Ranking The Amazing Race in 2016–Part Three: The Amazing Race Asia 5

TAR ASIA 5
I write this as I sit in the Istanbul airport. It is a long wait before I get on the plane to Zagreb. Sigh.

So. TAR Asia 5. For those who never watched the first four seasons of TAR Asia, it is a semi-hidden gem in the TAR universe. Most of the seasons aired during TAR US’ dark age (TAR 14-16), and despite being an English language version, nobody caught on as it being a worthy alternative.
It boasted our first all-female winners worldwide in the form of Zabrina & Joe Jer, featured a super epic second season which is in my all-time top ten favourite TAR seasons, a crazy group of characters in its third season, and a very solid fourth season.
After the fourth season, the series vanished. TAR Australia would air three seasons, TAR Canada would air four seasons, and TAR US would continue for another twelve seasons before it would go on a year long hiatus.
I do not know what changed AXN’s mind, but a fifth season was green-lighted after a fifth season. Judging by the number of applications and the numerous promotional events, everyone in Southeast Asia went bonkers over a TAR Asia 5 announcement.
I mean, you pretty much needed to be a D-List Asian celebrity to have a shot in casting like any other TAR Asia season, but that’s just the way the Asian network executives like to play.
I imagine it is a similar parallel to the first season of TAR Canada where random D-List celebrities are thrown at us to create a casual but loyal fanbase.

“Oh, a random Singaporean DJ who likes to make dick jokes is on the show? There is a Filipino guy acting like Bobby Brown minus the cocaine? Maybe I’ll watch.”
I should note the 2016 season ranking wasn’t even close. TAR Asia 5 was way better than TAR Canada 4 or TAR 28 in 2016. Other than the first episode, this season was produced with a lot of care and attention from all angles throughout the process.
It was also a really really funny season.
The casting was superior to TAR 28 and on par with TAR Canada.
The locations were far superior to TAR Canada (minus Cuba).
The tasks were superior to both seasons.
TAR Asia 5 nailed it across the board with a couple of exceptions along the way.
THE SEASON SOLD ITS SOUL. . .A LITTLE BIT
How small is the budget? Well, TAR Asia required on a national government to sponsour the season. Wonderful Indonesia stepped in. Five of the ten legs would be in Indonesia (what happened to the Taiwan leg, by the way?) and Indonesian actress would be Allan Wu’s part time sidekick. The Garuda Indonesia airline would have a heavy presence as well as the Uber-esque service known as Grab, and even a member of the Indonesian government would be present at the starting line and finish line.
THE CO-HOST FLOP
Oh, Tara Basro. I better get her out of the way at the start of this writeup.
She was one of TAR Asia’s biggest weaknesses. How can she fit into this? Allan Wu has been a solo act for ten TAR seasons prior. Any Amazing Race season in Asia is Allan’s territory, and you don’t mess with that. He runs this continent. The Yakuza fear Allan Wu.
singapore allan wu 5
“I’ll make the Indonesians an offer they can’t refwuse.”
Tara would awkwardly explain a Detour or a Roadblock, and had some sort of block on her visa where she was unable to travel outside of Indonesia. This means half of the season was run without Tara.
That isn’t even a co-host. Doing half of the job for half of the time makes her a quarter-host.
Again, this isn’t Tara’s fault. If I was offered to host two or three legs of TAR Canada with Monty acting like my stepdad, I would embrace that opportunity.
I know a season in Central America had two hosts, but it did not work here in TAR Asia 5. It went as badly as having two regional managers in The Office. There can be only one.
Tara also disappeared from the finish line in Indonesia. Did she find a brightly coloured ball rolling by and chased after it? I dunno.
DEPUTY MINISTER PATANA
But do you know which random Indonesian citizen worked on this season? Deputy Minister Patana. I will write more about him later, but Patana was awesome.
Allan Wu did not even get to signal the start of the race. It is as if Allan was Taylor Swift, and Deputy Minister Patana was all like “Allan, I’m really happy for you being back, and Imma let you finish, but READY-SET-GO!!! Hahahahahaha, you don’t even get to start your own race, Allan. I fucking trolled you. FIRST!”
