The Amazing Race Asia 4 episode nine ranking

Ninth leg

“Dive Anothwur Day”

COUNTRIES VISITED

MALAYSIA – SRI LANKA – PHILIPPINES – NEW ZEALAND – AUSTRALIA – INDONESIA – SOUTH KOREA – SINGAPORE

Previously on TAR Asia: Exhausted teams had to press on after encountering a virtual pit stop. While this was a miracle that Hussein & Natasha needed, it was a relief that was short-lived.

And after repeated attempts at spotting a flag from The Giant Drop, Claire lost her cool. At the pistol club, Natasha’s aim wasn’t on target.

The Richards’ driving at the race course saw them lose ground.

Jess & Lani swallowed the competition, and their commanding lead stayed with them to the end, and it was the end of their journey for the girls from India.

Five teams remain; Wu will be eliminated next?

TEAMS MENTIONED IN THE PREVIOUSLY ON SEGMENT TALLY

SUNAINA & DIMPLE: 4
HARDIN.HERRERA: 7
HUSSEIN.NATASHA: 5
YANI.NADINE: 2
MANAS.SAHIL: 2
JESS.LANI: 4
ETHAN.KHAIRIE: 4
WENDY.ALAN: 3
MICHELLE.CLAIRE: 5
IVAN.HILDA: 4

– Intro time.

– Allan introduces us to Brisbane and how Kangaroo Point showcases Brisbane’s “vibrant” night life.

– Jess & Lani depart first at 4:43am as they read that they must fly to Bali, Indonesia. Once there they must travel by fast boat to Lombok. The first two teams to write their names on the Fast Boat check-in board will depart at 7:00am, and the other two teams will depart at 7:30am. From there they will travel by ferry.

In Lombok, they must search the fishing village for their next clue.

lombok crowd

I can assure you this crowd decreases once the American version decides to have eight rounds in Indonesia within a span of five seasons.

TAR Asia 1 and TAR Asia 4 was not enough, evidently.

– I wonder if the beach digging task in Brisbane during the previous round was supposed to provide foreshadowing for TAR Asia’s return to Indonesia?

Remember, because TAR Asia 1 started the infamous beach digging tradition in Indonesia.

– Lani celebrates winning two legs in a row. She believes the Indonesian team (Hussein & Natasha) will have a huge advantage. Jess asks if the Indonesian team has visited that particular city before. Lani does not know, but thinks they will do well regardless.

lombok jess lani

Duck lips alert!

JESS: We’ve won two legs in a row! We just have to win another three and we’re set.

lombok jess lani 2

Lani thinks Jess may be getting a little too far ahead of herself.

– Richards depart second at 5:46am. Herrera is enjoying himself because of how things get crazier and more exciting. The mystery of what could come next is a big part of it.

– Ethan & Khairie depart third at 5:55am. Khairie says that only the truly strong and competitive teams are left which means teams are bound to finish close together.

Keep this quote in mind.

lombok ethan khairie

Typically only contestants who just shaved their head for a Fast Forward or because they are Sahil would wear a bandana like that.

Maybe there is a polar bear head on the back of it and we are not seeing it?

– Michelle & Claire/Dominatrix/Rebel Girls commence at 6:05am.

MICHELLE: Great. Another team’s home country.

lombok michelle claire

Yes. Who knew in a series called TAR Asia which travels within Asia and Oceania for all but four legs, and only picks teams from Asia and Oceania, would have a continuous issue of visiting the home country of most of the teams.

In fact, the only team who did not have their home country visited this season were Manas & Sahil and Dimple & Sunaina of India, and Alan & Wendy of Hong Kong.

Speaking of Dimple & Sunaina, why have we not seen Dominatrix nor Ethan & Khairie celebrating their elimination?

nina myers

They made out Dimple & Sunaina to be bigger liars and more untrustworthy than freakin’ Nina Myers.

– And you know what else bugs me about Michelle & Claire?

avril lavigne

They are Rebel Girls, but so far they are about as much of a rebel as Avril Lavigne. The only boys they have been chasin’ are Malaysian sk8er bois who are obsessed with polar bears.

Which, oddly enough, is similar to Canadian sk8er bois who live in Churchill, Manitoba.

veruca salt band

It’s like Claire & Michelle are trying to be the band Veruca Salt, but their image is not working out whatsoever.

– So all four teams are only a little over an hour apart following the mega leg? The teams are close together as Ethan & Khairie say regarding the strong teams who are left.

lombok hussein natasha

And over two hours later, Ethan & Khairie forget that there is a fifth team left in the race.

lombok ryan rob

We call this the “Ryan & Rob Position”.

NATASHA: Bali, Indonesia! Oh my god!!!
HUSSEIN: That’s right! Going back home. Okay, thank you.

Geez. Hussein does not even know how to be properly excited.

lombok hussein natasha 2

“May I request a high five? Okay, I enjoyed it. Particularly the part about hitting our hands together. Let’s go and visit Bali which is located near where we live.”

lombok hussein natasha 3

Natasha is excited like a normal person.

– Airport time.

lombok fly

And Ad Time too, evidently.

– Jess asks if any other teams have checked in for the same flight. The agent says ‘no’. Jess & Lani immediately book tickets and board the plane.

lombok jess lani 3

Jess’ reaction to discovering that she has yet to be screwed over by an equalizer this round.

– Allan explains that the flight is a journey of over four thousand kilometres.

lombok flight

This is what four thousand kilometres looks like on a map of Australia? Going on a getaway vacation from Australia truly is difficult.

– The other teams are at the airport. Presumably all four teams are on the same flight. Michelle requests seats closest to the exit.

lombok michelle richard

Michelle and Mr. Herrera have a brodown in the airport. Hardin describes it as one big happy family.

– Allan narrates that these four teams are on the second flight to Bali.

– Jess & Lani arrive in Denpasar, Bali at 6:00pm. Odd nightclub music plays as they enter the taxi. This reminds me of the TAR Asia 2 night time music. They catch a cab to the docks.

lombok lani pillinger

Their nickname is Team 7? I really am behind on the times.

– Jess & Lani are the first of two teams to be signed up on the 7:00am boat.

lombok jess lani 4

Couldn’t be happier to be in a tie for first.

– Jess & Lani embark on a search for a hotel for the night.

lombok jess lani 5

And professing their love for the colour pink.

– Second flight lands at 10:00pm four hours later. This clearly involves a much bigger scramble. Everybody is piled into cabs.

ETHAN: First come, first choose.

Heh. Don’t know why this alteration of the “first come, first served” makes me laugh, but it does.

lombok michelle claire 2

Rebels decide to do the most rebellious thing of all–read their clue.

– Ethan & Khairie pull over at a police station to ask for directions. They speak with their season long alliance members the Richards and Dominatrix. An idea pops into Ethan’s head.

ETHAN: Hey, do you guys want to take boat number two? All three of us it’s first come first choose.

lombok ethan khairie richards

Nothing like scheming outside of your local police station.

ETHAN:  If we get to boat two, and all of us fill up boat two we can
(Inaudible responses.)
ETHAN: We get to choose which boat we want to be on.
CLAIRE (confessional): The clue never said there was a stipulated time that it would leave. It just said that it would leave approximately an hour in between, but it didn’t say what time.

So let me get this straight: It is first come, first served in the clue. However, none of the teams think that each boat is assigned a publicly displayed departure time? The three teams think it is merely a game of chance to see which leaves first?

That truly is the only logical explanation given what Ethan and Claire just said.

Since when in TAR history has “first come, first served/choose” ever been “it doesn’t matter when you show up, just pick a boat!”

lombok group

I love how all three teams are gathered far from the docks, and are in no rush even though Hussein & Natasha could beat them there and sign up for a boat.

Even with their home field advantage, Hussein & Natasha are presumed to be last. Classic.

– So the three teams are at the docks.

lombok docks

“Where’s the sign-up sheet?”

lombok docks 2

The Richards were the only ones hesitant to believe Ethan & Khairie and Dominatrix’s interpretation of the clue. Perhaps this alliance will let the Richards be on boat 1, yes?

lombok docks 3

You’re a noble man, Ethan. It may even be your downfall, but nobody will question your nobility. That is worth far more than 100, 000 US Dollars.

lombok ethan lim

Psych! Oh man. Ethan, you sir are a god!

This is the first time ever where a team started writing their name on the worse departure time, scratched it out, and signed up for the earlier boat to screw over their own friends.

It was unintentional, but geez, your allies will be pissed that listening to your word put them at a disadvantage.

And why the heck are they Team 6? Why do they have to write down their team number? Has this always been a rule in TAR Asia?

CLAIRE: That really made Rich really mad.

Which one?

lombok richards

I think “both” is the correct answer.

Michelle & Claire are Team 9.
Richards are apparently Team 2.

lombok richards 2

It would have been funnier if Hardin put a small ‘2’ as an exponent above RICH.

lombok ethan lim 2

He might be a polar bear, but tensions are heating up and this bear will have no choice but to fall into hot water!

lombok richard hardin

That is the look of individuals who know they are stuck alone on a boat with Hussein for an hour. Hell seems merciful compared to this fate.

– ETHAN: We didn’t know the time was set. We thought all three of us could travel together. Since we get here first, I put my name down.

HARDIN: Ethan, you know I could have ran right by you, right? You say we were all gonna be on the same boat. You don’t say stuff like that then hold everybody up.
ETHAN (in best 5th grader sorry I took your cookie voice): Rich, I’m really sorry about it.
HARDIN: I could’ve gotten out of the car and ran here. We did that for y’all, and then you get to the board and say ‘oh, I am sorry,’ and–
ETHAN: Rich–
HARDIN: No.

lombok richard hardin 2

Needless to say that Hardin has never been the best at Ethan Lim impressions.

– So two hours later Hussein & Natasha show up. They are Team 5. Ethan still looks worried about Hardin.

lombok ethan lim 3

I would be worried too if I had an almost-professional athlete angry with me.

– Ethan offers Herrera to switch spots.

HERRERA: Let him rest for a while. Let him be. Don’t worry about it.

– Ethan then proceeds to try switching spots with Hardin. Hardin shakes Ethan’s hand, and assures him it is not necessary, and says it is not Ethan’s fault. All of the teams are camping out at the pier for the night. Both agree that the Richards play TAR like true gentlemen.

lombok richard hardin 3

Gentlemen who WEAR GLASSES! Nerrrrrd.

– Hardin refuses to talk to anybody because of his frustration, and goes to sleep alone.

lombok hardin ethan khairie

But even when he is cranky, Hardin is a true Frank Garrison and refuses to break the honour of a handshake.

lombok richards 3

What is with Herrera’s shirt? 2 King Ring World Something? I have a feeling it may be a boxing shirt rather than a MMA shirt. So close, Herrera. So close to having the best taste.

– You know what would be awesome?

lombok richard hardin 4

Is if Ethan or Khairie disturbed Hardin while he was asleep, and ask him if he wanted to switch spots again. That would really piss him off.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yes, you probably want me to say that the Richards declining Ethan’s offer was a dumb move. It is. To avoid being last, this was the worst possible move to make.

However, the Richards seem to be more like Colby Donaldson from Survivor: Australian Outback, and would refuse the advantage if it goes against what they deem to be “fair” play.

Strategically: Dumb.
Being able to sleep well at night unless said sleep is on a pier: Priceless to people like the Richards.

