHA 31: It made me realize why I am doing it.
. . .For the money?
TISHA 31: I am doing it for my parents more than I am doing it for me.
I call bulls—.
– She says she will give the prize money to her parents. How dumb is she?
MAN: Here’s your next clue.
GEOFF 26: Thank you very much, Mr. Maskargo.
Did he just get referred to as “Mr. Maskargo”? Does Geoff 26 not know that this guy probably makes minimum wage and is a single dad paying child support for his two kids who he only gets to see one day per week?
“If that isn’t a sign to kill myself, I don’t know what is.”
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 read that they will be FINALLY leaving Chinese territories. Rounds 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and half of 8 have been spent in Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau. Now we are heading to. . .
TISHA 31: Cocaine, India!
– Wrong. Cochin, India! Although there may be cocaine somewhere in town. It is on the southwest coast of India. They must head to the Neelam Kulangara Devi Temple.
Yeah, I had to Google the spelling for that one.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 re-enter their taxi. Vince & Sam are now at the warehouse. Sam skipped his own box. Vince eventually finds it without noting that Sam missed it. Vince reads a super religious letter.
SAM: To our dear son Samuel. . .
I am guessing his family is pretty dang religious too.
– Both are crying inside of the taxi. Henry & Bernie are now in a taxi. They have decided to race harder from now on.
HENRY: Nothing’s for free and we do not intend to give anything away.
I’ll hold you to it, Henry.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 discover a flight is full, but somebody else on the flight canceled their seats last minute. They board the flight immediately. It is a journey of nearly seven thousand kilometres.
This flight was brought to you by the letter ‘V’.
– Henry & Bernie and A.D. & Fuzzie show up to the warehouse together. Henry tries to convince Bernie of a proper pattern as Bernie refuses to fail at cussing him out. Lots of swearing. They appear to waste several minutes arguing over the pattern. Bernie gets her way.
– A.D. & Fuzzie find their letters. A.D. makes fun of Fuzzie in the confessional for crying as she plays a mock violin.
A.D.’s limited musical talent.
– More fighting from Henry & Bernie ensues. Ida & Tania arrive in Hong Kong. The driver asks if they need the airport. Ida says no.
– Speaking of airports, Vince & Sam are at the airport. They find out that Hong Kong goes to India but not Cochin specifically. The entire conversation is in Cantonese.
– They find a flight that arrives in Bombay at 11:00pm tonight via Singapore.
I love Sam’s note.
– Vince & Sam book the flight.
This flight booking was brought to you by Standard Chartered.
– Bernie finds the box of letters. She cries instantaneously. The letter tells her to put on clean panties each day. Oh, their male siblings wrote the letters. That makes more sense now.
HENRY: We’re going to be challenged like no other challenge in India.
– Ida & Tania find their letters at the warehouse. Tania apparently has two kids. Her husband wrote the letter.
Gabriel Mustaqim is the name of her husband? What a weird name.
– Ida & Tania read the India clue in unison.
TANIA: I’m really glad the letter was not from my daughter.
Wow. Everything is not well in the Mustaqim household.
– Nevermind. Tania elaborates it would be because she would cry much more.
Please survive the round, Tania.
– A.D. & Fuzzie book tickets. So do Henry & Bernie. Sam pitches a coalition between him and Henry. They agree. The Singapore flight is indeed the way to go.
– A.D. & Fuzzie and Ida & Tania are on a flight that connects through Bombay (the name the teams use as opposed to the long established Mumbai) before landing in Cochin.
This flight plan was brought to you by the letter ‘L’.
– We now get to see Henry & Bernie’s and Sam & Vince’s flight plan.
That’s right. They only have standby tickets from Mumbai to Cochin.
– Ida & Tania believe the other two teams are losing a lot of time with their Singapore connection. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are already at the clue box in Cochin.
For once, a clue box in pitch black darkness is on the favourable side of a locked gate.
– Geoff 26 reads that they must -enter- the temple to receive a good luck blessing from a priest before receiving their next clue.
This is not how I picture a priest. It is like he is going for the Buddha look. I wonder if Buddhist women find that look sexy?
I am going to take a guess and say that whoever made this sign does not speak English as their first language.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 book a hotel room.
– Henry & Bernie and Sam & Vince have troubles in Mumbai. They have two hours to make the connection, but the suspense ends instantly as they say they missed the connection.
Two hour connection? That’s four times as much time as you need! Were they walking like Gutsy Grannies or Marshall & Lance through the airport?
Maybe they can stay with Niroo & Kapil in town.
