Year of the Tortoise
(Episode Blog #276)
INDONESIA – VIETNAM – CHINA – SOUTH AFRICA – THE NETHERLANDS – CZECH REPUBLIC – POLAND – ISRAEL – SRI LANKA – SINGAPORE – AUSTRALIA
Previously on TAR: Eleven teams raced from Lombok, Indonesia to Vietnam. Farm animals tested teams while lovebirds Chris & Anastasia started to unravel. And South Australian sisters Alana & Mel learned some teams will do anything to win.
Tonight, team rivalries boil over, and one pair’s destiny hangs in the balance. Ten teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
– Intro time.
– Grant introduces us to the Citadel in the Forbidden City is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
If this were 2016, Grant’s name on screen would be followed by his Twitter handle.
– Tyler & Nathan, who were the first to arrive at 11:07am, will depart at 11:07pm.
Are you kidding me? We get an announced arrival time AND departure time?! Holy crap. I would have to search through past seasons, but this has not happened in a very long time. It was probably one of the early TAR Asia seasons. As for the US version? Maybe TAR 9 or TAR 10 possibly.
Ladies and gentlemen, we may be going back to TAR’s core concepts for once.
– Tyler & Nathan read they must fly to Hong Kong. Once there, they must travel by taxi to the Aberdeen Marina Dock then catch a ferry to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. Once there, they must bite through over a thousand fortune cookies. One of these cookies will lead them to their next clue.
Believe it or not, this is the fifth round in 275 blogs where TAR has visited Hong Kong. I will link to all of those posts at the end of this leg.
Let’s just say the previous trip will be tough to top.
Not only for Nick reasons, but also these reasons. It is arguably the best Hong Kong route set up on TAR.
And Hong Kong doesn’t stop here. I have also podcasted about an additional two Hong Kong rounds over the past four years. Needless to say Hong Kong is a prime filming location for TAR.
Look how pretty it is lit up at night.
And since the first task doesn’t involve a Bruce Lee or dragons, the only option left was a food eating challenge.
You might be asking “Have they traveled to Hong Kong in TAR Asia before, and did they also bite into fortune cookies?”
The answer is. . .
Yes. Yes they have. It was at the Mee Lun Street rather than the Jumbo Floating Restaurant. That is a HUGE change for producers to make.
I have said it on podcasts before, but I thought a hilarious way for TAR Canada or TAR US to troll the hardcore fans is to dig up a round from TAR Australia/Asia/Hamerotz LaMillion, and repackage it verbatim. Every route marker location and every task needs to be absolutely identical. This would drive the 0.2 percent of your fanbase into complete madness while the middle-aged family on the couch is oblivious to the joke producers are playing.
This is the closest I have seen a season pull off this feat. activeTV is three episodes into this season and are re-hashing their own tasks from TAR Asia just a couple of years earlier. Congratulations, you guys have trolled me.
There better be Jumbo shrimp to satisfy Forrest Gump.
998 of these fortune cookies are regular fortune cookies; one contains a clue; the other contains fentanyl. Bite carefully.
A Dream Teamer demonstrates proper fortune cookie biting technique.
The other fortune cookies contain the following message:
“Your fortune has delivered squat.
You may keep biting fortune cookies you gluttonous bastard.”
Viewers say the clue shouldn’t be handed to teams on a silver platter. However, it appears producers have taken this point just a little too literal.
– Tyler & Nathan hire a cab.
The letter ‘A’ in Vietnamese is a triangle? Neat.
– Tyler thinks other teams view them as the crazy surfer guys.
TYLER: Not a lot of brains. We’re pretty smart. We’re really street smart.
We’re like, totally smart. Totally smart dudes, yeah bro.
Because Tyler is street smart, he must be pissed he was not cast for The Apprentice 3 and placed on the Street Smarts team just to prove his point to the world.
– Tyler & Nathan are already at the Hue Airport.
It looks like they will have no choice but to fly domestic to get on a connecting flight to Hong Kong.
Tyler and his manbunned friend bring out their credit card to pay for the flight.
Why do they have Tracy’s credit card? That is FRAUD. Arrest them! How is the ticketing agent not seeing this?
– Matt & Tom depart second at 11:14pm.
Did Tyler & Nathan really get to the airport and pay for their flight all in the span of seven minutes? Editors are lying to us. They’re all lying to us.
– Matt says they are doing well for people who have never traveled before.
MATT: Hong Kong? That’s in China, isn’t it?
Tom looks straight ahead and refuses to acknowledge Matt. Clearly Matt never watched kung fu movies as a child.
MATT: Asia is not my style. Pace of anywhere [is more appealing]. I could handle Melbourne after this.
As long as Melbourne has a group of Neo Nazis, Matt and his moustache will fit right in to city life.
– Chris & Anastasia commence at 11:15pm. Chris describes him and Anastasia as strong characters and how passionate they both are.
Yeah, they more than happy to tell you how strong they are. Look at those shirts.
Chris daydreams about how strong he is.
CHRIS: I think if we can get through this race, we’ll be together forever or not get together at all. I don’t see us as being somewhere in the middle.
After a full round of shouting at each other, I think their current fatigue demonstrates which side of the spectrum they are currently positioned.
Chris begs for a kiss.
Who lacks discipline now, motherf–ker?
– Jeff & Luke depart in fourth at 11:49pm; Sam & Renae are right behind at 11:50pm. Renae reads they have 210 dollars for this leg of the race.
Australian Dollars or US Dollars? In the Canadian version, they always distinguish between their own currency and the American currency on each leg.
– Luke rambles about how he and Jeff went into the race as two individuals, but are racing as a father-son team.
Gili Taxi? I thought we ditched Gili Tarwangan at the end of the first pit stop in Lombok. Who knew their cab company stretched all the way to the middle of Vietnam?
– Sam repeats her point of being intelligent.
SAM: We’re not your typical blonde bimbos because we’re quite intelligent.
*Camera cuts to Sam in the cab.*
SAM: Nuh whar??
That is what we call an editing joke.
– Renae adds they are both fit, clever, and strong.
RENAE: We have just as good of a chance as everyone else.
Yes. Just as good of a chance as everyone else. They acknowledged Anne-Marie & Tracy as having a “good chance”.
What’s a Hong Kong? Dear god. WHAT is a Hong Kong?
It’s Donkey Kong’s Asian cousin.
Alright, I’ll stop trolling you. A Hong Kong is a neighbourhood that is set up as one large brothel. Just ask locals for a Chinese brothel and they’ll point you in the right direction.
Nah, that doesn’t sound right. What place are you thinking of in Singapore?
Oh, I know. Caltex City. It’s the biggest city in Singapore.
Just once I want a team to fly to the wrong country. Make it happen, producers.
– Dave & Kelly open the clue at 11:56pm. Kelly ‘ooohs’ at Hong Kong. I think she knows where it is.
DAVE: We’ve got a few people who think we’re really nice.
KELLY: We are nice.
DAVE: I know, but I’m not that niiiiice. I’ve got no university degree in cleverness, so we’re just gonna be sly when we can.
I can’t wait for Sly Dave to emerge.
I doubt Dave has a university degree at all.
– Mo & Mos depart in seventh at 12:02am. They start screaming for a taxi.
“Hey! It’s midnight! Keep it down! Some of us are trying to have. . .dinner?”
