“Oh Man, You’ve Been Wuliminated”
Oh god. Are we really here? The penultimate episode of TAR Asia 3? Survivor 28, TAR 24, and Big Brother Canada 2 are all approaching their season finales in the coming weeks here in 2014, and here I am still stuck in 2008.
There will be nothing else new in the summer except TAR Canada 2 in July as well as Big Brother 16. Perhaps blogging TAR 15 and 16 will be a more preferable option during this time.
Because this is the penultimate episode, it is time for me to assess the final four teams in play.
VINCE & SAM: What is it with Chinese teams and being given an unfair advantage during this era? We covered a couple months ago how Tammy & Victor had the biggest advantage of any team in the 24-season history of The Amazing Race thanks to rounds 9, 10, and 11 being in China before heading to a place they were familiar with for the final round. In addition, they spent time in areas visited for rounds eight and nine.
Vince & Sam not only traveled to Taiwan where I believe Vince had visited multiple times, but a Fast Forward following a DVD in a haystack task in the second Taiwan round gave them an even bigger boost of luck.
In rounds six and seven, they visited their home area of Hong Kong, and furthermore traveled to nearby Macau which is not a very different city.
Round eight was the first time where they were on an equal playing field, and barely survived. In round nine Vince’s softball background became useful as they smoked a cricket task. All other tasks for the round were ridiculously simple and easy which allowed them a first place finish for the day.
Vince is a popular stand-up comedian in Hong Kong, but he has not really been portrayed as a funny racer. When I think of the funniest racers on this season, I think Vince beats out Henry & Bernie, and that’s about it.
Sam. . .is mildly annoying. He talks of his religious pride too much as if it places him above the morals of other racers, and keeps discussing things being crazy as if nobody else on the race is doing the things that he is doing.
What about their racing abilities? Why have they made it up to this point? Well, luck is ninety percent of it. They finished poorly in the first couple rounds, had a huge advantage for half of the season, and now are finally showing their true racing abilities. We will find out at the end of the season if Vince & Sam are worthy of being able to survive to this point.
IDA & TANIA: Speaking of luck, Ida & Tania survived an elimination round after finishing last on two consecutive non-elimination rounds.
They are surprisingly fast for two middle-aged women with their own families. When you think of middle-aged women who have done well in the US version, you think of people who are Bowling Moms or Roller Derby Moms. Not mothers who are on the skinnier side and are agile.
Much like Diane & Ann a.k.a. MILFinators from TAR Asia 2, these two mothers are using their stamina to their advantage. They are surprisingly similar teams except Diane is not around to act like a huge d—-bag, and Ida & Tania do not meditate quite as much as Ann.
Mental and physical quickness as well as a good sense of direction is what has kept this team alive to this point.
Oh yeah, and a whole lot of luck and entertainment along the way.
GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31: The classic young fiery dating couple that have found themselves entering the Final Four. Young couples who argue will frequently make it far, but will rarely ever win. Think about it.
See? Never happens.
Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have often been middle of the road sprinkled in with the occasional round win. They are not afraid to ask locals to stand aside as they jump lines for taxis or flights.
Perhaps they are the most aggressive team that is left in the game. They have used not only the Yield to push down Henry & Bernie but they also used the U-Turn to currently place A.D. & Fuzzie in dead last.
A bit of luck with the design of the cricket task is why they are not entering the penultimate round Marked for Elimination.
An explosive team that we will likely see in the final round of play, but one that I doubt will win.
A.D. & FUZZIE: Remember at the start of the season when I said that I did not believe they would have the stamina to last until the end? Well, I was wrong. Sorta. A.D. & Fuzzie have never won a leg, but they are never worn out enough to be eliminated. If it weren’t for the lightning strikes at Macau Tower, Fuzzie may have never finished that Roadblock before Tania.
Their coalition with Henry & Bernie was beneficial for several rounds. In fact they always find a way to work with other teams along the way, and have been viewed as a likeable team. A great example of their playfulness is when you see them interact with “Allan. . .” at each pit stop.
