The Amazing Race Asia 4 episode 10 ranking

Tenth round

“Riches n’ Bitches”

COUNTRIES VISITED

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

If you’re new to this TAR rankings blog (which many of you are considering the ridiculously good numbers I have seen over the past two months), you will be pleased to know that I have a penultimate leg tradition.

What tradition is that exactly? Well, at the start of the final episode of each season, the host would always give a brief recap why each of the finalists have made it to the finale.

Some of the reasons would often be left out, or the narrative was too biased to give certain teams the proper credit for why they made it to the endgame.

Therefore, I always try to give a super quick summary of why the Final Four have made it to this point.

The only exception is in a two-hour finale where the hosts always recap each of the teams in the Final Four, and thus I wait until the final leg to give my own recap.

I shall do this in the order of placement at the end of the previous round.

Jess & Lani: All stripping jokes (to the point of overkill) aside, this team has perhaps been the strongest all-female team in history. And in the Asian franchise where we can put together six other nominees in the first three seasons, that is saying a lot.

– Zabrina & Joe Jer
– Ann & Diane
– Paula & Natasha
– Pamela & Vanessa
– Ida & Tania
– A.D. & Fuzzie (shut up, I know what you are going to say).

You know what is not saying a lot? The fact I could barely come up with six strong all-female teams from the first sixteen American seasons that aired up to this point.

-Dustin & Kandice/Chipmunks
– Lyn & Karlyn/Bama
– Charla & Mirna
– Debbie & Bianca’s potential,
– And to a lesser extent, Jaime & Cara and Linda & Karen.

The closest comparison I can come up with for Jess & Lani is that they are a lot like Dustin & Kandice.

chipmunks laugh

I want a hula hoop!

And no, it’s not just because Jess also dances with hula hoops, but there are certain traits that they share.

For one, both of these teams are fairly independent. I would say Dustin & Kandice are a bit more social, and that is quite the statement. Jess & Lani are truly on their own.

Secondly, both teams have a “use em and ditch em” attitude. Dustin & Kandice made the mistake of using this strategy with other teams, thus making everyone hate them.

Jess & Lani are much smarter by using “use em and ditch em” with male locals. I wonder if that guy in Kuala Lumpur ever found his way home, or ended up being deranged with dehydration like when Cuba Gooding Jr. is ditched in Rat Race.

rat race cuba gooding jr

I would be shocked if Rat Race was not inspired by TAR’s concept. The movie came out the same year as season one did. It would be hilarious if TAR 26 had the finish line in New Mexico.

Lastly, both teams had a slow start in the standings. However, once the midway point was passed, these two teams are near unstoppable. Dustin & Kandice killed it in the second half of All Stars, and Jess & Lani have now won rounds 7, 8, and 9.

Remember in round six when I said Jess & Lani would -always- be in the middle or bottom of the pack? Well, I have certainly eaten those words.

christie orr

“And you should go eat something else, you Canucker!”

What Jess & Lani have that the Chipmunks do not, however, is a much more likeable personality. It is very difficult to not root for Jess & Lani at this point. They seem to have a much realer personality, and have at least one good comedic moment each round.

Whether they may be happy, crying, energetic, dominant, bottom feeders, or speaking in their funny accent, they are simply the team to beat.

Can they handle their label of being the top dog heading into the penultimate and final rounds?

Hussein & Natasha: Every few seasons there is always that one team who hold on for dear life and crack the Final Three or Final Four. Up to this point, only TAR 11 and 16 have we seen a team viewed as being an “impossible” choice to win.

This team had arguably the worst start in TAR franchise history. They were in dead last in the opening leg, and only survived by seconds as they barely made up time at the final task, and had a pit stop in the same spot.

In round two, they initially arrived last, but because the previous round was a NEL and assessed a team as being Marked for Elimination, the father-daughter team were saved.

In round five, they knowingly took the slower route and were in a dead heat with an athletic team for dead last. In fact they would have been eliminated, but the final task was luck-based, and Natasha had the odds in her favour as she and her father barely beat out the athletic team.

In round seven, they were an astonishing four and a half hours behind all other teams after quitting a task, but saved by a NEL.

In round eight, they were several hours behind the top four teams, but were saved due to the only other team wasting over three hours while driving in the wrong direction. The father-daughter team were skeptical of Allan telling the truth because of how poorly their day went, and never seeing a single team for the whole day.

Perhaps Hussein & Natasha could make a case for being the luckiest team in TAR history. Regardless, they have not been entirely hopeless. Somehow they have pulled out three silver medals up to this point. Either they finish next-to-last or next-to-first in eight out of nine rounds. Truly mind-boggling.

Neither move particularly fast, Hussein’s enthusiasm is often brought into question, both are relatively quiet, and Hussein has flat out quit the odd task.

Hussein’s sewing skills, the team’s ability to count money, their dancing skills, non-controversial position, staying out of drama, and their ‘occasionally-give-up’ attitude has propelled them up to this point.

finish vince sam 8

And it wouldn’t be the first time that a quitter wins TAR Asia if they make it into the winner’s circle.

Michelle & Claire: Team Dominatrix is perhaps one of the rarest breeds in twenty seasons of this blog. They are not only the youngest combined age for a team to date, but they are an all-female team too.

NOTE: Kynt & Vyxsin are also 21 and 22 years of age like Michelle & Claire. Same goes for Nick & Starr. I for one thought Kynt & Vyxsin were in their late 20s.

So allow me to correct that–Michelle & Claire are the youngest all-female team to date. Young all-female teams have a reputation for doing awful in TAR. Chipmunks were 24 years of age each.

I would say there is a big difference between being 21/22 and being 24 or 25.

donald trump dance

Unless you are Trump. He was creating successful buildings at age 20!

Right. Michelle & Claire definitely use their energy and youth to be fast. Their Rebel Girl label means they probably learned a lot of skills that a lot of younger American females do not learn, or possibly never learn. Look at Marisa & Brooke.

fortaleza marisa

Compare Marisa & Brooke to the all-female teams in the Asian franchise, and I think you get a good idea of the difference in how females are raised in certain Asian countries compared to Western ones.

Dominatrix’s youth allows them to be really sociable with other teams. They put together a coalition with Ethan & Khairie first, and Richards second to create a dominant trio that lasted through the first nine rounds of the game.

However, Dominatrix are not afraid to be vicious towards other teams. They had the only true rivalry of this season thanks to Sunaina & Dimple. Starting it off by screwing Team Bollywood at the airport, being yielded by them, then U-Turning as payback was as mean-spirited as this season ever got.

Well, except for me repeatedly making jokes about Hussein. But I digress.

This team never really experiences fatigue. I would say this high level of endurance, working well with other teams, and avoiding blunders makes them a strong team.

I should note they always finish between third and seventh up to this point. They never excel, but they never do awful either. In fact they have finished in the top four for the past six rounds.

Lastly, they keep up the entertainment level with their facial expressions.

Richards: Our narrators of the season, and the first all-American team in the Asian franchise.

They are like Tyler & James, but better in every aspect. In the first eight rounds, they finished in the top two in nearly every leg. Everything was going smoothly. Their only downfall was in round three when Herrera refused to ask for directions until it was too
late.

The only legs they lost recently were in rounds seven and eight which were held in Jess & Lani’s home country. Those pair of defeats were understandable.

Their storyline changed in the past round, and would throw the first eight legs out the window. They made every mistake possible. Misreading clues, unintentionally breaking a well-known race rule, allowing allies who accidentally screwed them to be ahead by thirty minutes, and a terrible performance at the final task.

They also experienced something else for the first time–bad luck. Bad taxi drivers and bad cidomos should have combined with the above to eliminate them. But their allies Ethan & Khairie absolutely choked, and the Richards are now filling the shoes once worn by Hussein & Natasha.

With only two rounds to go, it appears to be everybody’s game. Only two of these teams have won a leg, but three of these four teams have been at the bottom at least once during the race.

All three seasons of TAR Asia have produced surprising winners: First all-female team in franchise history, somebody duplicating BJ & Tyler’s ending, and most recently, a quitter taking home the grand prize.

Unlike TAR 13-15 in the American seasons, it should not be completely predictable.

Previously on TAR Asia: Five teams set out from Brisbane, Australia and flew to Indonesia. At the Fast Boat Queue, Ethan broke a pact and Richard was furious.

The next day the Richards broke a race rule, but a Detour decision also cost Ethan & Khairie. At the Roadblock, teams dived for treasure, but while counting their loot, it was Ethan & Khairie who ran out of time.

Four teams remain; Wu will be eliminated next?

jon montgomery

No mention of Jess & Lani’s hat trick? Really?

– Wow. That was an insanely short recap.

TEAMS MENTIONED IN THE PREVIOUSLY ON SEGMENT TALLY

SUNAINA & DIMPLE: 4
HARDIN.HERRERA: 8
HUSSEIN.NATASHA: 5
YANI.NADINE: 2
MANAS.SAHIL: 2
JESS.LANI: 4
ETHAN.KHAIRIE: 5
WENDY.ALAN: 3
MICHELLE.CLAIRE: 5
IVAN.HILDA: 4

– Intro time. TAR 16 was the first season since TAR 9 to have a better finale leg than the penultimate leg. Will this trend continue?

– The islands along Lombok, Indonesia do not permit motorized vehicles. Therefore they must rely upon cidomos. Allan labels this place as an environmental-friendly location after he watches a cidomo walk away.

gyeongju cidomo

Cheaper than driving around Hong Kong or Singapore too, I would assume. Allan made a new friend.

– Jess & Lani depart first at 3:10am. They read that they will be flying to South Korea. Specifically Pohang Airport.

LANI: Once there you may need a hand or two to find your next clue.

adam bethany

Hopefully just one in her case.