We do not see Patana for the next eight rounds. Hell, we are halfway through the finale and have long forgotten about Patana. Maggie & Parul are on their way to the finish line when, in one of the most unexpected twists in the history of reality television, Deputy Minister Patana helps Allan Wu crown the winners.
What made Deputy Minister Patana so great wasn’t even the two random cameos like he was channeling Samuel L. Jackson in a superhero film. No.
It is the fact that he is like your upbeat middle-aged neighbour next door. There he is just smiling and talking with a bounce in his step. I was waiting for him to invite the contestants over to his house next door for a BBQ at the finish line. He is such a happy man.
I do not know which government will sponsour TAR Asia for season six, but I want to see Patana there for the festivities. Could he become the new face of the franchise? Will Allan Wu become jealous as the audience begs for more Patana? Will Allan slump his shoulders, and retreat to the same dog house as Snoopy from the Peanuts cartoons?
snoopy
“No Wugs allowed!”
If Allan is Snoopy, Tara would definitely be Woodstock.
WONDERFUL INDONESIA AND GARUDA
The best food you can find in life is on an airplane.
The most comfortable chairs in the world are in an airport lounge.
The most wonderful place in the world is a new country called Wonderful Indonesia.
TAR Canada and TAR US usually try to be serious whenever they have these sponsours.
Not TAR Asia. I start laughing whenever Louisa & Treasuri express their amazement with airline food.

IT’S THE REMIX!

Although TAR Asia has been on the sidelines for six years, they are aware of what has taken place in the TAR universe during their absence.
After 40 English language seasons of TAR, many tasks have been repeated over and over again. TAR Canada has had about 50, 000 dancing tasks in four seasons. TAR US continues to make their tasks shorter and shorter, and repeat the same formula as well.
TAR Asia would take these tasks and add an extra layer to make it fresh. Watch the Philippines leg and you’ll see what I mean.
When a production crew has that level of awareness and knows not to copy the same shit repeatedly earns my praise.
THE FOLLOWING CONTENT IS SUITABLE FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY
TAR is usually catered to families. American producers apologize every time an old guy on the couch is offended at home because of another country’s culture.
TAR Canada takes it even further by directing much of its content towards children.
But TAR Asia? They targeted the hip population. The teenagers. The reality TV nerds in their 20s. The young couples in their 30s who love to travel and frequently watch TAR together.
You know, that percentage of the TV fanbase.
It paid off in a big way. TAR Asia aired uncensored swear words, the season held the record for most sexually based jokes, and content I know would absolutely never every fly in TAR US.
THE ADMIN FOR THE SOCIAL MEDIA PAGES IS THE BEST
The TAR Canada social media admin is one step shy of a robot, and typically shuts down any controversial discussion.
The TAR US social media admin never speaks.
The TAR Asia social media admin? Whoever it is, they always engage with me. Every time. It’s awesome. They appreciated all of my jokes. I do not know who you are, but you are exactly how I want a social media admin to be like for a major TV show. You made the experience of watching TAR Asia that much more enjoyable.
THERE WERE MORE INTERNATIONAL LOCATIONS THAN TAR CANADA
Hey, fifty percent of the season was in Indonesia, but that also means fifty percent of it wasn’t. The season was shorter than TAR Canada, but yet had nearly twice as many international legs.
Meanwhile, TAR Canada will probably visit Abbotsford or Medicine Hat in season five. Ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh.
THE CAST WAS EXTREMELY APPROACHABLE
Some of TAR US’ contestants during 2016 were not the friendliest crew to the casual fans online at the start of their season. One of them is refusing to speak to me to this day for reasons still unknown.
TAR Canada’s contestants are not mean-spirited by any means, but typically are a quiet crew who keep to themselves. There is nothing wrong with that.
But the TAR Asia contestants? They never took themselves seriously, and made it a very fun experience for fans online. There was even one fan I am close to who was attacked by a couple of the TAR 28 contestants in an extreme way when he stated an unfavourable opinion about them. During TAR Asia 5, he stated another unfavourable opinion about JK, and JK handled it extremely well and in the friendliest/most comedic way possible.