Unfortunately, Fuzzie’s physical limitations finally came to fruition in the past round as the sugar cane Detour temporarily zapped her of all energy. This allowed Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 to rally from behind and beat them to the U-Turn mat by seconds.
Now A.D. & Fuzzie will begin the next leg in last, and given they have never won a leg, being Marked for Elimination could put them out of the race.
Furthermore, this round is heading to Oman. One of the hottest climates on the planet will not offer Fuzzie a break that she desperately needs.
In fact, the order that teams finished on the previous leg may very well be the way they finish for the end of this season.
THAILAND – VIETNAM – TAIWAN – CHINA – INDIA – OMAN
Previously on TAR: Four teams set off from Cochin, India and made their way to Pune. Playing a game of cricket wasn’t easy for Geoff 26. When A.D. knocked it out of the park. At the Detour, Ida & Tania chose to push a cart of pots. And past the teams who were making sugar cane juice for the locals. But it was Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 who chose to U-Turn the team behind them and A.D. & Fuzzie were forced to complete both Detours. But were saved from elimination.
Four teams still remain; who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time. Thank freakin’ god Isaac & William did not last ten episodes. Like, there’s John & Scott level of boring, then there is Isaac & William boring.
– Allan introduces us to Pwune. It is known for education facilities. Nine universities!
ALLAN: This was the pit stop in the race around the world!
And we are less than two kilometres away from the starting line, and only traveled a few hundred east of the starting line!
– Vince & Sam, who arrived first at 12:01pm, will depart at 12:01am. They read that they must travel by taxi to Bhaja Caves. It is sixty kilometres outside of Pune. It has intricately chiselled images of Buddha. This is one of the oldest places in India as the imagers were believed to be made in the second century. Here is where they will find their clue.
– Vince says it is anyone’s game. Sam interrupts that one lucky break can propel you to first. They feel they do their best to control aspects of the race that do not require luck.
– Ida & Tania depart second at 12:17am. Tania says they are competitive and intelligent enough to use that as a strength over other teams.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 depart third at 1:14am. Tisha 31 is shocked to make it to this point. She believes the key is not to be emotional or argumentative.
Who knew Nike was allowed to be a sponsour of TAR Asia. That s— would not fly in the US version.
Fun fact: Tisha 31 used to date the host of Survivor: Philippines. No, the Filipino version. Not to be confused with Survivor 25, 26, 27, and 28.
– Sam sees the hours of operation at the Caves. 8:15am to 5:30pm. They stay at a hotel in the nearest town.
– A.D. & Fuzzie begin last at 2:40am. A.D. wishes Fuzzie a happy birthday. A.D. groans as she enters a cab. Both say they are tired but will keep going until the bitter end.
Why am I having Victor flashbacks?
– Ida & Tania stumble upon the hours of operation as well. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 go on the path as well as Tisha 31 skips and hops in reaction to the rats on the path.
– A.D. & Fuzzie take a quick snooze.
Why three o’ clock in the morning is not a popular time to start your day.
– A.D. & Fuzzie enter their “hotel” room.
The master bedroom.
Sweet dreams are made of this. . .
– Morning! The four teams are ready to start their day. Except for Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 who run into a franchise first.
I am surprised the driver approved footage of him sleeping.
Geoff 26 gives himself an excuse to flex as he checks the driver’s pulse.
B.B. is more alive than this guy.
I know when I am asleep, I want to be waken up by a cyborg and a television crew.
– Three teams are at the Caves as they cheer on the arrival of A.D. & Fuzzie.
The teams cheer on the beloved underdogs. The only team that does not have a modeling or entertainment gig as a profession.
Slowly. . .walking. . .the. . .trail.
Apparently they are referred to as “Team Singapore”.
– Teams grab the clue. Ida comments on the beauty of the cave entrance.
It would be a lot more interesting if it was the Cave of Wonders. At least that cave can talk.