– Once in Pohang, South Korea, they must go outside and decode their next clue.

gyeongju pohang airport

People say that English is the toughest language to learn, but it looks like every character in the Korean translation looks like a series of cogs. Only the symbol on the left is the most distinct to me.
.
.
.
Yeah, I could not sound more like an ignorant Anglophone at the moment.

– So why do they have to look at a map outside the airport?

gyeongju pohang hand

Oh. That’s what they meant by a hand.

gyeongju pohang hand 2

Hand in the ocean?

uruguay hand in the sand

I never thought we would see a repeat of a hand statue after TAR 5. I wonder which hand came first–the one in South Korea or the one in Uruguay?

Guess what? I can’t find a year as to when the Hand of Harmony was built. There is another one at the opposite of the fishing village of Homigot on land, but the one we saw offshore is the more famous one.

The Hand in the Sand (Mano de Punta del Este) in Punta del Este was built in 1982. It was a sculpture compared to the Hands of Harmony which are bronze statues.

I personally prefer the sculpture, and the fact it is supposed to depict a guy drowning in quicksand. Meanwhile the Hands of Harmony show both hands, and the one in the water is not even depicting a drowning person.

amazing race hands

Uruguay: 1
South Korea: 0

Did you know there used to be a Civil Rights Activist named Larry Platt who performed a song about the Uruguayan Hand on American Idol a few years ago?

pants on the ground

Hands in the sand
Hands in the sand
Lookin’ like a fool with your hands in the sand!
Body disappearing
Wrist turned side-wise
Drowning downtown at the beach
Get it up
Get your hands off the sand
Lookin like a fool with your hands in the sand!
Get it up!
Get it up!

– Nevermind. Allan declares this to be a sculpture as well. Eh, I stand by my decision.

gyeongju hand

I should note the Uruguyan hand probably does not have a bird taking a dump on it, either.

gyeongju hand 2

The hand on land is disrupting a perfectly good game of Chess. Ray Hosteau and Meredith Smith luckily stuck to playing Checkers at the other side of town.

gyeongju hand 3

The clue is located closer to the hand in the water. It is a small fishing village so I doubt there is much difference between the two hands. Good ol’ Sunrise Plaza.

Allan informs us that the Hands of Harmony are supposed to signify the unification between North and South Korea. Well, suffice it to say these hands were built long before 1982.

matt aiello 1

Yes, there are two Hands just like how there are two Reflecting Pools.

– Teams must take a taxi to the Hands of Harmony to find their next clue.

– Jess finds it ridiculous when people have a cry over the race because it is a competition. They understand it is a game.

LANI: Just don’t take it personally.

I would love to see Jess & Lani play Survivor. They would totally lose a jury vote.

– Hussein & Natasha depart second at 3:11am.

NATASHA: Hopefully we’ll be in the third. . .The Big Three.

gyeongju hussein natasha

Who in the F–K ever refers to it as “The Big Three”? It’s called The Final Three since caveman times. Jesus, Natasha. Get your f–king terminology straight.

What’s next? Natasha is going to say “we have twenty-four dollars for this arm of the race? I hope we can pull it off and be in the winner’s rhombus?”

Like what the hell, Natasha. Big Three?

gyeongju hussein natasha 2

Okay. Maybe she is a bit tired after nine rounds of racing. I am writing this after a full nine hours of sleep. I’d probably refer to it as The Big Three in her position too.

Not to mention many of these racers speak English as a second language.

– Jess & Lani discover the airport is closed. Which counter are they at, anyway?

Garuda Indonesia?

gerudo valley

Is Ganondorf the CEO?

– Michelle & Claire commence in third at 4:05am.

gyeongju michelle claire

Claire’s hair + Michelle’s glasses = lol.

– Claire is “kinda excited” because it is close to the end.

CLAIRE: I am really really scared and want to throw up.

Yikes.

– Richars begin last at 4:49am. Herrera points out his amazement with how teams that started out on top are now at the bottom, and teams who were at the bottom are now on top.

gyeongju richards

Spoiler: Richard Hardin’s girlfriend has confirmed that her boyfriend always likes to be on top.

– HERRERA: You just hope to be up there when the final hatchet drops.

So many odd sayings.

– Jess says she works better when away from the group. She has yet to be all chummy with the group like other teams.

gyeongju jess lani

You refuse to be chummy with anyone?

– Michelle & Claire, the Richards, and Hussein & Natasha are standing together. They watch Jess & Lani bypass an area of the airport.

CLAIRE: Is that legal?

gyeongju richard claire

I don’t know, but I think Hardin is having bladder issues.

– Michelle elaborates.

MICHELLE: Jess & Lani flirt with some officials or whoever could get them into the airport without a boarding pass.

gyeongju michelle claire 2

Ouch. An all-female team accuses another all-female team of using their sexuality to get ahead. This identical thing would happen in both seasons that Dustin & Kandice raced. Teams like Lyn & Karlyn and Charla & Mirna would frequently blast the Chipmunks for doing this.

– Michelle is pissed that Jess & Lani cut the queue in an airport to be first on the flight. Jess knows the other teams will be pissed.

gyeongju airport

#NoQueueJumpShaming

– Michelle voices her desire to compete with “fair people”.

Now that Sunaina & Dimple are gone, and their best friends were eliminated one round later, Dominatrix has found a new all-female team to villainize. This is what we need in terms of a rivalry headinginto the final two legs of the season.

gyeongju airport 2

Heh. Rich Hard(in) is wearing his own jersey. This guy really wanted to be in a pro b-ball league.

– Jess noted that the other teams are visibly angry. Hardin informs us that Jess & Lani are trying to go around the back before the other teams.

gyeongju airport 3

This is an odd scene for Asian standards. Richards are not impressed.

– Jess & Lani are on the opposite side of the gate, but can hear Natasha speaking to one of the agents in Indonesian. Suddenly Jess & Lani are finding themselves in a 3-1 disadvantage.

JESS: Lani and I have had a strategy that we’re friendly but not here to make friends for the competition.

gyeongju jess james

I like how Jess is attempting to eavesdrop on what Natasha is saying, but Tagalog nor English helps with understanding Indonesian. Lani voices a concern.

gyeongju paper

You are bummed out that an Indonesian person is speaking to the agent in her first language? Whaaaat a shocker.

P.S. The cardboard cut-outs of travel agents creep me out. They are both cardboard cut-outs.

– Jess & Lani receive their tickets. They celebrate by jumping up and down.

gyeongju jess lani 2

Thank goodness there are no pillows in the room.

– The other three teams receive the same tickets anyway.

gyeongju agent

Overly curious agent confirms it for them.

MICHELLE: We’re confirmed for the same flight. Just wait your turn, you know?

gyeongju flight

Needless to say Jess & Lani will be getting the silent treatment for a really really really long flight.

– Richards read over the clue. Hardin could not figure out the clue. It is destroying him. Michelle & Claire surf the Internet at the Pohang Airport. So do Jess & Lani.

gyeongju hand 4

If only there was a no Internet and no smartphone rule in TAR. Google saves the day in seconds for Dominatrix.

gyeongju shoulders

Lani, Jess, and Jess’ shoulder blades surf the Internet. The editors did not choose the best half-second of footage.

JESS: I thought it would be a tourist attraction I imagined because otherwise it would be impossible. You can’t just drive around the whole city looking for hands. So we just Google’d and found it straight away.

gyeongju jess lani 3

Monkeys point.

– Richards, and not surprisingly, Hussein & Natasha have not looked up the information.

– Hardin is dumbfounded as he stands outside trying to hail a taxi. Jess & Lani and Michelle & Claire beat them into taxis. Hardin tells the driver to follow Michelle & Claire. Hussein & Natasha are in a cab and follow the Richards.

It’s the informed leading the other well-informed leading the blind leading the super blind.

– How slow were the Richards and Hussein & Natasha to be slower than the teams who researched on the Internet?

– Richards and the other two taxis are on the highway.

HERRERA: There’s the other taxi. Wait, where the hell are we going? Should we go back to the parking lot? Airport. Back to airport.

gyeongju richards 2

I like that Herrera puts the brakes on this motion. He has learned something after ten rounds of racing. If you do not know your destination on TAR, you should probably turn around and figure it out.

gyeongju taxi

I bet cab drivers feel insulted when you tell them to go back to the airport. Does that mean the passengers want to change cabs? He is not happy.

– Hussein & Natasha are confused trying to see where Richards are going. Hussein agrees to head back to the airport.

Yes, Hussein has learned something too.

– Claire notes that the Richards turned around. As for Hussein & Natasha? Claire has never really acknowledged them all season long. Why would she start now?

– Richards jump out of the cab.

HERRERA: A hand or two? I bet it’s a casino.

You -bet- it’s a casino because of the hand pun?

gyeongju casino

If there was a casino in town, the Richards would have -gambled- by traveling there via taxi.

– Richards keep looking.

gyeongju hands

Well that’s insulting.

– Hussein & Natasha and the taxi driver who goes in the airport to help are asking an agent.

gyeongju hussein natasha 3

Shhhh. Let the adults talk, Natasha.

– Hardin sees a picture of the hand in the water.

HARDIN: I saw a hand. I told Rich ‘what is this?’
.
.
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A hand like you just said two seconds ago???? How could it be anything else? You -just- identified it as a hand!

the claw

Or maybe it could be a sculpture dedicated to The Claw from Liar Liar.

floormaster

Or The Floor Master from Legend of Zelda. If it catches a team, they must head back to Jakarta.

What an inconvenience that would be.

– A lady gives the Richards a map and tells them where to go. Hussein & Natasha now have directions too. Richards believe there is not much time to make up.

– Jess & Lani are first to the Harmonious Hands.

gyeongju hands 2

Jess & Lani are in the bottom left corner of our screen. The hands appear to be playing a game of invisible one-handed volleyball.