Those who would have accepted the offer are just as right to do so in the same way that the Richards are right in declining it.

Sometimes TAR and Survivor does not boil down to pure gamebotedness like these shows are portrayed to be here in 2015.

– Indonesian dawn.

lombok ethan lim 4

Ethan taking it all in.

– Jess & Lani laugh at the sign-up board for some reason. They think they are outcasts.

LANI: We avoided all the drama that went down the night before because everybody was tired, angry, anxious, farting. We were in bed SNUG AS A BUG in a rug.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Lani was trying to say the word ‘fighting’. This is the second time this season where I mixed up somebody’s accent with the word farting because I knew there was no way they would have said that.

lombok jess lani 6

baby mario bogey

Jess makes out Hardin to be someone such as Baby Mario after a double bogey.

lombok boat

Jess bids farewell to her competitors. I would imagine she was happy to avoid making alliances all season.

Their poses on the boat remind me a bit of the four people who were on boats during the tribal switch in Survivor: China.

– Hardin is all smiles on the boat. My guess is that Hussein was seated in another room on the ferry, and avoided hearing the story about when Hussein met the ambassador to Indonesia from New Zealand.

There is a sign on the ferry that says “The smart choice is to escape from Bali”. Odd marketing.

– Jess & Lani and Ethan & Khairie are in Lombok. Ethan & Khairie cut through a group of houses, but Ethan meets a foe far angrier than Richard Hardin.

lombok ethan lim 5

The cow moves back and forth quickly. A very agile cow. It is sizing Ethan up.

ETHAN: Khairie, I’m not gonna go through this way.

lombok cow

“F–king right, buddy! Nobody gets past me unless they pay a toll. You’re going to have to go around the long way, punk! Yeah, that’s right. I said it! Go if you know what’s good for ya!”

– Khairie cuts by the cow and re-joins Ethan without a problem.

KHAIRIE: It’s afraid of you, Ethan. It was avoiding you.

Ethan then clarifies his communication with animals.

lombok cow 2

Jesus, Khairie. Get your facts straight.

– JESS: Maybe we should climb up the ladduh.

lombok lani pillinger 2

Which Jess does not volunteer herself for, oddly enough. The ladduh is so rickety that Jess and a local have to save Lani by holding the ladder in place. Lani climbs to the top and searches the village around her.

lombok lani pillinger 3

Lani’s fear of heights may have been a hoax.

– Lani says they searched under toilets underground, in houses, roofs, in schools.

Under toilets? Under TOILETS?! Ew.

JESS: Maybe it’s not even in a box.

They thought a clue box would be hidden UNDER A TOILET?!

JESS: We haven’t even searched any of the boats yet.

You’re kidding me. They are in a fishing village, and we all know how much TAR loves hiding clues on boats in remote locations. The fact that private houses, toilets, and schools came before a boat on shore next to the ferry is baffling.

lombok jess lani 7

Jess & Lani recruit a bunch of kids to help them out in the process. I think Jess will have a tough time explaining her occupation to them.

– JESS: We need to look harduh!

Sorry, I’ll stop. It’s not like we’ll have a season full of contestants with Australian accents anytime soon.
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Oh. I have just been informed that this blog will take an interesting turn in 2015.

– Lani finds the clue. You’ll never guess where.

lombok jess lani 8

On a fishing boat. Not a toilet.

– Jess & Lani sneak away to read the clue.

lombok jess lani 9

Well, almost succeeded.

– Lani reads that they must make their way to the Hindu temple of Pura Meru. Jess should have no problem pronouncing that name. Once there a priest will give them their next clue.

– Jess & Lani catch a cab. Ethan quickly gets the clue and runs away as he sees the ferry approaching shore. It appears to be too far away to spot Ethan & Khairie grabbing the clue.

– The trailing three teams begin searching the village. Natasha wonders if there will be an outside entrance.

– Jess & Lani is about a car’s length ahead of Ethan & Khairie on the road. Lani is using the clue as a fan, and seeing how she has been living in the Philippines for years, it must be damn hot today.

lombok jess lani 10

Jess drinking her mystery tomato juice.

– KHAIRIE: I think it will take quite a bit for the other teams to get the other clue.

– Hardin shoots straight for the boat (according to the edit) and has the clue. Hussein & Natasha follow the Richards to the clue. Natasha admits they would have still been there if not for seeing the Richards grab the clue.

lombok hussein natasha 4

A chicken shows up on screen next to Hussein in the frame. That is true symbolism right there.

– Richards and Hussein & Natasha both catch a cab. Only one team is left at the village, and ‘you are in trouble’ music plays.

lombok michelle ng

Michelle was such a rebel in her younger days that she refused to play hide-and-seek. Now that is coming back to bite her.

– She suggests to Claire to search the beach.

– Richards find a stranger in a minivan who is described as being “overly nice”. Hardin finds out the ride is for free.

lombok richards 4

“An overly nice stranger in a minivan? AND there’s candy inside? Man, we get all the luck!”

HARDIN: It doesn’t say by taxi. It just says ‘make your way’.

lombok richards 5

“We don’t understand why others exploit this strategy more.”

sahil hitchhike

Ah. Right.

lombok driver

Maybe the driver will be like the guy in Rat Race who pulls over in the middle of nowhere and takes all of Cuba Gooding Jr.’s stuff.

– Richards explain the rules.

HERRERA: It’s very clear in the rules. And we did violate the rules.
HARDIN: Now it’s clear.

– Natasha tells us about the Richards getting into a private car, and being pretty sure that is not allowed.

– Michelle & Claire have the clue. I would not be surprised if the locals helped lead them to it off-screen.

lombok claire goh

Rebellious high fives all around!

– Claire describes the clue’s location as being sneaky.

– Jess & Lani show up to the temple. They are outfitted with scarves.

lombok valet parking

The temple’s valet parking staff help direct the vehicles on where to park.

lombok drums

lombok jess james

Drum roll! Make way for Queen Jacinta!

– Jess & Lani receive the clue. They read that they must make their way to the temple of Pura Lingsar Temple and participate in a traditional rice throwing ceremony. They will then receive their next clue.

crystal cox rice

Throw Ya Rice.

– Jess & Lani exit as we are briefly shown another interesting instrument.

lombok xylophone

Now introducing the Indonesian Xylophone! Its keys look worn out. We will see a more interesting instrument in Indonesia during TAR 23.

EDITOR’S NOTE: If anyone knows the -real- name of this instrument, I would love to know.

– Ethan & Khairie have their clue. Both teams are in taxis once again.

– HERRERA: There is no free ride on The Amazing Race!

– Richards show up to the temple. Somebody off-screen informs them of the penalty. They must now take a taxi back to the beach and return to the temple. There is a couple of awkward cuts as producers, the sound guy, and the camera guy are all not seen nor heard. Somehow they are magically told what they must do.

lombok richards 6

And in a Jack Bauer sense, the clock is ticking.

– Commercial. We resume.

– HARDIN: We have to make boogie on this leg if we want it.

Heh. Love baller slang.

– Hussein & Natasha show up to the temple. We do not hear them acknowledge the Richards. The Richards do not steal Hussein & Natasha’s cab. Hussein & Natasha return to their cab and continue onwards.

– Richards have a cab and tell the driver that they must go to the beach and back.

– Ethan & Khairie beat Jess & Lani to the second temple. Lani is stumped as to how that happened. Ethan giggles his way through the rice mob. Jess & Lani run silently.

lombok ethan khairie 2

delhi terence 5

“This is the craziest thing they have ever done!”

lombok rice 2

lombok rice

I like how these two guys come out of the line and whip the rice as hard as they possibly can.

delhi kelly 9

And yes, an all-female team can in fact get through a rice-throwing task without pretending like they are going to die.

lombok ethan khairie 3

Khairie is absolutely covered. No dyed rice this time, though.

– Detour time. Above or Beyond.

– In Above, teams must travel to Mandalika Market and must carry a basket of veggies above their heads per tradition without touching the basket with their hands. After traveling a distance of 50 metres successfully, they will receive their next clue.

ALLAN: With the pressure of elimination hanging in the balance, teams better be level-headed to stay in the game.

lombok allan wu

I appwuve of this pun. One of his better puns as of late.

– In Beyond, teams must travel to the vast Kubran Cina, or Chinese cemetery, and search for the grave of Fam Sam Moy.

lombok cemetery

Oh my word. Are we in for a ‘gravely’ pun? Please say we are.

lombok fam sam moy

In North America, the question of “How’s the fam?” would be considered offensive here in Indonesia.

finish sam camel 4

He did die quickly after TAR Asia 3. Tragic.

ALLAN: Teams who are blessed with good fortune on these hollowed grounds could bury the competition.

YES! One of Allan’s darkest puns to date!

bison yes

lombok allan wu 2

“Just like how this season will be the death of the TAR Asia series.”

– Ethan decides to do Above. He runs through the archway. No cuts at all. Ethan clues in to what is happening.

ETHAN: Uh! Not again!

lombok ethan lim 6

“The goggles do nothing!”

– Jess & Lani must run through this same patch too. They chose Above too. Lani is running faster than Jess.

– Ethan speaks Mandarin to the taxi driver. I think it’s Mandarin anyway. Inside the cab Ethan panics because he reads that they are not allowed to touch the basket on their head.

In short, Ethan finally understands the whole point of this task. It will not be until TAR 24 that tasks will be so easy that they probably would have let you touch the basket on your head.

– Jess & Lani have returned to their taxi as well.

JESS: I am not sure if it is supposed to be an honour or a humiliation.
LANI: Honour or insult. We’re curious.

ashleigh jarrod

If it were a humiliation, I think these guys would’ve been bloody bloodied up from locals throwing ten times harder.

germany sally tyson

They however would get away unscathed.

– Dominatrix are fourth to the first temple (seriously? back-to-back temples?). Hussein & Natasha run through the rice temple. They say nothing. Hussein chooses Above. Now for their second round of being pelted with rice.

lombok hussein natasha 5

Hussein uses the vest in a genius way, and is doing highly exaggerated and comedic high knees while going through. It is more of a jog because of how carried away he is with the high knees.

– Ethan & Khairie are at the cemetery.

lombok cow 3

Is that the same cow Ethan ran into at the fishing village? Perhaps cows are Indonesia’s Death Omen.

– Ethan & Khairie ask locals where Fam Sam Moy’s grave is and they giggle.

lombok grave

I hear Senegalese graves are much easier to navigate.

– Jess & Lani find the baskets in the market. Lani coaches Jess into pushing it down.

lombok jess lani 11

“Now meet the Lani who wears funky fruit hats!” — Stewie Griffin.

– Michelle & Claire are fourth to the rice temple. They are barely running. These rebels love punishment. Claire claims she was hit in the face. They choose to do Above, and run back as Claire screams “OW OW OW OW F–K OW OW OW OW OW”. So funny. She does it in her usual baby Angelica Pickles voice too that she pulls out every other episode.

lombok claire goh 2

pickle meltdown

If you thought Nici from TAR 25 is the true Angelica Pickles, think again.

– The Gaghan Family is fifth to the rice temple. Billy, Tammy, and Bill make it through fine. Carissa is knocked unconscious as a few of the locals whipped the rice as hard as they could at her face, and sent Carissa flying ten feet. So sad.

– Richards should be having a simple enough time with their penalty right? Go back and touch the boat at the village then return to the village. Sure, they’ll be at least an hour behind but it should be near impossible to get lost.

charlie murphy

“Wrong!”