– Teams read they must travel by train to the railway station. They must take note of a particular statue of Gandhi then make their way to a specific Standard Chartered bank where they will find their next clue.
– The four teams are all aboard the 10:10am train. Since we are near Mumbai, you can expect what type of train ride this will be.
A fun one!
But first, production would like to show you the girl with the unusually long arms! She can tickle down people who fall down a well!
– This train ride looks just as nasty as the one from TAR 4.
Oh my god! Vince has to SIT between two people!
I would prefer riding this train rather than the crowded university bus I rode for four years. A bus that was crowded on a daily basis to the point that the number of people standing outmatched the number of people sitting, some had to wait an additional hour for the next bus because there was no more room, and drivers even went on strike because of the safety hazards.
This is not just an India thing.
– Ride is over. Teams walk through the Pune train station. Ida describes it as “total madness” about four times in one sentence.
– Ida & Tania are first to the Gandhi statue. They memorize the date the statue was put up–1927.
Have I mentioned before how much I want Gandhi 2 to be a thing?
– Vince & Sam and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are in a coalition.
Is this the third round in a row that Vince & Sam are working together with Geoff 26 & Tisha 31? I did not think their coalition would hold together for so long.
– A.D. & Fuzzie enter an auto rickshaw. The driver does not understand what they are saying, and instead takes them straight to the Standard Chartered bank.
– Ida & Tania are already at the bank. They must use a Standard Chartered card at an ATM machine and enter in the year Gandhi was born into the ATM as the PIN number. If they are correct, their next clue will be printed on the statement. However, if they are not correct within three attempts, they will receive a familiar ten minute penalty.
What happened to “protect your PIN”?
– Ida & Tania say they wrote down everything on the statue except the birth date. Geoff 26 and Vince also write down 1927 as they are at the statue. Ida & Tania ask people on the streets before entering the PIN. It is correct. Tania looks like she is having an orgasm as she runs in one spot huffing and puffing. Not knowing what to do.
You just kissed a publicly used computer? That may be one of the more disgusting things you can do on the race. And I have seen people play with elephant dung using their bare hands.
– Ida casually reads the clue at first before it clicks what their next destination will be.
– Teams must now fly to Muscat, Oman. Once there they must find a marked vehicle where they will find their next clue. Ida & Tania hire a new auto rickshaw.
– A.D. & Fuzzie read the clue. It blatantly says to “enter Gandhi’s birthdate”. Fuzzie thinks they have to return to the statue, but A.D. points out that they just have to ask a local because they have the necessary information. Sure enough A.D.’s instinct is correct and they preserve second place.
– Vince & Sam are third to the clue box. Sam brags about knowing Gandhi’s birth date because he asked the driver beforehand if 1927 was the real birth date. The driver corrected him before they made it to the bank. Sam acts as if this is the most brilliant strategic move made in TAR Asia history.
– Vince & Sam punch in the right date and have their clue. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 enter the bank last.
GEOFF 26: Enter 1977. 0277. 1877.
Did they not read the clue? At all? A.D. & Fuzzie didn’t even go to the statue and knew what to do.
– Ida & Tania offer some hilarious commentary on Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s fail.
IDA: We were gobsmacked that Tish said they put 1977 because then he would be the same age as her probably.
Gandhi does not age well for a 31 year old. Oh god. . .that is hilarious.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have the clue. Tisha 31 is excited that they must now take a flight. Tisha 31 informs us seconds later that they barely made the flight.
They are in a hurry to get to Muscat.
– Teams are in Muscat. They read that they must drive themselves to Al Alam Palace. Along the way they must beware of wild animals such as cattle, monkeys, and some other animal that I cannot understand what Sam is saying.
Just think this place is all for one dude to live.
– All four teams ask for directions. Geoff 26 drops a F-bomb when a guy tells him he is new to the city. Tisha 31 is driving and says she has never driven a manual car.
TISHA 31: I took lessons right before we came here.
Well, trying is half the battle.