– Jess & Lani read that they must search for a marked vehicle. From there they must drive themselves to Grimsa Temple. It used to be a hiding place for Korean resistance fighters who wanted independence for their country. Built in 643 A.D.

– Lani reads further info that there is one marked entrance. Jess asks if they should pay the cab driver to lead them. Lani shoots the idea down. They pass by an incoming Dominatrix.

gyeongju helicopter

Helicopter shot!

– Dominatrix have their clue. I have a question.

gyeongju michelle claire 3

Who is that on Claire’s shirt?

– Lani shows the clue to the driver. She asks the driver to lead them there, and Jess follows up if it is ten minutes away.

LANI: We have small money.

Yes, tiny money. . .even though all notes are typically the same size. 😛

– The driver is charging them four million Yen. Lani breaks it to them that they do not have enough. Lani tries to ask the driver for a map. So they buy a map from him.

– Michelle & Claire were there for the whole exchange.

CLAIRE: They said ‘oh, we’re not going to spend that money on a cab’. We were thinking ‘you guys spend money on like–‘
MICHELLE: Tank tops.
CLAIRE: Tank tops and lip gloss.
MICHELLE: You don’t want to spend money on cabs to make. . .sure. . .you get to your location. . .as quick as possible?

gyeongju michelle claire 4

“Like. . .

gyeongju michelle claire 5

What the f–k?”

– Dominatrix successfully hire a cab to lead them. Jess & Lani are on their own. Lani anticipates it will be tough because of the road signs.

If TAR 4 and TAR Asia 2 have taught us anything, this will be freakin’ tough.

– Richards and Hussein & Natasha have the clue.

gyeongju clue

This time we see the additional info written.

– The Richards convince a taxi on the road to lead them there too. Herrera thinks they are right on the girls’ tails. Although I think somebody in South Korea is ahead of the Richards and right on Lani’s tail as well.

brisbane lani pillinger 9

“Hey, sexy Lani. . .”

gyeongju jess lani 4

Dangit, not even the women leave Lani’s tail alone!

– Lani tries to ask sombody on the road for an English map. Pretty sure it is a Korean taxi driver.

TAXI DRIVER (very expressive): English? Uh Ohhhhhh No Englishhhhhh-shan!

Hilarious.

– Jess is stunned that there were no maps around with English on them. Not even the guy they spoke to has one in English. Jess is unsure how they can find anything if they cannot read anything.

gyeongju jess lani 5

Lani does the classic Jet & Cord McCoy Uncomfortable Tongue Lick as we head to commercial break.

– We resume. Jess & Lani enter a random house. They supposedly get directions and re-enter the car.

gyeongju jess lani 6

LANI: That was so funny cause they keep talking like we know what they’re talking about. I’m just like “uh”?

That is the most formal way to utter the phrase “What’cha talkin about, Willis?” that I have ever heard.

– Hussein believes they have enough money to hire the same taxi driver to lead them to the next route marker. In other words, Jess & Lani are on their own.

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra

Hussein shows off his Air DJing skills for the locals driving alongside him.

– Jess & Lani are not on their own for long.

gyeongju jess lani 7

They find a Korean lady wearing a bandana and possessing dreadlocks! She is definitely influenced by the West.

gyeongju jess lani 8

Ha. Excellent.

– Richards and Dominatrix both see the sign and are seconds apart. Richards overtake em in the run. It’s an active route info.

– Allan informs us that in this task one team member will be asked five questions about the race. Their partner will try to guess how their partner answered. Once their answers match they will receive their next clue.

ALLAN: This challenge will be the ultimate test of how well they have been communicating throughout the race.

SPOILER: Mark & Mallory would be stuck here for days.

– This challenge is a duplicate of TAR 11’s final task, but is much better. In TAR 11, teams were automatically given the clue after ten minutes, and there were only four questions.

Here we have a higher number of questions (five), and teams are stuck there until there is a match.

1. Which team makes you envy their relationship?

2. Which team do you dislike the most?

3. If the race was a foursome, which team would you pair up with?

4. Which team would be the first to stab you in the back?

5. Which team doesn’t deserve to be in the final?

LOGAN’S GUESSES FOR DOMINATRIX’S ANSWERS

1. Hussein/Natasha
2. Jess/Lani
3. Ethan/Khairie
4. Sunaina/Dimple
5. Jess/Lani

LOGAN’S GUESSES FOR RICHARDS’ ANSWERS

1. Ivan/Hilda
2. Jess/Lani
3. Ethan/Khairie
4. Sunaina/Dimple
5. Hussein/Natasha

gyeongju perfect match

Who knew a simple Newlywed Game challenge would become common in the TAR universe.

gyeongju richard hardin

What this has to do with the Grimsa Temple is beyond me.

CLAIRE: Basically they’re asking you to crap on every other team, and see if your teammate thinks the same way as you.

– Herrera and Claire answer first. Claire knows Jess & Lani have been getting on Michelle’s nerves. Herrera claims his answers are not personal.

Yeah, I don’t think you’re getting out of this one, Herrera.

– Hardin and an extremely nervous Michelle are stuck waiting. She rambles on about Jess/Lani. Birds are chirping.

gyeongju play wait

Playing sounds so much more fun.

– Jess & Lani are in the car with their local. We get a bunch of subtitles for what the Korean local is saying.

gyeongju local

Jess & Lani are about to lock down third place.

JESS: . . .

gyeongju local 2

Uh oh.

gyeongju local 3

She lives at a Caltex? What a sad life.

– Lani laughs awkwardly before putting on a grumpy face.

gyeongju lani pillinger

“Heheheheheh. . .shoot me now.”

– Claire does not envy anyone’s relationship.

CLAIRE (holding up Hussein & Natasha’s picture): I think their relationship is cute.

CLAIRE’S REAL ANSWERS

1. Hussein/Natasha
2. Jess/Lani
3. Ethan/Khairie
4. Jess/Lani
5. Jess/Lani

HERRERA’S REAL ANSWERS

1. Richards (lol)
2. Manas/Sahil (lol)
3. Sunaina/Dimple
4. Ethan/Khairie
5. Jess/Lani

gyeongju board

There used to be a time when the Richards had hair.

gyeongju monk

The monk as bald as a Richard does his lone job for the day. Back to meditating he goes.

– Claire shares with Herrera her strategy of associating every dislike with Jess/Lani.

gyeongju herrera claire

Herrera is bored.

– Michelle puts Ivan/Hilda for 1 and Sunaina/Dimple for 2.

– Hardin puts Manas/Sahil for 4.

gyeongju michelle claire 6

I love this visual. Michelle’s guess is pretty dang close. I think Sunaina/Dimple should have been included once by Claire.

MICHELLE’S SCORE: 3/5
LOGAN’S SCORE: 4/5

I know Michelle better than Claire does.

#truth

gyeongju monk 2

The monk informs Michelle that she has three right. Well, that makes the task much easier.

gyeongju observer

He is better off being an observer.

gyeongju monk 3

Or physically will his hair into growing back.

– HERRERA: Richard and I don’t talk much other than strategy. We don’t talk about relationships and emotional side of things.

gyeongju hardin claire

Because the PBA bans discussion of emotions, sadly. But if they did. . .

gyeongju herrera claire 2

Dominatrix do not appear to discuss relationships much judging by Claire’s actions.

HARDIN’S GUESS

1. Richards
2. Jess/Lani
3. Yani/Nadine (Not that type of foursome, Hardin)
4. Manas/Sahil
5. Jess/Lani

RICHARDS: 1/5
LOGAN’S GUESS: 0/5

If I scrambled my answers I could have had 4/5. Dang.

gyeongju richards 3

Who is guessing who? Is Richard guessing for Richard or is Richard guessing for Richard?

super smash bros 64

It reminds me of the Super Smash Bros. 64 came out and there was not a restriction on how many people could play as the same character.

My brothers and I would always joke “oh, I think Mario will win this one”.

– Michelle swaps Sunaina/Dimple with Jess/Lani. She giggles doing so.

MICHELLE: Jess and Lani they’re just not like. . .very honourable people. Not honest people.

gyeongju michelle ng

You think that? Really? Because you putting them as the answer for all three negative questions did not make that clear.

– Hussein is complaining about the slow truck in front of him. Jess & Lani drop off the local lady. They continue driving and reach the route marker. She did not screw them over.

LANI: How well do you know your partnuh?

– Lani volunteers to go first. Jess gets to do a funky run to join Herrera and Claire.

gyeongju jacinta james

phoebe friends run

Yes, Jess is trying to run like Phoebe from FRIENDS.

And in case anyone was curious, yes, I hate FRIENDS as much as any other show with a laugh track except That 70s Show.

FRIENDS has not aged well whatsoever. There are only about five good episodes in the whole series, and the rest is pure crap. No joke.

HERRERA: We get a chance to trash each other.

gyeongju jacinta james 2

As Lani would say, “oh nooooooooooo”.

JESS: Oh.
HERRERA: Yeah. It’s bad.

HERRERA (confessional): I felt bad for even putting the other Philippines team’s picture up there.

gyeongju richards 4

But you did. So OWN it you bastard.

JESS: I’ll be infused by it.
HERRERA: You will probably will be. I almost cried.
JESS: Really?

gyeongju richard finger

It would have been funnier if Herrera used his middle finger to wipe his eye. You missed out on an opportunity, Rich.

LOGAN’S GUESSES FOR JESS & LANI

1. Hussein/Natasha
2. Manas/Sahil
3. Richards
4. Michelle/Claire
5. Hussein/Natasha

– Lani puts up Michelle/Claire’s picture first. Then Ethan/Khairie. Then Richards.

– Herrera is glad he went first because Hardin is the emotional one.

sydney richard hardin 7

You mean the one who cried while recording himself on camera is the emotional one?