– Mo & Mos wait for a taxi and then something bizarre happens. Something I have never seen before in almost five hundred episodes of TAR.
What the hell?
MOS: Mohammed. . .what am I supposed to do?
With the cameras around, they probably think he is some sort of Asian TV star.
I don’t know if this is covered in the Qu’ran.
I haven’t seen this much fondling since the Mumbai train incident in TAR 4.
“Don’t grab Mostafa’s boob dude or I’ll throw you off this train!”
MOS: We were in the middle of the night waiting for a taxi, and these Vietnamese women come up to us and start fondling our chests like it was something they had never seen before.
Five years later and they are still trying to figure out this incident.
I think Sublime had a song about this.
Getting to Know Your Body With Mo & Mos.
“I hope these aren’t the virgins we were promised.”
“I um. . .I think I see our cab.”
“Namaste Away, please.”
– This segment could turn into the weirdest thing ever as Anne-Marie & Tracy depart in eighth at 12:11am.
“Route Info: Make your way down the street and get felt up by three drunk Vietnamese women.”
I can’t wait to see how Anne-Marie and Tracy react to this.
TRACY: This game is serious, and you’ve got to do what you have to do, but we laugh at absolutely everything.
ANNE-MARIE: Didn’t I wake you up laughing in my sleep the other day?
Other things Anne-Marie & Tracy laugh at:
And my personal favourite:
– Richard & Joey depart in ninth at 1:05am. Nearly an hour behind Anne-Marie & Tracy? Kelly refusing to share answers really held them back.
– Alana & Mel bring up the rear in last at 1:06am.
It looks like Mel stole the ribbon and bow off of somebody’s Christmas present and placed it around her head.
– Richard & Joey are debuting new shirts today.
It has gone from “focus-believe-achieve” to “CRUSH IT”. That is much more simplified.
– Joey wants to move up and up in the rankings.
This is where they are right now.
They want to be up here.
Mel visualizes CRUSHing Richard & Joey between her fists.
ALANA: Because Rich and Joey had fully dogged us in the last leg, we were hoping to god that karma was going to bite them in this leg. I really want to beat Richard & Joey. That’s our focus. Nothing else matters. Game on.
MEL: I f–king hate them so much.
Mel’s hatred for them gets her censored.
While Alana is has nearly self-induced vomiting upon seeing them at the airport.
– Joey dissects the problem with this cast as a whole.
“Except Chris. He is the least emotional. That guy is just a beacon of rationality.”
JOEY: We want to be here each week, and we have to do what we got to do to stay. It’s a game; it’s not personal.
“Yaaaaay, an airport equalizer.”
– Grant confirms everyone is on the same red line to Hong Kong.
So this is why they had a twelve hour pit stop–producers knew everyone would be bunched at the airport in the middle of the night.
Ah, Hong Kong.
We have gone from Vietnamese Dong to Chinese Junk. Classic TAR.
Cameras capture the crazy Aussies coming through.
DAVE: We’re in Honkers!
Nobody in my entire life has referred to Hong Kong as Honkers. . .however, that is exactly what I will be calling Hong Kong from now on. Thanks, Dave.
Mo & Mos and Alana & Mel are at the front of the taxi queue.
– Several teams hire a cab, but Sam & Renae have some problems.
RENAE: Excuse me, do you speak English?
Oh man. He even uses the more colloquial way to say ‘no’. Renae just got trolled.
“Do you understand the words. . .”
“. . .that are coming out of our mouths?”
Editors proceed to bury Sam & Renae some more.
RENAE: Like, the taxis don’t speak, any, like, good English.
So much for editors going out of their way to claim Sam & Renae aren’t your “typical blonde bimbos” in the first two episodes. I can picture the middle-aged Australian women sitting on their couch laughing at Sam & Renae five years ago.
SAM: It’s shocking.
My brother Brett has traveled to several places around the world. He said the toughest areas in terms of a linguistic barrier were countries which do not have English as their first language but are also high up in terms of being a global power.
e.g. He had a much easier time communicating with locals in Vietnam than he did with locals in Italy, despite Italy being a more Westernized area.
I presume it is a similar concept with Hong Kong where they feel they are at the centre of global culture, and thus the locals do not believe it is necessary to speak English.
– Where are Anne-Marie & Tracy?
Don’t bother searching behind you, Anne-Marie. Nobody is there.
– Mos says it is the first time that he has been in the lead this season. We transition into another culture shock moment for Matt & Tom.
MATT: It’s a big ol’ city. Look at the high buildings.
Top o’ the morning to ya, Hong Kong.
TOM: We’re from way out buggery in the centre of Australia.
MATT: I ain’t never seen anything like that before. This town is the bomb diggity.
TOM: Far out. This is our first time to Hong Kong.
“Look at those tig ol’ cities.”
In other news, we have heard the “we haven’t been to a place like this before” confessional from Matt & Tom for three consecutive rounds. We get it, editors.
– Richard & Joey ask the driver how much longer it will be. He does not answer.
JOEY: No tunnel! No, no, no!
It’s time to show this driver the true meaning of “crush it,” eh Richard & Joey?
Joey does her best Jim Carrey impression.
– Dave tells the camera he has to find a fortune cookie.
Crush it, Kelly.
– Jeff & Luke are first to the ferry followed by Tyler & Nathan. Then Mo & Mos. They board the first ferry.
Get ‘er done, boys.
– Dave exits the cab.
He hobbles around like. . .well, another Dave I know from The Amazing Race. Dave also sounds like a rooster choking on a goldfish as he limps in pain. Except this Dave didn’t think it was “inappropriate” for him to do so.
NOTE: I love it that Dave O’ Leary no longer has the record for oldest racer to win The Amazing Race. Screw TAR 24. What an awful season that was two years ago.
Stretch it out, Dave. It could be worse.
It could be a Shahrlie Horse.
DAVE: We got out of the taxi and I blew a calf muscle.
Too much time spent in airports and cabs.
KELLY: Are you alright?
DAVE: Yeah. Jesus.
I think Dave meant that he -will- be alright.
Just give him a minute. Okay. He’s fine.
KELLY: Dave’s leg suddenly got worse.
“Sam & Renae are trailing me?”
“AHHHH. The pain!”
KELLY: Of course he had two blondes jump to his aid.
Dave has some explaining to do.
Better than four non-blondes coming to his aid.
SAM: You need rest. You need oxygen into your blood.
Sam helps Dave by heel hooking him.
“Betray me down the road and I can instantly put you in a Ken Shamrock-esque ankle lock just like this.”
– Sam diagnoses him with a cramp while Renae is working his knee. Dave really needs to get circulation to his legs after all.
“I’ve also got a cramp in my balls. Can you ladies help me with circulation and getting the blood flowing there too while you’re at it?”
KELLY: I think he was making it up that his leg was sore.
Kelly is onto his schemes.
But show some sympathy for him, Kelly. C’mon.
– Chris & Anastasia try to board the same ferry as the other five teams.
Chris & Anastasia should have no trouble making it.
NATHAN: Oh, there’s Chris & Anastasia.
“Oh shit, it’s Wayne Brady.”
– Dave’s reaction to hearing Chris & Anastasia may be sharing the same ferry as him?
DAVE: GO! GO! GO! GOOOO! Don’t wait! Don’t wait!