To any future TAR, Survivor, or Big Brother contestants worldwide: DO. NOT. TAKE. YOUR. TV. PORTRAYAL. SERIOUSLY.
In a year, casual fans will forget who you are, and will not care about how you performed on the show. I mean, casuals are the same group who applaud Jet McCoy of Jet & Cord. That should be a signal to take a deep breath.
ALLAN WU’S PUN GAME WAS NOT VERY STRONG
I was disappointed. There is not much else to say here. Wu’s pwuns were a big component of seasons two, three, and four, but it is like Allan lost a bit of that pWussion.
ONE OF THE WORST SEASON PREMIERES IN A LONG TIME
The race itself started on a very rough note. My least favourite twist in TAR history was brought back for TAR Asia 5, and we lost the only non-celebrities in the cast because of that. Everything on paper suggested Lisa & Nicole would have been awesome characters.
What was the point of having eleven teams if you are going to KO one of them in the first ten minutes because of a luck based task? So frustrating.
SPEED BUMP?
Speed Bump. A twist which needs to move on. It was fresh back when it debuted in TAR 12, but Speed Bumps quickly became very lame and add nothing to the episode. Untying a knot, sitting on a chair, delivering a typewriter a couple blocks. . .TAR Asia has had better Non-Elimination Leg penalties in the past. They should be morally above the Speed Bump.
AN EPIC FAST FORWARD
The Fast Forward was one of my favourite parts in the first four seasons of TAR. It was the greatest strategic component, and was a fascinating part of the game to dissect in the early years.
Over the years it has been limited to appearing twice or thrice per season due to budget constraints, and over the past two years was an extinct species.
TAR Asia brought it back for one episode, and was one of my all-time favourite Fast Forwards. Not only was it an eating challenge, but you had to mentally calculate how difficult eating 47 rice bowls could be.
The answer: It is very very very very difficult to eat 47 rice bowls.
NUMEROUS FIRST-LAST ELIMINATIONS MADE THINGS UNPREDICTABLE
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Brandon & Alphaeus, JK & Mike, and Louisa & Treasuri’s shocking eliminations after appearing to find their stride made for a very unpredictable season in an era where it has become very easy to foreshadow which teams will make it to the Final Three on The Amazing Race.
I doubt anyone expected Brandon & Alphaeus to choke after an extremely strong opening round, and Louisa & Treasuri were slaughtering everyone with absolutely no mercy along the way. Their eliminations in particular kept everyone on their toes from start to finish.
A STRONG FINALE DESIGN
Season finales have a notorious reputation of not being designed very well over the past several years. It was refreshing to see a finale where every part of the edit and the tasks included had me nodding my head in approval. Good job, producers.
SO MANY U-TURNS AND YIELDS. . .EVEN TWO OF THEM SIMULTANEOUSLY
I waited and waited and waited for this twist. Please add one extra episode with a Yield next year, please.
RANK THE TEAMS
12) REI & KEIJI
rei keiji.png
You know what? I tried to remember all of the teams off the top of my head. I was stumped for nearly five minutes trying to figure out who I missed. Lo and behold, it was Rei & Keiji.
I can’t really pinpoint any specific memory of Rei & Keiji, whether it be on-air or off-air. Lisa & Nicole have had their moments. Hell, even Tara Basro and the head of Great Eastern Life has had their moments too.
Rei & Keiji? Not so much.
Much like Anthony & Brandon, the least memorable and least entertaining team happens to go home first. Well, second, but that Starting Line Elimination twist does not count.
11) TOM & ANITA
asia-5-tom-anita
There were high hopes for Tom & Anita heading into the season. Villains? The new Andrew & Syeon? They certainly received a lot of attention at the beginning of the season. They appeared to be a devious albeit nimble duo.
But then they faded until they were barely shown in their elimination episode. It is one of the most low key eliminations in the history of TAR.
At least they had the guts to not puke their guts and avoid brutal damage at the Fast Forward attempt.
And rememeber when they were crazy enough to travel around on a bike that had no brakes in the busy streets of Malaysia? Those were good times.
I wonder if Anita has developed a gluten allergy since the flour challenge in Singapore.