– Multiple teams have hired locals to lead them. Vince repeats that donkeys, camels, and goats will be on the street. Tisha 31 begs Geoff 26 to look at her to guide her. Geoff 26 snaps that he cannot look at the map and her simultaneously. Geoff 26 reminds her that they are once again hitting down the futile road of arguing with one another.
– Ida & Tania arrive at the Al Alam Palace first.
Again, all for one dude.
– Ida & Tania read that they must now drive 141 kilometres to Nizwah Fort. It was built in the 17th century. This is where their next clue shall be.
– A.D. is driving but is the one who insists they are on the wrong highway. Geoff 26 wants Tisha 31 to drive through a roundabout, but obviously that idea is as dumb as it sounds. They are directly behind A.D. & Fuzzie’s vehicle.
– Vince & Sam’s local leads them to the palace. Second place is theirs for the time being.
A.D. & Fuzzie may find it soon enough if that camera crew sticks around the car for too long.
– A.D. & Fuzzie are last to the palace. They take a stroll back to the car. Vince claims he has been up for 24 hours since the round started, and wants to stay up because Sam will be able to stay up driving too.
– Ida & Tania are first to the route marker at Nizwah Fort. The bad news?
You shall not pass!
IDA (Porky Pig voice): We were looking at first!
– We see a clock displaying 3:19am. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 receive directions from a local who apparently never sleeps. Vince & Sam pull into the fort. They are bummed it was an equalizer.
– The sun comes up. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and A.D. & Fuzzie are at the fort. A.D. has always wanted to go to Oman because of its beauty.
– Geoff 26 is also bummed by hours of operation. A.D. & Fuzzie are indifferent once they show up.
– 7:00am. The teams are amazed by the number of doors. Ida wishes to do a trot.
– Searching through doors to determine who will have the advantage in the penultimate round. . .how fun. Vince & Sam are first to the clue box. Lucky guys.
Oh. Cape Town all over again.
– Teams must search through several clue boxes. Somehow Ida & Tania are first to find the real clue. They read they must drive to Mutrah Souq near the Port of Muscat. Wow, they are killing it regardless of the equalizers.
– Vince & Sam read the clue next in hushed voices. Fuzzie discovers a toilet. No joke. You can tell how drained Fuzzie has truly become. And is Fuzzie her real name?
Because it is tough to believe that is her real name ever since the incident with Fuzzy Dunlop.
– Geoff 26 has the clue. He then tells Tisha 31 to stay in the car as he agrees to split a cab with Vince & Sam. They want to work together because they anticipate an Intersection.
– A.D. & Fuzzie have a clue. It’s not the right one. They grab one at the top of a staircrase elsewhere. Try again.
– Commercial break.
– We return to where third time is the charm for them.
– Geoff 26 is chatting with locals. Vince & Sam yells out to help follow. Tisha 31 honks at Geoff 26 to move faster.
– He snaps at her saying he wanted to test Vince & Sam if they were to ditch them. Geoff 26 adds that Vince & Sam have less money and would not have been able to afford another taxi.
On the other hand, standing around with locals doing absolutely nothing is only going to frustrate your alliance members as well as your own partner.
– Ida & Tania are already at the next route marker. Where is this badassery coming from? They read that they must choose between Carpet or Count It for this Detour.
– In Carpet, teams must make their way on foot to a carpet shop. Once there they must match up two pieces of carpet with a photo on their Sony Cybershot digital camera to receive their next clue.
Sony has a market in Oman?
The closest thing to a metrosexual in Oman.
ALLAN: Although this task may appear simple, teams will need a sharp eye for detail to scan deceptively similar designs and wrap this one up.
– In Count It, teams must make their way on foot to a perfume and novelty store. They must count the correct number of dried limes in a traditional basket. No other explanation from Wu here. He does not show up when no pun has been written into the script by the Jwuish writers on staff.
– Ida & Tania choose to Count It. Vince & Sam and Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are at the clue box together and also decide to Count It.