– Hardin submits his second guess.

gyeongju richards 5

Only two right? I love how Hardin wears his emotions on his sleeve and spells out his hatred for Jess/Lani on all three negative answers. Meanwhile you’ve got Herrera throwing out Ethan/Khairie as the biggest backstabber, and admitting to him and Hardin as self-envying.

gyeongju richard hardin 2

Hardin will be taking a while to answer the first question correctly.

gyeongju michelle claire 7

3/5 again. Michelle was right before with hating Jess/Lani across the board.

– LANI: It’s a big up-and-down roller coastuh.

I think that is back in Brisbane, Lani.

LANI’S REAL ANSWERS

1. Richards
2. Ethan/Khairie
3. Richards
4. Ethan/Khairie
5. Hussein/Natasha

Eh, two out of five. Ain’t bad.

– Jess discusses the mind-reading. She chuckles about the mind-reading in regards to who would be the backstabbers.

– The “calm peaceful day” soundtrack plays. It is clearly taking a while. Hardin swaps in Hussein/Natasha for question one.

HARDIN: How would he think in comparison to what I think? I know this guy. He doesn’t hate anybody.

This task is much more entertaining than when it was tried in TAR 11. The unlimited time limit makes it a real task.

– We see Michelle slowly stroll over to the unofficial ‘guessing point’ to be told to try again. I assume it has been at least fifteen to twenty minutes  since she started.

JESS: I was a little surprised that the Singapore Girls put us as non-deserving as a team to stay because we haven’t had any disagreements with them and we’re not really sure what we did to piss them off other than keeping to themselves.

Ah. Jess does not know the concept of recency bias. If you do something that is argued to be unethical to get ahead on The Amazing Race, chances are others will dislike you for the time being. This will turn into long-term hatred if they think you only succeeded because of your ability to imply subtle use of sexuality to trigger this success.

Sexualizing situations + Survivor/TAR = The majority of your competitors and viewers will not be fond of you.

– Jess guess Jess/Lani for 1, Ethan/Khairie for 2, and Richards for 3.

gyeongju michelle claire 8

Meanwhile, Michelle’s path was made easy as the same team was used for the same category of answers. Michelle truly only needed to answer three questions correctly.

PRODUCTION SUGGESTION: Make teams use a unique team for all five answers.

– Claire does a MC Hammer dance when Michelle runs out with the clue. Odd.

gyeongju michelle claire 9

Claire is excited to the point that she does not even know what to do.

mc hammer cant touch this

Specifically this part where they break it down halfway through.

– One of them curses before opening the clue. They read they must drive to Seokguram Grotto, and ring the unification bell three times before receiving their next clue.

Does South Korea really want to get back together this badly? They have been divided for a very long time. The South is putting a lot of effort into trying to make it work.

taylor swift we are never ever getting back together

 

Does that make the North the Taylor Swift of this relationship?

– Jess says the challenge was difficult because of how you had to speak your mind and put it out there.

gyeongju jess lani 9

JESS SCORE: 3/5
MY SCORE: 2/5

Well, at least I am 1/3 in terms of beating the other teams at this task. Jess was on the same track as me in regards to disliking Manas & Sahil the least.

– Hussein & Natasha are last to the task (per usual). Natasha high fives Herrera as she joins Rich and Lani. We cut back to the other teams fixing their answers. Hussein is putting up the initial answers, and that frightens me. We cut back to the other three where a rare cricket soundtrack plays.

gyeongju sorrow

It is like a friend died.

LOGAN’S GUESS FOR HUSSEIN’S ANSWERS

1. Somebody random. Maybe Michelle/Claire. Possibly Yani/Nadine or even Melody/Sharon.
2. Jess/Lani
3. Richards
4. Michelle/Claire
5. Jess/Lani

– Hussein’s answers?

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 2

YES! I scored 4/5! One could argue 4.5 because Ivan/Hilda are truly a random answer.

Trust me, I know how random and unpredictable people think.

– Hardin switches in Manas/Sahil for answer 2.

– Natasha put Ivan/Hilda first because she and Hussein really liked both of them. Ivan is nice and Hilda is cute.

– Jess says she and Lani had situations with Hussein/Natasha because they have been neck-and-neck with them frequently, and thought Hussein/Natasha would have something against them because of this new rivalry that does not exist.

Frequently as in. . .only last leg? I guess in the early legs where Jess/Lani were doing as terrible as Hussein/Natasha, I s’pose.

NATASHA: I thought he was going for Jess/Lani again because I know he does not really like Jess/Lani.

Hold up. You mean a mild-mannered family man who works as a diplomat in a professional setting is not a fan of two party people including one who managed a strip club? Hussein has issues with that?

gyeongju hussein natasha 4

See, only Natasha should be guessing Yani/Nadine. The Richards never even freakin’ met Yani/Nadine so why did Hardin even guess them?

Surprising to note how many times Ethan/Khairie have been predicted to be backstabbers.

In other news, I know Claire and Hussein better than their own teammates. Bravo.

– Hardin has it.

gyeongju richards 6

I s’pose athletes suffer from self-envy more often than you think.

– HERRERA: How the hell did you do that?
HARDIN: I tried to think like you, dawg.
HERRERA: And I was trying to think like you.
HARDIN: That’s what I figured.

THAT’S THE WHOLE F–KING POINT OF THE TASK!

– Herrera says the strategy of Hardin driving and Herrera doing directions is the best way to go. Considering Hardin was crying the last time he was a passenger, this would appear to be ideal.

– Jess states this is harder than she thought it would be.

So much for the idea that two women gossip about each other to the point that they know their opinions about others.

gyeongju lani pillinger 2

Lani is getting tired.

gyeongju jacinta james 3

Jess is confused.

– Natasha submits her next guess.

gyeongju hussein natasha 5

Natasha does not understand the general rule for this task: If you are an all-female team, you are a backstabber, not likeable, and undeserving of making it this far.

Seriously. Nine out of twelve answers have an all-female team in a negative category.

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 3

In Hussein’s mind, the three remaining teams fall into one of two categories:

CATEGORY ONE: Riches.
CATEGORY TWO: Bitches.

Riches n’ Bitches.

gyeongju jess lani 10

Ah, Jess has it. I love how Lani hates Ethan/Khairie more than anyone else this season.

– LANI: That was really good!
JESS: That was so hawd.

We need Jess and a local from Boston, Massachusetts to get together for a conversation. Perhaps Jess would learn she is an orphan from an Irish-American family.

JESS: I think everybody else was stressing because they put us up as answers.
LANI: Who cares.

peter griffin who cares

Lani.

– And yes, Jess/Lani were the perfect team to handle being told that they are the most hated team left in the race. If it were anyone else, we would see tears from the Riches and Hussein or anger from Dominatrix.

– Natasha submits her next guess.

gyeongju hussein natasha 6

Ah, she has it. Needless to say I think all four teams are fairly close at the moment.

– The monk does a very casual “yessss” like a Westerner.

gyeongju buddy monk

We need more Buddy Monks.

– Jess & Lani continue analyzing the hatred directed towards them.

LANI: Why do teams not like us? They must need somebody to make because the Indian Girls are gone. Sooooo–
JESS: Eh.
LANI: Yeah.

brisbane sunaina dimple 8

Sunaina & Dimple are not around but continue to be agreed upon as the most hated team of the season. Ouch.

– Dominatrix are first to the bells.

gyeongju michelle claire 10

When TAR visited in South Korea during TAR 4, there was nasty fog conditions too. The two foggiest days in TAR history have occurred here in South Korea. That is not something I expected to learn this round.

– Dominatrix find the bell through all of the fog.

gyeongju michelle claire 11

Time to click the bell three times and head back to Kansas or the north side of the border.

Hopefully the former for Dominatrix’s sake.

– Michelle & Claire do not vanish anywhere after ringing the bell three times. They receive their next clue.

gyeongju clue 2

It is odd to see four pairs of hands are holding a clue. I am curious if all eight hands are indeed harmonious.

– It is an instant Detour.

gyeongju detour

For once we are shown the Detour before Allan has a chance to explain it to us.

Bow n’ Arrow or Rock n’ Roll.

gyeongju allan wu

Allan and his Nike Swush.

– In Bow n’ Arrow, teams must try their hand at the ancient art form of archery.

don mary jean intro

Mary Jean did not even hit the side of the barn in college. She wants to do Rock n’ Roll, but Don refuses to listen.

– Teams will choose a team photograph

gyeongju bow n arrow

My word. Who picked to hit Sunaina & Dimple with an arrow?

gyeongju sunaina dimple

This is brutal. No mercy is being shown to them.

jerri manthey dartboard

It is like when Kel Gleason had his military buddies take a turn each day throwing darts at a poster of Jerri Manthey for two years following his boot on Survivor: Australian Outback. Disturbing stuff.

Which team is hitting them with the target, anyway?

gyeongju local 4

A local?! What the heck could the nation of South Korea have against Sunaina & Dimple? The entire continent of Asia hates Sunaina & Dimple. Richards are originally from America, and Jess & Lani are originally from Australia.

This means Sunaina & Dimple have a chance of being accepted in Africa, Europe, or South America. Nobody else wants them.

I think ex-Nazis had an easier time finding refuge than Sunaina & Dimple. This is getting extreme.

– They must hit the target three times to receive their next clue.

ALLAN: Teams that master these weapons used in pre-historic Korea will be on target for the Final Three.

gyeongju allan wu 2

And will be on a clear path to the Hwunger Games. I volunteer as Twubute!

– Allan exits the frame.

gyeongju arrow

Why is this shot lingering?
.
.
.
.

gyeongju arrow 2

Ha!

– In Rock n Roll, teams must build a ceremonial pagoda rocks to a  pre-determined height for their next clue.

gyeongju rocks

The exact height? Not yet pre-determined.

ALLAN: Teams that can’t stack this task to a height of one metre (so it is pre-determined) will be. . .

gyeongju allan wu 3

Go on?

