“Still Visiting More Countries Than TAR 24”
THAILAND – VIETNAM – TAIWAN – CHINA – INDIA – OMAN
Logan, describe your perfect date to blog.
That’s a tough one.
B—- stole my answer.
Previously on TAR: Five teams set off from Macau and threw themselves off Macau Tower at the world’s highest commercial bungy/bungee jump. While Ida & Tania started out the race knowing they would receive a half hour time penalty if they did not win the leg.
Teams got emotional like little b—-es when they received a note from loved ones.
And Sam’s brother saved fifteen percent on his car insurance by switching to Geico. Mind blown.
There was no time for tears as they flew to their next destination. Once in India, Ida & Tania hit the lead and were first to wash an elephant. At the Detour Geoff 26 faced his seafood phobia as he carried large fish, and were able to inch out Ida & Tania for first place at the pit stop, condemning the girls to the half hour time penalty.
Sam & Vince also chose to carry large marlin while Henry & Bernie chose a slower and more intricate Detour of rice powder and colour designs. Then they were last to pit stop.
Four teams remain; who will be the last to be saved by a non-elimination next?
– Oh right. This is back when The Amazing Race still did intros.
Looks like somebody enjoyed their Fwur Twenty a bit too much.
ALLAN: This was the eighth pit stop. . .in the race around the world!
Thailand to Vietnam to Taiwan to Hong Kong to Macau to Hong Kong to southwestern India? We haven’t crossed a single ocean or sea yet this season.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 depart at 9:41pm. They read that they must head to Pune, India. It is 121 kilometres east of Mumbai. Once there they must find the Jawaharlai Nehru Stadium.
– They discuss how they are the only team left that is racing on their own. Both elaborate how the other teams have created alliances and coalitions throughout the game.
Uhhh, round one alliances do not count. It was a practice.
We can drink to that!
– Ida & Tania start in third at 10:11pm. It is raining.
TANIA: It’s our second chance. We’re going to grab it and run with it.
Uh, third chance.
– Vince & Sam are last at 10:15pm. Vince says some things are out of their control but will perform to the best of their abilities.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 book tickets closest to the front of the plane. Teams are only booking tickets to Mumbai first. A.D. & Fuzzie are also requesting being close to the front of the plane. Vince eyerolls when he hears they are going back to Mumbai.
They never did an eyeroll last round when they returned to Hong Kong.
– Ida once again refers to the city as “Bombay” instead of “Mumbai”. All four teams board the flight.
On your fliiiight. . .Bah-hom-bay. . .Bah-hom-bay.
– Teams are shown running through the airport. They are at the pre-paid taxi counter and ask for taxis to Pune. It will be a three hour ride. Ida & Tania are the only team to gamble and opt for an unpaid taxi.
– A.D. & Fuzzie are the last team to the prepaid counter. It is like they did not run fast enough.
In the case of Colin, he prefers a post-paid taxi counter.
– A.D. & Fuzzie are somehow second to leave Bombay as Vince & Sam’s and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s taxis leave together. Both teams are annoyed with their drivers.
GEOFF 26: No tip. You are hopeless.
What? Don’t tip a taxi driver? You’re crazy!
– Teams comment on the sights. Vince & Sam feel their driver has no idea where to go in Pune, but are confident locals in Pune will know the stadium. Sam mentions that Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s taxi is equally lost following them.
– Vince & Sam and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are aligned. They ordered their taxis together as their drivers are mutually lost.
– Ida & Tania is the only team without a pre-paid taxi.
Pre-paid taxi drivers in India are what doctors at walk-in clinics are to Canada.
– They must now play a game of Cricket with locals. Yep, identical to the task in TAR 20.
You need a lot of balls to make it into the Final Four.
– Teams must hit a ball each into the red and yellow painted boards at the other end of the pitch.
Roughly the same distance it takes to hit a single in baseball.
Yeah, I follow baseball closely. The saying has always been “if you understand baseball, you don’t understand cricket. If you understand cricket, you don’t understand baseball”.
And that is 150 to 200 percent true. I cannot grasp cricket at all. It seems so freakin’ confusing.
ALLAN: If a team does not hit the boundary after 36 balls, they will immediately receive a ten minute time penalty before receiving the next clue.
Well that sounds freakin’ lame.
What happened to this being the toughest race ever?
– Ida is already crying ‘mommy’.
The opposite of crowding the plate.
– The windup that the pitcher does for each throw is hilarious. His right arm rotates as he hops along the dirt like a bunny rabbit.