HERRERA: The driver found parts of the fishing village that we did not intend to see that day. We got really lost.

lombok richards 7

This is not the Richards’ day.

lombok richard herrera

#surroundandheaddown

lombok car

Consolation prize is that the driver has a neat model car on his dashboard!

– Commercial. We resume. Richards continue describing the stress and horrifying nature of the drive.

HERRERA: There were times in the car where I just wanted to jump out of the car. We had a taxi cab with no shock absorbers back on roads that cars have never been before.
HARDIN: There wasn’t even water around us. This is a beach. We’re looking for a beach. A fishing village. There was no water. Just trees.

lombok richards 8

Hardin cannot believe how ridiculous their situation is getting.

lombok richards 9

And here I thought the only thing Hardin ever palmed was a basketball.

– Jess puts her hands on her hips to balance. She coaches Lani to do the same but she insists on twirling her hands in the air like a dance. Jess reminds her how close her hands are to the basket. They even have to walk through a boggy stretch of mud in the market.

lombok jess lani 12

Jess is not satisfied with Lani’s technique.

lombok mud

Told you I ain’t lyin about the mud.

lombok lani pillinger 4

Did somebody just point a gun at Lani? Why are her hands up like that?

– Jess gives a friendly wave to the locals near the end of the path. So much for following her own advice.

– Holy crap. They succeed. Lani reads they must head to Malimbu Beach.

Malimbu Beach? Is that supposed to be a play on Malibu Beach?

– Hussein & Natasha are second to the market. Natasha’s basket tips. Hussein makes it about twenty feet further before touching the basket. Michelle & Claire are there in third. She struggles.

MICHELLE: How the hell do they do it?

lombok michelle ng 2

Probably by not having a tiny freakin’ head, sadly.

lombok natasha sutadisastra

Natasha getting advice from a woman in her mother tongue of Indonesian. According to Wikipedia, Indonesian is one of the most popular languages to speak worldwide because of Indonesia’s sheer population. It is closely related to Malay. This means every team except Jess & Lani and the Richards are not finding much of a communication barrier.

– Hussein & Natasha succeed on what appears to be their second try. Hussein gives advice to Claire as he passed her.

MICHELLE: How the hell do you do it?
HUSSEIN (to MICHELLE): Keep it balanced.

So helpful.

lombok hussein natasha 6

“Look Ma! No hands! Wait, that’s the point of this task.”

– Hussein proceeds to the act of gloating inside of the cab.

HUSSEIN: Almost fall, yeah?
NATASHA: I just had to focus.
HUSSEIN: Yeah. Guess after being a dancer so you should have been better than me.
(NATASHA pulls hand away from high five.)
NATASHA: I’m not mad. You’re just so proud of yourself sometimes that, you know. . .

lombok hussein natasha 7

Hussein has not had a chance to gloat since the sewing task in round three.
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Come to think of it, old people tasks are the only times where Hussein has done well.

Who knows how to sew? Old people.
Who knows how to transport a basket on their heads? Old people.

uchenna botswana

Uchenna being the exception.

– Claire calls out to be really slowly. Michelle touches the basket. Then drops the towel in the mud. She is grossed out. Clare advises to push the basket down into her head to make a shape. Michelle’s basket falls anyway.

lombok ethan khairie 4

Ethan & Khairie keep searching. The cow is waiting for them to collapse due to the humidity, and prepare for its next feast.

You cannot see it due to the poor image quality, but the cow is salivating if you look close enough.

– Richards are back to the fishing village. They are running and running until. . .

lombok richards 10

And. . .

lombok richards 11

The ninth leg has officially begun!

– HARDIN: Is that the right one?

Heh. Be funny if it wasn’t and they had to go back again to the correct boat. It would be the most ridiculous penalty in TAR history.

– Hardin says they took over one hour and a half to reach the fishing village from the temple. Now they have to go back to the temple. I estimate they are losing two hours and thirty minutes because of this trip.

brisbane sunaina dimple 3

We saw what happened where teams wasted nearly three hours on the road just one round ago.

HARDIN: Riches don’t ever give up. Never.

– Ethan & Khairie continue wandering the cemetery. They ask a kid who is playing with a kite. Why don’t they leave the kid alone?

lombok ethan khairie 5

Wait a second. I have never heard of a kid going to fly a kite in a cemetery before.

A park? Nah.
A beach? Nah.
Backyard? Nah.
Neighbour’s? Nah.
Middle of a cemetery alone? No better place to be!

– The kid does not know the name. It is probably some random dude whose grave they are looking for.

I looked up the name. All I could find other than his Twitter account is “In Beyond, teams must find the grave of Fam Sam Moy.”

Leave it to teams who presume it must be the grave of somebody relatively well-known.

In TAR 6, it was a Senegalese author.
In TAR 5, it was Eva Peron.

In TAR Asia 4, it’s some guy named Fam Sam Moy. Perhaps Fam has family who are all superfans of TAR, and asked producers to feature his grave if they were to ever visit Indonesia.

Fam Sam Moy is truly a mystery.

– Claire and Michelle travel together and both succeed at the task.

My gut tells me that based on how Hussein touched the basket after Natasha tipped the first time, I assume both players must restart if just one of them loses the basket from atop their head.

lombok local

This depressed local is now stuck waiting nearly three hours for the Richards.

– Claire hopes the other teams chose the cemetery task, but she cannot imagine anyone getting stuck in the cemetery for hours on end.

– We cut to Ethan & Kharie who have been stuck in the cemetery for hours on end. Ethan claims he stepped on a steaming pile. A steaming pile of what exactly? He does not elaborate. Ethan reminds Khairie to check out the names on the graves.

KHAIRIE: Let’s look at the nicest ones.

Yes, let’s check out the latest in post-mortem fashion!

– Jess & Lani are at the beach.

lombok beach

Geez, no wonder Bali was the top travel spot in 2010. This is truly majestic. It would be difficult to not eat, pray, nor love.

julia roberts eat pray love

Unless you have Julia Roberts in the starring role. Great book ruined by the great devil of acting.

lombok jess lani 13

Jess romantically chasing after Lani on the beach.

– Jess wants to swim. She hurts herself while swimming. Lani reads the clue. It’s a Roadblock.

In this Roadblock, travel by outrigger to Gill Trawangan. The person doing the Roadblock will take scuba diving lessons at the Blue Marlin Dive Resort. Then they will head to Halik Reef to dive into the water and retrieve a briefcase. After this they will take a cidomo back to the resort.

A cidomo is a horsedrawn carriage, apparently.

lombok halik reef

Dream Teamers beg to be able to test out this task. The woman on the right has a huge nose.

lombok briefcase

This briefcase is full of money. Some of the proceeds will go the Conley Foundation.

– The task is not over yet. Once the cidomo has delivered them to a cafe, they must count the money inside the briefcase, and enter the amount into the Sony Vaio.

lombok cafe

And here I thought we could go a full round without a sponsoured task. Oh well.

– If they do not get the answer correctly within three attempts, the computer will force them to wait ten minutes before trying again.

lombok money

One Dream Teamer gets to dive into the ocean. The other gets to play around on a keyboard.

ALLAN: Teams will need to be on top of their game (mentally and physically) if they wanna be on the money.

lombok allan wu 3

Proud of yourself for that one, Al?

lombok allan wu 4

“Hosts will need to be resourceful if they want to avoid being left alone to drown when a franchise gets cancelled.”

lombok man

Nothing like jumping into a reef with boxers on!

lombok cidomo

The latest in cidomo fashion.

– What cafe are they going to, anyway?

lombok pizza

An Indonesian resort PIZZA cafe? This is the best cafe ever!

– Lani is worried because it is water again. She is happy and says “that is why don’t mind”.

Well, Jess is definitely doing this one.

– Richards make it to the temple. They have the clue. Richards still have to take a taxi to the rice temple.

lombok khairie khaire

“Hey Ethan, I found a lighthouse!”

lombok ethan lim 7

Yeah, it might be time to switch.

– Ethan & Khairie switch. They must have spent over two hours at the cemetery.

– Richards show up to the rice temple. The locals are as excited to throw rice at tourists as ever.

I know I personally love throwing crap at Albertans who dare to visit the Okanagan.

– NATASHA: Who can you count on to take a dive? You!

lombok hussein natasha 8

“Wait. The clue is literal? I change my mind.”

– Ethan & Khairie are back in a cab. Khairie complains that there was simply too many graves. Richards have the clue at the rice temple.

– Dominatrix are third to the beach.

lombok michelle claire 3

CLAIRE: Are you afraid of deep water?
MICHELLE: Yes.
CLAIRE: . . .

brisbane michelle claire 7

CLAIRE: Okay, I’ll take a dive.

lombok michelle claire 3

If going into deep water means Claire gets to avoid eating wichetty grubs, that may be a fair trade.

– Claire is scared about diving because of how she screwed up that near impossible Kota Kinabalu Roadblock in round two where five teams received a four hour penalty.

All because they could not freakin’ do a task on their first attempt in ten minutes.

– Richards and Ethan & Khairie are supposedly at Above simultaneously. Richards complete it first. They are currently in fourth. Ethan gives a friendly greeting to the Richards as they run past him.

lombok market

For once, editing is not misleading.

– HARDIN: We back in the game, boi!

Again, baller slang.

– Herrera expresses how shocked he is in the cab. Ethan & Khairie finish the Detour. They wasted nearly three hours for nothing.

– Jess squeezes into the wetsuit.

***IT’S TIME FOR ANOTHER EDITION OF THE MEGHAN RICKEY CAMERA OPERATOR***

lombok diving

This is seriously the shot on TV for two full seconds. I have no idea how this made it into the final edit, or why Jess’ chest is the only thing they want to show in the shot.

There was no reason for this other than for some icky and disgusting reason. Or maybe it was their subtle way of being funny.

I guess it is not the first time a camera has been pointed at Jess’ chest, but still. So unnecessary.

guilin margie

“What? This is unacceptable! I must report this to the Parent’s Council immediately!”
.
.
.
.
Fine. Just because I like you guys, I will do this once more.

guilin margie 4

“The camera operator is focused in on Jess’ cleavage, and Logan is LAUGHING at it! And that’s just rude.”

guilin pit stop greeter

“This is what they meant by dinner and a show?”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Yeah, I am retiring the Meghan Rickey Edition clips. I think I have made my point.

– Richards are fourth to the Roadblock site. Ethan & Khairie are grabbing the clue simultaneously.

lombok clue

Now this is what I call a race!

– Herrera says Hardin better do the Roadblock. Ethan is doing it for his team. Both teams are insisting their boat drivers to go fast.

– Ethan finds it ironic after all the drama the night before that the two teams are tied anyway. The advantage meant nothing.

Well, if you were on the second boat you would be far behind right now.

lombok jacinta james

Or a million dolluhs.

But seriously, how are all five teams at the Roadblock? The lessons beforehand must take at least two hours. Unless of course the Richards took negative ninety minutes at the Detour.

– Jess is in the water. She searches.

lombok jacinta james 2

So jealous.

lombok jacinta james 3

I want to do that. :/

– Claire repeats that she does not want to screw up like last time. Hussein enters the water second. Natasha is alone on the boat.