– We now get to watch teams count limes for roughly thirty seconds. A.D. & Fuzzie are last to the clue. Wow, A.D. is even slow to read the clue. Fuzzie thinks it will be easier to sit and count something.
Although counting in this heat at a perfume store may not be ideal conditions.
I have heard of not wanting to show your face on camera, but this is ridiculous.
But seriously, that Muslim woman is really going out of her way to cover up. I cannot imagine doing that in 37 degree Celsius weather.
This Muslim man’s outfit is what we see him in ten degree weather. Imagine what he would be like in Oman.
– TANIA: 1, 597.
Omani Uncle Phil is displeased as that is an incorrect answer.
He prefers his home in Bel-Air rather than running a dried lime and perfume shop in the middle of Muscat.
– SAM: 1, 803.
TISHA 31: 1, 595.
“Hahaha. Those crazy half-Canadians and their inability to do something so simple as counting dried limes.”
In other news, Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are stuck with the perverted camera operator for this week.
– Geoff 26 whines that Tisha 31 wants to try counting once more. She insists they do not know how far away the other Detour option is. Geoff 26 whines again.
GEOFF 26: I decided to make and Executive Geoff Decision and decide to do the carpets.
An executive “Geoff” decision? What makes Executive Geoff decisions so special compared to regular decisions?
– IDA & TANIA: 1, 596.
Uncle Abdul Phil is not impressed.
Muscrats! What are we doing wrong?
– Geoff 26 arbitrarily decides they will do this for twenty minutes before heading back to count.
A.D.: 1, 599.
SAM: 1, 600.
Wrong, too. Watch it be 1, 601.
– Geoff 26 thinks he has the right carpet but Tisha 31 repeats he is wrong. He now wants to switch.
Who knew stubbornness would be Geoff 26’s issue.
– Ida describes what it is like to count with significant sleep deprivation. They may as well be counting sheep.
Oh no, I’ve gone crosseyed.
What is happening to Ida?
Oh god. We may have found a new running TAR screencap for future seasons.
– Vince & Sam want to come up with separate numbers. Vince has a guess of 1, 601. Sure enough it is correct. He reads that they must drive to Wadi Tanuf which is 2 1/2 hours south of Muscat. Here is where they will find their next clue.
– Geoff 26 now refers to Vince & Sam as their “so-called friends” because they took off without telling them the correct number. He now counts aloud as he awkwardly stares into Tisha 31’s eyes as if it is her fault.
The next upgrade will be for Geoff 26 to have lasers shoot from his eyes.
– In the car Sam says he did not help his alliance because he assumes each bag will have a different number. Well, he is definitely wrong. Geoff 26 resumes counting like a normal person would. Him and Tisha 31 come up with the same number of 1, 596. Geoff 26 says he would have been done the carpet task by now if they did the carpet task whole-heartedly. He later describes that both sides of the Detour are equally evil. They switch once again.
Yes. Skill-based tasks are evil. He is like Carissa Gaghan describing tasks.
– Ida & Tania submit a guess of 1, 595. It is approved. I love that a brutal counting and a detail-oriented task are part of the penultimate Detour. Especially in forty degree weather. And thirty hours of sleep deprivation.
– Vince claims he is lost on the road. Ida & Tania sing Amazing Grace. Pop songs would never air on American television.
– Carpets fall on Tisha 31’s head when she pulls out one lone rug.
Figuratively the rug is pulled out from under her feet, but literally they are pulled out from the ends of her fingers.
– She now jumps back in fear for each subsequent rug she pulls out. It is like Mirna dealing with fish or sheep.
– And another rug contains a mouse. Even better.
Dried limes would never do this.
– Geoff 26 repeats if they went all out they could have finished this task earlier. Tisha 31 mumbles it is all her fault. Geoff 26 insists that is not what he is saying.
GEOFF 26: I can’t do this. I’m dyslexic. F— everyone else. F— everyone else.
TISHA 31: If we can’t get it then what do you want?
GEOFF 26: We’ll go back. Third time lucky.