So fast the camera cannot keep up!
– The ten minute penalty seems so freakin’ lame because they never have more than ten seconds to wait between throws.
– You know how Vince & Sam’s alliances go as well as teams who align with Leo & Jamal throughout TAR 24? Well, here is a great example of bad luck. Geoff 26 sees the race flag. Both teams walk to the clue box.
Wait a second. . .
This is not a stadium!
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 enter a cab. So do Vince & Sam. They continue working together. Why you would align at Final Four is beyond me. A.D. & Fuzzie are told they are being taken on a shortcut.
All that matters is that Ida & Tania are first.
– Let’s see this energetic crowd on hand to see two middle-aged women engage in professional sports:
That is two more fans than what we see at WNBA games.
– Ida & Tania are nowhere near close. Thirty-six pitches go by. The easiest out of all is that they only have to wait ten minutes for their next clue.
Marked for unathleticism.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 grab the clue.
GEOFF 26: These moms are killing me!
Yes. Who knew a pair of Asia’s annual MILFs would be Geoff 26’s kryptonite.
– Vince & Sam show up to the clue box seconds later.
***NOW PRESENTING AN EDITION OF “NO F—ING S—, SHERLOCK BY CLAY JORDAN***
VINCE: Oh, it’s a cricket thing.
No s—, Vince.
– Ida comments that Geoff 26 looks good in the uniform. Tisha 31 assumes Ida & Tania finished it because they are standing idle on the sidelines.
– Although Geoff 26 is friends with sports buddies Marc & Rovilson, Tisha 31 tells us he does not play any sports. She also tells us that Vince is a softball player.
– Ida & Tania’s penalty is done. They read they need to use their Nokia 6210 to navigate their auto-rickshaw driver to the next clue which we assume is the clue Vince & Sam and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 stumbled upon.
This is indeed the same task we went through with TAR Asia 2. All that is left is for teams to use a Sony HD Handycam to record locals singing their national anthem.
– Ida & Tania enter their auto-rickshaw. Tania confirms the driver understands what ‘right’ and ‘left’ means. Both of them look for the arrow that is supposed to be on the screen.
“Tech support, please.”
– Vince completes the task. They have the clue as they enter the auto rickshaw. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 continue to fail.
The batting lineup from the Batter Up music video?
– A.D. & Fuzzie are last to the cricket pitch. I have a feeling this will fall all on A.D.’s shoulders. Tisha 31 are down to their last pitch. Tania struggles to direct the driver. Vince struggles to hear the voice on the Nokia application. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have the ten minute penalty. Tisha 31 hit more balls than Geoff 26.
– A.D. foul tips the first ball into her foot. I will be amazed if Fuzzie bothers to try. A.D. hits the board! They leapfrog to third. This is why a task like this should not have a ten minute penalty. Geoff 26 eavesdrop on them reading the clue. He is confident it is the location where they just were.
– All four teams are on the road. Everyone appears to be within twenty minutes of each other. Ida & Tania scream RIGHT RIGHT RIGHT in unison.
– Yep. It is the same location where Vince & Sam and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 were before the cricket pitch.
Here is my question: Why not just take the clue from the clue box when they were there in the first place? Do you have to do the tasks in order? We have seen teams redirected at the pit stop to go back and retrieve the clue before they can officially check in. So if you see another clue on the race course, why not just take it right then and save yourself the time?
My guess is that producers stopped them from opening the clue. How would you know right away “oh, this is not the stadium”? Producers must have told them they could not do it, and therefore the players would conclude that they must be at the wrong location.
– Ida & Tania open the clue. It’s a Roadblock. Allan Wu is sporting his most unique look yet.
What to wear in the city of Pwune? Well, an old fashioned wuseball cap from his adolescent days on the Swundlot of course!
One team member must search through a field of phetas being worn by fifty men for their next clue. If the word ‘correct’ does not appear inside of their pheta, they must continue searching until they find the pheta that says ‘correct’ to receive their next clue.
Could this race get any easier? What happened?
ALLAN: Teams who do not locate the right pheta and cannot wrap this one up, could find their nerves unravelling fast.
Yes, because I am sure it is sooooo tough to search fifty hats–phetas for the right clue. You know what would be much harder?
Is if they had to search for fifty thetas to find their next clue. Have you ever done geometry and functions? Theta is a bit of a bizzle.
Oh right. This is TAR Asia. Finding theta for them is easier than finding Les at a BP Gas Station.
– Ida is doing the Roadblock. Time to check out what these fancy hats are all about!