10) VICKY & RACHEL
asia-5-vicky-rachel
Oh. My. Word.
“Hey Will, you look pretty. . .pretty ugly!!!!!”
It’s like the writers of 2 Broke Girls wrote trash talk for Rachel.
Vicky & Rachel were eliminated at the perfect time. You could count on them for lots of cursing and bickering. It was a staple of theirs.
Rachel was in the initial Dan Pious role of doing this for Vicky, but their mutual lack of enthusiasm in contrast to other teams was shown early.
At least Vicky got to see what the race is like. Should they have been cast? I dunno.
P.S. Yes, me making fun of Rachel’s soundbyte is the only reason they are ahead of Tom & Anita.
9) LISA & NICOLE
lisa nicole.png
One word: Potential.
Fuck you, Starting Line Elimination Twist.
They are the only all-female team to be eliminated prior to the Final Four in this season.
8) ALEX & WILL
asia-5-alex-will
I will admit it: Alex & Will grew on me as the race progressed.
I mean. . .46 or 47 or 49 rice bowls or whatever the hell it was?
Seriously, guys?
I also like how everyone assumed they would choose the muscle-bound Detour choices, but kept going with the more mental or skill-related tasks.
Furthermore, Alex & Will sounding like a dubbed Bruce Lee action film was always a highlight of mine each episode.
Enter the Dragon. . .or Enter the Rice Bowl.
I would pay to see Enter the Rice Bowl.
7) MAGGIE & PARUL
asia-5-parul-maggie
Alright. I will get through Maggie & Parul’s writeup without any anorexia
jokes. They won this season, and even though they are ranked seventh, it is not exactly like I am dry heaving to come up with material for them.
I liked Maggie & Parul. Maggie quoting Kelly Rowland of Destiny’s Child as she hits on a martial arts instructor, or Parul’s funny elbow injuries were entertaining. Parul has probably not joined an archery class since the race ended.
They put together a very effective alliance with Eric & Rona. If Eric & Rona had won, Maggie & Parul would have been labelled as morons for aligning with a team just because they share the same country of residence. However, they won the race to shut everyone up.
Maggie & Parul may not make it to the end if Louisa & Treasuri play the social game and create a strong opposition in a season that had multiple Yields and U-Turns available.
Also, the random Aunty Parul storyline gave me a chuckle in the latter half of the season.
Maggie & Parul are never meant to be huge characters in TAR, but they are fun minor characters who can supplement each episode with material that only they can provide.
Even though they may not have the largest appetite compared to other racers (especially JK), you can’t deny that Maggie & Parul were hungry for the win.
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Dammit, almost made it through this without an eating disorder joke. I guess backpacking through Europe over the past three months has not changed me for the better as much as I think it has.
6) BRANDON & ALPHAEUS
asia-5-brandon-alphaeus
They just happened to be apart of the one season of The Amazing Race where understanding a mobile phone app was critical throughout the season.
We hadn’t seen a “nerdy” young all-male team be the big threats at the start of the season before. I really wish they stayed longer to see if their ego would have grown just because of their youth, or if they would have truly stayed humble. Would they have bought into their own perception? Would Alphaeus start trash-talking everyone else around him? Would he go up to Eric and tell him he eats pieces of shit like him for breakfast?
We’ll never know.
However, Brandon & Alphaeus’ sacrifice to be the early exit was the kickoff that the season desperately needed after an ultra shitty season premiere.
5) LOUISA & TREASURI
asia-5-louisa-treasuri
“For Indonesia! For Indonesia! You smell our socks in the mud? That’s the smell of Wonderful Patriotism!”
Are Louisa & Treasuri heroes that have a tragic ending, or are they the mob boss villains you love to see get taken down?
I guess it depends if you are from Indonesia or not from Indonesia.
To the contestants, Louisa & Treasuri emerge as the Goliaths right after Brandon & Alphaeus are eliminated. They are from Indonesia, but yet are winning leg after leg after leg in countries outside of Indonesia.
As the final three episodes are scheduled to take place in Indonesia, everyone fears the clock has run out and that Louisa & Treasuri will go down in history as one of the most unbeatable teams of any TAR franchise on the planet.
