“Robocops and Fat Princesses”
Episode Blog #279
INDONESIA – VIETNAM – CHINA – SOUTH AFRICA – THE NETHERLANDS – CZECH REPUBLIC – POLAND – ISRAEL – SRI LANKA – SINGAPORE – AUSTRALIA
Previously on TAR: Tensions between young couple Chris & Anastasia spilled over and a crash almost cost them the race, but time finally ran out for Mo & Mos.
Tonight, the teams hit Europe and romance is in the air, but there’ll be no love lost in the race for a quarter-million dollars.
Seven teams remain; who will be eliminated next?
Grant introduces us to the Rhodes Memorial.
One of the few things that have had nothing to do with TAR Asia this season.
Tyler & Nathan, who arrived first at an undisclosed time, will depart at 3:15pm. They read they must fly to Amsterdam.
“Find your next clue at a local coffeeshop!”
“Already ahead of you guys!”
Are those Reichen & DK’s shoes hanging there?
Grant says teams must fly to Amsterdam and find the Oud Hollands Gebakkraam where each team member must eat two traditional donuts called appellbollen.
Also known as go to this thing.
To eat this thing.
Dutch weather at its finest.
And of course the first person we see in Holland is a tall blonde woman.
Tyler & Nathan read they have 300 dollars for this leg of the race.
NATHAN: I think there will be a lot of people that are surprised we are still here and in this high of a position. We want to win obviously and we are as competitive as hell.
Hang on, Nathan. There will be a lot of people surprised that the competitive alpha male team is dominating the season approximately halfway into it?
“There will be a lot of people surprised that the two middle-aged women who work in retail are the first ones out.”
For anyone who is surprised that the alpha male team is dominating. . .you clearly haven’t watched The Amazing Race before.
Matt & Tom depart at 3:34pm. Tom sounds like he is speaking in tongue when he attempts to pronounce the location of the route marker.
MATT: Right on, pilgrim.
Just sound it out, boys.
“Where we live on the farm, we don’t have Dutch people.”
Jeff & Luke depart in third at 3:46pm. They have shifted from being father-son to being partners and friends. They keep going on and on with this.
At least they are having fun.
Let’s walk it out, boys.
Tyler & Nathan find a flight that departs at 7:05pm and arrives at 9:25am.
Three people behind the ticket counter? That seems a bit excessive. How many people in South Africa scramble to buy Lufthansa tickets in the airport?
Matt & Tom are at another desk trying to get tickets.
Matt & Tom can’t help but stick to Tyler & Nathan as they shift over to Lufthansa.
Jeff & Luke join the powwow. Luke’s backpack is enormous.
The three teams decide to purchase their tickets and disappear to ensure no other teams are on the flight.
Dave & Kelly are fourth to depart at 4:56pm. Both celebrate when they read they will be going to Amsterdam.
KELLY: Hoo hoo hoo nice one. Fly to Amsterdam!
Dave immediately goes for the cash.
It hits Dave that they are going to Amsterdam.
DAVE: Yo hoe hoe ha-hay!
More than Brooke’s one ounce of yay.
DAVE: We’re here for the travel and the excitement. But at the end of the day, we’re here for the money. That’s life-changing.
“Kel, if we spend only half of the cash this leg, we can put it towards a new transmission on my Harley.”
KELLY: I hope the Roadblock is not going to be something in the Red Light District.
DAVE: If it is babe, I’ll take one for the team.
Oh my god. TAR Australia just aired a scene where a team discussed which member would be willing to be a prostitute in order to advance further into the race. Dave & Kelly really are here just for the money!
Could you imagine TAR US airing a scene like this?
“Roadblock: Who wants to see how fun our Fun Metre really is?”
Alana & Mel are fifth to commence at 5:36pm. Sam & Renae start in sixth at 5:40pm. Chris & Anastasia leave in last at 5:45pm.
“Oh my god, maybe there will be a Roadblock at a coffeeshop?”
Sam’s bandana follows the path of some of the greats in history.
ANASTASIA: What is appellbom?
It probably has something to do with apple bottoms.
Two seconds into the leg, Alana & Mel are already lost. They take this time to reflect on their relationship.
MEL: Alana and I have an interesting relationship. We are complete opposites.
ALANA: Mel is single. I am married. She has so much life experience. I have none.
Two differences. Is that it? Does Mel have a Playstation 2 and you own a Nintendo 64? There has to be more on the list.
Sam & Renae have a Heritage moment.
SAM: I can’t believe we’re going to Amsterdam!
RENAE: Is that where you are from or something?
SAM: It’s where all of my dad’s family is from.
“I am just going to study this map while she rambles on and on about genealogy.”
Sam & Renae say it is getting harder.
SAM: It’s getting a whole lot harder. The whole Mr. Nice Guy approach is not really gonna do us. . .
RENAE: . .Much good for the past year now. We realize people we have helped in the past just turn their backs so we’re going to take a different approach for the next one.
SAM: You’ve got to be more ruthless now.
Alright. Sam & Renae will not help anybody anymore. It’s serious now.
They look like they filmed this confessional after the Amsterdam leg was over.
Get ready, folks. This is the new face of somebody who is going to be ruthless af.
Anastasia continues her line of questioning in the car.
ANASTASIA: What is appellbolum?
CHRIS: Does it matter?
In the words of Shakespeare, it will be a required food eating challenge by any other name.
CHRIS: I am frustrated because when Anastasia needs something, she has a tendency to make me feel like it’s my fault.
Cue the black and white flashback to the previous episode.
I SAID WAIT FOR THIS SCENE TO BE PRESENTED IN BLACK AND WHITE. . .AND I MEANT IT!!!!!!
“When you’re ready to put up with a few unnecessary running jokes when you deserve it, and be part of Logan’s blog, by all means. . .”
Chris said they have talked about listening to each other and working as a team.
CHRIS: I think I am being the most rational person I can be.
CHRIS: Laugh all you like. I know what I am saying.
Romance is in the air.
Dave & Kelly book tickets on the 7:05pm and barely make it. The other three teams scramble and sprint to get onto the plane.
Good thing Renae competed in hurdles in high school.
“Bro, there’s no more women left in the race.”
“We made it! Hi boys!”
Heh heh. Alright!
The teams buckle in for a really really long flight to Amsterdam.
I love how that man is petrified by Anastasia as much as Chris is at the moment. “Please don’t let me sit beside her!”
A twelve hour flight is condensed into ten seconds of TV.
Holland sure loves their tulips.
Considering this is just my second TARstorian blog since I returned from my first trip outside of Canada and the United States, I finally get to make the following statement after nearly 300 episode blogs. . .
I have been to an international location on The Amazing Race!
I always hate it when other Amazing Race bloggers brag about visiting a city that overlaps with a TAR location. I am one of those assholes now. Great.
Okay, I was only in Amsterdam for about six hours at the end of 2016 and then for about 30 minutes in the middle of March, but I have enough pictures for it to count. Just wait until we get to episode 500 or so for TAR 27’s Rotterdam leg. Then I can go crazy.
Everyone lines up for a taxi.
TYLER: We’re moving along, don’t worry.
It’s tough giving up the top spot. They really want to hang out with Bing Lee some more.
Note to self: Aussies are not used to cold weather.
Tom expands upon this when he says Cape Town was thirty degrees Celsius and it was six degrees “in the ‘Dam”. I have never heard of anybody refer to Amsterdam as “The Dam,” but whatever.
Because it’s not like there are dozens of other cities in Holland that end with the suffix “Dam”.
“Aren’t they all the same city?”
Matt has to make modifications to his headgear.
And it does not go over well.
Matt is auditioning for a role in the next Streets of Rage game.
He’s a cowboy, Matt. Tom has to prove his toughness!
Dave & Kelly and Jeff & Luke go down the staris from the airport and boarded a train. Tyler & Nathan note who went onto the train.
SAM: At least you know everybody is stuck in the traffic.
Except for the teams who take the train.
Who will be there first? The teams on the train or the teams in congested Dutch traffic?