Am I the only one who finds this mildly offensive? On the other hand, am I the only one who thinks the man is staring directly into Ida’s breasts?
– I love seeing Ida try to put back on each man’s pheta. Tania cheers that she is number one. We see Vince & Sam and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 guiding their drivers. Tisha 31 is struggling. Ida gives up on putting a man’s pheta.
Let’s see here. . .
F— it, you’re on your own.
– She finds the correct pheta before any of the other teams arrive. This could not have taken more than ten minutes. They read that they must take an auto rickshaw to the Sony World Showroom. Once here they must convince a local to tell a joke and record it on the Sony HD Handycam.
Holy s—. I did not know this task was happening this leg. I was just joking about it earlier because the Nokia task is a tradition. I did not know they would squeeze both sponsourship task traditions in the same round!
It is like if the US franchise had a Travelocity roaming gnome in a Ford Focus.
Winner of this challenge faces off against Papa CJ on the next season of Last Comic Standing.
Logan, it doesn’t matter if I lose. I am Hindu. I will be re-born. I could be the next Margaret Cho and you won’t even know it.
Do all rich Asians own a Sony HD Handycam? Because I have never heard of this product outside of TAR Asia.
ALLAN: If the joke is judged by the panel to be funny, they will receive their next clue.
I want to find the raunchiest and most obscene person in Pune to tell a joke. Like, a local who tells a 9/11 joke or something about punching a baby in the face or a joke about an orgy.
– Vince & Sam reach the destination they have already visited. Vince is doing the task. He notices they are moving. Yeah, they are people. Of course they are going to f—ing move. I like how Vince is so polite when checking out their pheta.
– Ida & Tania successfully ask a man to lead them on the streets. Oh, the fourth wall broke!
Yep, that’s a camera!
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are searching for the place. They are told they have reached their destination.
Cue Geoff 26 humping the auto rickshaw.
– Oh, they are back at the cricket stadium. They used the phone incorrectly to the point that they entered the cricket stadium as their destination and managed to do a full circle.
Geoff 26 is not impressed. He cannot hit balls nor operate a phone.
TISHA 31: We left our brains in another country.
Or maybe the Nokia 6210 is not user-friendly. But they cannot air that on TV, right?
– They give it another try. Tisha 31 disagrees with the robotic voice. Oh, and the fourth wall breaks again.
The hand of God himself is in the auto rickshaw. . .this is why TAR wins the Emmy. How does a production crew manage to stay out of the shots in such tight spaces?
I do love that a mistake like this is so rare that seeing the hand is a bit creepy.
The same hand from Super Caesar’s Palace and Monopoly, no doubt.
– Vince keeps searching. I wonder how these men feel about another man pulling their pheta. He finds the correct one.
Hug it out, boys.
The most height he has been able to get on a jump since. . .well, two days ago when he had 2, 300 extra metres of air off the Macau Tower.
– Vince & Sam re-enter their auto rickshaw. A.D. & Fuzzie keep following their Nokia phone and are at the route marker. Fuzzie is doing it because we know how physically straining this is. She has a few of them line up. Fuzzie hates how they move around and force her to put energy into remembering faces.
– Ida & Tania are at the Sony Showroom and search for somebody to speak English. They ask a man to tell them a joke. Fuzzie continues to search.
FUZZIE: Are you the man for me?
I think we know the answer to that.
– She has the correct pheta. Fuzzie claims the men were cute while A.D. wonders if people here are funny.
I think the charm may lie with their dry sense of humour.
– Ida & Tania film their first joke.
That’s right. Ida & Tania do not get it so the man has to resort to explaining the joke.
John Kerry taught his disciple from Pune well.
– Ida & Tania return to have the joke evaluated.
Our expert panel on comedy is in deep thought.
To the lions he goes. At this rate he will make version four of The Amazing Race’s Funny 115!
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are last to the Roadblock. They make the joke of the place looking familiar.
– Tisha 31 is doing the Roadblock. She asks various men to remove their pheta. No success as of yet.
– Oh god. Ida & Tania have another man waiting to tell a joke.
Ida & Tania do not even laugh out loud. Instead Ida gives the creepiest expression known to Hindu Man.
She looks like she got off a ride at Six Flags and the man is standing there with the smuggest grin ever.
I like how Tania blatantly admits the man is not funny.
– Ida & Tania have the clue. Instant Detour. Push or Crash.
