Remember the carpet Detour from last round? And how Ida & Tania chose to Count It instead of Carpet?
They had a good reason for avoiding the carpets.
And do you need further proof that the Internet supports Geoff 26 as a cyborg?
Look at the link for his page. No joke.
Previously on TAR: Ten teams set out from Bangkok, Thailand in a race of over twenty thousand kilometres and across seven countries. Teams had troubles with vehicles, animals, and of course, taxi drivers.
All teams faced their fears and faced them head on, but the “toughest race ever” lived up to its name.
Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 caused conflict at the Yield, and once again at the U-Turn.
And seven teams fell by the wayside.
Neena & Amit, William & Isaac, Pailin & Natalie, Niroo & Kapil, Mai & Oliver, Henry & Bernie, and A.D. & Fuzzie,
Three teams remain.
There is Tania and actress Ida (yeah, Tania sort of gets shoved to the side here). Unlikely racers but they stayed upbeat, enjoying each other, and the race. Ida’s determination and Tania’s enthusiasm kept them both in the game.
Best buddies from Hong Kong, Vince & Sam, started as underdogs. But stepped out of their comfort zone to stay in the race. And despite some pitfalls, they made it to the Final Three by quitting.
Dating cyborgs Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 felt the strain of their relationship throughout the race. But when it mattered, their competitiveness takes them ahead and took them to the Final Three.
In this season finale, one of these three teams will win 100, 000 US dollars AND The Amazing Race Asia.
Vince & Sam are billed as underdogs? Really? Even with them having the best team average of the three remaining teams? As opposed to two middle-aged women who have never travelled before and finished last twice but saved by non-eliminations?
– Allan introduces us to Oman as a country that is dry and hot all year long. No f—ing s—. That can be any country in the Middle East.
– Ida & Tania, who arrived first at 5:42pm, will depart at 5:42am. They read that they must drive to the Governorate of Muscat Office and search for their next clue.
– Tania does not care about winning. She is just happy that they will be finishing the race. Ida agrees.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 depart second at 5:54am. Geoff 26 reveals they have ninety US dollars for this leg. They are impressed and shocked that they made it to the Final Three. Geoff 26 feels everyone is worthy because all three teams have finished first at least once.
– Ida & Tania make it to the route marker. Tania cringes when she sees it is an hours of operation. They see it does not open until eight.
Ida behind bars.
– Geoff 26 wants Tisha 31 to reverse park behind Ida & Tania in order to block them if need be.
– Eight o’ clock. They open the clue. They read that they must travel to Said’s Camel Farm and transfer ten camels to a holding pen to receive their next clue.
I think Tilikum and other whales at Sea World had more room to freely roam than this.
And I don’t think they wore toques on their nose either.
No toque? What a diva?
– Geoff 26 instructs Tisha 31 to follow Ida & Tania. Tisha 31 expects Ida & Tania to lose them because Tisha 31 does not know how to drive stick too well. Ida & Tania stop for directions. Geoff 26 thinks they overshot it and feels they are lost.
– Vince & Sam are last to depart at 10:04am.
They are also last to depart from silly fashion trends.
It is like he created his own makeshift Ian Pollack hat.
– Sam is excited to be part of the Final 3 and says it was their goal coming in. The new goal is to win it.
VINCE: Now it is no holds barred. Before it was gloves off. Now it is no holds barred.
Was that supposed to be witty? Is it his way of making fun of sports cliches?
Vince is not much for having Chung in Cheek remarks.
– Vince finishes off by saying it is anyone’s game. Meanwhile, Ida believes she has found a good luck charm.
A camel is good luck? Luck of the Omani.
– Tisha 31 is excited as she says the camels are cute. Geoff 26 does not quite agree.
Geoff 26 is more disagreeable than the man from the “Anything you can do I can do better” song.
Geoff 26 in his past life.
– Geoff 26 is not done with his camel diss.
Hence why they wear toques.
Oh. Nevermind. I guess the only reason he likes visiting the camels is that he wants to abduct ten of them.
And maybe make some nice coats out of them.
But seriously. Tisha 31 must not like hearing Geoff 26 hate on the camels and be repulsed by the animal.
I wonder what he thinks of camel toes?
– Ida & Tania are at the camel farm. Tania praises the beauty of the camels they are leading. Tisha 31’s car is stuck. Geoff 26 now has to push it.
– More pushing on the accelerator. Ida & Tania continue to lead camels. One of them is unhappy.
If you thought camels could not snarl, well, that doubt has been put to rest.
– Tania warns Ida that camels smell fear. Vince & Sam see hours of operation at the governor’s office. Vince yells at Sam jokingly for running on the grass.
I hope sharia law does not apply to not running on other people’s grass.
Can I get an OPG?
Yeah you know me!
Yes, this was back when Queen Latifah was still on the hip hop scene.
– Vince & Sam read the clue.
SAM: I knew we had to do something camel related!
For the millionth time, Sam. . .NO YOU DIDN’T! STOP SAYING YOU KNOW A TASK IS ON THE HORIZON -AFTER- YOU SEE THAT’S THE CLUE!
– Ida & Tania successfully put ten camels into the Prison Pen–er, Holding Pen. They talk to the guy giving out the clue who asks where are they from. They answer Malaysia. The guy gets excited for no apparent reason.
Is he pretending to know where Malaysia is?
– Ida & Tania open up the clue. It’s a Roadblock.
IDA: Who holds the key to your final destination?
“Final destination? Didn’t people die in that film?”
Ah yes. Allan Wu showing off his Wuscles once again.
He is looking like a Mike Chang wannabe.
– In this Roadblock, teams must drive their vehicle further out in Al-Abyad away from Said’s Camel Farm and go through the sand dunes. One team member will use a metal detector to locate a key that will unlock the clue box.
Again, not a Roadblock for Hayden.
ALLAN: However, there are seventy keys in the marked area, and only seven will unlock the box.
What is with having a task in the finale of TAR Asia 2 and 3 on a sand dune that is luck based before heading to the final destination city? This is an unexpected tradition to keep up.