Victory music awaits the winning team.
Cheers to the lead.
DAVE: It was awesome. It was the first time on the trip we had that much food. Two of the most tastiest apple donuts.
KELLY: The first one was super tasty. The second one not so much.
Do I detect sarcasm?
KELLY: I think I am going to be sick.
DAVE: A half hour or so over a cup of coffee would have been great.
They should have gone for that coffee and ice cream during the previous leg when they had the chance.
Jeff is mesmorized by the appelbol.
Dave & Kelly complete the task in first place.
I had to make sure Kelly was using a thumb rather than a middle finger after eating the second appelbol.
Dave & Kelly read that they must take a train to Prague, Czech Republic. Whoa. Czech Republic doesn’t even border Holland.
That means they flew all the way to Amsterdam for one lousy active route info before going to another country that will be a full day away by train. At least they made them go to Prague after the first task rather than the second-to-last task. Therefore, I am fine with this.
In fact, I can’t think of another season where they start in a different continent, and proceed to do at least one task in two non-bordering countries on The Amazing Race. This might be a first.
So teams must go to Prague.
Or as the locals say, Praha.
Grant informs us only the first four teams will be given sleeper cabins. The remaining three will spend the fifteen hour journey in seats.
Those appelbols are critical.
And the last place team will sit on metal chairs with bolted in thumb tacks for the duration of the train ride.
Once in Prague, they must find the Old City Gate called the Powdered Tower.
This is the Powdered Tower?
I thought that was Travis’ nickname when he played sports in high school.
That annoying Dutch woman continues to sing.
Jeff & Luke are not impressed.
LUKE: C’mon blimey! Eat the appelbom!
JEFF: I can feel it exploding!
“It’s like a minefield in my mouth!”
Jeff & Luke complete the task in second and take off.
The other teams begin to show up.
“Do I get to eat just one for being the best dressed?”
Everything is sizzled to perfection for Alana & Mel.
ALANA: It’s hard to swallow!
Alana explains how she cannot stand the texture.
Neither can Mel. By the way, Matt is better off using his knee brace as the headband rather than the one he is already wearing.
ALANA: It’s so doughy and chewy, and getting caught in your throat.
Matt says he did not taste the appelbom because he ate it really fast.
You gotta eat the dough to make the dough.
Matt & Tom are done in third as they simultaneously cheer and tease Alana & Mel to finish. Chris & Anastasia show up. Alana begins to gag.
Alana prepares for a cheese grater.
Things could get out of hand fast.
Will we get a Cheese Grater on TAR?
Anastasia has to look away to avoid laughing. Alana keeps gagging but no vomit is seen.
It is like a jawbreaker in Anastasia’s mouth.
It is like Joanna Yen-Drey-Chwik’s forehead during a UFC title fight.
Chris & Anastasia complete the task in fourth place. Alana & Mel are still struggling.
Sam & Renae and Tyler & Nathan are the last two teams to the appelboms. Tyler & Nathan get into one of the lamest fights in TAR history.
It all starts with Nathan swaying to the music.
This is child’s play compared to Chris & Anastasia.
“I don’t care if you’re full, Nathan! Just eat it! Open your mouth and feed it! Just eat it! Don’t you make Tyler repeat it!
Tyler attempts to go for the greatest insult of them all.
He eats an appelbom like a girl? Who would say that?
YOU EAT APPELBOMS LIKE A GIRL!!!!
Well, other than the catcher from The Sandlot.
Back off and get your own sandwich, mate.
Tyler does really look like he needs to relax.
NATHAN: Shut up! Meditate or something. I’m eating it. This is the fastest I could do it.
You know what makes this scene awkward?
The fact that the only people with them are all-female teams.
Oh, and Sam & Renae beat Tyler & Nathan at this task. Alana & Mel are right behind them in dead last.
Alana & Mel’s humiliation at the task does not end here.
MEL: How do you say this? Setch Republic?
Alana has to correct her. Mel should be eliminated just for that. Setch Republic. My God. How isolated is Australia?
Alana & Mel run across the road like a Dutch rookie.
MEL: You’ve got to not run on the road!
As somebody who has spent a few days in major Dutch cities, cyclists are more dangerous than cars. It’s not even close.
Everyone boards a 4:30pm.
ALANA: When we found out everyone had a sleeper bed the whole time, that sucked.
CHRIS: When we realized we got beds, and it was a twelve hour trip, it was great!
The three teams are acting like they won the lottery.
These guys not so much.
The train departs at 4:30pm and arrives in Praha at 9:00am.
Which works out to be longer than flying from Cape Town to Amsterdam. That is a whole lot of time we are skipping this leg.
Chris said he had a better sleep on his bed than in most hotels. As for the other three teams?
There are only so many times you can play the Alphabet game.
RENAE: It’s basically a game changer.
By the way, how do I feel about Survivor: Game Changers as the season draws to a close?
I feel bad for the camera crew who were stuck in the same seats as the teams.
Not much warmer than the ‘Dam.
Everyone piles into taxis except for one team.
Alana & Mel can’t seem to stay out of last place this round.
Tyler says they are focused and not slacking off. They are 110 percent in. Their taxi pulls in.
The cab pulls next to the clue box as close as humanly possible.
Some people might say Tyler is very focused on grabbing his bags from the trunk.
TYLER: Where is the main entrance?
Some may say too focused.
Hey guys, over here! Guys! Guys. . .guys. . .
They look for clues like a girl.
Dave & Kelly choose to follow Tyler & Nathan.
As do the boys.
The cab driver attempts to help Sam, but it is not meant to be.
“What about here Ty–”
“Nathan, what the hell bro?”
“It’s inside the tower, bro. I just know it.”
Matt & Tom jump in with a farming analogy.
MATT: It’s like a sheep effect. See one of them goes and the other one follows the other.
Everyone falls for it.
And I do mean everybody. This will be one way for Alana & Mel to catch up.
This is the cliffhanger leading into the commercial break. “Will anybody ever find this clue box?”
It’s tougher than you think!
We resume. The six teams are at the very top of the clock tower. The workers inside have no idea what the teams are doing.
DAVE: We searched through the place. We destroyed all of their displays.
Lifetime Czech Museum ban.
“Hey! I am taking a nap here!”
KELLY: Is it worth going down to have a look around on the outskirts?
“Why are we all following the one team who didn’t get to sleep on one of the beds last night?”
DAVE: K. Let’s go. With me Kelly?
“What are you babbling on about, woman?
Kelly is one bad mother–shut your mouth!
DAVE: Four teams trying to run up and down those steps. It was bedlam.
Alana & Mel’s cab rolls up.
“Oh look, a clue box.”
Dafuq? They’re first?
MEL: Take a taxi to Charles Bridge and the hole-y statue will lead you to your next clue.
Are you kidding me?
So we’re just going to keep blatantly copying TAR Asia 2 for the second week in a row, eh? In fact, the Czech Republic is one of only two European countries that TAR Asia ever visited.
They have even copied the holey hint at Charles Bridge.
Grant tells us this place has thirty Gothic statues and was completed in the 15th century. Tell me something I don’t know, Bowler.
RANDOM FAN ONLINE: If these contestants were TRUE Amazing Race fans, they would recognize this hint and know exactly where to find the clue!
Hell, these teams can’t even see a clue in plain sight. I can’t imagine them having much mental agility after approximately thirty-six hours of travel.
A good night’s sleep pays off for these two.
Matt solves the first of two riddles.
Everyone is now in a five-way tie for last place.
I just thought I would point that out.
Matt & Tom are third. Tyler & Nathan are fourth. Jeff & Luke are fifth. Sam & Renae are sixth. Dave & Kelly are last. Their lead did not last long.
RENAE: We need to go. As fast as you can.
I am not the only one who can reply with a sarcastic response.
Alana & Mel ask about the holey statue. They are told it is in the middle of the bridge. Tyler & Nathan are confused when they arrive. Every team is at the holey statue.
So what is Tyler & Nathan’s idea for where it might be?