ALLAN: . . .stuck between a rock and a hard place.

gyeongju allan wu 4

So. . .teams will be stuck between a rock and Allan’s abs? This might be Jess & Lani’s favourite round of the season.

– Claire asks Michelle if she can use a bow and arrow. It is foggy, rainy, and windy. Michelle agrees to try a bow and arrow. They show the taxi driver where they want to go before re-entering their own vehicle. Claire confirms with Michelle once more that she can do this. Michelle insists she has done archery before.

– Hardin confirms directions with locals on the street.

gyeongju richard hardin 3

I love the guy who is standing there grinning like an idiot and doing nothing.

– Jess & Lani run to Grimsa Temple in second place. They made up time over the Richards. Jess pulls her pants up as the approach the bell.

teri not riding a bike

“My pants are falling down!”
“The penultimate leg is more important than your pants falling down.”
“You think so?”
“Yeah, I think so.”

– So Jess & Lani ring the bell.

gyeongju jess lani 11

Jess puts on the largest dildo known to man as she rings the bell.

gilmore girls bed and breakfast

“Go ahead. Ring the bell. Everyone wants to ring the bell!”

– Jess & Lani have the clue. They choose Bow n’ Arrow. Jess claims she can find it on the map.

– Wow, Dominatrix are already at the Detour. Claire complains aloud that the pictures are too small as a target.

CLAIRE: We’ll pick this one. The Pretty Girls.

Yes, they chose Jess & Lani. Perhaps Michelle & Claire have low self-esteem.

– Michelle & Claire repeatedly miss the target.

gyeongju jess lani 12

“Bring it, bitches.”

CLAIRE: Very close. You gettin’ the hang?

gyeongju michelle claire 12

Did Claire really need to drop that many words?

gyeongju claire goh

Focus.

– Hussein & Natasha are third to the bell. We are shown it in two seconds just like everything else they have done this round. The Richards pass them on the way out. Once again the Riches are in last.

gyeongju hussein natasha 7

Hussein & Natasha need all four hands to ring the bell.

gyeongju richards 7

Dangit, Rich Herrera is showing off.

– Hardin asks Herrera what he wants to do. Herrera repeatedly confirms he wants to do Bow n Arrow. We get a shot of Hussein & Natasha talking to their taxi.

HERRERA: They were paying a taxi that they could follow and that’s why they were moving really fast all day.

So fast that they are currently in last with the Richards.

– Herrera tells Hardin to follow Hussein & Natasha. I guess they felt they lost too much time by backtracking earlier in the day.

gyeongju hussein natasha 8

Once again, Natasha lets the adults talk.

– Natasha tells Hussein to let the Richards drive out of the parking lot first. The Richards do not move.

NATASHA: They want us to go first. See, he’s turning back. He’s gonna follow you.

– Hardin tells us there are no hard feelings. Hussein paid a taxi so Hardin has to follow him.

A dangerous game to follow Hussein of all people.

gyeongju richards 8

Well played, Richards.

– Lots of swearing from Claire as she misses arrow after arrow.

CLAIRE: Ah, freaking hell!

That was the cleanest of her responses.

– Michelle’s turn now.

gyeongju michelle claire 13

Michelle is confused and uncomfortable as she prepares to fire a shot.

“It feels like there is somebody watching me. . .”

– CLAIRE: Why am I kissing that face? I want to hit the kisser!

I feel like I am missing out on terminology.

– NATASHA: I think everyone actually underestimated us. I think everyone didn’t expect us to make it to the final. That was a push for us.

Eh, I think we are estimating you appropriately, Natasha. There are teams with equally bad or worse Team Averages who have made it to the Final Three before.

– Hardin expects Hussein & Natasha to be mad at them as he jokes that they are all traveling together. Natasha writes down a note and flashes it outside her passenger window.

gyeongju share

Share Taxi = Honk.

– Richards laugh when they see the sign. Natasha sticks her head out the window as Hardin tells her that he is limited on money (isn’t everyone?) but will give her as much as he can.

– Lonely music plays as Jess & Lani see taxis on the road. How are they not at the Detour yet? Michelle & Claire’s quick arrival at Bow n’ Arrow made it look like a short distance.

– Lani discusses the stress of the situation. She admits they are lost. Unfortunately for her there are no drivers inside of the empty taxis.

gyeongju jess lani 13

Lani loses her driving privileges for the rest of the leg.

LANI: One of the most stressfulest times on this race.

Stressfulest is not a word.

gyeongju lani pillinger 3

“Anybody home? Somebody had to say ‘nobody’.”

– Jess asks Lani if she wants to drive. Why?

JESS: I’m not good at this.

Well f–king switch then.

– Dominatrix are not having much better luck at the Detour. Claire’s turn once again.

gyeongju claire goh 2

Tougher when Claire is possessed too, I imagine.

brandon arrow 1

brandon quinton

I wish Brandon Quinton from Survivor: Africa attempted this Detour.

gyeongju claire goh 3

Things are not going well.

– Dominatrix switches Detour options. They just squandered away a lead that must be at least twenty to thirty minutes. Could another Ethan & Khairie be in the making?

– Richards are very slowly jogging as Hardin agrees to let Hussein & Natasha run ahead of them.

HARDIN: We were going down the same hill. We’ll ball it out.

How do the two statements relate?

– Michelle & Claire are already at the other Detour option. It must be in very close proximities to each other. We see the camera pan to Hussein & Natasha and the Richards running past where Michelle & Claire are.

gyeongju trees

Perhaps the closest that two Detour options have been in TAR history. They appear to be less than one hundred feet apart.

gyeongju michelle claire 14

The first time that “rocking out” has been the back-up choice for Rebel Pals.

By the way, do we know what Dominatrix rebels against? Gender inequality on TAR?

– Richards choose Manas & Sahil as a target.

HARDIN: We love those guys.
HERRERA: Manas and Sahil, we love you man. You’re just. . .be something to shoot at.

“We love you. . .but we also love firing a bow and arrow into your face repeatedly.

– Michelle lifts a heavy rock.

gyeongju michelle ng 2

The rock weighs more than Michelle.

the rock

Oh, sorry Dwayne. I did not mean to summon you.

gyeongju richard hardin 4

lol. Hardin does indeed have a Brandon Quinton Moment. The arrow limps out and falls out of the bow.

– Hardin is close to the target. Natasha’s shot is about ten feet short.

HARDIN: First time shooting a bow and arrow, but I have watched many Rambo movies.

gyeongju richards 9

You mean a semi-professional athlete enjoys Sly Stallone action films? What a surprise.

– HERRERA: It’s not as easy as Rambo makes it look. When he shoots it it goes “POW!” and all explodes.

“POW!” and an explosion?

batman kapow

Isn’t that 1960s Batman rather than 1980s Rambo?

robin hood arrow

Or that scene in Robin Hood: Men in Tights where Robin’s rival shoots and splits Robin’s arrow with another arrow?

rambo

But in Hardin’s defense, who would not want to reference Rambo?

rambo weird al

Or Weird Al as Rambo?

gyeongju natasha sutadisastra

At least Hardin is not the only one who royally messes up and has a disastra using the bow and arrow.

By the way the judge there is always silent. He just stares when each person fires a shot. Creepy, I know.

– Natasha does a borderline Rambo yell when she barely misses a shot. So does Hussein. His arms are unsteady when he fires. Hussein lands one. The first point of three. He does one of the biggest jigs in the history of TAR.

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 4

Is that Hussein’s attempt at crumping? And throwing up a peace sign too? Wow.

super mario world

Hussein after hitting a target. Unless it is in Canada. In that event, you lose billions of dollars and leave the country as you close all 133 stores.

– Star Wars storm trooper music plays as we see a fast motion montage of Dominatrix. After fast motion is done, Claire sees the stick and realizes there is a long way to go. She compares it to Jenga as the tower of rocks repeatedly falls.

siberia mark michael 6

TAR 14 cast members can relate as well as the Final Four of Survivor: Gabon.

– Fast motion resumes followed by seeing their tower fall once more.

gyeongju michelle claire 15

Or maybe Michelle & Claire are just really short, and the requirements are not that high.

– Jess & Lani find a group of high school students with bows and arrows. This works because the Detour is located at the Hwarang Educational Institute. The only problem?

Jess reveals the group of high school students are from Hwarang High School. High School versus Educational Institute. That’s just mean knowing Jess & Lani are lost.

JESS: Harawa High School?
LANI: Hyrule High School?

And here I thought I was the only Legend of Zelda fan.

I wonder if the school’s mascot is the Triforce?

gyeongju jess lani 14

The students approach Jess & Lani in order to be saved by the eighteen hour school day system of South Korea.

EDITOR’S NOTE: At the end of this round, Jess & Lani went to a bush party with these teenagers. The cops broke the party up, and the teens ran away. I think one of the police officers asked Lani if she was too old to be drinking illegally.

gyeongju jacinta james 4

“I will purchase some Palm Bays from -this- store, while you guys will get away with using fake IDs at -that- store there.”

– Jess & Lani drive off after receiving directions. Natasha misses a few shots. Dominatrix gets another fast motion segment before their tower falls once more.

– Herrera lands a shot.

HERRERA: Manas? Manas? Where are you?

The first person other than Sahil to be asking about Manas all season long.

– Michelle & Claire are very close to finishing the tower.

gyeongju rocks 2

I wonder if that man’s arms are getting tired from holding up the pole?

– Natasha misses. Hussein misses. Hardin scores a second point. Return to Dominatrix.

gyeongju michelle ng 3

After this rock is stacked, Michelle & Claire receive their next clue. They celebrate. That task looked near impossible.

– As soon as it is cleared, the tower tumbles. They both find it hilarious.

gyeongju michelle ng 4

Just be thankful the Korean man is not familiar with the “Three Mississippi” Rule.