I dare you to touch metal keys that have been laying out in the sun of an Omani desert afternoon climate.
– ALLAN: With an average temperature of almost fifty degrees Celsius, teams that can detect -this- key under the harsh heat of the desert sun, will be one step closer to having this race won.
If there was ever any evidence for Allan Wu taking steroids, this would be it.
– Tania decides to do the Roadblock.
Apparently driving is not part of the Roadblock.
IDA: I wouldn’t want to wish my own worst enemy to be stuck in the—oh, wait a minute.
Does that mean they have seen Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 stuck in the sand?
What a lovely day to be stuck on the side of the road–er, a desert in the middle of nowhere.
– Geoff 26 gets the car moving. He seems to refuse to stop as Tisha 31 has to jump in the vehicle. Why was Geoff 26 able to solve the problem?
Yep. That is the extent of his abilities. Tisha 31 will have to do everything else for the team.
But seriously, if you want an explanation that makes sense, please tune in to season four of TAR Asia!
– GEOFF 26: Finally I get to drive in this race and look like a man!
TISHA 31: Oh god! You’re gonna break the car.
GEOFF 26: Sorry.
Well that lasted .2 seconds.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 show up to the camel farm. Tisha 31 comments that a camel looks pissed.
Er, I should say pi–ed because it is censored in the episode. Yep. In 2008, you couldn’t say “pissed” on Asian television.
I wonder how well headbutting the camels would work.
– Tisha 31 and Geoff 26 begin leading the camels.
I would like to point out that Tisha 31 chose the worst possible colour of clothing. Why is she wearing all black in fifty degree CELSIUS heat? Is she trying to cut weight for a pageant one week after the season ends?
– Vince & Sam believe they are only ninety minutes behind the other teams. Vince suggests that he wants to lift the camels.
SAM: I’m the brain and you’re the brawn.
– Tisha 31 wants Geoff 26 to keep his camels away from hers because she finds his camels to be unruly.
Look at the air that camel is getting!
– We hear the camels growling. It is hilarious. Tisha 31 counts aloud that they have eight camels. Although it sounds like a children’s show because she counts one by one.
Why does this look familiar?
Spencer would kill at counting camels.
But that’s not quite what I am thinking of.
– Tania decides to take the metal detector closest to her. She finds the shovels to be scary.
Forget eighteen Boos, how about picking up a lone shovel. Eeeek!
It’s beeping. Does that mean there is a key right by this metal pole?
– Yes. Tania does in fact ask to clarify if the beeping is because of the metal pole that the metal detector is touching. Wouldn’t that be cruel if all seven of the correct keys were buried directly next to each of the four poles?
– Fun fact: I have never used a metal detector.
– Tania digs up a key. One wrong. Geoff 26 and Tisha 31 herd the last two camels as a random boy stalks them.
He knows all.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 drive away. They see Vince & Sam’s car incoming and are shocked to see they have caught up. Vince & Sam feel the same way. Sam begins leading a camel.
SAM: C’mon camel. . .
– Vince runs with his camel. I am amazed a serious injury did not occur. The camel DRAGS him to the pen.
I never thought we would see a game of Tug O’ War between a camel and a human on TAR Asia.
I guess Vince found his own way to be on jet skis on The Amazing Race. The camel is acting like a motorboat.
– One camel growls viciously at Vince & Sam. We see Sam jump a couple feet back from the camel.
This will get better, this will get better. . .
Er. . .
I’ll just go ahead and leave this to Vince.
Exit stage left, please.
– He defines Vince as the camel whisperer, but really, Vince is just outright running with the camels. In fact, he is yelling at the camel to stay but the camel will just keep running. Luckily it is towards the holding cell-er, pen.
Forget running with the bulls, how about running with the camels?
VINCE (phlegmy): HEY-HEY-HEY-HEY-HEY.
Where have I heard somebody scream “HEY-HEY-HEY” at the top of their lungs when they have very little control over the situation?
Ah. I remember now.
– Tania explains the heat is extreme to the point that she could fry an egg on top of her head. She further adds that it makes it increasingly tough for her to breathe. Ida calls her in for some water.
Not returning to the Omani desert anytime soon.
Yeah. Tania is burning up just a little.
– Vince thought “shoo” means “stay” in Omani/Arabic. They are only herding one camel at a time. Vince yells at Sam for not taking one for himself yet. Sam is too afraid as they continue to do one at a time.
– Vince & Sam find a camel with a nose ring. Too bad the camera did not zoom in on it.
– Tania has the correct key. She reads the final destination city is Phuket, Thailand.
Tania is excited because it means they will be leaving the heat.
Too bad TAR 14 had not aired yet because Tania had not seen the incident of Margie collapsing from heat exhaustion.
– Once here in Phuket, they must travel by taxi to Sam Kong Temple where they will find their next clue.
Sadly, not a single banana hoard to be found.
– Tisha 31 is back in the driver’s seat as Geoff 26 yells at her to watch the ground. A curse is censored.
It was probably “ah poop”.
– Ida gets her car stuck in the sand. ton of F-bomb and S-bombs are dropped instantly. Geoff 26 sees them bogged down.
IDA: The tires were soft from the heat and we got deeper and deeper.
That’s right. Tires can actually become deficient if they are in too hot of a climate.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 observe Ida & Tania stuck until something highly improbably happens. . .
Tania pushing on a metal car in fifty degree heat.
And Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are stuck too! We may not reach Phuket until episode twelve at this rate.
– Ida & Tania finally get themselves out.
Tania is an absolute workhorse.
Away we go to the airport in first place!
Production must be loving this.
– Tisha 31 shows up to the Roadblock. Geoff 26 claims it was so hot to the point that his vision was getting distorted. The guy running the Roadblock task must be an American. Tisha 31 has a key. She is excited. The key does not unlock.
– We go back to the camels. Vince & Sam’s final camel is calm. They receive the clue. Given how much the top two cars have been stuck, they may catch up. Sam is doing the Roadblock because it is a “thinking one”.
– Geoff 26 says it is all in the hips. He is telling her this in the same rhythm as Carl Weathers from Happy Gilmore.