NATASHA: I’m having an experience and a good time with my dad which I did not have in mind. I always thought I would go here with my friends, and you know, just chillin. But it’s nice to do it with my dad.

lombok natasha sutadisastra 2

Are you saying Hussein was not your first choice for a race partner? I want to find out which of your friends backed out. If the friend did not back out, we would not have to put up with a full season of Hussein.

– Lani starts breaking out into a dance on the boat.

lombok lani pillinger 5

That pose in the top right reminds me of someone. . .

lombok lani pillinger 6

Ah. There we go.

Asian Nine Nine.

– Jess brings up the briefcase. She is back on the boat. Claire is third into the water. Jess tells Lani about the turtles she saw, and was sad she did not have time to play with them.

lombok turtle

Yau-Man Chan from Survivor: Fiji would have kissed this turtle if he did this Roadblock.

– Hussein has a briefcase. Natasha informs Hussein that Hussein is five minutes ahead.

– Khairie is the one doing the Roadblock. For now he is only doing lessons.

lombok jess lani 14

It’s not what you think it is. That might be a mic pack.

– Lani finds the cidomo carriage to be crammed, small, and uncomfortable.

lombok jess lani 15

Not surprising because the name of the carriage is “Jamur Indah”.

That’s Jesspeak for “Jam ‘er in there!”

JESS: I liked the horn. It makes him go faster.

Unless it is like the bell in Gringotts where the dragon obeys because it associates the bell with pain. Then I wouldn’t like the horn.

And yes, Jess associates herself with objects that are horny

– Hussein brings the briefcase to the cidomo. Claire finally gets the briefcase.

lombok claire goh 3

I have a feeling Claire is not a very good swimmer.

– Richards are on a boat. So are Ethan & Khairie. Dominatrix are aboard the cidomo.

lombok michelle claire 4

Cidomo Cam.

– Lani says she is scared because upon opening the briefcase there was a light breeze coming through the cafe.

shanghai cord mccoy 9

TAR 16 penultimate leg can relate to that.

lombok jess lani 16

I wish it were Monopoly Money.

– Khairie is fourth into the water. Hardin is shown flopping in seconds later.

lombok khairie khaire 2

Khairie nearly pokes his eyes out. Luckily he is wearing goggles.

lombok khairie khaire 3

Bueno Scuba.

– Herrera thinks the Malaysians must be very upset with themselves because they made a silly mistake like he did. It’s a fight between the two strongest teams up to this point.

– Khairie has the briefcase. He and Ethan take off in fourth. Hardin has it. Herrera tells Hardin that the Malaysian Boys “just left”. I would guess a couple minutes lead.

– Claire describes the notes in the briefcase.

CLAIRE: It’s like thousands of notes and zeroes that you can’t see anymore. The notes are so old and soggy and stick together. Oh my god it’s gonna be so hard.

lombok claire goh 4

If only you weren’t such a rebel when it came to doing your Math homework!

lombok money 2

That’s not a way to be organized!

– Ethan & Khairie run to the cidomo. Richards are SPRINTING on the beach. One of the fastest sprints I have ever seen in TAR history. No achilles broke so we’re good.

– Michelle says her hands are becoming musky because of the old notes.

lombok michelle claire 5

I like Claire’s interpretation of the word ‘musky’ the most.

– Did Natasha rub her right eye after touching a note? She has clearly never been a cashier before.

lombok natasha sutadisastra 3

Not good.

– Jess & Lani are done counting and put in their first guess.

lombok jess lani 17

Camera operator learns how to get Jess’ chest -and- face into the frame for once. Bravo!

JESS: We’ve learnt from previous occasions that rushing things doesn’t get you anywhere so we really took our time with it.

3, 804, 000 of the local currency is indeed the answer.

lombok rupiah

Did Jess make up the name of that currency?

By the way, 3, 804, 000 Rupiahs is equal to $355.77 Canadian Dollars. The number of notes stuffed in that briefcase really exaggerates its true value.

lombok man in black

Hardin’s cousin who works for the Men in Black provides Jess with the next clue.

– They read that they must make their way to Sunset Point in Gili Trawangan. It is the pit stop for this round, and it is windy.

– Hussein & Natasha count correctly too. I can picture what Friday nights are like at the Sutadisastra household.

HUSSEIN: Honey, where are you going?
NATASHA: I was going to meet up with my friend Judy–
HUSSEIN: Have you forgotten that it is father-daughter currency count night?
NATASHA: Awe shucks. Thought you would forget, Papa.
HUSSEIN: Hahaha, of course not my dear. Now change into an outfit more appropriate for your age, and tonight we will be counting the Japanese Yen.
NATASHA: The Japanese Yen?
HUSSEIN: Yes, the Japanese Yen is the official currency of Japan. I have built up my own little collection of their notes over the years. Help me count these and we will learn oh so much.
NATASHA: Okay, Papa.
(Twenty minutes later.)
NATASHA: Wow, eight thousand and thirty-two Yen! This must be worth millions!
HUSSEIN: Ah, that is where you are mistaken, my dear. Eight thousand Yen is equivalent to about eighty Canadian dollars.
NATASHA: Why are we converting to Canadian dollars?
HUSSEIN: . . .I don’t know. High five, Natty Nat.
(They high five.)
NATASHA: -Now- can I go over to Judy’s? We were going to hang out with some cute boys at the arcade and play Dance Dance Revolution while drinking diet cola.
HUSSEIN: Oh honey, you don’t need diet cola–
NATASHA: Papa, I know. “You’re fine just the way you are”, I know.
HUSSEIN: Do you have your homework done?
NATASHA: Yes.
HUSSEIN: Do you have your cell phone on you in case of an emergency?
NATASHA: Yes, I have my Sony–
HUSSEIN: And do you have your key on you in case your mom and I are out?
NATASHA: Yes, Papa.
HUSSEIN: Alright then. You can go to Judy’s. No later than midnight on weekends, remember.
NATASHA: Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks, Daddy.
(NATASHA exits through the front door.)
HUSSEIN: One day you’re changing their diapers, next they’re hanging out at the arcades. *sniffle* They grow up so fast.
(HUSSEIN grabs a pale ale from the fridge, and turns on the TV to watch cricket highlights.)
.
.
.
What the hell am I doing?

– Ooookay, so Ethan & Khairie are counting up money while Dominatrix is still there. Khairie says Richards have yet to be seen, and it feels like they could catch up to Michelle & Claire. He knows the challenge is hard.

lombok cash

I have never seen money thrown into a briefcase with such recklessness. Usually it is lined up quite nicely.

lombok money 3

Like this, for example.

– Richards are yelling at the cidomo to get there faster.

– Jess & Lani are celebrating in their cidomo, and impressed that Hussein & Natasha counted it correctly seconds later. Natasha wished that Hussein would have trusted her count instead of double-checking her work.

NATASHA: Next time do everything yourself.

To be fair, she has spent nearly a month alone with Hussein.

– Richards make it to the cafe.

lombok richard herrera 2

Herrera has to make a pit stop of his own!

– Hardin describes the notes as being sticky.

HERRERA: The counting. Oh, the counting.

Not fun?

– There is a cidomo race to the mat. Don’t believe me?

lombok cidomo 2

It’s the Bali Derby!

– Lani says they were able to prevent Hussein & Natasha from passing. Both teams keep pressing that silly little horn. Both teams jump out of the cidomo and begin running. Jess & Lani increase their lead during the run.

HUSSEIN: Give us a chance, man! Give us a chance!

lombok jess lani 18

lol no.

singapore kinar

You’re not going to believe it, but Indonesian TARAsia alumni Kinaryoshih is the greeter. I guess Mardy & Marsio could not fit the pageant outfit that Kinar, Paula Taylor, and Melody Chen all share during crossovers.

lombok allan wu 5

Nah, just kidding. Allan Wu wears his early Roman attire (seriously no top button?) and greets the teams.

lombok pit stop

I wish they could keep Hussein out of frame like this all season.

FIRST PLACE: JESS & LANI

SECOND PLACE: HUSSEIN & NATASHA

– Allan informs Jess & Lani they have won free gas for a year from Caltex.

ALLAN: The fuel that cleans your car engine as you drive! Valued at $5, 000 US Dollars.

lombok allan wu 6

One of the aspects to the job that Wu will not be missing.

lombok pit stop 2

Despite two out of the other four teams massively screwing up, Hussein & Natasha could not win this round despite home field advantage.

– Back to the cafe. Dominatrix screw up on their first attempt. Cursing ensues.

CLAIRE: When you count things hastily, you don’t get it right.

– Ethan & Khairie get it wrong. So do the Richards.

lombok richards 12

Haha, owned.

– Claire randomly punches in her latest calculation.

lombok michelle claire 6

And it’s correct. Woo hoo, indeed.

dubai big easy 5

Meanwhile, Big Easy takes the four hour time penalty.

– Dominatrix ride the cidomo.

– Richards screw up again.

HERRERA: It was like someone removed two bills just to give us a hard time. I can’t prove it, but that’s what it felt like.

#sorelosers

– Ethan & Khairie screw up again too. These two teams are really choking today.

– Dominatrix complain of the rocks hurting their feet on the beach as they enter the mat.

lombok michelle claire 7

You two may need new shoes. Not sure what Michelle is trying to do to Allan.

THIRD PLACE: MICHELLE & CLAIRE

lombok michelle claire 8

Pixelated fist bump!

–  Richards bring up the red screen again. So does Ethan & Khairie. Khairie instructs Ethan to calm down.

lombok ethan lim 8

Thankfully he did not follow a path of becoming an accountant.

– Hardin is nervous to type in a number.

HERRERA: Type in something man. I don’t give a s–t what it is.

lombok clue 2

Timer of six seconds turns green. Fluke. They are amazed it is correct.

– After the task they are under the belief there were sticky bills in the briefcase. Ethan & Khairie finally have it. Is it truly a cidomo race?

– Richards should have a clear path to the pit stop. But guess what?

lombok cidomo 3

Their cidomo comes to a halt. The camera operator is ahead of them, but the cidomo slowing down and stopping was unexpected that the camera operator is getting too far ahead.

lombok richards 13

Another unpleasant memory for Mr. Hardin.

lombok cidomo 4

The cidomo moves but stops again to have a staring contest with the camera operator.

HARDIN: C’mon buddy, you gotta pull!

HERRERA: Another slow vehicle. The horse was running out of gas halfway through. It was just stalling out. It would take three steps then stop then scoff then take three more steps. I would light a fire under this horse’s ass.

lombok ethan khairie 6

Oh yeah, Ethan & Khairie’s cidomo is trotting at a quick pace. We even get a blurry zoom-in of its feet.

– Both teams are shown exiting the cidomo and running. Who will be there next?

FOURTH PLACE: RICHARDS

lombok richards 14

Hardin is amazed that they are alive. Now he knows what Hussein & Natasha feel like for six out of nine pit stops.

– Slow sad music plays. Khairie brings out the Malaysian flag.

LAST PLACE: ETHAN & KHAIRIE

lombok ethan khairie 7

Nothing makes up for a bad day like the Malaysian flag.

– After being told they have been eliminated, they refuse to stop smiling like Candice Cody from Survivor: Cook Islands.

ALLAN: Why the smile? Why are you smiling Ethan?

– Both say it has been the most amazing journey they have ever had, and had a blast. They doubt there will be more of an amazing journey for them until they become mactors.

KHAIRIE: I would do it all over again. The same way if I could.
ETHAN: Life is too short to have regrets.

lombok ethan khairie 8

Well, maybe avoid the cemetery on the next playthrough.