Dave nearly goes into cardiac arrest.
FIRST FERRY: JEFF & LUKE; TYLER & NATHAN; MO & MOS; DAVE & KELLY; SAM & RENAE
“We’re right here, guys.”
“FUCK THEM! FUCK THEM! GOOOOO!”
“You’re the boss, Dave.”
Chris is not happy.
DAVE: They can rot.
CHRIS: YOU FAT OAF!
That is the most polite insult Chris has ever used.
DAVE (raises eyebrows repeatedly): I -encouraged- the boat driver to move away, and he did.
After flipping off Chris & Anastasia at the start of the previous leg, this is Dave on good behaviour when Muscles ‘n Bambi are around.
DAVE: Left Muscles ‘n Bambi standing there shaking their fists.
Dave is laughing at them. And that’s just rude.
CHRIS: That freakin’ hillbilly.
Chris gets to come up with more creative insults for Dave as he waits for the next ferry.
– Alana & Mel join Chris & Anastasia where Chris informs them how close they were.
– The first ferry lands as they board the restaurant.
It’s dinner for some, but just a light snack for Mo & Mos.
– Teams are required to read each fortune.
LUKE: Fortune cookie says your sensitivity is an asset.
Unless it’s your stomach that is sensitive.
SAM: Your admirer finds you charming. Maybe this guy over here.
NATHAN: A special someone sees the light in your eyes. Oooooo.
What is this? High school, Nathan?
Thank Allah that table is circular.
KELLY: You are compassionate and fun loving.
Don’t give Dave a heart attack, Kel.
NATHAN: “Beautiful things await you”. I love that. I’ll put that in my wallet.
Nathan still has that fortune in his wallet to this day.
MOS: A skinny man won’t know how to do this.
Unless it is somebody who is skinny because they are addicted to crack and (fortune) cookies. Om nom nom nom.
The janitor is going to have a long shift tonight.
SAM: We were absolute (Latin?) war machines.
SAM: Our mouths are that cut up.
– Dave comments on Sam spitting out another fortune.
I love how Sam puts effort into tilting her head when spitting out each fortune. Hilarious.
Every room on that ship contains thousands of fortune cookies.
It’s like Scrooge McDwuck’s Chinatown vault.
– Richard & Joey are still in their cab.
DRIVER: Aberdeen Tunnel.
JOEY: Oh my gosh.
RICHARD: Pull over. Pull over.
JOEY: Please let us out. We get out.
– Richard & Joey see a new cab on the road.
RICHARD: It’s a sinking feeling in your stomach that just eats you away.
Richard & Joey are crushing it. . .on the inside.
JOEY: This takes us into last place. Seriously.
Oh, that anguish.
That sweet and delicious anguish.
– Commercial break. We resume as Richard & Joey transition into their over-the-top self-motivation mode that we all have come to love.
RICHARD: We try our best. We try our best.
JOEY: We always try our best. We get there and it’s like transportation mucks us up. Seriously.
Much you, taxi drivers. Muck you, mothermuckers. Seriously.
Richard & Joey would really not like to compete in TAR 26-28 where taxis are found in nearly every leg.
– Tom jumps out at a hotel to ask if there is a ferry dock nearby.
The attendant on the left is also named Tom. What a coincidence.
Jumbo ain’t here, man.
– Tom receives good directions. Anne-Marie & Tracy are at the ferry dock, but miss the second ferry.
SECOND FERRY: CHRIS & ANASTASIA; ALANA & MEL
– The remaining three teams board the last ferry. They are happy to see others were equally lost.
THIRD FERRY: MATT & TOM; ANNE-MARIE & TRACY; RICHARD & JOEY
JOEY: Our taxi got us lost and we had to get another one.
TRACY (unenthusiastically): Ohhhhh nooooo.
“You poor thing. Right after everyone said you broke your word to Alana & Mel. Ohhhhh nooooo.”
Not the happiest batch of teams that I have seen.
– Chris & Anastasia and Alana & Mel join the fray.
It’s like a bad Pringles commercial.
– We check in on more fortunes.
LUKE: You are headed in the right direction. Trust your instincts.
TYLER: Your life will be prosperous.
LUKE: You will be surrounded by things of luxury.
MEL: “You are talented with your hands”. Boys say the same thing.
Mel receives the zinger.
ALANA: It was disgusting.
Mel loves this task as much as Ida & Tania did in TAR Asia 3.
MEL: And it made your mouth so dry. It was cutting the top of it because you had to shove half the fortune cookie in there each time.
Hence why Mel has to be good with her hands.
MEL: People are not naturally attracted to you. Oh my god.
Mel is not receiving the most flattering cluster of fortunes.
– The last ferry arrives.
That looks like a Where’s Waldo? painting.
Their peaceful dinner is ruined by twenty Aussies tearing into fortune cookies at the other end of the hall.
– Joey opens her first fortune.
JOEY: “You WILL be a WINNER”! I like that one!
That fortune cookie better not be a spoiler.
Tom has his doubts.
KELLY: Your keen sense of humour will make you many good friends.
DAVE: Your keen sense of humour will make you many good friends.
– Teams start complaining that the fortunes are getting repetitive.
TRACY: “You will be singled out for a promotion.” Ha!
If Tracy isn’t getting a promotion at Big W after fifteen years, she certainly won’t be getting it now.
– One team eventually finds the fortune clue, and it is. . .
Winner winner chicka the Chinese dinner.
– Alana says Richard & Joey were almost the last ones in and were gone within seconds.
MEL: You’ve got to be kidding!
There is no god!
– Tyler says he does not like Richard & Joey because they are pretty rude; Nathan adds they are ruthless.
– Joey is about to read the clue loudly, but Richard shushes her to be quieter. There is a Detour in the clue, but there is also. . .
That is one of the vaguest clues I have ever seen in my life.
Considering TAR 28 and TAR Canada 4 did not have a single Fast Forward available, nobody took the one in the season opener of TAR 27, and there was none in TAR 26, it truly has been a while since I have had to talk about an episode with a Fast Forward.
Hell, even in this blog there wasn’t a Fast Forward during TAR 18 for me to write about, and TAR 19 won’t have one either.
We are in that era where producers decide to eliminate the Fast Forward twist all but permanently.
– Grant informs us this is the only Fast Forward teams will encounter on the race.
In other words, the first team to finish the fortune cookie task will automatically go for it since there is no risk or strategy involved. Sigh.
– To complete the Fast Forward, teams must travel to the Buddhist Tin Hau Temple.
Where they must walk on fire!!!!
Nah, just kidding.
– Grant doesn’t tell us the Fast Forward. Instead teams will find further instructions in a clue box.
Wait a minute. . .
Do producers really think all ten teams are going to try for the Fast Forward?
– Richard & Joey decide to go for it. I wonder what TAR Asia task they will have to complete.
– Nathan tries to rally the troops.
NATHAN: C’mon guys! We need someone chasing them.
No one is chasing.
MOS (unenthusiastically): You’re the life of the party.
Well, that fortune is wrong.
– Mo has the golden ticket. They receive their clue.
DAVE: Good on ya boys!
MEL: Go get ’em!
Your clue, sir.
– Mo gets a little excited.
You are second place, guys. Remember to be logical.
This huuuuge. I needed thiiiiis.
– Richard & Joey celebrate in the cab.