In Push, teams must travel by auto rickshaw to a pottery shop named Datta Shinde. Once here they must load a cart with 75 clay pots and deliver at least 70 unbroken ones to a store in Mahatma Phule Market to receive their next clue.
Push it real gooood.
Fwur twenty may be over, but Allan cannot seem to let go of his supply of pot.
ALLAN: Teams which choose this task and can successfully navigate through the streets with all of these fragile pots on a cart will be rewarded with a fast start.
Wuoa. . .the man is out of puns, ladies and gentlemen.
In Crush, teams travel by auto rickshaw to Mahatma Phile Market and must choose a sugar cane cart and crush enough sticks to produce forty glasses of sugar cane juice. They must sell all forty glasses and receive a minimum of two hundred rupees to receive their next clue.
Five rupees a glass. Will racers be able to figure out that math?
ALLAN: Crushing sugar cane and selling its juice will remind teams that the sweet things in life aren’t always free, and definitely not easy.
– Vince & Sam pick up a Handycam. To the streets they go! They ask locals to share with them their -favourite- joke. Not just any joke like Ida & Tania’s strategy, but rather their personal favourite.
Wow that was actually. . .not bad. By the way, Vince does the fakest exaggerated laugh I have ever heard in my life.
– Vince & Sam have their joke judged and the panel laughs for the first time all season.
– Tisha 31 keeps going through phetas as the night time lonely goofy music plays. Geoff 26 says she is doing something wrong.
Yes Geoff 26, the other pheta.
– Tisha 31 goes up to a man and says he is always smiling. Sure enough Smiles McGee has the correct pheta.
Zangief poses all around!
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have the clue. They hire an auto rickshaw. Tisha 31 claims the task was hard. Uh, okay.
– A.D. & Fuzzie have their Handycam. Fuzzie goes up to the first man she sees and asks him to tell -any- joke.
O no he di’int.
By 2008, five out of six citizens became tired of dumb blonde jokes.
– Ida & Tania see the cart. Funny thing when Tania says “cart” is that it sounds a lot like “c—“. No joke.
– Ready for another joke from Pune’s greatest comedians? Let’s do this!
That’s it. Fuzzie says she laughed. It was more of a snort, but okay. They return. This will not end well.
Thumbs down all around. Maybe because it barely qualifies as a joke.
– A.D. says that she found a lady who looked like she could tell a joke. For some reason there are no subtitles.
Could there truly be more female comedians than male comedians in Pune?
LADY: There’s a South Indian teacher teaching South Indian kids, and he’s got his favourite student. So he says “give me an example of an amphibious animal”. So the student stands up and says “frog”. So he’s very happy. Very good. “Okay, give me another example of an amphibian animal”. The student stands up and says “elephant frogs”.
Uh, don’t get it but okay.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 film their first man to tell a joke.
MAN: What’s the difference between a taxi driver and a hairdresser? Nothing. They’ll both rape you.
Okay, okay, okay.
MAN: What’s the difference between a taxi driver and a hairdresser? Nothing. They’re both the sharpest.
It receives the quickest thumbs down of the whole task. Ouch.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 find another man.
From Colombia to Haiti to India, this has truly gone global.
And the John Kerry School of Joke-Telling returns.
Tisha 31 praises him for the joke. She even points and laughs.
They are also lucky the man was standing two feet outside of Sony World.
– A.D. & Fuzzie’s joke is judged. The judges laugh out loud for some reason. The clue is theirs. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are already back inside.
– A.D. & Fuzzie choose Crush because they think it will be less strenuous. That may be a mistake.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s joke is judged. They laugh too.
TISHA 31: C’mon. Hips don’t lie. Shakira.
I like how she re-explains the joke too as if not approving the joke means they do not approve of Shakira.
Two thumbs from the guy on the right kills me. Maybe it is his cousin waiting outside to pick him up at the end of his shift who told the joke.
I’m surprised he didn’t cover up on the spot from thinking of Shakira like Wyclef Jean did.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 choose to Crush as well. Ida & Tania figure out how to load up the clay pots. The traffic worries them. Lots of whistles blowing. Vince & Sam are wondering the streets as Vince screams Sam’s name as they find the sugar cane cart. Vince pushes as Sam squeezes.
Phil Keoghan has said that the locals in India are always the most troublesome for production crew because they will hover around every task and route marker in crowds to watch it unfold. Even Phil Keoghan’s explanations can be seen with dozens of people lurking around him.
This sugar cane task proves to be no different.
– Ida & Tania argue over how to guide the cart. Ida is trying to avoid potholes (whether the potholes are made of clay is unknown).