And go into a workplace to watch a drama involving the guy from Slumdog Millionaire and Life of Pi unfold before our eyes! There are no bad people in Mumbai, right?
Oh, f— off. You are so 2011.
Vince & Sam’s camera operator really needs to get into that taxi or else they will be stranded in Mumbai for the night.
– Vince & Sam and Henry & Bernie’s first venture into aligning has not gone well.
About as well as it worked out for Flight Time, Anders, and the Afghanimals to work together.
– So they find a new flight at an undisclosed time and begin the trip to Cochin.
No funny designs of the flight path for once.
– Ida & Tania enter a taxi and learn “let’s go” in Hindi. We see Ida wearing brand new glasses.
The latest in Cochin fashion.
– Ida & Tania have the clue. They tell us that it will be two more hours before the temple opens. No fancy breakfast for them this time. They are willing to camp outside. Odd to see them this competitive. A.D. & Fuzzie wait with them. Ida is annoyed when Tisha 31 shows up at 5:15am with wet and shampooed hair.
You would agree that Ida & Tania are quite the MOTHers, yes?
Well look at these MOTHers hanging outside of the temple!
– The temple opens.
It’s rude to stare.
– We hear some loud nursery rhyme chanting from women in the background. It sounds like a Hindi translation of a pop song. The racers all get red dots (bindi) on their foreheads that is usually reserved at the pit stop for every India leg in Amazing Race history.
Or maybe Ida & Tania are literally marked for elimination.
– Ida & Tania read that they must head to an elephant washing area in Kumbalam, and wash elephants using dry coconut shells. Once the mahood is satisfied, they will receive their next clue.
Washing elephants on Easter? Yay!
No, that is not the name of a Bollywood adult film.
In some cultures, you wash an elephant by drowning it.
This is revenge for butt raping and taking a massive dump on some of the other racers.
Or making teams play with its feces.
– A.D. & Fuzzie have the clue in second. Fuzzie is not excited to touch an elephant. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 receive the clue third. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s taxi showed up on time and drives them to the route marker.
– Ida & Tania and A.D. & Fuzzie’s taxis were supposed to be there too, but they are left standing on the road. Ida & Tania’s taxi shows up as Ida promises to call a cab for A.D. & Fuzzie.
TISHA 31: It’s like washing another elephant.
GEOFF 26: But this one moves and craps.
Such an elegant way to put it.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 pull over at a hotel to ask for directions. A.D. & Fuzzie ask for directions too. Ida & Tania’s taxi stopped at a gas station. All three teams are certain they are behind.
– We resume.
F—ers raided my cave last night!
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 go to purchase a pre-paid taxi. Their original driver was not of much help. They pull over as the driver reads a map. Ida & Tania are first to the elephant washing. They assume Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are ahead. It is a baby elephant.
Chuck wants that baby ivory!
– Ida & Tania are washing the elephant. Tania nearly falls over in the water. She is uncoordinated. They have the clue. It is an instant Detour. Teams must choose between Fish or Phil.
Oh, not you. Fill, sorry.
– Both tasks will be related to elephants.
Allan is not one to avoid addressing the Wulephant in the room.
In fish, teams must go to a seafood restaurant. Once there they must use traditional Chinese fishing nets and prepare for a big delivery.
In fill, teams must complete an intricate geometric colour design with rice powder. According to Indian tradition, this will bring them prosperity and good luck.
ALLAN: Teams will need to bring an ample FILL of patience and due diligence if they hope to fulFILL this task quickly.
This is what it is like to not have your own writers to write cleverer puns for you.
India has a Jewish population? News to me.
– Ida & Tania choose to do Fill. They run into Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s taxi.
GEOFF 26: We were stupified and gobsmacked.
Neither are words.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 finish the task in .01 seconds and choose to do Fish. A.D. and a disgusted Fuzzie begin cleaning the elephant. They eventually finish. We get a creepy zoom-in of an elephant’s eye.
I have always wanted to see an elephant’s eyeball.
– A.D. & Fuzzie choose to do Fill.
A.D.: We did not choose Fish for two reasons–it is physical and smelly.
– Vince & Sam and Henry & Bernie are now in Cochin. Sam & Vince are fourth to the temple. Henry & Bernie are last. The ceremony is complete. Vince & Sam assume elephants are sacred here.
– Ida & Tania’s driver says he is low on petrol. However, the driver borrows fuel from a motorcycle. Quickest fill-up ever.
Tania hosts this segment of life in India.