RICHARD & JOEY: WE CRUSHED IT!
RICHARD: We crushed those teams.
JOEY: We crushed the cookies, baby.
Richard is real proud of himself.
Jesus. You guys do realize the only reason you are ahead for the first time this race is because of a task that was one hundred percent based on luck, right?
Let’s calm that ego a little bit. Biting into one cookie of good fortune doesn’t suddenly make you the Mike Tyson of TAR Australia.
JOEY: We. Crushed. The cookies. Today! We do it!
“We’re number one! We’re number one!”
– Nathan bites into the correct fortune. The clue is his. Tyler deduces it would be smarter to go straight to the Detour rather than attempt the Fast Forward.
Even the guy wearing a Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse has figured out the correct Fast Forward strategy.
– It’s a Detour. Lion Dance or Kung Fu Stance.
Unfortunately, Grant will not be demonstrating any kung fu poses.
– In Lion Dance, teams must dress up and perform a traditional lion dance. Only when the lion dance master is satisfied will they receive their next clue.
Lion Dance is the first clue on the envelope, but yet is located to the right of Kung Fu Stance. This is confusing as a viewer.
Does a lion act like that?
Drop that beat.
“I majored in Lion Dancing at university.”
NOTE: Yes, this was a Detour option in TAR Asia 3’s Macau leg. Macau, Hong Kong, same thing.
– In Kung Fu Stance, teams must perform a precise series of Kung Fu poses to the satisfaction of the Kung Fu master. They must then break six clay tiles before receiving their next clue.
This task. . .
Looks a little bit. . .
Showing off the chest hair, I see. No wonder he is a master.
Now you see it.
Now you don’t.
It’s done, son.
I love his hair–it is like a bad wig.
– Tyler & Nathan choose Kung Fu Stance. Probably because it is awesome.
– Jeff & Luke find their fortune cookie in an uneventful manner. They go with Kung Fu Stance.
– Mo & Mos are in a cab. Mo says they have had good fortune twice tonight.
MOS: We had a little implosion of excitement when we saw the Fast Forward.
“We’re as excited as those drunk Vietnamese women when they were grabbing our tits.”
– Joey is impatient as their cab is stuck in a Hong Kong tunnel. Richard wants her to calm down as they ask the cab to drive around the traffic.
I love that Joey’s shirt says “RUSH IT” when she is impatient.
You have a better chance of driving around the traffic in Toad’s Turnpike than you do in Hong Kong.
Non-verbal hand signals are utilized to communicate with their cab.
– Mel is next to find the right fortune. She receives the clue in fifth.
MEL: Let’s go smash those Yellows!
“Please don’t hurt me, miss. I am just a server.
– Who is next to receive their clue?
Richard & Joey, Alana & Mel, and Anne & Marie & Tracy are suddenly in the top half of the standings. Luck based tasks changes everything.
– Alana & Mel and Anne-Marie & Tracy choose Lion Dance.
– Dave & Kelly receive their clue in seventh; Sam & Renae are eighth. They both go with Kung Fu Stance.
– Chris & Anastasia and Matt & Tom are the only two teams left.
The only misfortune here is whatever vacuum cleaner has to suck all of this up.
– Both teams have their clue at roughly the same time.
Anastasia likes the lion dance.
“You wanna dance, Ana?”
Yes, she does.
– Matt & Tom decide to perform Kung Fu Stance.
Because this episode does not have a running time of sixty minutes, we immediately cut to the Fast Forward where Richard & Joey arrive first.
RICHARD & JOEY: To claim this Fast Forward, both teammates must have their heads completely shaved.
They both sound cheerful the whole time while reading the clue. Impressive. Well, for Joey that is. Richard doesn’t really have much further to go.
– Grant informs us that Buddhist monks and nuns (and past TAR teams) have their heads completely shaved to demonstrate they are no longer concerned with their outward appearance.
If that is true, this guy should practice doing perms and mohawks for his fellow Buddhist monks.
“The usual, good sir.”
It is also done to show they are solely concerned with their spiritual growth.
Spirit 10% gain.
NOTE: Five Fast Forwards appeared in TAR Asia, and yes, one of them did involve shaving your heads.
Uchenna & Joyce, and later on Mark & Bopper and Daniel & Ryan would also get their heads shaved in the TAR universe.
You know who will never be concerned with their spiritual growth?
– Joey is the one leading the charge for them to do it. She complains of a big knot in her hair. Richard said she got mud in her hair yesterday from the various tasks.
One last sexy hair pose.
Alright. She’s ready for her close-up.
Second thoughts, Jo?
JOEY: I’m the kind of girl who brought my hair straightener on The Amazing Race!
Richard & Joey try to point out Joey’s extensions to the barber.
But did she pay five hundred dollars for them?
Buddhist monks + extensions = Does not compute.
JOEY: Extension? You see? You see?
Glasses only do so much.
RICHARD: You rock, Joey! You rock! OOooooh!
– We cut to commercial right when the fun begins. Editors want to repeat some of the previous material when the scene resumes. They really wanted to showcase this moment.
RICHARD: Oh my god.
“I hope extensions are cheap in Hong Kong.”
JOEY: This takes courage what I am doing!
If Joey starts wearing red in subsequent rounds to mislead locals, the other teams will hate her forever.
JOEY: BRING IT!!!
She looks like the lead singer of an early 90s punk group as she Swansons her way through this Fast Forward.
BRING IT ON!!!!
JOEY: I thought ‘You know what? It’s hair. It will grow back. I’m here to experience everything, and if this is the part of the journey, then let’s do it.’
The Amazing Race Australia will be cancelled by the time Joey’s hair grows back.
Hey, she has an excuse to wear hipster hats for the next couple of years.
JOEY: It’s all about inner beauty baby.
Jesus, Joey. There is inner beauty, Joey. . .
Then there is looking like you are about to rip a picture of the Pope into pieces on Saturday Night Live.
In all seriousness though, it is beyond rad that Joey had no hesitation to shave her head. Clearly when you have extensions put in that means you value your hair highly, but she values winning in competition much much more.
RICHARD: Enough enough. You look hot!
JOEY: Do I?
RICHARD: Uh. . .yeah.
JOEY: . . .Yeah? Thanks for the support, babe.
Richard cannot keep a straight face.
RICHARD: It looks good! It looks good! We can buy some headbands, man. We can dump your hair straightener!
JOEY: Oh yeah!
RICHARD: That weighs two kilograms!
JOEY: Bring it babe, bring it.
RICHARD: Two kilograms down!
Maybe Joey should not have opened the first fortune cookie after all.
RICHARD: Oh baby. Those hair extensions really screwed your head.
Is that the moral of today’s episode? Don’t buy hair extensions?
They hug after Joey loses an additional two kilograms in hair.
You know what would be great?
If Richard freaks out about his head being shaved, and quits this task. That would be the ultimate ‘F–k You’ to Joey right now.
– Richard asks if Joey wants a mirror.
Nope. She will not look at any reflective object for the rest of the season.
RICHARD: It looks okay.
Does it, Rich?
– Tyler & Nathan make it to their night time Detour. Nathan wanted to do it because his brother is in kung fu for twelve years.
NATHAN: He has used me as a boxing bag for most of that.
He has used you as a boxing bag. . .for kung fu? I think your brother just wanted to beat the shit out of you, Nathan.