Man, they really didn’t learn their lesson, eh?
NATHAN: Anything up there?
Luckily, they know that is not correct.
Chris re-reads the clue. He notes holey is spelled with an ‘e’, and therefore the statue must have holes in it. He says it loud enough with Tyler & Nathan and Alana & Mel both around.
CHRIS: We’ve got to shove our hand in! Exactly!
The statue is triple-fisted.
It’s a Detour. Chivalry or Delivery.
We get to see the clue once again.
Grant looking sporty as usual.
Chivalry looks familiar.
These kids are lighter than the princesses teams had to transport during the Japan leg of TAR 9.
In Chivalry, teams must search the Old Town Square for somebody who has a key. Once they have the key from the keymaster, they must find the damsel in distress at the Prince Hotel.
She does not look distressed.
The keymaster is probably also the dungeon master at his local Dungeons and Dragons club in Prague.
I wonder what they serve for breakfast at the Prince Hotel?
“Would you like some grapes, bitches?”
Teams will exchange the key for their next clue.
In Delivery, teams must transport a young princess on her royal sedan to her palace in the old town square. Once the delivery has been completed, they will receive their next clue.
“You are getting tired from carrying me? Deal with it!”
“I could have walked myself, but I am trying to watch my figure.”
Alana & Mel ask Chris & Anastasia and Tyler & Nathan what Detour they are going to choose. The other two teams say they are doing Delivery. Alana & Mel tag along.
Matt & Tom and Sam & Renae see a statue that is pointing with its index finger.
“A holey statue will point you to your next clue.”
Who is that?
Matt and Sam pretend to be the statue. I think Sam’s had a stroke.
Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke are walking together. They aren’t on the bridge anymore.
LUKE: Does H-O-L-E-Y mean anything to you?
JEFF: Well, that’s how you spelled ‘holey’ in the Old Testament.
TOM: I think we are way off.
What tipped you off, Tom?
Was it because Jeff answered the question like an eighty year old man who grew up in a public school where they read bible verses each morning?
Sam & Renae are talking with the other two teams. Everyone decides to go back to the bridge to have another look.
Luke is stumped.
So is Redmond’s leg.
Dave & Kelly are told by a local that he saw teams grabbing clues from the first statue.
And for some reason he invited Dave to check out the exhibit after he has the clue.
There is a kid who is climbing the holey statue to get a picture in front of it.
“You’re blocking the shot, kid!”
Dave looks in for a couple seconds and gives up.
Dave re-confirms it is indeed the holey statue.
Kelly takes a look too. She’ll find it, right?
Everyone really is braindead today.
We go to commercial break and resume.
With a shot of the Great Hanging Balls of Prague.
Dave takes another look. He sees it and snags the clue.
“IT’S JUST A FUCKING STICK, KEL!”
KELLY: See? I told you I had my smelling was right.
Her sense of smell is always greater than her sense of sight.
Dave says his thinker has been useless all season and that Kelly has found everything all season.
Dave & Kelly decide on what Detour to do.
KELLY: Delivery. . .She could be a big fat slobber.
DAVE: She could be huge. Let’s do Chivalry.
Thanks to Dave & Kelly, the fifth graders sitting in the royal sedan have no self-esteem.
Dave & Kelly see Sam & Renae searching on the bridge.
DAVE: I’m not tellin’ em.
We cut to a confessional.
DAVE: Everyone is here to win, but we’re here to win at all costs. I’m gonna keep some credibility, but not all of it.
That is the guiltiest facial expression I have ever seen.
– Dave & Kelly pass by Sam & Renae.
DAVE: This so sucks, doesn’t it?
Sam & Renae ask the man in rusted armour where the holey statue is located.
And yet nobody will check out the museum!
SAM: The holey statue is pointing this way. Is there anything that is this way.
The knight repeats what he just said ten seconds ago. I should note he is speaking in perfect English. There is no way anybody should doubt his word.
SAM (ignoring him): Yeah.
RENAE: He was pointing this way. We need to follow where he is pointing.
The sleep deprivation is really clouding Sam & Renae’s judgment.
Oh my word.
I love how the knight looks directly into the camera to interact with the viewers at home.
Alana & Mel show up to the Delivery task. Mel thinks they would just have to carry the princess around the corner of the square.
But first, Alana & Mel will reunite with their other long lost sister. The resemblance to Mel is uncanny.
MEL: A beautiful little thing but I hate her.
Alana & Mel attempt to pick it up.
ALANA: Whoaaaaa. Jesus! Is the back heavier? Mel, stop! Jesus!
“My posture is ruined!”
Alana & Mel switch positions.
MEL: I don’t know how two chicks are supposed to lift a million kilos.
Man, that princess is really going to feel bad about herself watching TV.
Hannah of New Zealand Survivor should be Alana & Mel’s personal trainer.
Who knew Alana would like it in the front rather than the back?
Emmett & Jillian need to teach Alana how to do a proper farmer’s walk.
Chris & Anastasia are second to Delivery. Anastasia prefers it in the front rather than the back too.
Does anybody know what this graffiti means?
Chris tells Anastasia to announce when they need to stop. The safe word is “Qwhiskey,” I think.
Rocky music plays when Tyler & Nathan show up to Delivery.
All of the viewers are stunned that the two athletic alpha males are beating Alana & Mel and Chris & Anastasia in a weightlifting challenge.
Alana & Mel are going to be sore tomorrow.
Anastasia puts it down with a polite curtsy.
Nathan complains his arms are cramping. He switches to the front. Tyler estimates it weigs sixty kilos as opposed to a million.
Chris & Anastasia are told by a local that they will be walking for another thirty minutes.
“This carpel tunnel is brutal, bro!”
A tourist talks to Sam & Renae and tells them exactly where the clue is. Matt & Tom and Jeff & Luke both see them grabbing the clue.
TOM: Oh. Holey!
“Get it guys? Holey?”
“That’s the joke.”
MATT: A ladies man like myself should have no trouble finding a damsel in distress.
Sure, Matt. Sure.
Alana & Mel and Tyler & Nathan drop their sedan a couple of times.
NATHAN: What did you eat for dinner last night?
My god. These kids are taking a verbal beatdown.
But at least the adults are suffering.
Chris makes Anastasia rub her hands against the wall. Supposedly it helps.
Alana & Mel pick it up again. . .for about two seconds before Mel says she cannot do it anymore. They swap positions again.
Sam & Renae are trying to find the keymaster in the town square.
The police escort is not as helpful as it was in the previous round.
Sam & Renae decide to switch Detours. They ask a police officer for directions to the convent where the princesses are.
And I have a feeling Sam & Renae do not speak German either.
Sam & Renae beg for a taxi ride.
Uber hasn’t been popularized yet. I am pretty sure Sam & Renae know they have to pay for the taxi fare.
Dave & Kelly find the armour. So do Matt & Tom.
Dave is ready to go medieval on our asses.
That isn’t the first time Dave has uttered that exact instruction to Kelly.
What a twist that would be!
It would be like if Tania was on this season!
Kelly is ready to hit the town.
Dave & Kelly begin asking everyone if they have the key to the damsel’s heart.
Blind people can’t be keymasters.
Is that Matt dressed as a knight?
Or is that Peter Weller in Robocop?
Matt approaches a local.
MATT: Do you have the key to a damsel’s heart? Yes or no?
I am going to go with “no”.
Matt & Tom can’t take themselves seriously when talking about this task.
Dave and Matt repeatedly ask if they have a key to a damsel’s heart.
“The Return of the Damsel’s Heart?”
Dave starts receiving some odd reactions.
If the man in the blonde wig is snarling at you, then you know you are doing something wrong.
Matt asks a married partner if they have the key to a damsel’s heart.
BRIDE: No, I don’t think so.
Did you know Robocop is an ordained minister?
MATT: Did you want a photo anyway?
“Yes, a photo of a polygamist marriage!”
Jeff & Luke pick a princess to carry.
“Why is the oldest man in the competition carrying me? Shouldn’t we be worried?”