It is like gambling in a casino–unless you are extremely sharp, the house will almost always win. Sure, you might get a small advantage here and there, but the house is going to take all of your dreams away.
That is what it was probably like playing against Louisa & Treasuri for the rest of the season. You need to come up with such a conniving and equally devious plan to enter the bank vault, and run away with the cash. And you better plan it better than O.J. Simpson did in his vault break-in attempt.
Louisa & Treasuri may not be the most dynamic of characters, but a huge part of this season revolved around them and everyone trying to think of a way to get ’em out.
Louisa’s emotions when she is eliminated is one of the most unforgettable parts of this season. Even JK would have sympathy for Louisa in this situation.
4) JK & MIKE
asia-5-jk-mike
Do you know that inappropriate sense of humour I loved about TAR Asia 5?
I know ranking JK & Mike this high will be controversial, but think about it. JK contributed that inappropriate comedy which the hardcore TAR fans such as myself have been craving for years.
If anything, JK set the bar so high (or so low) that everyone else became comfortable with making their own remarks because of how much JK was pushing the envelope.
Also, the running joke of JK physically abusing Mike by accident for the first half of the season was hilarious.
The moment of “I AM NEVER TALKING TO TREASURI AGAIN–HEY TREASURI, CAN YOU MOVE YOU FAT F–KING TUB OF LARD, PLEASE BE KIND AND HELP ME! WHY ARE YOU SUCH A HORRIBLE HUMAN BEING?!?!” is simultaneously offensive and one of my favourite cases of dramatic irony.
And hey, he rolled with our initial commentary more than Gino & Jesse ever did. You can’t take yourself too seriously on reality TV.
3) ERIC & RONA
asia-5-eric-rona
I went back and forth over who would take the top three spots on this count. You could really make an argument for any of these three.
Alas, I settled on #3 for Eric & Rona, but could change my mind tomorrow.
Oh, Rona and the Bobby Brown Wannabe.
Eric danced so damn much on the race that he was distracted from completing a task because he was too focused on wanting to dance. Unless he was extremely confident Tom & Anita were never going to catch up, Eric’s dancing put himself in jeopardy throughout the race.
Younger couples on TAR are annoying about eighty percent of the time. Many of them will have meltdowns that are more annoying than it is funny.
Luckily, Eric & Rona’s few meltdowns were authentic, and were also very
funny. Sometimes being put in a competitive environment when you are an equally competitive person can truly backfire. Hilarious for me to watch, but probably not as fun for the person it implicates.
They were also very good at narrating everything that was going on in the race from start to finish. I know that may be biased coming from a Canadian since Rona has an American accent and Eric is Aussie/Kiwi/Tongan/South Pacifician, but hey, I am sure a viewer from Malaysia would probably disagree with me.
It is sad I have to put Eric & Rona at #3, but they just couldn’t match the epicness of the team that is #2 in my ranking.
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2) DEPUTY MINISTER PATANA
asia-patana-1
I love this guy. Ready. . .set. . .go!
Producers: Thank you so much for randomly throwing in Deputy Minister Patana at the finish line. If I am ever in Indonesia, he is the first person I want to hang out with and chat about his experience on the race.
This is right before I track down Hussein and tell him how much of a disappointment he was to me in TAR Asia 4, obviously. HOW DO YOU QUIT IN THE FINALE, MR. SUTADISASTRA???!!!! HOW????!!!!
I am not a religious person, but if I could pray for one thing in this world it would be that Deputy Minister Patana is a contestant on Big Brother Canada next year.
Not an all-star version or anything. Just have thirteen contestants and then Deputy Minister Patana as the mystery fourteenth houseguest. He and Arisa Cox would get along extremely well.
***
ARISA (speaking to the TV screen): Houseguests. . .it is time for your first Twistos twist!
(TAR Asia 5 theme begins to play. A big puff of smoke erupts in the audience WWE style.)
DEPUTY MINISTER PATANA (emerging from the puff of smoke with a woman hanging onto each of his arms): Ready. . .set. . .go!
(DEPUTY MINISTER PATANA runs down the stage as he high fives all of the children in the front row, and signs a few autographs.)