– Insta-Roadblock.

ROADBLOCK HINT: Who can crack the warrior code?

– Teams must drive themselves to Daerungwon Tomb Complex (Allan refers to it as “this tomb complex”. Oh well, he tried) and solve the Warrior Code.  Warriors guard three rows of gates. Each with one correct gate.

If they choose a wrong gate, they will be stopped. They will have three attempts before going to the end of the queue. Once they successfully get to the end of the course, they will receive their next clue from the Warrior Master.

gyeongju warrior master

Who, according to this shot, is only four feet tall.

– ALLAN: Teams that break the warrior code. . .

gyeongju allan wu 5

Bad poker face, Allan. We know what’s coming.

(Warriors yell and strike a pose.)

ALLAN: . . .Can be rewarded with a clear path through the gates of this task.

gyeongju allan wu 6

You could have said “will have a clear path to the Final Three”.

In short, I give this pun a rating of three out of ten.

– Michelle thinks Claire should do it. So she does. Richards have scored all three points. Herrera will do the Roadblock. How close are Hussein & Natasha?

gyeongju arrow 3

It is like they are giving the target acupuncture!

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 5

Hussein is -really- getting into this task.

– Natasha critiques Hussein by saying he is positioned too high.

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 6

Hussein presses ‘R’ to crouch. Success! He scores the second point.

gyeongju hussein sutadisasta 7

His underwear matches the colour of his hair.

– Hussein finds an unusual way to celebrate.

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 7

He checks to make sure his deodorant is functioning properly. Body odour being under control is important when doing outdoor activities!

– Jess & Lani are still lost. Jess points out the school on the sign. They drive some more.

LANI: Can you drive? I can’t drive any more. It’s stressing me out.
JESS: We just get it and I’ll drive.

In other words, when there is less stress?

– Commercial. We resume.

– Jess & Lani adopt a taxi driver because they ran out of hope trying to find the place. The guy speaks barely any English, and Lani has to mime that she and Jess will follow him.

– NATASHA: The motivation of my dad was “Get Lani! Get Lani!”

– How many shots have they fired now?

gyeongju archery

To put it into perspective: Only one more of these arrows needs to move inch closer to the poster.

wii archery

They are better off doing Wii Archery.

gyeongju hussein natasha 9

Hussein. . .pretending to be a catcher in baseball.

pudge rodriguez

His nickname in high school was “Indonesian Pudge”.

– Natasha misses a shot and groans. Hussein coaches her that she needs to aim lower. So she does.

gyeongju hussein natasha 10

“That’s all, bitches.”

gyeongju hussein natasha 11

That’s a high ten! Wow!

– NATASHA: Roadblock. I’ll do it.

Uh oh. This would have been the perfect Roadblock for Hussein. This means he has to do the final Roadblock of the season.

– Jess & Lani make it to the Detour. They choose themselves as the target. Jess is right-handed and cannot figure out if she is firing the arrow properly. Why did they choose themselves as the target, anyway?

JESS: We didn’t enjoy making enemies or having to choose people we dislike because nobody has done anything nasty enough to express that.

Except when Ivan called Jess’ mother a whore. That was edited out.

gyeongju lani pillinger 4

Lani fires a sideways shot.

gyeongju lani pillinger 5

Arrow Dance!

– Michelle & Claire are at the Tomb Temple. Michelle makes her first attempt.

MICHELLE: Warriors was scarier getting a wrong door because I hate being scared by human beings in costumes.

gyeongju michelle claire 16

Animals in costumes? They’re fine.

alaska christina

Oh right. Human beings are animals.

gyeongju michelle ng 5

Michelle flees in fear once warriors try to chase her down because of the first door being wrong.

– I am sorry. But this task is ridiculously dumb.

At first I thought it would be 3! number of options. If you are reading a TAR Asia blog, you probably know the math for 3! , but for international readers outside of Asia who are reading this and need an explanation, 3! means 3 * 3 * 3.

Upon arriving at the Warrior’s Gates, this would be the number of possible combinations. A grand total of 27 possible combinations. So teams may need to be sent back to the queue eight times before solving it.
.
.
.
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But that ain’t right either because each team gets confirmation for the individual gates. This means you are instantly told you are wrong after the first trio of gates. In other words, you can only be a failure a maximum of six times.

Unless you are a moron, you should only be sent to the queue a maximum of two times. So basically one should be running as fast as possible through each gate, and you could be done the task before another team shows up.

gyeongju michelle ng 6

None of this ginger tip-toeing crap.

mario party 4 doors of doom

It is like one of the producers played Mario Party 4’s Doors of Doom and thought “hey, this is a fun mini game! This would be great for a penultimate Roadblock in Asia 4.”

mario party 4 doors of doom 2

Except replace Bowser with angry Korean warriors.

mario party 4 thwomp

And Thwomp simply tries too hard in Mario Party 4.

– Michelle creeps into the second gate.

gyeongju michelle ng 7

She kicks down an imaginary door then edges back out of fear. She finally steps in and the warriors ambush her.

gyeongju michelle ng 8

Looks like somebody needs their mommy.

gyeongju warrior

I can guarantee you that the warrior on the left gets teased for his lack of facial hair.

Although both guys look like they are posing for mug shots.  Heck, the guy on the right reminds me of Joe Son.

– Jess is proud for shooting herself. They have one point.

– Richards are at the temple. They are currently in second. Michelle fails for a third time and is back of the queue. She could have gone again if not for taking so dang long.

– Herrera comments on the intimidating nature of the warriors. He copies my suggestion of moving as fast as possible.

– Oh my god. You are not going to believe the extra help that teams receive.

gyeongju richard herrera

That’s right. They are allowed to write down notes.

In case you cannot remember Right-Centre-Left, you can f–king write it down if your memory is worse than a fish.

prague big easy 2

Or worse than a Big Easy.

– This is by far the easiest Roadblock I have ever seen. It beats climbing up a ladder in Family Edition because somebody like Marshall from TAR 5 could have quit from the physical nature of it.

Maybe even easier than the Roadblocks in TAR 24.

But this is beyond ridiculous. Move. Fail. Move. Fail. Move. Succeed. Done.

The only task for this Roadblock is driving here, but that is not a Roadblock since you work together in TAR Asia to drive to Roadblock sites.

– Hussein & Natasha are on-site. Hussein hugs and kisses Natasha before she embarks. Richards fail.

– Natasha chose both incorrect gates in the first trio of gates. She is sent to the back of the queue.

CORRECTION: There are four gates in the second group. Soooo much tougher.

– Commercial. We resume. Jess lands the second point. Lani scores the final one.

gyeongju jacinta james 5

It would be hilarious if Jess shot herself in the foot. Such poetry for this round.

JESS: Bullseye!

Did Lani hit herself in the eye?

– LANI: Who can crack the warrior code? Okay, that sounds like numbers and lots of sorts and I don’t wanna–
JESS: You’re a warrior, Lani. You can do it.

gyeongju jess lani 15

Not that she had a choice.

– We get to see a close-up of the clue.

gyeongju clue 3

Warriors can be dangerous?

More like CAUTION: Rookie producer in charge of creative for tasks are dangerous for the show.

– Lani briefly discusses the roller coaster nature of the day. They exit the Detour site.

gyeongju detour 2

And so ends the brief cameo for these dudes.

– Herrera’s second attempt at the Roadblock. The third row has five gates. He passes through. The clue is his.

gyeongju richard herrera 2

Are you too proud to kneel before your master, Herrera?

– We get a close-up of the clue as Herrera reads it.

gyeongju anapji pond

No need for Allan’s explanation, I s’pose. A lame location for the pit stop. Just a lousy pond?

– Allan says it was built in 1674 A.D. It was part of a sprawling palace complex during one of the ancient dynasties.

Nevermind. Place seems pretty cool.

gyeongju allan wu 7

Allan’s hair leaps up in excitement.

gyeongju pond

Neat place.

– Hardin gives Natasha all of his remaining money. Once they leave Natasha laughs at how little funds the Richards have left (10, 000 Korean Won which is equivalent to eleven Canadian dollars).

– Natasha is on her second attempt at the Roadblock.

gyeongju hussein sutadisastra 8

Hussein meanwhile does the first test from Solitary 3.0 out of boredom.

– Natasha completes the task. She is smart enough to jog through it. Hussein commands his daughter to give him a high five. They still have the same taxi driver hired. The two cars drive off.

– Lani is at the Roadblock. She is jogging rather slowly. Just sprint. She gets blocked a second time.

gyeongju lani pillinger 6

Lani dekes by the warriors. Does she not understand the whole point of them trying to block her?

– So Lani backtracks after laughing. She is surprisingly not taking this task too seriously.

gyeongju lani pillinger 7

Uh oh. The warriors are closing in on her in a vicious fashion. Thankfully they back off because Lani is neither Caroline nor Jennifer. Plus none of the warriors use tuk-tuks.

– The other three teams are on the road. Claire honks at an old person on the road. Hardin is freaking out. Claire reveals the top three teams are three to five minutes apart since the Roadblock.

gyeongju couple

Five to ten if Claire stopped at the crosswalk and let the old guy walk across.

– Hussein is worried about his position. Lani gets to try the Roadblock again. She is inevitably gaining time since there is no queue. Lani has the clue. She and Jess read it.

JESS: You wanna drive because it’s gonna be fast?

Lani–Fast Driver
Jess–Sunday Driver

– Jess’ heart sank when she read that it is a pit stop. Lani agrees. They know their only hope is that something went extremely wrong for another team.

– Jess & Lani have the same taxi guiding them. If only they caved and did this from the airport.

– Richards pull over and ask for directions since they could not follow Hussein & Natasha again.

HERRERA (in worst Asian accent I have heard in my life): How many kilometre? Kilometre?