Alana & Mel try to sprint with their carriage.
“You’re blocking the road!”
MEL: How does everyone else carry it so easy?
ALANA: Because they are boys!
“I’ll need Tommy John surgery.”
Why is the bottom half of Mel’s hair looking like the body of a Greek goddess? You have the arms and legs, and everything. It might just be my imagination.
Sam & Renae see Jeff & Luke. They supposedly point Sam & Renae in the wrong direction. It leads to some confusion.
Maybe Luke was doing a disco move rather than pointing in a direction.
SAM: Good work, boys. Thanks.
Luke tries to call after Sam & Renae that they are going in the wrong direction.
LUKE: We don’t send people in wrong directions. It’s 1) Not the way we play the game and 2) Wouldn’t do.
“It’s this way. . .”
“. . .Then you slap an old man in the face. as you turn right.”
“Renae. . .Renae. . .it’s. . .it’s that way. They’re so far away. I’m sure they’ll figure it out.”
You would think Luke would catch on Sam & Renae were going to go left because that is the way they were pointing when confirming the directions with Luke. However, why ask for directions from the team who is extremely focused on completing their Detour? At least wait for them to put the princess down to ensure you have their attention.
Tyler & Nathan continue their underdog story as they remain in first place. Nathan says his arms are dead as he claims he could not open the envelope.
Which is a lie because it is exactly what he does two seconds later.
ROADBLOCK HINT: Whose aim is true?
Nathan volunteers himself for the Roadblock.
It is the Aussie version of A Knight’s Tale. Minus the prescription pills.
In this Roadblock, teams will make their way to a medieval camp and go to an archery range. Using no more than forty arrows, they must connect with the blue target twice. If they connect with the star in the inner circle, they will win fifty bucks to use on the race.
No rupees to buy additional arrows, sadly.
Is that the Caltex logo?
Remember in medieval times how dudes with skullets would be giving out credit cards?
“If teams are on target, they could potentially nab some extra cash and their next clue!”
And before you ask, yes, this task was originally a Detour option in TAR Asia 2 where both team members had to hit a target using a bow and arrow during their Czech Republic visit.
At the Detour, Mel says her arms are twinging.
Alana stretches as Mel proceeds to untwinge her arms.
The untwinging continues.
Mel says she cannot carry it another 500 metres. She rubs some mystery cream on it. Alana tells her it will be longer to go all of the way back and switch than it will to tough it out and finish.
MEL: We don’t have to go all the way back; we just quit.
Are they just going to leave a ten year old by herself in the middle of the street? Viewers should be worried.
MEL: We can’t do it. Let’s be realistic.
ALANA: Okay. So you wanna quit?
It looks like it.
And Alana knows it.
We head to commercial.
What the hell is this?
We resume as Alana & Mel find a creative way to transport the princess.
CASUAL VIEWER: They are breaking the rules!!! Their should be a penalty for this!!!!
MEL: Dragging it was a thousand times easier!
But also a thousand times less fun.
Luke massages Jeff’s arms.
“You’ve got the power in your corner now!”
JEFF: You cold?
Jeff offers his own jacket as a blanket.
It may or may not smell by this point.
“Please let this task end soon.”
LUKE: Having a sweaty stinky vest from a strange man is probably not all that acceptable.
Sam & Renae find the princess. Sam does not make it far before she has to put the sedan down.
RENAE: You can do it, Sam, think of someone you hate.
RENAE (confessional): Sam is not an angry person, but all I have to do is mention the ex-boyfriend and she is just pumped.
“You mad yet, bro?”
“I am ready to punch someone in the face!”
“Please don’t take it out on me. Please.”
I can’t wait for her to turn green.
Chris & Anastasia finish their delivery. Anastasia said they had no stress on this Detour whatsoever.
ANASTASIA: Unlike a lot of the other Detours that we’ve had to do.
Anastasia opens the clue.
ANASTASIA: Whose Aim is true?
The hint really is that short.
ANASTASIA: Can you aim?
CHRIS: Alright, me. Not really.
“Can you aim? I know the toilet seat is a mess at each pit stop, but can you aim this time when it counts?”
Dave & Kelly are searching for the keymaster.
I think Dave just used his key to get to the damsel’s heart.
They find him.
DAVE: You’re a shifty looking lad.
Who knew the guy dressed in all black would lock somebody on the balcony of a hotel.
The clue mentions that they need to find a prince. Dave interprets that as needing to find an actual prince.
The camera zooms in then back out to show how close they already are to the damsel.
Matt & Tom have yet to find the shifty lad.
Robocop can’t help himself but repeatedly point at things this episode.
Matt thinks this guy with Cranky Kong’s cane is the one, but is wrong as he doesn’t speak English.
Tyler & Nathan are already at the Roadblock.
The squire has been demoted.
What is he eating?
I wonder if this is where all of Prague’s homeless population lives?
It is even underneath a bridge for crying out loud!
Tyler coaches Nathan on how to hold a bow and arrow.
That fur coat seems to be a bit excessive.
It is like the extras from the movie Role Models showed up.
“What would Link Do?”
Nathan eventually hits the target. The crowd cheers.
Except this guy. He is not impressed.
Meanwhile, Dave is annoyed that he cannot find her. Kelly points her out.
No you didn’t, Dave. You said no such thing.
DAVE: Throw down your locks, Rapunzel.
She is locked, Dave. That’s the whole damn point of this task is to unlock her.
Dave attaches the key and the damsel pulls it up.
She lowers a yellow envelope for them. Good enough.
It would have been hilarious if she pulled up the rope just as Dave was trying to snag the clue. Opportunity wasted.
Dave deciphers the Roadblock hint as a bow and arrow challenge. He volunteers to do it.
Nathan only needs four arrows to hit the target twice.
That was quick.
Nobody else has shown up. Tyler & Nathan’s lead is so big that Nathan stays at the task longer to see if he can “nab” the extra fifty bucks. He gives up after a few arrows.
Tyler & Nathan read the clue.
NATHAN: “Warning: Last team to arrive may be thrown in the dungeon”
It says nothing about elimination. I predict this will be a NEL!
Grant tells us all about Prague Castle. It is the largest ancient castle in the world. He adds that the last team to arrive may be eliminated. No dungeon penalties are mentioned.
It would be better than a Speed Bump, though.
Grant Bowler even has his own security detail.
Matt & Tom spot the man in all black.
I wonder what song he is listening to with his earbuds on?
“You better Czech yo self before you wreck yourself!”
Matt & Tom have trouble tilting their head upwards in the armour, but succeed in spotting the damsel.
“My reign as Robocop is over!”
Matt & Tom finish the Detour in fourth. Matt decides he will do the Roadblock.
MATT: I’ll do it.
Matt realizes he still has his Robocop uniform on.
MATT: That’s Matt. Matt will do it.
Chris & Anastasia arrive at the Roadblock.
It begins to hit Anastasia that her and Chris will have to pretend to be a couple for at least one more episode.
Chris loves a task that makes him look macho.
ANASTASIA: Just aim. Make sure you know exactly what you are doing.
“I feel a migraine coming on.”
What a sneaky camera angle.
Anastasia did archery when she was younger.
Anastasia busts out her karate moves.
CHRIS: Maybe you should’ve done this one babe since you are so much better than me.
ANASTASIA: I’ve just done it once.
Chris doesn’t look like he will be angry for Anastasia coaching him.
“I’m actually a pro archery athlete.”
Chris is close on his next shot. And close again.
ANASTASIA: Breathe in all of the good energy then let breathe out all of the negative energy. Do that a couple of times.
Chris’ next shot?
Ready. . .Aim. . .
. . .Fire!
Well, it went negative distance.
HE IS TRYING TO RELEASE HIS NEGATIVE ENERGY AND THEY ARE -LAUGHING- AT HIM!
Maybe the best advice is no advice.
Alana & Mel are still dragging their princess.
MEL: You will not be the death of me, princess! We will get you to your palace!