A vehicle that is willing to get its own fuel tank tapped? That would never happen in North America. Whenever prices pass 140/litre over the past ten years, you can pretty much expect that there will be a daily incident of somebody siphoning fuel from your car.
Tania acting as a cheerleader. Yay pouring!
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 begin the Fish task. Geoff 26 hates raw fish. He even has chills discussing the task in a confessional. Geoff 26 picks up a fish and it is slippery to the point that it falls behind him.
Now’s not the time to do overhead presses!
GEOFF 26: I can watch a horror flick, but send me to the cold section of a supermarket and I freak out.
– They deliver the first two fish. The classic ‘goofy night time music’ plays as Ida & Tania start doing the Fill task.
– Vince & Sam commence cleaning the elephant. Sam talks to the elephant.
SAM: Good boy!
Vince is a pervert.
– Henry & Bunn-eh join them. He did not think he would be doing this in a thousand years.
– Vince & Sam finish as they praise their taxi driver. Henry finishes too and praises the elephant. Both teams choose to do Fill.
– A.D. & Fuzzie now join Ida & Tania. . .
And Ida’s cleavage.
– Ida & Tania discuss being ahead of Geoff 26 & Tisha 31. We cut back to Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 continuing the task. Geoff 26 complains that a fin sliced him up.
They are certainly handling all of this fish quite well.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 finish the task. They read that they must travel to Bolgatty Palace in Cochin. It is one of the oldest existing Dutch palace outside of the Netherlands.
ALLAN: Last team to check in will be eliminated.
GEOFF 26: Will be eliminated!
– Geoff 26 tells the taxi driver to double time. I bet he has no idea what that means.
TISHA 31: Another day at the office. Elephant crap and fish guts.
Mixed with neck sweat. Lovely.
– Ida & Tania’s design is approved. They have their clue. Dancing commences.
Oh, hi Neena.
– Ida & Tania read they are heading to Bolgatty Palace.
Does Tania even know what palace she is reacting to?
GEOFF 26: I am the traffic enforcer in India! I don’t want anyone to overtake us! Get down!
I am sure India is familiar with Terminator references.
Oddly enough, India produced a movie similar to The Terminator called Enthiran. The movie was released in 2010 and is claimed to be the highest-grossing Indian film of all time.
I wasn’t kidding for once.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and Ida & Tania are shown to be in a taxi race showdown. The Marked for Elimination penalty is discussed. Tania hopes to be numero uno.
– We return. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 pull into the palace first. Ida & Tania are shown seconds later.
That outfit alone is more expensive than TAR 24’s budget.
FIRST PLACE: GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31
Bases all around!
ALLAN: For washing the elephants and transporting those fish, you two deserve a holiday. . .to Hong Kong!
Yeah. Because they haven’t had the chance to experience Hong Kong yet.
ALLAN: It includes VIP tickets to the women’s JB tennis tournament final.
Heh, Caltex logos are thrown in there. This has to be one of the worst vacation prizes ever offered. Better than cameras, phones, cars, or camera phones, but still, a lame vacation prize. It is like TAR 24 standard.
ALLAN: A city tour (which they have already done on the race), tickets to the world famous ocean park, and one thousand dollars US to spend.
– The prize is all courtesy of Caltex.
TISHA 31: Thanks Caltex.
No physical banner for Tisha 31 to kiss this time.
SECOND PLACE. . .?: IDA & TANIA
– Tania comments on the greeter’s outfit. Allan announces they are second. We hear birds chirp in the background as Tania proclaims this to be a test.
– A.D. & Fuzzie finish the task. A.D. hangs her foot out of the car.
I would love it if A.D. mugging for the camera like this put the cab off-balance and tipped it over.
– Henry & Bunn-eh show up to the Fill task. Henry coaches Bunn-eh how to colour properly. Vince & Sam are at the Fish task.
– A.D. & Fuzzie slowly walk as Ida & Dania dance in the background.
ALLAN: A.D. & Fuzzie. . .
A.D. & FUZZIE: Allan. . .
Never gets old.
SECOND PLACE: A.D. & FUZZIE
Nobody would have predicted that A.D. & Fuzzie could have enough stamina to last them to the Final Four. We may witness the most unpredictable win in TAR history.
– Sam asks a local to guide them to the restaurant and offers to pay him money. Vince complains his laces are untied as he hauls two fish simultaneously. They run a bit harder. Henry & Bunn-eh are sweating. Vince & Sam keep walking. Vince for some reason is offering fish to everyone along the way.
Why do Ida & Tania always seem relaxed in times of stress?