Well, third time’s the charm but pretty much the same thing.
– We resume. A.D. & Fuzzie submit a guess of 1, 598. It is correct. Away they go. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 note they have thirty minutes left to count limes.
– Vince & Sam were directed to the wrong area by locals. They find new guys who give them directions to the route marker.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 submit a guess of 1, 577. Geoff 26 says they have ten minutes and starts running. He shouts they need a taxi. Tisha 31 wonders why they are not going back to the car. He does not elaborate.
– Vince & Sam find themselves in the middle of nowhere. A land of rocks and goats.
Looks like a whole lotta nothin’ to me.
– Fuzzie has no idea where they are according to the map because the map is not detailed and the road signs are not English.
FUZZIE: I have no clue where I am on the map exactly because it is not very detailed. There are diversions and there are road signs not in English and things on the road signs that aren’t on the map and things on the map that aren’t on the maps. So I’m not doing too good.
Uh. . .why not ask locals in the peak of day?
– Geoff 26 maintains his anger and conspiracy theories regarding Vince & Sam.
GEOFF 26: Sam says “let’s go together, let’s compare numbers”. As soon as they got it, they got the clue, and did not look back. Not even once. It’s a strong sign of what position we’re in. It is free-for-all. So whatever anyone says does not mean jack diddily.
It’s like this is the penultimate round before the final leg where teams fight for the lone 100k prize.
Geoff 26 is so pissed that he has to show off his guns in the process. It is like he is introducing a fifth team to the race.
Although not as powerful of a duo as Chaos and Mayhem.
– Ida & Tania are backing out of a road. Sam notices them. Guess what happens?
Time for Vince & Sam’s third unique partnership for the third round in a row! Hopefully this one works out better than their partnership with Henry & Bernie.
– They ask for directions before driving. Another odd event occurs.
Just like that, Geoff 26’s anger is cured as him and Sam hug it out. A triple alliance in the Final Four is on!
A penultimate episode where three out of four teams align? Uh oh.
GEOFF 26: I have never been too easy to see two Asian boys in the desert in my life.
You mean you usually hate seeing Asian men in deserts? What an odd sense of prejudice to typically have.
– Vince & Sam convince two guys to lead all three teams to the route marker. Ida is convinced that Sam is good at pronouncing Arabic words.
– But guess what? We’re not done here yet.
That’s right. All four teams are in the same spot and are all lost simultaneously. A four-team alliance before the final task of the round has been formed. This is unprecedented. Usually two or three teams will form an odd alliance, but all four teams working together is plain weird. Or as Sam says, “freaky”.
I guess the only people who can afford to travel with nice enough cars out here are English speaking tourists or the locals who live out here.
– The four teams show up to the route marker together. It is a Roadblock. Is it skill-based?
No. It is a traditional season premiere task as teams go one-by-one across a rope course overlooking a high distance.
ALLAN: Teams who can contain their nerves and aren’t fazed by the sixty metre drop will make a quick ascent to the top.
– “Who’s ready for a cliffhanger?”
– Fuzzie is dumb enough to volunteer for this because she thinks it will be “walking”.
Sam picks #1. He thought it would be gliding. Sadly that is not the case.
Ida picks #2.
Look at that scenery.
– Sam and Ida both have their clues. However Sam suddenly struggles. Ida is catching up to him on the way back. Sam repeats he can’t.
You’re not gonna die!
SAM: I can’t pull!
Sam’s character on Cliffhanger.
Unfortunately, nobody is smiling like a maniac in the eyes of tragedy.
Sam on the left, Ida on the right. They must move backwards.
Ten minutes later.
Sam is blowing a lead on a rope course worse than a Bowling Mom.
– Sam is exhausted to the point that he starts sliding forward. Vince starts tearing up under his sunglasses.
– You can imagine Tania’s reaction. Ida reads the clue out of breath as she reads quietly that teams must make their way on foot to the next pit stop. The place does not even have a name.
Probably because it is only fifty yards away.