The one thing I do like about TAR visiting India constantly is that there is always the annual “Do not get ran the f— over” task.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and A.D. & Fuzzie ask for directions. Geoff 26 returns to his cab as he signals to the driver standing that he is ready to go.
GEOFF 26 (to driver): Hey, genius!
I have a feeling the driver can pick up on Geoff 26’s rudeness.
– Ida & Tania are getting increasingly closer to the market.
Pot shards for everyone!
– Another fell but somehow did not break. A.D. & Fuzzie are now at the market. Sam complains that Vince’s beam keeps hitting him in the head. Fuzzie is surprisingly the one pushing the beam around as A.D. shoves the sugar cane through.
The prequel to the Sri Lankan Tuk Tuk Gang Bang.
That drink is still ten times healthier than a can of Coke.
– Sam believes his charm went a long way. He wants to enter public relations in the future.
– They read that they must travel to the Desai Bahndhu Ambewale. Caution: U-Turn ahead.
That’s right. This is the first U-Turn for the TAR Asia franchise.
Furthermore, this is the first season in the TAR universe to have a U-Turn and Yield coincide in the same race.
TAR 12 had a U-Turn and Speed Bump.
TAR Asia 3 has a U-Turn.
TAR 13 had a Speed Bump.
TAR 14 had a Speed Bump.
That is a brief history of U-Turns and Speed Bumps in India alone since they debuted in TAR 12 (TAR Asia 3 started airing two weeks before TAR 13).
I am ready to add more chaos to India, motherf—er.
Yes, Allan introduces this as the first U-Turn of the season even though we know there will not be a second one.
ALLAN: U-Turns can only be used once by each team during the race, so they must choose the best time to use it.
Uh. . .how about the only time it is ever going to be offered like the Fast Forward and Yield this season?
In other words, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are free to use the U-Turn even though they yielded Henry & Bernie two rounds ago.
– Ida & Tania’s pots are approved. Away to the U-Turn they go as well. The crowd applauses. Ida is taken aback by the applause. One kid photo bombs the camera operator.
– Geoff 26 is spinning the beam. He whines of the dizziness as he yells at Tisha 31 to stay low. Geoff 26 stops to rest. His batteries need to be recharged. Them and A.D. & Fuzzie are selling the drinks.
– Vince & Sam decide. . .
SAM: We choose not to Yield–er, U-Turn.
U-Turn? What the hell is that?
SAM: Wait! U-Turn the girls!
That’s right. They make a literal U-Turn and want to U-Turn.
– Vince talks Sam out of U-Turning Ida & Tania (I am not sure you can change your mind after announcing it to the camera operator and step off the mat anyway).
– They assume Ida & Tania is ahead of them. They read that they must make their way to the Gokhale Institute. It is a place leading in agricultural and economic research. Somewhat of a lame place, but okay.
– Ida & Tania hit the U-Turn mat.
– We return and watch this scene re-enacted all over again.
TANIA: We can’t U-Turn anyone because we don’t have our picture with us.
In TAR 12-14, we have heard teams in post-race interviews say they could not U-Turn because they did not have their picture with them, but this is the first time where production speak enters the franchise and we are told outright that a team does not have their picture on them.
– Ida & Tania have yet another auto rickshaw as they head to the pit stop.
– More glasses of sugar cane being sold.
TISHA 31: Our sugar canes are selling like hot cakes.
I have never purchased a hot cake. Have you?
– Vince & Sam hit the mat as Vince jumps ridiculously high once again.
He can truly jump high.
I swear if we did a history of India male pit stop greeters, many of them have that sweet moustache.
FIRST PLACE: VINCE & SAM
When you refuse to praise Caltex and make out with their banners, you are stuck with Nokia phones. Thankfully they did not win round four and got stuck with four obsolete Nokia phones.
– ALLAN: Which of the other teams would you be more embarrassed about beating you in Amazing Race Asia?
I am not kidding you. The way Vince, Sam, and Allan laugh is IDENTICAL to the Dr. Evil group laugh from Austin Powers. Identical. I went back and forth between the clips and could not distinguish the difference between them.
This may be the funniest scene in all of TAR Asia 3. The laughing is so over-the-top and exaggerated. It is Allan laughing in response to them which probably makes it comedic gold.
Seriously. Go re-watch it for yourself. You will be laughing so hard. Yes, even harder than a joke about s— eating pigs or tuk tuk gang bangs.
– VINCE: D. All of the above.
ALLAN: Oh. You guys are really good.