ARISA: Hailing all the way from WONDERFUL Indonesia, it is DEPUTY MINISTER PATANA!
(All of the houseguests shrug.)
ARISA: He is the second most popular celebrity in Asian television right behind Choa Chu Kang, but thankfully ahead of Tara Basro!
DEPUTY MINISTER PATANA (imitating MICK FOLEY from pro wrestling as he pretends to be a Texan and acts like his fingers are pistols shooting in the air): Yeah! Yeah! Yeah! I may be the Deputy Minister in Wonderful Indonesia, but I’ll be the PRIME Minister once I enter the house! You might be drinking the Kool-Aid already, but I’ll have you drinking my special Java in no time!
ARISA: Ho ho! It just got real in the Big Brother Canada house! That does it for tonight! Tune in later for the BB Sideshow where Peter Brown is up to his usual bullshit, and is joined by a special guest that we will actually enjoy listening to! And remember, someone is always watching!
***
P.S. Why is Deputy Minister Patana ahead of Eric & Rona? Well, because Eric & Rona aren’t Deputy Ministers of shit all. That’s why!

 

1) YVONNE & CHLOE

yvonne-chloe

Yvonne & Chloe went from a team that is fairly underedited, and in the second half became one of the funniest teams to watch in a while.
At first you would think “oh, another fucking team of models. Cue the hatred from the middle-aged women from the couch! Let’s await the ditzy quotes that editors will try to insert into every episode! Ha. Ha. Ha.”
Thankfully, it was not like that at all.
After the first couple rounds, Yvonne & Chloe go on a long streak of doing very very well, and not do so in the mildly obnoxious or mildly annoying way that a team like Dustin & Kandice did a decade earlier.
I don’t know if Yvonne is at #1 because she wore a Tupac bandana. Possibly. My obsession with west coast hip hop is well documented.
The back scratching quote and delivery on quote kills me every time. I can’t believe a confessional like that actually happened in TAR. Especially with how serious Yvonne’s face was with the “Yeah, good deal right?” at the end of it.
Chloe also had a ridiculously painful ankle injury in the last three episodes of the season. She was walking like an eighty year old man during some clips. Chloe managed to push through the pain like Sue Hawk during Survivor: All Stars, and was very close to not only overcoming her ankle injury, but also overcoming Eric & Rona and Maggie & Parul’s day one alliance at the finish line.
Maggie & Parul or Eric & Rona winning in the finale would have been great, but Yvonne & Chloe stealing the win under their noses would have been close to the perfect TAR victory.
Ankle injuries.
Chloe’s ridiculous hair at the Singapore pit stop.
Yvonne trying to haul rocks on a volcano.
Yvonne crossing the tightrope.
Yvonne commenting on Chloe losing her mind at the temple.
Chloe’s swollen foot.
All of these moments happened right before the end of the season. If you followed my Twitter feed as I live tweeted each TAR Asia episode, you would know the number of jokes I had about Yvonne & Chloe were enormous in the last few episodes. Nearly everything they did was hilarious at the end of the season. To a viewer like me, that’s important.
You could really put Eric & Rona, Louisa & Treasuri, or Yvonne & Chloe in this spot depending on the argument you are trying to make, but I decided to place Yvonne & Chloe at the top. I could change my mind tomorrow. Who knows.
RANK THE LEGS
10) Jakarta -> West Java
Not only was the worst twist in TAR history brought back, but we had terrible tasks accompanied by a lame location.
9) West Java -> George Town, Malaysia
I am trying really hard to remember what happened in this episode without looking it up on Wikipedia.
There was the Angel Dive task that Alex (or was it Will?) screwed up, and we get our first cameo from the CEO of Great Eastern Life. Tom trying to balance on a trishaw was just the start of his and Anita’s problems for the remainder of the season.
For some reason, this round was a NEL to save Vicky & Rachel.
8) Vigan, Philippines -> Singapore
The fish Roadblock was a bit unfair as some of the randomly assigned fish were easy to identify while others were downright impossible.
The Pit Stop Patrol twist was fun to watch. Teams scrambling to figure out the correct port to run to meet up with Allan was amusing.