– Vince & Sam finish the task and have their clue. They run to the taxi. Sam keeps telling the driver that they want to be number one.
This is the point where I would pull over and make them leave my cab.
– Henry & Bunn-eh finish the task.
Is Henry wearing a skirt?
Completing it may bring you good luck, but I have a feeling that botching it may be bad luck.
– Bunn-eh knows this is a showdown. Vince & Sam’s taxi drops them off. Ida & Tania may be going home.
This is a close one folks.
THIRD PLACE: IDA & TANIA
For the first time ever, a team finishes last on back-to-back non-elimination legs, but survives the third round when eliminations resume.
Note that this is a different record from Henry & Terri who finished last on three non-elimination rounds, or teams who have won despite finishing last on two non-eliminations during the season.
This is the first time ever where a team went Last-Last-Not Last. This is about as lucky as you can get on The Amazing Race.
– Vince & Sam and Henry & Bunn-eh are shown running, but there is about 2.3 seconds of suspense.
“Leaving China? That wasn’t in the script!”
FOURTH PLACE: VINCE & SAM
That’s right. Much like what the first two rounds were before heading to Taiwan/Hong Kong/Macau/anywhere Chinese, Vince & Sam drop to the back of the pack. They have never done too well in Thailand, Vietnam, or India.
– Henry & Bunn-eh step on the mat.
Henry prays to the circus clown to keep him alive one more round.
LAST PLACE: HENRY & BERNIE
– For some reason, the “barely survived elimination” music plays while they are on the mat. Henry & Bunn-eh are thankful for the experience and take their elimination quite well. They even laugh at the end.
Next Time on TAR: It’s the Final Four! Only one non-elimination to go in the final three rounds. Vegas lists the odds of next round being an elimination at 1, 000: 1.
Also, with Henry & Bernie’s exit, a surprise U-Turn may create a season ending rivalry.
And Adel says ‘F— you’ to the team that U-Turns him.
LADY RUNNING INSTITUTE OF THE BLIND 0
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 10.0
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
6th Mai & Oliver 4.8 – In a car
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–
5th Henry & Bernie/Bunn-Eh 2.75 – Yielded
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) Mai & Oliver
First off, their elimination may be a contender for the most unfair round ever designed in TAR history. The Sony Store shopping mall challenge where you had to pick the correct disc out of a thousand was devastating.
Before that they raced reasonably well, and were entertaining to watch. They are the first team ever to be furious when winning the first leg of the race. They almost quit right then because Oliver did not want to carry Mai’s bags all the time. Knowing they did not even forfeit the Sony Store task, you could say they have had one of the biggest attitude shifts of all time.
Mai’s funny quotes of contradicting certain phrases, or not understanding what people mean was a great running joke all season. Remember her suicide comment or the one defending her and Oliver’s stupidity?
Usually really young and smaller racers are not cast together because you need a certain amount of life experience and skill to do reasonably well at The Amazing Race. Just ask Marisa & Brooke. A rich actress and her shopaholic friend is not going to be a strong team.
But Mai & Oliver faired well. A 4.8 average over the course of five rounds, and that last round could be null and void towards their stats considering how BS it was to search through thousands of Blu Ray discs.
So yeah, a surprisingly strong, funny, ditzy, and explosive young team who did well until a huge dose of bad luck put them out of the race for good.
This elimination was not their fault, and the fact they were willing to sleep in a car until the round was over says a lot about how much willpower they truly had when they knew they were dead last.
I give Mai & Oliver a nod for their efforts.
2) Henry & Bunn-Eh
Personality wise, they did not offer us much. In fact, they offered us very little.
However they did offer us, in my opinion anyway, a top five crash. The way Bernie looked like she was killed upon impact when the Cyclo fell in the middle of traffic may be the scariest injury on The Amazing Race.
We have seen broken hands, sliced feet, fat knees, old people falling into holes, Teri & Ian falling off of every vehicle possible, but the sheer impact of Bernie’s head on the pavement was about two centimetres away from being lethal.
Henry’s accent could be funny at times. Unlike most Asians, he is incapable of uttering the letter ‘R’.
You know what surprised me? How high their average is after playing eight episodes. Despite finishing at the bottom in rounds seven and eight, their worst finish all season was fifth, and they were third or better in five rounds of play.
Shockingly, that puts them in the ‘Best of the Best’ category. A designation which I believe they earned. They were not stuck in familiar cities. Furthermore, the only reason why they finished last was due to a combination of a missed flight and a missed taxi. You cannot really be held responsible for missing a two hour connection. In fact I have never heard of a team missing such a big connection.