NATHAN: I sort of know my way around kung fu.
I think Tyler is under the impression he is with the Happy Hands Club.
– Nathan changes his mind. He doesn’t think he will be able to do it.
“My brother just gives me a noogie after he comes home from his kung fu class; I don’t think I know my way around kung fu at all.”
– Tyler insists he has to get it, and how there is thirty-five moves in the sequence.
These guys really need to listen to more Carl Douglas.
“What are we supposed to do, Luke?”
LUKE: It’s like punch-punch-kick-kick-block-turn. It’s as much a martial art as it is a slow methodical dance.
He just described the sequence from the first level of Parappa the Rapper with Master Onion!
Kick punch it’s all in the mind
If you want to test Jeff
I’m sure you’ll find
The things he’ll teach cha
Will be sure to beat cha
Here’s a lesson from teacha.
Clean as a whistle, sir.
“If you are happy with this, please refer me to your friends. I have a tough time having clients come back frequently since I only offer a head shave.”
– Joey lets out a scream and is left speechless after seeing herself in the mirror.
JOEY: . . .OK.
Joey ensures she is not left with a skullet.
– Joey thinks it takes a lot of courage for girls and women to shave their heads. She thought she felt more attached to her hair, but will do whatever it takes to get a head (shaved).
“I shaved my head and all I got was this lousy hat.”
RICHARD: Do you feel spiritual, Joey?
JOEY: I feel cleansed and renewed.
Richard might be feeling a bit too spiritual at the moment.
“Apparently you have lice, Joey.”
– Joey reads that they can head directly to the pit stop.
No Roadblock + No Detour = Richard & Joey do not have to do anything and do not have to fear losing to Anne-Marie & Tracy for the third round in a row.
“Suck it, Anne-Marie & Tracy.”
– Joey reads they must head to A Ma Cultural Village in Coloane.
Yes. This is the exact same location from TAR Asia 3 where teams had to re-arrange the zodiac lanterns before checking into the pit stop.
However, Wikipedia notes a difference between TAR Asia 3 and TAR Australia 1 when it comes to this location.
A Ma Cultural Village.
A-Ma Cultural Village.
Is it hyphenated or not hyphenated? Stay consistent you sloppy Wikipedia editors.
The only difference here is that it is Grant rather than Allan who will be seeing teams at the mat.
Why is Australia in the centre of the pit stop mat’s world map? Somebody needs to correct this. North America is way off to the right for some reason.
JOEY: I’ve been growing my hair for like eight or nine years. Try to grow it long. Had hair extensions put in to get length because I love long hair.
Joey’s hair will be in the next Oscar ceremony death montage at this rate.
RICHARD: You okay? You sure?
JOEY: Yeah, it’ll grow back.
JOEY: I’m going to miss my beautiful hair. It will take ages to grow back again.
– Mo & Mos are at the Fast Forward location. Wow, they didn’t even see Richard & Joey.
MOS: Someone’s already here. Fast Forward taken?
“The team who left the previous task before us has claimed the Fast Forward? Whaaat a surprise! I didn’t see this coming at all!”
– Mos says he was in love with the idea of coming in first place for once.
MO: We hit the summit of Mount Disappointment. We didn’t know what was gonna happen after that.
You guys have only yourselves to blame for this one.
Yes, that would have been real eventful in contrast to Joey’s eight year hair.
MO: I wonder who did it though?
Are you kidding me? It’s still a mystery to Mo?
– Richard & Joey book on the first TurboJet ferry to Macau. Yes, Hong Kong and Macau are being combined into this leg.
Justin & Diana are at the wrong station.
Richard & Joey have their own TAR spin-off called China Crush.
– Dave & Kelly and Anne-Marie & Tracy are at Kung Fu Stance.
We just got X’d.
– Tyler gives Nathan advice. Nathan is getting annoyed.
This might be Anne-Marie & Tracy’s first martial arts class.
Dave attempts to mimic Kelly.
– Dave turns away and shakes his head.
Bikers don’t do choreography.
– We cut to a confessional.
DAVE: I panicked. I was damn near in tears. I thought “I’m not going to be able to do this challenge.”
We’re not gonna give up, we’re not gonna give up.
Anne-Marie fits right in, though. Huah!
– Sam & Renae are at Kung Fu Stance. We see Nathan get rejected by the kung fu master.
NATHAN: This is bullshit.
“Screw you, man.”
Consider this to be Nathan’s only free martial arts lesson.
RENAE: Sam was in her black slacks and army boot and black top.
It’s like a back-up dancer in a Britney Spears music video.
RENAE: She looked like Tomb Raider, definitely.
SAM (winks): Lara Croft.
Are you kidding me? Did we just copy a confessional from an all-female team in TAR Asia?
During the Hungary leg, Vanessa referred to Pamela as Lara Croft a.k.a. Tomb Raider when she was searching the caves for the secret chest.
Not even the confessionals and celebrity comparisons are original in TAR Australia! I’m getting trolled by the producers big time!
Wipe that smug look off your face, Sam. You know exactly what you did.
– Kelly tells Dave to put down his water bottle and follow her instructions.
KELLY: Sit into it.
I love how casual Kelly is stating this move.
I can only picture Triple H leading X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn in the D-Generation X Crotch Chop.
– Tyler thinks they both know how to do it now.
Are they trying to do kung fu or trying to hold it despite having to go to the bathroom?
– Alana & Mel and Chris & Anastasia are the only two teams at the Lion Dance task. Mel is asked about it in a confessional.
Alana’s face says it all.
– Mel thought there would be less moves to learn compared to Kung Fu Stance. They are wrong.
– Mel claims they watched the demonstration about twenty times in a row.
Chris wants you to stop.
It’s like The Wave.
Chris gets behind that.
***TWENTY MINUTES LATER***
CHRIS: This is very hard.
– Matt & Tom are at Kung Fu Stance; Mo & Mos go to Lion Dance.
– Luke makes an attempt.
“Please leave, my son.”
“Come back when you stop dishonouring yourself.”
– Tom says they chose Kung Fu Stance because they read something about breaking boards. Plus neither of them can dance so Lion Dance was out of the question.
Although this feels an awful lot like dance.
A lot like it.
– We cut back to Anne-Marie & Tracy.
TRACY: I thought we would be doing like kicks and stuff.
It’s a good thing they aren’t kicking.
TRACY: So we thought ‘well, we can do that’.
ANNE-MARIE: I don’t know why because we can’t get our legs up.
TRACY: We can’t lift our legs up even when walking.
The lack of sleep has made them delirious.
Their faith is fading rapidly.
I think they will be coming right back when they see the bench hopping moves.
“Please let it be easier.”
TRACY: We decided we would give the other one a go.
TRACY: Ohhhh my god.
It’s Anne-Marie & Tracy vs. Mo & Mos in a Dance Off. There are no winners.
The vibration must be ridiculous.
Anne-Marie & Tracy try to crouch.
And jump. That’s as high as they’ll go.
Mo & Mos begrudgingly take down notes. Mos tells Mo to focus on the first bit of the dance.
MO: We thought “it’s a bit of dance. Who can’t dance? A bit of shaking and wobbling and high moving.”
Who can’t dance, according to Mos?
Mo is troubled.
So is Mos.
TRACY: Good god.