His accent was more French than it was Korean.

gyeongju richard herrera 3

“Voulez vous que Gangnam le kilometres?”

gyeongju image

The local draws an image of a cross on a piece of paper for some reason.

– Michelle & Claire abandoned their taxi too. They are on the side of the road with a local. The local is trying to read Michelle & Claire’s Korean map. Claire thought the map was useless because none of it is in English.

gyeongju claire goh 4

Which stumps the local as to why Dominatrix are making it so difficult for themselves to find anything in town.

– Hussein & Natasha park next to their taxi driver and pay him.

NATASHA: Me and my dad’s goal was to always be in the top three no matter what.

Bullsh-t. This wasn’t shown in the Racers Revealed special. You probably said something lame like “we want to see how far we can go” or “looking to bond as a father and daughter” or “see the world”.

There is no way Hussein & Natasha were all roided up and yelling “FINAL THREE OR ELSE WE’RE GOING TO F–KING RIP THIS CITY APART!!!!! WE’LL RAPE! WE’LL PILLAGE! WE’LL CHEAT JUST TO GET AHEAD!!!!”.

– Hussein & Natasha run onto the mat.

gyeongju allan wu 8

Allan along with Melody or Sharon greet them at the mat.

gyeongju hussein natasha 12

That cab was worth every penny.

gyeongju allan wu 9

Allan flashes a smile out of politeness.

gyeongju hussein natasha 13

Hussein steps away from Natasha. You know, because Natasha wet herself et al.

HUSSEIN: First time! First time!

– Allan informs them they are the first team officially in the Final Final Three in Amazing Race Asia.

Yes, repeating ‘Final’ was intentional.

NATASHA: First father-daughter too.
ALLAN: Yes, first father-daughter team. (sarcastic) Yeah!

gyeongju hussein natasha 14

Of course you’re the first f–king father-daughter team. Who else did you beat out for this feat? No one because THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ANOTHER FATHER-DAUGHTER TEAM CAST FOR TAR ASIA IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!

taiwan ronald christina

And you’re not even the first father-daughter team in the finals in TAR history nor are you the first Asian father-daughter team either.

So congratulates Hussein & Natasha for being the first Indonesian father-daughter team to make it to the Final Three of TAR Asia 4.

gyeongju allan wu 10

Wu was annoyed with being corrected. That’s the same look most teachers and professors gave me whenever I sat in the front row of a classroom.

– They have won a seven-night trip for two to the Hilton Maldives. Seaplanes and spas. It is worth $6, 000 US Dollars.

– Natasha recaps that this was the first leg of the race that they won, and finally won a prize.

gyeongju hussein natasha 15

Celebratory heel click!
.
.
.
.
Fine. I’ll do this.

FIRST PLACE: HUSSEIN & NATASHA

Sigh.

– Hardin spots a flag. Michelle & Claire see that the Richards are here. Jess & Lani are shown parking as well.

– Music picks up speed as the Richards run onto the mat. No other teams are present.

SECOND PLACE: RICHARDS

ALLAN: You are the second of the top final three teams. How does it feel?
HERRERA: Well–
(HARDIN turns around and starts doing Baller Screams like you would hear from Brandon Hantz or some other 20-year-old.)

HARDIN: WOOO! YEAH BOI!

gyeongju richard hardin 5

Is he flexing?

gyeongju richard herrera 4

This has become embarrassing real quick.

HARDIN: YEAH! AWE!

gyeongju richard hardin 6

Two minutes later, Hardin makes it back to the mat.

ALLAN: . . .You’ve done it. You’ve made it to the Final Three.

gyeongju richards 10

Now shake hands because Allan’s ears need to recover.

– Dominatrix run onto the mat seconds later according to the edit.

THIRD PLACE: MICHELLE & CLAIRE

gyeongju allan wu 11

A migraine has set in since he dismissed Hardin.

– Michelle & Claire greet both Allan and the greeter with a friendly ‘hiiiii’. Such rebels.

ALLAN: How many times have you come in third?
CLAIRE: Six times!

Wow, that was a jerk move. Allan just reminded them how lacklustre their finishes have been in the past ten rounds. Has a team ever finished in 3rd as much as six times in the same season?

– Michelle has been dreaming about the Final Three for the longest time. Minus a Billy Joel reference of course.

CLAIRE: I just hope we don’t come in third on the last leg again.

It would be hilarious if they did. Just have the most boring string of finishes in TAR history.

gyeongju michelle claire 17

Fingers crossed.

– Jess & Lani are at the mat.

LAST PLACE: JESS & LANI

– Allan Wuliminates them.

JESS: We forfeit.

gyeongju jess lani 16

Spoiler Alert: Jess does not know what the word ‘forfeit’ means.

ALLAN: Did you? At what point?

gyeongju allan wu 12

Allan is not quite following.

JESS: When we got so lost and couldn’t read our map in Korean.

ALLAN: You two were doing so well in this entire race, you know.
JESS: But we’re really proud of how far we’ve come, and what we’ve achieved.
LANI: Yeah, and winning three legs was really big for us. We’re really happy with that.

Pssst. Two of them were in Australia. You knew where an obscure pistol club was located.

gyeongju jess lani 17

Jess ends the chat with a nervous smile.

JESS: I’m so proud of both of us. We’ve done and dreamed so much more than I could have ever imagined.

In other words, their goal at the beginning had the exact opposite expectations of Hussein & Natasha’s goal.

gyeongju jess lani 18

Lani tries to cut Jess off in the last few seconds. . .

gyeongju jess lani 19

But is stuck with politely smiling instead.

gyeongju jess lani 20

And it’s finally time to bid farewell.

You can go relax at a club and pop your collar at yo friends, Lani! I have put together a YouTube playlist for you. Hope you like it!

usher pop ya collar

Two MC Hammer references in the same week? This is problematic.

Next Time on TAR Asia 4: The Ride of a Lifetime comes to an end. . .permanently. :/

– So, Jess & Lani are cut right before the finale. Jess abandons her job managing a strip club and instead moves on to being a tattooist.

Mainly because I think she was tired of hearing a repeated loop of Plies, Akon, and T-Pain songs every night non-stop.

CONFESSIONAL COUNT

HARDIN.HERRERA 7.8
HUSSEIN.NATASHA 3.6
JESS.LANI 12.4
MICHELLE.CLAIRE 7.13

BRIEF SUMMARY OF AMAZING RACE ASIA 4’S RACE WUMORIES SPECIAL

This episode aired one week before the season finale. Much like the other three Race Wumories special from each of the three seasons, this is essentially a recap with minimal new footage.

IVAN: I thought something was wrong with Hilda’s ankle because a monkey had bitten her.

wumories monkey

I knew it all along. The evil monkey did it.

– Recap of the first leg showed the best quotes. Alan’s “shut up you”, Yani/Nadine being a disaster.

– Yani neighing like a horse again at the snake Roadblock. LOL. We need a repeated loop of that. Michelle and Claire eating chicken balls.

– First new scene! Michelle & Claire struggling with the self-drive portion in Kota Kinabalu. Michelle cannot operate it, and they have to tell cars to go around them.

wumories michelle claire

Is this the part where I make a joke about an Asian and a female driving on the road is a lethal combination for the tenth time? How about no.

– More screaming the next day for Michelle & Claire when they were driving.

CLAIRE: I said left.
MICHELLE: You said right. You pointed there dood!
CLAIRE: See? They’re closed.
MICHELLE: F–K! Obviously I see it.
***
CLAIRE: You think I do all of that on purpose–
MICHELLE: Claire–
CLAIRE: Think about it carefully, Michelle–
MICHELLE: Claire–
CLAIRE: THINK ABOUT IT REALLY CAREFULLY, MAN!
(MICHELLE starts crying.)
MICHELLE: This thing is very important to me.
CLAIRE: And it isn’t to me–
MICHELLE: We’re not going to ever leave because of your mistake.

wumories michelle claire 2

Teamwork!

CLAIRE: Why are you giving me flack for this? Do you know how many maps I have?
MICHELLE: I’m not giving you jacks–t for this okay.

wumories michelle claire 3

#RebelTears

– The stupid 4 hour penalty Roadblock is shown. Where’s James Duthie?

– Yani/Nadine are out.

– Sri Lanka time which means we get to see Alan being funny when he flips out. Richards are pointed out for strength and speed.

– Yield of Dominatrix re-shown. Sewing. Forgot the Richards used to have hair.

– Ethan & Khairie and Jess getting into fights with the locals who try to poach money from them.

ALLAN: What you didn’t see was the police slowing the Richards down.

. . .Yes we did. They convinced the cops to lead them to the pit stop.

– Alan & Wendy saved by a NEL.

ALLAN: The Richards literally shaved time off their race.

Heh.

– Natasha said she would have refused to shave your head.

SUNAINA: I have always wanted to shave my head at least once in my life.

Okay.

– Richards are stopped by police again. Oh. Two separate incidents and both in Sri Lanka. Richards had bad luck. This is the incident where Herrera used his driver’s license to elicit laughter from the officers.

– Hussein in the coconut tree. THEY REPLAYED HIS AGONIZING YELL! YES!

– Alan & Wendy fighting in a high school classroom. Alan drops a F-bomb, and their journey in this Wucap is over.

– Manila. Unaired footage was Hardin convincing the driver to leave at seven in the morning rather than the driver delaying in order to have more passengers.

HARDIN: I have it on tape. I have it on video that you told me you were leaving at seven o’ clock.

wumories camera

One of the rare times they intentionally acknowledge the camera.

HERRERA: I stayed in the background because two bald guys yelling at him would have made things worse.

Yes, nothing spells aggression like bald people.

– Hilda’s shocking silence during the pinata task is re-visited. And Sahil whipping the stick for no reason. They’re picking the best highlights possible.

– Manas & Sahil gone.