ALANA: Your Prince Charming awaits you! Eventually!
“And hopefully a physician and a masseuse await with Prince Charming too!”
Jeff & Luke complete the Detour. Luke says his aim is true.
“I have fungus on my shirt because of his vest.”
Chris & Anastasia are at the Roadblock.
CHRIS: Robin Hooooood.
“I hope they don’t make him put on that Mark Twain costume.”
“I’m so Hood!”
“Oh, stop it.”
We switch to the pit stop mat.
But only one team has done the Roadblock.
Well that’s just pure dominance right there.
Angelina Jolie welcomes them to Prague. She has no accent.
FIRST PLACE: TYLER & NATHAN
Three leg wins in six episodes. That was quick.
Grant informs them they have won a shopping spree from Kathmandu.
What is with Kathmandu and Bing Lee products always being the prizes this season? They sure love their Asian products, I guess.
Tyler doesn’t know how long their winning streak will last, but will keep riding it into the next leg.
NATHAN: And take that one down too, I suppose.
What a passive way to say you will keep kicking everyone’s ass.
We go back to the renaissance fair where Chris misses another shot.
What is this? Did Chris get called down to the principal’s office or something?
“I hope he doesn’t get suspended.”
Chris is down to six arrows. Anastasia gives Chris a pep talk.
ANASTASIA: Relax. You can do this.
Chris is very discouraged. He is convinced he will not hit the target.
“Maybe we will be breaking up by the end of this round after all.”
We head to commercial break.
CHRIS: The support of Anastasia was amazing, and I wasn’t alone anymore. It became a ‘we’ thing instead of a ‘me’ thing.
We as opposed to me?
Or Wii as opposed to Mii?
So what happens when this task becomes a Wii for Chris?
Chris did it!
“We did it!”
“We the fucking man! We the fucking man!”
Chris wins the smallest cash prize ever in TV history.
Other than one of those dumb contestants on Deal or No Deal.
CHRIS: We hit that target. It was not me alone.
ANASTASIA: This challenge proved we can make it through challenges without screaming and getting frustrated at each other.
Yes. All one of those episodes.
Chris & Anastasia receive their clue.
“But wait. There’s more!”
Chris prances from side to side when he sees the credit card. I never thought I would write that sentence.
Matt & Tom are in the cab.
MATT: If I can’t hit this thing twice in five arrows, we’re useless.
Matt misses the first four arrows.
TOM: The wind was going the wrong way. The bow was definitely bent. I think we just got the dud batch of arrows.
That’s the equivalent to “I lost that mission because my controller wasn’t working.”
Why did production have to give them the bent bow?
Dave & Kelly show up. Dave misses.
DAVE: I am glad there is no one there.
NOTE: A couple of camera operators did get pierced during the filming of this task.
Could a biker pass a cowboy at an archery range task?
Dave hits the bullseye. Fifty bucks is his.
Not bad, man.
Matt takes off his hat. This is getting serious. He still misses though.
Patience is a virtue, Tom.
Tom says it is nailbiting to watch the task.
We switch to Alana & Mel getting to the finish line of the Detour. They ask for directions.
“How far is it over there?”
“We’ll never make it!”
ALANA: I found a physical strength that I did not know existed.
MEL: When are you the motivational one? Let me give up!
“She won’t let me give up and it’s so FRUSTRATING!”
Jeff & Luke are at the Roadblock too. Luke hits his first target.
Matt fires his final arrow.
“It’s not fair! My bow was bent!”
Man, Mary Jean didn’t even go through all forty arrows.
“The archery ranges where we come from are different on the farm.”
Oh yeah, and Dave finishes the Roadblock.
MATT: Hey Dave, you got any spare arrows?
DAVE: Hahahaha no.
Unlike Survivor: Game Changers, these arrows are indeed transferable.
Matt doesn’t know how to react to Dave’s diss.
MATT: He laughed at me and ran off. I was a little bit annoyed. I thought he was the sharing type.
Dave & Kelly finish the Roadblock in third place.
Luke hits the bullseye. Roadblock complete.
Don’t get too excited, Jeff. You might risk a chance of a heart attack at your age!
MATT: Hey Luke, can I have some arrows? I ran out of arrows.
Matt is stuck at the archery range. We know Sam & Renae and Alana & Mel are not very far behind. If somebody does not rescue him, Matt & Tom will be eliminated this leg and Tyler & Nathan likely have a clear path to the finale. This is a prime opportunity to get rid of a huge threat in the race.
LUKE: Should I give Matt an arrow?
Jeff & Luke talk it out.
The most badass thing Luke could do right now is say “You want an arrow?” then fire an arrow through Matt’s chest.
“Pretty please, Lukey Luke.”
JEFF: Yep. Throw it over.
MATT: Bring the whole chunk over.
LUKE (confessional): I had thirty-something arrows left.
Matt & Tom acknowledge in a confessional that they owe Jeff & Luke a favour.
If Matt burns through 34 more arrows, he’ll be the laughing stock of me.
Jeff & Luke receive their clue. Luke says it was a strategy to hand over the arrows, and expects Matt & Tom to help them down the road.
Matt only needed two of the next six arrows to complete the Roadblock.
“Did I say I would land two arrows in five or six shots? Well, I did that. I just didn’t specify which set.”
TOM: He talked himself up. I thought he would do better than forty-six arrows.
So did we.
Chris & Anastasia find the pit stop.
Chris is checking into the pit stop backwards? Who does he think he is?
Talla from Big Brother Canada?
SECOND PLACE: CHRIS & ANASTASIA
Anastasia proceeds to put Chris in a sleeper hold as they do not finish in third or seventh for the first time all season. Such a healthy relationship.
Sam & Renae are the last team to finish the Detour. They haven’t done well in this season for quite a while.
Hopefully Sam has stopped picturing everyone as her ex-boyfriend. That princess does not have the high ground.
RENAE: Whose aim is true?
RENAE: You can’t do it?
No. Her energy bar to draw upon her hatred for her ex-boyfriend takes a minimum of 24 hours to fill up again.
Alana & Mel are sixth to the Roadblock. I cannot believe I am saying this, but Alana & Mel are on pace to win this leg.
ALANA: For one of the first times this race, I feel really confident going into the Roadblock. I knew it was all down to me.
Of course it is one of the first times. It is only your second Roadblock.
Alana warns the geese behind the target.
ALANA: Bye bye geese. You don’t want to be hit by my arrow.
MEL: Don’t kill the geese!
Eh, if you hit the geese, Michael can make a real nice meal out of them.
(ALANA misses another shot.)
CROWD (laughing): Booooo.
MEL: If they boo one more time, I’ll gonna crush em.
“I can’t bear to watch.”
ALANA: I’m getting bloody close to the blue.
In other words, no.
Jeff & Luke try to flag down a cab. Them and Matt & Tom have cabs too.
DAVE: This will be the cheapest way. Taxis have robbed us blind.
That seems offensive after you rejected a man being a keymaster because he was blind.
For some reason, editors are making the scramble to the pit stop for third place into a big showdown. Will Dave & Kelly’s risk with public transit work?
THIRD PLACE: JEFF & LUKE
Good job, guys.
The crowd at the castle grows bigger.
Defend every hole, Luke! Matt is climbing in your window. . .
FOURTH PLACE: MATT & TOM
The all-male teams continue to cling to the top of the standings.
TOM: I thought we were last.
FIFTH PLACE: DAVE & KELLY
Dave is not too upset they dropped one position.
Alana is alone at the Roadblock.
Well, until now.
MEL: The girls are here. Shit.
Alana gets her first target.
It took her a while because I have a feeling the one foot being raised is not the ideal stance for archery.
He is already critiquing Alana’s form.
Alana is nearly out of her arrows. Renae is down to her last ten. She hits one.
MEL: If you run out of arrows, that’s it. Four hour penalty.
So what’s the score?
One apiece? Thanks, Alana.