Who knew Asians loved 90s Adam Sandler films.
– Tisha 31 of course tells Geoff 26 to shut up when directly referencing Adam Sandler comedies like any normal person would. She tries to grab the key with her hands, but says the sand is too hot.
GEOFF 26: That’s what the shovel is for.
What? You mean those objects used for digging will help me retrieve keys that are buried beneath the surface?
– Another key is lost. Geoff 26 informs Tisha 31 she has plenty of time as he can see Ida & Tania still bogged down.
– Ida & Tania call for a taxi. Yeah. In the middle of freakin’ nowhere.
– We come back. Tania wants to use rocks for traction.
Yes. Ida believes rocks are used to help cars gain tires gain traction. It is the best alternative to kitty litter. You know who else uses rocks to get themselves out of situations?
Aaaand I’m going to Hell.
“I asked to be left out of this blog, but none of those requests even mattered!”
– Steam blows into Tania’s face. Tisha 31 finds one more key and it unlocks the box. There goes Ida & Tania’s lead. Geoff 26 is stoked to go to Phuket. I assume because they were in a virtual tie for first during the season premiere in Thailand.
– Ida & Tania request a tow truck or a local to dig them out. A man does it in two seconds. They get back in the car. Tania says they are screwing up because Ida is not paying attention when she is driving. Ida curses some more but stops short of responding to Tania.
– Ida tells Tania not to be jerky but Tania insists for Ida to not be sensitive. Troubles in paradise.
– Vince freaks out at Sam because he told Sam never to stop when driving in sand. Instantly the car is stuck. Vince coaches Sam into moving it, but then it gets stuck again because Sam got the car stuck.
“You got the car out? Good! Wait, don’t stop on the sand! What did I just tell you?”
Who knew in a franchise called TAR ASIA that self-driving would lead to every team getting into multiple accidents because they are driving poorly. One day that stereotype will be erased.
– By the way, I should note that Vince & Sam were on their way to the Roadblock as Ida & Tania passed them going out on the desert.
– Sam is wearing a thick white jacket as he starts doing the Roadblock.
At least it’s not a black jacket.
For once, the route info is being used as a shovel.
– Sam goes through a few keys. They do not fit.
SAM: He is the Camel Whisperer and I am the Key Master.
Except no because Vince yelled at camels and you have gone through half a dozen keys.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are at the airport. Jet Airways is closed. Ida comments she loved Oman while Tania counters that her whole body is covered in sand. Even in her shoes!
That’s right. Running and walking in sand led to sand in her shoes. What a piece of relentless f—ing sand.
– We go through a montage of Sam using keys until one finally unlocks. It is as if
VINCE: Do not over-rev. Do not under-rev.
Just Baby Bear that rev.
– Sam is kicking himself but Vince interrupts him that they cannot change their exhaustion. The only task is heading to the airport.
– The two teams are at the airport. Surprisingly, there are a limited number of flights.
I never knew Oman had a Goth following.
If only their application for TAR Asia 3 was accepted.
I am serious. Kynt & Vyxsin really did apply for TAR Asia 3, but were rejected because they would have too big of an advantage over other teams.
– There is a flight from Muscat to Dubai that departs at 4:45. From there they can fly to Bangkok. No booked tickets through to Phuket, however. Both teams book that flight.
– Vince & Sam scramble to book a flight that departs within the hour.
This last minute flight scramble is courtesy of Standard Chartered!
– For Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and Vince & Sam, they are on that same series of flights from Muscat-Dubai-Bangkok-Phuket. It is a journey of 6, 160 kilometres.
A race around THE WORLD has come full circle!
– Ida & Tania’s flight plan is a little different.
Not a journey of 6, 160 kilometres.
– Ida & Tania are annoyed by the agents at the ticket counter to book a flight through Singapore. She is super quiet and lazy. We do not see much of it. They describe her as being on an “extended coffee break”. How long did it take?
Too long. You would think somebody killed Ida’s first born as we hear Ida say “oh no” several times in the most desperate plea I have ever heard on the race.
Toughest Plea Ever.
– Commercial break.
– We return. They have now summoned the supervisor. He has purchased the tickets that they needed all along. Their journey is 6, 400 kilometres.
They are going to need an equalizer badly.
– Stop Phuking around as it is time to hit Phuket. Daytime. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 and Vince & Sam both have taxis. This is not boding well for Ida & Tania.
I should note we are 26:18 of 46:57 in the episode when we hit Phuket. We have just over ten minutes of airtime before a winner is crowned.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are first into a taxi. Tisha 31 tells Geoff 26 that she has butterflies.
TISHA 31 (to taxi driver): Take all the shortcuts.
GEOFF 26: Yes, all the shortcuts. Like a hairdresser.
Even the cyborg does not approve of his own reference.
– Vince & Sam hop into a taxi. Vince informs us that Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 sat closer to the front of the plane.
– Geoff 26 hopes Ida & Tania did not make their connection. Where are they?
I can only imagine how devastated communities like Survivor Sucks were when an all-female team essentially gets Joe & Bill’d/David & Jeff’d/Ron & Kelly’d at the very end of the season after being a relatively dominant team.
– Cliches start coming out. Tisha 31 utters cliches such as “it’s every man for himself” and Geoff 26 adds “one mistake can kill you. . .like a taxi driver”.
GEOFF 26: Can I get a woop woop?
Yes, well over 200 episodes into the TAR franchise and we resort to contestants quoting Jay Z lyrics. Well, the radio edit version anyway.
– What is Geoff 26’s prediction for how he will finish in this leg?
Yeah, he is confident.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have the clue.
ROUTE INFO: Now is not the time to chill out.
– They read that they must take a taxi to the Thai Trade Food Ice Factory. As we know from video games, the ice level is always amongst the toughest and is saved for a point near the end of the game.
– Once here, they must search huge barrels full of ice shavings for an ice cube without tipping or lifting the barrel. Once they have it they can exchange it for their next clue.
A big f—ing barrel.
A small f—ing ice cube.