ANNE-MARIE: Did you get any of it?
– Chris & Anastasia and Alana & Mel make an official attempt.
– We switch our setting to the middle of Macau.
The Macau Tower will not be appearing here today.
– Richard & Joey tell the cab to go faster, but stop to make themselves relaxed.
JOEY: Relax. No team is on our tail.
Settle down, Richard.
“It’s like a spider is crawling on my head.”
They run past a clue box. Gee, I wonder what the task will be at the pit stop?
During TAR Asia 3, it was pouring rain in the middle of the day as we bid farewell to Henry & Bunn-Eh.
This visual is what producers had in mind.
Is Grant really that tall or is the greeter just that short?
Anne-Marie & Tracy love a good story. Especially the one about Tortoise. . .
. . .And the hair.
FIRST PLACE: RICHARD & JOEY
Joey can jump so much higher now that she has ditched her hair straightener.
– They have received $10k courtesy of nab and its Platinum Concierge Service.
“All you have to do is take a machete and kill that asterisk.”
You don’t get the prize until you kill that asterisk, guys. Grant is serious.
– Joey recaps how they said they would do what it takes on this journey. Richard feels good about being ahead of the other teams.
I should note the only reason they won this leg and have defeated everyone else is because they lucked out with the fortune cookie. But still, Richard & Joey desperately needed this as they will likely have to settle with being the villains for the remainder of the season.
– We cut to the Detour where it is a massive nine-way showdown.
– Sam & Renae are dismissed. Tyler & Nathan make an attempt. They pass.
Yes, Kung Zombie is how you get ‘er done.
Jumps higher than Anne-Marie & Tracy.
Too close, bro.
– Nathan coaches Tyler how to break the tiles.
And how not to break your hand.
– Tyler succeeds on his first attempt. Nathan fears he will punch through the tiles and hit the concrete.
Because. . .
. . .He is just that strong.
– Tyler & Nathan read their clue. They have to go to the Macau and the Venetian Macau Resort Hotel.
I don’t know why the clue can’t just say “Venetian Macau Resort Hotel”. That would be like saying “I am traveling to Vancouver, and the Vancouver Skytrain”.
– Grant jumps in to explain teams will travel to Macau by ferry. Once there they will head to the Venetian Macau Hotel Casino, change into formal wear, and play Baccarat–one of the most popular card games in Asia. Each win will earn a Mahjong lettered tile. When they earn ten tiles, it will spell out their next destination.
NOTE: TAR Asia 3 made teams play Blackjack and had to spell the word COMPLETED after winning each hand at the Hotel Royal Macau, and TAR Canada 2 had teams go to the Grand Lapa Hotel where they figured out how to deal a game of Fan-Tan.
Macau is really trying to push its image as Asian Vegas.
Ocean’s Fourteen will be filmed here.
Who will hate their outfits more than A.D. & Fuzzie?
Where is everyone?
I wish they made them play Pai Gow–at the River Rock Casino near Vancouver (Vancouver has the highest Asian population of any city in the world outside of Asia), there were several Pai Gow tables. I am surprised Baccarat was chosen over Pai Gow. And if I were on this season, I would at least have a shot with Pai Gow. For some reason, I played that a lot growing up.
Are those really Mahjong tiles? My mother and my aunts would be offended by this. They love Mahjong. Bridge or Crib? Pssssh. Those are stereotypical games for old people.
– Nathan points out Mo & Mos looking ridiculous in their dance costume.
I love how Tyler doesn’t even remotely chuckle. Nathan is the only one who finds this funny.
Lookin’ like a fool with your pants on the ground!
The Old Gray Mare she
Ain’t what she used to be,
Ain’t what she used to be,
– We head back to Kung Fu Stance.
Matt is a natural.
Tom is appreciative.
– Matt breaks six tiles; he wants to break six more.
I’m a man. Grrrr.
– Tom knocks it out.
Did he just walk away after KOing the tiles? Who does he think he is?
Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt from the UFC?
– Matt & Tom complete the Detour in 3rd. Adrenaline is running high for Matt.
– Alana & Mel make another attempt at Lion Dance.
Just one mistake is made.
– Anastasia moans after failing.
CHRIS (frustrated): We’re getting so close and you’re getting frustrated.
ANASTASIA (relaxed): Yes, I’m getting frustrated.
I have never seen a team bat a lion’s eyelashes to charm their way into receiving a clue.
– Chris & Anastasia’s routine is approved.
“Can I go home now?”
Anastasia shows much more energy than the clue giver. I guess we know why one is a reality TV contestant and the other one isn’t.
– Chris & Anastasia are currently fourth.
– Mo & Mos are bickering underneath the lion costume.
They will be wearing separate costumes for Halloween this month. Guaranteed.
MO: We were upset–I had to stick my head near parts of his body that I don’t want to stick my head near.
In other words, the drunk Vietnamese women would have been much more comfortable with this task than Mo.
– Commercial break. Will Mo & Mos get the routine two seconds later after the ad break?
It’s like a bad rockstar wig for Mos.
– Anne-Marie & Tracy do what they do at every task.
In fact, they laugh so much that the lion’s legs are jittery because they cannot calm themselves before jumping onto the benches.
TRACY: We got the giggles so bad.
– Anne-Marie calls for a swap because if she falls then Tracy will topple over.
How Anne-Marie will look.
How Tracy will look.
ANNE-MARIE: It’s not going to be a good look.
– They keep laughing.
ANNE-MARIE: It’s very gracious.
– Before the comedy continues, Alana & Mel receive their clue in eighth.
Oh no. Our bottom two is currently Anne-Marie & Tracy and Mo & Mos. Wait, there’s also Dave & Kelly. How are Alana & Mel eighth? Is there a mysterious eleventh team in the mix? Oh, and also Sam & Renae. And Jeff & Luke. That means we have FOUR unaired teams. Weird.
– Anne-Marie & Tracy try to “jump”.
Their peak in height.
I think it was more of stepping off rather than a jump.
ANNE-MARIE: We obviously got it.
WHAT?! THEY DIDN’T GET IT?!
Anne-Marie pretends to be pissed while the instructor is amused.
ANNE-MARIE: Was it right? Was it close enough? Close, Tracy! C’mon!
A Detour where both sides of it involve dancing may be Anne-Marie & Tracy’s undoing.
– Dave & Kelly succeed at the Kung Fu Stance.
DAVE: Kel walked me through it. For once, I listened to my wife.
– Dave is ready to punch some boards.
Needless to say, Dave obliterates those tiles.
– Dave tells Kelly how to punch those tiles.
Why do Kellys in TAR history have a tough time breaking boards?
Two more attempts?
– Kelly throws another punch.
Kelly’s hand is going to hurt for a while.
– Dave & Kelly receive their clue.
Dave & Kelly are somehow three places ahead of Alana & Mel. It must be the luck of the Irish.
– Sam & Renae complete their moves followed by Jeff & Luke.
– Renae proceeds to punch the tiles.
Renae punches it straight through.
– Renae accidentally hit the concrete too.
SAM: I was naturally petrified because look at my arms. They are not exactly iron.
Needs more roids.
Shake it out, Sam.
Damn, still one left.
– Apparently it resets to six tiles if you miss. They didn’t make this clear earlier with Kelly.
Renae guides Sam in the process.