If it was an hour or less, they deserve to be hit in the face for being dumb. Two hours? Bad luck. If you chose a flight with a connection larger than two hours, you really need to re-think which flight to book.
The era of brother-sister teams winning The Amazing Race (Nick & Starr; Tammy & Victor) had a strong chance of staying alive because of Henry & Bernie, but flight times are no big easies and put them out of the race.
Yes. They were eliminated before A.D. & Fuzzie and back-to-back last place finishers Ida & Tania. We are looking to have a season where a guy nicknamed ‘Black Spiderman’ is very close to winning the season.
Furthermore, two all-female teams making the Final Four for two out of three Asian seasons is a big deal when Americans are angry because women -rarely- do well in their franchise.
I guess Asian women together are more skilled than American women.
Or Canadian women. Sigh.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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) Macau, China -> Cochin, India
Out of China? Finally!
Well, not so fast. We had to do a route marker, a Roadblock, head back to Hong Kong, and a letter searching task which occupied more than half of the episode.
Then we entered India. It is a huge change to see Vince & Sam’s 4 1/2 round advantage coming to an end.
The India tasks did not really stand out. They went to a temple, underwent a ceremony, washed an elephant (hello TAR 2), and chose between hauling fish (hello TAR 9) or putting together a rice circle (hello TAR 10).
I wish Ika would have shredded the letters.
Seeing Ida & Tania survive despite being Marked for Elimination was perhaps the biggest storyline of the episode. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 preserving their lead as they won a reward within the leg as well as an end of round prize made their stock shoot up.
Perhaps the best part about this episode is that they fought to be on three different flights this round. Maybe it is because I am watching TAR 24 where only one out of seven rounds have teams fighting for flights, but it was a nice change to see teams planning out their route strategically.
Lastly, a huge upset occurs as the strongest team of the season shocks everybody by going home in fifth place. If Henry & Bernie made their connection, we would have been awaiting their victory for this season.
5) Hong Kong, China -> Macau, China
The only real equalizer this round was the one at the aquarium, and that managed to be small enough to put Ida & Tania at a disadvantage.
The flaw with taking a team’s funds was shown as we enter a long established etiquette since TAR 7 where teams almost always donate money to the team with empty pockets. However, that backfired as Ida & Tania ended up with more money than other teams as they were more than willing to beg on the streets.
Although I think the metropolitan streets of Hong Kong will find rich people much easier than, say, Egypt in TAR 5, Soweto in TAR 7 or Senegal in TAR 6.
Seeing a Yield being used was probably the perfect twist needed to put life into a season that would suffer from too many non-eliminations being bunched together, and also with too few teams left to entertain the audience.
A crowd of TAR fans huddling around a clue box in Macau reminded me of TAR Canada tasks. It shows you how great producers are when they shoo away fans 99% of the time, but Canadian producers are too lazy to do anything about it.
The Roadblock was great in concept. We have seen it countless times. In fact the next season to air was TAR 13 where climbing Auckland Tower was a Fast Forward. Here it was a Roadblock that was met with outrageously bad weather. Fuzzie and Tania were trailing the other three teams when the bad weather hit the tower, but were given a huge break as they did not have to do the outdoor portion of the task because of the lightning storm.
Good camera work was clearly tough to come by for the last fifteen minutes of the episode because of the challenges the lightning and rain posed for production.
Rowing a boat around a buoy is now a long established tradition in TAR.
The lion dance was entertaining. I will pay money to see a half-Canadian and her cyborg boyfriend slipping on a phantom banana peel. That Detour option was fine.
But it was the other one that sucked. Sure, I love an excuse to make an Austin Powers reference, but waiting around to win nine hands of Blackjack without needing to use chips is one of the lamest tasks to date this season. Is that what the people of Macau do? Play Blackjack for fun at hotels without money on the line? And they play first-to-nine?
As I said before, you know you have a bad task when it was used for seven year olds in Family Edition.
I have no complaints about the Lantern Zodiac task at the pit stop. If anything it provided good comedy with the all-knowing inanimate gate approving teams, and deciding to open itself on its own.
Lastly, we had another predictable non-elimination because of how non-eliminations were structured in TAR Asia 2.
Thank goodness a rivalry was finally exposed. It is Geoff 26 & Tia Carrere–er, Tisha 31 vs. Henry & Bernie.
Henry & Bernie need this late game rivalry because their personalities are not captivating on camera. They belong on the Mogo Mogo tribe.
6) 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.
7) 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?
8) 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.