This presents a scenario similar to the Mo & Mos vs. Anne-Marie & Tracey.
a) You could go as fast as you can to burn through your remaining arrows; therefore, if the person behind you also runs out of arrows, you will technically beat them because you will serve your four hour penalty before them. This is how Mo & Mos beat Anne-Marie & Tracey in the Macau leg.
b) Be really careful and take your time with the remaining arrows. The risk is you miss all of your shots and you do not complete the task anyway. This is how Anne-Marie & Tracey essentially lost three rounds earlier.
Only two minutes of footage remain, but the audience endures another commercial break.
Alana is down to her last arrow.
This is going to suck.
Mel refuses to put pressure on Alana.
Renae still has seven arrows remaining.
SAM: Bang. She gets it.
Sam & Renae read the clue.
SAM: The last team to arrive may end up be in the dungeon–what?
“There’s gonna be whips and stuff?”
Alana’s arrows have magically replenished after Sam & Renae leave.
What happened to Alana being down to one arrow? Now she has ten again?
Do the producers give teams their arrows in stacks of ten to twenty? If so, that doesn’t make any sense because Sam announced during the task that Renae was down to her “seventh-to-last” arrow.
This means Alana was firing arrows at an extremely slow rate or producers allowed Alana to finish the Roadblock for the sake of completion and not be humiliated on TV.
MEL: I will be proud of you regardless.
Mel’s tone has sure changed.
Alana completes the Roadblock.
MEL: You have to believe you can do it.
That is only step two of the three step process, Mel.
Hallelujah! O Glory!
Alana is not as excited as the crowd.
MEL: Alana was fantastic today. I love it when she goes and takes control and see that lion inside of her go ‘ROAR!’.
TAR Australia All Stars: Alana begins the season with claws.
Both teams are shown entering cabs.
SIXTH PLACE: SAM & RENAE
Sam is very bouncy on the mat before and after the news is delivered.
She nearly tripped into Renae.
Will it be a night in the dungeon for Alana & Mel or will this indeed be the end?
LAST PLACE: ALANA & MEL
Grant has a long and dramatic pause before he confirms they are indeed eliminated from the race.
Mel’s biceps wanted to be eliminated anyway
Alana & Mel said they just wanted to make it halfway, make it past the first leg, and work well as a team. They’re good. Their heads will be held high. They haven’t spent 24/7 together in over a decade. Mel said it was the right time since Alana finally learned to take control.
And that is that.
Next Time on TAR: It’s every team for themselves. For farmers Matt & Tom, is it second time unlucky with the law? And will every team even make it to the pit stop?
Rank the Legs
1) Macau, China -> Port Elizabeth, South Africa
It took four episodes, but we finally get some original material. After copying tasks from prior seasons of TAR Asia, nothing is repeated as the cast exits Asia for the rest of the season.
What is even better is we visit a part of South Africa that has yet to be seen on The Amazing Race. In other words, not Cape Town.
This round earns a lot of points for being an extreme self-drive leg. After flying for a full day, teams were forced to drive six hundred kilometres only to be equalized until the morning.
Richard & Joey’s storyline was set up perfectly for this round. After pissing off everyone else this season, it did not come as a surprise that they would be the only team to be U-Turned. Add to this that they were stuck in the mud more than any other team, Richard wasting time wanting a better goat, and both of them going insane during the Detour was great entertainment.
This round had the perfect balance of tasks. A couple of scenic locations, a difficult driving challenge through mud, a Detour where you pick between either coordination or skill, a record-breaking bungee jump task, and lastly a fun goat-herding challenge.
This is when TAR is at its best.
There was lots of fun moments this leg. Most of them came from Alana & Mel nearly dying as they learn how to drive a stick shift. Matt & Tom were pulled over by the friendliest police officer ever, and Mo & Mos barely surviving elimination yet again despite not even being able to stand up on a ferry just a day earlier.
An episode like this is why I love The Amazing Race, and why it makes me sad when I watch a season like TAR 24 or the majority of TAR 28 where the soul of the series continues to fade away. Or the season premiere of TAR Asia 5. What the hell was that?
2) Cape Town, South Africa -> The ‘Dam, Netherlands -> Prague, Czech Republic
I will award this round fifty points for traveling to two separate non-bordering countries properly in a single episode. We saw teams fatigued before they were even at the second challenge.
The twist of providing the leading teams with comfortable accommodations while providing the trailing teams with a punishment is something I don’t recall seeing before. Unless you’re Danny & Oswald and take it from your own pocket.
Furthermore, the $50 Roadblock race bonus at the bow and arrow task was also a creative twist. None of the other versions had ever done that before either.
However, this leg blatantly copied three of the TAR Asia 2 challenges that they also did in Prague. Back in 2011 I doubt too many people had watched the TAR Asia seasons prior to TAR Australia, but I can’t help but penalize production for a lack of creativity for the majority of the episode.
Dave & Kelly accidentally making fun of a blind man, Tyler & Nathan describing themselves as underdogs, Matt as Robocop, Jeff & Luke unintentionally misdirecting Sam & Renae, the princesses being called fat, and Mel’s twinging elbow strain all contributed to an entertaining round of play.
And just think of Jeff & Luke did not give away their arrows, Matt & Tom would have been eliminated! So close, guys. So close.
3) Port Elizabeth, South Africa – > Cape Town, South Africa
This round is hilarious. I thought this season would suffer after Richard & Joey’s exit, but that is not the case.
I have two complaints with this round. One of them is that the Intersection is as weak as the American version. Why doesn’t any of the franchises want to do something more with the Intersection? Just one lousy task and that’s it?
Although it was funny to see Intersected teams lose each other while driving on the road to the same place.
The other complaint is that they copied a luck-based task from TAR Asia 2 in the exact same location. I love how Anastasia thought it was necessary to one-up Collin’s accident. The air she got was ridiculous.
Speaking of Anastasia, the reason why this episode ranks so high is because of how volatile Chris & Anastasia were from start to finish. The wine Detour blowup is memorable for any hardcore TAR fan. They were even fighting in confessionals from start to finish this episode. Not to mention they lost their keys in the desert, needed Renae to release their key, and Anastasia nearly died. I imagine more absurd fights are on the horizon.
Mo & Mos’ adventure this leg started out with a series of bathroom breaks prior to jumping out of a plane. Or their pointless search of a random beach that didn’t have their next clue. I can picture their friends and family cringing at home as they make their jihad jokes when firing at clay targets on the shooting range.
The Detour featured a classic pun–Guns or Rose. I guess that is a thing. Neither Detour seemed difficult unless you are a couple preparing to break up. It wasn’t a terrible Detour, but not brilliant either.
The skydiving task may be a tired formula in TAR by this point. Thankfully Alana, Dave, and Mo provided a bit of entertainment within it.
Dave & Kelly donating an extra map to the orphanage led to one of the more amusing moments of the round.
The Matt & Tom vs. Tyler & Nathan rivalry continues to build without it being too boring. Luckily all four racers are somewhat entertaining.
Mo & Mos were -this- close to surviving the leg. It would have made a better ending as Chris & Anastasia being eliminated would have been the best way to cap their shitty day.
Lastly, Luke overplays how old his dad is on screen. It never gets old. . .unlike his dad.
4) Melbourne, Australia -> Lombok, Indonesia
A Starting Line task where nobody is penalized? Wonderful.
A NEL that doesn’t involve a stupid Speed Bump? Wonderful.
A round where the prize up for grabs is an Express Pass? Meh, but I’ll forgive this since the twist was still relatively new.
This round loses points for being the closest thing to a copycat of another prior TAR leg that I have ever seen. When half of the tasks are identical, nearly every single location is identical, and the host’s own puns are plagiarized, I think that is a bit extreme.
I know it is tempting because this Lombok leg was well-constructed in TAR Asia 4. It had the freakin’ Ethan & Khairie vs. The Richards fight to set the tone for a very competitive leg.
But c’mon, replacing a tomb with bakso soup is not enough to make this its own leg. We still had a clue covered by a net in an outrigger, the rice cake massacre, diving into the water, counting money, and riding a cidomo to a pit stop.