– To the bottom of New Zealand! What we didn’t see is Jess & Lani begging for money at the airport. Yes, just like the two or three times earlier in the race they begged for money. So what did they do with that money?

wumories shopping

Shopping!

wumories shopping 2

Lots of shopping! Accessorizing is a top priority.

– Christchurch. Jess & Lani angry with the slow guy at the counter. Re-live begging for plane tickets. #CryingNotHarrassing

– Hussein’s lumberjack encouragement. THE WHISTLE! YES!

– Unaired footage was the difficulty of driving the campers. We see three of the final four teams knocking into stuff.

wumories drive

Fail.

wumories drive 2

Dominatrix fail.

wumories drive 3

Bald fail.

– HERRERA: Jesus Christ man! He has hit ten things since he started driving.

wumories drive 4

And batting clean-up. . .Richard Herrera!

– Commercial. We resume. Hardin’s bungee jump. Hilda’s lack thereof. U-Turn payback.

– Unaired footage: A second U-Turn where Michelle & Claire make a U-Turn on the road when Sunaina & Dimple follow them blindly. Sunaina & Dimple attempt to cut in front of Dominatrix during the U-Turn.

MICHELLE: I don’t like the cheapskate way of following people. Wanna follow me? Get behind me in line!

– Speed limit review. Ethan & Khairie driving too slow because of Hussein being a grandpa. Not as much of a grandpa as Ivan and Hilda. Oddly enough they are eliminated the next day.

– South Asian Winter Games review. Lots of bails. Wine and sheep. Ethan & Khairie’s animal husbandry.

– Messages -to- home. Lani raving about a hamburger. Others crying.

– To Sydney. Umbrella Man. Trapeze Time. Virtual Pit Stop. Skipping Hussein’s penalty.

– Unaired footage: What are Jess & Lani up to?

wumories lani pillinger

“We got the golden ticket! It’s ours Charlie, we won!”

CLAIRE: Only a male would be stupid enough to give them that kind of money in the first place.

wumories michelle claire 4

What? Are you insinuating that Jess & Lani only begged money from men because they knew young men would distribute cash based on instant attraction rather than evaluating the circumstances, and deciding if Lani & Jess truly need the money?

clay jordan

NOTE: Jess & Lani would not get s–t from Clay.

– LANI: We love shopping. Shopping, shopping. Shopping Girls, really.
JESS: We really wanted these shirts because they are amazing.

wumories amazing

O no she di’int.

wumories amazing 2

Yes. This is the backstory for how Jess & Lani came into buying the ‘Amazing’ T-shirts that they mysteriously started wearing.

something

As ridiculous as the backstory of when Randy and Rafi met in The League.

pete the league

Speaking of The League, there was a recent episode where Pete gets criticized for dating two consecutive Asian women, and thus being labelled as having an “Asian thing”.

I, on the other hand, blogged The Amazing Race Asia 2 and The Amazing Race Asia 3 without watching an American, Canadian, Australian, or another international season in between.

Does this mean last year I had an “Amazing Race Asia thing” according to writers of The League? I think they like to be inappropriate for the sake of being appropriate.

***

JESS: I think we are the only team in TAR history to go shopping more than leg throughout the race.
LANI: Almost every leg we’ve got to go shopping. Very fortunate.

oswald god

You’ve been dethroned, fellas.

– The Big Drop time. Big Brother Australia films here in Dreamworld. Hardin’s mocked driving.

HERRERA: If he drives it anything like a camper van, we are in big trouble.

Heh. This remark makes much more sense now.

– Grub time. Michelle’s freakout. Hussein & Natasha sleep-deprived. Sunaina & Dimple driving worse than them somehow. Wuliminated. Sushi Chef Style.

– Ethan`s accidental deception of the Richards at the boat sign-up. Hardin`s blowup.

– Commercial. We resume. Richards’ private car penalty. Their nightmarish return to the fishing village. Detour fully explained in this recap for some reason. Ethan’s mind change is replayed. Does anyone know who Fam Sam Moy is?

– We get to re-watch the showdown between the Richards and Ethan & Khairie for the second half of the round. Ethan & Khairie gone.

– Yep, we are back to the pen-ultimate round. Teams pissed with Jess & Lani’s flirting at the airport. Begging for money and wasting it on clothes is one thing, but cutting in front of other teams is downright rude.

– Gossipers supposedly have an advantage at the Perfect Match task. You know the story here.

– Everyone is struggling with foreign maps, therefore hire taxis. Except Jess & Lani. It would cut into their shopping reserves. Michelle’s tank top criticism makes much more sense after this unaired footage.

– I like how everyone chose to fire arrows at Jess & Lani (including Jess & Lani) except for Richards who chose Manas & Sahil.

– Jess & Lani were lost, finally hired a cab, and were eliminated. Wow, what happened to unaired footage?

WU’S PREVWU

“Will Indonesia’s Hussein & Natasha maintain their lead to the end?”
“Can the Richards from the Philippines take out another first place?”
“Or will the tiny Singaporeans Claire & Michelle finally win a leg of the race when it really matters?”

Isn’t the word ‘tiny’ implied in this case?

Nah, just playin’.

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 Jess & Lani 4.3 TAR Asia 4
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 to officially be 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) Jess & Lani

Jacintuh James.
Lani Pillinguh.

I liked this team a lot. Surprisingly, an all-female team with a rare feat of winning three legs in a row is currently ranked lower in terms of average by thirteen other all-female teams, including Sunaina & Dimple and soon to be a 14th team in the form of Michelle & Claire.

It is surprising they won 30% of their legs and have an average in the C+ range. We tend to forget that they began the race with back-to-back eighth place finishes, and followed it up with barely surviving in 7th.

Sure, you could penalize two of their three wins because they had a huge advantage in both Australia rounds, but you could penalize nearly anyone in TAR Asia for winning a leg with home field advantage.

I stand by my statement that Jess & Lani bear a lot of similarities to Dustin & Kandice’s run in All Stars. Just convert aggression and flirtation with contestants and turn it into aggression and flirtation with locals.

And yes, Jess & Lani had ‘realer’ personalities than the Chipmunks.

My gut tells me that Jess & Lani slaughtered the record for most money begged for on The Amazing Race. I would say that teams who had their money taken away in TAR 5-9 probably begged less than Jess & Lani did.

So the question for the viewers was “how the hell did they run out?”

Unfortunately it would not be until the Race Memories special that not only did they beg more frequently than what we saw in ten episodes, but they went shopping for clothes and accessories after each successful pan handling campaign.

You can make all the jokes that you want about how the strip club manager is the person who holds the record for most money received from single men in TAR history, but it worked. Not even Heather & Eve did as well as them.

I would love to see Jess & Lani on Survivor. They have the perfect personalities for it. Just that cold nature in terms of how they approached the race, but never disrespecting the other teams nor taking things personally would make them contestants.

Not to mention during the race how they could be dancing whether first or last, and seconds later be screaming at a local who wronged them by shouting he is an “EVIL EVIL MAN”.

These two have good endurance. Frustration rather than fatigue was their biggest enemy. Once they got over the learning curve of the race, they could move quickly and be comfortable throughout the race.

Oh, and PETA wants Jess to make a statement for accidentally killing that sheep. She and Lani could find humour in the darkest of situations. Heck, they picked their own picture to fire arrows at after a day where everybody openly stated in Perfect Match that they hated them.

Perhaps the best decision that Jess & Lani made was ditching the pink skirts after the third round. That has to be the worst possible outfit to wear for a physical competition. I understand you want to be stylish, but wearing skirts with high-heeled shoes makes people wonder what the heck you are doing here.

I think Jess & Lani preferred the Charla & Mirna approach of prioritizing fun over kicking ass on every leg. This exact approach is why Jess & Lani were stuck with minimal funds on the penultimate round, and were in the dark for too long which led to their elimination.

The crazy thing about it? They would not fix this mistake if they were on TAR Asia for a second time.

In short, Jess & Lani are awesome.

Jess & Lani would have been tied with Ethan & Khairie, but I docked a couple of points for their mactor background.

P.S. Yes, Jess & Lani will not appear at the finish line for this season because Lani suffered a broken collar bone. I attempted to research -how- she broke it, but I could not find those details. Could she really have broke it within 24 hours after being eliminated?

3) 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.

4) 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!

5) 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.

6) 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.

7) 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) Lombok, Indonesia -> Gyeongju, South Korea

Airport equalizer.
Go to a ceremony here.
Ring a bell there.

Match your partner’s opinions with an improved version of Perfect Match from TAR 11’s final task, but still be told how many you have right. Better, but there should not have been any help.

Firing a bow and arrow at a small target bearing a team’s image of your choosing was simultaneously challenging and amusing.

I love a self-drive leg in an area with a heavy language barrier such as South Korea.

But you know what ruined self-driving, Perfect Match mediocrity, and bows and arrows?

The freakin’ Warrior’s Code task. How the hell does that qualify as the penultimate Roadblock of the season? How did that survive all of the planning stages and become an official task for this program? You could be wrong just a maximum of seven times. You would complete it in either two or three attempts.

What. The. Hell. Was. The. Point.

The most interesting part about this leg is Hussein & Natasha proving to be the smartest team by saving up all of their money and hiring a taxi to lead them for the day. They won this round because of this. Regardless of the fact they started out the day lost at the airport, and were slow at most tasks.

The team who had the least amount of money, Jess & Lani, wasted too much time and could afford a cab for the last two route markers. After being responsible for scoring the season’s lone hat trick, they would be Wuliminated over Dominatrix and Hussein & Natasha in a big upset.

This leg should be ranked higher, but dammit, Warrior’s Code has to make a top ten for dumbest Roadblocks in TAR history.

P.S. Yes, the hay bales task in TAR 6 is number one.

9) 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.

10) 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

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.

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