Wait. That route info pun was TERRIBLE!
– Vince & Sam are next to the clue. They read the same terrible pun and re-enter their taxi.
– What happens to Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s taxi driver? Surely he knows where Siray Island’s Ice Factory is, yes?
This would be a great time to use that whistle of yours, Geoff 26.
GEOFF 26: Live and die by your taxi driver.
Geoff 26 is indeed quoting his real life friends Marc & Rovilson.
Who repeated that saying every damn leg.
– Sam tells us that his taxi driver knows exactly where Siray Island is. They find the port and start digging immediately. Vince notes there are three barrels that have been untouched. They are doing this incredibly fast. A towel is used to retrieve a huge number of ice shavings.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 drop F-bombs as Tisha 31 pretends to be nice until. . .
TISHA 31: Eh, f— it.
Well, they really give up fast.
– Vince & Sam have their clue and exit the Ice Factory. They read they must go to the Lam Hin Pier and find their next clue.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are SCREAMING directions to the taxi driver. Right. Right. Right. No, straight! Straight! Go! Straight! Straight!
– They note that the one barrel is liquid and emptied.
TISHA 31: Oh my god, it’s cold.
I thought Vince & Sam are the only ones who were assigned to having “No f—ing s—” moments?
– Vince & Sam’s taxi driver knows where to go. Just one problem.
Vince & Sam are ready to choke a cabbie.
Not that Cabbie.
– Ida & Tania’s flight lands. Tania enters a taxi and tells him to go like Michael Schumacher.
What the f—? Michael Schumacher? Did I hear that right?
Yeah. This guy. He is known as the best Formula 1 racer of alll tiiiiime, but nobody has really cared about him since 2000. Apparently he is currently in a medically induced coma at the moment. Please pray for the maker of shoes.
– Meanwhile, Geoff 26 is playing a creative game of Hide and Seek.
– Then for some stupid reason, Geoff 26 decides to dance after whining that his hands are too cold.
Even Tisha 31 is wearing a ‘wtf’ expression.
– And editors think portraying Phuket Ice Factory workers as hot-blooded people would somehow be funny. Note that these two shots are shown back-to-back.
Oh great, it’s the camera operator filming Tisha 31 bending over in front of the camera for the 10, 000th time this season. How f—ing original.
The women walk away while the men stare and smile. How ridiculous.
– Ida & Tania have the clue. Tania notes the driver has no bumper on the car as they head to the Ice Factory.
IDA: This is TARA! Anything can happen!
Yep. This is the first time I have heard the series referenced as “TARA” aloud.
– Vince & Sam get really lucky. They keep calling their driver Mr. T because he “pities the fool who gets gasoline”.
He looks nothing like Mr. T.
– So Vince & Sam’s gasless taxi driver pulls over on the street. But look who is across the street?
– Yes. Vince & Sam transfer into a taxi with a full tank.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have their ice cube. Their driver knows the location of the pier. Vince & Sam are already at the pier and have their clue. They read that they must take a fishing boat (a long tail Thai fishing boat) along with a driver and find a fisherman on a marked boat. He will give them their next clue.
In TAR 14, we said “Thai boat” ten times successfully after much practice.
In TAR Asia 3, we now have to say “Long tailed Thai boat” ten times.
Toughest tongue twister ever.
– Vince & Sam enter the boat and are on their way. Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 lightly jog to the clue at the end of the pier. Now they enter the pier. Even Sam ran faster than they did.
Geoff 26 flashes a gang sign to the driver for some reason.
– He obnoxiously claps when the driver acknowledges the direction. Tisha 31 was happy that the clue did not say to go into the water.
– Vince & Sam have the clue. It’s a Detour.
ALLAN: This is the last Detour of the race.
– They must take their boat to Rang Yai Island and choose between two aquatic tasks. Pull or Plunge.
In Pull, teams must kayak out to the Rang Yai Pearl Farm and pull up as many as 900 oyster lines to find one that is marked with a flag. They will exchange that oyster shell for their next clue from a man who is waiting on shore.
Are we sure they didn’t just transport that from the Kota Kinabalu Detour in TAR 4?
I doubt Fran & Barry would notice that flag.
I totally thought there would be weed inside of that case rather than a clue for a reality television show.
ALLAN: With the entire outcome of the race hanging on a line, teams will need to get lucky to quickly cross the finish.
Allan now utters his puns from a distance.
I wish Millie would do this task.
In Plunge, teams must search the sea floor for a giant clam shell. If it contains a pearl, they can exchange it for their next clue.
Much easier than searching 900 lines of oyster shells.
– Vince reads aloud that there “is no ten foot rule” meaning they do not have to be close together for the Plunge option. Sam whines that there will be a lot of clams.
VINCE: I can cover a lot of ground, and you are a competent swimmer, right?
SAM: Okay. Yeah.
Not a confident swimmer.
– Geoff 26 activates Diva Mode. This is the worst. I think this season is dropping .5 because of this moment right here.
Yes, this is the man dating the winner of Miss Philippines.
Oh no. The upwards snapping. It has been a while since I referenced Men on Films.
I give that video two outdated upward finger snaps.
– He makes the man wait a couple seconds before taking the clue. Now he starts having a childish banter with Tisha 31.
TISHA 31: I wanna open it.
GEOFF 26: No I want to!
TISHA 31: But you opened the last one!
Ugh. Just give Tisha 31 the clue.
– Finally he does. Tisha 31 opens it. You would think they are ten hours behind all other teams right now because of their lack of urgency. Tisha 31 refuses to Plunge because she hates swimming.
That’s right. Somebody from a country of ten thousand islands cannot swim.
– Vince & Sam begin Plunge but decide it is too much of a needle in the haystack and opt switching to Pull. It is the first time they switched all season.
– Ida & Tania are at the Ice Factory.
Tania shows off her flexibility.
– Geoff 26 hopes Vince & Sam chose Pull because it involves rowing, and Geoff 26 reflects how they smoked Vince & Sam at rowing earlier in the season. You know, the lone time all season where Vince & Sam were doing terrible?