The only interesting part about seeing a group of people repeat a leg from a different season is if it plays out any differently. Knowing how exhausted teams were by the time they needed to count the money demonstrated that this was a true test for everyone involved. My initial assumption that Tyler & Nathan would stroll through this round easily was erased halfway through the episode.
Sam & Renae obliterate eighteen seasons of TAR US’ history with young blonde all-female teams by slaughtering everyone on their way to the pit stop. They were also responsible for slaughtering that poor asterisk. It gave you ten thousand dollars and THAT is how you repay it?
One of the weirdest trends was seeing Mo & Mos repeat fellow Muslim team Bilal & Sa’eed by having a horrendous opening leg. Luckily, they were saved by a NEL unlike their Cleveland counterparts.
The lopsided rivalry of the intense Richard & Joey versus the goofy and giggly Anne-Marie & Tracy begins here. I hope this lasts for a while because it is a hilarious storyline. Anne-Marie & Tracy must be oblivious to the target on their backs. By the way, I love Anne-Marie & Tracy win round one of this war.
After Alana & Mel were awful with self-driving in Melbourne, I cannot wait to see how they handle driving in foreign countries.
Chris’s roided up reactions to everything during this leg amused me. So was Dave & Kelly’s commentary.
Lastly, Liberty vomiting after kissing a dozen Lombok men. Did their cheeks nauseate you that much?
Overall, this round was anything but its own original piece, however the cast and the fact this was a strong leg in TAR Asia 4 makes up for it. A seventy-minute episode did not drag whatsoever.
5) Lombok, Indonesia -> Hue, Vietnam
Although this leg ends in Hue, we cannot glance over the fact that we were in Ho Chi Minh City for one task before equalizing all of the teams.
For the second round in a row, we get an excessive amount of overlap with a TAR Asia leg. Well, two TAR Asia legs if you include the carabao task from TAR Asia 2.
I like how teams were given even less instruction with the dynasty coins task compared to when it was run during TAR Asia 3 (it was also twenty degrees Celsius warmer back then to balance things out).
The Detour was extremely physical. Either you relied on the carabao to drag you through the mud to find a clue, or you caught a bunch of chickens and had to carry the heavy weight over a long course. Considering multiple teams switched tasks, nobody had any energy left.
However, forcing half of the players to run up and down stairs during what would normally be billed as a mental challenge led to them scrounging what little energy they could to finish off the leg.
Perhaps my biggest beef with this leg is underediting the broken deal between Alana & Mel and Richard & Joey right before the pit stop. Both teams were minutes away from being eliminated, and Richard & Joey gave into temptation to guarantee they stayed alive. Since both teams entered the pit stop seconds apart, we should have seen Grant Bowler host a mat chat on the spot.
In fact, Ryot & Liberty could have been told they were eliminated and start crying while Mel and Joey engage in a shouting match. That would have been great TV.
Rich & Joey was not the only team to piss off everyone this episode. Chris did his part as he infamously berated Anastasia at the airport in Lombok. Furthermore, the name-calling continued until Anastasia was the first to complete the Roadblock over ten other teams. Then things changed.
We saw alliances begin to form and enemies made. I don’t understand why we needed a double equalizer before the true round could start, but whatever.
I do find it funny that this cast got to travel by plane rather than bus or train to Hue. Special treatment for Aussies!
Mo & Mos and Anne-Marie & Tracy staying alive through the first elimination was the ideal start to the season. Ryot & Liberty were not the best choice for first boots, but it is not the worst option out there. Besides, we saw how physically fit Liberty was in the first episode–I am surprised she held up through this round without vomiting again.
While wonderful storylines developed and amusing moments were present, the lack of originality and a missed opportunity for the editors drops this episode down a bit in the rankings.
6) Hue, Vietnam -> Macau, China
Let’s get this out of the way: For the third leg in a row, many of the challenges and locations are unapologetically ripped off from TAR Asia. The fortune cookie search, placing Zodiac lanterns in the correct order, dancing in a lion costume, playing a simple card game in a casino to win points, and A-Ma Cultural Village being used as the pit stop were all apart of TAR Asia 3.
This episode used too many luck-based challenges. That is always disappointing.
The only Fast Forward of the season appears, and features the famous traditional head shaving challenge. Whether you are annoyed this task is unoriginal or like the nostalgic factor is completely up to you.
Seeing Richard & Joey go from the team viewed as underperforming and pissing off everyone else in the race go to “lucky bastards” who jump to the front and take the Fast Forward and skip three-quarters of the leg sets up the team everyone wants to knock out of the race.
This round contains one of the most frustrating moments in TAR history. The bottom two teams, beloved Mo & Mos and Anne-Marie & Tracy are at the final Roadblock. Mo & Mos decide to take a four hour penalty, thus setting up Anne-Marie & Tracy to beat them by default. However, Anne-Marie & Tracy quit -after- them despite knowing it would guarantee their elimination, and end up going home in what could have been a case of having all-time great characters.
We had name-calling in the form of Chris referring to Dave as a fat oaf, a kung fu task where Renae accidentally punched concrete to make her hand bleed, and Anne-Marie & Tracy successfully performing an aerobic lion dance.
Oh, and Mel being angry with Alana’s hesitation to step up for a Roadblock was funny. We’ll have to work on that, Alana.
This round featured a TAR franchise first which has yet to be repeated: An Express Pass which saved a team who had a 50/50 shot at being eliminated. Sam & Renae used their Express Pass in an episode where editors buried them. This round in Singapore was absolutely brutal for them.
P.S. How dapper were Matt & Tom? They were as dressed up as the Texan guy from The Simpsons.
Rank the Teams
1) Mo El Leissy & Mos Haroun
Oh God. . .I mean Allah.
Mo & Mos are the first Muslim team in TAR history to last more than half of an episode. While Bilal & Sa’eed appeared to be more strict with their religious beliefs and took themselves seriously, Mo & Mos couldn’t be more relaxed. I believe Mos is a comedian and Mo works in media.
Mo & Mos couldn’t handle much of anything. They couldn’t handle heat, they were taunted with ice cream when they were in last place, they couldn’t figure out a mental puzzle, they couldn’t properly attach a trailer, they couldn’t stand on a boat, and Mos relied on a Salbutamol inhaler when trying to keep up with other teams.
Some people may view five episodes as a short run on TAR, but look at how many times Mo & Mos escaped elimination:
a) They finished in last place on the first leg, but saved by a rare opening NEL. Lucky.
b) They took a four hour penalty at the end of round three. This was minutes before Anne-Marie & Tracy also took a four hour penalty. Very lucky.
c) They were dead last in round four, but Tyler & Nathan U-Turned Richard & Joey to buy Mo & Mos enough time to make it to the pit stop. Super Duper Lucky.
d) If they avoided the 45 minute hourglass or Anastasia landed her ATV at a slightly different angle, they would have barely survived round five as well.
What a whirlwind for Mo & Mos.
2) Richard Toutounji & Joey Toutounji
They are sharp entrepreneurs. They are super physically fit. They are the most motivated team we have ever seen.
And excluding a lucky Fast Forward. . .they performed worse than Anne-Marie & Tracy. That is both hilarious and awesome.
I don’t think we have seen a team be as extreme as Richard & Joey, and always be at the bottom of the rankings.
FUN FACT: Up to this point in TAR history, no team has this low of an average (7.25) and still have a leg win under their belts.
Richard & Joey probably see themselves as the fiercest competition in this season. Hell, even when they were eliminated they viewed themselves as Tyler & Nathan’s equals. I really hope Richard & Joey watched this season and read my blog with a sense of humour.
I love it when teams contrast expectations of the audience heading into the season. Richard & Joey could have been another generic competitive romantic couple who get to the end of the race, but instead we witness a really fun trainwreck that gets routinely defeated by middle-aged department store employees and out-of-shape brothers who have been penalized multiple times.
Going into this season, the number one team that my friends were mentioning was Richard & Joey. TAR Australia 1 is synonymous with the catchphrase “Focus, Believe, Achieve.”