Hold on. I need to re-watch the laughing clip a few more times.
– Okay. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 need thirty-five more rupees. Fuzzie is exhausted.
Who has an easier time pushing the beam?
– A.D. has to replace Fuzzie. Fuzzie says her stomach is hurting.
This isn’t looking good.
– Ida & Tania slowly walk into the Institute before running onto the mat.
– ALLAN: I like you all dirty too.
Oh, that’s what he meant.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have finished the task. A.D. & Fuzzie may have finished seconds later. Both teams have an auto rickshaw showdown to the U-Turn. A.D. & Fuzzie hope that Ida & Tania U-Turned Geoff 26 & Tisha 31.
No surprise there.
– Tisha 31 feels bad because she saw A.D. & Fuzzie in pain, but her and Geoff 26 need any advantage they can get to make it into the Final Three. The pottery task looks like it will take a full hour to go back and complete.
– A.D. & Fuzzie are stunned that Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 beat them to the route marker. They must have thought their auto rickshaw was super fast.
Happier times for them.
– Geoff 26 expresses his continued shock of not being U-Turned. All it took was a missing photo. A.D. & Fuzzie begin the other side of the Detour. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 yell at a vehicle that is blocking the entrance.
Here’s a little known problem: India struggles with traffic congestion in its major urban areas.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 step onto the mat with the victory music playing.
THIRD PLACE: GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31
I cannot tell if they are surprised or disappointed by their finish.
– Lonely night time music plays as A.D. & Fuzzie finish the pottery task. They have the clue. Slow stroll onto the mat. Fuzzie is super sarcastic as she repeatedly tells Allan that she knows she is last. They are even more sarcastic when the last non-elimination point is announced.
We’re last? So what?
– Allan informs them they are Marked for Elimination. He even gives them a sign of hope.
You’re a real winner!
– A.D. & Fuzzie admit to being tired but are not quite tired.
Next Time on TAR: All of the non-eliminations are done! No more U-Turns! No more Yields! No more Fast Forwards! Teams make their biggest trip of the season as they head to the Middle East. One team will suffer the unfortunate distinction of being eliminated in the penultimate leg of the season. With fatigue setting in for A.D. & Fuzzie, will they rally from their 30 minute penalty next round or are they doomed to fall? Stay tuned!
LADY RUNNING INSTITUTE OF THE BLIND 0
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) Cochin, India -> Pune, India
Always spending two rounds in each country that you visit? What is this? TAR 24?
But seriously, this round was okay. Yes, we all knew it was going to be the final non-elimination going into it, but that’s what happens when nobody likes Final Three non-eliminations anymore, and you want to have a non-elimination at Final Four.
It was Sponsours Delight this round as we saw a task using a Nokia phone and another task using a Sony Handycam make an appearance.
The Handycam task of getting a local to sing a song on camera was discarded in favour of getting them to tell a joke. Again, this is subjective, but the results of getting locals to tell a joke rather than sing was hilarious. Hilarious because of the fact that the jokes were so unfunny. Especially the one about the s— eating pigs that did not have a punchline whatsoever.
TAR Asia debuted the U-Turn to make this the first season in the TAR universe to have a U-Turn and Speed Bump. Ida & Tania did not have their picture on them, thus allowing third place Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 to predictably U-Turn A.D. & Fuzzie at the last possible moment.
We learned how high Vince can truly jump. He can get mad air.
The cricket task was lame. It was designed for TAR Family Edition as teams would take a lousy ten minute penalty after missing 36 quick pitches. A.D. & Fuzzie succeeded while Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 didn’t. A.D. & Fuzzie would have finished this round in third place easily if not for that robbery.
Yes, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 were really really really lucky with how producers designed a forgiving cricket task.
The Roadblock of searching phetas was lame. It is not memorable except for Smiles McGee at the very end.
The physical Detour was fine. Pushing pots or grinding sugar cane seemed like an authentic task to do in Pune. Neither team struggled that badly with it, but it is passable as a Detour. Not passable for a season dubbed “toughest race ever”, but hey, we will see seasons with much lamer Detour tasks than this.
That’s really it for this round. All it is doing is setting up the penultimate and final legs of the season. It serves no other purpose. Well, A.D. & Fuzzie’s penalty may cost them the next leg, but for the most part, you can pretend that this round never happened without missing the heart and soul of TAR Asia 3.
Except for Vince & Sam and Allan Wu’s super exaggerated laughter at the end of the episode! That is the funniest moment of TAR Asia 3.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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?
9) 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.