– Vince & Sam manage to kayak to the oyster lines. Sam says he needs to go back for his shoes, but Vince instead splashes Sam’s feet to make it cool enough to walk on the pier.
SAM: You know this is also needle in a haystack, right?
I think that was the point, Sam.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s plan of “smoking” Vince & Sam at paddling is not quite working.
Working so well together under pressure.
– Tisha 31 says they keep going in circles when paddling. Geoff 26 tries his way for five minutes.
Teri & Ian’d.
– We resume as Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 are now back on their boats. Five minutes are up, and Tisha 31 now wants to do her plan. Geoff 26’s response?
GEOFF 26: SHUT YOUR HEAD!
– Ida & Tania have emptied the barrel and have their ice cube. They go back into their taxi. Ida says the task was swiftly done.
– Vince & Sam have the marked oyster shell. They are paddling to shore. Tisha 31 points it out. Her and Geoff 26 stop paddling entirely as they watch.
– Vince & Sam exchange the shell for their next clue.
SAM: Will this become your treasure island? In the marked area are three treasure chests each containing 100, 000 US dollars.
Yep. It is Survivor: Borneo episode four all over again. They have to find a treasure chest, dig, it up, and carry it to the finish line.
Allan talks about the location of the plantation and it being five kilometres away from Phuket, but you know what? Nobody really cares. I bet all everyone cares about is that this is a candidate for the lamest final task of a season of The Amazing Race since teams ate a pizza in Chicago.
I am not kidding you. That’s the only thing teams did in the final round of TAR 6. They ate a deep dish pizza.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 start yanking on lines.
– Ida & Tania are at the pier. They enter a boat and head towards the floating fisherman.
– Tisha 31 has the marked oyster shell.
Mugging for the camera.
– Vince & Sam begin digging. We discover this is more reminiscent of TAR Asia 1’s Bali dig.
Vince would kill to exchange Sam with Sandy for this final task.
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 have their clue.
GEOFF 26: C’mon baby, we could be in first.
Yes, if you moved a bit faster.
– Vince says digging with your hands in the sand is a tough challenge.
What is with digging for chests and keys for the final leg this season, anyway? Did somebody watch the first few episodes of Survivor: Fiji and thought “let’s base an entire leg around this”?
– Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 start digging.
Not the greatest of digging techniques.
Well, unless you’re in a Psy music video.
Probst wants teams to dig deep.
Booker T and Baron Samedi wonder if they can dig it.
Stanley Yelnats is not impressed with their digging.
TANIA: Titanic moment!
– Ida & Tania are upbeat. They have the clue and decide to Plunge.
– Vince & Sam see the edge of the chest. Geoff 26 see it too. Vince accidentally kicks sand into Sam’s face. Digging continues.
– Ida & Tania put on masks and begin searching the water. Tania found an anchor. Ida find a pearl in the biggest clam ever.
And this was a needle in a haystack according to Vince & Sam? Who in the world would this be a needle in the haystack for?
– Ida & Tania exchange their pearl for a clue. When Tania reads the part about the treasure chests, Ida gasps loudly and has an exaggerated expression on her face.
Oh snap! The race is almost over!
I should note that Tania’s bathing suit crams as many colours as possible onto it. Pink, yellow, black, white, and green on two articles of clothing.
– Geoff 26 wants Tisha 31 to push against the chest with her feet while he lifts it up.
How much strength could Tisha 31 be using when her feet are stretched out like that? Shouldn’t she have her body closer together?
– Vince & Sam lift up the chest first. Geoff 26 then hoists it onto his shoulder.
The Rupert Boneham strategy. It looks painful.
But on the other hand, it did lead to the first ever Survivor threesome.
– Geoff 26 walks about two feet before dropping it.
TISHA 31: Do you want to give me one side? Or do you want to be the man and carry the whole thing by yourself?
– SAM: I wish we had shoes now.
Oh. Shut up about the shoes.
– We are shown the finish mat as teams begin to cheer.
A.D. looks as cool as cool can be.
Neena is wearing a blonde wig for some reason.
Henry & Bunn-Eh.
I know I point this out each season, but I am curious if the clapping used on air is pre-recorded hours before teams show up, or if they truly do only clap right when each of the three teams are heading to the finish line.
Neena’s 1960s wig still draws more attention than Isaac & William combined. Who is going to cross the finish line first?
Bernie rules that Vince & Sam are safe.
Geez, since when did Tommy Hilfiger become a sponsour? Do we really need advertisements at the finish line?
ALLAN: The moment you’ve been racing for and we’ve all been waiting for. . .Vince & Sam. . .after traveling 7 countries, 11 cities, 21, 600 kilometres, you are the official wunners of Amazing Race Asia!
Palest finish line celebration ever.
You may as well have Dan Barry winning this season.
Fuzzie cues the dog pound.
ALLAN: I have one task left for you to do. . .
“Eat this key!”
– No, it’s a key to open the treasure chest. What could possibly be inside?
Those rich uncle Pennybags.
ALLAN: That was hard. You truly deserve your prize. Congratulations.
– Vince talks about how this is an amazing race and knew it would be competitive. He and Sam would only compete if they knew they had a chance to win.
FIRST PLACE: VINCE & SAM
– Now Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 step onto the mat.
SECOND PLACE: GEOFF 26 & TISHA 31
Geoff 26 flashes a ‘2’ and sits down on the chest. Yeah, it took real brains to figure out that Vince & Sam won as they are probably standing ten feet away.
By the way, have I ever said how much I would love it if they hid the winning team from the second place team when they arrive? You would have some priceless reactions.
ALLAN: You fought very hard from the beginning to the end. You are the second team overall to complete Amazing Race Asia. . . .(cutesiest wutesiest voice possible). . .CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!
Seriously, it sounds like a two year old when he congratulates them.
– Tisha 31 is happy making it to the Final Three and both are happy the grand prize went to Vince & Sam of all teams.
– Ida & Tania announce their arrival as the teams cheer.
Tania’s arms must be burning from this round.
Tania’s runner-up pose.