Tania & Ida. . .
FIRST PLACE: IDA &TANIA
“You’re team number one!”
I believe this is Tania’s way of saying that they are in the driver’s seat entering the final leg.
– ALLAN: I have some more good news for all of your labour and hard work. For winning this leg of the race, you have each won. . .
2, 500 each courtesy of Standard Chartered!
– Allan informs them they are the first team to officially be in the Final Three.
Party on, Allan.
– Sam claims he is out of strength. A.D. cheers on Vince. Because there are two teams that can traverse at a time, Geoff 26 is next. Vince keeps telling Sam not to give up. Meanwhile Sam repeatedly apologizes. Sam slides a bit more.
SAM: I’m sorry.
VINCE: Don’t give up.
SAM: I’m really sorry.
VINCE: Don’t give up.
SAM: I’m sorry.
VINCE: THERE IS NO GIVING UP!
– We resume to a cycle between apologies and encouragement. Geoff 26 appears to finish this task in twenty seconds.
SAM: I’m sorry, Vince.
VINCE: There’s no giving up.
SECOND PLACE: GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31
TISHA 31: We’re just like. . .how the hell did we do this?
I don’t know, but in the meantime, fist pumps for everyone!
TISHA 31: It’s every man for himself.
The next cut?
Oh you bad, editors.
FUZZIE: I’m gonna TRY. I’m going to do all that I can.
SAM: I beg you, Vince. I haven’t had water. I haven’t had lunch.
VINCE: No one has, Vince.
And because you’re TEN F—ING FEET AWAY! This is worse than a Southern couple on a waterslide.
Don’t be such a baby, Sam.
Sam is disgustingly close to the route marker.
– A.D. coaches Fuzzie into never looking down.
Holy crap. She’s actually moving on the thing.
– Meanwhile. . .Sam. . .
Needed to be rescued. Alas, they must take a four hour penalty. As Fuzzie quickly points out, a four hour penalty is far more significant than being Marked for Elimination. As long as Fuzzie can complete this challenge which Ida and Geoff 26 breezed through, we will be having an interesting Final Three.
VINCE: You did a good job. I’m just there to push you. This is a team thing. I don’t want you to ever think it’s your fault.
But seriously, it’s all your fault.
– The door opens and seconds later–
– Vince & Sam instantly receive their clue.
They take the most depressing walk possible onto the mat. Vince keeps telling Sam “don’t give up” even though that is exactly what Sam did just moments ago.
You made it to the Final Three by quitting. Hooray!
Sam wishes they qualified for the Final Three in a better way, but hey, even with their four hour penalty, they will likely be on the same flight as everyone else and potentially win this race.
– A.D. & Fuzzie take a familiar walk for the second round in a row.
ALLAN: A.D. & Fuzzie. . .
FUZZIE: Allan. . .
Why do they look optimistic? They know what’s gonna happen.
ALLAN: You are the fourth and last team to arrive.
LAST PLACE: A.D. & FUZZIE
FUZZIE: That we knew.
I like how in both rounds that Fuzzie refuses to let Allan of having the satisfaction that their last place finish is a surprise. It is like her way of presenting herself as being smarter than Allan.
– Allan confirms their elimination.
FUZZIE: That’s fine, man. It was our call. I have done things I would never do on my own time.
Like quit a task rather than attempting it at all in the first place.
FUZZIE: So it’s been cool, man.
ALLAN: All the best.
ALL THREE: Thank you!
Wow. Shortest elimination chat ever.
In the shocker of all shockers, A.D. & Fuzzie were eliminated because Fuzzie could not complete a physical task. What an upset!
Hey, that name looks familiar!
Next Time on TAR: Teams return to Thailand for the finale of season 3! This is it! Go go go!
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
4th A.D. & Fuzzie 3.90 – U-Turned
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) A.D. & Fuzzie
You know how roughly nine teams out of ten each season consist of at least one model, actor, producer, entertainer, or faux celebrity?