– We can hear Khairie say “the walk of shame” in the background.

lombok ethan khairie 9

Now get off the playing field.

– Next Time on TAR: Tension mounds as things get hopelessly lost in translation. Jessi & Lani find themselves becoming the target. Michelle faces serious trouble in the woods.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

HARDIN.HERRERA 10.12
HUSSEIN.NATASHA 2.5
JESS.LANI 4.7
ETHAN.KHAIRIE 7.7
MICHELLE.CLAIRE 3.6

Team Averages

Below is a list of all teams from seasons I have blogged to date, ranked by racing average.

e.g. Don & Mary Jean finished 9th, 8th, 8th, 8th, and 8th. Add up the numbers and divide it by the number of legs they have played.

Therefore their average is 8.2.

Bulls–t Round One/Starting Line Eliminations
Eric & Lisa N/A
Bilal & Sa’eed N/A

— F minus–
12th Debra & Steve 12.0 TAR 4
12th Gina & Sylvia 12.0 TAR 3
11th Adrian & Dana 11.0 TAR 16
11th Preston & Jennifer 11.0 TAR 14
11th Anita & Arthur 11.0 TAR 13
11th Ari & Staella 11.0 TAR 12
11th John Vito & Jill All Stars 11.0 TAR 11
11th Vipul & Arti 11.0 TAR 10
11th John & Scott 11.0 TAR 9
11th Ryan & Chuck 11.0 TAR 7
11th Team Seinfeld/Avi & Joe 11.0 TAR 6
11th Dennis & Erika 11.0 TAR 5
11th Deidre & Hilary 11.0 TAR 2
11th Matt & Ana 11.0 TAR 1
10th Edwin & Monica 10.0 Only team to finish last for the first two rounds of the race TAR Asia 3
10th Yani & Nadine 10.0 Would have survived round two, but were marked for elimination and thus officially finished in last both rounds TAR Asia 4
10th Jody & Shannon 10.0 TAR Adventure 16
10th Lisa & Joni 10.0 TAR 9
10th Kevin & Drew All Stars 10.0 TAR 11
10th Neena & Amit 10.0 TAR Asia 3
10th A Black Family 10.0 TAR 8
— F +–
10th Steve & Linda 9.4 TAR 14
10th Anthony & Stephanie 9.5 (Why them?????) TAR 13
10th Megan & Heidi 9.5 (Wow. They sucked.) TAR 7
11th Garrett & Jessica 9.5 TAR 15
10th Kate & Pat 9.0 TAR 12
9th David & Mary All Stars 9.0 TAR 11
9th Peggy & Claire 9.0 May or may not be gutsy. TAR 2
10th Meredith & Maria 9.0 TAR 6
10th Dennis & Andrew 9.0 FF TAR 3
9th Marianna & Julia 8.33 TAR 12
10th Russell & Cindy 8.33 TAR 4
8th Don & Mary Jean 8.2 Saved by NEL once TAR 6
10th Kellie & Jamie 8.0 TAR 10
10th Kim & Leslie 8.0 TAR 1
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 Yielded TAR 9
8th Marisa & Brooke 7.75 Sucked. TAR 13
7th Mika & Canaan 7.67  Why the heck did they sign up? TAR 15
9th Marcy & Ron 7.67 Bald. TAR 15
9th Isaac & William 7.5 TAR Asia 3
9th Jim & Marsha 7.33 TAR 5
9th Alan & Wendy 7.25 Saved by NEL once TAR Asia 4
8th Manas & Sahil 7.0 TAR Asia 4
8th Singaporean Sophie & French Born Aurelia 7.0 (French Born Aurelia sadly does not know the English words for ‘team averages’. :/) TAR Asia 2
8th Aiello Family 7.0 TAR 8
–D minus–
8th Tom & Terry 7.0 TAR 10
8th Dave & Margaretta 7.0 R.I.P. Margaretta TAR 1
9th Lena & Kristy 7.0 Producers refused to hay bail them. TAR 6
10th Hope & Norm 7.0 TAR 2
7th Christie & Jodi 6.67 Saved by NEL–Became the Devil of Casting Later TAR 14
9th Brad & Victoria 6.67 TAR 14
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75 TAR Asia 3
6th Maria & Tiffany 6.57 Saved by NEL once and Justin’s blunder again TAR 15
9th Rogers Family 6.5 R.I.P. Renee. TAR 8
8th Susan & Patrick 6.5 TAR 7
6th Henry & Terri 6.44 Used Their Yield; saved by a non-elimination round THREE times. R.I.P. Henry. TAR Asia 2
6th Lenny & Karyn 6.43 Saved by NEL once TAR 1
9th Brett & Kinar 6.33 Rocky finish. TAR Asia 2
9th Aubrey & Jacqueline 6.33 TAR Asia 1
8th Pailin & Natalie 6.33 TAR Asia 3
9th Wanda & Desiree 6.25 TAR 9
7th Aja & Cabbie 6.2 TAR 13
7th Paul & Amie 6.2 TAR 1
8th Steve & Dave 6.2 FF TAR 4
6th David &Mary 6.13 FF Saved by NEL once TAR 10
–D+–
8th Lance & Keri 6.0 TAR 15
9th Zev & Justin 6.0 Passport lost. TAR 15
10th Ernie & Jeena 6.0 TAR Asia 1
11th Amanda & Chris 6.0 TAR 4
6th Andre & Damon 5.86 TAR 3
7th Daichi & Sawaka 5.83 TAR Asia 2
7th Dave & Lori 5.83 Saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Kami & Karli 5.8 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
8th Michael & Kathy 5.8 TAR 3
7th Cyndi & Russell 5.8 TAR 2
7th Shana & Jennifer 5.8 Used U-Turn TAR 12
9th Heather & Eve 5.75 Legal team beaten by rule book. TAR 3
5th Nancy & Emily 5.67 R.I.P. Nancy. Saved by NEL once. TAR 1
7th Jeff & Jordan 5.67. Saved by a stupid Blind U-Turn once but dead next day. TAR 16
6th Gaghan Family 5.5 TAR 8
10th Alison & Donny 5.5 TAR 5
6th Tian & Jaree 5.43 FF TAR 4
8th Sahil & Prashant 5.4 FF. Beaten by a bunch of rules. TAR Asia 1
–C minus–
4th Meredith & Gretchen 5.36 Saved by NEL twice TAR 7
7th Monica & Sheree 5.33 FF TAR 4
7th Marshall & Lance 5.33 TAR 5
9th Monique & Shawne 5.33 TAR 16. Praise Jesus.
9th Debbie & Bianca 5.33 TAR 7
7th Gus & Hera 5.29 TAR 6
6th Joe & Bill All Stars 5.25 Saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Bob & Joyce 5.25 TAR 5
8th Lorena & Jason 5.25 U-Turned TAR 12
5th Mark & Michael 5.22 Saved by NEL once but came up just short TAR 14
3rd Andrew & Dan 5.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 13
7th Silver & Gold/ Wil & Grace 5.17 TAR 3
6th Kelly & Christy 5.14 TAR 13
7th Ray & Deana 5.0 FF TAR 7
7th Melody & Sharon 5.0. Screwed over by weird penalty for another team. TAR Asia 1
9th Steve & Josh 5.0  FF TAR 4
9th Pat & Brenda 5.0  FF TAR 1
9th Mark & Bill 5.0  Wah. TAR 13
5th Fran & Barry 4.89 TAR 9
6th Howard & Sahran 4.88 TAR Asia 1
–C + —
3rd Lyn & Karlyn 4.85 – Yielded TAR 10
7th Ivan & Hilda 4.83 TAR Asia 4
5th John Vito & Jill 4.8 – FF and saved by NEL once TAR 3
6th Mai & Oliver 4.8 In a car TAR Asia 3
7th Teri & Ian All Stars 4.83 TAR 11
7th Schroeder Family 4.75 TAR 8
6th Lake & Michelle 4.71 – Used Yield TAR 9
6th Brian & Greg 4.71 TAR 7
5th Erwin & Godwin 4.70 TAR 10
3rd Adam & Rebecca 4.69 FF and Used Yield and Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 6
9th Duke & Lauren 4.67 TAR 10
5th Lori & Bolo 4.6 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 6
2nd Teri & Ian 4.53 – FF TAR 3
8th Kris & Jo–er, Amanda 4.50 U-Turned TAR 14
5th Paula & Natasha 4.45 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 2
4th Louie & Michael 4.36 saved by NEL once, used U-Turn. & trained wolf cubs TAR 16
5th Uchenna & Joyce All Stars 4.33 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 11
8th Joe & Heidi 4.40 – Blind U-Turned with Injured Knee; TAR 16
1st Dan & Jordan 4.33 – FF once TAR 16
3rd Brent & Caite 4.33 – Used U-Turn TAR 16
4th Kisha & Jen 4.27 Saved by NEL once, U-Turned once TAR 14
3rd Brian & Ericka 4.25 saved by NEL once TAR 15
8th Shola & Doyin 4.25 – FF TAR 2
–B minus–
3rd Ray & Yolanda 4.23 saved by NEL once TAR 9
5th Gary & Matt 4.22 saved by NEL once and c—blocked once in Saunabuss TAR 15
3rd Nicolas & Donald 4.18 FF and U-Turned TAR 12
4th Linda & Karen 4.17 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
3rd Charla & Mirna All Stars 4.15 TAR 11
6th Mary & Peach 4.14 (Two failed FF attempts.) TAR 2
5th Paolo Family 4.13 FF and Used Yield TAR 8
5th Lynn & Alex 4.11 TAR 7
5th Andy & Laura 4.00 – Yielded TAR Asia 1
5th Carol & Brandy 4.00 – U-Turned. May or May Not Be Mean. TAR 16
3rd David & Jeff 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL, grew goatees TAR 4
4th Oswald & Danny 4.00 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
2nd Jaime & Cara 3.92 TAR 14
2nd Pamela & Vanessa 3.92 TAR Asia 2
4th A.D. & Fuzzie 3.90 – U-Turned and saved by NEL once TAR Asia 3
5th Gary & Dave 3.89 – FF TAR 2
6th Sunaina & Dimple 3.875 – Used Yield, U-Turned TAR Asia 4
2nd Kelly & Jon 3.85 Saved by NEL twice TAR 4
1st Zabrina & Joe Jer 3.77 saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
2nd Sandy & Francesca 3.77 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
4th Diane & Ann 3.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 2
4th Jon & Al 3.73 TAR 4
6th Charla & Mirna 3.71 TAR 5
–B+–
3rd Blake & Paige 3.69 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 2
5th Millie & Chuck 3.67 FF TAR 4
5th Kynt & Vyxsin 3.63 Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 12
1st Eric & Danielle All Stars 3.62 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL once TAR 11
4th Mardy & Marsio 3.58 FF, saved by NEL once TAR Asia 1
6th Mel & Mike 3.57 TAR 14
5th Ethan & Khairie 3.56 TAR Asia 4
6th Jonathan & Victoria 3.56 TAR 6
3rd Ida & Tania 3.54 Saved by NEL twice TAR Asia 3
4th Joseph & Monica 3.50 – Yielded TAR 9
3rd Andrew & Syeon 3.46 TAR Asia 1
1st Freddy & Kendra 3.46 – Used Yield and Yielded TAR 6
2nd Ronald & Christina 3.45 TAR 12
4th Nathan & Jennifer 3.40 – Never finished in 1st TAR 12
1st Chris & Alex 3.38 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 2
1st Chip & Kim 3.38 – Used Yield TAR 5
6th Steve & Allie 3.38 – TAR 16, and ain’t got no clothes.
4th Kevin & Drew 3.36 – FF TAR 1
3rd Brandon & Nicole 3.31 Saved by NEL once TAR 5
5th Terence & Sarah 3.25 TAR 13
1st TK & Rachel 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 12
4th Godlewski Family 3.18 Saved by NEL once TAR 8
4th Dustin & Kandice 3.17 – Used Yield, saved by NEL once
–A minus–
2nd Sam & Dan 3.17 U-Turned Pointlessly TAR 15
7th Peter & Sarah 3.17 TAR 10
3rd Weaver Family 3.15 – Yielded Twice, saved by NEL twice TAR 8
1st Reichen & DK 3.15 – FF TAR 4
1st Uchenna & Joyce 3.15 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 7
4th Toni & Dallas 3.10 Still in Russia TAR 13
4th Derek & Drew 3.10 – FF TAR 3
2nd Geoff 26 & Tisha 31  3.09 Used Yield and U-Turn TAR Asia 3
4th Herb & Nate a.k.a. Flight Time & Big Easy 3.09 TAR 15. Znarf!
2nd Rob & Kim 3.08 – FF TAR 10
3rd Ron & Kelly 3.00 – Yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 7
6th Azaria & Hendekea 3.00 – TAR 12
4th Hayden & Aaron 2.92 – Saved by NEL onceTAR 6
2nd Dustin & Kandice All Stars 2.92 – Used Yield TAR 10
2nd Bransen Family 2.85 – Saved by NEL onceTAR 8
1st Linz Family 2.77 – Used Yield TAR 8
3rd Joe & Bill 2.76 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 1
–BEST OF THE BEST–
3rd Margie & Luke 2.75 Used U-Turn once TAR 14
5th Henry & Bernie/Bunn-Eh 2.75 – Yielded TAR Asia 3
8th Rob & Amber All Stars 2.75 – Used Yield, Choked TAR 11
1st Flo & Zach 2.69 – FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 3
3rd Ken & Gerard 2.69 – FF TAR 3
4th Oswald & Danny All Stars 2.67 FF x2, Used Yield, saved by NEL once TAR 11
2nd Ken & Tina 2.64 – FF, saved by NEL once TAR 13
2nd Jet & Cord 2.58 – Saved by NEL once TAR 16.
2nd Colin & Christie 2.54 – FF, Yielded, and saved by NEL once TAR 5
2nd Tara & Wil 2.53 – FF TAR 2
1st Rob & Brennan – 2.46 FF TAR 1
1st BJ & Tyler – 2.46 FF, Used Yield, and saved by NEL twice TAR 9
1st Vince & Sam 2.45 FF TAR Asia 3
1st Nick & Starr 2.45 FF TAR 13
1st Tyler & James – 2.38 FF TAR 10
2nd Frank & Margarita 2.38 – FF TAR 1
2nd Kris & Jon 2.38 TAR 6
1st Tammy & Victor 2.33 Used U-Turn Once TAR 14
2nd Rob & Amber 2.31 TAR 7
1st Adrian & Collin 2.23 FF TAR Asia 2
1st Meghan & Cheyne 2.00 FF TAR 15
2nd Eric & Jeremy 1.69 FF TAR 9
lol 3rd Marc & Rovilson 1.46 Used Yield and Yielded TAR Asia 2