– Allan informs them they are the third team overall to complete the race. Everyone cheers. Ida does not think she could have done the race with as much fun with anyone else.
TANIA: We laughed all the way to the end.
And so did we.
One last Tania pose. . .and we’re done.
– You know how every single season ends with the winners saying something inspirational, or with some sort of amusing quote? And how it follows with a slow zoom out of every team divided into two rows as they look into the camera far away?
– Vince says their friendship is stronger. Sam claims he had such a good time.
VINCE: I am sad that the race was over.
This is it. End of season. Vince is sad the race is over and we cut to credits. Such an abrupt ending. What follows next is two minutes of credits and acknowledging sponsours.
Toughest Farewell Ever.
– By the way, there is a TAR Asia 3 Memories episode like the other two seasons. I am amazed TAR Asia 2 Memories was available online.
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
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54
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 Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 – Used Yield and U-Turn
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 Vince & Sam 2.45 FF
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) Ida & Tania
An actress and her friend in their 40s? They are probably going to be annoying and be out of the race early. Dang mactresses taking the jobs of real racers!!!!!
But guess what? Ida & Tania went against my expectations. Starting with round three two their awesomeness was showcased for the audience. They were competitive, hilarious, good natured, expressive, and occasionally went against the conventions of the race.
Oh, and most of all, they were practically robbed of their victory. One bad flight plan during the final leg is all it took to prevent their win. Otherwise, it appeared they completed the Phuket portion of the round in the shortest amount of time possible. It was surprising because usually they grab the best flight and beat every team to the next country almost every time.
I guess they are not exactly robbed though when they were saved twice by non-elimination rounds. However, when both rounds took place in cities that all four other teams were familiar with as well as the local language, well, Ida & Tania were doomed to finish at the bottom for the China rounds (Hong Kong and Macau).
Once teams went to India, Ida & Tania absolutely slaughtered the other teams. No longer would Vince & Sam, A.D. & Fuzzie, Tisha 31, and Henry & Bernie rely on their Chinese knowledge to beat other teams. Suddenly Ida & Tania’s superb efforts with directions and quickness that made them the toughest team in the race’s final days.
The American franchise has always found it impossible to cast a strong middle-aged female team. Linda & Karen, Lyn & Karlyn, and Mona & Beth are the only two examples that come to mind, and I can assure you they did not consistently do well nor was their agility an asset.
Somehow Ida & Tania’s tiny frames managed to be masters of THE TOUGHEST RACE EVER.
And I bet this season would drop by a whole point if they finished 10th or 9th, and a team as dull as Isaac & William were swapped into third place.
Thank God for that.
The franchise needs more teams like Ida & Tania. We need more teams who refuse to sleep in airports ninety percent of the time, and will miraculously save enough money to sleep in a five star hotel and have a gourmet breakfast as the audience is ready to shoot Natalie Glebova in the right kneecap.
I will miss Ida & Tania’s facial expressions. That to me will be a core of the TAR Asia 3 experience. Move over, Chad Crittenden. You’ve been dethroned.
P.S. Yes, Ida & Tania have a franchise record after a kajillion seasons in the TAR universe for being the most successful all-female team over the age of forty.
2) 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.
3) 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.
4) Geoff 26 & Tisha 31
The beloved cyborgs. Geoff 26 wanting to be The Terminator, and Tisha 31 being a clone of Tia Carrere.
Geoff 26 may have all the muscle, but he does not play many sports regardless of the fact that he was the loved one video for Marc & Rovilson in TAR Asia 2.
Until Survivor: Blood vs. Water, a Loved One of a past reality TV contestant had never been cast for a subsequent season before.
Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 started off the race well as they held an alliance with Mai & Oliver. After losing the grand prize for the leg due to a game of rock-paper-scissors, they started working on their own.
They did some underhanded tactics of stealing taxis, blowing that ridiculous whistle for both Vietnam rounds, and annoying teams to the point that even Ida & Tania hated them. Remember when Tania coined him as “Black Spiderman”?
The villain edit died a bit as they merely became the fighting couple who were horrible with directions. For the next several rounds they would finish near the bottom as they would royally screw up with directions, and be average at the tasks itself.
I say the villain edit died down, and yes, I know they used a Yield on Henry & Bernie and a U-Turn on A.D. & Fuzzie. For some reason, Vince & Sam applauded them for doing so, and because everyone was plotting to U-Turn Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 anyway, the move seemed far less villainous. It is tough to look bad when everybody has already said they are out to get you.
Once the China rounds began is when they did much better. That was because Tisha 31 had lived in and/or visited Macau and Hong Kong throughout her life, but simpler tasks propelled them ahead.
It was re-joining alliances that would drop them down. Working with Vince & Sam to fly to India put them in a race for last as operating a Nokia phone or hitting a Cricket ball proved to be impossible for two fit people in their 20s.
What was surprising in the final leg is how much they were discouraged. Like, they thought it would be impossible for them to catch up to Vince & Sam even though there were physical tasks that Sam would have to complete.
Maybe it is because they are both rich and did not really need the money, and thought Vince & Sam who work as teachers and comedians need it more.
Look at Geoff 26. His job description is not publicized, but I imagine he is an actor or sports analyst of some sort.
Tisha 31. . .has a different story. Miss Philippines but taken away due to Canadian citizenship, dated host of Survivor Philippines, and did a bunch of modeling.
Mactors + Personal connection to the most well-known team from last season = lazy casting choice.
Did they really add a lot to the season? No.
Does that make them a bad casting choice? No. Just makes producers look lazy as mentioned before.
The Yield incident and the U-Turn incident did not add much to the race. No accidental alliances were formed. No new grudges were created. Nobody finished last as a direct result of either event, despite it being unprecedented for both twists to co-exist in a race.
If they had won this season, it would be a bland victory. Far from the worst, but not one to really make it memorable for the audience.
I think Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 played it up for the camera a bit much at times. Tisha 31’s eyerolls after the Yield, Geoff 26’s random outbursts, etc.
Their most entertaining round outside of Terminator impressions was in the final round.
“SHUT YOUR HEAD!”