And yes, I have to mention Eric quoting Fred Durst while frustrated.
“And then what are you gonna do? And then what are you gonna do? And then what are you gonna do?”
P.S. Chloe’s pit stop hair. Lol.
7) George Town, Malaysia -> Phuket, Thailand
That elephant adventure guide sure loved squeezing everybody’s ass while hoisting them up. He took the Grab app to a whole new level.
The producers reviving the final immunity challenge from Survivor: Thailand in Thailand was a fantastic nod to reality TV history.
6) East Java -> Bali
TAR finales have a tendency to suck. It is just how they are always designed. The winning team needs to cross the finish line by about the 35th minute of the 42 minute episode to wrap up the race. This leads to a Task-Task-Task-Task-End setup which always makes the finale feel rushed. Furthermore, leads rarely change and tasks tend to be somewhat lame in finales too.
Thankfully, the TAR Asia 5 finale was well-structured. The winners did not become clear until the final task, and there was dramatic errors along the way to keep the audience engaged. I loved how physical and mental the tasks were throughout the finale.
Maggie & Parul earned their victory fair and square. Great job on the puzzle. Rona is still having nightmares about it.
5) West Java
The tandem biathlon was a really cool task. Especially when Louisa & Treasuri tumble. It was good to see Allan and Tara on the skis together. I would dare to say it was the only time all season when they were in sync.
Brandon & Alphaeus were early favourites, but became the first in a string of teams who would be eliminated immediately after winning a leg. After failing to grasp the Grab app, they waste hours and hours of time as teams on the bottom are stunned to hear Allan send the young Malaysian duo home.
4) Vietnam -> Bantay, Philippines
Carabao Karaoke or Make Sausage on a Chariot?
This is a Detour that Hamerotz LaMillion would be proud to see on TV.
Oh, and we lost Tom & Anita this episode.

3) Yogyakarta -> East Java

“But Allan, it was impossible to catch up. . .”
A U-Turn and a Yield on the same leg? I had been begging to have this twist for years. I finally got my wish granted.
The Roadblock on the volcano seemed brutal conditions for the people sitting out, and watching Louisa taunt the mud wrestlers with her stinky socks is one of my personal favourite highlights.
This round was so deliciously evil from start to finish. I approve of this round.
2) Singapore -> Yogyakarta
“I’m never talking to Treasuri again!”
**TWO SECONDS LATER**
“Treasuri, be a good sport and stop moving your selfish fat body so I can get the clue!”
“You. . .you aren’t exactly asking me in the nicest way, JK.”
“Oh, fuck you! Why are you always acting so rude and saying such mean things!”
Good ol’ race fatigue and intense drama. We keep following this thread until JK & Mike make up a huge amount of time to overtake Yvonne & Chloe in the final task. . .only to blow it at the last second possible.
In TAR history, close finishes are usually manufactured for television or occur because production inserted an equalizer very late into the episode.
This round? Nope. JK & Mike genuinely made up all of that time, and really did overtake in Yvonne & Chloe at the end of the leg, but make a crucial mistake at the very last possible second.
Fantastic.
P.S. This is when I realized that Chloe lost her mind.
1) Phuket, Thailand -> Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
It is the only episode of The Amazing Race that my co-workers ever watched. They watched it because they were in Vietnam when the episode aired, and had access to AXN in their hotel room. “What is this show that Logan keeps talking about?”
We had a ton of inappropriate jokes during the crab catching task.
We had a ton of vomit.
We had multiple over-the-top food eating challenges.
We had a Fast Forward.
We had Louisa & Treasuri continue to flex their dominance.
We had other great tasks too.
Top tier comedy, drama, and immaturity made this one of my favourite TAR episodes of all time.
“That’s what she said!”
***
So there you go. A ranking of all three seasons that aired in 2016.
Where will TAR Asia 6, TAR 29, and TAR Canada 5 fall in 2017? Seeing as
how TAR Canada 5 is focusing on Canada’s 150th anniversary, I think our bottom slot for 2017 will be determined very very quickly. I can’t wait for Abbotsford and the Anne of Green Gables House!
Peace out, y’all! Just chill. . .until the next episode.
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