Sam shadows her movements to get the job done. I love how Renae manages to punch the concrete AGAIN without tiles present.
High five denied.
– Sam & Renae have their clue in sixth. Jeff & Luke are seventh.
So Sam plays Pai Gow too as well as Cincinnati Cross?
– Tyler & Nathan board the first ferry. They say several teams caught up as the ferry did not leave until 9:45pm.
FIRST FERRY: TYLER & NATHAN; MATT & TOM; CHRIS & ANASTASIA; SAM & RENAE; DAVE & KELLY;ALANA & MEL; JEFF & LUKE
Oh, right. Richard & Joey were technically on the first ferry. Dave is already mocking Chris behind his back.
– Anne-Marie & Tracy pass the Lion Dance before Mo & Mos.
ANNE-MARIE: I don’t know how it looked, but we did it.
Anne-Marie may have quit if she was denied.
– Tracy is so exhausted when reading the clue.
TRACY: Travel by ferry to. . . . . .Macau.
Two more tasks ahead for Tracy.
– Mo & Mos complete the Detour in last place.
– The second ferry disembarks. Luke takes a while to hail a taxi. Chris says he kills the challenges
– Everyone is now in a cab as they see the Macau scenery. Teams comment on the buildings.
Trying too hard to be Vegas.
MATT: Pretty flash.
TOM: It was a bit of an eye-opener.
Oh, I get it. Because they’re from the country.
– Dave faces his greatest challenge yet.
DAVE: I felt like some dirty old tramp off the street hen I come through that foyer.
“Let’s take the penalty.”
MEL: It felt so good wearing a dress again.
MEL: Can you see my G-String through this?
Then it’s alll gooood.
TYLER: I’ve never looked that good before.
If only there was a surfing tux.
Tomboys don’t like dresses.
LAST FERRY: MO & MOS; ANNE-MARIE & TRACY
They are going to need to keep dreaming to get out of the bottom two spots.
– Tyler & Nathan try to recall the name of the game.
TYLER: What was that game called? Barrakech?
TYLER: I honestly don’t know what it’s called.
Tyler hangs his head in shame.
Tyler’s discomfort in the tux distracted him from the game.
– Tyler explains you bet on the banker or the player. Alana reveals they bet on the Banker the whole time.
MEL: Don’t give away my secrets!
“This is why we didn’t talk for fifteen years!”
Alana adjusts her dress–that’s a tell!
– Sam & Renae sit down to play.
SAM: It’s funny. I am V.I.P. Purse at the casino in Perth, and had no idea how to Baccarat. Then it was way easier than it seemed. You just choose one or the other and that was it.
It’s like they are Bond villains at the table.
Except they choose greasy old surfer dudes rather than a secret agent to hang out with at the tables.
– Matt & Tom suit up.
MATT: I feel like I am a gambling man straight out of Texas! An oil baron!
TOM: We looked dapper.
Dapperest oil barons.
By the way, dapper means to be neat and trim in dress, appearance, or bearing. I learned another new word today. Thanks, Aussies.
Formerly the most dapper man in Texas.
Matt looks down.
MATT: I like these shoes.
– Chris & Anastasia and Jeff & Luke enter the Venetian.
Judging by Jeff & Luke’s TAR intro on a boat, this is the perfect place for them.
JEFF: I was gobsmacked. I was like “Is it morning already?” There was clear blue sky and light sunshine, and we are in a building.
“I have heard of jet lag but this is ridiculous.”
Nope, this is the real Venice, Jeff.
The casino is filling up now.
– What do Tyler & Nathan think of the waves?
“They’re sic, bo!”
How the heck is it different from regular Stud Poker?
Mel informs the oil barons that she is halfway to leaving their presence. Maybe Tom isn’t as dapper as he thought he was.
Dave is loving his tux.
And also fascinated by the game.
– Mel wins another tile. What’s with tiles this episode?
MEL: All I did was keep winning, winning, winning.
That’s before everybody’s hands hit the ceiling and go up. . .and stay there.
And just like that, Alana & Mel are in eighth place. Wait, I mean second.
– Mel reads they must travel by taxi to the A Ma Cultural Village where they will find their next clue.
Unfortunately, Mel doesn’t get to be in her dress for very long.
Richard & Joey are on the other side of these walls. Only the bald may enter.
ALANA: Wild nights out at the casino finally paid off.
All you did was predict if you or the dealer would have the winning hand. It’s not exactly Texas Hold Em, Alana.
– Sam & Renae complete the task next. Renae’s dress is not fitting her.
She is holding to the top of it for dear life as she simultaneously pumps her fist.
It’s like she is holding up a towel after taking a shower.
– When Renae is concerned about showing skin, she says the most ironic thing to Sam.
RENAE: Show me some skin.
Since showing skin is the last thing Renae wants to do right now, she asks for a high five from Sam.
Renae likes showing skin and not showing skin too.
DAVE: All glammed up, mate?
CHRIS (rolls eyes): Yeah.
Ah. It appears those two worked out their differences.
Muscles n Bambi, idiots, fat oafs, oil barons, and all-around chuckers all sit together at the table in peace.
– Anne-Marie & Tracy enter the casino as well as Mo & Mos.
A Venetian leads the way.
Yep, nothing says a player like Tyler & Nathan!
NATHAN: Thanks, Suey!
“I knew that was her name.”
But seriously, their dealer at a casino in China is named Suey?
Is there another casino dealer named Egg Foo?
NOTE: Yes, I don’t think Tyler got her name right.
– Anne-Marie & Tracy change into their dresses.
I don’t think Anne-Marie is a big fan of dresses.
ANNE-MARIE: I’ll tell you what, I don’t feel glamourous.
TRACY: Neither do I.
ANNE-MARIE: My feet are killing me; my ankles are swollen.
They hate the high heels even more.
What do Anne-Marie & Tracy think when they reflect back on this task?
– Mo & Mos sit down as everyone comments how fun it has become.
MOS: Technically we’re not supposed to be gambling.
Aren’t rules in all holy books based on technicalities, Mos?
Hey, there’s Freddy Deeb.
– Anne-Marie & Tracy loudly celebrate after winning a hand.
TRACY: We don’t even know what we’re doing!
Kelly looks over.
– I know some of you hate it when I reference the soundtrack, but there is a blatant use of a Wild Wild West sound effect when Matt & Tom complete the challenge. It only plays for about a second, but I love how it is the editors’ own take on the infamous Jet & Cord theme. This one is much cooler.
Matt is forced to applaud his own victory.
– Matt & Tom exit the casino in fifth.
– Alana & Mel are already at the Roadblock.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Who can break the animal code?
This task may or may not be tougher than Baccarat.
– In this Roadblock, each person must complete a puzzle using only the clues provided to place the animal signs, each representing a year in the twelve-year Chinese Zodiac in the correct order. If the order is correct, the gate will open and they can run into the pit stop.
GRANT: Those who are not familiar with Eastern Mythology will have the odds stacked against them.
At least he didn’t copy Allan’s puns this time.
The Roadblock is simplified as teams are given several hints.
I am a goat.
This should be manageable.
And yes, this task is copied from TAR Asia 3 where teams had to re-arrange the Zodiac lanterns before they enter the pit stop.
Open. . .
. . .Sesame!
No one ain’t here, man.
So many trolleys of zodiac symbols.