Also, they did well at doing confessionals for the camera. Tisha 31 was a surprisingly good talker.
You know what? I am not exactly sure what to make of Geoff 26 & Tisha 31. They did have a lot of weird diva inducing moments and odd quotes. But it was Ida & Tania who greatly overshadowed them.
I s’pose I am glad that Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 made it further than most teams, but am reasonably content with the fact that they did not win.
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) Vince & Sam
Whenever a team wins that I was not exactly rooting for, they tend to rank lower than if they just lost instead.
I will start off by saying that THEY WON THE TOUGHEST RACE EVER.
Okay, but seriously, they won a race where they willingly took a four hour penalty in the pen-ultimate leg.
Sam irked me all season long. Not like he was super annoying, but just enough were I was hoping he could be eliminated.
“I’m too religious for this!”
“Oh my god, I am getting a tattoo! Everyone freak out on my behalf!”
“Oh my god, we’re doing so well in a city where Vince has lived most of his life!”
“Oh my god, I quit a task. Producers, make us an underdog heading into the final round!”
And that is not covering the fact that we did a segment called “No F—ing S— with Sam Wu” for most of the season where he played the role of Captain Obvious.
Sam Wu? Maybe he is Allan’s half-brother, and that is why they had such a favourable route once they hit Taiwan.
I cannot get over their incredible luck with the Fast Forward, Blu-Ray task, Hong Kong, Macau, Fuzzie taking four hour penalty, and being granted enough time to be in Phuket first and provided with the best cab driver.
If you thought they are a lucky team, Tammy & Victor must have watched their season and fully intended to be three times as lucky in TAR 14.
Vince is supposed to be a comedian, but he did not make me laugh out loud all season long. He was a middle of the road narrator who did not give much tone, and luckily did not bore me enough to the extent of Isaac & William.
Now before you say “oh, you’re just somebody online who hates all-male winners”, I should point out the only all-male winners I do not like are Tyler & James.
The second half of the season had a theme of needing to be really lucky to stay alive, and Vince & Sam certainly followed that theme by coming up with the win.
Are they both nice guys in real life? I am sure of that.
Is it annoying they were provided with a Fast Forward and an ideal route? Yes.
Would we have a better season on our hands if they left earlier or were not cast at all? Absolutely. They just did not know how to work the camera, and came off as a bit entitled at times.
However, I will grant them a reprieve that they acknowledge how lucky they were to do well all season long. Again, they are not bad guys. Sam is a bit annoying, and Vince did not live up to his potential on screen.
Lastly, did I mention they won the TOUGHEST RACE EVER?!
8) 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.
9) 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.
10) 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) Muscat, Oman -> Phuket, Thailand
What an odd design for a final round. They spend the majority of the finale in Oman, but are then forced to fly to Phuket for a couple of relatively easy tasks.
In fact, by far the toughest part of this leg is what played out in Oman. Using the metal detector in 40-50 degree heat to open up a lock, driving skills being tested as you have to avoid getting stuck in the desert sand. The camel herding looked like a struggle too.
I do find it hilarious that in the last self-drive portion of the season, all three Asian teams managed to get stuck multiple times. The stereotype will never break.
But Phuket? Digging through an ice barrel took about two minutes for each team. They directed a boat driver to a nearby fisherman, did a Detour that involved a minute of paddling, and pulling on lines until you have a marked oyster shell minutes later. Head to shore, dig in a nearby field of sand, and pick up a chest that you will drag to the finish.
That’s right. Four out of five tasks were needles in a haystack. No epic final task. A treasure hunt in a small contained area where your lead was determined by a taxi driver chose the winner of TAR Asia 3. No mental flag challenge where a team rallies from behind. Just “find a hot needle in a small haystack, then big needle, then another big needle, then a heavy needle” and you win the season.
Not to mention the end-of-race interviews last for less than two minutes before we head to credits that roll for twice as long. Sigh.
This finale is not as bad as say the Chicago finale in TAR 6 or the New York one in TAR 10, but we are scraping the bottom of the ice barrel with this one.
10) 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?
11) 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.
Where does this season fall in our rankings? Time to find out.
1. The Amazing Race 5 – 9.2/10
2. The Amazing Race 12 – 9.0/10
3. The Amazing Race 7 – 8.8/10
4. The Amazing Race 3 – 8.7/10
5. The Amazing Race 9 – 8.6/10
6. The Amazing Race 2 – 8.5/10
7. The Amazing Race 11: All Stars – 7.2/10
8. The Amazing Race Asia 2 – 7.19/10
9. The Amazing Race (1) – 7/10
10. The Amazing Race 13 – 6.8/10
11. The Amazing Race Asia 3 – 6.7/10
12. The Amazing Race 10 – 6.5/10
13. The Amazing Race 4 – 6.25/10
14. The Amazing Race Asia 1 – 4.55/10
15. The Amazing Race 8 – 4.0/10
16. The Amazing Race 6 – 3.9/10
17. The Amazing Race 14 – 2.5/10
I thought I would rank the season lower, but discovered that I liked this cast much more than TAR 10’s and TAR 6’s cast to ever rank it too low.
Some of the teams were too silly and likeable to not ignore. I cannot think of too many teams who are remotely like Ida & Tania, A.D. & Fuzzie, Niroo & Kapil, and have gimmicks like Isaac & William’s uncomfortable nature or Natalie’s pathetic storyline.
This season traveled a much shorter distance compared to TAR Asia 1 and much much much shorter than TAR Asia 2, but you know what? TAR Asia 1 failed because it had a terrible cast, but TAR Asia 3 had a charming group of players.
It is incredible that this season had eleven episodes but covered as many countries as the budget of TAR 24 would allow.
Yes. TAR Asia 3 had a ton of restrictions because of its international contestants, but yet TAR 24 barely matched them even though they are free to visit many more countries across several more continents.
Allan repeatedly says throughout the season that it is a “race around the world”, but we never leave South Asia. Taiwan is the furthest east and north, Phuket is the furthest south, and Muscat is the furthest west.