Well, they join Andy & Laura and Henry & Terri as this season’s “real team”. No media connection whatsoever. Well, A.D. freelance writes for television, but by TAR Asia standards, you’re pretty much a blue collar worker.
And if there is a lesson to be learned for this season, those who are faux celebrities or play in front of the camera every day are not necessarily the best people to watch on TAR. Why? Because half of the teams were uber boring this season, but A.D. & Fuzzie were ‘A-‘ or ‘B+’ characters to watch all season long.
Yes, I honestly could not figure out A.D. & Fuzzie were women until halfway through the season premiere. Hence why I kept that up as a running joke. Sorry.
Fuzzie reminds me a lot of my brother. He is usually out of shape, very lazy, and banks his success in games and tests by taking as many shortcuts as possible.
Fuzzie is much the same way. I can picture exactly how she was like in school. Especially when her and A.D. follow the fashion of high school students in the late 90s.
They seemed to have a good sense of direction, did well at the mental tasks, and had a good working relationship with Henry & Bernie.
I loved how they toyed with Allan Wu. Like, they wouldn’t take him seriously. Usually hosts like Probst, Allan, and Phil Keoghan are always in the driver’s seat. The other teams are in awe of them and respect their authority. Unless they are Henry & Terri, of course.
But A.D. & Fuzzie? They would talk down to Allan most of the time and make Allan work just a bit harder to be that proper host. I love it when contestants will put the host on guard every time they see them.
The biggest surprise is how often A.D. & Fuzzie finished runner-up. Sure they never won a leg, but they did very well all season long. Their stamina surprised most people given physical fitness was not an attribute they possessed. They were lucky that “toughest race ever” meant disgusting food eating challenges, lengthy rounds, and needle-in-a-haystack tasks rather than brute strength.
However, you cannot run away from the physical tasks forever. They were unlucky enough that Fuzzie not only had to climb Macau Tower until she was saved by a lightning strike, but also she had to play in the pivotal Oman traverse Roadblock. If A.D. did that Roadblock, A.D. & Fuzzie would be in the final round and this season would end with an entirely legacy.
Sadly, Fuzzie did the task and took a four penalty to eliminate her and A.D. from the race in a tragic fashion. It is amazing how close they were to making the final round despite Fuzzie’s physical limitations.
It proves just how great they had to be mentally and possess a great deal of endurance.
This team leaves almost nothing else to be desired except the absence of a beer belly.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) 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.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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) Pune, India -> Muscat, Oman
I love it whenever TAR visits a Middle Eastern country. Knowing what goes on with North Africa and the Middle East due to 9/11, and nearly a decade later with the Arab Spring, safe Middle Eastern countries are not easier to use for the TAR franchise.
Egypt was in TAR 5, Kuwait was in TAR 10, and that has been it for the series. Oman’s appearances in TAR 9 and this season are more than welcome. I am surprised that a place like Saudi Arabia is not willing to host TAR.
Some may ask “uh, you know United Arab Emirates frequently hosts rounds of TAR over the years, right?” Well, UAE is a bit too touristy. I have now seen two trips to Oman and both do not feel like we are in the middle of tourist metropolises filled with fancy hotels and indoor ski resorts. We are getting the real deal.
The multiple equalizers at the start of the leg was annoying. Seeing all four teams align together right before the final route marker was a bit lame. Particularly when the pit stop was mere feet away from the Roadblock at that route marker too.
The ultra difficult Detour, the 30 hour round of major sleep and food deprivation, and traveling through a country where few people speak English, it is tough to argue that any other round this season should have been appointed as the penultimate leg.
Oh, and seeing two out of four teams take the four hour penalty was a bit odd. Especially given what happens in the final leg of the season.
I really want Switzerland to do their own English version of The Amazing Race because they would be free to travel anywhere around the world. Imagine the route markers in North Korea or South Sudan.
P.S. I have a feeling TAR 10’s visit to Ukraine will be the only one for the franchise.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
8) 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.
9) 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?
10) 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.