– Alana & Mel discuss who shall do this task.
ALANA: Do you want me to do it?
MEL: Yes! Yes!
ALANA: I can.
That isn’t confident, Alana.
MEL: Well, are you going to freak out?
MEL: Fine. I’ll do it. Again.
And just like that, Alana will be doing every Roadblock in the second half of the season.
MEL: She was shaking, freaking out, the stress. She couldn’t do it.
ALANA: I felt guilty straight away with the fact I cracked under pressure.
MEL: Yeah. We really need to work on that.
Alana needs a good 90s sports movie pep talk.
MEL: This has you all over! I have no idea what I’m doing!
When I see Chinese Zodiacs, I think of Alana.
CLUE: The snake slithers to the left.
CLUE: The sheep stays where it is.
So there’s only 10/12.
– Sam points out that Alana & Mel left in their dresses but they decided to get changed. She admits they were playing relaxed because of the Express Pass being in their possession.
Sam looks out the window.
Windy roads galore.
SAM: Where you go?
RENAE: Where are you going?
SAM: A-Ma Village.
Oh, he’s going the right way after all.
SAM: No. Not Macau. Coloane.
“Isn’t Macau in Singapore?”
– Renae unlocks the door. Weird time for an ad break. They head back to the hotel and switch into another cab. It turns out they are going in the exact same direction as before, and wasted a ton of time.
“Well -that- was embarrassing.”
– Tyler & Nathan are at the Roadblock. Tyler is doing it.
Princess Zelda is about to have company.
– Tyler decides to team up with Mel.
“If you help me Mel, I’ll give you a two minute head start to the pit stop.”
Also, more clues appear on screen. How is the viewer supposed to play along exactly?
– Tyler is an ox. Meanwhile, Tom decides to do the Roadblock.
– Dave & Kelly complete Baccarat followed by Anne-Marie & Tracy then Chris & Anastasia. Jeff & Luke are ninth and Mo & Mos are last.
Those Venetians have not moved.
Anne-Marie couldn’t be happier to change out of that dress.
– Sam & Renae are at the Roadblock; Sam is doing it. Dave & Kelly open the clue next.
DAVE: I can’t do codes and things, Kel. Please, baby.
“I have brain cramps as well as brain cramps.”
– Jeff & Luke are there next. Jeff wants Luke to do it. Anastasia volunteers Chris. Somehow, Anne-Marie & Tracy and Mo & Mos are the bottom of two yet again.
Kelly and Sam are sharing information at a Roadblock in back-to-back legs.
– Luke notes the two coalitions around him, and pairs up with Tom in an Aussie-esque conversation.
What’s the go, Luke?
– Luke’s son is the year of monkey. Jeff is a tiger, and he is a horse. That gives himself plenty of information for this task.
And another clue to help them out.
– Anne-Marie begrudgingly does another Roadblock. Mos is doing it for one obvious reason.
MOS: I work at a zoo; so it’s me.
Mos misread that one.
– Kelly says the sheep was the easiest one.
No kidding. The clue is “The sheep stays where it stands”.
– Mos makes up a rationale for the sheep’s position.
MOS: It’s scared.
“Just like me when I am Marked for Elimination.”
– Tracy asks Mo how Mos will do at the Roadblock.
I find Mo’s lack of faith disturbing.
This is why neither team has done well thus far in the race. Such negativity!
Tracy not thinking her partner stands a chance.
– Mel talks about a hint where it describes a dog chasing a rooster.
MEL: Everyone is putting the dog before the rooster. Then I thought of tequila chasers. Chaser comes after.
Did liquor knowledge just help with a Roadblock on The Amazing Race?
I dunno, but Tyler feels like he has been drinking liquor after a round this late into the night.
Tyler & Nathan aren’t the only ones with a manbun.
Did Mel’s tequila theory pay off?
Tyler & Nathan should overtake Alana & Mel on the way to the mat just to see how pissed off Alana & Mel would get after this happening to them two rounds in a row.
Tyler ruined the simultaneous check-in.
ALANA: You guys are legends.
Well that’s an overstatement.
“You’re legends for knowing the order of the Chinese Zodiac with ten extra clues, eh?”
SECOND PLACE: ALANA & MEL
THIRD PLACE: TYLER & NATHAN
– Sam & Renae wait at the gate. Nothing opens. Dave & Kelly wait, and it opens. They casually stroll onto the mat.
Dave got out of doing a boring Roadblock.
Kelly wipes away a fake tear.
FOURTH PLACE: DAVE & KELLY
DAVE: We’ve come up the list a bit, baby. Well done!
Well done, indeed.
– Seconds later, Matt & Tom gain entry.
DAVE: Good on you, boys.
KELLY: You’re looking pretty dapper.
It doesn’t take much to be more dapper than a short bald Irish guy in a leprechaun shirt.
FIFTH PLACE: MATT & TOM
The dapperest place to finish.
Luke poses like the year of the Monkey.
JEFF: That’s the strength I’ve seen that really rides in Luke. He has a methodical approach, the eye for detail, the accuracy, and I’m gonna hear when he’s ready “Dad!” and. . .
LUKE: And that’s how it went.
An emotional moment for father and son.
Minus the whole anti-semitism thing.
SIXTH PLACE: JEFF & LUKE
First place shall be theirs someday.
– Sam & Renae step at the gate once more.
“Hopefully our elevator opens on the right floor.”
– Sam fails yet again.
– Chris completes it. You know this task is going by fast when Jeff & Luke are still on the pit stop mat.
Everyone has to share mat chat today.
CHRIS: Wait, there’s still three out there?
“You mean three teams couldn’t solve a puzzle faster than a guy named Muscles?”
SEVENTH PLACE: CHRIS & ANASTASIA
– Sam is scared and cannot concentrate. She brings up the Express Pass.
How did Kelly get it right but not her?
Sam wants to use the escape rope.
Huh. Editors really used this shot after the fact.
At least they made sure that person was wearing the same coloured shirt as Renae.
You know what? I had seen every season of TAR that had an Express Pass live between TAR 19-28, TAR Canada 1-4, and TAR Australia 1.
Not a single Express Pass was effective in any of those seasons.
TAR 14-18 and TAR Australia 1 all aired during my hiatus, and TAR 18 as well as this season have both had a relatively effective Express Pass use.
a) Gary -probably- beats Jaime in the dinosaur puzzle, but we will never know for certain. I estimate he had a ninety percent chance of defeating her.
b) Sam -possibly- beats Anne-Marie or Mos in this Roadblock. This is the closest to elimination I have seen a team come back from before using their Express Pass.
I can see why US producers stuck to the Express Pass twist for a few more seasons, but man, after twenty or so irrelevant usages/non-use blunders combined, the twist desperately needs to be retired.
GRANT: Sam & Renae. . .
“. . .Lara Croft finished the Zodiac puzzle before you. Oh, and you are team number eight.
EIGHTH PLACE: SAM & RENAE
Sam & Renae were on top as one of the most badass all-female teams ever at the end of the premiere, and have now fallen to a reputation of mixing up Hong Kong with Singapore and panicking at a relatively straight-forward puzzle.
Not to mention the whole punching concrete and messing up at a car repair task incidents.
GRANT: You girls don’t look too happy.
RENAE: No. We had to use our Express Pass.
SAM: Just to save our asses.