That is not even one continent. It is half of a continent compared to TAR Asia 2 which visited the corners of four separate continents.
So if you like visiting numerous countries that are diverse, this is not the season for you as we were in Chinese territories for 4 1/2 of the 11 legs this season.
Natalie’s ability to be pathetic and condescending was great as she was eliminated at the perfect time possible.
Niroo & Kapil, besides having amusing accents, they also had such a funny and pathetic storyline that led to them being eliminated at the perfect time.
Neena & Amit were too “normal” for television, and were ideal first boots.
Mai & Oliver, who I wish could have made it a bit farther, gave us five excellent rounds. They are the only team to threaten to quit after winning the first leg of the race. Plus you rarely see racers that young be cast for TAR. Look up the age demographic. You usually need to be in your late 20s or 30s to compete.
Henry & Bunn-Eh are great for not failing when intending to fatally fall out of cyclos.
A.D. & Fuzzie are amazing for too many reasons to list.
Isaac & William were fun as the punching bags for the first two episodes of the season. They really served no other purpose except to enhance this blog. If you watch it from home, yeah, you’re not going to be creating witty Isaac & William jokes. But for this blog? They delivered.
Geoff 26 & Tisha 31’s unusual personalities were fun to watch at times.
And lastly, Ida & Tania may surpass Lisa & Joni for a spot on the Top 25 Teams of All-Time List.
We have covered the teams. We have covered the route. Now let’s cover the tasks.
Yes. This was billed as the TOUGHEST SEASON EVER. They copied TAR 12 and 13 by having only eleven rounds of play. Shorter breaks. Shorter distances traveled. Using the same cities AND locations multiple times.
But this season was all about having the TOUGHEST TASKS EVER.
I will admit, Niroo & Kapil puking ten minutes into the start of the season set the bar high.
In round two we had the 90 minute episode because they hit them with a 30 hour stretch of task after task after task after task.
In round three, the Roadblock left teams in scorching heat to the point that Natalie quit. Also, they were stuck on a 25 hour bus ride without any sort of first world comfort on the bus. This is the same round where Henry & Bunn-Eh nearly died.
In round four, they did not have any breaks as Taiwan ended up being an all night leg. There was such fatigue as Geoff 26 & Tisha 31 nearly quit, and Niroo & Kapil forfeited the race multiple times during the round. Surprisingly, it was a food eating task that made them stop.
Then round five is where things get too brutal. Not since TAR 6 with the incredibly dumb hay bales task did we have such small needles in a haystack. We were stuck in the same city for the second round in a row as a team was given a four hour penalty against their will because they could not pick the correct Blu-Ray player. The round made Ida & Tania of all people mad as they had to dig through a massive container for an obscure coin. All this occurred as Vince & Sam skipped ahead with the Fast Forward. Mai & Oliver did not find a single route marker all leg that they are the only team to be eliminated while sleeping in their car.
Legs that you are forced to spend hours on that are 100% luck does not make it tough.
After that, production made the race much easier. They bounced around locations such as Hong Kong and Macau with ease. What boring and biased rounds.
In India, the only difficult part was the joke telling task, and that was because we as the viewers suffered as we had to listen to these painful jokes.
Rounds ten and eleven spent in Oman were difficult. The reputation as “TOUGHEST SEASON EVER” is understandable if every round was like that. Counting limes, touching metal, driving on sand, and going across cliffs in 40+ degree heat is as brutal as it sounds.
But the most important city of the season was perhaps the easiest–Phuket. It’s like producers said “Phuket” and put together a random leg.
I think the TOUGHEST RACE EVER was just a tagline to have enough viewers turn in for a third season of the franchise. This was their best play when they had their least impressive route to use in franchise history.
They held up the tagline for a few episodes, but knew they could ditch it because your first couple of episodes are going to be the difference between your casuals investing into your show for the year or tuning out and tanking the series.
I do not blame producers for making that move, although it is one of the more dishonest moves pulled by producers. This was a dishonest year for producers as they promised during TAR 12 that “there will be no non-eliminations” this season.
In conclusion, TAR Asia 3 benefited from:
a) An above-average cast and
b) Harsh tasks and harsh climates that triggered a record three eliminations due to four hour penalties
c) Its own real truth Asian flavour that distinguishes itself from the declining American format
d) Using a U-Turn and Yield in the same season; something I have been begging TAR to do for years where they cross twists from different eras
e) A solid boot order
g) Ida & Tania!
a) Route was a huge step back from previous seasons
b) Hong Kong and Macau were not too thrilling
c) A quitter winning the season
d) Too many tasks that involved a huge amount of luck in order to succeed and stay alive in the race
e) The frequency of sponsours integrated into the show becoming comical and over-the-top. This is good or bad depending how you look at it.
f) Playing a mediocre F-Zero knockoff on a cell phone qualified as a task
And that’s it. A season which is above ‘good’, but a little bit below ‘great’. If you love watching teams have their mental and physical stress pushed to its limits, this would be the season to watch.
If you want an unbiased season. . .look elsewhere.
I am surprised how much I liked this season.
Next Time on TAR: It’s time to head back to the United States as we prepare to blog The Amazing Race 15. This is the first of five seasons that I have never seen in its entirety before. The Static Era that began with TAR 14 continues. A season with several major incidents has since fallen into obscurity as the threepeat Globetrotters are all that have kept the legacy of this season alive.
Will it be worse than our TAR 14 experience? Absolutely not.
Will it be far better than it? Well, tough to say.
However, this season marks several huge changes that I will cover: my personal life, the global state of affairs, the state of reality TV as it entered its tenth year, and technological advances that revolutionizes The Amazing Race’s future. This will be the most important pre-season write-up I have done since TAR 11: All Stars. Thankfully that is all I have to cover.
Oh god. And her. Some of you have been waiting three years for me to talk about her. Don’t worry. I have plenty to say about the woman who nearly killed any joy I found in two of my favourite things from my childhood.
Oh shush it Gumshoe.
Logan is going to talk about me so much? I think he has a crush on me.
F— you, and shut your f—ing mouth.