A team who was eliminated in 9th place and hogs this much attention must be doing something right.
And hey, Joey is one of only two women in an English-speaking version of TAR to get her head shaved. Richard & Joey never had a subtle presence in these four episodes. . .even if that’s the reason why they were ultimately eliminated. Hopefully betraying Alana & Mel isn’t a move that has haunted them too much at night.
P.S. Yes, I thought I read something where Richard & Joey make it to the Final Three. You can imagine my shock when they are bested by Mo & Mos. If they hadn’t been U-Turned, Mo & Mos would have definitely been eliminated this round. What a miracle.
3) Anne-Marie Brown & Tracy Read
The self-proclaimed tortoises hare’d their way out of the race.
Up until the last five minutes of episode three, Anne-Marie & Tracy were one of my favourite characters this season.
A little over a month ago, somebody on Reddit brought up how much they laughed at me making fun of Peggy & Claire from TAR 2.
You know, Peggy & Claire. The team from TAR 2 who everyone rooted for because they were old, had no chance of winning, and were praised for just not dying in the first couple of episodes. When they were eliminated, the additional confessionals from other teams were as if it was a memorial for a national dictator.
A couple days ago, my good friend Ben told me “Well, you liked Anne-Marie & Tracy but not Peggy & Claire. Anne-Marie & Tracy were really just Australian Peggy & Claire. How times have changed.”
I feel the need to counter this comparison on record.
a) Anne-Marie & Tracy were frequently hovering around eighth or ninth in the first three legs. They were never dead last until near the end of this episode, or if they were it was a tie for it with other teams.
b) They didn’t sleep through their alarm clock, have one person who was grumpy the whole time, or missed a flight that got them in twenty-four hours after everyone else.
c) They beat alpha warriors Richard & Joey both times. Richard & Joey avoided round three because of the Fast Forward. They never truly beat Anne-Marie & Tracy on a level playing field.
d) They couldn’t pay to get out of the cawwwww pawwwwk.
Anne-Marie & Tracy repeatedly stated how they were going to be tortoises who would triumph over the hares. Never give up. Never say die.
But in a discreet editor’s joke. . .Anne-Marie & Tracy blatantly quit, and commit the hare-iest act possible.
What is frustrating about this is they had FOUR HOURS to luck out with the Roadblock. They knew Mo & Mos had a penalty.
There are other times where teams have taken a four hour penalty in the past, but did so with the -slight- chance they could survive. It is almost quitting, but it is also partially a strategic move. Or teams who have quit when they already knew they were going to be eliminated.
What is also frustrating is that this wasn’t a physical or painful task. All you had to do was switch out lantern after lantern until you got one right. It is not like a Maria & Tiffany situation where they could claim being too physically drained to continue, or a Marshall & Lance situation where they are dead last and Lance can’t physically go on.
This just required a will to stay in the race. If they quit, they know they are gone. That would be heartbreaking if you were a big Anne-Marie & Tracy fan. Knowing the tasks that come up in leg four, Anne-Marie & Tracy not being apart of that is sad and disappointing.
But let’s move on to Anne-Marie & Tracy before their heartbreaking forfeit. They were hilarious. Well, they found everything hilarious, anyway. We all know people like Anne-Marie & Tracy–they get married, work in a department store for twenty years, and raise a family until they are in their 60s until they retire and watch game shows while calling each other on the telephone all day.
To have something like The Amazing Race Australia come before them blew their minds. They are thrown into a cast full of reality TV archetypes. Models. Competitive entrepreneurs. Aspiring actors and actresses. Physically fit people. Country folk. Aggressive personalities. Pokah playas. Younger people. You know, the usual spectrum.
Anne-Marie & Tracy didn’t fit in with any of that. It is like TAR Australia was secretly creating a new twist on the Joe Schmo Show. And that is certainly what it felt like for Anne-Marie & Tracy. “We beat Richard & Joey twice? Are you kidding me?”
I love how much they laughed at every good or bad thing that happened. Why, I bet they were in the theatre giggling while watching The Schindler’s List because Liam Neeson’s voice is amusing to them or something.
Yes, Anne-Marie & Tracy lose a lot of points for quitting. Yes, they were tired from a round that lasted until two o’ clock in the morning, but who isn’t tired on The Amazing Race?
But they make up for it by being able to keep up with the other teams and possessing much better personalities than Peggy & Claire along the way. And hey, that counts for something.
P.S. Yes, I was annoyed by Anne-Marie’s quote of “nobody expected us to make it this far” when they were the second team eliminated. Uh, Anne-Marie: Lots of people expected you to be the first or second team out. If Anne-Marie rephrased it as “nobody expected us to beat some of the other teams like we did”, then yeah, I am right there with her.
4) Alana Munday & Mel Greig
Alana & Mel were always doomed to finish this season in seventh place. If it weren’t for Richard & Joey’s Fast Forward, they would have had a leg victory to their name to ease the pain.
Speaking of Richard & Joey, Alana & Mel would find themselves in a rivalry with them by the end of the second episode. It was one of many many bridges that Richard & Joey managed to burn in their brief run on the season. Focus, believe, deceive.
Mel is a shockingly good narrator. You can see why Mel has spent her career in radio for the past decade. I feel bad for Alana who was a bit of a punching bag in the edit until she did her first Roadblock in the fifth round of play.
There was quite a few laughs with Alana & Mel. Most of it immature potty humour, but the rest was solid material. That scene where the Indonesian guy wants Mel to lift up her shirt is a scene you definitely wouldn’t see in TAR US.
Their storyline did have a conclusive ending. Alana stepped up to lead the team in their final leg, and there was really nothing else they could do about their position. They found themselves in last place almost ten minutes after they caught a break in their final round of play.
Whether it be stopping for a bathroom break while Dave & Kelly wait for them at an Intersection, Alana being absolutely terrified skydiving, or trash-talking Richard & Joey, Alana & Mel were strong secondary characters in the season.
It’s just tough to trump Anne-Marie & Tracey or Mo & Mos’ legacy.
5) Ryot Wilson & Liberty Wilson
One is a poker player. One is a dog groomer. . .oh, and they are both related to a famous actress who is never mentioned.
Liberty vomited due to physical activity, exhaustion, and weird diet. She hated stairs.
Ryot loved running with carabao in circles.
Neither of them were shown bonding with other teams except Sam & Renae. They wore matching shirts.
Ryot likely never turned out to be the villain that production was thinking he would be.
They exceeded expectations until a poor Detour decision of attempting the carabao task threw them out of the race despite a bronze medal in the season premiere. Unfortunately, they have a strange distinction of falling from third to being the first team eliminated over the course of two legs.
At least Yani & Nadine and Edwin & Monica knew to be consistent in the first two rounds. Ryot & Liberty will be looking at the evidence from the first round that they had potential to make a deep run in the race.
Oh well. Somebody has to go home first. And somehow it wasn’t Anne-Marie & Tracy nor the team who had to suffer through a thirty minute penalty.
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.
Because of how long this list has become, I only show the relevant section where the eliminated team from this episode has fallen amongst the ranks of what TAR history has to offer.
8th Danielle & Dani 7.8 Yielded TAR 9
9th Jaime & Cara 7.8 U-Turned and Used U-Turn TAR 18
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 Richard & Joey 7.25 U-Turned once TAR Australia 1
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
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
11th Ryot & Liberty 7.0 TAR Australia 1
7th Niroo & Kapil 6.75 TAR Asia 3
7th Christie & Jodi 6.67 Saved by NEL–Became the Devil of Casting Later TAR 14
9th Brad & Victoria 6.67 TAR 14
7th Alana & Mel 6.67 TAR Australia 1
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
11th Amanda & Kris 6.5 TAR 18 Automatic U-Turned.
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
8th Margie & Luke 6.4 TAR 18
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
5th Kent & Vyxsin 6.0 Used U-Turn and Saved by NEL once TAR 18
7th Ron & Christina 6.0 TAR 18
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