Combined Team Averages (Repeats Only)

11 legs David & Mary 6.91 FF, saved by NEL twice TAR 10 + 11
11 legs John Vito & Jill 5.36 FF, saved by NEL once TAR 3 + 11
18 legs Danielle 4.78 yielded, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
19 legs Teri & Ian 4.63 FF TAR 3 + 11
13 legs Kevin & Drew 4.38 FF TAR 1 + 11
20 legs Charla & Mirna 4.00 TAR 5 + 11
21 legs Joe & Bill 3.71 FF, saved by NEL thrice TAR 1 + 11
22 legs Uchenna & Joyce 3.64 FF x2, saved by NEL twice TAR 7 + 11
*31 legs Eric & Danielle 3.48 FF, yielded x3, saved by NEL once TAR 9 + 11
23 legs Oswald & Danny 3.30 FF x3, used Yield, saved by NEL twice TAR 2 + 11
25 legs Dustin & Kandice 3.04 used Yield twice, saved by NEL once TAR 10 + 11
26 legs Eric 2.65 FF, yielded x2, saved by NEL once  TAR 9 + 11
17 legs Rob & Amber 2.41 Used Yield TAR 7 + 11

* 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) Ethan & Khairie

Besides Ivan & Hilda, they were the only ones without any known mactor/mactress ties. By default they must be ranked fairly high on this list because of that.

That’s not to say I dislike anyone for being a mactor, but rather because a cast is dull if everybody is the same. It is also dangerous to have a ton of mactors/mactresses if all of them are strictly using TAR Asia as a career launcher.

If you know how this season ends, you know that Ethan & Khairie had this season in the bag. Eliminating the Richards meant that Ethan & Khairie’s only true competition would have been Jess & Lani for the last two rounds. This is how close Ethan & Khairie were winning.

If they played this round normally, they would have been stepping on the pit stop mat in Bali simultaneously with Jess & Lani and Hussein & Natasha.

But instead they choked. A massive choke. Perhaps one of the biggest chokes in TAR history, and all because Ethan changed his mind on the Detour. It backfired, and backtracking to the other Detour option put them in last.

However, the choke did not end there. The Richards were suffering from bad luck and bad math, but Ethan & Khairie could not preserve their small lead. The Richards passed them, and beat them out by what appeared to be only a couple of minutes.

Azaria & Hendekea, Nathan & Jennifer, Lynn & Alex, Romber twice, Eric & Jeremy, Tara & Wil, Andy & Laura, and Toni & Dallas all are joined by Ethan & Khairie as teams who were all strong but choked at a crucial juncture in the race.

With that being said, Ethan & Khairie were not a team that any of us were rooting for to choke. I think this round alone is a testament to how likeable they were during the race.

Ethan accidentally screws over another team but offers to make up for it by being willing to fall into dead last. But the other team respects Ethan too much to take him up on his deal. That’s how popular Ethan & Khairie were amongst racers except maybe Sunaina & Dimple.

The crazy thing about Ethan & Khairie is that they were repeatedly labelled by producers as “Social Misfits”, but that does not come across in the edit. At all. Just like a terrible storyteller, we are never shown -how- Ethan & Khairie are Social Misfits.

If anything, Ethan & Khairie are part of the popular clique with Dominatrix and the Richards for most of the season. They even help put down the East Indian minority throughout the season.

It is crazy to think Ethan was really close to sinking he and Khairie in 10th place during round two. Remember when the key broke in the water? If Ethan did not succeed at the second attempt, he would have finished behind Yani & Nadine and be officially eliminated. The first two legs being in Malaysia and the Malaysian Boys being first out? That would have been humiliating.

Overall, Ethan & Khairie are stellar dudes. Khairie was a great toneless narrator, and Ethan is extremely good at reacting.

tim allen

Much like how Tim Allen has been hailed as a great reactionary star in Home Improvement despite being a not-so-talented actor. Sometimes having that natural ability to react is all you need.

I also love how Ethan would laugh at other teams. Nothing was held back in his confessionals. He told these stories in such a way that you laughed along with them.

Lastly, the way they went out with a smile despite a massive choke scored them some points as well.

The comedic and narrative value would have been drastically lowered if Ethan & Khairie were not cast. Look at how many confessionals they received in every single round. It is clear producers were relying on them to carry much of the narrative drive for this season.

So applaud yourselves, Ethan & Khairie. Yes, Khairie looks like Curtis from Big Brother 2000, and I will never know how a Malaysian knows what a polar bear is of all animals, but these guys certainly delivered.

Bravo, fellas. Bravo.

2) Ivan & Hilda

I think Ivan & Hilda were pretty close to a top tier team in terms of entertainment value. Initially I thought they were Henry & Terri Lite, but they clearly have their own unique set of qualities.

For one, Terri doesn’t study dragon culture for a living. It sounds like a made-up occupation from Coach on Survivor, but it isn’t. She is like somebody who watched too much Game of Thrones and made a profession out of it.

Secondly, they have a sense of humour. A lot of jokes and remarks would go way over Henry & Terri’s heads. If Ivan & Hilda had all of their money taken away at a Non-Elimination, I doubt they would challenge producers and get into a verbal argument with Allan Wu.

Furthermore, Ivan is a Eastern European professor working and living in Malaysia. Henry never had that nerdy quality to him–he was a strict military guy spending his fortune in the Philippines.

In addition, Hilda never personally took out her emotions on Ivan. Their jabs at each other were passive. It was not like Henry & Terri where they personally accused the other of being the devil on a weekly basis.

Hilda just had a tough time with most tasks. This became evident from when she sprained her ankle at the opening task, needed to be carried down, but then was miraculously healed.

Okay, Hilda was not completely useless. I exaggerated it a bit for comedic effect, and when you compare to the notorious reputation of strong women in the TAR Asia franchise (minus Natalie Glebova and Monica Low who are half-Canadian coincidentally), of course she will be weak.

But would Flo, Kendra, or Mika ever cut off two pieces from a log alone? Absolutely not.

Compared to females within some American dating couples on TAR, Hilda is much stronger.

Ivan is a gentle giant. I loved it whenever he tried to act intimidating to motivate his wife. You knew not to take it seriously, and would back down and apologize if it had the opposite effect. Also, Ivan never felt more -alive- throughout the race. These are big differences compared to Henry.

The largest difference of all: The other competitors really liked Ivan & Hilda. They were easy to get along with, and could actually win a leg and do well.

I am satisfied with the amount of content we got from Ivan & Hilda during their six-round run. Too bad Hilda never got a confessional during her boot episode, though.

3) Yani & Nadine

In seasons prior to Asia 4, we suffered through weak Speed Bumps that had already aired between seasons twelve and sixteen of the American version. With the twenty-fifth season currently airing, Speed Bumps are openly mocked by all fans.

But seeing the Asian format continue on with Marked for Elimination is refreshing. The penalty puts you in a crappy spot. Particularly when an equalizer halfway through the round makes it nearly impossible for you to beat anyone by much of any time, let alone thirty whole minutes.

Nadine really screwed up the first Roadblock on the cruise ship which earned them that penalty.

Furthermore, Yani failing at the underwater puzzle and being one of five teams to be assessed the four hour penalty put the nail in the coffin.

As I said earlier, they are not the worst team ever. They did beat Jess & Lani and Hussein & Natasha if the thirty minute penalty was erased. Edwin & Monica checked in dead last both legs before the marked for elimination penalty was even factored in.

Their love for Indonesia did not do much to rival with their supposed hatred of Malaysia as they could not do much of anything for two legs. Why, Yani nearly quit over the anaconda task. If Nadine was told by producers to not use physical force, they would have been out right then and there.

In other words, they both contributed to a poorly organized team. They sucked at directions, they sucked at tasks, and could have survived this leg if they could have chosen Rapid Fire as opposed to Rapid Water. So they were bad at decisions too.

Hussein & Natasha choosing Rapid Fire truly made the difference.

Outside of their performance, I thought Yani & Nadine were alright as characters. It appeared they enjoyed their experience for the most part, and got along well. We have seen a lot of mactors in the past do awful in the American and Asian seasons in terms of possessing zero competitive willpower or an interest in the adventure.

So let’s salute what little the second worst statistical team in TAR Asia history were able to accomplish!

4) Sunaina & Dimple

Better than Manas & Sahil overall in terms of character development, skill, and entertainment value? Sunaina is, but not Dimple.

Since I am ever the optimist, I have chosen to judge them from Sunaina’s perspective, so above Manas & Sahil they go.

Sunaina was a fun narrator at times. Just the fast-paced goofy way that she narrated every situation is what was particularly entertaining.

Perhaps the second most entertaining thing about them other than trying to ski.

They engaged in the only true rivalry of this season, and also happened to be a rivalry that tragically stopped halfway through the season.

Dominatrix sabotages Sunaina & Dimple at the airport.
Sunaina & Dimple Yield Dominatrix a round later.
Dominatrix U-Turn Sunaina & Dimple a couple rounds after that.
Ethan & Khairie join in a super tight alliance with Dominatrix, and think Sunaina & Dimple are the most suspicious people on the planet. . .yet Dominatrix started (and ended) this whole feud.

If it weren’t for them, there wouldn’t be any conflict other than Jess & Lani’s conflict with men at airports or who they leave in the middle of the streets.

Sunaina & Dimple even won a leg of the race, and did fairly well. In the last couple legs they certainly lost steam with lower finishes. Sadly Brisbane was not the final NEL as opposed to Sydney, and losing over three hours while driving in the wrong direction as opposed to Hussein who was saved by four hours of incompetence, and given an additional equalizer to catch up to Sunaina & Dimple.

What I liked most about Sunaina & Dimple is that they were game for just about anything. Few teams have said ‘no’ during the race as rarely as Sunaina & Dimple.

Okay, maybe Dimple said ‘no’ to a few tasks but the sound operator did not hear her.

Dimple is the mactress of the team, but yet she was shown the least of anyone this season. I wonder if she was pissed when watching the episodes from home. All we learned abotu Dimple is that she is a crappy driver.

Overall, the team of Sunaina & Whoever That Other Person Was will go down as a fun team for this season.

5) Manas & Sahil

An East Indian all-male team who goes early? Who saw that one coming? Their average is right around the absolute worst for a team to finish in eighth (7.0 after five rounds of play). Even Sahil & Prashant did well a couple of times. Niroo & Kapil had one good round to pull off a 6.75 round.

They might be in the running for worst all-male team in their 20s. In fact, they are. I just looked at the Team Averages. I cannot help but feel sympathy for them that they were beaten by Hussein & Natasha repeatedly who suck overall.

But seriously, they were the first all-male East Indian team to not act like complete divas in TAR Asia. They were also the first ones to not be completely bitter about their eliminations. I think after finishing near the bottom a few times that they knew their days were numbered. Five rounds and being the third team out was a longer life expectancy than anticipated.

They delivered some great moments in their elimination round. Well, it started off with Manas shaving his head for no reason right after the Richards did it for a Fast Forward. They picked a plane rather than a bus knowing the bus is scheduled to arrive earlier than the plane. Sahil completely messes up the pinata game and chucks the stick across the field, and nearly hit a kid in the head. Manas & Sahil were given a miracle thanks to the Intersection due to ditching Pig and the Jig. They went on to screw that up too as they slowed Hussein & Natasha down at stick collecting. Lastly, Manas’ good luck shave did not pay off at the Roadblock, and

Also, begging money from other teams to pay off a cab driver before Alan & Wendy showed up ten minutes later was an unprecedented move. It bought them an elimination.

Manas is better off finding success with the next season of The Bachelor India. Sahil will just go back to depression. I guess.

6) Alan & Wendy

A bickering couple is so rare to find on TAR!!!!!!

They fought a lot by Asian standards not named Mai and Oliver. I am amazed both enjoyed the experience, but Alan was fed up when it came to certain elements of the race.

You need to have some level of cooperation on TAR, and that was certainly not the case with them. Alan screwed up the Roadblock in leg two, they switched Detours and fell behind in leg three, and found themselves with a solid lead this leg but blew it by not understanding the bus system.

However, something tells me the other teams were lucky to be on the express buses rather than knowing they were avoiding the one that was “pulling all the stops”.

The best part about Alan is that his last name is Luk. Everybody in TAR Asia needs to get in on the puns.

Wendy was definitely the better person out of the two, mainly because she was not super jealous all the time and was the only one capable of narrating. Alan was good for the occasional laugh, but hey, there are other characters who provided good laughs too.

I am not saying Alan was bad. . .it is just that his good moments are sprinkled here and there. If anything his Hong Kong English dialect is what made him funnier than what most people would expect from his personality.

Rank the Legs

1) Brisbane, Australia -> Lombok, Indonesia

This leg features what is arguably the second biggest choke in TAR Asia history (yes, Marc & Rovilson are first).

The thing about this choke is that Ethan & Khairie were given every opportunity to survive.

I liked that the finish from the previous round gave the leading team a big enough advantage to secure themselves a spot on the first boat in Bali. I feel satisfied that Jess & Lani were given this minor advantage for the true Race Day of this leg (Race Day being the day a round plays out after all equalizers are over).

The long-term alliance of Dominatrix, Richards, and Ethan & Khairie faced their biggest obstacle yet when they traveled together to the docks. Ethan misleading teams unintentionally by assuming they could travel on the same boat together led to the ugliest clash between teams for this whole race.

Richards kicked themselves for being led astray by Ethan who felt guilty enough that he offered the Richards their spot on the first boat. Hardin, regardless of his frustration, declined the offer and gave Ethan & Khairie a thirty minute head start.

Searching the village for the clue was a bit neat compared to other needle-in-haystack traditions because they went through private residences, climbed random ladduhs, searched toilets, fled from cows, and eventually reached fishing boats.

The rice throwing festival has been seen in TAR 13, and I find this was a lamer execution of it. Mainly because Terence was not there to bulldoze through a crowd of locals, and Christy was not on the verge of death.

You know there is true race fatigue when not only did the Richards take a private car to the temple before the rice temple, but took nearly two hours to get back to the fishing village per their penalty.

Yes, the Detour involved another needle-in-a-haystack, but I found it hilarious that they picked the grave of somebody who is not famous. This is borderline trolling, and Ethan & Khairie wasted several hours here. All four other teams appeared to have an easy time with balancing a basket on their heads.

Why, Hussein was the wizard at basket balance.

The Richards somehow pass Ethan & Khairie, but lose ground in another taxi ride as Khairie completes the Roadblock ahead of Hardin. This task was rather elaborate as teams had to find a briefcase on the ocean floor which can only be reached by scuba gear, bring it to shore, ride a cidomo to re-join their partner, and work with their partner to count the money in the briefcase and enter that number into a laptop webpage.

Does that effectively make it a four-part task?

Ethan & Khairie had another chance to catch up to the Richards despite their fail at counting due to the Richards’ cidomo being excessively slow, but that was not enough.

Somehow the Richards avoid being punished for their horrendous day, and Ethan & Khairie go home despite being awarded break after break after break to stay alive.

Also, Jess & Lani scored the only hat trick of TAR Asia 4 as they won three consecutive rounds.  When they beat hometown locals Hussein & Natasha in this leg, everybody knew that Jess & Lani are the strongest team entering the penultimate round of this season.

Don’t mess with my Party People.

Overall, there was only one really good task, but the crazy upsets and rare conflict made for very good television.

2) Legazpi, Philippines -> Queenstown, Mount Coronet, New Zealand

This is the first round where we were spared from a sponsour-related task. The worst of it was a Caltex station or an Axiata jersey. No route markers or direct promotional tasks, thankfully.

Also, this was the first self-drive leg of the season. It was about freakin’ time. Watching Ethan & Khairie get pulled over for driving TOO SLOW was hilarious, and seeing them be punished for running too fast on the rugby pitch. New Zealand traffic issues are too common in TAR.

I enjoyed watching Jess & Lani cry after they begged for tickets in the airport. Sure, an equalizer and Ivan’s slow driving spared them at the lumberjack route marker, but that initial doubt as teams had a big lead on them was fun.

Finding a fisherman hours from the airport was good for a route marker, I guess. The lumberjack was physically demanding, the Detour/Switchback fusion was a classic thrillseeker’s TAR staple, the rugby task was highly improved from TAR Asia 3, and the avalanche locator Roadblock required great mental agility.

I just wish teams had to work a bit harder to find the pit stop on their own. -_-

Plus how often do we see snow outdoors in the TAR Asia franchise? It is quite the rarity.

Who can forget Hussein trolling his own daughter at the lumberjack task? And not quitting a task on his own for once? Somehow they beat five other teams this round.

Lastly, the U-Turn marked a rare time where direct payback for an earlier Yield/U-Turn occurred. Dominatrix punished Sunaina & Dimple, but Sunaina & Dimple became the first to survive a Detour.

In short, I loved the balance of this round.

3) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -> Colombo, Sri Lanka

Yes, round three is our first clean round of the season.

What was with the Axiata route marker in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Colombo? Was it just a way  for the trailing teams to have additional time to catch up and show up to Colombo together? But the temple was an equalizer anyway.

Yeah, this had to be just for the sponsour money.

Other than that the only complaint is that the Detour had a counting task which we already saw in the premiere. It is a bit too early to cycle through similar tasks in a season. TAR 16 had a few counting tasks too so I really am getting sick of them.

I enjoyed seeing the Yield revived. I dunno why but I like it when vintage twists are acknowledged by the franchise.

The ice carry (in Sri Lanka of all places), the sewing Roadblock, and selling peanuts were all good tasks. Also the task of surviving the lethally fast taxi drivers or the lethally priced fares for the cab rides.

Watching Manas & Sahil’s approach of asking other teams to pay their own cab was intriguing to watch because that had not happened since the mugging non-elimination penalties in the American version. Yes, Asia 2 used that penalty but Henry & Terri somehow did not need money from other teams after they protested at the mat.

Also, I wish I had Jess & Lani with me whenever someone tried to rip me off.

My favourite part is how surprised I was that it was a non-elimination round. Outside of TAR Asia 1, TAR 3, TAR 5, and TAR 6, this is the first time in a while where a non-elimination surprised me. Nobody had opened the season with two of their three non-elimination legs being used in the first three rounds.

It means teams will be eliminated rapid fire for the remainder of the season. And that’s not such a bad thing compared to other American ones.

In conclusion, the Yield did nothing and Hussein is a sewing beast. The end.

4) Sydney, Australia -> Brisbane, Australia

An equalizer at the airport meant that the previous leg served no purpose. Oh well. Definitely not the first time in TAR history that this has been done.

This allowed for Hussein & Natasha to not only catch up with their four hour penalty, but make it onto a flight with less than an hour to spare while everyone else had to wait and wait and wait wondering why the heck they were moving so fast in the previous round.

I like that we had another self-drive round here. At least that made up for the blatant equalizer. There was lots of driving which ensured that teams from first to last would be quite spread out.

On the other hand, the tasks were all quite fast. The pistol club, even if you missed a few shots, would be over rather quickly. Jess would have fired off all of the rounds if she knew there was a big enough lead for her at that point.

The Giant Drop seemed to be about two or three minutes between each attempt. That is not much time being gained or lost.

Each attempt at the racing Roadblock is a lap estimated to be 1 minute and 42 seconds or less. Therefore, you only lose a couple minutes per lap.

The beach digging did not take as much time as other infamous beach digs in TAR Asia, but I bet it still took a while regardless. At least they were given shovels for this one. Not the absolute worst task ever, I s’pose.

The Detour was good. Good ol’ fashioned face painting before throwing spears or boomerangs. Oh, and somebody has to be sacrificed by eating a wichetty grub if you want that next clue. It appeared whoever landed with the spear or boomerang would make their partner eat the grub.

Except for Hussein who did both. Yes, I am giving Hussein credit. He and Natasha barely survived elimination once again, and could not be more shocked that somebody else screwed up worse than they did in their super duper fatigued state.

Overall, solid round design. I would make a couple changes, but glad to see classic “drive in the wrong direction for hours and hours” result in someone’s elimination rather than some long time gimmicky task.

5) Galle, Sri Lanka -> Legazpi, Philippines

The most expensive leg in TAR Asia history. Planes, buses, Jeepneys, boats, kayaks, tuk-tuks, jet skis, and Jeeps. That is truly an adventure.

The Detour of catching pigs or doing a dance becomes an international TAR staple whenever Legazpi is a destination.

I -love- that teams were able to decide between traveling by bus domestically or by plane. That had never been done in TAR before. Two teams knowingly made the wrong decision while six teams all took a bus into the lead, and guaranteed to survive the round.

It was also a truly great episode for comedy. Proper pig catching techniques, people dissing Manas & Sahil’s racing abilities, Hilda’s tambourine usage or lack thereof, Manas shaving his head for good luck only to be ousted, and the amusing Jeepney designs.

Oh, and what TAR Asia leg would be complete without an easy Caltex task that has nothing to do with actual racing? Well, to make it ridiculous you turn it into an Intersection of course! I did not like how close the Intersection was to the end of the leg because it served as a minor equalizer, and the only task after the Intersection was a Roadblock dependent upon luck. Producers put as much effort into that Roadblock as Manas did into catching pigs.

The Legazpi environment was great, though. It is a bummer they are suffering from major storms at the moment here as 2014 comes to an end.

By the way, where were Sunaina & Dimple this round? They were rarely shown.

And how the heck did Hussein & Natasha survive again?

6) Queenstown, New Zealand -> Sydney, Australia

***BEGINNING OF REPEATING MYSELF***

Wow. A season of TAR burned through all three NELs before the sixth place team was eliminated. We effectively went from Final Three to being the final NEL for most seasons to Final Four being the new standard and then. . .Final Six?

In the first four seasons of TAR US, NELs did not even -begin- until six teams remained. Heck, TAR 3 and 4 did not use any of them until five freakin’ teams were left.

I prefer NELs being later on because it does the following:

a) builds up rivalries
b) great times to start showing how fatiguing the race truly is, especially in earlier seasons where the filming schedule would be as long as 39 days.
c) ensures the stronger teams survive to the end rather than a really weak team becoming a Cassandra Franklin-like goat and having no chance to win at the end.

But there have since been cons:

a) Super predictable if you stick rigidly to it. Viewers will skip the episode if they know nobody is going home.
b) Super predictable for the players too. Teams stop caring about rushing to the mat if they know it is a NEL. This is evident even in later seasons where Final Four becomes the new standard for having a final NEL.

So naturally, producers starting in TAR 3 started throwing curveballs. They experimented with back-to-back NELs, and in later seasons would have a NEL earlier and earlier and earlier. Heck, TAR Asia 1 used one on the very first leg in Asia 1, 2, and 4.

Unpredictability is pretty much the only reason to have early NELs anymore. You never want your teams to become too comfortable and race in a safe manner. We saw this in round ten of TAR 25 where the Wrestlers were indifferent to being told they were last.

The other benefit to early NELs is that momentum does not stop for the viewer later on in the season.

In short, the benefits for early NELs are:

a) Unpredictability for viewers and teams.
b) Second half of the season carries a lot more momentum.

Obvious cons are:

a) Saves a team who doesn’t really need saving (Lila Abu Lughod reference?) like Don & Mary Jean.
b) Goes against the classic structure.
c) Prevents an underdog come-from-behind win at the end of the season that will inevitably be talked about for a long time.
d) A stronger team ends up having more enemies as they have more teams to compete against heading into various twists.

Yes, I understand why early NELs are necessary and love that all of them are used here in TAR Asia 4, but we must point out why they were not ideal to do in the first place.

***END OF REPEATING MYSELF***

For a NEL, this was a fun round. Particularly watching Asians trying to ski for the first time. Between this and those who did the trapeze, there was a lot of bruising for people like Dimple and Hussein. So many epic crashes. I swear some of the instructors threw banana peels onto the course. It was ambitious for producers to force non-skiiers to do a full on skiing task. Yeah, it would be really easy for most, but they knew full well how brutal it would be.

I loved the Detour where they did a twist on herding sheep. Herding ‘x’ number of sheep is simply not enough. You need to isolate specifically marked sheep and herd them into a pen. Nobody is allowed inside. Jess killed one, and one took a nap on Ethan and Khairie. Heck, Michelle and Claire even switched.

Kiwi crushing like in TAR 13? No, we’ve moved onto grapes as the alternative is to transport wine. It was time consuming and very physically demanding.

Between all of this, there was a lot of self-drive with the same camper from the previous leg.

The only downside to this round is the blatant inclusion of sponsours. Every team delivering their Sony Handicam message to the post office, and the only task truly deemed impossible in TAR history known as the Hilton Hotel Bed Making Challenge really eats up a ton of airtime.

And yes, I am listing the cheesy crying (I am looking at you Rich Hardin and Michelle Ng) as a negative for this round.

Plus it is BS that Jess & Lani did not even receive a prize for coming in first. Even Jaime & Cara won a prize for winning a leg involving a Virtual Pit Stop. It truly was a slap to the face of Jess & Lani.

But on the other hand, I got to hear Jess say ‘murderuh’ and Lani’s over-the-top ‘oh nooooooooo’.

Searching for the bald man with an umbrella is a bit of a needle in the haystack, but I like that teams did full laps without spotting the guy. It was amusing for them to ask random strangers if they have a clue about the weather, and witnessing their confused reactions.

Lastly, we have the trapeze task. Sure, a copy of the TAR 8 task in Montreal, but hey, it has not really been repeated since. Not exactly being repetitive considering how many rounds of TAR we have seen over the years.

The biggest knock against this round is that the teams do not really interact with other teams outside of sympathy over Hussein’s lack of flexibility to perform the trapeze task.

Also, if you hate NELs then you will love every round after this because we will go on to witness team after team after team being eliminated.

Overall, it was a fun round.

7) Colombo, Sri Lanka -> Galle, Sri Lanka

I love that this round goes from plane to train to walking on foot to bus to tuk-tuk to crossing on a tightrope.

That is a lot of modes of transportation in one round, and this is not even the round notorious for the extensive transportation used.

The equalizer was at the beginning, and the route doesn’t mess around for the remainder of the leg. I like how Alan & Wendy start off with a strong lead, but completely screw up by not researching the bus system properly. Vintage TAR at its finest.

Compared to the previous Sri Lanka round, there is very little crossover with other franchises. Sure, it was unoriginal that there was another lock-based task just two rounds since Kota Kinabalu, or that the coconut rope course was nearly identical to TAR 6, but I do not want to be greedy.

Wait. TAR 12’s Learn Ten Words was the other side of this Detour.

And TAR 4’s Match a Mask with a Performer was an active route info.

And the Fast Forward was a head shaving task which we have seen at least three or four times by this point, and was the first offered outside of India.

And Dialog’s sponsourship was already used two rounds ago, and Hilton just one round ago.

And searching through a pile of cell phones for the clue was identical to searching through a pile of Blu-Rays for a clue, but far less time-consuming.

In other words, nothing was all that original about this leg other than the constant struggle with transportation.

I loved Jess & Lani witnessing somebody vomiting, Alan praying for a car crash, and Hussein nearly falling to his death. Lastly, nothing says a good time like having traffic cops laugh at your passport photo.

That was fun.

P.S. There was an original component to one of the tasks. The treasure chest could only be unlocked if you knew Sri Lanka’s history.

8) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia -> George Town, Penang, Malaysia

Running backwards up a narrow staircase at the starting line? Counting steps at Batu Caves? Driving yourself to a route marker that was aired just a few months ago in the US version, and directly acknowledging it?

Refusing to properly explain a soccer penalty shootout task?

Creating a Detour where ten teams all pick the same Detour where one member pretended to clean a window and the other took a picture?

All of the teams finishing within an hour of each other?

Sorry, that was Bethany Hamilton ranking this leg.

I am glad nobody was eliminated because nothing really happened this round. I applaud producers for trying two unique tasks and a unique visual for the starting line, but re-using Kuala Lumpur and Penang so soon again made it feel stale.

Not to mention my ears burn from hearing Amazing Grace. By the way, did teams ever start forming relationships with each other? I feel like we learned almost nothing about everyone other than a few occupations and country of origin.

Nothing very laugh out loud funny either other than Hilda becoming the new Terri and Jess picking up locals that do NOT like being used.

Losing in your home town is always fun to watch, but seeing you finish in first place for that round comes off as boring as Tammy & Victor. Sorry Ethan & Khairie.

Maybe I just have something against having any more rounds in that whole peninsula. Los Angeles, northeastern China, and the Malay peninsula will always be under fire in these blogs.

I will praise them for doing a Roadblock and a Detour in the season premiere. Lots of tasks squished into one episode, come to think of it.

9) George Town, Penang, Malaysia -> Kampung, Malaysia

What a dumb round design.

An equalizer halfway through the leg?

Give a lousy twenty minute advantage for a team eating 275 chicken balls knowing that failure to complete one of the tasks will automatically give five teams a four hour penalty?

Petting the anaconda looked dangerous.
The underwater puzzle Roadblock was complicated.
The Detour was on par with most tasks in TAR history. Adventure task versus coordination.
Self-drive legs are always what TAR is all about.

But a four hour penalty for a team failing to complete the underwater puzzle Roadblock within ten minutes? Four hour penalties should only be assessed if a team QUITS a task.

angry video game nerd 2

WHAT WERE THEY THINKING?!

Allan never explains this crucial detail before the task starts. We just see Claire be led out of the water being told time is up fifteen minutes later, and the screen displays a four hour penalty for her. Viewers are led to believe that producers made up this penalty on the spot, but we know there is no way this can be true.

Maybe Allan said it aloud and producers replied “no, when you say it aloud, the twist sounds stupid”.

Well, if it sounded dumb when Allan says it then maybe the idea is REALLY STUPID IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Following TAR 16’s unnecessarily high levels of nastiness towards each other, it is nice to watch a season where everybody gets along. The closest thing to a rivalry is Sunaina & Dimple simultaneously hating and loving Michelle & Claire who they nicknamed Dominatrix.

Lastly, the Richards should be given ten bucks just for spooking Hilda twenty feet from the pit stop mat. Classic.

And screw you TAR 24 for copying half of the round and ruining any good task that occurred for this leg. Shame on you.

***

The annual GamesDoneQuick charity event is going on Twitch right now. They are pretty awesome.

http://www.twitch.tv/gamesdonequick

***

Oh, and this is a podcast that I have been co-hosting since December of 2013. Isn’t it awesome?

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